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.


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