What was the highlight of your year?
As my last post in 2014, I thought I would recap some of the major events of the last year that were important to me...tomorrow I'll do a post of things I am looking forward to happening in 2015!
Bible School was a great way to start my year and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I'm looking forward to heading off for another great week of learning and fellowship in a few days.
I published my first book! This was definitely a milestone for me and I am looking forward to working with editors and illustrators the next few months to get the second one published this spring!!
Although he sometimes drives me crazy, I love this little guy(he isn't quite as cute anymore!) and I'm glad for the chance to try my hand at training him from the ground up...though he is so much different than a horse!!
Ashwin touched so many different areas of my life this year I had to mention him :) I'm so glad we found him. He is an amazing horse and such an inspiration.
Writing "Whisper" was definitely one of the highlights of the year for me. Just a few more details to finish up and this story should be ready to share with you all in about a month!
After living in the same house for 17 years of my life, moving to our new house this past summer was a big step! We all love the house.
I've taken several steps forward since the beginning of the year in my photography...from just grabbing a shot here and there to actively seeking out opportunities for great pictures and getting them framed!! www.originalphotoartbylauren.weebly.com
I found a lot of great books this year. I didn't have a lot of time to read, but these books made what time I did have very enjoyable.
I was so excited to get my round pen set up with sand laid down. It makes working horses so much easier. Of course, we got it set up just in time for it to get really cold! But when I do need to work in the cold it's much nicer to work in it and it's all ready for spring.
There were lots more things I could have mentioned, but these things stuck out the most in my mind.
What was the highlight of your year?
Between me and Mom, we take a lot of videos of just everyday happenings on the Lotter Funny Farm, so I thought it would be nice to share of the things that go on around here with you all by video!
I decided to make the video of sheep sorting that I posted previously the first Lotter Funny Farm Video, and here is the second!
My round pen panels have just been sitting in pile, waiting to be set up. I found a good spot and commissioned my dad, brothers and grandpa to help set it up and haul me some sand.
It turned out to be more of a project than I at first thought...the truck got stuck twice while hauling sand in, but we got 'er done!
Rio has been an ongoing project! His behavior had improved slightly, but still wasn't great. We were able to touch him...most of the time :) but he would have nothing to do with halters or ropes.
I needed to move him and the two horses he was pastured with to a new pasture, but I couldn't do that until I could halter him.
The guys were good enough to set up my round pen and haul in several loads of sand so I now have a nice area to work in.
I needed to move the horses yesterday, so I headed out around noon to start working with Rio.
I ran all three horses into the round pen, then led out the other two, leaving Rio by himself.
He wasn't happy, but not too concerned since Ashwin and Abby weren't far away.
I attempted to make progress with him, but after about twenty minutes, realized that he was still taking his cues from the other horses and not focusing on me at all. He didn't "need" me since he still had his friends close by.
So I moved the Ashwin and Abby to the new pasture.
Rio quickly figured out that he was now alone except for me and proceeded to scream for his friends who ignored his pleading.
I left him to think it over and when I came back he was a little more willing to work with me, but not much. He let me touch him as much as I wanted, but he still wouldn't let me bring a rope or halter anywhere near him.
I sat outside the round pen for about an hour, letting him get used to the idea that he only had me to work with and that helped, but again, I seemed to be missing something.
I was trying to reach him like I would a horse, but obviously that wasn't working. He needed to feel like he had some say in what happened, but at the same time, he needed to understand that he had to work with me and do what I said, no matter whether he felt like it or not.
I needed to get a rope on him if I was going to have any success, but no matter what I tried, I couldn't do it. I'm no roper!!
So, much as I hated to give in and bring another horse into the picture, I had no other options. I saddled up Smoke and brought her to the round pen.
He went crazy as soon as he saw her, but thankfully she treated him with complete indifference, which dampened his mood slightly.
I got a long rope and mounted Smoke. Rio was so excited to have a companion, that he stuck to her like glue, allowing me several opportunities to get the rope on him...without having to make a fool of myself by attempting to throw the rope around him.
He shied away from the rope too quickly for me the first few times, I finally managed to "rope" him.
Now I had to try to hold onto him! He may be only nine months old, but he's strong!!
I tied him to my saddle and rode Smoke around the pen to get him used to yielding to the rope. He didn't like it one bit and nearly pulled me from the saddle several times.
I wasn't getting anywhere from on Smoke and it was getting dark, so I got off and tried to work with him on the ground. Smoke waited for me patiently by the gate.
It took me another twenty minutes, but I managed to get another loop around his nose, so it made a makeshift halter.
I had much better control this way and spent a few minutes teaching him to give to the pressure of the rope.
He wasn't happy with me at all, but was starting to respect me a little.
After another fifteen minutes, I managed to slide a real nylon halter on over the makeshift rope halter with one hand while holding on to the rope with the other.
Success! After six hours, I finally had a halter on him!
I spent a little more time just walking him around and teaching him to give to the halter.
I would have liked to work with him a little more, but it was dark and I needed to get him settled into his new pasture.
I left his halter on so hopefully it will be easier to catch him in the future.
He's been an interesting animal to work with! We still have a long way to go, but I think we've made good progress.
On Wednesday, four of us headed out with our friends Marilyn and Myles Willard, and our aunt Patty to look for snowy owls.
In spite of the nasty weather, we found three! All perched on top of electric poles. I had never seen one in person before so it was really special to see these beautiful birds up close!
We drove around the back roads for several hours looking for other species of birds and in all we spotted 27 species.
We saw some tundra swans in a field and out on the bay and some cute domestic ducks along side the road :)
Lydia spotted a baby muskrat in a ditch beside the road as well.
Picking a favorite is really difficult this week! I do like the snowy owls and the muskrat, but I also like the dilapidated buildings.
It's hard to believe that today is my 19th birthday!! Mom and Lydia made me a winter themed triple fudge cake and a gingerbread girl! Tonight we are having a small party with a few friends and family.
Mom pulled out some pictures of me from 8-9 years ago...they sure brought back some memories! They show pretty much how my days were spent back then...either with my pets, from goats to cows :), with a book in my hand or running around barefoot! Mom's favorite is the first one, but I can't make up my mind between that one or the one with the calf.
I was able to get out and get some new pictures for this week, but before we get into those...I made a website for my photography!
It is called "Original Photo Art By Lauren" and all of the pictures on the Gallery page are available for purchase as prints in five sizes!!
Now for some new shots...
My favorite this week is the oak leaf resting on ice and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Oh wait a minute...that's snow! It almost looks good enough to eat!
I also like the birch bark rolled up like a scroll.
What's your favorite this week?
The pictures that I have framed we took to the auction hall for the public days this week. I haven't sold any yet, but a lot of people were commenting on them :)
On Monday I sorted sheep with Seth, Levi and Grandpa. The guys did the sorting and I worked the camera, or rather, the phone :)
There wasn't much to do this time. We only needed to corner the large ram and a wether, but of course, to catch one, you have to catch them all!
We changed out Chico, the alpaca's halter while we were at it.
The video is a little shaky as I was trying to help them out with one hand while recording with the other.
Here's a quick update on Whisper.
I just received the manuscript back from a fellow author, Alicia, who edited it for me.
To my relief, there weren't that many things to fix and no terribly glaring mistakes :)
I am working on my back cover synopsis and once that is finished, I can send the info to the lady who is designing my cover.
Once I finished touching up the manuscript and get the cover back, I will be ready to start designing the interior.
I have a busy few months ahead of me, but I hope to have Whisper published by February. I am going to be attempting to publish Whisper on my own through Create Space which means there are more details I need to attended to and more time on my end.
I am working on a fun short story...if I get enough finished, I may share some of it next week :)
" ..Yes. That is how it ever has been, ever must be with the people of God.
Until we are carried quite out of our depth, beyond all our own wisdom and resources, we are not more than beginners in the school of faith. Only as everything fails us and we fail ourselves, finding out how poor and weak we really are, how ignorant and helpless, do we begin to draw upon abiding strength.
'Blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee.'; not partly in Thee and partly in himself. The devil often makes men strong, strong in themselves to do evil- great conquerors, great acquirers of wealth and power.
The Lord on the contrary makes His servant weak, puts him in circumstances that will shew him his own nothingness, that he may lean upon the strength that is unfailing. It is a long lesson for most of us; but it cannot be passed over until deeply learned. And God Himself thinks no trouble too great, no care too costly to teach us this."
Between getting another auction ready and Drivers Ed classes, I didn't have any time for getting new pictures this week, so I dug around in my files for some of my favorite pictures from last year. Hopefully I'll be able to get some new images for next Friday.
Most of them are winter/fall pics, but I threw in two summer ones too :)
My favorite is the top one....it was taken right after a major ice storm when everything was coated in ice and it felt and looked like you were walking on glass. There were trees falling down because they couldn't bear the weight.
What is your favorite this week?
Considering the theme of today's post, I thought that was an appropriate greeting :)
Seth wanted some nice, posed pictures for school/just because so he and I headed out to the woods and my grandparents cabin.
It kind of turned into a mini photo shoot which was really fun...I had never worked with a person before to actually try and get certain shots.
We got a lot of nice pictures and between the two of us, we came up with some pretty interesting ideas.
My absolute favorite is the top picture!! It's got a western feel and a lot of humor!! It is the third one of my pictures to be chosen as Photo of the Day on the StudentStock Photography community on Google+.
Another picture that Seth and I both liked is the one of him perched on cabin porch railing.
I also like the one on the left below.
The very last picture is really neat too. He was standing on top of a log pile and I shot the picture looking up the log...it looks like he is standing on the summit of a mountain!
What is your favorite this week?
I think I mentioned in a previous post that I had recently met a man who is a photographer and he also does framing and matting.
Until I met him, I had never considered framing my photos, let alone selling them as prints. He offered to teach me to frame and mat but so far our schedules haven't met up. I showed him a few pictures that I had had printed as 4 x 6's and he pointed out several that he thought would sell well.
Yesterday on our way to the auction hall, Dad and I stopped at Walmart and picked out nine pictures to print as 11 x 14 prints, finished size of 16 x 20 with the mat and frame.
He surprised me by picking up nine frames from Kohl's late last night so we had a framing party!! I was thrilled to see my pictures in frames, looking so professional! I can't pick a favorite, but I think the combination of frame, photo and matting in the first picture is beautiful! The colors just seem to pop out!!
I will probably start trying to sell some of these at the auction(not on the auction, just in the lobby) and possibly doing some craft shows where I can display both my pictures and my books :)
Some of you might remember me mentioning my friend Kristina.
Back in August, Kristina left for Africa to spend six months helping a missionary family in the Congo.
I almost went with her, but it didn't end up working out in the end.
It has been interesting hearing all about her experiences.
She started a blog before she left, but the internet is tricky in Africa so she wasn't able to post anything until recently.
She just posted a prayer letter post on her blog and there is a lot of great pictures on the photo's page.
Take a look and consider leaving her a note from the contact page. I'm sure she would appreciate it :)
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