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Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 263 - Git Yer Yee Haw On...

Giddy up! I was excited for today - Mom & I were meeting my cousin & heading off to the Stampede. My cousin, Jori, is a teacher in Roswell, New Mexico & I can't remember the last time I saw her! She has been on a 'Western Canadian' tour, visiting the relatives here, there & everywhere. I knew we were going to have a fun day when we pulled up in the Safeway parking lot & her car looked like a ghost car. It was a big ol' silver Lincoln with black tinted windows. The best part was her license plate - 740 PMS. Ha ha. And she didn't even have to pay for personalized plates. Too funny!

Just our luck, we decided to hit Stampede on a wonderful stormy day. Apparently the weather hasn't been too great so far & today was no exception. Lovely dark clouds, downpours & some brutal hail hit the city this afternoon. Luckily we didn't get the hail! 

We parked in the City of Calgary parking lot & thankfully we didn't get towed. Supposedly after 5 p.m. it is a STARS parking lot & you can donate money to help out STARS. Mom didn't know that. We thought it was a STARS parking lot all day! Luckily the car was still there at the end of the day!

We were late (of course) for the rodeo, but we ended up going anyhow. We managed to catch a fair bit of it. It was a great time! Flint Rasmussen was the rodeo clown & Jori went to University with him. She also knew a lot of the barrel racers. Jori also had the good fortune of being affiliated with the winning horse at the Kentucky Derby - Mine That Bird. It was a very exciting time for my Mom's side of the family. Jori's Mom races horses & our Grandpa had a love of racing horses all his life. It was pretty amazing that someone in our family was in the Winner's Circle!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch... er, rodeo... We were entertained to no end. Flint was hilarious, the barrel racing was intense - it was pretty soupy in the arena after all the rain, and the bull riding was really good too! Of course, the end of the rodeo brought us the wild pony race, which has teams of 3 kids. They give the kids the halter shank and then let the horse out of the chute. They have to get one kid on the horse & ride it for 'a while'. In all that mud, it was VERY entertaining!

After the rodeo, we wandered through the BMO Centre to look at all of the exhibits. I enjoyed looking around at all the interesting displays. I found a 'blingy' belt that called my name & also met a couple from Victoria that sell Springbok bags. The husband is from South Africa, so I enjoyed chatting with them about my beloved South Africa. :o) 

I also bumped into Shawna Whiteside. She is the creator & owner of Sweet Iron Silver & was busy making the belt buckles for the winners of Stampede. I was excited to see her, as she has just finished her quest in conquering breast cancer. I have seen various Facebook updates from Shawna & she has sailed through her treatments with grace, humour & of course, a little attitude! She was very encouraging & I was so glad I bumped into her. She is amazing & an inspiration like no one else! She still has a few rounds of chemo left to do, but she shared with me the events of her last week. She had reconstructive surgery on Friday. Her appendix burst on Monday. She was out of the hospital at noon on Tuesday & setting up her booth at 1430 the same day. Stampede means she has 14 hour days for 10 days straight! Can you say 'Trooper'!!!??? Wow! What a gal! What an inspiration!

I was exhausted after a full day of walking around. Anxious to get home, Mom & Jori actually beat me home! I had talked for so long to Shawna & the South Africans that I left later than planned! I was given a boost when I hopped on the shuttle bus to take me down Spiller Road & the gal across from me commented on my haircut & how well it suited me. *grin* It makes my day when someone comments on it, as it is a big change! I love it, but it's always nice to be reassured that someone else out there thinks it looks good too! 

When I arrived home, I was happy to see the Stephan's camping in the yard. Collet & Dave were in limbo between a family reunion & a wedding. I told them to come & visit rather than pay camping fees elsewhere. Collet was still up & we had a quick chat before we both crashed. I was pretty excited to see her. Her belly is big & beautiful!!! We're going to do some photos before they go. I can't wait!!! 

Okay. This cowgirl's done & dusted. It's time to hit the hay... G'nite y'all...
Maria & Valentina

Best plates ever!

The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth!

Sorry Mom! You're on the fisheye film!

Checking out the heavy horse action!

The Bobsey Triplets!

**There were more photos, but I think I deleted them by accident. Smooth, I know.**


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