Monday, January 31, 2011

The Power of the Classics...

We had a nice night tonight.  Mondays are traditionally a family night around our house. I cook something nice and we either have a movie night or wind up playing board games.  Might be kinda hokey, but it works for us. 

We're a little bit late to the Netflix game, but we've picked it up pretty quickly and one look at the suggested films it offers us indicates that we're a pretty horsey family (or at least, the person with the controls is.)  Although many would assume the person with the controls would be me, anyone who's really in the know can yell you it's my daughter.  Sophie's got every horse game, horse movie, horse TV show ever made on her suggestion list.

Tonight's winner was Misty, the movie based on the book Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry.  It won mostly because I opened up my yap and said how I must've read that book about 20 times when I was Sophie's age, but heck if I could remember every little detail of it now.  Then I had to blather on (you know how old people go on and on and ONNNNNN about their ancient history?) about how during college my friend and I would take his father's boat over to Assateague and camp out over night, lighting campfires on the beach and cooking corn adn potatoes, and crabbing and oystering ( a dirty business, oystering.)  We'd wake up in the morning to see the ponies or island foxes, and just relax on the beach or explore the island.

So we watched Misty, and argued about how unfair it was that girls couldn't ride on Pony Penning Day, and how silly it was for Maureen to give up the ride in the race against the Black Comet to Paul even thought it was her turn to ride and she was llighter and had a better chance of winning. (The menfolk in our lives knew not to engage with us on this point as there were homemade brownie sundaes at stake, and crabby wimminfolk have been known to withold any manner of treats when provoked.

It was a great night watching a good old fashioned movie that caused us to examine some differences in how lives are led, animals are treated, people treat each other.  Guess that's the point of the classics -- to continue that kind of conversation, generation after generation.  I'm kinda hoping one of my kids asks me where my copy of Misty of Chincoteague is.  Sophie's already got her Misty Breyer model in her bed with her.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Horses and Football? Of course!

One advantage to being struck down with the plague and couch-bound is the time it affords one to cruise about the Internet.  Since my family has abandoned me to go to the barn (attendant strains of miniature violins) I am fending off boredom and a case of the sulks by watching World Cup show jumping on FEITV, checking out the Chronicle of the Horse Forums, and reading anything horse related the World Wide Web can serve up to me.
Horses are not my only interest (although at times it might not seem that way.)  I'm also a big football fan.  Mostly NFL, as that's how my Daddy raised me, but I'm catching on to college these days.  Super Bowl Sunday is considered, in my home, a holiday on par with Christmas.
So I absolutely LOVE that two of my passions come together on this sacred day.  Horses, in the form of the Budweiser Clydesdales, and football.  Kinda goes together like peanut butter and chocolate...
Anyways, my Internet surfing has unearthed the following preview of what the folks at Anheuser Busch have in store for us on Super Bowl Sunday.  I'm looking forward to it, and interested to hear which one you like the best.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Designated Driver?

Saw this on YouTube.  Sat there puzzled for a few minutes, unsure as to how I wanted to react.  Was I jealous that this cowboy purportedly lived in an area where this would be possible, jealous my horse would never consider doing this (unless I had a bagful of treats) or just puzzled as to whether or not this would still be considered drunk driving?  I mean, if I'm too inebriated to drive a car, I'm pretty sure I shouldn't be operating a horse, either... 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Obsession? Maybe. So what?

OK, so I'm willing to admit I get a little testy when someone calls this horsey thing of mine a "hobby." I've spent 3+ hours every day this week (Tuesday through Saturday) on my computer watching the George Morris Horsemastership Training Sessions. At night, before I fall asleep, I can be found reading horse related magazines, books, or, God help me, catalogs. (Ask me what page Eskadron boots can be found on in the last Dover catalog - I dare you.) This ain't a hobby, people, it's a full blown obsession. Nobody in their right mind spends this much time trying to learn about and get better at something if it's just a hobby.

What set me off on my current rant was watching the movie Julie & Julia, the 2009 movie chronicling both Julia Child's herculean efforts to write and publish her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and writer Julie Powell's odyssey as she cooked her way through it. Each woman started out searching to fill a void in her life; Julia did not want to be defined as simply a diplomat's wife, filling her days with millinery and bridge lessons. Julie did not want to be a low level bureaucrat with an unfinished novel and a penchant for abandoning projects.

As each woman became more and more enmeshed in her passion she encountered roadblocks; dismissive responses from publishers and idols, lack of support from friends, and occasional marital discord. What resonated with me was that each woman faced these obstacles down and continued to live as her passion dictated, ultimately becoming a better person for it.

I had a great conversation with my son about it. He had absolutely no intention of liking this movie, but he did. Why? Because "each woman had a dream and went for it, kinda like you with Sug, Mom." That almost brought me to tears. Now, I am relatively sure I'm never going to be as good as I want to be at this horse thing. I'm pretty sure no Olympic team will be asking me to ride for them. However, if this passion of mine has shown my kids that it is possible to have a dream and bust your chops to realize even a small part of it, well, then, I've done my job.