Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holiday Happenings, Part Two: The Horse Thief


I have a darling 13 year old second cousin, Cousin C. She came with my parents and I to the Painted Creek Farm the day after Christmas.

Wait. Did I say 13? Why ever would I think that? She's only 7 years old!
Going on 13. And, she is horse crazy!


Our first stop was to take Paint Girl lunch at the stable she works at. There, Cousin C got to see a plethora of beautiful horses- the kind of horses she'll see prancing in her dreams for weeks to come.


After we watched Paint Girl turn out horses, we left her to finish her chores and drove to the Painted Creek.

Which was a frosty winter wonderland. Before Cousin C was barely out of the car, she had found her way out back near the horse pastures.




I brought My Boy out to the arena, took off his blanket, and groomed him. Cousin C has no fear when it comes to horses. She is not afraid to approach them at all.



I'm a worrywart. It's been a couple of years since My Boy has been around children. The ground was crunchy frozen dirt and had an unstable feeling under his hooves, and he did not want to walk out. So longing the kinks out of him before letting her ride was out of the question. We'd also forgotten to bring up a helmet.



I decided to have my mom side-walk with her and hold her leg.
My Boy is fine ridden bareback. But a little one tends to wiggle and put her cowgirl boots in places a pony isn't used to.


Not that she doesn't know how to ride. Oh goodness, did she set me straight! Every time I mentioned that once she learned to ride......"I KNOW HOW TO RIDE ALREADY! I know how to do everything! I am just too short to put the saddle on!"

I put my trust in my horse, that he would take good care of her. I know that he's a nice boy. I needn't have worried.


My Boy was really good with her, even when she snuggled up to his belly. I think sometimes horses treat the little humans nicer than us big humans! It's like they sense they are young and precious.


The family had a great time outside with the horses, the dogs, and the goats.


With frozen toes, we went inside next to the wood stove, had pizza, then opened gifts. Paint Girl got Cousin C a real Breyer Mustang! I see how you're thinking sis....get her to love Mustangs now....so she'll want to adopt one when she gets her first horse!



After a night at the Painted Creek, this little lady was even more determined to have her own horse. In fact, she did not want to leave the farm and proclaimed that "Real cowgirls have horses" and that she would "NEVER have a horse. I GIVE UP."

I hope Cousin C doesn't give up her dreams of a horse of her own. I know Paint Girl and I never did.

She wanted to say goodbye to the horses on Sunday when we were getting ready to leave. Once again, she tromped out of the house to the pastures.



She refused to come back when my mom called for her. My mom had to trek out with her coat to get her. Cousin C reluctantly dragged her booted feet on the icy grass the whole way back.


Leaving the farm and the horses was not something she wanted to do. That's okay. At least she made it off the property without my
"appa-paloosa" in her back pocket.

Uh-oh.

Back at my parents' stable, she found a new horse to attempt to thieve.




Hang on to your Stardust pony, mom!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Holiday Happenings, Part One



Oh goodness, the holidays were non-stop! I was busy behind the camera. No surprise.
I think I took nearly 500 pictures over the holiday (and I'm not done yet.)


Let's start chronologically. My Christmas day at my Nana and Pappy's was filled with the noise of young children. Did I mention it was noisy? Many of my young cousins just have the most precious faces. Here are a few of my favorites shots.

Look at those cheeks!



I couldn't get a good shot of this one.




Oh, the looks on their faces! Pure holiday joy.



As their cousin stole their toy then ran.




But all ends well, and before long they are running together again.



I got to spend time with Rosie, my parents dog. I printed and framed this picture for my dad for Christmas.


Of course, there was plenty of horse time, too! A Christmas morning trip to my mom's stable to visit her Dusty.


But back to the cousins. This one. She is trouble.



Yes, she tried to steal my Appa-paloosa! I will have to show you all about it next time, when I tell you about the day after Christmas at the Painted Creek!




Before I go, I wanted to share the recipe for the Milk Chocolate Pie. A friend shared it with me, it is their family Christmas tradition. This is an easy, no-bake, delicious pie. It has cream cheese in it. Everything is good with cream cheese in it, don't you think?

Ingredients:

4 oz. milk chocolate (I just use Hershey chocolate bars)
1/4 cup milk

2 Tblsp sugar

1 pkg. 3 ounce
cream cheese, softened
1 container 8 ounces Cool Whip, thawed
1 prepared graham cracker crust

Directions:
  1. Heat chocolate and 2 Tblsp of the milk in saucepan over low heat, stirring until chocolate is melted.
  2. Beat sugar into cream cheese. Add remaining milk (2 Tblsp) and chocolate mixture and beat until smooth.
  3. Fold chocolate mixture into whipped topping, in a bowl; blend until smooth. Spoon into crust and freeze (about 4 hours.) Serve frozen or just slightly thawed.


Hope all your holiday festivities were joyful!

Friday, December 25, 2009

My Christmas Wishes For You


This star drew nigh to the northwest


o'er Bethlehem it took its rest

And there it did both pause and stay

Right o'er the place where Jesus lay.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel.

Born is the King of Israel.



This Christmas




I wish you the love of a good horse


I wish you the warmth and comfort of a home filled with joy, laughter, and family.



I wish you
good things to eat.



Uh-oh, PG's been in the kitchen again!

It only happens once a year.

What did I whip up (literally) this time?

Details to follow.


peace, blessings & wishes,

Pony Girl & My Boy

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Deck the Halls Part 2



The holidays are typically a joyous time of goodwill and good spirits.


Then, sometimes, you hit a wall.


I've been rushing around in a holiday haze. You know, stopping at green lights.


So much to do. Hand making some of my gifts and procrastinating at it.



Last minute errands. Just a quick stop at the mall yesterday proved to send me over the top. I couldn't believe how many people were at the mall at 2:00 on a Monday. When I shop, I am on a mission. I do not do well behind lollygaggers. I walk fast.


One reason I have so enjoyed sharing photos of my Christmas trinkets is because I just have little vignettes set up around my place this year, rather than a full home decor. Why? Because my landlord decided to have some remodel work done in my apartment this week. I will appreciate the work when it is finished, but I am not appreciating the disarray and mess during the holidays. Luckily, I am not hosting family or entertaining guests this year.


Yesterday, I heard the news of young actress Brittany Murphy passing away at the age of 32. Then, I get onto Facebook and learn that a friend of mine from college, age 36, was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks ago. She is recovering from a mastectomy and starts chemotherapy in two weeks. And....still then, today I hear that my aunt's husband (she lost her first- my uncle Teddy- three years ago) passed away from his battle with cancer. They had two short, but wonderful, years together.


And so, I just started crying. Staring at my computer screen. Perplexed that such a joyous time of year, can also be so sad. My mom posted about this last week. Around the holidays, there is so much loss. So many memories of deceased family members that bubble up. Smiles for remembering the good times. But heartache and tears, still. Sadness that they are not here with us.

Thorns and stings

And those such things

Just make stronger

Our angel wings.

~Emme Woodhull-Bache




{Fake snow in photo alert! I couldn't resist.}

On to more cheerful things. There is still much, much to be thankful for. And a new year soon on it's way. New promises and hopes and dreams.

I sprinkled more photos of my decor throughout this post. I have to tell you a funny story. I intended to cut some greens from the trees on the back of Paint Girl's farm the other day and completely forgot.



I got home and checked in on my email and my Blogger dashboard. I saw a post from The Lettered Cottage. When I went to open it.....it wouldn't open. The tab just said "loading"......and flashed that way forever. Which has been typical of my Internet as of late. It gets stuck and won't load web pages. Frustrated, I left the computer, grabbed my gardening gloves and scissors and went out to my yard.


I don't have much in the way of greens on my property. There is this tree/bush thing that looks like an stumpy evergreen and drops these red berries all over my walkway every autumn. The name escapes me. It's the closest thing to "greenery" that I've got. I started snipping it's branches.

I arranged them in an old galvanized milk pail that I got at an antique store over the summer. I wanted to bring them inside, since I don't have a fresh tree. In the chaos of the home improvement project, there just wasn't a space. I moved a pot of dead perennials from a stool beside my front door and put the pail there. Still, it was missing something. I didn't know what to add to it that would be relatively weatherproof. I remembered all the pine cones I had and tossed some into the center.

Back inside, I got my web pages to load properly (after rebooting my computer.) I checked out The Lettered Cottage's post on Christmas decorating. And almost fell off my chair! One of Layla's charming ideas (actually, I think it was her mother's) was to fill a metal mop pail with greenery and pine cones! You can see the post here. I also had filled a silver bowl with moss leftover from my Twilight project, and silvery Christmas balls, which reminded me of a bowl Layla has on her mantel. She shares other thrifty decorating ideas that are just so simple and wonderful. I've been following Layla's blog for a long time and find her and her husband just so adorable.


Well, one thing that helps us get through the rough spots of the holidays.....all the yummies out there. Someone at work gave me a bag of these cookies.


You can't eat just one. They are scrumptious, especially with a glass of eggnog.


Then again, everything goes with eggnog, if you love it as much as I do. Here is the recipe for the cookies:

Chocolate Supreme Crinkles

2 squares unsweetened chocolate- melted
1/4 cup soft butter
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
powdered sugar

Mix all of the above ingredients together and chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or overnight. Roll into small balls and roll the balls in powdered sugar. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

I blanketed my pony in a downpour yesterday, as drier, cooler temps are on the way. In fact, Paint Girl, bless her little stinkin' winter heart, may even see more snowflakes. Seriously, I might be moving into her garden shed if she keeps getting the snow and I keep missing out! We don't even live that far from each other, and it's like we live in different climates. Here is a little video of my poor drowned rat boy.


video

He was being more neurotic than usual. You see, Paint Girl had the veterinarian out earlier that morning to do booster shots on her filly. And My Boy knew something had been up. He could still smell vet in the air. And when I blanketed him inside his run-in shed, instead of taking him out to the normal grooming area, it felt different to him. He was worried about needles, I could just tell. Horses are so funny sometimes!


I am excited, the family is heading to Paint Girl's the day after Christmas so I will get to see My Boy again soon. I'm trying to decide what to get him for Christmas! And, my little cousin is coming along for the ride this year. Quite literally- I am thinking Paint Girl and I might give her some pony rides on My Boy and Brandy, if she wants. I am sure she wants. She is a pony crazy little girl! Surely a photo opportunity!


I hope you are all finding a moment of reflection and peace as we head into the final days before Christmas!

What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace. -Agnes M. Pharo

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Deck The Halls, Part One



I wanted to call this post "Deck the Stalls." But I don't have a barn. Ah well. I just love decorating for the holidays! Goodness, I think I could leave it up year round!
Let's start with my pony.


He was not very thrilled about wearing my snowflake scarf.


Suck it up, cute Appy boy! Just be thankful I didn't have a Santa hat and antlers!


After sufficiently humiliating MB, I made it up to him by letting him chow down on the green grass growing in the corner of the arena. He was happy. I took off his blanket for a while as the big freeze had thawed and it's been fairly mild out. By the way, he's recovering well from his hoof abscess. While longing him yesterday, he broke into a trot on his own and even threw in some frisky head tosses. I think he would have kicked up his heels had the arena not been a bit muddy and slippery!



On to the home decor.....I'm pretty sure this Santa was my Nana Vi's, so he is at least over 25 years old. I found it in the garage sale pile at my parents and I snagged it. I don't have batteries in him yet, but if it did, then he would shake his arm and ring that bell. If I remember correctly, he might even march in place!

Its hard to tell in this picture, but this Santa has very blue eyes.


I started collecting snowman "stuff" years ago. I just love snow! The groovy thing about snowman decor is that I don't feel so guilty leaving it out through January.....since it's more winter decor than Christmas decor. Right?



This snow woman (I dubbed her so) is new to my collection. She was a gift from a co-worker. She has a primitive style to her. And details that I adore, like a yarn scarf and real twig arms!


In her twig hand, she is holding a glitter star.



O, holy night. The stars are brightly shining.

Here is one of my two little Christmas trees. This one is white ceramic with a bulb inside that lights up the little red birds. I got this one at a garage sale, but many years ago, my Nana B made a similar one. It is green and has light bulbs, not birds. I remember it from my childhood Christmases at her house. She still puts it out every year.



I bought a set of white feather birds at the dollar store. I had a vase of bare branches left over from my fall decor. I added holly to the vase, then wired the little white birds onto them.


Because winter is so dark, I find comfort in the glow of candles during the holidays. Here are my birch wood candle holders. I have a variety of dollar-store wreaths, with fake leaves and berries and pine cones, that I put around my candles. I can't use my big candles as the candle wreaths are too small! (My little tree is glowing pink in the background.)


I love anything rustic during the holidays! It reminds me of cozy weekends at a ski lodge. I especially like the combination of the birch, metal antlers, and bit of greenery around deer's neck. I wish I had a whole family of woodland animals like this!


That is all. For now! I need to make a cup of cocoa, put on some Bing Crosby, and continue my decorating. Oh, and present wrapping. I finally have presents! (What's that I hear? Sounds of my family members clapping in delight!)

I have more holiday treasures to share next time.....
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