Monday, March 29, 2010


At approximately 8:03 this morning, this is what my driveway looked like:


I promise I'll connect the dots soon!

Friday, March 26, 2010

One Week To Go...

I have so much blogging material floating around in my head, I can't keep it all straight. Things have been busy, busy, busy around The Homestead.

First, and foremost, and most importantly, I am quitting my job. Or rather, I already have, but my last day is next Friday. That's right, folks, one week to go.

It's very difficult for me to write about this, because, well, I really do love my job. In theory. But in reality, in execution, I hate it. My boss has worn my thin and I am about to my breaking point. And I don't want a job to break me, so I'm moving on.

I was offered a full-time position at the animal hospital I work (as a vet tech) and have decided to pursue that route. I've have been "teching" for 5 years, on and off, and the more time I spend away from it, or the less time I spend actually doing it, the more I miss it. The more I realize how much I LOVE it. That's it, I love teching.

I also recently learned that I can apply to take my Registered Veterinary Technicians licensing test, without having to go back to school. Since I have a bachelor's degree in Animal Science, Pre-Vet (my original plan was to go to Vet School) and I have loads of hours experience actually teching, all I have to do is turn in my application, get approved, and pass the test. IF all that pans out, and I do pass, I will be a RVT, basically a registered nurse for animals. I never, ever considered going the tech route because they don't make a whole lot for how hard they work, but if you love it, that's all that matters. This I have figured out.

So, starting April 5, I will have a different full-time job, and will be taking a significant pay cut. Which sucks, but its not the end of the world. We may not be able to put as much money into savings each month, and we may not be able to work on the house anymore, but the bills will still get paid. The upside is, if I do get licensed, I will get a significant pay increase, which will put me almost back to where I am now, and I will actually be enjoying my job!

The impending pay cut brings me to our in-progress yard project. Before our extra money runs out, Cowboy H wants to overhaul the yard. So, last weekend we started. We haven't finished yet, but hey, its a work in progress. I have taken lots of photos, I have fallen on my butt, and I have killed my lawn. You will be updated as soon as possible.

Another thing buzzing around in my head is my Photography Class. Our assignment for this week (given out last week) was to take Self-Portraits. But not any old self-portraits; these were self-portraits of WHAT WE ARE NOT. My fabulous friend Choleesa who has her own crazy world, upon hearing the assignment, turned to me and said, "Well, if there's one thing I'm NOT, its a cowgirl". So, last weekend we made her a cowgirl. And My Maria modeled along with her.

Since we are still in the film half of this class, I don't have immediate images of our little "photo shoot" but we did develop our film last night and ohmygoshtheyrockoutofthisworld!!!! Since they are Choleesa's photos (I just directed the shoot and took them) you will have to go to her world to check them out, once we get them developed, but DON'T MISS THEM. The butt shots are exceptional. And Maria looks pretty good, too. My self-portraits were not as exciting, but fun anyways. I was a "professional career woman", you know, pant suit, black pumps and briefcase. When we get them printed, I'll give you a peek.

Okay, I think that's enough words and not enough photos, but I haven't had time. I've taken them, just not processed and uploaded them yet. I promise they will be coming. Please don't stop loving me over this one long-winded post.

Oh, and lastly, the dogs dug their way out of their run last night. These two, I swear. The funny thing is once they got out, they couldn't get back in, so they were without food and water for who knows how long. Serves the little suckers right. All I can say is at least we're tearing out the backyard right now anyway! I guess they were just doing their fair share of the manual labor.

Yeah, that's it. They're such good little doggies they were just trying to help!

See ya on the other side (if you're still around)!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Text Message I Sent Cowboy H

Let me give you a little back-story first. As y'all probably know by now Hank loves Cowboy H. I mean loves him. When I let the dogs back in the house after their morning potty-break, if Cowboy H is not awake and walking around, Hank runs around the bed, looking to see if he's still there. Then, if he sees or hears him still in bed, he runs around the bed even more, trying his hardest with his three little good legs to get in bed with Cowboy H.

This morning, Cowboy H left early this morning right after putting the dogs out. When I let them in later in the morning, I had pulled the covers up on the bed, so it really looked like someone was still in bed. Hank came running in and started jumping up on the bed, crying and well, looking for his dad. It killed me!

So I sent Cowboy H this text message:

Hank misses his dad
"Dad please come home. i miss you. i looked for you in bed and you weren't there"

Ahahaha, I crack myself up. Seriously, who does this crap?

Please, if you are guilty of sending text messages on behalf of your pet, 'fess up. We may need to seek help together.

Welcome To My Life, Ed. 3 Vol III

Last night, Huey swiped an ENTIRE piece of pizza off Cowboy H's plate AND snarfed the WHOLE thing before either of us even knew it was gone.

Seriously. Nobody even saw it happen.

It was hilarious. I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe.

The funniest part was, Cowboy H trying to blame me for stealing his pizza because I had no idea what he was talking about.

HEY! Where'd my? Did you? I had four pieces!

For probably the first time ever, Hank was sitting innocently at my feet.

And Huey? He was hiding behind the couch, licking his chops, all evidence properly destroyed by the time we figured out what happened.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Second Shooter

During our big ride with the Desert Rose a few weeks ago, I did hand off the camera for a little while. In case you didn't know, Cowboy H is a budding photographer himself, and if I were to ever start a wedding photography business (I won't) he would be my second shooter.

Seriously. There is just something about his images. He has an instinctual ability to capture the true essence of his subjects, to really bring out their best.

That day, he managed to capture a side of me rarely seen:


My grace.


My beauty.


My class.


My elegance.

*Sigh* They're all so beautiful, I just can't decide which one to blow up and put on the wall.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Oh My.

This is what my front yard looked like at approximately 2:00 pm Saturday afternoon:


And this is what my backyard looked like at approximately 3:30 pm on Sunday afternoon:


All I can say is, no tornadoes were involved in the making of this post.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Homemade Wedding Homestead-Style: Dance! Dance! Dance!

There were three (or four) very important factors to Cowboy H and I in regards to our wedding. One was that the food be amazing. Check. Another was that everything have meaning to us, i.e. not doing something just because its "tradition". Check. Third, we really wanted that down-home, casual, relaxed, spontaneous atmosphere. Check.

And, lastly, we wanted a rockin' dance party!

Jesslyn + Jeff-382

Our swing dance pretty much set the tone, and pretty soon the dance floor was hopping.

Jesslyn + Jeff-381

Cowboy H and I danced and danced. I actually was able to two-step around the entire dance floor without screwing up. It was amazing. The two-step is not my strong suit.

Pretty soon my dad sidled up to me and stated, "Everyone says we need to dance together."

So, you're all thinking, Wha?! No father-daughter dance?! Well, I actually had a song all picked out, and I asked my dad, "Do you want to do a father-daughter dance?" And he replied, "No, I don't think we need to. I mean, you're already married, its not like this is the real thing." So, father-daughter dance was scratched. Or so we thought.

Jesslyn + Jeff-376

I don't even remember what song the band played, but I know it was a good one. For your information, I had picked out "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" sung by Judy Garland since Wizard of Oz is my dad's favorite movie.

Jesslyn + Jeff-375

No matter, I'm really glad we danced together after all, even if my dad is a horrible dancer.

May 2009 Pismo and Jesslyn wedding 174
Photo by my Nina

It was a pretty sweet moment. And pretty soon a bunch of sets of 'father-daughers' joined us. I loved it.

At some point, Cowboy H was caught dancing with his mom, even though we didn't do an "official" mother-son dance.

May 2009 Pismo and Jesslyn wedding 186
Photo by my Nina

Even though they weren't planned, I'm glad we got all these special moments captured.

Because, pretty soon, we were back to tearing up the dance floor.

Jesslyn + Jeff-380

Up Next: All The Details

(I swear, I'm almost done, but if you missed anything, check it all out here.)

All images by Applemoon Photography unless otherwise noted!

Friday, March 19, 2010

And We Said Goodbye


Its been two weeks since we said goodbye to Bella, and well, I kinda miss her.


I'll be honest with y'all, I never really bonded with her, but by the time she left us I had really come to appreciate what a nice little horse she was.


She became probably one of the best trail horses I've ever come across. Nothing, and I mean nothing fazed her. You could always depend on her to cross the water, or the bridge, or the ravine, or the whatever when no other horse wanted to.


Saying goodbye to her was bittersweet, to say the least. I know without a doubt, without the slightest bit of doubt, that she has an even better home than Cowboy H and I were giving her.


But still, I can't say that there weren't a few choked up throats when we loaded her into the trailer.


I mean, its not like we were crying or anything. Geez, cum'on guys.


I swear! I didn't shed a single tear.


Okay, okay. I may have sniffled a little bit.


Especially when Cowboy H gave his final goodbye.


Feel The Love

Last night Cowboy H asked me to email him two photos.

One of him and Crow.

The other of him and Hank.

I obliged and asked if he needed full res images or if I could send him smaller, email-friendly versions.

He responded, "Um, I don't know. I want to use them as the background for my desktop, so whatever you think."

At first, my heart melted. Awww, how sweet, he wants photos of his horse and his dog at work, I thought.

Then, something clicked inside my head.

"HEY! You want photos of your dog and your horse, but what about YOUR WIFE!?!?"

And the punk that he is, just smirked and laughed at me.

Talk about feeling the love.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Is Here!


At least that's what the cats are saying!

The birds have been chirping up a storm outside. Before the sun is even fully risen from its slumber, the choir is belting in full force outside. The cats are just loving it. And someone finally did something about it.

My little Indy-Monster (pictured above) caught his very first bird this morning. At least, I think it's his first. It's the first bird I've ever seen him with. I really don't like them catching birds, but seeing as how the neighborhood has pretty much been eradicated of its rodent population already, birds are really the only option. And as sick as it may be, my heart swells up with pride when I see my babies catch something. I want to go run and tell Cowboy H, "Indy caught a bird!" but he is sleeping.

Instead, I let the dogs out and Hank promptly steals the catch of the day from Indy.

It was a glorious triumph for but a fleeting moment.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Welcome To My Life, Ed. 3 Vol II

The other day, I was woken up by the sound of a dog gagging and heaving, attempting to puke in my bedroom. It was still dark, very dark, and I flung myself out of bed and stumbled and fumbled around the room in a pathetic attempt to get the dog out of the house before the vomit actually came out.

By the time I got my bearings and turned on a light it was too late. Little Hanky-Panky deposited a solid chunk of bone the size of a large marble right on the carpet. Still staggering around, I shuffled him outside since he was still heaving.

First thing I thought: "Thank goodness that came back up, because there was no way it was going to come out the other end."

Second thing I thought (after glancing at my clock; remember its pitch black outside): "Phew, at least I have another hour to sleep before my alarm goes off."

And, before the thought was even completed, the alarm went off.

Stupid dog.

Stupid time change.

Stupid Monday.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Portrait of a Cowboy and His Dog


I snapped this a few weeks ago. I'm pretty sure this one's going on the wall (someday).

And for those of you who haven't witnessed Cowboy H smile and laugh like I have, this one's for you. Notice even Hank is sticking his tongue out at me!


This man loves his dog so much it makes my heart want to burst.

I'm working on so many other photos and posts; I swear I haven't gone anywhere! Enjoy these for now!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Trail Riding On Our Turf

Finally. I know, this post is pretty much two weeks overdue. But, I'm trying. So, hold on to your hats, this is going to be a long one.

Can you guess who's who?

After days and nights of rain, our planned ride day dawned bright, beautiful and clear. Cowboy H and I got out to our ranch fairly early and brought our ponies in from pasture, gave them each a bucket of grain, tacked up and waited. The girls waited patiently too. It was a sight we'll never see again. Lastly, Cowboy H put the finishing touches on his outfit.


By now, those of you who follow Jesses Desert Rose should know that EVERY ride is an excuse to get dressed to the nines, with matching tack as well. Well, a handful of years ago, the DR bought this pink striped shirt for Cowboy H. Every time we ride with DR, Cowboy H tries to remember to wear this shirt.


However, this time around, we added the tie. Yes, its pink and yes, its paisley. I don't know about anyone else, but I love a man in pink. Mmmmmm...


Soon, we heard the diesel truck rumbling down the drive. Once parked, there was much commotion as the handsome Crow was unloaded and fawned over, mimosas were handed out, magazines were presented and horses settled. Before too long, the mimosas were gone and we were in our saddles.

We rode out from our ranch, into the cow pastures and up the hill I broke my arm on. Just before dropping down into the state park, we stopped for the first photo op.

Wow, we were a colorful group! Also, I would like to mention that this photo is SOOC. I swear! I still can't believe how vibrant the colors are!

We rode into the state park on a trail that Cowboy H, the ranch girls, and I had made ourselves. It was a muddy, mucky, sloshy mess. The entire time, our ponies were ankle deep in mud or over-saturated soil. The ground sunk about four inches with every step. We crossed water about five times, none of them easy ones. Honestly, we should not have gone out that day, the ground was so bad, but that wasn't discovered until about 30 minutes into the ride. The first 40 minutes really were not that fun.

We finally made it to the actual state park trails and had to make our first pit stop. And yes, the DR was caught on her own two feet again.


Look at that strut!

I'm sorry guys. I just can't help myself.

Poor Cowboy H got stuck holding three horses!


Of course, we also took this opportunity to top off our glasses. Thanks Bossman!


And, we were off again.


Yes, the Bossman provides us with REAL glasses out on the trail!

The day was so beautiful we had to stop to take lots of photos.



Or, just take in the view.


We continued up a long hill, and were able to divert our attentions from the ground since the footing was a lot better. Much story-telling ensued.




Once we got to the top, we filled up our glasses, err I mean, let our horses blow a bit.



Please forgive me. Just look at him!

The ponies also got their fair share of trail treats. It was a lot of work just to keep their heads above their knees!

But can you blame them?

Eventually we worked our way down into the main area of the camp, the same place we started out when we gathered cows last time. We got stopped by a park ranger, because well, those dang cows were out again, and she wanted to make sure we knew where those dang cows were (apparently she was tracking them). Uh, cows? Lady, we're just here to ride. Then we were informed that the state park was actually closed to the public, but since we were "here for the cows" she'd let us slide. Aww, thanks. So, we pretended to look for cows. (None were spotted.)


Before long, we were at our lunch spot! The state park has a horse camping ground complete with pipe stalls, porta-potties and picnic tables.





And lunch was served!

Side Note: The Bossman supplies everyone with NEW wine glasses for lunch, because serving wine in the same glasses your champagne was in is just not acceptable.

We definitely took our time during lunch, telling more stories and finishing off two bottles of wine between the five of us. We also decided to head back home through the front entrance of the park and along the city streets. We really didn't want to slop through all the mud we had come in through.

If this doesn't show how small Bella was, I don't know what would.

Riding through the streets was not ideal, but also pretty uneventful with our group. If nothing else, it was a good experience for all the horses.

From there we were back at the ranch. All in all we were out on trail for about six hours, including the one hour lunch break. It was a really great ride, minus all the mud. Maybe in a couple months time, we can do it again?!?!

Anyone else want to join??