Aliens

Was it aliens?

I am not so sure, but I do not really have another answer.

So there I was at work yesterday, just working along, like you do. Hoping the afternoon just flies by. My phone starts to ring around 2 PM, well really buzz…but that doesn’t sound as nice, and I look over at the read out and see my mamma’s name.

I answer the phone. Always answer the phone when your mom calls. AHA moment. It is always worth it. I learned this long ago. The sooner you learn it the better. Anyway, back to aliens.

She had received word from someone that was doing some work out at the farm that the cows and horses were not where they were supposed to be and my dad could not be reached.

Uh, OK.

Cue. panic.

Naturally, the image of four horses colicing from eating cattle feed popped into my head. Or wrapped up in wire. Or impaled by fence posts. Or all three at the same time. You just never know. I grabbed my keys and ran out the door without another thought.

I stopped to pick up Darcy on the way in the case I could not get back to her. That hour long drive becomes exponentially longer when there is the possibility of something wrong.

FINALLY I arrive. I discover the majority of the cows two fences past where they are supposed to be, but luckily the horses were safely in their pasture…not colicing on cattle feed. Or wrapped up in wire. Or impaled by fence posts. After taking a minute to thank the Lord and take a breath, I put the horses in the stalls so I could move the cows back and go investigate.

Naturally the cows were looking at me all innocently like they themselves did not know how they got in there nor how to get out. Cows. I tell you.

Luckily for me, all I typically have to do to get the cows to move is open the gate and shake a bag of feed. Luckily for them, they listened and went back to their pasture.

I checked all the gates. They were closed. I checked the fence line of their pasture. No different than when I left Sunday.

I guess I will never know! It is a mystery. It was either aliens or they just wanted that clover really bad. Or my neighbor’s heifer, the naughty one that likes to jump. Definitely not what I expected to be doing yesterday, but then again, that is what animals are good for. Part of me is just waiting for another phone call today or tomorrow to tell me that the cows have learned to fly again. Oh well, any excuse to see the horses. Even if it is in my work clothes. And rainy.

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Absolutely sure she deserves something special since she stayed where she was supposed to.

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Another day in the life. I do not think I will trade it for anything.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Perspective

You know how when you were younger and smaller, innocent and wide eyed, how things appeared big and they stick in your memory that way? Then time goes by and you grow up and see those things again, but somehow they are smaller than you remembered? And you wonder just how in the world you ever thought they were that big?

That happened to me yesterday.

Breakfast in a bed of clover.

So there I was in the cloudy, windy, misty river bottom where the sun apparently does not like to play anymore. I spent the whole morning mucking out the barn and paddock around the barn. With the weather these days, the horses have been spending an exorbitant amount of time in there instead of out in the pasture. I really do not think I have ever scooped so much poop as I have in the last month and I have been riding and caring for horses my whole life. Anyway, that is not the point.

Muddy kisses from Darcy Doolittle. Later she decided to get into and eat a bunch of fish food…as how that went.

So there I was trying to decide what to do next. “I should be riding,” I thought to myself, but I do not like to ride when the ‘shoulds’ show up.

“Shoulds be darned” and I grabbed Cheetah’s bridle. We are going to go play and have fun. I bridled her up and headed to the fence to hop on.

Just then, H called. She was on her way to put in some work at the office. She likes to talk while she drives, as do I. We call it the dialies in our family. Anyway, I decided then and there that I would ride Cheetah for me and I would ride Lito next for her because she could not ride that day. She has not been able to ride in a while because of work. AHA moment. Always ride when you can. Life is too short and you never know when you won’t be able to and there are plenty of people who can not.

I stuck my phone in my pocket and talked to her on speaker phone for my whole lovely ride. Cheetah was lazy and behind my leg. Dare I say sluggish, which is somewhat of a nice change of pace. Then the sun showed up and I almost didn’t know what to do with myself.

For Lito, I decided to saddle up and ride my neighbor’s big pasture behind the barn.

I had not ridden that pasture in years. I used to ride it all the time on Fresca, my little palomino mare. She was quick, fast, and fun and I loved her. She had the best little jog and I could do anything on her. She was the best horse to grow up on. We rode all over the place bareback, nothing between me and her, feeling every thought. We had some amazing times, that mare and me. Whenever we would ride the pasture behind the barn, we would ride down to the river first and loop around to the clear frontage to have a look down the river and see if anyone was on the beach. Then we would continue up river and follow the tree line towards the big hill.


The hill was our favorite. The two track dirt road lazily meanders around to the low spot with rusty culvert before it goes straight up the hill to the little white church across the fence. The culvert was the starting gate in our games. We had different games in different places all around the river bottom, but here at the hill in the big pasture behind the barn, it was a race and she was the best race horse of the day.

Calm as could be, Fresca would walk up to the culvert as if neither of us had a plan to gallop to the top wearing red and white silks. As if we didn’t do it practically every time we came to the hill. An onlooker would not know what was about to happen, but the ones in the grandstand knew. Then, the bell would ring and in an instant, we would take off and fly to the top faster than all the greats.

Once at the top, we would come to a stop right by the church and listen to the church goers sing. I thought it was so cool that you could hear them sing when they were inside. By about that time I would start to feel hungry for breakfast so we would turn and head down the hill, cross the bog, and make our way back home where my mother was making pancakes.


Lito and I pushed our way through the overgrowth at the gate and then made our way down to the river. I will conveniently leave out the part where a crazy, lone cow chased followed us for a bit, so we got in some extra trotting before we got to the look out. After marveling at how the river bottom has changed since the two floods before Hurricane Harvey and then after Harvey, we tracked up river along the tree line towards the hill.

I was looking forward to a good lope up the hill for old time’s sake. I remember it being a bigger hill as hills go down here. At least big enough to lope for a bit. You know, feel the wind in your pony tail, or something like that. I had to laugh when the culvert at the base of the hill came into view. The big hill, in all its glory, looking back at me. I realized how small the hill actually is. Maybe ten strides long. Laughing, we went for a big trot up the hill instead. Being a Saturday, there were no church goers to listen to, so we turned and walked back. Half way there, the sun went behind the clouds, the wind picked up, and a few drops fell from the sky, but that didn’t dampen our spirits.

Funny how you remember things as a kid. I guess it is all just a matter of perspective. Back then I was little and more imaginative. Fresca was little. Today I am grown and Lito is quite a bit taller than ol’ Fresca. I think I will remember that hill as a big hill.

When the fog finally burned off this morning, it turned into a beautiful day. Cheetah and I had another ride in the pond pasture.

Now I am back at home. I did a very adult thing and sacrificed my day off tomorrow to do adult things instead of staying at the farm. I mean, look at those faces. So hard to leave them!

Naturally I did another very adult thing and procrastinated some of those things to clean and do laundry all afternoon and evening. Nothing like cleaning and laundry to procrastinate. Makes you feel like you got so much accomplished (which you did, so that is something) and takes enough time to keep you from doing what you need to do.

Looks like it will be a late night! Oh well!

Walk in love, dear readers, tomorrow is a new day!

Valentine

Valentine’s Day has always been interesting to me. All the hype and minutiae. Seems to have lost the point if you ask me. What is that? You didn’t ask me? Oh well.

Some people think of cards. Some people think of red roses and chocolate covered strawberries. Some people think of the lack of a valentine like it means something. Some love it and some dislike it.

Me, I can not help but think of this song when I think of Valentine’s Day.

Funny, this song makes me laugh.

Side note, Saint Francis, patron saint of the animals, is the best. My family all seems to be drawn to him and has statues and figurines placed around our houses. Cheetah, Lito, and Darcy have all attended pet blessings at the church. I need to go and find those photos. Anyway.

Valentine’s Day.

I read something very interesting yesterday and I would like to share it with you.

Read it and let that sink in. Stir it around in your pot of thoughts, I dare you.

I have conveniently included the link again! CLICK HERE!

Last year I said I would be your Valentine.

And this year I offer the same.

Thank you, dear readers for being you, and being here. You are not alone. You are worthy. I am so grateful for each of you. You have made such a difference in my life.

Walk in love. Happy Valentine’s Day. Make it a great day!

Conjure Up Some Sunshine

Some days are like this…

Or lately, most days are like this.

And you just have to make the best of it. Conjure up your own rays of sunshine.

Most everywhere is too slick to do much ridden work faster than a walk or do much more than straight lines. So we plod through puddles pretending we are kids in rain boots. Well I am a kid in rain boots. Just enjoying what little time we get together. There is so much rain on the forecast, I just have to laugh and be grateful. I may not be able to get much riding done, which is unfortunate because I am riding in a clinic in about a month, but we will get some great grass growth whenever the sun decides to come out and play.

It all has me longing for spring and everything it entails.

All of this if you too need help remembering what it is like.

The Sunday blues rode in on that same grey cloud, as unwelcome as ever, pressuring me to do something about it. Just like always.

The end of last week brought some interesting…things. Dare I call them signs. That is a scary thing to admit. That they might be signs. It means you have to do something about it.

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Most people would probably call them coincidences. I do not really believe in coincidences though. I am pretty firmly in the everything happens for a reason camp.

So here I am, or was as it were, over there, lost in the going through the day to day. Dazed and confused on the inside. Deep in this season of waiting. Longest dang season of waiting. Wondering if I missed the signs long ago. Ya, so there I was, and…Bam. Bam. Bam. One thing after the other.

Intriguing.

Guess I need to go investigate and find out. I have no idea where or if they will lead to anything, but I will learn something.

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Walk in love, dear readers!

This Time Of Year

You know, I generally think of Christmas and Thanksgiving as the best time of year. A close second has to be starting about right now.

It is glorious, wonderful, exciting and yet, at the exact same time, tortuous and agonizing.

What is it, you ask, that could possibly be all of those things?

Foaling season, my friends, foaling season.

Every year people all around me are sharing pictures of their cute and furry wobbly bundles of legs. A culmination of a year of waiting and even more planing.

It all brings me such joy! However, it absolutely turns me green. I mean, you might as well call me Irish.

I either want to go back to Lito being born or breed my Cheetah again!

It makes me crazy and jittery to see all these foals popping out. To see the images of them meeting their dams for the first time and getting to their feet for their first nurse. Exploring the world and figuring out miles of legs.

I all but have to sit on my wallet so I do not go out and book a breeding. Yes, it could be that easy! I already have a couple studs lined out if I am blessed enough to be able to breed again.

Does this all make me certifiable? Probably, but hey, I am more than OK with that.

Alas, until I can do what I call ‘the greatest experiment ever’ again, I will just relive the last one. And you have do that with me too. It is the perfect thing to do while waiting for my work conference to start.

You’re welcome!

Tired of waiting already at 9 months…

11 months…any day now!

The grand arrival!

The rest is history!

Take me back!

Sigh. Time to get back to reality.

Have a great day, dear readers, and walk in love!

Waffling

On Monday I dropped my phone, again, and rendered it basically useless. It was time for a new one anyway.

So, yesterday, I went out during my lunch hour to get a new phone. It took longer than an hour if you want to know. The sales attendant and the phone itself made me feel dumb. I also had zero contacts or settings because the man told me I could not have them. “I do not understand, that has never been an issue before. I have never had to pay to access my information. I have always walked out of here with a fully functioning, loaded phone.” I am sorry, the man said with a chuckle, there is no other way. You have to be on the cloud and pay for space. There is no other way. He shook his head at me. Then he kept trying to sell me stuff I do not need. Rude. I was bewildered.

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I spent an exorbitant amount of time trying to set up a phone that would not let me log into anything or do anything. Angry, I reset the phone and started the set up from the beginning. I logged in and, like a gift, there was all of my information. So much for that guy at the store. Maybe I should quit my day job? No, just kidding.

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Then I went to play dominoes with some friends after work and all was well with the world.

Today is Wednesday and I am hungry. This fasting thing is hard work! Brings a whold new meaning and feeling to intentional prayer.

When I am hungry, I get even more random than normal, if that was even possible. Which I am sure you can tell if you have read this far.

My research thesis professor in college, a Scotsman, used to tell me to stop waffling in my writing. Just get to it and say it and move on to the next point. Well I can waffle all I want to now. Take that. Aren’t you glad?

Speaking of waffles, I love waffles. And bacon. And maple syrup. And basically anything you can put maple syrup on.

Anyone want to go grocery shopping?

This is going to be a long day!

I have not taken any pictures in practically 2 weeks. Which is odd. I rode Lito on Saturday with a trail riding group that I am in. It was cold and wet, but it was a pretty good day. Lito was a bit jumpy which was odd. I did not have any other horses there and it has been a little while since I have hauled him by himself. I also did not ride him the weekend before because we had family in town for the service. I guess all of that and the weather explains most of his behavior. By the end of the day he was pretty lined out and it was a lovely day, even with the weather. I was still happy with him and glad I got him out in those conditions.

Today it is again cold and wet. Last I checked, it is going to be wet this weekend. It will definitely be muddy! We shall see if I can get some riding in. We all need it!

Come on Friday! And spring!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Music Monday

Hey there! Long time no chat. Remember me?

Today is a Music Monday kind of day.

Well really every day is a music kind of day to me, but I have a special song to share with you today.

Written about the loss of a loved family music man, it is speaking to me today. I think ol’ Geege would approve and be happy with our celebration of his life last week.

A few others for you in honor of our family music man. Because who doesn’t like to get a little teary on a Monday?!

I know I do.

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Just a glutton for punishment I am.

It was at about this time, when this song was ‘sung’ by all of us, in the memorial service that I lost it. I say ‘sung’ because I could not do it. I was not prepared to sing this at the beginning. I was hanging my hat on it being at the end. It was about downhill from there for me.

Then there was a medley of these greats.

And then this one at the close. I mean lawd. Bowl me over twice.

For the full effect, here is the actual medley. This is my Aunt’s Sister. If only I could sing  Even if I could, I would not be able to keep it together.

I mean, does that get you like me?

Oh boy was I tired after all that. And then getting sick again.

It is crazy how you listen to all of these songs a million times and then bam, they all have  a new memory and meaning.

Music is so great that way. How it attaches itself to you and intertwines with certain memories and feelings. Like the stitches on the fabric of your clothes or the fibers of your being. How it brings us all together and takes down the barriers. Makes you feel and floods you with emotion.

Know what I mean? No? Oh well.

Walk in love, dear readers.

 

 

 

Tribute

Get your sunglasses out. I have started and stopped about ten times and still do not quite know how to start it.

A great man went to his Heavenly home on Monday. My Grandmother’s Husband since she was 19. My Mother’s Father. My Grandfather. Although, he would get mad at us if we called him any such thing. Made him appear old he would say. Gee Gee for George. Everyone, family and friends, called him that. I learned this week that there are people that did not even know his name was George. Gee Gee is his name.

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Mere words do not do him justice. How does one pay tribute to such a being. You had to know him or know someone who knew him. Larger than life he was, and he knew how to live every second of it and fill it with music and dancing, tequila (it makes you smart he would always say, but he had plenty of smarts all on his own), family, the outdoors, and of course horses. Lots and lots of horses and horse stories.

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That dapper man there, sitting in the middle next to my Grandmother, wearing a tux. We have a big family, and this is not even all of them!

I still can not write this without tears in my eyes. Which is less than convenient with a face of makeup. Go me for being an adult and putting my face on.

The tears are represented by many emotions. Sadness, of course, is very present. The realness and suddenness of it (sudden as in one day there and the next not), sure. It really was not that sudden. The thoughts of looking to the future and visualizing what it looks like and feels like. Him not being there (how about a punch in the gut to say that?). At the same time, the blessing and relief. How strange it feels to feel and write that.

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A moment I captured close to the time he passed. I had a funny feeling at the time and did not know why. A few minutes later my sister called me.

When my sister first called I had a feeling it was coming. I did not know quite how to act when she told me. I did not cry or have much to say, it just was. It seems most of us feel that way. I suppose that is the blessing and relief of it. That he is now whole and complete, making music again.

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He was 92 years old. We went a few years thinking any day was going to be his homecoming, but, he continued to defy the odds. It was still a shock when it actually happened. On Monday, January 22, 2018 he went peacefully with a smile on his face and a full belly. What a blessing that is! To live his whole life happy and to go peacefully. Even with the years of dementia (that he was even able to hide for many years in the beginning), he was happy through it all and always knew the love of his life.

I have lived my whole life, of 29 years, with two full sets of grandparents. How many people do you know that can say that??? I have discovered not many people can. When people would hear that I have 2 full sets of grandparents still alive, they would look at me in wonder and astonishment. I have stopped being surprised at people’s looks. There are nine of us Grandchildren (non including the spouses) that could claim that.

I could go on and on about him. How smart and passionate he was. How he loved music and could sing and play multiple instruments. How he made records and sang with the mariachi bands at the Mexican restaurants. How they would marvel how well he knew their music. How he helped my mom with her math homework after coming home late from work. How I see him in his younger brother, 16 years his junior. How he loved his dogs and the outdoors and to fish and hunt. How he stamped all of us in a unique way.

My stamp was the horses and music, but mainly the horses. Entirely different than that of my Grandmother, the ultimate horsewoman.

I would sit with him for hours and listen to his stories about horses past. He was generally a quiet man, letting everyone else do the talking. An easy thing to do with our family. There was never enough air in the room and being in our presence was commonly compared to watching a tennis match. But what I loved most was when he would get to talking about his horses, even my Grandmother would sit silently staring at him, completely captivated.

I remember the last time they came to the farm. My Grandmother, naturally, was drawn by Ike and my Lito, wanting to talk about them and how they rode. Gee Gee on the other hand, with not much of his memory left, took one look at Chance and said, “now that is a Quarter Horse. I like this horse. You need to flush his eye.” I guess he liked the look of him! His eye lid was irritated and swollen at the time. I had already flushed it.

“Now that horse comes out half cocked, so you better ride him down and work him out of it first,” he would say about Chato, the last horse he had. He was a little feed lot horse and would politely slow down to a halt every time my phone would ring.

My Mom would always tell me how Gee Gee would ride every horse first before any of the kids hopped on, just to make sure their heads were on straight. Something I have always done because of that.

He once hauled a horse in a trailer with a faulty floor. The thought gives me nightmares. He crawled in the loaded trailer and fixed the floor mid route because the man said the horse would be fine to do it.

Consequently, I still can not find pictures of the two more prominent horses in his life. Jenny and Rowdy Dexter. Or of him taking my Mom and Aunt and Uncle riding. Jenny was the young filly he kept at the local stables where he met my Grandmother. She kept her horse at the same barn. My kind of love story. I will never be able to tell a story like him. I am not going to give up on finding them.

To tell some of the stories, I have these to share.

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I believe this was Jenny’s sire.

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Time to hit play on the music and stir our tequila drinks as we remember and celebrate this great man. I do believe anything less than a party he would not stand for.

This has been a slow blogging month for me, but I am still here chugging along. There is still much to see to yet, but I am not going anywhere.

Life is an interesting thing, as you have heard me say multiple times. How everything comes full circle. With death there too also comes life. Gee Gee will live on in another member of our family, due to arrive in August. I get to be an Aunt again!

Till next time, dear readers, walk in love!

Compliment

I have to tell you about the greatest compliment for a girl like me.

But we will get to that in a minute.

If you want to know what I have been up to for the past I do not know how many days, please read this post from a couple of weeks ago. Just rinse and repeat that. That is the synopsis of what I have been up to. However, you can add more to the ice and broken manure spreader. Basically nobody could leave their house because there was so much ice on the roads. There was ice in places I have no idea how there could be ice.

I fixed said manure spreader (well, by me, I mean my cousin…good thing I can repeat that…) only for it to break again in the same place and on the other side for a double poo whammy! Oh well, we will try again with hopefully a more permanent repair.

I am still blaming the Canadians. Or no, wait, the Alaskans? Whoever is to blame for this crazy polar vortex winter that leaves us with several days of freezing temperatures and co-mingled wintry precipitation, I still blame them. Lovingly, of course.

When the sun finally broke and the temp rose to a balmy 37 deg F, nobody knew whether to play or nap. All the above was indeed accomplished.

All horses were supremely over the cold.

Cold sunrises sure are pretty though…even with little ice shark teeth daggers.

There was ice everywhere! I saw somewhere that the neighboring county shut down ALL roads due to the ice. That big, thick hunk of ice that I am holding there? That was a thinner piece from out of the water trough. The ground was actually frozen. I have never seen that.

Nature did its usual and wonderful thing, never ceasing to amaze. We had a calf born on the coldest night. A big calf at that.

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This curious heifer and her partner in crime seemed to stalk my every move, just waiting to be fed.

Lito had a tail feather to shake and Chance was the perfect partner.

After all that silliness, it was time for a nap in the sun in one of the few dry, ice free patches of grass.

Same relationship, just a different sized baby. They can always seem to fit themselves in any sized space to nap together.

I just love how they breathe when they are sleeping.

Anyway, enough of that ice business. We are ramping back up to normal seasonal temps. They say we will be above 70 deg F by tomorrow. Got to love Texas. I much prefer a short sleeve January.

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Now, let us get back to that compliment thing.

This past weekend, you know before all the icecapades (except it was very cold), my Mom’s Aunt, Uncle, Cousin J, and J’s daughter, R, came out the the farm. R is reportedly horse crazy and only has really ridden at summer camp. J wanted to surprise her with a horse filled weekend.

Well, what could be more fun for me? Certainly nothing. Ask and you shall receive.

We started out with R on Chance and me on Cheetah in the arena first. Then the plan being, after they got to know each other and I got a feel for her skill level, we would head out to the pastures.

I quickly discovered she could competently, and balanced, tell ol’ Chance where to go and what to do…and work him through his tests. Needless to say, we did not stay in the arena very long and went out to take a tour of the farm.

The thought occurred to me that she could likely ride my Cheetah in the arena. When we got back, I asked her if she would like to. You can guess her answer.

And you want to know what?

She rode that mare all around trotting and cantering like a pro. She a had a little bit of trouble with Cheetah’s bigger movement, but she stayed balanced and relaxed the whole time.

Y’all. I died.

Every time R would ask Cheetah to do something, she did. Go faster, she did. Rate back, she did. I taught her about the left and right lead and how to ask. She asked, and Cheetah picked each lead right up like a dang packer.

I had to make them stop and call it a day so the spell wouldn’t break.

I thought to myself, that is a dang good mare. Of course I knew this already, but seeing the looks on both of their faces…so happy and content. What dreams are made of.

Watching her ride my horse, a horse that I trained for myself, was and is the greatest compliment in the whole world. She is not all that easy of a horse to ride some days. She is quick and hot and can be quite strong. She is often not the biggest fan of walking. But I could tell that this would be good. She was quite serene and I knew she knew what was expected of her, and not just because she kept looking at me as if to make sure she was.

Then we stuffed her full of treats and braided every horse’s mane. It was like watching my nine year old self.

J, that girl needs more horse in her life!

Walk in love to share the love, dear readers!

Love Fest

You know what?

I love waking up early to feed the horses and muck out the barn. A soft nuzzle from a velvet muzzle and a warm puff of grassy breath. The sounds of content munching. It is the right way to wake up in my opinion. I get to see things like this…

Pretty, right?!

I love coming back inside and enjoying a hot cup of coffee with my dog at my feet while I watch the rest of the day wake up. A cup of coffee that I admittedly do not need after a morning like this. I am bright and awake.

This is where you find me right now. Sitting with my coffee after feeding. Except Darcy is with her cousin dogs and not at my feet.

I also love seat warmers in cars. Whoever invented those is a genius. I have not turned mine off in a very long time. So much cold!

I love wool socks. See reason above. And that we are one day closer to spring. I know, I know. Winter is much harder in other places, but man, I would venture to say that this is the coldest winter we have had in a long time.

Now I am going to tell you something else I love that you probably already knew. I love this horse! He blows me away. Sometimes I just do not know how he went from a foal to this…

Loping bareback after not being ridden in a couple weeks because of winter weather and Christmas festivities. He is such a fun and chill dude. I could really just go on and on, but the cows are mooing at me. I must go throw more hay. The joys of being the feed lady.

My last thought is this. My AHA moment. Think about what you love today and not what you think you hate. Keep that festering disease away. Life is hard enough without that.

Walk in love, dear readers!