Universal

I have a question for y’all.

Are you ready? OK, then.

What are the universal languages of this world?

Do not think too hard now. You will think right on past the answer quicker than you could drive through a one stop light town.

Do you have an idea? I will give you a few more moments to ponder.

It is not quite as difficult as you may think.

Alright, I will tell you.

Love and laughter.

AHAmoment. Simple as that.

Everyone understands them. No matter what kind of words you speak or don’t speak. Every being gets them. Especially animals. They know them better than us. Which is why having animals in our lives makes us better humans. Better communicators.

Go walk in love and laughter, dear readers! Have a happy Friday.

 

Even Still

Even still I can not keep myself from being mesmerized by the rain.

The blessing is in the ‘even still.’ That is the AHA moment.

We have had so much rain as of late, but without a doubt every time it rains I find myself gazing out the window (if I can not get outside), swearing I can feel the moisture and smell the world outside. When the thunder rolls, I get a familiar warm feeling inside and I can literally feel myself smile, from the inside out. I can feel the power in it all, no matter how small the sprinkle of rain. How small I am and how grand the world is.

No matter what else is going on. All worries seem to wash away with the falling rain. It is taking that little moment to stop and clear your mind of everything but the sound and imagined feel of the rain. The moment will end itself and you can turn back around like new. Right as the rain. I had one of those moments today while at work in my office.

It is no secret to longer time readers that I have a thing for storms, despite all the apparent complaining I have been doing as of late about the rain.


Petrichor. Defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “a pleasant, distinctive smell frequently accompanying the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather in certain regions” or as “the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil.

That smell. That rain smell really is something. Even rain on wet ground still has a distinct smell, just different than that of rain on dry ground. So strong and familiar. Paining memories and feelings in your soul that last.

Interestingly enough, I was talking with my Mamma on the phone earlier about the appreciation you have for things you do not get to see or experience all the time. How you might not get those same feelings you did if you had access to them all the time.

I think I do not agree with that. Maybe it is just my personality, but I think I would still feel the same. I have many ‘even still’ moments.

Even still, I am stopped dead in my tracks, utterly captivated, by every sunset and sunrise I am blessed to see. The uniqueness. The colors. The shapes. The dichotomy of the movement coupled with the blatant stillness. That they are there every single day for every living being on this earth whether or not you can see them.

Even still, all it takes is a minute with my animals for the world to feel right and peaceful. For me to feel and see light. Remember what IT is all about. It is amazing to me. Amazing grace. To see my Darcy dog smile at me and be her weird, unabashed self. To sit atop either of my dun horses and feel their breathing. Their strength of gentleness. Their trust and willingness. Their innocence and teachings. To know and feel that they are a blessing I am supposed to have.

 

Hippie dippie? Maybe. I will go get my Birkenstocks to wear with my wool socks. All kidding aside, these things I could never tire of, no matter how much I get of them. This I do not think is a surprise to most people that know me.

Tell me your ‘even still’ moments?

Walk in love, dear readers!

In other news, Lito and I ran into the trailer together on Sunday. All brave and confident. He turned his head to look at me and his expression all but said in plain English, “See, I can do this again, can we go somewhere and do something new?”

 

 

Daily Dose Of Cute

We are long overdue for a Daily Dose Of Cute over here!

I would also bet y’all are excited for me to quit being a broken record, talking only about how I have not been able to ride because of the rain and mud (literally I think that is all I ever say here these days). While that is all still true, this gal was actually able to ride this weekend! I even took my time grooming and braiding just because that is what I wanted to do.

“Excuse me, mom, I am the center of attention here, not Chance. Take my photo.”

“What are you doing up there?”

“Is this my  best side?”

Lito clearly thinks this is his best side.

Now it is time for a little Darcy love. Darcy has the most love of all to give to everyone. All smiles and words of affirmation from that girl.

It was so foggy Saturday. We basically lived in a cloud for half of the day.

You may not know her in real life, but she smiles for real and talks for real. Maybe not in English, but she sure as heck knows the language. If not English than the language of love.

An unexpected surprise to me, our office was closed yesterday and I got an extra sunny day for some bareback play.

Cheetah was extra lovey.

Complete with molasses tub all over her face.

 

I also have a sunset for you. You know, just for good measure. You can never have too much animal cuteness and sunrises/sunsets.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Starting Tomorrow…December

Being as it is the last day in November and tomorrow is the first day in December.

It is officially time to get into the Christmas spirit!

And these guys here, they agree with me. It is a fact.

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The best time of the year!

The reason for the season. The music. The decorations. The traditions. The family time. The food.

All of this means I have something for you. Yes, YOU! Starting tomorrow. On December 1st. Do not you forget!

So. For you.

To help get you in the spirit of The Spirit, I have arranged a series of my favorite Christmas songs to be posted on the AHAmoments Facebook page starting tomorrow and continuing all month long (you can click the link above or on the ‘f’ Facebook icon on the right side panel of your screen)!

I know, just what you wanted for Christmas!

You know how I love to share music. Do yourself the favor and check back in over there often and have a listen. It will not disappoint! You may even hear some of your favorites or gain a new one! It is going to be a fun month of some of the best Christmas songs. Do me a favor and share your favorites with me!

But, wait, there more! And you will not have to pay $19.99 to get it!

I answered this questionnaire last year about Christmas since, you know, I love it, and I figured I would share it with you again here. I liked reading it again. It may give you ideas for your own Christmas and help put it all in perspective.


1. What´s your favorite thing about Christmas?
Um. All of it? It is not about the things. It is what it all adds up to mean. The reason for the season. What IT is all about. His coming for us. His presence. Fellowship. Getting together with family and friends in honor of Him.
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2. What´s your favorite Christmas memory?
There are so many, it is hard to pick just one. I do think my favorite memory is actually one that I wrote about the other day. The post was supposed to actually be about Elvis, but laced in there was the story of how all the grandchildren would go over to my Grandparents’ house to decorate their Christmas tree, listen to Christmas music, and drink hot chocolate. I miss those days!
3. Are there special traditions your family has for Christmas?
There have been many special traditions over the years. Like going together to pick out the Christmas tree or decorating the house or wrapping the gifts. Traditions are special to me. They are meaningful, if you are doing them for the right reasons, but they are really not what IT is about. Time goes on, people grow up, families grow, and life changes. And, so do our traditions. They fade away, change, or we make new ones. It is the natural way of things. To change, whether we like it or not. I have written on this before. However, the root of the tradition, what makes it special, stays the same. Everyone who is able comes to the designated house for a grand meal made with love and enjoyed with togetherness and faithfulness. It does not matter when or how or what, just so long as we get together. Grow in our faith and fellowship. Feel and see the reason for the season. His presence. To spread our joy and cheer with those around us.
4. What´s your Christmas wish? (can be personal or general)
Can’t tell you or it won’t come true? No. That is not how it really works. But I have already told you my wish. My wish is the same now as it was then. Faithfully waiting. Am I right, BBB?
Next question.
5. What´s your favorite Christmas dish?
Um. How long do you have? It is my favorite meal. So. Every dish? Really though, my favorite is my Mamma’s homemade rolls. They are only made on special occasions and I have never had a better roll. What can I say, I like carbs OK. Don’t judge. If you had ever had them you would know
6. What´s your favorite Christmas decoration?
The tree! The smell. The feel. The look. The lights. The ornaments. That explanation above that I found this year. This one below that I just found.
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It brings meaning to the minutia. Changes the way today’s ‘world’ thinks about it, takes the marketing and today’s Santa out of it. It is no longer a chore.
7. What´s your favorite Christmas song?
Um. Way to pick the hardest question. I really dislike when people ask my favorite song. Can I have more criteria. What day? What mood? What situation? I have so many favorites of all kinds. Have you heard the Christmas songs I have been sharing over on the Facebook page?! Most all about the true meaning of Christmas and great pieces of music. If I HAD to pick a favorite, right now…
Hard to not cry.
8. Where do you usually celebrate Christmas?
Honestly? In my heart. Hokey and corny and all that, I know, but it is true. It is they way we are meant to I think. You know how I just explained changing traditions? Well, where we physically celebrate also changes. We also have multiple celebrations. Big family. Church Christmas Eve, followed by dinner at someone’s house. These days it has been at my oldest sister, A’s house. So the little people can go to bed at a reasonable time in their own beds and wake up to Christmas morning at their house. Then Christmas Day lunch at either my Parents’ or my Aunt and Uncle’s house. This year, my Aunt and Uncle’s. We used to always do it at my Grandparent’s house.
9. What does the “Christmas spirit” mean to you? and I will add Anne’s extra question because these two questions are tied together for me…Do you believe in Christmas?
Yes.
I believe in the Christmas I have described through the answers to this Christmas Tag. I believe in the reason for the season. The coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for us. The forgiveness of our sins. In remembering and living that. Doing His will and walking His path for me every day of the year.
That is what the Christmas Spirit is to me. Remembering the reason for the season. Being a source of joy and cheer for those around you. Letting Him be a blessing to others through you. Giving and doing for others. Forgiveness as Christ forgave us. Growing that in your heart and letting it last all year.
10. Who out of anybody in the world would you want to spend your Christmas with?
My family. Especially the ones who do not live here and I only get to see every now and then.

I hope you enjoyed it!

Share with me your favorite Christmas songs or what you do to get into the Christmas Spirit!

Walk in love, dear readers.

Light

Let us talk for a minute about light. Y’all know I have a thing for it. That sounds like a funny thing to say, but you get what I mean. Especially there at the farm.


“In nature, light creates the color. In the picture, color creates the light.”
~Hans Hofmann

On Thursday of last week I went out to the farm for a delayed midweek visit because I was going to be out of town over the weekend to attend a baby shower for Sister K. The ground was soup again (or still, I guess) and there was no riding to be had, so I just fed everyone and hung out. Enjoyed the clean, clear, and cool air and the sounds of happily eating animals.

The cows were a bit miffed to only be getting hay to eat. As if they do not live on an all you can eat buffet.

After turning the horses out I walked out into the pasture with them and then on down to the pond. Thinking to myself all the while, “maybe I will get some good sunset shots over the water.”

What a passing thought to have.

You could already tell there was something special in the air that day. In the very light itself. It was like a magnet pulling me in. A veritable beacon. Can you see it there? Down the valley? In the tip of Cheetah’s tail?

I mean. Just look at that mare next to that pecan tree.

This little one was intrigued by me crouching in the grass. Or she just wanted to model. Only she knows the real answer.

I turned back around to see that the horses had meandered down and a gaggle of calves had moved in.

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Anyway, I went a little further down, closer to the pond and looked to my left. I raised my phone camera and snapped two pictures.

I just stood there in wonder for a few moments.

Do you see it? In these two photos together? What if you imagined them together, combined into one image? One on top of the other?

Do you see the cross in the light?

I do not even have words for that.


 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

~John 8:12



“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”

~1 John 1:5



“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

~John 1:5



“The obviously well kept secret of the “ordinary” is that it is made to be a receptacle of the divine, a place where the life of God flows.”

~Dallas Willard


Ordinary. Extraordinary.

Darcy was feeling it too.

But then again, Darcy is always feeling it. Animals get it.

What a moment.

Thank you for letting me share this moment with you.

Let your lights shine. It is bright within you!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Daily Dose Of Cute

Time for a daily dose of cute, just for you, on this fine Tuesday. I also need distraction. Too much excited anticipation.

I finally had a weekend at the farm with my loves. I felt blessed with the time.

Yawning time.

Nap time.

Sunrise time.

Standing awkwardly for pictures time.

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Deep conversations about life, solving the world’s problems time.

Moving cows time.

CUTE time.

There was also riding time. Not the most exciting rides as they have all been on vacation for over a month. You know, life and that adulting thing. Anyway, just moving our bodies and focusing on the basics is all anyone’s brains could handle, but they were great.

And.

Birthday time. This girl is 5 years old today!

Why, you say, do I need distraction from my excited anticipation??? Well. Oldest sister A is in labor. LABOR. Baby girl is a comin’!

Yikes!

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Walk in love, dear readers!

When A Texan Goes On Vacation

She eats Mexican food no less than three times in the week before like there might be a chance it won’t be there when she gets back.

You may think I am kidding, but I am not. I hope the clothes I packed still fit!

Last weekend was great with my Aunt M and Cousin W out for a visit and the whole thing went by in a haze…an African Haze of African wind and dust.

But first, can we please admire Darcy’s paw hair blowing in the wind?!

I took care of some lingering chores Saturday and riding got put on the back burner. I did hop on Cheetah for a quick minute after sunset. Lito came over for a visit.

Sunday morning was greeted by two bright, dun faces and a unique, hazy sunrise. They wait for me at the gate most mornings.

I then had a great ride on Lito before I headed back to town for the crazy week ahead.

This week has gone by in a flash. Monday and Tuesday were non stop getting work situated for my absence. By Tuesday at 1 PM I started to get this old familiar feeling. A feeling I have not felt in years.

Can you guess?

It felt like the last day of school before summer. Just without the movie watching and parties. A permanent smile was forming on my face as the end of the day approached.

The plan after work was to get my nails done and then get packed and organized so that today, all I had to do was go to the farm. You knew I had to get out here to see the horses and get my fix before I leave.

I convinced R to go with me on the nails. Then that summer time feeling was still there and one of those much needed Mexican meals was calling my name. I had to comply, I had no choice. I gave a good pitch and convinced R and a couple other friends to come with. Never a hard chore when Mexican food is involved.

After a bucket of salsa, enchiladas, and margaritas, the last thing I wanted to do was organize, clean, and pack. So…I didn’t.

Procrastinating, I am good at it.

I woke up this morning and made myself pack. And clean. And organize. It was helpful that it was raining basically all day. Everything, unfortunately, also took most of the day. Those things always take too long, so I didn’t make it out to the farm until after 4.

The whole region received quite a bit of rain and it was still raining when I pulled up. I walked out in the drizzle to see the horses after a quick survey. They seemed to be glad for break in the heat and to have the rain cleanse their coats of salt.

So, now here I am, covered in wet horse dirt and hair, happily cuddled up on the farm couch, writing to you.

All in all, a pretty good 4th of July. I always seem to have a good day on the 4th of July. Just look at this pic of me and my Lito from a 4th of July past. A little younger and a little smaller. Still my Lito.

I am leaving for France tomorrow and could not be more excited.

I do hope you will stay tuned for news from my trip! I can not wait to share it with you!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Special Day

Monday morning awoke with a bad case of the delayed, anxiety inducing Sunday blues. But, so goes some Mondays.

Even Darcy had a good groan and roll around before I made her get of bed strictly because I had to. She promptly went straight to her bed to go back to sleep after taking her outside. She did not even get up when I left. Oh to be a dog.

Anyway, back to the weekend because it was great and much better than anything going on this week. You know, working and laundry (SO MUCH LAUNDRY ALL THE TIME!) and cleaning and stressing about my upcoming adventure in France. Really, France can not come fast enough!

You missed that little tidbit, did you? Yes, AHAmoments is going to France next week! I dropped that news a bit ago and then never really said anything more about it. And I am not going to give any bit of it away now. You will just have to check back here to follow along on the adventure!

OK. Now, really back to the weekend. First, the weather was phenomenal. Not too hot and had a nice breeze. The traffic heading out there Friday after work was absolutely horrendous, but the second I stepped out of the car all was forgotten. I made a cocktail and walked out to the horse pasture, clinking ice and all, to sit and enjoy the sunset.

Stunner right? I just love to share these images with you. It never ceases to amaze me how each sunset can be different from the same place. It is a natural wonder. I hope they bring you as much joy as they bring me.

After bringing the horses into the paddock for the night, I went to get my dinner together and settle in for the night.

Saturday morning I took my time grooming and tacking Cheetah before we went of to ride. First we did a little arena work to make sure we actually did work. We both need it. Her because she is so grass fat and happy she is moving a little pokey. One would think that is a welcome change from her normal, but it is not actually. It is awkward, flat, and strung out. And for me, because well, sometimes we need to put ourselves into boot camp. Make myself ride better was the focus and has been the focus. My western saddle has become a crutch apparently and I do not like it. You just have off times every now and then. So, I have pretty much been only riding in an english saddle for the past couple of months and making myself do two point and riding without stirrups.

After the hard part was over, we went for a nice tour of the farm. An actual, four beat, walking tour. That was a nice and welcome change from her normal. She has actually been doing that lately and I love it. We looked at the grass and fences. Took a few bites of grass every now and then. Checked on the cows. Stopped in the shade of her favorite pecan tree. She voluntarily stops under the same tree every time we ride by and I love that too. She got a handful of treats and bath upon our return. I honestly think she enjoyed it as much as I did.

Leaving her tied in the shade, I brought Lito over for a long, indulgent grooming session. My favorite. I even braided his cute, short mane. I hoped they would stay, but I knew they would not. In the end, only three survived.

After lunch, I mowed. You know, I love to mow. Does anyone else like to mow? I find it terribly therapeutic and cathartic. And satisfying and rewarding. Some people think I am crazy, but honestly. Try it some time. Then, when you are finished and turn the mower off, the invading flood of silence is marvelous. Like you never knew how quiet it was before. You just have to hurry up and change your clothes because it is itchy work!

At some point in the day, I caught Darcy in a nap on the warm concrete.

Please notice the burrs. Wherever the Darcy goes, so go the burrs. It is our lot in life.

The long, hot afternoon hours around here are for the riding horses to practice tying in the shade. They get really good at it. All it takes is hours. They learn to settle in for a nap. Sometimes even I forget.

All three tails, caught in the breeze.

I rode Chance in the late evening, after the hottest part of the day. He has been ridden by kids a lot lately and thought he could pull the same tricks on me. He grunted and groaned in irritation as I made him work correctly. It was quite comical. A quick hose down for Chance after our ride and I settled in with a cocktail, listening to music and enjoying the sunset. The animals broke the spell after a while demanding their evening feed.

Sunday was an early start to a special day. Riding my Lito and a visit from my Grandmother.

After the horses had their morning feed, I caught up my Lito for a ride. He was acting a little squirrely as only a young horse in their terrible fives can be…

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…so we hand grazed and walked for a while after looking at all the things. Man, it sure is hard to get used to young horse actually acting like a young horse. Time and consistency, just like everything else. Do not forget it. He is aloud to be young and horses never lie. They tell you what they need if only we listen.

When his head seemed like it was back where it belonged, we groomed and tacked. Arena work first, farm tour second. Seemed to be the order of the weekend. He was not great, but was not bad. He tried and was happy at the end. That is what matters. Little bit by little bit, one thing at a time, slowly, is how you get where you are going. And we are going.

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Then my Grandmother came out for a BBQ lunch and to visit the horses.

This pic was from the last time she was able to come out. It was a few years ago. I remember my Grandfather, memory almost consumed by the Dementia, took one look at Chance and said, “That is a Quarter Horse,” with a big smile.

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It was a special visit for us all. It warms my heart to see her with the horses again. For her to see, feel, and smell them, not just view in a picture. Feel the breeze in her hair and on her skin under the large oak tree. She says she still has dreams of galloping across the fields and I only wish I could make that happen for her again.

I hope to get her out there again soon. It was a late afternoon getting home, but I made a quick run to the store for ingredients to have a homemade pizza dinner. Pretty dang good!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Daily Dose Of Cute

Everybody needs a little bit of cute every day. Especially on Wednesdays. You know, to warm your heart and bring a smile to your face. Lighten the mood. So, here is something to make you smile.

This was my first day with Darcy. Boy oh boy, is she cute or what?! I mean, even with the blurry photos and removing all bias…SO CUTE!

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She still pays like that.

This next one is really what gets me. I did not put her there, she did that all on her own.

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I dare you not to smile.

My mother used to say that to me when I was incensed, as only a teenager could be. Shoot darn if it did not work every time.

Let us share this with the world and make things a little brighter, shall we?

Walk in love, dear readers!