1. Lucy and I love to canter and we both like to fly up the long side. I can only indulge when Lucy is relaxed otherwise it turns into a high-headed careening mess. Earlier this week, we had a lovely ride. Lucy was a bit slow in her transitions at the beginning; relaxation wasn't an issue -- she was tired, a bit sore, and not awake. We're riding a lot more often this month and getting in shape is hard work. We did our warmup and then a bit of canter. I asked her to extend on the long side; she opened her stride and we flew. Brett said he could hear me laughing from the other end of the arena where he sat on Mufasa, watching us. As we approached the corner, I sat tall and engaged my abs -- she came right back into a nice working canter.
2. Jackson continues to integrate well into the mare's pasture. Pistol is happy to graze next to Jackson and to engage in mutual grooming sessions. Lucy tolerates Jackson for the most part but she does feel the need to boss him around on occasion. We give him a separate pile of hay at feeding time but it can be close to the girls without incident. Lucy will trade positions with him, just because she can, so at times she is solo at the hay pile and Jackson is at the feeder with Pistol. The other evening the three of them were together at the feeder for a few minutes.
3. We had some thunderstorms up in the Sierra this past week which translated to some light rain for us on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was just enough to dampen the ground; not enough to wash the fences or water the trees. Nevertheless, we were thankful for the cooler temperatures. The reprieve was short lived -- we are back to the 90s at home and over 100 in Sacramento (where I work).
4. The Cuckoo Maran chicks are doing well; eating, drinking, peeping and growing. We have the brooder box in the hen house and the rest of the chickens are already bored by their presence. This is good. We like to introduce new chickens in this way -- so there is no hen-pecking behavior when we turn them loose. The chicks will be segregated until they have all their feathers and have grown up enough to eat regular food.
5. I've been alternating between Blue Apron and another, similar, company called Plated. One of my frustrations with Blue Apron is the lack of flexibility with the menu. Sometimes, I like two of the menu choices but not the third. There are a total of six meals available each week. Unfortunately, the menu composition is pre-set. So, for instance, if I like meals 1 & 3 but not 2, I can't select meals 1,3 & 4. Nope, I have go with a different pre-selected menu which seems to always contain 1 OR 3, but not both. So, I get 1, 4 & 5 or 3, 5 & 6. 1 is always meat, 2 is always poultry, 3 is always fish, 4-6 are vegetarian. So I end up with either meat or fish and two vegetarian; not meat and fish with one vegetarian which is our preference. Plated lets you select any combination of 8 regular priced meals -- plus two premium chef specials. Plated is $2 more per plate so it isn't my first choice. The servings are a bit larger but Blue Apron is plenty large for Brett and I. I am still primarily ordering Blue Apron -- I usually love the menu -- but its nice to have the option. Plated sent me some free weeks to give away if anyone wants to give them a try. My last box contained a tomato that had gotten squished -- they gave me a credit of $8 which I thought was very generous.