Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Blogging, Kindergarten and Mountain Lions

I have four blogs (here, here, here and here) that I love to read.  I was wondering what I like so much about them.  I realized that each of the bloggers writes about everyday life.  It's no wonder that I prefer those blogs because biographies are my favorite books to read.  Their blogs are like unfolding biographies, one chapter at a time - with no end.  The best sort of biography!  I feel sad when one of my bloggers quits blogging or takes a break.  I feel like I am missing a friend. 

Then I wondered how their kids will feel to have their lives written about to the world wide web.  This is the real reason I haven't been blogging the past couple of years.  Princess is older now and is a very private person.  I feel like I'm violating her privacy when I write about her.  After all, she and the King are my life.  They are what I do, who I serve and who I enjoy.  However, by not blogging, I am allowing the precious mundane days to pass without documentation.  Which is sad really, because I am so forgetful. 

So, I again stand here on the precipice of blogdom.  Do I document our daily life or just let it pass unheralded and unwritten.  Something to ponder.  For now, I think I will write. 

I was asked to be a volunteer kindergarten evaluator (spelling: -er or -or?) at my daughter's school.  Since I can't spell evaluater/evaluator, perhaps I should just resign now.  I went to the training this morning with some trepidation.  I did not want to be responsible for some precious future Nobel Prize winner to be labeled "unfit for kindergarten".  What if I made a mistake on the evaluation?  What if I blanked out and couldn't remember the alphabet?  (You know you sometimes sing it to yourself, too.)  What if I had a child that ran around the room like a banshee and couldn't do my evaluation?

Oh, the worry.  It's my spiritual gift.

But.  But.  Then I went to the evaluation training this morning.  Whew.  It's all standardized.  The whole evaluation.  They even spell out exactly what you are supposed to say and you must (MUST) phrase your questions exactly as they are presented on the evaluation.   No ad libbing.  They even give you the answers that the children should give and how to score every possible answer.  It's really well organized and straight forward.  So, even though I went in with great trepidation, I am excited to do the evaluations and I really look forward to it.  The wee ones are so cute and their answers will be so darling.

It has been so cold here which is very unseasonal weather.  Yes, I know it is December, but in Texas you can have 80 degree weather.  The lows are in the 30s all week with highs in the 40s.  Very chilly indeed.

The King has been adding things to Arielle's stall to help keep her toasty and well fed.  He does it to love on me, really. Sweet man. She has a wind break on the north side of her stall.  She has a wind break on the south side.  He installed a hay feeder and grain bin underneath.  The stall walls on either side are tall and make her have her own space.  Last night, after going over to the barn with me to check on her, I asked him, "Arielle really is the rich horsey, isn't she?"  There was a brown horse that used to graze on land that now houses the Galleria.



If you can imagine all the trees on the left side of this picture extending over the whole picture, that's what it used to look like.  This horse was grazing on some pretty pricey land.  Thus, we dubbed him the "rich horsey".  Now, Arielle is lavished with everything she could need and while the land under her feet is not quite as expensive, all her furnishings are very posh.  She still resides in the great outdoors, but her stall is very cozy, thanks to the King.  He lavishes the horsey because he loves me - alot.  I'm very grateful.

Speaking of Arielle, she's sporting quite a mohawk.  We are letting her bridlepath grow out and it's looking a bit ridiculous!  I'm guessing, but it will probably take a year for it to fully grow out.  Hopefully in a few weeks we can braid that portion and she won't look quite so silly.

See her look intently off to Princess' right?  She has a reason to be vigilant.  A mountain lion has been sighted near the property recently.  Actually, several times over the past couple of months.  I wish she could tell me what goes on at the barn in the middle of the night.  She stays at a barn near our house, but a couple of blocks away.  I can hear the coyotes at night near the barn, but those darn mountain lions are so quiet and sneaky.  I hate them.  The most recent sighting was just before Thanksgiving in the greenbelt just behind our house about 300-400 yards away from our back yard.  Insert heebie jeebies. Go away kitty, kitty.




 

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Chili

Sooo, I'm still alive.  My blog was wondering.  September was the last post?  Well, let's catch up.

I've been training Arielle and taking care of Channel Partners.  Princess is becoming more responsible in school and earning the best grades she has ever had!  So proud of her.  She is also taking horse riding lessons from a dressage instructor.  She has regained enough confidence to ride Arielle again.  She rode her this week and did a fabulous job!  King is getting ready to release version 4.0 of our software.  We are very excited about that!  He was able to go hunting with some friends and got a nice little buck.  They were hunting for "cull bucks" to take out the genetically inferior bucks from the ranch. 



video


Speaking of venison, I made chili the other day with some of our ground venison and it was especially yummy.  I never follow recipes very well and this was no exception.  I actually made the entire recipe, so I need to write it down in order to reproduce it.  It's our favorite chili so far.  I am not a recipe girl, so I put in a little of this and a little of that.  The below measurements are guidelines and approximations.

Crockpot BBQ Venison Chili

4 lbs venison (processors mixed with ground beef to give some fat)
1 32 oz Box Beef Broth
1/2 C dried minced onions
2 TBSP Sea Salt
3-5 TBSP Chili powder
2-4 TBSP Cumin
1 TBSP Garlic powder
1 can Rotel
1 can cream of corn
4 TBSP ketchup
1/2 C Rudy's BBQ sauce
3/4 C Stubb's Hickory Bourbon BBQ sauce
1 large can yellow hominy

Place venison in crockpot, pour broth over, sprinkle with onions, salt, chili powder, cumin, garlic, ketchup, BBQ sauces.  Cook on high for 4 hours before adding additional ingredients.  If venison is frozen when put in crockpot, cook for a couple of hours and then mash it up to help it cook evenly.  If venison is not frozen, stir/mash after an hour or so.  Add Rotel and hominy about an hour before you plan to eat.  Total cooking time from frozen: 8-9 hours.  Total cooking time from thawed: 6-7 hours.  Serve with cornbread or French bread, sharp cheddar cheese, 0% fat greek yogurt (can use sour cream instead).  Can be served over fritos, too.  :)