A Thank You

A thank you, to you, dear readers. Yes, YOU. Every single one of you.

As a token of our appreciation over here, you get to watch this guy grow up in this big world. Aren’t you lucky?! The absolute luckiest!

He thanks you too.

Three years ago today I created this little space on a kinda sorta whim.

With this post.

Can you believe it?!

Y’all are a large part of the reason why AHAmoments is still here.

You have been here with me through it all and I thank you for that.

You have brought me light when I was feeling like I was in the dark. You have brought a smile to my face. You have helped me focus on the positive. You have encouraged me and inspired me. You have helped me be brave. You have reminded me that I am not alone. You have let me be me. Let me share my story.


You have watched this guy grow up into a real horse. A really big horse that barely fits into that trailer.

And you have let me share countless pictures just like these. I hope you do not get tired of these pics because I never seem to tire of them.


My only hope is that I can do the same things for y’all that you have done for me.

So, thank you. Keep being you. Keep being brave. Keep sharing your story. Keep being your best self. And keep walking in love, dear readers. That is what makes the world go round. AHAmoment.

Do you know anyone who might like to be a part of this great community we have created? Send them this way and let us keep the conversation going!

 

Even Still

Even still I can not keep myself from being mesmerized by the rain.

The blessing is in the ‘even still.’ That is the AHA moment.

We have had so much rain as of late, but without a doubt every time it rains I find myself gazing out the window (if I can not get outside), swearing I can feel the moisture and smell the world outside. When the thunder rolls, I get a familiar warm feeling inside and I can literally feel myself smile, from the inside out. I can feel the power in it all, no matter how small the sprinkle of rain. How small I am and how grand the world is.

No matter what else is going on. All worries seem to wash away with the falling rain. It is taking that little moment to stop and clear your mind of everything but the sound and imagined feel of the rain. The moment will end itself and you can turn back around like new. Right as the rain. I had one of those moments today while at work in my office.

It is no secret to longer time readers that I have a thing for storms, despite all the apparent complaining I have been doing as of late about the rain.


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.

That smell. That rain smell really is something. Even rain on wet ground still has a distinct smell, just different than that of rain on dry ground. So strong and familiar. Paining memories and feelings in your soul that last.

Interestingly enough, I was talking with my Mamma on the phone earlier about the appreciation you have for things you do not get to see or experience all the time. How you might not get those same feelings you did if you had access to them all the time.

I think I do not agree with that. Maybe it is just my personality, but I think I would still feel the same. I have many ‘even still’ moments.

Even still, I am stopped dead in my tracks, utterly captivated, by every sunset and sunrise I am blessed to see. The uniqueness. The colors. The shapes. The dichotomy of the movement coupled with the blatant stillness. That they are there every single day for every living being on this earth whether or not you can see them.

Even still, all it takes is a minute with my animals for the world to feel right and peaceful. For me to feel and see light. Remember what IT is all about. It is amazing to me. Amazing grace. To see my Darcy dog smile at me and be her weird, unabashed self. To sit atop either of my dun horses and feel their breathing. Their strength of gentleness. Their trust and willingness. Their innocence and teachings. To know and feel that they are a blessing I am supposed to have.

 

Hippie dippie? Maybe. I will go get my Birkenstocks to wear with my wool socks. All kidding aside, these things I could never tire of, no matter how much I get of them. This I do not think is a surprise to most people that know me.

Tell me your ‘even still’ moments?

Walk in love, dear readers!

In other news, Lito and I ran into the trailer together on Sunday. All brave and confident. He turned his head to look at me and his expression all but said in plain English, “See, I can do this again, can we go somewhere and do something new?”

 

 

Gray World Of Today

Hello my fellow ducks in the rain on manure mountains! How are you today?

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Part of learning how to be one of those successful ducks is not letting up on what you know to be right and wrong. AHAmoment. No matter what. No matter what the other guy is doing.

It means holding steadfast to your morals and your ethics in the gray world of today. Doing the right things for the right reasons. Sticking to your guns as they say. Listening to your gut. This is something that has been on my mind recently and is something I have been reminded of several times in the past few weeks. Interestingly enough, I stumbled upon this great little read today and it is the inspiration for today’s AHAmoment. I could not have put it better myself. Go read the whole thing. And then do some more reading. She has some good writings over there!


“Nowadays, the lines between good an evil have become so fuzzy. The world is one giant gray area of differing beliefs and lifestyles.
As someone who still believes in hard lines between right and wrong, I’m often put in a position that I don’t want to be. Making the choice between the easy thing and the right thing.”
~Emily Gernaat

It means not lowering yourself to the level of the people who are ‘winning’ right now or who are ‘above’ you right now.

Not letting go of your light and ability to see the colors.

Not questioning your path and journey that is set forth for you.


“What struck me most was “take delight in the Lord, and he will GIVE YOU THE DESIRES of your heart.”
I think I have read that verse wrong for years. In my shallow little head I thought, so if I desire a black corvette, then surely the Lord will deliver on that right? Or what about that own son of Dash Ta Fame I have been eyeballing?
What I’m realizing now is that the Lord is putting NEW desires in my heart. Righteous desires, real, fulfilling, godly desires that only come from taking delight in Him.
When that transformation happens, my desires to win a gold buckle or a million dollar check slowly fade away and are replaced with the desire to serve, to be a good steward of the horses in my care, to develop my skills, and to add value to other people’s lives.
When those desires are placed at the forefront of my mind, then success will just be a side effect of walking in faith and chasing the godly desires that Jesus puts in my heart.
So whether good or bad people are winning, in the end it doesn’t matter much. Base your success and fulfillment on Godly desires and every day you will be winning at life.”
~Emily Gernaat

A lot of things to stir around in your pot of thoughts!

Do you get what I am getting at?

Anyway. Speaking of pots.

I went to the grocery store on the way home from work today in the actual rain. I thought to myself, “self, today feels like a good cooking day.” I strolled on in there got ALL the things I needed to make roasted tomato soup and Shepard’s pie. I was confident I did not need a list.

Well. You can see where this is going I am sure.

I forgot an ingredient I need for both dishes.

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Way to go me! That is what I get for not writing a list. I am just not one of those people. One of these days I will learn.

So you know what?!

Tomorrow looks like an even better cooking day than today for this duck!

I will just be dancing in the rain over here until then. Figuratively speaking of course, it is too cold for that.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Days Like Today

You know what? On days like today, I wish more than I normally do that my office chair was the back of my horse.

Any horse at this point, really, and not just because I have done such little riding lately that I am actually beginning to literally twitch involuntarily. I am sure my eyes have begun to bug out of my head and the people around me will start looking at me all funny like.


“We will sing, to our souls
We won’t bury our hope
Where He leads us to go
There’s a red sea road
When we can’t, see the way
He will part the waves
And we’ll never walk alone
Down a red sea road”


Anyway. Everyone has days like this every now and then.

I am sitting here on my couch with a glass of wine on the side table next to me, a cozy blanket that was a gift to me draped over the arm of the couch, and my little laptop resting in my lap. My townhouse keeps making noises that make me wonder if I have a long lost roommate upstairs. My television intermittently plays a show I have already seen in the background.

Why intermittently you ask? Good question. I do not have an answer for you on that one. My TV and/or internet appear to be a slightly emotional beings at best and more often than not, I spend more time watching a spinning wheel than any actual entertainment. The wonders of today’s modern connectivity, I tell you.

It is no matter to me at the present moment though. I do not really have it in me to pay close attention. Today was a bit of a sour day and it put that taste right into my mouth. I sure did not like the taste so I went to a dance workout class with R and her sister after work to try and shake it all out. It did a decent enough job at that.

Nothing like this would have done, but it was the next best thing I had.

Today was a day for practicing relearning how to be like a duck in the rain, so to speak. To let that rain just bead up and fall right off you. You know how I have told you before. Yes, yes. That little life tidbit wrapped up in an AHA moment. About how manure rolls downhill. Yes, just like that. I will be firmly upright and uphill tomorrow. Maybe one of these days that lesson will stick in my own brain.


“Paths are there for us to follow, this is gospel I believe
Angels are around us flying, truth and mercy to receive
Pictures of uncommon nature, painted by a masters hand
Draw me ever on life’s journey, rendered thus to understand
As a songbird that is fallen, only to regain the sky
From this frozen shadow valley, lay my sweary head
Love is from no distance calling, faithful as the rising sun
Warms the bitter heart and heartache, till the east of Eden’s gone
Clouds of fear and misconception, wax and wane as if the moon
So is in a sense forsaken, till the will of God be known
As a songbird that is fallen, only to regain the sky
From this frozen shadow valley, lay my sweary head”
~Bob Neuwirth / Henry Burnett


I long for more daylight hours with ground that is more than just a slip ‘n slide. To have the time to thoroughly groom my horse and not be in a rush.


“The sounds of the valley seem to reach me within. It plays on my heart like an old violin. At the end of the day I just can’t wait for it to play.”
~Trinity Seely


Tomorrow is a new day. For me and for you. It will be a good one. If it is not, we will make it one and it will be better than yesterday.

Let us all be like ducks in the rain on top of the manure hill!

Walk in love, dear readers.

Amusing

Sometimes, I find myself amusing, and I am not talking about funny as in laughing at my own jokes. Although, ha, there is that. I do do that.

Maybe not as amusing as the faces this guy makes.

I spent the majority of this weekend crossing chores of the list at the farm. Literally, all day Saturday. I did not sit and stop until after 6 PM.

First I mucked the barn out and spread the manure which was a feat given all the rain we have been getting. Then, after that, I decided to actually clean the inside of the barn. You know, actually sweeping all the dust and cobwebs off the walls and then hosing everything down. Just on a whim. Which left me covered in dust and cobwebs thinking I had spiders and other things crawling every-which-where.

Somewhere in there I also cleaned the feed room, moved the cows up to the horse pasture, and put more flags on the electric fence. I drove to town to run a couple errands and grabbed a cherry limeade from Sonic because I felt like it and thought it would be nice to have while I did some mowing when I got back to the farm.

I hopped on the mower and my cherry limeade promptly fell out of the cup holder within the first five minutes. After stopping and staring angrily at the wasted nectar and contemplating going inside for a beer, I laughed at myself and kept on mowing.

Finally, I brought the horses in after they ran around like sillies in the slightly cooler, rain threatening air. I hosed off Apache, sprayed everyone to ward off the bird sized mosquitoes, put some shavings in the stalls, and fed everyone before going inside for a much needed shower, cocktail, and dinner.

Sunday morning greeted me with this beautiful sunrise as I fed the horses, a promise for the day to come.

It was a very pretty morning on the farm once everything woke up. It felt like fall with a cool breeze! I lingered over coffee with my Mamma as we watched the four new calves bounding up the terraced horse pasture with their mothers before I set to cleaning and straightening the house.

I quickly mucked out the barn and unloaded my tack from the trailer from last weekend, since you know, I did not do that last weekend. Then I cleaned the tack shack as I started to gather things together for my upcoming trip with Lito. Side note, he saw me holding his shipping halter, pricked his ears, and walked up to me. I swear he looked excited like it was time to go somewhere. Unfortunately for us both, we still have to wait a couple of weeks.

Anyway, I looked around, thought for a second, and made the important life choice to fit in a ride instead of cleaning tack before I had to leave. Life is short, kids, choose the ride. The chores will wait. AHAmoment.

Bareback on the Cheetah Beetah while ponying my Lito. We had fun, but Lito had the most fun trying to play with me. Silly kid.

This is about the time I find myself funny. Don’t you just love how I finally get around to the point?

I do all of that and then come home and can not bring myself to do any of the mountains of laundry or cleaning that needs to be done. I can barely even motivate myself to unload my stuff from the car. Which, I made myself do and then also too clean out my storage closet in my car port. The closet that has basically nothing in it. Still no laundry.

I would rather wake up at 5:30 AM, like I did this morning. Take a shower, take Darcy out, start a load of laundry, go get coffee (because not only can I not do the laundry like a normal person, I can not go to the store and have milk on hand like a normal person. BUT I got to see that big, beautiful moon! Anyone else see that?),  talk to friend H on the phone during her morning commute, and then hang up that load of laundry. This is often how I end up doing laundry, one load at a time, at the last minute, and early in the morning. This is how much I dislike it.

I sat down after all of that to finish my coffee and was ready to go back to bed after realizing I needed to get dressed and go to work.

I actually talked to another old friend, N, this morning who laughed at me for my early morning charade and wondered for the umpteenth time how we are so different and can still be friends. What can I say, I am just that way!

Normal is over rated anyway. Life is too short not to laugh at yourself. AHAmoment.

Walk in love, dear readers, and go laugh at yourself!

What Just Happend

That is more of a rhetorical question because nothing really happened, but still. It feels like a time warp of sorts and I am not sure if I am happy about it or not. How odd.

Anyway. The first thing. How is it already Wednesday? Yesterday was the Monday-est Tuesday ever being the Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend (which was great, by the way). It drug on and on and now here we are at Wednesday. It is like I feel duped. Yet another odd feeling! We are already half way to the weekend again!

You know what else has snuck up all of a sudden (or is it sneaked? Ugh, grammar is hard, man)? Summer. Like triple digit, humid town, reminiscent of 2011, SUMMER. I heard on the news that the next few weeks are going to be like the summer of 2011 (I sure hope he said next few weeks and not this whole summer!). I am almost shaking in my boots. Seriously.

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The summer of 2011, as anyone from down here knows, was brutal. I think we broke the record for triple digit days. Given how humid it is here, that is a hard thing to do. Oh and the bugs. So so bad. And practically no rain while being in the worst of the drought. That was the summer I graduated from undergrad and brought Cheetah home. She would have run all the way back if she could have I think. Every time I saw her she looked at me with an expression like, “GET ME OUT OF HERE, TAKE ME BACK, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!” It is a good thing I had a lot of time. I went to the farm practically three times a week and she would gallop up to me each time I drove up to get hosed down and scrubbed. I did not even need a halter. We would stand under the shade of one of the oak trees as I ran the cold hose over and over her.

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Anyway. I can not think about that anymore.

Speaking of Memorial Day weekend, it was great. It started off with a dinner show by Radney Foster, at one of my favorite places, with some of my favorite people R, H, and M.

I have been a Foster fan for basically my whole life, but surprisingly, I have never seen him live. He surely did not disappoint.

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Playing new and old songs, sharing stories, and reading excerpts of pieces he has written. I did not want it to end. I could have sat there all night and listened. I ended up buying his book when the show was over and I can not wait to read it. If you have never heard of him, you should really go check him out. His work transcends all boundaries. I have so many favorite songs of his, we could be here for a week, so here is a new one he played that I can not get enough of. He just gets IT. For you to really see the light, you have to know the dark. AHAmoment.


“It’s gotta get dark enough
For you to see the stars”
~Radney Foster


I woke up early Saturday morning in a daze and Darcy and I booked it to the farm to meet my parents and cousins who arrived there Friday evening. Listening to Radney Foster the whole way, of course.

I had another one of those great compliment weekends I told you about before multiple times over. Girls and horses (and Petunia) and it was great. I am so proud of both girls and horses. R even rode both Cheetah and Chance bareback. There is just something about girls and horses. The horses, they just know what is expected of them when it comes down to it.

It was really hot and we were thankful for the moving cloud coverage. The horses were sweating in the shade! An unwelcome promise of more heat to come.

I do not have any more words for you, dear readers.

Other than to say I am overwhelmed with gratefulness for the blessing. For the family, the horses, and the music.

And. Of course. Walk in love!

I am going to go sit on my hands now so I do not post every one of Radney’s songs. Go listen now!

Keepin’ It Real

I read something the yesterday that was pretty spot on and I wanted to share it with you. You know, because that is something I like to do.

My friend, M, shared this article over on the book of face and, intrigued, I gave it a click. You should do the same and give it a read. It does not matter if you chase cans, jump pretty painted sticks, dance inside a rectangle, or stroll the trails. It does not really have anything to do with horses.


“We show the world a version of ourselves. But rarely the whole picture. We give everyone a glimpse of the bright moments, the triumph, and the fun. But what about the rest of the story? What about the defeat, the heartache, the sin and loss? Where is the real stuff?
Transparency is scary stuff. Baring your soul to the world is not for the weak hearted. But what if we all were a little less guarded?
Does transparency invite judgment and criticism? Probably. But it also invites grace, empathy and compassion.”

This, my dear readers, is about life and what IT is all about. The greatest of all AHAmoments. This one of the main reasons I started this little blog of mine.

Why I share the good, the bad, and the ugly. And, hopefully, sometimes funny. This is why I share my stories and my struggles. My victories after challenges. What I learned after failure so it is not really failure. Why I try to fight the negativity with positivity, the dark with the light. This is why I share the music I do. Why I share the love of my animals.

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To reach just one person and maybe help them. So they know they are not alone and, honestly, so I know the same. That is real, and that is life. So they know that we are all in this together, walking this walk. And dang, it is hard sometimes. Just ask anyone who will tell the truth. We are all more alike than we think.

Life is about speaking the truth and sharing your story. Your testimony and what gets you through. Being brave and vulnerable, even if it does not feel brave because it feels scary.

This article made my day.

Here is what real life for me is like sometimes on Mondays. I woke up yesterday after hitting the snooze button for at least thirty minutes, cussing as I shuffled through the shavings on the floor (that spilled out of the cuff of my jeans on Sunday for the umpteeth time)(I also won’t mention all the burrs scattered all over all the floors. Wherever the Darcy goes, so go the burrs), took my dog out, threw on work clothes (some of which I pulled from the laundry piles covering my bedroom floor….the laundry that I did not do Sunday), and ran out the door to go to work. Stopping to get coffee because I did not have the time, or the milk, to have coffee at home. All the while feeling guilty about all of the above and dreading the list of things that awaited me at my office desk. Some days are just like that. They can’t all be rainbows and roses.

Today I awoke with a new vigor while aiming my arrow, and not just because I now have milk for my coffee. A positive attitude is all it takes, seeing the bright side. To keep praying and keep knocking, putting it out there and believing. Sharing that story. I actually saw a rainbow after the rains at the end of the day yesterday. As if that is not proof positive enough! Is it easy, no, not at first, but just like everything else, it gets easier the more you do it and make it a part of your everyday thinking.


“Revelation 12:11 tells us that we overcome the enemy by the blood of Jesus and our testimony.
Let your real story, your testimony be heard because even when you are living in the thick of it, it could be the very thing that helps someone else overcome.
Be bold and transparent because of the free gift of forgiveness and salvation. None of us have done a darn thing to earn it, so let’s all be a little more real with each other.”

Go on. Go give it a read. And maybe you’ll be inspired to pass it on to the next person.

I am happy to have each of you to share and celebrate with.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Storm Dodging & Life Lessons

I can not help but think that this weekend was a metaphor for living every minute that you get, no matter what. We are not promised any of them.

I struggled with when to even go out to the farm this weekend. I was thinking about staying in town to do who knows what. The weather reports promised rain all day Saturday and I had to be in town by mid morning on Sunday. I needed to ride and check on everyone. I have a weekend long trail ride with dear friends this coming weekend. However the thought of going out Sunday afternoon and rushing did not sound all that appealing.

I went ahead and booked it out there Friday after work. I would do as much as I could on Saturday and let the weather bring what it wished. Since you know, you can not do anything about it anyway and the forecasts are usually wrong. AHA moment, do not trust the weather man.

Friday evening was just about as lovely as it gets. I strolled down to the pond where the horses were hanging out under a pecan tree. The one that got struck by lightning a few weeks before Lito was born and has a big scar down the trunk. I was flooded with memories as I sat on a log near the horses, but we will talk about those memories later. One by one, the horses made their way over to me and huffed their grassy breath brushed my face with their velvety muzzles, each asking for scratches on their favorite spots. My mare eventually pushing everyone else away from me. I secretly love when she does that.

After bringing everyone in at sundown and feeding them, Darcy and I went inside to call it an early night. Early to bed, early to rise you know.

Saturday with my coffee mug in hand, I caught up my best mare, Cheetah, my gal pal, and set to grooming. Spending a little extra time and elbow grease to bring out the shine in her golden honey coat before tacking up. A girl needs to look her best, that is what my mother says.

We set off with no plan other than to just go, and boy was she game. A little saucy and sassy, but what else is new. Although, I think someone must have slipped her some coffee or something.

 

Some days she never seems to run out of power walk.

At times it felt very Man From Snowy River with the clouds, wind, and drizzle.

She always keeps me on my toes that is for sure. So we did a little storm dodging, but our spirits we not dampened in the least and our manes were only a little damp. At one point we were loping down a dirt road out in the pasture behind the barn. The one that has a culvert slightly exposed. A little known fact about Cheetah is she used to be really afraid of culverts. Weird, I know. Anyway, as we were going along, I wondered to myself if she was going to see or notice this culvert. Ha. She did eventually. When we were in the air over it. I am not even sure what happened underneath me. All four of her legs seemed to go in different directions and her body twisted and contorted so she could get a cockeyed glance at the thing. How offensive of it to be there in her path. But when her hooves hit the ground, she just kept on going with just a little extra pep in her step. I could not help but laugh out loud.

I gave her the first bath of the season after I stuffed her face full of treats. She was nowhere near having an empty tank (well let’s be honest, she never has an empty tank, ever), but I did not have all day. Chance was slated for ride number two and Lito needed to spend some time tied. Growing up can be hard for a horse!

So dynamic. All those colors. Especially the red.

Chance is one of those horses you barely have to touch with a brush and he is super shiny and soft. I am always amazed. As amazed as I am with his chunky, tank like frame. Sometimes, I still can not believe he is the same horse we bought a few years ago. We did some more storm dodging and it was nice for once to not have to push him the whole time.

Two completely different rides, those two. One prefers to go, go, go all the time and the other would rather sit in the shade of a tree and take a nap. There is nothing better than getting to ride different kinds of horses.

So, what is the life lesson to be had in dodging storms? Well, that you sometimes do not have control over them. AHA moment, dear readers, we humans have basically zero control in the grand scheme of things. And like I said, the weather man really has no clue!

You see, I could have sat around inside and watched the clouds, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the storm, wondering why I came out and why I was wasting my day. Waiting on the storm that did not come until after I was happily in my bed falling asleep, reliving the great rides that I had and feeling grateful. The storm that soaked the spring ground with ever needed rain. The storm that was gone by morning and had the sun out, growing the grass.

I woke up Saturday ready to do all I could until the rain made me take a break, and then I would go again. Knowing I would not have time to the next day and that I would regret it if I did not. Even if I did have the time, everything was a soupy, wet mess come Sunday morning anyhow.

Go live every minute of every day, dear readers, and walk in love. For you do not know what storm is coming or when. You are equipped by Him to handle what does eventually come your way and it will make you stronger.

And besides, a storm is just a little rain with some sun on the back side, waiting to grow your grass.