Between The Ears & Not The Windshield Wipers

Have a case of the Mondays?

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Well, here is a little something to brighten you up a bit.

A little between the ears time from me to you. Nothing like these dun colored ears to put a smile on my face. Even if it was from two days ago.

Or these happy herd of cows, napping together in the shade of a pecan tree.

Is your case of the Mondays cured?

Lito and I went to ride with some friends on Saturday morning during a break in the storms. Lito self loaded like a champ and we had a great ride. It was breezy, not too terribly hot, and it did not rain on us while we rode. All the horses seemed to have as great of a time as we did. We rode for a couple of hours and then gathered around the picnic tables for cold drinks and snacks.

Knowing there was an increased chance for storms in the afternoon, I said my goodbyes and went to load up. Again, Lito self loaded like a champ (cue happy dance) and we hit the road. I called my Pops while I was pulling out to see if there was anything popping up on the radar and to tell him that if I ran into some rain, I was just going to pull over and wait it out.

Here is the interesting part of the story. The night before our ride, my parents and I were driving the truck in the light rain and the driver side windshield wiper decided to fly off while in use! Just plain came undone, hit the windshield, and went flying through the air like a drunk bird. Never to be seen again. Crazy thing.

Anyway, it was a good thing I called. They had just gotten slammed at the farm and the storm was coming our way. His advice was to just stop and wait ten to fifteen minutes while the storm comes my way and passes over before driving back. I found a good spot in the parking lot of a local tavern on top of a hill to park and wait. I should have taken pictures of the storm, but I was just watching and enjoying the show. You know how I am about storms. Lito seemed a little perturbed when it all started, but quickly settled and just rode it out quietly.

The storm was soon over with nothing else developing on the radar so we slowly made our way south toward home. Lito quietly (and dry!) unloaded and was happy to have a little extra meal upon our return.

An exciting weekend nonetheless!

Here is to the next adventure! Is it October yet? I am ready for a week of riding with friends!

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

September 13

I have already told you about September and how it, and the start of fall, get me in a reflective mood. Today is one of those reasons.

The 13th of September will always be a special day and a day I will always remember. A sad day at times, yes of course, but also a special one. A day for red wine and chocolate pie. To remember the happy memories and be grateful. Why do you ask? Because I say so, that is why. It is Mansebo’s day.

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Mansebo was the horse that started it all. Is it still hard? Absolutely. But he is in the best place of all now and free from any pain and suffering. I am forever grateful for him.

This is Mansebo’s song. Every time I hear it, I think of him, and every time I think of him, I hear it.

I can not help but think that it is because of him that we have horses today. It makes me even more grateful for my dun duo.

Speaking of the dun duo…

 

 

Lito and I had a great weekend of riding and he continues to get better and better, heading in the right direction to his regular self.

Both Cheetah and Lito pretended to be race horses on Saturday when I tried to bring them in for the evening, galloping all around the pond pasture multiple times. This video was only the beginning. I did not catch the best and fastest parts. They took turns with who was in the lead, Cheetah talking to Lito the whole time. Quite funny really. After several minutes they decided they were finished and would come in, but only if I came and got them. Naturally, that is what I did and they met me half way, the looks on their faces seeming to say, “gee, that sure was fun!” At least for Lito, the cheeky guy! Cheetah looked a bit happily worn out with her out of shape, grass fat body.

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Have some wine and pie with me today, won’t you? And go love on your horses! Remember the happy times!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Happy Friday

Happy Friday, happy people!

Only one business day between you and the weekend.

YOU can do it!

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Be happy.

Weekends are a beautiful thing. You can clear your head. Recharge your batteries. Remember what is important. Get away from stressful things. If yesterday was any indication, this is desperately needed. All this desk riding is getting to me!

There are many different ways to do this. For some people it is just sleeping in. For others it is taking some quiet time to read a good book. Or go for a walk. Or a drive. Go fishing.

For me, it is getting out in the country with my Darcy dog. Feeling the air. Seeing the light. Breathing in my horses’ scent. This does not always mean riding. My relationship with my horses is not always about riding. Sometimes it is just hanging out and grooming that we need. Sometimes it is just being in their presence doing nothing at all but just being present.

One reason I like to share my time at the farm with you is because of what it means to me. What it does for me. Another reason is because not everyone has the opportunity to experience what being in the country and with horses does for a person. If I can give you just a tiny picture of what it is like and make you feel something positive like what I feel, I feel like I have done something good in this world.

If you have been around here a while, none of the above is news to you.

Remember this?

Or how about this?

Or this, this, or this?

Clearly, I write about this a lot.

This weekend though, I need some solid hours in the saddle and some time crossing things off the to-do list. That ever present list that never goes away or gets shorter.

What does it for you? That recharges your batteries? Makes you feel refreshed and new? Feeds your soul?

Walk in love, dear readers!

On Today’s Episode…

…of the Thursday rando rambles…

Your favorite, I know. It is hitting me hard today. This whole week really.

I am sitting here on my couch watching trash reality television while sipping a cocktail. I have an odd love of bad TV. It is like literal arrested development. I wish Sister K was hear to watch with me. She likes to watch the same shows.

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I wish my horses were closer. I need this.

Or a ride. Or both. The struggle is real over here. I am regretting not riding last weekend.

It has been a long day at work in an oddly long feeling, but technically short week.

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I live close to a high school and I can hear the announcer’s calls on the football game. Takes me back to college.

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There are also a lot of cicadas here where I live. This is not a foreign thing to me, I am used to these bugs. But seriously, there are a large number of them here. Much more than anywhere else I have ever been and they are as loud as the football announcer. It makes for quite the symphony.

I have poison ivy on my right arm. It itches. I do not even really know where or how I got it. Woowee. I do not recommend that one.

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One of the football teams just scored.

Darcy is nestled into her bed being antisocial.

Is it Friday yet?

Anyone else?

No?

Sigh.

All very profound, I know.

Walk in love, dear readers.

The Season Of Fall

It is about that time of year and I am not talking about hurricane season. Although we really need the rain. We almost got some this weekend. Hopefully this week we actually get some.

But back to the season at hand. It is more than just entering the ‘ber months and entering fall. More than baking all the fall things, which I am very excited about. More than family time, which is everything.

It is the season of reflection. Of being grateful and thankful. Remembering those that are no longer with us and also too of those that still are. Cherishing every moment we have with them. Thinking of the future.

It always seems to hit me right at September first. With the start of dove season. College football. The distant promise of cooler temperatures. Finding new recipes for fall baked goods and sides to present at holiday meals. Thinking about Christmas presents and the real reason for the season.

It makes me want to drink red wine while I eat chocolate pie and listen to prayer and gospel songs. They have a healing effect I swear. You should try it some time.

What does fall mean to you? How do you remember those that are no longer with us?

Walk in love, dear readers!

And because I have to, I have a song to share with you.


“All my love is due Him”


Intention

You want to know what is really important? Like really, really important.

Intention.

Not only in life, but also in horsemanship. This is something that I have always known logically and in my heart and it is something I try to actively live. It is all fine and good to say yes, I know this but it is something entirely different to actually feel it and live that truth. Generally speaking, I think I do a pretty good job of doing that, especially on the horsemanship side (which is just another reason why working with horses is good for me…to bring these concepts full circle in my every day life). Some days are better than others, absolutely, but it is something I try to work on and I have told y’all that before.

What is truly amazing to me though is how the horses always seem to find ways to remind me just how important intention and self talk really are and broaden my awareness or perception to a whole new level. As if I did not even have a clue of the concept before.

Has anything like that ever happened to you before?

Anyway, this past weekend was one of those next level awareness weekends.

I went out to the farm on Friday after work and decided to do some mowing. It was too hot to do anything else and the horses were on the other end of the property anyway. Darcy quite literally sat in the shade staring at me like I was crazy. When I decided I had mowed enough (uh, hello itchy skin and watery face. Allergies are a real thing for me now), I went to get cleaned up, make a cocktail, and sit with my Pops for the sunset and dinner.

The moon was bright and full after the sun went down. It was one of those crazy bright moons where you can see anything and everything. I probably could have read a book. It has to be some magical time I swear because cool and amazing things seem to always happen when the moon is like that. Powerful. Remember that time I rode with a friend during a full moon like this one? Or that frigid night riding my favorite polo pony in college?

I was on my way into the house to call it a night and decided to head out to the barn for a bit instead. The next thing I knew, I was out with Lito doing ground work and going over obstacles. No pressure. Just the two of us hanging out going for a walk under the moon. It was the most relaxed he has been in months. I know this may sound silly, but I swear we both thought, “finally.” I gave him a little extra feed under the moon and a thank you pet before going inside.

Saturday morning I decided would be Lito’s morning and Lito’s morning only. I fed him his breakfast where we were the night before. I spent extra time grooming and tacking up. My music playing in the background. We did the same ground work we did the night before and then I read out of my devotional before mounting up. The memories of our full moon night and the words of the devotional dancing in my brain, I made a conscious effort not to jumble my communication. To make the conscious choice and put it into action. To keep my energy and my core low, grounded. To keep my heart and my intention true. To stay positive, connected, and a source of support. I even talked to us both out loud to make sure.

He rewarded me by acting on my every thought. Practically saying, “I got this, let’s go!” We did the same exercises we did on the ground. We did some new ones. We rode out in the pastures. All the while being soft, responsive, and willing. Before I knew it we were both covered in sweat and it was time to quit for the day, but neither of us seemed to be ready to stop.

I do not even think any words can come near to describing the feeling, but just to suffice it to say that this is just another reason horses are such a gift from God.

It was what we both needed. For me to be hit with this AHAmoment yet again to stay present and with the horse. To stay true to yourself and have faith. To have an open heart and clear intentions. To stay positive and think the right thoughts so your actions are right. That is how the horse lives and that is what we should strive for. Both horses, dogs, and people respond better when we do.

Sunday morning I decided to take a sunrise gospel walk to the river with Lito instead of riding. We had not done that in a long time and I wanted to take the time to just be with him and be grateful for Saturday’s experience.

We saw these three cuties scurrying up a pecan tree.

There is always that one!

I feel utterly blessed and grateful.

When I returned Lito to the paddock upon our return, Cheetah walked up to me seemingly saying, “hey mom, is it my turn yet?” So I grabbed her halter and we had a quick bareback ride followed by a hose down before I tacked up Chance for his ride.

And just like that it was time to pack up and head home for the weekend was over.

Quite a big weekend if you ask me!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Somewhere In There

Welp.

You know what they say about when you are busy? Ya, I don’t either, but man, the time sure goes by pretty quick like and then you look back and have no idea how you got so far. That is how it has felt since I got back to town for good at the end of July, after all my gallivanting about. The good thing about that is at some point, it won’t be so hot!

So. I have a new niece! Stubborn thing was not ready to come and was holding out as long as possible. I guess she comes by that honestly. Ha.

We all spent the first half of the week waiting and waiting and waiting. Then, FINALLY, little girl decided to grace us with her presence in the wee hours of Wednesday. I had a conference/expo for work (that we have twice a year…yes, the one where I have spilled coffee on myself in the past) starting that afternoon, so I went up to the hospital for the morning before heading over to the show.

Between the expo and helping my mother with my new niece’s older siblings, there was not much time for anything else. Then I caught some kind of virus on Friday and spent the next twenty four plus hours couch hopping between my parents house and mine.

By Sunday morning I felt well enough to get myself to the farm for a ride. The last six months have been very slow on the riding front and Lito really needs more work to get over this hump and get back to where we were. He is still in this ‘phase’ and I am not the biggest fan. Every day he seems a little better, but this whole process is taking much longer than I expected.

I keep having to remind myself that he is young and we are in no rush. He never did act like a young horse. He skipped that whole bit. And he is allowed to act like a young horse. We have all the time in the world. It is going to take the time it takes and that is up to him. He needs to get his old confidence back. That is very hard for me to admit, that he seems to have lost it, but it is okay to not be okay. He will get it back.

I have started a new thing. I found this devotional specifically for horse people: Unbridled Faith: 100 Devotions From The Horse Farm. (Funny side note, I bought this for myself a while back and then my friend, H, unbeknownst to me, also bought it for me! I just love that.) Anyway. This new thing I have been doing. I have started reading an entry from this book out loud with him before every ride. To get myself in the right mind set, to get centered. To remind myself to keep the faith. I used to keep certain quotes in mind when I first started riding him and I need to get back to that. It kept my intention true and all outside factors away. The horses can really pick up on that.

(This is how hot it has been…nice and sweaty before the ride. Luckily the breeze picked up mid ride and that helped a bunch.)

Anyway, the ride was pretty good overall and you could tell he was trying. That is what matters most. And at the end, everyone was tired and happy.

The good news is, I have nothing on the books but riding in the near future, so eventually we will get there. Slow and steady wins the race and that I know to be true.

Somewhere in there, last week, this little place called AHAmoments celebrated its two year anniversary. That is pretty cool and I have y’all to thank for it! Thanks for coming here and reading (even when I have been MIA…sorry about that), commenting, sticking it out, and coming back!

Walk in love, dear readers!

 

Daily Dose Of Cute

Time for a daily dose of cute, just for you, on this fine Tuesday. I also need distraction. Too much excited anticipation.

I finally had a weekend at the farm with my loves. I felt blessed with the time.

Yawning time.

Nap time.

Sunrise time.

Standing awkwardly for pictures time.

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Deep conversations about life, solving the world’s problems time.

Moving cows time.

CUTE time.

There was also riding time. Not the most exciting rides as they have all been on vacation for over a month. You know, life and that adulting thing. Anyway, just moving our bodies and focusing on the basics is all anyone’s brains could handle, but they were great.

And.

Birthday time. This girl is 5 years old today!

Why, you say, do I need distraction from my excited anticipation??? Well. Oldest sister A is in labor. LABOR. Baby girl is a comin’!

Yikes!

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Walk in love, dear readers!

The French Countryside: La Fin

I last left you after having experienced the best day on the trip so far, riding along the river and enjoying my finds from the local farmer’s market with everyone. The memories of this day will stay with me forever and I could have gone home happy then.

But, I still had a few days left and they were going to be busy ones. They may have been the last days, but they were certainly not the least ones.

After a Friday of eating croissants and baguette with magic butter and resting up (I did eat other foods…), I took a day trip to the coastal town of Pornic on Saturday, Bastille Day, with a few of the other house guests. We stopped in the city of Nantes on the way so I could peruse through a tack store there. I bought some things I did not need, but I was in France, so I bought them. Why not, right? Side note, this city looks to be pretty cool and has many things to do. If you are in the area, it might be worth looking up. Food. Shopping. Entertainment. Close to the coast.

Continuing our journey to Pornic, we took “the scenic route” trying to get out of Nantes as they were already barricading many of the streets for the Bastille Day celebrations. We all had a fleeting thought that we might not be able to leave! Every time we tried to turn,  we could not and our GPS kept telling us to u-turn. We gave up on the GPS and just started to follow the traffic hoping we would end up somewhere where the GPS would recalculate our journey. Eventually, after much honking and swearing and laughing, we did find our way and continued on.

The kids in the car were starting to get hungry at this point and we still had a ways to drive to our destination. One of them had a fascination with trying McDonald’s in France and it seemed like a good plan to get them some food while we held out for a cafe in Pornic. We asked them if it tasted the same as back home and their comment was that it tasted a little funny. We thought nothing of this and continued on.

We pulled into Pornic, found a parking spot, and set off on foot to the busy harbor. It was a hub of activity and there were people all around with the set up for the night’s celebrations and cafes and shops. If we were not so far from the farm, it would have been nice to stay for the fun, and indeed the original plan was to stay for it. However, after much deliberation, we decided it was best to not stay that late and planned for a nice late lunch, look around, go find the beach, and then head back before it got too late.

Lunch at Le Cap Gourmand was wonderful. A couple glasses of prosecco. A goat cheese galette with honey, nuts, and delicately dressed mixed greens. So simple, yet absolutely fabulous. Sitting outside under an umbrella next to the canal. Good company. It was lovely. After our leisurely meal, we walked through some of the shops before grabbing some sorbet at Glacier Pornic, which was also a knockout. Current and lemon. So so good.

After some trial and error on where and what this beach actually was (the non rock cliffs with crashing waves), we found a good parking spot and made our way down. One of the kids mentioned he needed to use the little men’s room, so our first stop before the actual crowded, teeny tiny patch of beach was the public restroom. Or rather, right outside of said public bathroom with Turkish toilets.

Here is where I might should mention that one should not eat McDonald’s in France. But. S*** happens and it indeed happened that day. In spades. That poor mom and kid! They were both troopers in, dare I say it, somebody stop me, a s***ty situation!

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It was character building! That kid took it all in stride is going to be somebody great!

All is well that ends well, as they say. After the McDonald’s episode, the kids swam for a bit in the ocean before we decided it was time for us to cut our losses and head back to the farm early. These adults needed some wine. We would put our feet in the pool and pretend we were on a beach somewhere with less people and more sand and zero McDonald’s.

We had some good laughs on the way home and after we got back.

Sunday, World Cup day,  began with more croissants and more laughs followed by a ride on the Top Girl in the fields to start the day off right.

Then some of us thought it would be great to meet up with a newcomer to the house at  Chateau Des Vaults to try some wines. Wine tasting in France is fun. I liked the wine and the grounds were just beautiful. So lush and green. You can walk around the gardens and then up a hill to see the vines. I highly recommend it. We all bought some bubbley rose to take home.

That would have been a good enough day right there, but France was playing in the final game of the World Cup that afternoon so we loaded up some snacks and headed to a packed park in Chateau Gontier to watch the game on a jumbotron and drink some beer with a bunch of French people. If you do not know, France won and everyone commenced to celebrating in the streets.

On Monday, the newcomer to the house (who we tasted wine with) and I went off to the coastal town of Concale. It is a lovely, quaint town. We went there specifically to go to Epices Roellinger  (a great spice shop I could have spent hours in. There are others around France, but this is THE one) and a bakery called Grain de Vanille. I bought all the things. Seriously, y’all should go here.

After lunch the coast and crepes for dessert, we drove over to see Mont Saint Michel Abbey. I wanted to go in, but we were too late in the day, and to be honest, I was quite tired by that point and we had a long drive back to the farm.

Tuesday was a relaxing last day on the farm. We had a lovely lunch in a nearby town and then I had one last ride on the Top Girl before leaving on Wednesday.

Wednesday was an early and long day. It is a long story, but I missed my train to get to the airport and we had to make the three hour drive to Paris instead…which put me at the airport less than an hour from the scheduled take off. Fortunately, the flight was apparently delayed. I however, did not know this until after I frantically ran through the airport, almost slipping and falling on my behind in the process. I half expected my shoe to break.

When I finally got on the plane and settled, I ordered a cocktail like I needed it more than my next breath.

Always dress for a run through the airport, kids. You just never know what can happen, whether or not you eat McDonald’s! Ha!

Walk in love, dear readers, and I hope you enjoyed coming along on my trip with me! Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.