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Archive for May, 2010

postheadericon Do YOU Have a Wedgie?

Are YOU looking at ME?
Look what the stork dropped off at the ranch Saturday!  This leggy little bundle of joy (plus piss & vinegar!)  He’s quite the cutie with an attitude to boot.
As usual, a rather contrary mare decided that it would be great to have the baby while no one was anywhere around.  Dad had called me early that morning saying he thought she might foal at any time.  He had plans out of town that he couldn’t get out of and since I was headed to my soap class, baby watch fell to Mr. MoonCat.   Wedgie is the mare’s first foal, so we were concerned that she might have difficulty.  We’re very grateful that she proved us all very wrong.
About 4 hours old.
Mr. MoonCat, my brother-in-law, and our nephew checked on the horses shortly after Dad had left the ranch.  He was so excited when he called me! It was a real treat for him to be the one to discover the little rascal, especially since Dad hadn’t been gone very long.  The mare has turned out to be an excellent mama.  (I call her “CB” because the men all call her “Crazy B***h” as she can be pretty nasty at times.  I personally think it’s because she just doesn’t like the menfolk, just my own opinion of course!)
CB living up to her name
The photo above may look like she’s being nasty to me, but you can’t see from this angle that there is a gelding hanging his head over the back fence of the pen.  She hates this particular horse and was spinning around to snap at him.  She’s very protective of the little Wedge!


My mama loves me
For those of you wondering, “Wedgie” is definitely not his registered name.  His mother’s facial markings are called “piebald”.  When the hubby called me to tell me about the colt, he kept saying that he was a half-piebald.  There’s no such thing that I’ve ever heard of, so I couldn’t quite picture what he was telling me.  When I finally got to the ranch, I told the guys that the little dude was cheated.  He didn’t get a whole pie, he just got a wedge!  So that coupled with the fact that this is going to be one TALL horse who will give people wedgies – or at least split their drawers; has caused the name Wedgie to stick.
All of our horses have nicknames that many times have nothing to do with their registered names.  Our stallion, Sunday Sailor answers me when I call him “Booger”.  My mare, Cinderella Sox answers to “Blondie Bear”.  So it’s not often that you’ll be able to figure out their papered name by what we’re actually calling them.  Their registered names are usually based on their bloodlines.  To officially name Wedgie, we will probably come up with some combination/variation of the papered names of both the mare and the stallion.
I’m thinking we might just run a little contest here on the blog to see who can come up with an appropriate and “proper” name for the little cutie.  What do you think???

postheadericon Soap Making Class on a Soapy Saturday

This past Saturday was full of good, clean fun and learning at my very first soap making class! My sister-in-law Cindy and I went to a Botanical Soap Making Class taught by Justine Crane. For those of you who have been with me for a while, you’ll remember the Natural Perfumery class of hers that I enjoyed so much last August (read about it  here: What a Workshop!)

**Check out our soap making supplies checklist**

Soap making class for Red Barn Blue Skies

The Soap Making Class

The soap making class was held again at the Intermountain Nursery. We were out on the patio/potting shed area. While it’s a beautiful spot out there and ideal for the classes, we were unseasonably COLD! Leading up to the weekend we were worried we’d be overly warm as the previous weekend was in the 90s (as is usual). Instead, we were treated to a record-breaking 57 degrees for May 22nd. It had been 112 years since that record was challenged! Thankfully, the nursery had a fire pit made from an old washing machine tub (I should have taken a photo – it was really neat) and a propane heater shown below.


Cindy Stirring Soap for Soap Making Class


There were 11 students eager to learn the correct methods from Justine on making cold process soap.  Since it involves lye, Justine emphasized following proper safety procedures at all times.  We were all wearing long-sleeves, gloves, eye protection, and breathing masks.  Safety first!  (Cindy is planning on procuring us the long white lab coats to complete our look for our next soap making class adventure)

Cindy the Mad Scientist for Soap Making Class


We learned the best natural ingredients to use and the reasons or benefits of each. Justine also discussed and showed us the proper tools and equipment to have on hand. She took us step by step through the process and allowed us to each be as hands-on as we wanted. Everyone got to take a turn in some part of the creation of our soap.

Pouring in the Lye for the Soap Making Class

One of my favorite parts was the blending of the scent. We broke up into teams to create top, heart, and base notes from the essential oils. Cindy and I were responsible for the top note. We used bergamot (yum, Earl Grey tea….), lime, and a bit of lemon. Very clean and fresh smelling! The other teams mixed up the heart and base notes and then we combined them all together. It turned out to be an amazing scent.


After all of the measuring, blending, and experimenting with some color,  this:

Became this:

Happy Happy Happy

The soap making class was everything I had hoped it would be. Being shown how to do something and getting to be hands-on really makes a difference in learning some things for me. I’d been reading about making this type of soap for years but was leery of trying it – mostly due to the lye and a few questions I had that went unanswered until now. Justine armed us with the proper methods and the safety precautions and I’m now anxious to get started.


I’ve gathered my soap making ingredients and tools and will be ready to go on my solo soap flight in a short time. I actually stopped to buy lye at the hardware store in Prather after we left the nursery. Cindy and I excitedly bounced ideas off of each other all the way home. I was thrilled that Cindy was able to go the class with me. We always have a lot of fun together and seem to really work well as a team. I think this terrifies our husbands at times…..

Thanks Justine for a great class once again. Check out Justine’s sites Oh True Apothecary and The Scented Djinn for more info on natural perfumery and working with botanicals. She also has an online perfumery course!


postheadericon Celia Thaxter – Sunday Selections

 Celia Thaxter is our chosen poet today for Sunday Selections. Enjoy her ode to flowers and fortune.
celia thaxter Red Barn Blue Skies Sunday Selections
He who is born with a silver spoon in his mouth is generally
considered a fortunate person, but his good fortune is small
compared to that of the happy mortal who enters this world
with a passion for flowers in his soul.
– Celia Thaxter

postheadericon We Have a Winner

WOW!  I can’t believe we had 431 lovely entrants in the drawing.  What an amazing turnout.  I was thrilled to have so many visitors and hope that many of you will continue to meander along with us.  And for those of you who so kindly asked, my favorite color is PURPLE!  So without further ado, our winner:
That’s it.  #365 is our winner.  If you would please get back to me, I’ll get your prize to you.  Thanks so much to everyone that entered.  It was a lot of fun reading everyone’s comments and getting the chance to visit so many great blogs.  As usual I have found several new-to-me blogs that I will be going back to visit and follow along with.
BTW, in case you’d like to know without having to count (three times) as I did, #365 is Miss Mary of Lillian Stitches.  Congrats Mary and if you will email me your address your mystery package will be on the way to you.  I’ll be sending you an email shortly as well.
For the wondering/wandering minds, I will post a photo of the surprise after Miss Mary receives it.

postheadericon What I See Wednesday

I love Dahlias!
My Hydrangea’s very forgiving of the abuse I heap upon it!
Porkchop and Celie playing with their new toy
Lovely Fuchsia
Cailen’s very big stick