Escape was the theme of the day yesterday. My border collie escaped the yard and the bunny decided he was going to live in the house I was sitting at my mother in-law’s counter talking to her while Gus had a play date with their dog Cabela. I looked out the window only to see my wonderful border with his head under the fence. As I was opening the door to call him back to me the whole border collie disappeared! I, of course, had no shoes on and ran to the front door to jam my feet into my Bogs. Ace had just freshly stomped on my left foot and lets not forget about the right ankle being sprained. I ran around to the side of the yard that he disappeared on only to find no border collie. At this point I am envisioning my beautiful border collie squashed by a car. When I got up the hill and through the woods there is Gus making friends with the neighbor behind the house. I called Gus who came running over with the “Mama look what I did” face! He was so proud of himself and I couldn’t really yell at him since he did come when called. Gus and I went home where I proceeded to ground him and tell him he can’t talk to any of his girlfriends for a week!
Pete one of our herd bucks enjoys hopping around the garage while I’m out there. I believe he likes to go check on his ladies. I had swept up after all the rabbits, fed everyone and given annabelle her meds. I too a short trip into the house to fill the watering can. I left the door open that leads from the garage into the kitchen, as I would only be a minute. Gus went out which I didn’t think anything of as he is very good with the rabbits. What I didn’t know was that Pete had hopped inside while Gus went out. After filling everyone’s water I realized that Pete was no-where to be found. It was then that I realized Pete was not actually in the Garage. Complete pandemonium doesn’t quite explain what you see when you walk in to find one giant rabbit chasing a giant cat followed now by Gus who had followed me in. I grabbed Gus an threw him outside with our lab. Now the hard part of catching Jack or Pete. Luckily Jack is a very food motivated cat so I busted out the liver treats and called him. Jack amazingly ran over jumped on the counter for his treat. I snatched a very happy Pete up who was not so impressed when I put him back in his enclosure.
Needless to say there is never a dull moment in my house. I sometimes love to see the reactions on peoples face when I tell them how many pets I have. The chaos that is my house has a peaceful rhythm that I could not survive without.
I put off talking about my thanksgiving in order to talk about my horse. This year it was a small family gathering with my husbands family. We had an amazing time just hanging out. We played games on the wii and watched movies after dinner. My father in-law was in charge of smoking the turkey again this year. I have come up with a wonderful turkey recipe by brining the turkey for 24 hours then smoking it.
Soak for 24 hours
1.5 gallons of water
6 cups of apple juice
2 cups bourbon 3 cups brown sugar
2 1/2 cups salt
10 bay leaves
1.5 T whole black peppercorns
2 tart apple chopped
2 medium onions coarsely chopped
10 Garlic cloves
The peel of one lemon (no pith)
Combine all ingredient to soak turkey in for 24 hours.
Rub for the Turkey
2 1/2 T ground sage
2 1/2 T Dried Rosemary
2 T Dried Thyme
2 T Salt
1 Freshly ground black pepper
After taking the turkey out of the brine, put your preferred veggies in the bird (celery, apples, onions, garlic, fennel bulb). Place butter under the skin above the turkey breast (this helps to keep the breast moist)t. Place the rub on the whole turkey skin and smokey our turkey at around 230F.
I was going to write about how wonderful my thanksgiving was, which it was. I had planned to include a wonderful turkey brine recipe (we will get that up soon). Today calls for a different story. I sprained my right ankle very badly at the beginning of november. As luck would have it, it right ankle I was stuck at home and could not drive, not to mention the crutches or the giant boot I was supposed to wear. All of these things combined meant that I could not ride my horse or couldn’t even drive to go see him. This made for a very long month as I am used to seeing Ace several times a week if not every day. Well, this last week I have been hobbling around without the crutches and driving short distances. I woke up this morning after my husband left early for hunting and thought I’ll go see Ace.
I figured if I was going all the way out to the barn I should just ride him, why not! Well, I thought to myself maybe I should’t use the stirrups that might be easier on the ankle. Then I thought maybe use the english saddle instead of the western saddle as those stirrups are less clunky and I can just flip them over the saddle. This way they won’t knock Ace in the leg or my ankle. I loaded up the car and headed to the barn to hobble out and catch my horse. What could possibly go wrong?
Anyone who knows me has heard about Ace, I tend to talk about him a lot. On my way to the barn I’m realizing what a terrible idea this may be but that didn’t stop me. I was thinking how on earth am I going to lunge him? Ace doesn’t lunge in pretty circles around me while I stand still in the middle. Ace tends to lunge in large ovals and squares while I walk in a smaller ovals and squares. Occasionally just for fun he will pretend he is going to run into the wall. He will then stop just to see if I am really going to make him keep lunging (the constant struggle of who is really in charge). Then, I remember its end of November meaning my wonderfully behaved horse has turned into to demon spawn. Ace will think of every bad thing he can do until he decides I’m serious today we really are riding. Well, by now I’m convinced I may die this morning but at least I will get to see my horse first. When I walked (limped) my way out to his pasture and called him he came running over to the gate (yup I taught my horse to come when called). While I was trying to open the gate he was trying to push it down while knickering. Once we managed to get the gate open and shut with Ace through it he got his favorite banana cookies. This is when my 15.3 hand horse decided he missed me so much he rubbed his head all over me trying to pull me close all while knickering and snorting. It was pretty cute.
We walked up to the barn and I put Ace in the crossties and brushed him. This is the point I busted out the english saddle (we have been riding western for almost a year now). I put the saddle pads on and the saddle at which point I buckled the girth on one side. When I walked around to buckle the other side I realized my horse has gotten fatter since the last time we rode in this saddle. I told ace to suck it in! I put my helmet and then his bridle. We walked to the indoor arena which was thankfully empty. After making Ace suck it in some more we went over to the mounting block. This is when he gave me that “Are you sure you know what you are doing look”? I ignored his look and told him to stand still and I climbed aboard. We started at a walk reminding Ace I do know how to ride, and I am still in charge despite my absence. We practiced yielding off my legs and neck reining as well as stopping and backing up. At this point I thought this was going really well so lets try at a jog. I kept waiting for the point where Ace turned into a monster but all the hours and hours of training in the summer seems to have truly paid off. My horse was an angel (a fat one) but a completely different horse than he was last winter. Last winter I wouldn’t have even thought about riding him without lunging him especially without stirrups.
I could not have asked for a better day after thanksgiving. Today I realize how thankful I am to have my horse. We had a rocky start as a team but landed at a wonderful barn with wonderful people who have helped us along the way. Today I saw a horse that has realized I am not going to get rid of him and that I love him.
“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”
― Winston S. Churchill
As a kid I have many fond memories of biscuits and gravy for breakfast. The gravy of course was sausage gravy made from venison with biscuits from scratch. I remember when my family would all go out hunting for deer season. We would bring home several deer at a time and this would be our meat for the year. Processing the venison was always a family project we did together. I enjoyed being in charge of the grinder and making the breakfast sausage. My dad always tells me the story of when I was very little I came out into the garage and said “Chop chop chop gonna eat you all up big buck!”.
Biscuits this recipe is great to make ahead and freeze then cook when you want them.
3 c flour
1/4 c sugar
4 t baking powder
1/2 t cream of tartar
3/4 t salt
1/2 c butter
1 egg beaten
1 1/8 cup milk
Combine all dry ingredients. Cut room tempature butter into slices and cut into dry ingredients until mixture resembles course crumbs. Add wet ingredients, mix until dough forms a ball dump onto lightly floured surface knead 10-12 times. Roll out a little less 1/2 the thickness of the desired biscuit size fold dough over (this makes them come apart easier when cooked). Cut out busciuts I usually use a floured glass. Grease a baking sheet and place biscuit in freezer to freeze. Once frozen put them in a ziploc bag to take up less room. Cook at 425 for 12-15 minutes. If you are eating them right away you skip the freezer steps.
Then you enjoy while the labrador cleans up for you!
They say you are in a better place
I really hope you are
You will have no more suffering
Someday again I will see you
We will be together again
In that better place
I will remember you always
The good memories will stay forever
And this is how it will be till the end
For those of you who knew our sweet Sammy he went to heaven last tuesday. He was the most loving and bouncy dog I have known. Despite the bad experiences he had before coming to us he trusted unconditionally until the end. The world will miss you but, most of all I will miss you. The house just doesn’t quite seem the same without you.
We love you Sammysaurus Rex