Tuesday, December 19, 2017

This Christmas season

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Kadie in her winter woollies
My beautiful Kadie.  So hard to believe she's been gone a year already.  *sigh*

As I sit and type, the rain is just coming down.  It's windy, grey and altogether dreary...and wet.  Very wet.  The horses were fed in the barn this morning and it just might be the first time we open up those freshly laundered winter blankets.  No, it's not cold.  We blanket to try and keep them dry so they won't get chilled - and it definitely helps with keeping them cleaner.  *sigh*  I can just imagine how those clean blankets will look after today...oh well, that's what they're for right?

We've enjoyed the nicest of weather the last couple of weeks.  It's been mostly blue skies, some nice clouds, cold (but not too cold) temperatures and beautiful sunshine.  I've been loving it!  All that's changed now, but they're predicting some very cold (for us) weather later this week.  Overnight lows down to like 26F.  We don't get that cold very often, but I'm grateful.  We just leave the water in the barn trickling into the trough so the hose doesn't freeze up, and put the tank heater in the water so it's not unbearably cold for the horses to drink.  I've found if the water's not freezing cold, they will drink more.  And drinking in cold weather is key to keeping colic at bay.  And lots of turn-out regardless of the weather.  A healthy horse is a moving, eating and drinking machine...oh, and pooping.  :)

We're less than a week away from Christmas Day.  It's gone so fast.  But then it always does.  I've done a little shopping.  Our gifts are modest, but hopefully something the recipient can use and will appreciate.  Socks, slippers, new jeans, homemade cookies and candies and a new barn radio for my hubby.  He'll like that.  And those new socks, who doesn't love new socks? 

We've certainly broke the new mixer in!  Oh my, we've baked and baked some more.  Plenty of goodies to share for neighbors, family and friends.  I'm even going to bake some dog cookies this weekend and put them in the dogs' stockings.  Yes, we all have stockings - even the horses.  Who doesn't enjoy a special treat now and then?  And that's what Christmas is for, spreading joy however you can.  I truly believe that we just might get more joy from the giving to our critters than they do by the receiving and the devouring.  :)  But it's a toss-up.

We have our Christmas tree all decorated and brightly lit.  It's close enough to our bedroom that at night when I'm in bed, I can smell the spicy green scent and it's so sweet!  I love drifting off to sleep inhaling that scent.  Makes for sweet dreams.  I've decorated the new fireplace mantle with greens and holly, and a couple of white pillar candles.  Simple, but festive.  I'm still hoping to throw together a swag for the front door and I think I'll have enough leftover greens and holly to make at least one bouquet in a vase.  I've dug out a few of my favorite decorations that I've got scattered throughout the house, but kept it pretty simple.  Lots of pine cones in baskets and pretty bowls too, a nice seasonal touch and it costs nothing.  I like to think that's how people of olden days did, used what was on hand and made the best of what they could find.  It really is amazing how beautiful items of nature can be.  Nobody comes close to God's artistry.

We went to our riding club Christmas party last weekend and had so much fun.  It was a small affair, many of the members had other plans or just couldn't make it, but it was nice just the same.  We played Balderdash, a guessing game of word meanings.  We'd never played, but it was easy to learn and it was fun seeing meanings that everyone came up with.  It's been so long since I'd played a simple game, I'd forgotten how much fun it can be with a group of friends.  Maybe that's an idea for our family affair.  Just might be the thing to liven up everybody and have a few laughs.  Christmas music playing in the background...hmmm, might have to think about that. 

As far as other news, there hasn't been much.  I'm still struggling a bit with my cold.  Yes, the same one.  It's a long drawn out affair, but not all that bad really.  We've been working and taking care of the horses every day, baking goodies when we have the time and just putting one foot in front of the other.  This time of year, with such short daylight hours makes for long evenings.  It's dark when we get home and we read or watch a little tv and usually go to bed much earlier than we do in the other seasons.  Speaking of tv - we very recently got internet service in our home for the first time ever!  I know, I know, we're a little slow.  The only reason to get internet was we cut the cable.  We were sick and tired of our cable bill going up and up and the amount and quality of the programs going down and down...continuously.  So now, for $50 a month, we have Netflix, Starz, Roku, Food Network, OPB and many, many more that are free.  The quality of picture is better too, and the internet is kind of handy as well.  Where do you think we got some of those goodie recipes from?  Anyway, it's doing a good job of entertaining us for now.  And I get to binge watch Outlander!!!  And Grey's Anatomy and some of the older shows that I used to enjoy but aren't on air anymore.  I know I'm easily amused, but it's how we roll.  It's the simple things. 

Well my dear friends, I wish for you all, a very Merry Christmas and bunches of God's blessings in the upcoming new year too!  May you enjoy the company of good friends and family, warm and cozy fires, good food and good health.  And may your 4-legged family members be well, fat and sassy for the coming winter days, and also enjoy the blessings of their Creator.  God is good...
all the time!

Peace, love and joy from the whole gang at Cingspots!!

p.s.  We have a few family members to welcome to our clan, but I'll save that news for another time. 

Family Love, Holiday Series, Artist Donna Green

Monday, December 4, 2017


"Wood-House Christmas"- by Dona Gelsinger

Oh my, it's been 3 entire months since I've last posted here on my blog.  It wasn't intentional, but there ya go!  Time does have a way of getting away from me. 

We've turned the page on the calendar to a bright and shiny new month.  Can you believe it?  December already; the last month of another year...wisp and it's almost gone!  We've been getting into the spirit of the season - well, sort of.  My niece gifted me with a KitchenAid mixer on Thanksgiving day.  I was so surprised, and pleased!  I've always wanted one, but just could never actually bring myself to forking over upwards of $250.00 for a mixer I feared would see such little use.  This one is used, but works like a champ.  These mixers have always been known to be workhorses.  Indeed!  Cookies, bread, pie crust are a breeze with this machine.  We are loving it.  I say "we", because I've yet to make use of it, but my hubby has been going bonkers with it.  He made a chocolate cream pie yesterday and the buttery crust is just to die for!  Delicious!  He's also started the cookie making frenzy that we seem to fall prey to every single year about this time.  We enjoy giving them out as little homemade gifts, and of course, we enjoy them too. 

We hosted Thanksgiving this year and it was good and bad.  Good, because we didn't have to go anywhere, really enjoyed having company in our home, which is fairly unusual for us.  Bad, because I felt like I had such little time to actually visit with our guests.  I was so busy playing hostess.  Next time I'll make sure and have more of the work finished before everyone arrives and spend more time enjoying the people.  I find that I'm so unaccustomed to having dinner parties, that I get nervous and feel pressured, which just takes so much of the joy out of the occasion.  Next year, if we host, I hope to do better.  Relax more, and maybe actually drink that glass of wine...

Despite the "nerves", the meal was delicious and there were beautiful moments of enjoying family.  And it was so worth it, if nothing else, just to give my sister a break from always being host to everyone. 

We enjoyed the most amazingly perfect fall weather.  I simply could not have hoped for more.  Even November wasn't bad.  Yes, the rains have returned.  Some days in abundance, but we continue to have breaks.  Some days prove sunny and bright, and our temps are still mild.  We have lots and lots of mud, the horses look disastrous, but all are hairy and bright.  :)  Maybe even merry, who knows?  And as always, we're thankful for their good health and safety.  Us too, fat and sassy, save for this blasted cold I've got.  Me, who never gets sick!  This year I seem to be making up for years' past, because this is my 3rd cold of the season.  Not horrible, knock you to your knees colds, but still.  They have all started the same way.  A sore throat for 2 days, and then it goes into my head and chest.  I'm in stage 2...should be investing in stock with the Kleenex company. 

I've not had much time spent with the horses lately.  Well, except for each evening during our chore time, that is.  No riding, occasional grooming sessions and kisses and scratches for each one, every day.  I ache to ride!  Total and complete withdrawal symptoms for sure!  Oh, and I just may be getting a new saddle!  New to me anyway.  It's a ranch style saddle with a Wade-type tree, smooth forks and a smooth seat and higher cantle than my current Western Pleasure show saddle that I've ridden in since 1981.  I still love it, and will likely keep it, unless this saddle suits me perfectly, in which case, I will sell it.  I've loved it all these years, but have always wanted a ranch saddle.  Maybe that would be incentive for me to get my butt back in the saddle!  Eagle doesn't mind though.  Fat, fuzzy beast!  He loves his life and I love him.  All the horses are so fuzzy this year, except for Missy.  She's a sleek little gal and I'm just so happy that they're all so happy and healthy. 

Around home, the firewood's all neatly stacked in the wood shed and the barns' hay supply is holding nicely.  I finally re-homed my old piano.  Another local veterinarian took it for her daughter to learn to play on.  Perfect, that's what I'd always hoped for.  We sold our pellet stove and replaced it with an electric fireplace.  It's beautiful and I love it, but it certainly doesn't heat nearly as well as the pellet stove did.  Not even close.  But, that's alright because our little wood stove in the kitchen does a good job.  The fireplace is just for a touch of added warmth in the sitting area of our living room - and it's pretty.  I'm looking forward to having a mantle to decorate for Christmas.  Priorities you know?

Speaking of Christmas, we're planning on getting our tree this coming weekend, and doing a bit of decorating and of course, baking.   As always, I'll make a wreath for the front door and hubby puts up a few outside lights.  That's about it.  Christmas for us is a simple affair, and we like it that way.  We'll remember Christmases past and enjoy the people we love who are still with us.  And as is always the case, give thanks for our many blessings, friends, family and beloved animals who grace our lives and give us so much joy. 

Hope all is well with all of you!

Until next time, Lorie @ Cingspots.

I'll try not to be so long between posts next time.  :)