Merle

So, I did a thing. If you have been following along on that social media thing, the pup is already out of the bag…but, if you have not been…I have some news!

 

Just when you thought I was going to share another Merle Haggard song (which I actually am because I slacked on sharing those and they are worth sharing), I am going to share a little something about Haggard’s new namesake, Merle the puppy! Likely soon to be Merle Man and Merle Dog and any other logical nickname.

 

 

So, without further adieu, I introduce to you, Merle, my new wingpup.

Naturally, that begins with where he came from. He comes from the same place Darcy’s sire, King, is from. And, King is actually one of Merle’s grand relations. This is all a full circle deal full of connections. Signs I tell you. The only difference is I did the drive this time instead of C and J.

This is his dam mamma, Nugget. I call her Nugg. You know how I am about nicknames.

A good and proud mamma she is.

After the pups were weaned, she escaped multiple times to get back to her pups. I love that about her.

This is the proud sire, Scotch. Handsome guy.

My Merle man seems to take after him.

This is a Merle pup from early on.

The cutest stinker.

He looks like a thinker.

Here is where the adventure part comes in…We flew up to North Dakota to pick him up! Almost missed our connecting flight, but we made it right before they closed the doors. And then…rented a car and drove all the way back to the great state!

If you are thinking I may or may not be crazy and that whoever would choose to come with me on such an endeavor is equally as insane…you may or may not be right! Let me tell you though, it was indeed a grand adventure and we had fun seeing parts of the country we have never seen before. On top of that, Merle is already a road tripper just like Darcy!

Friday evening in North Dakota after a tour of the kennels. Sunsets in North Dakota are pretty! It was so great to be with the people that made my Darcy girl and Merle man happen.

Bath time Saturday morning before hitting the road!

A dirty puppy is a sign of a happy, playing, outdoor puppy.

Look at all those spots under there!

The initial shotgun riding position.

The pretty Dakotas through an increasingly dirty windshield.

Driving.

The preferred shotgun riding position!

Pretty!

Posing or taking care of business?

Boop!

Driving some more.

Keep on keeping on.

Really so very pretty. All I wanted to do was ride a horse here.

The only evidence of Nebraska…A sleeping puppy.

Merle met some bikers headed to Sturgis.

By this point it was just put the pedal to the metal.

Somewhere in here was Kansas…zero photo evidence. Just trying not to speed.

The big dog in Oklahoma! He was in two different random photo shoots with random people we ran into. There were two girls in a car that screeched to a stop in the middle of the street to jump out and ask if they could pet my Merle.

There was speeding from this point on.

We are home now and playing during coffee time. Leaning what are toys and what are not toys.

He is already a brave a smart boy. Exciting times are to come!

Walk in love, dear readers, and enjoy both Merles!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Whopper

Welp. I dare say that was (well, still is) a whopper. A doozy whopper of a hurricane. I just came up with that. Just roll with it. 

(Disclaimer…blogging from your phone is difficult and annoying. Please forgive any spelling or grammatical errors.)

Words really can not describe the magnitude of devastation. EVERYWHERE. 

I had a friend ask me if I or my parents had ever seen anything like this. My response? My grandparents haven’t ever seen or heard of anything like this. And my family has been in this area for a long time. 

It will take me a little while on this one to gather my thoughts and put them into words. To be honest, I am not even sure if I can. I will try though, not just for me, but for my people, my city, my region, my state. Please know that me and my animals and my people are all well. We are safe and on the right side of the worst of it. We have been blessed and I am more sure than ever that God provides. And He is here. Always. I so appreciate all of the comments and messages from you, my dear readers. It means the world to me. 

I apologize for being MIA since my last post. That was not my intention, but in circumstances such as these, your prioraties change pretty quick. 

I hope you are all well. I do not even remember the last time we spoke. That is how long this storm, horrible Harvey, has been going on. 

There is much work to be done now, but until then, please enjoy our aftermath of the storm. 


I needed that cocktail! 





Because everyone loves Tuner kisses…








Looking forward to all the new growth. 

Walk in love, dear readers. 

Daily Dose Of Cute.

Do you know what day it is?

Monday. Ha! You’ve got jokes, huh? You’re funny. Yes, it is Monday, but it is also Darcy’s 4th birthday!

My how time flies. I can not imagine my life without this girl. She brings so much love, light, and positivity in to my life. If you don’t know her story, well, click here.

Enjoy today’s special edition of DDOC.

Go have a great and happy Monday!

Walk in love, dear readers!

It Is That Time Of Day

…or was, as it were.

Sunrise. My favorite time of day. If you have not deduced that little factoid about me yet. It is. It is just my favorite time of day. Everything is new, fresh, and innocent. Dynamic and colorful. An event you can count on every day. For me, I am always struck by the blessing. The blessing to have a new day as a gift. A fresh start. To do what makes my heart smile. To begin a new day in the best way possible viewing God’s painting. It certainly did not hurt that I got to see all of the horses right before I had to load up in my car and head to town for work. Nothing like country morning air laced with the smell of horse. I started out the day seeing the positive. The beautiful. The light. These shots were taken by the front gate as I was leaving. 

I usually take her with me, but I left Darcy in town for the night because I was not going to get to the farm till late just to turn around and come right back. Barely enough time to do what needs doing, but it needed doing. Anyway, dogs always amaze me. I left her at my parents’ house in the care of my dad while she looked at me with confusion and sadness and came back to her happy face and wagging tail, seemingly asking where I had been. All perceived sadness and confusion gone as if it were not there in the first place. Today I came to pick her up after work and there she was, all smiles and ready to go. Are we going? Yes, we are going!

On Sunday, when I got back from my girls riding weekend, we had a much needed, grass growing rain. I got everything unloaded and the trailer cleaned out and parked before I took care of a couple of things. I cooked burgers for a late lunch with my parents while they worked on some chores themselves. They had been working all morning. Just as we sat to eat the sky opened up. It didn’t last terribly long, but the drops were big and plentiful. You know the kind. The kind that drenches everything before you realize it’s raining. 


This weekend was much needed. I can’t say that I necessarily rested, but it was relaxing and I was able to forget my anxieties and all the balls floating in the air. There were 5 of us. We ate. We drank. We rode. We talked. We were leisurely and relaxed. We lounged by the pool. Rain was promised all weekend and we did not get any. We saw stunning sunsets set in thunderclouds illuminaded by lightning and serenaded by distant rolling thunder. Everyone was able to get home safe before the rain on Sunday. 

My Cheetah girl was her usual, saucy self, but settled nicely once we got riding. We both needed that weekend. 



Lito and I are proceeding with our hand walking regimen. It started out a little dicey, but today he was much better. But let us be honest, he is still easier than probably most other 4 year olds. After our walk, I let him graze for a little but while I enjoyed the shade and the sounds around me. Let us all marvel how he has not rubbed his mane out while being penned up!


All of this to say, I’m chugging along over here, juggling all the balls and doing all the things. Soon enough, life will settle back down and get back to ‘normal.’ Whatever normal is. Just less balls in the air I guess! Here is hoping I will be in my townhouse by the beginning of next week. 

I miss you, my dear readers, and can not wait to get back to talking with you more! 

Until then, walk in love. 

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?

 

It is December, y’all.

I know, I am such a Sherlock Holmes.

I started decorating for Christmas yesterday after work. I put on my Spotify Christmas playlist entitled ‘The Reason For the Season.’ It all really lifted my spirits and today is a new day!

For a new influx of happy/fun/positive on this Thursday, I have for you some of my past years animal Christmas photos! It is December 1st after all. I will take some new ones soon. This is to prep you. I know you are just too excited. If you are well behaved, I might rustle up some old Christmas photos of us sisters all in matching outfits…that is a real hoot.

Have you ever taken funny Christmas photos??? Share them with me!

Walk in love, dear readers.

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The first year I made everyone do it. Look at Apache’s face! He was wishing he was not retired so he could buck me off.
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Darcy’s first Christmas photo.

Darcy is a good sport.

Look what I made baby Lito man do. Maybe not such a baby. This was last year when he was 2.5+ yo. Yes, those are jingle bells. He is a good boy. I am mean.

 

Darcy

*This post has been edited to keep up with the times.*
In loving memory of my Darcy girl.
Darcy’s story is truly a special one. At least to me anyway, and not just because she was the absolute best dog on the face of the earth. A dog of a lifetime.
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It begins with a ‘long story short’ kind of deal. I was ready for a dog. I was wrapping up my first year of grad school. If you have put two and two together, you have gathered that at this point (I suppose that is dependent on my story telling skills, which are not that great, but let us not focus on that at the present moment) I have 2 horses and am in grad school. Perfect timing for a puppy! I would not recommend it for most people. I arranged a deal with my eldest sister to get a female puppy from a litter sired by her Irish Field Setter (because I love her dog) as her stud fee. She was to give the pup to me. Here comes the long story short part. The litter did not make.
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My sister’s Irish Field Setter.

It was August at this point. I was pretty upset. I broke a cardinal rule and had already bought a collar with a name plate. What did this mean? Do I not get one? Do I try to find one? If I was going to get a puppy, now was the time. I would have plenty of time to train a puppy while in school before I had to join the full time adult world. I needed to either get one now or wait till I was settled in a job. I am not one for waiting once I get my mind set on something if you have not figured that out yet. I decided to ask and look around. If I found a puppy that somehow was available and filled the necessary qualifications, I would THINK about getting it.

My chances were next to none. Most field bred, bird dog litters are only bred when the breeders know a full litter is committed for. I decided not loose heart and began my search for a Llewellin Setter (basically a specific line of field bred English Setter) which is what I really wanted in the first place. I grew up with English Setters and they are easier to find than the Irish.

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My childhood English Setter.
One thing led to another and I got in touch with the owner of a stud dog in Minnesota that sired a litter with a few puppies still available. She put me through a little bit of an interrogation until she heard my story and figured out I was not making an impulse decision. She deemed me worthy enough to get me in touch with the owner of the dam…in Michigan. That is really far from Texas, but I figured it was worth a call. If anything, they might be able to recommend me to someone in a more reasonable location.
I called him on a Sunday on my way home from the farm. We talked for almost the whole hour drive. It was great. I had a feeling. I had a feeling about the dogs. I had a feeling about him. I had a feeling about the owner of the stud dog. It all just seemed right. I needed this puppy that was not even born yet, but I could not let my feelings get away from me. I had to be logical and practical. Despite my ‘feelings,’ I had never met either of these dogs. I had always intended to get a dog from down here that was used to the climate. Anyway, How does one get a puppy from all the way up there to all the way down here without spending more than the cost of the puppy???
The next day I called him back and expressed my concerns. Now, here is where it gets really good. He tells me that it is really no big deal. He just so happens to be driving right by the stud dog owner’s house right when the pups would be 7 weeks old (which would be within the week before my birthday). He already spoke with her and she just so happened to be driving all the way down to Ft. Worth that very next day he was driving by and would be happy to bring the puppy along for the ride. He said not to worry about it, they would work it out to ensure the pup had a good home with me. How crazy is that?! It was fate. I agreed to drop my down payment in the mail that day.
Fast forward to the beginning of October and my mother and I drove up to Ft. Worth to pick up my Darcy girl. I chose a ‘D’ name after Darcy’s mother, Daisy. Darcy came from Pride & Prejudice because I am obsessed with Jane Austen and that particular novel. With Darcy cuddled in my arms, my mother and I checked into a fun hotel for the evening. Middle sister came to meet the puppy and spend the night as she lives in the vicinity of the Metroplex. We had a grand time with takeout for dinner and right before bed, I look over at my bag and what do I see? Darcy is curled up in a ball IN my bag, looking at me. It was at that moment I KNEW I made the right decision. I had found the sidekick I had been waiting for.
The first weekend home together we loaded up and went to the farm. She learned everything from riding in the back of the pick up to being around the horses to drinking out of a water trough. The rest really is history, as they say.
She was at my side ever since. I took her everywhere I could. In the last weeks of her life, after getting diagnosed with cancer, I took her to work with me every day. She had a huge personality and was extremely expressive. She hung out at the barn with me and went with me on all my rides. She was my farm buddy and was so so good at it. I would not have changed a single thing about her.
I am forever grateful and I feel so blessed to have had her in my life, even if it was only for less than six years.
I hope y’all liked Darcy’s story. Do any of you have wingpups that do with you what you like to do?
Lead with love, dear readers!