Thursday, January 12, 2017

Something New for 2017

This is a kind of horsey post, I'll likely xpost it to my horse blog too. 

Since moving to Michigan I've gotten pretty involved in the Great Distance Derby, which has connected me with some local, likeminded horse people. I've gone to Flint to donate water with them on two occassions and gone on some trail rides. I even 'walked' a trail ride with Gwyn in hand just to get out and socialize while I was pregnant since I wasn't allowed to ride. 

The person who organizes GDD has also started organizing a Michigan and Midwest Mounted Archery organization, and is bringing clinics to the area. I wasn't able to do anything last year, but I have done some mounted archery with the SCA back when I lived in Florida. I was a fan of it then and I see no reason why I could do it now.  At this point I'm trying to dial back my expectations of what competitions we can do without really sinking time and money into some training for Gwyn and myself and being realistic about what is within our reach and what is possible in the future.  

Anyway, that's musings for a whole post on its own. Suffice it to say, mounted archery is a pretty darn reasonable hobby and the clinics are reasonably local and kind of budget friendly with the added bonus of including camping! Yay! I love camping!

So for christmas, Eric got me a very basic, junior archery set.  Two arrows, a cheap bow and finger and arm guards that are not meant for my fingers or arms. 

A nice January day! 

For winter training, my friend Heather organized a group of us to meet up and do an activity called Archery Tag at a local indoor sports complex. 

You get totally cool face shields that fog up the moment you start sweating.

And play on an indoor field with fake grass and 'obstacles' 

It's basically like dodgeball but with a bow and arrow.


The arrows are blunted foam and while you can feel them make contact, you aren't hurt, mainly because each team is kept separate from one another. You don't cross into the other team's territory and the  neutral middle is where you aren't allowed to shoot from or be shot. 
You can see me in the top part of the picture aiming at Heather, lol.

I've just let loose an arrow!

The game starts with all the arrows in the middle, Hunger Games style like the Cornucopia. 

The referee counts down and then it's a mad dash to the middle to grab arrows and then back to be out of range (or at least at an easily dodgeable distance)  or hop behind an obstacle to snipe the other team.  

You get someone out by hitting them with an arrow. But, if you grab an arrow, the person who shot that arrow is out and someone on your own team can rejoin the game.

I like hiding behind things, but the constant crouching and standing up to shoot and dropping back down. Let's just say I did a LOT of squats. My legs burned FOR DAYS. 

You can also see the white target with black spots. The game was won if you either took out all the opposing team by hitting them or if you knocked out all five of those foam circles. Our team won boths ways!  

Team "Don't Shoot Me!"  which is retrospect was in poor taste....

The plan is to do this monthly in the cruddy winter months (Feb and March) before clinics start up and riding can begin in earnest again.  Until then, I'll be using my baby bow to desensitize Gwyn because I'm planning to do a clinic in June!  I'm so excited!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Year in Review

I haven't posted since the end of September. Damn.

Anyway, onward to a quick monthly recap because I can.

We made the most progress we'd make all year with our aquaponics project by acquiring cinderblocks and the pickle barrels.
I had lots of little rides on Gwyn despite doctors orders but felt MUCH better because of it all.
I got the nursery painted and Kaylee helped.

I had a very against doctors orders trail ride and felt spectacular
I tried to make Hazel a blanket and didn't get very far
We got a harness for skijoring and introduction for Gwyn pulling something behind her went... off the rails so to speak and Kaylee got upset that I broke her sled.
We started the process of putting in tile where we had hardwood!

I made a trip to Ikea all by myself while hugely pregnant and it was awesome
I got norovirus and dropped a ton of weight
I made monthly horse goals that I largely met!
We made good progress with the floors
We toured the hospital where I'd be giving birth.

We finished the floors and they still look fantastic.
I ended up in the ER again with breathing issues. No more clots but we finally figured out why I had a 4 month long cough (reflux)
Hazel finally flips head down and my huge worries about labor ease up
I anxiously wait through many bouts of false labor before finally being induced
Hazel is born!

I spent most of this month snuggling new baby
I also rode for the first time post baby

We did a test run of the water circulation for aquaponics
I had more baby snuggles
We enjoyed the start of summer and Hazel was a portable potato
I set up the electric fence tape so Gwyn and Saffron could assist in lawn mowing, much to Eric's delight

I find time to ride where I can with the assistance of baby monitors and long naps
We acquire an ATV and a small trailer to assist with farm chores
Gwyn learns to hi-tie
Kaylee turns 4
We visit a cool fossil park in Canada
I get a paid writing gig!

I start ramping up prep for endurance rides
Gwyn and I do the intro ride at the Metropark Express and easily meet our goals
I finally find a riding safety vest that fits me!
I get an interview for a microbiology job and get the job!

I start the new job and LOVE it, even if Hazel refusing to eat from a bottle is stressful
We explore the back roads and I find beautiful horse and hunt country finally
My posting starts to significantly drop off since I'm not at home

Busy horse month!
I compete in the Hunter Trials
I meet my friend Heather on my birthday for a Hunt Pace (which I never posted pictures of!)
I compete the 30 mile LD at Oak Leaf Run and camp with Gwyn solo for the first time!
Kaylee went trick or treating with her Aunt while I hung out around a fire with Hazel. Very pleasant

Not much going on. I rode maybe once.
Dealt with family drama over who was hosting Thanksgiving. Had a good holiday in the end

Decorated for Christmas and dealt with the arrival of the deep cold
Rode once, on New Years Eve
Family came to visit for Christmas, which was really awesome, my brother got to meet Hazel
Hazel starts crawling and cruising (walking around while hanging onto stuff)
Eric got a new car (Chevy Volt) and I'm using his old one (Sonic) so that my commute cost in gas can be reduced and so that I don't go over miles for the lease of the truck

So there you have it! You get a quick run down of the stuff I didn't blog about because I just didn't have time. We had a rough go of bedtime for a while so I couldn't escape Hazel and sit on the computer uninterrupted. And I just don't like blogging on my phone or tablet, which is what I'm using when I'm nursing Hazel.