Nowhere To Discovery

That is the way.


“The urge to run away into the wilderness and get lost, is in fact the urge to be found by nature, or yourself. It Is the embodiment of discovery.”
~The Wild In Us

 


“When I think about that sunrise that I woke up to that morning, I just feel like I got as close to nowhere as I could get, and found out that it was more of a place than anywhere I’ve been in a long time.”
~Hank Green

Not all who wander are lost, or however that saying goes.

Go get yourself out into nowhere.

Walk in love, dear readers!

 

Cold Mornings

There is nothing like a cold morning at the farm feeding horses to wake you up in the right mindset, I tell you. Even if I was running a little late and got stuck in traffic. Even if I am not all together, full on ready for winter. I probably said that last year. I probably say that every year. I am nothing if not consistent, yes?

This morning was the first real cold of the season.

So very cold, but so beautiful.

We have officially reached southish Texas winter which means blanketing the old horse and feeding everybody extra on the cold nights. And scooping lots of muck, but I will leave that part out to not spoil this idyllic image.

Last night’s sunset on the way to throw the cows a bale of hay.

This morning’s sunrise leaving the barn, before I poured myself a travel mug full of coffee for my commute into town.

I am headed back out there after work for another cold night and beautiful morning full of velvety muzzles and smokey breath. And manes and tails completely full of burrs. Let us not forget about those.

Life has been busy over here for me and I am just focusing on staying present and enjoying it all. Hence the mild silence. Fear not, for I am still here. You know, living life.

Hopefully I do not have coming reports of wearing sweatpants on my head or broken manure spreaders. If I do, you will know. It is good material. No? Alright, fine then.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Tell me how you are living in the present and enjoying it.

 

When A Texan Goes On Vacation

She eats Mexican food no less than three times in the week before like there might be a chance it won’t be there when she gets back.

You may think I am kidding, but I am not. I hope the clothes I packed still fit!

Last weekend was great with my Aunt M and Cousin W out for a visit and the whole thing went by in a haze…an African Haze of African wind and dust.

But first, can we please admire Darcy’s paw hair blowing in the wind?!

I took care of some lingering chores Saturday and riding got put on the back burner. I did hop on Cheetah for a quick minute after sunset. Lito came over for a visit.

Sunday morning was greeted by two bright, dun faces and a unique, hazy sunrise. They wait for me at the gate most mornings.

I then had a great ride on Lito before I headed back to town for the crazy week ahead.

This week has gone by in a flash. Monday and Tuesday were non stop getting work situated for my absence. By Tuesday at 1 PM I started to get this old familiar feeling. A feeling I have not felt in years.

Can you guess?

It felt like the last day of school before summer. Just without the movie watching and parties. A permanent smile was forming on my face as the end of the day approached.

The plan after work was to get my nails done and then get packed and organized so that today, all I had to do was go to the farm. You knew I had to get out here to see the horses and get my fix before I leave.

I convinced R to go with me on the nails. Then that summer time feeling was still there and one of those much needed Mexican meals was calling my name. I had to comply, I had no choice. I gave a good pitch and convinced R and a couple other friends to come with. Never a hard chore when Mexican food is involved.

After a bucket of salsa, enchiladas, and margaritas, the last thing I wanted to do was organize, clean, and pack. So…I didn’t.

Procrastinating, I am good at it.

I woke up this morning and made myself pack. And clean. And organize. It was helpful that it was raining basically all day. Everything, unfortunately, also took most of the day. Those things always take too long, so I didn’t make it out to the farm until after 4.

The whole region received quite a bit of rain and it was still raining when I pulled up. I walked out in the drizzle to see the horses after a quick survey. They seemed to be glad for break in the heat and to have the rain cleanse their coats of salt.

So, now here I am, covered in wet horse dirt and hair, happily cuddled up on the farm couch, writing to you.

All in all, a pretty good 4th of July. I always seem to have a good day on the 4th of July. Just look at this pic of me and my Lito from a 4th of July past. A little younger and a little smaller. Still my Lito.

I am leaving for France tomorrow and could not be more excited.

I do hope you will stay tuned for news from my trip! I can not wait to share it with you!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Your Daily Dose

Looking for something? Look no further. Take your pick…

Beauty.

Inspiration.

Cute.

How about this Good Friday Eve sunset?

Or this Good Friday morning trail ride on your best mare with friends?

Or a Good Friday afternoon hangout in the wildflowers?

Or a play session with a water bottle? Hey, it’s the simple things in life, remember?

Or a foggy Easter Saturday sunrise?

Easter Sunday was filled with a whole family tour. My parents are on vacation so I went to church with my Sister and her family, had lunch with my Mom’s side of the family, and had a second dessert and dinner with my Dad’s side of the family.

All of the above makes for a magical Easter weekend if you ask me.

Walk in love, dear readers, and remember the gift of this day. Hard to do on a Monday after a holiday.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/rise-set/

Compliment

I have to tell you about the greatest compliment for a girl like me.

But we will get to that in a minute.

If you want to know what I have been up to for the past I do not know how many days, please read this post from a couple of weeks ago. Just rinse and repeat that. That is the synopsis of what I have been up to. However, you can add more to the ice and broken manure spreader. Basically nobody could leave their house because there was so much ice on the roads. There was ice in places I have no idea how there could be ice.

I fixed said manure spreader (well, by me, I mean my cousin…good thing I can repeat that…) only for it to break again in the same place and on the other side for a double poo whammy! Oh well, we will try again with hopefully a more permanent repair.

I am still blaming the Canadians. Or no, wait, the Alaskans? Whoever is to blame for this crazy polar vortex winter that leaves us with several days of freezing temperatures and co-mingled wintry precipitation, I still blame them. Lovingly, of course.

When the sun finally broke and the temp rose to a balmy 37 deg F, nobody knew whether to play or nap. All the above was indeed accomplished.

All horses were supremely over the cold.

Cold sunrises sure are pretty though…even with little ice shark teeth daggers.

There was ice everywhere! I saw somewhere that the neighboring county shut down ALL roads due to the ice. That big, thick hunk of ice that I am holding there? That was a thinner piece from out of the water trough. The ground was actually frozen. I have never seen that.

Nature did its usual and wonderful thing, never ceasing to amaze. We had a calf born on the coldest night. A big calf at that.

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This curious heifer and her partner in crime seemed to stalk my every move, just waiting to be fed.

Lito had a tail feather to shake and Chance was the perfect partner.

After all that silliness, it was time for a nap in the sun in one of the few dry, ice free patches of grass.

Same relationship, just a different sized baby. They can always seem to fit themselves in any sized space to nap together.

I just love how they breathe when they are sleeping.

Anyway, enough of that ice business. We are ramping back up to normal seasonal temps. They say we will be above 70 deg F by tomorrow. Got to love Texas. I much prefer a short sleeve January.

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Now, let us get back to that compliment thing.

This past weekend, you know before all the icecapades (except it was very cold), my Mom’s Aunt, Uncle, Cousin J, and J’s daughter, R, came out the the farm. R is reportedly horse crazy and only has really ridden at summer camp. J wanted to surprise her with a horse filled weekend.

Well, what could be more fun for me? Certainly nothing. Ask and you shall receive.

We started out with R on Chance and me on Cheetah in the arena first. Then the plan being, after they got to know each other and I got a feel for her skill level, we would head out to the pastures.

I quickly discovered she could competently, and balanced, tell ol’ Chance where to go and what to do…and work him through his tests. Needless to say, we did not stay in the arena very long and went out to take a tour of the farm.

The thought occurred to me that she could likely ride my Cheetah in the arena. When we got back, I asked her if she would like to. You can guess her answer.

And you want to know what?

She rode that mare all around trotting and cantering like a pro. She a had a little bit of trouble with Cheetah’s bigger movement, but she stayed balanced and relaxed the whole time.

Y’all. I died.

Every time R would ask Cheetah to do something, she did. Go faster, she did. Rate back, she did. I taught her about the left and right lead and how to ask. She asked, and Cheetah picked each lead right up like a dang packer.

I had to make them stop and call it a day so the spell wouldn’t break.

I thought to myself, that is a dang good mare. Of course I knew this already, but seeing the looks on both of their faces…so happy and content. What dreams are made of.

Watching her ride my horse, a horse that I trained for myself, was and is the greatest compliment in the whole world. She is not all that easy of a horse to ride some days. She is quick and hot and can be quite strong. She is often not the biggest fan of walking. But I could tell that this would be good. She was quite serene and I knew she knew what was expected of her, and not just because she kept looking at me as if to make sure she was.

Then we stuffed her full of treats and braided every horse’s mane. It was like watching my nine year old self.

J, that girl needs more horse in her life!

Walk in love to share the love, dear readers!

Love Fest

You know what?

I love waking up early to feed the horses and muck out the barn. A soft nuzzle from a velvet muzzle and a warm puff of grassy breath. The sounds of content munching. It is the right way to wake up in my opinion. I get to see things like this…

Pretty, right?!

I love coming back inside and enjoying a hot cup of coffee with my dog at my feet while I watch the rest of the day wake up. A cup of coffee that I admittedly do not need after a morning like this. I am bright and awake.

This is where you find me right now. Sitting with my coffee after feeding. Except Darcy is with her cousin dogs and not at my feet.

I also love seat warmers in cars. Whoever invented those is a genius. I have not turned mine off in a very long time. So much cold!

I love wool socks. See reason above. And that we are one day closer to spring. I know, I know. Winter is much harder in other places, but man, I would venture to say that this is the coldest winter we have had in a long time.

Now I am going to tell you something else I love that you probably already knew. I love this horse! He blows me away. Sometimes I just do not know how he went from a foal to this…

Loping bareback after not being ridden in a couple weeks because of winter weather and Christmas festivities. He is such a fun and chill dude. I could really just go on and on, but the cows are mooing at me. I must go throw more hay. The joys of being the feed lady.

My last thought is this. My AHA moment. Think about what you love today and not what you think you hate. Keep that festering disease away. Life is hard enough without that.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Polar Vortex: Blame The Canadians!

Hello! Remember me?

The last time I saw the sun before the polar vortex hit. See that black heifer off in the distance by Chance’s left ear? She belongs to my neighbor. She makes my life difficult. She is a beautiful jumper. She also likes to take some of our cows where they do not belong. Every day for the past week I have had to go and get them and bring them back.

Now that I am thawing out from this week (yes, practically whole week) of frozen temperatures, I find myself itching to write to you again. Blame the Canadians and their polar vortex for my absence. I was too tired and my fingers too cold! But do not blame them too hard, I like Canadians!

How I handled actual winter for four years in college I will never know. I suppose I am far removed from it now and have reverted back to my south Texas tolerances. This week I have felt like quite a wimp given the extremes I went through in college. A Mucinex taking, hacking wimp.

Oh well. It is what it is and I am who I am. Someone who much prefers mild temps!

This is about how I spent this week…

Putting on many layers. Scooping poop. Filling extra buckets of water. Filling hay nets for the horses. Feeding horses. Feeding cows. Blanketing Apache. Scooping poop. Draining water lines. Sleeping. Night check. Feed horses. Feed cows. Scooping poop. Breaking ice. Drive an hour to work (except that day I didn’t because I kept breaking ice and feeding and scooping poop). Drive an hour back to the farm.

Rinse and repeat.

Somewhere in there I took off some layers and put them back on. Drank a bucket of coffee. Checked the temperature about a zillion times. And Apache finally got to go without his blanket after several days of wearing it.

Also somewhere in there towards the second half of the week, our manure spreader broke. That is a lot of manure to not have somewhere to put it! And. We lost hot water yesterday and still do not have any. Hopefully the hot water is restored today and it looks like the manure spreader can be easily fixed.

Could be much worse!

Today I am grateful for warmer, normal temperatures and so are the horses. Or at least they will be when the vet is finished with their annual appointment.

I am also grateful for the fact that cold winter can be quite pretty…and fun when you are a Darcy Dog…

The first clear morning. Clear and cold sunrises are some of the prettiest.

Sunrise reflections are also pretty cool.

When you finally see the sun, there is no better feeling.

Darcy loves to play with the ice out of the troughs.

If you look really closely, you can see a blanket wrapping a pipe. I point that out just for you. I had to do what I had to do.

While I could do without the frost, it is very pretty.

That is about all I have for today. That and enjoying the warmer temps!

Oh. I do have a couple more things.

Some members of my family and I are doing a Wednesday prayer and fast to pray for those in my family needing uplifting support at this time in their quest for the true desires of their hearts’. Liquid diet only on Wednesday, no alcohol (a true sacrifice for no wine Wednesday!), and praying for these people we love so dearly. I invite you, dear readers, to join me if you feel so moved. To pray for those in my family or those in yours. Anyone, anything. No worries, no pressure. As my mother said, we shall not be anxious but with prayer and thanksgiving we will let our requests be known to God…and leave it with Him. Even if you just do one day.


“when two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”
~Matt. 18:20~

Lastly, one of our own, a dear friend and dear reader, has lost her father. He has gone to be with our Lord in his ultimate heavenly home, now free of pain and suffering. Made new and whole again. Please pray for her and her family. Pray for peace and comfort. For strength and faith. I am adding her and her family to my Wednesday list.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Enjoy the warmth if you have it and if you don’t, know that it will come soon!

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.

Chasing

4 AM is about as pleasant of a time to wake up as any, right??? Right!

It would have been better to wake up that early to ride or go fishing or something as opposed to catching a flight for work. Darcy sure did not understand why we were getting up so early two days in a row or why she was then supposed to go back to sleep or why she was not going with me. I did not understand that either because how much better would work and meetings and traveling be with your dog!? But, I digress.

Monday and Tuesday were quite the days.

Two meetings, two cities, two states, three pat downs, four flights, and eight…count them all…eight Uber rides in just two days. That is a lot of travel miles and hours. I am getting tired again just thinking about it.

Yesterday had me chasing the sunset so hard that I was literally running away from the sunrise.

But, no matter how fast or how far you run, the sun will always catch up with you. AHA moment.

Might as well slow down and enjoy it, right? See and actually take in all of that which is around you.

Over the past two days I saw many things. I saw joy and unity in some because of the fine sport of baseball. I heard a girl wonder aloud to her mother if her father loved her or not. How he must love her because he bought her things. The mother did not have much to say. I got told by an Uber driver that I should have a husband. I met a nice stranger and had a lovely conversation. He reminded me of someone back home. I traveled safely.

So, yesterday morning I enjoyed my slow and delayed sunrise while flying west (well, northwest to be specific, but you get the idea) and thanked the Lord for my many blessings.


I never did see the sun actually come up!

We made our decent and landed in this lovely, cloudy scene…


Anyway, as you can imagine, I was ready for this when I was on my way home yesterday.


That and the sunrise back in Texas.

Speaking of sunrise…It is somehow the end of Wednesday. Crazy.

Trust me, this is a speaking of which.

This past weekend we had two stunning, chilly (like frost chilly!) sunrises. I spent time basking in the sun. Took many, many photos…as you will soon see. Had the first pit fires of the season. Tackled a few things on the chore list. I rode both of my getting-fuzzier-by-the-day dun horses bareback. Just relaxing, quality time rides. Focusing on nothing really in particular. Just enjoying. Feeling their warmth. A nice change of pace from being constantly on the move before our trip.

A little video with Friday’s pit fire, Lito’s Saturday ride, and Saturday’s pit fire. Make sure you have the volume up! Basically sums up the weekend. ​

 

 


Saturday sunrise.


You can always catch this guy taking a nap after breakfast. I get lucky when he is not in his dam’s stall.


Saturday’s sunset.

Sunday sunrise reflection on the western sky. The steam rising off the pond while the cows have their first big graze of the day.


I can have a second breakfast, right?


Snug as a bug in his rug.


Sunday sunrise.


Feeding the cows Sunday morning in the golden light and frosty air.

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More basking in the sun! Nothing like the sun on your back on a chilly morning.

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Back to real riding work this weekend!

What is going on in your world? What have you seen and taken in around you this week?

I hope each and every one of you are having a fine week so far!

Walk in love, dear readers!

The Dark

Who is ready for daylight savings??? I know who. This gal. Too hard to wake up and get going in the morning with it so dark for so long. It is getting cold early this year I feel like and it is time for the time to change with it.

This whole week is starting to look like it is taking on that dark theme. Just one of those not so great weeks for various extenuating circumstances beyond my control. It has left me kind of caught in the crossfire playing middle man for one reason or another. Not really even that big of a deal, but it leaves me on the outside, confused feeling like I do not belong. That it does not look right. Feel right. Throws me back, in an ‘old time feeling,’ for a bit and gets me thinking on the bigger picture of my life and what I am doing. You know, that whole vocation thing. Living a full life with purpose and intention.

Dramatic sounding, I know, thanks to my over analyzing personality. But in all seriousness, it does make me reassess and evaluate a check point. Am I supposed to be doing this? Is it time for a change? I am not sure. All of this sounds all too familiar to me, as it does to you, too, I am sure.

Naturally, I have a song cued up that seems to fit the feeling, even if not directly in context. Funny how that happens, always. One of the great things about music is the metaphors. Just like poetry. Anyway. The newly released album from the Turnpike Troubadours. The song was written by Even Felker and RC Edwards of Turnpike Troubadours and Johnny Burke. Also, very fitting album artwork.

However, I do not want to focus on that because I could not have done anything to prevent the situation and now here I am thinking. Possibly, probably, just reacting. So, I am not going to focus on it. That simple. I will focus on it later, after I sleep on it. Pray on it. Be faithful in my waiting. I will know when the time is right.

Here is what I will focus on and will share with you. Two life lessons brought to you in my AHA moments of late.

The week did start out pretty solid.

I got to watch the sun rise on my way to a meeting first thing Monday morning (you know, right before the proverbial brown stuff hit the fan, if I want to go back to drama). So much for new day dawning! Anyway, I digress. Quite the glow. Sunrise is always a good time for big picture reflections. Whether they be image or life related. Here is to the next sunrise I get to sit and see and reflect.

PSA. Do not take photos while you drive. My defense is the image was begging to be taken and I was going very slow due to traffic.

My Friday evening perspectives.

Same time. Two different perspectives/view points. Two very different sets of images. Two different horses, yes, but you get the point. I know points are not lost on you. Life is all about how you look at it. If you do not like what you are looking at, change your perspective. Change how you look at it. Change where you are standing.

I personally like all of these images, even though they have flaws, because I love what I am looking at. Who is in them. Where they are. Trademark looks on both of their faces.






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That is all for today, dear readers. Walk in love.