Problems

Problems, I ain’t got none.

How do you like that English? I did that for effect, you know. Just for you. To give you a laugh.

Anybody?

Tap, tap, tap?

In all seriousness, continually I am reminded that the things we see as problems in this life, are not really problems in the bigger picture. They are just experiences and lessons. They are gifts.

Remember yesterday’s list of possible topics that got quickly brushed aside in favor of food and wine? Ya, that. We are going there. Here is why. Stick with me.

Wednesday was not a very good day at work. The details are not really important, but emotions are high right now as we are about to drill a well (not really the best time to be leaving the country for vacation, but this trip has been planned for a year…) and somehow I got caught in the middle. Like a side effect or an accessory. Honestly, if I could have done something about it, I would have, but it was out of my hands. (Even though I am still kinda beating myself up about it.) It put me in a foul mood and I was ready to book it before it was even lunch time.

At the end of the day, I left quicker than I ever did when the 3 PM dismissal bell rang at school, and I was the kid that counted the seconds till it was time to leave. I changed my clothes and grabbed my dog in record time to drive out to the farm. I had already planned to go out there for my usual midweek visit.

When I arrived, the horses were in the far corner of their pasture. Go figure. I took a deep breath, stepped out into the sun, and started walking. I didn’t even put a hat on. No time for that.

With each step, I felt a little tension leave. It began to feel blissfully hot as the sun beared down. The grass was green and sky was blue. The breeze was soft through my hair and the trees. I started to hear the birds chirping and Darcy romping around off to my right.

She caught Lito’s eye as he stood in the shade with a hind leg cocked, tail floating on the breeze, playing with the tips of the tall grass.

Then they all, one by one beginning with Lito, started to look at me as I approached. They knew. They always know. Looking at me with their big soft eyes. Nuzzling me with velvety muzzles.

We were just a short walk away from bliss by this point. The answer to everything. It doesn’t take much.

I grabbed Cheetah’s bridle off the bridle rack. I walked up to her side, stroked her golden neck, and began bridling her. She graciously accepted the bit as I slipped the headstall I won in 4H with my old mare Fresca all those years ago over her long ears. Just as I have done countless times. Fresca is the only other horse to have worn that bridle. It has a cross on the side buckles. I found Lito a similar headstall. It was and is important to me.

I will not mention the sweat and dirt all over her body as that would clearly ruin the picture. No, I won’t do that. But she is indeed, covered in dirt. No matter. Dirt brushes off and my hands did a good enough job of that to clear a spot just big enough for me to sit.

I threw myself up on her broad, dorsal striped back and off we went.

Nothing else is needed. Our shadow danced around us as we turned around the ring. On and on. Around we went without a care. Whatever happened earlier in the day a distant memory, not given another significant thought.

(How is this the only video of this song?)

I dismounted feeling lighter, almost wondering if the day had really indeed been all that bad. The answer was probably not, but it did not matter anymore. I thanked my big dun mare for letting me borrow her freedom and setting everything to rights before I made the hour long drive back home.

The drive was pleasant as I was serenaded by Texas music and the views of the coastal plain.

The following day was peaceful as I worked, fueled by the high from the ride, YouTube videos playing in the background. At some point, a string of videos about near death/death experiences came up. It began with the stories of a career hospice nurse. Interesting turn of events, I thought to myself, but I will listen on. I do not doubt that these are true stories. Indeed they are common enough. We hear about them all the time.

I looked up when I heard a familiar voice and story. Eben Alexander. I have heard an interview of his before. Have you heard of him? He wrote the best seller, Heaven Is For Real. Have you read it? I have not, but I will tell you I ordered the book at the end of yesterday. His story is worth a listen. Take the time. I would not share it with you if it was not. I will not spoil it, but the short end of it is he was basically a dead man. Believed to be a vegetable for a week and on his way to death. He awoke and had a lot to share about his experience. About God and Heaven and love.

It brought me to tears, but maybe not in the way you might be thinking. It was an overwhelming feeling. A feeling of knowing. Of love and truth. It is no wonder to me that music and nature and animals and relationships play such vital roles in our lives here on earth. It is all about love. God’s love. God is love.

No, no I do not have problems.

Focus on the bigger picture. The Lord’s journey for you. Spread his love and light. Forgive and forget. Life is short. Tomorrow is a new day. Do not let what you view as problems bring you down. You are here and alive!

Share with me your thoughts! I want to know!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Texas Sunset Silhouette


“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
-Wayne Dyer

Perspective and point of view.

You can get a photo like this just by getting a little closer, a little lower, and waiting.

I mean, it does help to have something like a Texas river bottom and some pretty ponies to look at, but there is beauty all around us if you open your eyes and look.

Something to think about in life too. There are some things we can and things can not change.

We can do our best to make plans and go about them, but we all know how the best made plans go despite our intentions. We are not in charge of the plan at the end of the day.

I say all the time how life is like working with horses, and this is especially true about young horses.

When things appear to go awry, you just have to take a step back and go back to what you know before you start to go forward again.

It is just a season is all. And hey, it is what it is and they are what they are. With horses, as in life, have faith and realistic expectations, set a routine, and give it time and consistency.

Change your point of view and shift your attitude.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Pops

Pops.

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Teaching me how to shoot.

That is what I call my Dad. That is now what my niece and nephew call him.

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With baby Nephew H.

When I wrote about my Mamma for Mother’s Day, I thought to myself, “words. These are just words. They do not do her justice.” Now I naturally have the same thoughts as I try to pen something in honor of my father.

 

 

 

As a Texas outdoors man with three daughters, he raised us the way he knew how. With a love and respect for the outdoors and God’s creation. We get our love of Texas and dogs from him. He taught us how to fish and hunt and how to be good stewards. To sit around the fire pit, watch the sunset, and contemplate life.

He worked his butt off for us. Honestly, I am where I am today because of everything he has done. One time when I was younger, on our way to south Texas, I asked him what exactly he does for a living. The resulting explanation and conversation lasted longer than the five hour plus drive.

His friends tell me, among many things, how he is a fine sportsman and not your average CPA. I certainly always knew the first one. That last one always makes me laugh to myself. He is a socks and Birkenstock kind of guy sometimes, even if Mamma tells him he should not wear that.

He allows us to be who we are and celebrates it. It is no wonder I march to the beat of my own drum and can seem by some respects as a walking, talking oxymoron.

I may be a walking, talking oxymoron, and people may not quite know what to think of me at first. I can sometimes be found wearing a silly, wide brimmed straw hat with a feather stuck in he brim, fishing shirt, tall western boots, polo belt, red lipstick, and dirty finger nails all while riding in a dressage saddle. Good horsemanship, is good horsemanship, no matter what you wear, the horse you ride, or what you ride in. Just like being a good person. Thanks to @exquisiteequineapparel for this great mantra shirt. A strong foundation in the basics is what takes you places. Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. ~~~ ~#basics #foundation #horsemanship #mantra #oxymoron #walkthetalk #walkyourpath #goodperson #slow #smooth #fast #horsesofinstagram #appendixquarterhorse #quarterhorse #ranchhorse #dressage #equestrian #equestrianlifestyle #equestrianlife #equestrianapparel #horseperson #blogger #lifeblogger #ahamoment

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When I was little, he would tuck me in at night while we sang the Lord’s Prayer together. I can’t sing it any other way than the way we sang it. (Side story, Nephew H once told me I sang it wrong because it was not the way his mother sang it to him at bed time. I laughed and halfheartedly told him he sang it wrong.)

I learned how to be safe around horses from him. To love the country and agriculture. To drive and pull trailers.

More than once he took me out of school to head to the hunting lease with one of the dogs. Just the three of us. I thought that was the coolest thing.

He taught me how to fish with a top water and then proceeded to tell me that if I cast it that far out there, I would have a hard time setting the hook. I just smiled as I turned and said, “like this?!” as I hooked a big speckled trout. I can still hear him saying, “keep your rod tip up.” For years, his reward for teaching us to love fishing, we got to land every fish he caught while he untangled our crossed lines. Luckily for him, we can now catch our own fish without tangling our lines. To this day, fishing is my second most favorite thing to do next to riding horses.

On our way to church, we would drive a certain way to go over this train track on a hill because we thought it was fun. It was on top of a big hill in my memory, but it is not a very big hill at all in adult reality. Anyway, we got a kick out of it to drive really fast and bounce up and down in our seats over the tracks. We would laugh and yell. On the way home, we would stop at the filling station to get a Big Gulp. That’s a fountain Coke for all you people that do not know.

Often times, he would let me pick the route we drove home from the farm. Crisscrossing our way through the countryside on the back roads with the windows down. Just listening to music, enjoying the country, and delaying getting back to town. Then we would stop and get a chocolate cinnamon milkshake to share before we got home. We would throw the evidence away before Mom could find out. Although, I am sure she always knew.

One weekend he did laundry at least three times at the farm as my friend and I slid down the muddy slope of a hill into the pond over and over spreading wild flower seeds for him.

 

To celebrate him, we will do what we do. Have a family dinner. Listen to music. Thank the Lord while Pops says the prayer.

I know days like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can be hard for some who’s parents are no longer with us in this life. Indeed it makes it hard right now to even write these words. The thing is though, they are all still here with us in our hearts. In what they taught us. In their memories. Never far away. And you will see them again one day, in their finest form.

What is your favorite memory with the father from your life?

Walk in love, dear readers! Peace, love, and joy.

Something To Remember: Your Own Advice

Sometimes, remembering and taking your own advice can be difficult.

It can be hard.

Time marches on and a new day comes, you turn around and it is like you never made the revelation that time before. You have to do it all over again, but luckily though, it reveals itself quicker than the last time.

One day though, it finally begins to stick. That old time feeling comes back and you remember.

All of this to say, remember that time I shared with you the story of the wardrobe? It is an important life lesson and it is one that has been circling back around for me of late. So, I figured I would share it with you again.


“My mother always says that the people in your life are like a Wardrobe… There are some people that are in your life for only a season. There are some that are in your life for a few seasons or several years. Then there are some that are, as they say, timeless, that are in your life for the long haul. For the rest of your life.”

Things change. That is how this life works. It is part of the human condition if you will. Part of the blessing when you choose to see it that way. It is part of what makes us who we are and gets us where we are going. Part of our journey. Everyone has experienced this.

Interestingly, this American Aquarium album was recently released. On it, is this track. PSA, there is some ‘adult’ language in the first half. Sorry, but hey, we keep things real here, and this is just that. At the beginning, he shares the story behind the song. Y’all know how I love that. It really brings the lyrics to life and makes you think.

The funny thing is, I was listening to this album on repeat and I did not even realize it or why. It hit me Sunday before I headed home from the farm. Do yourself a favor and have a listen to the whole album. Buy and listen to it on repeat.

Then naturally, I had to go and listen to this song.


“Oh, but seasons come for moving
Forces greater than ourselves
But there’s nothing we are losing
Keep it right there on the shelf
I guess I’ll see you when I see you
And pray you’re safe and well ’til then
And all the miles that lie between us
Will be a way back in the end
Oh, the time we shared was a blessing
I’d love to live it all again
I guess I’ll see you when I see you
Happy travels, my old friend”

And then the whole album because, hello.

Music, man. If need another form of proof that we are not alone in our struggles, music is it.

I said it then and I will say it again today because it is still true for me.

I am beyond grateful for all the people that used to be in my life, the people that are in my life, and for all the people yet to be in my life. You are all a blessing to me. You are part of what makes me who I am and part of what makes my life, my life. Thank you for everything you have taught me or given me. Thank you for making my life richer, bolder, and full of color. Thank you for the smiles and laughs. Thank you for being there and being you.

I hope I did the same for you.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Keepin’ It Real

I read something the yesterday that was pretty spot on and I wanted to share it with you. You know, because that is something I like to do.

My friend, M, shared this article over on the book of face and, intrigued, I gave it a click. You should do the same and give it a read. It does not matter if you chase cans, jump pretty painted sticks, dance inside a rectangle, or stroll the trails. It does not really have anything to do with horses.


“We show the world a version of ourselves. But rarely the whole picture. We give everyone a glimpse of the bright moments, the triumph, and the fun. But what about the rest of the story? What about the defeat, the heartache, the sin and loss? Where is the real stuff?
Transparency is scary stuff. Baring your soul to the world is not for the weak hearted. But what if we all were a little less guarded?
Does transparency invite judgment and criticism? Probably. But it also invites grace, empathy and compassion.”

This, my dear readers, is about life and what IT is all about. The greatest of all AHAmoments. This one of the main reasons I started this little blog of mine.

Why I share the good, the bad, and the ugly. And, hopefully, sometimes funny. This is why I share my stories and my struggles. My victories after challenges. What I learned after failure so it is not really failure. Why I try to fight the negativity with positivity, the dark with the light. This is why I share the music I do. Why I share the love of my animals.

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To reach just one person and maybe help them. So they know they are not alone and, honestly, so I know the same. That is real, and that is life. So they know that we are all in this together, walking this walk. And dang, it is hard sometimes. Just ask anyone who will tell the truth. We are all more alike than we think.

Life is about speaking the truth and sharing your story. Your testimony and what gets you through. Being brave and vulnerable, even if it does not feel brave because it feels scary.

This article made my day.

Here is what real life for me is like sometimes on Mondays. I woke up yesterday after hitting the snooze button for at least thirty minutes, cussing as I shuffled through the shavings on the floor (that spilled out of the cuff of my jeans on Sunday for the umpteeth time)(I also won’t mention all the burrs scattered all over all the floors. Wherever the Darcy goes, so go the burrs), took my dog out, threw on work clothes (some of which I pulled from the laundry piles covering my bedroom floor….the laundry that I did not do Sunday), and ran out the door to go to work. Stopping to get coffee because I did not have the time, or the milk, to have coffee at home. All the while feeling guilty about all of the above and dreading the list of things that awaited me at my office desk. Some days are just like that. They can’t all be rainbows and roses.

Today I awoke with a new vigor while aiming my arrow, and not just because I now have milk for my coffee. A positive attitude is all it takes, seeing the bright side. To keep praying and keep knocking, putting it out there and believing. Sharing that story. I actually saw a rainbow after the rains at the end of the day yesterday. As if that is not proof positive enough! Is it easy, no, not at first, but just like everything else, it gets easier the more you do it and make it a part of your everyday thinking.


“Revelation 12:11 tells us that we overcome the enemy by the blood of Jesus and our testimony.
Let your real story, your testimony be heard because even when you are living in the thick of it, it could be the very thing that helps someone else overcome.
Be bold and transparent because of the free gift of forgiveness and salvation. None of us have done a darn thing to earn it, so let’s all be a little more real with each other.”

Go on. Go give it a read. And maybe you’ll be inspired to pass it on to the next person.

I am happy to have each of you to share and celebrate with.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Tuesday’s Track

You know those songs that just never go out of style? That are always applicable? Sometimes they may take you back, but just as often, they speak to you right now in the present because it is honest, raw, and real?

This, my friends, is one of those.

I have probably shared this before, but I do not care. Give it a listen. I just can not get enough of it. Ever. For years I have been listening and it hits me the same every time.

As thought provoking as it is, it is soothing to the very soul.

Always striving for that inner peace. Stillness. Silence. Walking your path. Focusing on Him through it all, no matter what is going on around.

“I been thinkin’ too much about it
What I thought was certain, now I doubt it
So if its over tell me where do I begin
And are there anymore answers left out there in the wind
Sometimes I feel like an Amarillo windmill
Standin’ out in the great wide open alone
And every thought’s a gust of wind
Spins the blades in my mind again
If they spin too much they might break or bend
Aw but if that wild wind ever did lie still
My dreams would turn to rust out in the fields
So I’ll just watch the world fly by me
There’s a silence wellin’ up in side me
Let the rains fall let the winds do what they will
Let it all spin, just let me be still
Sometimes I feel like an Amarillo windmill
Standin’ out in the great wide open alone
And every thought’s a gust of wind
Spins the blades in my mind again
If they spin too much they might break or bend
Aw but if that wild wind ever did lie still
My dreams would turn to rust out in the fields
Yeah but if that wild wind ever did lie still
My dreams would turn to rust out in the fields”
~Mike McClure, The Great Divide

Stir that around in your pot of thoughts, dear readers, and walk in love!

Mom

Here is to my Mamma.

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Is this not the dreamiest wedding portrait? Seriously. I will never understand why this style for dress and portrait went out of style.

Where would we be without her or both of my parents? I know I certainly do not know where or what I would be.

I know it is not quite yet Mother’s Day, but I celebrate my mom every day.

I celebrate her for who and what she is. I celebrate her for putting up with me. I celebrate her for her selflessness and doing everything for me. I celebrate her for allowing me to be who I am and doing her best to embrace it. I celebrate her for being a part of me.

She is the best mom in the world. That is what I tell people when they ask about her.

She made my school lunch every day and would draw horses on the brown paper bag. She would have my dad drive her in the golf cart, wrapped in a sleeping bag, on cold winter mornings to look for me if I rode longer than normal, just to make sure I was OK. She figured out how we could spend the most amount of time at the farm during the summers so I could ride and be where I loved. On those summer days, we would eat dinner early so we could go for drives on the back roads together. With the windows down, we soaked in the country air and scenery. We were waiting for the heat to lift so I could go for a sunset ride on my palomino mare, Fresca. She allowed me to have riding lessons every day when we were in Mexico so I could learn and get better. Just for the love of it.

I could go on and on.

When I was younger, for Mother’s Day I would braid my mare’s mane with ribbons and flowers to spell out mom on Mother’s Day. I sat on my mare in the barn and colored cards for her before she would wake up, misspellings and all. I would pick wildflowers from the horse pasture and try make them last. They never did.

Nowadays I play her music instead of cards because it speaks to us both, more than any card could. I will bake a dessert I think she will like for dinner because I love to do that for people and she has discerning taste. And every time I swing my leg over my pony, I thank the good Lord above for not only the gift that is them, but the gift that is my mother. For giving me that part of her and for her allowing that to grow within me. Well, not that she really had much choice. It is in our blood.

I would say my dad, sisters, and I would have the family over and plan dinner, but we did that once. It was Dad’s idea. It did not work out so well. Mom is the best at that. This year we will go to Aunt M’s house for Mother’s Day dinner with everyone. That is what makes her happy.

We will be celebrating many mothers this coming Sunday. Grandmothers. Mothers. Aunts. Cousins. Sisters.

I hope I am half the mother she is and they are one day.

What is your favorite memory of the mother in your life?

Walk in love, dear readers!

 

May Day

I talk quite a bit during the Christmas season how it is my favorite time of year. I also seem to recall telling you that foaling season is probably my second favorite time of year. I would not put it past me to be found guilty of claiming yet another time as my second favorite time of year.

However, I was just thinking to myself how the month of May is my second favorite time of year. Although technically, it is still foaling season, just the end of it and now everyone is talking about how their mares are bred for next year. Just more to love.

Anyway.

April can get a little hay wire with the weather, but by the time May gets here, it is getting warm and the air is dry. Just the right kind of warm…as in not too. It is not yet hot and does not remind you of the suffocating humid heat you know, yet refuse to acknowledge, is coming in late summer. It is the kind that feels good and warms you through. Makes you want to take a nap. You can feel the promise of summer. The kind of promise that brings a flood of nostalgia and has you running and playing outside in shorts, with or without shoes. Flocking to the pool with your friends. Riding sweaty horses bareback. I half want to start a count down to the end of school.

Except, that I am not in school any more and do not get a summer off. Sigh. What a way to ruin an image.

Go back to running barefoot.

Everything is green, from the grass to the pecan trees, and the sky is so blue. The love bugs are everywhere and the horses’ coats are slick and shiny, free of the winter fuzzies. They practically glow as they bask in the sun. I swear the sun acts almost like a drug, putting everyone in a trance.

May also has a lot of birthdays in my family. Middle Sister, K. My Niece, L. Friend, R. A certain mare turns 14 soon. Babies and birthdays, man.

Anyway. Yesterday was a great May day and I have some evidence to prove it.

The sky was blue and the grass was green. It was warm. The horses were shiny and love bugs abundant.

I rode Cheetah and she acted like Lito was just weaned. I guess she wants a baby too.

Then I did some ground work and rode Lito man. He decided a little while ago that he was scared of flappy colorful things like tarps and anything of the sort. I still don’t get that because he never was before, but we are working through it. We walked all over with the flappy colorful tarp being flappy and colorful waving around. He was very good and I swear had that moment of, “I don’t remember why we are doing this. That is not scary.”

While riding he preferred to stand there and take a nap in the sun. So, we basically did that.

Petunia cuddled and asked for food.

Lito really enjoyed his feed. Just look at his eyes.

Our neighbor’s dog came over and everyone took a nap.

Remember when I showed you those cactus blossom buds on an equally awesome day? Well, here they are now!

Then Darcy (while covered in burrs…the one downside to this time of year) and I had a patio lunch with margaritas. For me, not her, much to her chagrin.

Margaritas and salsa after a great day with the ponies, reflecting on my many blessings.

What is your favorite part about this time of year?

Walk in love, dear readers!

Perfect

We live in a world where everyone is striving for perfection. Everything has to be perfect. It is hard to even truly define and comprehend the word. Is there any such thing as ‘without fault’ in this human world?

I read something other day about it in fact. Something about being a perfectionist and how it makes you great. Everything about it I loved except that word. Perfect.


“Riding, like life, does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.”

 

AHAmoment. Riding and life is never perfect, but it is always wonderful, magical, and beautiful. This is one thing horses have taught me. There is always a silver lining. There is always something to be learned and something positive to take away. The beauty comes from the imperfect and how everything still forms around it. What you can make out of it. The striving for the goal, to always be better. Fault can always be found, but it is how you look at it.

To me, humans can never be perfect because we do not have the control.

If I go out to ride with the goal of making it perfect, they humble me right down and remind me that is not what it is about. They live in the moment like we should. We try so hard to control everything in our lives. However, if I go out with the goal to enjoy the ride, make it the best we can, and be better than yesterday, they give me their all and nothing can beat it. Perfect does not even come close. I can see and feel them try.

It is the same in life. Chasing perfection forces you to compare yourself to an outside standard or someone else. You will never get where you really want to be that way. The point is the path. The journey. That is what it is about. It is yours and no one else’s. Incomparable. Made and intended for you and only you. Enjoy it. Walk it. Be better than yesterday. Keep refocusing and aiming your arrow. That is where the wonder and beauty of life comes from. Not from trying to control it and make everything perfect to some made up standard.

The beauty of horses and life.

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Stir that around in your pot of thoughts for a bit. Think about it the next time you are about to use that ‘p’ word. It is pretty dang strong! I am guilty of over using it myself!

Walk in love, dear readers!