Life on the X-Bar Ranch...

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

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!