Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time…

Sounds like the promise of a good story, right?

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Ha! I shall leave you to be the judge of that. There are at least some good pictures! 

Once upon a time, it rained and rained and created all kinds of mud all over the state of Texas. And everywhere else across the land. A gal named Avery was kinda busy and losing her mind for lack of riding time.

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What is that? You have heard this one? No, no, no. The ending is good. Just stick with it. OK. Where was I? Oh ya…

Then it got cold while it continued to rain. That gal named Avery became even more busy (in a good way) and wondered if she would ever be able to really ride her horses again or write to her dear readers. Please forgive that gal named Avery for falling off the face of the earth and going MIA. Time kept passing her by.

This is where it gets good.

Then one fine day, spring appeared. The rains let up. The mud dried. The horses started to lose their winter coats. The pecan trees started to bud. All of a sudden, the stars aligned and the time was right. That gal named Avery loaded up that dog named Darcy and booked it out of town. She rode by herself. She rode with important people in her life. They rode. And that is what they did. And it was glorious.

The horses lost more hair.

Darcy took some naps when she was not running or getting dirty.

They rode by the river.

They rode under the clouds and across green pastures.

They rode down to the river on the beach.

The sun came out and sunsets were watched and it was magical in more ways than one.

They rode under the trees, over logs, and among favorite blue flowers down in the river bottom listening to the breeze and the light rain in the leaves.

They watched a little rain storm roll by and felt the drops cool their skin with the threat of the last cold snap.

Then more rain and wind and cold came. But that did not stop them. Still they rode.

It got even colder, but fun was still had by all.

Manes and pony tails went everywhere.

And that is what they did.

Then all was right in the world again.

They could not be more thankful or blessed.

The end.

Best story you have ever heard, right?!

I knew it.

How is it already April?! APRIL!!!

I am back, y’all, I promise.

Walk in love, dear readers, and I will talk to you soon.

The Season Of Spring

It is upon us.

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Do not say it too terribly loud though. Or play the music too loud. Or dance too much. Or drink too much bubbly, even if it is Wine Wednesday (I may or may not be imbibing at this very moment). We do not want to scare it off. I do not think any of us can handle that, but I think it is safe to say we can celebrate a little and I am celebrating spring today. Remember there is always something to celebrate every day! You will know when it is time to turn the celebration up.

I almost can not believe it. It feels like just yesterday I was writing to you about the beginning of fall. The past several months have left me stunned with wind burned cheeks and windswept hair from the time speeding past me. I have entered a new season in my life apparently, but that is a story for another day. A whole other pot of thoughts to stir around.

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Anyway. Back to spring because that is what we are celebrating today.

The time has changed back. Do you know what that means?

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You think I am kidding? This is no laughing matter. Ask any horse person. Well any horse person without arena lights. This means MORE RIDING TIME. Seriously. I can actually go out to the farm after work and have time to ride! I could start jumping up and down this minute at the very thought.

The horses are starting to shed. All of them. Not just the early ones. All of them. I can see it now.

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Horse hair everywhere.

We have had the showers. For months actually, but we do not need to go on about that any more than I already have. You know what they say. Showers bring flowers.

Which brings me to…Wildflowers. They are coming out to play and things are getting green!

It is actually rainy today, but that is not raining on my parade today.

Spring, it is coming! Go smile and have some bubbly and celebrate.

Walk in love, dear readers! You made it through hump day!

 

Laugh Because Dogs Will Be Dogs.

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.

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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),

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These two photos were taken by my Bro-in-law. Pig was also cooked by him. It was tasty. 

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.

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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.

He gives us nothing we can not handle.

Walk in love, dear readers!

This Time Of Year

You know, I generally think of Christmas and Thanksgiving as the best time of year. A close second has to be starting about right now.

It is glorious, wonderful, exciting and yet, at the exact same time, tortuous and agonizing.

What is it, you ask, that could possibly be all of those things?

Foaling season, my friends, foaling season.

Every year people all around me are sharing pictures of their cute and furry wobbly bundles of legs. A culmination of a year of waiting and even more planing.

It all brings me such joy! However, it absolutely turns me green. I mean, you might as well call me Irish.

I either want to go back to Lito being born or breed my Cheetah again!

It makes me crazy and jittery to see all these foals popping out. To see the images of them meeting their dams for the first time and getting to their feet for their first nurse. Exploring the world and figuring out miles of legs.

I all but have to sit on my wallet so I do not go out and book a breeding. Yes, it could be that easy! I already have a couple studs lined out if I am blessed enough to be able to breed again.

Does this all make me certifiable? Probably, but hey, I am more than OK with that.

Alas, until I can do what I call ‘the greatest experiment ever’ again, I will just relive the last one. And you have do that with me too. It is the perfect thing to do while waiting for my work conference to start.

You’re welcome!

Tired of waiting already at 9 months…

11 months…any day now!

The grand arrival!

The rest is history!

Take me back!

Sigh. Time to get back to reality.

Have a great day, dear readers, and walk in love!

Waffling

On Monday I dropped my phone, again, and rendered it basically useless. It was time for a new one anyway.

So, yesterday, I went out during my lunch hour to get a new phone. It took longer than an hour if you want to know. The sales attendant and the phone itself made me feel dumb. I also had zero contacts or settings because the man told me I could not have them. “I do not understand, that has never been an issue before. I have never had to pay to access my information. I have always walked out of here with a fully functioning, loaded phone.” I am sorry, the man said with a chuckle, there is no other way. You have to be on the cloud and pay for space. There is no other way. He shook his head at me. Then he kept trying to sell me stuff I do not need. Rude. I was bewildered.

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I spent an exorbitant amount of time trying to set up a phone that would not let me log into anything or do anything. Angry, I reset the phone and started the set up from the beginning. I logged in and, like a gift, there was all of my information. So much for that guy at the store. Maybe I should quit my day job? No, just kidding.

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Then I went to play dominoes with some friends after work and all was well with the world.

Today is Wednesday and I am hungry. This fasting thing is hard work! Brings a whold new meaning and feeling to intentional prayer.

When I am hungry, I get even more random than normal, if that was even possible. Which I am sure you can tell if you have read this far.

My research thesis professor in college, a Scotsman, used to tell me to stop waffling in my writing. Just get to it and say it and move on to the next point. Well I can waffle all I want to now. Take that. Aren’t you glad?

Speaking of waffles, I love waffles. And bacon. And maple syrup. And basically anything you can put maple syrup on.

Anyone want to go grocery shopping?

This is going to be a long day!

I have not taken any pictures in practically 2 weeks. Which is odd. I rode Lito on Saturday with a trail riding group that I am in. It was cold and wet, but it was a pretty good day. Lito was a bit jumpy which was odd. I did not have any other horses there and it has been a little while since I have hauled him by himself. I also did not ride him the weekend before because we had family in town for the service. I guess all of that and the weather explains most of his behavior. By the end of the day he was pretty lined out and it was a lovely day, even with the weather. I was still happy with him and glad I got him out in those conditions.

Today it is again cold and wet. Last I checked, it is going to be wet this weekend. It will definitely be muddy! We shall see if I can get some riding in. We all need it!

Come on Friday! And spring!

Walk in love, dear readers!

A Titch Windy

The spring winds, they blow! Or blew, as it were. I almost felt like I was in West Texas, just without all the red dirt. 

How many times my hat blew off my head and I ran after it this many times…

The weather this past weekend was spectacular even if it was a titch windy. A cool front blew in Saturday and Sunday morning it was almost cold. Luckily the sun got to work and warmed things up. Today’s weather is no different and the wind has finally calmed down. 

When I got to the farm Friday, I unloaded and ‘turned the house on’ before going to the local Mexican restaurant to treat myself to an early dinner. I was back in time to take a walk with Lito and Darcy down to the river. I will let the sunset speak for itself. 










On Saturday, I took my time getting going. I spent around 40 minutes grooming my Cheetah girl and then we had an amazing ride. We did all of our hard serious work all around the house/barn and then took a long, relaxing cool down walk all around the farm to check the cows. I was trying to remind her about not being barn/buddy sour. I was very proud of her and she seemed to be very happy and proud of herself. We finished at a point where she was solidly between all my aids after some leg yielding, shoulder in, and stretchy lengthens. I was able to giver her a quick bath (her favorite!) before the wind got too chilly. 



After lunch, I went to the little town by the farm to take care of some errands. The most important of which was going to the feed store where they apprently did not have what I needed, again. I got back to the farm and had lunch, worked on some chores, watered the herb garden, checked the vegetable garden, and lunged Lito. Lito was being a little silly in the chilly wind, but he eventually settled into the work. After the hard stuff I worked him around and over some obsticals and a couple little jumps. Homeboy can fly over a jump when he thinks he needs too. Then he realized that was a waste of energy and proceeded to do just enough to awkwardly plop over them. 





Before we know it the gardens will be overgrown. 


I was going to sit by a pit fire after dinner, but before I knew it, I was hungry and tired and it was about to be dark. Oh well, next time. 

Sunday I relaxed and waited for my cousin to come out to the farm. When he arrived, I rode Lito while he went fishing in the pond. 

Big boy Lito did very well in the wind and with the change. It was windy, chilly, and clear as a bell without a cloud in sight. I lunged him out in the pasture and then just hopped on and rode around. All of our rides to date have started in the arena. I intended to do this a long time ago, but because our rides have been so far apart, it seemed like the smart thing to do to wait…maybe not smart to choose a very windy day, but he gave me all the green lights to do it. It was the first time I have ridden him in my big saddle. He has packed it around, but never with me in it. It was the first time I made him wear boots while riding. He has worn them, but never while riding. I also rode him in a new bit. He did pretty ok with it, but the jury is still out. Time will tell. All in all I was very proud of him. A lot of change. Maybe too much. But moving forward and not making excuses. At least I can do that in this part of my life! 

While all of this may not seem like a very big deal to some of you, it feels like a big deal to me. Every step in this process is a big deal to me. To me it means we have taken the step because he said yes. That he was comfortable moving on to the next thing and building upon what we have done. Our path is not conventional and I am OK with that. It is our path and it works for us. AHAmoment. Just like in everyday, real life. Everyone has their own path, weather you choose to take it or try to copy someone else. Walk your own path and do it in love. 

Cousin W made the comment that Lito has mellowed a lot. I always thought he was very mellow, but I’m with him all he time. I will take any compliment!



After our ride, Cousin W and I went and picked up BBQ from a local joint and brought it back to have at the farm. We hung out the rest of the afternoon until we had no choice but to go back to town. Nothing like green therapy, as my mamma calls it. The traffic was terrible, but I honestly did not mind driving slow because I was bringing the horse trailer in to take to the shop and get a good once over before my girls trip with R. 

I dropped it off this morning before work and before I knew it, the work day was over. Grateful for that! Another big meeting tomorrow. Praying that this seals the deal. One more step. 

I hope y’all had a great weekend and start to the work week! 

Walk in love, dear readers! 

Easter

Easter is always a special time at the farm. Well, Easter in itself is obviously special in its own right, but it is different at the farm.

I remember the first Easter after my parents bought the place. I do not remember who all was there. I know my Father and at least one sister was there. I can not remember who else. Anyway, it was windy. It is always windy at the farm on Easter. We must have come out directly after church as we were in our church clothes. At the time, the place was raw. Well, raw its own way. It needed a ton of work and even more just plain cleaning up. It was cross fenced in every way you can imagine. I do not remember why, but my Dad climbed over a gate and when he stepped down on the other side, he landed right in a fresh cow patty while wearing his nice loafers. My sister and I probably thought that was pretty funny while dear old Dad did not.

We have always celebrated Easter in some way at the farm. It has changed over the past few years, as it happens when families grow, but it always feels the same. Special.

This year, it was somewhat of a revolving door with people coming and going. Middle Sister and her Hubby could not come to town because of work commitments (that part was not special…). My Parents, Eldest Sister’s Hubby, Niece, Nephew, and myself went out Thursday. Eldest Sister had to work on Good Friday. The men, that would be my Dad, Bro in law, and Nephew, went fishing Friday for the day and the ladies, my Mom, Me, and Niece, hung out at the farm. I think I mentioned that before and how I rode Cheetah, Lito, and Ike.

Saturday, my Aunt and Grandparents came out for lunch. When my Grandparents got there, I was just riding up to the house at the end of my ride on Lito. He was amazing, by the way, if you were wondering. He is getting really consistent and more balanced. For around 20 or so rides all spaced out, he is doing better than some that get ridden every day. At least in my mind. He is pretty tractable and rates really easily. I am surprised at how well he responds to my seat and even my voice. I am really excited for our hill country adventure. While we were on our ride, we discovered a brand new calf born not that long before. Nature never ceases to amaze me.

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Sister and her family went back to town to go to church in the afternoon and participate in the church Easter egg hunt. When my Aunt arrived, we had burgers, fries, and my Grandmother’s molasses cookies for lunch out on the porch, under the live oak. That tree and porch, I tell you, there is no better place to be. My grandparents went back to town later that afternoon and my Aunt stayed to spend the night.

Saturday evening, I spent some time riding Lito bareback in a halter, just relaxing and having fun. Making sure he remembers how to do that. That it is not always hard work. He remembered.

Sunset rolled around and we had even more porch time with a steak dinner and wine. I am so glad that my Aunt was able to come out and stay. Get a away, even if just for a short time. We are all still sad, but none more than her I am sure.

Sunday morning found us sitting there on the porch again drinking coffee, looking down the valley watching the fog rise, listening to gospel and nature. Words can not express the beauty of His creation, especially in that place. The rest of my coffee got cold so I grabbed Lito’s bridle and went and did my favorite Sunday morning thing. Ride bareback.

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We wrapped things up at the farm before lunch to head back to town and get ready for Easter diner with my Mom’s side of the family. I made and decorated a coconut cake. It was pretty dang good! Doesn’t look too bad either. Holidays are my favorite because I get to see both sets of grandparents close together. I am savoring all my time with them.


Happy times were had with the still at times sad. Slowly, the happy times will start to outshine the sad. Still grieving my Uncle, but we had a new calf born and we got to watch mamma introduce him to the heard. The kiddos got dirty and tired just like the dogs, running around and playing. Like it is supposed to be. I have had some amazing rides on my 2 dun babies. I rode Lito more times that I had even planned. We all had a good time together and wished that the rest of the family could have been there. God is great.

I hope y’all had a great Easter, creating new happy memories.

Walk in love, dear readers!