Archive: April 2010

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How do YOU spell TROUBLE?

So… you remember Mr. Jimmy, right?   Well, Jimmy is facing a number of  major problems.  In turn, we his faithful owners, inherited those problems. 

The poor guy….. Jimmy broke his leg.  Technically, one of the pick-ups broke his leg, but it’s broken nonetheless.  Buck brought Jimmy up to the house last night following the accident.  It was after business hours (of course, isn’t that when it always happens?) so I needed to call the vet.  I want you to know here and now that I really hate seeing animals in pain.  It’s one of the worst things.  I can honestly tell you it takes second place only to seeing our kids in pain. I just don’t. like. it.  

Now for the “number of problems” part.  Jimmy had to have surgery today, which included a pin in his right hind leg.  Our first concern, of course, is that Jimmy pulls out of this and is as good as new and will be as athletic as ever.  Our second concern is that he is young and hyperactive! Listen carefully: Doctors orders are to have Jimmy confined in a clean place and we are suppossed to “keep him quiet” for 2-3 months!!  This is like impossibility of impossibilites.  Border collies aren’t easy to keep “quiet”…. they’re little worker bees and when they’re not busy working,  they are TROUBLE, nothin’ but TROUBLE.  He might lie around for a few hours while he comes out of anesthesia, but then, can we have a plethora of  tranquilizers? please?! 

Just writing this to you is causing me severe stress.  I’m actually cringing as I type.  It’s not going to be good. Let’s just say, my friends,  prepare yourselves. You’re going to be getting to know Jimmy very well over the next 2-3 months because I plan on sharing this entire broken leg calamity with you.  I don’t know any other way to cope with this mishap…. any help out there? anybody?


QUINOA… it’s all the rage.  Have you heard about it? made it? tasted it? loved it? hated it? 

In case you’re unfamiliar, here’s a side dish that’s quickly becoming a favorite of mine! 

*First of all, it’s pronounced KEEN-WA. 

*The indigenous people of Bolivia have been cultivating “the rice of the Incas” for over 5000 years. Today it is more widely available since financial support has been provided for the growing, harvesting and export of this amazing food. It is very much the golden grain of the Andes and is a superb alternative to rice or pasta.

*It’s a grain that cooks like and has the consistency of rice. 

*It’s a complete protein (meaning all 9 amino acids exist within it, which to my knowledge, is characteristic of this grain only). 

*There are 6 grams of fiber in 1/4 cup of dry Quinoa!  It puffs up considerably during cooking, so we’re talking a cup or so for 6 grams of fiber!

*Quinoa doesn’t take long to cook; the kind I’ve been using takes about 20 minutes total.  It’s lighter and fluffier than rice and is especially tasty when cooked in chicken stock. 

If you haven’t discovered quinoa yet, give it a try.  And if it’s already on your dinner menu and you have a delicious recipe to share, please do!

divertirse con buena vida   (as the Incas would say, enjoy good health!)


Robyn’s Reflections: Promise From God

From Robyn’s rainy spring to yours…

Ever since I can remember, I couldn’t wait to see the rainbow after it rained.  Finally, I asked my Mom,  “Why is there a rainbow?”  She replied, “God put it there, to remind us that there will never be another flood that destroys the whole world.”

I was amazed that God put such a beautiful sight in the sky.  His promise is as true today as it was many, many years ago.  To me, it shows how faithful and constant the Lord’s love is for us. 

And God said, “This is the token of the covenant which I make between Me and you and every living creature that is with you for perpetual generations:

I do set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between Me and the earth.

And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

And I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.”

Genesis 9:12-15

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A Woman’s World

I had so much fun telling you about my planner yesterday that I can hardly wait to show you another fun thing in my life.  I promise to be a little less in-depth this time around.

I get “more for my money” once a week when I purchase “Women’s World” for $1.79.  It’s a magazine sort of publication that I’m sure you’ve seen on the grocery store newstands.  I don’t buy it every week, but I often do.  The cover is everything a woman could want- a weight loss story and some kind of great dessert…

Totally contradictory and totally what I like! Here are the sections I particularly like to read…

The weight loss story is always fun.  They portray some example person who lost weight and give sample meals of how they did it…

I like to look at the sample meals because it gives me ideas…

I’ve never followed their menu per se, but I’ve often used it to inspire creativity in my kitchen. 

As I said before, in addition to the weight loss story, I also like the fun dessert section… mmm…

I plan on making these brownies for a ladies Bible study and lunch at my house this afternoon.  We’re having salad…. and brownies.  Another fun contradiction in the life of women.

There is always a “lighten up” version of a popular dessert (in case you want to be less of a contradiction)….

And right below the “Lighten-Up” recipe, there is a quick dinner idea and everything you need to do it.  Unfortunately, these Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers wouldn’t go over well at our house, but they’re a fun idea if “Beef: It’s what’s for dinner!” isn’t your family motto.

I enjoy more than these sections because the publication is full of fun stuff, but these are my highlights, even if it’s only while I wait in the grocery store checkout.  I highly recommend this little treat.


Cowboy Jargon

I’d like to enlighten you this morning with one of my favorite cowboy trivia questions.  My only reservation about sharing it with you now is that it may be too soon.  I mean, we’re really just getting going here  at Cowgirl Clippings and if I tell you this now, I might regret not having my ace in the hole  later.   But I know better.  There are so many Cowgirl Voices out there that need to be heard,  I need not worry myself about such trivialities.  If I run out of material (ha!), THESE GALS  have promised to fill in the gaps.

Enough said.  Now for the background.  I can’t hardly say anything without telling you a story behind what I have to say.  Like I’ve said before, if I didn’t have anything to talk about, I guess I wouldn’t be writing here each and every day.   The story goes like this….

Sometimes in the winter months when feeding cows and bummer calves and other chores are all getting a bit tedious, Buck likes to come inside in the evening and throw in a DVD.  Mostly these are borrowed and passed around by his buddies, they’re cowboy DVDs.  It’s fun for him (and me, too, most of the time) to see how other ranches operate on a day to day basis. It’s always delightful to see summer, even if it’s only on video, and it’s good to remember the part of this western lifestyle that’s a little more fun than firing up a cold tractor and flaking hay every day.   It was on one of those DVDs that I learned the origin of my most favorite cowboy term… BUCKAROO

I’m obviously partial to this term because of my Buckaroo

Buck sounds like a nickname in and of itself, but in my Buck’s case it’s the real deal.  As far as a nickname goes, he is never to be called Buckster or Bucky or Buckley.  His nickname is Buckaroo.   So… drum roll please,  the trivia question…  where does the term “buckaroo” come from?!?!?!

The Spanish term for cowboy is “Vaquero”.   Many long years ago when Spanish Vaqueros came to the United States and white boys  couldn’t speak Spanish, they heard their term Vaquero and pronouced it with a B rather than a V.  Baquero, (say it outloud, please) which eventually morphed (as we American’s are prone to do) into BUCKAROO.

I’m so glad I could enlighten you today.  The name of the series is: “The Vaquero Series”.  There are six DVDs total and they can be purchased from: .  They are fun to watch and educational as well.  Go ahead… pick up a copy for next winter! ;-)

Verse of the Week

“Verse of the Week” technically comes out on Tuesday.  In case you were waiting in eager anticipation yesterday, I apologize. 

This week’s verse is inspired by Beth Moore’s book, Praying God’s Word.  We’re going through it in Sunday School at our little Baptist church.  I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you how much I adore my Sunday School class.  It’s a “women’s group” and I love each and every one of the women in our group.   To put it mildly, Sunday School is a welcome retreat in my life.  I look forward to it every week and I’m always sad when it’s over.  I love it. Love it.  Love it.  I don’t know any other way to tell you.

That being said, this verse stood out to me this week.  Our chapter was on believing God.  Not believing in God, but believing Him.  Here goes:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”  James 1:5-6


Quick and Easy Granola

Straight from Laci’s kitchen to yours…

note from Chelsea: this post had what I’m sure were delightful pictures, but for some weird technological reason they refused to show up.  When Laci has a break from teaching, I’m sure it’ll be her top priority to get over and get those pictures put in.  In the meantime, practice visualization.

I HATE buying cereal! I HATE going down the cereal aisle and seeing $4 boxes that wouldn’t feed one person for two days (another note from Chelsea: sorry, I can’t help myself.  Have you seen Laci’s husband?  I believe the man can eat.  I promise not to interject anymore.); much less an entire week! I also HATE that, because my family consumes between one and a half and two boxes of cereal a week,  I often find myself in said aisle of the grocery store. (“What’s for dinner, honey?” asks my hungry spouse. “Um, on your own tonight,” kindly replied by yours truly–which loosly translated equates to “cereal or peanut butter.” Oh, and lest wet forget the midnight snack and the after-school snack–because one never grows too old for those.)

That said, I’ve lately been trying to be a bit healthier with my eating as well as working hard not to break the grocery budget. Please note this is not easy when I continually discover myself once again planted in front of hundreds of colorful and cleverly designed boxes asking myself the age-old question: “Cheerios or Honey Nut Toasty O’s?”

One day, while pondering this quandry, I remembered that my Mom used to make granola once in a while. “Eureka!” I thought to myself. I have honey and oatmeal in the pantry and proceded to Google a granola recipe that wouldn’t take hours and didn’t require much  fuss. I found the following at and made a couple of adjustments of my own.

2 cups Old-fashioned Oats (I’ve used quick oats before, too, and they work just fine!)
½ cup Wheat Germ  (I don’t use this.)
2 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
¼ tsp Salt
¼ cup Maple Syrup (I substitute honey.)
3 Tbsp flavorless cooking oil, such as Vegetable or Canola
1 Tbsp Water
1 cup Extra Ingredients (see complete list below – depends what I have on hand)
Flavoring (see below)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position, and heat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Coat a 9-by-13-inch metal pan with cooking spray, then set aside. (I just cover a cookie sheet with foil and spray it so I don’t have to scrub later. It’s also really easy to get the granola off the foil because you just peel it back and off it comes! Due to the low elevation I set my oven around 240 degrees.)

2. Mix oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, salt and extra ingredients–except dried fruit–in a bowl. Bring syrup, oil, water and any flavoring indicated below to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat. Drizzle over oat mixture, and stir to combine.


3. Pour mixture onto prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Stir in dried fruit and continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool. (Granola can be stored in an airtight tin for up to two weeks.) Makes one quart.

(I bake mine for 20 minutes total and store it in a gallon-size ziplock bag.)

You can double the recipe, but bake the granola in two pans. You also may need to increase cooking time. The key is to bake the granola until it is an impressive golden brown.

 Extra Ingredients: coconut, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, vanilla, raisins, dried fruit: cranberries, strawberries, cherries, etc….whatever your heart desires!!

 You can see the adjustments I made to this recipe above. I eliminated the wheat germ as I wanted to use only what I had in my cupboards–and substituted honey for the maple syrup. I’ve tried both ways but the maple syrup ended up tasting funny to me. I have since made several batches each week and find this recipe a great substitute for the mountains of cereal we used to consume. It’s healthier and really quite a bit more economical as one tub of oatmeal is around $3 and can make roughly 4-5 batches of granola that lasts us at least two weeks! I use it every morning in my yogurt, and we love taking it on road trips for snacks. Happy crunching!

Let me know what you use and how it turns out!



My Gooseberry Patch Planner

Cowgirl Clippings has been up and running for nearly two months now and I have yet to introduce you to my planner.  It’s just not right or healthy.  I mean, if we’re going to have any kind of real and lasting relationship, you should know about my planner.  It plays a significant role in my life and allows me to function.   It’s Gooseberry Patch, which quite frankly is the best I’ve found for its cuteness as well as its functionality.

First, I’m going to show you my 2009 planner, 2010 is exactly the same (different picture on the cover), but in a little better shape.  I’m showing you 2009 for the sole reason that I want you to see, first hand, how well this piece of art held up last year….

After being used on a daily basis, I’d say this is a sight to be seen.  Number one, it’s a strong and sturdy planner. 

Let’s talk about the logistics of the book.  It has a full calender for each month.  Here’s a month we’ve yet to live through… (that sounds a little dramatic)….

Look!  Buck’s turning 30! 

I cannot show you a completed month, as that would take our friendship to places I’m not ready to take it.  I keep track of my weight and such and we’re just not going there ever this early in our friendship.  I do want to show you some days, though, because you need to know how the rules work in my planner…. 

Here’s a couple of days from last year…

Looks like on the 20th I had a staff meeting and a payroll meeting and was on OB call at the hospital that night.  BUT!! What you didn’t know and only I can tell from looking is that I DID NOT attend the staff meeting nor the payroll meeting.  I did manage to do my OB call and was on call, did not go in, and was paid for 12 hours, most of which, I probably slept.  How did I know that? Do I remember? No! That’s craziness.  A squiggly line means it didn’t happen and a single solid line means it did.  Simple as that.  Now, under OB call. I put 12 hours OC (on call) .  If I had gone in, I would have written “12 hours work”.  Again, simple as pie, folks, simple as pie.

Let’s look beyond the 20th and explore this concept further….

OK. Did I or did I not go to Lewiston on the 27th?  Did I or did I not miss Bible Study two weeks in a row?  Am I or am I not a heathen?  Trick question- that information is not obtainable by looking at my planner!!  I do know that  I picked up CDs, chai, and a frame while I was in Lewiston.  Please look up and note the solid line through Lewiston: CDs, chai, frame.  Right now. Thanks, I appreciate only having to ask once.

Another rule about my planner is the type of ink allowed within its pages.  Unless in a dire emergency, when a Sharpie is unavailable, and something must be planned without one, only Sharpie extra fine points are allowed in the planner.   Pretty colors are obviously preferable. 

Beyond the monthly calenders, within the planner is a spot for each day….

This can be used for any number of things, I like to use it for a little journal.  It’s a fairly small space and I think it’s fun to make some kind of note about the day.  It’s especially fun to go back and look at entries from years past.  Let,s take a look at a couple of days last year, one very important event in the life of our family…

February 22nd…

February 23rd…

It’s simple, but is a nice little journal entry and fun to look back at.  In fact, it kind of made me teary when I read it.  I mean, the Kate is beautiful part, not the HUGE part.   

The final thing I’d like to show you, without showing you, is that the back has a spot for phone numbers as well as important dates to remember.  Here’s a little picture to prove it to you….

Now it’s time for a shock to the world (or anyone who might still be reading!).  I do not have a cell phone.  So… this number section is important for me.  Unlike those of you who have everyone’s numbers plugged into your phones, I have them plugged in my planner or my brain.  My planner is mostly back-up because I actually know most of the phone numbers in my life.  Can you cell phone users say as much?  No. You. Can’t.

Now, if you’ve made it this far, I think you deserve an ever-so-brief psychoanalysis on the person who owns the planner you’ve just looked through.  At first glance, one might assume that I am some kind of crazy, organized, control freak.  I’m happy to tell you, that simply is NOT the case, I can tell you first hand. (That’s the liberty, my friends, that one can take when doing one’s own psychoanalysis). 

I think that because my life seems chaotic and often “out of control” (that being MY control), I use my planner as a place to have total control.  Not the plans per se, but the rules within the planner.   Children aren’t allowed to play with my planner and Buck is not allowed to write in it.  (Not that he’s ever wanted to, but if he did, he would not be allowed).   I like to look ahead, knowing what to look forward to, what to dread, and what still needs planning.  I like to just stare at the month and soak it in.  I like to sit down, stare at 30 something days, and completely zone out.  That’s an exhaustion issue, I think, not really a control thing. 

I don’t know how the rest of the world functions without a planner.   What do you do?  Do you plan? Do you function? Do you breathe oxygen?  I’d like to know.


P.S. Yes. I often write things I’ve already done and cross them off….. with a single solid line, of course.  Are there any other items in my life you’d like to hear about?  I promise a thorough and complete explanation.

All I Ask

Buck needed to gather some pairs this weekend and get them started up toward a different pasture.  We found a babysitter- Buck’s Aunt Ramona, a ranch wife herself, and we headed down to the canyon to spend a few hours riding and moving some cows.  I don’t get to ride too awful much these days and so, while I was riding, I thought through my wants and desires as a young mom living this wild and wooley western life.  I decided my list is pretty simple and these things, my friends, are all that I ask…

*May there be a few days in the year when I not only want, but also kinda, sorta NEED, to wear chinks…

(this picture is neither me nor my chinks, but I wanted a visual for you.)

*May I ride often enough that, at some point, my thighs and rear end suffer no ill effects the next day……sorry, no visual available ;-)

*May the pretty new saddle Buck surprised me with at Christmas someday NEED something replaced….

*May I have not only the affection, but also the respect of at least one of our dogs.  If I should be so bold… can it be the one on the right…

please?  can I?

*May I pick up a rope and put it to use often enough that our girls know they, too, can someday enter a branding pen full of cowboys and put their ropes to use as well…

(and may my husband pick up a camera often enough that I don’t have to post a 6 year old picture! :-)

*While I’m asking, may I someday have a braid like this…

*Oh, and about those chinks…. when I wear a pair of Buck’s, could they always fit me a little looser than they fit him? Pretty. Please.


Not Your Average Bisquick Pancakes

I hesitated to put Bisquick in the title of this post.  I hope it doesn’t go against the whole “country cookin’ image you have in your mind.  If it does, ummm… I don’t know what to tell you.  I live in the country, I cook, I use Bisquick and I like it.  Buck and I both come from families who don’t use Bisquick.  My side uses buttermilk and Buck’s side is full of sourdough hotcake fanatics.  Both of which are quite delicious.  Nonetheles, I like Bisquick and I’m not afraid to tell you how I use it to make thin, protein rich, yummy pancakes.

For starters, please ignore the directions on the box.  Not only do we like THIN pancakes- crepe like pancakes, but we also like our pancakes to be full of extra protein by adding lots of extra eggs.  Ella-Mae is responsible for our obsession with these pancakes.   She not only taught me about cardiac heart rhythms in nursing school, but she’s taught me about planting flower pots, and making delicious pancakes, amongst other things!   I lucked out with a lot more than just a professor, didn’t I? 

OK.  Listen up. 

You need:
1 cup Bisquick
3/4 cup milk
6 eggs (egg-celent way to boost the protein value, especially for anti-egg eating children!)

Find a little helper, preferably still in their jammies, to mix up all the ingredients…

Heat up your skillet.  Melt butter on skillet.  Pour out 1/4 cup of batter onto skillet….

Batter will be thin.  Wait for batter to bubble. Flip.  Let cook for another 2 minutes or so, until they’re golden brown….

Remove from skillet.  If you can find a pwetty pink pwincess pwate, pile pancakes on top of the princesses….

Top with butter.  Top with Maple Syrup.  Make silly faces and eat. 

See ya ’round!!

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