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.

Days Like Today

You know what? On days like today, I wish more than I normally do that my office chair was the back of my horse.

Any horse at this point, really, and not just because I have done such little riding lately that I am actually beginning to literally twitch involuntarily. I am sure my eyes have begun to bug out of my head and the people around me will start looking at me all funny like.


“We will sing, to our souls
We won’t bury our hope
Where He leads us to go
There’s a red sea road
When we can’t, see the way
He will part the waves
And we’ll never walk alone
Down a red sea road”


Anyway. Everyone has days like this every now and then.

I am sitting here on my couch with a glass of wine on the side table next to me, a cozy blanket that was a gift to me draped over the arm of the couch, and my little laptop resting in my lap. My townhouse keeps making noises that make me wonder if I have a long lost roommate upstairs. My television intermittently plays a show I have already seen in the background.

Why intermittently you ask? Good question. I do not have an answer for you on that one. My TV and/or internet appear to be a slightly emotional beings at best and more often than not, I spend more time watching a spinning wheel than any actual entertainment. The wonders of today’s modern connectivity, I tell you.

It is no matter to me at the present moment though. I do not really have it in me to pay close attention. Today was a bit of a sour day and it put that taste right into my mouth. I sure did not like the taste so I went to a dance workout class with R and her sister after work to try and shake it all out. It did a decent enough job at that.

Nothing like this would have done, but it was the next best thing I had.

Today was a day for practicing relearning how to be like a duck in the rain, so to speak. To let that rain just bead up and fall right off you. You know how I have told you before. Yes, yes. That little life tidbit wrapped up in an AHA moment. About how manure rolls downhill. Yes, just like that. I will be firmly upright and uphill tomorrow. Maybe one of these days that lesson will stick in my own brain.


“Paths are there for us to follow, this is gospel I believe
Angels are around us flying, truth and mercy to receive
Pictures of uncommon nature, painted by a masters hand
Draw me ever on life’s journey, rendered thus to understand
As a songbird that is fallen, only to regain the sky
From this frozen shadow valley, lay my sweary head
Love is from no distance calling, faithful as the rising sun
Warms the bitter heart and heartache, till the east of Eden’s gone
Clouds of fear and misconception, wax and wane as if the moon
So is in a sense forsaken, till the will of God be known
As a songbird that is fallen, only to regain the sky
From this frozen shadow valley, lay my sweary head”
~Bob Neuwirth / Henry Burnett


I long for more daylight hours with ground that is more than just a slip ‘n slide. To have the time to thoroughly groom my horse and not be in a rush.


“The sounds of the valley seem to reach me within. It plays on my heart like an old violin. At the end of the day I just can’t wait for it to play.”
~Trinity Seely


Tomorrow is a new day. For me and for you. It will be a good one. If it is not, we will make it one and it will be better than yesterday.

Let us all be like ducks in the rain on top of the manure hill!

Walk in love, dear readers.

Show & Tell

Remember when you were a kid in elementary school and you had show and tell? I used to think (and still do actually) that was a pretty dang cool deal. Now I look back and wonder if I liked it so much because it shed another fresh light on the hearts of the people I saw every day. My kid brain would not have thought of it that way, but I think of it that way now and wonder.

I remember one certain show and tell when Pops agreed to bring Rosie, our Brittany (used to be known as a Brittany Spaniel) that we grew up with, to class for show and tell. I thought that was just the coolest thing in the world at the time. I do not think anyone had brought a dog to show and tell before and certainly not one that their father had hunted with.

Pops must have liked show and tell too because he tries to get my nephew to take dragon flies we find at the farm to school for show and tell.

Today feels a little bit like a show and tell day. Just one of a slightly different nature. Remember when I made those molasses cookies and that margarita over the weekend? These ones?

Well, I have been asked for both of the recipes and naturally I am going to share them with you! Not just because I was already going to share the cookie recipe. I think I have also been asked for my marg recipe too.

Anyhow.

It feels straight up like show and tell because everyone must experience these cookies. I will remember them and the memories till the day I die.

Here is the thing about these recipes I like to share with y’all. They are more than just tried and true, sure to please recipes. They are basically part of the family and who we are. They tell a story within themselves and the traditions they hold. They share the love and memories.

Do you remember when I shared the pumpkin bread my mother has baked for us our whole lives? She would even send us back to college with a couple loaves. Or the best cheesecake recipe she wrote on the inside flap of a well worn cookbook? The best for many reasons, but chief among them just being her favorite cheesecake? Yes, those. And that little life secret about them and where to find others like them?

This cookie recipe is one of those. Hand written, well loved, and stained. Telling the story of generations and while bringing them all home. No small feat, I tell you.

Not only were us kids raised on these, but Pops and his siblings were raised on these. My Grandmother used to keep a jar full of these in the kitchen. The back door was always reportedly always unlocked and all the neighborhood kids would run and and out taking cookies throughout their play time.

My Mom and I once made these in an old, shallow wooden bowl with two forks for stirring implements at a Texas century ranch of friends while on vacation. Ironically or not, that weekend produced a lot of rain and we thought we might not make it out with the road conditions. Good thing for four wheel drive and Pops’ driving skills!

What I find most interesting is how each person puts their own spin on this recipe to make them theirs. Make them right. Make them like our Grandmother’s. But the funny thing is, we all talk about how they are not as good as our Grandmother’s. Everyone also has a theory on why hers were better. Maybe it is just because she actually followed the original recipe. Or maybe it was the love and wisdom she baked into them. Who is to know?

Anyway, this particular handwritten version is my mother’s. Karl is my uncle and my mother was collecting and writing recipes that he grew up on to give as a wedding gift.

My Grandmother used Oleo (margarine for you youngsters that do not know. Yes, I know I am a youngster, but I know these things) and baked them on the top rack of her oven. My mother believes that is THE secret.

My Aunt says to chill the dough before rolling and bake 8 – 10 minutes at 375 deg F.

My sister and I use real butter and roll the whole dough ball in sugar. Or, at least I think A rolls the whole ball. I do it anyway. I also add vanilla and I would put money on A doing that too because she is my sister and I know her that way. And it is vanilla. Vanilla goes in everything and makes everything magical and better, duh.

I myself have not actually seen the ‘original’ recipe before.

Last weekend only took 7 minutes to bake these scrumptious morsels at 375 in my parents’ new oven. I tried, valiantly, to chill the dough, but I think I only lasted about a minute before I gave in to get them in and out of the oven quicker. And my nephew had walked into the house and I recruited him as a dough ball roller. He happily obliged.

You can not really mess them up so long as you do not over cook them.

Go bake them. Right now. I will wait.

Finished? OK good. Now for your libation.

This one, the simple and classic margarita, Pops taught me along with the love of tequila. Follow the simple ratios and stick to only a few flavors and you can not go wrong with most variations of this cocktail.

2 parts tequila.
1 part triple sec (or your favorite orange liqueur).
1 part fresh lime juice (absolutely not the pre bottled stuff. Use real limes and squeeze them. It is a crime otherwise. Trust me).
Shake vigorously in a shaker with ice.
Pour in a chilled martini class or over ice.

For the ginger orange marg all you have to do is sub part of the triple sec with a ginger liqueur to your taste, keeping the total liqueur quantity to 1 part (keep to the ratios!). Then use fresh squeezed orange juice for the lime if you are Pops and if you are me, do about 1/3 lime and 2/3 orange (still only 1 part in total!). Add a dash of a cinnamon syrup and shake away. Garnish with some orange peel and enjoy!

Now. Go have a cookie and cocktail party and tell me all about it! It is show and tell after all.

Walk in love, dear readers!

 

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!

Amusing

Sometimes, I find myself amusing, and I am not talking about funny as in laughing at my own jokes. Although, ha, there is that. I do do that.

Maybe not as amusing as the faces this guy makes.

I spent the majority of this weekend crossing chores of the list at the farm. Literally, all day Saturday. I did not sit and stop until after 6 PM.

First I mucked the barn out and spread the manure which was a feat given all the rain we have been getting. Then, after that, I decided to actually clean the inside of the barn. You know, actually sweeping all the dust and cobwebs off the walls and then hosing everything down. Just on a whim. Which left me covered in dust and cobwebs thinking I had spiders and other things crawling every-which-where.

Somewhere in there I also cleaned the feed room, moved the cows up to the horse pasture, and put more flags on the electric fence. I drove to town to run a couple errands and grabbed a cherry limeade from Sonic because I felt like it and thought it would be nice to have while I did some mowing when I got back to the farm.

I hopped on the mower and my cherry limeade promptly fell out of the cup holder within the first five minutes. After stopping and staring angrily at the wasted nectar and contemplating going inside for a beer, I laughed at myself and kept on mowing.

Finally, I brought the horses in after they ran around like sillies in the slightly cooler, rain threatening air. I hosed off Apache, sprayed everyone to ward off the bird sized mosquitoes, put some shavings in the stalls, and fed everyone before going inside for a much needed shower, cocktail, and dinner.

Sunday morning greeted me with this beautiful sunrise as I fed the horses, a promise for the day to come.

It was a very pretty morning on the farm once everything woke up. It felt like fall with a cool breeze! I lingered over coffee with my Mamma as we watched the four new calves bounding up the terraced horse pasture with their mothers before I set to cleaning and straightening the house.

I quickly mucked out the barn and unloaded my tack from the trailer from last weekend, since you know, I did not do that last weekend. Then I cleaned the tack shack as I started to gather things together for my upcoming trip with Lito. Side note, he saw me holding his shipping halter, pricked his ears, and walked up to me. I swear he looked excited like it was time to go somewhere. Unfortunately for us both, we still have to wait a couple of weeks.

Anyway, I looked around, thought for a second, and made the important life choice to fit in a ride instead of cleaning tack before I had to leave. Life is short, kids, choose the ride. The chores will wait. AHAmoment.

Bareback on the Cheetah Beetah while ponying my Lito. We had fun, but Lito had the most fun trying to play with me. Silly kid.

This is about the time I find myself funny. Don’t you just love how I finally get around to the point?

I do all of that and then come home and can not bring myself to do any of the mountains of laundry or cleaning that needs to be done. I can barely even motivate myself to unload my stuff from the car. Which, I made myself do and then also too clean out my storage closet in my car port. The closet that has basically nothing in it. Still no laundry.

I would rather wake up at 5:30 AM, like I did this morning. Take a shower, take Darcy out, start a load of laundry, go get coffee (because not only can I not do the laundry like a normal person, I can not go to the store and have milk on hand like a normal person. BUT I got to see that big, beautiful moon! Anyone else see that?),  talk to friend H on the phone during her morning commute, and then hang up that load of laundry. This is often how I end up doing laundry, one load at a time, at the last minute, and early in the morning. This is how much I dislike it.

I sat down after all of that to finish my coffee and was ready to go back to bed after realizing I needed to get dressed and go to work.

I actually talked to another old friend, N, this morning who laughed at me for my early morning charade and wondered for the umpteenth time how we are so different and can still be friends. What can I say, I am just that way!

Normal is over rated anyway. Life is too short not to laugh at yourself. AHAmoment.

Walk in love, dear readers, and go laugh at yourself!

Between The Ears & Not The Windshield Wipers

Have a case of the Mondays?

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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.

An exciting weekend nonetheless!

Here is to the next adventure! Is it October yet? I am ready for a week of riding with friends!

Walk in love, dear readers, and make it a great day!

The French Countryside: La Fin

I last left you after having experienced the best day on the trip so far, riding along the river and enjoying my finds from the local farmer’s market with everyone. The memories of this day will stay with me forever and I could have gone home happy then.

But, I still had a few days left and they were going to be busy ones. They may have been the last days, but they were certainly not the least ones.

After a Friday of eating croissants and baguette with magic butter and resting up (I did eat other foods…), I took a day trip to the coastal town of Pornic on Saturday, Bastille Day, with a few of the other house guests. We stopped in the city of Nantes on the way so I could peruse through a tack store there. I bought some things I did not need, but I was in France, so I bought them. Why not, right? Side note, this city looks to be pretty cool and has many things to do. If you are in the area, it might be worth looking up. Food. Shopping. Entertainment. Close to the coast.

Continuing our journey to Pornic, we took “the scenic route” trying to get out of Nantes as they were already barricading many of the streets for the Bastille Day celebrations. We all had a fleeting thought that we might not be able to leave! Every time we tried to turn,  we could not and our GPS kept telling us to u-turn. We gave up on the GPS and just started to follow the traffic hoping we would end up somewhere where the GPS would recalculate our journey. Eventually, after much honking and swearing and laughing, we did find our way and continued on.

The kids in the car were starting to get hungry at this point and we still had a ways to drive to our destination. One of them had a fascination with trying McDonald’s in France and it seemed like a good plan to get them some food while we held out for a cafe in Pornic. We asked them if it tasted the same as back home and their comment was that it tasted a little funny. We thought nothing of this and continued on.

We pulled into Pornic, found a parking spot, and set off on foot to the busy harbor. It was a hub of activity and there were people all around with the set up for the night’s celebrations and cafes and shops. If we were not so far from the farm, it would have been nice to stay for the fun, and indeed the original plan was to stay for it. However, after much deliberation, we decided it was best to not stay that late and planned for a nice late lunch, look around, go find the beach, and then head back before it got too late.

Lunch at Le Cap Gourmand was wonderful. A couple glasses of prosecco. A goat cheese galette with honey, nuts, and delicately dressed mixed greens. So simple, yet absolutely fabulous. Sitting outside under an umbrella next to the canal. Good company. It was lovely. After our leisurely meal, we walked through some of the shops before grabbing some sorbet at Glacier Pornic, which was also a knockout. Current and lemon. So so good.

After some trial and error on where and what this beach actually was (the non rock cliffs with crashing waves), we found a good parking spot and made our way down. One of the kids mentioned he needed to use the little men’s room, so our first stop before the actual crowded, teeny tiny patch of beach was the public restroom. Or rather, right outside of said public bathroom with Turkish toilets.

Here is where I might should mention that one should not eat McDonald’s in France. But. S*** happens and it indeed happened that day. In spades. That poor mom and kid! They were both troopers in, dare I say it, somebody stop me, a s***ty situation!

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It was character building! That kid took it all in stride is going to be somebody great!

All is well that ends well, as they say. After the McDonald’s episode, the kids swam for a bit in the ocean before we decided it was time for us to cut our losses and head back to the farm early. These adults needed some wine. We would put our feet in the pool and pretend we were on a beach somewhere with less people and more sand and zero McDonald’s.

We had some good laughs on the way home and after we got back.

Sunday, World Cup day,  began with more croissants and more laughs followed by a ride on the Top Girl in the fields to start the day off right.

Then some of us thought it would be great to meet up with a newcomer to the house at  Chateau Des Vaults to try some wines. Wine tasting in France is fun. I liked the wine and the grounds were just beautiful. So lush and green. You can walk around the gardens and then up a hill to see the vines. I highly recommend it. We all bought some bubbley rose to take home.

That would have been a good enough day right there, but France was playing in the final game of the World Cup that afternoon so we loaded up some snacks and headed to a packed park in Chateau Gontier to watch the game on a jumbotron and drink some beer with a bunch of French people. If you do not know, France won and everyone commenced to celebrating in the streets.

On Monday, the newcomer to the house (who we tasted wine with) and I went off to the coastal town of Concale. It is a lovely, quaint town. We went there specifically to go to Epices Roellinger  (a great spice shop I could have spent hours in. There are others around France, but this is THE one) and a bakery called Grain de Vanille. I bought all the things. Seriously, y’all should go here.

After lunch the coast and crepes for dessert, we drove over to see Mont Saint Michel Abbey. I wanted to go in, but we were too late in the day, and to be honest, I was quite tired by that point and we had a long drive back to the farm.

Tuesday was a relaxing last day on the farm. We had a lovely lunch in a nearby town and then I had one last ride on the Top Girl before leaving on Wednesday.

Wednesday was an early and long day. It is a long story, but I missed my train to get to the airport and we had to make the three hour drive to Paris instead…which put me at the airport less than an hour from the scheduled take off. Fortunately, the flight was apparently delayed. I however, did not know this until after I frantically ran through the airport, almost slipping and falling on my behind in the process. I half expected my shoe to break.

When I finally got on the plane and settled, I ordered a cocktail like I needed it more than my next breath.

Always dress for a run through the airport, kids. You just never know what can happen, whether or not you eat McDonald’s! Ha!

Walk in love, dear readers, and I hope you enjoyed coming along on my trip with me! Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Dreams

You know, dreams are funny thing. I have always thought this.

Some nights you do not remember any of them. Some nights you wish you did not have any, but you can not shake the memory for the life of you. Some dreams are even repeat players. Then there are the nights where you have such vivid and clear and lovely dreams that the images and feelings stick with you for more than just the day, but for what feels like a lifetime. You could retell, with exacting clarity, every moment of that dream over and over. God help the person that really dislikes to hear about dreams. I seem to find myself compelled to tell those people all about my dreams.

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I have had two of those dreams in as many weeks.

The first was not this past Monday, but the Monday before.

In this dream I was riding Lito in a little arena by a little white house with peeling and chipping paint out in the country. Set off a little ways by a small, quiet country road with little traffic. The rest of the property was cross fenced with rusty barbed wire and crooked wooden posts into little pastures full of grass. All of this was surrounded by other, similar parcels.

The house had a green and white striped, mildew stained awning over what I guess what the kitchen window and a little covered porch that led to the front door. The front door had a big square window with a curtain hanging from the inside. Next to the door on the porch, crookedly sat one of those rusty, metal chairs. Part way facing the road and part way facing down the two steps off the porch and to the arena.

There I was was with my Lito, riding in that little arena. It was day time, but I remember there were arena lights that could be used for night rides. And we were not alone. There were a handful of other riders with us. All doing our own thing, as I was. The curious thing about it was, I do not think I knew any of them. Maybe it was that they were not important to what was between us. Between me and Lito.

I did seem to know, in some form or another, a man that was standing, leaning on the arena fence by the road. The manner of our connection I knew not, but when we trotted down that long side of the arena where he was near the end of my ride, we smiled at each other. Seemingly knowing something, the same thing.

I know what I knew. It was Lito and the ride was magical. We were totally in tune. That is the only way I can describe it. He was forward, but not too. He was just there. My thoughts were his and his were mine. It was our own little world out there in that little country arena and we just were. It felt like a dance I have yet to really know. Focusing and working on nothing, just riding.

That is when I woke up, as I trotted past the man. I awoke knowing, somehow, that feeling was going to come true soon. Part of me wanted to cling to the sleep to try and get back to the dream (it is truly a shame that is not a thing) and the other part of me wanted to play hooky from work and go ride. And alright, I admit, there was a third part of me who wonders who the man was. Strange to have that strong of a feeling and it had me in a daze for days.

I had another of those dreams last night. It is actually one I think I have had before and not all that long ago.

I was in a place I have never been in real life. I want to say that it was not Texas, but I do not want to admit that. It felt like a foothills region if not even mountainous. The air was crisp, the grass was very green, and the trees felt like they looked like Aspen trees, but I do not think they were. It was easy to visualize, standing and looking off the porch in the back, snow being there.

The building was somewhat of a log cabin style and there was an attached side building or room and the door out front was open. There was at least one other person with me, but again, I do not know who. The building was situated on the top of a little hill that likely went down to a little creek on the back side, but it was not a very steep hill. It was more of a gently sloping hill in most places.

I do not really know what was on either side of this building, but I knew there had to be a barn close by because as I entered this side room, I realized it was a tack room. And rather oddly, an empty tack room with a full wall covered in saddle racks. It was dark, but it was warm, cozy, comfortable, and full of color. It was then that the feeling began. I told somebody with a silly, childlike grin on my face that I had to put my tack in there. As only a horse girl would.

We continued through the tack room and past an unknown hallway, out the back door to the aforementioned porch looking down the hill where the truck and trailer full of horses was parked in the driveway that circled around the back. I know Lito was in there.

I looked around me, standing there on the porch. At the seating arrangement around me and down to the green grass and trees. And then to my left at the lower level deck and chairs down the stairs. I was hit with the feeling from before while I was in the tack room that this place, wherever it was, would be like home to me, if not my actual home one day. For as different as it was from the farm, it felt like the farm.

That was when I woke up. Dreams, man, they are an odd thing. I think I need another cup of coffee.

Have you ever had dreams like that? What do dreams mean to you? Tell me! My family hates hearing about my dreams. I just had to share.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Tie Dye

By now, we have all figured out that my little Darcy dog, so pretty and innocent looking, is quite the opposite at times. She is a scrappy thing. She eats everything, and I mean everything. It is very un-Setter like of her. She is more like, say, a Labrador in that way.

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I have already told you how she found and ate the horse treats on Friday. This is not a new thing and she has done it since she was a puppy. Growing up around horses does not really make this fact a surprise. She actually eats pretty much everything a horse eats. Treats, apples, carrots. Feed. Hay. You name it.

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Then I am sure none of us have forgotten that ill fated time when she ate a bunch of pig drippings and oil along with copious amounts of dirt and gravel. That was not fun for dog or human alike. Luckily, all is well that ends well, as they say.

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There was also the time when she ate a bunch of mushrooms in my parents back yard when she was just 7 weeks old. Knowing this was not the best thing that could happen, I did some research and called the vet. They suggested I pump her stomach with hydrogen peroxide to make her throw up. That seemed a titch, shall we say, extreme for a 7 week old puppy, so I opted for the conservative observation route. She showed no signs of poison, even if she did look a little stoned. I have seen her eating mushrooms other times back there and she gets that same goofy, droopy look about her.

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Then there was the tie die time. I know what you must be thinking and luckily for all involved it did not involve her shredding and eating tie dye fabric from the 90’s after eating mushrooms in the back yard. However, it is just as indelicate.

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She was a little bit older than the mushroom incident by this time and I was kennel training her, so when I would go to campus for class, I would have her stay in the outdoor kennel run.

I spent one particular morning preparing for class, so Darcy was hanging out with my Mom and my Nephew, H. They spent some time coloring using a fun set of four, giant crayons before H’s attention was grabbed by something else and they went to do whatever that was.

Leaving Darcy and the aforementioned giant crayons innocently unattended.

I came downstairs with my backpack, put Darcy in her kennel, and headed to campus for a few hours. Upon my return, I walked into the house to find 4 half chewed, giant crayons on the floor. “That is odd,” I thought to myself and I walked outside to the kennel to let my dog out.

Assuming Darcy was the culprit and not H, I kept a close eye on her. The next day I went about my usual and put her away in her kennel as I headed to campus, leaving my Mom with instructions to keep an eye on her.

I rushed home after my classes were finished and the first thing I saw was red. A very RED pile of poop. My first thought, rationally of course, was, “MY PUPPY IS DYING!!!…Although…She sure looks normal and quite pleased with herself. She would.”
As I got closer and had a better look at the evidence, I saw more. More color.

To my amusement, she quite literally had tie dye poo. Red, green, yellow, and blue. Very much like a shirt I probably would have worn in elementary school. I shook my head, laughed, and let her out to play. Thankfully, that was the end of that episode and I am pleased to report she has not eaten another crayon.

Brings a whole new meaning to tie dye, doesn’t it?

I sure am glad that fashion fad is over.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Keepin’ It Real

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.

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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.

Walk in love, dear readers!