Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Recap

Hi again! Since we had extra time on this day-after-Christmas, I decided to post some real-life pics from Christmas at our house. It was a white one, for the record, even though it was well above freezing and rained in the evening. The snowpack we had from the big dumps of snow earlier in December hung on. And it's still making a valiant effort to hang on, even after temps in the 50's today!

The view of the slush from Mom's bedroom window this morning
Here is our tree on Christmas morning. It had to be in the basement this year to spare it from the whirlwind of destruction that is Nala.

The ones wrapped in brown paper on the right were from Santa

Mom's cutest present

Here are presents Mom got from her mom and sisters. Nothing specifically for us this year, but I dare say we'll have some fun with those plastic horses when Mom's not around. XD 

Worth noting: the fuzzy thing with penguins on it is a pair of pajama pants.
Also, the fox can be microwaved, so he's a heating pad and cuddly stuffed animal all in one!

And here's the haul from Mom's aunt, uncle, and cousin:

- That gift card came in the snowman, which has a ribbon loop on it so it can be an ornament. =)
- The caramel corn is drizzled with a little chocolate. Such a good idea!
- The glass zebra belonged to Mom's grandma - she had it in her room when she was a girl and kept it the rest of her life. Mom's aunt spray painted the base sky blue, got it re-corded so that the light works again, and surprised Mom with it for Christmas. <3

Pretty cool, right?

Mom's going to try a longer light bulb so that the zebra lights more evenly, but for now there's a nice Christmas-y red one in the base. 

To conclude, here are two shots of the four of us and our cousins by the tree in our holiday best. 

Getting the top two rows of us to stand nicely was not easy.
Lots of falls into the tree and attempted face plants later, Mom managed to snap this.

Top row: Amber, me (Bethany), Hailey
Middle row: Autumn, Lily, and Felicity
Bottom row: Julie, Rosa, and Zoe
And one more, this time with the canines:

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas on HI2

The day is still young, but now may be the only time we have time to post, so here it goes.

First, we will share with you the screenshots of our Christmas morning flute on Snowflake Isle. Tinsel and I had the honors. It looks like the wild wanted to hide her dappled rump from the camera. XD

A lovely mare! Stats weren't great, though. *sighs* Oh well, maybe next year...

After catching the pretty Budyonny, we returned to Glacier Isle to auction her off. I noticed lots of trash around, a decent indicator that nobody's done much on the isle recently. So, I took Tinsel for a spin around Glacier Isle in search of buried pirate treasures. We found 3 of those and also 3 steaming meteorites! Two of the meteorites landed quite near each other, as you can see:

That's the extent of our HI2 Christmas so far. Only one of our buddies was online (it was 8:30 in the morning our time), and she didn't even respond to our "merry Christmas." I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she never saw it. XD

Christmas Eve was definitely more exciting. Late in the day, one of our buddies spotted a red chestnut sabino wild horse on Harbor Isle. Every time she tried to click on it to capture it, however, the game told her the horse was a figment of her imagination. Lily and Stromboli headed out to investigate, and they couldn't see any wild horse. When our buddy logged out and then back in, the horse had vanished for her too. Bizarre, right? My sisters and I are now referring to it as the phantom horse of Christmas Eve!

Our buddy was standing right by the horse, but it was obviously not there for us!
Most exciting of all was Gem's (totally unprompted, I promise, Lily!) Christmas gift to us! Gem dragged herself out of bed earlier than usual on a non-school day to get the gift to us on Christmas Eve morning! Not only that, but she then rode all the way out to the eastern mountains to get our gift to us! I think that deserves a round of applause!

And here is the gift! Or, rather, gifts!

A +5/6 Mulassier mare! =D She came to us just like this, already decked out in coordinating Christmas-y tack, rump art, and snowy white background. And then there's her adorable reindeer calf companion, Clarice. Going with the Christmas reindeer theme and her golden-orange and white coloring, Gem suggested we name her Vixen. We think it suits her perfectly!

I would rank Mulassiers right up there with Spotted Drafts in terms of most elegant Draft breed. It's about time we added one to the herd, and I'm so glad it's a mare - just look at that beautiful long mane! The white stocking on her cocked hind leg and the little ring of white on the diagonal coronet make us smile too. So cute! Thanks so much for thinking of us, Gem!

Here is Pepsi riding Vixen for the first time. In the tunnels, of all places, but Vixen was cool with it.

That's it for now! Merry Christmas from all of us! 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Giant Crystal and Giant Spider

Well, my sisters haven't been nearly as restrained this week as last. First culprit: Julie. She and Xanadu went and fluted this crystal-colored Orlov Trotter on Crystal Isle this Thursday.

He is 5/6, and his stats add up to +79, which is one point shy of that magic +80, the minimum number of stat points we look for when deciding to keep a non-6/6 equine. So I was like, How nice, Julie. Close but not quite there. Put him in the livery, and I bet he'll be adopted really quickly. But does she do it? No, instead she shows him to Bethany and Felicity, and next thing I know, they're saying stuff like: 
"Can't we make an exception? He's only one stat point short."
"We don't have an Orlov in the herd yet."
"C'mon. He's a crystal horse from Crystal Isle!"
"Look, so tall and shiny and Christmas-y!"
"We could call him Tchaikovsky!" 

I tried to be the voice of reason. I pointed out that we are short on mares right now, not stallions, and that it didn't make much sense for a horse from a snowy isle to be so lazy that he refuses to be ridden in snow. I reminded them that the Orlov artwork leaves much to be desired, that we already have several light gray horses, and that we only have 3 empty slots left. I even showed them how similar the Orlov's avatar is to Edoras's:


Edoras, Bethany's white gray Andalusian
They're insisting the two are different enough: Edoras is more golden-toned and has yellower golden   hooves than the Orlov. *Sighs* 

Realizing I was fighting a losing battle, I offered a compromise. If we don't find a higher-stat wild horse before the end of the year, he can stay as our December horse. But if we do, we only keep him until he reaches 1,000 exp and then put him up for adoption. That seems more than fair, right?

Later on the very same day, Felicity was playing when one of our buddies came online. We don't message her or see her online very often, but I believe we had a conversation with her once about our mutual love of Plateau Persians. I think we also admired her Plateau Persian, a mare named after a monster spider in The Lord of the Rings. 

Well, apparently, the buddy had since decided to sell her Plateau Persian but hadn't been getting any offers. She asked us if we'd be interested in buying her, and when Felicity went to view her, there it was in red. 

Yes, the horse is absolutely gorgeous. Yes, Felicity, I know you love the raven black ones. And yes, it's good to help out buddies. But those stats...  +9? Really? *Shakes head.* I'm hoping I can convince her to retire her to our Millennium Fields. We shall see. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Living in a Snow Globe

Oh, hello again, winter.

*cues Christmas music*

nice hat, little pagoda

The front yard, complete with holly bush and Christmas decorations.
Those presents may soon be buried if they don't get help!

I guess we can take this down now...

The arctic outdoor conditions give us an excuse to stay indoors and get on the Internet more. We've continued to be good on HI2 and haven't gone falling in love with any more horses. I was productive this morning and finally crafted Ravine his green and blue boots! He's been patiently waiting for them for years! I'd have done it long ago, but the pattern for them was locked in Mr. Bones's hut on Golden Isle, and we've all been too lazy to figure out how to get the key until now. 


I also decked out Doppler in tack! Here he is in the new dog saddle blanket: 

It may be a bit busy for an already wildly spotted horse, but he seems to like it. Since Doppler radar is used in tracking weather, and since we use the expression "raining cats and dogs" when it pours, I thought he'd be as appropriate a pony to put it on as any. 

We also checked out the American Girl website to see if they had added anything noteworthy lately. They have, in fact, added a new historical doll to their lineup. 

Melody Ellison from 1960's Detroit!

Cool, a doll from Michigan at long last! I figured it would be Detroit if it was going to be anywhere in the state. Our biggest city tends to steal all the thunder. But clearly I'm not bitter at all!

I'm not a big fan of 60's fashion, and that hairstyle isn't my taste either, but it's cool that girls will finally have more than one option in African American historical dolls. Addy has been flying solo for quite some time! (Still think I prefer Addy, though.) And check it out, not a stitch of purple or pink in sight! Felicity is quite pleased. 

Melody's dog, Bo, is a cutie, though he looks a little grumpy in this photo.

Mom says that she'd definitely choose Melody over Maryellen, the other fairly recent addition to the "BeForever" line. Gotta say I agree. I - like Felicity - don't care for AG's side bangs.

Hmm, I think Maryellen's Dachshund, Scooter, may have Bo beat in terms of cuteness. 

And finally, here is another addition to American Girl, the WellieWishers. They are a smaller, cheaper line of dolls geared towards younger girls. (They're $60 and 14.5" tall, while American Girl Dolls are $115 and 18" tall.)

Yeah, their outfits do look more like stuff younger girls would choose. I kind of like Willa's outfit (minus the headband) and Camille's dress, though. The name "Camille" is okay, but big thumbs down from me on the other four names. I guess I'm a traditionalist when it comes to names for dolls and prefer the classics. Hopefully the WellieWishers' intended market really likes them? Mom has assured us that she, however, is not enchanted. Therefore we are confident we will not be getting a little sister for Christmas, thank goodness!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Bethany on the Loose

We've finally chosen names for the new pintos!

We decided to go with something bread-themed for the Paint mare, since her personality is "Milquetoast." Meet Foccacia.

For the Chincoteague stallion, we ended up torn between two names: Doppler and Galleon. Of all the sky/space/weather-themed names we considered, we thought Doppler (as in Doppler radar and the Doppler effect) suited him best. We also thought Galleon would be a great name for a Chincoteague, since there's a theory that Chincoteague Ponies are descendants of horses that swam to shore after the shipwreck of the Spanish galleon they were on. Because we already have a Galileo and a Galena in the herd, we decided to go for Doppler!

Obviously, we still haven't chosen his tack.

Also worth mentioning is that I, Bethany, have finally done it. Last night, I said goodbye to the two mares that have been hanging around for some time, our 5/6 Freddie and our 6/6 Firefly the Spotted Draft. I put them up for adoption in the livery. As of this morning, both were gone, so I'm hoping that between their good looks, decent stats, and the experience they amassed while staying with us, that they've found good homes! We now have three horse slots open again rather than just one, which is a lot more conducive to wild hunting.

Goodbye, beautiful mares! <3 Best of luck to you both!

Now that we no longer have them with us, what do you bet the next few high-stat horses we catch will all be stallions?

While we're on the topic of beautiful mares, Dasani and I found another one earlier this week:

Gem came up with her name, and I think it's perfect since:
1. she's the color of hot cocoa and even has a "marshmallow" foot
2. we caught her during the Christmas season, when hot cocoa consumption goes way up
3. "Cocoa" could totally be the name of a pretty, popular cheerleader 

We decided to retire her our to Millennium Fields. Per Gem's suggestion, we put some rump art on her first. Sadly, there was no Christmas or chocolate-themed rump art available, so we ended up going with a red and green rose.

My last order of business: check out the two wild horses that Della and I caught last night: 

Both were 1/6 stallions, both had their positive stat in speed, and both had the Explorer personality!

If all that isn't coincidental enough, both also sold to the foreign bidder for $5,300! XD