Oh the Stories this Bench Could Tell. Now Rejuvenated with a New Look. Come See!

Oh the Stories this Bench Could Tell. Now Rejuvenated with a New Look. Come See!

This bench has seen better days having resided in front of our home for many years.

Oh, the stories it could tell. For a time in our life it was dubbed “bench time.” A time during which John and I devoted our love and energy in helping someone who was going through a transition.

There were many heart-to-heart talks over cups of coffee in the morning. Many early evenings a time for an adult beverage to talk about the days events and hopes for the future.

That relationship John and I had come to treasure would ultimately break down and left us both with broken hearts we thought would never mend.

And though there is a scar in place that will always be there, we’ve moved on. And we have returned to time on the bench, just John and I, stronger than before and often reflecting on how blessed we feel for the life we live.

With my new addiction to chalk painting, the bench is my biggest project so far. I’m so pleased with how it turned out!

A fresh new look that has me now smiling every time I look at it.


Colors I used are from Home Decor FolkArt chalk paint line:  Sheepskin and Lilac.

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Dancing in the Healing Spirit of Horse. My Time with Ollie.

Dancing in the Healing Spirit of Horse. My Time with Ollie.

Me and Ollie. Photo credit: Pam Kachelmeier

It was a cool, but sunny day as I slowly drove down the long gravel driveway, both sides lined with fences and horses.

Friday I took part in a personal intensive with Master Equine Assisted Coach, Pam Kachelmeier.

A personal intensive that included setting an intention, exploring inner blocks, deep breath work, meditation, and working one-on-one with one of Pam’s five horses she has on her ten acres.

I absolutely love the photo above of me and Ollie. It was taken at the end of the day after many emotions swirled through me. When I look at this picture again, I instantly feel a special bond to Ollie that will forever be with me now.

I really think Ollie is saying, “Keep putting your lips to the wind and keep singing your beautiful song!”

Life coaching is something I return to time and again when I need a little extra nudge to keep moving forward.

This time a little more unique in that I would be receiving some “coaching” from Ollie the horse. And as Pam explained to me, the horse I would be working with had already chosen to do so three days before we met.

Photo credit: Pam Kachelmeier

The morning began with a walk down a winding path, surrounded by wooded area to the teepee on Pam’s property. It was time to set my intentions of what I wanted to work through.

After discussion time about what I wanted to let go of and no longer carry the weight of, Pam had me pick two cards from a deck called, Touched by a Horse.

I’ve worked with other oracle decks before so I am familiar with them. Though I normally choose cards at random. But this was different. Pam had me go through the deck one by one and pick out two horse cards that spoke to me. I didn’t think that would be possible as I began laying out many cards.

But after going through the whole deck, scanning the the ones I set aside, I knew almost instantly which two I wanted.

Pam then had me turn them over and read their meanings. I chose to read them out loud because for me, when I do, it seems to sink deeper into my consciousness.

I share here the two cards I chose and their meanings and in the order that I read them.

innocence front

innocence back0002

celebration and release front0002

celebration and release back0002

I’ve believed for a long time that the universe is always supporting us and sending us signs along our life’s journey. Our job is to be open and take them into our being, letting them simmer in our heart, so that they can help provide us the answers we already have within us.

Reading the “Innocence” card, I got choked up, as I knew exactly what it was saying to me – a part of me I’ve been working to let go of since I can remember from long ago, but to also see this part as a gift that makes me who I am.

“Celebration and Release” speaks to me of how I continue to evolve and work on believing in myself and the value I have to offer others.

The true test of standing in ones truth and owning our divine power I would find, would come when I got in the round pen with Ollie.

While at one time I was scared to be around horses because of their size, that is not so much anymore. But I still do get a bit nervous.

Pam and I started by standing in the corral, three of her horses in the pasture. Quill and Dan were lying down, while Ollie was off to the right side in the distance grazing.

She instructed me to just stand in one spot and one of the horses would come to me. The one that did would be the one working with me. It wasn’t long before Ollie wondered over to me.

True confession:  I was hoping it would be Ollie. You see, because last fall during a teepee gathering I attended at Pam’s place, Ollie was part of our closing ceremony which had me riding a wave of emotions that evening.

It was time to put Ollie in the round pen and watch as Pam non-verbally communicated with Ollie having him walk in a circle around the pen, then trotting, and then weaving in and out by her side. I was mesmerized.

And then it was my turn as Pam left the pen and I entered into the center, grounding myself before working with Ollie.

I did as she had done, holding my left hand straight out to the side, wanting Ollie to begin walking the circle.

It was a test in working with the energy of a horse – a way of communicating with them to guide them to what you wish them to do. I looked at Ollie’s butt for about five minutes. He wasn’t moving.

I was frustrated. Pam made it look so easy. But I stuck with it as Pam shared more thoughts with me on where to direct my energy and how to work as one with Ollie.

It seemed like it took a long time, but when it happened I couldn’t believe it. With Ollie beside me and only about a foot in-between us, I began to walk, and he followed. I did a slow trot, and he trotted beside me. I slowed down, he slowed down.

What really helped was Pam reminding me to stay beside Ollie and not get too close to the front of his head. When I did, he would stop taking my lead.

She said, ” Imagine you are in a bubble right next to Ollie as you move together.”  I can’t even describe how my spirit soared when she said that – I got it! I got it!

I was moving in a dance as one with Ollie! It was powerful, profound and emotional.

In thinking about that experience now four days later, I really understand it as standing in all the divine that I AM. I am a part of Ollie, of all animals, of nature, of all the earth, and our creator.

The ancient wisdom of horses have known this all along. And the more I understand, the more I see that they are calling out to all of us to awaken and live fully into who we are meant to be.

Coming June 25th, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be co-facilitating a half day workshop with Pam at her horse farm in Kiel, WI —  Connect with Your True Nature through the Spirit of Horse and SoulCollage®. Space is limited to 14 women. Early Bird special runs through June 18th. To learn more and register click here!

Pam and Barb

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Transforming My Cottage One Chalk Paint Color at a Time

Transforming My Cottage One Chalk Paint Color at a Time

This chalk painting has become one of my joyful creative outlets. I’m obsessed. But don’t worry, I won’t foam at the mouth or become vicious (at least I don’t think so!). This is a good obsession.

My weekend plans of chalk painting two pieces didn’t quite happen. Besides this side table pictured above, I wanted to paint my outside park bench. But the damp, cold, windy weather put a damper on that.

The upside though is I did visit Dear Old Books bookstore and found some real treasures with Tasha Tudor illustrations (another obsession of mine) — plus a sweet, little bird guide book.

But I digress… well, sort of. There are things that make my house, well, what I describe as cottage-y. I find so much joy in my home and having items around me that I love.

The living room end table I painted is subtle, but I do like it better now. I’ve had that table for a long time which I found at a second hand store. I never liked the color, but loved the design.

I painted the main part in the color Oatmeal and the trim in Glacier – both from the Home Decor FolkArt chalk paint line which I get online or at Joann Crafts.

It’s interesting as the oatmeal color, depending on the lighting of the day, can take on a greenish tint. And the trim, as you can see in the photo, looks a light blue on the front side, but the side with the light from the outside shining on it takes on the hue of a light green.

Another fun chalk paint project was making mushrooms out of clay pots. I’ll be putting these in our new landscaping, which should be beginning soon. I can hardly wait!

But just so you know, they are mushrooms in disguise as fairy houses.  But if you believe in faeries like I do, well, you already new that now didn’t you?  <WINK>


Today the sun is shining and temps warming to about 60 degrees. The urge to begin painting my park bench is pulling at me big time. So I must get my work done before I can “play” with the colors of Lilac and Sheepskin. ooooo la la!

P.S:  Speaking of cottage-y, painting, loving home, and creativity (and add to the mix memoir, kitties, and takes place in New England) … I’m giving away a really awesome book this Friday. It’s a new release that I didn’t want to end. It was so enjoyable!  One lucky subscriber to my  Joyful Paws newsletter will win. If you’d like a chance at winning, you must be a newsletter subscriber. You can sign up on the top, right hand side of this page. Note: this is different from my blog posts which go out almost daily. My newsletter comes out twice a month and I’m giving away a different book each month until April 2017!

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