Monday, July 28, 2014

Adding Some Color to the Inside!

I painted all of the walls in the main area white so it would give a brighter, cleaner look inside.  I knew I would have to dress it up with lots of color though because otherwise it would feel too cold and sterile for me.  The first step was the dining room table and chairs.  Now I am at the place where I am adding decorative touches to the walls.  This is my first one in the main space:
I have found these online, but I wanted it to match the dining room chairs material so I opted to make my own.  Nathan helped me.  It was super easy.  In fact, it was probably the easiest thing I've done so far project wise.  I wanted something to hang pictures from and it works great for that!
The chicken wire was wire that the former owners had out in the chicken coop so not only is it authentic, it has some sentimental history to it.  

I participate in an event called Project Life.  Basically, you take a picture a day for the entire year.  I normally just use them for digital scrapbooking, but now I can print them and hang them too!
So fun! I also wanted color with our dishes, so I told Nathan I'd love to have Fiesta dishes.  I don't want to pay full price for them though, so I was hoping I would find some at the thrift stores.  I have been tickled pink that the last three times we visited, we did in fact find some pieces.  It will be fun to slowly build a collection as we do find them at a great price.  
With all of the not so fun projects we have had to do, it is nice to work on some that are a little easier and are helping to make the house feel like "our home"!

Gypsy Trails Sign and Round Pen Completed!

We are still working hard here. In fact, we are getting pretty worn out and are thinking we may need to take a break soon before we burn out.  Our latest outside projects include fixing one of the fences that Savannah and Bellarina did some damage to, fixing a broken water pump and finishing the round pen! Today was my first day using it, and I loved being able to play with Hanovi in there.
When I came inside, I was exhausted from the heat but glowing from joy.  All our hard work has led to this point, where I can actually work with the horses and learn more.  It was awesome!  My friend Julie made a sign for us, and we hung that tonight too.
I think I will smile every time I see this sign! It turned out so well!
After all our work tonight, I asked Nathan if he'd help me scoop.  He hates scooping, but he agreed.  I was walking behind him when I saw how he decided to scoop.
He cracks me up.  If there is a physically easier way to do something, he will find it!  I love being out with the horses at night because it is the only time of the day where it is not unbearably hot.  And I get to watch the sunset, which is an added bonus.  I love how Gypsy is captured in the sunbeam here.  So peaceful!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Aric Visits Us for the Week

Aric and I share the same birthday, so we usually try our hardest to spend the day together.  Last year he took his week's vacation and spent it with us up at The Villages.  This year he did the same to spend the week with us at our new place.  On our birthday, we went out to eat and then went to the movies.
Beyond that, we have just been hanging out at home.  He has been spending time with Atlas.
He has also spent some time with me and the horses.  Today we groomed them, and they looked so nice afterwards.
I missed a picture of Gypsy after her grooming, but here is one of her and Chevy.  She has a bit of a crush on Chevy and follows him around all day long now.
The ponies are doing great.  Bella is still growing like a weed. She and Sophie are becoming more and more comfortable with me.  Mia is moving more slowly, but I see progress in her also.
The guys started on my birthday present tonight: a round pen! I am so excited about seeing this going up.  It will give me space to work with the horses one on one. 
Poor Ava and Aubi did not make it into the pictures this week, but they are both doing great too! We are really enjoying our life here out on our little piece of land in the middle of nowhere!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Bella-rina Practicing Her Barrel Racing Skills

Except, she may want to go around her obstacle rather than stopping in front of it!

Friday, June 27, 2014

1st Big Project This Week Done: Back Pasture

The past two weeks, I have been back to super busy mode.  I wrapped up two big projects.  The first one is one I have been working on for weeks: the back pasture.  The pasture looked like this when we moved in:
Our neighbor Micah bush hogged it for us.  It was good enough to let the horses use it after that.  There were still tons of trees back there though.  So Nathan used the stump grinder to dig out the stumps.  At that point, we were almost done.  What was left was the most time consuming though.  I had to go out and pick up all the tree branches and stumps by hand.
This is the third pile I have stacked up to be burned later.
Finally this week I got to the point where I could use the lawn mower back there.  And when I was done, we actually had a nice pasture back there!
Sometimes when you are working two to three hours a day at something, it begins to feel like you will never get done! This was one of those projects for me!  So I was especially excited to be able to see how great it looks now that I am done!
Now we just need the grass to grow in, giving the horses plenty of space to run and food to graze on!  
We are getting there!

2nd Big Project Finished: Dining Room Table

The second big project I completed this week was our dining room set, which I painted and reupholstered the seats on the chairs. Before and after of our dining room table and space around it:
I spotted this dining room table right after we put an offer on our house.  I thought it would fit the space perfectly and I loved that it seated 8 people without being a long, rectangular shape.  It was still available on Craigslist by the time we moved into the house and the people selling it dropped the price tons for us, and included the huge lazy susan too.  I was thrilled except for the fact that it was pretty boring and the seats were dirty.  
Since Nathan was letting me pick the colors and designs I loved, I went with fun and colorful.
The paint for the chairs and table legs are paints I had on hand already and just so happened to match the material we picked out. I wanted a Key West cottage feeling to this room and think I managed to capture that feel pretty well.
The material we picked up for 75% off the original price because it was an end piece to a bolt.  The plastic I found on Amazon for the incredible price of $4.24 including shipping.  Yes, you read that right.  We still have lots left over for outdoor projects.
This was a very time consuming project.  It took me two solid weeks of painting coat after coat just to paint the chairs!  We think it was worth it though because it added so much color and brightness.  I love that we have enough room to have our kids over and we use it a lot to play games at too.  Now we are really looking forward to having the new floors in!  Until then, we are enjoying our bright and sunny space.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ponies Hanging Out With the Boys Next Door

The ponies are settling in really well.  They hang out in their herd all day long, with the exception of Bella who runs and jumps all around.  
It is sweet to see them getting more used to us, and even seeking us out when we enter their pasture.
It is also sweet to see how much they have warmed up to the boys next door.  They used to get very nervous when the boys hung over the fence.  Now they go and rub noses with them.
We are going to start working on halter training with them and when we get our round pen, we will really start having fun with them!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Hey Chevy Chev

Just one sign of the progress that Chevy has made in the last month.  This was his response when I drove into the yard today.
He moved towards the car when he saw me in it.
I would not have guessed there would be a day when he would not only not be scared, but chose to move towards the car.  He really got close when I got out of the car.
Hey Chevy Chev!  So happy to have you be my welcoming committee! 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Ponies are Here!

I am writing this well after the fact, because going from four horses to seven was a huge adjustment.  The ponies arrived on the 7th, and settled in very nicely.  From left to right: Sophie, Bella and Mia.
Sophie reminds me of Gypsy, she is very food driven and if you send her away she comes right back in a few seconds.  She is a sweet girl though.  Mia is still very scared of people, but she is more respectful than Sophie.  Bella is...well, Bella is Bella.  She is a hoot to put it mildly.  She plays all day long.  She pins her ears at the big horses all day long.  She flirts with the big boys next door moving her mouth in the way babies do to say "don't hurt me, I'm a baby".

She is not afraid of anything and is curious about everything.  She tried to climb in the cart the other day when I was scooping their pasture.  She loves to throw the ball and play catch with herself.
Robin brought a tub over for her that we filled with water so she could use it as a swimming pool.
Everything that happens during the day, she wants to check it out and see what is going on.

After having four strong willed horses to deal with, she has definitely brought a lightness to the place.  She is quite the handful in her own ways, but she is mostly full of joyful, curious fun right now.

On the house front, we managed to get these plantation shutters up in my room.  We found these at the Habitat for Humanity Restore and were tickled pink when they were a perfect fit!  I love them.  They give me privacy when I want it while allowing me to retain the light when I want it.
I apologize again for all the low quality pics, but I just don't seem to find the time or energy to grab the big camera right now.  Life is good here!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

We Are Adding to our Herd

It was only a few weeks ago that I was saying on here that four horses were more than enough.  I should have bit my tongue then because we are already adding to our herd, or adding another herd to our home!  In February, three ponies were added to Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuaries list of rescues.  One was a bitty baby still.  We named her Bella, because she was beautiful.
The other two ponies were her Mama which we named Mama Mia and Sophie.  Mama and Sophie were very thin.  They were all scared of humans.  As of this month, all of them had gained a nice amount of weight and Bella had really grown!

After deciding on what would be the best course of action for the ponies and what we realistically feel we can handle, we have taken on the commitment to bring them to our property.  The sanctuary will handle the financial part of the ponies, since we already have four we are responsible for, and we will do the daily care for them.  

A little back story on the ponies that I have only shared with a few until now, I saw the ponies and fell in love with them months before they came to the sanctuary.  I saw them on the property where they lived, while looking at a house we were interested in buying, and literally got out of the car to go and look at them.  Believe it or not, I do not do that.  Ever.  I love my horses and the SH horses, but I am not one to go gaga over horses just because they are horses.  I don't know what it was about them, but I was truly smitten with them as soon as I saw them.  I joked with Nathan that I wanted them, he quickly said NO and I thought that was the end of that.

Imagine my surprise when SHHS said they were going to go and rescue them and I asked if they were in such and such location and knew exactly who they were.  I would have never imagined they would really end up living with us!  Can't wait to get them here and learn how much different life is with a little one here day in day out.

In other news, I am still working on house projects very is another peek at the dining room chairs.
I really wanted this house to be two things: comfy and fun.  So far I think we are achieving both with re-purposed items and bright colors.  Life is good!