Monday, January 19, 2009

More Jane

I love my friend Jane. She has been awesome on a million different levels and today is her feliz cumpleanos. Our very first interaction was in 2006, when I was in Tuscaloosa doing a second interview with the company for which I now work. I'd forgotten my then RAZR telephone was in my pocket and was even more horrified when, in a one-on-one meeting with the CEO it rang. And not just rang, totally Madonna "Get Together" ringtone rang.

The saving grace was that there was a 205 area code and the last 4 numbers were 5000; ironically the same as my company. Because I hadn't memorized the number I thought perhaps it was someone with the company calling to reference my 8-hour day of 2nd interviews, and so we collectively agreed I should answer the telephone.

What I got was, "Robby? This is Jane, OMG, you're going to love living here."

And thusly we became insta-BFF.

Now Jane is a dressage queen, but the good kind, so don't judge. She loves her horse and takes stellar care of not only him, but also half of the other barn including my own horse. It's very selfless and I am routinely humbled and eternally grateful. But, like many dressage queens, she can be quick to cheat on pulling manes.

If you've ever braided for a dressage show, or hung out with DQ's, you will learn they have 1 million and 1 tips on how to groom a mane to make it look like it's been pulled even though it hasn't so a.) your braids are impossible and b.) you wind up having to pull anyway and c.) it's not that big of a deal. There is a reason people will pay you for professional grooming services, however, and that's something I've learned through osmosis.

As such I feel it's my duty to share tips and secrets with people, and a few months ago Jane and I tackled her pony's beautiful mane and within 20 minutes it was gorgeous and even more important SHE DID IT! That's my Jane - an evolver who isn't scared to get her hands dirty.

For friends like this, I like to give them little grooming buckets for gifts that include some of my basic tips and tricks - most of which can be obtained at a local grocery or discount store. Since Jane competes her horse, I got this big idea that I would pre-cut braiding yarn for her and decorate her bucket with it. There are 12 braids on the handle, each with 12 yarns, and probably 60 more for the "tail."

I also included:

  • White vinegar. It's amazing for taking out soap suds and residue and putting a shine on your freshly-bathed horse.
  • Micro-fiber towels. Love them for last minute dust-removal before you go into the ring.
  • A big chenille sponge which is kind on the pony while you scrub him down.
  • Olive Oil conditioner which is fantastic for keeping manes and tails in show-shape.
  • Rubber-palmed gardening gloves which make mane and tail pulling a virtual cinch.
I loved the bucket itself too. Flat-backed, it will fit nicely alongside the trailer wall or inside a tack trunk.

It's always fun to do something creative, but especially for a friend you love and respect.

Happy Birthday Jane!

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