Thursday, April 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Charlie!


Center: A very dear boy. 1.His 18th birthday 2.Senior Photos 3.Dressing up like vikings 4.Just a little peck 5.C-3 Rating 6.Our first event! Deep Creek 1997 7.WSU Vet Hospital 8.Life in Ferndale 9.Good Friends in Meridian 10.Freda and her baby 11.My storybook horse 12.Green green grass in Plain

Happy Birthday Dear Charlie, Happy Birthday to You!

Dear really is one of the most fitting words to describe him. He's dear because he has so much character. He's dear because he's been 'my’ horse for 13 years. He's dear because he's helped me through the roughest patches of my life.

He's the type of horse that whinnies his greetings when he sees you. He's the type of horse that finds ways to escape from his pen. He's the type of horse that will nuzzle your ear to say hello. He's the type of horse that will put 100% into the task at hand. He's the type of horse that trusts you. He's the type of horse that will refuse carrots, but will try to eat blackberries off of the bush. He's the type of horse that knows when he needs to take care of his rider. (One of my favorite memories of him is of the day he was so gentle with Pam, my friend's sister with down syndrome.) He's the type of horse that will help you pick out his own hooves by lifting his foot before you get to it. He's the type of horse that has a one-of-a-kind nicker when he wants his grain. He's the type of horse that will genuinely act like he's listening when you tell him all of your troubles. He’s the type of horse that will wiggle his lips when you rub his belly. He's the type of horse that is usually so good, but still has a bit of a wild streak left in him. He's the type of horse that makes you feel like you're working together and that you're part of a team. He’s the type of horse that makes you feel loved.

So very thankful for you! Happy day!
-m.

AND I'm very thankful for all the wonderful people who have helped me take care of him for the past 13 years--especially my parents & the Millers.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

We Came Forth to See Again the Stars


The leader and I by that hidden way
entered to return to the bright world;
and without care for having any rest
we climbed up, he first and I second,
so far that I saw some of the beautiful things
that heaven bears, through a round opening;
and thence we came forth to see again the stars.
--Dante

Report cards finished!!
-m.

(Well, finished for now. 3 more weeks and I get to do our 4th [and thank goodness] final report. I think it will be MUCH easier the next go around.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Inferno

While I'm on the theme of fire . . .



The latest round of report cards at my school have been an ongoing torment for at least 2 weeks. It's far too aggravating and stupid and lengthy to explain, but "heck" seems just about the right term. I think I'm frustrated enough to punch someone -- or cry -- or quit -- or do all three. Argh!!!!

I keep telling myself that "this too shall pass". I guess that one way or another it will, right?

Summer has never sounded so so so so good.
-m.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Playing with Lighters & Gasoline

wYep--and I was even at school!



So, in the middle of teaching, I was pulled out of my classroom and told to go outside where a small gathering of teachers and mothers had already assembled. They were standing & listening to a lecture from 2 men in uniform. Since it was in Arabic, I'm not exactly sure what was said, but I know it had something to with fire extinguishers.

As soon as I saw the extinguishers, I had a strong suspicion there was going to be real flames involved. Based on what happened next, I'm glad I ran to my room to grab my camera. Just as I was rushing back, I saw one of the men pouring a clear liquid into a trough. My jaw must have dropped 6 inches when I realized what this clear liquid was -- gasoline! Then I kind of choked on my own spit when I saw the lighter. I definitely haven't been studying explosive fire starting techniques lately, but I thought I remember reading somewhere that gasoline and flammable objects don't mix too well . . . Maybe I saw it in a movie or something?


A Simple Tutorial on How to [Start and] Put Out A Fire
(translated from Arabic to English by yours truly)
Step 1: Pour gallons of gasoline into a trough
Step 2: Ignite gasoline with a lighter; If a lighter is not available, a match is another acceptable substitute
Step 3: Stand with a wide base, pick up your extinguisher, point it towards the flames, depress the handle, and VOILA!

After the initial demonstration, the two men in uniform started talking to the teachers again. At some point in the 2nd portion of the lecture (right during the part when I wasn't really trying to understand Arabic anymore) they must have asked for volunteers. When I started hearing a couple of the teachers whisper my name, I snapped to attention. Too late! Before I knew it, I was pushed to the front of the crowd. Whether I wanted to or not, my debut as a firefighter was at hand!


Well, as this picture shows, I wasn't a natural. I had a bit of a hard time figuring out how to hold the darn thing. Apparently trying to support the whole canister is difficult. And unnecessary.
When the 2 men in uniform and the security guard started barking instructions at me, I could barely hear them above the laughter coming from all of the other teachers. From what I deduced, I think the men kept yelling at me to put the extinguisher down and just grab the handle. Nice . . .
Fortunately for my reputation, I was able to improve my extinguisher-holding skills and blast that blaze like nobody's business!


Miss Asma, Miss Esther, Miss Lisa, & Miss Molly will know what to do if any students play with lighters & gasoline. HALAS!

Never a dull day at the office . . .
-m.