The 9 Days of Christmas, Day 5.

Day 5.

Really and truly, no words are needed.

Donkeys are just special.

Besides, Petunia is the real star of this show if you ask her.

Today, in between work tasks, I am baking pumpkin bread, cleaning the trailer, riding Chance, and enjoying watching Merley Bob bound and play.

Have a blessed Monday before Christmas. It is a blessed, new day!

Walk in love, dear readers. Take a breath and give a smile. You are here and alive!

See you tomorrow on day 6!

The 9 Days of Christmas, Day 3.

Day 3!

The Saturday before Christmas.

Cheetah says to enjoy your day, do something for you.

We are getting wonderful rain today. Everything is getting really clean around here with the rain we have been getting.

Sun is out tomorrow and that means riding with friends!

Share your Christmas babies with everyone!

Oh, right. Less words.

Walk in love, dear readers!

The 9 Days of Christmas, Day 1.

Day 1.

OK, yes, I made this up, but who cares. Get into THE SPIRIT with me.

In years past on the Facebook page and here on AHAmoments, we have done a run of Christmas music, and while I am not promising I will not share some of that great music, I think this year calls for a bit more ammo.

Less words.

Clearly, I have not had many of those recently!

So. Spirit. Emotions. Smile. Joy.

Share them with me.

Day 1.

Maybe some tears with my smile, but still joy!

See you tomorrow for day 2!

Walk in love, dear readers!

P.S. Pray for more words after Christmas.

Two Questions.

And just like that, ‘fall’ has blown in from the north all the way down here to Texas. The horses are getting fuzzy and the pecan trees are turning and losing their leaves. The sunrises over the pastures and moonlit nights are spectacular.

And, um…that means…

We are almost in November?

I mean, what? Indeed where has the time gone?

I find as each year passes that question is ever more on my mind. Anyway, that is a thought for another day.

Not that I am going to lie, I am more than happy to welcome my favorite time of year, even if it feels a little different this year than years past.

Take heart though, not everything has been or will be different. Just look out the window and see the seasons change. Feel it. THAT is not different. That my dear readers is comfort.

I sat and watched the most recent front push through on Monday evening.

It left us with clear and cool nights that are ‘here to stay.’ I mean, we are still in south central Texas, so it is not like we get ‘real’ winters by many standards.

You can not see the rain of pecan leaves, but trust me it is there.

That is our fall expression here. It is interesting, I always notice it, that change of fall, in the exact same place. Right there in the same place as these pictures. It is always in the moment that I am walking out to the horses or riding under this very pecan tree. It is generally the first moment I bother to wear a sweater. The pecan leaves are always falling and beginning to roll across the ground. I did not think of that until just now.

Anyway, you know that sound of the wind through the drying, falling, bumbling leaves. That feel of the chilling air. Think of that when looking at these pics.

The horses had already gotten all their frisky, first chill energy bursts out.

Not all that much has changed since I last wrote.

We have been riding. All over.

Enjoying sunrises.

Watching those sunrises get better and better.

Going on adventures when not working.

Being present. Living life. Being busy as it would have it. That is the season we are in right now. The extraordinary of ordinary, every day life.

I spy a Merle Man!

Speaking of adventures…

Where dis?

HorseAddict, look! Just fulfilling a riding dream of mine. To ride in the forest. There may not be actual snow on the ground, but there is a snow blanket of pine needles!

This was our most recent adventure with friends old and new and new scenery in east Texas. We camped at Ebenezer Park and rode in and around Lake Sam Rayburn and the Angelina National Forrest. In the tall pine trees. Talk about magical!

Lito won the award of best jumper of down trees.

Every bit of magical as I dreamed it would be.

I love how we do not have to even leave the state to have such a variety of riding places. I have been blessed to ride in several different, beautiful places in this great state.

If we could not go on our usual October adventure fun, I will take this one!

The last time I wrote to y’all I was asked two questions by a dear reader and I figured I would answer them here.

Back in the office or spending more time at the farm?

Am I back in the office or spending more time at the farm? Both?

You see, I am in the office at my new job (now a few months old) about four days a week and I am also able to spend more time at the farm in both a professional and a personal capacity. Quite the door that opened up I dare say! Life sure is interesting and keeps us on our toes.

Song of the moment?

What is my song of the moment? Goodness. This is always a difficult question for me, but it is certainly easier than the ‘what is my favorite song’ question. My song of the moment has definitely been Who Am I by Needtobreathe. There are other gems on this album, so go treat yourself to a listen.

“You grow Your roses on my barren soul”

Seriously. That lyric. All the lyrics. Truth does not even touch the feeling. It gets right down in your soul and just rocks you. You’re welcome. My kind of gospel right there.

What about you dear readers? Are you back in the office at all? What is your song of the moment to share?

OK, fine. How about more than two questions? What is the extraordinary in your ordinary life?

Walk in love, dear readers!

Stream of Consciousness.

“Have you stopped blogging?”

The question came from a long time family friend. She has watched me and my two sisters grow up over the years.

She saw me run wild as a little person with equally wild hair in a fuchsia pink jump suit with a trim around the collar and cuffs of jingling jewels. With matching socks to boot (thanks, mom! Perfect fishing gear I dare say). Likely with some kind of high-top sneakers. She also watched me nap on the couch in that get up, probably smeared with fish slime and scales. There is photo evidence in south Texas where a piece of my heart resides. At least of the napping. No, I did not get a copy of that to share, although I think I should have.

She has also watched us learn how to fish over the years. Watched us do stupid things too I am sure. I remember one specific trip where we were catching fish after fish off the dock when we were not out on the boat. We would run upstairs, with the poor innocent fish dangling from the hook and dripping salt water on the ground, to excitedly swing the doors of the clean and cool clubhouse open and ask Pops what kind of fish it was. We would then run back downstairs, with the fish still there dangling and dripping decidedly less salt water on the ground, to return the poor creature to its home. I remember catching many new to me species that trip.

But, no, I have not stopped blogging. I have just been, I guess, taking a break.

The truth is, I have not had the right frame of mind to write. I have hated it. I have several pieces of blogs started. Several ‘stream of consciousness-es’ written down. It is like a symptom of the year 2020, for more than just myself. Everyone I speak to seems to feel the same. I just have had a hard time finding anything to say that seemed meaningful and additive with everything that has been going on in the world. It has felt important to be and live in the moment. Be more than present.

Anyway, I have missed you my dear readers and I have gathered up a stream of consciousness AHAmoments blabber covering the last quarter of 2020 just for you. Lucky you! Or, probably more accurately, a bunch of stories that should likely be their own posts, but alas…We have not spoken in a long time!

I feel like I am playing Pollyanna’s game right now with this. I am watching Pollyanna right this very minute. I am not lying. I can not make this stuff up. As you will read here in a minute it is flooding outside and I am watching Pollyanna. And I just so happen to be subconsciously playing her game! Gotta chuckle at that one.

Life in or out of 2020 will deal you some interesting cards combined with the curve balls, but it is up to us to see the positive and the light while continuing to play those cards! So, starting with the first curve ball…


Life is interesting. I can say that until I am blue in the face. And I have. Those that have been around here a while have heard me say that many times. We will all find ourselves experiencing the same things at one point or another. That is something to remember. The AHAmoment in it all. We are all more alike than any of us know and are all living in this same life. And there is good that comes out of it all. Now and at the end of the day.

You will lose your job (blessedly!) and you will find yourself landing in another, much happier space. Where you are appreciated and valued. Doing good work. That was at the beginning of July.

Life, especially the year 2020 chapter (did I not already write this blog post?!?), often can feel like one thing after another. One bad thing after another bad thing. When one door closes, indeed many things open if your eyes are open to seeing.


The question our dear family friend asked me came at the beginning of a much needed fishing trip at one of my favorite places with my parents and it made me a little sad when it hit me. It was a longing sadness, like that you have for a long lost friend.

That was at the end of July. We had a great trip with soul striking sunrises/sunsets, casting, fish catching/releasing/eating, boating with the dolphins, and even a beach trip, but we had to cut it short by more than a day to quite literally out run the incoming Hurricane Hanna.

We awoke early and were on the road in the dark before 6 AM. It is a good thing we did. It rained most of the drive back to the farm. We walked in the door and got everything unloaded before the next bands of rain came. As we watched from the safety of the indoors, we were blessed with one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.

A complete rainbow. With both ends planted and rooted right there on our farm. Can you even imagine that? Have you ever seen a complete rainbow where you could see both ends intersect the ground? I could have gone to both ends out there in the rain!

Even more interesting and amazing? How many times can I write amazing in one sitting?! WE SAW THE EXACT SAME RAINBOW A FEW WEEKS LATER!

If that is not a sign, I do not know what one is.


You will rebuild your fences finally after all the floods and trees will fall down on them.

That was in August. An outer tail band of Hurricane Laura swept seemingly unceremoniously over us. I swear it was just one quick blow. We had no other weather!

Goodbye pretty fence. It was nice having your around. You have now joined the ranks of all the other seasoned fences.

You will clean it up (when it finally cools down), have firewood for the winter, and rebuild the fence again. Hopefully you will do it quicker than the last time.


Your best mare will injure herself somehow, on her own, in the season she gets off to be a pasture fluff. My blessed girl got a slight tare in her right front check ligament. Which is only half the story because she has a mystery lameness on the left front.

That is all I can say about this at the moment. It makes me kind of sick at the moment. She will heal with time.

The ligament looked good her her recheck.


Every storm is not going to be destructive. Remember the rain is necessary for growth. It is currently raining and flooding outside, go figure 2020. How many beers and microphones do you have in your Mary Poppins carpet bag? Well, we needed the rain.

When the water goes down, which it will as it always does, it will be lovely. The start of a good fall with good grass. We can finally feel fall coming here in Texas. And oh boy, I could not be more ready for fall and everything it entails. As everyone is aware, this year is unlike any other year that I can remember in my short life, and there was no leading into fall this year. No time to get ready. That is OK! It is here with all of its wonder and glory!


Even still, with all of this, that, and the other, the wonders of this world and this life never seem to cease. You will give a gift to a beautiful soul who shows you without any question how much that gift is appreciated.

For a person like myself, there are not many things sweeter that that.

In truth, this gift was slightly self serving. I wanted it for myself as well. To complete the farm spa experience.

Just imagine being in the heat of this Texas summer. You are…gleaming! Yes, gleaming, from a magical ride on your fairy tail horse in the bright, humid, sticky, steamy, and leaning towards suffocating air blooming out of the mid morning.

Your skin is primed for the next treatment of dirt and cut grass from mowing until it is too hot to do anything else. Now you are even hotter, stickier, beyond thirsty, and your eyes are puffy and watering from the mowing. Perfect timing and conditions for the final treatment.

This is how hot. Sweat on your eyelids hot.

In the pool you go with an umbrella cocktail! With or without a Merle dog (he apparently prefers to have the pool to himself)! The height of luxury. You have no idea how good it feels. It is like nothing else in the world.


And here we are. Do you feel a change in the air? Like more than just a change in the season?? Is it just me willing a change for 2020 into existence? Either way, all of this will soon be behind us!

Do not isolate yourself! Reach out in any way you can! It is good for your soul.

Lito and I got out and had a ride with friends. Oh how we have missed that. We have another outing planned for October. It may not be our normal October adventure, but we are just as excited for it.

Walk in love, dear readers!

P.S. Look how grown up this boy is! And, he apparently still has his mohawk!

Tune Tuesday

It is Tune Tuesday today.

I can not skip it. You have to hear this and soak it in.

It made me smile.

So, take a load off for four minutes and thirty six seconds. A less than five minute break. Yes, I realize it is not even nine in the morning. Shh. Get another cup of coffee or treat yourself to a tea with lemon.

I’m going down on the Nueces River
Gonna call my brother, ask him to meet me there
On the surface will be two men fishing
Down below we are brothers with a love to share

I’m gonna lay my burdens down now
Gonna ask the Lord to watch them a while
I’m gonna walk where the sun is shining
I’ll be home when I have found a smile

There is a salt cedar tree that I know of
It can take a breeze and make a melody
I’m gonna climb up in those branches
And ask if it would whisper its secrets to me

I’m gonna lay my burdens down now
Gonna ask the Lord to watch them a while
I’m gonna walk where the sun is shining
I’ll be home when I have found a smile

There’ll come a time when the world is level
There was a time when the mountains grew
Then there is all that is here in the middle
And how it’s spent is up to me and up to you

I’m gonna lay my burdens down now
Gonna ask the Lord to watch them a while
I’m gonna walk where the sun is shining
I’ll be home when I have found a smile

~Max Stalling

Are you smiling?

Walk in love, dear readers, where the sun is shining.

Onward & Upward

Yes, 2020, you have been a gem so far.

I can not help it with these memes, sorry, I am not sorry. They are just so apt.

Really though, at this point, I want to scratch out ‘2020’ in that first one and put in its place, ‘The Whole Of The Past Twelve Months.’

Well actually, ‘The Whole Of The Past Twelve Months And One Day.’

A year ago yesterday was one of the worst days of my life. I had to make that terrible awful decision and actually act on it. My life has not been the same since and I do not think it will ever be the same again, and not just because of that fateful day.

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." - Anatole France

I miss everything about her and us. The words will not even come now, a whole year and a day later. That fateful day I had no choice. None.

That day I had to set my Darcy Girl free from her pain of this earthly realm. There was absolutely nothing else I could do. I had to do it for her. She was not even six years old. That is one of the hardest parts I think. We were supposed to have so much more time.

I have been doing a lot of thinking over the last year and a day (and not so much writing). It has been quite a year and it went by in a flash, but lot has happened.

That thing there I mentioned earlier. Choices. Yes, that one. We take that right and privilege for granted. That is one thing I know. Choices and time, that is what I have been thinking a lot about.

A little after Darcy’s day, before traveling all over kingdom come of this country over the summer (hey, I rode horses, caught fish, and got a Merle pup!), I blathered on here on AHAmoments about how life is about saying yes. Not just yes, but YES. Remember that? No? It does not matter, it seems silly in retrospect, but I did. I went on about saying yes to things and people and living what is left of your life because it is a gift that can be taken away at any moment. You know, beyond our control, out of our hands, not our choice.

Not long before Darcy’s day, I made a big bet (completely unrelated to Darcy) that had a very big chance of not working out.

An incredibly long story short, that bet did indeed turn out to be a losing bet. I was lied to and cheated on. Deceived. Taken advantage of and disrespected. My time was wasted. I got severely disappointed (hey, still kinda am). Mad. Angry. Sad. Mad at myself as well.

But you want to know what? Yes, I know you do. I have no regrets. I still believe those things about a yes life that I mentioned even still. That is the only way to live a life. It is too short not to. There are more important things than all that other stuff. I would not have a Merle pup or a Lito man if I did not believe these things. Where would I be without those two!? Or my Cheetah!? Even with Darcy. What if I did not get her when I did? Who would I be and where would I be without having had her in my life???

"No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses."~Herman Melville⁠

The truth is, just like this very life itself, none of it is on our time frames. That is for the Man Upstairs. AHAmoment and do not you forget it.

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My loving boy, Merle. A more beautiful soul never existed. He is a lover of all beings. My chief blessing.
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They seem to like him just as much.
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You see, I indeed did make that choice. Or choices, rather. Nobody else. That is on me. The choice to bet on a person knowing it had a high chance of not working out. If I am being honest, I even felt it deep inside in that hidden place, despite all the words, that it was not going to work out (hey there, gut feeling Holy Spirit, sorry I did not listen you. I am still learning.). I did not listen to it, I wanted it to be different. The way the words (not actions) sounded. It was supposed to be great. You do not win if you do not bid, right? That is what they say. I trusted and said yes. It was my choice. I believed and fought for it.

Here is the thing. I can make another choice right here in the story. And I have. I vowed to myself to continue to say yes and be open in life and opportunities and adventures and, yes, people. To live life in the front row. To learn and be better. Like I said then, I will say it now, I have lived a third of a lifetime (if I am blessed enough to live to old age). I have zero desire to waste any of it, or any more of it.

Lito wanted a rest under his favorite pecan tree. I always oblige. I am generally feeling the same. This is me, not wasting my time.

I have learned and am still learning from my past and all the life that I have lived over 31.5 years. That is what is making me smarter and wiser, so long as I listen to my gut feeling. Learning what He needs me to for His purpose. You have to ‘watch their actions,’ as a wise women told me. Not the words. Believe what you see and what is shown to you. Make the choice to learn it and leave it.

Do not take your time or choices for granted.

Life is still going on all around us whether or not we are going with it. The choice is yours no matter the situation, do not waste it. You can get wrapped up in all the rest if you want. Get mad and angry. I did for a little bit. Then step forward and on. Forward is always the answer, just like with horses. Leg on.

This is also me not wasting my time and my life. Churchill put it best. Except, I was riding bareback.
I have ridden this road since I was 9 and it never gets old.

All of that to say, that, even with all of that, the storms we go through (and we all do go through storms), they do not last. For anyone. We have so many rainbows. So many silver linings. So much wonder and light. So many blessings. That is right, WE. All of us. There is a reason for all of it, a greater purpose. We are learning through the journey to that purpose.

Like I said, I would not have Merle for not that awful day a year and a day ago.

Onward and upwards, my friends.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, and tomorrow is a new, blessed day! Go be your best self and be good to people.

Walk in love, dear readers, I hope these images of my loves brighten your 2020. Or Last Twelve Months And One Day.

Anyone still there? Tap. Tap tap.

Look! The pecans are coming! It is all in the natural way of things.