Tag Archives: hay

Feeding the cows and Peace on earth.

Red Angus

A few days ago, I rode with my man while he finished feeding the cows. He loads round bales onto the bale-buster, then drives out to the pasture and spreads it out so the cows can eat it. It was a cold day – single digits. And there was a strong wind. I’d guess 30-40 mph with much higher gusts on the high areas. That heated tractor cab is wonderful! :)

tractor feeding hay

The bale-buster is a contraption that holds a round bale, then iron teeth on the bottom rotate, digging into the bale, and the hay spits out an opening in the bottom. When the bale is gone, Cliff raises the arms that are holding the extra bale, and it flips up and drops into the bale-buster. It throws a lot of dust when it is chomping up a hay bale, and the wind blew it over everything.

Cows eating hay

tractoraspens in snow

After we fed the cows, we took a bale to the horses. A soft evening light was settling over the landscape, making me forget my cold fingers. I snapped a few more pictures, between opening gates for my man.

By the way – ranch wives joke about having to open gates for their men, but truly? I don’t mind. Any time spent together is great! :)

paint horse and ponieshorses

Now it is nearly Christmas. The wind is howling outside as I type, there’s a fresh couple inches of snow on the ground. The gifts are wrapped and the cookies are made. Strains of holiday music fill the air.

It is not picture perfect, because we are a real family, we traipse snow in on our boots and the hearth around the wood stove is perpetually ash-sprinkled and messy. There are toys and cups sitting around my living room, because I was too tired to pick them up last night.

But the love of Jesus is here. Our love of each other grows stronger and purer each year. Our love for God is increasing, and we are working on our “peace on earth, goodwill to men”.

Dear ranch mama, don’t be discouraged if your house is not as holiday-ready as your neighbor’s. Don’t allow Satan to steal YOUR peace, this week. Reduce expectations, keep it simple, and love on your family. Take a few minutes here and there to slip away and pray. Of course you can pray ‘mentally’, but there is something about locking the bedroom door for two minutes and taking your attitude and trials to God in prayer. :)

running horses

May your home honor God and bless others this season. Starting with your own family.


Calving Season, 2016

Calving season is upon us again. And my husband is on night duty – 7 day a week.  I am so thankful we have a large house, so he can get some sleep during the day! I mean, we have 5 kids, and they are not quiet! :)

Meanwhile, I am trying my best to stay on top of schooling 3 kids, caring for a baby, and keep a 3 year out of trouble! Whew! I’ll just tell ya right here; I am not doing it. I am not ‘staying on top’! I am sliding into a hole. I can’t keep up with everything. But that’s ok. I am doing my best, and what work doesn’t get done today will still be there tomorrow. 😉  I am very much sticking to the basics. School is obviously a top priority, and meals and laundry. Cleaning gets done in fits and starts. My kids help a ton, and ya know – when you have a 2 month old baby, it’s ok to just do the basics, right?! :)

The sunrises gleaming golden and peach on the snow makes for beautiful mornings! I never get tired of the view from my window…12640345_10205955384945463_7447383232765907524_o

I walked down to the calving barn this week, to see the new babies. They were mostly sleeping, but I got a few shots. This lil guy had a rough start and was staying in the barn to get warm and healthy.calf This cutie was just soaking up the sunshine! I need to go down more… those babies are so cute. IMG_6662How’s your calving season going? Do you sleep alone during calving, too?

A Snowy Thanksgiving

The snow started falling on Wednesday evening. The kids looked worriedly out the window, afraid the storm would prevent our friends from driving up for Thanksgiving. The snow continued through the night and most of the day Thursday, but our friends bravely ventured out and made it in time for lunch! We were so happy to host a large gathering this year. Our house has a huge dining room in it so we seated everyone with ease. (23 people)

This morning it was snowing again, lightly, softly – and I laced up my Whites, zipped my parka, and headed out with camera in hand. I love catching ranch life during a snowstorm. There’s so much ‘feel’ to it!

A Snowy Thanksgiving A Snowy Thanksgiving A Snowy Thanksgiving At one point, my fingers were freezing from being out of my gloves too often, so I hung out in the barn and blew on them warm them up. :) The barn is always full go fun things to photograph, anyways. A Snowy Thanksgiving A Snowy Thanksgiving A good day to not be a horse! Although their thick winter coats keep them toasty, don’t worry! God designed them in a very special way to insulate them and protect them. A Snowy Thanksgiving A Snowy Thanksgiving The cattle were enjoying some hay, unmindful of the snow piling up on their backs. That’s a good thing, by the way, when the snow piles up on their backs. It means they are not losing body heat. The hair and hide do such  good job of insulting them, that the snow doesn’t even melt! God is an amazing Designer, and you can rest assured knowing His plan is perfect. A Snowy Thanksgiving A Snowy Thanksgiving A Snowy ThanksgivingI hope your Thanksgiving was pleasant, and your days warm!

Stay faithful, my friend.

Sub-Zero Temperatures on the Ranch

Have you had winter yet? Because I think Wyoming just sucked all the winter from the rest of the world and is all curled up in it – a ball of frozen icicles and swirling winds.

Jan. 2012

Jan. 2012

Ok, perhaps a bit dramatic. I know the North Pole is colder. That’s what they say, anyhow. 😉 But really, it has been so cold this past week! One morning it was down to -16° when we woke up. That was actual temperature. The windchill was -30º.  The house doesn’t like the cold either. It pops and creaks and snaps… I lay awake one night, kept awake by the loud popping in the roof above my head, and whispered to my husband: “How are you supposed to sleep with that going on?!”  He didn’t know.

January, 2012

January, 2012

I should’ve went out and taken pictures of the beautiful white snow for you all. But I didn’t. Because I am a wimp. I did go out and try to rig a light for the pets, so they wouldn’t freeze. I did drive to my mailbox to send some letters on their way… but I did not go outside to take pictures. Cause that just isn’t what I do when it’s 1º. My fingers can’t work the buttons of my camera for more than 10 seconds at -16º.

Calving, Jan. 2012

Calving, Jan. 2012

My husband, now, he is tough. Cowboy Tough. He layers up and walks out that door whether it’s 16º or -16º. (he wears 4-5 layers, not the 110 layers that a friend’s little girl thought he must have to wear! 😉 ) He breaks ice, spreads hay on the ground, and puts out feed. Those mama cows get taken care of, baby. You betcha. I don’t feel sorry for him driving around in a  warm truck. What makes me feel bad is when he has to break ice in sub-zero temps and the wind is blowing. Or when the tractor or truck breaks down and he has to mess about and try to get it going. But, like I said; Cowboy Tough. This what cowboying is – this is what they do. In the winter, in the summer, in every kind of miserable weather. And you know what else? HE rarely complains. I’m the one sitting in a toasty-warm house and whining about Florida. (I really, really want to go. 😉 )

Cliff's boss - feedin hay.

Cliff’s boss – feedin hay.

Bale-buster. A handy tool!

Bale-buster. A handy tool!

Cows - eatin hay.

Cows – eatin hay.

What is the winter like so far where you live? Do you enjoy winter and all it has to offer? Or are you like me, and just want to dip your toes in some warm saltwater? :)