Lots of Horsin’ Around

Hello friends!

Important update. Baba ghanoush is fun to make and eat. That is all.

No, but seriously, I was a little worried I had stepped well in over my head because I have zero Lebanese cooking experience and limited eggplant cooking knowledge. But it turned out pretty tasty and, if I hadn’t melted several fingerprints off making homemade pita, it would have been really easy.

She’s rustic, but she’s tasty! (I didn’t want to have to clean the food processor, so I just mushed with a fork)

Also! Our little Ro-Ro had her Gotcha Day! Similar to Nellies’, she got the day off, lots of apples and carrots and pets, and a few hugs. This little girl has taught me so much! From a scared little rider to one that will hop on bareback and bridleless with a sling and some duct tape hold her together, I 100% credit this horse with the confidence I have riding today. We’ve had our rough moments, she likes to run, I tend to fall off, trust has to be reformed, but the patience on this girl and the fun she allows me to have is an absolute gift.

We do continue to have issues with Ro’s back, despite the gotcha day wishes, but I think it comes down to a weak topline. Basically, her back muscles have gotten a little weak due to her and I living out 13-year-old Amanda’s dream summer, riding around bareback and bridleless, chasing sunrises and imaginary villains a la Bonanza and Gunsmoke. Funny though, Marshall Dillon never seemed to have sore horses. In any case, I am totally aware that I created the problem and intend to help Ro feel better. Starting for now with work focused on engaging muscles, less bouncy bareback rides, and some hilariously clumsy horse and owner yoga. No, there will be no pictures haha.

I’m a little worried about saddle fit, but it was fine earlier in the year so I’d like to try to fix the physio issues before I throw money at what could be a temporary fix. I did, in saying that, call in a friend who’s an expert horsewoman, and while she agrees with my plans, she’s also going to bring some tack out in the spring to see if we can find the comfiest possible fit for Ro. 

My garden is officially a dirt patch. Shortly after writing my last post, we had an unexpected frost and the little produce still growing in the garden gave up the ghost. I don’t think since I’ve lived here, we’ve had a frost this early, so I must admit I’m a little concerned for what that implies about our upcoming winter.

I told a bit of a fib last post, but I certainly didn’t mean to. I had said that the only tree turning colors was in the pasture and that wasn’t quite correct. After I pressed “post” I stepped out of the front porch and saw a teeny, little scrub tree with the brightest red leaf on it. Doing its absolute best for the fall season. So, technically there’s were two trees turning autumnal colors on the farm.

Now, many of the trees are just starting to show colors at the tips, but I tend to think most of the leaves will fall off before turning colors. The winds have been pretty consistent the last few days.

My sweet Dad trying to break up the dirt in my makeshift arena so it”s softer for Ro, Nel, and I. One day I’ll get some actual sand in here, and it’ll be amazing.

My selfishly lazy weekend was absolutely lovely! Exactly what I needed. Had some lovely work with Ro, got a few farm chores done, and caught up on some sleep. Exactly what the doctor ordered. It’s funny how you don’t realize you’ve pushed it too far until you get a break and realize you were running on empty. Happy for the respite, indeed my relaxing weekend was a wonderful reset. Of course, it went by too fast but isn’t that the way? Especially this time of year I forget how to slow down, and when I find myself stressing about silly things like cleaning the bathroom, I know it’s time for a break. But, regardless of what’s happening, every day is a good day that starts with dogs’ kisses and ends with horse kisses, I love living on this farm. I’m often reminded that even the worst day at the barn is better than the best day at work. (And that’s saying something, because I like my job!)

All those soft, relaxing vibes came at a good time too, as yours truly woke up to a Nellie Belle with a gash above her eye this morning (don’t worry, no pictures of this either). I’m not really sure what the plan of attack is here, it’s not bugging her a ton as long as we leave the halter off for a few days, and it’s not deep. It looked majorly ugly this morning but even some time in the sun relaxing seems to have made a world of difference. Honestly, you may get more of an update next post, for now I am a walking shrug of indecision on how much I should truly be panicking. Life of a horse owner, I guess.

Well, that’s all for me, for now.                    

Until we chat again my friends! 

This has nothing to do with the blog, other than I rarely get pictures of Cordelia, and she’s normally way too skittish to sleep near where I am hanging out.

Side note, for those that read this far, I wrote most of this on my phone as I haven’t had much time at my desk short of work hours, so you’ll have to please excuse the hinky formatting.

August 20th is Fascinating

Hello friends!

It’s fall, y’all!

Okay, it’s not, and I’m sorry, but now it’s out of my system. But I’m fully bought in on flannel, coffee, pumpkins, baked goods, and sitting down to write the next great American novel (because that’s what you do all autumn long yes? Along with crocheting cute things and cuddling everything with any body heat at all?). I’m preparing, I’ll be ready for the full autumn experience.

Realistically, it is not quite yet fall, and realistically, I’m very okay with a longer slope into fall that allows me to hold on to my summer times just a little longer, but August 20th has hit, and despite the fact that it catches me off guard every year, I’ve learned that’s the cutoff day.

Do I sound crazy? Let me explain.

When you live in rural areas, you learn very quickly to put little stock in your tv forecast and much stock in your local farmer’s feelings on the subject. Most TV forecasters are lovely humans who are primarily focused on the areas in which their prime viewership lives, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, in fact, it makes sense to share information about where it will do the most good, but it doesn’t always help us that live way out in the boonies. So, often our weather is a little different than they suggest on the tv.

On the other hand, the farmers, ranchers, and random old gentlemen who make a habit of coming into town to have coffee and reminisce? They have it on lock. They can tell you what the forecast will bring, if it needs prepping for, and how much snow you should plan to shovel just by the look of that one tree on the south side of their farm or the way the crickets chortled that morning. One guy will say the arthritis in his knee says rain, and the other will tell you the cattle talk of storms rolling in.

“Mooooom, it’s too early to wooooork, and it’s coooooold! Moooooom, you’re the woooooorst!! ….Can I have cookies and a brush though? I’m awful cute and definitely deserve it” – Nellie, anytime I try to work them before 8 am lately

My family has its own legends on how to tell the weather, there’s a specific mountain peak I wait to clear before I plant my garden, and I learned to listen to the wind’s whistled tone for potential storms coming, as well as watching how the animals act to see if it’ll be a dry or wet storm. When the birds’ nest in, you should too, and if you walk out and the air is just all sorts of wrong, it’s time to secure everything, high wind is on its way. But the biggest and by far the most reliable legend, says that the weather fundamentally changes on August 20th each year, at least here in the valley, and no matter how long the summer lasts, after that day the nights really start getting longer and colder in earnest, the plants make plans to rest, and your sunny warm days are numbered. It’s been right on time every year thus far, and I don’t think it’ll change any time soon.

Ro wants you to know that she was totally justified in trying to steal cookies through the fence, and alsoI’m very mean for not moving the scary tarp that came undone in the wind storm again.

The valley is that orange soft fall wrapped up in warm nostalgia and slightly burned coffee. Absolutely full of fresh harvests, warm drinks, farmer’s markets and hayrides. Fall festivals and bazaars and anything else you can think of. I am very excited about the prospect of peach cobbler. I make it homemade, and not many each year because it’s a lot of work to peel the peaches, but it is my uncle’s favorite thing. Last year I prepped all my peaches, got everything put together, it smelled so good, everything was perfect…… and then I dropped it pulling it from the oven and spilled the whole unset thing on the bottom of the oven. I cried, my house stunk like burning peaches, and I didn’t try again. Luckily the dish itself survived to bake another day. So, this year, everyone is very excited for my peach cobbler since it’s two years waiting, and I’ve had several people offer to put it in and take it out of the oven for me, so I’m all covered there.

I’ve also got several requests for pumpkin bread. That isn’t a specifically fall recipe, but it is a much more common occurrence in the fall. The flavors just make sense during the cooling, blustery months. It’s my mom’s old recipe, I think she probably got it from my grandma, but I am honestly not certain. It’s super easy, I made the mistake of teaching my younger brother to make it and every once in a great while, I come home to a disaster kitchen and loaves upon loaves of bread. At least he’s good at it so it’s tasty.

My brother has a much appreciated habit of sending me animal photos when he knows I’m in a scary or stressful meeting. This was a rare Joe-Scooby cuddle, when they share a bed, you know it’s getting chilly. Photo Credits to Christopher

Well, I’ve thoroughly made myself hungry, so I think I’ll wrap it here. Maybe when I get around to some baking, I’ll also get around to some recipe sharing, and some photos. Life should be slowing down, and I should be out of the sling and more independent again soon, which will hopefully mean taking my actual DSLR out and about again. Such a pleasant thought.

Until we chat again, my friends!