Thursday, April 25, 2013

A flurry of activities

That's putting it mildly!  These last few weeks, I've been feeling slightly overwhelmed and not on top of my game.  I've got too many irons in too many fires and feel somewhat scattered, for lack of a better description.  I don't do well being so distracted.  More familiar and comfortable territory for me is a clear mind, routine, and knowing what my day will (mostly) be like when my feet hit the floor in the morning.  I really don't like surprises.  And I really dislike disruption.  It makes me feel all wonky and out of control.  Maybe I am a little bit of a control freak.  Hmm...I don't like to admit that, but maybe just a little.

So, like I mentioned in my last post, we have sold our big horse trailer.  It's gone.  :)  I don't even miss it; yet.
The first time we go horse camping and I have to sleep in a tent, I'll probably cry like a baby.  I loved the bed in the big trailer.  All plump and cushy, positively luxurious accommodations for camping!  Ahh well, we can't have everything.  Anyway, cash was (briefly) in hand *sigh*, but has been handed over to the bank.  Our loan is paid in full.  House re-fi is in progress.  I have fulfilled all my obligations and the ball is in their court.  We're hoping for a closing sometime in May, I think.  That means no house payment in June.  :)  See me smiling about that?  That money will go back into our savings account.  Most of our savings will be used paying for our new hay supply, but I'm thankful we have the money to pay for it.  Occasionally, I remind myself how much more expendable cash we'd have without so many horses.  Oh well, I can't imagine life without our horses.  It's only money.  And money can't buy me love!

Our house remodel work is finished.  Yep, totally and completely finished.  They showed up in full force on Tuesday morning, April 23rd and when I arrived at home on Thursday evening, April 25th, they were just finishing up with the debris clean-up.  Seriously!  They were fast, very efficient and their quality of work is outstanding.  We are completely and 100 percent happy and totally satisfied with everything.  Everything is beautiful, and looks so much better.  I really can't believe it's all done.

But of course, like so many projects, doing one thing quickly leads to another thing, and another and another.  You know how that goes, right?

We noticed that the paint was looking a little dingy.  So we bought new paint.  We're now in the process of repainting the laundry room and the mudroom completely, including the newly replaced trim boards.  I need to wash all the windows because that's so much easier when the room's empty.  May as well pull the curtains down and launder those too...see what I mean?  Plus...we discovered that our washing machine was leaking onto our already dry-rotted old subfloor.  So, the old machine's definitely NOT going back onto our beautiful new flooring.  Ca-ching!!  We're going washing machine shopping this weekend.

The old door knobs looked positively shabby on the beautiful new entry door.  So, I purchased a new door knob set for that, and all the hallway, bathroom and closet doors as well.  They look so much better when everything matches.  *sigh*  I just had to have a new door mat too....seriously, just shoot me already!!  I need help!!

Not to mention that our kitchen stove and fridge, in the glaringly bright sunlight on the deck...did not look so good.  I swear I do clean it regularly.  I pinky swear I do!!  It took me the better part of an afternoon just scrubbing them to pass muster.  Oh my aching back!!  But, we're beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel.  We've got the stove, fridge and kitchen table and chairs back in place.  It's starting to feel like a home again.

Oh, and my husband.  You know, the one who doesn't care about anything; leaves the designing and color choices, that sort of thing, entirely up to me?  That guy decides that since our bathroom door is painted "Dove White", that the entry closet door really should be painted to match.  It would look much better. So...we removed that door, sanded it and are in the process of repainting it as well.  One thing just leads to another!  We're tired.  And every single day, I swear, the grass in our yard grows by about 6".  No kidding!!  I'm ready to let the horses come up and do some mowing work for us.  We're falling totally behind in the yard work department.  Oh ya, and our weed eater bought the farm and died, no hope for a resurrection there.  So, that's right, you guessed it!  We bought a new one!  Ca-ching!!  Our savings account is dwindling so sharply it's beginning to look like Wall Street.  *sigh*

But, we did have a wonderful evening out this past Tuesday evening.  Just Biff and I for a welcome date night..  We ate dinner at a favorite Salem restaurant and then attended the Don Williams concert at the historic Elsinore Theater.  It was wonderful!!  A relaxing evening out, away from home and all our duties there.  What a welcome treat that was!  *sigh*

Oh, and just as a quick side of this past Monday, I've lost 10 pounds.  Whoohoo!!  I'm so happy about that.  Seeing some progress will further my resolve to continue towards my goal.  :)

I'm a happy, stressed out, tired gal.  And I promise.  As soon as we're finished painting and whatever else we decide just has to be done, and the furniture's back in place...I'll post the "after" pictures.  I promise!!

Blessings all,
Lorie @ Cingspots

p.s.  Almost 3 weeks ago now, we took Eagle to a clinic and he made us both so, so very proud!!!  It was a remarkably productive and positive day for him.  My boy is coming along and I couldn't be more pleased and proud of him.  :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Whoohoo!! It's official!!

**happy dance**  I'm finally feeling secure enough to reveal my long-awaited good news.  We have sold our big horse trailer!  Oh yeah!!  That means a lot of different things for us.  In fact, this whole deal has turned out to be one very unexpected and multi-faceted blessing that we couldn't have anticipated or even imagined.  A true blessing!!

The guy that's buying our trailer has Fresians and Gypsy Vanner horses.  Incredibly beautiful horses!  In only my wildest dreams have I ever imagined having a Fresian.  They are so beautiful in fact, that I can usually only watch them through tears, that's how much emotion they emit from my soul when I see them.  Truly gorgeous and elegant movers.  But before we go any further, yes he did offer a young Fresian to me as part of the deal, but I said no.  Heaven knows we don't need any more horses!  But, for a tiny amount of time, my heart did dare to dream about the possibility...if only for a moment and only in my mind, I galloped bareback, glossy mane flying,  through a grassy meadow on the back of a jet-black phantom horse I called Gypsy.  *sigh*

Hmmhuh, sorry.  Back to reality.  Yeah well, it was fun while it lasted.  Anyway, we did eventually strike a deal that was pleasing to both parties involved.  Juan is also a contractor.  He owns a construction business and specializes in home remodeling.  My eyes begin to twinkle...he asks me, "is your home everything you want it to be?".  Are you kidding me?  Our little house needs lots of work, there's plenty of room for improvement.  We've just never got enough money, time, expertise, patience, energy...need I go on?  Then there's the likely event of a murder taking place between my husband and me.  We have differences in how we think things ought to be done.  You understand, I'm sure.  I invite Juan inside...

So we struck a deal for some cash and some work to be done in our house.  Specifically, they're going to demo our floor in the laundry room, which has dry rot.  Replace some needed joists and build a new sub-floor.  They're going to re-enforce the floor in our kitchen nook (wood stove room) and rebuild the sub-floor there also; it sags a bit.  They are replacing the flooring in the laundry room, the entryway (mudroom) and the pantry with new vinyl of my choice.  They're also replacing the flooring in the kitchen and the wood stove room with new laminate (fake hardwood) of my choice, and replacing all the base trim and the adjacent bathroom door facing trim, and we're getting a new front door too!!  Oh my gosh, I never would have expected such an immense amount of work to be completed; and by someone other than ourselves!!  I'm still in shock.  I haven't been sleeping well.  I make flooring decisions in my dreams.

And, we're getting enough cash to pay off some bills, enabling us to refinance our home at no cost at all.  That in itself will save us over $50,000 in interest over the life of our loan, cut our payments by over 5 years and cut our interest rate almost in half, while reducing our monthly payment by about $90.00 - can you believe it?  I am completely humbled by our good fortune, and overwhelmed with gratitude.  The overall value of our home will be increased, and it will be much closer to market-ready if and when we decide to sell and relocate.  It's simply better than we ever could have hoped for.

I'm going to try to remember to take a few pictures of the before and then of the after.  We're in the process of moving all our large appliances and furniture out to prepare for the work to begin next week.  I'm horrified by how bad it really looks without everything in its' place.  My husband found a mouse nest.  Good grief.

I'm also mildly concerned about the prospect of showering without a hot water heater.  And we may be eating cold sandwiches on paper plates for a while.  But that's alright.  We're thinking of this as one of life's little adventures.  Building a memory and all that...counting our blessings.

It's all good...

Until next time, Lorie @ Cingspots

Monday, April 8, 2013

It's Harley's birthday today!!!

 Lifelong buds

Harley & Ladde

 Buxton Linear Trail near Banks, Oregon
Harley's most beautiful butt - the boy's got hams!!

 Harley at 16 yrs

Yes indeed, it is Harley horse's birthday today!!  Our baby boy is 16 years old.  I did not miss that one!!  I was right there with Scooter when she brought her beautiful foal into the was awesome!!  And this horse will be with us always and forever - that's what I tell him, and I mean it.

I'll be swinging by the grocery store before heading home this evening to pick up some goodies for the horses.  Apples, carrots and pears are the delectables in honor of the special day.  Some may feel that it's silly to celebrate a horse's birthday, but I don't care, and I don't think it's silly at all.  We love our horses and they are a huge part of our lives.  What does it hurt to provide them with a little celebratory treat to remember the day when they came into our lives?  It makes them happy and it makes us happy, to see them happy!  Reason enough for us!!  Simple pleasures are truly treasured memories that make life special.

 Amazing spots!

 Me and my mountain horse.

 Ready for a ride in La Pine, Oregon
 Camping at Flying M Ranch Yamhill, Oregon

 Me and Harley

 At a Ray Hunt clinic - Dundee, Oregon 2006
Harley, me, Ray and my sister

 Ray Hunt clinic

 Harley & me 

 Always the lover boy...

 Harley Ten Hairs - his nickname because he lost his mane & tail as a weenling 
 When he still had his sight

 Supper time?

 That's my boy!!

As you can imagine, I have so very many more pictures of our life and years many wonderful memories with this guy!  What an amazing horse!!  And to think I almost sold him right after he was born...what a mistake that would have been!!  Cheers Harley - here's to many more memories to come!!

Happy Birthday my little Spunky!!  Always and forever my friend...always and forever.  I promise to love and take care of you.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Hot days! Hot dog!!

That's about the only way to describe our weather this past weekend, and again today.  Just gorgeous perfection!  Totally weird too, we normally get a lot, a lot of rain in March and April, and this March, rain was almost non-existent save for a few little showers here and there.  On Saturday we hit 78 degrees at our house.  Easter Sunday was 77 degrees.  Since I was pretty much sick all day Saturday, lounging in the sun on the deck, I actually have red legs and rosy cheeks today.  :)  That was the fly in the ointment in my otherwise, perfect weekend.  What a drag to feel lousy on such an amazing weekend.  I had so many plans and hopes for the beautiful days, but by Sunday I was feeling tentatively better, so thought it wise to lay low and take things slow and easy.  My new meds and I are having some difficulties, I think.  I skipped the new stuff yesterday and again this morning...wouldn't you know it?  Monday morning and I'm in fine form.  Good as new.  Suspicious huh?  Sure hope we can figure things out and make this work, because the best part of this new med is that it almost entirely squelches my appetite.  There's pretty much no way I wouldn't lose significant weight when I'm eating only enough to keep a bird alive.  :)  Anyway, we'll see how everything goes.

My wonderful husband on the other hand, was all energy and gung-ho both days.  He took care of all the horse chores and even did some laundry.  He mowed our lawn.  That was a huge feat in itself because this is the first mow job of the spring and we could bale that stuff.  Seriously, it was about a foot tall and lush.  The smell was wonderful!  He also spent some time working on his camper project, and that's coming along nicely.  We had to put the fly masks on the horses for the first time.  Yep, along with the glorious sunshine, we also had an immediate insurgence of flies.  Nasty flies!  The poor horses were covered in them.  And since the horses are all shedding like crazy, they were sweaty and itchy...snoozing, lethargic horses all over the place.  They were much more comfortable with their masks.  They almost put them on themselves.  :)

I'm trying to keep my excitement at bay, but I'll mention casually that we may have sold our horse trailer as well.  An offer was made, we shook hands and everyone seems to be in agreement...but it's slightly more complicated than that.  Suffice it to say, if everything works out, we will be pleased beyond measure and ever so thankful for such an unanticipated blessing.  :)

The dogs and I took a lovely walk around the park trail this day at noon.  I had forgotten just how long their tongues really are!  It was wonderful!  I got sweaty, and my hair was totally damp from the uncustomary warmth this early in spring.  How cool is that!?

I know, I must really be weird.  I'm super excited to be sweaty!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Easter weekend.

Waiting with bated breath...
Lorie @ Cingspots