Discerning the peace, love, & joy of everyday life in a full-time adulting world, one day at a time…with some horses, dogs, and music thrown in. OK, fine, more than some. Most all photos are taken by me! Join me in my AHA moments and what IT is all about.
Err….by Monday, I clearly mean Tuesday. It is Tuesday. All day. It was Tuesday all morning and it will still be Tuesday all afternoon. Or, just a second Monday.
OK. Now that is clear…
I am back in the office. Well no at this very actual moment. I am at home for lunch, but I am back working in the office. I have not been in since I do not remember when. It feels odd. Strange.
Anyone else back in the office?
I mean, I obviously knew this day was coming and I could not work remotely forever.
I just really got used to it. That small taste. It felt right. More in the right direction.
Life got more pleasant. I turned off the news and ignored the media. I had so much quality time with Merle. My breaks were outside petting the horses and giving them treats. I worked outside on the porch half of the time. There was fresh country air and sunshine. Walking and fetch. Riding. Clear views. No concrete or buildings. Even for the days that I was in town last week, I was on my patio with Merle at my feet.
I mean, I had to put real clothes and makeup on for the first time since this all started! My left eye has been protest twitching all morning! You should have seen the look Merle gave me this morning.
One day, dear readers, one day.
For today, I have a job.
For today, I am recharged and realigned.
For today, I have all these happy memories of these guys to remind me.
Perspective, my people! They are my muse anyway, on this Muesday and every other day.
I am not sure who has it better, the horses or Merle.
He is such a dude.
Nothing like a good ride on a spring day with the egrets.
He says there are birds over there.
That look, I tell you.
Tell me, how is your Tuesday going?
Walk in love, dear readers. Smile at someone today, even if it is just with your eyes.
What is the word from the bird? Have you had a good day? How the heck are you?
It is May, right? How did that happen??? I have something to show and tell you, but it will have to wait just a minute.
Let me be honest here for a quick sec. I have no idea most days what day it actually is. I no longer know how long this has all been going on. Anyone else?
I have not worn makeup this whole entire time (my eyes I think have never been happier). I have trimmed my own hair twice (I was over due for a trim in the beginning of March). Once, I cut it with dull scissors. Whoops. Luckily for me, there has been no need to put work clothes on so I have lived in farm clothes. When this all started my house was a mess and I just left it that way. Unorganized. Things not in their places. Laundry. Yikes, the laundry. It was EVERYWHERE and in all states (a luxury as I live alone. I can do that if I want. Even if it drives me crazy). Also very dusty as it has been sitting, not lived in. I will not mention the pollen I had tracked in from walking through my patio when I came to check on it. And the hay and cut grass.
No, I will not do that.
Wait, I just did. Eh, whatever.
Yes, I just said that. All of it. You can judge me.
In spite of all of that, life is chugging along. Not much has changed since the beginning of this ‘rona time (sorry, I am not sorry, I like calling it the ‘rona) and I do not think I would have it any other way.
I have pretty much only seen my family. I have gotten a lot of fresh air and horse time as I have been living at the farm this whole time. I am also a bit tanner because I have been bad by not putting sunscreen on and wearing a hat at all times. I am getting a lot of the sunshine vitamin! I go to bed early and wake up, well, moderately early for me. I am normally a 5:30 AM riser. Lately, I have been staying in bed till almost 7! I manage to get my work done and have gotten pretty good at working just about anywhere. I did break down and get a monitor, keyboard, and mouse at some point and that makes it easier to work from my laptop. I get to see the horses graze across the pasture as I work. You can give me this view over any downtown, high rise CEO office. I have been trying to soak every moment in.
I avoid most all news (real, fake, or any other kind). I had the most extreme case of the Sunday ‘What Day Is It’ blues at the prospect of going back into the office soon. I should just be grateful that I still have a job at this point. I came back to town yesterday to get my life house back in order and begin getting my regular schedule back in place.
I have zero desire to put work clothes back on or start wearing makeup again. I am however, looking forward to getting my hair cut by the one and only person I let do it (besides, uh, myself) at some point. My house is looking like its old self again after my mad woman cleaning spree and I am mostly l caught up on laundry. My patio is all raked and clean of pollen and leaves and I have gathered all the clothes I need to donate. As much as I love being at the farm at with my horses (and these past weeks have been basically a dream living out there), I have missed my own space.
Enough about all of that. There are more important things to show and tell, especially for those that are unable to get out. How about some of my views over the past few weeks?!
These sunrises, man. The Lord does not mess around with His paintings! The only thing that makes them even better is a posing Lito. I even had a mug of coffee in my hand.
And egrets. They add a special touch, do they not?
I picked dewberries while drinking a glass of rose. Mamma said picking dewberries is as fun as an Easter egg hunt. I do believe she must be right because I had a joy of a time. She even went out and picked some more berries to make sure we had enough.
I then put those little gems of dewberries into a dewberry crumble pie. Boy howdy, that is one dang good pie. In addition to these wild dewberries, we also have wild mustang grapes growing here. Lots of them. Later this summer when they are fully ripe, I am going to make some jelly. It has been fun watching the grapes emerge on the vines.
The sunsets also never disappoint and watching them every evening does not take away how special they all are. Just look at that sun shining down on my ponies.
The beauty of spring continues to spring for the cactus blossoms.
Another view of spring and summer that I love is the storms. Y’all know I love watching storms. It does not matter where I am, but being a witness to them at the farm is really special.
This particular storm mostly avoided us and gave us very little rain, but it gave us quite a show to watch.
I had a very special ride on my best boy Lito right before I came back.
It was the right amount of spring breezy and we had a great lope out in the meadow pasture. The kind that makes you just grin from ear to ear and get giddy. And makes you giggle like a kid and remember all those memories and feelings and just what that special thing is inside you. He reads my mind. I do not even think I asked him for it. We just felt it one moment and just as lovely as you please we were dancing down the fence line.
Now. For the absolutely most important thing that I have to tell you.
He is back! And just. Look. At. Him. My life feels right again.
My life has had an emptiness about it without him.
And without his look.
He seems just as happy to be back.
I just love that setter stride.
I have to admit, having him away was even harder than I thought it would be with everything going on. Even with being able to visit him.
I am so glad to have my buddy back.
Walk in love, dear readers. Tell me something, anything!
These indeed are trying times for all, in more ways than just this ‘rona business.
Hey, gotta keep it light and positive. It is what we do here!
In all seriousness though, we all got down to the basics pretty dang quick. Writing got shoved to the back burner and then right off the back of the stove all together.
Certainly not because I did not want to write to you!
We packed up food and other necessities and went to our safe place, the farm. I have been living here now with my family for over two weeks. Logging in remotely and working (which has been frustrating). Crossing farm chores and projects off the list (feels amazing). Cooking and baking. And, of course, soaking up all the horse time and riding I can.
I will not get into everything that Covid-19 entails or the politics or anything that everyone is talking about. All the things that have been right in front of us for weeks. It is very likely that I, along with many others, will be without my job soon because of the oil prices. I do not think there is anyone who is not feeling the weight of this in some way or another (hey howdy, you’re not alone!!!). I know I have not been immune to it. It is all just heavy no matter what. We have been taking periodic breaks from it all by turning off the news, not getting onto social media, and doing farm things. Only checking in and updating every couple of days. I have gotten into the habit of just leaving my phone and not being available (liberating).
Even still, I feel even more blessed for the beauty all around me. It makes it easy to celebrate every day. All I have to do is look up. And you know what, it is the same for you! Just look up…or out.
Mother Nature and the change of seasons. We got a bunch of rain on Saturday (praise the Lord! For this and many other things!) which will grow some good grass for the stock and get a good start on our vegetable garden. The wildflowers. The birds frolicking. Our home bred heifers and their first calves. Family time. Being conscious to live simply. My horses, of course, because a horse is a horse of course!
Want to see just what I have been up to when I am not working? Well, have a look. Get a dose. Take a breath. Get some inspiration, dear readers!
Our lovely heart hole oak tree has its heart hole again! This is my favorite tree. I know I might have said that about some other trees before, but this is really and truly my favorite. Did you miss why? Well, you can find out here.
You want to see what else? If you look off in the distance past the heart hole by the pond, you can see the pecan trees starting to get their leaves (and progressively through all these photos). Like I said, they always get their leaves. This year seems early, but spring as a whole did come early. Every year is its own.
We have had many many caterpillars. So cool.
More walks with Lito, I tell you, are good for everything.
Rides on my Cheetah are also good for everything. With or without wildflowers.
New mammas and babies.
The lush river bottom. Just look at those baby blues and that light. This is such a special place and holds so many memories for all of us. We would spend hours down here as kids. I used to ride my childhood mare, Fresca down here on hot summer afternoons. I would let her eat all her favorites. A little walk down here the other day with Pops and Cousin W turned into a couple of hours talking about trees and grasses and wildlife. Good for everything.
Lots of baking! These are my special chocolate chip cookies. I have also made molasses cookies and raspberry crumble muffins. Mamma has been making muffins and cookies (and so much other good food in addition to everyone else). Sister K has also made muffins! It is only a matter of time before pumpkin and banana bread are made.
Having Petunia snuggles.
Projects and chores and more! This implement has been here since we bought the place, 22 years ago! It was the last remaining thing from the previous owners. There used to be a tree living in the middle of it. The tree finally died and we finally cleared enough brush from around and within it to get it hauled out. Quite a thing really!
We watched weather and spring unfold. Keep watching those pecan trees!
This is usually my view from my ‘remote office.’
Just look at those pecan tree leaves.
Do you recognize that specific tree?
If you do recognize it, you should, for you have seen it before! I guess it is my second favorite tree. Certainly my most favorite pecan tree!
More wildflowers! We get some bluebonnets and indian paintbrushes along the road here but we get a lot of these all around our place.
More caterpillars! A Monarch!
More weather. This was an early morning walk with coffee before sitting down on the computer to work.
Of course, more sunrises.
Wondering where my Merle man is? Fear not, he has been off at hunting camp learning. Just have a look. I miss him terribly and the last few weeks without him have been very difficult, but I am so proud of him and he has been doing very well. I am counting down the days till he is back home where he belongs.
So much to celebrate, dear readers, even in these, dare I say, uncertain times. Look up, stay positive, be a light. Keep the faith.
Share what you have been up to!
Walk in love, dear readers. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for some past AHAmoments uplifting reads!
Imagine yourself sitting in a chair, right here, gazing out into the distance. Notice the vibrant green of the clover. The soft, subtle ripples of the water. Do you feel the breeze on your skin?
See the twinkling reflection of the sunlight over the top of the pond as it blends into those ripples. The dancing, magical light of the setting sun. Stare, just for a fleeting minuscule moment, at the sun, and how it fades into an the deepening sky above you. Can you see the setting of the sun?
Animals. They never cease to amaze me. I know I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but I do not care. I have no doubt in my mind that they are all gifts to us. Angels in their own right, sent here and given to us for a specific reason and purpose. Even if only for a short period of time in our eyes.
I think Mr. Dirty Toes Merle might just have one of the most beautiful souls out there. He wants to be a friend to everyone and he does not give up until he gets just that. I have watched it with my own eyes.
Just look have a look for yourself.
He has finally started to win a few of the heifers over. I was taking care of some chores in the barn when I looked over and saw MUTUAL LICKING. Never have I seen any of our dogs do this. Not even my Darcy.
Now if only I could capture his antics with the cat……..
Winter. There is a ton of symbolism in the season. Whether it be the actual weather and Mother Nature or a very real reflection of a season in your life.
I have a wise friend who wrote some great winter words that I wanted to share with you.
“I will be honest, there’s a lot I don’t get right now about a lot of things & the more I work on it, the more frustrated I feel. I literally post something similar to this every single season because I am forever stubborn and continuously forget the basics of God & faith.
That said, I am all the more thankful that the consistency of seasons is a reflection of God and the steadiness of His character. If you stop and really “consider the lilies,” you can’t escape how Creation reflects the detail oriented nature of God. It shows how He created us to see Him & find Him not just in religion, but in snails, twigs, monarch butterfly migrations, and sunflowers that tilt upward so they can face the sun.
I took a bunch of pictures on a walk through Camp Allen this last weekend at my church’s women’s retreat. I made my friend stop every 3 minutes of our walk because I was distracted by how oddly beautiful dead-looking things become when light shines on them. Romans 1:20 talks about how seeing the visible helps us understand the invisible. What appears to be dead actually isn’t dead, it’s just winter. Winter doesn’t last forever – it stays awhile & through the shorter days, lack of color & seemingly barren/exposed trees all contrasted with light, winter reminds me how paradoxical God is- how my weakness is actually His strength.”
Like I have said before, take comfort in the consistency of the seasons. Of the sunrises and sunsets. No matter what, they show up to party every time. They go on over and over without fail. Whether or not you can see them!
There truly is beauty in all things, even and especially in winter.
Take pecan trees for instance, because we all know how I love them, with or without a Merle man in the frame.
Many on first glance may think they are dead in the winter. They are the first to lose their leaves and they are the very last to get them come spring. Even I start to wonder if they ever will get their leaves as spring might start to feel like summer.
Even still, I can never stop being amazed at the raw beauty in the bareness of their branches in winter. Against a sunrise. Or backed by the strong, bright, and grass growing winter sun. Or reflected in the sunset’s light on the pond. There is beauty even on the dreariest of gray winter days.
Indeed they make an inspiring frame for a sunset of any kind!
Dead pecan tree among the live oaks? Nope. A beautiful and unique one, standing strong waiting out winter for its bloom.
And you know what? They always do get their leaves. Every spring. And I am just as amazed every time.
The same happens for us when winter comes to a close and spring starts to bloom. It may likely feel as if you are wandering aimless in this winter. Trust me, I know. Your feeling of wandering is not without reason or purpose. It is your winter season of waiting. Preparing you for your spring. Take your time and be patient. Have faith. Rest. Be ready. Remember what you are fighting for and hang on tight. Keep your focus on the light.
When your world’s of madness
And you’re burned at both ends
Your walls are closin’ in
Won’t you remember?
Open up your heart
Let yourself unwind
Find peace of mind
Among the wandering
Step into the unknown
Where your path rewinds
See if you can find out
What you came here for
Roll one from the green vine
Disregard the time
Find your peace of mind
Among the wandering
Don’t fear the vendors
Dreams can’t be bought
As long as you don’t sell
What you’ve been fighting for
As long as you don’t sell
What you’ve been fighting for
If your heart’s of anger
And you’re helpless in the end
Won’t you let your friends
Help you remember?
With every box of poison
There’s a ribbon tied
Don’t believe them eyes
When they deceive you
Take a look inside
If you’re so inclined
Just leave some time
For the wandering
Find your peace of mind
Among the wandering
I was at the farm a couple weeks ago strolling past a special pecan tree while my Merle and I were on a walk. Really they are all special trees just because, but this one is unique.
It is under this special tree’s far reaching branches that offer a favorite shady summer napping spot for all the horses, and myself on occasion, where the final resting places for our old horses lie. Our original heard. All back together. Mansebo was put to sleep under that very tree on a beautiful, sunny day. Indeed under this very tree is my Darcy girl. Her final resting place after a final dip of the paws in the pond to get farm dirty like she liked (I do not know if that will ever stop punching me in the gut).
So, this is a special pecan tree, obviously, and I generally take special notice of it.
A few years ago it got struck by lightning on a windy and stormy fateful night in late March. I remember the following morning I was feeling anxious and worried as I not so patiently waited for Cheetah to go into labor. I wanted to meet my Lito man! I was riding Ike bareback before I left the farm to go visit Cheetah at the barn she was at to foal out.
Anyway, as I rode under this pecan tree I discovered the previous night’s damage. It appeared extensive and I was immediately saddened. The visible strike ran from the base of the trunk all the way up and out one of the branches to the very tip. On I rode with a sigh and was off to visit my Cheetah.
As the years went by, like they tend to do, I continued to observe that lightning strike on that pecan tree. It eventually morphed and healed into a scar from an open wound. It eventually became part of that tree. Somebody not privileged enough to know that tree’s story might think it grew up just like that. With a unique mark like a person’s hair color or a birth mark, adding to its very beauty.
So. Here is the AHAmoment for you.
Ya, you there.
Brought to you straight from a wise pecan tree.
Have you been feeling fragile lately? On edge? Cracked or about to? Or full on broken? Struck from top to toe?
Last time I checked, broken crayons still color (and hey, I would know. I am a geologist. I color for a living!)! Not only that, they are still colorful and bright as are their drawings! Have you ever even seen all the things you can do with broken crayons? It is fascinating. Really. Go get on Pinterest and just look at all the things you can do.
What about those cracks you say? Here is the thing about those. They let the light in, my friends! For you and everyone else. Let your light shine! Shine out the darkness!
A while back (as in just about the beginning) here on AHAmoments in desperation for positivity, I shared a Japanese tradition about how broken objects are repaired.
Is that not cool?! I have a broken ceramic pot on my patio (thanks, Merle!) that I am going to glue back together. I am then going to paint the cracks gold and remember the beauty.
Just like that special pecan tree, your lighting strike will heal and make you more beautiful and wise than you were before. You will keep on coloring like those broken crayons and you will create a masterpiece. Your golden cracks will be your crown. Have the faith. Embrace it and shine that light. In our weaknesses we are made strong!