Your AHA moment today is brought to you by Nick Jamerson.
The first video has a lovely intro to the song in addition to this version just being so good, but if you want to just skip to it, watch the second video.
Take these lyrics with you into this blessed long weekend. Remember those who fought for this life you get to live. For the journey you get to walk. Be grateful for what you know and what you do not know while you learn more and gain more perspective and direction. Be grateful you have the chance to wade in and through while enjoying the green grass. Go get that horse.
This song makes me think of my grandfather, Gee Gee, I am not sure why. “There ain’t no cinches in life except on saddles,” he would say, so go catch up your pony, saddle him up, and make sure your cinch is tight. We have some riding to do! This life is a wild ride!
I can not help but think of the above quote every time I ride in a new place. My critters and I seem to have the same thirst as Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call for seeing new country. Call it adventurous if you will, I do not even know what to call it. Lito especially just eats it up.
This past weekend, Merle, Lito, Petunia and I loaded up and headed to north central Texas to ride some new country. It was a great and relaxing time getting used to the place, despite the big time rain we got Friday night and the resulting winds. On Saturday morning, both Lito and Petunia felt as if they had been bathed, if that tells you anything about the kind of rain we had.
Today, I will just let the pictures speak for themselves, so please click trough the slide show, watch the videos, and enjoy! This is about as close to a wordless Wednesday as you will get from me as I have found out over the years.
I particularly want to point out MVP emotional support donkey, Petunia, who travels with us when we go places without other riders and the insane wildflowers. Honestly, saying the pictures do not do them justice is the biggest understatement. They give blanket of Indian Blankets a whole new meaning. There are even still bluebonnets there!
Your AHA moment for today is brought to you by Augustus McCrae, by way of Larry McMurtry:
“It ain’t dying I’m talking about, it’s living. I doubt it matters where you die, but it matters where you live.” ~spoken by Augustus McCrae”
If you have never read the book or watched the movie, I highly recommend it!
I want to thank each and every one of you for being here. For coming along with us on this journey. For enjoying my pictures. For reading. For commenting. For your sweet email notes. I am grateful for it all!
Go make your bed, get your second cup of coffee, and get after it today!
Walk in love, dear readers!
We are headed back to the water this weekend for some bay fishing in our favorite place! Talk soon!
This is the best kind of rain. This meaning any kind. Bring on La Nina! Do not worry, I am not going to go off on a tangent about weather. Or at least I do not think so! You never know with me.
Anyway, while it is not raining on this fine morning, it was raining the last time we spoke. The past several weeks have brought several inches. In fact, we have been blessed with so much rain that there have been times we could go mud skiing! At times just walking has actually felt just like that. I slipped the other day (I almost fell and I felt like I was a cartoon character, or on an episode of Punked) and my back is still yelling at me. I guess I have just reached that next level of ‘more wise’ age where the body is starting to be a traitor to the mind. Sigh.
However, the pond is full, the grass is growing and everything is colorful, and all the animals are fat and sassy. One of the best times of year before it gets too hot. The rain and life’s schedule has made riding lately an every other week occasion, but it is better than no riding! I have been there and it is no bueno. We have definitely been taking advantage of the riding days we do get, but we will get to that soon. We actually got back from an adventure yesterday!
Ha! Long story short, y’all know me too well. It was a big 24 hours!
I enjoyed a lovely early bird dinner on a patio over the water with this lovely cocktail.
After dinner, Merle and sat on the porch and enjoyed a couple hours of wine and views and music.
Easter morning was of course celebrated sunrise style with a long walk. It was…? I do not even know a word. Y’all help me!
Spot the Merle blur as he hits the beach!
Just a bird dog doing bird dog things.
Merle has only two speeds if you were not aware. Zero and turbo. Turbo requires all four off the floor for the majority. Flying is more fun if you ask him.
I picked up only one shell to take back to leave where I was staying. Growing up, we always loved to collect shells with Pops. Buckets full in total over the years. Some were just for enjoying their beauty. Some were for crafts. Some were to put in a flower bed or a book shelf. Some were for candles. I kind of like to leave them where they are for the most part these days, but this one seemed like it should go back with me, so it did.
Merley was tired after his turbo beach walk and so was I! No naps for me though as we had to soon hit the road for an early Easter dinner. For this celebration, I made a lemon cake. It was delicious, but it was very ugly. A Leaning lemon Tower of Pisa! The oven I used was not level and I had 3 layers. I was too lazy to trim them even, so I slapped together my leaning cake and hoped for the best. However, It was very tasty! So long as it tastes good, that is all that really matters in the end.
We went on our annual ladies group spring ride which I have probably written about in previous years. I did not take many pictures, but we had some big thunder storms the first night. My Lito man seemed not bothered by it when I could finally go out to check on him when it was all over. It was an interesting weekend as he had A LOT of feelings about ducks because of peacocks and wind. Horses, man. He rode well, so there you go.
My Cheetah Girl then got some kind of upper respiratory funk that required 2 times a day antibiotics for two weeks. I will only share one pic and just say, there was an odor, OK? Thankfully, my girl has a kissable muzzle again, and that is all that matters at the end of the day.
While not ideal to be a commuter during those 2 weeks, it was glorious to be able to start and end my days with all my animals.
I have had to do this from time to time for varying reasons and it is always worth it. I may curse the traffic a little (actually no more than I always do), but it is generally bliss. Sunrises. Sunsets. Horses. Cows. Dinner on the porch. Evening rides or drives. Crossing things off the list. Quality time all around.
During these times I get a lot of spring cleaning and organizing done while also completing special projects or needed chores. It always seems easier to get the work done like this during the week even though you only have a few hours every week evening to do them. This way the weekend can just be that, a weekend, and not work.
My special project this go round was trimming up a ‘trail’ in the river bottom to make it easier and more enjoyable to ride. By enjoyable, I mean less ducking, dead ends, and spider webs. I used to always have a loop down there, but it is always changing and evolving and it requires constant maintenance to keep it ‘rideable.’ It had been a while since I had done any work down there, but a few evenings and half of a wet rainy Saturday and we were back in business. I spent my other evenings reacquainting the horses with the bottom as it had been a little while since they had been down there. Lito seems to like it the most out of all of them, but he has also been down there more than anyone else except for his mother, Cheetah.
I also took time every evening after chores and feeding to check the cows. They are all due to have their calves right about now. Two of them dropped their calves at the very beginning of my two week antibiotic administration stay, so I got to see them almost every day for those two weeks. There are more to come soon, but these mammas are holding on tight!
One of my favorite things to do in the evenings has always been to go sit amongst the cows while listening to them graze. I did this when I was younger too. I of course love to listen to the horses eat. Most horse people feel this way. There is just something about the rhythmic sound of the chewing combined with their breathing and the smells and the feeling of contentment. Listening to cows graze at down and dusk is the exact same. The sound of their breathing and their swiping tongue and grass cropping and the chewing. I do not know, it is hard to describe unless you are there to hear it and feel it.
OK, you are right, I also go check on them multiple times a day when I am there during the day too.
We might be tardy on the mowing, but I prefer to just focus on and enjoy the green product of all these rains. Especially when viewed between a pair of dun colored ears.
Check back tomorrow for our adventure with new views between these very dun colored ears! Spoiler alert, there was rain! BUT, it did not spoil the adventure!
It is a rainy morning here on the farm while I enjoy my coffee in the loggia with my Merle wet and lying at my feet. I managed to get the horses fed before it started raining again. Mother Nature truly put on a light show with the heavy rain storms last night and there is a good chance for more today. I am smiling contentedly as I think of the horses and cows on their happy, lush pastures.
Good Friday is turning into another one of those reflective days for me. I mean, it should be a day of reflection already of course with the coming of Easter, but it is even more so for me now. Good Friday was one of my days with H.
I am not sure when it became a tradition of sorts, but it just did. It was one of the days we would regularly try to schedule a ride together. I think it was a day that she always had off from work and she did not feel as bad taking that time away from her husband, other animals, and home. Sometimes we rode with other friends and sometimes it was just the two of us. It just depended on what everyone had going on. In the more recent past, it was usually just the two of us.
I really miss her today and that seems to make me even more grateful that it is raining like this. Like we are not really missing another ride together as the years accumulate.
However, as sad as I feel at the present moment have felt for the past few days at times coming up on today, I have also found myself smiling at the same time. While on the one hand I am not quite sure how I feel about that, the whole dichotomy of feelings I mentioned yesterday, on the other hand I am beyond grateful that I am here. That I am able to look back on all our time together so happily and be glad that we had it. That I can really feel the gratitude that we were even friends at all, even if it feels like her time here on earth and our time together as friends was cut short.
Being in this new and improved and bigger, but hey the same great thing, space of gratitude while I am remembering my H, I am beyond grateful for my life and my time in this earthly world. I know this probably sounds odd and possibly I could have worded it in a better way, but it is true. Case in point being H. We do not know how much time we have and we can not create it or get it back. My point is, this ever repetitive AHA moment, use your time wisely!
I do not know what exactly I set out to write today, but I am grateful. I am grateful that H and I were friends. I am grateful to FEEL. Whatever the feelings may be. Happy, sad, you name it. They are not independent of each other anyway. You can not have one without the other. I am grateful for my grief because I think it makes the joy bigger.
Walk in love, dear readers! Go live your time while you enjoy the memories! Dance in the rain!
I find myself often these days overtaken by an overwhelming feeling of gratitude.
For so many things. Both big and small. So much so that nothing seems small except my very person in this world. Similar to how storms and mountains make me feel. It is almost as if I am a tiny bug observing this big old world. Not in a scary, I’m going to get stepped on way, but in an awestruck way. Everything seems bigger, not just in size, but in feeling and color.
Heck, I am even grateful for feeling grateful. I don’t care if it sounds ridiculous!
Is it just spring? I don’t think so.
I do not think I can even pin point when this newer shape of gratitude and gratefulness really took hold. I try to always be in that space, but this, this is different.
When I wake up in the middle of the night, or really any time before my alarm goes off, I smile and am grateful to have the opportunity for a little more sleep. This particular gratitude goes even further to being grateful for opening my eyes and drawing breath. Or, rather, the other way around? Anyway, you catch my drift, grateful to be alive, but not in a morbid way.
In the ample time I spend driving (always with the driving thoughts), I am often shaken to realize how grateful I am for my life. For what I get to do. Who I get to spend my time with. For my freedom and independence. That I am no longer in school. Ha! No matter how hard being an adult can be, every life stage has its struggles and some more than others, but I would not trade where I am at for anything.
I am as grateful for the rain we are having right now as I am for the blue sky days.
I rode the other day in the rain, twice, and it was glorious. The first time was somewhat on accident. I was attempting to beat the rain.
We started early in the heavy morning fog, as it only can be in the river bottom. Lito was a bit full of himself, so we set to work in the meadow pasture to bring his attention back to center by doing many transitions within and between gaits while doing circles and serpentines around cow pies, trees, and weeds.
I am not sure when it started to rain really. It started so gradually with just the heavy wetness of the fog that morphed into a mist and then to a drizzle. I think I noticed it in the drizzle phase. I figured we were already getting wet and in the middle of things, why not keep going? So we did and so did the rain. It was wonderful really. When it seemed we were on the same page, we were loping down the fence with the rain coming at our faces. Not in a pelting way, but rather just an increasingly wet and beautiful way. It was still falling softly, but it was accumulating in my eyelashes and I was having a hard time seeing! I laughed out loud and wiped my eyes with the fleeting thought that windshield wipers would be nice before giving my boy a pat and coming back down to a walk.
We made our way back up to the barn where Lito seemed content to stand tacked in his stall and have a little nap. Not ready to commit to being finished for the day, I gave him some treats and left him there while I went inside to have some breakfast. My mom was getting ready to give a walk down the road a chance with a rain jacket and being already wet, we decided to accompany her. We then proceeded to get even more wet when it decided to off and on rain for real! It was still wonderful though. None of us seemed to mind. Lito was having as much fun as I was! It made me appreciate my good hat that I was wearing.
I could not stop smiling the rest of the day and I was so very glad that we rode in the rain.
I was hauling Lito to our favorite place to ride with friends a couple weeks ago and I found myself smiling while driving. I had the windows down and could feel the last remnants of nip in the air. The fog was singing and the sun was painting around some deer in the distance. It made me think of one of my favorite songs and how beauty has a sound.
I was reminded of many years ago one of the first times I did this. I was borrowing my Pops‘ truck, hauling to go meet my friends to ride. I even remember I was listening to a Texas song. I can almost remember the exact one. I had to stop and call my parents to thank them. Thank them for everything. That I am able to do all things I do. I thought then as I thought on this day, that I was living the dream.
I am still living that dream. Back to that day a couple weeks ago, I arrived early as I always do. I dearly hate to be rushed, especially when I am with my horses. I took my time and I groomed Lito, much to his chagrin, for over forty minutes. We rode all over that ranch with our friends surrounded by the big, blue Texas sky, green spring grass, and wildflowers. All while being serenaded by the birds, the wind, and sounds of our horses and laughter.
I am finding myself even at times, grateful for my grief. I do not even know how I got here. The dichotomy of those feelings is so strange and foreign. But alas, that I think is a story for another day.
Anyway, I think y’all have had enough of my rambling for today. My AHAmoment for today is to be grateful for every today you have. Again, not in a morbid way, but in a joyous and comforting way. There is more than one way to make a life. There is always enough time for what is important. It if is a broken record that I sound like, it is a pretty dang good record I think.
Walk in love, dear readers. Look up and see the sky, smell and feel the air!
Alas, here we are, at the beginning of another month. Several days in, actually. It feels spring as sprung, as they say. The Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes have arrived. They are the first of the wildflowers to show their colors. The Bluebonnets in particular are only here for a short time, so one must get out and enjoy them while they are here! I have not taken a close look at the Pecan trees though, they are the real tell on if we are here for good. The grass has really turned on which I always love to see. And, the horses are in real shedding mode, another thing I love to see! There is nothing more satisfying or exciting. Especially since we are knocking on Daylight Savings’ door. One week and we are really in business for more riding.
Time is relatively just flying right on by as evidenced by the fact that I have again not written to you in over a month. As I utter those words here I cringe. That is about as riveting a topic as the weather, and yet, here we all are, continuing to discuss them! One may ask why do we keep bringing it up? Is not there anything better to discuss? To be perfectly frank, many times there is not anything better or safer to discuss with darkness and negativity ever at the forefront. However, that very point is the lovely thing about time and weather. Intertwined they are like infinity. One does not exist without the other. They are ever present. They are one of the things that controls us, that brings us back down to the ground, and reminds us that we are only mere humans. As time staunchly marches forward and the globe makes its revolutions, the weather does the same from one season to the next. From one leads to the other. From the dark and cold reflectiveness of winter bursts forth a bright, young spring, beaming with light and life. The light of the sun and moon are always there regardless of the darkness of the clouds. And again, no matter how dark the clouds are, the clouds are what bring the rain, and the rain is what brings the life and the light.
I suppose the point of all of that rambling, the AHA moment, is do not let the darkness get you down. Between the world and the people, there is very little we have control over. People are going to disappoint you. You will disappoint you. Other circumstances will disappoint you. That disappointment, or any other word, is on you. What you do have control over is you. The negativity and darkness are always going to be around, but if you look for the light and focus on it, you will begin to embody it. You will begin to emit it. Try every day to just block out what is not light, what is not truth, what does not bring you joy. Those other things are not for you. It is like that saying, you are what you eat. Garbage in, garbage out. The laws of attraction. What you focus on is what grows. It becomes easy to lessen judgement and follow the golden rule we are all taught as children. To treat others as you wish to be treated. To only say nice things and not just nothing at all.
Stand up as a light against the darkness and fight for the truth. Let it grow like the spring. Take a deep breath.
Last Tuesday I became an Aunt again and then this past Sunday my Grandmother peacefully rose into Heaven. She lived a beautiful and long life of 92 years. Even through the sadness, blessings and joy abound! I am reminded of the ever present circle of life and to never forget your prayers.
My Grandmother’s nickname growing up was Baby. I always thought that was somewhat funny because I was the baby until the greatgrandchildren were born, of which I believe there are 18 in total, but I did not put overly much thought into it for a long time. Now when I do think of it, she did always seem small to me and in more than just physical stature. She had very small wrists and fingers that Sister K got. Her rings barely fit on my pinky finger. Everything about her was seemingly small. Her build was dainty and her movements small and fluid, her voice and touch both soft and sweet. I can hear her now calling each one of us ‘deary.’ I remember she had very soft skin. Everything seemed soft about her, even the air around her. Like her aura. Maybe she had a white aura? I do not know much about that kind of thing, but it seems fitting even though she wore and painted with bold and vibrant colors. Anyway, it sounds odd, but it was very comforting to just look at her even if you were not close to her. Comforting like the feeling of getting blessed while taking Communion. To me, it does not matter who is serving Communion, but the touch and the feeling feels the same to me every time. Alongside all of this smallness, there was a presumed frailty to her. I learned later in life that this loomed from childhood. She of course was a child of the depression and the youngest child of three, but she also suffered greatly from severe asthma which caused her parents to be very protective of her. To keep her from doing certain things, things Baby wanted to do, for fear of an attack.
However, that presumed frailty from her childhood did not align with my Teeto, with the person I knew, or her aura. I will not lie, the line from the movie Dirty Dancing, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” is what I came to think of a while back any time I would think of her. And I will tell you exactly why.
What was not small about her was her presence. People make that mistake all the time about a lot of people. My Grandmother, Antoinette who went by Toni, but we called her Teeto, had a large presence. Her softness and quietness and sweetness spoke volumes because it was pure goodness. Her strong and unwavering faith and spirituality, devotion to her family, and generosity to her people and the world are her legacy. That is not a Baby in a corner if you ask me. Teeto found her Johnny in Harry and I think one of the things that must have drawn him to her and them together was her very presence.
Tributes can often make a person seem better on paper than they were in real life. I can tell you without a doubt that that is not the case here. One of my honorary Aunties, Aunt C, sent me a message after Teeto passed that said, “She was a loving, sweet, beautiful woman…From my perspective she gave to the world more than she took which is a great thing to witness.” I could stop right here with that. Talk about a mic drop.
That is truly who she was.
For my Pops, Aunt M, and Uncle K, she was the best of the best Moms. Apparently it was voted on and she won. She always had homemade cookies in the jar and the back door was always open to everyone’s friends. Weather or not you wanted a cookie. Speaking of cookies, her molasses cookies are our standard for making them. I believe I have told you this before, but molasses cookies are a tradition in our family because of Teeto. Practically synonymous. They appeared at every family gathering. All of us kids would hunt down the coveted foil wrapped plate because we knew we could sneak a cookie. We knew it would be OK because Teeto brought them for us and that there would be enough remaining for after the meal. When my dad or his siblings got sick, Teeto would apparently roll the only television in the house into their bedroom to entertain them while they rested. She would cook and bake special things just for them. She was the spiritual leader of their family. I see that in all three of them.
She was a lifelong student of art and loved to sketch and paint. I in fact have several of her paintings hanging in my house. She even had a local glary show a few years ago. We also have painted Christmas ornaments and wine glasses. She was creative and crafty. I feel like some of my creativity comes from her. Some of my fondest memories of my time with her revolve around going to the craft store to pick out fun materials and tools, painting and crafting, and quilting on the weekends I would stay at their house.
She often took me to the toy store and would indulge me in my Breyer model horse addiction. Speaking of toys, she had the best bath toys. Bath time was always a party for all of us. She had the coolest carved and painted wooden Noah’s Ark toy we all played with. She was always taking us to the museums and the movie theater where she would sneak in snacks and candy for us in zip top bags, packed away in her purse. She would record on VHS any and all movies that showed on the television (Interesting fact, my Grandparents were one of Netfilx’s first customers. She was also a texting Grandmother, if you wanted to know.). I still have some of these tapes because we still have a working VHS at the farm. I have an obsession for Seven Brides For Seven Brothers because she recorded it and somehow I ended up with it. I don’t even know if I ever watched it as a kid, but at some point she offered it to me and I took it to the farm, and now I have watched it so many times that I am surprised it still works. She gave me my most favorite stuffed animal horse named Ginger, named after the best mare in Black Beauty, that I slept with for years.
I remember the drives to and from their house where she would play country music on the radio and sing along out loud because she knew we loved it. She was also very funny. It is hard to describe how she was funny. It was in the way she said things and the faces she made. Sister A gets that from her.
If you were here when my Grandfather passed, you know we loved to go out to breakfast and that was our most recent tradition to spend time together. I like to think that this tradition and my love of waffles stems from Teeto’s superior ability to prepare Eggo freezer waffles. I have no idea how or what she did, but they were always better at her house than anywhere else. Maybe it was because she cut them into bite size pieces for me, in line with the squares, all neat and tidy. Maybe it was just that she did it with love. Maybe it was the margarine, but I refuse to concede to that. Even the orange juice from concentrate, the kind in the cardboard tube in the freezer section, poured out of an ancient and stained plastic pitcher was pure magic. I sometimes today will treat myself to a Klondike bar because she always had those in the freezer for us.
More than anything else (I am saving the best for last, so if you are still here, congratulations, here is your reward!), I remember this that Teeto told me once and I believe it forever changed me and my perspective on life, and she sure taught me a lot over the years.
I am not sure if I have told y’all this before, but I come from a long line of cattle ranchers and the use and love of horses runs deep in my blood on both sides of my family. Teeto’s father was one of the many ranchers in my lineage.
One day not too far back, when I was out to breakfast with Teeto and Harry, she quietly said to me, “You know, I always loved horses. I always wanted to ride them. It was one of my dreams. I just thought they were so beautiful and free. But my father, mother, and my brother Kermit always said I could not because I was a girl. Because I was Baby. I think they just did not want me to get sick, but it was never going to be allowed.” I am pretty sure I just stared at her for a good several seconds before I could respond. I exclaimed with something really smart like, “You did!?” I actually do not even remember talking much more about it, but it had a profound affect on me. Baby always wanted to ride and be a horse girl, but she was told she couldn’t. To this day I still get my back up just thinking about it and I am taken right back to that booth in Le Peep. You probably did not hear it here first, but I am going to tell you, take this lesson and do not let anyone tell you no if you have the can and the will. Never give up fighting. Keep knocking at that door. I guess I get some of my independence and ‘don’t tread on me,’ my Texas spirit, from her.
This earthly walk is an everchanging place, dear readers. Give of yourself and try to make it better for those around you like my Teeto did. Receive His blessings so you can be a blessing to others through Him.
It is not lost on me that I am extremely blessed to have had two full sets of grandparents into adulthood.
Walk in love, dear readers, and hold your loved ones close.
But first (do not you just LOVE when I do that to you?!), back to Christmas real quick.
Happy Christmas, dear readers! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy New Year! Happy NEW DAY!
We can not just let Christmas slide right on by, even if that is what it seemed like it was going to do. I mean, can you even believe that I almost did not put up a tree?! Just so you know, I still have my tree up and the ornaments are still hanging and the lights are plugged in right now during my coffee time for my enjoyment and it will stay that way for several more days. Why not? It brings me joy! Happy Christmas! I told you I would get there.
Anyway, here is where we left off, lest you forget. The horses were less enthused with their annual Christmas portraits.
Merley Bob also got his turn by the tree and he was also not feeling it. At all!
He would not look at me.
Just look at that face. How anyone could not recognize animals’ personalities is beyond me.
Between horses and dog, I am not sure we could handle any more personality around here.
If you remember from when when we spoke last, I mentioned a little predicted winter weather before Christmas and, well, that prediction did come true. However, there was no precipitation and that alone was and is cause for celebration! Even if some snow can be pretty and fun for a little bit, the wet cold is so hard on the animals…and their caretakers. The weather we did have did mean that I had to be at the farm from the Wednesday (I think) before through to the day after Christmas to cover all pipes, break ice on water troughs, feed all the horses and cows, haul water, muck stalls, and blanket and re-blanket. Rinse and repeat and do a dance! I learned long ago from this man that dancing is how to get through winter, even our little Texas winter spurts.
I am just so blessed to have a working manure spreader, warm clothes, and that I have the ability to stay and work from the farm for the duration. To not have to spend valuable time burning up the highway to and from the office. At its coldest this time it was 16 degrees F with a feel like temperature of 1 degree, but it was definitely not as bad as the big freeze. I will say, these cold mornings are stunning and warming your hands on the horses is hard to beat.
I of course got some baking and cooking in as I am sure you guessed. I baked a pomegranate cake for Cousin H’s party before the winter set in. Then from the farm for Christmas day I baked a chocolate peppermint cake and a ridiculous pumpkin pecan pie cheesecake Aunt M sent me from facebook. I also put together a baked brie with homemade cranberry fig jelly.
I do love to do all this baking! It is a lot of work, especially to get it all done between winter chores to then get them undamaged an hours drive into town for our Christmas Day celebration, and then after all that, drive all the way back to get everyone fed and set for another cold night. I would not change it for a thing. It is so much fun to get everyone’s reaction to the treats.
To end a great Christmas Day that I got to start with my horses, I got to give all the horses a Christmas peppermint before dark. It is like insert peppermint quarter for a good time!
OK, now on to the point of this post! Here is your first AHA moment of 2023. Begin as you mean to go on.
This is the part where you take notes.
“Begin as you mean to go on, and go on as you began, and let the Lord be all in all to you.”
Think of this as a recipe for a good year, if you will.
This is how I spent the first day of the year 2022. You can substitute whatever makes you happiest.
I remember thinking that this seems better than black eyed peas. I said a little prayer of thanksgiving for the blessing of being able to ride my best boy.
Fast forward through a lot of good times to December 31.
This is how I spent the last day of the year 2022.
I rode and spent some good time with R.
I think the year came out of the oven pretty alright. I think I did something right. 2022 I think was a pretty dang good year!
Were there hard times? Surely, everybody has them. Nobody is immune to the hard times.
I backed my car door into a tree, did several things I did not want to do, cried for and with friends and family, saw our vet (and others!) more than any other year, battled Mother Nature, WordPress lost some very important additions and edits on this post, and experienced grief in waves. Many waves.
There were more not so fun things I could mention, but at present I do not recall them or do not wish to. All of that is OK though because we are here today, surviving and doing it, and that is what matters. The thing is, no matter what you do you can not avoid the hard and the difficult. If you try to, you will miss and not experience the good bits. You can not selectively dull emotions. You dull one, you dull them all, including the happy.
I choose to focus on the good parts, and there were many.
I rode a lot, I rode alone, with friends, and in new places, played with my dog and watched him run and hunt and swim and smile, listened to a lot of music and books, traveled to Hawaii and spent time with family and made new family and rode, created art, experienced and enjoyed art, cooked, baked, one of my best friends that I had not seen in years came into town for the best visit, I went fishing, went to the beach, visited long time human and horse friends in my college town, got my own truck, learned a lot, made new friends, spent time with family and my people, celebrated, prayed, made memories, I looked a little bit past my grief.
I said YES.
Every day we wake is a blessing we were not promised and we should be grateful for each day we are granted. Every day is a new day. New Year’s day is not the only chance for us to start new. Every minute of every day we have the chance to make a choice. A choice to see the light, to be positive, to say yes, to do the right thing. To live in gratitude.
Thank you to 2022.
I have not said that much here since I carved this little corner of the internet.
Tell me about your holiday if you were celebrating! Tell me what you are grateful for this past year! Tell me what choice you are excited for this coming year!
Walk in love, dear readers!
Insert peppermint for a good time! I already have some exciting things in the works for this year.
I promise to use less commas and explanation points next time!.
I just have to laugh. This is just one of those years! We are just not with it! But I will tell you what, we will get there before it is over no matter what! Something a little more like ‘coming in hot’ rather than ‘fake it till you make it’ I would say.
So, this is where we are at. Happy Christmas!
I forgot to give my friend (Thanks K!) her elf hat and necklaces back to her after we rode in a Christmas float parade this past weekend, so I naturally decided to put them to work getting Merle and the Dun Duo’s annual portraits before I left the farm this past weekend since I had yet to do anything about them. Like I said, coming in HOT. But, anything is better than nothing. I think the Dun Duo might have begged to differ this year.
Anyway, we have been getting a lot of rain and mud has been the name of the game around here. LOTS of mud. Riding has been at a minimal recently, which probably explains a lot! I did not even groom the horses is how last minute this very impromptu session was. Between their dirty coats and the looks they were giving me, I felt like they were sending me a message…and it was not an overly festive one!
Something tells me they were not enthused.
Cheetah tossed the hat more times than I could count! She would not really even look at me. When she would look in my general direction, she would either glare or close her eyes. I think she even rolled them a time or two. I also could not have taken a good photo that day for the life of me!
It is a little hard to call them Christmas ponies or Santa’s helpers. Lito was even ‘better.’
I think Lito learned his looks from his mother.
I am pretty sure he tossed the hat into the mud on purpose.
When I went to find Merle for his torture session, I discovered he had gotten into something bad. This dog, I swear. He has the worst kind of witching hour. Between the hours of 5 and 7 PM is when bad things happen. He found bees or wasps or a snake or something. His whole face started to swell. Always something! The good news is he seemed fine other than in appearances. I luckily or unluckily have some experience with snake bites in dogs and this did not appear to be a snake bite. I gave him a couple Benadryl and decided to try again another day. It was not working out for us!
Anyway, the work week started in earnest and I started looking at the Christmas weather forecast (possible spoiler alert, it may be very cold with stuff falling from the sky…which means I will likely be away from home at the farm taking care of the animals) and the thought creeped into my head that maybe I do not get a tree this year.
And. And. And.
Who am I!
I basically slapped myself this evening on my way home. Get with it, sister! Get into the spirit! Yikes!
So. I called around and then drove to find our little tree and turned up the festivity! A little late, but that never hurt anybody! I am now enjoying a glass of bubbley out of a chipped glass of my grandmother’s with my lit and decorated tree and house while the Christmas music plays.
And, yes, Merle will get some photos too, but we will all just have to wait for that.
This is where we are at. We are here and we are present. We are in the spirit! Join us!
Play some of this new Christmas music and turn your festivity up too! Keep scrolling if you need some of our past years’ photos to help you turn up your cheer! If you can you the word ‘festive’ and any of its derivatives as much as me, you get a special prize.
I am looking for some inspiration, my dear readers!
But real quick.
Is anyone else surprised that we are here halfway through November, staring and the holiday season coming in hot and heavy? Just me? Sometimes I stop and think and almost look around me and wonder how I got here! I am along for the ride though and would not change a thing.
Long time readers know I live for this time of year. The love and family time. The thanks and giving. The traditions. The cooking and baking. The lights and decorations. The festivity! I love it. We had a cold front blow in and the weather has now caught up to the season and is here to stay. Or as much as we have winter weather here in our part of the world. I am not really ready for the cold part though given how not fun winter 2020 was. I literally thought the big winter-pocalypse was winter 2021. I should be able to remember all of this given that last year I was able to go on a Hawaiian vacation, you know…balance things out, but alas, my time memory is still warped from 2020 covid time.
It is time to crank up the festive. Turn on the happy. Remember the reason for the season!
So here is the deal, I want to know!
I want to know what are your favorite traditions? What makes the holidays for you? Favorite food (sweet or savory). Favorite music. Favorite activity or decorations.
What makes it festive for you?
I specifically want to know what is your favorite cake!
I am looking to try something new!
Every year (one year I even participated in a blog event!) I have shared my favorite Christmas music, fun animal photo shoots, and of course the cooking and baking. Have no fear, you will get some of that this year of course, but I want to know yours.
Drop and comment and share with us! Or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.