Category Archives: LFern

Jack

Jack – photo from Sun Pony Ranch

Today was my second lesson on Jack and he’s really stolen my heart. He’s a gentle, strong, strong-headed mount and he suits me to a t.  Here’s the description from Sun Pony Ranch:

Jack is level-headed and easy-going as long as he is with other horses. However, he is insecure when away from the herd and needs a rider with confidence to help instill it in him when riding alone. He does need someone who can give clear and strong commands with their aids because he is easily confused and unwilling to do what might be the wrong thing. When he is out of his comfort zone, he can be headstrong and difficult to ride. Jack is not a natural jumper and is still learning to do low jumps. On the ground he is very sweet and easy to work with except sometimes he will test his handler with picking his hooves.

He’s a great teaching horse. Near the end of the lesson, we were to trot through the obstacle course. Jack knew I was tired and my head was not in the game. He was fine through the obstacle course…at a walk. I could not get him to trot, no matter what I tried. Which was fine for both of us. Next week I’ll be more focused and we’ll take it at a full trot.

In other W4DS news, LFern ran an idea by me that has me excited and as we go along, if we decide to pursue it, I’ll keep you informed, it could be fun.

Also starting this week, I think I’m going to take my posts back to some basics because I’m feeling, with the questions I’ve been fielding, we could all be stronger in them. More on that tomorrow. Until then…

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So Whatever Happened to LFern?

I talk about LFern a bit in the blog, after all she is my chocolate and coffee buddy.  And of course she blogged for us for a bit….but then…

She went off and started working for a magazine that supports her first love…knitting.  Where she is the assistant editor and blogger.   Here’s her latest entry.

http://www.knittingdaily.com/blogs/knits/archive/2011/06/09/it-s-summer.aspx

Dear WitKnits*,

It’s June! My son is out of school and no matter how old I get, I still relish the idea of summer and firmly believe that I too will be on summer break. This inevitably leads to a fall melancholy when it becomes clear that summer is over and those days of lounging by the pool and rocking on the porch never happened. But today that moment is a distant echo of autumns past, this year will be different, this year… Keep reading….

OK, I’m Tired of Turkey Now

Homer had his appointment with the vet today for his “alteration”.  He was a bit sleepy when he got home but has perked right up.  He’s back to his old self-chasing Bea and doing general kitty stuff.

Annie got skunked last night.  The first time ever for her.  It seems the skunk visits to the feeder have yielded the feared outcome-first Jack and now Annie.  We are taking steps to remove the critters, a live trap is down there now with a can of fish flavored cat food for bait.  Not going to put up with rude guests.

Mmm…ham sammich!

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Gluten-free muffins

Since my last post was bordering on a rant of things I don’t like, I thought this time I would be more constructive and talk about something I do like.  I’ve found a book that has a lot of promise for baking many delicious gluten-free items.

Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise G Roberts.

To tell the truth I haven’t gotten past page 31. I just keep making pumpkin muffins and carrot spice muffins over and over again. Of course, I take liberties with the recipes and add whatever I’m in the mood for, usually raisins, dried apricots, cranberries, walnuts, cardamom and the like. They make a perfect breakfast food. There is no compromise, these are as good, if not better, than any muffin I have ever had. Texture, moisture, and taste are all there.

I have never been much of a baker and I don’t have a lot of patience for the precision of measurement many people take in baking and these recipes have survived my haphazard methods. I do intend to try more of the recipes but just haven’t gotten there yet.

Roberts’ basic premise revolves around two basic flour recipes, one based on brown rice flour with potato starch and tapioca flour for most baking and another on a mixture of millet and sorghum flour plus cornstarch, potato starch and tapioca flour for bread.

I’ll see if I can assemble a workable muffin recipe for you, but my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants methods may not translate well into a reproducible recipe. I’ll see if TaMara can help me with that.

LFern7 intro – Gluten-free bread

I’ve been asked to try my hand at blogging, so here goes, my first post…

I’ve been avoiding gluten for about 4 months now, far from an authority, but ready to share my initial impressions. First gluten-free bread – ha, I’m not impressed. In fact I prefer to do without and only turn to the bread products when I am truly desperate. In fact one day as I was toasting one commercially available bread, my husband wanders down and asks, “what smells like a wet dog?” Yes, that was my (crazily expensive) bread and I’ve barely been able to eat it since. So what do I do instead?  I like an open sandwich, sometimes I’ll use lettuce as my bread, often I’ll just munch on the filling materials. I like many of the gluten-free crackers on the market, and will use corn tortillas if I really need a wrapper. The gluten-free wraps made by La Tortilla Factory from teff and millet are pretty good, once you get used to them, but no, none of them are bread. I guess in the end my solution is this: Since I don’t have an allergic reaction to gluten, just the IBS type symptoms I’ve lived with most my adult life, I  hold the idea in my hip pocket that when I just can’t take it anymore I will have a slice of the most fabulous bread in the world and then walk away again. So far I haven’t had to cash in on that . I’m still enjoying more the wonders of what going without gluten are doing for my body and my self-esteem. (More on that another time).

Welcome LFern

I know I’ve been a little lax in the postings lately.  I’ll do better, promise.  But to pick up the slack, we have a new poster who will join us this week.  A dear friend of mine, one I always enjoy cooking with and having her cook for me, not to mention our many girls’ days out, where lunch and really good coffee are always the prerequisite.

A little bit about her – she’s a mom, she recently finished up her master’s degree and a brief stint as teacher, she has lots of fun interests, none of which are gardening, which I hope she may share with you as time goes on.  She and her husband provided us with the wonderful yogurt making slideshow, Mr. Fern being the photographer – maybe she can convince him to illustrate some of her entries with his photos (he is very good, I have one of his hawk photos on my desk).

Anyway, I asked/conjoled/begged LF to become a contributor because recently she decided to try a gluten-free diet and I felt her journey was an important to share.   I’m hoping that will be just the beginning of what she’ll write about…

Welcome LFern!  Glad you’re here.

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