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.

It is the Little Things

That’s what I love about Sundays…. is a line from a country song that was popular a few years ago, and this morning I took a few minutes, when that song popped into my head, to think about things in my life this morning. Overall, this week has been fairly enjoyable with a fun trip to Columbus with a coworker where I ran into a couple of my long time friends. I had a spontaneous lunch with the same coworker when I got off work early Saturday. Things on the farm have even gone smoothly this week. I had much to be thankful for today!

I woke up this morning to the sound of my chickens, including my rooster Roy, clucking, cackling and crowing. Then my ornery little donkey Pete chimed in to tell me that I had slept in long enough and that his belly said it was past time for breakfast. Funny how he knows when it is my day off and what time I should be up.

So I went and fed and let the chickens out. I checked on my chicks, filled their feeder and waterer and just watched them play for a few minutes in the brood box. They are enjoying their larger box in the henhouse and it was neat watching them run around in there and jump this morning. The younger chicks are still inside, but only for a couple more days, and they are all healthy.

I had originally hoped Uno was a pullet, but I am fairly certain he is a rooster. After yesterday, I am relieved…. Roy had a bad day and his days on my farm are now numbered. As much as I hate to say that, it is going to be a necessary decision to make. I am hoping that Uno stays as much of a pet as he is and enjoys being handled like he does now.

This afternoon, it rained and rained, which was no surprise for those of us in Ohio. After church, I came home and fell asleep on the couch as I listened to the rain ping off the roof and splat the ground outside. It is very wet and muddy now, but the sound of rain has always been one of my favorites.

I hope you all enjoyed your Sundays as much as I did!

Christmas Chicks

If you have been following my posts, you saw where my wonderful Mom brought home 15 black Austerlop chicks for me for Christmas. My little brother Nick, instantly claimed them as his babies and eagerly helped with their care. Since it was December, these little black chicks have been in the living room since we brought them home.

The chicks being in the living room did not bother my mom, surprisingly. She is a very go with the flow kind of person, but about a month ago, the 15 chicks had grown enough that they had pretty much outgrown the dog kennel that temporarily housed them. One of my former coworkers gladly gave 8 of them a new home, in her craft room, before she introduced them into her flock. So that left me with 7, much more comfortable chicks in the dog kennel in the living room.

As you can imagine, a living room was not really designed to be a chick brooder, and not one time did my mother ever complain about the noise, smell or mess, and I diligently tried to keep the shavings cleaned up and changed. Mom and Nick even helped with feeding and watering the chicks when I had to go to work. Nick became quickly attached and loved that they were his size to carry around on his own. He would carry them around, once to Dad and put it in his lap, another time to mom and put it in her lap. One night he even tried to play trucks with his little bird. The chicks did not mind a bit! Needless to say, the longer the chicks were in the living room the more petted and tamed they became.

As the beginning of February approached, the chicks were once again starting to crowd each other in the dog kennel, and I started watching the weather to see if I could potetially put them outside. It did not happen until this past Monday.

I had quite a list of things to accomplish Monday and moving the chicks outside was on it. I did not get around to that part of my day until Nick went down for his nap. The cutest thing happened when he got up… he walked straight to where the chicks had been staying for the past 2 months and started looking for his babies! Such a cute little boy, 2 years old, and the first thing he wanted to do when he got up was check on his baby chicks! I think he is going to be a little farmer! And the chicks are much more comfortable outside in the brood box, where they have plenty of room to play. I would have uploaded a current picture, but I am having trouble getting that done on my tablet. I am excited to order a camera hopefully tomorrow or Friday that will allow me to upload pictures again!

Feeling Blessed This Saturday

The past couple days I have spent extra time with good friends and family. I was able to mark a few small projects off the never ending list and make memories along the way. Surprisingly, I have kept a good attitude and stayed productive throughout the extra challenges this week.

Today, at work, my usual coworker had the day off. Her and I are becoming like two peas in a pod. Sometimes it is scary… we finish one another’s sentences and play off each other’s sarcasm without missing a beat. Regular customers come in often just to see what her and I happen to be up to that day. We have had a couple days off work this week and I was so excited to see her stop by the shop today! I felt like a little kid when we both hurried to tell each other hello!

My other coworker was kind enough to stay a few extra minutes and help me close today. She was fabulous! We worked together and chatted and visited while we knocked the cleaning duties out for the day. It seemed to go very quickly with both us working as we were and she will probably never know the extent of my gratitude! I always enjoy talking and visiting with her and today was no different. We caught up with what the week had held for each of us as we tidied at the shop.

Yesterday, I was blessed to run into what has become a good friend at the local farm store. I had questions about products and as usual, he was able to answer them. It was nice talking to him and picking his brain over what I should take home to accomplish the tasks of the day. He is always very helpful, not to mention knowledgeable and patient.

Also, yesterday my grandpa was kind enough to help me replace a coil pack on my big truck. It had needed done for a while, and the day off yesterday gave me the extra time to do it. I am very grateful for his patience as he walked me through the process, but I enjoyed being able to turn the sockets myself! I could not have done it without his help, as when I got in a little deeper than I thought, he was quick to jump in and help to finish the job. I will always be grateful for the minutes I have gotten to spend with him in the garage, learning about equipment, machinery and vehicles.

My week has been full of blessings despite being thrown a curveball or two and I am grateful for them all! It allowed me extra time to look at the smaller things in life this week that often get overlooked, and I cherish each memory I made!

Countdown to Spring

Yesterday, my coworker and I decided that with everyone, including our customers being over the winter weather we have had, that we needed to countdown to spring. So we talked with our boss and tossed around a few ideas about the best way to countdown to the much anticipated first day of spring!

I was stopping at the store on my way home anyway, and I was elected to bring supplies the next morning. I browsed for flowers or butterflies cut out, but struck out. So, I got the next best thing: construction paper and glue sticks! 8 colors of paper in the pack, and we had markers and scissors at the shop already.

My mom helped me find a flower to print for the final marker for the first day of spring, and I dug some leftover jute out to take with me and off I went to work this morning.

We worked together, and made a paper chain (yes just like 3rd grade) with a link with each date written on it from tomorrow until the first day of spring. The colors look really neat and I wove the jute in and out of the links so that we could hang the chain between the lights. The large flower on the end that marks the last day, and a snowflake cut out with countdown to spring written on it signifies the beginning of our journey.

I think my coworker and I both agree, we were slightly disappointed at the less than wonderful reception from some of our regular customers, but there were a few that appreciated our efforts. It was gratifying to finish the little project, and all the more encouraging as we take links down and pass the days between now and spring.

The first day of spring may seem like something small to look forward to, but sometimes it is those small things that help us keep our focus. I struggle, even keeping track of the things that I accomplish in my new journal, and sometimes it looks like I don’t do nearly as much as I wish I could mark off on my lists. I learned a long time ago, tomorrow is another day, and whatever I can’t get done today, will be there tomorrow. Oddly I am never surprised to find that project exatly as I left it the next day.

Spring is coming, slowly but surely, and my anticipation is growing everyday for the chicks I cannot wait to hatch, the plants I plan to start and the riding and training goals I have set. The only way to look at those projects is one day at a time, and I cannot wait to start them!

My Journal, It Arrived!

I have been super excited about starting to bullet journal! I ordered a Leuchttrum 1917 A5 dotted journal. It is a wonderful size! I love using the dotted pages for guidance and freedom at the same time. So far I have only started with laying out a few pages to start journaling in next week.

There are several things I really like about this particular journal. The cream colored pages instead of stark white, I absolutely love! I also really like the fact that it has included index pages and that the pages are numbered for easy reference. As I mentioned before, I am really enjoying using the dotted pages to make the layout easier and even. I am mildly OCD and I like neat, clean and EVEN pages. I am still learning and experimenting with colors and doodles, but I like the minimalist look, again, neat and tidy.

This is my second full week using my journal and I am surprised at what it has already helped me accomplish! I have made phone calls I have been putting off, marked things religiously off my to do list that never ends even kept track of all my atppointments! I have started tracking habits, and it encourages me to do things, like take my vitamins and spend time daily in prayer and scripture. It helps keep me accountable even if it is only to myself to continue to grow and improve.

I tried to upload pictures, but I was unsuccessful today. I will post again soon with the pictures of my journal as well as my first few pages, for anyone who is like me and trying this for the first time.

There are still a few things I would like to try, like incorporating shopping lists, and other collection pages for things like Gardening, sewing projects and chickens/eggs. This is a learning process for me and everyday I am learning more about how to best use this system to make myself the most productive. I hope I encourage you if you are wanting to try this for yourself! Feel free to leave me a comment or a picture of your favorite layout or page in your bullet journal!

Setting February Goals

January is better than half over, and I cannot believe it is already there! February will be here before I know it, and since I did not make any resolutions this year, I am setting some goals for February.  A new month feels like a fresh slate.

Jim is off until he is cleared from the vet, which I hope is sometime next month. Until then, I have 2 other horses to start conditioning and tuning to be prepared for when the season starts, and I am hoping to start with them the first week of Februrary. I am very much looking forward to seeing how they come along this season! I have to start somewhere and the best way is to just start riding and see how they do.

I want to start focusing again on my spiritual walk, I have been slipping, and now is not the time for that. I plan to challenge myself to write scripture everyday in February which will keep me focused on it, and with any luck improve my handwriting. When I did that before, it gave me a chance to reflect further on the scripture and mull it over in my mind. I enjoy that time, reflecting on scripture. I learn more and retain more and that is exactly what I should be doing more.

Spring is coming and there are things to do on the farm to prepare for the coming of new arrivals! I am planning to incubate and hatch eggs! As well as I have a mare due. I will be relieved when she has foaled out and that is one less thing off my mind, but I am so excited to have a foal coming.  I have neve hatched out chicks before and I cannot wait to set the incubator up! I am looking forward to trying something new.

There are a few loose ends to tie up on the lean to and the haybarn to start on. I am glad to have both of those projects moved to the in-progress list! A few little things and the lean to is totally done, and the haybarn is a spring project, but it will make life so much easier on the farm.

I also plan to build a pen for the meat birds this spring as the one I used last year did not have enough air circulation for the larger meat birds. A small project ideally, but a project regardless. Hopefully I have better luck with them this year. So much to look forward to!

Wednesday

I cannot believe it is Wednesday aleady! The temperatures here in Ohio have fallen once again and brought more wintry precipitation with them! This weekend is supposed to be nicer though and I am looking forward to the relief from the colder temperatures, even if it will be temporary this time.

The stomach bug that has been going around, struck me Saturday and I have been down more than I would like to admit. Farm work does not stop though, and over the weekend that was all I did, feeding and chores. But everyone stayed happy and healthy in the barn and henhouse.

I have 2 hens that have moved into the barn and roose at night between 2 of the oldest pasturemates. Ironically, these 2 particular horses do not always get along. I find it odd that is the wall the hens have chosen, but there has been no deterring them. Believe me, I tried! So I let them roost in the barn, between the horses they are as safe as can be, and they have left me an egg almost everyday.

If the weather breaks for the weekend as I am hoping it does, I plan to get the last piece of tin on the roof of the lean to, that just leaves gutter to hang and 2 gates to install inside. I will be relieved to mark that off the list.

The next outdoor project will be putting up a hay barn, and I have started making arrangements for beginning that project. That has been exciting and nerve racking at the same time! But one step at a time, I will make progress, taking it one day at a time.

I am planning a riding\conditioning schedule that I am hoping to start soon, hopefully around the beginning of February, if the weather cooperates even a little bit. I cannot wait to see how the horses progress when we start our preseason workouts.

My new journal should be here as soon as tomorrow and I cannot wait to start it! Several ideas to share with you in later posts on that, but I am about to bust with excitement over it! I am hoping that implementing its use helps me grow and keep myself on track of reaching my goals.

Hopefully your week is going as well, if not better, than mine!

Practice Week

Tuesday I set up a bullet journal layout in p listedreparation for the expensive one I ordered. I am glad I did! I have already found a couple things I plan to change. Luckily, it was in an old composition book that I had started to use for something else, so no harm, no foul.

I found a weekly spread that listed the days of the week  in a horizontal line with areas for tasks and goals off to the left…. I have too many things that I want to list in this section to limit them to the smaller spaces. So I am going to lay out next week with the days of the week on the left page and my tasks and goals on the right page. My new journal has shipped and I am counting down until it gets here! The weekly layout that I tried was from pageflutter, I will try to figure out how to upload a pic to show what I tried and what I am going to change. But I must say, she is a much better artist than I am! I am going to play with some headers and such the next couple days, hopefully I can find something simple that I like.

All of this talk about bullet journals, has helped me shift my focus already. I have been more mindful the past couple days of the habits I have chosen to track, and that is the first step to positive change. Several projects are on the horizon and I am excited to have a place to keep all of the notes and lists for them, where I only have one things or notebook or place to look for the information I have been careful to collect.

You could probably tell from my recent posts how excited I am, but I am eager to see if this technique helps me keep track of everything because I have been forgetting more and more lately.

Thanks for sticking out with me as I learn by trial and error how to make this work for me and in turn hopefully it helps you find something that works for you!