Merle

So, I did a thing. If you have been following along on that social media thing, the pup is already out of the bag…but, if you have not been…I have some news!

 

Just when you thought I was going to share another Merle Haggard song (which I actually am because I slacked on sharing those and they are worth sharing), I am going to share a little something about Haggard’s new namesake, Merle the puppy! Likely soon to be Merle Man and Merle Dog and any other logical nickname.

 

 

So, without further adieu, I introduce to you, Merle, my new wingpup.

Naturally, that begins with where he came from. He comes from the same place Darcy’s sire, King, is from. And, King is actually one of Merle’s grand relations. This is all a full circle deal full of connections. Signs I tell you. The only difference is I did the drive this time instead of C and J.

This is his dam mamma, Nugget. I call her Nugg. You know how I am about nicknames.

A good and proud mamma she is.

After the pups were weaned, she escaped multiple times to get back to her pups. I love that about her.

This is the proud sire, Scotch. Handsome guy.

My Merle man seems to take after him.

This is a Merle pup from early on.

The cutest stinker.

He looks like a thinker.

Here is where the adventure part comes in…We flew up to North Dakota to pick him up! Almost missed our connecting flight, but we made it right before they closed the doors. And then…rented a car and drove all the way back to the great state!

If you are thinking I may or may not be crazy and that whoever would choose to come with me on such an endeavor is equally as insane…you may or may not be right! Let me tell you though, it was indeed a grand adventure and we had fun seeing parts of the country we have never seen before. On top of that, Merle is already a road tripper just like Darcy!

Friday evening in North Dakota after a tour of the kennels. Sunsets in North Dakota are pretty! It was so great to be with the people that made my Darcy girl and Merle man happen.

Bath time Saturday morning before hitting the road!

A dirty puppy is a sign of a happy, playing, outdoor puppy.

Look at all those spots under there!

The initial shotgun riding position.

The pretty Dakotas through an increasingly dirty windshield.

Driving.

The preferred shotgun riding position!

Pretty!

Posing or taking care of business?

Boop!

Driving some more.

Keep on keeping on.

Really so very pretty. All I wanted to do was ride a horse here.

The only evidence of Nebraska…A sleeping puppy.

Merle met some bikers headed to Sturgis.

By this point it was just put the pedal to the metal.

Somewhere in here was Kansas…zero photo evidence. Just trying not to speed.

The big dog in Oklahoma! He was in two different random photo shoots with random people we ran into. There were two girls in a car that screeched to a stop in the middle of the street to jump out and ask if they could pet my Merle.

There was speeding from this point on.

We are home now and playing during coffee time. Leaning what are toys and what are not toys.

He is already a brave a smart boy. Exciting times are to come!

Walk in love, dear readers, and enjoy both Merles!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colorado

You know what? It is hard to get off mountain time twice in one month.

Ha!

What a statement! Can you believe I can say that? I certainly can not complain about it one bit.

This summer has been so great and it is not even over yet.

The thing is, I was too busy being in the moment, breathing in the mountain air, and enjoying just being in the mountains that I did not take very many pictures.

However, we went on a little hike after an attempt at yoga on the mountain and saw this sweet, little big view.

There was a lot of stunning storm watching. You know how I feel about storms.

There was a lot of marveling at God’s creation. How can a person not in a place like this?

We went on a bike ride to eat lunch.

And. We saw a rainbow. What is it about this place and rainbows? I see one every time I am here.

I blinked my eyes and here we are back in Texas. Is not that just the way?

Trying (not really THAT hard) to get off mountain time and back into real, adulting life for a few days. No more than that though because there is something exciting happening at the end of this week.

I told you this summer was going to be an adventure. We have been on two so far and the biggest one is yet to come! Here is your hint (ha! What a hint!). There will be a song for each day leading up to the big reveal. You do not want to miss this, I promise!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Between The Ears & Not The Windshield Wipers

Have a case of the Mondays?

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Well, here is a little something to brighten you up a bit.

A little between the ears time from me to you. Nothing like these dun colored ears to put a smile on my face. Even if it was from two days ago.

Or these happy herd of cows, napping together in the shade of a pecan tree.

Is your case of the Mondays cured?

Lito and I went to ride with some friends on Saturday morning during a break in the storms. Lito self loaded like a champ and we had a great ride. It was breezy, not too terribly hot, and it did not rain on us while we rode. All the horses seemed to have as great of a time as we did. We rode for a couple of hours and then gathered around the picnic tables for cold drinks and snacks.

Knowing there was an increased chance for storms in the afternoon, I said my goodbyes and went to load up. Again, Lito self loaded like a champ (cue happy dance) and we hit the road. I called my Pops while I was pulling out to see if there was anything popping up on the radar and to tell him that if I ran into some rain, I was just going to pull over and wait it out.

Here is the interesting part of the story. The night before our ride, my parents and I were driving the truck in the light rain and the driver side windshield wiper decided to fly off while in use! Just plain came undone, hit the windshield, and went flying through the air like a drunk bird. Never to be seen again. Crazy thing.

Anyway, it was a good thing I called. They had just gotten slammed at the farm and the storm was coming our way. His advice was to just stop and wait ten to fifteen minutes while the storm comes my way and passes over before driving back. I found a good spot in the parking lot of a local tavern on top of a hill to park and wait. I should have taken pictures of the storm, but I was just watching and enjoying the show. You know how I am about storms. Lito seemed a little perturbed when it all started, but quickly settled and just rode it out quietly.

The storm was soon over with nothing else developing on the radar so we slowly made our way south toward home. Lito quietly (and dry!) unloaded and was happy to have a little extra meal upon our return.

An exciting weekend nonetheless!

Here is to the next adventure! Is it October yet? I am ready for a week of riding with friends!

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

Special Day

Monday morning awoke with a bad case of the delayed, anxiety inducing Sunday blues. But, so goes some Mondays.

Even Darcy had a good groan and roll around before I made her get of bed strictly because I had to. She promptly went straight to her bed to go back to sleep after taking her outside. She did not even get up when I left. Oh to be a dog.

Anyway, back to the weekend because it was great and much better than anything going on this week. You know, working and laundry (SO MUCH LAUNDRY ALL THE TIME!) and cleaning and stressing about my upcoming adventure in France. Really, France can not come fast enough!

You missed that little tidbit, did you? Yes, AHAmoments is going to France next week! I dropped that news a bit ago and then never really said anything more about it. And I am not going to give any bit of it away now. You will just have to check back here to follow along on the adventure!

OK. Now, really back to the weekend. First, the weather was phenomenal. Not too hot and had a nice breeze. The traffic heading out there Friday after work was absolutely horrendous, but the second I stepped out of the car all was forgotten. I made a cocktail and walked out to the horse pasture, clinking ice and all, to sit and enjoy the sunset.

Stunner right? I just love to share these images with you. It never ceases to amaze me how each sunset can be different from the same place. It is a natural wonder. I hope they bring you as much joy as they bring me.

After bringing the horses into the paddock for the night, I went to get my dinner together and settle in for the night.

Saturday morning I took my time grooming and tacking Cheetah before we went of to ride. First we did a little arena work to make sure we actually did work. We both need it. Her because she is so grass fat and happy she is moving a little pokey. One would think that is a welcome change from her normal, but it is not actually. It is awkward, flat, and strung out. And for me, because well, sometimes we need to put ourselves into boot camp. Make myself ride better was the focus and has been the focus. My western saddle has become a crutch apparently and I do not like it. You just have off times every now and then. So, I have pretty much been only riding in an english saddle for the past couple of months and making myself do two point and riding without stirrups.

After the hard part was over, we went for a nice tour of the farm. An actual, four beat, walking tour. That was a nice and welcome change from her normal. She has actually been doing that lately and I love it. We looked at the grass and fences. Took a few bites of grass every now and then. Checked on the cows. Stopped in the shade of her favorite pecan tree. She voluntarily stops under the same tree every time we ride by and I love that too. She got a handful of treats and bath upon our return. I honestly think she enjoyed it as much as I did.

Leaving her tied in the shade, I brought Lito over for a long, indulgent grooming session. My favorite. I even braided his cute, short mane. I hoped they would stay, but I knew they would not. In the end, only three survived.

After lunch, I mowed. You know, I love to mow. Does anyone else like to mow? I find it terribly therapeutic and cathartic. And satisfying and rewarding. Some people think I am crazy, but honestly. Try it some time. Then, when you are finished and turn the mower off, the invading flood of silence is marvelous. Like you never knew how quiet it was before. You just have to hurry up and change your clothes because it is itchy work!

At some point in the day, I caught Darcy in a nap on the warm concrete.

Please notice the burrs. Wherever the Darcy goes, so go the burrs. It is our lot in life.

The long, hot afternoon hours around here are for the riding horses to practice tying in the shade. They get really good at it. All it takes is hours. They learn to settle in for a nap. Sometimes even I forget.

All three tails, caught in the breeze.

I rode Chance in the late evening, after the hottest part of the day. He has been ridden by kids a lot lately and thought he could pull the same tricks on me. He grunted and groaned in irritation as I made him work correctly. It was quite comical. A quick hose down for Chance after our ride and I settled in with a cocktail, listening to music and enjoying the sunset. The animals broke the spell after a while demanding their evening feed.

Sunday was an early start to a special day. Riding my Lito and a visit from my Grandmother.

After the horses had their morning feed, I caught up my Lito for a ride. He was acting a little squirrely as only a young horse in their terrible fives can be…

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…so we hand grazed and walked for a while after looking at all the things. Man, it sure is hard to get used to young horse actually acting like a young horse. Time and consistency, just like everything else. Do not forget it. He is aloud to be young and horses never lie. They tell you what they need if only we listen.

When his head seemed like it was back where it belonged, we groomed and tacked. Arena work first, farm tour second. Seemed to be the order of the weekend. He was not great, but was not bad. He tried and was happy at the end. That is what matters. Little bit by little bit, one thing at a time, slowly, is how you get where you are going. And we are going.

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Then my Grandmother came out for a BBQ lunch and to visit the horses.

This pic was from the last time she was able to come out. It was a few years ago. I remember my Grandfather, memory almost consumed by the Dementia, took one look at Chance and said, “That is a Quarter Horse,” with a big smile.

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It was a special visit for us all. It warms my heart to see her with the horses again. For her to see, feel, and smell them, not just view in a picture. Feel the breeze in her hair and on her skin under the large oak tree. She says she still has dreams of galloping across the fields and I only wish I could make that happen for her again.

I hope to get her out there again soon. It was a late afternoon getting home, but I made a quick run to the store for ingredients to have a homemade pizza dinner. Pretty dang good!

Walk in love, dear readers!

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!

Coffee Time

I just sat down with my coffee.

These past couple of days have been crazy at work with meetings and last minute requests. Yesterday was no different. I am praying that this all pays off and they sign on the line. I think we should have a party when they do.

Darcy dog is covered in my sister’s dogs’ slobber. I don’t care though because she is happy tired from all the play.

I should be folding laundry (laundry that I should have done Sunday), but I just need a second to sit and have my time. I have been cleaning and doing laundry for about 30 minutes now. I do not know what I am going to have for breakfast. Clearly, that is what is occupying my brain space at the moment. Naturally, I wanted to tell you about it.

I left work yesterday to run some errands. I had to go to the store to get some ingredients to make white chocolate macadamia nut cookies for the farrier. He is coming out Monday, a week early, so Lito can have a full set of shoes for our Hill Country adventure. I also owe him some cookies for other things. He is due for some.  After the grocery store, I ran to the liquor store because I had the time, and got some bubbly and tequila for the trip.

When I got home, I checked my work email on my phone and decided I should take care of a couple of things before tomorrow. I opened up the laptop to discover that the internet was not working. Great. I got back into the car and ran back up to the office to get it done. Good thing the office is only right around the corner.

I was shortly back at home and set to bake some cookies. I am glad I remembered to set the butter out!

Niece and Nephew are staying at my parents house, so when Mom wasn’t looking, I snuck a cookie to Nephew…and in his lunch for the next day. Perks of being an Aunt.

Niece is now awake. Kiddos are the best in the morning! There is not much brighter in this world. AHAmoment.

Mother turned something on the TV called Peppa The Pig, I think, for the kids to watch. Niece is getting upset at the little pigs getting muddy. This is entertaining. Girlfriend likes her rules.

The horse trailer is ready to be picked up from having its once over. One step closer to a few days of isolated horse time.

Side note, if I thought seeing everybody’s mares have foals was hard…it is oddly, doubly hard to hear of people breeding their mares. Practicing strong self restraint.

The laundry and my adult duties are looming. Still some things yet to do before I have to get to work. I better get moving.

I wonder what I am going to have for breakfast.

Did I already say that?

Walk in love, dear readers!