Showing posts from October, 2018

In which we have a new Reindeer in the driveway to pull the trailer

Finally:  I'm mobile again!

Wait, what? 

Didn't we just buy a truck recently?

We thought we were making good choices when we sold the original Illegible in 2016.  It had 320,000 miles on it, and the electrical systems were becoming untrustworthy.

Buying a newer truck with fewer miles on it seemed sensible.

And it would have been, if we hadn't bought a 2004 Ford with the notorious 6.0liter engine.

We gave it a valiant try, but I am really, really not a Ford girl. I missed the Dodge truck!

When the blue truck broke down yet again after we delivered the piano to Waldron Island, I'd finally had enough.  I spent a day washing and vacuuming the thing, and put it on Craigslist.

And waited.  And waited.

And finally, it sold.

And then ...  I had no truck.

So I stole one.

(Well, I borrowed Duana's truck.  EVERYBODY borrows Duana's truck.  So that was okay.) 

And I went riding.

I wrangled a while with the credit union, and cruised autotrader and carguru and Craigslist and …

In which it's never too late in the season to get naked (pumpkins)

It looks like an ordinary pumpkin. But it isn't.

The difference is in the seeds:

 People always talk about roasting pumpkin seeds as a nice snack, and I've tried it more than once.  The salts and spices I put on them were delicious!  But that white husk covering the seed is too fibrous to be pleasant to eat.

I always figured that commercial pumpkin seed producers had some special gizmo that removed the husk in a quick and efficient process.


Instead, commercial pumpkin seed producers don't get pumpkin seeds from jack-o-lanterns or their kin.  They grow a special kind of pumpkin that has the pepita covered only in a little membrane instead of a tough husk.

Who knew, right?

We got a few "naked" pumpkins from a friend, and the seeds are delicious. 

We are definitely gonna get naked in the squash patch next year at Haiku Farm!

In which our weather isn't normal, and I'm not complaining too much

The Swamp is not famous for glorious displays of fall foliage. 

We aren't called "The Evergreen State" by accident:  our woods (especially here on the Wet Side) are often predominantly fir, cedar, and hemlock, which are, ya know, evergreen trees. 

I see spruce and yew trees sometimes when I ride, although I believe a lot of those are planted these days--since our trails are mostly Tree Farm property, the forests aren't representative of what would grow here if people didn't muck around a lot.

The deciduous plants that we do have usually turn brown and soggy and then a wind comes by and blows the brown soggy off the branches and onto the ground.  It's not very romantic.

But sometimes, rarely, we have a combination of climate conditions that make better "autumn color" photos.

This is one of those years!

I don't necessarily love the dry conditions and cold nights that have prematurely killed off our chanterelle crop this year.  
But...'s …

In which it's not even raining yet, but we prepare for a Swamp winter

When it comes to farriers, Fiddle has to vote "yes."

My horse is not allowed to say "no" to people in general.  She is required to behave like a polite grown-up horse at all times.


If she consistently pins her ears at an individual, or if I see the whites of her eyes when somebody is touching her, it's my job to direct that person elsewhere.

Fiddle was a confirmed roller derby queen when she arrived in 2006, with skills in biting, kicking, and body slamming.  It took me a long time to extinguish those behaviors, and one vitally important detail was to pay attention to her.  I could see those early signs of distress, and if I removed the source, she never had to escalate her communication to the point of bad behavior.

Farriers are a love/hate thing with Fiddle.  She loved Ron, but his body started paining him (after he turned 75 years old!) and he had to retire.

She didn't love the two guys who came after Ron.  One of them got abruptly fired when he…

In which our Usual Suspects ride together and we get well-squashed

I guess I need to remind readers that a few years ago, Fiddle had to be kept out of "striking distance" of all but a few horses.

Today was one of those days where I might have ridden out on the trails, if the rain didn't start dumping down just as I was approaching the intersection.  

Turn right:  go to the trailhead.  Turn left: go to Fish Creek Farm.

Dumping rain = turn left to FC and the covered arena!

With a few exceptions, the Dragon and I have been solo on the trails for the last few months.  We mostly don't mind.  Trails can be a nice quiet place for us to hang out together.
But we both missed this!

Meagan took some pictures while we rode around the arena.

Flower came into the arena for evaluation.  Status:  less lameness, but still not time to ride her.  
So Flower got a bath and a light lunch, and then Patty came in to watch for a while.

For many years, Patty maintained a healthy and respectful distance from the Dragon's bad 'tude.

Patty also wanted he…