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!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Clearing the Back Pasture and a Sneak Peek

I have been working hours each day picking up horse waste and clearing the pastures.  I still have tons to do in the clearing area and the waste area is ongoing.  After a few long talks, Nathan and I decided my time/energy would be better spent on directly working with the horses so we decided to step up the pasture clearing so I can drag the pastures instead of always scooping them.

There were some trees in the back pasture that I just couldn't dig up with a shovel, so Nathan rented a stump grinder to take care of those.  It was really hot and tiring work!
He got all of the big stumps up in one day, and now I can drive the golf cart back there to clear the smaller ones by hand! 
I will try to get a picture this week of how nice it looks since he got the bigger trees out.  When we took the grinder back, we grabbed a couple of chairs for our front deck.
We now have a place every night to sit and watch this:
Today we were going to start cross fencing the front pasture, but Nathan worked on dragging the pasture instead so I got out the paint brush and started a new house project.  Here is a sneak peek:
This one is going to take a bit of time so I might not have a finished picture up for some time!