Word of the Year

Does anybody know who that is there? Sneaking around the corner?


I’ll save that news because my post is about something else altogether.

It’s about this: do you ever pick a “Word of the Year” for yourself? A theme just for you for the year? If you haven’t, do it this year. Find a word that fits you and where you are in your journey. Write it on your calendar. And live it.

Continue reading

  1. Dear Rebekah,

    I think for me being hospitable is all about time. It isn’t so much about food, or drinks (well, maybe a cup of coffee!), but about giving my undivided attention to my guest. Not answering the phone if it rings, not looking at the clock. But being able to act like I have all the time in the world to just sit and visit. For me, because I’m not a sitter, this is very hard to do! I’d love to be folding clothes or washing dishes while I visit! So I have to force myself to JUST SIT!!! If it is expected overnight guests… THEN it is all about the food!!! 🙂

    Great post and a great word!

    Dori – the Ranch Farmgirl

    P.S. I LOVE that barn of yours! 🙂

  2. Cindy says:

    I just LOVE your blogs! I am the hostess with the mostest and you sound like you are armed and ready for company! Keep flour,sugar,brown sugar, baking powder and soda and butter on hand at all times to whip up some yummy treats! I too! Just became a farmgal about a year and a half ago in Boise ,Idaho area! We have a 26acre alphalfa field and we built a farmhouse on it! Yeeeehaaaw! We have goats,a cat we maimed Gypsy! He came through the field about 6months ago! He adopted us! He sleeps in his bed every night in the garage and loves to play with our young Brittany dogs! Ha! All that’s missing is my DREAM horse and a big red barn! I’m envious! You are so lucky! Loved your horse riding blog! I laughed my ass off! Sounds just like me! I rode when I was younger! I worked at a riding stables for a few years ,but now that Zim in my 50s ! Yikes! Alittle scared of the big guys! But can’t wait to get one this year! Take care! Your new friend, Cindy

  3. Cindy says:

    Oh I should have checked my spelling! As for the abused animals of the world! The horrible people should be subjected to the same abuse they dished out! It makes me sick too! I pray God will take care of them! I love animals so much and it’s so hard to know its out there and our hands are tied! If I witness it you can be sure I will do all in my power to help! So! Love your blogs on a cherry note! You have a terrific manner about you! Ha! We think alike and we could be great friends! Take care! From one far girl to another!

  4. Becky says:

    Wonderful post…thanks for sharing. Is.that mustache on your car real? He dldn’t know how good it was going to be when you picked him…he doesn’t look wild these days.

  5. Karen(old cowgirl) Montoya says:

    Hi Rebekah,
    I know you will get a lot of advice so I will only say how enjoyable your blogs are. The last picture you took is a picture perfect look of a quite, winter scene of a real working ranch. It is what Christmas cards have on the front of them. Special.

  6. I like what you described as a comfortable home, I like that. My hose is for from spotless, but clean enough. I have friends that tell me they like coming to my home because its cozy. What better compliment can you have? Always have a cookie jar full and that’s a good thing. Most people like a cookie with coffee or tea. Hugs Juanita farm sister # 1020

  7. Elaine says:

    My word of the year is: HEALTH! This translates into physical health of course, but also spiritual health, emotional health, financial health, health of my home and acres, health of my crittters and vehicles, health of my relationships and work. I have no resolutions to accomplish this year, but my word of the year will keep me focused on what I want and need to accomplish. I think it’s cool that you came up with your HOSPITALITY word and, independently, I came up with my HEALTH word. Maybe we could report back at the end of the year about our words of the year.

  8. Colleen says:

    What a great mustache – be very careful with your kitty tho. My feral cat thought I was trying to kill her when she got stuck in a lace tablecloth and I tried to untangle her. I wound up in the ER and now have scars in my hands! Mustache has had all his shots? Just don’t approach him if he’s upset about something. You probably know all this already, I learned the hard way! And don’t want anyone to think that it’s the cats fault- that’s just what they do. Love your pictures! Just plain ol’ love your blog! Thanks!

  9. Kim denn says:

    For as long as you have been writing this blog I have been enjoying your thoughts. Can’t thank you enough for sharing! This one really hit home. I’m always doing two to three things at a time. Gotta stop that

  10. Sandi Graham says:

    I love your word of the year! I think it’s a great one. I was just thinking this morning that I love to entertain, and I do not have people over enough. I want the type of house where people just “drop by”. I do live in the city, so I do have the comforts of a store near by. I think my word of the year might be “community”. I’ve realized that while I lived in this neighborhood for about 3 years, I do not know many neighbors. Most of my friends and family live farther away. I want to become more involved in the community and be the house where people just stop by.. Thanks for this post..

  11. Dianne says:

    I love your stories so much. I always look forward to hearing from you. I know you and your daughter love animals so much. I wonder if there isn’t a way for you to be a rescue place for horses until they get healthier and can be adopted? I think it must be wonderful having people “stop by” because they enjoy the company. Thanks so much for sharing your stories with us, they are treasures.

  12. Nancy Edwards says:

    What a wonderful word to have for 2015! I shall abscond with it as well – I think it is great to have coffee/tea and things to enjoy but the welcoming heart and the ear to listen are also needed ingredients. How often are we talking to someone and their eyes have drifted off and you can tell they are not really listening. I have my Aunt Betty who has been my model in life – she listens as though there was no one anywhere who is half as interesting as you in front of her. She really listens, she is not composing her answer or thinking of what you might say next. She is looking attentively and truly listening. And that is what I shall work towards in 2015!

  13. Debbie says:

    Howdy Rebekah! I love your word for the year! How wonderful that you live in a place where people just drop by. Your post reminded me of a dear friend of mine who has been inviting me to tea at her house for about 10 years now. She’s a busy mom of 4 and loves to bake… Lucky me, right? Well, she and I try not to go longer than two or three weeks in-between visits. In fact, we just had out two hour tea and catch up visit yesterday. When she called yesterday morning to see if I was free, we both knew the Blizzard of 2015 was on the way but we held our date and had a lovely 2 hour visit over tea and some of her delicious homemade muffins. When I left the snow flurry’s were beginning to fly, I still had to grocery shop and pick up our daughter from the bus stop but my belly was full and my soul was refreshed! As for my hospitality secrets…Let’s see? I love to have quiche, muffins or some kind of bread and fresh fruit. But if I don’t have those, I always have fixins for brownies or chocolate chip cookies…Oh, and plenty of coffee, and tea selections…Wish I lived closer, I would drop by for a little farmgirl chit chat… Hugs and love, Deb ( Beach Farmgirl )

  14. Judy aka:herblady says:

    Hi there,
    I can’t believe how far that cat has come. He’s so lucky to have you for his adopted mama! You are so lucky to have that ‘sweetie-pie’ face to look at every day!
    My word for the year is ‘teamwork’. I have been so independent in my 60 years(as of Feb 2nd)that I have trouble depending on others when I have to. It’s hard. I married at 51 to a man who was 51. We both struggle with asking for help. But, after all, teamwork has it’s rewards. It humbles, it joins us with others, it shows us how to share. All good stuff, right?
    So that’s my ‘word’… TEAM-work! I (no…WE) can do this)! Oh yes we can!

  15. Beverly says:

    Hi Rebekah…Once again you’ve written such an inspirational post !! I’m glad you’ve embraced the country lifestyle so fully! While I don’t live in the country(but pray that one day I will) I hope I’ll be as joyful as you!! Awww…I love Mr. Moustache(he looks like Groucho…lol). Animals have always been a huge part of my life and I couldn’t imagine my life without them!! Thanks again for sharing your life with us!

    P.S. My 2015 word for the year is compassion 🙂

  16. Denise Ross says:

    Hi Rebekah,
    I did a word last year for the first time, it was Intentional and i think I followed through on it. It’s still a work in progress and I think for this year I have four that are popping into my head at the moment, faith, community, grace and hospitality. I do want to invite friends in for coffee and meals but also have them feel free to drop in. I work full time and my husband is a nurse who does shift work. We have three kids who all live at home, my oldest in his second year of university, my daughter In Her final year of high school and my youngest son in year 4. So I guess life isn’t quite the way I’d love it to be but I would like my home to be cosy, comforting and inviting. I’ve always baked, that’s the way I was brought up so I tend to have goodies in my cupboards, but my finances have been the restricting thing over the last few years and I’ve allowed them to dictate hospitality which I’d like to change. So for me this year I’d like my door to be open. My ears open and my heat open to others, no matter who they are. I think I’ve figured my word out in all this rambling, it’s Open. Have a wonderful day. I’ll email you a receipe that is no fail and a treasure that my mother taught me. I’ve never seen it in a receipe book to date and my mother passed away some years ago, so it’s super special to me. Enjoy your hospitality this year
    Hugs from Australia x

  17. Marge Hofknecht says:

    Lovely word: hospitality. It does take much effort to be hospitable. You’ve got to think about others and put yourself in their places. It means allowing others space and time to relax and to unwind and to be blessed. Your piece has gotten me to thinking: what word should I choose for this year, 2015? I would say, “organize” but I’m always doing that and will continue to do so. But I think for me, my “one word” would have to come in three: cherish each day. I’ve had a number of friends who recently have experienced death in their families and hearing of each one has made me think more of the preciousness of life and how each day is truly a gift from God. Thank you for your thought-provoking blog entry.

  18. susana says:

    first went to Europe, in 1971….is when I first learned what hospitality really meant…it blew me away. There, you didnt need an invite … and you were asked to come right into their kitchen and they would serve you all kinds of things to eat and drink (depending on the time of day)! If you were relate or not! They would treat you the same. I was impressed by their generosity in their hospitality. They would go out of their way to be kind in their hospitality. It was so strange to me, as I never felt welcomed any where in school, my neighborhood or church.

  19. susana says:

    Sorry, the response went before I was completed…..
    But in Europe, it seemed like….they were in another time and
    Planet, as they were so overjoyed to make my acquaintance. And they offered do much of their time and hospitality, that I felt that time stood still. Plus the food and company was so easy to enjoy. And they had a variety of goodies to eat. And if they weren’t to my liking, they sent someone yo the nearest bakery to buy something more desirable or less sweet. Hard not to be a diabetic there….everyone had a big stomach. But that was not a concern. They enjoy life to its fullness. They would sit for hours and talk of everything and anything. They never seemed to want to end a visit, but when your visiting’ you know you have to eave eventually. But if it gets too late, they even ask you to spend the night….usually because your too intoxicated to walk away.,..lol. but they ask you to stay the night, and even feed you a meal before your/n hour/way go your destination. And if you miss your connection, even offered to drive you there. One time we missed our flight to England, and they paid the cost . I didnt believe it. And another time even paid for the visit of a train so we wouldn’t miss another flight because they –talked our ears off! Lol. They felt hospitality was More important. It was so easy to like people ho were do hospitable. I guess its one reason by I love Europeans, and Iive Europe. Because everyone is do friendly….. my husband says its because were so friendly. I think its because were from similar/backgrounds. I’m from country background….the farming background… Down to earth. But I think has to do with how I was raised and like people are attracted to like characters. I have Alway believed in hospitality….going the/extra mile was part of being a Christian…

  20. Amanda says:

    I love the post, love the barn picture, and love the mustache! Most of all, I love the idea of a word of the year. I never thought of that before. May I borrow your word until I find my own? A dear friend of mine is coming to visit me next month(we haven’t seen each other in three years!) and I want to be super hospitable! With kids involved, things should be interesting! I know definitly coffee(and hot chocolate), and maybe I’ll make chocolate biscotti. People where I live don’t visit, work is always more important, so when someone does come, I like to make a big deal! Your stories always come along just when I need some inspiration! Thank you for being you!!

  21. Brenda Towsley says:

    Testing….Testing Set up a Gmail account advised by our local computer tech to see if this will work so my comments show up. So I have came back and read this post that I had missed along the way. Our home is the family hub. Everyone comes here for most of the family gatherings so I have gotten better at it. I think you have it, be prepared. Having things prepared ahead of time and do not stress about your home or you will not enjoy the time with others as much. Years ago I thought I had to spend days cleaning. Now I just ask Jeff to clean one bathroom and I clean the other. Pick up, vacuum. I picked a word one year. I think I could just pick that same word every year. My word was Peace. It was a year of unrest in about 1/2 our family so there were prayers on peace and hopes of peace. I think my word this year should be finish though. I have so many unfinished projects I should finish and not start one more. So if you could let me know how this test went!

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Saddling Up Anyway


This is me (me!), the other day, out in frigid temperatures, riding Andre.

If you could zoom in on my face, you would see two things: Continue reading

  1. Jackie says:

    My kids, my husband have had horses for 20+ years. I lived the dream through them. Two years ago, at 63 we bought back my daughters old show horse. She’s a mare and 22-and she can be a hand full. I had my doubts it would work at first, but we have bonded and most days its a good ride. My saying is “put on your big girl panties, you can do this.” We are lucky enough to have a place to ride on our property and have been on some trail rides. I know that feeling being out there, beauty, peaceful and everything good all at once. I have a coffee cup with the same John Wayne saying. Enjoy the ride!!

  2. Sandy says:

    Thanks for an enjoyable story. So glad you loved the ride!

  3. susana says:

    I enjoyed the ride with you….thru your wonderful words, it brought back the days of my youth when I rode my own horse….felt the wind, the sun and the clip clop of the horses hoofs flipping on the road….just a wonderful day of riding mes you feel alive! And I love North Carolina…. its my favorite state….that and West Virginia and Pennsylvania…all so lovely country side for riding a horse! Thanks for sharing your event at riding….it brought back wonderful memories of my youth….I miss the ride! Yes, grab it while you still camp it, because once your bones get too old and brittle, you dot dare ride a horse. Boy do I miss it…..sometimes when I drive down this one road, that bumpy road almost feels as if I am on a horse again, going up and down with the wave of the road……makes me feel as if I’m on a horse again….its why I drive/down that road when I can….because it gives me that same country road ride feeling as if I’m on a horse again….its one thing you never forget…thanks fir the ride! Its just as lovely to read about it. Boy do I miss my horse!

  4. Hi Rebekah, thanks for this lovely story. I grew up ranching and riding bareback flying like the wind…. until my horse died and my Dad got us a new one. I never bonded, was always afraid of that horse, and basically never really rode again. Fear is such a debilitating emotion. My Dad said to me with great patience as the tears were running down my face: “You are sending every emotion you feel right through your knees to your horse’s heart”. I’m thankful for a husband that lives to ride so he made sure our kids had an amazing instructor and that riding was just second nature to them. I was a very good “horse mom” in the sense that I loved to groom, saddle, load and trailer…. but I stayed off their horses. To this day, I don’t ride. Sad isn’t it? I wish I lived close to you, maybe we could learn together. Thanks again for sharing. (It was so real to me my heart was just racing.) – Dori, the Ranch Farmgirl – P.S. I missed your posts the last month. 🙁

  5. Diane Van Horn says:

    Dearest Rebekah,
    I just knew you would be riding one day! I can’t wait to see the pictures when you are on your soul-horse, Merlin. Thank you for your wonderful posts! I enjoy them so much!
    Your Farmgirl Friend,

  6. Jan Sturgill says:

    Great job! You should be so proud of yourself! I love stories of women overcoming fear…
    I purchased a trail ride outing for myself when I turned 40 (Yikes, I am now 60..). I ended up on a 40 year old mule named Geronimo. He and I bonded, since we spent all at the ride at the back of the pack. It seems he had spent the previous day at the front, while being ridden by a young boy. The first time in my life that I actually got ‘saddle sore’, since my stirrups on the rental equipment were too long. Ouch…

  7. You’re more than half way there. Fear, smear. BTW, Merlin is drop-dead gorgeous and he really does smile.

  8. KimberlyD says:

    Bravo you stayed in the saddle! The more you fet a chance to ride the less you will fear them. I am not afraid of horses, just not very experienced in ridding. I have not gotten to many chances to ride.

  9. Tracey H says:

    While I read your blog today, I held onto every word. As a young girl, I went horseback riding with my grandfather as much as I could and enjoyed every moment of it. Now that I’m in my fifties I would be just like you. I would love to have that opportunity to try but it would be scary. Living on a farm has always been a dream of mine.

  10. kim says:

    What an amazing, beautiful story – it brought tears to my eyes. Awesome for you. Motivational for sure. Congrats, look forward to reading the day you and Merlin ride together. Best, Kim

  11. Meredith W. says:

    Ok! Now you know the peace and joy of riding a horse who is well suited to you! This is the way it should ALWAYS feel. Every time. Every ride. Until you are a real bonafide professional trainer. THEN you ride Merlin. You will be happier this way, trust me! I know you love your MM but whoever sold him to you should have known they were doing you a greet disservice. Shame on them. ANDRE is the MAN! (Well, HORSE! ) I am so glad you got to experience horses the way it’s supposed to be!

  12. Cindy says:

    Oh my !you should have been a writer! You missed your calling! That was soooo enjoyable and hilarious to read! Wow! You lucky girl! Oh what joy horses bring! I too am a farm girl at heart! My husband and Zi built a farmhouse in Boise Idaho last year on our 26 acres! We have the dogs! A cay we named Gypsey who came wondering through our hay field in kitten stage! Three darling Nubian goats named Oliver,Popye and Rueben! All that’s missing is my LIFELONG great of owning a horse! I want the wood barn too! Soon I hope! I rode when I was young and now at 57 I have brains and know I can get hurt! Ha! Scared like you and figured the same as you that if I didn’t ride I would just look at this magnificent creature and pet and feed him or her? Not sure yet! I want a paint! Well ! You have really inspired me to face my fears and go for it! God will help us! Right! Ha! Enjoying the beauty of nature! Animals! Friends family and let’s not fogey great farmyard decorating and food! Ha! Every day matters! Oh the blessings we have! Your new friend,Cindy , my email is papjohngram@yahoo .com ! Write to me if you get a chance! Thanks for the terrific heartfelt story! Loved it!

  13. Cindy says:

    Oh my !you should have been a writer! You missed your calling! That was soooo enjoyable and hilarious to read! Wow! You lucky girl! Oh what joy horses bring! I too am a farm girl at heart! My husband and Zi built a farmhouse in Boise Idaho last year on our 26 acres! We have the dogs! A cay we named Gypsey who came wondering through our hay field in kitten stage! Three darling Nubian goats named Oliver,Popye and Rueben! All that’s missing is my LIFELONG great of owning a horse! I want the wood barn too! Soon I hope! I rode when I was young and now at 57 I have brains and know I can get hurt! Ha! Scared like you and figured the same as you that if I didn’t ride I would just look at this magnificent creature and pet and feed him or her? Not sure yet! I want a paint! Well ! You have really inspired me to face my fears and go for it! God will help us! Right! Ha! Enjoying the beauty of nature! Animals! Friends family and let’s not fogey great farmyard decorating and food! Ha! Every day matters! Oh the blessings we have! Your new friend,Cindy , Write to me if you get a chance! Thanks for the terrific heartfelt story! Loved it!

  14. Cindy says:

    Hi again! Guess I should have checked my spelling before I sent this post!

  15. Debbie says:

    My heart was pounding right along with yours Rebekah. I’m proud of you for taking the chance to ride again. I could feel the fresh cold air on my cheeks and hear the clip-clop along the trail. Your words took me through every horse memory I have right up from when I fell passionately in love with them when I was 9 till this very minute! I never had one of my own as a youngster and I was too busy being a career gal in my 20’s and 30’s to make it happen and doing other fun things instead. But when our daughter turned 10 ( I was 47 then, now 52) she and I signed up for riding lessons together. She was so brave and quite a natural little rider. No fear in that girl. I however was terrified and very fearful but I got on each week and did my best. My instructor was very patient and never pushed me beyond my limits or the horses for that matter. Eventually I over came my fear and began to feel more comfy in the saddle but it took me almost a year to get there! I thought I was close to finally being able to get my first horse back then but finances changed and we stopped lessons. Our daughter never really fell as hard for horses the way I had as a girl, but she has some great memories of her riding ( and a couple of shows she did ) and we will always have our memories of learning together. I love your message in this post. We all have things we are afraid of and it’s best we just get over it and get on with it if we are to have any REAL adventure in life! You go City Farmgirl! You got this! With more help and practice you’ll be on your way. BTW… the horse I eventually felt the most comfortable on was a huge 16 1/2 hands part draft horse and part Hanoverian. He was a bit stubborn and could be a bit skiddish too but over all he was a big love. I was crazy about him! Your Andre made me think of my Bandit! Hugs from the Beach, sister! xo Deb

  16. Denise Ross says:

    I loved your story. Wow what an experience, a growing at that. I love the photos. I haven’t been on a horse since I was about 13 or so, but would love to ride again. I’m a suburban girl with a farmgirl heart so a trail ride is something I’m hoping to do within the next year or so. I’m so happy for you that despite your fears you did ride and had a spectacular day out too.
    Learning to savour the days of my life

  17. Karen(old cowgirl) Montoya says:

    Good for you! Fly, Fly, Fly women. You did it and it was so great. You have half the battle over. Do you know how many people can not trailer their horses? Many I can assure you. Some are problems with the horses, some with the person who is trying to trailer them.
    I do not know if you noticed but your horse Merlin is very attentive of you. See the ear’s , one is toward you and one toward the camera person. All except the last pic and then one is toward the camera and one toward something going on next or behind the car. You really have nothing to fear unless both ears are pointed back and flat then best to get off quickly. I also noticed that your boots have your heal pointing toward the ground that is good. I am not a fan of the split rains and two hands holding the rains. All the horses I rode and trained went for neck raining very quickly and I felt more secure with one hand on the rains and one free to grab the horn should my horse get testy (spooked or just in a bad mood). I am a 72 year old cowgirl who, when young rode her friends horses, then later got her own. I had great friends that taught me to ride both a western saddle and bareback. Believe me when I say that if you get to a point of riding bareback there is nothing greater than feeling the horse in tune with you and you with him/her. Your horse will always be testy when he goes for periods of time not ridden. Then it is best to put a training lead on him and get him to go around and around until he seems to want to go the other direction. This will take the testyness out of him and he will come to you willingly. That is called Joining. It simply means to be one with you and you are the boss. Ask your trainer about it. It will also give you confidence.
    Well, happy trails to you and don’t give up. Remember you are at least half way there and go out with a carrot or apple to Merlin and talk sweetly to him, watch his ears that tells you a lot. Horses just love being talked to that way.
    Always a cowgirl now in my heart,

  18. loreta says:

    Oh I so enjoyed your blog. You are a spectacular person I love the things you do.

  19. Carol Cunningham says:

    Yours was the first blog I’ve read and I have to thank you Rebekah. Pure enjoyment!

  20. Teresa Dempsey says:

    Your story brought back memories of when I was a young teenager and I had a girlfriend who lived in the country with 2 horses. Many many weekends we would get up in the early morning and go for a ride through the countryside. Those were the best times of my life…great memories. Thank you for sharing your story.

  21. Kathy Geary says:

    My husband and I trained horses and trail rode for many years. We would go camping with our horses for the most wonderful vacations. The key to enjoying your horse or horses is…..to keep on ridin’. Enjoy.

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