Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Go Away Winter Blues!!!!

Ok- so it has been brought to my attention that I seem to be a bit down on Old Man Winter this year. In an effort to redeem myself in the good graces of winter and apologize for all the bad things I have recently said about the above mentioned season, I am making a list of all the great and fabulous things about winter in attempt to change my attitude! Here goes.....
1. What other time of the year can you "squeak" your boots when you walk?
2. My hands stay cleaner because they are always in gloves.
3. I never have to fix my hair as it is always in a stocking cap or a fuzzy mad bomber
4. Extra time to sit and do absolutely nothing, but warm up
5. Have to admit the snow is beautiful when the sun shines on it in the morning
6. No feeling in your fingers is not always a bad thing, right?
7. You can watch the horse's eye balls cool is that?
8. There is no greater joy than hitting 15 degrees after a long below zero stint......yes I do go without my coat then!
9. Keeping Carhart in business is a good thing
10. Snowmobiling, sledding and ice fishing
11. Learning what behaviors your horses have when true boredom hits
12. Heated seats
13. Snuggling
14. Free aerobic workouts just trudging through the snow
15. Back and arm strength conditioning ......again for free- only have to pay for the shovel!
16. Truly refreshing experience when you accidently turn the directional thingy on the snowblower directly in your face........better than a double expresso for alertness!
17. Turtlenecks
18. No flies, mosquitoes or other pesky flying insects
19. Don't have to mow the lawn
20. Less horseback riding, but more reading.....hmmmm that is a tough one
21. Kind of cool when your nose freezes together?
22. Frost on the trees- truly a remarkable gift
23.Bonding with the hubby while accomplishing a goal of finding the water tank, the car or other objects that used to be outside in "about this spot."
and finally.....
24. What other time of the year can you put your seventeen layers of clothes on and just get out to the barn to discover that you really, really have to pee? yet another free workout!! fast can you run in seventeen layers, through 3 feet of snow, with 2 inches of ice underneath, to get to a door that freezes shut, only to discard your boots and seventeen layers all to make it to the that my friends is one heckuva a bonus!!

So there ya go- I feel so much better about this crazy state of Minnesota that we live and promise to remember these and other things when I am feeling blue about winter! Stay warm everyone!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas letter and all that.....

Well, here I go! I completely lost track of time and not only did it become December, but apparently I fell off my "oath to blogging" wagon! So, with my coffee cup in hand and snow falling outside, my annual Christmas letter will appear!  (and is snowing again, adding to the 2+ feet of snow we already have!)

Each year for us is generally very much like the last, only it seems to be in fast forward as the years add up. Aside from some crazy things at work, it was a pretty basic year. We spent some time up at Breezy Point and Battle Lake over the New Year. Megan is still a girl scout Brownie and she doubled her cookie sales from the year before!  I went to Las Vegas in February for a Veterinary Convention. I did not come back a millionaire as it is very difficult to win millions, just one penny at a time! Kris still works at LaMettry's and we still are happy to be at our little hobby farm in the country.  I think we gained a dog, sold a horse, bought a horse and gained too many kittens. As I said.......pretty basic year. Ok, I will get you more details!

Megan turned 9 in November. She is in 3rd grade and absolutely loves school and her teacher. She is a very good reader and got to be in an enrichment reading class this year. Her best friend is Kaitlyn and they were both VERY excited to be in the same class this year. They are great friends and spend as much time together as possible.  The two of them showed their horses together all summer long. She sold her pony Lieba to another little girl this past summer.  (Which was pretty tough on Mom, by the way! But it was her decision.) She decided she wanted something faster and that Lieba was much happier going slow and teaching another little girl the ways of the saddle. So after lots of talking and looking she sold Lieba and bought Leah. Leah is the horse that every little 9 year old girl would love to have. She is an absolute gem. She is a 21 year old quarter horse mare that loves my kid as much as Meg loves her. They are an excellent team. Meg wanted to go faster and fast is what Leah will do......only when asked though- which makes her "Mom's" gem as well.  They won ribbons and achieved goals this summer and can't wait until next year. We have tons of video and pics of this dynamic duo. 

In August, Megan got to be one of the flower girls in her uncle Cory's wedding. What a beautiful wedding it was! Jenny was a gorgeous bride and we are so happy to have her as part of the family. Megan thought it was great fun to be all dressed up and dancing the night away. 

This fall, as usual, we did quite a bit of trial riding again. I found it to be the most wonderful "family" time. I realized how much my daughter had grown just from one year to the next. Many times, just the two of us would throw the horses in the trailer and take off for an afternoon of riding. I absolutely cherish the memories we all made from the back of our horses this year. Kris and I did our annual Dodge trail ride over our 12th anniversary weekend. It was a beautiful weekend with warm temps and sun shining. Kris is still riding his trusty mount Jamr and I have my 3 year old Chancy. She truly is turning into a great horse. We did not get to show much this year, but enjoyed our time together in the arena and on the trails as well. 

In November, Jeff and Heather had their little girl!  Megan is so excited to finally have another girl in the family, not that she loves Hayden, Brody and Broc any less!  Of course, she can't wait to teach Taylor the joys of horses! Watch out Jeff and Heather!

This brings us to the end of hard to believe. We were busy all the time this year, but wouldn't want it any other way. We are truly blessed with wonderful family and great friends. This was a year to just remember what's important and cherish the memories we've made. Hope this finds all of you with warm hearts and smiles on your faces. Wishing you all the most merriest Christmas and a fabulous 2011!
Take care!
Kris, Heather, Megan (the 2-leggeds)
Sophie, ChaChing and Nemo (the ankle-biters)
Leah, Chancy, Caddi, Jamr & Carrots (the eating machines)
Abby, Sassy, Curious, Black Stripes, Twister, Noodles, & Flower (the barn staff)

Ok- and this is also my pledge to keep up my blogging, so check in often to see what we are up to or check out my old posts!!! 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How time flies!!!

Wow- I cannot believe that October is already over! How time flies when you are having fun! 
October is always a busy month for us as it is usually when we are able to get the most trail riding in, so our weekends are pretty full. Here are the highlights of our October fun.....
We started off the month with a quick visit from my Auntie Jane who was in town from Vancouver for work convention. She was able to come to our little farm for a quick visit with my parents and Greg and Bill. Amazing how even though we are able to see her very little, family always picks up right where we left off and we had a fabulous visit and dinner. Loved being able to share my animals and farm with her. Nemo was pretty sure he just wanted to hop a plane and go home with her! 
The next weekend was our 12 year anniversary and annual trip to the Dodge trail ride in Wisconsin.  This was our 6th year in a row of going on this ride.There are usually about 400 to 500 riders on this ride.  We had warmer than usual temps and plenty of sun to go along with great friends and great horses for a nice long weekend.  My parents came to stay with Megan and take care of the rest of the animals that we left behind. Thanks Mom and Dad!
The following weekend we were actually home, but Meg and I did make it out for a ride at Murphy with her friend from girl scouts, her Dad and brother. This was especially fun as usually Meg has to hang with the adults when we go trail riding.  We rode for a few hours on a beautiful fall day. 

The weekend after that I went to our last big club show of the year up in Fergus Falls. I was not showing, but my friend Linda Jo's horse was in the derby, so we drove up and helped out with the runnings of the show and took care of Riskey and cheered him on to a belt buckle win in the limited open breeders derby. Megan got to come along and meet up with Grandma and Grandpa Haagenson as it was MEA weekend and she did not have school or daycare, so she chose going to the "lake" instead of hanging with Mom! hahaha
The last and final weekend of October Chuck, Linda Jo, Kris and I went to the Pillsbury Forest  near Brainerd for the weekend. We left Friday morning and after road construction, a few detours and a blown tire on our trailer, we had a fabulous weekend with chilly, but sunny and dry weather. We will definitely be heading back there and will have to bring Megan there as well, as I am sure that she would love the trails! We had quite the adventure! Even saw some wildlife.....including a ticked off porcupine!  Curt and Mavis came and stayed with her while we were gone this time and were able to celebrate an early birthday with her as well. 
camp at Pillsbury

Kris and Nemo

The map.......hmmm it is a tricky one!

Nemo hiding

Notice the snow on the ground

We also made time for pumpkin carving and Halloween somewhere in this crazy month!

Of course Megan was, believe it or not, a COWGIRL for halloween!! 

Now on to equally busy month that started off right away with Megan's 9th birthday!!! November updates coming soon! 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The joys of hard work

Really? The joys of hard work?
They always say that a good days hard work is great as you really feel as though you have accomplished something for the day.  As I sit here with a sore back and tired muscles in my arms and even in my hands and fingers, feeling relatively exhausted...........I guess I do have to agree. It is a pain in the butt to stack hay and there are certainly days that I really wonder why the heck I do it year after year, but when it is all said and done and the barn is full of hay, all ready for winter, it is always a really great feeling.  Putting up hay is something that we all dread to a certain degree, but I have found aside from the physical part of hay, you get the benefit of time spent with friends and family as well.  Some of our best stories have been told while stacking hay. A few of the best jokes or the laughs that last so long that your belly hurts......all while putting up hay. Sure we gripe a bit as we do it, but that is half the fun as none of us are ever really that serious.  You dig in and get it done and then before you know it, it is done! Spending quality time up in the rafters of a barn with hay up your nose and down your bra are hours well spent!! The horses seem to almost give a look of appreciation, or that might be just satisfaction in their eyes knowing that they will have feed for the winter. Either way it is a good feeling to have it done for the year.  
A special thanks to my neighbors and friends and my family, even Megan helped with hay this year, for time well spent and work well done.  Feels great! 
Ok- arms too tired to type cream and TV time, here I come! 

Sunday, October 3, 2010


This is my tribute to coffee.
There is just something magical about coffee in the morning, don't ya think? As many know, I am not anywhere close to being a morning person, but coffee makes it bearable and somewhat enjoyable to have mornings. There is something about that smell lingering in the house on a crisp morning, like this one, that just makes it all ok.  The smell not only wakes me up as I zombie walk to the pot, but brings me back in time to mornings of waking up to that smell at home, at grandma's or at Crosslake. All good family gatherings always have that rich coffee smell and I think that is part of the reason I love it so much.  As I am starting my process of waking up in the morning, it is nice to reflect on a few memories each day. Now there are days that I simply rush to the coffee pot and  fly around the house like a crazy woman, but the days that I take just a half a minute to bring up a memory- my whole day turns out better, I am pretty sure. 

Coffee is an acquired taste, that is for certain. Some like it doctored up with cream and sugar and all sorts of fancy stuff. I myself, prefer it black. I think in some way, the way you take your coffee, reflects on your individual personality and traits. I find myself to be a blunt and straight forward person. I like people to tell me how it is, no sugar coating or beating around the bush........just like my coffee. It can be a bit bitter at times, but I always know exactly what I am getting with black coffee. Now, having that said, there is an occasional time where I like to add some generic creamer stuff to it. I also love a raspberry mocha from time to time, but for the most part, especially in the mornings, I like it black and to the point. 

The absolute best tasting coffee is the coffee I make while camping out of my percolating coffee pot. I am not sure that the taste is any different, as I use the same can of Folgers, but the process takes longer, the smell is stronger, and the air is usually crisper. When I get up to make coffee while camping, it is usually a very quiet and peaceful time of the day, the only time I love mornings.  I start the coffee and then feed the horses and get their water. By the time I have that done, coffee is almost ready. I love to sit in my lawn chair listening to the sound of horses eating and the birds chirping and just be. Just sit there and enjoy that moment. 

Coffee and I will have a long relationship-my morning partner that gets me going and keeps me from going too fast all at the same time. Who knew a beverage could do so much? 

How do you like your coffee? 

Monday, September 27, 2010

"Making the best of it" is great!

Well despite the mass flooding and rain that we had this past week and weekend, Megan and I still had a wonderful time camping with the horses at Upper Sioux Agency State Park. We arrived on Friday night just as the sun was going down after our long drive of singing songs and eating Subway.  We quickly set up camp, blanketed the horses and fed  them  and the dogs and then attempted making the campfire. It was not raining at this point, but was getting pretty chilly and was quite damp out. Our friends Dave and Trina arrived shortly after us, so joined us in the fire making attempt. It was a measly fire at best, but managed a couple s'mores anyway. The heat was on in the camper and boy did that feel good! Meg, Sophie, Nemo and I all snuggled in and went to sleep.  We woke up early to pounding rain on the rooftop and cranky horses out on the tie lines. I went out at about 5:30 am and tied them under the awning with fresh hay which made them very happy! Snuggled back in with Meg and the dogs for a bit and then we leisurely got up and hung out in our jammies in the camper for a good share of the morning, as it was still raining. We made a big breakfast with eggs and bacon, showered and just hung out. At about noon, the sky was looking brighter, so we made some lunch and low and behold the rain stopped and we were able to saddle up and go for a ride! It was pretty gloomy and we when we set out, but by the end of our ride the sun actually had come out! The woods were beautiful this time of year, even with the flooding on some of the trails. It was truly amazing to see.  The park had many areas that were underwater, but how neat to be able to see it all from horseback. After a nice ride we, went back to camp to supper and another attempt at a fire. This time Dave brought his fire ring/pit from home and we had much better luck! We shared chips, salsa, potato soup, jello, crackers, jerky, hot dogs, dessert bars, and a bottle of wine. It was a gorgeous night with the coyotes howling in the background and many stories told around the campfire.  Meg loves to do the game where each person does part of the story. We had a few pretty crazy stories in the end!! Sunday was an even nicer day and the trails were less slippery and we had a great ride yet again.  Came back and ate a late lunch, before Megan "starved to death!" and then packed up and made the trek home.  Alway hate leaving, but also nice to get home. I will share some pics of my nice relaxing weekend with some great friends and  my fabulous little girl!

Megan and Sophie Sat am

Finally stopped raining!

And so the trail ends- lots of water!

Back at camp- the sun came out even!!          

Meg and Trina on the trail? or is that the river?

Stuff from the weekend:
*Watch out for the picnic table!
*"Yea and there was this time I came upon a cougar"
*Crescent feels "oh so pretty!"
*Marshmellows should not be eaten with lighter fluid on them!
*Sparring lions, aka, Nemo and Ozzy
*Ring around the rosie to wash their legs!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Come heck or high water....

Well as the saying goes..........
Meg and I are heading out tomorrow after school for our first ever mother/daughter camping with the horses. She is so extremely excited and I have to admit that I am too!  We are going back to a state park that we went to last year as a family that she just loved. What a great way for us to be able to go and have a great weekend together.  We know that there has been a bit of rain and that we may get wet again on Sat while we are riding, but that is so not going to stop us. We have been planning this for months and by golly we are going!  We will make the best of it and at least we know we have a dry place and heat in the trailer.  We are bringing Leah, Chancy and Sophie and Nemo. It will be a trailer full, but who could ask for more? We plan on taking a bunch of pics and doing a scavenger hunt of sorts. We are going to see all the different things that we can see on the trails and truly enjoy the outdoors, even if it is wet! Of course I am praying that we stay dry, but will take it as it comes and learn the lesson of "making the best of it."  Will have a busy day tomorrow between work and getting the final things packed up, but again, worth it!  Look for pics and stories next week! Think dry thoughts for us!!