Category Archives: Ranch

Boondock Living

Ok, so I’m not really out in the boondocks.  But I’m definitely not living in the city.  You drive past a lot of fields and farms to get to my house.  I wake up and have goats, cattle and corn (or wheat depending on the season) to the North, and cattle to the East, West & South of me.  I literally have goats and calves in my front & backyard.  For a while I had a goat in my backyard, too.  It was always my dream to be able to live in a house one day where I could wake up, look out my window and see the sunrise just beyond the corn.  And my dream has come true!  I didn’t really account for all of the flies, spiders & rodents that came with the territory of living in the country…but I do get beautiful sunrises and sunsets every day.

Because of the previously mentioned bugs & rodents, I often take country living for granted.  The view is now my norm and I forget that not everyone has the blessing of living in wide open spaces.  It’s quiet and peaceful out where I live.  And although I have days where I wish that I were closer to civilization (mostly a mall and Starbucks), I do love living out here.

I figured that in today’s blog post I would share a few pictures of some of the things I see when I walk outside my house.  Enjoy a piece of ranch life!

A calf in our front pasture

A calf in our front pasture

A tractor in the field across from our house.  This field was full of corn the day before the picture was taken.

A tractor in the field across from our house. This field was full of corn the day before the picture was taken.

This is a calf bottle...used to feed calves milk, of course.  I discovered that it works as a great teething toy for Thomas!

This is a calf bottle…used to feed calves milk, of course. I discovered that it works as a great teething toy for Thomas!

Sunrise on the calf ranch

Sunrise on the calf ranch

 

These are our goats in our front pasture - they're pretty silly!

These are our goats in our front pasture – they’re pretty silly!

 

Homegrown Food

On Wednesday afternoon I was trying to figure out an “activity” to do with my 5 month old.  I decided to take a blanket out to the backyard and relax with him out there.  The temperature wasn’t too hot and our male goat had just been moved from our backyard to the front pasture…so it seemed like a good choice to go out there!  And it was.  Thomas just chilled on the blanket taking in all of the sights and sounds that the outdoors provided while I enjoyed having free arms for a quick moment.

Shortly after plopping down on the blanket, Phil pulled up to our house and asked me if we wanted to go pick some sweet corn.  Another great activity for us!  So we headed to the back of the calf ranch where our sweet corn was growing.  While I’ll admit to just walking amongst the corn with Thomas in arms while Phil actually picked the corn, it was fun to say that we got to “pick” it.

Fun Day

Thomas & I walking around the sweet corn. The taller corn to the right of us is corn that we will use for silage to feed our calves.

Sweet Corn

Some of the corn that Phil picked. Our goats enjoyed eating it, as well!

That night for dinner we had sweet corn from our ranch with some of the juiciest, yummiest New York steaks that I’ve ever had (also from our ranch).

Homegrown Meal

This is the most homegrown meal I’ve ever eaten. I am hoping to get a garden underway sometime soon and then hopefully I’ll have a homegrown salad on the plate in the future, too!

Do you have a garden?  Do you live on a farm or ranch of some sort?  What foods do you eat that you grow/farm yourself?  Are you like me and have hopes for a garden someday?  What do you wish to plant?

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There’s Cattle In My Yard

Not everyone has the privileged opportunity to look out the windows of the front of his/her house everyday only to see cattle peacefully grazing on the front lawn.  I never had it either, until just last week.

I grew up in the city, but I always dreamed of living in the country.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of a lot of city things, but the thought of getting to live in such openness, surrounded by farm land, crops and animals always sounded awesome. 

A month and a half ago, Phil and I moved out to the ranch and let’s just say that I love it.  Minus the bugs, of course.  The new fun news is that we added a few steers to our front yard.  There are literally, cattle grazing in my front yard.  It’s pretty cool and I am thankful for the blessed life I live.

As of right now I’m merely acquaintances with the steers, but I’m hoping to get to know them better and move on to the friend stage with them soon.  I’ll keep you posted on how that goes, but for now, enjoy the pictures that I’ve capture of them so far!

cattleohpraisehim

 

Interruptions

I’ve lived on the ranch for about a month and a half now.  The flying cockroaches have seemed to disappear thanks to the hot weather’s arrival.  I am getting settled into the house and I enjoy going on evening bike rides with Phil and our dog, Cooper.  And one of my favorite parts about ranch life is that the sunsets always seem to be ridiculously, mind-blowingly beautiful.

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A lesson that I’ve been learning on the ranch is that there will be interruptions – whether they are interruptions to my sleep or my favorite TV show, there will be interruptions.

A couple of weeks ago, Phil & I got home from a date night and did a quick drive around the ranch to make sure that all looked good with the calves before we went home to bed.  Toward the end of our drive I noticed a group of about 7 calves just standing around outside of their corral.  (That is not normal, in case you are wondering.)  We drove a little bit further and noticed a LOT of calves roaming around the ranch.  Not good.

While you might be thinking that it sounds good for calves to be able to roam around, it is.  However, it is good for them to roam around within the boundaries (corrals) that they are given.  The corrals keep them safe from harm’s way.  It’s like letting a baby crawl everywhere without watching them.  It’s ok for a baby to crawl everywhere – if it is in an area that is “child-proof.” Non child-proof areas require that the child is attended to when crawling about.  Same concept for calves – the corrals are “calf-proof.”  The rest of the ranch is not necessarily calf-proof, especially when there is no one to watch them.

So, calves roaming.  It turned out one of the corrals had been left open.  Phil & I were out until midnight rounding up the calves and putting them back in their play pen (corral.)

My second interruption happened a few nights ago as I was enjoying a lazy evening to myself.  I was in my neon pink yoga pants, doing Pinterest crafts while catching up on this season of The Bachelorette.  (Did that sentence just sound super girly or what?!)  The smell of fresh-baked banana bread wafted through the house and I was pretty pumped to eat some once my episode was over.  Then, as Des was on her last date for the episode, I heard Phil call my name.

Calves were out again.  Phil did give me an option of helping him, but if I didn’t help him, what kind of “Heels To BOOTS” person would I be?  A terrible one.  So, I threw on my boots (with my neon pink yoga pants), jumped in my car, drove to the shop building, and hopped on a mule to help in the search for loose calves.  It took about an hour, but by the end of it, the calves were all safely in their place again.

Interruptions.  Some people tell me this is good preparation for having kids some day and being…interrupted by them.  Others tell me it’s just plain old good character building.  I agree with both, but really to me, it’s just a small glimpse of what other farmers and ranchers around the world deal with.  It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, what show is on, what event is happening, if the animals need to be fed, helped or taken care of, you can bet that a farmer or rancher will drop whatever they are doing to take care of the situation.  And if you don’t believe me, check out my friend Crystal Cattle, who fed cattle with her husband in the middle of a friend’s wedding!

Neon + Boots. I think it's a new trend.

Neon + Boots.
I think it’s a new trend.

Until the next interruption… 😉

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Flying Cockroaches

Recently Phil & I moved to the calf ranch.  What a crazy couple of weeks it’s been!

One thing that’s been particularly er, fun, to deal with living in the country is the bug issue.  There are a lot of bugs (go figure) and I am not really a fan.

The first week that we lived in the house we dealt with flying cockroaches.  Did you know such a thing existed?  I sure didn’t!

roach

They were everywhere.  And there were thousands of them.  At night while we ate dinner, these roaches could be seen flying all around our house.  One night in particular, I turned off all of the lights in our house & walked down the hallway toward our bedroom.  In order to see in the dark, I lit my phone screen to be my guide & as I walked with my lit phone, 2 roaches crashed into my phone screen.

Every time we would open up the shower door, there would be 5-7 dead roaches.  Roaches would get stuck in Phil’s bar of soap.  Roaches EVERY.WHERE.  And their life spans were incredibly short as they would usually come into our house just long enough to die.  Every morning when I woke up, I’d awake to find hundreds of these things in our front entry, not to mention a few hundred more scattered around the house.

Our front entryway....the morning after I had vacuumed the night before.

Our front entryway….the morning after I had vacuumed the night before.

We talked to a dairyman who lives across the street from us and asked him about the roaches.  He said about once or twice a year for 2-3 weeks at a time, these bugs just invade their house.  I’m happy to say that I think we’re coming close to the end of the 2-week mark because this week our cockroach numbers seem to be dwindling.  But let me just tell you, hundreds of flying cockroaches in my house were an epically unfortunate introduction to country life for a bug-hater like myself!

Besides the roaches, I’ve adjusted to life in the country rather well and I do quite enjoy it.  But how many people get to say that their house has been swarmed by flying cockroaches?  Not many!  I’m just lucky, I guess.  🙂

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Studded // Ankle Boots

Ahhhh….Target.  Or as I sometimes like to call it, “Tar-shjay.”  Did you read that pronunciation correctly?  It makes sense in my head, it’s kind of Frenchy sounding.  Anyway…Target.

I love it.  I need to stop loving it, but they just keep producing such good products!

Like these ankle boots:

ankle boots

Super cute, right?  And they were on sale.  Even better.

Today was one of those days where I woke up and thought to myself, “Life is too short to wear boring clothes.”  So I put on a skirt, my ankle boots & a denim shirt and headed off to the ranch.  My outfit might not seem so bold to you, but when you work on a ranch, a skirt is a risky thing to wear.

BriOutfitDenim Shirt:  Target //  Skirt:  Bar III  //  Ankle Boots:  Target

I didn’t regret my decision to wear a skirt…although I will probably keep my skirt-wearing days to a minimum when working on the ranch.  😉

That’s all for now.  Oh, one more thing, tomorrow starts Beef Month.

I smell steak…  and a giveaway.  Stay tuned!

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Photobombed by Cows

Okay, so I was photobombed by 2 bulls, not cows.  But what are the chances of someone Google searching the words “photobomb” & “bulls” together?  It’s not the first thing I’d search for, so to my benefit, I mislead you a bit.  I apologize.  BUT, if you’re wondering why bulls are different from cows, check out my Cow Concordance for the answer!

Anyways, yesterday I was taking pictures in the corrals on the ranch for our Facebook page and I was trying to get a picture of some cattle eating.  Well, all of a sudden I felt something brush past my rear end and turned around to find 2 friendly calves smelling me, along with the rest of the herd a few steps behind them.

So I crouched down, flipped my camera around, and started snapping pictures.  The two friendly calves were cracking me up and I ended up getting some fun shots them in it.  One of the perks of working on a calf ranch is that it is possible to be photobombed by 2 bulls!

PhotoBomb

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