Saturday, November 29, 2008

My souse chef

Thanksgiving did not go as planned, but Duncan and I had fun.
Here he is stirring the trinity for Giblet stock. He was not the best souse chef, since he went missing most of the time.
You may have to click this picture to enlarge to see where he was hiding. At one point he was
laying across this log and I yelled out "what are you doing?" He yelled back, 'sleeping'! LOL
Here is the end result of the work I did. I would have liked to brown her up a bit more after I took off the cheesecloth, but my brother stopped by to see the property and when I went in for the final basting the meat thermometer said "get me out"! I despise dry turkey so when it was ten degree higher than goal I wasn't browning it and risking the breast.

So, don't you think my Souse chef is cute?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Being Grateful

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, it is only appropriate that I have a post about gratitude. Our sermon on Sunday was about Gratitude. To be sure to be grateful to the right source (God), not be selfish or self-righteous in our gratitude.

I am guilty of selfish gratitude alot. My nightly "grats" are usually about ME or my family. I am often not thinking past my own front door. I will try to be grateful for the bounty of others, the safety of others and just in general the good around the world. I will also try to remember to pray for those who have major harships at this time.

As for our plans for tomorrow. My hubby is working and I will try to be grateful for his job and less cranky that he is working. My family is not coming to our new home for Christmas and I will be happy they are safe and not sad they are not coming. I will be thrilled I have a kitchen in which to cook my dinner. I will be grateful when Jay comes home from work and our family is healthy and happy together.

I had purchased all the food for dinner this weekend but didn't buy a turkey because they were all 14+ pounds. The three of us do not need, nor will we eat that much turkey in short enough time. I looked at turkey breasts, but they were way to spendy. I had decided to find a small one today or just have chicken for T'day. We eat bountifully every day and we can't fathom the hunger our forefathers felt and why harvest was such a thankful time, so I could easily be thankful for chicken or even a meatless holiday. God provided, though. My aunt got a turkey from the local churches in mission and then yesterday her boss gave her another turkey. She didn't need two turkeys and she gave me one. I can almost taste it now.

So with gratitude in my heart I say Happy Thanksgiving to all my freinds, both in real life and cyber ones.

Turkey photo stolen from . I used her recipe for the perfect Thanksgiving turkey a few years ago and my husbands employees (to whom I delivered leftovers) tried to get me to open a restaurant. So, three cheers for Martha!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Who went with you this time?

You may remember my post about my 'brave' solo hike in the woods a while ago. Yesterday I did not go alone. I went with my horse "Chai on the Fly". We rode a little over a mile down the road to the neighbors and then had fun on their trails. I love the sound of her hooves in the fallen leaves.

As I rode home up the road, the sun was dipping below the tree lined ridge and I just wish I had taken my camera. I do think we probably would have lost it during one of our gallops through the trails, though.

It was my first real ride since moving and felt great.

I will get a picture of Chai and post it here.

As an aside: I named her "chai" b/c I gave up the drink Chai in order to pay her bills and then I added tne "on the fly" from the I asked her permission and she was happy to say yes! I was thrilled she needed a 'big girl name'.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Okay I admit it...

My name is Chez and I.....

This guy or gal has been eating maple seeds outside my shop all week. I will call her she for sake of continuity. SHE jumps a little when I pull up in my car, but sees it is mine (no matter which vehicle) and comes back down and sits. I have been as close as 3 feet from her. I love to watch her play. She sits on the roof of my bird house, she gets IN the empty birdfeed, she hangs upside down, but often just sits around eating like this. They are so cute in the winter with their floofy tails and little 'hands'. I just could watch her for hours. It calms my spirit somehow. I watched her descend the tree today and she PAUSED held on with just her back legs and STRETCHED out like superman trying to fly. I just laughed away at her.

I hope you are a squirrel lover, too. Honestly, I am glad I still have the shop in town, because they are much more leary in the country.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My horse's Anniversary

This week my horse Kismet has been off the race track for two years. Kiz was underweight, angry and very unhappy when he came off the track. He was donated to Friends of Ferdinand and they placed him in a barn where I was taking lessons. I have ridden and had horses most of my life and was learning Dressage. He was a 'train wreck'. He was sore all over, hated people and just wanted to be left alone. I believed there was a sweet horse under all the anger and I was able to get him to let me halter him and take him for 'walks'. Eventually, I was the only one not terrified of him an I began giving him daily 'hand walks' and getting him used to being handled.

The photo below is Kizi a little over a year later with my then 9YO son. Kiz will always distrust people who are around his food, but he is really a doll. I ended up with Kiz just by fate and now that he is in the pasture behind my house where he belongs it just seems RIGHT.
The top photo is the first few weeks off the track and from that angle you can't judge his weight, but notice the difference in the shine on his coat.

This last picture was his first winter during his 'rehandling' time. It took a long time to get him to drop his head and not always have that ready to fight stance. This is one of our first good pictures. It is far from a great picture of me, but who cares with a cute pony on your arm!

As for Kizi and I, we take in other Foster horses from time to time from FFI. None will ever be like Kiz, he was a rare horse. He did not become shy and withdrawn when his back and legs began to hurt, he lashed out at humans and blamed them, maybe rightly so. Since adopting Kiz we have fostered three horses. Ruby lived her final years with us she was one of FFI's horses before they chose to focus on Race horses. Highway Hero a gorgeous grey horse who went on to steal the heart of his new owner in Northern Indiana where he happily totes her around the trails. Unbridled Soldier who just last month found his new home in Chicago and Mr Bartlett who is now becoming a well rounded saddle horse and looking for his new home.

If you have a heart for horses and live around here, lend us a foster home. If you are further away donate to FFI or a charity near you. These race horses give from when they are babies and then they are often 'trash' to the industry, but make great second careers. Before donating locally do your research there are as many 'bad' rescues as good, sadly!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

And still more....

Progress, that is!

Just another quick reminder of BEFORE! Bluck bluck bluck!

So, let's start with where we are basically 'done'. Cabinets painted, and hinges back on and I can live here. In a world where I have a few more bucks to spend I am replacing that hood and that little counter segment RIGHT NOW. As it is, I am pretty content with it. The floor will just wait!

Next door let's visit our microwave. I think the white one fits here so much better and when I finally replace the dishwasher below with white it will really be perfect. I love that some of my very fave cookbooks are right here on display. Eventually I will paint my little impromptu shelf white, but I just cut it really quickly and plopped it in place.Here is one of the upper cabinets. Let's pretend for a moment that I don't have some paper plates in here, still in the wrapper and that somehow a kid's toy didn't migrate right there.
All that remains is to finish the doors and front of the bottom cabinets, which is being delayed by me breaking one, having it glued back and then Duncan knocking it off again and breaking it again. So, after that door is reglued and sanded and apinted I can finish the job.
The BAD news just arrived. Fossil took the Roto Rooter thing over to the house and ran it 100 feet and NOTHING. Still have no flushing capacity. I will have to find my home warranty and figure out who can come and fix this thing. I will do my best not to lose my mind over this.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What I do....

Here is what I do when I am not chasing Duncan, riding horses, cleaning house, blogging and all that! I groom dogs!
Here is a cute picture of one of my favorite client dogs. Her name is Gizzie and she is a mix breed and her mom adores her!
All that hair at her feet is HERS and I only wish I had a BEFORE brushing picture to add.
Here she is after! Of course I can see I need to remove styling product from my mirror and she has a sticky outy on her forechest. Pictures are great training aids. When you look at them over time you see what you tend to overlook! :D
Hope you are all doing well and that you are all still praying about that clog!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Trying to find Contentment in Crisis

Last night, in order to do some laundry I had to drain the washer into 5 gallon buckets, tote the buckets out the door and dump them. I figured it took about ten per load. My arms are sore. I was feeling very overwhelmed, sad and and angry. As I dumped one load and the littlest snowflakes swirled I thought of my grandmother washer her clothes by hand, one at a time. I dragged my annoyed, but more content self in to get more buckets. How many outhouse trips have you taken in a blizzard? I figure I can be content in this, it is hard, I am working on it.
Today Fossil came to help me with the problem. We snaked from three different entrances, went to town bought a new snake, did it again, put pipes back together and generally wore ourselves ragged. The drain still won't go. We feel, now that the clog is between the house and the septic tank, so tomorrow I rent a big auger and clean out the clog. I am content that I have a Fossil, but I wont' lie and say I am content this is still going on.
I did find solace in the fact that I have a shop. I came to town, bathed Duncan in the dog tub (he thinks it is quite funny), trimmed his hair, put his PJs on and now we head back. I am grateful that I have this option and even if we didn't I coudl have run WARM water from my taps and bailed out buckets, of water from his tub, if I had to!
Let's pray, though, that tomorrow the problem will be resolved and I will be able to appreciate modern convenience again.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

House owning at it's finest!

We are calling Fossil (again). We have a clog at the laundry area and so while washing clothes my spin cycle filled my shower with water, overflowed the toilet and generally made for a rough couple of days for me! We tried clog remover and it helped a tiny bit, but not enough, so Fossil comes soon to snake the drain!

We likely have a new foster coming Monday and so we need to ready the fence for a potentially race-high Thoroughbred. My wonderful neighbor (From in town) Jeff is coming tomorrow to help me build my hen house. I may not have a LOAD of friends, but I have some really good ones!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Progressing but slowly

For my sanity as well as to answer the "are you all moved" question I am being asked frequently I am gonna make a quicky checklist!
Things I have gotten completely done since I moved
cabinets primed
stuff moved into sunroom
Duncan's floor
our stuff to new house
hens on free range
horses moved
Things I have partially done, but need to finish
Finish kitchen cabinets
unpack our bedroom
paint dining room walls (one out of four walls is done!)
set up living room (being held back by poor planning of where TV is in relation to fireplace)
Things needing done that I haven't even really started
bulbs planted
hen house built
old barn cleaned out/swept (barely started this one, got overwhelmed)
Things that are on our 'long term' to do list:
replace other three walls of panelling in D's room
replace all of our walls
put new trim in living room
get a mantle (sooner rather than later)
Put wood fence across a few more sections of the horse pasture (finances will dictate this one)
In many ways, I feel like I have nothing done. I am still working, chasing Duncan, going to WW meetings and trying to run my household/life/business and so it is slow. Also, Jay has been working horrid hours/days and I have no time to just work without Duncan's "HELP". It takes me about two hours to put a coat of paint on the kitchen cabinets and doors so it is a big project to undertake in a few hours here and there.
This weekend I fully intend to get those bulbs IN the ground and get at least one good coat of finish on the cabinets. I feel that once that big job is tackled I can start one room at a time on the other stuff. Oh yeah, the hen house has to move up what with their run away habits now! :D

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Naughty Hens

Last night I went to Zumba workout class and as I am heading home I get a call from Jay (DH). Have you seen the 'girls' today? I told him yes and he told me they did not go to their appropriate bed and were 'missing'. I told him where they like to hang out and he found their hideout.
When I got home he had two corralled in their bed and the other (LUCY) was upstairs running around like a chicken with....well you know. I was laughing at my hubby picturing his antics in finding them and catching two. I cornered miss Lucy and picked her up. She was mad for a moment then settled down pretty calmly in my arms for a ride back downstairs to her home. Tonight we shall put them to bed a few hours BEFORE pitch dark! LOL

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A little more contentment

Mary at megardengal.blogspot, has us doing contentment therapy. Stretching our contentment muscles! I have been aware from day to day that I made the contentment commitment. Some days I am grumpy because I want MORE done NOW and then I remember to be content. Happy to have cabinets in need of paint, happy to have owls hooting in the wood behind the property so I am content in this cool fall day as I prepare to go workout with my friends. I will attempt to be content at Zumba class knowing that it is a blessing to have an able body and that despite the abuse I dole out to said body it still carries me around.

Are you content today?

This picture is HORRID, we were moving too fast to be photographed, but my boy loves to ride my godparents 4-wheeler and this is CONTENT at it's finest. If you could also see Billy's face (behind me) he as either terrified or really joyful, he waffled between the two!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Long post!

I feel so neglectful for not posting in ages! I have been painting, fixing fence and generally trying to settle into the new 'nest'.
Here is a quicky before and 'during'. The dining room from the back door as it was when we took our last walk through.
Here it is two nights ago with some significant primer to fix the green and that odd 'V' of wood that was under the steps.
I let the hens go free range last week. Here they are this morning looking for bugs... under a

shrub.More later!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Other people's trash

So this is the entry to my 'old barn'. It will need some sprucing in the time to come, but for now it is alright. It was without anything (except the stump and cinder block) and I found everything you see on the road with a FREE sign. The cute aged chair, the water can, the tin cone on the wall and the little bird feeder on the stump.

Also a cast iron thing I will show you later, two cast iron window flower holders?, and a sundial (also cast).

Much of it is getting put INSIDE the old barn for winter, but next year I have some goodies with which to decorate!

I cleaned out some of the old barn today and was watching as my girls had their first trip around the yard, they are free range hens now! I also got to see a 'rare sight', a horse chasing a dog! My 3YO horse is a fool and was playing with my dog! :D I nearly fell over laughing at them. I don't think Star thought it was as funny as Jake!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

BeFloor and After

Here is a quick BEFORE!
I abhor carpet. This was the only room in the house that still had it so getting it gone is step one, then paint that wall off white and then the flooring.
Ta Da! Okay I know we have to do baseboard and eventually I would like to get rid of the panelling altogether, but this is WAY better, don't you think? It is Laminate flooring and looks so clean, fresh and tidy. I also replaced all his electrical covers with safety ones.
I would love to get him a cute rug but he won't leave them alone and we might find it out on the lawn come morning!
Oh...Pssssssst...that little teddy bear pillow in the middle was $2 at goodwill and still had it's tags on. The blue ones were 49 cents and I bought his Mexican Blanket IN Mexico!

Just so you can be a little bittle Jealous of him, here is a picture of his view out his window. It is not a great picture with the screen, but you can see that he will enjoy HORSES out his window.

Go check out the pic I added of D in his costume while your here!

Monday, November 3, 2008


There I go! I am breezing past to say Hi! We have new flooring in Duncan's room, horses moved and we are sleeping comfortably in our new house. Love it.

I kept constantly reminding myself of my "contentment therapy" when I would get frustrated that something wasn't happening Fast enough for my liking.

Having my horses stare back at me from MY barn is plenty of contentment!

More later and pictures, I promise!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

First night

Perfect timing for Megardengal's month of contentment therapy! I am scheduling this post, so by the time you read it I will be looking out the windows of my new home, looking at my horses play and getting ready to spend my first night there.

I will continue to do my typical blog posts each day and I will just add how I am focusing on being more content in all the situations that arise. This could be hard for a 'realist' like myself. I tend to be pretty analytical and instead of 'half full or half empty' I see it as "Just half". I actually am a 'get up and dust off girl' so I am pretty content much of the time. I will just take some time to enjoy more moments. I hope to share those moments with you and am glad that Mary is inspiring us to be more content.

So, off I go to sleep in my NEW house my first night.

Trick or Treat

Duncan with a mouthful of candy (ALREADY?!)The highlight of my night was trick or treating with my son. A few years ago the anxiety he experienced about T/T was more than he could handle and we didn't even go. Last year we went to two houses of people he knew. This year he wanted to go, he went and we went to strangers homes, even. He was laughing and saying 'trickertreat' and thank you. I was thrilled with his progress. Days like this I want to thumb my nose at the doctor who said he woudln't ever talk. Pfffffffffffffffft Doc! I squeezed several days worth of life into this one single waking day. I worked a few hours, loaded up mattress, box springs and dresser. When my hubby arrived home we went to deliver those things, fed the chickens and were attacked by those 'faux' lady bugs. Then we drove home to take Superman trick or treating. We get all that done, eat some dinner and put Duncan to bed.
Jay stayed here (old house) and I went to the new house to paint. I got a coat of paint on Duncan's blue wall (that's two primer coats and a regular coat and it still says MORE), painted the stairwell wall, scrubbed the stairs with TSP (ewwwww) and sucked up two thousand "lady bugs" with the shop vac.

It feels good to get some stuff done out there and then I drank Generic soda out of my good wine glasses. Leaving the new house I walked outside, shut out the lights to see just how many stars there are in the sky. Thank you God for those lovely stars! I heard the sound of coyotes singing, crickets playing and my chicken girls clucking happily in their sleep.

Then on the drive to spend just one more night in my old house I saw two families of deer. One family (doe and two 'teenagers') stopped and stared at me as I went by. I slowed and looked at them as they looked back. So beautiful. Then I had someone tailgating me and something in my said 'do NOT slam on your brakes on this guy". Good choice, Chez, because he was a cop. I got pulled over. Officer asks for my license and registration, I ask "why am I being pulled over"? He says "your license plate lights are out" He didn't even give me a warning, I honestly think he was looking for Halloween drunks and used my plate lights as an excuse. When he saw me covered in paint specks and completely sober he decided he could do better!

So, was that an eventful day or what?