The Monday Fade

The Monday feels were strong yesterday. It was like having to come back from long vacation and not just a weekend. So strong was that Monday feeling in fact, that it is encroaching on my Tuesday.

The Monday fade. I just made that up. Hopefully it will FADE AWAY throughout the day and I can get on with it.

I am sitting here on my couch, sipping my own fancy, pantsy white chocolate peppermint coffee concoction (if you’re well behaved, I will tell you about it later), wishing I was a kid in school again with a winter break. Time to whatever I want.

If I was back in school, then I would have to go through finals and all of that growing up strife again…woof! No thanks!

Why is it that sometimes going to work and doing all the other ‘adulting’ (it is a very apt word, no matter how silly it sounds) things we have to do feel so hard to do? I believe everyone goes through this. Don’t you? Yesterday and today have been that way for me. Hard to wake up. Sitting on the couch with my coffee (in a Christmas mug with a penguin wearing a tie because I am clearly not an adult) until the very last possible minute which results in me rushing to get dressed and out the door so I am not late. Not to mention not even making my bed because clearly that terribly simple task itself is even too difficult for the toddler inside me. I won’t mention my tantrum protest of kicking and thrashing at my alarm’s buzzing. No, I won’t mention that. I must do that too much because Darcy did not appear to be fazed by my strange behavior.

And speaking of alarm. I have some lovely songs set as my alarm! Yes, songs, because I have more than one alarm set. Do not judge me!

No need to have a reaction of kicking and thrashing!

If I was waking up to horses, I would barely even need one alarm.

Anyway.

I failed. I failed at getting pictures of the Christmas party. Sigh. Oh well. This is really the only one besides some very sub-standard cupcake photos.

Quite cozy and festive, right? My sister knows how to throw a party!

Remember that Peppermint Dream Cake I made for one of my family’s Christmas celebrations last year? This one?

Well, I made Peppermint Dream Cupcakes for the party. I took some not so great photos of them…

They tasted better than the photos look!

I had some extra Fluffy White Chocolate Frosting…so I uh, put it in my coffee. Before you freak out, is just peppermint white chocolate ganash, folded into whipped cream. Quite good.

I must be off now. You know, that whole adult thing called work. Make money, pay the bills, make a difference, blah, blah, blah.

Let us get this Tuesday going.

Walk in love, dear readers.

A Big Thanksgiving

Or rather, a long Thanksgiving. Big and long.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday started early and chilly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another stunning sunset from the weekend.

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

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

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

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

You haz carrot?!

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

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

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

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

The Season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Walk in love, dear readers.

Sorry, Not Sorry.

Today I am straight up giddy with the prospect of fall and winter.

Why does it seem like I only ever write about weather lately?

Anyway, slightly, or not so as established above, random, I know. And before you ask, yes, I am aware that it is not even October yet. But a girl can get excited. We are almost there.

Here is what I am ready for:

Holidays, duh. Even if this year will be hard.

Sitting around a fire wearing a sweater. I love sweaters. I love fire. Throw in a cocktail, some great music and people and you got it made.

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Baking and cooking and holiday cocktails and getting crafty with my family. And, and, AND!

Frosty mornings with fuzzy horses. Although, I pray not too frosty and cold. Old horses and hard winters are tough. Last winter was pretty bad.

And, dare I say. Christmas and Christmas music and Hallmark Thanksgiving and Christmas movies and Christmas decorations!!! And family time. And food. Man, we have the best Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts. My mouth is watering.

Shhhh. I know.

You are thinking that I am crazy and that we are far off from that and hey, don’t forget Thanksgiving. Nope. Not crazy, just excited for one of my favorite times of year. And I never forget about Thanksgiving. They go together. It is the season and spirit of thanks and giving.

Do not you worry, I won’t play a Christmas song now. Even if I did think about. OK fine, I am only not playing it because I can’t find a good video of it.

Sorry, not sorry. People are already starting to decorate for fall!

Walk in love, dear readers, and have a great weekend!

I will be riding and organizing for my trip this weekend…and dreaming of cooler weather. Interestingly enough, we will have slightly cooler weather this weekend.

Texas Summer 

OK, while we are not technically still in summer, around these parts, we basically only have summer and winter. 

A normal pattern, one that we have not really seen consistently for quite some time due to drought, is afternoon showers. Lovely, lovely showers. Thanks Gulf of Mexico! 

I might be one of the few down here who welcomes these afternoon showers since a little event named Harvey, but they really have been nice. Every afternoon we have had a little rain storm that makes the best background noise and cools the evening down. The air gets clean. Days like these I really wish I lived at the farm. 

But I digress. 

I get home from work and take Darcy out and then change out of my work clothes. Usually, that is when it starts raining. 

Both yesterday and today I cleaned, did laundry, and cooked with the soundtrack of summer. Exciting sounding to an outsider I know, but I find such beauty in the everyday of it. So relaxing and dependable. 

Life has been so busy and hectic lately with Harvey and trying to get back to ‘normal’ (something inconceivable even today for some victims of the storm) and my upcoming trip. 

On the menu tonight…or sometime this week, depending on what R prefers…roasted tomato and vegetable soup. Tomatoes, onions, peppers, peppers, peppers, butternut squash, garlic, and a ton of herbs…sage, thyme, rosemary, and basil. All roasted together in the oven and then combined in a stock pot, that my Grandmother gave me, with chicken stock to summer. Blended together and presto. An amazing soup. 


I am already enjoying a margarita. A classic for me. 


I have the robo vacuum going upstairs and it sounds like it is dragging a dead body around. 

But. Darcy girl is apparently hungry, so I must bend to her will. 


I hope y’all are enjoying your everyday lives. 

Walk in love, dear readers! 

Good Morning From The Mountains!

Good morning, dear readers! Today I am writing to you from the mountains of Colorado!

Cool, I know! I am very excited to be here. It has been a while since I have spent time up here and I am looking forward to five days of experiencing God’s handiwork in a different place.

I rode yesterday morning with some friends before I made myself drop Darcy dog off at R’s and go pack. I had all these things I wanted to do before leaving, like clean so I could come home to a clean house. Ya, that didn’t happen. Bare minimum is what got done. I didn’t care though, because I was going to the mountains! I love that one day I can be be riding in Texas and then hop on a plane and be in the mountains the next day. Variety!






I arrived yesterday around 11 mountain time. Did you say brunch time??? Ha! Funny thing! That was my exact thought! I am so glad y’all get me. I suggested maybe we should find a mimosa brunch and Middle Sister K did a very good job of coming up with a place for us to go to. My bottomless mimosas and ricotta pancakes with orange curd and whipped cream really it the spot. Must not have any more of that if we are going to get out there and do some hiking! They were worth it though! I have always wanted to make ricotta pancakes. One of these days I will make them.


Anyway, I digress.

After brunch, my parents and Bro-in-law T went to play golf, leaving K and I to our own devices. We made a quick wine and frozen yogurt run while we enjoyed the weather. Back at the condo, we grabbed our swim suits and speakers and headed to the pool and hot tub.

When we had our fill of the pool, I set the table with anything I could find out on the patio so it would be ready for dinner.

K and I decided we should go walk around town and then find a nice place to sit and have a cocktail while we waited the golfers’ return. There was some rain brewing and we ended up walking through a little sprinkle on our way back. Side note, there is more rain in the forecast and I am kinda excited! I have never witnessed a storm in the mountains! And y’ all know how I feel about storms…and mountains! Put them together and wow!



OK. Sorry. Where was I? Oh right, walking through the rain. We turned around to look back up at the mountain before heading in and what did we see? The biggest rainbow I have ever seen! Such a gift! God is so good and great! AHAmoment! 


We had dinner out on the patio accompanied by our favorite Texas music. Well, you do know what they say about taking Texans out of Texas, right?

I slept well with my windows open to the cool night mountain air. I am up early, as per usual, and everyone else is still asleep. I have the sliding doors open and can hear the fountain of water trickling into the hot tub.

I am so looking forward to today.

Go walk in love, dear readers, wherever this morning may find you. We are all blessed to wake up and experience the world!

Texas.

I do not like to talk about politics and I am certainly not going to do that here. That is not what this is for. Do not you worry.

I will say this. I am proud.

Proud to be a Texan.

Proud to be an American.



I can not speak for people from other states or countries, but Texans seem to be born proud. It is in our blood and we take it pretty seriously. You do not have to be born here to get it in your blood either, but I have also come across some people in my life that just do not quite seem to understand it.

Sometimes, I can’t quite explain it either. It is somewhat of a mystical thing and has a sort of magnetic pull, something that just wells up inside and grows throughout your life. It is certainly a special place. A place unlike any other. Not the South. Not the West. Uniquely its own. Naturally there are songs written about it. You did not think I would skip that, did you? We will get to that in a minute. 

The 4th of July always makes me reflect on this. I feel blessed and grateful to live in this country. To do the things I love to do. To be my independent self. To be able to see the light every day. Prouder still, to be a Texan. It is part of who I am. So. This weekend I celebrated with my family doing what I love because I can. I am free to do so. That is what being an American and being a Texan means to me.

I went to the country. I had quality time with my family. I rode my horses by myself. 





I rode my best mare with my Nephew behind me, holding on, while my sister rode Ike with my Niece wrapped in her arms in front of her. One in front of the other and side by side. I baked. 

We ate. We drank. We splashed in the baby pool in the yard. We played with dogs. I went fishing with BIL B, his brother, and my Nephew. Which, by the way, is my second most favorite thing to do next to riding. I not only fished, but I caught. I even got to fish with my rod that BIL B made for me because he brought it just in case I wanted to go with them. 








I napped. I read. I lost count of how many times we watched Tangled and Frozen during the heat of the day.

People, it would seem, are so terribly divided as of late. I wonder where the pride went. Are they not grateful to be able to see the light everyday? To be able to do what they love? Is it not part of who they are? Where is the love? Love of country? Love of people? Love of themselves? Why focus on the hate when you have a choice? 

Focus on the light and love. It is a choice.

Spread the love by walking in love, dear readers. Lead with love!

 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=y1UfLik6Tuw

Monday…

…just like any other Monday?

Wrong. It is one that was not promised. I bet that changed your Monday blues.

Make the most of it, dear readers, and make it a great one.

Dare I say, make it a marvelous Monday!

Shine your light and spread the love! Get all hippie-dippie. Go on. You know you want to.

I had a lovely, restorative weekend at the farm (I even took a nap! Gasp, I know), capped by an amazing dinner with family last night. Seriously, that meal. Fresh caught red fish on the half shell topped with hollandaise and fresh crab meat served with green chili rice and green beans. We ate like kings. However, the meal was nothing compared to quality time spent with my niece and nephew. Love those little people!







I hope everyone had a great weekend and is getting their week off to a great start.

I for one am glad to be back in the swing. Bring it on! I have missed y’all!

Enjoy this piece by Ben Haggard.

What did you do this weekend?

Walk in love.

Hurry Up & Wait.

This morning I woke up early to finish packing and load everything that did not need to be cold in my car. I even woke up before my alarm. Darcy was picking up on the energy and seemed to know that this weekend is not going to be the average weekend. She was bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to go the minute I opened my eyes. She stuck by all morning, as if to remind me not to leave her. It was extremely hard to leave her to go to work!

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Right now, during my lunch break…after I finish writing this post, I am going to a local Mexican bakery (my favorite!!!) for some pan dulce for our breakfasts. After work, I am packing up the cold groceries and my sidekick Darcy girl and heading to the farm. One step closer to leaving Friday morning and pulling out. Cross your fingers Lito still has all four shoes on. Last night I made some chicken enchiladas to have for a couple of our dinners. One less thing to take away from fun time! Ain’t nobody got time to cook (or clean dishes!) when we have a girls weekend dedicated to horses!

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Last weekend I got most all of my horse stuff loaded and packed in the trailer. I have all of R’s horse stuff in my car, ready to load in the trailer, along with all of my personal things. I will be doing that while I try not to die waiting for patiently wait her arrival with Ronan (I had gif conversations with R all morning!). Hurry up and wait. Ugh. I have patience, I promise. I am so ready for this and am super excited to put some serious miles in on Lito. I tried to do this last year with him, but then the river flooded, twice.

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The plan is to leave around 7:30 or 8 AM on Friday to avoid hitting traffic on our way and arrive around lunch time. We will get the horses unloaded and settled, get our stuff inside, and eat a quick lunch before tacking up and riding out for the afternoon. Then ride all morning and all afternoon. Rinse, repeat! There will be some drinking, eating, music, swimming, pit fires, watching of Kentucky Derby, and maybe some sleeping. We will have all day Saturday and all day Sunday before leaving Monday morning. Both R and I have somewhere to be by 5PM on Monday.

This sums up how I have been all week on the inside…and maybe on the outside:

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Sorry for the excessive gif usage, please don’t leave me! …tap, tap…? Anyone still there???

More from Midnight River Choir to get me through the work day. Thanks to Texas Music Scene for posting the vid on their YouTube. Enjoy!

I will update on the weekend when I can!

Walk in love, dear readers!

 

I Mean, Just All The Things.

This week is already going by super fast! I intended to write this post this yesterday, but I just did not have time. Where do I start?

I met up with an old friend for lunch. He was actually my tutor for when I took the ACT back in high school and then again for when I took the GRE. He also tutored my sisters for the same thing because, honestly, most people are not wired to do very well on those stupid things. However, that really is not the point here. The point is, we had a common bond over horses. He is a show jumper, had a few horses at the time, and did some breeding. We would usually spend some of our sessions talking horses. Not too much though, because we would get in trouble otherwise! Anyway, fast forward to the other day, he sent me a friend request from his professional, farm page. A quick flip through his page and website and he had clearly ramped up his breeding business and has some really quality mares. Naturally, I sent him a message to catch up. Yesterday, we had a lovely lunch. It is an even longer story, but he has a horse farm in France and I am planning to visit him while he is there next summer! I know that is a long time away from now, but I do not care! I am beyond excited for this horsey vacation! I have never been to Europe either! There are many day trip options near the farm. There are really nice horses. Beautiful country side. Many trail options, including a riding beach. What more could there possibly be?!

Then, after work, I went to the bank and set up an IRA. That is boring. Next.

I had dinner with an old friend, C. Technically, my sister’s friend, but she and her husband are my friends too. They are the ones I house and dog sat for back in March. Anyway, we had great fun catching up and just talking over wine and dinner, but it made me miss my sister. When I got into my car, I called her up to tell her just that and about dinner. While we were on the phone, C beeped in, no doubt to say the same thing!

I am counting down the seconds to Friday morning when R and our horses will be on our way to the Hill Country. More on that later, but I have several things to get done before then. Farrier did say my Lito was a gentleman while he got his shoes. Prayers he has them all still on!

This weekend was pretty great. It was really busy. I of course had to spend some time with my ponies.

So, I did it this weekend. I had a lesson! This is something I have been wanting to do for a really long time. So much so, that I made it a resolution/goal to take at least 5 or 6 lessons this year. It is not going to be easy, but I will make it happen.

So, on Saturday morning, I had my first dressage lesson in many, many years. To be honest, it was nothing short of amazing. I know that sounds really grand and no it was not all perfect, but it really was great. I was kinda nervous having not ridden with a professional in so long. I got to ride one of trainer’s horses, named Phantom. A gray Arabian gelding, trained to 3rd level. That was pretty exciting as I do not think I have ever ridden an Arabian.

The first lesson is always a whirlwind. New human relationship, new horse relationship, new place, etc. Trainer is super nice and fun. It took a little bit of time to get used to Phantom since he is shaped and moves so differently from most horses I ride. The biggest thing that stood out was how forward I sit/lean. This I knew she would point out and help me fix. She did not waste any time diving in on that and getting me to sit upright, which actually got me excited. It was an issue when I was taking lessons before and I have noticed in photos that I have reverted back to that. The other main thing we worked on was establishing a solid connection on my supporting rein and getting good through-ness and stretch. Before I knew it, the lesson was over. I did not want it to be, but we finished on a great note with a very nice trot.

There were definitely moments where I felt like a beginner. I am not sure quite how I feel about that, but I found myself laughing through those moments and just riding forward. AHAmoment. Which, to be honest, I am proud of myself for. I didn’t focus on those moments, I just hunted for the next good one, the sweet spot. AHAmoment.  She commented that it looks like I ride a lot of green horses by the way I ride and that is probably the source of my forward seat. I laughed and told her that was true. There were lots of smiles and laughs. There were two things she said to me that really just put me on cloud nine. That I have a good feel for a horse and that for never having ridden him before, I rode Phantom well. I mean. I think I have a pretty good feel for a horse, but to have a professional tell you that? Makes me feel like I am on the right path and doing something right!

I can not wait for my next lesson which I scheduled for Wednesday of next week! My homework is to focus on sitting upright, which to me, feels like sitting back. The plan is to continue riding Phantom and get solid on him while fixing a few things with me, and then begin with lessons on Cheetah.

After my lesson, I went to visit a friend at her ranch. She just pulled her horses out of boarding and brought them home to the ranch. I stopped at a little Mexican restaurant on the way to have lunch and celebrate. Because, why not?

That is all for now, dear readers…and that is a lot!

What is new with y’all? Anything fun this past weekend or this coming weekend? Or big plans for the future? New Year resolutions/goals getting crossed off the list? Or just good times with good people? I hope your week is off to a good start!

Go get out there and celebrate the little things!

Walk in love!