Leghorn Ranch Horseback Riding

I made a deal with my daughters for their birthday this year. The deal was, rather than buying them a toy or something that they might use for a short while and then set aside, I would buy them an experience – and that’s how we connected with Leghorn Ranch.

Leghorn Ranch

Hopefully an experience they will treasure for a long time! And thanks to the crew at Leghorn Ranch – they did receive a very cool experience that they’ll remember for a long time – for all the right reasons!

Leghorn Ranch

A couple of weeks before the birthday weekend celebration I started doing a Google search for horseback riding and Leghorn Ranch came up.

On their webpage there is a phone number and it says to call or text for information. Cool. I do not like talking on the phone so I appreciate the option to text. So I sent a text off describing my needs and wants and who I would like to bring riding and asking for a little info and their suggestions.

Six minutes later I received a friendly and informative reply. Cool. So I called and booked with them!

Leghorn Ranch

The kids smiles were ear to ear. Janet and Hanif – the key staff at Leghorn Ranch treated us like we were VIPs.

We paid $65 each for an hour of riding but we were on, around, or with the horses for almost two hours.

They gave both girls an introductory lesson on riding in the ring. That lesson made it pretty quickly clear that my kids wouldn’t be able to effectively control the horses they were on so they changed the plan and decided to “pony” my kids.

Leghorn Ranch

Effectively meaning that each of the kids would be on a horse but their horse would be led by the staff who would be riding another on horse. This gave my kids a chance to relax and enjoy the hour we were out on the trail rather than stressing about controlling their horse.

Leghorn Ranch

It really was a great day. The weather cooperated, the horses cooperated, the kids had a great time, and memories were made thanks to Janet and Hanif at Leghorn Ranch!

Leghorn Ranch is located at 20254 Old Dewdney Trunk in Pitt Meadows. Phone or text them at 778-886-1343 to book your own riding experience. Maybe we’ll see you out on the trail some time.

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My Farmhouse Kitchen Table Continues

I’ve made some progress on my farmhouse kitchen table.

farmhouse kitchen table

Perhaps most importantly, I’ve got the table and parts at home in my garage!

farmhouse kitchen table

As you can see, all the pieces are now glued together, cut to length, cut to width, and planed and sanded to the desired thickness.

farmhouse kitchen table

Did I show you how I took a propane torch and “burned” the top surface to make the grain pattern “pop out”?

That was cool! Or hot. Anyway, I torched the entire surface and then I brought it home and spent the morning with a block and a sheet of 220 grit sandpaper. It cleaned up beautifully!

farmhouse kitchen table

And the legs. I bought all the black iron pipe parts for the farmhouse kitchen table and loosely put them together just to see how it would look. I’ll be honest, it looks awesome!

farmhouse kitchen table

After making sure the legs work and it is the correct height, I took the farmhouse kitchen table top off and put it on the paint prep work space (on top of the freezer in our laundry room!).

I popped into our local hardware store, picked up a litre of (water-based) semi-gloss varathane and a paint brush and then came home to apply it.

farmhouse kitchen table

And that’s what I did. Well, the kids and I did. We painted the semi-gloss varathane onto the top surface and now that’s where it sits – on top of the freezer.

Overall, we’re very pleased with today’s progress on the farmhouse kitchen table. I’ll add more as it progresses.

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A Dad in the Burbs Has Started A Podcast!

Just because I didn’t have enough places where my “voice” is able to be heard – other than here on my blog, on my Instagram, my Facebook, and my YouTube channel, I decided to start a podcast!

You can check out my podcast, Stacey Robinsmith is A Dad in the Burbs, on Anchor! https://anchor.fm/stacey-robinsmith

Give it a listen. Subscribe? Let me now what you think of it. I am learning. Experimenting.

 

 

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Thursday Thoughts

I love this quote from Miguel Guhlin, “No one jumps a 20 foot chasm in two 10 foot jumps.”

Brilliant. When you need to make a big change, you need to make big, bold moves.

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The Rad Power Bike Rad Rover

I’ve had my new Rad Rover

my electric assisted bicycle – for a couple of weeks now and I have to say “I’m loving it!”

This video is from the first couple of days of me riding and getting familiar with my Rad Rover. I now know that the red button on the right hand grip switches mode from Pedal Assist to a “throttle” like function so the rider can “roll on the throttle” and accelerate up to speed. That’s actually a more useful feature than I had anticipated.

For most riding – I’ve gone on two more rides now for a total of 65 km – I only use the pedal assist on the Rad Rover so that I am still pedaling and getting exercise.

The pedal assist just makes it so that the biggest hills are no longer “no-go” zones. I can much more easily ride them.

Now, if the rains will let up, I’ll try riding to work some day!

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Taps and Tacos

One of my grandfather’s more “edgy” sayings was, “if that’s lunch, I’ve had it!” When I was a kid, I’d chuckle at his double entendre. Now I use it!

Thanks to the great staff at Port Moody’s Taps and Tacos for a late lunch.

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A Dad in the Burbs Attempts to Find the Top Three Foodie Places

During spring break a buddy and I decided to head into Vancouver and try out a few foodie places; the places we visited are places we have heard about but rarely have time to try. Our stated goal was to determine our top three foodie places in Vancouver.

We did stop at Dixie’s Barbecue on East Hastings but they were closed the night we were in the city.

Because I do not have a camera crew that can follow and document our travels the way that Anthony Bourdain does, I simply use my iPhone to capture images that I later use on my iPad to turn into “movies” to share our experience.

I have edited the “footage” of places we visited down to Bao Bei, The Keefer, Timber, and Yolks with an honourable mention of the Terminal Pub in New Westminster.

Our top three? Probably Bao Bei, The Keefer, and Yolks. What other places would you like to see us visit? Feel free to add your thoughts to the comments below.

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Thursday Thoughts

The following quote is often incorrectly attributed to Albert Einstein,

…not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

The truth is, William Bruce Cameron turned the clever phrase in his 1963 book, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking.

Regardless of who first created this chiasmus, I appreciate the sentiment apparent in it.

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Cast Iron Cooking; Making Bread

Those who follow me on Instagram or my Facebook page know that I’ve been working on my baking skills. I’m still working on my biscuit making technique and I’ve returned to bread making.

Typically I do my bread making while at the cabin. However, this spring break I decided to do some bread baking at home. And I had a significant breakthrough!

I made a beautiful loaf of bread with firm, and yet chewy crust. The interior of the loaf had a perfect texture. Dense enough to please me and yet lots of bubbles indicating that the yeast had done its gassy job.

This was my first loaf that I would call a 100% success. So the question is, what did I do differently this time?

Normally, I cook my bread in a cast iron skillet. About 20 minutes before I’m ready to bake, I put the cast iron pan in the oven as the oven is pre-heating to 450°. Once the oven is up to temperature, the pan is also sizzling hot. I take the pan out of the oven, plop the dough into the hot pan and then back into the oven for 30 minutes.

This time, under the advice of my Full Nomad friend Steff, I used a cast iron Dutch oven – with a lid! I did the same routine – pre-heated the oven, pre-heated the Dutch oven, plopped the dough into the Dutch oven – but then – I put a lid on the cast iron pot of dough before putting it back in the oven! Game changer!

After 30 minutes I took the lid off the Dutch oven and let the bread cook, uncovered for another 10 minutes.

The result – my first perfect (to me) loaf of bread.

However, I do need to back up a bit – how do I get to the point where I can plop the dough into the Dutch oven? Let’s look at that.

I actually start the day before I’m ready to bake. I thoroughly mix the dry ingredients together and then add the water. I stir in the water using a stiff rubber spatula (or as some call it, a rubber scraper) until the dough is a perfect ball of dough that isn’t sticky on the outside. If it is sticky, I add a dusting more flour and mix that into it.

And then I leave the ball of dough, in the stainless steel mixing bowl sitting on top of the fridge overnight. Or until I have time to bake it!

Every few hours I take the rubber spatula and stir the dough. I push it down and “knead” it to make the gluten in the dough work and stretch. In the morning, after sitting all night the dough is often puffed right up the top of the mixing bowl. My kids love that part of the process. I usually leave the dough to “work” for 24 hours.

About half an hour, or 20 minutes before baking time, I stir the dough one last time, fold it over on itself, and then roll it onto a piece of parchment paper.

When the oven is up temperature and the cast iron pan or Dutch oven is up to temperature, I lower the dough, on the parchment paper, into the Dutch oven.

As I said above, I let it cook with the lid on for 30 minutes. Then I took the lid off and let it cook for another 10 minutes. I had an absolutely lovely loaf of bread.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of flour (I use 2 cups unbleached white, and one cup whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon of yeast.
  • 1 3/4 cups of water.

That’s it!

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PlayDome at BC Place

Good, innocent fun! That’s the best way I can describe my family’s experience at the PlayDome event in BC Place.

All of the people working at Playdome were friendly and helpful. Many times the guys working the games encouraged my kids to try the games they were working – they’d say, “go ahead, it isn’t too busy so give it a try, just have some fun!”

The game operator’s attitudes at PlayDome were so different than many of the other carnivals that we’ve attended. They encouraged us to try their games – they often said, just try it, no charge, just have some fun!

Playdome

They even let me play. Although both times I played my kids beat me.

Playdome

Yep, that is my Scooby-Doo coming in last. Again.

And the rides! No, there aren’t the super-wild rides like you find at other bigger, outdoor carnivals – thankfully!

Playdome

But the rides that are at PlayDome were good fun for the kids – big and small. The fact that there wasn’t a wild old roller coaster ride made it so that I did not have to make up more and more bizarre excuses about why I couldn’t go on the ride. Just good, innocent fun!

And while there was a very positive and exciting vibe inside PlayDome it wasn’t so busy that we had to wait long to get on the rides.

The kids even convinced me, someone who is scared of even the tamest ride, to try them. And I had a great time.

Obviously we also had to eat – isn’t that what carnivals are all about?

My personal favourite food item – the must-have carnival food item – the mini donuts.

My kids? Cotton candy and sno cones. As an adult, I cannot fathom the appeal of cotton candy or sno-cones but there kids everywhere at PlayDome in BC Place eating both “food items”.

Playdome

 

Of course there are also the gourmet food choices; poutine, wriggle fries, hot dogs, and MORE. My one “complaint” is that it costs $4 for a bottle of water. Of course that is not unusual for events, but it sure pinches the family budget.

PlayDome in BC Place will be open from Wednesday, March 28th (yesterday) through to Monday, April 2nd and fair-lovers can enjoy all their favourite rides right inside BC Place. If you are going to PlayDome, purchase your tickets online, ahead of time to save a few dollars on the purchase.

Online Pre-Purchase Tickets:
*excluding GST. All fees included.  
$29.95 Dome Pass (valid for full day, all carnival rides)
$49.00 Ultimate Pass (6-days, all carnival rides)
$9.95   Guest Pass (required to enter as a spectator. Limited rides available)
**Children under 2 years old admitted free (for safety reasons, they are not permitted to ride).

Disclosure; the organizers of PlayDome provided my family with complementary Dome Passes. However, as always, editorial control and the opinions expressed on my blog are my own. 

 

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