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.

The Season

Time seems to travel faster this time of year, don’t you think? I mean, Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK. How did that happen?! It has snuck up on me as I am sure it has everyone. For more than one reason.

And now, it is already Tuesday. It still feels like Monday.

Anyway, I am sitting here with my coffee, as I do, you know, reflecting.

Surprisingly enough, wishing it was still Monday. I made a quick trip out to the farm yesterday after work since I did not go out this weekend. At this time of year, I get barely an hour out there with the early sunset, but it is enough to get my fix to get me through the rest of the week.

I did have a great time with my sister and her husband this weekend. It was incredibly relaxing and indulgent. She is having a holiday party next month that we are both getting excited for. It got us both in the spirit. We even made peppermint ice cream from scratch.

When I got home on Sunday, I baked two batches of cookies while drinking coffee with cinnamon and nutmeg. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Chocolate chip oatmeal with pecans and coconut and while chocolate macadamia nut. I owe my farrier a lot of cookies because he is great. I am going to bake my mother’s pumpkin bread this evening for gifts. I just love this time of year!

It all got me thinking how blessed we all are. That we are here and awake this morning. That I got to go up there to visit and stay the weekend. For the quality time with my sister. That I got to see the sunset and love on the horses, however quick. That I have a dog I can take everywhere with me and that she got to have her run time at the farm. That I have a good car to get me where I am going and get me home safe.

That is what this time of year, the holiday season, is all about. Seeing and feeling your many blessings. Being grateful and thankful for them. Doing things for others. That and The Reason for The Season. Giving God the glory. Doing your best to carry that attitude through the rest of the year.

Walk in love, dear readers.

All Is Well


All is well that ends well.

Isn’t that what they say? Who, I don’t know, but people do! My mamma does. And it is true.

Some people also say…


Everything will be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end. 

That one actually comes from John Lennon. Also true.

Speaking of John Lennon…not my usual musical style. Stop spreading the hate, y’all. Everywhere I turn, from all sides, that is what I see. And this isn’t even about politics.

That is all.

Oh, and these…To keep it positive and happy and full of love. Y’all.

The cutest two on the earth. 

This one. He’s got game.

My cousin came out for a quick 12 hours. We fit a ride in before she had to leave. Great weather, great company, and great horses.

I watched a friend’s dogs this weekend. Beau and Petunia loved each other.

And, well, you know I wouldn’t let you go without the sunset…


Too much? Again, sorry not sorry!

Walk in love, dear readers, and have a great Monday!

 

 

Glorious

Would you like something glorious for this Monday? Of course you do. Who wouldn’t?

Well this weekend…well, you know what I did this weekend.

Saturday I caught the end of the sunset after going all day.


Then Sunday, my ever optimistic boy was sure there was something left just for him.

​He always follows me when I go to feed Apache. Apache requires copious amounts of feed to keep him going, but that is not the point. The point is he always follows me, hopeful for a morsel. The others just stare at me, knowing it is not for them. Lito however, has not given up hope.

Petunia is the same way. Always trying to get to Apache’s feed. Hopeful that one day the buckets will not be secured well enough, just out of her reach. Or that she will somehow be taller.

Well, yesterday was both of their days. There was a tiny little bit left in that bag for my Lito man, despite the fact that he almost dumped me in the pond on Saturday. And Petunia somehow managed to lower one of Apache’s buckets just enough to stuff her face with some of his feed. Unfortunately for her, I had to put it back up and Petunia proof it.

Don’t give up hope, dear readers. AHAmoment. Be like Lito and Tuners. Keep searching. Keep seeking. Keep knocking. Keep praying. What you truly desire takes work. That is how you get it and what makes it all worth it.

Walk in love!

Sunday Blues. 

You know how on Sundays when you start to feel that sad feeling brought on by the end of the weekend and the start of the week? Do you get it too? Sometimes, no matter how hard you try or how much you love what you do, it just creeps up on you. My mom calls it the Sunday Blues. My cousins call it the Sunday Scaries. I have friends that call it the Sunday Funk. 

It creeped up on me yesterday, and I was quite surprised by it. We have been really busy at work which is a really good thing. It makes the day to day more exciting. It makes the state of the oil and gas indistry more ‘comfortable.’ The weekend was pretty good. I did get out to the farm to ride Cheetah. We took a couple short loops around the pond because we were on a short time frame. Some is better than none! We got a lot of rain and Darcy and I took a nap listening to the pitter patter against the window. There was movie watching. I was refreshed. 

Maybe it was because I could only get one quick ride in on Cheetah. 


Maybe it was my list of things at work. 

Even my Darcy girl was feeling it yesterday. 


Despite the blues, it was a pretty dang good Monday. What are your best ways to combat the Sunday Blues/Scaries/Funk?

Walk in love, dear readers! 

I hope each and every one of you has a great week, free of any more blues. 

I am having dinner with one set of grandparents and lunch with another set this week. Good for the soul. 

Country Bound

As most of you know, I spend at least a few hours out in the country every weekend. There are many reasons for this, but it is mainly because, well, I need it. My soul needs it. It is where I feel most at home. Where I want to end up one day.

Thanks to Brent Cobb for posting this on his YouTube, for recording it, and to his Dad and Uncle for writing it.

This may be a dramatic statement to some, but this song is how I feel sometimes. Maybe more than just sometimes. Also, the whole John Denver combined with Robert Ellis vibe? Wow. I almost can not handle it.

It is necessary for me to unplug and get away. If I do not do this, I lose my sight and focus. I get anxious. What is it that they say? Lose the forest for the trees? Or the sun for the rays? I do not know why I am this way, I just am. Sometimes, I need it more than just once a week.

At the end of last week, I was struggling to get anything finished. You know when that happens? You have a lot to do and you find yourself just staring at it? Like hello, get going, move it! This happens to me more and more it seems. AHAmoment. This just occurred to me. I might start giving myself deadlines. Anyway, that is a story for another day. I was more than ready to get out of town and recharge.

The point is, when I do, I am able to see, hear, feel, and truly experience things like this. For what it is. In vivid detail. This is why I need it. My horses are also there. My family is often there. And there is that whole side benefit of, hey all I have to do is get through this week and I get to go to the farm! Oh, am I not supposed to admit that? Oh well. I want to eventually be able to have that every day.

I was walking back from the barn with Niece and Nephew after going to see the horses. I looked up and was amazed watching them walk through the grass off into the sunset. Completely in the moment. There is nothing better for them than this.

Sitting by the pong with my sister, her family, and some friends. Watching the sunset and the boys fish. Sunsets are so spiritual to me. Each moment both different and sacred.

I snapped these of my Bro in law. Fishing is his number one passion, like horses are for me.

A quick video of me riding the best baby horse of all time. Kids, do not video while you ride. Right after this, I dropped my phone. It still works though!

Cuddle time with my main mare.

For all you people with the Monday feels…this is truth. I found this on a friend’s Facebook page. Truth it may be, it can still be hard!

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Great family dinner last night that was good for the soul.

Walk in love, dear readers. Go kick butt today!

 

These Days & Those Days

Watching the super bowl made me think of how much has changed in this world and what

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My favorite part I think!

life is like these days. How many years ago was it that you had to wait weeks for mail or news to cross the country and that was your only communication outside of the odd telegram? No smart phone always at an arm’s reach. Can you really imagine that in this day and age of social media?

Being 28, I never got to experience any semblance of that, but it sure does sound lovely. Idyllic even. To be truly disconnected and actually experience what is in front of you. I remember when the internet became a basic household staple. Dial up, yes, but still. Instant messaging on AOL. I got my first cell phone before I even turned 16, which was after most of my friends got cell phones.

Now, all you have to do is open your phone and your immediate thoughts can be seen by everyone, whether or not you sleep on it. More people should sleep on their thoughts. To me, it is a scary thing to think…and to witness. That is another story for another day, I digress. back to the super bowl. The game was barely even over when they switched screens to talk about what everyone was saying about it on various social networks! Who cares! Let us hear what the players and coaches have to say in the moment! It really took away from the experience.

Anyway, on to other things.Yesterday was one of those days. Both literally and metaphorically cloudy. The low, flat winter kind that makes you long for the summer sun to take away the ‘seasonal affective disorder.’ I do not actually have SAD, it just feels that way sometimes when I am being melodramatic.

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Those eyes. This is what it looks like when you are frustrated with the weather tampering with your plans.

Why was I being melodramatic? It rained basically all Sunday morning. The one moment that I had the audacity to think I could fit in a ride before going home, the sky unleashed the real precipitation and made the ground slick as oil. Weather man, you mentioned nothing like this, by the way.

I spent Saturday morning doing chores because it was unexpectedly cold. I rode Cheetah Saturday afternoon which was, interesting. It was not the best ride in the world. Read this as the nut of the issue. At one point I had to dismount and lunge her by the reins so she could find her brain. Apparently we were both in a mood this weekend. Let us just be honest here. I really wanted to erase that ride with a better one Sunday morning. It just was not going to happen. Insert frustrated, annoyed me. Oh well, tomorrow is a new day, as they say.

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My Lito could tell I was not my normal self and was extra attentive to me. I love him for that. Animals are great that way.

I will do a happy dance when the time changes back!

I got home and the sun was SHINING with no signs of past rain. Just an hour drive away. Naturally, I made brownies. The best brownies, seriously. I added a little strong brewed coffee, some coffee grounds, and cinnamon…and a little simple cream cheese frosting to top it off…oops. That made me feel a little better. Go make them. Pawning them off at the office today.

Post cleaning up my baking mess, there was going to be no cooking or cleaning for dinner. Insert the cheese tray. How I love thee. Winning as an adult. It was good game watching food.

What did y’all think of the game?

That is all for today. Clearly still random. Make it a great Monday, I am going to try to!

Walk in love, dear readers!

 

Love Fest

Forgive me for this. I am just going to have to brag on my horse here for a bit. An absolute love fest.

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Fire with Pops Friday night with great music buy Jason Eady and Courtney Patton.

Saturday, we had the best day! We went on a road trail ride with some friends. Something we do a few times a year and something she typically tolerates for me. She also commonly makes sure I know that she is doing it for me and she would rather be doing something else. Like riding by ourselves out in the middle of nowhere. That is also my jam, but the middle of nowhere is harder to find and it is nice to socialize sometimes.

She was amazing and really seemed to have a good time. Seriously. Ears pricked and licking her lips the whole time. Not overly mareish, pinning her ears and telling others what to do. She was also very outwardly loving and affectionate. In public. Ha! It was more than the great weather. It was more than the great company (It was so wonderful to be with some of my best friends doing what we all love to do. Laughter. Fellowship. Good for the soul). It was more than her being on her best behavior. It is hard to explain. Part of the wonder of horses. We both had a great time. I just love her and she loves me. Love fest. That is all I know. I know it sounds funny and a little out there, but if you have animals you know what I mean.

My good friend, H, and her mare, Chica, were there. Chica Rey did not get the ears pricked memo.

My other really good friend, R, was there with the gelding she rides, Ronan. We have a mutual affection for horses and Baker plaid.

My Cheetah girl and I have come a long way together and I would not have her or our journey any other way. I am so blessed to have her in my life and I know without a doubt that she was put in my life for a reason. I am also blessed and grateful to have my friends. It is special to do what I like to with like minded people.

I am excited for what we have planned for the year.

Do you have friends that like to do what you like to do?

I hope you all had a great weekend and an even better week.

Go shine your light!

Walk in love, dear readers.

On My Mind.

Now that I have had a chance to thaw out from the crazy Texas freeze, here are a few things on my mind. We are covering all the topics in my AHAmoments. Mostly, things I am grateful for all wrapped up in a weekend recap.

First. My Darcy dog that keeps my spot on the bed warm while I get ready for bed. Just look at that Llew-ball.

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Second. Do not forget to thank the people that make your dream work and be grateful for them. For me, being a horse person, my veterinarian and farrier are two of the many keys to what I do. My form of thank you is baked goods. Usually of the cookie variety.

I am blessed to have them on my team because they work with me and my situation. The vet came out on Friday to give all the horses their annual checkups. As I mentioned before, it turned out to be the worst weather as always. It was worse than expected and that is why I do not have any pictures of said visit. 3/5 horses he wanted to float. Given that water is involved in floating a horses teeth, the temperature did not get above freezing, Apache’s advanced age, and that he had some sensitive situations he was monitoring on other farms, we decided that Friday was not the best day for it. He said he would do whatever he needed to do to get the three horses’ teeth floated soon however it worked for me, even if I could not be there, which included not charging me an extra trip charge. I am just so appreciative that they both work with me and our needs. If I had it my way, I would be there every time they came out.

Third. Fire. Confession, I am a slight pyromaniac. I also just really love a good pit fire. Saturday, the wind finally quit blowing in a hurry and the conditions were perfect for fire sitting, even if it was in the 30’s and going down. All the animals were warm and fed. I had the feed trailer loaded and ready for the following morning. I had just pulled a lemon blueberry cake breakfast bread (go make that now and add more blueberries to the bread and more powdered sugar to the glaze) out of the oven. The sky was clear and the fire glorious.

Which brings me to my next point. Four. Music. Good and great music comes in all different forms. On Saturday evening with fire and cocktail, these two songs really spoke to me. I hope they speak to you too. Have an open mind and a listen.

Thanks to No Justice – Topic on YouTube for the vid.

Thanks to the man himself, Corey Smith, and his YouTube for the vid.

Fifth. You guessed it. This farm and my horses in which I see God’s unending blessings, beauty, and grace. They clear my mind and vision and carry my troubles away. Not to mention all the great paintings!

Sixth and final for the day. The great Texas weather. What? Yes, you heard that. Great. It may be crazy at times, and yes it was really, really cold. However, as quick as it gets bad, it gets good. Saturday, albeit a weee bit cold, was down right gorgeous. By Sunday, it was perfect riding weather.

Today I am grateful for the above great music to dance in love my way through work, dear readers.

If you had to pick five things you are grateful for today, what would they be?

 

Donde esta el sol?

Winter. What is this winter? Tap, tap. Is thing thing on? OK. I know everyone who has ‘real winters’ is rolling their eyes at me as we do not have ‘real winters’ here compared to everyone else. It is also a dull subject because everyone is talking about it. It is just that I am always surprised at myself that I get…surprised when the seasons change…like they do not change every year. It is an interesting conundrum. I also have not seen the sun in DAYS.

I have to tell you though, it was down right cold this past Thursday to Sunday morning. An odd mix of humidity, low temps, solid cloud cover, and wind. A down to the bones cold. We will be lucky if we get any sun in the near future. The horses were feeling it too. They practically never left the barn. I spent two or 3 times as much time mucking than normal. When I was younger, I would have been riding in it, no matter what. What has happened to me? Why is it hard to do? This is one of the most frustrating things in my life right now.

I round penned or lunged everyone on Saturday after I finished a myriad of stacked up chores and my various feed store runs. (Does anyone else have to go to multiple feed stores this time of year to get everything you need???) Also, I spent probably 2 hrs de-burring everyone’s manes and tails. Too bad I do not get paid by the bur. Their bur game is on point.

At least the wind stopped Sunday and it got a little warmer. Here is the real news: I FINALLY RODE! Sorry, was I yelling? I am not really sorry. I hopped on my Cheetah girl for a great bareback ride on Sunday morning. I did not want to waste time on grooming and tacking. She is the best even when my riding is less than stellar, which at the present moment it feels that way. I focused mostly on my seat and position the whole time and staying out of her way. It is hard to do much else when my ridding is so sporadic. Relaxation and consistency is all I can ask of her. Nothing fancy or complicated.

This whole not riding thing is messing me up, both mentally and physically. At least I still get to see them at least once a week. I am hoping that I can get some more ride time over Christmas and haul to some places. I would also like to get to a couple clinics after the new year. I would like to also include some shows in that list, but Lito is just not ready for that. I have not ridden him enough. It hurts my heart a little to admit that. I am going to have to sit down and get a schedule going to get people out there with me so I can ride him and not be alone. I know I have said that before here, but it just has not happened yet. Between work, holidays, family obligations, and my Uncle, it just has not happened. I am going to make it happen. I have to.

We did have three new calves this week. One was born Sunday morning. I watched her labor from a far. New life. It is amazing to me how they just know what to do. Nature is such a beautiful thing. AHA moment.

Anyway, that is my weekend recap. I am sorry for the ramble. The pre-work Monday blues were strong this morning. I would rather be riding, but I also have to pay the bills. I hope all of you got to do what makes your heart’s smile in this wintery weather.

If you did not get to do what makes your heart smile, let these doe eyes warm your heart. The slay me.

Stay tuned for my next blog hop! We are talking off the track Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse pedigrees! It is going to get interesting. I know I am a little late to this one, but I still like it and want to keep it going.

Walk in love, dear readers.