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 them? 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!

Annabelle

Certain evenings at the farm, without any other people there, often bring back memories and make me miss a certain someone. Particularly when I am out walking in the pastures. I always have and always had, back then, a special buddy with me.

Two independent beings and kindred spirits, comfortable just being in the joined, shared silence that can only be had in that secure, comfortable way. They way of a life long relationship, but not needing all those years to get there. With that knowingness.

Glad and relieved for the lack of pressure and expectation, strolling through the pastures, not side by side, but not one in front either. Content just being present. In each other’s company. Accompanied only by the ambiance created by that country air and those country sounds. The breeze in the pecan trees, through the grass, and over the pond. The sun setting, ablaze with fire, and reflecting off the migrating ripples after the crash of a Bass on the surface. Likely preying on the recent hatch. The distant snort and swish of horse tails as the herd grazes. A cow mooing for her calf and the bull making his claim known to the neighboring herd. Backed up by the common clink of ice in a glass and the distant speaker playing real country music. The good kind. Old and new.

Something like this.

(Side note. Go treat yourself to this album. It is brand new, but as far as I can tell is as close to classic, old school country as it gets these days with a distinct modern arrangements. I am a sucker for all things steel, fiddle, and piano along with the guitar. I pre-ordered it a while back and so far it is great. I have been listening to Joshua Hedley for a while.) Now back to the story at hand. My buddy. The instigator of all these memories.

She had the luxury of being born out here. Well, right down the road technically, but close enough. As much a part of the landscape as the centuries old Live Oak up by the house.

My mother’s old Labrador Retriever, Annabelle.

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There is just something about a Lab, isn’t there?

A gal pal after my own heart she was. Middle Sister, K feels the same way, if not more.

Even though she was not mine, we grew to have a very deep connection in her later years. Especially during what I call my “Lost Year.” The year between my undergrad and graduate school. Not knowing what to do with my life and having trouble finding a job using my degree. In the end I bucked up and applied for grad school and began that journey within the year. Sometimes it feels like I miss that year, but really I just fondly remember those nights at the farm with Annabelle.

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We got her right before Oldest Sister, A went off to college.

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We would go to the farm together about three times a week during that year. It was glorious. She was my gal pal. My farm buddy. She knew the plan before I did and would rally her old bones. I had to help her get into the car so we could go, but I also had to stop her from jumping out of the car and hurting herself when we would arrive. She would run as best as she could until she had to take a nap.

We would walk out in the pastures together at sundown. At length, we would eventually come to a stop. Annabelle would walk out a few paces in front, stop, take a big breath of that country air looking back at me, and then sit and gaze off into the distance, like only a wise dog can. Eventually, when it got close to dark, we would make our way back up to the house.

She was a great dog even though she rarely listened to anyone. We had to put her down while I was in graduate school and we were left with a big hole in our lives. I would never recommend being dogless if you can help it. It is awful. It was a good thing Darcy was on her way.

Dogs are such amazing creatures. They sure do leave their mark in their short time here on earth. It is a wonder to me how we handle having them in our lives and move on after they are gone. Yet at the same time, I could never imagine my life without a dog in it. What gifts they are. They seem to make us aware of how human we are. The remind us that we do not have all the time in the world. If only we could do as much good as a dog does in its lifetime in our own.

They are never ‘just a dog.’ Do you know what I mean?

Anyway, I just wanted to share Annabelle with you as I was thinking of her.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Storm Dodging & Life Lessons

I can not help but think that this weekend was a metaphor for living every minute that you get, no matter what. We are not promised any of them.

I struggled with when to even go out to the farm this weekend. I was thinking about staying in town to do who knows what. The weather reports promised rain all day Saturday and I had to be in town by mid morning on Sunday. I needed to ride and check on everyone. I have a weekend long trail ride with dear friends this coming weekend. However the thought of going out Sunday afternoon and rushing did not sound all that appealing.

I went ahead and booked it out there Friday after work. I would do as much as I could on Saturday and let the weather bring what it wished. Since you know, you can not do anything about it anyway and the forecasts are usually wrong. AHA moment, do not trust the weather man.

Friday evening was just about as lovely as it gets. I strolled down to the pond where the horses were hanging out under a pecan tree. The one that got struck by lightning a few weeks before Lito was born and has a big scar down the trunk. I was flooded with memories as I sat on a log near the horses, but we will talk about those memories later. One by one, the horses made their way over to me and huffed their grassy breath brushed my face with their velvety muzzles, each asking for scratches on their favorite spots. My mare eventually pushing everyone else away from me. I secretly love when she does that.

After bringing everyone in at sundown and feeding them, Darcy and I went inside to call it an early night. Early to bed, early to rise you know.

Saturday with my coffee mug in hand, I caught up my best mare, Cheetah, my gal pal, and set to grooming. Spending a little extra time and elbow grease to bring out the shine in her golden honey coat before tacking up. A girl needs to look her best, that is what my mother says.

We set off with no plan other than to just go, and boy was she game. A little saucy and sassy, but what else is new. Although, I think someone must have slipped her some coffee or something.

 

Some days she never seems to run out of power walk.

At times it felt very Man From Snowy River with the clouds, wind, and drizzle.

She always keeps me on my toes that is for sure. So we did a little storm dodging, but our spirits we not dampened in the least and our manes were only a little damp. At one point we were loping down a dirt road out in the pasture behind the barn. The one that has a culvert slightly exposed. A little known fact about Cheetah is she used to be really afraid of culverts. Weird, I know. Anyway, as we were going along, I wondered to myself if she was going to see or notice this culvert. Ha. She did eventually. When we were in the air over it. I am not even sure what happened underneath me. All four of her legs seemed to go in different directions and her body twisted and contorted so she could get a cockeyed glance at the thing. How offensive of it to be there in her path. But when her hooves hit the ground, she just kept on going with just a little extra pep in her step. I could not help but laugh out loud.

I gave her the first bath of the season after I stuffed her face full of treats. She was nowhere near having an empty tank (well let’s be honest, she never has an empty tank, ever), but I did not have all day. Chance was slated for ride number two and Lito needed to spend some time tied. Growing up can be hard for a horse!

So dynamic. All those colors. Especially the red.

Chance is one of those horses you barely have to touch with a brush and he is super shiny and soft. I am always amazed. As amazed as I am with his chunky, tank like frame. Sometimes, I still can not believe he is the same horse we bought a few years ago. We did some more storm dodging and it was nice for once to not have to push him the whole time.

Two completely different rides, those two. One prefers to go, go, go all the time and the other would rather sit in the shade of a tree and take a nap. There is nothing better than getting to ride different kinds of horses.

So, what is the life lesson to be had in dodging storms? Well, that you sometimes do not have control over them. AHA moment, dear readers, we humans have basically zero control in the grand scheme of things. And like I said, the weather man really has no clue!

You see, I could have sat around inside and watched the clouds, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the storm, wondering why I came out and why I was wasting my day. Waiting on the storm that did not come until after I was happily in my bed falling asleep, reliving the great rides that I had and feeling grateful. The storm that soaked the spring ground with ever needed rain. The storm that was gone by morning and had the sun out, growing the grass.

I woke up Saturday ready to do all I could until the rain made me take a break, and then I would go again. Knowing I would not have time to the next day and that I would regret it if I did not. Even if I did have the time, everything was a soupy, wet mess come Sunday morning anyhow.

Go live every minute of every day, dear readers, and walk in love. For you do not know what storm is coming or when. You are equipped by Him to handle what does eventually come your way and it will make you stronger.

And besides, a storm is just a little rain with some sun on the back side, waiting to grow your grass.

 

Back To…

Back to…normal. Dare I say it. So we will go with normalish. Back to normalish.

Yesterday I went out to the farm after work to fit a ride in. We also had the vet come out this morning to float their teeth, so I left them penned up for him.

It was the perfect mid week. My Lito man is ‘back’ to being his cuddly, ‘normalish’ self and my Cheetah girl was just as amazing as ever. I rode her around bareback in a halter. Well, because, why not. I also didn’t feel like dealing with her being her spunky, not wanting to walk self. So we dinked around the arena and just had fun. And boy was it. I love having a thought and her knowing it. Nothing else like it in the world. It is not always like that because, hey we all have our days, but when it is…wow.

From the look of the below pic, they thought I was cooking up a scheme of a trap. And well, I guess I was, but I made it worth their while.

It was also supposed to be sunny. Oh well, they are calling for rain on Saturday, so I will take it.

See, fun.

Trojan horse with his mohawk.

He looks a little different from the view atop Cheetah’s broad back.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as they say. Not matter what species. I used to roach Cheetah’s mane all the time because she would rub it out searching for greener grass on the other side of the fence. Hopefully he grows out of it too like Cheetah mostly has.

I had a lovey dinner with my Aunt M.

That is about all I have for this Thursday. I have had quite a good productive week. Can’t complain over here.

I bet you can’t either, can you?

If you can, take a look at that dun face and smile. Then take a ride with me on my fun, dun mare. Changes things doesn’t it?

Walk in love, dear readers! Tomorrow is Friday!

Your Daily Dose

Looking for something? Look no further. Take your pick…

Beauty.

Inspiration.

Cute.

How about this Good Friday Eve sunset?

Or this Good Friday morning trail ride on your best mare with friends?

Or a Good Friday afternoon hangout in the wildflowers?

Or a play session with a water bottle? Hey, it’s the simple things in life, remember?

Or a foggy Easter Saturday sunrise?

Easter Sunday was filled with a whole family tour. My parents are on vacation so I went to church with my Sister and her family, had lunch with my Mom’s side of the family, and had a second dessert and dinner with my Dad’s side of the family.

All of the above makes for a magical Easter weekend if you ask me.

Walk in love, dear readers, and remember the gift of this day. Hard to do on a Monday after a holiday.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/rise-set/

Laugh Because Dogs Will Be Dogs.

Sometimes, you just have to laugh. Although really, this is no laughing matter.

I went to the farm Tuesday after work to ride my gal pal Cheetah and let Lito stand tied for a while. You know, send him back to Kindergarten. Sometimes we all have to take a step or two back before we can move forward, so this is where we are. And I am OK with that.

Hey look, he has not completely forgotten!

It was a luscious and luxurious day. The sun was out in full backed by the big Texas blue sky. The air was soft and comforting as it softly caressed the bare skin on my arms and face. Almost pillow like making my long curly hair flow like the wind through the trees.

Or the grass that hasn’t gotten long enough yet. And really, more realistic would be the wind through the pollen pods. Are they pods? I do not know, but man the pollen this year. Is it me or is it in overdrive production? Almost makes me reconsider a black car. Almost. I am still going to get one.

Anyway, yes, the sun, sky, and breeze. Lovely, take my word for it. Be jealous because you should be. There is no better place. With or without the pollen. It was great.

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My original plan was to go on Wednesday, but I just could not wait that long.

Darcy did her normal farm thing while I rode. Or so I thought. Such a naughty, scrappy girl. A lady she is not. Dogs will be dogs I guess.

She really got into something this time. Whatever that something was, which I am sure was what was left of the drippings on the ground of this heritage breed pig we roasted on Saturday (which, I still do not get because that was forever ago),

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These two photos were taken by my Bro-in-law. Pig was also cooked by him. It was tasty. 

was good enough to also eat a bunch of dirt and sand. And cause all bodily functions to go awry. Big time.

A day at the vet and big bill later, poor little Doolittle is a little worse for ware. And so am I, but who cares about me.

Here is hoping everything keeps, uh, moving along. Cough. There really is not delicate way to put that.

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So Darcy is my work companion at my feet today so I can monitor her.

I just had to look up at the sky, shake my head, and chuckle. Some people say, when it rains, it pours. That may be so and sometimes it sure feels that way, but I am just going to laugh.

Why? Because laughing is better than any other option! Focus on the positive. She is eating, drinking, and resting.

He gives us nothing we can not handle.

Walk in love, dear readers!