Alas, here we are, at the beginning of another month. Several days in, actually. It feels spring as sprung, as they say. The Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes have arrived. They are the first of the wildflowers to show their colors. The Bluebonnets in particular are only here for a short time, so one must get out and enjoy them while they are here! I have not taken a close look at the Pecan trees though, they are the real tell on if we are here for good. The grass has really turned on which I always love to see. And, the horses are in real shedding mode, another thing I love to see! There is nothing more satisfying or exciting. Especially since we are knocking on Daylight Savings’ door. One week and we are really in business for more riding.
Time is relatively just flying right on by as evidenced by the fact that I have again not written to you in over a month. As I utter those words here I cringe. That is about as riveting a topic as the weather, and yet, here we all are, continuing to discuss them! One may ask why do we keep bringing it up? Is not there anything better to discuss? To be perfectly frank, many times there is not anything better or safer to discuss with darkness and negativity ever at the forefront. However, that very point is the lovely thing about time and weather. Intertwined they are like infinity. One does not exist without the other. They are ever present. They are one of the things that controls us, that brings us back down to the ground, and reminds us that we are only mere humans. As time staunchly marches forward and the globe makes its revolutions, the weather does the same from one season to the next. From one leads to the other. From the dark and cold reflectiveness of winter bursts forth a bright, young spring, beaming with light and life. The light of the sun and moon are always there regardless of the darkness of the clouds. And again, no matter how dark the clouds are, the clouds are what bring the rain, and the rain is what brings the life and the light.
I suppose the point of all of that rambling, the AHA moment, is do not let the darkness get you down. Between the world and the people, there is very little we have control over. People are going to disappoint you. You will disappoint you. Other circumstances will disappoint you. That disappointment, or any other word, is on you. What you do have control over is you. The negativity and darkness are always going to be around, but if you look for the light and focus on it, you will begin to embody it. You will begin to emit it. Try every day to just block out what is not light, what is not truth, what does not bring you joy. Those other things are not for you. It is like that saying, you are what you eat. Garbage in, garbage out. The laws of attraction. What you focus on is what grows. It becomes easy to lessen judgement and follow the golden rule we are all taught as children. To treat others as you wish to be treated. To only say nice things and not just nothing at all.
Stand up as a light against the darkness and fight for the truth. Let it grow like the spring. Take a deep breath.
The question came from a long time family friend. She has watched me and my two sisters grow up over the years.
She saw me run wild as a little person with equally wild hair in a fuchsia pink jump suit with a trim around the collar and cuffs of jingling jewels. With matching socks to boot (thanks, mom! Perfect fishing gear I dare say). Likely with some kind of high-top sneakers. She also watched me nap on the couch in that get up, probably smeared with fish slime and scales. There is photo evidence in south Texas where a piece of my heart resides. At least of the napping. No, I did not get a copy of that to share, although I think I should have.
She has also watched us learn how to fish over the years. Watched us do stupid things too I am sure. I remember one specific trip where we were catching fish after fish off the dock when we were not out on the boat. We would run upstairs, with the poor innocent fish dangling from the hook and dripping salt water on the ground, to excitedly swing the doors of the clean and cool clubhouse open and ask Pops what kind of fish it was. We would then run back downstairs, with the fish still there dangling and dripping decidedly less salt water on the ground, to return the poor creature to its home. I remember catching many new to me species that trip.
But, no, I have not stopped blogging. I have just been, I guess, taking a break.
The truth is, I have not had the right frame of mind to write. I have hated it. I have several pieces of blogs started. Several ‘stream of consciousness-es’ written down. It is like a symptom of the year 2020, for more than just myself. Everyone I speak to seems to feel the same. I just have had a hard time finding anything to say that seemed meaningful and additive with everything that has been going on in the world. It has felt important to be and live in the moment. Be more than present.
Anyway, I have missed you my dear readers and I have gathered up a stream of consciousness AHAmoments blabber covering the last quarter of 2020 just for you. Lucky you! Or, probably more accurately, a bunch of stories that should likely be their own posts, but alas…We have not spoken in a long time!
I feel like I am playing Pollyanna’s game right now with this. I am watching Pollyanna right this very minute. I am not lying. I can not make this stuff up. As you will read here in a minute it is flooding outside and I am watching Pollyanna. And I just so happen to be subconsciously playing her game! Gotta chuckle at that one.
Life in or out of 2020 will deal you some interesting cards combined with the curve balls, but it is up to us to see the positive and the light while continuing to play those cards! So, starting with the first curve ball…
Life is interesting. I can say that until I am blue in the face. And I have. Those that have been around here a while have heard me say that many times. We will all find ourselves experiencing the same things at one point or another. That is something to remember. The AHAmoment in it all. We are all more alike than any of us know and are all living in this same life. And there is good that comes out of it all. Now and at the end of the day.
You will lose your job (blessedly!) and you will find yourself landing in another, much happier space. Where you are appreciated and valued. Doing good work. That was at the beginning of July.
Life, especially the year 2020 chapter (did I not already write this blog post?!?), often can feel like one thing after another. One bad thing after another bad thing. When one door closes, indeed many things open if your eyes are open to seeing.
The question our dear family friend asked me came at the beginning of a much needed fishing trip at one of my favorite places with my parents and it made me a little sad when it hit me. It was a longing sadness, like that you have for a long lost friend.
That was at the end of July. We had a great trip with soul striking sunrises/sunsets, casting, fish catching/releasing/eating, boating with the dolphins, and even a beach trip, but we had to cut it short by more than a day to quite literally out run the incoming Hurricane Hanna.
We awoke early and were on the road in the dark before 6 AM. It is a good thing we did. It rained most of the drive back to the farm. We walked in the door and got everything unloaded before the next bands of rain came. As we watched from the safety of the indoors, we were blessed with one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.
A complete rainbow. With both ends planted and rooted right there on our farm. Can you even imagine that? Have you ever seen a complete rainbow where you could see both ends intersect the ground? I could have gone to both ends out there in the rain!
Even more interesting and amazing? How many times can I write amazing in one sitting?! WE SAW THE EXACT SAME RAINBOW A FEW WEEKS LATER!
If that is not a sign, I do not know what one is.
You will rebuild your fences finally after all the floods and trees will fall down on them.
That was in August. An outer tail band of Hurricane Laura swept seemingly unceremoniously over us. I swear it was just one quick blow. We had no other weather!
Goodbye pretty fence. It was nice having your around. You have now joined the ranks of all the other seasoned fences.
You will clean it up (when it finally cools down), have firewood for the winter, and rebuild the fence again. Hopefully you will do it quicker than the last time.
Your best mare will injure herself somehow, on her own, in the season she gets off to be a pasture fluff. My blessed girl got a slight tare in her right front check ligament. Which is only half the story because she has a mystery lameness on the left front.
That is all I can say about this at the moment. It makes me kind of sick at the moment. She will heal with time.
The ligament looked good her her recheck.
Every storm is not going to be destructive. Remember the rain is necessary for growth. It is currently raining and flooding outside, go figure 2020. How many beers and microphones do you have in your Mary Poppins carpet bag? Well, we needed the rain.
When the water goes down, which it will as it always does, it will be lovely. The start of a good fall with good grass. We can finally feel fall coming here in Texas. And oh boy, I could not be more ready for fall and everything it entails. As everyone is aware, this year is unlike any other year that I can remember in my short life, and there was no leading into fall this year. No time to get ready. That is OK! It is here with all of its wonder and glory!
Even still, with all of this, that, and the other, the wonders of this world and this life never seem to cease. You will give a gift to a beautiful soul who shows you without any question how much that gift is appreciated.
For a person like myself, there are not many things sweeter that that.
In truth, this gift was slightly self serving. I wanted it for myself as well. To complete the farm spa experience.
Just imagine being in the heat of this Texas summer. You are…gleaming! Yes, gleaming, from a magical ride on your fairy tail horse in the bright, humid, sticky, steamy, and leaning towards suffocating air blooming out of the mid morning.
Your skin is primed for the next treatment of dirt and cut grass from mowing until it is too hot to do anything else. Now you are even hotter, stickier, beyond thirsty, and your eyes are puffy and watering from the mowing. Perfect timing and conditions for the final treatment.
This is how hot. Sweat on your eyelids hot.
In the pool you go with an umbrella cocktail! With or without a Merle dog (he apparently prefers to have the pool to himself)! The height of luxury. You have no idea how good it feels. It is like nothing else in the world.
And here we are. Do you feel a change in the air? Like more than just a change in the season?? Is it just me willing a change for 2020 into existence? Either way, all of this will soon be behind us!
Do not isolate yourself! Reach out in any way you can! It is good for your soul.
Lito and I got out and had a ride with friends. Oh how we have missed that. We have another outing planned for October. It may not be our normal October adventure, but we are just as excited for it.
Walk in love, dear readers!
P.S. Look how grown up this boy is! And, he apparently still has his mohawk!
Err….by Monday, I clearly mean Tuesday. It is Tuesday. All day. It was Tuesday all morning and it will still be Tuesday all afternoon. Or, just a second Monday.
OK. Now that is clear…
I am back in the office. Well not at this very actual moment. I am at home for lunch, but I am back working in the office. I have not been in since I do not remember when. It feels odd. Strange.
Anyone else back in the office?
I mean, I obviously knew this day was coming and I could not work remotely forever.
I just really got used to it. That small taste. It felt right. More in the right direction.
Life got more pleasant. I turned off the news and ignored the media. I had so much quality time with Merle. My breaks were outside petting the horses and giving them treats. I worked outside on the porch half of the time. There was fresh country air and sunshine. Walking and fetch. Riding. Clear views. No concrete or buildings. Even for the days that I was in town last week, I was on my patio with Merle at my feet.
I mean, I had to put real clothes and makeup on for the first time since this all started! My left eye has been protest twitching all morning! You should have seen the look Merle gave me this morning.
One day, dear readers, one day.
For today, I have a job.
For today, I am recharged and realigned.
For today, I have all these happy memories of these guys to remind me.
Perspective, my people! They are my muse anyway, on this Muesday and every other day.
I am not sure who has it better, the horses or Merle.
He is such a dude.
Nothing like a good ride on a spring day with the egrets.
He says there are birds over there.
That look, I tell you.
Tell me, how is your Tuesday going?
Walk in love, dear readers. Smile at someone today, even if it is just with your eyes.
These indeed are trying times for all, in more ways than just this ‘rona business.
Hey, gotta keep it light and positive. It is what we do here!
In all seriousness though, we all got down to the basics pretty dang quick. Writing got shoved to the back burner and then right off the back of the stove all together.
Certainly not because I did not want to write to you!
We packed up food and other necessities and went to our safe place, the farm. I have been living here now with my family for over two weeks. Logging in remotely and working (which has been frustrating). Crossing farm chores and projects off the list (feels amazing). Cooking and baking. And, of course, soaking up all the horse time and riding I can.
I will not get into everything that Covid-19 entails or the politics or anything that everyone is talking about. All the things that have been right in front of us for weeks. It is very likely that I, along with many others, will be without my job soon because of the oil prices. I do not think there is anyone who is not feeling the weight of this in some way or another (hey howdy, you’re not alone!!!). I know I have not been immune to it. It is all just heavy no matter what. We have been taking periodic breaks from it all by turning off the news, not getting onto social media, and doing farm things. Only checking in and updating every couple of days. I have gotten into the habit of just leaving my phone and not being available (liberating).
Even still, I feel even more blessed for the beauty all around me. It makes it easy to celebrate every day. All I have to do is look up. And you know what, it is the same for you! Just look up…or out.
Mother Nature and the change of seasons. We got a bunch of rain on Saturday (praise the Lord! For this and many other things!) which will grow some good grass for the stock and get a good start on our vegetable garden. The wildflowers. The birds frolicking. Our home bred heifers and their first calves. Family time. Being conscious to live simply. My horses, of course, because a horse is a horse of course!
Want to see just what I have been up to when I am not working? Well, have a look. Get a dose. Take a breath. Get some inspiration, dear readers!
Our lovely heart hole oak tree has its heart hole again! This is my favorite tree. I know I might have said that about some other trees before, but this is really and truly my favorite. Did you miss why? Well, you can find out here.
You want to see what else? If you look off in the distance past the heart hole by the pond, you can see the pecan trees starting to get their leaves (and progressively through all these photos). Like I said, they always get their leaves. This year seems early, but spring as a whole did come early. Every year is its own.
We have had many many caterpillars. So cool.
More walks with Lito, I tell you, are good for everything.
Rides on my Cheetah are also good for everything. With or without wildflowers.
New mammas and babies.
The lush river bottom. Just look at those baby blues and that light. This is such a special place and holds so many memories for all of us. We would spend hours down here as kids. I used to ride my childhood mare, Fresca down here on hot summer afternoons. I would let her eat all her favorites. A little walk down here the other day with Pops and Cousin W turned into a couple of hours talking about trees and grasses and wildlife. Good for everything.
Lots of baking! These are my special chocolate chip cookies. I have also made molasses cookies and raspberry crumble muffins. Mamma has been making muffins and cookies (and so much other good food in addition to everyone else). Sister K has also made muffins! It is only a matter of time before pumpkin and banana bread are made.
Having Petunia snuggles.
Projects and chores and more! This implement has been here since we bought the place, 22 years ago! It was the last remaining thing from the previous owners. There used to be a tree living in the middle of it. The tree finally died and we finally cleared enough brush from around and within it to get it hauled out. Quite a thing really!
We watched weather and spring unfold. Keep watching those pecan trees!
This is usually my view from my ‘remote office.’
Just look at those pecan tree leaves.
Do you recognize that specific tree?
If you do recognize it, you should, for you have seen it before! I guess it is my second favorite tree. Certainly my most favorite pecan tree!
More wildflowers! We get some bluebonnets and indian paintbrushes along the road here but we get a lot of these all around our place.
More caterpillars! A Monarch!
More weather. This was an early morning walk with coffee before sitting down on the computer to work.
Of course, more sunrises.
Wondering where my Merle man is? Fear not, he has been off at hunting camp learning. Just have a look. I miss him terribly and the last few weeks without him have been very difficult, but I am so proud of him and he has been doing very well. I am counting down the days till he is back home where he belongs.
So much to celebrate, dear readers, even in these, dare I say, uncertain times. Look up, stay positive, be a light. Keep the faith.
Share what you have been up to!
Walk in love, dear readers. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for some past AHAmoments uplifting reads!
Y’all are a large part of the reason why AHAmoments is still here.
You have been here with me through it all and I thank you for that.
You have brought me light when I was feeling like I was in the dark. You have brought a smile to my face. You have helped me focus on the positive. You have encouraged me and inspired me. You have helped me be brave. You have reminded me that I am not alone. You have let me be me. Let me share my story.
You have watched this guy grow up into a real horse. A really big horse that barely fits into that trailer.
And you have let me share countless pictures just like these. I hope you do not get tired of these pics because I never seem to tire of them.
My only hope is that I can do the same things for y’all that you have done for me.
So, thank you. Keep being you. Keep being brave. Keep sharing your story. Keep being your best self. And keep walking in love, dear readers. That is what makes the world go round. AHAmoment.
Do you know anyone who might like to be a part of this great community we have created? Send them this way and let us keep the conversation going!
My sweet and innocent Darcy girl. Not even six years old.
It is quite advanced and pervasive. Between ultrasound and test results, her current status and lack of appetite, my own research, and separate vet opinions, there is not a viable treatment option.
I am completely gutted. It has taken us by storm, the likes of which I have never before known. Not like a slow creeping hurricane. It feels more than rude and unfair. Human life is hard enough on its own without making the animal lives hard.
I could go on in this manner, and admittedly I have had those moments (completely broke down while driving and again on a restaurant patio with my mom), but we must be strong and positive for her. View the world and live life the way she does. Give her the best of the best. Keep playing. We have not struck out in the game of life.
We celebrate the life we have, every day, and take each day as it comes. I am going to do everything I can to give her the best quality of life possible until it is her time. She can eat whatever she wants to eat, healthy diet out the window. She is going to go with me everywhere possible. We are going to have as much farm time as I can manage. We find a reason (and there are many) to sing a song through it all.
All the prayers, positive thoughts and vibes would be greatly appreciated by us both.
I do not understand this and I do not think I ever will.
Such a happy dog that brings endless joy to every being she encounters. So much greatness must be shared. Her spirit must have a greater calling.
If you have any tried and true proven ways to keep a dog eating, lay them on me. I need more tricks up my sleeve.
There is a life lesson somewhere in here. I am just working on unpacking it.
Walk in love, dear readers, even when it is dang hard. I am taking my time.
Well, here is a little something to brighten you up a bit.
A little between the ears time from me to you. Nothing like these dun colored ears to put a smile on my face. Even if it was from two days ago.
Or these happy herd of cows, napping together in the shade of a pecan tree.
Is your case of the Mondays cured?
Lito and I went to ride with some friends on Saturday morning during a break in the storms. Lito self loaded like a champ and we had a great ride. It was breezy, not too terribly hot, and it did not rain on us while we rode. All the horses seemed to have as great of a time as we did. We rode for a couple of hours and then gathered around the picnic tables for cold drinks and snacks.
Knowing there was an increased chance for storms in the afternoon, I said my goodbyes and went to load up. Again, Lito self loaded like a champ (cue happy dance) and we hit the road. I called my Pops while I was pulling out to see if there was anything popping up on the radar and to tell him that if I ran into some rain, I was just going to pull over and wait it out.
Here is the interesting part of the story. The night before our ride, my parents and I were driving the truck in the light rain and the driver side windshield wiper decided to fly off while in use! Just plain came undone, hit the windshield, and went flying through the air like a drunk bird. Never to be seen again. Crazy thing.
Anyway, it was a good thing I called. They had just gotten slammed at the farm and the storm was coming our way. His advice was to just stop and wait ten to fifteen minutes while the storm comes my way and passes over before driving back. I found a good spot in the parking lot of a local tavern on top of a hill to park and wait. I should have taken pictures of the storm, but I was just watching and enjoying the show. You know how I am about storms. Lito seemed a little perturbed when it all started, but quickly settled and just rode it out quietly.
The storm was soon over with nothing else developing on the radar so we slowly made our way south toward home. Lito quietly (and dry!) unloaded and was happy to have a little extra meal upon our return.
Only one business day between you and the weekend.
YOU can do it!
Weekends are a beautiful thing. You can clear your head. Recharge your batteries. Remember what is important. Get away from stressful things. If yesterday was any indication, this is desperately needed. All this desk riding is getting to me!
There are many different ways to do this. For some people it is just sleeping in. For others it is taking some quiet time to read a good book. Or go for a walk. Or a drive. Go fishing.
For me, it is getting out in the country with my Darcy dog. Feeling the air. Seeing the light. Breathing in my horses’ scent. This does not always mean riding. My relationship with my horses is not always about riding. Sometimes it is just hanging out and grooming that we need. Sometimes it is just being in their presence doing nothing at all but just being present.
One reason I like to share my time at the farm with you is because of what it means to me. What it does for me. Another reason is because not everyone has the opportunity to experience what being in the country and with horses does for a person. If I can give you just a tiny picture of what it is like and make you feel something positive like what I feel, I feel like I have done something good in this world.
If you have been around here a while, none of the above is news to you.
I read something the yesterday that was pretty spot on and I wanted to share it with you. You know, because that is something I like to do.
My friend, M, shared this article over on the book of face and, intrigued, I gave it a click. You should do the same and give it a read. It does not matter if you chase cans, jump pretty painted sticks, dance inside a rectangle, or stroll the trails. It does not really have anything to do with horses.
“We show the world a version of ourselves. But rarely the whole picture. We give everyone a glimpse of the bright moments, the triumph, and the fun. But what about the rest of the story? What about the defeat, the heartache, the sin and loss? Where is the real stuff?
Transparency is scary stuff. Baring your soul to the world is not for the weak hearted. But what if we all were a little less guarded?
Does transparency invite judgment and criticism? Probably. But it also invites grace, empathy and compassion.”
This, my dear readers, is about life and what IT is all about. The greatest of all AHAmoments. This one of the main reasons I started this little blog of mine.
Why I share the good, the bad, and the ugly. And, hopefully, sometimes funny. This is why I share my stories and my struggles. My victories after challenges. What I learned after failure so it is not really failure. Why I try to fight the negativity with positivity, the dark with the light. This is why I share the music I do. Why I share the love of my animals.
To reach just one person and maybe help them. So they know they are not alone and, honestly, so I know the same. That is real, and that is life. So they know that we are all in this together, walking this walk. And dang, it is hard sometimes. Just ask anyone who will tell the truth. We are all more alike than we think.
Life is about speaking the truth and sharing your story. Your testimony and what gets you through. Being brave and vulnerable, even if it does not feel brave because it feels scary.
This article made my day.
Here is what real life for me is like sometimes on Mondays. I woke up yesterday after hitting the snooze button for at least thirty minutes, cussing as I shuffled through the shavings on the floor (that spilled out of the cuff of my jeans on Sunday for the umpteeth time)(I also won’t mention all the burrs scattered all over all the floors. Wherever the Darcy goes, so go the burrs), took my dog out, threw on work clothes (some of which I pulled from the laundry piles covering my bedroom floor….the laundry that I did not do Sunday), and ran out the door to go to work. Stopping to get coffee because I did not have the time, or the milk, to have coffee at home. All the while feeling guilty about all of the above and dreading the list of things that awaited me at my office desk. Some days are just like that. They can’t all be rainbows and roses.
Today I awoke with a new vigor while aiming my arrow, and not just because I now have milk for my coffee. A positive attitude is all it takes, seeing the bright side. To keep praying and keep knocking, putting it out there and believing. Sharing that story. I actually saw a rainbow after the rains at the end of the day yesterday. As if that is not proof positive enough! Is it easy, no, not at first, but just like everything else, it gets easier the more you do it and make it a part of your everyday thinking.
“Revelation 12:11 tells us that we overcome the enemy by the blood of Jesus and our testimony.
Let your real story, your testimony be heard because even when you are living in the thick of it, it could be the very thing that helps someone else overcome.
Be bold and transparent because of the free gift of forgiveness and salvation. None of us have done a darn thing to earn it, so let’s all be a little more real with each other.”
Go on. Go give it a read. And maybe you’ll be inspired to pass it on to the next person.
I am happy to have each of you to share and celebrate with.
Sometimes, you just have to laugh. Although really, this is no laughing matter.
I went to the farm Tuesday after work to ride my gal pal Cheetah and let Lito stand tied for a while. You know, send him back to Kindergarten. Sometimes we all have to take a step or two back before we can move forward, so this is where we are. And I am OK with that.
Hey look, he has not completely forgotten!
It was a luscious and luxurious day. The sun was out in full backed by the big Texas blue sky. The air was soft and comforting as it softly caressed the bare skin on my arms and face. Almost pillow like making my long curly hair flow like the wind through the trees.
Or the grass that hasn’t gotten long enough yet. And really, more realistic would be the wind through the pollen pods. Are they pods? I do not know, but man the pollen this year. Is it me or is it in overdrive production? Almost makes me reconsider a black car. Almost. I am still going to get one.
Anyway, yes, the sun, sky, and breeze. Lovely, take my word for it. Be jealous because you should be. There is no better place. With or without the pollen. It was great.
My original plan was to go on Wednesday, but I just could not wait that long.
Darcy did her normal farm thing while I rode. Or so I thought. Such a naughty, scrappy girl. A lady she is not. Dogs will be dogs I guess.
She really got into something this time. Whatever that something was, which I am sure was what was left of the drippings on the ground of this heritage breed pig we roasted on Saturday (which, I still do not get because that was forever ago),
was good enough to also eat a bunch of dirt and sand. And cause all bodily functions to go awry. Big time.
A day at the vet and big bill later, poor little Doolittle is a little worse for ware. And so am I, but who cares about me.
Here is hoping everything keeps, uh, moving along. Cough. There really is not delicate way to put that.
So Darcy is my work companion at my feet today so I can monitor her.
I just had to look up at the sky, shake my head, and chuckle. Some people say, when it rains, it pours. That may be so and sometimes it sure feels that way, but I am just going to laugh.
Why? Because laughing is better than any other option! Focus on the positive. She is eating, drinking, and resting.