Sunday, October 17, 2010

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie...

...on the back of the couch.

Luci. Super. Dog.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Days like this are not very common in Northeast Wisconsin in October. But when they happen, you best take advantage of it. Skies are only this color when it's fall. I don't know why and I don't care. I just like it.

The fall colors are just about at their peak. We did lose a bunch of leaves last week to some heavy winds, but the ones that hung on are giving a good show.

And you know the best way to see the fall colors is from the back of a horse....

With good friends in tow....

Vicki brought her horse Lester over and we all headed out on the Oconto River Trail, a reclaimed railroad grade. It's an easy ride, and a great way to spend an afternoon.

Vicki was a little apprehensive about the ride because Lester's wunna them there fancy schmancy "show horses". Little did Vicki know, but Lester is a super solid trail horse as well. In no time he was leading our group like he's done it a thousand times.

He made it past the killer llaammaass without a care.

And the Big Bridge over the Little River was not a problem.

And of course Oliver was a super star and gave Sara a great ride. He doesn't know it yet, but he's gonna be wunna them there fancy schmancy show horses, too.

Just like Lester. Show horse/trail horse extraordinaire.

Enjoy the fall to its fullest. Winter is just around the corner.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Some Like It Hot

And that's me.
I admit it.
I'm a Pepperhead.

Now, I'm not into the extreme heat like some folks enjoy, but I do like a lil' sweat on the brow.

So much so that I attempt to make my own hot sauce. Pull on your flame retardant suit and follow along.

First, I grow my own peppers:

Then I harvest them, wash them, and prepare them for sauce time:

This time I used a mix of jalapenos, serranos, and habaneros:

The habs are the hot ones (hence the gloves):

All of that white membrane contains the capsaicin, which is what causes the heat. The seeds are hot as well, but it's their proximity to the membrane that lends them their heat. Remember, capsaicin is the main ingredient in pepper spray. Yum!

Here's a pic of some habs in different levels of ripeness:

And here's a beauty of a jalapeno:

And a big bowl of hotness:

All the trimmings. Even the parts I can't use are pretty:

The next step is to boil the peppers in a bath of vinegar and salt:

This is when you wish you had more windows in your kitchen:

It's quite caustic. And the next step may be even more so....the blender:

Oh yeah, we can't forget the carrots:

And the final product:

I ended up with about 7 quarts of hot sauce. Enough to strip the paint off of a really big building. And it's yummy!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Then and Now

Oliver is filling out nicely. He's starting to muscle up and show definition in all the right places.

Then (August 16th)
Now (October 4th):
Then (August 16th):
Now (October 4th):

He cleans up perty good, doesn't he?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Walk With Me

Silly Pony, over at Diary of the Overanxious Horse Owner asked for some information about the layout of our barn. Follow along on my tour. We love our barn and are lucky to have it and are always happy to share it with others.

This is what I see every morning:

This side faces the road:
The door:

This was given to us by Harry Klock, from Stockmans Bar in Harlowton, MT. Just east of Two Dot on highway 12. You don't meet many fellas as nice:

Let's open it up a bit:
Here's the grain area. It's just inside the door to the left:
Turn completely around, and here's the message board. The bench was a gift from Chris & John. He fabbed it out of an old twin bed frame, and Chris did the upholstery. It's got lil' cowboys on it:
This is tacked up on the board. It's from Maddy, the lil' neighbor kid that exchanges stall cleaning for horse rides:
Turning back around, here's the tack room. It's 14' wide and 12' deep. The log siding was donated by a good friend, Rod:

I bought that chair for $7! It's comfy:
"Home is where the barn is":

View from the comfy chair. I could live out here. Coffee and pizza (and beer). Good enough for me:

Back out in the aisle, the next thing is the wash stall. It's 10' wide and 12" deep, just like our stalls:

Then the three stalls:
I just got more log siding to finish the fronts to the right of the stall doors. That should really finish it up:
Then back up the other side of the aisle is where we store a few bales of hay and shavings:
Halters and bridles:
Gate to the indoor arena:
And back where we started:

The aisle is 12' wide and 60' long. Plenty of room to pull through with the tractor or truck, and there is still room to open the doors. The wide aisle was something that many other barn owners regretted not doing. I put the lights up to the sides of the aisle. That was a suggestion from a barn owner just down the road a bit. Lights overhead don't light up the underside of a horse. I would have never thought of that. Each stall has a light and a fan. I mounted the switches and outlets up high, up out of the way, and away from curious horse lips. You can see them on the front of the stalls.

Oh, and above the stalls and the aisle is the hay loft. We had the barn designed with "post and rafter" construction on this end so there wouldn't be trusses up in the loft, which really hurt when you bang your head into when stacking hay. With 1500 square feet of hay loft, we can store a LOT of hay.

Hope you enjoyed the tour! Any questions, just ask.