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; 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; A Week before Christmas!

I am enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee with my favorite creamer, sweet Italian cream. Would you like coffee or a cup of tea? Maybe ice tea for those enjoying summer right now? I can’t believe in less than a week it is Christmas! WOW! This month is flying by at record speed. I am in a happy place getting most of my shopping done and I even managed to mail out some Christmas cards. I only receive a handful these days and they are fun to receive. I have some nice cards I was gifted from my daughter (ones she bought and never mailed) that I used. I enjoyed sending the cards, fun to write a little something and send on their way. I have friends/family that do the photo’s as Christmas cards which are so special and I love to receive each year. Maybe one of these years I’ll do the photo cards!

I was hoping to get more fingerless mittens made and I already have given a few away as gifts. I have a lot of yarn so I can make a bunch of them and I think will sell at the local craft fair. Or, I can really get my act together, keep stitching and have them all ready to mail out to family next Christmas. I will share what I have completed so far.

I forgot to offer you something to go along with your coffee? I have some fresh bananas, just thinking healthy as I am planning on baking cookies next weekend. I can’t bring cookies or baked items to work as they don’t want any food sharing. Understandable, so I thought I would wait and bake with my daughter when she arrives for Christmas. I really want to bake sugar cookies, maybe some different flavored ones and get creative. I’ve been watching a lot of baking challenge shows and one of them is the Christmas Cookie Challenges and they make cookies that have all that elaborate icing. I have a bunch of horse cookie cutters and I thought it would be fun to decorate them and then hand them out to the ladies at the stables. I am a complete neophyte to Christmas decorating on this scale. I watch them as they make a border, then flood the cookies, then decorate wet on wet. Just some of the terms I see them do as I watch some amazing decorating!

It looks like great fun and I thought what better way to practice but on horse sugar cookies! Maybe I will make some lemon sugar cookies or cinnamon (like snickerdoodles) pecan sounds good too. I could make chocolate cookies for the darker shades for the horses. Oh I have so many ideas! Haha, I am getting excited to bake!! I can’t think of a good segue into my next subject which I am so passionate about and I have some new photos (I have so many photos on my phone, it’s just crazy!) but I feel like documenting these beautiful horses as they age and fill my days with so much joy and pleasure. I don’t have many photos of them in the small pasture they have at the barn. They enjoy being out together so I thought I would share! 😀

Today was farrier day, they needed their hoofs trimmed. At one time they both wore horse shoes, but not any more. With their age and arthritis issues there is no need to have horse shoes. Instead of shoes, Zack has trail boots I put on if needed. Chloe’s leg issues are so bad that the farrier can’t pick up her right back leg. She has an old injury (broken stifle, it is a hairline fracture that is healed and lots of scar tissue has formed). It truly is amazing Chloe gets around as well as she does. She is lucky to be alive, as there is no way she would survive surgery on that huge joint as she is a big girl. (The stifle of a horse is equivalent to our knees, so this is her knee joint. A devastating injury, but she protects that leg and is thriving.) Anyways, it was a great day at the stables, beautiful sunny warm day! Here is a few more photos!

My horses, which I love to call “my ponies” live up in the barn. These were the only open stalls and I am actually really liking them because I know they are sheltered from the wind and rain. Some of the horses at this stables are nervous being up in the pasture because it is away from the paddocks. I’m so thankful Zack and Chloe do really well up in the small pasture since their stalls are nearby. My horses live across from each other way up where the aisle starts on this pretty red barn! My ponies are out in the pasture when I took the photo. You can make out a white horse Zack and Chloe is there but she is hard to see! She is standing at the gate if you click on photo and zoom in. Haha!

Thanks for having coffee with me today and I will end with one last Christmas photo. The tree we bought has lights that change colors, so I took another photo with the colored lights! So pretty! I hope you all have a wonderful, beautiful Christmas! I know many, many zoom and video chats will be held to keep us as close as we can be with family! ❤ ❤ ❤

Enjoying the holidays, Cowgirl loving Grandma!

~Diana ❤

Thank you Eclecticalli for hosting our coffee share link up! Click here to visit!

Weekend Coffee Share; I’m A Happy Girl!

Welcome to my weekend coffee share where we share what’s happening in our lives with old friends and new! What’s been happening in your neck of the woods?

Welcome to my coffee share, can I get you a cup of coffee or tea? It’s been getting pretty cold at night for our area, which is a nice reprieve from the super warm days we had heading into November. I think a nice hot cup of coffee will go nice with the cookies I just made. They are chocolate peanut butter chip cookies! They are delicious, I know you will enjoy them as they are warm from the oven!

I will be honest, as I have all these thoughts running through my head and I am trying to get my thoughts organized so that I can share how this last week went for me at my new job. I think I will just write as the words ramble out and hopefully this visit with me will all make sense. It was an intense week as I had to shake out all the thoughts in my head of my old job and concentrate on my new job. Thankfully, these jobs are really similar and are actually both Veterinary Laboratories and they both use the same exact instruments to run the animal blood work. The biggest difference is the new job has a new computer system (they use to both use the same computer laboratory system, so the switch would have been even easier). But I take good notes and picked it up quickly. There is still more to learn but I am off to a good start! I am a happy girl!

As I sit and think about this last week I will tell you that switching shifts was a bit more difficult than I anticipated. It felt like I had jet lag at the beginning of the week which makes sense because I switched from working night shift to day shift. I worked Saturday night shift, slept Sunday night and was at work last Monday morning at 10am. By Tuesday I was exhausted and I thought it was Thursday, but by Thursday I was feeling much better and was not that tired any more. I am thankful the switch over went well and actually it was probably better I had to train 10am – 6:30pm for the first week. Now I am staying up later in the evening to start my new hours 2pm – 10:30pm this next week. 😀

As I head into this next week I realized I can walk every morning. I had trouble walking every day working night shift because I often was too tired or I got home from work too late to fit it in on the days I worked. This is a super happy discovery as I head into this next week. I actually was a bit sore on my walk this morning because I have been able to get out there and exercise. Its all in the plan to get in shape! I’m so happy I can get out and walk more often and I can ride on trail more often too! Win, Win!

I guess my thoughts are coming out pen to paper okay. But I wanted to write this yesterday and almost didn’t get my coffee share completed. I know I just have to give myself some time to get organized or feel like I have some control over my schedule. I feel like I was at a training class last week, and so as I head into this week I need to find my footing with my new hours and figure out what I will accomplish at work each week. I am going to be taking care of all the maintenance on the instruments and I have been told to just do it however I want. I love that autonomy, and I love how they trust I will get it all done each week.

How is your coffee or tea? Need a refill? I am glad I baked so many cookies as there is lots here to eat. They are rich and so tasty, a few is all I can eat at one sitting.

I so appreciate all the support I have in my life. All of you fellow bloggers, I so appreciate all your wonderful comments and support. I thank you for reminding me to take my time and breathe through all these crazy changes I have made the last few months. I am telling myself to be kind to myself and that training at the new job takes time. I think I have been able to demonstrate to everyone at my new job that I do know what I am doing. I also want to thank my friends and my family for all their wonderful support, such kind words all coming my way with all the love in the world. I am humbled and grateful for you all. THANK YOU, ALL OF YOU!!

I will end with Dublin and Wolfie, the brothers who are just so beautiful and so photogenic. Such personalities! Thank you for visiting my coffee share. There is something cathartic about writing about my week with all the thoughts ruminating in my head. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Happy, Grateful, day shift working cowgirl!

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; Days off are wonderful!

Weekend Coffee share is a time for us to take a break out of our busy lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new). Please grab a cup of coffee or tea and share with us!

Welcome, can I get you a cup of coffee or tea? I am enjoying my coffee with some oatmeal and english muffin that I make on my days off. DAYS OFF! Oh how I love weekends and days off. I do have this weekend off, but usually my days off are split up and working night shift I actually like it this way. But I just worked a very long stretch covering for vacation, so I am extremely happy to get this much needed R&R. I am doing the things I love which is tending to my tiny garden and my horses. I love to walk but am taking a rest from walking around my neighborhood because I have injured my knee. I think I tweaked it riding a friends horse. I have been helping a lady with her young horse who is a very nice ride, but she is bouncy and I think I am out of shape and this made my knee a bit swollen and sore. Darn, I am getting old!

I was at work this last week and I tripped but didn’t fall down, my foot got caught on a wire I walked over (I know, not too smart but it was behind my big chemistry instrument and I just didn’t lift my foot up high enough) darn it all, I jerked my leg and pulled a tendon coming from my knee! UGH! so I have been taking care of it with hot and cold compresses and slow stretches and it is much better today. I just need to take it easy and not over do it as it heals! Sorry to go on so, I do not get injured often and I can’t stand to sit around so I am up and moving taking Ibprofen for pain and inflammation.

I was going through my photos and this was taken a couple years ago. I wanted to share because I do not share many photos of myself with my horses. I have more I took this weekend I will share.

I had FUN with my horses and my camera! You know I just can’t help myself as I enjoy their company so much. It truly is my therapy, these horses just help ones well being in so many ways. I think animals in general are therapeutic but these gentle giants have an intelligence that is so amazing as we have this relationship and understanding together as we get up on their backs and view the world from their point of view. They walk us all over our trails, since that is mostly what I do is trail ride and enjoy the weather and the beautiful days on this Earth. I wish I can thank them, and I do the best I can by providing them bedding for their stalls and nice meals to munch on each day. I enjoy grooming them and getting their coats to glisten in the sun. They mostly enjoy the grooming, Chloe enjoying it more than Zack. He has thin skin I think as he doesn’t enjoy it as much as Chloe! Silly ponies, they just melt my heart. ❤

How is your coffee or tea? Can I get you a refill? I hope you are all having a great weekend. I feel like I can just go on and on about my horses. I also think often of my family and will save those photos for my smile post this next week. I will just dedicate this post to my weekend fun. I am also crocheting a lot finishing one project and starting on another. My crochet is another relaxing thing I do to unwind and get my mind on to the creativity of my projects. Crochet is very rewarding in many ways! ❤

Thank you for sharing coffee with me today. The reason I get photos of my horses with their tongue out is I feed them treats after I ride. These are small pellets that are made for them and they just LOVE them. I have been buying treats that have alfalfa and raspberry flavors, I am not sure what all are in the treats but they smell wonderful. They love them and after I feed them they literally lick their lips over and over, YUMMY! So when I take a photo, it’s turning out to be pretty easy to get a photo with them sticking their tongue out! HAHA! I just love it and I hope you enjoy seeing my ponies this weekend.

Crazy horse loving girl!

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; My Tiny Garden

Weekend Coffee share is a time for us to take a break out of our busy lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new). Please grab a cup of coffee or tea and share with us!

Welcome and how are you today? I am having a nice cup of morning coffee with my oatmeal and english muffin with jam. I have bananas too, would you like to join me as we finish out this weekend and this month? Yesterday was my son’s birthday, and wish I could have been in Arizona to bake him a cake! That would have been divine but it was not in the cards and with all that is going on totally understandable. I miss him very much. I also miss his wife and 2 children too, so much my heart aches but we stay in touch as much as possible. How’s your coffee? or would you rather have some tea?

Before I get into my tiny garden photos my husband and I had an interesting conversation last evening. He got a call from a very good friend of his in Arizona and they asked him to ask me if I would be interested in living on 37 acres in Williams, Arizona? He explained that they were looking for themselves when they realized this is also horse property and wondered if I wanted to have a horse ranch there! WAIT, WHAT? I told my husband YES! This is just all thoughts from our friends, but they are thinking of purchasing the land. It would be 2 1/2 hours from my family there, much closer than where I am at here and the weather there is wonderful because it is higher elevation. It is only 35 miles from Flagstaff, Arizona which is a bigger city and I could find work there. Oh my, this is only the first conversation but if it were to come to fruition, it would be a dream come true. Enough land that I would have my own trails to ride on with my horses!! I just had to share, it may not happen. Maybe talking about it will get the ball rolling in that direction. Maybe?

On to my teeny tiny garden. But this tiny garden sure brings me big smiles! I believe I will get a few tomatoes and bell peppers. So far so good!

I will be doing some gardening work this afternoon and prune my roses and spray them for aphids. I use a mixture of a couple of drops of dawn soap in a spray bottle with water. It doesn’t hurt the plants but really gets rid of those darn bugs. We have an over abundance of earwigs this year, and have seen a fair amount of lizards which are eating those bugs. The roses continue to bloom and I believe once I prune them I will get some new growth with more blooms in the coming months!

My explanation of the above photo is enough. I will say though that when I placed the plants on her patio table she told me she would probably kill them. I almost said, well at least you have a photo of them to enjoy! Hehe, these are rather hard to kill, and so hopefully she will have some success with them. If not, its all okay. She is doing really good, and I am so excited to hear where her next assignment will be. She will be moving at the end of this year.

My son sent this and he set one of the brothers in a little sit up chair they bought the baby. I thought it was adorable and he said he sat there for a few minutes! Silly Kitty!

Those brothers are just the best cats and to me very comical. I know I have shared some really wonderful photos of them, sleeping together is just so cute. When he shared this photo it made me laugh, its just too funny! He looks rather content even though he did not stay long in there, he is so mellow! I really enjoyed sharing coffee with you today. I really can’t believe it will be June tomorrow. The time sure flies, and I am looking forward to the summer but praying we don’t get too much heat. It can get pretty darn hot, but I think we will be okay until July. Have a great week!

~Diana ❤