Welcome to my weekly smile! I have a lot to smile about this week with the rain and my pretty ponies. We had some much needed rain which I have a love hate relationship with as I LOVE rain, but its aftermath not so much at the barn. My horses live in very nice accommodations now so I am not complaining as much any more. But the arena gets really wet but drains pretty fast after the sun comes out the next day. As long as the rain storms are spread apart, then its a beautiful thing. One of the most beautiful displays of the storms that come through here in winter, is all the snow that falls on our local mountains! It is just gorgeous and my camera probably doesn’t do it justice as the snow capped mountains are captivating! Here are a couple of photos, how can you not smile!
The above photo was not easy to take as I was riding my horses, asking them to stand still “Whoa” I said, as they kept taking one or two steps on the trail. I have Zack’s lead rope, Chloe’s reins, haha, holding the phone I zoomed as much as I could and took this photo. I think it turned out pretty good considering all it took to take. I am a happy camper. The first photo I shared was just as difficult to take as all Chloe wanted to do is head home, and the barn is just past the tall palm tree on the left down the trail and as I tried to “Whoa” she wasn’t going to stop. She wasn’t bad but I thought I better snap a photo so the camera focused on her instead of the background which is a bit blurry but I thought a fun shot! I really like my shadow in that photo too. Photo Fun! 😀
Can you believe it is December 30th? Just one more day of 2021 and even though this next year may be more of last year as I think it will take months if not longer to feel “normal” again, what ever normal is these days. But this year seemed very long and drawn out so it’s end is something I think we all long for….. I miss my family in Arizona, I pray for all affected by this pandemic, the lives that are loss and the loved ones sick. We all here are doing well and praying for this to all go away hopefully, eventually soon. I don’t want to pretend like I am not taking things seriously as we all are taking precautions and doing our part the best as we can. Hence why I like to share my smile posts. We all need some smiles, something to look forward to and something that makes us HAPPY! I will end with a photo that I took last week as I was challenged wearing my huge Christmas light bulb earrings with a mask. I have so many Christmas earrings and some are very large and putting on and taking off a mask was not easy. Luckily, once I put on the mask it stays on the whole time I am at work, until I eat lunch or go home! 😀 😀 😀
Have a wonderful, smiling New Year! Cheers to you and your families!
As I sit here coloring my adult coloring book I am reminiscing about Christmas as I relax and enjoy this gift. I have to tell you that my artsy crafty side of my brain is completely addicted to this coloring book! This isn’t my first one, I am not sure where my other coloring book is but this one has cool sayings and quotes. I am enjoying it immensely! I’ll share a page and you can color too! Haha, you will find it very addicting. I am coloring away thinking I really wanted to share coffee with you today and share the happenings of my Christmas weekend. So I will set it aside for now, and I’ll share what I’ve colored so far.
My daughter is on her way home up North and we had a great time together with my son and my hubby. We video chatted with my family in Arizona as we opened gifts that we sent each other. We did a secret Santa (website) so that it would pick names so that we could buy each other gifts to make Christmas a little easier. We use this website where we can share our wish lists, which sure comes in handy and makes shopping so much easier. It was great fun opening up gifts together (video chat) and catching up and seeing those beautiful grand kids!
I told my daughter I wanted to try and have a Swedish dinner for Christmas. It wasn’t exactly authentic as we made everything vegan. We made Swedish meatballs using frozen vegan meatballs which heated up super fast. I found the recipe for the IKEA Swedish meatball sauce, and I may have made more sauce to meatball ratio, which is okay in my book and YUMMY! My daughter made homemade Swedish Cardamom bread, and even though we may have over-proofed it (I think that was our mistake?) It turned out delicious! We made a Swedish Potato casserole and a Swedish beet and apple salad. Dessert was pumpkin cheesecake bars. It was so fun cooking with my daughter! ❤ We started baking/cooking at 3:30pm and didn’t stop until we sat to eat at 7:30pm Christmas day. Cooking from scratch takes a lot of time! BUT WORTH IT! Now I need to find the energy to make soup for dinner tonight! Haha 😀
The cardamom bread was so delicious. It is a little sweet and I just LOVE the taste of cardamom. We were struggling with timing everything as I only have the one oven and since we didn’t meal plan or plan out the timing of everything, unfortunately we think the bread sat too long before we could get it into the oven to bake. Being a yeast bread, that can make a huge difference. It was still very soft and tasted wonderful but was slightly dense in the middle and that bigger loaf a little under done in the center, but just barely. It sure smelled good while baking! All the food tasted wonderful and how can it not when it is made with Love! ❤
We decided to go out for a hike as my daughter is always inspiring me trying to fit in exercise where we can. We had a bit of winter weather which brought rain which clears the air and the next day was beautiful! My daughter wanted to hike to Pumpkin Rock which is a huge boulder at the top of this hill in our town. The locals here keep pumpkin rock painted, as it will get a bit of graffiti and/or fade over time. I just googled it and it is there as Pumpkin Rock Trail Loop which is 1.7 miles long. Sounds just about right! Here are some photos from our hike.
We had a blast on our hike up and down on Pumpkin Rock Trails. As we were leaving the rock and started back down we were laughing at our shadows. We just had to take photos and I thought it would be fun to share. I didn’t take my phone so I didn’t have my camera and my son did a great job with all the photos I am sharing with you. We could not have picked a better day to hike, only 65F such a beautiful, gorgeous day. I will say that as I am sharing with you this last weekend of reminiscing, I am realizing that we didn’t take any photos of present opening. I usually always take photos of at least one gift each person opens, oh well, it was a fun day even though I didn’t digitally record it and it goes with this rather strange year.
Thanks for having coffee with me today. I forgot to ask you for a refill but I just get going on and on about things so I apologize for my lack of hospitality. I do enjoy our visits and hope you enjoyed your holiday however you were able to celebrate!
I am enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee with my favorite creamer, sweet Italian cream. Would you like coffee or a cup of tea? Maybe ice tea for those enjoying summer right now? I can’t believe in less than a week it is Christmas! WOW! This month is flying by at record speed. I am in a happy place getting most of my shopping done and I even managed to mail out some Christmas cards. I only receive a handful these days and they are fun to receive. I have some nice cards I was gifted from my daughter (ones she bought and never mailed) that I used. I enjoyed sending the cards, fun to write a little something and send on their way. I have friends/family that do the photo’s as Christmas cards which are so special and I love to receive each year. Maybe one of these years I’ll do the photo cards!
I was hoping to get more fingerless mittens made and I already have given a few away as gifts. I have a lot of yarn so I can make a bunch of them and I think will sell at the local craft fair. Or, I can really get my act together, keep stitching and have them all ready to mail out to family next Christmas. I will share what I have completed so far.
I forgot to offer you something to go along with your coffee? I have some fresh bananas, just thinking healthy as I am planning on baking cookies next weekend. I can’t bring cookies or baked items to work as they don’t want any food sharing. Understandable, so I thought I would wait and bake with my daughter when she arrives for Christmas. I really want to bake sugar cookies, maybe some different flavored ones and get creative. I’ve been watching a lot of baking challenge shows and one of them is the Christmas Cookie Challenges and they make cookies that have all that elaborate icing. I have a bunch of horse cookie cutters and I thought it would be fun to decorate them and then hand them out to the ladies at the stables. I am a complete neophyte to Christmas decorating on this scale. I watch them as they make a border, then flood the cookies, then decorate wet on wet. Just some of the terms I see them do as I watch some amazing decorating!
It looks like great fun and I thought what better way to practice but on horse sugar cookies! Maybe I will make some lemon sugar cookies or cinnamon (like snickerdoodles) pecan sounds good too. I could make chocolate cookies for the darker shades for the horses. Oh I have so many ideas! Haha, I am getting excited to bake!! I can’t think of a good segue into my next subject which I am so passionate about and I have some new photos (I have so many photos on my phone, it’s just crazy!) but I feel like documenting these beautiful horses as they age and fill my days with so much joy and pleasure. I don’t have many photos of them in the small pasture they have at the barn. They enjoy being out together so I thought I would share! 😀
Today was farrier day, they needed their hoofs trimmed. At one time they both wore horse shoes, but not any more. With their age and arthritis issues there is no need to have horse shoes. Instead of shoes, Zack has trail boots I put on if needed. Chloe’s leg issues are so bad that the farrier can’t pick up her right back leg. She has an old injury (broken stifle, it is a hairline fracture that is healed and lots of scar tissue has formed). It truly is amazing Chloe gets around as well as she does. She is lucky to be alive, as there is no way she would survive surgery on that huge joint as she is a big girl. (The stifle of a horse is equivalent to our knees, so this is her knee joint. A devastating injury, but she protects that leg and is thriving.) Anyways, it was a great day at the stables, beautiful sunny warm day! Here is a few more photos!
My horses, which I love to call “my ponies” live up in the barn. These were the only open stalls and I am actually really liking them because I know they are sheltered from the wind and rain. Some of the horses at this stables are nervous being up in the pasture because it is away from the paddocks. I’m so thankful Zack and Chloe do really well up in the small pasture since their stalls are nearby. My horses live across from each other way up where the aisle starts on this pretty red barn! My ponies are out in the pasture when I took the photo. You can make out a white horse Zack and Chloe is there but she is hard to see! She is standing at the gate if you click on photo and zoom in. Haha!
Thanks for having coffee with me today and I will end with one last Christmas photo. The tree we bought has lights that change colors, so I took another photo with the colored lights! So pretty! I hope you all have a wonderful, beautiful Christmas! I know many, many zoom and video chats will be held to keep us as close as we can be with family! ❤ ❤ ❤
Enjoying the holidays, Cowgirl loving Grandma!
Thank you Eclecticalli for hosting our coffee share link up! Click here to visit!
Welcome, can I get you a hot cup of Joe? or hot tea? I have hot cocoa too, and some mini marshmallows for the top. It’s been so chilly but I know not as cold as some places. My sister just texted me today and she is in Colorado and she said it is really cold there at 18F, brrr….. And I was complaining yesterday at 55F. I had three layers on and my hands were freezing. I did not ride yesterday but had fun visiting my bestfriend with Gracie who is now two stables down from where I board my horses. I don’t see her every day any more so it was fun to catch up with her and I spent the morning there and then tended to my horses. Gracie has settled into her new home and now has some new neighbors, horse neighbors that is and so it goes as we move into a new chapter with our horses. As Gracie is now officially retired, I am not at that point yet with my horses so I am able to ride out on the trails with other stable friends or as we fondly call each other pony sister’s! 😀
This morning when I woke up the sun was shining brightly and the gloomy clouds were all blown away. I was excited and finally went out on my walk. It is amazing how good that feels to get out and walk. It got my blood flowing and I was feeling warmed up and ready to start my day. Today I was able to get out there on the trails and I rode with another good friend, Jane. We had a wonderful ride together.
Since my ponies are serviceably sound (that means they have some issues where they may limp or have some pain which we control with pain meds, but they are still rideable and exercise is really good for many arthritic older horses.) I usually do not go out on the trail for more than an hour. We have a short trail loop that is just about 25 minutes depending on their walking speed. Today we went longer which was a perfect 45 minutes and Jane took some photos of our ride. I’m so happy she thought of taking some photos which isn’t always easy on the trail! Haha, she had to do selfie mode and try and find me behind her!
The trails we ride on are well groomed and run through a newer housing track. All the houses here are horse property houses. Usually the trail is only on one side of the street as you can see in the photo. We are in a hilly area so if you wanted to get your horse in shape there are many hills to go up and down and the views are gorgeous. However, my horses are past their prime and like I already mentioned with their leg issues steep hill riding is not possible or not really fair to them.
We can do small inclines with no problem as it’s impossible to avoid some up and down in the course of our rides. There are some pretty flat blocks, and so I break it up and will do some very small hills one day and do flat riding blocks another. The really steep hills are left for the younger, sounder horses. I asked Jane for a recent favorite photo that she took so that I could share on my blog and she sent me this next one. Great choice Jane! It is BEAUTIFUL! 😀
I thought this was at a golf course at first, but as Jane and I chatted she explained where she took this photo which was at the top of one of those steep hills in this pretty area. This is just a front yard and I love the vibrant colors with the beautiful sky, such a wonderful day out horse back riding! She rides more often than not by herself. I am so thankful when I can join her ride. We are so truly blessed to have all these wonderful trails right outside the front gate!
Can I get you a refill? I have a few giant ginger cookies to finish up and you can have one too! I want to thank you for visiting today as we wrap up this weekend. I am getting ready to go shopping as I want to finish up the Christmas gifts list. I am waiting for a package to arrive I ordered online and after my shopping today I will put a box together for my family in Arizona. We will video chat on Christmas day and watch each other open our secret Santa gifts we do each year, and the gifts sent for grand children!
I better get this published! I can’t believe this weekend is just about over. I hope you all have a great week ahead. Maybe next week I can actually complete my weekend coffee share as the weekend starts, instead of when it is ending. 😀
I really want to participate in this weeks smiles and I have exactly 15 minutes to write this post! Haha, you would think that its easy peasy but I like to put some thought in the lay out and what photos I want to share. And then I re-read my posts over and over again for many reasons. Continuity, spelling errors and I may not be grammatically correct most of the time but I want it to sound like me! (I’m a little OCD, Lol) And sometimes I get stuck and my sentences or thoughts flowing out may not make a lot of sense so I have to rewrite the sentence so things flow like I want.
As I quickly put this together I am hoping it flows nicely and well, if there are errors then that’s what it is as I want to be spontaneous and share my happy week. Today was a beautiful day and I was able to go out on a trail ride. I share so many photos of my ponies which I will today as well. But they sure make me smile over and over again! I wish Zack was a bit more calmer in his box stall as he still gets a bit upset when he can’t see Chloe across the aisle. She will go outside her box stall in her run and stand behind the part of the box stall next to the opening to her barn stall. I took a photo of her stall so you can see the opening and she stands behind this.
There is never an ideal situation for these ponies unless you have a lot of money and can afford your own horse property. One day there will be open paddocks where I use to keep them here as people do eventually move to either other areas or other stables. There is one woman here moving to Texas but she has a box stall with a run, which is more expensive than where Zack is currently living and if I move him he won’t be able to always be able to see into Chloe’s stall. So I think I will have to wait for open (outside) pens or paddocks.
These ponies always bring great joy to my life and now that my schedule has settled down I am able to get into a routine with them which helps them be calmer and more at home. Well, my 15 minutes are up and I have to get going to work. I hope you are all having a great week and thank you for visiting my smile today! Here is a goofy photo of Chloe and she is sending you a kiss!
I have been baking brownies, chocolate chip cookies and some giant ginger cookies this evening! All go well with a nice hot cup of coffee and I made mine decaf since its the evening for me now. I can’t believe how fast these weeks are flying by as I had started a coffee share last weekend and only had written a sentence or two and was unable to finish. I ended up deleting that one and started all over again for this weekend. I am really loving my new schedule but I will say for some reason I am finding it difficult to etch out time for my writing. I am trying to keep up with my reading which includes many, many blogs that I follow. I don’t want to get discouraged, so I will do what I can when I can if that makes any sense!
As I assess the last month I will say that I am feeling very happy with my decision to change jobs to a day shift position at another lab. The hours are actually swing shift which is even better. I am now feeling really needed at my new job becoming an asset as I hoped I would be with all my knowledge and experience. I plan on writing a blog post about my job and all that I do there which will include some job history too. I have read a few other bloggers that have shared and it is fun to read what ya’ll do for a living and how you got there! I thought I would give it a shot and am hoping I can get that completed by end of this next week. How is your coffee? need a refill? I have been keeping busy with Christmas decorating, horse back riding and of course my crochet. I have lots of photos I like to share!
My cute little tree topper looks completely adorable up on the top of our Christmas tree. My son thought I was nuts when I picked it up at the last store we were at and I thought this will work great! He looks so proud standing at the top of our tree. We bought a smaller tree than our old Christmas tree. Our old one was probably 18 years old and it was getting harder and harder to put together. We really don’t need such a big tree and now they make them with lights already on the tree. That’s what we bought and it is so pretty. I just have a lot of homey ornaments and decorate simply so my little bird fits right in. I have a big star that is just too heavy for the top of this tree which fit fine on our old big tree. Haha, I am going on and on about all this and I must say this year is just full of changes, new job, new Christmas tree, we even bought a new (used) car! I think I could write a novel about all the changes. Maybe I will write a separate blog post about all the changes our family has had for this year because its been more than any “normal” year!
I am working on my third set of fingerless mittens. They crochet together pretty fast and I almost have the pattern memorized. I am planning on sending them off as Christmas presents so I will continue onward. The one pictured is actually a blue grey, looks grey to me in this photo. I have a dark green yarn, brown and burgundy red. I will take more photos when I get more done. Super fun to make and are perfect for a little warmth in our mild winters. I find my crochet projects very therapeutic as I love creating things and this medium provides incredible colors and I love watching my work come to life! Whether it be a mitten, a scarf, a nice warm hat to a crocheted farm animal, Star Wars figure or a potted cactus. I have so much to work on and I find myself so excited to come home and get my projects going. I must say I am rather addicted to these fingerless mittens. I am not sure why, I just think they are useful and pretty! I can’t think of a good segway to the next subject, can I get you more cookies? a coffee or tea refill? We are now heading to the stables!
What a beautiful day for a trail ride and as we (my horses and I) were heading down the trail the sunlight was shimmering off the tops of all the palm trees. It really was magical and I was just taking in the day and enjoying every minute of my ride. I tried to get a photo of the sparkles but of course it is difficult without a good camera with a zoom lens. I decided to include the photo anyways, just because it is worth remembering this beautiful day! I like how bright the sun is in the corner of the photo, and it was a pleasant 65 degrees today. I can’t complain at all. It was a fun day at the barn with my ponies Chloe and Zack. ❤
Thanks for sharing coffee with me and I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Looking forward to this next week trying to keep up with all the busyness this holiday season brings. I really want to send Christmas cards to my friends and family this year. I use to do this and I think this year would be a good year to get those cards out and mail them. I love the holiday’s and I am so happy we got our decorations up right after Thanksgiving this year. We had to make some changes with the new tree and all but totally worth it! Happy week ahead!
Busy, Sparkling Cowgirl,
P.S. The ship’s are the Millennium Falcon and the Enterprise!