Archive: May 2010

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Blogs You Should Read


Recently I’ve had a few people ask me what blogs I read.  To start, I’ll be honest in telling you that the majority of my “computer time” is spent right here at Cowgirl Clippings.  By the time I get posts ready and posted, I’m off taking care of my girls and such.  BUT when I have free time, I’ll admit that one of my favorite things to do is browse around the blog world, and I do have a few blogs I check regularly.  I’m going to tell you 2 of them today.  I only want to tell you a couple so that you might actually give ’em a look.  If I list all 8-10 of them at once, well, you might feel completely overwhelmed by the choices, and not look at them all.  Heaven forbid!  

So…these are a couple of off the beaten path, little nooks of fun, that I’ve found.  I don’t know either of the authors personally, although I’m positive if we were to meet face to face I would love them both.   I really enjoy what they write and have found some fascination in reading about both of their lives.

Here goes- two of my favorite blogs and the reason I like to read each of them:

1. Thy Hand Hath Provided– Basically I just want to be friends with this woman.  She’s  a cook, gardener, canner, preserver, and she explains how she does all of it on her blog.  She has children and throws in some stories about family life and her faith life, too.  I appreciate her solid and grounded outlook.  She has opinions about things , but has a really non-offensive way of sharing them.  Or maybe I just agree with her and therefore am not offended.  Tough telling.  Go! Visit her site! Read the quotes on the side of her page!  You’ll like it so much you’ll never come back!  Wait… don’t go! 

2. One Happy Mama– my friend Alicia from college, went to Tanzania, Africa a few years ago to teach school to some missionary kids there.  One Happy Mama is mom to one of the sets of children, Becky.  Alicia has talked about her so much and loves her so much that I kind of feel like I know Becky and love her, too.  It’s fun to read how crazy different life is over there and yet at the same time, how it’s also so very much the same as ours.  Internet service isn’t fantastic in Tanzania so she doesn’t post very often, but when she does, it’s really fun.

I’ll keep doing this once in awhile because part of the fun of the blogging world  is getting to meet people you never would otherwise.  There are so many neat and interesting people out there to meet.  I’d love to know some of your favorite blogs so I can “meet” some of the interesting people you know! 

–Chelsea


A Quick Yogurt Update


Hey! In case you’re still thinking about homemade yogurt, or even if you’re not, you need to see what I just found.   I stumbled across THIS GALS BLOG and she makes yogurt in…. a crock pot!  It’s the second post down from the top and she tells you exactly how to do it.  It looks pretty simple.   

Why don’t you go give it a try and tell me how it works?!  A little Memorial Day weekend assignment from me to you. 

Have a great weekend. 

–Chelsea


The Spring Sky


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I can’t get over the sky lately.  The clouds have been so amazing!  Every time I go outside I look up and feel a desperate need to get my camera and capture the beauty and when I do the pictures never quite do justice.  I’m going to share a small handful of them with you today anyway and I wonder if the sky has been as stunning where you live.

I used this verse a few weeks ago as Verse Of The Week, but I can’t help using it again because God is indeed the Master Artist!

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“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of His hands. 

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Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.” 

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Psalm 19:1


Breakfast At Emily’s: Soaked Granola


Straight from Emily’s kitchen to yours…

My husband and I try to soak most of the grains and legumes that our family eats.  I picked up a copy of “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon almost  6 years ago and was fascinated by what I read. Since that day we have drastically changed the way we eat. I used to cook from boxes, cans, and mixes, but no more. When the cereal boxes left, so did granola as I have yet to find a commercial granola that is soaked first.  Soaking grains helps your body correctly digest and assimilate the nutrients in them. If you would like to find out more you can check out the Weston A. Price Foundation.

After taking on the new lifestyle, every once in a while I  wondered about “soaked granola”; was there such a thing? How would I go about making it?

Finally, I remembered to go searching online and found quite a few recipes.  The one I’m sharing with you today is a compilation of a few of them.  I now have this habit of searching recipes online and then combining a few of them based on the ingredients I have or the time I want to spend. This has led to a few very “interesting” dishes and quite a few really yummy dishes; none of which I am ever able to re-create due to the fact that I don’t write down the process or the amounts.

But you are in luck!  Because I am writing to you once a week and sharing some of my favorite breakfast recipes I have become more purposeful in my breakfast creations. I have also learned how to cook with a camera in my right hand and my wooden spoon or spatula in my left, which is quite a feat considering I’m right handed.

This granola has been a huge hit with my family. We have gone through 16 cups of granola in less than two weeks! There’s a lot to be said for quick breakfasts and my husband has enjoyed not making oatmeal or eggs quite as often. Of course because our favorite granola pairing is yogurt it  means we have also gone through 2 gallons of Nancy’s Plain Whole Milk Yogurt!

Side note: we were at my in-laws last weekend and my kids were very excited to eat “Grammy’s yogurt” but one of them didn’t finish their’s so I picked it up and was going to finish is off (I hate to be wasteful). I about fell over; I couldn’t believe how sugary the flavored yogurt was! We sweeten ours a little with maple syrup and vanilla but oh my, nothing like this. No wonder my children are always asking for yogurt at Grammy’s house!

Okay, back to why you are here:

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Soaked Granola
8 cups rolled oats
¾ cup coconut oil
½ cup butter
1 ½ cups whole yogurt
2 cups water
½ cup raw honey
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla

Optional Additions:
Sunflower seeds
Dried shredded coconut
Raisins
Dried cranberries
Nuts
Minced dried figs

Directions:
Melt coconut oil and butter together. Add yogurt and water.  Pour over oats in a large bowl and mix together. Cover with a dish towel and a plate and allow to soak for 24-48 hours.

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When it’s finished soaking, turn the oven on to 150 – 200 degrees. My oven has a warm setting that is about 150 degrees, so that’s what I use.

Put honey, maple syrup, sea salt, cinnamon, and vanilla in a glass measuring cup… 

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Then place the glass measuring cup in a small pan of water on the stove. Heat up gently, stirring the mixture until it is thin enough to pour easily…

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Combine this mixture with the oats, mixing well.

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Spread the mixture out over two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

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Bake/dry in the oven for 3-6 hours or until it is as dry as you want it. I really like very crunchy granola so I let mine bake for a full 6 hours. If you want a softer granola go for the lesser amount of time.

Check on the granola 3 or 4 times during the process and stir it around a little or break up the bigger chunks, this helps speed up the drying  a little.

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Once it is dry to your liking mix in any additions you want. The first batch I made I used dried cranberries and crushed crispy almonds, the second I opted for raisins and almonds.

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Store in an airtight container.

Serve with yogurt or milk… or eat it plain like my husband does and be prepared to make more soon.

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Next week I hope you come by for one of my favorite recipes passed down from my Grandma, Swedish Pancakes.

–Emily


This Age


There are definately pros and cons to every age and stage that my girls go through.  Today, because I’m up early and I know these pictures will delight their grandparents, I want to tell you some of my very favorite things about my girls at their respective ages:

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(3 years on the left and 15 months on the right)

Some things are age related, other things are personality related. Let’s start with this one:

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*She’s so willing and up for anything, just going outside is reason to be excited.
*She’s starting to understand stuff: “Kate, go get your blankie!” She does! “Kate, give mama kisses!” And she does, just like this…

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*She tries her best to keep up.
*She sleeps through the night, even in a pack-n-play set up in a tent…

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*Her face tells you what she thinks of something…

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….and if the nose scrunch doesn’t work, she has a voice and she knows how to use it! 
*She’s curious and spends time really exploring whatever she’s working on, whether it be a book or a dandelion..

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*She’s sweet…

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*She has to be wrestled down to get the food off of her face and even then she manages to keep a fair chunk of it still in place. 
*I can dress her in whatever I want- she has no opinion about the matter.
*She sings when we sing.
*She thinks life is just plain fun.

Now for this one:

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*She’s capable. Capable of changing her own clothes. Capable of turning the sink on and therefore getting her own drinks of water. Capable of opening the car door and getting in her seat. Capable of remembering things that I forget.  Capable of using the potty. Capable of blowing dandelion seed…

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*She’s a little sponge, learning something new every day and practicing, practicing, practicing.
*The words she knows and the words she understands haven’t all matched up yet.  Rather than say, “in the morning” she says, “after dark time”. 
*She says funny things, in all seriousness, like, “I’m a gonna…”  Yesterday she wanted to rope everything in the house (with her little play rope that she can’t actually throw) and came into the kitchen several times saying “Mom, I’m a gonna rope ya…”
*She sits up in the saddle with confidence…

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*She’s energetic and loves adventure… a weekend of camping will be talked about for several months…

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*When she needs to be, she’s very sweet with her little sister…

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*She’s observant and notices details- if I’m wearing a new shirt or throw on a sweatshirt of Buck’s, she wants to know why. She wants to know not only where Buck is working today, but what pickup he drove, who he’s with, and what horse(s) he brought, then she compares it to yesterday and notes the changes.
*She’s full of energy and enthusiasm.

I could go on and on, because like other  mom’s, I’m totally crazy about my girls.  And if I’m going to be honest here, sometimes it’s really easy to focus on the negative things when one of them is going through a hard phase.  So, for this morning, before there little eyes pop open for the day, it’s fun to note some of the really fun stuff about each of them.  Not to mention, it’s good to write it all down, lest, heaven forbid, I forget!

–Chelsea


Robyn’s Reflections: Calf In A Bucket


I’m afraid this might be one of those, “have to be there” stories.

Unfortunately,  I didn’t have my camera that day.  But I’m not sure I would have been able to get any pictures since we were laughing so hard we could barely breathe.  First, I have to ask if any of you have ever seen those toilet buckets?  You know, the ones that you take camping?  If you have any questions, check it out HERE at Cabelas.  I will call it (excuse me, but it IS how the story goes) a pooper bucket.

Here goes nothing….

It was the end of a long, hot day of fencing.  My husband, Travis, and I had to drive back to the top of the hill, to pick up our 4-wheeler.  We had to leave it behind that morning because you can only walk this fence. On the way, while driving through the neighbor’s summer pastures, there were a few pair of cattle watering in the creek near the road.  In this particular bunch of lazy cows was a calf (not just any calf, this was a BIG one), weighing about 400 lbs.  She was one of those white ones with the black nose and eyes.  This poor calf  had a bucket stuck on its neck.  The bottom was cut out of it, and all you could see was her little black nose sticking out.  She looked like a big dog wearing a cone.  This calf had severe tunnel vision!  She could only see directly in front of her.

We felt sorry for the calf, and worried that it would have trouble getting a drink. She had a long hot summer ahead, with this thing stuck on her.  By now we were laughing too hard to think.  But we had to do something.  So we came up with this master plan.  Trav would tail it down and I would get the bucket off.  Sounds simple…right? Try it while laughing as hard as you can.

Travis starts his sneak ………..wait a minute, she has tunnel vision, remember?  The other cows started to trot off.  The calf, not knowing that she was being stocked by two legged critters,  just lolly gagged behind, wondering why the others were running.  Trav grabs her tail, but she is too big to just pull over.  Remember we are laughing at the whole situation, which makes things twice as hard. So Travis dug in his heels,  hoping to slow her down.  I go in for the kill…right when I get there, Travis yells out, “It’s a pooper bucket!”  I’m thinking, what is a pooper bucket?  Knowing from experience not to ask silly questions in life or death predicaments,  I continue.  I’m thinking as a get there, I’m only gonna have one chance  to get this off.  ( If only we could stop laughing.)

I grab the end of the bucket and give a huge jerk.  The next thing I know, I was flat on my back in the middle of a big sage brush!  The bucket came off a little too easy.  I got myself gathered up and looked to see what had just happened. (Still laughing)  The dust cleared,  off over the hill, into the sunset went the calf, running for her life.  She could now see what was after her….but just one thing…the toilet seat was still around her neck! 

I learned a thing or two that day.  1. What a pooper bucket was and, 2. To grab the top of the bucket so it will all come off.  In case you are worried about what became of the poor beast,  the neighbors cut the toilet seat off when they gathered in the fall.  I would hate to be that calf; all the other calves probably made fun of her all summer long.  She will definitely have social issues the rest of her life and require some serious counseling.

I hope this gave you a good chuckle.  We  never have stopped giggling every time we thing of it.

–Robyn


The Tassajara Bread Book


Last week you learned about making sourdough bread from Emily and awhile back I told you about the no-knead bread that I think is really swell.  Today I’ve been making bread that requires kneading because sometimes I just love the process.  Now I feel a desperate knead  need to tell you about it.  I’m not going to show you any pictures or give you any ingredients because if you don’t already and you want to start making bread you knead need (sorry, I can’t help it) the book “The Tassajara Bread Book” by Edward Espe Brown.  

The Tassajara Bread Book [Book]

My Aunt Lorrie gave me this book when Buck and I got married and it taught me how to make bread.  It taught me the basics so that I could spread my wings and make bread however I want to! I  love spreading my wings- I love it when I’m not restricted and I can do whatever I want!  The Tassajara Bread Book gave me the tools to do just that.  If you knead need the tools, go get a copy of this book (you can get a used copy for <$10) and spread your wings and fly away.  Or something.

–Chelsea


NORTH…. to Alaska?!


So… a couple of months ago when my baby girl was fully weaned, I decided I needed to go on some kind of get-away trip.  One morning, I was chatting on the phone with my friend Becky…

(she’s the tall one in blue)

She lives approximately 1.5 hours away and while we were chatting I told her I was ready for a weekend adventure, and for the sake of the celebration, closure, season change at hand, a childless weekend adventure.  Becky is adventurous and I knew I could count on her for a fun time. 

I didn’t have anything specific in mind, but thought maybe we’d go to the city and see a movie or something- I’m adventurous like that.  Basically, I always have fun when I’m hanging out with her so I knew whatever we ended up doing would be great.

So… when we happened to get together not long after that conversation, Becky informed me that she had “put some thought” into our weekend adventure.  She thought way beyond what my little mind thought of.  While I was daydreaming about Boise or Portland, Becky thought we should go to ALASKA…. for the weekend.  Before I knew it she had it all planned out for us- thanks to some free air miles and Becky’s sister who lives there (and is willing to take in two adventure seeking moms), this summer Becky & I are going to SITKA, ALASKA for 5 days!   

Every time I think about going all I can think about is that song “North! To Alaska”.  Is it Ian Tyson?  I don’t know.  I just want to sing the only line I know: “North! To Alaska, go north the rush is on.”  And every time I think about Sitka all I can think about is Sandra Bullock in “The Proposal”.  And every time I think about Becky I think about how much fun we’ll have!  And every time I think about my girls I think Oh my goodness!  I’ve never been away from them! What am I thinking?!  And then I think about Buck and how utterly excited he is for me.  And then I quit thinking so dang much and I just look forward to my first ever Alaskan adventure!

Alright, I take it back.  I do have one final thought:  If you don’t have a Becky in your life, I suggest you find one.

–Chelsea


Marty Campbell Music WINNERS!


So… I’m a little late in announcing the winners for the music giveaway.  Here is my list of excuses:

1. I worked THREE 12 hour shifts at the hospital last week. 
2. When I said I’d announce the winners on Friday after 0701, what I meant was sometime after Friday after 0701. 
3.  I was tired.
4. It was raining outside.

I promise to do better in the future.  Now with that out of the way, I can tell you who won! 

WINNERS ARE: LUCY & TAMARAH

The other night Buck and I watched a country music program on TV- it was to honor the country duo, Brooks & Dunn, who have decided to go their seperate ways.  Several country artists played some of the most popular Brooks & Dunn songs- “Boot, Scoot & Boogie”, “Red Dirt Road”, “Believe”, etc etc.  Brooks & Dunn have some of the most classic country songs of all time and it was fun to hear the other artists sing their music. 

Go ahead and call me a country bumbkin, but while I was enjoying the show, I just kept thinking about how much I love good country music.  There are certain country songs that give me the feeling that all is good and right and well in the world.  I like that.

Beyond the Brooks & Dunn style, country music has a whole nother (is nother a word?) level that I love.  Artists like Ian Tyson, Wylie & The Wild West and Chris LeDeux.  Their songs tell a story- they take lyrics far beyond what typical country singers do and they weave you into the stories behind the lives of cowboys and cowgirls.  Marty Campbell is one of those kind of singers– one who takes you on a journey while he sings. 

I first came across Marty at Rodeo Bible Camp when I was still a camper.  He was the speaker and musician for camp and I came home with his first CD called “Shoot For The Moon”.  He signed the cover and over 10 years later, I still have his words of wisdom tucked away in my CD case: “Walk the good walk and always remember to keep the dip in your loop”.  Sound advice right there.  Sound advice.  Then a few weeks ago, I told you about some “Newlyweds” we know and how cute they acted at a branding– my friend Ann commented about Marty having a song about couples at brandings.  Thanks to Ann mentioning his name, I decided it was high time I get some new Marty Campbell music for my CD player.  Well… since I was getting a CD for me, I thought I’d go ahead and get a couple for you, too!  So… this week in honor of good country music and how it makes you feel like all is good and right and well in the world, I’m giving away 2 (signed!) copies of Marty Campbell’s CD “Some Broncs Are Hard To Tame”. 

Rules of engagement:

1. Leave one comment right here attached to this here post.  In your comment I’d like you to tell me who your favorite country singer is.  And, if you despise country music, well, this probably isn’t the right giveaway for you.  Too bad.  So sad. 

2. Leave your comment by Friday morning at 0700.  I’ll announce the big winners on Friday sometime after 0701. 

3. I pick the winners randomly- your favorite singer will not affect your chances of winning.  If you say something like “Big & Rich” I will not hold it against you in any way, shape, or form….. as pertains to this giveaway.

4. If you’re of the male gender- I know you’re out there! This is a very male friendly giveaway so don’t be shy and SIGN YOURSELF UP!

5. If you don’t win :-( and you want to buy a copy of this CD, well, since they’re not easy to get ahold of, go ahead and get ahold of me and I will help get that worked out for you.  Okey dokey artichokey?

6. Good bye and good luck!

–Chelsea


Spring!


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I wanted to share a spring poem with you this morning.  This was shared with me by my friend, Donna.  She wrote it on April 12, 1980 while living in the Idaho backcountry on the Salmon River.  She and her husband, Keith, were caretaking Mackay Bar, a backcountry ranch.  

Apparently spring comes a little sooner on the Salmon River than it does here in Eastern Oregon.  It’s now May as oppossed to April and we’re finally seeing some sure signs of spring.  I decided to go ahead and use the poem as an excuse to capture some spring scenes from around the ranch… the crazy unpredictable spring skies, the freshly plowed hay fields, and the green grass that’s growing so fast I think you could just come on over, sit in the lane, and watch it grow!

SPRING!
Thermometer ~
acknowledge spring
and the returning birds
she will inevitably bring.
Fresh light footprints
in declining snow;

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Tiny green buds
begin to grow.
Soon the farmer’s plants
in the earth he’ll sow.
A new phase of sun
starts to appear;

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the freshest of forage
feeds bighorn and deer.
Hawks go soaring
in precipitous skies;

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once frozen ground
where a puddle now lies;

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old and new trees
to a greater height rise.
The rivers run swiftly,
muddy and cold
past inlets and rivulets
and banks streaked with gold.

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Soon gentle breezes
warm the earth and me
and I thank the Lord
that we’re still free

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and I count my blessings
with each spring I see.

–Donna & Chelsea ;-)


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