Disneyland vs. The Barn

Need I declare winner for you? Ahem, just in case y’all don’t know me that well yet…The Barn wins hands (and hooves) down.


Long story, short:  made the ever so “American” trip To Disneyland. Nothing against it, my friends, I nearly grew up there–being born and raised not far from the happy lights of D town. Many years and a lifetime away, I didn’t necessarily have plans to go back. Geez the pressures of parenthood. Can’t all you parents tell your kids not to preach Disney to my kids? Well, my daughter’s been asking and asking. I kept telling her “you have to be at least 9 years old to enjoy it”. Right? Well, number one:  I learned my lesson about never giving an age or a date. Just keep saying “someday” or “when you’re older”. KEEP SAYING IT, next thing you might know is you never had to subject your family to this ridiculous stress. And number two: I took her to Disneyland. We drank the kool-aid. We did the family vacation for her 9th birthday celebration.


For the sake of time, brevity and the fact that I’m sure you all don’t need another visitor’s guide to Disneyland…I’ll just say I’ll take the barn. I’ll take a quiet trail ride in the fresh open air. I’ll take the REAL. I’ll even take the hard work. The mucking stalls in muddy rain boots while the world passes me by. The freedom of flight over a jump. The smile on my daughter’s face when she rounds that last barrel and flies home to the clock at a 4H ride. If I’m going to be sweaty, sore, have dirt in my mouth and be in a really bad mood it’s going to be from getting bucked off a darn horse, not from spending the day at the “happiest place on earth”.


I worried, for a second, that this post may come off as negative. But then I remind myself that anyone who begs to differ with my rendition of happiness…well, they have probably never had the privilege of living in a barn.


this girl

walking away

this girl. Have I written enough about her lately? Have I sung her praises here on these pages recently? Tonight, I must. This girl, I tell you. She is. She is amazing. She is beautiful. She is strong. She is incredible. She is strength.

You know, it’s one of those things you just can’t write. You just can’t find the words. She is poetry in motion. She is grace on earth. There just aren’t words in my humble fingers that can even begin to touch it.

But, if I could for a moment please…try to break it down simply.

I sprained my finger the other day. It hurts like hell. Much more than I would have thought for such an injury. My middle finger has been swollen and black as can be for three days. It hurts so damn bad. My husband had to go out of town for work today. And, I, now own a therapeutic riding business that is not quite “in business” yet, but has five rambunctious horses who are worked up and hyper from five days of snow and they JUST DON’T LISTEN WHEN I TELL THEM TO SETTLE DOWN because I’m in pain and need a few days off!!!

hardworkin girl

As I was saying, this girl. She stepped up. She trucked the feed around all morning, noon and evening meals. She caught, haltered and stood with each of the horses for the farrier this morning (whom I tried to cancel, but didn’t catch in time) for a total of three hours. This girl. She cleaned stalls, spread shavings and trekked through the mud and muck from four days of snow now melting.

hardworkin girl 2

And all this, when all I asked of her to do was PLEASE halter the horses for the farrier when I saw the truck pulling in after I was unsuccessful in cancelling the appointment in time.

The rest of the work was THIS GIRL’S choice.

BUT the best, by far, was when I hugged her and said thank you to her. And she responded with “don’t say thank you”.

“But I am really thankful for all your help today, baby”

“I don’t want you to say thank you”

“Well I’m going to say it anyway”

“Well fine, but you don’t have to”

Wow. What did I do to deserve this girl?

Thank you God.

And then, she went to three hours of dance class, came back home, walked her puppy and read half of the novel “Matilda” only to go to sleep asking what we are doing tomorrow.

I think I will take this girl for ice cream tomorrow.

cowgirl tough



A little magic boot

It’s the eve of the Magi or the “three magic kings”! In honor, I’m posting this from last year. One of my favorites! May you all enjoy the balance of peace and chaos, fun and quiet, celebration and reflection in life.


Yesterday was Three Magic Kings Day here in our barn (…home).  It’s a cultural thing for our family more than anything. Anyways, if you leave your shoe by your bed with a little hay for the camels…those three magic kings will surely stop by for a snack and leave a final small gift in your shoe as the holiday season officially “ends”.

Three kings2

I found a gift was left for me as well…It was a glorious morning.


Snow7As we have also had our first real snow of the season! What a sight to wake to. The picture above is right out of my daughter, Sahalie’s, window overlooking the stalls. Does it get any more magical than this for an eight-year old?


And, the view out the main room window.

Snow12And, walking out the front door. It’s going to be cold. But beautiful. And so quiet. Which is so, so rare and…

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