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Intense 🦄🐴❤️

The HK Bar workouts have been intense lately (for me) . We added a new mare to our string . Of course she is another Double J horse from JD and Jana Dreasher out of Eskridge, Kansas. My four year old daughter is the actual owner of this nine year old mare whom is called Lucy. Owl (my four year old middle daughter) sold her calves to buy her. Lucy and her became fast partners and love each other. I’ve added her to my daily workout as well. Which consists of a thirty minute lunge and then a five mile outride. Whew!

My sweet JoJo is on the same workout. So I’m riding a minimum of ten miles a day plus an hour of lunging (another 35 of grooming). My two year old paint filly is at the trainer so will be upped to fifteen miles when she gets back . Whew! I said it has been intense!

What have you been up to in your workouts?

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Muck Boots and Ballet Flats

Muck boots to squish through mud, snow, water, dust and dewy grass to take care of the eight horses, two cows, fifty chickens, four dogs, ten cats, and thirteen hogs that call the HK Bar home .

Ballet flats. A transformation happens in the barnyard nearly every morning. The muck boots come off after hours of feeding, watering, and grooming of the HK animals. The tall riding socks also come off to expose calloused and cracked feet with chipped blue nail polish. The ballet flats are slipped on, and a journey to another world ensues. The HK children must go to school. And I must have the proper shoes to take them there. As you must know a Catholic School would surely not appreciate muck boots tromping through the halls in order to deliver the three HK girls to its sanctuary.

Sure the ballet flats are lighter and much prettier to look at….But there’s something so lovely about muck boots….

The children are delivered to school, and the ballet flats are promptly traded for riding socks and muck boots.

Because you see, there is more fun to be had in the muck boots.

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Affording to stay home. 

Recently a comment was made to my husband that really raised the hair on his hide. Someone said, “I don’t understand how you can afford the life you have with your wife not working.” To my husband it was an insult, to me I just think the person who said this truly doesn’t understand how we do it. 
There was a time in my life that a comment would have really chapped my hide. I would have felt offended. But at this point in my life I realize people really don’t get it and these comments are made out of ignorance and true genuine curiosity! So here’s a peek into how we run things on a tight budget at the HK! 

  1. We Save energy and resources where we can. We hang our clothes on the line when it’s nice instead of using the dryer. We take short showers and the little girls sometimes share a bath to reduce water use. We do not keep our house especially cool in the summer generally 80 degrees f. Same thing in the winter, the house we generally Keep about 60 degrees f. We use less gas and electricity this way. We also have invested in buying high efficiency units such as washer/dryer/furnace/ac unit. 


2.  We eat at home (usually). We do eat out as a family about once a week as a treat. But if the money is just not there in the budget at the time….then we don’t! I make a meal plan and stick to it. It’s not formal, just a quick jot on a post it to keep me on track. We are also blessed that we can raise much of our own food right here on the HK. We usually butcher one cow a year, sometimes a hog or two, usually a couple dozen chickens. So we have our meat right here in the freezer. We don’t have the extra store cost of the meat. We just pay to raise them and process the animal, which is a resource we HAVE and we USE! Also when I’m shopping I go with a set amount of money. Generally about $60/week. I buy the very basics and make what I can at home. As a stay at home parent I have the time to bake bread and actually prepare meals. I shop the sale ads and frequently at Aldis. We rarely buy pop, chips, snack cakes, ice cream etc. it’s just too expensive usually! 

3. We curb our entertainment costs. We are very heavy users of our public library and it’s resources! Our children attend many of the programs which are generally free, and of course check out loads of books and videos. 

We also spend a ton of time outside in our own backyard! We go on nature walks, have picnics, and grand adventures. It’s free since we already have it! And it makes my children entertain themselves! I see thier imaginations grow while they are pretending ! 


Along with playing outside and enjoying our own space, we spend a great amount of time enjoying our animals. We all enjoy riding horses, walking our dogs, and just helping with thier general care.​ 


We don’t buy all the new movies we want to, we don’t have internet to pay for….we don’t even have a computer…. But hey we do have satellite! 

4. Wardrobes are bought second hand, passed down, or bought on sale. There really isn’t much more to tell other than that. I also dont buy massive amounts of clothes. We all have probably two weeks worth of outfits each. Cuts down on the need for storage space as well as I have to keep up with our laundry. Plus we all really get our wear out of our clothes, nothing is left in the back of the closet forgotten because there are just too many clothes to wear. 

5. My husband works two jobs. I am very blessed that my husband is willing to work such long hours to financially provide for our family. This is a huge sacrifice on his part as he is often tired, misses out on having his own time, and being home to see all of the girls activities. I also work prn as a nurse when my husband is available to watch our girls (no daycare costs this way). 

6. If we don’t have the money to pay outright…..it usually doesn’t happen. We both drive  older vehicles that are payed for. The one vehicle we do have a loan on we made sure was the only payment we had (i.e. We have no credit card bills, no other loans other than our farm loan) committed to. Any improvements to our house or big purchases we make are planned and saved for. Period. Basically we know what our expenses will be each month and we anticipate for them. If we don’t have the money to spend then we just don’t. There have been several times I’ve wanted something new and had to just say to myself, it’s just not in the budget right now, let’s plan, save and wait. It’s very difficult at times. 

These are a few of the top ways we cut costs. It is very difficult to stick to it at times. Of course it would be easier to throw those clothes in the dryer or order a pizza because I just don’t feel like cooking….but it’s also more expensive! Of course there are times I wish I had top of the line wardrobe with tons of pretty clothes, but it just doesn’t make financial sense with our budget. Of course there are times we fail miserably! We aren’t perfect! But at the end of the day we don’t rely on anyone else to pay or even help us with our expenses, and we have earned everything we have by working hard and saving. 

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Hail to Pay 

So the HK Bar had a major hail storm hit about 1 pm today. Golf ball size hail, high winds, and a torrential downpour. 

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I posted a video I took during the very beginning of it all. The hail was only about quarter sized at this point but coming down fast. 



My brand new Yukon, my Dodge, and my husbands Dodge truck are all battered….. 


The siding on our house has holes all over in it……


The three photos above are pictures taken four hours after the hail…still piles of it everywhere…

I immediately phoned all of our insurance companies on the house and vehicles. I asked husband to call in our crops damage (alfalfa total worth about 10k)…..for him to look stricken and tell me he had not yet insured for the year. *sigh* 

Such the life of a rancher.. BUT here on the HK we try to keep our eyes on the 🌈 rainbow…. so we are praying God provides us deductible 💰 money…. And saying thank you that all our livestock is accounted for, safe and sound. 

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Pray for strength, pray for recovery, pray for patience and goodwill. 

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The HomeFront HK Bar

Life on the Homefront continues to be a blur. Lots of sickness, school activities, and planning for the next year has been happening. I find myself asking , ” How is it even February…..errrrrr…..nearly March?!?” Does anyone else feel like that? I, sure there will be at least a few yeses from out there in cyber world. Come on just make me feel better and agree? 

So what has been happening on the HK? In the animal departments  I have sold off all but two of my cattle. Sad, hey? Bills needed paying and so the herd was the easiest asset to turn into money. The reason we still have two? It’s only by chance. One mature one that belongs to my oldest daughter Boo, seven years old, is so damn crazy we haven’t been able to get her loaded into the stock trailer. I see some roping and dragging in Jo and I’s near future. So crazy is in a pasture all by herself and then there was the case of the other stray. A bucket calf owned by my middle daughter Owl, whom is four years old, was left off the trailer due to Owl throwing a tremendous fit! Tears everywhere as she begged her Daddy not to sell her Priscilla #47 Church!!! Needless to stay Priscilla is safely bedded down with two of our older minis that were showing some age this winter. Twilight and Louise the two minis are enjoying being out of the herd. They don’t have to fight for their place in the feed line and get extra scratches from all of us.

Currently our chicken brood is holding steady at about nine hens. They started producing eggs again, so at least they are earning keep. Our rooster met an untimely demise from a Hawk…..and then my husband shot the hawk . Circle of life stuff and discussions were had with the  three cowgirls in residence. They all took it  in thief own ways.

The horse herd is steady at an uneven nine. The two minis I mentioned before Twilight and Louise are babysitting Priscilla. Jo my best saddle horse is getting ridden pretty frequently at two to three times per week. I am looking forward to a ton of trail riding with her this summer and a few barrel races after we are both back in shape. Flash my coming two year old is doing great. She continues to learn just how to be a horse in the herd. I have made the decision tohold her out of formal training until next year. We have her on the books to spend three months with Cal Noyons and his family next spring. There she will get a ranch type education and be turned into a good hand. This year I will be ponying her behind Jo on various trail rides as well as attending a few workshops scheduled at our local saddle club. Romeo my daughter Boos gelding is fat and sassy. He has been getting pulled out once or twice a week for her to ride. After some epic spills last year Boo is focusing on gaining confidence and just having fun. This will be healing year for both of them. Katelyn our old rescue POA is holding steady. She is somewhere around twenty three years old and still going strong. She will be helping to teach my lessons kids this spring summer fall. Our farrier is still amazed at how her feet have recovered since coming to the HK. I’m personally very proud that we could do that for her. Our young minis, Grace and Rose continue to be fun for the little girls to groom and drag around as well as are great teachers to the lessons girls. And then we have the odd lady out, Angel whom came to us last year. Our plans for her this year are so far undecided. With so much going on she tends to play last card to everything in the training plans.

Our current dog count is at four.Bullet and Blitz recently turned two and four. They continue to learn. Blitz is our ovzealous guard dog. He has graduated to no kennel and patrols freely. Bullet still hugs my heels on our outings and has come out of her shell, she now has added fetching to her bag of tricks. Precious who belongs to Boo has moved up in the world and into the HK house. Boo has taken over her completely now walking her a mile daily . Boo is becoming good help to have around. She frequently walks the others as well. In October we added a new face to be crew. His name is Virgil. He was adopted by my husband from Unleashed Pet Rescue. He is a small terrier mix who goes everywhere with my husband. One is rarely seen without the other. We all love the way he adds to our family. I’m sure at some point Virgil will get his own debut post.

Eli our rescue cat continues to harass the HK house with his nightly wind sprints and yowling. He hasn’t caught a mouse in over a year….. Much to my husbands displeasure. 

I guess that about does it for the animal news…. More on family next time! Cheers and prayers to you all!

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Fitness Day 1 ; 💦 Sweat, 😭 Tears, and a little Leaked Urine ðŸ˜®

So I fell off the fitness wagon 🚙 about ohhh….. 10 years ago?! Today I finally took a little action and started a workout that a horse friend of mine suggested. 

I couldn’t complete the 30 second wall sits, but I made it to 15! My burpees are laughable, but I tried! I had to take about five breaks. I also wet my pants 👖 a little….ok a lot, I wet my pants a lot. (Thanks children!).And I thought of quitting several times…but I didn’t! I made it through the list and then I sat down and cried. I’m almost thirty one years old and I’ve let myself get so out of shape I’m ashamed. But that’s not why I cried. I cried because I did it. I set a goal (however small) and I killed it! Ok maybe I didn’t kill it but I completed it to the best of my ability. And now I feel 💪 stronger than I did! 

My body will scream tomorrow, but I’m going to stick to this workout until it’s easy. 😁 Tomorrow I will set another goal and I’ll kill it! In my own clumsy determined way.

Current weight 189# (Height 5′ 5)

Workout;

10 crunches, 10 jumping jacks, 5 push-ups, 5 squats, 30 second wall sit, 15 arm circles, 10 mountain climbers, 5 burpees, 30 Second plank, 10 jump squats, 10 lunges each side, 15 crunches, 20 knee highs, 10 tricept dips, 10 push-ups, 10 squats, 20 jumping jacks, 30 second plank, 20 bicycle crunches, 30 second wall sit, 5 burpees, 20 arm circles, 10 lunges, 10 push-ups, 20 knee highs, 10 burpees

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Flash; Flinthillspaintedlady Celebrates One Year on the HK Bar

Flash waiting for her brush out.

Miss Flash celebrated her one year anniversary of being with us on the HK Bar by falling asleep 😴 wearing her all too big halter. In the Spring our girl will be two! Can you believe that? I barely can! 

Flash has come so far this past year. She attended several horse shows and actually will receive a year end award through our show circuit in two and under halter! She stands quietly, picks up all four feet, stands to be groomed, and seeks me out for scratches. She is a dream for the farrier and is complimented for her mind and build by him. ( And he does not hand out the compliments easily!). Flash is a pro at trailering and a quiet presence at horse shows. Absolutely nothing phases this girl!

I have been so blessed over the past year to work with such an amazing animal. I am very excited for our future! She’s going to be a good one!