My Weekly Smile; Jan. 16, 2022

Welcome to my weekly smile. I can’t believe it’s been two months since I wrote my last smile post and that surprised me as I didn’t think it had been that long when I checked. I will blame my work schedule as I try to balance work, my horsey time, my blogging time and I like to spend some free time with my crafts. I haven’t been able to fit in reading as I’ve been wanting to get back into novels I have sitting here just waiting for me! I have to set aside some time to read. I would read before I go to bed, but my hubby is in bed before me and I can’t have a light on and I don’t want to wake him. Hmm… I suppose I could read in the family room before I head to bed. I’ll figure it out! This sleeping at night thing takes awhile to figure out scheduling things. (For anyone new, I use to work grave yard shift for over 30 years!) Now I work swing shift.

I am smiling as I devour my giant ginger cookies. They are delicious and I will share! 😀 My son has been asking me to make them since Christmas and I ran out of time to bake my cookies this year so I finally made them this last weekend. The house smelled wonderful while they baked and I am very happy to bake for the family. I have a few other things that bring me smiles and I hope they may bring a smile to you!

I thought I would share a couple of photos which the galloping one was an accident. It may not be the best photo but I liked how I caught him with almost all 4 feet off the ground! 😀 I thought I was taking a video when I snapped a photo. I like accidental photos, they are fun!! And at the back of his stall on the neighbors property they have cows and steers. You can see the steer with its horns in the next photo, Murphy is very curious. We have had horses boarded here that have been very scared of the cows that get close to the fence. I am proud of Murphy as he checks things out! Not much phases this big guy!

He is such a fun horse checking out the bags of bedding for his stall! Silly guy!

I thought this a funny video as Murphy is a curious 3 year old! He is so darn cute, and I usually take him out to add shavings to his stall. It was fun interacting with him. He has such a personality, they all do and I mean all animals do right? I have so much fun and I knew as the months go by, I can say that we are really bonding. It’s so wonderful and that truly makes me smile!

I have to tell you of one last smile. After Murphy and I had a fun ride together I rode to the gate of the arena and pushed it opened and we walked down the aisle and I decided to ride out the front gate all by ourselves to the trails out front. He has gone out through the gate before but with other horses. When we walk off the property we have to walk between the house and the garage of the owners place and since there are trees and bushes around too, it can be a bit scary for the horses. Also, horses don’t really want to leave the herd (or all the other horses that board there which they would consider “their herd”) so it can be challenging to get them to be brave enough while riding them out the front gate!

I am smiling from ear to ear as he just walked right on down and through the gate and out to the trail! YAY! 😀 Once we got onto the trail out front we turned right and took a few steps and then he stopped. He just looked around and did what I had asked him and I didn’t really have a plan once I was at the trail. This was all fine because I am not ready to go down the trail by ourselves yet at his age. We will take our time, and so I let him turn and head back into the stables and back to the hitching post or cross-ties where I dismounted and tied him so I could untack him and get him ready for his stall. He is so much FUN!! ❤ ❤ ❤

One more photo of my ride with a great shadow! His mane is so thick it falls on both sides of his neck!

I hope you all have a wonderful week, what makes you smile? And I have to thank Trent who hosts the weekly smile post each week. It is so much fun to join in and linkup with his blog which is here.

Smiling, Baking, Horse Crazy Gal!

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; Winter in California And Horsey Fun!

Welcome to my weekend coffee share. We have had lots of weather this winter. Last winter was very dry and we had hardly any rain. We made up for it this winter and this photo is of our local mountains after days of rain and snow. I love the lingering clouds in this photo and thought I’d share. Nature provides us with such beauty, I can’t get enough of the snow capped mountains! ❤

I am okay not living in the snow. I lived in the local mountains 20 years ago and the snow and icy roads were enough to drive us off the mountain back to moderate weather. My heart goes out to all that live in cold and frigid weather, battling the elements snow, ice and wind. Here, where we live it is so mild that the lows do not quite hit freezing. We had low’s in the high 30’sF (2-3C) at night and it rarely dips lower and even if it gets to freezing in the night it will only be for a few hours and it warms right back up again. During the coldest days its in the high 50’sF and for us Cali’s we think its soooo cold outside, brrr. Haha, we don’t know what cold really is as I know this is actually nice weather.

Oh how rude of me, can I get you a cup of coffee or tea? I forgot to offer as I ramble on about the weather. Hmm… I think that’s like an old person ramble isn’t it? haha, I know I am not that old yet, but I know my posts reach others all over the world. I know it’s summer in places as we are wintering! Just filling you all in on this beautiful Southern California weather! We made some decisions this last week and contacted the piano mover and person that came and took our piano for parts. It was a very old parlor grand piano in disrepair and in such bad shape it was not worth the money to repair it. I am happy it went where its parts can be used and now we have some extra room in our garden room. Here are some photos. 😀

You can see the room is now empty. I actually shared about this about a year ago and we finally decided it was time and so I am focusing my energy and any extra money to save for a keyboard as they make some really nice ones and I really miss playing. I play mostly classical music with some of my favorite pieces from Chopin, Beethoven and Rachmaninoff to name a few composers. I’ve enjoyed playing Bach and Debussy as well. I miss playing so much as I’ve held on to this piano which has been so out of tune it truly is unplayable. I’m excited and hope I can get a new electronic piano sometime this year!

Can I get you a refill? I have some Swedish pancakes I made for dinner tonight. I wanted a light dinner and these crepe like pancakes were perfect filled with a little sour cream and raspberry jam. Yummy! I enjoyed them very much and I will eat light if I have a big lunch. My son told me my granddaughter lost her first tooth this last week! She is 6 and in kindergarten and doing great. I miss my grandkids and I will see if we can Facetime tomorrow. They live in Arizona for any new readers to my post. 😀

My horse Chloe and I riding around the block in my hometown of Norco. She is such a good girl!

My horsey fun throughout this last week was fun rides and turn outs as we dry out. As you can see the ground dries out really fast and we were able to ride a couple days after all the soaking rain. It rained for at least 2 weeks maybe 3 on and off sometimes for a few days straight. For us it was a lot of rain which in turns means a lot of snow pack for the mountain ranges all up and down the west. This will help with our droughts that plague our region. I have some more photos to share with my horse back riding fun and just photos of these pretty ponies!

Murphy is doing great and has so much more room in his new stall. I am so happy that he is happy and he is really fun to work with each day. He and I are getting along famously and one of these days I will get a friend to video one of my rides in the arena on him.

I like how she has one ear forward to hear if I am going to say something I think! She knows when we are done riding I will give her horse treats. It wasn’t too difficult to teach her kisses as I kiss her nose and give her a treat, now she pushes her nose at me like you see in the photos hoping I have a treat in my pocket. I keep them in the tack room where I have my saddles and bridles. She can smell them in my pocket, so I can’t keep them there as she is too smart! Haha, these horses are such characters!! I just love them so much! ❤ ❤ ❤

My hubby bought me a selfie stick for Christmas and I haven’t taken it out of the package yet. I actually need to find it as I am not sure where it is after we cleaned all the Christmas stuff up and put everything away. So when I take selfies as I’ve shared before, my arms are not long enough to get all of their head in the shot. And Murphy being even bigger than Chloe it’s twice as hard! Hahaha, I still like taking them!

I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend and I thank you for stopping by for coffee. It’s been fun filling you in on the happenings around here. I want to say that I am truly thankful I can ride all year round here in California as I know there are so many that can’t ride in the winter. I also am thankful for all of you blogging friends and family who take the time to stop by and read my blog. I thank you too for your wonderful comments! I have to thank Natalie who hosts the weekend coffee share and you can visit hers and others by clicking here.

Enjoying Winter Horse Gal,

~Diana ❤

Happy New Year! I Can’t Believe It’s 2022!

Happy New Year to all! As my title states, I can’t believe it is 2022. I made it through Christmas as I accidentally stressed myself out a bit by not being better prepared. There were so many things I wanted to do that I didn’t get too. I wanted to do more baking which I mentioned in my last post. I ended up not baking like I wanted and making all those goodies I usually make during the holidays. The time just got away from me! I did leave the day after Christmas to visit my daughter who lives 3.5 hours north and we had a great time together!

My first photo is a pretty Christmas tree in Solvang, CA. We had so much fun visiting there even though it was raining. We have been getting a lot of weather this last month which we need. Tons of rain and snow in the local mountains. As we walked around Solvang with our umbrellas visiting bookstores I bought a Swedish cookbook and can’t wait to make a thing or two. We visited a few other stores as we meandered around. Here are a few photos I took while there! 😀

What fun I had getting to know my daughter’s girlfriend. We also exchanged gifts while visiting. On Christmas day we zoomed with family as we did a secret Santa exchange with the Elfster app. We have been using this app for about 4 years now and it is nice because it picks the name for us and then we can put items on our wish list which makes shopping easier. Usually all the shopping is done online. It was great to zoom, it’s like we are all together! ❤

I returned home from my daughter’s and it was back to work until New Years. I took two days off so I only worked three days last week which was nice. My daughter drove down here for the New year and left this evening. It was great to see her again, and she helped with our New Year dinner. Traditionally, we have Turkey dinner with all the fixings on Thanksgiving, then for New Years I buy a honey baked spiral cut ham with all the fixings. We include black eyed peas for New Year’s day which is a southern tradition which my mother-in-law always made for us and so I am keeping this tradition going. Eating the black eyed peas is supposed to bring you good luck for the new year. I think we all need all the luck we can get, right? 😀

Oh I have so much to share and could probably break this down to a few posts instead of one very long post! My daughter made from scratch the homemade cheesecake. It was AMAZING and it was a recipe from Chef Tyler Florence. I will have to look it up and make it too as it just melts in your mouth. She happened to have a can of cherry pie filling which we put on top. The ham dinner was amazing as was the middle desserts made by my daughter’s girlfriend who has opened up her own bakery! She is a master baker from Italy and makes amazing chocolates and other baked goods. I had so much FUN! What a great holiday it turned out to be. I’m smiling! 😀

We went to SLO (San Luis Obisbo) and we visited my daughter’s girlfriends bakery which is inside an Italian restaurant. It is small but we got to taste her wonderful baked goods. This is a good way for her to start her business as eventually she will get her own place as it grows. It was a beautiful day as we drove to Pismo beach to get those wonderful cinnamon rolls to bring home to my son and hubby! ❤ (They loved them!)

There’s no easy way to change the subject, so on to my other love, my horses! I will always try to put family first and they are part of my family as well so of course I just have to share. I am thinking ya’ll like to hear how things are going with my ponies as I love to call them. They are certainly far from being ponies, especially that big tall boy Murphy! I recently measured him and he stands at 17.2hh, very tall and as I work with him each day I make sure he respects me since he is so big. He does, it doesn’t take much at all but I need to always be aware of his size. I also never hand feed him any treats as he is rather food aggressive which just means he LOVES food. So it’s best if I want to give him a treat it goes in a bucket in his stall, not from my hands. He gets plenty of pats and loving scratches which he loves.

I have some updates and fortunately for Murphy a couple of horses moved out and two stalls opened up at the barn where I board the horses. These stalls are out in the paddocks and are very big and wide. He is doing great and I can tell really enjoys all the room he has now. I took a little video I will share!

He is doing great in his new digs, Yay!

He is so cute and I wanted to tell you of a fun thing he enjoys. He will lick your hand and as he licks if you hang on to his tongue he will just stick out his tongue while you play with it! Hahaha, I know this sounds weird, but horses can do the funniest things. He is very gentle as he licks and he enjoys this interaction as one of the girls at the barn showed me this the other day. Hey, if it tickles his tongue or he likes the salts off your hand? I’m not sure but It is great fun to pet him and interact with him without any treats of any kind! He is so silly! 😀

My daughter says to me as I bring over my camera “I don’t have any makeup on!” Haha, us horse girls rarely if ever wear makeup! What’s makeup anyways, hahaha!!! She is beautiful without makeup and of course is beautiful all made up too. I actually sat here thinking should I share this photo? Yes, I want to share and send out happy healthy thoughts your way and hope everyone has had a wonderful new year no matter if you celebrated or not. I wonder what 2022 will bring our way? We will see! I’ll end with this quote;

You can't go back and change the beginning,
but you can start where you are and change the ending.
C.S. Lewis

I think of my dad as he loved C.S Lewis. Love you Mom and Dad up in heaven! He passed on New Years day in 2003. ❤ ❤ ❤

Grateful, thankful and feeling blessed,

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; December Fun, in 2021!

Welcome to my weekend coffee share! The last coffee share for this year to share with our coffee share group hosted by Natalie! Her blog is so fun, positivity flows and her photos she shares are so beautiful. She hosts our group #weekendcoffeeshares and you can click here to visit hers and others if you are interested as there are wonderful bloggers out there and I love our coffee share group! We will be breaking for the holidays. Can I get you a hot cup of coffee or tea? Or maybe a glass of milk to go with the sugar cookies I baked. I actually made them last weekend and they are almost gone. 😀 I am planning on baking more this weekend. I also want to make ginger molasses cookies, maybe some magic cookie bars, fudge and I am not sure what else as I will look through my cookie recipes and see what jumps out at me to bake!

Sugar cookies are so messy but hey, you have to make a mess sometimes! I had a ton of fun baking last weekend. It always feels more like the holidays when I bake cookies. It is a fun tradition and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I am hoping to bake enough to be able to make some gift bags that I can give some baked goods away. I also need to figure out Christmas dinner for next week. I am not sure what I will make but I work all week including half the day on Christmas Eve. We still need to work to run the blood work for those sick animals heading to the vet on that day. It will hopefully be light, as most likely it will be mostly emergency vet visits and we are closed Christmas day.

I finished my cup of coffee as I love coffee with my cookies. I got myself a refill, can I get you one too? Winter is here in Southern California and we got a lot of rain this last week. We are in a drought so the rain is welcome. I wish it would rain more often and not all at once for hours at a time, but we can’t control the weather so it is what it is. It rained closed to 12 hours straight I think and when we get that much rain, it floods at the barn. The horses do fine in their stalls and stay under shelters or in the barn. Our arena has a low spot and always puddles, or to be honest it is like a huge pond. It is now almost dry as a trench is dug along the fence line to drain the water out of the arena. I have shared over the years my photos of Zack and Chloe out in the water and now it’s Murphy’s turn with his first winter here!

Murphy having fun in the water on this beautiful day after the rain storm!

He was so cute walking around and pawing which is their way of playing in the water. I thought maybe he would roll but the video was getting kind of long so I ended by showing the snow on the mountains. When I left him alone in the arena I looked over and there he goes, down in the water!! As he rolled his head went into the water and he got water in his ear as he shook his head and promptly stood up. Haha, I couldn’t get my camera out fast enough to catch him rolling darn it all….. But I took another short video of him all wet. Silly guy had a lot of fun turned out that day!!

Silly guy is soaking wet! I wonder if he will ever roll in it again?

I wonder if he will roll again in the water if I give him the chance. I ended up working him and not turning him out again with all the water which is now almost gone. We are expecting more rain next week and I am sure it will pool up again and I am also sure I will turn him out again, but he may be done rolling in the water. Haha, I wonder though?

Here is Miss Chloe in the water. I didn’t take a video, but she pawed but did not roll in it on this day. She has rolled in the water before but now that she is older, she rarely even rolls at all let alone in water. She is so sweet and had fun being out on this day.

I forgot to mention that after Murphy rolled in the water he went ahead and rolled in the wet arena dirt. Oh boy, he was so dirty I ended up hosing him off to clean him up. Here is a photo of a very dirty Murph!

This is my December fun here riding my horses and trying to keep up when the weather turns. We are expecting a lot of rain next week and probably a wet Christmas. I can’t say white Christmas because it does not snow at our elevation which is basically sea level. Our local mountains do get tons of snow and as you have seen we have gorgeous views of wintery snow capped mountains. After the rains the air is so clean and crisp, our winters are beautiful in their own way. And in one day you can visit the ocean and smell that salt water, or surf if you are so inclined and in just over an hours drive away (without traffic) you could be sledding down a snowy mountainside. I am always grateful for our weather because I can ride my horses year round and I know there are many places in this world where that is not possible due to inclimate weather. ❤

I have been struggling a tiny bit with Christmas time as there is always a certain amount of stress that I think we all do to ourselves and it is mostly stress in planning stuff. That is what I do to myself. I have my own personal plans as you can see and read here which is doing all the things Diana loves. Which is tending and riding my horses! Haha, and when home I will do house chore’s and take care of my home animals, our dog and cats but then I sit down and cross-stitch or crochet while watching cooking shows or sometimes a movie! It’s all wonderful with the exercise of horse care and horse back riding, and relaxing while creating. BUT what about getting some gifts or planning some dinners!! Hahaha, I do and can make myself get this stuff done, I just have to do it without stressing. Thanks for listening as I am motivating myself by writing this. 😀

I am sure some of you are great planners! or are you like me with a middle name of procrastinator? I will give myself a break because I do work full-time, 40 hours a week so for me there is a lot to fit into each day. I rarely do my crafts during the week as I just don’t have time so there is even more I want to fit into my weekends. I am sitting here writing this thinking I can’t believe there is only 2 more weeks left of 2021. As there are things in the news that are sad, in my bubble I am going to try and enjoy the end of December with as much FUN as I can fit into it and stay safe at the same time, I hope! 😀

As I think of the holidays I am missing my family and I am so thankful for technology and video chats. I had so much fun as we have been video chatting each weekend with my grandkids in AZ. Oh my, they are just so cute and I have so much fun with them. They melt my heart and we have done a gift exchange and will Zoom on Christmas day as we each open the gifts together. It’s so fun having them on our TV set! Speaking of my son and family, he continues to send photos of his kitties cuddling!! CUTENESS!!

The above photo is how I feel sending warm hugs to everyone! These brothers do not disappoint and cuddle each other often. I just love when they send me these wonderful photos and since they are such a handsome pair I can’t resist and need to share! I hope and pray for everyone affected by this virus and pray for our country and mankind. These are crazy times but I can remember growing up having other things that made our world feel crazy, for us old folks out there I am sure you remember too! Let’s take in the beauty and keep smiling for all the good out there and so I will end with this beautiful photo my daughter-in-law took and shared. Let’s enjoy this season to it’s fullest and remember what Christmas is all about. I hope your holidays are filled with peace, joy and happiness! ❤

With Love to all and thank you so much for sharing coffee with me today!

Happy Horse Crazy Grandma,

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; December Already?

Welcome to my coffee share, can I get you a cup of coffee or tea? I decided to share these pretty roses that were blooming last month at the barn where I board my horses. Not only did they catch my eye but caught my nose as well, such beautiful rose smell. Oh how I LOVE the smell of roses! Can you believe it’s December? It is hard to believe it is almost 2022! This week was decoration time and my plan tomorrow is to go through my decorations left in boxes and get rid of all old and not used decorations that I have collected over the years. Our house is decorated inside which I finished today. Can I get you some cookies to go with your beverage? I have some chocolate chip cookies! YUM!

As I finished up my decorating I was rather proud of myself as I was going to toss out a bunch of bows I made from a big roll of green and red ribbon I had bought from Costco some years ago. I made these bows huge because I wanted them to drape down on the tree and our old tree was very big. We had it for almost 20 years and we finally decided to get a new tree, and we decided to get a much smaller tree. It is pre-lit so no more stringing the lights. YAY! I’m not so sure I like the beads I put on it but I Love the smaller bows.

The only thing about pulling the bows tighter and smaller is they are a bit wrinkled, but that’s okay. Hanging on the tree you can’t really tell and I think it finishes it nicely. I want to buy some new bulbs, maybe after Christmas sales I will see what they have and I can purchase for next years tree. I also want to get some hooks for the bows. I just fashioned them in the branches and they will stay but are not attached to the tree at all. I’ll have to see what’s available for hooks when I shop for the sales after Christmas. I didn’t think about that before, but I know they would hang better if I attached hooks.

How are you doing, do you need a refill? We have had some warm weather with it being extremely windy through Thanksgiving. These winds are really warm and are called the Santa Ana winds which come in the fall and winter months. These winds also contribute to our fire season since it is typically so dry in California. We just do not get a lot of moisture here, although the forecast is for rain this next week which we desperately need. Since it does not snow or freeze here, I can ride year round. 😀

I do not take it for granted that we have such great weather. This weekend has been really cool and very foggy. I can’t complain and am welcoming the coolness of the season. With the great weather comes traffic because there is a ton of people who love to live here too! So our freeways are huge and very busy! I’m thankful I live in a small town so the only time I have to deal with the traffic is commuting to work each day. It is so relaxing being at the stables and enjoying my horses, they help keep me centered.

I do have some Murphy news as I had some blood work done when I had the vet out for his winter vaccines. We did a blood test for EPM (Equine protozoa myeloencephalitis). This protozoa crosses the blood brain barrier and lives in the cerebral spinal fluid and the brain. After I adopted him the trainer who I follow talks a lot about EPM and how prevalent it is in the mid-west which is where Murphy is from and so I talked with my vet and he said we should test him. He tested positive for the antibodies and he is not showing any clinical signs and is not considered an active case of EPM which is good. My vet suggests we treat him as there are good medications out there for this disease. He possibly could be completely cured but more importantly since he is only 3 years old this will set him up for a healthy long life. I’m so glad I had him tested.

My horse Zack had EPM so I am no stranger to this with horses. The difference though is Zack was not diagnosed until he was active displaying clinical signs which included tripping and having trouble picking up his front right leg. The protozoa once in the brain when the horse is stressed it can multiply and destroy brain cells. Depending on the area affected they could have vision issues and its why they display problems like tripping, or not being able to pick up a hoof. You can sometimes pull their tail and they will cross their legs which normally they don’t if they don’t have EPM. They have done plenty of studies on this disease and improving the drugs they use to combat it and so I feel like this is going to be good for Murphy.

It’s ironic that he has some leg issues that were vetted before I adopted him. X-rays were taken and none of the issues were going to be a problem, mostly an ugly scar and a splint that is now completely healed so he has a bump on his leg that has calcified. I didn’t think to have his blood tested. Would I have still adopted him if I had known? I’m not really sure. But I have him now and I do love him and he is everything I thought he would be and so onward we go. I’m super happy and so proud of him.

I’m so happy you could join me for my weekend coffee share! ❤ It is fun to share my festive weekend as we are all ready for the holidays. I haven’t done any shopping, something I will do this coming week I hope. Do you buy gifts early before the holidays? We have done this when the kids were little, but don’t do this any more. I have made small gifts before, something you have to plan very early in the year. I have to thank Natalie for hosting the #weekendcoffeeshare and if you would like to visit other coffee shares click here . She has done an awesome job and I can’t believe this year is almost over! Have a wonderful weekend!

Festive Feeling Cowgirl,

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; Nov. 20 ~Horsey Fun!

Welcome, can I get you a cup of coffee? I also have tea or cranrasberry juice if you prefer. I am enjoying this weekend and the nice cool weather that November brings. We live near the Santa Ana River and in our town we can get socked in with fog. This last week we have been having foggy nights as we wake to very cool mornings as the fog slowly burns off for the day. It’s been really nice Fall weather and I am enjoying it immensely!

I have been keeping busy and we are getting ready for Thanksgiving. Can you believe it’s next week? I can’t believe this year is just flying by and as I prepare for next week, we will be decorating for Christmas most likely next weekend. Oh my goodness, then it will be figuring out Christmas presents. We usually pick names in our family which works good, and there is only the 2 grandkids and of course we all get them gifts without them being in the name drawing. I can’t believe how high prices have gotten this year, and it’s getting worse. I’ll just stop on this subject but am hoping inflation doesn’t get any worse! It’s just insane!

On to another topic. Hmm, I wonder what that could be? Haha, it’s horses of course. I have been wanting to share a video I made this last August of a trail ride on my horse Chloe. I was riding alone around the block on a beautiful summer day. I get a little bit tongue tied not remembering what the cross-walk button is called. Haha, I almost wasn’t going to share as it is a bit long (just over 2 minutes) but you can see a good bit of our town and the trails. I love chatting on my video’s so I hope it’s enjoyable. Miss Chloe is such a good girl!

I will say that Miss Chloe and I have really good rides most of the time. But she is a horse that isn’t perfect always. We were out on a short ride recently by ourselves and she saw a horse way in front of her and then it disappeared around a corner! Wait what? Where did it go? Oh DEAR! That was it! She stopped in her tracks and I let her stand for a second and squeezed her forward with my legs and she turned to the left and wanted to turn around. I decided it wasn’t worth it to try and force her somewhere she wasn’t comfortable even though she has been down this trail thousands of times. We turned around and she was a little anxious but calmed down when she realized we were heading home. These kind of rides don’t happen often, but we as a pair need to be smart and take the not so good rides and do our best to make it home safely. We do just fine and almost every ride is just about perfect! ❤

I like to explain my approach to horses just so those of you out there that may have horses know that I don’t have the perfect horses, but I do use training techniques that promotes trust and a good bond between horse and rider. I listen to my horses and I try and make sure we both understand each other. When I work with them each day we are always working on this bond and it is a great joy and very rewarding working with these beautiful animals.

I wanted to share a video of Murphy who on this day felt really good. He usually takes a little bit to warm up and get his energy up enough to run, buck and play! This day last month, he was “feeling his oats” as we like to say! Haha, I hope you enjoy!

He is such a silly boy! Murphy doesn’t always run like this which I am thankful for as I want him to be calm and relaxed. He is definitely on the lazy side, which is what I like and I think will make for a nice trail horse when he gets older. I am mostly riding in the arena as there are many things for him to learn and for him and I to grow that bond together as we work together under saddle. He is so much FUN! ❤

Murphy and I had fun riding this weekend in the arena with my girlfriend on her horse Fashion. She is so beautiful and I recently clipped Fashion with a trace clip to help keep her cool. She grows a very thick winter coat because she has Cushing’s which is a disease that affects their pituitary gland. They often have long or thick coats and they don’t shed as readily. There are many other symptoms but she is on medication which helps her symptoms and she is doing great. She is 25 years old. My friend also rides her out on trail with me and Chloe. She isn’t very good at being a leader so I won’t ride out with her on Murphy. He needs much more arena riding anyways before I ride more out on trail. I am in no hurry with him, and if for some reason the trails are not a good fit for him we will just do arena riding. I am okay either way!

I had FUN making this video! He is so soft!!

I haven’t been sharing as often as I was and so I have all these video’s saved up. So it’s your lucky day and I have 3 video’s in one blog post. (I just can’t help myself making these video’s and sharing.) 😀 I am trying to find my groove with my blogging. I so enjoy my blog, and I also love to interact and read other’s blogs but that takes time. I do not always make it to everyone’s posts, I try my best and I am hoping to get into a better blogging rhythm. That might sound strange, but to me there is kind of an art to blogging and everyone needs to have their blog represent who and what they are passionate about. My favorite blog’s are the ones that their passion shines! ❤

I’ve been reflecting deeply about my blogging as I’ve been away and not sharing like I once did and some of my feelings are not really worth sharing here but for some personal reasons I have been in a really reflecting, deep feeling, maybe even searching my soul type of mood. Haha, call me crazy but I sometimes overthink things and I have finally decided to be me and not worry about “the deep meaning of life” which is part of what I was reflecting on. Oh gosh, I want to be carefree and HAPPY! So enough of all of that stuff, but it was part of the reason I had slowed down on my blogging. I sometimes think it helps to share even though I’m just touching on this subject. I will say I have questioned very deeply my decision to purchase Murphy, but in the end I realized I did the right thing as he brings me GREAT JOY! He will be here when my sweet Chloe won’t be, even though it could be some years from now before we say our goodbyes. I will end with this, as this is what makes me SMILE!

Thank you so much for visiting and sharing coffee with me today!

Loving My Horse Crazy Life,

~Diana ❤

My Weekly Smile; Nov. 15, 2021 Family Fun!

Welcome to my weekly smile post. I am back from a super fun weekend visiting my daughter who lives 3 1/2 hours north in Orcutt, Ca. She is currently a Major in the Space Force and she is stationed at Vandenberg Space Force Base. They have officially changed the name of the base and so here is to a new era of a new branch of our military. We visited Pismo beach and had the best ever cinnamon rolls which I have shared before since we often go there when we visit. The place is called Old West Cinnamon Rolls and oh my, they are so delicious and every time we sit down at the pier to eat them I forget to take a photo of them. Haha, trust me, they are to die for!! 😀

We then went shopping at a local mall as it was recently my youngest sons birthday. Oh, I forgot to mention he came up with me to visit as he hasn’t seen my daughter’s house she is leasing and he hasn’t met her kitty, Evie! He is bad about shopping and buying himself clothes and so we went to Macy’s and they had great sale’s and he got the pants he needed and a new belt. I found a pair of shoes with memory foam that I was looking for at a great price and my daughter ended up buying 2 pair of shoes. A totally fun day! I am always smiling when I can spend time with my family.

Evie is such a friendly cat. I am so incredibly happy my daughter found her and was able to adopt her as she cuddles and plays. She is such a wonderful pet and friend for her and its so fun to visit as she sits on all of our laps and treats us like family! For those of you who don’t have cats, some cats can be really scared or do not like strangers. Then when you visit they just hide under the bed! Haha, we have 2 cats and one of them is like what I described. She will hide until the strange people have gone, but thankfully she will come out if you spend the night. Then she realizes she doesn’t need to be that scared. I just LOVE Evie! ❤

Funny story, my daughter is taking piano lessons. She took lessons as a youngster following in my footsteps as I took lessons for many years (which I followed in my father’s footsteps as he was almost a concert pianist!). I am so proud that she is back taking lessons again. She has a wonderful piano teacher who put together a recital with all of her students. I was so excited and told my daughter I wanted to attend. She said it is a Sunday night and that she didn’t really want me there because she thought that would make her even more nervous. It turns out our visit up there was from Saturday thru to Monday and what a coincidence the recital was this last Sunday evening! We were able to attend, she didn’t mind and even though she was nervous she performed well. Here is a half a minute snippet and a photo at the recital. She played a Chopin Nocturne, one I was not familiar with but it is beautiful.

This teacher explained how this was a casual recital and that it is good to have casual performances to work out the nerves and to have fun with the pieces you play. We are all so hard on ourselves when we perform and I was so pleased to see how encouraging this piano teacher was with all her students. There were many children, I think more boys than girls playing and a handful of adults as well. It was such a joy to see and hear them all! I am SMILING! 😀

This is just a 30 second snippet. I thought it was a beautiful piece but then I just LOVE Chopin and can play many Nocturnes and Preludes. She is doing great and I’ve already said but will say it again, I am so proud of her and for her getting out there and performing this piece. She struggles fitting in all the practice needed since she does work full-time.

I wanted to mention that the gentlemen you can see his head in the video brought the really nice camera and recorded the whole recital. He also played in the recital and takes lessons with his very young son and daughter. They will edit the video and then send to all the students. I think that is so COOL!! Another huge smile on my face today! 😀

On to my last subject, my new craft project. You know I share my crochet projects and I make a ton of crochet things from blankets to crochet animals. After I finished the baby blanket and mailed it off to the Mom who absolutely loved it thankfully, I decided to pick up my cross-stitch. This piece I am working on is the third project in a book of four. They are called Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. I am working on Fall, and you can just make out the beginnings of a barn! I will share photos as I go, and my next blog post I will share the other ones I have completed. I wanted to end with this sunset photo and ask you, what makes you smile?

I hope you all have a wonderful week. I can’t believe Thanksgiving is just over a week away! The time just flies by but I am enjoying each day to it’s fullest. Keep smiling! 😀

Happy Smiling Mom,

~Diana ❤

PastSquare Challenge, Last Day To Join!

I thought I would join one last post with Becky B’s PastSquares’s Challenge for the month of October. This is where we can share our favorite square from a previous theme or if we have leftover squares from a previous theme. It just opens up such a whole bunch of square photo challenges that I have missed in the past and Becky has kindly provided all the square challenges that she has done. It can be a bit overwhelming to decide what to share but I’m going to put something together. I hope you enjoy!

I thought I would try and share one photo of each themed previous square challenge and I am not sure I have all the square photos needed but I’ll give it a try! 😀 I may combine some like I did above for “In The Pink” and “Flowers” pastsquare challenges.

I joined Becky’s square challenges late last year and have enjoyed sharing photos that I make square in shape and fit the theme’s she provides. The “Tree” theme was one of my favorites and so is this photo above! As I look at the list of past theme’s, I am not sure I have photos to represent all theme’s. But I know looking at something that isn’t exactly the name of the theme we can use our imagination a bit to “fit” a photo into a theme. You will see what I mean as I progress and see what I can find in my archives.

This photo is taken at the barn where I board my horses not far from my house in my hometown. This was taken last winter and I may have used it in a previous challenge. I can tell you that I don’t have time to research where and when I’ve shared all these photos, could be coffee shares, smile posts or trail rides! Haha, or challenge posts! How fun to share again!

This is turning out to be fun looking through my archives, like I am on a treasure hunt and I am checking off the boxes of each themed box! I don’t really take many photos of roofs, so this one will work just fine and I just love the perspective as how huge and close those mountains appear when they are covered with snow. This is taken on the street I live on about 2 years ago when we had a lot of rain which in turn means a lot of snow in our local mountains. A sweet photo! ❤

Haha, I get so excited over the silliest things. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the lines in this portable cage for the guinea pigs. I take care of my daughter’s guinea pigs from time to time and we have to put them in here so we can clean their cage. I combined another two themes above for the theme “Bright” and the theme “Blue”. I’m wondering, can I find photos for all the themes? What’s next?

I did it! I didn’t present them in any particular order but I think I got them all from the list provided, I’ve shared every theme. Here is the list I used and I hope I didn’t miss anything but I’m very close if I did. Flowers, Sky, Circles and Squares, Roofs, Time, Spiky, Blue, Lines and Words containing the word light. There is Top, Perspectives and Kinda, Up, Bright and Trees. This was a ton of FUN and I hope you enjoy and I am so happy to join in on Becky’s wonderful Challenge of #PastSquare Challenge! Thank you so much for visiting! AND Thank you Becky!!

Squaring with Photos!

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; October 24, 2021

Howdy! How are you doing, can I get you a cup of coffee or tea? It’s very gloomy outside but it’s a good gloomy because we have lots of clouds and are expecting some much needed rain! Tomorrow it is to rain almost all day and we really need the rain in our dry climate here in California. I have some small cupcakes for a snack to go with the coffee, can I get you one? I didn’t make them but they are really good. It was my birthday this last week and my hubby picked up the cupcakes so I didn’t have to bake for myself. I’m the only baker at home. 😀

I can’t believe there is only one more week left of October, but it’s been a very fun month. A couple weeks ago I went to Arizona to see my son and his family and I was there with my daughter who bought tickets to a comedy show. I went to babysit for that evening and it was so fun watching movies with my grand daughter and grand son. Well, my grand son went to bed and was super easy to put down which I was thankful for since he’s 19 months old and I know at that age they can be a handful. But they have a wonderful routine and that helps so much with young children. I had a blast and I’ll share a few photos.

Wolfie remembers my daughter!! He slept with her while we stayed the two nights for our weekend visit. For those of you who follow me will remember Wolfie’s brother Dublin is my son and daughter-in-laws kitty. My daughter tried to have Wolfie live with her but he was a handful and actually was eating her guinea pig hay and there were other problems and so we did some kitty swapping. I took 2 cat’s my son had (two sisters) and Wolfie was brought to live with his brother in AZ. Now my daughter adopted a beautiful black kitty she named Evie. We are all happy and the cats are all happy too! Thought I’d fill ya’ll in again and for any new followers. Haha, it was a bit of kitty drama at the time when we went through the exchanges!!

I had such a nice weekend and when I returned home my sister from Idaho came back to town with her husband because it was her husbands 40th High School reunion. It was so fun because this is my sister who also rides horses and who is the sister I adopted my horse Zack. She couldn’t take him to Idaho, so I kept him and had him until earlier this year when he passed. Now, her and I are having fun with my new horse Murphy! Together she is reminding me about bringing along a young horse. Since he is almost 3 1/2 years old now, he is learning so much every time I ride. He is like a sponge, soaking up all that he is learning. I was able to take some photos when Sharon rode and I will share a video I took as well. We had so much fun as we also took him out on some trail rides too!

Can I get you a refill on your coffee or tea? We have some Halloween candy too. We do not have Trick or Treaters in our neighborhood because it is considered a rural area. We do not have any street lights and the houses are a bit far apart so we do not have any kids that walk any of the neighborhoods in this area. They all usually drive to local residential areas to Trick or Treat. So we usually buy ourselves a couple of small bags of candy and we buy our favorites! Usually they are chocolates of some kind. YUMMY!

Back to the horses, sorry I got off on a tangent but you know, candy is always worth talking about and more importantly consuming! Haha! I was so happy I took my phone with me into the arena when I asked my sister if she wanted to ride Murphy. That’s when I was able to take these photos and the video I will share. After the arena we went out on a short trail ride and I was able to take a couple of photos out there as well. I am so proud of him and I thanked my sister so much for all her help and encouragement as he is coming along nicely.

My sister riding Murphy and he is so relaxed and now I have him on video cantering to the right. He is doing great!

I am so enjoying my time here with you and I am also enjoying celebrating my birthday this last week. My family in Arizona sent me a bouquet of flowers, they are so beautiful and smell wonderful! They arrived Saturday and my daughter sent me some fun Star Wars things as I Love all things Star Wars! Including a coloring book, The Princess Diaries by Carrie Fisher to read and these cool light saber earrings! Yes, I am a geek when it comes to Star Wars!! My hubby got me a cool Disney cookbook. I have a small collection of specialty cookbooks so this is a nice addition. I will finish up with these last photos.

I am a happy Grandma, Mom, wife and horse crazy gal! Thank you Natalie for hosting the #weekendcoffeeshare! I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead and thank you for visiting with me today. 😀

~Diana ❤

Smiling And Past Squares!

I wanted to share a smile post this week and as I thought about smiling I thought I could also share this post with Becky B’s Past Square challenge for the month of October. Since she picked the theme “past squares” we could use past photo’s from other square challenges or use things from our past that we want to share or re-share. I’ll be going through my archives to retrieve photos that I wanted to share that make me smile and they will all be selfies.

I am not sure why I like selfies so much, but I do, they make me smile 😀 and selfies and horses are hard! I should stand in front of them and then take the photo, but I usually try to squeeze their enormous head next to mine, haha, which is really difficult. It is really fun to try and here are a few more selfies!

I am sorry the first two photos are rather huge but I made them both square. The three together are not square but I found out that’s okay. I have a few more selfies I will share and they are with my grandkids. I have slowed down my selfie taking with them partly because I’ve slowed down taking photos of them in general. I think when I visit my grandkids I am trying to spend quality time and so I don’t think to pull out the camera (my phone) and so the time zooms by while visiting. My son has been taking some awesome photos and sending them to me so I am not missing out too much. I make a photo book each year of the grandkids and so I can use his photos too!

I just realized that I do not have any selfies of me and my sons. Guys are just busy doing their thing as I just don’t think to ask them to stand with me for a selfie. I think they would say what? Why do you want a selfie Mom! Haha, I am joking as I really don’t know what they would say but I never think to ask or make a selfie with them. I do have a few with my husband. Let me see if I can find a good one to end my post.

I so enjoyed sharing and as I am thinking about what makes me smile, these silly photos always bring a smile to my face. And it is great to look back into the past and re-share fun times. Oh wait, I hear Chloe asking to end this post and she says Smile, it will make you feel good! ❤

Selfie Silly Grandma,

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; It’s October, My Favorite Month!

Welcome to my coffee share, can I get you a cup of coffee or tea? I am remembering summer as I share these wild flowers from my girlfriend. She has shared with me some beautiful photos of her flowers in bloom. She knows I have a LOVE for all flower photos, I could actually have a separate blog just for flowers except then I would have trouble keeping up so I’ll just share them from time to time here on this blog, my one and only blog. Can you believe it’s October? I can’t believe it as September just zipped by and here we are starting a new month. I have had Murphy for over 4 months now and he is learning and growing and is so much FUN! 😀

When Murphy arrived I took my time getting to know him as he got to know me and remember, he needed time to heal up a splint bone fracture. It is completely healed and he is perfectly sound and it is a non issue. But that time was well spent as he learned our routine. I could have done this earlier but never seemed to have enough time in my day to do some extra trimming and this weekend I was able to trim up his mane. Some people leave their manes natural and let it grow long. I prefer to have it shortened and an even length across his neck. I think it could be even shorter but that would have taken me longer and he stood so well while I spent the 30 to 40 minutes it took me to shorten his mane. When he first arrived, he did not stand still very long and was restless as he got to know our routine. Now he has gained great patience, I am very proud of him!

As I share my horsey stuff which includes riding Murphy in the arena and Miss Chloe on the trails, I am looking forward to a visit to Arizona to see my family. My daughter bought tickets to a comedian show in Arizona and is treating her brother and his wife. I asked if they needed a babysitter and they said Yes! So we will head out to AZ this coming Thursday and spend the weekend until Sunday. My son has some new games that we all can play together and Alice can join us playing some of these games too. I am looking forward to a fun game night with our visit. My son found a fun small water park for the kids and I look forward to taking them there as well. My son sent me this photo of them just the other day and I thought I would share. 😀

Oh how they melt my heart! I have the hugest smile on my face right now! I have to say they are two such different children which makes sense. Alice is so sweet and cuddly. Loves hugs and attention. Teddy is very much the opposite, as independent as they come getting into everything and is not cuddly, so curious and very busy. Of course, he doesn’t know me as well as Alice got to know me at his age but he is all boy. Climbs up on everything and is as smart as they come. He will push chairs over to climb up on the countertop, he is such a handful and then some!! He is not even 2 yrs old yet and I would say has already had a few of those terrible twos temper tantrums. He will turn 2 in February. My goodness, they grow up fast! ❤

Thank you for visiting with me today and I so enjoyed your company. Do you have any travel plans? I am enjoying being able to have these long weekend get-a-way’s. I also am looking forward to my sister who lives in Idaho to visit again in a couple weeks. She is my horsey sister so we will have fun riding together again! Her husband is coming with her this time as he has a reunion to attend and she decided to come and visit too.

I want to thank Natalie for hosting our #weekendcoffeeshare link up and if you want to visit her blog or other weekend coffee shares I’ll add a link here. I hope you all have a wonderful week and I will see you again in two weeks time since I will be traveling this next weekend. Take care and stay safe out there!

Horse Crazy Grandma,

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; A New Video With Murph, and Crochet Fun!

Howdy! can I get you a cup of coffee or tea? I don’t have any fancy pumpkin spice coffee but I have a nice breakfast blend I really like that tastes nice with my sweet Italian cream. I am enjoying my weekends and with that I mean I really enjoy weekends! I have not had every weekend off in about 20 years. I have been at my new job now for 10 months and I honestly am still feeling like I am on a super duper really long vacation being able to sleep every single night. I recently had one of those nights where my thoughts were running strong and I had trouble falling asleep, darn it all! But the sleep I finally got was good enough to get me through the next day. I use to struggle with sleep often, and just made it work when I was working night/graveyard shift hours. I do not know how I did it for so many years! So I am truly grateful for my new job and the swing shift hours I work! YAY! 😀

I am super happy I am almost done with this baby blanket I am making for a really good friend. She is actually my daughter’s best friend who had a baby girl some months ago and I am finally getting this completed. I think it is beautiful and am finishing up tieing off all the lose ends before I will send it to her and I thought I would share a couple of photos! I love to crochet as it’s relaxing and I so enjoy creating things with all this beautiful yarn!

I know the colors I chose are not the most “baby” but in person it is a pretty blanket. I added the soft rose pink around the edges to help bring out the subtle pink woven with the grey/tan/pink variegated yarn. It looks antique like to me and came together beautifully. I like to try different colors and my daughter said her colors in her nursery are pink and grey. I might have brought a little too much grey into the picture with this blanket, but I know she will appreciate it being hand made with Love! It is definitely my favorite baby blanket pattern as this is my fourth one I’ve made and no two are alike! ❤

I am enjoying trail riding on my girl Chloe. She is such a trooper and is definitely one of those horses that enjoys the trails. I am in no hurry riding Murphy out on the trails. He is too young at this time to travel out there by himself and I am having a ton of fun working on things with him in the arena. I will go out if there is a friend available at the barn to ride with me, but it is not something I am doing a lot of since he needs a lot of time in the arena learning important aides which help us both communicate. It really helps to have a good working relationship with your horse so that the trust and bonds are strong. I do have a video I want to share of Murphy and I in the arena!

He is getting better and better learning a little something every ride!

My hubby came to the stables to help with a few things and when he arrived I was riding in the arena. I asked him to take a video and he doesn’t take many videos and tried to zoom in and didn’t realize there is an easy button on the camera to just tap for a quick zoom. I tried a few times to edit the video and got frustrated and decided to just leave it so there is a little jumble in it where it zooms too close and then he moves it out a bit. I Love it anyways, and I can see the difference in just a month or so of him being at a steady speed and him and I looking relaxed and together each stride. Murphy is so FUN!!

Can I get you a refill? I have a few more photo’s to share as I just love taking photos of these ponies and I also enjoy sharing them with you all. I decided to ride one horse one day and the other the next which is working out great. There are some days where they both just get the day off which is good for them too. I can ride both every day but I only have so many hours available before I have to go to work at 2pm. It is working out well, with every other day. I turn out on the days they aren’t ridden. They are very spoiled horses, and I have to tell you they are fun to spoil! ❤

He makes me giggle, Mr. Murphy has such a personality. He is learning our routine’s which is so great as then we have a good working relationship. He is so very smart and it is fun to watch him grow. Today when I took him out he had a scraped up hip. He took off all the hair and it had a little bit of blood but not much. After examining it we noticed some red paint near the wound and after searching his stall as to what happened I found the hair on the barn stall opening heading out to his paddock. He had cut the corner too tight heading out back and scraped his hip on the side of the barn! YIKES! and OUCH! I put some silver spray on the wound which is like a liquid band aide that dries silver. It is superficial and I hope he is more careful going in and out of his barn stall! He is so big and tall, I am not too surprised and if he was in a hurry or spooked when heading out, that could be why he caught his hip. I hope he will be more careful, but he’s a horse and probably needs to be bubble wrapped! Joking, we all joke about that! 😀

Thank you for stopping by for the chat! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and I can’t believe this is the last week of September! WAIT WHAT? How did this month fly by! Thank you to Natalie who hosts our #weekendcoffeeshare link up.

Crochet Loving English Riding Cowgirl!

~Diana ❤