Thursday, September 30, 2010

In limbo.

The Pumpkin Patch is moving ahead dispite whining on my part.  The bad part is that no one really has a whole lot of sympathy for you when you got yourself into the predicament in the first place.  Most things are in place and other than it being kind of cold this weekend I am looking forward to seeing how it goes. 

There are ALOT of other things occupying my thoughts and emotions right now and I am in disbelief that this has all come at the same time. I am a bit at my wits end with it all and am ready to, well, be out of limbo.  I cannot share right now what is going on but by the end of this week I should be able to.  Though God has been known to test my patience a bit in situations like this so it could be longer.  It could be very exciting and scary at the same time.  Or it could turn out to be nothing and all of this worrying  is needless energy lost.  That is the thing about limbo you don't even know how to feel.  That is where I am and that is what is consuming my thoughts.

I should update on all of the animals but there is not a whole lot.  Which is good when it comes to animals.  They are all healthy and happy.  I did get a duck yesterday to add to our petting zoo for the Pumpkin Patch.  I am sure the animals with have to do some adjusting with a bunch of kids coming in and invading but I know they will do fine.  Especially since we got a nifty candy machine to dispense food for the children to feed the animals. That will make the adjustment much easier.  They love grain.

Thats it, so I will update you soon and let you in on all of the craziness that is going on as soon as I get the details.  Pray the details comes soon!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Those followers that are horsey people please check out my other blog dedicated to my OTTB.

You see this sign?  Isn't it cute?  Decorated nicely and well done, right?  Yes, I thought you would agree.  I like the sign but the one thing I am having a hard time figuring out is WHY IS IT IN MY FRONT YARD????  It is not in my yard because I had too much time on my hands and thought, hey, I should start a business.  No that would not or could not be true.  It is not in my front yard because, well I am a business type woman and really belong starting a business.  Nope thats not it.  Hmmmmm, think, think, think, oh yeah I think I got it......

One nice fall day about 2 years ago I was mowing the grass.   Two years ago mowing the grass was heaven.  I had a 1 year old, 2 year old and 4 year old and I couldn't hear anyone cry with the mower running, ahhh peace and quiet.  Opps did I just say that out loud?  I would never ignore my crying babies, no, not me.  Anyways, that is neither here nor there.  Beautiful fall day, me, peace and quiet, and thoughts actual thoughts were going through my brain.  "Wouldn't it be so cool to have a pumpkin patch?" (this is me talking to myself, just incase you were wondering) . "It would be so fun!  Someday the kids could help out and it would be a little family business!  That is such a great idea!  I mean we have the land.  Even the animals.  What fun!  I want to do that."  Can you hear the excitement in my voice?

Well that is the begining of the end.  If I get something in my head, no matter how hair brained it might be, I have a habit of following through and making it happen.  There are some that may consider this a good thing.  For my poor poor husband he would have to disagree with those people, strongly disagree, I might add.

So that is it, that is why that sign is sitting in my front yard.  That is why my stress level is through the roof, my to do list has reached and all time record length and well my home, my childrens schooling and many other things have been placed on the back burner.  I am going with the explination that my children seeing first hand either how to or how not to start a family business is more education than the public school could ever offer.  An entrepenurial education.  Yeah that one sounds good, right??

Come, come to our pumpkin patch, take a pony ride and pet the goats, swing on the tire swing, pick out a pumpkin and take a hay ride back to the corn maze, wander the corn a maze, eat a caramel apple or a personal pumpkin pie or both.  Make some memories with your family.

Please otherwise it will be a lesson in what not to do :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Changes here and new blog.

If you haven't noticed that horse related stuff seems to be taking over this blog then you probably haven't been reading.  This blog was meant to document my life as a wife, mother and farmgirl and it is taking a different direction.  So I want to separate these two subjects and I will hopefully be able to better balance the posts in each.  So here you will still be able to read the general goings on here around the farm.  From the kitchen, garden, barn, school room and where ever life takes us.

My other blog  Slow and Steady wins the race  will be dedicated to the training/retraining of me and my OTTB Steady Smiler to be eventers.

Thanks all for reading.  You make doing this so much more fun!


What is the deal?  I was already having a not so good day.  I go out to take a ride because it is my therapy on days like this.  I always finish on cloud nine.  Well NOT today, Steady had other plans in mind.  I rode a horse today.  He was in my pasture and looked like my horse.  He was a pretty reddish brown with a star on his head and a funny little non-commited snippet on his nose. 

 I could have sworn he was my horse.  So I tacked up and he was as quite as a lamb.  His head was low as I brushed him and was practically taking a nap by the time I was ready to head to the arena.  The first sign was when he refused to walk out to the arena.  He sometimes stops but after a second moves forward, not today.  Kelcie comes up to me and says "Mama are you gonna wide(ride in Kelcinese)"  "Yes sweetie I am", "Are you gonna wun(run)", "no, I am not gonna run".  "Can I wide with you?", "ok but just for a little bit".  So I pulled her up and we walked around, no problem.  Then it was time to start working, he has had 3 days off sans the chiro.  After about 10 minutes the pony ride ride time was over so I plopped Kelcie to the ground. 

That is when it all started going down hill and I think Steady's evil twin appeared.  He was HOT to say the least.  Any leg pressure was sending him into a canter.  I am talking about leg pressure to get him to bend.  Something we have done a thousand times and whooops canter.  I could barely hold him back.  And if you have never ridden a racehorse I will tell you now that is not a good feeling.  You know the power behind that bit and it is not a force to be taken lightly.  And it is not like he has been off of the track all that long.  It has only been 9 months since his last race.  I hate pulling and pulling on his mouth.  I hate it, but what are your options when the boy won't take the hint to slooooow down.  So we troted and trotted and trotted.  It soon became appearant that this energy was not quickly dying.  Though he did become a LITTLE more under control. 

We cantered to the right with little problem.  He was high strung but controlable.  Then to the left, not so much.  He started in and then started drifting way out to the side, cantering sideways.  I used some outside leg to try to get him to turn and move forward began!!!  Ahhhh you butt head what are you thinking.  This horse has not once ever bucked on me.  That is why I am thinking that someone switched out my sweet fun to ride liver chestnut.  This was the closest I have come to falling off in well at least 15 years.  I wasn't really that close.  My feet didn't even make it out of the stirrups and I was thrown off balance some but relatively kept it together.  Pulled him to a stop then headed straight to the barn.  He was very happy to see that he got what he wanted.  Little did he know that the only reason we were headed that way was to get the dreaded lunge line.  Back to the arena we went and I put him to work.  I wasn't going to stop until I was confident he was prepared to listen.  Let me tell you he can handle ALOT of work and it not even phase the boy.  So not willing to let my children go without dinner I knew he was gonna outlast me with that energy of his. 

I decided to get back on and make sure he knew that behavior was not going to be rewarded by getting off easy.  We trotted a bit then picked up the canter.  It was a little to the side but not nearly as bad.  Around again and again after about the 5th time he went around nicely and we were done.  Even as I was trying to cool him out he was just speed walking.  What is wrong with my boy.

Well I think it probably has something to do with 3 days off.  We will have a talk with the chiro about 3 full days off.  But I think I know the true culprit to the sudden surge of energy.  I recently upped his feed to 15lbs a day of equine senior.  And no I didn't up it all at once it has been gradual for the past few months.  It is supposed to be a cool energy feed but still I think 15lbs a day of any feed could get to you.  I just don't know what to do.  He is finally starting to put on a little weight for the first time since I owned him.  I am sick of seeing him skinny.  I don't want him to be fat, just healthy and healthy looking.  So I up his feed to fatten him up and at the same time make him loco.  Do I really have to choose: skinny or loco???

Monday, September 13, 2010

Horse crazed

I am fully preoccupied with my horses.  I just can't seem to help it.  I am going about my regular tasks all the while thinking about, next time I get to ride, I wonder if Steady needs his feet done, I really should work with Lily, maybe me and Elaina can ride later...and it goes on and on.

So my blog then is seeming to be dominantly occupied by horsey posts. 

I have mildly decided that since I posted an add on craigslist trying to sell Lily hasn't gotten any responses, that I am going to turn her into a little eventing pony.  She will be great with the dressage end of it.  I will have to see, though, if she is capable of the cross country/jumping end of it.  I have started with lunging.  I will be doing ALOT of lunging for a long time and that is how we will start.  When I deem her ready I will try lunging her with Elaina on her back.  I don't know how soon that will happen though.  We will just see how it goes.

Now on to Steady, he is just a dream.  I am happy, excited, thrilled, elated to announce I believe he is FINALLY starting to put on some weight!!  At least I think he is.  It is something kind of hard to gauge because you never see a huge jump over night.  It is slooooooow and so you can't always see a difference, but he is looking a little less ribby. 
I am loving how soft he is in he mouth.  He is really moving into the bit and now we are working on bending to the right (common issue with OTTB's.  They only run to the left at the track) and trying to even him out with his balance.  He is just a dream to ride.

I took a friend riding yesterday evening.  It was her first time on a horse.  She rode Moonlight and he was a good boy for her.  He has a tendacy to be a bit stubborn, especially if he knows you don't have the control.  But it was over all a good experience for a first ride.

Now horses is by far not all I am up to but horses are the therapy to get me through some of the other stuff.

School is in full force.  We have to take the time everyday to get our lessons done.  Not always an easy thing to do.

I am opening up our property in October and starting a pumpkin patch.  So I am overwhelmed with trying to get everything in order for that.  But that is an entirely different post.

That is it for now.  Sorry for being so choppy in my thoughts but this is how I end the days.  Mind racing, heart full and thoughts jumbled.  It all

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Excited might be an understatment.

I went to my first horse show that I have been to in like 15 years.  Well I didn't take my horse or anything, but still I had fun.  Actually I have never been to an eventing show whatsoever.  I went to check out what it was all about, and, I, love, it!  I can't wait to take Steady!  The bigget thing I walked away with was the confidence that, I can do it!  They start all the way at "Green as Grass" and go up.  Now that is my kind of show.  We won't have to start at green as grass but we will begin with the "Starters" group.  They had cross country courses that ranged from small 6 in high logs on the ground to BIG jumps.  I learned so much.  The people were so nice and are not snobby at all.

I met up with a fellow OTTB owner and friend.  She and her horse are kind of in the same place as me and Steady so we are going to start showing together.  How fun to have a show buddy!!! 

So listen to this I was asked to help judge at the next jumping show!  It is all so exciting!  I am so excited to learn about judging.  You may ask if I am qualified to jump, well not technically but I think I will be able to catch on quick.  I mean I did spend 7 years showing and training in the hunter jumper discipline. 

So the scheduele of events; September 25th my first small fun show in 15 years that I will actually be riding in, October 10th my first judging experience at a jumper show, November 13th my first EVER  cross country/dressage show.  oooooh I cannot restrain my total excitement to be fullfilling this dream that I thought would be just that a dream.  It is coming to life thanks to this amazing OTTB that is in my back yard!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Riding lessons

Something that people (non horse friends usually) ask me is "Why do you take lessons, I thought you know how to ride?"  It does take everything in me to not just burst out laughing.  I usually just chuckle a bit and then try to explain the best I can that after riding for the past 25 years and taking lessons for over 10 of those years that I am still not good enough nor will I EVER be too good to take lessons.  I can tell even when I say it that it goes in one ear and out the other.  Not because they don't care but because it just doesn't make any sort of logical sense.  I mean I don't blame them I even struggle with the idea that I am giving lessons (beginner) and taking them too.  HA this humors me a bit.

It is a frustrating thing to try to explain to people.  You could get into the details about constantly critiquing posture and leg position, where your hands are, how long your reins are at any given moment.  But you quickly start to see their eyes glaze over and you realize they have not one clue what you are taking about.  They nod their head and you change the subject because, well, whats the point? 

The bottom line is the more I learn the more I realize I still have to learn.  With each new break through between me and Steady for as gratifying as it is, it really just opens about 3 more doors for things to work on.  But never at any point does this become discouraging.  Why?  Well if you ride, and I mean REALLY ride you know that answer and if you don't, well then, what's the point????

Favorite quote of the day: "If you want to ride for fun, then go ride a carousel".

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


First off sorry for the video quality, my 7 year old is not the best videographer but she did a fine job.  Then the quality is bad cause it was taken on my camera.  To add to all of that is was really windy which made it noisy.  But the point of the video is to show off Steady's head position he is getting so good with it.  He really puts his head low and really feels for the bit.  He is so much more collected and his balance is so much better.  He seriously had zero balance.  He can even actually bend now.  He was like a board when turning right at the begining. Even his canter is coming along nicely but I am not posting videos of that quite yet.  Though I should have done a before and after of it.  He first started not knowing any signal for leads and only picking up his left lead when asked and doing random flying changes when not being asked.  Then he would go tooooooo fast I mean not racing fast but too fast.  And at the turns were the worst he would cut the turns and really pick up speed around one of the turns.  After seeing some of his racing videos the last turn is when he picked up the pace and came from behind to win.  So I do know why he does it but not really practical for a dressage ring.  Then he started almost loping instead of cantering.  From one extreme to another.  Well yesterday he had a very nice canter and even started listening when I asked for him to tuck his head and collect himself.  But only for a moment, so we have a ways to go.  It is progress though and that is all I can ask of him.


When I first started my lessons a few months back I thought there was no way either of us would ever be able to pull of anything that resembled dressage.  Well we are on our way.  Not in any hurry but on our way.  He needs to take things slow and so do I.  I still have weight to loose and get into better shape.  So I hope hope hope that next year will be the year for us to event.  But even saying seems a long shot.  But I think I will be surprised when next spring rolls around.

My instructor said we are ready for our first small show!  I am excited about that.  It has been sooooo long since I have showed it will be like learning all over again.  So I am meeting up with a lady I met via internet at a show this weekend without horses.  Just to get the feel of it again.  I came to know her because she bought an OTTB about the same time I did from the same lady.  Actually she almost bought Steady and that is how we started emailing.  So I am lookng forward to hanging around the show and observing.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Frickled Beans

mmmm...if i do say so myself.  As far as I know I came up with this idea on my own.  Though I had inspiration from two different sources.  You may be asking yourself "What is a frickled bean?" 

                                                     It starts with a pickled green beans.

                      Then 1 Cup flour and 1 Cup beer whisked together.  Dip the beans into the batter.

                                            Shake off excess and put them into the fryer.

Then you place a plate on top of your fryer so it will stay shut.  Oh wait, that's just mine.  You can probably skip this step.

                                      After about 2 minutes dump them onto a paper towel.


                                                    Then get your favorite dipping sauce.

                                                                  Then enjoy!

So frickle = fried pickle
frickled beans = fried pickled green beans

In a nut shell it is a delicious treat to eat while watching your favorite college football team play.

I made it to 30!

I have 30 followers!  I am appreciative of each of you that bother to read my ramblings.  I am so happy to have started this blog.  I didn't even know about the world of blogging not too long ago and now look at me all made that up could you tell?

30 is significant for me this year in more than one way.  I turned the big 3 0 this year!  Not a big deal to me.  The number really doesn't mean too much but it does make me think a little more about how I am spending my time, what I am investing myself in and what I want to accomplish.  Time starts to move a little quicker with every passing year and I definitly want to seize the day.  That is part of the reason I "just went for it" when it came to persuing my passion of horseback riding.  I wasn't willing to let another year go by saying "one of these days" I will fullfill that dream.  I mean if I don't do this for myself it is not like someone is going to do it for me.

Then there is the 30 lbs I am on track to losing this year.  At weigh in today I was down 16 pounds!  It feels so good to feel so good.  One thing I realized today is that my knees don't hurt anymore!  The last few years my knees have hurt when I would go up and down stairs and squating.  I don't know if that has all to do with weight or if riding agian has helped but I do know it feels good.  My goal is 30 and I may go for a few more once I hit that goal but that is a weight I am happy with.  It is another one of those things that I realized that if I don't do something about this now it will only get harder.  I am going to weight watchers and it is the accountibility I needed.  Along with dropping weight my goal is to be in shape to start eventing next year!!!  Now that is a motivating goal for me!

So 30 is the number of the year for me.  Thank you to each of you that make that number up and I am glad you are going on this jouney with me.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I have just been busy!  I can't tell you how many blogs I have read with that as the first line in the post.  Maybe it is because I follow so many farm/homesteading blogs and well this kind of lifestyle does not lend itself to loads of free time to write about all of the exciting adventures this life takes us on.  Well school has started and strangely enough that actually gives me a bit more time.  It makes me get schedueled.  And I am also in a break of canning for the moment so that alone frees up time.

Here is my harvest from today.  Red long beans, some green beans, cutting celery and tomatoes; san marzano, better boy, yellow pear and black cherokee.

Me in the garden.  Have I mentioned on here that I have lost almost 15 lbs!!!!  Just tooting my own horn a bit.


I haven't had a ton of motivation to be in the garden this year because of the incredibly HOT summer we have had.  It seems rare to get a day under about 90 degrees and 100% humidity.  They say though we are getting a break from the 90's starting tomorrow!!  Just in time for the holiday weekend.  Maybe they will stay away.  To add to it we have had NO rain.  It has been so dry and all my plants are thirsty.  We do water some but it is not the same as a good drenching from a summer rain.

So when I am not here(on my blog) you may just find me here(in the garden)

Its turkey time!

Can you guess how many pounds our turkeys dressed out at?  Today was the big day.  We dropped them off last night at a local amish butcher.  When I went to pick up the turkeys to put them in the trailer they decided to put up a good fight.  I am not kidding I was beat up by a turkey.  One hit me in the jaw and it is bruised today, one hit my in the cheek and it is sore, one hit me in the arm and left a nice bruise and one some how scraped my arm and left me bleeding.  I think I need some turkey lifting lessons or maybe it was the fact that they were like 40 pound monsters!!!!  The turkeys may have won the battle but I won the war...LOL!!!   They dressed out at 34, 33, 28 and 22!!!!  I came home today with 117 lbs of turkey!!!

We are grinding two of them.  Boiling down the carass for broth and the rest of the meat that we didn't get off the bones since we are NOT professional butchers.   Then two will remain intact for Thanksgiving and another special occassion.  We got one ground tonight and here is that experience.  It was a whole family event.  Well except for Kelcie she really didn't have much to do with it.

Here is one of the biggest, 34 pounds! 

Ryan's job was de-boning and cutting.

I manned the grinding station.

The two kids weighed and baged it.

15 pounds of turkey burgers, tacos, chili, meatballs and yummy turkey goodness!

By the end of raising these birds I said I was NEVER doing this again.  It is a pain in the butt and I don't even know if you save very much money.   But it didn't take long after having them in my fridge/freezer to get me thinking about how nice it is going to be to have all this meat.  So I am sure I will be going for it again next year.