Grain

As a horse girl, grain is a very important part of my daily routine. When I was in college I thoroughly enjoyed nutrition class as I learned to balance rations and nutrients. Grain gives the horses the proper nourishment to develop, grow and maintain a healthy life.

I feed my horses twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. They are always happy to see me when I come down to the barn, because they know what is coming! They enjoy their grain, and feeding twice a day is much healthier for them than feeding once a day. I strive to keep my horses as healthy as possible.

My dad helped me determine the recipe for the grain mix we feed. We used to feed a bagged feed that was processed. The horses did ok on it, but it was not very cost effective when we started adding to the herd. We also had one or two older horses that were not gaining and maintaining weight like they needed, so we were top dressing their feed with an additional protein.

I now order feed from the local elevator, and the grains are fresh. I feed mostly an oat mixture with a little bit of corn, soybean meal, salt and mineral and use molasses as a binder. The older horses were able to process this feed better and use more of the nutrients it provided, allowing them to gain and maintain weight even through the winter.

Grain is not what horses naturally eat in the wild, so my horses are also on turnout for better than half of the day. The grain is an additive on my farm to ensure they are meeting their nutritional needs. My barrel horses are in great condition. I ride 3+ times a week which has toned their muscles. Their coats are shiny, they have energy and stamina and they are eager.

Grain is important in human diets also, but it is a staple in the horse world. There is a grain to help with most any problem or issue a horse may have. This in cludes over weight, underweight, dull coat, energy and the list goes on. I have foun a grain minx that works for me, my horses and their needs. Hopefully other horse owners have been as fortunate as I have to find something that works on such a broad spectrum.

 

Grain

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Following your dream

Everyone has a dream, even if they are not sure what it is. I discovered my dream when I was 9 or 10 and watched a PRCA rodeo event on the TV. I decided then and there that was what I wanted to be, that was what I wanted to do. Every decision I have made since has been because I am chasing that dream.

I have a luxury few do. I live with my family and run the farm, but that allows me to chase my dreams. There are currently 7 horses in the barn, one due in about 2 weeks. I raise and train equine athletes, and when I was in high school, I got to go Nationals with my childhood mount.

A couple years later, I had a setback when a horse rolled on me. By God’s grace and mercy I am back to doing what I love to do. He gave me my dream and He has put people in my life to encourage me and help me get as far as I have toward reaching it. I believe everything happens for a reason. I also believe that through hard work, dedication and perseverance you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

I would not trade the life that I have right now. Sure there are things I would eventually like to change, but someday I plan to look back and be very proud of what I accomplished and what I achieved in this phase of my life as I chased my dream. I have watched others that I grew up with walk away from horses, but it is in me deeper than that.

Everyone has their own dream, their own plans, their own goals. We all encounter setbacks and delays, but that does not mean we should quit trying. Everyone should have the opportunity to chase their dream while they can. So I encourage you, even as you are reading this, to dream big! Stretch yourself and reach out for it. Do not be afraid of hard work, because in the end it is all worth it! Every morning reminds me that every sacrifice I have made is worth it when I have horses nicker at me and tell me good morning. Every time I saddle up and take a horse out to ride and work, I am reminded it is worth it, even on frustrating days. Those frustrating days make you stronger and more prepared for the challenges and road ahead. Embrace them, take them head on, so that you will reach your dream!

 

Dream

Flourish

When I think of Flourish, I think of rejuvenation. When you are a part of something, church group, work crew, club, etc you have a choice to make. You can either have a positive attitude and strive for excellence by giving 110% or you can choose to be miserable and complain. When I think of flourishing, I think of a flower, being planted in some kind of rocky soil that has minimal nutrients, growing into a beautiful blossom despite circumstances that say it should have never had a chance.

I work on self improvement constantly, I want to be a better person, accomplish more, finsih a better product, make a more poitive difference in the lives of others around me. In my line of work, I have about 2 minutes to make a positive difference in the customers’ day.  I enjoy my job because most of my customers leave with a big smile even if they did not come in wearing one. I get a chance everyday to make  a difference to others, I get a chance to reflect the love of God, even if only for a moment.

I am all about challenging myself as I improve so that I can set better goals. This includes my influence on others, to truly flourish in life can mean striving for excellence in any number of ways or areas. For me, flourishing means improvement and growth, I am lucky enough to have opportunities everyday at work to grow in my people skills which was a great struggle just a couple years ago. My favorite part of my job is making people smile and I have gotten better at it with practice.

Another area that is a good test, is attitude, I struggle with this often myself. My attitude is my choice, and its my responsibility. This means to successfully flourish, for me, I must choose to be happy, friendly, cheerful, content etc. It is not my surroundings that dictates my attitude, even though I would like to blame other things often, it is my choice. It is not always the easy choice to make, and often enough I dont chose to make the best choice, but I try and I work towards my goal.

I enjoy challenging myself to be better, to do better and to make a bigger difference. My choice today is to push myself to Flourish tomorrow vy nmaking a positive difference in my own little corner of the world.

 

Flourish

Change of Plans

Tonight I had plans of posting the beautiful doll dress I have been working on complete with pictures and descriptions so that you could all see why I have not been posting quite as much the past few days. After finishing the final dress this afternoon, I have decided I would much rather add a couple pairs of shoes and a head piece before the big unveiling. So like everything else this week, my plans have changed.

There are 4 outfits in total, and you have had the chance to see progress on a couple of them, but there is plenty more to see. In addition to the dresses, sashes and a shawl, I would like to add a Mantilla to the one party dress, as well as experiment with shoes. One of my best friends has agreed to see what we can do to hopefully get that professional look from home. When I have put shoes togeher in the past, they look very home made and blah. I am hoping that a second perspective will help achieve the look I want to go with the outfits.I am hoping to make a pair of black dressy flats and a pair of brown leatherish shoes to go with the four dresses. Shoes give the outfits a complete look.

I took the opportunity to research a little about the Mantilla. They are lave head dresses that are on hair combs. Combs are usually tortoise shell, and they range in terms of extravagency. I enjoyed researching and looking at the different styles and tyes. They are usually to your shoulders or a little longer and drape from the hair comb. Some styles wrap under the chin while others hang freely. All that I looked at were elegant. I can not wait to attempt to make a couple!

I am excited to get this set done and move on to the next set that I am planning. It is all the little details that take a simple dress to something special. These dresses have taken longer to put together than some of the ones I have previously done, but the darts and princess seams, or ruffled sleeves really make it something exceptional. All the little details make the fit that much better, the lines hisorically accurate and flattering, and the trims let the garment stand out. I have had fun with the laces and ribbons, matching, contrasting etc. I can not wait to see these as finished outfits let alone start on the next ones!

 

Mason Jar Lamps

To continue redecorating my bedroom, and focusin on bringing in more light, I wanted to look at lighting options. I am very much into the Do It Yourself ideas, as I explained in my earlier post about my chandelier. The chandelier provided a lot of light, which is great when you are working, but not so much when you are reading before bed or something like that. So I was back to needing light.

Since Mason Jars were already an element that I was incoorporating into my design, I figured it would be best to coordinate with that same idea. So, I again turned to Pinterest. I got some good ideas, and had about decided to make my lampshades and everything. I was having trouble choosing from all the different styles on there, because there were several that I liked.

I finally settled for a simple jar with a prewired lighting kit that I got online. I endded up waiting to get the jar, because I did not want a quart, I wanted a half gallon to help offset the weight of the lighting kit and the shade. It did not take me long to discover the jar was still too light, even going with the bigger jar. I used it for awhile without anything in it, while I waited for my farrier to collect used horseshoe nails. I am glad I thought of that. It ties the jars together perfectly with the more western flair of my decor, and it is a great weight in the jar to keep it upright and balanced.

Because I was worried that the nails would rust and leave spots on my antique mason jar, I painted them with clear spray paint. This kept them from rusting and keeps my jar clean and as nice as the day I got it!

Lastly I had to find a shade. I knew I wanted burlap, to match the valances I made, but that was as far as I was sure. I started looking, and found a burlap lampshade at Wal-Mart for less than $10. Sold! It completed my lamp! IMG_20160509_215806_681

I loved the simple look! It fit perfectly with the ideas that I had to go with the rest of the room. Actually, I liked it so much, that I ended up making a second one! I now have one that sits on my nightstand and a second one that sits on my dresser!

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A friend helped me get the nails, as I switched farriers. I was lucky enough to find two jars, with the same number on the bottom 29! I thought that was really neat! So, I made it one step closer to having the bedroom that I want. One project down many more to go!

Letting the Chicks get some sun!

Last night when I fed the chicks, it seemed as though they had grown literally overnight! I had 4 Guinea chicks and my Americanas looked totally different!

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I could not believe that my little chicks were so big already! I really enjoy all the different color variations between them. I have a couple that are greyish white and dark feathered, others that are a darker brown and black feathered while still others are light brown and one is even a reddish brown. I have taken so much pleasure in just listening to them cluck and chirp and watching them as they have learned to roost.

Today has been a beautiful spring day! It is so pretty, when I got home from work, I decided to fix the chicken run and let the chicks out! I have been keeping an eye on them of course, but I think they are enjoying being outside of the chicken coop.

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One of the primary reasons I decided to get chickens was for their ability to help with bug control, and they are scratching and pecking away! Down the road, when they are bigger and more accustomed to their surroundings, I hope to let them run loose in the yard.

When I had chickens before, a dog killed them, sadly. Now that that dog is no longer an issue I can not wait to let them roam! Something about chickens loose in the yard when you pull in the driveway, one of the perks to being on a farm!

A couple days ago, I was out feeding the horses, right around 5am. I was lucky enough to hear one of the neighbor’s roosters crowing, and the sun was not even trying to come up yet. I smiled to myself as I thought my own roosters will soon be joining him! Not everyone likes to hear a rooster crowing early, but it is a comforting sound to me. This world keeps getting busier and busier, I take as much time as I can to try to slow down and enjoy the things that I feel are sometimes overlooked.

God created everything in nature, He created you and me, and I intend to enjoy His beautiful scenery and sounds!

Cinco De Mayo!

I am proudly an American! but celebrating Cinco De Mayo was in the air today! I was reintroduced to Mexican cuisine just over 2 years ago and have frequented a local restaurant regularly since then. No, I did not go today, but Spanish inspired things have been popping up in my mind lately.

As I have mentioned before, Josefina was my favorite American Girl Doll, and I played with her a lot as a kid. Her clothes always fascinated me with their simple but almost elegant style. Recently I have started sewing outfits, for dolls, that have the Spanish style that Josefina would have worn. I have enjoyed putting together the camisas and skirts, choosing prints that reflect the Spanish culture and lifestyle.

With it being Cinco De Mayo, I thought I should share my latest sewing project, as it totally put me in the Spanish mood today!

 

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Please be look at my beloved Josie with gentle eyes. I have had her for many years and we have shared many many memories! Some of those memories left scars and marks, but you can tell that she has been well loved!

This outfit is another from the American Girl pattern, made by Butterick. Since this was my first time making this pattern, I followed the instructions to the letter, and had to make some alterations when it was finished. The neck line on this was way too loos and saggy, so I added a couple pleats by hand to bring it up to where it belonged. There is more than half of a yard of trim on this camisa and it just brings everything together! I really liked the blue patterned fabric that I found for this skirt. I love the design and the colors. The burgandy belt pulls the whole look together! I burnt the ends of the ribbon so that it will not ravel even after hours of use and wear.

I enjoyed sewing this outfit up on a dreary rainy day here in Ohio. The colors and the final product just bring a smile to my face! I still have two dresses waiting to be sewn, maybe tomorrow afternoon, and I cant wait to take and post a picture of my latest work! The only negative thing is then I have to figure out what to work on next! I have several ideas, but narrowing them down is not always easy!

Stay tuned for the fourth and final Spanish style dress! Coming soon!

Mason Jar Chandelier

One of the biggest reasons I decided to start this blog was to share the projects I have completed, tips and tricks so that if others decided to try them, they could learn from my mistakes. When I decided I was tired of looking at beige walls, carpet and cream curtains, a change was necessary.

When I moved into my new room, several years ago, I noticed there was no ceiling light. No problem I used a lamp on my dresser and a lamp by the bed. As I started doing more sewing projects, that was not enough light to see my work well, especially when it came to things like hand sewing and removing stithes. My solution was to figure out a light that would go with my new style.

Mason Jar were just starting to become popular, even though I loved the look of them before the latest craze. I started looking at photos online and stumbled across my current chandelier at a flea market in West Virginia. It was a $10 or $15 find! I was very excited! When I purchased it, there were no globes even so that was one less thing to think about because I already had a plan!

The Mason Jars increasing popularity the past few years made finding the desired jars a lot easier! The bedspread that initiated the whole change had a lot of blue in it, so I wanted blue Mason Jars for globes on my light. I decided I liked the look of the pint size jars, so my only dilema was attaching them to the chandelier.

I asked a employee at my local hardware store, and he suggested a LockTite product, which worked initially, but when the jars heated from the light bulbs, they fell off, right next to my dog laying on the floor ironically. He decided that wasn’t the best place to lay. JB Weld was my next choice and it held for quite awhile. I discovered that the type of lightbulb had a good bit to do with the amount of heat also. With the pint sized jars, a regular lightbulb would not fit, so I purchased appliance bulbs that fit nicely inside the jars and put off adequate light. When the first bulb blew, I purchased what I thought were the same ones, but they were dufferent enough theymade a lot more heat. I would definitely try to find energy saving etc, that do not ut off as much heat as a traditional bulb.

With a little bit of clean up and some TLC I had a chandelier for my bedroom that I absolutely love! It fits the style of my room perfectly and it is a one of a kind piece that i will treasure!

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