Tune Tuesday

It is Tune Tuesday today.

I can not skip it. You have to hear this and soak it in.

It made me smile.

So, take a load off for four minutes and thirty six seconds. A less than five minute break. Yes, I realize it is not even nine in the morning. Shh. Get another cup of coffee or treat yourself to a tea with lemon.

I’m going down on the Nueces River
Gonna call my brother, ask him to meet me there
On the surface will be two men fishing
Down below we are brothers with a love to share

I’m gonna lay my burdens down now
Gonna ask the Lord to watch them a while
I’m gonna walk where the sun is shining
I’ll be home when I have found a smile

There is a salt cedar tree that I know of
It can take a breeze and make a melody
I’m gonna climb up in those branches
And ask if it would whisper its secrets to me

I’m gonna lay my burdens down now
Gonna ask the Lord to watch them a while
I’m gonna walk where the sun is shining
I’ll be home when I have found a smile

There’ll come a time when the world is level
There was a time when the mountains grew
Then there is all that is here in the middle
And how it’s spent is up to me and up to you

I’m gonna lay my burdens down now
Gonna ask the Lord to watch them a while
I’m gonna walk where the sun is shining
I’ll be home when I have found a smile

~Max Stalling

Are you smiling?

Walk in love, dear readers, where the sun is shining.

Well.

There has been a lot going on!

These indeed are trying times for all, in more ways than just this ‘rona business.

Hey, gotta keep it light and positive. It is what we do here!

In all seriousness though, we all got down to the basics pretty dang quick. Writing got shoved to the back burner and then right off the back of the stove all together.

Certainly not because I did not want to write to you!

We packed up food and other necessities and went to our safe place, the farm. I have been living here now with my family for over two weeks. Logging in remotely and working (which has been frustrating). Crossing farm chores and projects off the list (feels amazing). Cooking and baking. And, of course, soaking up all the horse time and riding I can.

I will not get into everything that Covid-19 entails or the politics or anything that everyone is talking about. All the things that have been right in front of us for weeks. It is very likely that I, along with many others, will be without my job soon because of the oil prices. I do not think there is anyone who is not feeling the weight of this in some way or another (hey howdy, you’re not alone!!!). I know I have not been immune to it. It is all just heavy no matter what. We have been taking periodic breaks from it all by turning off the news, not getting onto social media, and doing farm things. Only checking in and updating every couple of days. I have gotten into the habit of just leaving my phone and not being available (liberating).

Even still, I feel even more blessed for the beauty all around me. It makes it easy to celebrate every day. All I have to do is look up. And you know what, it is the same for you! Just look up…or out.

Mother Nature and the change of seasons. We got a bunch of rain on Saturday (praise the Lord! For this and many other things!) which will grow some good grass for the stock and get a good start on our vegetable garden. The wildflowers. The birds frolicking. Our home bred heifers and their first calves. Family time. Being conscious to live simply. My horses, of course, because a horse is a horse of course!

Want to see just what I have been up to when I am not working? Well, have a look. Get a dose. Take a breath. Get some inspiration, dear readers!

Taking walks, often with my Lito man.

You know what else?

Our lovely heart hole oak tree has its heart hole again! This is my favorite tree. I know I might have said that about some other trees before, but this is really and truly my favorite. Did you miss why? Well, you can find out here.

You want to see what else? If you look off in the distance past the heart hole by the pond, you can see the pecan trees starting to get their leaves (and progressively through all these photos). Like I said, they always get their leaves. This year seems early, but spring as a whole did come early. Every year is its own.

We have had many many caterpillars. So cool.

More walks with Lito, I tell you, are good for everything.

Rides on my Cheetah are also good for everything. With or without wildflowers.

New mammas and babies.

The lush river bottom. Just look at those baby blues and that light. This is such a special place and holds so many memories for all of us. We would spend hours down here as kids. I used to ride my childhood mare, Fresca down here on hot summer afternoons. I would let her eat all her favorites. A little walk down here the other day with Pops and Cousin W turned into a couple of hours talking about trees and grasses and wildlife. Good for everything.

Lots of baking! These are my special chocolate chip cookies. I have also made molasses cookies and raspberry crumble muffins. Mamma has been making muffins and cookies (and so much other good food in addition to everyone else). Sister K has also made muffins! It is only a matter of time before pumpkin and banana bread are made.

More riding.

Watching sunrises.

And sunsets.

Having Petunia snuggles.

Projects and chores and more! This implement has been here since we bought the place, 22 years ago! It was the last remaining thing from the previous owners. There used to be a tree living in the middle of it. The tree finally died and we finally cleared enough brush from around and within it to get it hauled out. Quite a thing really!

We watched weather and spring unfold. Keep watching those pecan trees!

This is usually my view from my ‘remote office.’

Just look at those pecan tree leaves.

Do you recognize that specific tree?

If you do recognize it, you should, for you have seen it before! I guess it is my second favorite tree. Certainly my most favorite pecan tree!

More wildflowers! We get some bluebonnets and indian paintbrushes along the road here but we get a lot of these all around our place.

More caterpillars! A Monarch!

More sunsets.

More weather. This was an early morning walk with coffee before sitting down on the computer to work.

Of course, more sunrises.

Wondering where my Merle man is? Fear not, he has been off at hunting camp learning. Just have a look. I miss him terribly and the last few weeks without him have been very difficult, but I am so proud of him and he has been doing very well. I am counting down the days till he is back home where he belongs.

So much to celebrate, dear readers, even in these, dare I say, uncertain times. Look up, stay positive, be a light. Keep the faith.

Share what you have been up to!

Walk in love, dear readers. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for some past AHAmoments uplifting reads!

Lighting Strike

I was at the farm a couple weeks ago strolling past a special pecan tree while my Merle and I were on a walk. Really they are all special trees just because, but this one is unique.

It is under this special tree’s far reaching branches that offer a favorite shady summer napping spot for all the horses, and myself on occasion, where the final resting places for our old horses lie. Our original heard. All back together. Mansebo was put to sleep under that very tree on a beautiful, sunny day. Indeed under this very tree is my Darcy girl. Her final resting place after a final dip of the paws in the pond to get farm dirty like she liked (I do not know if that will ever stop punching me in the gut).

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My niece took a nap under this tree on a a special day.

So, this is a special pecan tree, obviously, and I generally take special notice of it.

A few years ago it got struck by lightning on a windy and stormy fateful night in late March. I remember the following morning I was feeling anxious and worried as I not so patiently waited for Cheetah to go into labor. I wanted to meet my Lito man! I was riding Ike bareback before I left the farm to go visit Cheetah at the barn she was at to foal out.

Anyway, as I rode under this pecan tree I discovered the previous night’s damage. It appeared extensive and I was immediately saddened. The visible strike ran from the base of the trunk all the way up and out one of the branches to the very tip. On I rode with a sigh and was off to visit my Cheetah.

As the years went by, like they tend to do, I continued to observe that lightning strike on that pecan tree. It eventually morphed and healed into a scar from an open wound. It eventually became part of that tree. Somebody not privileged enough to know that tree’s story might think it grew up just like that. With a unique mark like a person’s hair color or a birth mark, adding to its very beauty.

So. Here is the AHAmoment for you.

Ya, you there.

Brought to you straight from a wise pecan tree.

Have you been feeling fragile lately? On edge? Cracked or about to? Or full on broken? Struck from top to toe?

Last time I checked, broken crayons still color (and hey, I would know. I am a geologist. I color for a living!)! Not only that, they are still colorful and bright as are their drawings! Have you ever even seen all the things you can do with broken crayons? It is fascinating. Really. Go get on Pinterest and just look at all the things you can do.

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What about those cracks you say? Here is the thing about those. They let the light in, my friends! For you and everyone else. Let your light shine! Shine out the darkness!

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A while back (as in just about the beginning) here on AHAmoments in desperation for positivity, I shared a Japanese tradition about how broken objects are repaired.

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Is that not cool?! I have a broken ceramic pot on my patio (thanks, Merle!) that I am going to glue back together. I am then going to paint the cracks gold and remember the beauty.

Just like that special pecan tree, your lighting strike will heal and make you more beautiful and wise than you were before. You will keep on coloring like those broken crayons and you will create a masterpiece. Your golden cracks will be your crown. Have the faith. Embrace it and shine that light. In our weaknesses we are made strong!

Remember that!

Walk in love, dear readers.

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!

Gray World Of Today

Hello my fellow ducks in the rain on manure mountains! How are you today?

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Part of learning how to be one of those successful ducks is not letting up on what you know to be right and wrong. AHAmoment. No matter what. No matter what the other guy is doing.

It means holding steadfast to your morals and your ethics in the gray world of today. Doing the right things for the right reasons. Sticking to your guns as they say. Listening to your gut. This is something that has been on my mind recently and is something I have been reminded of several times in the past few weeks. Interestingly enough, I stumbled upon this great little read today and it is the inspiration for today’s AHAmoment. I could not have put it better myself. Go read the whole thing. And then do some more reading. She has some good writings over there!


“Nowadays, the lines between good an evil have become so fuzzy. The world is one giant gray area of differing beliefs and lifestyles.
As someone who still believes in hard lines between right and wrong, I’m often put in a position that I don’t want to be. Making the choice between the easy thing and the right thing.”
~Emily Gernaat

It means not lowering yourself to the level of the people who are ‘winning’ right now or who are ‘above’ you right now.

Not letting go of your light and ability to see the colors.

Not questioning your path and journey that is set forth for you.


“What struck me most was “take delight in the Lord, and he will GIVE YOU THE DESIRES of your heart.”
I think I have read that verse wrong for years. In my shallow little head I thought, so if I desire a black corvette, then surely the Lord will deliver on that right? Or what about that own son of Dash Ta Fame I have been eyeballing?
What I’m realizing now is that the Lord is putting NEW desires in my heart. Righteous desires, real, fulfilling, godly desires that only come from taking delight in Him.
When that transformation happens, my desires to win a gold buckle or a million dollar check slowly fade away and are replaced with the desire to serve, to be a good steward of the horses in my care, to develop my skills, and to add value to other people’s lives.
When those desires are placed at the forefront of my mind, then success will just be a side effect of walking in faith and chasing the godly desires that Jesus puts in my heart.
So whether good or bad people are winning, in the end it doesn’t matter much. Base your success and fulfillment on Godly desires and every day you will be winning at life.”
~Emily Gernaat

A lot of things to stir around in your pot of thoughts!

Do you get what I am getting at?

Anyway. Speaking of pots.

I went to the grocery store on the way home from work today in the actual rain. I thought to myself, “self, today feels like a good cooking day.” I strolled on in there got ALL the things I needed to make roasted tomato soup and Shepard’s pie. I was confident I did not need a list.

Well. You can see where this is going I am sure.

I forgot an ingredient I need for both dishes.

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Way to go me! That is what I get for not writing a list. I am just not one of those people. One of these days I will learn.

So you know what?!

Tomorrow looks like an even better cooking day than today for this duck!

I will just be dancing in the rain over here until then. Figuratively speaking of course, it is too cold for that.

Walk in love, dear readers!

So, Let It Shine.

“Nothing can dim the light that shines within.”
~Maya Angelou

Just a little Monday motivation for you if you need it. Yes, yes those are burs in his forelock. It is his new fav thing to do.

Walk in love, dear readers, and have a great day!

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.

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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!

You Know What?

Sometimes, beauty just finds a way to smack you in the face and take your breath away. AHAmoment. It makes you stop and take note. For good reason.

Sometimes even before you have finished your first cup of morning coffee, so you better wake yourself up and be ready for it!

I walked out of my parents house with a cup of coffee after feeding Sunday morning and I was smacked in the face with this beautiful sight. I could not help but snap a quick photo of it. It had me smiling all day.

You know me and that light and those long shadows.

You see those pine trees there? Legend has it they came all the way from Georgia. Random, yes, but I love these pine trees more than any other. I never knew I could be so sentimental over some random pine trees in Texas that are said to be from Georgia. What a story I am sure they could tell.

I love how after twenty years of coming here, I am still amazed and taken away by the beauty. God’s beauty. The interesting thing about it is that it is never the same. It is dynamic and ever changing. From day to day, season to season, year to year. Like God’s love. Ever present and eternal, always taking you by surprise and reminding you of His presence. It brings your feet right square down to the ground.

Anyway. While Sunday was a stunner of a day, Friday and Saturday were wet, cold, and windy. We got quite a bit of rain ourselves and the ground was basically soup (not the best for riding). It had us all in an eating and drinking mode. Convenient since I really had zero desire to organize and clean all my things from my trip.

We all had been craving molasses cookies. Presumably all suffering in silence until I broke down and stated my craving aloud and everyone desperately agreed. Naturally, I had to bake some. If you have never tasted these delights, you are missing out. We all grew up on them.

It is as simple as that. Or, as this rather.

Make the dough.

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Ball the dough (directly, if you are too impatient to chill the dough first).

Roll the dough…in sugar. Making sure to get some on the counter with the help of a little person. You are not doing it right if you do not.

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Bake the dough.

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But not too long!

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Then you eat an exorbitant amount of them! So so good. They got me thinking. I should try these with pumpkin!

Want the recipe? I will share it with you soon!

After baking, we took a stroll to the river to see how high it had gotten.

There is a beach under there somewhere.

It is still supposed to rise up a bit more, but it should stay in bank even still.

All of that work made us thirsty. I made myself a ginger orange margarita.

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By then the day was almost over and it was evening feeding time.

These two just tickle me to death. This is definitely not the best photo in the world, but I sure do love it. I often find them like this. Five and a half years later and they still choose to share a stall.

Then with a Sunday like this…I just have to show you again.

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What else is there to do but hop on the best mare and call for the kids to come out and join you.

Such a contrast of weather in two days.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Keepin’ It Real

I read something the yesterday that was pretty spot on and I wanted to share it with you. You know, because that is something I like to do.

My friend, M, shared this article over on the book of face and, intrigued, I gave it a click. You should do the same and give it a read. It does not matter if you chase cans, jump pretty painted sticks, dance inside a rectangle, or stroll the trails. It does not really have anything to do with horses.


“We show the world a version of ourselves. But rarely the whole picture. We give everyone a glimpse of the bright moments, the triumph, and the fun. But what about the rest of the story? What about the defeat, the heartache, the sin and loss? Where is the real stuff?
Transparency is scary stuff. Baring your soul to the world is not for the weak hearted. But what if we all were a little less guarded?
Does transparency invite judgment and criticism? Probably. But it also invites grace, empathy and compassion.”

This, my dear readers, is about life and what IT is all about. The greatest of all AHAmoments. This one of the main reasons I started this little blog of mine.

Why I share the good, the bad, and the ugly. And, hopefully, sometimes funny. This is why I share my stories and my struggles. My victories after challenges. What I learned after failure so it is not really failure. Why I try to fight the negativity with positivity, the dark with the light. This is why I share the music I do. Why I share the love of my animals.

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To reach just one person and maybe help them. So they know they are not alone and, honestly, so I know the same. That is real, and that is life. So they know that we are all in this together, walking this walk. And dang, it is hard sometimes. Just ask anyone who will tell the truth. We are all more alike than we think.

Life is about speaking the truth and sharing your story. Your testimony and what gets you through. Being brave and vulnerable, even if it does not feel brave because it feels scary.

This article made my day.

Here is what real life for me is like sometimes on Mondays. I woke up yesterday after hitting the snooze button for at least thirty minutes, cussing as I shuffled through the shavings on the floor (that spilled out of the cuff of my jeans on Sunday for the umpteeth time)(I also won’t mention all the burrs scattered all over all the floors. Wherever the Darcy goes, so go the burrs), took my dog out, threw on work clothes (some of which I pulled from the laundry piles covering my bedroom floor….the laundry that I did not do Sunday), and ran out the door to go to work. Stopping to get coffee because I did not have the time, or the milk, to have coffee at home. All the while feeling guilty about all of the above and dreading the list of things that awaited me at my office desk. Some days are just like that. They can’t all be rainbows and roses.

Today I awoke with a new vigor while aiming my arrow, and not just because I now have milk for my coffee. A positive attitude is all it takes, seeing the bright side. To keep praying and keep knocking, putting it out there and believing. Sharing that story. I actually saw a rainbow after the rains at the end of the day yesterday. As if that is not proof positive enough! Is it easy, no, not at first, but just like everything else, it gets easier the more you do it and make it a part of your everyday thinking.


“Revelation 12:11 tells us that we overcome the enemy by the blood of Jesus and our testimony.
Let your real story, your testimony be heard because even when you are living in the thick of it, it could be the very thing that helps someone else overcome.
Be bold and transparent because of the free gift of forgiveness and salvation. None of us have done a darn thing to earn it, so let’s all be a little more real with each other.”

Go on. Go give it a read. And maybe you’ll be inspired to pass it on to the next person.

I am happy to have each of you to share and celebrate with.

Walk in love, dear readers!