Some Recent Numbers

“Isn’t it technically spring?!”

ONE foot of snow fell on Saturday, March 24th.  Long after we’d all foolishly believed that spring was on its way to Central IL.

400 miles was covered as R and I took a brief but much-needed vacation to Kentucky.  It rained during most of our trip, but the temperatures were lovely, the grass was green, and there was NO SNOW!  We stayed at an awesome Airbnb where we got to explore, relax, and get a nice change of scenery.

1 scoop toffee chip, 1 scoop chocolate chip cookie dough

TWO scoops is the supposed size of this waffle cone from Graeter’s in Lexington, KY.  It felt like a lot more than that but I also may have blacked out partway through trying to eat it all (and I am NOT a weak ice cream eater).

1224 acres make up the Kentucky Horse Park.  When I was a kid, this place was like my Mecca.  I remember becoming borderline rabid as soon as we entered Kentucky, including viscerally angry every time I saw cattle instead of horses occupying pastures.  It’s been probably over 15 years since I’ve been… Along with an adult perspective, going during their winter season meant it was much quieter and more subdued: many exhibits were under construction and there were only a few horses on the premises.  But it was still cool to see some old familiar sights!

49/100 was my score on our first ever Sporting Clays course.  Of course R and I are the type to take our shotguns on vacation with us.   We had a blast, despite getting rained on.  It was a totally different shooting experience than we’re used to, but we’re anxious to get out and try it again!

90% mud is the official status of my Sacrificial Pasture.  I cannot wait until our grass gets green (and, y’know, actually grows) and I can move the horses to the north pastures, close of these poor, abused mud pits and let them recover.

I’m feeling refreshed and a little peppier after getting away for a few days, so expect to see increased posting soon!

30 Things About Me

This has been the hot post around the Equestrian Blogosphere, and far be it from me to give up the opportunity to overshare on the internet!  Without further ado, here are 30 Things About Me:

1. I joined FFA specifically to be on the horse judging team, and then morphed into a total aggie. I won an award for being the Top Ag Student my senior year.  This was no small feat, coming from a small farming community: my high school had about 500 kids, and 180 of us were in FFA.

I won the award thanks to competing in record book, extemporaneous public speaking, horse judging, livestock judging, meat judging, crop judging, and dairy judging.  Basically, if they needed an extra person on the team, I was the one to learn it quick and fill the spot.

I also got to do fun stuff like take my horse to the annual FFA petting zoo.

2. I also won the award for being Top Music Student my senior year. I was first chair trumpet and was kind of insanely competitive about it.

3. I got my bachelors degree from Truman State University. I majored in Ag Science with a focus on Ag Business, and a minor in Equine Science.  My favorite classes were probably the Equine Repro and Bovine Repro practicum, and the Futures & Options Markets classes.

#802, my favorite Gelbvieh calf!

4. I’m incredibly introverted. I spend a lot of time alone and can be rather anti-social.  I like to enjoy the time I do spend with people, so I’m picky about it.

5. Despite my introverted ways, I love public speaking. It doesn’t scare me in the slightest!

6. For those of you who follow the Myers-Briggs types, I’m an INFJ. Discovering and researching this helped me tremendously in my 20s!

7. If you’re into astrology, I’m a Gemini Sun, Scorpio Moon, Scorpio Rising.

8. I strength train, for fun and profit. Helping people move better and get stronger is one of my very favorite things!  I have a personal training studio and strength training is a big part of my life.

9. I used to compete in Tactical Strength Challenges. My last competition was in 2015.  I pulled a 340lbs deadlift, did one pull-up, and 140 kettlebell snatches in 5 minutes with a 16kg kettlebell.

10. I’ve deadlifted up to 355lbs, but don’t have any pictures/record of it. It was kind of an ugly lift, so that’s probably for the best. XD

11. I got into fitness along the way of my journey to lose 90+ lbs. I was super unhealthy in college and dropped the weight after graduating.  I’ve gained some back – some of it muscle and some of it fat – but it was quite an experience!

12. I’ve got a lot of thoughts on being overweight, having lived it myself.  I’m not sure if I’ll get into them on this blog, but the biggest take away is this – being fat and/or gaining weight doesn’t make you a bad person, but people sure act like it does!

13. I used to do professional web design, back in the day when professional web design was super easy. Nobody had tablets or phones, so your site only had to work/look good on a computer!

14. I did a bit of professional horse show photography. It was fun, but I got burned out, fast… it was SO much time and effort, and people (who I knew and considered friends!) would just straight up steal from me.  They’d buy the cheapest print and then scan it and print it out themselves or at Wal Mart, resulting in really hideous prints (grainy and with the color profile all off)… with my name on it. D:

15. I’m a gun enthusiast/avid shooter. I enjoy target shooting with rifles and handguns, and of course the shotgun games (how could you not?).

16. I’m also a big makeup enthusiast. I watch a ton of makeup Youtube videos and really enjoy experimenting around with different techniques and looks and products.

17. I’m the youngest of 4 sisters, and my sisters are my best friends. Being the beloved youngest is truly ideal.

18. I had an emergency appendectomy when I was 13. It was the FIRST TIME my parents ever left me home alone by myself.  AND there was a blizzard.  I looked up symptoms of appendicitis online and called my grandparents to ask them to take me to the doctor.  My grandpa couldn’t get all the way up the lane thanks to the snow, so I had to walk down it, through the snow drifts, with my side cramping up like a mofo.  Everything turned out ok and I’ve got a cool scar and a fun story to go with it!

19. I’m an adventurous eater. I’ll try pretty much anything once!

20. I LOVE the taste of vinegar.  Salt and vinegar chips are my favorite, but sauces heavy on the vinegar (like A1) rank right up there.

21. My drink of choice these days is either a Long Island Iced Tea or a Whiskey Sour. I prefer the latter made with Tennessee Whiskey (George Dickel ideally, but Jack Daniels is just fine).

22. I love smoky foods. The reason I love TN whiskey so much is because it’s filtered through charcoal.  Chipotle peppers and other such smoky flavors are my favorites!

23. I drive a 2009 Toyota Tacoma named Taco and I love it so much! I used to drive a 2002 Chevy Silverado which was an absolute beast, but my love for it pales in comparison for my love of Taco.

Taco the Tacoma

24. I owned two ferrets for a while. I’d wanted them my whole life and got them when I was in college.  Ferrets are fun but WEIRD.  They constantly get in trouble and they run around making a little chuckling noise.

Huckleberry Finn

25. I’ve lived in central IL my whole life and I love it. Even though we make fun of the corn and soybeans, there’s a lot to be said for being surrounded by some of the most fertile land in the country!  I love 4 distinct seasons – in my life, I’ve seen cold down to -36F and heat up to 110F.  I love a snowy winter and a sweltering summer with beautiful spring and autumn in the middles.

26. I’m 5’7″ tall, which I have to say is pretty ideal.

27. Besides my personal training business, I also work in finance.  Don’t worry, you’ll never see financial advice here (it is strictly forbidden)!  I work with my dad, and I’m proud to be taking over the family business!

28. I have a king size bed, THANK GOODNESS, because between the 200lbs of dog and the 15lbs cat, I still only get a very small sliver of it.

29. I (and 2/3 of my immediate family) have a knack for finding four-leaf clovers.  Family lore states that pressing them into a folded check or deposit slip will bring you good financial luck.  I carry 50+ of them around in my purse at all times.

30. Despite my propensity for finding four-leaf clovers, my very favorite song of all time is Metallica’s “No Leaf Clover.”

Seventeen!

March 6th marked a very special day: Simon’s Birthday, AND his “gotcha” day!

It was 17 years ago that this handsome red hoss was born, and it was 7 years ago that he stepped off the trailer from Tennessee to Illinois to be my show horse.

Yes, he was a padded performance horse. No, he was not sored.

I love this little chestnut freight train, and I’m hoping to have many, many more years with him!