Planning for Spring

Spring is easily my favorite time of year, and I have been counting down to it for weeks.  The days are finally less than 25! The temperatures today here in southern Ohio, were noticably warmer than last week. Mud season is oficially upon us.

I ordered chicks Monday, no I am not going to tell how many. This year, I decided to order Light Bramas for meat birds instead o the Super Roasters, and they have been much more consistant layers, so that is also what I chose to add to my flock. But then I got to thinking… I enjoy having all the different colors of eggs, and hatching chicks last year was one of the neatest things I have ever done. My Mom and little brother even got into it, which was neat. I just couldn’t help myself any longer, I ordered an incubater. Yes, I had one last year, but after using it and learning from my mistakes, I decided to sell it at the end of the season last year. I am looking forward to trying out this one! Ideally all will go better than last year. All that being said, I am super excited about it this year!

Spring time brings more farm type work, but that will really be ok. I would much rather work outside than inside any day! Always plenty to do when the weather breaks and the days lengthen. I always feel better and more productive on days that I get to be outside riding and working with the horses, those are my favorite days.

I have started thinking about the garden this year and which seeds I need to get started, sooner rather than later. I totally dropped the ball on that last year and I do not want that to happen again. I learned that if I dont plan, I can never make it happen. Maybe look at getting that started here in the next week. It will be interesting to see if I can keep any of my starts alive this year. The past 2, I have effectively killed them all, New year means a new chance though, and I can only take what I have learned and move forward, try something else this time around.

I am looking forward to what this year has in store, starting with spring, my favorite time of year!

Word of the day: Revelation

Revelation has many meanings. When I think about it, of course the book of Revelations comes to mind first, but like many others, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around many of the concepts contained in that book of the Bible. It is ok though, each time I read it I understand more and more.

For me, most often, a revelation, means more of an epiphany or a ‘light bulb’ moment. Interestingly, I have these moment quite frequently. Over the years, I have discovered my mind does not work like most others that I know. My mind is a very concrete, and tangible being. If I cannot see how something works, I simply cannot figure it out. We all have gifts and talents, and I have just learned to work with what I have.

We all have gifts and talents, and I am going to take this opportunity to once again to discover and develop yours! God has blessed us each with our own personality, likes, dislikes, skills and abilities. Think about how boring it would be if we were all great writers, or great artists, or great athletes. These talents would no longer be special, and I cannot even imagine my world without them.

Working on a team usually gives us an opportunity to learn about each others talents, and gives us a chance to use them. Often times our minds are opened to what can be accomplished when we work together and allow one another to use our talents.

Slight detour there, but I think it was worth the couple extra miles out of the way. Back to revelation. You never know when you are going to learn something new, or discover something surprising. So don’t limit yourself! The world is full of doors to open and adventures to take. You never know, you may just discover a new favorite restaurant or destination, or maybe a new friend. So leave the door open to learning and be willing to try something new.

I hope you find yourself enjoying something new!

Daily Inklings: Writings Prompts for Appreciating Everyday Life = Near Miss

“Sam, you’re up,” the announcer’s voice boomed over the PA system to where she and her horse waited behind the chute.

Sam moved her hands into position on her reins, her spotted horse under her waiting in anticipation to do his job. “Come on boy,” she said and squeezed his sides to gently encourage him into the alleyway of the arena. Sam took a deep breath as her eyes adjusted to the indoor lights instead of the outdoor sunshine. When she could clearly see the obstacles ahead, she knew her favorite mount could too.

The gateman swung the double gates open to the arena as her horse tossed his head. She choked up slightly on her reins until the gates were fully open. In one motion she shifted her weight forward, pushing her reins forward also, and her horse sprinted into the arena.

“Hey, hey!” Sam said as they entered their first of three turns. The reliable spotted horse cut the first barrel a little close, and Sam had a but a moment to lift her right leg above its lip to prevent tipping the can over. She breathed a sigh of relief, a near miss was a good as a mile. On to the second turn they went penalty free.

Sam and the spotted horse dropped around the second barrel and went on to the third and final turn quick as a wink. They were in tune, moving as one. As Sam dropped her hand and the spotted horse dropped his shoulder around the third and final turn, they both gave it their all to stop the clock. Straight down the middle of the arena, and into the alley the spotted horse moved, Sam loved that feeling, like she was flying. She did not know how the horse made her feel as though she had wings, but the freedom of flying seemed just out of reach when they ran together.

The loud voice was heard again over the PA, but Sam did not notice. The spotted horse and her were both catching their breath. She slipped from his back praising his all the while for giving her 110% of his effort and love. She was being congratulated for taking the lead, by a mere hundredth of a second…. a near miss.


via Daily Inklings: Writings Prompts for Appreciating Everyday Life

Getting Back To Writing

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, more so than usual if you can believe it. I try to steer clear of posting new blogs when my thoughts are so scattered, thank you to those that have stuck it out with me despite those couple I posted in the past that are all over the place, but today I feel like writing for the first time in a while.

Those of you who were with me last year, have seen numerous posts about my Bullet Journal. I have been doing ‘Morning Pages’ religiously and cannot believe the difference! My sister even commented the other day when I was up tight and all over the place, she asked me have you written today? When I honestly answered no, she told me maybe I should. If you are interested or curious about Morning Pages, I encourage you to read my previous blog, and maybe even do your own search on Pinterest or Google. I have reserved the book from the library where that idea originally came from and I hope to get more information when I finally get to read it.

My journal has become very very helpful, and I have also noticed that collecting pens may very well be my new hobby. I ordered a pen last week, thanks again to my sister for her help, and I was looking at more this morning, but decided one frivolous expenditure was enough for February. I have found layouts and spreads that work for me, and help me not only to stay organized and prioritize my tasks, but it keeps me productive and gives me one common place for all my important information. When I write things down in that book, I no longer worry about where to find them.

While I enjoy scrolling though artsy spreads and fancy pages, I know that for me that is not functional. Functionality should be my middle name, because practical and functional are my main goals in life. Art and flair is not something I value in my journal. As with many other things in my life I prefer plain and practical. My pages take me a few minutes, no more, to create and prepare for the week or month, and I leave it at that. I use a couple simple colors each month, and a super simple theme and I call it good. Maybe when I become a little more tech savvy I will be able to include pages from my journal itself to show you, but until then, hopefully my words are enough to encourage you.

Stay tuned as spring time is approaching and things will be starting for the season on the farm!

Quiet Sunday Morning

It has been a crazy week around here, more like a crazy month, or maybe even two! This morning, I broke my routine and spent the morning in the quiet house. I know, I know, skipping church is not good, and I do not do it often, but I felt it was a justified choice today.

Yesterday was a long day, enjoyable, but long. I learned a lot and enjoyed judging the classes in the Open Show, but paired with everything this week, I was ready for a little down time. The slow morning has been very nice.

I am not really the happiest that I feel that choosing a little downtime needs justified. I am on the go a lot, and while I enjoy it and am totally lost when I do not have much to do for the day, sometimes I get tired too. I do not always think about myself, and I just want to take a moment and encourage you, if you feel like I do. Time for yourself is not always a bad thing, sometimes it is a necessary thing. Makes me wonder why I feel so guilty about it.

I am one of those people, when my to-do lists are never finished, as new thngs are always added. I feel the most accomplished when I go to bed tired from a long, full day where I got to mark several things off that extremely long list. Sometimes it catches up to me. Don’t worry, I would never admit that in person, as I take a lot of prid in the lifestyle I keep and the things that I let keep my plate full, sometimes overflowing. A down morning is totally alright though. The craziness will resume this afternoon and carry on yet again.

A while back I happened to realize, I am one person. While I have several amazing friends and a totally awesome family that help me when I bite off more than I can chew, sometimes the mountains on the to do list cannot be scaled in a single day.  ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ and I struggle to remember that. Sure enough when I leave things at the end of the day, they are there waiting on me the next morning, just as I left them. They will get done, especially when I make up my mind that it is happening, but if it is not today, the world will not stop revolving.

I have said all this, just to say, do not feel guilty about taking a couple hours here or there for yourself, especially when you run a breakneck speed the majority of the time. Someday I will probably get burnt out, but that day is not today, and I am going to keep on chugging until I do.

Working On Myself

This has not been the best week, but I am growing. Sometimes in life, we experience rowing pains, and we do not realize that when we experience them we are on the verge of a breakthrough. Many times we are blessed beyond belief if we just stick it out.

I have realized several things this week. Firstly, my garden is not at all what I wanted it to be this year, this is ok. Yes, I dropped the ball with it, yes it is full of weeds, but my tomatos are still growing, as is my corn and I think I even counted 3 potato plants that have survived. The weeds will be there tomrrow when I have time to deal with them, and I have a heck of a good start on seeds for next year, squash, cucmbers, sweet corn, green beans, all ready and waiting.

Secondly, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that does not mean it is engraved in stone. Often times, others offer us their opinion, and a lot of the time they do not know the full extent of the situation. A small vicory for you, that you are pleased about, may seem the exact opposite to them. They do not understand the struggle you have faced getting to that point, and that is ok. Take their words and grow! Apply the wisdome they offer and be open minded to improving yourself. Where do you have to go but up?

Everyone’s life is different, and I cannot hold myself to some one else’s standards, because my daily walk is different. I see things others have done, or accomplished and sometimes, I get down on myself. This is wrong of me. I have accomplished many things myself, personal goals that are important to me. I do not need to compare myself to someone else, I need to be the best person I can be, in the daily walk that I have. If that means my journal is practical instead of gorgeously doodled, that is ok. I have always been about functionality and sometimes you just have to let go of the unnecessary glamour and glitz, there are more important things in my life right now.

Sometimes, you have to take care of yourself. I have been working many hours a day all summer long, and this week hay has not been able to be cut, so I have taken some time for myself. That is ok. If I do not take care of myself a little bit, I will not be able to ride, train, work, operate equipment, my body needs maintenance just like the horses I ride and the machinery I run. I take much better care of my horses than I do myself, I always have, but sometimes my body needs attention too. No, those of you that know me are saying you didn’t get a manicure did you? No, I did not, nor a pedicure or anything even remotely close to that, but this week I have been address the daily pain that I live with, and right now, sitting here, I am feeling better than I have in a long time.

Hopefully this post encourages you. to be the best you that you can be! Because there is no one out there that can duplicate or replicate you! God created each of us for a purpose and it does not help us to compare ourselves to others especially when they are heading a totally different direction than we are. God has a perfect plan for your life, and for mine, if we will follow His steps to prepare accordingly, all the pieces will fall easily together. Keep on trucking!

Summer blessings

This past week was our county fair, and there was a reprieve in the crazy hot temperatures, thankfully for those competing. I no longer compete at the fair, but I know all too well the challenges 4-Hers endure.

I had the opportunity to talk for a few minutes with a fellow 4-H alumni one night that I was able to go squaredance, and even though she is a few years younger than me, she shared many of the same thoughts in regard to the hourse show. It was neat talking to her and realizing that many 4-H alumni experience the same feelings. There are many aspects of showing that we miss, and several that we do not. That is part of growing up.

There were many blessings this past week. My country educator was willing to hold a fair shirt back for me until I could return to the fair later in the week to get it. A good buddy not only stuck it out with me at a barrel race that took about twice as long as I anticipated, but also went to the square dance and we had an awesome time. Dancing with some of the friends we made years ago, was awesome. We all laughed together as we moved through the familiar steps. The dancers we got to meet were awesome also, not only were they good dancers, they jumped right into the fun we were having without missing a beat.

There is a lot that goes into the production of a county fair, and while there are many things to enjoy, and a lot of complaining to listen to, many people work hard to ensure that the fair runs as smoothly as possible. It was great to get to enjoy it like I did this year.

The weather held for me to go race this weekend, that was a blessing, because it did not hold to get hay up. Luckily we did not have any cut waiting to be baled. See, another blessing.

I got to have a good visit with my uncle and a family friend in the nursing home yesteray also. That is not always an enjoyable thing to do, but both visits were enjoyable. Yet another blessing! My uncle was talkative and shared some good stories, and my friend, Miss M seemed happy that I stopped. She has been through so much and I can only hope that I made yesterday a little easier on her.

My challenge for myself, and you if you are up for it, is to look for the good today. Do not focus on the negative, even if you have a bad day, or are thrown an unexpected challenge, look for the good. If you look for the good, that is what you will see.

Rainy Day Road Trip

Weather man called for more rain today, so what better way to spend it than on a a little bit of a road trip through the countryside, with a horse destination in mind of course! My fearless coworker Miss D was on board for today’s adventure, and I think she had as much fun as I did! We made some fun memories today.

My little Leroy was eager to go with us this morining, until we made it about half an hour up the road…. the the rest of the exhaust hit the pavement. Made a couple memories as I turned around to go collect it from the highway. Glad I had an old pair of gloves shoved behind the seat from handling tractor parts a couple weeks ago. I could feel the heat from the exhaust pipe even through the gloves. Fortunately not warm enough to burn me, but I caution you if you ever happen to lose your exhaust on the road, be very careful when retrieving it. We had a good laugh about the momentary delay in the trip and when we resumed conversation discovered it was even more dificult to hear than before! But, we made a memory.

I introduced Miss D to the shop owner before I discussed with him what I was hoping he could help me with. I ordered 2 pairs of reins and spoke with him a little about a previous project. It is always good talking with him, he is very knowledgeable in his trade and has many years of experience working leather.

Back up the road we loudly went. The muffler will be fixed over the weekend if not tomorrow. We decided to stop for lunch at a diner around the corner from home. Miss D got to sample one of my favoite meals and we enjoyed some great conversation over lunch, now that we could hear one another. The storm started while we were at the diner, and low and behold, we forgot to roll the windows up in Leroy! Fortunately it was only a few miles from the diner to my house, but yet another memory was made. The lightning that we got to watch over the last couple miles of the trip was gorgeous. I have always enjoyed watching lightning and today was no exception. The storm blew over quickly, but it was a good day, and a good day for a nice trip.

Hopefully you found something enjoyable to do on this rainy day! I would love to hear about it! Leave me a comment with what you found to do today.

Jerry & Josie

A couple weeks ago, I noticed a splash in the big puddle by the barn, as I was letting horses in for the evening. The next day it was there again. The ducks love this puddle, they swim and play in it everyday. They have wallered it out, along with the big tractor, over the winter and spring. It is now quite large and desperately needing gravel… it is on my list.

With all the rain lately, the puddle has grown, and so have its residents. I started noticing these splashes more often, and now they were beginning to be after a ‘plop’ sound. I also notived several ripples in the puddle, that is now a murky green, for several days.

As the weather is getting warmer, downright hot some days, I have been hearing frogs and crickets especially in the evenings. I assumed the culprit for the splashing in the puddle was a frog, but I had not seen him until just a couple days ago. I happened to look into the puddle at just the right moment, and see a frog, about 3/4 the size of my hand! He is a light green color with a lighter belly, and most definitely a frog, not a toad.

Last night while I was out doing my usual routine feeding, not only did Jerry frog splash, but there was a second, smaller splash. Dad suggested he brought his girlfriend with him, so I decided to call her Josie for now.

I was worried for a day or two last week when my familiar splashes did not welcome me at feeding time, but they were back last night. I am glad the little frogs are getting comfortable enough with me around to watch me, and wait even a second or two before the descend below the surface to the concealment of the murky water.

I know that this pair of frogs will not be here very long, but they have been fun to watch the past couple weeks. I have enjoyed watching them and listening to them on these warmer summer nights. The best part about it, is they do not even know how much enjoyment they have brought me. They do not know I look for them when I go out to feed or that I enjoy listening to them chirp to other frogs hiding in the yard. Just another thing about our little farm that I have been enjoying lately!

Rainy Sunday

The past couple days have been crazy and I have enjoyed a much slower paced Sunday afternoon, thanks to the rain. It stormed last night, and I was able to sleep better than I have in several nights, because the sounds of the storm relax me in a different way. Today I have still been tired, it was a crazy week, with a crazier one shaping up, but to take time and rest and reflect today was much needed.

I have a couple close friends, that always offer sound advice and valuable opinions, and I got the chance to speak with them today. Sometimes it just feels good to talk, and share things you have carried around for too long with others. I am pretty sure it is all in my head, but I at least feel like I may be able to handle things now.

The ‘Morning Pages’ I mentioned in my last post, are really helping. I have found time for them everyday but one, and I should have made myself take time that day. It was the only day in over a week I have had an anxiety flare up. So I am back to it, and sticking with it at least for now in the hopes that it continues to help me.

Every now and then I go on a cleaning binge, and this afternoon inspiration for it struck. I attacked my bedroom lol not nearly as much as I should have gotten done, but enough I felt productive. I cleaned a lot of the clutter and believe me the past few weeks left a lot of it. Papers are now sorted through, trashed and put away. Messes cleaned up from incubation and dress making, and even my laundry is started. I want to finish by taking the table I used for incubation down, and maybe working on my sewing area some more, but I still have all the outdoor chores to do for the evening and no guarantee that I will have the energy when I am finished with that. Cleaning like that always helps me feel better because I have been even a little productive.

I have been spending a lot of time writing lately, journaling, writing scripture, reflecting on some things that I have refused to face. Things that I thought I had dealt with years ago. Everyday is another step in the right direction. Writing has been a great outlet the past couple weeks and I am grateful for it.

The season is starting to change, and with it brings more work and longer days, going to bed tired and sore only to get up and do it again the next morning, but also feeling productive and motivated. Life is good and I am thankful for each day and each chance I have to build relationships and grow, finiding more of myself.