Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween in our little town

Halloween just doesn't thrill me for some reason, but I have to say we had a great time trick-or-treating tonight in Frankfort. Country kids get rooked a little when it comes to trick or treat, but we always manage to find somewhere fun and safe to go.
It made me a little sad to think this will probably be the last time to take out one of our kids, and Mirian may have been on the older side this year. She begged and we compromised (I figured that she never had the opportunity while she was still in Peru) and decided she could go IF the majority of the candy goes along with us to Peru to be passed out to the children there.
It's always fun to see the decorations at the Governor's Mansion beside the Kentucky State Capitol. The jack-o-lanterns and other decorations (shown up top) are very neat.
Many in the diverse neighborhood of mostly older homes really get into the spirit of Halloween- I know that not everyone is into passing out candy, but you can tell that some of the older folks truly enjoy their young visitors in costume and many decorate to the hilt.
Robert had fun dressing up for school- check out his costume here. Happy Halloween! Our wait for the big Peru trip is almost over- we leave this Friday and couldn't be more excited! Pin It Now!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Bit of Balance

I'm feeling a little pensive today... perhaps because it's the birthday of my late brother Mike and I'm doing lots of reflecting on life.... not blue, just feeling philosophical. (Started the other day...)

Actually, life has been in a nice balance with me lately and I'm feeling especially grateful for that. It's good to be aware during these times, to analyze them and appreciate them and not just notice when things are so OUT of balance with lots of hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing as they were recently when we were having some challenges here on the farm or when the kids are showing their "teen" colors.
Not long ago, I painted a little page of intentions... and most are truly coming to fruition! Here are a few things that I included....

Time for creative endeavors (studio time has been more abundant than usual)
Quality time with family (we got in a quick trip to see my parents and other family this past weekend, and find time almost every night for the four of us here to sit down together for dinner)
Be with people who inspire... inspire others (my recent felting class accomplished this, as well as recent times with friends)
Don't let the turkeys get you down... whoever they may be! (Nuff said...)
More time with horses
Daily gratitude
In the midst of our busy-ness getting ready to go to Peru, I have somehow carved out time for these things and more.... and this gorgeous fall has been in the forefront of my mind as we go about our daily routine. I had a nice talk with my Mom on our quick visit about how lucky we are to have been taught to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us... and this has been an incrediby pretty fall. My cup is full.
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Monday, October 12, 2009

Riding Weekend at Mammoth Cave National Park

Okay, not a very catchy title, but descriptive of what I was doing this past weekend! My friends and my daughter and I often frequent trails in Eastern Kentucky, but with the treacherous, steep hills there we thought we might be better heading west since it looked like conditions would be wet. We certainly didn't let the mud bother us, and had a great weekend.
Knowing how hard Western Kentucky was hit by the 2009 ice storm made me that much more appreciative of the great condition of the park's 60 miles of horse trails. A LOT of people have done a ton of chainsawing and chopping to get the trails open and in shape, as there were fallen trees everywhere. Rarely did we have to go over or even around many trees, and modern erosion control measures were in place on a lot of the steeper hills.
I think we rode about 15-18 miles on Saturday, with this church (Good Springs Baptist Church, est. 1842) being a popular stopping point and our lunch site. We enjoyed watching groups of horses and riders coming and going, and looking around in the cemetary.
This was a grave for twin girls that died separately at just a few months old. There was a series of 6 tiny graves in another family plot, marked "Infant Son or Infant Daughter", all from the same family. They died during the days of cholera, influenza and tuberculosis- swine flu is definitely not looking too bad.
My friends are great cooks, and as always we ate well. Our favorite meals are those we share on the trail, and this year we had "Gallop Gals" wine with our lunch, complements of Marti.
We also enjoyed Marti's trademark, hot "carmel Apple" drinks (sans bourbon, since we'd be driving home the same day). Mary Beth had put together some pocket stews to cook over the campfire, and they were awesome, with ground buffalo and fall vegetables simmering together over the flames. Yum!

All three horses did great, with my flashy little horse Sunday catching most of the compliments. I am coming to appreciate his small stature more and more as my bones get a little stiffer! (Plus, it's not as far to fall!)
I found myself gazing around at the woodland floor as we rode, partly watching for hazards but also observing signs of fall. An entire book could have been written and photographed of all of the colorful mushrooms, which I observed in every hue including a lavender purple.
The poison ivy was even turning fall colors, with shades of gold and crimson observed. I didn't get any good shots of that, but got some other fall leaves.
As always, I came away feeling very grateful to live in such a wonderful state and to have such great friends (and horses!) with which to enjoy it. I can't wait for our next outing! Pin It Now!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Going to the Barn...

Sometimes it's a real pain to go up to the barn to bottle feed the cria, but then I remind myself to slow down and look around...

It sure as heck beats fighting traffic! Pin It Now!

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Perfectly Peachy Weekend

This was one of those five-star weekends when I feel so grateful to live in Kentucky, on a farm, with the country lifestyle that we are blessed to have. The kids were off school on Friday, and Mirian and her friend were happy to stay outdoors and enjoy the gorgeous weather. They decided to pick pears, an activity which set the stage for lots of kitchen time!

We have three century-old pear trees on the property, and despite their gnarly appearance they always produce a ton of fruit. This year we had such a good growing season and our renter fertilized the trees for the first time, resulting in a true bumper crop.

Our renters are so great, they truly appreciate their little home on our place and are very active in utilizing the resources at hand (as well as always sharing their garden)! I have enjoyed seeing their gourds hanging, and their wood stacked and ready for winter.On Saturday, we went on a trail ride at Cave Run Lake with the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Manager's Club. There were 33 riders and their horses (and mules) and the weather was stellar.It was good to see Paul on horseback for a change! (Normally, he likes to ride the two-wheeled sort!)

Sunday brought more great weather, but after picking yet more pears (about 60 pounds more!), Mirian and I spent most of the day processing them into pear sauce, pear butter, dried pears with the dehydrator, etc. I'm still looking for more interesting recipes!Then we got ready for the Blessing of the Pets at our church, since it was St. Francis day. This was the first time that Sushi had been dressed up in a while, and he took it all in stride.

He wasn't at all thrilled with the big dogs at the event, and I had to hold him as he struggled to get away from Mirian. It was a lot of fun to see the variety of pets! (No, we didn't take any alpacas along).

By the time the service was over, Sushi was pretty happy to be back in the car with Munchie!

The day was capped off by an impromptu dinner with some friends that had come out to shoot sporting clays with Paul. It was really nice... great conversation, good wine, a friend's daughter who's Robert's age, Mirian sharing some of her old Peru photos, etc. Guess what we had for dinner? Quiche (with eggs from our chickens) and potato-pear soup! You can find the recipe here. I think I'll try this chilled pear soup recipe next!

Maybe I should change the title of this post to a PEARfect weekend!

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

October...???!!! Adventures Await!

How the heck did October and fall arrive so soon? The past two months have been a complete whirlwind, with lots of highlights and low points... life is NEVER boring here at Seldom Scene Farm.

Here are some things I'm looking forward to or currently enjoying (don't think I'll look back on the "bad" stuff after all, it's behind us now!)

* Clean alpacas in the fields! (In late summer, our humidity is high and they roll a lot in their dust piles, subsequently looking like little muddy pigs. I like them better like this! That's Rosa, one of our Maremma guardian dogs).

* Fall trail riding, this Saturday at Cave Run Lake with Paul and Mirian, then next weekend away with my Gallop Girl friends.

* Teaching a felting class on Sunday, October 18th. Email me for details! (, or check it out on our farm blog.

* A baby shower for my niece Amanda and lots of baby knitting for pregnant friends and family members.

* Regular, unrushed quiet times doing things like walking along our leaf-covered river trail.

* And the big event... the countdown is on for Mirian and I to go on a working medical mission trip in Peru with Quechua Benefit. (34 more days, as I've already been reminded a few times today alone, can you tell somebody's excited!?)
I'll be detailing our trip more and more as the time grows nearer, but wanted to get the word out that we're collecting unopened over-the-counter pain medicines to take along. If you would like to help, please send or bring to us boxes of aspirin, ibuprofen, baby aspirin, etc. The people whom we'll be assisting live in an incredibly cold and harsh high-altitude environment and deal with a lot of pain on a regular basis. This is our small way of helping.... and you can, too!

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