Adventures with Millie continue

This morning I received a call from my local Post Office that my chicks were here! Needless to say, I did not think it best to take Miss Millie with me on that errand, so I brought the chicks home and got them settled in to the smaller coop with chick starter, fresh water, and their brooder bulb. I checked on them about an hour later, only to realize they were too cold. Bathroom brooder here we come!

I quickly dig out the smaller feeders and waterer along with the tote and got my lil guys set up in the bathtub. It did not take them long to settle in and decide the bathroom brooder was much better than the chicken coop.

When I was confident they were warm enough and taken care of, I ran the rest of my errands.  As soon as I grabbed my boots and coat, Millie was ready! I had not originally planned on taking her to town with me today, but it did not take much persuasion for me to let her ride along.

Our first stop was the local farm store of course. It stormed this morning, and still was as I started in to town. With horse feed to pick up, I was in need of a tarp. In addition to my tarp, I picked up 2 thermometers for the chicks so that I can better monitor the temperature in the brooder, be it in the bathroom or in the coop.

It was still raining, so I elected to return the screws that I picked up at the hardware store the other day that I ended up not needing. Millie waited patiently in the truck for the few minutes it took me to return the hardware. She is always glad to see me, but at least today she was not trying to climb out the window as she was yesterday.

Finally, our last stop was the feedmill  where I got my horse feed for the next few weeks. My older heeler, Wrangler used to ride with me just about every time I went to the mill. I was glad to get to take Millie with me this time. It was nice to purchase a pig ear for her, like I used to every trip for Wrangler. One of the guys on the dock was nice enough to help me load my batch of feed, and he asked about her. I let her out of the truck and she stayed close as I answered the couple questions he asked. Millie jumped right back up in the truck and I gave her the pig ear before I brought her back home.

No sooner did I make it in the door from unloading feed than mom told me the feed dealer from town had called and my pullets were in. So, back in the truck I got to pick them up. I brought home my 15 Ameracana pullets and introduced them to the Super Roasters, which were fast friends.

Once everyone was settled, I decided I needed to finish the barn chores that I did not get done yesterday. Of course, Millie came right back to the barn with me and played while I stripped the rest of the stalls. She would venture around the barn and then come back in and check on me every few minutes. I absolutely loved watching and spending time with the new chicks today, but even more than that, I enjoyed getting to spend time with my girl. It has not taken her long to become part of my family and hold a special place in my heart!

Little Moments

I have had the luxury of being on vacation this week. I enjoy my job thoroughly most days, but the past few mornings here at the farm have been wonderful. It reminds me how much I look forward to being able to spend more mornings on the farm someday.

Mornings have always been my favorite part of the day, many of my friends have thought for a long time I am crazy because of this. When I was in school, I enjoyed spending mornings in the barn before I started work, and today was no different. This morning was a little harder getting started, I was still a little stiff from yesterday, but the morning dawned clear and I had a lot I wanted to accomplish.

The promised rain for today had not started yet, so I started my morning by working both boys! I have no doubt that is the best way to start any morning! Jim wanted to play before he worked, but he completed his workout without too much complaining. Bart was full of energy also, but he made nice circles and rode pretty well. I always feel better after I ride and today was no exception.

Had a couple errands to run this morning, and decided to take Miss Millie with me! We surprised my coworker which was a lot of fun before going to the farm store and the lumber yard. When we got home, I got the coop ready and Millie came outside while I painted in the chicken coop.

I heard water splashing while I was in the barn cleaning stalls and looked out to see Millie in an old cooler that I used to use as a water trough. When she got out I dumped it, but my girl enjoyed playing in water several times today. Trying to give her a bath you would never know that she liked water!

Yesterday as dad and I were working on the chicken coop, the white duck, Bonnie, was playing in the puddle beside the barn. I watched her for several minutes dunk her head, then her tail, flap her wings, and just enjoy the water.

As I was seeding the pasture field yesterday, Millie was outside with me. She explored the treeline and the pasture field and finally ventured into Pete’s lot. I looked up to see her trotting through his area where he is turned out and I thought to myself, ‘This is going to be interesting.’ Sure enough Pete saw her and came toward her ears up, almost frollicking across the lot. As he got closer, his ears pinned back and his head came down. He did not like her in his lot at all. Millie scurried under the fence as low and as quickly as she could. I laughed as she darted under the fence.

I was thinking today, about these little moments on the farm just this week. Listening to the rooster crow while I was having breakfast the other day, the duck and Millie playing in the water, the donkey telling me I was running late getting the evening feeding started. All those moments that I do not take the time to think about, or to cherish. I loved each and every one through this week.

Part of my focus has been to make more memories, this week not only am I making more memories, but I am enjoying as many little moments as I possibly can!

Happy Wednesday!

Wow what a day! I always know it is a good day when I am totally bushed with a sore back. Stayed busy today and got a lot done, was even able to make memories with my Dad and made progress with Millie. My day was full, but totally enjoyed.

Millie has been having a hard time with housebreaking unfortunately. This morning she did very well and we did not have a single mess in the house all day! She spent a lot of time outside with me while I was working, but she did pretty well with listening while she was out with me. She even got to play with Pete for a minute! As he chased her across the lot where he was turned out.

The goal for today was to expanfd the chicken coop. Dad helped me, and we worked together to get it done. The coop is now 8×8 and except for paint and a roof, is totally ready for years of service. As I am writing I hear the birds singing and chattering with each other. I just enjoyed being on the farm today. While i was out working with Dad, the little white duck, Bonnie, played in a puddle down by the barn. I watched as she thoroughly enjoyed dipping her head then her body and splahing around.

Millie went out with me while I finished seeding bare spots in the field. She roamed the field and wandered in with Pete who decided would be fun to chase her. Millie did not agree and needless to say did not stay in with him long!

When dad and I were finished for the night, we came in and were eating dinner. Pete started carrying on because I was late to feed tonight. I was going to ride this evening, but worked later than I originally planned. Wonder what Pete would have said if I was another hour later?

Several things marked off my list today. Several more to accomplish before my vacation is over. Just taking one day at a time and enjoying as many little things as I can. I am looking forward to the chicks arriving tomorrow! As well as finishing the roof on the coop over the next few days and getting to ride more. So many things to enjoy!

Productive Weekend

The weather in Ohio this weekend was beautiful and I spent a good bit of time outside! There is always plenty to do on the farm, and when you get the weather to do it, all the more reason to jump in with both feet.

I have plans as I have mentioned, to put out a garden this year, and raise meat chickens. Our family freezer is on the small side, so I have been starting to look for one. I was lucky enough to find a used one that I picked up this weekend. My brother in law helped me get it unloaded and put into the basement, so that was one thing off the list!

I put the first coat of paint on the short chicken coop a week or so ago, but the weather this weekend was too nice to stay inside, so I finished up the second coat in order to continue getting it ready for chicks to arrive this week! There was another thing off the list! On my way home from work, I stopped at the local farm store and picked up a few things for the chicks. A bag of fresh shavings and a heat bulb were on the list.

So I got home, dawned some old work clothes and went to work. I took out the 3 nesting boxes that were on the floor for the ducks, since the ducks no longer go in there. Then i got a shovel and I scraped and cleaned all the old manure out. Finally I spread the clean shavings out so that the chicks have a fresh and clean place to sleep.

I decided it best since I was already dirty, to go ahead and clean out my henhouse. Boy that was a dirty job! It is done now though. Wednesday begins the expansion to the henhouse so that when the 15 pullets are ready, so is the henhouse.

All the chicks are due to arrive in 3 days, and my goal is to have everything ready when they get here! Want the babies to have a cozy comfy place to relax and grow. Can not wait for them to arrive!

Anxiety

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. NIV

These words are so much easier said than done. Each day is a struggle for me to remember this verse and to trust that things are in His hands not mine. Over the years I have gotten better, far far from perfect in this area, but better.

Anxiety has been a problem for me for many years. Very few people in my life know how difficult the struggle has been, but what matters is I am getting stronger from it everyday.

Today, God reminded me that things are in His hands, and He is going to take care of not only me, but everything. He used my Dad to remind me that I do not have to carry everything on my own. God speaks to us in many ways, sometimes, like today, through people.

Dad and I had a good talk today, one that I enjoyed very much. The main focus of the conversation was naturally farm work, projects and ideas for the upcoming season. I was relieved to discuss ideas with him. He has much more experience than me and shed new light on several ideas that I had for the farm and the season.

Now I have a new gameplan, new thoughts and new ideas, I am ready to take the next step in putting them into action. This coming week I get to start putting those plans and ideas into action.

Spring is officially here, and springtime on the farm is always exciting. This coming week, chicks are going to arrive!! Both Americana pullets and Super Roaster cockrels! I am so excited to welcome the chicks and start on my list of to-dos for this season!

Thursday Motivater

It is almost Friday!! Being close to Friday would motivate most people, but this afternoon, I have been tired and totally, comlpletely unmotivated. It is not like I do not have quite a list of things to do, but unfortunately, no motivation to get any of them done.

The weather for the next few days, maybe even a week, looks promising, so I did not feel too guilty about letting stalls go and putting off cleaning out the chicken coop for yet one more day. The sun is shining, the birds singing and the saddle calling! So what is a horse girl to do?? Saddle up of course!

Miss M came out to ride her horse today, which was wonderful motivation. I wandered down to the barn, and found her with Pete, putting his new halter on him that she made! I have the best friends! So after halter Pete and tying him to start the first of his many forthcoming lessons, we both went out to catch horses!

As ususal, Jim took a slight bribe to come in, but I decided to ride without even a saddle on him today. He felt so good, moving out and picking up his leads. I loved every second! He made nice circles, and bent nicely as we two tracked and even got a couple nice spins from him today. He was an absolute joy to ride!

The colt, even though he is almost 5 he will always be my colt, watched and nickered and that was all the encouragement I needed to bring him in! He has a really good mind and I walked up to him in the field bridle in hand and walked right back to the arena with him, but he was a little too fresh to ride bareback. I gave it a go, but before I fell off, I decided a saddle would be very beneficial. Once saddled, we went back to the arena.

He gives very nicely to pressure, and other than being slightly strung out at the lope, which we are working on, he is a dream to ride. He is so comfortable undersaddle. He is a good size and in good flesh so that when you are astride him, it just feels right. He made nice circles, two tracked, and spun, but on the rail it took him a little time to settle in. He wanted to rush and bounch verses using himself and driving with his hind end. He is stonger to the left even though he is more balanced loping to the right. When we quit, he was loping more relaxed on a much looser rein, and he was not counter bending as he was doing when we first began. He did miss his right lead twice, but was willing to pick it up when asked a second time.

I love how eager my Bart is to please his rider and work! It makes riding enjoyable and I can not wait to see what he does this season! We have been working indoors a couple times a month, and I am so excited to see what the next couple months holds for him! Reaching down and finding motivation today was so rewarding!

Memory Lane

This morning I got to spend a little extra time with my beloved paint. He is special on a totally different level than any other horse I have been around, ridden or messed with. We grew up together and it has been very difficult for me to watch him age more every year.

My boy has been retired for several years, since a career ending hock injury. He gave me all he had for years, took me to heights a horse of his caliber should never have been. He has been my best friend and therapist since I was a kid. Growing up with him was the greatest blessing I could ever ask for.

Last week the vet was out to float teeth, and I asked her about him in terms of general health. The past couple years especially he has really gone down hill. I have done some research on my own, but there is no better person to talk to than a vet. I told her things I have noticed, including his pot belly and heavy weight despite cutting his ration. I wondered for a long time if he had a generative disease, Cushings, but they listed symptoms have not specifically fit him.

This morning he had an appointment to have blood drawn for a Cushings test. It will be about a week before I know anything. The trip reminded me of the old days though. I left him in his stall when I turned everyone else out, and he nickered. The old boy knew something was different about today. Just like on race days, when I offered him water before the trip he refused. He walked up to the trailer with me, stealing a mouthfull or two of grass as we walked up the bank to the driveway. As we approached thr trailer, he went in willingly ears up, waiting to see where he was going to journed to today.

When we got to the vet, he nickered and pawed, waiting to be unloaded and see where he was goign to be performing today. It is hard, unloading him and watching him look around only to realize he is not there to race the clock this time. The horses nickering were running in a pasture next to the parking lot, not tied to trailers waiting their turn to go. He was agreeable as the vet took blood and he willingly stepped back into the trailer even disappointed that there was no show, no crowd, no announcer.

It breaks my heart that that chapter in his life is over, he misses it as much as I do. I still race, but it is not the same without my spots. I have never been on another horse that competes or races like he does and today was just a reminder that as the days pass, thos memories stay with me. As he gets older and higher maintenance, I stive to give him the fulles and healthiest life I can. He has earned it. I have a new race partner, but I wish I could tell him that those ays are never forgotten, each horse I sit astirde must try to measure up to him, and I have not found one that comes close.

Conquer

Today’s daily prompt, conquer, leads my mind on several trains of thought.

First, I am a doer. I enjoy accomplishing things and finishing tasks. I have been working on a sewing project for a couple weeks, and today I was able to conquer some hand work that complete the final ouches on 2 of the outfits I have been working on. Hand sewing is my least favorite part of the trade, but it is vital on most projects in some way or another. Today I bit the bullet and was able to mark 2 things off my list!

Second, everyday I try to work toward progress. Yesterday I took the next step in one area I am trying to improve myself, follow up with a phone call tomorrow. My endless list of farm projects and ideas is being tackled one day and one thing at a time. I ordered pullets and I have plans to order meat cockrels this coming week. Supply lists have been made for a lean to, chicken coop expansion and yet to come are the possibilty of chicken run and hay storage. One day at a time, one thing at a time I am a conquerer.

Thirdly and lastly, and most importantly, conquering habits. This thought has the most meaning as I sit here and share with you today. When I was in high shool, we had a class, life skills where we took tests, solved logic puzzles, learned about homemaking skills, etc etc. One book that we read, studied and learned from was 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. I can no longer even remember who wrote it, but I encourage you to take a look at it. The theme that rings throughout the whole book is begin with the end in mind. The biggest lesson I took away from that book and that study was never jump into something without proper planning and in idea of what you will need to get where you are going. Without a plan, I have no real hope of accompishing or getting anywhere.

We talked a lot about habits in that class, and I never realized how much your habits shape the person you are, as well as the person you become. I like to focus on good habits, but I have several bad ones, just like anyone else. My goal and challenge to myself is to continue working and bettering myself and my habits.

This morning, Pastor Jeff talked about how God sees people through their heart, not their outward appearance. I get an opportunity to do this everyday at my job, I get to practice. Not every customer that comes in, is someone that looks approachable or even like someone I would usually enjoy talking to. My job does not give me the choice of looking through them, but gives me a chance to talk to every single person that comes through the door. Jesus would talk to every single one that came through the door even if it was not his job or something he was required to do. I have come a long way when it comes to people and I hope to continue to make progress conquering my habits and my attitude.

 

via Daily Prompt: Conquer

Luck?

I have not considered myself lucky, although others have. I do not choose to play the lottery, or gamble, other than the football pool at work. I do not consider it gambling though, because I know I am going to loose, hahaha! Some people are very superstitious, however, I am not.

Luck is usually used to describe something good or bad that happens to us or in our lives. We relate this word to our success, establishing an emotioinal connection to it in our minds. We all know someone who swears by their lucky shirt or lucky socks etc. when I was younger, I too found confidence in myself by wearing certain shirts, jeans etc that helped me to see myself as successful in that instance. Those days are gone.

My emotional attachment is barely existant anymore especially to objects. Animals, pepole etc is a different story. But I find myself going through the endless clutter more and more as I sift through and sort out things I use verses things I do not. Luck has no part in the decision to keep something, repurpose it, donate it etc.

I am one of those crazy people that believes everything happens for a reason, even if we do not know what that reason is at the time, or if we never find out what that reason is later on. There is a conductor orchastrating our every move with a plan for our lives. He knows what choices we are going to make even before we are faced with a decision or a choice.

Some things are indeed things of chance, but I believe there is One that knows the outcome regardless of the chances or statistics. He holds the world in His hands, and loves us enough to know how many hairs are on our heads! I do not see that as luck at all.

Especially since the horse accident I had in 2008, when someone says man you are lucky. My response is, not lucky, but BLESSED! Many people were touched through that accident. Many people got the chance to watch God work yet another miracle in my life. I was BLESSED many many times over through out the whole situation.

Today celebrates a fun day with friends, family, coworkers, people in our lives and recognize Irish history and heritage among other traditions each of us keep. Too many times in my life God has intervened, too many times for me to consider it luck.  I was never real lucky at raffles, drawings etc, but I know that God has another plan for my life!

 

via Daily Prompt: Luck

Restoration

There are a lot of issues and things that I do not take to social media. That being said, I have something to share that really hit me this morning as I sat in church. One person touching on something is chance, but when you hear the same words numerous times, it means something important.

One of my coworkers and I talk often of our faith and His workings in our lives. I was talking with her and asked her to pray. Not only did she pray with me, and I know she continues to pray over the situation, she shared with me that this is the year of restoration. God’s hand has already been in the situation, and I have no doubt He will continue walking through it with everyone involved. But that word, Restoration, I have been holding on to it, claiming it in this storm.

This morning in church, my Pastor read a scripture from Psalms about the Lord being alive. He continued on and talked about how God proves to us that He is alive before talking about Restoration. There it was again, that word, Restoration!

I hate to admit I was tired and was having trouble paying attention, until he mentioned Restoration. My ears perked up and I do not think I missed another word of his sermon, including how everything eaten by even the crickets and locusts will be Restored to His people.

Pastor also talked about how God hears our prayers, always even when we do not feel as if He does. He is always there to listen when we call on Him. With that knowledge comes the importance of thanking, praising and gratitude along with asking. It is such a reassuring thought that whenever I pray, He is there waiting on me to talk to Him. I have noticed my personal prayer life change several times over the course of time. Regardless of how I pray, He is always there, waiting to receive me and listen.

2017 has already had several obstacles for me, my friends and my family. God has tested me in new ways and what I feel are new expectations as I learn to push myself and step out of my comfort zone. I am claiming and holding onto the Restoration of this year. God has big things in store for the next few months, maybe even the next few years. It is my job to be ready.