FREE $50 Bonus
Spread the Joy
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
Google+
http://redbarnblueskies.com/category/entertainment/
Pinterest
Pinterest
LinkedIn
INSTAGRAM
Handmade Soap - Kids Soap, Glycerine Soap with Essential Oils
Follow Us


Follow

Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

postheadericon Adjust Your Attitude, Find Your Balance, and Carry a Big Stick

I initially had a different post in mind for this week’s Sunday Selections, but the more I thought about it, the more I became refocused on a theme from a few weeks ago – Balance. It seems I wasn’t really finished with the topic.

In trying to find that elusive balance in my life, I regularly come across tons of advice on why you should find your balance. You’re told how important it is and what the benefits are, but never really any concrete ways of how to achieve it.

The experts may tell you to keep a journal, talk to someone, take a vacation or get a hobby, but that doesn’t really help me personally achieve anything. I’m not balanced, I’m far from it.

Our life has felt a little off kilter or tilted lately, always listing to one side or the other, never really tracking straight down the center. We’re looking to change that and find a little level ground. (notice the jousting references??) Which leads perfectly into today’s post…

Adjust Your Attitude, Find Your Balance, and Carry a Big Stick at Red Barn Blue Skies

Knights to the Rescue

This unbalanced theme became even more fixed in my head when I dug up these photos a few days ago. I took these pictures of our friends about eleven years ago and was afraid they’d been lost in one of our moves. It seemed to be destiny that I found them now as these jousting or “tilting” pictures illustrate perfectly – to me anyways, how balance (or lack of it) is ingrained in every part of our life. Kudos to karma and perfect timing as well!

Red Barn Blue Skies Mounted Knight for Find Your Balance

Just like most of us, these guys have been through a lot of changes in their lives, both personally and professionally. But, through everything, they’ve managed to remain upright and centered in the saddle or as my Dad says, “a foot on each side and your butt in the middle”.  Not always an easy feat.

Find Your Balance at Red Barn Blue Skies Knight 1

Now I’m not a jouster or a shiny knight, but I am an accomplished horsewoman and I do understand what it takes to stay in that saddle. Other than the obvious horsemanship, three attributes immediately come to mind: Attitude, Balance, and (Constant) Adjustment.

Knight Jousting on Buckskin Find Your Balance at Red Barn Blue Skies

Anyone who has been riding horses (or Harleys) for any amount of time will understand the importance and the relevance. But the thing is, you don’t have to be a rider or a knight to embrace these concepts. They pertain to all of us – every day.

Find Your Balance Adjust Your Attitude Carry a Big Stick Red Barn Blue Skies

Change Your Attitude

Your attitude can make or break you, your day, and even those around you. If you wake up spewing negativity and in a foul mood, you set the course and tone for the day. When a knight (or someone like me) has a bad attitude and mounts their horse, more often than not the horse will reflect that bad mood and behave accordingly.

Adjust Your Attitude Find Your Balance at Red Barn Blue Skies

Your attitude affects and impacts more than just yourself. If you don’t want that horse to bite you in the backside or have your boss fire you for being a smartass, change that attitude. Only you can make the conscious choice to do it. Attitude adjustment only happens when you’re willing to change. Of course, staying home is probably a good option for those kinds of days too.

“If you don’t like something,

change it.

If you can’t change it,

change your attitude.”

~ Maya Angelou

Find Your Balance

If there is one thing that can make or break a rider, it is their balance – or the loss of it. Whether you have four hammering hooves or two spinning wheels under you, if you don’t remain aware of your surroundings and balanced up on top, you’re headed for a big fall. Same goes for that rolling office chair.

Find Your Balance at Red Barn Blue Skies with Jousting Knights

Finding a harmonious way to balance your life on both the personal and professional fronts is necessary. While you may not literally fall on your face or have someone chasing you down horseback, your health can be affected, your relationships may suffer, and you might just miss out on the important moments in life.

Red Barn Blue Skies Mounted Knight on Buckskin Find Your Balance

Do yourself a favor and find what makes you happy. Each person must decide for themselves as it’s not a one-size-fits-all scenario. What brings me peace in my life may bore the heck out of the next person. Working a hectic 50 hour week and then partying all weekend might bring excitement and joy to someone else while it would push me over the edge. Different strokes.

“Life is like riding a bicycle.

To keep your balance,

you must keep moving.”

~ Albert Einstein

 

Make Constant Adjustments

Keeping your butt centered in the saddle of a charging 2000 pound, fire-breathing steed while balancing an 11-foot lance pointed at your opponent is not easy. And lest you forget, on top of this you’re wearing 100+ pounds of protective (and restrictive) armor – with obstructed/limited vision. Fun times..really.

Series 1 Red Barn Blue Skies Find Your Balance Jousting Knight

As you gallop down the list (the lane) towards your target (who is also pounding the ground towards you), a series of constant, minute adjustments are taking place – you continually shift and find your balance! If you don’t, it’s all over and the fat lady will sing – really loud.

Series 2 Find Your Balance Red Barn Blue Skies Jousting Knight

Your hard-won equilibrium can be thrown off by any number of things – your horse stumbling or adjusting his own balance, your saddle shifting, the lance moving from the wind, your opposing knight hitting you just right, the list goes on.

Red Barn Blue Skies Jousting Find Your Balance Series 3   Red Barn Blue Skies Lances Breaking in Joust Series 4 Find Your Balance

The point is, you must be in a perpetual state of adjustment – just like Sir Shiny Guy in all of the photos above. You’ll notice he is constantly repositioning the lance (and his butt in the saddle) as he progresses – that is until he shatters it against his opponent’s armor. Could you compensate and find your balance during all of this shifting and maneuvering?

Series 5 Find Your Balance Red Barn Blue Skies Jousting Knight

You don’t just plop in the saddle, run down the list and poke your nemesis knight or beloved cousin with your big stick. With all of the variables you might be faced with, you must be ready to change your tactics and your seat – in a split second. Your balance is in a constant state of flux – just like in real life. In order to take things head-on, you need to be flexible and ready to adjust.

“You’re going to face adversity.

It’s not if – it’s when.

You have to be able to adjust on the fly,

and that is what the great ones do.”

~ Andre Ward

Red Barn Blue Skies Find Your Balance Triumphant Knight

More Adjustments

All of these quotes really spoke to me today and seemed quite fitting for making changes as you go. Each is in just enough of a different voice to get the point across while saying pretty much the same thing. One might resonate with you while the others not so much. Again, different strokes.

“I can’t change the direction of the wind,

but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

~ James Dean

Red Barn Blue Skies Find Your Balance Jousting Knights 3

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached,

don’t adjust the goals,

adjust the action steps.”

~ Confucious

Red Barn Blue Skies Find Your Balance Knight Photo

So how do you find your balance? Do you feel you’ve already achieved it? Let me know!

Learn More

If you want to learn more about modern day jousting and where to see it for yourself, check out The Knights of Mayhem.

You should also stop in at Clif’s California where you can “experience California from a two wheel point of view”.

Here are a few books from my recent reading list that may be of interest:

Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care – Maria Noel Groves

Yoga for Emotional Balance – Bo Forbes

Walk in Balance: The Path to Healthy, Happy, Harmonious Living – A Sun Bear Book

 

Adjust Your Attitude, Find Your Balance, Carry a Big Stick at Red Barn Blue Skies

postheadericon My Husband is a Dung Beetle

*This post about my husband being a self-proclaimed dung beetle was first published in April 2010. Because it is just as relevant today as it was then, I’ve decided to share it with all of you again. For those of you newer to Red Barn Blue Skies, don’t be alarmed – we’re relatively normal. Enjoy!*

I am married to a dung beetle.

My Husband is a Dung Beetle at Red Barn Blue Skies

First off, let me state for the record that I did not call my beloved hubby this. At breakfast this morning, he announced to Mom and I, “I am the dung beetle of the family.”

While this is not a normal conversation in the majority of homes, it is really not a super surprising one for this group. We obviously aren’t the Cleavers anyway, so let me try to explain this bold statement.

The Dung Beetle

Hubby and I were camping last summer when we came across a funny sight while hiking. I had to stop when I saw something rather strange: it looked like a little turd cruising along the path in front of me.

Upon further investigation, we found that it was a dung beetle with a rolled up ball of poop. He was rolling it uphill and in a very straight path – over pebbles, twigs, whatever. He was a persistent little guy as the ball was about three times his size and it was very unwieldy.

We must have spent about fifteen minutes just watching as this amazing little creature kept to his task. He was the epitome of the saying that “the impossible is possible if you keep at it”. The manure ball would slip and roll back a few inches and he’d just start again on his uphill trek.

Fast Forward to Today

Now, the reason this morning’s breakfast table conversation turned to dung beetles is because we were talking about how ants can carry many times their own weight. We told mom about seeing the little dung beetle at work and Mr. MoonCat Red Barn mentioned that he had done some reading on these fascinating little bugs after our trip.

Hubby’s ENTIRE basis for saying that HE is the dung beetle of OUR family is the fact that the males are the ones who do all the work in dung beetle couples. They usually roll up the ball of poop and move it to wherever the female designates while she directs or even HITCHES A RIDE while he’s working!

If this hadn’t hit me as so funny and of course, inappropriate, I might have decided to be offended. But I chose to laugh my butt off at him. (It’s especially significant today as I “requested” that he move around a bunch of furniture yesterday.)

I did some reading myself on dung beetles and was really amazed to learn how beneficial they are to agriculture.  They can be found on every continent except for Antartica! I had already known (from my dad) not to kill any that we found out in the manure pile at the ranch but really didn’t know why.

I’ve since learned that they help keep down the fly population and thus the spread of disease in livestock. They make the manure inhospitable to the fly larvae and maggots. They are a very beneficial part of managing, rejuvenating, and sustaining pastureland. Learn more about them here. You can even find out how to start your own dung beetle farm!

I hope you enjoyed yet another insight into the not so ordinary happenings (and conversations) here at MoonCat Farms/Red Barn Blue Skies.

And just for the record, I did NOT hitch a ride on his back while he was moving furniture – I directed. 

Dung Beetle Toy

 

And here is one of the reasons I decided to bring this post back – LOOK WHAT I FOUND!

Hello Father’s Day present Mr MoonCat/RedBarn/DungBeetle!

And one for the loving wife (ME):

So ladies, do you have your own dung beetle guy in the family?

postheadericon Chickens Fascinate Me Too Stuart

Chickens fascinate me and apparently I’m not the only one. When I was searching for a photo of MADtv’s Michael McDonald portraying Stuart for my goat parkour post, I came across a different photo of him. I had to share it as this one really hits home and says it all…

 

Chickens Fascinate Me at Red Barn Blue Skies

 

That’s really all I have for today. I’m a nerd who really misses MADtv with Stuart and Miss Swan. And chickens fascinate me too. How about you? Do you like Stuart or chickens or both?

postheadericon Greta Does Goat Parkour Like a Jedi

It is never a good sign when you find one of your animals in an unexpected or unwanted place. It is even worse when you can’t figure out how they’ve done it.

 

Goat parkour with Greta at Red Barn Blue Skies

 

Two days ago I finally learned just how Greta the (baby) goat was getting out – she is a master of goat parkour at only 5 weeks old! Or she’s a Jedi – I can’t decide exactly how she rolls, jumps or flies. Whichever way it is, the Force is obviously strong in this little one. Fortunately, just like her mama Nibbles, Greta can be bribed with goat treats and head scratches.

 

Goat Parkour with Greta at redbarnblueskies.com

 

You met Greta and the rest of the goats a few weeks ago. Well, despite everything we “thought” we could do to keep them contained, we failed. We knew we’d have to eventually relocate the bantam chicken coops to the other side of the runs/pens, but Greta forced us to do it a little sooner than planned.

 

Greta started bouncing off one of the chicken wire covered panels with all four feet when she was about two weeks old. We didn’t think anything of it except that it was cute and very acrobatic. That is until she figured out how to use the rebound from the panel to throw herself against the side of the coop and right up on top of it! She obviously saw someone doing the sport of parkour in another life and decided to turn it into to her own brand of goat parkour.

 

Greta the Goat demonstrates goat parkour at Red Barn Blue Skies

 

What Is It?

(People) parkour has its roots in military training exercises. The aim of parkour is to get from one point to another in the quickest and most efficient manner using only your body and elements in the environment such as walls, rocks, rails, etc.  Jumping, rolling, crawling, bouncing, swinging or just about any other movement that can propel you is used in parkour. It is most often seen in more urban settings, but parkour can be practiced anywhere.

 

Goat Parkour

Greta’s goat parkour is definitely not being performed in an urban environment and hopefully isn’t militant in nature. When not being performed with the intent of escape, I think it may be more reminiscent of Stuart from MADtv when he exclaims “Look what I can do!” right before doing something goofy.

 

Goat Parkour post with Stuart from MadTV

 

Practice, Practice, Practice

Greta practices her moves daily in our temporary goat pen using the fence, the coops, her mother, and anything she can bounce a hoof off of. She tries to coerce her twin brother, Groot into joining her, but he’s much more mellow than she is. (It may have to do a bit with a small procedure he underwent recently. More on that later.)

 

Once we determined exactly how she put her moves to use to get OUT of the pen, we decided to do some redecorating. The photos below show Greta and Groot supervising the hubby as he removes the two bantam chicken coops from the area. Hopefully, having one less level to rebound off of and on to will keep Greta’s four little feet mostly on the ground.

 

Groot and Greta Goat supervising coop removal at Red Barn Blue Skies for goat parkour

 

Of course, this doesn’t mean that they can’t crawl into the coop and do chicken impressions.

 

Goat parkour in the Chicken Coop with Groot and Greta at Red Barn Blue Skies

“Bawk, Bawk”

 

postheadericon America’s National Park Week Starts Tomorrow

Once again it’s time to join thousands of other Americans as we celebrate our nation’s heritage for National Park Week. Make a plan to visit one of our country’s most valuable assets – our national parks between April 15-23, 2017.

 

Hiker in Yosemite at Red Barn Blue Skies for National Park Week

 

Every year, the National Park Service partners with the non-profit National Park Foundation to highlight our national parks. This is designed to encourage people to take advantage of special programs and events. With over 400 parks to visit, there is a park close by for everyone to enjoy. Hiking and walking along the thousands of miles of maintained trails are a favorite activity for all ages and abilities.

 

Marmots in Yosemite at Red Barn Blue Skies for National Park Week

National Park Week Schedule

  • April 15-16 – Free Admission Weekend for the 117 parks that normally charge a fee – the other parks are fee-free all year.
  • April 15 – Junior Ranger Day – Kids big and small can have a blast learning about the park and its residents while earning a Junior Ranger badge.
  • April 22-23 – Free Admission Weekend for the 117 parks that normally charge a fee – the other parks are fee-free all year.
  • April 22 – Earth Day just happens to coincide with this weeklong celebration. Be a part of it and join in conservation programs and celebrate our natural world.
  • April 23 – Park Rx Day is celebrating its 2nd anniversary as the idea of parks being a gateway to good health is explored and encouraged.

 

Mirror Lake at Yosemite Red Barn Blue Skies for National Park Week

 

Our National Park System offers a lot of programs and fun activities for the entire family.  The annual National Park Week is just one of the many great offerings to be had. Be sure to check out their calendar or that of your favorite park to find more events coming up. Whether it is watching wildlife or just relaxing in the fresh air, you won’t be disappointed.

 

Bighorn Sheep at Yellowstone for Red Barn Blue Skies National Park Week

 

National Park Week isn’t the only time the parks offer free admission days. Many events such as National Public Lands Day are included.