Sunday, December 28, 2008

Joy and Creating at the Stable...

An appropriate title for the "3rd Day of Christmas"

My younger daughter is a very, very serious horse back rider. For close to 10 years, she has been developing into a fine rider and realizing her greatest passion in life! Since most places require a guardian to be present until the rider is 18 years old, I've spent a huge portion of my life at the stable with her.

There are days where I really have to drag myself to the barn...times when I would much rather be upstairs with my paints, paper and glue sticks...or working with my clay in the basement studio...or curled up on the couch with a blanket and a book (or my new Stabilo Fine Line Markers!).

But when I put it in perspective, I know that I am making the wisest choice by being with her. And I also know how blessed I am that I have a 17 year old daughter who actually wants to have her mom around! How rare is that these days?

So...while my daughter continues her journey, I've been trying to find out how my journey of joy and creating fits in at the stable. And it's becoming clearer each day! Six months ago we moved to a new stable - it is the Taj Mahal of barns. Unlike our previous barn (where we spent 6 years), I can spend hours at our new "home" without worrying about my allergies turning into asthma. And I can bring my journals and drawing supplies to create while I am there. barn time has now officially become my creating time.

And it's always easy for me to find joy when I'm around horses! Here's a picture of our pony with a bandaid on her nose! Poor girl, bumped her nose somehow overnight - knowing her, she was probably being impatient while someone was passing out the hay!

Later that day, we went to yet another barn to watch my daughter's friend ride. Well...I am so glad that I went along. It turns out that one of my husband's coworkers keeps a horse there...and it was definitely the most beautiful horse there. Imagine my shock when he asked me if I would like to ride Delilah!! Oh Joy!
It was the highlight of my entire day! was one of the highlights of my day. What joyful day would be complete without friendship? day ended with a lovely dinner out with a wonderful friend. Thank you, Nikki! Let's not wait another 3 months till our next night out!

Wishing you joy till we meet again!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Creating Christmas!

It's been a very Merry Christmas this year, and so different from the Christmas's of 5, 10 or 15 years ago! I have two weeks off from work (one of the joys of teaching), and my "little" girls are now 17 and 19 years old! No more sneaking around late at night, dragging in presents from their hiding places and putting those toys together! Plus, we had so much snow and cold weather the last few days, that I didn't even go out to join the crowds with their last minute shopping! I've been relaxing so much, in fact, that I almost skipped putting up the Christmas tree. Thankfully, my older daughter talked me into it...on Christmas Eve! Together, we carried the tree up from the basement (one heavy piece at a time), and after a few ornaments, it really was beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house!

This year, we kept the tree fairly simple with white, silver and gold. After the kids went to bed, I snuck on some English "crackers" and candy canes. Then I wrapped all of the presents with red bows to add some extra color to the green and white of the Christmas tree. In its simplicity, it was joyful and bright!

Of course, Christmas wouldn't be complete without the family favorites that come out year after year....

On Christmas Day, I woke up at 4:00 and couldn't get back to sleep. I guess that my body is on automatic pilot, after years of waking up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morn. Instead of tossing and turning, I decided to head downstairs, make a cup of coffee, and see if there was anything else I could do to make Christmas morning special. I don't know where the energy burst came from, but I ended up taking out my mini sewing machine, and making two little felt "envelopes" to hold the girl's Christmas money. The pattern was from the book Let's Make Cute Stuff by Aranzi and Aronzo (awesome book if you enjoy sewing cute stuff!). It was almost too much fun for 4:00 am! I suspect that I'll be making quite a few of these in 2009!

I'm looking forward to one more week of Christmas vacation, with plenty of time to spend creating in my pottery studio or doing some art journaling with my new set of 20 Stabilo fine line markers - at .4 mm they are really fine! Stay tuned for more photos and more joyful happenings as we end 2008 and move into a new year!!

Blessings to all of you for a holiday season and a new year filled with peace, joy and love!