Sunday, October 26, 2008

Palm trees or conference room?

Hey y'all, I'm leaving for a few days. In fact, I'll be gone the better part of the week. Actually I'll be back late Thursday night just in time for the best part of the week, the weekend. I've got a big whoopdeedoo national sales conference with my company out in California. My plane leaves tonight at 5pm and I know I'm going to be bushed in the morning being on west coast time. It's my hope that I'll get to see some palm trees and ocean while I'm out there and not just the inside of the convention center. Whatever I see though, you'll see because I'm taking my point and shoot camera. So, have a great week and I'll post next weekend.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I heart Horses

I love my mare. I wanted a horse so badly when I was a kid. I begged my parents everyday. I talked about horses constantly, in school, at home, at my friends houses, in the car, to myself. I'm sure I was known as the dorky horse girl to the kids at school. Whatever, we all have to have a passion, right? When I was four years old Santa left a little brown stuffed horse under the tree. She was not really bay and not really chestnut, but brown with a dark brown mane and tail. She was in a laying down position with each back leg tucked unnaturally on each each side and her front legs straight out. I named her Sugar and I still have her. She's snuggled away in my cedar chest. Sugar lit the flame of a lifelong blaze in my heart for horses. My parents never bought a horse for me. That's okay, I'm not traumatized, I simply bought one for myself when I graduated from college. I had an apartment and there was a barn down the street where I could board one. Long story short, I went through three geldings before I found the mare I currently have. The geldings were okay, but there were various reasons they didn't work out besides the fact that I discovered that I don't bond well with them. When I saw my mare the first time, we had an instant connection. We still do, and it deepens with time. I'm still the dorky horse girl and folks who aren't horse people might think it's strange to have such a bond with an animal. But I've never felt that I had to apologize for my love of horses. Some people don't get it, some do.

This time of year is fantastic for riding. My mare and I rode through the fields last Sunday enjoying the sunshine and crisp weather. All the crops have been brought in and the fields looked so inviting. We wandered along the edge of the fields for about two hours. No people, no houses. Just wheat colored fields and deep blue sky. The clouds in an autumn blue sky are always puffier with just a tinge of dark gray making them look more animated than other seasonal clouds. I breathed deep and closed my eyes so many times tilting my face to the sky. My mare was mostly on auto pilot. Her steady gait beat out a cadence that was soothing and rhythmic. She carries me effortlessly leaving me the luxury to be inspired and daydreamy. She loves rides like this too.
After our ride I wanted to capture it forever. I snapped a few shots of my mare back at the barn and thought I'd share a few.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Update and Apple Pie

Greetings on this Tuesday night. I just got home from Photoshop class...I think I know enough to be dangerous. I'll post some of my handiwork another time. In other news, my ex-husbands girlfriend emailed me back with useless information. Basically the transaction was handled over the phone and she doesn't have record of his phone number, can't remember his name, but knows he lives on the westside. The registration papers had a pre-signed transfer form with them (I forgot that was there.) So until he transfers the mare into his name I probably won't find my mare. Thank you all for your concern, if anything new transpires, I'll be sure to let you know.

Well, as you know this is not a cooking blog, nor a baking blog or even a pastry chef blog. But last fall I encountered the most sinful apple pie I've ever put my lips on. I wrangled the recipe out of this womans hands, after knocking her down and rolling down a steep incline and pulling her hair...oh well...I'm going to share this great recipe with you. I recently baked this glorious bit of heaven and even took photos. So, off we go...

Here is what you'll need to bake Apple Crumb Pie (It's the "crumb" that makes it extra special)

4 large tart apples (I used Granny Smith's)

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

another 1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup flour

1/3 cup butter

And a recipe for Pie Crust (I'll give you my recipe at the end)

So first, you need to pare your apples, cut into eighths and arrange in a 9inch pastry-lined pie pan.

Then mix 1/2 cup sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle over the apples. Now, here's where the magic starts to happen...

Sift 1/2 cup sugar (the other one) with the flour, cut the butter in until it's all crumbly.

Now sprinkle the crumblies all over the apples. This is the reason for the season, the big cheese, the bees knees...the crumblies are the key to this creation. For you underacheivers out there, this could be a stopping point and you could pop it in the oven at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

But I really really really love pie crust. Seriously, I love it. So I add lattice to the top of my pie. Lattice, not lettuce. Please.

By the way, my dog really really likes apples...or anything else that falls off the kitchen counter.

Oh, I forgot, I put lattice on one and a full top crust on the other, with fancy schmancy autumn leaf cut outs. That was a big deal for me...I felt like I should win a ribbon for knowing how to do that. I just used a christmas cookie cutter, it's actually a holly leaf cutter, but they sell the autumn shaped ones at places like Michaels or Hobby Lobby. So, be careful not to burn your top crusts, watch and when they are golden brown, pull those puppies out of the oven...and put on the vintage apron that you bought at a garage sale for your finished photo...

The recipe for the crust is easy...

For a double crust 9 inch pie: 1 and 1/2 cups sifted flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup shortening (I like butter flavor crisco) and 4-5 tablespoons cold water.

Sift flour and salt, cut in shortening until size of peas. Mix in water with fork until consistency to roll out. There, easy squeezy.

So go forth to your local apple orchards and bake something from scratch.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Whew, heavy.

Well, I really must apologize for my previous post. I will admit to you though that I'm quite a light weight when it comes to drinking. Last nights drunken blog was the result of three beers. Yep, three. And I truly am having problems with my "b" key. I have to push it extra hard to be sure it works. Also, I assure you that my sober husband drove me home last night. I don't drink very often and I think he finds it amusing when I do.
Anyway, I have an annoying addiction right now. I compulsively shop for homes on the "" website. I want to live in the country so badly that I drive myself crazy surfing around looking at online listings. It's like a hamster on a wheel, determined to actually get somewhere new, but finds itself running in place getting nowhere. I seem to be standing on the edge of discontent all the time and I feel like I've felt like this as long as I can remember, even as a kid. I always daydream of the future and the "what ifs" without really living in and enjoying the present. I have a hunch that mindset contributes greatly to my discontent. My mind is always looking down the road trying to see around the bend. Meanwhile I'm probably missing the important moments in a blur like trying to look at flowers on the side of the road when you're driving too fast. It's impossible to focus on the flowers and the road in front of you. Focus. I should try that too. Finding someplace to put my focus besides a future that will be just as fuzzy to me when I get there as the present feels right now. I was talking with Boo this evening about my discontent and how I need to figure out how to make myself happy. This is where some people go wrong, they look outside of themselves for happiness. They think their spouse or kids should make them happy. They think material possessions will make them happy. I am aware that happiness is someplace inside of myself, I just need to bring it out. My Boo is very sweet, he says," let me know if there's anyway I can help." I tell ya, that simple sentence is enough, just knowing I have his support is enough...he doesn't need to do anything.
So, I am on a journey within myself to find the happiness that I've been searching for.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I can't even think of a title for this.

Hey folks. I am at a loss. Literally. I had a beautiful miniature horse named Stouts Bluemoon. When I left my ex husband a few years ago I took her and my big mare with me. I boarded them both and got to be a little costly for a single girl. So, since my big mare had plenty of company at the stable, I loaned the mini back to my ex so his gelding wouldn't be all alone. I told him if his gelding died or he didn't want her anymore, I want her back. I want her back. Something to note, my ex husband has traumatic brain injury from a car accident, so he can't remember much. So, I told his whole family and some of our friends that I wanted her back eventually, when he no longer needed/wanted her.

Fast forward to last week. I went to the tack store and they told me that he gave her away. He and his live in girlfriend (with whom he just had a poor innocent baby) decided they could no longer afford to feed her and so they posted her on the, get this, effing Walmart classifieds website. Now, here's the beauty of his logic, he couldn't afford to feed the mini, but he kept his big gelding. Go effing figure. So now I have been waxing and waning back and forth about whether I should actually try to get her back or just cut my losses and move on. The thing is, they guy who apparently took her said he was going to breed her. When I acquired her she was in foal but she lost the foal because she couldn't push it out on her own and it was dead by the time we got it out. They both almost died. So, I'm afraid for her. I feel like I abandoned her. I wanted to protect her and make sure she didn't get bred again ever. Now I've failed her. I have called around, I even called my ex husbands stupid girlfriend to see if she had any contact info from the guy. As it stands now, she's supposed to forward me the email...if she can find it. She made it sound like it was going to be a big pain in the ass. Whatever. I also called the previous owner whose name is on the registration papers to inform her of what happened and not to authorize a registration transfer. She is totally on board. We're in a "wait and see" mode. So, I guess I've been waxing more than waning.

Horses, it seems like heartache is always around the corner.