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Copyright 2011 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

Dog Hair & Mule Sweat

with Natalie Riehl

editor@rockymountainrider.com

 

September 2011 Issue  

 

 

     I tell you, the number of things I forget is not diminishing with time. When I go riding, I try to remember to keep a pen and paper tucked in my shirt pocket to write down important details flitting through my mind. I have pen and paper next to the bed, in the kitchen, in the truck, in my purse, in the living room, and of course, next to the phone.

     Nothing drives me crazier than feeling too lazy to write down an important thought — thinking, of course, “I can remember that” — and having it evaporate like water in a hot skillet! Yes, it does! Within 60 seconds!

     I put my trash bags on the tailgate of the truck to transport them to the end of the driveway where I put them in the trash can on my way to the office. The only sure-fire way I can remember to stop — and not haul the bags into town — is to bend down my rear-view mirror so that it’s reflecting the back seat.

     That “reminder” works every time and, until the other day, I had no idea how many times I look into that mirror just out of habit!

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     As I’ve mentioned before, I post notes to myself everywhere! These reminders are about errands to run, appointments to keep, chores to do, people to visit, etc.

     I have to confess that I am “note-dependent.” They are posted on my dashboard, my home desk, my office desk, on kitchen cabinets and, for reminders first thing in the morning, on my bathroom mirror. For instance: “HORSESHOER. 9AM. TODAY.” The challenge then becomes remembering to stick it on the mirror the night before!

     The big re-useable note in my truck is: “GAS.” Some people, when riding in my truck, have remarked, “Don’t you keep an eye on your gas gauge?” I can only reply that if that worked, I would not have a note written in giant letters on fluorescent paper affixed to my steering wheel!

     I tape notes on my car keys to transition them from the house to the truck. I modified this tip of a friend I used to work with years ago. Maureen used to buy milk at lunch, put it in the office fridge, and leave her car keys with the milk so that she would not forget it. Pretty clever of Mo, huh? A lesson for me learned at age 31.

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     I enjoy home-grown herbs which I dry, keep in plastic bags in a drawer, and use all winter long in salad dressings, stews, omelets, etc. The standard herbs we grow are basil, oregano, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, and dill. Sometimes I’ll dry mint or chives.

     The dehydrating procedure is simple. I place the fresh herbs on cookie sheets, put them into the oven, but do not turn on the heat. I crack the door of the oven with the potato masher handle, and let the pilot light provide a minimal amount of heat. Even though the process can take a week, the herbs retain their green color and their flavor.

     I started drying my herbs with this method twenty years ago. So that I wouldn’t forget they were in the oven, and accidentally turn it on, I taped a note with large letters over the on-off temperature dial: “HERBS IN OVEN.”

     Some years later, a relative casually commented, “I did not realize that you are not fond of your brother; don’t you think that’s a little drastic?” You see, my brother’s name is Herb. This tickled my funny bone, so I corrected the grammar on the note to read: “HERB’S IN OVEN.”

     This was the standard note for many more years during herb-drying season. This year, however, Rick put some herbs in the oven to dry and told me, “Let’s cut to the chase and not be vague any longer.”

     His note reads: “HERBY’s in the OVEN!”

 

 

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Copyright 2011 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

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