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meanwhile, back at the ranch…

December 21, 2014

tomorrow is the winter solstice,

and i’d like to shed some *light*

on the goings-on here close to home.

you see, i haven’t been here much this fall.

after spending 3 1/2 weeks in europe

i was home only long enough to catch up on laundry,

replace the critical things lost when my purse was stolen in paris,

(like the driver’s license i had just renewed three weeks prior…),

and reconnect with the herd before i was off again to monterey.

after spending a week with family i returned home

just in time to report for the jury duty that i had postponed

earlier when my dad was so sick.

as luck would have it, i found myself seated on a

jury for a case involving child negligence and spent

the better part of a week commuting during rush hour traffic

to spend my days in a windowless courtroom.

then we spent thanksgiving week in estes park.

now, i am preparing to leave very early on the morning

of the 23rd to spend christmas and new year’s

with my parents in monterey.

i do not anticipate travel well.

i love to actually travel, but perform a

finely tuned series of mental and emotional

acrobatics preparing to travel.

i worry about the animals, the plants,

the household–  you name it.

when the string of events occurs as quickly

as it has this fall, i feel like the faster i go

the behinder i get.

* * * * but * * * *

something has shifted…

i am seeing a purpose to all that has happened.

all of it–  good, bad, indifferent–

has moved me away from resistance and

gracefully towards an acceptance, tolerance,

and non-judgment of simply doing what needs to be done

and finding a deep peace in doing it.

* * * * * * * *

i have been largely out of touch with many of the people i care about

during this past year, both in blog posts and letter-writing.

i wish that it was easier to throw words onto a page,

but in truth i’m a ponderer and a reflector and when my mind

is preoccupied, well, i clam up.

i do not like to communicate unless i feel capable of bringing joy

to the page, hence there have been fewer pages.

and those holiday greetings i was intending to send

will have to be saved for the new year.

i do want to let you know that i do think of you,

i do notice things that i want to share and

will mention a few of them before the calendar page

turns over to a new year.

i want you to know about the little boy who came along to help

his dad work on our septic system on labor day–

an adorable little redhead in blue jeans and cowboy boots

who reminded me of little opie from the andy griffith show.

just so happens he attends the school i taught at

and was astonished that i knew all of his teachers.

i took him to see the donkeys and the horses,

and when he saw the first horse he stopped and asked,

“is that a flying horse?”

then seeing the others, “are they all flying horses?”

such is the magic of the gypsy horse,

and through that magic i remembered how much i loved

teaching young children with a sense of wonder.


i wanted to tell you how after a very long and colorful fall

deep winter arrived for a spell in early november, taking both

plant and animal kingdoms by surprise,

and how there was an austere beauty left in its wake.


i found it captivating on a frosty morning when the rising sun illuminated

the feltwork that the neighbor’s llamas had left on the wire fence at the back of

our property, and i wanted to share that with you.


oh, and the way the sun shone through the evergreens when i fed the horses

and seemed to penetrate my chilly bones and aim straight for my soul.


we had some full moons this fall that were mysteriously beautiful,

impossibly large and bright as they pulled free of the eastern horizon

and drifted in and out of patchy clouds.


and you must know that little otto is beside himself with joy

at having two new brothers in his life!

he is playing again, as well as

being part of the daily napping dog pile!


we did an impromptu holiday photo shoot one morning

that had the humans in hysterics:


out takes, anyone?!


totally worth it.



these two new additions have brought such joy into our home.

i think my great aunt grace, animal rights activist that she was,

would love to see how her green velvet chair is put to use in our home


and what i wake up to in the morning.


the holidays are upon us and when we all went to the parade and fireworks

last weekend i remembered the wonder of 3-D glasses

and bright, colorful lights.


and even though i will be away for christmas, brandt will be here

taking care of a lot of animals and he needs to stay

merry and bright,

so i changed my mind and we got a small tree

which i promptly overdecorated with most of the

christmas ornaments and all 2000 strands in the package of tinsel


because i am a sucker for anything sparkly and glittery at christmas!

i’m excited to be with my parents for christmas,

to celebrate and laugh and be together.

when my sisters and i were home in october we took this photo

that my parents used for their christmas card:

Family 2014 #2

this isn’t all i wanted to share with you,

but it’s a good start.

i have one more blog post to share with you before i leave,

and there will be plenty of opportunities to catch up on

more exciting things in 2015.

happy solstice!!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Jennifer Bentley permalink
    December 21, 2014 1:14 pm

    Seeing all the wonderful pictures and reading your beautiful words…well it IS indeed the merriest time of the year. Have a superb holiday and enjoy! Love ya!

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      December 21, 2014 8:13 pm

      ah, jennifer– soo nice to read these words! perhaps you and i can make it a point to get together and catch up over a beverage of your choice in the new year?! i’m grateful for your continued friendship. happy holidays and happy mid-year break!!!! love YA!!

  2. December 21, 2014 1:23 pm

    as you travel, dear friend, i shall be thinking about you, holding you in my heart.
    and as brandt stays home, tending to animals, i shall hold him in my thoughts, also.
    because, after all, animals talk on christmas eve, and someone needs to be there to hear it. and tell you about it.

    that tinsel tree is PERFECT….takes me back to childhood days….and now i have a little milo eye-ing the christmas tree ornaments mister pencilfox so carefully placed onto the tree.

    bless you, be safe, come back with stories and photos!

    MUCH love….

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      December 21, 2014 8:18 pm

      thank you for your continued good thoughts! i hope brandt hasn’t fallen asleep in the green chair when the animals do their talking…
      and yes, the tinsel tree– definitely a childhood memory and the thing that stands out in old family photos before i can even remember. i need to find some place that makes it the old fashioned way instead of the uber-static plastic variety so readily available these days. at least it sparkles!
      happy holidays, solstice, birthday, and new year’s to you, my dear friend, with love!

  3. Lori permalink
    December 21, 2014 6:13 pm

    A perfect post for the day. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, the whole spectrum, that loop of life. travel well, enjoy the season and can’t wait for the next post.

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      December 21, 2014 8:23 pm

      lori! your party was such fun! you are a christmas wonder-woman! thank you for your constant inspiration and encouragement– looking forward to our next 3 1/2 hour coffee date!!
      hugs returned!

  4. sageandspirit permalink
    December 21, 2014 6:19 pm

    I love the way the light shines in your life, in the beauty you bring to your posts, and in the love that comes through. Safe travels to you and Happy Holidays to you, your family, and the furry ones too. xoxo

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      December 21, 2014 8:26 pm

      thank you, julie! your words mean so much to me. i’m so grateful to have “met” you this year and to have you in my tribe! may your holidays be warm and bright!

  5. mary kelly permalink
    December 22, 2014 2:27 am


    I can’t believe I’m seeing you saying this! The part about accepting, not-judging — and clamming up??!! You’re reading my mind this very day. Know that I’m with you — I feel myself in your heart, and I want you to know I FEEL YOU in my heart, all the time, but TODAY? OMG. The bit about acceptance? That was ME.

    I can’t love you enough!


    • sassysistersink permalink*
      December 22, 2014 4:51 am

      oh mary! you do love me enough, and have for the (ahem) 48 years we’ve been bff’s! ha ha! who knew that the horse-crazy preteens would be sharing these thoughts in 2014?? besides us, i mean…
      xoxo forever!!

  6. mary kelly permalink
    December 22, 2014 2:32 am

    And the winter solstice? You DO realize I send my one and only annual communique out on December 21. My dad’s birthday and the longest night. It gets brighter every day from here on out, right? Can you tell I’m celebrating? You can’t see the champagne with cranberry, but, TRUST ME — I never miss the longest night. I only wish we had better proximity! I think of you so much, you probably don’t believe it.

    LOVE ya! Mary

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      December 22, 2014 4:55 am

      it does get brighter and brighter from here on out! we celebrated too, with our family potluck and red wine. and this morning? i spent two hours on the couch with three pups reading a book– if that’s as dark as it get i’m fine with that!!

  7. December 23, 2014 9:01 pm

    Little Opie, llama hair, flying horses and your dear parents. Well, everything for that matter! It is one fantastic post and I would say your clamming up time is over. (For now) I get that way too, when preoccupied, when I’m bothered or busy.
    You certainly are on the go ALOT. And I bet it is hard to leave “the zoo” behind!
    You are a lovely, lovely person, Janet, and one wise owl. 😉
    You’ll be on the coast again today! Enjoy every minute with your family, this holiday season!

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      January 5, 2015 3:42 pm

      oh, Lynn! thank you for your kind words– they mean so much! and speaking of owls, we FINALLY sighted one of the great horned owls yesterday morning as it took flight from one of the trees by the barn! it was very large and glorious to watch as it spread its wide wings and sailed! my trip to California was good and purposeful– just what i needed them to be! xoxo

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