Thursday, March 5, 2015

Retail Therapy

I'm having kind of a terrible week. The weather has been freezing cold and horrible for two weeks now, and when it hasn't been sleeting/snowing it has been overcast and full of soul-sucking mud. I haven't been the sun in two weeks. O hasn't worked in that amount of time either. My hard drive crashed this morning and as of right now none of the information is salvageable, meaning years of really important data is lost. (Hopefully some more intensive tech work can sort it out... hopefully.) And on Tuesday, my grandmother passed away, which is a big blow to our very small family. She helped me start up my business, and she always believed in me, even when others didn't.

All in all even though I am stir crazy in my house, I also don't really feel like doing anything at all. There's really nothing to be done about any of these problems - they are what they are, and there's nothing really in my power that I can do. So, I'm just making the best of it.

Speaking of things people normally do to feel better: retail therapy is something I'm not particularly into ususlly. It doesn't please me to go buy new things for myself most of the time. I enjoy shopping for my horses, but it is strongly counterbalanced with my generally frugal nature and the fact that I lived for so long by the seat of my pants - spending money needlessly is something I learned not to do long ago.

But, I have a shopping list of things I need for the baby horse and the upcoming show season... so I've been making some exceptions here and there. That said, I'm not one to go blow giant amounts of money on things I can pick up cheaply if I just shop around a little - so I went on a bargain hunting mission yesterday to cheer myself up.

My driving outfit as of today is now complete minus hat and bit of jewelry. I did buy a hat and it is currently being shipped to me, but it isn't here yet. OneHindResting suggested I add a bit of rust/russet into the outfit to compliment my orange horse, and I love that suggested - I think I'll shop around and find a copper colored brooch and earrings. (Listen to me... buying jewelry. Pretty sure the last piece of jewelry I bought for myself was a new nose ring several years ago.)
I found the cream jacket and the navy scarf on Ebay for less than $30. I pulled out a pair of trusty old black paddock boots one of my bosses gave me years ago, and will polish those up for dressage and cones. I did buy a nice pair of deerskin gloves, as I think having a good pair is important and worth spending money on, but they still were only $15. Even the apron didn't cost much money - I bargain shopped and found the prettiest and least expensive one around. That left a pair of dressy pants, and a shirt to go under the jacket. I also needed a navy polo for the marathon to go under my Tipperary, and a navy longsleeve shirt in case it ever is unseasonably chilly. Where better to get those things than the local Salvo?

I was not disappointed at all. I had dozens of pants to choose from, all in the same general size and style that I needed (dress pants in either black or really dark navy, without the frump factor, and long enough to hit the ground, the way I like them). I ended up with a pair of deep navy pants with very subtle pinstriping, soft with a bit of stretch, long enough and cut in a way that makes my butt look fantastic. Not that the judge is going to be looking at my butt, but it was nice to look in the mirror and go, damn that ass looks fantastic today. The whole point of the pants is to be more or less invisible, and blend me right into my cart under the apron. They're perfect. And they were $5.
I also found not only a perfectly usable $4 navy long sleeved shirt for anything I might need, but I also found a brand new American Eagle navy polo for $4 as well. Original tags were still on it and everything. It's stretchy and cut perfectly right for me. I could not have hoped for better! All told, my total was $13. That's the right price for a cheapskate like me.

The final outfit (with deerskin glove on the right hand so you can see what they'll look like, although lighting is bad):

Lifted up the apron to show the pants color. And dirty paddock boots.

Maybe if the sun ever comes back, I'll try the outfit on and get a picture outside. But seeing as my front door is currently iced shut AGAIN, this might not happen for awhile. 

I think it's going to look great. I'm really happy with it. Playing dress up is a big part of the fun of this sport! 

I've been picking up items here and there over the course of the past month or try, trying to get all of my needs together without doing everything at once. This week I picked up a new noseband for my bridle (20% off of course), vetwrap for tails (for both mares, one for sport and one for popping out a baby!) and navy and black electrical navy, one for boots and one for securing any bits of flappy harness ends that are sticking sloppily out. I also found a big sporty eventing-type wristwatch - navy,  of course, and the right price at $10. Slowly I'm gathering up all my loose ends!

Of course, I also went bargain shopping for foaling needs. I'm a strong believer that you should not ever give young creatures of any species anything that is actually nice and expensive - they are just going to mess all over it and destroy it anyway, so why buy them expensive things? No need to spend a million dollars on a foaling halter that my baby will outgrow in two months - a $10 cheap leather one that will probably break anyway was my pick. And why spent $40 on a newborn blanket when I'll probably never use it anyway? A recycled dog blanket, one of the Dobie's, is heading to the barn just in case. I stocked up on other supplies, like gloves, vetwrap, cleaning supplies (Chlorhex, iodine, soap, eyewash, etc), hemostats, plastic bags, and towels (along with a bunch of other things) - all stuff I'll need for foaling and general barn use. I think I have everything I'll need, minus a headlamp - if she foals outside, she is guaranteed to do it in the middle of the night in the darkest spot of her paddock, because that is Murphy's Law!

The sun is finally out and thankfully I'll be back to work tomorrow... finally. I've been off more time than not this week and I am tired of being stuck in the house. I'm also tired of not working my horse. I'm tired of the snow. I'm tired of everything! I'm ready for spring. Ugh!


  1. Hunting down great bargains on all that gear sounds like the perfect way to brighten up! But yea, c'mon spring - we are ready!!

  2. I am so sorry to hear of your grandma's passing. <3

    Glad you were able to hunt some bargains and are almost ready for the little foal!

  3. Bargain shopping is waaaaaay better than full-price shopping! Love the driving outfit - very classy!

  4. Join the cluster club. This week cannot end soon enough.

    In better news, your driving outfit is absolutely smashing.

  5. Baby bottles and syringes are always handy in a foal kit too. I had to go on a mad mission for a bottle a few years ago when I had a colt that wouldn't latch on. Exciting times for you!

  6. Yay bargains! I'm lucky enough to be just about an hour away from a tack shop with a very large consignment section. I haven't bought new schooling breeches in years! Only used. Take that money sucking sport!

  7. That outfit looks CLASSEH! Nice job on the thrifting!

  8. So glad you like the idea, can't wait to see what you come up with! :)

  9. I'm so sorry about your grandma... That has to be a hard blow to the family. Hugs!!

    I love the outfit! It's perfect. You are a matter bargain shopper!! I need to start checking out my salvation army apparently!!