I saw a young, male Cardinal this morning when I was taking Darcy out. I heard him before I saw him. He fluttered up from the branch of a hedge bush behind us and landed on my empty planter pot by my front door. I turned my head and could not help but smile as he looked at me. Then, he took flight across the lawn and went on his merry way. A vibrant spot of red color against the green grass and golden morning light. It was then that I noticed all the birds out on this fine morning were singing their happy songs.
I love all birds, but I think Cardinals are my favorite. Some say they are lucky. Some say they are God winking at you. I believe both. This will not be a surprise to some as I have written about Cardinals before.
Friday night’s sunset at the farm was quite spectacular. An array of colors all its own. I feel like I forgot what they looked like with the sun being constantly veiled behind the clouds.
There is nothing like having them all out there in the pasture grazing. With or without the painting in the background. So peaceful. Out of this world, really. It immediately transplants me.
Saturday started out sunny and the sun stayed out long enough for me to get a little color on my skin while Lito acted like he left his brain in his stall. Which is frustrating because that is not normal for him, but he is a horse and they have off days too. He just has less of them. Really, you can not blame him. It has been a while since I have really been able to work him because of all the rain. I was also riding like poo and was way too heavy handed on the reins. We were both having days I guess. I kept reminding myself that tomorrow is a new day.
Darcy enjoyed a serious nap in the sun before it went into hiding. I wish I could nap like a dog! Do you ever think that?
Sunday my Lito man tried to redeem himself which makes this gal a happy gal. Hopefully, we will make some good progress the clinic this coming weekend. We have done what we can with what we have to prepare. Here is to learning and bettering.
Today I am headed out on a quick overnight work trip. Actually, I’m sitting in the car on the road now. Starting to get car sick, so I must wrap this up. I already miss my Darcy and am ready for Friday to come so Lito and I can head out to get learned!
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.
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!
A little dose of cuteness for you on this fine Monday.
The ever dirty, but awfully cute Darcy Doolittle. She can brighten any day.
I am choosing to believe this Monday to be fine. I am imagining the sun shining.
No clouds. No rain. We have not seen the sun shine for more than an hour at a time in I do not even know how long. ALL WINTER like this.
Riding this weekend was a little like a slip and slide at the walk, so that is what we did. Walked around bareback and trotted where we could. One of these days, I will get some real riding in. I won’t think about how long that will be. It all makes me long for the days that I had access to an indoor arena.
It also makes me think of that Kid Rock song. And this song, for a matter of fact.
Let us go to Mexico for the rest of the season.
Dreaming of Mexico, dear readers. Is that why I have eaten an exorbitant amount of Mexican food in the past couple of weeks?
Want to know more about me? This is for you, everyone new and old to the happenings over here at AHAmoments. I have been asked a few questions over time and thought it would be a good idea for another ‘about me’ installment. You can get to know me a little better. Maybe you have zero care to know more and hey, that is cool too.
Honestly, this is a hard thing for me to do. I do not really fancy talking about myself. I much prefer to talk about other things. Like horses and music.
Odd that I have a blog, right? I know.
Anyway. I have seen a couple of people do a ’30 Facts About Me You Didn’t Know’ post, so it seemed like a sign. I am hopping on the band wagon, or something like that. To read through theirs, click here and here. I may or may not have gotten some inspiration from them, so thanks to them!
I have a B.S. and an M.S. in Geology from two different schools. I took a year off in between and wish I had taken more time. During that time off, I worked at a kitchen supply store that offered cooking classes. I helped with the classes and it was pretty fun. I learned some things and got a discount. I should have purchased more things.
I rode most every day at least once when I was in college. Man, how I miss that. Tell me again why I wanted to leave and go to work? Oh, right. I had to pay for my habit.
I have never lived outside of the state of Texas and have only lived in two cities.
In high school, I was voted biggest fan of Texas. Which is actually really cool to me because I am and I did not know that many people knew me that well. I am a small, close knit friend group kind of gal and was more focused on riding horses and getting out of there than anything else. I liked to fly under the radar.
My favorite subjects were the ones I had the best and most passionate teachers. I liked Texas and American History because, well, Texas. But also because those two were my BEST teachers. There is not really a subject that does not come up because I had at least one amazing teacher in every subject. I loved all of my art classes and even entered in some art contests when I was in middle school. I really loved taking photography and I wish I had taken some photography classes in college.
I found writing difficult when I was in school because I felt like a square peg in a round hole world. Which really defines the majority of my growing up. I also can’t spell very well and transpose letters all the time. It is interesting to me now that I have a blog and enjoy the writing. When I get to typing, I find that it flows pretty easily here. I get to be myself and I like sharing my stories with you. Even the hard stuff. Stay square, kids, or round, whatever shape you may be.
I played soccer growing up and for a couple years in high school. Defense, if you want to know. I stopped playing because it took too much time away from my horses. That is how I got into doing 4H. My mother said I could not be anti social and spend all my time at the farm. I am still friends with someone I met in 4H. We actually lived together our freshman year of college. In hindsight, that might not have been the best idea either of us had, but we are still friends. Water under the bridge.
I sometimes dream about being a radio DJ or doing something in the music business so I can share what I am listening to with anyone who wants to listen and to be surrounded by it. Or to be a musician or singer. Like yesterday and today. I have had a crazy awesome mix of artists and songs playing. Usually, it helps keep me focused on my work. Today however, it is so good that the music is all I can think about and it just keeps coming! I almost can not function it is that good. Music is life, man.
I am starting to teach myself how to play the guitar on a guitar my grandfather gave my mother. It is something I have always wanted to do. I also want to learn to play the piano. Really all the instruments, but we will start here.
I am as passionate about food as I am music. I love to plan my meals. Make them an experience. The funny thing is that I used to be REALLY REALLY REALLY picky, but I still loved to cook things I did not like. I got tired of missing out and now I eat most things. Except sushi. I am out on that. And foods with strange textures.
I want to travel the world for food and booze, music, and horses. I thought about studying abroad when I was in college, but I did not want to study while I was there. I just wanted to experience. I am going to France this summer and can not wait to eat good food and drink good wine, listen to great music, and ride all the horses. I want all of my future travel will be centered around riding.
Tequila is my drink of choice.
I also think I need to have one of those outfits to ride my dun fancy dancer.
I have zero tattoos and only have my ears pierced. I did not get my ears pierced until I was in college. Now, I rarely am without earrings. They are my favorite accessory.
My hair is curly and I never know how it is going to look from day to day. I just roll with what I get. When I was little, my mom’s cousin said, “man, her hair is just a party.” Rock on, man. There is a lot of music playing in my head on a day to day basis, so I am a party.
I have a very strange obsession with ‘reality’ TV and Hallmark movies. Strange I know. I do not understand myself.
I also have a strange fascination with mens 70’s fashion.
I read terrible romance novels. I love them. Shhh. I even have a few on audio book so I can listen while I drive.
I like to be creative and do crafts. Paint (especially pottery). Decorate. Popsicle sticks and Elmers. You name it.
I love to fish. I could fish all day and not catch a thing I love it that much.
I have two older sisters and a lot of cousins. We are all very close.
I have been horse crazy since before I can remember. Horses make up the majority of my thoughts. I remember most every horse I come across. I do not have that talent of remembering when it comes to people.
I do not mind eating out alone and do it quite often, but I prefer to have some company.
I do not like to go shopping. It is just really not my thing. Especially with people who randomly walk around without a system. Hello, there needs to be a system! I don’t really even like grocery shopping. It takes me too long, I always have to ask where something is, and there is always a long check out. Every. Time. Without fail. No matter how hard I try.
I have a very low attachment to my purse. I leave it places too often. This is not good.
When the weather is nice, I sleep with my windows open so I can wake to the sound of the birds. I have been doing that since I was little.
People tell me often that they think I am older than I am. I am OK with that.
I ran into a car door once when I was a spastic kid and split my eyebrow open. I cried when I thought I was going to have to get stitches. Luckily, I did not need them.
I got heat stroke once at the farm. I do not remember how old I was, but I remember everything else. It was awful. Drink water kids and stay in the shade.
I wake up early. All the time. And have for a long time. No matter what time I go to bed, the latest I generally sleep is 7 AM. Usually I am up earlier than that.
I blush at the drop of a hat. All the time. Turn the attention on me, I blush. Say something that is inappropriate in mixed company, I blush. Anything. It can be embarrassing. Part of my overly expressive face. I do not have to say what I am thinking or feeling, you can generally read it on my face.
Tell me, dear readers, something about you! Let us get to know each other better and share our stories. Or want to know more about me? Ask me! I always thought of myself as an open book, but I read somewhere that nobody really is, so let us turn the pages.
I am not so sure, but I do not really have another answer.
So there I was at work yesterday, just working along, like you do. Hoping the afternoon just flies by. My phone starts to ring around 2 PM, well really buzz…but that doesn’t sound as nice, and I look over at the read out and see my mamma’s name.
I answer the phone. Always answer the phone when your mom calls. AHA moment. It is always worth it. I learned this long ago. The sooner you learn it the better. Anyway, back to aliens.
She had received word from someone that was doing some work out at the farm that the cows and horses were not where they were supposed to be and my dad could not be reached.
Naturally, the image of four horses colicing from eating cattle feed popped into my head. Or wrapped up in wire. Or impaled by fence posts. Or all three at the same time. You just never know. I grabbed my keys and ran out the door without another thought.
I stopped to pick up Darcy on the way in the case I could not get back to her. That hour long drive becomes exponentially longer when there is the possibility of something wrong.
FINALLY I arrive. I discover the majority of the cows two fences past where they are supposed to be, but luckily the horses were safely in their pasture…not colicing on cattle feed. Or wrapped up in wire. Or impaled by fence posts. After taking a minute to thank the Lord and take a breath, I put the horses in the stalls so I could move the cows back and go investigate.
Naturally the cows were looking at me all innocently like they themselves did not know how they got in there nor how to get out. Cows. I tell you.
Luckily for me, all I typically have to do to get the cows to move is open the gate and shake a bag of feed. Luckily for them, they listened and went back to their pasture.
I checked all the gates. They were closed. I checked the fence line of their pasture. No different than when I left Sunday.
I guess I will never know! It is a mystery. It was either aliens or they just wanted that clover really bad. Or my neighbor’s heifer, the naughty one that likes to jump. Definitely not what I expected to be doing yesterday, but then again, that is what animals are good for. Part of me is just waiting for another phone call today or tomorrow to tell me that the cows have learned to fly again. Oh well, any excuse to see the horses. Even if it is in my work clothes. And rainy.
Another day in the life. I do not think I will trade it for anything.
You know how when you were younger and smaller, innocent and wide eyed, how things appeared big and they stick in your memory that way? Then time goes by and you grow up and see those things again, but somehow they are smaller than you remembered? And you wonder just how in the world you ever thought they were that big?
That happened to me yesterday.
So there I was in the cloudy, windy, misty river bottom where the sun apparently does not like to play anymore. I spent the whole morning mucking out the barn and paddock around the barn. With the weather these days, the horses have been spending an exorbitant amount of time in there instead of out in the pasture. I really do not think I have ever scooped so much poop as I have in the last month and I have been riding and caring for horses my whole life. Anyway, that is not the point.
So there I was trying to decide what to do next. “I should be riding,” I thought to myself, but I do not like to ride when the ‘shoulds’ show up.
“Shoulds be darned” and I grabbed Cheetah’s bridle. We are going to go play and have fun. I bridled her up and headed to the fence to hop on.
Just then, H called. She was on her way to put in some work at the office. She likes to talk while she drives, as do I. We call it the dialies in our family. Anyway, I decided then and there that I would ride Cheetah for me and I would ride Lito next for her because she could not ride that day. She has not been able to ride in a while because of work. AHA moment. Always ride when you can. Life is too short and you never know when you won’t be able to and there are plenty of people who can not.
I stuck my phone in my pocket and talked to her on speaker phone for my whole lovely ride. Cheetah was lazy and behind my leg. Dare I say sluggish, which is somewhat of a nice change of pace. Then the sun showed up and I almost didn’t know what to do with myself.
For Lito, I decided to saddle up and ride my neighbor’s big pasture behind the barn.
I had not ridden that pasture in years. I used to ride it all the time on Fresca, my little palomino mare. She was quick, fast, and fun and I loved her. She had the best little jog and I could do anything on her. She was the best horse to grow up on. We rode all over the place bareback, nothing between me and her, feeling every thought. We had some amazing times, that mare and me. Whenever we would ride the pasture behind the barn, we would ride down to the river first and loop around to the clear frontage to have a look down the river and see if anyone was on the beach. Then we would continue up river and follow the tree line towards the big hill.
The hill was our favorite. The two track dirt road lazily meanders around to the low spot with rusty culvert before it goes straight up the hill to the little white church across the fence. The culvert was the starting gate in our games. We had different games in different places all around the river bottom, but here at the hill in the big pasture behind the barn, it was a race and she was the best race horse of the day.
Calm as could be, Fresca would walk up to the culvert as if neither of us had a plan to gallop to the top wearing red and white silks. As if we didn’t do it practically every time we came to the hill. An onlooker would not know what was about to happen, but the ones in the grandstand knew. Then, the bell would ring and in an instant, we would take off and fly to the top faster than all the greats.
Once at the top, we would come to a stop right by the church and listen to the church goers sing. I thought it was so cool that you could hear them sing when they were inside. By about that time I would start to feel hungry for breakfast so we would turn and head down the hill, cross the bog, and make our way back home where my mother was making pancakes.
Lito and I pushed our way through the overgrowth at the gate and then made our way down to the river. I will conveniently leave out the part where a crazy, lone cow chased followed us for a bit, so we got in some extra trotting before we got to the look out. After marveling at how the river bottom has changed since the two floods before Hurricane Harvey and then after Harvey, we tracked up river along the tree line towards the hill.
I was looking forward to a good lope up the hill for old time’s sake. I remember it being a bigger hill as hills go down here. At least big enough to lope for a bit. You know, feel the wind in your pony tail, or something like that. I had to laugh when the culvert at the base of the hill came into view. The big hill, in all its glory, looking back at me. I realized how small the hill actually is. Maybe ten strides long. Laughing, we went for a big trot up the hill instead. Being a Saturday, there were no church goers to listen to, so we turned and walked back. Half way there, the sun went behind the clouds, the wind picked up, and a few drops fell from the sky, but that didn’t dampen our spirits.
Funny how you remember things as a kid. I guess it is all just a matter of perspective. Back then I was little and more imaginative. Fresca was little. Today I am grown and Lito is quite a bit taller than ol’ Fresca. I think I will remember that hill as a big hill.
When the fog finally burned off this morning, it turned into a beautiful day. Cheetah and I had another ride in the pond pasture.
Now I am back at home. I did a very adult thing and sacrificed my day off tomorrow to do adult things instead of staying at the farm. I mean, look at those faces. So hard to leave them!
Naturally I did another very adult thing and procrastinated some of those things to clean and do laundry all afternoon and evening. Nothing like cleaning and laundry to procrastinate. Makes you feel like you got so much accomplished (which you did, so that is something) and takes enough time to keep you from doing what you need to do.
Looks like it will be a late night! Oh well!
Walk in love, dear readers, tomorrow is a new day!
And you just have to make the best of it. Conjure up your own rays of sunshine.
Most everywhere is too slick to do much ridden work faster than a walk or do much more than straight lines. So we plod through puddles pretending we are kids in rain boots. Well I am a kid in rain boots. Just enjoying what little time we get together. There is so much rain on the forecast, I just have to laugh and be grateful. I may not be able to get much riding done, which is unfortunate because I am riding in a clinic in about a month, but we will get some great grass growth whenever the sun decides to come out and play.
It all has me longing for spring and everything it entails.
All of this if you too need help remembering what it is like.
The Sunday blues rode in on that same grey cloud, as unwelcome as ever, pressuring me to do something about it. Just like always.
The end of last week brought some interesting…things. Dare I call them signs. That is a scary thing to admit. That they might be signs. It means you have to do something about it.
Most people would probably call them coincidences. I do not really believe in coincidences though. I am pretty firmly in the everything happens for a reason camp.
So here I am, or was as it were, over there, lost in the going through the day to day. Dazed and confused on the inside. Deep in this season of waiting. Longest dang season of waiting. Wondering if I missed the signs long ago. Ya, so there I was, and…Bam. Bam. Bam. One thing after the other.
Guess I need to go investigate and find out. I have no idea where or if they will lead to anything, but I will learn something.
I love waking up early to feed the horses and muck out the barn. A soft nuzzle from a velvet muzzle and a warm puff of grassy breath. The sounds of content munching. It is the right way to wake up in my opinion. I get to see things like this…
I love coming back inside and enjoying a hot cup of coffee with my dog at my feet while I watch the rest of the day wake up. A cup of coffee that I admittedly do not need after a morning like this. I am bright and awake.
This is where you find me right now. Sitting with my coffee after feeding. Except Darcy is with her cousin dogs and not at my feet.
I also love seat warmers in cars. Whoever invented those is a genius. I have not turned mine off in a very long time. So much cold!
I love wool socks. See reason above. And that we are one day closer to spring. I know, I know. Winter is much harder in other places, but man, I would venture to say that this is the coldest winter we have had in a long time.
Now I am going to tell you something else I love that you probably already knew. I love this horse! He blows me away. Sometimes I just do not know how he went from a foal to this…
Loping bareback after not being ridden in a couple weeks because of winter weather and Christmas festivities. He is such a fun and chill dude. I could really just go on and on, but the cows are mooing at me. I must go throw more hay. The joys of being the feed lady.
My last thought is this. My AHA moment. Think about what you love today and not what you think you hate. Keep that festering disease away. Life is hard enough without that.
Sounds like some kind of weekly, new year resolution challenge. Power Hour. If only I was that creative and inspired.
The other day, one of those polar vortex days last week, I pulled up at the farm after work to get everything done before the sun went down and got too cold. The thought of having everything finished early and being able to settle in with a movie and fuzzy socks on the couch with my dog sounded like just the ticket. As I pulled into the drive, I had a fleeting thought that something looked, or rather felt, different.
Not being able to put my finger on it quickly and having too much to do, I pushed the though aside and got to work.
Time went by quickly, but I worked just as fast. When I was close to being finished, I slowed down a little and then it hit me.
I pulled out my phone. Less than 10% battery.
My early evening movie dreams seemed to vanish as quickly as I had conjured them. Well, at least my dog, the couch, and the fuzzy socks would be there.
I quickly fell back on my default. I called Pops. Why is it that at less than a year from being thirty years old, I still call my parents for help? Have I ever been at the farm before with no power? or anywhere else for that matter? No. You call the power company and report it, light candles, get the batteries out, and then you wait. All of the above is what he said, as expected.
Anyway, back to my story.
I got all the candles together, lit them, and arranged them around the house while trying to report the outage over the phone. After that chore was checked off the list, I did a little happy dance before lighting the propane space heaters and being glad for a gas stove to heat up my dinner.
While my dinner was heating up, I looked around at the soft flickering light flooding through the house and just had to smile. Such a pretty sight that almost felt like an actual warmth that was more than the space heaters.
I almost laughed at myself for doing such a 180. Just moments before I was exclaiming (yes, aloud if you must know) how this stuff always happens to me when I am by myself! No power. Broken stuff. You name it. Kick the dirt. It makes me laugh now. How quickly we loose sight of what is important and how much we have.
I sat down with my candle light dinner, Darcy at my feet, and did not even bother with the fuzzy socks. No TV. No phone. No distractions. Just quiet. Maybe I will read a book with my fuzzy socks.
Just as I was thinking how great this was and how I would be OK if this happened on occasion (Occasion?! Give me a week away from it all!), the lights flickered and the power came back on. Figures.
Darcy and I looked at each other seemingly posing the same question. Should I just turn the lights off and continue on in candle light?
Well, I didn’t. I plugged in my phone, blew out most of the candles, and found a movie on the TV.
It all got me thinking how connected and dependent we are. Phone calls. Text messages. Emails. Photos. Social media. Internet. All of it in this little computer we all keep at an arm’s reach. Permeating everything we do. Getting comfortable with convenience. Complacent with the world as we know it today. How different it is now.
I often find myself wanting to really unplug and get away from my phone and computer always demanding things from me. Taking me away from what is really important and what life is really about. Taking actual time out of my life.
I have been thinking about this a lot the last few days. Ever since my hour without power. There are two things that come to mind. Something I read a few years ago and something I read today.
It is going to take me a while to find the article from a few years ago, so that will have to be saved for another day.
Something I found today though, is totally worth the read. A bit morbid at first sight, but absolutely worth it. Too many truths to count from someone who knows what IT is all about.