Saying goodbye

Sahe tractorIt occurred to me that in all the busy-ness of barn life-leaving one barn, working in another barn and moving into a final BARN (home at last)-I failed to honor an official good-bye to the “barn”.

While it has been months, it feels raw still. The barn that changed so much in my life in such positive ways. That barn that has made this NEW barn life possible. I am a woman I never imagined I would be. I am a cowgirl in every sense of the word. My daughter can say she was literally “raised in a barn” and know that means a hell of a lot. She is strong, she is amazing, she is courageous. She is more COWGIRL at nine years old now, than most would ever (never) understand how to be in a lifetime or even what the term means. It is FAR beyond cute boots and pigtails. THAT she has learned in this barn. I am grateful for all we, both, have learned there. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. And good-bye. What memories. “Cowgirl up” as the head honcho here would say. I will forever live by the lifestyle I have learned here. No matter how hard, how tough, how raw. Nothing can break a cowgirl.

Oh, Comes the Dawn.

“about” paradox

I revised my “about” page. I decided to also use it as my current post. You see when I first started this blog, I didn’t know what exactly to write for my “about”. I did a simple, neat and elusive paragraph. I had wanted to stay very anonymous. I thought I wouldn’t use names, I wouldn’t post pictures of my daughter, I would keep it very ….distant. I am not a computer, technology, social media type of person. And, to be quite frank, it scares me. Well now that we’ve been blogging a while, I realize that no one is really looking at my blog anyways. That is somehow liberating. I had grandiose ideas of followers and …dare I say, book deals….! Ok, so. Anyways. What I have found is that my daughter and I are having tons of fun with this blog, finding a creative outlet that satisfies us, gets us thinking, helps us (particularly me) feel more gratitude for what we have and the adventures we are blessed to live everyday. I have made some online connections with other “horsey” addicts, homeschoolers and homesteaders which I have learned so much from and enjoy keeping up with. Other than that, I still feel we have that anonymity that allows for more sharing. Thus, I have been using pictures of a more personal nature, as well as more honest thoughts and writings. I finally decided to add a more honest bio to my about page and I share that here now.

Raised in a barn 2
Welcome to Barnraised. This is about life in all it’s messiness and all it’s beauty. I moved my family into a barn, literally. It all started with a horse, then became more. We moved into the barn apartment of the boarding and training facility where I initially kept my horse. Our lives have completely changed. This blog follows the fun, the adventure, the beauty and-yes-the messiness and challenges all along the way. Thanks for stopping by the barn!

My bio: I have an undergrad degree in Social Work and a masters degree in Counseling. I spent many years working with children and families in different social work and therapeutic situations. I have lived and worked all over the world, specifically in Japan, Ireland and England as well, of course, as many states in the U.S. I then “settled down”, married a good (and -thankfully- very flexible, easy-going and low-maintenance) man, got my contractor’s license and started a construction-type business with him, then had a little girl (Sahalie) that made life so much more exciting. She is seven (at the time of this “about” page). I left my career in social work and therapy to focus on our business and homeschool my girl. I found the world of Waldorf education and have studied, studied, studied. I homeschool in the Waldorf pedagogy and we love it. It’s magical. I ultimately earned a certification in Waldorf Education. Just FYI, we use a combo of the Christopherus homeschool curriculum and un-schooling. Prior to all of this, I have been a waitress, bartender, teacher, traveler, librarian, nanny, basically-you name it, I’ve probably done a little bit of it.

I grew up with horses and showing, but left that world during my years of college, travel and career. Then I found it again (through my daughter who loves horses). I rediscovered my love of horses, of the barn life and simplicity. My daughter and I bonded deeply through horses and riding together. We bought one horse, we got a second, I became a certified horse trainer and riding instructor through the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA), started instructing at our local commercial boarding, touristy trail-riding, riding lessons and training facility (where I boarded our horses). Everything snowballed from there and I was offered the opportunity to move into the barn apartment and oversee the place (50+ horses). This would be a lot of work AND a lot of fun. What an experience. So, we moved in and it’s been a whirlwind of learning, growing and inspiration ever since. I have always known the therapeutic value of a horse, how they teach us about ourselves and force us to grow. I never would have foreseen this path in my life opening up. I truly feel like I stepped into my purpose in life as I teach therapeutic horseback riding to children (and some adults) with a passion I never knew I could feel for my life’s work. It is one of those “Cinderella stories” where the shoe just fit, my two “worlds” collided and I just belong here.

While it might all sound like a fairy tale, I assure you it is not. It is a constant paradox of peace, quiet, acres of horses, nature and being in the moment, a wonderful escape from the rat-race AND it is also hectic, busy, sometimes very loud with never ending work, early mornings, little sleep. It is one moment breathing fresh air and enjoying a quiet sunrise and then the next moment of 9 degree morning feedings in three layers of clothes, breaking ice in water troughs, getting out a trail ride of five dude riders (God help us), checking on a colicing (sick) horse, calling the vet, arranging a riding lesson, sweeping up spilled grain and wishing everyone would just go home!

When I started this blog, I was torn between writing about…Horses? Homeschooling? Parenting? Life living in a barn? Rambling thoughts? I just let it flow and found myself going back and forth between subjects sort of weaving it all together. This is my place to explore life, relate horses to philosophical thoughts, remind myself of what’s important and have a creative outlet for my daughter and myself to create an “online journal” about our adventures here, as she is always my editor. She and I both take the photos and come up with the ideas. Her artwork and inspiration is included here as well. This blog is continually trying to improve and grow (as am I) so I appreciate any and all thoughts, comments, suggestions and connections. Thanks again!