Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Somewhere Between Lost and Found.

It was bloody hot and we were running on 2 hours of sleep.
Cold nights spent restless.
Sagebrush and black coffee dancing on the cold morning air.
Trippin over red cups that held vino their same color the night before.
Lost in our own giddiness. We were gone ya know. Stepped back generations.
Looking out over hills, standing with our eyes wide somewhere between lost and found.
We would look over at each other and just giggle and grin.
Our cheek bones were sun kissed, and oh the poetic lies we told each other.
Do you remember what I told you about the word always?
I shoved my shivering fingers deeper into denim pockets laughing at how serious you wanted me to be.
I remember pullin my saddle off a sweaty backed horse at the end of the day.
You were laughing at the way I put mascara on as you snugged a jacket over my shoulders.
And we were just in a truck cruisin with Highway to Hell on the radio. 
Everything that ever went wrong crossed my mind and I thought about what it shoulda been.
I was scared, you were distant. We were just telling lies.
I wish you would have had the guts to tell me what makes you bleed.
I know the cold bites early in the morning and I love the layers of sweaters and denim.
I've been scared and fearless, rough and soft.
I've had tears and smiles, and dust like face powder over my nose.
It felt like home tho.

Xoxo, Gussie

Last post of 2015. I hope you are all so damned giddy to start a new year that you can't handle it!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Adios 2015

Well we're kissing another year goodbye!
Kinda wild what can happen in a year.
Who all we meet, say goodbye to or hold onto forever.
How much pain one year can hold.
And the piles of joy that it can spill on you.
The memories, oh the memories.

I'm letting some of my ugly past go; bidding some pieces adieu.
There's beauty that it showed me. Like how amazing the body heals and how tender some hearts can be.
But you can't cling to the harsh things that changed you.
I'm going to live a little more in the now.
I'm gonna stop telling some of those old stories cause they only make me miss a 'coulda been'.
Maybe stop wearing that sweater...doubtful.
Learn to pick the banjo. Find out whether I have the music in me or not.
Start listening a little more than I talk.
Laugh, even at the stupid jokes that always seem to get told to me.
I hope you find more happiness than you thought you ever could.
And I hope you hurt and grow and smile. Be tough.
Adios 2015

Xoxo, Gussie

Monday, December 7, 2015


There's something I want to talk to you about. And there's someone I'll probably never get the chance to apologize to, not the way that I should anyway.
So here goes.

I believe in energy. Good and bad, and I think you can use it to your advantage. But it is so powerful that if you aren't careful what you do with it, you can get in trouble, break hearts and push people away.

I believe in toxic people. The kind that drain you mentally and physically. The kind that you get in the car with and instantly want to get out because instead of pulling you up they are dragging you down.

Everyone can be toxic. I've been toxic without realizing it. It has taken a lot of thinking back to acknowledge it, and I'm sorry for it. That being said, just because at one point in time you were a toxic person doesn't mean you always are.
Now let me tell you who becomes your victim.

  • Your best friend
  • Your sibling(s) 
  • Your significant other
  • Anyone who is "there for you"
Wait, aren't they the people we want to protect not hurt?

But they listen and they try to understand the struggle. They have their hand on your shoulder and they tell you that you'll get through it and that everything will be okay.

And slowly we begin to take them for granted; we need more and more of this reassurance and we suck them dry. Then we lose them and it is so damned painful because we thought we were standing on rock bottom and then that last layer just got jerked out from underneath us.

But this is a chance to build yourself again. To make something of yourself that is revolutionary and amazing. It is going to be painful, but you can do it.

So take a little time, pick up that person who is so faithfully there for you and go for a drive. Buy them a drink, thank them for always being there for you, make some amazing memories and laugh with them. You'll be glad you did and so will they.

Now from the other side.

We can't let ourselves be used and abused. We're better than that. We can't let people drag us down.

But remember that we have said "I love you" to this person before, and they believed us. We have been their shoulder to cry on and they need us. And doesn't it feel amazing to know that someone trusts you enough to need you?

Sometimes they will be in a dark place, but that is TEMPORARY.

We have to do what we need to do. Take the risks we need to take. Use some self preservation. But I want us to remember the smiles and laughs and I want to realize that everyone goes through a hard time. 

But remember one thing for me. Please. Here's some brain food to think on.

Loving people is hard, I know. Especially when you can't understand how they feel.

But you said "I love you" and leaving someone when they need you most, that's not love. You don't leave someone you love exactly when they need you the most. 

XoXo, Gussie

P.S. I'm here for you.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Be Fierce.

I forget what to say sometimes. Then it just comes out vague. I don't mean it that way.
Cause heaven knows how deep my mind goes. 

You're not always wrong you know.
You got to defend yourself. Sometimes you're going to regret the words that spilled out of your mouth but that is part of the deal. 
It's alright to make some spontaneous decisions. Ya know, the kind that don't always end well.
Sometimes you'll put your middle finger to your wrong doers and keep on moving.
You're gonna earn some scars.
Wear them with some pride and wisdom, cause that's what scars are for after all. 

You can cry.
Trust me, I do that a lot. 
I hope I'm not getting repetitive. 

So I guess I'll leave you with this; short and sweet.

Be brave. Be fiery. Be gritty. Be tough. 

Be fierce as they come.

Xoxo. Gussie.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Use It.

I guess normally I'd tell you to be you and I'd say it in some profound way.
But here is the thing. It's okay to have people you wanna be like.
To have little things that you copy. Some pieces to keep for yourself.
Because at the end of the day you can only hold so much in your fists.
It's a small limit that fills fast and if you drink up too much of others, all of you will start to flow out.
We can only be so much and closure doesn't always comes. 
We crave it, but closure is a liar's poem, always looked for but never read out loud.
You have to lick your own wounds and sew them up with your own needle and thread.
And it's painful, I know.
We don't always get back some of the good we give out.
And every now and then we'll pour all of our love into someone who doesn't deserve it.
I guess sometimes we just have to peel ourselves off the dirt and give ourselves some credit.
You're not ruined. No matter how convinced you might be that you are, you're not.
You are what you touch, the emotions you feel, the sights you see. You are the warm blood in your veins and the words out of your mouth. You are every little nerve that makes up your body. You're as beautiful as any sunset that kissed the sky. You're the pain you feel, the love you give. You are your own miracle. 
Use it.

XoXo, Gussie

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The way we used to be.

I can feel it hitting me. This time of year always creeps up with old memories on its coattail. The leaves and cold, the frost on the windshield, they have stories.
Like an old denim jacket, my collar cuffed up and the radio cranked.
We had our heads thrown back laughing like nothing could ever bring us down.
You were telling me tall tales with the brightest light in your eyes.
Cause we were close but our hearts were closer.
We had roping gloves falling out of the jockey box and coffee cups all over the truck.
It was late night drives out by the lake.
Our cold hands would throw a saddle over a hump-backed colt and we would smile over at each other with grins that damn near said 'it's about to go down.'
The sunsets glared at us sitting on tailgates watching them sink.
We were crying laughing at our own stupid jokes, throwing dirt clods across the barn.
Jumping train tracks in old trucks like we were cool or something.
We were holding each others hands telling ourselves it would be okay.
Deep down we knew it'd all work out someday, we had so much faith.
I can see us when I close my eyes.
Standing in parking lots with roper shoes on our feet and wild rags around our necks and we were grinning bitching about the cold.
You were so loud and it made me loud and we had the windows down in freezing cold weather.
Our cheeks stayed rosy red and our lips were as icy as our fingertips.
I remember the way your face would get dark when you were mad and how you sull up.
I always wanted to laugh cause you would come around so fast.
Your hair was messy under your hat and you were the fearless that I tried to be.
I wanna feel the way we felt; on fire.
I wanna be cold and stiff in the morning the way we used to be.

      Xoxo, Gussie

Friday, November 13, 2015

Fell in love.

I fell in love with the pain and the changing. I loved the high strung spirit. It called to mine, birds of a feather you know. I guess that's why I always kind of knew in the back of my mind that you couldn't stay. I fell in love with cold fingers intertwined. I fell in love with the thought, it all looked so good on paper. I liked the way the sunrise looked in the reflection of your eyes. I loved the feel of colts beneath me and how sweat stained our hats. I fell in love with late nights and long phone calls. But I only fell in love with the idea of it all. I've wiped tears with tail bags left on truck seats and it's the nights that kill me. But I like the way this old hat sits on my head and I feel at home on that same old horse. He nickers low and I can feel it breaking straight through to my soul. I love the way the wind tangles in my hair and how my cheeks turn red in the cold. I like deep breathes in my lungs. And I'm moving on I guess. I'm cold and shivering and nervous, but that's how life goes. There's more out there than you think, more than you could probably dream. But it'll only come if you believe and that's the hardest damned thing. Your shaking hands aren't broken, your tears aren't worthless. You're alright. And if I'm being straight with you, this is more for me. Like some written proof that the world keeps turning even when things aren't how you want it to be. It'll all come around and you get what you put out in the world. I hope you wake up to a cold morning and have a steaming cup of coffee.
Feel it. Feel it all. Suck it in. Let it seep into your skin, your soul, your heart.

Goodnight now.

XoXo, Gussie

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Words for ya.

I burned out on George Strait at 18 years old, got hooked on Red Dirt music a couple years ago. I like the outside kind of scars, the ones that are an off color from my skin. The inside kind aren't as pretty. They don't heal as good either, or fast. My hair is growing slow, but one day it'll be braided clear down my back. I have green eyes whose tear ducts need to open less often. I'm always cold in the winter and burnin up in the summer. Real world struggles yo. I probably cuss too much. I decided that it's a rough world out there and sometimes rough things need to be said. My heart is stitched to the fabric down my arm. I really need to cut those threads and bury it deep in my chest. But I've never been good at holding back I guess. I wonder if you know what I mean sometimes in these ramblings, I wonder if you feel the same vibes. And don't you roll your eyes at me, cause all of the vibrant souls have a little inner hippy, so here's some good energy for ya. There's a lot of pain out there and I keep telling you how tough you are but just cause you're tough doesn't mean you won't hurt. Blisters before calluses remember? And blood before scabs. I'm either too blunt or too vague. My mind is always scrambling, stuck somewhere between spilling my every thought out or choking up and keeping it all in. Trust me, either one is an ordeal. I have a temper that I hope you never experience and when I'm hurting I shut off. There was a time when all I wanted was just to keep up with the boys, now I want to beat 'em with a fence post on occasion but for some reason still love most of them. I have a little white scar below my left eye and one on my lip. I didn't pick up a rope till I was 13 years old, hated roping until I was about 17. I like the feel of creeks on my fingers and moccasins on my feet. I've seen a lot of ugly things. But nobody saw them through my eyes and that's something to cling to. Because there's times when you won't be anything extraordinary, you'll feel far below it. But nobody will ever be able to mimic your vision and that is a little gift from God. I burned out on Nickelback at 17 years old, got hooked on The Outfield about 10 months ago. So there's all that out there, raw and bloody.

Xoxo, Gussie

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Fall is coming on.

Can you feel the cold chilling your fingertips and fall wrapping around you?
The way it bites at your cheeks and tangles in your hair.
Can you hear it whispering through the willow trees down by the creek?
And see snow dusting the peaks? 
Like old lovers reuniting, missing each other all summer long. 
Is the cold air stinging your warm lungs, can you feel the change in your heart?
Does it feel like home?
Look at the shaggy coats on the ponies.
They were all slick as seals in the summer heat and their tallow thinning with use.
But they are beefing up for the winter now and getting all sassy in the brisk mornings.
Doesn't it feel so good to have a stingy horse wriggling beneath you?
Winter is coming on and I can feel it in my bones, no more careless jumping off of panels cause that cold feeling has coming shocking up our legs already. 
Are you pulling your wool caps off the rack and smashing your unruly hair down with felt instead of straw? 
Do you have thicker hides of leather wrapping your legs?
I hope you've felt how I have.

When you swing a leg over a frisky colt in cold weather and your gut turns a little.
You look over at your sissy and grin through your chattering teeth and a lipstick smile.
She's doing the same. 
And there's two braids blowing in the frosty breeze. 
Your collars are popped and wild rags knotted around your necks, cotton gloves on your hands holding mecate reins. 
With the wind making your mascara'ed eyes water and your nose and cheeks flushed pink. 
I hope you watch the sunrise between your favorite horse's ears and I hope someday you get him in the bridle and that every ounce of sweat you put into him was worth it to you. 
With your shivering body I hope you warm up trotting out over big country and I want you to feel the ups and downs in the splay of land. 
I hope you feel the conflict in yourself that I have and that you feel a horse coil up beneath you walking on eggshells. 
And by the end of the day I hope he's all sensitive and broke feeling and that you're not sore.
But I hope you're tired, the good exhausted.
Go sit by the fire place and have another cup of coffee. 

I wish that for you. 

Fall is coming on. 

Loves, Gussie Lou

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Good Morning Desert

Good morning desert, whisper something to me. Sing a lullaby and tell me your secrets. Or tell me lies and stories that are stowed away in your gullies. Burn me with the sun rising over your mountain tops because to burn is to feel and to feel is to be alive. Every little pinprick of pain like a reminder that I'm sensitive and vulnerable. Rain pounding on my skin, heart on my sleeve. Muddy streams tracing the edges of my boots. Spur rowels whispering low in the morning singing the song we've heard so long. The one that called all of us here in the first place, the one that sings to our souls instead of our ears. Reminding us what we were born for and leading us quiet and strong further away from the world. Because we felt it once, now we crave it. The scenes play out in our dreams, our hearts feel it even then. We're standing with sage and dust around us, a horse between our knees and hearts pounding fiercely from our rib cages. Finally we feel alive, vibrating with energy and emotion. Inside there's a spirit passed down through generations and it's swelling. The goosebumps on our arms, Levi jackets, collars popped. The feeling of chills in the morning and sweat by noon. Tying the new age cowboy to the old, doing the same job with just a few more fences. I look up at dark clouds and let it fold around me. Can you hear the raindrops splattering on my hat brim? It hits loud like a homey tune that quiets the soul and horses snort at quick streams, breathing heavy off the hillside. Long trot in mud and sleep short nights, it's good at being bad for us. All for sanity. I pray you stay busy and your hands stay sore.
Hugs, Gussie

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I hope you've felt alive...

I hope you woke up early and drank a hot cup of coffee. I hope you watched the sunrise over whatever landscape plays out in front of you. I dreamed last night that I could only live one year of my life and it dawned on me that the year that I would want to live was this one. I've felt real pain, real love; how it is all gorgeous and jaw dropping, puts butterflies in your stomach and finally just over. I've felt horses ball up beneath my weight and quiver with strength. I've climbed up to heights just to look down and I've laughed when I've fallen. I hope you've felt alive and seen your fingers trembling. I hope you're not afraid. Because it's all so beautiful and so flawless. I hope you crave the sun on your skin and the wind chilling your arms. I hope you know what it's like to feel unpredictable. To know that there is no way of knowing how you feel. Let that sink in because you'll know when you need to. Until then there is plenty of time to just be; and feel. Time will show that letting go isn't what it seems or what it should be. You can't just open your fist and watch the wind carry the pain away on its wings. And your tears, they stay on the surface begging for a memory to let them free fall. But they'll slip off your cheeks and fade and seep back into the earth that they came from. It's hard tho because the heart that throbs deep in your chest is not wise. It gives love to characters not fit for it and your heart strings tie ridiculous knots. Don't worry, you're strong and your spirit is vibrant. Go sit next to a river. I promise you'll love it. Or go lay on a mountain top and breathe deep breathes. The world is not about the pain we feel. It's about the heart we leave in the pieces we touch and the smiles we give to sorrowful souls. It's about the strength we build and the lessons learned. You are strong and you are different but you are not wrong. Remember that. Sometimes you'll make poor choices and sometimes you'll hurt but there's a rainbow after the rain. 

Xoxo, Gussie

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


It is entirely likely that I think too much. I've been told that 3 times in the last week alone. Someone explained it to me once like this "It's because you have a beautiful mind that just thinks too much." and she said it giggling. Still though, I can't make it stop. It's like the "wheels on the bus" song... it just keeps going and going and going...and going. Sometimes it's almost painful.
I want to know why the word "always" is so romantic.
And why the rain makes such a pretty song on tin roofs.
I want to know how it is that horses can vibe off you and read your emotions.
Or what about the sky, how does it change all of those colors?
And love, how does that work?
That you just find one person that drives you insane and decide that they are the one you want to wake up next to; the person you want to hold you when you cry.
I don't understand it.
Destiny, fate, or divine intervention?
Why do joints hurt in the morning?
What is it that makes adrenalin so addicting and danger so compelling?
Say what you feel, tell me, what do you want?
Why, why is that so hard for you to say?
I want to know why words can give you chills.
And why it is that one person can make you feel completely terrified and another can calm every nerve in your body.
Why is pain gratifying? Like why does that give a sense of accomplishment?
And why, someone tell me why the word "always" is so romantic?!

Xoxo, Gussie

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The story.

I want to be the story instead of the ending.
I love those chilled, high collar jacket mornings when your fingers don't quite work right.
Be honest now, you crave it. How your bones feel old and your spirit young.
Your chattering teethed smiles glinting at a vacant sky.
In a world so open, so blue and green, why don't we feel free?
I guess that's why we stow ourselves away in back country.
Places where our breathe shows gray in the morning and our horses have a hump in their back.
Sage covered hills, cliff rock and aspens all pumping into our veins.
There's a feeling out there, it's something special.
Almost an addiction.
Once you've felt it and the chills that slither down your spine, there is no going back.
Something about it changes what you see in everything else.
Every other aspect of the world is a little bit different now.
It gives weight to the little things.
Like cold air in tight lungs, hot coffee and sweaters covered in horse hair.
We are sunrises and sunsets.
Nothing more.
We are vibrant and gold, amazing and jaw dropping.
But in the end we are just temporary.
Beauty is not hard to find.
Maybe it's just hard to recognize.
Or maybe the word "beauty" is simply overused.
But it's there, look for it.
Xoxo, Gussie 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

You got this. Really.

I guess I couldn't do it. It must have been too hard.
I couldn't do it, not even for a thousand diamond rings.
Cause being what I'm not is the hardest damn thing.

You can suppress whatever it is that haunts you but it will do just that; haunt you.
So grab it by it's throat and tear its insides out.
That's the only way you'll get it forever from your here and now.

Then swing a leg over the not so quiet horses and see where they run you off to.
I mean that.
I mean it as much metaphorically as I do literally.

No plan is probably the best plan.
Because what's going to go down isn't your plan anyhow but God's.
So I don't assume there's much use in getting riled up with a schedule in hand.

I'm not telling you what to do.
It's written down as much for myself as anyone else.
I need to read and reread this too.

You don't need to be any one thing.
Be mess of passionate emotions.
The kind that coarse through the pores of everything you touch.

Be achy muscles and cold mornings.
Be someone's hot cup of coffee.
Or a rebel heart, a bohemian soul, a godforsaken gypsy.

Let your hair be wild, let it mirror your spirit.
Be the eyes that are both easy and hard to look into.
Always staring but piercing to meet with.

Don't be scared.
Scratch that.
Be terrified.
And let that shit drive you.
To be strong.
And courageous.

You're good enough; the blood that pulses beneath your skin is red hot and wired.
Spit on the doubts you have in yourself.
Tell them to go straight to hell.

And just roll with it.
Bounce from place to place.
Know when your heart is telling you that you've stayed long enough.

And dammit, love.
Love people and love animals.
And for those who have your back, have theirs too.

Hike till your lungs hurt.
Push your body till its weary and then let it grow stronger.
Be bold in your beliefs.

Speak loud.
Laugh louder.
Be the cackle in the crowd.

The critics are bastards anyway.
So stand with your shoulders square.
Stand with your heart centered.

You got this.

Xoxo, Gussie

Saturday, September 5, 2015


Last night as I was whispering in a raspy voice I told somebody to write down how they feel about everything once a week for the rest of the year. He started laughing and told me that it was weird and he couldn't do it. He said that he had a hard enough time telling someone his feelings much less writing them on paper.
I forget that emotions don't bleed out of people the way they do with me. I forget that others are better at suppressing and dealing with things than I am.
But here's the deal. I know what it's like to read something and think "Thank God someone else has felt like this." I know how it feels when you can't express what is tormenting you. 
So I'm doing this for you. I hope you can feel me. I hope your hearts burn when you read these words the same way mine does when I write them. If you can't say it, if it just hurts too much then I want to say it for you.

We're all really broken. And I know that doesn't sound comforting but it's true. And sometimes we'll feel more broken. And that's alright. Some mornings you'll wake up with a lump in your throat and teardrops on the rim of your eyelids. It's just how it goes. Your hands might be quivering but they are still strong. Your voice might be unsteady but it still makes sound. Some days the demons you've hidden away may come back to haunt you. They might sneak into your mind from nothing. From little things; like dark truck cabs and old pictures. But you're tougher than hell and you've made it this far. Keep your head up and dig your heels in cause these ugly hours will pass. Sometimes fear will take control and it'll be terrifying with our weaknesses splayed out in front of us on a silver platter. But you put yourself there and how strong you must be to have allowed yourself to open your eyes this wide. It's easy to stay safe, to stay blind. It's hard to grow and get tough. But calluses come after blisters. And if you can still be your sensitive self with calluses on your hands, then you're a badass. Cling to that.

Xoxo, Gussie

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Breathe in. Breathe out. Quiet your frantic mind.

The sun is setting later and the morning is getting a little chillier.
I love it.
Nothing is so scary as it seems.
It's going to work out even though it might be hard to see.
And yes, I whisper this to myself every night.
My eyes drift shut and I play everything out it my head.
The perfect endings with mane between my fingers and a middle of nowhere sunset in my eyes.

It's just time, I'm figuring it out.
And I guess sometimes I just crave things that cannot come together.
Then I find myself looking out the window at midnight having an ultimatum.
Fighting my own head.
And that's the worst because there is no escape.
You're stuck with your own toxins and no way to shut them down.
So you let the darkness creep through the cracks and terrify you.

But it's going to work out.
At least that what the gypsies always say.
They smile as they braid daisies in their hair and whisper how time is of the essence and that plans are absurd.
So let wanderlust overtake you and drag your heart with it.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Quiet your frantic mind.

This is just a stage.
A time where I feel a little lost and that's okay.
Because right now I'm like the moon in the daylight.
I'm a little out of place but I'll find where I need to be.

And yes, I whisper this to myself every night until I fall asleep.

Xoxo, Gussie

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Recurring Dreams

Blood. Pain. Fear. Cold limbs. Indecisive. Anxiety.
That's my writing lately, I'm sure you've noticed.
Wind. Breezes. Lingering dreams. Old memories. Thought process.
That's what is spilled onto these virtual pages.
I've written so much to you with never the guts to post it.
Or I've typed up lengths of words and then second guessed whether you would even want to hear it.
So today I'll just leave you with an old dream of mine.
I've had this dream for years. It revisits me sometimes, it's one I can't forget. Creeping back like slinking shadows in my sleepy mind.

There's these cumulonimbus clouds scattered above me and tall green grass is swaying. I am in the middle of nowhere, up high on some mountain. My horse is cropping at the grass, his lips squeaking, my silver bit around the horn and hobbles on his legs. He's all quiet eyed and pretty. I'm laying on my back with my feet not far from my horse's, arms behind my head. My eyes close on a map of blue and white skies. Peace in my heart. I'm just calm and everything is okay. No worries. And thank God- for once no fears. The world seems so distant. My mind runs away to horses the way it always has.

Take me there.

PC: Cindy Keetch

"If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you."

Xoxo, Gussie

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


It's the blood I've left in roping gloves and in the practice pen.
The days spent in damp, cold hoodies and jeans.
The sweat.
Ball caps strewn from hell to breakfast in the truck.
It's that knot in my gut that coils up as I step on a fresh horse.
It's the way I get nervous and can't eat before a show.
The way I shake.
My heart throbbing in awkward, solid beats.
All of it plays into the poetry I write in dark rooms lit by the moon.
It's nasty blisters on my hands.
They profess themselves to the world exposing my lack of femininity.
It's the tan lines left from riding in the hottest hours of sun.
The headaches and tortured bones.
Dizzy, sick nights from going too hard all day.
It's the dehydration.
Hips forever out of whack.
Sunburned lips.
It's open wounds and flesh that shouldn't be so swollen and exposed.
Dark, pain-filled hearts in need of something.
It's the way my horses work so good when I'm sick or tired or broken.
How they get all soft and sensitive when I cry.
The way they feel me or the way I feel them, I don't know.
It's the way I learned to trust eleven hundred pound animals that could easily end me.
My muscles tensing up and cramping while I try to sleep.
Being sore for days.
Never owning a pair of pants that doesn't smell like horses.
It's dirt everywhere I go.
Arena sand in my boots and on my eyelashes.
It's hat hair and sweat on my nose.
Sun freckled skin, pixie dust on my cheeks.
It's sick stomach days but ride anyway.
It's doing youtube yoga at night trying to make a tender back feel better.
Hitting my bed with eyes already slamming shut.
Overused shoulders.
Getting knit-picked by different trainers.
Being told that I'm only being pushed this hard because I can actually do it.
Letting every ounce of emotion out.
Willing to fail.
Getting hurt just to feel better.
Bruises that I don't remember earning.
Knees hurting.

And I call it all... therapy.
My body worn. My mind won.

PC: Cindy Keetch


Monday, August 10, 2015


I just want to cry but I'm afraid I've run out of tears so I'll just breathe heavy breathes pretending that gets something off my chest. Listen for it, you'll hear it if you're quiet. The wind moans soft mumblings. Calling me farther away. My mind is always distant now, I try so hard to make it stay. But it's fading, always fading. Running off to dreams and old memories. Come with me, you'll see what I mean. I want that day back, hot and windy as it was, I want that dust in my face. I want your hand on my back. We were so tired, still smiling. Or that emotion I would give worlds to feel that way again. But I'm here and I'm now and I can't be that anymore. My hands are cold, my face is hot, I'm tired. If things were different I would be there, right there. I would beg you to take me somewhere quiet. Somewhere that I could see forever from and hear the breeze whistling through the trees. We could talk about our fears, mine are changing so much. Yesterday I woke up tired and tied up in hot sheets, the morning was quiet but my mind wasn't. Tell me what to think. I guess it's up to me. Maybe I'll wait for a full moon and go sit on some mountainside, watch a sunset fall. Find peace and solace, find something good for my soul. My sissy used to go on drives alone and I never understood. She'd jump in her truck and drive. I've never liked being lonely. I don't handle it well but I think I finally get it now, why she'd just drive. The steering wheel keeps the hands busy and the road moans quiet like background noise to disoriented, cluttered thoughts. I told you my mind was fading, always fading away to other things. So I'm just gonna drink another cup of peppermint tea and maybe tomorrow I'll know what the hell to think.

Xoxo Gussie

Monday, August 3, 2015

Beautiful Truths

      Tell me beautiful lies.
      That's what this is anyway.
      It's just a play on words, keep talking now.
      Let me close my eyes and dream.
      I'll picture it like a staged broadway scene.

There were chills on your skin and a light in your dark eyes.
      I guess it's my story now.
I whispered because I was afraid if I talked too loud I'd choke my own words out.
You were so collected and calm.
My hands were steady, my voice not so much.
You only whispered 'cause I did.
We kept looking over our shoulders and up on the ridge.
There were coyotes howling a homely call.
I was scared.
Like the inside kind. You know, the real kind.
Not the 'I don't want to get hurt' or 'I got out by the skin of my teeth' scared.
I'm talking straight up terrifying.
Where your stomach is flipped and your heart is beating all fast and awkward but slow.
When your hands are cold and clammy, they shake then get still.
Your eyes dart from place to place while everything is a slow motion movie.
Red cheeks, cold feet.
Watery eyes.
Dry lips, cotton mouth, loss for words.
My heart is in this one, it's not so easy now, I can't walk away the same no matter what.
You know what kind of scared I'm talking about.
I said it quietly hoping you would but knowing you wouldn't hear.
A little louder this time, listen close.
It's okay, I'll walk the tight rope line.
I might get hurt but it's not the same every time.
Maybe it's different this time around.
I don't like the chances, too risky with the way my heart is pounding.
So tell me beautiful lies.
That's what I want to hear anyway.
Twist them up and form them all poetic like, release them from where they've been burning you.
Let me close my eyes and dream.

Randoms tonight.
Have you ever been caught between your head and your heart? Where you know better but your gut keeps clawing at you, begging you to say what you feel? Isn't it petrifying? I find myself there so often. I find myself writing out pros and cons and making charts because that's just how close the odds are. I whisper to the darkness. All that black is comforting sometimes. I wonder what the stars think of all my madness. I've poured myself out and given God an earful. In the truest sense, I've given it UP.  UP - literally. I've pitched the mess and let God do the untangling, cause I know he'll do it right.
"When my heart is faint lead me to the rock that is higher than I." Psalm 61:2

"I loved you at your darkest." Romans 5:8


Those are beautiful truths.

PC: Gussie Keetch


Sunday, August 2, 2015


I promised you a while ago that I'd try to remember to write about the butterflies and smiles.
I'm afraid I haven't done too well.
So I'll tell you how it goes.

It goes something like cold air mornings, shorts and hot coffee. Grinning.
It's dewy grass between my silver ringed fingers.
It's horse sweat steaming off their backs after a good work.
Chills running down my spine and my arms.
Bruised hands holding rawhide braided reins.
Aspens whispering from the mountain side telling me their sorrows and triumphs.
It's crumbling clots of dirt in my palms.
Sagebrush in my stirrup.
It's Dr. Pepper kisses and 'I really missed you' hugs.
A sunrise is climbing the morning's blue sky.
My hair is tied in wild wind knots.
It's daisies in my braid just like the gypsies do.
I keep looking up hoping to see a shooting star.
It's you singing old love songs and me smiling in the passenger seat.
It's squinted eyes and colorful aviators.
Late night phone calls and whispering about old stories.
It's your roping face.
Your focus and our sunburned hands.
It's falling into bed at night with muscles weak and eyes tired.

Butterflies and smiles darlings.

But I mostly see dragonflies because the butterflies hide in my stomach.
The smiles, they're on our windburned faces.

PC: Kimberly Richardson


Thursday, July 30, 2015


I legit have written five blog posts tonight and not a single one I feel comfortable posting. Too much truth, it cuts way too deep, maybe when the wounds heal.

PC: Google

So I just clicked into pinterest (judge me if you will; pinterest rocks.) ready to search for an uplifting quote and this is what I saw. This is what I have been needing. Maybe you have too.

Stay true to you, be safe. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015


Last summer I got something drilled into me. Something that I had suppressed with all my power. I was riding with a reining horse trainer and he's well kind of a hard core guy. I spent hours in his arena, sweating my butt off and pushing myself to the point where when I got home I would puke after I got off.
He would say it as the clap of his hands echoed off the arena walls sounding like a whip. Intensity. Everything you do, do it with passion and intensity or it isn't convincing, that's how he explained it.
I was born with passion leaking out of my fingertips, my emotions always ran at ultimate highs and ultimate lows. And that got me in trouble. I was either too much or too little, so unbalanced, so unstable. I got sick of high hopes and let downs, big dreams and small realities. So I shut it off. I closed up, swallowed all of the pain, the heartache, the fear and the excitement. It worked unbelievably well.
I learned you have to allow yourself to feel to be hurt. Logically then if I never allowed myself the luxury of emotion then there would be no worries. It sounds like a joke, I know. I played people, always making sure I had the upper hand. No, I wasn't rude. I was just scrupulous about making sure that I never got the chance to be vulnerable, I'd had enough of that.
It bit came back with its fangs bared, bit me hard.
Because then there I was, being told that I needed some intensity and some passion. I had tucked all of that away in the corners and ends of my body, I'd made it scarce.
So I slid open the dusty drawers that I stored it in and I slowly reached out to grasp it. Electricity tickled my skin when I touched it. Life was pulsing back through my veins. It came about so oddly. My intensity was rekindled through the horses, through needing to be convincing. I needed to want something so badly that I was willing to fail to get it.
I get to thinking sometimes how much easier it was when I didn't care, when emotion didn't play into my actions - at least not near as much as they do now.  But it wasn't worth it. All of that trying not to be vulnerable made me worse off. Cutting off all of that emotion made me shallow, vague.
Suck it out of the safes you keep it tucked away in. Use it. It is power. Let your heart pound from it's cage. You were meant to rattle the walls and shake the earth, that's why your feet aren't anchors. Bleed out your emotion, let it tell your story. No holding back anymore.

PC: Google


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Losing sleep.

I'm trying to sleep. My eyes are closed. Tossing. Turning. Sick stomached. Arms folded. Legs crossed. Keep my self guarded now. Let no one in.

We stood there with icy raindrops slinking down the flipped up collars of our coats.
The rain was loud, the sun was drifting like it was ashamed of something.
We had to yell just to hear each other. 
There were sorrels and grays milling around an old, broken down corral.
They all had frozen chunks of mud clinging to the hump in their backs. 
I guess it wasn't romantic, not really, but the way he kissed me made it seem like it.
My cold fingers wrapped around his warm hand and he looked at me with sharp green eyes.
They used to be the only eyes that could cut through me. Used to be.
I had a bridle hanging over my shoulder, I could see the engraved copper hood out of the corner of my eye.
I curled my cold toes in my muddy boots trying to run some circulation back through them.
Pointless efforts.
I watched and wondered how so much spirit could be packed into one cowboy's body, I had the same curiosity about the horses he rode.
He put one foot in the stirrup, checked his hat down tight on the way up, collected the little horse and trotted out, looking over his shoulder, grinning. 
And I just stood there. In the rain, with icy teardrops running down the flipped up collar of my coat.

And I was only dreaming. Just dreaming. Go back to bed. It's too late to be up. How can I turn my mind off, how can I shut down the memories? I need to sleep. Goodnight.

XOXO Gussie

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


I wonder what all your dreams are at night. Do you have nightmares? Do you wake up sometimes in cold sheets wishing that the good ones were real? Tell me what you're scared of and all your aspirations. Whisper it all in the darkness. I wonder if you've ever been scared the way I have.
Do you handle failure well? Or does it haunt you? Is it the screeches you hear when the wind blows through the trees? Don't worry anymore, it's all faded now. We've all cried ourselves to sleep and whispered lingering wishes after the sun had fallen. I guess we handled it differently. Some just took to the bottle and let it wash through them like it might drown their fear. And some puked away the ugly thoughts, lived in pain.
Wake up darling the sun climbed the edge of the earth this morning and it smiled on your unique little face. You rolled over in your bed sheets and blinked your eyes, you licked your lips and drank your morning brew. Your lungs sucked in a deep, cold, fresh air breathe. You're alive. This isn't another cliche quote.
Whisper 'I love you' in the darkness tonight. Look at the stars. Let stupid romance slip you off your feet. Let your nightmares drive you to live your fantasies.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Chase it.

I've spent my life whispering.
Whispering to horses. To the trees. To God.
Constantly in search of something.
That mix between safety and freedom.
It's a fine line.
I've been far too fragile, I'm learning to close some doors.
I don't love certain things anymore.
All my toxins are being cut off, they can't mangle my mind anymore.
I'm stronger than I ever thought I could be. And it's building stronger even now.
Doubts still linger and taunt me but I have to remember where I've been.
Keep breathing. Keep whispering. Keep wishing on stars.
Keep faith.
Dangle your feet in creek beds and screw the critics.
Let your heart be what it is and let your soul search for what it yearns for.
Be a gypsy if that's what you want.
Be a lawyer. Be a hippie.
Be a nun. Be a therapist. Be whatever you want. Just do it.
Don't listen to what the jealous bastards say.
Let them hiss and cuss you out but let them do it outside your mind.
You are good enough. Don't be scared.
The feet you stand on everyday have carried you this far and you got this.
Your head is on straight and your heart is burning for something. Chase it.

XoXo Gussie

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


It was a kind of romantic the way our horses' bodies would drop and raise beneath us as they trotted headlong out into uneven country.
Their nostrils wide and sucking wind, their hides wet from the splash of their hooves in a boggy meadow.
A hollow rhythm beat itself into the ground mumbling a low and homey tune.
We'd look over at each other with broke horses between our knees, aware but somehow still ignorant to how nice they really were and we kept moving.
Voices would ring up with giggles following like echos behind every word and grins plastered on our faces, sore cheeks.
Our shoulders ached and we were just two dark haired girls that liked to rope together.
Hoofbeats hung in the wind with the sound of crickets rolling.
I guess we were all blind to the danger we danced around. Maybe that's why we love it so much.
It's ever changing and constantly new.
A craving, an addiction, just like coffee before sunrise burning you up inside, probably killing you but it was good.
Calves bellowed, our eyes were bright shadowed by inky, black clouds.
I loved it.
I finally found home.
And it was such a joke for me to think that home was something with walls and floors, windows and doors.
Because it wasn't, not for me.
My home always had four legs and sweaty hides, heavy breathes and dark, honest eyes.
It was the touch, the feel, the distinctly different way of existing, it was all about energy, it was all about the horses.
I always felt it but never paid enough attention.
My heart never ached unbearably there and my problems always seemed more open and clear.
I was forced to be honest with myself, no jokes, no games, no avoiding the truth.
I learned to feel safe in momentary danger and I learned to love adrenaline coursing through me.
I felt greater reward, greater pain, more strength, much more weakness, more give back, less take.
Just alive.
The injuries have always been minuscule and I'm blessed for that.
And it wasn't easy, it still isn't and it's not all past tense either, it must just sound better that way.
I found home young and I'm so damn blessed for that.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Fireworks: that's what they say love feels like.
Explosions that breathe life into our hearts and make us believe in love.
They make it sound so amazing.
All of those songs and poems forget something though.
They never remind our excited spirits that we might get set on fire once we get too close.
I guess we all kind of know, I mean that's why "love is scary" right?
Maybe we like getting burned now and again, maybe it makes us feel alive.
Maybe we are just longing to feel something..anything..that even burning is worth it.
And we never realize that love letters aren't alway true love's letters.
We don't understand all those quotes.
The ones that tell us we won't find ourselves in others, that someone won't complete us until we complete ourselves.
We keep searching, yearning like we're missing something.
And I guess those poets were right to leave out their scars, that's why they were writing after all, to try to fix their broken pieces.
They wanted to make a new reality, the perfect love they almost had.
That, or they leave the blood on the table, sign their signature with it hoping that somehow it might help them move on from the throbbing.
Either way we were right from the start, and hell yeah, love is scary.
But life is all about the risk, the unpredictability, the unknown, so no wonder we're drawn to it.
Because it might kill you, burn you, break you, shake you, turn you inside out and torment you.
It might be all sweaty palms and shaking voices, but you might luck out.
Maybe, just maybe, by the grace of God it might turn into colorful dragonflies and fluffy, white clouds, sunny days and warm rain showers.
"Good mornings" whispered into your ears and the kind of tedious fights that make you crave passion and love more, it might become intertwined fingers and intertwined hearts.
You might luck out.
So tell me, is it worth the shooting stars that we make blow up in the sky, in all of their unpredictable colors on the 4th of July?

Photo cred: Google images


Friday, June 12, 2015

Hazy Promises

I’ve been on the warm side of cold shoulders and on the bloody side of love.
I saw the broken hearts of others, the fake smiles on their faces and tried so desperately to fix them...I guess I never quite got it.
The way you feel shredded inside and the sun seems either oddly dim or annoyingly bright. 
Naive. Yeah, I guess that’s what you’d call it.

And I hate writing about love.
It's too much in my head and the more I try to sort it out the more confusing it becomes. 
You know the way it is untying knots... how it looks more simple from the outside but there are thousands of strings being pulled each way.
I think that's what my emotions must look like. 
So I'll focus on the horses and the way things seem to work out so surprisingly perfect; the way opportunity is falling into my hands. 
I love the way their dark eyes look at me so differently than any others and I'm not afraid.
Hints of pain haunt my writing and I want you to know there are reasons.
One you day you'll touch your skin and it'll be cold but it's going to warm up, I promise.
You'll look in the mirror and see those tears falling like little clear pebbles but they'll dry up, I promise. 
Pain is temporary, that's what they all say anyway. 
I won't lie to you. Sometimes your heart is going to look ugly, like a tornado came and overturned your secrets. 
You're okay though.
Flaws become your perfections in someone else's eyes. 
Take a deep breathe and look at the sky.
You are the sky.
Some days you'll be dark and stormy and mad at the world, screaming and stomping and tormenting with winds and rains. 
Oh but darling, those days make the prettiest sunsets.

XoXo, Gussie

Friday, June 5, 2015


I'm fresh out of things to say that might have any hint of meaning to you.
So today I'll just let the profound words of others resonate in your minds.

Xoxo Gussie

Monday, June 1, 2015


It all started when I learned to move my fingers because then I could begin my addiction to lacing them in horse mane. I got hooked on my addictions young, they must've always been pulsing beneath my skin. Like the water we drink and all of our body's yearnings. I fell in love with the feel of dewy grass between my fingers in the morning. I crave horse hair and horse sweat, their hearts beating beneath me. Aspens whispering from the mountain side telling me their sorrows and triumphs. I was plagued with that fall in love young, hard and fast tendency and it eats at me whenever my eyes are open. And sometimes in my dreams. I've been looking at plane tickets and figuring out how can I possibly pack my clothes in this amount of space...dear heavens I can't forget my moccs. I'm hungry for what's to come and all of the new, oily hides that I'll get to run my hands down. My lungs are aching for that fresh air and my eyes for those new mountainsides. Here it comes now.

Photo Cred: Google Images


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Butterflies and Smiles

Writing is my outlet, my open vein of emotion so the toxic blood can bleed out. So it's no wonder when I write it looks like inky sadness, fear or stress. 
I forget to write about the butterflies and smiles because they are still dancing in my eyes and stomach and wait everybody it's 11:11 hurry and make a wish.
The words tiptoed in my mind and then they slunk away before I could write them and besides my sidetracked mind was too busy watching our horses work.
My eyes were being drawn and pulled from distraction to distraction, left with too little time to focus on fluttering phrases.
I want you to know that we were always smiling and the pain was only temporary. 
The blood clotted and dried, the fury faded.
Our red and frustrated faces mellowed to a blushy pink and we were giggling with our arms wrapped around each other like long lost siblings. 
We were throwing bucketfuls of water on each other soaking the leather on our feet and tossing cuss words as terms of endearment. 
Raiding wardrobes like they were our own and coaching from the sidelines 'rodeo mom' style. 
We drug each other and our clutzy selves around with breathy smiles on our lips and our parents were hands in the air giving up.
And dammit we were happy. 
We might have had a bad day, one with gory truths and failure and it hurt. 
But we were okay and without the failure there is no success.
With out the pain there is no comfort.
It's only to rid the pain that I write about it and I'll try to remember to show you the butterflies and smiles.


Friday, April 10, 2015

An explanation.

It seems that I am very good at expressing myself without actually saying what I'm talking about. If I've confused you, I'm sorry. Frankly, at times I confuse myself and that is precisely why these jumbled thoughts end up on paper.
I'm going to try to clear some things up.
I almost always write about a horse and a person. Sometimes it's about some horse I only threw a leg over once and other times it's about my little pally horse that I could never stand to part with.
As for the people, sometimes it's my sissy, my best friend or someone who hurt me. Other times it's someone I'm trying to forgive or cowboys, usually the ones that have pried their way into my heart. And sometimes it's not any of these, just someone from a dream.
Every now and then my ramblings are about ten stories compiled into one or sometimes just a vivid memory.
I hope I keep it balanced; with a taste of sweet, a taste of sour, some good and some bad.
Whatever it is that ends up crying out from this page, I hope it means something to you and/or that you can relate. I hope you grin when you read it. I hope you laugh and show your friends. Or maybe, I hope it pricks at your heart and makes you remember something painfully wonderful.
I by no means have any profound advice or ramblings, hell I'm only 18 and I've not seen near what I'm going to. I haven't rode hundreds of horses yet or met so many people. I'm kind of just plundering my way through things.
I don't know how much good this blurb did, but it was worth my muscle cramped hand I believe.
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34
XoXo Gussie

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Just what I needed.

My metaphorical walls have blood stains and dirt built up for nearly 2 years now. All ugly and unconditioned, in pretty bad shape. The worst part is the mindset I have taken on. I'm working on the change; the reform. And dammit I was aching for something. I knew I was but I couldn't pinpoint what on God's green earth it was that I was craving.
I found it though.
I found it in an old house and an old barn.
It was in the corrals that stood declaring their grit and strife to stay up right.
New horses breathed it into my nostrils and sent a fresh kind of shivers down my back.
My heart is freeing up finally and I can feel all of my gashes pulling together and healing.
I didn't expect what I needed to be hiding here.
I didn't know that I needed sissy to whisper into my room in the morning or that I needed to talk to my brother-in-law about calves.
I had no idea that's what I wanted.
My body was telling me something and I surely wasn't listening close enough.
Maybe I needed colder, drier air to hit my lungs.
Maybe I needed more dust, mornings in the cake truck or late nights.
I'm not sure what it was that I needed but I got it.
What snapped in my mind is a wonder but I guess it doesn't matter.
This is the best I've felt in far too long but God I am thankful. 
- Gussie

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cross legged and laughing.

I traced my fingers around the edge of my saddle horn and the flowers on the fork. I clenched my swollen hand into a fist and watched my blood near the surface where fresh rope burns loomed. My raspy voice answered him when he asked if I was alright. I looked up, blinked the dirt out of my eyes and rode in to heel another calf. Horse sweat dampened my fingers and blood coated the backside of my hands. I took heavy breathes and wished I had more coffee. I tugged and pulled trying to brush through my snarled and once braided hair. My boots were torn and dusty, ready with memories. Through gritted teeth I threw heel traps and then grinned at all the cowboys that never fail to give me hell. We all sat cross legged at the end of the day in the dirt and laughed till we were red, pointing fingers with jokes on the tips of our tongues. Our horses stood cock-hipped, their energy burned out even more so than our own. We were all so giddy and we felt like the world was right as the sun set in the reflection of our eyes.
Still, when tears were at the corners of my eyes, sore muscles aching beneath my skin and my legs not giving my horses the right message, I was always where I wanted to be. I was scared and I thought I was failing, but I was okay. Good morning and goodnight beneath a full moon, rolling out of bed at 3 a.m. and catching horses with shivering fingers in coats too big for you. I love the little, pretty, dusty memories and the feel of good horses between my knees.