Tie Dye

By now, we have all figured out that my little Darcy dog, so pretty and innocent looking, is quite the opposite at times. She is a scrappy thing. She eats everything, and I mean everything. It is very un-Setter like of her. She is more like, say, a Labrador in that way.

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I have already told you how she found and ate the horse treats on Friday. This is not a new thing and she has done it since she was a puppy. Growing up around horses does not really make this fact a surprise. She actually eats pretty much everything a horse eats. Treats, apples, carrots. Feed. Hay. You name it.

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Then I am sure none of us have forgotten that ill fated time when she ate a bunch of pig drippings and oil along with copious amounts of dirt and gravel. That was not fun for dog or human alike. Luckily, all is well that ends well, as they say.

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There was also the time when she ate a bunch of mushrooms in my parents back yard when she was just 7 weeks old. Knowing this was not the best thing that could happen, I did some research and called the vet. They suggested I pump her stomach with hydrogen peroxide to make her throw up. That seemed a titch, shall we say, extreme for a 7 week old puppy, so I opted for the conservative observation route. She showed no signs of poison, even if she did look a little stoned. I have seen her eating mushrooms other times back there and she gets that same goofy, droopy look about her.

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Then there was the tie die time. I know what you must be thinking and luckily for all involved it did not involve her shredding and eating tie dye fabric from the 90’s after eating mushrooms in the back yard. However, it is just as indelicate.

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She was a little bit older than the mushroom incident by this time and I was kennel training her, so when I would go to campus for class, I would have her stay in the outdoor kennel run.

I spent one particular morning preparing for class, so Darcy was hanging out with my Mom and my Nephew, H. They spent some time coloring using a fun set of four, giant crayons before H’s attention was grabbed by something else and they went to do whatever that was.

Leaving Darcy and the aforementioned giant crayons innocently unattended.

I came downstairs with my backpack, put Darcy in her kennel, and headed to campus for a few hours. Upon my return, I walked into the house to find 4 half chewed, giant crayons on the floor. “That is odd,” I thought to myself and I walked outside to the kennel to let my dog out.

Assuming Darcy was the culprit and not H, I kept a close eye on her. The next day I went about my usual and put her away in her kennel as I headed to campus, leaving my Mom with instructions to keep an eye on her.

I rushed home after my classes were finished and the first thing I saw was red. A very RED pile of poop. My first thought, rationally of course, was, “MY PUPPY IS DYING!!!…Although…She sure looks normal and quite pleased with herself. She would.”
As I got closer and had a better look at the evidence, I saw more. More color.

To my amusement, she quite literally had tie dye poo. Red, green, yellow, and blue. Very much like a shirt I probably would have worn in elementary school. I shook my head, laughed, and let her out to play. Thankfully, that was the end of that episode and I am pleased to report she has not eaten another crayon.

Brings a whole new meaning to tie dye, doesn’t it?

I sure am glad that fashion fad is over.

Walk in love, dear readers!

It Is That Time Of Day

…or was, as it were.

Sunrise. My favorite time of day. If you have not deduced that little factoid about me yet. It is. It is just my favorite time of day. Everything is new, fresh, and innocent. Dynamic and colorful. An event you can count on every day. For me, I am always struck by the blessing. The blessing to have a new day as a gift. A fresh start. To do what makes my heart smile. To begin a new day in the best way possible viewing God’s painting. It certainly did not hurt that I got to see all of the horses right before I had to load up in my car and head to town for work. Nothing like country morning air laced with the smell of horse. I started out the day seeing the positive. The beautiful. The light. These shots were taken by the front gate as I was leaving. 

I usually take her with me, but I left Darcy in town for the night because I was not going to get to the farm till late just to turn around and come right back. Barely enough time to do what needs doing, but it needed doing. Anyway, dogs always amaze me. I left her at my parents’ house in the care of my dad while she looked at me with confusion and sadness and came back to her happy face and wagging tail, seemingly asking where I had been. All perceived sadness and confusion gone as if it were not there in the first place. Today I came to pick her up after work and there she was, all smiles and ready to go. Are we going? Yes, we are going!

On Sunday, when I got back from my girls riding weekend, we had a much needed, grass growing rain. I got everything unloaded and the trailer cleaned out and parked before I took care of a couple of things. I cooked burgers for a late lunch with my parents while they worked on some chores themselves. They had been working all morning. Just as we sat to eat the sky opened up. It didn’t last terribly long, but the drops were big and plentiful. You know the kind. The kind that drenches everything before you realize it’s raining. 


This weekend was much needed. I can’t say that I necessarily rested, but it was relaxing and I was able to forget my anxieties and all the balls floating in the air. There were 5 of us. We ate. We drank. We rode. We talked. We were leisurely and relaxed. We lounged by the pool. Rain was promised all weekend and we did not get any. We saw stunning sunsets set in thunderclouds illuminaded by lightning and serenaded by distant rolling thunder. Everyone was able to get home safe before the rain on Sunday. 

My Cheetah girl was her usual, saucy self, but settled nicely once we got riding. We both needed that weekend. 



Lito and I are proceeding with our hand walking regimen. It started out a little dicey, but today he was much better. But let us be honest, he is still easier than probably most other 4 year olds. After our walk, I let him graze for a little but while I enjoyed the shade and the sounds around me. Let us all marvel how he has not rubbed his mane out while being penned up!


All of this to say, I’m chugging along over here, juggling all the balls and doing all the things. Soon enough, life will settle back down and get back to ‘normal.’ Whatever normal is. Just less balls in the air I guess! Here is hoping I will be in my townhouse by the beginning of next week. 

I miss you, my dear readers, and can not wait to get back to talking with you more! 

Until then, walk in love. 

The Sunrise

Guaranteed to put smiles on faces since the beginning of time. 

Monday was rainy so there was no seeing the sunset. Ironically, we did not get much rain at all at the farm. We sure do need it. 

Tuesday now, Tuesday showed up to play. You can’t really see it, but the clouds looked kinda like desert mountains far in the distance. We did end up getting some rain Tuesday evening. More wind than anthing. 


Same thing with today, just without clouds. Hard to not have a good hump day when it starts with a happy dog, happy horses (even those in solitary confinement), and a commute accompanied my a beautiful sunrise and good music. Even if your car is super dirty. Don’t judge me. I will not show you the inside either. 


Quite the painting from The Man Upstairs. Are you smiling yet? 




How about now? You’re welcome. 

Go get your smile tomorrow morning! 

Walk in love, dear readers! 

Tuesday Toodles

What day is it today? Tuesday? Yes, all day. Today is Tuesday. When and how did that happen? Overnight. Right. But what happened to yesterday?

Yesterday was a typical Monday recovering from the weekend. Harder than normal because Middle Sister, K was still in town and I did not want to miss a minute. But, miss the last minutes I did because I have this adult thing called a job. The day was quiet and by most accounts slow when I think of it.

After work, I had a dinner and drinks get together with friends. I made fudge brownies from scratch topped with a little dollop of cream cheese frosting and spears of strawberries, all arranged on a fluted red cake stand. Naturally, I did not get a picture so, use your imagination. I brought the leftovers to the office for everyone else to enjoy. In theory. There are not enough other people here to eat them fast enough before I cave and have one! OK fine, several. They are in bite size pieces! And have fruit on them!

Anyway, it was a later evening than I had intended and this morning came all too fast. That seems to happen more and more these days, despite my body and brain always waking at basically the same, unnecessarily early time.

I say that, I actually like waking up early as I have mentioned before. I just could have used more sleep last night.

I tried to take some cute, quick pics of my Darcy girl while I was having my coffee. She could not sit still for them. Mornings are just too exciting. And when I come home. And when anyone comes over. Or walks by. All times are exciting and happy for the Doolittle Darcy dog. Be like Darcy, I tell myself. Especially when I am tired and headed to work. Dogs are so great for so many reasons. AHAmoment.

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This weekend was busy with Mother’s Day, birthday, and family activities. Shout out to my wonderful Mamma and Grandmothers. They sure are something and have made me into who I am today. So many sacrifices they have made for us kids.

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Aren’t they something???

These are all pictures of pictures. Is that today’s version of a vintage photograph? Mother hides from the camera these days and I have no idea why. She is so pretty! She is probably reading this right now. Isn’t she pretty?!!!? The second to last one, there on the pinto, is her mother. The last one is my father’s mother. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, biological or not, human or not. We are blessed to have you!

For your laugh today, look at what my father is holding in his hand.

Yes, that is a rock.

Walk in love, dear readers!

 

Memories Gained & Life Lived.

Are you tired of waiting to hear about our Hill Country adventure???

Well, I know I am tired. Tired because we had so much fun! I have a fun hangover. Seriously. Adulting is very hard today. Almost as hard as leaving the ranch on Monday morning.

It is hard to even know where to begin because I am so over the moon with my horse!

Let us just begin at the very beginning. This is going to be long, but at least there are good pictures!

On Thursday, I got to the farm after work at a fairly decent hour. R was able to leave work early and was ahead of her time frame for being able to make it to the farm with Ronan, aka Ro, before dark. When I got to the farm, I set directly to loading everything of R’s into the trailer and a few other things of mine that I had not loaded yet.

It then occurred to me that I might want to go check my horse to make sure he had all four shoes still securely attached to his hooves and that everything was as it should be. I could go on about how I was worried he would have pulled a shoe, which I was, and leave y’all hanging in suspense. Luckily for you, I do not have time for that! Too many other great things! He indeed did have all four shoes solidly in place and ready to go. I snapped a few pics of him because, well, why not. He is just so dang cute I had to.

How could anyone not love that face!?!? At this point, I knew that I could really get excited because all there was between us was one sleep and a drive and we were there.

After loading the trailer with everything I had, I spread shavings in the trailer and filled and hung the hay nets so all we had to do in the morning was load the horses. When I received word that R and Ro were going to be able to make it to the farm before dark (she was going to stay with a friend that lives near the farm where Ronan lives if it got too late so she would not have to haul in the dark), I set up the round pen with water and some hay for Ro.

I had all the horses up in their stalls finishing their evening feed before R pulled in. We unloaded Ro and got him settled in the round pen before introducing my Lito to him. I was pleasantly surprised how they immediately became fast friends. I was slightly worried Lito was going to be a turd since it was his home and herd, but they were like brothers from other mothers and have they same play styles…rambunctious and tough with a lot of bitey face. such boys! I can only imagine how they would be if we turned them out together! We kept Ro in the round pen (which is inside the arena) and let Lito loose in the arena so they could get acquainted over night. We kept the rest of our horses separate.

It the morning, it appeared Ro had won the night time bitey face game as Lito had the little hairless nicks of a looser all over his nose! After feeding them, they were feeling the chill in the morning air and ran around like crazies playing, causing the rest of the horses to do the same. We gave them a few more minutes to burn off some energy while we finished our coffee and got dressed.


Both horses loaded well and after a quick kolache and fuel stop, we were on the road to my Uncle’s ranch. 


It was an uneventful haul and we arrived around lunch time. Both horses unloaded well and stood quietly tied at the trailer while we got the pens set up for them. I was extremely happy when Lito stepped off the trailer like he did. He has always hauled well, but never anything over an hour. We drove over four hours, with a new horse, gained a little altitude, and ended up at a new place. He quietly backed up, stepped out, took a look around, and then cocked a back hoof and yawned.


Yes, I made him wear a helmet for the haul. I know. I’m crazy, but he is TALL. Our trailer is not small, but he does not have to try very hard to touch the ceiling. In fact, if he is just regularly looking at something with his ears forward, they are bent over by the top of the trailer!

We ate lunch, had a quick drive around, and then got ready to ride. 


I longed Lito for a bit and he acted as he always does. He was looking around more than I would have ideally wanted since he was not fully focused on me, but he was relaxed and responded to everything I asked. I rode him around the barn/house for a little to make sure he was responsive and with me. He was pretty mouthy with the bit and ready to go, but again, responsive. R and Ro were ready and waiting so we started off.

Lito was a little sluggish at first, but he soon figured it out. He was looking at everything, taking it all in, and was pretty relaxed. Both horses had some quick spooks (mostly at deer blinds), but Lito was there and with me every time I asked him to come back and relax. 





We went about 8 miles that afternoon/evening (Map My Ride was not working) in around 3 hours. My Uncle’s horse, Cisco, loved our horses and our horses loved him. That made my heart happy. He has had that horse for over 20 years and he is one of the best horses around. They acted like they have known each other for a long time and Lito chose to graze by Cisco after his hose down.


We made some cocktails and had a walk around before feeding the horses and cooking dinner. While the enchiladas cooked, we watched the sunset while listening to the frogs in the pond and feeding the fish before our enchilada dinner on the porch.


On Saturday, we woke up early, fed, and ate breakfast. I longed Lito for a few minutes to see how his mind and body were, and we rode out.





When we got back for lunch, we untacked, hosed the horses down, and gave them some hay before having a mimosa lunch with sandwiches by the pool. Then Darcy and I swam while R tanned. Darcy LOVED the pool because there is a large, shallow wading section. She eventually felt confident enough to swim after a ball and then across the pool with me. I was so happy and proud of her! If you remember, she is not much of a swimmer and this is a pretty big deal. She then proceeded to bound around in and out of the pool barking.

Darcy came with us for our afternoon ride and we saw a beautiful fox! I have seen a fox on this ranch before many years ago while riding Cisco. Truly special both times. By the end of the day, we had logged around 17 miles (yay for Map My Ride working!). 









Darcy was a tired pup! We had some cocktails with cheese and venison sausage, from a deer harvested on that ranch, with honey mustard before feeding the horses and having cesar salad for dinner.


Sunday morning we again woke up early and had another great ride. I don’t think either of them spooked at all and they acted like they had been riding that ranch for years. We rode the furthest into the ranch on this ride. A little bit of the terrain and brush coverage got a little worrysome there for a bit, but both horses handled it. We covered almost 10 miles.



After lunch, we took naps and then took a drive around the ranch. We were going to go for another ride, but we got an invitation we just couldn’t refuse. The ranch foreman is also a pilot, I don’t think I mentioned that. He was going to go fly and offered to take us up in his plane to see the ranch from the air and enjoy the sunset. My initial response was, “**** YES!!!!!,” I excused myself for my language and told R we could do whatever she wanted. Her response was, “how often does someone offer you a ride in their plane without it being creepy or having any expectations?!” Needless to say, we went up in the plane and had a blast! I am so glad we did it and would not change it for the world! Well, really the whole weekend actually.





We cleaned a packed as much as possible Sunday night. We needed to leave in the morning by 7 because we had a meeting to get t by 5 PM back home. That meant an even earlier wake up call to get sheets washed and dried, beds made, stuff loaded, and horses loaded.

I may have cursed when my alarm went off in the morning. We got it done though and the horses loaded well, hauled well, and unloaded well. We got to our meeting in hauling clothes, but on time and happier than…I don’t even know what. A clam? I don’t really get that saying.

Each ride, we rode a different route, the weather was amazing, we flushed lots of wildlife (including pigs multiple times), rode through thick cover, and the horses got better and better. we saw each sunrise and sunset. By the end of the weekend we were not spooking at deer blinds anymore and we were walking with a purpose. Ro was made to climb mountains and really loves it. I think that really helped Lito. He really took to the hills and rocks. I am so incredibly proud of him and he really seemed to have a good time. We had a few sticky moments where he was unsure, but he was never unreasonable, just questioning and needed support. R and I took turns leading when we were not riding next to each other, both of us just enjoying the horses and nature. Every time I went out to check on Lito in the pen, I could have sworn we were at home by the way he acted and how relaxed he was. Each time, he nickered and walked up to me, ready to go ride.

People call the Hill Country God’s Country, and it truly is. His presence is palpable there and this trip was no different, especially to be there with this horse. I know this may sound crazy, but I could have cried several times while riding out there because of just feeling His presence, experiencing His gifts and creation, and all with my Lito.

We came home with even more confidence and trust. He is such a gift and I can not describe how grateful I am for him and to have this experience with him. I could not have asked for anything better!

Can we go back?! Today was extremely hard at work! I got through it with the memories gained, life lived, and lunch with my cousin.

Thanks to R for some of these photos!

I hope you enjoyed reliving our Hill Country adventure with me! On to the next!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Hurry Up & Wait.

This morning I woke up early to finish packing and load everything that did not need to be cold in my car. I even woke up before my alarm. Darcy was picking up on the energy and seemed to know that this weekend is not going to be the average weekend. She was bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to go the minute I opened my eyes. She stuck by all morning, as if to remind me not to leave her. It was extremely hard to leave her to go to work!

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Right now, during my lunch break…after I finish writing this post, I am going to a local Mexican bakery (my favorite!!!) for some pan dulce for our breakfasts. After work, I am packing up the cold groceries and my sidekick Darcy girl and heading to the farm. One step closer to leaving Friday morning and pulling out. Cross your fingers Lito still has all four shoes on. Last night I made some chicken enchiladas to have for a couple of our dinners. One less thing to take away from fun time! Ain’t nobody got time to cook (or clean dishes!) when we have a girls weekend dedicated to horses!

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Last weekend I got most all of my horse stuff loaded and packed in the trailer. I have all of R’s horse stuff in my car, ready to load in the trailer, along with all of my personal things. I will be doing that while I try not to die waiting for patiently wait her arrival with Ronan (I had gif conversations with R all morning!). Hurry up and wait. Ugh. I have patience, I promise. I am so ready for this and am super excited to put some serious miles in on Lito. I tried to do this last year with him, but then the river flooded, twice.

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The plan is to leave around 7:30 or 8 AM on Friday to avoid hitting traffic on our way and arrive around lunch time. We will get the horses unloaded and settled, get our stuff inside, and eat a quick lunch before tacking up and riding out for the afternoon. Then ride all morning and all afternoon. Rinse, repeat! There will be some drinking, eating, music, swimming, pit fires, watching of Kentucky Derby, and maybe some sleeping. We will have all day Saturday and all day Sunday before leaving Monday morning. Both R and I have somewhere to be by 5PM on Monday.

This sums up how I have been all week on the inside…and maybe on the outside:

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Sorry for the excessive gif usage, please don’t leave me! …tap, tap…? Anyone still there???

More from Midnight River Choir to get me through the work day. Thanks to Texas Music Scene for posting the vid on their YouTube. Enjoy!

I will update on the weekend when I can!

Walk in love, dear readers!

 

Sunday Blues. 

You know how on Sundays when you start to feel that sad feeling brought on by the end of the weekend and the start of the week? Do you get it too? Sometimes, no matter how hard you try or how much you love what you do, it just creeps up on you. My mom calls it the Sunday Blues. My cousins call it the Sunday Scaries. I have friends that call it the Sunday Funk. 

It creeped up on me yesterday, and I was quite surprised by it. We have been really busy at work which is a really good thing. It makes the day to day more exciting. It makes the state of the oil and gas indistry more ‘comfortable.’ The weekend was pretty good. I did get out to the farm to ride Cheetah. We took a couple short loops around the pond because we were on a short time frame. Some is better than none! We got a lot of rain and Darcy and I took a nap listening to the pitter patter against the window. There was movie watching. I was refreshed. 

Maybe it was because I could only get one quick ride in on Cheetah. 


Maybe it was my list of things at work. 

Even my Darcy girl was feeling it yesterday. 


Despite the blues, it was a pretty dang good Monday. What are your best ways to combat the Sunday Blues/Scaries/Funk?

Walk in love, dear readers! 

I hope each and every one of you has a great week, free of any more blues. 

I am having dinner with one set of grandparents and lunch with another set this week. Good for the soul.