Daily Dose Of Cute

Brace yourselves, dear readers.

I am not too sure y’all can handle this.

Really and truly I am not.

You think you can?

Are you sure?

OK, then. I did warn you.

SMOOCH!

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He got you, didn’t he? Sneak attack, I know. I bet it just made you smile though. Even if you were trying not to.

Any kiss from a Lito Man will do that, but a kiss from an awkward and gangley baby Lito will especially do it.

I just love that guy.

I have been able to wake up at the farm these last two days because of the cold snap we got. You know, feeding and blanketing and shoveling poop. My other day job. There really is nothing like seeing the horses first thing in the morning to get you going on the right foot.

Walk in love, dear readers, and have a great day!

Cold Mornings

There is nothing like a cold morning at the farm feeding horses to wake you up in the right mindset, I tell you. Even if I was running a little late and got stuck in traffic. Even if I am not all together, full on ready for winter. I probably said that last year. I probably say that every year. I am nothing if not consistent, yes?

This morning was the first real cold of the season.

So very cold, but so beautiful.

We have officially reached southish Texas winter which means blanketing the old horse and feeding everybody extra on the cold nights. And scooping lots of muck, but I will leave that part out to not spoil this idyllic image.

Last night’s sunset on the way to throw the cows a bale of hay.

This morning’s sunrise leaving the barn, before I poured myself a travel mug full of coffee for my commute into town.

I am headed back out there after work for another cold night and beautiful morning full of velvety muzzles and smokey breath. And manes and tails completely full of burrs. Let us not forget about those.

Life has been busy over here for me and I am just focusing on staying present and enjoying it all. Hence the mild silence. Fear not, for I am still here. You know, living life.

Hopefully I do not have coming reports of wearing sweatpants on my head or broken manure spreaders. If I do, you will know. It is good material. No? Alright, fine then.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Tell me how you are living in the present and enjoying it.

 

Waffling

On Monday I dropped my phone, again, and rendered it basically useless. It was time for a new one anyway.

So, yesterday, I went out during my lunch hour to get a new phone. It took longer than an hour if you want to know. The sales attendant and the phone itself made me feel dumb. I also had zero contacts or settings because the man told me I could not have them. “I do not understand, that has never been an issue before. I have never had to pay to access my information. I have always walked out of here with a fully functioning, loaded phone.” I am sorry, the man said with a chuckle, there is no other way. You have to be on the cloud and pay for space. There is no other way. He shook his head at me. Then he kept trying to sell me stuff I do not need. Rude. I was bewildered.

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I spent an exorbitant amount of time trying to set up a phone that would not let me log into anything or do anything. Angry, I reset the phone and started the set up from the beginning. I logged in and, like a gift, there was all of my information. So much for that guy at the store. Maybe I should quit my day job? No, just kidding.

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Then I went to play dominoes with some friends after work and all was well with the world.

Today is Wednesday and I am hungry. This fasting thing is hard work! Brings a whold new meaning and feeling to intentional prayer.

When I am hungry, I get even more random than normal, if that was even possible. Which I am sure you can tell if you have read this far.

My research thesis professor in college, a Scotsman, used to tell me to stop waffling in my writing. Just get to it and say it and move on to the next point. Well I can waffle all I want to now. Take that. Aren’t you glad?

Speaking of waffles, I love waffles. And bacon. And maple syrup. And basically anything you can put maple syrup on.

Anyone want to go grocery shopping?

This is going to be a long day!

I have not taken any pictures in practically 2 weeks. Which is odd. I rode Lito on Saturday with a trail riding group that I am in. It was cold and wet, but it was a pretty good day. Lito was a bit jumpy which was odd. I did not have any other horses there and it has been a little while since I have hauled him by himself. I also did not ride him the weekend before because we had family in town for the service. I guess all of that and the weather explains most of his behavior. By the end of the day he was pretty lined out and it was a lovely day, even with the weather. I was still happy with him and glad I got him out in those conditions.

Today it is again cold and wet. Last I checked, it is going to be wet this weekend. It will definitely be muddy! We shall see if I can get some riding in. We all need it!

Come on Friday! And spring!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Polar Vortex: Blame The Canadians!

Hello! Remember me?

The last time I saw the sun before the polar vortex hit. See that black heifer off in the distance by Chance’s left ear? She belongs to my neighbor. She makes my life difficult. She is a beautiful jumper. She also likes to take some of our cows where they do not belong. Every day for the past week I have had to go and get them and bring them back.

Now that I am thawing out from this week (yes, practically whole week) of frozen temperatures, I find myself itching to write to you again. Blame the Canadians and their polar vortex for my absence. I was too tired and my fingers too cold! But do not blame them too hard, I like Canadians!

How I handled actual winter for four years in college I will never know. I suppose I am far removed from it now and have reverted back to my south Texas tolerances. This week I have felt like quite a wimp given the extremes I went through in college. A Mucinex taking, hacking wimp.

Oh well. It is what it is and I am who I am. Someone who much prefers mild temps!

This is about how I spent this week…

Putting on many layers. Scooping poop. Filling extra buckets of water. Filling hay nets for the horses. Feeding horses. Feeding cows. Blanketing Apache. Scooping poop. Draining water lines. Sleeping. Night check. Feed horses. Feed cows. Scooping poop. Breaking ice. Drive an hour to work (except that day I didn’t because I kept breaking ice and feeding and scooping poop). Drive an hour back to the farm.

Rinse and repeat.

Somewhere in there I took off some layers and put them back on. Drank a bucket of coffee. Checked the temperature about a zillion times. And Apache finally got to go without his blanket after several days of wearing it.

Also somewhere in there towards the second half of the week, our manure spreader broke. That is a lot of manure to not have somewhere to put it! And. We lost hot water yesterday and still do not have any. Hopefully the hot water is restored today and it looks like the manure spreader can be easily fixed.

Could be much worse!

Today I am grateful for warmer, normal temperatures and so are the horses. Or at least they will be when the vet is finished with their annual appointment.

I am also grateful for the fact that cold winter can be quite pretty…and fun when you are a Darcy Dog…

The first clear morning. Clear and cold sunrises are some of the prettiest.

Sunrise reflections are also pretty cool.

When you finally see the sun, there is no better feeling.

Darcy loves to play with the ice out of the troughs.

If you look really closely, you can see a blanket wrapping a pipe. I point that out just for you. I had to do what I had to do.

While I could do without the frost, it is very pretty.

That is about all I have for today. That and enjoying the warmer temps!

Oh. I do have a couple more things.

Some members of my family and I are doing a Wednesday prayer and fast to pray for those in my family needing uplifting support at this time in their quest for the true desires of their hearts’. Liquid diet only on Wednesday, no alcohol (a true sacrifice for no wine Wednesday!), and praying for these people we love so dearly. I invite you, dear readers, to join me if you feel so moved. To pray for those in my family or those in yours. Anyone, anything. No worries, no pressure. As my mother said, we shall not be anxious but with prayer and thanksgiving we will let our requests be known to God…and leave it with Him. Even if you just do one day.


“when two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”
~Matt. 18:20~

Lastly, one of our own, a dear friend and dear reader, has lost her father. He has gone to be with our Lord in his ultimate heavenly home, now free of pain and suffering. Made new and whole again. Please pray for her and her family. Pray for peace and comfort. For strength and faith. I am adding her and her family to my Wednesday list.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Enjoy the warmth if you have it and if you don’t, know that it will come soon!

Winter Wonderland!

Or as close to a winter wonderland as we get down here anyway! If you know anyone in the southern half of Texas, you probably already know that we got quite the dusting of snow.

A winter wonderland of snow!
Well, at least until it melts! Hurry fast! …as you are reading this, it has melted away…
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But now I am on a roll!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful and, baby, it sure is cold!
Yup, true, but is sure is purdy.

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Alright, that is enough.

It actually was not as cold as that time I had to wear sweatpants on my head. Yes, I have had to do that!

This is not the first time we have ever had snow, but it is the first time I have ever seen the farm covered in snow. It sure is magical. An early magical Christmas present, if you choose to look at it that way. Which, I do.

Man, it sure has been an interesting year as far as weather for everyone though. Hurricanes (yes, remember plural). Fires (oh my word, so many fires!!! Still!). And now this. It will be a year for the books in many ways.

Anyway, on to it…It is that time of year where I make special trips out to the farm when it gets cold to blanket my old horse and give everyone some extra feed. Have I already said that this year? I can not remember, so I told you again. It happens to everyone, right?? Yesterday, after work I quickly gathered Darcy and my things and headed out to the farm a little extra on edge knowing the chance for winter precipitation and many things to do before dark. The weather reports said there was a slight chance, but if you did get some snow, it would not stick. I did not believe it. Even still, I knew it would make for an interesting commute back into town to go to work.

Long story short, I woke up to this!

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a…abominable snow monster? No, that is just a streak of a Darcy.

She flies.

Better watch out.

Or you will miss her!

A cold Cheetah in her natural habitat.

The cutest old guy.

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I was in the office by mid morning. My mom, who is the best, met me at my office to pick up the Darcy Dog so I would not be too late.

My Pop’s, who is also the best, is on blanket and feed duty so I can go have some Christmas fun. There will be cocktails, cupcakes, ugly sweaters, and more! Do not you worry, I will tell you all about it.

Until then, dear readers, go walk in love!

Chasing

4 AM is about as pleasant of a time to wake up as any, right??? Right!

It would have been better to wake up that early to ride or go fishing or something as opposed to catching a flight for work. Darcy sure did not understand why we were getting up so early two days in a row or why she was then supposed to go back to sleep or why she was not going with me. I did not understand that either because how much better would work and meetings and traveling be with your dog!? But, I digress.

Monday and Tuesday were quite the days.

Two meetings, two cities, two states, three pat downs, four flights, and eight…count them all…eight Uber rides in just two days. That is a lot of travel miles and hours. I am getting tired again just thinking about it.

Yesterday had me chasing the sunset so hard that I was literally running away from the sunrise.

But, no matter how fast or how far you run, the sun will always catch up with you. AHA moment.

Might as well slow down and enjoy it, right? See and actually take in all of that which is around you.

Over the past two days I saw many things. I saw joy and unity in some because of the fine sport of baseball. I heard a girl wonder aloud to her mother if her father loved her or not. How he must love her because he bought her things. The mother did not have much to say. I got told by an Uber driver that I should have a husband. I met a nice stranger and had a lovely conversation. He reminded me of someone back home. I traveled safely.

So, yesterday morning I enjoyed my slow and delayed sunrise while flying west (well, northwest to be specific, but you get the idea) and thanked the Lord for my many blessings.


I never did see the sun actually come up!

We made our decent and landed in this lovely, cloudy scene…


Anyway, as you can imagine, I was ready for this when I was on my way home yesterday.


That and the sunrise back in Texas.

Speaking of sunrise…It is somehow the end of Wednesday. Crazy.

Trust me, this is a speaking of which.

This past weekend we had two stunning, chilly (like frost chilly!) sunrises. I spent time basking in the sun. Took many, many photos…as you will soon see. Had the first pit fires of the season. Tackled a few things on the chore list. I rode both of my getting-fuzzier-by-the-day dun horses bareback. Just relaxing, quality time rides. Focusing on nothing really in particular. Just enjoying. Feeling their warmth. A nice change of pace from being constantly on the move before our trip.

A little video with Friday’s pit fire, Lito’s Saturday ride, and Saturday’s pit fire. Make sure you have the volume up! Basically sums up the weekend. ​

 

 


Saturday sunrise.


You can always catch this guy taking a nap after breakfast. I get lucky when he is not in his dam’s stall.


Saturday’s sunset.

Sunday sunrise reflection on the western sky. The steam rising off the pond while the cows have their first big graze of the day.


I can have a second breakfast, right?


Snug as a bug in his rug.


Sunday sunrise.


Feeding the cows Sunday morning in the golden light and frosty air.

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More basking in the sun! Nothing like the sun on your back on a chilly morning.

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Back to real riding work this weekend!

What is going on in your world? What have you seen and taken in around you this week?

I hope each and every one of you are having a fine week so far!

Walk in love, dear readers!

The Dark

Who is ready for daylight savings??? I know who. This gal. Too hard to wake up and get going in the morning with it so dark for so long. It is getting cold early this year I feel like and it is time for the time to change with it.

This whole week is starting to look like it is taking on that dark theme. Just one of those not so great weeks for various extenuating circumstances beyond my control. It has left me kind of caught in the crossfire playing middle man for one reason or another. Not really even that big of a deal, but it leaves me on the outside, confused feeling like I do not belong. That it does not look right. Feel right. Throws me back, in an ‘old time feeling,’ for a bit and gets me thinking on the bigger picture of my life and what I am doing. You know, that whole vocation thing. Living a full life with purpose and intention.

Dramatic sounding, I know, thanks to my over analyzing personality. But in all seriousness, it does make me reassess and evaluate a check point. Am I supposed to be doing this? Is it time for a change? I am not sure. All of this sounds all too familiar to me, as it does to you, too, I am sure.

Naturally, I have a song cued up that seems to fit the feeling, even if not directly in context. Funny how that happens, always. One of the great things about music is the metaphors. Just like poetry. Anyway. The newly released album from the Turnpike Troubadours. The song was written by Even Felker and RC Edwards of Turnpike Troubadours and Johnny Burke. Also, very fitting album artwork.

However, I do not want to focus on that because I could not have done anything to prevent the situation and now here I am thinking. Possibly, probably, just reacting. So, I am not going to focus on it. That simple. I will focus on it later, after I sleep on it. Pray on it. Be faithful in my waiting. I will know when the time is right.

Here is what I will focus on and will share with you. Two life lessons brought to you in my AHA moments of late.

The week did start out pretty solid.

I got to watch the sun rise on my way to a meeting first thing Monday morning (you know, right before the proverbial brown stuff hit the fan, if I want to go back to drama). So much for new day dawning! Anyway, I digress. Quite the glow. Sunrise is always a good time for big picture reflections. Whether they be image or life related. Here is to the next sunrise I get to sit and see and reflect.

PSA. Do not take photos while you drive. My defense is the image was begging to be taken and I was going very slow due to traffic.

My Friday evening perspectives.

Same time. Two different perspectives/view points. Two very different sets of images. Two different horses, yes, but you get the point. I know points are not lost on you. Life is all about how you look at it. If you do not like what you are looking at, change your perspective. Change how you look at it. Change where you are standing.

I personally like all of these images, even though they have flaws, because I love what I am looking at. Who is in them. Where they are. Trademark looks on both of their faces.






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That is all for today, dear readers. Walk in love.

Soulshine

​​I forgot about this one.

I love when that happens. You find something amazing and then somehow you forget about it. That part is not so great, but then, something happens and you find it or rediscover it all over again. Twice the joy! Boom!

This song is one of those. Not even sure how I stumbled upon it either time, but I am glad I did! Soulsine performed by Gov’t Mule, written by Warren Haynes. Go get you some! Man oh man. Seriously, give this song a listen.


“When your world seems cold, you got to let your spirit take control.”

Talk about an AHAmoment.
(If the video does not show, copy and paste the link in your browser. It is not showing up for me for some reason….Really this whole interface is being goofy today.)
“When you can’t find the light
That guides you through a cloudy day
When the stars ain’t shinin’ bright
And you fill like you’ve lost you’re way
When the candle lights of home
Burn so very far away
Well you got to let your soul shine
Just like my daddy used to say
He used to say soul shine
It’s better than sunshine
It’s better than moonshine
Damn sure better than rain
Hey now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day

I grew up thinkin’ that I had it made
Gonna make it on my own
But life can take the strongest man
And make him feel so alone
Now and then I feel a cold wind
Blowin’ through my achin’ bones
I think back to what my daddy said
He said Boy, in the darkness before the dawn

Let your soul shine
It’s better than sunshine
It’s better than moonshne
Damn sure better than rain
Yeah now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day

Sometimes a man can feel this emptiness
Like a woman has robbed him of his very soul
A woman too, God knows, she can feel like this
And when your world seems cold
You got to let your spirit take control

Let your soul shine
It’s better than sunshine
It’s better than moonshine
Damn sure better than rain
Lord now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day

Oh, it’s better than sunshine
It’s better than moonshine
Damn sure better than rain
Yeah now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day”

~WARREN HAYNES
Does not get much better than that, dear readers. What makes your soul shine?
Let your soul shine for the Lord, for you, and for those around you. Shine for those that are no longer here, those people and events that we remember and will never forget. Be a light for others, in all times, not just these difficult times. Now more than ever. Because you can and some can not. Because there are people out there protecting our rights to do so. Because there are people that have lost their lives doing just that.
Here is a snip-it of what makes my soul shine from this past weekend.

 

Walk in love this fine Monday!

Remember, it was not promised to you or any of us.

Every Year.

Happy Wednesday! It has flown by for me and I hope for y’all too. If you need help on that front, I am listening to Mike McClure today. I think Drew Kennedy will be next. I have really loved reading everyone’s year end reviews and goals and plans for 2017.

Now that we have all gotten our reflections and resolutions out of the way, let us get to my most favorite thing to do in the first week of January, every year. Vet day! Everyone is on the same schedule and starts the year off with hopefully a clean bill of health. This is really my only New Year tradition and I really look forward to it. This year is no different. It makes me feel good that they are taken care of and have everything they need. It is part of who I am. It is a perfect spring board for my 2017 goals. I also may or may not have purchased a new saddle pad this week…

Is there something that y’all do at the beginning of every year with out fail? or treated yourself to for what feeds your flame?

It is the only time I am happy to see my vet: when he is scheduled to come. On Friday, untitledeveryone gets their annual vaccines and check up, blood drawn for their Coggins test, and has their teeth checked. I scheduled the visit a couple of weeks before the holidays as I do every year. The funny thing is, the weather is ALWAYS less than pleasant. Cold, cloudy, and, if we are…er…lucky, wet. Seriously, every time. We always talk about it when he arrives. Sure enough, Friday looks like a good day for Vet day! Not to worry if you were, you will be getting a report on how it all goes.

The rest of the weekend looks nice and sunny! Barring any negative reactions to the vaccines, I will get some light riding in on Saturday and Sunday. There will also definitely be some campfire and music time Saturday evening.

Sounds like a good first week of 2017 to me!

The sun always comes out after the clouds. AHAmoment.

Walk in love with your head held high, dear readers.