Meet Aberdeen

Meet Aberdeen

As some of you might know, I’ve had a young gelding in my training for about a year and a half. Hs name is Brooks, and he’s ~3 years old. He’s cute and he knows it. And a terrorist. Can’t you see the “I’m cute now FEED ME!” in his eyes? Brooks is ready to be ridden, and has been backed a few times. But right about the time I was ready to get on him in winter, I got sick. Which is extremely unfortunate, because physically I am not capable of handing this tiny little beast. So, after a lot of thinking, I’ve decided to give him to a home who can continue his training, and who can keep his baby-mind occupied. It’s not fair to him for him to just sit in a stall while I deal with an unexplainable illness. It sucks, but he’s going to a family member who will take good care of him, and who will give me updates on how he’s doing. For the next 3 or so weeks, he is still with me though! So I get to spend a little more time with him. However, I am not totally ready to give up on horses. Since I can’t take lessons (too much physical exertion), and I can’t handle Brooks, I decided to look for an older, more broke horse who I could ride when I was feeling well, and who wouldn’t lose all of her training if I couldn’t make it out for a week. I immediately started looking for another horse and I suppose the stars aligned because I...
Austin, TX: Mount Bonnell

Austin, TX: Mount Bonnell

The name Mount Bonnell is a little misleading. It’s a very large hill/bluff but I definitely wouldn’t go so far as to call it a mountain. However, in the incredibly flat Austin, 750-ish feet above sea level is pretty high up there. It was pretty cool though! Basically, you drive up the hills into a SUPER ritzy neighborhood and then park by a set of large (and I mean large) stone stairs, then climb up to the top. From the top you can see the hill-y neighborhood as well as a river, and if you go to one side, you can also see downtown Austin’s skyline, which is pretty cool. Seriously though, there are stairs, man. Here’s a picture about 1/4th of the way up. Here’s what it looks like from the tippy top, facing towards the houses and the river. In this one, you can see downtown Austin off in the distance. This is to the right of the stairs and you have to walk down a bit by a picnic area to see it. From there a bunch of trails start to take you through the woods and back to the road! They’re definitely not developed trails though, so I wouldn’t recommend them to people who are unable to walk over uneven surfaces or young children. Some of them have up to 3 foot drops. And finally one last picture, just because. Starring Joel! In addition to all of the cool-ness of the spot and all of the little trails, there are also lots of picnic tables (and also an abundance of people shamelessly making out, in...
Austin, TX: Barton Springs Pool

Austin, TX: Barton Springs Pool

Finally, we are home! Austin was amazing, but after fighting with the traffic in Texas and a 14 hour drive, I am glad to be back in Omaha! I had planned to post these while we were in Austin, but unfortunately the wifi in our hotel was basically useless, so it had to wait until we got home. This is the first post of many, so enjoy! This is one of the two natural pools we went to while we were in Austin, TX. I think they both deserve their own post though because they were both equally awesome! This was Barton Springs Pool which is a natural spring averaging about 70 degrees F. When we went though, we did not get in, as it was about 40 degrees or so and only like 65 outside. Not warm enough to swim, haha. But it was still cool to visit and look at! It’s located about 15 minutes away from our hotel and is right by Chuy’s Mexican restaurant and Peter Pan Mini Golf, as well as the botanical gardens and a sculpture garden, super cool place! I will say though, that on the city government website it LOOKS like a developed pool, and it’s not. Or at least not all the way. It does have concrete sides and stairs as well as some lifeguards, however, you can tell in the above picture that it’s not a finished bottom. These are the rocks in the shallow end which are home to an endangered species of Salamander! Overall, in this half of the pool, it was nice and flat! I would have loved...
A Traditional Diet Approach

A Traditional Diet Approach

I’ve been having some serious health issues, unfortunately. I’ve had tension headaches every other day, my joints have been aching to the point where I can barely walk when I get up in the morning, I’ve been super tired, my nose always seems stuffy, and in other words, I’m just not well. And as you can imagine, after a few weeks, it’s starting to get old. I finally cracked and went to the doctor to rule out an infection, and everything came back normal. So I went to an herbalist, and I’m now doing a bunch of herbal infusions and have an herbal tincture. Hopefully it starts to help. I’ve also decided to change up my diet. I’ve been trying to cut out processed foods slowly for a long time. But I’m going to get serious about it. And I’m going to cut down on grains and dairy as well and see if it helps me to feel any better. I bought the book Practical Paleo and so far I really like it. I don’t necessarily agree with everything about the Paleo diet, and I definitely don’t want to totally eliminate dairy. However, it has helped me to gather some ideas about a more whole foods/traditional diet and sort of gave me the push I needed. If you’re interested in learning more about the diet, I highly suggest you check it out. It’s got all kinds of information and charts, and then 30 day meal plans for different sorts of ailments or for weight loss or detox, and then even more recipes in the back half. I am going...
Travelling

Travelling

We love to travel. Well, I LOVE it, and Joel loves it. I’m not sure he’s got quite the same level of wanderlust that I do. If I never do anything else in my life, I want to move away from Omaha and live somewhere else, or many places. I want to travel Route 66. I want to go to every state. In two weeks we are going to Austin, TX for a few days, over spring break. We’re both super excited for the break and the mini vacation, and I’m super excited because I’ve never been to Texas (Joel has, but not Austin). But yesterday I was going through the pictures from our previous vacations, and I realized something: We aways take a picture of my car in some sort of landscape! I don’t really know how it happens, but it does! Here are the pictures from the last two years: This is my car half way up Emigrant Mountain in Montana. We parked it there, and then hiked the rest of the way to the waterfall. That’s the waterfall. Pretty, right? And this is my car in the middle of the Wyoming prairie, where we stopped by a “living snow fence” to find a geocache. It was so cold, we had to break out the Carhearts because the wind had picked up and it was sleeting. That there is the living snow fence. Not what I was expecting when I read the Geocache description. But let’s be honest, it was probably better than whatever my brain had concocted, haha. There was also this thing. What is this...
DIY Natural Deodorant

DIY Natural Deodorant

I made my own deodorant tonight! I’m super proud of that, haha. And waiting for it to solidify now so I can use it. (I shall update you on the results after a few weeks, I swear. However, I’ve been assured that it will work, so I’m confident.) Update (1.5 weeks later): It works really well! I ended up melting it down again and putting it in an empty deodorant container, since I got tired of using my fingers to get it out and apply it. But so far, it’s working about as well as any store-bought deodorant.   And it’s only 4 ingredients, took me less than 5 minutes to make, cost next to nothing, and it smells really good! (like coconut and tangerine). So below I shall share the recipe with you! Along with why I made my own deodorant, and also the benefits (besides cheap and easy) of doing it yourself! The Story I’m becoming kind of “hippie-adjacent” in my old age (crunchy, if you prefer). I don’t know why or how, it just sort of happened. You know how they say when you get older you become more and more like your mom every day? Well, I become more and more like my grandma every day. Except I’m worse. I maybe wouldn’t call myself a “health nut”. Certainly compared to most of the people I know, I am. But I just do the best that I can. I can’t afford to eat all-organic produce, and I think (ethics of Monsanto, and pesticides aside) GMO’s are fine, and I don’t drink raw milk. But I do...
3-Ingredient DIY Laundry Soap (Borax Free)

3-Ingredient DIY Laundry Soap (Borax Free)

So, I’ll tell you a secret  about me. (Maybe it’s not really a secret. Probably you’ve already guessed.) I never do my laundry. I let it pile up for weeks and weeks and weeks before I ever actually do anything about it. And this weekend, our bed smelled like old sheets and I was out of clean t-shrts, so it was time to do my laundry. But alas, I was out of laundry soap. So instead of just going out and buying some more, I decided to invest upwards of an hour researching the best ingredients to use to make my own soap, then went to the store and bought said ingredients, and then came home and watched TV while Joel and I grated soap for half an hour, all to make my own soap. But actually, I’m glad I did for 2 reasons: 1. I’m allergic to everything so I have to buy special allergic-people soap and it never has a scent. And this doesn’t bother my allergies AND if I buy scented soap my laundry can be scented. So how great is that? 2. It’s super cheap to make, it lasts forever, and it works really, really well. I’m always covered in mud, and with this stuff I don’t even need to worry about it. In other words, it’s awesome. Oh, and it’s all natural made at home, so you know exactly what’s in it. Which is important, since my allergies as evidence, the stuff that you wash your clothes with can really absorb into your skin and potentially cause harm. So what, exactly, needs to go into...
Bountiful Baskets

Bountiful Baskets

Food co-ops scare  me. They’re full of hippies, and weird-organic vegetables, and you have to volunteer, right? No. At least not with bountiful baskets. Although, to be fair, bountiful baskets is not a true* food co-op. But it’s awesome anyway. Basically, every other week (depends on what state you’re in) on Monday or Tuesday you pay for your basket and any add-ons (we’ll get to that), and then on Saturday or go to your pick-up site, with your own bags, and you pick up your produce or other items. How does it work? Each traditional basket is $15 (plus a handling fee, which differs depending on the state) and it comes with a ton of in-season, as-local-as-possible fruit and veggies (half and half). I’ve heard that it’s about 5 pounds of each, but I’ve found that it’s a lot more than that. But then again, I haven’t weighed it. You can upgrade your basket to all organic for $10 extra, and you can add on tons of extra things. It’s different every week, but sometimes they have “Asian Packs” or “Guacamole Packs” or 20 lbs of Peaches or 5 loaves of Sourdough Bread, or Organic Coconut Oil. It just depends! And it’s a great value. Next time I’m planning to weigh it all and then compare it to grocery store prices so I can provide exact figures. But I estimate that I’m saving over half. And the best part? There’s no obligation to participate! So you can get a basket one week and then not do it again for a year and that’s completely fine! What do you get? Here are...