Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hairy legs....

I had a dream last night that I was at work with no pants on. Just a top and my undies and my legs were as hairy as a sasquatch.

I hate the dreams when I forget my pants. When I finally realize it, I am so horrified but I don't have a skirt or pants to correct the situation so I have to fake it and pretend it is the latest fashion wave to walk around in your underwear at work with hairy gorilla legs.

Glad when I'm in the real world, fully awake that I have never, ever... not even one time, gone to work without pants on.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Thanksgiving was great... I was an undead zombie by the end of the day tho'. Our guests asked where our dishwasher was... Furry Husband and I looked at each other. I pointed to him, he pointed to me.

It's all manual labor baby... no fancy, modern mechanical dish washin' invention here!

The chocolate cream pie was most excellent if I do say so myself. I had a pie crust catastrophe that I'll share cuz maybe I can save someone from the same mistake.

The recipe called for a blind baked pie crust. I thought that meant I had to wear a blind fold. I pulled out my Joy of Cooking to double check. Oh. PRE-baked pie crust. Blind bake is an over the pond English term for "pre-baked"....

I looked at Furry Husband, "Honey, you can put the blindfold away now."

Said I should bake it at 450 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. I dug out the pretty deep dish white ceramic pie plate, put the crust in, poked lots of holes in it with a fork...

Oh. Hmmm. The Joy of Cooking says I should weight the crust with dried beans....

I looked in the cupboard. No dried beans. Wait! Here we go! I have some dried lentils. Lentils are beans right? I poured the lentils into the pie crust and popped it in the oven.

10 min. later I checked the crust.

What the?

The crust slid down the sides of my pie plate! There was this little smooshed disc of pie crust...

I pulled it out of the oven and called my neighbor who bakes a pretty mean pie crust. I told her what had happened.

"Did you use a glass pie plate?"

Yes I say...

"Yeah, that happened to me once too - the glass gets too slippery and hot and the crust can slide down the side"

She said she's salvaged pie crusts by smooshing them back up the sides if they aren't completely done.

Under the lentils the crust wasn't done yet. I was gonna try to salvage. But first I had to get the lentils outta there.

NEVER and I repeat NEVER use lentils as dried beans to weight a pie crust. They are small and flat and they sink into the pie crust. I was scooping them out, picking and digging at the pie crust - cursing the day lentils were invented. I couldn't be sure I'd gotten them all. Did I mention they are similar in color to a pie crust?

Decided that I didn't want to risk having any guest bite into a creamy piece of chocolate cream pie only to bite down on a dried lentil and break a tooth. Besides, the crust was looking like a moon scape all pocked and pitted with craters. Not a pretty crust at all. Furry Husband was looking at it very dubiously.


My stubborn nature will have to give in and recognize defeat. I ditched the crust.

I made another and put it in my deep dish pie tin - that's pie TIN - no glass.... it turned out beautifully golden and flaky and all was well. I poured the chocolate filling in... cooled in the fridge and topped it with whipped cream the next morning. Fabulous. Everyone loved it. No lentils anywhere.

No one needs to know about the pie crust, glass pie plate, lentil nightmare.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Goats in heat...

Speck went into heat. Poor Speck.

We decided not to breed the does this year. We want to do a little goat experiment and try a 2 year lactation....

Maybe I should rephrase that. Not so much poor Speck but...

Poor Mario.

Our buck is on the other side of the fence from Speck who is peeing and flagging her tail in front of him. He's moaning and crying and it truly sounds like he is dying a very slow and terrible death in his pen. He's fine... just a little... um... well... "blue".

We got a call from a woman who wants to bring a doe for breeding this month. Unfortunately, I don't speak goat-ese and I can't tell him he is gonna get a little lovin' this year.

Poor Mario.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Is everyone ready for a feast?

I love Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday... centered around good food, good friends, good wine... warmth and fabulous cooking smells coming from the kitchen.... mmmmm.

I save recipies that strike my fancy, keep them in a binder with sheet protectors and this time of year I look through them to decide what new dishes to try.

I'm trying all sorts of new things this year.... a new apple sage stuffing recipie from Good Housekeeping, parmesean thyme roll recipie from Cooking Light, roasted artichokes and fingerling potatoes along with balsalmic roasted pearl onions from Martha Stewart's Food, chocolate cream pie recipie from a co-worker with amazing kitchen dexterity and caramel croissant pudding from Food & Wine magazine....

AND both Furry Husband and I have been watching a lot of Food Network. I think we are ready to raise the bar this year.


Need a new keyboard.

Drooled and slobbered all over this one.


What are you guys having for Thanksgiving dinner this year?

Monday, November 22, 2010

I did it, I did it, I did it!

Oh I'm sure many will think this is no big deal.....

I rode Sera bareback for my ride with Rex this week. BAREBACK! I honestly didn't think I could do it... just figured it was a thing from my youth... long gone....thought I'd get up there and slide right off... bloop. Into the dirt.

I wasn't sure what Sera would do... and I am really NOT at all graceful. I'm not one of those people who can lightly hop on or swing themselves up.... I clumber and wallow and grunt and make anyone watching wince in pity for all my flailing struggles.

I lined Sera up next to the mounting block... hmmm. She's still to tall for me to just put my leg over..... and I'm afraid to go belly first over her back because I'm not sure what she's going to think or how she'll react to all my clambering.

Lucky for me, Mrs. Kravitz's husband was there and he gave me a leg up.

He held his hands out cupped.

I looked at him dubiously. I'm pretty sure I outweigh the man.

"Don't throw me all the way over her back to the other side o.k.?" I hesitantly step into his cupped hands and I stand...

"Are you sure you can hold me?" (still standing in his cupped hands)

he grunts as he is holding my full weight while I dither and fret ...." just....umph get....hurg on....oof"

I swing a leg over and I'm on my lovely, fabulous mare bareback!

Oh! She has a spine! I am now intimately familiar with my mare. The last horse I rode bareback was my old gelding... he is very round and stout....backbone nicely covered in lots o' flesh and roundness. I was never that intimately familiar with Brandon.

We walked and trotted and cantered.... oh it was great fun. Like being on the best carnival ride in the world.

I almost came undone when we were doing trot half-pass... normally I weight my stirrup in the direction of travel. I went to weight my stirrup and whoops! There ARE no stirrups, you are bareback Shanster - duh. Almost slid right off the side... but I corrected and on we went.

Oh, it was so much fun. I really love, love, love, love my red-headed mule, Sera Sue.

And it was so much warmer... the day was 28 degrees, cloudy and 98% humidity. Brrr. I'll be doing much more bareback this winter. Know it will help with my balance, strength and confidence.... while keeping me nice and toasty.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Must. Love. Darkness.

Oy. I'm struggling with the short days and the dark when I get up and the dark when I get home. It's not doing much for my riding motivation.... I'm trying to convince myself to love the darkness. What other choice do I have?

I also know it's winter cuz Furry Husband turned up the thermostats. We have electric baseboard heat and he turns up the dial in each room.

Then we do this funny little dance all winter long. (you'd think we were Sandhill Cranes doing a bizzare mating ritual or something...)

He pulls this solid wooden bench in the kitchen far from the wall thinking it will burst into flame because a baseboard heater is behind it. I move the bench back to what I think is a resonable distance. He pulls it out. I move it in.

Allllll winter long.

I also prefer our bedroom to stay a bit on the chill side. Nuthin' like snuggling under the covers and being warm when it's chilly. Furry likes the bedroom on the toasty side. Again, we sneak around and I turn it down then he turns it up... I turn it down... he turns it up.... over and over it goes.

It remains a peaceful if not rediculous battle of the wills so far.... just another sign. I know without a doubt - winter is here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Goats bring visitors....

Had a visitor yesterday come by my place to learn to make cheese.... she's going to write it up for a Colorado Springs newspaper food article she does. I'm not sure what to expect but I do know she is a gifted writer. When she sends me the article, I'll link to it here k?

I worked a chevre and a feta recipe backwards so I'd have the cheeses in their different stages for her to see.

It sort of blew my mind....

I watch Food Network... and I have a new appreciation for all those prepared steps they gots goin' on.

I tried to organize things smoothly...I think they went o.k.... we made a garlic/dill flavored chevre, a walnut/honey/cinnamon chevre and a basil infused chevre.

Oh, I also dipped into that soft rind cheese I made 3 weeks ago. It's decent! I was hoping for a creamy middle like a camembert or brie... it wasn't like that but it's definitely different than anything I've made before. I wish you could taste it!

I have 4 more containers of cheese in various stages in pots or hanging in cheesecloth from my kitchen cupboard handles draining into other pots... my kitchen looks a little like a kooky science experiment, but that means lotsa good cheese for me this week!


It's a glorious thing.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

First Snow

Our first snow for 2010!

Weather guys said the storm would be bigger - still it's a nice, gray day with teeny little granular flakes of snow amounting to maybe 2" - maybe - streets clear and melted.

I have today off from work and I was hoping to get some quilting done (piecing... for those who really quilt...I'm not a regular quilter...erm...piecer) and bake something to fill the house with yummy scents and warmth from the oven. Cozy.

Maybe some yoga.... maybe some hula.... maybe teaching the dogs to jump thru the hula...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sammy's DNA results....

Who knew all this time we had another Setter in the house?
No wonder our Gordon Setter and Sammy got along so well... they was kin.
Sammy shows up mostly as English Setter 37-74%...
German Shorthair Pointer coming in at 20-36% and 10-19% each of Laborador, Golden Retriever and Rhodesian Ridgeback!
Well we were right about the Lab anyway... Sammy must get his big dose o' fierce from the Rhodesian Ridgeback eh?
They hunt lions in Africa ya know.... sorry we don't have lions Sam-in-ator... just coyotes, foxes and skunks.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sammy's DNA

Sammy - Bequia - Toe Sammy to the left - Bequia (the Dachshund - snort) to the right... baby goaties far right
Sammy knows how to smile on command ... such nice pearly whites Sam-in-ator....

O.k. - FINALLY - I get around to Sammy and the results of his DNA cheek swab experiment.
If you missed the post before - I gave Furry Husband a gift of BioPet Canine DNA kits for our anniversary and his birthday. Thought it'd be a fun science experiment. You can read about Bequia's test and results here and here.
We've always thought of Sammy as a Border Collie/Lab mix. He's a large dog - 70-75lbs. He is pretty high energy, sort of a nervous dog, quick to try and please you - but overly quick. When doing tricks before you can tell him which trick you want, he falls to the floor and rolls over trying to guess what you want to please you ... loves people... can be aggressive to dogs he doesn't know.
He is super protective - he protects the cats, the goats, the other dogs if we should have a visiting dog. We always call him our "protector dog" and feel really safe with him around patrolling our property.
He likes to run the fence line with the horses, barking and snapping at the horses, trying to help Bequia herd them.
What do you suppose his DNA results were?

Monday, November 8, 2010


We must've really angered something out there.
Furry's car is acting up - the electrical stuff is all wonky and he can't roll windows up or down and the electric locks are acting up so in it goes tonight for a look-see.

Cataract sounds like Kraken.... sort of.....?

We fed Sunday morning and found Rosso's cataract eye swollen shut. Crap, crap, crap! I called our vet and took him down there... she found a tiny little seed hull or some little dirt thing in his eye. It looked ulcerated but we couldn't get the eye dye to pick up the ulcer. That could be a good thing.

The risk is that the irritation and pain in the eye will set the cataract off and growing again. She loaded him up on banamine for pain and swelling redux. I gave him atropine when I got home to keep his eye dilated and I am to put eye ointment into his eye every chance I get.

The swelling was finally gone this morning and he doesn't look to be in any pain but lets keep our fingers crossed that The Cataract has not awoken.....

Friday, November 5, 2010


(yes, this will be an odd blog post coming from me! don't worry - we'll return to regular programming shortly...)

I listened to this NPR program on the way home from Denver a few Sunday's ago. Music just wasn't cuttin' it for me on the drive home. I like to think I tuned in for a reason.

The program was Krista Tippett's on Being. She was speaking with a French man, Xavier Le Pichon. He lived in a concentration camp as a child and witnessed children of families dying every day. He chooses to live in a community of disabled people with his family. He is a famous geologist who works on plate tectonics....um, whatever that is.

He was speaking with the host about fragility and the evolution of humanity. How being fragile makes us human - what an interesting concept....

I was really fascinated by his interview - only caught part of it and kept meaning to look up the program to listen to it in it's entirety. You can find it here: http://being.publicradio.org/programs/2010/fragility/

Under his link, there is a poem, Le Vase Brise (The Broken Vase) by Sully Prudhomme. The English translated version is below. I think it is amazing and wanted to share.....

The vase where this verbena's dying
Was cracked by a lady’s fan’s soft blow.
It must have been the merest grazing:
We heard no sound. The fissure grew.

The little wound spread while we slept,
Pried deep in the crystal, bit by bit.
A long, slow marching line, it crept
From spreading base to curving lip.

The water oozed out drop by drop,
Bled from the line we’d not seen etched.
The flowers drained out all their sap.
The vase is broken: do not touch.

The quick, sleek hand of one we love
Can tap us with a fan’s soft blow,
And we will break, as surely riven
As that cracked vase. And no one knows.

The world sees just the hard, curved surface
Of a vase a lady’s fan once grazed,
That slowly drips and bleeds with sadness.
Do not touch the broken vase

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Siren Song

No pix o' Sammy today - I got sucked into the siren song of the barn last night. Monday is my night to clean stalls and I like to take Rosso along. I figure it's a good reminder for him about loading and backing out of a trailer and standing politely tied for a couple hours with stuff going on.

There were 5 dogs running back and forth in the alley way, a strange horse there for riding, cars pulling in, people around, poop carts rolling past, horses whinnying for their supper....one mare at the end is squealing, kicking, grunting and pissed at the stall occupant to the right... random yells to tell her to knock it off, dogs barking....

When I pulled in, I noticed this woman, T, from Divide CO was there with her horse and there was all this banging and clanging and commotion coming from the barn alleyway.

I walked around the front of our truck and poked my head over to see if my help was needed, T didn't seem to be in any distress so I unloaded Rosso and walked into the barn to tie him, right next to where the commotion is.

New Moon's stall. She was banging her empty water bucket with a LOT of enthusiasm. Who knew an empty water bucket could make THAT much noise. Hoo-eee. (Her automatic waterer is blocked because she is a hay dunker and it's been causing lots of problems, now she has a hanging water bucket).

She was clearly asking - no - demanding water from T and getting louder and louder about her request.

T had no way of knowing Moon's waterer was blocked off however and wasn't responding to Moon's communication attempt. I had to laugh (on the inside) it's like Moon was trying to talk to someone that doesn't speak the language and just kept getting louder.

We've all seen it. Someone non-English speaking and the person trying to convey a message in English talks louder and slower as if by sheer volume of voice and annunciation the non-English speaker will understand.

I filled Moon's bucket with water. She didn't give me a chance to get in the stall before sticking her head in and getting a big drink. Looks like she'll be getting an add'l water bucket in her stall from now on.

Talk about interspecies communication.....

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bequia's DNA results

Ta - da!

Bequia is 37-74% Dachshund!

The rest of her breed profile includes 10-19% of the following:
Collie, Greyhound, Scottish Terrier

And to round out the group, she is less than 10% Border Collie.

Furry was like - this is bullsh*%^.... he doesn't believe it.

DNA is weird - could show up infinite ways and like the NPR articles, there could be some random breeds tossed in there. But it gets us in the ball park of things to see in our beloved "widdle dawg" (said in a thick NJ accent). Yeah, I talk to her in a NJ accent and ask her where she parked the car, if she has a quarter and if she wants to join me for some coffee talk....

I can see the Collie...mebbe a smooth merle coat? and of course Border Collie.... the terrier and the dachshund are sort of out there....but she is pretty deep chested with a small waist and hips... so who knows? Could that be Greyhound?

Odd that Dachshund turned out to be the BIGGEST indicator. ?? Now we are calling her our "little dachsund" or our doxie mix. grin. Anyway - good, clean, scientific fun....

Next up we'll do Sammy.... pix of him tomorrow.....