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.

 

 

On My Mind.

Now that I have had a chance to thaw out from the crazy Texas freeze, here are a few things on my mind. We are covering all the topics in my AHAmoments. Mostly, things I am grateful for all wrapped up in a weekend recap.

First. My Darcy dog that keeps my spot on the bed warm while I get ready for bed. Just look at that Llew-ball.

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Second. Do not forget to thank the people that make your dream work and be grateful for them. For me, being a horse person, my veterinarian and farrier are two of the many keys to what I do. My form of thank you is baked goods. Usually of the cookie variety.

I am blessed to have them on my team because they work with me and my situation. The vet came out on Friday to give all the horses their annual checkups. As I mentioned before, it turned out to be the worst weather as always. It was worse than expected and that is why I do not have any pictures of said visit. 3/5 horses he wanted to float. Given that water is involved in floating a horses teeth, the temperature did not get above freezing, Apache’s advanced age, and that he had some sensitive situations he was monitoring on other farms, we decided that Friday was not the best day for it. He said he would do whatever he needed to do to get the three horses’ teeth floated soon however it worked for me, even if I could not be there, which included not charging me an extra trip charge. I am just so appreciative that they both work with me and our needs. If I had it my way, I would be there every time they came out.

Third. Fire. Confession, I am a slight pyromaniac. I also just really love a good pit fire. Saturday, the wind finally quit blowing in a hurry and the conditions were perfect for fire sitting, even if it was in the 30’s and going down. All the animals were warm and fed. I had the feed trailer loaded and ready for the following morning. I had just pulled a lemon blueberry cake breakfast bread (go make that now and add more blueberries to the bread and more powdered sugar to the glaze) out of the oven. The sky was clear and the fire glorious.

Which brings me to my next point. Three. Music. Good and great music comes in all different forms. On Saturday evening with fire and cocktail, these two songs really spoke to me. I hope they speak to you too. Have an open mind and a listen.

Thanks to No Justice – Topic on YouTube for the vid.

Thanks to the man himself, Corey Smith, and his YouTube for the vid.

Fourth. You guessed it. This farm and my horses in which I see God’s unending blessings, beauty, and grace. They clear my mind and vision and carry my troubles away. Not to mention all the great paintings!

Fifth and final for the day. The great Texas weather. What? Yes, you heard that. Great. It may be crazy at times, and yes it was really, really cold. However, as quick as it gets bad, it gets good. Saturday, albeit a weee bit cold, was down right gorgeous. By Sunday, it was perfect riding weather.

Today I am grateful for the above great music to dance in love my way through work, dear readers.

If you had to pick five things you are grateful for today, what would they be?

 

A New Day, A New Year.

I may be a day late with my New Year post, but I hope it is not a dollar short. I have missed y’all!

NYE was another rainy day, as was this morning. Photo evidence below of NYE. Luckily, the rain moved on today. Darcy and I had a lovely, sunny walk while listening to sermons after lunch with my Grandparents, Mom, Aunt, and Cousin H to celebrate my mother’s birthday. I am back to my normal working schedule tomorrow and am looking forward to it.

I am excited to hit the ground running…or at least walking and not standing still.

It seems like it was yesterday that we were beginning 2016 with such hope and optimism. Time is funny that way, how it feels so fast. I remember when they began doing the state 200_squarters and thinking how it was going to be SO LONG until they released the Texas quarter in, if my memory serves me, 2005. It still feels weird to me that we are in the 2000s. You would think being 2017 I would be used to it. It feels like it has gone by so quickly. In three years, it will be 2020. I will be 32 in 2020. Woof.

Anyway, I digress. No surprises there. I begin 2017 the same as I began 2016. Full of hope and optimism. Yes, it has been a hard year for a myriad of reasons, but there are always going to be hard and difficult times. The light is that there are even more great and wonderful times (yes, even in 2016). AHAmoment. I am looking forward to those times. I know there are great things in store. That will be my focus. I am going to be open to receive the gifts and allow them to happen.

I said that I was only going to make one resolution this year. I am going to change that. I am going to spend this year focusing on myself and getting myself back on track. Practicing self love. Setting my priorities. Stop making excuses. That is going to be my resolution. Naturally, that in itself involves a few different things. This list will likely change throughout the year, but here is my start:

  • Pray with intention while I make my bed every morning
  • Read my Bible every day (I am one day away from finishing Genesis. Woohoo! Let us not discuss the days that I have missed since I last spoke of this…)
  • See the positive
  • Stop making excuses
  • Ride more, worry less. Ride at least once a week (as much as I hate to admit this, 15740882_1829461203991198_8210992180279854157_nriding once a week for the past few months has been hard to manage between stuff that just needs to get done, chores, weather, my utter lameness, and, and, and….EXCUSES. It is like it has become a habit and I do not even recognize myself. I never used to miss a ride day before. Don’t judge me, I am trying not to judge myself. Can I go hide under a blanket now?)
  • Make a schedule with support system for riding Lito so I am not by myself. This is going to be hard, but it is time to move forward with his training. I have to do something.
  • Exercise on non ride days
  • Attend at least one clinic
  • Have at least 6 lessons
  • Attend at least one show

I think this is harder to admit than my fears. I want to thank you, dear readers, for being here and helping to hold me accountable. I am not perfect and I know I will likely fail some days and weeks, but is there really failure if you grow and learn from it?

I have already done item 1, 3, 4, and 6. Item 2 is next. Tomorrow I am going to start my research for clinics and shows to build my calendar.

What are your resolutions? Are they hard for you to admit? I will help hold you accountable if you need or want it.

Walk in love, dear readers.

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate the little things. 

We have made it through Wednesday! 


Do you know what that means? It is time to celebrate! Well, at least in my opinion. I know what you are thinking, wine Wednesday. Well,


We all have things to celebrate than wine, no matter how good. Celebrate being one step closer to the weekend to have you time. Getting things crossed off the work to do list, even if just one part of one item and nothing seems to be going as planned (you know what they say about plans…but, that’s another story for another day). Coming home to a perpetually happy dog. Getting to see your horse (I so look forward to the time I get to see my horses every day). To be with the people you love. To see and feel the meaning of Christmas. 

What do you celebrate today? 

Just look at those eyes! 


Look at the rest of this week like Darcy looks at the treat in my hand! 


Walk in love, dear readers, and maybe, just maybe, you will look up and find you are leading with love. 

I’m walking. 

It is December, y’all.

I know, I am such a Sherlock Holmes.

I started decorating for Christmas yesterday after work. I put on my Spotify Christmas playlist entitled ‘The Reason For the Season.’ It all really lifted my spirits and today is a new day!

For a new influx of happy/fun/positive on this Thursday, I have for you some of my past years animal Christmas photos! It is December 1st after all. I will take some new ones soon. This is to prep you. I know you are just too excited. If you are well behaved, I might rustle up some old Christmas photos of us sisters all in matching outfits…that is a real hoot.

Have you ever taken funny Christmas photos??? Share them with me!

Walk in love, dear readers.

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The first year I made everyone do it. Look at Apache’s face! He was wishing he was not retired so he could buck me off.
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Darcy’s first Christmas photo.

Darcy is a good sport.

Look what I made baby Lito man do. Maybe not such a baby. This was last year when he was 2.5+ yo. Yes, those are jingle bells. He is a good boy. I am mean.

 

Darcy

My Darcy girl. Darcy’s story is truly a special one. At least to me anyway.
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It begins with a ‘long story short’ kind of deal. I was ready for a dog. I was wrapping up my first year of grad school. If you have put two and two together, you have gathered that at this point (I suppose that it dependent on my story telling skills, which are not that great, but let us not focus on that at the present moment) I have 2 horses and am in grad school. Perfect timing for a puppy! I would not recommend it for most people. I arranged a deal with my eldest sister to get a female puppy from a litter sired by her Irish Field Setter (because I love her dog) as her stud fee. She was to give the pup to me. Here comes the long story short part. The litter did not make.
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My sister’s Irish Field Setter.

It was August at this point. I was pretty upset. I broke a cardinal rule and had already bought a collar with a name plate. What did this mean? Do I not get one? Do I try to find one? If I was going to get a puppy, now was the time. I would have plenty of time to train a puppy while in school before I had to join the full time adult world. I needed to either get one now or wait till I was settled in a job. I am not one for waiting once I get my mind set on something if you have not figured that out yet. I decided to ask and look around. If I found a puppy that somehow was available and filled the necessary qualifications, I would THINK about getting it.

My chances were next to none. Most field bred, bird dog litters are only bred when the breeders know a full litter is committed for. I decided not loose heart and began my search for a Llewellin Setter (basically a specific line of field bred English Setter) which is what I really wanted in the first place. I grew up with English Setters and they are easier to find than the Irish.

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My childhood English Setter.
One thing led to another and I got in touch with the owner of a stud dog in Minnesota that sired a litter with a few puppies still available. She put me through a little bit of an interrogation until she heard my story and figured out I was not making an impulse decision. She deemed me worthy enough to get me in touch with the owner of the dam…in Michigan. That is really far from Texas, but I figured it was worth a call. If anything, they might be able to recommend me to someone in a more reasonable location.
I called him on a Sunday on my way home from the farm. We talked for almost the whole hour drive. It was great. I had a feeling. I had a feeling about the dogs. I had a feeling about him. I had a feeling about the owner of the stud dog. It all just seemed right. I needed this puppy that was not even born yet, but I could not let my feelings get away from me. I had to be logical and practical. Despite my ‘feelings,’ I had never met either of these dogs. I had always intended to get a dog from down here that was used to the climate. Anyway, How does one get a puppy from all the way up there to all the way down here without spending more than the cost of the puppy???
The next day I called him back and expressed my concerns. Now, here is where it gets really good. He tells me that it is really no big deal. He just so happens to be driving right by the stud dog owner’s house right when the pups would be 7 weeks old (which would be within the week before my birthday). He already spoke with her and she just so happened to be driving all the way down to Ft. Worth that very next day he was driving by and would be happy to bring the puppy along for the ride. He said not to worry about it, they would work it out to ensure the pup had a good home with me. How crazy is that?! It was fate. I agreed to drop my down payment in the mail that day.
Fast forward to the beginning of October and my mother and I drove up to Ft. Worth to pick up my Darcy girl. I chose a ‘D’ name after Darcy’s mother, Daisy. Darcy came from Pride & Prejudice because I am obsessed with Jane Austen and that particular novel. With Darcy cuddled in my arms, my mother and I checked into a fun hotel for the evening. Middle sister came to meet the puppy and spend the night as she lives in the vicinity of the Metroplex. We had a grand time with takeout for dinner and right before bed, I look over at my bag and what do I see? Darcy is curled up in a ball IN my bag, looking at me. It was at that moment I KNEW I made the right decision. I had found the sidekick I had been waiting for.
The first weekend home together we loaded up and went to the farm. She learned everything from riding in the back of the pick up to being around the horses to drinking out of a water trough. The rest really is history, as they say. She has been at my side ever since. I take her everywhere I can. She has a huge personality and is extremely expressive. She hangs out at the barn with me and goes with me on my rides. She is my farm buddy. She is 3 yo now and I would not change a single thing about her.
That is all for today. I hope y’all liked it. Do any of you have wingpups that do with you what you like to do?
Lead with love, dear readers!

Sundays are not for working…

…Sundays are for cooking. Family. Friends. Pets…

How was the weekend for y’all?! I did not get any horse time, but I had a great time with family as my middle sister was in town. It was so nice to just spend time with her. We ate, drank, and just had family time. I am having a bit of a hard time this Monday morning because of it, I dare say! I should not be having a hard time as I came into the office yesterday to catch up and get a head start for this week. This is Darcy’s best “Sundays are not for working” look from my office chair. Speaking of Darcy, stay tuned for her story coming up this week!

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When we left to head back home, I treated myself to a special, seasonal peppermint coffee. Why? Because I could! Going to work on a Sunday and not getting to see my horses earns me a special coffee.

My Thanksgiving cooking has already started! Every year here at the office, we have an office Thanksgiving lunch party the week before Thanksgiving. We order turkey and everyone makes/brings the sides. It is always a grand time. This year I am in charge of bringing the cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and an appetizer. I agreed to do the appetizer for our office manger.

Yesterday evening I made the cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce is so easy to make at home, I do not know why people buy it. It also tastes much better homemade. I never liked it until I had the real stuff. Just buy a bag of cranberries and follow the instructions on the back of the bag as your base. I would advise doing 1/2 or 1/3 of the usual 1 cup of sugar that it recommends. That is way too much for me. It is dependent on how you like it, I guess. From there, get creative! I like to think about eating turkey while I make it and if an ingredient sounds or smells like it would go well with turkey, I add it! Or, look at some other recipes to get inspiration. I subbed a little of the white sugar with brown. Salt and pepper. Cubed apple. Apple juice. I just add a little less water to accommodate the added liquid. Orange juice and zest. Lemon juice and zest. I wanted to add some thyme and poultry type herbs this time to make it more savory, but we did not have any. Instead, I ground up some dried herbs de provence. Then I added a little dash of Grand Marnier and Limoncello. It smelled and tasted divine. In previous years, I have added pecans to it. It is a pretty good idea. I decided to leave them out this year and see how it goes. I put some sauce in a container in the fridge for Thursday and the rest in a container in the freezer for our family Thanksgiving next week.

Do not tell anyone, but I also made the mashed potatoes yesterday too. Look, I had the time to both cook and clean yesterday, so I made them yesterday. Trust me though, no one will be able to tell. This ‘recipe’ I get from my mother. Her secret is cream cheese. Naughty! Naughty delicious! I like to add some fresh grated parmesan cheese for some nice salty bite. I put them in a baking dish, covered them with foil, and stuck them in the freezer. I will pull them out the night before and put them in the fridge. The day of I will let them get to room temp before I put them in the oven to get heated through. They will taste just as good as the day I made them.

The appetizer I am making is a jalapeno popper dip. I am going to try and make that today or tomorrow and will chronicle that later. It looks pretty tasty and I am excited to give it a try.

For our family Thanksgiving, I am baking a dessert and possibly doing the sweet potatoes. Boy howdy, I can not wait to share my dessert with you. It has become a must every year. It is a little bit of work but it is totally worth it, trust me.

I also need to bake pumpkin bread for my farrier and my vet. Do not forget to thank those people in your lives!

Have y’all thought about what you are making for Thanksgiving?!?! Tell me! One of my favorite parts of the holidays are cooking, especially because my parents kitchen is a hangout area for us. It brings us all together and our food is an expression of our love. Made with love, it always tastes better. AHA moment. What is your favorite part?

Walk in love, dear readers, and have a great Monday!