Monthly Archives: April 2013

Saturday’s Random Ramblings 04/20/2013

** Who the heck builds a ranch house that DOES NOT have a mud room??  NOTE– That is NOT my house in this picture.  My house is a whole blog in itself!

mudroom

**Why does everyone ALWAYS drink the rest of the water in the fridge and then just set the pitcher out for me to fill back up?

IMG_6789

**Why is it that you can wash, dry, fold, and stack the laundry– yet no one can actually take it to their bedroom and put the dang stuff away?

IMG_6700

** Why is it that when you finally throw a fit and INSIST that they take their clothes to their bedroom, you find them stacked on their bedroom floor the next time you go to their room??  AND on top of piles of dirty laundry that never even made it to the laundry room!

IMG_6702

 **Why is it that when they clean their room the next time, many of the same stacked clothes as above find their way BACK to the dirty clothes pile by the washer STILL FOLDED???  GRRRRRR.

IMG_6699**Why oh why when we finally take a little break and run to the nearest watering hole (12 miles) for supper do we feel the need to stay out way too late when we haven’t had a full nights sleep since February 9th?  Aren’t we old enough to come straight home and go to bed for a few hours!?

**Why does everyone in my house, me included, seem to have an aversion to taking out the trash before it is overflowing and instead just going on to the next trash can until all the garbage cans are running over?

IMG_6790

** Why is it that the wonderful glorious song of the meadowlark when it is heralding the beginning of spring suddenly becomes so intensely annoying when it is being sung outside your bedroom window at 3:00 a.m.?

Just a few ranch wife random thoughts…

 

 

Friday Funday 04/19/2013

My weekly Friday gratitude list.

Smelling the glorious smell of the dryer running as I’m walking up the sidewalk.

IMG_6700

Having a little company during chores.

IMG_6643

Being lucky enough to stay home and be a mom and getting to hang out with my Wild Child

IMG_6731

Another birthday that finds us all happy and healthy!

IMG_6765

Getting to climb into a huge, warm, cozy bed at the end of my night checks.

IMG_6780

Glorifying in the fact that it is midnight and the Big Guy is checking the rest of the night!

IMG_6781

Having friends and family who raise sheep so the Wild Child can experience the absolute cuteness of a baby lamb.

IMG_6757

Oh– and having those same friends and family who raise sheep only threaten to give the Wild Child bum lambs, but never showing up on the door step with them!!

Finding the Wild Child’s replacement heifer (Tess) looking so sassy and happy when we worked them this week as she hasn’t had the best calf percentage this spring.  Her 3-year-old cow (Kaydee Cow) sloughed her calf, and the calf out of her 2-year-old heifer (Brown Eyes) died when it was a month old.

IMG_6744

Yesterday’s blue sky and sunshine, even though the wind was blowing off an iceberg!

IMG_6768

What a load of blessings!  Thanks for letting me share.

Just a ranch wife

Thursday’s Thoughts– Things I LOVE 04/18/13

IMG_6716

Normally Thursday’s are a post about things that I LOVE and make my life easier.  This will be in a bit, but first of all I have to share a few Wild Child-isms.  She is, after all, someone who I LOVE, and although she may not always make my life easier, she has definitely blessed it and made it much, much brighter and happier.  

**Mom? Why did you make my hair white? I didn’t, honey.  GOD did.  But I didn’t want it to be white.  I wanted it to be brown like everyone else’s.  Guess what?  My hair was white when I was a little girl, and dad’s hair was white when he was a little boy.  OH!  Plus, I bet GOD wanted me to have white hair just like Papa’s.  His is white too!

**Granny!  Do you know why we had to buy so many packs of candles for dad’s birthday?  Because he is REALLY old! IMG_6761

**Mom?  Can we go camping this summer? Sure– especially if you get a really good job and buy me a camper when you get big!  What kind of job are you going to have when you grow up?  I’m going to milk all the cows and feed all the pigs.  And buy a rooster to wake me up in the mornings because sometimes I like to sleep.  (Laughing–as we do not milk cows, nor have pigs).  But we don’t even have pigs.  Dad?  Do you care if we buy the rest of the animals we don’t have?

**(Storming over to the sliding glass doors)  Here come those stinking heifers again!!  (Opening the door and yelling—) YOU STINKING HEIFERS.  GET BACK OVER THE HILL AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR BABIES!

 **The Wild Child has told me every single morning since not long after she started talking that “Its a beautiful day Mom!”  But even she this morning realizes the glory in the sunshine.  I was down washing clothes when she came running down the stairs saying “Mom!  Mom!  There is blue sky and sunshine this morning!”  Yep– kids are so smart!

 

Now for the “THINGS” that make my life better.  I’m a HUGE Norwex fan!  I don’t know if you know anything about Norwex, or have ever been to a Norwex party, but the products are something else. Two things really caught my attention about a Norwex party.

ENVIRO CLOTH 

The first trick was to demonstrate the enviro cloth and the polishing cloth.  They take a stick of butter and smear it all over a window.  Then the demonstrator used Windex and paper towels to try to clean one side of the buttery mess, and the Norwex Enviro cloth and polishing cloth on the other side.  The Windex smears the mess around.  The Norwex products with the enviro cloth only wet with water and then polished up with the polishing cloth cleaned the window to a streak-free shine in about 15 seconds.  Absolutely amazing.  I have very dark counter tops.  They show every single stinking rag swipe when you wipe them down.  Plus, I also have very leaky windows so there is a fine layer of dust that you can see on my counter in what seems like a matter of minutes.  I can wipe the counter tops down with water and the enviro cloth, and then follow with a quick swipe of the polishing cloth.  Not a single rag mark.  Plus, it seems to keep them dust free for quite a while.  Love it.  Anything that makes my life a little easier and my cleaning last longer and look better is a product that I love.   Window Polishing Cloth

The other cool demo showed the antibacterial properties of their antibacterial rags.  My sister-in-law said this amazed her.  She said the demonstrator took a raw chicken breast and smeared it onto the counter, and then with medical grade test strips detecting protein and/or residue, she proceeded to swab the surface with the stick turning instantly purple.  The demonstrator then wiped down the counter with a watered wet envirocloth and then swabbed the surface again with a new test strip.  Nothing.  Nada.  It didn’t turn purple at all.  I’m sold.  Anything that cleans the bacteria off my obviously laden counter tops has to be a positive thing for this home, especially with the things that must find their way into my humble, not even close to spotless, ‘somebody needs to stay in and clean’ home.

So that’s my two cents, or ten cents, of maybe my free dollar’s worth of knowledge this morning!  Check it out.  This ranch wife LOVES the products. Norwex Products

Birthdays

IMG_6725

We are just getting to the end of calving, FINALLY.  I just counted this morning and looks like we have only 34 cows to go at our house.  YAY!  However, today we start the process of breeding the heifers for next year.  Yes– breeding the heifers that will have their first calf next spring.  Yes– already.  Just kind of all seems to roll together doesn’t it?

Today we insert the CIDR’s.  A CIDR is a progesterone insert that helps control the estrous cycle in our heifers so that more heifers come into heat together, have higher pregnancy rate, easier heat detection, etc.  This is just the start of the AI process.   The Big Guy spends HUGE amounts of time studying sires, statistics, talking to bull owners, studying more data, etc., while trying to pick the perfect bulls from which he will buy semen.  His main concern is what kind of cow he is going to have in the end.  He wants easy-calving good mamas with nice udders, good milk, and easy fleshing.  His most recent “favorite sire” was an angus bull that has since passed.  This bull sired NICE gentle cows that raised great calves. It was a sad day for him when he go no longer purchase semen from this bull.

Well, today just happens to be the Big Guys birthday!  (I’m sure you know where this is going!)  The wild one and I baked a cake last night and wrapped presents.  She could  hardly stand herself trying to keep a secret.  She wanted the cake to be a surprise for today.  An almost four-year-old little girl cannot help herself.  She tried all night long to let the secret slip.  It was comical.  The biggest secret, though, is the fact that I found some semen from the bull and that is the Big Guy’s birthday present.  So, my question for today is– Does this make us complete hillbillies??  Does giving your husband bull semen for his birthday put us right up there with the craziest of the crazies??  Or does it make me just a ranch wife?

Dieting

Measuring Tape Wrapped Around Fork

I’m sure there must be a thin person deep inside me just struggling to get out.  However, I think her lack of try completely sucks.  I HATE to diet.  I know, I know– you aren’t supposed to diet, it is supposed to be a lifestyle change.  Eat healthy and exercise— yada, yada, yada.  Whatever.  I eat healthy, just LOTS of healthy.

I love it when people say things like “I don’t know why I can’t lose weight.  I hardly eat anything!”  Well– that’s not me.  I love to eat, and unfortunately what I love to eat the most is anything with sugar.  I mean ANYTHING.  I’m pretty sure if you sprinkled enough sugar on liver I could even eat that, and I HATE liver.  I’m a boredom eater, and a pissed off eater, and a ‘life is grand and I’m so happy’ eater, oh and a ‘man its cold out’ eater, and yes, even a ‘holy smokes its hot out’ eater.  Its my one vice.  Okay, maybe not my ONE vice, but definitely a vice nonetheless.

MP900386977(1)

Spring helps.  Spring keeps me outside and out of the house, which helps me to find something else to shovel instead of sugar.  However, lots of good healthy spring work makes me think that the extra cookie really shouldn’t matter because I’ve obviously burned off a LOT of calories during the day. Its my own little pipe dream. Two pipe dreams actually, one that I’ve burned off enough to eat more, and a second that I’m only going to eat ONE extra cookie. And if the over-eating temptation isn’t already strong enough, now there are all these incredible looking recipes on Facebook.  Really?  I’m struggling along trying not to think about finding something to eat and up pops this amazing looking dessert recipe that I think I should try.   Aargh!

When my relationship with my older kids’ father ended I told myself that if someone fell in love with me while heavy I would be certain that he loved me for me.  Well the Big Guy does.  He loves me, extra pounds and all.  I love me!  And I love him even more for loving me as is.  Yes, I’m overweight.  Yes, I know I need to get in better shape and take better care of my health.  But the me that I love– my heart, my mind, my soul– isn’t going to change with weight loss.  I’m still going to be me– loving GOD, loving life, loving my family and friends, and loving being just a ranch wife.

Music

 Piano(Thanks to my little sis for this pic!)

Music is a huge part of my life.  My dad was an amazing piano player who played entirely by ear, and my mom is an incredible singer.  Together they raised a huge brood of music-loving children.  My dad passed away over 30 years ago and my mom has stated many times that the greatest gift he gave our family was music as it seems to tie us all together.  There is music at every family event.  My brothers all sing and play, and my sisters and I– well, someone has to clap! The nieces and nephews all like to sing and dance.  It is a grand time when our family is together.

What amazes me is how a song can bring back an instant memory.  For example, hearing Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian” instantly reminds me of my parking days in high school.  You know– hanging out with your boyfriend, hidden away from the world, and trying your best to outsmart all your friends who think they know all the best parking spots.  That song was definitely a parking tune.  Fun memories.   Another example is a Neil Diamond song.  Neil Diamond was a favorite of my brother-in-law.  I say ‘was’ as he passed away a few years ago after suffering with ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.   My brother sang “Sweet Caroline” at his funeral.  Several years later the playing of ‘Sweet Caroline’ can still bring a roomful of people to tears thinking of all the good memories, the missed years, as well as reminding us that he is still here with us in our hearts.  Damn funeral songs–I also cry every time I hear “Wind Beneath My Wings” as it was played at the funeral of a man who was my second father after the passing of my first.  Music has been present at all the good times and sad times of my life.

Yesterday I got to watch my senior daughter teach my 4-year-old daughter the months of the year by doing the Macarena.  My eldest was blessed enough to have a 1st grade teacher that used music to teach.  She learned the days of the week, the months of the year, the continents, the 50 states, all the presidents– all in songs.  I’m sure there were a couple of others, but I’m unable to think of them now.  Twelve years later she still can sing the songs.  Music– a fantastic learning tool.

I saw a sign once that said “Blessed are those who don’t die with the music still inside of them.”  How true.  I had a friend who whistled all the time.  One day he told me how when he was young he used to sing all the time, loudly, and was sure he was going to be a professional musician someday.  When he was a teenager he taped himself singing.  He never sang out loud again.  He was so disappointed that somehow  he had been so wrong about his talent.  However, the music was still bubbling and building, wanting out, so he learned to whistle.  To that friend I say–  thank heavens you didn’t go to your grave with the music still inside of you.  You made many people smile with your whistling.

How does this relate to being a ranch wife?? Glad you asked!  I’m part of the back-end crew when we work cows or calves.  I have the best working partner ever– the Boss, my father-in-law.  Our job is to keep the chute filled.  We don’t get yelled at for missing something that needs a tag, missing a shot, the paperwork being off, or heaven forbid– not getting the head gate shut in time! We are in the back getting an up-close and personal view of every single cow or calf.  It’s a glorious place to spend the day.   With virtually no audience, I get to spend the day humming, whistling, or singing whatever my heart desires.  On an average day I might sing everything from the Hokie Pokie, to Jingle Bells, to Amazing Grace, to Hallelujah (since my daughter just watched Shrek for the 700th time), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kB67HO8tkQs, or even the more up-to-date songs like Wagon Wheel (the original– not Darius Rucker, although his is okay, too)!  I have very varied interests!

So on one such day, as I’m humming and singing along at the back of the pen, I ask the Boss– “Doesn’t this just make you want to sing?  This is the best job!  We can just work back here all day and have our own little duet!”  The look I got made me think he didn’t want to sing, and no– we probably weren’t going to have a duet.  He doesn’t know what he missed!  Oh well!  Just another day in the life of this ranch wife.

Sunday 04/14/2013

I told my sister the other day that I wanted to do a post about GOD taking care of fools and children, but I couldn’t come up with any stupid things I had done.  Her response?  “Want me to make a list?”  Cold, very cold.  I have heard this saying many times, but on doing some research can’t really find a place in the bible where it says this.  I guess it just must be an unwritten rule as HE sure seems to have taken care of me many times, and the LORD definitely knows I’m not the sharpest tack in the box.

There are many more Bible verses that I find seem to apply to me often.  For example, when facing down a mean cow, or even a cow that is not necessarily mean but just wanting to run over me, I think about Joshua 1:9: ” Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”   GOD probably wasn’t referring exactly to ranch wives, but this certainly fits.  Or how about when the Big Guy asks me to give him a hand with loading something in the pickup, but not to worry as it isn’t that heavy.  That is always a RED LIGHT that I am probably going to herniate myself when I try to lift up my end.  Into my mind pops Philippians 4:13:  “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”  Also, at this time the 5th Commandment applies!!

As for the Big Guy, I made sure he knew Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”   I made darn sure he loved me this much before marrying him as I knew he would have to have lots of patience– and a lot of love– to work with me day in and day out!

Have a blessed Sunday!

 

Saturday’s Random Ramblings 04/13

** Why does the meanest hell-bitch, man-eating cow always raise a huge steer calf thus justifying her existence?

**How did the cutest little boy in the world suddenly become a man and able to lecture you about being safe and not taking chances with the hell-bitch, man-eating cows?

TRG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**How can the little girl who only graduated from kindergarten yesterday be ready to graduate from high school in a month?

Karli kindergarten grad 001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**Why do all your clothes get taken out of the dryer and stuffed into a basket and not folded when someone else needs to wash a load?

CIMG3200

**Why do teenage girls find it so much more fun to wear mismatched socks thus leaving you a pile of unpaired socks when you are folding the above load?
CIMG3202

**Why, when there are already millions of t-shirts cut up, do teenagers find the need to cut up yet another new t-shirt as soon as they get it?

**Why does the wind ALWAYS seem to be blowing right in your face no matter what direction you are headed?

**Why does the sickest calf always have energy to spare when you are trying to catch it to doctor it?

IMG_2538

**Why does a cow ALWAYS run in front of your loop when you are trying to catch the above calf?

**Why is it way more fun to clean someone else’s house?

Just some little things this ranch wife would like to know.

Friday Funday

Years ago my mom gave me a book called “Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy” by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  It is a year-long book of daily wisdom destined to help one get in touch with one’s self again, to help one see all the blessings in one’s life, and to help one live a happy, fulfilling, contented life.    She gave it to me at a time in my life when I needed it the most.  Aren’t moms just the best that way?!  One of the suggestions/requirements early in the book was to start keeping a daily gratitude journal.  Each day I was supposed to list 10 things I was thankful for.

When I started my daily gratitude journal I was in such a rut in my life that I had a heck of a time coming up with 10 things each day.  Thankfully I had two children so I could count each of them (2 things–8 more to go!), my good health and their good health (3 more things– 5 things to go), having a house to live in, food to eat, car to drive, and a job (4 more — one to go), and of course my mom.  Ten things I was thankful for.  I tried to switch it up and name some siblings, but am telling you that it was a daily struggle to find my 10 things to be thankful for.  Remember– I was in a black hole– didn’t realize it then, but definitely black!

This was the same time that one of my best friends came to me and said “OK.  Here’s the deal.  You are so negative right now that you are tough to be around.  What can we do to change this.  I will help.”  She is still one of my best friends to this day.  That’s a great friend who has the guts to come and tell you that you suck, BUT she wants to help you change things!  What a blessing.  So, I began working harder on my gratitude journal.  After awhile I found myself actively searching throughout my day to find things to write in my gratitude journal.  I wrote about the fresh-cut grass smelling so good.  I wrote about the sunset being spectacular.  I wrote about the glorious sound of my children’s laughter.  I wrote about a great phone call from my sister.  And the list went on, and on, and on.  I found that as I became more grateful, and recognized more and more of my blessings, that I became a much, much happier and contented person.  Once again– thanks to my mom for the book, and to my friend for the kick in the tush!

In the spirit of my daily gratitude, I hope to try to spend my Friday posts on things I’m grateful for!  Here goes…

 

My Wild Child wearing her dad’s lookers being a goof ball this morning.  Oh– and to my friend CB for his naming them lookers.

IMG_6669

The Robins Playing in the Yard

IMG_6667

GREEN GRASS

IMG_6672

Having someone drive through the gate for me to save some steps.

IMG_6686

IMG_6688

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overkill, I know, but MUD

IMG_6680

Being able to look in all directions and not seeing ANYTHING but incredible views!

IMG_6678

 

EAST

IMG_6674

And how can I not be grateful when I see this!

IMG_6682

I’m so grateful for being just a ranch wife.

Thursday’s Thoughts– things I love.

Have you used the totes or thermals from Thirty-One?  They have made a wonderful addition to my home.  My first purchase was the Large Utility Tote. http://www.thirtyonegifts.com/Catalog/Product/28/index.html  This baby can haul so much stuff.  I now own several.  I pack them full of pans of bars, coffee cups, thermoses, water jugs, etc. when hauling food on the days we precondition calves, or days we pregnancy check cows, or on days we are shipping calves, etc.  The best part about them, other than the size, is the fact that the handles actually run entirely under the tote so they aren’t just attached at the top waiting to rip off.  I can’t imagine the number of pounds I have hauled in these.  I recently used them to pack clothes, shoes, makeup — essentially as an overnight bag while going to my nephew’s wedding.  I love them.

I also have a couple of the Market Thermal Totes.  http://www.thirtyonegifts.com/Catalog/Product/76/index.html  These keep the hot things HOT and the cold things COLD.  I have made hot dishes, thrown them in this thermal, hauled them to where we were working cattle, and left them sitting in the pickup for several hours.  Lunchtime rolls around and shazam– I still have a hot meal to serve.  Same with cold drinks– throw some ice in the thermal, throw in the drinks, and enjoy cold beverages whenever you need them.

All in all, these are some great bags.  I look forward to trying more of their products and recently got a catalog to peruse to find my next product to try.  Check them out!  This ranch wife loves them.

https://www.mythirtyone.com/mistylarson/