Why, Hello There

Um, hi. Ya. It’s me.

What happened to December? It is already half way through. When in the world did that happen? Jolly old Saint Nick is coming faster to town than ever before!

I have not yet finished my Christmas shopping. I used to get all of my gifts before December even hit. How did I ever manage that?

Anyway.

Clearly I have been really busy. Busy doing what, I am not overly sure about, but sure, yes, busy. Busy enough to barely be writing to y’all! Busy with work, family, laundry (duh!), and watching Christmas movies. Lots of them. You know the ones I am speaking of. They are your favorites too, even if you dare not admit it. Hallmark Christmas movies! I am not the only one who loves them!

Trying to ride as much as possible which has proved overly difficult. It rained so much last weekend that the varmint holes were full of water two days later! So far I have spent more time scooping poop and pulling burrs out of manes and tails than riding. Although I did get some good riding time around Thanksgiving, so there is that!

fd79aad7db38a0176719b86efeb296d1

I did bake pumpkin bread last night. And ate some last night…and again this morning. I have to tell you, there is nothing like a house that smells like fresh baked pumpkin bread (or my Mamma’s rolls)! I walked downstairs this morning and it still smelled that way! Put a big ol’ smile on my face it sure did! As did eating it, but I am sure you guessed that.

Have you heard all the great Christmas music being shared over on the Facebook page?! I am going to give you some valuable life advice. If you have not clicked over there and had a listen, you are truly missing out. I bet you there are a few on there already that you have not heard before and there are even more to come, along with some great classics. Honestly, there are not enough days before Christmas to share all of my favorites. It has been hard to pick and choose which ones to share. One song a day is hard!

This version was new to me this year!

Christmas music really gets me into the spirit. Now all I need to do is find the rest of my gifts, get to wrapping, and figure out what I will bake for our family gatherings. What do y’all think? What should I make? What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Here is hoping I can finish out the year with more ride time and ring in the new the right way! I am just over here, trying to live in the present.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Slow Down

Do not forget to allow time slow down this time of year! Take a deep breath and enjoy it, whatever Thanksgiving brings your way this year.

I somehow forgot until Sunday afternoon that Thanksgiving is indeed this Thursday. As in a few days from now. Completely slipped my mind. Go figure that and get back to me. It is not like I have been talking about Thanksgiving and the season and being mindful or anything.

Anyway. I remembered while I was in the grocery store to pick up a couple things to make some chili. I do believe I made it out with everything I need. Here is the kicker. Without a list! Another fact you could spend more than an iota pondering, but I will not spend my time doing that.

This year I am making the best cheesecake, but with a twist this time. A topping of chocolate ganache and salted caramel with pecans. I am also making my fancy cranberry sauce as per usual (if you have never made or had cranberry sauce from scratch, you are missing out) and the best sweet potatoes. Then, for Thanksgiving round two, I will be making some kind of gluten free dessert for my Pop’s birthday. Stay tuned for more recipes and final results!

If you are reading this and are surprised much like I was that Thanksgiving is this week, fear not, you are not alone! Do not feel bad! You have buckets of that thing called time. Trust me.

So.

Being as it is the Monday before Thanksgiving and life is crazy and time is trying to speed by and you may find yourself wanting it to go away and memories and and and, I have something for you. For all of us.

A Thanksgiving prayer by Ralph Waldo Emerson set to views at the farm. I hope you enjoy and get into the spirit. Allow time to slow down and feel the beauty and blessings all around you.


For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food,

For love and friends,
for everything Thy goodness sends.

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;

For song of bird, and hum of bee;

For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!

I think Chance liked it.

How do you allow time to slow down this time of year?

Walk in love, dear readers!

Cold Mornings

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

This morning was the first real cold of the season.

So very cold, but so beautiful.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Walk in love, dear readers!

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

 

From Me To You

Here is a little between the ears time from last weekend.

Just me, my horse, and my dog.

Just a little something from me to you. To brighten your day, if you will. For anyone who has not had enough of this in their life. Or any of it. To help make it a good Friday.

Memories of moments like this help get me through tough days or weeks. I am grateful for them.

Work has been crazy and ride time has not been very plentiful for me lately. Between the weather and life’s crazy schedule it has been difficult, and this weekend will be no different. I am hoping to get out there for at least a couple hours.

It is just the way it goes sometimes.

 

I hope you enjoy my dirty, happy dog. The creaking of my saddle. That moment where Cheetah tries to snag a bite of grass. The muddy pasture and green grass. The dynamic clouds.

Walk in love, dear readers!

In All Seriousness.

Just an average Thursday over here, do not mind me.

So, do you remember how back in September I told you how I get reflective at the beginning of fall? Well, once we hit November 1, I reach a whole new level. Ya, news flash, I know. Alert the media. What media? Never mind.

Anyway, every time November rolls around I want to do something serious here in this space. Serious. Meaningful. Something to express the true meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas as we come into the season. You know, the real reason for the season. That always seems like a very large task. How does one tackle something so grand? Something with such gravity and brevity?

Typical me taking everything so seriously and making it such.

UnnaturalCoordinatedApe-size_restricted

Here is the deal. The AHAmoment in it all.

It is not really all that complicated. It is very simple and basic. Something everyone can grasp if you allow yourself. Open your eyes. Remember that whole KISS rule your teachers taught you way back when? Spoiler alert. That one is for life too. Keep. It. Simple. Silly. Go figure. It also has nothing to do with the season or time of year. That is just a happy convenient reminder. To get you intentional about it. It is something to be lived every day and carried on throughout the year.

What it all boils down to is being thankful. Experiencing the gratitude and the blessings and where they come from. Seeing them. Feeling them. All around you. They are there all around us. It is us who have a hard time seeing what is right there in front of our faces. Feeling it as we would feel the ever present wind against our skin.

We all live very complicated, intertwined, and busy lives. Surrounded by distractions. Going through life with not only blinders on, but with blindfolds on. Thinking we are getting somewhere without actually seeing.

What it is all about is the journey. Walking your path. Seeing, experiencing, and enjoying all that is around you.


“Lord, give me the eyes to see
Exactly what it’s worth
And I will be the richest man on earth”

Being grateful for today and celebrating it. For the very life in your veins. The food in your belly. The sun shining outside. The rain that reinvigorates the earth. The people around you. The family you create, blood or not. Those that are with us, both physically and spiritually.

Being grateful for your past because it has made you who you are today and brought you to where you stand this very minute. A step in front of yesterday. To be built up by the struggle. For the journey. YOUR path.

Being grateful for a wet dog nose or a soft, velvety horse muzzle against your skin. For green pastures with enough grass for the horses and cows. A full pond. For being able to see the sunrise and sunset. For getting to the beginning of November without yet having a frost and blanketing temperatures like last year. For a functioning manure spreader. Being able to share my love with fun desserts to serve my family. To laugh and share with people you love.

Being grateful for feeling time slow down, during a time of year when time does nothing but rush past, when you can see just one of your many blessings.

I could go on.


“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.”
~Avery~

Serious, I know. But in all seriousness. Life, man. It is a beautiful life and we are all blessed to live it. See and feel your many blessings so you can be a blessing to those around you.

The most interesting thing about all of this is when you start to see, those around you catch a glimmer too and start to see a little for themselves.

Just some things to stir around in your pot of thoughts on this fine Thursday. Clearer than mud, I hope? Too early? Well, at least I am not sharing Christmas music yet!

I think this is going to be a great month. Are there any anvils and pianos over my head?

Walk in love, dear readers!

P.S. I am grateful for y’all. Yes! Each and everyone of YOU that comes here to AHAmoments. For allowing my to share my thoughts. For engaging in conversation. For sharing your story. For making this a great place to be.

Light

Let us talk for a minute about light. Y’all know I have a thing for it. That sounds like a funny thing to say, but you get what I mean. Especially there at the farm.


“In nature, light creates the color. In the picture, color creates the light.”
~Hans Hofmann

On Thursday of last week I went out to the farm for a delayed midweek visit because I was going to be out of town over the weekend to attend a baby shower for Sister K. The ground was soup again (or still, I guess) and there was no riding to be had, so I just fed everyone and hung out. Enjoyed the clean, clear, and cool air and the sounds of happily eating animals.

The cows were a bit miffed to only be getting hay to eat. As if they do not live on an all you can eat buffet.

After turning the horses out I walked out into the pasture with them and then on down to the pond. Thinking to myself all the while, “maybe I will get some good sunset shots over the water.”

What a passing thought to have.

You could already tell there was something special in the air that day. In the very light itself. It was like a magnet pulling me in. A veritable beacon. Can you see it there? Down the valley? In the tip of Cheetah’s tail?

I mean. Just look at that mare next to that pecan tree.

This little one was intrigued by me crouching in the grass. Or she just wanted to model. Only she knows the real answer.

I turned back around to see that the horses had meandered down and a gaggle of calves had moved in.

img_6773img_6774

Anyway, I went a little further down, closer to the pond and looked to my left. I raised my phone camera and snapped two pictures.

I just stood there in wonder for a few moments.

Do you see it? In these two photos together? What if you imagined them together, combined into one image? One on top of the other?

Do you see the cross in the light?

I do not even have words for that.


 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

~John 8:12



“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”

~1 John 1:5



“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

~John 1:5



“The obviously well kept secret of the “ordinary” is that it is made to be a receptacle of the divine, a place where the life of God flows.”

~Dallas Willard


Ordinary. Extraordinary.

Darcy was feeling it too.

But then again, Darcy is always feeling it. Animals get it.

What a moment.

Thank you for letting me share this moment with you.

Let your lights shine. It is bright within you!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Wednesday…

Listen up happy people. I have a song for you.

Usually I share songs on Tuesday or Thursdays so I can sound clever by titling said post with Tuesday’s Track or Thursday’s Tune. You know, alteration and all of that. I am a fan. However, this one popped up this very morning and dang if I can not wait till tomorrow to share it with you. And y’all can prolly tell I have a thing for Blackberry Smoke and Charlie Starr.

So have a listen to this Wednesday…uh…Whistle? Ya, I will work on that, but go ahead and give it a listen.

This is life. I have a song. You have a song. We have to share our songs. It is what life is about. AHAmoment. Let your pearl shine, man. It is yours.


“These days, the good days are fewer and farther between
Sometimes the hard times a shadow on my my sky-blue dream
I don’t have much if you look through the eyes of the world
Open me up and you might find just one shinin’ pearl

I’ve got this song, a story to tell
About the good times and bad times, heaven and hell
Well it might not be pretty, or have much to say
But it’s all I’ve got left at the end of the day
It’s the one thing they can’t take away
I’ve got this song

I’ve got a short list of good friends I can count on to answer my call
And a long list of bad things I might not be proud of at all
Show me a man who hasn’t yet learned how to fall
There is a man who doesn’t know much yet at all

I’ve got this song, a story to tell
About the good times and bad times, heaven and hell
Well it might not be pretty, or have much to say
But it’s all I’ve got left at the end of the day
It’s the one thing they can’t take away
I’ve got this song

I’ve got this song, a story to tell
About the good times and bad times, heaven and hell
Well it might not be pretty, or have much to say
But it’s all I’ve got left at the end of the day
It’s the one thing they can’t take away
The one thing they can’t take away
I’ve got this song
I’ve got this song”


Let that one stir around in your pot of thoughts and sink in.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Middle Of Nowhere

Nowhere I tell you.

You know, grief and loss are some interesting things.

Or rather, that moment is interesting when they smack you like a mac truck out the middle of nowhere.

WHACK!

Did you feel that?!

Where the heck did that come from??!!

tenor (1)

The middle of nowhere, that is where.

tenor.gif

Well, I guess not quite exactly.

There I was today, in my office. At my desk. In the middle of the long afternoon on an innocent Wednesday. Just working away doing my thing while listening to music.

Then all of a sudden…this song comes on.

And then, BOOM!

WHACK!

I was smacked in the face and straight through to the heart. It all almost came right out my eyes, but it got lodged right there in my throat, above my chest, in a knot for a good ten minutes. Practically choking me.

And this had nothing to do with Merle Haggard (although, yes, that is sad too) and everything to do with the memory of my grandfather.

No Sir, he will never be gone. He lives on in us in so many ways.

Man oh man. That was exhausting! Excuse me while I go bawl my eyes out. Be back later.

unnamed (16)

Has that ever happened to you? Seemingly out of the blue?

I told you I get this way this time of year.

Walk in love, dear readers.