A Year Later

A year later and I still have no words to describe it. Not the feelings I have. Certainly not the feelings of my family.

Even now as I type these words, it feels so utterly strange. Uncharted territory, even as the first year is up. Different from a year ago, and yet, the same. I am not sure if anyone else in this situation has felt this way. I suppose each is different.

Yesterday I was aimlessly scrolling through Facebook and I wondered to myself, why am I doing this? Something so simple and mindless and downright meaningless? I had that EXACT same thought and feeling a year ago today after I heard the news.

Honestly, I did not want to write this post today and I have been dreading it. I do not want to relive it and do not want certain readers to relive it. It is too close. I did not want to offend or hurt anyone. To dishonor him.

Then it occurred to me that I, or we, do not need a blog post to relive it. It happens all the time. Thankfully, a little less as time goes on. Time heals, little by little. It becomes apparent when you look back. That I know for sure.

I need to write this post. For me. For my family. And for you. For anyone that has ever lost anyone. For him. To celebrate him and his life and his loved ones. The survivors because that is what we are. My Uncle was a beautiful and faithful man. Which makes it even harder at times. I suspect we will never know the answer to why in this earthly life. As is the way with many things we go through. There are no answers.

The only way I know how to honor him is to celebrate this life that I am blessed to have. That I am here to witness the Lord’s beauty around me. To LIVE every minute and celebrate every moment like it is my last. Do what makes my heart smile. Seek the Lord and allow His will to be done through me. To be a blessing to those around me. That is what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving.

So, that is what I am trying to do and what I try to encourage others to do.

I still pray for us to lean into our Lord in these hard times. To grow together. To grow in our faith together. As a family. It is hard and will continue to be. But we have to. We have to for ourselves and for the next generation.

I hope I have not lost you. For those of you that were not here or do not know the story and would like to, I have linked my writings of the series of events from a year ago below. In sharing these posts again, my only hope is to reach those that need to hear these words. For them to know they are not alone and that there are people that have been through this. That know how they feel. That there is still beauty and light all around us.

How Do I Title This: November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving Eve: November 23, 2016

A Prayer You Can Borrow: November 27, 2016

Today: November 28, 2016

The Aftermath: November 30, 2016

This weekend, while sitting by the fire with a cocktail in my hand and my dog at my feet, I put this string of songs together that got me thinking.

I hope you enjoy them.

Thanks to Middle Sister, K for sharing this last one with me. Pass it on.

That is all for now.

Reflections on a great clinic coming up soon!

Walk in love, dear readers.

Please pass along to anyone that needs or wants to read.

Urge

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I am feeling the urge to tell you something.

Whenever I feel the urge or get a feeling about something, anything, I do it. Well, OK, not just anything, but certain things.

Like, for example, if I hear a song that has really helped me or is something I go back to listen to multiple times for one reason or another, I try to drop that artist a note. I seriously, actually do that. I look up their website and find an email or I will send a Facebook message. Something like that. I want them to know how much I appreciate what they do. I want them to know that they have made a difference. Oftentimes, I get a thankful and appreciative reply.

Or if I have seen or read something by a horse trainer that has helped me, I do the same thing. The other day, well more like several years ago, but who is counting, I was watching some Pat Parelli clinic video on one of the horse TV channels. He kept quoting from different authors outside of the horse world while explaining his concepts and theories. I have heard him do this before in other videos here and there. In this particular clinic, he had a sports psychologist, who is also an equestrian, speak for a good little while. As you can imagine if you have been reading this blog or a little while, all of this is right up my alley. Viewing and working with horses in the mindset of the broader world around us. Letting them teach us how to be better humans and better function in the world outside of horses. It may sound hokey and hippy dippy to some, but oh well. Anyway, I was curious what was on his reading list. What influential books he has read that have helped him in various parts of his life. So, I sent an email thanking him for his point of view and asking about books. About a week later, I get a response apologizing for the delay and hoping I find the attached list and a few others helpful. I went and purchased many of those books the next day.

Even something as simple and seemingly little as sending someone a note to say you are thinking of them or stopping to pick someone up some flowers, I act on those urges.

You never know when saying or doing that little something will encourage them or brighten their day or change someone’s life.

I could not quite get my words around it yesterday. I wrestled with it. I am not sure they are around it now, but I will give it a go because I feel the urge. I do not think many words are really even needed, but here is my little note to you, dear readers.

If you are feeling stressed.

Lost.

Confused.

Anxious.

Worried.

Sad.

__________.

Insert anything.

Alone.

Know that you are not alone.

Know that everyone goes through times, seasons like these. And you will again in your lifetime. They come and go for everyone. You are reading words written by one of those people right now. Some of you who have been reading this blog for a little while know this. Others may not. You are sitting next to one of those people. You will meet one of those people. You know one of them.

Keeping seeing the beauty and the light. We are surrounded by it. Keep working hard and doing good. Keep striving and keep knocking and keep praying. That is our call. To be a light.

I may not know much yet in my 29 years of life, but I know this. Everything happens for a reason whether we know those reasons or not. Often times we will not know those reasons in the moment. Be built up by the struggle.

Have faith.

Have faith and know that He has and is the plan and the path. The light.

No, you are not alone.

That was my urge, to tell you that.

Walk in love, dear readers, and have a great Wednesday.

Shine your light.

 

Chasing

4 AM is about as pleasant of a time to wake up as any, right??? Right!

It would have been better to wake up that early to ride or go fishing or something as opposed to catching a flight for work. Darcy sure did not understand why we were getting up so early two days in a row or why she was then supposed to go back to sleep or why she was not going with me. I did not understand that either because how much better would work and meetings and traveling be with your dog!? But, I digress.

Monday and Tuesday were quite the days.

Two meetings, two cities, two states, three pat downs, four flights, and eight…count them all…eight Uber rides in just two days. That is a lot of travel miles and hours. I am getting tired again just thinking about it.

Yesterday had me chasing the sunset so hard that I was literally running away from the sunrise.

But, no matter how fast or how far you run, the sun will always catch up with you. AHA moment.

Might as well slow down and enjoy it, right? See and actually take in all of that which is around you.

Over the past two days I saw many things. I saw joy and unity in some because of the fine sport of baseball. I heard a girl wonder aloud to her mother if her father loved her or not. How he must love her because he bought her things. The mother did not have much to say. I got told by an Uber driver that I should have a husband. I met a nice stranger and had a lovely conversation. He reminded me of someone back home. I traveled safely.

So, yesterday morning I enjoyed my slow and delayed sunrise while flying west (well, northwest to be specific, but you get the idea) and thanked the Lord for my many blessings.


I never did see the sun actually come up!

We made our decent and landed in this lovely, cloudy scene…


Anyway, as you can imagine, I was ready for this when I was on my way home yesterday.


That and the sunrise back in Texas.

Speaking of sunrise…It is somehow the end of Wednesday. Crazy.

Trust me, this is a speaking of which.

This past weekend we had two stunning, chilly (like frost chilly!) sunrises. I spent time basking in the sun. Took many, many photos…as you will soon see. Had the first pit fires of the season. Tackled a few things on the chore list. I rode both of my getting-fuzzier-by-the-day dun horses bareback. Just relaxing, quality time rides. Focusing on nothing really in particular. Just enjoying. Feeling their warmth. A nice change of pace from being constantly on the move before our trip.

A little video with Friday’s pit fire, Lito’s Saturday ride, and Saturday’s pit fire. Make sure you have the volume up! Basically sums up the weekend. ​

 

 


Saturday sunrise.


You can always catch this guy taking a nap after breakfast. I get lucky when he is not in his dam’s stall.


Saturday’s sunset.

Sunday sunrise reflection on the western sky. The steam rising off the pond while the cows have their first big graze of the day.


I can have a second breakfast, right?


Snug as a bug in his rug.


Sunday sunrise.


Feeding the cows Sunday morning in the golden light and frosty air.

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More basking in the sun! Nothing like the sun on your back on a chilly morning.

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Back to real riding work this weekend!

What is going on in your world? What have you seen and taken in around you this week?

I hope each and every one of you are having a fine week so far!

Walk in love, dear readers!

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! 

Wine, Pie & Time

Time is an interesting thing.

A powerful thing. Giving things time can have impressive effects. Have you ever heard the term ‘just sleep on it’? Well, now you have if you had not before. If you just sit back and think it completely through and wait till morning, you will often get a more harmonious result from not being reactionary.

Time is also a healer. I know this is a universal thing across all cultures and most know it to be true. There are of course songs written about it. After a difficult life event, it feels like time goes at a snail’s pace. Even when you keep busy to keep your mind occupied and try to make the time go faster. Grasping at anything to get you farther from the memories. The feelings. The sadness. The hurt. The anger. You just keep going, taking one step at a time because that is all you can do.


“They say music takes you back to a time. And time is a healer of things.”

Then, it happens. Time has gone by without you realizing it and you look back and realize how far you have come. Amazed at how long ago that happened. How did it get to be years ago?

That happened to me today. Looking back, I never thought it would happen. I still think of that day two years ago often and I know I will the rest of my life. Even just a few days ago, without realizing that it has been two years. Two years does not seem like a long time to some that are removed from the situation. But it feels like so long ago. So much has happened and so much has changed in that time.

Two years ago, we had to put down our first horse. You can read about that day by clicking HERE. He was over 30 years old and we had him for over half his life. He changed my life. That day was so hard, yet so wonderful at the same time. There is such beauty present in the dichotomy of this earthly life. AHAmoment. How something so hard and difficult also presents such life, light, and love is amazing to me. Your faith and spirit are always there. AHAmoment. Something that never goes away. I feel so blessed that I was open to seeing it in that moment, at that time.

We drowned our sorrows in red wine and chocolate pie that night and listened to this song. It always reminds me of him. To this day, it is still my favorite remedy for loss and I recommend it to many.

I am grateful for time. The time I had with him. The time in the moment, even though it was so hard. The time to heal since then and the time I take to remember the memories.

There are many in my life that have lost in the past year. Lost family members or loved ones. Lost horses and dogs. Lost their homes. Tonight I think will be a wine and pie night in memory…after I run.

Walk in love, dear readers.

Soulshine

​​I forgot about this one.

I love when that happens. You find something amazing and then somehow you forget about it. That part is not so great, but then, something happens and you find it or rediscover it all over again. Twice the joy! Boom!

This song is one of those. Not even sure how I stumbled upon it either time, but I am glad I did! Soulsine performed by Gov’t Mule, written by Warren Haynes. Go get you some! Man oh man. Seriously, give this song a listen.


“When your world seems cold, you got to let your spirit take control.”

Talk about an AHAmoment.
(If the video does not show, copy and paste the link in your browser. It is not showing up for me for some reason….Really this whole interface is being goofy today.)
“When you can’t find the light
That guides you through a cloudy day
When the stars ain’t shinin’ bright
And you fill like you’ve lost you’re way
When the candle lights of home
Burn so very far away
Well you got to let your soul shine
Just like my daddy used to say
He used to say soul shine
It’s better than sunshine
It’s better than moonshine
Damn sure better than rain
Hey now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day

I grew up thinkin’ that I had it made
Gonna make it on my own
But life can take the strongest man
And make him feel so alone
Now and then I feel a cold wind
Blowin’ through my achin’ bones
I think back to what my daddy said
He said Boy, in the darkness before the dawn

Let your soul shine
It’s better than sunshine
It’s better than moonshne
Damn sure better than rain
Yeah now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day

Sometimes a man can feel this emptiness
Like a woman has robbed him of his very soul
A woman too, God knows, she can feel like this
And when your world seems cold
You got to let your spirit take control

Let your soul shine
It’s better than sunshine
It’s better than moonshine
Damn sure better than rain
Lord now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day

Oh, it’s better than sunshine
It’s better than moonshine
Damn sure better than rain
Yeah now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day”

~WARREN HAYNES
Does not get much better than that, dear readers. What makes your soul shine?
Let your soul shine for the Lord, for you, and for those around you. Shine for those that are no longer here, those people and events that we remember and will never forget. Be a light for others, in all times, not just these difficult times. Now more than ever. Because you can and some can not. Because there are people out there protecting our rights to do so. Because there are people that have lost their lives doing just that.
Here is a snip-it of what makes my soul shine from this past weekend.

 

Walk in love this fine Monday!

Remember, it was not promised to you or any of us.

Whopper

Welp. I dare say that was (well, still is) a whopper. A doozy whopper of a hurricane. I just came up with that. Just roll with it. 

(Disclaimer…blogging from your phone is difficult and annoying. Please forgive any spelling or grammatical errors.)

Words really can not describe the magnitude of devastation. EVERYWHERE. 

I had a friend ask me if I or my parents had ever seen anything like this. My response? My grandparents haven’t ever seen or heard of anything like this. And my family has been in this area for a long time. 

It will take me a little while on this one to gather my thoughts and put them into words. To be honest, I am not even sure if I can. I will try though, not just for me, but for my people, my city, my region, my state. Please know that me and my animals and my people are all well. We are safe and on the right side of the worst of it. We have been blessed and I am more sure than ever that God provides. And He is here. Always. I so appreciate all of the comments and messages from you, my dear readers. It means the world to me. 

I apologize for being MIA since my last post. That was not my intention, but in circumstances such as these, your prioraties change pretty quick. 

I hope you are all well. I do not even remember the last time we spoke. That is how long this storm, horrible Harvey, has been going on. 

There is much work to be done now, but until then, please enjoy our aftermath of the storm. 


I needed that cocktail! 





Because everyone loves Tuner kisses…








Looking forward to all the new growth. 

Walk in love, dear readers. 

Social Media.

Social media has always been a really strange concept to me. A conundrum. Have I said this before?

Yes, yes, and yes I have.

It can be fun, sure. I really do like to share my photos & animals…and, uh, music, a lot of music…with other people because it brings me happiness to share the things I love and what makes me happy with others…in hopes that it does the same for them. I am sure that is a surprise to no one. And really, who doesn’t like to see cute animals?

It can be helpful. That is one of the reasons I started this blog. To share and connect. It is hard to share the difficult stories, but I do it because I know I am not alone and I am not perfect. I know that other people have experienced the same things.

But it can also be, well, bad. Really bad. Negative. Dismissive. Rude. Hateful. And let us not forget, so very fake. I can honestly say that I am constantly surprised by people’s behavior. Where does that even come from? Where does the energy to perpetuate such exhausting mentalities come from?

How has this platform replaced actual communication between our fellow man?

Something that has always bugged me is the amount of energy many people put into composing the perfect picture to post so they look a certain way…to other people. Or incredibly lengthy diatribes of hate. Do not even get me started on selfies and strange poses. I am not going to go there. I always think to myself that if people put as much energy into having good manners, being nice and positive, helping, and loving our neighbors and just being real as they did on perfecting the perfect post, how much better the world, even just the social media world, would be. Exposure to more love and light. More Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Memorial Day, Happy Veterans Day, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Ramadan, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Birthday, or whatever the holiday celebration may be. More smiling. More love. Create an intersection and not a corner.

I feel like people say Happy Halloween or Happy National Donut day more than any other holiday.

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The last few days have been interesting with the lunar eclipse and the first day of school. There were so many cool posts of people getting outside and experiencing the lunar eclipse, surprisingly with other people…together, and sweet children with happy smiles off on their first day back at school after summer. The negativity and hate seemed to stop, or at least be out weighed! If only for that quick moment.

Again, I can not help but wonder if everyone would put as much energy into good instead of bad, focusing on the positive and not the negative, being honest and real, visceral and empathetic, vulnerable, how much better off we would all be. How much more connected we would be, realizing that we are not that different from each other and we all have struggles.

Stir that around in your pot of thoughts. Each one of us makes a difference.

I can see how this may sound trite, but it is not only important, it is true.

Walk in love, my dear readers, and be a light today! Happy Wednesday!

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!

Daily Dose Of Cute.

Do you know what day it is?

Monday. Ha! You’ve got jokes, huh? You’re funny. Yes, it is Monday, but it is also Darcy’s 4th birthday!

My how time flies. I can not imagine my life without this girl. She brings so much love, light, and positivity in to my life. If you don’t know her story, well, click here.

Enjoy today’s special edition of DDOC.

Go have a great and happy Monday!

Walk in love, dear readers!