Happy New Year?

No, no, no. Not ‘Happy New Year?’

Happy New Year!!!!!

And Merry Christmas!!!!! Since I am pretty sure I missed saying that to you before.

Yes, all of those exclamation points are more than necessary.

I hope each one of you and yours had a very merry and blessed Christmas and New Year. May the many blessings of our Lord shower upon you. Peace, love, and joy. Go forth keeping the Christmas spirit alive all year long.

Aunt M asked me the other day if I was sick or something since I had not shared any AHAmoments in a while. No, no, not sick. Just still reeling from a busy Christmas season. I have lost count of how many naps I have taken. A little tidbit about me, I do not really take naps.

I have been spending my time watching the rain re-hydrate the mud. Trying not to get mud everywhere. Watching the horses roll in the mud. Scooping poop in the mud. Watching the horses slip while walking in the mud. Not riding enough. Losing my mind a titch. You know, normal 2018 stuff.

It rained this weekend. It rained yesterday and it is raining today.

But hey, speaking of Christmas…I did a little baking. It is one of my favorite ways to celebrate and share love with my family.

Apple Cranberry Pie with Pecan Shortbread Crust.

Chocolate Spiced Rum Cake.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cake.

Pesto and Prosciutto Christmas Tree and Cranberry Pepper Baked Brie.

And that was just my part. We ate well to say the least. For days.

I made Lito dress up like a reindeer a few days before Christmas. I had a good laugh…or ten. Him, not so much, but he put up with it!

I will be perfectly honest, I am still laughing! He is so dang cute, even when he pouts. There is your daily dose of cute, dear readers!

Anyway, in my opinion, the best way to close out a year and ‘ring’ in the new is to watch the sunset and be in bed long before midnight. Then wake up early on January first, saddle up the best mare, and strike out down the road because that is the only dry stretch of ground for miles. So, that is exactly what I did.

“Stop taking pictures, food lady, and get in here to feed us!”

My Mamma came with on foot.

Hopefully 2019 will bring more ride time for me and my dun duo. It might just be after winter before the rain slows a little. Only the good Lord knows! And you know what? It is all good! Eventually, my riding will be back to normal. Until then, the horses are being horses. Doing what they do best. So, I am going to take this time and focus on myself. Be present.

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Here is to 2019.

‘Rise with lifted eyes’ every day. Ride more when you can. Worry less all the time. Focus on the journey and the path and allow it to create your momentum. Live in the moment and see the light and blessings around you. Do not ‘live on the surface and in between the lines.’ Go find the ‘deepest part of you’ and let your heart fight for the truth.

You are not flying alone.

Cheers, y’all!

Go walk in love, dear readers.

Tuesday’s Track

You know those songs that just never go out of style? That are always applicable? Sometimes they may take you back, but just as often, they speak to you right now in the present because it is honest, raw, and real?

This, my friends, is one of those.

I have probably shared this before, but I do not care. Give it a listen. I just can not get enough of it. Ever. For years I have been listening and it hits me the same every time.

As thought provoking as it is, it is soothing to the very soul.

Always striving for that inner peace. Stillness. Silence. Walking your path. Focusing on Him through it all, no matter what is going on around.

“I been thinkin’ too much about it
What I thought was certain, now I doubt it
So if its over tell me where do I begin
And are there anymore answers left out there in the wind
Sometimes I feel like an Amarillo windmill
Standin’ out in the great wide open alone
And every thought’s a gust of wind
Spins the blades in my mind again
If they spin too much they might break or bend
Aw but if that wild wind ever did lie still
My dreams would turn to rust out in the fields
So I’ll just watch the world fly by me
There’s a silence wellin’ up in side me
Let the rains fall let the winds do what they will
Let it all spin, just let me be still
Sometimes I feel like an Amarillo windmill
Standin’ out in the great wide open alone
And every thought’s a gust of wind
Spins the blades in my mind again
If they spin too much they might break or bend
Aw but if that wild wind ever did lie still
My dreams would turn to rust out in the fields
Yeah but if that wild wind ever did lie still
My dreams would turn to rust out in the fields”
~Mike McClure, The Great Divide

Stir that around in your pot of thoughts, dear readers, and walk in love!

Back To…

Back to…normal. Dare I say it. So we will go with normalish. Back to normalish.

Yesterday I went out to the farm after work to fit a ride in. We also had the vet come out this morning to float their teeth, so I left them penned up for him.

It was the perfect mid week. My Lito man is ‘back’ to being his cuddly, ‘normalish’ self and my Cheetah girl was just as amazing as ever. I rode her around bareback in a halter. Well, because, why not. I also didn’t feel like dealing with her being her spunky, not wanting to walk self. So we dinked around the arena and just had fun. And boy was it. I love having a thought and her knowing it. Nothing else like it in the world. It is not always like that because, hey we all have our days, but when it is…wow.

From the look of the below pic, they thought I was cooking up a scheme of a trap. And well, I guess I was, but I made it worth their while.

It was also supposed to be sunny. Oh well, they are calling for rain on Saturday, so I will take it.

See, fun.

Trojan horse with his mohawk.

He looks a little different from the view atop Cheetah’s broad back.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as they say. Not matter what species. I used to roach Cheetah’s mane all the time because she would rub it out searching for greener grass on the other side of the fence. Hopefully he grows out of it too like Cheetah mostly has.

I had a lovey dinner with my Aunt M.

That is about all I have for this Thursday. I have had quite a good productive week. Can’t complain over here.

I bet you can’t either, can you?

If you can, take a look at that dun face and smile. Then take a ride with me on my fun, dun mare. Changes things doesn’t it?

Walk in love, dear readers! Tomorrow is Friday!

Positivity

Focus on the positive.

That is something I always say, even when it is hard to do. I know you have been waiting for the rest of the story.

But let me go back a little first.

…to when Lito would not load in the trailer to come home. Complete with GIFs. Because GIFs make everything better.

We had just wrapped up a great clinic experience and I decided to go ahead and load up to head home before the last lesson. An hour and a half haul back to the farm to unload and then another hour’s drive home makes for a long Sunday and an early Monday. I loaded all of our stuff and got Lito ready.

As we were walking to the trailer, the evening barn help arrived and started feeding all the barn horses early.

Cough.

Me:

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Lito:

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What I should have done in hindsight was just turn around, put him back in the stall, given him some feed, and then loaded when everyone was finished.

Gotta love that hindsight.

However, being the dull minded human I am, I continued forth with the plan. He will load just fine, I thought to myself as he kept trying to look back at all the happy barn horses being fed.

Nope.

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I could belabor the specifics, but that would go on and on just like that fateful evening. I also do not want to focus on that negativity.

Long story short, it is a good thing the clinician, Mark, was spending the night there and not hauling out. He eventually stepped in to help get him loaded. It was a long night that had us unloading at 9:30. I am so grateful for trailer lights.

I think the long weekend combined with the feeding fiasco just all added up. We also had a little bit of drama before we loaded up to go to the clinic, but he loaded just fine to go so who knows.

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The positive in all of this was he unloaded like a champ. I opened the door. He looked at me and stood stock still. I stroked his neck and softly whispered in his ear as I untied and gathered the lead in my other hand. When we were both ready, I asked him to back out and he slowly, calmly backed out and off the trailer.

I left him alone for the week and forced myself to focus on the positive. He did really, really well besides the loading. Tomorrow is a new day and we will just go back to practicing trailer loading the next weekend. If he has an issue with it, we will cross that bridge if and when we get there.

Fast forward to this weekend. We crossed that bridge. Or rather, we are on it. We will see with time if we have crossed it.

I was sure he would just load like he always has in the past and that last weekend was a fluke. Just walk right on. Well. That was not the case. It was almost a repeat of last Sunday!

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Was it all pretty? No. But neither was last Sunday. Sometimes you just have to work through the ugly and the suck to get to the other side.

And we did just that. We worked through it.

I also had to have an open mind about it. Horses are good at making us do that.

During the more ugly parts, I kept thinking to myself. He’s locked up and he’s stuck. I don’t know why, but he is. I should put another horse in there. But there was also this old thinking part of myself that thought no, that’s cheating. He needs to get his butt in that trailer.

At that point I stopped myself. Wrong attitude. We walked away, I tied Lito up, and went to grab Cheetah. I loaded her in the first stall and closed the divider.

After just a few minutes, with Cheetah standing calmly in there letting him know there was nothing wrong, he loaded and went all the way to the front of the second stall.

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I loaded and unloaded him several times. Then I loaded and locked him in there several times. Then I loaded, tied, and locked him in there several times.

Then I took Cheetah out and tied her to the side of the trailer and repeated the process. Each time he walked calmly right on.

Then I took Cheetah and tied her somewhere else and repeated it all again. Again, he calmly loaded right on and off.

Sometimes, you just have to try something new. Do it from a different angle. Fresh perspective.

Part of me wonders if something happened on the way to the clinic. There were no signs other than the refusal to load. The only thing I can add is that tying seemed to cause him to worry when it has not in the past. All he wanted to do is look under the divider. Anyone have any advice for me?

I won’t call it redemption just yet, but we are getting there.

Sounds like a good enough ending? Ya, I thought so too.

There is more.

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If all of that was not enough, Lito then decided he does not like to tie and is scared of kites.

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That right there? I believe is actual footage of me watching my horse forget how to horse.

So. That is what we will be working on in addition to the trailer loading. Back to square one. But you know what. That is OK. We will work through this just like everything else and be better for it.

Maybe he is just in a phase. They all have their moments. We have had a very smooth road up until now. He never really had terrible twos. Some say they do it again, and worse, at four. Maybe this is how he wants to spend the last month of his four year old year. Throwing tantrums.

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It is now my turn to throw the tantrum. You guessed it, it is not yet the end and there is more!

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The fun is not over yet. It is like the infomercial that never ends!

I have to get a new car too! Too bad it will cost me more than $19.99.

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So for all you bottom line folks, here are the AHA moment bottom lines…on the bottom lines. Haha get it? Bottom lines? No?

Be positive.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Keep an open mind.

Work through the suck and have faith.

You will get to the other side.

And most importantly, walk in love, dear readers.

Restart

I am going to get a little serious today. I try to keep things real over here for the both of us. Well, because that is life, isn’t it? And this is something that has been on my mind. There are too many people out there these days that try to paint an altered image of who they are instead of just being themselves and being honest.

This is me and this is my life.

I need a restart. A reset. A refocus.

It is no secret that I have been in a little bit of a funk these days and desiring more or  different from or out of my life. Questioning if I should continue this path and stay the course or to venture on a new one. The form of that change is something I am still trying to work out. I am, quite literally, at a crossroads. Part of me says, “get over yourself, just do it. Do something,” while the other part of me says, “you’re not ready yet. You need to work through this first.”

Even as I have typed all of this, I want to delete because it is still scary to think about and say out loud. Even if I have said it before.

But that is not the point. The point is, I am harboring all of this inside, working that circular thought process over, and not focusing on what is important. Not focusing on the Lord and giving it up to Him. Trying to do it by myself for myself. It is leaving me clouded and bringing me down. I am having a hard time seeing the light and it is more than just because of the weather. It is weighing me down.

I need to remember He has the plan and He is building me up for something. I need to reset and put my full focus on Him. My heart and my head. He knows the way. AHA moment.

I have talked about Soulshine with you before. Not that long ago. What I said then is a good reminder for today.

I have been thinking this morning about faking it till you make it because I am tired of feeling this way and looking this way. So that will be me. Faking it till I make it till I figure it out. Adding more leg and pushing through.

Are you tired of talking about this yet? I am. I feel like I have said this multiple times and I know the reel has not stopped.

Luckily daylight savings time is right around the corner and that means more riding. I need more riding. Too bad it is not this weekend. It would be nice to get more rides in before the clinic I am riding in next weekend, but any riding I am grateful for with this weather. I do not think I have ever ridden so little in my life. Which does not help anything!

Any of you have any life changing stories for me?

Walk in love, dear readers.

Step Forward, Never Back.

Cheers, y’all!

I hope each and every one of you and yours has a very happy NYE! May your bubbly be cold, feelings warm, family and friends present, and animals not freak out too badly with the fireworks.

cheers.gifLooking forward to 2018!

I know it is not quite NYE, but I want to wish each and every one of you and yours a wonderful and blessed New Year. It is no secret that NYE is not my favorite. Mostly because there are too many expectations and every time I try to actually do something fun and different, it ends up not being so. So, I will be at the farm doing what I love. Even if it means freezing while I do it. Literally. It is supposed to be dreadfully cold out. For like a whole week. At least I have not made my vet appointment yet. Forgive me if I am MIA for a little.

Anyway.

It is interesting having this blog and to be able to now look back and see what I was doing and thinking a year ago. I was reflecting on the year 2016, if you couldn’t guess. Woof. What an awful year when you really think about it. I try not to, preferring to focus on the good and positive things that happened.

I am glad to not be in the same place I was a year ago, spilling wine on myself and glad to chunk the year in the trash. Although, the night is young and there is still a chance of spillage.

But 2017 has been a pretty good year on a whole. Better than 2016 for sure. Did some not so great things happen? Sure, a few come to mind. That whole hurricane and the whole tendon incident and probably some more. Give me a year where nothing bad happens. It is called life.

Having never been a journal keeper, this literal looking back concept is new for me. How easily I forget some things! I feel rather fortunate for that.

At the beginning of this year, like most people, I set all these goals for the year. Determined to make it a great one, at least better than the last. You can probably guess where this is going. Some of the goals I kept, however many I did not. Just like most people with resolutions. So determined was I, in fact, that I was quite not looking forward to writing this post in review of all those resolutions.

Then I got to thinking. You know what? What does it matter? It doesn’t matter. It is OK that I did not keep them. It does not make me a bad person. You want to know what else? I did some pretty awesome other things instead. You know, like taking Lito for a long weekend in the hill country with my best gal pal, R, and then taking him on a week long ride with bunch of other horses and learning from Charlotte Dujardin. The resolutions are not what is important. What is important is the way you live your live. Your intention. Your heart.

So. You know what I will do? I will look forward to 2018 and all the things to come, stepping forward with confidence and not looking back. I will pray with intention more (I kept that resolution!). I will ride more and worry less. Time spent worrying is time spent wasted. AHAmoment. I have already signed up to ride in a clinic in May. I am going to love myself and live every day like tomorrow is not promised because it is not. I will focus on the positive and the light (I think I kept that one too!).

Sound grand and great? Maybe, but I will do my best. Kick me in the butt if I need it, OK? I will do the same for you.

Walk in love, dear readers!

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.

Urge

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I am feeling the urge to tell you something.

Whenever I feel the urge or get a feeling about something, anything, I do it. Well, OK, not just anything, but certain things.

Like, for example, if I hear a song that has really helped me or is something I go back to listen to multiple times for one reason or another, I try to drop that artist a note. I seriously, actually do that. I look up their website and find an email or I will send a Facebook message. Something like that. I want them to know how much I appreciate what they do. I want them to know that they have made a difference. Oftentimes, I get a thankful and appreciative reply.

Or if I have seen or read something by a horse trainer that has helped me, I do the same thing. The other day, well more like several years ago, but who is counting, I was watching some Pat Parelli clinic video on one of the horse TV channels. He kept quoting from different authors outside of the horse world while explaining his concepts and theories. I have heard him do this before in other videos here and there. In this particular clinic, he had a sports psychologist, who is also an equestrian, speak for a good little while. As you can imagine if you have been reading this blog or a little while, all of this is right up my alley. Viewing and working with horses in the mindset of the broader world around us. Letting them teach us how to be better humans and better function in the world outside of horses. It may sound hokey and hippy dippy to some, but oh well. Anyway, I was curious what was on his reading list. What influential books he has read that have helped him in various parts of his life. So, I sent an email thanking him for his point of view and asking about books. About a week later, I get a response apologizing for the delay and hoping I find the attached list and a few others helpful. I went and purchased many of those books the next day.

Even something as simple and seemingly little as sending someone a note to say you are thinking of them or stopping to pick someone up some flowers, I act on those urges.

You never know when saying or doing that little something will encourage them or brighten their day or change someone’s life.

I could not quite get my words around it yesterday. I wrestled with it. I am not sure they are around it now, but I will give it a go because I feel the urge. I do not think many words are really even needed, but here is my little note to you, dear readers.

If you are feeling stressed.

Lost.

Confused.

Anxious.

Worried.

Sad.

__________.

Insert anything.

Alone.

Know that you are not alone.

Know that everyone goes through times, seasons like these. And you will again in your lifetime. They come and go for everyone. You are reading words written by one of those people right now. Some of you who have been reading this blog for a little while know this. Others may not. You are sitting next to one of those people. You will meet one of those people. You know one of them.

Keeping seeing the beauty and the light. We are surrounded by it. Keep working hard and doing good. Keep striving and keep knocking and keep praying. That is our call. To be a light.

I may not know much yet in my 29 years of life, but I know this. Everything happens for a reason whether we know those reasons or not. Often times we will not know those reasons in the moment. Be built up by the struggle.

Have faith.

Have faith and know that He has and is the plan and the path. The light.

No, you are not alone.

That was my urge, to tell you that.

Walk in love, dear readers, and have a great Wednesday.

Shine your light.

 

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.

Thanks. 

I awoke a full hour before my alarm was to go off at 6:30 AM. An extra hour of sleep would be nice before a long road trip. 

But. Here I lay. Fully energized and rearing to go. Excited to get where we are going. However, I am forcing myself to stay in bed because that was the plan. No sense in getting everything finished early just to sit and wait again. Silly, right? 

Anyway, here I am, writing to you since clearly the prospect of sleep is leaving as quick like as the sun is about to rise. And because Darcy dog is not here to cuddle. Which, is not so fun, not having my dog with me. 

I played on my phone a bit when I first realized there would be no more sleep. Then I put it down and tried again. No luck. Picked it up again. I was reminded of a song. You know how that happens. 

Here I am, laying in bed. Having the luxury of lounging in bed for an hour before I need to do anything. About to gather everything my horse and I need for a week, load it up, and head out with R for a week of riding and fellowship. 

How did I get here? How am I able to do these things that I love? Have these horses that I have? How blessed am I? 

I get to do all these things because my parents worked their tails off and did everything they could for us. Because they taught us to work our tails off. To do the right thing. To not give up on our dreams and wishes. To do what makes our hearts happy. To have faith and give thanks to the Man upstairs for it all who makes it all possible. 

Even when we didn’t realize or appreciate it. 

So. 

I give thanks to the Lord. I give thanks to my parents and family. And I give thanks to my horse. 

Corny as it may sound, it is all true. 


Time to get up and get moving. R will soon be on her way! 

Walk in love, dear readers! I will see you in a week!