Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

Hahahahaha! Bet you can't guess what's up this Wednesday... MORE SNOW!

Although currently I think it's raining? Wintry mix perhaps? Hard to say for sure. Whatever it is, it's not sunny and 60 like Spring is meant to be. They're saying we'll end up with about a foot of heavy, wet, power outage inducing snow. AGAIN. UGH.
Oddly enough, on my journey back to the blog beginning, it seems I've been kvetching about winter since the start. Some things never change.

This week wasn't particularly exciting. When we last left off, we had more snow. (Is it me, or am I possibly stuck in the movie Groundhog Day?) The horses have been enjoying lots of grooming and snacks, and that's about it. They get turned out too, but I'm not sure they enjoy it. Even they seem fed up with being cold and snowy all the time.

No snow, but only 20 degrees

Must you wake me human? (How with the shavings though?)
St Patty's day was semi nice, so I did get to run away and have some fun with my bestie at a local restaurant. The pups stayed home, but they got into the spirit too:

Artie's Tail though! hahaha!
Sunday morning I was feeling particularly unmotivated. I decided to grab a breakfast sandwich in town and eat it (in my warm car) at the lake. It was stupid cold out, but my car was toasty, and it was a nice quiet break from doing chores and whatnot.

In other news, I brought my truck Jorge in to the shop for his first oil change and because his check engine light just came on. Which, that shouldn't happen at 1 year old and 5,000 miles... just saying. Anyway, that turned into an ordeal as the dealership service center had never seen the code it was throwing. Fortunately, they called the factory or whoever it is they call, and found out it was a sensor problem. He's getting that installed right now, and I should have him back for the treacherous drive home later. Phew. I was pretty not happy about driving a rental car in bad weather. I mean, on the one hand it's not mine so who cares? But on the other, I know Jorge will get me where I'm going. This little rental that electrocutes me every time I get out, not so much...
Also, they gave it to me with this much fuel. That's annoying. It does however, get much better mileage than anything I own.

We started a step challenge at work. If you meet the daily goal for 30 days you get a $75 gift card. I liked it better when they gave $150, but I'll take it. It's gotten me back on the treadmill, so I guess that's something. The pugs hate it though.
It's obviously cutting into their snuggle with mom time. But fear not, they still get plenty of that too!
That's about it from here. What's up with you today? Has spring arrived where you live? Can you send it this way?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Truthful Tuesday: Blogiversary Edition

Hey guys! Today is my Blogiversary! It's been FIVE years since I claimed this little space on the interwebs, and boy how things have changed along the way!

My confession today, is that I had no idea where blogging would take me. I didn't really think anyone would read it. I didn't do much promoting of it, because I was a little apprehensive about it. I was worried what my friends might think. Even now, I'm not sure too many of my non blogging friends pop over here or even really know about my blog. Trainer doesn't know about it either... I don't think anyway. But I'm actually pretty proud of my little spot here on the www. I've "met" some great people, and I feel like I've made friends. Though it's still weird to refer to someone I only know on the internet as a friend. Maybe that's because I'm old? Must be an age thing...

Anyway, I thought we could take a quick look around and see how far Amateur At Large has come! First some analytics (but not a lot, because I'm not that savvy).
-This here is my 809th post.
-I have right this second (which will change by the time this is posted hopefully, but whatever) 106,995 all time views. But this counts my own so it's probably like half that. Whatevs.
-Two of my top three most viewed posts are not horse related. First place goes to a review of a bead subscription box, second place is from a Golden Tote clothing reveal, and third place goes to my comparison of my TuffRider Regal Boots and my Parlanti boots. (Takeaway here: people like to read reviews)
-This blog has been viewed from 10 different countries, though I wonder how many of those views were by bots? Looking at you Russia and China...

My first post was an introduction to what my blog would be about. Makes sense. And apparently I used to blog quite a bit about shopping and nail art.

I guess that's only sort of changed since I do still share a lot of the ridiculous things I've bought. But now the focus is more horse related. And definitely much less running related. Hopefully that will find its way back here though. Also, can't remember the last time I painted my own nails.
Current situation: needs a nail file and some moisturizer. STAT.

Way back, five years ago, I had three horses in the barn:



 I'm thinking about giving each of the horses their own little about me tabs on here. I should do that!
Since then we've said hello to these guys:

And then goodbye to Romey. Maybe this year will have another hello in store.
Five years ago I was running half marathons and getting PR's. (HAHAHA, that won't be happening anymore!)

Plus I was horse showing somewhat regularly.

 Seems like way more than just five years ago. It was also about thirty lbs ago... perhaps time to get back to that half marathon running?

Rio got really sick a few years ago, and there were several posts documenting that. They start here if you want to relive that. Thankfully he semi recovered and is still around today!

Five years ago, I just had P, and Artie joined the family not too long after. They haven't changed too much, other than being a little grayer and a little chubbier... But hey, me too!

Ok, maybe Artie is a lot thicker... Don't judge him!

So that's where Amateur at Large has been. I can't wait to see what the next five years bring!

I have a few things I'm putting together to do a five year blogiversary giveaway, but I didn't prepare and there are too many blocks on this network for me to link anything anyway. So look for that by the weekend!

 How long have you been following along with me? Anything you've wondered about since you started reading? How long have you been blogging? Leave me your link if I'm not following you, I think there are a lot of great blogs out there that I don't know about.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Thursday's Threads

OUTFIT DAY! But it's kind of a boring one. No riding outfit for obvious reasons. The good thing, is my ring does seem to be melting. But it's going to be awhile before it's actually rideable again. I have some silly outfits on my radar, but I need it to warm up a little for most of them. It's pretty cold here with highs just barely in the 40's for the foreseeable future. Still better than the 20's I guess. Anyway, here's what I wore to work today:

Comfy and warm was the name of the game today.

Sweater: Sisters
I like the colors on this one. It has that unicorn feel to it the way the colors kind of blend together.  Plus that cable down the center is totally like a unicorn horn, right? I got this one from Modcloth I think last year, but I never had a chance to wear it. Today was the perfect day, because I paired with what's below...

Belt: Swanky Saddle
Photos don't really do this cute buckle any justice at all. It has an iridescent finish on it, so when it moves around in the light it throws all different colors.
If you're looking for one of these on the Swanky Saddle site, you won't find this finish. It's available in gold or silver, antiqued or shiny but not this fancy finish. And here's how I wound up with it... I emailed Jodi (owner of Swanky Saddle) when I saw these adorable buckles on their Instagram and asked if it was possible to do them like the unicorn bits and spurs we all are loving right now. While this metal can't iodize (it's my understanding only titanium will give that unicorn finish) Jodi set about trying to get something similar. And this was the result. I was SO excited when it arrived because I thought I was just getting the regular gold one. Such a fun surprise! If you want one like this, you can order gold or silver and then send am email requesting the iridescent finish. This is not any sort of affiliate sale or anything. I just really love Swanky Saddle stuff! And Jodi is awesome to work with. Visit my Instagram (stacieseidman) to see the amazing necklace I got of Rio's face.
Anyway, back to Thursdays Threads!

Jeans: AG Jeans
These are just some boring dark blue jeans. But they're super comfy and I love them! I was going to wear some purple jeans, but ahem.... they didn't fit. Anyway... blue is lovely, isn't it?

Shoes: Dirty Laundry
Another item that would not photograph this morning... These are a really pretty olive green satin. The ribbon laces are black. I'm a sucker for shoes that kind of look like paddock boots (so comfy, right?) and if you make them green, I will probably buy them. So here they are.

Arm Party!
Lefty is wearing an adorable mantra bangle also from Swanky Saddle. It says, "Roll me in fairy dust and call me a UNICORN". Obviously, I love it.
I was wanting to wear a stack of mantra's on righty, but alas... my jewelry is a mess and I couldn't find them. (Hangs head in shame...)

Instead, righty is repping Nicole's Creations! Probably better than a bunch of mantra's anyway. These were handmade just for me by Nicole. I subscribe to her monthly jewelry service, and each month, I get something really gorgeous made just for me. She stops by here from time to time to see where my style is at, and then designs something I will definitely love. I am not sharing this info for anything in return, just another small business that I really love and wanted to share.

That's it for today. Maybe by some miracle the next storm passes us by (or just drops a bunch of rain) and I'll have a riding outfit next week? I wouldn't count on it, but never hurts to remain optimistic.
Any favorites from today? Have you ever gotten anything from Swanky Saddle or Nicole's Creations?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

What's Up Wednesday: Power outage edition

Well half of this week was spent camping out in the house. You may recall that last Wednesday we were hit with a Nor'easter that left my house in the dark. And cold. Really cold. I think you all know how I feel about being cold. My dogs also hate being cold.
There's Pia in there I promise... This was the first night with only a flashlight!
The horses don't seem to care too much at least. The worst part though, aside from the cold, is that I have well water. So no power also means no water. I had filled a couple unused trash cans with water for the horses so they were set for about a day and a half at least. I did not otherwise prepare. I was complacent. Didn't actually think the power would go out. At least not for THAT long!
At least it was pretty? Kinda? The problem with this storm is that it rained for several hours before snowing. And since it wasn't actually that cold out, the snow was very wet and heavy. Trees and power lines were down EVERYWHERE.
These ring lights really came in handy!

Pugs? Or space heaters?
When I drove to work Thursday morning, only about a lane and a half of my road was plowed because of all the trees in the road. It was like slalom!
We didn't have power at work either, but the generators there are enormous, and everything ran just fine. Literally everything. You'd never know we weren't running on real power.
So years ago, I was supposed to be getting a hard wired generator, but then the guy never finished the job. Thus, I still don't have one. Because I was complacent and didn't think I'd lose power in the winter! Anyway, I posted on Facebook looking for recommendations for a different guy to go through for a hard wired generator. Well, I should have thought that through a little better... A mutual friend tells original guy (we'll call him OG moving forward) that I'm looking for a generator. OG is the same dude that installed the ones at work and at my dad's house, so he's kind of our guy for this stuff. Anyway, OG calls up my dad and says he can get my place totally running that day on a rental. So I call him back. I ask very specifically if he can run the well pump, all the furnaces, and my tenants apartment. I'm assured that it will all run. ALL OF IT. PLUS lights everywhere. Assured. I asked multiple times and got the same answer. So I tell tenant, yay we'll be running tonight! Lol. OG doesn't arrive until about 8. So I missed dinner waiting for him since all my food was rotten. Boo. But worth it right, if we're going to be up and running! I'm sure you see where this is going.
I did get heat in the house and barn. And I got a few lights in my kitchen. That was it. NOTHING in the apartment and as it turns out no water still. UGH. Hey, at least we got warm? Well not my tenant... but she stayed at her sisters so all was ok there. I felt like such a piece of poop though after telling her she would be all good at home. Thank goodness she's a nice person.
Funny thing about the water... We all thought it was running off the generator Thursday night. But Friday morning? Nada. So then I was late for work because I had to drive to my moms to use her shower. And in the process, I managed to fall down the stairs. (I'm a faller, not really that surprising. But insult to injury, ya know?)
Does that knee look swollen to you?
Anyway, work was fine. I filled up about 15 gallons of water at lunch to refill the cans at home for the horses, and then once more before I went home for the day. So the horses were good at least for a bit. Friday night I hung out with the puggers on the kitchen floor. I read a book and they did pug things.

Saturday morning I went out to get more water for the ponies. Not sure why they decided to both be really good drinkers and also absolute water slobs when we had no running water.... But alas. That's how it goes. When I got back with the water, I came back to a non-working generator. Hahahaha. I had to laugh. I mean why wouldn't it stop working? Anyway, OG came and got it going again. AND THEN the most exciting thing happened! At 3:30 on Saturday all the power was back in my neighborhood! Unfortunately, I couldn't get back on the grid until OG came and switched me back over. My meter wasn't set up for a generator, so he had to remove it temporarily. Thus, I couldn't put it back myself. I let him know as soon as I found out that the power was back, and he said he's be by in a couple hours. So I waited. And waited. At 6:30 I checked in for at ETA since it had been 3 hours, and he said 2. (Also, I'm paying hourly to rent that thing, so...) He was pretty snotty and said he'd be there later. No real idea when later would be. So I missed another dinner waiting for him to show up. Somehow despite missing so many meals, I'm not in fact any skinnier. Sad tale.
OG eventually showed up at 9 and got me back on the grid.
A few years ago, when Super Storm Sandy blew through, I was sans power for 10 days. But back then it was September. So it was warm, and daylight lasted into the evening. Plus my pool was open so I could steal all the water I wanted from there for flushing my toilet. It was MUCH less awful than these three days in the winter. FACT.
Anyway, I was really happy to have life back to normal on Sunday. I did a walk around the yard to assess the damage. There were some limbs down but nothing terrible fortunately.

Then did the sad task of cleaning out the fridge and freezer. But the brightside was that I discovered two full packages of Hershey's bars and a box of thin mints from last year in the freezer. Those things don't go bad!

And of course I did the horse laundry and groomed the boys. I also refilled all the containers I could find with water, because we had another Nor'Easter heading our way for Tuesday.
Monday was uneventful. There was work, followed by pony grooming, and some basic enjoying of a functional tv and snuggly pugs.
As promised, it was snowing when I woke up Tuesday.

My work never closes. We have warehouses all around the country, so we can keep doing what we do no matter the weather. We did wind up closing our local warehouses, and most of us opted to work from home.
I told my barn helper to stay home, since he commutes pretty far. So I did barn chores quick before sitting down to work. My coworkers were super clingy though:
True to form, I still managed to trip and fall working from home. I never set up the wifi on my printer, so I had to plug it in to print orders. Yep. I fell over the cord. At least the carpet was a soft landing. I only bruised one knuckle!
Well maybe two actually... Either way, it was fine. I was actually pretty busy all day, and kind of liked being able to work with Friends on the tv in the back ground... We wound up getting a little less snow than predicted and the power stayed on! So all ended well. They're saying there's another storm heading our way for next week, but I'm hoping that thing fizzles out. I was trying to plan a Badger visit for next week, but I think that storm is going to keep me here. Hopefully in a couple weeks I'll finally get back down there!
But you know what's REALLY up this Wednesday?! It's Jamp's 19th birthday!
We celebrated with a cupcake, selfies, and lots of groomies.

So that's what's up this Wednesday. What's up with you? How was your week? I hope it was better than mine! (Though really it wasn't that bad other than being cold and a little smelly.)