Monday, June 29, 2009

Still Waiting...

For wedding pics from all the others, specifically my lovely cousin, who I almost forced to be my professional photographer, nevermind the fact that she's not a professional. But that's how good she is.

In the mean time, I think I can actually catch up on all the going-ons here at the Homestead. Things to look forward to:

  • A bathroom remodel
  • The introduction of more family members
  • New windows and doors for the Homestead
  • A bareback and bridleless ride

Till next time!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hitting the Trail

The other day, Cowboy H and I finally got to take Hank out on the trail with us. Up until now, he would go to the ranch with us, catch horses with us, but would stay behind in the kennel when we went out. Since his leg is doing so well after his surgery, we decided he was finally ready for the real deal.

The ride went so well and we all had a great time. Here's a recap, in Hank's own words:

"Hurry up Mom. Let's go. We're all ready. Geez, we're ALWAYS waiting on you. You and that camera. Come on!"

"Seriously, guys? I'm waiting on you again? Hurry it up! I'm ready to go go go."

"Oh my gosh, this is the most fun I've ever had in my entire life! I can't stop running! This is so fun. I'm so excited, I can't stand it!"

"Ahh! Why didn't you tell me that was mud?! Seriously, you just let me go straight in! Now I have to go roll in the dirt to get this mud off me."

"Dad, this is the best day ever. I want to do this every day. Riding with you is my favorite thing to do now, except maybe torture the cats. That's pretty fun. But this riding thing is way awesome too."

"Oh man. I am loving this. If only that stupid horse hadn't stepped on me. But its okay, I'm tough. I'm just gonna take a little break over here off the trail. I'll be ready to go in a sec."

"Dad, will you take me with you every time? That was so great. I never want to leave your side. Please don't leave me behind again. I promise I'll always be good."

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Is what I am.

Actually, I have a good reason for not continuing my wedding posts. Actually, I shouldn't have even started my wedding posts just yet, but I got excited. I got my professional pics and got excited. Then, after I started the wedding series, I realized that I don't have any other pictures. No pictures of the day before, the morning of, the day after. Even though you probably just want to see pictures, I would like to recap in a cohesive, somewhat chronological order. So, I'm playing the waiting game and making you play with me.

Really, I apologize.

In the mean time, I do have an update on the Hankster.

But that's for tomorrow.

See ya!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Homemade Wedding Homestead-Style: Pretty Paper

As soon as we decided to have a wedding, I send these little suckers out. I wanted everyone to know we had already gotten married, but that we were planning a party to celebrate. Plus, we have a lot of family from out of town, so we wanted to make sure they knew about it with enough advance notice.

I formatted and printed these on my home printer. I set it up to print four to a page. Then I went to Staples and cut them out using their large paper cutter. They were designed to be postcards. On the back side I hand addressed them. For any out-of-towners, I sent them in an envelope along with some hotel information.

They were simple, casual and (to me) classy. They also set the stage for all of the forth coming stationery for the wedding. I wanted to lay the foundation for a nice, but fun and relaxed event.

Not all of Cowboy H's family was invited for the wedding. He didn't want anyone feeling obligated or pressured to come all the way to California. Instead, we decided to plan a bbq-get-together-reception for when we visit in the fall. Still, we wanted to finally announce that we got married, so we sent the cards pictured above to them. (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that. After getting married in May, we didn't tell anyone besides a select few until October. It was like our special little secret. It was kind of cool really.)

(Don't worry, that's not his address. It got returned to me; that's the only reason I have it!)

For the invitations, I just the same paper and similar fonts as the little announcements. Again, these were formatted by me and printed on my friend's laser printer. She was so kind to offer and it was kinda fun to have some company doing wedding stuff. The envelopes were printed too, with the same font as the body of the invite.

The maps were printed on the back of the invites. I hemmed and hawed about this decision for quite a while, trying to determine whether it would be tacky or not. I wasn't planning on doing maps, but I found an online tutorial ( that gave me the idea, so I was determined to do it. But, I wasn't sure if I would have enough paper to print the maps separately. Also, I had calculated postage for my proposed invites to be standard (47 cents) and was afraid adding another piece of paper would increase my postage. Printing on the back turned out to be a good idea, making the invite all inclusive. The map was actually really easy to design. They looked really plain compared so some other wedding maps I'd seen, but honestly, that's all there is to Nipomo! In the end, their simplicity tied in with the rest of the paper goods.

The invitations were printed two to a page. I then trekked to Staples and used their paper cutter (again, and not for the last time). After being cut down to size, I corner punched the eyelet design using a punch I got at Michaels. I really loved the final look. It was exactly what I was going for. Simple, clean, a little bit country, but still pretty classy.

The RSVPs were also formatted and printed at home. These were printed four to a page and designed to be postcards. I counted on Staples once again to cut them out, then rounded the corners using another punch from Michaels. The back was stamped with our address and a cute little fruit stamp was put in the corner.

I didn't want the typical run-of-the-mill responses (too cookie cutter for this wedding). In keeping with the "vibe" of the celebration I came up with my own. I'm glad I did because a lot of people wrote little notes ("Can't wait", "Getting excited") that made me smile. I gave me hope that the type of celebration I wanted (FUN!) was going to be possible.

Footnote: The horseshoe logos(?) were designed by a very talented and good friend of mine. He came up with what would become our "monogram" and I had it made into a rubber stamp (along with a smaller single horseshoe one). These suckers were used EVERYWHERE and really tied everything together. Head's up: our wedding ended up having a horseshoe theme.

Up next, Cupcakes, Cupcakes, Cupcakes! and more food stuffs!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Making of The Homestead: Gettin' Hitched

Last you heard, Cowboy H and I rode off into the sunset and got hitched. And bought The Homestead. All in one day.

And you believed it. I know you did.

Anyway, the true story goes like this:

After smelling boy scouts all summer, I moved back near LA and Cowboy H went back to the desert. We then proceeded to drive back and forth several times a week to see each other. We were fast becoming inseparable.

Hooked on each other eventually led to living together and talk of marriage became frequent. While I had complete confidence in our relationship, I was a little "gun-shy". I wanted with all my heart to marry this man, but I wanted at all costs to NOT have a wedding. For some reason (hmmm, maybe the wedding I had previously planned and cancelled?) I could not handle the idea of a wedding. But a marriage I was perfectly comfortable with.

So get married we did.

At the Santa Barbara Courthouse, in the sunken courtyard, 11:30 in the morning on Friday, May 30, 2008. By some officiant lady we had never met but was the first one on the courthouse-provided list to answer the phone. With no rings, no dress, no flowers, no tux, no witnesses. Surrounded by a bunch of elementary school kids on a field trip eating their lunches and yelling.

It was perfect.

There was no final vendor payments, no drama over wedding party members, no worries over someone drinking too much, no stress about there not being enough food, no panic over the flowers being the wrong color.

It was us, our vows, our commitment and our love.

Ready, together: Awwwwwwww.

I know, puke.

(The only pic of us the day we got married)

To celebrate, we broke the bank by eating lunch at a historic deli on State Street. Then we held hands and walked on the pier (again: puke, sorry). That night we yee-hawed from the stands at the local rodeo.

The next three days were spent at the beach. Cowboy H was introduced to surfing (see below) and I to kayaking (see below). We also ate clam chowder bread bowls and cinnamon rolls every day.

Cowboy H

Mama H (with hoodie)

Cowboy H doing all the work

We survived!

One year later I ruined it all and hosted a big ole (almost) traditional wedding.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Handy Man

I got real lucky when I fell in love with this cowboy...

WARNING: Graphic images of man working ahead.

He can paint...

He can lay tile...

He can use a chainsaw...

He can shoe a horse...

He can fix a fence...

He's also very good at distracting me, I mean, wearing a tool belt...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Making of The Homestead: The Beginning

I just realized that before I start to dive into wedding details (blue this, flowers that, rings this, hair that) I should tell how The Homestead came to be. Meaning, I should tell you how Cowboy H and I came to be.

Cowboy H and I met two decades ago, when I was, well, when we were little. He rode his stick horse down the street to meet me every night wearing his Grandpa's cowboy boots. And one night, we rode off into the sunset together and bought the Homestead. We were ten.

Just kidding! (But have you ever heard Chris LeDoux's "Thank The Cowboy For The Ride"?? Well, go listen to it. Now!)

Anyway, Cowboy H and I really met at a special little place in the desert (at least its special now). Here's a look:

This is the actual day we met. How sick/gross/love story is this: some random person took this picture of us together on the very day that we met. Later on, that person came back out to the stables and dropped it off, for some reason that we will never know. We have no idea who the person was.

Focus. Back to the story. Cowboy H was working (and living) here and I came for the weekend to work as well. It was the weekend of Frank Bogert's Annual Birthday Ride. I was helping a couple take care of their driving ponies they had brought to participate in the festivities with. Cowboy H was Frank's personal attendant that year.

After the ride, Cowboy H invited me to join the other wranglers for ribs (excuse me, where are the ribs? oh, they're gone? oh.) and such. By the end of the day, numbers were exchanged and I went off to my hotel room to shower and sleep. Since I had worked a 10 hour shift at my emergency pet hospital then driven straight to the desert and worked all day, I was pooped.

However, I met with the wranglers at... wait for it... Denny's (with a bar!) for dinner that night and was invited by them to come out and ride the next day. And thus, my stint as a part-time wrangler began.

A sweet (innocent, friendly) relationship also began between Cowboy H and I. Seriously, that was it. You see, I was engaged when we met. Engaged to be married. Married to someone else. Gasp! The horror!

So, I would drive to the desert on the weekends, ride the ponies, eat some dinner with Cowboy H and crash out in his room while he slept on the porch. Meanwhile, my relationship with my soon-to-be (and my family) was crumbling.

I'll spare you all the details, but somewhere within those months, I realized that I should not be marrying the man I was planning on marrying. I called off the wedding. And the relationship. I then retreated to the mountains and taught stinky pre-pubescent immature boy scouts how to ride horses for 3 months. I needed a nice long breath of fresh air. You know, clear my head.

Through it all, my relationship with Cowboy H deepened. And blossomed. And budded. And flourished. And, and, and... basically, sparks flew, fireworks exploded, flame erupted. And then we rode off into the sunset and got married.

The end.

P.S. The day I met Cowboy H, I knew he was the man I should be marrying, but never imagined that I actually would marry him. (Uh, hello? You were marrying someone else then, remember? Oh. Yeah. That.)

Pretty Little Packages

Guess what arrived yesterday?

Here's a peek.


Which now means I have all these to organize.

And I guess I have to tell you about the wedding.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Cowboy H decided he wanted to do a cleanse this week. I'm sure most of you have heard of "cleanses" before, but in short, they pump you full of fiber and flush out built up toxins and waste.

Both Cowboy H and I have cleansed before; a few times for me and once for him. Cowboy H's first cleanse was not succesful. He ended up craving junk food even more than before. For me, cleansing wipes out all my cravings for sweets or junk food.

In all previous cleanses, we've used this kit. And I have to say, it definitely "cleans you out".

This particular kit is composed of three components, pills you take in a specific order according to the directions. The first component is the Cleansing Fiber. It "supports optimal colon health".

The next component is the Thistle Cleanse. It "supports normal liver function and detoxification".

The last component is the Cleansing Laxative. It is taken right before bed and I bet you can guess what it does.

Certain foods are "recommended" while cleansing to help the process.

Oatmeal for breakfast

Sweet or regular potatoes for lunch or dinner.

Lots and lots and lots of veggies, either raw, steamed or roasted.

Spinach, glorious spinach.

Not shown: Fresh fruit.

Foods not recommended?

All of the above.

Not shown: The fudge, toffee bars and peanut butter chocoloate chip oatmeal cookies that I spent all evening baking as a Thank You gift for someone.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Welcome to my life"

That's what I said to Cowboy H as we sat in the Emergency Room the Wednesday night before the wedding.

"This is the story of my life. You realize that don't you? Ok, just checking. Cuz this is my life."

Everyone tells you that the week before the wedding is chaos. Yeah, yeah. They say that all hell breaks loose. Uh-huh. They say that you suddenly remember everything you forgot that week. Whatever.

Well, I have a disclaimer:


Here, I'll give you the run-down:

  • Cowboy H's family trickled in on Friday.

  • Saturday evening I noticed that the programs (that I had worked so hard on getting done ahead of time) had a type-o. Well, the word was spelled correctly, but it was the wrong word. So they had to be reprinted.

  • Sunday evening, Cowboy H shattered his Tungsten wedding band. Yes, shattered. And yes, Tungsten.

  • Tuesday night my cat died. And we buried her. It was sad

  • Wednesday night I was at the ER for severe eye allergies. I wanted to scratch my eyes out. It wouldn't quit. I looked like I had been crying for 7 days straight.

  • Friday I was back at the eye doctor because my eye situation hadn't improved at all. I was pretty sure I was not going to be wearing my contacts, let alone any makeup, on Saturday.

  • After significant improvement throughout the afternoon due to better medication, my eyes flared up again during rehearsal dinner. It got so bad I could barely open them.

  • Saturday morning, all went well until about 11:45 am, when I realized I had lost the ring the jewelry shop had LOANED us.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Beach Day

The day before the last of Cowboy H's family headed back to Missouri, we spent a day at the beach.

Cowboy H loves the beach.

So does his brother.

I think if Cowboy H didn't have me and his brother didn't live in Missouri, they would become beach bums. Sleeping under the boardwalk and all. Surfing (well, boogie boarding) everyday and never wearing shoes.

I spent the day napping and tanning. I'm such a multi-tasker. Hey, it was hard work!

I also supervised.

That was hard too.

Believe me, these two needed supervision.

Especially when the flippers came out.