Posts tagged ‘farm life’

A Mini Donkey Tried to Eat Me!

It was the horseback ride from_____ well, lets just say it was an adventure.

Thing 1 begs me every day to take him riding so this time I said yes.  We have a little pinto mare whom he calls “his horse” that has an arthritic knee (from an injury) and can’t go anywhere too fast so he is pretty safe on her. 

We waited for Matt to come home, shoveled down a quick dinner and piled out the door hoping to sneak out before the Bubba could see what was happening.

Thing 2 didn’t want to get left behind so I doubled him on my “Mountain Mare” and we headed down the trail.

We went along fine for a while but 5 year old Thing 2 is not the most natural of horsemen and when my horse jolted forward unexpectedly I suddenly had his feet up under my armpits.  Instead of bringing her to an immediate stop all I could think was to grab for him behind my back, hoping to catch a clump of his shirt.  He was howling and wailing while she loped ahead and he bounced around on her rump while I tried desperately to keep us both atop! 

We made it through that one and it wasn’t long before the howls of surprise subsided.  The 5 year old can get quite emotional over anything unexpected.

Meanwhile Thing 1 was plunking along on his little mare when we came to a large tree in the trail.   She could not lift her bad knee high enough to clear the obstacle so with a crash and a bump she ended up high centered over the thing.  In another instant and a horrendous struggle she made it over completely, fell to her knees and then stumbled back up to her feet.  I have no idea how Thing 1 managed to ride it out with out a peep.  Poor girl banged up her sore knee.

 We finally made it out of the woods about 3 miles down a fairly steep grade to meet back up with the road below.  My horse decided that she was bored and started eyeing everything with suspicion. 

We rode about a half mile on the road where a garbage can tried to eat Mountain Mare, then my neighbors fluffy dog; a bunch of cows, a rabbit in the weeds, a bicyclist and a motorcyclist then a kind neighbor who stopped in his pickup truck to let us pass.  He said hello in a voice so deep and smoothly rich that it startled me as well!  Thing 2 told me later in a high pitched squeak “I hope I sound like that man when I grow up!” 

I could not get my horse to settle down and I worried about another jolting ride for Thing 2 so I hopped off and led us back up the road to the trail head where I figured we would be safe from horse eating monsters.

We settled in again Mountain Mare and I in the lead with wiry haired Thing 2 clinging to my waist and Thing 1 surprisingly quiet (for once) following behind on his poky girl. 

Not 100 feet into the woods we came to a fence and the cutest little gray donkey that had to stand less than 30″ high and was certainly that wide!  But Oh *^$&*+ I am sure I heard my horseswear as her head snapped around to get a better look and we both saw him squeeze that fat belly right between the gate and a big black railroad tie it was chained to.

In an aggressive move I didn’t expect from such a cute little booger he bolted up to Thing 1’s horse, reared up and snorted in her face.

“Don’t let them sniff,” I scolded him then tried to urge my horse ahead to keep the mares moving farther away from the crazy donkey.  My son’s mare stood frozen in fear while I am certain by the look in her eye, my mare continued to think up unkind words to describe the angry gray monster.

We got a little ahead and the donkey left Thing 1’s mare to gallop past my horse and attempt to kick her in the knee with both hooves flying.  “Hang on TIGHT!”  I hollered at Thing 2 who had practically climbed into the saddle with me, arms and legs wrapped around my waist, head pressed into my back, this time no howls.

When the little guy came galloping back through the brush and the trees Thing 1’s horse decided she’d had enough.  She rammed into the back of us then jetted around my horse and ran as fast as her little legs could take her with the mini chasing from behind.

“Hang on! Hang on TIGHT!”  I yelled, still trying to cling to my double rider with one arm and steer my horse up the rocky trail with the other.

Suddenly the donkey turned back but our horses were not convinced, I allowed my mare to lope in order to keep up with my oldest and his runaway pony.  He was hanging on like nobody’s business but had lost his stirrups so legs and boots where flying and flopping, at first on either side of the horse and then slowly he leaned…

and I watched, as if in slow motion, as he bounced until off the side he went.

I was a little too close to the accidental dismount on a very narrow trail so my horse had to jump in order to avoid stomping his feet or a leg. 

In just twenty feet or so the riderless horse stopped and behind me the horseless rider got up, groaned a little then started hiking.  I wasn’t sure if he was mad or personally offended but he wasn’t seriously hurt, thank the Lord.

I had to hike the three miles home up the steep trial dragging two horses while Thing 1 limped along, only his pride hurt but his horse too banged up to ride. 

Back at home the boys told Dad we had an adventure and when Thing 1 retold the story he claimed he “was born to fall off!”

All because of a horse eating mini donkey.

September 14, 2009 at 9:00 am 8 comments

Where has the mind gone?

Where has the time mind gone?

Anyone else might not understand my devastation when I forgot where I’d put Matt’s paycheck the other day.

Life happens, things get misplaced, even important things.

Even the biggest organize junkie can have a day like I did and end with the realization that the most important slip of paper went into her hand and back out without the slightest recollection.

Why then, did this understandable event cause such grief that I spent nearly an hour huddled in the corner of my bathroom sobbing into my lap while my husband, unaware that I was beside myself, frantically looked for his months pay.

The day began a bit earlier than usual with a hot cup of coffee.  Matt and I packed lunch in a cooler and tried to make breakfast to go before the kids all stumbled down the stairs with hungry tummies.  If we could beat them to it we planned to whisk them into their car seats and stuff bananas in their chubby hands so we would not be held up by the usual hour of dressing, diapering, breakfast routine.

We made it just in time. Buckled the Thinglets into their seats, shoveled a green smoothie into Pee Wee’s little mouth and off we went for the 2 1/2 hour drive north for hay.

Twenty or thirty songs and stories later we made it to the farm where we collect our hay twice yearly.  The farmer was ready with hay forks on his tractor.  I hired Thing 1 to divvy up the snack and give a bottle to the littlest before jumping onto the flatbed to roll 120lb bales of pokey, itchy hay into position while Matt hefted the strays.  Rolling bales might sound like a simple endeavor but when the rectangles are turned they tend to want to stay turned.  With all my might I fought them into place, swiping the sweat under my baseball cap, occasionally letting my boot slip through a crack in the ever growing stack.

Don’t feel too bad, I love to do hay but it sure is exhausting work.

Once most of the bales were loaded I took a break to let the little ones have a few minutes out of the truck before our long trek home.

With Pee Wee on my hip and Bubba in tow we picked alfalfa flowers as I threatened the big boys to stay out of the way of the tractor.  Finally it was time to pull out the checkbook so I summoned Matt with the “Mary Poppin’s Pockets”.  He pulled a somewhat soggy pile of papers from his back pocket and we laughed at having to find a dry check to pay with. 

The farmer (a friendly granfatherly man) snatched up the Bubba and tickled him upside down like he would have done to his own grandson.

Matt noticed his paycheck in the stack of papers and handed it to me for safe keeping, I set the checkbook down on the bumper of the green Chevy and…

POOF!

I can’t remember what happened next.

Remembering has become infinitely more precious to me this year.  You see, my Dad was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimers a disease that robs the brain of memory by depositing plaque in areas with previously perfect activity.  Early Onset is the only type of AZ that is believed to be highly hereditary.  At one point I heard a stat that children of Early Onset AZ patients have a 50% chance of contracting this disgusting disease which can begin it’s tragic effects as early as 30.

Did I mention I turned 30 this year?

That’s how an ordinary event and an active imagination gets turned into a cause for devastation.  A crippling reminder that life is short and a tragic way to start a perfectly good day.

Thank goodness that isn’t where the story ends.

God’s promised are not bound by time, events or circumstance and despite my first raw feelings that somehow my Jesus caused this to happen to Dad.  The facts are he did not, he does not, he can not cause ugly, depraved and sin induced things to happen. He does however allow us to wrestle through life bumping into our circumstances (sometimes self induced, often not) with the choice to include him or not.

When Jacob (the deceiver) wrestled with God (Gen 32:22-31) in the desert he hung on till daybreak. God could have ended the match at any second and yet he allowed the hand to hand combat to continue.  Why?  To be cruel, because he was heartless?  A game?  Jacob had been dubbed a liar from birth, it was on every tongue when his name was spoken.

“Liar, come to dinner.”

“Liar, clean your room.”

God eventually ended the tussle by simply touching (and injuring) Liar’s leg and when he let go he announced,

“You have wrestled with God and with man and you have overcome.  From now on your name will be Israel (he struggles with God)”

In a recent Bible Study I attended the leader implored us to “hang on until the blessing comes.”

The Liar, wrestling with God would not let go. He clung to the struggle and stuck with it until he had encountered God (the wrenched hip) and received a new name “Israel my beloved!”

Even though I don’t like it, even though my mind deceives me I will hang on till the blessing comes and not allow my circumstances to cripple me and keep me from encountering God.

September 3, 2009 at 2:44 pm 15 comments

Not so FAST!

Do you know how much you can learn from observation.  “Be still and know that I am God” implores the Lord!

In our instant gratification, fast food, fast paced, speed dating, online chatting, thrill seeking society the noise never stops.  But those who take the time to STOP and look around will find knowledge in the simplest of places.

Did you know you could learn to garden without “Gardening for Dummies” or that you can track an animal without high tech gear?

I met a huge bull moose face to face the other day.  Twenty feet apart we stared at each other, me on my horse, he in his element.   No fear, no aggression he just caulked his velveted rack and stared. Quickly we departed.  But how did I track and sneak up on one of the largest specimen of four legged creatures in our mountains when hunters search for weeks with their ATV’s and GPS, their cell’s and scopes and tree perches? 

It’s because I listened and learned.  I’ve tracked numerous deer and found signs of bears and many other critters. I use my nose, my sight and the sounds that carry on the wind when you are silent.

That’s why I love the woods, they remind me to hear with ears that really listen, see with eyes that search, feel with my whole being and trust my God given senses.

Sometimes in the day to day I begin to feel like one of the machines I load to wash dishes, or type at to communicate with friends or watch to learn something new.  When did we become so one dimensional?

Today will you sit down and listen?  What can you hear beyond the honking cars, the whir of the fan or the droning of the local news anchor?

August 14, 2009 at 12:08 pm 12 comments

Way cool root cellar!

Okay I know I’ve always got some crazy idea cooked up that my husband has to help me either justify (plan, save and eventually possibly DO), magnify (look intently into the pro’s and often con’s of said project) or on occasion build-ify (just do it)!  I’m hoping this might be in the build-ify department.

This way cool earthbag dome can be constructed using mostly materials I have here at the house…

soil

rock

bags (animal food bags in my case)

I can’t wait to try it out!  Hopefully it won’t have to go under the microscope first and I can report back on construction at some point! 🙂

July 29, 2009 at 2:58 pm 3 comments

Summer Slackin’

See I’m silly, do you suspect my serious compulsion? thing 1 pie I have a compulsion for words and I love alliteration! 🙂 

That aside, I spent the time it takes to brew my morning coffee swatting flies!  Why flies you ask?  My darling Thinglets can not resist the great outdoors but since mom doesn’t cook during the summer they also can’t resist multiple trips indoors for a snack.  During the summer I slack in the eating and the cleaning department, I reserve most of my cleaning rampages for the dreary days of winter.  Please pay close attention to the word MOST as I am not good at practicing what I preach! 

The result is a summer slackin’ mamma, several snackin saps and a serious amount of smackin’ stinkin’ segmented sailing suckers!

Since I’ve been a regular participator in Linda’s weekly blog carnival, previously “What’s for Dinner Wednesday” I decided I couldn’t let down the troops so this week I don’t have a recipe but more of a slackers gluten free survival map!

thing 2 pieNever fear though, I will be back soon with full tummy recipes since in the Northwest summer is but a passing fancy!  We have guests this week and I plan to bring you my brother in law’s (Lil Sis’ Hubby) “Famous Fish Taco” recipe.  So tune in next week!

In the mean time-

Gluten Free Goof’s Slacker’s Survival Map:

The first stop is my sock drawer!  No I don’t have any science experiments brewing in there just a “treasure map” of sorts that helps me get my head out of the clouds when it comes time to eat!  Food preparation is one area that I am somewhat of a procrastinator.  I am not confident, I am picky and yet I have grand ideas that often flop (unless my hubby is helping- he is an uninhibited cook)!  Sooo, it helps me to have a simple plan to fall back on and yet not be bound to! 

Sounds much too complicated for FOOD!  For crying out loud those six mouths are simply six pie holes!

After I have fished out my treasure map I wistfully make a paper airplane out of it and send it sailing off of the deck, past the pigs, the horses, and the vegetable garden where I am reminded there are numerous summertime bubba pietreasures we don’t get to enjoy everyday!  Second stop, garden of weedin where we get our veggies fix’!

If there is extra time and I want to impress the rats I might stop by the BBQ on the way back to the house and create a dish for the critics!

When there is no extra time my map ends up as fuel for the barbecue and I whip up my go to summer meal complete with Sweet Baby Ray’s drizzly grin!

Occasionally I forget the whole thing and let my seven year old create his own masterpiece!

So in case there is any question, my treasures are featured all over this page!  No need for maps or compasses my husband and I have been thoroughly blessed with the four adorable children God has trusted us with!

Psalm 127:3-5
3Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
       children a reward from him.

 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
       are sons born in one’s youth.

 5 Blessed is the man
       whose quiver is full of them.
       They will not be put to shame
       when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

pee wee pieAaarg, I hope you’ve enjoyed this treasure hunt, come back next week for a seriously good installment of Linda’s new and improved “What Can I Eat That’s Gluten Free” and don’t forget to visit the others this week!

July 29, 2009 at 10:02 am 9 comments

I love it when my husband is right, I hate it when my husband is right!

I mentioned in another post about a story I had told.  I decided I’d better get my kicks and share it here too and hopefully in less that half an hour, for your sake! 🙂

A couple months ago the big boys and I were at a friends birthday party and I got to talk horses with their grandpa.  He told me through teary eyes that his health was failing and despite his love for horses, haying and helping out his grandkids, he was going to have to neglect his hobby farming and move out of state for the summer to undergo cancer treatments. I was horrified since I had brought up a subject that he was obviously frightened about.  I mentinoned it to my friend, his daughter-in-law and we had a nice conversation about it. I told her I’d pray for their family and she began to tell me about her plight with the horses that had been his and she was now in care of.

To make a very long story somewhat shorter… she was having difficulty caring for and keeping weight on them and asked if  Iwould like to have one.

I of course was extatic.  I’ve got three horses of my own but it’s a strange motley crew.  One 16+ hand draft horse (tall and WIDE) a short mare (Mountain Mare) I’ve had since she was a baby and an even shorter pony/mare for my kids.  None of them are well suited to your average, everyday, friendly guest who might want to have a tour of our local mountians.  I love taking people for rides so I was excited about the chance to have a regular sized horse.

I told her I would “work on” talking to my husband about it and she should keep me informed on how things were going. 

Over the next couple of months I worked hard at trying to figure out a way to reduce our horse expenses so that I could justify feeding another large mouth, to my husband!  Also over the next couple of months my husbands job became less and less stable seeming and a raise became a  dream of the past.

Sooo, my friend called again this week to ask if she could bring the horse over for me, complete with hay and a round pen.

I asked Matt, thinking that after the conclusion of the pig incident I had this one in the bag! Not really, my husband is not a push over and I am not a horrible manipulator. I’m sure on occasion I’ve used my womanly charms to get my way but let me tell you I’m not proud of those moments and they usually come back to bite me.  We do, both want what is best for our family so it serves us well when we hear eachother out and submit to God’s authority on matters.

This time Matt wisely said “No!” Not in those words but still the answer was no and I had no rebuttal because I knew he was right. We really could (can) not afford another horse!  I was crushed.  I had really hoped I could make it work.

I hate it when my husband is right!

I reluctantly called my friend back and broke the news to her.  She understood but still tried to “sweeten” the deal with more hay and the use of a horse trailer they would no longer be needing.

Just before hanging up the phone I remembered something Matt had said, “I have no problem having another horse at the house it’s just not a wise money decision.” He had even told me I should ask her to board the horse at our place so we could ride together.  I offered this option to her and through a series of details and more phone calls her and her husband decided to give it a try.

The next day Sunny showed up at my house looking like this…

 mare2

I had no idea she had fared so badly.  She is quite old, mind you (great for the kids) but her health and weight are far beyond what I had realized when we first talked.  Upon her arrival I tried to hide my shock.  Since my friend is aware of the problem and is now trying to do something about it there was no reason to rub it in and embarrass her but WOW!  This poor mare will have a long road to health and an expensive journey at that.  Thank the Lord and thank my Hubby she is not our financial burden.  It will be a blessing to be a part of helping nurse her back to fat and happy and help my friend learn how to avoid this in the future!

 I love it when my husband is right!

July 14, 2009 at 9:30 am 3 comments

Come Away With Me

I though you might enjoy a horseback ride today so come away with me to the Idaho mountains… I hope you enjoy the tour. 

Now who will I take? 

Look for the “knob” on the mountain between the big guy’s hocks (back knees), that’s our destination today!ridea

We need a strong fast mount. 

Meet the horse my friends dubbed “Mountain Mare”…ride

Up, up, up the mountain we go.

This is the view part of the way up the mountain.

ride1

Here we are just before we “lost” our riding partners who were not interested in “boonie-bashing” as we call it.  Hiking up deer trails without hesitation is how my mare got her nickname!

ride3

Now where is that big rocky knob?

ride5.5

Come on dogs!

ride4

I think we’re getting close

ride5

There it is!ride6

Too bad horses can’t climb rocks, we won’t be standing up there today.

ride7

That’s okay, the view from here is awesome!

ride9

 Ready for the long ride down?ride14

The sun is getting high and I’m getting hungry!ride15

Thanks for riding with Mountian Mare and I

were glad you came along!

 

 

 

June 4, 2009 at 9:59 am 16 comments

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Us and Our Thinglets

MATT - Food Creativity Consultant, Joyful Partner in Crime JESSIE - Photographer, Amateur Food Critic, Blog Author CAPTAIN OBVIOUS - formerly Thing 1 Thing 1 SCARFUNKLE - formerly Thing 2 IMG_3466 LOUD KIDDINGTON - formerly THE BUBBA 3 PEE WEE MINI ME BORN March 8, 2011

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Food Fun

Sourdough Update

Many of you have been checking back for results on my sourdough creation. At the moment it is still a science experiment, but a happy, bubbly experiment. Never fear, recipes will be here! I did make a beautiful, moist and delicious loaf of sourdough using yeast and a myriad of other ingredients but I'm still trying to create something more user friendly. Wouldn't it be awesome to have a starter on the counter that you could add 4 things to and have a loaf of bread by dinner? Mmmm! Attempt #1 - rose well but resulted in a dense chewy blob Attempt #2 - rose ok but was thin and lifeless then fell and another dense (not so chewy) blob Attempt #3 - to the dogs! Attempt #4 - A sourdough pancake success see post under what's for breakfast gluten-free goof? Ongoing - I've tried several more times and am going to try a completely different approach on the bread starting this week. (Mar 18). My sourdough is still happy on my counter and it makes great pancakes but it's a lot of work just for pancakes. Keep checking! April Update: She is still kickin and I'm still workin on a yeast free, gluten free sourdough loaf! May Update: My sourdough "pet" has been dried and retired until next baking season. I've traded her in for a hotter model, the BBQ! :)
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