Road Ace at South Mountain yesterday afternoon.  He must have thought it was Halloween because it was a Spookathon.  He spooked at rocks, logs, signs, dirt and Gel throughout the whole ride.  I brought Gel with us again and in the beginning of the ride, I had him dragging a long line.  That really spooked Ace, but even when I took it off, he was spooking at him.  We were almost through with our ride and he spooked at him.  Damn Ace, that dog has been with us for twelve miles now, what’s up with you?  I think he’s just feeling better.  He’s really a nice horse and I do enjoy riding him.  There are times that we’ll be trotting along the trails and I’ll get into such a wonderful rhythm with Ace; then there are times that I feel completely out of sync.  I used some shims to try to lift the saddle up off his front end just a little bit and I think I lifted it a bit too much because frequently I felt like I was falling off the back of the saddle.  I’ll use one less shim next time.

I did have to force myself to go riding; I would have just as soon stayed home and been lazy.  My allergies have been driving me crazy.  There’s a ton of goldenrod around the farm which I think is the culprit.  Wally mowed some down yesterday which may help.  We are supposed to have record high heat today, but towards the end of the week, it’s going to get cold.

We had Rooster Pie last night.  It was very, very, very tasty, but the meat had a texture that I didn’t really care for.  Wally enjoyed it.  I think my disagreement with the texture was to some extent due to the butchering process.  I’ll have to get over it because we have a bunch of hens to process.  My friend Cynthia who helped me butcher the roosters came over last night and I asked her what she did with her rooster: essentially the same thing.  She said that she had frozen some of the broth and I saw Wally smile.  Just before Cynthia came over, Wally had helped me pour the broth off my Rooster Soup.  I froze a gallon of it.  Heck, even if I don’t care for the texture of the meat, the broth and flavor of the dish was extraordinary.  It will be a good start for another pot of soup.  I saved a large container of the chicken and vegetable mixture to make into chicken and dumplings later on in the week.

I love Cynthia, she’s been a wonderful, wise friend to me.  She said to Wally last night, “I think she finally trusts me, it took her a while.”  She’s right, I don’t trust easy.  I am also very much enjoying the woman I’ve been riding with, Melissa.  I met Melissa and her husband a long time ago when she bought an Australian saddle from me.  Melissa has a really nice Arabian breeding program and we’ve stayed in touch.  She recently bought to bred doelings from me and we’ve been riding together on Sundays for a good month now.  We are going to go to the Hunter Pace event together on November 12 and we are hoping to go to an endurance race in the spring together.  We share a lot of the same values; while she has a full-time job, as does her husband, she struggles making ends meet and is trying to work towards a sustainable farm as well.  She’s more grounded than a lot of the people I’ve ridden with and I like that.  She’s very knowledgeable about horses, riding and conditioning an endurance horse.

Today I AM GOING TO CLEAN THE HOUSE; as well as run to the post office to pick up Ace’s boots (which I wish I had yesterday because I would have ridden him a bit harder than I did, but I wasn’t home for the mail delivery on Friday so now I need to go to the post office to get them), make a quick grocery store run (well, maybe not so quick as the list keeps getting longer and longer), do a bit bunch of cooking, get the sheets and maybe one more load of clothes out on the line to dry and maybe throw some more lettuce seeds into the garden … just in case they might germinate.  I think I need to just buy more seeds because the ones I’m using may be too old.  Remember the eggplant meatball recipe I shared a while back?  Well, while in the garden yesterday (cranking because my lettuce seeds are not germinating), I discovered three nice Rosa Bianca eggplants and brought them in the house and they will be used tonight!!!!  I harvested a ton of basil for the rabbits, they love basil and it makes the rabbit barn smell so good!  I am also going to make some Pumpkin White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Cookies and some Cottage Cheese and Egg Muffins with Ham and Cheddar Cheese.  Must keep that Kitchen Aid mixer in use.  I have a boat load of “older” cow milk to skim the cream off to make butter.  The woman I mentioned a few days ago who gets cow milk from me made butter from her milk so there’s nothing wrong with the milk, I’m just too impatient.  She said it took 30 minutes in her Kitchen Aid before it turned to butter.

Can I tell you how much I love the cottage cheese I made Saturday???????  When Cynthia came over last night I invited her to try it and she loved it too.  I sent her home with a pint of it.  She knew right away it was made from cow milk; she’s got a very sensitive palate.  She’s often my taste-tester.  The muffin recipe is going to be the first thing I make, just in case I get waylaid (as I often do) and run out of time.  I’ve also got a kitchen-full of dishes to clean up.  I look at the kitchen and sigh because it’s almost always a mess, but if it wasn’t, then maybe it would mean I wasn’t doing anything in the kitchen.  Cleaning the house is not high on my priority list; it never has been.  There are always things that need to be done that take higher priority to cleaning the house.  I wish the house was pristine clean and orderly, but if I took the time to keep the house in that condition, I wouldn’t have time to do other things like make another batch of cottage cheese.

Wally and I discussed rehabbing the chicken houses so that project is in the queue to get done.  I think the next weekend we are both off we’ll get that project done.

Well, here it is 7:15 and it’s time to get outside and get the work done.

Until later …

One Reply to “Spookathon!”

  1. Making butter in the mixer took too long for me (I’m a pretty impatient person, though)—do you have a food processor? That’s how I make all mine—-takes 5-10 minutes, as long as the cream is a good temp (not too cold). I love that the cottage cheese worked for you! It’s one of my very favorite things.

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