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Baking Huntress

Moments of perfecting hunting (ha!), baking, horsemanship, and life

Month

April 2016

To Admire

Magic3

I hope I did this right-first #photochallenge. :-p

Admiration: Noun, something regarded as impressive or worthy of respect.

Many people would consider someone they know and loved to admire. I do, too, have several people that I admire, but for this topic the first thing that came to mind is Magic (RIP). The horse. Admired by many, owned by few.

Magic, a gray 25-year-old Appaloosa/Arabian Cross, stole my heart and admiration (well, after a year of butting heads and refusing to let the other win…). The beauty that comes with horse ownership isn’t just the ribbons and buckles, but the companionship, love and trust you get with no questions asked.

Eight years of perfecting our relationship, countless hours of riding without stirrups, two-point, and remembering to keep your heels down all the while keeping your balance. Not only the extra hours of grooming and fussing over your best friend.

I’m to this day I’m still awed by him. The perfection of strong rippling muscles, soft kind brown eyes, long curved ears, lack of the Araby dished face, the soft pink nose, the irregularity of mottled (spotty) skin, and the shortage (luckily) of green and yellow stains on an otherwise spotless gray shiny coat.

“In the steady gaze of the horse shines a silent eloquence that speaks of love and loyalty, strength and courage. It is the window that reveals to us how willing is his spirit, how generous his heart.”

~ Author Unknown

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/admiration/

 

Hop, Hop, Hop!

I am a self taught cake decorator. I had Matt’s mother teach me the basics and show me how to use some of the tips, but other than that I’ve watched thousands of YouTube videos, looked at magazines, and skimmed Wilton’s website.

I think most of the major holidays (Christmas, Easter, 4th of July, etc.) deserve a good cake. This year I attempted my very first basket weave and grass (the grass was a flop, but the weave turned out!).

Easter fell in March this year, and my family planned to have my niece’s first birthday cupcake on the same day (although her birthday is in April). I scoured Pinterest like an addict and found several ideas that I would have loved to have done.

I finally decided on a basket weave side, green grass on the center with a small chocolate bunny and robin eggs for the centerpiece. When I think of Easter I think pastels, so when I asked my mother for advice about what color the basket should be.

“Hot pink!”

Uh, really? “Why? I was thinking a pastel pink or yellow.”

“It will look great with the green grass.”

Okay, sure.

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I got my idea from http://www.cakecentral.com/gallery/i/2013098/bunny-butt-easter-basket . Theirs turned out a lot better, but I was lacking in time so I had to improvise on the bunny and eggs.

The cupcakes were for my niece, who we were celebrating her first birthday (okay…a month early). I told my sister I wanted to make her first cupcake and everyone’s schedule is so busy that we decided to do a month early. 🙂

I learned a lot doing this cake:

  • A bigger tip would’ve gone a lot better and faster (Which, I tried to look at my local Joann’s but failed).
  • For the grass tip the frosting has to be mixed perfectly with no chunks at all! My tip kept getting plugged, so I decided I would a star tip instead for the grass so I could just get it done.
  • Also, taking the time to keep the frosting and cake cool so it doesn’t look messy when applied
  • And lastly, make sure you have more than enough time to get the decorating done. I was on a time crunch to get it done before dinner and in some parts of the cake it showed (hence the warm frosting due to lack of time…).

The Last Ride

I debated whether or not to post this one….

Three years. Seems like a long time, but for me I can remember that day as if it was yesterday. As a pet owner you never think about the end, until it smacks you in the face like a freight train. And when that time comes, you are never prepared to make that decision. It may be a situation where you know the time is coming, so you have an idea, but in reality you really can’t prepare yourself for it.

After you make a decision like that you always have the what ifs.

What if….

What if the timing wasn’t right?

What if I did more testing?

What if I got a second opinion?

What if I tried different medication?

What if he/she wasn’t ready?

What if I am pushing it too soon?

What if I don’t do it now, will he/she suffer later?

What if…

To this day I still ask myself those questions. What if I did more testing to see what really was going on with his body? If I did more testing, is it possible to treat it? What if I got a second opinion and they said it was something curable? What if he lived for another five years?

I still miss that damn horse. All the vet bills, failed ribbons, disastrous patterns, but many memories. Bringing up stories still hurt.

Like I said, I still remember that day clear as crystal. I woke up early the morning of. A Thursday. I wanted to spend time with him before the time came. I spent a good couple of hours grooming him, cleaning his feet out, braiding his main and tail. Since it was his last day, I wanted it to be special. I let him graze in the tall grass. My friend, Cheryl showed up and suggested to put some yellow flowers in his mane. I laughed and said, “At least he will be pretty when he dies.” My coach, Patti, came out to take photos of us together.

My support group. Cheryl. Patti. My ex promised when the time came even after we broke up, he would be there. Just another broken promise.

I could see Brett in the background digging a spot next to the other good ole boys, Fritz and Joker. I tried not to stare or else I feared I would start balling. Thank God Magic was mostly blind. He wouldn’t understand.

Heather, DVM, showed up with an assistant. I could feel my gut tensing up and sob form in my throat. I had Cheryl run up to the barn to get Magic’s purple stable blanket, he would be buried with it.

“Do you want his tail?” asked Heather.

I nodded, not trusting my voice. The assistant got some scissors and some tape from the back.

“I can’t do it,” said Patti.

I gave her Magic’s lead rope and took the scissors. I cut as close to the tail bone as I could. I held it up and said trying to hide a sob, “He finally looks like his Appy breed.”

Everyone stifled a laugh. “Are you ready?”

Tears welled up in my eyes, “I guess.”

We walked over to the pasture that Brett was digging the hole. “One last ride?” asked Cheryl.

I nodded, again not trusting my voice. I got a leg up and Magic and I made a round around the pasture. It will never be the same.

I didn’t want to bring him to the group. I wanted to say forget it. I don’t want to do it.

I’m not doing this for me, obviously. I am doing this for the good of him. His body is giving up-I was out of options.

Heather rambled about how their office euthanizes. I didn’t pay much attention. I remember they gave him a sedative to help him relax. They injected him. A minute later, nothing. Magic was fighting it. The assistant ran back to the truck to get another dose. A couple of minuter and two doses later, he went down. I balled. I took my time saying my goodbye. They waited until I left before burying him. I’m glad.

holly

Magic Collage1

SIDE NOTE: This is a very hard topic. Especially to write about. I haven’t told many about it, because I don’t want them to feel the pain I went through. But as a pet owner, they need to know the hurt.

Hunting Traditions

For some people, traditions mean superstitious and vice versa. When it comes to archery hunting it’s just traditions. The very first year I went hunting with my boyfriend, Matt, kept telling me the same things over and over again. Garth Brooks. John Wayne movies. Road soda. (Side note: if you hunt or camp then you know what I mean by road soda.) “Yeah, yeah, I get it.” Well, I really didn’t “get it” until my second year hunting. I’ll tell ya I understand and respect the traditions my boyfriend and his hunting group has.

I guess I never really understood the whole playing Garth Brooks music while traveling in between hikes until we saw nothing. Matt said, “It’s time for some GB.” I am pretty sure I rolled my eyes as I pushed in a CD. We cranked up the music, had Rodeo blasting when he goes, “I think it’s time for a potty break and a road soda.” 11 AM? Sure….

We each had a soda in hand with Rodeo ending and Baton Rouge starting when we spotted some elk running up the road ahead of us.

Awesome! Finally some action. Oh crap! What I do with my soda? I attempted to put it on the dash, nope…. Tried setting it on the floor…nope. Well the window it open…? I tossed my FULL soda out the window and got ready to jump out of the truck. We stopped at a Y, and I scurry out of the truck trying to be quiet and honestly not so graceful…. I was so nervous, but the adrenaline was kicking, and I was ready! So I thought. My heart thumped so hard I swear the elk noticed.

By the time we started walking out where they disappeared it was too late. We heard the crashing with tree branches and sticks breaking.

Well crap. Oh well. It was getting dark anyways, and I wasn’t looking forward to trying to track blood in pitch black.

We headed back to camp with a new story to tell the group. Seems like that happens a lot, eh? But as any bow hunter will tell you, sometimes a good story and the memory is all we get and need.

You may ask when does the John Wayne movies come in? Well, when we get back from the morning hunt we normally get some lunch and pop in a Duke movie just before everyone falls asleep.

I’m not superstitious or anything, but now I completely understand their traditions, and they have reasons for it too. Every time G.B. and road sodas are in play the elk come running. Now, I think I added another tradition…cupcakes! Read Hunting Flops posted March 28.

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