Elemental

Earth, air, water, and fire. 

And the Oxford comma. Ha! Hey, I’ve got jokes today! 

No, for real. 

Something so Elemental as to embody all four of those concepts. More than just words. They are senses. Images. Feelings. Emotions. All in themselves. 

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. God’s paintings twice a day, every day, no matter where you are. Both at the beginning and the end. Of everything. Yet different every day. New. 

Seeing and smelling the earth, feeling the air across your skin as you lope your horse around, praying for those clouds to produce some rain (at least where we are, they have had more rain than us!), and having your soul set on fire. 

Blessed and grateful. 

The reflection of the sunset on the eastern sky Saturday evening with horses and friends. Clearly no better at focusing for photos than I’m sure we were as kids…






Please take a moment to enjoy Lito’s expressions. Seriously, that horse. I just can not contain myself.

Sorry. Where was I? Right.

Sunrise progression Sunday morning. I told you God likes Sundays to be foggy…



Two things that inspire me most next to my horses and my dog. 

Have you caught a sunrise or a sunset recently? Share if you have! If you have not, do yourself a favor and watch one soon. 

Walk in love, dear readers!

Daily Dose Of Cute.

Do you know what day it is?

Monday. Ha! You’ve got jokes, huh? You’re funny. Yes, it is Monday, but it is also Darcy’s 4th birthday!

My how time flies. I can not imagine my life without this girl. She brings so much love, light, and positivity in to my life. If you don’t know her story, well, click here.

Enjoy today’s special edition of DDOC.

Go have a great and happy Monday!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Anniversaries

I love how clean everything looks and feels after rain. The air is a little drier, softer, cooler. The sun is not so oppressive. The grass appears to green up instantly. That might be my favorite part, the almost instance change in the foliage. It is amazing to me. Almost as amazing as how quickly it gets back to the way it was before, miserably HOT. The sun seemingly glaring at me, right in the face. The cool clean has evaporated since I began to pen this post, or key it, but that just does not sound as fun.

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Anyway, it gets me thinking on fall and my favorite time of year. The holidays. I know we still have many HOT days (more like weeks and closer to months, really) left ahead of us in this part of the world, but I can not help it. It means cooler evenings. Sweaters (eventually anyway). Fires in the pit. Fuzzy horses. Foggy breath. Christmas music. Food and baking. Family and friends. The season of thanks and giving. The reason for the season and this beautiful life we live here on earth with all of God’s handiwork.

It also gets me thinking on difficult things. Things of the not so distant past. Anniversaries all the same. Anniversaries typically get me thinking of happy memories. Like Weddings. Birthdays. Big occasions. But. They are not always happy things, are they? Such dichotomy within a word, no?

A happy anniversary comes up in a few days. One year since the begging of this blog! That is pretty exciting! Something that I thought about for such a long time and coming to fruition, and sticking with it. What an amazing journey it has been so far and I have you, dear readers, to thank for it.

My nephew turns 5 (how did that happen??!!!!) at the end of this month. Very happy anniversary of his life.

September. September will be two years since we had to put our first horse, Mansebo, down. Woof. That was terribly hard. Even still. Especially as I try to mentally prepare myself, if that is even possible, for when that day comes for Apache. That is the hardest part about having animals and being their stewards, but the very most important from my eyes. BUT. September is also my Grandmother’s birthday! So, I focus on that.

Then, there is the big one. The one that has not happened yet. In November. I still do not quite know how to even say it. It feels like a bomb almost every time I do. Sometimes when I say it, I want to duck and look around. The anniversary of my Uncle’s death. Anniversary seems like the wrong word, but that is what it is. I still have moments where it just hits me. Sometimes sad. Sometimes mad. Sometimes still shocked and dumbfounded. At the time and in the moment it was just all so surreal. Like it wasn’t happening. Like it was just all one big, bad, increasingly long nightmare. It has slowly turned into reality. The new normal, as they say. That normal will evolve and change as the days and years go by. We are all changed. What it will bring in November, I do not know. But. I do know this. We will all gather and be together for Thanksgiving. Be in an attitude of thanks and giving. Focus on that. Focus on celebrating life and what we have to be grateful for. Focus on the happy memories. I am going to choose to focus on that. Yes, it will be hard, but it is our call and it is necessary. I want to remember how encouraging and faithful he was. Remember his love for the kids. My deserts I will bake for him.

But just like storms roll across the sky from here to there, the storms in our lives come and go. Both bring what comes after. The blue sky, clean air, and green grass. The Aftermath. Some storms take longer than others and some sure feel like they circle around and back up and just sit there overhead for a while, dumping buckets, but they always roll on, if you let them.

This post may seem premature to some since it is only, um, August. To me it is just a natural evolution and progression and it is what is on my mind. So I decided to share. No, it is not easy and I feel vulnerable, but it is what IT is all about.

Thank you for being here and being you. I appreciate y’all.

How many times can I say ‘it’ in a single post?

Walk in love, dear readers. Have a great Thursday!

 

 

Dry

Hopefully we got some rain at the farm today. It has gotten pretty darn dry. Straight up crunchy. Burnt up, not turnt up. If you catch my drift.

Now, I am not one to complain about it. Especially since that whole drought thing across the state that went on for a good ten years, as drought cycles like to do. We have had a good amount of rain over the last couple of years which has been a pleasant change. Some might argue too much. Not me.

Growing grass for livestock is hard without rain! Just look at that grass. Now, I know it is hard to not admire that majestic giraffe, but look at that brown grass. Granted, that particular spot is a difficult one and is the first to dry up and get bare. It doesn’t ever get really flush with anything. Even those sad little weeds look tired. All that seemingly green back there in the background is a different kind of grass.


The point is, we are praying for rain over here!

Makes it hard to get chores done. Like fix broken water lines…Something I do not like doing and am not really all that good at. Well, I tried to fix it Sunday. I found a break that was easy to fix, but I had a suspicion that it was broken somewhere else too. Well I went to gather the PVC premier and cement so I could fix it where I knew it was broken and see if that would do the job. Naturally, I could not get either of them open (please send all eligible men my way that are good at opening these, or better yet, that are good at fixing water lines so I do not have to. I am good at giving moral support! Just kidding. I think.).

Great. OK. No worries. I will go get some more, it won’t take long. I even sprung for the cleaner. The cashier even gave me a pitiful look at my having to do this on a Sunday. I get back and get it glued back together. While I wait the thirty minutes for it to set, I went to go pack up and clean the house. The thirty minutes ran out, I turned the water back on, and…what do you know…it did not fix it. It is broken somewhere else and I do not know where. I guess we will have to go fishing in the pond, it seems the only logical place…Luckily we have a pond so the situation is not too terribly dire! Except that pasture could use some rest…enough on that though because it is bringing me down.

The dun duo never brings me down though! They are more than carrying on despite the summer doldrums.

I rode my Lito man yesterday morning and he was pretty darn good. A little flamboyant and giraffe like at times (which, too bad there is not any photo or video evidence of that), but he is making progress. He is solidly forward and consistent. Well, he has been for a while now. Anyway, we have started focusing more on straightness and separating his body parts, learning how to move them independently. Lifting his shoulders. Quick learner, he is, and I could not be happier with him. Plans are to take him over to H’s house with R and Ronan for an overnight. Looking forward to good times.

On Saturday I rode Cheetah with a friend and had a red letter day. Side note, the place was actually booked. I usually check the calendar before hauling, but this time I did not like a knucklehead. I showed up at 7 AM, because you know…heat…and realized we might be out of luck. Saturday was our day though and they were gracious and told us where we could ride and be out of the way. We were and are extremely grateful. They didn’t have to do that, but they did. I made a point to send a thank you today. AHAmoment. Tell people when you appreciate something and why!

My friend, T, was running late so we worked in the arena for a while and I put Cheetah through her paces. It has been a while since we have done ‘real work’ and man was she great. Just the right kind of forward. Very adjustable, and on the aids. Really, she did not put a hoof wrong. It felt like we could have gone out and done any class at a horse show and won. When T arrived we rode out for about two hours. Just walking and talking. Great therapy. There is a new obstacle course there and we went through a few of the questions before heading back. I just love this mare! Seriously.

Saturday evening offered up an awesome sunset and the cows were rather docile and friendly…

Having computer problems at work today…Can I go fix the water line now?

Happy Monday!

Walk in love, dear readers!

 

 

Speaking Of…

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I have seen this pop up a few times and then my Aunt M shared it with me yesterday. So, naturally. I am sharing it with you! Hard not to since I was just talking about being present yesterday.

This speaks to my anxious self always worrying about the future.

So.

Your AHAmoment today brought to you by Lao Tzu and my Aunt M.

Walk in love, dear readers. Have a great Friday and be present!

Simple Happiness.

I was talking with a couple friends yesterday over the email, all within the same conversation about people and wardrobes. I love email conversations during the day. Makes it more exciting and entertaining. It also means I get to keep up with people I don’t get to see all that often. Makes it feel like we live closer together.

Anyway, we were discussing our trail ride vacation coming up this fall and H said something about how animals, horses specifically in this instance, are simple and that it doesn’t take much to make them happy.

No. No it does not. AHAmoment right there. A lesson for all of us hidden (not very well hidden!) in there for sure.

Truer words have never been spoken.

What does it take to make you happy?

Every day I look at how happy my dog is at all times and what it is that makes her so. Not stuff. Her life is compiled of moments and experiences, always positive, always present. She is fed. She is healthy. She gets to be outside. She gets to run and play. I would like to think that I am part of that. That is IT.

Same with the horses.

Horses do such a great job of bringing us down a peg, in many ways. When Lito had his tendon episode, I got so wrapped up in the worry and getting the next exercise done, that I was forgetting to enjoy my time with him. When the realization hit me, it was like a ton of bricks and I could see it written all over him. He was not experiencing joy either. I was at a loss until Lito gave me an idea. Hand grazing. Hello. How could I not think of this? It is one of my favorite things to do. I was so focused on what was next and not the right now, I couldn’t even see it. I vowed right then and there to hand graze him both before and after our rides in addition to a longer grooming session. Words can not express the difference this had not only on his demeanor, but my experience as well. Something as simple as that can have exponential effects. I swear it made the birds sing. No, just kidding. They were already singing, I just heard them again.

 


People can get so wrapped up in the next thing, always looking to the future (hello, my favorite hobby. So much energy in something I don’t know) and what is the next thing that will make us happy or get us something or get us to the next step. Not focusing on seeing the positive and being happy now. In the moment, which all together make up a life. And look. We all know I struggle with this as much or more as the next person. Especially lately it seems. But. Just like a bad ride doesn’t make the next, a few bad days or a tough season of life, doesn’t make a life. It is setting us up and getting us ready for the next, whatever it is, whenever it is.

I always want to try and look at life the same way Darcy and my horses do. Keep it simple. Be present and in the moment. Create experiences. Not be driven by things. See the beauty and joy I am surrounded with every day, created by Him. Seeking it. See the grass that grows after the rain. Blooming flowers. The wind. The smell of the rain. Sunrises and sunsets. New life. Happy, healthy animals that give their all to me. Great family and friends. I am fed and healthy. I get to do what I love. I am free and I am loved. What more could I possibly ask for? Who am I? Who are we?!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Keep it simple!

Happy Day

Happy day, dear readers! Happy hump day!

One must read that with a certain determination for cheeryness. Yes that is a word. Because I say so.

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Today is a bit of a post vacation fog. Today. Who am I kidding. All week I have been this way. Foggy, foggy brain. I was finally able to wake up at my normal time, but I am downing two mugs of coffee like they are going to be my last with little effect. I mean. It is not like I traveled to a different country or anything. Just to Colorado. One time zone over.

I am powering through though. That is all one can do, right?! Power through and make it happy. It is a choice! AHAmoment. Make it a happy day. Ride on and add more leg, as it were. Keep casting. Keep knocking. Whatever analogy you want!

Praying for rain over here and waiting for Friday. Riding and chores at the farm in the rain sounds pretty good to break the heat. Bring it on.

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I have been doing a lot of watering since my return.

If the rain holds off (please don’t), I might haul to ride with a friend. We shall see!

I do get to see my ponies today after work! A nice mid week respite, however quick. Farrier is coming tomorrow and I need to get all the horses up for him.

That is about as exciting as a Wednesday can get.

Settle down now! I know you are jealous.

Walk in love, dear readers! Do something fun for yourself today.

Just A Few Of My Favorite Things.

Yes, like The Sound of Music! Don’t worry, I won’t start singing.

After a great vacation, I am ready to get back home and to a few of my favorite things.

In no particular order…

My dog. That was step number one. No hesitation. I stepped off the plane, took a big breath of Texas air (so glad that I didn’t loose my cookies on that turbulent flight), and headed straight to R’s house to retrieve my dog. I was very glad to have a key to her house and not have to wait for her to get off work. Darcy gives the best welcome home and stuck to me like glue for a good 24 hours after I picked her up. Dogs are the greatest. Seriously. Always happy and joyful. I don’t see how people can’t love dogs. Thank you Lord for dogs!

My bed. Oh man. You just can not get the same kind of sleep anywhere other than your own bed. Especially with a crick in your neck. Give me my good pillows and mattress back!

My horses. As soon as I could, I booked it out to the farm with Darcy. It was hotter than you know what on Saturday. Like a cruel joke to come back to the hottest day of summer yet. I drove down to where they were grazing under a pecan tree, checked each of them, and then went back to the house to wait out the heat of the day. Once evening rolled around, and I was good and stir crazy after binge watching trash TV, I walked down to the meadow pasture, past the pond, and called to them. Lito Man started walking in immediately, good guy that he is. The other geldings practically rolling their eyes at him. He came right up to me. I will always love him for that. Cheetah, on the other hand, looked at me from afar at first and went back to grazing. There is nothing like the affection of a mare, I tell you. Then she did the greatest thing. She turned around and started trotting…and then loping up to me. No greater feeling in the world. She will always be my girl. If you look closely at the video, you can see her in the background.


I love how Lito is kind of like a dog. A very, very big dog.

Farm sunsets. Ya, no explanation needed here. The mountains were a great respite for me and have always treated me well, but there is nothing like home. It is where your heart is.


Today has been, well, a Monday. I think I need another vacation.

Walk in love, dear readers! I hope y’all had a great weekend and that your week is getting off to a great start!

 

Just Another Mountain Top View

Ha! Ya right! This view never gets old. 

Today is my last full day here in Colorado. I am slightly bummed about that as you can imagine, but I am ready to see my dog and horses. 

Monday evening I made last minute plans to have breakfast with a friend who also happened to be here. Small world! I walked to meet her while it tried to sprinkle on me. I love to walk on vacation first thing in the morning while most are still asleep, the only other people out being crazy early risers like me and breakfast shift restaurant workers. To see the city wake up. We met at this little French spot with a nice covered patio and had a lovely catch-up. 

We did some shopping and walking throughout the day. There is this pet shop that has been here for years. Many years ago on a family vacation here, we brought our English Setter and bought him a nice collar, leash, and some other things. All of which we still have even though he passed away several years ago. Sister K, Bro-in-law T, and I went to that very pet shop and bought our dogs some new collars. One of these days, Darcy is going to have to come here with me. 

Later we met up with the Parents and had to wait out some rain storms in some shops before heading up to the top of the mountain for a farm to table dinner with music. My friend met us up there and we had a grand time! They shut the gondola down while a storm blew through, but it didn’t matter because we were having fun. 



Yesterday we went to the top of another mountain for a yoga class. I opted out of the yoga because of my neck and chose to find a nice sitting spot to read and enjoy the view. Enjoy I did! You should enjoy it too. Which, let’s be honest, this is what we all care about for this post. The mountain top views. 


Last night was my turn to make dinner. Naturally, I forgot to take photos, so turn your imagination caps on. I made a flatbread pizza with figs, bacon, butternut squash, red onion, goat cheese and mozzarella cheese for the first course. For the second course I stuffed little peppers with spaghetti squash and a meaty red sauce topped with mozzarella and a roasted cherry tomato. Neither dish disappointed! 

Today looks like a red letter day with blue skies and clean air! I am going to get my walking shoes on and go enjoy it! 

Go walk in love, dear readers and have a great day!