In All Seriousness.

Just an average Thursday over here, do not mind me.

So, do you remember how back in September I told you how I get reflective at the beginning of fall? Well, once we hit November 1, I reach a whole new level. Ya, news flash, I know. Alert the media. What media? Never mind.

Anyway, every time November rolls around I want to do something serious here in this space. Serious. Meaningful. Something to express the true meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas as we come into the season. You know, the real reason for the season. That always seems like a very large task. How does one tackle something so grand? Something with such gravity and brevity?

Typical me taking everything so seriously and making it such.

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Here is the deal. The AHAmoment in it all.

It is not really all that complicated. It is very simple and basic. Something everyone can grasp if you allow yourself. Open your eyes. Remember that whole KISS rule your teachers taught you way back when? Spoiler alert. That one is for life too. Keep. It. Simple. Silly. Go figure. It also has nothing to do with the season or time of year. That is just a happy convenient reminder. To get you intentional about it. It is something to be lived every day and carried on throughout the year.

What it all boils down to is being thankful. Experiencing the gratitude and the blessings and where they come from. Seeing them. Feeling them. All around you. They are there all around us. It is us who have a hard time seeing what is right there in front of our faces. Feeling it as we would feel the ever present wind against our skin.

We all live very complicated, intertwined, and busy lives. Surrounded by distractions. Going through life with not only blinders on, but with blindfolds on. Thinking we are getting somewhere without actually seeing.

What it is all about is the journey. Walking your path. Seeing, experiencing, and enjoying all that is around you.


“Lord, give me the eyes to see
Exactly what it’s worth
And I will be the richest man on earth”

Being grateful for today and celebrating it. For the very life in your veins. The food in your belly. The sun shining outside. The rain that reinvigorates the earth. The people around you. The family you create, blood or not. Those that are with us, both physically and spiritually.

Being grateful for your past because it has made you who you are today and brought you to where you stand this very minute. A step in front of yesterday. To be built up by the struggle. For the journey. YOUR path.

Being grateful for a wet dog nose or a soft, velvety horse muzzle against your skin. For green pastures with enough grass for the horses and cows. A full pond. For being able to see the sunrise and sunset. For getting to the beginning of November without yet having a frost and blanketing temperatures like last year. For a functioning manure spreader. Being able to share my love with fun desserts to serve my family. To laugh and share with people you love.

Being grateful for feeling time slow down, during a time of year when time does nothing but rush past, when you can see just one of your many blessings.

I could go on.


“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.”
~Avery~

Serious, I know. But in all seriousness. Life, man. It is a beautiful life and we are all blessed to live it. See and feel your many blessings so you can be a blessing to those around you.

The most interesting thing about all of this is when you start to see, those around you catch a glimmer too and start to see a little for themselves.

Just some things to stir around in your pot of thoughts on this fine Thursday. Clearer than mud, I hope? Too early? Well, at least I am not sharing Christmas music yet!

I think this is going to be a great month. Are there any anvils and pianos over my head?

Walk in love, dear readers!

P.S. I am grateful for y’all. Yes! Each and everyone of YOU that comes here to AHAmoments. For allowing my to share my thoughts. For engaging in conversation. For sharing your story. For making this a great place to be.

Wednesday…

Listen up happy people. I have a song for you.

Usually I share songs on Tuesday or Thursdays so I can sound clever by titling said post with Tuesday’s Track or Thursday’s Tune. You know, alteration and all of that. I am a fan. However, this one popped up this very morning and dang if I can not wait till tomorrow to share it with you. And y’all can prolly tell I have a thing for Blackberry Smoke and Charlie Starr.

So have a listen to this Wednesday…uh…Whistle? Ya, I will work on that, but go ahead and give it a listen.

This is life. I have a song. You have a song. We have to share our songs. It is what life is about. AHAmoment. Let your pearl shine, man. It is yours.


“These days, the good days are fewer and farther between
Sometimes the hard times a shadow on my my sky-blue dream
I don’t have much if you look through the eyes of the world
Open me up and you might find just one shinin’ pearl

I’ve got this song, a story to tell
About the good times and bad times, heaven and hell
Well it might not be pretty, or have much to say
But it’s all I’ve got left at the end of the day
It’s the one thing they can’t take away
I’ve got this song

I’ve got a short list of good friends I can count on to answer my call
And a long list of bad things I might not be proud of at all
Show me a man who hasn’t yet learned how to fall
There is a man who doesn’t know much yet at all

I’ve got this song, a story to tell
About the good times and bad times, heaven and hell
Well it might not be pretty, or have much to say
But it’s all I’ve got left at the end of the day
It’s the one thing they can’t take away
I’ve got this song

I’ve got this song, a story to tell
About the good times and bad times, heaven and hell
Well it might not be pretty, or have much to say
But it’s all I’ve got left at the end of the day
It’s the one thing they can’t take away
The one thing they can’t take away
I’ve got this song
I’ve got this song”


Let that one stir around in your pot of thoughts and sink in.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Middle Of Nowhere

Nowhere I tell you.

You know, grief and loss are some interesting things.

Or rather, that moment is interesting when they smack you like a mac truck out the middle of nowhere.

WHACK!

Did you feel that?!

Where the heck did that come from??!!

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The middle of nowhere, that is where.

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Well, I guess not quite exactly.

There I was today, in my office. At my desk. In the middle of the long afternoon on an innocent Wednesday. Just working away doing my thing while listening to music.

Then all of a sudden…this song comes on.

And then, BOOM!

WHACK!

I was smacked in the face and straight through to the heart. It all almost came right out my eyes, but it got lodged right there in my throat, above my chest, in a knot for a good ten minutes. Practically choking me.

And this had nothing to do with Merle Haggard (although, yes, that is sad too) and everything to do with the memory of my grandfather.

No Sir, he will never be gone. He lives on in us in so many ways.

Man oh man. That was exhausting! Excuse me while I go bawl my eyes out. Be back later.

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Has that ever happened to you? Seemingly out of the blue?

I told you I get this way this time of year.

Walk in love, dear readers.

The Gal I Am

I feel the need to tell y’all something.

Celebrate your individuality. Not only today, but every day. There must be something in the water…or something. You know, be you. Love what you love. Not to worry about what other people think because it has no bearing on you. No hold. What other people think has more to do about them than about you.

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So, in that spirit.

I am the kind of gal that gets surprised by the new noises that can be heard on the north wind after the first cold front of the year. That happened this morning.

I am a complete album kind of gal. To me, whole albums are a complete work and I have more complete albums than single songs in my music library. How many times can I say complete? This also means I am a music buyer and not a streamer.

I am a go to the grocery store hungry and buy all the things I do not need kind of gal. This turns into me being surprised at the check out every time.

I am the kind of gal that likes to drive on the line rather than between them. There may be some kind of deeper life metaphor in there. Apples don’t fall far.

I am a turn the gospel music on in traffic so I do not get Traffic Tourette’s and yell at people kind of gal. I really helps.

I am an early to bed, early to rise kind of gal with a full night’s rest in between. You know how I am about my sunrises and sunsets. Besides, they just said on the news that sleep deprivation leads to Alzheimer’s. Must be true, right?

I am a sit around the fire pit kind of gal and always have been. I can not wait for the first fire of the year.

I am the kind of gal that gets only mildly surprised and greatly amused when I discover I am many times over a product of where I come from. Fascinating, right?

I am a cross wall gal. As in I have a wall of crosses in my house. So does my oldest sister, A.

I am a close the cabinets and drawers all the way kind of gal.

I am the kind of gal that wears more than once necklace at a time because I can not just pick one.

I am a set the table for dinner gal. I actually keep my dining room table set, complete with cloth napkins and napkin rings all times, but I eat on my couch 99% of the time. I just have a thing for table settings. And lots and lots of candles.

I am a color gal. Lots of color. My closet looks like a rainbow. ‘Winter’ colors are not really a thing for me.

I am a flavored coffee gal. Get of your high horse, coffee people. Pecan coffee is good, I do not care what you say.

I am the type of gal that smiles when I come home and there are dog toys scattered all over the house behind my dog greeting me at the door with her wagging tail.

I am a planning and dreaming gal. I am not spontaneous as a general rule, not that I can not be, I just prefer to plan…the whole day. Every day. But I am also capable of adjusting. I also day dream a lot. Little dreams and big dreams. Close ones and far off ones.

I am an ask all the questions kind of gal. I love my details. I was told once that I should be a lawyer because I like details. I found this more than mildly amusing.

I am a gal that prefers animals to most people. Although, I think you already know that.

I am a gal that does not mind getting dirty and using her hands.

I am an independent gal. A do not tell me what to do kind of gal. I have been told that this intimidates people. What people? Who are these people? I also find this amusing. I do not think of myself as intimidating. Maybe I am. Strong, sure, but like I said, I am a product of where I come from. Most of the people in my life are this way, related or not.

I am a helping gal. I like to help people. To be of service.

I am a gal that has an easy to read face. There is no hiding my thoughts if you can see my face. I am no poker player, that is for sure. I also have a tendency to roll my eyes. Very loudly. And normally I do not even know I do it. I had a teacher in high school call me out for this one time. It made me laugh.

I am a homebody type gal and I need my alone time sometimes.

I am a gal that knows she is a child of God and was made this way for a reason. Even if it is hard sometimes.

What kind of person are you? Let us celebrate it! Thank you for being you and being here!

Walk in love, dear readers!

September 13

I have already told you about September and how it, and the start of fall, get me in a reflective mood. Today is one of those reasons.

The 13th of September will always be a special day and a day I will always remember. A sad day at times, yes of course, but also a special one. A day for red wine and chocolate pie. To remember the happy memories and be grateful. Why do you ask? Because I say so, that is why. It is Mansebo’s day.

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Mansebo was the horse that started it all. Is it still hard? Absolutely. But he is in the best place of all now and free from any pain and suffering. I am forever grateful for him.

This is Mansebo’s song. Every time I hear it, I think of him, and every time I think of him, I hear it.

I can not help but think that it is because of him that we have horses today. It makes me even more grateful for my dun duo.

Speaking of the dun duo…

 

 

Lito and I had a great weekend of riding and he continues to get better and better, heading in the right direction to his regular self.

Both Cheetah and Lito pretended to be race horses on Saturday when I tried to bring them in for the evening, galloping all around the pond pasture multiple times. This video was only the beginning. I did not catch the best and fastest parts. They took turns with who was in the lead, Cheetah talking to Lito the whole time. Quite funny really. After several minutes they decided they were finished and would come in, but only if I came and got them. Naturally, that is what I did and they met me half way, the looks on their faces seeming to say, “gee, that sure was fun!” At least for Lito, the cheeky guy! Cheetah looked a bit happily worn out with her out of shape, grass fat body.

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Have some wine and pie with me today, won’t you? And go love on your horses! Remember the happy times!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Happy Friday

Happy Friday, happy people!

Only one business day between you and the weekend.

YOU can do it!

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Be happy.

Weekends are a beautiful thing. You can clear your head. Recharge your batteries. Remember what is important. Get away from stressful things. If yesterday was any indication, this is desperately needed. All this desk riding is getting to me!

There are many different ways to do this. For some people it is just sleeping in. For others it is taking some quiet time to read a good book. Or go for a walk. Or a drive. Go fishing.

For me, it is getting out in the country with my Darcy dog. Feeling the air. Seeing the light. Breathing in my horses’ scent. This does not always mean riding. My relationship with my horses is not always about riding. Sometimes it is just hanging out and grooming that we need. Sometimes it is just being in their presence doing nothing at all but just being present.

One reason I like to share my time at the farm with you is because of what it means to me. What it does for me. Another reason is because not everyone has the opportunity to experience what being in the country and with horses does for a person. If I can give you just a tiny picture of what it is like and make you feel something positive like what I feel, I feel like I have done something good in this world.

If you have been around here a while, none of the above is news to you.

Remember this?

Or how about this?

Or this, this, or this?

Clearly, I write about this a lot.

This weekend though, I need some solid hours in the saddle and some time crossing things off the to-do list. That ever present list that never goes away or gets shorter.

What does it for you? That recharges your batteries? Makes you feel refreshed and new? Feeds your soul?

Walk in love, dear readers!

The Season Of Fall

It is about that time of year and I am not talking about hurricane season. Although we really need the rain. We almost got some this weekend. Hopefully this week we actually get some.

But back to the season at hand. It is more than just entering the ‘ber months and entering fall. More than baking all the fall things, which I am very excited about. More than family time, which is everything.

It is the season of reflection. Of being grateful and thankful. Remembering those that are no longer with us and also too of those that still are. Cherishing every moment we have with them. Thinking of the future.

It always seems to hit me right at September first. With the start of dove season. College football. The distant promise of cooler temperatures. Finding new recipes for fall baked goods and sides to present at holiday meals. Thinking about Christmas presents and the real reason for the season.

It makes me want to drink red wine while I eat chocolate pie and listen to prayer and gospel songs. They have a healing effect I swear. You should try it some time.

What does fall mean to you? How do you remember those that are no longer with us?

Walk in love, dear readers!

And because I have to, I have a song to share with you.


“All my love is due Him”


Problems

Problems, I ain’t got none.

How do you like that English? I did that for effect, you know. Just for you. To give you a laugh.

Anybody?

Tap, tap, tap?

In all seriousness, continually I am reminded that the things we see as problems in this life, are not really problems in the bigger picture. They are just experiences and lessons. They are gifts.

Remember yesterday’s list of possible topics that got quickly brushed aside in favor of food and wine? Ya, that. We are going there. Here is why. Stick with me.

Wednesday was not a very good day at work. The details are not really important, but emotions are high right now as we are about to drill a well (not really the best time to be leaving the country for vacation, but this trip has been planned for a year…) and somehow I got caught in the middle. Like a side effect or an accessory. Honestly, if I could have done something about it, I would have, but it was out of my hands. (Even though I am still kinda beating myself up about it.) It put me in a foul mood and I was ready to book it before it was even lunch time.

At the end of the day, I left quicker than I ever did when the 3 PM dismissal bell rang at school, and I was the kid that counted the seconds till it was time to leave. I changed my clothes and grabbed my dog in record time to drive out to the farm. I had already planned to go out there for my usual midweek visit.

When I arrived, the horses were in the far corner of their pasture. Go figure. I took a deep breath, stepped out into the sun, and started walking. I didn’t even put a hat on. No time for that.

With each step, I felt a little tension leave. It began to feel blissfully hot as the sun beared down. The grass was green and sky was blue. The breeze was soft through my hair and the trees. I started to hear the birds chirping and Darcy romping around off to my right.

She caught Lito’s eye as he stood in the shade with a hind leg cocked, tail floating on the breeze, playing with the tips of the tall grass.

Then they all, one by one beginning with Lito, started to look at me as I approached. They knew. They always know. Looking at me with their big soft eyes. Nuzzling me with velvety muzzles.

We were just a short walk away from bliss by this point. The answer to everything. It doesn’t take much.


I grabbed Cheetah’s bridle off the bridle rack. I walked up to her side, stroked her golden neck, and began bridling her. She graciously accepted the bit as I slipped the headstall I won in 4H with my old mare Fresca all those years ago over her long ears. Just as I have done countless times. Fresca is the only other horse to have worn that bridle. It has a cross on the side buckles. I found Lito a similar headstall. It was and is important to me.

I will not mention the sweat and dirt all over her body as that would clearly ruin the picture. No, I won’t do that. But she is indeed, covered in dirt. No matter. Dirt brushes off and my hands did a good enough job of that to clear a spot just big enough for me to sit.

I threw myself up on her broad, dorsal striped back and off we went.

Nothing else is needed. Our shadow danced around us as we turned around the ring. On and on. Around we went without a care. Whatever happened earlier in the day a distant memory, not given another significant thought.

(How is this the only video of this song?)

I dismounted feeling lighter, almost wondering if the day had really indeed been all that bad. The answer was probably not, but it did not matter anymore. I thanked my big dun mare for letting me borrow her freedom and setting everything to rights before I made the hour long drive back home.

The drive was pleasant as I was serenaded by Texas music and the views of the coastal plain.

The following day was peaceful as I worked, fueled by the high from the ride, YouTube videos playing in the background. At some point, a string of videos about near death/death experiences came up. It began with the stories of a career hospice nurse. Interesting turn of events, I thought to myself, but I will listen on. I do not doubt that these are true stories. Indeed they are common enough. We hear about them all the time.

I looked up when I heard a familiar voice and story. Eben Alexander. I have heard an interview of his before. Have you heard of him? He wrote the best seller, Heaven Is For Real. Have you read it? I have not, but I will tell you I ordered the book at the end of yesterday. His story is worth a listen. Take the time. I would not share it with you if it was not. I will not spoil it, but the short end of it is he was basically a dead man. Believed to be a vegetable for a week and on his way to death. He awoke and had a lot to share about his experience. About God and Heaven and love.

It brought me to tears, but maybe not in the way you might be thinking. It was an overwhelming feeling. A feeling of knowing. Of love and truth. It is no wonder to me that music and nature and animals and relationships play such vital roles in our lives here on earth. It is all about love. God’s love. God is love.

No, no I do not have problems.

Focus on the bigger picture. The Lord’s journey for you. Spread his love and light. Forgive and forget. Life is short. Tomorrow is a new day. Do not let what you view as problems bring you down. You are here and alive!

Share with me your thoughts! I want to know!

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.

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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.