Collection of compositions & photos of an aspiring equine journalist

"The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, January 29, 2010

Winter White

I just want to report that there is a certain something about a cold, cloudy day. Grey clouds start to sprinkle a little wintery whiteness, a cozy blanket to cover Blacksburg. Nestled in the warmth of my townhouse, snuggled in a logo hoodie and sweatpants I gaze out at the winder wonder land outside my window. SNOW! I am so, very excited. How is it that this can make the most mature people turn child-like? Maybe because it is fluffy white powder begging to be romped about in? Maybe it is magic. I vote for a combination of the two. Maybe it is because tomorrow is a Saturday. SNOW. SNOW. SNOW.

Pictures of our blizzard to follow. =)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

My old friend Baldwin...

Music has always been a big part of my life. Music is like food. Absence of it in your life leaves a hole. You can't survive without it. The same is why you spend so much of your childhood at your Grandparents' house. Because Grandma always has something cooking, and not just anything. It is her special recipe that is often imitated, but never recreated. Grandma knows exactly what spices to add, to avoid, how to fix burnt meringue or any fallen soufflé. And best of all, Grandma's food is inherently based on the culture of her own childhood. A New Orleans native, or as she says "Nawlins," my Grandma's specialty is cajun cuisine. Crawfish. Crabs. And of course the best of the best....Gumbo.

And recently I was able to rediscover myself, on the piano. As a child I took 11 years of lessons, got a little burnt out in high school. It was right at the time where life starts to pick up speed, and it is all you can do to hang on for dear life. I suppose the fact that this year, my life incurs another change whereas I have to leave the cozy nest of Blacksburg. So while at home, an old friend of mine and I reconnected. The best part about him is that he is always there, when you are angry, excited, joyful, or annoyed. He does not judge. His 88 ebony and ivories are like solid ground: a place to start over when it feels like life is ending. I picked a new song to plunk away at: 100 Years by Five for Fighting. And while this old dog is trying to teach her fingers new tricks, the old ones were always there. Old songs memorized for piano festivals, recitals and christmas gatherings fly out of my fingers' muscle memory. No music. No words. Just us. Me and my old friend Baldwin. He is nothing fancy, a dark-wooded upright with glossy mahogany finish. But we get the job done. On their website I found some of the most beautiful, and crazy pianos I have ever seen. For a pretty penny, $100 grand, *gulp*you could get any kind of grand piano you want! Even if you are into
zebra.... :D Like an animal hunting prey, I found holes in my schedule to spend in the living room bonding with my old friend Baldwin every day over Christmas Break. And now back at school, I am piano-less... and searching for a replacement.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

what makes me smile

On rainy days where the temperature is not above 40* in a place where walking 15-20 minutes to classes from parking lot/bus stops is necessary, I wish there was actually a rain coat that would keep me fully dry. gah. Haven't found it yet. Note: Muck Boot Company's 'Hoser' boots I received for Christmas did hold up SUPERB today, and were warm & comfy too. A+ to you, MBC. So, to counter the gloomy, gray weather - I have made a list of things that make every word not just 'good' but FABULOUS.

-anatomy lab dissection....good [I know, I'm wierd! but they put me in such a good mood...]
-driving barefoot good
-red wine good
-Friday night good
-bubble bath good
-green mint ice cream good
-flip-flop weather good
-spa pedicure good
-underwear sale good
-convertible sports-car....good
-Virginia Tech football...................AMAZING!

Okay, so the last one is better than good. But all are things to make me, and hopefully you, smile on a dreary day. "And so shines a good dead in a weary world."

Monday, January 18, 2010


Breast Cancer Awareness practices on Facebook make me laugh.
It is like our little female secret.
Day one: make your status your bra color/fabric
Day two: whoops missed it
Day three: put your shoe size plus the word "inches" and a :(
[You have no idea how many boys commented on that last one! haha]

Best part of it all...not allowed to tell anyone about it via your wall, and not to tell the male population. bwahaha. Fabulous. The bra color/fabric one even made the news =)

...and today's photo is one of my all time favorites. I literally just took this 'snapshot' at the beach of an old friend. We were getting up to leave for the day, sand between our toes and loads of stuff to tote back to the house. I want to say we were running around, as we were both energetic and youthful 15 year-olds at the time. The wind caught her hair, and I depressed the shutter, and BAM. Beauty came out. Sometimes the best things in life are absolutely an accident. <3

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Back in Black

Through a University e-mail survey comes this blog topic. I proceeded to take this survey online. I only got to question numero dos when I was appalled not at the question, but the multiple choice answers. The question, you wonder..."What is your gender?" Easy as pie. One you have been able to ace since Kindergarden when girls sat in pink chairs and boys in blue. Girls wore pony tails and dresses and frills on their socks. Little boys in tiny khaki pants and polos with their tennis shoes.

And yet, the answers listed on cette particular survey: female, male, transgender, and other. Seriously. I can understand the first two - normal. Totally typical. The third, I could learn to accept. But other? What is that? Is that like how Michael Jackson [God rest his soul] went from the best singin' lil dark skinned Jackson in "A-B-C, Easy as 1-2-3" to the much paler grown up Michael? I mean fine, yes the Prince of Pop has his reasons, but still...OTHER?! I am perplexed. Completely and utterly confused. So must be any person who chooses this option.
On the other hand, back in Blacksburg, the oh-so-wonderful college town where the typical population consists of mainly 19 to 25 year olds. Safe-haven for party-hoppers and students alike. Shades orange and maroon never go out of style, and recently this season, neither does ....white.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hunt Country

Gone are the days of summer.
Those staggeringly humid afternoons when I would crawl out from behind my air conditioned office desk at the Horse Center and into little "Whilby" (the affectionate name of my white '97 civic). Thankful for Honda's durability, thankful that my a/c has not burnt out just yet. Off to change and hop on a few hunt horses, new job I stumbled upon through a friend of a friend. As terrible as this employment opportunity sounds, riding was sometimes miserable in the heat and humidity of some July Virginia days. While others, like this easy breezy Saturday afternoon, prompted for a long trail ride and a definite morale booster. Even snapping photos with my amateur Cannon point-and-shoot. This was my favorite hill of all time. Galloping up or down. Made no difference.
And the view was not bad either. One of those places that takes your breath away, not once, but every time. Out in Rockbridge Hunt country, it was one of the best get-aways from the office in the world. (Then again, nothing beats a fall football game at Virginia Tech - GO HOKIES!) Stuck in the office again today - back to the drawing board attempting to get names, addresses and cover letters finalized. Can I just stay a 21 year old Virginia Tech student forever? Please!?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Kicks

The most fabulous thing happened to me today: UPS dropped off a parcel I have been awaiting. And while I tromped about the greater richmond stores, I was searching. In and out of numerous stores, I tried on frivolous out-on-the-town-tops in every style, price, cut, shape and sparkly type, nothing felt right. I thought, maybe it is my hair. Bad hair days ruin me. Raised my chin to peer into the dressing room mirror. But no, new do and my makeup looked banging, if I do say so myself. So I wondered, what is the thirst that no local strip mall store dares to quench? When I pulled my exhausted civic into our drive, it was waiting, there, quietly on the cold brick doorstep. Small and white. Inside would complete me. Contents of that small and white package set my yearning at bay. Stepping into the new soles, they were unbroken. I smiled, looked around, and finally decided it surely was a beautiful day.

New Shoes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bermuda, Bahama

Another day in Dad's office today, working to beef up my resumé, write professional cover letters and rack my brain trying to think of anyone and everyone I know to whom I could send this information. Long days in front of computer screens. Wishing I was planning my spring break 2010 vaca in somewhere who it will not be sub-freezing temperatures, like Blacksburg!
So, some food for thought, or maybe just inspiration to finish my paper work...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Summer Dreams

Blue Ridge Beauty - Something I came across from a photo shoot I supervised while the Media Marketing Intern at the Virginia Horse Center, Summer of 2009. Pictures will be featured in the Virginia Travel Guide Magazine, which should come out sometime this month. This is just a taste of what the dew-dripping grass and sunrise looked like, mind you it was 4:45 am. Let's just say a cup of coffee is an understatement.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Back in the saddle

Friday was a fabulous day. I was able to get back on the wonder mare, Miss Julia, at her new home and go for a ride. I schooled her through some leg yields and other basic dressage. As her new young mommy is new to the world of dressage, Jules protested my carrying a whip.
As we skipped along, she lept into the air giving me smartalick remarks when I tried to ride a very bouncy trot. Or when I insisted on a 10 meter canter circle. Or when I practiced canter loops from the old 2006 USDF 1st level test. After enduring a few hops and jumps and leaps of dismay, the mare settled into work like an old pro. Winded like the fat kid on a kick-ball team that just slid safely into
home base, I am out of riding shape.
I dismounted, attempting not to break off all my toes on the frozen Virginia ground, and let Jules' new mommy give it a shot. She was thrilled with the short, basic dressage lesson I gave them both; the youngster learned trot leg yields after only having the mare for a mere month and I had them executing half-halts to trot leg yield to canter transitions in a few minutes. "I never know she could go like that for me," responded the lanky 14 year old now in charge of Miss Julia's care, lessons and riding schedule. What a fabulous teacher Jules will be for her.
Sub-freezing temperatures of the wicked wind whipped through the dark air of the evening. Devoured by the cold, we bundled up, both people and horse, for the trailer ride back to the farm. Cozy blankets and a hot meal was enjoyed by all, after which the wonder mare dozed off into sweet dreams of cross country jumping and bushels of carrots.

Above Left - Miss Jules helping me finish my first recognized event at Marlborough HT in September 2009.
Below Right - Even Miss Jules is smiling after a phenomenal dressage test at Rubicon Farm HT in November 2009 [22.6; Judge -Brian Ross].

Thursday, January 7, 2010


MISS JULIA: 14 year old ex-prelim Holsteiner Mare. Belonging to my boss, she was scruffier than a field mouse from Canada when we met in early 2009. Through sheer luck, I discovered a brilliant showing record with her name on it. Throughout fall 2009, I had the pleasure of riding and showing Miss Julia through recognized events. This genuine and forgiving mare showed me the ropes, always taking care of business. On Christmas Eve, we received a sixth place year-end award in the USEA thanks to the wonder mare. Julia was recently sold to a very tall young pony-clubber with eventing interests. As bittersweet a moment, I realize that she has decided to enjoy the role of schoolmaster. The mare could not be happier staying fit, horse showing, wearing multiple blankets and being spoiled. And she deserves every bit of it.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
When life gives you lemonade, remember to savor every last drop.
Here's to you, Jules.

Lost & Found

Lost: The ability to log-in to former blog (sad face).

As a media marketing intern for the Virginia Horse Center in summer of 2009, I created a fabulous blog about my personal adventures with Olympians David and Karen O'Connor participating in their week-long clinic. Long Virginia summer days of lectures, groundwork and jumping skills were taught and perfected to a tee. Heaven for event riders. The blog still exists, but unfortunately my login e-mail does not exist any more. Whoops.

To journey through a week in O'Connor Camp and meet some of their fantastic OCET, see:

Found: A shiney, brand new blog - for a brand new year.