21 October 2016

Horse Illustrated

Soooo awesome!!!
An author friend pointed out some exciting news--Headed for the Win was named in Horse Illustrated magazine as one of the 25 Great Horse Reads. Talk about an honor! I started reading this magazine as teenager and now, they've made me feel like a genuine author. How fun!
(Nevermind that it's supposed to be Headed for the Win, not Headed for the WIND, haha!)
Click here to pick up your copy of Headed for the Win! And, you're in luck--the sequel, Road to the Regalia is free for a few more days. Enjoy!

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20 October 2016

Emergency Garlic Breadsticks

Soup season is in full swing and though I usually just slice up some of our half and half wheat bread, I was about out after making sandwiches all week. So, I found this yummy recipe that really was perfect when in a pinch--they were ready as soon as the soup was!


2 1/2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon yeast
1/8 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
Parmesan cheese, shredded

Preheat the oven to 400F. Sift flour, yeast, sugar, salt and garlic powder. Add water and stir until dough is formed (if still sticky, add a little more flour). Roll dough into a rectangle, 1/2 inch thick. Grease a cookie sheet with olive oil and sprinkle generously with cornmeal. Move dough to cookie sheet. In a small dish, melt butter and stir in minced garlic and parsley. Brush over dough and cut into sticks with a pizza cutter. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot.
Thanks to 30 Pounds of Apples for the recipe inspiration!

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17 October 2016

The Past, The Present, and The Future

"Children are the past, the present, and the future all blended into one. They are consummately precious. Every time a child is born, the world is renewed in innocence. ~Boyd K. Packer
So, big news: our FIFTH baby is on the way.

I told you. Big news.

Yep, we're excited!

Yep, we know how it happened.
(Oops, I washed our underwear together again, heehee!)

Yeah, we're ready. Well, as ready as anyone can ever be. We're trying to catch up on our sleep now.

Yes, we're qualified! As much as a bilingual, lumberjack rocket scientist and a novel-writing, home-improving biologist, who've been married nearly ten years and who are more self-sufficient than most could be--we're talking cloth diapers, gardening, beekeeping, homemade baby food, clothesline-using, chicken keeping, knitting, sewing, cheese-making, foraging and more...I think we're okay parents doing and okay job.

Baby Eliker coming April 2017, along with a couple of cousins!

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16 October 2016

12 October 2016

DIY Giant Spider Web

The girls and I have been having fun getting decorated for Halloween. After making a new wildflower witch broom, we decided to put up a giant spider web. It's a cute addition to our porch and the best part, it cost less than $10. Here's what you need and how to put one together:

You'll Need:

Styrofoam balls (or other material to form spider)
Wooden skewer
Black spray paint
Googly eyes, pipe cleaners, etc
50ft +/- cotton rope

1) Using two styrofoam balls (or other material of your choice), attach the two parts together--I broke a wooden skewer into four pieces, put some hot glue in the middle and pushed them together.
 2) If you're using styrofoam, you'll need to either paint by hand with acrylic or cover with aluminum foil or paper mache before spray painting.
 3) Paint body with several coats of paint. Allow to dry.
4) Pierce spider body with pencil for the eight legs.
 5) Squeeze a small dab of hot glue into the hole before securing a pipe cleaner for the leg. Attach eyes and other decorations, as desired.
 6) After the spider is finished and you've chosen a spot for the web, run three strands of cotton rope--up and down, from the top right corner to bottom left, and top left corner to bottom right.
Just in time for the girls to get off the bus!
 7) Once the base of the spiderweb is complete, begin by tying knots on each string of the web, moving in a circle. Start with the largest circle. When complete, cut the string and start on a new, smaller circle.
 8) Continue until the desired number of circles is complete.
 9) Attach the spider in the desired location.
10) Try not to get stuck!

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04 October 2016

DIY Wildflower Witch Broom

Nova approves!
After making our popular DIY Sparkly Witch Broom, we decided to make something a little different-yet-still-classy this year. Since we have more than enough weeds and wildflowers growing in a little meadow we keep up front, I decided they'd be featured in this year's DIY Wildflower Witch Broom.
Just glad we avoided the ragweed that seemed to be attracting all the local wasps. Shudder.
There were about eight hanging on to the blossoms. Yikes!
So, here's what you need to make a super simple, cute witch broom for this Halloween season:

Twine, jute or other rope
Branch or stick, about five to six feet long
Dried wildflowers--we used Queen Anne's Lace, Wild Daisies, Ragweed, etc

1) Cut the desired amount/length of wildflowers
2) At the end of the stick, tightly tie the rope around the top of the wildflowers. Tie a knot or secure with hot glue.
3) Display proudly!

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03 October 2016

Healing Stoney

Healing Stoney took a lot longer than anticipated...
Though Stoney won't admit it, he's starting to get up there in age. He turned 20 this April but instead of celebrating the way we like, it was a bit more eventful as we tried to nurse him back to health because of an unknown lameness.
See that HUGE divot by my thumb? That was his ENORMOUS abscess.
Usually, Stoney bounces back from injuries pretty fast. Horses kind of have to if they don't want to be an easy target. This time though, Stoney hobbled for weeks, some days no better than a three-legged old man just trying to get to the grass he wanted to nibble. After several visits to and from the vet and debating whether it was a raging abscess or a weird case of founder. I'd take an abscess over founder any day.
With no sign it was an abscess--no hole, no heat, no throbbing pulse--it was decided he was suffering from founder, a dangerous condition where the soft inner part of the hoof becomes inflamed. As you can probably guess, there's not a lot of places for the swelling to go when it's encased in a hard outer hoof. But, just as I'd had enough of his gimping around I called the vet one more time to schedule him for an x-ray to check the bone in his hoof, the mother-of-all-abscesses finally broke through and was able to drain. Thank goodness. Seriously. It was such a relief to see him walking normally, albeit somewhat tenderly, after all the packing, washing, soaking, fretting and praying that he'd get better.

Then, I woke up to find his eye swollen shut.
Equally as worrisome as a hoof injury is an eye injury. There are a million ways a horse can hurt their giant eyeballs and horses seem to be intent on doing so. To say it was disheartening and frustrating was a gross understatement.
I made him as comfortable as possible with some horsey aspirin, a cold compress, and his fly mask to keep the sun and insects out of his eyes and called the vet again. The whole time I worked on him, I said a silent prayer that he'd get better, that it wouldn't cost another arm and leg for the vet after I'd already paid an arm and a leg for his hoof treatment, and that he'd be comfortable as possible.

You know what? It worked.
After being out of commission for a good part of the spring and being cautious with him over the summer, he's finally back, running at full capacity. Jack jokes that Stoney is getting too old to be useful, but Stoney knows he still has a job to do.
 He has too many lessons and first-time riders to thrill, horse shows to take the girls to and reminiscing rides for me.
When he does grow too old for all of that, he'll still have plenty of doting children to repay all of his kindness.
But that's not just yet.

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