Showing posts from April, 2011

In which I cave to the tremendous stress of blogreader peer pressure

Becky is such a whiner.  Perhaps I haven't been posting because not much has been happening?
Not an excuse, according to Becky.  She can manufacture hilarity out of thin air, I've seen her do it.  So, to shut her up, I've written a blog post about Swamp Life.
Y'all know that I live in a Swamp.  This is not a surprise to regular readers (I hope). It may surprise you to learn that this spring has been even wetter than usual. Our normal Spring weather leaves residents with the perpetual sensation of just having stepped from a refreshingly brisk shower.  Our skin is pale, but dewy.  Our surroundings are soft, green, and reminiscent of sappy ballads sung by Irish tenors about the green green hills of home.  This year has included some of the wettest Spring weather on record in the Swampland. 

Meteorogists (or as we locals call them, "the weather-guessers") report that our temperatures this season are 90% cooler than normal.  This leaves us with the perpetual sensation…

In which we celebrate Saturday Stories: a tale about Rabbit

It's my turn to host the radio show tomorrow morning, and in honor of Easter Sunday, I'll be featuring all kinds of stories about rabbits.  Br'er Rabbit, Peter Rabbit, maybe even a story about the Rabbit in the Moon...

Knowing that many of my readers are SHE ("Survivors of Higher Education"), I thought this would be a good story to share with y'all. It was sent to me by a storyteller on the Storytell listserv.  Enjoy!

(Oh, and if you want to listen to the rabbit stories, tune your computer to on Sunday morning between 9 and 11am, Pacific time and click on the "listen now" button)

The Rabbit's Story : a one-act play

Scene: It's a beautiful day in the forest; and a rabbit is sitting outside his burrow, typing away on his laptop. Along comes a fox, out for a walk.

Fox: What are you working on?

Rabbit: My dissertation to graduate from University.

Fox: Hmmm, what is it about?

Rabbit: Oh, I'm writing about how rabbits eat fo…

In which fame comes my a standardbred-ish sort of a manner

I just got a note from the publisher of Hoof Beats  magazine that my article "After the Finish Line : Standardbreds go the distance as endurance horses" has been published in the May 2011 issue!!!

Actually, Dom from the Collection of Mad Escapades blog in New Jersey saw the hard copy this morning and emailed me.  She recognized the photo of me and Fiddle...and then she recognized her own photo with her standie Ozzie. 

"Real" freelance writers probably get notes like that all the time, but I'm pretty new to the biz (and I have no intention of quitting that dayjob, either!) so I'm just plain thrilled.

Hoof Beats doesn't publish the entire issue of their magazine to the web, so if you want to read my article (and give me the additional thrill of sending it to you!), send me a note in the comments with your email address and I'll email it privately.  

Doing the happy-butt-dance.  Also, the sn*w is melting.  Hooray!

In which my Thursday training ride is cancelled because of the weather


In which I endorse a food that fits in the saddlebags and tastes good!

When we first started riding endurance together, Jim taught me a phrase that they apparently use a lot in the Army to get troops to eat in a hurry:

"Eat now, chew later."
This advice is clearly contrary to everything that nutritionists, dieticians, and our moms have told us all our lives. 

However, eating food quickly is a reality for endurance riders. 

If you have a 30 minute hold at the vetcheck, and there's a 15+ minute line for the vet, and you need to restock your saddlebags with water and apply some sunscreen and take a pee break, there is no opportunity to sit down to a leisurely knife-and-fork meal that will sustain you for the next 20 miles or more.

Many endurance-riding bloggers have posted entries about their search (sometimes successful, often not) for foods that they can
*  eat in the time allowed
*  send to vetchecks in a bag that will certainly be kicked around en route
*  digest without upset
*  chew with minimal effort (long-distance riding is difficult…

In which the little Goats Gruff play a game of "Rock, Paper, and Scissors"

...but they only ever choose "ROCK."

In which building the barn is illustrated from beginning to end

Follow along, and see how we grew our very own barn!
In January, 2009 on this blog I posted  a plan . The plan showed an aerial photo of Haiku Farm, and included our notes about where things were, and where new stuff needed to go.
In early 2010, we were able to start adding the most important building of all:  the barn. Jim dug the hole, using Tootles the Tractor.   (Tootles is for sale now, by the way.  Anybody wanna buy a friendly blue tractor?)
After the hole was dug, we added gravel.  Lots of gravel!  Throughout the project,  it seemed like the answer to almost every roadblock was "MORE GRAVEL." The barn frame was made by Noble Panels, a manufacturing company based in Oregon. 

We bought the frame through our local farmer's co-op, rather than directly from the manufacturer because the purchase price is the same, but the co-op gives us a 10% rebate on all purchases at the end of the year.  Our 2011 rebate is going to be a big 'un!
 Our building site is sloped; we had to …

In which we finally finish the large green object in the back yard!!!!

"Hey!  What are you guys doing in here?"  This place looks like a construction zone!  But not for a lot longer.   
 Today, all those empty spaces got turned into real walls.
 Up on the ladders we went.
 All of us worked like crazy squirrels all day long with drills and drivers.
 Check it out:  the hay room, all ready for HAY!
 "I really hope you people are putting in an extra big feed room for me!"

 Farmer Jim admires the pretty-darn-close-to-finished product...

 ...and then he hustled up to the house to grill some steaks to celebrate. 
What a guy!

Life. Is. So. Good.