Monday, February 28, 2011

Good News

After taking my mare Tess to the barn with an indoor arena and my trainer riding her for the first time, I have been told "you are crazy for selling her, she is the best horse I have ever ridden".

Lot's of discussion later I have decided to keep her, she really is a fabulous horse and for him to rave about her as he did I need to listen.  This man has over 40 years of experience and to say that "she is the best horse I have ridden" speaks volumes about this sweet girl so I rode her and agreed once again and back on the trailer to home she went :-)

On that note, I have decided to sell her Daughter which is a carbon copy of her in all ways but just not started her under saddle yet.  I have ground driven her, bitted her, thrown a saddle on her and now to just finish her and get her sold. Here is a picture and she looks just like Mom.  I just need to reduce the number of horses we have, 7 is too many.

She will make someone a fabulous horse!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Another Busy Week

It has been crazy busy and I apologize for the gap in posts.  We have been dealing with more snow, more wind, more drifts etc. 

I have also decided to sell my mare and dealing with people coming to look at her and trying to make arrangements to ride which cannot be done here (much too icy thus dangerous), so it means hauling her to an arena for a test ride.  I think I have found the perfect home for her so cross your fingers with me please?

This is her with my Step Sons ex girlfriend riding her, they make a beautiful pair.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Inward Reflections

Goodness, I have been challenged the past couple days!  Starting with a major site issue where images where not loading properly to the masses of mud that we are dealing with from the warm temperatures and melting snow.  The horses are a mess with their daily mud baths :-)

There is a silver lining though and we can actually see grass!  I have not seen grass since October and while we are expecting some snow this weekend it has been nice to see a tinge of green (how it stays green in this weather is beyond me).

Today the horizon is filled with fog and a mysterious feeling that I must say I enjoy :-)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ordinary to Extraordinary

We are often faced with challenging situations that dare to crumble the footing beneath our feet.  We must stand tall and hold on and know that the earth beneath our feet will carry us although at times it can be a bit rough.

I have had many joys the past week, a gorgeous owl that graced our tree, watching the horses play in the field now that the weather is warmer (it has been hovering around 40), the video tape that my youngest Daughter made for us for Valentines, the selection of poetry that my oldest Daughter wrote for each us as the sun rose this morning and she read with pride, reading in the languishing light of the evening, the joy of simply being and simply knowing:


It does not mean to be in a place
where there is no noise, trouble
or hard work.  It means to be in
the midst of all these things and still
Be calm in your heart

Thank you Cindy, always thinking of you these past 18 days

May your days ahead provide you with a bit of challenge and a lot of love - Happy Valentines day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Major Cooking Streak

Coming from a father who taught at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and producing a son that followed in his footsteps and trained at Le Cordon Bleu as well.  He has achieved Executive Chef status and has worked for several top restaurants in Minnesota my love for cooking runs deep.  He has been doing a lot of the cooking during the chaos and I have officially kicked him out of the kitchen.

I have found a renewed interest in the kitchen now that things have settled down so please bear with me as I share my love with you.

Tonights Menu will consist of:

Artichoke and Pancetta Frittata (with roasted artichoke hearts)

Warm Spinach Salad

French Baguettes

Here is the recipe for the Fritatta:


  • 6 eggs
  • 2 oz. pancetta (small), diced
  • ½ can artichoke hearts, julienned
  • 4 oz. Italian Fontina, grated
  • 1 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Pinch of cracked black pepper


Preheat your oven to 400ºF.
Render the pancetta over medium-low heat until crispy; remove and set aside, reserving the fat in the pan.
Beat the 6 eggs and season with a pinch of pepper; pour into the pan and stir the middle of the mixture with a spatula. When the eggs start to set, add the other ingredients, making sure to distribute them evenly throughout the eggs. Separate the eggs from the side of the pan with your spatula. When the outside of the eggs starts to solidify, place the whole pan in the oven.
Check on the frittata every 5 minutes. When the top of the frittata starts to become solid, sprinkle the Parmigiano-Reggiano on top. The frittata is done when the top is brown and the middle jiggles but is solid to the touch.

Here is the recipe for the Warm Spinach Salad:


  • Salad:
  • 4 cups spinach leaves (loosely packed)
  • ½ medium-sized red onion, julienned

  • Vinaigrette:
  • 4 slices thick bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon course-grain Dijon mustard

  • Garnish: 1 hard-boiled egg, chopped fine


Toss together spinach leaves and red onion. Set aside.
In a sauté pan, place bacon with olive oil. Stirring frequently, cook on medium heat until crisp. Remove pan from heat. Whisk in mustard and vinegar. Pour over spinach mixture.
Quickly toss salad and top with hard-boiled egg.

Bon Appetite!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Low Tides and Ebbs of Existence

The days have been restorative, I have sipped tea all day long and have rather enjoyed the 3:45 hour rather than dreading it to the point where it evoked tears. I have casually made dinner and dinners that were filled with love, thought and preparation rather than being hurried to get 5 children fed and the screaming/crying that went with the impatience.  Due to this we were often relegated to simple meals and thus meals that Bob and I would normally not eat.

Last night we made Fondue with seeded rye bread and tempura veggies.  The night before I made a healthy version of chicken pot pie and the night before that we enjoyed home made Pad Thai.  Tonight's menu will be sweet potato soup with veggie stir fry of roasted pineapple, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, snow peas, onions, bell pepper in a sauce of peanut butter, Vietnamese garlic chili, soy sauce and sesame oil.  Oh!  I also made some homemade granola for the girls and here is the recipe:

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats or equivalent measurement with oat bran, barley and flax seed mixed in
1 cup raw almonds or pecans, roughly chopped
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup coconut flakes
3/4 cup honey or maple syrup
3/4 to 1 cup olive oil or coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup chopped dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the oats, nuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, maple syrup or honey, oil, salt and cinnamon together. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and well toasted.

2. Transfer granola to a large bowl and add the dried fruit, tossing to combine.

Enjoy :-)  Namaste.....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cold, Cold Cold.....

I am now officially tired of the cold, we have a temp reading right now of -19 degrees and a wind chill of -37 degrees.  Do you have any idea of exactly how cold that is?  If we were to put a sheet of Saran Wrap outside, it would shatter to the touch within 2 minutes.  If we were to throw a pan of hot water into the air, it would produce a cloud of ice crystals instantly.  If we were to be outside with any exposed skin it would be subject to frost bite within 3 minutes.  This is where doing horse chores gets hard :-(

This is just awful!  BUT, the sun in shining and standing in a window with the sun streaming in you can feel the nourishing heat.  I say this every year, I can't wait to move from here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Year of the Rabbit

Since I am the Rabbit maybe this will be my year :-)

A person born during the years 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987 and 1999 is most fortunate to be born in the Year of the Rabbit. If you or someone you know is a Rabbit…heads up; it’s going to be an interesting year indeed.
Known for their diplomacy, the Rabbits are going to need all the understanding they possess this year. Many opportunities for communication gaffes are in the offing. However, think positive. Year of the Rabbit people should be able to straighten everything out and finish the year on an upbeat note.

In Chinese mythology, the Year of the Rabbit symbol represents longevity and it is believed that the Rabbit enjoys a close relationship with the moon. Westerners may refer to the man in the moon, but when the Chinese peer up at the moon, what they see is the Rabbit standing by a rock, holding a cup that overflows with the elixir of immortality. As symbols go, this is considered one of the finest.

Year of the Rabbit People
If you want to discover the true personality of the Rabbit, picture the character of Monica from the TV sitcom Friends. You will immediately be able to visualize the home of a Rabbit. It is always orderly, always clutter-free and if a knick-knack has been shifted one centimeter, the Rabbit will surely return it to its proper original position.

Because a Rabbit’s overall approach is calm and considerate, they make excellent teachers. Coupled with their organizational skills, they are well suited for supervisory positions. They are detail-oriented and happiest when engrossed in intellectual activities. However, since they are basically reserved creatures, they do not thrive in competitive environments.
People born during the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Rabbit are careful with money. More than any other sign in the Chinese Zodiac, they get the most enjoyment from their spending. They tend to spend money on furniture for their home, on new cars and most Rabbits love antiques. It is a joyful day when they discover a treasure from the past.

Imagine the fluffy, smooth fur of a rabbit, their fragility, alert personality and sweet disposition. This picture, more than any other, portrays people born during the Chinese Year of the Rabbit. Possibly it was a Rabbit native who first was described as being cool, calm and collected. They will avoid confrontation at all costs, even if it means allowing conflict to persist around them in the hopes that it will sort itself out.

Those born during the Chinese Year of the Rabbit have an eye for fashion and a talent for wearing clothes that perfectly complement every occasion. Because they are tuned in to all things color, they are interested in the arts, especially music and painting.

If given the choice, Rabbit natives will avoid adventure vacations, preferring more traditional destinations. They love different cultures; therefore their dream vacations would include Europe and Asia, although seeing the sights in the United States remains at the top of their list. They are the tourists who enjoy shopping in new locales, taking lots of travel photographs and tasting the local cuisine.
Lucky are those who count a Rabbit as their friend. The Rabbit is an excellent listener, will always provide a shoulder to cry on and has the ability to examine a problem calmly and with sensitivity. Oftentimes they come up with the perfect solution.

When a Rabbit finally decides to settle down, it is with the intention to partner for life. As in all other aspects of their lives, they desire a marriage that invokes few disagreements. Even little arguments can move them to tears. Consequently, a Rabbit is best suited to a spouse who knows how to pamper and show affection. This makes for a loving relationship; one that many people crave, but never realize.

As everyone knows, rabbits are identified with fertility. So it is no surprise that people born during a Year of the Rabbit tend to have large families. And since Rabbit people are essentially peace-loving individuals, they give in easily to the wants of their children, mostly in an effort to keep the peace. As mentioned earlier, they hate confrontation, so arguing with their kids is anathema to them.

However, because their own personality is mild mannered, they expect their children to act the same, and this often creates the very conflict that they wish to avoid. Once they understand each child should be able to develop their individual likes and dislikes, all becomes peaceful again. Throughout their lifetime, a Rabbit parent can be counted on to be there for her kids. Parenting never ends for them.
Do not make the error of thinking that due to their docility, a Rabbit will not pursue an objective. In actuality, it is methodical precision that allows them to achieve. And remember, they also have a bit of that “rabbit’s foot” working for them. Although their efforts will never be obvious, and they won’t make waves, beware—they can be quite formidable.

Year of the Rabbit Predictions
Because of your sensitive nature, you sometimes appear moody to people around you Rabbit. Try not to wear your feelings on your sleeve. Too bad the rest of the world hasn’t figured out that it costs nothing to be nice to each other. For that reason, you must not allow criticisms to get under your skin.

This is the year to expand your horizons. Put your creativity to work and think seriously about painting or learning to play a musical instrument. If you haven’t already tried your hand at either of these endeavors, this is the year to throw caution out the window and discover whether or not you have any hidden talents. You may be surprised.

As a rule, Rabbits are not fond of working out, but everyday stress can overtax you this year, and you have a tendency to overwork. Add some activity to your routine. Walking is probably your best bet. It is healthy, it stimulates the heart and a solitary exercise is best for you. It allows for quiet time to think. Explore the benefits of meditation.
If you run into any serious problems, they will likely revolve around your personal relationships. Whether you are single or married, this year will test the strength of your bond. Communicate, communicate, communicate! Misunderstandings are high up on your chart of life this year, so put extra effort forth. When in doubt about how best to react to a situation, do not be afraid to ask a friend for advice.

Year of the Rabbit Celebrity Birthdays:You share your year with some cool and oh-so-debonair individuals: Cary Grant, Jane Seymour, Sting, Drew Barrymore, Fergie and Angelina Jolie.

Essentially, this year will prove to be a surprising year for you. How you react to the changes, challenges, and little ups and downs, will have great bearing on exactly how your year ends. You must work toward your own happy ending. The winds of discontent are blowing, but there is no horrendous storm brewing. Be prepared and you will easily skim through this year. As an added bonus, people born during the Year of the Rabbit will learn new things about themselves this year.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lost Plots of Midnight

I have not had a dream that I could remember in the last 6 months and last night I had a beautiful dream and not only did I remember it but I remember waking up and thinking to myself "go back to sleep so the story can start again".

The scene opened with myself, Bob and my two girls and there was a game going on in a large room with several other people (no idea who) where one had to voice how we could make the world a better place and then act out what we would do.  Bob stood up and he said that he would plant patchouli plants all over the world and we all promptly went outside and were greeted by thousands of acres of patchouli over rolling hills with animals grazing in the distance.  They all looked up and started to come towards our group and we gently stroked muzzles of felt, soft rabbit fur and held out our arms for singing birds to land on.

Harmony was up next and she said that she would paint the sky in rainbows and that we could see angels (she loves to draw angels in sandals, pic below of one of her drawings) and we went outside again and this time were greeted to the same meadow full of paint cans and we all picked up brushes and started to paint rainbows in the sky as if it were a canvas.  I remember smiling down at my Daughter and how proud I was of her.

Emilie was up next and she said that she would create a world where there was kindness and love everywhere and people would always say "bless you" when she sneezed (this is something that taught our girls from a young age, you always say 'bless you" when someone sneezes and it bothers her that her friends don't do it).  We then went to a room that was lined in gorgeous woods and flanked with ornately carved pillars and shelves and shelves of beautifully bound leather books.  We entered the room and began to thumb through the books and each page had a name and a quote under it that said "close your eyes and wish with your heart for the person named above to receive the contents of this book".  We did so and we instantly felt uplifted and grateful, I can't even describe the feeling, it was what wanted me to go back and continue the story.  As we left the room there was a golden coin on a table and she picked it up and promptly sneezed and we heard a thousand soft voices saying "bless you".

My turn was next but I awoke and I have no idea what wonders would have been held if I could have gone back to the dream but I am glad that I could remember this much and awake with a feeling of such peace and happiness.

May you dream beautiful dreams tonight and may the days bring you much peace and happiness.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I do believe and starting today my life returns....

I feel a sense of peace and yet I feel guilty for the decisions that had to be made but I know that they are the right decisions for the right reasons.