• Cara Van Leuven

Mud-dling Through

Water is standing in Penny’s pasture. The ducks and geese seem to now prefer that end of our property over the east side where their pond cries for them. Despite new grass drowning in stagnant water, the horse has a very well thought-out dry lot. We use a rope fence to contain her within the rough concrete foundation from a barn that burnt down years ago. Somehow I always find her locked out of said fencing having somehow escaped the confines of her dry lot.

Tom’s mom is still in ICU following her heart attack. We don’t really know the questions to ask the nurses and doctors. Their answers are usually as vague as my questions and day-by-day seems to be the blanket response.

Grey skies and unrelenting rains don’t help with a blue mood. It’s been hard to muddle through these past few weeks, but I’ve found a few tactics that are pretty universal.


When Tom asked who would ever want a sweatshirt with Carhartt plastered all over the front, I thought he was being clever. My farm fabric rotation is minimal, and my Carhartt sweatshirt with the logo plastered all over the front is probably my MVP. When Tom finally made the connection by my stunned silence, we both laughed to the point of tears.


A USPS package that won’t fit in our mailbox is delivered to our back door. On multiple occasions I have witnessed the letter carrier frantically backing her Jeep to be as near to the back door as possible. I realized these poor carriers are absolutely terrorized by our geese. I sent an email to USPS allowing the carriers to leave packages anywhere in our driveway to ensure their personal safety and sanity.


If I don’t have end goals and deadlines, I struggle practicing discipline. To ensure I stay motivated and engaged with painting I entered 10 potential art shows this season. Agility trials are being penciled in with both dogs and just ‘cause our property is a mud pit, it doesn’t mean that mare is getting the entire summer off. Horse shows will be scheduled as well.


Before we left for Ocala, I had started building my own frames. Wood, screws and some espresso stain blossomed a nice painting into something a little more spectacular. Now I’m challenging myself with oils. It’s discouraging and everything seems ugly right now, but forge ahead I shall.

I guess day-by-day is a good moto for life. It’s amazing how long some things seem to take - from water regressing so grass can start growing to revamping my website. While looking ahead is imperative to my well-being, so is biting down hard on the daily.

The reminder for me (and maybe you, my dear reader) is to make the most of a mud invested farmhouse, be kind, be creative and make goals and dreams happen.