Do Ride - Welcome

To all those who Do Ride - Welcome to my Blog! Many of my students asked me to design a blog so that they could follow me on my travels and adventures. Enjoy!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Back in the USA!

Ok, so orginally, I thought this blog was only for when I was in Australia, but my thoughts have changed!  I'm back in the USA a few weeks early.  Why?  Long story short - I wasn't getting to play a high enough level polocrosse.  So, I picked up my toys and went home.  Am I being selfish?  Maybe a little because now is a time I have to think about me and how I can best prepare for the World Cup.  Honestly, playing D grade in Australia wasn't it.  Now, I'm back and working my butt off. Although, there have been a few bumps in the road...

1.  I returned just in time to practice with my entire World Cup Team - YAY!!  (that isn't a bump, but the next part is...)  The day after I get home, and the day before our practice, my brand new, beautiful, lovely, fabulous, and very cranky horse, Dancer, kicked me in the shin.  No I didn't punish her because she put me to the ground!!  Holy crap - you don't know pain until a horse let's their hind hoof meet your shin bone.  I might have shed a tear (or two) along with a few unpleasant words, that I shall not repeat here.  Any way, Paul (my father-in-law) took a peek at it and there was blood soaking through my knee high sock from a pretty good size hole in my leg. Since the kick was directly on the shin bone and I had a World Cup practice the next  day, Paul thought it might be smart to get it examined by a doctor.   So, off to the ER we went.  On the way, Paul and I were trying to figure our how many hospitals we had been to together.  We are going to try to cut back on the numbers a bit this year... 

Any way, all is fine, a couple stitches and no broken bone (although it hurt a lot and pain killers were necessary).  Tumpie - if you're reading this - I now understand why all those years ago you were so nervous about your stitches on your shin.  It is kind of nerve wrecking.  The stitches themsleves really didn't hurt at all.  What didn't help was how Paul and the nurse were discussing how the needle was very blunt and how it required quite a bit of force to push through the skin.  Needless to say, I felt nauseous.  Pretty sure Paul also has minute by minute photos or video of the whole thing...  Might not let him publicly post it because I can't remember if I shaved my legs before the injury...

2.  On to bump numero dos, which actually turned out to be pretty cool in the end.  Dancer (or as Aubrey likes to call her - Cranky Peaches) was lame!  Absess in her front left foot.  So, I couldn't play her at the team practice or at the tournament the next weekend.  (Quick interjection - team practice went really well.  Maybe more details on that later, but I'm trying to stay more focused in my writing - like that is going to happen!)  Was I bummed?  YES!!!!  I'm so in love with this horse it is crazy.  She is my favorite horse to ride out of all the horses I'm riding right now.  The coolest part about that is, she is mine.  Uncoolest part, she has a stinkin' absess, literally - stinkin'.  So, Dancer is out for the weekend and Zeta went to Florida with Susan.  My hot bottom is not a calming thing for Zeta's buzzed mind - so Susan is going to work her magic to bring Zeta back down to earth (mentally and physically).  Next in line - POPCORN!!  Man, I love that little pony.  I body clipped her and roached her mane and now she is not only cute, but aerodynamic.  She may be only 13.2ish, but man she is freaking awesome.  She pushes big horses all over the field and is quick quick quick!!  Had a blast playing her :) 

3.  Bump three...  So, Dancer is sound and yesterday was a Polocrosse practice at Camp Waldemar with the New Mexicans (is that what you call people from New Mexico??).  I was really looking forward to going and practicing Dancer and Zig Zag (yes, Ziggy got to go, too!!) and coaching some of the players at practice.  Well, here comes the bump, on Wednesday evening I was brushing my teeth and what happened - part of my tooth cracked and fell out!  And people said Polocrosse is dangerous - I lost a tooth brushing my teeth.  Maybe I'm brushing a little agressively... Anyway - AHHHH!!  It is the third from the back on the right side.  Oh yes, when I smile you can see the chip.  And you all know, I can't smile without showing ALL of my teeth!  I felt like a toothless hill billy - even though I was only missing a piece of one tooth. 

So, I had to get this fixed ASAP.  Well it was almost 6pm on a Wednesday, not happening imediately.  Thursday morning, I am up before the sun body clipping Dancer (because she will go to Polocrosse this weekend and at this point, I'm still determined to make it to practice).  She HATED the body clippers.  I know, I know - hate is a strong word and that is why I'm using it.  She hated them.  So, I pulled out the little tiny clippers that I normally use to do manes, ears, muzzles, all the little things and began to clip her with those.  Since she accepted them, I body clipped her with the baby clippers.  I wouldn't say she was happy about it, but she didn't kick me (BONUS!).  Just a note for those who might see her this weekend before I arrive at the tournament - I clipped her with baby clippers in the barn with one light.  I haven't gotten to take a look at her in the sunlight.  Don't judge my clip until I get a chance to clean it up a bit.  I have a feeling it needs it...

Back to the tooth... I get cleaned up and head into town to drop by the dentist's office hoping that me looking pitiful, my tooth chip, and an explanation of the pain I'm in will score me an immediate appointment.  Well, apparently the dentists of Elgin, Texas are extremely busy and could fit me in on Monday - WHAT!?  So, I call my mother in law Jatana - She finds me a super dentist who fits me in at 10:30.  I go, he checks out my tooth, does some numbing, some drilling, and some removing of my nerve because I need a root canal.  There's some good news (hint of sarcasm there).  This guy was the best dentist ever, or at least the best I have ever encountered.  He said my root canal was going to be a bit tricky so he recommended me to another guy, who turned out to be a bit harsh with the needles for numbing.  Root canal was done yesterday afternoon.  The doctor warned me that I might feel pain today and the next couple days because my tooth was really angry...  Not a lot of pain at the time (once I survived the violent numbing process where the roof of my mouth was under attack and stabbed) and really not a lot of pain now (thanks to the vicodin).  Now, I have a temporary cap, which is oober white and I believe it could be a ploy to make me me realize how far from white my teeth are and that whitening is something I might want to consider.  In a week or two I will get the permanent cap put on. 

Just a quick thank you to the teeth helpers: Mams, Mom, Jatana, and Susan.  Love you ladies and wouldn't have been able to get through that without you all.  Thanks for your help. 

That is three bumps we just went over.  No more, please.  I'm ready to leave this bumpy road and find a nice smooth ride all the way to the World Cup.  Yes, I will be playing this weekend.  Nothing is going to stop me from playing Polocrosse :)  It will be very fun to play Dancer and I'm excited for our team that we have a really cool cooler ( that Pat Hensley donated to our team to raffle off.  I hope it will make us a few dollars to ease the financial burden of our trip to the UK.  Plus, it is a pretty sweet bag that has some wine from Chateau St. Croix (thanks, Laura!).  I'm going to make sure Daniel buys a few tickets - maybe he'll win it :) 

Also, since I'm on the subject of World Cup and fundraising... I know a few people have asked me what they can do to support me in my journey to the WC.  Now the team has a "Friend of the World Cup" sponsorship packet.  That means anyone who donates $100 to a specific player (or to the team) will recieve recognition on the APA website and in the Nationals program.  Plus, they will recieve a special hat (it is the red hat with the blue brim that I'm wearing in my facebook profile picture) that only Friends of the WC and team members wear.  If anyone would like to support me, I would really appreciate it :)  You can check out:, then click Make a Donation at the top right side of the page (above the team picture).  Make sure to clarify whether you want the donation to go to a secific player or the team. 

Also, our team needs duffle bags (a set of 12) and polo shirts (again, set of 12) to wear around while in England.  If you, or someone you know has a company who would like to get their logo some international exposure and be a supporter of team USA - email me and I'll get you more details.   Thanks.

Ok, so I guess that is all for now.  Time for me to get packing for the weekend and then head to Prissy's for a couple lessons.  From there, I'll hop in the Shuttles truck and head to Hunt, Texas.  :)  Waldemar, I'll see you this afternoon!


Monday, February 28, 2011

Ballarat Tournament

So, this past weekend was the Ballarat Tournament.  I got to play Dash and I was very excited about it because she seemed awesome when I practiced her on Thursday evening.  When I got to the grounds, we found our horse pens and got the ponies settled in.  Then, Jesse and his grandfather, John, helped me set up my tent - which had an awning and many secret storage places.  It was pretty sweet.  Next, we went to check the draw (team list and schedule - haven't worked out if the "draw" is both of those, but that is what people call it over here).  I must admit, I was dissappointed to be in D grade, again.  I have played more times in D grade here on this trip than I have EVER played in D grade my entire life.  Good news, I'm the captain and a #3.  I was totally bummed, but tried to be excited, because I love polocrosse and I am getting to play more polocrosse here than I would be at home, regardless of the grade.   So, off I went to spend some money on some Milner equipment.  I bought a new racket - it is little and flimsy and light weight, just like my old one.  Chances are good it will break in a few months.  Right now, I will keep it safe as a back up.  I also bought a new Milner whip and realized that Milner equipment (atleast from this dealer) is $10 more expensive over here than it is in the states... weird. 

All weekend, I played with my new monster racket and it was great. The little flimsy one just sat by the side line waiting to be used if needed.  Dash went AMAZING!  We played #3 the entire time, except one chukka where I played the #1.  Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly, but I think only 5 goals were scored on us all weekend.  2 in the first game, and then 1 in every game after that.  We made it to the final, against our own club team (Go Moorooduc!) and won.  I was so proud of Dash and how well she played and sooo excited to play her next weekend.  Unfortunately, she had a HUGE hematoma on her belly after the final.  It is too far down to be spurs, almost on the bottom of her barrel.  I thought maybe I put the girth too tight.  Somebody said she burst a blood vessel and it was probably caused by a hard hit.  None-the-less, I will not be playing her this upcoming weekend.  Bummer.  I should get to play on Dick, but Pete says I should play the #2.  That's fine, except I don't know if I'll be able to go up a grade as a #2 and I am just crossing my fingers I am not in D grade again. 

Watched the Australian team play - they are pretty good. 

Just looked outside and the rain has stopped - have to go ride some ponies!  Will write more soon.


correct phone number

Thanks, Mom, for the call this morning!  It was great to hear your voice.  You all will be grateful Mom figured out the code to call me, too.  Apparently, the first email I sent out had a wrong number and then in my blog, I put a different wrong number.  Between those two, mom was able to figure out the correct number.  Bless the lady who has been getting all the calls from people.  Any way, the correct new number is...

0406650507.  That is 040-665-0507

Hope this helps.  Would love to hear from everyone.  Daniel and I have recently discovered that skype has a chat that is really fun.  So if you all want to skype chat me, I'm normally on in my evenings.  My skype name is Dori.Mae.Johnson 

Sorry for the confusion.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rules for Riding in Bathing Suits.

Something about today was just wonderful.  Started off right - I woke up before my alarm went off, fed the horses, and went for a run.  I ran one lap further than I was planning and still feel pretty good now (we'll see how I feel tomorrow).  After that I enjoyed my breakfast and did some racket work on Ozzie.  It was much warmer today and I got to get a bit of sun while riding.  Yes, I did wear sunscreen :)  Any way, racket work went well and I really am starting to fall for my new racket... totally different than my last one, but I think it could still be love ;) 

Ozzie was a charmer and is a lovely horse to do racket work on - just easy.  Next was Dick, who I will further refer to as Richard, because I feel like his name makes this blog go from G to PG13...  Any way, Richard is not quite as pleasant to exercise. He was a bit of a... well, let's just say he is appropriately named.  Once he warmed up we started to get some nice trot work with him working on the bit and bending. He loves to bend right, but left leaves much to be desired.  I can't wait to get the chance to play him, as I'm sure he can't wait to get the chance to play.  Then it will give him a break from exercise, which is basically dressage work on hills disquised by the term conditioning.  It is obvious that Richard is an athlete and I am quite sure he is a machine on the polocrosse field.  I will know for sure in a few weeks. 

Next, I rode the two young horses that just returned from the trainer's.  The big bay mare is so handsome, but her canter is wonky...maybe she will grow into herself soon.  The little black gelding is sweet and super light and smooth.  He is going to be a lovely ride as his training continues.  Both were good and I was able to take them for a short ride down the Butt Kicker and into a flat paddock where I worked on circles and steering.  Both were so cute walking up the Butt Kicker - they kept trying to turn around and go back down!  I was like, I know guys, I totally empathize with you - one foot infront of the other, the top will come soon enough. 

After a bit of down time and lunch, where I got to finish the movie Bourne Ultimatum (can't wait to see Bourne Supremacy), I got to do more racket work - YAY!  So tonight, two old polocrosse blokes (guys) came out to help Jesse and I with a few things.  It was a blast and I learned a few new tricks that I can't wait to bring back and show my polocrosse friends and students.  Most of them were legal ;)  Dash was awesome.  She is certainly going to be a big powerhouse this weekend.  I'm am seriously excited about playing her.  She accelerates sooo quickly and has a pretty good stop, but she can get strong.  It will be a work out, but I'm thinking it's going to be a good weekend :) 

We came up with some good saying that should help my game... "Sit on your ass and let them pass" (sorry for the profanity - but that is what they said!).  So, once I get the ball, I can sit and relax a bit - let everyone just fly by.  No need to run crazy with them.  Another saying: "When they're rollin', you're strollin'" - Meaning when everyone else is running like crazy, I can relax and just take my time once I have the ball.  Just thought those were cute :)

So, to top it all off, Gray's Anatomy was on tonight!!!!!!!  Yes, they are about half a season behind us, but still, I love that show and it was great to watch it.  Derek and Gray are so cute - just love it. 

Now, I'm off to bed and regretting the earlier idea of riding horses in a bathing suit top.  The sun got a bit mean on my lower back.  Will need more sunscreen tomorrow.  While riding today, I got to thinking, there should be a check list people go through when planning to ride with minimal clothing.  It might read something like this:

Checklist for riding in a bathing suit:
1. Be aware of surroundings
2. Plan a route with minimal public traffic
3. Stay away from constuction sites
4. Stay away from schools (especially during recess)
5. Ride a comfortable, smooth, settled horse.

So, besides #1 and part of #2, I did not check much off the checklist.  I was definitely aware of my surroundings and picked a place to ride that I thought would keep me away from the public.  If I rode in the bush, all the helicopter guys would've been there - bad plan.  So I decided to ride in the side paddock.  I thought, well it is by a road, but there are lots of trees - I'll be fine.  As Richard and I were sorting out our differences trotting down a hill I hear "beep, beep, beep"  Oh yes, the sound of construction workers... there they are working away on a site adjacent to the property I'm riding on - awesome.  If that wasn't good enough, a school yard full of children see me riding and start pointing.  Now, I'm riding half naked (well I had on my bikini top, but still) infront of construction workers and children on Richard who is quite full of himself at the time.  It wasn't pretty.  Regardless, I survived and moved my ride to a more sheltered area of the paddock and the children and construction guys went back to work.  Looking back on it now, it is worth a chuckle, at the time... not so much.  I will certainly be using that list for future reference. 

Trailer is mostly packed.  Need to put a few more things in tomorrow.  Then off to Ballarat!! :)

All for now.  Ta.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Look at my Australia pictures so far!

I got to join the Moorooduc Bar wall along with Seth. Go USA! and Thanks Ducs!

Moorooduc Tournament and Big Expensive Toys

Right... It is taking me way too long to post on here.  I'm going to try to make a habbit of posting more often.  Maybe then these won't be so long and you all will be kept up to date with the current happenings in my life. 

So, Moorooduc's tournament was last weekend.  It went very well.  I rode a horse named Ozzie, who is Jesse's second horse.  Pete said she is a Junior's horse, but she would be fine.  It definitely took both my spurs and whip to keep her going, but she played very well as the #2 and #3.  Together, Ozzie and I won Best Horse and Rider Combination.  Jesse won Best Junior in our grade!  So now for the slight negative of the weekend.  I was in D grade... I know, shocking.  I was a bit upset at first, to be honest, but it worked out just fine.  Plus, some of the players in that division were old experienced players on young horses and others were quite dirty and rough players.  One guy grabbed my rein hand and started tugging on it.  The rest of the people were pretty clean (for the most part).  My team was very nice and all the members on it played extremely hard.  We won all of our games, until the final.  The worst is that we beat that team when we played them on Saturday.  Well, shoot - maybe next time. 

Riding here this week has been an adventure.  Each day, I discover new, exciting, and exotic animals.  Parrots (or birds that look like parrots) fly all around.  Yesterday, I heard this horrendous squawking noise that sounded like it was coming from a pterodactyl (yes I just googled that to see how to spell it haha).  When I looked up, it was a huge white bird that from a distance also looked like a parrot.  Yesterday, I also discovered Wallabies!  I thought for certain that I had discovered a rare black baby kangaroo... I was wrong.  It was a wallaby!  Today, I saw another one.  I WISH WISH WISH WISH (wish x 10000) I had my camera because I saw a Wallaby just a few feet from me and it was so cute with a little gray face - I think he must have been pretty old.  And just before I discovered Ole Wally, I saw one, two, three Kangaroos!  After Ole Wally and the three amigos, I spotted a red fox!  What a morning...

I can't remember now how many days ago it was, but I was taking the horses for a nice walk in the bush and saw some men up there gathered around a black square in the side of the hill.  Turns out, it is a helipad for remote controlled helicopters.  I freaked out and told the guys that my husband flies and loves RC helicopters.  After a bit, I stupidly said, yeah to me, they are just big expensive toys... they guy quickly, and smartly, replied while pointing at the horse I was riding - those big expensive toys.

That got me thinking, he is so right, horses are big expensive toys, but they are toys that I just couldn't live without.  And it sure would be hard to play polocrosse (or compete in any equestrian event without them). 

To answer some questions, yes, Renee, I still have all my teeth.  I tried playing with a face mask at practice and it went fine.  I even went to the field with it on for my first game.  After missing a pick up in warm up, I was sure the mask was to blame and opted to play without it.  Oh, I almost left out updates on my racket and pictures...

Let's do the good news first - Pictures are up on Picasa.  The link is:

More good news - My racket righted itself after being soaked in water - HOORAY.  I played 4 1/2 great games with that racket this weekend... and then (this is where the bad news begins) it snapped in half over some old guy's arm.  great - another one bites the dust.  Finished the game with one of my teammate's rackets and will be visiting the Milner dealer this up coming weekend.  Oh!  I also leant my Milner whip to some random girl who broke it.  I was smart enough to tell her before she played that if she broke  it, she would have to replace it.  She has already given me the money for it, but I must find one now...  The hunt is on.

Good news, sort of... Found a new racket - it is huge, longer, thicker, tougher than any Milner I have ever owned.  Probably good considering I've gone through three since October (yeah, don't total the costs, it is tear jerking and probably way more expensive than my husband's chicken coops that I give him trouble about).  Any way - will be giving this one a try this weekend.  Has anyone ever played with the new Milner nets?  They are kind of like plastic?  Did he do that so that they wouldn't change when they get wet?  If so, I've decided this racket is indestructible. 

The Butt Kicker - ugh.  Kate, you are wrong, I do not love this hill.  Today, I ate dinner before running and Pete said I shouldn't run on a full stomach (nice... I think I'll eat before running every day and that should solve the problem).  Solution - walking the Butt Kicker that his little sister Ankle Twister (yes, I don't run that one because I'm sure with all the divets and turns, I would be back on crutches).  Any way, while walking today and humming along to Chicken Fried (gosh I love that song), I found ELEVEN (yes, 11) four and five leaf clovers!  I put some in water to feed to the horses tomorrow morning.  Trina thinks we should play the lottery this weekend haha

Very exciting news, I get to watch the Australian World Cup Team play this weekend.  I'll be videoing.

This weekend I will be playing on a horse named Dash.  Don't know the team or grade yet - we shall see tomorrow.  The tournament will be at Ballarat.

Any way, I'm sure I've left some important stuff out, but that is all I can remember for now.  My phone number is +61 0406650507 if anyone wants to call.  I'm also on skype: dori.mae.johnson  Please check the time before calling so that you don't wake me.  Oh, for skype, it might appear that I'm on all the time because I leave my computer on... I might not actually be present. 

Thanks to everybody for the emails and updates on how things are going at home (Minnesota, Maryland, and Texas!  Where is home, really!??)  I'd love to hear more.  If you have any special questions, ask and I'll try to get answers back in a timely manner. 

Guess that's it.  Toodles.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Officer, Victoria, Australia - I made it!!

DIZKLAEMUR:  I'm typing this on the internet and not using spell check.  Things are probably (let's be real: most definitely) going to be spelled wrong and some sentences may be grammatically incorrect.  Fix it if you must, but enjoy the story for that and understand that I am not an English major, nor do I plan on becoming one.  Just had to put that out there so I don't feel the need to edit, re-edit, and ruin the fun of doing this.  Also, warning, these blog entries could end up being pretty darn long.  And, I was just kidding on how I spelled DISCLAIMER in the beginning :)  Hope y'all didn't think I actually couldn't spell that word!

I made it!  Right now it is BUCKETING down rain, which is good because it has been really hot.  Hopefully, this will cool the weather a bit without flooding the fields for the tournament this weekend. 

The family I am staying with is fantastic!  The dad, Peter Ridgway, is great and it turns out he is an Olympic athlete in Pentathalon!  He has given me some exercises to do to strenthen my hands and arms for Polocrosse as well as some running exercises.  They have a giant hill that I now refer to as the "Butt Kicker" and I run up it and walk down it 10 times.  It was certainly a stiff kick in the backside!  I believe I know how horses feel when they are tying up.  Ok, maybe I'm being a bit dramatic, but my legs are sore and I'm dreading the run tomorrow.

The mom, Trina, is very friendly and a fabulous cook!  She makes very healthy, delicious meals!  The two boys are 14 year old twins, Jesse and Cody.  Jesse plays polocrosse and Cody competes in shooting pistols.  Everyday Jesse and I ride when he gets home from school.  This weekend, I will be playing in the Moorooduc Tournament (which is the club that I will be playing for as well) on one of Jesse's horses Ozzy. 

Today, I rode a horse named Dash and ponied (or as they call it, lead) another horse named Dick up in the "bush".  Dick is Peter's first and best horse.  Pete says I should get two tournaments on Dick at the end of the season.  Dash is Pete's second horse, and I hope to be playing on her in a couple weeks, depending on her fitness.  We walked up lots of steep hills and then did trots around an apple orchard.  This is perfect because I got to have a snack in the middle of our ride. 

After working those horses, I met a man named Jay who bought a horse from Peter and boards it at "Old McDonald's Farm", which is the name of the farm I'm staying at - how fun!  Jay is an Indian polo player who is new to Polocrosse.  I gave him a bit of a lesson on throwing today and I believe he is starting to get the "butt-head" down (my polocrosse students will understand that one). 

Then I worked with three youngsters on picking up their feet and being lead.  Yesterday was the first day they had ever been haltered.  Today, I was able to rub feed sacks all over their bodies.  I'm so proud of how well they are doing!  Next, I conquered the "Butt Kicker" (just incase you forgot - that's the huge hill I mentioned early) 10 times.  After that, I swallowed a few Ibuprofen and then went for another ride on Dash with Jesse.  Jesse rode his horse Dusty, a lovely gray mare.  We did some trot and canter sets around the side paddock and then went to the field to do racquet work.  I was THRILLED to have my racket (will explain in a minute about lost bag) and then the ball went underneath Dash's legs I reached for it and she stepped on it.  The head is now a squircle - a hybrid of square and circle.  Peter said we can soak it in water and reshape it in the morning.  Cross your fingers, hope, wish, pray for my racket!  Any ways, then we fed horses a cool combination of lots of feeds, supplements, and chaf.  I'll have to write down all they feed.  It is very interesting. 

Ok, now that we finished what happened today, let's review what happened the last couple days.  When I arrived in Sydney (before catching my domestic flight to Melbourne) I only had 1 hour and 40 minutes to get off the plane, get through customs, and then make it to my next flight.  By the time I made it to baggage claim, I had an hour left before my plane took off.  It took FOREVER to get 69 rows of 10 people per row off the plane and lucky me, I was seat 69E.  Considering my flight went from Austin to Dallas to LA to Figi to Sydney to Melbourne, I figured that my bags would get lost along the way.  Sure enough, one did - the one with my racket and my whites - really ALL of my clothes (except one extra pair of undies, a sports bra, and a jacket which I had in my carry on). Awesome - not. 

Thank goodness, the family I am staying with has two kids and I stole a pair of Jesse's jeans to ride in the first day and some of Trina's shirts, socks, and PJs that night.  Boy's skinny black jeans and my tall brown cowboy boots made me a sight to be seen, let me just tell you!  A little embarassing this is their first memory of me... Any ways, yesterday, my bag came in!  yay!  I was in my own clothes today. 

For the last couple hours, I have been chatting with Peter about Polocrosse and just competition in any sport and I found it very interesting and helpful.  He knows quite a bit and I think I'm lucky to have been hooked up with such a cool family.  Going to get in touch with a racket guy to search out my next two rackets for the World Cup.  Also, going to contact a fitness lady to help make sure I am on the right track for the World Cup.  I am really looking forward to the next few weeks here in Australia.  I think this is just what I needed :)

Will write more tomorrow.


PS.  I'm new to this blog thing and quite tired now, so I'll have to figure out how to post recent pictures tomorrow.  I have pics of the ponies, farm, Butt Kicker, squircle racket, the dogs here (they are CUTE!), and so much more :)
PPS.  Don't forget to say your prayers for my racket...