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.

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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!

 

 

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!

 

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?

 

Sweatpants on my head?

I am sure you all know by now, it is COLD. Before we get into that, here is your dose of happy for today. I was able to snap these pics before the cold came. I had a very hard time keeping that hat on in 20 mph+ winds. Merry Christmas from Petunia the donkey! She seemed to like being a Christmas donkey. I was also able to fit in a short ride on Cheetah when the wind was not as bad. I am working on a plan to get me riding more. It is still in progress.

Darcy was a happy pup this weekend. Look at that smile!

The blistery cold for us started late, late Saturday night/Sunday morning. It was almost 80 deg. F. when I went to sleep Saturday evening. I woke up in the middle of the night to blanket Apache and throw extra hay for everyone to stay warm. I woke up this morning to 28 deg. and 19 deg. wind chill. Darcy’s new favorite game is to play with the broken ice from the water troughs. I will let your mind go with that one as it was too dark to get any photos…and this Texas gal felt like she was going to loose her fingers!

I also forgot to pack real winter things. You know, like a beanie and scarf, for starters. Not sure what I was thinking. Clearly I was not. It got cold and I needed to do something, so I took the pair of sweatpants that thankfully I did pack, put them on my head, and wrapped the legs around my chin and neck. I will pause for a laughing break…no, I do not take selfies…finished yet?…how about now? It worked quite well and the horses do not care when I look like a loon. Have you ever had to improvise like that?

Anyway, I told a friend about my packing flaws and she laughed as she told me she did not think I would do something like that. Out of character for someone as ‘organized’ as me. It reminded me, out of the blue, of this story.

My brother in law…brother in law B (eldest sister’s husband) is a man of many talents. One of those many talents is building fishing rods. I am not talking your average, every day rod. These are beautiful, extremely light pieces of art that have extreme feel and technical precision.

When I graduated from undergrad, my father gave me one of his rods as a gift. It had my school’s colors and symbol on it. I loved it and could not wait to wet a line. My first chance to try it out was on a family trip to the place where we grew up fishing. The first night we fished under the lights off the dock. We caught and released several little trout before I finally caught a nice sized keeper. Bubbling with happiness, I all but bounced down the dock to store the fish in the cooler on our boat. This is where it gets…interesting. As I was stepping onto the boat, the fish lurched in my hand and caused me to throw my rod carrying hand out for balance. Just as I did, I smacked the tip of the rod on the t-top of the boat and broke it in two. It still hurts my feelings to think about it! By admonition, I almost began crying.

A little while after, I was catching up with a friend from school. I told him the whole story, in riveting detail and that I was still upset about it. I am sure you can imagine it. When I was finished, he turned to me and told me that he was happy to hear that things like that happen to a person like me.

What does that even mean? A person like me? He went on to explain how he actually thought that ‘things like that’ did not happen to ‘people like me’ that ‘have everything together.’ Like I do not have hard times. Protected by some mythical force. I always thought he knew me better than that! I am apparently not as open of a book as I thought.

Everyone has their own trials and tribulations (me included! Just read back!). Stuff happens. Big and small. To everyone. AHAmoment. No matter who you are, where you are from, or what it looks like on the outside. It just goes to show you how our subconscious tries to make people think that we have everything together on the outside and that everything goes the way we planned. Everyone gets wrenches in their plans! Fear of judgement. Our focus is on the wrong thing! It is the same on social media, but that is another story for another day. It is not our place to judge. Only one has that right.

Until next time, walk in love, dear readers.

Stay tuned for Christmas baking and cooking! It is going to be a busy week!

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.