The Sunrise

Guaranteed to put smiles on faces since the beginning of time. 

Monday was rainy so there was no seeing the sunset. Ironically, we did not get much rain at all at the farm. We sure do need it. 

Tuesday now, Tuesday showed up to play. You can’t really see it, but the clouds looked kinda like desert mountains far in the distance. We did end up getting some rain Tuesday evening. More wind than anthing. 


Same thing with today, just without clouds. Hard to not have a good hump day when it starts with a happy dog, happy horses (even those in solitary confinement), and a commute accompanied my a beautiful sunrise and good music. Even if your car is super dirty. Don’t judge me. I will not show you the inside either. 


Quite the painting from The Man Upstairs. Are you smiling yet? 




How about now? You’re welcome. 

Go get your smile tomorrow morning! 

Walk in love, dear readers! 

Tuesday Toodles

What day is it today? Tuesday? Yes, all day. Today is Tuesday. When and how did that happen? Overnight. Right. But what happened to yesterday?

Yesterday was a typical Monday recovering from the weekend. Harder than normal because Middle Sister, K was still in town and I did not want to miss a minute. But, miss the last minutes I did because I have this adult thing called a job. The day was quiet and by most accounts slow when I think of it.

After work, I had a dinner and drinks get together with friends. I made fudge brownies from scratch topped with a little dollop of cream cheese frosting and spears of strawberries, all arranged on a fluted red cake stand. Naturally, I did not get a picture so, use your imagination. I brought the leftovers to the office for everyone else to enjoy. In theory. There are not enough other people here to eat them fast enough before I cave and have one! OK fine, several. They are in bite size pieces! And have fruit on them!

Anyway, it was a later evening than I had intended and this morning came all too fast. That seems to happen more and more these days, despite my body and brain always waking at basically the same, unnecessarily early time.

I say that, I actually like waking up early as I have mentioned before. I just could have used more sleep last night.

I tried to take some cute, quick pics of my Darcy girl while I was having my coffee. She could not sit still for them. Mornings are just too exciting. And when I come home. And when anyone comes over. Or walks by. All times are exciting and happy for the Doolittle Darcy dog. Be like Darcy, I tell myself. Especially when I am tired and headed to work. Dogs are so great for so many reasons. AHAmoment.

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This weekend was busy with Mother’s Day, birthday, and family activities. Shout out to my wonderful Mamma and Grandmothers. They sure are something and have made me into who I am today. So many sacrifices they have made for us kids.

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Aren’t they something???

These are all pictures of pictures. Is that today’s version of a vintage photograph? Mother hides from the camera these days and I have no idea why. She is so pretty! She is probably reading this right now. Isn’t she pretty?!!!? The second to last one, there on the pinto, is her mother. The last one is my father’s mother. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, biological or not, human or not. We are blessed to have you!

For your laugh today, look at what my father is holding in his hand.

Yes, that is a rock.

Walk in love, dear readers!

 

Memories Gained & Life Lived.

Are you tired of waiting to hear about our Hill Country adventure???

Well, I know I am tired. Tired because we had so much fun! I have a fun hangover. Seriously. Adulting is very hard today. Almost as hard as leaving the ranch on Monday morning.

It is hard to even know where to begin because I am so over the moon with my horse!

Let us just begin at the very beginning. This is going to be long, but at least there are good pictures!

On Thursday, I got to the farm after work at a fairly decent hour. R was able to leave work early and was ahead of her time frame for being able to make it to the farm with Ronan, aka Ro, before dark. When I got to the farm, I set directly to loading everything of R’s into the trailer and a few other things of mine that I had not loaded yet.

It then occurred to me that I might want to go check my horse to make sure he had all four shoes still securely attached to his hooves and that everything was as it should be. I could go on about how I was worried he would have pulled a shoe, which I was, and leave y’all hanging in suspense. Luckily for you, I do not have time for that! Too many other great things! He indeed did have all four shoes solidly in place and ready to go. I snapped a few pics of him because, well, why not. He is just so dang cute I had to.

How could anyone not love that face!?!? At this point, I knew that I could really get excited because all there was between us was one sleep and a drive and we were there.

After loading the trailer with everything I had, I spread shavings in the trailer and filled and hung the hay nets so all we had to do in the morning was load the horses. When I received word that R and Ro were going to be able to make it to the farm before dark (she was going to stay with a friend that lives near the farm where Ronan lives if it got too late so she would not have to haul in the dark), I set up the round pen with water and some hay for Ro.

I had all the horses up in their stalls finishing their evening feed before R pulled in. We unloaded Ro and got him settled in the round pen before introducing my Lito to him. I was pleasantly surprised how they immediately became fast friends. I was slightly worried Lito was going to be a turd since it was his home and herd, but they were like brothers from other mothers and have they same play styles…rambunctious and tough with a lot of bitey face. such boys! I can only imagine how they would be if we turned them out together! We kept Ro in the round pen (which is inside the arena) and let Lito loose in the arena so they could get acquainted over night. We kept the rest of our horses separate.

It the morning, it appeared Ro had won the night time bitey face game as Lito had the little hairless nicks of a looser all over his nose! After feeding them, they were feeling the chill in the morning air and ran around like crazies playing, causing the rest of the horses to do the same. We gave them a few more minutes to burn off some energy while we finished our coffee and got dressed.


Both horses loaded well and after a quick kolache and fuel stop, we were on the road to my Uncle’s ranch. 


It was an uneventful haul and we arrived around lunch time. Both horses unloaded well and stood quietly tied at the trailer while we got the pens set up for them. I was extremely happy when Lito stepped off the trailer like he did. He has always hauled well, but never anything over an hour. We drove over four hours, with a new horse, gained a little altitude, and ended up at a new place. He quietly backed up, stepped out, took a look around, and then cocked a back hoof and yawned.


Yes, I made him wear a helmet for the haul. I know. I’m crazy, but he is TALL. Our trailer is not small, but he does not have to try very hard to touch the ceiling. In fact, if he is just regularly looking at something with his ears forward, they are bent over by the top of the trailer!

We ate lunch, had a quick drive around, and then got ready to ride. 


I longed Lito for a bit and he acted as he always does. He was looking around more than I would have ideally wanted since he was not fully focused on me, but he was relaxed and responded to everything I asked. I rode him around the barn/house for a little to make sure he was responsive and with me. He was pretty mouthy with the bit and ready to go, but again, responsive. R and Ro were ready and waiting so we started off.

Lito was a little sluggish at first, but he soon figured it out. He was looking at everything, taking it all in, and was pretty relaxed. Both horses had some quick spooks (mostly at deer blinds), but Lito was there and with me every time I asked him to come back and relax. 





We went about 8 miles that afternoon/evening (Map My Ride was not working) in around 3 hours. My Uncle’s horse, Cisco, loved our horses and our horses loved him. That made my heart happy. He has had that horse for over 20 years and he is one of the best horses around. They acted like they have known each other for a long time and Lito chose to graze by Cisco after his hose down.


We made some cocktails and had a walk around before feeding the horses and cooking dinner. While the enchiladas cooked, we watched the sunset while listening to the frogs in the pond and feeding the fish before our enchilada dinner on the porch.


On Saturday, we woke up early, fed, and ate breakfast. I longed Lito for a few minutes to see how his mind and body were, and we rode out.





When we got back for lunch, we untacked, hosed the horses down, and gave them some hay before having a mimosa lunch with sandwiches by the pool. Then Darcy and I swam while R tanned. Darcy LOVED the pool because there is a large, shallow wading section. She eventually felt confident enough to swim after a ball and then across the pool with me. I was so happy and proud of her! If you remember, she is not much of a swimmer and this is a pretty big deal. She then proceeded to bound around in and out of the pool barking.

Darcy came with us for our afternoon ride and we saw a beautiful fox! I have seen a fox on this ranch before many years ago while riding Cisco. Truly special both times. By the end of the day, we had logged around 17 miles (yay for Map My Ride working!). 









Darcy was a tired pup! We had some cocktails with cheese and venison sausage, from a deer harvested on that ranch, with honey mustard before feeding the horses and having cesar salad for dinner.


Sunday morning we again woke up early and had another great ride. I don’t think either of them spooked at all and they acted like they had been riding that ranch for years. We rode the furthest into the ranch on this ride. A little bit of the terrain and brush coverage got a little worrysome there for a bit, but both horses handled it. We covered almost 10 miles.



After lunch, we took naps and then took a drive around the ranch. We were going to go for another ride, but we got an invitation we just couldn’t refuse. The ranch foreman is also a pilot, I don’t think I mentioned that. He was going to go fly and offered to take us up in his plane to see the ranch from the air and enjoy the sunset. My initial response was, “**** YES!!!!!,” I excused myself for my language and told R we could do whatever she wanted. Her response was, “how often does someone offer you a ride in their plane without it being creepy or having any expectations?!” Needless to say, we went up in the plane and had a blast! I am so glad we did it and would not change it for the world! Well, really the whole weekend actually.





We cleaned a packed as much as possible Sunday night. We needed to leave in the morning by 7 because we had a meeting to get t by 5 PM back home. That meant an even earlier wake up call to get sheets washed and dried, beds made, stuff loaded, and horses loaded.

I may have cursed when my alarm went off in the morning. We got it done though and the horses loaded well, hauled well, and unloaded well. We got to our meeting in hauling clothes, but on time and happier than…I don’t even know what. A clam? I don’t really get that saying.

Each ride, we rode a different route, the weather was amazing, we flushed lots of wildlife (including pigs multiple times), rode through thick cover, and the horses got better and better. we saw each sunrise and sunset. By the end of the weekend we were not spooking at deer blinds anymore and we were walking with a purpose. Ro was made to climb mountains and really loves it. I think that really helped Lito. He really took to the hills and rocks. I am so incredibly proud of him and he really seemed to have a good time. We had a few sticky moments where he was unsure, but he was never unreasonable, just questioning and needed support. R and I took turns leading when we were not riding next to each other, both of us just enjoying the horses and nature. Every time I went out to check on Lito in the pen, I could have sworn we were at home by the way he acted and how relaxed he was. Each time, he nickered and walked up to me, ready to go ride.

People call the Hill Country God’s Country, and it truly is. His presence is palpable there and this trip was no different, especially to be there with this horse. I know this may sound crazy, but I could have cried several times while riding out there because of just feeling His presence, experiencing His gifts and creation, and all with my Lito.

We came home with even more confidence and trust. He is such a gift and I can not describe how grateful I am for him and to have this experience with him. I could not have asked for anything better!

Can we go back?! Today was extremely hard at work! I got through it with the memories gained, life lived, and lunch with my cousin.

Thanks to R for some of these photos!

I hope you enjoyed reliving our Hill Country adventure with me! On to the next!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Hurry Up & Wait.

This morning I woke up early to finish packing and load everything that did not need to be cold in my car. I even woke up before my alarm. Darcy was picking up on the energy and seemed to know that this weekend is not going to be the average weekend. She was bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to go the minute I opened my eyes. She stuck by all morning, as if to remind me not to leave her. It was extremely hard to leave her to go to work!

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Right now, during my lunch break…after I finish writing this post, I am going to a local Mexican bakery (my favorite!!!) for some pan dulce for our breakfasts. After work, I am packing up the cold groceries and my sidekick Darcy girl and heading to the farm. One step closer to leaving Friday morning and pulling out. Cross your fingers Lito still has all four shoes on. Last night I made some chicken enchiladas to have for a couple of our dinners. One less thing to take away from fun time! Ain’t nobody got time to cook (or clean dishes!) when we have a girls weekend dedicated to horses!

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Last weekend I got most all of my horse stuff loaded and packed in the trailer. I have all of R’s horse stuff in my car, ready to load in the trailer, along with all of my personal things. I will be doing that while I try not to die waiting for patiently wait her arrival with Ronan (I had gif conversations with R all morning!). Hurry up and wait. Ugh. I have patience, I promise. I am so ready for this and am super excited to put some serious miles in on Lito. I tried to do this last year with him, but then the river flooded, twice.

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The plan is to leave around 7:30 or 8 AM on Friday to avoid hitting traffic on our way and arrive around lunch time. We will get the horses unloaded and settled, get our stuff inside, and eat a quick lunch before tacking up and riding out for the afternoon. Then ride all morning and all afternoon. Rinse, repeat! There will be some drinking, eating, music, swimming, pit fires, watching of Kentucky Derby, and maybe some sleeping. We will have all day Saturday and all day Sunday before leaving Monday morning. Both R and I have somewhere to be by 5PM on Monday.

This sums up how I have been all week on the inside…and maybe on the outside:

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Sorry for the excessive gif usage, please don’t leave me! …tap, tap…? Anyone still there???

More from Midnight River Choir to get me through the work day. Thanks to Texas Music Scene for posting the vid on their YouTube. Enjoy!

I will update on the weekend when I can!

Walk in love, dear readers!

 

Easter

Easter is always a special time at the farm. Well, Easter in itself is obviously special in its own right, but it is different at the farm.

I remember the first Easter after my parents bought the place. I do not remember who all was there. I know my Father and at least one sister was there. I can not remember who else. Anyway, it was windy. It is always windy at the farm on Easter. We must have come out directly after church as we were in our church clothes. At the time, the place was raw. Well, raw its own way. It needed a ton of work and even more just plain cleaning up. It was cross fenced in every way you can imagine. I do not remember why, but my Dad climbed over a gate and when he stepped down on the other side, he landed right in a fresh cow patty while wearing his nice loafers. My sister and I probably thought that was pretty funny while dear old Dad did not.

We have always celebrated Easter in some way at the farm. It has changed over the past few years, as it happens when families grow, but it always feels the same. Special.

This year, it was somewhat of a revolving door with people coming and going. Middle Sister and her Hubby could not come to town because of work commitments (that part was not special…). My Parents, Eldest Sister’s Hubby, Niece, Nephew, and myself went out Thursday. Eldest Sister had to work on Good Friday. The men, that would be my Dad, Bro in law, and Nephew, went fishing Friday for the day and the ladies, my Mom, Me, and Niece, hung out at the farm. I think I mentioned that before and how I rode Cheetah, Lito, and Ike.

Saturday, my Aunt and Grandparents came out for lunch. When my Grandparents got there, I was just riding up to the house at the end of my ride on Lito. He was amazing, by the way, if you were wondering. He is getting really consistent and more balanced. For around 20 or so rides all spaced out, he is doing better than some that get ridden every day. At least in my mind. He is pretty tractable and rates really easily. I am surprised at how well he responds to my seat and even my voice. I am really excited for our hill country adventure. While we were on our ride, we discovered a brand new calf born not that long before. Nature never ceases to amaze me.

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Sister and her family went back to town to go to church in the afternoon and participate in the church Easter egg hunt. When my Aunt arrived, we had burgers, fries, and my Grandmother’s molasses cookies for lunch out on the porch, under the live oak. That tree and porch, I tell you, there is no better place to be. My grandparents went back to town later that afternoon and my Aunt stayed to spend the night.

Saturday evening, I spent some time riding Lito bareback in a halter, just relaxing and having fun. Making sure he remembers how to do that. That it is not always hard work. He remembered.

Sunset rolled around and we had even more porch time with a steak dinner and wine. I am so glad that my Aunt was able to come out and stay. Get a away, even if just for a short time. We are all still sad, but none more than her I am sure.

Sunday morning found us sitting there on the porch again drinking coffee, looking down the valley watching the fog rise, listening to gospel and nature. Words can not express the beauty of His creation, especially in that place. The rest of my coffee got cold so I grabbed Lito’s bridle and went and did my favorite Sunday morning thing. Ride bareback.

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We wrapped things up at the farm before lunch to head back to town and get ready for Easter diner with my Mom’s side of the family. I made and decorated a coconut cake. It was pretty dang good! Doesn’t look too bad either. Holidays are my favorite because I get to see both sets of grandparents close together. I am savoring all my time with them.


Happy times were had with the still at times sad. Slowly, the happy times will start to outshine the sad. Still grieving my Uncle, but we had a new calf born and we got to watch mamma introduce him to the heard. The kiddos got dirty and tired just like the dogs, running around and playing. Like it is supposed to be. I have had some amazing rides on my 2 dun babies. I rode Lito more times that I had even planned. We all had a good time together and wished that the rest of the family could have been there. God is great.

I hope y’all had a great Easter, creating new happy memories.

Walk in love, dear readers!

 

This Moment. 

I am currently sitting on the porch at the farm next to my mother as she reads, under the great live oak, enjoying the breeze. Apache is across the yard, eating his fill of senior feed. I am about ready to make a cocktail. My dad just let the cows up from the meadow and into the pond pasture where the horses live. I have been blogging a lot from my phone lately, so apologies if the formatting looks goofy. 


Things went pretty well this morning and only time will tell how well. After our meeting, we (everyone in my company) all had a relaxing lunch together at my request. Not long after, my boss told everyone to go home and enjoy the long weekend. I am so blessed to work with he people I do. I know it has been hard working in this industry during this downturn (harder for many others than for me…I still have a job). I know sometimes I am unsure if this is what I should be doing and that I do not know what my next step will be, but I am happy and proud to work with such high caliber individuals that know what it is all about. Family always comes first. Blessed beyond measure to be there. 


Enjoy the long weekend with family, dogs, and horses I will!

I am shooting for riding Lito Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, in addition to everyone else. I have his first off property, ridden experience booked for the first weekend in May in the hill country. More on that later. I hope to get the trailer in for a good once over on Saturday if the place is open in preparation. R and the horse she rides, Ronan, are coming with us. In addition to all the riding we will be doing, we are going to have our own little Kentucky Derby watching party!

That is what is going on in this moment. It is a pretty good AHAmoment to really feel how blessed I truly am. 

More later. Walk in love, dear readers. 

Tuesday Toodles

Spring has officially arrived! The sun is warm. Horses and dogs are loosing their winter coats. Everything is yellow, including the nastys I have been coughing up in the morning...er…The pollen is exploding on the trees. The air is soft, both in feel and temperature. Besides the nastys, it is glorious.

I have decided on a schooling show to work towards at the end of April, have submitted payment for a working equitation clinic in June, and am going to audit a Charlotte Dujardin Through The Levels Masterclass in November. I am really excited about these! Making good on my 2017 goals! Just need to make lessons a priority now.

I am a little under the weather because of these allergies (seriously, these never used to be a thing for me, ugh)…and possibly, maybe, because I have been staying out too late, but oh well, you only live once.

I am house and dog sitting for the rest of this week. All the dogs are played out and enjoying basking in the sun. This past Sunday (how is it already Tuesday??!), I loaded everyone up and headed out to the farm for the day.

The day started out extremely foggy. Quite literally in a cloud. Once at the farm, I decided to wait out the fog before riding and convinced my mom to come on a walk with me and the dogs after I fed the horses. As per usual, my Darcy girl had a grand time doing her thing and running circles around the other two. These city dogs though! They had the best time being dogs! Their coats were sopping from the dew and covered in pollen within a few minutes.


We walked down to the pond first where they waded in to prime their coats to get really good and dirty. Deciding it was best to avoid the cows with the newbies, we turned around to walk back up to the front gate and back again. With all the rain we have had, there was a big muddy hog wallow by a group of live oaks. You an probably guess where this is going, but I will tell you anyway. They all promptly got in and laid down with the biggest panting grins on their faces. After a good chuckle, we called them out and continued back to the house. A good run through the tall, wet grass got all their coats moderately clean. They were so dang happy. There is nothing like a happy, dirty, and tired dog. Except maybe three of them! Impossible to smile.


I put them all in the kennel and went to grab Lito for a ride. Darcy is always with me when I ride, but I put her up with the other two to make sure the others would stay safe. A quick groom session and I had Lito tacked and ready to go.

I have stopped counting his rides, but we are somewhere in the neighborhood of 15. He continues to amaze me with his incredible mind. In an ideal world, I would be riding him around 3 times a week. I have still only been able to ride him every two weeks or so. I was worried that it would be a problem and I would have to bring him somewhere closer to town so I could ride him more. It is not only not a problem, but he continues to get better. I might still have to do that somewhere down line, but for now it is working.

We did a little arena work and then went down to the cow pasture with my mom (she is the best) to have a little trot and then back up to the front gate. I am so proud of him. We are pretty consistently forward and have pretty good rhythm. He is continually reminding me, since he was born, to be relaxed and open. He is so sensitive and responsive in a very good way. If I remember to think and ask first, I almost do not even have to do anything. He is such a blessing.

After lunch I spent the rest of my time there helping the horses shed some winter hair before heading back to town. Now is it the end of Tuesday and work is work and it is busy. Most everyone was out of the office last week, so it is back to the normal hustle. Which is not really normal, incidentally.

That is all for now. Super exciting stuff, I know. Please, try to contain yourself over there. This week is going by so fast, hence the lack of posts! Sorry about that!

Walk in love, dear readers!

 

Time & Everyday Life.

Was it not just yesterday that I was excited we had entered the ‘ber’ months? Elated for everything fall? Now we are less than one day shy of March. It is crazy how looking back over the last few months it seems to have gone by so fast. So fast in fact, that today feels like Wednesday. In the midst of it all, it felt terribly slow.

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So much has happened in such a short time. Or maybe not so much has happened?

It feels like a lot.

Not too terribly much to report over here. Pretty boring, actually. Do you want to know something? I am OK with that at the moment. Work is chugging along. I have many loads of laundry to do. I no longer have any clean riding jeans and I am running out of boot socks. Who cares about work clothes. The situation is dire on the home front. Priorities. I loathe doing laundry. Anyone else out there also really dislike laundry? Sure, a stack of neatly folded clothes is oddly satisfying, but the process of getting there? Not really. Darcy needs a bath. Darcy always needs a bath. Every weekend she finds something nasty to roll in. It is a gift she has.

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We are entering the last month of the first quarter of the year. I am happy to report that I have so far made good on my riding goals for the year. The other things, oh well, maybe not as good, but I have not forgotten them and am still working on them. That is a win in my book.

I do not think I waxed poetic earlier this week about how awesome Lito is. Do not worry, I am not going to do that now. Well, at least I do not think I am. Anyway, I am planning his first off property ride with a friend for sometime in the next two months. I am pretty excited about it. I am glad to be making progress with him. I also spoke with my Aunt and Cousin about getting them on the farm schedule so I can have the support to continue to ride him regularly (Sorry for the repeat vid, but honestly, I can’t get enough of it!). Cheetah is doing well and I am excited about taking some lessons and going to a show in the second quarter of the year. I am also more than ready for the time to change back. Give me more daylight so I can ride more! I am planning to increase my rides by at least one more during the week. The next thing on my execution list is getting lessons actually on the calendar.

I have been listening to Midland this week. I like their older country feel. I also have a serious thing for 70’s fashion. I want a whole new wardrobe of just 70’s. Strange, I know.

So many words and not much said. Makes me think of this Jason Eady song with the line “words that come too easy sometimes tell the bigger truth.”

Anything exciting going on? A calm, everyday life is pretty comforting for me right now. How are y’all doing on your new year resolutions?

Walk in love, dear readers.

Aimless Friday

I walked around my elementary school the other day while taking Darcy for a walk. I felt strange and tall. Everything seemed so small and I am not tall.

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There is a man in my office building that is nice as can be. Seems pretty normal. I run into him in the hallway and the parking garage all the time. His mustache is blue. BLUE. I suppose it is dyed. I have a hard time not staring at it. The urge to ask why it is blue is quite strong.

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I was anxious yesterday because I overanalyze.

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When I speak with someone that has an accent, I have a hard time not replying with the ‘same’ accent. Weird, I know.

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I have a hard time getting out of bed when it is cloudy, like today. Darcy does not find it hard.

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Leaving my dog at home when I go to work is really hard, but I forget about that when she greets me upon my return. This is her smile every. day.

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I am looking forward to this. A weekend full of this.

These are my random musings.

Walk in love, dear readers!

 

Mother Nature

I am trying something new today. Go me! Getting out of my comfort zone. They say that is a good thing to do. I am going to share with you what first came to my mind when I saw The Daily Post‘s prompt and photo challenge. Really, I just could not resist when I saw what the words were and I was struggling with content for today. Eh, the way it goes sometimes.  Thank you Anne for the inspiration to give it a try!

Mother Nature.

The ultimate in aesthetics and ambiance. Just my opinion, for whatever it is worth. The great creator’s paintings, captured with a mere click, but nothing like actually experiencing it with your own eyes. Feeling the air on your skin and through your hair. hearing the wind in the trees. Going through the emotions.

The same view is very rarely the same from the same place. I will restrain myself with the metaphors I just opened up with that one! Unlike anything we can create, Mother Nature always has the right lighting, vibrant colors, fresh air, and even comes with it’s own music if you listen.

It is a beautiful life. AHAmoment. Thank you for being a part of it. I hope you like my quick pics from my cell phone that I have gathered.

Where is your favorite place for the best in aesthetics and ambiance and why?

Walk in love, dear readers.