Autumn Ambitions....

 - make better health choices, like getting up an hour earlier to squeeze in a workout or planning ahead to have healthy dinners instead of just opting for something quick and convenient without nutritional value....I fell into some baaaaaaad habits the first half of the year! So far I have signed up for a spin class called Tilt. This is my second week going, and I love it!!

 - I want to focus a bit more on my Etsy store, because I have let that go for a bit... I need to take pictures of inventory, get things organized and get things rotating out so that I can keep thrifting without it costing me a dime! 

 - take a few mini road trips and adventures. I kinda want to take a camping trip.... deep in the mountains.

 - plan next year's garden. The hardest part of clearing the land is done, and the boxes are in place. Now I just have to plan THE perfect garden. This will be the first garden at the new place! Pretty exciting!!! 

 - take Eddie on more adventures. Slowly Eddie is becoming MY pet. He was my dad's dog, then he was Rose's companion, and now he is making his way deeper into my heart. Losing Baby was devastating and honestly I didn't feel like I was ready to have another pup at the farm, but low and behold, ol' Eddie Ray has won me over. 

 - Paint my nails more. Bright colors. At least once a week. Isn't it funny how some colorful nails can totally change your whole attitude?

 - find time to sew. My machine has been broken and the last project was a set of blue velvet blackout curtains for the livingroom. They are ALMOST finished. My machine crapped out on the last corner of stitching, so it's long overdue to get that fixed and get back to sewing!! 

 - sleeping in on the weekends as the weather turns cooler. And then waking up with a warm coffee and some old vinyl playing.... while a fire warms the house.... eeeeeek! Lovely!!

 - bake lots of Fall goodies! The pecans will be hitting the ground soon, so hello pecan pies! Another one of my Fall favorites is chewy soft ginger snaps... totally drool-worthy...

 - getting more comfortable and confident with Rose. I have come a long way since moving Rose to the farm. I have never been a horse person, and have never had any proper horse handling training, but I started that on August 1st, and it has opened the door to lots of learning, confidence building, and fun with this big girl!

 - set daily goals - every day is a fresh start! Just because I may have let something fall to the wayside, doesn't mean it is the end of the world. I tend to put a LOT of pressure on myself - and most of the time, I am the only one that even cares so much about what I have stressed myself out about! What tha?!?!? So yes, daily goals to help me stay focused, but also the reminder that every day is a new day! No holding resentments for not getting something accomplished the day before...

 - have regular girlfriend 'dates'. Brunch, gardening, porch beers, etc. I have made a few new friends in the last few months, and have been making more of an effort to nurture the new ones as well as the old & golden ones! 


Baby Calf Cuteness....and Chocolate Cake!

After mom and I got home, I went to get raw goat milk from a friend that has the most delicious milk - I usually go once a week, and this week she had a new little addition to her farm.....
My heart totally melted and I just had to get in the field and give it a little love - I just HAD to!! Look at that pink nose!! Boy, did I want to take that girl home with me! Eeeeeeek! The cuteness!!

6pm PDT
This morning, I made the most delicious chocolate cake I have ever made!! Chocolate on chocolate, all made from scratch and absolutely heavenly!! I still had my camera all packed up from the trip, but here is the recipe - it is a three layer round cake recipe and is the best cake I have ever made!

Cake Ingredients:
  • 2 cups Cup 4 Cup
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup very strong brewed, piping hot coffee

  • Preheat oven to 350ΒΊ F. Prepare three  9-inch cake pans by buttering.
  • Add Cup 4 Cup, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir through mixture until combined well.
  • Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to dry mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add piping hot coffee to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  • Distribute cake batter evenly between the three prepared cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes, remove from the pan and then add icing. 

  • Christian never eats all the icing from the outer side of the cake, but this icing was so much THE BOMB that he actually complimented how awesome it was! I didn't really measure out my ingredients, just knew I wanted a ganache-y, fudgy, smooth icing. This is what I used and the approximate amount of ingredients:

    1 stick butter
    8 Tb cream cheese
    1/4 C honey
    3 tsp vanilla extract
    3/4 C unsweetened cocoa
    2 cups confectioners sugar
    1/3 C milk

    In a med saucepan, on low heat, soften butter and cream cheese to a very soft melty consistency and then add the honey and then vanilla and cocoa powder. Remove from heat and use mixer on high for about a minute.
    Add the confectioners sugar and milk and mix on high for a minute or until really smooth.
    Slather between the layers and then on top. Deeeeelish!


    The BEACH!!!!

    We headed out for the beach first thing this morning after our coffee. Carabelle is GORGEOUS and because it is not very touristy, the beaches were totally empty!!! We stayed the morning, then headed back to Georgia....

    ....annnnnnnd before we hopped off the coast, we ate some awesome bbq at the joint called Hamaknockers BBQ. It had great reviews when I looked it up and we were not disappointed.. 


    Roadtrippin' & Storm Dodgin'

     We hit the road early this morning and started towards Carabelle, FL... 
    Once we hit the Coastal Highway, it started looking a bit scary, but oddly enough, we didn't see one drop of rain! We managed to dodge the bad weather and enjoy my brother's outdoor show! 
     This pic is my absolute favorite from the show. I don't ever want photography to be a 'job' because I am IN LOVE with it as my hobby, freedom of expression, and my outlet!! No expectations, just doing what I love WHEN I want to!  

     This little girl was too dang cute after the show getting her shirt signed by my bro. Her body language says it all! 


    Weekend Plans....

    I am so excited about this weekend. First beach sighting in five years! Mom and I are gonna take a little drive down to Carabelle, FL for one of my brother's shows and besides wanting to see my brother in his element, the beach really solidified us making the show.... heheh..

    So, for now, the work day is done, and after a porch beer, I may start packing.......


    Anticipating Autumn..... Mixtape!

    This overcast morning makes me get super excited for Fall.....

    This is sweet Baby and I on a Fall walk last year. Boy, do I miss her so! 

    Here is a mix of songs that I love and make me feel all Autumn-y inside:


    midweek critter post!

     I decided to give the original babies of the menagerie some attention this evening and on my way out, I noticed the cows were in the field across the street! I had to take a few pics of those adorable things too.....

     Then it was time for some goat pics. Eli & Ellie have felt a little left out since Rose has been here, so today I spent the evening giving some hugs and letting them know they were still just as loved as before Rose and Eddie came along.... They were quite happy about this.




    Tuesday Tidbits:

    It's SEPTEMBER!!!!! Wow! Has it really been a whole month since I've been here??? 

    I decided to give blogging a break for the entire month of August. I wanted to absorb all the new things fully that were changing my life, and I didn't want to try to convey how I felt about it all in the moment. That being said, August was absolutely FABULOUS.

    First off, I started my first ever 'horse handling' training on August 1st. I was scared, anxious, intimidated, and completely out of my comfort zone all while working with horses that I had no relationship with at all. It was a great experience, and after sweating bullets, I realized that I lived through it, and came out of it understanding a bit more about the nature of horses, all while making a new friend!

    I started back running in the month of August, BUT that only lasted about a week...so...let's move on!

    I started the process of getting my house fixed to where I would not have skunk tenants next spring as I did this year and last year.... Yes, the skunks came back....and brought a family of opossum with them. In the process of sealing up all the holes, which I hired Byram Wildlife Removal to set the traps and perform an exclusion service on my home which I was very pleased with.
    The exclusion was done in stages, and before the home was completely sealed, and traps were set to catch any critters coming out from under the house at night, I came home early one morning from a run and noticed a pair of eyes reflecting the light from my car.....upon closer look, it was a baby opossum! I walked around the house and found three that morning. In the days to come I caught 8 baby opossum and a young armadillo! Click on any image of the opossums below for more info on how you can help by donating to the sweet gal who took in my critters for rehabbing and eventually release. Please consider making a small donation for her cause! She operates solely on donations! 

    You know I just HAD to capture the release! This was a HUGE deal for me!!

    It was my birthday week and we celebrate birthdays by the week.... first I went to Nashville with Christian.........it was our first time staying anywhere through airbnb, and we had a great experience! This is where we stayed (click on either pic for more info): 

    ................ and we got a cool special tour of Third Man Records! Wowza!! 

    We ate some good BBQ.............. 
    ...some hella-good Mexican food...........

     ...and coffee from this cool place called Barista Parlor....

    ....annnnd then ended the week back at casa de Thrasher Menagerie for a homemade chocolate cake with sea salt caramel icing....
    After my birthday week, I went back to my normal old routine of a little thrifting here and there, my new routine of regular horse handling practice things, and my Sunday Sweet Stuffs... I made this gallette from apples picked from the backyard..... 
    ...this is Zella. She is one of my friend's horses that I have been working with and has the patience of a Saint. She withstood my green ways of trying to get her to understand me, and at the end of this session, I had a way clearer understanding of how to communicate with Rose...
     Homer. Ohhhhh Homer! I love this boy! Also a resident where I am learning all about horse handling and safety... Those EARS!!!!
     Just regular ol' Ghirardelli dark chocolate chip cookies from a Sweet Stuff Sunday....
    ...and example of my doting on Rose..... Saturday's are Rose's 'spa' days. I try to spend a good hour messing with her after a short little 15 minute session trying to be successful in communicating with her and teaching her commands. 

     Spirulina is calming down a bit more these days and is becoming more of a regular cat. SHe started out TOTALLY wild and thankfully she is warming up to being inside now after those brutal, almost fatal attacks from the local wild animals...
     ...the garden is getting prepped and cleaned out for either a Fall garden or a nice Spring one. I can't decide how much work I want to commit to at the moment....
     ...and ol' Eddie Ray is the perfect little companion for goat and horse observing in the field. I even taught him to fetch at his old age!!! 
     Every day therapy session. Hammock time is essential when you spend your days in an office under fluorescent lighting....  
     It was a great month of self reflection, birthday celebrations, new beginnings, a new friendship, and continuing to work through my grief about my dad. The horse work has been monumental in my healing and I look forward to each and every new thing learned about the relationship she had with my dad. It is clear and evident that he worked with Rose more than he ever let us know. It's pretty magical actually to still be learning so much good about my dad's life in his absence. August was a really great month!