Thursday, June 25, 2009

Like a charm...

Mom, Amanda and I. Mom trying to smile through the tears.

Well, the surprise I had planned went off like a charm. The only way it could have been better for me was if I could have afforded a big Thomas Kinkade for her. Maybe next year...

I do have pictures, and yes, they are emotional. Don't know if I want to post them on a public blog. But let's just say, it was a tearful moment.

At 10 am that morning, I had a hair appointment. My new lady that cuts my hair, her shop is by mom's house. So I got my hair done, then David, Amanda and I went to Albertson's for some HUGE steaks and baking potatoes for dinner at mom and dads that night. Plus I got mom a dozen roses. You know, to make her think that was her birthday present.

When we got over there, mom really didn't want to go downtown to eat. She was like, "there is a Dickey's BBQ right down the road and they are pretty good." I am like, "No, I want to take you all to Risky's as I know you have never been there and would love it." So we loaded into my car and I drove. Remember, Risky's BBQ is right next to the gallery. I was very lucky to find a parking place right next to Risky's but not near the gallery where she could see it.

Once we left the restaurant after that wonderful lunch, we "mosied" on down the side walk and, what should we run into...Thomas Kinkade Gallery. I said, "Let's go in here, dad needs to see what all the fuss is about a Thomas Kindade painting." So we went in and there were several people there as they were having an open house to celebrate his painting "Viva Las Vegas". Laura Kinkade and another lady were dressed like black jack dealers. There was a table with all kinds of edible goodies and drinks and a print of his Viva Las Vegas behind the table. Plus they had door prizes. And there were several people around the table and sitting in chairs. Well, mom's painting was where she just wouldn't walk right into it when you walked in the door. We were "oooing" and "awing" at the pictures and dad found one he really liked. Before I knew it, mom had gone around the corner to where her picture was. I followed her as fast I could but she had already found it. She just stood there. Her hand over her mouth, and a hand on her stomach. Red faced with tears. I don't think she breathed for 5 minutes. When Laura Kinkade saw us come in, she had went to the folks that had been standing and sitting around the table (which was right across from mom's picture) and told them that the lady that this picture is reserved for had just walked in and if they wanted to be a part of it to watch her find her gift, to hang around for a little bit. I thought that was so sweet of her. After mom started breathing again, all those folks started shaking her hand and wishing her a happy birthday. Laura took our picture next to the painting and then she said, "I want to get a picture with my camera too." So she went to her desk and took one with hers.

I will post some pictures on here once I get them downloaded off my camera.

Once we got back to the house, the picture found its permanent home over the fire place. We had huge, thick Rib Eye steak for dinner that evening and watched Gran Torino starring Clint Eastwood.

I honestly don't know if this could have been a better day? I can't imagine that it could have been. I feel SO blessed that it turned out the way I imagined. For those that said a prayer for this wonderful day, thank you.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mom's birthday...the big 6-0

Tomorrow is my mom's birthday. As I have stated in past posts, it is also Granny's birthday. Mom's mom. You may also remember that we lost Granny in March of 2008. So mom's first birthday without Granny to celebrate with was actually last year. But with the loss so close to the birthday, the pain of the loss was still very strong. Mom didn't want anything for her birthday, so Amanda and I kidnapped her and did a turn around trip to Altus last year so mom could put flowers on Granny's grave. As I type the word grave, I feel the tears swelling in my eyes.

Well, mom stated a few weeks ago that she didn't want to celebrate her birthday because she had no one to celebrate it with. That broke my heart, but I knew what she meant.

So here is what her sneaky child is going to do. Or has already started doing about two weeks ago:

Mom has always loved the works of Thomas Kinkade. A couple of months ago, Amanda and I took her to his gallery in Fort Worth. If you have never gone and live close to one of his galleries, you need to go look. They have dimmer switches for the lights and you can see what that creates with his art when you dim the lights slowly. Just beautiful. You will really see why they call him the painter of light. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I went and bought her a Thomas Kinkade classic. It is a print of course, but his prints are actually on canvass, not a piece of paper. I am going to pay it off today and make plans with the gallery director on how mom is going to receive it tomorrow. What mom will also think is cool is that the director of this particular gallery is Thom's sister-in-law.

Here is my plan: David, Amanda and I, are going over mom and dads tomorrow to take them out to lunch for mom's birthday. I am taking them downtown Fort Worth to Risky's BBQ. Great food and a good price. And the atmosphere is very nice. But the best part about Risky's, it is right next to the gallery. Once we eat, we will mosie on over the gallery since dad has never been there. They do have 1 original Kinkade there, but since I don't have $195,000.00 dollars, she is getting a copy. Yes, that is One Hundred and Ninety Five Thousand dollars. Yikes! But it is big and beautiful. Anyway, her picture will be on the wall with a "Reserved for Linda Barrett" With a Happy Birthday with it. My plan is that we will wander in the gallery and I will have my camera in hand. We will kind of guide mom in the direction of her present and she will find it for herself. Once she finds it, I know the tears will roll, but being the only child and with Granny gone, I want to make "her" days as special for her as I can. I then want Mrs. Kinkade to come up and introduce herself and wish mom a happy birthday. And here is her picture:

The title is Victorian Garden.
Please wish me luck that my plan goes off without a hitch. I love my mom and want her to have a memorable 60th birthday.
Thanks for reading,
Tammy in TX

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

B-B-Q and trail ride 06-14-09

This past Sunday we had a cookout and a trail ride. It was kind of a last minute thing, but turned out real well. One of the other boarders at our barn had invited a few of his friends from his other barn and I think some from his riding club, so we had a pretty good turn out. I was especially happy to see Summer's sister Shelby show up with her new owner. They took her in and tied her in the covered arena. So I took Summer in the barn and Shelby's ears perked up and it was so cute to watch them nuzzle, then I almost caught the cutest picture ever when Shelby licked Summer muzzle. The picture shows Shelby's tongue going back in her mouth after giving her sister a kiss. Summer and Shelby have the same daddy.

Another boarder named June just thinks Shelby is the cat's meow and has always called her Miss. Licks cause all she does is lick. And here is a pic of June visiting her and Shelby licking the fence right before she started licking June's hand for peppermints.

After June got done visiting, I went up to her and she reached over the fence and licked my face like she remembered who I was. AAAWWWW....

After we all visited and ate hot dogs with all the fixin's, we mounted up and took out for the ride. I guess there were about 10 riders or so and it went pretty well. Even the Appy that didn't want to cross the Honey Hole, finally did.

Once we got back to the barn, I had promised a lady named Donna a buggy ride on the trails. She had had an unscheduled dismount from her horse a week prior and couldn't ride this weekend, but I wanted her to enjoy the trails as well. Plus, it is good for Summer to both ride and drive the same day. I got Summer harnessed up and we drove about a mile around the barn yard. I even let Donna take the reins and I think she had a blast. I believe I heard her hubby Scott, say, "No, I am not buying you a cart!" as she drove by. LOL I took the reins back and asked her if she felt comfortable if I cantered Summer and she said yes. I think she kind of liked that part too. LOL

We took off out into the pasture and she really enjoyed herself and said she would absolutely be back out to ride next month, broken ribs or no! I think we were out there longer than some folks expected cause her hubby called her and a few minutes later, June called me, checking on us. LOL

If you go to Tracey's blog you can see a slid show of pictures from the ride:

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pleasure Drive at B-Tex 06-06/07-2009

Well, on June 6-7, we had a pleasure drive for North Texas Whip. Tracey and I sort of did the safety thing/ mounted guide thing on Saturday. She lead the open buggies and I had to go back to the barn as we had left without the Welsh pony team, pulling a surrey. So I waited on them to get hooked up and off we went. By the time we got to the trails, the others were gone. We had a very nice time and all the horses were pretty well behaved. Well, that is for Boogie the Hackney pony, because he truly lives up to his name. He likes to boogie on down the trail. Tracey had said he even reared while they were on the trail. He was with a horse trainer, so no accidents and Tracey said he did eventually calm down.

Above picture are the really pretty Welsh pony team. Very well behaved too.

Once the drivers headed back to the barn, Tracey and I took Lori (the only rider to come out, she had decided to ride instead of drive) on all the trails that the buggies couldn't go on. Lori had a blast. I think she said this was her boy Timmy's 2nd trail ride ever. He was so good for her, and very pretty to boot. Here is a picture of Lori and Tracey in the flowers.

Sunday was mini only day. I decided to drive the Mule out with the ice chest and first aid kit and pony Chompers next to it so he could be in on the Mini action. He was one big ball of energy and boy did he get a work out next to the mule. Tracey rode safety again and got some great photos. I tell you, there were mini carts going every which way, I think about 8 drivers came on this day. It was a very fun day. Course, it got a little nerve wracking when I was in the woods on foot, trying to find a nice place to stand and take photos of the drivers entering the woods. When I almost stepped on a dark gray, approx 4 foot long with a 2" girth, snake. It laid very still, but the first think I noticed was the viper shaped head. At that point I decided that pictures weren't an option as he was on one of the two trails that could be taken by a pony. As the first driver came in, I directed them to stay on the right path as there was a poisonous snake on the left path. The first driver stopped, as she did, one of the dumb barn dogs ran right over the snake, the snake lunged and struck at the dog then turned and struck at me then took off. Scared the pee out of me. I am not usually scared of snakes, but I do respect them if I don't know what type of snake I am dealing with. The first driver, Juanita, stated that was a Texas Gray snake and non-poisonous, but flattens its jaws out when nervous to resemble a viper. I of course, had to Google the thing and found the exact picture and the true name, Yellow Bellied Water Snake and its defense is to mimic its looks to look like a Cottonmouth. Anywho, once that commotion was over, on with the drive.

We took some lovely photos of the drivers in the flower field. This is June and her boy Jerrett.

And I had to take one of my handsome black stallion Chompers. Isn't he just pretty?

Then the group had to go play in the water.

Ponies and pooches playing in the water. After everyone drove for a bit longer, they started to head in:

After lunch and a break, I decided to hitch Summer up so Tracey and I could enjoy a drive and we sure did. I think Tracey thought it was kinda cool when we got back near the power lines and I cantered Summer under harness. I just love to watch her canter from that angle. You don't appreciate the power that animal has until you are that angle watching those muscles work. Here are a few pictures from that outing:

Letting Tracey take the reins.

Most every one's favorite because she is right on the bit.

And then my favorite that is framed and on my desk at work:

That evening, I just had to drive Hank for a bit. The clouds rolled in and the temps dropped a few degrees. So Tracey saddled up Gypsy for a little bit of easy riding and I hitched Hank. Tracey took a fabulous shot of him standing so pretty and some of him moving, here are a couple of shots:

My mouth looks funny because I am talking to him, but he is really moving up this gradual incline like a pro! I am so proud of the progress he and I have made.

Well, this was longer than I had planned, but I can't wait for the next pleasure drive weekend we will have. This one was great!
Thanks for reading!
Tammy, Summer, Hank and Chompers