Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Moon of Making Fat

In one of my all-time favorite books, Where Rivers Change Direction, the author tells about how the Native Americans in his area call this time of year "the moon of making fat." It's time to harvest and put up food for winter, and of course eat a lot and put on some personal reserves. :)

The smoke has been so bad that it's hard to do anything outside, so I've been playing in the kitchen.

I got some raw milk from one of my co-workers. Look at all that cream! You can see the line if you look closely.

After the cream was skimmed off:
 You can do so many things with raw milk! I'm starting with an experiment, trying to make cream cheese with kefir as the starter. I wasn't sure if store bought buttermilk had any live cultures, and of course I didn't have mesophilic starter on hand. So we'll see. It ought to make something edible.

I've also been making dill pickles, pickled garlic, zucchini bread and frozen zucchini for bread later, lots and lots of elderberry syrup, with lots more elderberries to separate from their stems and freeze for later. Hmm. What else? Going to make sauerkraut soon, and planning on getting some beets to pickle, and maybe starting some kombucha. Yummm.

As for the equines, they're already fat. Except for Bob. I am trying out a product called Chaffhaye, which is baleage in small bales, as far as I can tell. It's fermented alfalfa, so it smells wonderful. Even the dogs want to eat it. Bob loves it, and so far will not let Pedro steal it. I hope he keeps it up so I don't have to separate them.

We finally had rain yesterday! The air is clear of smoke and it smells wonderful. We're going to go hiking today, even if it is supposed to rain again. Bring it on! I thought about taking Scout and riding, but it looks like he just popped a hoof abscess, so I'll leave him be.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Smoky Hike

 (I hiked with weight in the pack. Not much, and not far, but I did!)


Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Yesterday I had an unexpected lunch break at home, so I played with my horse.

He also tried on a fly mask and didn't even mind the Velcro sound. But Tonka's old fly mask was too big, so I'll have to get him a different one.

It isn't cloudy here, the white sky is smoke. It doesn't look too bad in the pictures, but it's pretty bad. At least there's no ash falling out of the sky here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


I set the donkey saddle on Luc the other day. He didn't really love it, but he wasn't overly worried about it either. I won't cinch a saddle on for a while yet. I need to fix a couple of broken rails in my round pen first. I'll work on tightening a rope around his barrel for a while first, too. He thought that was offensive.  He's so funny. When he's unsure he gets just a little bit angry.

I found a new horse camping place recently. Definitely going there with horses soon!

We hiked almost 7 miles of the trails there, and it was really nice. Some lake views, huge train trestles, and not a soul around, although you could hear highway noise. There are a lot more trails there, and more across the highway. You could also go biking on a paved railroad grade, or swimming, boating, fishing, birdwatching. This is at Heyburn State Park just an hour from me. Pretty nice. And not on fire, which is saying a lot right now.

The trails I posted about last time are right next to a forest fire that's been burning for almost a week. No homes lost, but it's not done yet. There just isn't enough manpower and our fire is too small to get much attention right now. I think they've kept it at 1300 acres. My friend lives right near it, but luckily the wind has been blowing it away from her. She has livestock that would be very hard to move. I hope they get it out before the wind picks up tomorrow.

Speaking of livestock and fires, Bella's homeland is burning too. Over 20 wild horses died in the fire. I wish I could help save them. The BLM is planning an emergency gather, and will hold the horses and re-release them when it's safe. I guess that might be next spring, so they don't starve to death on the burnt land. 

I'm off today to help with dentistry on a posh horse ranch. It's always interesting to see how the other half live. :)

Friday, August 07, 2015


Moonlight & donkeys

 Elderberry picking with Blue:

Scout's first moonlight ride:

What do you think this might be?

First rodeo:

A lovely ride with family:

I made pickles!