Christmas Adventures!

I am enjoying my Christmas adventures this year as I started out by baking cookies and goodies for a few friends and coworkers. I had fun baking and wish I had more time to bake more fun things. I was limited by time though, with work and everything I needed to get done it gave me little time to squeeze in baking, but I did get it done and I tried to make a few different goodies! 😀

Super easy all in one bowl brownie being mixed.
Fresh from the oven!

I ended up making everything from scratch, brownies with some extra chocolate adding a cup of chocolate chip cookies, butterscotch blonde brownies, oatmeal cookies with craisin’s, white and dark chocolate chips, and ginger cookies. The butterscotch brownies were really good and do not taste like butterscotch really since they melt into the brownie and it is delicious!

I forgot I took this photo of my extra added chocolate. This recipe is from Hershey using 
Hershey’s cocoa powder. It’s called Hershey’s Best Brownies, just google to find recipe!

I have read that a blog or writings should stick to one theme and I have a rather large encompassing theme called my life and so my writings might start out as one thing or on one topic and I do try to tie everything together and wrap up my thoughts and feelings in a way so that I think I make sense as I really find my writings rather therapeutic and to be honest it really is all an adventure no matter what we do right?

As I sit here writing this it is Christmas night and I can’t sleep. You see we will be leaving in the morning to go back home to California, so as I toss and turn I know my heart will ache to say goodbye to my family here in Arizona. I am so fortunate as my whole family, all three of my children with spouses in tow all came to Arizona where my son now lives so we all could celebrate Christmas together. We had a great day, enjoying the gift giving and wonderful food and even more special, time together.

My heart goes out to my daughter-in-law as on our first day here we went out to a mall to do some last minute shopping and with all of us together my little granddaughter looked like she was walking up to her auntie but then turned like she might walk into the street so her Mom rushed to grab her and slipped and fell and twisted her ankle and also got a hairline fracture near the end of her tibia. She has been in a lot of pain and bless her heart as we invade her house, well not invade, as she and my son have always made their house feel like our home too….. But I have to just say, prayers for a fast recovery and for the pain to subside soon. ❤ ❤ ❤

So peaceful Christmas morning as I sit waiting for everyone to join me!
She is an only child and an only grandchild so I don’t think it’s too many gifts! 😀
She is ADORABLE, they all are at this age!

We had so much fun watching this cutie pie open all her presents. She is 3 years old and she is really speaking well so this is a really fun Christmas as she knows what is going on. It is so fun to see Christmas through a child’s eye, this is just a really fun age. It will only get better the older she gets, and I know I could share a ton of photos but these suffice and I just LOVE her so very much. She just melts my heart! ❤

I am trying very hard not to be stressed out about our move to Arizona. But of course it is natural to feel this way as it is a big move not only for house and home but for my two very large creatures, my horses. I absolutely love where I currently board and we have done some searching here for horse property but it is turning out to be pretty expensive and I am not opposed to boarding in Arizona as it will help with new friendships and possible riding friends. I would also have connections at a boarding facility for farriers and veterinarians. I know I can find these things if I kept the horses on my property, but we are thinking it may be a stretch for us to afford horse property in the area we want to live. We are not done looking and we should really reach out to a realtor who knows the area. I see many trips to Arizona in the coming months to pin down everything and make these crucial decisions!!

Arizona sunsets I am told are a daily thing!
Same photo as above only I zoomed in which isn’t too bad from my phone camera!
Absolutely surreal, I just can’t believe these Arizona sunsets! LOVE them! ❤

I have so many wonderful photos, I am thinking I will have to write again soon or maybe it isn’t too bad having a lot of photos on one blog? You are certainly welcome if you’d like to comment as I love sharing my photos and I know I have been told to keep them coming.

This particular blog has a lot since I am compacting two weeks into one blog post. But I will definitely write again soon and I have one last photo I want to share as it just puts a huge giant smile on my face. I have to say it’s my family that makes my brain work on overdrive trying to not freak out about everything and to just take one day at a time and I know everything will work itself out one way or another. And I don’t mean my family freaks me out it is my motivation for my family that makes me want to get to my final destination, they are all so important to me and I know I tell them all the time!!

This is what puts a huge giant smile on my face, my daughter and granddaughter. I just want to squeeze them and hug them all day long. I’m crazy like that!

Thank you for reading this rather crazy put together blog. I wanted to write last weekend about my love of baking and I don’t want to miss the holiday season so I will just make this a little longer than my normal blogs. I so enjoy writing and interacting with who ever would like to comment. I also know that even though I can’t control everything in this life there is a lot that we can and even though there are decisions that are difficult, they will happen and all in good time. Bless you all and I hope this holiday season has treated each and everyone of you well. ❤

Lovingly,

Diana

Hanging out with my Horses!

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This is Miss Chloe looking for a treat! She is such a sweetheart. ❤

I am enjoying my morning with these fine animals. My horses desperately need exercise but we have had more windy days in the last 2 weeks than not which makes it difficult to get them out and moving. I usually take them out on the trail which is fun for us both and less boring than just riding around in a circle in the arena! And of course it is great fun to ride with a partner when we can, having so much fun talking and riding on the trails. But it can be dangerous riding on these windy days for many reasons. Not only is there flying debris, the horses can spook at any number of things and we ride on trails that go along the streets so we don’t want to end up in the street from a spook. So we wait until the wind subsides, one more day and hopefully the wind will stay away for a long while.  Fingers crossed!

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I really like this photo of Zack. I was having fun taking photos today. I tried some straight on shots I will share too that I am not sure if I like as much as these side shots. 

I worked them loose and I usually make them trot and sometimes canter. With the wind they usually do not use the whole arena staying at one end in a smaller circle. I also have my girlfriends horse loose with mine, her name is Gracie. I had them exercising for so long that they ended up just walking and as they were walking they ended up walking in a circle and it reminded me of a merry-go-round, silly ponies. But they really need to move as they all have arthritis or stiffness of some sort. So we were out there walking and walking and me playing photographer! Haha, I try. I thought I would try some straight on shots and I will just group the photos together. I think when I look at them it looks like one eye is not open or their eyes are closed, I can’t decide.  😀 😀 😀

Miss Chloe, Gracie and Zack face front! I think this is goofy and FUN!

I had fun today trying different angles! Can you tell I was bored? HAHA! it is so windy you can’t even hardly groom them. I did a little, but there really isn’t much to do other than making them go around in a circle in the arena. My stalls I usually groom with the rake or pitchfork but all my shavings are blowing away and I don’t want to touch what I have left. Believe it or not there are still some left in my stalls. BUT a lot of shavings are blowing away and are out in the aisle way or further. I’ll just buy more when the wind stops, if it stops, it will stop, eventually. I also want to share my LOVE of these ponies with a photo of my granddaughter who came for a quick visit this last weekend. They had business to attend to, her mom and dad and then they had to return to Arizona. Of course I took Alice to the stables for a quick ride on the ponies. Here she is on Chloe and Zack! Her and I definitely share the love, we are HORSE CRAZY! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

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She is SO BEAUTIFUL! But then I am biased, my granddaughter on Chloe! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!

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How can this not make you SMILE! Adorable, I think I need to print and frame these! ❤

I so enjoyed sharing my horses with you all today and I hope you enjoyed my photos. I had so much fun taking them and I am feeling warm, happy and blessed. I am thankful for everything we have and definitely appreciate this fun-filled life of mine.

 

Grateful, humbled, loving life –

-Diana

 

Moving in the Air!

I am home alone! I don’t know when the last time I was home alone, I can’t remember. It’s so strange, I am always with someone and have never lived on my own and alone. I know there are many people who live alone and I have to say I have never experienced this and have always been surrounded by family of some sort. I have never thought about that until now. The reason I am home alone is because my husband and youngest son left today to drive to Santa Maria, CA to help my daughter and her husband move from there to a city to the south called Lompoc. They decided to rent a newer house on the other side of town, so they are moving this week. They already picked up the truck this afternoon! I’m so excited for them as even though it’s a pain to move, I know they will love a newer house with a nice big kitchen. My daughter loves to cook and especially bake, so this will be so nice for them! 😀

I can’t wait to visit too! I will be here for another day and leave Thursday morning to drive up there to help her unpack. My hubby and son there will spend one more night so we will be together and then they will come home Friday and I will stay til Sunday.  It will be so nice to get away and spend some time with my daughter, I wish I could take more days off but at least I will have a good three days or so. It is about a three and a half hour drive up to Lompoc with no traffic so more like a four-hour drive as there is usually some traffic, but we do try to travel during less traffic times which is usually the middle of the day or later in the evening. We will be doing day driving.

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This is my daughter Linea and her husband James who we are helping move this week/weekend. This photo is a few months old as we see each other about every other month, I need to take more photos!! I have to tell you that this week is busy and FUN and in two weeks from now my son Harrison and his family is moving to Scottsdale, Arizona! I am a proud Mama as he has been hired at the Mayo Clinic as a Medical Physicist Assistant. It is a bit stressful for them as they are waiting to hear if they are able to rent or lease a house that they put a deposit on as they were out there last week looking for housing. He reports to work there October 22 and his wife was able to get her job transferred out there in Phoenix too, which is great news. My husband will be helping them move including driving there in two weeks! Such a busy month for everyone, crazy days. I pray all goes smooth for them as there is so much to be done for their move to Arizona. I have a photo that I actually LOVE of them and I hope they do not mind me sharing on my blog. They are such a great family! ❤ ❤ ❤

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Life is full of changes and changes I have to accept no matter how hard they may be and one of the biggest things I am going to miss is this cutie-patutie there sticking her tongue out! Her HUGS, her LAUGHTER, her stories, her innocence and seeing the world through her eyes. I am so VERY THANKFUL for the last three years. I have been able to spend so much time with her and hope to be close to them in the future, just need to figure everything out here before we get things moving into the direction of moving. But they are only an hours flight away and I know I will be visiting often. It is a five-hour drive which isn’t bad, but there are many flights almost every hour to Phoenix so I will probably fly mostly.  I have to share a few more photos, I may have shared before but it is worth sharing again. So darn cute! ❤

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Haha, up close and personal!! She is so funny as I try to do a selfie and she was being so silly. OH, HOW SHE IS GOING TO MISS THE HORSES!! I am hoping that one day next year some time we can make the move to Phoenix. I worry about Chloe as she has a bad back leg and am not sure if she can make the trailer ride for five hours to Phoenix. I will have my vet check her out and see what he thinks of her situation but I can’t stress out about all the details. We need to just make sure we get this young family safely moved and then we will see what will happen next year. Love my family, love my life, lots of changes. It will all work out and I know everyone will love their new digs!! 😀 😀 😀

 

Crazy moving family days!

-Diana

My Horsey Friends!

 

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I LOVE all my horsey friends. This is my best friend Sally who owns a beautiful chestnut mare named Gracie. She has had Gracie for over 15 years and Gracie is now 26 years old this year.  I have known Sally since Elementary school, shall we say for over 50 years!! Haha, we are getting old but we are always feeling young when we get to the barn and get our horses out for our trail ride. I am truly blessed and so lucky that Sally shares my LOVE of horses and am lucky she moved her horse out to our horse town of Norco many years ago. We have been riding together like we did when we were teenagers, and I enjoy every minute of every ride together. Here are a few more photos of this day, which happened to be Sally’s birthday! ❤ ❤ ❤

There are many other friends at our barn where we ride. We are all older women sharing our love of these beautiful animals, helping each other out and keeping an eye out on each others ponies while we are at the barn.  I’ve ridden with many people over the years and we have a great group of women at this barn that I am currently boarding at and I feel so lucky that we all get along so well.  As barns go this is definitely one of the best boarding facilities, it is so beautiful with all the grass that is grown to help reduce the dust, and the stalls are huge which can be hard to find. I will say that it hasn’t always been perfect as far as getting along with everyone, but we are all human beings and so there has been some ruffled feathers here and there but am so thankful that we have all been able to work out our differences. We wouldn’t be human if I were to say it has always been nothing but bliss and happiness. We are all very happy now, that is the important thing. I hope and pray it stays that way!!

Here are a few more photos of a ride and Sally is riding my mare Chloe on this ride and our good friend Jane is on her newer horse Irish and I am on Zack taking the photos. Irish is a beautiful chestnut Morgan and Jane has owned him for a year now and they are doing so great together. Jane use to have two Arabs but unfortunately they grew old and have passed over the rainbow bridge as they say and Jane asked for our guidance to buy a new horse. I suggested a Morgan as I had a great Morgan gelding named Ranger and he was the best horse, such a heart of gold and so fun to ride and own! I love Morgans, and Jane has a handsome boy. He is brave and only 6 years old this year but Jane is putting some nice trail miles on him and I believe he gets better every day. I know he is the love of her life as she LOVES horses as much as Sally and I do, its just what completes us and touches our souls.

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I can’t write about my horsey friends without mentioning my girlfriend Peggy who is a great author and has recently moved to Yellowstone National Park! Her husband got a full-time job working as a craftsman at Old Faithful Inn. He may have a more prestigious job title, I apologise in advance for not knowing, but I’ve seen some of his work on the Inn and he does amazing work restoring and keeping the Inn in top shape. They will be enjoying their first year there this year including their winters which get a ton of snow. I so admire Peggy and her family and I helped take care of her pony Mel who is pictured here. I love this selfie she took with her pony who was shipped to Montana just a few weeks back. It was a bit of an ordeal for her to have to find a place for him to live or board as she can’t have him at the park and then planning on the shipping with coordinating with the Vet for needed blood work for the trip, We made it all work and I got to meet up with Peggy last weekend and it was so great to see her. I’m so happy to see her dream come true!! She is at home in her Yellowstone and I hope having her pony near her gives her some peace! I met her through her horses and mine many years ago, horse lovers FOREVER and friends FOREVER TOO! ❤

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I can’t write about horsey friends without including my buddy, my granddaughter, Alice! She is such a horse lover born with horses running through her veins! Haha, she is just exactly like I was at that age, so we are kindred spirits. I feel like I keep repeating myself which I do, as I keep saying how blessed I am to have so much happiness in all who share my joys! Doesn’t her smile just melt your heart? Oh my, she is such a JOY! And my horses love her, they are so good around her, they just know how little she is and are so kind. Here is another photo of her, yes, she loves Chloe VERY MUCH! ❤ ❤ ❤

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AWE, Adorable, She’s in her happy place and so am I.  I hope you enjoyed my horsey friends! I know I enjoy them each and every day I get to be with them. Do you have friends that you enjoy hanging with and doing something special? This is what I live for and it helps keep me sane. Horses are definitely like therapy, and am thankful I can share and I hope to continue to share them with my friends and family.

Horse crazy loving life Grammy,

-Diana

Horses and a Foal, Grandaughter’s delight!

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HAHA! The photo has character I’d say, a little sideways but FUN! A friend took this photo as I stood at the gate as my granddaughter gets to visit the new foal at our barn. My granddaughter just turned 3 years old and she just loves horses like I did at that age, I was completely obsessed. I think its safe to say that Alice is completely obsessed with horses too! We have such a great time when we are at the barn her and I, as we go and visit almost every horse in their stalls. We see all the different breeds and colors. I just had to share a few photos of these two little ones!!

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So precious these little ones, and I am thinking I am glad I get to see this little filly here at our barn as it is such a responsibility to have a foal. I bought my horse Chloe when she was just turning 2 years old, the youngest horse I’ve ever owned. And she was not trained or broke to ride so I had the enjoyment of being able to do that with her, a dream I always had that is now fulfilled. Breeding and having a foal? I’m not so sure as it would be my luck to not be lucky enough to have everything go smoothly. It can be a costly adventure, I rather enjoy others and someday if I have the chance I can just start another 2 or 3-year-old. I’m thankful Alice can see a young horse up close, I don’t think you can get any closer!  😀

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This is a very hot summer, hotter than we have had in a few years. I’m finding I have to rinse my horses off just about every day to make them comfortable. Even if they are not worked or ridden on the trail I am hosing off the dried sweat of the previous afternoons the next morning. They itch and scratch along the fence line with the dried sweat so I try to get that off as often as I can. I need to go buy some lanolin which I usually keep on hand. They sell in concentrate and you dilute in a spray bottle and it is so helpful to moisturize their skin especially if you hose them off a lot as I know you are also hosing off the natural oils in their coat. It’s like a double edge sword, you want to get off the itchy dry salty sweat but you also remove the oils too. I’m heading to the feed store tomorrow for sure! This pretty girl got a bath today and she so enjoyed standing in the shade in the cross ties getting a nice bath. It was a gorgeous day at the barn, enjoying a ride on my other horse Zack and gave Chloe a bath! I hope you all had a great weekend!  ❤ ❤ ❤

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Horse lover forever,

-Diana

Keeping Up, One Day at a Time!

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Have you ever felt so busy that you wonder how can I keep up? I feel this way often and just when I feel like I’ve caught up, I’m actually behind! My sweet hubby bought me these beautiful flowers, so colorful with this wonderful card which has such great advice. One day at a time, one step at a time….. Let’s take a deep breath and say it again. One day at a time, one step at a time. We can do this, we should not let our crazy busy lives spiral out of control. It may be you do not have this problem, but there are many of us that our plate is so full its overflowing. So full we do not know how we do all that we do, and this is what I’ll be writing about today. MY BUSY LIFE! CRAZY, FULL, FUN, SATISFYING most days, and I will say I feel blessed, even though I also want to say Whoa, let’s slow down just a little bit please! 😀

I work full-time at a Veterinary laboratory on the night shift. I have been working night shift for some 35 years, and even though I had a couple of breaks from night shift work I actually prefer the shift and being the supervisor of my department at the lab this shift works best. As many who have read my blogs know, I own 2 horses and working night shift has enabled me to be able to see and take care of my horses on a daily basis. I sleep in the late afternoons into the evenings and so I feel like I do get some of my sleep at night, its just early evening and not all night. But it does make for a crazy schedule and the pressure of being the supervisor rears its ugly head when things go awry and so I need to remember to take one day at a time. I have been working on some projects at work that has pulled my crew together as we join forces in keeping the department running smoothly and more accurately we are all working hard to do better at our jobs. I don’t want to get into the details as I’m sure this can all get a bit boring, suffice it to say that I feel personally that the affects of my broken arm from last September bled into my work or lack of it and so I had to take the bull by the horns and get serious and get things in line. I feel very confident at work now, things are all going in the right direction!

But for all my hard work I then get to enjoy these incredible animals!!

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Zack is so fun to ride and I wish I had more time to ride him! Something that I find hard to fit into my busy schedule. I did have time the other day and he is so FUN to ride English in the arena. He has such a great trot, a nice gate that when riding English its a great workout for me as I post along doing figure eights with him and moving on and off the rail. I canter sometimes, but I rather trot and he moves out well and I know it is a nice work out for him as well. I tell myself on any given week, I am going to ride him twice or three times this week…. sigh…. I am lucky to ride him once a week. One day at a time… Oh well, he is retired and I do get him out every day for a turn out but riding is not as regular. We are doing okay with that I think and his weight looks good and I think his muscle tone is okay too. He makes me smile! ❤

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I also fit into my schedule babysitting my grand daughter Alice! Oh my how she melts my heart and she just loves grandma’s horses and with the help of my girlfriend Sally, we went riding the other day and my girlfriend took this photo of Alice and I on my horse Chloe! I have had Chloe since she was 2 years old and she is turning 14 years old this year. Chloe and I can read each others thoughts, maybe not word for word but darn near close to it as we have such a close bond, for any horse lover out there it is incredible. Chloe absolutely loves people and especially children. She is so patient and kind and we had so much fun just walking around the arena on this day. These are my favorite days, a true blessing to be able to enjoy my horses with my friends and family. I have to work hard for what I have but it is worth all my efforts and I take full advantage of my morning hours with my ponies. ❤ ❤ ❤

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And I have managed to fit in gardening. I love being outside and it thrills me to see it grow, but this heat can be daunting. I have to tell myself one day at a time…. I probably didn’t feed my garden as well as I should have so we will see what grows, but I also have some containers and am planning on planting more and I will manage to squeeze in watering and enjoying watching my garden grow! I also spend time crocheting and I have made many crochet animals, Star Wars characters (my favorite!) and many more items. Scarfs, small purses and I’m working on a shawl. I’ve made baby blankets and baby dresses, the list goes on and on…. I also have done a ton of cross-stitch but have not done that in some years prefering crochet as the projects are completed much faster!!

Lastly, I am trying to find time to blog!! I so enjoy writing, AND I would love to write more but I do find it hard to find the time! Oh my, I can’t imagine writing every day. I would want it to be readable and enjoyable and so here I am hoping you are enjoying my busy day. I am getting really tired as it is my day off and I’ve been up all night last night. I use to take naps during the day, but as I’ve grown older I seem to be able to stay up but it’s getting late in the evening so I will turn in soon. I know some of you may not be that busy and I’m rather envious of you, but those of you that have an overflowing plate will relate and so I hope you all can take – One Day At A Time – and enjoy that day fully!! 😀

Love, Di-

She Has No Fear!

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Can you tell she loves to RIDE! She is a natural and has no fear, loving everything about horses. Zack is so nice and relaxed and loving the attention as I lead him around with her getting a ride. We were actually done here and so I didn’t try to get him to look at me as he stood so relaxed, relaxed ears not looking forward but not a bit disagreeable. I adopted Zack from my sister who use to use Zack as a mounted patrol horse with the Chino Police dept. It was all volunteer work but she has had him at events where there’s been a lot of children running around and she told me he acted like he wanted to bite at them. We are not sure what he was thinking, maybe he thought this is a game? but he didn’t seem to like them much and so I have been taking my time with Alice and Zack. He has been very kind and patient, and I have not seen any meanness coming from him but I don’t over do it with their contact and I am teaching Alice to be respectful around him. My mare, Miss Chloe has the “patience of Job” and LOVES people and children. She loves on her in many ways and I have complete confidence she watches out for this sweet little girl. ❤

Miss Alice rides a lot of horses these days, one lucky little girl as my girlfriend Sally walks around with her on her horse Gracie. I walk with her on Miss Chloe and Zack and then occassionally she will ride with Sally pictured here. She is getting her fill of horses each day she comes to the stables and I am hoping she will be a very good horse rider and enjoy them with me since I do have two so I can share them with her as she grows. I know someday they will be too old or too slow for her but I have a lot of years to go with her and my beautiful ponies! 😀

I have to share her discovery of band-aids as she has fallen on her knees this past week. Her other Grandma babysits her as well and she got a small boo-boo at her house and so she decided to put on a band-aid to quiet her down so that is the big band-aid. And then at my house she had the smallest trip down on her knee on the other leg which led to a tiny cut and of course another band-aid. Oh my, she is so funny but a bit over dramatic with her skinned knees, she is so ADORABLE! What are Grandma’s for right? to spoil and console the best we can, and I told Alice she is fine and doesn’t need the band-aid but she is very insistent. Mom and Dad has removed them, which I was glad as she needs to be strong as there will probably be many more boo-boo’s in her future. She makes me giggle, she makes me laugh out loud actually, she gives the BEST HUGS! I’m a LUCKY Grandma! ❤ ❤ ❤