Daily Dose Of Cute

I have a good one for you today.

While Darcy and I were on our walk listening to sermons yesterday, we came around a corner and saw a little girl and her mother down the sidewalk a little ways. The little girl locked eyes with Darcy and her face lit up as bright as the picked flowers in her hand.

She started to run towards us, but then, with much restraint, she slowed to a walk and asked as calmly as possible if she could pet my dog.

Naturally I agreed and spent the next five minutes watching the little girl love all over my Darcy girl, their smiles growing by the minute.

When it was time to part ways, the little girl put the picked flowers she had been carefully holding in Darcy’s collar to wear.

That will just about warm anyone’s heart I dare say.

Just spreading the puppy love over here just for you. There is nothing like the love of a good pup. I feel blessed and grateful to have this dog. This gift. If anything just to put a smile on that little girl’s face.

Walk in love, dear readers!

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.

The Season

Time seems to travel faster this time of year, don’t you think? I mean, Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK. How did that happen?! It has snuck up on me as I am sure it has everyone. For more than one reason.

And now, it is already Tuesday. It still feels like Monday.

Anyway, I am sitting here with my coffee, as I do, you know, reflecting.

Surprisingly enough, wishing it was still Monday. I made a quick trip out to the farm yesterday after work since I did not go out this weekend. At this time of year, I get barely an hour out there with the early sunset, but it is enough to get my fix to get me through the rest of the week.

I did have a great time with my sister and her husband this weekend. It was incredibly relaxing and indulgent. She is having a holiday party next month that we are both getting excited for. It got us both in the spirit. We even made peppermint ice cream from scratch.

When I got home on Sunday, I baked two batches of cookies while drinking coffee with cinnamon and nutmeg. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Chocolate chip oatmeal with pecans and coconut and while chocolate macadamia nut. I owe my farrier a lot of cookies because he is great. I am going to bake my mother’s pumpkin bread this evening for gifts. I just love this time of year!

It all got me thinking how blessed we all are. That we are here and awake this morning. That I got to go up there to visit and stay the weekend. For the quality time with my sister. That I got to see the sunset and love on the horses, however quick. That I have a dog I can take everywhere with me and that she got to have her run time at the farm. That I have a good car to get me where I am going and get me home safe.

That is what this time of year, the holiday season, is all about. Seeing and feeling your many blessings. Being grateful and thankful for them. Doing things for others. That and The Reason for The Season. Giving God the glory. Doing your best to carry that attitude through the rest of the year.

Walk in love, dear readers.

Convention

Do not be one to stay within the shelter of convention. 

Your AHA moment today brought to you by the Darcy Doolittle dog, a dog who likes cat toys. All the cat toys. You do you, Darcy. 


Let your light shine and be you. 

Walk in love, dear readers! 

Daily Dose Of Cute.

Do you know what day it is?

Monday. Ha! You’ve got jokes, huh? You’re funny. Yes, it is Monday, but it is also Darcy’s 4th birthday!

My how time flies. I can not imagine my life without this girl. She brings so much love, light, and positivity in to my life. If you don’t know her story, well, click here.

Enjoy today’s special edition of DDOC.

Go have a great and happy Monday!

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. 

3 Things

I had a friend tell me that she was feeling blue yesterday after a great weekend and that she did not know if it was because the weekend was over or because of the unknown future. It got me thinking as I have often felt the same way myself and my suggestion was to:


Focus on something good from the weekend (or past), something good right in front of you, and do something fun for yourself tomorrow. Nobody knows the future, so you are not alone!

Too bad I can not seem to do that for myself in those moments, so I think I will do the same thing for myself right now. We all have something to be grateful for even when it is all going up in smoke and hitting the fan. AHAmoment. It also seems like a good idea since I am supposed to be practicing self love and all that. Disclaimer, this may or may not turn into another love fest, and I will make zero apologies for it.

  1. Something good from the weekend.
    I rode 3 amazing horses.
    Saturday I took Second Chance, Chance on a road ride with some long time friends. It was terribly HOT. Like sweating at 8 in the morning hot. He was amazing even though he made some ugly faces at some other horses. It was quite comical, really.  I also got compliments on his butt. It is pretty big. I really need to show you what he used to look like. I love how he shines like a penny even when he is a woolly bear.

    Sunday morning I rode the my best gal, Cheetah. We did some arena work with transitions and ground poles before going down in the pastures to check the cows and let her really open up and stretch her legs. I did not get any photos because I was having too much fun. I finished out the morning doing some chores and unpacking the trailer. Then, my parents (the most amazing parents ever) met me for lunch at a nearby town on their way home from out of town and then came back to the farm so I could ride my Lito. I could not ask for better parents or a better colt. Seriously. This horse. I think it was his 10th ride or so and the first ride in a couple months. He was AMAZING. He was much more forward and fluid than he has been. That was a little bit of a worry for me. It reminds me to stay the course and do not lose heart. He is still learning. AHAmoment. He is just so easy, brave, and keeps getting better…and taller. I will stop before I explode.
    unnamed-8

  2. Something good in front of me from today.
    My dog is tired and happy from running at the farm and my boss told me she was proud of my work. Boom. Enough said.
  3. Something fun for myself tomorrow.
    My bible study is having a Valentines party as our class. Thank goodness because I do not like Valentines Day!

Pretty dang good at present. Certainly can not complain.

What are your 3 things? Something good from the weekend (or past), something good in front of you today, and something fun for yourself tomorrow?

Walk in love, dear readers!

On My Mind.

Now that I have had a chance to thaw out from the crazy Texas freeze, here are a few things on my mind. We are covering all the topics in my AHAmoments. Mostly, things I am grateful for all wrapped up in a weekend recap.

First. My Darcy dog that keeps my spot on the bed warm while I get ready for bed. Just look at that Llew-ball.

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Second. Do not forget to thank the people that make your dream work and be grateful for them. For me, being a horse person, my veterinarian and farrier are two of the many keys to what I do. My form of thank you is baked goods. Usually of the cookie variety.

I am blessed to have them on my team because they work with me and my situation. The vet came out on Friday to give all the horses their annual checkups. As I mentioned before, it turned out to be the worst weather as always. It was worse than expected and that is why I do not have any pictures of said visit. 3/5 horses he wanted to float. Given that water is involved in floating a horses teeth, the temperature did not get above freezing, Apache’s advanced age, and that he had some sensitive situations he was monitoring on other farms, we decided that Friday was not the best day for it. He said he would do whatever he needed to do to get the three horses’ teeth floated soon however it worked for me, even if I could not be there, which included not charging me an extra trip charge. I am just so appreciative that they both work with me and our needs. If I had it my way, I would be there every time they came out.

Third. Fire. Confession, I am a slight pyromaniac. I also just really love a good pit fire. Saturday, the wind finally quit blowing in a hurry and the conditions were perfect for fire sitting, even if it was in the 30’s and going down. All the animals were warm and fed. I had the feed trailer loaded and ready for the following morning. I had just pulled a lemon blueberry cake breakfast bread (go make that now and add more blueberries to the bread and more powdered sugar to the glaze) out of the oven. The sky was clear and the fire glorious.

Which brings me to my next point. Four. Music. Good and great music comes in all different forms. On Saturday evening with fire and cocktail, these two songs really spoke to me. I hope they speak to you too. Have an open mind and a listen.

Thanks to No Justice – Topic on YouTube for the vid.

Thanks to the man himself, Corey Smith, and his YouTube for the vid.

Fifth. You guessed it. This farm and my horses in which I see God’s unending blessings, beauty, and grace. They clear my mind and vision and carry my troubles away. Not to mention all the great paintings!

Sixth and final for the day. The great Texas weather. What? Yes, you heard that. Great. It may be crazy at times, and yes it was really, really cold. However, as quick as it gets bad, it gets good. Saturday, albeit a weee bit cold, was down right gorgeous. By Sunday, it was perfect riding weather.

Today I am grateful for the above great music to dance in love my way through work, dear readers.

If you had to pick five things you are grateful for today, what would they be?

 

Sweatpants on my head?

I am sure you all know by now, it is COLD. Before we get into that, here is your dose of happy for today. I was able to snap these pics before the cold came. I had a very hard time keeping that hat on in 20 mph+ winds. Merry Christmas from Petunia the donkey! She seemed to like being a Christmas donkey. I was also able to fit in a short ride on Cheetah when the wind was not as bad. I am working on a plan to get me riding more. It is still in progress.

Darcy was a happy pup this weekend. Look at that smile!

The blistery cold for us started late, late Saturday night/Sunday morning. It was almost 80 deg. F. when I went to sleep Saturday evening. I woke up in the middle of the night to blanket Apache and throw extra hay for everyone to stay warm. I woke up this morning to 28 deg. and 19 deg. wind chill. Darcy’s new favorite game is to play with the broken ice from the water troughs. I will let your mind go with that one as it was too dark to get any photos…and this Texas gal felt like she was going to loose her fingers!

I also forgot to pack real winter things. You know, like a beanie and scarf, for starters. Not sure what I was thinking. Clearly I was not. It got cold and I needed to do something, so I took the pair of sweatpants that thankfully I did pack, put them on my head, and wrapped the legs around my chin and neck. I will pause for a laughing break…no, I do not take selfies…finished yet?…how about now? It worked quite well and the horses do not care when I look like a loon. Have you ever had to improvise like that?

Anyway, I told a friend about my packing flaws and she laughed as she told me she did not think I would do something like that. Out of character for someone as ‘organized’ as me. It reminded me, out of the blue, of this story.

My brother in law…brother in law B (eldest sister’s husband) is a man of many talents. One of those many talents is building fishing rods. I am not talking your average, every day rod. These are beautiful, extremely light pieces of art that have extreme feel and technical precision.

When I graduated from undergrad, my father gave me one of his rods as a gift. It had my school’s colors and symbol on it. I loved it and could not wait to wet a line. My first chance to try it out was on a family trip to the place where we grew up fishing. The first night we fished under the lights off the dock. We caught and released several little trout before I finally caught a nice sized keeper. Bubbling with happiness, I all but bounced down the dock to store the fish in the cooler on our boat. This is where it gets…interesting. As I was stepping onto the boat, the fish lurched in my hand and caused me to throw my rod carrying hand out for balance. Just as I did, I smacked the tip of the rod on the t-top of the boat and broke it in two. It still hurts my feelings to think about it! By admonition, I almost began crying.

A little while after, I was catching up with a friend from school. I told him the whole story, in riveting detail and that I was still upset about it. I am sure you can imagine it. When I was finished, he turned to me and told me that he was happy to hear that things like that happen to a person like me.

What does that even mean? A person like me? He went on to explain how he actually thought that ‘things like that’ did not happen to ‘people like me’ that ‘have everything together.’ Like I do not have hard times. Protected by some mythical force. I always thought he knew me better than that! I am apparently not as open of a book as I thought.

Everyone has their own trials and tribulations (me included! Just read back!). Stuff happens. Big and small. To everyone. AHAmoment. No matter who you are, where you are from, or what it looks like on the outside. It just goes to show you how our subconscious tries to make people think that we have everything together on the outside and that everything goes the way we planned. Everyone gets wrenches in their plans! Fear of judgement. Our focus is on the wrong thing! It is the same on social media, but that is another story for another day. It is not our place to judge. Only one has that right.

Until next time, walk in love, dear readers.

Stay tuned for Christmas baking and cooking! It is going to be a busy week!

It is December, y’all.

I know, I am such a Sherlock Holmes.

I started decorating for Christmas yesterday after work. I put on my Spotify Christmas playlist entitled ‘The Reason For the Season.’ It all really lifted my spirits and today is a new day!

For a new influx of happy/fun/positive on this Thursday, I have for you some of my past years animal Christmas photos! It is December 1st after all. I will take some new ones soon. This is to prep you. I know you are just too excited. If you are well behaved, I might rustle up some old Christmas photos of us sisters all in matching outfits…that is a real hoot.

Have you ever taken funny Christmas photos??? Share them with me!

Walk in love, dear readers.

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The first year I made everyone do it. Look at Apache’s face! He was wishing he was not retired so he could buck me off.
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Darcy’s first Christmas photo.

Darcy is a good sport.

Look what I made baby Lito man do. Maybe not such a baby. This was last year when he was 2.5+ yo. Yes, those are jingle bells. He is a good boy. I am mean.