Only on the Prairie…

Kids heading out the door to catch the school bus…

Mom to Kenna : Sweetie, put your heavy coat on!  It’s only 20 degrees out!

Kenna:  Mooommm! I can’t wear my heavy coat!  It has calf slobber on it from feeding bottles this morning!

Mom: I am sure you are not going to be the only child in school with calf slobber on their coat! Go put it on!

Pretty sure this wouldn’t happen in a city house on a typical morning…

Published in: on March 10, 2009 at 2:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sadie #3

While sitting at dinner, during a pause in the conversation, (that had to do with basketball, by the way…)

“Did you know seals don’t have taste buds?”

Published in: on February 9, 2009 at 8:23 pm  Comments (2)  


Sadie (7)- “Did you know that they sell underwear attached to socks?”

McKenna (10)- “Sadie, that’s called long underwear!”

Published in: on December 28, 2008 at 7:52 pm  Comments (1)  
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A Few of my Favorite Things….


For some reason, the song ” A Few of my Favorite things” from The Sound of Music, has been running through my head, non stop, for three days…..


Don’t know if it’s the season or hormones, but I decided the only cure was to share some of my favorite things….


If the song gets stuck in your head, maybe it will get out of mine…. not that it’s such a bad song, but come on, three days?!?!




My girls, my sisters, my friends…. ladies, what would we do without girlfriends?? 

We’d probably go postal alot sooner!!




 My little punks…. Man, I’m crazy about these kids… they are pretending to be city kids in CA….. they only look normal….

The look on my little ones face?

Yeah, that’s normal….for her anyway….she lives in purple fairyland where it’s all rainbows and dewdrops…..Honey, can I come too?











The view from our arena— I would love to take credit for this picture, but I can’t–

My litt100_0221le Kodak camera cannot keep up with my punk little sister’s Nikon d40— hence, my coveting for which I have to repent on a daily basis…


But this is part of our crazy herd…they love kicking their heels up after a good rain…I love watching them run…







 And last, budsc_0019t NOT least, my handsome husband… chaps……pardon me while I go and take a cold shower…..












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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Aaaahhhh!!! Sniff, sniff….

Branding day- the smell of burning hair, the bawling of calves, the chaos of people and cows and branding irons and vaccination guns, all in close proximity.

Did I mention HOT branding irons?

Note the flame coming off the hide of this poor calf-

I could pretend to be all politically correct and worried about the pain that the calf is going through, but, it’s a necessary fact of life for these calves, the pain is momentary, and within moments, it’s done and they are off to mama.

Yes, occasionally someone gets stuck with the vaccination needle- but its’s ok- they are guaranteed not to get blackleg or rhinovirus for at least a year-

In this yearly event, all the community that is available participates, moving from ranch to ranch, often branding 300 calves in just a few hours.

Cow/calf pairs are rounded up from the pasture by 4-wheelers and horses, brought into the corrals, sorted and seperated. Groups of up to 50 calves at a time are run into a corral filled with people. Two folks pick out a calf, grab it from the group, wrestle it to the ground, and while one person sits on its head and one holds its feet, it is systematically vaccinated, branded, and if need be, castrated.

Hence the Rocky Mountain Oysters: Castration is done by the older guys with a knife and their fingers- generally the knife is held in the teeth inbetween cuts-

No, I am not joking- it’s the way it’s done- The cool thing is, the kids are brought right into the middle of things- this is my girl, barely 75 lbs, sitting on the head of a 200 lb calf that she brought down (with help!)

Castration was not something my kids learned how to do that day, but eating calf nuts fresh fried on the branding iron was not an experience my 12 yr old son was able to pass up!
Sorry, no pics of that one!!

At the end of the morning, an enormous feast is spread in the ranch house- 5 main dishes in enormous crockpots, huge baskets of bread, 5 different kinds of salad, iced tea and lemonade, and 10 different kinds of pie.

That, and the unlimited beer (come on, this is ranch country-beer is water here), are all the pay that the folks get.

Then onto another day and another ranch, 300 more calves, more beer and more food—it’s a good ranch life!!

Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 1:22 pm  Leave a Comment