Let me start this week off with a little rant about technology. I had had this post written already (no this is not an excuse- it's nothing but the sad truth); and when I went to add pictures to it - POOF- gone. Stupid stupid computer. Stupid technology. Stupid everything (*pout here*). So here we go, take two of week four:
Rodeo day!!!! I was beyond excited, everyone had told us so much about the rodeo that we couldn't wait to see it in person. It was a really cool day, before we left for the rodeo we did our regular daily chores with one exception: we let the horses out. Now that I guess I'll have to explain. During the winter, the horses are kept in an area called the rodeo grounds. Basically it's an unfinished riding arena that once was and once it's restored will again be a rodeo ground. The reason for that is just that it makes feeding them a lot easier, this way all we have to do is drive into the rodeo grounds with the flatbed pick-up and throw the hay off. Anywho, Thursday was nice enough for us to let them run out into the large pasture for the first time so that they could all stretch their legs etc. Have you ever seen the movie Spirit? (If anyone answered no- watch it. Now!) Seeing 21 horses gallop straight towards you (I was standing by the fence) is just a magical sight. Their hooves made the snow fly up and it was just gorgeous! Evening rolled around and it was finally time to leave for Rapid City. The rodeo was amazing! There were so many events, calf roping, barrel riding, bucking stock riding (basically like bull riding, but with bucking horses) and of course bull riding, amongst a few other small events like a competition amongst cowboys to see who could load their horses into a trailer the fastet etc. It really is like everyone always imagines it. The cowboys have to stay on their bull or bucking horse for eight seconds and if they manage that they get a score based on all kinds of different criteria like posture, the position of their legs (they're not allowed higher than the saddle or something like that) and loads of other stuff that I don't know. It was so exciting and it all happpened so fast. I tried to take as many pictures as possible, but most of them came out blurred (thats how fast it was ;) ). It was a long day, we got home at around eleven pm and just fell into bed.
Friday was a low-key kind of day. We went to the Stock Show for a third time just to wander around and look at all of the stalls again and when we got home we groomed the horses. It was a beautiful day, 21°C, crazy weather for February, but hey- I'm not complaining! All in all it was a good day after the rodeo because we were all pretty tired from the long day we'd had.
Another relaxed day. We had to clean the pens again, which is a nice way of saying we shoveled poop for most of the day. It was quite windy as well, which, let me tell you; poop and wind....not the greatest of combinations. The thing is, once the stuff is dry, it blows all over the place very easily. Let's just leave it at that. Showers were a neccessity.
Tumbleweeds and sleeping in were the key words on Sunday. We had lots of chores to do (yes, poop again) and we also had the task of freeing the pastures of the tumleweeds. Now, you know how in those old westerns, these dry bushes tumble across the prairie? That's literally what it's like. Only that it's not as cool-looking in real life. For one, they have little thorn-like things on them, so if you grab them the wrong way, it hurts (been there, done that *cough*), and secondly, they blow frickin everywhere. We had to heave them over the pasture fence because they'd accumulated and were getting so heavy that they could've knocked the fence down. So, the good samaritans we are, we freed the fence and left the tumbleweeds to continue their tumbling in someone elses yard.
The first day we really worked with the horses in the round-pen. I got to lunge one of the horses by myself for the first time. It was so cool to be able to interact with them that way, I learned a lot about body language and how to "spook-proof" a horse. Basically, the horse needs to be shown all kinds of things like a flag waving over their head or a long whip stroking their side (never hitting them, but just so that they get used to the light touch of something on their back) and everything, so that you can be sure that your horse won't blow up on you when you go out into traffic and stuff with it. It was so warm that I could actually walk around in a tshirt, I couldn't believe it . We also watched Pitch Perfect (another great movie), ate some seriously good steaks (except for Lea- she's a vegetarian) and laughed a lot. Whenever the sun shines, it just brightens up everyones mood.
Field trip! We went to visit Hill City, a quaint little western town near Crazy Horse and Mt. Rushmore. Not a lot was open, because most stores, restaurants and even hotels here are closed during the winter season, because no one but us is apparently crazy enough to visit South Dakota during the winter. It was still really fun, we went into one of the MANY rock shops (seriously, South Dakota has rock shops like Germany has mattress stores....craaaaaaazy...I mean, they all have the same rocks and lets face it....rocks aren't that interesting.) It's still fun to look around in one though, so that's what we did for a little bit. Moving on from rocks, we saw a chocolate store that was open and went in. Oh my! The chocoholic in me still gets the giggles when I think about it. Rows of freshly made fudge, pralines, truffles and caramels...amazing. We all kind of went a littel crazy and needless to say, I had a major sugar rush later that day). But we hadn't had lunch yet. We drove by a little house with a sign saying "Pizza Mill". Figuring that pizza is always a good choice we went in - and were not disappointed. The pizza was huge, delicious, and the crust was a specialty that tasted amazing with a little honey drizzled over it (don't judge until you've tried it,ok?) We were so full when we got home, until dinner came round and we had tortellini. You can't not eat something when there are tortellini, so we didn't have a choice but to stuff ourselves...daaaaang it. We finished the night by watching Despicable Me ("it's so fluffy I'm gonna dieeeee") because Lea hadn't seen it and let's face it- you have to have seen it!
We had to get up at five am to drive to an all-day music event for the kids in Rapid City, so of course, I slept horribly. In a great mood due to a lack of sleep and the freakin cold weather, I was kinda angry all day, and it didn't help that all we basically did was sit around. I mean, hearing the kids play their various instruments was lots of fun, but a roomfull of people practicing trumpets and other loud instruments at seven in the morning...not really my thing. The things that brightened up the day: glazed donuts and chinese food.
And with that, we conclude not only week 4, but also my first month in the US. Crazy how fast time flies. I'm still a little miffed about having had to write this post twice, so I'll leave you here and I'll see you next time.
Love you all lots,