Prairie Pastor

dsc_0351Do you wish your pastor was a little more interesting? Had a little more flavor and spice?


Well, you can’t have ours, but you can read about him and covet…. well, not covet, that’s a sin, but you can wish you had him too, wait, that’s the same as coveting…..

Oh, forget it…. just read….Prairie Pastor

Published in: on November 25, 2008 at 11:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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White Chicken Chili

0601It’s filling, easy to make, and as spicy as you want it to be…..


Here under Cooking with Loving Hands

Fluffy Buttermilk Waffles

hay-auction-waffles-011You can have them for breakfast and make extra for the next week-

They freeze well too-

Here under Cooking with Loving Hands

Jack is missing….

rainbow-018-2Story here…..


We miss you, Jack–Come home soon…

Published in: on November 19, 2008 at 10:25 am  Comments (2)  
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Hay Auction

I had grand plans to post my Fluffy Buttermilk Waffles on Saturday.

We had a simple hay auction to attend and then the warm, November afternoon was mine.

I had thoughts of sitting on the front porch rocker in the sunshine with my computer and my pictures……

But, alas, this was not to be…

First, the auction-

For those of who wonder how we feed our herd of 19 beasties, or maybe you don’t wonder but I am going to tell you anyway, the answer is any way we can!

We have a 130 acre pasture, but in the dryland prairie, that is only good for about 4 months of grazing and occasional winter munching….

Sometimes hay is donated, sometimes we find it through local rancher friends, and sometimes we attend that Saturday morning crazy event called the Hay Auction.

At a local livestock auction facility, on the 2nd Saturday of the month, stacks of golden hay sit waiting for the hordes of bidders to arrive.

With breath steaming in the cool morning air, the bidders wait for the auctioneer, eying different stacks of hay, calculating price per ton and how high they can go, determining number of bales that will fit on the trailer if the price is right.

The auctioneer begins the bidding–

Now, auctioneers are tricky- they always try to start the bidding at a price that will get someone to jump in and bid without them having to lower it; but these are savvy bidders, they wait the auctioneer out…..

He knows that he can’t pull too much salesmanship on this crowd—

(The guys with the cowboy hats and clipboards are the auctioneers– yes, they look just like normal folks)

And the price on the early bales goes low….

We buy twelve round bales, weighing 700 lbs a piece- paying around $100/ton– later bales sell for $150-$250 a ton!

This will feed our crew for just over six weeks, if we are careful and the weather does not get too bad– those of you math genius’s out there can figure out what we pay a month to keep our herd if you have lots of time on your hands—

Closer to the city, folks are paying almost double this– hence, the horses being dumped at auction houses, but that is a whole ‘nother soapbox for a whole ‘nother time…..

The auction house keeps a beautiful John Deere articulated loader on hand to load the bales of hay that have been purchased– as these bales can weigh anywhere from 650 lbs to 1900 lbs, this is a very nice service— except when the loader tries to take off your rearview mirror on your truck—

Fortunately, we have collapsible mirrors, so no harm done, but it was a sign of things to come!!

If you don’t know what articulated is, it means it bends in the middle—

It’s your 50 cent word for the day; see if you can use it in a sentence…

So, we are all loaded up, stacked high, wedged in, strapped down…… or so we think

‘Bout 5 miles from home……
Yes, those would be two of our hay bales in the middle of the highway, with a semi driving behind!

That would be my handsome husband trying to unload our tractor so we can go and get our bales off the highway…..

This is a really nice view of him, but I didn’t tell him so… I didn’t think this was quite the right time for that…..

This is our friend, the Prairie Pastor, who also happens to be a firefighter, with his fire truck, graciously directing traffic—

We woke him up from a nap…..

What are friends for??

This is my handsome husband again, trying to clean off the highway– he takes his clean up job very seriously–

“Honey, you look great…. doing a good job… looking really handsome!….”

He can’t hear me- he has his ear plugs in-

In the midst of the chaos, my son, who was helping load the tractor at the house, smashed his fingers between the trailer ramps and the trailer, breaking his middle finger of his left hand—

So, we spent the afternoon in the ER, getting x-rays—so much for my sunny afternoon on the porch—

My son has had a grand ole time waving his hand out the window at passing cars…. I can’t figure out why they keep honking at us!!

Oh yeah, this is what happens when you have had a little too much to drink, trying to be safe by riding your bike home in the dark, and pass the action house……

Just kidding…. its just these crazy redneck folks having a little joke…. they have such a sense of humor……

Published in: on November 17, 2008 at 9:10 am  Comments (1)  
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The Pawnee Cafe

If you have always dreamed of owning a little cafe in a small town, filled with morning regulars having their coffee; satisfying, made to order hamburgers with hot, crunchy fries or onion rings fresh from the fryer; hand made shakes and malts in extra large cups; and a down home atmosphere filled with local personality…..

This is the place for you!

It’s For Sale!

Occasionally I get called to help waitress at our little local cafe; usually at the last minute and mostly for the lunch rush;

CDOT workers fresh off the snow plows, semi drivers passing through town, oil rig engineers surveying for new wells, wind farm contractors and then there is the locals…..

Booths are shared, commodity prices are compared, rainfall amounts are debated, field conditions are discussed, deals are made and bargains found—

Political and intellectual conversations are rare, but your neighbor may have a new cure for your calf with scours (diarrhea) or have news of a product to increase the yield of wheat harvest for next year—

It is not uncommon to see a field sprayer or John Deere tractor parked out front– why go home when you can swing through the cafe on your way to the next field?

This is the only restaurant for at least 30 miles in any direction….

Everyone knows the owners and they know everyone’s usual orders—

I, who will be a “new” person until I have been here at least 40 years and then will probably still be “new”, unfortunately, don’t—

I almost always get the statement of, “I’ll have my usual’, and with my blank look, they proceed to tell me that Kathy knows what they like…..

I’m lucky to remember their name and how to ring the order up on the cash register, let alone what their “usual” order is–

So I head back to the kitchen to ask Kathy, she peaks over the counter, and says,” Oh, that’s Jim, he likes a cheeseburger with pickles and no onion,” or “That’s Del, he has the special with half and half (lemonade and iced tea mixed together).”

Can’t get personal service like that anymore in the city….

This is my friend, Kathy–funny, sassy, down to earth, filled with good advice and tips, and a good cook to boot– what more could you ask for?

Together with her mother in law, they have run this cafe for many years— now, with kids grown and gone, it’s time to move on– finding a buyer has been challenging— even though this is a pretty successful business!

The atmosphere is casual and forgiving– if it’s busy and I have not gotten a drink refilled, the locals just get up and do it themselves–

Folks passing through aren’t sure what to do about the duct taped seats in the booths, or the lack of menus on the table, but there is something about the atmosphere that makes you feel at home….

There are aerial pictures of the local fairgrounds on the walls along with mounted buffalo heads and a nice set of longhorns–

The coffee is hot, the desserts are homemade, and in keeping with our theme of a few days ago, as well as the title to this blog, Rocky Mountain Oysters were the special of the day today!

In case you city folks wonder what fried calf testicles look like on a plate…..

Crunchy, fried goodness—tastes like chicken–

Usually served with tarter sauce or cocktail sauce– someone has a sense of humor!

Betcha thought they would be circular, didn’t ya…..

One of these days, I’m going to do a recipe feature on how to make these….

The tips are good and getting to know the local folks is priceless….. Plus it’s nice to get off the ranch every now and then….

Prairie Ranch Apple Crisp

apple-crisp-0051Make some and take it to a Veteran!

Recipe here- Cooking with Loving Hands

Published in: on November 11, 2008 at 10:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Veteran’s Day

Today is a day that we stop and take time to say thank you to the men and women who have given a part of their life, and in some cases, their life itself, to protect and defend the freedoms that many in this country take for granted.
Just recently, Americans exercised that freedom to make history.
Here, a week later, in a little school in a little corner of a big prairie, ranchers left their cows, farmers parked their tractors and an auditorium was standing room only, to honor the veterans from this small community.
In a land where the houses are few and far between, everyone came to show their appreciation. Even the local radio station showed up to broadcast the program.

Young voices were raised in song. “If you love your country, if you cherish your freedom, thank a vet!”, were the simple words sung in high pitched voices that brought tears to the eyes of those in uniform.

In this time of controversy over the current war, those from past wars rarely experience gratitude. This was their chance to bask in a moment of spotlight and ceremony.
A young man stands in uniform at the front and shares his experiences in Afghanistan. Of being blown up in his Humvee by an IED. Of the brothers that pulled him from the wreckage and visited him in the hospital. Pictures are shown of his wrecked vehicle and the aftermath of the explosion.

Young eyes gaze in hero worship and a taste of war is brought home. Little boys shake his hand and finger the medals on his chest.
He jokingly shares a MRE with a young man called to the front to answer war history questions.

Certificates of appreciation and small gifts are passed to the veterans by fourth graders wearing their fathers and grandfathers uniforms.
Several hundred people joined in singing “God Bless America” and “I’m Proud to be an American”. Gray heads joined with young heads for pictures. The room is abuzz with voices, laughter, handshaking and hugs. Past and future; brought together in a simple program with profound meaning.

These men and women represent so many of the values of this community—hard work and dedication, family and friends, faithfulness, patriotism— it seems that so many of these values are beginning to be lost in this fast paced technological age that we live—
But for today, in a little school in a little corner of a big prairie, they were found…..
Published in: on November 11, 2008 at 8:26 pm  Comments (1)  
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Cowboy Key Lime Pie

005 Its sweet, its easy, its out of focus– make it anyway!

Check it out under Cooking with Loving Hands

Published in: on November 9, 2008 at 8:08 am  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Flapjacks with Cinnamon Maple Cream Syrup

food-pics-013They are warm, yummy and irresistible! 


Recipe here under Cooking with Loving Hands