New Day

I hope each and every one of you and yours had a very merry and happy Christmas and New Year.
I hope your bubbly was cold, feelings warm, and family and friends present (including all the animals!).
May the many blessings of our Lord shower upon you. Peace, love, and joy. Keep the Christmas spirit alive all year long.

Here we are. 2020 (well, a few days in, but who is counting). A new year and a new decade. Apparently that is a big deal to a bunch of people, bringing a whole new perspective and pressure to New Year resolutions.

New year, new you. New decade, new…what? NEW new you? Bestest you? That is a whole log of a lot if you ask me when just regular new year resolutions are hard enough for most.

I feel like for many people, myself over here included, 2019 what a doozy of a year. It felt like a decade in itself with everything that happened and interestingly enough, did not happen, as it…uh…happens. I do not think I have ever been more happy or relieved to see one year go and another come into view.

Then, just as I thought the corner was turning on this new year and new decade, it all balled up, really skidded out, and crashed and burned right as the celebratory, welcoming fireworks were starting. And there was nothing I could do about it.

I have never been a fan of celebrating on NYE because there are just too many expectations and pressures that lead to let down. However, this really was not the way I intended on it going or spending it.

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Indeed I could probably be more vague. Frustrating I know. It is just not for right now. The what and the how and the why are not for right now. And that is OK. One day I might tell more. Will probably tell more. I just need more time to sit with it, you know?

Luckily for me, I can. I have that time. I can pull my own car over and shift it into park. Take a breath as I take my foot off the brake. Look into that rear view mirror. Then. Not look back at the mess. The wreckage. Lay my eyes out the windshield on today. And tomorrow. Learn what I need to learn. Take the good and leave the bad.

Here is the thing and the point for today. The AHAmoment. Sure January 1 is a new year. BUT. It is also a new day. Every day is a new day.

A NEW day.

Do you hear me?!

A new day to be your best self. Be better than you were the day before. To do the right thing. To follow through. Anything, you name it. We are not promised it. Take that right there to heart.

I am not making New Year’s resolutions this year (which really will not come as much of a surprise as I typically do not). I am however making a resolution to wake each day grateful to be here. To allow myself time to breathe and do what is right for me. To take care of me and my animals. To step forward, one step at a time each day, with “grit anchored in grace.” That is me, leather and lace.


“I don’t know exactly what the future holds, but I’m stepping forward with grit anchored in grace.” ~Julie Graham

Nobody but the Lord knows what the future holds. I am more than OK with that. I am here! I am focusing on today. He has me. Has my back. He is the light and the path. He knows the way for me. I will stay focused on Him and pray for His comfort, grace, peace, strength, and guidance. To have the eyes to see.

Enough about that for today.

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Let us talk about Christmas and food since we completely skipped over that!

For one of our Christmas gatherings, I made an exorbitant amount of these cinnamon rolls…so we could enjoy them all week. I did not roll the dough out thin enough, rolled them up sloppily, could not get them to look like the picture, and I OVER BAKED them. Sigh. However, I think they still had very good flavor and will be better the next time. Breads like this can be tricky. I think it was a win for a first time bread attempt. It will happen again and they will be even better.

I also had fun with cream cheese fruit tarts because I am crazy and wanted to make all the things. ALL. THE. THINGS.

This punkin’ pumpkin pie was another first time for me and it was totally worth it! Also…so very easy. The saying ‘easy as pie’ is pretty funny to me because pies are pretty dang easy…way easier than cakes!

Merle and I had a festive patio lunch after playing with friends. You can see evidence of such in the mud spot on his back leg. I think he looks smashing…even if is collar does not really go with the bow tie and his coat is, well, let us just say needed a bath and a good brushing. The bow tie is now dead post Christmas fun. That just means he will need a new one for next year!

For Christmas day I made a savory herb cheesecake with sage, thyme, and rosemary as the main part of a cheese board. Y’all. Do this. So worth it. So very good.

It is also very pretty in my opinion.

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Merle was very worn out with all the preparations! …and so was I!

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I made my favorite Pomegranate cake for Christmas day as well and it is always a winner. It is a great cake base and you can substitute the pomegranate flavor for any other that you wish. I used ice cream cones to create a snowy forest for the decoration. A bit abstract, but those are my favorite types of cakes.

After all of the Christmas festivities, it was time to lay low to rest, relax, recoup, and rejoice through the bringing in of the new year. Through it all. Even still, there is much to celebrate. I reflected on the old and looked forward to the new. I tried to focus on rooting myself in the present as I waded stepped into the New Year.

Then of course, I enjoyed some quality time with the horses and my Merle. They are my blessings. How I get through.

We took every day to try and celebrate life in whatever way we could. This is one way I like to do it with my people. I like to go to the trouble and make it nice for everyone. Candle lit alfresco is my favorite way to dine and I have a thing for setting tables. Even if we were having a seemingly simple meal of chili and cornbread. It is the little things.

We had a couple of really foggy mornings. It makes for nice exercising weather. Well, any weather is nice for to be on the back of a horse. I have a theory about fog. God likes Sunday mornings to be foggy so we remember to slow down and enjoy Sunday. More often than not, Sunday mornings at the farm are foggy. I think those two foggy days after Christmas were a reminder to do just that. Slow down and remember the reason. To be quiet and still just like the weather.

So. That is what I did.

My ever happy Mighty Merle Man while doing the farm run around.

We savored sunsets.

Enjoyed endless velvet muzzles.

Soaked in sunrises.

Even if they were a bit cold and frosty. After all that fog, we had a couple of chilly mornings.

But. Cold and frosty makes for very pretty!

I rode several times and took walks.

Just enjoying some quality time with my guys.

Cuddle time is our favorite.

Walk in love, dear readers. Today is a new day.

Happy New Year?

No, no, no. Not ‘Happy New Year?’

Happy New Year!!!!!

And Merry Christmas!!!!! Since I am pretty sure I missed saying that to you before.

Yes, all of those exclamation points are more than necessary.

I hope each one of you and yours had a very merry and blessed Christmas and New Year. May the many blessings of our Lord shower upon you. Peace, love, and joy. Go forth keeping the Christmas spirit alive all year long.

Aunt M asked me the other day if I was sick or something since I had not shared any AHAmoments in a while. No, no, not sick. Just still reeling from a busy Christmas season. I have lost count of how many naps I have taken. A little tidbit about me, I do not really take naps.

I have been spending my time watching the rain re-hydrate the mud. Trying not to get mud everywhere. Watching the horses roll in the mud. Scooping poop in the mud. Watching the horses slip while walking in the mud. Not riding enough. Losing my mind a titch. You know, normal 2018 stuff.

It rained this weekend. It rained yesterday and it is raining today.

But hey, speaking of Christmas…I did a little baking. It is one of my favorite ways to celebrate and share love with my family.

Apple Cranberry Pie with Pecan Shortbread Crust.

Chocolate Spiced Rum Cake.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cake.

Pesto and Prosciutto Christmas Tree and Cranberry Pepper Baked Brie.

And that was just my part. We ate well to say the least. For days.

I made Lito dress up like a reindeer a few days before Christmas. I had a good laugh…or ten. Him, not so much, but he put up with it!

I will be perfectly honest, I am still laughing! He is so dang cute, even when he pouts. There is your daily dose of cute, dear readers!

Anyway, in my opinion, the best way to close out a year and ‘ring’ in the new is to watch the sunset and be in bed long before midnight. Then wake up early on January first, saddle up the best mare, and strike out down the road because that is the only dry stretch of ground for miles. So, that is exactly what I did.

“Stop taking pictures, food lady, and get in here to feed us!”

My Mamma came with on foot.

Hopefully 2019 will bring more ride time for me and my dun duo. It might just be after winter before the rain slows a little. Only the good Lord knows! And you know what? It is all good! Eventually, my riding will be back to normal. Until then, the horses are being horses. Doing what they do best. So, I am going to take this time and focus on myself. Be present.

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Here is to 2019.

‘Rise with lifted eyes’ every day. Ride more when you can. Worry less all the time. Focus on the journey and the path and allow it to create your momentum. Live in the moment and see the light and blessings around you. Do not ‘live on the surface and in between the lines.’ Go find the ‘deepest part of you’ and let your heart fight for the truth.

You are not flying alone.

Cheers, y’all!

Go walk in love, dear readers.

Step Forward, Never Back.

Cheers, y’all!

I hope each and every one of you and yours has a very happy NYE! May your bubbly be cold, feelings warm, family and friends present, and animals not freak out too badly with the fireworks.

cheers.gifLooking forward to 2018!

I know it is not quite NYE, but I want to wish each and every one of you and yours a wonderful and blessed New Year. It is no secret that NYE is not my favorite. Mostly because there are too many expectations and every time I try to actually do something fun and different, it ends up not being so. So, I will be at the farm doing what I love. Even if it means freezing while I do it. Literally. It is supposed to be dreadfully cold out. For like a whole week. At least I have not made my vet appointment yet. Forgive me if I am MIA for a little.

Anyway.

It is interesting having this blog and to be able to now look back and see what I was doing and thinking a year ago. I was reflecting on the year 2016, if you couldn’t guess. Woof. What an awful year when you really think about it. I try not to, preferring to focus on the good and positive things that happened.

I am glad to not be in the same place I was a year ago, spilling wine on myself and glad to chunk the year in the trash. Although, the night is young and there is still a chance of spillage.

But 2017 has been a pretty good year on a whole. Better than 2016 for sure. Did some not so great things happen? Sure, a few come to mind. That whole hurricane and the whole tendon incident and probably some more. Give me a year where nothing bad happens. It is called life.

Having never been a journal keeper, this literal looking back concept is new for me. How easily I forget some things! I feel rather fortunate for that.

At the beginning of this year, like most people, I set all these goals for the year. Determined to make it a great one, at least better than the last. You can probably guess where this is going. Some of the goals I kept, however many I did not. Just like most people with resolutions. So determined was I, in fact, that I was quite not looking forward to writing this post in review of all those resolutions.

Then I got to thinking. You know what? What does it matter? It doesn’t matter. It is OK that I did not keep them. It does not make me a bad person. You want to know what else? I did some pretty awesome other things instead. You know, like taking Lito for a long weekend in the hill country with my best gal pal, R, and then taking him on a week long ride with bunch of other horses and learning from Charlotte Dujardin. The resolutions are not what is important. What is important is the way you live your live. Your intention. Your heart.

So. You know what I will do? I will look forward to 2018 and all the things to come, stepping forward with confidence and not looking back. I will pray with intention more (I kept that resolution!). I will ride more and worry less. Time spent worrying is time spent wasted. AHAmoment. I have already signed up to ride in a clinic in May. I am going to love myself and live every day like tomorrow is not promised because it is not. I will focus on the positive and the light (I think I kept that one too!).

Sound grand and great? Maybe, but I will do my best. Kick me in the butt if I need it, OK? I will do the same for you.

Walk in love, dear readers!

This Year End

Just like everyone else it seems, I too am reflective at year end. Many reflect on goals achieved, resolutions kept, or all the great things that have happened. I achieved some goals, kept zero resolutions, and did have some great things happen this year.

However, this particular year has been colored with many terrible events, which I will not continue to belabor at present (just read back if you are curious), that seem to overshadow the good.  I literally, between typing words, just spilled my champagne on myself while I was trying to take a sip. Very good adulating going on here. Can I get a participation award?

I think my only two resolutions this year will be to stop spilling on myself while drinking and to ride more. I guarantee that only one will be kept.

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I find myself wanting to hide until 2017 emerges just so nothing bad can happen, but alas, we can not hide from anything, no matter how hard we try. AHAmoment. When we try to hide, we are not able to see the good things that are happening around us and to us. I know this logically, but dang, it is hard sometimes.

Just a few hours ago I found out that my grandmother has had a fall and is having surgery tomorrow. Praise the Lord that it was not worse. The surgery is expected to be quick and she should have less down time than last time. That is the bright side. I need another glass of wine.

A little something I read today gave me a little perspective and gives me my message to this past year: Goodbye 2016, I won’t be looking back. Thank you to Mallory of AdultAmmyStrong for sharing your story. It has helped me. I also shared it with a friend of mine. I am so grateful to have my horses and my dog. When I feel like it is too hard to move forward, I do for them.

I am watching Love Actually this evening. The viewing of this movie used to be a Christmas tradition with my sisters and cousins. It has now faded away with the changing tides, but I still watch it every year at least once. Funny thing is I feel like this (the song part…and the love part) is a good summation of 2016 and how Christmas kinda felt. PSA…this is explicit and not PG-13!

I will not hide for the rest of 2016. I am going to fake it till I make it. It is not all bad. Can you hear my determination? I will dance like Billy Mack to the final count down.

I am going to go pour myself another glass of wine, try not to spill on myself, and watch the rest of the movie.

Walk in love, dear readers. I am only taking small steps as present. You can take small steps with me.