Hill Top Sunrise

A progression


Happy Saturday, dear readers! See the beauty and joy today. 

Go walk in love. 

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What Day Is It Today?

I turned on the news for the first time in five days on Tuesday before I went to work (for the first time in over a week). First report was of Hurricane Irma. I had to directly change the channel. Just the thought of it was sickening to me. Golden Girls it was. Or was it I Love Lucy? I can not even remember. There is not much on the TV before 7 AM (OK fine, I love both of those shows, leave me alone) and I still do not know what day it is. Funny how that happens. How you can’t remember the days and what has happened or when. It just gets intertwined like a bouncing rubber band ball and you can’t tell where one begins and another ends.

To be perfectly honest, the five days ‘away’ from the continuing disaster that is the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey was necessary for my well being in more ways than one.

The craziest thing about it is that I feel like I should not feel this way. This battered and exhausted and, well, emotional about it. I think this is what one would call survivor’s guilt? I had never even heard that term until a few days ago. My family and I have been incredibly blessed through this whole ordeal.

My family, my animals, and our houses are all fine. My friends and their animals are safe. That is the most important thing. The horse barn got a little flooded, we lost a little bit of feed, and our fences were ripped out (…again…). The floor of the feed room will be replaced and everything else will dry or can be replaced.

To say it came out of nowhere would be inaccurate. We knew it was coming. We knew it was going to be bad. We prepared.

But it was worse.

Hurricane Harvey quickly beefed up and became a category 4 right before his big, debut entrance (if you did not know, he made two landfalls…crazy, right?). And to say that Harvey did anything but dump rain quickly is quite comical. I might venture to say that it was the slowest moving storm in history. Harvey slammed the coast and creeped his way north and stalled. FOREVER. Impossible to anticipate what will happen at this point. Dumping quite literally, buckets of rain over more than, oh, I dunno, and area of twenty counties? Big cities and small towns alike. Not just Houston. In some areas, reports are upwards of 50 inches. Cough. You read that right. That is more than the projected 30 inches. With all this concrete, where is that water supposed to go?

Going through a storm like this felt somewhat like what a war might feel like. Getting slammed with rain for days, quite literally. It did not stop. Sleep impossible. Anxiety and fear rising with the water from all directions. The water seemed to rise faster than it came out of the sky. Many were scared for their lives and could not go anywhere. Many lost their lives. Many had to be rescued in a boat, everything they have worked their whole lives for lost, clutching to loved ones and the few treasured possessions they could carry. They now have nowhere to go.

The storm hit our area Friday evening and had no mercy.

Come Saturday, R realized she needed to leave her house, but quickly realized she had no way out of her neighborhood. She spent the next 24 hours staging her house to try and save as much of her stuff as possible, knowing she was bound to have water in her house soon. She had water in her house and rising Sunday morning. By Sunday evening she helped put out a neighbor’s house fire and hitched a ride out of there on a boat with her cat. Talk about a story for your grandkids!

My God Parents flooded. My God Mother’s parents flooded. My sister’s God Father flooded, had to walk out in chest deep water, and be taken out by boat. Several long time family friends flooded.

Darcy and I rode out the storm with my Parents at their house. Watching the news was harrowing. Just harrowing. We made ourselves take brakes from watching it to play cards or watch a movie to take our minds off it. Constantly checking the radar to see where the bands were, here or at the farm? Checking the river gauges to try and determine how the river was rising and how it would crest. Literally getting up in the middle of the night to see where the water was on the back patio and then checking my phone again to see how the farm was faring. Getting calls and messages from friends who were flooding or hauling their animals to safety and no way to get to them to help. The complete and utter helplessness of not being with my horses at the farm. I knew they were in high ground and would be safe because our neighbor made sure of it, but my mind went wild with worst case scenarios.

We tried to get to the farm on Monday. We got half way there and had to get creative with ways to try and get around the water. Mother Nature is more creative than us though and we had to turn around and come home. We didn’t try again until Wednesday. We got within sight of the front gate but could not cross the water in the low spot of the road. Our nighbor informed us that his friend went up in a plane to do a flyover of a few properties and reported our house and animals high and dry. While it really wasn’t enough details for me, it was the only thing keeping me going at this point. Dejected, Dad and I headed home.

The next day gifted sweet, sweet success and a ton of bricks lifted off my shoulders. I was able to get in and see my horses and cows. I almost cried. The next five days I spent cleaning up, fighting mosquitos, waiting for everything to dry up, and thanking the Lord for His many blessings.

Here is something bigger than the storm, though.

All throughout the storm, people kept showing up to save people and animals and then turning around to help clean up the damage left behind. People helping people. Not because they want recognition or get anything out of it, but because it is what needs to be done and they need it. People sacrificing their lives for another. Comfort and love spreading faster than the water. Sensationally and overwhelmingly heartwarming. Outshining the hurt and devastation. The hate of the outside world being washed away with the flood waters.

So very Texas. That is part of what makes this place so great. This is what I will remember most from this hurricane named Harv.


Go hug your people and your animals. I am exhausted, but happy to be on the other side of this cleaning up. It will be a long time before we are finished with Harvey, but everything will be right as rain in no time.

Too soon? Sorry.

Walk in love, dear readers and go say a prayer for all in Irma’s path!

Whopper

Welp. I dare say that was (well, still is) a whopper. A doozy whopper of a hurricane. I just came up with that. Just roll with it. 

(Disclaimer…blogging from your phone is difficult and annoying. Please forgive any spelling or grammatical errors.)

Words really can not describe the magnitude of devastation. EVERYWHERE. 

I had a friend ask me if I or my parents had ever seen anything like this. My response? My grandparents haven’t ever seen or heard of anything like this. And my family has been in this area for a long time. 

It will take me a little while on this one to gather my thoughts and put them into words. To be honest, I am not even sure if I can. I will try though, not just for me, but for my people, my city, my region, my state. Please know that me and my animals and my people are all well. We are safe and on the right side of the worst of it. We have been blessed and I am more sure than ever that God provides. And He is here. Always. I so appreciate all of the comments and messages from you, my dear readers. It means the world to me. 

I apologize for being MIA since my last post. That was not my intention, but in circumstances such as these, your prioraties change pretty quick. 

I hope you are all well. I do not even remember the last time we spoke. That is how long this storm, horrible Harvey, has been going on. 

There is much work to be done now, but until then, please enjoy our aftermath of the storm. 


I needed that cocktail! 





Because everyone loves Tuner kisses…








Looking forward to all the new growth. 

Walk in love, dear readers. 

Social Media.

Social media has always been a really strange concept to me. A conundrum. Have I said this before?

Yes, yes, and yes I have.

It can be fun, sure. I really do like to share my photos & animals…and, uh, music, a lot of music…with other people because it brings me happiness to share the things I love and what makes me happy with others…in hopes that it does the same for them. I am sure that is a surprise to no one. And really, who doesn’t like to see cute animals?

It can be helpful. That is one of the reasons I started this blog. To share and connect. It is hard to share the difficult stories, but I do it because I know I am not alone and I am not perfect. I know that other people have experienced the same things.

But it can also be, well, bad. Really bad. Negative. Dismissive. Rude. Hateful. And let us not forget, so very fake. I can honestly say that I am constantly surprised by people’s behavior. Where does that even come from? Where does the energy to perpetuate such exhausting mentalities come from?

How has this platform replaced actual communication between our fellow man?

Something that has always bugged me is the amount of energy many people put into composing the perfect picture to post so they look a certain way…to other people. Or incredibly lengthy diatribes of hate. Do not even get me started on selfies and strange poses. I am not going to go there. I always think to myself that if people put as much energy into having good manners, being nice and positive, helping, and loving our neighbors and just being real as they did on perfecting the perfect post, how much better the world, even just the social media world, would be. Exposure to more love and light. More Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Memorial Day, Happy Veterans Day, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Ramadan, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Birthday, or whatever the holiday celebration may be. More smiling. More love. Create an intersection and not a corner.

I feel like people say Happy Halloween or Happy National Donut day more than any other holiday.

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The last few days have been interesting with the lunar eclipse and the first day of school. There were so many cool posts of people getting outside and experiencing the lunar eclipse, surprisingly with other people…together, and sweet children with happy smiles off on their first day back at school after summer. The negativity and hate seemed to stop, or at least be out weighed! If only for that quick moment.

Again, I can not help but wonder if everyone would put as much energy into good instead of bad, focusing on the positive and not the negative, being honest and real, visceral and empathetic, vulnerable, how much better off we would all be. How much more connected we would be, realizing that we are not that different from each other and we all have struggles.

Stir that around in your pot of thoughts. Each one of us makes a difference.

I can see how this may sound trite, but it is not only important, it is true.

Walk in love, my dear readers, and be a light today! Happy Wednesday!

One Year, A Toast.

Well, would you look at that.

I have been blogging for a whole year. Crazy how fast that went. It sure feels like yesterday that I published my first post.

I was just curious at first. And then. Before I knew it. I had clicked around and created a blog. OK, not quite that simple, but that is basically what happened.

Thank you, dear readers, for mustering up your mustard seeds and, not only checking this little blog out, but for also following along.

Here is to you.

V0xK1

You didn’t think you would get off that easy, did you. A song. For you.

I am good like that.

Not quite describing our relationship, but ya…It is still a good song.

I spent the last two days at a conference for work. The reason for my silence. I did not have sneak attack coffee this time! There was a man yesterday who did. Also on a white shirt. I smiled at him with a knowing look and told him I did the same thing six months ago here and to just use his name tag to cover it. I also had to do a big presentation there on Wednesday that went pretty well. I should say I GOT to do a big presentation. We had a few people that came by our booth because of my presentation! So, we will see what happens.

I hope y’all have a happy Friday and a good end to the work week!

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Get out there and do what makes your heart happy this weekend. You know what I will be doing. Going to the farm with my Darcy girl to see my ponies.

Walk in love, dear readers!

 

Happy Day

Happy day, dear readers! Happy hump day!

One must read that with a certain determination for cheeryness. Yes that is a word. Because I say so.

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Today is a bit of a post vacation fog. Today. Who am I kidding. All week I have been this way. Foggy, foggy brain. I was finally able to wake up at my normal time, but I am downing two mugs of coffee like they are going to be my last with little effect. I mean. It is not like I traveled to a different country or anything. Just to Colorado. One time zone over.

I am powering through though. That is all one can do, right?! Power through and make it happy. It is a choice! AHAmoment. Make it a happy day. Ride on and add more leg, as it were. Keep casting. Keep knocking. Whatever analogy you want!

Praying for rain over here and waiting for Friday. Riding and chores at the farm in the rain sounds pretty good to break the heat. Bring it on.

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I have been doing a lot of watering since my return.

If the rain holds off (please don’t), I might haul to ride with a friend. We shall see!

I do get to see my ponies today after work! A nice mid week respite, however quick. Farrier is coming tomorrow and I need to get all the horses up for him.

That is about as exciting as a Wednesday can get.

Settle down now! I know you are jealous.

Walk in love, dear readers! Do something fun for yourself today.

Just Another Mountain Top View

Ha! Ya right! This view never gets old. 

Today is my last full day here in Colorado. I am slightly bummed about that as you can imagine, but I am ready to see my dog and horses. 

Monday evening I made last minute plans to have breakfast with a friend who also happened to be here. Small world! I walked to meet her while it tried to sprinkle on me. I love to walk on vacation first thing in the morning while most are still asleep, the only other people out being crazy early risers like me and breakfast shift restaurant workers. To see the city wake up. We met at this little French spot with a nice covered patio and had a lovely catch-up. 

We did some shopping and walking throughout the day. There is this pet shop that has been here for years. Many years ago on a family vacation here, we brought our English Setter and bought him a nice collar, leash, and some other things. All of which we still have even though he passed away several years ago. Sister K, Bro-in-law T, and I went to that very pet shop and bought our dogs some new collars. One of these days, Darcy is going to have to come here with me. 

Later we met up with the Parents and had to wait out some rain storms in some shops before heading up to the top of the mountain for a farm to table dinner with music. My friend met us up there and we had a grand time! They shut the gondola down while a storm blew through, but it didn’t matter because we were having fun. 



Yesterday we went to the top of another mountain for a yoga class. I opted out of the yoga because of my neck and chose to find a nice sitting spot to read and enjoy the view. Enjoy I did! You should enjoy it too. Which, let’s be honest, this is what we all care about for this post. The mountain top views. 


Last night was my turn to make dinner. Naturally, I forgot to take photos, so turn your imagination caps on. I made a flatbread pizza with figs, bacon, butternut squash, red onion, goat cheese and mozzarella cheese for the first course. For the second course I stuffed little peppers with spaghetti squash and a meaty red sauce topped with mozzarella and a roasted cherry tomato. Neither dish disappointed! 

Today looks like a red letter day with blue skies and clean air! I am going to get my walking shoes on and go enjoy it! 

Go walk in love, dear readers and have a great day!

Wonders

Here I am on Texas time, bright eyed and bushy tailed before it’s time to get out and do anything. I have been up for about an hour trying to will myself to sleep. No luck! Mornings like these are perfect for riding. Makes me miss my dun duo, even though I am having a great time here. Oh well, I am enjoying this cool mountain air and tricking fountain…and the time to write to you! 

I found out yesterday that I happen to have a friend vacationing here as well and we are going to meet up for breakfast in a little over an hour. I told everyone they were not allowed to start having serious fun until my return. Can you tell I have a serious case of FOMO at all times??!

There is a pretty good chance of rain today, beginning in the late morning and continuing into the afternoon. Most likely today will be a quiet relaxing one, possibly enjoying a storm or two inbetween walks and shops. We have plans this evening to go to the top of the mountain for a farm to table dinner with live music. Fingers crossed the rain holds off by that point. 

Yesterday was a lovely one with a trip up to Maroon Bells. Surprising that somehow I have never been up there given how many times I have been in this area. Maybe we went when I was little and I just don’t remember. Anyway, stunning is about all I can say! The double peaks, capped with snow, surrounded by blue sky, summer greenery, and the confetti waving of the Aspen tree leaves, all reflected into the lake below. 

There are so many wonders in this world, big and small. From the smallest bug or flower to the highest mountain. It is amazing to think on the creation of it all and to remember that you were created in just the same way. AHAmoment. 





We caught a fly fisherman wetting a line. Hopefully I will get a chance to do that before I leave. 




We spent the morning there and then got back to town for a patio lunch. The men left to go play golf while us girls came back to the condo to relax. We napped, did dinner prep, and had a nice long soak in the hot tub and pool. 

It is a long story, but I unfortunately have a crick in my neck. Terrible, I know. It started on the bus ride back from Maroon Bells. Previous events and not sitting straight, trying to see out the window I suppose. By late afternoon, even after taking an excessive amount of Advil, I could barely move my head to the right. The wonders of hydrotherapy never cease to amaze me. A good amount of time in the hot tub, then into the pool, and back to the hot tub? I felt like a new woman! I am still a little sore and tight this morning, but nothing like yesterday. Hopefully some more Advil and taking it easy today will do the trick. Maybe another soak in the hot tub. 

That is all for now! Walk in love, dear readers! 

Variety

Variety. It is the spice of life they say. I would say that I tend to agree. 

Maybe it is really a combo of going, going, going and some variety. Just always busy. I always sleep best and wake up refreshed when I have been going non stop on different things all day. 

When I was in college, I would be busy all day running from morning classes (I always tried to stack my schedule in the morning), studying, barn time, friends, and everyday life stuff. I would eat while I walked to and from class or my car. Or while I drove. I woke up early and I got home late. When I got home, I would shower and hop into bed after a chat with my roommate. It never failed that I would fall fast asleep within minutes of hitting the pillow. I would often wake up in the middle of the night with the TV still on, playing Joel Osteen reruns. I would smile as I clicked it off, hoping I was oborbing the message while I slept. 

This afternoon felt like one of those times. I got to the farm after work. Still blazing hot, I got the house opened up and turned on before I checked on a few things. I opted for an early dinner in town to give the temp some time to drop before I did anything. 

I got back from town and went to hook up the trailer. I’m headed to a friend’s ranch down the road with Cheetah and Ike first thing in the morning to ride. What I wanted to do was bathe the horses so they would be fresh for tomorrow. Naturally though, they were all the way at the bottom of the property. I opted to delay my exposure to the hot sun and load my stuff and get sprinklers going. Luckily for me, the horses made their way up right when I was finishing up loading. I got everyone fed and then moved hoses around. 

By this time it is getting pretty dark. As in, uh, dark. A normal person would have just forgotten about the bathing and not worried about it. A crazy person like me though, chooses to stick to the plan and bathe them anyway in the dark. I mean we have lights off the house, but there was no moon to speak of. Good ponies that they are, being very used to my antics, stood stock still ground tied while I hosed and scrubbed. It was still hot and they were itchy and crusted in salt, so they were enjoying it. Cheetah spent half the time trying to groom me back. Always an oddly appreciated gesture, to treat me like a herd member. 

When they were mostly dry, I put them back in the paddock, told them not to roll and get gross, and made my way back to the house to get my self cleaned up for bed. But not before moving more hoses. And rummaging around in the dark looking for the end of said hose. It took longer than I care to admit, but I got it finished. 

No more. Go to bed, I said. I opened the shower curtain and what do I find in the tub? A lizard/gecko/salamander thing and a scorpion. What? Basically having a party in there and I wasn’t invited. I had to laugh. Stranger things have happened. 

Finally in bed, I am sitting here talking to you, dear readers. Not sure what it says about me that I am spending my Friday night blogging, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

So tomorrow, I will be riding here in Texas and by Sunday morning I will be on a plane headed to the mountains. How is that for variety? I kind of like it! 

Walk in love, dear readers! Add some spice to your life! 

Storms.

I have always been fascinated with storms. Whenever it rains, I practically run to a window to watch, like I have never seen rain before. Or open a door to experience it. Odd for a person born and raised in a place that typically gets plenty, don’t you think? I never realized I did this until we were in the worst of the drought and, now, trying to come out of it. Fingers crossed.

I really love the feel and smell of the rain. You know how you can smell it? Especially in West Texas where you can watch the storm approaching for miles before it even gets to you. I used to love to sit in a chair at the barn, listen to the horses eat hay, and watch the storms roll in. You can smell it coming when you see the clouds and you can smell it when it starts to rain. Hard to explain, but in explaining this to someone once, I learned a new word. 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,” apparently coined by two Australian researchers. Have you ever smelled that before?

I also love the power in storms. It makes me feel small in this world. Feel the presence of things that are greater than I. Be a witness the change throughout and after. I always marvel at the electricity within storms, but electricity can be a crazy thing. Why, you ask? It just is, but let me tell you why, exactly. I experienced something I have never seen before in my life.

So. R came out to the farm Saturday afternoon with Ronan for a girls and horses sleepover. A new friend, J, and her horse Pepper came out as well. There were some big, fast moving storms developing throughout the afternoon and evening that we were going to have to avoid, but so long as we could ride Sunday, which looked pretty good, no one cared.

R and Ronan were able to get unloaded and settled before the storm got too bad. We ran inside to dry off and to wait for it to pass. When the rain stopped, we decided to go check on the horses. I was thinking about how I hoped J was not caught hauling in another big storm cell when the craziest thing happened.

We heard and felt it before we even saw it. The electricity. The snaps and pops. Our hair stood up on our arms. I swear our heart beats were altered. Then the sky quite literally lit up, covered in inter-fingering lighting bolts, all interconnected, right in front of our eyes. Immediately came the crack of thunder before we could even react. I practically dropped to the ground! It still boggles my mind! R and I stood there in awe for what felt like several minutes, not knowing quite what to make of it. We looked at each other and both asked the other, “DID YOU FEEL THAT?!”

Luckily, J and Pepper arrived safe and sound with zero similar experiences. When Pepper was settled, we had Mexican for dinner in town and Sunday morning greeted us in wonderful, beautiful glory. The calm change after the storm. The air was slightly cooler and drier. The sky was blue and and grass was green. The horses were great and we were all so relaxed. After we rode around the farm for a while, we stopped for a quick popsicle break (because, hello, why not) and decided to head down the road for a bit. Since the horses were all behaving well, and figured with it being Sunday traffic would be light, it would be the perfect time to have Lito’s first ride down the road. I am happy to report that he did very well! We had a couple respectful drivers pass us and he did much better than I expected. Cars are not his favorite thing. I am very proud of him and am excited about all of our adventures yet to come, so long as they do not include crazy, electric lighting.



Some shots from Friday night and Saturday because why not? God’s beauty should be shared!














I have some other exciting news to report.

T minus 5 five days before I am well on my way to the mountains for a five day vacation. Big news, I know, and I know you are jealous. At least everyone down here in the hot humid sauna. I can’t really complain though because we really have had a mild summer so far.

I will always be a Texas gal, but the mountains definitely hold a special place in my heart. They are so grand and remind me, similar to storms, how small I am. God’s presence is always big in the mountains. Especially in the summers. I have only been skiing once in my live. That was pretty cool, but it was many years ago. I think I prefer the summers. I reportedly always did if you ask my father. The cool air and warm sun. Green grass and wildflowers backed by Aspen trees. Hiking. Biking. FLY FISHING! Live music. Porch sitting/drinking/talking/reading. All the things. I will be there with my Parents, Sister K, and Bro-in-law T. If I was not so busy up until the day I leave, I would be going stir crazy!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Stay tuned next week for news from the mountain! Regularly programmed AHAmoments until then!

Go celebrate life, we all have much to celebrate!