Sunday, July 20, 2014

Water Slides Rancher Style

Over the 4th of July weekend, my family had a reunion out on the ranch.  And let’s be honest, what better place is there?!  We shot guns, had a massive water fight, visited the ranch animals (and some milked a cow for this first time!) and enjoyed Malad’s 4th of July parade and firework show.

But the most fun we had was at the water slide… park… thing.  This isn’t your typical water slide.  No twisting slides splashing you into the pool.  No slides that dump you straight down and give you an atomic wedgy.  Oh no, these are much cooler!

When you drive up there you might be a little unimpressed.  In the midst of the hay fields is a nice size hill with two; massive tarps running the length of the hill.  At the top of each tarp is a small hose running water down.  Something so simple couldn’t be that amazing, right?  Man, this is the most fantastic thing ever!  You can go down the slide on your knee/bum/tummy or these have a plethora of inner tubes (my personal favorite!).  You start sliding down the hill, pick up some speed, and get spinning along the way.

About half way through we had the bright idea to do a train everybody holding onto each other’s tubes so that we all went down together.  We must have had 5 or 6 tubes loaded up with kids, parents and even grandpa!  The first time we went down was the most memorable.  My brother and I were the caboose to our little train.  We grabbed onto the tube in front of us.  Actually to be more specific, we grabbed onto riders of the tube in front of us- my other brother and my 7 year old niece.  In retrospect, my niece wasn’t the best to hold on to.  Grandpa was at the front, the steam engine you could say.  Once he started down, the rest of the train followed… except us.  The tube in front of us took off and instead of my niece pulling us along, we just pulled her off!  It was just like in the movies where the tube was ripped right out from under her and she was left sitting!  We laughed and laughed as we jumped on to follow the train. 

Never doubt a farmer and his ingenious ideas.  You might think that a simple tarp down a few hills in the middle of a few fields is lame… and you would be wrong!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cowboy Engagements: The Buckaroo's Engagement Photos

So did I tell you my brother-in-law is getting married?  The Buckaroo has found himself a fine little filly and they’ve decided to get hitched!  We are so stinking excited!  Partly… nope mostly because we are finally getting the gender scale balanced.  These boys have lived too long with too little estrogen in the air! 
I’vve told these boys that I must approve before get all romantic and thus far they have done well getting me some good sisters.  I especially love it when they bring home girls that will get out on the ranch with us.  There isn’t much sweeter than a girl out roping the cowboys!!
But back to The Buckaroo and his almost Mrs. Buckaroo… When it came time for their engagement pictures they really wanted pictures done on the ranch, cowboy style.  So they called me!  We took an evening out through our private range land (the place that actually has a few trees!) and took ourselves some cowboy engagement pictures. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

5 Ways How Being a Rancher's Wife Makes me an Awesome Camper

Are you wondering where I’ve gone?  A whole week of nothing from The Rancher’s Wife… That’s, like, unheard of.  I’m probably the chattiest girl in the valley!

But I have been gone this last week.  To Girls Camp.  We camped out near Soda Springs with about 150 other girls and leaders.  And not to pat myself on the back, but I have to tell you that I rocked it.  It wasn’t long after getting up there that I realized we had a bunch of city girls in our midst!  Boy, was I grateful to be a rancher’s wife and new a little bit about surviving in the wild.  Now I don’t know if I learned these things from life on the ranch or life living in the country. Either way, they are certainly worthy of sharing with you today.  Here are my “5 Ways How Being a Rancher’s Wife Makes me an Awesome Camper!”

1.  I know how to set up a tent.  Seriously, you would think that such a basic camping essential would be high on the list of knowing BEFORE you go camping, but for some it wasn’t. For as long as I can remember, I have known how to set up a tent.  Growing up we would throw the tent up in the yard ALL the time.  Or we would load up the camping gear and campout somewhere on the ranch.  Since being married, The Rancher and I have even had the awesome opportunity to do overnight cattle drives where we camped along the way.  Yep, this girl doesn’t need anyone setting a tent up for her!

2.  I’m not afraid of bugs.  I wish I had a dollar for every time I had to squash a bug or save some helpless girl from her impending doom.  I’ll admit, I’m not a bug person.  Especially the extra buzzy ones, but these girls were something else.  It was almost like they had never been told there would be bugs!

3.  I know how to tie knots and to use knives.  Last minute I was asked to help teach some basic skills with knots and knives.  It only took a quick look at the manual to know just what I was supposed to be teaching and we were on our way.  I do have to give credit to my father-in-law, Rancher Sr., for being willing to help (he was there to cook all week).  There were a few knots that I was sure everyone would know.  Ya know, the ones we use almost daily to tie something together or up to the trailer.  But no.  A lot of them didn’t even know what a square knot was.  But I guess that’s why they were there…

4.  I took my cowgirl boots to camp in.  Everyone has their favorite pair of shoes or hiking boots to camp in.  For some crazy it is their flip flops…. Mine are my boots.  They have kept me clean and dry all over the ranch and did the same camping.  I didn’t suffer from stubbed-toe-itis, nasty-dirty-toenail-itis, or soaked-foot-itis. I love my cowgirl boots, especially when they can be functional and fashionable!

5.  I can cook over a fire.  And when I say I can cook over a fire I don’t mean a hot dog on a stick.  Don’ get me wrong, I love a good tube steak.  But camping should be more than just a weiny roast or tinfoil dinners.  We enjoyed BBQ ribs, cheesy bacon potatoes, corn on the cob, and dutch oven cobbler.  That’s pretty close to the same menu we had branding this spring.  Cooking on the desert for the cowboys is all too similar to cooking at camp.  But wherever we eat camping out, it’s in style! 

Ok, I have to share a bonus.  The last bit to share about how my ranch life has helped me be an awesome camper is dealing with the dirtiness of camping.  From the dusty sock line to the greasy hair I was totally ok that I hadn’t showered all week.  Don’t be grossed out.  Please.  I pride myself in being ok with doing my hair once and leaving it up for the week, having spraying on tan of dirt, and wearing no makeup.  Working on the ranch has taught me to appreciate crazy hair, dustiness, and make-up-less face!

My list isn’t anything crazy…  No secret tips on how to camp rancher style.  But it’s crazy how many skills I use for camping I have learned from the ranch!                                               

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summertime on the Ranch

Oh what do you do in the summertime?  That's the line to one of my kids' favorite songs.  Our answers aren't like the song... We don't have a stream to sit lazily by, or trees to swing on... Instead we have a ranch with hundreds of opportunities for fun.  But when the votes were in, everyone around the ranch agrees that these are the summertime favorites!

1.  Roping at the arena-  We have an arena, we have the roping steers, and obviously we have the horses and ropes.  What do they all mean?  Roping.  Lots of roping.  The Rancher is all over it... You say roping and he will beat you there.  The rest of us tag along of course!  The Rancher's Sidekick floats.  He spends some playing in the dirt, some time riding his horse, and some time working the chute.  The baby hangs out with me.  Somehow we manage...  We love every bit of those nights.  There's nothing better than playing out in the arena as the sun goes down!

2.  4 Wheeling-  Hands down, this has to be The Ranch Princess's favorite.  The first place I go to check when I can't find her playing outside is on the 4 wheeler.  I'm terrified for the day that she can actually start it. There are so many trails and roads to just head out for a drive.  You can get a little crazy with some off-roading or you can take it easy.  Either way we have a great time!

3.  Cookout, or "roast out" as The Rancher's Sidekick calls them- When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.  When life gives you massive tractor tires, you make a fire ring and have a cook out.  Tin foil dinners, weenies on a stick, mallows... its ALL SO GOOD!  There is no shortage of scrap wood here at the ranch, so bring on the bon fires!

4.  Hanging' out at the reservoir-  Ok so its not AT the ranch but its where we head when the work is done.  We have a few old jet skis that occasionally work to make it a really good time.  Once I asked if they were sick of fixing the darn things but they told me that was half the fun of them!  Actually, they have been working GREAT lately.  I'm working on my 360 when I get pulled on the knee board... we'll see if I can conquer it this summer!

5.  Bunny hunting-  Don't be weirded out, but we love to bunny hunt.  And I feel a little justified because they are terrible out here.  There isn't too much more fun that loaded up the truck in the dark to spot bunnies.  After a good bunny hunt, I start seeing them all over the road!

Summertime means fun family time.  We work hard during the day to play hard at night.  Cool off in the reservoir, take little drive, have dinner around the fire, and have a little excitement with the hunting or at the arena.  That's how we summer at the ranch!  

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Big Ride for a Little Cowboy

 Being only four years old doesn't stop this little boy from believing that he can do ANYTHING he wants to do, or more importantly- what his dad is doing.  He is called The Rancher's Sidekick for a reason- he goes everywhere and does everything with his dad.  The first thing he says in the morning (after his request for hot cocoa!) is "where is dad?"  And no matter what dad is doing, he is distraught that he was left behind.
Until last week.
The cowboys were moving the heifer pairs to new pasture not far from the ranch.  Being the awesome mom that I am (and with The Rancher giving the idea) I loaded up The Rancher's Sidekick's horse and headed out after herd. 
We caught up to the bunch and before I could park the truck, my little cowboy was scrambling out of the truck to get his horse out.  He had one request- I want to ride by myself, and nobody pull me!  Can you say independent? As nervous as I was (because I'm still a mom and the ground is pretty far down...) we handed him the reigns and let him go!
It was somewhat of a moment for me to watch him ride off following his dad.  Here is my firstborn showing his momma that he is growing up.  And as much as I'm not read for that, there is no other way that I would rather him do it than as a cowboy!
I just kept thinking, how many boys have this chance?  Go to work with dad, everyday?  How many little boys get to ride with his dad, grandpa, and great grandpa?  How many little boys get to live their dreams of being a cowboy before they have ever gone to school?
Of course he is a crazy four year old that spent more time picking his nose than watching the cows.  But the great thing was that he was there, in the middle of all of it.  We don't live on the sidelines out here.  We live in the thick of it all!