Antique Chest

Recently I blogged about making fence rails out of old bleacher boards. Trash to treasure is one of my hobby. While I was there picking up the old bleacher boards, my friend stumbled across an old steamer chest that he had found at a yard sale years ago. When he asked if I had a use for it, I could not bring myself to say no! This antique steamer chest he guessed dated back to early 1900s.

I was very excited to load it onto the truck that was about 3/4 of the way loaded with boards. When I got it home, I unloaded it and put it on a blanket so I would not scratch my wood floors (A blog about my pallet floor really is coming)  and started cleaning. The inside liner was peeling off the wood liner. So I started sanding, and gently scraping as the fabric backed paper peeled away. It took me a couple days and even though I did not get all of it off, I got most of the old liner peeled away from the wood.

The beautiful trunk smelled old and musty and I consulted several friends on ideas on how to remove the smell. My carpenter friend came and evaluated the broken board in the bottom of the chest. I ended up taking the advice of the guy I got the chest from, he told me to put apples in a pan and leave them for a couple weeks. I could not believe that it actually worked! The old musty smell is gone, and the chest smells fresh.

Upon closer examination, the outside of the chest was totally encased in metal. Some of it was embossed and while other was not. I used a product to remove tarnish from it, and I could not believe the difference! It brought the old chest back to life!

When I was sure the musty smell was out of the chest, I relined it. My friend was nice enough to give me some felt type upholstery fabric with the chest. I cut it to size and used spray adhesive to put it in the chest. My carpenter friend told me that the broken board in the bottom was left as it is, so I had no reservations about going ahead and securing the lining. The beautiful dusty rose fabric compliments the dark color of the metal shell wonderfully.

Now the chest is ready for years more of storage and use!





Spring time

I realized it has been several days since my last post, but things have been busy on the farm and off of it. First field of hay is put up and in for now, waiting on weather for the next one. The chickens have grown and changed so much! Both roosters are now crowing!!! I so enjoy listening to them throughout the day. The days are getting longer and days are getting hotter.

This year I got to help more with running hay equipment than in years past. I raked it all in the field and then baled the last part. It was a learning experience to say the least! That is only the second time I have gotten to run the baler. It was such a great feeling to know that I did it! Hopefully I continue to learn and improve with more operation.

I have thoroughly enjoyed just watching the chickens the past couple weeks. The white and black rooster learned to crow first, with the red and black rooster following a week or so later. The Guineas are chirpring and chattering up a storm. I will try to get pics tm, they have changed so much in appearance even in the last week! They have been out of their run once and were nice enough to go right back in.

I have been riding several times and week and racing as often as I can, the weather has not been on my side the past few weeks. Bart is making progress every time I ride! I can not wait to see how he does in a few more weeks!

I have also been finishing inside projects, one thing at a time. I am down to making handles for my dresser and then cleaning and organizing. The weather has been too nice to stay inside much. Outside work is slowly getting done also. I am about 1/3 of the way finished painting the new fence Grandpa and I put up. Just working one day at a time and making progress. Progress is always a good thing.

Fourth of July is right around the corner! It is always fun to watch fireworks and enjoy celebrating our great nation’s independence! So many exciting things to look forward to. The summer is flying by!

Milk Can Nightstand

I really enjoy finding old things and turning them into something new again. I have been in the process of slowly redecorating my bedroom. I was originally going to make a lamp out of the old milk can, but in person, it was too large to make the base out of. So now I had a milk can, and no project. My new bed was finished, made by a local carpentar from shiping pallets, and much taller than my previous bed. So, the milk can was a natural fit for a nightstand!

I put one of my mason jar table lamps on it, but the can lid itself was not large enough for anything except that lamp. So, now a new problem, I needed some kind of top. I originally thought plexi glass, but a piece large enough to make a top out of cost more than I wanted to spend on this little project. I considered making a top out of pallets to keep with the pallet theme throughout the room, but I did not want that look either. So I thought and thought. The other problem I ran into, is this is a vintage can, I did not want to jeopardize the integrity of it, so whatever I came up with I wanted to be able to leave the can as it was.

A family friend was cleaning out their garage and found a lazy susan from their old dining table that they had kept and tucked away. It was a dark stain and had a clear top coat over it. There were a few scratches and dings, but the more character the better fit, especially in my bedroom!

I talked to another friend that is a carpenter and he suggested ways of attaching it that would not damage the can itself. Then my neighbor came up with this! 2 screws with large heads, and 2 strips of leather that I cut thin that were leftover from a previous project


The holes that the leather are put through were already in the lid, so I did not alter it in anyway! My favorite way to do things, keep things as true to original as possible and prejects that are as inexpensive as possible!

The finished product came out beautifully!! It is the perfect height with my new bed and it is a good size to hold my lamp, glasses, phone, alarmclock and even a book if I want!


It fits in perfectly!


Ironic coincidence that this is the word of the day today! I spent the better part of the afternooon transforming my latest project from someone else’s trash to my new treasure!

On the farm, we have high tensile wire type fencing. Many horse owners, know and can probably share their own horror stories of horses getting caught in this wire. The fencing has done a wonderful job for about 15 years, and many of the posts are in bad shape. I had the opportunity to purchase new posts a couple years back, on sale, so I stocked up! They have been waiting for me to finish the project.

Recently, I have one horse that loves to crawl through the high tensile fence. Fortunately she has mastered the art and can climb through pick grass along the road and back inside for feeding. Ornery filly! I have worked on and fixed the fence to keep her in.

My buddy decided to get out of horses and caught wind of my project. He gave me the boards from his horse stalls to make into fence rails! I went to load them up and they were trash before he turned them into stall boards. They had been bleacher seats at one time. I just came in from painting the boards since they were not designed for outdoor wear like other boards would be. I think it is totally awesome, not transformed once, but twice! The clean white rails are sturdy and ready for years more of service. I would much rather have repurposed materials than them ending up in a jink pile or somthing similar. Most of the little projects I complete are things that started out as old or unusable for something else.

My family probably gets tired of seeing the junk that I bring home, but when I step back and look at what it has become, the transformation is totally worth it!!! I have several other projects I am working on before I post them, and there is still fence work to be done, but at least today I was able to make progress on one project. Sometimes the best part of the project is watching the transformation happen, like mason jars to lights, or milk can to nightstand (that post is coming), or pallet to floor (can not wait to share that one!) I can not wait to finish the current projects I have so that I can move on to something else!


Connected, Horse and Rider

Horses are a genuine passion of mine. I absolutely love to compete in races, unwind with a bareback ride through the pasture and by challenging myself and my horse with training for a better performance. I have learned a lot over the years through several instructors and several horses who were patient enough to help me grow.

When I was in high school, I was competing at the highest level I have experienced to date. My horse was a special gift and I worked and worke to make him what he was. I have never been connected with another mount before or since the days that him and I raced and compteted together. He is my best friend and one of the best teachers I have ever had. Over the years I spent so much time with him that I learned to read him. He had likes and dislikes of course, but there were days, I could feel how our race was going to go just by his approach to the arena gate. I have never had a horse fit me like him. I was so tuned to him, I felt his muscles tense and I knew what he was thinking. He would respond to my lightest movement.

I took the relationship I had with him to another level, when as many barrel horses do, he got ‘hot’ and gate sour. We started doing ground work everday and through the extra time I learned to read him on a different level. Our connection grew. I remember being at the fair with him in the round pen one morning. I was free lunging him, but he was in total control. Just by my body I was communicating with him and he was responding despite all the distractions. That was an awesome feeling.

While no horse will ever replace him in my heart, I am able to use what I learned from working with him and building that respect, relationship, trust and connection wotrking with other horses. Without all of the above mentioned things, the team will never be their best, because all of those things work together and build on each other.

Making connections in life is a valuable tool, especially in the service industry. People, like horses, want to make connections and build relationships. I challenge myself everyday at work to connect with people and make their day better. I feel so much better when they leave with a smile instead of a frown.



Busy week on the Farm

I got to watch many exciting things this week on the farm! Just another reason I enjoy being here and doing what I love! This time of year is the busiest for farmers. All around me planting is finishing and the first cutting of hay is being put down and baled up.
The chickens have settled into a routine, they will actually come in at night on their own opposed to me chasing them for 20 minutes. It seemed the Guineas were the last to learn, but they are all on the same page now. I discovered recently that I have 2 Amerucana roosters, a grey and black on with greening feathers on his neck as well as a more solid red one with a black tail. So far they get along well, and as long as it stays that way, they can live peacefully together. The grey speckled one, started trying to crow the beginning of last week. I so enjoyed watching him ruffle his feathers and stretch his neck in preparation and then a slight little sound would generate from him. It took him all week, but he figured it out! He started really crowing last Friday.
Last week I also started to refence the pasture. With a little help I got the fence post holes all dug, the posts set and tamped tight. If I would not have had to make a feed run today, and if the weather would have held, we would have started stretching the boards. Knocking out one thing on the list at a time. Doing what I can one day at a time. Always more to do, but I keep reminding myself, Rome was not built in a day.
This time of year is also when the horse season kicks into full swing, so trying to ride as much as possible to keep the boys in shape and tuned up. I stay busy, but I enjoy it. The boys have both been doing pretty well the past week or so. The small victories are what I seem to get the most enjoyment out of. For instance, my colt took the right lead on his own a couple nights ago. That was the first time he has done that! He will take the left every time, but he actually took the right! With the older horse, we have been working on a balanced stride especially at the lope, and he was willing to hold a nicely paced lope almost entirely on his own! I was so excited over those two small things.
I am looking forward to what next week has in store!