Archive: April 2011

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Don’t Forget May Day


by Kath

I seem to recall that my Grandma Margaret started me out with the tradition of delivering Mayflower Baskets on May Day. Our 4-H club continued the tradition as a community service project each May 1st, and I remember in particular delivering the little basket of flowers to my grandma in the nursing home one sunny May Day sometime before she passed away. Maybe that’s why I’ve kept the May Day tradition alive -even before I had kids.
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I usually deliver to friends and neighbors, and the results have always been….well,… joyful. There have been many heartfelt stories as a result of my simple efforts, but in particular I remember delivering to one elderly man who was on the ditch board with me when I lived in Emmett, he had recently lost his wife and he wept and hugged me and thanked me profusely as I sat the basket on his doorstep -and stayed to chat awhile.
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It’s simple to involve your kids: 1) Just write or draw a Happy May Day note on a paper and then make small copies of it 2) Arrange plastic drink cups on a cookie sheet 3) Place 2 flowering bedding plants in each cup with a handful of additional potting soil …and you’re good to go.
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Sometimes Aspen has added stickers to the cups or ribbon handles made with a hole punch, but really the effort and the cost pay for themselves over a zillion times when folks you care about see the basket on their steps on May Day!


Days Like This


by Charlotte

I like when my faith is solid and I have the sense of adventure pulsing through my veins, the feeling of flying, and the knowing I’m a victor.  That’s when it’s fun to be a follower of Christ.  But not every day is like that.  Some days I just don’t have it in me.  I don’t sense the adventure.  I’m not flying.  I’m not a victor.  I wouldn’t want to go on an adventure even if I did sense one was near.  It’s not that my faith is weak.  It’s more that my rebellious heart kicks in and I. . . just.don’t.care.

The good news is that I am not alone.  Paul wrote, “So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me,” in Romans 7:21.  And in 1757 pastor Robert Robinson wrote the hymn “Come Thy Fount of Every Blessing”.  In the fourth verse he wrote:

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

(Copied from wikipedia.org)

“Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee.”  Isn’t that what we all need once in a while; our heart chained to our Savior so that it can’t stray.  The Bible says the heart is deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9) and I can attest to the truth of that some days.  The most unfortunate part is that it is usually the days that would be considered “good” days.  Days when there are no problems pressing on my mind or any disruption to the smooth flow of life.  Those days, the “good” days, are the days my heart is most likely to stray.  What an ungrateful thing I am.  Or as Paul says, “What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24).

Why is it that the days when I am “sweetly broken” are the days that I am most faithful in my heart to my Lord?  The days when I am struggling to keep my head above water and am drowning in the longing of simple flowing days.  The days when I am at rock bottom and don’t see a way out.  The days when I cannot stand on my own two feet, those are the days I faithfully stay by my Lord.  But too many comfortable days and my heart rebels.  If my heart is going to rebel in the comfortable days, then I willingly choose to live “sweetly broken” rather than live comfortably straying.

But better still to say, “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord” no matter what kind of day the Lord should bring.

Please, listen to the songs.  They speak more clearly than I. You can click on the link, come back here, and listen as you read.  :)

 


Shipping


posted by Chelsea

I told you what last week looked like, and now I’ll start in on this one.  Tuesday the cows were shipped to the start of where they would be trailed to our summer range.  Shipping refers to cattle trucks and pickups and horse trailers, the pickups all driven,

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once again, by friends and family willing to help.  

The cows were loaded into trucks…

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and the calves and a few extra cows into trailers… 

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From there we drove about 20 miles…

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and unloaded… 

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all the cows and calves into a holding pasture…

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The girls…

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(the bathing suit is making a regular appearance in our lives these days?!)

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and I headed over and watched the shipping process and made sure some important paperwork was signed in all the right places by all the right people. 

From there, the cows started down the canyon to the first section of summer ground.  Tuesday was the start to a really great week!  And I’ll tell you and show you all about it!


Bike Branding


posted by Chelsea

It has come to my attention that my girls would like to do more than look into the corrals…

looking

at brandings.

On the afternoon of Easter,

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after the Easter dresses came off…

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and the bathing suit (?) came on, the girls were playing outside and Buck motioned for me to come out and see what they were up to.  Turns out they were busy branding… a bike…

Lucy, being the older sister, took the roping role…

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and she put baby sister on ground crew…  

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Lucy didn’t seem to mind jumping down and helping out on the ground after she’d sufficiently pulled the bike around… 

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… and she also didn’t seem to mind offering a fair amount of instruction while she was at it…

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…so much instruction in fact, that baby Kate finally got sick of  it and had to leave the corrals…

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… she’s looking forward to moving up to the roping crew.


The North Pole is Thawing


By Kath

 This post is especially for Chelsea, Robin and Jean.  Robin stated in her last post that Chels calls her old “home” the North Pole.  Well I took some photos just for you gals…and after seeing the photos (which were taken all in one day), I don’t think you’ll long to be “home” quite so much –at least not right now.  You see, the North Pole is thawing, but it’s happening very, very, very slowly this year.

  The snow has disappeared on the valley floor at the south end and the pelicans are back at the lake,

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 but it doesn’t take much of a change in elevation and you’ll notice the snow continue to dust the trees weekly daily.

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 There hasn’t been enough of a thaw to even begin filling the reservoir at Goldfork,

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 And the golden willows are only slightly golden-colored.

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 The few herds of cattle that winter there are out trying to scavenge a little grass between feedings of hay, (my guess is that they’re hopeful, but unsuccessful in their hunt),

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because mid-valley is a compilation of frozen ice, slush, and mud…

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 And the north end of the valley still is tucked in to a deep blanket of snow….and it looks likes it’s snowing at Tamarack for the third time today…

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Yes, the north pole is thawing…but ever-so-slowly. 

 I’m sure Chelsea, Robin and Jean would like to hear from some of you who live there to see what you’re doing to escape the slow thaw?  Possibly….Making excuses to go check the horses in Riggins, Marc?  Trips “down below” to feel the grass in your toes, Donna?  Peeking at your flower beds to see if the snow has resided enough to have some early bulbs poke out yet, Jan?  Reading and re-reading old Cowgirl Clippings posts, Carole?


Sweet Cornbread


posted by Ann

A very dear friend and excellent cook (she’s a ranch girl to boot) shared this recipe with me.  I have been baking this bread for years and generally have an immediate request for the recipe.  (Which, of course, I’m happy to share!)

1/2 cup butter or margarine (may I suggest butter?)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup cornmeal

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups milk

In large bowl cream together butter, sugar and eggs.  Add cornmeal and mix well.  In small bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Alternately add to cornmeal mixture with milk, beginnning and ending with milk.  Pour batter into greased 8-inch baking pan. (I like to use my 8-inch iron skillet). 

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 Bake at 400 degrees for about 40 – 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

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 Serve warm with butter & honey (better yet, serve with honey- butter*!).

*Honey-Butter:  Blend equal parts honey & butter!

**You can double this recipe.  Bake in 9 x 13 – inch baking pan for 45 – 50 minutes.

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God’s Timing


posted by Robin
see: New Advenutes for background

Well, we’re waiting to move from one rental house to another farther north, to the same town my husband works in. We thought we’d be moving this week, being done by the 30th, but that apparently isn’t God’s timing.

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You see, Joe and his engine crew are in Texas for a couple of weeks helping to put out some of the fires down there, so the earliest we would move is the second week of May!

Fireman Joe

As I was rocking my son for a nap and praying about all this, some verses came to mind.
Psalms 91:1-2 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. (2)I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

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What really spoke to me was verse two because He really IS my refuge and fortress. My place I can rest in, rely on, and trust. It may not always be easy, especially when my mind and flesh start racing with thoughts and “what ifs.” That’s when I just need to settle down and do not be anxious about anything . . . (Phil 4:6) And settle into God’s refuge. Trusting Him.

Psalms 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

I know He’ll take care of us, He always does. I just need to wait for God’s timing. Not my own. I’ve found that takes patience and a peace in knowing that God is at work for our good.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

NM Sunset

So for now, I’ll just get ready by packing boxes . . . and wait.


New Adventures


posted by Robin

If you have been following Cowgirl Clippings at least since this past fall, you will remember that my little family and I have moved from Idaho in a place Chelsea calls the North Pole…

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(above is some of the mountains we left, below is from one of my favorite spots on the lake)

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To New Mexico

Northwest view

(view to the northwest from the front of the house)

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(view from the top of a mesa)

My husband works for the Forest Service as a Wildland Firefighter and he got a permanent full time (PFT) position in Northern New Mexico.  Yeah for PFT!  That means no more seasonal summer or seasonal winter work!  And no more down time between jobs or paychecks!

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He was the manager of the local tubing hill in the winter or “off time.” And we would join in on the fun some (sunny!) days.

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We are enjoying New Mexico, although it has been an adjustment for me!  It’s the first time I have moved out of state and this far away from my family.  However, we are closer to Joe’s family compared to when we were in Idaho!  We had Joe’s older sister and her daughter for Thanksgiving,

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then we went to his younger sister’s house in Texas and enjoyed Christmas with her and her family.

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Now we’re into spring time!  The dogwoods and other trees are blooming and my flowers in my planters are spouting that came from Idaho!

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In a few weeks we’ll be moving a littler farther north, to the same town Joe works in, so no more 80 mile/day commute!

Near Canjilon
(this is closer to where we’ll be going)

I’d like to continue sharing our new adventures as it unfolds here in New Mexico.  I don’t know how often that will be, but stay tuned for more New Mexico adventures!


Talkin’ ‘Bout Brandin’ Calves


By Kath

I happened to walk up beside Aspen and Cassidy where they were standing outside of the branding pen watching their dads rope. I snapped this little series of photos and listened in a little as they had an oh-so-serious discussion “talkin’ ‘bout brandin’ calves.”

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Then they turned and skipped happily away to play 
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On The Receiving End


posted by Chelsea 

If you have kids you might remember the day you brought the first one home… thrilled, scared, excited, petrified… wondering who in their right mind sent you home with a baby to take care of?! 

While we didn’t have another baby, we did just take ownership of our new cows.  We’re feeling a little bit like new parents… of 115 cows and their calves.  Despite the fact that this is indeed what we’ve been wanting, what we still want, and what we’re excited about, we’re also a little concerned that someone would entrust this herd, or rather the money to buy the herd, to us.  Basically, now that it’s actually happening and starting to seem real, the reality just freaks us out a little bit.  

A basic rundown of the events of last week: pairs were sorted last Thursday and we branded all the cows and calves on Friday.  Fresh snow ushered us into branding day on Friday…
  
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Fortunately, the sun was shining and the snow was quick to melt off.  All of the cows had to be branded and vaccinated first.  The mama cows were all run through the shoot for that…

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Then we rope-branded the calves…

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Throughout the day I kept looking around at everyone there helping, including family like Buck’s Uncle Kenny…

Uncle Kenny

and friends like Pat…

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and cowgirls like Jessie and Codi…

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and grandparents like Janie and Doug…

gma Janie/Papa Doug

and old friends like Buck’s look-alike-twin-friend, Gabe…

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and our teenage friend, Emily, who came and packed my girls around so I could run around like a chicken-with-my-head-cut-off-and try to be helpful…  

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and a couple of guys who Buck has not only worked for, but learned and gleaned cow-know-how from  like Chris, in the yellow, and Uncle Todd in the grey hat and blue coat…

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…and I just felt pretty overwhelmed with gratitude, as well as a (good and healthy) dose of humility, to be on the receiving end of so much help. 

I feel really blessed to live in a place where people are willing to help one another and spend a day of hard work in return for nothing more than a meal.  I think it’s pretty neat that families come and hang out together, all in an effort to make lighter (and more fun!) work.     

Beacause, not only do they show up to work, but they even manage to have fun doing it…

Pat & Todd

… and I feel really thankful.  I’m really thankful that just like when we started our family the days we brought our girls home from the hospital, as we start out on this cow adventure of our own, we’re surrounded by the love and support of family and friends.   Quite frankly branding day was just the beginning of the help… we shipped yesterday, we’re trailing them today, and we have a summer of work ahead of us!


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