You Know What?

Sometimes, beauty just finds a way to smack you in the face and take your breath away. AHAmoment. It makes you stop and take note. For good reason.

Sometimes even before you have finished your first cup of morning coffee, so you better wake yourself up and be ready for it!

I walked out of my parents house with a cup of coffee after feeding Sunday morning and I was smacked in the face with this beautiful sight. I could not help but snap a quick photo of it. It had me smiling all day.

You know me and that light and those long shadows.

You see those pine trees there? Legend has it they came all the way from Georgia. Random, yes, but I love these pine trees more than any other. I never knew I could be so sentimental over some random pine trees in Texas that are said to be from Georgia. What a story I am sure they could tell.

I love how after twenty years of coming here, I am still amazed and taken away by the beauty. God’s beauty. The interesting thing about it is that it is never the same. It is dynamic and ever changing. From day to day, season to season, year to year. Like God’s love. Ever present and eternal, always taking you by surprise and reminding you of His presence. It brings your feet right square down to the ground.

Anyway. While Sunday was a stunner of a day, Friday and Saturday were wet, cold, and windy. We got quite a bit of rain ourselves and the ground was basically soup (not the best for riding). It had us all in an eating and drinking mode. Convenient since I really had zero desire to organize and clean all my things from my trip.

We all had been craving molasses cookies. Presumably all suffering in silence until I broke down and stated my craving aloud and everyone desperately agreed. Naturally, I had to bake some. If you have never tasted these delights, you are missing out. We all grew up on them.

It is as simple as that. Or, as this rather.

Make the dough.

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Ball the dough (directly, if you are too impatient to chill the dough first).

Roll the dough…in sugar. Making sure to get some on the counter with the help of a little person. You are not doing it right if you do not.

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Bake the dough.

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But not too long!

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Then you eat an exorbitant amount of them! So so good. They got me thinking. I should try these with pumpkin!

Want the recipe? I will share it with you soon!

After baking, we took a stroll to the river to see how high it had gotten.

There is a beach under there somewhere.

It is still supposed to rise up a bit more, but it should stay in bank even still.

All of that work made us thirsty. I made myself a ginger orange margarita.

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By then the day was almost over and it was evening feeding time.

These two just tickle me to death. This is definitely not the best photo in the world, but I sure do love it. I often find them like this. Five and a half years later and they still choose to share a stall.

Then with a Sunday like this…I just have to show you again.

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What else is there to do but hop on the best mare and call for the kids to come out and join you.

Such a contrast of weather in two days.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Daily Dose Of Cute

Time for a daily dose of cute, just for you, on this fine Tuesday. I also need distraction. Too much excited anticipation.

I finally had a weekend at the farm with my loves. I felt blessed with the time.

Yawning time.

Nap time.

Sunrise time.

Standing awkwardly for pictures time.

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Deep conversations about life, solving the world’s problems time.

Moving cows time.

CUTE time.

There was also riding time. Not the most exciting rides as they have all been on vacation for over a month. You know, life and that adulting thing. Anyway, just moving our bodies and focusing on the basics is all anyone’s brains could handle, but they were great.

And.

Birthday time. This girl is 5 years old today!

Why, you say, do I need distraction from my excited anticipation??? Well. Oldest sister A is in labor. LABOR. Baby girl is a comin’!

Yikes!

tenor

Walk in love, dear readers!

Your Daily Dose

Looking for something? Look no further. Take your pick…

Beauty.

Inspiration.

Cute.

How about this Good Friday Eve sunset?

Or this Good Friday morning trail ride on your best mare with friends?

Or a Good Friday afternoon hangout in the wildflowers?

Or a play session with a water bottle? Hey, it’s the simple things in life, remember?

Or a foggy Easter Saturday sunrise?

Easter Sunday was filled with a whole family tour. My parents are on vacation so I went to church with my Sister and her family, had lunch with my Mom’s side of the family, and had a second dessert and dinner with my Dad’s side of the family.

All of the above makes for a magical Easter weekend if you ask me.

Walk in love, dear readers, and remember the gift of this day. Hard to do on a Monday after a holiday.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/rise-set/

A Big Thanksgiving

Or rather, a long Thanksgiving. Big and long.

Big in thanks and giving, yes, much gratitude. We have much to be thankful for.

Also big in numbers. Number of people. An abundance of family and friends. Tons of conversation and laughter. Bucket loads of love. Many dogs. Food, food, and more food (and booze). And not just any food, great food. I have to say, I am surrounded by talented people. Pretty much all of them are great cooks!

Some sadness, yes. That can not be denied, but I have to say, I think we all did a great job focusing on the positive and being grateful for each other. Which is what Thanksgiving is all about.

This particular Thanksgiving was long in a sense that it felt like it lasted from last weekend to today. Even with all the regular day to day things, like work, and all the preparation and cooking, it somehow felt like vacation.

Now, I know some of you will be in disbelief upon reading this. Or even rolling your eyes at me. But in all honesty, it did. I am sitting here with my coffee trying to psych myself up for this work Monday.

The weekend before Thanksgiving week (after the Charlotte Dujardin clinic…which I still need to write up for you…sorry, I will get to it. In short, it was great and I shattered my phone screen) I spent at the farm by myself. It was a terribly therapeutic weekend. Strong and funny language, I know, but stay with me. It was both releasing and restorative.

After taking care of some errands and chores during the day on Saturday, I quickly saddled up Chance and went for a sunset ride.

Then I built a fire in the pit, hit play on some great music, made a cocktail, and sat down with my dog to watch the last of the sunset with the northern front at my back. Drew Kennedy has a live album titled Sad Songs Happily Played which acted like my own personal concert in the best venue.

Sunday started early and chilly.

I took a little drive in my pajamas while the horses ate with my dog, coffee, and music. Because I could. I started listening to Dani and Lizzy’s ‘Dancing In The Sky‘ on repeat (I am weird like that) and just allowed the tears to flow. It feels …strange, I guess, to say that. To admit that. But hey, it’s the truth, so there. Sometimes a girl just needs a good cry or two…or three, as was the case on Sunday.

I got dressed and headed out into the sun to catch up my first horse of the day.

I came upon the horses and discovered the three young geldings laying down, having a post breakfast nap with Cheetah standing guard over them. I just could not resist the temptation and sat down with them. The most wonderful thing happened when Cheetah decided she felt comfortable enought to lay down with us. I have no idea how long I sat there with them snoozing, but it was simply glorious. One of them broke the spell and they all got up, so I haltered Cheetah and started grooming.

Keep scrolling for this cow’s newborn on Thanksgiving weekend!

Cheetah decided she was a saucy mare, but her son made up for it by giving me the best ride on him to date. Lito is really starting to put the pieces together and it feels really great. Really learning to travel between my legs and reins and lift his shoulder. Yielding his hindquarters and shoulders. I just need to keep reminding myself he is not farther along because I can only ride on weekends. I need to not push too hard and have it not be fun for him. Well, both of us. He is seriously the most comfortable horse I have ever ridden.

I had a quick ride on Ike after a late lunch on the porch. Then I built myself another fire to close out the day. As one of my dear readers said, I just sat with my feelings and reflected. That is what time alone at the farm is about for me.

I stayed at the farm until Monday morning to meet the farrier before heading back to town and into the office for the short holiday work week.

I took the day off of work on Wednesday to get my cake baked at my parents house and the kitchen cleaned before Thanksgiving. Middle Sister, K, her husband, T, and their dogs were staying at my parents house for the holiday so Darcy had ample entertainment. She is currently passed out after I made her go outside.

Baking is one of my favorite parts of the holidays. This pumpkin cheesecake cake was worth all the work and calories, trust me. It really was not even that much work. Do yourself a favor, and go make it for yourself. Decorating it is also easy peasy, if you want to do that. Which you should because it is fun. And pretty.

My mom’s side of the family and a few friends came to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving lunch. And oh, the food. The food was so good! I am still dreaming about it. We all had a grand time and then loaded up and headed out to the farm just in time for sunset.

I give to you the post Thanksgiving sunrise if you missed it.

Remember that calf I mentioned? We all got to see it right after it was born. You are welcome for the cuteness. I do what I can for you, you know.

Another stunning sunset from the weekend.

On Saturday my dad’s side of the fam came out for lunch and some much needed togetherness and fresh air at the farm.

I took three kids on lead line rides and one solo ride all on Chance. There was so much fun and cuteness, I almost could not even handle it. Chance was so well behaved and we stuffed him with carrots and gave him lots of love.

My cousin got to harvest his first deer which was very exciting for everyone in the family.

I came back out to the barn before bed to give Chance another carrot and to thank him for giving those kids his gifts.

You haz carrot?!

This is a terribly long dump of a post, but there it is. The point is, I am thankful this Thanksgiving and wish I had another day before going back to work.

Thankful I got to enjoy it. Thankful to be surround by loved ones. Thankful to spend time at the farm and create memories. Thankful to ride all the horses. Thankful for cows and calves. Thankful for my happy dog. Thankful to see the sunsets and sunrises. Thankful for music and reflection and fresh air. Thankful that I got to pick out a Christmas tree with my parents and begin decorating. And even thankful for my job that I need to go get ready for.

That is all. Up next, all about the Charlotte Dujardin Clinic!

Walk in love, dear readers! Thank your lucky stars today and every day. Keep in the spirit of thanks and giving.

A Year Later

A year later and I still have no words to describe it. Not the feelings I have. Certainly not the feelings of my family.

Even now as I type these words, it feels so utterly strange. Uncharted territory, even as the first year is up. Different from a year ago, and yet, the same. I am not sure if anyone else in this situation has felt this way. I suppose each is different.

Yesterday I was aimlessly scrolling through Facebook and I wondered to myself, why am I doing this? Something so simple and mindless and downright meaningless? I had that EXACT same thought and feeling a year ago today after I heard the news.

Honestly, I did not want to write this post today and I have been dreading it. I do not want to relive it and do not want certain readers to relive it. It is too close. I did not want to offend or hurt anyone. To dishonor him.

Then it occurred to me that I, or we, do not need a blog post to relive it. It happens all the time. Thankfully, a little less as time goes on. Time heals, little by little. It becomes apparent when you look back. That I know for sure.

I need to write this post. For me. For my family. And for you. For anyone that has ever lost anyone. For him. To celebrate him and his life and his loved ones. The survivors because that is what we are. My Uncle was a beautiful and faithful man. Which makes it even harder at times. I suspect we will never know the answer to why in this earthly life. As is the way with many things we go through. There are no answers.

The only way I know how to honor him is to celebrate this life that I am blessed to have. That I am here to witness the Lord’s beauty around me. To LIVE every minute and celebrate every moment like it is my last. Do what makes my heart smile. Seek the Lord and allow His will to be done through me. To be a blessing to those around me. That is what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving.

So, that is what I am trying to do and what I try to encourage others to do.

I still pray for us to lean into our Lord in these hard times. To grow together. To grow in our faith together. As a family. It is hard and will continue to be. But we have to. We have to for ourselves and for the next generation.

I hope I have not lost you. For those of you that were not here or do not know the story and would like to, I have linked my writings of the series of events from a year ago below. In sharing these posts again, my only hope is to reach those that need to hear these words. For them to know they are not alone and that there are people that have been through this. That know how they feel. That there is still beauty and light all around us.

How Do I Title This: November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving Eve: November 23, 2016

A Prayer You Can Borrow: November 27, 2016

Today: November 28, 2016

The Aftermath: November 30, 2016

This weekend, while sitting by the fire with a cocktail in my hand and my dog at my feet, I put this string of songs together that got me thinking.

I hope you enjoy them.

Thanks to Middle Sister, K for sharing this last one with me. Pass it on.

That is all for now.

Reflections on a great clinic coming up soon!

Walk in love, dear readers.

Please pass along to anyone that needs or wants to read.

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!

Elemental

Earth, air, water, and fire. 

And the Oxford comma. Ha! Hey, I’ve got jokes today! 

No, for real. 

Something so Elemental as to embody all four of those concepts. More than just words. They are senses. Images. Feelings. Emotions. All in themselves. 

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. God’s paintings twice a day, every day, no matter where you are. Both at the beginning and the end. Of everything. Yet different every day. New. 

Seeing and smelling the earth, feeling the air across your skin as you lope your horse around, praying for those clouds to produce some rain (at least where we are, they have had more rain than us!), and having your soul set on fire. 

Blessed and grateful. 

The reflection of the sunset on the eastern sky Saturday evening with horses and friends. Clearly no better at focusing for photos than I’m sure we were as kids…






Please take a moment to enjoy Lito’s expressions. Seriously, that horse. I just can not contain myself.

Sorry. Where was I? Right.

Sunrise progression Sunday morning. I told you God likes Sundays to be foggy…



Two things that inspire me most next to my horses and my dog. 

Have you caught a sunrise or a sunset recently? Share if you have! If you have not, do yourself a favor and watch one soon. 

Walk in love, dear readers!

Day By Day

No worries, if you were. Still chugging along over here!

Excuse me, are we finished with this yet?

Just trying to catch up on life, day by day. An odd thought if you ask me, when you really think about it. Catching up on life. Sometimes, stuff just adds up in life and there is not much time left to do anything but get what rest you can and wake up in the morning and do it again. AHAmoment. Tackle the day you have when you get it, and get done what needs to get done. No more, no less. Just like riding the horse you have that day. Sometimes, the basic needs are all that gets accomplished, and that is more than OK! One step at a time. Just let go and let Him because He is our strength. With Him and trough Him, all will get done, in His time! And it will be beautiful.


Working, injured horse, equine health scare, hours and miles in the car, moving, mom’s knee surgery, broken cars, change, and a whole lot of other every day life stuff has kinda added up over the last month and my conversations with y’all have suffered. For that, I am sorry. But, we are no worse for wear and hopefully slowing down a little! It is easier to remember to breathe when there are not so many things going on, but just like H said, slow down and take a breath and then take a step. If I would have remembered that, maybe I would not have had that diesel incident!…or lack there of, as it were.

I do not have much to report and that is OK. This too shall change, of that I am sure.

I do have a couple good news updates and many things to celebrate.

We finished Lito’s rehab/physical therapy exercise regimen yesterday with complete soundness and the vet came out to check him. He was cleared to be on full turnout again and to slowly return to full work! Relieved is what I think I feel, but it is a slow release. One day, one step, one breath at a time! I will ride the horse I have that day and we will get back to where we were! I am celebrating this!

 

Does this mean we can’t go to the farm every day anymore?

Also, I am finally and officially moved into my townhouse. Let us not discuss how long that took me. Way too long, but that does not matter. What matters is that Darcy and I are there and we love it. It feels good and we have already met a neighbor! I have a few things left I need to tend to, but we are 90% there.

Anyway, that is where we are.

I will leave you with this, my final thought. Brought to you by Owen Temple. Make it a beautiful life. You do only get one. We are surrounded by beauty and light if we allow ourselves to see it!


“Not gonna give up, not gonna give in
Making a life, not just a living”


Like seeing my horses basically every day for the past several weeks. Darcy. The green grass and trees. The blue sky and clouds. The breeze that kept us cooler. The sound of hoof beats on our dirt road. Lito’s attitude and heart, golden rod coat, Beatles-like mane, and cute pricked ears. Like finally having my own place again. Like my cousin marrying the woman of his dreams and being with my family. Celebrating Father’s Day with my dad!

Wedding fun with mom and sisters.

 

The best Pops.





Walk in love, dear readers! Until next time. Very soon.