Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Decking the halls

Well, we're still cold and dry...but we're warming up.  My little thermometer on the deck read 30F this morning.  Whew, it's a heat wave!  :)  And the horse's water tubs inside their stalls were not frozen this morning.  I think we may have endured our Arctic Blast pretty much unscathed, again.  No frozen pipes in the house, or in the barn.  We kept our home warm and cozy with the wood stove and the pellet stove burning pretty much around the clock.  We haven't used our electric furnace in 4 years now...that's a blessing!  And the horses, llama, dogs, cats and us all seem to have weathered the storm quite well.

Last night we had vegetable soup that cooked on the wood stove.  It was so good!  Cabbage, celery, carrots and tomatoes with a little Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic, salt, pepper and chicken broth.  Oh my - just what the doctor ordered!  We topped it off with grilled cheese on whole wheat bread.  :)

 Even Snip spent some time inside where it was warm!

 A glamorous pose from a cat that just doesn't care...

 He's really quite shameless.

 My 30" tall Amaryllis just bloomed, with 3 more buds to open!

 We're not doing an inside tree this year, so hubby decorated our stately little Pine...all decked out!


 and all lit up.

 A little arrangement with the extra evergreen clippings for the porch.

 Our Merry Christmas wreath!!  Made with found, forest treasures and last year's bow.

 Cheery little snow family for the kitchen window sill.

 My favorite...ho ho ho!

 My stick Santas and an old plate from a garage sale.  That's one of our hand-dipped beeswax candles we made last winter.  
 My best girl, Annie

 Our granddaughter, Kaley on Missy...first ever horseback ride.  Her cheeks hurt afterwards (face cheeks!).  She even did some trotting!  Missy was so good.  Such a sweet little mare. 

 David, Justin and Jack in the background...waiting their turn.

 David's turn!!

 Jack wasn't so thrilled...not a horsey type, but he did alright too.

 Ruby warming herself by the fire.

 This is how Ruby stayed warm.  Annie thinks she's a wuss!

 Sunrise breakfast in the corral.

 Sad sacks waiting to come inside last night.  :) 
Hopefully I'll get some Christmas baking done yet, just haven't had the time or the inclination to get started just yet.  Another little project that I need to do is get our Christmas cards ready and mailed out.  I enjoy sending and receiving cards in the mail, but every year it seems like we get fewer and fewer cards.  It's a tradition that I hope to always continue.  Got my hubby a couple of little gifts today, and so far that's all I've done.  I'm not doing much shopping at all this year.  I refuse to get all caught up in the buy, spend, rush, rush that this beautiful holiday is turning into.  We are going to take a trip to downtown Portland one of these days very soon.  It's so festive and fun to walk around looking at all the pretty window displays, the quaint little shops and Saturday Market under the bridge...and then we always have lunch or dinner someplace special just to get warm, relax and enjoy each other's company.  It's becoming one of our favorite Christmas traditions.  And the lights downtown are not to be missed, the street musicians and whatever little surprises await us in the city.  It's about the only time of year that we really enjoy venturing into the city...this year we plan to hit the Grotto.  Take in the light display, walk through the gardens and listen to some of their concerts.  Portland is really quite famous for it, and even though I've lived here all my life, I've never been there.  So, this is the year to check it out!

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?  Are you sticking to them, or adding something new this year?  Please share, I'd love to hear all about your plans!  Just what is it that makes your Christmas season special, and how do you deck the halls?  Or do you?

Do tell...

Merry Christmas everyone!!!


Grey Horse Matters said...

Everything looks warm and cozy by you. Glad you're warming up. We had about 4 inches of snow today Kandahar it's kind of cold right now. Going down to the teens tonight.

Our traditions are the same each year: Christmas Eve is at my house or my daughters and the grand kids get to enjoy some presents. My brother may play Santa if he comes up. He's quite good at it. I always send out a ton of cards since our family is scattered all across the country. I love decorating the house and the tree. Candles in the windows and that's about it. Oh and no Christmas morning would be complete without my husbands famous French toast!

C-ingspots said...

Oh, that sounds wonderful! I'll bet your house is a fantastic one to decorate...maybe you'll share some pictures. That french toast sounds pretty good too.

Cindy D. said...

I love your home, I mean really, I do!

I used to have traditions, but TC says he doesn't "DO" Christmas, so it really throws a kink in things. Plus now my kidlets are mostly gone and doing their own things. Still we always put up a tree, if for no other reason so the dogs can fetch the balls off the tree. Our new kitty Oscar thinks the tree was put up just for him!

The realization that Christmas is only 15 days away and I haven't bought hardly a single present or a card or anything, I have no idea what it will be this year.

The only thing I know for sure is that I will smoke a turkey.

Carolynn Anctil said...

I love all your animals, but that cat just stole my heart! lol. Love.

I don't really have any traditions anymore. We're winging it again this year and looking forward to spending a quiet Christmas snuggled up to our new gas fireplace - our gift to each other this year.


C-ingspots said...

Thank you Cindy...well, whatever you two end up doing, I hope it's something special and fun. Smoking a turkey!? You do it yourself? That sounds wonderful and yummy!!
Carolyn: Yeah. Patch is something, quite un-ordinary. He's the most stubborn, opinionated cat that I've ever, ever known. I know you two are going to love that gas fireplace!! Nice.

aurora said...

So many things to comment about on this lovely post, here are but a few: Your granddaughters smile says it all! It's nice that you can share your love of horses with them.

Your wreath is amazing, love that you gathered all from nature!! Is that a dog collar used for hanging it? If so, I thought I was the only person who repurposed them in similar fashion!!

As far as Christmas traditions, my kids are all adults now so I've let go of most. We still oblige by hosting & attending numerous festivities...

Karen said...

Missy is one awesome kids horse! Bareback with just halter and leads for reins with a beginner!

Happy Holidays to you and your crew - enjoyed your photos...

C-ingspots said...

Aurora: Yes, Kaley had a huge smile the entire time she was on Missy! When she got off, she said her cheeks hurt...I asked, your butt? And she said, no grammy, my face cheeks!! I had to laugh at that. I remember oh so well...oh, and yes that's Ruby's first puppy collar. Couldn't find my wreath hanger, so had to improvise. :)
Karen: Yes, she was so good for the kids, but after a while she kept giving me these "looks" that said she'd had enough of the pony rides. :)