Archive: March 2010

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Cabin Fever Days…

In case you felt even the slightest TWINGE of jealousy over how we spend our Saturdays,  the raw and painful truth is that our life isn’t always quite so romantic.  In fact, there’s usually a heavy dose of reality mixed into our lifestyle. 

I don’t wake up wearing a cute western outfit….

and although I know cattle women who manage to get their hair done everyday, I’m not one of them.  I believe that’s what God made hats for (He did make hats, didn’t He? Maybe that’s a tad too theological for a Wednesday morning).   

This Saturday, while everyone else was out enjoying the sunshine sorting pairs, I took care of a bunch of dirty work.   This included, but was not limited to..

*a trip to the local landfill (one of my favorite places! NOT)

*wrestling car seats from one vehicle to another so I could take the girls with me to the landfill (one of my favorite wrestling activities! NOT.)

*cleaning out a mouse poop infested front porch (I hereby vow to someday live in a house with NO mice!)

*cleaning up garbage from a “barn cat” who apparently likes the contents of our garbage cans more than he likes the poopy mice under our house, on our porch, or in the bale lot. 

*sorting through a growing pile of laundry that had been there so long I couldn’t remember what was clean and what was dirty. (I’m sure that’s NEVER happened to you!)

*washing, folding, sorting, and putting away the aforementioned laundry (a  favorite past-time! ummm… right again.. NOT.)

*changing 4 poopy  (I see a poopy theme here– is it my imagination?) diapers (Is 4 times a day really necessary?!)

After a full day of this reality, I decided I could no longer handle it and since I’m the mom around here, I declared the first ever mandatory family craft night. In addition to which I mandated we would all have fun.  Buck could hardly contain his excitement…

There’s something anticlimactic about mandating fun.  Word to the wise…even if you’re the mom and you have the power to mandate things, that doesn’t ALWAYS mean you should.


Chores at Grandma Janie’s

While Grandma Janie and Papa Doug took off for a Spring roadtrip last week, the girls and I took care of chores out at their place.  It was a fun outing for us, and seeing as we don’t have chickens of our own, Lucy thinks chicken chores are a wonderful thing. 

Doug and Janie have a really unique and charming place.  The bunk house is off on the right, the main house is obviously there in the middle, and the chicken coop is up on the left.  Mt. Joseph, in all its glory, is towering behind. 

They are basically retired from ranching, but still run some summer cows on their place, and manage to grow an amazing garden as well as raspberries that are WONDERFUL! 

Between Halley, the border collie,

the chicken coop,

 and Lucy (Katelyn spent most of her time in the backpack.), there was ample opportunity for picture taking. 

True to March weather, you can see that somedays we had gorgeous sunshine, other days rain, and somedays an erratic combination of the two. 

We managed to get through the week with only one renegade chicken.  She decided to “fly the coop”…

… when Lucy chased her right out of it. 

We were able to get her back in with her chummies with only a minor amount of trouble. 

You can see Halley’s orange bear was well loved and chewed on while she was home alone.  Needless to say, she was grateful for the company and we sure didn’t mind providing it!

Turns out chores weren’t really chores at all, but rather a labor of love….just ask Miss Lucy!


Holy Week: The Next Generation

When I give my girls a tubby in the evening I watch them splash, play, and I try my hardest to keep them from drinking the bath water. Often, while I sit on the green bath mat and watch them I sing the song “Give Us Clean Hands”…. one line in particular “Lord, let them be a generation that seeks, a generation that seeks Your face.”  My prayer for my girls and my prayer for the abundance of little people in our lives is the words to that song.  For each little cowkid in these pictures, (as well as those not pictured!) my prayer is that individually, and as a generation, they will know the reality of the Resurrection as they seek the face of God.


We bow our hearts

We bend our knees
O Spirit come make us humble

We turn our eyes
from evil things

O Lord, we cast down our idols.

So give them clean hands

and give them pure hearts

Let them not lift their souls to another

Oh God let them be a generation that seeks

Who seeks your face, Oh God of Jacob

We bow our hearts

We bend our knees

Oh Spirit come make us humble
We turn our eyes from evil things
Oh Lord we cast down our idols

So give them clean hands

and give them pure hearts

Let them not lift their souls to another

Oh God let them be a generation that seeks
Who seeks your face, Oh God of Jacob.


Sorting Pairs

The signs of spring are gradually emerging…

Green grass is starting to poke through…  

Here, March weather is tempermental- an unpredictable mix of rain, sleet, snow, and sunshine…. Somedays we fire up the woodstove and other days we throw the windows wide open. 

BUT one of the surest signs of spring in the country is PEOPLE!  Winter is long… it’s either endless days of feeding cows  and being trapped inside spending countless hours indoors with thrilling domestic chores.  We see people occassionally- family or friends who drop in for a visit and our friendly church family on Sundays.  A potluck after church is a real socializing treat.  I’ve been known to pick up a shift at the hospital just to get some adult interaction.  I’ve also been known to go grocery shopping so I can visit with the checker.   The phone is a nice supplement for lack of face to face contact, but there’s nothing like hanging out with real live people

In the spring, people- women, children, babies, and cowboys, come out of the woodwork (OK, out of the feed trucks, the tractors, and off the bale wagons) to get together and socialize  help each other work….

With spring comes the start of a new season of ranch life.  The first part of the season change includes “sorting pairs”.  Basically this means the cows with calves need to be separated from the cows who haven’t calved yet.  This gives all the cows more space and is necessary for basic organization.  It’s easier to see the cows who are having trouble calving or have a new calf who just isn’t thriving.  Cowboys and cowgirls gather to help with sorting….

The cows behind the group don’t have calves and everything in front has a new calf at their side (or close by).  After sorted, the cows and calves are sent “up on the hill” which is behind me and my camera. 

Check it out!  Cowboys like to socialize too.  Collin (left) and Tyson (right) are catching up on the latest Hollywood gossip.   

I’m not sure if I’ve informed you about how  much I enjoy planning other people’s lives for them.  

If I haven’t mentioned my hobby of planning out other people’s lives, you should know now I’ve helped make big plans for Mr. Tyson which include:  a nice single girl, the sale yard restaurant, and a lifetime of love and happiness in holy matrimony.   I’ll keep you updated on that. 

Here’s my Buckaroo, who I personally have a lifetime of love and happiness in store for.  He’s waiting for a cow and calf to “mother up” so he and his faithful mare, Rose, can push them off with the other pairs.

Pair sorting ushers in a season of warmer weather and people.  When pairs start being sorted off, it means branding season is right around the corner.  With branding comes people, hard work, horses to ride, calves to rope, and lots of good ol’ fashioned country cookin’.   It also means more green grass, buds becoming leaves, puddles, good earth to plant in, and lots more sunshiney days!  There is so much to look forward to!

Holy Week: Isaiah 58

Holy Week has begun and there’s so many things on my heart that I’d like to post about.  So many things have an impact on our lives.  We are obviously affected by much of what happens to us in life, but I believe we’re not suppossed to be “caught up” in them… we’re not to be preoccupied with our finances, our work, ourselves.  We’re to be “caught up” in and “living out” what Jesus called the greatest commandments “to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself”.   Isaiah 58 captures what it really means to be the enactment of these commands.  It captures Godly love in a way far bigger than I have  a tendency to make it.  It captures that love in a way that grips my soul and forces me to take the focus off of myself and show genuine compassion for other people. 

To start the week off, I want to share part of Isaiah 58 with you.  In Sunday School we wrapped up a Beth Moore series called “Loving Well”.  In the final segment, this section of scripture was highlighted and I couldn’t help but spend the last few days reflecting deeply on it.  I found some pictures from last summer to add some green inspiration.  I hope you’ll read it and walk away motivated and inspired by the God who is crazy about you… and your neighbor. 

Here’s where my heart’s been the last few weeks…

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter–
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go
before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say:
Here am I.
If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and
malicious talk,
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of
the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,

then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The LORD will guide you always;
He will satisfy your needs in a
sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.

You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;

you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
Isaiah 58:6-12


Kitchen Sink Salad

Between my Mom and me, there’s hardly a thing we won’t put in a salad.  That’s how this salad got its name; because it pretty much has everything BUT the kitchen sink in it.  If you’re looking for tablespoons and cups you won’t find it here at Cowgirl Clippings today.  This salad is more about inspiring your creativity, and tantalizing your tastebuds, than it is about giving you an exact and perfect recipe.  Welcome to my life! 

Start with some mixed greens and spinach… whatever combo you want…

If I add enough protein to this salad, I can get away with making it as a meal for my family,  including Buck.  For a cowboy, he’s pretty cooperative like that.  So… I do my best to bulk up our dinner salads. I like to BBQ or pan fry 4 large chicken breasts then chop it up.  It ends up being about 3 cups cubed.

I add some chopped red onion… this is about 1/4 cup.  You can add more or less depending on your affinity for onion. It adds a really nice touch of color. Wait! It’s going to get even better….

Now I add some golden raisins… 1/2 cup or so….

Then I set the raisins aside and drain a can of olives and I rinse a can of beans… I happened to use kidney beans today, but I have been known to use garbanzos and/or black beans as well…

Here’s a glimpse of what the Kitchen Sink Salad looks like so far…

Next I added some chopped avocado… (I used two medium avocados)…

Now I went all kinds of wild and added chopped tomato, cucumber, and hard boiled eggs.  (1/2 cucumber, 15 cherry maters, and 6 eggs chopped)

Now. Hang on to your hats.  The next ingredient is rarely found in your typical dinner salad.  Brown rice, my friends, is the perfect addition to a full meal deal.  I cooked 1 cup of dry rice and added the entire finished batch to this salad…

After I mixed all of the yummy goodness together, I went and found a pretty bowl. I’m a sucker for Polish Pottery, so I delightfully picked this beauty…

Here’s what the fabulous fare looks like…

Ah… a thing of beauty and flavor.  I like to serve it with my two favorite kinds of dressing… poppyseed for something sweet, Annie’s for something wholesome and hummus-y…

Unfortunately, neither of these companies are paying me to advertise for them today… I’m doing this nix PURELY out of the goodness of my own heart.  I can only imagine the benefits they’ll reap on my behalf.  Not only are they not paying me, but neither is Dave.  Dave makes “Killer Bread” and if I haven’t made my own, I like to serve his chewy, grainy, delicious bread with Kitchen Sink Salad….

I buy this bread at Costco and since we’re a Rattlesnake Grade away from such a place, I buy it in bulk because it freezes well. 

That, my friends, is Kitchen Sink Salad.  If there aren’t enough ingredients in there for you, let me tell you some other things you might enjoy…

*carrots (shredded is good)
*nuts: chopped almonds, walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, 
               (personally I like those flavored almond slices)
*peppers- red, green, yellow, orange
*goat or feta cheese (yum!!)
*trade out the chicken for shrimp, shredded beef, or even pork
               (you can even chop up lunch meat if you lack cooking time)

Salads are a bowl of imagination waiting to happen.  Now go create!


My Baby Is Back!

After a rough couple of weeks that included two ear infections, a mouth full of cold sores, and croup, I am happy to announce that my baby is back!  Katelyn Claire returned to her happy little self and it’s a really wonderful thing. 

We’re all delighted that she resumed eating all kinds of messy food once again…

She’s also back to playing peek-a-boo with her spoon….

and thinking it’s really funny….

She’s been able to take care of her babies again…

…complete with all the snuggles they deserve….

I am so crazy in love with this girl… her smiles, her giggles, her independence, and her graham cracker breath.

Welcome back Miss Kate!


The Oregonian

I had no idea I married such a newspaper star… Buck was  not only on the front page of our local paper this week, but the cowboy article came out in “The Oregonian” today.  After a short disclaimer, I’ll give you the link so you can check it out…

*The comments at the end of the article affirm to me the problem in this great state of Oregon.  We are very divided (much like our nation) in our political views.  I just felt the need to say that before you go on reading. 

*Jason, in the article, is the cowboy dad in the “Baby Blessings” post I wrote back in January. 

*OK! Here’s the link to “The Oregonian” article:

Have a great weekend.

An Easter Craft

I came across a  fun Easter-ish craft the other day and wanted to share the link with you.  I think the girls and I will try to make some of these this afternoon.  I’ll post some pictures of our finished products. 

Here’s the link…

Be forewarned… if you’re a crafty type, Amy Atlas’ blog will suck you right in with her creative and fun projects!

Have a great weekend.


Sick Kids: A Nurse-Mom Perspective

“Aspen has been running a fever for three days and of course now it’s Sunday…do I take her to urgent care?”
“McKenzie drinks tons of water and pees a lot, someone told me she might have diabetes…”
“Kylee has croup?”
“Sawyer has been coughing non-stop at night.  We aren’t getting any sleep…”
“Addie has little bumps all over her stomach…”

Being a nurse and being a mom, I get phone calls that sound just like these on a regular basis.  Every time a friend or family member calls to ask me a medical question about themselves or their child, I know I’m so totally in the right profession because I love it.  I thoroughly enjoy asking questions back and finding out just exactly what might be going on.  I love to give advice as well as share my own experiences to help my friends.  I realize there are all sorts of online tools to find out what to do for each and every ailment in life, but sometimes it’s nice to hear advice straight from a real live person.

So… I thought I’d start sharing with you some of my basic nurse-mom advice.   Remember I’m not your family doctor and everything I say is my opinion only and is not to override medical advice you receive or should seek from your doctor. 

Today we’ll talk about boosting your sick child’s immune system.  In the coming days we’ll discuss my three most common phone call topics… *COLDS*, *FEVERS*, AND *VOMITING*… so many upbeat things to discuss!  I wish I could cover it all in one post, but I think I’m the only person who would enjoy that.

First and foremost, when your child is sick (or is healthy and you don’t want them to get sick), the best thing you can do for them is try to help BOOST THEIR IMMUNE SYSTEM…here’s some helpful immune system boosting tips…

*Hydrate— push fluids and get them to drink.  Water is ideal, juice is fine (especially mixed with water!), and pedia-lyte type of drinks are good especially if sick child is vomiting and needs some electrolyte replacement.  If your ailing bambino is a baby and is exclusively breastfeeding, breastmilk is enough to keep them hydrated. 

*Milk– since I just discussed fluids, let’s briefly talk about milk.  If your child has a cold, particularly a snotty one, try to avoid milk products.  It increases mucus and will only prolong that whole snotty business.

*Antibiotics- (more on this later!!) If your child is on antibiotics or you anticipate that they might be, start feeding them yogurt (the exception to no dairy), preferably without added sugar.   Yogurt has pro-biotics and will help boost the good bacteria in their little gastrointestinal system.

*Vitamins- If you haven’t started your child on daily multi-vitamins, chat with your doc about when and what to use. 

*Sugar- Avoid or limit sugar intake.

*Food- If you’ve heard or follow the line, “feed a fever, starve a cold” (or visa versa, whatever that line is…), ignore it.  Don’t starve anyone or anything.  If your child is sick you want them to eat, particularly nutrient- dense foods that will help boost their immune system. 

*Fresh air- going outside and getting fresh air is a good thing.  Germs are cooped up in houses with people so get out and let some air into those lungs.  There are obvious exceptions to this rule, but most of the time, even if it’s cold outside, it’s totally appropriate to get bundled up and spend some time outside.

*Sleep- make time for extra rest.  You might need to slow your own schedule down and not haul your child all over the country while they’re sick.  (I’m talking to myself here!) Rest, rest, rest.

OK. Those are the best immune system boosters I know.  If you have something to add, please do.  And let’s all look forward to some educational discussion on colds, fevers, vomit, and other exciting sleep deprivers.


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