Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Style!

Someone (named Juliette from Honeysuckle Faire) thinks I'm stylish!
Apparently, she tried to let me know about this fab-o prize before BUT every time she viewed my blog her electronic devices would explode!
What can I say... I have that effect on people.
In fact, when I walk by towel racks, they fall right off the walls.
What is about me that causes inanimate objects to fling themselves into oblivion???

If I'm correct, Juliette styled this little bloggy button herself, as she is talented that way, and it is just a lovelier version of the award that I received previously. Having said that, I will spare you the random and odd facts about myself. Instead, I will say that Juliette has captured the vision that I have of myself, in my mind's eye... only in "ginger" version. Could you see me rockin' that look on horseback? I can. In my mind's eye.
So, I think having received a little snippet of Juliette's vision and wanting to be that stylish, if only in my mind's eye, I will post this award on my sidebar... to look at everyday... and envision me self as the spiffy little lass in the picture. On horseback. With a cup of coffee. :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What to Eat/Do in Winter

What do you do when you wake up and the world looks like this?

And only a day before it was like this. A high in the mid 40's, hand grazing (even though my son looks like he's on a mission here... just ready to ride I guess,) and taking a little ride.
I wish I had the courage to ride in the snow.
Maybe someday.

Well the answer is, you make this. And eat it. I found this recipe here and then proceeded to take some liberties. I don't know about ya'll, but I have a hard time following recipes. Maybe that's why mine doesn't look like the photo. But let me tell you, it didn't hurt the runnin' any! That was good soup.
The recipe calls for all the traditional "Italian Soup" ingredients. I added some spinach. (She did too.) It also called for some parsley. I've yet to actually add parsley to any recipe that calls for parsley. Instead I added a pinch of basil from last summer's garden. And the jewel in the crown?

We do gluten free round these parts!
This is a new gf pasta that I had yet to try. It was really tasty and the texture was excellent.
My oh my, how gluten free pastas have improved since we first found out my son has Celiac disease, 11 years ago.
The soup was very yummy, served with some garlic toasts made from gluten free baguette. It made unexpected snow just a tad bit more bearable.

Friday, January 21, 2011


You seem to know a lot about my girl Rosie but, let me tell you something about my boy Clyde.

Clyde was once a cattle horse, turned jumper, turned therapeutic riding program steed. When I first met Clyde he belonged to someone who just never bonded with him. In the years before I met him, Clyde never had his own "person." It was a natural conclusion that I would ride Clyde. I was an inexperienced rider, he was a super experienced horse. We went for miles cantering up hills and meandering the fields. But I admit, I wasn't connected to him. I didn't think he was connected to me. Then my little accident with Rosie. After coming off of her, for the first time in my life, I was developing some very real fears about horses... projecting on all horses, one bad experience.
Every time I rode Clyde after that, I was nervous. Then I noticed Clyde was nervous too. I wondered if I hadn't been paying attention before. At every imagined "scarey" Clyde would jig and dance and shake...
I wondered what the heck was wrong with him!
So, I had taken Rosie on and decided I needed some help with my riding skills... for her... she was a handful after all...
I learned about my seat, and relaxation and breathing on some nicely broke schooling horses. I kinda forgot about Clyde. But my son, who was also taking lessons hadn't forgotten him at all. He was determined to be Clyde's riding buddy and I was okay with that. I knew Clyde had his moments and I warned my son about them... but he was trained and ready for a horse of his own.
Later, Clyde's owner decided to give him to my son.
I rode Rosie lots. And my son, typical boy that he is, wanted to ride a horse with a little more pep than old Clyde. So we swapped. I knew Clyde pretty well after all. But a funny thing happened. Without a word or a sound, I had learned to control my anxiety. And I noticed that when I relaxed, so did Clyde. Then I noticed, that without a word, I could just think about cantering, or trotting and behold... Clyde would do it. I was, once again, wrong about my horse.

In the book, "Whole Heart, Whole Horse" by Mark Rashid, I learned that consistency builds trust and trust builds softness. This is supposed to be from rider to horse. Yet, in my case it was horse to rider. He taught me, through his wisdom and his strength and his trust. Not, that I deserved it.
I believe Clyde was desperate for his own person. Someone to forever claim Clyde and say he's mine and I'm his. And he was patient with me. And now I can yield softness to him. And now he has his person... for the rest of his life.

Seek and Find

Can you spot the Puppy Dog in this photo?

And the dog covered boy in this one? :)

Happy Weekend All!!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Someone thinks I'm stylish... in spite of my recent penchant for buying my clothes at Tractor Supply!
My buddies at Calm, Forward,Straight think I gots it!
Well you should go check them out because they are the ones who really got it going on... training in classical dressage... my how I admire the beauty, oneness and courage of both horse and rider. And that Val, well he is really a sight to behold. What a stunning horse!
But as part of my reward there are responsibilities, duties and such..

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

I don't think I can fully fulfill #3. But I do have a few bloggers that I REALLY want ya'll to check out and I'll mention them after I tell you the squimishly random facts about myself.

1. I am an Air Force vet. I served for 5 years as an Air Force avionics technician on F-15's. My last duty station was at the beautiful and incredible Elmendorf AFB Alaska.
2. While stationed at Elmendorf, I lived in Wasilla. Sarah Palin once admired my baby son at a Burrough Council meeting. Ahhhh, brushes with celebrity! :)
3. I hate Mayonnaise!
4. I'm a redhead. A "ginger" as the kids call it.
5. My life's dream, yet realized, is to see Ireland.
6. I'm a homeschool Mom.
7. I am a trained historian and once worked at a WWII history archive where I digitized a personal collection of photos taken by the man George S. Patton, himself. They had his hand writing on the back and it was so amazing... almost like meeting the man in person.

So here are some bloggers that I REALLY want you to visit.

1. The most amazing and talented artist I know.
2. A Hunter/Outdoorsman with a respect and admiration of wildlife.
3. A decorator, designer, artist and fellow horse lover.
4. A quirky Mommy who's style I adore and would imitate, if I were more of a hipster!
5. A true horsewoman! She has taught me so much about horsemanship and I am excited to read what she to say, everyday.
6. Oh how I love her beautiful little farmhouse, and gorgeous horses, and commitment to homeschooling and.....!
7. A Montana Farmgirl, with the best recipes IN THA WORLD!
8. I just love her mini donkeys Ruby and Gracie... and the music of her talented son.
9. Mother to Arabians... need I say more?
10. Teaching me what it means to truly be in touch with my horse.

Okay 10's all I can do.
There are so many more but many have already been hit on by other bloggers or just wouldn't talk about themselves or are probably so popular that you know them already. But I thank all of you who give me this creative outlet for venting and sharing. And believe it... I love reading your venting and teaching and sharing too. Every last one of ya!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


This year I've told everyone that I am making an "anti-resolution." Resolutions never work for me, so... anti-resolution. I would like to stop eating so much bad for me food and I would like to stop wasting so much time on junky TV! So I have publicly resolved to, "eat more Cheetos, drink more wine and watch more Bachelor." That should do it! Anti-Resolution.But truth be told... as I sat in this very same spot, this very same time last year... I had made some "goals" for myself. Not resolutions, "goals." And, the first of said goals was....

run a half marathon! Photo evidence... done and done. What a weirdo right? I'm even smiling after 13.1! Crazy girl.
And second? Ms. Rosie. Ahhhhh Ms. Rosie.
My how we've grown!
You see, September of '09 I made little Rosebud my own. Man I was smitten. 36 years old and had never owned a horse of my own. Of course, as a girl, I would beg, borrow and steal rides every chance I got. Horses have always been the "ring" to my Gollum.... (my precious.) I just longed to touch them when in their presence and every country drive found my eyes scanning the horizon for any equine silhouette.
So, when given the opportunity I seized it. And by doing so, broke every covenant of horse ownership that ever was.... DON'T fall in love. A young Arabian mare, an inexperienced rider = a possibly dangerous combination. Clinton Anderson said, "don't." I ignored it. And, who ignores Clinton Anderson?!
So, my first time on Ms. Rosie found me in the air and, quickly, on the ground. That's right. I got bucked off my horse. She was scared. I was stupid. End of story? No.
I was in love but more than a little intimidated. I wanted to ride her more than anything but I knew that I needed help, (telling myself she needed help,) and I vowed to wait the winter... bond with her, let her get to know me, and send her to a trainer in the Spring. So, this time last year I was dreaming of riding MY horse. I was afraid to want it and yet... I wanted it desperately. So did it happen?
But that's hardly the end of the story, is it?
In short, I've learned that if I want something badly... but I'm afraid... that the object of my desire must be something REALLY good. Something worth waiting for. I found her worth the wait and the anxiety and the worry. Worth it all. And still I'm learning. Learning that it's okay to be afraid. She's really not "mean." Learning to be quiet and still and to breath her in... the essence of her, while letting ME go. And then I learned, am learning still, that I do have to get in the saddle again... in due time... but there's no rush. Never a rush.
So, for 5 days a week, Spring, Summer and Fall, I rode. We rode. Miles and miles.
Sometimes I was afraid and sometimes she was too, but once I realized that we had to take care of each other and support each other through it, my goal was "winter's goal" realized.
Where does this leave me now?
Looking toward the greener pastures of this coming Spring...and more rides.... and more growth.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Longe Line, $19.99

Horse Trainer Farm Call, $20.00

5 Instructional "Horsemanship" Books, $100.00

Realizing that my mare is NOT the one with "issues," ... PRICELESS!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Doggie Craft

This Christmas I really wanted to make the Pack something homemade, from the heart.
So, while perusing the fabric store's Black Friday deals I found this.
It's a McCall's dog pattern. So cute. So easy. I'm not kiddin'... easy.
If you don't have a fabric store near you, that carries McCall's patterns, you can find this pattern here.
Just type in the key words, "dog bed."
Luckily the pattern was on sale for $.99 and the fleece was only $1.29 per/yd.!
Again, if you don't have a fabric store near you, you can easily find cheap fleece blankets just about anywhere. So, here's what I did...

Cutting out the fleece was the most tedious part but again NOT difficult. This is a no-sew pattern, so instead of binding together by sewing... you simply tie strips to strips.

The pattern suggests stuffing the bed with polyfill however, if you just use a pre-made dog bed... you can simply untie and throw it in the washer when it gets dirty. I had a heck of a time finding a round dog bed, (the fleece is cut out round,) so I just settled for a cheap square variety from Tractor Supply.

So ultimately the fit wasn't perfect, but it still looked pretty sweet and I'm pretty sure the dogs didn't mind either!

And all Christmas long there were visions of Milk Bones dancing in their heads! (Please excuse the dirty floor. Yikes!)

More Looking Forward

I know I've already told you a few things I'm excited about in the coming year...
I must admit, I know the "New Year" fun train has left the station and yet... here I am still on the platform!
Okay well, suffice it to say there are a lot of good things coming down the pike. I can feel it. But, I wanted to share with you one more thing that has me super jazzed.
My Dad has been doing loads of genealogy over the past year. Not that genealogy is uncommon in our family. We, at one time, had four generations of our family actively involved in the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution). But that's my Mom's side. Until recently we have known very little about my Father's side. And what my Daddy found... well... truly worth the wait.
You see, I come from a little town in North Georgia.
For all the Revolutionary war heroes, in the maternal AND paternal lineage... we also have many (like most Americans) who fought in a more divisive war. The American Civil War pitted families against one another and, without a lengthy explanation of the political theses of that war, my family was no different. Because of our long ancestry, rooted in a small southern town, all we have ever known is that many of our ancestors served the Confederacy valiantly. True statement. But apparently, being from No. Georgia doesn't automatically make you a Confederate.
Through a search of court documents, service records and other sources... my Daddy found that the gentleman named on the above head stone, was in fact a Northern sympathizer. Not only did his sympathies lie there but he also was forced out of his home (I say forced because he returned after the war,) and served in the Union cause. The marker pictured above is in our family cemetery in the little No. Georgia town I grew up in. I swell with pride over the hard choices made and the courage that Henry B. had to turn from the status quo. I would like to think of myself as a little Henry B.
So, in 2011 we will have a family reunion and place the appropriate Union service marker on Henry B.'s grave. A small beacon, in a small town for a larger than life man. And what an exciting statement about a New Year, a second chance, and truth!
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