Wednesday, December 30, 2009

First Step to the Barn

The first step in my Barn makeover will be to sort all of the wood we have pulled out.

This barn had wood floors in the stalls when we moved in.

The barn where I first kept Beau had wood floors in the stalls.

I really dislike wood floors.  I wish I had taken pictures of the wood floors, but I can still take pictures of the tack room floors, they are identical to what was in the stalls.. just not rotten.

Wood floors do not stand up well to horses.  We are putting mats over a nice gravel base.

Anyone out there use something different?  Anyone Like Wooden floors in their stalls?

So most of my weekend will be spent pulling nails out of salvageable wood and carting the rotten stuff up to the burn pile.  Joy and Rapture.

I am anxious for the building phase, but we are still in the prep phase..
Hopefully after this weekend we will be moving on to the building phase!

Enjoy New Years, I will be back after the weekend!

Fallen - Wordless Wednesday

Fallen, originally uploaded by mysticfish.
Wordless Wednesday.

This is linked up to Wordless Wednesday Here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Looking Ahead Now

So among the many resolutions/goals/plans I have for next year, there is one that I am most excited about and anxious to get back to working on.  We are actually really going to focus and start again on this wonderful project.. what is it???

It is the... BARN and ARENA!!! 

Here it is the day we moved in (the last junky car had been removed only a week prior)

This is the Barn portion.. the arena is on the Right.. The Barn doors are open in this picture and the Barn has 4 stalls and a tack room in the middle.
We are going to use it as a three stall barn with a feed room and a tack room.  It will better suit my needs that way.

Here is a partial picture of behind the stalls.. where we have put in posts for paddocks.

Here is the Arena on the Day we moved in:

As you can see, it needs much work.
That work started, and all of the garbage has been removed, the bushes trimmed back and the rotten wood taken out.  This Friday, we are finishing sorting the wood and starting to build up the walls.  I just may have a tack room with four walls by Sunday and a Feed room.  (The feed room will not have a stall front, it will have walls on three sides and eventually will have a wall on the front with a large door.)

My goal is to have Beau home by the end of January.  Macgyver thinks that is doable, since we will be using the arena for his turn out while it is icky outside and I will be building him an outside turnout with T-posts and Hot Tape for the weekends when I am home to watch over him.

We have to leave the paddocks until the weather is better.. we will probably not get those done until April/May as the ground is so wet down there still. 

Barns I think are sometimes almost more personal that some houses.  I know a fair amount of ladies with horses that care more about how their barn looks and is built than they care about their own house.  It is a funny thing.
Boarding for many years, I have had  a wish list of the perfect barn for me, and a "I am not going to do that" list going for my barn.

My wish list:

1.  Turn out Paddocks attached to the barn (Done)
2.  Large Stalls that are very well ventilated and lit (Done)
3.  Wide Aisle you can drive through (Done)
4.  Pretty Tack Room (In Progress)
5.  2X6 Tounge and Groove on the walls (In Progress)
6.  Heavy thick mats over a nice gravel base for horses comfort (In Progress)
7.  Mats inlaid into Concrete Aisle (Late this next year)
8.  Wash Rack  - (I have the horse washer, just need the drain put in)
9.  Heat lamps and Fans
10. Nice Corner Feeders
11.  Heated Water Buckets (Received for Xmas..)
12.  Paddocks gravelled 1/3 of the way and Gravelled around gates.
13.  Lush Pasture
14.  Covered Arena (Done)
15.  Sand Base with Rubber mixed in for Footing (Scheduled)
16.  Enclose the Arena 5 feet high all the way around. (Summer of 2010)
17.  A wine rack and counter in tack room
18.  Mirrors in my arena and letters
19.  an Arena Drag (In progress)
20.  a John Deere Tractor (Done.. but it is little)

My.. I am so not going to do that list:

Muddy paddock up to his knees mud
Dark small Stall
No turnout
Crappy Footing
Alfalfa  (My horse can't eat it)
icky buckets
Cobwebs everywhere
Exposed Wiring
Manure piles not dealt with
Wooden Stall Floors
Dirty Stalls ( I am a little fanatical about stall cleaning.. and I am learning to live with it)

Here are a couple of pictures that I look too for inspiration for the Feel of what I want to create at my house!
Some are Barns.. and there are a couple of Tack Rooms for me to look at and decide what elements I want in mine!


I love the fridge and microwave in this one.. I know I will have to have those things in the barn.. have to have my snacks and ability to make some Hot Chocolate in the winter and have cold drinks in the summer!
The wine rack would look great on this island!


Monday, December 28, 2009

Almost done with this crazy year

I know that many people are reflecting this week on the past year.  I have read many wonderful blog posts regarding this very subject.

As I reflect on this past year, I now can look back with a bit more of a humorous viewpoint, instead of the chaotic one I was actually in the middle of.

Some things I did this year that I had not planned on:

1.  Sell our house in 16 days
2.  Turn my Beau out for 5 months and not ride but three times in 4 months over the summer.
3.  Try to buy one of five houses and not get any of them
4.  Live in a motorhome and then a trailer for 5 months with 3 dogs and one teenager
5.  Start a blog
6.  Get my dream property
7.  Move my horse back to my trainers barn.

Most of the above things are funny now that we look back and can see the comedy of errors that took place. 
One of those things has been a blessing in disguise, and one is starting to really make me happy.  Another one of those items is fulfilling a challenge to myself, and another one has turned out to be not as dramatic as I thought it would be.

We have had some wonderful additions to our family this year, with the oldest finding the most wonderful girl.

We have enjoyed Bug so much this year and I have become even closer with her mom, my younger sister.

Our marriage has made it another year, and probably the toughest one we have had.

As I reflect on this year, I can honestly say.. Whew.. I am so glad it is nearly over.  I am planning.. yes planning on having a much more productive, happy, home-centered, family centered year in 2010.

I read another post on New Years Resolutions.  I personally love them.  I agree with the author that it signals hope and positive directions.

What I want to know... does anyone still practice this tradition besides me?  Do you still feel good if you knock only one of them off of the list?  Does anyone have resolutions that are perpetual each year?  I know weight loss is always on mine... and I am vowing that this is the last year that remains a perpetual fixture.. This next year for me is all about getting healthy.. in mind, body and spirit.. Stay tuned in the next couple of days as I outline what that means for me..

What does next year mean for you?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Getting things ready for the new year

So as I get ready to take a few days to enjoy my family and our animals.. I am getting ready for the new year.  I am working on a series of goals and how I would like things to be a little different than last year.

As I reflect on the crazy year we had especially concerning Real Estate, I have four distinct wishes and goals for the new year.

1.  Get the Barn and Arena Done!
2.  Finally get a horse trailer
3.  Get the Halt at X Etsy store going
4.  Show training level in at least one Morgan A show and  4 schooling shows

I have many other goals/intentions, but I will leave those for later... most of them involve things I have to do to reach Goal 4.. with exercise, regular riding and nutrition.

I am heading to my favorite wine store after work to get a couple of bottles of wine.  This wine is a favorite of our horsey lady friends and normally is only available in restaurants.  If you can find some.. grab it, it is fantastic.  We like the Merlot Best.

It is alll about the label is it not? 

We are lucky that our wine store carries it!  Try it, it is pretty fabulous.  It is one of the wines we are serving with dinner tomorrow. 
Speaking of Christmas Dinner, we are changing it up a bit this year.

My sister's boyfriend is bringing a turkey (this is a last minute thing).. since it is thawed and he wants to cook it tomorrow at our house.

The rest of our Menu is this:

Grilled London Broil with Sauteed Mushrooms and
Garlic Bread
Salad (From T&T)  That is my trainer/dear friend and her hubby
Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
Glazed Carrots (For my little sister who can eat an entire pan)
Baked potatoes with a topping bar
and the
So I might have to make a little stuffing to go with it

Dessert we are having Pumpkin pie and Cheescake..

So some dishes are fairly traditional for us, but the London Broil on the Grill is what everyone voted on.

I marinate mine for a night, and then we grill them and slice them and serve them with the sauce and mushrooms.. ohhh they are good.
I will post the recipe here sometime next week.. and I will TRY and take pictures this

Merry Christmas Eve!

It is Christmas eve, and for the first time in three years, we won't have a white Christmas.  Last year, we had a very snowy white Christmas, we also had snow the year before.  Today, it is just clear and cold.  I have mixed feelings about it.  I love the snow.  I don't love the driving around in it.  The Pacific Northwest gets some snow every year, and every year we are just as unprepared for it.

Part of it is our geography (Very hilly) and part of it is the actual snow itself.  Normally when it snows, it is a little wetter here, and we have fluctuating temperatures, so it gets slushy during the day, and then freezes at night, which makes for very icy roads.  Two weeks ago, we did have a nice snow day.  Other than two unlucky people ending up in our ditch before the snow was done, we had a very fun and uneventful day.  Below are some pictures of what we do on our new little farm in the snow...

This is early on in the day.. when we had just a bit of snow.. Notice the tracks on the lawn.. made by Macgyver..

This is a picture of the small garage in the front and the barn in the back... notice I now have FENCE posts in.. Yeahhhhh... These will be for the paddocks.

This is what Macgyver and Paco did most of the day.. Tear up all the nice snow in our mammoth parking

Since one of the quads is taken apart right now for rebuilding, Oldest son decided to try out the Honda scooter in the snow.. He wiped out right after this picture.. and no he was not harmed in any way.  he was going about 2mph. Yes, I did yell at both him and Macgyver to get their helmets on.

Here is Paco on my quad.. he had a great time with it.

Here is oldest deciding his car might do better to keep up with the others.

Even Hurley and Sissy got in on the play.

Have a VERY Merry Christmas!!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Almost Wordless Wednesday

This is linked to Wordless Wednesday, HERE.

Last night, myself and some friends went to see a student of T's sing at the lights of Christmas.. It is a Christian camp that opens up around Christmas time with Thousands of lights, performances, pony rides, the polar express mini train ride, and food.  They also have crafts and carolers, it is pretty impressive.  Below are just a few of the shots I got.  I was playing around with my Camera.



Hercules! Hercules!!

He came to us with the name Hercules!

Now he is known to us as Hurley.  We absolutely love this new addition to our family.  I was going to wait until Saturday, when our two week trial period was over to post this, but I just can't wait!

I have wanted a Basset for some time, and I am so thrilled that he was kind of an early Christmas Present to myself.

We found him at the Basset Rescue of Washington.  A wonderful woman named Pat runs the rescue.  You can read about them HERE.

This is our picture when we picked him up here!

He has settled in so well.  It is like he has always been here.  Bella and Mack are slowly warming up to him, Bella will be the last hold out on this.  She is so funny about it.  She wants so badly to play with him and like him, but she just can't get over herself.  She is the princess Jack Terror after all.

Here are a couple of pictures of our new family member!


I will post more pictures soon,
I hope everyone else gets what they want for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas is coming

First off, Thank you for those that commented on my last post. 
I know that I was whining a bit, and feeling a little bad.  My mom has been gone for 4 years now, and sometimes the losses my family has had, is a little overwhelming.

I have decided to pull myself up and out of the funk and am concentrating on the good things.

This week is a little crazy, since I don't get any time off except for Christmas day.  I usually have Christmas eve off, but with our crazy year I have used up my PTO and then some.

Every year, Christmas seems to sneak up on me more and more.  This year is no different.  I am looking forward to Christmas Day this year, however.  We will have our good friends, the baby, my younger sister and the boys at our house.  My oldest is bringing his wonderful girlfriend and their new dog.

This cracks me up because we will have 5 dogs in the house for a time on this day.  What I haven't blogged about yet, because we are still on our two week trial is the addition to our family.  I promise that this weekend, I will do a post on that and include pictures.  This coming Saturday marks the end of our trial period and then he will be permanent.

Back to Christmas is coming.... I have caught up on most things, and I only have a few last minute things to do to prepare.  I got some barn time in this last weekend, and on Sunday, Macgyver came and helped me with Barn chores.  This was pretty encouraging as he normally does not come to the barn with me.  I really appreciated his help, as I was cleaning stalls for my trainer/friend because they were down South doing Christmas with parts of their family.

I am putting together some treats for the horses tonight, and plan on going to the barn after work.  I will not ride probably until Saturday, and that is okay, since one of the girls are riding him today and another advanced Student is taking her lesson on him tomorrow. 

This is a new development for me.. sharing him.  I have been very reluctant to let anyone other than my trainer and her daughter ride him.  I have really not been good at sharing, and really it has been fine, since I pay the bills for

This Christmas week is a little different too, since I am working on Christmas eve.  We are planning on having a very low key evening.. but we are going to observe some traditions.. Any one else having a different Holiday this year as opposed to years past?

One of our favorite traditions on Christmas eve, is opening one gift.  Everyone gets to choose one item to open "early".  There is much agonizing over which one to open.  It usually starts out with our youngest declaring he "knows" what is in each gift, and him trying to pick out what he "wants".. Some years, he is right on, and others.... which are far more hilarious, when he is completely off and opens something he didn't expect! 
We do this after dinner, after the dishes are done and dessert is served.  Once the gift is opened, we make popcorn and drinks (hot chocolate for the minors, and baileys and hot chocolate for the adults), and put in our traditional holiday movie.
We watch a Christmas Story every Christmas eve.  It is one of our favorites, and we all know it by heart..

After the movie, I make up our traditional Christmas morning breakfast, and then we might play a game or head to bed, depending on how late it is.
Then the elves get busy on the Santa Gift and stockings, and on Christmas morning, the boys open their Santa gift and stockings before breakfast. 

Does anyone still do Santa gifts for their older Children? 
This gift is usually the "big one" in our family.
I remember almost every Santa gift I have recieved from when I was little... Some of the more lavish ones..

When I was 15, I received a Saddle, Bridle, and Saddle pad.. This is a story in itself, and I will do a separate post on it.

When I was 17, I received a Big white fluffy robe, with car keys in the pocket.. again.. another story in and of itself... that was a very memorable Christmas

This year, our oldest is 19, so his Santa gift is not as big.

The youngest is receiving a small "gift to open" because his big gift is his snowboarding trip.  The snowboarding trip is actually 8 weekends of snowboarding.. transportation, lift ticket to Baker, and spending money.. all in all about 500.00.. so that is his "Santa" gift.

A couple years ago.. it was his 85cc yamaha dirt bike
and The oldest received his Yamaha Keyboard.

Does anyone else go over the top for their kids on Christmas?  We do, and I think it is a direct link from how my Christmases were for me... Anyone else have extravagant Christmases growing up?

Time to get back to work, and finish making my to-do lists for the rest of the week!  Happy Christmas week to all.. it is only three days away now.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Confessions

I have a few confessions to make or they could just be introspective observations.

1.  I have a Christmas party to attend tonight and I am NOT prepared.  I need to make a dish and bring a White Elephant gift.  I have neither prepared.  In a bit, I am heading to the Thrift Store, and I will get at least one of those things off of my list.
The dish.. I am going to be cheesy about this.  I made some shredded beef for taco's in the crockpot two days ago.  It is really really good. 

I have decided on Taquitos

2.  I am so not into the Holiday Spirit at this time.  there is some deep seated hurt going on in my life and I just need to figure out if it can go away or if I am just stuck with it for the next few years

3.  I am totally behind in everything at home.

4.  I want to run away for at least two weeks but I can't.  I used up all my PTO

5.  I need to kick myself in the you-know-what in January.  Next week I am posting about Goals.

Time to go now..

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday, Monday

Oh it is Monday.. and This weekend was pretty crazy!

We had the first snow fall yesterday and ended up watching the entertainment of the intersection out of our windows all day.

Two cars went into our ditch, and countless amounts of cars slid through the intersection, not able to stop.

MacGyver did not want me out driving yesterday, so Beau got taken care of by K who loves to ride him.  I got to spend the day at home, no barn chores.. but I am itching to ride.. so tonight.. even though I have a million Christmas gifts to get, and a million errands to run, I am going to ride.

Yesterday, I spent all day with our new addition.  I have pictures, and if I don't get home too late from Riding, I will post those pictures and post about the adventure we had in picking up that new addition..

I will leave you with this... He has made himself, totally and completely at home and I am so in love!

Friday, December 11, 2009

I couldn't resist

Two Posts in a Day??? Wow...

But a good friend of mine shared thess photos of my horse with me today.. and I, in turn wanted to share it here.

This is my gorgeous boy this last summer...


I have been blessed this week.

This week it has been very cold. I mean really cold here. Yesterday morning it was 10 degrees outside. For us.. that is cold.

We don't put the horses out when it is this cold after a warm wet November.. The ground was muddy and now is frozen.. which could lead to injuries.. instead they stay in and get let out in the arena while their stall is cleaned.

I have been blessed however, because the owner of the barn where I keep Beau, has decided that for the last couple of days while he is off of work, we should stay home and stay warm. They are cleaning the stalls, turning the horses in and out, and checking the water several times a day.

I protested at first, but they convinced me that Sunday is soon enough to come and do chores.

We don't ride when it is this cold. Mostly because it is hard on horses and their lungs when it is below freezing. My beautiful Beau is also pretty out of shape and that is a lot to ask a furry beast to do when it is that cold. So they get a break, and we get a break.. and since we are heading East of the Mountains tomorrow.. that is really nice!

I will hopefully get some pretty great pictures this weekend.. it has been awhile since I have taken any.

Tonight we are attending a fundraiser for the children of the slain police officers here. I will do a separate post on that subject later on.

Happy Friday, and I hope everyone else has blessings today.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I am really behind in the Christmas Department

I am behind on Christmas Shopping. I am behind on baking for Christmas. I am really behind on Sewing, and we are only going to be home one day this weekend. My weekdays lately are filled with barn chores and coming home to eat and sit.

I will have to change that. I have just added two events to my calendar. One is a Christmas party for next Friday night, and the other is a fundraiser this Friday night.

I still have shopping to do for all of our Christmas Exchange gifts. These are the gifts that I have to ship by next Monday to Mike's family in ALASKA! I am a little stressed by this, but have decided that I can tackle this problem in a couple of ways.

On the Shopping front:

Worry about getting the Alaska folks done this weekend and get those wrapped and shipped pronto.

I shopped online for the majority of the Hubby's gifts, so I am down to just "finishing up" him and the boys..

Try to do a little shopping in Spokane while we are there.. I understand there is a Target and a mall in the same parking lot as the PetSmart we are going to. We will have to be quick if we go after Petsmart, as there is a VERY good chance we will have a Basset Hound in the car with us after our visit.

Next week, I will just have to Buck up and do what I need to do on Weeknights.. which means that Hubs will have to cook a bit, and I will have to do my shopping after the barn, before I get home.

Next weekend, I just need to get the presents wrapped, some baking done and the cleaning done. Hopefully I can get a little sewing done too.

The house projects will just have to wait until after the holidays.

Some other news... Hubs will most likely be laid off come January 1st.

This will definitely impact our lives. Especially since there is so much to do around our house.. I am hoping to see BIG changes from January to June while he is off.. and I really hope it is only 4 months instead of 6 months... He is hoping for 6 months I think..

Financially it will be okay.. we just have to watch our budget and not go crazy. But with my job okay for right now, and because we have been so careful, we should be just fine for at least 9 months to a year.

He has side jobs he can do, and some other things, so it should be all right. I am thinking positive and not letting the worry get to me right now. We will have to sit down after Christmas and decide EXACTLY what our plan is for the next year.

I really wanted to take some classes this next year to start a new career. I hope I will still be able to make that happen.

Back on topic.. is anyone else behind or feeling like this year just came really fast? I feel like the Holidays have crept up on me this year.

The other variable for me is that I have no PTO left this year. I am going to want to save some next year..

Monday, December 07, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

This week is one of the first times I will not need to get much from the store. With the exception of about 4 ingredients. I have everything on hand for this menu.

Thanks to Laura over at I'm an organizing junkie, for hosting Menu plan Monday!

I will however, have to do a big shopping before next week as this will pretty well deplete the freezer.

Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

Honey Hoisen Chicken

Pork Loin
Baked Potato
Green Beans
Crescent Rolls

Pork Fried Rice with Leftover Pork Loin

Homeade Pizza and or Calzones

In Spokane, will eat out
(We may be bringing a lovely dog home... stay tuned for more on that)


Friday, December 04, 2009

Puppy Dreams

I don't know if I had mentioned losing one of our dogs this year.  It was an incredible loss for me. 

Jake was originally my late husband's "Hunting" dog.  Hunting being used very loosely as he really didn't "hunt" anything.  We got Jake when he was just a wee pup and he was such an incredible dog.  He got sick about a year ago and we fought the problems until this last March when it became clear we couldn't even make him comfortable any longer.  My other lab Sissy was his best friend and she has been kind of lonely ever since.

Mack and Bella are best buds and there is not really another mellow dog for her to be with.  I have been bugging the Hubby for some time now about getting another dog.  We have to have a very very laid back, non aggressive breed that will submit to Bella as she is the Jack Terror Russell.

I have done a bunch of research and I really, really, really and REALLY want a Basset Hound.  We have a Beagle, a Terror, and a Chocolate Lab.  I am in love with the Hounds.  We have a good fenced back yard and are seasoned with Mack about hounds.  Hounds are lovely, but if they are a scent hound, you MUST watch them like a hawk.  They can't help it, their noses get them into trouble.  Our Beagle will follow a scent anywhere.. and sometimes he just can't help himself from nosing in the garbage because he smells MEAT.. HE LOVES MEAT..

I know that all dogs love meat.. but for Mack.. it is well.. it is the best thing in his world.  He will appear when meat is cooking out of thin air.  Our other two..they love veggies, fruit, bread, cheese.. you name it.. Mack. NOPE.. just Meat and some Cheese.. He does not care for potatoes or fries or bread.. he will actually only eat bread if it has meat or cheese on it or in rare cases.. if the girls are eating it, he will take some and guard it for awhile and then either eat it or leave it.. Not so with Meat.. he will push the girls out of the way for meat..

But my point.. I have asked for a Basset puppy for Christmas until I went on the WA state Basset Rescue.. and I am in love.  There is a Male who is only 3 and he is EXACTLY what I imagined a Basset to be.. so now I have to convince the hubby to take a drive with me.. for my Christmas present. 

There are so many dogs out there that need a home.. OH lord help me.. I could take another 10 if I could.... We are total dog people.  I love cats too, but not the hubby.. so I will only be able to have barn kitties.. and I won't get any until I have a way to keep them warm and dry in the barn... Anyone else wishing for a puppy or dog or kitty or horse for Christmas.

I don't even want to get started on the horses needing homes around here.. and the crazy willpower I am trying to have.. Two of them are even registered Morgans and another two are Registered Quarter Horses.. JUST CRAZY.

I really would rather have another Rescue as two of our three are rescues.  Bella was the only purchase.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Post Holiday Something

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I know that we did.  I know because I had thirteen wonderful people in my house eating dinner and I spent the day cooking with my mother-in-law.  They leave today and I am sad.

My own mom passed away four years ago, and I made her wonderful cinnamon rolls on Thanksgiving morning, which helps me to remember how absolutley wonderful she was and it makes me also miss her so much more!

Having my wonderful mother-in-law here makes it better.

MacGyver is from Alaska.. a small town in Alaska.  His parents came down last week to spend the holiday with us and it was fabulous.  We visited, they shopped, and then we ate, and ate, and ate some more..

This last weekend his mom helped me do something I have been wanting to do for a year.  Set up my sewing machine and get sewing!  I made two dog toys last night and I am going to make several more this week.  Then I will tackle a REAL pattern and see what happens.

I have wanted to learn to sew for a very long time.  I am so excited to be learning now, and can't wait to get started and take some classes!

My first real pattern project will be pajama pants.  Wish me luck, I will be cutting my pattern out this week and attempting to sew them together this weekend. 

I know that one of my motivating factors in learning to sew is horse related.. I really want to be able to make some cool stuff for my horse, and for me to wear.  I am nowhere near being ready to tackle anything difficult, but I am really looking forward to figuring it all out.

I noticed last night while I was sewing the little dog toys, I was hooked!  Totally hooked.  I have a very nice simple beginner machine that my lovely Hubby got me last year for Christmas and I never had the time to get it set up and working since we embarked on the real estate craziness this last year.  Now that we have a house,  I am planning on really taking on some of these cool projects I see everywhere!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


This time of year is emotional for me.  Having lost both of my parents, and my late husband, and his parents, our family is much smaller.  My older siblings do their own thing for the holidays and only my younger sister is coming for Turkey day.  My childhood and past adult memories are all of pretty traditional things and consist of some pretty memorable holidays.  I miss my family that is no longer here something fierce this time of year.

I also think about what I am blessed with and what I am thankful for.

I am married now to a pretty darn wonderful guy.

That guys parents are truly amazing and so much fun.  They are here visiting right now and will be with us for Thanksgiving.  This is the first time they have spent Turkey day with their son since he moved away from Alaska 12 years ago.  We are all very thankful and happy they are here with us.

My friends will be coming for Thanksgiving.  My niece (quasi-grandaughter) will be with us.  My boys will both be here with us. 

I am cooking my mother's recipes and that always helps me to feel close to her.

We have a wonderful new house to entertain in.

Both of us have wonderful jobs and good income.

The boys are healthy and happy and my youngest got a 100.5% on his test today..

And... My mother-in-law is going to help me set up my sewing machine and get me going this weekend.. and for that, I will be eternally grateful as that was something that was in my mom and grandmother's domains.

I am brining a turkey tonight.. I am looking forward to see what happens with that!

I will hopefully be taking some pictures of things as I prep them and cook them tomorrow.  My camera has been dead and I need to charge it up tonight and get back to photos and posting regularly.

What are you all experiencing this holiday season?

Happy Thanksgiving.. Stay Safe, Warm and Stuffed!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Another small milestone at home

I can't wait to get home today.  I expect I will see something really cool.

Unfortunately, it will be dark when I get home so I will need to take pictures tomorrow.

My lovely Husband has been building paddocks today.  I hope to see posts in the ground tonight.

Tomorrow we will be picking up Horse Fencing.. I can hardly wait.. Actual Horse Fence on my own property.. it seems so unreal still.  When the Gates go in.. and the stall fronts are built.. then I really will be jumping for joy.

This is a big step though..  Until tomorrow with pictures.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On a roll

So last night I rode again.. mostly by myself.. and without the pre-lunge that I used to do.

He came out a little fresh and a little snorty.. but went to work when I asked.

I did a long slow warm up.. lots of walking and serpentine's and some tear drop shaped maneuvers.. I had gone to a clinic where it was shared that this is a good exercise for fast walkers and horses that have trouble with the rythm and moving a little too forward.

It helps focus both of us actually.  I worked on elasticity through my wrists by having the contact come through my elbow and not my hands.. I tried to keep "rubber bands" as my mantra last night.  At times it works pretty good.

Our left track is still really bad and I knew last night that I collapse more on that track.. I really have to work on that.

His canter to the right track was heaven.  His big bouncy trot is something I live with and work with because when he is all light and floaty.. His canter is heaven.. I could canter this horse all day.. it is like a beautiful rocking, smooth wave.. ahhhh I have to not get greedy though.

He did break at the canter and I recovered, which was a pretty good save for me.. usually I have to "start over".  I got a little buck from him on the left track when I asked for that it was a little tiny.. funny kind of buck.

I totally take for granted at times how well he takes his leads, and just does what is asked most of the time.  We had Zero fights and only a few times did I have to remind him that we were moving off of the leg and not into the leg..

Tonight is the big sale at the Farmers Supply that is after hours and so T and I are attending that.  Tomorrow night is our good friends birthday party at her farm and this weekend my paddock is being built and my arena is getting posts set as well!  Things are progressing and I will commit to taking pictures this weekend.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Beautiful Ride

I hope to have a repeat of last night tonight. 

I hopped on my out of shape horse, with my out of shape self, and did a 20 minute session.

I get tired out before he does right now. 

I was so thrilled, I didn't lunge him first, just got on and rode.. and we were totally okay.  I cantered both directions, did some circles that were somewhat round.. and he even did a NICE walk afterwards.

Beau typically hates to walk after he canters.  He thinks that cantering is really fun and exciting and then he thinks that it is just time to go-go-go-go....

I was very proud of myself that I relaxed, cantered, and then enticed him with nice contact on the reins and a deep seat to just relax and walk without the JIG.. and we did it.. both directions.

I am hoping for another Beautiful (to me) ride tonight.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Coming back from the flu

I have been out most of this week with the flu.  I don't know for sure if it was the dreaded H1N1, but it was horrible.  I pretty much disappeared into the bed and didn't surface until yesterday, and then went to work only to have to come home early.

I am back at work today and am feeling at about 85% of my normal self.  This flu kicked my butt!

I will be back to regular blogging and actually posting some great stuff next week.  Hope everyone else has been well.

Friday, November 06, 2009


So I had a minor heart attack last night when I went to the barn.

My trainer/BFF had told me on the phone that her working student most likely had cleaned my stall for me and so I probably didn't need to drive out there.  I said, well I will just go and check and make sure, and if the weather is not too bad I will get Beau out and lunge.

Well the Wind was whipping pretty good and there were a couple trees down on the road before I even got out there. 
I was now more determined to go and check to see if the barn even had power.

I hung up with T and noticed that the outside light was on at the barn so we had power.  I walked into the dark barn and flipped the aisle light on.  Then.. I ... noticed.. Beau's stall door was wide open and he was not inside.. okaaaay... so I looked inside and his hay and grain had been put in his feeder and his stall was pristine and clean.  Okayyyyy.. so where is my horse.  Not panicked yet, I figured he may have gotten put in another stall.. (He is the only Bay Morgan here though), but I checked all the other stalls.. NO Beau.. okay.. now I am feeling my heart beat a little faster.. so I walk out the front to the paddocks.. ummmmm No Beau.  I call for him.. Heart is beating faster.. stomach is feeling like it is dropping.. No Beau.  I walk around the back of the arena.. No Beau.  Okay.. and I walk back into the barn.. and notice his Halter is missing.. okay.. so now.. I am a little panicked.  I am calling for my horse.. and I can't find him.. Bad thoughts.. he escaped.. someone took him.. my stomach is now somersaulting.

I walk out the back.. look to the left to those paddocks.. NO Beau.. so I start to walk up to the house to ask the owners if they possibly know where my horse is, since every other horse is in their stall and he is the ONLY one missing.. I call for him once more.. and I hear lots of whinnying.. and Beau comes racing up on the left in a paddock that I couldn't see.  OH MY LORD.. HUGE sigh of relief.
Then I notice.. HE HAS HIS HALTER ON.. This is dangerous and I don't subscribe to the practice.. but OK.. get the horse and feel mad later.

I find his lead rope IN his paddock buried in the mud.  OK.. so.. I get him.. and it is storming out.. and my pony can't really hang out all night in the mud... hoof issues.. so I lead him in the barn, wash his legs off, check him out and put him away.  I washed his lead rope and hung that up and then noticed that my spare waterproof blanket was on one of T's horses.. LOL.. The working student had changed blankets (the wrong ones), but it turned out okay since Beau had his super duper cool Rambo from Ireland rug on that kept him warm and dry.

Long story short, I called T to see what had happened.. and after many phone calls, The barn owner cleaned my stall for me and had turned Beau out for just a few minutes while he did this.. and HE never turns horses out with halters on, but figured it would only be 5 minutes.  He walked back into the house, totally forgot about Beau and felt Horrible. 

I am just glad I went out there anyway and was able to bring my poor baby in out of the storm.

When I drove out, my heart rate had resumed to normal and I was feeling much better.. since my horse was not stolen or had run away.

I will be heading out to the barn today after work.. even if my stall is cleaned for me....

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I think I overestimated my multi tasking abilities

That list was just tooooo long I guess. 

I did manage to get some things done though.  The LIST is here.

I did get the kitchen Cupboards somewhat organized and cleaned.
I did get 99% of the shelves lined
I did get some laundry done (but it has now piled up again.. argghh)
I did get my things moved from the barn
I did get my horse moved
I did get the floors swept and the carpet vacuumed.

This week has been crazy as usual. 
DH has decided that he is "taking a little break" from stuff.  Lucky him.  I still have to go to work each day and do all the extra stuff.

He helps by making dinner, and my DS does do most of the dishes, but when I come home from Barn chores there is still a list a mile long.

Last night I did NOT do my before bed routine and this morning I had to iron a shirt for work, make a lunch, do dishes and was feeling like I was running behind.

Now today I have a sore throat and an earache.  I am going to go and get a strep test.. ICK

Hopefully I can also run out to get my girth as well.

At least I am halfway through the work week.  We have baby this weekend, so I can forget about working on OUR barn this weekend.. I will focus on the things I did not get accomplished last weekend.

Back in the Saddle Again

I did it!  I rode my Beautiful, albeit dirty, pony last night!  I wasn't planning on it, I was only planning on lunging him for a few minutes each way due to him just starting back to work this week.

He was so good on the line, even though he stayed in all day.. which is a misunderstanding I hope is corrected today, otherwise I am going to have to find another solution.  One of the things I will NOT compromise on any longer is good turn out.  Having had good turnout the last 5 months, I have seen what a HUGE difference it has made for him in his state of mind, behavior and overall well being.  If I can't have the turnout, then I will have to move him back to Snohomish and leave the riding until I get my place finished as I will NOT have him locked up each day, only coming out to work.

Off of my rant.  Back to the riding story.  So my trainer/friend was riding her youngster and said, why don't you just get on and walk and see how he does?  I really, really wanted to, so I thought..... NO WAY umm okay,  and if he is at all worried about it or seems that it is too much, I will hop right back off. 

Well I hopped on, and we walked, walked some more, and finally attempted did figure eights at a nice walk and then.. I asked for a little trot and did a nice couple of 20 meter circles on the right track.  WOW!  I was back.. He was back..Then..reality set in we fell apart.  I asked for the trot on the left track.. The left track is harder for both of us.  I am not sure why  it is the weaker side for both of us.  He does not care to bend to the left and I tend to collapse to the left and pull and get discombobulated.  What I can do on the right.. it is like I completely lose everything when we go to the left.  I pulled it together for about three strides and called it good.  I walked him out and hopped off, then walked him some more.  I gave him lots of hugs and praise for being such a good boy after so long off. 

Then I cleaned a stall, washed off a blanket, put his jammies on and put him to bed.  Self Care is so much better.  I am going to the barn every day now and seeing what is happening.  Before, at a full care facility, I may not even have known if he was turned out.  This way, I am on top of everything.

Also, in less than two weeks, my equine nutritional consultant is coming.  I attended a class that she talked at and I was completely intrigued.  I can't wait to see what she has to say regarding his diet and what I can do to help the budget and keep him at optimal health.  I am making him a Bran Mash this evening.  I know he will dig that! 

I am very proud of myself for getting on the pony.  I tend to be a little worried after being off for such a period of time, but I did notice how much more relaxed I was off the bat, and I did LESS with my hands.  This is a GOOD thing in Dressage... Leg  more, Hands less.. Outside rein to inside leg.. I tried to remember that as my mantra.. and the other thing that helps me.. because I have a "hotter" horse.. LEG ON.. and Tempo.. especially in the trot.. I do a type of metronome in my head.. 1 2 1 2 1 2 with it being.. 1.....2.....1.....2.... to slow down and I keep that thinking, while only rising in the saddle what he pushes me to .. and it REALLY helps.. of course adding in still hands and a long leg.. Yeah.. RIGHT.. Tempo first.. then we work on the other things.

For you non riders that read my blog, if you have made it to here.. THANK YOU..LOL.. as I know the horses and dressage can be very foreign for those who do not take part. (Mcgyver doesn't understand the fascination at all).. I will have to post on that sometime.. the fact that we bought a house with a barn and an arena is a testament to how far he has come and how much he must really love me.

For any riders.. What exercises do YOU use with your horse to condition, supple and get some relaxation going in your warm ups?  Inquiring Minds want to know!  Please leave a comment, Thank you!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Busy weekend, busy week

Crazy Monday.  I did not meal plan and I will sooo pay for that.  I need to try and work that in tonight.  As I get ready to head out the door on the end of a work day, it occurs to me that I have many things yet to accomplish.

My plan was to get a WHOLE lot accomplished this last weekend.  I did accomplish some things, but NOTHING near to what I had hoped.  I guess the progress before perfection really needs to apply here, but I am having a little problem with that.

I still have a gazillion boxes in the garage, The kitchen is still not where I want it Pre-Remodel, and there are still a gazillion things to fix before moving Beau Home. 

What I did get done?  Beau moved to a new home which will now require me to do about 80-90% of the work.  No more full care
So each day this week after work I will be:
Picking up the baby,
Changing my clothes to barn clothes
Driving 30 minutes
Cleaning a stall, changing water, sweeping up
doing some lunging/walk trotting with my horse that has lost all of his muscle by being off for the last 5 months
cleaning him up
driving another 30 minutes
Fixing dinner
Laundry, and getting clothes ready for the next day
General running around the house for the DH and Child
Getting coffee ready
Crashing by 10:30pm  (I HOPE)
Then I get to get up at 5:30am and start the day all over again..lo

We shall see how this routine works out, although since Mcgyver is still home this week.. He is going to help out in the fixing dinner department.

Wish me luck.. Happy Monday

Friday, October 30, 2009

Foodie Friday - Loaded Mashed Potatoes

 Foodie Friday, I am linked up to the party over at Designs by Gollum.  Make sure you go and check it out!

Loaded Mashed Potatoes
(either in the Crock Pot or the oven)

I use about 5-6 lbs of potatoes to make a big batch

5lbs russet potatoes or your favorite potato
3 – 4 wedges of laughing cow cheese  ( I use the garlic and herb light version)
4-5 ounces Cream cheese
2-3 tablespoons milk
1 stick of butter
At least 1 cup shredded cheddar/Monterey jack cheese mix
4-5 green onions sliced
5 ounces or so sour cream
Salt and pepper

Boil and mash potatoes.  Add cream cheese, milk, ¾ of the butter, sour cream, laughing cow cheese. Salt and pepper well and mix.  If you are baking the dish, grease or spray a large casserole dish.  Oven to 350 degrees.  Put half the potato mixture in the pan, sprinkle half the green onions on.  Sprinkle half the Cheddar Monterey Jack cheese blend over.  Top with remaining potatoes.  Sprinkle the other half of the cheese blend and green onions on the top.  I cover this and bake it for 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake for about 10 minutes more.

If you want to do the crock pot method, refrigerate potatoes until you are ready to warm them in the crock pot.  Use the same technique as above, spraying the crock pot, layering the potatoes, green onions and cheese.  I heat this on Low for about 3-4 hours. 


Thursday, October 29, 2009

This week's Joy

A great deal of things brought me joy this week.

Being able to finish up the house projects has brought me joy. 

But These guys are who REALLY brought me some joy this week!

She just makes me smile!

he has been such a helper and his honesty this week about how upset he still is over losing his dad when he was so little.. really impressed me.  It took a lot of guts for him to open up to me like that.  I love this kid

McGyver.. cause he is INCREDIBLE guy.. and the way he has tuned in to Paco.. made me fall in love with him even more.  He is a pretty amazing guy and brought me much joy by finishing up a mirror.. which I will post all about this weekend!  Our first Transformation!!!!

The Pony is Moving!

So.. I wish I could report that I am bring the beautiful Beau home this weekend, but we are not quite there yet.  On other happy fronts, the appraiser came by this morning and it looks like we will pass with flying colors.

Good thing McGyver knows his stuff.. and how to let people who think they are important, feel important.  He has his eye on the goal.

Barn work will start next weekend, and one of the dead trees is already down with the second one falling today.  This means that we can haul the logs out and fence.  Important when you want to keep your ponies home.

I am so excited to get started, but sure will miss the warmer weather.  We will be doing the basics to get the stalls ready, the paddocks built and the tack room enclosed.  Everything else with the arena will happen after.  I always have to remind myself that it is progress before perfection in this house stuff.

I will be posting more pictures this weekend and I have a pretty good recipe to post this weekend as well.. can't wait to share it all.

Friday, October 23, 2009

House Photos

I have come to terms with the fact that I live in Chaos right now.  To satisfy the terms of our Holdback, we have to do much work in a small amount of time.  This weekend we will do the final bits of big work and then next week we should be complete.  By Halloween, I should be actually moving boxes and putting beds together.

The following weekend, I should be finally working on the Barn.  That is when I will really get excited.

My uncle came over last night and looked at the two trees we think need to come down.  He doesn't feel comfortable felling them himself, so he is calling a guy to come and do it for us.  He will help McGyver and I chip and chop up the logs once they are down, but we cannot build any fences until those two trees come down.  One is really dead and he suggested removing that one ASAP before the heavy wind storms we normally get around Thanksgiving come.

I have included some Day 1 photo's here  and some progress photos.  Enjoy!  If I haven't been responding or commenting much, it is only because we are literally working all the time.  When I am not at work, I am working on the house.  Up until today, this week at work has been crazy as well since I was gone three days.  I will be back to visiting everyone very soon!

All of these first photo's were taken the first few days we were there.  We actually slept on our mattresses in the dining/family room area.

Above picture is our Family Room and off to the left of that space is the Dining room and Kitchen

This is the Main Bath.. it needs SERIOUS help.  Mcgyver is actually working on this room today.

This is our Living room, Day one.. it had a swirly, gaudy VERY filthy Carpet, and the drapes were pretty icky as well.  Since this picture, there is NEW carpet, and the drapes have been cleaned.  I am waiting to replace the window treatments in this room as they are HUGE windows and the bedrooms have to come first.

This is the Master Bedroom, it also was in need of some SERIOUS attention.  It now also has new paint, new trim, and new carpet.  I will photograph it when it is put back together.. although I think I did take a couple of shots with the new Carpet and the new paint.

 This used to be my kitchen.. in my old house

This is my new kitchen.  It won't look like this forever.  Just until after the barn is done and my pony comes home.  I am sacrificing having new stuff in here and getting started on painting cabinets to get my pony home.

Now for the updated photos:

McGyver installed Cedar floors in the Hall Closets.  The Hall Closets were so gross I had to wear a mask to clean them out.  Now they have been Bleached, primed with a stain killer/blocker, the shelves were all cleaned, bleached, painted and put back in and he put in Cedar floors to make them smell nice.. it is wonderful and was a really inexpensive solution to our flooring dilemma in these closets.

This is now our dining room.  Paco is sitting at a CLEAN table in the dining room.  It has since lost this look and is now functioning as a work area again since the rain started up again.  he Paneling in this room has been the source of a couple of very "heated" discussions between McGver and myself.  HE thinks it is fabulous and is inherent of the character of the house and because it is in SUCH good shape, we should leave it.  I want it gone or painted White.  I want a different look in here.  So.. I am sure we will revisit this room again.

This is looking down the Hallway to the bedrooms and the Main Bath on the Right, Hall closets on the left.  This was in pretty bad shape as well and had NO trim.  Now the walls are Waverly Natural and the Trim is a nice White that I can't remember the name of right now, as I have purchased more paint in the last week than I care to remember right now.. and  75th Trip to Lowes is today right after work for guess what.. More paint.

This is the new carpet in the Living room.  It is made by Mohawk and is a Smart Strand.  You can do up to a 50/50 Bleach Water combo on this.  It is WONDERFUL carpet and we love it.. but it is a little on the pricey side.  We got ours on sale for 17$ a yard.

This is with our 50 inch plasma up.  We now think this looks little.. and that is my beautiful lab's BUTT in the shot.. Whooops.. she didn't run Quite fast enough.

Progress on the Master Bedroom.  I am finishing up the cut in stuff this weekend.  The color is Pine Needle Green.  It was scary in the can.. (mushy peas), but now I love it up on the walls!

We still have some things to do.. but with the new carpet and the white trim.. it is coming together nicely..

All this work made for some very tired people.. but these guys were absolutely EXHAUSTED

 These guys were all tuckered out.  They have totally settled in though.

Thanks for bearing with this very long post.  I hopefully will get to post again sometime this weekend with some more pictures.. otherwise it will be sometime next week.

Happy Weekend folks!


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