Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Pausing for Perspective

I love my life.  I really do.  Its amazing how much joy and satisfaction I find in what we do.  I get to watch my kids learn and grow and fail and succeed.  They get to watch their dad work and see what it means to have responsibilities and carry them out.  It is exhausting and amazing and inspiring...  and exhausting.

I love our life but it is exhausting.  Most of the time when life gets busy and exhausting, you pause, give yourself some space, do something new to recharge yourself, and then jump back in.

We don't do that. 

Not that we don't believe it taking a break, but its kinda difficult.  With cows, irrigating, haying, feeding, checking water, and all the other things on the never ending check list, we don't have the time to just up and leave.  Not to mention the fact that we live in the middle of nowhere and going anywhere requires plenty of travel time. 

But that's ok.

We may to be able to be world travelers or we might not have the opportunities to visit exotic places.  Its all ok, because we have an entire world to explore in our back yard.  We have horses and 4wheelers and mountains and trails.  We really have everything we need.

What we do, everyday, is what we love.  Yes, we get tired of the daily grind, but that is when we load up in the gator and go for a ride.  And we take a moment to refocus on what our priorities are and then we get back to it. 

I'm in desperate need for such a pause.  I am feeling the weight of the work that needs to be done on our home, for our community, in the fields...  There is always more work to be done than there is time and energy.  Think I can talk The Rancher into taking me on a romantic motorcycle ride tonight? 

Monday, May 8, 2017

For the Love of Branding

I have literally thousands of pictures of branding this spring.  THOUSANDS!  5 different days of branding and taking so many pictures of busy cowboys (I might have less if they stopped and posed, but I take what I can get...) has made for so many photos to go through and edit. 

I'm certainly not running out of photos, but I feel like I am running out of rocking stories to tell you.  Its not that cool things didn't happen, but I'm just afraid that those details of the day might bore you.  Especially since we do about the same thing every year- we gather the herd, sort out the cows, brand the calves, eat lunch and start over. 

It really is an exciting day that the crew looks forward to every year.  I'd say its their drug of choice that they are going through some seriously withdrawals of roping and riding after a long winter.  They take off across the range, adrenaline flowing, and they can't get enough of it.  They rope all day long until they are so sore they can't keep going.  Then they wake up and do it again.     

The photos are going to keep coming and hopefully the stories come too!  But sometimes, the photos speak for themselves.  As they say, "A photo is worth a thousand words!"

Friday, April 28, 2017

Going Nuts Over Branding

With all of my years of ranching and branding there is something that I have never done.  Ok, there are plenty of ranchy-branding things that I haven't done... But there is one that I took pride in not doing until just a few weeks ago.  I don't know if I should be proud for what I did, but I did it.

Here is what I did- I ate a nut.  Not like a nut nut, but like a calf nut.  A lemon peppered, battered, deep fried calf testicle.

Gross, I know.

Like I said, I don't know if I'm proud of myself for doing it, but I did.

My brother-in-law, Cowboy Pete, had some buddies that thought it would be a great idea to fry up some nuts and have a party about it.  So all day long, we were collecting nuts as we were branding.  He even had his mom bring a tupperware with water that he had in the cooler with the vaccines to keep the nuts clean and cool.  He went to some pretty extensive lengths to make sure that everything would be just right for their dinner that night. 

So Cowboy Pete gets home, pulls out the nuts and made up his own little recipe for some gourmet fried nuts.  All day he kept telling me that he was going to bring them over for me to try and I just laughed him off, so sure that he wasn't going to do it and even if he did cook some, he wouldn't bring them over. 

But he did.  

He comes over with his buddies and his plate of fried testicles and wafted them in front of my face as if its tantalizing aroma would be something I couldn't resist.  He grinned from ear to ear as he was trying to convince me just how good it was and that I HAD to try them.

I waffled back and forth on what I should do.  Because really, one bite wouldn't kill me.  And if it was nasty, I could just spit it out.  But I didn't want to give in to him and justify his claim that his deep fried calf testes were good. 

Just then, my husband reached over grabbed one and took a bite.  I was super surprised because no one had been goading him to eat one and he JUST DID IT!  And he liked it!  Or at least I think he did.  He at least didn't spit it out, although he didn't have another bite so maybe he didn't like it so much.

After that, I knew I had to do it.  If I didn't, I would be the weak one.  The one that wasn't brave enough to even eat a little nut.  So I took a bite.

I still shudder to think about what I did.  I stooped to eating genitalia...  Gross.  Except, it was good.  Or at least not bad.  They seasoned them enough that it just tasted like a lemon pepper beef nugget (like chicken nugget, but beef... get it?).

Now I have done it all.  And I will likely never do it again.  Cowboy Pete did say that no self respecting ranch blogger couldn't call themselves legit without trying a nut at least once. I tried it once, now I'm legit and have great credibility with my people, right?

Let me know if you want Cowboy Pete's Deep Fried Calf Nut recipe ;).