Love Fest

You know what?

I love waking up early to feed the horses and muck out the barn. A soft nuzzle from a velvet muzzle and a warm puff of grassy breath. The sounds of content munching. It is the right way to wake up in my opinion. I get to see things like this…

Pretty, right?!

I love coming back inside and enjoying a hot cup of coffee with my dog at my feet while I watch the rest of the day wake up. A cup of coffee that I admittedly do not need after a morning like this. I am bright and awake.

This is where you find me right now. Sitting with my coffee after feeding. Except Darcy is with her cousin dogs and not at my feet.

I also love seat warmers in cars. Whoever invented those is a genius. I have not turned mine off in a very long time. So much cold!

I love wool socks. See reason above. And that we are one day closer to spring. I know, I know. Winter is much harder in other places, but man, I would venture to say that this is the coldest winter we have had in a long time.

Now I am going to tell you something else I love that you probably already knew. I love this horse! He blows me away. Sometimes I just do not know how he went from a foal to this…

Loping bareback after not being ridden in a couple weeks because of winter weather and Christmas festivities. He is such a fun and chill dude. I could really just go on and on, but the cows are mooing at me. I must go throw more hay. The joys of being the feed lady.

My last thought is this. My AHA moment. Think about what you love today and not what you think you hate. Keep that festering disease away. Life is hard enough without that.

Walk in love, dear readers!

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!

Step Forward, Never Back.

Cheers, y’all!

I hope each and every one of you and yours has a very happy NYE! May your bubbly be cold, feelings warm, family and friends present, and animals not freak out too badly with the fireworks.

cheers.gifLooking forward to 2018!

I know it is not quite NYE, but I want to wish each and every one of you and yours a wonderful and blessed New Year. It is no secret that NYE is not my favorite. Mostly because there are too many expectations and every time I try to actually do something fun and different, it ends up not being so. So, I will be at the farm doing what I love. Even if it means freezing while I do it. Literally. It is supposed to be dreadfully cold out. For like a whole week. At least I have not made my vet appointment yet. Forgive me if I am MIA for a little.

Anyway.

It is interesting having this blog and to be able to now look back and see what I was doing and thinking a year ago. I was reflecting on the year 2016, if you couldn’t guess. Woof. What an awful year when you really think about it. I try not to, preferring to focus on the good and positive things that happened.

I am glad to not be in the same place I was a year ago, spilling wine on myself and glad to chunk the year in the trash. Although, the night is young and there is still a chance of spillage.

But 2017 has been a pretty good year on a whole. Better than 2016 for sure. Did some not so great things happen? Sure, a few come to mind. That whole hurricane and the whole tendon incident and probably some more. Give me a year where nothing bad happens. It is called life.

Having never been a journal keeper, this literal looking back concept is new for me. How easily I forget some things! I feel rather fortunate for that.

At the beginning of this year, like most people, I set all these goals for the year. Determined to make it a great one, at least better than the last. You can probably guess where this is going. Some of the goals I kept, however many I did not. Just like most people with resolutions. So determined was I, in fact, that I was quite not looking forward to writing this post in review of all those resolutions.

Then I got to thinking. You know what? What does it matter? It doesn’t matter. It is OK that I did not keep them. It does not make me a bad person. You want to know what else? I did some pretty awesome other things instead. You know, like taking Lito for a long weekend in the hill country with my best gal pal, R, and then taking him on a week long ride with bunch of other horses and learning from Charlotte Dujardin. The resolutions are not what is important. What is important is the way you live your live. Your intention. Your heart.

So. You know what I will do? I will look forward to 2018 and all the things to come, stepping forward with confidence and not looking back. I will pray with intention more (I kept that resolution!). I will ride more and worry less. Time spent worrying is time spent wasted. AHAmoment. I have already signed up to ride in a clinic in May. I am going to love myself and live every day like tomorrow is not promised because it is not. I will focus on the positive and the light (I think I kept that one too!).

Sound grand and great? Maybe, but I will do my best. Kick me in the butt if I need it, OK? I will do the same for you.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Blessings

I hope each and every one of you and yours had a very merry and happy Christmas.

I will say basically the same thing as I did last year because the same is true today.


May the many blessings of our Lord shower upon you. Peace, love, and joy. Keep the Christmas spirit alive all year long.


Despite having a bad head cold, I had a very merry Christmas myself. Lots of family. Lots of cooking and eating. Laughter and joy. Togetherness and fellowship. I did not want it to end.

The weather ended up not being as bad as predicted which is great for me. Makes my life a whole lot simpler to not have to run back and forth from the farm during a busy holiday.

I made a quick trip out to the farm the Saturday before Christmas to see everyone and feed. Unfortunately for me and probably everyone else, I did not have time to ride, but even just seeing them is worth it.

Real life ’round here for ranch horses. Mud and hay on our faces and in our hair. And a barn full of muck. Thanks, guys.

Hey, hi. How are ya? They sure make it hard to get a photo when they are all up in your business.

Also real life…holes in our hay nets.

Didn’t get enough horse muzzles in your face? Me either.

img_8696

How about a donkey muzzle?

Because everyone loves a gaggle of babies…

img_8754img_8759img_8758

Remember the whole mud in our hair bit? Ya. Worst part is, I did not do a single thing about it. It looks like this season’s latest updo trend.

The minute I got back to town, the cooking and festivities began. Middle Sister K and Bro-in-law T got in Saturday afternoon. The three of us had dinner with my parents and then went off to bed.

Christmas Eve I made an apple cranberry pie with a pecan shortbread crust. Lawd. Go make this now. Worth every bit of effort. Seriously. I have made this several times before and each time I am blown away. In fact, I made it for thanksgiving last year. Anyway, we all went to the kid Christmas Eve service at church and then came back to Oldest Sister A’s house to exchange gifts and have dinner with family and friends.

So, so good. The pie and the evening.

Then Christmas morning I woke up early to make this pomegranate cake for our big Christmas Day lunch with my Mom’s side of the family. This is another one I have made several times. I guess I am going to have to shake things up for next year and do something different, but they are so good!

img_8796

Sadly, Middle Sister K and Husband T had to go back home early Christmas Day. No rest for the weary. I do not even want to write this because I know K is reading, but we all hung out together until dinner time.

The day after Christmas, I did my most favorite thing to do after Christmas. Go to the farm, duh. I know what you are thinking. “Man, I sure wish I had another horse muzzle in my face.”

Your wish, my command.

Boop.

img_8812

I do what I can just for you.

It was cold and raining. The ground was slick and by the looks of the barn, the horses have not been out much. Another barn full of muck. Yay.

So, no riding for me again. Slightly fair weathered of me? Yes, but I am also coughing up a lung every few minutes, so I thought it best not to get cold and wet. And it was my Sunday and had major post holiday blues. And nobody has been ridden in a few weeks between the weather and holiday festivities.

Excuses? Maybe. Probably. Who is this person?

Anyway.

Is it me, or has Lito grown MORE?

img_8803

Even when he is wet he is cute.

img_8808

So you know how I showed you Cheetah’s mane tangled with clumped mud and confessed to not doing anything about it? Well, I still didn’t do anything about it. But, who cares, just listen to them eat hay. She doesn’t mind her mane.

I have always found the week between Christmas and New Year odd. Maybe odd is the wrong word. It is very slow. Things get quiet and not much is going on. It is a very reflective time for many, and I am no different.
I reflect on the real reason for the season and my many blessings. How I can keep hold of the joy of the season, the feeling.
I reflect on the past year. What has happened, changed, or stayed the same. The good, the bad, the ugly.
I think about what the next year will bring. What His plan is for me. The desires of my heart. What I want to change.
So I will be over here, reflecting and postulating. Tap tap. Anyone still there?
Walk in love, dear readers!

The Christmas Tag!

Oh, that sounds like a fun game, doesn’t it?!

christmas-tag-logo

Anne Leueen, you remember her, over at HorseAddict? I have mentioned her before. She nominated me for a Bloggers Recognition Award (Well, dang! That was nice!) and we have also spoken about Winston Churchill. Ring any bells?

Anyway, she nominated me for The Christmas Tag Award! Thanks Anne! She writes a fun blog about horses and dressage and family. I truly look forward to her posts and enjoy our ‘conversations’ via our comments. I live vicariously through her blog. Following along on her journeys with her horse through my computer.

Well, let us get on with the fun! You know how I love Christmas and spreading cheer, so here goes.

Here are the rules for this award:

  • Thank the person that nominated you with a link to their blog √
  • Add the picture in your blog √
  • Copy these rules into your post √
  • Add a link to this original post √ Original Christmas Tag
  • Answer the 10 questions (you can add extra Christmas – related questions if you want) √
  • Tag at least 3 other bloggers with links to their blogs √
  • Have fun! √√√

(Side note…want to know something interesting? I am left handed and write my √s in the opposite direction.)

My Tagged nominees:

Allie: Rocking E Cowgirl

BBB: BeautyBeyondBones

Teresa: Journey With A Dancing Horse

Tonya: Fourth Generation Farmgirl

Now for the fun part…

My Answers:

1. What´s your favorite thing about Christmas?

Um. All of it? It is not about the things. It is what it all adds up to mean. The reason for the season. What IT is all about. His coming for us. His presence. Fellowship. Getting together with family and friends in honor of Him.

15356688_1316088098448561_208975447476696468_n

2. What´s your favorite Christmas memory?

There are so many, it is hard to pick just one. I do think my favorite memory is actually one that I wrote about the other day. The post was supposed to actually be about Elvis, but laced in there was the story of how all the grandchildren would go over to my Grandparents’ house to decorate their Christmas tree, listen to Christmas music, and drink hot chocolate. I miss those days!

3. Are there special traditions your family has for Christmas?

There have been many special traditions over the years. Like going together to pick out the Christmas tree or decorating the house or wrapping the gifts. Traditions are special to me. They are meaningful, if you are doing them for the right reasons, but they are really not what IT is about. Time goes on, people grow up, families grow, and life changes. And, so do our traditions. They fade away, change, or we make new ones. It is the natural way of things. To change, whether we like it or not. I have written on this before. However, the root of the tradition, what makes it special, stays the same. Everyone who is able comes to the designated house for a grand meal made with love and enjoyed with togetherness and faithfulness. It does not matter when or how or what, just so long as we get together. Grow in our faith and fellowship. Feel and see the reason for the season. His presence. To spread our joy and cheer with those around us.

4. What´s your Christmas wish? (can be personal or general)

Can’t tell you or it won’t come true? No. That is not how it really works. But I have already told you my wish. My wish is the same now as it was then. Faithfully waiting. Am I right, BBB?

Next question.

5. What´s your favorite Christmas dish?

Um. How long do you have? It is my favorite meal. So. Every dish? Really though, my favorite is my Mamma’s homemade rolls. They are only made on special occasions and I have never had a better roll. What can I say, I like carbs OK. Don’t judge. If you had ever had them you would know

6. What´s your favorite Christmas decoration?

The tree! The smell. The feel. The look. The lights. The ornaments. That explanation above that I found this year. This one below that I just found.

849ad4c9e8128f666594e0c3b18e5950

It brings meaning to the minutia. Changes the way today’s ‘world’ thinks about it, takes the marking and today’s Santa out of it. It is no longer a chore.

7. What´s your favorite Christmas song?

Um. Way to pick the hardest question. I really dislike when people ask my favorite song. Can I have more criteria. What day? What mood? What situation? I have so many favorites of all kinds. Have you heard the Christmas songs I have been sharing over on the Facebook page?! Most all about the true meaning of Christmas and great pieces of music. If I HAD to pick a favorite, right now…

Hard to not cry.

8. Where do you usually celebrate Christmas?

Honestly? In my heart. Hokey and corny and all that, I know, but it is true. It is they way we are meant to I think. You know how I just explained changing traditions? Well, where we physically celebrate also changes. We also have multiple celebrations. Big family. Church Christmas Eve, followed by dinner at someone’s house. These days it has been at my oldest sister, A’s house. So the little people can go to bed at a reasonable time in their own beds and wake up to Christmas morning at their house. Then Christmas Day lunch at either my Parents’ or my Aunt and Uncle’s house. This year, my Aunt and Uncle’s. We used to always do it at my Grandparent’s house.

9. What does the “Christmas spirit” mean to you? and I will add Anne’s extra question because these two questions are tied together for me…Do you believe in Christmas?

Yes.

I believe in the Christmas I have described through the answers to this Christmas Tag. I believe in the reason for the season. The coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for us. The forgiveness of our sins. In remembering and living that. Doing His will and walking His path for me every day of the year.

That is what the Christmas Spirit is to me. Remembering the reason for the season. Being a source of joy and cheer for those around you. Letting Him be a blessing to others through you. Giving and doing for others. Forgiveness as Christ forgave us. Growing that in your heart and letting it last all year.

10. Who out of anybody in the world would you want to spend your Christmas with?

My family. Especially the ones who do not live here and I only get to see every now and then.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

cropped-12375065_10156313412650527_3951566845228840042_o.jpg

What about you, dear readers? Pick a question and answer. I want to know!

Nominees, here is the list:

  1. What´s your favorite thing about Christmas?
  2. What´s your favorite Christmas memory?
  3. Are there special traditions your family has for Christmas?
  4. What´s your Christmas wish? (can be personal or general)
  5. What´s your favorite Christmas dish?
  6. What´s your favorite Christmas decoration?
  7. What´s your favorite Christmas song?
  8. Where do you usually celebrate Christmas?
  9. What does the “Christmas spirit” mean to you?
  10. Who out of anybody in the world would you want to spend your Christmas with?
  11. Do you believe in Christmas? Bonus question.

Walk in love!

Horses, Darcy Dog, cake, and pie coming up!

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!