Well, we have officially wound down our Christmas school break and 2013 New Year festivities here at the flats. It was at once a quiet and eventful three weeks here in the country.
Some of our activities weren’t all that different from the way we regularly spend our days. Annabelle and I spent a fair amount of time riding, as usual. She made full use of all her new pink items on Grumpy.
He looks pretty handsome in pink, no?
One of the problems, though, of being a dedicated winter rider is that if your horse has a lot of hair, like Grumpy, and you like to do a lot of loping, like Annabelle, you can easily get your poor pony too hot.
See, she’s going so fast she’s a blur. Oh wait, I just don’t know how to use my camera in low light. That’s the problem.
But she did get poor Grumpy awfully hot and sweaty. When that happens to your mount and it is really cold outside, you need to spend lots of time walking them around and drying them off to make sure they don’t get sick from being chilled.
Annabelle finds that part of riding pretty boring.
As an alternative, you can clip off some of said pony’s hair so that they don’t get so hot in the first place. One of the most common winter horse-haircuts is called a blanket clip. You basically shave the parts of the horse that are covered by his warm winter blanket so that when you ride him (without the blanket, obviously) he doesn’t overheat.
Auntie Kris was game to give it a go, so she started clipping away.
Our initial foray into the world of blanket clipping was not very pretty, as the only clippers that Kris could readily lay her hands on were no match for the thick thatch of fur the our Grumpy was sporting. We only got a bit done on each side before we had to give up for the afternoon.
He ended up looking a little……mangy?
So the next day Auntie Shane came to the rescue with her big, strong, sharp clippers. She made short work of finishing up the haircut.
When it was all done, Grumpy looked much more symmetrical. But not really any happier.
He did stay much cooler during his rides, though. Thanks aunties!
OK, this title is a little deceptive. Nobody in our household actually broke their arm (or arms, thank god!) during the vacation. But one of Batman’s friends at school did.
So Batman, being the empathetic little tike that he is, adopted a “Sympathy Broken Arm.”
He came home from school one day and insisted that his arm hurt “really, really bad.” So daddy had to fashion a sling for him out of two Harley Davidson bandannas. Or some such thing.
Note the look on intense sympathy-pain on Batman’s face.
Batman wore the sling for three days and three nights straight (yep, you read that right….he slept in it). The only time he took it off was when he went to play with the kid who had the actual broken arm. Then he would wear it over to school in the car, remove it before going inside, and replace it immediately upon being picked up in the afternoon.
Notice that the sling is on his (dominant) right arm. He ate, wrote and performed all other activities left-handed. It was pretty darned impressive, if you ask me.
Then yesterday, out of the blue, Batman announced that his arm felt better. I removed the sling. Batman wadded it up in a ball and threw it in the corner of his room and hasn’t spoken of it since.
A Brand New Space for Mama
Now to the good stuff.
Since we moved into the wonderful old farmhouse we are happy to call home a little over two years ago, there has been a room in the back southwest corner that has been, well, lets just, multi-purpose.
When we first moved in, it was a guest bedroom with a desk in the corner for my little “office.” When we moved the big bed out of that room for Annabelle to use, we filled up the space with a treadmill that my in-laws generously donated. Along with boxes of junk, pictures, broken things and stuff that I just couldn’t find any other place to store.
This is what the room looked like after I cleaned it up a bit following the holiday. Yes, that’s right, after I cleaned it up.
That is the little corner where I sat to write my blog, pay bills, work on my memoirs and all the other interesting stuff that keeps me at my desk for pretty much every waking moment of my life (according to Batman, at least).
For some reason, (I assume it was the same temporary madness that has always overtaken me with the excitement of the impending New Year), I told Desperate Hubby that I wanted to clean the office out over our break. We could move the treadmill next door, I told him, to the room occupied by the Skinny Pigs and the forty-four plastic totes of toys that Batman no longer plays with but refuses to get rid of. I could put up some curtains, maybe slap on a little paint, and make the southwest room a respectable office.
DH was surprisingly amenable to that idea, but I think it was because he had forgotten how heavy the treadmill was and how it had taken three grown and crying men to get it down the hallway and into the room in the first place,
Nonetheless, one afternoon after Christmas when we girls were out riding our horses, Daddy and Batman managed to remove the treadmill from the office and hang the curtain rods I had procured from our nearby Wal-Mart.
Then the kids and I got to painting.
Of course, even with the painting in process, the room looked quite a bit worse before it started to look better.
Did I mention it was really messy?
I worked on it off and on this week after the kids went back to school, and yesterday I proclaimed it finished. Well, almost finished. When I put our actual family pictures in the frame on the wall it will be finished.
Looks much better, yes?
I had space on the far wall to hang a print that had been sitting on the floor for months since I had gotten it framed.
And I even ordered a little buckle holder so that I could get my old trophies out of the cardboard box in our storage shed.
I need to show this picture to Freckles so that she can see there are three available empty slots.
I love my new office. I can just sit in here for hours at a time and play solitaire on the computer and enjoying the ambience. I mean work.
It probably won’t really improve my writing any, but it definitely adds to my mood when I’m doing it. It’s amazing what a little time and three trips to Wal-Mart can do.