We had warm, dry weather from June. This is unheard of in Washington State. We routinely wear heavy rain jackets to watch the 4th of July fireworks. Not this year. But we didn’t roast, either. We watched the Perseids perform in August, had bluebirds raise two broods in our backyard, and I finally, for the first time ever, successfully raised tomatoes. Most of them, as well as a bumper crop of potatoes, go to the food bank. Good karma depends on giving and then receiving, and I have had such good karma of late, I cannot not give back.
I think I’ve had the horsiest summer of my life. Raven and I continue to progress in our relationship. I’ve been invited to ride Spats, a western PLEASURE horse (as opposed to western equitation). I’ve ridden her in a western saddle, didn’t care for it, so switched to bareback-and now I understand why the Western riders are so enthusiastic about their chosen ‘saddle’. I rode Spats’s generous trot on my pockets. It was amazing. I could sit her trot without working. It was like riding on a rocking chair. I did nothing-no contact, just shift my weight, and she turned. I felt so odd. I had to ask Spat’s owner, how does one hold the reins? Apparently, just barely.
Fear not-I won’t be turning Western anytime soon, but Spats has shown me that there’s more to Western riding than what the ‘equitation’ people have turned it into.
I had to reassure Raven that I wasn’t switching allegiance. He’s proven to be very possessive. I am his mare, thank you very much, and while he knows Sue is his, too, I think Raven loves me more. Don’t tell Sue this. There’s just something so…..oh, I don’t know, thrilling? heartstrings thrumming? when you step out of your truck and hear your boy nickering at you. It says something when this big dark horse of ‘mine’ puts his head over my shoulder and pulls me close. A horse can’t hug any more than that.
I towed my camper to the Aspen Farms Three Day horse event. Now that is luxury. I had my own B&B within feet of the dressage warm up ring. I didn’t have to drive anywhere. I didn’t have to eat horseshow food (eeeeek). It was such a treat to lay in bed and hear hooves clipclopping along the road behind my camper.Almost Eleven, an Oldenburg gelding, is pictured next to my camper. The lovely mare at the top of this post is Miko. Ridden by Ute, this was her first horse trial. She did very well, considering that after she got home, she was stricken with a virus that she’s still fighting. She’s Friesian/QH cross.
I took several pictures of Ute on Miko. Below is them after their dressage test. She got very good scores. Miko is only seven, and has already come very far.My husband and I did a lot of camping, on the flanks of Mt. Baker and on the Bandon, Oregon, shoreline. We took the cats, of course.
Sable (the Siamese) adores camping, and spent most of the time chasing chipmunks (she never caught one, as she’s never off the leash). Diamond (the tabby) was content to stay in the camper and watch. Despite her burly build and her big paws, Diamond is timid, watchful…and highly intelligent. Both cats have an amazing vocabulary.
Despite it’s weight, I took my Lodge dutch oven. There’s something so atavistically satisfying about cooking in a dutch oven. I made my husband’s favorite meal, meatloaf, and it came out absolutely fabulous.
Our neighbors were a quartet of college ‘boys’ from U. of Washington (Seattle) and were enjoying (?) a long distance bike trip, heading for Redding, California. They were living in tents and on freeze dried food.
When the scent of my meatloaf filled dutch oven wafted over to them, the effect was the same as the image a lame deer inspires in a pack of starving wolves. They had ignored us old fuddieduddies before, but…college boys eat. A lot. One ‘moseyed’ over with some flimsy excuse and then said, “oh, heck, I’m not gonna lie, I can smell dinner and I’m so sick of freeze dried food I could die.”
Of course I did.
I had enough left over–just enough, really–to feed ourselves. What the hell, you don’t want leftovers in camp, anyway. Coons and bears love meatloaf, too.
Now the rains have started, I’m laid up with a bum foot, and the camper is in the shop getting a propane valve replaced…but it’s been a most wonderful summer.