My Darcy Girl

There are sometimes things that happen in this earthly life that we do not understand, and it is likely that we will never know why on this side. This will most probably go at the top of that list.

A week ago tomorrow, I looked at my Doolittle and I knew it was time for me to let go. In the way that people always say it happens.

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I had done everything up to that point to keep her comfortable and she told me that it was no longer enough, but more meds did not mean living. I did everything I could to slow if not stop this freight train, but I found it had no brakes.

I could go on in details, and I will privately for anyone that is in the same position if it would be helpful, but I do not want that here. I do not want that on her remembrance.

So. I did the only thing I could do for her. The last, greatest and hardest gift I could give her. To set her free. To let her go home free of pain and suffering. To let her be happy.

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My mom drove us out to the farm that Friday afternoon where my Pops was waiting. It was threatening to rain and the clouds were growing darker. We took one last short walk in the pasture to greet the horses. Darcy was not much up for it, but I needed them. My Lito buried his head in my chest and Cheetah looked at me in that way only a special mare can. In that knowing way.

We sat on the porch and watched a light rain sprinkle and dry before our eyes while we waited.

The vet and tech arrived and they were as kind and nice as they could be. It was all very calm and peaceful. There were a lot of tears.

Then the most amazing thing happened. I have no words to explain it other than I know it was God. Those dark and threatening clouds parted in the very moment that Darcy left this earth and the sun shone through so very bright and strong. The intensity I felt I have never known and I can not describe in words. I could do nothing but smile up through my tears.

I carried her down to her final resting place with the others on the far side of the pond, under a great Pecan tree. I dipped her paws in the pond one last time so she could be farm dirty like she is supposed to be.

Back up at the house, I sat on the porch with my parents looking down the valley. I found myself looking through a heart shaped hole in the leaves of an oak tree with the sun twinkling and winking through.

I do not know how I did it other than I knew that was what I had to do.

She loved unconditionally. She more than spread joy everywhere she went, she was the living embodiment of it. An example to be made. She taught me about life and perspective. She taught me more than I could write about, here or otherwise. She was independent as heck fire and tough as nails, but she was also supremely sensitive, perceptive, and gentle. She was unabashedly herself. She was Darcy. She was my wingpup.

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She was more than just a dog.

I may not know much or why, but I do know where she is, who she is with, and where she will be waiting, putting her own spin on that angel band up there in the sky. I have no doubt that her great spirit was needed for His good. Even if it does feel like a double barrel kick in the guts. Even if it does feel at times like my heart might not even be there anymore. I am so grateful to have had her for those almost six years.

I want to thank all the vets and techs who have worked so hard to help and comfort us through all of this. My Pops who called and arranged everything because neither my Mom or I could do it, both of them for being there for us in the moment, and my whole family for checking in on me. And, I think most importantly, the vet and tech who met us out at the farm to do the job. I can not thank them enough for just being them. I do not have the words to thank you properly. Just, thank you.

Interestingly enough, this poem popped up today.

Get your tissues out, you will need more than one.


If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain does keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done
For this – the last battle – can’t be won.
You will be sad I understand
But don’t let grief then stay you hand.
For on this day, more than the rest
Your love and friendship must stand the test.
We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn’t want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please let me go.
Take me to where my needs they’ll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end.
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don’t grieve that it must now be you
Who has to decide this thing to do.
We’ve been so close – we two – these years,
Don’t let your heart hold any tears.
~Unknown

 

 

Walk in love, my dear readers, we all need it.

When It Rains

This world has a lot of sayings, many that are often misunderstood. Have you ever heard the one about when it rains?

Something about it pouring?

Ya. I have heard that too. When it rains, it pours. A lot actually. I even use the phrase myself, lightly and in passing, never really giving it much thought. It has a whole new meaning to me now.

It truly is a shame that sometimes, as in right now, my life can not be like a music video. At least there would be some laughing matter.

Yes indeed, something quite like this. This looks lovely, would not you say? Kinda funny.

However, in my particular case these days, when it rains…..

It pours…

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Sorry, I am not really sorry. I do not know how to even say it without trying to make light while my heart is in my throat choking me.

This is my reality. Part of the ‘whole lotta life‘ I have been living. A curve ball so far out of left field, it came from the right, just as the fast ball barreled through the heart of home plate.

I can’t believe I am having to write this. Never did I ever think in a million years this would happen.

I have some not so good news to share. The worst possible kind.

The silent kind.

My Darcy has been diagnosed with cancer.

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What the literal heck fire on God’s green earth?!

My sweet and innocent Darcy girl. Not even six years old.

It is quite advanced and pervasive. Between ultrasound and test results, her current status and lack of appetite, my own research, and separate vet opinions, there is not a viable treatment option.

I am completely gutted. It has taken us by storm, the likes of which I have never before known. Not like a slow creeping hurricane. It feels more than rude and unfair. Human life is hard enough on its own without making the animal lives hard.

I could go on in this manner, and admittedly I have had those moments (completely broke down while driving and again on a restaurant patio with my mom), but we must be strong and positive for her. View the world and live life the way she does. Give her the best of the best. Keep playing. We have not struck out in the game of life.

So.

We celebrate the life we have, every day, and take each day as it comes. I am going to do everything I can to give her the best quality of life possible until it is her time. She can eat whatever she wants to eat, healthy diet out the window. She is going to go with me everywhere possible. We are going to have as much farm time as I can manage. We find a reason (and there are many) to sing a song through it all.

All the prayers, positive thoughts and vibes would be greatly appreciated by us both.

I do not understand this and I do not think I ever will.

Such a happy dog that brings endless joy to every being she encounters. So much greatness must be shared. Her spirit must have a greater calling.

If you have any tried and true proven ways to keep a dog eating, lay them on me. I need more tricks up my sleeve.

There is a life lesson somewhere in here. I am just working on unpacking it.

Walk in love, dear readers, even when it is dang hard. I am taking my time.

 

 

Remember Me?

Yoohoo. Hi. Over here.

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Ya. Remember me?

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Yes, me. Your long lost friend. Hi, ya. I have missed y’all!

How is it May? And how has it been two weeks since I have written you? Not sure how that quite happened. It was not intentional, that is for dang sure. I have not fallen off the face of the earth. Maybe you wish I had! Anyway, it is not for lack of goings ons. 

There has just been a lot of life going on over here in my world. Now is not the time for that though.

Not to worry and they say worrying is fruitless anyhow (spoiler alert, it is true). God has it all and me. And you. This I know with great conviction. He has been ever present throughout it all and is still here.

I will do my best to get back to writing to y’all regularly, but in the meantime, enjoy some photos of the past couple of weeks.

Life and time go on, man. It is how you use it. How you live it. How you share it. AHAmoment. Taking each and every day to be better than you were the day before. Letting God work through you for the blessings of others.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Work trips are not all that bad.

But being at the farm is better. Especially to catch the moon setting in the morning.

I do, I love you.

Getting our steps in.

Boop.

Magic.

Easter eve yoga for the Darcy dog.

A new view.

Easter morning sunrise.

Tuners with all the words to say.

Cooking is always a good idea. It is good for the soul. Roasted red pepper soup from scratch. Pretty dang good.

Until next time…which will be soon! I am spending the weekend with some of my best friends riding horses here in the great state! Even if it rains, it will be a grand time!

 

Afraid

Do not be afraid. Fear, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant, is no way to solve a problem or live a life.

Know what is in your heart and have faith. Stand your ground against the dark and fight for what you know is true. Pray about it and then let it go.

It is not about how much faith or having enough faith. Faith alone. Period. A drop of faith is all you need. An ounce. Or, rather, a mustard seed.

When the wolves bring in the darkness, stand up and stand your ground against it. What may seem small at the time will soon grow beyond. Have faith, pray, let it go. Be patient. Be a support to others in addition to yourself. It will all come together. You will see.


“The howlin’ moon would cry
I’d sleep the sun away
I was just a child
I knew I was afraid
There was nothin’ to gain, I found
By runnin’ the other way
I had to stand my ground
And keep the wolves at bay”

Walk in love, dear readers!

The Season Of Spring

It is upon us.

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Do not say it too terribly loud though. Or play the music too loud. Or dance too much. Or drink too much bubbly, even if it is Wine Wednesday (I may or may not be imbibing at this very moment). We do not want to scare it off. I do not think any of us can handle that, but I think it is safe to say we can celebrate a little and I am celebrating spring today. Remember there is always something to celebrate every day! You will know when it is time to turn the celebration up.

I almost can not believe it. It feels like just yesterday I was writing to you about the beginning of fall. The past several months have left me stunned with wind burned cheeks and windswept hair from the time speeding past me. I have entered a new season in my life apparently, but that is a story for another day. A whole other pot of thoughts to stir around.

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Anyway. Back to spring because that is what we are celebrating today.

The time has changed back. Do you know what that means?

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You think I am kidding? This is no laughing matter. Ask any horse person. Well any horse person without arena lights. This means MORE RIDING TIME. Seriously. I can actually go out to the farm after work and have time to ride! I could start jumping up and down this minute at the very thought.

The horses are starting to shed. All of them. Not just the early ones. All of them. I can see it now.

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Horse hair everywhere.

We have had the showers. For months actually, but we do not need to go on about that any more than I already have. You know what they say. Showers bring flowers.

Which brings me to…Wildflowers. They are coming out to play and things are getting green!

It is actually rainy today, but that is not raining on my parade today.

Spring, it is coming! Go smile and have some bubbly and celebrate.

Walk in love, dear readers! You made it through hump day!

 

Even Still

Even still I can not keep myself from being mesmerized by the rain.

The blessing is in the ‘even still.’ That is the AHA moment.

We have had so much rain as of late, but without a doubt every time it rains I find myself gazing out the window (if I can not get outside), swearing I can feel the moisture and smell the world outside. When the thunder rolls, I get a familiar warm feeling inside and I can literally feel myself smile, from the inside out. I can feel the power in it all, no matter how small the sprinkle of rain. How small I am and how grand the world is.

No matter what else is going on. All worries seem to wash away with the falling rain. It is taking that little moment to stop and clear your mind of everything but the sound and imagined feel of the rain. The moment will end itself and you can turn back around like new. Right as the rain. I had one of those moments today while at work in my office.

It is no secret to longer time readers that I have a thing for storms, despite all the apparent complaining I have been doing as of late about the rain.


Petrichor. Defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “a pleasant, distinctive smell frequently accompanying the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather in certain regions” or as “the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil.

That smell. That rain smell really is something. Even rain on wet ground still has a distinct smell, just different than that of rain on dry ground. So strong and familiar. Paining memories and feelings in your soul that last.

Interestingly enough, I was talking with my Mamma on the phone earlier about the appreciation you have for things you do not get to see or experience all the time. How you might not get those same feelings you did if you had access to them all the time.

I think I do not agree with that. Maybe it is just my personality, but I think I would still feel the same. I have many ‘even still’ moments.

Even still, I am stopped dead in my tracks, utterly captivated, by every sunset and sunrise I am blessed to see. The uniqueness. The colors. The shapes. The dichotomy of the movement coupled with the blatant stillness. That they are there every single day for every living being on this earth whether or not you can see them.

Even still, all it takes is a minute with my animals for the world to feel right and peaceful. For me to feel and see light. Remember what IT is all about. It is amazing to me. Amazing grace. To see my Darcy dog smile at me and be her weird, unabashed self. To sit atop either of my dun horses and feel their breathing. Their strength of gentleness. Their trust and willingness. Their innocence and teachings. To know and feel that they are a blessing I am supposed to have.

 

Hippie dippie? Maybe. I will go get my Birkenstocks to wear with my wool socks. All kidding aside, these things I could never tire of, no matter how much I get of them. This I do not think is a surprise to most people that know me.

Tell me your ‘even still’ moments?

Walk in love, dear readers!

In other news, Lito and I ran into the trailer together on Sunday. All brave and confident. He turned his head to look at me and his expression all but said in plain English, “See, I can do this again, can we go somewhere and do something new?”

 

 

Just Ride

Just ride.

Just another one of those speaking of which moments.


“MY LACK OF THOUGHTS YESTERDAY GOT ME THINKING ABOUT THINKING.
THINKING TOO MUCH CAN BE COUNTER PRODUCTIVE.
SOMETIMES IT IS GOOD TO CLEAR YOUR MIND OF THOUGHTS, RELAX, LOSE YOURSELF IN THE MOMENT AND JUST RIDE. IT IS AMAZING HOW MANY THINGS CAN JUST FALL INTO PLACE WHEN YOU DO THIS.”
IAN LEIGHTON

Several years ago, I was riding a young, long legged sorrel horse for a friend who did not have the time to work him. He was at the time that I started riding him, lightly started under saddle. He knew how to go, turn, and stop, mostly, and had not been ridden outside of the round pen very much. I had been riding him for a good little while and he was making some good progress on most things. Teaching him his leads was hard for him for some reason or another and keeping them from becoming an issue or a complex for him was a little bit of work. Eventually he seemed to have them figured out. Or so it would have seemed.

One particular windy day in a busy arena, he apparently forgot the whole left and right lead concept. We had all the pieces seemingly snugly in his brain, but he just could not, on that day, put them together. Or I could not. We both started to get a little flustered at the situation when my friend and owner of the horse spoke out, “Just get his hip, keep the shoulder, and ask him again. Just ride.” A voice of reason when I could not seem to find my own. It was just what we needed to pick up the correct lead. The colt powered away, unsure of whether or not he had done the correct thing and again, my friend’s voice came to me, “Just ride, sit down and just ride. Let him come back.”

Both in life and horses, you just need to ride it out sometimes.

Make a mistake? Just ride. Ask and try again.

Road get a little bumpy? Just ride till it gets smooth.

Life changing? Just ride and let it. Don’t stand in the way.

Storm on the horizon? Have faith and just ride. Storms never last.

Rain, winter, and a busy schedule keep you from riding as much as you normally do? Just look up, ride through, and remember, this too shall pass.


“When life gives a hard blow, focus on riding though. No different than when a young colt takes off. Don’t panic and stop him. Buckle down, lift, and ride through the storm with your eyes ahead. Pain and fear are always temporary before the good feelings come back. They always do no matter how broken you feel in that moment. And if you’re like me, horses usually answer many of life’s biggest questions.”
Lucia Clemetson

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Walk in love, dear readers, and just ride. Happy Friday!

Just Because

Just because.

Because I said so, that is why.

Did your mom ever tell you that as a kid? Or even still now? Once a mom always a mom they say. Mine did it some. It always bugged me, as it does most kids thinking they know all.

Anyway. That is not what this post is about.

I am going to fill this post with between the ears photos just because.

Just because I feel like it and that is what is filling my brain right now. The need to just ride. So, I share these with all of you who need it too.


“My lack of thoughts yesterday got me thinking about thinking.
Thinking too much can be counter productive.
Sometimes it is good to clear your mind of thoughts, relax, lose yourself in the moment and just ride. It is amazing how many things can just fall into place when you do this.”
Ian Leighton

From one over thinker to another!

The ironic thing about it all is that overthinking and that endless circular cycle leads to a lack of real, productive thought. Gets you nowhere I tell you. Makes you feel like you have a lack of thoughts. Funny thing to think about, but hey. Hence the lack of posts over here!

For me, overthinking has a direct relationship with my ride time. I guess actually, technically, it would be an inverse relationship if you want to get, you know, technical.

The less ride time I get, the deeper in the circular hole of overthinking I go and you can say bye bye to all my deep thoughts.

I clearly got a little overzealous in stating that the riding drought was over. I have not ridden since. However, it looks like this weekend is a go. Praise the Lord!

So, this is me this week.

Carefully tip toeing across to get to Friday.

To get to my open spaces and velvet muzzle nuzzles.

To saddle time. And lots of it hopefully.

Bring it on.

Walk in love, dear readers! You are almost there.

Change

“After all these years I find it strange how much time it takes to keep things the same”
~Eric Middleton & Adam Hood

Have you ever thought about how much time we spend trying to keep things from changing? Really and truly thought about it? I bet it is more than you would want to admit.

As a historically more than moderate change averse person, I know I have spent quite a bit of time trying to keep things the same. I do not even realize I am doing it most of the time. I have worked hard and am admittedly still working hard (always will probably) to not stand in the way of change and worked to accept its roll in my journey.

The thing about it is, life is about change. I have heard it said, “if you are not changing, you are dying.” I think there is a lot of truth to that statement. As much as we what everything to stay the same, change is the natural progression of our lives. The world is constantly changing whether we like it or not. We can stand there and let the world pass us by, or we can walk our path here and let the chips fall where they may. The choice is ours. Have the faith to trust that it is all worked out.

Walk in love, dear readers!