Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Floral Heart Cowgirl Cuff

One of my cowgirl cuffs (third row down in the middle) has been featured in this treasury by Moon Light Photography:


I love the color combinations in this treasury ~~very Spring like. Click here to go directly to the Treasury page for a better view of each item and to be able to go to each artists' Etsy shop for more goodies!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Easter is coming...

You always know when Easter is getting close.... you start seeing peeps everywhere. You know...PEEPS. Those sugar coated little fluffs of marshmallow goodness. I loved them as a kid and love them to this day. I liked to take them out of the package for a day or two and let them get stale...(was I weird or did others like this, too???)

Back in the day, peeps were yellow. Period. Today you can find them in pink, purple and even green! Amazing...

Look what I found browsing through Etsy today! Peeps!

This card is called "Riding with my Peep". Hilarious! There are several other cards in this series, you can find them at Plastic Ponies shop.

And how about some Chocolate Dipped Peeps with Candy Sprinkles in all the colors of the rainbow! These evil little peeps (and I mean that in a good way) come from Broken Road Farm. You'd better place your order now, I see a peep shortage coming...(Raise your hand if you always bit the head off the peep first?~~)

Or how about a peep that has ZERO calories and is just as cute and fluffy...



This adorable little needle felted peep is created by Wooly Works. Check out their shop for other adorable little critters.

Peeps and Easter go hand in hand. Did you get peeps in your easter basket as a kid?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ride on Stormy

I had a sad reminder this weekend to never take my horses (and other animals) for granted...

On Saturday, we helped my friend bury her beloved 30 year old horse, Stormy. They had been together for 25 YEARS.

Making the hard decision, the right decision, for your animals is never easy. It never seems right for us, but in the end it's not about us. We have the ultimate obligation to them.

My friend sent Stormy on to greener pastures where he is young and whole again.

Ride on Stormy...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cowgirl Goods

My new friend/blog pal, Marjorie, at Cowgirl Goods, is having a spring giveaway at her blog, check it out! She and I met on the dusty cowgirl blog trail and come to find out we are both originally from Michigan. She offered to mail me a Vernors she has been hanging on to, but I told her I'll wait until I get a sore throat... (non-Michiganders will probably not get that one, it's a Michigan "thing")

Marjorie makes the coolest Cowgirl inspired aprons. Here is the one she is GIVING AWAY! I love the bucking bronc print. Doesn't this make you want to throw it right on and start baking? It does me.

Any self-respecting cowgirl should own one of these cuties. (I'm already entered). Gallop on over to Cowgirl Goods and get your name in the hat!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Piper's Big Adventure

It took me until tonight to get around to blogging about our experience at the Equine Voices fundraiser yesterday. We were all wiped out by the end of the day and that carried over to today!

Here we are waiting for our turn in the spotlight. My friend Jean's horse, Scout, makes Piper look like a mini! He is a 3 year old draft cross that she adoped from Equine Voices when he was a yearling.
Piper working in front of the crowd. Lee did a great job telling her story and ad-libbing ....even when Piper decided to turn her butt to the crowd.... and poop. (yes, she sure did). Ahh, horses, gotta love 'em.She's turning into a big horse, not a baby anymore. Not sure if I'm happy about that or not!
They had all kinds of items out that we could use in our presentation. This parachute was a piece of cake since she is used to the tarp. I did get her to chase it on the ground a little... Turns out, she is a real clown in front of a crowd! She loved the attention.
She also loved this ball! The faster I pushed it, the faster she ran after it. What she really wanted to do was bite it, but she just couldn't get her mouth around it.
She was pretty cooperative for me, even with all the people, music, loudspeakers and other horses. We didn't get a picture of it, but at the end of our presentation, she did a little bow (not a full bow, just dropped her head to the ground). It was great and the crowd loved it.
And this is Gulliver, the "mascot" for Equine Voices. He is a BIG boy. He was one of the original horses rescued and is now the symbol of rescue for Equine Voices. He is quite the ambassador!
I'm really proud of my little girl. This was her first "solo" trailer ride (without her buddy, Sassy) since we have had her and she did not give us one ounce of problem. It was a long day away from home for her in a new environment and she handled it like a champ!


I'm looking forward to many years of great adventures together. The fun has just begun!

Silent Sunday (Piper - a fundraiser sneak peek...)


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Piper's Big Day

This Saturday, Equine Voices (the PMU rescue that I adopted Piper from) is having their annual spring fundraiser (check out the details here). They will have food vendors, a raffle, silent auction and dessert auction (mmmm), a bake sale, information booths and equine related demonstrations through the day. I baked up some goodies for the bake sale and a red velvet cake for the dessert auction. I also donated a bracelet for the silent auction.

But, the most exciting part of the day is that Piper will be one of 4 featured horses that have been adopted from the rescue! We will have our 5 minutes in the spotlight, to show off for the crowd where she is at with her training, tell a little bit about her history and how she came to be with us.
We've been working with her everyday, figuring out how best to use our 5 minutes. Lee is going to narrate while I demonstrate basic groundwork with her, flexing, bending, backing up, leading and stopping. I will also do a little bit of round pen work, sending her off and turning her back, having her face and then walk to me (even though we won't be in a round pen, but at the end of the arena near the crowd). That could prove to be interesting... with all that space, I hope she will cooperate with me!
We might also use a tarp and some other items to show the desensitizing training we have done. This picture was taken last summer... Piper has never been afraid of the tarp and will walk around with it covering her like this! We drag it around the round pen and she will chase after it, jump on it and "kill" it. And then bite it.
Piper is still very young, she'll turn 2 in May. We've had her almost a year and she has been so much fun to work with, she's very smart and quick to learn. She knew nothing when we brought her home. It took me about 45 minutes to get her from the trailer to her stall the day I brought her home... she didn't even know how to lead! We've come a long way with her since then.

This is her in May of last year. She was so little! It's amazing how much she has grown in almost a year.

I'll be sure to post about our experience on Saturday. We're really looking forward to it!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Tagged

I've been tagged by Jane Augenstein for this game of photo tag. (Jane has a great blog, I love to read about Gilly and Pokey, her horse and donkey). Rules for this game of tag are: find the sixth folder in your Photo file, and then the sixth photo in that folder and post it.

Well, what do you know...it's a bunny pic! This is Patches and Nutmeg, BFFs to the end. Patches is the lop (notice I didn't say "mini" lop) She tops the scale at 10 lbs! She's a BIG bunny. Nutmeg is a mini-rex and is a petite 4.5 lbs. Mini-rex are known for their super soft fur, the original Velveteen bunny. She's like holding a real live stuffed animal!

Both of these buns found their way to us because their owners did not stop to think about a lifelong committment when they bought them for their kids. Their loss! Wouldn't know what to do without these 2 hopping around the house...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

To Have a Horse in Your Life

I received this in an e-mail from one of my customers. (Thanks Mandy!) I added pics of our horses in appropriate places. It is quite long, but well worth the read!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

To have a horse in your life is a gift. In the matter of a few short years, a horse can teach a young girl courage, if she chooses to grab mane and hang on for dear life. Even the smallest of ponies is mightier than the tallest of girls. To conquer the fear of falling off, having one's toes crushed, or being publicly humiliated at a horse show is an admirable feat for any child. For that, we can be grateful.

Horses teach us responsibility. Unlike a bicycle or a computer, a horse needs regular care and most of it requires that you get dirty and smelly and up off the couch. Choosing to leave your cozy kitchen to break the crust of ice off the water buckets is to choose responsibility. When our horses dip their noses and drink heartily; we know we've made the right choice.

Learning to care for a horse is both an art and a science. Some are easy keepers, requiring little more than regular turn-out, a flake of hay, and a trough of clean water. Others will test you - you'll struggle to keep them from being too fat or too thin. You'll have their feet shod regularly only to find shoes gone missing. Some are so accident-prone you'll swear they're intentionally finding new ways to injure themselves.
If you weren't raised with horses, you can't know that they have unique personalities. You'd expect this from dogs, but horses? Indeed, there are clever horses, grumpy horses, and even horses with a sense of humor. Those prone to humor will test you by finding new ways to escape from the barn when you least expect it.
Horses can be timid or brave, lazy or athletic, obstinate or willing. You will hit it off with some horses and others will elude you altogether. There are as many "types" of horses as there are people- which makes the whole partnership thing all the more interesting.

If you've never ridden a horse, you probably assume it's a simple thing you can learn in a weekend. You can, in fact, learn the basics on a Sunday, but to truly ride well takes a lifetime. Working with a living being is far more complex than turning a key in the ignition and putting the car or tractor in "drive."

In addition to listening to your instructor, your horse will have a few things to say to you as well. On a good day, he'll be happy to go along with the program and tolerate your mistakes; on a bad day, you'll swear he's trying to kill you. Perhaps he's naughty or perhaps he' fed up with how slowly you're learning his language. Regardless, the horse will have an opinion. He may choose to challenge you (which can ultimately make you a better rider) or he may carefully carry you over fences - if it suits him. It all depends on the partnership - and partnership is what it's all about. If you face your fears, swallow your pride, and are willing to work at it, you'll learn lessons in courage, commitment, and compassion in addition to basic survival skills. You'll discover just how hard you're willing to work toward a goal, how little you know, and how much you have to learn. And, while some people think the horse "does all the work", you'll be challenged physically as well as mentally. Your horse may humble you completely. Or, you may find that sitting on his back is the closest you'll get to heaven.
You can choose to intimidate your horse, but do you really want to? The results may come more quickly, but will your work ever be as graceful as that gained through trust? The best partners choose to listen, as well as to tell. When it works, we experience a sweet sense of accomplishment brought about by smarts, hard work, and mutual understanding between horse and rider. These are the days when you know with absolute certainty that your horse is enjoying his work.

If we make it to adulthood with horses still in our lives, most of us have to squeeze riding into our over saturated schedules; balancing our need for things equine with those of our households and employers. There is never enough time to ride, or to ride as well as we'd like. Hours in the barn are stolen pleasures.

If it is in your blood to love horses, you share your life with them. Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears. A barn is a sanctuary in an unsettled world, a sheltered place where life's true priorities are clear: a warm place to sleep, someone who loves us, and the luxury of regular meals. Some of us need these reminders.
When you step back, it's not just about horses - it's about love, life, and learning. On any given day, a friend is celebrating the birth of a foal, a blue ribbon, or recovery from an illness. That same day, there is also loss: a broken limb, a case of colic, a decision to sustain a life or end it gently. As horse people, we share the accelerated life cycle of horses: the hurried rush of life, love, loss, and death that caring for these animals brings us. When our partners pass, it is more than a moment of sorrow.

We mark our loss with words of gratitude for the ways our lives have been blessed. Our memories are of joy, awe, and wonder. Absolute union. We honor our horses for their brave hearts, courage, and willingness to give.

To those outside our circle, it must seem strange. To see us in our muddy boots, who would guess such poetry lives in our hearts? We celebrate our companions with praise worthy of heroes. Indeed, horses have the hearts of warriors and often carry us into and out of fields of battle.

Listen to stories of that once-in-a-lifetime horse; of journeys made and challenges met. The best of horses rise to the challenges we set before them, asking little in return.

Those who know them understand how fully a horse can hold a human heart. Together, we share the pain of sudden loss and the lingering taste of long-term illness. We shoulder the burden of deciding when or whether to end the life of a true companion.

In the end, we're not certain if God entrusts us to our horses--or our horses to us. Does it matter? We're grateful God loaned us the horse in the first place.

~Author Unknown

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Everybody loves a winner!

And everybody loves to win something with no strings attached!

I found a very neat blog recently called Etsy Giveaways. The blog features all kinds of different giveaways hosted by Etsy shop owners. The tagline on the blog is "The only thing better than buying handmade is winning it." They have giveaways for everything: postcards, prints, aprons, earrings, bookmarks, even proofreading and a host of other goodies. It only takes a minute to peruse the giveaways and get entered. And it is completely free.
Several weeks ago I won these beautiful earrings from SDVintageCollection:
And just today I was notified that I am the lucky winner of one of these Daisy Necklaces from C&T Unique Jewelry Designs. Very nice!

If you find yourself with an extra minute or two and you like free goodies, check out the Etsy Giveaways Blog....and let me know if you win anything. Good luck!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sweet Tooth

I love to bake. I always have, ever since I was a little girl. And of course, I love to eat what I bake! Lately though, I'm trying to cut way down on the amount of sweets I eat. And it's not easy. Especially when my hubby always wants me to make "something sweet" for him in the evenings. Tonight, he wanted chocolate chip cookies. Somebody help me...

This is my favorite cookbook. It was my mom's and is copyright March 1968... (I had just barely cleared my first birthday!) It's pages are tattered, stained and sometimes ripped out of the book completely.


The recipes in this cookbook are timeless. Not so much for the fashions in the pictures! (Lovin' the June Cleaver-esque dress)
Here is the recipe for "Chocolate Chippers", otherwise known as Chocolate Chip Cookies. It is really the best recipe I have ever come across. And it calls for shortening (good old Crisco) and you MUST use it, no substitutions. I'm not sure what is in shortening and probably don't want to know, but I've tried to substitute butter in the past and the cookies just do not come out right. I am sure I have turned to this page in the cookbook hundreds of times over the years.... Mmmmm.... not only do I love the cookies, I really love the cookie dough! (But, I didn't eat any tonight, trying to have some willpower!)But, maybe I could have just ONE....
What is your favorite chocolate chip recipe?