Thursday, December 30, 2010

Word of the Year


This isn't my word of the year, but it's sure one of my favorites, maybe because it seems to happen so often in the life I'm observing all around. The dictionary, which sometimes has definitions you'd want to quote on Facebook, doesn't quite cut it with this word - "The faculty of making unexpected but desirable discoveries." Ugh, faculty? Boring.

And serendipity is anything but boring. Here's my definition - "An out-of-the blue meeting with someone delightful with a thought or action that can change your life."

I had one of those encounters at the post office in Sisters the other day. I'd been thinking the usual end-of-one-year-beginning-of-another thoughts and was trying to put them into doable words. Lots of words, as is my tendency. My friend, Lynn, listened for a moment, then told me what she does. She chooses one word, get that, one word, to use as a filter through which to gauge her actions and observations of the world.

(To give credit where credit is due, she got the idea from Christine Kane, a song-writer and life coach who writes way more comprehensively than I on the subject. Read her thoughts about the word of the year at )

This seemed a much better way to greet the new year than a laundry list of to-do's. My mind immediately started thinking up words, phrases, whole paragraphs of pithy and helpful filters! Then I actually read Christine Kane's blog.  Ok, back to one word. I've been mulling it over for days; others apparently sit for a moment or two and a word plops into their mind and they're ready to go. Those of us of a more contemplative (read dithery) nature need some prep time.

I want to be more involved, do some stuff instead of just thinking or yabbering about it. Be a fluorescent, long-lasting, energy efficient light. (Although I really like the word "incandescent" much better.) To go beyond curiosity (my first word choice) and past action (second word choice), to this...COMPLETE v. finish, conclude, fulfill, end, realize, wrap up. Oops, it's supposed to be just one word. Well, that's what you get for reading Roget's Thesaurus before breakfast!

"Well done is better than well said." Ben Franklin

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Quiet Christmas

These 50 cent finds at Goodwill restored my Christmas goodwill.

The barn gets a bit of cheer too. Nice when gathering around the water cooler.

My favorite chair for cuddling.

Christmas angels come in all shapes and sizes.

Christmas is here and it's all turned out to be a lovely season.

We had time with Evan and Crystal to do a few things at a slower pace. Crystal and I shopped a little bit while the fellows played a round of golf. We got to meet some of the special people in their lives, the dear souls at their church who will care for them in the coming weeks as they adjust to being new parents. And Evan toured us around his school. It warms a parent's heart to walk in their grown-up child's world, however brief the visit.

When Alyssa, Rowan and Katelyn came, we were in the midst of getting one of the Friesians shipped off to his new home in Kentucky. This gave Alyssa a glimpse into our lives, the part of it that puts on multiple layers of warm clothes quite quickly and dashes out the door, to come back who knows when. A winter visit makes me grateful that I didn't raise three boys in snow country! It takes ages to get one boy into snow gear. I imagine if you had multiples, the first one would be having to whiz right about the time you got the last jacket zipped!

Playing in the snow is so much fun with little ones, once they're finally out the door!

Go, Goddy, go!

Goddy had just been to the dermatologist, hence the bandaids

Finding a Christmas tree has gotten a lot easier since we moved into our house with a really low ceiling. There are lots of 7-foot trees pretty close to the road. Handy for taking helpers along!

Rowan, carefully following Gremmy's footprints.

We introduced Katie to the joys of bone-picking. Lamb, of course. We want her to stay true to her Kiwi roots.

A highlight of the season was awaiting the birth of Evan and Crystal's little girl, Piper. Dec. 22 will be a red-letter day for the family from now on. Goddy and I kept busy during the final hours by cleaning out the hay barn and goats' pen. It's the little things that count...

While waiting for Piper, we were also on tenterhooks with one of the Friesians. Max, long a ranch favorite, ended up spending the week before Christmas at the vets with a mystery disease. We're hopeful he's turned the corner and will come home soon.

Today we're enjoying that special sense of day that is Christmas. There's just something about it, even when the day is quiet. The fire is lit, holiday music is in the background and the day outside is lovely. We talked with the down-under family yesterday and managed to quell the longings for a warm holiday. We'll have fresh air time when we go feed the horses, and there are a few leftover huckleberry biscuits tempting us on the cooling rack.

All things really do work together for good...

Friday, December 3, 2010

No More Pity Parties

After several months of silence, its time to come out of the cocoon. I'll be the first to note that a butterfly hasn't been formed in the ensuing time, but neither has a moth. Just what has is anybody's guess!

I've been the guest of honor at a little pity party the past few weeks, feeling glum that Goddy and I will be Christmas orphans this year. We'll be housesitting too, so there was a dilemma about how much decorating to do in the lead up, do we even get a tree, how will it feel to be somewhere without a tree on Christmas morning, etc. I felt like I wanted to copy all the scrumptious stuff in the holiday issues of the womens magazines but wouldn't have any place to enjoy it. And who'd eat all the baking?

Well, enough is enough!! Inspired by my sister-in-law, Kiley, the pity party is over. Everybody go home. Oh, that would be me. Well, I am home and looking forward to an abbreviated Christmas season. We'll visit Evan and Crystal and enjoy their tree and the anticipation of their soon-to-arrive baby. Alyssa and the kids will be here for 10 days, and so in all, we'll get 14 days of Christmas with family.

And it started last night with a visit from my friend, Havilah. We had dinner, baked cookies and did some decorating. Sometimes I forget that I'm a lover of simple, quiet things and that trying to emulate a magazine mom is a dumb deal. (But I'm still going to read the mags and enjoy the pictures!)

Let the festivities begin...