Just Ride

Just ride.

Just another one of those speaking of which moments.


“MY LACK OF THOUGHTS YESTERDAY GOT ME THINKING ABOUT THINKING.
THINKING TOO MUCH CAN BE COUNTER PRODUCTIVE.
SOMETIMES IT IS GOOD TO CLEAR YOUR MIND OF THOUGHTS, RELAX, LOSE YOURSELF IN THE MOMENT AND JUST RIDE. IT IS AMAZING HOW MANY THINGS CAN JUST FALL INTO PLACE WHEN YOU DO THIS.”
IAN LEIGHTON

Several years ago, I was riding a young, long legged sorrel horse for a friend who did not have the time to work him. He was at the time that I started riding him, lightly started under saddle. He knew how to go, turn, and stop, mostly, and had not been ridden outside of the round pen very much. I had been riding him for a good little while and he was making some good progress on most things. Teaching him his leads was hard for him for some reason or another and keeping them from becoming an issue or a complex for him was a little bit of work. Eventually he seemed to have them figured out. Or so it would have seemed.

One particular windy day in a busy arena, he apparently forgot the whole left and right lead concept. We had all the pieces seemingly snugly in his brain, but he just could not, on that day, put them together. Or I could not. We both started to get a little flustered at the situation when my friend and owner of the horse spoke out, “Just get his hip, keep the shoulder, and ask him again. Just ride.” A voice of reason when I could not seem to find my own. It was just what we needed to pick up the correct lead. The colt powered away, unsure of whether or not he had done the correct thing and again, my friend’s voice came to me, “Just ride, sit down and just ride. Let him come back.”

Both in life and horses, you just need to ride it out sometimes.

Make a mistake? Just ride. Ask and try again.

Road get a little bumpy? Just ride till it gets smooth.

Life changing? Just ride and let it. Don’t stand in the way.

Storm on the horizon? Have faith and just ride. Storms never last.

Rain, winter, and a busy schedule keep you from riding as much as you normally do? Just look up, ride through, and remember, this too shall pass.


“When life gives a hard blow, focus on riding though. No different than when a young colt takes off. Don’t panic and stop him. Buckle down, lift, and ride through the storm with your eyes ahead. Pain and fear are always temporary before the good feelings come back. They always do no matter how broken you feel in that moment. And if you’re like me, horses usually answer many of life’s biggest questions.”
Lucia Clemetson

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Walk in love, dear readers, and just ride. Happy Friday!

Wednesday…

Listen up happy people. I have a song for you.

Usually I share songs on Tuesday or Thursdays so I can sound clever by titling said post with Tuesday’s Track or Thursday’s Tune. You know, alteration and all of that. I am a fan. However, this one popped up this very morning and dang if I can not wait till tomorrow to share it with you. And y’all can prolly tell I have a thing for Blackberry Smoke and Charlie Starr.

So have a listen to this Wednesday…uh…Whistle? Ya, I will work on that, but go ahead and give it a listen.

This is life. I have a song. You have a song. We have to share our songs. It is what life is about. AHAmoment. Let your pearl shine, man. It is yours.


“These days, the good days are fewer and farther between
Sometimes the hard times a shadow on my my sky-blue dream
I don’t have much if you look through the eyes of the world
Open me up and you might find just one shinin’ pearl

I’ve got this song, a story to tell
About the good times and bad times, heaven and hell
Well it might not be pretty, or have much to say
But it’s all I’ve got left at the end of the day
It’s the one thing they can’t take away
I’ve got this song

I’ve got a short list of good friends I can count on to answer my call
And a long list of bad things I might not be proud of at all
Show me a man who hasn’t yet learned how to fall
There is a man who doesn’t know much yet at all

I’ve got this song, a story to tell
About the good times and bad times, heaven and hell
Well it might not be pretty, or have much to say
But it’s all I’ve got left at the end of the day
It’s the one thing they can’t take away
I’ve got this song

I’ve got this song, a story to tell
About the good times and bad times, heaven and hell
Well it might not be pretty, or have much to say
But it’s all I’ve got left at the end of the day
It’s the one thing they can’t take away
The one thing they can’t take away
I’ve got this song
I’ve got this song”


Let that one stir around in your pot of thoughts and sink in.

Walk in love, dear readers!

A Big Thanksgiving

Or rather, a long Thanksgiving. Big and long.

Big in thanks and giving, yes, much gratitude. We have much to be thankful for.

Also big in numbers. Number of people. An abundance of family and friends. Tons of conversation and laughter. Bucket loads of love. Many dogs. Food, food, and more food (and booze). And not just any food, great food. I have to say, I am surrounded by talented people. Pretty much all of them are great cooks!

Some sadness, yes. That can not be denied, but I have to say, I think we all did a great job focusing on the positive and being grateful for each other. Which is what Thanksgiving is all about.

This particular Thanksgiving was long in a sense that it felt like it lasted from last weekend to today. Even with all the regular day to day things, like work, and all the preparation and cooking, it somehow felt like vacation.

Now, I know some of you will be in disbelief upon reading this. Or even rolling your eyes at me. But in all honesty, it did. I am sitting here with my coffee trying to psych myself up for this work Monday.

The weekend before Thanksgiving week (after the Charlotte Dujardin clinic…which I still need to write up for you…sorry, I will get to it. In short, it was great and I shattered my phone screen) I spent at the farm by myself. It was a terribly therapeutic weekend. Strong and funny language, I know, but stay with me. It was both releasing and restorative.

After taking care of some errands and chores during the day on Saturday, I quickly saddled up Chance and went for a sunset ride.

Then I built a fire in the pit, hit play on some great music, made a cocktail, and sat down with my dog to watch the last of the sunset with the northern front at my back. Drew Kennedy has a live album titled Sad Songs Happily Played which acted like my own personal concert in the best venue.

Sunday started early and chilly.

I took a little drive in my pajamas while the horses ate with my dog, coffee, and music. Because I could. I started listening to Dani and Lizzy’s ‘Dancing In The Sky‘ on repeat (I am weird like that) and just allowed the tears to flow. It feels …strange, I guess, to say that. To admit that. But hey, it’s the truth, so there. Sometimes a girl just needs a good cry or two…or three, as was the case on Sunday.

I got dressed and headed out into the sun to catch up my first horse of the day.

I came upon the horses and discovered the three young geldings laying down, having a post breakfast nap with Cheetah standing guard over them. I just could not resist the temptation and sat down with them. The most wonderful thing happened when Cheetah decided she felt comfortable enought to lay down with us. I have no idea how long I sat there with them snoozing, but it was simply glorious. One of them broke the spell and they all got up, so I haltered Cheetah and started grooming.

Keep scrolling for this cow’s newborn on Thanksgiving weekend!

Cheetah decided she was a saucy mare, but her son made up for it by giving me the best ride on him to date. Lito is really starting to put the pieces together and it feels really great. Really learning to travel between my legs and reins and lift his shoulder. Yielding his hindquarters and shoulders. I just need to keep reminding myself he is not farther along because I can only ride on weekends. I need to not push too hard and have it not be fun for him. Well, both of us. He is seriously the most comfortable horse I have ever ridden.

I had a quick ride on Ike after a late lunch on the porch. Then I built myself another fire to close out the day. As one of my dear readers said, I just sat with my feelings and reflected. That is what time alone at the farm is about for me.

I stayed at the farm until Monday morning to meet the farrier before heading back to town and into the office for the short holiday work week.

I took the day off of work on Wednesday to get my cake baked at my parents house and the kitchen cleaned before Thanksgiving. Middle Sister, K, her husband, T, and their dogs were staying at my parents house for the holiday so Darcy had ample entertainment. She is currently passed out after I made her go outside.

Baking is one of my favorite parts of the holidays. This pumpkin cheesecake cake was worth all the work and calories, trust me. It really was not even that much work. Do yourself a favor, and go make it for yourself. Decorating it is also easy peasy, if you want to do that. Which you should because it is fun. And pretty.

My mom’s side of the family and a few friends came to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving lunch. And oh, the food. The food was so good! I am still dreaming about it. We all had a grand time and then loaded up and headed out to the farm just in time for sunset.

I give to you the post Thanksgiving sunrise if you missed it.

Remember that calf I mentioned? We all got to see it right after it was born. You are welcome for the cuteness. I do what I can for you, you know.

Another stunning sunset from the weekend.

On Saturday my dad’s side of the fam came out for lunch and some much needed togetherness and fresh air at the farm.

I took three kids on lead line rides and one solo ride all on Chance. There was so much fun and cuteness, I almost could not even handle it. Chance was so well behaved and we stuffed him with carrots and gave him lots of love.

My cousin got to harvest his first deer which was very exciting for everyone in the family.

I came back out to the barn before bed to give Chance another carrot and to thank him for giving those kids his gifts.

You haz carrot?!

This is a terribly long dump of a post, but there it is. The point is, I am thankful this Thanksgiving and wish I had another day before going back to work.

Thankful I got to enjoy it. Thankful to be surround by loved ones. Thankful to spend time at the farm and create memories. Thankful to ride all the horses. Thankful for cows and calves. Thankful for my happy dog. Thankful to see the sunsets and sunrises. Thankful for music and reflection and fresh air. Thankful that I got to pick out a Christmas tree with my parents and begin decorating. And even thankful for my job that I need to go get ready for.

That is all. Up next, all about the Charlotte Dujardin Clinic!

Walk in love, dear readers! Thank your lucky stars today and every day. Keep in the spirit of thanks and giving.

A Year Later

A year later and I still have no words to describe it. Not the feelings I have. Certainly not the feelings of my family.

Even now as I type these words, it feels so utterly strange. Uncharted territory, even as the first year is up. Different from a year ago, and yet, the same. I am not sure if anyone else in this situation has felt this way. I suppose each is different.

Yesterday I was aimlessly scrolling through Facebook and I wondered to myself, why am I doing this? Something so simple and mindless and downright meaningless? I had that EXACT same thought and feeling a year ago today after I heard the news.

Honestly, I did not want to write this post today and I have been dreading it. I do not want to relive it and do not want certain readers to relive it. It is too close. I did not want to offend or hurt anyone. To dishonor him.

Then it occurred to me that I, or we, do not need a blog post to relive it. It happens all the time. Thankfully, a little less as time goes on. Time heals, little by little. It becomes apparent when you look back. That I know for sure.

I need to write this post. For me. For my family. And for you. For anyone that has ever lost anyone. For him. To celebrate him and his life and his loved ones. The survivors because that is what we are. My Uncle was a beautiful and faithful man. Which makes it even harder at times. I suspect we will never know the answer to why in this earthly life. As is the way with many things we go through. There are no answers.

The only way I know how to honor him is to celebrate this life that I am blessed to have. That I am here to witness the Lord’s beauty around me. To LIVE every minute and celebrate every moment like it is my last. Do what makes my heart smile. Seek the Lord and allow His will to be done through me. To be a blessing to those around me. That is what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving.

So, that is what I am trying to do and what I try to encourage others to do.

I still pray for us to lean into our Lord in these hard times. To grow together. To grow in our faith together. As a family. It is hard and will continue to be. But we have to. We have to for ourselves and for the next generation.

I hope I have not lost you. For those of you that were not here or do not know the story and would like to, I have linked my writings of the series of events from a year ago below. In sharing these posts again, my only hope is to reach those that need to hear these words. For them to know they are not alone and that there are people that have been through this. That know how they feel. That there is still beauty and light all around us.

How Do I Title This: November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving Eve: November 23, 2016

A Prayer You Can Borrow: November 27, 2016

Today: November 28, 2016

The Aftermath: November 30, 2016

This weekend, while sitting by the fire with a cocktail in my hand and my dog at my feet, I put this string of songs together that got me thinking.

I hope you enjoy them.

Thanks to Middle Sister, K for sharing this last one with me. Pass it on.

That is all for now.

Reflections on a great clinic coming up soon!

Walk in love, dear readers.

Please pass along to anyone that needs or wants to read.

Thursday’s Track

The ultimate fall song, as my Pops always says.

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

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

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

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

The Rando Rambles

Alternately titled…Avery’s Brain Activity In GIFs.

I have a case of the Tuesday random rambles.

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I can not focus worth a flip.

tenor

Too excited and jittery to sit still.

jitter

I want hot chocolate.

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Why, you ask? Because it looks wintery outside.

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Oh, lawd. Not THAT wintery. Not even close. Please don’t let it ever look that wintery here. The world would end.

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Darcy had a vet appointment after work for routine stuff.

*Insert imaginary, really cute photo of Darcy because I forgot to take one*

The early passing of musical great, Tom Petty, makes me immensely sad. And yes, I have been listening to him all day. An inspiration to many. Makes me think about all the other musical greats that left this earthly realm too soon. That Angel Band, man, it sure will be something to hear.

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All the finger pointing and hate (in all directions) in the wake of this tragedy also makes me sad. 

No GIF for that. I will not justify it with that.

But.

You know what I will do? Leave this here for y’all. And pray for them. 


“Pointed fingers must be ware”

And, uh, this because how can I not?

The one thing I can focus on though, is my trip.

Bazinga. Back to being jittery and exited again.

Just a few more days. How will I make it?! So ready to get out of Dodge. 

Walk. In. Love.

Walk.

In.

LOVE.

 

 

Early Morning

Early morning is my time. For starters, I am physically incapable of sleeping in. That whole mental alarm clock thing. To actually sleep until 7AM without waking is a luxury I do not often experience.

Waking up early is easy for me, especially when I am at the farm or am somewhere where I am going to ride. And you all know how I feel about sunrises. Rousing myself for work? Not so easy. I am still awake, just can’t seem to make myself get out of bed. 

I am sure I have told all of you this before, but when I do actually get out of bed at my usual early time, I never feel better. I get to have my time. Quiet reflection in a quiet world besides the percolation of the coffee pot, the clink of Darcy’s collar tags, and nature’s morning stirring noises. 

The first thing I do is take my pup outside. We are generally always by ourselves. No lights are on in my neighbor’s windows. It feels almost as if we have the whole place to ourselves. 


Back inside, Darcy gets a drink of water while I pour myself a mug full of coffee adorned with honey and milk. 


That is my favorite mug. It has a gingerbread man on it. It’s comforting and happy. I like happy. 

Then, I sit. Sometimes I watch the news. Well, more often not these days…too depressing and well I don’t know…sometimes I watch my latest Netflix obsession. Sometimes I read. 

Today I was going to read, but then I decided, I should write to you! So, here I am. And there you are.

Now with R being evacuated from her home and living with me while it gets repaired (thanks Harv, for doing that to my friend), our mornings are a bit more exciting. Darcy loves having someone else in the house. When R starts to stir, she shoots up the stairs with the most energetic of good mornings. If only she could speak! That usually envokes a play session and then we are off to get ready for the day. 


On this particular morning, work is on my mind. I typically am trying to think of anything but. However, my job is changing a little. 

When I was first told, I freaked out a little. Hello, change. My mind went in a whirlwind with questions. What does it mean for me and my position in the company? Am I the right person? What does it mean for compensation? How fast will this happen? I don’t want my life to be that complicated! I have responsibilities here! 

Simply and remarkably, Holy Spirit showed up in usual form. Still amazes me. Anyway, the question posed was this…why are you scared?…

I am scared? Am I? How did you know that? Fear of the unknown. Old friend. Not logical, rational, or from the Lord. AHAmoment. 

The simple fact is, while I now have this new ‘role,’ it is early days. We are feeling it out. We will figure it out along the way. We. If at any time it is not right, that is OK. It has the potential to be big. I should be excited. I get to learn something new and meet new people. I am excited. 

That is what is on my mind today. 

Let’s go make it a great Thursday. 

Walk in love, dear readers!

Wine, Pie & Time

Time is an interesting thing.

A powerful thing. Giving things time can have impressive effects. Have you ever heard the term ‘just sleep on it’? Well, now you have if you had not before. If you just sit back and think it completely through and wait till morning, you will often get a more harmonious result from not being reactionary.

Time is also a healer. I know this is a universal thing across all cultures and most know it to be true. There are of course songs written about it. After a difficult life event, it feels like time goes at a snail’s pace. Even when you keep busy to keep your mind occupied and try to make the time go faster. Grasping at anything to get you farther from the memories. The feelings. The sadness. The hurt. The anger. You just keep going, taking one step at a time because that is all you can do.


“They say music takes you back to a time. And time is a healer of things.”

Then, it happens. Time has gone by without you realizing it and you look back and realize how far you have come. Amazed at how long ago that happened. How did it get to be years ago?

That happened to me today. Looking back, I never thought it would happen. I still think of that day two years ago often and I know I will the rest of my life. Even just a few days ago, without realizing that it has been two years. Two years does not seem like a long time to some that are removed from the situation. But it feels like so long ago. So much has happened and so much has changed in that time.

Two years ago, we had to put down our first horse. You can read about that day by clicking HERE. He was over 30 years old and we had him for over half his life. He changed my life. That day was so hard, yet so wonderful at the same time. There is such beauty present in the dichotomy of this earthly life. AHAmoment. How something so hard and difficult also presents such life, light, and love is amazing to me. Your faith and spirit are always there. AHAmoment. Something that never goes away. I feel so blessed that I was open to seeing it in that moment, at that time.

We drowned our sorrows in red wine and chocolate pie that night and listened to this song. It always reminds me of him. To this day, it is still my favorite remedy for loss and I recommend it to many.

I am grateful for time. The time I had with him. The time in the moment, even though it was so hard. The time to heal since then and the time I take to remember the memories.

There are many in my life that have lost in the past year. Lost family members or loved ones. Lost horses and dogs. Lost their homes. Tonight I think will be a wine and pie night in memory…after I run.

Walk in love, dear readers.

Soulshine

​​I forgot about this one.

I love when that happens. You find something amazing and then somehow you forget about it. That part is not so great, but then, something happens and you find it or rediscover it all over again. Twice the joy! Boom!

This song is one of those. Not even sure how I stumbled upon it either time, but I am glad I did! Soulsine performed by Gov’t Mule, written by Warren Haynes. Go get you some! Man oh man. Seriously, give this song a listen.


“When your world seems cold, you got to let your spirit take control.”

Talk about an AHAmoment.
(If the video does not show, copy and paste the link in your browser. It is not showing up for me for some reason….Really this whole interface is being goofy today.)
“When you can’t find the light
That guides you through a cloudy day
When the stars ain’t shinin’ bright
And you fill like you’ve lost you’re way
When the candle lights of home
Burn so very far away
Well you got to let your soul shine
Just like my daddy used to say
He used to say soul shine
It’s better than sunshine
It’s better than moonshine
Damn sure better than rain
Hey now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day

I grew up thinkin’ that I had it made
Gonna make it on my own
But life can take the strongest man
And make him feel so alone
Now and then I feel a cold wind
Blowin’ through my achin’ bones
I think back to what my daddy said
He said Boy, in the darkness before the dawn

Let your soul shine
It’s better than sunshine
It’s better than moonshne
Damn sure better than rain
Yeah now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day

Sometimes a man can feel this emptiness
Like a woman has robbed him of his very soul
A woman too, God knows, she can feel like this
And when your world seems cold
You got to let your spirit take control

Let your soul shine
It’s better than sunshine
It’s better than moonshine
Damn sure better than rain
Lord now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day

Oh, it’s better than sunshine
It’s better than moonshine
Damn sure better than rain
Yeah now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day”

~WARREN HAYNES
Does not get much better than that, dear readers. What makes your soul shine?
Let your soul shine for the Lord, for you, and for those around you. Shine for those that are no longer here, those people and events that we remember and will never forget. Be a light for others, in all times, not just these difficult times. Now more than ever. Because you can and some can not. Because there are people out there protecting our rights to do so. Because there are people that have lost their lives doing just that.
Here is a snip-it of what makes my soul shine from this past weekend.

 

Walk in love this fine Monday!

Remember, it was not promised to you or any of us.

Stand Up

“Today is a new day. You will get out of it just what you put into it . . . if you make mistakes . . . there is always another chance for you . . . for this thing that we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down.”
~ Mary Pickford

Walk in love, dear readers. Make it a great one!