25 July 2010

Riding a Horse Named Laddard

As promised! Friday night the Titus family invited us over to ride their tame horse (Red Man) and eat Italian food prepared by Greg. He served his mission in the same area my mom did about 22 years later. We rode first while Greg finished up slaving away in the kitchen. Maleia was so patient answering all our questions and showing us the basics. I have not been on a horse in about 3 months of Sundays. Dani and Mia played with the barn kittens and Amelia helped Maleia brush the horses. Red Man is a very obedient horse, very low key...consequently he likes to take many rests. If he gets an inkling you don't know what is going on he will stop until prodded numerous times. Little Dani (age 4) rode Red Man like a champ. Phillip got to sit on the horse Cheese. Amelia is still convinced Red Man should be named Laddard. She was so enthralled with the entire experience. The Haley family arrived while Maleia saddled up the horses. All the little kids rode then Justin and I. Amelia, Dani, and Ella are about the cutest three little girls ever. They play and get dirty offering smudged smiles. Dani wanted to be a dog on a leash so she found a length of rope, tied it around her neck (Alison retied it around her waist), and handed the rope end to Amelia. Off they went! Amelia in the tow. Phillip was very curious about the horses. He also really likes the Great Dame, King. A new family in the ward came for dinner, the husband works at Dinklage Feed Lot with Greg. His wife and kiddos arrived Thursday evening from Boise, Idaho area.

I was really intrigued by the method Greg uses to train his horses. He uses the Vaquero method. A hackamore is used at first instead of a mouth bit. As the hackamore circumference decreases the bit is introduced. The bit and bridle become more of suggestion and steering wheel and the rider's feet are the gas pedals. It seems to be a humane way to train horses.

Greg wowed us all with a tremendous lasagna, stuffed zucchini, grilled eggplant, tomato/mozzarella salad, bread, and drink. Phew! I nearly could not get up from my chair after eating my lasagna. It was sooooo good. Before they move to Oregon I am making a homemade pasta dinner. The competition is stiff! We all enjoyed a stupendous evening.
Yesterday we spent part of the day in Sterling. I was in  nerd-yarn heaven at the yarn store. I can't wait to thread my fingers through some of the new colors I purchased. We dropped off my car, Gray-Skull, at Walmart for some tire replacing. Justin noted a nail in the back tire and a consistent low tire pressure (me).  We spent lunch at Burger King letting Amelia play. We tortured her in Home Depot, then Walmart. Oh, the complaining! My new tires are pretty spiffy. At 6 pm I photographed a mom and her three children. The youngest child is a few weeks older than Phillip. She was totally cheesing it and starting to toddle around. The middle guy was sooooooo tired and so whined the whole time. My stash of smarties somehow got left at home.

Justin and I went on a late date to see the movie Salt. It was just what I wanted to see: action, a decent plot, and acceptable dialogue. My expectations were extremely low considering the reviews, ha! I was thrilled it was entertaining. Sitting next to my hunka-hunka man was fun too. We fought over the good kernels of popcorn, swizzled our drinks, held hands, and postulated the plot. Thanks to the folks who sat with our sleeping kids.

This evening we walked by Bertha's home to check on some veggies I planted. My squash, zucchini, watermelon, carrots, celery, and onions are all thriving. Last week we mulched some to keep the nasty weeds down. I love my square foot garden because weeding is nearly unnecessary. I froze four servings of yellow squash after our walk. I cut the squash into pieces, blanched the pieces, then an ice bath. Pop the squash into freezer bags and PRESTO, frozen squash. The carrots we picked were very crunchy and sweet. I planted four different types of carrots, all having different harvest dates so we would have carrots for months. Yum.

Keepin' Cool


Friday it was really humid and hot, the breeze was strangely absent, creating a stifling condition. Amelia invited Lily and Grace over for a play date. I invited over Rose, the mom, for adult-level conversation, no whining allowed. The girls played with rice, the kitchen stuff, and princess dress-up. Rose is a funny lady. She served a mission in England. Her husband lives and works in Oregon until he finds a job here in Sidney. Rose and the girls are staying with her husband's parents, who also recently moved here. What a situation! Rose is a trooper.

My good friend Deb threw a water party for her daughter's unbirthday. The cool water felt amazing! Phillip cried most of the time not sure if he wanted to swim. The twins splashed in the water for a good hour before even attempting to escape. They are quite talented at amusing each other. Amelia had a saggy swim suit that made me smile every time she ran by. The big kids let the little ones try the slip and slide, even throw a couple water balloons. I played with my camera's drive settings and talked with the ladies. Escaping from the house is awesome!

During naps I made a fruit salad Debbie Lance style. I crave my Mom's summer fruit salad. She makes it the way the Italian's do, just cut up fruit, fresh lemon juice, and some sugar. Talk about refreshing. I crave my Mom's because then I don't have to cut up the fruit. We spent the evening at Old McDani's Farm (Dani Titus) to ride horses and eat Greg's Italian meal. More of that in the next post....