Happy Saturday, dear readers! See the beauty and joy today.
Go walk in love.
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.
Because everyone loves Tuner kisses…
Looking forward to all the new growth.
Walk in love, dear readers.
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!
Ha! Ya right! This view never gets old.
Today is my last full day here in Colorado. I am slightly bummed about that as you can imagine, but I am ready to see my dog and horses.
Monday evening I made last minute plans to have breakfast with a friend who also happened to be here. Small world! I walked to meet her while it tried to sprinkle on me. I love to walk on vacation first thing in the morning while most are still asleep, the only other people out being crazy early risers like me and breakfast shift restaurant workers. To see the city wake up. We met at this little French spot with a nice covered patio and had a lovely catch-up.
We did some shopping and walking throughout the day. There is this pet shop that has been here for years. Many years ago on a family vacation here, we brought our English Setter and bought him a nice collar, leash, and some other things. All of which we still have even though he passed away several years ago. Sister K, Bro-in-law T, and I went to that very pet shop and bought our dogs some new collars. One of these days, Darcy is going to have to come here with me.
Later we met up with the Parents and had to wait out some rain storms in some shops before heading up to the top of the mountain for a farm to table dinner with music. My friend met us up there and we had a grand time! They shut the gondola down while a storm blew through, but it didn’t matter because we were having fun.
Yesterday we went to the top of another mountain for a yoga class. I opted out of the yoga because of my neck and chose to find a nice sitting spot to read and enjoy the view. Enjoy I did! You should enjoy it too. Which, let’s be honest, this is what we all care about for this post. The mountain top views.
Last night was my turn to make dinner. Naturally, I forgot to take photos, so turn your imagination caps on. I made a flatbread pizza with figs, bacon, butternut squash, red onion, goat cheese and mozzarella cheese for the first course. For the second course I stuffed little peppers with spaghetti squash and a meaty red sauce topped with mozzarella and a roasted cherry tomato. Neither dish disappointed!
Today looks like a red letter day with blue skies and clean air! I am going to get my walking shoes on and go enjoy it!
Go walk in love, dear readers and have a great day!
“Satisfaction is not always the fulfillment of what you want; it is the realization of how blessed you are for what you have.”
Your AHAmoment brought to you from the top of this mountain. A moment of quiet reflection and absorption. A pretty good reading spot for the morning. I hope you enjoy this moment with me!
Here I am on Texas time, bright eyed and bushy tailed before it’s time to get out and do anything. I have been up for about an hour trying to will myself to sleep. No luck! Mornings like these are perfect for riding. Makes me miss my dun duo, even though I am having a great time here. Oh well, I am enjoying this cool mountain air and trickling fountain…and the time to write to you!
I found out yesterday that I happen to have a friend vacationing here as well and we are going to meet up for breakfast in a little over an hour. I told everyone they were not allowed to start having serious fun until my return. Can you tell I have a serious case of FOMO at all times??!
There is a pretty good chance of rain today, beginning in the late morning and continuing into the afternoon. Most likely today will be a quiet relaxing one, possibly enjoying a storm or two inbetween walks and shops. We have plans this evening to go to the top of the mountain for a farm to table dinner with live music. Fingers crossed the rain holds off by that point.
Yesterday was a lovely one with a trip up to Maroon Bells. Surprising that somehow I have never been up there given how many times I have been in this area. Maybe we went when I was little and I just don’t remember. Anyway, stunning is about all I can say! The double peaks, capped with snow, surrounded by blue sky, summer greenery, and the confetti waving of the Aspen tree leaves, all reflected into the lake below.
There are so many wonders in this world, big and small. From the smallest bug or flower to the highest mountain. It is amazing to think on the creation of it all and to remember that you were created in just the same way. AHAmoment.
We caught a fly fisherman wetting a line. Hopefully I will get a chance to do that before I leave.
We spent the morning there and then got back to town for a patio lunch. The men left to go play golf while us girls came back to the condo to relax. We napped, did dinner prep, and had a nice long soak in the hot tub and pool.
It is a long story, but I unfortunately have a crick in my neck. Terrible, I know. It started on the bus ride back from Maroon Bells. Previous events and not sitting straight, trying to see out the window I suppose. By late afternoon, even after taking an excessive amount of Advil, I could barely move my head to the right. The wonders of hydrotherapy never cease to amaze me. A good amount of time in the hot tub, then into the pool, and back to the hot tub? I felt like a new woman! I am still a little sore and tight this morning, but nothing like yesterday. Hopefully some more Advil and taking it easy today will do the trick. Maybe another soak in the hot tub.
That is all for now! Walk in love, dear readers!
Walk in love, dear readers! It is Friday, we made it!
What day is it today? Tuesday? Yes, all day. Today is Tuesday. When and how did that happen? Overnight. Right. But what happened to yesterday?
Yesterday was a typical Monday recovering from the weekend. Harder than normal because Middle Sister, K was still in town and I did not want to miss a minute. But, miss the last minutes I did because I have this adult thing called a job. The day was quiet and by most accounts slow when I think of it.
After work, I had a dinner and drinks get together with friends. I made fudge brownies from scratch topped with a little dollop of cream cheese frosting and spears of strawberries, all arranged on a fluted red cake stand. Naturally, I did not get a picture so, use your imagination. I brought the leftovers to the office for everyone else to enjoy. In theory. There are not enough other people here to eat them fast enough before I cave and have one! OK fine, several. They are in bite size pieces! And have fruit on them!
Anyway, it was a later evening than I had intended and this morning came all too fast. That seems to happen more and more these days, despite my body and brain always waking at basically the same, unnecessarily early time.
I say that, I actually like waking up early as I have mentioned before. I just could have used more sleep last night.
I tried to take some cute, quick pics of my Darcy girl while I was having my coffee. She could not sit still for them. Mornings are just too exciting. And when I come home. And when anyone comes over. Or walks by. All times are exciting and happy for the Doolittle Darcy dog. Be like Darcy, I tell myself. Especially when I am tired and headed to work. Dogs are so great for so many reasons. AHAmoment.
This weekend was busy with Mother’s Day, birthday, and family activities. Shout out to my wonderful Mamma and Grandmothers. They sure are something and have made me into who I am today. So many sacrifices they have made for us kids.
Aren’t they something???
These are all pictures of pictures. Is that today’s version of a vintage photograph? Mother hides from the camera these days and I have no idea why. She is so pretty! She is probably reading this right now. Isn’t she pretty?!!!? The second to last one, there on the pinto, is her mother. The last one is my father’s mother. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, biological or not, human or not. We are blessed to have you!
For your laugh today, look at what my father is holding in his hand.
Yes, that is a rock.
Walk in love, dear readers!
Are you tired of waiting to hear about our Hill Country adventure???
Well, I know I am tired. Tired because we had so much fun! I have a fun hangover. Seriously. Adulting is very hard today. Almost as hard as leaving the ranch on Monday morning.
It is hard to even know where to begin because I am so over the moon with my horse!
Let us just begin at the very beginning. This is going to be long, but at least there are good pictures!
On Thursday, I got to the farm after work at a fairly decent hour. R was able to leave work early and was ahead of her time frame for being able to make it to the farm with Ronan, aka Ro, before dark. When I got to the farm, I set directly to loading everything of R’s into the trailer and a few other things of mine that I had not loaded yet.
It then occurred to me that I might want to go check my horse to make sure he had all four shoes still securely attached to his hooves and that everything was as it should be. I could go on about how I was worried he would have pulled a shoe, which I was, and leave y’all hanging in suspense. Luckily for you, I do not have time for that! Too many other great things! He indeed did have all four shoes solidly in place and ready to go. I snapped a few pics of him because, well, why not. He is just so dang cute I had to.
How could anyone not love that face!?!? At this point, I knew that I could really get excited because all there was between us was one sleep and a drive and we were there.
After loading the trailer with everything I had, I spread shavings in the trailer and filled and hung the hay nets so all we had to do in the morning was load the horses. When I received word that R and Ro were going to be able to make it to the farm before dark (she was going to stay with a friend that lives near the farm where Ronan lives if it got too late so she would not have to haul in the dark), I set up the round pen with water and some hay for Ro.
I had all the horses up in their stalls finishing their evening feed before R pulled in. We unloaded Ro and got him settled in the round pen before introducing my Lito to him. I was pleasantly surprised how they immediately became fast friends. I was slightly worried Lito was going to be a turd since it was his home and herd, but they were like brothers from other mothers and have they same play styles…rambunctious and tough with a lot of bitey face. such boys! I can only imagine how they would be if we turned them out together! We kept Ro in the round pen (which is inside the arena) and let Lito loose in the arena so they could get acquainted over night. We kept the rest of our horses separate.
It the morning, it appeared Ro had won the night time bitey face game as Lito had the little hairless nicks of a looser all over his nose! After feeding them, they were feeling the chill in the morning air and ran around like crazies playing, causing the rest of the horses to do the same. We gave them a few more minutes to burn off some energy while we finished our coffee and got dressed.
Both horses loaded well and after a quick kolache and fuel stop, we were on the road to my Uncle’s ranch.
It was an uneventful haul and we arrived around lunch time. Both horses unloaded well and stood quietly tied at the trailer while we got the pens set up for them. I was extremely happy when Lito stepped off the trailer like he did. He has always hauled well, but never anything over an hour. We drove over four hours, with a new horse, gained a little altitude, and ended up at a new place. He quietly backed up, stepped out, took a look around, and then cocked a back hoof and yawned.
Yes, I made him wear a helmet for the haul. I know. I’m crazy, but he is TALL. Our trailer is not small, but he does not have to try very hard to touch the ceiling. In fact, if he is just regularly looking at something with his ears forward, they are bent over by the top of the trailer!
We ate lunch, had a quick drive around, and then got ready to ride.
I longed Lito for a bit and he acted as he always does. He was looking around more than I would have ideally wanted since he was not fully focused on me, but he was relaxed and responded to everything I asked. I rode him around the barn/house for a little to make sure he was responsive and with me. He was pretty mouthy with the bit and ready to go, but again, responsive. R and Ro were ready and waiting so we started off.
Lito was a little sluggish at first, but he soon figured it out. He was looking at everything, taking it all in, and was pretty relaxed. Both horses had some quick spooks (mostly at deer blinds), but Lito was there and with me every time I asked him to come back and relax.
We went about 8 miles that afternoon/evening (Map My Ride was not working) in around 3 hours. My Uncle’s horse, Cisco, loved our horses and our horses loved him. That made my heart happy. He has had that horse for over 20 years and he is one of the best horses around. They acted like they have known each other for a long time and Lito chose to graze by Cisco after his hose down.
We made some cocktails and had a walk around before feeding the horses and cooking dinner. While the enchiladas cooked, we watched the sunset while listening to the frogs in the pond and feeding the fish before our enchilada dinner on the porch.
On Saturday, we woke up early, fed, and ate breakfast. I longed Lito for a few minutes to see how his mind and body were, and we rode out.
When we got back for lunch, we untacked, hosed the horses down, and gave them some hay before having a mimosa lunch with sandwiches by the pool. Then Darcy and I swam while R tanned. Darcy LOVED the pool because there is a large, shallow wading section. She eventually felt confident enough to swim after a ball and then across the pool with me. I was so happy and proud of her! If you remember, she is not much of a swimmer and this is a pretty big deal. She then proceeded to bound around in and out of the pool barking.
Darcy came with us for our afternoon ride and we saw a beautiful fox! I have seen a fox on this ranch before many years ago while riding Cisco. Truly special both times. By the end of the day, we had logged around 17 miles (yay for Map My Ride working!).
Darcy was a tired pup! We had some cocktails with cheese and venison sausage, from a deer harvested on that ranch, with honey mustard before feeding the horses and having cesar salad for dinner.
Sunday morning we again woke up early and had another great ride. I don’t think either of them spooked at all and they acted like they had been riding that ranch for years. We rode the furthest into the ranch on this ride. A little bit of the terrain and brush coverage got a little worrysome there for a bit, but both horses handled it. We covered almost 10 miles.
After lunch, we took naps and then took a drive around the ranch. We were going to go for another ride, but we got an invitation we just couldn’t refuse. The ranch foreman is also a pilot, I don’t think I mentioned that. He was going to go fly and offered to take us up in his plane to see the ranch from the air and enjoy the sunset. My initial response was, “**** YES!!!!!,” I excused myself for my language and told R we could do whatever she wanted. Her response was, “how often does someone offer you a ride in their plane without it being creepy or having any expectations?!” Needless to say, we went up in the plane and had a blast! I am so glad we did it and would not change it for the world! Well, really the whole weekend actually.
We cleaned a packed as much as possible Sunday night. We needed to leave in the morning by 7 because we had a meeting to get t by 5 PM back home. That meant an even earlier wake up call to get sheets washed and dried, beds made, stuff loaded, and horses loaded.
I may have cursed when my alarm went off in the morning. We got it done though and the horses loaded well, hauled well, and unloaded well. We got to our meeting in hauling clothes, but on time and happier than…I don’t even know what. A clam? I don’t really get that saying.
Each ride, we rode a different route, the weather was amazing, we flushed lots of wildlife (including pigs multiple times), rode through thick cover, and the horses got better and better. we saw each sunrise and sunset. By the end of the weekend we were not spooking at deer blinds anymore and we were walking with a purpose. Ro was made to climb mountains and really loves it. I think that really helped Lito. He really took to the hills and rocks. I am so incredibly proud of him and he really seemed to have a good time. We had a few sticky moments where he was unsure, but he was never unreasonable, just questioning and needed support. R and I took turns leading when we were not riding next to each other, both of us just enjoying the horses and nature. Every time I went out to check on Lito in the pen, I could have sworn we were at home by the way he acted and how relaxed he was. Each time, he nickered and walked up to me, ready to go ride.
People call the Hill Country God’s Country, and it truly is. His presence is palpable there and this trip was no different, especially to be there with this horse. I know this may sound crazy, but I could have cried several times while riding out there because of just feeling His presence, experiencing His gifts and creation, and all with my Lito.
We came home with even more confidence and trust. He is such a gift and I can not describe how grateful I am for him and to have this experience with him. I could not have asked for anything better!
Can we go back?! Today was extremely hard at work! I got through it with the memories gained, life lived, and lunch with my cousin.
Thanks to R for some of these photos!
I hope you enjoyed reliving our Hill Country adventure with me! On to the next!
Walk in love, dear readers!
As most of you know, I spend at least a few hours out in the country every weekend. There are many reasons for this, but it is mainly because, well, I need it. My soul needs it. It is where I feel most at home. Where I want to end up one day.
Thanks to Brent Cobb for posting this on his YouTube, for recording it, and to his Dad and Uncle for writing it.
This may be a dramatic statement to some, but this song is how I feel sometimes. Maybe more than just sometimes. Also, the whole John Denver combined with Robert Ellis vibe? Wow. I almost can not handle it.
It is necessary for me to unplug and get away. If I do not do this, I lose my sight and focus. I get anxious. What is it that they say? Lose the forest for the trees? Or the sun for the rays? I do not know why I am this way, I just am. Sometimes, I need it more than just once a week.
At the end of last week, I was struggling to get anything finished. You know when that happens? You have a lot to do and you find yourself just staring at it? Like hello, get going, move it! This happens to me more and more it seems. AHAmoment. This just occurred to me. I might start giving myself deadlines. Anyway, that is a story for another day. I was more than ready to get out of town and recharge.
The point is, when I do, I am able to see, hear, feel, and truly experience things like this. For what it is. In vivid detail. This is why I need it. My horses are also there. My family is often there. And there is that whole side benefit of, hey all I have to do is get through this week and I get to go to the farm! Oh, am I not supposed to admit that? Oh well. I want to eventually be able to have that every day.
I was walking back from the barn with Niece and Nephew after going to see the horses. I looked up and was amazed watching them walk through the grass off into the sunset. Completely in the moment. There is nothing better for them than this.
Sitting by the pong with my sister, her family, and some friends. Watching the sunset and the boys fish. Sunsets are so spiritual to me. Each moment both different and sacred.
I snapped these of my Bro in law. Fishing is his number one passion, like horses are for me.
A quick video of me riding the best baby horse of all time. Kids, do not video while you ride. Right after this, I dropped my phone. It still works though!
Cuddle time with my main mare.
For all you people with the Monday feels…this is truth. I found this on a friend’s Facebook page. Truth it may be, it can still be hard!
Great family dinner last night that was good for the soul.
Walk in love, dear readers. Go kick butt today!