Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year - 2010!

Yesterday late in the afternoon my children took over at the barn so I could stay inside and start preparations for our New Year's Eve supper. The fog began to roll in, but in the house, the twinkling white lights around the living room and dining room kept me company. For once, the timing of the meal was perfect. Everything was done at the same time, literally as the garage door hummed open and husband arrived home from work.

The horses were set up until their suppertime at 9, candles were lit on the table, and dinner was ready.

The menu:

butternut squash and mushroom lasagna
brie-stuffed mushrooms
tiny filet mignons
green salad with croutons and balsamic viniagrette
French bread with parmesan/romano and italian herbs
champagne with a splash of pomegranate juice

I never managed to get dessert made, but we enjoyed the meal and it was a wonderful treat that the timing worked so perfectly. I was most proud of the fact that not only did I get the meal made, I also cleaned the kitchen as I went! There wasn't much work to do when we were done.

I rang in the New Year watching my beloved equines out the back door. At midnight it was very foggy out, and the only evidence of the blue moon was the ethereal blue tint to the sky. (although I know the term "blue moon" doesn't mean the moon is literally blue, it almost seemed it was last night, in the light it cast)

The arena light filters through fog to a pinkish color, and as the fireworks began in the distance, the backdrop to the barn was a misty, swirling sea of pink light.

I called out to the horses that the new year was here, and that's what the noise was about. They had Rescue Remedy in water buckets, and instead of going out to stand with them, I decided to stay on the back deck and watch them sort out the activity.

After a minute or so of fireworks, Cody, the lowest herd member, marched out from the barn. He headed straight down the paddock, into the darkness. Like an advance soldier checking for danger, his job in the herd is to go out ahead of the others. He does this so well.

In another moment, the pony advanced halfway down the paddock, backing Cody up. Cody was in the darkness, completely out of my sight, but the pony was in perfect silhouette, standing square and tall, ears pricked forward, alert to whatever message Cody gave him.

In another few moments Salina emerged on her side of the barn. She was flanked by her donkeys, who went out a few feet ahead of her and stood at the edge of the grass paddock, pointed in the same direction as Cody and the pony. Salina was an inky black shadow mare, alert and yet calm.

Finally, Keil Bay sauntered out. He, being the herd leader, only went as far as the gate that separates the two paddocks, maybe 5 feet from the barn. He looked out into the darkness but then turned to me, and I called out that it was okay.

They stayed that way for an hour or so, and they were so much in control (no running around, no blowing or snorting, nothing but a keen alertness to the night) that I actually went to bed.

Our little neighborhood was dark and quiet, the horses flanked in their instinctive, perfect herd order, and the night was swirly and pink and blue, magical and mystical and full of peace.

This morning, they have all turned out to the front field, and Salina just rolled in the mud. More on this in another post, but she got her kinesiology testing done recently and is on a 7-week course of herbs, and she is doing fantastically well. It's such a relief to all of us to see her moving and exhibiting her in-charge spirit.

Husband has just called out that he is making chocolate chip pancakes before he goes kayaking for an hour. Bed linens are in the wash, cats are marching around the house, horses and donkeys are munching hay in the field, and it's already a good start to a bright new year.


Grey Horse Matters said...

It sounds like a wonderful way to ring in the new year. The descriptions are lovely and make me feel as though I could see it all from here. So happy that they were all calm last night and that Salina is doing well with her herbs.

Your dinner sounds delicious and I think I've never turned down a good pancake. My husband made his special French Toast this morning for our small celebration.

Wishing you and everyone at November Hill a wonderful happy healthy New Year and decade.

billie said...

Thanks, Arlene, and a wonderful year and decade to you as well.

The French toast sounds lovely - it's a favorite here and only husband can make it "just right."

Rising Rainbow said...

Fireworks and equines can be a real mess sometimes. Glad to hear your New Year's Eve was quiet and uneventful.

Happy New Year!!

ponymaid said...

Billie, glad to hear everyone equine coped well with the sky-high explosions. If they seem fretful in the future, I suggest inviting them all into your living room. They sound very civilized, though Redford might be tempted to bounce on the furniture or sample the potted plants. His photos reveal a keen sense of adventure and devil-may-care approach to life...

billie said...

Thanks, MiKael, a very bright and happy new year to you too!

billie said...

Sheaffer, you are so right - Redford would probably end up on top of the Christmas tree!

Matthew said...

Just wanted everyone to know that Billie made a fabulous dinner on New Years Eve and then another amazing meal for us New Years Day! Thank you so much.

Michelle said...

Wow, you write amazingly well AND you cook? You are my hero! Um, do you offer lessons? =)

Your New Year's Eve sounds so great. I hope you had a nice day as well.

billie said...

Thanks, Matthew - it's been fun cooking so much this past few weeks.

billie said...

Michelle, what sweet words to read - although I must say I have my share of kitchen flops!