Valentine

Valentine’s Day has always been interesting to me. All the hype and minutiae. Seems to have lost the point if you ask me. What is that? You didn’t ask me? Oh well.

Some people think of cards. Some people think of red roses and chocolate covered strawberries. Some people think of the lack of a valentine like it means something. Some love it and some dislike it.

Me, I can not help but think of this song when I think of Valentine’s Day.

Funny, this song makes me laugh.

Side note, Saint Francis, patron saint of the animals, is the best. My family all seems to be drawn to him and has statues and figurines placed around our houses. Cheetah, Lito, and Darcy have all attended pet blessings at the church. I need to go and find those photos. Anyway.

Valentine’s Day.

I read something very interesting yesterday and I would like to share it with you.

Read it and let that sink in. Stir it around in your pot of thoughts, I dare you.

I have conveniently included the link again! CLICK HERE!

Last year I said I would be your Valentine.

And this year I offer the same.

Thank you, dear readers for being you, and being here. You are not alone. You are worthy. I am so grateful for each of you. You have made such a difference in my life.

Walk in love. Happy Valentine’s Day. Make it a great day!

The Christmas Tag!

Oh, that sounds like a fun game, doesn’t it?!

christmas-tag-logo

Anne Leueen, you remember her, over at HorseAddict? I have mentioned her before. She nominated me for a Bloggers Recognition Award (Well, dang! That was nice!) and we have also spoken about Winston Churchill. Ring any bells?

Anyway, she nominated me for The Christmas Tag Award! Thanks Anne! She writes a fun blog about horses and dressage and family. I truly look forward to her posts and enjoy our ‘conversations’ via our comments. I live vicariously through her blog. Following along on her journeys with her horse through my computer.

Well, let us get on with the fun! You know how I love Christmas and spreading cheer, so here goes.

Here are the rules for this award:

  • Thank the person that nominated you with a link to their blog √
  • Add the picture in your blog √
  • Copy these rules into your post √
  • Add a link to this original post √ Original Christmas Tag
  • Answer the 10 questions (you can add extra Christmas – related questions if you want) √
  • Tag at least 3 other bloggers with links to their blogs √
  • Have fun! √√√

(Side note…want to know something interesting? I am left handed and write my √s in the opposite direction.)

My Tagged nominees:

Allie: Rocking E Cowgirl

BBB: BeautyBeyondBones

Teresa: Journey With A Dancing Horse

Tonya: Fourth Generation Farmgirl

Now for the fun part…

My Answers:

1. What´s your favorite thing about Christmas?

Um. All of it? It is not about the things. It is what it all adds up to mean. The reason for the season. What IT is all about. His coming for us. His presence. Fellowship. Getting together with family and friends in honor of Him.

15356688_1316088098448561_208975447476696468_n

2. What´s your favorite Christmas memory?

There are so many, it is hard to pick just one. I do think my favorite memory is actually one that I wrote about the other day. The post was supposed to actually be about Elvis, but laced in there was the story of how all the grandchildren would go over to my Grandparents’ house to decorate their Christmas tree, listen to Christmas music, and drink hot chocolate. I miss those days!

3. Are there special traditions your family has for Christmas?

There have been many special traditions over the years. Like going together to pick out the Christmas tree or decorating the house or wrapping the gifts. Traditions are special to me. They are meaningful, if you are doing them for the right reasons, but they are really not what IT is about. Time goes on, people grow up, families grow, and life changes. And, so do our traditions. They fade away, change, or we make new ones. It is the natural way of things. To change, whether we like it or not. I have written on this before. However, the root of the tradition, what makes it special, stays the same. Everyone who is able comes to the designated house for a grand meal made with love and enjoyed with togetherness and faithfulness. It does not matter when or how or what, just so long as we get together. Grow in our faith and fellowship. Feel and see the reason for the season. His presence. To spread our joy and cheer with those around us.

4. What´s your Christmas wish? (can be personal or general)

Can’t tell you or it won’t come true? No. That is not how it really works. But I have already told you my wish. My wish is the same now as it was then. Faithfully waiting. Am I right, BBB?

Next question.

5. What´s your favorite Christmas dish?

Um. How long do you have? It is my favorite meal. So. Every dish? Really though, my favorite is my Mamma’s homemade rolls. They are only made on special occasions and I have never had a better roll. What can I say, I like carbs OK. Don’t judge. If you had ever had them you would know

6. What´s your favorite Christmas decoration?

The tree! The smell. The feel. The look. The lights. The ornaments. That explanation above that I found this year. This one below that I just found.

849ad4c9e8128f666594e0c3b18e5950

It brings meaning to the minutia. Changes the way today’s ‘world’ thinks about it, takes the marking and today’s Santa out of it. It is no longer a chore.

7. What´s your favorite Christmas song?

Um. Way to pick the hardest question. I really dislike when people ask my favorite song. Can I have more criteria. What day? What mood? What situation? I have so many favorites of all kinds. Have you heard the Christmas songs I have been sharing over on the Facebook page?! Most all about the true meaning of Christmas and great pieces of music. If I HAD to pick a favorite, right now…

Hard to not cry.

8. Where do you usually celebrate Christmas?

Honestly? In my heart. Hokey and corny and all that, I know, but it is true. It is they way we are meant to I think. You know how I just explained changing traditions? Well, where we physically celebrate also changes. We also have multiple celebrations. Big family. Church Christmas Eve, followed by dinner at someone’s house. These days it has been at my oldest sister, A’s house. So the little people can go to bed at a reasonable time in their own beds and wake up to Christmas morning at their house. Then Christmas Day lunch at either my Parents’ or my Aunt and Uncle’s house. This year, my Aunt and Uncle’s. We used to always do it at my Grandparent’s house.

9. What does the “Christmas spirit” mean to you? and I will add Anne’s extra question because these two questions are tied together for me…Do you believe in Christmas?

Yes.

I believe in the Christmas I have described through the answers to this Christmas Tag. I believe in the reason for the season. The coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for us. The forgiveness of our sins. In remembering and living that. Doing His will and walking His path for me every day of the year.

That is what the Christmas Spirit is to me. Remembering the reason for the season. Being a source of joy and cheer for those around you. Letting Him be a blessing to others through you. Giving and doing for others. Forgiveness as Christ forgave us. Growing that in your heart and letting it last all year.

10. Who out of anybody in the world would you want to spend your Christmas with?

My family. Especially the ones who do not live here and I only get to see every now and then.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

cropped-12375065_10156313412650527_3951566845228840042_o.jpg

What about you, dear readers? Pick a question and answer. I want to know!

Nominees, here is the list:

  1. What´s your favorite thing about Christmas?
  2. What´s your favorite Christmas memory?
  3. Are there special traditions your family has for Christmas?
  4. What´s your Christmas wish? (can be personal or general)
  5. What´s your favorite Christmas dish?
  6. What´s your favorite Christmas decoration?
  7. What´s your favorite Christmas song?
  8. Where do you usually celebrate Christmas?
  9. What does the “Christmas spirit” mean to you?
  10. Who out of anybody in the world would you want to spend your Christmas with?
  11. Do you believe in Christmas? Bonus question.

Walk in love!

Horses, Darcy Dog, cake, and pie coming up!

Serenity.

I keep hearing people around me use the word serene. An interesting thing to notice, I know. Anyway, it is a good word and one that appeals to my senses.

When you think of serene, what comes to mind? Or the feeling of serenity?

Serene.

“Clear and free of storms or unpleasant change. Shining bright and steady. Marked by or suggestive of utter calm and unruffled repose or quietude.” – Merriam-Webster

Serenity.

“The quality or state of being serene” – Merriam-Webster
Calm. Peaceful. Placid. Quiet. Repose. Restfulness. Still. Tranquil.

A quick google image search of ‘serene’ shows many people think of the same images. Sunsets. Sunrises. Quiet landscapes. Bodies of water. Rays of light. Colors.

All in the great out of doors. Do you think I am surprised by this? No, no I am not.

Here is what serenity looks like to me.

A quiet and soft eye, that peers deep into your soul.

Awe inspiring and relaxing landscapes.

Light and color.

The outdoors is like my church. The sky is the steeple and my horse’s back is my pew.

Everything I hear and see and feel was created and put there by Him and IS Him. AHAmoment.

I hope you feel serene now! What makes you feel serene?

Walk in love, dear readers!

A Year Later

A year later and I still have no words to describe it. Not the feelings I have. Certainly not the feelings of my family.

Even now as I type these words, it feels so utterly strange. Uncharted territory, even as the first year is up. Different from a year ago, and yet, the same. I am not sure if anyone else in this situation has felt this way. I suppose each is different.

Yesterday I was aimlessly scrolling through Facebook and I wondered to myself, why am I doing this? Something so simple and mindless and downright meaningless? I had that EXACT same thought and feeling a year ago today after I heard the news.

Honestly, I did not want to write this post today and I have been dreading it. I do not want to relive it and do not want certain readers to relive it. It is too close. I did not want to offend or hurt anyone. To dishonor him.

Then it occurred to me that I, or we, do not need a blog post to relive it. It happens all the time. Thankfully, a little less as time goes on. Time heals, little by little. It becomes apparent when you look back. That I know for sure.

I need to write this post. For me. For my family. And for you. For anyone that has ever lost anyone. For him. To celebrate him and his life and his loved ones. The survivors because that is what we are. My Uncle was a beautiful and faithful man. Which makes it even harder at times. I suspect we will never know the answer to why in this earthly life. As is the way with many things we go through. There are no answers.

The only way I know how to honor him is to celebrate this life that I am blessed to have. That I am here to witness the Lord’s beauty around me. To LIVE every minute and celebrate every moment like it is my last. Do what makes my heart smile. Seek the Lord and allow His will to be done through me. To be a blessing to those around me. That is what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving.

So, that is what I am trying to do and what I try to encourage others to do.

I still pray for us to lean into our Lord in these hard times. To grow together. To grow in our faith together. As a family. It is hard and will continue to be. But we have to. We have to for ourselves and for the next generation.

I hope I have not lost you. For those of you that were not here or do not know the story and would like to, I have linked my writings of the series of events from a year ago below. In sharing these posts again, my only hope is to reach those that need to hear these words. For them to know they are not alone and that there are people that have been through this. That know how they feel. That there is still beauty and light all around us.

How Do I Title This: November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving Eve: November 23, 2016

A Prayer You Can Borrow: November 27, 2016

Today: November 28, 2016

The Aftermath: November 30, 2016

This weekend, while sitting by the fire with a cocktail in my hand and my dog at my feet, I put this string of songs together that got me thinking.

I hope you enjoy them.

Thanks to Middle Sister, K for sharing this last one with me. Pass it on.

That is all for now.

Reflections on a great clinic coming up soon!

Walk in love, dear readers.

Please pass along to anyone that needs or wants to read.

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.

Thursday’s Track

The ultimate fall song, as my Pops always says.

Seems rather fitting. There are some things that just are, that we can not change. We learn to live with them or move around them and move on. There are some things that are meant to be and some things that are not. Some things change at the drop of a hat and some things evolve slowly, like rocks into sand. Sometimes we do not seem to know the way and yet, at other times, the path is quite clear.

That is where faith comes in. To keep walking and lean on Him, whether we are sure or unsure. To know He has a plan and to keep working towards it for Him.

There is a path and a plan on His time. I pray for the strength and faith to keep seeking Him and that His will be done through me. To be honest and true and faithful and still in my waiting. To continue to pray and know that he will fill the desires of my heart.

Leaves fall in the cool October air
Days grow short and I can’t remember
Where I saw you last
Turned against the summer light
Walking off on that final August night
I was there on my knees, all alone
In a world
Where nothing ever stays the same
I am left
With only things I cannot change
You’ve gone away
And left me things I cannot change
Smoke will rise
And the fire always burns
Sands will drift
And tides will turn and I can’t
Wrestle with the sea
Rearrange the sky, or fight against the wind
Anymore than I
Can bring you back to me
In a world
Where nothing ever stays the same
I am left
With only things I cannot change
You’ve gone away
And left me things I cannot change
~Songwriters: Alan Miller / Dennis Britt / Jaime Hanna
Recorded and performed by: The Mavericks
Have a great Thursday, dear readers. Walk in love.

Red At Night

Sailor’s delight?

Isn’t that what seamen say? Red in the morning sailors take warning, red at night sailor’s delight to predict the weather and the sailing conditions. I was taught that by my fisherman father.

Funny side note…I googled red at night to see what would pop up. You know, like the story behind the saying or a photo or a meme. Something like that. Turns out there is a song called ‘Red At Night’ by a new to me band, The Gaslight Anthem. Go figure! Have a listen. I just can not make this stuff up. Too perfect.


“Seems a blessing’s so hard to see sometimes
Got a little clearer ’bout dusk last night

Ain’t nobody got a blessing like mine
Ain’t nobody got a blessing like mine

It’s a red sky night and I’m doin’ all right
Red sky night and I’m doin’ just fine”


Interesting, right?!

Anyway. Last night’s sunset…well, it was red. Was it a sailor’s delight? I do not know, probably, but it was my delight!

I made a quick (or not so quick if you count my travel time…it took my twice as long as normal to get there due to a freeway closure from a bad wreck…but who is counting their time anyway?) trip out to the farm after work yesterday to check on everyone and to get the horses penned up for the farrier. He is coming out to pull Lito’s shoes to save them for next year’s trip. He got expensive billy goat climbing shoes. Can not have him loosing one in the mud or ripping someone open if he kicks.

I could not stay very long unfortunately due to the aforementioned travel time and the earlier setting sun. I had just enough time to feed, love on everyone, and take Darcy for a quick walk to the pond to let her run. And that is all it takes to put a smile on my face. That and no wreck on the freeway coming home! My rear view mirror was red on the way home before it went dark. A good sign. A good reminder. A God wink.

Today. Today will be a good day. Yesterday was a good day. Tomorrow will be a good day too.

For my lack of red sunset photo, I offer you this…It is a good day for her too.

You’re welcome.

Darcy loves you. I love you.

Walk in love, dear readers! Make it a great day.

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! 

Baby Boy

Took baby boy on his first group trail ride with about 20 others.

I should probably stop calling him that. Not much of a baby now at 4.5 years old and over 16 hands high. Oh well.

He was wonderful.

R and I arrived early (surprised? No, I know you are not) so I could ride in the arena for a bit before heading out. When everyone was ready, we rode out on the trails for a few hours. The worst of the summer heat has passed and highs in the low 90s are a welcome relief. I have a feeling this winter is going to be hard, so I will savor the temperatures now while I can.

Mimosas, dried meats, and cheeses were just the ticket when we were finished and delayed the Sunday blues that hit us hard on the way home.

He was also the biggest horse there. But that is besides the point. People seem to be amazed by big horses. I am used to it. Side note, someone please gift me a warmblood sized trainer. Homeboy has to wear a helmet in there he is so tall. He seems to take great joy in rubbing his head on the ceiling! You think I am kidding, I am not.

IMG_6175

Anyway. Big plans for this guy. I am going to take him on my week long riding vacation here in a couple weeks. Last year I took Ike and we had a smashing time. Riding every day in the hill country with my people. It will be a great experience for him. Especially for when I finally get him to his first show. Which was supposed to happen this year. Sigh. So many well intentioned ideas at the beginning of the year. Oh well.

He is quickly becoming my favorite trail horse. Cheetah will always be my number one, but she much prefers solo rides or small groups. Lito seems to quite enjoy the group activity, so we will see. We are slowly but surely installing some buttons in his brain and, just like with everything else, he is a quick study. All in good time. All in Lito’s time. All in God’s time. AHAmoment.

Slowly prepping until we leave. One last weekend. We begin to make our way there on the first Saturday in October. Much to do until then.

How was your weekend?

Walk in love, dear readers!

Just In Time 

This morning I woke up at 4 AM to catch a flight for an out of town meeting. The good thing about this kind of situation is that the earlier the meeting starts, the sooner you get back…right? 


Today, that was the case. 

Meeting ended on time, slightly early actually. I got to the airport and secured a seat on an earlier flight. Every minute counts for Friday traffic and my need to get away from civilization. 

I don’t know what it was about today, but somehow the traffic was not all that bad. I got home from the airport, grabbed my bags, loaded Darcy Doolittle and we were on our way and arriving at the farm in no time. 

We got here, took a deep breath, and walked out to the horses. No better thing. To smell the scent of horse and the freshness the end of a thunderstorm brings all while listening to them lazily crop the summer grass. 

Quite idyllic if you can ignore the mosquitos. 

But forget I said that. Focus on the rest. 

After I brought the horses in, I poured myself a long overdue glass of wine and went out to soak in the last of the sunset. 

Just in time.


I just figured I would share it with you! 

It reminds me of a time I went fishing. My whole family was already there on the coast. I was one of the last to show. I sent my Darcy dog with my parents, when they left earlier. I caught a late flight after work. I showed up, grabbed my rod, and headed for the dock. Fishing in your work clothes. Excuse me, catching in your work clothes! I will tell you, it is oddly satisfying. 

Anyway, Enjoy! 

Walk in love, dear readers!