Cold Mornings

There is nothing like a cold morning at the farm feeding horses to wake you up in the right mindset, I tell you. Even if I was running a little late and got stuck in traffic. Even if I am not all together, full on ready for winter. I probably said that last year. I probably say that every year. I am nothing if not consistent, yes?

This morning was the first real cold of the season.

So very cold, but so beautiful.

We have officially reached southish Texas winter which means blanketing the old horse and feeding everybody extra on the cold nights. And scooping lots of muck, but I will leave that part out to not spoil this idyllic image.

Last night’s sunset on the way to throw the cows a bale of hay.

This morning’s sunrise leaving the barn, before I poured myself a travel mug full of coffee for my commute into town.

I am headed back out there after work for another cold night and beautiful morning full of velvety muzzles and smokey breath. And manes and tails completely full of burrs. Let us not forget about those.

Life has been busy over here for me and I am just focusing on staying present and enjoying it all. Hence the mild silence. Fear not, for I am still here. You know, living life.

Hopefully I do not have coming reports of wearing sweatpants on my head or broken manure spreaders. If I do, you will know. It is good material. No? Alright, fine then.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Tell me how you are living in the present and enjoying it.

 

From Me To You

Here is a little between the ears time from last weekend.

Just me, my horse, and my dog.

Just a little something from me to you. To brighten your day, if you will. For anyone who has not had enough of this in their life. Or any of it. To help make it a good Friday.

Memories of moments like this help get me through tough days or weeks. I am grateful for them.

Work has been crazy and ride time has not been very plentiful for me lately. Between the weather and life’s crazy schedule it has been difficult, and this weekend will be no different. I am hoping to get out there for at least a couple hours.

It is just the way it goes sometimes.

 

I hope you enjoy my dirty, happy dog. The creaking of my saddle. That moment where Cheetah tries to snag a bite of grass. The muddy pasture and green grass. The dynamic clouds.

Walk in love, dear readers!

So, Let It Shine.

“Nothing can dim the light that shines within.”
~Maya Angelou

Just a little Monday motivation for you if you need it. Yes, yes those are burs in his forelock. It is his new fav thing to do.

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

Light

Let us talk for a minute about light. Y’all know I have a thing for it. That sounds like a funny thing to say, but you get what I mean. Especially there at the farm.


“In nature, light creates the color. In the picture, color creates the light.”
~Hans Hofmann

On Thursday of last week I went out to the farm for a delayed midweek visit because I was going to be out of town over the weekend to attend a baby shower for Sister K. The ground was soup again (or still, I guess) and there was no riding to be had, so I just fed everyone and hung out. Enjoyed the clean, clear, and cool air and the sounds of happily eating animals.

The cows were a bit miffed to only be getting hay to eat. As if they do not live on an all you can eat buffet.

After turning the horses out I walked out into the pasture with them and then on down to the pond. Thinking to myself all the while, “maybe I will get some good sunset shots over the water.”

What a passing thought to have.

You could already tell there was something special in the air that day. In the very light itself. It was like a magnet pulling me in. A veritable beacon. Can you see it there? Down the valley? In the tip of Cheetah’s tail?

I mean. Just look at that mare next to that pecan tree.

This little one was intrigued by me crouching in the grass. Or she just wanted to model. Only she knows the real answer.

I turned back around to see that the horses had meandered down and a gaggle of calves had moved in.

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Anyway, I went a little further down, closer to the pond and looked to my left. I raised my phone camera and snapped two pictures.

I just stood there in wonder for a few moments.

Do you see it? In these two photos together? What if you imagined them together, combined into one image? One on top of the other?

Do you see the cross in the light?

I do not even have words for that.


 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

~John 8:12



“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”

~1 John 1:5



“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

~John 1:5



“The obviously well kept secret of the “ordinary” is that it is made to be a receptacle of the divine, a place where the life of God flows.”

~Dallas Willard


Ordinary. Extraordinary.

Darcy was feeling it too.

But then again, Darcy is always feeling it. Animals get it.

What a moment.

Thank you for letting me share this moment with you.

Let your lights shine. It is bright within you!

Walk in love, dear readers!

You Know What?

Sometimes, beauty just finds a way to smack you in the face and take your breath away. AHAmoment. It makes you stop and take note. For good reason.

Sometimes even before you have finished your first cup of morning coffee, so you better wake yourself up and be ready for it!

I walked out of my parents house with a cup of coffee after feeding Sunday morning and I was smacked in the face with this beautiful sight. I could not help but snap a quick photo of it. It had me smiling all day.

You know me and that light and those long shadows.

You see those pine trees there? Legend has it they came all the way from Georgia. Random, yes, but I love these pine trees more than any other. I never knew I could be so sentimental over some random pine trees in Texas that are said to be from Georgia. What a story I am sure they could tell.

I love how after twenty years of coming here, I am still amazed and taken away by the beauty. God’s beauty. The interesting thing about it is that it is never the same. It is dynamic and ever changing. From day to day, season to season, year to year. Like God’s love. Ever present and eternal, always taking you by surprise and reminding you of His presence. It brings your feet right square down to the ground.

Anyway. While Sunday was a stunner of a day, Friday and Saturday were wet, cold, and windy. We got quite a bit of rain ourselves and the ground was basically soup (not the best for riding). It had us all in an eating and drinking mode. Convenient since I really had zero desire to organize and clean all my things from my trip.

We all had been craving molasses cookies. Presumably all suffering in silence until I broke down and stated my craving aloud and everyone desperately agreed. Naturally, I had to bake some. If you have never tasted these delights, you are missing out. We all grew up on them.

It is as simple as that. Or, as this rather.

Make the dough.

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Ball the dough (directly, if you are too impatient to chill the dough first).

Roll the dough…in sugar. Making sure to get some on the counter with the help of a little person. You are not doing it right if you do not.

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Bake the dough.

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But not too long!

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Then you eat an exorbitant amount of them! So so good. They got me thinking. I should try these with pumpkin!

Want the recipe? I will share it with you soon!

After baking, we took a stroll to the river to see how high it had gotten.

There is a beach under there somewhere.

It is still supposed to rise up a bit more, but it should stay in bank even still.

All of that work made us thirsty. I made myself a ginger orange margarita.

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By then the day was almost over and it was evening feeding time.

These two just tickle me to death. This is definitely not the best photo in the world, but I sure do love it. I often find them like this. Five and a half years later and they still choose to share a stall.

Then with a Sunday like this…I just have to show you again.

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What else is there to do but hop on the best mare and call for the kids to come out and join you.

Such a contrast of weather in two days.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Weary Travelers

Best laid plans, right? Long time no talk. Apologies for what is likely to be an interestingly written post.

Here is the thing. I have been sick. For DAYS. Since Monday. And not Monday as in a few days ago this week. I mean Monday as in LAST MONDAY.

You read that correctly. I was a deep voiced balloon head with mucus everywhere. That is probably too much information, but that has been my reality.

I guess I should just start at the beginning. This is probably a spoiler alert, but let me just say that we had been watching the weather and knew that we were going to get some rain coming into our ride. Now if you have seen any of the news, you might know some of what I am about to say.

But first, back to the beginning of the story. Let us not get ahead of ourselves. This was the sunset Friday night that officially kicked us off on our ride vacation. When R and Ronan arrived, we got him settled and decided to just enjoy ourselves and have dinner with my parents instead of loading all of my stuff. We put that off until Saturday morning.

The following morning of loading took longer than normal as my stuff was less organized than I have had it in the past. However, we were in no real hurry and had plenty of time.

We loaded the horses, pulled out of the farm, grabbed kolaches for breakfast from town, and hit the road to make the almost four hour first leg of the trip.

I made Lito wear all the things and he still loves me for it. Although, he did not really need any of it other than the mask since this trailer is so big. Unlike ours.

Once we arrived, we unloaded and got the horses settled before going to find a late lunch for us in town. I swear every time I take Lito somewhere he not only grows, but he loses weight.

Always with the doe eyes.

Telling me how he really feels about me making him wear all the things. He said, “I am a real horse, I do not need to wear all of this.”

The rain had already started and stopped a few times at this point, but we were no worse for wear. We were staying put till Monday anyway. Even though there was a good chance for rain on Monday, we figured we could get up and out and get there before it really started.

Lito made a bunny friend. We think she had babies hidden somewhere near by. I also believe she was sick.

One of the pretty and clear moments of the weekend. Promising and hopeful.

A moment of being tired of the rain and being stuck in the stall. That is Scooter back there.

Lito being a grumpy gandpa telling the others to quit their shenanigans. Funny that he was the youngest horse. Ronan was very upset about something out in the trees.

This was Saturday night’s sunset. It was beautiful. That is kinda when it all started to go downhill.

This is what we woke up to on Sunday morning. Ominous looking out there, but oddly peaceful at the time on top of that hill.

This is a little summary video clip from the whole weekend. It was quite fun until Monday rolled around.

We were able to take the horses down the hill to a flat area on Sunday evening to get a longe session in. They all needed it. Between all the things we were doing and the rain, fitting in an actual ride just did not happen. So, for your mental math, the horses rode in the trailer for about four hours and then were basically stuck in a stall for the rest of the time till Monday.

I had the pleasure of also longing Scooter, the blaze face bay horse in one of those pics. He was basically a horse kite.

One day, Lito may grow into his hips. His shoulders are starting to finally fill out.

Lito acted like he was fine with the whole being stuck in a stall thing. He was straight up lazy on the longe and really just wanted to graze. Grazing goes a long way so I let him.

This is when everything kinda starts to run together. Literally and figuratively. At some point Sunday night or Monday morning…or maybe some other time, I am not quite sure…It started to really rain somewhere. Here. There. Everywhere. All the creeks, streams, and rivers started to fill. Monday morning rolled around and we were not sure we were going to be able to get to our final destination for the week an hour and a half down the road. Or that we would be able to get back to where we were if we tried.

I also woke up that morning with that tell tale feeling of getting sick.

A lot happened on Monday. None of that really matters. What matters is the AHAmoments…Wait. Do not be in a hurry. Wait for data and facts from reliable sources, non opinions. Keep your emotions low and do not worry about what you can not do anything about. Difficult in this kind of situation? You bet. That is life.

The long story short. We found a window that afternoon when it was not raining, the roads were clear, and we knew we could go. So we went and got there safely. Who cares that we were later than planed.

Then it rained some more.

Then Tuesday morning rolled around. And it rained more. Everything started flooding again. The barn became a flash flood at some point after this video and the below photo.

Water, mud, muck, and shavings everywhere is the gist. I would not quite use the word disaster, but…

I stopped taking pictures and started trying to move water and get as much as we could off the ground.

When the rain finally quit, we took the horses and tied them up at the trailers for the rest of the day to do what we could to remedy the situation. Dig more trenches. Shovel out shavings. Try and get the ground to dry.

Lito’s stall got bad, but not nearly as bad as many of the others.

By the end of Tuesday we were all wet, muddy, and tired.

By the time Wednesday rolled around…I felt like…um…bad. Really bad. And decongestants make me feel even worse. I was weak and tired. And the horses had been in stalls, dry if they were lucky, for two more days at this point.

We only got to ride for a couple of hours on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday each because of the conditions. And honestly, I do not think I should have ridden more even if we could because of the way I felt. It was still pretty though.

Lito had a couple of young horse moments. One because I was honestly too weak to even mount up on Wednesday and another on Thursday when we got buzzed by a plane. He really did not like that last part.

There was more rain coming at some point Friday evening into Saturday with more possible flooding. We decided it would be best to pack up and clean up early on Friday so people could leave that afternoon or first thing in the morning on Saturday given what the beginning of the week was like.

R and I left with the horses on Saturday morning as early as we could with the rain. And it rained on us most of the way home.

Needless to say, Lito and I were happy to be back at the farm, even if we had to unload most of my stuff in the rain and wind. I was going to stay at the farm Saturday night, but I was so tired, wet, and crummy feeling. I booked it to town to stay at my parents house with my dog since she was there.

Not quite the report I wanted to give, but such is life! We made the most of it and had a good time together (even if it does not quite read that way!). We are all stronger for it. Albeit a bit tired as well, but stronger and closer.

If the rain story ended here, that would be lovely with all sunshiny roses and rainbows.

The thing is, the whole of central Texas has continued to receive buckets upon buckets of rain. All up river from the farm. It also got pretty dang cold in there somewhere setting more records, but that is secondary to the rain.

All that water is coming our way and hopefully not flooding.

I went out to the farm yesterday after work for my midweek visit and went ahead and moved the cows up into the horse pasture so they can all get to high ground just in case.

I have spent every evening since getting back on the couch in sweats, wishing I had a fire place while hacking all the crud out of my chest.

Do not even ask me about my laundry. I have not even looked at the mountain.

Go walk in love, dear readers. This gal is happy to be high and dry at the moment!

 

 

Daily Dose Of Cute

I figure it is about time for a daily dose of cute. You can never have too much of that, right!?

Well, this weekend I snapped this photo of Lito man and it got me thinking.

Uh, who is that manly looking thing? How did we get here?! I swear just yesterday he looked like this!

Full disclosure, since I try to keep things real over here for the both of us, he did look like this a few moments before he looked like a real horse and not a giraffe.

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But in all seriousness, sometimes the transformation is astounding to me.

It is just a reminder that if you look back from where you are, you can see exactly how far you have come. AHAmoment. No matter what you are going through in the moment, tomorrow is always a new day.

The last few months with Lito have been a little difficult, but lately we are really starting to come out of whatever that phase was. He still has little moments, but each day gets better. The only thing to do in the moment was give him the time he needed to work through the issues. Slow and steady wins the race and it seems to have paid off.

So, let us look closer at the physical transformation, shall we? Because why not? And next week is Lito’s week, so…

I can not wait till he is even older and he fills out. Still waiting on that part!

If you did not know, in honor of going on our ride next week and not blogging, I am sharing your favorite horse related posts and the posts from the last two years’ rides over on the AHAmoments Facebook page. If you missed yesterday’s share, here it is! Go check it out and don’t miss the coming shares over the next few days!

Seriously though, I pinch myself! Now, if we can just keep him from rubbing his mane (and me from roaching it), his mane will be super long. Like the weeds in my round pen.

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Walk in love, dear readers, and take a moment to realize how far you have come!

 

Amusing

Sometimes, I find myself amusing, and I am not talking about funny as in laughing at my own jokes. Although, ha, there is that. I do do that.

Maybe not as amusing as the faces this guy makes.

I spent the majority of this weekend crossing chores of the list at the farm. Literally, all day Saturday. I did not sit and stop until after 6 PM.

First I mucked the barn out and spread the manure which was a feat given all the rain we have been getting. Then, after that, I decided to actually clean the inside of the barn. You know, actually sweeping all the dust and cobwebs off the walls and then hosing everything down. Just on a whim. Which left me covered in dust and cobwebs thinking I had spiders and other things crawling every-which-where.

Somewhere in there I also cleaned the feed room, moved the cows up to the horse pasture, and put more flags on the electric fence. I drove to town to run a couple errands and grabbed a cherry limeade from Sonic because I felt like it and thought it would be nice to have while I did some mowing when I got back to the farm.

I hopped on the mower and my cherry limeade promptly fell out of the cup holder within the first five minutes. After stopping and staring angrily at the wasted nectar and contemplating going inside for a beer, I laughed at myself and kept on mowing.

Finally, I brought the horses in after they ran around like sillies in the slightly cooler, rain threatening air. I hosed off Apache, sprayed everyone to ward off the bird sized mosquitoes, put some shavings in the stalls, and fed everyone before going inside for a much needed shower, cocktail, and dinner.

Sunday morning greeted me with this beautiful sunrise as I fed the horses, a promise for the day to come.

It was a very pretty morning on the farm once everything woke up. It felt like fall with a cool breeze! I lingered over coffee with my Mamma as we watched the four new calves bounding up the terraced horse pasture with their mothers before I set to cleaning and straightening the house.

I quickly mucked out the barn and unloaded my tack from the trailer from last weekend, since you know, I did not do that last weekend. Then I cleaned the tack shack as I started to gather things together for my upcoming trip with Lito. Side note, he saw me holding his shipping halter, pricked his ears, and walked up to me. I swear he looked excited like it was time to go somewhere. Unfortunately for us both, we still have to wait a couple of weeks.

Anyway, I looked around, thought for a second, and made the important life choice to fit in a ride instead of cleaning tack before I had to leave. Life is short, kids, choose the ride. The chores will wait. AHAmoment.

Bareback on the Cheetah Beetah while ponying my Lito. We had fun, but Lito had the most fun trying to play with me. Silly kid.

This is about the time I find myself funny. Don’t you just love how I finally get around to the point?

I do all of that and then come home and can not bring myself to do any of the mountains of laundry or cleaning that needs to be done. I can barely even motivate myself to unload my stuff from the car. Which, I made myself do and then also too clean out my storage closet in my car port. The closet that has basically nothing in it. Still no laundry.

I would rather wake up at 5:30 AM, like I did this morning. Take a shower, take Darcy out, start a load of laundry, go get coffee (because not only can I not do the laundry like a normal person, I can not go to the store and have milk on hand like a normal person. BUT I got to see that big, beautiful moon! Anyone else see that?),  talk to friend H on the phone during her morning commute, and then hang up that load of laundry. This is often how I end up doing laundry, one load at a time, at the last minute, and early in the morning. This is how much I dislike it.

I sat down after all of that to finish my coffee and was ready to go back to bed after realizing I needed to get dressed and go to work.

I actually talked to another old friend, N, this morning who laughed at me for my early morning charade and wondered for the umpteenth time how we are so different and can still be friends. What can I say, I am just that way!

Normal is over rated anyway. Life is too short not to laugh at yourself. AHAmoment.

Walk in love, dear readers, and go laugh at yourself!

Between The Ears & Not The Windshield Wipers

Have a case of the Mondays?

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Well, here is a little something to brighten you up a bit.

A little between the ears time from me to you. Nothing like these dun colored ears to put a smile on my face. Even if it was from two days ago.

Or these happy herd of cows, napping together in the shade of a pecan tree.

Is your case of the Mondays cured?

Lito and I went to ride with some friends on Saturday morning during a break in the storms. Lito self loaded like a champ and we had a great ride. It was breezy, not too terribly hot, and it did not rain on us while we rode. All the horses seemed to have as great of a time as we did. We rode for a couple of hours and then gathered around the picnic tables for cold drinks and snacks.

Knowing there was an increased chance for storms in the afternoon, I said my goodbyes and went to load up. Again, Lito self loaded like a champ (cue happy dance) and we hit the road. I called my Pops while I was pulling out to see if there was anything popping up on the radar and to tell him that if I ran into some rain, I was just going to pull over and wait it out.

Here is the interesting part of the story. The night before our ride, my parents and I were driving the truck in the light rain and the driver side windshield wiper decided to fly off while in use! Just plain came undone, hit the windshield, and went flying through the air like a drunk bird. Never to be seen again. Crazy thing.

Anyway, it was a good thing I called. They had just gotten slammed at the farm and the storm was coming our way. His advice was to just stop and wait ten to fifteen minutes while the storm comes my way and passes over before driving back. I found a good spot in the parking lot of a local tavern on top of a hill to park and wait. I should have taken pictures of the storm, but I was just watching and enjoying the show. You know how I am about storms. Lito seemed a little perturbed when it all started, but quickly settled and just rode it out quietly.

The storm was soon over with nothing else developing on the radar so we slowly made our way south toward home. Lito quietly (and dry!) unloaded and was happy to have a little extra meal upon our return.

An exciting weekend nonetheless!

Here is to the next adventure! Is it October yet? I am ready for a week of riding with friends!

Walk in love, dear readers, and make it a great day!