Life on the X-Bar Ranch...

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

Monday, February 28, 2011

Life with a Cowboy Husband.

When you are married to a working cowboy, you often look out the window to see this sight...

Usually with My Cowboy, he has stopped in to use the phone, since the cell phone doesn't always have service out here. He likes to grab a piece of pie or a cookie when he goes out the door. If he's in the tractor, he'll take a cup of coffee, too, but that doesn't work so well a'horseback. He doesn't sit and shoot the breeze with me, though...he's very conscious of the fact that he is being paid for his time, and so he makes his calls and then leaves.

(By the way, how do you unhook a horse-trailer from a Suburban? I took it to town the other day, and after I nicely backed it into place, I could not get it unhooked. Yes, I jumped on the bumper, etc, but to no avail. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that a few years ago I started driving without taking up the jack, and now the hitch is somewhat bent...the Suburban has a small dent in the bumper now, but I am sure its not from my backing skills. ahem. really, cowboy's wives should not have to pull trailers. Or at least not this cowboy's wife. Its not her thing.)

His poor, cracked fingers. His pinky finger on his right hand has deep cracks in the side of it that never heal. Its his roping hand, and when he dallies the rope around the horn, that finger gets alot of friction from the rope. It keeps it cracked and painful. He has it super-glued and taped at all times. I cannot tell you how much I would like to find a cure for dry skin.

Riding out to doctor yearlings. He will be riding all afternoon, but that's ok. Roping is his favorite part of ranch work.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

CK Custom Leather

In case you haven't heard, My Cowboy owns a custom leather-working shop on the side. 'On the side' refers to it being something he does evenings and Sunday afternoons. Those are the only times he isn't working, sleeping, or in church. I realize I do tend to brag on him alot. But you will just have to put up with it, as he has learned to do. I told him this morning that its part of my job description, and he can't make me shut up. Or something like that. :) He still loves me. He can't help it. I make him homemade bread on a regular basis. (Not that it has anything to do with his affection for me, or anything like that.
Anyways, here are a few photos of his work. Enjoy.
The first three pictures are of a saddle he made for my brother-in-law. It was a beauty. All the flowers are hand-carved by My Cowboy.
I forget whose chaps these are. But again, hand-carved.
These are known as 'shotguns'. Lovely color. And nice, long fringe. I like fringe. Alot.

I'm back!

I love My Cowboy.

When I tried to power up my computer last Friday, it wouldn't. It bravely tried, sending a few weak glimmers of blue light and tiny squeaks, but to no avail. I tried unplugging it, restarting it, etc. Nothing. So off to the shop it went. It took exactly one week and 'way over one hundred dollars, but its fixed. Thankfully. I am a terrible about procrastinating, and when I thought my pc was doomed, I was frantically trying to think how to save all my precious photos. And I am not even a photographer. But I love my photos. Fiercely. I do not want to lose even one. So yes, topping my to-do list now is 'burn pics onto cd's'. If I can quit catching up on emails, FB, Pioneer Woman, The Garden Web, etc, etc.
Our good friend from Germany. I love the horse. :)

My fun sister. Love you, Rose.

...and it would have been sad to lose all the pictures from CK Custom Leather.
My Cowboy does quality work. In case you're interested.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dutch Oven Cooking.

I have been wanting a bigger cast iron skillet for awhile now. I finally remembered that I had a dutch oven in my camping gear, so I dug it out yesterday afternoon, and scrubbed all the campfire soot off of it. Here is what I made...

Pork roast. Around 2 lbs. You could use beef, too, if pork isn't your thing. We love pork. :) Mine was only 1/2 thawed, but I just used it anyway.
Put a blob of bacon fat in the skillet. Heat to med-high. Put your roast into the pan. It will sizzle and pop - that's good. You want to get it nice and brown on both sides. I just left the fat on the roast - it made it more juicy, and then we just trimmed it off our pieces.

Maybe 5 minutes per side.
Halve 4 potatoes, and chop an onion into 8 pieces.

When the roast is browned nicely on both sides, throw the veggies in the pan, and add 1 cup water. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Oh, and stick a few cute baby carrots inbetween the potatoes, it makes it more colorful!

Then cover and roast for 1 hour. I don't know why the lid for my Dutch oven is so spotted. It really was clean.

Yum! I drained the broth and made gravy, but that's optional, and I forgot to take photos of that part! :) It really was so easy and good.

Dutch Oven Roast
2 Tablespoons bacon fat or oil
2 lb roast
4 potatoes
1 onion
1 carrot
garlic powder
1 cup water
Heat the oil on med-hi heat in the dutch oven. Sear the roast on both sides till golden brown. Put the chopped veggies in beside the roast. Pour water in the pan. Sprinkle veggies and roast with salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Roast 1 hour at 350*.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Randon Ranch Photography..

Hi, Diva.

Look how low she holds her head. That's a good thing.
Try holding coils of rope so that they don't get tangled, and the reins to your running horse, while keeping a steer on the end of that rope - all at once. Thats a Cowboy's job.

I must say; I love this shot of Sheep Mountain. I love the way the afternoon sun throws shadows from the trees... My Cowboy Has stood at the top of Sheep, and looked out over the X-Bar, and the whole Laramie Valley. I want to do that, someday.

Monday, February 14, 2011

To Rope a Steer.

Beautiful head shot.
Look how calm the horse, Diva, is with several hundred pounds of steer flopping around on the end of that rope. She looks slightly bored.

Look at the slobbers flyin'! :) He wasn't too happy that he had a rope 'round his head!

Pull that critter, Diva!

Hate that all my photos were against the light, but the steers don't usually listen when I tell them to run a certain direction.

Got him roped and wrapped. Wrapped with the rope, that is. When you don't have a heeler,( another cowboy to rope the heels) its best to wrap the rope around all four legs, so that critter has to lay still while you work on him.

Oh, man! That bugger managed to get up again! Now he has to tail him down... always hard work. (I love the fringe.)

Got him down. Now for a shot, and then ride out to do it all over again. And again. Sometimes as many as 10-12 times or more in one afternoon. No wonder My Cowboy has no energy by evening.

Friday, February 11, 2011

30 Years Old.

I decided to have a productive day on my 30th birthday, instead of my usual lazy excuse of: "well, its my birthday, so I will just read a book all day..." I figured I would feel better, plus the fruit needed done up. I was right; I felt so good at the end of the day. Good and tired. But it was a productive day, that's for sure. And I even snapped a few pics of the whole process. Here we are, deep in the mess of canning. I canned some oranges that were getting soft, and made apple pie filling.

This is my favorite photo of the day. Look at those tiny, cutie-pie fingers! Lucia actually allowed me to paint her nails a few nights ago, and I love how adorable it is.

Can we say: Apple pies, anyone?

Jenni is my big helper. She enjoys the whole canning process.

Ahhh! finally! finished up just in time to go out to eat with the family! What a treat, to not have to cook a meal after a day of canning!

I enjoy canning. Its fun to have jars of yummy-ness on the shelves. As My Cowboy would say: " Let her eat of the fruit of her labors." I don't know if that is Biblically correct. But it sounds nice. And it's nice to know he's proud of my efforts at homemaking.

Monday, February 7, 2011

How many Cowboys does it take? load a steer into a trailer? ~Just one, if he knows what he's doing. Like My Cowboy.

Lookin' for the sick steer....

Ahhh, there he is. Get him back to the trailer...That sick one doesn't want to move... yank his tail, Cliff, till he feels differently! (I love the cowboy's method! :)

In the trailer... he doesn't even bother to get off his horse to shut the door. Cowboys do everything possible a'horseback.

Here comes My Cowboy! Winter garb is not as glamorous as summer gear, but this is real life, folks. Wool hats and Carhartt coats. Excuse me while I give my favorite cowboy a kiss....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Yearlings and Photography.

All I wanted to do was walk over to where My Cowboy was doctoring a steer, and get some good close-ups. Is that too much to ask? But yes. These critters followed me like a pack of puppies. They can be so annoying.
My Cowboy's horse ~Diva, didn't like a herd of adolescent bovines running at her full tilt, so she swung around and started to act up. Whereupon I immediately stopped and walked back to my car. I didn't want to make My Cowboy have to rope that steer all over again, just cause some dumb yearlings insisted on following me, en masse.

Awww! What a shy sweetie. not.

What're YOU lookin at? Your hair is funky.

Lazy bum.