Oh the weather outside is frightful...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

♫ ♪but our Christmas was so delightful♪ ♫

How about yours? Seems I'm still singing (totally off key - and aren't you delighted that there's no sound on this blog? :o) We have definitely had some whacked out weather already this winter (and we're only what, about a week into it? Sheesh). We've bounced around from the frigid windblown teens to the icky-sticky 60's and raining on Christmas day. BLECH
Number One Son came home for Christmas (yay), and it was such a blessing to have everyone here together this year.  I've learned to appreciate such things, as you just never know when they'll happen again. DD picked out the tree; personally I think it was just a teensy bit big but she was adamant (and the great thing about an 11th hour tree was the $9.99 price tag (oh yeah, that one definitely worked for me). Of course we had big fun getting it into the house, but we we did it. I must say, it turned out pretty well considering how much we whacked off to make it fit (note star on ceiling *laugh*).
I am a total creature of habit (which is one reason horses and I get along so very well; our mutual appreciation of schedules and order *grin*). One thing that makes Christmas special is holiday traditions. Do you have any? What is your favorite holiday tradition? We have two longstanding family traditions that I really love:
1. Stockings first with a pause for breakfast (which helps build anticipation). We also sing happy birthday to Jesus, which may sound a bit silly but it's neat for the little ones and also helps remind us what Christmas is really all about; and
2. The annual ornament [one per kid] that is tucked into the Christmas stocking.  (the ornament shown in the above photo is my very first from 1965; it was handmade out of copper).
My mom did this every year when my brother and I were growing up. We would each get an ornament in our stocking and she would put our initials and the year on the back. When we were grown and married and ready for our own Christmas trees, we each had a starter collection of ornaments, with their own special memories attached. Handmade copper ornaments are a bit out of my reach these days, but several years ago I found these wonderful little tin soldiers in a Pennsylvania gift shop (my first trip "home" after 20 years - it was for my high school reunion :o) Sometimes they are related to life (a mortarboard for DS back in 2002 or like this year; DD got a wooden ornament) and sometimes they are just plain 'ol ornaments.
I have to say that the weather didn't seem to bother the horses much (I got a kick out of Sarabear's blase response to my Aren't you cold? question). Quite a steamy yawn. Personally, I'm starting to think we should all sprout such wonderful winter woolies *grin*.
For those of you who might be wondering how the fishies are doing in all this frigidity, here's a shot of Larry and Curly underneath the ice (and is that weird or what?) The blob with the lens and the index finger in the lower left hand corner is me; and the white streaky stuff is the ice, which cracked, thawed partially, then froze again. Brr. Moe, for whatever reason (I think he's either anti-social or just plain shy) likes to sleep on his back off to the side, while Larry and Curly hang together almost all the time. Other than causing me several mild panic attacks, I've pretty much gotten used to Moe's quirky belly up hibernating habit (besides, the horses are allowed their individual little idiosyncrasies so it's only fair the fish have theirs too, right? ;o)
I hope everyone's Christmas was a wonderful one! I have a bit more I'd like to post, but I think I'll save it for next week. Until then, stay warm and dry (and safe!)

P.S. I am delighted to report that we now have a marvelously eccentric vintage orange tractor named Tilly. Thank you to everyone who voted!

Never mind the centrals...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

♪ ♫All I want for Christmas is my SAN-I-TY♫ ♪
Did you know that's the official name for your two front teeth? Upper Right and Upper Left Centrals. Sounds a little weird that way. I guess it would be quite the understatement to say "It's been awhile" wouldn't it? Sometimes time just has a way of slipping flying fleeing through your fingers; or at least it does mine. Has it really been over a month since I last posted? Apparently so, and EEK. Although I have been popping around visiting [and reading] everyone's blogs, I have not taken the time to comment much. It would seem that someone punched the fast forward button after my last post, and things got just a teensy bit crazy around here. In the midst of all the lunacy I managed to host Thanksgiving dinner, get a tentative Fibromyalgia diagnosis and finish and send off another grant proposal. I think that leaves me somewhere between productive and destructed *rolls eyes*. Whaddaya think?  I got a kick out of this picture of Bella yawning (it sums up my month pretty accurately ;o)
Guess what? We are up to six (count 'em SIX) posts set in concrete by the demonstration area, and one support beam - Woo! If DH could manage a week that didn't have 65-70 hours of work in it, we might actually finish before Spring. We also managed to [finally!] purchase a real tractor for the farm. Our neighbors at the top of the hill had an old garden tractor and some implements that they sold to us. Made possible by a generous private donation; is that awesome or what? :o) I don't have a picture of it yet, but this one is close enough. Now if we can just get enough funding we can repair some of the damage done by our wacky weather patterns over the past couple of years (not to mention that little tunneling terrorist who took up residence for awhile).
I've decided to name it Tilly for the following reasons (let's see if you agree):
1. We are a fun loving, kid-friendly place so it makes total sense to give the tractor a silly name;
2. It is a terrible pun (therefore irresistible);
3. Tilly Tractor is a marvelous alliteration (and we all love a good alliteration!)
Since I am in a frivolous frame of mind, I think I'll see if I can't just embed a little poll on here and let you all (excuse me, that's Y'all here) tell me what you think:

Since I am a major early bird, I strolled outside to see if I could get a photo of the lunar eclipse the other morning (although I think I probably missed the coolest pics, as I am not quite that early a bird :o) It still looks pretty neat, and there was still a little tinge of red leftover for me. Did anyone else see it? I managed to make it outside for the meteor shower last week too - although there were not enough falling stars at one time for me to manage a shot. I had just enough time to say Ohhhhh, raise the camera a couple of inches, and Poof - all gone darn it.
As long as we're in the sky, I thought I'd share a shot of the sunrise at feeding time. Other than putting the decorative edge on, this is untouched (God sure does paint some pretty ones, doesn't He? :o) Nothing like watching the sun come up through the trees...
Question for the crafty folk: Have any of you tried the Knifty Knitter? A friend of mine went on a bender a month or two ago, making hats for the homeless (sounded like a winner to me). So armed with my 40% off coupon - the only way to shop - I hit Michael's and went to work using up some of the yarn from my stash. I have to give that little loom two thumbs up, as it is super easy to whip up hats and even scarves (DD is looming those). Here is a link to some free patterns on the Provo Craft site - because who doesn't love free? The blues and other colors are mediums and the browns are larges. I think my favorite yarn was the Red Heart Light and Lofty (the turquoise hat). It made the best hat; nice and thick and super soft, but it seems none of the stores here carry it in grownup tones, only pastels for baby (grr). So, I suppose I'll wait for a sale, and hit Herschnerr's. Or maybe Ebay, hmmm...
Since November was fairly quiet in the pasture, someone was definitely overdue for a blankie moment. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, Shadow suffers from *cough* Cranial Colic (otherwise known as a dramatic episode). He will usually get right up once he has his blankie, although he does sometimes opt to sit and pout awhile longer (because who doesn't love a drama queen with a strong sense of theater? ;o) As you can see, Shadow was rather offended by my photographic audacity and bumped and wiggled himself around turning his back to me in a huff so I would get the message (after first giving me the fish eye, that is):
Well, I suppose that's [more than] enough for now. Here's wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

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