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Yesterday found us heading out on a hay run which lead to J and I checking out a new to us restaurant off of Woodruff Road in Greenville.  We have been long time fans of the Korean BBQ on Woodruff (the one in the same building as the Red Robin gas station…weird? yes!) but had seen that another Korean restaurant had popped up a little further down the way and decided to swing in to check it out.

It is a tiny restaurant so large parties or families with lots of kids will have some difficulty seating together but for just the two of us it was very quaint and cozy.  There are pictures of menu items on the walls and the menu was well illustrated with pictures and both English and Korean titles.

We started with fried dumplings.

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They were good, not spectacular, but tasty.  The dipping sauce was exceptionally good and accentuated the standard pork filling nicely.

J ordered the Bulgogi at a level 9 spiciness.

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This was very tasty and fairly spicy but was more like any Asian stir-fry.  It was a large portion and heavy on the beef so well worth the price, just not the flavor we had been anticipating.

I ordered the Duk Boki.

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Duk boki is kind of like a stir fried or maybe braised spicy rice cake.  This was very spicy and was ok.  I felt the rice cakes were a little mushy so there wasn’t the chewy texture that I am more familiar with and the spicy flavor was a little one dimensional, but otherwise it was good and the portion was ginormous!

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I felt that the side dishes were a little lacking.  There were three kimchi type vegetables and 2 bean sprout type things but there wasn’t a sweet or sour balance to the flavors.

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Everything was just HOT and SPICY or somewhat bland.  The kimchi was very good.  VERY good, so next time I would probably get something that focused on the kimchi.

All in all I found it to be a fair restaurant.  Not exactly where I would go for my Korean fix, but not a bad restaurant.  You get a lot of food for the price and J and I left full and sated.  The staff was very friendly and we enjoyed talking to them so I can definitely see us going back there but just ordering different items.

Kimchee Korean Restaurant is located at 1939 Woodruff Rd, Greenville, SC 29607

So…. My laptop died.

Of course it died just as I was getting inspired to write again.

That figures.

So I’ve hijacked M’s chromebook to update that I am in the research portion of my new laptop acquisition.  It’s slow going.

In other news, I’ve gotten into the travelers notebook thing.  Not the crazy art level ones, but just the “oh my gah those are so neat I must have one even if I have nothing to actually write in it” ones.  I bought a ZLYC instead of a Midori because the ZLYC came with a standard and passport size plus a pen holder for the same price as just the standard Midori.  Initially I was disappointed as the leather was wonky and the notebooks didn’t fit properly.  Thankfully I had been binge watching YouTube videos setting them up so it made correcting the problems much easier.

I am thoroughly confused by the monthly calendar that came with the ZLYC.  I had to basically rework it and create tip-outs to set it up with my prefered 7 day week.  I attempted to do some of the artsy scrapbooking things that I’ve seen other people create and to be honest it’s just not my bag.  I have a couple of months that I think look awesome but others look like a craft store threw up on it.  Go me.

So I ordered the Midori weekly planner notebook and I absolutely love it! It is perfect for my planning style and while I do have a few strategic stickers it is nowhere near the train wreck that is the monthly spread.  I would include pics here if I weren’t hijacking M’s chromebook… hopefully I can edit them in later on.

Getting into the traveler’s notebooks obviously lead to a resurgence of my pen/office supplies/paper supplies addiction.  Luckily gel pens and such are a cheap addiction generally speaking.  I was able to swing by Binders in Charlotte and nab up a several fun pens… I may do a haul post as some of them are pretty awesome (looking at you Slicci 025).

In other other news…. We are riding in the Western Carolina Hunter Pace series this season.  Unfortunately we missed the first pace but we managed the second one at ScotsGrove.  It was our first time at their farm and we had a… somewhat adventurous ride.  Evidently the rules of passing need to be reviewed.  We were unsafely passed multiple times.  But we didn’t let that get us down!  Happily we maintained a consistent pace and finished in 3rd place!  Go Pip!!

We are hoping to hit the HP at Biltmore this weekend if our coggins make it back to us before Sunday.  My coggins run out 2 days before the event so I’m hoping that the 2 weeks we allowed for them to come back will be sufficient.  I’d really hate to miss the Biltmore pace.  J and I brought home a yellow ribbon (3rd) several years ago.  And of course L and I had our worst ride ever at Biltmore, finishing dead last but considering all the things that went wrong on that ride, finishing was as good as getting a ribbon  (1 hour of backtracking for my lost phone, L and Paris falling off the mountain after getting pelted with a golf ball, bad footing, Pip’s first outing, Noorah’s antics and elimination at the start, and my emotional blow up/break down/psychotic break at the trailer… it was awful).

***UPDATE*** The coggins are IN!!!  Right after I called to put our names on the gate list I got a call from the vet saying that the coggins were in!!  WooHoo!! Assuming we are all well on Sunday then we are good to go!

I am still working out the logistics of doing a YouTube channel.  I have been periodically posting videos but not full on vlogs.  My lack of operable computer is one of the hampering factors but I’m sure I’ll have it sorted out soon enough.  There’s a learning curve and I’m slowly figuring it out.  We are pretty much filming every time we go to a pace (Biltmore will be J’s turn to wear the goPro EEEK!!!) so hopefully I’ll have a way to post a highlight vid soon, because trust me you don’t want to sit through 2 hours of us riding.  Sure there are some hilarious parts (“I don’t even know you Pip”) but there are long spans of silence that even we the riders find somewhat dull and boring to relive.

So anyway, I’m hoping everybody is enjoying the cooler Fall weather and look for more updates soon!

Back at the beginning of February I heard about a gelding that had been relinquished in a high-profile neglect case down in the lower part of the state.  It was indicated that he was an Irish Draught by Rockrimmon Silver Diamond.  Immediately I was intrigued as Guinness is also by Rockrimmon Silver Diamond.  I knew that finding RSD babies around the Carolinas wouldn’t be that uncommon since RSD stood in NC for a while, but I was still curious.   So I called and talked with the vet in charge of his care and discovered that he had been standing as a sporthorse stud for a farm in the Charleston area and was slightly underweight and in slightly poor condition but would be gelded soon and they really wanted him out of their facility as soon as possible.

I was not in the market for a new horse.  Heck, I hadn’t ridden all winter.  So I politely asked if there were any photos and she sent me this:

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Well… doesn’t that horse look a bit familiar?  So I politely asked her to keep me in the loop and quietly walked away feeling that surely some other person would come forward for an ISH.  A week later I again hear from the vet.  The gelding had been done, evidently no one else had come forward and was I still interested??  Ugh…

Tentatively I spoke with M and J and we reached the decision that this boy had been put before us for a reason and started making the arrangements to bring him home.  We rearranged paddocks, set up his quarantine pen and started to fish around for a trailer to use.  I will not go into the horrors of trying to find a trailer to bring home a recently gelded stud horse that I don’t actually know.  Understandably nobody was eager to have him onboard.  So we made the decision to just use the old beat up green trailer.  Our wonderful neighbor David did a quick check over it to make sure it was safe and that all the electric components were working and even tho it was a mess cosmetically, it was safe and tall enough to bring home our new boy.

Valentine’s morning we headed out!  J and I had a good drive down and realized rapidly why the gelding needed a new home asap.  Living between the interstate and an airbase/airport isn’t exactly the most ideal life for any horse. So we pulled up and after parking amid what I think was a dog/cat adoption event and overhearing more than one person ask “how big is the dog you are planning on getting??” we were redirected to the barn were I met our new gelding.

This was my first look at him.

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What I saw was a profoundly depressed and unhappy horse.  Obviously he and G share a common look, but where G has the look of a horse that has lived the padded life of a privileged, beloved show horse, the new gelding, while polite, looked tired and weary.  As J put it “he looks like he’s seen some things”.

So I filled out all the legal paper work while J changed out his halter and put on his travelling clothes (cooler and boots).  I wasn’t entirely sure what he would have to say about loading up on the little trailer but after a look around he walked up meekly and munched on hay while I secured the ramp.  I couldn’t decide if he was that “OK” with the whole thing or if he just didn’t care anymore.

An so we began our journey back home only to realize that we were insanely hungry and needed to stop immediately for lunch.  J, the intrepid puller of trailers, negotiated several multi laned highways to get us into a large parking area behind a Chik-fil-a.  I decided to hang out with the gelding while J went in to order.  I opened the escape door and stood talking to him, nonsensical blathering of nothingness, just to let him hear me and hopefully keep him calm. Immediately I noticed a change in him.  He nosed all over my face, whoofed through my hair, nuzzled my cheek and really latched on to me as a person he was interested in.  I took out my phone to update M about our progress and this happened…

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I continued to talk and babble on to him and suddenly a car pulled up beside us!  I was a little nervous as I had read a lot about his case on our way to Charleston and I knew that there were some hot opinions about it.  The couple in the car stopped to comment on how much my horse must love me because they could see how relaxed he was when I talked to him. I told them that he was a new acquisition and they were surprised as they had thought that we were a long bonded horse and rider combo.  They wished us luck and safe journeys and again I noticed how the gelding was definitely warming up to both J and me.

So we continued home with me asking J every 5 minutes if the gelding was ok.  I think it made for a long trip for J even if he didn’t complain 🙂

Somewhere along the drive home I decided that Fawkes would be a perfect name.  I did not like the name he came with and I felt like he needed a new name to start his new life.  So Fawkes, the name of Dumbledore’s phoenix, seemed perfect!

Anyway, we made it home before dark and spent a good 30 minutes hand walking Fawkes around to work out his travel stiffness before putting him up for the evening.  He was polite and courteous, even with the wind blowing fiercely.

Then next day we spent shoring up shelters as wintry weather was forecast.  As I was feeding Fawkes his morning feed I noticed his sheath was grossly swollen.  I placed a couple phone calls to the vet and ended up driving to TR as the sleet and frozen rain started to pick up medicine at the vet’s office.

The weather tanked during the night and we awoke to an icy wonderland!

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Fawkes didn’t seem to mind at all.  He didn’t even think the children sledding on the ice was all that interesting.  He did spend some time making kissy faces with Noorah.

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Already looking like a different horse!!

The swelling in his sheath gave us several days of concern as did his very ugly gelding incisions. I’ll spare you the pictures, trust me they are gross.  I had pretty much daily phone calls to the girls at the vet’s office to make sure we were on the right treatment path.  It was a tough time as my instinct said that I should cold hose his sheath area, but my common sense said that cold hosing in single digit temps was potentially dangerous!

A week or so in Fawkes turned grumpy and moody.  He was unhappy with the horses in his neighboring paddocks.  He was unhappy with me.  He was unhappy with the boys changing his water.  He was unhappy with J feeding him hay.  Everything caused penned ears and unhappy eyes.

I spent some time just observing him and noticed that he was repeatedly pulling at his turnout and biting at his shoulder.  So with a modicum of trepidation, he is a big boy after all, I walked up to him and started scratching his shoulder under his blanket.  Initially he had his angry face on, but then it melted away and he started leaning into my hand as I scratched.  So I took off his blanket and started scratching all over his shoulders and as far down his back as he would let me.  Initially he would let me go as far as his withers but after a few minutes he was ok with letting me scratch him pretty much all over.  Unfortunately in the middle of our bonding session a car pulled up in our drive-way and I had to leave him but as soon as I came back to the fence he backed up and invited me to scratch his butt.  We have daily scratching sessions now and the unhappy grumpy mood has disappeared.

Fawkes has also been having weekly sessions with Nicole of EquiZen Horse Therapies.  I really have to say that these acupressure sessions have worked wonders on all my horses and Fawkes is no different.

Fawkes is learning what it means to be a pampered and loved horse and seeing him really blossom has been amazing!!  He’s gone from being a dull and grungy, unhappy horse to being a shiny, personable, gelding with a little bit of a sense of humor that pops up from time to time.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him!

 

 

Due to the things going on at the house between my last “Adventurous Recap” post and today I just haven’t had time to sit down and really recap what happened.

In a nutshell we stayed at the Luray Caverns West Motel, which was luckily within easy walking distance to a McDonalds (yuck I know, but it was food) and within the delivery range of several Italian places.

After an unsuccessful conversation with the local insurance agent we made the decision to go ahead and get a rental car (provided by our insurance) and head down to Michie Tavern for the day while we figured out how best to have the car repaired.

Michie Tavern definitely hit the spot and made up for 2 meals at McD’s!! Even Sophie hit her chicken limit… tho she still had plenty of room for dessert!

We had decided that our best course of action was to have J head up with our flat bed trailer (after getting a tow quote of somewhere near $1600) and M and Sophie to head down in the rental while I stayed at the motel with the car.  I was able to arrange for a friend to hang out with the boys at the farm and keep an eye on things while J and M were in transit but I had not taken into account how stressful this how adventure had been on them.  In hindsight I should have had J pile Martha and the boys into the truck and had him meet M somewhere along the way… however that didn’t happen and ultimately lead to situations that I will blog about at a later date.

I will say that 4 hours that I was solo in the motel with M and J on the road was horrific. My phone was refusing to charge properly and as I was the only female in the entire motel (the other occupants being well intoxicated golfers) I didn’t feel exactly comfortable just wandering around.  I had thought to spend some time sketching or writing but my pens and pencils had been nicked by Sophie for her trip back home.  So I dug out a book I had purchased in Carlisle.  Last Words of Sinners and Saints is not good reading when you’re slightly creeped out and by yourself.

It was a long 4 hours.

I felt so sorry for J.  He drove all that long way up to Luray, slept fitfully in a less than comfortable bed, loaded up the car and headed out again the next morning.  That was a lot of driving!! At least the return trip he had me chatting away in his ear… the whole time…. mostly nonstop.

So… We made it home… dropped the car off at David’s and started the process of getting the x5 back in working order.  Not going to lie but it’s been a serious undertaking.  So many things were damaged from that deer that had to be replaced… things that were damaged that damaged other things that had to be replaced.  At one point I seriously thought the car was going to be totaled but thankfully it was not.

The car was completed and ready to go just in time for our next trip to MD for feed.  Happily that trip went uneventfully and we have since changed feed to a locally available product which works out better for both our horses and our cars 🙂

Had I been able to write this closer to the time it happened I’m sure there would’ve been more humor but so many things that happened on this trip started the downward decline of Martha that I can’t really look at it with humor anymore.  Martha was always a sensitive person and would fret over perceived issues.  Her worry over us having a wreck, her worrying over M and J driving so far. Her worry over me being alone so far from home. Her worry over situations that happened with the boys while we were away.  All those worries surely didn’t help an already unwell woman.

 

So when I left off we were heading down to Charlottesville VA after having a splendid lunch at Market Cross Pub in Carlisle PA.

The trip had been one of discovery of the bells and whistles on our X5.  At the time, we had only had it a couple weeks so figuring out what this button and that button did was figuring prominently in our drives.  For the drive to Charlottesville we decided to use the in car GPS navigation only I failed to realize it was set to SHORTEST distance not FASTEST distance.  That coupled with my phone’s GPS navigation somehow getting switched to “avoid highways” found us turning off the 4 lane highway and onto twisty 2 lane roads…. at night… in rural Virginia.

So for the next hour… hours… I don’t really know but for the next while M fussed at me that I had routed us through twisty 2 lane DEER INFESTED mountain roads at night and that we would be making much better time to have stayed on the bigger highways.  And then we entered the land of no mobile signal.  Just nothing at all… the car’s GPS did an admirable job “real time” tracking us down the map but we were without GPS signal for much of the drive.

Every time I would get a few bars of signal I would double check our position and began mapping our way back to 81 so that we could shoot on down to Charlottesville… albeit a bit later than we had thought.  And then miraculously we came out on 211 and the road expanded into a nice 4 lane divided highway and we approached the town of Luray Va.  I took this opportunity to recheck our distance from 81 and the distance to the hotel we were hoping to stay at when there was a “bump” and M said “I think we hit something?”.

I remember thinking… “seriously M? I mean it’s a huge road… how do you not SEE something in the road??”

M gently brought the X5 to a halt at the side of the road and asked me to check if whatever we hit was somehow caught under the car and if I could pull it out so we could continue on our way.

So I got out and the latent 13 year old in me half flounced, half pouted my way to the front of the car.  Where I found this….

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M said she watched my face go from annoyed to blanched white to semi-panicky.  My brain was scrambling to process what we could’ve hit that would’ve been such a minor bump but cause so much damage. M had said she saw a flash of white and for whatever reason my brain could only come up with that we had hit a person.

I ducked my head in the car and told M I was going to head back up the road to see what we had hit and whipped out my phone to call J.

Now… the X5 was an emotional purchase for us.  J had found the car and after much consideration he and I bought it and gifted it to M as a Thank You for all the support she has given us over the years… through the birth of Sophie, J’s schooling, adopting the boys, my life long horse obsession…

So I dialed J, forgetting that my phone was linked to the car, however my phone has this quirky habit of switching between bluetooth and handset when you are actually talking into it so while my side of the conversation with J was actually “We have had a wreck, M is ok, Sophie is ok, I’m following the blood trail to see what we’ve hit”… J actually heard “We had a wreck…. Sophie…. blood trail”.

Chaos ensued.

M could hear the conversation as it was bouncing between my phone and the car and could hear J panicking thinking that Sophie had been thrown from the car and was hurt…  I could hear her screaming “WE ARE OK!!” but I thought she was having some sort of psychotic break and couldn’t figure out why J was flipping out other than he was upset about the car.

And the whole time I’m still walking up the road trying to find what we had hit I had people stopping to ask if we were ok and what we had hit bc they hadn’t seen anything as they approached….

Actually the conversation all 5 times went pretty much like this:

Them- Are you ok??
Me- Yes we are ok!

Them- Did you hit a deer?
Me- I don’t know

Them- Hey is that an X5?
Me- uhhhh ????

Seriously… I wish I were kidding.

So I kept trekking for what felt like a solid mile but was really only like a quarter when I heard rustling up the massive bank to my left just as I started to hear the cars going by running over wreck debris.  All I had was my mobile phone for a light so I tried my best to see across the road into the median where finally I did see the wispy white tail of a deer laying just off the road.  I couldn’t fully see the size of the deer but I figured it must be pretty small if it could see it’s tail and the back of it’s head with such a dim light.

So I hoofed it back to the car as a first responder pulled up.  He was a very kind man, unfortunately I don’t remember his name and in my agitated state I latched on to the fact that he looked a lot like my cousin Andy.

Our conversation:

Him- did you hit a deer?
Me- yes
Him- Did you find it?
Me- yes
Him- Can you show me where it is?
Me- unbelievably Andy it’s on the side of the road
Him- Ma’am my name isn’t Andy.
Me- Regardless the deer is in the median… I’ll show you where.
Him- OK… Please stay away from the edge of the road there are cars…
Me- Andy, I’m well aware that cars travel on the road… keep up
Him- Ma’am my name’s not Andy
Me- REGARDLESS, keep up.. deer is just ahead in the median
Him- Ma’am, you need to step away from the edge of the road
Me- So help me Andy… My father was a police officer I think I know how road safety works, furthermore if you would shine your light where I COULD SEE THE GROUND I wouldn’t have to walk so close to the flipping road.
Him- Ma’am really, my name’s not Andy.
Me- Look I  know your name isn’t Andy but for the duration of our interaction you are going to be ANDY… got it?
Him- Uhhh…. ok.

So we found the deer and started the walk back to the car as the first of 3 sheriff deputies pulled up.  M had already explained to them what happened and they asked me if we had found the deer to which I replied “yeah, I showed it to Andy” and as he opened his mouth to once again say his name wasn’t Andy I held up a finger and said “not a word”.

A confused look between the deputies and then uproarious laughter…. Between the deer scaring horns being knocked off by the deer and my insistence on calling the first responder Andy… hilarity was ensuing.

Then the conundrum of what to do about the car… we felt certain that we couldn’t move it as part of what appeared to be a radiator was laying on the ground. I was unaware that we still had BMW roadside assistance on the car but did remember that I have US Rider… or AAA for horse people as I like to call it.

So feeling all kinds of awesome I once again whip out my phone (which is now disconnected from the car thank goodness) and pull up the USRider app on my phone.  A quick punch of the Request Assistance button and I was connected to pleasant voiced man named Jeff.  He went through his initial protocol of questions: are we ok, is the vehicle safely off the road etc, and then once again… hilarity.

Jeff- Is your vehicle safely off the road
Me- Yes, I’m not in my truck and trailer, I’m in my car and yes it’s off the road.
Jeff- Is your trailer secure?
Me- Uhhhh…. yes?
Jeff- Are your horses secure?
Me- Jeff…. did you miss the part where I said I’m not pulling a trailer?
Jeff- yes ma’am however I’m required to ask if your horses are secure.
Me (now feeling snarky)- Well Jeff, I’m hoping that my horses are secure but quite honestly I don’t know seeing as how I’m approximately 7 hours from where they are located and they are under the care of my husband who is the person in charge of fence repairs but no Jeff I cannot unequivocally tell you that my horses are secure.
Jeff- ummm… so that’s a yes?
Me- sure.
Jeff- OK, now is your trailer a gooseneck or bumper pull?
Me- Jeff….
Jeff- I know but we have to ask….
Me- you did catch that I said I’m driving a BMW?
Jeff- yes
Me- have you seen a BMW pulling a horse trailer recently?
Jeff- uhhh…..???
Me- so if I were driving a say Miata… would you still be asking my about my trailer?
Jeff (now amused and resigned)- yes ma’am we are required to follow a script to assess the need.
Me- I sooo hope this call is being recorded… just to illustrate the absurdity of asking an addlepatted person if their trailer that’s 2 states away is secure….
Jeff- I understand… now ma’am I need to ask where exactly you are located?
Me- I’m in the middle of nowhere VA.
Jeff- hmmm…. could you narrow that down a little?
Me- Ahhh Jeff I see you are now going to speak my language of sarcasm and dry wit
Jeff- Yes ma’am, I’m fluent in both
Me- Jeff… you may be awesome

And then the conversation devolved into trying to figure out where we were and in what direction we were heading…. which gave the deputies another good chuckle.  Jeff promised to send help quickly and promised as well to call back within 10 minutes to check on us again.

I received both a text and a call back from Jeff which seriously… HUGE thumbs up for US Rider… I wasn’t expecting so much coddling and it was greatly appreciated.

My second talk with Jeff was equally awesome…

Jeff- We have contacted a company that is sending a driver out to pick up your car shortly… do you have the address of where you want the car towed?
Me- Well Jeff we’re thinking we are just going to have the car towed across the street to this small motel that has a large parking lot and appears to have vacancies…
Jeff- Yes ma’am… I’m looking up an address to send the driver now
Me- OK
Jeff- Ma’am that appears to be literally across the road from where you are located.
Me- It is.
Jeff- The driver may have a distance minimum he needs to drive….
Me- You know Jeff… if the driver really needs to make a mileage quota he can feel free to circle this stretch of highway to his heart’s content so long as my car is secure.
Jeff- I will make a note of that.
Me- Awesome.
Jeff- So this motel is associated with which national chain?
Me- Jeff… it’s like a Bates motel starter location… it looks dark and very creepy… let’s put it this way… If you hear about a South Carolina family that was murdered in a small Virginia motel… that’ll be me Jeff… that’ll be me.
Jeff- I’ll come to your funeral.
Me- Thank you Jeff… really appreciate that… that’s serious customer service there.
Jeff- least I can do ma’am…

Seriously… I hope that Jeff’s supervisors understand that he’s awesome and went above and beyond what I expected as my experiences with AAA have been brusque and argumentative while everything to do with US Rider was easy and friendly.  All my equestrian friends definitely need to look into US Rider!

Next up… checking into the Luray Caverns Motel West….

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