Little House on the Ranch: Week 1

It’s officially official. We have a big hole in the ground!

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There was much debate as to whether our #littlehouseontheranch would have a basement or not. I was on team full basement with a walkout, MyFarmer was on team no basement. So we met in the middle, 1/2 basement, no walkout because marriage is about compromise… and concrete is expensive. In the end we truly needed it for storage. The house is going to have an upstairs loft that’s open to the living room/kitchen, so that won’t leave much room for attic space. The basement will also be a perfect annoying cat storage(looking at you, Zazzles) and anti-tornado facility. Both of those are much needed.

The only slight mishap thus far was digging up and breaking the water line that runs down to the horse barn. Luckily they were able to get it fixed fairly quickly and the horses never ran out of water.

We are now getting to “decision mode” so we are trying to line up where we need to go to look at siding, roofing, etc. The only thing we really know for 100% sure is that we are going to have custom barn wood kitchen cabinets made from a barn that was on MyFarmers great uncles farm. We are super excited to see those when they are done!

I’d tell you what they are doing next… but I honestly have no clue. I have yet to be at the farm when the guys are working to ask them. But I keep seeing progress every day when I do get there, so I think I’ll just stay out of their way!

Now’s the time that I ask for your opinions: What brands of appliances do you love and hate and why? We need to know! Seriously, we have no clue what we’re doing here.

Laney

Farmers Market Corn Pasta

If you are a carb-a-phobe, I’m going to ask you to calmly, but quickly, look away. This is not something you’ll be interested in and you’ll probably think less of me as a person. But, if you’re like me and carbs are friends, please continue to scroll.

I’m obsessed with those quick Facebook cooking videos. The only problem is that when I watch the videos I only remember bits and pieces of what the actual recipe was, and then I can’t ever seem to find the video again. This can be an issue when I go to re-create those recipes. I often try to replicate, sometimes I’m successful, other times… well, not so much. But let me tell you. I was successful on this one. Holy Moly it is delicious. Trust me.

What you’ll need for Farmers Market Corn Pasta:

  • Pasta of your choice(I used spaghetti noodles “made with veggies” because, healthy)
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Onion(1/2)
  • Garlic(3 cloves)
  • Dry white wine or chicken stock/broth(about 1/2 cup)
  • Fresh sweet corn cut off the cob (from Ruby Branch Farms, duh) (4 ears)
  • Fresh herbs (I used basil and parsley)
  • Fresh Parmesan
  • Olive Oil

The vast majority of the ingredients are things you probably have in your pantry already! Anything fresh can be picked up at the farmers market this time of year, so that makes this recipe even better!

Start off by heating up your saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and throw in your cherry tomatoes. I used about 3/4 of the pint. Throw a little salt and pepper on them because it’s fun. Cook the tomatoes in the pan until they start to get plump and the skins begin to loosen up.

Add your finely diced onion and minced garlic to the tomatoes and cook them down until the onions are soft and translucent. By this time your tomatoes should be starting to burst.

Add about 1/2 cup of the liquid of your choice. I used chicken broth because I don’t generally have dry white wine in the house. I’m more of a Boone’s Farm kind of gal, if you know what I mean. Mince up some parsley and throw it in the pan, along with a little more salt and pepper.

When the liquid reduces by half, add your corn and let all of it get married in the pan. (At this point I did add a little bit of dry Italian seasoning and some garlic powder. I’m not certain it’s necessary, but it didn’t hurt either!)

After about 2 minutes, add your cooked and drained pasta to your saucepan and coat all of the noodles.

Serve your pasta up in a big plate or bowl, top with some parmesan shavings and chopped parsley and basil.

It’s fresh, delicious, easy, and full of farmers market flavors!

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If you are a fan of spicing things up a bit, throw some red pepper flakes in with the liquid. Or a couple dashes of hot sauce, if you’re into that kind of thing. You could also eaisly sub out the spaghetti noodles for zuchini noodles! I actually think that would be quite tasty.

Happy Cooking!

Laney

Little House on the Ranch Update: It’s Happening!

Y’all, this has been a long spring and summer. It seems like we have been busier than ever on the farm, at our jobs, and just in life. The weather has been a bizarre mix of monsoon, scorching heat, then dry and crispy. It’s made for a weird first half of the year. Along with all the “normal” life we have had some issues with getting deeds and permits to get our #LittleHouseOnTheRanch project moving forward. Praise the Lord we *hopefully* have all of those problems behind us and we are full speed ahead! The only preliminary thing left is to close on our construction loan in a couple of days… surely that won’t be too dramatic. Other than the fact that I’m going to be sobbing in despair over signing our lives away. I really married into the wrong occupation for being terrified of debt. HA!

We mapped out the house location and put the little flags out last night. Our house is going to be a little over 1,800 square feet and let me tell you something; in the middle of a 70ish acre farm with two shops that are well over 5,500 square feet, that looks like a tiny little rectangle on the ground. For a second I really thought if I were to lay down in the middle like a star fish I could touch all the corners. But I can’t. And I have some really long arms. A whole house is going to fit in there. I’m certain of it.

They are going to start digging our basement TOMORROW! It’s about to get real! I can’t believe it’s actually happening. There’s been so much build-up and let-down over this project thus far that MyFarmer and I are at the point of “Let’s just get this crap over with.” Although I am pretty excited to blog out the whole process, and it will be neat to look back over everything that happens once it’s all done!

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This photo is how I know Glenn is going to be a trooper through our building process. We got all the flags set and I forgot to take a picture. I mean, this is important stuff, it needs to be documented! Without hesitation he picked his tape back up again and posed beautifully for this life-altering photo. Bless him.

 

Friends, I’m so looking forward to sharing this #littlehouseontheranch adventure with you all! I think we are going to have a whole lot of fun!

Stay tuned – a picture of a backhoe coming soon!

Laney

Senile Horses

You know how they say that humans go “back to diapers” in their old age? It’s so true! (Some) old people go back to having the mind of a toddler. Well, Mr. Theodore Bearhug, my resident geriatric horse, has 100% proven to me that he has decided to go back to his toddler ways.

The last 5 years or so I’ve noticed that his give-a-damn has been slightly busted. In his younger days (you know, early twenties) he was this sweet old horse that anyone could ride. He has now been retired from riding completely, even little kids, because all he wants to do is prance around and be a turd. But you know what, he’s 31 and he has probably given about 1,873,024 pony rides in his life. If he wants to be done with the pony ride life, I don’t blame him.

It’s not just the riding part, he also sometimes “forgets” how to lead, and just in general decides what he’s going to be doing and when he is going to be doing it. Granted, I can take the blame for a large majority of this… After he hit the age of 26 I pretty much quit reprimanding him for anything. I figured once he got to that age he deserved to live out his life as he pleased.

But last nights shit show really took the cake and proved to me that Theodore has in fact “gone back to diapers” and is trying to give me a heart attack.

The farrier was coming to my place, so I got both horses caught and took up to the shop where they get shod. The flies were HORRIBLE and it was approximately 1,927 degrees in the shade, so I decided to give them a bath really quick, in hopes that they would be dry by the time the farrier got there.

WELL, I was starting to hose Alvin off and I left Theodore loose to graze around in the grass. Out of the corner of my eye I see Theodore make a b-line at a fast walk into the shop and over to a yellow bucket of used oil. When he reached his destination he dunked his face straight into that bucket. There was no hesitation, no sniffing around, just a very purposeful plunge into that oil, up past the nostrils. Of course I go into panic mode, drop Alvin’s lead rope and go grab Theodore up. I start spraying his face, up his nose, in his mouth, just trying to get all of this oil off and out of him before he can get too much of it ingested. His teeth, nose, lips, everything was black.

Sometime during this escapade, Alvin, who is a giant sissy/worry wort, thought that HE might be in trouble too, so he took off towards the pasture. Now I have a horse running off that thanks to all the corn around I can’t see where he’s going, a horse with oil all over his face that’s screaming for his missing friend and is running around me, I’ve got a hose and a bottle of VO5 trying to get all this oil off of him, and any oil that is coming off of him is going straight onto me and my glasses. So here I am, soaked in water/oil, blind because my glasses are covered, I have no idea where my other horse is, and my farrier is going to arrive at any moment. Just another day at my funny farm!

Thankfully, everyone was captured, bathed, calmed down, and alive when the farrier did get there. The ponies got their pedicures and we all lived happily ever after… except for my poor glasses. I have washed 3 times and they still have a little bit of greasy residue on the lenses. Seeing clearly is overrated, right?

All I can say at this point is T.G.I.to the F. For realz.

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So much personality in that old man of a horse! ❤

Have a great weekend!

Laney

An Awful First

I don’t know where I heard it, probably in some ridiculous Lifetime movie my mom forced us to watch, but for some reason it has always stuck with me: Life is just a series of firsts. First breath, first tooth, first day of school, first day of college, first love, first day of your first job, first house, etc. etc. Most of the time when we think of “firsts” they are good. But then sometimes we come across some firsts that pretty much suck. First heart break, first loss of a loved one, first broken bone, first wreck, and so on.

I’ve had a lot of really wonderful firsts with my sweet Theodore Bearhug. Catching the first steer I ever roped on him, first day of college, first college rodeo, first check in team roping, first rodeo short go, I could go on and on. He’s been with me since before MyFarmer, a full 10 years now. My parents bought him for me the summer between high school and college so the old boy and I have been through a whoooole lot of life and (me) growing up together. He’s been my faithful companion through it all, even when I didn’t deserve his love, and he has always been the sweet boy that puts a smile on my face. Sure, we have had some times that weren’t so good… like the time he tried to cut his leg off on a fence and that other time when he tore his suspensory ligament, but he came back from both of those injuries better than ever and went on to compete again.

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He’s so adorable that it hurts.

I had yet another first with my sweet Theodore last week. And it was an AWFUL first. He is 31 years old this year, which is quite old for a horse, but I’m not really accepting his age well. I can see the changes in him, but I refuse to let myself feel them, until they come and hit me like a ton of bricks.

That day was the first time Theodore has gotten down to roll and wasn’t able to get back up on his own. And it was heartbreaking. Thankfully I was at the barn and saw him standing before I saw him struggling, so I knew he hadn’t been down for long. Also very luckily MyFarmer was planting sweet corn really close by so he was able to help in a hurry. When I got to Theo he had been trying to get up and had physically wore himself out. He just layed there with his head on the ground while I petted him and let him catch his breath… while I held mine.

Once MyFarmer got to us we were able to push his front end up and hold him there until he was able to get his back end under himself. Once he was up he went right back to grazing like nothing happened. MyFarmer looked at me and said: “Don’t you start crying now. He’s okay.” And with those seven words the water works began. Tears that he was fine, and tears that he’s not fine.  He is THIRTY ONE years old. And there is NOTHING I can do about it. No amount of love, attention, nutrition, therapy, can slow down time. And that sucks. But it also served as a reminder to truly cherish the time I’ve got left with him, until I have to endure the very last first we’ll ever have. The first day without him.

Some people are reading this and it totally get it. They know the love a person can have for an animal and how much it hurts having to watch them age or lose them. Other people will think to themselves, “He’s just a horse. Get over it.” And that’s fine too. It’s impossible to explain the love between a girl a her horse, but trust me, it is a force to be reckoned with.

Laney

P.S. I feel like I need to add this in:

A few days later I got to witness another first for my Theodore… but this one was precious. MyFarmer (a self proclaimed “horse hater” *eyeroll*) came down to the horse barn to talk to me and was standing next to Theo’s pen. Theodore got this mischievous look on his face and reached over the panels to playfully nuzzle on MyFarmer. He started at his hip and worked his way up to his face. If a horse can smile, Theodore most certainly was, as was MyFarmer. My heart almost exploded in that moment. That little show of affection between my two favorite 31 year old’s in the world will forever be engraved in my brain. ❤

The Paris Disappointments

While I have never been to the “real” Paris, like the one not in the United States, I have been to 3 Paris towns in my life, all with varying levels of buzzkill for me.

Of the three Parises(?)Paris, Kentucky is my favorite. Lots of rolling hills and beautiful pastures as far as the eye can see. It’s very close to Lexington, KY, so thoroughbred horse farms are everywhere and it is breathtaking. The area itself is beautiful, but man did I have an interesting experience with some less than beautiful people. I went with a friend of mine that was “Racer One” (Murray States mascot) to be a part of some kind of alumni function. When we pulled into this estate you would have thought a prince lived there. Anyway, we were treated like servants, not offered anything to eat or drink all evening, and had to deal with a devil horse that tried to bite you every chance he got. All while maintaining a smile for the photo ops with the richie riches. The only reason we got any food is because an awesome lady (who obviously wasn’t like the others) made us some to go plates and sent us out the back door. But I’m not going to hate Paris, Kentucky just because of that night. I’m sure not everyone there is a rude snob.

I’m pretty indifferent about Paris, Tennessee. It hasn’t ever done anything bad to me, but nothing necessarily great either. It is known for having the worlds largest fish fry, and probably even better known for the Jason Aldean song. “Climbed a water tower, in Paris, Tennessee…” I don’t eat fish, I’ve never climbed the water tower, and the rodeo they have during the fish fry is always a muddy mess, so I don’t have a lot of love for that town. The one reason I do have some fondness for the town is because in college it was the closest place we could buy liquor. (I never bought any of the cheapest vodka ever made while in Paris, but I would ride down with my friends for THEM to get some.) Yup, MyFarmer and I went to college in a dry county. And yes, dry counties still do exist to this day in Kentucky. Anyway, I’ve had some fun times in Paris, Tennessee, so I don’t hate the place, but I’m not dying to go back.

Then there is Paris, Texas. By far the biggest let down of the 3 Paris’ in my life. And it didn’t have to be that way. But now it is. And we can’t change that.

My BFF AnnieLisa and I went on an awesome road trip last summer to go see DanaDoodle in south-central Oklahoma. The trip was amazing. Neither one of us had really been on a trip without towing horses, so it was nice to be able to travel at a leisurely pace and stop at all the historic landmarks in Northern Texas… and all the western stores. We stop at this killer western store just outside of Paris, Texas right before lunchtime…

We spend about an hour skimming through the store in awe. Cute clothes, tons a boots, some tack and jewelry. It was a winner of a store for two girls like us. As we were checking out the sweet lady was asking us where we are from, what brings us to Texas, etc. etc. and we told her that we were actually just killing time on our trip because we were running about 6 hours ahead of schedule. (Yeah, we were a little overzealous and excited to see Doodle.)

The sweet lady hands us a couple of Paris, Texas magnets and says with so much excitement that she can hardly stand it, “You HAVE to go see the Eiffel Tower! It’s HUGE! There’s a GIANT cowboy hat on the top! It’s SO COOL!” Hook, line, and sinker AnnieLisa and I are IN. The lady gives us “directions” and off we go with extremely high expectations. We pull down the road it is supposed to be on, and start excitedly looking to the sky. We couldn’t see it until we were literally in the parking lot, and the let down started to set in. There is was. Maybe a couple stories tall, with a big-ish cowboy hat. A couple stories tall of black metal. In the 10 minutes it took us to get there we had built up the excitement to a really unattainable level. And let me tell you that Eiffel Tower wasn’t even close to reaching the level we wanted it to be. As much of a disappointment it was, it was equally as hilarious. But hey we were there for the experience, so take pictures and enjoy the experience we did.

While the Paris, Texas Eiffel Tower was a total let down, I do still suggest that you go if you’re in the area. In all fairness it really isn’t that lame… it just definitely isn’t as cool as we were led to believe. HA! Plus there is a really nice veterans memorial right next to it. The memorial totally made our hunt to find the tower with it. We also found a little diner that had amazing cheeseburgers close by. #winning

I hope that sometime in your life you can make a 24 hour round-trip road trip with your BFF. We had such an amazing time, and too many random stories that I could never share all of them. A couple highlights:

  • “Have we passed Memphis yet?” … As we were closing in on Little Rock.
  • The first time we saw a “Watch for Rattlesnakes” sign.
  • When a random loose heifer on a back road in North Texas called our bluff… in the truck.
  • Sleeping with a knife in the motel room because our door didn’t have a secondary lock.
  • The look you get when asking about the Clinton family in Bill Clinton’s hometown in Arkansas. (Hint… it’s not a good one.)
  • Exciting announcing “There’s a cactus!” every time we saw a wild cactus.
  • Trying on every single piece of clothing at the discount western store.
  • Laughing. Lots and lots of laughing.

A few pictures of one of the funnest weekends ever.

Stopping at all of the historical landmarks in north Texas was for sure a highlight of the trip. I’m kind of a nerd (as if you haven’t picked that up yet) so every sign we saw we would whip it off the highway.

That stupid Eiffel Tower. I hate it, but actually I love it.

The veterans memorial. Go there.

I’ll go to any Paris as long as these girls are there!

Laney

Sure Didn’t See That Coming

Funny story.

I just had 950 words of the dramatic story of a heifer calf’s first days of life, but I somehow deleted it all with the accidental hit of 2 keys. I don’t know what two keys those were. Kind of wish I did. Oh well, I’ll save you all the long saga and get to the bread and butter of the situation.

Daphne had a heifer calf!

And we didn’t know it was coming!

We knew she was bred, and the day before she calved ScubaSteve proclaimed that she would calve sometime in the next month or two. Or, you know, tomorrow. Apparently.

At first Daphne was being a bit of a dead beat momma, but she’s gotten her act together. Plus the best cow in the whole wide world, Delilah, has stepped in to help, and that’s much appreciated by me… and Daphne I’m sure.

Here she is, Miss Sookie St. James Snider, born 4/21/17. Truth be told, there’s a good chance she was born on 4/20, but I don’t want her birthday to be international pot smoking day, so 4/21 it is.

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She’s not spoiled at all.

By the way her name comes from the Gilmore Girls show. One of my other favorite TV shows besides Golden Girls. MyFarmer and I have already decided that Faycee’s future calves will be named after Big Bang Theory characters. And I need another cow for The Office. Then we will have to start watching more TV. Ha!

And for those of you wondering, Laszlo is still doing great. Although he really wasn’t stoked about losing his only child status so quickly. But he has adjusted well and is a lazy little momma’s boy compared to the spunky little heifer calf that has invaded his life.

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When I saw them laying together I melted into a puddle on the barn floor. ❤ 

So there you have it. I have 2 baby calves now. And my life is perfect.

Laney