Change

“After all these years I find it strange how much time it takes to keep things the same”
~Eric Middleton & Adam Hood

Have you ever thought about how much time we spend trying to keep things from changing? Really and truly thought about it? I bet it is more than you would want to admit.

As a historically more than moderate change averse person, I know I have spent quite a bit of time trying to keep things the same. I do not even realize I am doing it most of the time. I have worked hard and am admittedly still working hard (always will probably) to not stand in the way of change and worked to accept its roll in my journey.

The thing about it is, life is about change. I have heard it said, “if you are not changing, you are dying.” I think there is a lot of truth to that statement. As much as we what everything to stay the same, change is the natural progression of our lives. The world is constantly changing whether we like it or not. We can stand there and let the world pass us by, or we can walk our path here and let the chips fall where they may. The choice is ours. Have the faith to trust that it is all worked out.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Positivity

Focus on the positive.

That is something I always say, even when it is hard to do. I know you have been waiting for the rest of the story.

But let me go back a little first.

…to when Lito would not load in the trailer to come home. Complete with GIFs. Because GIFs make everything better.

We had just wrapped up a great clinic experience and I decided to go ahead and load up to head home before the last lesson. An hour and a half haul back to the farm to unload and then another hour’s drive home makes for a long Sunday and an early Monday. I loaded all of our stuff and got Lito ready.

As we were walking to the trailer, the evening barn help arrived and started feeding all the barn horses early.

Cough.

Me:

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Lito:

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What I should have done in hindsight was just turn around, put him back in the stall, given him some feed, and then loaded when everyone was finished.

Gotta love that hindsight.

However, being the dull minded human I am, I continued forth with the plan. He will load just fine, I thought to myself as he kept trying to look back at all the happy barn horses being fed.

Nope.

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I could belabor the specifics, but that would go on and on just like that fateful evening. I also do not want to focus on that negativity.

Long story short, it is a good thing the clinician, Mark, was spending the night there and not hauling out. He eventually stepped in to help get him loaded. It was a long night that had us unloading at 9:30. I am so grateful for trailer lights.

I think the long weekend combined with the feeding fiasco just all added up. We also had a little bit of drama before we loaded up to go to the clinic, but he loaded just fine to go so who knows.

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The positive in all of this was he unloaded like a champ. I opened the door. He looked at me and stood stock still. I stroked his neck and softly whispered in his ear as I untied and gathered the lead in my other hand. When we were both ready, I asked him to back out and he slowly, calmly backed out and off the trailer.

I left him alone for the week and forced myself to focus on the positive. He did really, really well besides the loading. Tomorrow is a new day and we will just go back to practicing trailer loading the next weekend. If he has an issue with it, we will cross that bridge if and when we get there.

Fast forward to this weekend. We crossed that bridge. Or rather, we are on it. We will see with time if we have crossed it.

I was sure he would just load like he always has in the past and that last weekend was a fluke. Just walk right on. Well. That was not the case. It was almost a repeat of last Sunday!

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Was it all pretty? No. But neither was last Sunday. Sometimes you just have to work through the ugly and the suck to get to the other side.

And we did just that. We worked through it.

I also had to have an open mind about it. Horses are good at making us do that.

During the more ugly parts, I kept thinking to myself. He’s locked up and he’s stuck. I don’t know why, but he is. I should put another horse in there. But there was also this old thinking part of myself that thought no, that’s cheating. He needs to get his butt in that trailer.

At that point I stopped myself. Wrong attitude. We walked away, I tied Lito up, and went to grab Cheetah. I loaded her in the first stall and closed the divider.

After just a few minutes, with Cheetah standing calmly in there letting him know there was nothing wrong, he loaded and went all the way to the front of the second stall.

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I loaded and unloaded him several times. Then I loaded and locked him in there several times. Then I loaded, tied, and locked him in there several times.

Then I took Cheetah out and tied her to the side of the trailer and repeated the process. Each time he walked calmly right on.

Then I took Cheetah and tied her somewhere else and repeated it all again. Again, he calmly loaded right on and off.

Sometimes, you just have to try something new. Do it from a different angle. Fresh perspective.

Part of me wonders if something happened on the way to the clinic. There were no signs other than the refusal to load. The only thing I can add is that tying seemed to cause him to worry when it has not in the past. All he wanted to do is look under the divider. Anyone have any advice for me?

I won’t call it redemption just yet, but we are getting there.

Sounds like a good enough ending? Ya, I thought so too.

There is more.

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If all of that was not enough, Lito then decided he does not like to tie and is scared of kites.

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That right there? I believe is actual footage of me watching my horse forget how to horse.

So. That is what we will be working on in addition to the trailer loading. Back to square one. But you know what. That is OK. We will work through this just like everything else and be better for it.

Maybe he is just in a phase. They all have their moments. We have had a very smooth road up until now. He never really had terrible twos. Some say they do it again, and worse, at four. Maybe this is how he wants to spend the last month of his four year old year. Throwing tantrums.

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It is now my turn to throw the tantrum. You guessed it, it is not yet the end and there is more!

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The fun is not over yet. It is like the infomercial that never ends!

I have to get a new car too! Too bad it will cost me more than $19.99.

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So for all you bottom line folks, here are the AHA moment bottom lines…on the bottom lines. Haha get it? Bottom lines? No?

Be positive.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Keep an open mind.

Work through the suck and have faith.

You will get to the other side.

And most importantly, walk in love, dear readers.

Happy Cardinal

I saw a young, male Cardinal this morning when I was taking Darcy out. I heard him before I saw him. He fluttered up from the branch of a hedge bush behind us and landed on my empty planter pot by my front door. I turned my head and could not help but smile as he looked at me. Then, he took flight across the lawn and went on his merry way. A vibrant spot of red color against the green grass and golden morning light. It was then that I noticed all the birds out on this fine morning were singing their happy songs.

I love all birds, but I think Cardinals are my favorite. Some say they are lucky. Some say they are God winking at you. I believe both. This will not be a surprise to some as I have written about Cardinals before.

Friday night’s sunset at the farm was quite spectacular. An array of colors all its own. I feel like I forgot what they looked like with the sun being constantly veiled behind the clouds.

There is nothing like having them all out there in the pasture grazing. With or without the painting in the background. So peaceful. Out of this world, really. It immediately transplants me.

Saturday started out sunny and the sun stayed out long enough for me to get a little color on my skin while Lito acted like he left his brain in his stall. Which is frustrating because that is not normal for him, but he is a horse and they have off days too. He just has less of them. Really, you can not blame him. It has been a while since I have really been able to work him because of all the rain. I was also riding like poo and was way too heavy handed on the reins. We were both having days I guess. I kept reminding myself that tomorrow is a new day.

Darcy enjoyed a serious nap in the sun before it went into hiding. I wish I could nap like a dog! Do you ever think that?

Sunday my Lito man tried to redeem himself which makes this gal a happy gal. Hopefully, we will make some good progress the clinic this coming weekend. We have done what we can with what we have to prepare. Here is to learning and bettering.

Today I am headed out on a quick overnight work trip. Actually, I’m sitting in the car on the road now. Starting to get car sick, so I must wrap this up. I already miss my Darcy and am ready for Friday to come so Lito and I can head out to get learned!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Restart

I am going to get a little serious today. I try to keep things real over here for the both of us. Well, because that is life, isn’t it? And this is something that has been on my mind. There are too many people out there these days that try to paint an altered image of who they are instead of just being themselves and being honest.

This is me and this is my life.

I need a restart. A reset. A refocus.

It is no secret that I have been in a little bit of a funk these days and desiring more or  different from or out of my life. Questioning if I should continue this path and stay the course or to venture on a new one. The form of that change is something I am still trying to work out. I am, quite literally, at a crossroads. Part of me says, “get over yourself, just do it. Do something,” while the other part of me says, “you’re not ready yet. You need to work through this first.”

Even as I have typed all of this, I want to delete because it is still scary to think about and say out loud. Even if I have said it before.

But that is not the point. The point is, I am harboring all of this inside, working that circular thought process over, and not focusing on what is important. Not focusing on the Lord and giving it up to Him. Trying to do it by myself for myself. It is leaving me clouded and bringing me down. I am having a hard time seeing the light and it is more than just because of the weather. It is weighing me down.

I need to remember He has the plan and He is building me up for something. I need to reset and put my full focus on Him. My heart and my head. He knows the way. AHA moment.

I have talked about Soulshine with you before. Not that long ago. What I said then is a good reminder for today.

I have been thinking this morning about faking it till you make it because I am tired of feeling this way and looking this way. So that will be me. Faking it till I make it till I figure it out. Adding more leg and pushing through.

Are you tired of talking about this yet? I am. I feel like I have said this multiple times and I know the reel has not stopped.

Luckily daylight savings time is right around the corner and that means more riding. I need more riding. Too bad it is not this weekend. It would be nice to get more rides in before the clinic I am riding in next weekend, but any riding I am grateful for with this weather. I do not think I have ever ridden so little in my life. Which does not help anything!

Any of you have any life changing stories for me?

Walk in love, dear readers.

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.

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

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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.






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

Thanks. 

I awoke a full hour before my alarm was to go off at 6:30 AM. An extra hour of sleep would be nice before a long road trip. 

But. Here I lay. Fully energized and rearing to go. Excited to get where we are going. However, I am forcing myself to stay in bed because that was the plan. No sense in getting everything finished early just to sit and wait again. Silly, right? 

Anyway, here I am, writing to you since clearly the prospect of sleep is leaving as quick like as the sun is about to rise. And because Darcy dog is not here to cuddle. Which, is not so fun, not having my dog with me. 

I played on my phone a bit when I first realized there would be no more sleep. Then I put it down and tried again. No luck. Picked it up again. I was reminded of a song. You know how that happens. 

Here I am, laying in bed. Having the luxury of lounging in bed for an hour before I need to do anything. About to gather everything my horse and I need for a week, load it up, and head out with R for a week of riding and fellowship. 

How did I get here? How am I able to do these things that I love? Have these horses that I have? How blessed am I? 

I get to do all these things because my parents worked their tails off and did everything they could for us. Because they taught us to work our tails off. To do the right thing. To not give up on our dreams and wishes. To do what makes our hearts happy. To have faith and give thanks to the Man upstairs for it all who makes it all possible. 

Even when we didn’t realize or appreciate it. 

So. 

I give thanks to the Lord. I give thanks to my parents and family. And I give thanks to my horse. 

Corny as it may sound, it is all true. 


Time to get up and get moving. R will soon be on her way! 

Walk in love, dear readers! I will see you in a week! 

Just In Time 

This morning I woke up at 4 AM to catch a flight for an out of town meeting. The good thing about this kind of situation is that the earlier the meeting starts, the sooner you get back…right? 


Today, that was the case. 

Meeting ended on time, slightly early actually. I got to the airport and secured a seat on an earlier flight. Every minute counts for Friday traffic and my need to get away from civilization. 

I don’t know what it was about today, but somehow the traffic was not all that bad. I got home from the airport, grabbed my bags, loaded Darcy Doolittle and we were on our way and arriving at the farm in no time. 

We got here, took a deep breath, and walked out to the horses. No better thing. To smell the scent of horse and the freshness the end of a thunderstorm brings all while listening to them lazily crop the summer grass. 

Quite idyllic if you can ignore the mosquitos. 

But forget I said that. Focus on the rest. 

After I brought the horses in, I poured myself a long overdue glass of wine and went out to soak in the last of the sunset. 

Just in time.


I just figured I would share it with you! 

It reminds me of a time I went fishing. My whole family was already there on the coast. I was one of the last to show. I sent my Darcy dog with my parents, when they left earlier. I caught a late flight after work. I showed up, grabbed my rod, and headed for the dock. Fishing in your work clothes. Excuse me, catching in your work clothes! I will tell you, it is oddly satisfying. 

Anyway, Enjoy! 

Walk in love, dear readers!

Early Morning

Early morning is my time. For starters, I am physically incapable of sleeping in. That whole mental alarm clock thing. To actually sleep until 7AM without waking is a luxury I do not often experience.

Waking up early is easy for me, especially when I am at the farm or am somewhere where I am going to ride. And you all know how I feel about sunrises. Rousing myself for work? Not so easy. I am still awake, just can’t seem to make myself get out of bed. 

I am sure I have told all of you this before, but when I do actually get out of bed at my usual early time, I never feel better. I get to have my time. Quiet reflection in a quiet world besides the percolation of the coffee pot, the clink of Darcy’s collar tags, and nature’s morning stirring noises. 

The first thing I do is take my pup outside. We are generally always by ourselves. No lights are on in my neighbor’s windows. It feels almost as if we have the whole place to ourselves. 


Back inside, Darcy gets a drink of water while I pour myself a mug full of coffee adorned with honey and milk. 


That is my favorite mug. It has a gingerbread man on it. It’s comforting and happy. I like happy. 

Then, I sit. Sometimes I watch the news. Well, more often not these days…too depressing and well I don’t know…sometimes I watch my latest Netflix obsession. Sometimes I read. 

Today I was going to read, but then I decided, I should write to you! So, here I am. And there you are.

Now with R being evacuated from her home and living with me while it gets repaired (thanks Harv, for doing that to my friend), our mornings are a bit more exciting. Darcy loves having someone else in the house. When R starts to stir, she shoots up the stairs with the most energetic of good mornings. If only she could speak! That usually envokes a play session and then we are off to get ready for the day. 


On this particular morning, work is on my mind. I typically am trying to think of anything but. However, my job is changing a little. 

When I was first told, I freaked out a little. Hello, change. My mind went in a whirlwind with questions. What does it mean for me and my position in the company? Am I the right person? What does it mean for compensation? How fast will this happen? I don’t want my life to be that complicated! I have responsibilities here! 

Simply and remarkably, Holy Spirit showed up in usual form. Still amazes me. Anyway, the question posed was this…why are you scared?…

I am scared? Am I? How did you know that? Fear of the unknown. Old friend. Not logical, rational, or from the Lord. AHAmoment. 

The simple fact is, while I now have this new ‘role,’ it is early days. We are feeling it out. We will figure it out along the way. We. If at any time it is not right, that is OK. It has the potential to be big. I should be excited. I get to learn something new and meet new people. I am excited. 

That is what is on my mind today. 

Let’s go make it a great Thursday. 

Walk in love, dear readers!