Life on the X-Bar Ranch...

I am an ordinary woman, with an amazing family, serving an awesome God.

Friday, December 31, 2010

The Last of 2010....

Year 2010 is drifting away in snow and below zero temps. It is quietly fading out, while year 2011 is standing tall by the door - waiting its turn to come in and stay awhile. The new year is full of promise, full of newness, full of hopes and dreams. Who doesn't love a new year? Another chance? Another beginning? The chance to try, yet again, to do That Thing you always procrastinate on? Or maybe, That Thing you think is too hard, and somehow it will get easier with a magical New year? I know, everyone is blogging, posting, talking, writing, and preaching about the New Year. I wasn't gonna be one of them. Ha. I write what is on my mind. And even though I like to think it - I am NOT an exception. Most of us aren't. That means you. Yep. sorry.

I have always had this thing with New Year's resolutions. Never made them much. Thought it was dumb to resolve to do something that you KNOW you aren't gonna do in 3 months from now. Or whenever. So I have refrained from them. Except once. When I was 13. (that's another story.) And this year is no different... I have not made resolutions. Well, OK, I have made some goals. Several things would like to accomplish the next few months, and so I wrote them out so I can keep on track. Quilts to finish, things to teach my daughter, who is quickly growing into a young lady, and some decorating. But if I WERE to make a New Year's resolution, (I can't break my record, you see) it would be just one thing...
Blog Every Week. Or every day. Anything would be better than this randomness. So, my friends, we shall see. I make no promises.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Shack

It was a tiny house. If it could be called a house. It was, more accurately; a shack. Thin walls that didn't keep out the wind, cheap linoleum that was ugly and worn, no indoor plumbing - well, if I remember right, there was an old-fashioned hand-pump for water instead of a faucet in the kitchen. There was dirt everywhere, funky old drapes that the previous tenant had neglected to take down, and a few old chairs. There was electricity in the house, thankfully. But we had only the bare essentials.

My mom was an old pro at this, though, and enlisted the help of us kids to clean it up and get it livable. Actually, it was more like being Shanghaied. We had no choice in the matter, we just did what she said. ("Good character-building," I can almost hear you say it...) Anyways, my brothers took turns with the push-mower on the yard. It was so overgrown that the weeds were almost as tall as my brothers in some places. Meanwhile, Mom had my sister and I busy with the cleaning of the inside. We swept and scrubbed, and then carried in our belongings. Somewhere we found an old orange-brown couch, and sat it in the main room. Mom hung some white sheer curtains, trying to make it look homey. It helped. There were two small bedrooms, one was for our parents, and one was for us girls. My two brothers that were home at the time, slept in a small camper that we had. I think. I am having a hard time remembering where exactly they slept...

It was fun to explore the place after we got settled. There was a spring behind the house, bubbling up cold and fresh. There was a dandy 'dump' on the place, as well. It was great for finding all sorts of treasures. My favorite part was a gnarled old tree in the yard, with a low branch that grew out horizontal to the ground. It was a great tree for sitting in, and thinking. I spent alot of time in that old tree.

We needed a mailbox, and being too broke to buy one, my brothers made one out of wood. It was crude, but it held mail. That is, till the mail carrier informed us that it was not an appropriate receptacle. She said it was not weather proof. I always wondered about that... I mean, if we didn't care if our letters got rained on, why should she? Probably some regulations, I suppose.

There was no bathroom inside the house. There was a outhouse in the backyard, and a beaten dirt path leading to it. I don't remember where we took our baths, but I suppose we probably went to my uncle's place, which was just over the hill and around the bend. It was summer, and I don't remember doing much of anything there... mainly I explored the woods behind the house, and sometimes helped my sister tend the baby. I remember my mom taking me on an early-morning walk to the top of a hill and watching the sunrise. It was lovely, all peachy-pink and glowing. The dewy fields were misty and quiet. The horses in the pasture were standing calmly, and the birds singing their early morning songs.

The days we spent at the shack were long and boring. We didn't have much to do. Sometimes Mom would give us kids a few quarters, and we would walk a half mile to a small store. It was a country store, sorta like a convenience store - minus the gasoline. We would buy Little Debbie cakes and Swiss Rolls. We would agonize over the decision, because we didn't get treats very often. Then we would walk home through the warm meadow grasses, with the bugs chirring, and the sun beating down on our backs.

I don't really remember what my dad did during that time. I think he may have worked at a sawmill. My brothers may have worked there, too. I was just too young to notice. I was about 8 or 9, I guess. I know Mom and us girls went to visit our cousins quite a bit, having nothing else to do. We would take our laundry and then stay a half a day, helping my aunt.

I don't know why I felt like writing about the shack, but I know this: it was one experience in my life that made me love my conveniences. Its one of the reasons I like to dream of pioneer life, but never want to live it. I have many more similar stories, and sometime I will tell you another... People always think it was so romantic and fun to be always moving and having so many different experiences. It wasn't. But it was educational. And while my family who reads this will remember all the stuff that I left out of the story - may you remember to be thankful.
Especially if you never had to live in a shack that had 4 small rooms, along with your 5 other siblings and your parents. By the way, this was only one house and one state out of the 12 states and 30-40 houses I have lived in, growing up. No, its not a joke, and no, I am not stretching it. It's just hard to remember all the houses unless I have the help of my siblings.

By the way, in case you just can't imagine that it was so bad, let me tell you a secret; there was awful turmoil in our family while we were living there, so don't always assume that families are as fun or perfect as they look on the surface.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

10 Things I am Thankful for.

These are in no particular order. I just couldn't figure out how to move the pics around. :)

1. Kids. Life would be boring without them!

2. Pellets for our stove. I am a southern gal, and LOVE my heat!!! My perfect temp is about 80*.

3. Food. I am more blessed than most of the earths populations.

4. God's Word.

5. Dirty boots. They tell of a responsible, hardworking husband.

6. Water. I like lots of good water. It is what God likens the Holy Spirit to. Cleansing, refreshing. life-giving.

7. Light. I am a child of light. See #4.

8. Tires. They take us 4 hours to and from CO every week, to have wonderful fellowship with the saints.

9. Electric. I love to read about the pioneers, but I would not like losing my conveniences.

10. Satellite internet. When you live so far from your friends, its nice to be able to keep in touch.

Friday, November 5, 2010

One Fine Day

The July sun was hot on my back, and my head felt trapped and unnatural inside the straw hat I was wearing. I wasn't used to wearing cowboy hats, and I wanted to jerk it off and let the breezes blow over my hot head. But there was no place to put my hat, so I left it on. My saddle creaked as I turned to watch Cliff riding through a small bunch of yearlings. He rode slowly through, looking carefully at each one, checking for any signs of illness.

I shifted my gaze to the mountain in front of me, tilting my head back as I looked up to the very top of the mountain. The trees were dark against the greenish-golden grassy slopes. A herd of antelope were grazing at the foot of the mountain, and there was a small cabin nestled close to a stand of trees. I wished life were simpler - I wished we could live there in that cute cabin and forget about The Modern World. I wished I could live up here where you could see for miles, and hear only the wind through the grasses.

I looked back to where Cliff was, and I was surprised to see that he was already coming towards me at a trot. I stopped Honey, and waited while he caught up with me. He grinned at me, and as always, my heart skipped a beat. I grinned back, and asked:
"Was there any foot-rot?"
"Nope. It takes me so long to ride through them yet, because I feel like I miss some, if I go through them too fast, and don't take my time. Hopefully I will get better with time." He looked at the cabin ahead of us, and asked: "You wanna go inside and look around?"
"No, I seen it the other day when you brought us up here, I don't have to see it again."
There wasn't much to see inside. Some home-made bunk bed frames, and a lot of bird droppings.
"We should bring our sleeping bags and sleep up here some night," I said.
"Yeah, I guess we should," Cliff agreed, looking at the cabin as we rode slowly past. "Lets ride south a little," he said, "see if there are any yearlings behind that rise."

We rode around the cabin, and up a steep little knoll to the south of it. I didn't realize we were climbing so much, till Cliff stopped his horse, and we turned around. I could see the whole Laramie valley, spread out beneath us. It gave me a grand, top-of-the-world feeling.
"There's the house, I think," Cliff said, pointing east.
"Yeah, I can see it." I gazed far away, out to the mountains that lay around the eastern edge of the valley. I looked and looked, till Cliff nudged his horse into a walk again. I followed him, and we started down the steep south slope.

"Sometimes they like to hide in here," Cliff explained, as we walked, "but I guess not today."
I was busy watching where I was going, and barely heard him. The slope got steeper and steeper, and I felt like I was gonna slide out of my saddle. I braced my self in the stirrups, and glanced over to Cliff. He was riding easy in the saddle, only the angle of his body suggested that we were riding downhill. I was silently freaking out, but I was not about to show My Cowboy that I was scared. Scared that my horse might just flip end-over-end, and land me in some cactus. I braced my feet some more, and hung onto the saddle-horn for dear life, while trying my best to look cool and nonchalant. Then Honey started trotting a little. I looked over to Cliff, and his horse was trotting, too. So I let her go, and just prayed she wouldn't step into a prairie-dog hole. Soon we were at the bottom. I relaxed my death-grip on the saddle, and sat back, letting my breath out in a relieved sigh.

We rode out toward another bunch of cattle, talking and dreaming, and riding so close that our knees occasionally bumped into each other. Well, that was most likely cause I didn't know how to control my horse, but I didn't care - it was a rare day that I was able to spend with My Cowboy.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Smelly Tale...

The sun shone weakly through the clouds, but the sharp west wind blew all the warmth away before it reached the ground where I was standing. I pulled my gloves on, and then turned to the car where my kids were waiting.

"OK, kids," I said, "just play in the car, or, if you need something, I will be right over there in the barn, OK? Just be careful of the calves when you walk through the corral - they might kick if you get to close to their legs."
"OK, Mom," Jenni agreed, picking up the crayons she had brought along.
I made sure the windows were cracked a bit, and then put the keys in my pocket. I wasn't about to have them start the car, or anything crazy like that! I checked everything again - they had water, snacks, toys, blankets... they will be ok, I told myself, I will be able to watch them easily.

But it was still hard. Hard to walk across the yard, and leave them there in the car. There is no water in the canal, I thought, there is no way for them to hurt themselves.Relax, Kay! Loosen up!
I flipped the latch up on the gate, and slid the bar back. The gate squealed as I pushed it open. I shut it and walked gingerly around blobs of cow manure. The wind blew cold on my neck, so I wrapped my scarf tighter, and zipped up my coat as far as I could. I instictively put my hand on my preganant belly, as I looked over to the other side of the pen, where Cliff and Billy were working on the first batch of calves. I was a little late. Oh well. This shouldn't take too long, I thought. I stepped into the lean-to part of the barn, and watched as Cliff quickly injected the bawling calf with a needle full of some kind of medicine. There was a slight sizzle as Billy pressed the red-hot branding iron against the side of the struggling animal. Smoke curled up, and when Billy removed the iron, there was a perfect brand on the hide. Cliff pulled some handles, and the chute clanked open. I moved aside as the calf bolted from the chute - bawling his frustration.

"What should I do?" I asked Cliff.
"You can keep the chute full. Come, I'll show you ."
He led the way back to the holding pen, and showed me how to run 6-8 calves into the small round pen. The small round pen had a gate that could swing completely in , so the calves were forced into the chute. Cliff handed me a cattle prod, and went back to front of the chute to work on the next one.

I waited while the guys worked on two more calves, then I prodded the rest of the calves in the chute up towards the front. There were several swinging doors in the chute, that only opened one way, so when the little animals were through, they couldn't go backwards, they could only go forwards. They heard their buddies bawling, so they tried to dig in their heels, and back up. But the swinging doors kept them from backing up, and an occasional shock from Billy's electric prod would send them into the front of the chute.

I walked back to the rest of the calves, all bunched in the corner of the corral alley. They just bunched together more, till they were almost climbing over top of each other. I gingerly prodded one calf, and sure enough, he kicked. High and fast. I yelled, and then shook my prod at them. Little beads inside the prod made a racket - designed to spook cattle, so the cowboys wouldn't have to use their voices so much. The calves ignored the prod, so I had to resort to poking them and making weird sounds with my mouth. I finally got one to run away from the huddle, then they all tried to follow him. I ran to the gate and nearly got run over when I tried to shut it in front of a barreling calf. I shook my cattle-rattle at it, and it galloped off, back to the corner. I went through the gate, then latched it. Then I opened the gate to the little round pen, and tried to get them to run in there. Yeah. Right. They weren't going anywhere near That Place. I ran around after them, shaking my cattle-rattle, and yelling. Making weird noises. Poking them when I thought I could do it without getting kicked. Finally three calves ran into the pen, and I quickly slammed the gate behind them. I looked at the chute, and they were working on the last calf. Six calves while I rounded up three? This was not good. I will have to get faster than this if I want to keep up with them.

I jammed them as far forward in the chute as possible, and then ran back to the alley. I gritted my teeth, and took a deep breath. I shouted at the calves, and shook my rattle, and whacked them as hard as I could. They bunched up closer. I managed to get a small bunch to break away from the rest, and into the small pen, but despite my best efforts, Cliff had to come back and help me run them into the chute.

I was starting to pant, and my stomach was churning from the smell of burning hair. The wind was blowing the smoke and stench from the branding right through the lean to and back to where I was working. it was a bad smell anytime, but my sensitive pregnant nose was nearly overcome with revulsion. I felt like throwing up. I swallowed a few times, and willed my stomach to settle. I walked back to the end of the alley, trying to get as far away from the smell as I could. The smell was not so strong back there. Or maybe it was just overpowered by the rank odor of fresh cow poop. At least its a better smell, I thought.

"Mom?" Frank was climbing up the fence, straddling it, he said; "I need to go to the bathroom."
"There is a bathroom in the med room. Go to Daddy, and he will show you where it is, OK?" I looked over to the car. Jenni's head was visible in the car, but what caught my attention, was the car itself. The wipers were flopping, the right turn signal was blinking, and the door was hanging open. Help us all, I thought. We are gonna have a dead battery soon. I climbed over the fence, and went to shut off the lights, wipers, and shut the doors. I gave Jenni instructions about what her and Franklin were and were not allowed to play with in the car.

Back to the alley. Running. Shouting. Prodding. Waving my arms. Slamming the gate. Pushing the gate in the round pen as hard as possible, and then realizing that the calves were a lot stronger than I was, even if they were only months old. I got splattered with cow poop when one went right in front of me. I poked one, and the calf kicked so fast and close that I felt the air from its dirty hoof, as it came within millimeters of my hand. All the while, the stench of burning hair was floating out over me. The wind no longer felt cold. I was sweating. My stomach was churning. I was getting madder and madder at the calves. I would've kicked them if I hadn't been so afraid of being kicked a lot harder in return.

When the chute and the pen was full and I had a few minutes to wait, I went up and watched Cliff and Billy. They branded, eartagged, and gave shots in a smooth rythm. Never making one extra move, just doing everything in a effecient, calm way.

Finally we were done. I was bone-weary, my feet nearly had blisters on them. The sun was sinking, and the wind was getting colder, as I walked slowly back to the car. All I could think about was a hot shower. And bed. I sat down in the car and smiled at my kids.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Toddler dress fromn a shirt

I picked up a shirt that was too large, with the idea of repurposing it as a toddler jumper. I will make another some day as a tutorial, but till then - here is my 20 minute creation! so fun!

Friday, September 10, 2010


I know - I just may get one post per season, if I keep this up! :) but, you were warned! I just don't have alot of time for writing - much as I enjoy it. And lately I have been *trying* to get a decent night's rest. That means no staying up late to blog, research, etc, etc. anyways...
Some things that have been going on..

1. Yesterday was my baby's 2nd birthday. She is our sunshne and joy! We all love her so much, and have so very much fun with her. When Andy died - many of my friends and family thought (and told me) that I should have another baby. I guess they thought it would comfort me, or maybe keep me too busy to think, or who knows. They were loving and well-intentioned, but not very helpful. In time, we did get to have another baby. Lucia has been extra-special, but sometimes I think it has been harder to have another baby, than not to. She is a constant reminder that HE is gone. She sleeps in his crib, drank from his bottles, sleeps under his blanket, and even wore his red jacket. Sure, she's a girly-girl, all the way. But at night, when she cries, and I go in to comfort her, it still gets me, that it should be Andy. I love her as much as I love any of my children. She is precious. But it didn't do any comforting. I hope I remember this fact: You simply don't know what may help/hurt someone who is grieving the loss of a child or other loved one. Don't presume to. Anyways. I have been facing this again recently, since she is now almost the same age he was when he died. she has two months to go... its really scary to see another child reach the same age. What if I can't protect her any better than I did Andy? (I do trust God, I do understand that it was allowed, his time to go, etc, etc, but I am the mommy. period.)

2. We sold our truck, and bought a Suburban. Mainly a budget choice - it made sense. But we have wanted a Suburban for awhile, too. Now I can have my 8 kids! hehe! yeah, right! actually, it holds seven. It is sweet to ride in, though. And my practical soul absolutely.loves. the leather interior. YES.

3. I have been learning so much about my deceitful heart. God is faithfully showing me day by day, what is fit only for the trash. And what needs refining. I am humbled at how pathetic I actually have been, and how holy God can make me - if I allow Him. I really have been struck recently at how I judge someone for what seems to be gross sin; and then God shows me things that I have done- or attitudes that I have had- that are so close to theirs, that I have to 'lay my hand on my mouth.'

4. We have started school again. We are using ACE this year, and probably will stay with it. I love it. So do the kidders. I know its not popular. But then - neither is me homeschooling! :) I hear some of the silliest reasons against HS'ing... its really humorous!! anyways.

5. I 'think' we are going to go visit my sister in Pueblo!!! Yes! Hopefully in a few weeks. Its been too long... She has a new baby - which is always fun! and of course, there's always the sister-to-sister chats at midnight, over some cheesecake!

6. My 'big girl' Jennifer, will be 9 next week. She is finally old enough to be out of a booster seat. I am not sure who is most excited - her or me! It is a big deal when you spend a minimum of 4 hours per week in the car. Usually more.

So. That is my recent life. I keep hoping to write more, but who knows?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

First branding of the year...

Saturday 5.29.10

4:40 am: Get out of bed, down a glass of apple juice, and start mixing dough for doughnuts.

5:45 am: Milk the goat.
6:00 am: Roll and cut out doughnuts, mix up blueberry muffins, and mix bread dough in the Kitchenaid.

6:30 am: Fry sausage and eggs to go with the muffins for the guys. Cliff made the coffee...

6:45 am: Start frying doughnuts.

7:20 am: My sister comes out to help with the doughnuts - scolding fiercely for not waking her. (yeah, right! like I am gonna wake my pregnant sister, at 5 am, after she just got in at 2:30 that same morning?!?!? I think not!) 8:00 am: Lucia wakes; soaked, needs a quick bath... bread goes into the oven.

8:30 am: I decide that 81 doughnuts are plenty, and roll the rest of the dough into cinnamon rolls.
9:00 am: Finished!!! Yay! We collapse with some OJ and... yep! a doughnut!

9:30 am: Drive to the ranch HQ to get the truck, so we all can fit...

10:00 am: We pile our 6 kids and the doughnuts into the truck, and drive 1/2 mile to HQ, where the cowboys are just finishing sorting the calves from their anxious mothers.

10:15 am: The last cow to get sorted, fell on top of one young man; breaking both bones in his leg. The other cowboys jerked the doughnuts out of the backseat of our truck, so the injured guy could lay in the backseat for the 20+ mile drive to the ER.

10:30 am: Break time. Soda pop and doughnuts!

11:00 am: They start roping calves, dragging them to the fire, and branding, cutting, ear tagging, and deworming shots.

12:00 pm: I am tired of trying to keep Lucia away from the canal, so I go back to the house for an hour to put some laundry through, and post a picture on FB.

1:00 pm: I go to HQ, and wait there while the guys finish up with the branding. Lucia falls asleep in my arms.

2:00 pm: Lunch. The boss' wife is an excellent cook, and she made a spread to make any cowboy happy! Roast beef, grilled chicken, roast potatoes, salad, homemade dinner rolls, jello salad, baked corn, peach delight and sweet tea! Yum! ( oh, yeah, it goes with out saying that there was lots of black coffee!)

3:00 pm: Jane (my sister) and I take our kids home and crash for an hour... napping on the couch/floor.
4:00 pm: More laundry.

5:00 pm: Defrost chicken breast and saute, chop a red onion, and mix up yet MORE dough, for a BBQ Chicken pizza.

7:00 pm: Our men finally get home, we eat pizza, chips, pop, and ice cream. Oh yeah, and doughnuts!

9:30 pm: My sister and her family leave; I am now too tired to wash my dishes, or prepare Sunday school lessons, or even take a shower. I fall into bed exhausted.... but it was a GOOD day! Our first branding of the year - and the only branding at the X-Bar Ranch, but there will be more brandings at the sister ranches throughout the spring.

I love my cowboy!

Monday, May 24, 2010

10 reasons why I love my husband...

1. He cares more what God thinks of him, than what people think.
I can so easily worry about what people will think if I do so-n-so, or how they may misinterpret our motives, or misunderstand my heart, etc,etc, blah, blah, blah. But Cliff? nope. He doesn't care. He walks before GOD, and it only matters to him, if God is pleased with him or not.

2. He is kind.
Seriously, this is so important to me. He never yells, or even raises his voice in anger. In the 11 years of knowing him, I have NEVER heard him raise his voice in anger. That's more than I can say about myself, unfortunately! Even when he does give a gentle rebuke or admonition, its always kind and gentle.
3. He takes responsibility for his family.
Yes, I've heard all sorts of reasons for a guy not 'bringing home the bacon', but in my opinion, its just so much hogwash! (pardon the pun) A REAL MAN makes the living. (of course there's rare exceptions) I am so.very.thankful for a man who works HARD every day to provide for us. I never want to take it for granted...

4. He is a private person.
This one only some of you will understand, but I sorta like being the only person who REALLY knows my husband! Of course, its the same for everyone, to degree. But my husband is one of those who is deemed 'quiet', and is often overlooked. He is the kind of guy that is never heard in a group conversation, rarely speaks much at all in a group, just sits and listens with that hint of a grin! When I tell my friends some of the CRAZY things he says, they almost don't believe me. I know they have a hard time picturing it, when I tell them that he will talk almost non-stop to me, for hours at a time. He really is so interesting, I bug him sometimes, and say he should cut jokes and act 'normal' when we are with our friends, but then again, I kinda like him this way! ;-)
(OK, I REALLY like him this way!)

5. He is loyal.
He has been through various hard times, (in relationships) but he is loyal to the extreme. Even if I say something sorta gossipy about another friend of ours, he is quick to defend. He takes the local body of Christ seriously - its like his own family, he will support and, despite rumors, loss of friends, etc, he stands firm.

6. He is beloved of our children.
They think he hung the moon. well, almost! they think he can do anything, (he can, too!) and they love when he does things with them. They think no one else is even close to being as good a driver as Dad.

7. He can do almost anything.
OK, so I think it, too! He can build anything... he built a house from ground up for us, once. The only thing he had help with, was hanging the trusses, and installing the carpet. He did all the electrical, plumbing, even built the cupboards! He can also lay a beautiful rock wall, throw a nice 'loop, and run an entire ranch. ( even though we don't own it, he is the main ranch hand here, and consequently, left in charge at times. He can do it all, from irrigation, to ordering diesel, to ropin' yearlings, to calving)

8. He is funny.
I like to laugh. I especially like to laugh with my sweetheart! He is so crazy! I love living with him...

9. He likes the outdoors.
Yes,I am a outdoorsy girl, and living with someone who also loves the outdoors, is alot of fun! Not to mention, I don't have to try to get interested in something like football! (horrors!;-) We can go hunting together, fishing, hiking, camping, and picnicking... or just drive through the mountains on the way home from church. Of course, like many couples with several kids, little time or money, we do more talking and dreaming than actual activties, but hey! at least we dream! we always say that when our kids leave home, we sure wont be bored and lonesome, we will have too many things we want to do. Not that we wont miss our kids, but we will be busy...

10 He is a romantic guy.
I saved the best for last! He always brings me flowers for special occasions, which he knows are so important to me. He know just what kind of card to get... it always says it just right! He makes me feel like a queen, even though I am quite ordinary.

I can't imagine a marriage where there's fighting, harsh words, unforgiven wrongs, and coolness towards each other. I am thankful that by the grace of God, we have learned to 'keep a clean slate' and always run to each other immediately to ask or give forgiveness. I am so thankful for the godly husband I have. He has taught me so much about how a christian lives, without ever knowing it. He is WONDERFUL!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Spring is here!

I was so happy today, with all the sunshine and warmth! I really am not a 'snow/winter' type of gal, so after a loooong Wyoming winter, I am revelling in the sunshine!

I was offered a free goat last Dec. and she was already bred, so I decided to take her. I want to see if it (goat's milk) will help my oldest daughter's eczema... she has been diagnosed with dairy allergies, and although she had been better the last 3 years, she is starting to relapse with all the same symptoms again. At least, this time I know what to look for, and (hopefully) nip it in the bud!

Well, on Tuesday, my doe finally kidded! It was a great, informal learning experience for my children... the popular vote on the whole event was basically: "Gross!" ;-) The goat (Fizzy) had twin buckling kids. That means they go to a sale as soon as possible! However - the are such cute little creatures. They can't seem to walk anywhere - just spring around on legs that are obviously made of rubber!

I was in the middle of doing laundry,
and had put Lucia (18 months) down for an early nap, when my sweetheart called, and said his truck had a flat tire... 'way out by the pivots close to Sheep Mountain. So I 'quickly' hung out a load of laundry, and woke my sleeping toddler, and piled all three kids in our truck... I had to stop at HQ to pick up a tire wrench, jack, etc. Then drive 3 miles paved road, and three miles of two-track dirt road to get to where Cliff was. He came home for lunch with us, then I drove him back out to put a spare tire on. So my day wasn't quite as productive as one could wish! but then, there are just days like that!
~~~"I have learned, that whatsoever state I am in, therewith to be content!"~~~
I managed to get my Square-Foot-Gardens finished! Well, OK, not 'quite' finished... they still need their plastic covers, but I am so. so. so. glad that they are this far along! Cliff screwed the squares together, (I am not so good with a drill!;) Then I made the grids, made the pvc hoops, and mixed the soil. I am hoping that it is worth it! I do love to mess in the dirt!

So those are few of my springtime projects! More to come...

Here goes...

My very first "official" blog! I don't know how much time I will have to do this, but hey! you never know! I do love to write, and show my projects, so you will see a glimpse of my life as a real ranch mom! Its fun, beautiful, fulfilling, and sometimes lonely... come walk with me through the different seasons of life on the X-Bar Ranch!