Monday, April 30, 2012

The Power of Gratitude: Sunday Seven

(I had this drafted up on Sunday but my internet at home was crapping out - because Kevin hit his head on our internet satellite while he was cleaning the roof and it moved the alignment of it. ha ha. True story. So that's why its now being posted on Monday)


I've kept gratitude journals on and off through the past years (yes, I got the idea from Oprah) and I can't tell you how much I love this simple practice.

Besides the philosophy that positive energy attracts positive energy, which I do believe, I really love the ritual of reflecting over my day and thinking of the blessings and good things in my life that I have to be thankful for. Even on those super crappy days where it's so easy to focus on all the sh*tty things I'm going through, and all the ways I'm disappointed or sad or angry, having to think of at least 3 things that I'm grateful for really helps adjust my attitude and then usually my mood.

I don't know if its just my personality, but I think it can be really easy to wallow when you're feeling down and to fixate on all the things that are going wrong. I hate it when I have those moments and I hate feeling down, so on those days most of all, I find that I really appreciate the act of journaling a few things I'm grateful for. Even if the things are totally mundane and trivial - it just puts things in perspective and make me realize that despite whatever I'm going through there are so many wonderful things to be thankful for. Even if its things like Lucky Charms or finding that library book I lost. Puts the pep back in my day. :)

I used to try and just jot down 3 things each day that I was thankful for, but as things get busier and more hectic, my entries have been waning......so I thought it might be easier if I got into the routine of blogging about it once a week. (I'm less likely to fall asleep before getting started when I'm at the computer - ha ha). So no matter if they're something stupid or grandiose, trivial or mundane or totally dorky - I'm gonna come up with at least 7 that have popped into my head during the course of the week.

So here goes.....

Seven Things I'm Thankful for This Sunday:

1. Free boxes from work to pack stuff (sure is nice not to have to buy moving boxes!)
2. My husband for making me laugh all weekend, and helping me purge my closet and get rid of all clothes.
3. Pinterest - (I'm thankful for this every day! ha ha)
4. Stephen Ambrose for writing the incredible book Band of Brothers and bringing their story to light
5. All our veterans of WWII, whose courage and strength move me beyond words and inspire me
6. Irish Black Breakfast Tea
7. My "old man" sweatpants that are the most comfortable (but ugliest) sweatpants


Do you keep a gratitude journal? What are some thing you're thankful for?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Oh Stressful Days! (singing a different tune now)

House update: They are fixing the well next week. Which means we’ll schedule the inspection soon. And if all goes well, we close at the end of June!




Yes, now that the euphoria of our offer being accepted is slowly wearing off.....I'm starting to feel the magnitude of our situation sinking in. I’m feeling a weeeee bit overwhelmed by everything. Sooo much to do to get our current house ready for rent – EEK! And need to find good renters and figure out contracts and rental agreements and all at that. GULP! So much to do with the new place…..insane expenses coming from every direction.  (Speaking of which I’d like to thank my adorable husband for totally breaking the lawn mower last weekend. Your timing is awesome. )

I’ve spent the past week in a bit of a funk…. kinda paralyzed by everything looming…..thus I’ve been not blogging…not doing anything artsy…not riding….not doing anything fun…not doing anything really productive.

Instead I’ve been in total ADD mode where I start 10 different projects half-heartedly, get distracted and don’t really finish any. (I did sell our old BBQ on Craigslist today– step 1 of clearing our stuff we won’t be taking to the new house. That counts as something right?).

I have a tendency to do this – I’m sure in psychology its called something like Avoid-Stressful Things-Til-The-Last-Minute-Procrastinationitis.

When I make the list for all the things we have to do and buy and spend….my heart races a little and my knees feel full of air and I can’t breathe deep.


I’m kinda silently freaking out…………………


Okay maybe not so silently now.

We are buying a second house way earlier than we planned to and there is so much to do and buy and spend and fix and we have to find renters and buy barn supplies and Mysti needs her teeth floated and we need to buy a hundred new tools - including a lawn mower - and why didn't I win the mega millions like I really wanted to!!!
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AGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!

Gaston, Kacy, you've got to pull yourself together”


(Is it weird that I just heard this in my head? Ha ha ha. Oh Disney movies - you always cheer me up.)

Deep breath.

Okay.

Make my lists. Take it one item at a time. Stop procrastinating. Make time to have a life and do my fun things that keep me a sane, (semi)normal person. Rome wasn't built in a day, the journey of a lifetime starts with one step, a smooth sea doesn't make a great sailor and yada yada other good expressions to remember.

One step at a time.

First step: this weekend tackle some of the current home projects to get it ready to rent! And don't start panicing yet....the inspection hasn't even been completed  yet. Panic then. ;)

ha ha

:)  


Signing off
~ the artsy crafty crazy girl


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Oh Happy Day!!

We've reached Mutual Acceptance with the bank on the house!! We're officially "pending inspection"! WOOO HOOOO!

Part of our offer was that they fix the well prior to us scheduling the inspection and beginning financing - so we still might have a longer process than normal ahead of us.

But at least this way no other offers can come in and steal it away from us!

And of course we still have the inspection to go so its not a 100% done deal by any means. If the inspection reveals any major/costly problems than we won't buy the house.

But for now I'm thinking positive and just enjoying the fact that we're one step closer.

Ready to see a photo of the house?

DRUM ROLL FOR THE BIG REVEAL........!

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{via}

HA HA! Just kidding.

Actually I don't want to jinx it by showing a picture of it just yet....so this is all I'll reveal for now:

Our new home hopefully!
I'm so excited I could do cartwheels.

Fingers crossed the well repair happens soon and the inspection goes great!!

xoxoxoxo to everyone who's been with me (especially my girls at work!) on this crazy emotional journey.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Monday

Didn't make it through my whole list because...... I spent lots of time riding and having fun. :)

It was such a beautiful sunny weekend I had to enjoy it. You don't know when we'll get another like that in Seattle. (Its dark and rainy today)

On Saturday, my friend Jean gave me a "riding lesson/critique" (she's not a trainer per se, but she's a fantastic, knowledgable rider and helpful friend so I soak up learnin' from her when I get an opportunity). After that we drove out so I could show her the house we made the offer on (still no news there, ugh!) and see what she thought of it as far as being a horse property: "Great potential".

Then I dragged her for a short hike on Wallace Falls. I've hiked this a few times with Kevin, and once by myself, and I really like it because its not super hard, but steep enough where its still a workout. I also really like that its not super isolated so you don't feel like you're about to be dragged off in the woods by a bear or a serial killer when you're out there alone. Its a really beautiful hike too - all the mossy trees and filtering sunlight- feels very prehistoric.

View from the pathway on the Wallace Falls trails
Sunday I went on another awesome trail ride to Lord Hill trails with Shawnee on her horse - almost 3 hours - and Mysti was great. She led most the time (which I've been working on her being a confident leading horse, she usually is a little balky but did fantastic!) and was super relaxed riding back on the road back to the barn. (Even with motorcycles and cars going by. So proud of her!)

Finally I made it home and started tackling some of my to do list. I ended up digging up and transplanting bushes which I had meaning to do and it took longer than expected. Some of those roots are long!

My updated list:
1)  Organize and clean out my closet. At least 1 big bag to goodwill. DONE!
2)  Weed my garden beds
3)  Weed spray our driveway DONE!
4)  Power wash shed, house and steps  didn't have the right attachment after carting it all the way from my parents. Another tool for our wishlist.
5)  Clean my filthy car - and vacuum (my least favorite chores) hubby said he will do it for me this weekend when he changes my oil, i <3 him
6)  Buy more grain for Mysti, make up grain baggies & organize all the supplements that are currently occupying our back bedroom floor.
7)  Paint another coat on shed door (I painted one coat last weekend, but the whole rest of the shed needs it)
8)  Screw door handle onto shed (if I can find (found it!) where I put it after I purchased it on a whim last year)
9)  Stake/tie leyland cypresses so they are straight (they got really knocked over this winter and they are now looking pretty bad) could only do the backyard ones, the front ones were too strong for the stakes I had
10) Deep clean the fridge, made banana bread instead, doesn't that sound more fun?  

Friday, April 13, 2012

House Update / Weekend To Do's

We're still waiting to hear back regarding our house offer......our realtor is doing some negotiating regarding the well (it needs to be repaired and we want it done before we buy it).


The mountain view driving towards the house. Wouldn't mind looking at that every day on the way home. 
So beautiful!  (Ignore the crack in my windshield. Another to do on my list I've been putting off)
In the mean time I'm going to pretend that I'm not on pins and needles and going totally crazy with impatience.....and instead focus on some of chores that need to get done - its supposed to be sunny all weekend so perfect time to finally tackle my overgrown yard! (Kevin is working all weekend so unfortunately I'll be solo all weekend :( but at least when he's sleeping/working it gives me ample time to get stuff done. He works nights so during the day I'm either tiptoeing around the house, or trying to stay outta the house).

So besides riding (of course) this weekend - and carving some time out for the gym, or maybe a hike - here is my list.

To Do:
1)  Organize and clean out my closet. At least 1 big bag to goodwill. (I have such a hard time sorting and getting rid of clothes)
2)  Weed my garden beds
3)  Weed spray our driveway
4)  Power wash shed, house and steps
5)  Clean my filthy car - and vacuum (my least favorite chores)
6)  Buy more grain for Mysti, make up grain baggies & organize all the supplements that are currently occupying our back bedroom floor.
7)  Paint another coat on shed door (I painted one coat last weekend, but the whole rest of the shed needs it)
8)  Screw door handle onto shed (if I can find where I put it after I purchased it on a whim last year)
9)  Stake/tie leyland cypresses so they are straight (they got really knocked over this winter and they are now looking pretty bad)
10) Deep clean the fridge

In my typical fashion I'll probably get 2/10 done of this list and instead I'll spend all weekend working on things NOT on this list and on things that are more fun. ha ha.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Horse Ownership & A Graphic

Mysti's scratches are healing and just about gone. The betadine and mixture of Desitin, Neosporin and Cortisone cream seemed to have done the job. Yay! 

The other night as I was spreading the ointment on her feet, freezing because my hair was damp from the rain, my sleeves wet from the hose, my nose sniffly and running, and my pants covered in mud and manure, it occurred to me: horses are so much frickin work!!

People don’t realize how much work horses are. In so many photos or movie scenes horse life looks so glamorous or adventurous.


Yup, just another glamourous day with a horse
{ via }
Which it can be sometimes….but it’s not all white breeches and shiny black boots and glossy, pristine tacked up horses all the time.

Its not super sexy most of the time either. Although Jilly Cooper's book begs to differ.

I read this explicit romance novel at an entirely inappropriate age when I found it left behind at the house we were staying at when on vacation. The cover was different - more horsey, less ass-grabby - otherwise I probably wouldn't have picked it up. I re-read it as an adult and found it much tamer than I remembered at 13. ha ha
Instead you spend about 80% of the time covered in dirt, sweating, breaking your back or banging your head with frustration, and maybe 20% looking really cool or glamorous or like life is just so easy with horses. 

Case in point, I just read a book where the character, as she was fixing up an old house, briefly thought (in a nutshell, not an exact quote), “Maybe I’ll get a couple of horses for the property. It would be nice to have some horses around”. And I went HA!!! Yeah it’s that easy. Horses aren’t any work at all and they're absolutely no bother. It takes no knowledge or the slightest bit of experience, it’ll be a piece of cake. Slap up a fence and life is full of rainbows *sarcasm* Granted it was a chicklit book, but still let’s have some semblance of reality in it!

The reality is: the amount of work and knowledge that goes into horse ownership is staggering.

I’ve learned more in this past year of horse ownership than I could even describe. I could write an encyclopedia and there are still so many things I don’t know (thus I’m thankful for a lot of my horsey mentors and good friends with years of horse experience under their belt).

I thought I knew a lot about horses before I got Mysti. I took riding lessons as a youth, worked at various small barns as a stall cleaner and exerciser through high school, and rode my friends horses in college and then after. I read horsey books and was subscribed to Horse Illustrated. I thought I was fairly knowledgeable about horses and all their unique needs and special things. Find a good farrier, get a good vet, and things will come up but it will be okay. 

But then my dream came true of owning my “own” horse, I got my darling mare Mysti………and realized I was an idiot. My knowledge and experience barely skimmed the surface. 

It's been a real eye opener to realize how much you have to know when being a horse owner, versus a part-time leisure rider.  Not to mention the gravity of being the “decision maker” and the emotional toll of knowing that such a special, sensitive (expensive) animal is in your hands. 

And I’m not talking about the actual ground work training or riding aspect of being a horse owner (that’s a ton right there) but just the actual care of the horse that is demanding work. 

Its calculating feed rations and reading up on every vitamin and supplement to ensure that you’re giving enough, but not over supplementing. It’s measuring vitamins, soaking grain and stuffing hay nets and scrubbing feed buckets. Its figuring out the best way to clean, treat and wrap a leg wound all while your horses hops around and kicks away. It’s trying to get your horse to keep its dang foot in a bucket so you can soak a bloody abscess. It’s scraping bot fly eggs off, cleaning udders (or sheaths!) and cleaning goopy eyes.

It’s finding clever ways to disguise medicine in grain and going to 3 different grocery stores to find molasses. It’s laying in bed worrying that you chose the right course of treatment. Its googling until your eyes burn to find true and tried advice. It’s being elbow deep in diarrhea as you rinse out your horses tail and pick out chunks with your fingertips when it’s snowing outside. It’s noticing a weight gain or loss, a slight lameness, a sharp tooth, a bad habit forming.

Its picking out a hoof hunched over until your back aches. It’s calculating the best time to start blanketing and stitching rips and waterproofing. It’s conditioning manes, trimming bridle paths, scraping sweat, putting on coolers and lugging blankets to be repaired. It’s washing saddle pads and cleaning saddles and repairing tack. It’s being able to gauge by the smell if a hoof has thrush. Or to see if a swollen belly means you’re overdue on deworming. Its smearing ointment, picking scabs, shooing flies, wrapping owies, being stepped on, knocked aside and sneezed on.

Its time-consuming, life interuppting, dirty, messy, sweaty, stinky, itchy, hard work.

But you know what.....it’s totally worth it.

J

The loyal companionship, the friendship, the adventuring partnership and loving connection you get when you share your life with a horse is rewarding in ways that can’t really be put into words. The joy and love and excitement that comes with riding and caring for a horse is abundant. (It just comes with a lot of sweat and mud too. ha ha) 

So on nights like last night, when I locked up the stall gate to leave for the night, cold and hungry and tired, and I saw my food-obsessed girl left her full pail of grain and come walking up to the gate with a soft nicker of goodbye - it makes it all worthwhile. And to see her sweet face and gentle eyes watching me warms my heart and fills my spirit. She knows she is cared for and loved and I can feel the care and love back. (Even on days when she’s being a disobedient brat. Ha ha)  

So as I was mulling over all this, I created a poster that kinda sums up, to me, what being a horse owner is:




For all you horse owners and care takers out there

Would love to hear other's experience of horse ownership. What do you think it means to own a horse?

~ Kacy

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

House Offer

We made an offer on a house......eeeek! yaaaaaay! uggggggh! eeeeek! (that pretty sums up the roller coaster emotions I've been on lately)

We're waiting to hear back from our realtor about whether or not we got it - we should find out today. Fingers crossed.

I'm a nervous wreck and bracing myself not to be too devastated if we don't get it....which of course I will be.......uggggggh........eeeeek.....

I love this house! Its pretty darn near perfect for what we want (with some compromises of course) and it just feels like home and it has so much potential to be a great equestrian property.

The house is way nicer than anything I would think we could afford at this time. Which is a perfect scenario because than we can focus all our funds and time on the land - which needs some major TLC. And by TLC I mean Total Landscaping Cleanup. (Months to get it "horse ready"). But its got potential!

I don't want to jinx it by posting too many photos of it.....but I can't resist....so here's just a sneak peek glimpse:

I'm in love - just the right amount of spruce up needed for the house and TLC for the land. (Yes, that's an old barn waiting to be fixed up in the corner! Weeeeee!)

And a glimpse of the jungle that would be cleared out and turned into pastures:

I spy a lot of blackberries and tree scrubs...I also spy in the future grassy pastures and my horse grazing beneath the trees!
Another view of the overgrown land....and an old goat shed or something. I'm itching to pull on the gloves and be turned loose on this property and get to work. Oh please oh please oh please be mine!

Hopefully I'll be posting good news soon.......

PS - Did you know buying a home is this stressful?!!

PPS - On the horse front Mysti has a crack/split under her bulb in her hoof and some heat and inflammation. She's not lame....but yikes, have to call out the farrier or vet. Let's hope its just an abscess or something.......UGH.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cat Scratch Fever....or more like Horse Scratch Fever

This weekend was gorgeous and sunny! I was so happy to enjoy great rides on Saturday and Sunday. Especially on Sunday where we went to the Lord Hill Trails for the first time. Mysti was a champ - even walking down the road by the freeway she was a calm girl (well we did get a little wild and jiggy going under the freeway overpass, but I can't blame her it is scary there).

She did great on the trails and we enjoyed a nice two hour ride. She was a little out of shape for the hills due to my lack of riding this winter. But we're slowly going to snap into shape (both of us!).


My darlin' after a ride. She's wondering why I am waving treats at her but not giving her one.

Besides enjoying great rides on both days, I was really happy for the good weather because the mud in the pasture really dried up (as you can imagine here in Seattle the pastures get pretty bad with all the rain!).

Which is good timing because a few days ago I discovered that Mysti has "scratches" on her back feet (also referred to as greasy heel, mud fever or more technically pastern dermatitis)! Ggh!

Scratches is a skin condition that is caused from mud and wetness that results in inflammation, cracks and scabs. All the wet mud causes bacteria to grow and just causes problems.  Kinda like trench foot for horses as my husband aptly summed it up. (And oddly enough it seems to be worse on horses with white socks....thus why she only has them on her back legs).

I wasn't very familiar with scratches so did some research (read about them here and here ), talked with the barn owner and perused some horse forums and it seems like there are a lot of different recommended treatments! (Of course, like every ailment with horses, ha ha)

But the agreed upon points being: clean the scratches, treat them with an antibacterial/antiseptic, and try and keep 'em dry. (Hard to do when its rainy, but luckily we've got some nice weather going on here for awhile).

This weekend I washed them and treated with Betadine - which she didn't enjoy as it was stinging, poor baby!

orange feet from the Betadine
Tonight I'm going to see if they are better and possibly treat with a combination of Desitin, Neosporin and Cortizone Cream (after reading about it on this horse advice forum)

Let's hope the sun sticks around for awhile to help keep her feet dry! Not to mention it sure is nice to be able to enjoy the sun while riding or at the barn. All the horses were happy to have the rain sheets off and be out grazing in the warm sun.  

Mysti with her buddy Hooch. She got a quick bath thus she's all shiny and clean.
She rolled a few minutes after this photo so was back to being dirty.

I love this photo, like Mutt and Jeff. ha ha.

PS - I might have to rename my blog to Artsy Crafty Cool (+ Horsey) or something...because the majority of the things I tend to want to blog about are horse related. ha ha

Sunday, April 8, 2012

House Hunters = Us!

I haven't been blogging much lately because I've been utterly obsessed and consumed with........... house hunting! My husband and I have decided to try and find a new home that would fit us better and our horsey lifestyle (no more boarding! yay!) and while its really exciting its also very stressful because we have a lot of factors to consider:

1) Very Limited Price Range
We plan to rent our current home (we'd be losing money if we sold it in this market, we bought near the peak of the bubble, ugh.) but when we met with our mortgage broker we decided that we wanted to be able to afford both mortgages in case our renters up and leave, we have a hard time finding renters, etc. Which means based on our salaries....a very moderate price range to be looking in. So while it will be a step up from our current house, unfortunately it won't be anything close to the houses I've been pinning on pinterest. ha ha.

my dream home via
but no way in our price range. one day!

2) Acreage & Decent horse land
We will have at least 2 horses on the property - my horse Mysti, plus a future horse for my husband/mom to ride - and we want to have some nice pasture turnout with room for a round pen and barn, so at the very least we want at least 3 acres, but we're hoping to find a place with 5 acres.

(And if we find at least 5 acres, that means I can also get the pasture companion for the horses that I've always wanted - a donkey! I looooove donkeys and have wanted one for forever! Aren't they adorable?

Donkey in Idaho Falls. Made my aunt pull over so I could snap this pic while gushing in baby talk to him. So cute!
We're also in need of acres that aren't too forested with some sloping to help with drainage (the rain and mud can get out of control over here). And while houses and rates are really low - there's not much out there in our price range and acreage criteria.

3) Location
We are looking to stay in Snohomish County which we really like (it has cheaper taxes and less restrictive land ordinances than King County's CAO that restricts how much of your land you can use (only 65%!) and where you have to get permits to clear invasive vegetation like blackberries - ridiculous! but that's for a whole other blogpost). We need something where my commute isn't longer than an hour. We want more privacy from neighbors but on a street that has a neighborhoody feel. And we really want to be in a horse-y community and rural area, but not like a scene from Deliverance. Access to riding trails would be a major bonus, but I don't think we're in the price range to really find that unfortunately - which means we need to start saving $$$ for a trailer.

4) Amount of Fixin' Up Needed
We know that we will be looking at some major fixer uppers because of Factors 1-3 above. But we're really trying to find something where the house doesn't need too much major stuff done (because we do have a limited amount of $$$ to tap into and it will be a long process). We're hoping to find something where mostly its just the land and any outbuildings that need the overhaul and the house just needs the TLC. So something kinda crappy, but not toooooo crappy.

5) Must haves
We have a few must haves that we can't really compromise on (well, hope that we don't have to). Our must haves: bigger than our current house (1500 sq feet), at least 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms (room for future kids). No baseboard heat. No major roof problems (unless seller is replacing). Not too close to a busy road. Not next to any neighbors like we have now: dog houses (incessantly barking dogs), motorheads (aka neighbors who are constantly reving engines up as part of their stock car building/dirt bike racing) or inappropriate volume of music/bass guy (I realize I sound like an old lady now, but gosh darn it turn that crap down!). Unfortunately, living out in the boonies means we're probably going to have to deal with at least one of those type neighbors.....but hopefully we'll be a little more tucked away from all that.

Bonuses would be: a barn or outbuilding I could convert to a barn, existing fencing, a garage (my hunny is dying for a home gym), a fireplace and a porch or deck.

Wouldn't this be nice? My dream barn! Again, for another day via google images
But I'd happy just to have this! Nice run in shed via with small tack/grain room attached

We can find that - limited price, restrictive area, strict must haves = no problem, right?? ;)
ha ha ha......well, we'll see what happens. Fingers crossed!

I'm sure my realtor loves our vague description of what we want: Kinda crappy fixer upper but not too crappy but still pretty big, mostly private but not too scary and alone, nothing too downtown or on the road, not too hillbilly, nothing too foresty, and oh yah something that's cute with potential .....that shouldn't be hard to find, right? ;)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cool Movie: Seabiscuit

"You know, everybody thinks we found this broken-down horse and fixed him, but we didn't. He fixed us. Every one of us. And I guess in a way we kinda fixed each other too" - Red Pollard, Seabiscuit

This weekend I was talking with a friend at the barn about the movie Seabiscuit and how its one of my favorite horse movies, and actually just a favorite movie in general. (It's also a great book by Laura Hillenbrand - read it!)

If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it!

Even if you're not a horse lover, its a wonderful film. Its very moving - the stories about the trainer, the owner, the jockey and of course, the very special horse Seabiscuit. 

Reporter: Awful lotta hoopla for such a little horse.
Red Pollard: Though he be but little, he is fierce.
Reporter: What's that?
Red Pollard: That's Shakespeare, boys, Shakespeare


No matter how many times I watch it, this scene always gives me goosebumps ("it is not just the speed, but the heart"):


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