It’s A Bird…Birthday Edition

It’s a plane…

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It’s a Cheetah!

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Wait, what? No, no, no.

Not that kind of cheetah.

This kind of Cheetah!

A birthday Cheetah!

My gal pal is 14 today. That is quite a big number considering I started riding her when she was only 4.

We have been through a lot together, and we ain’t nearly through! Name that reference! No? Uh, OK, never mind then. I guess I will just give it to you. You’re in for more, so you might as well just give it a listen. If you knew it already, I would like to be your friend.

If you do not know her story, you should give it a read here.

Her heart is seriously as big as Texas and her lungs, well, they are built to match. She has taken me everywhere and given me the best gifts.

She is special and unlike any other around. I knew it the first time I met her. She already has some gray hairs starting above her eyes and I am not sure if that makes me feel happy or melancholy.

She keeps me on my toes and I bet she will continue to do so until well into her twenties.

She is my gal pal and I would not trade her for anything. Even if she is opinionated and does not like to walk. I only wish I could ride her everyday again, preferably in a cotton field.

Walk in love, dear readers, and for your listening pleasure, I give you this…I just do not understand why people do not sing about line back duns.

 

 

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!

Mom

Here is to my Mamma.

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Is this not the dreamiest wedding portrait? Seriously. I will never understand why this style for dress and portrait went out of style.

Where would we be without them? I know I certainly do not know where or what I would be.

I know it is not quite yet Mother’s Day, but I celebrate my mom every day.

I celebrate her for who and what she is. I celebrate her for putting up with me. I celebrate her for her selflessness and doing everything for me. I celebrate her for allowing me to be who I am and doing her best to embrace it. I celebrate her for being a part of me.

She is the best mom in the world. That is what I tell people when they ask about her.

She made my school lunch every day and would draw horses on the brown paper bag. She would have my dad drive her in the golf cart, wrapped in a sleeping bag, on cold winter mornings to look for me if I rode longer than normal, just to make sure I was OK. She figured out how we could spend the most amount of time at the farm during the summers so I could ride and be where I loved. On those summer days, we would eat dinner early so we could go for drives on the back roads together. With the windows down, we soaked in the country air and scenery. We were waiting for the heat to lift so I could go for a sunset ride on my palomino mare, Fresca. She allowed me to have riding lessons every day when we were in Mexico so I could learn and get better. Just for the love of it.

I could go on and on.

When I was younger, for Mother’s Day I would braid my mare’s mane with ribbons and flowers to spell out mom on Mother’s Day. I sat on my mare in the barn and colored cards for her before she would wake up, misspellings and all. I would pick wildflowers from the horse pasture and try make them last. They never did.

Nowadays I play her music instead of cards because it speaks to us both, more than any card could. I will bake a dessert I think she will like for dinner because I love to do that for people and she has discerning taste. And every time I swing my leg over my pony, I thank the good Lord above for not only the gift that is them, but the gift that is my mother. For giving me that part of her and for her allowing that to grow within me. Well, not that she really had much choice. It is in our blood.

I would say my dad, sisters, and I would have the family over and plan dinner, but we did that once. It was Dad’s idea. It did not work out so well. Mom is the best at that. This year we will go to Aunt M’s house for Mother’s Day dinner with everyone. That is what makes her happy.

We will be celebrating many mothers this coming Sunday. Grandmothers. Mothers. Aunts. Cousins. Sisters.

I hope I am half the mother she is and they are one day.

What is your favorite memory of the mother in your life?

Walk in love, dear readers!

 

Annabelle

Certain evenings at the farm, without any other people there, often bring back memories and make me miss a certain someone. Particularly when I am out walking in the pastures. I always have and always had, back then, a special buddy with me.

Two independent beings and kindred spirits, comfortable just being in the joined, shared silence that can only be had in that secure, comfortable way. They way of a life long relationship, but not needing all those years to get there. With that knowingness.

Glad and relieved for the lack of pressure and expectation, strolling through the pastures, not side by side, but not one in front either. Content just being present. In each other’s company. Accompanied only by the ambiance created by that country air and those country sounds. The breeze in the pecan trees, through the grass, and over the pond. The sun setting, ablaze with fire, and reflecting off the migrating ripples after the crash of a Bass on the surface. Likely preying on the recent hatch. The distant snort and swish of horse tails as the herd grazes. A cow mooing for her calf and the bull making his claim known to the neighboring herd. Backed up by the common clink of ice in a glass and the distant speaker playing real country music. The good kind. Old and new.

Something like this.

(Side note. Go treat yourself to this album. It is brand new, but as far as I can tell is as close to classic, old school country as it gets these days with a distinct modern arrangements. I am a sucker for all things steel, fiddle, and piano along with the guitar. I pre-ordered it a while back and so far it is great. I have been listening to Joshua Hedley for a while.) Now back to the story at hand. My buddy. The instigator of all these memories.

She had the luxury of being born out here. Well, right down the road technically, but close enough. As much a part of the landscape as the centuries old Live Oak up by the house.

My mother’s old Labrador Retriever, Annabelle.

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There is just something about a Lab, isn’t there?

A gal pal after my own heart she was. Middle Sister, K feels the same way, if not more.

Even though she was not mine, we grew to have a very deep connection in her later years. Especially during what I call my “Lost Year.” The year between my undergrad and graduate school. Not knowing what to do with my life and having trouble finding a job using my degree. In the end I bucked up and applied for grad school and began that journey within the year. Sometimes it feels like I miss that year, but really I just fondly remember those nights at the farm with Annabelle.

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We got her right before Oldest Sister, A went off to college.

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We would go to the farm together about three times a week during that year. It was glorious. She was my gal pal. My farm buddy. She knew the plan before I did and would rally her old bones. I had to help her get into the car so we could go, but I also had to stop her from jumping out of the car and hurting herself when we would arrive. She would run as best as she could until she had to take a nap.

We would walk out in the pastures together at sundown. At length, we would eventually come to a stop. Annabelle would walk out a few paces in front, stop, take a big breath of that country air looking back at me, and then sit and gaze off into the distance, like only a wise dog can. Eventually, when it got close to dark, we would make our way back up to the house.

She was a great dog even though she rarely listened to anyone. We had to put her down while I was in graduate school and we were left with a big hole in our lives. I would never recommend being dogless if you can help it. It is awful. It was a good thing Darcy was on her way.

Dogs are such amazing creatures. They sure do leave their mark in their short time here on earth. It is a wonder to me how we handle having them in our lives and move on after they are gone. Yet at the same time, I could never imagine my life without a dog in it. What gifts they are. They seem to make us aware of how human we are. The remind us that we do not have all the time in the world. If only we could do as much good as a dog does in its lifetime in our own.

They are never ‘just a dog.’ Do you know what I mean?

Anyway, I just wanted to share Annabelle with you as I was thinking of her.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Restart

I am going to get a little serious today. I try to keep things real over here for the both of us. Well, because that is life, isn’t it? And this is something that has been on my mind. There are too many people out there these days that try to paint an altered image of who they are instead of just being themselves and being honest.

This is me and this is my life.

I need a restart. A reset. A refocus.

It is no secret that I have been in a little bit of a funk these days and desiring more or  different from or out of my life. Questioning if I should continue this path and stay the course or to venture on a new one. The form of that change is something I am still trying to work out. I am, quite literally, at a crossroads. Part of me says, “get over yourself, just do it. Do something,” while the other part of me says, “you’re not ready yet. You need to work through this first.”

Even as I have typed all of this, I want to delete because it is still scary to think about and say out loud. Even if I have said it before.

But that is not the point. The point is, I am harboring all of this inside, working that circular thought process over, and not focusing on what is important. Not focusing on the Lord and giving it up to Him. Trying to do it by myself for myself. It is leaving me clouded and bringing me down. I am having a hard time seeing the light and it is more than just because of the weather. It is weighing me down.

I need to remember He has the plan and He is building me up for something. I need to reset and put my full focus on Him. My heart and my head. He knows the way. AHA moment.

I have talked about Soulshine with you before. Not that long ago. What I said then is a good reminder for today.

I have been thinking this morning about faking it till you make it because I am tired of feeling this way and looking this way. So that will be me. Faking it till I make it till I figure it out. Adding more leg and pushing through.

Are you tired of talking about this yet? I am. I feel like I have said this multiple times and I know the reel has not stopped.

Luckily daylight savings time is right around the corner and that means more riding. I need more riding. Too bad it is not this weekend. It would be nice to get more rides in before the clinic I am riding in next weekend, but any riding I am grateful for with this weather. I do not think I have ever ridden so little in my life. Which does not help anything!

Any of you have any life changing stories for me?

Walk in love, dear readers.

Daily Dose Of Cute

A little dose of cuteness for you on this fine Monday.

The ever dirty, but awfully cute Darcy Doolittle. She can brighten any day.

I am choosing to believe this Monday to be fine. I am imagining the sun shining.

No clouds. No rain. We have not seen the sun shine for more than an hour at a time in I do not even know how long. ALL WINTER like this.

Riding this weekend was a little like a slip and slide at the walk, so that is what we did. Walked around bareback and trotted where we could. One of these days, I will get some real riding in. I won’t think about how long that will be. It all makes me long for the days that I had access to an indoor arena.

It also makes me think of that Kid Rock song. And this song, for a matter of fact.

Let us go to Mexico for the rest of the season.

Dreaming of Mexico, dear readers. Is that why I have eaten an exorbitant amount of Mexican food in the past couple of weeks?

Walk in love!

 

Valentine

Valentine’s Day has always been interesting to me. All the hype and minutiae. Seems to have lost the point if you ask me. What is that? You didn’t ask me? Oh well.

Some people think of cards. Some people think of red roses and chocolate covered strawberries. Some people think of the lack of a valentine like it means something. Some love it and some dislike it.

Me, I can not help but think of this song when I think of Valentine’s Day.

Funny, this song makes me laugh.

Side note, Saint Francis, patron saint of the animals, is the best. My family all seems to be drawn to him and has statues and figurines placed around our houses. Cheetah, Lito, and Darcy have all attended pet blessings at the church. I need to go and find those photos. Anyway.

Valentine’s Day.

I read something very interesting yesterday and I would like to share it with you.

Read it and let that sink in. Stir it around in your pot of thoughts, I dare you.

I have conveniently included the link again! CLICK HERE!

Last year I said I would be your Valentine.

And this year I offer the same.

Thank you, dear readers for being you, and being here. You are not alone. You are worthy. I am so grateful for each of you. You have made such a difference in my life.

Walk in love. Happy Valentine’s Day. Make it a great day!

Music Monday

Hey there! Long time no chat. Remember me?

Today is a Music Monday kind of day.

Well really every day is a music kind of day to me, but I have a special song to share with you today.

Written about the loss of a loved family music man, it is speaking to me today. I think ol’ Geege would approve and be happy with our celebration of his life last week.

A few others for you in honor of our family music man. Because who doesn’t like to get a little teary on a Monday?!

I know I do.

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Just a glutton for punishment I am.

It was at about this time, when this song was ‘sung’ by all of us, in the memorial service that I lost it. I say ‘sung’ because I could not do it. I was not prepared to sing this at the beginning. I was hanging my hat on it being at the end. It was about downhill from there for me.

Then there was a medley of these greats.

And then this one at the close. I mean lawd. Bowl me over twice.

For the full effect, here is the actual medley. This is my Aunt’s Sister. If only I could sing  Even if I could, I would not be able to keep it together.

I mean, does that get you like me?

Oh boy was I tired after all that. And then getting sick again.

It is crazy how you listen to all of these songs a million times and then bam, they all have  a new memory and meaning.

Music is so great that way. How it attaches itself to you and intertwines with certain memories and feelings. Like the stitches on the fabric of your clothes or the fibers of your being. How it brings us all together and takes down the barriers. Makes you feel and floods you with emotion.

Know what I mean? No? Oh well.

Walk in love, dear readers.

 

 

 

Tribute

Get your sunglasses out. I have started and stopped about ten times and still do not quite know how to start it.

A great man went to his Heavenly home on Monday. My Grandmother’s Husband since she was 19. My Mother’s Father. My Grandfather. Although, he would get mad at us if we called him any such thing. Made him appear old he would say. Gee Gee for George. Everyone, family and friends, called him that. I learned this week that there are people that did not even know his name was George. Gee Gee is his name.

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Mere words do not do him justice. How does one pay tribute to such a being. You had to know him or know someone who knew him. Larger than life he was, and he knew how to live every second of it and fill it with music and dancing, tequila (it makes you smart he would always say, but he had plenty of smarts all on his own), family, the outdoors, and of course horses. Lots and lots of horses and horse stories.

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That dapper man there, sitting in the middle next to my Grandmother, wearing a tux. We have a big family, and this is not even all of them!

I still can not write this without tears in my eyes. Which is less than convenient with a face of makeup. Go me for being an adult and putting my face on.

The tears are represented by many emotions. Sadness, of course, is very present. The realness and suddenness of it (sudden as in one day there and the next not), sure. It really was not that sudden. The thoughts of looking to the future and visualizing what it looks like and feels like. Him not being there (how about a punch in the gut to say that?). At the same time, the blessing and relief. How strange it feels to feel and write that.

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A moment I captured close to the time he passed. I had a funny feeling at the time and did not know why. A few minutes later my sister called me.

When my sister first called I had a feeling it was coming. I did not know quite how to act when she told me. I did not cry or have much to say, it just was. It seems most of us feel that way. I suppose that is the blessing and relief of it. That he is now whole and complete, making music again.

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He was 92 years old. We went a few years thinking any day was going to be his homecoming, but, he continued to defy the odds. It was still a shock when it actually happened. On Monday, January 22, 2018 he went peacefully with a smile on his face and a full belly. What a blessing that is! To live his whole life happy and to go peacefully. Even with the years of dementia (that he was even able to hide for many years in the beginning), he was happy through it all and always knew the love of his life.

I have lived my whole life, of 29 years, with two full sets of grandparents. How many people do you know that can say that??? I have discovered not many people can. When people would hear that I have 2 full sets of grandparents still alive, they would look at me in wonder and astonishment. I have stopped being surprised at people’s looks. There are nine of us Grandchildren (non including the spouses) that could claim that.

I could go on and on about him. How smart and passionate he was. How he loved music and could sing and play multiple instruments. How he made records and sang with the mariachi bands at the Mexican restaurants. How they would marvel how well he knew their music. How he helped my mom with her math homework after coming home late from work. How I see him in his younger brother, 16 years his junior. How he loved his dogs and the outdoors and to fish and hunt. How he stamped all of us in a unique way.

My stamp was the horses and music, but mainly the horses. Entirely different than that of my Grandmother, the ultimate horsewoman.

I would sit with him for hours and listen to his stories about horses past. He was generally a quiet man, letting everyone else do the talking. An easy thing to do with our family. There was never enough air in the room and being in our presence was commonly compared to watching a tennis match. But what I loved most was when he would get to talking about his horses, even my Grandmother would sit silently staring at him, completely captivated.

I remember the last time they came to the farm. My Grandmother, naturally, was drawn by Ike and my Lito, wanting to talk about them and how they rode. Gee Gee on the other hand, with not much of his memory left, took one look at Chance and said, “now that is a Quarter Horse. I like this horse. You need to flush his eye.” I guess he liked the look of him! His eye lid was irritated and swollen at the time. I had already flushed it.

“Now that horse comes out half cocked, so you better ride him down and work him out of it first,” he would say about Chato, the last horse he had. He was a little feed lot horse and would politely slow down to a halt every time my phone would ring.

My Mom would always tell me how Gee Gee would ride every horse first before any of the kids hopped on, just to make sure their heads were on straight. Something I have always done because of that.

He once hauled a horse in a trailer with a faulty floor. The thought gives me nightmares. He crawled in the loaded trailer and fixed the floor mid route because the man said the horse would be fine to do it.

Consequently, I still can not find pictures of the two more prominent horses in his life. Jenny and Rowdy Dexter. Or of him taking my Mom and Aunt and Uncle riding. Jenny was the young filly he kept at the local stables where he met my Grandmother. She kept her horse at the same barn. My kind of love story. I will never be able to tell a story like him. I am not going to give up on finding them.

To tell some of the stories, I have these to share.

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I believe this was Jenny’s sire.

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Time to hit play on the music and stir our tequila drinks as we remember and celebrate this great man. I do believe anything less than a party he would not stand for.

This has been a slow blogging month for me, but I am still here chugging along. There is still much to see to yet, but I am not going anywhere.

Life is an interesting thing, as you have heard me say multiple times. How everything comes full circle. With death there too also comes life. Gee Gee will live on in another member of our family, due to arrive in August. I get to be an Aunt again!

Till next time, dear readers, walk in love!