Weekend Coffee Share; End Of April

Welcome, welcome, can I get you a cup of coffee or tea? I have had a fairly uneventful week this last week mostly working and doing all the things I do at the stables each morning. I have been enjoying our cool weather this April and it really has been unusually cool. There was a memory that popped up and the photo’s that came up were from last year when I planted my container’s with some plants and tomatoes and it was 100F (38C) ~ Wow, this same time last year was really HOT! We have been in the 60’s (15C) almost this whole last week and have only seen a few days in the 80’s (27C) the whole month of April. I am super duper happy with the coolness and the only thing that would be really nice is if we had some rain!

I thought I would look ahead at the weather and it will be really nice until the end of the week. April 29th and 30th will be a high of 95F (35C) and then it will cool a bit next weekend. I will enjoy each and every day and I should really go buy those tomato plants I wanted to grow. I have problems watering them consistently but maybe with my new hours which are more regular than my old hours at my old job I can be more consistent. It certainly can’t hurt to try!

Sorry, I seem to be only talking about the weather as it seems to be on my mind. As I think about the weather, I am thinking about how nice it is to ride and speaking of riding I wanted to share that after many months my bestie girlfriend has found and purchased a new trail horse. (Pretty good segue, don’t you think?) 😀 Haha, I hate to just change the subject but I really wanted to share this news. He is a Palomino registered quarter horse gelding and is super sweet. He has been great on our trail rides and I will be taking more photos I am sure as we trail ride together often.

We have only gone out this last week and he is very relaxed and doesn’t worry about a thing. He was bred and born in North Dakota, I thought that was interesting and my girlfriend and I don’t know a lot about breeding but have had others who have said he has good bloodlines. The vet said he is super nice and I am so happy for my girlfriend so we can continue to enjoy trail riding together. She still has her horse Gracie who turns 29 years old this year. She is completely retired and is just enjoying life at the barn.

I am so incredibly happy my bestie girlfriend found her beautiful trail horse, Roscoe. This is not his registered name but the name he was given by his previous owners. The serendipity of his name is when my girlfriend and I were young and riding together (yes, we are grade school friends and were riding buddies then too!) she owned a horse named Roscoe! How fitting of a name for her as it brings back such wonderful memories and it feels like we are young again. As we age and grow old together it is so wonderful we can share our horses and our love for riding. We are truly blessed!

Thank you for visiting my coffee share this weekend. I have so much fun sharing and I have to thank Natalie for hosting and if you want to read her blog click here! She has a wonderful blog and it is so fun to catch up with her each weekend! Here is the link to even more weekend coffee shares which I encourage you to check out. I hope you all have a fabulous week ahead!

Weather Obsessed Cowgirl,

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; Weekly Smile Fun in April!

Welcome to my weekend coffee share where we share what’s been happening in our lives with old friends and new! What can I get for you today? I have both coffee and an assortment of teas. I have recently discovered how much I like Earl Grey tea and have been drinking it more often. This last week was a busy week as we celebrated birthdays. It was my hubby’s birthday and my sweet daughter’s. My daughter’s birthday is one day after my hubby’s. She came home for her birthday and spent time with one of her best friend’s here who’s birthday is one week earlier so it’s a busy birthday month! I am going to also call this my weekly smile post. I’ve always written these posts separately but this week was super busy so I’ll use this post for both. 😀

My daughter bought tickets to an outdoor symphony at the beach. It was super fun and an adventure to drive an hour to the beach to attend this small intimate style concert literally at the beach. It was held at Bolsa Chica State Beach which is in Huntington Beach, Ca. We arrived early enough to order food that was there for us so it was dinner and a concert that was approximately an hour long. The symphony was performed by Orchid Quartet and these women are part of the LA Philharmonic Orchestra and the music was excellent. The last performance included a keyboard player who travels and performs with the quartet. The only thing about this evening at the beach was that it was a bit chilly. It was barely 60F (15C) with the wind it felt colder. We dressed warmly and brought blankets which helped. It was super cloudy, looked like storm clouds but it did not rain. I captured some fun photos I will share. They make me SMILE!

I loved being at the beach and should visit more often and I am smiling as the drive to and from the concert was traffic free! We have so much traffic here in California and we just happened to be driving the other direction during rush hour and left early because we thought it would take us longer. So thankful it was such a nice easy, fun adventure! I have some video’s I want to share. This music is close to my heart as I just LOVE classical music and some of the pieces I can play on the piano. It was beautiful to hear this string quartet play, so enjoyable. They played Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky to name a few composers. I hope you enjoy!

The second video is Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin and there is the piano player on the keyboard behind the speaker on the left side of the stage. We were sitting at a picnic table in the back. The picnic tables were cheaper and we were a group of four. They had fire pits which cost more and seated more people. My daughter said it was just about sold out online but there were many empty seats so I am thinking the weather may have kept people from attending. Here are more photos of our fun adventure! 😀

Such a fun week and I love the setting sun, how can you not smile watching the sun shining through the clouds! I’m so thankful for all our family and friends!

Thank you for visiting my coffee share and I hope I brought you a smile or two as well. I am smiling and am so happy I could spend these days with my family. Since we were down in Huntington Beach we stopped by a dear friend who is my hubby’s best friend. My daughter hasn’t seen him in quite awhile and we were only 15 minutes from his place so it was fun to visit with him. My daughter had to get back home but am so thankful for the time we get to spend together. It will be my turn to drive and visit her soon as I haven’t seen in person her kitty that I am so excited to meet.

I have to thank Trent for hosting the Weekly Smile and Natalie who hosts the Weekend Coffee share! I so enjoy sharing and thank you so much for visiting. I hope you have a fabulous weekend and wonderful week ahead.

Beachcomber Mom,

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; Enjoying March!

Can I get you a cup of coffee or tea? I just finished up a nice hot cup of coffee as it’s been cool out, the best weather ever to be honest. March is really a beautiful month and I am enjoying every day. We have had some rain which we always need and the sunny days are so enjoyable at the perfect temps between 60F – 70F (15C – 21C). Yesterday it was a little blustery and the sky full of clouds. There was a 10% chance of rain and never rained in my town but it was very cool. Today it is sunny and not a cloud in the sky which I will enjoy in a little bit as I will head to the barn before the morning disappears.

I have been thinking a lot about my garden and I have about 4 containers and 2 have flowering plants in them and I have decided the other 2 I am going to continue on this theme and plant more flowers. I have not had much luck with veggies in the past and with the attention these types of plants need I decided I am just too busy to be consistent with watering and such things that I decided I will just try for some pretty flowers. I know there are a ton of choices out there for flowering foliage and I LOVE flowers so much and have taken many photos that I’ve shared, so that is where I am heading in my gardening adventures!

On to sharing what’s been happening and if you haven’t guessed what I am about to share it’s what I do every day! Haha, more horse adventures. I took another video that I want to share because I can’t help myself! I find it so FUN! I’ll start with a couple of photos first. 😀

As we headed out on the trail instead of turning right we turned left and so this is the same block I shared in my last video share only I am heading the other way. I have had my horse walk quietly by things one direction and when we head by it with the other eye she can sometimes spook or be like “what is that” as she sees it with her other eye. Yes, they have monocular and binocular vision and have a far greater peripheral vision than humans because they have their eyes set on each side of their head. They have a small blind spot directly in front of them and behind them. Because they are prey animals they need to see far and wide to stay safe and flee if needed from predators. They can see things we may not and you can wonder all day long at what has ruffled their feathers if they get upset. You can’t know what they sense as we are not as attuned to our surroundings as horses! Our training involves them feeling safe in our presence and this is a subject that people make a living on or write novels about, understanding horses and being able to work with them so that we have a safe ride. Haha, I don’t want to write a novel on training today! 😀

Heading down Hillside on a beautiful trail ride on this cool day!

I Like how you can hear the birds in the video and even though I call the day blustery there was a little bit of wind that actually picked up as I arrived back at the barn. The wind was cool, which added to the wintery feeling. Now it is officially Spring! We will be slowly warming up but I don’t mind if that takes some time. I absolutely LOVE SPRING! I am already seeing some beautiful blooms and so am excited as I already mentioned to plant more flowers.

As I rounded the corner I came upon the field that I usually pass first. Remember I rode around the block the other direction so now this big field is the last part of my ride. I did not let Chloe take a bite of grass, it is only a treat every once in awhile! I wish sometimes I had a super nice camera for days like this where the clouds in the sky and the sun rays hitting the hills with the lush wild flower field all fell into place and was just gorgeous. My phone camera doesn’t do it justice, but I snapped the photos anyways! Here are my photos ~

I am enjoying Miss Chloe immensely as I am sure you can tell. I am so happy and in a good place in my life right now. I feel very fortunate and never want to take anything for granted, I truly feel blessed. I am going to end this coffee share with you today with my grandkids. My son provides such wonderful photos, I just have to share. My son said the weather in AZ is good too, not too hot yet so they are out going for walks and enjoying it before the heat sets in there. They sure bring me warm fuzzy feelings and huge giant smiles as they enjoy being outside! I think my granddaughter’s photo says it all! They both are so ADORABLE! ❤

Thank you for visiting and enjoying coffee with me this weekend. I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend and enjoy the week ahead. Thank you Natalie for hosting the coffee shares and if you would like to connect up with others the link is here!

Trail Riding Cowgirl, and Grandma!

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; Trail Ride Fun!

Welcome to my coffee share! Can I get you a cup of coffee or tea? I made some homemade chocolate chip cookies and they are scrumptious. Lately, I make a half a batch as we just do not eat enough of them fast enough before they start to taste stale, and who likes a stale cookie? This way we eat them up within 3 days or so and they easily last and stay yummy. I had a frustrating work week this last week. There wasn’t anything difficult about work, just a bit frustrating and am happy to have this weekend off. I woke up this morning and enjoyed a wonderful chat with my daughter. She always makes me feel better and I so enjoy our chats! Thank you sweetie, she sometimes reads my blogs. She wants to write in her blog, but hasn’t really done much with it but I believe someday she may write. All in good time and only if she really wants to. I enjoy blogging so much, and to each is own and what ever makes you smile or feel good is what its all about!

I have to remind myself how nice it is to have weekends off. This is something I have always longed for and its so wonderful to look forward to the 2 days off in a row after working over 20 years with a broken weekend. (Meaning my days off were split up and I did this forever!). I really need this weekend and am feeling so much better today than I was yesterday after a long work week. YAY, FOR WEEKENDS!

Before I head outside I am so happy the kitties help soothe my soul. Only Dinah will sleep on my lap or near me on the bed. She greets me every morning and enjoys lots of pets. Duchess comes around more on her time and is more aloof. She doesn’t sit in my lap but I have had her sleep next to me on soft blankets. It is so nice to come in after a busy day and relax with the kitties. Duchess isn’t so friendly with the dogs. They are big dogs so I get it, so she will go in her bedroom if they are in the family room. I don’t post many photos of my dogs, they are hard to take photos of as they are always moving around. And because of their size far less cuddly! I love them dearly. I say we need to go outside and I decided to share not one video but two today. I have fun with them and so I thought I would share. I hope you enjoy them too! 😀

Fun sharing my ride today after many days of rain! Wildflowers are beginning to bloom!

As I was riding today and enjoying my time at the stables all my problems washed away. It is great to have a place where you can lose yourself in thought and let those peaceful feelings fill your soul. I know many people run or walk or work in their garden. What do you do to relieve stress? I suppose sitting down to a good book would work too. Or maybe getting lost in a good movie! For me since I have this beautiful animal that needs my attention and care, I so look forward to being outside and at the barn with all those wonderful smells. After I took this video I thought I should take one walking into the stables so I can show you where Chloe lives and where I spend my mornings and my weekends! I hope you enjoy! ❤

Walking into the stables after walking around the block. It was a beautiful day today!

As I walked in I caught a horse rolling in the grass! It caught Chloe by surprise as she jumped because she didn’t see him rolling around at first. But she just did a little spook and then continued to walk calmly. She is a sensible horse which I am so thankful for because sometimes they can spook and just not calm down if really scared. Here in Norco and at many stables we use what we call DG dirt which stands for Decomposed granite, often shortened to DG, is literally that – granitic rock broken down into fine particles that hold together better than simple dirt and come in a variety of colors. It is amazing as it will pack down and it doesn’t turn into mud. Horses are so big and heavy that you would not believe the holes they make just by moving back and forth in one place, like where they eat each day. So as the ground gets pushed around and holes or low spots are made which can make the stalls uneven, we put in wheel barrows of DG dirt in those areas to beef it up and level it out. You can make banks if needed to help when it rains so the water will run out of the stall. I can’t say enough about it, it really makes a place that could be very muddy when it rains not muddy at all! AMAZING DG!

I hope you enjoyed my short videos today and you got to see the barn. I enjoyed sharing coffee with you as we wrap up our visit. As I sit and write this it is just after 10pm but where I live the time is changing tonight and I will lose an hour of sleep! YIKES! But I am not even tired yet so I will stay up for another hour and then hit the hay. Tomorrow my time will now be in sync with my son and family in Arizona since they do not participate in daylight savings. I just had to look it up and only Hawaii and Arizona do not participate in the time change.

Thanks for visiting and I have to thank Natalie who hosts our coffee shares and you can find many who participate here. I know there is a lot of work put into all who blog and I will try and visit as many as I can this weekend. Enjoy and cheers!

Horse crazy trail riding Grandma,

~Diana ❤

My Weekly Smile; March 3, 2021

Welcome to my weekly smile and I have a lot to smile about. I had the most fabulous weekend and I am so excited to share. My daughter and I were able to travel to stay with my son and his beautiful family and celebrate my grandson’s first birthday! I am in grandma heaven! It has been over a year since I have been able to visit and stay the weekend. I am planning on visiting a lot this year as I miss my grandbabies so much. My grand daughter is not a baby any more at 5 1/2 years old and she sure can be silly and enjoys making her baby brother laugh. She is in kindergarten and doing well. She attends virtually at this time. We started out our weekend by visiting the Desert Botanical Garden and I wanted to share some photos. In the photo above those very bright cactus are all made out of glass which is at the entrance, beautiful! 😀

We had a great time at the garden and we could not have asked for better weather. The winter in Arizona is perfect and the best time to visit most anything outside. There were so many beautiful plants and flowers and many were blooming. What a fun afternoon! I have to thank my daughter who so thoughtfully planned and booked this outing. I am so happy we were all able to do something together and enjoy the beauty of the desert. I hope you have enjoyed our little adventure as it sure makes me smile! 😀

I have more to share and am so excited we were able to help celebrate Teddy’s first birthday! I wanted to share a few more photo’s of his special day. I have to say that I did not take a lot of photos instead enjoying as much time with the family. I was asked if either my daughter or I wanted to make the cake and I volunteered and made a confetti cake with vanilla frosting. Teddy absolutely loves strawberries and so I put whipping cream in the center of the cake with cut up strawberries. I then lined around the top strawberries I cut in half. I was holding Teddy during the singing “Happy Birthday” song, so my daughter shared her photos so I can share with you. As soon as Teddy got close enough to the cake (Alice helped blow out the candle since Teddy is too little) he grabbed one of the strawberries, so adorable!! ❤

I realized and knew strawberries have a lot of water and I tried drying them off really well and they still lost some water on the top of the cake. It tasted delicious, I would share with you but we just about ate the whole thing! It tasted like strawberry shortcake, haha. I cut up the strawberries thinner and smaller for in the middle of the cake. I’m just a home cook and baker, but it is made with Love ~ the best kind of food I think! ❤

I had so much fun last weekend and as anyone that follows me knows I just can’t get enough of family togetherness with miles in between loved ones. Some day that may change but for the long term future my Grandma heart is in Arizona. I am always going to dream of living closer to them, we will see what the future holds! I want to share a few more photos of fun with the family. Just can’t SMILE enough!! 😀

Thank you for visiting my smile post for this week. I want to thank Trent who host’s our smile’s and I absolutely Love to share. Not only is it fun to have a place to document my Life and the happenings as I hope it will be fun to go back and visit these fun times. Alice cried when I left, which in turn made me cry. I will be back to visit as often as I can make it happen. I feel so grateful for my family, and I Love each and everyone of you so very much. Here is to many more fun visits and maybe someday I’ll only be around the corner instead of a state away. Someday……

Loving being Grandma!

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; Rain and Smiling!

Can I get you a cup of coffee? I enjoy mine with my favorite sweet Italian cream. I also have tea, hot or iced as well. I am having a nice hot cup of coffee as we have a cold storm outside and it has rained almost all day today. We are getting a ton of snow in our local mountains so when the storm blows through and the sun shines we will have beautiful snow capped mountains to admire. I am happy to see my sister and her hubby from Idaho as they are in town visiting friends and their son who lives here nearby. My sister use to own my horse Zack and I adopted him when she moved as she was unable to take him for a few reasons. One of the biggest reasons is it was in Zack’s best interest to leave him here because the stress of moving would have been hard on him because he has EPM. He is symptom free and has been after being treated five years ago. We were able to squeeze in a short trail ride this morning before the rain. It was fun to all be together again! These are my pony sister’s, two are great friends and one is my sister riding Zack. 😀

We arrived to the stables with a break in the weather. We all got the horses out and ready to go (tacked up) and asked others at the stables if they could take our photos. Lucky we did this before the ride because we rode back with it drizzling. I just got my horses back in their stalls when it really started to come down. We thankfully decided to just go on our short ride as we looked up and saw many dark clouds heading our way. What a good decision. Although we wouldn’t melt in the rain, it’s just uncomfortable to get all wet. I had a big jacket on which isn’t water proof but it takes a lot of rain to soak it through, but when riding your pants can get pretty wet especially your thighs. Haha, I have been caught out on trail and have gotten pretty wet in the past!

I’m so thankful Jane took these photos as I do not have many of me riding. Thank you Jane!! I also am enjoying these photos because you can see our faces as I am the one usually taking photos and I take them from behind so often. Haha, a lot of horses butts and the backs of my friends! It’s the best I can do so many times out on the trails. These photos just make me SMILE! We will go out again tomorrow as this storm is suppose to be gone by tomorrow morning. There are more storms on the way with some pretty chilly nights. We are at 44F tonight with it dropping down to the 30F’s Monday night. With this cold front the snow levels are down near 2000ft in the local mountains so some of the high deserts are getting snow as well. With such a low snow level the mountains will just be blanketed ~ I know I’ve mentioned this already. It’s just such a beautiful sight! I can’t think of a good segue to the next couple of photos I wanted to share so I’ll just say kitties and grandkids!

My son so kindly sends us these funny photos of these two brothers. They are quite the characters and as you can see love each others company. I have shared many photos of them throughout my posts and this was the latest photo. They are so beautiful and they make me smile. This beautiful black kitty my daughter adopted about a week ago which I shared last week. She finally decided on a name “Evie” which is the name of a character from the movie V for Vendetta. My son said that there is a Pokemon name Eevee (which is how you say “Evie”) and the whole family agreed it is a great name for her! When we asked my daughter how she is settling in, my daughter replied “She’s doing good, but she thinks she owns the place!” Haha, “She does own the place don’t you know?” I replied. Cats, if you’ve ever owned one I think its they own you! Dogs are the other way around and love them too!

I’ll end with saying I’m missing my grand children and thought I’d share as the last few weeks I’ve just been a bit homesick for them. That’s just the best way to explain it when you miss family. I’ll be able to visit them soon enough (I hope) but as I will never get tired of saying, I am so thankful for technology and the instant sharing and video chats. ❤

Thank you so much for visiting my coffee share today. I enjoyed sharing my weekend and even though I have stopped and wondered if all I am doing is repeating one weekend to the next, the stories I share are often woven with different events and I sometimes get lucky to share some fun photos. I hope you all are safe and sound and enjoying your weekend. For us here, winter is truly here bringing in the much needed rain and cold weather. If you would like to read other coffee shares, the link is here. And thank you Natalie for hosting our gatherings.

Happy Cowgirl Grandma,

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; As The Wind Blows!

How is your weekend going so far? I can’t believe it’s Saturday and it’s late afternoon. I am actually drinking some ice tea because it is a warm January day. It was 86F today and very windy. We get winds here called Santa Ana winds. These winds originate inland and affects coastal Southern California where I live. I thought I would try and get in a ride this morning before the wind was to pick up. I didn’t succeed as the wind blew us down the trail but I am so proud of my ponies today! I thought it not a safe idea to video my ride, but before the wind really kicked in I did take a couple of photos. 😀

As I head down this block, the wind was reasonable and just gusty. I thought I could head down this way which made my ride twice as long before the wind would get stronger. I checked the weather app earlier in the morning or was it last night? And the wind by late-morning was to be around 12 miles per hour, or so I thought and I thought I had plenty of time. Little did I know that within the next 15 minutes or so the winds were going to pick up. You can’t really see the end to the road ahead, but it turns where you see the mountain rise in the background past Chloe’s ears in the photo to the right and as we headed down the turn to the start of the next block home the gusts turned into 18 to 20 mile per hour sustained winds, with stronger gusts! We had to cross the street and as we walked this next block home with what felt like howling winds which were very warm, my ponies just walked along like another day on the trails. I am so very thankful for their steadfastness.

They didn’t seem to blink an eye to the wind, and I am thankful these strong winds were not blowing any debris, lose tree limbs or trash which can all spook even the steadiest horse. As I made it up to the last block and street to the stables I could feel Chloe increase her pace. Yes girl, I know you want to get home and I did too! I did not plan on riding in this rip roaring wind! I think I would rather get caught out in the rain! As I arrived at the barn the other ladies that own horses there were all saying, boy are you brave! Haha, I didn’t plan on this I said. It really wasn’t that windy when I left and I was gone all of 45 minutes! CRAZY WEATHER!

I am giggling sharing these photos as my good friend Jane was sitting nearby as we chatted and Zack just would not stop begging. Haha, he just would not stop with his goofy sideway looks! His way of begging for something please! I thought why not take more photos. Oh my, I have so many photos of these ponies, I never tire of them and love to share. I am so very thankful I can ride them on the trails as they age and they are a bonded pair. I think Chloe would be fine without Zack, but Chloe is Zack’s best girlfriend and where ever Chloe goes, Zack goes too! It just is, what it is!

Can I get you a refill? As I sit and think about this last week I was feeling rather emotional. I know that is normal right? There are many reasons for these emotions, missing my family in Arizona ~ so much so I am going to try and visit in a few weeks if possible. I am hoping to visit there in February because my grandson will be turning one near the end of Feb. Wait what? I can’t believe it and I am so excited about baby Teddy’s birthday as this year has gone by fast and am so sad it has been near impossible to spend time with my grandchildren. No wonder I am so emotional. I am also saddened by all affected by the virus. We have employees out and some in the hospital. I am now getting tested weekly. I just checked and I am negative, so thankful as I continue to be needed at work filling in holes of absenteeism. This next week I will go in early and stay late, thankful I get paid over-time now. I think it will just be for this next week, hoping things get better soon.

As we all deal with all these changes and I have read of others affected by more lockdowns in their area, or mask wearing where they hadn’t been but now it is deemed necessary. I am thinking maybe sharing and writing about this is somehow cathartic. So, I’ll say it here to stay safe and stay strong. We will all make it through these crazy times and all we can do is take one day at a time. I am glad to see vaccines rolling out even though it will take time for this to become effective especially since there are booster shots involved. Some how I feel better expressing my feelings on this subject, so thanks for listening. On to happier news…

I do have some really happy news and that is my daughter adopted a kitty last week. If you were to read through my blogs (or have been a follower) my daughter once owned one of the brother kitties that I share that both now live with my son in Arizona. Wolfie was such a handful (that is an understatement) and one of the biggest problems is he would not stop eating the Guinea Pigs hay and so he would upset his stomach and she ended up at the vet so many times that she decided to give him up. So, off to his brothers house he went. (That’s her brother and Wolfie’s brother, Haha!) It has been one year now, and she found this beautiful black kitty that is about a year and a half old. She hasn’t decided on a name, but she is sweet and calm. Here is a photo. 😀

Thanks for visiting and having coffee with me today. The link up you can find here, and thank you Natalie for hosting the coffee share. ❤

Happy crazy trail riding Grandma,

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; New Year, 2021!

Can I get you a cup of coffee or tea? as we sit and enjoy this first weekend of this new decade. In this crazy world we are living in today, I have to keep my head grounded and enjoy my family, togetherness, good food and great company. We keep the company very small, my bubble is not that big as we try and stay safe. As I sit here writing my daughter is making us dinner and the smell is amazing. As she is browning onions and bell pepper the kitchen is filled with such wonderful aroma as she teases the guys (my son and hubby) this will be a vegetarian dinner. They will love it as she is a wonderful cook. It will be a “meat” and potatoes dinner only the meat will be made with lentils, mushrooms and quinoa. She made vegan pancakes this morning without any eggs! What? and they were delicious. They were banana with mini chocolate chips, yummy! I am so happy she loves to cook, and she has so many cookbooks she has often told me she gets lost in recipes. Haha, that can happen when you have too many to choose from. As I am sitting here thinking about food, I wanted to share what we did today. Oh wait, I forgot to tell you we drove up to my daughter’s to spend the New Year weekend with her up North.

We got there early today Jan. 1st and there were not a lot of people so the shops and eatery’s were not crowded. As the day wore on, more and more people filled the streets. My family and I were happy to be on our way to avoid the crowds. I will say it really wasn’t that crowded, but definitely more people than when we arrived. While we were there we bought lunch at a take out place and my better half and I had bratwurst sausage with sauerkraut and it was one of the best brat’s I’ve ever had! (We clearly aren’t vegan, but support my daughter and I should really eat a plant based diet. Not such an easy change to make, so I try and eat healthier every day.) My son had cheddar and bacon sausage and my daughter had a huge Bavarian pretzel with cheese. 😀

I am writing my coffee share in the middle of my weekend away and so I will probably post an after weekend smile post next week as we are going to Pismo Beach tomorrow morning and we will have the best cinnamon rolls I have ever had at this famous cinnamon roll place in Pismo. AND it is just one or two streets from the Pacific Ocean! I have shared our cinnamon rolls from there in previous posts when I have visited here but my hubby has not been there yet as I often come to my daughter’s with just my son. My husband works every weekend, so I have traveled more with my son or by myself than with my husband. We asked him to take this weekend off and to be honest I have been trying to get him to retire. We will see if this will be his last year or last few months. He only works 2 days a week and has been doing this same job for the last 10 years. So he hasn’t had weekends off in that long. Only rarely when we decide to travel or make a special weekend vacation is he off of work. I digress, it will be so fun and special to eat our cinnamon rolls on the pier in Pismo and smell the ocean and watch the waves. The seagulls or pigeons will be nearby begging! Can I get you another cup of Joe? or more tea?

As I wrap up this evening so I can get this posted I will tell you that the dinner we were smelling as I started this post was absolutely delicious. Here is a photo of the finished product! My hubby is from the south and his Mom from Arkansas and as it goes all or most southerners eat black-eyed peas to bring good luck to the New Year. So for the last 36 years we have made black-eyed peas with our New Year dinner. My daughter found a really good recipe as they tasted great. Everything on the plate was super tasty!

Here’s to a Happy, Lucky, Prosperous New Year!

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; Dec. 27, 2020

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!

Happy Christmas Weekend!

Love, Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; Early December Fun!

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. 😀

Happy riding these pretty horses!

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; Sunday Dec. 6th

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,

~Diana ❤

P.S. The ship’s are the Millennium Falcon and the Enterprise!

Weekend Coffee Share; Sept. 12, 2020

I drove in from the stables and walked into the front yard and the honeysuckle smells wonderful. I am getting so many blooms right now and even though the air quality is bad with all the smoke from the fires I can still smell the flowers! We are totally safe where we live and my heart and prayers go out to all affected. The visibility in our area is very poor. You can’t see the local mountains and when you look on the weather app on the phone instead of saying “sunshine” it says “smoke”. This morning it was not too bad outside so I will be heading to the stables. Can I get you something to go with your coffee or tea?

After I rode Zack mostly at a walk in the arena, I took my bareback pad and bit-less bridle and put it on Chloe for another ride. The walking and a little bit of trotting is really good for their joints and gets them limbered up. I say this because as I was riding Chloe after a few minutes she kept wanting to head to Zack. Silly pony, they love each other and she really wasn’t bad, just mostly wanted to herd him around. I decided instead of finishing up her 20 minute walk I would turn them lose together and see if they want to run around. The limbering up usually helps them really feel good. I will share a video of my ride and another video of them lose together! Such pretty ponies! 😀

Chloe and I riding around our nice big arena!
Running horses! They feel so good and I love it when Chloe runs and calls out!

Whenever they are turned out in the big arena I always try and give them the opportunity to run. If I left them alone, they may move and trot or canter around a little bit. I usually have to encourage them to move, horses unless spooked or frightened are usually pretty lazy by nature. They are older horses, so their energy levels have declined. But every month or so they get such bursts of energy and I am so thankful they have an area where they can run and stretch their legs. Today I am so happy I was able to video Chloe. So fun to watch! ❤

So much fun bathing, grooming and taking care of these horses. I may have to video them getting their treats, especially Chloe who gives me kisses. They have such personalities, and of course bring me so much joy! It would be fun to share that with you all with videos.

He says, treat please? YES, I have a treat for you Zack. I have bathed Chloe and put her in her stall and forgot to take a photo. So it’s Zack at the end so nice and clean. They roll and get so dirty, as they itch and scratch from sweating from the heat of the day. When the bath is complete and they are all groomed, they don’t roll as they feel so satisfied and content. I’m a happy horse mom. Thank you so much for joining me for this coffee share! I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Obsessed with my Ponies,

~Diana ❤