Monthly Archives: October 2017

31 Days to a better marriage, No disrespect.

I have covered this topic throughout the series, but today I wanted to point out several specific ways that we disrespect our husbands – sometimes without knowing it! I have been guilty of some of these, sadly. I ask God often to show me where I can grow in respecting my man.

31 days to a better marriage; no disrespect,

  • Correcting him in public. There is a time to speak, and there is a time to be silent. When your husband is telling a story or recounting an experience, it is a time for you to be silent. Does it really matter if he said it happened in January, when it really happened in February? Does it really matter if your uncle Fred is 76 years old instead of 74? I cringe when a man is trying to tell some story but he can’t get through 2 sentences without his wife correcting some minuscule detail. This is disrespect, ladies, and it needs to stop. Let him tell the story.
  • Telling him what to do. There is a fine line between asking for help and ordering him around. I am a firm believer in asking for help. But I am just as firm, that ordering your husband to do things is disrespectful. Let’s be careful of our tone of voice…

    “Her voice was ever gentle, low and soft, and excellent thing in woman.” Ma Ingalls, Little Town on the Prairie.

  • Never wanting intimacy.  I know — your hormones are all over the place, you are drunk-tired, you are tired of little people touching, hugging, pulling at you all day long. But If you never want to get sexy in the bedroom – he will feel disrepected. I love this article from Sheila Gregoire. (my favorite resource on intimacy)

    “You know the things that drain you: talking to certain people, housework, running around after kids, paid work, chauffeuring, scheduling, all the things that go into a normal life. These things aren’t necessarily bad, but you need to figure out what also charges you…” Sheila Wray Gregoire

  • Don’t correct his parenting. It’s ok if the baby doesn’t get his hair washed with a special soap, or the diaper gets on backwards, or he lets them eat more sugar than you would. If he is helping you – be thankful. There is no reason to disrespect him because you are Type A or whatever. It is 100x better to have a loving, involved dad who feeds his kids sugar, than to have a absent dad. (research the crime rates in homes with no father) Besides, it smacks of pride to think your way is best! Let him parent how he wants. If it is a big issue – talk to him privately about it.
  • Thank him for providing for your family. If he is working, thank him! If you are also working, you still need to thank him. Remember the Golden Rule. Men like to be providers – let him know you appreciate it.
  • Get excited about his dreams, and help him pursue them! You may not be interested in tagging sharks off the coast of California, but if he is – learn a little bit about it! Help him research  his dreams and encourage him. He will love you for it.
  • Take care of yourself, physically. Don’t ‘let yourself go’ because you have your man. Get dressed daily. Comb your hair. And by all means – take a shower daily!! (I won’t hear any excuses) I have raised 7 babies and moved 12 times and been sleep-deprived more than I would like to remember. But there are not many days when I didn’t get a shower. Please, for the love of your husband, take a shower! (3 kids under 3, anyone? been there)

This is not an exhaustive list, by any means. Feel free to comment with your ideas and tips on how we can show respect to our husbands.

Read the rest of the series HERE.

31 Days to a better marriage, No Tattling!

31 Days to a better marriage, no tattling.

No Tattling sounds a bit juvenile – I get it. But the problem remains, no matter what you call it. Are you telling your mom/sisters/friends about your husband’s weaknesses under the guise of humor? Maybe as a shared prayer request? Or just flat-out as griping?

This needs to stop.


There is simply no place in a Christian wife’s life for tattling on her husband. How would you like if he told his buddies how you spend too much money – and they all laughed about it? Or if he told his mom how you are such a terrible housekeeper and he never has clean socks?

You know, marriage is a good place for the Golden Rule.

“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” Luke 6:31

But he DOES treat me like this! He tells mean jokes about me to his buddies!” OK, that is a hard place to be. I get it. I have watched men do this to their wives, and it is NOT Christ-like. It is selfish and cruel. But as a Christian, you must treat him the same way you would any other sinner: with love and kindness, always desiring that he would come to repentance.

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. Proverbs 31:26

Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:12

They (believers) must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone. Titus 3:2

This is the part of the gospel no one wants to face: death to self. Because death is unpleasant! But if we say we believe the Bible, and we say we are obedient to Christ – then we need to treat everyone with kindness and not gossip. No tattling. No carrying grievances to your buddies. Even if he does. I like how Elizabeth George says, in her wonderful book to wives:

Your goal as a Wife after God’s Own Heart is to help, heal, and to minister to your husband with your words–not to slash and slice him to pieces.Your rash words can resemble the thrusts of a sword, or they can disperse refreshment that promotes health, edifies, encourages, and delivers grace to your husband. (Ephesians 4:29) -from A Wife After God’s Own Heart

What to do if you have a disagreement? I always, always advocate for prayer first. Pray fervently, daily. God and the Holy Spirit can do far more than your nagging and complaining. Yes, there is a time and place for getting outside help. But just the piddly little stuff that irritates you? Nope. Don’t go throwing him under the bus to your mom. No tattling.

Read the rest of the series HERE.

31 days to a better marriage, not allowing things to build up between you.

31 days to a better marriage; not allowing things to build up between you.

You know that you shouldn’t allow things to build up between you, but then you get in a fight disagreement, and you just want peace, or sleep, or your own way, or maybe life is so crazy-busy that you just don’t take time to talk things through.

First thing you know – a bit of coldness toward your husband is creeping into your heart. Not anger. Not bitterness. Just a general ‘meh’. Maybe the two of you disagreed about something that you can’t get past. If you disagree on principles and values, it is really hard to get past that.


Maybe you think: “It’s not a big deal, I should just get over it!” You stuff it, or you try to forget it. But once there is something you refuse to work through – soon there is more. I have found that talking about stuff is the key to keeping communication open. You may never agree on a certain issue. But you can have a peaceful, loving marriage despite that.

It’s like a brick wall – I am sure you’ve heard this comparison before – one brick is not a big deal, but soon it’s a wall a mile high. Then it is next to impossible to move! So don’t allow even one brick between you! You may have to compromise, you may have to die to self, you may need to explain yourself better. But keep working at communication.

My husband and I have worked through some pretty big disagreements. Do we see everything 100% the same way? Nope. We are human, with different backgrounds, different personalities, different stories. But we follow the same Jesus. We read the same Bible. And we both want a Godly friendship-love. So we talk. We hash things out. In the end, though, I believe the Scripture that says:

“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22-25

So keep working at your communication, my friends. Keep things clear and open between you. Will this matter in 100 years? If the answer is no, then just let it go. :)

Read the rest of the series HERE.

Scottish Egg Recipe

 

Easy Scottish Egg Recipe

The wind whipped about me mercilessly, as I waited for the cowboys to get their food and coffee. The sun was shining and the temperature hung around 45*, but it didn’t feel that warm on the open prairie. The sound of cows lowing and calves bawling drowned out the talking and laughter of the cowboys.


When I looked in the foil-covered pan sitting on the tailgate, I saw something that looked like sausage balls. I took one, because I love sausage! The hot sausage warmed my cold hands, and I  bit into it as the Wyoming wind whipped my hair. Inside the sausage was a hard-boiled egg!

Then I remembered… Cliff had told me that this ranch served something called “Scottish Eggs”. His description of a hard-boiled egg inside sausage had sounded delicious. I was happy to get a chance to try them. Somehow, it seemed the perfect food for a branding snack. Hot, easy to hold, full of protein – to give the cowboys energy.

Easy Scottish Egg Recipe

I relished every bite, and resolved to go home and make them myself! Since that day on the wide and windy prairie, I have made them often. Today I want to share with you this incredibly easy, filling breakfast food.

The process is incredibly simple. You take a pound of bulk pork sausage, divide into 6 equal parts, and flatten each part. Then you place a hard-boiled egg on top of the sausage, and wrap the sausage around the egg. The wrapping is the hardest part – you might have to squish it a bit to get the egg completely covered. You can divide the sausage into only 5 parts for a thicker sausage layer, if you like.

Easy Scottish Egg RecipeEasy Scottish Egg RecipeEasy Scottish Egg RecipeEasy Scottish Egg Recipe

Scottish Egg Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Scottish
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1 lb pork sausage
Instructions
  1. Peel the eggs
  2. Divide the sausage into 6 equal portions
  3. Smash each sausage ball flat
  4. Lay egg on sausage
  5. Wrap sausage around egg
  6. Place on a pan
  7. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

 

31 Days to a better marriage; Technology.

31 Days to a better marriage, Technology

Technology is one of those things with which I have a have a love/hate relationship. I mean, obviously technology makes my life so easy, and helps me so much! But then, it also can be distracting and frustrating(!!) and get in the way of real relationships.

You’ve heard the jokes about wives who run up credit debt online, or husbands who play video games all the time. Sadly, this is all too common. Now, we have the smartphones to add to the mix; we can buy and play with a swipe of our thumb.


It is easy – far too easy – to live virtual lives instead of real ones. To chat with a friend 1,000 miles away, instead of talking to the person we are sitting next to on the couch. To share our beliefs and the Gospel with someone in a different state instead of with our neighbor.  To invite friends to online ‘parties’ instead of inviting them over for coffee.

What does this mean in the context of marriage?

We need to remember that first; this is the world we live in. You ain’t gonna change it, friend. Nobody is going back to 1988. (except a few preppers, maybe) This is our new world. Don’t mourn and fuss and whine about the good old days. That’s what my grandpa said, too, and he farmed with horses till 1960! (or somewhere around there) I mean, there’s a place for old-fashioned things and simplicity, I agree. But there’s a point…

Second, technology can be a real blessing! You can read blogs on marriage 😉 , get financial tools,  find jobs, find date ideas and places to stay. You can learn a new skill. You can watch movies. You can listen to sermons and find Bible studies. So many good things to do with technology.

OK, but is it a blessing or a curse in marriage?

Satan wants to bring it between us. He wants to make it a curse. He is a cunning enemy who wants to make us fight and fuss. HE wants to tear us apart any way he can! Technology can certainly do that. But God wants to make it a blessing. We have the same Saviour in 2017 as we had in 1988. We can allow Satan to use technology to come between us, or we can allow God to make it a blessing.

This obviously takes two people to agree that you will not allow Satan to get a foothold. Two people who agree to put their relationship first, and technology second. Maybe you don’t actually ‘sit down and talk about it’, per se. We haven’t. But when technology (usually our phone usage) bothers one of us, we tell each other in a kind, respectful way. I’m not saying we are perfect in this area, but we are learning and growing.

We give each other our full attention when we talk to each other. We don’t interrupt each other when we are busy with something online. We give grace when one or the other spends extra time online or watching a riveting movie series. Again, we’re not yet perfect, but we try.

Remember the good old days where everyone ignored each other with books and newspapers? 😀 Yeah, that wasn’t much better. I know technology has overrun our lives, but we can control it, by the power of the Holy Spirit in us. Just like alcohol or food, it can become an addiction that needs broken. But in the right place, it can be a blessing!

31 days to a better marriage, technology

Texts to each other: flirty, encouraging, loving. Encouraging websites, sermons online, even games to play together. Music. Sending pictures of the kids. Skype. I’m sure you can think of more!

Remember; Satan wants to tear you apart in any way he can. Jesus wants to bring you together. Technology is just a tool. Don’t be a slave to it, don’t allow it to control you. Embrace the good in it, be thankful for the good points.

If your husband suggests that you are using it wrongly; listen to him. If he is using it too much, lovingly discuss it with him. Pray about it. But don’t allow Satan to use technology to tear you apart.

Read the rest of the series HERE. 

31 Days to a better marriage – Date Nights

31 days to a better marriage - date nights

Do  you find it hard to have an actual ‘date night’?

Me too.


Especially when you have babies and toddlers in the house, it is just hard. If you have family nearby, you might wonder what all the fuss is about. But if you live far from family, you will know exactly what I am talking about!

We have lived far from family for years. We have friends, but here in Wyoming, even our friends are pretty scattered! While we had babies and younger children, we just didn’t have many date nights. We did get a babysitter once a year and take a night away for our anniversary. That was so important to our sanity and closeness as a couple. We also tried to have 1-2 nights where we’d get a sitter and go out to eat. But even that was hard.

But why bother?

I do feel it is extremely important that a couple gets a bit of time alone, now and again. Even if it is only 1 time per year. Yes, you can be a close, loving couple without ever doing it, but frankly, I know very few couples who are deeply in love with each other, who don’t take time out for themselves. (I can’t think of any, in fact)

“We do everything as a family.” That sounds wonderful and so committed – but remember that you were a couple before you were parents. If you never go out, never take a night away, then you will need to be extra vigilant to get some time together at home. You just can’t properly nurture a deep, caring, friendship-love when there are kids climbing over you and listening to you talk.

I know, I know. You disagree with me.  Well, maybe I am wrong. But if you think so, let me ask you: Do you have a deep, loving, friendship with your husband, or is marriage a bit of a disappointment to you? I challenge you to answer honestly. (To yourself, of course.)

The people whose marriages I respect and look up to – they say to get away from the kids once in a while. They say that the kids will be fine. And they are right.

When I was a young wife, I hated leaving my toddlers for a night. I thought they would be scarred for life, haha! But my husband encouraged me to invest in our marriage – and I am so glad he did. I do not regret even one night away from my ‘babies’. We never lost the sense of ‘us’, and I credit time alone as the reason.

But how?

This is the tricky part! It is hard to have the time, money, or sitter. If you have one you probably don’t have the other.

How to find a babysitter: Family is ideal. Friends are second best. If you have neither – then you need to find friends!! Seriously. I recommend that you start by going to church. Even if it isn’t perfect, find a church that believes as closely to Scripture as possible. (just pick the best one in your town.) Then go to that church and make friends, serve them, get plugged in to their lives. You will soon (hopefully) find one or two families who will be willing to trade babysitting. You can also use drop-in daycare. I haven’t, but I think it would be a decent alternative.

I will say that when I had a nursing baby, or one under 2, I often took them along. Especially when we moved away from family.

How to find time: For a night away, I suggest that you put it on the calendar. We used to take a night away on our anniversary, but since we moved to WY (and ranch life) it is a bad time of year for us, so we take our night away a different weekend. But we plan ahead, every year. At least a tentative plan. If we were visiting family over the holidays, we’d plan an extra day, and arrange to leave the kids with grandma for a night.

For date nights we do it differently. If you have a set schedule, then a regular date night may work. It hasn’t for us. We ‘take a notion’ to go on a date, and go! When our kids were little, we grabbed every opportunity we could find. If we had an out-of-state sibling visiting, we left the kids and went on a date.

Now, we have teenage kids!! What a blessing to have built-in babysitters. I remember feeling that this day would never come! But here it is. And we LOVE it! 😀

How to find money: Oh boy. What a tough one, right? Really, we haven’t done much fancy stuff, because we are not rich folk. We would absolutely love to travel overseas or even just to Yellowstone for a weekend getaway. But realistically, we just can’t. The one exception was our 10th anniversary. We saved then splurged, and went to Washington D.C. for several days. That was a huge treat, and a trip that gave us many good memories.

For dates, we sometimes go out to eat, sometimes just ice cream! Right now we live far enough from town, that when we can make it work we will go to town together. We walk around the store, picking up what we need,(not groceries)  then get a burger or ice cream on the way home.

Our dates get simpler and more meaningful as we age. Driving 2 hours to and from town is a wonderful date. Checking water or putting out mineral is another way to get time together while not spending money.

When the kids were small, we’d stick them to bed early then pull out some special treats and drinks and have a date on the couch.

Usually for anniversaries, we spend one night at a hotel in a nearby city. We eat out and maybe catch a movie or a local, inexpensive attraction.

On leaner years, we’d get a babysitter for the kids, then pick up a pizza and some pop, and rent a movie and go home. In some ways, that was as relaxing as anything! Very inexpensive, very private, and no hassle of packing/unpacking.

I highly recommend you try this! Especially of you have sitters that you can easily get for a night!

I hope I have sparked an interest in you to make time for your marriage! Maybe you can’t take a weekend away. Maybe you need to put the babies to bed and light some candles and dress up. Maybe you just need to say YES next time he asks you to go check water. Better yet – YOU ask to go along, then be interesting and helpful and stay off your phone. 😉

Read the rest of the  series HERE.

Ranch and Agriculture Blogs.

I don’t follow a lot of blogs, but there are a few ranch and agriculture blogs that I like. I thought I would share some of them with you. These are blogs that I have followed for years, and enjoy their photos and/or writing. 

The South Dakota Cowgirl 

I put Jenn first, because I have actually met her in real life! Haha! I love Jenn. She is down-to-earth, real, genuine. She laughs a lot and makes everyone else laugh! She is caring, generous, and right handy with a camera. Plus a lot more skills that I can’t even remember. Barrel-racing, colt-starting, hosting interns, you name it. I had the privilege of attending a photo workshop with her this summer (2017), and liked her from the first big smile. 

Ranch and agriculture blogs to follow.

Jenn Zeller, The South Dakota Cowgirl (photo by Abby Prather)


Faith, Family, and Beef

I have not met Terryn – yet! – but I did meet her husband at a branding. :) (I did not know it was her husband until later, though, so that was crazy.) But I am pretty sure we will meet in real life one day! She is a ranch wife from Nebraska, and shares recipes, stories and more on her blog. You will like it! (Also, we are both Stormy Kromer ambassadors, yay! :D) 

Ranch and agriculture blogs - terryn Dreiling

Terryn Drieling, Faith, Family, and Beef.

Corner of the Circle L

Naomi is another Nebraska ranch wife, raising kids and cows on the wide-open range. She loves God and her family. She has been featured in Western Horseman and other publications. Naomi tells the story of her life through her blog and other social media. I hope and expect to eventually meet her, too! :)

Ranch and Agriculture blogs to follow - Naomi Loomis

Naomi Loomis, The Circle L Ranch

 

The Prairie Homestead

For 5 years we were practically neighbors. We lived maybe 30 miles apart (definitely neighbors in Wyoming!), but during those years we both had several sick pregnancies and other things that kept us from meeting in person!  Jill shares homesteading info, recipes, essential oils, and more. (She is technically not a ranch wife, but she is a Wyomingite, and was my neighbor, and I love her blog! :D) I am looking forward to meeting Jill one day.

Ranch and Agriculture Blogs - Jill Winger

Jill Winger, The Prairie Homestead

Agriculture Proud (bonus: one guy’s blog that I had to include! :) )

Ryan Goodman is well-known in the ag scene for his agriculture advocacy. He writes about cattle ranching, ag advocacy, using beef in your healthy diet, and trail running (fueled by beef). I enjoy following his Instagram – lots of trail running updates, which are inspiring! I am NOT a runner, but the sport has fascinated me for years. :)

Agriculture and ranching blogs.

Ryan Goodman

Now, go make a big pot of black coffee to sip as you get started on this list! I know you will find at least one you enjoy. :)

Tell me one or two of YOUR favorite logs! I love discovering new and fascinating blogs. :) Share in the comments.

31 Days to a better marriage; Romance vs. Love.

31 days to a better marriage; romance vs love

When we think of romance, we might picture roses, candles, rooftop dates under the stars, walking hand-in-hand through falling leaves, cozy evenings by a crackling fire…

We forget, sometimes, that romance is wildly overrated. That love is what we need most in our days. Love that steps over the scattered toys without complaining, love that says: “stay in bed, I’ll eat cereal”, love that holds you when you are sad, love that eats leftovers for days, love that brings home chocolate for those hard days.

Romance is the feeling of excitement and mystery surrounding love. (Webster)


I love romance! It is fun, and keeps our marriage interesting. But dear sister, please don’t expect your married life to be full of mysterious excitement! Many days will come and go with no rooftop dinners, no relaxing walks in nature, no wine and chocolate. There may be no money for date night, and there will be kids who want to go on that walk with you.

But there will be love. And love wins over romance any day, in my book. Don’t take that love for granted. Don’t miss the romance of a husband who knows what kind of treat to bring you after a hard day. Don’t miss the magical moments of watching a sunrise from your kitchen window together, no words needed. (You haven’t tried that? You need to. 😉 )

Romance is beautiful and there is a place for it, definitely. But the longer we are married, the more I realize that love is pretty romantic, after all.

Read the rest of the series HERE.

3 Tips for a stress-free branding meal.

3 tips for a stress free branding meal. Strategies that work for any large crowd.

If you are new to cooking, it may look daunting to get a big meal ready all by yourself! I thought I would share some strategies I use for stress-free cooking for a crowd!

I have been cooking for a ranch crew several times a year (or more) for more than ten years. I have learned some things that help me keep my sanity! 😀 


I like to run out and take pictures while the cowboys are branding or shipping, and I can’t do that if my meal is helter-skelter and I am stressed out! So, I learned to prep the right way. These tips also work for other large-group meals. This is also how I manage church functions with very low stress. 

3 tips for a stress-free branding meal. Works for any large crowd

1. Plan ahead. 

If you take away nothing else – please, please, please plan ahead! This one tip will help you tremendously. If you know what needs done, you won’t get caught off guard. 

  • Menu. Write it all out. Even if it is just boughten cookies or jugs of tea. Next, write down everything besides food that you will need. Paper plates, garbage bags, napkins, plasticware, toothpicks, salt & pepper shakers, cream for the coffee? 
  • Groceries. Now, figure out what ingredients you will need for each dish. Write down everything you will need to buy. Make sure you figure enough! 
  • Time. Check recipes, and figure out how long you will need to cook each dish. If you are making meat and rolls and cake and potatoes and baked beans… do you have two ovens? What order will you bake them? Can you use a crockpot for something? You need to figure this out now, because there is nothing worse than needing to put rolls in the oven, but your meat has the oven busy all morning!

3 tips for a stress-free branding meal, works for any large crowd.

2. Prep the day before.

This is my biggest secret to a restful branding meal! I normally prep as much as possible the previous day. In fact, I try not to plan anything else the day before, so I can just prepare all the food! Trust me, you will not regret spending several hours the previous day! It makes branding day so much easier, and you will be less likely to get in a jam. (remember the oven cramming?)

  • Peel potatoes. If you are making a potato casserole, make it and have it ready for the oven. Or have your baked potatoes scrubbed and wrapped. You can make mashed potatoes and then reheat the following day, also. (Although – sometimes I just want those fresh, fluffy mashed potatoes. :) )
  • Cook your meat. I like to cook roasts slow overnight. It really frees up my oven and – bonus! – makes the roast fork-tender. Almost any meat can be cooked the day before and reheated. The exceptions would be prime rib and burgers. If you are doing pulled meat sandwiches, you can just shred and reheat on branding day. So easy!
  • Make your dessert. Bake your dessert the day before. If you want it warm-from-the-oven, you can still get it ready. For cobbler, I make the crumbs and put them in a ziploc bag, and get the fruit ready. Then you just have to assemble it right before baking. Pie crusts can be made and refrigerated overnight, filling can be made, etc. If nothing else – at least make sure your butter is sitting out overnight so it is soft the next day. If you want to bake your dessert the day of branding, be sure you have time to fit it in with your other oven dishes!
  • Chop salad veggies. Most salads you can prep the day before. Just wait to add dressing till you are ready to serve. Chopping veggies for salad is messy, and this helps keep your kitchen cleaner on branding day!
  • Thaw frozen things. Do you need to thaw vegetables? Fruit for cobbler? At a bare minimum, you need to get your meat out and let it thaw! 
3 tips for a stress-free branding meal, works for any crowd

The branding crew, Chugwater, WY. May 2016

3. Get up early.

I know – who wants to get up early?! (Well me, but I know most people don’t enjoy mornings! :) ) But if you want to have a smooth branding meal, you need to get up at a reasonably early hour. Maybe your man doesn’t want to eat at 5 am, but mine does, so I cook him breakfast. Sometimes I let him eat cereal, but I try to make him breakfast. Then I get started on my day.

  • Start your snack. If you will be taking a snack/coffee break to the crew, you need to make sure that is done first. Are you making cinnamon rolls? Get the dough mixed up to rise. Do you need to bake or make anything? Get it going. 
  • Check your meat. If you had a roast in the oven overnight, you need to check it first thing. Probably as early as 5 or 6 am. If it is done, take it out and let it rest. It can cool for an hour or so, while you start your snack, then you can slice or shred it.
  • Set your table. IF you have the room, get your tables set up for lunch. Set out the plates, cups, etc. Fill the water jugs. Put out butter to soften. Salt and pepper. Toothpicks. Chairs. Get a garbage can ready for all the trash.  Think about the flow… where will the guys come in? Where will they file through to get their food? Make it as easy as possible for them to go from door to sink to food to table. And PLEASE have a big towel by the sink for their hands! I can’t abide little wet rags to ‘dry’ my hands on! 😉 (pet peeve)
  • Get drinks ready. Water is perfectly fine, but whatever you have to drink – have plenty! Especially out West here, we get so dried out! Those hard-working cowboys are going to need lots to drink. 

These tips have served me well for feeding groups of cowboys – as few as 8 to as many as 30. I use the exact same strategy for feeding a church group of 200 or more. Yes, I have made mistakes, and you might, too. Cowboys are generally pretty forgiving of us cooks, as long as we have plenty of food! I appreciate that. 😀
Whether you are cooking for branding, processing, or shipping, you can follow these tips for a relaxing, stress-free meal. 

If you need some inspiration, check out these cookbooks! They are some of my favorite! Beautiful photos and fun stories throughout. 

This post contains affiliate links.

31 Days to a better marriage: You don’t have to like him.

31 days to a better marriage: You don't have to like him.

Today I have a short and perhaps odd point to make about your marriage. See, I hear this a lot, and in different forms: “I don’t like my husband. I don’t love him any more. There’s no spark anymore. We just grew apart. There’s no feelings any more.

These statements may be 100% true. But that doesn’t excuse you from the vows you made before God. Lack of feelings doesn’t give you an excuse to leave your man – it just means you need to  give more attention to your marriage. See, you don’t have to LIKE your husband. You just have to treat him with love.


Feelings are fickle. They come and go. We can’t make decisions based on how we feel. Maybe you need to start practicing love. Practice speaking in loving tones. Practice by doing acts of love for him. Practice thinking good thoughts about him.

Jesus commands us to love each other, and the amazing thing is; if you practice showing love to your husband, (or indeed, anyone!) you will probably start liking them, too! It may take a while, but consistent acts of love are the best way I know to bring those fickle feelings around.

Ask yourself: “How would I treat him if I was madly in love with him?”

Now do that.

“Fake it till you make it” is a terrible-sounding adage. But really, it is pretty close to the truth! Only, it’s not fake if you are sincere. Sincerely wanting to obey God by loving your husband. Sincerely wanting a deep, meaningful relationship with your husband. There’s nothing fake about that!

“Practice till you become” may be a better saying.

You want to know something else? There are very, very few women who are willing to humble themselves and obey God in this area. To say: “OK God, I will begin today to treat my husband with the love and respect You command, no matter if he loves me back, no matter if I feel like it or not.”

Do you realize how brave that is? That is pure faith. Faith in a God big enough to hold you. Faith that His promises are true, that He cares about you.

We hear the term ‘be brave’ bantered about a lot these days, but the real bravery? It’s not wearing a cute tee-shirt with fancy lettering – it is following God into scary waters like these.

Be brave, my friend. Love him like you mean it. Love him till you like him. Do it till you feel it.

Practice till you become.

Read the rest of the series HERE.