Daily Dose Of Cute

Brace yourselves, dear readers.

I am not too sure y’all can handle this.

Really and truly I am not.

You think you can?

Are you sure?

OK, then. I did warn you.

SMOOCH!

1779710_10153889044890527_322733960_n

He got you, didn’t he? Sneak attack, I know. I bet it just made you smile though. Even if you were trying not to.

Any kiss from a Lito Man will do that, but a kiss from an awkward and gangley baby Lito will especially do it.

I just love that guy.

I have been able to wake up at the farm these last two days because of the cold snap we got. You know, feeding and blanketing and shoveling poop. My other day job. There really is nothing like seeing the horses first thing in the morning to get you going on the right foot.

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

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.

 

Daily Dose Of Cute

A little dose of cuteness for you on this fine Monday.

The ever dirty, but awfully cute Darcy Doolittle. She can brighten any day.

I am choosing to believe this Monday to be fine. I am imagining the sun shining.

No clouds. No rain. We have not seen the sun shine for more than an hour at a time in I do not even know how long. ALL WINTER like this.

Riding this weekend was a little like a slip and slide at the walk, so that is what we did. Walked around bareback and trotted where we could. One of these days, I will get some real riding in. I won’t think about how long that will be. It all makes me long for the days that I had access to an indoor arena.

It also makes me think of that Kid Rock song. And this song, for a matter of fact.

Let us go to Mexico for the rest of the season.

Dreaming of Mexico, dear readers. Is that why I have eaten an exorbitant amount of Mexican food in the past couple of weeks?

Walk in love!

 

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.

img_9448-1

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.

download

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!

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!

Winter Wonderland!

Or as close to a winter wonderland as we get down here anyway! If you know anyone in the southern half of Texas, you probably already know that we got quite the dusting of snow.

A winter wonderland of snow!
Well, at least until it melts! Hurry fast! …as you are reading this, it has melted away…
giphy

But now I am on a roll!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful and, baby, it sure is cold!
Yup, true, but is sure is purdy.

2be193759ebc78b8333e99c9428a82ff26358409a2a96c8b723e491605efcdb8tumblr_m7ue9nxcvj1rq44n4

Alright, that is enough.

It actually was not as cold as that time I had to wear sweatpants on my head. Yes, I have had to do that!

This is not the first time we have ever had snow, but it is the first time I have ever seen the farm covered in snow. It sure is magical. An early magical Christmas present, if you choose to look at it that way. Which, I do.

Man, it sure has been an interesting year as far as weather for everyone though. Hurricanes (yes, remember plural). Fires (oh my word, so many fires!!! Still!). And now this. It will be a year for the books in many ways.

Anyway, on to it…It is that time of year where I make special trips out to the farm when it gets cold to blanket my old horse and give everyone some extra feed. Have I already said that this year? I can not remember, so I told you again. It happens to everyone, right?? Yesterday, after work I quickly gathered Darcy and my things and headed out to the farm a little extra on edge knowing the chance for winter precipitation and many things to do before dark. The weather reports said there was a slight chance, but if you did get some snow, it would not stick. I did not believe it. Even still, I knew it would make for an interesting commute back into town to go to work.

Long story short, I woke up to this!

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a…abominable snow monster? No, that is just a streak of a Darcy.

She flies.

Better watch out.

Or you will miss her!

A cold Cheetah in her natural habitat.

The cutest old guy.

unnamed

I was in the office by mid morning. My mom, who is the best, met me at my office to pick up the Darcy Dog so I would not be too late.

My Pop’s, who is also the best, is on blanket and feed duty so I can go have some Christmas fun. There will be cocktails, cupcakes, ugly sweaters, and more! Do not you worry, I will tell you all about it.

Until then, dear readers, go walk in love!

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.

img_6872img_6874img_6879img_6886img_6901img_6905img_6907img_6916img_6923

 

 


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

img_6974img_6986img_6972img_6989img_6988

img_7004

img_7017img_7029

img_7043

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.






img_6658

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

Sorry, Not Sorry.

Today I am straight up giddy with the prospect of fall and winter.

Why does it seem like I only ever write about weather lately?

Anyway, slightly, or not so as established above, random, I know. And before you ask, yes, I am aware that it is not even October yet. But a girl can get excited. We are almost there.

Here is what I am ready for:

Holidays, duh. Even if this year will be hard.

Sitting around a fire wearing a sweater. I love sweaters. I love fire. Throw in a cocktail, some great music and people and you got it made.

unnamed-2

Baking and cooking and holiday cocktails and getting crafty with my family. And, and, AND!

Frosty mornings with fuzzy horses. Although, I pray not too frosty and cold. Old horses and hard winters are tough. Last winter was pretty bad.

And, dare I say. Christmas and Christmas music and Hallmark Thanksgiving and Christmas movies and Christmas decorations!!! And family time. And food. Man, we have the best Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts. My mouth is watering.

Shhhh. I know.

You are thinking that I am crazy and that we are far off from that and hey, don’t forget Thanksgiving. Nope. Not crazy, just excited for one of my favorite times of year. And I never forget about Thanksgiving. They go together. It is the season and spirit of thanks and giving.

Do not you worry, I won’t play a Christmas song now. Even if I did think about. OK fine, I am only not playing it because I can’t find a good video of it.

Sorry, not sorry. People are already starting to decorate for fall!

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

I will be riding and organizing for my trip this weekend…and dreaming of cooler weather. Interestingly enough, we will have slightly cooler weather this weekend.

Anniversaries

I love how clean everything looks and feels after rain. The air is a little drier, softer, cooler. The sun is not so oppressive. The grass appears to green up instantly. That might be my favorite part, the almost instant change in the foliage. It is amazing to me. Almost as amazing as how quickly it gets back to the way it was before, miserably HOT. The sun seemingly glaring at me, right in the face. The cool clean has evaporated since I began to pen this post, or key it, but that just does not sound as fun.

cropped-544833_10152236394125527_1185279070_n.jpg

Anyway, it gets me thinking on fall and my favorite time of year. The holidays. I know we still have many HOT days (more like weeks and closer to months, really) left ahead of us in this part of the world, but I can not help it. It means cooler evenings. Sweaters (eventually anyway). Fires in the pit. Fuzzy horses. Foggy breath. Christmas music. Food and baking. Family and friends. The season of thanks and giving. The reason for the season and this beautiful life we live here on earth with all of God’s handiwork.

It also gets me thinking on difficult things. Things of the not so distant past. Anniversaries all the same. Anniversaries typically get me thinking of happy memories. Like Weddings. Birthdays. Big occasions. But. They are not always happy things, are they? Such dichotomy within a word, no?

A happy anniversary comes up in a few days. One year since the beginning of this blog! That is pretty exciting! Something that I thought about for such a long time and coming to fruition, and sticking with it. What an amazing journey it has been so far and I have you, dear readers, to thank for it.

My nephew turns 5 (how did that happen??!!!!) at the end of this month. Very happy anniversary of his life.

September. September will be two years since we had to put our first horse, Mansebo, down. Woof. That was terribly hard. Even still. Especially as I try to mentally prepare myself, if that is even possible, for when that day comes for Apache. That is the hardest part about having animals and being their stewards, but the very most important from my eyes. BUT. September is also my Grandmother’s birthday! So, I focus on that.

Then, there is the big one. The one that has not happened yet. In November. I still do not quite know how to even say it. It feels like a bomb almost every time I do. Sometimes when I say it, I want to duck and look around. The anniversary of my Uncle’s death. Anniversary seems like the wrong word, but that is what it is. I still have moments where it just hits me. Sometimes sad. Sometimes mad. Sometimes still shocked and dumbfounded. At the time and in the moment it was just all so surreal. Like it wasn’t happening. Like it was just all one big, bad, increasingly long nightmare. It has slowly turned into reality. The new normal, as they say. That normal will evolve and change as the days and years go by. We are all changed. What it will bring in November, I do not know. But. I do know this. We will all gather and be together for Thanksgiving. Be in an attitude of thanks and giving. Focus on that. Focus on celebrating life and what we have to be grateful for. Focus on the happy memories. I am going to choose to focus on that. Yes, it will be hard, but it is our call and it is necessary. I want to remember how encouraging and faithful he was. Remember his love for the kids. My deserts I will bake for him.

But just like storms roll across the sky from here to there, the storms in our lives come and go. Both bring what comes after. The blue sky, clean air, and green grass. The Aftermath. Some storms take longer than others and some sure feel like they circle around and back up and just sit there overhead for a while, dumping buckets, but they always roll on, if you let them.

This post may seem premature to some since it is only, um, August. To me it is just a natural evolution and progression and it is what is on my mind. So I decided to share. No, it is not easy and I feel vulnerable, but it is what IT is all about.

Thank you for being here and being you. I appreciate y’all.

How many times can I say ‘it’ in a single post?

Walk in love, dear readers. Have a great Thursday!