Saturday, December 31, 2011

End of the Year Wrap-Up

This past week has been extra busy. My husband and I fed and watered the horses on Christmas Eve. There are 29 horses and twelve of them have to be hand watered. Five of them are far enough away from the water source that carrying the buckets is quite a workout. It was snowing and quite pretty and we accomplished it all in about an hour and a half.

Christmas was nice and peaceful with just the two of us. We had a delicious rib roast and I even remembered to bake the side dishes ahead of time so they could be reheated at the last minute and everything was hot at the same time. My only failure was a baklava recipe I tried. It called for miniature phyllo dough cups crumbled over the top. My store didn't carry those so I substituted Pepperidge Farm puff pastry shells - big mistake.

I received a lot of cool gifts; books, DVDs and clothing. My brother and sister-in-law got me PW's cookbook which I already have. They bought it at a store in Solvang, California so returning it isn't really an option.

Monday I helped out at the barn. I groomed six horses both before and after their training sessions - does that count as twelve horses? Then it was time for my regular lesson so a seventh horse was not only groomed but tacked up. I was seriously tired and considering going home but my stubborn pride wouldn't let me admit that I couldn't do everything so I forged ahead. The lesson was great but my left leg was barely strong enough to get me out of the saddle; it took me two attempts. Once my mare was put away I headed for home.

It snowed heavily on Tuesday. I needed to go to the grocery store but managed to convince myself it could wait until the next day.

Wednesday up early for an 8:45 doctor appointment and then did the grocery shopping. I think I was the only customer in the store and was home by 10:00.

Thursday I groomed at the barn again and additionally fed warm mash to all the horses except the two babies. The trainer was working with some of the younger horses so grooming was a tad more challenging. One of the three year olds in cross-ties threw a hissy fit when her half sister was led out to the arena. I did not want to approach her as she seemed out of control but the trainer showed me that she calmed right down once she was being groomed. She loves attention. One of the other young ones didn't want to lift her hooves for cleaning but I eventually got them done. She's such a pretty thing that it's hard to get mad at her plus she also loves attention and begs you to pet her when you walk by her stall.

Bart the puppy ensures that I don't lounge in bed in the morning, although I have managed to get him to wait until 7:30 occasionally. I'm happy to report that he made it to and from the vet's office yesterday without getting carsick - a landmark day for him. I spent the rest of the afternoon dealing with Amazon. I love their wish list but unfortunately neither my sister or mother-in-law understands that they should click the "buy" button so we had five duplicate gifts to return. This proved quite challenging for the representative I worked with and I ultimately had to re-contact them as she kept e-mailing the same information for one item, not the others that I needed. She also claimed that I had to use UPS, which I know is wrong but did not want to argue. The packages should be picked up "some time within five business days." UPS is supposed to provide the mailing labels. I sure hope they plan on three packages as that is how the return authorizations were given to me. One large package would be easier but I'm not in charge.

Yesterday had another riding lesson and then me and another student fed and watered the horses again. Things kept happening and I didn't get home until 10:00 p.m.

Today I plan to put away the few Christmas decorations I managed to get put out. My husband asked about a box sitting on the fireplace hearth - stuff I had dragged up from the basement but never unpacked.

In answer to Midlife Mom's question, yes, I mostly tend to cross-stitch Christmas items. One year I included an ornament with all my Christmas cards. I think that was the first year I was retired and hadn't figured out what to do with myself. I have a huge stash of patterns and kits so of course I had to order another one yesterday because of the year-end sale. I find that I finish items that are meant for gifts. I have a lot of started but never completed projects for myself. I think I have one picture (Christmas, of course) that I actually finished for myself.

Hope everyone has a happy and safe New Year's Eve and a peaceful and prosperous 2012.


  1. Hope you and your family have a wonderful 2012!!

    Oh, and my adult dogs let me sleep occasionally sleep til 8:30a. Hope Bart is kinder to you when he grows up. ;)

  2. You are one busy gal! Hope 2012 brings happiness and health to you and yours ~

  3. You have got to love horses. I am 82 now but when growing up I loved to ride my pony. Hope you had a good Christmas and a happy New Year.

  4. Wow! You have been one busy gal! 29 horses! That's a lot to feed and water. I remember those days but where I board now in the wintertime there are only my four and one other one now. The owner really downsized after she broke her back a couple years ago. She fell off the barn while getting snow off it. Actually I think 19 is the most she ever had at one time.

    Thanks for answering my question. You do beautiful work!!

    We still don't have any snow, what we got Christmas Day is long gone. :o(