NYE

Happy New Year’s Eve. I for one am glad to ring in the new! It is not my most favorite ‘holiday,’ but this year I am excited for it. I am particularly excited to get back to my regular schedule and back to talking with y’all more often! I am sorry I have been so silent through the holidays. 

It is a rainy morning here on the farm and everyone wants to stay bundled up and cozy inside. The horses are munching their hay in the barn and my dog is at my feet while I wait for the coffee to brew. I am listening to the pitter patter of the rain on the tin roof. 

All is well that ends well, as my mother says. My grandmother has had her surgery and is on her way to recovery! Happy news! Later today, Darcy and I are off to spend NYE at a friend’s house. 

I hope each and every one of you and yours has a very happy NYE! May your bubbly be cold, feelings warm, family and friends present, and animals not freak out too badly with the fireworks. 

Walk in love and I will see you…next year! 

This Year End

Just like everyone else it seems, I too am reflective at year end. Many reflect on goals achieved, resolutions kept, or all the great things that have happened. I achieved some goals, kept zero resolutions, and did have some great things happen this year.

However, this particular year has been colored with many terrible events, which I will not continue to belabor at present (just read back if you are curious), that seem to overshadow the good.  I literally, between typing words, just spilled my champagne on myself while I was trying to take a sip. Very good adulating going on here. Can I get a participation award?

I think my only two resolutions this year will be to stop spilling on myself while drinking and to ride more. I guarantee that only one will be kept.

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I find myself wanting to hide until 2017 emerges just so nothing bad can happen, but alas, we can not hide from anything, no matter how hard we try. AHAmoment. When we try to hide, we are not able to see the good things that are happening around us and to us. I know this logically, but dang, it is hard sometimes.

Just a few hours ago I found out that my grandmother has had a fall and is having surgery tomorrow. Praise the Lord that it was not worse. The surgery is expected to be quick and she should have less down time than last time. That is the bright side. I need another glass of wine.

A little something I read today gave me a little perspective and gives me my message to this past year: Goodbye 2016, I won’t be looking back. Thank you to Mallory of AdultAmmyStrong for sharing your story. It has helped me. I also shared it with a friend of mine. I am so grateful to have my horses and my dog. When I feel like it is too hard to move forward, I do for them.

I am watching Love Actually this evening. The viewing of this movie used to be a Christmas tradition with my sisters and cousins. It has now faded away with the changing tides, but I still watch it every year at least once. Funny thing is I feel like this (the song part…and the love part) is a good summation of 2016 and how Christmas kinda felt. PSA…this is explicit and not PG-13!

I will not hide for the rest of 2016. I am going to fake it till I make it. It is not all bad. Can you hear my determination? I will dance like Billy Mack to the final count down.

I am going to go pour myself another glass of wine, try not to spill on myself, and watch the rest of the movie.

Walk in love, dear readers. I am only taking small steps as present. You can take small steps with me.

 

Cardindal 

I have always loved cardinals. For one, we have many of them at the farm. They also have the most vibrant red plumage, set off by their yellow beaks. Their song is chipper and distinct. It is more than that, though. They always seem to fly into my view in full wingspan, forcing me to not only notice them, but to take note. AHAmoment. I do take note. 

I saw a cardinal at the farm today. To me, it was and always will be a God wink. 

I had been feeling anxious all morning. Not quite sure why. I was yet again de-buring all the horses’ manes in preparation for Cousin S and her daughter to come out (I really need to go chop those plants down). Not so ironically, none of the horses wanted to stand still for me. Chance in particular was giving me the hardest time. It frustrated and confused me at the time. This was not normal behavior. I wasn’t getting what they were trying to show me, dense human that I am. 

I was sitting on the deck later stuck in my circular thinking when I saw him. It felt like someone snapped at me in my face. I watched and listened until he flew to a different tree. I walked away feeling completely different. 

What do you always see as a God wink? 



Walk in love, dear readers. 

Christmas Blessings

My dear readers! I have missed you!

I know it is the day after Christmas, but Merriest of Christmases to each and every one of you and yours. May the many blessings of our Lord shower upon you. Peace, love, and joy. Keep the Christmas spirit alive all year long. 

We attended a kid friendly Christmas Eve service for the niece and nephew with siblings, parents, and grandparents. Afterward we had our traditional Christmas morning celebration with presents and a beef tender dinner. All of my mother’s side of the family comes over for lunch tomorrow. All together it comes close to 30 people. Can you imagine!? I am beyond blessed to be surrounded by so much family during this special time. AHAmoment. 

The pomegranate Christmas cake was a big hit. Give it a try for something different! The recipe is a couple of posts back. 


I came out to the farm this morning to meet the farrier, did some chores, and then had a sunset ride on Chance. My kind of Christmas! 

What did y’all do?!

Walk in love, dear readers. 

On A High

Yesterday I went into the office for the morning and then snuck away to the farm to check on everyone in the afternoon. I was able to sneak in a ride on my best mare, Cheetah, knowing that between Christmas and the weather it would be a few days. 

It was the best ride I have had in a long time. It felt as if we had been riding every day. Good thing I appeared to bring my brain and it was connected to my body! It was so good, I have practically been on a high ever since. I am so blessed to have this horse. I do not know where I would be without her. We did all the things since I showed up and was not riding like a bafoon. The leg yields I tell you! So good. Tranisitions, on point. She was adjustable and relaxed. It was one of those rides where neither of us wanted to be finished. It was just what I needed to power through. 


Today, we did our Christmas Eve celebration with my dad’s side of the family. I baked the Peppermint Dream Cake. Y’all, it is a winner. Beautiful inside and out with alternating red and white layers and fluffy white frosting. Check my last post for the recipe. 


It used to actually be on Christmas Eve, but nowadays with changing lives, we do it on Christmas Eve Eve. Some can not make it because of work schedules and/or because they live out of town or some other family function. 

Something about it changes every year, but this year had the hardest change. The missing physical presence of my Uncle. This is now part of our new ‘norm’ we are still figuring out. I still do not like that saying, by the way. In many ways it was extremely hard. In others, I am grateful to feel and say that it was great to be together. All of us linked by more than blood. Figuring it out, together. 

Times and traditions change. Traditions can be good, and in some ways and times, important. However, they are not the most important or what IT is about. AHAmoment. Hard for this gal that loves her traditions and can be very change averse. 

We have each other. We are growing in our faith together. That is what is important. Traditions are starting to feel less and less important to me as life goes on. Traditions are like things, they do not last. Embrace the new traditions when they present themselves, it means you are adapting to the new and moving in your life. 

Walk in love, dear readers. Have a very blessed and merry Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Remember and live for the reason for the season! 

Christmas Mad Dash

I had to go to the grocery store a second time today after work because I always forget my list when I go to the store. Well, I forget things when I go to the store without my list. Therefore, if I forgot something again, we are not having it! OK. Fine. I will go back, but I will stomp my feet doing it. Being out among all the masses of people almost blew my fuse. My road rage was on point. 

Today I am going to congratulate myself and celebrate for not cussing at anyone from inside my car. Wine Wednesday for me! I am treating myself to a mimosa with cranberries and pomegranate…or several.  

Tomorrow I am going to get a few things done at work and then get a quick visit out to the farm to see all the horses…possibly fit in a ride. Can I just bring them back and hide them in the back yard???

I have finished my gift shopping and wrapping. I usually get great joy out of wrapping presents, but this year it just is not the same. 

I am hoping that the cooking and baking  will give me the final kick in the bum to get into the spirit. Speaking of cooking and baking…here is what I am doing for our Christmas celebrations! 

1. Cranberry sauce for Christmas Day. I am going to make that right now and will add a green pepper this time for some intrigue. 

2. Peppermint cake for Friday dinner dessert when my dad’s side of the family gets together. I have never made this one before and I am excited! This picture is from the site. 


3. Pumpkin bread for my farrier. He is coming out the day after Christmas to do everyone’s hooves. This is a tried and true family recipe that we make all year long. 

4. Pomegranate cake for Christmas Day. I love this cake. I made it for one of our celebrations last year and I have to do it again. You could easily use any fruit as opposed to pomegranate, but the pomegranate is really good. The picture is from the site. I can not find the pic from last year’s cake. 


Are you in the spirit yet? We still have a few days yet. What are you doing to get into the spirit or cooking/baking for Christmas? 

Our Love & Our Souls

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Breaking news, it is warming up. We are out of blanket territory for a while. Now I can buckle down for Christmas.

Your AHAmoment today is brought to you by Sean McConnell. His song ‘Our Love and Our Souls’ is what IT is all about. He says it better than I ever could. Have a listen below. It is an amazing feeling when a song like this pops up on your shuffle and just speaks to your soul. You may not have been paying attention before, just looking out the window, lost in your thoughts or following that long white line. Then all of a sudden, you snap to and realize He is speaking right to you. If you are me, you listen to it on repeat, so grateful to listen and be receptive to the message.


“Sometimes it all comes down at once
Sometimes when it rains it pours
But I wouldn’t trade my troubles for any one of yours
Cause money’s just money
It comes and it goes
And things are just things baby
So breakable
Ain’t nothing lasts forever except our love and our souls
Cause I ain’t that hungry
And I have a home
I ain’t fighting for my life
And I’m not alone
So may I pray every morning
As I make up the bed
‘Lord, all I need today is my daily bread'”

Thanks, Doug Morrison, on YouTube for the vid.

Walk in love, dear readers.

Grocery shopping today after work for Christmas! Wish me luck! Cranberry sauce, Pomegranate cake, and pumpkin bread. Then wrapping all the presents for my loved ones.

Sweatpants on my head?

I am sure you all know by now, it is COLD. Before we get into that, here is your dose of happy for today. I was able to snap these pics before the cold came. I had a very hard time keeping that hat on in 20 mph+ winds. Merry Christmas from Petunia the donkey! She seemed to like being a Christmas donkey. I was also able to fit in a short ride on Cheetah when the wind was not as bad. I am working on a plan to get me riding more. It is still in progress.

Darcy was a happy pup this weekend. Look at that smile!

The blistery cold for us started late, late Saturday night/Sunday morning. It was almost 80 deg. F. when I went to sleep Saturday evening. I woke up in the middle of the night to blanket Apache and throw extra hay for everyone to stay warm. I woke up this morning to 28 deg. and 19 deg. wind chill. Darcy’s new favorite game is to play with the broken ice from the water troughs. I will let your mind go with that one as it was too dark to get any photos…and this Texas gal felt like she was going to loose her fingers!

I also forgot to pack real winter things. You know, like a beanie and scarf, for starters. Not sure what I was thinking. Clearly I was not. It got cold and I needed to do something, so I took the pair of sweatpants that thankfully I did pack, put them on my head, and wrapped the legs around my chin and neck. I will pause for a laughing break…no, I do not take selfies…finished yet?…how about now? It worked quite well and the horses do not care when I look like a loon. Have you ever had to improvise like that?

Anyway, I told a friend about my packing flaws and she laughed as she told me she did not think I would do something like that. Out of character for someone as ‘organized’ as me. It reminded me, out of the blue, of this story.

My brother in law…brother in law B (eldest sister’s husband) is a man of many talents. One of those many talents is building fishing rods. I am not talking your average, every day rod. These are beautiful, extremely light pieces of art that have extreme feel and technical precision.

When I graduated from undergrad, my father gave me one of his rods as a gift. It had my school’s colors and symbol on it. I loved it and could not wait to wet a line. My first chance to try it out was on a family trip to the place where we grew up fishing. The first night we fished under the lights off the dock. We caught and released several little trout before I finally caught a nice sized keeper. Bubbling with happiness, I all but bounced down the dock to store the fish in the cooler on our boat. This is where it gets…interesting. As I was stepping onto the boat, the fish lurched in my hand and caused me to throw my rod carrying hand out for balance. Just as I did, I smacked the tip of the rod on the t-top of the boat and broke it in two. It still hurts my feelings to think about it! By admonition, I almost began crying.

A little while after, I was catching up with a friend from school. I told him the whole story, in riveting detail and that I was still upset about it. I am sure you can imagine it. When I was finished, he turned to me and told me that he was happy to hear that things like that happen to a person like me.

What does that even mean? A person like me? He went on to explain how he actually thought that ‘things like that’ did not happen to ‘people like me’ that ‘have everything together.’ Like I do not have hard times. Protected by some mythical force. I always thought he knew me better than that! I am apparently not as open of a book as I thought.

Everyone has their own trials and tribulations (me included! Just read back!). Stuff happens. Big and small. To everyone. AHAmoment. No matter who you are, where you are from, or what it looks like on the outside. It just goes to show you how our subconscious tries to make people think that we have everything together on the outside and that everything goes the way we planned. Everyone gets wrenches in their plans! Fear of judgement. Our focus is on the wrong thing! It is the same on social media, but that is another story for another day. It is not our place to judge. Only one has that right.

Until next time, walk in love, dear readers.

Stay tuned for Christmas baking and cooking! It is going to be a busy week!

You know what they say…

You know what they say about s💩💩💩? 

It always rolls downhill! AHAmoment. Gravity can be a special thing that way. 

Whether you are mucking a horse stall or it just seems to be coming at you from all directions, just stay upright and slightly uphill. It will roll on by. Every. Time. 

Haven’t heard that one? Only me? Hmmm….

Like water on your back? 

Oh well. I found this today on my way to our office Christmas lunch. I liked it so much I had to snap a pic. You get two AHAmoments today. 

Walk in love, dear readers. We have another weather system blowing in this weekend. I am on feed and blanket duty. Hopefully I will get some ride time in. 

Pedigree.

OK, get your cup of coffee, I am finally (way late) jumping on the pedigree bandwagon of the unofficial blog hop. Sorry to my non horse followers, bear with me. I am not always a bore if this is your first time stopping in. It is still pretty interesting given that there are some Kentucky Derby runners in there! I have had fun reading everyone’s post on this. If you have not done it yet, do! Now if only someone from the PRE world would start one…
The Thoroughbred (TB) world is a bit of an unknown to me. I am pretty new to actually paying attention to TB pedigrees, as I did not grow up with them. I know more about Quarter Horses (QH) and the Iberian horses, mainly the Pura Raza Espanola (PRE/Andalusian). I had an off the track thoroughbred (OOTB) on my string in college. I really liked him, but for the life of me I can not remember his name. I actually feel quite terrible about that. I normally remember all the horses I ride. Geeze, I am getting old. I never knew his registered name anyway. I digress, back to the point. We will start with Cheetah’s dam.
While not a full TB herself, Cheetah’s dam was an OTTB. I did a bunch of research into her linage while in grad school before I bred her. It was a perfect and satisfying procrastination session. Especially since you can go all the way back to the 1700’s. It yielded some interesting results. Well, at least interesting to me. You TB people will have to tell me what you think. I can not remember if any of your TB lines intersect.
I went pretty far back. Growing up, we mostly had grad horses with generally unknown stories. If only they could talk. To at least be able to track the genetics of a horse is another puzzle piece we do not always have. I basically just used Equibase, Google, and Denny Emerson. I do not know anything about the get of these horses, so if you know anything about that, I am all ears.
The internet is a wonderful thing. Cheetah’s dam, Innocent Millicent (Milli), was not stellar on the track herself, but when you look farther back, she had some good blood in her.
She was foaled in Texas April 1996 and ran twice in July 1999 a couple weeks apart at Gillespie fairgrounds, finishing 8th and 9th. In her maiden start, finishing 8th out of 10, she showed brief speed in the beginning, but it didn’t hold. In her second start, she was far back, failed to maintain bld? racing 5 wide throughout, and finished last. I have no idea if she had any other foals besides my Cheetah. When I got Cheetah, Milli was being used as an english and western Equestrian Team horse at my college.
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As to not bore everyone to death (is it too late?), here are the stand outs in Milli’s pedigree:
There are several other multiple stakes and multiple graded stakes winners in there. It is a shame she is no longer alive. She might not have been a great runner herself, but if crossed with the right stud, she might have produced a pretty good race or sport horse. Maybe. Maybe not.

Cheetah’s sire, Drifts Wily Doc (QH), also has quite good breeding for a good all round cow dwd1_tcclassichorse. From what I understand, he is a work horse and sire of mostly working horses that basically always wins or places in the show ring. He earned his Register Of Merit. Farther back in the TB origins, all three of the developers of the modern TB make several appearances (Matchem, Eclipse, & Herod).

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There is more line breeding on this half, but some recognizable names (info & pics from AQHA):
  • Driftwood – AQHA Hall Of Fame 2006; match race winner, roper; sire of fast, calm, athletic, pretty heads (love that detail, thanks AQHA)
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  • Poco Bueno – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1990; very influential sire; cutting champion; sire of 36 champions and 3 Hall of Famers; sire of gentle, easy, smart
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  • Sugar Bars – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1994; great sire of stakes race winners and performance horses; sired by Three Bars (TB)
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  • Joe Reed II – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1994; courage; heart; speed; born to run; won race with gimpy knee; sire of cutting, roping, and race horses and an AQHA Hall Of Fame horse (Leo)unnamed-3
  • Joe Reed – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1992; conception planned by grooms and jockeys without owners consent; raised on a bottle; almost died; great sprinter; sire of Joe Reed II and Red Joe; #3 horse in AQHA stud book
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  • Clabber – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1997; ‘Iron Horse’ known for soundness; not very good looking with flared hooves; worked all day as ranch horse and won several match races on weekends; World Champion Quarter Running Horse and Wold Champion Racing Quarter Horse Stallion; great sire
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  • King P-234 – (Mansebo‘s grand or great grand sire) AQHA Hall Of Fame 1989; legend; Man o’ War of Mexico; cow horse; sire of great performance and cow sense
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  • Doc Bar – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1993; sired by Three Bars (TB); failed as race horse; 15 hh; sire of NCHA Futurity winners, world champs, top 10 horses, uniform, easy, ability, sense, and cow
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  • Poco Lena – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1991; known for her beauty; very successful cutter; bad founder; great brood mare; first NCHA Hall Of Famer and first mare in AQHA HOF
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  • Three Bars (TB) – Good race horse but plagued with injury; great sire of QH and TB
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  • Peter McCue (TB) – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1991; AQHA founding sire; race winner and mult distances; sire of some of the great foundation AQHA horses
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  • Wimpy P-1 – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1989; #1 horse in the AQHA stud book; produced 174 registered horses for King Ranch; sire of champions
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  • Old Sorrel – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1990; started King Ranch breeding program; 14.3 hh with great balance, conformation, temperament, quickness, and cow; bred to TB mares; sired uniform conformation
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  • Traveler – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1994; unknown origins; came from New York; was a plow horse; known to be ‘perfect’ looking; sired great runners with good disposition and confirmation
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  • Lightning Bar – AQHA Hall Of Fame 2008; sired by Three Bars; great race horse even though plagued with  pneumonia, distemper, cut coronet bands, and an injured knee; Register Of Merit; Champion in halter; sire of great race champions and cutter Doc Bar; died at 9 yo from virus
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  • Texas Dandy –  AQHA Hall Of Fame 1995; sire of race winners, AQHA champions, great broodmares; movie star of “Boy From Indiana”
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I bet you think I am crazy now! I like history and I make no apologies! I am a ninth generation Texan, so I could have talked about that.

I would love my Cheetah even if I had no idea where she came from or if she came from ‘lesser’ horses. She has a big heart and is very brave. She does everything and more.

Makes me want to breed her again!