Even Still

Even still I can not keep myself from being mesmerized by the rain.

The blessing is in the ‘even still.’ That is the AHA moment.

We have had so much rain as of late, but without a doubt every time it rains I find myself gazing out the window (if I can not get outside), swearing I can feel the moisture and smell the world outside. When the thunder rolls, I get a familiar warm feeling inside and I can literally feel myself smile, from the inside out. I can feel the power in it all, no matter how small the sprinkle of rain. How small I am and how grand the world is.

No matter what else is going on. All worries seem to wash away with the falling rain. It is taking that little moment to stop and clear your mind of everything but the sound and imagined feel of the rain. The moment will end itself and you can turn back around like new. Right as the rain. I had one of those moments today while at work in my office.

It is no secret to longer time readers that I have a thing for storms, despite all the apparent complaining I have been doing as of late about the rain.


Petrichor. Defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “a pleasant, distinctive smell frequently accompanying the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather in certain regions” or as “the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil.

That smell. That rain smell really is something. Even rain on wet ground still has a distinct smell, just different than that of rain on dry ground. So strong and familiar. Paining memories and feelings in your soul that last.

Interestingly enough, I was talking with my Mamma on the phone earlier about the appreciation you have for things you do not get to see or experience all the time. How you might not get those same feelings you did if you had access to them all the time.

I think I do not agree with that. Maybe it is just my personality, but I think I would still feel the same. I have many ‘even still’ moments.

Even still, I am stopped dead in my tracks, utterly captivated, by every sunset and sunrise I am blessed to see. The uniqueness. The colors. The shapes. The dichotomy of the movement coupled with the blatant stillness. That they are there every single day for every living being on this earth whether or not you can see them.

Even still, all it takes is a minute with my animals for the world to feel right and peaceful. For me to feel and see light. Remember what IT is all about. It is amazing to me. Amazing grace. To see my Darcy dog smile at me and be her weird, unabashed self. To sit atop either of my dun horses and feel their breathing. Their strength of gentleness. Their trust and willingness. Their innocence and teachings. To know and feel that they are a blessing I am supposed to have.

 

Hippie dippie? Maybe. I will go get my Birkenstocks to wear with my wool socks. All kidding aside, these things I could never tire of, no matter how much I get of them. This I do not think is a surprise to most people that know me.

Tell me your ‘even still’ moments?

Walk in love, dear readers!

In other news, Lito and I ran into the trailer together on Sunday. All brave and confident. He turned his head to look at me and his expression all but said in plain English, “See, I can do this again, can we go somewhere and do something new?”

 

 

Daily Dose Of Cute

We are long overdue for a Daily Dose Of Cute over here!

I would also bet y’all are excited for me to quit being a broken record, talking only about how I have not been able to ride because of the rain and mud (literally I think that is all I ever say here these days). While that is all still true, this gal was actually able to ride this weekend! I even took my time grooming and braiding just because that is what I wanted to do.

“Excuse me, mom, I am the center of attention here, not Chance. Take my photo.”

“What are you doing up there?”

“Is this my  best side?”

Lito clearly thinks this is his best side.

Now it is time for a little Darcy love. Darcy has the most love of all to give to everyone. All smiles and words of affirmation from that girl.

It was so foggy Saturday. We basically lived in a cloud for half of the day.

You may not know her in real life, but she smiles for real and talks for real. Maybe not in English, but she sure as heck knows the language. If not English than the language of love.

An unexpected surprise to me, our office was closed yesterday and I got an extra sunny day for some bareback play.

Cheetah was extra lovey.

Complete with molasses tub all over her face.

 

I also have a sunset for you. You know, just for good measure. You can never have too much animal cuteness and sunrises/sunsets.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Just Ride

Just ride.

Just another one of those speaking of which moments.


“MY LACK OF THOUGHTS YESTERDAY GOT ME THINKING ABOUT THINKING.
THINKING TOO MUCH CAN BE COUNTER PRODUCTIVE.
SOMETIMES IT IS GOOD TO CLEAR YOUR MIND OF THOUGHTS, RELAX, LOSE YOURSELF IN THE MOMENT AND JUST RIDE. IT IS AMAZING HOW MANY THINGS CAN JUST FALL INTO PLACE WHEN YOU DO THIS.”
IAN LEIGHTON

Several years ago, I was riding a young, long legged sorrel horse for a friend who did not have the time to work him. He was at the time that I started riding him, lightly started under saddle. He knew how to go, turn, and stop, mostly, and had not been ridden outside of the round pen very much. I had been riding him for a good little while and he was making some good progress on most things. Teaching him his leads was hard for him for some reason or another and keeping them from becoming an issue or a complex for him was a little bit of work. Eventually he seemed to have them figured out. Or so it would have seemed.

One particular windy day in a busy arena, he apparently forgot the whole left and right lead concept. We had all the pieces seemingly snugly in his brain, but he just could not, on that day, put them together. Or I could not. We both started to get a little flustered at the situation when my friend and owner of the horse spoke out, “Just get his hip, keep the shoulder, and ask him again. Just ride.” A voice of reason when I could not seem to find my own. It was just what we needed to pick up the correct lead. The colt powered away, unsure of whether or not he had done the correct thing and again, my friend’s voice came to me, “Just ride, sit down and just ride. Let him come back.”

Both in life and horses, you just need to ride it out sometimes.

Make a mistake? Just ride. Ask and try again.

Road get a little bumpy? Just ride till it gets smooth.

Life changing? Just ride and let it. Don’t stand in the way.

Storm on the horizon? Have faith and just ride. Storms never last.

Rain, winter, and a busy schedule keep you from riding as much as you normally do? Just look up, ride through, and remember, this too shall pass.


“When life gives a hard blow, focus on riding though. No different than when a young colt takes off. Don’t panic and stop him. Buckle down, lift, and ride through the storm with your eyes ahead. Pain and fear are always temporary before the good feelings come back. They always do no matter how broken you feel in that moment. And if you’re like me, horses usually answer many of life’s biggest questions.”
Lucia Clemetson

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Walk in love, dear readers, and just ride. Happy Friday!

Just Because

Just because.

Because I said so, that is why.

Did your mom ever tell you that as a kid? Or even still now? Once a mom always a mom they say. Mine did it some. It always bugged me, as it does most kids thinking they know all.

Anyway. That is not what this post is about.

I am going to fill this post with between the ears photos just because.

Just because I feel like it and that is what is filling my brain right now. The need to just ride. So, I share these with all of you who need it too.


“My lack of thoughts yesterday got me thinking about thinking.
Thinking too much can be counter productive.
Sometimes it is good to clear your mind of thoughts, relax, lose yourself in the moment and just ride. It is amazing how many things can just fall into place when you do this.”
Ian Leighton

From one over thinker to another!

The ironic thing about it all is that overthinking and that endless circular cycle leads to a lack of real, productive thought. Gets you nowhere I tell you. Makes you feel like you have a lack of thoughts. Funny thing to think about, but hey. Hence the lack of posts over here!

For me, overthinking has a direct relationship with my ride time. I guess actually, technically, it would be an inverse relationship if you want to get, you know, technical.

The less ride time I get, the deeper in the circular hole of overthinking I go and you can say bye bye to all my deep thoughts.

I clearly got a little overzealous in stating that the riding drought was over. I have not ridden since. However, it looks like this weekend is a go. Praise the Lord!

So, this is me this week.

Carefully tip toeing across to get to Friday.

To get to my open spaces and velvet muzzle nuzzles.

To saddle time. And lots of it hopefully.

Bring it on.

Walk in love, dear readers! You are almost there.

Drought

Y’all. The drought has ended.

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The riding drought that is. And any and all working with any horse. The universe can breathe now. We were entering into desperate waters. Desperate and deep.

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See what I mean?! Nothing like your horse friends to commiserate with.

Anyway. We are still very wet and we are still getting more rain (any little bit turns the ground right back into soup with how saturated the ground already is), but we were blessed with some good sun power recently (and a lack of crazy wind and humid cold temps) that awarded us with dry enough ground to go and have some fun.

I even got quite a few chores done. By the end of the day Saturday, I was pooped having been on my feet on the move all day, stopping only for thirty minutes for a quick bite to eat for lunch.

My gal pal, Cheetah all ready to rock and roll.

She was on the sassy side, but I am sure nobody is surprised by that. We still had a great time.

Just look at that face. “Who, me!?”

Yes, you!

Who could not love that face. So cute.

I did some ground work with Lito as we took a walk to the river bottom. He seemed to be in such a good head space that when we got back to the barn, I decided to pitch him the trailer and see how he felt about it. Well wouldn’t you know he just hopped right on after me as if the last nine months of some weird developmental phase were not a thing. I will take it! I kinda felt bad we were not headed off to somewhere fun.

Therefore, I think it is past time to plan something fun soon!

I was able to get everything finished before we had a little storm after the sun went down. As tired of I am of the rain, it sure makes for a pretty picture all the same. Colorful. Dynamic. Story telling.

Pretty sunrises. I am a sucker for them. Especially on Sunday.

It was Chance’s turn for a romp on Sunday morning. He made sure he was good and dirty for me.

It appears he forgot his brain somewhere deep in the mud. As annoying as his mane insisting it point to the sky. However, we will give him a pass as he has not been worked in a while. However, he has a boot camp in store for him to get his brain fully seated back where it belongs.

Weather permitting of course.

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Has the weather been keeping you down?! Do not fear, this too shall pass.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Days Like Today

You know what? On days like today, I wish more than I normally do that my office chair was the back of my horse.

Any horse at this point, really, and not just because I have done such little riding lately that I am actually beginning to literally twitch involuntarily. I am sure my eyes have begun to bug out of my head and the people around me will start looking at me all funny like.


“We will sing, to our souls
We won’t bury our hope
Where He leads us to go
There’s a red sea road
When we can’t, see the way
He will part the waves
And we’ll never walk alone
Down a red sea road”


Anyway. Everyone has days like this every now and then.

I am sitting here on my couch with a glass of wine on the side table next to me, a cozy blanket that was a gift to me draped over the arm of the couch, and my little laptop resting in my lap. My townhouse keeps making noises that make me wonder if I have a long lost roommate upstairs. My television intermittently plays a show I have already seen in the background.

Why intermittently you ask? Good question. I do not have an answer for you on that one. My TV and/or internet appear to be a slightly emotional beings at best and more often than not, I spend more time watching a spinning wheel than any actual entertainment. The wonders of today’s modern connectivity, I tell you.

It is no matter to me at the present moment though. I do not really have it in me to pay close attention. Today was a bit of a sour day and it put that taste right into my mouth. I sure did not like the taste so I went to a dance workout class with R and her sister after work to try and shake it all out. It did a decent enough job at that.

Nothing like this would have done, but it was the next best thing I had.

Today was a day for practicing relearning how to be like a duck in the rain, so to speak. To let that rain just bead up and fall right off you. You know how I have told you before. Yes, yes. That little life tidbit wrapped up in an AHA moment. About how manure rolls downhill. Yes, just like that. I will be firmly upright and uphill tomorrow. Maybe one of these days that lesson will stick in my own brain.


“Paths are there for us to follow, this is gospel I believe
Angels are around us flying, truth and mercy to receive
Pictures of uncommon nature, painted by a masters hand
Draw me ever on life’s journey, rendered thus to understand
As a songbird that is fallen, only to regain the sky
From this frozen shadow valley, lay my sweary head
Love is from no distance calling, faithful as the rising sun
Warms the bitter heart and heartache, till the east of Eden’s gone
Clouds of fear and misconception, wax and wane as if the moon
So is in a sense forsaken, till the will of God be known
As a songbird that is fallen, only to regain the sky
From this frozen shadow valley, lay my sweary head”
~Bob Neuwirth / Henry Burnett


I long for more daylight hours with ground that is more than just a slip ‘n slide. To have the time to thoroughly groom my horse and not be in a rush.


“The sounds of the valley seem to reach me within. It plays on my heart like an old violin. At the end of the day I just can’t wait for it to play.”
~Trinity Seely


Tomorrow is a new day. For me and for you. It will be a good one. If it is not, we will make it one and it will be better than yesterday.

Let us all be like ducks in the rain on top of the manure hill!

Walk in love, dear readers.

Happy New Year?

No, no, no. Not ‘Happy New Year?’

Happy New Year!!!!!

And Merry Christmas!!!!! Since I am pretty sure I missed saying that to you before.

Yes, all of those exclamation points are more than necessary.

I hope each one of you and yours had a very merry and blessed Christmas and New Year. May the many blessings of our Lord shower upon you. Peace, love, and joy. Go forth keeping the Christmas spirit alive all year long.

Aunt M asked me the other day if I was sick or something since I had not shared any AHAmoments in a while. No, no, not sick. Just still reeling from a busy Christmas season. I have lost count of how many naps I have taken. A little tidbit about me, I do not really take naps.

I have been spending my time watching the rain re-hydrate the mud. Trying not to get mud everywhere. Watching the horses roll in the mud. Scooping poop in the mud. Watching the horses slip while walking in the mud. Not riding enough. Losing my mind a titch. You know, normal 2018 stuff.

It rained this weekend. It rained yesterday and it is raining today.

But hey, speaking of Christmas…I did a little baking. It is one of my favorite ways to celebrate and share love with my family.

Apple Cranberry Pie with Pecan Shortbread Crust.

Chocolate Spiced Rum Cake.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cake.

Pesto and Prosciutto Christmas Tree and Cranberry Pepper Baked Brie.

And that was just my part. We ate well to say the least. For days.

I made Lito dress up like a reindeer a few days before Christmas. I had a good laugh…or ten. Him, not so much, but he put up with it!

I will be perfectly honest, I am still laughing! He is so dang cute, even when he pouts. There is your daily dose of cute, dear readers!

Anyway, in my opinion, the best way to close out a year and ‘ring’ in the new is to watch the sunset and be in bed long before midnight. Then wake up early on January first, saddle up the best mare, and strike out down the road because that is the only dry stretch of ground for miles. So, that is exactly what I did.

“Stop taking pictures, food lady, and get in here to feed us!”

My Mamma came with on foot.

Hopefully 2019 will bring more ride time for me and my dun duo. It might just be after winter before the rain slows a little. Only the good Lord knows! And you know what? It is all good! Eventually, my riding will be back to normal. Until then, the horses are being horses. Doing what they do best. So, I am going to take this time and focus on myself. Be present.

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Here is to 2019.

‘Rise with lifted eyes’ every day. Ride more when you can. Worry less all the time. Focus on the journey and the path and allow it to create your momentum. Live in the moment and see the light and blessings around you. Do not ‘live on the surface and in between the lines.’ Go find the ‘deepest part of you’ and let your heart fight for the truth.

You are not flying alone.

Cheers, y’all!

Go walk in love, dear readers.

Why, Hello There

Um, hi. Ya. It’s me.

What happened to December? It is already half way through. When in the world did that happen? Jolly old Saint Nick is coming faster to town than ever before!

I have not yet finished my Christmas shopping. I used to get all of my gifts before December even hit. How did I ever manage that?

Anyway.

Clearly I have been really busy. Busy doing what, I am not overly sure about, but sure, yes, busy. Busy enough to barely be writing to y’all! Busy with work, family, laundry (duh!), and watching Christmas movies. Lots of them. You know the ones I am speaking of. They are your favorites too, even if you dare not admit it. Hallmark Christmas movies! I am not the only one who loves them!

Trying to ride as much as possible which has proved overly difficult. It rained so much last weekend that the varmint holes were full of water two days later! So far I have spent more time scooping poop and pulling burrs out of manes and tails than riding. Although I did get some good riding time around Thanksgiving, so there is that!

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I did bake pumpkin bread last night. And ate some last night…and again this morning. I have to tell you, there is nothing like a house that smells like fresh baked pumpkin bread (or my Mamma’s rolls)! I walked downstairs this morning and it still smelled that way! Put a big ol’ smile on my face it sure did! As did eating it, but I am sure you guessed that.

Have you heard all the great Christmas music being shared over on the Facebook page?! I am going to give you some valuable life advice. If you have not clicked over there and had a listen, you are truly missing out. I bet you there are a few on there already that you have not heard before and there are even more to come, along with some great classics. Honestly, there are not enough days before Christmas to share all of my favorites. It has been hard to pick and choose which ones to share. One song a day is hard!

This version was new to me this year!

Christmas music really gets me into the spirit. Now all I need to do is find the rest of my gifts, get to wrapping, and figure out what I will bake for our family gatherings. What do y’all think? What should I make? What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Here is hoping I can finish out the year with more ride time and ring in the new the right way! I am just over here, trying to live in the present.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Starting Tomorrow…December

Being as it is the last day in November and tomorrow is the first day in December.

It is officially time to get into the Christmas spirit!

And these guys here, they agree with me. It is a fact.

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The best time of the year!

The reason for the season. The music. The decorations. The traditions. The family time. The food.

All of this means I have something for you. Yes, YOU! Starting tomorrow. On December 1st. Do not you forget!

So. For you.

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 starting tomorrow and continuing all month long (you can click the link above or on the ‘f’ Facebook icon on the right side panel of your screen)!

I know, just what you wanted for Christmas!

You know how I love to share music. Do yourself the favor and check back in over there often and have a listen. It will not disappoint! You may even hear some of your favorites or gain a new one! It is going to be a fun month of some of the best Christmas songs. Do me a favor and share your favorites with me!

But, wait, there more! And you will not have to pay $19.99 to get it!

I answered this questionnaire last year about Christmas since, you know, I love it, and I figured I would share it with you again here. I liked reading it again. It may give you ideas for your own Christmas and help put it all in perspective.


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.
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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.
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It brings meaning to the minutia. Changes the way today’s ‘world’ thinks about it, takes the marketing 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.

I hope you enjoyed it!

Share with me your favorite Christmas songs or what you do to get into the Christmas Spirit!

Walk in love, dear readers.