Ordinary

Happy Monday, y’all.

To get everyone going, here is a Music Monday and a Daily Dose Of Cute all wrapped up into one.


“Baby, I don’t have much
But what we have is more than enough
Ordinary world”
~Billie Joe Armstrong~

I will take ordinary all day every day. The ordinary in our lives is what makes us rich I think. The shining lights and treasures and shooting stars are all right there.

A look into my ordinary world. When I look at it, it is quite extraordinary. Sometimes it is hard to see. Like when I have to go to work.

Just me, my dog, and my horse.

After this, I baked a chocolate sheet cake for my sister, played in a doll house with my niece and nephew, and then had a lovely dinner with them.

What makes your ordinary extraordinary?

Walk in love, dear readers.

Polar Vortex: Blame The Canadians!

Hello! Remember me?

The last time I saw the sun before the polar vortex hit. See that black heifer off in the distance by Chance’s left ear? She belongs to my neighbor. She makes my life difficult. She is a beautiful jumper. She also likes to take some of our cows where they do not belong. Every day for the past week I have had to go and get them and bring them back.

Now that I am thawing out from this week (yes, practically whole week) of frozen temperatures, I find myself itching to write to you again. Blame the Canadians and their polar vortex for my absence. I was too tired and my fingers too cold! But do not blame them too hard, I like Canadians!

How I handled actual winter for four years in college I will never know. I suppose I am far removed from it now and have reverted back to my south Texas tolerances. This week I have felt like quite a wimp given the extremes I went through in college. A Mucinex taking, hacking wimp.

Oh well. It is what it is and I am who I am. Someone who much prefers mild temps!

This is about how I spent this week…

Putting on many layers. Scooping poop. Filling extra buckets of water. Filling hay nets for the horses. Feeding horses. Feeding cows. Blanketing Apache. Scooping poop. Draining water lines. Sleeping. Night check. Feed horses. Feed cows. Scooping poop. Breaking ice. Drive an hour to work (except that day I didn’t because I kept breaking ice and feeding and scooping poop). Drive an hour back to the farm.

Rinse and repeat.

Somewhere in there I took off some layers and put them back on. Drank a bucket of coffee. Checked the temperature about a zillion times. And Apache finally got to go without his blanket after several days of wearing it.

Also somewhere in there towards the second half of the week, our manure spreader broke. That is a lot of manure to not have somewhere to put it! And. We lost hot water yesterday and still do not have any. Hopefully the hot water is restored today and it looks like the manure spreader can be easily fixed.

Could be much worse!

Today I am grateful for warmer, normal temperatures and so are the horses. Or at least they will be when the vet is finished with their annual appointment.

I am also grateful for the fact that cold winter can be quite pretty…and fun when you are a Darcy Dog…

The first clear morning. Clear and cold sunrises are some of the prettiest.

Sunrise reflections are also pretty cool.

When you finally see the sun, there is no better feeling.

Darcy loves to play with the ice out of the troughs.

If you look really closely, you can see a blanket wrapping a pipe. I point that out just for you. I had to do what I had to do.

While I could do without the frost, it is very pretty.

That is about all I have for today. That and enjoying the warmer temps!

Oh. I do have a couple more things.

Some members of my family and I are doing a Wednesday prayer and fast to pray for those in my family needing uplifting support at this time in their quest for the true desires of their hearts’. Liquid diet only on Wednesday, no alcohol (a true sacrifice for no wine Wednesday!), and praying for these people we love so dearly. I invite you, dear readers, to join me if you feel so moved. To pray for those in my family or those in yours. Anyone, anything. No worries, no pressure. As my mother said, we shall not be anxious but with prayer and thanksgiving we will let our requests be known to God…and leave it with Him. Even if you just do one day.


“when two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”
~Matt. 18:20~

Lastly, one of our own, a dear friend and dear reader, has lost her father. He has gone to be with our Lord in his ultimate heavenly home, now free of pain and suffering. Made new and whole again. Please pray for her and her family. Pray for peace and comfort. For strength and faith. I am adding her and her family to my Wednesday list.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Enjoy the warmth if you have it and if you don’t, know that it will come soon!

Winter Wonderland!

Or as close to a winter wonderland as we get down here anyway! If you know anyone in the southern half of Texas, you probably already know that we got quite the dusting of snow.

A winter wonderland of snow!
Well, at least until it melts! Hurry fast! …as you are reading this, it has melted away…
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But now I am on a roll!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful and, baby, it sure is cold!
Yup, true, but is sure is purdy.

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Alright, that is enough.

It actually was not as cold as that time I had to wear sweatpants on my head. Yes, I have had to do that!

This is not the first time we have ever had snow, but it is the first time I have ever seen the farm covered in snow. It sure is magical. An early magical Christmas present, if you choose to look at it that way. Which, I do.

Man, it sure has been an interesting year as far as weather for everyone though. Hurricanes (yes, remember plural). Fires (oh my word, so many fires!!! Still!). And now this. It will be a year for the books in many ways.

Anyway, on to it…It is that time of year where I make special trips out to the farm when it gets cold to blanket my old horse and give everyone some extra feed. Have I already said that this year? I can not remember, so I told you again. It happens to everyone, right?? Yesterday, after work I quickly gathered Darcy and my things and headed out to the farm a little extra on edge knowing the chance for winter precipitation and many things to do before dark. The weather reports said there was a slight chance, but if you did get some snow, it would not stick. I did not believe it. Even still, I knew it would make for an interesting commute back into town to go to work.

Long story short, I woke up to this!

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a…abominable snow monster? No, that is just a streak of a Darcy.

She flies.

Better watch out.

Or you will miss her!

A cold Cheetah in her natural habitat.

The cutest old guy.

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I was in the office by mid morning. My mom, who is the best, met me at my office to pick up the Darcy Dog so I would not be too late.

My Pop’s, who is also the best, is on blanket and feed duty so I can go have some Christmas fun. There will be cocktails, cupcakes, ugly sweaters, and more! Do not you worry, I will tell you all about it.

Until then, dear readers, go walk in love!

Serenity.

I keep hearing people around me use the word serene. An interesting thing to notice, I know. Anyway, it is a good word and one that appeals to my senses.

When you think of serene, what comes to mind? Or the feeling of serenity?

Serene.

“Clear and free of storms or unpleasant change. Shining bright and steady. Marked by or suggestive of utter calm and unruffled repose or quietude.” – Merriam-Webster

Serenity.

“The quality or state of being serene” – Merriam-Webster
Calm. Peaceful. Placid. Quiet. Repose. Restfulness. Still. Tranquil.

A quick google image search of ‘serene’ shows many people think of the same images. Sunsets. Sunrises. Quiet landscapes. Bodies of water. Rays of light. Colors.

All in the great out of doors. Do you think I am surprised by this? No, no I am not.

Here is what serenity looks like to me.

A quiet and soft eye, that peers deep into your soul.

Awe inspiring and relaxing landscapes.

Light and color.

The outdoors is like my church. The sky is the steeple and my horse’s back is my pew.

Everything I hear and see and feel was created and put there by Him and IS Him. AHAmoment.

I hope you feel serene now! What makes you feel serene?

Walk in love, dear readers!

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

As it happens, I am surprised yet again to be at the start of a new month. I comment all the time on how fast time goes by. You can count on it. Is anyone else surprised to already be in December???

Anyway. We are in the most wonderful time of the year! I actually am not a fan of that song, so I am not going to share it. I have never really heard a version that I did not want to skip. But that is not the point. The point is, I have something for you. Two things really.

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 all month long (you can click the link above or on the ‘f’ Facebook icon on the right side panel of your screen). You know how I love to share music. Do yourself the favor and check back in over there and have a listen.

Now for today.

To bring a smile to your face and attempt to give you a slow moment in time on this first day of December…your daily dose of cute. Put something yummy in your coffee and have a scroll. I put some hot chocolate, cinnamon, and nutmeg in my coffee today. It was worth it. It will make you sparkle on the inside. Like a Christmas tree. Ha, just kidding. A little. It will at least make you sparkle like these cuties.

Fight those bah-humbugs! They can affect more than just you.

Today I am grateful that I am more in the spirit than I was last year. Not much else has changed, and that is OK for now.

What has helped you get into the spirit??? What are you grateful for this year?

Walk in love, dear readers!

A Big Thanksgiving

Or rather, a long Thanksgiving. Big and long.

Big in thanks and giving, yes, much gratitude. We have much to be thankful for.

Also big in numbers. Number of people. An abundance of family and friends. Tons of conversation and laughter. Bucket loads of love. Many dogs. Food, food, and more food (and booze). And not just any food, great food. I have to say, I am surrounded by talented people. Pretty much all of them are great cooks!

Some sadness, yes. That can not be denied, but I have to say, I think we all did a great job focusing on the positive and being grateful for each other. Which is what Thanksgiving is all about.

This particular Thanksgiving was long in a sense that it felt like it lasted from last weekend to today. Even with all the regular day to day things, like work, and all the preparation and cooking, it somehow felt like vacation.

Now, I know some of you will be in disbelief upon reading this. Or even rolling your eyes at me. But in all honesty, it did. I am sitting here with my coffee trying to psych myself up for this work Monday.

The weekend before Thanksgiving week (after the Charlotte Dujardin clinic…which I still need to write up for you…sorry, I will get to it. In short, it was great and I shattered my phone screen) I spent at the farm by myself. It was a terribly therapeutic weekend. Strong and funny language, I know, but stay with me. It was both releasing and restorative.

After taking care of some errands and chores during the day on Saturday, I quickly saddled up Chance and went for a sunset ride.

Then I built a fire in the pit, hit play on some great music, made a cocktail, and sat down with my dog to watch the last of the sunset with the northern front at my back. Drew Kennedy has a live album titled Sad Songs Happily Played which acted like my own personal concert in the best venue.

Sunday started early and chilly.

I took a little drive in my pajamas while the horses ate with my dog, coffee, and music. Because I could. I started listening to Dani and Lizzy’s ‘Dancing In The Sky‘ on repeat (I am weird like that) and just allowed the tears to flow. It feels …strange, I guess, to say that. To admit that. But hey, it’s the truth, so there. Sometimes a girl just needs a good cry or two…or three, as was the case on Sunday.

I got dressed and headed out into the sun to catch up my first horse of the day.

I came upon the horses and discovered the three young geldings laying down, having a post breakfast nap with Cheetah standing guard over them. I just could not resist the temptation and sat down with them. The most wonderful thing happened when Cheetah decided she felt comfortable enought to lay down with us. I have no idea how long I sat there with them snoozing, but it was simply glorious. One of them broke the spell and they all got up, so I haltered Cheetah and started grooming.

Keep scrolling for this cow’s newborn on Thanksgiving weekend!

Cheetah decided she was a saucy mare, but her son made up for it by giving me the best ride on him to date. Lito is really starting to put the pieces together and it feels really great. Really learning to travel between my legs and reins and lift his shoulder. Yielding his hindquarters and shoulders. I just need to keep reminding myself he is not farther along because I can only ride on weekends. I need to not push too hard and have it not be fun for him. Well, both of us. He is seriously the most comfortable horse I have ever ridden.

I had a quick ride on Ike after a late lunch on the porch. Then I built myself another fire to close out the day. As one of my dear readers said, I just sat with my feelings and reflected. That is what time alone at the farm is about for me.

I stayed at the farm until Monday morning to meet the farrier before heading back to town and into the office for the short holiday work week.

I took the day off of work on Wednesday to get my cake baked at my parents house and the kitchen cleaned before Thanksgiving. Middle Sister, K, her husband, T, and their dogs were staying at my parents house for the holiday so Darcy had ample entertainment. She is currently passed out after I made her go outside.

Baking is one of my favorite parts of the holidays. This pumpkin cheesecake cake was worth all the work and calories, trust me. It really was not even that much work. Do yourself a favor, and go make it for yourself. Decorating it is also easy peasy, if you want to do that. Which you should because it is fun. And pretty.

My mom’s side of the family and a few friends came to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving lunch. And oh, the food. The food was so good! I am still dreaming about it. We all had a grand time and then loaded up and headed out to the farm just in time for sunset.

I give to you the post Thanksgiving sunrise if you missed it.

Remember that calf I mentioned? We all got to see it right after it was born. You are welcome for the cuteness. I do what I can for you, you know.

Another stunning sunset from the weekend.

On Saturday my dad’s side of the fam came out for lunch and some much needed togetherness and fresh air at the farm.

I took three kids on lead line rides and one solo ride all on Chance. There was so much fun and cuteness, I almost could not even handle it. Chance was so well behaved and we stuffed him with carrots and gave him lots of love.

My cousin got to harvest his first deer which was very exciting for everyone in the family.

I came back out to the barn before bed to give Chance another carrot and to thank him for giving those kids his gifts.

You haz carrot?!

This is a terribly long dump of a post, but there it is. The point is, I am thankful this Thanksgiving and wish I had another day before going back to work.

Thankful I got to enjoy it. Thankful to be surround by loved ones. Thankful to spend time at the farm and create memories. Thankful to ride all the horses. Thankful for cows and calves. Thankful for my happy dog. Thankful to see the sunsets and sunrises. Thankful for music and reflection and fresh air. Thankful that I got to pick out a Christmas tree with my parents and begin decorating. And even thankful for my job that I need to go get ready for.

That is all. Up next, all about the Charlotte Dujardin Clinic!

Walk in love, dear readers! Thank your lucky stars today and every day. Keep in the spirit of thanks and giving.

The Season

Time seems to travel faster this time of year, don’t you think? I mean, Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK. How did that happen?! It has snuck up on me as I am sure it has everyone. For more than one reason.

And now, it is already Tuesday. It still feels like Monday.

Anyway, I am sitting here with my coffee, as I do, you know, reflecting.

Surprisingly enough, wishing it was still Monday. I made a quick trip out to the farm yesterday after work since I did not go out this weekend. At this time of year, I get barely an hour out there with the early sunset, but it is enough to get my fix to get me through the rest of the week.

I did have a great time with my sister and her husband this weekend. It was incredibly relaxing and indulgent. She is having a holiday party next month that we are both getting excited for. It got us both in the spirit. We even made peppermint ice cream from scratch.

When I got home on Sunday, I baked two batches of cookies while drinking coffee with cinnamon and nutmeg. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Chocolate chip oatmeal with pecans and coconut and while chocolate macadamia nut. I owe my farrier a lot of cookies because he is great. I am going to bake my mother’s pumpkin bread this evening for gifts. I just love this time of year!

It all got me thinking how blessed we all are. That we are here and awake this morning. That I got to go up there to visit and stay the weekend. For the quality time with my sister. That I got to see the sunset and love on the horses, however quick. That I have a dog I can take everywhere with me and that she got to have her run time at the farm. That I have a good car to get me where I am going and get me home safe.

That is what this time of year, the holiday season, is all about. Seeing and feeling your many blessings. Being grateful and thankful for them. Doing things for others. That and The Reason for The Season. Giving God the glory. Doing your best to carry that attitude through the rest of the year.

Walk in love, dear readers.

Chasing

4 AM is about as pleasant of a time to wake up as any, right??? Right!

It would have been better to wake up that early to ride or go fishing or something as opposed to catching a flight for work. Darcy sure did not understand why we were getting up so early two days in a row or why she was then supposed to go back to sleep or why she was not going with me. I did not understand that either because how much better would work and meetings and traveling be with your dog!? But, I digress.

Monday and Tuesday were quite the days.

Two meetings, two cities, two states, three pat downs, four flights, and eight…count them all…eight Uber rides in just two days. That is a lot of travel miles and hours. I am getting tired again just thinking about it.

Yesterday had me chasing the sunset so hard that I was literally running away from the sunrise.

But, no matter how fast or how far you run, the sun will always catch up with you. AHA moment.

Might as well slow down and enjoy it, right? See and actually take in all of that which is around you.

Over the past two days I saw many things. I saw joy and unity in some because of the fine sport of baseball. I heard a girl wonder aloud to her mother if her father loved her or not. How he must love her because he bought her things. The mother did not have much to say. I got told by an Uber driver that I should have a husband. I met a nice stranger and had a lovely conversation. He reminded me of someone back home. I traveled safely.

So, yesterday morning I enjoyed my slow and delayed sunrise while flying west (well, northwest to be specific, but you get the idea) and thanked the Lord for my many blessings.


I never did see the sun actually come up!

We made our decent and landed in this lovely, cloudy scene…


Anyway, as you can imagine, I was ready for this when I was on my way home yesterday.


That and the sunrise back in Texas.

Speaking of sunrise…It is somehow the end of Wednesday. Crazy.

Trust me, this is a speaking of which.

This past weekend we had two stunning, chilly (like frost chilly!) sunrises. I spent time basking in the sun. Took many, many photos…as you will soon see. Had the first pit fires of the season. Tackled a few things on the chore list. I rode both of my getting-fuzzier-by-the-day dun horses bareback. Just relaxing, quality time rides. Focusing on nothing really in particular. Just enjoying. Feeling their warmth. A nice change of pace from being constantly on the move before our trip.

A little video with Friday’s pit fire, Lito’s Saturday ride, and Saturday’s pit fire. Make sure you have the volume up! Basically sums up the weekend. ​

 

 


Saturday sunrise.


You can always catch this guy taking a nap after breakfast. I get lucky when he is not in his dam’s stall.


Saturday’s sunset.

Sunday sunrise reflection on the western sky. The steam rising off the pond while the cows have their first big graze of the day.


I can have a second breakfast, right?


Snug as a bug in his rug.


Sunday sunrise.


Feeding the cows Sunday morning in the golden light and frosty air.

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More basking in the sun! Nothing like the sun on your back on a chilly morning.

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Back to real riding work this weekend!

What is going on in your world? What have you seen and taken in around you this week?

I hope each and every one of you are having a fine week so far!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Red At Night

Sailor’s delight?

Isn’t that what seamen say? Red in the morning sailors take warning, red at night sailor’s delight to predict the weather and the sailing conditions. I was taught that by my fisherman father.

Funny side note…I googled red at night to see what would pop up. You know, like the story behind the saying or a photo or a meme. Something like that. Turns out there is a song called ‘Red At Night’ by a new to me band, The Gaslight Anthem. Go figure! Have a listen. I just can not make this stuff up. Too perfect.


“Seems a blessing’s so hard to see sometimes
Got a little clearer ’bout dusk last night

Ain’t nobody got a blessing like mine
Ain’t nobody got a blessing like mine

It’s a red sky night and I’m doin’ all right
Red sky night and I’m doin’ just fine”


Interesting, right?!

Anyway. Last night’s sunset…well, it was red. Was it a sailor’s delight? I do not know, probably, but it was my delight!

I made a quick (or not so quick if you count my travel time…it took my twice as long as normal to get there due to a freeway closure from a bad wreck…but who is counting their time anyway?) trip out to the farm after work yesterday to check on everyone and to get the horses penned up for the farrier. He is coming out to pull Lito’s shoes to save them for next year’s trip. He got expensive billy goat climbing shoes. Can not have him loosing one in the mud or ripping someone open if he kicks.

I could not stay very long unfortunately due to the aforementioned travel time and the earlier setting sun. I had just enough time to feed, love on everyone, and take Darcy for a quick walk to the pond to let her run. And that is all it takes to put a smile on my face. That and no wreck on the freeway coming home! My rear view mirror was red on the way home before it went dark. A good sign. A good reminder. A God wink.

Today. Today will be a good day. Yesterday was a good day. Tomorrow will be a good day too.

For my lack of red sunset photo, I offer you this…It is a good day for her too.

You’re welcome.

Darcy loves you. I love you.

Walk in love, dear readers! Make it a great day.

Convention

Do not be one to stay within the shelter of convention. 

Your AHA moment today brought to you by the Darcy Doolittle dog, a dog who likes cat toys. All the cat toys. You do you, Darcy. 


Let your light shine and be you. 

Walk in love, dear readers!