Friday, April 5, 2013

I love spring.  It has been cool this week but nice to get out and get things done.  It has been a busy week.  I am bringing in the animals for family camp.  This is a picture of my friend Carol with the new sheep and lambs and a pygmy goat with two kids.  I'll pick up the alpacas on Monday.  I am trying to tame down the miniature donkeys for the kids.  I planted about a 100 flowers in the last two days. The barn is spotless.  I have to say everything is looking good.  I am tired and sore.  I wish I had a bathtub to soak in epsom salts.  It is Friday evening and I have put in a full week.

I woke up early this morning with the question on my mind "Where is your happy place?"  I have had many happy places in my life.  One was in a lounge chair in the backyard of a B&B in Napa Valley, being on the banks of the Nueces River with a warm breeze on my skin, riding my horse.  I have been blessed to feel peace for most of my life.  I am grateful for those moments where life stops and you have a picture of it in your head.  So many things trigger those happy places.  Smells, pictures, the temperature, a breeze.  I love spring in Texas.  It is my happy place.  I missed it so much when I was away all those years.  As I drove into Kerrville this week for our staff meeting I couldn't help but smile as I passed the thick blanket of bluebonnets along the road.  I remember stopping to take pictures with the boys when they were little.  I have seen so many turkeys.  They are showing off for the hens.  When I moved away I didn't miss these moments but now that I am back it makes my heart happy.  It reminds me of the verse that I got about 2 years ago in Isaiah 54 where He said "I will call you back."  God wants us to be happy and he will bring you to your own personal happy place.  Seek Him and keep your heart and eyes open for that moment.  I wish you many happy places where your heart fills full and your spirit soars.

Isaiah 54: 4 - 6
"Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame.
Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.
You will forget the shame of your youth
and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.
For your make is your husband-
the Lord Almighty is his name-
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
he is called the God of all the earth.
The Lord will call you back
as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit-
a wife who married young,
only to be rejected," says your God.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Springtime.  It is here!  I love spring. It was in the 90's today in Texas. The smell of mountain laurel blooming.  The birds singing.  The sky is a brighter blue.  Life comes back in the soil.
I was motivated to do some spring cleaning today.  Notice my picture of my spotless barn.  A clean barn makes me happy.  I also worked in the garden and killed some weeds.  I watered the plants.  Hopefully, we will have some nice veggies to enjoy soon.  I was filthy by the end of the day but I felt like I had accomplished a lot.  I'm already thinking and planning for family camp at the end of April.  I'm excited to see what experiences and memories this summer will bring.  I have almost all my summer staff hired and I think it is going to be a good group of girls.  We will be like family living so closely with one another for three months.  The work is hard and long and hot.  You have to pull something from deep down inside you when the days are long and you are tired.  We encourage each other and laugh a lot.  We will give smiles and lift lots of kids up in their saddles.  Hopefully we will lift some kids up with confidence and encouragement too.
Laurel and Carol came over this evening and worked on stained glass.  We all have projects going.  I am teaching Carol how to make two panels for her kitchen cabinet.  It is so nice to spend time with friends.  I put on music from my iPhone and we create.  You get in a what I call a flow and it is peaceful and rewarding.  I am so blessed to have the room across the hall to work in.  We can leave our projects and come back to them next week.
Tomorrow I have my staff meeting in Ingram.  I always enjoy seeing the people I work with.  They are positive and encouraging.  I think that is the kind of people that work at camps.  They are givers and love to pour into others.  God knew just what He was doing when he sent me here.  I needed to give to others in order to heal my broken heart.  He put me in a job doing what I love and sharing that love with others.  No one could have made it all work out the way it has but God.  So to quote my dear friend Lori, "It is for my good and God's glory."  Love that!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Kids and Horses

This is Arrow, he is one of the sweetest horses I know.  He is an old guy and I wish he could talk and tell me his life story.  He was probably some cowboy's roping horse and look at him now with his new hair do.  I had 80 8th graders today at the barn.  First,  I went over safety with them, then they got into pairs and groomed a horse.  They brushed and braided and hugged their horses.  It is so heartwarming to see these kids come out here and connect with the horses.  Many of them are so afraid to touch or approach a horse.  They reach out timidly to pet them but at the end of the hour they are leading them in circles, giving them big hugs, and petting them all over.  I just love my job that I get to be a part of that.  They become comfortable and confident.  When I teach them to lead a horse I always tell them to be confident and look where you want to go.  Don't look at the horse because you are sending him the signal that you are not the leader and you are not sure where you want to go.  Isn't that true in our lives?  We have to keep looking ahead, stepping out, keeping the faith and confidence that God has a plan.
It was a good day.  I am tired.  The horses are happy.  The kids are happy.  All is well.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Perfect Vacation

I just returned from one of the best vacations in my life.  I took my horse, Indira, and rode in Big Bend State Park with two friends.  We had a guide, Armando, and he led us on one of the most challenging rides of my life.  We rode along narrow trails with sheer drop offs. We had lunch in a creek bed with high walls providing shade.  We rode through a movie set.  It was like stepping back in time 100 years.

The next day we went to the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Alpine, Texas.  I was amazed at the talent.  They recited the poems from memory and some of them were 10-15 minutes long.  The music was original and from people who really experience life on a ranch.  That night we met friends from Utopia and had dinner at the Reata.  It was good food, good wine, good company.

We rode in Big Bend National Park the next day.  It was a bit windy but Indira did well. I love riding with friends that enjoy their horses and being outdoors.  We sang How Great Thou Art as we rode along and my heart was happy.  We rode for several miles until we found a cut off to a primitive campsite near the Rio Grande.  We found shade under a mesquite tree and had our lunch there.  We walked the horses down to the river to water them.  It is so quiet and isolated.  It is the desert and you don't even see or hear a bird.

Our final full day was very windy so we made the decision not to ride.  Wise choice, as Indira ran circles in her pen like a crazy horse.  June and I drove to the Chisos Basin in Big Bend and hiked up to the Window.  It is almost a 1000 ft. climb from the beginning of the trail but it was worth it.  You can see for 100 miles when you make it to the window.

That evening God gave us the best view of the full moon from the deck of the house we stayed in.  It rose over the mountains and it was the perfect way to end a perfect vacation.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

From a quiet to a busy week

I have spent this Sunday at home and quiet.  Spoken to two people on the phone but otherwise it has been silent with just the tick of the clock.  Can't say I have too many days like this but felt like I needed it.  Time to recharge, to just settle, to think.  I have to admit I feel a tinge of guilt because I'm not "doing something".  Tomorrow will be here and I have a week full of "doing" so I'm resting.  That is what Sundays are suppose to be about anyways.

I don't really care about football so there won't be any super bowl party here.  I am going to water the garden, take a walk and tend to the animals.  I will be driving 9 hours tomorrow to North Texas to recruit at West Texas A&M.  Last year when I made that trip I went with Stephen and we hiked the Palo Duro Canyon.  It was beautiful.

I made tamales with some friends on Friday.  It was for the Laurel Tree Restaurant and they were gourmet tamales.  We made two kinds, shrimp and chili chicken.  I can't wait to try them.  Laurel was going to steam them and she will bring me some when we do stained glass at my place.  I'm so thankful for new opportunities to do things and spend time with friends.  It makes life fun.

Yesterday, I went to a horse auction in Round Mountain with my friend, Erika.  We found a horse we liked and decided on a price we would pay.  We have a good eye because the horse we liked sold for more money than any other horse.  Like thousands more!  Needless to say we came home with no horse.  I had to leave my horse trailer with my Uncle because the axial was out of alignment and it had ruined one of my tires.  I'm hoping he can fix it and I'll pick it up next weekend when I am over there for the North American Trail Riders Conference.

My cousin, Judy, has a daughter named Brooke that is horse crazy.  She is 10 years old and I am taking her to a clinic for youth riders next Saturday.  I have to share this horse bug with everyone I can.  I remember when Ryan and Blake were 10 years old and they did a ride or two with me.  Good times, camping and riding.  Looking at the stars, sitting around a fire, just letting the peace of it all soak in.

I leave for Terlingua the end of this month.  It will be a week long vacation for me with two other ladies and our horses.  I haven't done anything quiet like this before but it fits right in with what I enjoy doing so I think I'll like it.  I'll have a new saddle and hopefully a fixed trailer by then.  Lots to look forward to.  I was reading a book called Everything this morning and I really liked what it said, "God beckons us always forward, onward and upward."  I pray that each of us opens the eyes of our heart to see and then we have the courage to step forward.  HAPPY TRAILS!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Wow, it is already November 2nd.  It has been a month since I posted last.  Life keeps on moving and so much has happened.  Let me recap for memory's sake, I am doing stained glass on Monday nights with two friends, Laurel and Rebecca.  They come to my place and we work on projects from 5 - 10 pm.  It feels good to get back into being productive and creative.  I love the company and hopefully I'll get some Christmas presents made.  Laurel owns a French restaurant in town and is a Chef from The Cordon Bleu School in France.    Rebecca runs a store in town called Utopia on Main that has lots of beautiful things for the home.  They are fun and creative.  I have met so many people this month.  Crystal Davis at church, invited me to join her and 8 friends for lunch.  Carol LaRue attends my church and is good friends with Laurel.  I can tell we are going to be good friends.

I went to Atlanta last week for a visit with my dear friend, Rhonda.  I hadn't seen her in 1 1/2 years and it was so good to catch up.  I slept better than I have slept in years.  I felt so safe and comfortable.  Rhonda has the gift of mercy and hospitality.  It flows out of her and is a blessing to everyone around her.  She has such style and grace.  I always come away blessed after being in her presence.  We talk about so many things - relationships, starting new businesses, candles, dreams, hurts, etc. but it all comes back to God and his plans for us.  I have no doubt he put her in my life as a gift.

Hunters are here!  This is opening weekend and I saw a Huge buck they shot this morning.  This changes life at camp.  I have to limit my coming and going to certain hours.  No horseback riding on trails unless I get approval first.  I love the improvements they have done for the hunters.  New electric deer proof gate will be finished this week and a cell phone tower will be installed soon so I have cell service.  Yeah, I'll be connected to the world.  There is always good and bad with change.  The thing I have learned is to stay flexible and adapt.  It makes life so much smoother.

I got a new horse trailer with living quarters.  I can't wait to take it on the next trail ride.  I will be competing with Indira in early December.  I sold my horse trailer.  I am delivering it today to a ranch near Bandera. /I'll drive on over to Kerrville and vote early since Tuesday is a big hunting group and I'll need to stay here.  I think I'll go see the movie Argo while I'm in town.  I've heard it is good.  Tomorrow is the Art Fair in Utopia so I plan on checking that out.  Maybe next year I will have something to sell.  I'd like to start some kind of side business to make a little extra.

It is a beautiful day outside today.  I love this Texas weather.  Sunny and just right.  It is hard to stay inside and clean or do paperwork.  I love that my job duties are watering the flowers, taking care of the  garden and riding horses.  All outside stuff!

Have a great weekend everyone. This is November - Be thankful!  Everyday I am going to be thankful for something and post it on Facebook.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Garden

These are before and after pictures of the garden.  I can't take all the credit for all that work.  I had lots of help from Antonio and his workers.  It has been many years since I have dug in the dirt.  It is hard work. I pulled up morning glory vines that were as thick as ropes.  I was dripping in sweat and the stack of vines was taller than I was. Sometimes we have to do some painful pulling before the seeds can be planted for new life.  Sounds like an analogy to life doesn't it?

I planted spinach, lettuce, carrots, broccoli and more to come.  Mom has bought some plants too so I'll plant those next week. There is something wonderful about planting in the garden.  We look forward with expectation to the signs of life and then the produce.  My friend Lori says we all need three things, someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to.

This month I will be flying to Atlanta to see my dear friend Rhonda.  I haven't seen her in over a year and I am looking forward to spending time with her.  She is a friend that I have no doubt God sent into my life at the appointed time. We walked together and talked of being grateful and thankful for the many blessings in our lives. We kept each other encouraged to trust His never-ending love for us. I am so blessed to have so many Godly friends in my life that are loving and wise.  God has loved me as they have poured out of their hearts into mine.

Now that I am settling into this little community called Utopia I am seeing opportunities to pour into others.  I want to plant and pour the hope that God gave me back into others.  I heard Beth Moore say that we should see that bad circumstance in our life as a way to show the devil that it was one of the greatest changes for God in our lives.   He is certainly making the opportunities for that to happen by placing people in my path.

I will continue to work in the garden and I'll post more pictures.  It is rewarding to see the little plants coming up.  We have no control over that growth but we get to enjoy the bounty.  How good is that?