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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

 

December 2011 Issue  

 

 

     I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a “Home Economics” kind of girl. I was the kid that had to be pried away from my horse. I would rather have spent my time in the corral brushing a sorrel coat or galloping around the pasture than in the house baking cookies.

     Don’t think, though, that my mom didn’t give me vacuuming, laundry folding, bathroom cleaning and dusting duty!

     There were, however, a number of things that I learned in Home Ec that I was glad to learn and still use today. For years, I would mend my jeans with a sewing machine, and I’ll bet I could still thread a sewing machine (since I own one and it’s “somewhere” in my garage!)

     I still use the pink sewing basket that I got when I was twelve. It holds 20 small spools of different colored threads, elastic, buttons, hooks & eyes, a seam ripper and needles. Many women branch out with extensive sewing interests and now use an entire “sewing room”; those would be the women who came into the fabric & quilt shop which had been adjacent to my office for several years.

     I have to admit I’m limited to a mere needle and thread to sew on buttons and to mend — over and over — my cuddly warm winter barn gloves whose fingertips are basically, now, just thread.

     When I was in school, girls had to wear skirts or dresses. No slacks allowed. So one of my eighth grade Home Ec projects was, yes, sewing a skirt. My friend Amy and I decided to make matching mini-skirts from a green floral pattern. The “mini” part, as I recall, had to be a respectable two inches above the knee.

     My Home Ec cooking experience memories are a little dimmer. I know I made French bread with a crispy crust and, if you can believe it, was assigned a cold cherry soup to make in class.

     I have a sense of order in the kitchen which, no doubt, came from some of those Home Ec planning lessons. Cooking utensils near the stove, plates near the sink. Is it common sense? Or was it the Home Ec classes? I do know that once I’ve established cupboards in a kitchen, and I get used to pots and pans and dishes being in a certain place, it’s almost impossible to change the location of anything!

     Meal planning? Not so much. Every year, I chart out a month and try to fill it in with dinner ideas. Sometimes I keep a diary, for at least three or four days, of meals we have made so we can make them again. Then I forget about the list.

     I have recently re-discovered a baking stone that my brother and his wife gave me back in 1978. I have never used it much. I got it out to warm up some leftover pizza, and now feel fired up to create Christmas cookies. I think I have a moose cookie cutter in a drawer… I think I do…

     However, the most important skill I learned in High School was not in a Home Ec class. It was typing. I have made a living for most of my adult life using typing as a basis for a job. And I still have several beloved typewriters — an electric IBM-C; my dad’s old Royal; and my mom’s portable Smith-Corona from the late ‘40s.

     And where are these nobel tools today? Yes, out there somewhere with the sewing machine!

         ------------------------

     We’d like to thank our readers for the fantastic group of photos they sent this year for the “Kids & Horses” Photo Album. As always, it is difficult for our staff to make choices for the print edition — however, all of the photos received will be available online at rockymountainrider.com.

     We wish you all Happy Holidays and an energetic New Year!

       ------------------------  

 

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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