31 July 2012


All that good garden produce has been making me hungry. I began to have fantasies about pizza. This weekend I decided to live out one of those fantasies.

So I decided to make pizza. I made the crust kneaded it and left it to rise as I raided the garden. I returned with Roma tomatoes, Swiss Chard, purple sweet peppers and a hot pepper. The garlic was already dug and I had onions and mushrooms in the fridge.

Ava came over and helped wash the vegetables while I chopped and spread the crust with Alfredo sauce. She had to go before we began to add  the veggies. It was as good as my fantasies.

I love cooking out of the garden and try for the highest possible percentage of food that we have raised in every meal. We have sweet corn with every thing. Zucchini used in every way possible, usually involving tomatoes garlic and cheese. The cabbage has matured so we are eating cabbage burgers, corned beef and soon hopefully cabbage rolls.

30 July 2012

Riding Lessons

We bought Ava a riding helmet, now I will let her sit on a horse by her self. Sit is all she really wants to do. Ava is happy to sit on Coyote while I pony him around the yard. She talks and talks and talks. I think she repeated her favorite book to me with out missing a word.

I try to get her to kick when we start to walk, or pull on the reins a little for whoa. That sort of thing doesn’t interest her. I noticed that when I tell her to kick only one leg would go. When I told her to use both she said it was to hard.

We have fun though, it gives me a chance to ride Jerry. I’m hesitant to take her out by her self now that I am carrying double, she can be a bit spooky. Ava seems to enjoy it, she keeps coming back for more and wears her helmet happily. She is so timid though. Not very surprising if Pony Boy dumps her as often as she says.

I, mean person that I am, make her go off of the lead line when we get done with our ride. I close up all the gates on a very small corral and try to get her to follow me and Jerry. Ava steers pretty good, but Coyote knows the gate out and stands by it happily. I always go back and get them but one time of that and she is ready to quit. I suppose the only cure will be lots of time ponying. I wish she was here to ride more often, I wish I had a saddle that fit her since she wont go bare back. Oh well, if wishes were horses and all that.

Ava’s little brother wanted a little ride with Ava and I. I told them to throw him up in front of me. Little kids fit so nice on my Wade saddle, they just hook their legs over the bucking rolls. As he settled into place between me and the saddle horn, I realized there wasn’t room any more. It came as quite a shock to me. You would think by now I would remember that big belly sticking out there.


25 July 2012

Pregnant Class

We were required to take a class to learn how to be pregnant or give birth or something. All I really got was that I had to be up from six in the morning till after eleven and up again by six the next day, but I got to eat out and they served a beautiful fruit salad.

In the first class we spent the whole three hours giggling over the breathing. It’s a wonder we don’t get kicked out for talking in class, making dirty jokes and cow references. I lived in dread of having to watch the video in the second class. The video was awful; I’ve seen lots of cows do this why should I be forced to watch a person? It seems to get better with each class. They were smart enough not to warn us about the c-section video. I enjoyed it much more than the birthing video. Blood and gore never has bothered me. They showed us huge needles used for epidurals. I giggled (more) thinking of how I have had to give the horses shots since I was a small child. Mom will pass out at the sight of a needle.

Then we got a tour of the rooms. She showed us a bed that cost fifteen thousand dollars. She asked for volunteers to try on the baby monitor. I said no. I am my husbands favorite, non computer, toy though so he volunteered me.

I think I got a good glimpse of what giving birth will be like. There was an audience as I clambered awkwardly on to the bed. My belly was exposed to the public as they wrapped straps around me. The monitor was cool we could hear the heart beat and lots of gurgling. I swear it was just the baby moving.

Then we got a demonstration of why the bed was so expensive. They began ripping covers off to display its guts. While I was still in it covered in straps, by the way, so I could demonstrate the positions. The innocent looking bed had foot braces and stirrups, a large cut out with  a built in trash bag underneath for catching a baby if it gets dropped. OK she promised that wasn’t what it was for, but who knows it could be handy for that. An exercise bar. All sorts of strange and scary extras.

What happened to the way it’s done in movies where she get to just lay there? I didn’t sign up for doing squats.

24 July 2012

A Horse A Horse My Kingdom For A Quiet Horse.

I managed a ride before it got too hot Friday morning. It was beautiful once we got going.

I decided to ride then headed out to catch a horse. I had halter in hand and even made it to the gate before I looked out to see them in the farthest pen out. I debated for about a minuet then decided I was not walking that far. So I worked in the garden for a while until I looked up to see that they had come closer. When I went to saddle Coyote I thought I would throw my light little dressage saddle up. It looked a little narrow for him and when I went to tighten the cinch it was about a foot short of reaching the other side. I unsaddled got distracted by a bug and finally resaddled in his usual saddle.

Once we get ready though it was nice we rode between fields of corn then down a narrow trail through the corn towering over my  head. I told him he could eat the corn knocked over by the deer but not the standing stalks. He told me he only wanted the standing stalks, they just taste better. All was hunky dory until we reached THE PIVOT! He grazed almost right up to it before looking up and spotting it. Horror of horrors he attempted to flee home but was thwarted. We worked back up to it grazing happily until he looked up again, and saw IT.

My obviously over optimistic hopes of riding under the cooling spray to ease the mornings heat were dashed. I settled for him waiting for me to say we could turn then headed home. Head home we did with all haste.

Unfortunately haste means WALK and I do mean that in capitols. Short fat Coyote has a big walk. It is long strided fast and boingy. Spell check hates me, I feel it does not speak horse. Boingy is to a word. I was afraid that my large well stretched stomach was not going to be able to take it. He had no interest in slowing down, I didn’t want to walk and the narrow trail through the corn left no room to work. I clutched my stomach he boinged and we got home fast. I hope this doesn’t mean that my riding time is nearing an end.

My husband had a dream the other night in which I gave birth and the nurse went to hand me the baby. I had all ready leaped from the bed and left to go riding. The nurse handed him the baby and wanted to know if I was coming back. I got the impression that they all stood around with their mouths agape in horror.

If I have to stop riding now that wont be to far from the truth. How long after giving birth will I have to wait to ride again  anyway?

If only I had a quiet slow horse. Unfortunately my tastes don’t generally run that direction.

20 July 2012

Unbroke Stud VS. Half Dead Mule Pony

I want this so bad:


image 1

She appeals to me, the blind eye, the tongue hanging out. I would be willing to drop the seventy five bucks bring her home and spend the next three or four years seeing if I would be willing to put my little girl on her. At least she doesn’t seem to be foundered. If she really drives that could be fun with a little cart. It would just make me happy to feed her.

I would not get my child this:

He is stunning. He is gorgeous. He is an unbroke stud.

A neighbor boy (junior high age) was given this by his grandpa for his first horse. It stands by the road with its matching herd of black cows for company and every time we drive by I admire his incredible beauty. The last time I looked up and saw to my shock and horror that he was fully intact. I have asked the boy about it and he tells me how they can’t get the pony into the corrals and it has tried to kick him when he gets close. Completely untouched it is terrified of them, my interpretation. I am sure the boy is more then a match for the pony in sheer rottenness but I offered any help I could give. Of course a pubescent boy has nothing to learn from a mere girl.

I am astounded by the choices people make in buying first horses for their children. I would like to take the stud pony home, geld him and start from scratch. Maybe in ten years or so he could make an inexperienced kids horse. Mostly I believe that pretty is as pretty does. That mule pony might just be the prettiest pony in the world.


19 July 2012

Earth Wind and Fire Part Deux

Guest post, follow up on Earth Wind and Fire by Tammie Ellingson:

It is a God-thing.

 I owned two horses, an aged Q.H gelding, with issues- blind in one eye (that never stopped  him), suffering from heaves and worsening arthritis in his front legs. And our ten year old rocky mountain gelding who had weight issues and needs LOTS of exercise. Having gone back to full time at work, I had been thinking how nice it was to only have one horse that needed to be ridden. Our Q.H Skip still gave rides around the hayfield to our grandson and various barn children who’s parents had no time, or horses too hot for such a job, or stood in as an extra when our family all wanted to ride. We had other horses at the barn we could use when we wanted. So, when the thought came to my mind, ‘I need another horse, an older one who doesn’t need to be used every day” I was surprised. I ignored the thought until I got home and checked my E-mail. There, amongst the junk mail, was a letter from my daughter. A forwarded list of Morgan horses in need. This is not an unusual thing for Megan to send me, she loves to look for horses online and send me adds for the ones that interest her, but never have I thought any thing about this, but hmmmmm. Well this time one of the horses she pointed out was a twenty year old Morgan gelding. In Illinois. So….I sent an E-mail to Kathy. I did not really think this horse would be close enough to see, but promised myself if it was with in two hours of our home, I’d check it out! He was, thanks to Kathy for being willing to meet us, and we made arraignments. I was a little worried, as by now I had asked God several times if I had really heard Him say “go get that horse!’ or if it was just me wanting a horse. He seemed to confirm that, yes God wanted me to go get the gelding.

So. We loaded up the whole available family ( my daughter and her husband are in Nebraska, so we left them out!) and headed to western Illinois to meet Kathy, her husband, their young friend and an assortment of Morgans. I couldn’t help but wonder if Kathy would think it was strange for my husband, son, daughter in law, and one year old grand baby to come, but we all wanted to see this horse that God had chosen!
 Well our first look at Earth Wind And Fire was a little intimidating. He was tied, waiting to be tacked up and go for a ride. All the other Morgans stood quietly, tied to the trailer, but Windy paced back and forth, high headed and excited. And big! My son Justin had come to try him out for me, and Kathy, who I loved on sight, had brought along a quiet mare for me to try out. Really, it seemed obvious the mare was the better choice for me. We tacked up, and Justin, an intrepid rider who has ridden since birth, hopped on the very hyper Windy bareback. Windy hopped around, pushing into other horses, people, any thing in his way. Justin caught my eye and shook his head “not this horse”. Had God sent us for the little mare instead? I didn’t know, but trusted God to let us know.
 We headed off down the trails, it was a beautiful ride. Justin and Windy lead the way. I watched with interest. I needed a horse that would lead the way for our rides with younger children. Windy never spooked, never hesitated. Justin chose the hard trails. No problem for Windy. My little mare, Happy Holly, was great too, a very nice horse.
We returned to the trailer and Justin assured me Windy was the horse for us. If I didn’t want Windy could Justin have him?  Of course Justin’s young family can not take on the costs of a horse,but that’s all right cause we can share!
Now Windy is called Indy, in honor of his new life. He has learned to stand still when mounted. To stay standing until asked to go. He has spent the last month going out for rides on our trails with our rocky mountain gelding Smoke, who is ridden by our ten year old niece. He calmly leads the way so Smoke does not have to face the scary things first. On one long ride when Smoke was being naughty, I traded horses with our niece and rode Smoke while she rode Indy. Our niece is from out of state and only rides for the month she is at our house in the summer, so I was very proud of them both as they walked quietly along behind Smoke. Indy also has learned to handle opening gates from his back and tries very hard to figure out what we want of him. As he was ridden english before becoming a road horse for the Amish, our leg commands are confusing to him, but he is learning. He also is taking Justin and one year old Sabbath for rides around the hayfield and is very careful with the baby. Indy has a very good since of humor, so much like our Smoke, tossing his grain bucket, untieing himself in the barn and sneaking in the barn
when Richard brings the stall horses in for the night! Richard likes him any way (that’s saying a lot)! I could go on saying niece things about him all night, but I think you can see that I, for one,am very happy with the horse God chose for our family!
18 July 2012

A Facial Analysis of Coyote

I am a big fan of Linda Tellington-Jones especially her book Getting in TTouch. In the years that I spent training horses I often compared the horses I saw to her analysis of facial markings. I fully believe and agree that the shape of and markings on a horses head give us great clues to personality and likely behavior.

I thought it would be fun to contemplate my beloved gelding Coyote through her writings. Please excuse the poor quality of the pictures. When ever I try to get a picture they all have to stand on top of me.


The swirls on the forehead are the most basic and easiest part to read. Coyote has two, one above the other the bottom being an inch or two long and both connecting. According to Linda this swirl pattern, two swirls connecting. means an emotional and over reactive horse best handled by an experienced rider. Coyote is all of this plus more, but we will get to that. I have found that I get along with this type of horse but not with horses whose swirls are next to each other. They seem to react worse when upset.

The complications of his swirls are offset though by his nice straight profile on a moderately long head with a good square muzzle. Meaning, uncomplicated, easy going, intelligent, willing and able to learn. Does this mean he is not emotional and over reactive? Not at all, just that he is also dependable. Especially when handled in the understanding manner he requires.

He holds his chin very tightly the lip separated by ridges showing that very complexity of character already made so clear.

I have a hard time judging nostrils but I will go out on a limb and say that his are large and open with the edges well defined. Linda qualifies this as intelligent, fluted at the top being a thinker, cooperative if the rider is fair. They are also wrinkled just above indicating his general disdain for those about him. Sounds good so far.

Keeping in mind that on his right eye he has a tumor making it appear smaller, he has large eyes set wide apart signifying intelligence. On this one I could be prejudiced, but I would credit him with the look of eagles as Linda defines it, proud and distant. They do constantly show white which according to folk lore, but not Linda, means spooky and not trust worthy. He can be spooky.

His ears are well defined and nicely fluted showing intelligence they are wide and set wider at the tips then the base all showing steadiness.

So were we able to discern Coyotes nature and true self by reading his face? Or was this guessing and taking what I already new of him and reading it into what I wanted to see? Does this help me to know how to best approach a strange horse or prejudice me.

I know that Coyote is a bizarre mix of complications and dependability, unpredictable yet steady, intelligent but crazy. Did I chose traits applicable to him and decide that those are the ones he must posses? Or does it work?

We wont even get into nature verses nurture.


17 July 2012

Reaping the Harvest

Despite our recent run in with Racoons we are beginning to enjoy the harvest of the garden. The tomatoes are ripening huge and juicy. Lots of peppers are coming on. I picked one tomatillo and added it to the peppers, tomatoes and some freshly dug garlic for a delicious salsa. I could have added one of our onions they are getting big enough but I needed to use up some store bought onion.

We made Shish Kabobs with our first zucchini. It was supposed to be a pumpkin. It came up with the other pumpkin seed I planted in that exact spot. When I got to looking at it, it didn’t look like a pumpkin.

The cilantro has gone wild and the dill will be ready for every thing we can pickle.