Monthly Archives: June 2013


bible“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)

I’m tired.  It was a long spring, a long few weeks trying to get ready to AI, getting ready for graduation, and then just trying to clean out all the winter from our house.  To add to the mix, the other woman who typed on the same transcription account as me quit a few weeks ago so the typing is crazy.  Then there are social events that we just couldn’t seem to miss– wedding, party with friends, all of which we greatly enjoyed and were so glad we went.  However, It all starts to take a toll.  I’m tired.

IMG_8892Now the wonderful season of haying has begun.  We were tremendously blessed with moisture starting May 17th and continuing through the middle of June.  Land that was dry and brittle took on new life.  The short brown grasses were overtaken by new abundant growth.  Things were so green that they were almost blinding, and still amazingly green as we head in to July.  Dams are full. Cattle fat and happy.  It is a heavenly sight. I’m continually amazed at our forgiving earth. Cracking blowing soil just changes overnight. You can almost watch the grass grow and the landscape change.  There are more wild flowers then I think I have ever seen.  It is absolutely a wondrous site to behold.

IMG_8888As wonderful as it all is, we have now started haying.  This usually means long nights in a tractor and days spent working on whatever needs done — in my case it means my days are spent with lots of typing trying to keep up.  Nothing worse than sitting in front of a computer for many hours when the smells of summer are floating through the open windows and summer’s beauty is staring in the same windows beckoning you to come out and enjoy.  This makes me more tired than anything… just the sitting.  Wears out my brain.

So today I’m taking the day off.  We raked and baled last night until it got too wet, got home around midnight, and I have the morning off.  I’m going to get some typing done and take the day off— kinda.  I’m ready for a day of only refreshing my soul with outside work.  That is the kind of fatigue I need.  The kind where I’ve spent the whole day outside and am worn out from the work and fresh air.  I love that kind of fatigue.  It makes my heart smile, warms my soul, and going to bed with the smells of summer drifting in my window makes my sleep peaceful and restoring.

Have a blessed and glorious Sunday!

Sweetness & Sarcasm 6.29.2013

IMG_8059Windmill on the Prairie 

If I could paint a picture of the finest place on earth,
it would never be of buildings, pay no matter what they’re worth.
There’d be no canvas covered with a village, neat and quaint;
…a windmill on the prairie is what I’d choose to paint.
Now, you may think it silly that anyone could see
beauty in a windmill, but they mean a lot to me.
Like a lighthouse to a sailor, they’re a symbol of the West
of life that’s free and easy, a lifestyle that’s the best.
To me there’s nothing better than to be out there with God,
smell the clover-scented grass, or raindrops on the sod;
to hear the rustling of the trees, the lowing of the herds;
and watch a hawk a-circlin’, then be chased away by birds.
A friend to man and beast alike, they never cease to work,
bring forth the fresh cold water from far beneath the earth.
When evening shadows lengthen, like a tower in the night,
a windmill in the sunset is such a wondrous sight.
You can have the Eiffel Tower or the Vatican in Rome;
sky scrapers in the cities, or the fanciest of homes.
The simple upright beauty that will put them all to test
is a windmill on the prairie when the sun sets in the West!

Poetry by Yvonne Hollenbeck.  Reprinted with author’s permission.  You can find more of her work on her website.   Enjoy.

A little Saturday sarcasm…

**Don’t know why he insists on putting in a coyote calling video, settling into his favorite chair for a break, and falling promptly asleep. Now I’m the only one “enjoying” the coyote calling.  Jeez.

**How can dandelions grow three inches overnight out of your freshly mowed lawn?

**How come the green apples in the refrigerator don’t call me as loudly as the bag of peanut M&Ms in the pantry?

**Is juice always better out of a little sippy bag?  The Wild Child thinks so.

**Does anyone else out there find it highly amusing when someone says “I just forgot to eat.”  Seriously?  I can honestly say those words have never escaped my mouth.  How do you forget to eat?

**Does anyone else out there find it highly annoying that everyone likes a clean house, but no one thinks anything of making a mess and leaving it?

Have a blessed weekend.  Make someone smile today!

Friday Funday 6.27.2013

**The start of the haying season.

**The way our community comes together to celebrate the life of one of its members.

**Morning rides with the WC.

**Sisters who show up whenever I need them, and do things like come bearing gifts for the Wild Child in the form of a quarter-pony mare that needs broke.

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**Little girls who don’t mind getting dirty.

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**Puppies who don’t mind, either.

IMG_8802**Hydrogen peroxide and Dawn dish soap.


Has someone made you smile this week?  Did you pay it forward?

Blast from the Past

The coolest thing happened to me in the past week.  I was posting a comment on my Facebook page about my uncle donating a pot load of calves to be sold after 9/11.  He instructions were simple — all the proceeds had to be used to purchase beef certificates for those devastated by 9/11.  I did a Google search to find the article for which I was searching.  Crazy enough, one of the things that came up when I searched his name was a picture on Ebay.  So, of course, I clicked over to see what I had found!

I was so excited to see that I had found a picture of his epic trail drive in 1962.  Below is an article taken from the Utica Daily Press in Utica, NY on January 8, 1962.  His trail drive made national news.

“Winner, S. D. Wn—Rancher Don Hight’s 1,800 Herefords were on the last lap yesterday in a revival of the cattle drive of another era.  A blinding snowstorm Saturday night, with high winds whipping up snow to cut visibility to nothing at times, threatened the 65 mile trek from Hight’s ranch to market at a sales rings here. * 

Yesterday, however, with rising temperatures and
diminishing winds, the herd resumed plodding over the
rolling hills of south central South Dakota, ki-yi’ed along
by Hight and seven cowboys.  The severe weather Saturday forced Hight to hold up
his herd and feed the animals yesterday’s rations, gambling
on a break in the weather to replenish the feed supply.  

HE WON. Yesterday, trucks hauled cake, a high protein
commercial feed, to the herd from Winner. The situation
had been eased previously when Hight was able to obtain
400 bales of hay at another ranch.

The rancher, who hopes to sell the herd—1,100 cows
and 700 steers—for some $360,000, reverted to an old time
“trail driver Instead of trucking the Herefords to market.
He estimated he will save $2,000 in transportation costs.
Hight hoped to have the herd here by tonight or early
tomorrow. The animals move slowly, as the cowboys speed
up stragglers and keep all of the critters headed in the
same, direction.

The drive is a cross-country operation, as in the old
days, and not a matter of following highways. The rancher
got permission to cross private lands in the lightly
populated area, where the herd had few highways to

• ALTHOUGH WINNER, 28 miles north of the Nebraska
border, is a livestock center, Joe Janickr manager -of a
sales ring here, said he doubted that more than a few of
its residents have seen more than 700 cattle together.
“It would be the biggest herd I’ve ever seen.” he added,
-“and I know lot of people are loading their kids in the
family car just to go out and look.”

The picture I found on Ebay was a press photo of the trail drive.




The second picture is the caption on the side of the press photo.  It says:  “WINNER, SD, Jan 7– FORTUNE ON HOOF– The 1,800 head of Herefords plodding over South Dakota’s rolling hills hark back to the trail drives of another century.  Rancher Don Hight drove the herd, estimated worth $360,000, 65 miles over the hills to be sold this week at a Winner sales ring.  He and nine cowboys drove the animals the old way, instead of trucking them.  Hight estimated he saved $20,000.  (AP WIREPHOTO)”

Because of the national coverage regarding this trail drive, my uncle was invited to Hollywood to be in an episode of Rawhide.  Below are a couple of those pictures.

don & clint Clint_Eastwood_Don_Hight_Rawhide_1962This was my fun blast from the past for the week.  Hope you got a little smile out of it!

Have a grand day…

JARW Advice 6.26.2013

One word.  CROCK POT!  That’s it.  That’s all.  One word.  Ha!  You wish!  My high school English teacher used to tell me (REPEATEDLY) that my papers were much to wordy.  There.  It’s out there.  I’m wordy.  I know… I should have warned you before this, but I’ve told you now.  You are officially warned.  I’m wordy!

Crock-pots!  Marvelous inventions.  Everyone should have one.  Best time saver EVER.  Well- mostly ever.  I have a basic, run of the mill, absolutely not one thing fancy about it, but able to hold a big family-size roast, crock-pot.  Just like this one.


Basic.  Simple.  Life-saving.  Don’t mock me!  It is life saving.  When you come in freezing from outside during calving and you think you are starving to death? Yes.  I think that qualifies as life-saving.

Crock Pots aren’t just for roasts anymore.  When I was much younger, and much dumber, I used to only use my crock-pot for roasts.  What a waste.  These babies can cook anything!  Breakfast, lunch, supper, dessert!  In fact, I think I need more than one!  Throw your meal in the crock pot at night before bed, turn it on, and shazam– a hot breakfast when you get up!  Or, throw your meal in the crock pot before bed and store in the fridge, and THEN plug it in and turn it on the morning.  You guessed it — either lunch or dinner.  The perfect time saver!  PLUS– one dish clean-up.  Well, I guess one dish if you don’t need any vegies or sides with your meal, and you make everybody eat of the crock-pot instead of on plates, then you can make it a one-dish meal.

I now cook a variety of things in the crock pot.  Lasagna.  Soups.  Stews.  CHOCOLATE CAKE (YUMMO).   Pork Chops.  Fajitas.  Swiss Steak. Stir Fry.  Taco fillings.  Potatoes.  Apple Crisp.  Meat and baked potatoes.  The list is endless.  I love my crock pot.

My ranch wife advice to you is this — Pull out your crock pot, dust it off, wash it out, do whatever you need to do to make it functional, and use it.  It is a huge time saver, life saver, starving kids “what’s for supper” shutter-upper, make your husband smile bigger, and a “Your the best, mom” comment maker!  Enjoy!

Some good crock pot recipe websites:  The Crockin Girls.  Crock Pot Ladies.  Taste of Home.


I’ve heard that diamonds are a girl’s best friend.  Not mine!  And definitely not the Wild Child’s.  Her best friends seem to mostly have four legs.  From Bootsy…IMG_7039

To Huck…IMG_6472

But her favorite four-legged friend is Speed.  Every little girl needs a horse like Speed. IMG_7329

The Big Guy bought Speed several years ago for his older kids.  They used him for everything — gathering cows, running barrels / poles, flag racing, goat tying —  they could do anything on him.  I even remember him crow hopping his whole way home during the barrels at a youth rodeo when someone pulled his cinch a little too tight.  Yep, he did it all.

When the Wild Child was born her older sister still rode him, and as the WC got older her sister really didn’t want to pass Speed down.  However, we finally convinced her that to keep growing as a horseman and become an overall better rider and better help she needed to ride someone other than Speed.  She really did.  She finally consented and the move was so good for her.  It has been so fun to watch her confidence in her riding abilities grow along with her skills.  And Speed?  Well, he loves his new life being lazy and taking care of the Wild Child and her friends.

Speed is so loved that he often gets apples.  He loves apples.  To be honest, he is actually the only horse I have ever seen that would really eat an actual apple!  He gets apples  AND love.IMG_7313 IMG_7325

The first time the WC was on a horse was with her dad while preconditioning when she was five months old.  Her love of horses has steadily grown.  KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

She got to ride Dollar (above) while being led around the corral and yard, but Speed is the first horse she got to ride totally by herself out in the big wide open world. KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA  She spent quite a bit of time with her siblings leading her around and riding with her.

She even got some Papa time.  IMG_2542Good ole Speed.  He handled it all like a rock star —  especially since he knew there was a big feed pan full of pellets and some apple treats waiting for him at the barn when the torture was over.

Then the day came when Speed and the WC made their own trek out into the big wide world.  I ponied Speed and we rode through pairs one beautiful spring morning.


We spent as many days as we could doing that very thing.  Her confidence grew.  My confidence in her grew, as well.  The day I knew she was going to be my tough little cowgirl was when Speed decided to jump about a two-inch stream of water.  I wasn’t ready for my shoulder to be jerked off when he sucked back to jump, and the Wild Child definitely wasn’t ready for the ride.  Down she went into the alkali hard pan.  I jumped off, picked her up, and she spun around and said “What was that for Speed?”  She was pissed.  Not crying.  Not wanting to NOT get back on.  Just angry at her friend for dumping her off.  We rode on to a well where her Papa was looking at some pairs and she said “Guess what, Papa?  Speed just bucked me off in the snow.”  We still laugh about that.   


Speed is now not only her good friend, but has also became a good friend to the Wild Child’s friends.  What a great babysitter he is.

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She even gets off pf him all by herself.


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What  a wonderful blessing Speed is to our family.  Everybody needs a Speed!

Hello Wings

If you have never seen a spray plane spraying up close and personal let me enlighten you.  This was just this morning, 06/24/2013.  The tree that you see in the corner of some of the pictures is actually in my yard.  I am standing in the house, at the sliding glass doors, and taking pictures of a plane that is headed straight towards me without jumping or flinching!  I deserve an atta-girl!  I am taking the pictures through the glass so there is some blurriness.  Sorry about that, but wasn’t subjecting my lungs to the spray (or my ears to the loudness of the plane.  These pilots are incredible.  You can seen that he is flying underneath a power line in later pictures, and in one picture is pulling up at the end of the field to get over the power line.  EEEKS!!

Banking to fly down over our field.


 Here he comes…







Getting to the end of the field.  You can see above where he is dropping a marker to make sure he gets back on track on his next round.  The next pictures show him pulling up to clear the equipment, hay stack, trees, and power line. 





Then he turned around behind my house and headed back the other way, coming down under the power line.  (sorry for the door frame in the way.)



Starting to pull up at the other end of the field to clear the hill and another power line.  Poor guy.


 And around for another pass.  Coming straight at me!




And up and away.IMG_8871

Great, great fun to watch!  What a crazy, dangerous job. 


Sarcasm & Sweetness 6.22.13

laundry 2**Why does the dryer INSIST on shrinking my clothes? Gotta love a clothesline!

**If watering the garden brings on the rain, why am I not watering every day?

**Why is it so much more fun to stay up late when you are young?

**Why did the puppy NEVER dig in the garden spot when it was just tilled, but now that there are plants planted why won’t he stay away?


The Prayer

It is my joy in life to find
At every turning of the road,
The strong arm of a comrade kind
To help me onward with my load.

And since I have no gold to give,
And love alone must make amends,
My only prayer is while I live,—
God make me worthy of my friends!

Frank Dempster Sherman (1860-1916), original copyright 1887


Friday Funday 06.21.13

MH900422233** A phone call from one of my besties this week giving me the incredible news that she is engaged!  My heart is SO happy for her.  My eyes may or may not have leaked just a tish.  I’m not admitting anything.

**Monsters University is opening in our local theater.  Don’t know who is more excited– me or the Wild Child.  It’s the little things…

**The alfalfa weevils NOT devastating our fields.

IMG_8307**My sister always looking out for me by doing things like calling and giving me ALL the pros about raising rabbits for meat just in case I’m looking for another way to diversify.

**My kids not being upset by having their pictures splashed across my website!

IMG_8478**My WC having an incredible coach!

**My husband not being upset when in town getting parts and having someone say to home “You need to get home so your wife has something to write about.”  Gotta love a man with a sense of humor.

**Living in the middle of nowhere with clean air, fresh water, home-raised beef, being able to see the stars, and having the wind blow through your hair.

**Pig roasts and great friends!  🙂


**Medical expertise that allowed them to take care of one of my little cowboys who got his hand caught in a winch.


Fun with Numbers

IMG_6792In honor of summertime and grilling season, here are some cool numbers taken from Farm Journal (late spring 2013, pg 82).  


2 lb:  Fresh green beans necessary to can 1 quart.

12:  Honeybees needed to make 1 tablespoon of honey.

4 lb:  Broccoli consumed per person each year.

22 lb:  Tomatoes consumed per person each year; more than half are in the form of ketchup and tomato sauce.

24 lb:  Sweet corn consumed per person each year; 9.5 lb frozen, 8.7 lb fresh, and 5.8 lb canned.

44:  States that grow watermelons; Florida, Texas, California, Georgia, and Arizona lead the country in production.

57%:  Of barbecue grills sold in 2012 were gas, 41% were charcoal, and 2% were electric powered.

 Now for some of my own numbers:

7:  Pairs of pants I wash every single day for three of us.  Does this make ANY sense?

2:  Probable number of ounces I just spilled on my work laptop, got it dumped out immediately, and STILL my mouse pad doesn’t work.  Boooo.

12:  Number of towels two teenage girls can dirty in a day.

4:  Average number of times I come back to the house for something I forgot when we are headed somewhere.

27:  Number of times I could sweep my ridiculous white linoleum in my kitchen in one day and still have it look dirty.

73:  Average number of junk mail emails I get every single day and block every single day.  The next day– all new ones.  Seriously?

5,000:  My goal number of LIKES on my JARW Facebook page by August 1, 2013.  Achievable??

2,968:  The number of times I look out the window while working (typing) and think “Man I wish I were outside!”