Hour Without Power

Sounds like some kind of weekly, new year resolution challenge. Power Hour. If only I was that creative and inspired.

The other day, one of those polar vortex days last week, I pulled up at the farm after work to get everything done before the sun went down and got too cold. The thought of having everything finished early and being able to settle in with a movie and fuzzy socks on the couch with my dog sounded like just the ticket. As I pulled into the drive, I had a fleeting thought that something looked, or rather felt, different.

Not being able to put my finger on it quickly and having too much to do, I pushed the though aside and got to work.

Time went by quickly, but I worked just as fast. When I was close to being finished, I slowed down a little and then it hit me.

No power.

Great.

I pulled out my phone. Less than 10% battery.

Double great.

My early evening movie dreams seemed to vanish as quickly as I had conjured them. Well, at least my dog, the couch, and the fuzzy socks would be there.

I quickly fell back on my default. I called Pops. Why is it that at less than a year from being thirty years old, I still call my parents for help? Have I ever been at the farm before with no power? or anywhere else for that matter? No. You call the power company and report it, light candles, get the batteries out, and then you wait. All of the above is what he said, as expected.

Anyway, back to my story.

I got all the candles together, lit them, and arranged them around the house while trying to report the outage over the phone. After that chore was checked off the list, I did a little happy dance before lighting the propane space heaters and being glad for a gas stove to heat up my dinner.

While my dinner was heating up, I looked around at the soft flickering light flooding through the house and just had to smile. Such a pretty sight that almost felt like an actual warmth that was more than the space heaters.

I almost laughed at myself for doing such a 180. Just moments before I was exclaiming (yes, aloud if you must know) how this stuff always happens to me when I am by myself! No power. Broken stuff. You name it. Kick the dirt. It makes me laugh now. How quickly we loose sight of what is important and how much we have.

I sat down with my candle light dinner, Darcy at my feet, and did not even bother with the fuzzy socks. No TV. No phone. No distractions. Just quiet. Maybe I will read a book with my fuzzy socks.

Just as I was thinking how great this was and how I would be OK if this happened on occasion (Occasion?! Give me a week away from it all!), the lights flickered and the power came back on. Figures.

Darcy and I looked at each other seemingly posing the same question. Should I just turn the lights off and continue on in candle light?

Well, I didn’t. I plugged in my phone, blew out most of the candles, and found a movie on the TV.

It all got me thinking how connected and dependent we are. Phone calls. Text messages. Emails. Photos. Social media. Internet. All of it in this little computer we all keep at an arm’s reach. Permeating everything we do. Getting comfortable with convenience. Complacent with the world as we know it today. How different it is now.

I often find myself wanting to really unplug and get away from my phone and computer always demanding things from me. Taking me away from what is really important and what life is really about. Taking actual time out of my life.

I have been thinking about this a lot the last few days. Ever since my hour without power. There are two things that come to mind. Something I read a few years ago and something I read today.

It is going to take me a while to find the article from a few years ago, so that will have to be saved for another day.

Something I found today though, is totally worth the read. A bit morbid at first sight, but absolutely worth it. Too many truths to count from someone who knows what IT is all about.

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Don’t tell anyone if I ‘accidentally’ drop my phone in the water trough and and flip the breaker!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Step Forward, Never Back.

Cheers, y’all!

I hope each and every one of you and yours has a very happy NYE! May your bubbly be cold, feelings warm, family and friends present, and animals not freak out too badly with the fireworks.

cheers.gifLooking forward to 2018!

I know it is not quite NYE, but I want to wish each and every one of you and yours a wonderful and blessed New Year. It is no secret that NYE is not my favorite. Mostly because there are too many expectations and every time I try to actually do something fun and different, it ends up not being so. So, I will be at the farm doing what I love. Even if it means freezing while I do it. Literally. It is supposed to be dreadfully cold out. For like a whole week. At least I have not made my vet appointment yet. Forgive me if I am MIA for a little.

Anyway.

It is interesting having this blog and to be able to now look back and see what I was doing and thinking a year ago. I was reflecting on the year 2016, if you couldn’t guess. Woof. What an awful year when you really think about it. I try not to, preferring to focus on the good and positive things that happened.

I am glad to not be in the same place I was a year ago, spilling wine on myself and glad to chunk the year in the trash. Although, the night is young and there is still a chance of spillage.

But 2017 has been a pretty good year on a whole. Better than 2016 for sure. Did some not so great things happen? Sure, a few come to mind. That whole hurricane and the whole tendon incident and probably some more. Give me a year where nothing bad happens. It is called life.

Having never been a journal keeper, this literal looking back concept is new for me. How easily I forget some things! I feel rather fortunate for that.

At the beginning of this year, like most people, I set all these goals for the year. Determined to make it a great one, at least better than the last. You can probably guess where this is going. Some of the goals I kept, however many I did not. Just like most people with resolutions. So determined was I, in fact, that I was quite not looking forward to writing this post in review of all those resolutions.

Then I got to thinking. You know what? What does it matter? It doesn’t matter. It is OK that I did not keep them. It does not make me a bad person. You want to know what else? I did some pretty awesome other things instead. You know, like taking Lito for a long weekend in the hill country with my best gal pal, R, and then taking him on a week long ride with bunch of other horses and learning from Charlotte Dujardin. The resolutions are not what is important. What is important is the way you live your live. Your intention. Your heart.

So. You know what I will do? I will look forward to 2018 and all the things to come, stepping forward with confidence and not looking back. I will pray with intention more (I kept that resolution!). I will ride more and worry less. Time spent worrying is time spent wasted. AHAmoment. I have already signed up to ride in a clinic in May. I am going to love myself and live every day like tomorrow is not promised because it is not. I will focus on the positive and the light (I think I kept that one too!).

Sound grand and great? Maybe, but I will do my best. Kick me in the butt if I need it, OK? I will do the same for you.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Drive By

A drive by? A drive by fruiting?

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No, no, no. Not that kind. But that is a good kind. Name that movie!

This kind.

I dropped in my Pops’ office yesterday for some important business. You know, like sign a form real quick. Very important. Anyway, walking in there is somewhat like entering a time capsule or going back in time.

He said it best, “there is nothing in here past the digital age!”

Which, as I will soon show you, is true. There are no photos older than the film era. Vintage at its best.

Enjoy.

Can you guess who?

Alright, too easy, that is me.

This one is better. Why didn’t they let me have a bouquet? K, great smile.

Oh yes, we had many matching outfits over the years. Who didn’t? We were clearly happy about it.

Oh now this one! It is a winner.

Why am I the only one looking at the camera and not looking like a model?! A especially looks like a model. Where is my fan?

And of course, good ol’ Smokey, the best lesson horse ever.

Ha!

You know, back then I had a couple countdowns going every Christmas. A countdown till we were out of school and then a countdown to Christmas morning when we could open presents.

These days, Christmas has a different meaning for me and I wish there were more days. To slow it down and keep it around a little longer. To keep people in the spirit even a minute longer. But alas, here we are on December 20th. Christmas is right around the corner! I have desserts to bake!

Now, if only the weather forecast would make up its mind and not get so cold.

Here is hoping.

Walk in love, dear readers!

The Monday Fade

The Monday feels were strong yesterday. It was like having to come back from long vacation and not just a weekend. So strong was that Monday feeling in fact, that it is encroaching on my Tuesday.

The Monday fade. I just made that up. Hopefully it will FADE AWAY throughout the day and I can get on with it.

I am sitting here on my couch, sipping my own fancy, pantsy white chocolate peppermint coffee concoction (if you’re well behaved, I will tell you about it later), wishing I was a kid in school again with a winter break. Time to whatever I want.

If I was back in school, then I would have to go through finals and all of that growing up strife again…woof! No thanks!

Why is it that sometimes going to work and doing all the other ‘adulting’ (it is a very apt word, no matter how silly it sounds) things we have to do feel so hard to do? I believe everyone goes through this. Don’t you? Yesterday and today have been that way for me. Hard to wake up. Sitting on the couch with my coffee (in a Christmas mug with a penguin wearing a tie because I am clearly not an adult) until the very last possible minute which results in me rushing to get dressed and out the door so I am not late. Not to mention not even making my bed because clearly that terribly simple task itself is even too difficult for the toddler inside me. I won’t mention my tantrum protest of kicking and thrashing at my alarm’s buzzing. No, I won’t mention that. I must do that too much because Darcy did not appear to be fazed by my strange behavior.

And speaking of alarm. I have some lovely songs set as my alarm! Yes, songs, because I have more than one alarm set. Do not judge me!

No need to have a reaction of kicking and thrashing!

If I was waking up to horses, I would barely even need one alarm.

Anyway.

I failed. I failed at getting pictures of the Christmas party. Sigh. Oh well. This is really the only one besides some very sub-standard cupcake photos.

Quite cozy and festive, right? My sister knows how to throw a party!

Remember that Peppermint Dream Cake I made for one of my family’s Christmas celebrations last year? This one?

Well, I made Peppermint Dream Cupcakes for the party. I took some not so great photos of them…

They tasted better than the photos look!

I had some extra Fluffy White Chocolate Frosting…so I uh, put it in my coffee. Before you freak out, is just peppermint white chocolate ganash, folded into whipped cream. Quite good.

I must be off now. You know, that whole adult thing called work. Make money, pay the bills, make a difference, blah, blah, blah.

Let us get this Tuesday going.

Walk in love, dear readers.

La Luna

I love the moon. Always have.

Have y’all had a chance to catch a glimpse of the moon the last couple of days?

Pretty spectacular, right!?

No, I do not have any pictures of it because that is hard to do with a phone, but it really has been amazing. It was a full harvest moon yesterday, I believe. Big and bright. Pretty easy to see why they call it a harvest moon. Just another reason this time of year is so special. Makes you think. Harvesting all the seeds you have sown. Giving thanks for that harvest. Who you give thanks to and put your faith in.

I did try to get a photo of the super moon a few years ago while riding Cheetah at night. It was such a super moon, it was practically daylight…even if you can’t tell from the photo. A few days prior to this we found out that she was not pregnant on the first try. She just wasn’t ready I guess. In my memory, she was ready to breed back that day we found out and I took her directly from the clinic to the stud farm. This photo was possibly taken the day I brought her back home from the second try. Pregnant with twins. Lucky us. That was a sad day when we had to do the twin reduction. My sister was with me, pregnant with her first child.

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I have a thing about the moon. Not like I want to go to the moon. Zero desire to do that. I am just captivated by it. Things happen during the full moon. Good things, mostly. Horses can sometimes get a little goofy during the full moon though. Animals of all kinds get active. It has a powerful force.

I did some research into moon phases and its effects on horse births. I was trying to plan when to take Cheetah to the place she would foal out. I asked my vet about this. Full of excitement, as you can imagine. Also full of knowing his response. He was nice about it and didn’t make me feel too crazy, but he clearly does not put much stock into it. Cheetah did not foal during the full moon if you were wondering, but I sure thought she was going to!

I have caught myself riding during a full moon often and generally by accident.

Once with R. We were riding bare back. The moon kept us from realizing how late it was. We got caught on film by the game camera. This was also when Cheetah was pregnant.

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It happened another time with a another friend, K, in early high school I guess. Man that was a great weekend. We literally rode horses the whole time. Only stopped to eat and switch horses. We decided to go on one last ride that day in the big pasture back behind the barn. It was later than we normally would have started for a typical sunset ride, but we figured we could just make it a short ride. The sunset set the sky on fire with every color you could imagine as we set off and we just kept going.

We stopped talking long enough to realize we could not go any further and that it was past dark. Oops. But not really dark. That is when we saw the moon. Lighting our way back home. It was literally a flashlight in the dark. We could see everything and the horses were having as much fun as we were. We would have kept going except for hearing my father’s call to us from the barn when we finally got back within ear shot. Sorry, Pops.

Anyway. Kind of random. Seems to be the theme for the week. I love the moon, but I am glad the full moon is behind us now that we are about to head across the state for a riding vacation! No goofy behavior! Knock on wood. I am all packed and ready. I have a couple things yet to pack for my Lito man, but other than that and loading it all in the trailer, we are good to go! Knock on wood. Fingers crossed Lito still has all four shoes.

We strike out tomorrow morning for the first leg of our journey. I will try to check in at least once before I am out of pocket for the whole of next week. Jealous? I know you are.

Check back for a full photo report upon my return! If you missed last year’s, click here!

Walk in love, dear readers!

 

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.