Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Foggy morning, Rainy afternoon

... and promises/threats of a thunderstorm. I'm really hoping it comes while I'm still awake... there are few weather patterns I love more than a good pounding thunderstorm.

I'm off to mix up a toothache poultice to offer to Zack's mom... she's battling an infection and it's really bothering her today.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Kinesio Taping

It was a big fun technicolour mess in class today, we got a crash course in kinesio taping. The stuff is amazing: Stretchy, colourful tape with a heat activated adhesive that can be used to relax or facilitate muscles, support sore joints, increase lymph drainage, reduce inflammation, reduce carpal tunnel symptoms and decrease pain. It can even help correct posture, which is what I'm super excited about at the moment. I have the most horrendous rounded back. Maybe this can help me finally fix that? Here's some pictures of the madness.

Kinda felt like spiderman with the carpal tunnel taping...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter Everyone!!

We had a feast of a breakfast this morning... peameal bacon, potatoes and onions, eggs, and fresh tomatoes all 6 of us sitting around the family table at mom's house. It feels really good to all come together like that. We're getting ready to put on the turkey and ham. Zack and I will start peeling potatoes before too long. At the moment we've got a bit of a food coma going on. Both sets of grandparents will be here, and two sets of aunts and uncles and a mess of cousins. I love that this place has become a gathering place for family and good friends and good food. One of these days, mine and Zack's house will be the gathering place... once we have a house of course.
Hoping for a couple hours of sunshine. Maybe the daffodils will open and I can bring some in to decorate the table. Hope the bunny was good to y'all, hug the ones you love!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Muffins and Earth day

Happy earth day everybody! Here in Southern Ontario the sun is shining, the spring flowers are up, and even my herbs are starting to green up. Being good friday everything is closed, so any earthy projects like helping my parents build their new garden are gonna have to wait for another day. Mom and I did start 3 flats of seeds this morning though, and I'm gonna sprout some bird seed for the wild birds we have around here. How are you celebrating Earth day?

I also baked banana oatmeal walnut chocolate chip muffins today. Here is the recipe I used:

    1 cup rolled oats
    1 cup milk
    2 cup flour
    1/2 cup sugar
    5 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    1/2 cup margarine, melted and cooled
    2 eggs
    2 tsp vanilla
    2 cup bananas mashed (4-5)
    1/2 cup chocolate chips
    1/4 cup walnuts

1. Combine oats and milk. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
3. To soaked mixture, add melted margarine, eggs, vanilla and bananas.
4. Add wet mixture, walnuts and chocolate chips to dry ingredients and stir only until flour is moistened.
5. Fill greased muffin cups and bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes.
Makes 24 muffins.

They turned out light and fluffy and MOIST!!! I hate dry muffins. The whole family loves them. Hope yours will too.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

8 More Sleeps Till Longwoods!

I really wish I could go this year... unfortunately I have a class on the Saturday. Longwoods is the first official event of the season for the IMUC (incorporated militia of upper canada). That's right, I do war of 1812 re-enactments. Oh well, I'll make it to the next event.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mixed Reactions

The Rosemont square dance and fiddle club were gracious hosts to our strange and awkward band of young ladies. The caller called the easiest dances possible first so that we could learn the basics and feel a bit more comfortable with the whole thing. Everybody gave it a try at least once, and only 2 of the girls sat out for the second set, I was quite proud of their participation. One of the girls was shooting us daggers of embarrassment and resentment at us through the whole first set, but for as "traumatizing" as the experience was, she got up and danced the second set with us. One of our shyer girls who sometimes has a tough time fitting in found an unexpected talent for dancing. She is very good at following a lead.
Between callers, the fiddlers (and guitarists and banjo players) kept on playing, and several kind gentlemen hopped up to show us how to waltz or foxtrot. I had a pretty good handle on it last night, but already I couldn't tell you the first thing about the foxtrot. It was a lot of fun to watch some of the couples who have been at it a little longer add their own flair to the dances.
Several of the gentlemen offered to come to the meeting and offer further lessons. We had a good time, but I think that one outing might have been enough for most of us. The other leader and I were discussing whether or not we'd like to get a group of our friends together for one of those private lessons, but I'm not sure if anything will come of it. All of us are getting the square dancing badge pictured on yesterday's post.
If any of you are interested in a little square dancing action yourselves, the Rosemont Square Dance and Fiddle Club meets the third tuesday of each month at the Orange Hall, beside the globe restaurant in Rosemont, on Hwy. 89 just west of Alliston. 4 bones will get ya in the door, snacks are free and so is juice, but pop, water, coffee and tea are available for .50$ to 1$

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Yesterday I made the most delicious coleslaw, and today I thought I'd share it with you. It's a great way of using tired, over wintered vegetables to remind us that spring is on the way.
First, take a nice big head of cabbage. I like green, use what you like though. Remove the stem and outer leaves, and then chop, grate, mince, shred, or do whatever it is you do to reduce cabbage to teensy bits. Next do the same with a nice stalk or two of broccoli. I usually cut off all the fuzzy green bits, and grate the stalks. Add anywhere from 1/2 a cup to a cup of raisins, keeping in mind that they will make the coleslaw sweeter. If you like a spicy bite to your coleslaw, dice up a small cooking onion to toss in. For the sauce I mix together:
aprox 1 cup of mayo. I used miracle whip this time
1 heaping tablespoon of brown sugar
1/8 cup vinegar
you can also add a squirt of dijon mustard for a bit of a giddy-up

Mix all that in a small bowl, then pour over your broccoli and cabbage mix and give it a good toss. Easy, right?
That cabbage was grown in ontario dirt and survived the winter just like the rest of us. The broccoli was grown in a hot house. Still in ontario though. The raisins were grown in quebec of all places, but at least they were canadian. They were dried in ontario. None of the sauce was local, but I am learning to make my own vinegar, and I bet you could try using maple syrup or honey as a sweetener. None of the ingredients were particularly expensive, yet I've got a GIANT bowl of slaw in the fridge that will last us all week or more. I'm an easy girl to please.

Square Dancing!

Through a combined effort of bribery, cajoling, teasing, begging and asking, myself and the other guider I run the pathfinder unit with have convinced 7 of out 8 12-14 yr old girls to give square dancing a try. Tonight, we'll be carpooling the kids up to the Rosemont square dance and fiddle club's monthly get together to learn how to square dance. And hey, we'll be learning too! It's gonna be a grand old time, with local live music, snacks and dollar-a-drinks. No alcohol. We were invited to bring a local scout group along as dance partners, but our girls decided that they'd be embarrassed enough dancing with each other or people their grandparent's age, never mind adding boys their own age to the mix! I have a feeling that at least some of the kids are going to find they love it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Down time

So if yesterday was all about go-go-go today was all slow slow slow. I got in a big fight with my boyfriend, and won't discuss the details here, but suffice it to say that though I made some foolish choices, by the end of today we're ok again. That was the only exciting thing in my day. I ate oatmeal for breakfast, squash and leftover chicken nuggets for dinner, and spent all the time between those meals crocheting on the couch with season 1 of heartland playing. Heartland is a tv series based on a series of novels by the same title. I gobbled those books up when I was 10-14, and I was just as enthralled by the tv version today. It follows the life of a 15 year old girl who takes really holistic, and horse sense approaches to rehabilitating scared and traumatized horses. Just the sort of thing a girl needs on a cold snowy day like today (who thought it was a good idea for it to snow in mid april? Honestly!). I also got 5 more dishcloths made. Not too shabby for a miserable day. Groceries can wait till tomorrow. I've got enough in the pantry that I won't starve in a day.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Horseflesh and Hayfever

Today was the longest day I have ever spent massaging horses. We arrived at the first barn at 10 am and were pretty much massaging half tonne animals until 3:30 pm. I worked with a calm, gentle soul known as Picasso, or Pico for short, in the morning. He is a jumper with tight illiopsoas muscles. He was a very mannerly gentleman in his stall, and never made me feel uncomfortable. His dam has been dead for nearly 25 years, though he is only 7. How is that you ask? Pico was a frozen embryo, made by his dam, a thoroughbred, and sire, a hanoverian, and carried to term years later inside of a Quarter horse mare. How's that for technology? I didn't know they had the technology to deal with embryo transplants 25 years ago... this horse is still young by many horse people standards, though he was conceived before I was. Awesome, right? That's his handsome mug in the pic.

The second horse was a firecracker of a dressage mount by the name of Versace. He on the other hand is what's known as a barn manager. He likes to think that he rules the world from his stall at the highest point in the barn, with a good view. He was mischievous and high strung on his own turf, but once I brought him out into cross ties he settled right down to the serious work. He's got some big nasty trigger points in his neck that make him reluctant to do gait and lead changes, and some tight areas in his abdominals. Maybe they cause his upset stomach, or maybe the upset stomach causes the tight muscles, but either way, it should help his digestion. This is a horse that could benefit from regular massage, so naturally I gave his owners my contact info when they asked. He could end up being my first client once I graduate. How cool is that? It's very cool, let me tell you!

We also saw a dressage demo by a student, lead by the owner of the barn, who taught us all about the complex movements they were illiciting from the horse. It's breathtaking to see that kind of complicated communication between horse and rider. The movements are so subtle, but the results are nothing short of amazing. Most impressive was the piaffe. In a piaffe the horse is asked to walk on the spot. How exactly do you teach a horse that it's productive to walk but not get any further ahead for it? I don't know, but I don't think knowing would make it any less mind blowing.

And now, I am so exhausted that I can hardly stand up. I'm still feeling a bit under the weather, and I also forgot to take my allergy meds this morning, so my eyes are red and puffy, my nose is drippy, and my throat is raw. I'm so tired that earlier my legs shook when I was standing. Now, I'm not sure I could stand. So I won't. I'll go to bed. Reluctant as I am to end this magical day.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dish cloths and Tea towels

I've been crocheting up a storm, making 100% cotton dish cloths and tea towels. They're what I use myself, but I figure I could also sell them to friends and classmates, and put the income in a jar. Start my own tiny farm fund.
One big bucket of cloths, two tea towels bottom left

Tea Towels (I love this colour!!)

Dish cloth

Don't they make a pretty 3 pack? 1 tea towel, 2 dish cloths, sell it for 10$, tie it up with rough brown twine or raffia or something equally earthy and whimsical... all it needs is an off white tag with my name.

It may not seem like much now, but it's a small step I can take, and I'm taking it. Selling the dish cloths for 3$ each, and the tea towels for 5$, this one basket full will earn me 52$. I could build 3 rabbit cages with that I bet, especially with some salvaged wood.

Sick and Seeds

Sick as a dog today, I seem to have picked up the bug my boyfriend's got. Taking the day off school and just taking care of myself... and my farm dream. Nobody said you can't read seed catalogues from your sick bed. For those of you who have never met, I would like to introduce you to Seed Savers Exchange. Did you know that almost all of the food in the grocery store is sterile? I don't mean clean, don't get me wrong, some of it is filthy, but almost all of the produce is incapable of reproducing. You can still plant your potato eyes, but that's about it. Seed Savers is a source of real, heritage seeds, that people have been growing the good old fashioned way for generations. If you're interested in growing your food, then saving the seeds from your own produce to grow again next year, I suggest you check it out.
Take that, Monsanto. I wanna eat real food.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Missing my herb garden...

Clockwise from top: thyme, parsley, peppermint, rosemary, sage.
Can't wait to get growing again.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What's in a name?


Adjective: Providing psychological relief through the expression of strong emotions; causing catharsis*.

... It's that amazing feeling you get when you just let it all out, don't hide your emotions, and let yourself really feel, and experience the life you're living. Purging of emotional tension. It's what I want out of all this.

Cathartica: part of the latin name for the buckthorn tree. There are several of these scrappy, weedy looking trees/bushes around my parent's property, and I have fallen in love with them.

Kathartica: a name I pulled out of the clear blue sky and used as a username on things like neopets, before I knew anything about any of the two things above. I figure the name is meant for me.

*my friend has a canoe called catharsis... hmm.

A Dream

It started as a little girl. I would pour over the glossy, coloured pictures of our encyclopedias (when those were actually used for finding information) drinking in everything I could about horses. Then dogs. Then chickens, cats, cows, pigs, sheep, quail, and rabbits. Donkeys, mules, llamas, goats. Barns, pastures, fields. I was just a dreamer. I would grow out of it. Sure.
Well, now I'm 21, and coming to grips with the fact that I don't have to grow out of my dream, it can grow up right alongside me. I can have a small farm. And a day job. And really enjoy myself while doing it. And I will.
Right now the dream is this: graduate from Sutherland-Chan, and get myself through the registration exams to be a registered massage therapist. Get a job, anywhere I can, making reasonably steady income. Dedicate 1 day/week to massaging horses. Move back in with my parents to save for a house/start paying down student loans. Once my boyfriend graduates in two years, start looking for a house.
I want 5-10 acres. Raised garden beds full of heirloom veggies. Herb gardens to make tinctures and teas from. A flock of dual purpose heritage chickens. Meat and fur rabbits. A horse or two. Maybe a sheep or 3 (don't worry, I would never actually keep less than 3 sheep). Quail. Other fowl. Apple and Pear trees. Sugar maples to tap in the spring. A good dog by my side, and a great man (my great man) who's got my back. Maybe a fiddle crooning in my hands? I'd like to learn some kind of instrument, fiddle sounds reasonable to me.
Its just a dream... but it's my dream, and I WILL make it my reality. For today, that's enough.