Fall is harvest season

I was grouching about fall yesterday when I showed up for my lesson and was feeling cold, the sky was blah and grey and it got dark during our lesson. Wahhh summer is ending…

Fall bounty

Fall bounty

I don’t hate all of fall though. A big part of our fall family tradition is helping harvest at the farm (read, picking everything at my in-laws farm).

Over the past few weekends, we have picked:

  • plums- both Italian Prune Plums and Damson, and very few Shiro
  • grapes
  • apples
  • quince- yeah only two. Quince is a hard fruit to like…
  • pears
  • rhubarb- still!
  • blackberries
  • squash. So many squash.
  • kale
  • broccoli
  • lettuce
  • basil
  • hot peppers- that seem to be getting hotter every time we pick them, ouch.
  • onions
  • garlic
  • tomatoes
Pick everything!

Pick everything!

It’s crazy, isn’t it! I love fall harvest season. It’s a true joy to be able to pick and enjoy this much from their farm. The only thing I don’t like is the number of spiders in the trees and in the squash plants, and also I pulled down an apple and a bunch of earwigs flew out of it…onto my head. EEEEEK.

A wheelbarrow full of random squashes.

A wheelbarrow full of random squashes.

So far we have enjoyed chocolate plum cake, crumble, muffins galore, dried apple chips with cinnamon, applesauce, squash loaf with chocolate chips, rhubarb and ginger syrup, blackberry syrup and now I am contemplating making some fruit leather. Yummmy!!

So, one good use for fall- harvest ALL the things!!

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Setbacks and Advancements: Weekend Recap

Weekend recap:

Friday night: Had a great (and mostly free!!) time at Lighthouse Brewery’s open house BBQ- got tix for a free beer and a burger, and the rest of the beers were $4…So no reason not to have more, haha. AND their new rhubarb beer is amazing, I had it twice. Good food, good beer and good friends- who could want more?

Seems legit.

Seems legit.

I even won a door prize- $10 to Hanks BBQ joint downtown. Hilarious eh? I did question if it was real…

Saturday: Woke up feeling less than spectacular. Apparently more beers don’t really agree with me anymore, particularly when I have a jumping lesson! I felt so draggy and tired and out of it. Lucky for me, Oats brought his A-game and was a star! We worked on the gymnastic line (not set high though, prob only to 2’4” or 2’6” ish) and then added on to the course, which I wanted to bail after once because, hello, tired…But then took a break and did it again, even better! Go us!

Sunday: Rode Oats in the morning and he was good! We did a fair amount of cantering, circles, large, more circles, and I was quite pleased with him. I then jogged downtown with my husband to go watch our friend in his dragonboat race- we missed the race but managed to catch up with him later, so that was a win! We even got some free pizza slices courtesy of Dr. Oetker’s travelling van, and it was sooo good. Wrapped up the afternoon by running out to Songhees and back, and then home…And my knee didn’t make it.

Shit shit shit

I couldn’t run anymore, and we ended up having to walk home. I could feel pressure building under my kneecap and my kneecap was shifting too much and it hurt quite a bit. ARGH. Setbacks…

I hope it is temporary! I iced my knee at home, and worked through my exercises. I have also made another appt. to talk about it with my knee doctor.

We then headed out to pick some blackberries and it was significantly less joyous than it has been- the blackberries seemed to be out for blood! And they were either overripe or red on one side. Gah!

But, we finished the day with a lovely dinner, and I really enjoyed my weekend of not blasting off to another race or travelling to anywhere. Sometimes you just need a weekend at home, I guess!

A long weekend worthy of BC day

A good weekend- didn’t feel overly busy but was packed full of fun!

At the birthday party

At the birthday party

First I rode on Friday in the outdoor, trying to stay mindful of what I’ve been learning about Oats and my relationship when we’re working through his sticky situations (spooky at the far side of the ring) and we warmed up well and the BLAM! He spooked – hard – at the same spot again! ARGH! It wasn’t quite as dirty as the other spook so I stayed on, and he didn’t get to look left again until we started cantering and jumping.

Sorry Oats, if you do that, you lose your ‘looking left’ privileges, because all you seem to do is search for monsters…

Our jumping was over tiny little things (I was on my own, this is for safety) but quite fun! I did quite a few loopy turns, cut-ins and such. He was very good for this.

Saturday Ian and I headed up-island for his grandmother’s 90th birthday. I know, crazy eh? She is doing very well and is quite spry. Aside from a few hilarious encounters with his more, umm…unique relatives..I was bored silly! It was kind of a long event for me, who isn’t really familiar with any of the 100+ relatives that descended in Nanaimo.

Sunday– I had promised a friend I would go watch her eventing at Avalon. Got there in time to catch her cross-country round and she rocked it! It was a great weekend for the girls from the barn, their horses performed perfectly and they did super well, all placing in their respective divisions. A good day to watch!

Go for it Oats!

Go for it Oats!

Then back to Ian’s parents for another birthday- his aunt’s 60th birthday. Definitely toned-down, more my style…

And then, the fun never stops does it? We were off to Koksilah river! That’s right another swim day. The weather was AMAZING (unlike today, cold, windy, grey) and the water was great. The dogs came, and his brother, sister and dad also came. Loved it!

We then packed up our stuff and drove straight to the barn, where I took Oats for a gallop in the field. He had pretty much no ‘go’ so our gallop was a bit…slow but he tried and was a good boy alone in the field. Ian was able to take some photos, which was so nice!

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Monday, ended up having plans in the evening so my day consisted of a run to the beach, and then I returned to the beach to do some hard-core sunbathing (hey you only get a few chances in life to enjoy yourself in the sun…) and then Ian and I took Gidget blackberry picking. Got a ton of blackberries! Oats got the day off so he would have a bit “more” to give me during my dressage lesson…Back to work for both of us, unfortunately.

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Tuesday– and he did! I warmed Oats up indoors because I’ve been very unhappy with the negative vibes we’ve been getting together warming up in the outdoor, so I figured- just don’t go there! So I didn’t. And he warmed up great!

Calm

Calm

Hm….

He did fuss and fight a little bit, but overall his attitude towards dressage seems to be improving? It has been a long and hard road, for sure. We worked on getting them responsive and connected over their back through transitions and boy, did we struggle with the trot- canter transition…He hollowed and threw his head up. Well, I guess Rome wasn’t built in a day, was it?

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Do something nice for a friend

Do something nice for a friend

A friend of mine and her husband recently celebrated the birth of their first child- a boy! He is a bit premature and spending some time getting bigger in the hospital.

So, what do get for friends in need? I didn’t want to assume anything, and I know they would be too busy to get together…Being at the hospital day-in and day-out is exhausting and draining. The last thing I wanted to do was impose on their precious few hours recovering.

So, I baked some blackberry muffins, gathered up the baby shower gift I got and then didn’t have time to drop off before the baby arrived (eek!) and had Ian drop it off on their doorstep with a card. The card was actually a Winnie the Pooh quote that we printed and pasted to a construction paper ”Sometimes the smallest things take up the most space in your heart”

And voila! We left it on their doorstep and didn’t have to impose on anyone’s time. I still wanted to show I cared, but didn’t want to make it seem awkward.

This worked out really nicely, my friend appreciated the gesture and said she gobbled up a muffin as soon as she got home. And raccoons didn’t eat the muffins! Thank god!