Universal

I have a question for y’all.

Are you ready? OK, then.

What are the universal languages of this world?

Do not think too hard now. You will think right on past the answer quicker than you could drive through a one stop light town.

Do you have an idea? I will give you a few more moments to ponder.

It is not quite as difficult as you may think.

Alright, I will tell you.

Love and laughter.

AHAmoment. Simple as that.

Everyone understands them. No matter what kind of words you speak or don’t speak. Every being gets them. Especially animals. They know them better than us. Which is why having animals in our lives makes us better humans. Better communicators.

Go walk in love and laughter, dear readers! Have a happy Friday.

 

Pops

Pops.

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Teaching me how to shoot.

That is what I call my Dad. That is now what my niece and nephew call him.

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With baby Nephew H.

When I wrote about my Mamma for Mother’s Day, I thought to myself, “words. These are just words. They do not do her justice.” Now I naturally have the same thoughts as I try to pen something in honor of my father.

 

 

 

As a Texas outdoors man with three daughters, he raised us the way he knew how. With a love and respect for the outdoors and God’s creation. We get our love of Texas and dogs from him. He taught us how to fish and hunt and how to be good stewards. To sit around the fire pit, watch the sunset, and contemplate life.

He worked his butt off for us. Honestly, I am where I am today because of everything he has done. One time when I was younger, on our way to south Texas, I asked him what exactly he does for a living. The resulting explanation and conversation lasted longer than the five hour plus drive.

His friends tell me, among many things, how he is a fine sportsman and not your average CPA. I certainly always knew the first one. That last one always makes me laugh to myself. He is a socks and Birkenstock kind of guy sometimes, even if Mamma tells him he should not wear that.

He allows us to be who we are and celebrates it. It is no wonder I march to the beat of my own drum and can seem by some respects as a walking, talking oxymoron.

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I may be a walking, talking oxymoron, and people may not quite know what to think of me at first. I can sometimes be found wearing a silly, wide brimmed straw hat with a feather stuck in he brim, fishing shirt, tall western boots, polo belt, red lipstick, and dirty finger nails all while riding in a dressage saddle. Good horsemanship, is good horsemanship, no matter what you wear, the horse you ride, or what you ride in. Just like being a good person. Thanks to @exquisiteequineapparel for this great mantra shirt. A strong foundation in the basics is what takes you places. Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. ~~~ ~#basics #foundation #horsemanship #mantra #oxymoron #walkthetalk #walkyourpath #goodperson #slow #smooth #fast #horsesofinstagram #appendixquarterhorse #quarterhorse #ranchhorse #dressage #equestrian #equestrianlifestyle #equestrianlife #equestrianapparel #horseperson #blogger #lifeblogger #ahamoment

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When I was little, he would tuck me in at night while we sang the Lord’s Prayer together. I can’t sing it any other way than the way we sang it. (Side story, Nephew H once told me I sang it wrong because it was not the way his mother sang it to him at bed time. I laughed and halfheartedly told him he sang it wrong.)

I learned how to be safe around horses from him. To love the country and agriculture. To drive and pull trailers.

More than once he took me out of school to head to the hunting lease with one of the dogs. Just the three of us. I thought that was the coolest thing.

He taught me how to fish with a top water and then proceeded to tell me that if I cast it that far out there, I would have a hard time setting the hook. I just smiled as I turned and said, “like this?!” as I hooked a big speckled trout. I can still hear him saying, “keep your rod tip up.” For years, his reward for teaching us to love fishing, we got to land every fish he caught while he untangled our crossed lines. Luckily for him, we can now catch our own fish without tangling our lines. To this day, fishing is my second most favorite thing to do next to riding horses.

On our way to church, we would drive a certain way to go over this train track on a hill because we thought it was fun. It was on top of a big hill in my memory, but it is not a very big hill at all in adult reality. Anyway, we got a kick out of it to drive really fast and bounce up and down in our seats over the tracks. We would laugh and yell. On the way home, we would stop at the filling station to get a Big Gulp. That’s a fountain Coke for all you people that do not know.

Often times, he would let me pick the route we drove home from the farm. Crisscrossing our way through the countryside on the back roads with the windows down. Just listening to music, enjoying the country, and delaying getting back to town. Then we would stop and get a chocolate cinnamon milkshake to share before we got home. We would throw the evidence away before Mom could find out. Although, I am sure she always knew.

One weekend he did laundry at least three times at the farm as my friend and I slid down the muddy slope of a hill into the pond over and over spreading wild flower seeds for him.

 

To celebrate him, we will do what we do. Have a family dinner. Listen to music. Thank the Lord while Pops says the prayer.

I know days like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can be hard for some who’s parents are no longer with us in this life. Indeed it makes it hard right now to even write these words. The thing is though, they are all still here with us in our hearts. In what they taught us. In their memories. Never far away. And you will see them again one day, in their finest form.

What is your favorite memory with the father from your life?

Walk in love, dear readers! Peace, love, and joy.

Perfect

We live in a world where everyone is striving for perfection. Everything has to be perfect. It is hard to even truly define and comprehend the word. Is there any such thing as ‘without fault’ in this human world?

I read something other day about it in fact. Something about being a perfectionist and how it makes you great. Everything about it I loved except that word. Perfect.


“Riding, like life, does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.”

 

AHAmoment. Riding and life is never perfect, but it is always wonderful, magical, and beautiful. This is one thing horses have taught me. There is always a silver lining. There is always something to be learned and something positive to take away. The beauty comes from the imperfect and how everything still forms around it. What you can make out of it. The striving for the goal, to always be better. Fault can always be found, but it is how you look at it.

To me, humans can never be perfect because we do not have the control.

If I go out to ride with the goal of making it perfect, they humble me right down and remind me that is not what it is about. They live in the moment like we should. We try so hard to control everything in our lives. However, if I go out with the goal to enjoy the ride, make it the best we can, and be better than yesterday, they give me their all and nothing can beat it. Perfect does not even come close. I can see and feel them try.

It is the same in life. Chasing perfection forces you to compare yourself to an outside standard or someone else. You will never get where you really want to be that way. The point is the path. The journey. That is what it is about. It is yours and no one else’s. Incomparable. Made and intended for you and only you. Enjoy it. Walk it. Be better than yesterday. Keep refocusing and aiming your arrow. That is where the wonder and beauty of life comes from. Not from trying to control it and make everything perfect to some made up standard.

The beauty of horses and life.

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Stir that around in your pot of thoughts for a bit. Think about it the next time you are about to use that ‘p’ word. It is pretty dang strong! I am guilty of over using it myself!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Storms.

I have always been fascinated with storms. Whenever it rains, I practically run to a window to watch, like I have never seen rain before. Or open a door to experience it. Odd for a person born and raised in a place that typically gets plenty, don’t you think? I never realized I did this until we were in the worst of the drought and, now, trying to come out of it. Fingers crossed.

I really love the feel and smell of the rain. You know how you can smell it? Especially in West Texas where you can watch the storm approaching for miles before it even gets to you. I used to love to sit in a chair at the barn, listen to the horses eat hay, and watch the storms roll in. You can smell it coming when you see the clouds and you can smell it when it starts to rain. Hard to explain, but in explaining this to someone once, I learned a new word. Petrichor. Defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “a pleasant, distinctive smell frequently accompanying the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather in certain regions” or as “the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil,” apparently coined by two Australian researchers. Have you ever smelled that before?

I also love the power in storms. It makes me feel small in this world. Feel the presence of things that are greater than I. Be a witness the change throughout and after. I always marvel at the electricity within storms, but electricity can be a crazy thing. Why, you ask? It just is, but let me tell you why, exactly. I experienced something I have never seen before in my life.

So. R came out to the farm Saturday afternoon with Ronan for a girls and horses sleepover. A new friend, J, and her horse Pepper came out as well. There were some big, fast moving storms developing throughout the afternoon and evening that we were going to have to avoid, but so long as we could ride Sunday, which looked pretty good, no one cared.

R and Ronan were able to get unloaded and settled before the storm got too bad. We ran inside to dry off and to wait for it to pass. When the rain stopped, we decided to go check on the horses. I was thinking about how I hoped J was not caught hauling in another big storm cell when the craziest thing happened.

We heard and felt it before we even saw it. The electricity. The snaps and pops. Our hair stood up on our arms. I swear our heart beats were altered. Then the sky quite literally lit up, covered in inter-fingering lighting bolts, all interconnected, right in front of our eyes. Immediately came the crack of thunder before we could even react. I practically dropped to the ground! It still boggles my mind! R and I stood there in awe for what felt like several minutes, not knowing quite what to make of it. We looked at each other and both asked the other, “DID YOU FEEL THAT?!”

Luckily, J and Pepper arrived safe and sound with zero similar experiences. When Pepper was settled, we had Mexican for dinner in town and Sunday morning greeted us in wonderful, beautiful glory. The calm change after the storm. The air was slightly cooler and drier. The sky was blue and and grass was green. The horses were great and we were all so relaxed. After we rode around the farm for a while, we stopped for a quick popsicle break (because, hello, why not) and decided to head down the road for a bit. Since the horses were all behaving well, and figured with it being Sunday traffic would be light, it would be the perfect time to have Lito’s first ride down the road. I am happy to report that he did very well! We had a couple respectful drivers pass us and he did much better than I expected. Cars are not his favorite thing. I am very proud of him and am excited about all of our adventures yet to come, so long as they do not include crazy, electric lighting.



Some shots from Friday night and Saturday because why not? God’s beauty should be shared!














I have some other exciting news to report.

T minus 5 five days before I am well on my way to the mountains for a five day vacation. Big news, I know, and I know you are jealous. At least everyone down here in the hot humid sauna. I can’t really complain though because we really have had a mild summer so far.

I will always be a Texas gal, but the mountains definitely hold a special place in my heart. They are so grand and remind me, similar to storms, how small I am. God’s presence is always big in the mountains. Especially in the summers. I have only been skiing once in my live. That was pretty cool, but it was many years ago. I think I prefer the summers. I reportedly always did if you ask my father. The cool air and warm sun. Green grass and wildflowers backed by Aspen trees. Hiking. Biking. FLY FISHING! Live music. Porch sitting/drinking/talking/reading. All the things. I will be there with my Parents, Sister K, and Bro-in-law T. If I was not so busy up until the day I leave, I would be going stir crazy!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Stay tuned next week for news from the mountain! Regularly programmed AHAmoments until then!

Go celebrate life, we all have much to celebrate!