Wednesday, May 28, 2008

At Long Last!

I won the battle! So finally, after much struggle and strong language used by yours truly, here's the vid of me and Monkey in the show!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


One of my favorite things in the world is food. I like good old down home country cooking. Comfort food, you know, meat and potatoes.

Unfortunately cooking for one, I don't always get to eat the way I did growing up. For instance there's a venison roast sitting in my freezer waiting for an occasion where there will be more than just me to eat it.

I refuse to waste a good venison roast, even though I've been craving it, just because I can't eat it all by myself. This roast is big enough that I probably wouldn't be able to eat all the leftovers without getting tired of the same thing all the time.

As a result of things like that I wind up eating quite a bit of quick and easy junk. I've figured out how to accent some of it, for instance Totino's combination pizzas are fairly tasty if you top them off with your own olives, mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese, and they're about the right size for a small meal for me.

Lately, I've been getting chided for my junky eating habits. Cowboy Mechanic is sure that I'm so thin I'm going to wither up and blow away if I get caught up in something and miss a single meal, so he'll oh-so-subtly ask me what I'm having for dinner, or what I had for lunch, to make sure I'm not starving myself.

I don't mind that so much, he's honestly concerned about my well being, and lets face it, sometimes I do get busy and not slow down to eat, which isn't good for me. It's kind of handy to be reminded sometimes when I get caught up in writing, or reading. Other times I feel like being a smart aleck and I just tell him I had a stick of gum earlier, and I'm not hungry.

He's slowly figuring out that I'm not starving myself, and I'm not gonna get "fattened up." If a lifetime of Farmmom's cooking didn't do it, ain't nothin gonna do it.

Anyway, I tend to eat a lot of the little chicken tenders, because they come in a big ol' resealable bag. Pull out three or four, cook em up one way or another, and put the rest of them back in the freezer.

Tonight it was four of them, baked with butter, garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper, along with some broccoli alfredo flavored Lipton Pasta Sides, and corn. Mmmmm.

In other food news, Farmmom told me that Farmdad made a big batch of jambalaya today, so I'll have some rich cajun goodness come Thursday night. Farmdad's jambalaya is sooo good, even with being so spicy I can only eat little bowls at a time, with lots of tortillas with butter to help my taste buds survive.

It wouldn't be the same if it didn't blow the top of my head off when I took that first bite.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ahh Children

Today, I have all three of Cowboy Mechanic's kids. He had a truck to work on, and everyone was busy, so he asked me pretty please to watch them. We've been to two different parks, Mickey D's and my apartment, since nine thirty this morning.

Just watching the three of them run around like wild Indians wears me out! They have a ton of energy, but all in all they're good kids, and fun.

I think I actually managed to wear them out a little though, because they wanted to come inside and rest for a while. They're giving the TV their father's blank stare right now, whilst Farmmom is at Walmart getting the ingredients for cookies, so she can play with her KitchenAide one more time before she entrusts it to my loving care.

See, I got this issue of Cooking with Paula Deen, the chocolate issue. And I'm gonna be doing some baking, because the stuff looks so damned good. And Farmmom hasn't been using her nice stand mixer much lately, so I'm borrowing it.

I'll be making things like Creamy Chocolate Mousse Cake, White Chocolate Tiramisu, and White Chocolate Cherry Pie. One at a time, but still, it's so much more convenient if you don't try to mix it all by hand.

Mmmmm Chocolate..... whups, better go wipe the drool before it shorts out my keyboard!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I find myself in the unique position of having a blog that people read, and wanting to write in it to keep them happy... and not being able to.

There's a certain amount of running around with chocolate and coffee saying "Here Muse, here Muse, good Muse... please come back!"

There's also a certain amount of not spending any appreciable time in the apartment during which I can actually write. It's time to break out the notebooks and pens to carry with me everywhere. If I'm going to accomplish this whole getting paid for my writing thing, I'm gonna have to find the time to actually write.

In other news, its planting time in Farm Land, and apparently even if you're not actually on the farm you get pretty busy if you're a Farmgirl.

I've helped Mechanic Cowboy's brother and sister in law with their flower beds, and yesterday I was at the Old Homestead digging up Mamaw's new strawberry bed. Well, it's not a new bed, but nothing has been done in that bed for a couple of years. Knowing that, I voluntold myself to turn the bed with a shovel to break up the packed dirt, to make it easier on her and Farmmom when they were ready to plant.

There are fifty bare-root strawberry plants on their way. What I got done yesterday isn't going to hold all of them, but it's a start. It almost looks like you might be able to plant something there!

Things aren't likely to slow down any time soon, either. Mechanic Cowboy's eldest has another softball game tonight, and circumstances are such that his sister in law has to be elsewhere with her eldest, and Mechanic Cowboy himself has to go to a meeting for work. Farmgirl to the rescue, she'll be with me from about five fifteen until after Mechanic Cowboy gets out of his meeting around nine.

Then, sometime fairly soon, I'll be hopping back out on the road construction, to make some moolah, which will be a really good thing since my annual female check up cost me about two hundred dollars at the doctor's office yesterday. Yikes.

And, June seventh and eighth I'll be participating in the local Relay For Life Cancer Walk. We'll be walking all night of the seventh, to the morning of the eighth. I'll be wearing my knee braces.

If you want to participate in a Relay For Life event in your area, go to their website linked above. They've got a Find Event feature that will let you find out when and where the events are, and you can sign up or pledge money online.

Even if you haven't had the experience of losing someone, or nearly losing someone to cancer, its a good cause.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go strangle the neighbor's rat dog. I'll teach the damn thing "quiet" and "stay" at the same time....

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mother's Day....

Was a little belated for Farmmom this year. I couldn't get her present here in time, unfortunately. However, it arrived yesterday and I've been informed that it was well worth the wait.

See, Farmmom is allergic to coconut. So every time I've given her a box of chocolates, she's had to peruse the little diagram of what all is in there carefully to avoid the inevitable chocolate with coconut in it.

Then I stumbled across this site and I finally managed to get her an allergy free box of chocolates, that was also loaded with her favorite kinds of treats.

See, that place lets you build your own custom box of hand made chocolates. You pick what goes in it, and they put it together and ship it.

Since we're a warm state and far far away from the east coast where the shop is, I had to have it shipped with a cold pack, but it got here safe and sound yesterday, and Farmmom got her Mother's day gift when she got home last night.

I'll have to call or send an email and compliment Alethea's on their fine chocolates, although I think I'll phrase my review a bit different than Farmmom did...

"Oh My God, girl, that stuff is sex in a box!!"

I have a feeling that they'll be getting more of our money in the future, if Farmmom has anything to say about it. I haven't gotten to try them yet, but she promised to save me a couple.

I give gifts of win and awesome.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Muse...

She has left the building. I think she went on vacation. If I get a postcard from Tahiti, I'll know for sure.

Bear with me folks, there are a lot of ideas floating around in my head, just none that will travel down to my fingers and the keyboard then here for ya'll to see.

I'm workin on it, honest!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Well Then

Ya'll remember back a while, when I posted about Cowboy Mechanic, and how he was angling for the Farm Boyfriend title?

Well, he stole the plaque while I was sleeping, so I suppose I'll keep him around a while, if for no other reason than he continues to surprise me with flowers and comes in a handy package with three great kids to play with, a girl and two boys. All of them absolutely adore their dad, and I can't blame 'em for it a bit.

His oldest had her first softball game of the season today, and got thrown into the catcher's position with no practice. She did pretty danged good, too, but had a few wild throws and some missed catches that she was feeling down about, until I told her she'd done better than I would have and distracted her by starting a hat fight.

After they dropped me off at the apartment and headed home tonight, she told her dad "I like her. She's a keeper."

I couldn't ask for higher praise.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Away For The Weekend

Finals are done! Thank goodness, I was beginning to wonder if my brain would short completely out before it was all over and done with.

It is time, and past, for some much needed rest and relaxation. So, I'm going away for the weekend. No stress, no classes, no work... and unfortunately no internet. Somehow I'll survive.

I promise, I have a couple of posts in mind for when I get back, and they're going to be better than what I've been doing once my brain catches up with the rest of me.

An update on Jane: I'm trying to decide whether to continue posting the story here, or leave it as a teaser for a while. See, once I get the book (and yes, it is a book) finished, I'm going to try to get it published. So, while I know you guys love the story, and I love the input, I'm wondering if maybe I should wait for publication to let the whole thing out. I'm hoping to finish it off this summer, and have it in shape to start shopping to agents and publishers in the fall.

I haven't made up my mind yet. When I do, I'll let you know.

Meanwhile, there are things I need to do to get the apartment ready for me to be gone for a couple of days, so I'd better go do them.

If I'm not back in two weeks, send the search party. And just in case, tell them to bring more beer.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


One down, today. Another at one this afternoon. Then tomorrow at one. Then Friday at eight.

Then I'm done and can stop worrying about it, and start worrying about a job for the summer.

Until all of that is taken care of, expect light blogging.

'Scuse me now I have to go do one last bit of studying for my next final, and try to ignore the rain outside the window whispering "sleep, sleep".......

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Big Brown

I promised you guys a post about Big Brown, but I didn't get back to it yesterday so here it is.

Big Brown. Gorgeous, fast as hell, and, holy shit, a racehorse with manners!

This guy is just a freaking freight train on the track, and a lovely one to watch at that. He's sleek and muscled and just a beautiful specimen.

The thing that surprised me the most about Big Brown, however, was not the ease with which he overcame his 20 post start, or the way he flew by the pack and cleared the finish line all by his lonesome, in spite of his fragile feet.

No, what surprised me most was his behavior. Anyone who watches horse racing knows that racers, by and large, are a high strung, ill mannered bunch. Trainers are afraid to kill their spirit, so they tend to let manners slide, and they're focused on speed, so they ignore the finer points of training.

If you look at the above picture of Big Brown, however, you'll see that he's bent at the poll, flexing his neck and "giving his head back" to his rider. He obviously wants to keep going, but he is listening.

Seeing a horse in the Kentucky Derby that will do that is a major surprise to me. Watching the videos online at the Kentucky Derby website of his previous races and workouts, I was flabbergasted.

It's so refreshing to see a horse that has that kind of speed and heart, also being given training beyond the required lead changes, and go go go.

It's a bonus that he's such a gorgeous boy, as well. I see many many girlfriends in Big Brown's future. Of course, the smart breeders will breed him to mares with feet like iron to try to overcome his brittle hoof walls, and to keep from reinforcing that fault.

But, as it stands, I think that Big Brown could have won the Derby blindfolded, with no jockey. This is a horse that was born to run, who loves his job, and is magnificent at it.

Keep your eyes open, folks. I think that, barring injury, Big Brown is going to breeze over the finish line of the first Triple Crown victory in thirty years.

The term "Cinderella Story" is apt enough here, as everyone was questioning his victory at the Derby because of his foot problems. Plus, here's a horse that's running on glass slippers, in the form of thin, fragile feet.

Pray that he doesn't lose one before the end of the ball, we need another Triple Crown.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Eight Belles

When I started looking at the field for the Derby, I immediately admired the spirit and attitude displayed by the three year old filly, Eight Belles. Watching the videos of her other races it was immediately obvious that she never gave up, and loved what she did.

Her amazonian stature at seventeen hands made me think she might just be able to keep up with the boys, and her drive to win made me think, given the right jockey, she might just cross that finish line first.

Unfortunately, in my personal opinion, her jockey screwed up.

If you watched, you'll know that early on Eight Belles settled in behind the pace-setters and stuck to them like a burr. Her jockey held her up there, and that saved some of her energy for the end of the race. Fine.

Problem is, if you watch that filly, you can see that she does not like to lose. The jockey made an error in judgment on when to turn her loose and instead of battling it out with Big Brown (another post on him later) at her top speed, she was still gaining momentum coming up on the finish line.

Before the Derby, they showed some footage of Eight Belles and her trainer, Larry Jones. They'd interviewed him, and he'd gone on to exercise the filly without taking off his mic. It was clear by the way he talked to her that he had a good working relationship with the horse, and it was also clear that she didn't want to stop running. The commentary of "Larry to Eight Belles, pull up," "any time now," illustrated well how much she just wanted to go and the patience her trainer had with her. He never yanked on her head to slow her down, just gave her the cues and waited for her to listen.

Her jockey wasn't so wise in my opinion. When they showed the best footage they had of Eight Belles galloping out after the race, I could see her still fighting to go. I also saw the jockey haul on her head, her head came up, she bobbled, the camera angle lost her as it followed Big Brown, but her shadow on the track was still visible.

That first bobble is when I think she broke the first ankle, and I think it was because she stiff-legged, locking the joints on her leg to try to slow down and get the pressure off when the jockey yanked on her mouth. That shadow came back up from the stumble, and immediately went asshole over teakettle, with a small human shadow pulling a superman move out in front of it.

I think, in my own personal opinion (and I've been looking for an official statement or more experienced opinion to confirm or shoot mine down, and haven't found any) that the broken legs were caused by the jockey yanking on her head. The first one happened right then, and the second happened when she came back up from the bobble that the first one caused with all of her weight on one leg.

I think that jockey should have known his mount a lot better than that.

Now, don't get me wrong here folks. I understand all too well that the Thoroughbred breeding programs have developed a really fast horse, that runs on brittle twigs for legs. All horse legs are vulnerable to a myriad of injuries, Thoroughbreds in particular have fine bone structure that makes them particularly susceptible to breaking those delicate legs. Witness Barbaro, a single wrong step that wasn't even noticeable enough to see on the infinite replays broke his leg.


I think that the fractures suffered by Eight Belles could have been avoided. Human error killed that fantastic horse. Again, my personal opinion, and if you disagree with me, well, that's your option.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Kentucky Derby

Every year, I wait impatiently for Derby Day. The most exciting two minutes in sports, surrounded by a day full of pageantry and pomp, a return to old-style southern luxury, and of course, lots of big floppy hats.

Here's the kicker. I don't follow racing. I know the big stables, and all that, but I don't follow it obsessively. Just the Triple Crown, and yes, I was watching when Barbaro broke his leg. I knew something was wrong before the announcer did, and the heart that he displayed by fighting to run anyway made me cry.

I have, however, been to Churchill Downs. I was in awe the entire time. Meanwhile, my ex was bored out of his mind while I gazed avidly around on the backside tour, touched the memorial headstones near the Kentucky Derby Museum reverently, and drug him to the grandstands to watch the day's races.

I didn't care, I was at Churchill.

So, every year I watch the Triple Crown. No mint juleps for me, but I will kick back with a beer or a mixed drink and cheer.

Another odd thing about me... I don't do predictions until they're on their way to the gate. I can research the horses, look at their workout times, do all of the things you're supposed to do to pick the winner.... and I'll be wrong.

But if I watch them head to the gate, and pick a horse then, that horse will at least show, more often than not. It's a talent I have.

So, welcome to Derby Day, grab your hats and some bourbon and settle in, folks, cause it's time for the Sport of Kings.