The Change of Fall

Do you feel it?

You know it. What I am talking about.

The feeling in the air.

The days are getting shorter.

Fall is here. Or. At least coming to these parts!


To celebrate, I will share with you the ultimate fall song. Remember this one?


It is October! And I felt it in the air this morning while taking Merle out.

Well, actually, I have been feeling it in the air for a few days now and it has been just slightly, ever so slightly clicking up. Not just because we have now hit October 1st. You can only really feel it at dawn and dusk and if you try hard, throughout the morning. That soft, drier air. It has a different feel. A different smell. It makes me giddy inside. Just downright giddy, I tell you. For the change in more than just temperatures. For freshness. For the setup of the reason for THE season. The reflections of the past seasons and the ones to come. You know how I get this time of year.

giphy

I have been out of the state for work for a few days drilling a well. With how busy and ‘full’ life has been the last few months, I was not looking forward to having to be away from home and my Merle. As it happens, like it always does, my eyes were opened while I was away. I was driving myself to dinner after my sift was over one night when I was caught in awe.

I was headed into the sunset down an old, old road that had been long cut through the tall pine trees of the rich timber country. I first noticed the way the light was forming the sunset and the time of day. It made me realize how the days have been getting shorter and the sunsets earlier, and earlier. Then I noticed the ever glow of the golden color of the rays. They were clear rays that bounced off of everything they touched, illuminating anything in contact, but at the same time, my eyes could not tell the difference from one to the other. How they shone between the trunks and the long shadows they created. The rays were seemingly suspended there, caught in that moment and time. Still. I like to think of them being captivated, much like I was. Rewarding me for seeing them. There was promise held in that golden light suspended in those trees.

The camera could not see what I was seeing.

It made me even more excited for fall and what is to come.

My cousin and I have already done an ‘all the fall things’ cooking session. She made a pumpkin chili and I made a pumpkin toffee dump cake. Um. GOOD. We have even picked more things to make for another fall evening and I can not wait. The date is not even on the books yet. Nothing gets me more excited for this time of year.

Sister K texted me yesterday reminding me that tomorrow (meaning today) was October 1st. Which really only means one thing. That we can start playing Christmas music. I know, I know, settle down. We will only play it for ourselves and BIL T, don’t worry. She is married to him so he has to listen (joking!). I promise to not share any Christmas music here until December.

There is another thing about this time of year. The thing that makes me the absolute giddiest of all giddy. If you have been around here for a little while you might be able to guess. It is something that happens for a week every October. A week that I live for. Now that my work commitments are complete (and I can feel myself breathe again) and we are in this fine fall month of October, I am thinking of nothing else.

Walk in love, dear readers, and do enjoy this fall! Embrace the change and allow it to happen like the change of the seasons.

Texas Sunset Silhouette


“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
-Wayne Dyer

Perspective and point of view.

You can get a photo like this just by getting a little closer, a little lower, and waiting.

I mean, it does help to have something like a Texas river bottom and some pretty ponies to look at, but there is beauty all around us if you open your eyes and look.

Something to think about in life too. There are some things we can and things can not change.

We can do our best to make plans and go about them, but we all know how the best made plans go despite our intentions. We are not in charge of the plan at the end of the day.

I say all the time how life is like working with horses, and this is especially true about young horses.

When things appear to go awry, you just have to take a step back and go back to what you know before you start to go forward again.

It is just a season is all. And hey, it is what it is and they are what they are. With horses, as in life, have faith and realistic expectations, set a routine, and give it time and consistency.

Change your point of view and shift your attitude.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Back To…

Back to…normal. Dare I say it. So we will go with normalish. Back to normalish.

Yesterday I went out to the farm after work to fit a ride in. We also had the vet come out this morning to float their teeth, so I left them penned up for him.

It was the perfect mid week. My Lito man is ‘back’ to being his cuddly, ‘normalish’ self and my Cheetah girl was just as amazing as ever. I rode her around bareback in a halter. Well, because, why not. I also didn’t feel like dealing with her being her spunky, not wanting to walk self. So we dinked around the arena and just had fun. And boy was it. I love having a thought and her knowing it. Nothing else like it in the world. It is not always like that because, hey we all have our days, but when it is…wow.

From the look of the below pic, they thought I was cooking up a scheme of a trap. And well, I guess I was, but I made it worth their while.

It was also supposed to be sunny. Oh well, they are calling for rain on Saturday, so I will take it.

See, fun.

Trojan horse with his mohawk.

He looks a little different from the view atop Cheetah’s broad back.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as they say. Not matter what species. I used to roach Cheetah’s mane all the time because she would rub it out searching for greener grass on the other side of the fence. Hopefully he grows out of it too like Cheetah mostly has.

I had a lovey dinner with my Aunt M.

That is about all I have for this Thursday. I have had quite a good productive week. Can’t complain over here.

I bet you can’t either, can you?

If you can, take a look at that dun face and smile. Then take a ride with me on my fun, dun mare. Changes things doesn’t it?

Walk in love, dear readers! Tomorrow is Friday!

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.

Convention

Do not be one to stay within the shelter of convention. 

Your AHA moment today brought to you by the Darcy Doolittle dog, a dog who likes cat toys. All the cat toys. You do you, Darcy. 


Let your light shine and be you. 

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! 

Texas Summer 

OK, while we are not technically still in summer, around these parts, we basically only have summer and winter. 

A normal pattern, one that we have not really seen consistently for quite some time due to drought, is afternoon showers. Lovely, lovely showers. Thanks Gulf of Mexico! 

I might be one of the few down here who welcomes these afternoon showers since a little event named Harvey, but they really have been nice. Every afternoon we have had a little rain storm that makes the best background noise and cools the evening down. The air gets clean. Days like these I really wish I lived at the farm. 

But I digress. 

I get home from work and take Darcy out and then change out of my work clothes. Usually, that is when it starts raining. 

Both yesterday and today I cleaned, did laundry, and cooked with the soundtrack of summer. Exciting sounding to an outsider I know, but I find such beauty in the everyday of it. So relaxing and dependable. 

Life has been so busy and hectic lately with Harvey and trying to get back to ‘normal’ (something inconceivable even today for some victims of the storm) and my upcoming trip. 

On the menu tonight…or sometime this week, depending on what R prefers…roasted tomato and vegetable soup. Tomatoes, onions, peppers, peppers, peppers, butternut squash, garlic, and a ton of herbs…sage, thyme, rosemary, and basil. All roasted together in the oven and then combined in a stock pot, that my Grandmother gave me, with chicken stock to summer. Blended together and presto. An amazing soup. 


I am already enjoying a margarita. A classic for me. 


I have the robo vacuum going upstairs and it sounds like it is dragging a dead body around. 

But. Darcy girl is apparently hungry, so I must bend to her will. 


I hope y’all are enjoying your everyday lives. 

Walk in love, dear readers! 

Just In Time 

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


Today, that was the case. 

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

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

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

Quite idyllic if you can ignore the mosquitos. 

But forget I said that. Focus on the rest. 

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

Just in time.


I just figured I would share it with you! 

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

Anyway, Enjoy! 

Walk in love, dear readers!

What Day Is It Today?

I turned on the news for the first time in five days on Tuesday before I went to work (for the first time in over a week). First report was of Hurricane Irma. I had to directly change the channel. Just the thought of it was sickening to me. Golden Girls it was. Or was it I Love Lucy? I can not even remember. There is not much on the TV before 7 AM (OK fine, I love both of those shows, leave me alone) and I still do not know what day it is. Funny how that happens. How you can’t remember the days and what has happened or when. It just gets intertwined like a bouncing rubber band ball and you can’t tell where one begins and another ends.

To be perfectly honest, the five days ‘away’ from the continuing disaster that is the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey was necessary for my well being in more ways than one.

The craziest thing about it is that I feel like I should not feel this way. This battered and exhausted and, well, emotional about it. I think this is what one would call survivor’s guilt? I had never even heard that term until a few days ago. My family and I have been incredibly blessed through this whole ordeal.

My family, my animals, and our houses are all fine. My friends and their animals are safe. That is the most important thing. The horse barn got a little flooded, we lost a little bit of feed, and our fences were ripped out (…again…). The floor of the feed room will be replaced and everything else will dry or can be replaced.

To say it came out of nowhere would be inaccurate. We knew it was coming. We knew it was going to be bad. We prepared.

But it was worse.

Hurricane Harvey quickly beefed up and became a category 4 right before his big, debut entrance (if you did not know, he made two landfalls…crazy, right?). And to say that Harvey did anything but dump rain quickly is quite comical. I might venture to say that it was the slowest moving storm in history. Harvey slammed the coast and creeped his way north and stalled. FOREVER. Impossible to anticipate what will happen at this point. Dumping quite literally, buckets of rain over more than, oh, I dunno, and area of twenty counties? Big cities and small towns alike. Not just Houston. In some areas, reports are upwards of 50 inches. Cough. You read that right. That is more than the projected 30 inches. With all this concrete, where is that water supposed to go?

Going through a storm like this felt somewhat like what a war might feel like. Getting slammed with rain for days, quite literally. It did not stop. Sleep impossible. Anxiety and fear rising with the water from all directions. The water seemed to rise faster than it came out of the sky. Many were scared for their lives and could not go anywhere. Many lost their lives. Many had to be rescued in a boat, everything they have worked their whole lives for lost, clutching to loved ones and the few treasured possessions they could carry. They now have nowhere to go.

The storm hit our area Friday evening and had no mercy.

Come Saturday, R realized she needed to leave her house, but quickly realized she had no way out of her neighborhood. She spent the next 24 hours staging her house to try and save as much of her stuff as possible, knowing she was bound to have water in her house soon. She had water in her house and rising Sunday morning. By Sunday evening she helped put out a neighbor’s house fire and hitched a ride out of there on a boat with her cat. Talk about a story for your grandkids!

My God Parents flooded. My God Mother’s parents flooded. My sister’s God Father flooded, had to walk out in chest deep water, and be taken out by boat. Several long time family friends flooded.

Darcy and I rode out the storm with my Parents at their house. Watching the news was harrowing. Just harrowing. We made ourselves take brakes from watching it to play cards or watch a movie to take our minds off it. Constantly checking the radar to see where the bands were, here or at the farm? Checking the river gauges to try and determine how the river was rising and how it would crest. Literally getting up in the middle of the night to see where the water was on the back patio and then checking my phone again to see how the farm was faring. Getting calls and messages from friends who were flooding or hauling their animals to safety and no way to get to them to help. The complete and utter helplessness of not being with my horses at the farm. I knew they were in high ground and would be safe because our neighbor made sure of it, but my mind went wild with worst case scenarios.

We tried to get to the farm on Monday. We got half way there and had to get creative with ways to try and get around the water. Mother Nature is more creative than us though and we had to turn around and come home. We didn’t try again until Wednesday. We got within sight of the front gate but could not cross the water in the low spot of the road. Our nighbor informed us that his friend went up in a plane to do a flyover of a few properties and reported our house and animals high and dry. While it really wasn’t enough details for me, it was the only thing keeping me going at this point. Dejected, Dad and I headed home.

The next day gifted sweet, sweet success and a ton of bricks lifted off my shoulders. I was able to get in and see my horses and cows. I almost cried. The next five days I spent cleaning up, fighting mosquitos, waiting for everything to dry up, and thanking the Lord for His many blessings.

Here is something bigger than the storm, though.

All throughout the storm, people kept showing up to save people and animals and then turning around to help clean up the damage left behind. People helping people. Not because they want recognition or get anything out of it, but because it is what needs to be done and they need it. People sacrificing their lives for another. Comfort and love spreading faster than the water. Sensationally and overwhelmingly heartwarming. Outshining the hurt and devastation. The hate of the outside world being washed away with the flood waters.

So very Texas. That is part of what makes this place so great. This is what I will remember most from this hurricane named Harv.


Go hug your people and your animals. I am exhausted, but happy to be on the other side of this cleaning up. It will be a long time before we are finished with Harvey, but everything will be right as rain in no time.

Too soon? Sorry.

Walk in love, dear readers and go say a prayer for all in Irma’s path!

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!