It’s A Bird…Birthday Edition

It’s a plane…

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It’s a Cheetah!

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Wait, what? No, no, no.

Not that kind of cheetah.

This kind of Cheetah!

A birthday Cheetah!

My gal pal is 14 today. That is quite a big number considering I started riding her when she was only 4.

We have been through a lot together, and we ain’t nearly through! Name that reference! No? Uh, OK, never mind then. I guess I will just give it to you. You’re in for more, so you might as well just give it a listen. If you knew it already, I would like to be your friend.

If you do not know her story, you should give it a read here.

Her heart is seriously as big as Texas and her lungs, well, they are built to match. She has taken me everywhere and given me the best gifts.

She is special and unlike any other around. I knew it the first time I met her. She already has some gray hairs starting above her eyes and I am not sure if that makes me feel happy or melancholy.

She keeps me on my toes and I bet she will continue to do so until well into her twenties.

She is my gal pal and I would not trade her for anything. Even if she is opinionated and does not like to walk. I only wish I could ride her everyday again, preferably in a cotton field.

Walk in love, dear readers, and for your listening pleasure, I give you this…I just do not understand why people do not sing about line back duns.

 

 

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.

A Big Thanksgiving

Or rather, a long Thanksgiving. Big and long.

Big in thanks and giving, yes, much gratitude. We have much to be thankful for.

Also big in numbers. Number of people. An abundance of family and friends. Tons of conversation and laughter. Bucket loads of love. Many dogs. Food, food, and more food (and booze). And not just any food, great food. I have to say, I am surrounded by talented people. Pretty much all of them are great cooks!

Some sadness, yes. That can not be denied, but I have to say, I think we all did a great job focusing on the positive and being grateful for each other. Which is what Thanksgiving is all about.

This particular Thanksgiving was long in a sense that it felt like it lasted from last weekend to today. Even with all the regular day to day things, like work, and all the preparation and cooking, it somehow felt like vacation.

Now, I know some of you will be in disbelief upon reading this. Or even rolling your eyes at me. But in all honesty, it did. I am sitting here with my coffee trying to psych myself up for this work Monday.

The weekend before Thanksgiving week (after the Charlotte Dujardin clinic…which I still need to write up for you…sorry, I will get to it. In short, it was great and I shattered my phone screen) I spent at the farm by myself. It was a terribly therapeutic weekend. Strong and funny language, I know, but stay with me. It was both releasing and restorative.

After taking care of some errands and chores during the day on Saturday, I quickly saddled up Chance and went for a sunset ride.

Then I built a fire in the pit, hit play on some great music, made a cocktail, and sat down with my dog to watch the last of the sunset with the northern front at my back. Drew Kennedy has a live album titled Sad Songs Happily Played which acted like my own personal concert in the best venue.

Sunday started early and chilly.

I took a little drive in my pajamas while the horses ate with my dog, coffee, and music. Because I could. I started listening to Dani and Lizzy’s ‘Dancing In The Sky‘ on repeat (I am weird like that) and just allowed the tears to flow. It feels …strange, I guess, to say that. To admit that. But hey, it’s the truth, so there. Sometimes a girl just needs a good cry or two…or three, as was the case on Sunday.

I got dressed and headed out into the sun to catch up my first horse of the day.

I came upon the horses and discovered the three young geldings laying down, having a post breakfast nap with Cheetah standing guard over them. I just could not resist the temptation and sat down with them. The most wonderful thing happened when Cheetah decided she felt comfortable enought to lay down with us. I have no idea how long I sat there with them snoozing, but it was simply glorious. One of them broke the spell and they all got up, so I haltered Cheetah and started grooming.

Keep scrolling for this cow’s newborn on Thanksgiving weekend!

Cheetah decided she was a saucy mare, but her son made up for it by giving me the best ride on him to date. Lito is really starting to put the pieces together and it feels really great. Really learning to travel between my legs and reins and lift his shoulder. Yielding his hindquarters and shoulders. I just need to keep reminding myself he is not farther along because I can only ride on weekends. I need to not push too hard and have it not be fun for him. Well, both of us. He is seriously the most comfortable horse I have ever ridden.

I had a quick ride on Ike after a late lunch on the porch. Then I built myself another fire to close out the day. As one of my dear readers said, I just sat with my feelings and reflected. That is what time alone at the farm is about for me.

I stayed at the farm until Monday morning to meet the farrier before heading back to town and into the office for the short holiday work week.

I took the day off of work on Wednesday to get my cake baked at my parents house and the kitchen cleaned before Thanksgiving. Middle Sister, K, her husband, T, and their dogs were staying at my parents house for the holiday so Darcy had ample entertainment. She is currently passed out after I made her go outside.

Baking is one of my favorite parts of the holidays. This pumpkin cheesecake cake was worth all the work and calories, trust me. It really was not even that much work. Do yourself a favor, and go make it for yourself. Decorating it is also easy peasy, if you want to do that. Which you should because it is fun. And pretty.

My mom’s side of the family and a few friends came to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving lunch. And oh, the food. The food was so good! I am still dreaming about it. We all had a grand time and then loaded up and headed out to the farm just in time for sunset.

I give to you the post Thanksgiving sunrise if you missed it.

Remember that calf I mentioned? We all got to see it right after it was born. You are welcome for the cuteness. I do what I can for you, you know.

Another stunning sunset from the weekend.

On Saturday my dad’s side of the fam came out for lunch and some much needed togetherness and fresh air at the farm.

I took three kids on lead line rides and one solo ride all on Chance. There was so much fun and cuteness, I almost could not even handle it. Chance was so well behaved and we stuffed him with carrots and gave him lots of love.

My cousin got to harvest his first deer which was very exciting for everyone in the family.

I came back out to the barn before bed to give Chance another carrot and to thank him for giving those kids his gifts.

You haz carrot?!

This is a terribly long dump of a post, but there it is. The point is, I am thankful this Thanksgiving and wish I had another day before going back to work.

Thankful I got to enjoy it. Thankful to be surround by loved ones. Thankful to spend time at the farm and create memories. Thankful to ride all the horses. Thankful for cows and calves. Thankful for my happy dog. Thankful to see the sunsets and sunrises. Thankful for music and reflection and fresh air. Thankful that I got to pick out a Christmas tree with my parents and begin decorating. And even thankful for my job that I need to go get ready for.

That is all. Up next, all about the Charlotte Dujardin Clinic!

Walk in love, dear readers! Thank your lucky stars today and every day. Keep in the spirit of thanks and giving.

Hey Howdy!

Did you miss me? Shh, I know you did.

I have missed you!

This past week has been a whirl wind, but a fun whirl wind.

In short, it was fun and Lito was amazing. By Friday he was more than ready to come home, but he did better than probably any other young horse that has never been exposed to anything close to this.

Saturday morning greeted us with a beautiful sunrise and ample time to do what we needed to do before we left. That included a quick water line repair. Again…let us not talk about that…and a shower glam session for the Lito man. Can’t be traveling when you aren’t looking your best. That’s what my mamma says.


He rode in a new to him trailer. One that he actually fits in. Even though he still likes to rub his head on the ceiling. He just has to work harder to do it. Lito got to ride with his bro for life, Ronan. I rode with my gal pal for life, R.



We drove to a friend’s place for the weekend before we made the shorter haul to where we were to stay and ride for the week on Monday. We were with 3 other ladies and their horses and we all had a grand and relaxing time.


He is the cutest.

Sunset.

Sunrise.



A much needed cocktail. All the excitement got to me and I needed to level out.

But what I really needed was this. An evening ride on Sunday and stumbling upon this at sunset. Serendipitous. Something I really love about the hill country is that it really puts life in perspective. Gives you a true sense of scale and how small we are. Similarly to how the mountains make me feel. I swear there is a cross somewhere on EVERY hill out here. When you get to the top of one, you can see forever and yet not see much of anything else besides what you are felling. Hard to explain.

This song reminds me of the hill country. Describes what the hill country makes me feel. We listened to it on Saturday morning, on the top of that hill where we were staying, before we left.


We did not drive like h***.

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When we got to our final destination Monday morning, Lito stayed in a box stall in a tent barn and acted like he was born in there. 

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​A front blew through Monday evening/early Tuesday morning and was quite windy. They ​delayed the ride on Tuesday, but Lito did not seem to be bothered by the wind. We rode every day this week with around maybe 90 other horse and rider pairs. He got a little anxious when the ride went to slow or got too crowded, but he really handled himself well. I had faith in him and I really think he had faith in me. You could really tell he was trying his best and trying to figure it all out. Proud of my loyal boy. He nickered every time he saw or heard me coming to his stall. Made my heart melt. He is such a gift.

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When it came time for everyone to pack up and leave on Saturday, for the mass exodus, Lito thought it was the perfect time for his mid morning nap. My horse is a freak and I love it. Poor kid took up every inch of that stall.

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He sure was happy to be back home in his pasture and with his heard. I am happy to report he strutted his stuff in fine form for everyone.

To spend a week with a bunch of Texas horsewomen in the country, just enjoying Texas, tradition, horses, and fellowship is nothing short of amazing. It was great and I can not wait till next year. Fun times were had by all.

R and Ronan stayed at the farm with us Saturday night before heading home yesterday. I went straight to my parents house to have dinner with them and get my Darcy doolittle dog.

Happy to be back with my Darcy dog, but not ready for reality! But. Reality brought us a cold front this morning. The air is glorious. Straight up feels like fall! I am going to have a fall cooking and baking session with my cousin tonight!

I hope everyone had a great week!

Back to the regular scheduled programming.

Walk in love, dear readers!

 

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! 

Whopper

Welp. I dare say that was (well, still is) a whopper. A doozy whopper of a hurricane. I just came up with that. Just roll with it. 

(Disclaimer…blogging from your phone is difficult and annoying. Please forgive any spelling or grammatical errors.)

Words really can not describe the magnitude of devastation. EVERYWHERE. 

I had a friend ask me if I or my parents had ever seen anything like this. My response? My grandparents haven’t ever seen or heard of anything like this. And my family has been in this area for a long time. 

It will take me a little while on this one to gather my thoughts and put them into words. To be honest, I am not even sure if I can. I will try though, not just for me, but for my people, my city, my region, my state. Please know that me and my animals and my people are all well. We are safe and on the right side of the worst of it. We have been blessed and I am more sure than ever that God provides. And He is here. Always. I so appreciate all of the comments and messages from you, my dear readers. It means the world to me. 

I apologize for being MIA since my last post. That was not my intention, but in circumstances such as these, your prioraties change pretty quick. 

I hope you are all well. I do not even remember the last time we spoke. That is how long this storm, horrible Harvey, has been going on. 

There is much work to be done now, but until then, please enjoy our aftermath of the storm. 


I needed that cocktail! 





Because everyone loves Tuner kisses…








Looking forward to all the new growth. 

Walk in love, dear readers. 

Elemental

Earth, air, water, and fire. 

And the Oxford comma. Ha! Hey, I’ve got jokes today! 

No, for real. 

Something so Elemental as to embody all four of those concepts. More than just words. They are senses. Images. Feelings. Emotions. All in themselves. 

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. God’s paintings twice a day, every day, no matter where you are. Both at the beginning and the end. Of everything. Yet different every day. New. 

Seeing and smelling the earth, feeling the air across your skin as you lope your horse around, praying for those clouds to produce some rain (at least where we are, they have had more rain than us!), and having your soul set on fire. 

Blessed and grateful. 

The reflection of the sunset on the eastern sky Saturday evening with horses and friends. Clearly no better at focusing for photos than I’m sure we were as kids…






Please take a moment to enjoy Lito’s expressions. Seriously, that horse. I just can not contain myself.

Sorry. Where was I? Right.

Sunrise progression Sunday morning. I told you God likes Sundays to be foggy…



Two things that inspire me most next to my horses and my dog. 

Have you caught a sunrise or a sunset recently? Share if you have! If you have not, do yourself a favor and watch one soon. 

Walk in love, dear readers!

Just A Few Of My Favorite Things.

Yes, like The Sound of Music! Don’t worry, I won’t start singing.

After a great vacation, I am ready to get back home and to a few of my favorite things.

In no particular order…

My dog. That was step number one. No hesitation. I stepped off the plane, took a big breath of Texas air (so glad that I didn’t loose my cookies on that turbulent flight), and headed straight to R’s house to retrieve my dog. I was very glad to have a key to her house and not have to wait for her to get off work. Darcy gives the best welcome home and stuck to me like glue for a good 24 hours after I picked her up. Dogs are the greatest. Seriously. Always happy and joyful. I don’t see how people can’t love dogs. Thank you Lord for dogs!

My bed. Oh man. You just can not get the same kind of sleep anywhere other than your own bed. Especially with a crick in your neck. Give me my good pillows and mattress back!

My horses. As soon as I could, I booked it out to the farm with Darcy. It was hotter than you know what on Saturday. Like a cruel joke to come back to the hottest day of summer yet. I drove down to where they were grazing under a pecan tree, checked each of them, and then went back to the house to wait out the heat of the day. Once evening rolled around, and I was good and stir crazy after binge watching trash TV, I walked down to the meadow pasture, past the pond, and called to them. Lito Man started walking in immediately, good guy that he is. The other geldings practically rolling their eyes at him. He came right up to me. I will always love him for that. Cheetah, on the other hand, looked at me from afar at first and went back to grazing. There is nothing like the affection of a mare, I tell you. Then she did the greatest thing. She turned around and started trotting…and then loping up to me. No greater feeling in the world. She will always be my girl. If you look closely at the video, you can see her in the background.


I love how Lito is kind of like a dog. A very, very big dog.

Farm sunsets. Ya, no explanation needed here. The mountains were a great respite for me and have always treated me well, but there is nothing like home. It is where your heart is.


Today has been, well, a Monday. I think I need another vacation.

Walk in love, dear readers! I hope y’all had a great weekend and that your week is getting off to a great start!

 

Real, Like Rock & Roll

Your AHAmoment for today is brought to you by Sean McConnell. It is too good not to share.

Heart and soul. That is what matters. It is not what you have or what you do or where you are from. It is what lies behind your shirt pocket.

“We don’t look them in the eyes much anymore, hands in our pockets and our face down to the floor. Everybody’s staring at their telephone. We got the whole world in our hands and we’ve never been more alone.”

So true that it almost knocks the air out of me. Take me back to that ‘dying day.’ I refuse to believe it is dead.

Ironic how we call it ‘connected.’ Connected by internet and email and cell phones. I have never felt so disconnected with more of those things. But, What do I know? I am only 28.


Give me something that’s real
Like rock and roll.
Give me something I can feel
Down in the soul.
‘Cause everything is perfect.
Everything is clean,
Just an imitation of the thing it used to be.
Give me something that’s real
Like rock and roll.

And let me hitch a ride on a rusty freight train
Back in time to a dying day
When songs were played out of tune
And you could hear a heartbeat through
The radio.

Tell me something that you need
With all your heart.
Whisper secrets you’ve been keeping
In the dark.
Yeah, ’cause everybody’s talking
Just to make some noise.
Half the shit we’re saying don’t mean nothing anymore.
Tell me something that you mean
With all your heart.

And let me hitch a ride on a rusty freight train
Back in time to a dying day
When songs were played out of tune
And you could hear a heartbeat through
The radio.

We don’t look them in the eyes much anymore,
Hands in our pockets and our face down to the floor.
Everybody’s staring at their telephone.
We got the whole world in our hands
And we’ve never been more alone.

So give me something that’s real
Like rock and roll.
Give me something I can feel
Down in my soul.

And let me hitch a ride on a rusty freight train
Back in time to a dying day
When songs were played out of tune
And you could hear a heartbeat through
The radio.

Give me something that’s real
Like rock and roll.

~Sean McConnell
(Thanks to ShelliWayne on YouTube for the vid)


Typical day to day here. Wishing I could go ride in this gorgeous weather. Or go fishing. Anything. Prayers for it to hold trough to the end of Sunday. At present, it is looking pretty good.

You know who needs rain? Kansas. And Oklahoma. And North Texas. And all the other states suffering from wild fires. It’s a bad deal up there and no one seems to be taking about it. Talk about not connected. Whole ranches wiped out. Thousands of cattle dead. People have lost their lives and others are fighting for their livelyhoods. I have read that it is starting to look like the 30’s during the depression with the winds taking the barren dirt. They need rain in a bad way. Still, they are seeing the light in the dark. Plants beginning to sprout. Green amongst the black. Grave sites untouched, completely surrounded by scourched earth. Pages of hymnals able to be read. Stir that around in your pot of thoughts.

Next week starts weekday rides when I can. I would have gone today, but it frankly sneaked up on me. I am now feeling antsy pantsy, chomping at the bit to get out there. Story of my weekday life.

Blessed to have it!

Walk in love, dear readers.