Merry Christmas!

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One year of Tucker Bunny! 

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Hah this year I am quite behind in Xmas- I didn’t do cookies this year! 

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Ian and Gidget last Christmas! 

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Christmas aftermath

Man, so many things. Good and bad. I enjoyed my time off, considering I was in a spectacularly grouchy/depressed mood, I was in a WAY better mind frame to celebrate.

We went to Ucluelet for a few days to decompress before the family madness began, and then celebrated Christmas Eve at my husband’s parents farm, which was nice. We then had Christmas breakfast and then Christmas dinner at MY parents, which was also good. My gifts were lovely, my husband got me everything I wanted and I really loved the cool and unique gifts my sister, parents and stable friends gave me. WOW so generous!

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Yes I am wearing a grumpy cat Xmas sweater! Featuring new boots for Oats, love them so much.

I also did some Boxing Day shopping and bought myself another pair of running shoes (I know I know, I have like 10 pairs now..eek) and some cool funky clothes (I also have too many of those, haha).

I ate too much, went to two parties in one night, drank too much (again) and ran a lot and also rode Oats five days in a row, gave him three days off, and now tonight will be day 4 in a row he gets ridden! That pony gets a lotta love, gotta say it, haha. He also enjoyed a home-made cookie from one of the girls are the barn and he gobbled it up in RECORD time.

No Xmas is complete without some holiday drama, and it led me to realize my new year’s resolution is to not whitewash what I want out of life. Not whitewash WHO I am anymore.

I will finish with this- as I go into the new year, I’m planning on setting the slate clean with a few people (my parents). I want to go into a fresh year unencumbered by people’s expectations of me.

I have a dog, horse, rabbit and husband because I love and cherish all of them, and they all add value and joy to my life. I would never presume anyone needed any of those items or animals to make their lives whole. This is my experience.

Please do not assume I need children to make my life whole. That is your experience. I do not need convincing, judgement, argument or debate to ‘make me change my mind’. I don’t think everyone needs a dog, horse or husband to fully experience life–why do people think that about kids? Just stop.

In 2017, I am going to be clear about what I want with the people I love and am closest to. If that means they are upset with me, so be it. I am going to focus on what is most important to me, and maintain my priorities and my sense of self the only way I know how- with resolve and resolution.

So, I guess that’s my NYE resolution right there. I also really want to start planning my next exciting big trip and can’t figure out where I want to go/do next. Africa maybe??

Holiday fun at Parc Omega

In the land of the hungry deer

In the land of the hungry deer

A small detour for my blog to talk about what I did on my holiday- we went to Parc Omega, which is a really cool wildlife- themed park sort of safari thing. It’s in Montebello, just across the border from Ottawa.

Parc Omega

We’ve always gone in the past, and I’m still impressed with how they have maintained everything. The park looks beautiful, it’s open all-year round and the animals are kept in great shape and allowed to roam at will (except if they are a bit dangerous, then they are kept in enclosures for their and our safety!)

More carrots!

More carrots!

You can bring carrots and feed them from your car, and at the deer park area, get out and hand-feed the little deer. There is a small trapper’s cabin type thing, and you can buy more carrots, coffee and hot chocolate there too.

Close and personal bison

Close and personal bison

And the animals are so close! You can get up close and personal with so many of them, and even the ones that are behind fences are still really close. It’s amazing.

Moose fight

Moose fight

We went on December 24th this year, and it was a great time to go. My mom couldn’t make it because she wanted to stay and clean up the place to get it ready for the traditional lobster dinner we normally have, but otherwise she would have come as well, she loves that place.

Wolves or coyote? Cute anyways!

Wolves or coyote? Cute anyways!

I highly recommend a visit to Parc Omega if you’re ever out east. Totally worth it.

Lonely ibex

Lonely ibex

Holiday Countdown Begins! T-4 days…

A sunny December

A sunny December

Oh man, this week cannot finish fast enough. I am developing a cold and have NOT been sleeping well, with a sore throat, swollen throat, stuffed up nose and crazy ear pressure keeping me up (and this is WITH Tylenol for night. arghhh).

Had a very busy weekend- got invited to six parties, and obviously couldn’t make it to all of them, so I went to a friend’s party, left early, and went to a work party.

Then Sunday, I rode Oats very quickly, did a quick Christmas photoshoot with husband, Oats and our dog, and then we went to my in-laws for a gift exchange (and got the most hilarious gift from my in-law ever…straight to the gift-exchange party with that one!!), a walk and a nice dinner. I was already starting to feel lousy, and was seriously dragging by the end of the night, for another sleepless night. NOooooo….

Merry Christmas from Mr. Oats!

Merry Christmas from Mr. Oats!

Oats was good to ride, my rides were short and kind of lackadaisical- I blame being very busy and getting sick. Apparently he had a very spooky ride with his hacker on Friday, where he took her for a wild ride after getting buzzed too close by a bus. I hate that he had to experience that–those roads scare the bejeezus out of me, no wonder they spooked the horse!

They were ok though, and he was fine to ride Sat/Sun. I think he quite liked a shorter ride on Sunday, hahah.

I also found out that he likes eating candy canes, but you have to crunch them up for him to eat them- otherwise he gets confused and kind of ‘mumbles’ at the whole candy cane with his mouth. What a goof!

Holiday happiness

Holiday happiness

Had a friend’s launch party for his new videogame last night, such a cool thing he was able to do- but I didn’t end up staying that long because I was feeling so lousy.

Lesson today, and definitely feeling tired, lousy and generally sub-optimal. My ear pressure is driving me nuts, still have a sore throat, blahhh.

Oh well…the countdown is ON!

What you imagine, you create

Weekend update- rode Oats on Saturday and he was SO BLAH! UGH.

Yummy cookies!

Yummy cookies!

Just…not rude or anything scary or dangerous, just ‘blah’ and completely phoning in his ride. I was bummed, because he was literally ‘sparkling’ with energy Tues/Wed, and I felt his energy decline in my lesson on Thurs- though he was still cooperative, and then Saturday? He just felt like, ‘yeah yeah yeah whatever’ and that’s how my ride went. Fell over a few crossrails because he couldn’t be bothered to pick up his feet. Blah.

Maybe Oats does best when he gets to spend 12 hours at a horseshow on the weekend? Because it seemed to *really* liven him up for some of the week! Hm…

Thursday was a good lesson- not without it’s bobbles- me forgetting to ride to one x-rail and us kind of landing in the middle of it, me trying to push him through a short gymnastic at the canter and bailing out halfway through, him having a coughing attack in the middle of our course…But you know what, it actually rode pretty well after our ‘bobbles’ and I felt pretty fine about it.

So, after his VERY unenthusiastic ride on Saturday, I decided that I would *gasp* take him out of the arena on Sunday and attempt some weenie trail riding. I mostly hate trail riding, it scares the bejesus out of me. I have had MANY bad experiences, and the roads around the barn are so so so busy- motorcycles, buses, big trucks, tons of cars, bike races, dogs, kids, etc etc etc. NOT relaxing.

Well, the good news is that we didn’t quite make it to the road, hahah – we rode past the ‘scary barn of terror’ that Oats was petrified of (wind chimes, flag flapping and going nuts, creaking doors, farm equipment?!!!) and made it like halfway…And then he refused to go forward, and started thinking about rearing, so I made an executive decision and hopped off, led him past it- with 1 big spook! And got back on…And had to repeat the ‘get off, lead past, get back on’ procedure a few times.

We made it to the end of the road, and then Oats didn’t want to go home! He tried to charge off and take me to the road, which is NOT where I was planning. So, hopped off, led him back, hopped back on and managed to ride safely back to the arena. The girls were in the outdoor stomping on ice that had frozen in the puddles, so Oats and I joined it and stomped some ice too! Me on his back, and him enjoying himself, haha.

So, we tried. That was that!

It was still incredibly nerve-wracking. UGH.

And what else did I get up to? Some cookie making & decorating, and preparing my items for the craft sale a friend is having this weekend (at her house). Check it out! I’m looking forward to it, I have bath/body items that I like making for fun, so I figured why not see if I can sell any?

Craft sale goodies- nice enough to eat!

Craft sale goodies- nice enough to eat!

Bath & Body- Crafty time~

Not only do I love riding, like running and being active, but I love crafts. Normally my crafts involve glue guns but I have been maturing in my skills…

So, earlier in the season I experimented with lip balms. I made peppermint ones and they were a success!

Now I’m combining my lip balm skills and adding in a lip scrub, so now people (friends, family, loved ones) can not only have a nice pepperminty lip balm but also a smoothing scrub to start things off!

Bubblegum lip scrubs and lip balms

Bubblegum lip scrubs and lip balms

This makes great little gifty things for Christmas.

I call my lip scrubs ‘Bubblegum’ lip scrubs and dyed them pink!

It’s so easy:

  • I used 1/2 cup white sugar,
  • 1 drop pink food dye,
  • 1 tsp vanilla (white),
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, and
  • 1 tsp cocoa butter (melted).

Mix the whole shebang together, add your pink food dye, and voila! Bubblegum lip scrub. Parcel it out into cute little containers. I used jam jars, with the labels removed and the lids spray-painted blue. Just boil them first!

Gifts

Gifts

This also feels super nice on your hands, if you want to make a bigger batch to use as a really nice gelato-type of hand scrub.

Next up- I am going to try my hand at making a peppermint foot scrub with salts. Should be good!