Wednesday, December 02, 2020

It's beginning to look a lot like . . .

Motel 6???
That's the light outside our daylight basement door (with solar lights along the steps and valley lights in the distance), by which our neighbors will be coming and going as of tonight. They had hoped to be in their new house long ere this, but construction projects being what they are.... The wife had mentioned to me a couple weeks ago that everything was getting damp in their temporary living quarters in the shop and their little RV trailer is not really big enough for the two of them – plus their two little dogs – to sleep comfortably. At the time she was housesitting for some people and looking for a short-term rental that would accept the dogs without success. Rick and I talked it over, and decided to offer them our rudimentary basement guest quarters. It has a separate entrance so we won't have inside contact during these COVID-conscious times, and they can have a warm, dry space to sleep, shower, relax, watch TV if desired, and dry things out at night.

But it is beginning to look a lot little like Christmas, too. Last week when I rode Lance down the lane, I saw that a Christmas tree lot on the other end where we have purchased a u-cut tree before is closed for the season already(!?!). I wasn't sure what we would do; u-cut options are very limited this year and tree prices are up thanks to high demand in these unsettled times. I mentioned to the Lord that it sure would be nice to have a BIG tree again if He saw fit to provide one; it wasn't a formal 'request,' I was just sharing the desire of my heart.

Last Sabbath at church, a member gifted us a poinsettia, our first bit of seasonal cheer. Then I happened to see an announcement on a friend's Facebook page. They were planning to clear out some untended Christmas trees to create more horse pasture, and were inviting people to come out and cut them for free the next day. Hallelujah! Rick and I headed on Sunday afternoon (Brian was busy – again – with friends), and found the perfect tree for us, this tall, lovely and fragrant Grand fir:

Yes, us two 'old folks' managed to get that in and up ourselves. Rick secured it with strings to the deck door hinges, although as you can see there are as yet no ornaments on it to break should it tip over. I'm not sure when (if?) the decorating is going to happen but hey; we have a Christmas tree!

Sunday morning before the tree excursion, Rick and Brian cleaned out the sheep fold. It was DEEP and hard-packed, so a big, heavy job; I'm so grateful! The walls are much taller now; heh.

While they did that I dipped fresh cranberries in chocolate, the anticipation of a Christmas tree putting me in the mood to make holiday treats. Yesterday I made chocolate peanut clusters. Next on the list? Probably Russian teacakes, but before I can get to that, we have a 19th birthday to celebrate. The boy has requested green & white lasagne and cheesecake.

This month is starting out unusually dry and clear. Fortunately we had near-average rainfall in November and there's a lot of December left in which to catch up.
A rainbow over our temporarily merged households

While the weather allows, I'm trying to work both horses daily; here are some scenes from my ride down the lane on Lance this afternoon:

Working with my animals helps keep me sane; this holiday leave is not going wonderfully well. 😒 Poppy and I get to go to agility class again this week after a two-week partial lock-down due to skyrocketing COVID cases in Oregon.
"Did you say 'class'???"

Poppy has been BORED the last few weeks without class or playdates. She has lots of toys and I play with her, take her to the barn, turn her loose to hunt when I can, and take her for walks. But it's just not the same. Fortunately, she got to play with the neighbor dogs today. She has figured out they are downstairs tonight and that's really hard, but she's finally settled down to nap on my lap.

Trying to hold it together at . . .

Friday, November 27, 2020

Yes, the boy is home

Last night I wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving before the day was over, so skipped over other stuff – fun photos I've taken, and a day's drive up the Columbia River Gorge and back to retrieve our college student for his first home leave.

We had beautiful weather for most of our trip Tuesday; the wind and rain didn't start until after dark on our way home. The Columbia River was as flat and still as I've ever seen it, and we even had some blue sky and a pretty sunset in Walla Walla.

Poppy was the perfect little traveling dog; whenever we had to stop for human or truck fuel, I took her on a brisk walk around the environs, stretching our legs and getting my steps in (don't want to mess up my now 30-day streak of reaching/exceeding my daily step goal of 12,000!). When we got to campus, I actually thought to have my phone ready to capture her reunion with Brian. 😍

Brian was champing at the bit to DRIVE again, 'deprived' of the privilege as he was this quarter, but only lasted about 40 miles before acknowledging that he was getting sleepy and letting Rick take the wheel again. He slept most of the way home, went to his room shortly after we arrived, and didn't emerge until 4:30 Wednesday afternoon! I guess there's nothing like your own bed after staying up studying for quarter finals. When he finally did get up Wednesday he wasn't here long, because his grandma had invited him to spend Wednesday night at her house; that way he could drive her here for Thanksgiving dinner. Today he's off seeing friends (promising that he'd wear his mask with others) and probably won't be home until long after we've gone to bed. He's easing us out of empty-nesting; ha!

Since Poppy got to co-star in the above video, how about we turn the dial to the Chuckie Channel? In this episode, we can see that the struggle between being terrestrial and arboreal is real. "Terrorize the human, or terrorize the sheep? Why choose just one?!?"

That's it for today from . . .

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving blessings

We had a lovely little Thanksgiving here; I hope you did, too. The day dawned with some actual SUN, and while I cooked, Rick blew some leaves and worked on our Fireplace Extraordinaire to get it in top operating condition again; hurray! (He replaced the catalytic combuster, many of the internal bricks, and added a grate to replace the one that burned out years ago.) Brian spent last night at his grandma's and then drove her out for dinner, which was a delicious joint effort. While everyone else relaxed after dinner, I went out and worked Stella and rode Lance; when I came back in, we had the dessert no one had room for at dinnertime.

The 'cherry on top'? I actually witnessed Spot breed Sarai today – twice! Late April lambies, anyone?

That's it for our Thanksgiving at . . .