I have to say, I think all of our wishing for summer to hurry up and get on out sure seemed to make it get up and go! This weekend we will have highs in the mid seventies and prayers for rain on the way there. Which, it is currently raining right now while I drink my imaginary cup of coffee. Why imaginary, you ask? Imaginary because I am just a good adult, and I am out of coffee. Well, technically, I am not out as I have a bag of coffee packed for next week, but I do not want to get into it, so I really am being a good adult. Just your average every day musings going on over here.
So, here we are, October, and there you are! If you can not tell, I am more than ready for it. If you know any Texans, I bet you already know this. I might freeze with lows in the low fifties.
Chance started growing his winter coat a couple of weeks ago, which is normal for him, and it was actually noticeably cooler on Sunday morning. My brain wanted to tell me it was even cold! It was not actually cold, we have still been having highs in the nineties and so humid, but the horses’ coats were the tiniest bit puffed up that morning and the nineties are on their way out.
The crazy thing is the timing of it all, but there is never any surprise there. I am just grateful for it. Lito and I will be headed to our annual ladies ride in the hill country for the week starting this weekend and through next week and we will be glad for the cooler temperatures, I grant you that. I think we might both be a bit fresh with it! I will have my lunge line at the ready just in case and his sheet. When temperatures drop while we travel, I always throw his sheet on for some extra comfort. It may just be for me, but it is just something I do along with giving probiotics and electrolytes every time we travel.
I have been jamming to this song and those like it these days. It will make for good driving music.
We are mostly ready to go! The trailer is mostly packed and I have most of my things ready to throw in a bag. I do have to pick up some things at the feed store after I drop my Merley Bob at the kennel tomorrow on my way out to the farm. Leaving Merle behind is one of the worst things about some travel.
I sure wish I had some real coffee right now to go with the pitter pat of the rain on the car port tin roof.
Well, it is way past time for me to get going for the day and I have lot to do before I head out tomorrow.
At first I typed ‘Drowning.’ Just…Drowning. So dramatic!
Have no fear, I am not DROWNING. Other than in sweat.
I have been drowning in sweat.
Happy 3rd August, Texas!
Do you remember that time I made a comment about it being ‘real’ hot when you have sweat in your eyelids? No? Well I do and I am here to tell you we somehow skipped that phase and went into full on deluge. This is very reminiscent of the awful summer of 2011.
Yes, I know the heat is old news (I am so tired of getting heat advisory warnings every day!), but I needed to set the scene for what I had got to do on Monday.
This is the end result and I am thankfully not sore:
Thankfully for all of us, there are no progress photos! Ain’t nobody wants to see that! The amount of sweat was surprising to me. I have never sweated that much in my life. It felt like a spigot had been turned on. I started a little after 6 AM and finished before 10. All still morning and in shade. I was not in any hurry other than to finish before my shade ran out. I took many hydration breaks.
84 bales of hay unloaded and crammed stacked into the feed room for winter feels like winning. Anybody who cares for livestock in the winter knows how great this feels. Even if you were completely soaked through with sweat when you were only half way finished. Exhausting work, but it is the most satisfying work at the same time. It is a joyful chore for such a blessing. An even bigger blessing given the drought situation. Hopefully I will not have to use any of this hay before December.
Actual footage of me when I turned around after the last bale was loaded in:
You know it really is dry and HOT when the weeds and trees even look hot.
Anyway, I feel like a kid on the last day before summer or winter break and it is not just because I finally got this important chore off the list.
Why, you ask? Oh, I dunno, because I get to do something exciting soon. Go somewhere exciting soon.
Your AHA moment today is brought to you by Nick Jamerson.
The first video has a lovely intro to the song in addition to this version just being so good, but if you want to just skip to it, watch the second video.
Take these lyrics with you into this blessed long weekend. Remember those who fought for this life you get to live. For the journey you get to walk. Be grateful for what you know and what you do not know while you learn more and gain more perspective and direction. Be grateful you have the chance to wade in and through while enjoying the green grass. Go get that horse.
This song makes me think of my grandfather, Gee Gee, I am not sure why. “There ain’t no cinches in life except on saddles,” he would say, so go catch up your pony, saddle him up, and make sure your cinch is tight. We have some riding to do! This life is a wild ride!
It is a rainy morning here on the farm while I enjoy my coffee in the loggia with my Merle wet and lying at my feet. I managed to get the horses fed before it started raining again. Mother Nature truly put on a light show with the heavy rain storms last night and there is a good chance for more today. I am smiling contentedly as I think of the horses and cows on their happy, lush pastures.
Good Friday is turning into another one of those reflective days for me. I mean, it should be a day of reflection already of course with the coming of Easter, but it is even more so for me now. Good Friday was one of my days with H.
I am not sure when it became a tradition of sorts, but it just did. It was one of the days we would regularly try to schedule a ride together. I think it was a day that she always had off from work and she did not feel as bad taking that time away from her husband, other animals, and home. Sometimes we rode with other friends and sometimes it was just the two of us. It just depended on what everyone had going on. In the more recent past, it was usually just the two of us.
I really miss her today and that seems to make me even more grateful that it is raining like this. Like we are not really missing another ride together as the years accumulate.
However, as sad as I feel at the present moment have felt for the past few days at times coming up on today, I have also found myself smiling at the same time. While on the one hand I am not quite sure how I feel about that, the whole dichotomy of feelings I mentioned yesterday, on the other hand I am beyond grateful that I am here. That I am able to look back on all our time together so happily and be glad that we had it. That I can really feel the gratitude that we were even friends at all, even if it feels like her time here on earth and our time together as friends was cut short.
Being in this new and improved and bigger, but hey the same great thing, space of gratitude while I am remembering my H, I am beyond grateful for my life and my time in this earthly world. I know this probably sounds odd and possibly I could have worded it in a better way, but it is true. Case in point being H. We do not know how much time we have and we can not create it or get it back. My point is, this ever repetitive AHA moment, use your time wisely!
I do not know what exactly I set out to write today, but I am grateful. I am grateful that H and I were friends. I am grateful to FEEL. Whatever the feelings may be. Happy, sad, you name it. They are not independent of each other anyway. You can not have one without the other. I am grateful for my grief because I think it makes the joy bigger.
Walk in love, dear readers! Go live your time while you enjoy the memories! Dance in the rain!
I find myself often these days overtaken by an overwhelming feeling of gratitude.
For so many things. Both big and small. So much so that nothing seems small except my very person in this world. Similar to how storms and mountains make me feel. It is almost as if I am a tiny bug observing this big old world. Not in a scary, I’m going to get stepped on way, but in an awestruck way. Everything seems bigger, not just in size, but in feeling and color.
Heck, I am even grateful for feeling grateful. I don’t care if it sounds ridiculous!
Is it just spring? I don’t think so.
I do not think I can even pin point when this newer shape of gratitude and gratefulness really took hold. I try to always be in that space, but this, this is different.
When I wake up in the middle of the night, or really any time before my alarm goes off, I smile and am grateful to have the opportunity for a little more sleep. This particular gratitude goes even further to being grateful for opening my eyes and drawing breath. Or, rather, the other way around? Anyway, you catch my drift, grateful to be alive, but not in a morbid way.
In the ample time I spend driving (always with the driving thoughts), I am often shaken to realize how grateful I am for my life. For what I get to do. Who I get to spend my time with. For my freedom and independence. That I am no longer in school. Ha! No matter how hard being an adult can be, every life stage has its struggles and some more than others, but I would not trade where I am at for anything.
I am as grateful for the rain we are having right now as I am for the blue sky days.
I rode the other day in the rain, twice, and it was glorious. The first time was somewhat on accident. I was attempting to beat the rain.
We started early in the heavy morning fog, as it only can be in the river bottom. Lito was a bit full of himself, so we set to work in the meadow pasture to bring his attention back to center by doing many transitions within and between gaits while doing circles and serpentines around cow pies, trees, and weeds.
I am not sure when it started to rain really. It started so gradually with just the heavy wetness of the fog that morphed into a mist and then to a drizzle. I think I noticed it in the drizzle phase. I figured we were already getting wet and in the middle of things, why not keep going? So we did and so did the rain. It was wonderful really. When it seemed we were on the same page, we were loping down the fence with the rain coming at our faces. Not in a pelting way, but rather just an increasingly wet and beautiful way. It was still falling softly, but it was accumulating in my eyelashes and I was having a hard time seeing! I laughed out loud and wiped my eyes with the fleeting thought that windshield wipers would be nice before giving my boy a pat and coming back down to a walk.
We made our way back up to the barn where Lito seemed content to stand tacked in his stall and have a little nap. Not ready to commit to being finished for the day, I gave him some treats and left him there while I went inside to have some breakfast. My mom was getting ready to give a walk down the road a chance with a rain jacket and being already wet, we decided to accompany her. We then proceeded to get even more wet when it decided to off and on rain for real! It was still wonderful though. None of us seemed to mind. Lito was having as much fun as I was! It made me appreciate my good hat that I was wearing.
I could not stop smiling the rest of the day and I was so very glad that we rode in the rain.
I was hauling Lito to our favorite place to ride with friends a couple weeks ago and I found myself smiling while driving. I had the windows down and could feel the last remnants of nip in the air. The fog was singing and the sun was painting around some deer in the distance. It made me think of one of my favorite songs and how beauty has a sound.
I was reminded of many years ago one of the first times I did this. I was borrowing my Pops‘ truck, hauling to go meet my friends to ride. I even remember I was listening to a Texas song. I can almost remember the exact one. I had to stop and call my parents to thank them. Thank them for everything. That I am able to do all things I do. I thought then as I thought on this day, that I was living the dream.
I am still living that dream. Back to that day a couple weeks ago, I arrived early as I always do. I dearly hate to be rushed, especially when I am with my horses. I took my time and I groomed Lito, much to his chagrin, for over forty minutes. We rode all over that ranch with our friends surrounded by the big, blue Texas sky, green spring grass, and wildflowers. All while being serenaded by the birds, the wind, and sounds of our horses and laughter.
I am finding myself even at times, grateful for my grief. I do not even know how I got here. The dichotomy of those feelings is so strange and foreign. But alas, that I think is a story for another day.
Anyway, I think y’all have had enough of my rambling for today. My AHAmoment for today is to be grateful for every today you have. Again, not in a morbid way, but in a joyous and comforting way. There is more than one way to make a life. There is always enough time for what is important. It if is a broken record that I sound like, it is a pretty dang good record I think.
Walk in love, dear readers. Look up and see the sky, smell and feel the air!
I just have to laugh. This is just one of those years! We are just not with it! But I will tell you what, we will get there before it is over no matter what! Something a little more like ‘coming in hot’ rather than ‘fake it till you make it’ I would say.
So, this is where we are at. Happy Christmas!
I forgot to give my friend (Thanks K!) her elf hat and necklaces back to her after we rode in a Christmas float parade this past weekend, so I naturally decided to put them to work getting Merle and the Dun Duo’s annual portraits before I left the farm this past weekend since I had yet to do anything about them. Like I said, coming in HOT. But, anything is better than nothing. I think the Dun Duo might have begged to differ this year.
Anyway, we have been getting a lot of rain and mud has been the name of the game around here. LOTS of mud. Riding has been at a minimal recently, which probably explains a lot! I did not even groom the horses is how last minute this very impromptu session was. Between their dirty coats and the looks they were giving me, I felt like they were sending me a message…and it was not an overly festive one!
Something tells me they were not enthused.
Cheetah tossed the hat more times than I could count! She would not really even look at me. When she would look in my general direction, she would either glare or close her eyes. I think she even rolled them a time or two. I also could not have taken a good photo that day for the life of me!
It is a little hard to call them Christmas ponies or Santa’s helpers. Lito was even ‘better.’
I think Lito learned his looks from his mother.
I am pretty sure he tossed the hat into the mud on purpose.
When I went to find Merle for his torture session, I discovered he had gotten into something bad. This dog, I swear. He has the worst kind of witching hour. Between the hours of 5 and 7 PM is when bad things happen. He found bees or wasps or a snake or something. His whole face started to swell. Always something! The good news is he seemed fine other than in appearances. I luckily or unluckily have some experience with snake bites in dogs and this did not appear to be a snake bite. I gave him a couple Benadryl and decided to try again another day. It was not working out for us!
Anyway, the work week started in earnest and I started looking at the Christmas weather forecast (possible spoiler alert, it may be very cold with stuff falling from the sky…which means I will likely be away from home at the farm taking care of the animals) and the thought creeped into my head that maybe I do not get a tree this year.
And. And. And.
Who am I!
I basically slapped myself this evening on my way home. Get with it, sister! Get into the spirit! Yikes!
So. I called around and then drove to find our little tree and turned up the festivity! A little late, but that never hurt anybody! I am now enjoying a glass of bubbley out of a chipped glass of my grandmother’s with my lit and decorated tree and house while the Christmas music plays.
And, yes, Merle will get some photos too, but we will all just have to wait for that.
This is where we are at. We are here and we are present. We are in the spirit! Join us!
Play some of this new Christmas music and turn your festivity up too! Keep scrolling if you need some of our past years’ photos to help you turn up your cheer! If you can you the word ‘festive’ and any of its derivatives as much as me, you get a special prize.
I am looking for some inspiration, my dear readers!
But real quick.
Is anyone else surprised that we are here halfway through November, staring and the holiday season coming in hot and heavy? Just me? Sometimes I stop and think and almost look around me and wonder how I got here! I am along for the ride though and would not change a thing.
Long time readers know I live for this time of year. The love and family time. The thanks and giving. The traditions. The cooking and baking. The lights and decorations. The festivity! I love it. We had a cold front blow in and the weather has now caught up to the season and is here to stay. Or as much as we have winter weather here in our part of the world. I am not really ready for the cold part though given how not fun winter 2020 was. I literally thought the big winter-pocalypse was winter 2021. I should be able to remember all of this given that last year I was able to go on a Hawaiian vacation, you know…balance things out, but alas, my time memory is still warped from 2020 covid time.
It is time to crank up the festive. Turn on the happy. Remember the reason for the season!
So here is the deal, I want to know!
I want to know what are your favorite traditions? What makes the holidays for you? Favorite food (sweet or savory). Favorite music. Favorite activity or decorations.
What makes it festive for you?
I specifically want to know what is your favorite cake!
I am looking to try something new!
Every year (one year I even participated in a blog event!) I have shared my favorite Christmas music, fun animal photo shoots, and of course the cooking and baking. Have no fear, you will get some of that this year of course, but I want to know yours.
Drop and comment and share with us! Or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have I done this bit before? Sorry, not sorry if I have!
But, seriously. It has been a long time! Time is funny that way, as I am sure you are tired of hearing me say.
Side note, being the ‘youngster’ that I am, I used to live in this world without ever really understanding why Willie Nelson is as popular as he is. I know, crazy, right? See what I did there? Anyway, hear me out. I just really didn’t. He never seemed to really sing in the songs that got played on the radio. Well, one day, I was driving our old farm suburban, affectionately named The Dun, down the road that leads to the farm. Through the lovely little bend that has the shady hollow under a grove of oak trees. There I was, driving along, listening to the local radio station croon a velvety song out of the radio my Pops installed one afternoon in the driveway of the Long Shadow house where I grew up. I thought to myself, “Dang. Who is that? I know who that is, but I don’t really.” I tried to soak up the rest of the song while I anxiously awaited the DJ’s announcement to my ignorant ears. Once I learned that it was the great Willie Nelson singing to me, I spent the next week large amount of time doing a deep dive into his whole discography, starting at the beginning. Suffice it to say, I get it now. I really get it.
Did I already tell you that story?
Anyhoo! How are you? How have you been?! Tell me!
How am I doing? We are doing more than fine! The month of May (and, uh, the beginning of June too!) has been gloriously busy. We went on some adventures in our spare time while also slowing down and soaking up some personal time.
I looked at the forecast today and it looks like the summer heat has plans to show up with a bang. There is one of those at every party it seems.
Take a ride with us and have a look at what we have been up to. To set the mood, here is our drive soundtrack.
Mr. Dirty Toes Merle was a Merle and got into…stuff. He was happy and proud about it.
We took a walk and picked wild dewberries. They got baked into a pie by Aunt M for Mother’s day. I did not get around to a second pick to bake into muffins. We will get to that next year!
We watched some sunsets. There is nothing like that Texas sky, I tell you! Prove me wrong.
It does not matter where you are standing, it just strikes you.
We have obviously been putting in some saddle time. We have mostly been slowing down and taking it easy. Enjoying the farm. The breeze in our hair. The blue sky. Green grass. Colorful wildflowers before the mowing.
My Lito Man has the prettiest ears!
We also had sunny afternoons where we were so sleepy we could not keep our eyes open! He has been looking more relaxed lately. More grown up. More round. I like it.
I sometimes wonder where this man horse came from. His dam, Cheetah, also turned 18 a couple weeks ago! With each passing day and year, I am enjoying all my time with her and her colt that she gave me.
We celebrated another anniversary. I miss My Darcy Girl every day. Some days, I shove the images and memories to the back and pick something else up after I pick myself up from the kick in the gut. But some days, I find myself looking for her light in different places. Some times I make myself do it. I could not be more blessed to have Merley Bob. He really and truly is a gift beyond measure in addition to unconditional love.
We celebrated life and love and family and memories by going fishing. We kept a couple dinners worth and released the rest while being glad at the number of young fish we saw building our fishery back up. Are not my parents the best?!
We watched the sunrise while the birds flew.
We felt the breeze in our hair some more. It has been very breezy this spring!
We rode some more and watched a storm come in! We even got a little bit of rain. Every little bit helps to grow the grass and get us through. It has been very dry here.
A different kind of magnificent painting.
We went to the beach and relaxed this past weekend! As cliché as it may sound, I do love a long walk on the beach, especially at sunrise with my pup. The water was…was…from somewhere else? I really do not have the words. Our beach does not usually look like this. I almost felt like we were in a different country.
It was nice to sit and truly relax without a thought of what needed to be done.
Merle loves long walks on the beach too!
We drove back to town early yesterday morning, wonderfully tired. I will not lie, it was a little difficult to get out of bed this morning! That could also have something to do with deciding to assemble a fountain for my patio at my usual bed time.
I find myself in this season, blissfully grateful and saying thank you. I once thought that I was not very good a praying and someone told me I was wrong. That I was indeed actually more than OK at it. It was like that time I said I was lucky and someone corrected me and said I was blessed.
“Naw I ain’t too good at prayin’ But thanks for everything”
Thanks for everything. Amen! It is a simple as that.
Thank you, dear readers, for being you and being here. Walk in love and have a great day!
Did I actually find this song last night while watching the new season of Sweet Magnolias on Netflix? Yes, I absolutely did. You can judge me all you want. I had to rewind the show so I could figure out what the song was. I listened to it while driving into work this morning. Over and over. Very, very loudly. Did I cry in my car? Yes, I did. And for a lot of reasons.
Validation. This is what it feels like. It is real. I am not the only one.
There is something about driving and listening to music, I swear. I did not even know the name of the album was Crying in Cars. I can not make this stuff up and neither could you. I was actually wondering while I was driving what the music video would be like for this song if it had one. Music videos are a funny thing to me and I would think it would be very hard to do. It would be hard to not paint the picture for every listener and have to put the song in a box because so many songs are applicable to a myriad of life situations. I was thinking the music video for this song should be the singer driving and crying. And hitting her steering wheel. Maybe pulling over because she is finally overcome. Then I find out what the name of the album is.
I am unfolding I am not holding on Shattered in pieces I am the broken one If you only knew the chaos inside my head Wish that I could run but I’m just not ready yet
Just let me hurt a little longer I’m in a war with no armour Need to cry an ocean before I’m stronger Just let me hurt a little longer Just let me hurt a little longer
Don’t need a rescue Don’t want a lifeline I need to crumble Cannot save me this time Used to think that being brave just meant moving on Now I sink into the pain until it’s all gonе
Just let me hurt a little longеr (Longer) I’m in a war with no armour (Armour) Need to cry an ocean before I’m stronger (Stronger) Just let me hurt a little longer (Longer) Just let me hurt a little longer (Longer)
Heart is in stitches I burned all my bridges I’m at the end of my rope My stomach is twisted I can’t resist it Don’t know where else to go, so Just let me hurt a little longer I’m in a war with no armour
Just let me hurt a little longer (Longer) I’m in a war with no armour (Armour) Need to cry an ocean before I’m stronger (Stronger) Just let me hurt a little longer (Longer) Just let me hurt a little longer (Longer) Just let me hurt a little longer
Take your time. Let it in. You have to go through it. Is it bloody hard? Absolutely. But it is the only way.