Where Has This Year Gone??

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How on earth is it November 19th??

This year has absolutely flown by and I can't get over how full every day is and when I say full, I mean it in only the best way!

I will fully admit that I haven't been spending as much as I would like to with the big guy (aka Lightning - my horse), but the time we do spend together is so good for my soul....and his too I think. I snapped this photo as he was eating his dinner and as he does so, I lean on him like he's a big, furry pillow. He munches away and I get to breath in the horsey aroma that has intoxicated me since I was a child. So simple, yet soooo good.

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Speaking of big guys, it wouldn't be November without a trip to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. My bestie's family shows there every year so I went in to see her daughter and uncle show on a Sunday afternoon. The day I was there her daughter showed a Clydesdale in a line class and she did a fantastic job. These gentle giants are truly magnificent creatures and Clydes will always be my first love of the equine world.

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There's something magical about the first snow and as I stepped out my front door at the City Cottage on the sunny morning after ours in Guelph, I couldn't help but smile and revel in the beauty that surrounded me. 

The second photo above is the view from the end of the laneway at my Moms home (the Country House). The tamaracks are so beautiful with their rusty-burnt orange hue this time of year...I was out gathering greenery and couldn't help but snap this photo.

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The greenery I was collecting was for these....I got a head start on the Winter/Christmas decor at the Country House by putting together the planter inserts at the front door. Every piece contained in the insert is from our property and I'm beyond happy with how well they turned out.

They're so full with a variety of textures, from the hydrangeas to the cone flowers to the 'fluffy weeds', I just love them!!

I wouldn't have been able to pull these together without the help of this guy.....

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My Charlie Bear helps me with the outdoor decor every year and this year he was right beside me, ensuring only the best from a quality control perspective... I just love him to bits and with that face, how can you not?

I hope you've had a wonderful November too and can you believe that it'll be Christmas in 5 short weeks?? I better start my shopping!!!

RR

My Life of the Horse....

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It's the Year of the Horse.....We see it in decor, style, fashion....It's everywhere!

For me, it's not just the Year of the Horse....They have always been a part of my life and I have made a concerted effort to incorporate the majestic equine not only into my home, but as many aspects of my life as possible.

I was two years old the first time I rode a horse and it wasn't just any horse...It was a Clydesdale!

That amazing creature was just like one of the gentle giants in the photo above. She was almost 16 hands high at the crest of the shoulder (each 'hand' = 4 inches) and I can say with complete honesty, it was that day that my love affair with horses began.

We had horses growing up (Quarter Horses) and most of our neighbours did as well. Many a Saturday was spent trail riding or at a country fair. You would walk into the barn and be surrounded by saddles, bridles, harnesses, saddle soap, tack boxes, curry combs, neighing horses yearning for attention...but something I will always remember and that I really miss....was the smell. If you've never experienced the aroma of a  mix of leather, soap, hay and horse fur...it is one I hope you do get to experience at some point as it is intoxicating!

I used to wake up and head out to the paddock and on those lucky days, my horse would be lying down on the hill, still snoozing....I would curl up in the grass beside her, snuggle right in and be happier than any little girl could ever be! Then, it was time for a ride and whether it was bareback or with a saddle, the feeling you get when you're sitting atop this amazing beast is absolutely indescribable! The feeling you get when we'd come out of the woods to the edge of a pasture and with almost no cueing, she'd break into a full gallop and the two of us literally flew across the grassy field as one.....wow.......

Needless to say, after being immersed in that lifestyle for my formative years, I have tried to keep a piece of that with me as I moved away from home and made a new home for myself. Sure, I can't walk out the back door and run my hand over a horse's mane, but, I can surround myself with items that remind me of those moments and take me back to them.

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These are all pieces of art that can be found in my home that capture what I feel is the true essence of the beauty of a horse.....Their flowing mane, their graceful lines, their amazingly alluring eyes, their strength as they work...

They truly are the noblest of creatures and their character & personalities bring a kind of joy into one's life that I only wish every person could experience. Surrounding myself with these pieces allows me to keep a bit of that "feeling" in my home in the city.

I was in one of my new favorite shops in Toronto, Love the Design, just before Christmas and as I walked in the shop, I came face to face with this piece by Christine Flynn...

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I returned home and looked through her website and found these pieces that just drew me in and took me back to those mornings in the paddock.... They captured the aesthetic perfectly!

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Trends will come and trends will go.... For me, I surround myself with things I love, that spur happy memories and that make me smile as I catch a glimpse of them as I walk by....Yes, this may be the Year of the Horse, but my life will always include these incredible creatures, no matter what year it is!

RR