Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Just say no

I first heard about "PMU foals" back when I was attending UNH and working at the horse barn there. That was oh, ten years ago. I didn't really give much thought to them at the time. I just assumed it was some type of breed I didn't know about, since my world was all about Saddlebreds. I've learned over the years exactly what a PMU foal is and something I read last night made me want to take some action. I'm not exactly sure what, but I thought I'd start with informing you about this and maybe together we can spread the word.

According to the Humane Society's website: As the name implies, Premarin® is a conjugated estrogen product extracted from pregnant mares' urine (PMU). It is manufactured by Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Inc., and is most commonly prescribed for estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) to relieve hormonal deficiency symptoms associated with menopause or hysterectomy. More recently, it has been prescribed to help prevent osteoporosis and heart disease. Premarin® is the most widely used ERT drug, marketed for more than 50 years, and currently administered to more than nine million American women.

The key to that description is that this drug is derived from pregnant mares' urine. This has resulted in too many foals and too little good homes for them. The end result is that many end up in slaughter houses, as do their moms - when they can no longer produce babies. Not that their lives before they reach the slaughter house are glamorous. They're not. These mares are always in foal, receive no exercise and are kept hooked up to a bag collecting their urine.

I am not a crazy animal advocate. And, I tend to shy away from people that are. I understand that animals and animal testing are a big part of the pharmaceutical industry. However, when I read last night that there are a number of plant-derived or synthetic estrogens that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved as safe and effective for ERT. Some physicians believe that certain alternative estrogens may, in fact, be superior to Premarin® in terms of both performance and patient tolerance.

It caused me to pause. Well, what the hell? Why are we causing needless pain and suffering and death to these animals when there are such viable alternatives. Money, honey. That's why. This is big business. And it ain't gonna be easy to put an end to this practice. However. One way we can, is to not use this drug and to spread the word to others.

For further reading:

http://www.hsus.org/pets/issues_affecting_our_pets/equine_protection/the_facts_about_premarin.html

http://www.trot.me.com/_forum/index.php?cat=8029&sub=36218&threadnumber=413837

http://www.premarin.org/

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Yip Yip!

As promised, here's the "exciting" video of me riding. Sorry, I didn't kiss the dirt yesterday - or did I?

You'll just have to watch and find out.The first horse I'm on is a little Morgan mare, she would make the cutest little kid horse. I am obviously a bit big for her. But, I worked with her on her canter this summer - she was bullying the little kids around a bit. So cute. She's still young - a four year old.

The second horse, my instructor let me hop on at the end cause Adam was there with the video camera. He's a 5-gaited Saddlebred, I've been riding him a lot lately. He's lots of fun - and more my size. Good times!

video

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sick of the kayaking videos? Well, get ready - cause Adam is getting off work early to come videotape my ride tonight! I'll post some of it tomorrow.

Try to get some sleep tonight, I'm sure it must feel like Christmas Eve now. Ahhhh, the anticipation.

Maybe you'll get lucky and I'll fall off or something.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"Hey, that's you!"

So, last night Adam and I were playing around on the computer, and we were on youtube, checking out movies. We found one called, "Kayak Carnage" and were having some laughs - when we recognized someone - Adam was in the movie! Pay attention around the 1:00 mark - green boat, red top - it's Adam on the Magalloway river in Maine. Good song too. Have a great day and some laughs with this vid.

Monday, October 22, 2007

If you lost it, get it back

We all have that one thing. That thing that makes us tick. I think when we become grown ups, sometimes we lose sight of it - because we have jobs, husbands, wives, kids, responsibilities - and we let it slip away. The last time I went riding, I ended up at the barn early and got to talking with one of the moms that I see on occasion when I show up for my weekly lesson.

"This is your thing, isn't it?" said the mom. "I see it on your face every time I see you here - you're just so happy and at ease. I can just see it."

"Hmm, I guess maybe it is, yeah." was my response.

I'm not really sure why it is though. And I'm not sure why what makes each of us tick, tick. I find it really interesting - like what may be the thing that makes you tick - me - not so much. I've been asked, since I started riding again - what the point is. I'm not really sure - I don't have huge goals to make it the World Championships in Louisville or anything like that. Maybe I'll do a little local showing here and there. But, maybe not. I'm trying to figure that out now. And I'm setting some goals for myself. Because, well - once a week at the barn just ain't cutting it. I'd ride every day if I could.

All I know, is that every time I come home from riding, Adam can tell it was a riding day - even if he had forgotten. Cause I just have this huge smile on my face for the remainder of the day. I think maybe it lets me forget the everyday "stuff" for a little bit. Because I just concentrate completely on my horse and our task at hand. But for me, it's not just the riding. I love the whole aspect of having a horse - ever tried cleaning a stall? It's therapeutic - I'm telling you! Well, it is for me.

After losing it for a long while, I'm so glad I found my thing again. I'm curious...What's yours?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Free Hugs

With almost 19 million views, chances are you've already seen this. If not, enjoy. If so, enjoy again. I'm not sure I woulda hugged this guy. But, I live for cheesy things like this. It's a nice little reminder, that a little hug can make someone's day.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tis the Season

I am not a fan of Halloween. I think if you're over say, 14 - you shouldn't be dressing up. We received our first (and let's face it - probably only - we don't have a lot of friends) invitation to a Halloween party yesterday. Included in the invitation, "costumes encouraged." I was almost in until I read that part.

Not going.

I hate the pressure associated with coming up the coolest costume. It's so stupid. And really, who wants to look around the room and see a bunch of adults dressed up? Not me.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's totally cute when the little ones dress up. That's how it should be. And actually, I like the pumpkin carving and seed roasting.

But, what's with these adult parties where you HAVE to go in costume? Ugh. Go ahead, call me a party pooper.

Anyway, here's a picture of the first drop on the Bottom Moose, Fowlersville. Apparently, a rafter (yes, people run that in rafts) got tossed and was stuck in the middle hole for FOUR minutes, until someone paddled over and pulled him out. Who knows? Maybe he would still be there if that hadn't happened. Scary stuff! Pretty though.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mighty Moose. And that's just what it is.

"You didn't bring directions? How about a map, got one of those?" I said to the boys in the other car when they called asking how to get to Old Forge - as they drove around aimlessly in Vermont. Me? I had an entire manila folder with printed out directions to and from Old Forge, to the Black river, which we planned on heading to on Friday for some park and play and rapid descriptions of the entire Moose river. I'm a planner. Single boys in their 20's - not so much (no offense, Cody - I'm sure you would have had a map at least). I knew we were in for one heck of a weekend.

Oh, also - note to self. NEVER share a hotel room with said boys again. Ever. Good kids - not good roommates. We decided last minute due to the weather (called for snow/rain all weekend) that we should all just pile into a hotel room.

We eventually all found our way to the hotel Thursday night and then drove over to the Black river for some fun on Friday.

Adam getting some air on the play wave - Black river, Watertown, NY. If we had a feature like this close to home, I would get real good in a hurry. Very, very cool spot.

Hammin' it up for the camera...



We got some bad news on Friday night that the guy who was going to show Adam the lines on the Bottom Moose had car trouble and wasn't going to be able to make it to NY. The Bottom Moose is a Class V river. You really should go with someone who has been on it before. But, we headed there anyway on Saturday morning as planned to check it out. Let me tell you something...You can hear it before you see it. Pictures do this section of the river no justice.

[All of a sudden, blogger decided that it can't upload images right now, so I won't be able to post any more pictures today.]

Adam decided that he wasn't going to run the Bottom that day, after studying the lines for awhile on that first rapid. We watched some people drop in...Saw some carnage...and also saw people style it. It was pretty cool to see the pros that we watch in all of our movies, run this stuff in front of us.

Instead, we headed to the Lower Moose and had some carnage of our own. One of the members of our group got pinned on a rock in Class III+ Tannery Rapid http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River_detail_id_1351 , she had to pull her skirt and had a nasty swim - and decided to call it a day.

The Moose had it's way with us on Saturday.

So what to do? Head to the festivities Saturday night, that's what.

Sunday we woke up and decided after not getting any sleep all weekend, that Adam shouldn't even attempt to run the Bottom without his buddy. So, we took our time packing up and headed home. He was really bummed out that he didn't do what he'd set out to. But, I think he made a smart decision. When rapids have descriptions with, "somebody died here - watch this spot" you really should be well rested and with someone that knows the lines.

Next time.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Moose

This afternoon we head out to the Moosefest for a long weekend in the Adirondacks. Neither of us has ever been out there - so it's pretty exciting! The good thing about the Moose River is that it has a bunch of different sections, each with varying degrees of difficulty (thanks, Moose!). So there's fun for everyone.

We've got a good group of about six or seven heading out there to camp, paddle and yeah, maybe party a little too. I hope to get some good footage, both video and picture and I will post next week. Kobe is going to sit this one out and go on his on mini-vacation at the lake (thanks Mom and Gma for watching him - again). Have a great weekend!

Here are some links if you have any interest in reading about the Moose River and the Fest.

http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River_detail_id_1352

http://www.nyriverfestivals.com/moosefest2007paper.pdf

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Playing around with video

And that's just what this is! Don't expect any music or anything fancy. But we've compiled a lot of video footage and I'm working on starting to download it and actually make little movies. This was me practicing pulling pieces from the camera.

So.

This footage was taken on a chilly day back in March after Adam had just spent a week down in beautiful North Carolina taking a creeking clinic. We met up with his friend Miah and the boys paddled at a feature called "Crackpipe Wave" in Manchester. That is followed by us playing around on the creek that we can walk to from our house (Maggie named it Kobe Creek and it's stuck).

Marc and Scott, remember when we were determined to get the iron out of the little stream in front of our house growing up? It was like our little after school project. Well, this spring Adam and I spent many after school nights trying to get wood out of this creek and I told him at one point it reminded me of those good ole days. Kobe was borderline hypothermic this day because we could NOT keep him out of the water...And well, you'll see what happened. Enjoy! I'm going to post these more often and hopefully they'll get better with time.

video

Monday, October 8, 2007

Sugar Honey Iced Tea

I learned last night, as I was running around looking for tip money for the pizza delivery guy - that it's about that time to start watching my mouth around Jackson.

"Swear words" were not permitted in our house growing up. I mean, really. We weren't even allowed to say "crap" or "shut up" - which I'm actually thankful for, because still to this day, I don't say "shut up" and I cringe when I hear it. Well, unless someone is saying something totally mind blowingly unbelievable to me, and it's used in a different way...For instance:

Jeannie: Did you hear that the Crocodile Hunter was killed by a stingray today?
Amy: SHUT UP...You're not serious.

So last night when Loni and I discovered as the pizza was being delivered to us that no, we did not have enough cash to cover it, I yelled out "shit" as I ran around dad's house hoping that there was some secret money stashed somewhere. As Loni did the same. Jackson thought this was pretty darn funny and was laughing at us in our mad dash. And then he repeated it. And laughed and laughed. Thankfully it sounded like he was just saying "it" - but as we stared at him, he had one of those laughs that come from the belly.

My friend Jeannie doesn't swear. She never has. Since I've known her, I can probably count the number of times she's slipped on one hand. I asked her about it once, and now I can't remember her reason. And when I talk to her, I don't swear either. But when you spend your weekends hanging out with a bunch of dudes on the river, it's easy to get in the habit and the swears flow off your tongue like they're nothing.

Sometimes though, for some reason it just feels really good to yell out an obscenity. I'm not sure why - it seems to add emphasis. Like, look, I really mean this or something. Who knows. But I'm going to have to keep those to myself when the little guy is around. Or I'm going to have my mouth washed out with soap by his parents.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Do Yourself a Favor

If you get the chance to go see the Avett Brothers, jump at it. They are absolutely the best band that no one is going to see. They pour their heart and soul out on stage. They jam. A little banjo, a little string bass, a little cello, a little guitar. Their lyrics are beautiful. You will leave with a smile on your face and it will still be there the next day. I've seen Dave, I've seen Bruce, I've seen James, I've seen Brandi C. - this is the best show I've ever gone to.

--

And they may pay us off in fame
But that is not why we came
And if it compromises truth then we will go

We came for salvation
We came for family
We came for all that's good that's how we'll walk away
We came to break the bad
We came to cheer the sad
We came to leave behind the world a better way

-Salvation Song, Avetts

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Today's the Big Day!

When your dreams start sayin' I can't come true,
you'd be better off without me.

Don't let em go.

-from A Gift for Melody Anne, the Avett Brothers

I've waited for this day for a long time. I feel like I'm 10 and it's Christmas. I get to see these guys live.
They provide a little inspiration when I start to think there's not much good in the world. Their live shows are supposed to be amazing and I just can't wait. I'm putting on my dancing shoes and hope to have a rockin' end to what's been a not-so-rockin' week.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

How to run a waterfall

hahahahaha.

http://www.teamspecialed-sped.blogspot.com/

Something Pretty

On a lighter note.

I've long admired the work of this artist: http://www.tmccuepastels.com/content/theart.aspx

I first saw one of her paintings where I get my hair cut and I asked about it. My hairdresser said that she and the artist exchange services and that she would be cutting Teresa's hair for a long time to pay off the huge painting that adorned her wall. Which I think is just so cool.

Some day when I'm rich (haha) I will acquire one of her paintings. If money is no object and you like her stuff, get you one!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

how did we get here?

Warning: Don't read this if you don't want to hear a crazy rant. Really. This is literally a brain dump. Something I just had to get off my chest.

--

Yesterday, I checked the news on cnn.com and the "breaking news headline" was that Britney Spears custody rights were being revoked. This caused me to pause. What? THIS is breaking news? THIS is the news that I should be concerned about? Are you serious? This "news" for some reason hit me like a bmw on the highway.

How did we get here?, I thought to myself. Honestly to the point of tears, almost - I'm not that crazy. But. I am so sad about the way of the world right now. I tossed and turned all night, hardly sleeping.

I distinctly remember where I was when I learned about the first U.S. casualty in Iraq. I spent the weekend up in the mountains and was on my way home when I heard. And I'm just gonna throw this out there, I did cry. This was some one's son. This man meant the world to someone. I will never forget that day. I thought about my brothers, my dad.

I am so mad about this war and even more mad at myself for doing nothing about it. I don't understand why we're not all mad. Because we SHOULD be. And we should be doing something about it. But we're not.

Every time I see that damn ad on tv saying that "they attacked us...," my blood boils. It does. "They" didn't attack us. The Iraqi people did not fly those planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon or that field in Pennsylvania. Who are these people that are stupid enough to believe that? It was a group of extremists lead by an f-ing lunatic, who "we" still haven't captured. I haven't forgotten.

But now we've destroyed an entire country's infrastructure. We've removed their leader, and he's been executed. We can't just leave. Look, I know the world is probably a better place without him. He was a tyrannical leader. I know. But there are LOTS of leaders just like him. Why aren't we running off to Myanmar right now? Oh that's right, they don't have something we want.

Meanwhile, the Polar Ice Cap is disappearing before our eyes. Our soldiers are dying daily overseas, but we should give a shit about Britney Spears losing her kids? I think we all need to start getting mad. I feel helpless. I want to believe our leaders. Really, I do. I want to believe that there are people in office far smarter than I am and they know what they're doing...But I just don't. Not when we find out after the fact that we've been lied to. Hello, weapons of mass destruction? Our reason for invading Iraq...Oh yeah, there WEREN'T ANY.

So, what do I do about it? I vote to put people into power that I believe are going to do their best to turn things around. To help us get our priorities straight. I hope that's enough.

If you've made it this far...do you feel the same way I do? Am I wrong? Should I not be mad? Is it lack of sleep? I'm just wondering if anyone else feels this way too. And if so, what do you do about this. I guess we just keep on keepin' on and make the world around us as good as we can. We volunteer, we make positive choices, and maybe one day we'll wake up and things will start turning around because we've all done our little part and it will add up to one big thing? I really hope so.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Awesome!

We decided to keep it local this weekend, but somehow managed to squeeze a lot in.

Friday night found us at everyone's favorite: The Deerfield Fair. How can you go wrong at the fair? A little horse show. A little tractor pull. Mixed with the most fattening food on the planet. Everyone's happy. Seriously though, have you noticed that when you step onto fairgrounds, you're instantly happy? And so is everyone around you. It's like stepping back in time. I looked around while we were at the tractor pull and there were people from all walks of life, young and old chatting about tractors. It was a good time.

Maybe we need to have all the worlds leaders "summit" at a county fair? The world may be a different place.

Saturday was a bit boring. Yawn. We caught up on house stuff that we really needed to. I should say, it WAS boring until Jackson and Scott came over for a little bbq. In the words of Jackson, it was "awesome". We tried bison. It was alright, I guess. But we got out the mandolin and banjo that our buddy John gave to us. Scott got us psyched up to actually take some lessons and learn how to play them.

I got a call from my sister Chia on Saturday that she was going to be home on Sunday and wanted to go paddling with us. Again, awesome! She did SO great. She is an absolute natural at this. We were warming up and she flipped over accidentally. She was able to roll herself back up. She's only paddled with us one other time, and Adam taught her how to roll. It usually takes a long time to learn this skill. Not Chia though. She rocked...And, she says she's hooked. I'm happy to have another girl paddler to hang with.

Why do the weekends go by so fast? Sigh.

--

EDITED to add: Tinydancer, I think you should post a video of Jackson saying awesome, so that everyone can see how funny it is.
the wisdom's in the trees, not the glass windows - j.j.