It was to be a practically balmy high of 32 F degrees today, wow. It's still cold, mind. It was calling for a wintery advisory of sleet, freezing rain, and snow. We saw brief showers of sleet at one point this afternoon at "the" barn. The ground and snow was still fairly frozen, the sun shone brightly.
This morning's first walk with Daisy didn't require a hat to keep from hypothermia ears within minutes. I didn't feel sharp cold through my corduroy pants the instant I went outdoors. It was noticeably less frigid than the single digit weather over the weekend; I almost enjoyed having Daisy spend time with Paschma (cotton candy in Farsi, I do not know how to spell that). The heater didn't hesitate like a car not quite turning over, but turned on nice gas heat when I flicked the switch.
I still had a cup of hot tea with breakfast, okay, FOR breakfast (but I ate something soon after). I still haven't gotten a nice instant chai tea latte mix for the winter, and my most local grocer hasn't even carried the liquid chai tea for months. I've gone from withdrawal to checking out my options. Hmmm, sorting through Christmas gifts, this decaffeinated one (oh heck no), or yes, okay, Earl Grey. I was always an herbal tea gal. I still love those:) I want my caffeine now. I remember evenings with Dougie and Stephanie, one in particular when they switched the sugar and salt, goating me on to add "sugar" to my tea in just such a fashion, that I lingered and decided not to. Ha. I add sugar and milk. Oh yum. THIS is how I have to have "regular" tea.
For lunch, I put on my mittens but don't really NEED them. I still get soup, Maryland crab soup that's okay (could use more solid, less shredded crab meat, and more veggies, but the overall idea is traditional and good). Nice and warm.
M was to run this morning at school, the weather still cold, and yet she was sent with a sweatshirt and polartec jacket (both from my house) to wear, no mittens/gloves, no hat, no scarf. Sigh. (The first time, she had an astham attack, so at least she takes her inhaler in advance now.)
By afternoon, she was fine warmth-wise. We weren't sure "the" barn would be open for kids, so I came right after school to pick her up. "Mom, can you stay and watch me ride??!!!" She is working with beautiful white horse, Sage, who looks like a carousel horse, to help get her ready to be auctioned. While it's sad to see her go and some others go, they aren't isn't being ridden currently at this barn. Today was an afternoon she'd get to work with Sage. Ah, what the heck. I'll stay.
M picks Sage's hooves, and brushes her. Pineapple's breath showed in the air. Earlier, M pondered only a moment when asked by a younger girl if she should put a cooler (type of blanket) on her horse. "Nah, it's not that cold." Ha. Comparatively.
A boy runs up out of breath to the point I wonder if he has asthma trouble, also. He shouts out that horse, Noodle, is on "the" road. Ah, which road (as in, hopefully it's the long driveway "road," not thee big road). "Go tell (Barn Assistant)," I tell him, and M grabs a lead rope, gets further details as to where the loose horse is, yikes "big" road which could be serious trouble, and races off. Barn Assistant is joined by a parent, who believes that Noodle is now in someone's garage.
They drive off, while I stay behind with the younger girl so that she's not left unsupervised while she finished tacking up Pineapple. At the time, there was also a dad there helping his young daughter tack up, but I wasn't sure if he was still around or not. This younger girl, Pineapple's rider, starts wondering aloud if it's really Noodle who escaped, after all, and goes to check. She then checks all the others, mentioning who is sneaky, who could do this trick and that and get out in that location. NONE of "the" barn's horses are missing, phew (Barn Assistant didn't think that likely, either, but who is to question in a potential emergency?).
Ends up that this was a neighbor's horse. A boy who rides at "the" barn has his own pony, Peaches I think, who escaped. The "man" who had Peaches in a garage was really a woman who is a horse caretaker, also with a baby in her car in the garage. While she was handling the situation, it was still a good idea to have other equestrians to assist just in case (and a couple tagalongs lol). M tells me how bad off Peaches hooves got from this escape on the big road, her face wincing. Thankfully, Peaches is in good hands and is safe.
The excitement and gratitudes over, a girl arrives just when her lesson is to start. This means that she missed her time to tack up and prepare her horse, Echo, and herself. Barn Assistant asks M to help out. "Sure." (Helping out is a daily thing for M, who also "closed up"the bigger barn, sometimes sets feed, and feeds, or applies basic medicines.) The girls mom is SO happy that M is helping show the girl how to do things, and getting her ready. She asks me questions, also, about horse back riding, different local barns, the school, and camp. The horse camp there at "the" barn that, surprise, M's too old for this year (I could have sworn she had through this summer).
They head to the indoor ring. The outdoor ring is still covered in snow, and would not be good for their hooves, for one thing, can't imagine horse back riding on the icy patches. I make a pit stop, in part to warm up my toes some. I wasn't anticipating being outside for long, and they were getting COLD!
It was nice watching M, even while she's not in a lesson, I can see the difference in her riding ability as she manuever's Sage about the three girls during their lesson. This is a beginner's lesson, half-way through the year. I remember when M was that young, and we seeked knowledge from the older girls. Now, M is one of the older girls. She maybe possibly will even get to help out this summer (depending on the schedule, her visitation schedule cuts into the session weeks sigh, and heck, C didn't even allow her to attend her lesson yesterday but they did NOTHING else mind). Right now? I'm pleased to see how gracious she is, and later, before she started her astronomy homework, I let her know that. "It's stuff I do every day." Ah, but today, I could watch.
Day is done. It's still cold, yes, but what a nicer version of winter this is now than the frigid single digit and teen temperatures this weekend (when having Daisy AND a cat sleep with me was nice for the additional warmth). Even if barncat Raptor wouldn't let me take a photo of him today in the sun, against the worn green barn walls just a ledge above the snow. He wanted to be scratched, instead, enjoy the NOW instead of having me capture the moment.
It's a full moon on the frozen landscape, a warmer shade of winter.