Monday, May 31, 2010

coming home

One of my favorite blogs, for the vicarious pleasure of ranch/farm life, is Pioneer Woman. She takes the most incredible photos of life on their Oklahoma ranch, of her children, their horses and cows and dogs and the people who work the ranch. She also has a special section of her blog that is all about photography, and she often has contests for people to enter their own photos on a topic that Ree selects. Currently, the topic is "Coming Home", and as you can imagine, there are literally thousands of photos of soldiers coming home to their loved ones.

I was just scrolling through them all and it's enough to make even an old, black-hearted liberal like me shed a tear or two, especially this Memorial Day. Head on over and check them out. Just be sure to have the kleenex handy. The ones on Ree's blog are simply her own favorites; there are thousands more over on the Pioneer Woman Photography Assignment Flickr page(click for link).

Thursday, May 27, 2010

::random news::

I sold TWO bags out of my etsy shop over the weekend (woohoo!!!) so now I need to get seriously busy sewing! As is totally typical of me, I started my etsy shop, was ALL excited and going to take over the world....and then I fizzled.

BUT now I have my mojo back, have some great new ideas and am going to spend all weekend sewing! Luckily, it's supposed to rain so my husband can't make me work in the yard. He's mean that way.

I did make some very cute (but top secret for now) baby gifts last weekend. They will be wrapped and on their way to Boise. I love that my nieces are having babies; there is just nothing more fun (for me) than making baby gifts. Small, fast and oh-so-satisfying.


We continue to go out riding horses a couple of times a week. Anna is so unbelievably natural and comfortable on that horse; it's as if she was born riding. Which, I guess, in a way she was. Only now, thank god, I'm not the one with the aching knees and back! I do not love driving an hour home from work, quickly changing into riding clothes and then driving another half an hour in the opposite direction to the horses, but as soon as we get there I bury my nose in the horse's neck, take a big sniff and's worth it. Yeah, I'm weird, but seriously? That is one of my favorite smells. Horse. Yum.


Anna and I have been seriously enjoying the Peregrine Falcon cam; all 4 eggs have hatched this week. We love watching the fluffy little chicks struggle with their apparently very heavy heads as mom or dad feeds them.


And that's all I've got for now. Will take pictures of what I manage to get sewn this weekend. Looking forward to my first quilting class in a couple of weeks!

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


From Cute Overload. The fact that they called this goat "Jerry Lewis" makes me love it even more.

Friday, May 7, 2010


If you need to know just one thing about my daughter, it is this: she loves horses. No, I mean really, really loves them and from the time she could talk, it's been aaaaalll about horses. Before she could even say "horse", it was "hee hee". And every time she saw one, whether on TV or in a pasture, she went crazy. She first got to "ride" when she was about 2 and a half, and there has been no turning back. She can tell you the precise different between the "heavy horses" and has spent probably a good half of her lifetime pouring over her roughly 6 gazillion horse encyclopedias. The kid has horse-juice in her veins.

As she got into elementary school and it became clear that she had no interest whatsoever in dance or soccer or softball or skiing, I decided to get her into riding lessons. I figured it would teach her agility, physical strength, teamwork (horses can be even more uncooperative than a soccer teammate, it turns out) and also give her confidence. We have changed instructors and ranches a couple of times and after about 4 years of trotting, loping and cantering around an arena, it was time for a change. Not that she's done learning, by any means, but she's certainly got the basics down and until she decides to take her riding a different direction (such as English jumping or, say, barrel racing) it seems like it's time for her to just spend time, you know, riding.

We live in town with no place to keep a horse, nor do we have the means or interest to own and maintain a horse right now. So I started looking into leasing a horse. It seems like, especially given the economy, there might be people out there who would welcome a few extra bucks a month toward the care and upkeep of a horse in exchange for Anna getting to ride. After doing lots of research and reading up on the legalities, I placed an ad on Craigslist. I got a surprising number of responses, including several who wanted $100 or more a month PLUS half the boarding and feeding PLUS half the veterinary bills. Um, in that case, I want to own half the damn horse. Preferably the front half, thank you.

Anyway, in the end, I found a great little gal who is in the National Guard, has two horses on property about 25 minutes from us;she really just wants someone to ride and exercise them more than she is able to. For $50 a month (LESS than I was paying for Anna to spend two hours a month on horseback for lessons), we get three days a week (including one weekend day) on "Anna's" horse. Plus, anytime I (or a friend of Anna's) want to ride the other one, well, that's an added bonus. Basically two for the price of one. No extra food or vet bills. I can not believe what a good deal this is.


Breezy is an 18 year old "Back-striped Buckskin". She is a GREAT horse, very responsive, has never thrown a rider and she looooves to run. Anna is in HEAVEN.
They live on 5 acres of beautiful Ponderosa pine forest, and a block away is over 80 acres of trails. It's close enough that we went out last night for an evening ride. It is so pretty out there, morning doves cooing and nuthatches calling.

And the girl next door is also 9 years old and also horse crazy. She like to ride Jet, Breezy's friend. The girls hit it off immediately. Anna is so excited to have a friend she can talk horses with.

This was shortly before Jessica and her horse parted ways and Jessica had to be taken to the hospital for a possible broken thumb and cuts to her face. Bummer. She's only been riding for about a month, though, and she was galloping when she shouldn't have been. Lesson learned.

They even have a big goofy Great Dane named "ORANGE". Oh my god I love her. She is a nut and loves to do that "Hey! You! Person! Come chase me!!!" thing.

She is barely smaller than the horses. I might accidentally steal Orange, just as soon as I can squeeze her into my car.
Did we luck out or what??