It’s all about the tools

Having the right tools in the barn is just as important as having them in the kitchen!!  Here are some of my “must have” tools in my horse barn.

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I keep a scrub brush and empty bucket for cleaning out the water buckets in the stalls.  I scrub them and empty them to refill with fresh, clean water.  I have an orange hose that is heated.  I plug it in when I enter the barn and by the time I am done with stall cleaning and other chores in the chicken and goat houses the hose is ready to fill the water buckets.

The blue fish net is an EVERYDAY item.  I use it to clean the water in the buckets on days that I am not emptying them and just refilling.  They catch all the little bits of hay or grain that may have fall in into the buckets.

clean water2 clean water

You just swirl the net around and the water is free of any debris and fresh.

tools

I have scissors and wire clippers hanging at the doorway to cut open hay twine or quickly nip/repair any part of the wire goat and chicken fencing.  Having them at your finger tips when you need them is a great feeling.

toolbox2 toolbox

Last year I asked for a tool box for my barn.  This is MINE only.  It is off limits to the kids and the man of the house.  I keep a hammer, screw drivers, wrench, and all different size nails for any little projects I need to do in the barn.

pictures favorite lanterns

Those projects include hanging pictures and items that make me happy.  I love this oil barn painting that was found in a house after someone purchased it.  It’s signed Adele 1956.  I painted the frame black and love seeing it every morning when I am in the barn.  The blue framed picture is one I bought at an antique shop many years ago. I have no idea who it’s by but love the picture imagining it’s a soldier returning after a long time away and getting reacquainted with his woman.  And last the old license plates from my parents, lanterns found in the woods and an old fashioned beater.  I feel right at home in my barn.

staple gun bins

A staple gun is another handy tool for those days the wind is coming in the cracks of the doors.  You can easily plastic them with a quick staple to the corner of a sheet of plastic.  Plastic bins for important items such as paper, pens, leg wraps, injury wraps, etc.  keep the items free from dust.

saddle covers

Felt blankets purchased at Walmart for $5.00 each work great at covering the saddles again keeping them free from dust and dirt and easily removed when getting ready to ride.

rake cart

Bucket rakes and muck carts are another fabulous invention.  They make picking stalls a breeze.  I also keep a few around in case one breaks or for when someone else is helping (after you forced them) to clean stalls.

hat

And last, but certainly no less important, is a baseball cap for those days you get stranded in the barn when it starts pouring!  It helps keep the rain or snow out of your eyes when emptying buckets, bringing in all the animals or making a mad dash to the house.

These items sure make my job easier and assist in keeping me happy in my barn 🙂

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Lake to Lake

Being on an Island surrounded by the Niagara River which is fed from Lake Erie and flows over Niagara Falls into Lake Ontario, offers us many wonderful things to do.

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Grand Island

On the second last day of the year we headed along Lake Erie to Hamburg, NY and had a fun Hibatchi style dinner.

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On New Years Eve we had an early dinner on Lake Ontario.  The streets lining Lewiston, NY were wonderfully decorated and the lights twinkled as you made your way down to Lake Ontario where we had a nice dinner overlooking a dock with a fishing boat ready to head out the next morning.

lewiston lake ontario

And a few nights later we were headed to Canalside in downtown Buffalo, NY on Lake Erie for a fun night of visiting the new ice rink which opened a few weeks ago.

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It was a balmy 30 degrees but there are plenty of heat lamps along the rink and a warm room with benches.  There are little shops along the way, a few different food trucks and these really, REALLY cool ice bikes you can rent.

canal bike

Can you tell what I will be renting soon???  I can’t wait to try these.  But tonight was not the night as we were headed to watch the sad Sabres play.  The kids had fun heckling the opposing team 🙂

panthers game

And after another bad loss for the Sabres we headed back to the rink to watch the novice curlers trying to learn the game which is another feature of the new rink.

curling2 curling

I love the fact we have so many things to experience right in our back and front yard just over the bridges.