Archive: February 2010


Just a quick post to share my favorite devotional with you. 

My friend, Wendy, has a little scrapbook/book store/gift shop in town and she recommended this to me.  I ended up buying her completely out of them at Christmas time and giving them out like candy.  I think you should know about it. 

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence

Basically, its a devotional, but Sarah Young has written each day to you, as in God’s voice.  Its totally scriptural.  In fact, she gives the scripture at the bottom of every page that inspired that entry. 

There is a little intro about her at the beginning; she has had a pretty amazing life.  Sarah and her husband are missionaries, planting churches & living in Japan,  Australia and the U.S.  In the book, she uses parts of her prayer journals over the years to create each daily devotional.

Check out an entry…

“Seek my face, and you will not only find My Presence but also My Peace.  To receive My Peace, you must change your grasping, controlling stance to one of openness and trust.  The only thing you can grasp without damaging your soul is My hand.  Ask My Spirit within you to order your day and control your thoughts, for the mind controlled by the Spirit is Life and Peace.

You can have as much of Me and My Peace as you want, through thousands of correct choices each day.  The most persistent choice you face is whether you trust Me or to worry.  You will never run out of things to worry about, but you can choose to trust Me no matter what.  I am an ever-present help in trouble. Trust Me, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.” 

Romans 8:6; Psalm 46:1-2


Shower Curtain Conundrums

OK… I’m sure this post won’t relate to you, but maybe you know someone who has this problem… maybe someday you can pass it on to some desperate soul who needs  this kind of valuable information.

Normally when my shower curtain liner starts to stink up the bathroom gets a tiny speck of shower moldy, fungus-y, nastyness on it, I drive an hour and a half to the nearest Walmart and purchase a new liner.   Immediately. It’s just standard protocol around here.
Well, this past week, I noticed a teeny tiny bit of shower moldyness on the curtain liner.  So did Buck.  He’s very observant about this kind of thing and he happened to notice the orange colored fungi growing on the curtain.  I assure you- it was very very small.  Something only the most consciencious, meticulously clean cowboy would pay attention to.  I would have taken before and after pictures, but that would be embaressing it was so small I’m sure a picture wouldn’t do justice.
I didn’t have time or energy to drive to Wally world and I spent some quality time thinking about the shower curtain.  I thought about how every day its drenched with hot water from the shower.  I wondered why the silly thing couldn’t go in the washing machine?! 
I threw all caution to the wind… I didn’t call my mom. I didn’t ask anyone else’s opinion.  With utter abandon, I pulled the shower curtain liner right off the hangers and I stuffed that plastic nastyness into the washing machine.  I put the washer on “hot” just to ensure I got rid of that eensy weensy bit of moldy gick.  I poured in a scoop of Tide & let the agitator blades do their work.

I have delightful news for you- IT WORKED!  The liner came out good as new (without the gross new plastic smell!)  Who knew?   I will never buy another shower curtain liner as long I live.  Oh, and there was no need to dry it seeing as it would be getting wet shortly in the shower.  Plus that whole plastic in the dryer thing… I think I’d call somebody for a second opinion before I threw that much caution to the wind.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains–

where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

the Maker of heaven & earth.

He will not let your foot slip–

He who watches over you will not slumber;

Indeed, He who watches over Israel will not slumber or sleep.

The Lord watches over you–

The Lord is your shade at your right hand;

the sun will not harm you by day,

nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm–

He will watch over your life;

the Lord will watch over your coming & going

both now & forevermore.

Psalm 121

I Can’t Help It

The name of this category, “Come on Over” was a tough one.  Home life needed to be included.  Yet, whenever words like “Western Decor” came up, I could think of nothing but sarcasm. 

For example…I could teach you the art of Western Fence Decor. 

#1. Have husband get very dirty in some kind of animal blood.

#2. Have husband hang stinky Wranglers on fence.  Tell him not to linger in the yard in his underpants.   Cows are modest creatures and prefer not to see cowboys in their underpants.  (Since I can’t help it and I’m writing this post anyway.. I really wanted to write panties up there.  That’s what Lucy calls everyone’s underpants, even her daddy’s.  Read it again with the word panties in there while trying not to make a mental picture of a cowboy in panties, then pretend I didn’t write that.)

#3. Leave pants on fence for several weeks days.  Fine, if I’m really going to teach you the true art, weeks.

#4. Wait for the wind to blow.  Snow storms are nice too.  Rain isn’t a bad idea either. 

#5.  Keep waiting.  Glance at the wranglers when you pull in the driveway.  Wonder to self if they might smell any better.

#6.  Let the wind wrap them around fence posts indiscretionally.  Natural and rustic is the look we’re going for. 

#7.  Keep waiting.  Ignore the pants- even when you see them out your kitchen window. 
*ummm.. no you can’t do the same thing with the dirty dishes.  It doesn’t have the same affect.

#8.  Ignore the pants even when company comes to visit.  Hope the wind is blowing away from the house.  Let company enjoy the natural and rustic look of the pants on the fence.

#9.  When the pants are on their final leg (haha) and nearly ready to fall off the fence… and you feel like they’re worthy of further use… and you think they’ve been cleaned up enough by whatever  natural elements have hit them… and you can no longer smell them when you’re in the yard…and they don’t look too dirty from the front door, THEN go ahead and bring them inside.

#10.  Complete steps 1-9 with whichever bloody, poopy, muddy, dirty clothes you don’t feel like dealing with. 

Now, if you “Come on Over” at least you know what you might smell see. 

I promise you (cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye) that I did NOT stage this picture.  I followed steps 1-9 with utter accuracy.  You can’t even hardly tell these Wranglers were once unworthy of entering my home.. that my friends is how well Western Fence Decor works.  We’re both decorative as well as practical around here.

The Feed “Twuck-up”

Lucy loves to work with her dad.

She co-pilots the tractor…

making sure each bale is properly positioned.

She runs full speed from one place to another, not wasting any time.  She knows the cows MUST BE FED!

She stays focused… she doesn’t let even one cow go unaccounted for.

Rest assured she keeps her daddy plastered with lots of kisses.  He does work hard, after all.

…and he keeps “tweats in the feed “twuck-up”.  That helps, too.

Katelyn, on the other hand, doesn’t yet make a habit of going to work.   She isn’t quite as mobile as her elder sister and feeding cows mostly consists of sitting  in her seat, waiting and watching, waiting and watching.

Despite her initial enthusiasm….

eventually looking at cow after cow after cow after cow…

makes her want to…


I’m coming for you baby girl…. I’m coming…

Bringing the Cows Home

posted by Chelsea

A summary of how things work around here.  The cows spend the summer months in the “canyon”….

The whole process starts after the cows have their calves (in February & March).  In April they are turned out on the summer range with their calves.  The summer range consists of about one hundred thousand acres- a mix between deeded land and forest service allotments.  The cows make a loop through several different rangelands over the course of about 8 months.  Their calves are weaned and brought home in October-ish and in December they’re gathered into the bottom of the drainage shown in the picture above, known as Big Sheep.  (Lucy still thinks we’re going to see sheep when we take her down there..for the record there are no sheep, just cows!)

In December Buck and Uncle Todd gather the cows from all the drainages, and nooks and crannies of the canyons.  This takes a few weeks.  After the cows are gathered, the process of trailing them home begins. The cows walk about 30 miles in 3 days.  About half of the walk is on the main road and the other half  is off-roading through rangeland.  Many of the cows have made the trek for several years now and they know right where they’re headed.     

I always feel compassion for those cows on the trail home.  They’re due to have calves in February, so most are within a month of their “due date”.  They’ve been walking in the canyons all summer and the trail home is relatively easy, but nonetheless, they have to walk and walk and walk and they’re pregnant.  Thus, mycompassion!

This year, my dad, Marc, came to help trail the cows home.  My mom, Carole, who didn’t plan on riding, even jumped on and rode some, too.  They spent a couple days riding and enjoying what turned out to be beautiful weather.  

Doesn’t my dad look like he’s enjoying himself?

The cattle drive crew consisted of Buck, Uncle Todd, Aunt Angie, Cousin Becky and Grandma Janie who likes to walk along behind & bring up the tail end of the herd.  

Here’s Dad and Angie topping out where the Wallowa Mountains are finally in sight.  Credits to Becky for her photography here.  I was in a warm car drinking vanilla chai and chatting with my mom when this picture was taken.

FYI: When I am the one taking pictures, its all in an effort to feel useful.  My camera gives me a sense of purpose when I’m out  amongst the crew these days.  Without a camera I do a lot of standing around, watching children, and watching people work.  I did get to ride a little on the cattle drive this year, thanks to Mom & Buck for making my dreams come true!  Everyone humored me and acted like I was really helpful while I walked my horse behind a group of already-moving cows.  I was happy to ride even though deep down we all knew I really wasn’t that useful.

Back to the cows…. on the second day, the cows make it completely out of the canyon where they can see the valley and the mountains. 

Do you think they notice the mountains?  They must be happy to get out of the canyon and into the valley.  The cows spend the second night just beyond the fields in this picture, at Buck’s Grandparent’s house.  They enjoy some rest, hay, and “cool, clear, water” fresh out of Prairie Creek.  The cows mosie home on the third day where plenty more hay and rest awaits them.   

The cattle drive happened in the middle of January this year.   Dates fluctuate depending on how the feed in the canyons holds up.   The cows are always out by about January 20th. This gives the cows some prep time before they start calving.  Now that everyone is home for the winter,  the cows will spend their time calving out, 

being fed,

enjoying the mountain view,

….and sticking their tongues out at us.