Thursday, December 20, 2012

We're Not in Kansas Anymore!

Early this morning I felt a little like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz as she felt when the tornado was coming and she was heading for the cellar.  About 4:00 in the morning a norther blew in here.  It woke Ikey and I up from a deep sleep.  The wind was blowing so hard it sounded a little like a freight train was fixing to come through here.  I was not sure the wind was not going to just pick the house right up and carry it off in a whirl just like on the Wizard of Oz.  It sure sounded and felt like it.   I've been in many a wind storm out on west Texas, but this was different.  Being in a little house out here on the prairie, not a condo complex weighted down by tons of brick, made all the difference in the world.  It's the kind of wind you can hear the weather change without ever being outside.  You are absolutely sure, when you step your feet outside the door, you better be bundled up!

Baby Gray and I are hanging out today.  I bet when he shows up he's got his knitted cap, cowboy boots and a heavy coat on.  He and I are headed to the grocery store to finish up my "cooking" shopping which I have to find time to do before Tuesday, and to Walmart for anything else last minute (like Christmas stocking stuff).  Don't remember exactly how to shop secretly with a toddler in the basket but I'll figure it out.

In the meantime, blow Mr. Winter...I've missed you!

Genesis 8:1
But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Won the Lotto and I Didn't Even Gamble

Extraordinary!  That is what my last 7 days were.
First, I spend Monday through Wednesday with my daughter in Las Vegas.  We didn't gamble really.  We didn't even know exactly how.  We shopped and walked and watched the National Finals Rodeo twice!  We got massages in a fabulous spa.  We dined like princesses.  We had filet minion in our hotel room for breakfast.  We drank mimosa's and champagne.  We laughed and we cheered.  It was a great week.  I was a bit disappointed that I did not get to connect with my friend Lee Ann, but I "snapped out of it" and moved on.

Our only set back was my daughter came home to a family full of stomach virus and a house full of germs.  She got it too several days later.  All are recovering now.

Then today I got a phone call from T-Paw who said "I've hired a helicopter.  What are the kids doing this afternoon?  Want to come over and ride in it?"  Well, yeah!  Consider me there.  I've never ridden in a helicopter.  Never really given it a lot of thought, but it sounded awesome.  Baby Gray and his dad were headed over too but my daughter unfortunately was still not feeling quite up to par so she stayed home.  BG, my SNL and I headed out first in the Ranger while T-Paw stayed at the house continuing to finish up some cake baking he had started.  Our Ranger group headed off into the pasture looking for deer and hogs.  BG was able to sit on my lap and drive the Ranger almost by himself.

We were fortunate enough to see deer and hogs on our drive.  When we went to find the horses for Baby Gray, we found Mosey with a couple of big cuts along his forearms and legs.  We got him back to the barn and doctored him up some.  There was nothing to stitch up, and it was really too old anyway, but a couple of pretty big jagged scrapes.  BG even had time for a little "giddy up Mosey".

About that time the helicopter showed up.  BG, his dad and I were on the second leg for going up.  BG had not brought a coat along and they told us it was cool up there so we had to make do with one of T-Paws old jackets.  BG looked sort of like a Pac Man.

BG had a great time.  He was not scared not one bit, of the helicopter or riding in it.  What a big brave courageous boy!!

After Baby Gray's short ride I was able to go with some other folks for a longer ride over the ranch.  It was so so cool.  This particular type of helicopter had no doors or anything, just open sided.  I was brave and courageous too!

What an amazing week.  Within 7 days I did two phenomenal things I had never done before...attend the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas and rode in a helicopter.  This week did feel sort of like winning the lotto!  And Baby Gray did two things he had never done and fly!

A big shout out to JT/T-Paw for making those two things possible!  He's got a generous spirit for sure.  Here's to a week of once in a life times and hope I get to do that agains!  Blessings abounding for me for sure!

Ephesians 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Friday, December 14, 2012

NFR Post #6 The Thomas and Mack...It's All Different When You Get Inside

Amazing, that's what I can say about the NFR.  The excitement of the crowd just oozes out of everything.  Eyes wide open.  Oh my!

But what I want to say is when you get on the inside of the Thomas and Mack, it's all different.  When  you walk down to the floor and you look at it up close, it's small; it's so small, no, it's tiny!  The arena is tiny.  The four walls are all so close together. There is very little room to turn around.  I do not not know how they get those horses turned around in ANY event.  It's near impossible.  But the barrel racing pattern has got to be the smallest most of these BIG horses have ever run.

The Crowd:
The crowd is beyond excited.  They've been waiting for days for the first event.  They are donning their cowboy hats and boots.   It's finally here.  They are pumped!  Their hearts are racing.  They are on their feet.  A rider rides in on horseback and posts the American Flag in the center of the arena.  The crowd is quiet.  A prayer is said.  The Star Spangled Banner is sung.

The Contestants:
Huge anxiety for some; just another day at the office for others; they said so in their interviews.
The announcer calls their name.  Then, two heart rates shoot off the charts.  A prayer is said by the believers.  The horse cannot wait to get inside the arena to do his job.  He's bouncing off the walls and his front feet are off the ground.  The rider waits.  She holds him back until just the right moment.  Then she releases his reins.  The bit falls loose in his mouth.  The cowgirl spurs him on.  She lets him go.  There's an explosion.  He's off.  The horse runs in at the speed of sound; the rider kicks, whips and sometimes hollers.  Then everything slows to almost a stand still.  The crowd takes a deep breath.  The racers turn.  The crowd breaths, cheers.  Again the rider kicks, spurs, and whips, and the horse blasts off like a rocket for 3 more seconds to the second barrel, slows to an almost stand still, turns, on a dime, and then they do it all AGAIN.  Seriously!  After the last turn at the third barrel, if their run is clean and no barrels are down, the crowd goes wild, screaming, clapping, hollering, cheering the horse and rider on to victory.  Again the rider kicks and whips as they race out of the arena.  As she races down the alleyway, the cowgirl listens for her time if she ran out with all three barrels standing.  If she didn't, she's shaking her head in disbelief.  They slow.  They stop.  They take a breath.  The rider gets off.  The horse drops his head and heaves.  They are finished.  In 14 to 15 seconds it's all over...until tomorrow night.

Mark 10:27
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

NFR = $14.95


The NFR vs TV

For years I used to go to bed and set my alarm for about 12:45pm to watch the barrel racing at the NFR.  I'd wakc up from a dead sleep to watch the girls run.  I just couldn't wait til morning.

For years I have set my VCR/DVR for the NFR!  It is set again....but I had to pay.
The NFR is only on GAC (Great American Country) this year.  I didn't have that channel on my channel line up.  So for the month of December I have upped my TV to Premium Choice!  Seriously!  $14.95!  I figure it is less than the price of one ticket and I get to watch all 10 performances.  It is also LIVE vs taped.  So I'm pumped.

Round 1 tonight!  9:00p.m.  Consider me there!

Go Team Lee Ann.

Stay tuned!!!

Isaiah 40:27-31

New International Version (NIV)
27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
    Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Blessings and love!

Who's on Your Team?....God

You may be a little tired of my going on about the NFR.  However, it's still holding lessons for me.  This is a piece of an interview I saw with Lee Ann Rust on Barrel Horse News...

Photo: Lee Ann Rust

Who’s on your team? Shelly Fair – her job description is to take care of me and babysit me. I’ve got Gena Franklin – her job description is to take care of Harley and babysit Harley and Mule. Gena rode Harley as a 3-year-old; she’s got as strong a bond with him as anybody. I’ll have Kathy Butkovic, she’s got Equi-Sports Therapy, and Kelley Mills.

This time right now is so critical for me, soaking up and developing an excess and a reservoir of mental preparedness, because there’s not going to be any one-on-one time for me and Rhonda Byrne and the Bible. I’ve never been to Vegas, I’ve just heard about it.

With all of the emotions that come with making it to the Thomas & Mack, is there anything about it that scares you? I know I’ll come up against things that are new, probably some things I hadn’t considered or thought about. But I’ve got this deal about fear, it just don’t hang out around me much. I don’t know what it is, but they say that perfect faith casts out fear. My faith’s not perfect, but I have a pretty even spoonful of it.
What’s your strongest emotion? Gratitude. I’m so thankful for where I’m at, and like I said, there may be some people in awe of what I got done, but there ain’t none of them in as much awe as I am. But for the grace of God, where would I be? What would I be doing now? There’s no such thing as a self-made man, in my opinion, and I sure won’t ever claim that title. Maybe if I had a fear, and I wouldn’t call it a fear, but my concern would be disappointing the people that are looking at what we’re doing. There are a lot of people on Facebook, and I don’t know where they get it but the word “inspiration” keeps coming up. I guess my greatest concern would be letting them down. But that’s secondary, because if I let them down I’ve let Harley down first. I’m not going to let them put an undue amount of pressure on us. When I came out of the arena at Albuquerque last year, I knew I’d missed it. My ex-husband called me, and said, “You’ve worked hard, gone above and beyond the call of duty, and busted your tail. Not making it to the NFR, I can understand your sadness. I’m going to give you one hour for your pity party, then I’m going to call you back and you can go on and be grateful for what you did get done.” Harley has taken me places I didn’t think I could hang with him to get to. I’m going to shoot for the moon and if I miss, I might hit the side of the barn. Just getting there is big, but every round is another rodeo, and I know how I am, when I hit the alley at the rodeo, it’s really hard not to try to win something. I’m going to go out there and do the best I can by Harley, uphold my end of the deal, expect him to uphold his end of the deal, and let the chips fall where they may.

I felt kind of bad that she spoke of folks thinking of her as an inspiration as putting undue pressure on her.  That was not my intention at all.  In my previous post which does call her an "inspiration", here is the way I meant it.  I meant she makes me want to be a better person.  It's not so much what she did, it's how she did it.  She's just a person who makes her mind up and finds a way to get it done.  I know I should be more like that, have a little more drive, a bit more ambition.  I'm just sort of a fly by night and by the seat of my pants kind of girl, and make very few commitments.  She's not.  She sets her mind to something and then she gives 100 till she gets there.  No matter what happens to her in the NFR, she will not be letting me down.  She has already achieved a do all she could and do her best to qualify for the NFR, to get there...that deal is done.  Truly I do not know if her goal was or is to win it.  I suspect it is to do the best she can and give it everything she's got.  I know that she will do that.  I couldn't be any prouder for her probably than I already am.  Along with me, I think the folks she's referring to on FB are happy for her, want her to have fun, to do well, to stay healthy both she and Harley, and have the time of her life.  
Lee Ann my friend...
Leave those three barrels standing and the dirt flying and you and Harley just soak all that in like a sponge.  We'll be watching!

1 Thessalonians 1:3
We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Encourage One Another, Continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Blessings and love to you!