Harvest season at Mile End Farm

Harvest moon hanging high
Watching us Gods ancient eye
Poets write you distant cold
While i observe your core
Behold i see a heart of gold

40748371_10101002658138076_6222592302557167616_o

Gidget is helpful!

Although the end of summer is BY FAR my least favourite part of summer, I do love the opportunity to reap the harvest at my in-laws farm. They have a really lovely farm and have all sorts of things in the garden (currently- squash, zucchini, tomatoes, blueberries, garlic and grapes) and fruit trees (shiro plums, damson plums (none this year though!) Italian prune plums, apple trees, a pear tree, and a quince tree).

40485014_10101002658197956_3527314210499330048_o

We went up this weekend when I got home from my deployment (early!!!) and harvested a whole bunch of things. I shared some with a friend and colleagues, and my husband processed a bunch over the weekend too. Yes!!

40632818_10101002658387576_2754002144808927232_o

40628609_10101002658302746_6843277255070711808_o

40756454_10101002658776796_3824097803567628288_n

A fruit salad I made- 100% fruit we picked ourselves! 

Advertisements

Apple Day at Sea Cider

Despite the absolute horror that was the end of the week with Oat’s near-death experience, I managed to have a pretty nice weekend.

21766592_10159404534130603_6365026744269165208_n

Saturday, Oats and I had a very low-key dressage lesson. This was also when I noticed his cough was pretty terrible, so I tried to keep it very light and not hard for him. I was very pleased with his work though, he likes having a job (mostly).

We then zipped up island to my in-laws farm, to pick pears and plums! It was great, and there were SOOO many. 100’s of lbs of plums and pears! Overwhelming! They also showed me the lovely plaque they made for Buster Bunny, to mark his final resting place at their farm. It made me feel sad, but also very appreciative of them as a part of my family.

21764850_10100851491068096_2854680075341460926_n

Sunday was another busy day- I had every intention of running before meeting the girls at the barn for the Apple Day event at Sea Cider, except I ….didn’t get up and slept in. Ha. We had a fabulous time and really enjoyed ourselves. The cider was great, we even got to try fresh-pressed apple juice!! Food was phenomenal- standouts were the squash risotto, pork belly with potato/cauliflower gratin, apple toffee bread pudding, and octopus on bannock. YUM.

21993158_10159404534415603_8195393842399898953_o

I then rode Oats out in the field, to see if a non-dusty environment would improve his cough. Spoiler: It didn’t. His cough was TERRIBLE. 😦 I started getting quite concerned, so I called the vet on Monday and had him check out Oats. Good news was that all his vitals were fine, but to give him time off (the week) to recover and monitor him.

21950802_10159404820350603_3758852649578948251_o

By the time I got home after Sea Cider and riding, it was after 4pm! Time to get ready for our first time out to Sult Pierogy Bar, where they were holding a special tasting event with Parkside Beer. ‘Dawn till Dusk’ event and it was SO GOOD. Not cheap- $45, but so much food, two full cans of beer?! Lots of samples pairing with some really outstanding dishes- trout with lemon buerre blanc, smoked tomato bisque with grilled cheese pierogy ‘sandwich’, cherry smoked duck breast on top of the hottest pierogy I have ever eaten…Oh man.

21765290_10159404536035603_6846006753275887886_n

I am definitely going again. Thumbs up!!! 🙂

And now for this week, I am going out to the barn to monitor Oats,  handwalk/graze him (he loves it) and take his temperature. All lessons cancelled, horse show on Saturday cancelled. OH well!

Thanksgiving weekend recap: The fire inside.

Peaceful fall

Peaceful fall

So, when I last left, I was practically running out the door to get away from work and was desperate for a weekend, any weekend, so long as it long!!

No sooner was I relaxing into my weekend (hard-won) on a sleepy Saturday morning when I woke up suddenly and unpleasantly with a horrible wrenched neck. It was excruciating. I couldn’t look to the right, the back of my head/neck hurt, it hurt to chew anything – my jaw ached, and my shoulder/neck area felt frozen and throbbing, alternately.

Greeeattttt….

No rest for the wicked?

Secretly, I hoping to run to the barn on Saturday, where I would ride Oats and have my husband pick me up from the barn to go straight to my in-laws farm (maybe soon to not be their farm if the sale goes through, more changes,. eek!!). Instead, I could barely walk.

Walking even jostled my neck horribly. I was in a ton of pain, on muscle relaxants and alternating hot/cold therapy to just be somewhat mobile. No running for me. I decided to ride anyways (because I’m insane??) but my husband had to help me get Oats out of his pen, groom him- it took forever – because he was so muddy, and lead Oats to and from the arena.

Yeehaw a skinny!

Yeehaw a skinny!

Once I was on, things were ok, though I couldn’t look right at all and was very uncomfortable trying to go right on Oats. He was a good sport though, and seemed very careful with me–even though we were doing a bit of jumping!

Oats taking care of me.

Oats taking care of me.

We got some photos, and I hopped off gingerly, and Ian led Oats back to the barn and helped me untack, carry my saddle back to the barn, and unbridle Oats. That was pretty funny, he tried to pull the whole bridle off Oats’ head w/o undoing the noseband, but did manage to get the throatlatch off. Oats was like WTF? But he’s a good pony now and didn’t take advantage…

We called it a ride, and headed off to the in-laws farm. There, I upped the painkillers a bit and enjoyed some pear picking in the pouring rain (hah!!) and a lot of good quality hot tub and wine time. Sure didn’t hurt my neck situation at all, but mannnnnn did I feel it the next morning…

My neck was pretty much healed by Sunday morning but my wine hangover had a ferocious hold on me. I was like, I’m hungry!! I’d eat something…”I feel sick!!”….I’m hungry!!! I feel sick!!

All morning. Gag.

I didn’t have much time to feel sorry for myself though. We were up and out of the house to cheer on my friend who was running his second marathon!!! Gidget was miserable, whiny and annoyed at waiting around to watch. I was pretty happy though, we managed to cheer him on and get a great photo too! He did awesome.

Great work!!

Great work!!

Then, I felt inspired….

And not quite so sick anymore.

So, like the crazy person I am, I decided to run to the barn, ride, and then maybe run home. Note: this is not a short distance.

My own horse-half marathon? A new challenge? A way to work out the extreme pressure and anxiety I’d been experiencing throughout the week, and was too injured too often to resolve it through exercise?

No matter the reason–I was going to DO IT!

And so, I did. And you know what? It was fine. I jogged to the barn, waved hi to my friend Sarah who saw me at an intersection- and said I was crazy, haha. And I rode and STILL had too much ‘intensity’ in my ride on Oats. Luckily he is still a forgiving pony and he was a good boy for me, even when I come to the barn ‘running high’ and with extra energy I can’t resolve normally.

We worked through some poles- they were terrible, he does better at jumps- and then a brief lateral session once way each where he was quite reasonable, and he was sooooooo sweaty! I then sponged him off, ate a coconut-chocolate Clif bar, and changed back into my clammy workout clothes and prepared to run home.

The run home wasn’t quite as smooth as the way there- my stomach started hurting a LOT, I kind of blame eating the Clif bar so soon after riding and then running again- and my knee was bugging me a bit, and the noise on my calf injury got turned up too…

But I made it fine, it just took a long time.

So, Sunday was an investment in time. Me time. Time to work out whatever anxiety I had going on through my running and riding.

The next day I felt pretty good, tired, but good. Sometimes the fire that burns inside burns too hot and too bright, and threatens to consume us. My way of dealing with it is through exercise.

Weekend Update: The fair, a mud run, and riding!

Ha what a fun way to start a race!

Ha what a fun way to start a race!

This past weekend, my husband competed in the Mud Mulisha run in Shawnigan Lake- I’ll write more about it later (he’s going to write a review!) but I stayed on the sidelines to take pictures and watch. I’m glad I made that decision, as I wrenched my shoulder going through the jump on Thursday and by Saturday, it still hurt! Plus I couldn’t chance my bad knee going through obstacles or up and down a giant hill, so…all for the best I was benched haha.

Up a big hill

Up a big hill

Then we headed straight to the Cobble Hill fair. I love fairs! While I may not want to take Oats in one – the atmosphere is way too electric for him, and he can be a total disaster in hack classes, he much prefers jumping – I really enjoy watching the riding and looking at the agricultural exhibits.

A new Mr. Oats..Mr. Moo

A new Mr. Oats..Mr. Moo

Ian’s mom won $100 for her quilt! What a prize eh??

The hack classes were really fun to watch, one horse in particular was a real class act and did SUPER well. And there was even a pairs class, so cute. It was very well subscribed, with like 5 pairs of horses showing. Nice eh? Ian’s dad was helping with the sheepdog demonstration and the funniest bit was when they showed ducks! The ducks didn’t really want to cooperate and starting running amok…

I am also learning to drive an antique tractor!

I am also learning to drive an antique tractor!

It was a hot day, that’s for sure. I was super glad I wasn’t showing myself!

We then picked a ton of plums (damson and Italian prune plums) from Ian’s parents garden. I ate WAY too many plums. Kind of a mistake, ha. But now we have a veritable bounty of plums to eat- damnson, Italian prune plums and like 6 squashes of varying sizes.

Yum!!

Sunday I rode Oats in the field and he was GREAT! We just walked, trotted and did canter sets. He was quite sweaty after, and I let him explore the field a bit on a loose rein. He didn’t want to go back up the hill (effort!!!) so he tried to leave the field going through a farmyard. Silly pony! We also kind of chased a mother deer and larger fawn-though he is a slow pony and was in no risk of actually catching them…

Yesterday he was in a weird mood. “Look at me, pet me, let me touch you, let me grab your ponytail, let me nuzzle your butt, look at me!!” All while I was grooming and tacking him up. It was kind of driving me nuts! Whyyyy with the grabby attention-seeking, Oats?

He also was an absolute terror to poor Feline- I was brushing his tail and he lunged forward and snapped at her! She jumped to the side and like, crashed into her elderly owner…Shit. That took me by surprise?!

He was good to ride though, we rode in the indoor arena to practice some dressage and I even did some lateral work (normally hate it!) and he was pretty honest about his effort! A+ for Oats for yesterday’s work, haha.