Mother Nature

I am trying something new today. Go me! Getting out of my comfort zone. They say that is a good thing to do. I am going to share with you what first came to my mind when I saw The Daily Post‘s prompt and photo challenge. Really, I just could not resist when I saw what the words were and I was struggling with content for today. Eh, the way it goes sometimes.  Thank you Anne for the inspiration to give it a try!

Mother Nature.

The ultimate in aesthetics and ambiance. Just my opinion, for whatever it is worth. The great creator’s paintings, captured with a mere click, but nothing like actually experiencing it with your own eyes. Feeling the air on your skin and through your hair. hearing the wind in the trees. Going through the emotions.

The same view is very rarely the same from the same place. I will restrain myself with the metaphors I just opened up with that one! Unlike anything we can create, Mother Nature always has the right lighting, vibrant colors, fresh air, and even comes with it’s own music if you listen.

It is a beautiful life. AHAmoment. Thank you for being a part of it. I hope you like my quick pics from my cell phone that I have gathered.

Where is your favorite place for the best in aesthetics and ambiance and why?

Walk in love, dear readers.



Getting into the Spirit.

I have finally finished the Christmas decorations at my parents house. It took me way longer than normal 3d4fe84470994b9f872f56b306727792817f5428f6b4afeec3b45e5877920d71because I have had a case of the bah humbugs. I will not go on about this because I want them gone and I have already versed y’all. I am going to focus on the good and positive right now. One step at a time. I will say the decorating helped along with the Christmas music. I confess, I also had some bubbly. Why not? It is the season to celebrate the waiting for Christ. If you are having a case of the bah humbugs, get to decorating while playing your favorite Christmas music. Baking also helps. Christmas cookies! Pumpkin bread! Oh, and look here for some cute photos of my critters getting into the spirit. I snapped a few photos of the finished look to help inspire you if you need it. I am also going to share my favorite Christmas songs/music if you need or want help in that department.

Let us not talk about how the table is not in the middle. Look at that Darcy dog being fire side bird dog. Such a Llew.

The reason for the season…

Vince Gill (hello, his voice) is a great go to for Christmas music. Chris Isaak (again, his voice. Yowza) and Aaron Neville (is this a theme? His voice. So soulful) are also very good. I first heard Mindy in store while shopping. I went up to the register and asked someone to go find out who was singing. Why I did not use my iPhone I do not know.

Eden’s Edge has a very good version of ‘O Holy Night’ that I can not find on YouTube.

I have many more that are high on my list, I just can not name them all at the moment.

Check out my Spotify playlist for more.

Happy listening. Remember the reason for the season.

What are your favorites?


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.

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.
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.


Prayers from Dip to Pie.

First thing. To all the equestrian bloggers, thank you. I am missing my horses this week since I have not been able to get out to them. Thank you for your horse posts, they are getting me through this week.


Second thing. This Jalapeno Popper Dip that I mentioned yesterday…you can not go wrong! Put those ingredients together and it is bound to be good. This is naughty delicious appetizer was more than good. I used half fresh roasted and half canned jalapenos. I mixed it up yesterday to be ready for our office Thanksgiving lunch later this week and planned to just leave the topping off till I bake it the day of. Whilst mixing it up, I really wanted to try it to make sure it was going to be good. I took a little bit of the filling mixture and put it into a small, single serve baking dish, added a little topping, and baked it off. I approve and I think the picky eaters at the office will too. I was a bad blogger and forgot to take a picture of it fresh out of the oven…one of these days I hope to get the hang of this! What is that? You have heard me say that before? Uhhh…look! Does that dip not look like it tasted great! I did not eat all of that…I had some test subjects. I only had tortilla chips and those water crackers, so I put them both out. Tortilla chips are where it is at, trust me.

Third thing. My favorite to make for Thanksgiving is this Apple Cranberry Pie with Pecan Shortbread Crust. I will let that sink in for a minute…are you finished sinking?! Great idea right?? The recipe comes originally from Southern Living, go figure. I use fresh cranberries instead of dry. I like the added color, juice, and tartness. I also stick some in the top while it bakes so you can see them. Additionally, I probably double or more on the cinnamon and add nutmeg. That is probably not a surprise to you by now. That shortbread though. So good! The whole pie is a labor of love, but it is so worth it. Make it in your pj’s with your family around and it will be ready before you know it! It travels exceptionally well and tastes great left over. If you need to bring a dessert, try this.

Fourth thing. As they say, last but certainly not least, A Prayer of Thanksgiving. Whatever is going on in your life during this upcoming holiday season, remember to be thankful. We all have something to be thankful for even if it is hard to see at times. That is what we should focus on, being grateful and thankful. Not the bad things, the hard things, the busy things, the have to do things, the I do not have time things. That is not what IT is about. AHA moment.

The prayer before the holiday meals is a big thing in our family. I love how everyone has a different style of prayer as individual as they are. Last year, I found a perfect Prayer of Thanksgiving and brought it to our gathering to post by the lovingly prepared food. It really got me thinking about what I am grateful for and to say a thank you to God for them. It got me in the right attitude just like that quote I shared a while back about working with horses. I unfortunately can not find the one from last year, but I found this one for my closing greeting to you, dear readers. Lead with love. Tune in tomorrow for Darcy’s front and center spotlight.

God of all blessings,
source of all life,
giver of all grace:

We thank you for the gift of life:
for the breath
that sustains life,
for the food of this earth
that nurtures life,
for the love of family and friends
without which there would be no life.

We thank you for the mystery of creation:
for the beauty
that the eye can see,
for the joy
that the ear may hear,
for the unknown
that we cannot behold filling the universe with wonder,
for the expanse of space
that draws us beyond the definitions of our selves.

We thank you for setting us in communities:
for families
who nurture our becoming,
for friends
who love us by choice,
for companions at work,
who share our burdens and daily tasks,
for strangers
who welcome us into their midst,
for people from other lands
who call us to grow in understanding,
for children
who lighten our moments with delight,
for the unborn,
who offer us hope for the future.

We thank you for this day:
for life
and one more day to love,
for opportunity
and one more day to work for justice and peace,
for neighbors
and one more person to love
and by whom be loved,
for your grace
and one more experience of your presence,
for your promise:
to be with us,
to be our God,
and to give salvation.

For these, and all blessings,
we give you thanks, eternal, loving God,
through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

~Vienna Cobb Anderson



Sundays are not for working…

…Sundays are for cooking. Family. Friends. Pets…

How was the weekend for y’all?! I did not get any horse time, but I had a great time with family as my middle sister was in town. It was so nice to just spend time with her. We ate, drank, and just had family time. I am having a bit of a hard time this Monday morning because of it, I dare say! I should not be having a hard time as I came into the office yesterday to catch up and get a head start for this week. This is Darcy’s best “Sundays are not for working” look from my office chair. Speaking of Darcy, stay tuned for her story coming up this week!


When we left to head back home, I treated myself to a special, seasonal peppermint coffee. Why? Because I could! Going to work on a Sunday and not getting to see my horses earns me a special coffee.

My Thanksgiving cooking has already started! Every year here at the office, we have an office Thanksgiving lunch party the week before Thanksgiving. We order turkey and everyone makes/brings the sides. It is always a grand time. This year I am in charge of bringing the cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and an appetizer. I agreed to do the appetizer for our office manger.

Yesterday evening I made the cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce is so easy to make at home, I do not know why people buy it. It also tastes much better homemade. I never liked it until I had the real stuff. Just buy a bag of cranberries and follow the instructions on the back of the bag as your base. I would advise doing 1/2 or 1/3 of the usual 1 cup of sugar that it recommends. That is way too much for me. It is dependent on how you like it, I guess. From there, get creative! I like to think about eating turkey while I make it and if an ingredient sounds or smells like it would go well with turkey, I add it! Or, look at some other recipes to get inspiration. I subbed a little of the white sugar with brown. Salt and pepper. Cubed apple. Apple juice. I just add a little less water to accommodate the added liquid. Orange juice and zest. Lemon juice and zest. I wanted to add some thyme and poultry type herbs this time to make it more savory, but we did not have any. Instead, I ground up some dried herbs de provence. Then I added a little dash of Grand Marnier and Limoncello. It smelled and tasted divine. In previous years, I have added pecans to it. It is a pretty good idea. I decided to leave them out this year and see how it goes. I put some sauce in a container in the fridge for Thursday and the rest in a container in the freezer for our family Thanksgiving next week.

Do not tell anyone, but I also made the mashed potatoes yesterday too. Look, I had the time to both cook and clean yesterday, so I made them yesterday. Trust me though, no one will be able to tell. This ‘recipe’ I get from my mother. Her secret is cream cheese. Naughty! Naughty delicious! I like to add some fresh grated parmesan cheese for some nice salty bite. I put them in a baking dish, covered them with foil, and stuck them in the freezer. I will pull them out the night before and put them in the fridge. The day of I will let them get to room temp before I put them in the oven to get heated through. They will taste just as good as the day I made them.

The appetizer I am making is a jalapeno popper dip. I am going to try and make that today or tomorrow and will chronicle that later. It looks pretty tasty and I am excited to give it a try.

For our family Thanksgiving, I am baking a dessert and possibly doing the sweet potatoes. Boy howdy, I can not wait to share my dessert with you. It has become a must every year. It is a little bit of work but it is totally worth it, trust me.

I also need to bake pumpkin bread for my farrier and my vet. Do not forget to thank those people in your lives!

Have y’all thought about what you are making for Thanksgiving?!?! Tell me! One of my favorite parts of the holidays are cooking, especially because my parents kitchen is a hangout area for us. It brings us all together and our food is an expression of our love. Made with love, it always tastes better. AHA moment. What is your favorite part?

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


New day, new week.

Thank you to everyone that commented with support on Friday! I really do appreciate it more than you know. I am going to focus on taking it one day at a time and try not to worry about things that are out of my control. I am going to focus on remembering to pray and tell Him about my worries. Give it up to Him. Why is that so hard??? New day, new week, new attitude. I am starting this work week out well. I came in early today have gotten a lot of work done while listening to Nelo, Penny & Sparrow, and The Head And The Heart to keep me on track.

This weekend was good to get away and get my center/focus back. I got in some chores and rides, but I spent most of my time just absorbing the essence of horse: watching them graze, listening to them eat, breathing them in, and spending an exorbitant amount of time picking burrs out of everyone’s manes and tails. My fingers still hurt. While on a nice bareback ride with Cheetah, I noticed this little guy, just chilling.

The niece and nephew were there as well. Niece LOVES horses. A girl after my own heart!

When I got back to town Sunday, I got the Darcy dog bathed. She truly hates baths, but man does she love the toweling off part! It is so funny. This is Darcy’s day light savings look while I waited for the pumpkin bread to bake and laundry to do itself. I think day light savings is harder on them than us. She wanted her dinner earlier than the old time! Poor Darcy, she has it so rough.


That face just gets to me, I tell you. I almost caved and fed her early. I said ALMOST.

What is that you say? You heard me mention baking pumpkin bread? Yup, you are correct. I baked pumpkin bread yesterday! No experiments this time. This is a tried and true recipe that I grew up on. You can tell by the state of the cook book. Just look at all that love. I am pretty sure it was me that colored scribbled on those pumpkins. Thank you to Frances Robinson of Mobile, Alabama for this recipe in the Southern Living 1985 Annual Recipes cookbook!

We eat pumpkin bread all year round in our family. We always make a double batch because more pumpkin bread is always better and it makes everyone happy. You see those lines there crossing off two items in the recipe? Those two items are chocolate chips and pecans. My mother is strictly against those in her pumpkin bread. It does not sound all that bad to me, but somehow I can not bring myself to add them. Funny how that works. If we do the glaze, it is for Christmas or Thanksgiving…and we add chopped pecans. Pecans are OK on the outside, just not on the inside according to mother. It makes a really nice Christmas gift. Just picture it: beautifully baked pumpkin bread, drizzled in a spiced pecan glaze, wrapped up in clear cellophane and both red and green ribbon. Gets me all excited for Christmas! Sometimes, like yesterday, I do half all purpose white flour and half whole wheat flour. I think it adds a lovely texture and makes you ‘feel’ like you are healthier…ha. I just love these loaf pans. They show as much love as the cookbook.

Well, that is all for today. Thank you, dear readers, for being you. I wish I could share this pumpkin bread with you. Oh well, more for me! What did y’all do this past weekend?

Stay tuned this week for Lito’s story. Click here for his dam’s story and here for the intro to this new series I am doing if you missed them last week!

Walk in love.

My supervisor…

Please allow me to introduce you to my supervisor…He answers to Lito, but his formal name is Manolito.


He thought I was doing the fence repair all wrong. He was sure to tell me that if he only had thumbs, he would show me the proper way to do the work. He watched my every move to ensure his paddock was fixed to his high standards. In the end, he approved of my work.

I just love this guy. The feeling appears to be mutual, I think. He seems to always want to hang out with me. I could not ask for more. I am so blessed to have him in my life and, of course, to have the awesome mare that gave him to me. Seriously, the two of them, I am without words. Funny thing for a blog, no??? I promise to give them both their own posts soon. I tried to take some pictures of them this weekend, but I am not happy with what I got. I did get to ride my girl and give Lito some work. Lito was great. Cheetah was pretty good. I kept getting in her way. She had a little bit of the season change snots, so we took it pretty easy. Honestly, I need more work than she does. Going from riding multiple horses a day to only once a week when I am lucky sure makes my body do stupid things when I ride. I often find myself saying, “uh, hello, what is your outside leg doing?!!?” Or, “uh, your hands, have you ever done this before?!” I need rider boot camp and for life to slow down. Does anyone else feel this way???

I also gave my family’s other gelding, give me a chance, Chance a work and got several chores crossed off the list. The list never seems to get smaller though. It is like a roll that keeps rolling while things just keep adding. That is the way I guess. It keeps us busy!

Yesterday, instead of doing an All The Fall Things session, my cousin (I suppose now that we have gotten here, we shall call her Cousin H), another cousin (Cousin T), and I went over to our grandparents house to cook them dinner and spend some quality time together. We made burgers, hash brown casserole, roasted veggies, and apple crisp a la mode with caramel sauce. It was a winner of a dinner, I tell you! Sorry folks, no photos. Wah waaa. I know, but I was being present. We have to be. Every day is a gift, especially with my grandparents, and tomorrow is not promised. AHA moment right there…maybe the most important one to date. We are soaking up as much of them as we can. This grandmother (and really my grandfather too, but mostly her) is where most of my horse gene comes from. It is one of our special bonds. I showed her all my new photos of Cheetah and Lito and could not help but love them. She especially loves the Lito man. Let us be honest though, who would not? To me he exudes love. I feel I named him well! More on that in his own post ;).

Alright, on that note, I must get going. Go get with your family, either by blood or not, and share a meal. Share the love. Be present with them. Enjoy it!

Go lead with love!


I have made it to Friday, y’all. This post vacation week back at work has gone better than expected. However, it has all caught up with me now and I am sure glad today is Friday. I am feeling it, whatever it is, and am a wee bit draggy.

I still have not figured out exactly what I will be doing this weekend. I am feeling some veg time with some fall themed Hallmark movies. You know you love them, even if you will not admit it. I am a proud Hallmark lover!

I will absolutely be getting out to the farm at some point. I need some quality time with the dun duo like I need air to breathe. I also need to get them both back into regular work now that my trail riding vaca is over. What is your favorite way to get your horses back into regular work after life has taken over? I like to rotate round pen, riding, and lunging work until they are a little more mentally and physically fit. Then I transition into more riding work. I think this will be a Cheetah round pen then riding weekend and a Lito lunge and walk to the river weekend. I believe I am going to be by myself, so I have to be safe and not ride the youngster alone. Bummer. But, better safe than sorry. If it is not safe, it is not fun. It does not matter how much I trust him or believe that he would not do anything bad (I am nodding my head). He has less than ten rides on him and all horses are unpredictable. My game plan moving forward with Lito is to get a schedule going with family and friends so I always have someone with me at the farm. The sooner I do this, the sooner we will graduate to trusted equine citizen.

I think Sunday my cousin and I will do another All The Fall Things craft/bake/cook session. Earlier this week I was feeling the need for fall pumpkin flavored things. How 4f9bd57fdf06c591fbb3174fb379b2ddstereotypical of me, I know, but alas the NEED was real. I attempted to make pumpkin cinnamon rolls. I did not exactly follow the recipe…again, who is surprised??? Not a single person. I picked these partly because I wanted instant gratification. It called for the use of store bought dough! I could not handle the time yeast needs, I tell you. Anyhoo, I actually used the recommended dough and I think it is too buttery. Strange, right? It takes over the flavor. I did more on the spice front. More cinnamon. More nutmeg…the fresh graded…I can not go back to the pre-ground stuff. I added some ginger and cloves. Why not, right?! I added a dollop of cream cheese to the filling instead of milk. I skipped on the icing to conserve my calorie budget and I figured they would be rich enough. I was right, they are good enough without the icing. Do not hate me. I believe I will make something like this again, but I will spring for homemade dough. They both need and deserve it.

I also attempted making a pumpkin spice White Russian for a desert cocktail. I will let you know when I perfect that. It is not there yet. It might also morph into a pumpkin spice Milk Punch…I prefer Milk Punch to White Russians I think.

This best thing that came out of this pumpkin spree is that I made extra milk/pumpkin/spice base (you know, sans alcohol) for the White Russian…for coffee! You need to do this. Right now. It is good. Better than any pumpkin spice anything you can get at a coffee shop. I do not think I can ever order one anywhere again now that I have had the real deal.

Here is to hoping for some good horse time this weekend! What are y’all doing?!

A ride in the Hill Country…

Please enjoy this scroll through of my ride with friends and fellowship in the Hill Country along the Frio River! Not many words needed, I dare say! If you missed the reveal of my gifts, check out yesterday’s post.

I had a little bit of traffic on Friday, but it was OK, I had great music. Petunia thought she would help herself into the yard when I got there. The Sunrise on Saturday was just…just. Beautiful!

Loaded up and pulling out Saturday morning!

We were so blessed to have no incidents while hauling and no traffic, either way!!! We only had great conversation and music! Oh, and plenty of great Texas views and beef jerky. Hey, we did not want to get hungry!

We met at a friend’s place in Bandera for a couple of days along with some other friends before heading to the Frio. They were all going on the ride. We had great times, story telling, rest, and sunrise/sunset times. Yes, that is me with my nails done. I had to hide the horse ruined nails, but who cares when your horses are that cute!

We lost someone along the way!!! Ha! Just kidding…

Ike getting fancy in his stall! I then added more shavings. I like to really bed them down. I also documented his BMs. You horse people understand that.

Now time for the good stuff…Riding snaps!


Such beauty! God’s beauty!


Me before we headed home…Ha!


I hope you enjoyed! Have you gone on any fun trips lately?! Share!

Lead with love, dear readers!

When you need perspective

OK, so I am still processing my last week…and am still tired! Tomorrow, be prepared for a picture book of my week riding in the hill country! For now though, we must all wait. I can not begin to process that just yet. Yawn. I am still recovering!

Oh!!! I can show you the gifts I gave! Looky looky!!! Remember I told you about a few gifts I made for some friends that were going to be on the ride this past week? Now that the gifts have been given, I can show you! I gave each a photo transfer of their horse on a block of wood with character (have a look at this post to learn how!) and a piece I found created by Alex Ladner, also on a block of wood. I think they are just exact. I really tried to work with the character within the wood and let it shine and compliment the photo. I gave a few more photo transfers to some others, but these two are my favorite. Do you like them??? I hope so.



OK, back to perspective. The Friday before I left for my trip, I rediscovered an artist! I love when that happens. I started listening to Sean McConnell while in undergrad. He was getting some air time on a local Red Dirt station at the time. I loved his sound, but then somehow I did not keep up with him. Not sure why. Crazy how that happens. Anyway, while at work on Friday, I was listening so some shuffle mix that came up on YouTube. I was working away when I heard the song ‘Lie Baby Lie,’ but a different version than what used to be played in the flatland when I was in college. It intrigued me and I went to go look at who it was that was playing and singing. To my surprise, it was Sean! I immediately went to look up all of the material he has created since I stopped listening to him. I still dig his stuff and I am still listening to it this week! One song in particular really spoke to me that Friday. Have a listen, and when you need perspective, give it another listen. I have added it to my mental file of ‘when I need perspective.’ I hope you enjoy it. Thanks to the man himself, Sean McConnell, for posting this vid on YouTube. He also has several faith based songs. I have no doubt that I will be post on his songs again!

Have a blessed day, dear readers, and lead with love!

Tune back in tomorrow for the big recap!