Learning How to PIVET…when many are tempted to PANIC!

My new website!

Ok….it’s been a loooong minute between blogs.

And…..

Everything has changed…

…and just when we thought life was getting a bit calmer!

Phhht! The old saying sure is true.

The only thing you can count on not changing is Change.

I don’t need to review the list, yours is just as long as mine, probably longer.

How we all go about life has changed, a lot. But then I remember we weren’t promised a life without difficulty and sorrow.

It’s how we Deal With It that makes the difference.

So…being the eternal optimist with a heavy dose of practicality packed in…I tend to look at things a bit differently, albeit through the eyes of an artist and woman of faith.

Here are the things I had to release.

*Expectations of riding my new mare Kit with the same goal driven performance plan I had with Belle.

It’s actually been quite freeing. Kit needed a lot of emotional and physical support. She was mentally shut down, tight muscled and defensive about her body…and exhibited symptoms of ulcers and hormone problems.

A complete overhaul of her feed program, 6 months of low key living and I now have a completely different mare. Once we get her non-sweating problem solved we are good to go back into conditioning and training. The non-sweating is a biggy here in Florida with feels like temperatures consistently over 100!

*Another release I made was the notion that I was going to be selling my art successfully at horse shows and Equine events all over Florida.

No horse shows, no outdoor festivals, no events, galleries closing down….

This, my friends, is huge… because being “me” means creating art. And I haven’t stopped creating.

But my work started stacking up…and I prayed for the Lord to show me how to PIVET not PANIC!

Enter a fantastic artist platform called Artstorefronts. I started attending Zoom calls every chance I could, and learned a few things about myself. Well…a lot. And I signed up to build myself a new presence! What I learned….

1. Artists (me included) stink at marketing!

2. Artists still create in the best and worst of times, it’s what we do. But we rarely approach others and share about our job. It IS my job.

3. When it comes to a challenge to do things better, smarter, more efficiently….I’m on it! I just didn’t realize that applied to my selling art!

So….here I am, now with a new mindset.

Say hello to Deb Herbert: Artist/Entrepreneur!πŸ€›

Soooo many things I’m learning to do, to be better at or to toss out with my old way of thinking.

It’s all very exciting!😜 And….by golly, it’s fun! Alright, to see my new mindset in action, visit my Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/debherbertart

And don’t forget to see my website, even my art has been transforming!🎨

Each piece has a back story or purpose…. and the story is important not only for context but for appreciation and understanding.

So…new mindset, a grateful heart, and a way to honor my Creator.

AND….if you curious, yezzz…still sugar free, grain free, legume and most fruit free (except Granny Smith apples and berries).

All organic, grass fed and finished, lots of homemade everything!

And feeling fantastic!

How ARE YOU DOING???

Let me know! I missed you.

(That Cool New Website!)

Hugs,

Deb

A Retrospective and…Riding, for the right reason(s)..!

Merry Christmas friends!

So sorry for the silly non-seasonal alliterative title (ooops again!)

I LOVE Christmas, getting our tree up, and country log home decorating.

This is also the time of year when I look back and evaluate what has changed for the better, should be maintained, or, to be honest…just ditched!

A little catching up is in order. Right?

This last spring I bought a new AQHA mare! A red headed, off the track racing quarter horse mare.

Yuppers ….the opposite of what I was looking for, and exactly what I needed.

A sweet, talented, well trained mare who is slowly but surely becoming my new heart β™‘ horse.

So…here are a few of the things with Kit and Caboodle I need to work on maintaining now that our honeymoon is over:

*consistently use the Warwick Schiller Principles of Training.

https://www.warwickschiller.com/

(His Relationship Path of training has sure been a revelation and blessing!

My thinking about Horsemanship has changed completely…….no kidding!)

*keep Kit on a super healthy, gut friendly diet.

*keep working on the canter, setting her up for a relaxed, stress free upward transition.

The main thing I need to improve:

*Consistency in my weekly riding schedule.

The for sure thing I need to ditch:

*Anxiety (see improvement item above!)

So, I have, in essence, created a game plan for all three areas. I’ll be sharing those in future blogs.

What about my health/diet over the last year?

Good news!

My Kauffman One Diet has become an easy lifestyle choice.

https://knowthecause.com/

I’m down 22 pounds that came off effortlessly, and in a couple size smaller clothes.

If that’s not motivating enough, feeling great every day with no brain fog, no gut problems and great energy are the best perks of all!

I was at our riding clubs’ Holiday Awards dinner and I knew I probably wouldn’t eat most of the food there as it was a potluck, (read lots of cookies, cakes, casseroles) with a provided lasagna and glazed ham.

So, I brought a cauliflower and broccoli with organic sausage dish to share, ate dressing free salad and tucked a couple of organic whole carrots onto my plate.

Only one comment…”hey, are you on a special diet or something?”

“Nope’, I said, I’m now part rabbit.”

Lol….it really was a no temptation event!

Honestly, if you’re ready to get healthy…visit Knowthecause.com

Ready for a delicious healthy holiday treat?

Yummers! The almond flour cookie recipe is on the website (above) plus a ton of other great sugar and grain free baking and meal ideas.

The dark chocolate, oatmeal and coconut treats I adapted to be Phase Two friendly and are now my new favorite occasional indulgence. A true Fat-burning crowd pleaser, absolutely gift worthy.

Believe me, they are the best tasting chocolate treats ever!!!

Easy peasy recipe!

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup plain sugar free almond butter

Organic Stevia to taste (or Monk fruit)

1/4 cup coconut or almond milk

1/4 cup organic cacao powder

1 tsp organic vanilla

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

2 1/2 cups organic gluten free oatmeal

Heat the coconut oil, almond butter until smooth.

Remove from the heat and stir in the milk, and other ingredients.

Drop onto parchment lined cookie sheet.

Drizzle with a little melted cacao, stevia and coconut oil mixture and maybe a little sprinkling of sea salt.

Let set in the fridge until firm, then store in a container in the fridge.

Incredible!!!

The fun thing about living this sugar free, grain free, legume, rice, corn and potatoe free life is that all our meals are healthy, satisfying and beautiful.

We eat grass fed or wild caught meats and fish, fresh vegetables and a few fruit.

Healthy baked treats…and never at a loss for a good snack.

My “go-to” snacks nowadays are sliced up organic Granny Smith apples with almond butter, or a couple of whole organic carrots.

This is definitely a “maintain and enjoy the benefits” lifestyle!

How about you? Has your health improved this year?

On the business front…well, here it is, to be truthful, I really have stunk at marketing my work.

Bombed!

It’s the typical artist handicap.

BUT!!!….the good news is I’m getting better.

I have a new website: debherbert.com

http://debherbert.com/

Please let me know what you think, and how I can improve upon it.

It’s fluid, a work in progress and I’m open to positive suggestions.

I’m also stepping out of my comfort zone and dropping off my business cards at Veterinary offices, Feed and Tack stores and handing them out when it seems appropriate.

Brave new me!!!

One of my recent oil paintings,”Wading Through” from a terrific photo by multi-generational Florida cattleman Matthew Hall.

It’s a bit Impressionistic, and yes, different for me!

Here’s another new one, more in my regular style.

One of my new favorites. I’ll be entering both of these in a few upcoming shows.

What have you done that’s new, or a stretch for you this year?

Let me know, I’d love to hear about it!

Finally….my favorite horse that lives in the house, “Winston”…has been helping me rehab a sore shoulder. Take a peek!

https://equicizer.com/

Well, that’s a look back, and a few goals for the future. More to come!

God bless you and yours this most wonderful time of the year! Happy riding, and hug your horse for me too!

For unto us a Child is born….the Savior!

Hugs, and have a blessed Christmas!

Deb

THE THIN LINE BETWEEN WONDERING AND WONDER…(OR; HOW I ALMOST QUIT RIDING AND A REDHEAD SAVED ME!) Kit and Caboodle!

Catching you up has meant catching me up. Well, best as I can…

Between a big hurricane scare for us (pray for the Bahamas!), a small equine health concern and lots of art to finish, I put writing on the back burner.

Don’t worry, I already beat myself up enough for both of us!

I left off telling you about the redheaded mare I had an appointment to go see. Gulp.

The very same one with the history that read:

  • Mare!
  • Red Head!!!
  • Off the track racing quarter horse!!!!!

ALL exactly what I had sworn to myself I wasn’t going to even consider!

But her ad description and subsequent conversations with her owner convinced me otherwise.

So I found myself driving north 45 minutes to meet Kit and her seller, Janet.

No problem finding the barn, or Janet…who was immediately someone I liked. Good sign.

She brought me over to meet Kit, still in her stall munching hay. Another good sign.

The pre ride introduction was very thorough, and Janet even loaded Kit on her trailer to show how easy going she is. Good sign.

I had already told Janet I intended this to be a “meet and greet” only, which was fine with her. She proceeded to amaze me by fully showing Kit being tacked up, warmed up properly and walk, trot and canter….in both Western and English tack! Great sign!

Kit was calm, easy going…and I loved all three of her gaits. I videotaped everything. With a running dialog between Janet and I included.

(To show my trainer, my judge friend and to remind myself I was actually, really, truly….liking THIS mare!)

After chatting with Janet while she untacked, I asked if I could come back in a week with my trainer and ride Kit. Yes….no problem.

All was wonderful and I drove home thinking, Lord….? Wow!

The next appointment to see Kit literally felt like hours instead of a week later.

Karen, my trainer, commented…with a sideways glance as we pulled into the barn gate…that I seemed “remarkably calm”.

I had to admit that I had taken enough homeopathic calming drops to properly sedate an elephant!

____________________________

The Ride!

Introductions, tacking up and Janet’s brief demo ride went beautifully. Karen suggested she hop on first (she KNOWS me so well) and she walked and trotted about, talking to Kit and us as she went through some little “asks” to see how Kit would respond.

Then, rode up to me and said ….”she’s very nice Deb, sensible, go ride her!”

And I did. And I didn’t freak out, and I enjoyed myself. Glory!!!

As we were untacking Kit, I asked Janet if I could let her know in a few days what I decided. No problem! She (Kit) wasn’t going anywhere. Whew.

After our first ride together!

And sooo….after much prayer, discussions with my wise friends Karen and Carol….I made an offer to Janet.

And, my word!…she accepted it!

Things that needed to happen….my vet needed to look her over, she needed new front shoes and thank goodness, Janet offered to deliver her.

Miraculously that all aligned on the same stormy day at my barn within an hour after her arrival.

Kit seeing herself in my barn mirror for the first time…awe….

Well. So there. I am the extremely proud mamma of a highly accomplished red headed mare.

Who’d a EVER thunk it!!!

Kit is, in every sense of the word, the horse God meant me to have. Janet, who is now my friend (β™‘) even said so. I trust her, lol!

And our journey has begun.

Am I still an anxious rider?

After 10 years riding one horse, and then not riding for over a year, I’d be lying if I said no.

But it’s getting better, because of my red headed mare!

So believe this!

And, a couple of nice updates on the art business side of my life. I had two pieces juried into the “Florida’s Finest” art exhibition at the Sarasota Art Center. And I completed one of my favorite wild mustang pieces to date…

“Nevada”

Next blog…..lessons being learned.

Being “present”….

Finding Kits’ heart….

And to you, friend?

Big hugs, for you are truly appreciated and loved!

(Let me know what you think!)

Addendum! Ok…hoisting that snazzy dressage saddle…no problem!

That new black Harmony Western Dressage saddle with the dressage rigging…. another thing entirely! Ack!

Guess I need to get back to lifting weights…get it going with my work out partner Winston the Equicizer!

https://equicizer.com/

Yup….10 pound weights….lots of reps, while posting the trot.

More on that later! Hugs!

THE THIN LINE BETWEEN WONDERING AND WONDER…(OR; HOW I ALMOST QUIT RIDING AND A REDHEAD SAVED ME!) PART 2

Deep joy, despite the circumstances! A promise from scripture.

In the last post I shared my dilemma….no sound/rideable horse in my 3 horse pasture (well, granted…the mini horse Prince Caspian isn’t a riding candidate!).

I also had spent some serious time contemplating whether or not I was meant to be an Equestrian anymore. Big questions, and….not a clue as to what the right answer should be.

I finally decided that an object in motion was far more apt to run into something than a stationary object!

So….bless Karen’s heart…I dragged her to go look at a local horse for sale. I told her straight up that I didn’t want to ride the horse, (and, no, unless it was perchance a miracle…was pretty sure it was NOT going to be a fit)…

I just needed to physically and mentally start the process of looking at other horses. We looked, I told the nice lady thank you, I walked with Karen, who is the most patient and understanding trainer ever, back to our trucks, and I cried.

Recipe edit insert! It was here that I needed chocolate! Dark chocolate! Ok, headed home to whip up this 5 minute fix!

1 cup organic coconut oil

1 cup organic cacao powder

1 tsp organic real vanilla extract

Organic Stevia to taste (I use Sweet Leaf)

Walnuts, unsweetened coconut, organic almond butter, gluten free oatmeal…..whatever healthy add in you like!

Combine the coconut oil and cacao powder in a saucepan, stir to combine over low heat. Take off stove and stir in stevia and vanilla. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment. Pour the chocolate mix over and spread out. Top with your nuts, oatmeal, etc…

Place in the refrigerator until hardened, then break up into bark size pieces. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for a week or as long as it lasts. Trust me, won’t be long! Healthy fats, antioxidant rich, so good!!! You’re welcome!

It was official. Belle was retired and I was looking for another horse.

I figured it this way…if the right horse was out there…the Lord would make it extremely clear which one it was meant to be. Right?

Enter scene 2, Deb browsing through Equine.com.

My criteria:

  1. No mares
  2. No red heads
  3. No off the track or former games horses. (First 3 non-negotiable!)

I was pretty open to height (between 15.1 and 16.1) breed and experience. However, with temperament, on a scale of 1 to 10, between a 1 (read gramma safe) and 3, the more towards 1 the better!

I began my search in a hundred mile radius.

And one horse kept coming up.

And I’d skip it and keep looking.

But I’d keep going back to reread the ad.

The reason I kept skipping this horse was a no brainer….it was a

redheaded former racing quarter horse MARE!!!

Really Lord?

(A recent drawing in progress. This one from the Paardverzameld Collective Challenge. A wonderful international equine artist group of which I am a proud member)

Sure….they’re great subject matter for art…but a riding horse? I’d been hurt badly once by a redheaded mare I once owned! Nope. Not again!

It took me a week just to come to grips that maybe I really wasn’t in charge of knowing what’s best from Gods’ point of view…sooooo, I called the gal.

And sure enough, her redheaded mare sounded really amazing, and frankly, so did she! They had accomplished so much together!

But… gulp, she was having second thoughts about selling her because she still had some goals she really wanted to accomplish with her mare Kit.

Sigh…..of course.

I imagined then that I was meant to see this ad, and talk to this gal, so I could be shown that there ARE still great horses out there. And I had to trust God to help me find the right one.

So I continued to read ads, and then friends who heard I was “officially looking” started sending me sale notices.

I called on a couple, but nothing really sounded right. Patience is not a problem for me…as long as I’m moving forward. But it seemed like I was circling Cincinnati so to speak.

I kept thinking about that one horse…the one that was the opposite of what I was looking for.

Finally, two weeks later, out of the blue….I decided to text the gal. I mentioned that if she ever changed her mind, to please let me know. I was having a hard time finding a match for me, and her horses’ temperament and experience seemed suited for me at my, ahem, stage in life.

She was very kind, and wrote that she had a couple of shows she was planning on going to with the mare, and if she changed her mind after the shows…she’d let me know.

But then this happened.

After a bit…. she texted me back, and ended her amazing text to me with these words…..

It’s not right to pray for the right person, Kits person, to come along and then get cold feet.

If you are serious, let’s talk.

I was at the Dunkin Donuts, walking towards my truck. Dazed, I got in and sat there in wonder. Did I just read that right?

Ummmm, Lord? Would you really do this? For me?

And a wonderful conversation started between Janet and I. She texted me more information about her mare, and some incredibly beautiful photos taken at shows.

She agreed to let me come meet them after her last scheduled show.

The plan: just drive up to meet the mare and she would ride Kit for me to see what she was like.

More about “the meeting” in the next blog post!

While all this was happening I was also on a creative roll, and had the absolute need to paint and draw everyday! Here are a couple more pieces.

(Both images were referenced from photos by Gary Odell)

And while painting, and searching for a new riding partner, the Lord led a former student’s mom to contact me. She designs web sites, she is an artist also…and did I need a web site builder per chance?

Can you say OH YES!!!!

This week she and her wonderful son came out, we talked art, played with dogs, ate healthy snacks and talked about what I’d like my website to look like.

And I have a new friend!

God is good! And a new beautiful website will be up when ready. With a gallery, a way to order commissions, prints or buy originals!

The Lord knows He must provide if the horses are to stay in my life. So I trust Him to do that!!!

Make sense?

Proverbs 3:5,6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your steps.”

Never doubt that for a second. I know from personal experience, it is far better to give up control to the One who IS in control!

Thanks for reading friend….more about “meeting the mare” next time!

The thin line between wondering and wonder…(or; How I almost quit riding and a redhead saved me!) Part 1

I apologize. Really…truly and sincerely.

This “50 plus Equestrian” had a major life lesson that apparently had to be taught to her, and as you know…those are often not pleasant, but very necessary.

Funny how we think life lessons are for the young, right?

My silence on this blog was self imposed because I was hurting emotionally and felt it was too negative to share. But in hindsight, whenever God does something, and you learn from it, ummm duh, SHARE!…and you could have experienced perhaps a bit of the wondering and wonder as well!

So, to put things back in order in this post, let me share with you what led up to the cacophonous silence.

You may recall this blog began as a documentary of my rehab from a broken wrist, preparing for an exciting new horse to arrive and hopefully compete at rated shows.

My wonderful Equicizer “Winston” was, and is, an integral part of my journey back to fitness. https://equicizer.com/

(One of my recent oils, 16×20, on panel)

Then, the unthinkable happened and I discovered the gorgeous mare I bought had been sold to me under fraudulent circumstances.

Thankfully the Lord worked all that out!…Oh my!

Thank you God! That mare was “returned to sender.”

I was left with my recently retired AQHA mare and slim hopes of bringing her back to show fitness.

I blogged about our journey, my own health and fitness discoveries and my exercise sessions with Winston.

Things were beginning to come together with Belle (“the AQHA Princess”) and my personal goals.

And then Belle basically decided she couldn’t do it anymore.

(The little herd, Belle is the bay with blaze….)

And I wasn’t going to try to make her…giving multiple monthly shots and regular hock injections are not my equine health management style. Belle was telling me she was done.

The day I got on and started walking her away from the block and she just stopped, refusing to move, I knew. She’s officially retired and she’s earned the privilege.

And so, I had a big decision to make. I spent a lot of time praying and wondering what the Lord wanted me to do.

When you own horses….but you can’t ride any of them, are you still an “Equestrian”?

Was I supposed to give up my riding goals and journey with dressage, and just focus on my art?With the dressage ring in the back pasture, every day in the barn was a constant prompt to ask the question I kept asking….”what now Lord”?

In the meantime, my overall health has improved because my new eating lifestyle has become just that…a healthy habit.

No sugars, no grains, extremely limited dairy, no potatoes or starchy vegetables. No yeast, no artificial ingredients or sweeteners. No alcohol. All organic and grassfed or wild caught (not farmed)

Guess who has lost 16 pounds and feels terrific!

Breakfast the other day…and no cheating, that bread is grain and yeast free! Millet seed bread! Super yummy and tastes like a good Italian bread…fab discovery!The shopping, cooking and baking is now a breeze!

But…..Being in an “in between” place can be taxing emotionally.

Wondering, can I really afford to financially support another horse, am I too old to have these crazy riding goals, should I just be happy making art….should I get out of horses completely…

A decision had to be made.

Praying…..Wondering!

So, more to share, to let you know what the Lord did (and is still doing)…….in the next blog!

I missed you!

“What’s in that stuff?”

Karen was laughing when she called out to me as I was free lunging Belle in the round pen. I had to laugh too as I had just told her that Belle had been given her Summit shot the day before. And boy was she feeling good!!!

After a few minutes of high flying bucks, and VERY forward trots and canters, “Her Majesty” settled down to a dignified middle-aged mare disposition and was ready to tack up.

Remember, this is the mare that is known for her snail crawl walk to the riding ring that I lovingly refer to as “the death march of her people…”

Honestly, I have a different horse now than I’ve had for the last 2 1/2 years! Thank you Summit!

http://www.summitjp.com/

And folks….I’m riding walk, trot, canter on a consistently happy mare, ummmm…mare owners…you KNOW that is miraculous!

So while I am completely overjoyed at this turn around, Karen (world’s best trainer and friend) and I are making Belles’ “coming back into full work” rides a very carefully thought out plan each week.

Because we want Belle to STAY happy!

πŸ˜ŽπŸ˜πŸ˜„πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜‡πŸ˜‰πŸ€©πŸ˜˜πŸ˜‹πŸ˜†

You know what? As I reflected on our conversation later that same evening, it occurred to me that I have been asking that very same question a lot lately!

What’s in that stuff???

As, what’s in:

β€’The boxes, cans and packages I pick up at the grocery store…specifically, what exactly is the labeling telling me. And NOT telling me! By the way….sugar, or any of its hidden forms like sucralose, syrups, fructose, natural cane syrup, sugar alcohols, etc…is in nearly everything!

β€’ What’s in the produce I’m buying? Is it Non GMO? Is it Organic? Is it sustainably produced?

β€’ What’s in the coffee I drink? How is it processed?

β€’ What are the ingredients in that meal I’m about to order at that restaurant?

β€’ What’s in that spray or cleaning product I’m using?

β€’ What’s in that medication or over-the-counter remedy? And what are its side effects?

β€’ Is that repeat dental x-ray really necessary?

Ok, it’s not that everything is questionable…but I’ve become a very informed and curious consumer!

Hence, better choices all the way around, with benefits for our health and our budget.

It really does make a difference!

Keto inspired grain and sugar free chocolate chip cookies! Yummers! Yes, you can eat sugar free and enjoy it!

And organic eggplant parmesan with grass fed beef and organic sauce.

Healthy is definitely delicious!

As new lifestyle changes have now become habits, these last 5 months of being sugar, grain and processed food free have been easy and fun, besides the fact that both hubby and I are feeling great!

Shopping is now an adventure, finding new markets is great fun…and cooking at home, well…it really resembles gourmet cuisine, without the high prices! Win, win!!!

By the way…as hubby and I were shopping one morning at our local “healthy choices” grocery, I reached in a frozen food case and pulled out two cauliflower pizza crusts and popped them in the cart.

Hubby looked shocked and said, “I’m not going to eat that!!!”

“Honey’, I replied, ‘you’ve been eating them for three months!”

His eyes got big as saucers, and he shook his head. “Just don’t tell me what I’m eating from now on, ok?”

It’s a deal, dear.

Lol!

Now, a friendly riding tip from Winston and me!

https://equicizer.com/

Yup….happy gal!

And VERY busy making art!

Here is a look at a recently completed colored pencil piece of a lovely little dressage pony.

He’s away getting scanned right now so I can have some giclees or limited edition prints as an option in the future.

Speaking of the future…not one of us can predict it, or guarantee anything. Right?

Only the Lord knows what’s in store for each of us. Truth! So….I’m planning on living each day I’m gifted with, in joy and hope!

What do your plans for each day look like?

Do you wake up thinking “Oh good Lord!, it’s morning already?”, or do you wake up thinking…

“Good morning Lord! This day is yours, show me your way please!”

One thing I can guarantee….

it will always be an adventure!

Happy New Year friends!

SWEET… (Results!)

Merry Christmas!

And oh my WORD y’all!!!

Big changes and big news!

Backtrack a bit with me as I remind myself, and also you, dear reader…for the reason this little blog exists.

I really wanted to document my progress getting to a place of personal health and fitness, share the ups and downs exploring ways to bring my heart horse Belle back to soundness, and also share the products and information I’ve learned about through this lonnnngggg process.

And…a look back over all my blogs this past year has been a mixture of sweet nostalgia and unvoiced frustration. And a sequence of life lessons the Lord had lined up for me.

I think people of faith have all heard the saying:

“nothing happens by accident”

Can I hear a big AMEN!

So let’s see….

  • January, 2018: I bought a beautiful Andalusian mare that was to be the dream horse. (My AQHA mare was completely unsound and we had tried nearly everything)
  • Then double whammy, I fractured my wrist in a fall unloading 120 pound hay bales and also found out that the “dream horse” was not meant to be sold as a dressage horse! With a broken heart, after a couple of months…she went back to the previous owner.
  • Found my Equicizer “Winston” through a complete God thing on Craigslist…had him sent to Frankie at Equicizer to check over and then ship to me. https://equicizer.com
  • I rehabbed my wrist, my core strength and my heart riding Winston…and The 50 plus Equestrian blog and Facebook page were born.
  • Also during the last few months as some health challenges arose, I documented lifestyle nutritional changes and their impact on my life.
  • Finally…I also documented going through various interventions with Belle, from using supplements, Adequan shots, to getting her hock injected…all apparently to no avail.

β™‘β™‘β™‘β™‘β™‘β™‘β™‘β™‘β™‘β™‘β™‘β™‘β™‘β™‘

But now the good news! My mare is sound! More on that with the video!

On the health front…in my last blog I shared the various tests my new family doctor had ordered to get an overall health baseline, and that I still needed one. The dreaded colonoscopy.

Blech! But…being the good trooper that I am…I followed through.

Of course the last test is always the ONE with the info you are looking for, right?

Sure enough, THAT Dr. said…you’re good to go, see you in 10 years. And… you have Diverticulosis. (No polyps, tears, etc…but this explains the stomach pain I was having)

Take away from all this?

God IS in control.

Finding Doug Kauffman and Knowthecause.com is a huge blessing, and finding a natural treatment for Belle (Summitt chondroitin injectable) is incredible!

http://www.summitjp.com/

Results!

1. I rode Belle for the first time in months and now have a riding plan for her journey back to Western Dressage competition (if the Lord is willing!)

2. I have lost 10 pounds and counting….whoop!

3. I am completely sugar and grain free and have been for over 2 months! NO CRAVINGS!!! Really!

(Incredibly yummy pumpkin muffins, this recipe is on the Knowthecause.com site, as well as many other sugar free, mycotoxin free recipes!)

4. I feel SO MUCH BETTER!

5. Also I’ve been making many new works of art, paintings, drawings, portraits…I get excited to share each new one and build my Hearthstone Studio business! (dherbertart/fb)

Who knew being a full time creative could be so much fun!!!

There is No Way anyone can predict the path that the Lord has set before each of us.

But I do know that if you learn something from crawling, walking or running on that path you should share the lessons!

So like this little Hereford calf I painted…I’m resting secure. Trusting. And living my life verse from Philippians….

“Be anxious for nothing, but with all prayers and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace that passes all understanding will be yours in Christ Jesus.

….Whose birthday we are celebrating very soon!

Let’s plan to remember who is the real reason for the season!

Merry Christmas dear friends!

Less…is WAY more!

It began as a general bleh feeling. Then more brain fog than my usual artsy creative late night marathons produced…

And then, a pain in upper belly with swelling. Unusual cravings for sweets, oats, carbs and blue chips with anything.

Something wasn’t right in Kansas and my body was telling me to pay attention.

Ok….I am positively phobic about dental work…and I knew I had a really bad tooth I had to deal with. Could that be what was causing my problems?

I pulled on my big girl boots and headed into the new dentist my hubby absolutely loved. Yup….”girl, that tooth has gotta go”…

Um…rats. So I made an appointment to remove the nasty abcess causing molar. Antibiotics planned, etc… Phht…

And future $$$ to save to have yet another implant added to the three I already need. Thanks rotten gene pool!!!

But, in my reading, and random recipe browsing, I came across diet, health issues and antibiotics all in the same site.

Whoa…what?

I have had tons of antibiotics over the years…who hasn’t. Let’s see….for multiple cases of strep, mycoplasma pneumonia, oral surgery a few times, shingles, multiple bladder, yeast or kidney infections…

Wait a minute….I consider myself a super healthy person! I eat clean, take no meds, do take great supplements and I exercise!

Come on!!!

http://www.knowthecause.com/

And then I stumbled upon this website. And my life took a 180.

Not fully realizing what ALL those antibiotics had been doing to my gut was, well….shocking.

And from how I was feeling…it was all beginning to make perfect sense.

Fungus infection… and it was literally taking control over me!

I made an appointment with a new D.O. and asked for a routine “haven’t been to a doc in a long time” check up. She is a very sweet and thorough gal.

I explained my symptoms and she did a physical, pap, ordered blood tests, and a stomach and lower GI ultrasound. Inconclusive, not remarkable. (I wasn’t offended!)

Then….she ordered a cat scan and a mammogram for good measure. Normal. (thank you Lord!!!)

Finally…the next test is a colonoscopy. Ack.

Unwanted, but necessary. My dad died of colon cancer at 62.

So….while all this was happening in the space of a month, between my first dentist visit, my tooth being pulled and all those tests, I made a huge life changing decision.

Go unconventional, get radical.

Own my health decisions fully (not what the media, magazines or big pharma says to do), from my attitude, excercise, down to every food purchase, snack, and item on my plate. My food can and should be my medicine!

So…what does that look like?

I was pretty close in some areas…off the mark by a mile in others.

The Kauffman diet, basic level one is what I’m living by for now….level two eventually!

And less truly is more.

Things that are now missing from my life and I don’t miss:

  • Sugar of all kinds except pure Stevia (believe it or not…no cravings!)
  • No coffee (most is full of mycotoxins) but I am drinking myotoxin free Bulletproof brand. Yay!
  • Grains of all kinds
  • Peanuts
  • Potatoes, peas and beans of all kinds
  • No bread unless I make it with Buckwheat…which isn’t a wheat at all but a seed (who knew?) or purchase or make it with almond and coconut flour
  • Only berries for fruit in moderation
  • No dairy (I use feta cheese and plain Greek yogurt) Yes to almond milk!
  • Only grass fed beef, chicken, turkey or wild caught fish. And our home raised chicken eggs.

It’s made my life…well,

SIMPLE!

And yes…I do feel a LOT better. My energy is back, swelling subsiding and tummy pain 90 percent gone. I still have to get that one test….still blech about it, but I must eliminate that concern. Besides…its on the “you need to get this one anyway” list.

I encourage you to at least look up the “Know the Cause.com” website.

If anything just to see WHY I went this route. You may see yourself or someone you love who had an illness that was attributed to one thing, and its root cause was most likely something entirely different!

If you’re at all intellectually curious….check it out!

So…that’s the yummy Buckwheat with walnuts and blueberries bread I made…toasted with almond butter..delish!

And those would be the incredible pumpkin, walnut (with a tad of organic unsweetened coconut) muffins I just made. Glorious!

See…you can still eat simple AND well!

Homemade organic tomato beef soup with carrots, organic cukes and homemade bread.

And for the curious….it was easy going cold turkey!

My biggest concern was missing chocolate…dark chocolate. Seriously!!!

And hurray!! There is even a sugar free delicious chocolate bar that Doug Kauffman recommends… the kids are ordering me a few for Christmas.

Whoop, cant wait!

Now…on the art business front…I’ve been cranking out the work!

To gauge my work against other professionals in my mediums and genres of choice, I have joined quite a few forums and submitted work for review and comment. I’ve actually been quite thrilled and encouraged by the responses!

So look for my pieces on Instagram and dherbertart/fb.

Here’s one of the most recent, also available in giclee! “Full Bore!”

And finally…the AQHA Princess had her teeth floated, gets a body adjustment next week and an assessment ride with the world’s nicest trainer. I’m keeping it simple and stress free on that front as well…..

Because after all, I’m NOT in control…never have been, and surely can trust God to work out the details in ALL areas of my life…including my passions!

Want a quick stretch tip?

Here you go!

https://equicizer.com

So, added to my gratitude list this week;

  • God is always lovingly handling the big and small things!
  • I (and most Americans) have been blessed with so much, that giving back is not a burden!
  • And He allows me to keep learning about His goodness every day!

His mercies are new every morning!

Keeping it simple makes it easy to count your blessings!

What are you grateful for?

Keeping Quiet…

A couple of my favorite verses are:

“lead a quiet life…and work with your hands…”

(1 Thessalonians 4:11) and

β€œIn quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”

(Isaiah 30:15)

Are you picking up on a theme here?

I’ve been in a creative storm, mostly because I’m really working hard on my art making as a business.

(Just finished these drafts! Strong and gloriously beautiful. Just amazing horses!!! 11Γ—14 Colored pencil on Bristol)

I’ve also been exploring new techniques (I got oils…yes, smelly oils. Acrylics are my thing, so way out of my comfort zone!!!) New subjects (like drafts) and styles. It’s been, well…crazy FUN!

Caveat.

Working from home is still radically new for me. I really enjoy the freedom to schedule my time but I am very aware of time itself!

It really does fly.

Failing to plan is planning to fail…right? So, I try to plan to be productive every day!

There’s a big difference between “busy-ness”…and productivity.

Frankly, for me…it’s important to have uninterrupted quiet. The smellavision (aka television) and phone need to be off.

So my brain can be on!!!

Colors, textures, shapes and spaces all get reexamined. New ways of seeing.

Even our dinner has to be appealing to the eye…or blech, not interested. The challenge of preparing organic, delicious and varied meals can be daunting if you don’t have a plan.

My plan:

  • Always go organic.
  • Always include at least 3 colors.
  • Always go for 2/3 vegetables to 1/3 protein.
  • And always make it look appealing

(Piper the Pom photobomber!)

Wild caught salmon cakes, and organic vegetables…yum!

Organic green beans, carrots, nectarines, and

Good stuff!!!

This idea of seeing possible new combinations, textures and colors carries over to other areas.

So when I saw this weird little handmade table at a thrift store I could totally see it in our kitchen. (It matches our huge handmade live edge dining table)

Yup…40.00 treasure snagged!

Now that I’ve kind of brought up the idea of having a plan (with room for creativity), and being in a quiet place to help make the plan work…here’s the thing….sometimes it’s hard work staying quiet. Distractions so easily creep in.

The same thing happens when you ride.

And your horse knows it!!!

You can be present or distracted, but not both! So when your practicing, it’s important to know how to isolate parts of your body to focus on correctness.

Let’s look at how I practice using my leg correctly on Winston!

Are you a “quiet” rider? Have you ever had someone videotape you riding? I know, trust me…I hate having my picture taken… and videos are worse!

But its a way for me to improve. That’s another reason why I love my Equicizer…perfect practice!

https://equicizer.com/

And you know what….the not so pretty (but temporary) will usually preceed the “hey, you’ve been working hard, I can see real improvement!!!” comments. Bam!

So mount up! Get present. Eliminate distractions…..

Find your quiet.

Its totally worth it.

Ripples…..

You never know what one small (seemingly) insignificant action can eventually cause to happen!

I had just finished a couple of pieces of art from my own reference photos and posted updates on my Facebook Hearthstone Studio (dherbertart).

Routine by now…

I’ve begun to understand that a small business takes mindful, constant exposure and marketing.

And patience, and prayer….but I digress.

One early feedback comment asked about the identity of the person (his back is turned) and I verified the correct guess. A few days passed and I noticed the post was shared. That’s usually good. But…

More crickets…..

That’s ok. I’m NOT in charge of anything other than being faithful to my core values, and making the best art I know how to make.

Then one evening I got an instant message…

Hi Deborah, I’m a dear friend of the owner of the horse in the picture with “….” She would love to talk to you about buying the painting. She’s not on FB. Can you please call me so I can give you more information?

“Why sure! I’d be happy to chat with you!”

(Are you kidding…I’m jumping up and down right now)

It turns out that somehow through multiple shares and texts, the picture made its way to this gal, who instantly knew the mare and rider/trainer.

She is dear friends with the owner of the horse (who doesn’t use social media). The gal recently lost this special mare and was still grieving.

At a dinner out together these sweet friends handed the gal a Kleenex and a phone and showed her my painting. She burst into tears….and, well….

The whole series of events is a “Divine intervention thing”!

I’ve made a couple of new friends, sold a painting to the specific person God had wanted to own it….

AND I learned about an amazing new injectable treatment to try for Belle…

Which I ordered yesterday!

Wow…just WOW!!!

Our God even cares about the little things in life…things we think we “just have to live with (or without!).

So…updates on that news for Belle in about a month!

Unbelievable…if I wasn’t living it!

The everyday becomes exciting! πŸš€

Back to normal for a moment, whatever that means!

Living in a log home means being creative with space usage. I don’t like clutter, but I do like having things handy…especially things I cook with.

In the kitchen, which is also the dining room…and part time drawing space, I organized shelves for my everyday items. Local raw honey, organic coconut oil, organic olive oils, natural sea salts, ACV, MCT oil, etc…

and the dog treats!

So a view across the tiny rolling island and my yummy morning bulletproof coffee.

That’s when I decided to show you a different view of Winston!

https://equicizer.com/

Early mornings are great!

After my barn chores I’ll be working on this new piece. A horse standing in water…a new challenge!

A few hours on that piece, and then I’ll go get horse feed and fresh veggies. I’ll let what I find at the best farm market ever help me plan dinner!

(And here was last night’s yum dinner!)

Fresh organic green beans, organic apple and carrot slices and roast chicken.

The leftover chicken became chicken veggie soup!

What do your weekends look like?Moments of fun? Is there any room for spontaneity? Reflection?

Do you slow down enough to see God’s hand on your life?

I hope so….one of those amazing ripples of His may be about to touch you right now!
Proverbs 16:9

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.

Have a wonderful, blessed day!