Texas Sunset Silhouette


“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
-Wayne Dyer

Perspective and point of view.

You can get a photo like this just by getting a little closer, a little lower, and waiting.

I mean, it does help to have something like a Texas river bottom and some pretty ponies to look at, but there is beauty all around us if you open your eyes and look.

Something to think about in life too. There are some things we can and things can not change.

We can do our best to make plans and go about them, but we all know how the best made plans go despite our intentions. We are not in charge of the plan at the end of the day.

I say all the time how life is like working with horses, and this is especially true about young horses.

When things appear to go awry, you just have to take a step back and go back to what you know before you start to go forward again.

It is just a season is all. And hey, it is what it is and they are what they are. With horses, as in life, have faith and realistic expectations, set a routine, and give it time and consistency.

Change your point of view and shift your attitude.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Pops

Pops.

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Teaching me how to shoot.

That is what I call my Dad. That is now what my niece and nephew call him.

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With baby Nephew H.

When I wrote about my Mamma for Mother’s Day, I thought to myself, “words. These are just words. They do not do her justice.” Now I naturally have the same thoughts as I try to pen something in honor of my father.

 

 

 

As a Texas outdoors man with three daughters, he raised us the way he knew how. With a love and respect for the outdoors and God’s creation. We get our love of Texas and dogs from him. He taught us how to fish and hunt and how to be good stewards. To sit around the fire pit, watch the sunset, and contemplate life.

He worked his butt off for us. Honestly, I am where I am today because of everything he has done. One time when I was younger, on our way to south Texas, I asked him what exactly he does for a living. The resulting explanation and conversation lasted longer than the five hour plus drive.

His friends tell me, among many things, how he is a fine sportsman and not your average CPA. I certainly always knew the first one. That last one always makes me laugh to myself. He is a socks and Birkenstock kind of guy sometimes, even if Mamma tells him he should not wear that.

He allows us to be who we are and celebrates it. It is no wonder I march to the beat of my own drum and can seem by some respects as a walking, talking oxymoron.

I may be a walking, talking oxymoron, and people may not quite know what to think of me at first. I can sometimes be found wearing a silly, wide brimmed straw hat with a feather stuck in he brim, fishing shirt, tall western boots, polo belt, red lipstick, and dirty finger nails all while riding in a dressage saddle. Good horsemanship, is good horsemanship, no matter what you wear, the horse you ride, or what you ride in. Just like being a good person. Thanks to @exquisiteequineapparel for this great mantra shirt. A strong foundation in the basics is what takes you places. Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. ~~~ ~#basics #foundation #horsemanship #mantra #oxymoron #walkthetalk #walkyourpath #goodperson #slow #smooth #fast #horsesofinstagram #appendixquarterhorse #quarterhorse #ranchhorse #dressage #equestrian #equestrianlifestyle #equestrianlife #equestrianapparel #horseperson #blogger #lifeblogger #ahamoment

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When I was little, he would tuck me in at night while we sang the Lord’s Prayer together. I can’t sing it any other way than the way we sang it. (Side story, Nephew H once told me I sang it wrong because it was not the way his mother sang it to him at bed time. I laughed and halfheartedly told him he sang it wrong.)

I learned how to be safe around horses from him. To love the country and agriculture. To drive and pull trailers.

More than once he took me out of school to head to the hunting lease with one of the dogs. Just the three of us. I thought that was the coolest thing.

He taught me how to fish with a top water and then proceeded to tell me that if I cast it that far out there, I would have a hard time setting the hook. I just smiled as I turned and said, “like this?!” as I hooked a big speckled trout. I can still hear him saying, “keep your rod tip up.” For years, his reward for teaching us to love fishing, we got to land every fish he caught while he untangled our crossed lines. Luckily for him, we can now catch our own fish without tangling our lines. To this day, fishing is my second most favorite thing to do next to riding horses.

On our way to church, we would drive a certain way to go over this train track on a hill because we thought it was fun. It was on top of a big hill in my memory, but it is not a very big hill at all in adult reality. Anyway, we got a kick out of it to drive really fast and bounce up and down in our seats over the tracks. We would laugh and yell. On the way home, we would stop at the filling station to get a Big Gulp. That’s a fountain Coke for all you people that do not know.

Often times, he would let me pick the route we drove home from the farm. Crisscrossing our way through the countryside on the back roads with the windows down. Just listening to music, enjoying the country, and delaying getting back to town. Then we would stop and get a chocolate cinnamon milkshake to share before we got home. We would throw the evidence away before Mom could find out. Although, I am sure she always knew.

One weekend he did laundry at least three times at the farm as my friend and I slid down the muddy slope of a hill into the pond over and over spreading wild flower seeds for him.

 

To celebrate him, we will do what we do. Have a family dinner. Listen to music. Thank the Lord while Pops says the prayer.

I know days like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can be hard for some who’s parents are no longer with us in this life. Indeed it makes it hard right now to even write these words. The thing is though, they are all still here with us in our hearts. In what they taught us. In their memories. Never far away. And you will see them again one day, in their finest form.

What is your favorite memory with the father from your life?

Walk in love, dear readers! Peace, love, and joy.

Daily Dose Of Cute

My weekend in pictures. Enjoy!

Before the much needed little rain storm on Saturday, everyone was taking naps.

When I sit in the grass with them, Lito often comes over and stands with his head over mine. My pretty girl was not feeling her normal self, but by Sunday she seemed right as the rain. You can’t see him, but Ike is laying down in the back, on the other side of the tree. I love how they feel comfortable enough to really sleep when I am sitting there. Just get comfy there, big boy. My wing pup, never too far away and always up to something. Saturday’s sunset after Justify snagged the Triple Crown and after the rains. Too pretty for words, don’t you think?Sunday morning. My two gal pals. Just us three, hanging out under a tree.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Something To Remember: Your Own Advice

Sometimes, remembering and taking your own advice can be difficult.

It can be hard.

Time marches on and a new day comes, you turn around and it is like you never made the revelation that time before. You have to do it all over again, but luckily though, it reveals itself quicker than the last time.

One day though, it finally begins to stick. That old time feeling comes back and you remember.

All of this to say, remember that time I shared with you the story of the wardrobe? It is an important life lesson and it is one that has been circling back around for me of late. So, I figured I would share it with you again.


“My mother always says that the people in your life are like a Wardrobe… There are some people that are in your life for only a season. There are some that are in your life for a few seasons or several years. Then there are some that are, as they say, timeless, that are in your life for the long haul. For the rest of your life.”

Things change. That is how this life works. It is part of the human condition if you will. Part of the blessing when you choose to see it that way. It is part of what makes us who we are and gets us where we are going. Part of our journey. Everyone has experienced this.

Interestingly, this American Aquarium album was recently released. On it, is this track. PSA, there is some ‘adult’ language in the first half. Sorry, but hey, we keep things real here, and this is just that. At the beginning, he shares the story behind the song. Y’all know how I love that. It really brings the lyrics to life and makes you think.

The funny thing is, I was listening to this album on repeat and I did not even realize it or why. It hit me Sunday before I headed home from the farm. Do yourself a favor and have a listen to the whole album. Buy and listen to it on repeat.

Then naturally, I had to go and listen to this song.


“Oh, but seasons come for moving
Forces greater than ourselves
But there’s nothing we are losing
Keep it right there on the shelf
I guess I’ll see you when I see you
And pray you’re safe and well ’til then
And all the miles that lie between us
Will be a way back in the end
Oh, the time we shared was a blessing
I’d love to live it all again
I guess I’ll see you when I see you
Happy travels, my old friend”

And then the whole album because, hello.

Music, man. If need another form of proof that we are not alone in our struggles, music is it.

I said it then and I will say it again today because it is still true for me.

I am beyond grateful for all the people that used to be in my life, the people that are in my life, and for all the people yet to be in my life. You are all a blessing to me. You are part of what makes me who I am and part of what makes my life, my life. Thank you for everything you have taught me or given me. Thank you for making my life richer, bolder, and full of color. Thank you for the smiles and laughs. Thank you for being there and being you.

I hope I did the same for you.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Sprinkler

I have a steaming mug of coffee in my hands and my Darcy dog is curled up at my feet. Her head resting on my slippered foot, her breathing steady and rhythmic as she takes her early morning nap.

I have the news on the television, but I am not listening. I commonly find myself not listening to the news without thinking about it. It must be a subconscious defense mechanism.

It is almost time for me to get ready for work, but here I sit, indulging in a few more sips of coffee.

Listening to the sprinkler tap tap tap on my front door and window, transporting me to another time and place. A covered front porch somewhere out in the country during a summer storm. The kind of storm where you can see them build for miles before they let go. The kind you can smell long before they let go. I would be sitting there in very much the same fashion I am now, in my pajamas, my pup at my feet, and a steaming mug of coffee in my hands. Listening, watching, feeling. Being still and quiet.

Reliving a great ride I had on Lito with a friend on Sunday. Enjoy this little snippet of it if you will. He still not quite 100% himself, but he is getting there. Time. All it takes is time and consistency.

And just like that, the moment is shattered like glass on a tile floor as Darcy wakes and retreats to her bed. How does she know it is time to get ready for work?

I will take a sprinkler for today. Amazing what a sprinkler can do. Transport you and turn your little patch of grass into a luscious, green lawn. Quite like an actual storm. Quite a feet for such a little thing.

I think I need to ride more.

Walk in love, dear readers!

What Just Happend

That is more of a rhetorical question because nothing really happened, but still. It feels like a time warp of sorts and I am not sure if I am happy about it or not. How odd.

Anyway. The first thing. How is it already Wednesday? Yesterday was the Monday-est Tuesday ever being the Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend (which was great, by the way). It drug on and on and now here we are at Wednesday. It is like I feel duped. Yet another odd feeling! We are already half way to the weekend again!

You know what else has snuck up all of a sudden (or is it sneaked? Ugh, grammar is hard, man)? Summer. Like triple digit, humid town, reminiscent of 2011, SUMMER. I heard on the news that the next few weeks are going to be like the summer of 2011 (I sure hope he said next few weeks and not this whole summer!). I am almost shaking in my boots. Seriously.

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The summer of 2011, as anyone from down here knows, was brutal. I think we broke the record for triple digit days. Given how humid it is here, that is a hard thing to do. Oh and the bugs. So so bad. And practically no rain while being in the worst of the drought. That was the summer I graduated from undergrad and brought Cheetah home. She would have run all the way back if she could have I think. Every time I saw her she looked at me with an expression like, “GET ME OUT OF HERE, TAKE ME BACK, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!” It is a good thing I had a lot of time. I went to the farm practically three times a week and she would gallop up to me each time I drove up to get hosed down and scrubbed. I did not even need a halter. We would stand under the shade of one of the oak trees as I ran the cold hose over and over her.

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Anyway. I can not think about that anymore.

Speaking of Memorial Day weekend, it was great. It started off with a dinner show by Radney Foster, at one of my favorite places, with some of my favorite people R, H, and M.

I have been a Foster fan for basically my whole life, but surprisingly, I have never seen him live. He surely did not disappoint.

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Playing new and old songs, sharing stories, and reading excerpts of pieces he has written. I did not want it to end. I could have sat there all night and listened. I ended up buying his book when the show was over and I can not wait to read it. If you have never heard of him, you should really go check him out. His work transcends all boundaries. I have so many favorite songs of his, we could be here for a week, so here is a new one he played that I can not get enough of. He just gets IT. For you to really see the light, you have to know the dark. AHAmoment.


“It’s gotta get dark enough
For you to see the stars”
~Radney Foster


I woke up early Saturday morning in a daze and Darcy and I booked it to the farm to meet my parents and cousins who arrived there Friday evening. Listening to Radney Foster the whole way, of course.

I had another one of those great compliment weekends I told you about before multiple times over. Girls and horses (and Petunia) and it was great. I am so proud of both girls and horses. R even rode both Cheetah and Chance bareback. There is just something about girls and horses. The horses, they just know what is expected of them when it comes down to it.

It was really hot and we were thankful for the moving cloud coverage. The horses were sweating in the shade! An unwelcome promise of more heat to come.

I do not have any more words for you, dear readers.

Other than to say I am overwhelmed with gratefulness for the blessing. For the family, the horses, and the music.

And. Of course. Walk in love!

I am going to go sit on my hands now so I do not post every one of Radney’s songs. Go listen now!

Tie Dye

By now, we have all figured out that my little Darcy dog, so pretty and innocent looking, is quite the opposite at times. She is a scrappy thing. She eats everything, and I mean everything. It is very un-Setter like of her. She is more like, say, a Labrador in that way.

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I have already told you how she found and ate the horse treats on Friday. This is not a new thing and she has done it since she was a puppy. Growing up around horses does not really make this fact a surprise. She actually eats pretty much everything a horse eats. Treats, apples, carrots. Feed. Hay. You name it.

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Then I am sure none of us have forgotten that ill fated time when she ate a bunch of pig drippings and oil along with copious amounts of dirt and gravel. That was not fun for dog or human alike. Luckily, all is well that ends well, as they say.

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There was also the time when she ate a bunch of mushrooms in my parents back yard when she was just 7 weeks old. Knowing this was not the best thing that could happen, I did some research and called the vet. They suggested I pump her stomach with hydrogen peroxide to make her throw up. That seemed a titch, shall we say, extreme for a 7 week old puppy, so I opted for the conservative observation route. She showed no signs of poison, even if she did look a little stoned. I have seen her eating mushrooms other times back there and she gets that same goofy, droopy look about her.

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Then there was the tie die time. I know what you must be thinking and luckily for all involved it did not involve her shredding and eating tie dye fabric from the 90’s after eating mushrooms in the back yard. However, it is just as indelicate.

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She was a little bit older than the mushroom incident by this time and I was kennel training her, so when I would go to campus for class, I would have her stay in the outdoor kennel run.

I spent one particular morning preparing for class, so Darcy was hanging out with my Mom and my Nephew, H. They spent some time coloring using a fun set of four, giant crayons before H’s attention was grabbed by something else and they went to do whatever that was.

Leaving Darcy and the aforementioned giant crayons innocently unattended.

I came downstairs with my backpack, put Darcy in her kennel, and headed to campus for a few hours. Upon my return, I walked into the house to find 4 half chewed, giant crayons on the floor. “That is odd,” I thought to myself and I walked outside to the kennel to let my dog out.

Assuming Darcy was the culprit and not H, I kept a close eye on her. The next day I went about my usual and put her away in her kennel as I headed to campus, leaving my Mom with instructions to keep an eye on her.

I rushed home after my classes were finished and the first thing I saw was red. A very RED pile of poop. My first thought, rationally of course, was, “MY PUPPY IS DYING!!!…Although…She sure looks normal and quite pleased with herself. She would.”
As I got closer and had a better look at the evidence, I saw more. More color.

To my amusement, she quite literally had tie dye poo. Red, green, yellow, and blue. Very much like a shirt I probably would have worn in elementary school. I shook my head, laughed, and let her out to play. Thankfully, that was the end of that episode and I am pleased to report she has not eaten another crayon.

Brings a whole new meaning to tie dye, doesn’t it?

I sure am glad that fashion fad is over.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Keepin’ It Real

I read something the yesterday that was pretty spot on and I wanted to share it with you. You know, because that is something I like to do.

My friend, M, shared this article over on the book of face and, intrigued, I gave it a click. You should do the same and give it a read. It does not matter if you chase cans, jump pretty painted sticks, dance inside a rectangle, or stroll the trails. It does not really have anything to do with horses.


“We show the world a version of ourselves. But rarely the whole picture. We give everyone a glimpse of the bright moments, the triumph, and the fun. But what about the rest of the story? What about the defeat, the heartache, the sin and loss? Where is the real stuff?
Transparency is scary stuff. Baring your soul to the world is not for the weak hearted. But what if we all were a little less guarded?
Does transparency invite judgment and criticism? Probably. But it also invites grace, empathy and compassion.”

This, my dear readers, is about life and what IT is all about. The greatest of all AHAmoments. This one of the main reasons I started this little blog of mine.

Why I share the good, the bad, and the ugly. And, hopefully, sometimes funny. This is why I share my stories and my struggles. My victories after challenges. What I learned after failure so it is not really failure. Why I try to fight the negativity with positivity, the dark with the light. This is why I share the music I do. Why I share the love of my animals.

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To reach just one person and maybe help them. So they know they are not alone and, honestly, so I know the same. That is real, and that is life. So they know that we are all in this together, walking this walk. And dang, it is hard sometimes. Just ask anyone who will tell the truth. We are all more alike than we think.

Life is about speaking the truth and sharing your story. Your testimony and what gets you through. Being brave and vulnerable, even if it does not feel brave because it feels scary.

This article made my day.

Here is what real life for me is like sometimes on Mondays. I woke up yesterday after hitting the snooze button for at least thirty minutes, cussing as I shuffled through the shavings on the floor (that spilled out of the cuff of my jeans on Sunday for the umpteeth time)(I also won’t mention all the burrs scattered all over all the floors. Wherever the Darcy goes, so go the burrs), took my dog out, threw on work clothes (some of which I pulled from the laundry piles covering my bedroom floor….the laundry that I did not do Sunday), and ran out the door to go to work. Stopping to get coffee because I did not have the time, or the milk, to have coffee at home. All the while feeling guilty about all of the above and dreading the list of things that awaited me at my office desk. Some days are just like that. They can’t all be rainbows and roses.

Today I awoke with a new vigor while aiming my arrow, and not just because I now have milk for my coffee. A positive attitude is all it takes, seeing the bright side. To keep praying and keep knocking, putting it out there and believing. Sharing that story. I actually saw a rainbow after the rains at the end of the day yesterday. As if that is not proof positive enough! Is it easy, no, not at first, but just like everything else, it gets easier the more you do it and make it a part of your everyday thinking.


“Revelation 12:11 tells us that we overcome the enemy by the blood of Jesus and our testimony.
Let your real story, your testimony be heard because even when you are living in the thick of it, it could be the very thing that helps someone else overcome.
Be bold and transparent because of the free gift of forgiveness and salvation. None of us have done a darn thing to earn it, so let’s all be a little more real with each other.”

Go on. Go give it a read. And maybe you’ll be inspired to pass it on to the next person.

I am happy to have each of you to share and celebrate with.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Beautiful

“The best and most beautiful things in the world can not be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”
~Helen Keller

Thank you for the inspiration, Sarah!

I got home from work Friday to find this…

Naughty little dog. The Darcy Doolittle found some horse treats that R had somewhere. She decided they were indeed for her. Good thing I have an indoor/outdoor rug. Us traveling horse gals can be hard on the finer, indoor things of life. Tracking in shavings and hay, leaving burrs all over the house, and eating horse treats off the floor. You know, everyday stuff. Have I ever told you about the time Darcy ate crayons? No? Well, that is indeed a story for another day very soon. Anyway.

I wonder why she left the crumbs? A snack for later? Maybe she saved them for R’s cat? How sweet.

Not having time for such nonsense, I shook my head at her as she wagged her tail innocently at me before we loaded up and left. We had good times awaiting us.

I met up with some friends Friday evening who were spending the weekend doing fun horsey things. We talked and laughed, ate and drank, and listened to music. I had a grand time and got back to the farm late.

Which, indeed made waking up early to do all the things a wee bit difficult. After some encouragement from Darcy and Petunia protesting the late breakfast service, I got up and started the day. I rode Chance and Lito between moving sprinklers and taking care of other odds and ends. There are always a ton of odds and ends.

After riding, I loaded Lito a couple of times. You know, practice makes perfect better, better, better. He self loaded twice and was calm and confident so we called it a day. He is back to nickering at me when I come in to unload him which makes me more than happy. I am going to take him and Cheetah to a friend’s in a couple weeks for a fun, low key day.

Kisses for everyone from Lito. The day could not have been more beautiful. Not too hot and not really humid. Scattered clouds providing occasional blocks from the sun. A good breeze.

I had a late lunch after finishing up and went back to my friend’s for another fun evening. Friends and laughter along with a sunset like the above, is great for the soul and you feel it right down in your heart.

Sunday morning greeted us with an unexpected, and most welcome, chance of rain. I quickly packed up, left, and went to the car wash in hopes of ensuring some moisture. Here is hoping it worked! It was practically a gully washer in town!

What beautiful things did y’all get up to this weekend?

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

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!