Life on the X-Bar Ranch...

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

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wherein I Cook Too Much Food.

All I wanted to do was toast some coconut to a golden brown for the coconut cream pie. Is that so hard? Apparently it is, because I was working in the kitchen, and I started to smell something burnt. I didn't think anything was on.....but then it hit me. The smoke that is - as I opened the oven. I had stuck the coconut under the broiler, and promptly forgot it.
I was so  sad.
 Because the coconut was so black.
But coconut cream pie tastes just as good without the garnish.

 All the pies waiting in the fridge. Coconut cream and peanut butter cream.
 The table is purposely empty - to make room for the food. I love having a table this big. This was just for the guys. The kids and I sat at another table in the adjoining family room.
 Like my napkins? Albany County Cowbelles.  :)
 Here they come! (actually, they were leaving. I was too busy  too take pics when they came in)
 I did have a bit too much food. Too many meatballs.
 Too much gourmet potatoes.

 Too much beans. But hey folks! I finally found a recipe that the Pioneer Woman makes that is absolutely the best ever!  These are so good. I could have skipped the rest of the meal and just ate these. Please try them.
 I thought purple cabbage in the slaw would be just made it all a weird lavendar color.

 And leftover rolls.

And we had pickles, of course! :)
The last lonely piece of peanut butter pie in the pan. I had another whole pie in the fridge, though.

 And the coconut cream pie - sans the ill-fated garnish. By the way - leftover pie? Not a problem. Totally not a problem.
 I found some mums on sale for .70 each, so I had to get some to brighten my doorstep. Normally I don't like mums. But when the air is this nippy and Old Man Winter is threatening, I like any flower.
 And the inevitable aftermath. But guess what? I have a dishwasher! :) Here's to modern conveniences!

And they were gone.... all eight of them.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cows and Cowboys.

I was all excited when My Cowboy told me that they would be pre-conditioning. I had been wanting to get some photos at our new place, and pictures of cows and cowboys are so much more interesting than grass, trees, and the odd bird.

But I didn't realize how sadly lacking I am in the fine arts of camera focus, till I came home and looked at my pictures. I must say, there is zero pictures from this day I am happy with. I couldn't seem to focus properly, and the lighting and composition was pretty bad. But I promise you - one day I will have my camera figured out, and then you will be able to see the true beauty of this wide-open land of cows and cowboys.

                                          Here comes the cows from the south.
                                          Down the lane to the corrals.

 Look at all that gleaming new corral fence! My Cowboy had been working on it quite a few days...along with some other guys.(OK, it doesn't really gleam - but it almost does, its so new and straight!)

                                   ...And here come the cows from the north!

 See how innocent and cute he is? Baby, you better get yourself back in the corral before some handsome cowboy spots you!
 Too late. Here comes My Cowboy - acting all uninterested. Looking away from the erring youngster... But he's not uninterested. Oh no, he's not. Its all part of an act. He wants the calf to think he's not paying attention, so he can slip in front of him, and catch him off guard.
                                             And that's how you do it, folks. 

Now its time for this ranch mom to get back to mom things. Like laundry. Like teaching school. Like dishes. Like going to town and getting supplies for the meal I am gonna make for the crew tomorrow. I am so excited. I love to cook, and hungry cowboys are my absolute favorite people to cook for! (Isn't God good?? He gave me a hungry cowboy to feed 3 times a day! :) But seriously. I do enjoy cooking for a crowd. And if I remember, I will try to get some pictures of the cowboys tomorrow.

Be blessed, and Ride The Brand!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bithdays and Cartoons

My youngest turned 3 today.
I don't know if I like that.
I like my kids birthdays.
And I like that i was able to celebrate her 3rd birthday.
My last baby never got the chance to turn 3, you know.
I like babies.
And a three year old is not a baby.

 She was very sleepy when her siblings thrust their gifts upon her.
 But she got into the spirit of it all pretty quickly.
 She suddenly had a bad case of stage fright.
 Silly. :)
 Every kid should be able to lick the beaters when their mama makes their cake...
                       Helping mama make her specially requested "Bugs Bunny" cake.

                                                       Blow those candles, baby!!
                                                           She wanted the carrot. :)
My mom had a tradition of using these antique green, square dishes for every birthday when I was a kid. Thats all we used them for. Never for guests - only birthdays. We called them the "birthday dishes".  When I got married, I used them for my bridal table, and my dear mom gave me a 2-place setting of the prized green dishes. She has found and bought another place setting for ech child that is born into my family. I am carrying on the tradition - using them for every birthday in our house.

Oh yeah, and the giant Bugs Bunny coloring pages. What a kid. And what a birthday! To top it off, we went swimming in the crick. Lucia was freaking out about floating on her back, but she loved trying to doggy-paddle.
We love this kid. She is such a ball of fun! And a blessing from God - we're so grateful for her in our family.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Ranch Competition

On Sunday, July 3rd, there was a ranch roping competition.
My Cowboy entered.
He likes roping the most of all ranch jobs. He comes home from work and throws loops, just for fun. 
He throws loops that are crazy.
Crazy hard, that is.
Like the other night, I watched him throw one over his shoulder, facing away from the dummy! I really don't know when he will use that shot in real life, but I'm sure he would, somehow. 

Throwing a few practice loops before the competition....

                                                    Such an ornery kid!
 Ok, maybe she is sweet, after all!

 The judges. This was a first-time-for-this-area type of deal. So it was pretty informal. Which was great. I like informal. I think informal is my middle name.
 My fun friend! She was my next-door neighbor at the X-Bar, and while she is a beautiful and charming ranch wife, she is a good hand, too. Something I definitely am not. I have jealousy issues with ranch wives that can ride and rope as well as make a delicious meal. I can fill a table - but don't ask me to rope. I can't.
(She really is a great friend. I love her to pieces. And I miss her.)
 This just looks painful. Not that I pity him, or anything. I actually find it quite humorous. Payback for all the cowboys he's tried to kick in his short lifetime....
 My Cowboy and one of his teammates on one of the three teams he was on. We like to call this cowboy: 'Will Rogers'. Cause he looks like W.R. Sorta. (no offense, Karmen! We love W.R.:)
 And the star of the show!! Ok, the star of MY show.
 That grin is why I married My Cowboy. Well, its why I was first attracted to him. Just bein honest, here, folks.
 Hold, it! They didn't crash, peoples. They were ok.

 My Cowboy and his coworker from the X-Bar. They were on a team together, too.

Does anyone see anything in this picture besides the obvious horse backside? Yeah, I thought that shadow was cool, too. My Cowboy didn't win.... but he did in my mind, when I heard some older cowboys behind me talkin....

Cowboy 1: "Did you see that guy dally? That was some pretty dallies."

Cowboy 2: "Yeah, he's a good hand."

Cowboy 1: "I can see..."

And they moved out of my hearing. Those comments made my day.