One Week

For the past several days, I have woken up at exactly 4:47 AM. Exactly. Every day except one. Isn’t that odd? I wake up, hope that I have a little bit longer to snooze, look at my phone and see 4:47 on the read out. That same time every morning. Strikes me as rather curious. I had a little chuckle this morning about it. I just thought you should know! Does that ever happen to you?

In other news…

I snapped a couple quick photos of the sunset yesterday. The hour long commute may get a little old, but being at the farm never does. I love being able to see the day full circle. Sunup to sundown. Such a blessing.

We are now one week down on our restricted, solitary turnout sentence. Lito is probably handling it better than any of us. Thank God for his good brain and laid back attitude! He is a little antsy at times, but he is handling it better than I had hoped…and certainly better than Cheetah ever would. Oh, lawd. I am finally not spending all of my time there staring at him.

Please ignore that ugly pole that used to hold a Purple Martin house. Also, look how tall he is! I know I have said this before, but I am not that tall. Here is to improving my mounting skills. After our Hill Country adventure, I realized I suck at mounting this horse with my squatty legs. It is a whole different kind of leverage equation!

Petunia seems to be taking it harder than anyone. Poor Tuners. It is a long story, but Lito needed more than just a neighbor to keep him from running around. Chance does not seem to care about being separate or alone. Enter Tuners. Who, unfortunately has to stay in a stall for this whole thing to work. She is none too pleased, but maybe she will lose some weight?

I wish someone would just stick me in stall so I would lose some weight. I would probably be worse than Petunia though. At least she is cute when she is mad.

Family weekend at the farm for Memorial Day with lots on the list to get done! First though, I have movers scheduled this afternoon to empty my storage unit into my new townhouse! Well, new to me. Cousin S used to live there with her daughter, but she just got married last weekend and my Aunt needs a tenant. Side note, the wedding was beautiful and it is so great to have new, happy memories in my Aunt’s house. These past several months have been difficult. The next several will likely be harder once the dust settles. It has been a busy several months. Both purposeful and divine. I am requesting prayers for my Aunt and Cousins. Prayers for strength, peace, and acceptance. To grow in their faith and closer to God. To see His hand.

Anyway, back to positive things! We actually made this plan way back in March or so. It is a win, win, win situation for everyone. Especially for me because I will no longer be living at my parents! I am so fortunate I was able to go there when I thought I might lose my job. I was able to save a lot of money and not be worried. It is way past time time though and I am so glad to be moving out.

Busy day today! Get out there an conquer it.

Walk in love, dear readers.

By the way, I am so glad you are here. AHAmoment. Thank you for stopping by and reading my little blog. You followers, commenters, likers, and readers have blown me away in this short time I have been blogging. Thank YOU! You are a blessing.

 

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! 

Pot Of Thoughts

Here is one for your pot of thoughts…

Continue in His blessings that He will be a blessing to others through you. 

Stir that around for a bit. 


That is the face of restricted, solitary turnout. Poor guy. Part of me doesn’t feel all that bad for him since it was likely his rambunctious behavior that landed him here. 

OK fine. I do feel terribly for him. 

Despite some early drama, this situation is working out so far. Fingers crossed. How many days are left?

I left the farm at 6 this morning to get to work on time. Well, moderately on time. For some reason, rain makes many people forget how to drive. What normally takes an hour took one and a half. 

And I found a bug in my coffee. I had to chuckle at that one. Better than hay and horse dirt! Bugs are easier to get out or work around. 

Did I just say that? 

Walk in love, dear readers! 

A Little Set Back

There is always something, isn’t there? Sometimes, things happen and you just have to roll with them. They just are. You can not do anything about them and may not know why they happen. Let go and let Him. Then you come back smarter, stronger, and wiser. 

A week ago today, I made a quick trip out to the farm after work to check on the horses and hopefully fit in a ride before Middle Sister K and Husband T came into town for the weekend. I walked down to the pond, hands full of carrots, where they were all standing together in the shad of a pecan tree.

I ran my eyes and hands over each one of them as I pretty much always do. I often do not even notice that I do it. I just do. To make sure everything is as it should be. It is a horse person thing, I guess.

I get to Lito’s left hind and notice some odd, slight swelling and warmth. Great, I thought to myself. Do not think bowed tendon. Dramatic, I know. You know how you can get. What the heck did he do? He has, up until this point, never been swollen or lame. Well, except with his adult teeth coming in. Not important. Check to see if he is lame, maybe he just bumped himself…He was lame. Great. OK. No need to be reactionary. Give him a few days and see how he is. Go from there. Right.

I go over every interaction with him in the recent past in my head multiple times. It could not have been our Hill Country ride. There is no way. His legs were tight and clean before and after every ride. I longed him every morning to make sure he was not stiff or lame. That and to make sure he remembered to pack his brain, but he always does. Not important. He was pretty well conditioned for the trip and never seemed strained by any of the work. Could he have done it on the trailer ride home? I suppose. Did I check his legs when we unloaded? I can not remember. More likely when I turned him back out with the herd and they ran around like race horses for a bit. More plausible, I suppose.

I prayed about it the whole drive several times on my way home that evening. That leave it with Him post? This is where it stemmed from. I practically worried myself sick in the span of my hour long drive. Like that does anybody any good ever. You can tell me that a hundred times and I probably still will not learn that lesson. Put your big girl panties on, Avery, pray about it, and leave it with Him. AHAmoment. It is what we are supposed to do. Have faith. So I did the best I could.

I could not get back out there to check him until Tuesday. Hurry fast I did. He was still slightly swollen, but better. OK. Is he still off? Slightly, maybe? If you have to think that hard to tell if he is lame, at least he is better. Making progress, but still not quite right. The dreaded NQR. Sigh. He made progress, that is good. Something just did not sit right with me, though. How I would hate to let him rest up, get him back riding after a while, just to have it flare up again.

A quick phone call with R to get her to agree with me that a phone call to the vet would not hurt, my peace of mind or wallet. Yet. It took me all day Wednesday to get them on the phone because they were swamped with emergencies. Thankfully, not mine! AHAmoment right there.

They went out there to have a look at him yesterday morning. He did not present lame or react to flexion tests. An ultrasound on both hind legs revealed his left deep digital flexor tendon to be slightly inflamed and bigger than his right. Thankfully for me she used the word mild. And it really is. She wants him on small turnout or stall rest for two weeks. Then a couple 15 minute walk trot rides before he is checked again.

I still can not shake the feeling that I overtaxed him while in the Hill Country. Part of my original worry was that I maybe caused this. My logic and the facts tell me that is not the case. I want the best for him and always have his best interest at heart. I am his steward. Sometimes though, horses are just going to horse. Just look at Kentucky Derby entry, Thunder Snow.

So. For now, we rest while I tack on some miles to my car commuting back and forth from the farm for two weeks. And pray. And leave it with Him. Then come back stronger after we get up and rebuild. 

Walk in love.

Love Rescues

I mean, just take me to church. I will let the lyrics speak for themselves. Your AHAmoment for the day brought to you by Zac Wilkerson. Thanks to Zac Wilkerson – Topic on YouTube for the vid.

“When I’m in the valley when my body’s weak
When life’s chains are shackled upon my feet
I will fear no evil death has lost its sting
Love falls all around me
Love rescues me

Hallelujah Hallelujah
Love falls all around me
Love rescues me

I was a wounded beggar I was an orphaned son
I was a weary wanderer so far from home
I was filthy garment I was a leprous man
But I fell into love’s water
Now I’m clean again

Hallelujah Hallelujah
I fell into loves water
Now I’m clean again

And when my life is over and I toil no more
And I stand on the banks of love’s golden shore
I’m gonna cross that river and I will run for home
And love will run to meet me and call me his own

Hallelujah Hallelujah
Love runs to meet me
Calls me his own”
~Zac Wilkerson

Dear readers, your faith is your own. It is personal and intimate. Don’t let another person tell you how it ‘should’ be. I had a great phone call with a dear friend of mine. We met our freshman year in college and she now lives across the country. I have not talked to her in a long time. We talked about everything under the sun. Our conversation meandered to her finding a church to meet some new people now that she is newly single. Music is a very big part of both of our personal relationships with our Lord. When I first heard this song not that long ago, I about fell over. I proceeded to listen to it on repeat and send it to my whole family. He speaks to each of us in different ways. Make it personal and make it your own. God is love!

Middle sister K and husband T are coming into town this weekend! We are celebrating her birthday along with my Niece’s 2nd birthday on Saturday. Of course, Mother’s Day on Sunday!

Still trying to get back into everyday reality this week.

In other news, I am moving at the end of the month! More on that later.

Have a great one! 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!

Smile

“There ain’t nothing that can’t be fixed with a smile”

Smile.

Don’t worry.

Don’t hurry.

Embrace the love.

You were lost, but now you’re found.

We aren’t here for very long. Make your peace. Make it beautiful.

Smile.

Truth, isn’t it. Today got me thinking how important and effective smiles are. Then this song came on and I had to share. I am listening to it again right now as it rains outside. Have you ever noticed how light you feel or how the being you are with seems lighter when you smile? Do it right now if you never have noticed. Whether just in our everyday lives doing everyday things or working with horses, smile. It’s hard to get tense or angry when you are smiling. I heard a trainer once say that when you are in a tough spot with a horse, just smile. Take a breath and smile. It will help you relax and not react. Makes you become less of the issue in the equation. You are better able to work through the tough. Dang if it isn’t true.

Your AHAmoment for today brought to you by Midnight River Choir. Check them out. Thanks to Music Fog on YouTube for the vid.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Details on my upcoming Hill Country adventure tomorrow!

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.

unnamed (6)

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.

unnamed (7)

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!

 

Psalms & Proverbs.

The trail ride I am going on this weekend is an annual thing. I have been going for about five years now. It is always a super fun time and is my favorite ride of the year. On the Sunday of the weekend, we ride out to a nice place and gather around for a quick little sermon on the trail. There are moments of laughter and there are moments of tears. The message is usually strong.

12961494_10156720250560527_2817934210179927409_n (1)

This was last year’s ride with Ike. Last year’s ride was after Easter and I was able to wear a straw hat. Some of the people we ride with stick to those old hat season conventions. Me, I do not care for them. It is too dang hot down here to be wearing a felt hat for months. We only have a few weeks of ‘real winter’ down here usually. I took Ike because my Cheetah beetah had a hoof abscess AND white line. Ugh. I will let that sink in for you horse people. That was rough. For 3 months. Since Easter is next weekend, I will have to wear my felt hat and it is supposed to get into the mid to high 80’s.

Anyway, I digress. A few years ago, it was a rainy Sunday. It was decided that instead of riding out, we would just stay at camp and have our sermon in the pavilion after breakfast, then everyone would go home early. The radar predicted it to be wet all day (and it was, go figure, very wet indeed). This particular Sunday was also a somber one. One of the ladies had just lost her mother. As you can imagine, there were many tears shed over the weekend, but what I remember just as much or more than the tears was the fellowship. Everyone really came together in support. It was extremely touching. I jotted down this closing line of the sermon focusing on Psalms and Proverbs before the closing prayer. Your AHAmoment for the day.


“Be calm and confident and leave it there.”

This year I offered to play (ha! not me, my device) a song to add to the experience since we all know how I am about music and I thought it would be a nice touch. I suggested a few songs to be chosen from. This was the winner. A lovely story and message (thanks to Jason Eady – Topic on YouTube for the vid).

This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday naturally made me think of Easter and my favorite Easter song (thanks to Mike McClure – Topic on YouTube for the vid).

Can you tell I am ready for the weekend? It is literally all I can focus on. Lucky for me, it is going to come one day early! Tomorrow we have some important meetings and things that need to get done, but then I am off to the farm after work. Friday 10 AM arrival for good times.

Walk in love, dear readers!