Archive for the Angela Category

Coker Farm, New York: Jewel Horse

Dec 5th, 2012 Posted in Angela, Horseshoe Diaries (Equestrian Corner) | no comment »

I was running slightly late to the riding lesson at Coker Farm.  I had an one hour lesson voucher through Shady Lane Farm this time.  As it was later explained to me by my instructor, Marguarite, Shady Lane currently leases horses from Coker.  I hurried into a big red building and saw a pretty, smaller horse all prepped and ready to go.  She was to be my school horse for the lesson.  Her name was Jewel (a 16 year-old mare, almost full, if not full quarter horse) and she was a jewel of a horse with a gentle temperament and an equally lovely trot.  She was also the perfect size for little me and her trot wasn’t nearly as bouncy as other horses, making the ride much more pleasant.  A gentler trot also means an easier time for me to learn posting.  Jewel has been at Coker Farm for approximately five years and for that time has almost always worked as a school horse.  Marguarite mentioned that a little girl does regularly train on Jewel.

I initially worked on basic steering/control and on improving my riding form with Marguarite for a half hour before she put Jewel and me on a lunge line.  The rest of the time was dedicated to posting and trotting.  I experienced a new challenge this day.  I had to share the indoor paddock with two other riders;  I was scared to bump into them and their horses.  I was also slightly distracted.  The other riders though were much more knowledgeable in riding than me so when I was finished with my lesson, I was able to stay for a few minutes and watch them ride around the paddock.  Unfortunately, I had missed the cantering.

Marguarite recounted a funny little story regarding Jewel.  Apparently, during warmer months, the barn doors are kept open to let in fresh air.  Jewel has been known to all-of-a-sudden become unresponsive to her rider’s commands and on her own volition, briskly walk out the door (rider still in tow) to graze on the grass.  Not exactly a vice, but definitely an oddity.   No one has ever gotten injured from this but I’m not sure how a newbie like me would react to this behavior?  Well actually, Jewel did do something unexpected during my lesson…  As Marguarite returned with the lunge line, Jewel walked away as if to say, “oh no, please not today!”  It took me a few tugs on the reigns to get Jewel to stop walking away.  It did make me a little nervous though but everything was fine afterwards and she accepted the lunge line without difficulty.

Barn Story…  When Jewel and her friends sensed apples and carrots nearby, I had their undivided attention.  They must have heard the crinkling of my plastic bag; perhaps a recognizable signal of impending treats?  There was not a horse in that born who didn’t stick his or her head out their stall to get a better look.  Like many other domesticated pets, they will definitely let you know that they are interested in receiving a snack.  They can also become a bit temperamental when they must wait their turn.  Jewel seemed grateful as she accepted her apple and carrots, but definitely not demanding.  I would love to work with her and Marguarite again.  I never take a nice day for granted.

We met a super friendly farm dog on the way to our car.  He was tall and lean and loved to jump.  I’m not sure of the breed?  He even wanted to hop into the car with us.  Sweet pup.  Then, as quickly as he had appeared before us, he disappeared into the thickets or behind the little red house as we drove away.  Maybe I’ll see him again soon?


*Photocredit: Andrew


My Saddlebrook Farm, New York: Jupiter Horse

Dec 5th, 2012 Posted in Angela, Horseshoe Diaries (Equestrian Corner) | no comment »

I was very excited to return to My Saddlebrook Farms (after almost a year later) for the second part of my riding lessons.  I hadn’t seen my friends, Hudson and Charlie, in a while.  Wish that the farm was much closer to the town I reside in; it’s up in Walden, New York =(.

I chose a pretty busy weekend to go too; my coupon was about to expire.  The farm was swamped with eager riders.  I wouldn’t have minded to be paired off with Hudson again (who had just returned from a ride and earned some rest), but instead I got to ride a very nice steed (appaloosa? quarter horse, thoroughbred mix of 18 years of age) named Jupiter.  I love that name!  No vices and such a sweet natured school horse who responded to commands pretty well.  My instructor was the very knowledgeable and good humored Dave.  After some basic review and corrections to my riding form, I guess Dave thought I was ready to learn balancing and posting on a walking Jupiter, followed by a trotting Jupiter.  Wow, that was pretty tough (I was sore for three days after the lesson)!  I was a bit stiff too at the start of the lesson from some mild anxiety…  All the while trying to remember heels down, toes up…   It was all a lot of fun though!  When I was able to correctly post, it felt effortless, weightless (like doing a correct Crow in yoga) because I followed the rules and allowed the movements to flow without the emotional blocks- just trusting myself and Jupiter.  Dave assigned me some homework to help improve my posting techniques- a pillow and two wine glasses, think red wine and white carpet ;).  Somehow Jupiter knew to stop when his trotting was getting too much for me; my pal was also pretty perceptive.  Jupiter has quite the bouncy trot!

As always, after the riding lesson, I treated Jupiter to an apple and carrots because he had worked very hard for me that day.  Normally I dislike carrots and am all too happy to share them with my equine friends.  I also visited Hudson and Charlie after saying goodbye to Jupiter.  I don’t know if Hudson remembered me at all, afterall, I rode him just once and it had been months ago but when his eyes met mine, he seemed to look at me with a familiarity of a colleague.  I would love to believe that he did recognize me.  Like I mentioned in a previous post, horses can have very expressive eyes sometimes.  I have such a soft spot for these animals, most people would think I’m crazy…  well, except for those people who love horses as much as I do; they would probably understand.

I have included below, a still from a video my husband created for me to remember Charlie by.  He is happily noshing on a Jazz apple.  More photos to follow.


*Photocredit: Andrew



Summit Farm, New York: Hondo Horse

Nov 27th, 2012 Posted in Angela, Horseshoe Diaries (Equestrian Corner) | no comment »

One weekend I noticed my horseback riding coupons were starting to accumulate and two were on the edge of expiring.  I hadn’t gone riding for months and now was a good time to do so.  I had really missed being around horses and had been preoccupied with a big family project for months =( and desperately deserved a break from everything.

We arrived at Summit Farm, nestled in pretty North Salem, with a few minutes to spare.  A sheep who had been grazing on the grass and tied to a fence, along with his two cat friends (a tuxedo and a marmalade tabby), greeted my husband and I as we wandered around the premise looking for the instructor.  She had been running a few minutes late and was finishing up a riding lesson in the indoors paddock.  The instructor’s name was Pam.  Originally I was supposed to ride Abbey Horse; however, the girl who leases her decided to go riding that afternoon too so I was paired off with Hondo Horse instead.

Hondo was a tall paint quarter horse mix of 11 years.  Though he appeared calm, as every school horse should, he had a stubborn streak in him.  I was warned that he liked to challenge newbies by stalling every once in a while.  He did just that to me.  I had to give him occasional nudges and squeezes to encourage him to continue walking.  I really couldn’t blame him for not wanting to cooperate since he had just been ridden by the previous student.  He had rested for no more than ten minutes before we began the lesson so I did feel empathy for him.  My AmazonLocal voucher was for a half hour of instruction so before Hondo and I started to get used to one another, the lesson was already drawing to a close.  Though I may experience much more fatigue and muscular pain during my one hour lessons, I do prefer and would recommend them over the half hour ones.  It does take time to get accustomed to one’s instructor, horse, and riding equipment.  I spent most of my time concentrating on just the basics- afterall, it had been a while since the last lesson.  I had used a riding crop for the first time and if you know me, could easily guess that I was very uneasy at first to use it on Hondo for fear of hurting him.  To my relief, it was unlike a whip and was a gentle reminder that he needed to progress forward.  Pam was a pleasant instructor to work with and also showed much patience towards Hondo.

The atmosphere of Summit was fairly carefree.  My husband and I walked around the farm watching the animals playing, grazing, and basking in the sun…   So many lovely lovely horses I’ve seen too!  Have you ever looked into the eyes of a horse and saw that beyond a giant powerful exterior was a gentle, sensitive, and curious entity?  Humans must be very strange to them.  I hope they have seen more kindness from us than anything else.

I’m a typical city girl, but with dreams of owning a horse someday and an alpaca farm.


*Photocredit: Andrew


Review: Crest 3D Professional Effects Whitening System

Jul 29th, 2011 Posted in Angela, teeth whitening, Toiletries | no comment »

While I was concerned of potential sensitivity to whitening products, I realized that my response to using Crest 3D Whitening Toothpaste was promising and that I should take a chance.  I did experience very mild sensitivity on the first few alternating days.  These sensations dissipated after rinsing my mouth following each whitening  application.  By the end of week one, I did see at least a two shade difference.  Do contact Crest 3D’s customer service if you have any questions; they are easy to talk to and very helpful.  I was reminded by both the Crest 3D rep and my dental hygienist to not exceed a twice a year whitening (6 months intervals).  I apologize for not taking photos of before and after so I will try my best to photo-document next time.

*Photocredit: Crest 3D

Retainer Update: May 5, 2011

May 6th, 2011 Posted in Angela, braces, Retainers | no comment »

Yet another unremarkable retainer follow-up.  I did receive an unexpected surprise.  Dr. B asked me how often I was wearing my retainers.  At first I thought he spotted an issue.  I was usually wearing them every other night.  He then said, “I don’t think I need to see you anymore; it’s been a pleasure working with you…  I really hope things go well for you.”  Wow, I couldn’t believe today was really IT!  I had reached the end of this journey!  I was a little sad; if you’ve been following me, you know that it’s been quite a long process.  Of course I’m delighted that I’ve finally reached this milestone!  Although I probably won’t have that many more retainer stories to post, I’m still here to entertain questions or to hear of your progress and journey and of course there’s the blog sale I promised a while back.  I hope you have found my posts to be informative and it has in some small way helped in guiding you.

I am planning a new series of dental “chat” on the topic of teeth whitening products, in-home, and in-office procedures.  I do have an important event approaching so this will become a key preoccupation for me.  Stay tuned =)

Retainer Update: December 2, 2010

Dec 4th, 2010 Posted in Angela, Retainers | no comment »

Another quick visit for retainer tightening.  I was so happy to hear that I’ve graduated to less frequent ortho visits.  Yippeee =)!  Although Dr. B intially scheduled my next visit for early February, he approved an early March visit instead to coincide with my next dental deep cleaning.

Retainer Update: October 2010 & November 2010

Nov 18th, 2010 Posted in Angela, Retainers | no comment »

The front lower gap closed within the first month of using my retainers with the ortho elastic and has not returned since.  What a relief!  That was one stubborn gap.  I’ve become used to having my retainers on at night.  It didn’t take long to adjust but is there really a choice in the matter?  Dr. B has been tightening my retainers a little here and there.  He says they can loosen with regular wear and tear but that it’s a normal occurrence (a snug fit without any discomfort is the ideal).  I was so happy when he told me I didn’t need the elastic band anymore.  It was slightly annoying to get them on my left and right retainer hooks.  I did lose a bunch of elastics as they went flying in the air when I tried to put them on the retainers (which was what I had to do 3-4x per day).  My prescribed routine remains the same as the day I received them.  I do however go retainer-less most mornings and evenings.  I wouldn’t dare go without them at night.  Don’t want to ruin all that hard work of 18+ months! As you can tell by the update, I’m still going to the dental office once a month for now.  I believe the visit frequencies will probably decrease down the road, of course not counting my dental deep cleanings which are every few months.

*New picture to be posted soon*

VIOlight Dental Spa

Sep 7th, 2010 Posted in Angela, Retainers | no comment »

This has been a recent curiosity of mine…    VIOlight Dental Cleanser/Spa, which boasts both sonic and UV technology is said to be ideal for dentures, bite plates, retainers, sport mouthguards, invisible braces, and whitening trays.   Does anyone own this for retainer care?  I’ve seen several good ratings/feedback on this gadget but wouldn’t mind hearing what others think of this for retainer cleaning.  I saw one comment which suggested that cleansing retainers in this particular dental spa is best at maximum twice a week (as per a dental office).  I also saw another consumer comment that the “longevity” of VDS is about two years. Not sure if anyone can confirm these things to be true??? Please drop me a comment. I would appreciate your insight very much.


My Thoughts

Sep 6th, 2010 Posted in Angela, braces, Braces Progress: Pic By Pic Comparison, teeth whitening | no comment »

I’m happy that I got my teeth straightened.  It wasn’t a small decision and I consider it a team effort which did involve both my family’s and my dental team’s support.  The entire process does have it’s challenges but it was very worth it!  Thanks so much for following me on this crazy adventure, especially through my bumps, blips, and under-the-breath mutterings here and there.  I understand that a 100% smooth process is too much to expect.  Gosh, what a stark difference.  Photos don’t lie.  Well, the journey continues…  Until next month’s new (retainer) post, here’s to good dental health =)

Last but Not Least: Teeth Whitening/Lightening Process

Sep 6th, 2010 Posted in Angela, teeth whitening | no comment »

I happily hopped out of the deep-cleaning chair to take a small break.  It’s kind of pathetic that as much as I was happy to say goodbye to my braces (although I was appreciative of what they had done for my ugly teeth), I was even more joyous to finally reach the whitening process.  I had decided nothing was going to stop me from getting this done!  I made sure I used Sensodyne for a MONTH without fail (though this particular office suggests using it two weeks before the process).  I normally do have the occasional teeth sensitivity during a certain time of month ahem.  A kind of weird sensation =(; reminds me of cavity chills.  First the dentist examined my teeth, then they placed a mouth separator, glopped on a ton of bleach mixture (I also heard a beeping noise at this time but can’t tell you what exactly it was as my eyes were shut; I just know it went with this step), placed a big pair of orange protective goggles over my eyes, shut off the examine room lights, turned on the UV lights and directed it towards my mouth (just like in the picture below), allowed to swallow since the mixture was placed in the front of my mouth, they handed me the t.v. remote, and left me alone to sleep or watch t.v. (with the occasional few returns to suction my mouth of drool).  Pretty ha?  This is what vanity gets you *snicker*; yeah an hour of self-inflicted torture and the occasional squirming in the chair.  Squirming, you ask???  Well, during this process I felt several waves of teeth chills and popping as if it was from inside my teeth =(.   I opted not to fall asleep since A) House was on *thumbs up* and B) I wanted to keep my mouth exactly aligned to the UV light machine.  This was a complimentary whitening with my ortho package.  Like yeah, I was definitely going to make the most of it!  After about 45 minutes or so, Dr. M peeled the hardened “plaster” off my teeth and I happily rinsed and rinsed and rinsed *YUK*.  He said my teeth may get lighter over the next two days, though I was skeptical of that.  He along with my husband believe that there is visible lightening of my teeth.  I’m tough to please I suppose, but I see only a small improvement and I’m slightly disappointed.  I guess I was expecting Hollywood teeth in one go.  I know, tall order for the years of neglect in my earlier childhood and young adulthood, tea-loving, previous short-cutting ways = /.  Yesterday I started using my Go Smile ampoules (more than 72 hrs post-whitening) and have adhered to Dr. M’s after-bleaching instructions which I will highlight shortly.  I did experience sensitivity for several hours on-and-off that day.  It has thankfully since not returned =).  I also spotted a tiny pale patch on my lower left gums (I was told the bleach mixture on gums can do this); however, it quickly disappeared afterwards like the dental assistant said it would.  Dr. M reminded me that the whitening process causes teeth dehydration and that my teeth would gradually get back to normal over the next 48 hours.

General Post-Whitening Tips: To Ensure the Longevity of the Success of Your Treatment According To

  • Avoid drinking dark beverages e.g. tea, coffee, soda or any colored drink which can stain your teeth (post-procedure, your teeth can absorb any color for the next three days until they harden).  Also avoid the juice of grapes, cherries, tomatoes, peaches, raspberries, cranberries, blackberries, red wine, soy sauce, slushes, and popsicles as they contain a dye that stains your teeth.
  • Don’t drink very hot or cold liquids as at these extreme temperatures, the temperature of your teeth tends to change radically. This sharp change in temperature causes the teeth to expand and contract, thus permitting stains to penetrate.  Whenever you drink permitted liquids, use a straw as this helps reduce the amount of liquid that passes the front of your teeth and minimizes the breakdown of enamel.
  • Avoid e.g. blueberry muffins etc, sauces or marinades that contain soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, beets, Spanish and Indian food.
  • Avoid dark color food or soups, stews, dark chocolate which can also contribute to staining your teeth and leaving behind an ugly residue. Citrus fruits, due to their acidic properties, discolor the tooth enamel and should be avoided particularly last thing before bed. If you must eat them, then brush and rinse your mouth thoroughly after eating them.
  • Sweets, chocolates and desserts, being sticky, can attract bacteria if you don’t cleanse your mouth well after eating. They also discolor your teeth and damage your teeth enamel.
  • Refrain from cigarette smoking since its nicotine content stains the teeth and blackens them.
  • Overall, stick to a healthy diet and drink a lot of water. This is good for your body and bones. Take multivitamins and plenty of protein to keep your teeth strong.

***Overall, please consult your dentist first before getting this procedure done!  It may not be for everyone.  One of the best simple tips I’ve seen online so far is that anything which can stain a white t-shirt is probably something you would want to stay away from post-whitening.  Ask your dentist regarding anything you may be concerned about e.g. mouth rinses you may use afterwards (since many are artificially colored), etc.  It’s always better to be thoroughly informed before any procedure (preparation, during-process, after-care, what to expect [within normalcy], signs or symptoms of abnormality, etc).***

Examples of My General Diet Post-Procedure:

  • egg omlette with mushrooms
  • baked chicken
  • white potatoes
  • rice
  • milk
  • water
  • hamburger with cooked onions, no ketchup
  • soda: Sprite (cleaned teeth right after)
  • pasta in olive oil is great too (though I didn’t have this)
  • boiled/stir-fried veggies in olive oil e.g. green leafy, cucumbers, summer squash, you get the picture.

*Addendum: September 7, 2010

Dr. L’s office called back and instructed me to begin the Go Smile at home program a week after the in-office whitening procedure.  Oh well, I guess I will have to wait a couple more days = /.

*Photocredit: HealthMantra