Saturday, July 24, 2010


So what do you do when you find AWESOME deals on fresh fruit at the grocery store? I went out and bought 22 lbs of blueberries and 12 lbs of strawberries. The blueberries were the total shocker. I've never seen fresh blueberries that cheap any where here in this state. We don't grow blueberries commercially in this state. They are "imported" from other states. So for the most part blueberries are regularly pretty expensive. I was totally shocked when I walked into the grocery store to see them advertised for $1.00 a lb and in 2 lb packages. We rarely see more than a small pint of blueberries for between $3.00 to 4.00 so Lbs of blueberries so cheap is amazing. That's why I got 22 lbs because I know I'll not see that price again anytime soon.

The strawberries were another story. A refrigerated truck broke down on the interstate and they hauled it into the local mechanic, but they couldn't get it fixed fast enough or something so they sold the strawberries right out of the back of the truck. I only got a case straight off the truck. That equals out to 8 lbs. The local grocery store bought up all that was left after all the local residents got what they thought they wanted and the store was selling them for 75 cents a lb. So I bought 4 more lbs of strawberries.

 Anyway I've been busy since last night fixing up canned and frozen blueberry and strawberry items. 

Blueberry Freezer jam

Frozen Blueberries in snack packs for work and frozen blueberries and strawberries for smoothies.
Canned blueberries look really pretty
I also canned blueberry jam that set up nicely and what was supposed to be strawberry blueberry jam, but it didn't set up. It will make the most awesome syrup though. 

 Then I was also planning on doing some mint jelly with all my mint that's growing like weeds in the garden. But I forgot and used up all the liquid pectin on the other jams and now I don't have any more liquid pectin for the mint jelly. Off to town in the morning to get the liquid pectin and then I'll process up some mint jelly.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Farrier Day

Had the farrier out today to trim the horses feet. We had to work fairly fast as another storm was brewing and headed our way. Everyone did really good strangely today even with the weird weather. Normally in this cool blustery type of weather the crew can get their dander up. But everyone was really quiet. Fat mule monster was first and she usually gives everyone a hard time  But she was really quiet

One thing we found out today is that Baby Girl is sore in the shoulders and withers area. I haven't ridden her in a couple days, but the last time I did, I noticed something was off with her, but I couldn't quite figure it out. I just rode her at a walk. Now I see that she's sore and we are going to have to figure out if it's my new saddle or my old saddle or the new saddle pad or something else that's causing her to be sore. 

Topper's hoof where she sliced through the coronet band early this spring is doing very well and the area that was split has now grown about half way down the hoof wall.

Overall the whole crew did very well on this visit. Now back to riding tomorrow night if it's not lightning when I get home.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Garden Harvest

I had to hurry up and run out this evening before the big rains hit so I could harvest some things from the garden. Beets, broccoli, and peas on the food list. I also had to cut off the most formed and starting to dry parsnip seeds. I don't want 5 billion parsnip seeds replanting themselves all at once.  I"m also looking for little jelly jars so I can make mint jelly.

Yesterday I bought 8 lbs of strawberries from a truck that broke down in town. Made freezer jam last night and ate quite a few for desert last night also. The Grocery store also had blueberries for a dollar a pound so I got 4 lbs of blueberries and we now have blueberries in the freezer as well as leftover blueberry cake in the fridge.

Friday, July 16, 2010

New Adventures of the Shy Monster

We were awakened this morning the the clanging and clunking of corral panels. So we got up and dressed and headed for the back door just in time to see the mule walking calmly into the back yard for a visit.  So here is the photo journal of the morning.

The open corral panels

Close up shows broken welds on the panel

In the process of fixing

Oh hey wait what do you think you are doing????

NO! STOP! Don't tie that up

You MUST Scratch My ASS!

GRRR Foiled Again!

Dude You must make it up to me!


HEY you stopped!

More belly rub

Yea Buddy thats the spot!

Hey what are those Crazy dogs doing again?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Been Busy

After my training clinic I took off a week from work to practice and to blow a bit of leave. I had over 115 hours of leave that accumulated at the turtle pace of 3 hours per pay period (every 2 weeks). that tells you how long it's been since I had a vacation.

Anyway on Sunday the 4th we took a break after almost 8 hours in the saddle the day before, it was nice to relax and let the horses also recover a bit. After dinner we sat out on that
new front porch and watched all the "Town Folks" shoot off fire works. 4th of July is the best time to own a home that sits on a hill facing get to watch more fireworks than most people because you can see almost the whole town.

Jazzy and her new buddy hung out with us on the porch and mostly did ok with the booms, but occasionally they got a little scared.

The new dog is doing well and fitting in except for a few minor problems. He jumps on people when he wants attention but with time he's learning how that's not such a good thing. He also did some digging in the gardens but since he's not gotten any plants and it's only happened twice, that's so far not been quite a big issue either. However the last problem is a big issue. He seems to like to yank the clean clothes off the clothes line. The first time I caught him rolling all over my fresh from the washer jeans. I had to rewash three pair. The next time he drug off a couple dry shirts. Those didn't need to be rewashed only the dust shook off. The last time he got 5 or 6 shirts and we had to rewash 3 of them. I really don't know what we are going to do about that because he ONLY goes after the clothes when we are not around. But I can't sit out all day watching the clothes dry either.

So the rest of my week off went really well, I rode most of the time and had fun. This week however has been totally different. Since I'm at work all day I usually get home right about the time the afternoon monsoons are really getting going. Everyone here in NM knows that you can ride in the rain, but you shouldn't go riding in the thunder and lightning. And that's usually what we get with the afternoon monsoon rains. So this weeks riding has been really limited (well non existant so far). My good fortune however is that I get Friday off, (YEE-HAWW) do I hope that I'll get a ride in during the morning before the thunder and lightning show up. Last weekend I did take some time to test out a new saddle pad on Baby Girl because my trail saddle doesn't fit her right with one of our saddle pads but does with a thinner one. So I bought a new thinner one because we were short a saddle pad to begin with and needed one anyway. Keith snuck out and got some photos of me just enjoying a nice quiet ride.

The one good thing about all this rain and cooler weather is that the garden is still going strong. We are up to our eyeballs in lettuce since I'm harvesting as much as I can before it' bolts and goes to seed. We have had fresh salads regularly this past week. Unfortunately we still have to purchase tomatoes and cucumbers because neither of those are ready for harvesting. Soon however we will have some summer squashes and I'll be really happy.I harvest my first bunch of beets and had a great dinner with them. Not enough yet to freeze or can, but enough for a good side dish. Then I saved all the beet greens and steamed them with Swiss chard.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Private training clinic

Today I loaded up Ladybug and Baby Girl for a trip. then Keith and I headed out to Longview Ranch for a private training clinic with Randall Davis. We spent the morning in the corrals working on some ground work and some riding work. The afternoon was a ranch ride with more training tips. We didn't get any photos because we were too busy riding and listening to Randall's tips. I really wanted to work on better reining techniques with the horses and we really found the best fit that worked on both horses at the same time with the same ease. It was a really great day and Keith and I and both the horses learned a lot.

One of the best things I liked about Randall is that he's not judgemental about the different breeds of horses. He breeds Foundation Quarter Horses, but he's worked with a wide variety of horses such as Icelandics, Paints, mustangs and my Appaloosas. My horses stepped off the trailer and he treated them the same as any one of his horses.  He's very professional and takes the time to get to know each individual and their horse. In the fall after I've worked with Baby Girl some more and I'm ready to start Booger Butt, I'm hauling him up to Randall's for a 5 day starting session. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Finally Photos of my competitve Trail ride!

June 12th and 13th I participated in a wonderful two day competitive trail ride with my horse Ladybug. The first day was a ride sponsored by the local equine rescue group Walkin N Circle ranch. The second day was a Guinness Book of Worlds Records attempt also to benefit equine rescues.

Our first day of riding was quite windy but we still had a good time.
All the photos below were taken by Cory Tourino, copyright. (posted with his permission)

Here is our first obstacle the Mail box.

And then we had a great ride at the water obstacle

Our first day on the obstacles was not as good as the second day. we only managed to completed a couple of the 6 obstacles for the day. However on the second day, we completed 5 out of 6.
We didn't get as many photos from the second day. Here we are at the crossing logs obstacle.

We later found out that we did officially break a worlds record for the largest competitive trail ride!. It was all great fun and a great weekend.