Tie Dye

By now, we have all figured out that my little Darcy dog, so pretty and innocent looking, is quite the opposite at times. She is a scrappy thing. She eats everything, and I mean everything. It is very un-Setter like of her. She is more like, say, a Labrador in that way.

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I have already told you how she found and ate the horse treats on Friday. This is not a new thing and she has done it since she was a puppy. Growing up around horses does not really make this fact a surprise. She actually eats pretty much everything a horse eats. Treats, apples, carrots. Feed. Hay. You name it.

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Then I am sure none of us have forgotten that ill fated time when she ate a bunch of pig drippings and oil along with copious amounts of dirt and gravel. That was not fun for dog or human alike. Luckily, all is well that ends well, as they say.

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There was also the time when she ate a bunch of mushrooms in my parents back yard when she was just 7 weeks old. Knowing this was not the best thing that could happen, I did some research and called the vet. They suggested I pump her stomach with hydrogen peroxide to make her throw up. That seemed a titch, shall we say, extreme for a 7 week old puppy, so I opted for the conservative observation route. She showed no signs of poison, even if she did look a little stoned. I have seen her eating mushrooms other times back there and she gets that same goofy, droopy look about her.

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Then there was the tie die time. I know what you must be thinking and luckily for all involved it did not involve her shredding and eating tie dye fabric from the 90’s after eating mushrooms in the back yard. However, it is just as indelicate.

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She was a little bit older than the mushroom incident by this time and I was kennel training her, so when I would go to campus for class, I would have her stay in the outdoor kennel run.

I spent one particular morning preparing for class, so Darcy was hanging out with my Mom and my Nephew, H. They spent some time coloring using a fun set of four, giant crayons before H’s attention was grabbed by something else and they went to do whatever that was.

Leaving Darcy and the aforementioned giant crayons innocently unattended.

I came downstairs with my backpack, put Darcy in her kennel, and headed to campus for a few hours. Upon my return, I walked into the house to find 4 half chewed, giant crayons on the floor. “That is odd,” I thought to myself and I walked outside to the kennel to let my dog out.

Assuming Darcy was the culprit and not H, I kept a close eye on her. The next day I went about my usual and put her away in her kennel as I headed to campus, leaving my Mom with instructions to keep an eye on her.

I rushed home after my classes were finished and the first thing I saw was red. A very RED pile of poop. My first thought, rationally of course, was, “MY PUPPY IS DYING!!!…Although…She sure looks normal and quite pleased with herself. She would.”
As I got closer and had a better look at the evidence, I saw more. More color.

To my amusement, she quite literally had tie dye poo. Red, green, yellow, and blue. Very much like a shirt I probably would have worn in elementary school. I shook my head, laughed, and let her out to play. Thankfully, that was the end of that episode and I am pleased to report she has not eaten another crayon.

Brings a whole new meaning to tie dye, doesn’t it?

I sure am glad that fashion fad is over.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Keepin’ It Real

I read something the yesterday that was pretty spot on and I wanted to share it with you. You know, because that is something I like to do.

My friend, M, shared this article over on the book of face and, intrigued, I gave it a click. You should do the same and give it a read. It does not matter if you chase cans, jump pretty painted sticks, dance inside a rectangle, or stroll the trails. It does not really have anything to do with horses.


“We show the world a version of ourselves. But rarely the whole picture. We give everyone a glimpse of the bright moments, the triumph, and the fun. But what about the rest of the story? What about the defeat, the heartache, the sin and loss? Where is the real stuff?
Transparency is scary stuff. Baring your soul to the world is not for the weak hearted. But what if we all were a little less guarded?
Does transparency invite judgment and criticism? Probably. But it also invites grace, empathy and compassion.”

This, my dear readers, is about life and what IT is all about. The greatest of all AHAmoments. This one of the main reasons I started this little blog of mine.

Why I share the good, the bad, and the ugly. And, hopefully, sometimes funny. This is why I share my stories and my struggles. My victories after challenges. What I learned after failure so it is not really failure. Why I try to fight the negativity with positivity, the dark with the light. This is why I share the music I do. Why I share the love of my animals.

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To reach just one person and maybe help them. So they know they are not alone and, honestly, so I know the same. That is real, and that is life. So they know that we are all in this together, walking this walk. And dang, it is hard sometimes. Just ask anyone who will tell the truth. We are all more alike than we think.

Life is about speaking the truth and sharing your story. Your testimony and what gets you through. Being brave and vulnerable, even if it does not feel brave because it feels scary.

This article made my day.

Here is what real life for me is like sometimes on Mondays. I woke up yesterday after hitting the snooze button for at least thirty minutes, cussing as I shuffled through the shavings on the floor (that spilled out of the cuff of my jeans on Sunday for the umpteeth time)(I also won’t mention all the burrs scattered all over all the floors. Wherever the Darcy goes, so go the burrs), took my dog out, threw on work clothes (some of which I pulled from the laundry piles covering my bedroom floor….the laundry that I did not do Sunday), and ran out the door to go to work. Stopping to get coffee because I did not have the time, or the milk, to have coffee at home. All the while feeling guilty about all of the above and dreading the list of things that awaited me at my office desk. Some days are just like that. They can’t all be rainbows and roses.

Today I awoke with a new vigor while aiming my arrow, and not just because I now have milk for my coffee. A positive attitude is all it takes, seeing the bright side. To keep praying and keep knocking, putting it out there and believing. Sharing that story. I actually saw a rainbow after the rains at the end of the day yesterday. As if that is not proof positive enough! Is it easy, no, not at first, but just like everything else, it gets easier the more you do it and make it a part of your everyday thinking.


“Revelation 12:11 tells us that we overcome the enemy by the blood of Jesus and our testimony.
Let your real story, your testimony be heard because even when you are living in the thick of it, it could be the very thing that helps someone else overcome.
Be bold and transparent because of the free gift of forgiveness and salvation. None of us have done a darn thing to earn it, so let’s all be a little more real with each other.”

Go on. Go give it a read. And maybe you’ll be inspired to pass it on to the next person.

I am happy to have each of you to share and celebrate with.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Beautiful

“The best and most beautiful things in the world can not be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”
~Helen Keller

Thank you for the inspiration, Sarah!

I got home from work Friday to find this…

Naughty little dog. The Darcy Doolittle found some horse treats that R had somewhere. She decided they were indeed for her. Good thing I have an indoor/outdoor rug. Us traveling horse gals can be hard on the finer, indoor things of life. Tracking in shavings and hay, leaving burrs all over the house, and eating horse treats off the floor. You know, everyday stuff. Have I ever told you about the time Darcy ate crayons? No? Well, that is indeed a story for another day very soon. Anyway.

I wonder why she left the crumbs? A snack for later? Maybe she saved them for R’s cat? How sweet.

Not having time for such nonsense, I shook my head at her as she wagged her tail innocently at me before we loaded up and left. We had good times awaiting us.

I met up with some friends Friday evening who were spending the weekend doing fun horsey things. We talked and laughed, ate and drank, and listened to music. I had a grand time and got back to the farm late.

Which, indeed made waking up early to do all the things a wee bit difficult. After some encouragement from Darcy and Petunia protesting the late breakfast service, I got up and started the day. I rode Chance and Lito between moving sprinklers and taking care of other odds and ends. There are always a ton of odds and ends.

After riding, I loaded Lito a couple of times. You know, practice makes perfect better, better, better. He self loaded twice and was calm and confident so we called it a day. He is back to nickering at me when I come in to unload him which makes me more than happy. I am going to take him and Cheetah to a friend’s in a couple weeks for a fun, low key day.

Kisses for everyone from Lito. The day could not have been more beautiful. Not too hot and not really humid. Scattered clouds providing occasional blocks from the sun. A good breeze.

I had a late lunch after finishing up and went back to my friend’s for another fun evening. Friends and laughter along with a sunset like the above, is great for the soul and you feel it right down in your heart.

Sunday morning greeted us with an unexpected, and most welcome, chance of rain. I quickly packed up, left, and went to the car wash in hopes of ensuring some moisture. Here is hoping it worked! It was practically a gully washer in town!

What beautiful things did y’all get up to this weekend?

Walk in love, dear readers, and make it a great Monday!

It’s A Bird…Birthday Edition

It’s a plane…

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It’s a Cheetah!

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Wait, what? No, no, no.

Not that kind of cheetah.

This kind of Cheetah!

A birthday Cheetah!

My gal pal is 14 today. That is quite a big number considering I started riding her when she was only 4.

We have been through a lot together, and we ain’t nearly through! Name that reference! No? Uh, OK, never mind then. I guess I will just give it to you. You’re in for more, so you might as well just give it a listen. If you knew it already, I would like to be your friend.

If you do not know her story, you should give it a read here.

Her heart is seriously as big as Texas and her lungs, well, they are built to match. She has taken me everywhere and given me the best gifts.

She is special and unlike any other around. I knew it the first time I met her. She already has some gray hairs starting above her eyes and I am not sure if that makes me feel happy or melancholy.

She keeps me on my toes and I bet she will continue to do so until well into her twenties.

She is my gal pal and I would not trade her for anything. Even if she is opinionated and does not like to walk. I only wish I could ride her everyday again, preferably in a cotton field.

Walk in love, dear readers, and for your listening pleasure, I give you this…I just do not understand why people do not sing about line back duns.

 

 

Tuesday’s Track

You know those songs that just never go out of style? That are always applicable? Sometimes they may take you back, but just as often, they speak to you right now in the present because it is honest, raw, and real?

This, my friends, is one of those.

I have probably shared this before, but I do not care. Give it a listen. I just can not get enough of it. Ever. For years I have been listening and it hits me the same every time.

As thought provoking as it is, it is soothing to the very soul.

Always striving for that inner peace. Stillness. Silence. Walking your path. Focusing on Him through it all, no matter what is going on around.

“I been thinkin’ too much about it
What I thought was certain, now I doubt it
So if its over tell me where do I begin
And are there anymore answers left out there in the wind
Sometimes I feel like an Amarillo windmill
Standin’ out in the great wide open alone
And every thought’s a gust of wind
Spins the blades in my mind again
If they spin too much they might break or bend
Aw but if that wild wind ever did lie still
My dreams would turn to rust out in the fields
So I’ll just watch the world fly by me
There’s a silence wellin’ up in side me
Let the rains fall let the winds do what they will
Let it all spin, just let me be still
Sometimes I feel like an Amarillo windmill
Standin’ out in the great wide open alone
And every thought’s a gust of wind
Spins the blades in my mind again
If they spin too much they might break or bend
Aw but if that wild wind ever did lie still
My dreams would turn to rust out in the fields
Yeah but if that wild wind ever did lie still
My dreams would turn to rust out in the fields”
~Mike McClure, The Great Divide

Stir that around in your pot of thoughts, dear readers, and walk in love!

Wee Little Secret

Psst. Hey you.

Yes, you. Over there.

I have a little secret for you.

It is one of those secrets of life.

Are you ready?

The best recipes tend to be found hand written on the inside flap of a well loved and worn cookbook, at the top of the stack in the cabinet.

I know, right? Not within the actual glossy printed pages of the book itself. I just blew your mind, I know.

They can sometimes also be found photo copied with notes on them, tucked inside the aforementioned inside flap, but that is another story for another day.

This, my friends, is where you can find this lovely cheesecake recipe. The book is of faded blue and the binding broken and frayed. The recipe hand written in smudged pencil by my Mamma.

I would bet my mom was on the phone while she traced the title ‘Cheesecake’ and the doodle beneath.

This is the best cheesecake ever, on its own, but I wanted to make it extra special for Mother’s Day. Enter raspberries and chocolate wafer cookies for the crust. I added some raspberry puree to the top layer along with a little unflavored gelatin to compensate for the extra liquid and bam. You get this layered masterpiece.

A little abstract, yes. But that is OK. Homemade desserts are not supposed to be perfect! Farm fresh eggs also made it a little less than white with those dark and bright yolks.

I am not the biggest fan of the gelatin, but I will figure it out eventually.

Now I want more cheesecake.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Mom

Here is to my Mamma.

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Is this not the dreamiest wedding portrait? Seriously. I will never understand why this style for dress and portrait went out of style.

Where would we be without them? I know I certainly do not know where or what I would be.

I know it is not quite yet Mother’s Day, but I celebrate my mom every day.

I celebrate her for who and what she is. I celebrate her for putting up with me. I celebrate her for her selflessness and doing everything for me. I celebrate her for allowing me to be who I am and doing her best to embrace it. I celebrate her for being a part of me.

She is the best mom in the world. That is what I tell people when they ask about her.

She made my school lunch every day and would draw horses on the brown paper bag. She would have my dad drive her in the golf cart, wrapped in a sleeping bag, on cold winter mornings to look for me if I rode longer than normal, just to make sure I was OK. She figured out how we could spend the most amount of time at the farm during the summers so I could ride and be where I loved. On those summer days, we would eat dinner early so we could go for drives on the back roads together. With the windows down, we soaked in the country air and scenery. We were waiting for the heat to lift so I could go for a sunset ride on my palomino mare, Fresca. She allowed me to have riding lessons every day when we were in Mexico so I could learn and get better. Just for the love of it.

I could go on and on.

When I was younger, for Mother’s Day I would braid my mare’s mane with ribbons and flowers to spell out mom on Mother’s Day. I sat on my mare in the barn and colored cards for her before she would wake up, misspellings and all. I would pick wildflowers from the horse pasture and try make them last. They never did.

Nowadays I play her music instead of cards because it speaks to us both, more than any card could. I will bake a dessert I think she will like for dinner because I love to do that for people and she has discerning taste. And every time I swing my leg over my pony, I thank the good Lord above for not only the gift that is them, but the gift that is my mother. For giving me that part of her and for her allowing that to grow within me. Well, not that she really had much choice. It is in our blood.

I would say my dad, sisters, and I would have the family over and plan dinner, but we did that once. It was Dad’s idea. It did not work out so well. Mom is the best at that. This year we will go to Aunt M’s house for Mother’s Day dinner with everyone. That is what makes her happy.

We will be celebrating many mothers this coming Sunday. Grandmothers. Mothers. Aunts. Cousins. Sisters.

I hope I am half the mother she is and they are one day.

What is your favorite memory of the mother in your life?

Walk in love, dear readers!

 

May Day

I talk quite a bit during the Christmas season how it is my favorite time of year. I also seem to recall telling you that foaling season is probably my second favorite time of year. I would not put it past me to be found guilty of claiming yet another time as my second favorite time of year.

However, I was just thinking to myself how the month of May is my second favorite time of year. Although technically, it is still foaling season, just the end of it and now everyone is talking about how their mares are bred for next year. Just more to love.

Anyway.

April can get a little hay wire with the weather, but by the time May gets here, it is getting warm and the air is dry. Just the right kind of warm…as in not too. It is not yet hot and does not remind you of the suffocating humid heat you know, yet refuse to acknowledge, is coming in late summer. It is the kind that feels good and warms you through. Makes you want to take a nap. You can feel the promise of summer. The kind of promise that brings a flood of nostalgia and has you running and playing outside in shorts, with or without shoes. Flocking to the pool with your friends. Riding sweaty horses bareback. I half want to start a count down to the end of school.

Except, that I am not in school any more and do not get a summer off. Sigh. What a way to ruin an image.

Go back to running barefoot.

Everything is green, from the grass to the pecan trees, and the sky is so blue. The love bugs are everywhere and the horses’ coats are slick and shiny, free of the winter fuzzies. They practically glow as they bask in the sun. I swear the sun acts almost like a drug, putting everyone in a trance.

May also has a lot of birthdays in my family. Middle Sister, K. My Niece, L. Friend, R. A certain mare turns 14 soon. Babies and birthdays, man.

Anyway. Yesterday was a great May day and I have some evidence to prove it.

The sky was blue and the grass was green. It was warm. The horses were shiny and love bugs abundant.

I rode Cheetah and she acted like Lito was just weaned. I guess she wants a baby too.

Then I did some ground work and rode Lito man. He decided a little while ago that he was scared of flappy colorful things like tarps and anything of the sort. I still don’t get that because he never was before, but we are working through it. We walked all over with the flappy colorful tarp being flappy and colorful waving around. He was very good and I swear had that moment of, “I don’t remember why we are doing this. That is not scary.”

While riding he preferred to stand there and take a nap in the sun. So, we basically did that.

Petunia cuddled and asked for food.

Lito really enjoyed his feed. Just look at his eyes.

Our neighbor’s dog came over and everyone took a nap.

Remember when I showed you those cactus blossom buds on an equally awesome day? Well, here they are now!

Then Darcy (while covered in burrs…the one downside to this time of year) and I had a patio lunch with margaritas. For me, not her, much to her chagrin.

Margaritas and salsa after a great day with the ponies, reflecting on my many blessings.

What is your favorite part about this time of year?

Walk in love, dear readers!

Perfect

We live in a world where everyone is striving for perfection. Everything has to be perfect. It is hard to even truly define and comprehend the word. Is there any such thing as ‘without fault’ in this human world?

I read something other day about it in fact. Something about being a perfectionist and how it makes you great. Everything about it I loved except that word. Perfect.


“Riding, like life, does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.”

 

AHAmoment. Riding and life is never perfect, but it is always wonderful, magical, and beautiful. This is one thing horses have taught me. There is always a silver lining. There is always something to be learned and something positive to take away. The beauty comes from the imperfect and how everything still forms around it. What you can make out of it. The striving for the goal, to always be better. Fault can always be found, but it is how you look at it.

To me, humans can never be perfect because we do not have the control.

If I go out to ride with the goal of making it perfect, they humble me right down and remind me that is not what it is about. They live in the moment like we should. We try so hard to control everything in our lives. However, if I go out with the goal to enjoy the ride, make it the best we can, and be better than yesterday, they give me their all and nothing can beat it. Perfect does not even come close. I can see and feel them try.

It is the same in life. Chasing perfection forces you to compare yourself to an outside standard or someone else. You will never get where you really want to be that way. The point is the path. The journey. That is what it is about. It is yours and no one else’s. Incomparable. Made and intended for you and only you. Enjoy it. Walk it. Be better than yesterday. Keep refocusing and aiming your arrow. That is where the wonder and beauty of life comes from. Not from trying to control it and make everything perfect to some made up standard.

The beauty of horses and life.

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Stir that around in your pot of thoughts for a bit. Think about it the next time you are about to use that ‘p’ word. It is pretty dang strong! I am guilty of over using it myself!

Walk in love, dear readers!