You, Too Could Win a Prize!

I still haven’t had a chance to use my gift certificate/door prize, but I did get to do some shopping yesterday (which was simultaneously fun and depressing, because one should not have to drive so far for decent shopping) (size 8 on the jacket by the way) (no need to buy it, I took care of that for you) (happy birthday to me a bit early), but still, I won a door prize!  You seriously do not understand.  I am that person who never wins the door prize.  Even if it were a bag of flaming dog doo, I would not win it.  So a jewelry store gift certificate?  Obviously the gods of the door prizes were too drunk to remember their first commandment: Elaine shalt not win.

Anyway, in the spirit of my newfound prize winingness, I thought I would share the joy.  You, too, could win a prize!  I know you are all so excited you are just trying not to wet yourselves with anticipation.  Before I tell you how you could win a prize, I must give you a bit of back story first (surprise!):

A~ came home from school today and was telling me about something “bad” that happened in one of her classes.  I have no recollection of what it was, because it wasn’t particularly bad, and I was just beginning to recover from a migraine (all the times my home schooled children have complained about not getting snow days, and I never thought to remind them of all the migraine days they got).  Anyway, as she was relating the “bad” thing, L~ interjected:

“Oh, that’s nothing.  Today in my study hall a boy told the teacher he wasn’t feeling well and had a headache.  The teacher told him to just put his head on his desk and see if that helped.”

“Did he throw up?” I asked (because, again, this was supposed to be a “bad” thing).

“No,” she said, “But he finally told the teacher he really felt sick and needed to go to the office to call home.  He looked so bad, I thought he was going to throw up on his way out.”

End of story.

So the question is, how long until we get a letter sent home from the school saying there is at least one confirmed case of the swine flu at our children’s school?

Leave your guess in the comments section.  You can either guess how many days from today (Sept. 15) or you can just guess a specific date on which you think the letter will be sent home (hint: don’t guess a Saturday or Sunday).  The person who guesses closest to the actual date will get a prize.  I’m not sure what it will be yet, but it will probably involve something all froo-froo and unnecessary.  Or maybe a book.  Really, who knows?  As soon as I figure it out, I’ll let you know (but I’m leaning towards froo-froo and fun).  In the meantime, go guess.

In other news, did you know that when horses get bored in their stall they engage in a behavior called cribbing?  Yes, news to me.  This can involve behaviors such as chewing on the stall door or rubbing methodically back and forth against the door/wall/whatever to the point that they, say, rub a  swath of fur and skin right off their forehead or chest.

Hmm . . . is this behavior sounding even vaguely familiar to anyone else?

Apparently, in the equine world, the solution is to get the horse protective wraps/garments so that they can’t injure themselves.


While I am sure that would be much, much cheaper (and believe me, I’m all about the cheap – I didn’t want a horse because I knew it wouldn’t be cheap, and I haven’t been fighting the good fight for financial sensibility for so long just so we could hit up our savings account for an animal), we are fencing in most of our field and having a barn built.  You see, at the stable, the horse only gets to be outside for a couple of hours a day (and we have to pay extra to have him let out!) plus whatever time we can be there to let him out and/or ride him.  For a horse that is used to being in the pasture all day (and night in good weather) and being ridden for miles and miles each week, this couple hours a day thing out of captivity isn’t working so well.

Actually, it obviously isn’t working well for some of the other horses at the stable either, because we see them all wrapped up in these big neck muff things that go clear up to their faces; and we see stall doors with huge chunks chewed out of them; and we think, “Oh! My! Word!”  Animals of this size are not meant to be kept in stalls of stall size.  Seriously.

And we think of all the stories we’ve heard of institutionalized children who rock back and forth in their beds or pull their hair out because that is all they have been able to do to comfort themselves for so long, and we think, “This is what is happening to these horses!  Hello!!!  Doesn’t anybody else see this?”  Apparently not at this stable, anyway.

So, yes.  We are building a small barn and putting in a fence so that the horse can romp around all day.  Or at least meander and graze and get more attention from us.  He will be able to go in and out of his stall as he pleases, unless the weather is bad or the field is flooded, in which case we will lock him up for only as long as necessary, and we will be able to ride him more.

And yes, I could have bought my home school curriculum of choice for all of the kids for a bit less than we are spending on this horse, but whatever.  I can’t argue for animal cruelty just to be cheap.  I probably should have stuck to my guns and just kept saying no to the whole horse thing to begin with, but I didn’t. 

So I keep telling myself what McH likes to tell me, “Just think of the memories the kids will have!  You talk about doing things to make good memories with them, and this will make great memories!”  I guess he’d know since he had horses as a kid.  All I have are the sad memories of a little girl who desperately wanted a horse (or a raccoon – you know, whichever) but had to settle for two Irish Setters and a cat that liked to get stoned in the front yard.  Yes, my husband has memories of riding his horse in the mountains, and I have memories of playing out front and having to explain to passersby that my cat wasn’t dead and bloated, he was just fat and stoned out of his gourd on cat nip.

So I’m focusing on the memories thing.  Which reminds me, I seem to remember that somewhere way back at the beginning of the post, I said I’d give out a prize.  Giddy up and go guess!

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the newt says hello.

11 thoughts on “You, Too Could Win a Prize!

  1. I’m going to guess Wednesday September 30.

    That is awesome about your barn/field/pasture/free range horse.

    The cat? Stoned? There is more to that story. How did the catnip get in the yard? Were you enabling the cat in it’s catnip dependency? ;=p


  2. I will guess Monday the 28th.

    Your poor horse- that’s sad. Makes me want to sing “Born Free.” I hope the construction of the barn and fence is quick and hassle-free.


  3. I’m going to say Friday, October 2nd. That way the staff can escape for the weekend & not answer any of the phone calls they’ll be sure to get after a note like that.

    I was wondering how long it was going to be before you had a barn built 😉


  4. Christina

    Awww… poor horse! Yes, a fence and barn is just the thing. The fence is the absolute best thing ever for our dogs – they are SO much happier running around as they please (ahem, until the collie barks at whatever creature happens to move in the woods and I have to call her inside. But whatever. It’s still easier than the tie-outs, and way better for the dogs.)

    And my bet? With a kid looking green TODAY? Ummm… I say Friday. As in, the 18th. But then, do people get puky with swine flu? Or is it like regular flu which is more like a horrid cold? Whatever, I’m stickin with the 18th!


  5. I guess that’s the end of your circular meadow – I’m doubting the horse will appreciate the flowers (except for the tasty ones).

    No guess on the flu letter, but your cousin Tim was hospitalized with flu for two days last week. He got sick while I was at his house – healthy one minute, just about unable to stand the next. Haven’t heard if it’s of the swine variety.


  6. One of my memories of owning a horse…the horse getting spooked and jumping sidways into a fence, thus smashing my sister’s leg. Oh, that’s probably not a memory you wanted to read about, huh? 😉

    My guess…Sept. 24.


  7. I’m going out on a limb here and going with 10/15 (or the Friday before if its a Monday – I’m too lazy to get up and look at a calendar). I’m thinking a lot of the things running around right now are sounding pretty similar to each other. I had a nasty bug last weekend that was just a really nasty cold (thankfully). It may take them a while to figure out what is what.
    Ummmm…yep, heard of the horse rubbing himself raw and chewing the railposts from boredom thing…kind of goes with the territory being married to a vet and all. Sorry its costing you more money. That stinks. My oldest and youngest did live in the institution long enough to do the rocking for comfort thing…that stinks worse. ;>)


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