Earth Day was born. Happy 45th Birthday, Earth Day!
I think this is why I don’t remember it from my childhood school days. It was too new. Nobody was doing anything to celebrate, recognize, or acknowledge April 22nd, Earth Day. It just sort of snuck up on me later in life.
Later this week I’ll dress up as Grandmother Earth (I made her up as one of my “characters”, she’s the Mother of Mother Earth) and head to a local school.
I’ll read a book, one of my favorites, either We Were Tired Of Living In A House or The Great Kapok Tree. Then we’ll talk about Earth Day and taking care of our home (the Earth) and everything that is on it. And we’ll do a craft. Which reminds me, I need a craft. Hmmm.
This year on actual Earth Day, April 22nd, I’m really celebrating. I am doing something INCREDIBLE. Something totally incredibly awesome TO me and FOR me. I am headed some where special, my favorite place. Where? OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE. Oh, I like it there, in that place.
This time that place is going on a horse camp-out. Me! Now, when I first moved to the country I took a few horseback riding lessons. I’ve mentioned my fantastic instructor many times before because she has been so good for me in so many ways. Anyway, she said to me, “Hey, let’s go on a horse camp-out one day.” To which I scrunched up my face and looked at her and said, “Are you kidding me? Have you met me? I dream of being that person. But I’m not there….”
Am I that person? No. This is out of my comfort zone. The only time I have camped as an adult was in my backyard when I lived in Atlanta and with the girl scout troop on our pasture last year.
I have an image in my head. I’ve tried to find it because I’m sure I didn’t make it up. But I haven’t been able to locate it. But somewhere, some time I saw a photograph of MaryJane. She was off in the distance with tents and horses, looking all cowgirly Annie Oakely awesomely amazing fantastic. And I thought–What a thing to do!! Camp with horses! I wish I were more like her. Man sakes alive, she is hellacool.
And now I’m going to do it.
So I bought a tent. A really really awesome tent. Vintage looking. And then I put it together in the yard. It took two hours.
Then I came inside and watched a youtube video of a guy putting together this tent. The guy did it in about 5 minutes. Impressive. He made it look so E-A-S-Y.
I have scoured the Internet, pumped outdoorsy friends, and relied heavily on my friend who is taking me, who is my first horseback instructor who first put the idea in my head that I could actually do this.
I’m including this list for you and me. Me, because if I don’t make a list these days, I forget. You, because somebody out there may be a total city girl like me and have no idea how to camp. Much less tent-camp with horses. Hopefully this will help.
Here is a list of what I need for myself for one night of tent camping:
*sleeping bag (mine came with a pad…which, let me interupt this list to tell a story. So I bought a new sleeping bag and it came with a sleeping pad. I didn’t even know such a thing existed–a sleeping pad? So I get it out to try it and I can’t figure out how to pump the pad up. I pretty much decide that I’ll leave it home until I have time to figure it out. Then, I think–internet! So I go to their website and there is my sleeping bag and pad. Do they mention EXACTLY HOW to inflate it? No. So I send them an email
Here is my email:
“okay, I hate to be a camping idiot, but apparently I am.
51, never been camping. I bought your combination sleeping bag and pad. because it was cute. ta-da! why else?
Anyway, my question is this: how do I inflate the pad? I looked on your website and can’t find the answer. Is there something I need?
Thanks for the 411!”
Guess how one inflates the pad? You’ll not believe this. All you do is unscrew this little lid in the corner of the pad and it inflates itself. !! No pump needed. I stand amazed at how camping has advanced since I was 10.
*firewood, kindling, matches
*flashlight, head lamp, extra batteries
1. sweats and t-shirt to sleep in
2. trail shoes for camp and hiking
3. flannel shirt I never leave home without a long-sleeved flannel shirt. what a perfect piece of clothing.
1. pants (I bought some riding pants online at a terrific price. They are on the tight-side. sigh. But I’m keeping them anyway in hopes that they will one day fit perfectly well, you know after I lose those 10 pounds I’ve been meaning to lose but keep forgetting to.In the meantime, I’ll deal with it. And because riding pants are so clingy anyway and I’m not a clingy clothes person, I’ll wear a loose fitting large…
2. shirt to cover up my bum because riding pants are tight anyway, even the ones that fit. If you buy riding pants that are a bit too small then you really want and need a cover up. It’s like those leggings people wear, you know that saying, “leggings aren’t pants.”
3.riding boots and socks (I like thick ones with my boots)
4. helmet ( I don’t look cool in it, but I look smart, because smart riders always wear a helmet. Wear your helmet!)
Now, the thing about taking horses is that it complicates it. Remember when you had your first child and made your first trip out of the house? You were like, I need ALL OF THIS?!?!?! Well, it is the same way with a horse. A horse needs a lot of stuff.
So here’s what I need for my horse:
1. hay and haybag
2. bucket for water
3. electrolytes for water
4. bucket for vitamins/feed
5. boots since he doesn’t wear shoes
6. leg protectors
7. halter and lead rope, plus one extra
8. bridle and bit and breast plate
I got a new one for Snickers, who I am now calling Cowboy Dan. Don’t ask. Okay, ask.
9. saddle, saddle pad
10. first aide kit
11. treats, of course
12. manure fork, muck bucket
13. shavings for stall. Yes and Yay, there is a stall for the horses at the place we are camping. I’m so glad about that. The only thing that makes me nervous there is that my horses don’t know how to be in a stall. They are used to be in wide open spaces. We shall see how that goes.
Now, about the camp food. Food is always one of my favorite parts about….well, everything. So, camping surely will be no different.
Snacks: apples, tangerines, jerky (because my friend loves it; we’re going to try turkey jerky), granola bars, trail mix.
I’ve already mixed the trail mix and put it in little snack bags.
Dinner, Earth Day Eve:
Hobo Pockets: potatoes, onions, carrots, peas, butter, sausage.
(these are hobo pockets from the Girl Scout Camp Out here at my Farm.)
S’Mores: chocolate bars, graham crackers, marshmallows.
Lunch on the Trail: PB sandwiches: peanut butter, bread, pretzels
Drinks: water and wine. tea bags for hot tea.
Essentials: plates, silverware, coffee cup
Have I thought of everything?
Oh wait, the bandanas! This time I’ll take two. I always knew I needed ONE for camping, Girl Scouts taught me and I like wearing one around my head. But the second one I didn’t know about until my friend told me, it is for the other end and is called a “pee rag.” Never. Knew. About. That.
Here’s my pile of stuff:
The Cat Litter Bucket is something I can’t live without. I use them for everything. On this trip, I’m packing my dry goods in it. I know what you’re thinking, but believe me, I’ve used and washed that bucket out so many times, there are no traces of cat litter in there.
Oh and isn’t my backpack awesome. It looks vintage, but isn’t. I heart it.
One final thing. Several years ago I decided to learn to play the guitar. As you know, life is full. And old brains learn slower than new brains. So, things haven’t really come together for me. I pretty much quit when everyone else does, the F Chord.
But I do have a travel guitar and maybe one day I’ll know enough songs to justify the space it would take up in my truck. I include this photo because of who photobombed it; he came around the corner just when the camera clicked the pic! Say hello to H.C. (full name H.C.W.C.N.M.: House Cat Wild Cat No More). My daughter actually kissed the top of his head yesterday. Still can’t pick him up or hold him, but we’re getting there!
I’m so psyched! Here I go!!!
Wish me good luck. I’ll need it.
Never too old to dream….and to live ’em.
Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!
Lots of love, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah