Daily Prompt: Uniform

When I think about uniforms, the first thing that comes to mind is the Christian Acadamy that I went to for a portion of my elementary school. Unfortunately I did not enjoy much of my time there, but I did learn a lot and to this day I retain much of it and that was nearly 20 years ago.

We were told that the uniforms made us all equal, that we would see each other as the same. Uniforms do not make that statement. All that I remember is how uncomfortable they were as I was not built for their cut and style. We may have all had the same wardrobe, but there were many differences in all of us. There were still clicks, popular kids, athletes, book worms, teachers pet etc etc. The uniforms did not change that.

I was not one of the popular kids, nor was I athletic, so I focused on doing the best work I could and keeping my grades as high as possible. I did not feel as though I fit in well, so I was more of a keep to myself book worm than anything. It was still an experience that helped to make me what I am. WIthout the few years I spent in that school, I would not have had the study habits or test taking abilities that I needed to get through high school and college as I did.

I remember the uniform pants, that were too long waisted and funny fitting on me. I have never been much of a dress wearer, but nearly everyday that year, I wore a skirt because of the pants being that uncomfortable as my body changed and grew. That may be why to this day I am choosy about the jeans and slacks that I wear. Never really thought about that before.

I remember the dress shirts had ‘Peter Pan’ type collars, and I thought it looked kind of cute on the younger kids, but I hated the way the blouses looked on me. I stuck mostly to the polo type shirts.

Oh the childhood memories that are brought up at the craziest of things, something as simple as the word uniform brings back many memories. My favorite Spanish teacher for one, studying Astronomy and Ohio History, the hardest teacher I had, that turned out to teach me more than I think any of the others did. Wish I could tell her now how much I appreciate her, but I do not even know where to start looking. You never know the impact or influence you have on someone, especially when it does not even seem like it.

via Daily Prompt: Uniform

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

Short Story: Overwhelming

She closed her eyes. She envisioned every stride of her upcoming run: moving through the gate, making the end turn, weaving… A sound near her caught her attention and turned her focus.

She patted the red patched coat of the trusty paint horse she was sitting astide of. He shook his head slightly and blew out a breath.

The announcer’s voice came over the PA system announching she was ‘in the hole.’

“Come on boy,” she said lifting the reins from his neck. The reliable steed flicked his tail before backing off the rail and moving to the center of the warm up area.

She nudged him with her right foot and bent him slightly with her left rein around a circle to the right. A moment later the horse was limbered up and ready for his turn in the arena.

The paint horse walked up toward the arena as the competitor before her took their turn. Her dad slid his fingers between the gelding’s red cheek and nylon tie down. Her horse was alert, ready as they anticipated what was next.

The announcer called her up, and the three moved into the alley together. She choked up on her reins as her nerves and adrenaline overwhelmingly tried to take over. Her paint cowhopped down the alley. Her dad turned hiim loose and into the arena they ran.

She shifted her weight forward over his shoulders and pushed him as far as she dared into the turn. She rated him and looked up the 6 poles to bring him around the turn straight. Her horse moved flawlessly in and out of the striped obstacles changing leads and bending as perfectly as they had the countless times before. That was her favorite thing about this mount, he was predictable.

“Hoe!” she rated him coming into the second end turn and held him stright with her outside leg as he came around the pole. Back up through the obstacles they weaved, in and out clicking, syncing together to complete the course.

Around the final end and back to the gate, she pushed hime, again shifting her weight. She worked her leather over under whip back and forth touching each hip as she sat up in her saddle and drove him hard to cross the time line. She was breathless as her horses’ hooves pounded back in to the chute as she sat down in her saddle and reined him in.

“Good boy!” she exclaimed patting his neck as she glanced back to see all the poles up. No penalties today, even though two were wiggling. “That’s the way it’s done.” She swing down from him in one graceful motion reins in hand. She gently dropped the bit from his mouth before loosening his girth and walking him out while she listened to the rest of the class.

via Daily Prompt: Overwhelming

Daily Prompt: Percolate

Working at a donut shop, one of several duties and responsibilities is making coffee. Naturally where I work has a super fast industrail type machine that percolates the coffe quickly. Sometimes in the rush of the morning crowd, it still is not fast enough.

As my thoughts drift to coffee percolating, the very next thing that comes to mind is patience. Waiting on the coffee to brew takes patience, especially when you are trying to hurry to machine for a customer.

Many things in life require patience, each and every day. My  parents keep foster children and many days those children, as wonderful and exciting as they are try my patience. These kids have a need, patience is required to uncover it and begin to heal it deep where it begins. However, that does not take away the challenge of being nice and kind even at the end of a day where tantums have gone on for hours. When the baby is teething and fussy, it takes patience to soothe him.

The horses are another type of patience, which for some reason I have more of when it comes to them. Patience is vital in working with them, especially the young ones that are just learning. What I find refreshing with that challenge though is the horse that tries. I find much inspiration from a willing mind especially when the horse is young.

Percolating coffee also reminds me of my younger days, when I would make coffee for Dad. He has always drank it strong and the aroma would fill the house. I remember mornings on the weekends when the coffee would be started before Dad got out of bed and I would fill his cup as we headed to a rodeo or to church.

The joke around the house has always been when the horseshoe stands up in it, you know it is strong enough. I remember trying it once… so strong it was bitter.

I am sure that many have memories involving a coffee pot, and many know how much patience it takes to get through a day. My patience grows each day and I hope that I am able to continue to grow it.

via Daily Prompt: Percolate

Daily Prompt: Tart

“The eatable treat,” is the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word tart, from the Disney movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I spent many hours sitting on the living room floor with my sister watching the classic movie with my dad. Dad had several favorites, most of them Disney and most of them included many musical numbers. Music has always been a big part of my family.

Growing up my sister and I had favorite movies, as did mom and dad that would get watched over and over again. Just the other day a favorite was on the TV and there we all sat watching it for the upteenth time and I was able to quote many many lines asth movie played. Our guest probably wished I would just be quiet!

Television and movies are such a large part of life today. There is a distinct change in many of them from the time I was little compared to now. Many think the progress is amazing, and in some ways it is, but in others I feel quality has been lessened.

There are movies that will always remain classic in my mind. Many good movies are released each year. I have so many memories watching movies as a family when I was little. I expect it is that way for most everyone. I encourage you, take the chance, take the time to spend with your family and make memories, even if its doing something as simple as watching a movie together. Family time is so important and so often one of the first things that even I let go of.  Ionly get one shot at today. I hope to make today the best today it can be!

via Daily Prompt: Tart

Daily Prompt: Original

Many things are considered original, works of art, literary pieces, clothing and textiles…. the list is literally limitless. But the greatest original work, is YOU!! You heard me correctly, the greatest original work is YOU!!!

There are many verses in the Bible regarding our creation, and Psalm 119:73 begins by saying that God formed us! Psalm 139:14 talks about being fearfully and wonderfully made, and other verses still talk about being created in His image!

I have said all of this to say, there is no way in the world, that God makes junk, ever. I am guilty myself, of kicking myself and beating myself down as I refuse to see the good, positive qualities that God has given me! I am far from perfect, but God is not finished with me yet!

Each one of us has qualities that are unique to us! Each of us has our own gifts, some can draw, some can sew, some are extraordinary speakers, singers, and the list goes on and on. Think about how boring our world would be if everyone were good at the same thing! God blessed us each with these unique gifts and talents to share with each other. He wants us to work together for His glory!

I am a horse girl, and just as every horse has a personality, every person has a personality. In my job in the service industry, I get to experience many differing personalities each day. I have ridden many horses and can say none of them are alike either! Just because someone has a different personality does not make them any less extraordinary. God created each and everyone of us to shine in their own way, including differing personalities, characteristics, likes, dislikes, talents and hobbies.

I love the life He has blessed me with and only hope to make others feel as original and extraordinary as they are worth! That is one of my favorite things about my job. I have 5 minutes to brighten someones day and appreciate the differences in our lives. Everyone has a story that contributes to their originality. I enjoy hearing and learning about them everyday!

via Daily Prompt: Original

Daily Prompt: Realize

Today I got to go on a small adventure! I found some hay on the internet yesterday and today I went with a friend to pick it up. Reading all those crazy stories about craigslist on the internet makes you realize that sometimes, going alone is not the best option.

I have been driving my Ford Aspire, affectionately named ‘Matilda’ or’Tildy’ for about a year and a half. I purchased ‘Big Red’ a Ford F-250 super duty a few months before that. Tildy is my daily driver and gets me to and from work. When it is time to work, like hauling hay today, Big Red steps up to the plate.

Big Red has been sitting more, and running a little rough because of it, she likes to be driven. I only drive Big Red about once a week, give or take due to shows, getting feed, hauling hay etc etc. I pulled her around today and she was running pretty well as she got a little work out Tuesday.

My brave friend did not say one word about my driving, even when I ran over a few rumble strips on the interstate. Big Red feels very wide compared to lil Tildy and it took me a few minutes to adjust my position in the lane. Big Red did not let me down though!

My friend was nice enough to help me unload the hay, even stacking it in the barn. Next loomed the biggest feat of the day for Big Red, pulling herself up the steep bank to get out of the barn lot. I dropped the older truck in gear and started up the bank. We went about ten feet and started spinning on the hard ground. Fortunately it was not wet, otherwise we may have been stuck. I backed up and eased the accelerator back down gently. She made it almost to the top of the bank before she started spinning this time. We made it the rest of the way back into the driveway without having to back down the bank a second time.

Realization can be a real eye opener. Today I had to regroup twice as I realized, first that Big Red was wider than Tildy and two that to get up the bank I had to start slow. I have been in these situations before, and just needed to remind myself that the car and the truck are different.

 

via Daily Prompt: Realize

Daily Prompt: Elegant

As the seasons begin to change here in southern Ohio, I have been doing some thinking. Ok, not just some, a lot of thinking. I am going to be blogging more! Feedback from my readers is impotant to me so feel free to comment away!

A semi continual projec that I have been working on, off and on for quite a while, is writing. I am have always enjoyed creative writing. In high school, I remember other students dreading when I had the opportunity to read my essays etc because they knew it was going to take several minutes. I never let that deter me.

My imagination often runs wild, and I feel accomplished when my reader can see the place, hear the sounds, feel the emotion etc in the moments I create.  Over the years I have worked at perfecting it and making my writing better. I am far from perfect, but I am big on self improvement and  progress is progress.

How all of this ties into Elegant is more of Elegance in my opinion. I enjoy being a conservative classy type of person, and I feel that Elegance goes hand in hand with it. In today`s culture many of those traits are considered old fashioned or outdated. I however, value them tremendously. Writing is an art, and elegance is good description when it comes to art and art work. If I can use my words elegantly than I can ideally create the best picture possible in your mind.

Journally has been one of my favorite things for a long time, and even though you can not see my anxiety that I have batteled for many years, journaling has helped me cope. Writing has been a way for me to express myself over the years, and  a journal has been the perfect place to lock up my thoughts and feelings. It has helped my grow my writing skills and become more efficient as clearly sharing my thoughts and ideas.

There is a point that you can use too many words, and loose the meaning of your message. That is never my goal, and when I first started writing, it may have been why my classmates dreaded my essays, I probably did it more than I realized. I am eager to continue to grow and exercise my writing skills! Stay tuned to monitor the progress!

via Daily Prompt: Elegant

Admire

From the time we are children, we admire people, places and things. We all have someone we look up to and aspire to be like. For most it is a parent, teacher, grandparent, athlete or another professional in a given field. I have personally admited many people over the years including my parents, grandparents, teachers, riding coaches and other barrel racers.

As I started competing in youth event, “Watch what the winners do,” was a phrase I heard several times. I took it and ran with it, working with trainers, coaches and more experienced horseman. Needless to say, I learned A LOT! My performance improved probably every time I was out, I practiced and worked my horse nearly everyday and it paid off. I started researching supplements and found what worked best for my horse’s joints and body. For several years, I was very competitive.

My trusty steed retired, I worked with other horses and people. My admiration shifted as I learned more and more. My eyes were opened to another world of training and starting colts, perfecting turns and working with my horse’s natural movements to improve. It has totallly changed my performances for the better!

There are many people out there that are MUCH MUCH better than me! I stil have many that I admire, but maybe for different reasons than when I first started racing. I strive to have the patience that others have shown with me. Someday maybe I will be close, but I still continue make improvements.

Outside of the horse world, I admired teachers and started working on myself to be able to learn to teach. I know it sounds crazy, but there is an easy way and a hard way to go about teaching and helping. I learned that relationships are far more valuable than any placing or ribbon and I started investing more and more into them. It was intersting being on both sides, and still being on both sides, learning and teaching. Without helping others, when they ask, I am not using others’ investment in me to its full potential. Others invested in me, and I am gladly willing to help others.

One of the first kids that I started coaching when I was younger, is now one of my best friends. We ride together and race together still. It is such a blessing to watch her with her horse, she has learned so much and is always asking me about different things to learn more and improve her races. We have so much fun because we bounce ideas off each other now.

Admiration is a good thing. Hopefully everyone has a good rold model to look up to, and I encourage you to continue the tradition and strive to be a positive role model to others in your life. Everyone needs someone to look up to!

Admire