Are Y’all Ready?

I know I am!

Today is going to be a good day! I just know it. For me and for you.

We also had an adventure last weekend. We hauled down the road for some fun. He loaded like a champ and worked like a champ!
It was hot, but it was fun!

We had a cold front blow in last night. All the way down here in the southern half of the great state of Texas. In late July.

What????

It must be a sign.

I know, but indeed stranger things have happened. Too bad I am not at the farm right now to ride. Although, all my horses are probably farting horse kites this morning.

I took the city dogs to go be farm dogs.
They liked it.

 

I have been dog sitting at my Aunt M’s house since I have been back from Montana. I awoke long before 6 AM and decided to just get the day rolling. That is how many a good day have started long before time (or at least long before this little space of the internet). This fine day (and yesterday too in truth) already had a different feeling in the air as I strolled down the stairs to let the dogs out. I opened the door and to my surprise felt a dry, cool breeze sneak past my face. I looked up in question and peered out into the darkness (or as dark as any backyard can be in the middle of a neighborhood, in the middle of a big city, with a pool lit up like a Christmas tree) as if I could see what I was feeling. I stepped outside and smiled as that cool air enveloped my entire being. I felt a giddiness rise inside of me.

Naturally, I had a little dance with a sideways glance from the dogs, turned on some Merle Haggard, opened all the doors, and got the coffee going. Now, I sit here writing to you. A great start to a great day, or any day for that matter.

Can not beat this with a stick.

This day however just so happens to be my Friday. Why do you ask? Well, as I promised, the adventure continues!

I am off early tomorrow morning to fly to Colorado for a long weekend with my parents! Where every morning will be cool and dry and invigorating and filled with the sounds of the Aspen leaves! And, and, and!


If you have been following along on the AHAmoments Facebook page, you have known about this trip for a couple of days and have been reliving the last time we were there. If you have not been, well, you can do that here too! I am just so nice that way!

Good Morning From The Mountains!

Wonders

Satisfaction

Just Another Mountaintop View


There is just something about the mountains that brings you closer to God. In more ways than one. But alas, more on that later. The morning is going quick like and I need to get going with it. The house is now cold (how is that a true statement???) and it is time to get ready for work.

It is going to be a great day and we are going to make it such together! It is our choice. AHAmoment.

One more work day, a packing session, and a sleep…AHAmoments is off to Colorado!

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.

 

Weary Travelers

Best laid plans, right? Long time no talk. Apologies for what is likely to be an interestingly written post.

Here is the thing. I have been sick. For DAYS. Since Monday. And not Monday as in a few days ago this week. I mean Monday as in LAST MONDAY.

You read that correctly. I was a deep voiced balloon head with mucus everywhere. That is probably too much information, but that has been my reality.

I guess I should just start at the beginning. This is probably a spoiler alert, but let me just say that we had been watching the weather and knew that we were going to get some rain coming into our ride. Now if you have seen any of the news, you might know some of what I am about to say.

But first, back to the beginning of the story. Let us not get ahead of ourselves. This was the sunset Friday night that officially kicked us off on our ride vacation. When R and Ronan arrived, we got him settled and decided to just enjoy ourselves and have dinner with my parents instead of loading all of my stuff. We put that off until Saturday morning.

The following morning of loading took longer than normal as my stuff was less organized than I have had it in the past. However, we were in no real hurry and had plenty of time.

We loaded the horses, pulled out of the farm, grabbed kolaches for breakfast from town, and hit the road to make the almost four hour first leg of the trip.

I made Lito wear all the things and he still loves me for it. Although, he did not really need any of it other than the mask since this trailer is so big. Unlike ours.

Once we arrived, we unloaded and got the horses settled before going to find a late lunch for us in town. I swear every time I take Lito somewhere he not only grows, but he loses weight.

Always with the doe eyes.

Telling me how he really feels about me making him wear all the things. He said, “I am a real horse, I do not need to wear all of this.”

The rain had already started and stopped a few times at this point, but we were no worse for wear. We were staying put till Monday anyway. Even though there was a good chance for rain on Monday, we figured we could get up and out and get there before it really started.

Lito made a bunny friend. We think she had babies hidden somewhere near by. I also believe she was sick.

One of the pretty and clear moments of the weekend. Promising and hopeful.

A moment of being tired of the rain and being stuck in the stall. That is Scooter back there.

Lito being a grumpy gandpa telling the others to quit their shenanigans. Funny that he was the youngest horse. Ronan was very upset about something out in the trees.

This was Saturday night’s sunset. It was beautiful. That is kinda when it all started to go downhill.

This is what we woke up to on Sunday morning. Ominous looking out there, but oddly peaceful at the time on top of that hill.

This is a little summary video clip from the whole weekend. It was quite fun until Monday rolled around.

We were able to take the horses down the hill to a flat area on Sunday evening to get a longe session in. They all needed it. Between all the things we were doing and the rain, fitting in an actual ride just did not happen. So, for your mental math, the horses rode in the trailer for about four hours and then were basically stuck in a stall for the rest of the time till Monday.

I had the pleasure of also longing Scooter, the blaze face bay horse in one of those pics. He was basically a horse kite.

One day, Lito may grow into his hips. His shoulders are starting to finally fill out.

Lito acted like he was fine with the whole being stuck in a stall thing. He was straight up lazy on the longe and really just wanted to graze. Grazing goes a long way so I let him.

This is when everything kinda starts to run together. Literally and figuratively. At some point Sunday night or Monday morning…or maybe some other time, I am not quite sure…It started to really rain somewhere. Here. There. Everywhere. All the creeks, streams, and rivers started to fill. Monday morning rolled around and we were not sure we were going to be able to get to our final destination for the week an hour and a half down the road. Or that we would be able to get back to where we were if we tried.

I also woke up that morning with that tell tale feeling of getting sick.

A lot happened on Monday. None of that really matters. What matters is the AHAmoments…Wait. Do not be in a hurry. Wait for data and facts from reliable sources, non opinions. Keep your emotions low and do not worry about what you can not do anything about. Difficult in this kind of situation? You bet. That is life.

The long story short. We found a window that afternoon when it was not raining, the roads were clear, and we knew we could go. So we went and got there safely. Who cares that we were later than planed.

Then it rained some more.

Then Tuesday morning rolled around. And it rained more. Everything started flooding again. The barn became a flash flood at some point after this video and the below photo.

Water, mud, muck, and shavings everywhere is the gist. I would not quite use the word disaster, but…

I stopped taking pictures and started trying to move water and get as much as we could off the ground.

When the rain finally quit, we took the horses and tied them up at the trailers for the rest of the day to do what we could to remedy the situation. Dig more trenches. Shovel out shavings. Try and get the ground to dry.

Lito’s stall got bad, but not nearly as bad as many of the others.

By the end of Tuesday we were all wet, muddy, and tired.

By the time Wednesday rolled around…I felt like…um…bad. Really bad. And decongestants make me feel even worse. I was weak and tired. And the horses had been in stalls, dry if they were lucky, for two more days at this point.

We only got to ride for a couple of hours on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday each because of the conditions. And honestly, I do not think I should have ridden more even if we could because of the way I felt. It was still pretty though.

Lito had a couple of young horse moments. One because I was honestly too weak to even mount up on Wednesday and another on Thursday when we got buzzed by a plane. He really did not like that last part.

There was more rain coming at some point Friday evening into Saturday with more possible flooding. We decided it would be best to pack up and clean up early on Friday so people could leave that afternoon or first thing in the morning on Saturday given what the beginning of the week was like.

R and I left with the horses on Saturday morning as early as we could with the rain. And it rained on us most of the way home.

Needless to say, Lito and I were happy to be back at the farm, even if we had to unload most of my stuff in the rain and wind. I was going to stay at the farm Saturday night, but I was so tired, wet, and crummy feeling. I booked it to town to stay at my parents house with my dog since she was there.

Not quite the report I wanted to give, but such is life! We made the most of it and had a good time together (even if it does not quite read that way!). We are all stronger for it. Albeit a bit tired as well, but stronger and closer.

If the rain story ended here, that would be lovely with all sunshiny roses and rainbows.

The thing is, the whole of central Texas has continued to receive buckets upon buckets of rain. All up river from the farm. It also got pretty dang cold in there somewhere setting more records, but that is secondary to the rain.

All that water is coming our way and hopefully not flooding.

I went out to the farm yesterday after work for my midweek visit and went ahead and moved the cows up into the horse pasture so they can all get to high ground just in case.

I have spent every evening since getting back on the couch in sweats, wishing I had a fire place while hacking all the crud out of my chest.

Do not even ask me about my laundry. I have not even looked at the mountain.

Go walk in love, dear readers. This gal is happy to be high and dry at the moment!

 

 

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!

Breakfast For Dinner

And other serious, important topics.

I got home from an after work chat and glass of wine at Grandparent’s house with zero plans for dinner.

Figuring I would, you know, figure that out later, I poured myself another glass of wine, opened my computer, and set to planing the last details of my vacation in France.

Feeling like it was already next week, dreamily across the pond in France, I looked up and there was no French dinner fairy and no French dinner. Sigh. What to do.

Too bad I can not have a late night croissant for dinner. Wine and croissant. I mean, when in France, right.

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Imagine that as a croissant. Honestly though, carbs…I like them, so a baguette would be nice to.

I put my computer aside and started the Texas version of breakfast for dinner. Well, half-of-the-best-Texas-breakfast-for-dinner-I-could-do-with-what-I-had anyway. Pancakes, bacon, and wine. That would have to do.

When in Texas and about to be in France, right?

I was going to write somewhat or something about such topics as serious as independence or heaven, but that was all just WAY too serious and required too much focus. Especially when dreaming about France. I have always loved breakfast for dinner anyway. Not just when dreaming about France. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.

Just your average, random Thursday night.

Back to France. I will have a short 24 hours in Paris while I am there. If you have been, what are your top things to do there? Things you would not want to miss. I need opinions!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Daily Dose Of Cute

My weekend in pictures. Enjoy!

Before the much needed little rain storm on Saturday, everyone was taking naps.

When I sit in the grass with them, Lito often comes over and stands with his head over mine. My pretty girl was not feeling her normal self, but by Sunday she seemed right as the rain. You can’t see him, but Ike is laying down in the back, on the other side of the tree. I love how they feel comfortable enough to really sleep when I am sitting there. Just get comfy there, big boy. My wing pup, never too far away and always up to something. Saturday’s sunset after Justify snagged the Triple Crown and after the rains. Too pretty for words, don’t you think?Sunday morning. My two gal pals. Just us three, hanging out under a tree.

Walk in love, dear readers!

It’s A Bird…Birthday Edition

It’s a plane…

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It’s a Cheetah!

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Wait, what? No, no, no.

Not that kind of cheetah.

This kind of Cheetah!

A birthday Cheetah!

My gal pal is 14 today. That is quite a big number considering I started riding her when she was only 4.

We have been through a lot together, and we ain’t nearly through! Name that reference! No? Uh, OK, never mind then. I guess I will just give it to you. You’re in for more, so you might as well just give it a listen. If you knew it already, I would like to be your friend.

If you do not know her story, you should give it a read here.

Her heart is seriously as big as Texas and her lungs, well, they are built to match. She has taken me everywhere and given me the best gifts.

She is special and unlike any other around. I knew it the first time I met her. She already has some gray hairs starting above her eyes and I am not sure if that makes me feel happy or melancholy.

She keeps me on my toes and I bet she will continue to do so until well into her twenties.

She is my gal pal and I would not trade her for anything. Even if she is opinionated and does not like to walk. I only wish I could ride her everyday again, preferably in a cotton field.

Walk in love, dear readers, and for your listening pleasure, I give you this…I just do not understand why people do not sing about line back duns.

 

 

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!

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!