Tuesday, August 5, 2014

It's Not What You Think


A couple of weeks ago, I was in Estes Park, Colorado on vacation. While there, Gentleman Friend and I spent a couple of hours watching the Hunter Jumper Horse Show. The arena has a small grandstand which held a smattering of other riders, horse owners, and friends and family of the riders.

Riders and horses were of varying skills. Some proceeded around the course at a slow pace; a few didn't try some of the jumps; and some, like the horse and rider pictured here, managed the jumps pretty well.

Photo by Carol Newman

Then a horse and rider entered the arena at a more lively pace than previous entrants. They galloped around the course making the jumps quickly and easily. They looked like sure fire winners. Then they came to the last jump. Something spooked the horse; he stopped, turned from side to side, put his head down, backed up and reversed direction.

At first the rider held the reins, but then his right foot came out of the stirrup and he slid down the horses neck and side. Still he held that inelegant posture until finally, as the horse became more agitated, the rider fell. He tumbled and rolled away.

Now riderless and facing away from the jump, the horse calmed.

The rider gathered the reins as the announcer proclaimed how many points the rider had lost. There was silence among the small crowd.

Then the announcer said, "But there is good news, the rider is up."

At that, the spectators applauded briefly.

And that is what struck me. It was apparent that a rider who falls and is uninjured and able to get up is applauded.

There was no shame in trying and failing miserably. That the rider was able to stand and remount was, in itself, honorable. Was an accomplishment in itself.

Of course, it reminded me of writing. Sometimes the muse balks, even for an experienced writer. Then we have a spell where the writing just doesn't happen. Sometimes what we write is a miserable failure.

When those things happen,  writers sometimes beat themselves up, and sometimes even quit writing.

Don't do it.

There is no shame in failing. There is no shame in creating graceless writing. Keep trying and applaud yourself for the effort. Applaud each other for the effort. Tomorrow is there for you to try again.

It's more than just getting on the horse again. It is applauding yourself and each other for the effort.


Write something about horses in your life.Here are some examples:  horse books you have read, horse movies, a horse you had when you were a child. Horses you have seen in a parade. Did you like cowboy movies when you were a child? Who was your favorite cowboy? Write about his horse. Or her horse. What about Dale Evans? Do you watch the Kentucky Derby? Go to a Derby party and drink mint juleps? Write about that.


Today's recipe is Baking Bites Cherry Chocolate Chip Bread from a cooking blog that is full of really great ideas.

Now I don't know what to do. I had planned to take Judy's delicious strawberry bread to a meeting, but now I think I will try this recipe. After all, it has chocolate. Hmm, how about chocolate chips in strawberry bread?

Cherry Chocolate Chip Bread
Photo courtesy of  Baking Bites Cherry Chocolate Chip Bread
Cherry Chocolate Chip Bread
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
3/4 cup milk, any kind
2 tbsp Kirsch (optional)
2 cups whole or halved sweet cherries, fresh or frozen
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease and flour a 9×5-inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, vegetable oil and egg until smooth. Whisk in vanilla and almond extracts, as well as the Kirsch, if using.

Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the milk.

Stir in the remaining flour mixture, mixing just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. 

Stir in the cherries and chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow loaf to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Read more: http://bakingbites.com/2014/07/cherry-chocolate-chip-bread/#ixzz39XqV9eyg

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