Real Quick

posted by Chelsea

Real Quick.

Summer is treating us well.

A couple of pics this morning because it seems like the right thing to do.

First, a disclaimer.  I tried to use my photo editing capabilities to blot the dirt off of Cooper’s face, but it just made his face look weird. The thing is, this boy of mine plays really hard. And this mom of his can’t keep up with the dirt on his face.  And quite frankly, I love this picture- dirt and all.


And the freckles on this girl…

I love those, too.

And the budding confidence in this girl along with her always-matching-outfits…


I love as well.

Summer seems to always have a few surprises.  This year, we have a couple of them.  The first, is a school/music teacher who wanted to come work on the ranch for a couple of weeks.  He has worked, taught us new music skills and played for us…


And we have been blessed by his positive-go-get-em-work-hard-enjoy-life attitude.

We also have a teenager!


She lives back East and is experiencing ranch life with us for a few weeks. So far, she’s had a full schedule of riding, playing, helping & living the wild-and-wooley-western-life with us!

Real Quick Recap– Summer is full and busy, but good!


Summer Stuff

posted by Chelsea

Summer.  It’s happening.

Despite our need for rain, the canyon is brilliant…


… and green.  And looking like summer.

We’ve done cowgirl things…


And frilly things…


We even snuck in an afternoon visit with Papa Doug & Grandma Janie…


Then Rose & Zinnia went on a road trip to Idaho.  A road trip to make sure Zinny has a sibling next spring. And a half sibling from our mare, Hobby.  We don’t want her to be an only child :-)

We tagged along for the road trip.  And snuck in a fast & furious overnighter with my family. We celebrated our nephew turning ONE and our boy turning THREE…


I snuck in a 20 mile bike ride with my mom…

While the kids fished with Buck & Papa…

And we even managed to stop at the lake & I stuck my feet in with some old friends on the way to the birthday party…

We made it home, moved cows around…


And then Buck…

… and I left the kids with his parents at our house while we took off for a grazing seminar in Northern California… to a location as remote as where we live.  I teased on the long drive in that I’m “owed” a seminar in a location less remote than Troy.  But lo and behold!  The woman who owned the “Inn” where we stayed (think shared bathrooms, no locks on bedroom doors) had to be so sweet. And had to make us yummy food.  Really yummy food.  And the seminar was fantastic and we learned so much that I decided nobody owes me anything.  Except a hotel with a spa.  Just that :)

And now we’re home.  And Cooper has been trying to keep up with the girls…


… which is not an easy task :)

And the girls have been getting up before 5 a.m. to help move cows.  Yesterday, after they left, Cooper was still sleeping and I was trying to do Yoga, but the phone kept interrupting me.  Do you know that our phone rings more before 6 a.m. then it does all day?  That’s the only time anyone thinks they can get ahold of Buck… and they’re wrong.  Anyway, I was taking messages for Buck, all while trying to do some  basic yoga poses, and this rode by…

And I decided the following…

A. The Riding Pose is always better than Warrior Pose.

B. I’ll gladly give up my lame Yoga attempts the day Cooper is old enough to be woken before 5 a.m. to go move cows and we can all go.

C. I love seeing this girl happily ride by the house.  It’s the very best way to start my morning.



Cooper, Computer & Calves

posted by Chelsea



For some reason, he’s really serious in most pictures I have of him. Buck had a similar look in pictures I’ve seen of him as a kid- a sort of “why are you interrupting me with that camera?” kind of look.  Cooper’s face is usually dirty, too.  I don’t know how the camera always manages to catch the dirt on his face… because it’s usually clean.  I mean, it is, right? Super clean!  You know, right before bed, after a tub.  Anyway! In some ways it seems like Cooper has always been here.  In other ways, it seems like just yesterday we brought his sweet little self home from the hospital…


Be still my heart.  I can still smell his sweet little self.  So snuggly.  And easy.  And happy.  And ready to run.  I mean, relatively speaking.   As soon as he could lift his head up, he wanted to run with the girls.  And he hasn’t stopped since.

In other news, our computer is on the fritz.  I’ve been procrastinating over buying a new one for about a year now.  Well, this old one finally pushed me to finally push “Add to Cart” and a new one is on the way.  So far my buyers-regret is at a minimum.

We branded the rest of the calves this last weekend.  Aunt Angie took some pictures and then let me play with her camera and I took a bunch of pictures and I decided, after the computer purchase has worn off, I’d really like to upgrade my camera- I loved hers.  At any rate, she took this one…


… and I love that it looks like we are branding on the edge of the world.  Just for a reference… that road in the background is part of our drive to town.  For those of you who haven’t been here, this is not the house we live in.  Josh…


… lives in that cute little house… the one on the edge of the world… or at least the edge of the canyon.

I’m working on picking out my favorite branding pictures. Buck really likes action shots and so I’ve challenged myself to take more this year. I kind of like to take non-action shots…


And not just because it’s tough to catch a roping picture at just the right time…


but because I like what happens when the action isn’t happening. I like to catch the quiet stuff. Like Uncle Todd coiling his rope, his young horse so at ease that he’s not even holding onto the reins while he coils…


There’s something about this picture, the quietness of it, I suppose, that I love.

But then again, there’s something about this action picture that Angie took…


…that I also love.

I also like the personable stuff. Like this…


Conversations in the grass, under the shade tree.  Kids playing.  Babies wandering off. Lovely.

And this…


I like to not see the rest of what’s going on- just a little snapshot.  Scott & his horse… a few cows and a great big canyon.  What else is there to see? really?  Scott saved his wife’s dog’s life a couple of weeks ago.  It was dead and he gave it CPR for approximately 6-8 minutes and brought it back to life.  I think the full story should be in the newspaper.  It’s inspiring.   I mean, who can say they’ve done CPR on their wife’s dog?  Scott can.  That’s who.

OK. Another action shot…


The guy on the roan horse. I really really like him.  Here he is again…


And a little more action…


I think, the true value in the pictures, is always the people in them…


When we were all done on Saturday, the ranch owners, seen here…


and on the right, here…


were sitting at the picnic tables with us, eating leftover pretzels and drinking something cold, talking about the day.  And the conversation hit on how cow-people still get together to help eachother out. It takes their entire Saturday– many of them took three Saturdays to help us this year. They are paid with lunch. And they work really hard. There’s fun involved, but it always amazes me, especially living this far out, that they come.  And once again, I think we are some of the luckiest people on the planet to get to be a part…


…of this kind of life.

Black & White

posted by Chelsea

I haven’t taken quite as many branding pictures this year as I usually do.  But the ones I have taken, I’ve enjoyed editing.  And I happen to be on a black & white “kick”.  I’m going to share some pictures today- from two different brandings on the ranch.  We have one more big branding next weekend and every calf should have an iron on it!  For now, some black & white pics… and I’ll start right… with the girls…









A three-picture-sequence…


learning the ropes












posted by Chelsea

After much anticipation and waiting, I’m pleased to announce the arrival of Rose’s filly, Zinnia “Zinny”.


She arrived this morning about 12:30 a.m.

We knew Rose was close yesterday evening, so I went down to check on her at midnight.  It didn’t take long to see that labor was in full swing so I called Buck and he woke up the kids.  It was dark, but with the help of a spotlight everyone got to see Zinny make her entrance into a 60 degree drizzly May night.  This is Rose’s first foal so she was a little confused and surprised and baffled and tired. (Who’s to blame her?!) After Zinnia was born and Rose was all clued into what was going on, we sat in the grass and watched them get acquainted.

And then I was filled up with a lot of emotion.  For starters, Rose is as good a horse as we could ever ask for.  She was 4 when Buck and I got married- he had started her the summer before and was just beginning to really use her.  She has been a champion for us ever since- she’ll go anywhere and do anything.  She does it all with a competent and easy-to-get-along-with-attitude.  I’ve watched her hold a rope tight on big angry bulls, several wild cows, and she’s drug more calves to the fire than she cares to count.  We love her.  And basically her baby is like our baby.  Except it’ll stay with her and stuff.  Yay! And we won’t be doing anymore midnight checks.  Yay!

Back to my emotion– Second.  To have our kids there and for them to just get to revel in the moment of this new life was super special.


Ranch life carries with it some really neat times, but it also carries with it a lot of disappointment.  I can’t tell you how many calves the kids have helped doctor only to have them die.  The chickens they raised have suffered the wrath of our aggressive cow dogs.  We lost the other foal we were anxiously waiting for this spring.  Disappointments are part of the deal.  So when the good comes,


it’s extra sweet.  To sit out in the pasture as a family and watch this miracle- this newly born foal who has the God-given ability to jump up on it’s wobbly four legs and know right where to go for food


and to whinny and knicker at her mama…. is not only a good reason to be awake at one o’clock in the morning, it is just downright “livin’ the dream”.