Sunday, November 30, 2014

Archery! I have a bow!

 My form isn't too bad, just need to get the elbow higher.
Also I have protective gear still on the way.  

My awesome hubby gave me my Christmas present early this year.  It's an awesome new recurve bow.  :D  Now I can learn archery like I've always wanted to and I even added it back to my 30 Before 30 list.  I had taken it off because I didn't think I'd be able to get a bow, but because I have the best husband ever I now have one.  :)

I can't believe this is a 62 inch bow (58 inches strung).  It feels like the perfect size, but I am tall so that's probably why.  It's 30 pounds to pull, which I can do, but I need to build some strength for sure!  Shooting it half a dozen times had my arms and shoulders wore out lol.

 Chrome had to check it out!  See more pictures of him with it here (LINK).

Chrome loved the fur silencers.  They look like fuzzy caterpillars so I'm calling my bow caterpillar since dad said I had to name it hehe.  The fletching on the arrows are red and gold which are my husband's SCA colors.  My colors are navy and silver, so I'll have to get some new arrows eventually.  He's letting me borrow his to practice with though.  :)

 A close up of the riser.  It's so pretty!!

Not only do I have the fur silencers I also have these leather pieces (the black textured part under the string) that prevent the string from slapping the wood.  It barely makes a sound when I shoot it.  I'll have to get a video for you guys.

Just because they are cute!

I'm so excited I finally get to learn archery!!  I practiced shooting it into a round bale of hay, but we will eventually set up targets.  :)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!!

 First picture of my kitchen I've shared since we had the counter top put in!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!  We had our very first gluten free Thanksgiving and it was fantastic!!!
My mom, dad, hubby and I split the cooking between us.  Mom and Dad made the fruit salad, apple crunch, green bean casserole (forgot to take the lid off in the picture below) and giblet gravy.  Hubby made the dressing, using a recipe his mom uses and it was amazing (I have always hate dressing).  He also made the pumpkin pies (crustless).  I heated up the turkey and cooked the sweet potatoes and rice.

The pecan pie was store bought and not gluten free (I didn't eat the crust) because we didn't want to make one, but we all love it lol.  The turkey, sweet potatoes and rice were obviously gluten free.  The dressing we used a boxed gluten free cornbread mix that was actually really good!  I was surprised.  The apple crunch was either boxed gluten free or mom used gluten free flour mix.  I'm not sure.  The pumpkin pie didn't have a crust so it was good.

The interesting thing was the green bean casserole.  I LOVE green bean casserole and almost never eat it except for Thanksgiving so I look forward to it every year.  The problem is that the French fried onions have flour and so does canned condensed mushroom soup.  So we made it homemade!  That was a first for all of us.  It was actually pretty easy (cutting up the onion is probably the worst part).  I'll have to get the recipe from mom and share it sometime.  When we were cooking the mushroom soup it was so cool watching the ingredients mix together and turn into the soup.  It looked just like the canned stuff but tasted so much better.

I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving!!  I'm thankful for having our house almost done, celebrating our first year living in it, for my family, for the joint effort on our gluten free Thanksgiving, the support and participation from my family with the gluten free lifestyle, my improved health (from eating gluten free) and for my sweet animals even though Jackal got in the garbage yesterday for the first time in years and years (he did it as a puppy too).  I was disappointed in him, but I'm thankful there was nothing in there that could make him sick (he was after the canned dog food that my parent's Yorkie eats).  I'm thankful that even though it's a little cold it isn't raining and the sun is shining!  I'm thankful that everyone is healthy (last year my family had the flu for Thanksgiving).  I'm thankful for my blogging friends and the amazing blogging community we belong to.  Love you guys!

Anyway that's all I can think of right now.  I'm sinking into a food coma.  Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dog vs. Goat

As you probably know already Jackal goes everywhere with me outside, even in the pasture.  Up until now he and the goats have pretty much ignored each other.... until today hehehe.  This is hilarious.

Yes, I was saying "get the kitty" because Jackal doesn't know what goat means LOL.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

30 Before 30 - #18 Complete!

This is cross posted from Chrome's blog (LINK).  Some of the things I chose for my 30 before 30 list are hard to say exactly when they are complete, like number eighteen which is to train a horse from weaning to the basics under saddle.  I think I can consider this one complete since my criteria was basically walk, trot, canter under saddle.  We don't have the basics in dressage done yet, but look at what we do have!  Remember this is all very "basic" not finished.  We are getting there!

Riding bareback on the road.

Riding on the road by unfamiliar horses!


Even a herd of Alpaca!!

Riding with other horses.


Cantering Chrome bareback in a halter!

Jumping in a halter and reins!

Also, he's not afraid of anything!!


Trotting in an open field by a huge dozer.

I think we have the basics covered!!  :D  I just have to say, raising him from five months old to five and a half years has been the experience of a lifetime!  I've loved every minute of it (well except when he would get hurt or sick obviously... and getting him gelded wasn't a lot of fun, but it was educational) and I actually sometimes think it would be fun to do again, but I don't know if I'm up to starting another baby under saddle.  The older I get the less appealing that seems lol.  I do love the raising babies and groundwork part of it though!!!  Who knows?  Maybe someday, but for right now I'm loving having my all grown up baby horse that I did everything myself with and I'm excited about our future together!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

National Novel Writing Month!

Wow did anyone else completely and totally forget about Nano ( this year??  Lucky for me L. over at Viva Carlos mentioned it in her post so I was able to get started instead of remembering halfway through the month like I did during my second year of Nano lol.  Thanks L!

So after some brain storming while cooking chicken chili for supper I came up with a very vague idea and started writing.  I've done 1,340 words so far which is shy of what the daily total should be, but I'm just not feeling inspired to write so I'll catch up tomorrow.  Here is my one sentence synopsis...

"Scientist create a biosphere habitat full of mythical creatures... what could go wrong?"

Hehe, so let's see how well I do flying by the seat of my pants and writing with zero ideas, outlines, characters or plot.  :D  Good luck to everyone who is participating this year!

Thursday, October 9, 2014


I am VERY frequently asked how I put watermarks on my photos and I always have a hard time explaining my method.  It's a long process that is difficult to put into words.  On a whim I went to one of my favorite resources to see what I could find... Youtube!!  It is crazy what you can find on that website.  It's one of my main go to resources.  I found the perfect video for explaining how to add watermarks showing the process I use and from now on I will be sharing this video when asked how I do it.  I have to mention I did not make this video, I don't know the person who made it, I do not own the program and I receive no money for recommending the product.

So the program I use is called GIMP.  You can download it from  It's free and a really great program for editing photos and adding watermarks.  It can be complicated and overwhelming for people new to photo editing programs, but if you have questions just check Youtube.  Seriously you can find a tutorial for everything!  I've been using it for years and I still learned new stuff tonight watching these videos!!

So here is the video that explains watermarks (LINK), but make sure to check out the other videos if you have questions.  I've had a problem trying to dock my dialog windows in the program and I found a video that explains it.  It's so simple I can't believe I never figured it out on my own lol.  So anyway I hope this helps if you've been wanting to learn how to do it or if you keep getting asked how you do it.  :D

I do want to mention something that they didn't say in the video.  When putting a watermark on your picture make sure it is fairly large and that it covers a portion of the photo like these below...

If you make the watermark too small or you put it in the very corner of your photo people can still take your pictures and crop out the watermark.  I know the watermark can distract from your photo, but better safe than sorry in my opinion.

 This last one would be very easy to crop out, which is why I put lines on it.  :)

I hope someone found this helpful.  It has sure made things a lot easier to explain for me.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The goats are settling in well.


The boys are settling in nicely!  They even feel comfortable enough out in the pasture to roll and scratch their bellies.  Chrome is leaving them alone finally.  :)  To see more pictures with them and the horses check my other blog (link), but here are a few of just the goats for you to enjoy.


Aren't they so cute??  The red spot on the paler goat is not blood.  It's from berries he napped in hehe.  I'm still trying to decide on names, but I'll let you know as soon as I come up with something.  Sorry about the quality of the pictures.  It was the absolute worst time of day to be taking pictures.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

We have goats!!

We were planning to get goats next spring because we need help maintaining the pastures.  When we had our herd of Boer goats here a few years ago the place looked amazing.  Well today someone brought two male Pygmy goats up to the school where my husband works and left them there.  They had used them for practicing goat tying (rodeo) but they didn't need them anymore so they were giving them away for free to a good home.  Even though I didn't want Pygmies (had them when I was a kid and they are master escape artists) and definitely not bucks (we will castrate them) I'm glad we went and got them.  They are a bit skittish, but they are adorable and sweet goats.  For now they are in the small chicken pen, but eventually they will go out with the horses.  I'm guessing they already know to run from horses since they were used for goat tying, so hopefully Chrome won't hurt them (I'm nervous!).  I still have to think of names!!  I'm thinking of sticking to my theme from before (Kudzu, Muscadine, Jasmine, Primrose, Alyssum, Zinnia, Sassafras, Hairy Vetch, etc.), but I'm open to other suggestions as well.  :D

I've never had a Pygmy this color.  Gorgeous!

 When I was a kid I had one that looked just like the lighter one.  :)

 I'm so excited!!  I have soooo missed having goats and although I wasn't looking to get any right now, I'm thinking maybe it was meant to be.  :)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

30 Before 30 - #7 and #21 Complete!

 I finally got to see a polo match in person!!!!!

And on the same day I got to ride in a cart pulled by an adorable pony!!!!

Now that I've shared the exciting news I'll tell you the whole story and share the rest of the pictures.  A friend of mine told me about a polo match they were holding nearby so I bought tickets somewhere around three months ago.  I was a nervous wreck the whole time leading up to it because every time I plan something that far in advance something happens to mess it all up (after all it did take me three tries over the course of two or three years to go see Chrome's sire Jan!)  Luckily everything worked out and the day was absolutely perfect.  Even the weather cooperated.  Well I was freezing, but everyone else and especially the ponies loved the cooler weather.  It was definitely better than if it had been in the eighties or nineties.  :D

We got there early and had a blast playing Sudoku on my husband's phone.  :D  We also got to see them setting up the polo field, goals, etc.

Then the game was on!  It was awesome and our team won.  :)  Here are a bunch of pictures.  They aren't the best because I was too engrossed in the match to pay attention to settings on my camera.  It's also been having some problems since I dunked it in the pond.

This shows how the guy in black was blocking the one in white from helping his buddy with the ball.

 This shows how they slam into each other. 
Notice the knee guards in closer pictures...

 The ref.  I love the guy swinging in the background.  I want to draw that!

 They were tearing down the field!  
I think they said it's the length of three football fields.

 The ref. 

 Make sure to enlarge the above picture so you can see his grabber stick for picking up the balls and his little pouch for carrying extras.  So cool!

This was the only pony in either strings to have a mane.  :) 

I LOVE this picture and that horse!

Trying to block each other.  I never realized how much of a contact sport polo is lol.

This horse SLAMMED on the brakes!  I can't believe they can hit the ball at that speed!

Hauling butt down the field!!!!

Leaving the field to switch ponies for the next chukker.  :)

 High five congrats because they won the game.  

They shook hands with the opposing team and ref too.  They were all smiles and great sports.  One tradition of polo is the divot stomping!  During half time everyone in the crowd gets to go out on the field and smash the divots flat to keep the field looking nice and to keep the ponies from tripping.  It was so much fun, but most everyone was too busy taking pictures lol.

I was all business stomping those divots.

Well until I found a polo ball that is LOL!  They are plastic and weigh a lot less than you would think.  They reminded me of large ping pong balls.  :)

 This was me all day.  All smiles!!!

 Sadly at the end of the match my camera finally died... :(  It's giving me the same error that the earlier version of this same brand did when it died.  So I'm switching to a different brand when I get a new camera.  So the pictures of the pony cart ride are from my cell phone, which is why the quality is horrible.  The guy was giving rides to all the kids and some of the volunteers, but I wasn't sure if guests could ride.  When I asked he said absolutely!  I was so excited.  Then two other ladies asked to go so I got to ride in the front next to the driver.  I also got lucky because the two ladies were relatives of the driver so he took us for a longer ride than everyone else.  We were gone for sixteen minutes compared to the five minutes everyone else got!  It was awesome!!!

 We trotted alongside the lake,

 We got to cross a covered bridge and listen to her hooves on the wood.

 We went down a paved road a short way.

 Down a path by the horse fields and up by the barn.

 Around the polo field and even got to see behind the scenes (that's the scoreboard hehe).

Hubby got this one on our way back.  Isn't the pony cute???

The cart was really cool.  It had bicycle tires and the back half was removable.  So it can be a two wheel or a four wheel cart.  The front and back also moved independently up and down which made it smoother and safer on rough terrain.  It's a good thing because he took us up and down some monster hills.  That pony got a work out.  She was such a good girl.  I forgot to get pictures, but we even went behind the barn to where the polo pony rigs were set up.  Those trailers were HUGE!

I had such an amazing day!  I got to do two things that I've been wanting to do since I was a little kid.  It was literally the best day I've had in a really long time and I'll never forget it.  :D

For those of you unfamiliar with polo I'll give you a run down on the basics that I know (there is a LOT that I don't know).  There are two teams of three players (I always thought it was four, but at this one it was three).  There are four chukkers (like quarters in other sports).  The chukkers I think were around ten minutes each.  After each chukker they switch out to fresh ponies.  During half time the riders get a break too.  I think the match lasted just under an hour and a half.  Each time someone scores they switch goals.  There were some fouls for crossing in front of each other (dangerous) and some other things but I don't know about all of the different fouls.  One guy got hit in the head with a ball, but he was fine and one horse got hit in the haunches, again he was fine.  It's not a sport for the weak lol.  There was a girl on each team (go girl power!).  The horses are not actually ponies, but are normal sized Thoroughbreds and Thoroughbred crosses.  I don't remember where the term polo pony came about, but that's just what they are called.

Now for anyone who is familiar with polo I have a question.  I know they have a martingale and a gag bit on the horses, but if you enlarge my pictures you'll notice the snaffle rein is attached to the saddle, run through the bit and up to the rider's hands almost like draw reins..... I have never seen that before!!!  Anyone know what that is about?  It seems really harsh.  I know they are riding fast, making sudden stops and sharp turns, but sheesh!  Anyway I had fun even though the gear seemed a bit harsh.  The horses seemed to really enjoy themselves, but they did gape their mouths open when the riders' cranked down on those reins.  Hmm.. On a silly note I have to learn to braid Chrome's tail like that!  He already has the roached mane (prevents the reins or mallet from getting tangled) hehe.