A Year Ago Today {Our Proposal Story}

Posted on

One year ago today, Mr. B made me the happiest girl in the world when he asked me to be his wife. In honor of our little anniversary, I’ve dug up one of the first blog posts I ever wrote: the story of how Mr. B put a ring on it.

———————————–

In our corner of the world, it can be kind of hit-or-miss when it comes to appropriately timed snowfalls. I’ve gone trick-or-treating in the snow, and I’ve worn shorts on my birthday in the middle of January. Last year, however, Mother Nature got it right. Well, at least for the week of Christmas. A few days before the jolly fat man in a red suit came to visit, our town was blanketed in gorgeous snow. It was beautiful. It was the kind of snow that sticks to the branches and the rooftops and makes everything so very pretty. Then, the sun came out, which is a rare treat for us between the months of November and March. The sky was blue and the world was white and everything was so dang lovely that for one day, I didn’t mind winter. So when Mr. B suggested taking the horses out for a trail ride, I happily saddled up Sally. We even, at Mr. B’s suggestion, bundled up Daisie Mae in her fluffy, pink vest and let her ride along in the saddle bag. (Being a Chihuahua, she’s not one for snow, or getting her feet wet, or long hikes through the woods.)

Daisie, all bundled up in the saddlebags and ready for a horseback ride. Somehow, this is the only photo we managed to take on the day we got engaged.

Daisie, all bundled up in the saddlebags and ready for a horseback ride. Somehow, this is the only photo we managed to take on the day we got engaged.

We set out on my favorite trail, which runs though a beautiful pine forest along a small creek, “down in the hollow”, as Mr. B says. As you can imagine, it was made even more stunning by the sunlight pouring through the trees and reflecting off of the snow. Mr. B suggested that we veer off the trail a bit and walk down to the creek to take a look at the icy waterfalls. I found this odd, because he’s not one for hiking either, but I didn’t think much of it. We tied the horses up, unloaded Daisie from her perch in the saddle bag, and I followed him through the woods down to a point in the creek where a huge rock jutted out over a little waterfall. He really was on the cusp of an ideal engagement proposal. But then Daisie and I mucked it up.

When Mr. B and I stepped on to the rock to admire our surroundings, I realized that Daisie was no longer behind me. I spotted her back on the trail, whining and looking anxious about her inability to get over (or under, it could have gone either way) a log that had fallen across the path. So obviously, I lost focus on how amazing Mr. B is to have taken me on such a lovely outing, and began trying to coerce the dog into hurdling the log and joining us on the rock. Mr. B, in all of his nervousness, was not prepared for such a hiccup in the plan and blurted out “Hey!” to regain the attention of his clueless fiancee-to-be. It worked, and when I turned around he pulled a diamond ring from his pocket and asked, in a much sweeter tone, “Will you marry me?” Overcome with love and joy and excitement, and blinded by the sparkly diamond, I said “of course!” and promptly forgot about Daisie and her troubles. Mr. B and I spent a few sweet moments on the rock in the middle of the beautiful winter scene, reveling in our love and the life we share, and laughing about the silly little dog and what a pitiful attention span I have. It really was wonderful. It may not have gone according to plan, but the whole thing was just so very “us” that I can’t imagine a better proposal!

Oh, and on our walk back to the horses, we realized that Daisie wasn’t nervous about clearing the log after all. Turns out, her fuzzy vest was snagged on a stick, and she was unable to free herself. Oops.

————————————-

To Mr. B (a.k.a. Ryan) (a.k.a., my hunky man-friend) (a.k.a. the love of my life),

In exactly 138 days, I will be stealing your last name, and I cannot wait! You’ve made me so deliriously happy, not just in the last year, but in every single day that I’ve known you. It hasn’t always been easy, and I know it won’t always be smooth sailing in the future, but there is nowhere I’d rather be than by your side. I truly believe we are better together. Hand-in-hand, we can take on the world. You are my love, my best friend, my comfort, my teammate, and the man whose smile I can’t resist.

It’s so strange – I can’t believe it’s been an entire year since I said “yes”, but at the same time, I can’t believe it’s only been a year. It feels like such a whirlwind, and yet, I can’t imagine my life without you in it. I’m so lucky to be able to spend the rest of forever with you.

I love you, baby, and I can’t wait to be your wife.

Love, Me

Signature


Achy Muscles Make Me Happy

Posted on
Sami's Shenanigans

I feel a little bit more like myself today.

The last few weekends have been wonderfully relaxing, but they’ve left me feeling a little blah and lazy. During the warm summer months, we spend almost all of our free time on the boat. I’m active on the boat; wakeboarding, tubing, swimming, and the normal work that goes into boating all keep me constantly moving. But boating season is over, so I haven’t been nearly as active. I haven’t been using my body as much as I normally do, and as a result I’ve felt…lazy.

Fortunately, I had a chance to be more active this weekend. After all the hiking, horseback riding, and ATV riding, I’m sore today. And I love it.

DSC_5815-2

 

Don’t get me wrong – we are pretty active in general – we just did a little more this weekend. Usually we drive around the farm, this weekend we mostly walked. All summer I’ve been riding with a saddle, this weekend I rode bareback (which is much more of a workout). Usually Sunday evenings are spent relaxing on the couch, last night we ventured outside for an ATV ride before the sun went down. It wasn’t anything crazy, just a little more exercise than I’ve been getting lately – and I feel wonderful because of it.

Do you feel better about life when you are more active? Or is relaxation more rejuvenating for you?

PS- Today is the last day to enter to win a $50 Starbucks card, a Last Night A Blogger Saved My Life tee, and fall wax melts from Mrs. Laura Beth and friends!

Signature

 

 


Weekend Shenanigans, Farm Style

Posted on

It was a good weekend.

(Why do great weekends make Monday mornings extra sucky?)

I can’t even remember what I did on Friday. I think I just fiddled with some blog stuff and relaxed with some wine and my guy, but I really don’t recall. Clearly it was uneventful.

I do remember Saturday though, because it was awesome. My mom came to visit and we played on the farm. We visited the horses, enjoyed lunch and wine on the back deck, and then helped Mr. B and the farmers make hay.

MakingHay

 

While the menfolk were gathering up the bales of hay, Mom and I admired the awesome old farm equipment.

MomTractor

Tractor

And when we were putting the hay away in the barn, we found this pretty girl:

MamaCat

She had four teeny little babies, who were so small their eyes weren’t even open yet. They were so precious! But, every time I would get near them, Mr. B and my mother would act like I was approaching (or holding or talking to or trying to kidnap) a ticking bomb. Ok, so maybe I’m liiiittle bit allergic to cats, but that wasn’t going to keep me away from four itty-bitty kitties.

After stacking almost 400 bales of hay in the barn, we came back to the house for a steak dinner and wine and cigars. (I really love when Mom visits, she spoils us.) We stayed up way past our bedtimes, but it was a blast.

Yesterday morning, my mom headed back home and Mr. B finished up some yard work. I spent the day getting ready for the week ahead and catching up on my blog reading. Later that afternoon, while I was lost in blogland, the dogs started losing their freaking minds and scared the living shit out of me. Turns out, Mr. B and Annie were standing in our front yard and the pooches didn’t like it one bit.

Mr. B brought Annie to the house to see if I had any cream for her sun-burned nose. (Because, obviously, it’s easier to bring the horse to the cream than it is to take the cream to the horse.) I slathered a little shea butter on her sniffer, and then Joey practiced his herding skills. In hindsight, we are re-evaluating the choice to let him herd a horse with a person on it (in the front yard, no less), but at the time we were just so thrilled that he wanted to herd something other than the Chihuahua.

JoeyAnnieFrontYard

 

Last night Mr. B and I snuggled up with the pups for popcorn and a movie, which was a great way to round out a great weekend.

 

Sami's Shenanigans

What did you guys get into this weekend? I hope it was fabulous!

Signature


6 Things I Love About Fall

Posted on

I am, first and foremost, a summer girl. I like my flip flops, sundresses, tan skin, cool summer drinks, being near the water, warm sunshine, long days and the casual freedom that summer offers. But fall…fall holds a special place in my heart, even if it does mean that the dreaded winter is coming. *shudder* (Spoiler alert: you will never, ever read an “I love winter” post around these parts. It’s just not my thing.)

I’ll admit, I was very reluctant to write this post, even though it’s been lingering in the back of my head the entire month of August. Don’t wish it away! I kept telling myself. Summer is fabulous, but so short. Revel in it while it is here! Mother Nature didn’t seem to agree though, what with the cooler temperatures and the leaves already starting to change(!!).

So, for as much as I resisted it, I’m giving in.

Fall is coming here! Yay!…I guess. Here are a few of the reasons why I love it:

College football. Let’s gooooo Mountaineers!

DubV

Warm apple cider. Bonus points if it has a little Captain in it.

Fall fashion. I don’t mean just the current, new looks of the season (though I do love those!), but also the timeless cozy sweaters that are perfect for snuggling in or the Ugg boots that I live in (I don’t care how how much I get made fun of for them, they are they are soooo comfy!) I love pulling my fall/winter clothes out of the attic and switching over my wardrobe at the end of every summer.

Knitting. About two years ago I taught myself how to knit, and it has become one of my favorite pastimes. It’s mostly something I do in the winter though, when it’s cool out and I’m snuggled by the fire and not nearly as busy with other things as I am in the summer.

Yarn

More time with Sally. Summer can be way too hot for horseback riding, and the bugs are just awful. When the cool fall starts to set in (and the bugs start to die off or hide or do whatever they do), it makes for perfect riding weather.

SallyNikkiField

A fresh start. Back-to-school time has always felt like a fresh start to me. New school supplies, new books, new clothes, new classes, new opportunities, new “year”. It has always felt like more of a fresh start than New Years. Maybe that’s just the school-loving nerd in me, but that feeling has stuck, even though I’m not in school anymore.

What do you love about fall? What is your favorite season?

Signature


Roadtrip Mishaps (Weekend Shenanigan’s Link-Up!)

Posted on

This weekend was the long-awaited ranch sorting event. Mr. B has been talking about attending an event like this for at least 6 months. We finally found ourselves free (it’s been a busy summer!) on an event weekend and committed to meeting our friend Ryan in McKean, PA to see what it was all about. 

Mr. B was so excited. I mean, so excited. On Friday night he was like a little kid on Christmas Eve buzzing around with excitement. He loaded all the gear into the truck, hooked the horse trailer to the truck, bathed both horses and even clipped their chin hairs. Because you have to be beautiful to play with cows, duh.

Sally didn’t mind the bath at first.

SallyBath

But eventually she started giving Mr. B dirty looks.

SallyBathDirtyLook 

No worries, he handled it pretty well. Living with me, he’s used to ladies getting sassy with him.

So Saturday morning everything was ready to go. (Well, as ready as we were going to get. The freshly washed asshole horse pictured above rolled in her own poop at some point during the night, but we didn’t have time to do anything about that.) We woke up at an unacceptable hour (5:30! On a Saturday!), loaded the horses onto the trailer and hit the road.

About an hour and a half into a two and a half hour ride, Joey decided to body-slam my bladder, so we pulled over at a rest area. When I came out of the restroom, Mr. B was standing next to the trailer looking panicked and waving me over frantically. “We have a problem”, he said and pointed to this:

HorseTrailerWhoopsie

 

In all of my helpfulness, I responded with “Oh….Shit. Yeah, we do.”  We didn’t just get a flat or blow out a tire. The whole freaking wheel fell off. How does that even happen?! 

We have no idea how long the wheel was missing, but we suspect only a mile or so. We felt the trailer shift shortly before we pulled off at the rest area, but assumed that it was just the horses moving. This is pretty common (they have more than 2,000 lbs between them, so you feel the movement when even one of them takes a step to the side) and Mr. B checked the rear-view mirror and didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Like, you know, a tire rolling away from the trailer.

Luckily, we were in the left lane, so the wheel likely just rolled into the median. We were very, very fortunate that no one was hurt.

Ryan was already at the event, but he loaded his horse, Cash, back onto his trailer and drove the hour to meet us at the rest stop. While we waited for him, Mr. B called around to see if there were any nearby spare tire trailer retailers. Naturally, I started taking pictures.

MrBPhoneRestStop

AnnieNebby

Well, do you know what is in the middle of Mercer County? A whole bunch of nothing. There was nothing nearby and the calls he made to places 30+ miles away all came up empty. Awesome.

Several of our fellow travelers did stop to see if they could help, and many even offered up their spare tires, but sadly, none fit. Mr. B did spot one gentleman who had a spare tire that was a match, and asked if he could buy it from him, but the guy refused to part with it. For any amount of money.

When Ryan arrived, Mr. B and I unloaded Sally and Annie from our trailer, with the intention of loading them onto Ryan’s trailer. Sally did this with no problem. Annie, however, decided that a busy rest area along the equally busy interstate 79 was a great place to tell Mr. B to shove it. So she did. Repeatedly.

AnnieNope

She fought him so hard that he was afraid she would hurt herself, or worse, get loose and end up on the interstate. He had no choice but to load her back onto the busted trailer.

Sidenote/rant/public service announcement: If you ever see frazzled people taking their horses off of a trailer at a rest area, just go ahead and assume that it is not the best opportunity to introduce your toddler farm animals. Clearly, something is wrong so for everyone’s safety and the sanity of the horse owners, stay back. Especially if one of the horses is so distraught that she is rearing up onto her hind legs repeatedly. Seriously, dude. GO AWAY. Take Junior to a petting zoo. This is not the time or the place. Sure, watch from afar because, yeah, that’s bizarre. But DO NOT carry your small child over and attempt to approach the obviously unhappy 1,000-lb animal or it’s struggling handlers. 

Sorry. Where was I? Oh yeah, Sally was on Ryan’s trailer with Cash, and Annie was back on the busted trailer. Mr. B sent me with Ryan so that he could head back to the event. We felt so awful that we had to ask him to come save us and didn’t want to ruin his whole day. Mr. B shipped me off with him so that I could go check it out/tend to my horse, but mostly I think he was just so irritated with the whole thing that he wanted to be left alone. He was going to find a truck stop/parts shop and meet up with us once the trailer was fixed. 

We followed him verrrry slowly down the highway to the next exit, where he found a nice man at a truck parts shop. That shop didn’t have what they needed, so Mr. B’s new buddy spent almost two hours calling every place he could think of to inquire about what is apparently a very old, aftermarket Ford truck wheel and tire. Eventually, they located one at a junkyard. It was similar, but not the exact one, so the man at the junkyard somehow altered it to fit just well enough to get us home. 

6 hours and $175 later (for not even the right wheel or tire!), Mr. B and Annie finally joined us at the ranch sorting event. They arrived just in time for Mr. B to get Annie all saddled up and participate in the event. It ended up being a great day, despite the travel troubles.

This post is getting pretty long and there is still so much more to tell, show and explain! Come back tomorrow for part two of this post, where I tell you all about the event and explain what the hell ranch sorting is all about.

I’m linking up with Sami today for my first Weekend Shenanigans post!

 

Sami's Shenanigans
 
 
What did you guys get into this weekend? Link up with us or tell me all about it in the comments!
Signature

Weekend Recap

Posted on

On Friday, I went dress shopping with my mom and my MOH. After trying on 40 bazillion dresses and completely changing my mind about the style of dress that I want, MOH and I decided to grab a glass of wine at the nearby watering hole. A glass. One. Uno. At 4:15 in the afternoon.

Well, as it usually goes when I’m with her, we ended up drinking wayyy more than a solitary glass of wine and I rolled home at 3:30 am. Whoops. Oh, and I had to load up my horse and be at the farrier for a 7:00 am appointment because pretty pretty princess needed a mani/pedi and new shoes. Double whoops.

Mr. B worked all day on Saturday, so after dragging Sally to get her feet done at 7 am, on a Saturday, in the the pouring rain, I curled up on the couch to finish sleeping it off. I napped sporadically throughout the day, only prying myself off the couch to eat. It’s entirely possible that it was a hangover that was kicking my ass, but I really think it was the whole 3 hours of sleep that my body found to be completely unacceptable. So I laid around and ate all day. I was useless, but the fuzz butts kept me company.

HangoverAndJoey

Mr. B worked again on Sunday morning, but after he got home we spent the afternoon on horseback with our friend Ryan. It was nice to get out of the house after being such a couch potato the day before. And I’m pleased to report that Sally is doing much better now that she has new shoes. Her feet don’t seem to be sore or uncomfortable at all.

SallyHayfield

After our ride, we spent time working with Mr. B’s horse, Annie, who has suddenly decided that she will never, ever again get on a trailer. Some progress was made, but it wasn’t a complete success. Yet. Mr. B is amazing with horses, so I have faith that it will happen soon.

AnnieTrailer

 

What did you lovelies get into this weekend? 

Signature


My So-So Weekend

Posted on

Happy Monday, everyone. I’m feeling particularly blah today, and my ADD is kicking my butt so I apologize in advance if this post is less than sparkly or downright confusing or riddled with run-on sentences. My brain is not cooperating today.

Did everyone have a good weekend? My wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything special. Saturday we went shopping. Not the fun kind of shopping where I come home with new shoes or the rose gold Michael Kors watch that I’ve been coveting, but the kind of grown-up shopping where you have to spend a bunch of money on a major appliance. We went dryer shopping. In the pouring down rain, so it was a dreary day all around. In the end though, we got a kick-ass deal that made me really happy because we came home with a much nicer dryer than we expected to find within our budget. Then I realized I was freakin’ stoked about a new dryer and immediately felt old and boring. But Mr. B and I ate lunch at Five Guys and my inner fat kid was pleased, so I forgot about being old and boring and stuffed myself with a bacon cheese burger and cajun fries. 

Yesterday we went for a horseback ride, which was a very nice time until my horse, Sally, lost both of her back shoes, and her tender little feet started hurting when we were approximately 7 miles away from home. I felt awful that she was in pain, so I got off her back and walked with her. Even then she was clearly very uncomfortable. Since she’s spoiled, she got a ride back home in the trailer, and she’s scheduled for a mani/pedi later this week. 

7-28ridecollage

 

I also figured out how to braid Sally’s tail a fun new way (because I still love playing with her hair like she’s a My Little Pony) but I will spare you the photos of my horse’s ass. You’re welcome.

I really hope everyone else is having a more productive Monday than I am. I truly feel like I’m not getting anything done today, and I’m not so thrilled about it. I just can’t get my brain to function properly. But, I did have a very productive day on Friday, and I guess you can’t win them all.

Tell me stories about all the fabulous things that you are accomplishing today so that I may live vicariously through you. Pretty please?


3 Reasons Why Living in the Country Rocks

Posted on

There are a few reasons why I get annoyed with where we live. But there are SO many more reasons why I love it.

Here are 3 reasons why living in the country rocks:

#1: This happens:

Yep, that's a bear. In my yard.

Yep, that’s a bear. In my yard.

 

 

#2: I get to drive a big tractor.

Driving Tractor

 

 

 

#3: I get to see these lazy butts from my bedroom window. Or my front porch swing. Either way, it’s pretty freakin’ cool.

LazyHorses

 

 

What do you love most about where you live?

 

 


Sometimes Horses are Jerks

Posted on

A few days ago, Mr. B and Annie took a ride up to visit the cows, while I stayed behind to get some work done at home. They’d been gone for about an hour, when I received a panicked phone call from Mr. B.  Apparently, Annie had gotten loose and taken off toward our barn. It was my job to intercept her. Naturally, I joined Mr. B in a lovely state of panic.

See, the cow barn is about ¾ of a mile from the horse barn by road. When you cut through the woods and the field, as we do on horseback, it’s probably only about a half mile. We were confident that Annie was headed for the barn, because that was the direction she headed and that was where she knew she’d find her BFF, Sally. The problem was, before she would reach the barn, Annie would have to cross the road. A busy road. And, while it wasn’t her only option, it was very possible that she would cross at a dangerous blind curve in the road. 

I abandoned my freshly-poured glass of wine (I’d intended to work hard, obviously) and ran out the door. I drove up to the curve in the road, hoping to stop Annie before she’d gotten that far, but I was too late. She’d already crossed – at the most hazardous point – and was sprinting through the hay field toward the barn. Relived that she had made it across the road without incident, I muttered something expletive-laced about how I’d kill her myself and did a quick u-turn. 

When I reached her, she was standing in the barn yard, still donning her saddle and all of her gear, calmly grazing on the lawn. I threw the car in park, stomped toward her, and dragged her into her stall before going back to fetch a very winded and very angry Mr. B. When he stormed into the barn, she knew she was in trouble. He dragged her out of her stall, climbed on her back, and set off to teach her a lesson.

In order to re-establish his role as the boss, Mr. B took her to the round pen and made her run in circles. This exercise (where you don’t let the horse stop running when he or she wants to, but force them to keep moving until they are told to stop) shows the horse who is the leader in the relationship. And boy, did she learn her lesson.  

Mr. B, showing Annie the a**hole who's boss.

Mr. B, showing Annie the a**hole who’s boss.

By the time Mr. B took her back to the barn, she was clearly exhausted. I’m also happy to report that it worked beautifully. The next day, when Mr. B took her for a ride she didn’t even attempt to give him a hard time; she obeyed his every command. 

I later learned how Annie got away from Mr. B, and was stunned at how much of a jerk she had been. I would have been pissed too, Mr. B…

She’d been tied up while he walked through the cow pasture, but somehow her lead rope came untied. When Mr. B closed the gate behind him as he returned to where she was, the noise spooked her and she took off running. That would have been almost understandable – she was scared, after all – if she hadn’t stopped a few yards away. She turned and looked directly at Mr. B, who was walking toward her and calmly telling her everything was alright. She looked back at the direction of her barn, then again at Mr. B, before she took off running again. Annie had stopped and contemplated her options, and chose to disobey Mr. B and leave him stranded. Which is why he was so very livid when he finally caught up to her at the barn.

But I think it’s a safe bet that she won’t be pulling another stunt like that any time soon. Lesson learned.


Rookie’s Horse

Posted on

Sally Paint Horse

When we first brought Sally home, I knew I had a lot to learn. I feared that Sally would know how incompetent I was, and decide I was too much of a moron for her.

In the wild, horses are prey, so they come equipped with a specific set of instincts to survive. One of these instincts is to form herds; horses are pack animals. As in most packs, horses have a social hierarchy  Having a leader makes them feel safe, and they need a leader they can trust. As a horse owner, it is my job to be Sally’s leader. Mr. B explained all this to me before I had a horse of my own, but it wasn’t until I met her that I started to worry about it. 

Horses are very intelligent, sensitive creatures, and they know when someone is lacking confidence. Mr. B tells me that this understanding is precisely why Sally is a good horse for me or any equestrian newbie. Not only does she understand when someone is uncomfortable, she reacts accordingly. I’ve seen this for myself; as I get more comfortable and confident around Sally, she tests me more and more. On the other hand, when we’ve had other inexperienced people (including small children) ride her, she senses their discomfort and behaves like a perfect lady, gentle and respectful.

Because she possesses this intuition, I was afraid she would know exactly how clueless I really was and have no faith in me as her leader. And, to be honest, for a while it looked like that was the case. She tested me, always trying to see what she could get away with, in ways that she never challenged Mr. B. Her interest in me seemed to be solely dependent on whether or not I had food for her. Mr. B has an amazing way with animals. They are mesmerized by him, adore him and respect him, so I wasn’t surprised when Sally responded well to him. But I was worried. I feared she would never bond with me or respect me, and that she would always view me as a friendly treat-dispenser. 

A few weeks ago, however, she erased all of those concerns from my mind. We were in the barn, Mr. B was in a stall with Annie and I was in a stall with Sally, each of us brushing our respective horses. Annie was giving Mr. B a hard time, walking away from him and not standing still, so he eventually raised his voice to command her attention. In doing so, he scared poor Sally, whose immediate reaction was to turn to me and bury her head in my chest and under my arm. It sounds like such a small, simple thing, but it was a huge turning point for us. It means she trusts me, she looks to me to keep her safe. This is huge because horses look to their leaders when they are afraid.  Instead of panicking and running to the farthest corner or pacing in her stall (as she sometimes does when she’s stressed), she came to me seeking comfort and safety. 

I was thrilled. Freakin’ thrilled, I tell you. Sally loves me, and she knows she’s mine and I am hers!