Monday, August 29, 2011

Two Days and Counting

Three days from now and very early in the morning, I'm leaving on a trip to New Mexico.  I'm going on a photography expedition, a workshop to photograph wild horses.  There will be only 4 of us, including our photographer/instructor.  I have stressed over what to take, what to pack, what to buy to be ready for anything that might come up.  I'm losing sleep over it.  Mostly I'm concerned now about how to carry my camera and lens' the easiest and my binoculars.  They'll all hang off of me if I let them and somehow i want that to be easier than harder.  So I'm still stressing a bit over that, but it'll all be fine I'm sure.  I've got new clothes and new hiking boots, and virtually a new camera.  In fact i wish I knew more about the camera than I do.  I'm taking a camera class through Midland College starting next month.  I'm looking forward to the cooler weather and opportunity to see wild horses.  It's on my bucket list.  I'll be blogging about it from today moving forward.  I'll be adding photos once I get going.  Til then...

Encourage One Another

26 is 2 1/2 Away

I have been working for the state for just under 26 years, just under half of my life.  For about 20 of those 25 plus years I have been working a 4 day work week...a huge benefit, a huge bonus.  Today I was told I was losing that.  The state has recently red-lined, fired, re-purposed, rifted whatever you want to call it, some almost 800 employees.  My boss was one of those.  In their disrespectful way of trying to make that right to some, and shift the system, they are trying to weed me out.  They want my job. They want my job to give to my boss.  They have called and asked me to apply for another job, but in the meantime have taken away the most important thing to me, the 4 day work week.  They want me to either retire or apply for and take this other position.  The person over the entire region has made all these decisions that are affecting everyone.  They have my boss acting like a pawn, they have her graveling for work, doing anything they ask her to do.  She is currently jobless and desperate.  So while I will string them along as long as I can, not making any decision until the last minute, applying for that other position but not necessarily accepting it if they offer it to me, they can just wonder what's what and what I'm ultimately going to do.  But one thing is for sure.  I want to allow and give as little time as possible of my thoughts toward the person responsible for all of this.  She will get what she deserves, I believe that with all my heart.  What goes around comes around.  One way or the other.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Blessing Was Mine

On Sundays there's an older lady who sits on a street corner up the street selling newspapers.  She's been on that corner for months it seemed.  As it turned out, she's been sitting on that same corner on Sundays for over 2 years.  She waves and smiles to everyone who goes by.  You can't drive by without wanting to smile and wave back.  She just sort of brightens your day.  I have felt compelled for months to stop and talk to her.  But I haven't.  I have, in fact, felt compelled to take her a little gift and something for her pup..but I haven't.  I picked up something for her one day...but it wasn't right.  Friday, I finally found something for her, a scarf.  I really wanted a flower so she could put on her hat...but couldn't find one.  So I bought this pretty yellow scarf instead.  I also made her some chocolate chip cookies.  I put them in a little metal tin.  I wrapped her scarf in tissue and tied it w/ some twine.  I packed a little plastic bag with some treats for her pup.  This morning I delivered them.  Wow, can I just say wow.  I introduced myself and told her that I appreciated her friendliness and her smiles and waves on Sunday's.  I told her I had wanted to stop for months but hadn't.  I told her I see her every Sunday on my way to ride my horse and on my way back home.  She was appreciative of the gift.  She told me she lives close by (which I figured because she rides her scooter to this corner).  I told her if she ever needed anything to call me.  I'd be happy to run to the store for her or help her do something.  She said "I pay someone $10 an hour to do things for me like change a light bulb or do something I can't reach".  I said "no I don't want you to pay me, I just want to offer to help you with something like that if you need help".  She said "well all I really need is someone to pray with me".  I said "I can do that", but I was almost speechless.  She proceeded to tell me some about her life, how she became a Christian 10 years ago; how on Christmas eve ten years ago Christ finally reached her; how even though her father was an atheist and a Jew she always believed in God; she told me about her troubles with her daughter who just got out of jail; she told me she sometimes gives the papers away to folks who don't have money to pay for it but need one to look for a job or a place to live; that there are lots of people with many troubles in the world; that she used to drive a big truck, she was a truck driver; that she writes poetry and songs and often sings while she is there selling papers; I heard about her son and granddaughter who live in Dallas; about her saving her money so she can buy a car so she could drive herself to Dallas and take her dog too...lots of things I learned about her in our short visit today. She quoted scripture, she told me she never gives up, she said God will always come through if you don't give up.  She told me obedience is very important in that result.  She told me the best gift you can give someone is a prayer.  I told her she was very wise.  I felt very blessed.  I gave her my card with my phone number and address on it.  I asked her to call me any time.  She told me she would call me when she got home so that I would have her phone number too.  Her name is Mae...Mae Mae to some.  Her pup's name is Brat.  Although I haven't heard from her this afternoon, I am hopeful she will call.  I have prayed for a Christian friend.  This week God sent two.  If she doesn't end up calling, I'll stop by to see her again next Sunday's when she's selling papers.  I know she'll be waving and smiling at everyone who drives by.

Encourage One Another
The best gift you can give someone is a prayer!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Needle in a Hay Stack

I think I have written enough about my horse that you know he's very important....Love him if you know what I mean.  Here's the deal though.  It's not just not raining where I live, it's not raining anywhere.  There fore, there is no hay, or very little. Literally they are hauling it in here from North Dakota.  Finding hay locally, especially round bales, is like finding a
'needle in a haystack".  There just are very few.  When you do find them, they are very expensive.  The one I just purchased today is twice as much as the one just like it that I purchased in Really!  I mean it's the same exact hay...there are just so few of these bales around that if you have any you are sitting in the cat bird's seat!  Nothing like sitting in the cat bird's seat as there is plenty of money to be made.  So, ole Mose is standing around the hay ring today, happy as a clam, chompin' on some grass hay and swishing his tail.  My brother in law described him today as "fat as a town dog"...well OK, he is still in pretty good shape and I do feed him well.  I don't like thin horses.  I also did a "first" today.  I had that big hay bale loaded in the back of a pick up and drove it to the barn.  Then I got up in the trailer and unloaded it by pushing it off.  It allegedly weighed 880 pounds.  I'm stronger than I thought.  I literally prayed all the way home it would not fall out the back of the truck onto the street.  When I made it to the barn I breathed a huge sigh of relief and said a prayer of gratitude!  You never know what you can do until you try.  Yeah me!  So, in the meantime, if you see any hay for sale on the side of the me...I need another bale!

Encourage one another!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Stream in the Desert

Sometimes, if you keep you mind open, you have no idea what you may find somewhere.  Most of what's left out in the country in west Texas is red dirt; dry blowing red dirt.  Anything green you might see in this area is in town where it can be watered or dollar bills in your wallet.  It is truly like a desert out here.  A little while back Mosey and I were just plodding along in the cotton field.  He's a plodder, a mosier, thus how he got his name.  He is generally not in a hurry to get anywhere and most likely if he were a person he would always be late.  However, he would be the least likely one to have any stress.  Anyway, the farmer had begun to irrigate his cotton.  We can see the sprinkers and occasionally even ride through them.  Well, on the way through the cotton patch we stopped at the central irrigation point, where the water comes out from the well and into the sprinklers.  There was a huge malfunction there and LOTS of water was coming out of that unit and not going out into the system.  It was creating this pool of water and a stream that was flowing out into the field…just like a running stream.  It was fabulous.  Mosey immediately tromped his feet into the mud next to the pool and lowered his head to get a cool drink.  Just like if we had been walking by a creek.  He was in heaven.  God was blessing him with a cool fresh drink of underground water.  He drank and drank.  

He thought it was even better than drinking out of the water hose which he loves to do.  We were surrounded by the tall green cotton plants and drinking from a running stream.  All we could see around us was the green plants, the blue sky and the running water.  Eventually he pulled his head up, stepped back out of the mud, and headed east again on down the cotton row.  But just for one moment we were somewhere else in time, in an oasis, in a beautiful place.  Just for a moment we were in a dream…and we lavished it.  So me and ole Mose, we keep our eyes open for those moments, those little pieces of time when you can be someplace else, even if only for a moment.  You never know when they might crop up.

Surprise, Surprise

OK, I would never expect to find what Mosey and I found yesterday while riding….a pony.  A brand spanking cute hairy white pony lose in a dirt red plowed field.  He was trotting around close to another horse that was across the fence from him.  He was in a bit of a tizzy you could tell by his behavior.  He was pretty frantically wanting inside that fence where the other horse was.  He was about 50 yards from us when he finally saw his riding up.  I stopped Mosey for a second so he could get a good grip of what he was seeing…but then again he has never seen a teeny tiny pony like that.  Well it looked like him, sort of white only about 1/4th his size.  So in a hurry, in a lope, here came the little pony.  He stopped short about 6 feet from us.  I got off to see if he would come up to me…but he would not.  I got back on and let him come up to Mosey.  They greeted like old friends.  Mosey was amused.  He never pinned his ears back or looked nervous.  He just stode still and waited while the little pony tried to figure us out.  After a bit, we started walking again toward his friend across the fence.  There were some other horses across the fence too and I figured that is where he came from.  However, I could not see a way to get him back in there.  I suspected the little guy (by that time we figured out he was a guy) would stop by his horse friend and we would just keep on going.  Well, that didn't happen.  The little guy took off after us and kept coming.  I wasn't sure what to do.  There seemed to be no way to get to the road where the houses were across that fence.  We went up another fence as I could see his tracks had been up that way as well.  Again, another dead end, no way to get to that road.  Well, we had to head home.  Time was running short on where I needed to be later.  I hoped again he would go back to his "friend" across the fence when we rode back by there.  However, he did not.  He was going with us.  The little white pony was taking about 4 steps to our one, but come along he did.  He'd get behind and trot to catch up.  Then he'd get behind and canter to catch up and run in front of us.  He was determined to stay with us no matter what.  We traipsed along across roads and plowed fields, and back through the cotton field about 6-7 miles.  I tried hard to stay away from the paved roads so no cars could get close to him.  We were almost to the barn when we passed a colt in a pasture and the pony decided he had gone far enough. He just stopped.  He was however, right on the roadside.  Mosey and I rode on toward the barn.  Mosey however, did not want to go on without his new friend.  He kept trying to stop and kept looking back at every opportunity.  Finally we made it back to the barn.  I rinsed Mose off, fed him and put away my saddle.  I drove back up the road as I was going to call 911 and tell them about the pony and stay until someone arrived to get him.  Unfortunately he was no longer there.  I drove up the street back to the cotton field to look to see if I could see him heading home.  Nothing.  So I drove back toward the barn.  Looking off to my left I saw him…in the BACK of a PICK UP!!!   I pulled in to tell the men there what had happened.  Apparently someone had seen the pony on the side of the road, recognized him and called his owner.  His owner had come to pick him up.  I have no idea how they got him in the back of that pick up but I'm guessing the little guy was very glad he was not going to have to walk back home.  He looked quiet and calm.  Maybe Mosey and I travel back that way some time and hopefully see our friend inside his fence where he belongs.  We will give him a little wave.  I just love a happy ending.