Have yourself a Mare-y Christmas ❤️

Dec 24, 2022

Mare-y Christmas! Haaaa! If you know, you know. If you don't...be glad! LOL, I kid! Mares are the best. Yes, they are opinionated in a way that a gelding (a fixed boy) typically isn't and they are usually excellent teachers :-)

This morning after muddy and cold chores, I stood filling a stock tank with water and watched my mare stand in the sun with her blanket on. I wondered if they were feeling too warm but then I saw her, head lowered a bit, eyes almost closed, drowsy in the sunshine. I finished up and walked over to her, remembering my manners. I stopped about 15 feet away from her right shoulder and stood quietly. She slanted her eyes at me and went back to soaking up the sunshine. About a minute went by before she turned her head to look at me and then ambled over. We had a little talk and pet and then off she went to find hay. Over the years, that's how Rayn has taught me to approach her. I don't always take the time to do it, sometimes I'm rushing through chores and just need to get stuff done. I like to see the way she responds when I do it though, she's always responsive and appreciative of my efforts.


Speaking of muddy chores:

Just gross! We had a neighbor in Colorado who was a tree trimmer. He would bring us dump truck loads of wood chips whenever we wanted them. It firmed up our footing nicely there. I'm not sure if it would here...would it just be more gross? I need to choose a muddy spot and try it. Maybe it would work here too.

We've had a ton of rain this fall and winter, and the footing is just mucky.

We reestablished a shallow trench in our lower pasture so the water flows down the hill and into our forest, that's helped some:

I put blankets on at Wednesday night chores because it was going to rain all day Thursday. Thursday morning the horses came out to greet us, getting their heads and necks soaked:

But their blankets are waterproof and breathable so they were okay.

But donkey...he's just like, "Look guys, they will bring the food TO US, you don't even have to go out there!" but no one ever listens to him. A bit blurry but dry as a bone:

The forest has been full of interesting goodies lately. Isn't this the cutest mushroom you've ever seen!

An ancient and crumbly fairy castle:

I didn't know that Gardenias did this in the fall:

Some bright mushrooms in the grass!

Before the most recent downpour, B-Rad blew off the roof and cleaned off the gutter helmets—so many pine needles—like bales and bales worth:

A few days after my Mom crossed, I was blowing leaves in the yard and unearthed this pig! My Mom loved pigs and I took it as a, "Hello from the other side!" I can't believe I've never seen it in the year and a half we've lived here!

As you know, the Polar Bear guards the goats at night. I always leave her a nice thick pad of shavings right by the gate since that's where she likes to keep watch from. When I clean the goat barn in the morning, those shavings go inside for them and the Polar Bear always gets fresh ones. One morning I came out, it was cold but sunny and found Baby Dancer on Tessa's "bed" and Tessa next to her :-)

New moon at almost sunrise:

My Mom at work, 2019 I think. She owned her own business for 25 years:

I miss her. The further away we get from the day she crossed, the harder it is. We talked almost every day on the phone and once I moved here I saw her a couple times a week typically. When she crossed, I had had a somewhat lucid conversation with her about a week before. Today, as I write this, she's been gone for 6 weeks. I've not talked to her for 6 weeks. I've never gone that long in my whole 53 years. I kinda don't know what to do with myself right now. I talk to her spirit and that is wonderful and I'm grateful but we all know it's not quite the same is it?

Last night I switched my mobile carrier but before I did, I saved my voicemails from Mom. I have 9 from the past 18 months. I'm so thankful for them. I listened to them all and cried and exhausted myself. And then:

As always, thankful for the art.

It's still a work in progress, here are the last couple of versions. It felt so static to me in this one:

So I started to experiment! It was hard but I did it! Whoohoo! It's difficult to take a piece I'm somewhat happy with and do this to it, but I wasn't 100% happy yet so I said, "No fear!" and jumped in! It definitely feels more energetic and there is the feel of "movement" to it but that front left leg needed to be reworked, the loose brush strokes there didn't work at all:

I have more to do on that front left leg, well, all over really but I think that leg being back in focus is a good thing. I added some more noticeable brushstrokes into the barrel of the horse's body, so there isn't so much of a change of style of strokes from horse to background—I may do more. 

I took out a lot of the reds and oranges in the background but now seeing them close together like this, I will add some back in—I liked it more than I thought. It's an interesting piece, the horse's pose (I'm using a reference photo) is kinda fun, those back legs are really pushing hard, creating an interesting bunching of muscles in its hip on the right. The left leg (our left as we view it) is slightly pivoting inward as it makes a turn, but it's lifted leg hasn't yet caught up with that turn. Curious and fun to work with and see if I can pull it off!


This is a true statement. I have no idea why:


Let me give you a big ol' hug!

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