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!

In All Seriousness.

Just an average Thursday over here, do not mind me.

So, do you remember how back in September I told you how I get reflective at the beginning of fall? Well, once we hit November 1, I reach a whole new level. Ya, news flash, I know. Alert the media. What media? Never mind.

Anyway, every time November rolls around I want to do something serious here in this space. Serious. Meaningful. Something to express the true meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas as we come into the season. You know, the real reason for the season. That always seems like a very large task. How does one tackle something so grand? Something with such gravity and brevity?

Typical me taking everything so seriously and making it such.

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Here is the deal. The AHAmoment in it all.

It is not really all that complicated. It is very simple and basic. Something everyone can grasp if you allow yourself. Open your eyes. Remember that whole KISS rule your teachers taught you way back when? Spoiler alert. That one is for life too. Keep. It. Simple. Silly. Go figure. It also has nothing to do with the season or time of year. That is just a happy convenient reminder. To get you intentional about it. It is something to be lived every day and carried on throughout the year.

What it all boils down to is being thankful. Experiencing the gratitude and the blessings and where they come from. Seeing them. Feeling them. All around you. They are there all around us. It is us who have a hard time seeing what is right there in front of our faces. Feeling it as we would feel the ever present wind against our skin.

We all live very complicated, intertwined, and busy lives. Surrounded by distractions. Going through life with not only blinders on, but with blindfolds on. Thinking we are getting somewhere without actually seeing.

What it is all about is the journey. Walking your path. Seeing, experiencing, and enjoying all that is around you.


“Lord, give me the eyes to see
Exactly what it’s worth
And I will be the richest man on earth”

Being grateful for today and celebrating it. For the very life in your veins. The food in your belly. The sun shining outside. The rain that reinvigorates the earth. The people around you. The family you create, blood or not. Those that are with us, both physically and spiritually.

Being grateful for your past because it has made you who you are today and brought you to where you stand this very minute. A step in front of yesterday. To be built up by the struggle. For the journey. YOUR path.

Being grateful for a wet dog nose or a soft, velvety horse muzzle against your skin. For green pastures with enough grass for the horses and cows. A full pond. For being able to see the sunrise and sunset. For getting to the beginning of November without yet having a frost and blanketing temperatures like last year. For a functioning manure spreader. Being able to share my love with fun desserts to serve my family. To laugh and share with people you love.

Being grateful for feeling time slow down, during a time of year when time does nothing but rush past, when you can see just one of your many blessings.

I could go on.


“That is what this time of year, the holiday season, is all about. Seeing and feeling your many blessings. Being grateful and thankful for them. Doing things for others. That and The Reason for The Season. Giving God the glory. Doing your best to carry that attitude through the rest of the year.”
~Avery~

Serious, I know. But in all seriousness. Life, man. It is a beautiful life and we are all blessed to live it. See and feel your many blessings so you can be a blessing to those around you.

The most interesting thing about all of this is when you start to see, those around you catch a glimmer too and start to see a little for themselves.

Just some things to stir around in your pot of thoughts on this fine Thursday. Clearer than mud, I hope? Too early? Well, at least I am not sharing Christmas music yet!

I think this is going to be a great month. Are there any anvils and pianos over my head?

Walk in love, dear readers!

P.S. I am grateful for y’all. Yes! Each and everyone of YOU that comes here to AHAmoments. For allowing my to share my thoughts. For engaging in conversation. For sharing your story. For making this a great place to be.

Problems

Problems, I ain’t got none.

How do you like that English? I did that for effect, you know. Just for you. To give you a laugh.

Anybody?

Tap, tap, tap?

In all seriousness, continually I am reminded that the things we see as problems in this life, are not really problems in the bigger picture. They are just experiences and lessons. They are gifts.

Remember yesterday’s list of possible topics that got quickly brushed aside in favor of food and wine? Ya, that. We are going there. Here is why. Stick with me.

Wednesday was not a very good day at work. The details are not really important, but emotions are high right now as we are about to drill a well (not really the best time to be leaving the country for vacation, but this trip has been planned for a year…) and somehow I got caught in the middle. Like a side effect or an accessory. Honestly, if I could have done something about it, I would have, but it was out of my hands. (Even though I am still kinda beating myself up about it.) It put me in a foul mood and I was ready to book it before it was even lunch time.

At the end of the day, I left quicker than I ever did when the 3 PM dismissal bell rang at school, and I was the kid that counted the seconds till it was time to leave. I changed my clothes and grabbed my dog in record time to drive out to the farm. I had already planned to go out there for my usual midweek visit.

When I arrived, the horses were in the far corner of their pasture. Go figure. I took a deep breath, stepped out into the sun, and started walking. I didn’t even put a hat on. No time for that.

With each step, I felt a little tension leave. It began to feel blissfully hot as the sun beared down. The grass was green and sky was blue. The breeze was soft through my hair and the trees. I started to hear the birds chirping and Darcy romping around off to my right.

She caught Lito’s eye as he stood in the shade with a hind leg cocked, tail floating on the breeze, playing with the tips of the tall grass.

Then they all, one by one beginning with Lito, started to look at me as I approached. They knew. They always know. Looking at me with their big soft eyes. Nuzzling me with velvety muzzles.

We were just a short walk away from bliss by this point. The answer to everything. It doesn’t take much.


I grabbed Cheetah’s bridle off the bridle rack. I walked up to her side, stroked her golden neck, and began bridling her. She graciously accepted the bit as I slipped the headstall I won in 4H with my old mare Fresca all those years ago over her long ears. Just as I have done countless times. Fresca is the only other horse to have worn that bridle. It has a cross on the side buckles. I found Lito a similar headstall. It was and is important to me.

I will not mention the sweat and dirt all over her body as that would clearly ruin the picture. No, I won’t do that. But she is indeed, covered in dirt. No matter. Dirt brushes off and my hands did a good enough job of that to clear a spot just big enough for me to sit.

I threw myself up on her broad, dorsal striped back and off we went.

Nothing else is needed. Our shadow danced around us as we turned around the ring. On and on. Around we went without a care. Whatever happened earlier in the day a distant memory, not given another significant thought.

(How is this the only video of this song?)

I dismounted feeling lighter, almost wondering if the day had really indeed been all that bad. The answer was probably not, but it did not matter anymore. I thanked my big dun mare for letting me borrow her freedom and setting everything to rights before I made the hour long drive back home.

The drive was pleasant as I was serenaded by Texas music and the views of the coastal plain.

The following day was peaceful as I worked, fueled by the high from the ride, YouTube videos playing in the background. At some point, a string of videos about near death/death experiences came up. It began with the stories of a career hospice nurse. Interesting turn of events, I thought to myself, but I will listen on. I do not doubt that these are true stories. Indeed they are common enough. We hear about them all the time.

I looked up when I heard a familiar voice and story. Eben Alexander. I have heard an interview of his before. Have you heard of him? He wrote the best seller, Heaven Is For Real. Have you read it? I have not, but I will tell you I ordered the book at the end of yesterday. His story is worth a listen. Take the time. I would not share it with you if it was not. I will not spoil it, but the short end of it is he was basically a dead man. Believed to be a vegetable for a week and on his way to death. He awoke and had a lot to share about his experience. About God and Heaven and love.

It brought me to tears, but maybe not in the way you might be thinking. It was an overwhelming feeling. A feeling of knowing. Of love and truth. It is no wonder to me that music and nature and animals and relationships play such vital roles in our lives here on earth. It is all about love. God’s love. God is love.

No, no I do not have problems.

Focus on the bigger picture. The Lord’s journey for you. Spread his love and light. Forgive and forget. Life is short. Tomorrow is a new day. Do not let what you view as problems bring you down. You are here and alive!

Share with me your thoughts! I want to know!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Tuesday’s Track

You know those songs that just never go out of style? That are always applicable? Sometimes they may take you back, but just as often, they speak to you right now in the present because it is honest, raw, and real?

This, my friends, is one of those.

I have probably shared this before, but I do not care. Give it a listen. I just can not get enough of it. Ever. For years I have been listening and it hits me the same every time.

As thought provoking as it is, it is soothing to the very soul.

Always striving for that inner peace. Stillness. Silence. Walking your path. Focusing on Him through it all, no matter what is going on around.

“I been thinkin’ too much about it
What I thought was certain, now I doubt it
So if its over tell me where do I begin
And are there anymore answers left out there in the wind
Sometimes I feel like an Amarillo windmill
Standin’ out in the great wide open alone
And every thought’s a gust of wind
Spins the blades in my mind again
If they spin too much they might break or bend
Aw but if that wild wind ever did lie still
My dreams would turn to rust out in the fields
So I’ll just watch the world fly by me
There’s a silence wellin’ up in side me
Let the rains fall let the winds do what they will
Let it all spin, just let me be still
Sometimes I feel like an Amarillo windmill
Standin’ out in the great wide open alone
And every thought’s a gust of wind
Spins the blades in my mind again
If they spin too much they might break or bend
Aw but if that wild wind ever did lie still
My dreams would turn to rust out in the fields
Yeah but if that wild wind ever did lie still
My dreams would turn to rust out in the fields”
~Mike McClure, The Great Divide

Stir that around in your pot of thoughts, dear readers, and walk in love!

Valentine

Valentine’s Day has always been interesting to me. All the hype and minutiae. Seems to have lost the point if you ask me. What is that? You didn’t ask me? Oh well.

Some people think of cards. Some people think of red roses and chocolate covered strawberries. Some people think of the lack of a valentine like it means something. Some love it and some dislike it.

Me, I can not help but think of this song when I think of Valentine’s Day.

Funny, this song makes me laugh.

Side note, Saint Francis, patron saint of the animals, is the best. My family all seems to be drawn to him and has statues and figurines placed around our houses. Cheetah, Lito, and Darcy have all attended pet blessings at the church. I need to go and find those photos. Anyway.

Valentine’s Day.

I read something very interesting yesterday and I would like to share it with you.

Read it and let that sink in. Stir it around in your pot of thoughts, I dare you.

I have conveniently included the link again! CLICK HERE!

Last year I said I would be your Valentine.

And this year I offer the same.

Thank you, dear readers for being you, and being here. You are not alone. You are worthy. I am so grateful for each of you. You have made such a difference in my life.

Walk in love. Happy Valentine’s Day. Make it a great day!

The Christmas Tag!

Oh, that sounds like a fun game, doesn’t it?!

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Anne Leueen, you remember her, over at HorseAddict? I have mentioned her before. She nominated me for a Bloggers Recognition Award (Well, dang! That was nice!) and we have also spoken about Winston Churchill. Ring any bells?

Anyway, she nominated me for The Christmas Tag Award! Thanks Anne! She writes a fun blog about horses and dressage and family. I truly look forward to her posts and enjoy our ‘conversations’ via our comments. I live vicariously through her blog. Following along on her journeys with her horse through my computer.

Well, let us get on with the fun! You know how I love Christmas and spreading cheer, so here goes.

Here are the rules for this award:

  • Thank the person that nominated you with a link to their blog √
  • Add the picture in your blog √
  • Copy these rules into your post √
  • Add a link to this original post √ Original Christmas Tag
  • Answer the 10 questions (you can add extra Christmas – related questions if you want) √
  • Tag at least 3 other bloggers with links to their blogs √
  • Have fun! √√√

(Side note…want to know something interesting? I am left handed and write my √s in the opposite direction.)

My Tagged nominees:

Allie: Rocking E Cowgirl

BBB: BeautyBeyondBones

Teresa: Journey With A Dancing Horse

Tonya: Fourth Generation Farmgirl

Now for the fun part…

My Answers:

1. What´s your favorite thing about Christmas?

Um. All of it? It is not about the things. It is what it all adds up to mean. The reason for the season. What IT is all about. His coming for us. His presence. Fellowship. Getting together with family and friends in honor of Him.

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2. What´s your favorite Christmas memory?

There are so many, it is hard to pick just one. I do think my favorite memory is actually one that I wrote about the other day. The post was supposed to actually be about Elvis, but laced in there was the story of how all the grandchildren would go over to my Grandparents’ house to decorate their Christmas tree, listen to Christmas music, and drink hot chocolate. I miss those days!

3. Are there special traditions your family has for Christmas?

There have been many special traditions over the years. Like going together to pick out the Christmas tree or decorating the house or wrapping the gifts. Traditions are special to me. They are meaningful, if you are doing them for the right reasons, but they are really not what IT is about. Time goes on, people grow up, families grow, and life changes. And, so do our traditions. They fade away, change, or we make new ones. It is the natural way of things. To change, whether we like it or not. I have written on this before. However, the root of the tradition, what makes it special, stays the same. Everyone who is able comes to the designated house for a grand meal made with love and enjoyed with togetherness and faithfulness. It does not matter when or how or what, just so long as we get together. Grow in our faith and fellowship. Feel and see the reason for the season. His presence. To spread our joy and cheer with those around us.

4. What´s your Christmas wish? (can be personal or general)

Can’t tell you or it won’t come true? No. That is not how it really works. But I have already told you my wish. My wish is the same now as it was then. Faithfully waiting. Am I right, BBB?

Next question.

5. What´s your favorite Christmas dish?

Um. How long do you have? It is my favorite meal. So. Every dish? Really though, my favorite is my Mamma’s homemade rolls. They are only made on special occasions and I have never had a better roll. What can I say, I like carbs OK. Don’t judge. If you had ever had them you would know

6. What´s your favorite Christmas decoration?

The tree! The smell. The feel. The look. The lights. The ornaments. That explanation above that I found this year. This one below that I just found.

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It brings meaning to the minutia. Changes the way today’s ‘world’ thinks about it, takes the marking and today’s Santa out of it. It is no longer a chore.

7. What´s your favorite Christmas song?

Um. Way to pick the hardest question. I really dislike when people ask my favorite song. Can I have more criteria. What day? What mood? What situation? I have so many favorites of all kinds. Have you heard the Christmas songs I have been sharing over on the Facebook page?! Most all about the true meaning of Christmas and great pieces of music. If I HAD to pick a favorite, right now…

Hard to not cry.

8. Where do you usually celebrate Christmas?

Honestly? In my heart. Hokey and corny and all that, I know, but it is true. It is they way we are meant to I think. You know how I just explained changing traditions? Well, where we physically celebrate also changes. We also have multiple celebrations. Big family. Church Christmas Eve, followed by dinner at someone’s house. These days it has been at my oldest sister, A’s house. So the little people can go to bed at a reasonable time in their own beds and wake up to Christmas morning at their house. Then Christmas Day lunch at either my Parents’ or my Aunt and Uncle’s house. This year, my Aunt and Uncle’s. We used to always do it at my Grandparent’s house.

9. What does the “Christmas spirit” mean to you? and I will add Anne’s extra question because these two questions are tied together for me…Do you believe in Christmas?

Yes.

I believe in the Christmas I have described through the answers to this Christmas Tag. I believe in the reason for the season. The coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for us. The forgiveness of our sins. In remembering and living that. Doing His will and walking His path for me every day of the year.

That is what the Christmas Spirit is to me. Remembering the reason for the season. Being a source of joy and cheer for those around you. Letting Him be a blessing to others through you. Giving and doing for others. Forgiveness as Christ forgave us. Growing that in your heart and letting it last all year.

10. Who out of anybody in the world would you want to spend your Christmas with?

My family. Especially the ones who do not live here and I only get to see every now and then.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

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What about you, dear readers? Pick a question and answer. I want to know!

Nominees, here is the list:

  1. What´s your favorite thing about Christmas?
  2. What´s your favorite Christmas memory?
  3. Are there special traditions your family has for Christmas?
  4. What´s your Christmas wish? (can be personal or general)
  5. What´s your favorite Christmas dish?
  6. What´s your favorite Christmas decoration?
  7. What´s your favorite Christmas song?
  8. Where do you usually celebrate Christmas?
  9. What does the “Christmas spirit” mean to you?
  10. Who out of anybody in the world would you want to spend your Christmas with?
  11. Do you believe in Christmas? Bonus question.

Walk in love!

Horses, Darcy Dog, cake, and pie coming up!

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.

The Season

Time seems to travel faster this time of year, don’t you think? I mean, Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK. How did that happen?! It has snuck up on me as I am sure it has everyone. For more than one reason.

And now, it is already Tuesday. It still feels like Monday.

Anyway, I am sitting here with my coffee, as I do, you know, reflecting.

Surprisingly enough, wishing it was still Monday. I made a quick trip out to the farm yesterday after work since I did not go out this weekend. At this time of year, I get barely an hour out there with the early sunset, but it is enough to get my fix to get me through the rest of the week.

I did have a great time with my sister and her husband this weekend. It was incredibly relaxing and indulgent. She is having a holiday party next month that we are both getting excited for. It got us both in the spirit. We even made peppermint ice cream from scratch.

When I got home on Sunday, I baked two batches of cookies while drinking coffee with cinnamon and nutmeg. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Chocolate chip oatmeal with pecans and coconut and while chocolate macadamia nut. I owe my farrier a lot of cookies because he is great. I am going to bake my mother’s pumpkin bread this evening for gifts. I just love this time of year!

It all got me thinking how blessed we all are. That we are here and awake this morning. That I got to go up there to visit and stay the weekend. For the quality time with my sister. That I got to see the sunset and love on the horses, however quick. That I have a dog I can take everywhere with me and that she got to have her run time at the farm. That I have a good car to get me where I am going and get me home safe.

That is what this time of year, the holiday season, is all about. Seeing and feeling your many blessings. Being grateful and thankful for them. Doing things for others. That and The Reason for The Season. Giving God the glory. Doing your best to carry that attitude through the rest of the year.

Walk in love, dear readers.

Thursday’s Track

The ultimate fall song, as my Pops always says.

Seems rather fitting. There are some things that just are, that we can not change. We learn to live with them or move around them and move on. There are some things that are meant to be and some things that are not. Some things change at the drop of a hat and some things evolve slowly, like rocks into sand. Sometimes we do not seem to know the way and yet, at other times, the path is quite clear.

That is where faith comes in. To keep walking and lean on Him, whether we are sure or unsure. To know He has a plan and to keep working towards it for Him.

There is a path and a plan on His time. I pray for the strength and faith to keep seeking Him and that His will be done through me. To be honest and true and faithful and still in my waiting. To continue to pray and know that he will fill the desires of my heart.

Leaves fall in the cool October air
Days grow short and I can’t remember
Where I saw you last
Turned against the summer light
Walking off on that final August night
I was there on my knees, all alone
In a world
Where nothing ever stays the same
I am left
With only things I cannot change
You’ve gone away
And left me things I cannot change
Smoke will rise
And the fire always burns
Sands will drift
And tides will turn and I can’t
Wrestle with the sea
Rearrange the sky, or fight against the wind
Anymore than I
Can bring you back to me
In a world
Where nothing ever stays the same
I am left
With only things I cannot change
You’ve gone away
And left me things I cannot change
~Songwriters: Alan Miller / Dennis Britt / Jaime Hanna
Recorded and performed by: The Mavericks
Have a great Thursday, dear readers. Walk in love.