On The Ranch

The Pokey Little Puppy

Poke 1Poke 2bert and pokepoke3Buster and Pokepoke and horsecurled up poke

We’ve got a new buddy!

This is Poke, like Cowpoke, and he’s so freakin’ cute!

He was mostly a surprise that Bert showed up with yesterday evening, but not completely a surprise because I knew he was hoping to find a decent pup in the next while since one of his working dogs died last week, and his remaining working dog doesn’t love to work alone. A family friend who lives down the road had a litter recently, and gave Bert a pup to replace the dog he buried last week.

(He actually tried to give Bert two, but we currently have a One Puppy at a Time rule.)

Pokey is half Black Mouth Cur, half Kelpie/McNab/Collie, and oh my gosh you guys he’s so sweet. He loves Buster so much and trooped around with us while we took care of horses and picked up hay this morning. He’s still a little wary of us–and I absolutely don’t blame him, we’re kind of a rowdy bunch–but he’s settling in and is currently passed out on the porch so I’d say things are fine.

He will be a working dog eventually, and does sleep in the barn, but for now he’s a squishy, floppy-eared little puppy that gets to play with us and ride around with Bert. I can’t get over his rolls and puppy-dog eyes and I’m 100% happy to hold him while we’re in the truck since he gets carsick still and holding him helps and also I don’t have to open gates.

Happy Monday! Happy pre-Fourth! We’re rolling off of a great weekend full of an amazing first birthday party for the sweetest little girl, the most peaceful, idyllic ride home with a Starbucks and a podcast (it’s the little things, y’all) and of course a new pup and a lazy day at home. We’re ready for this week of BBQ and rodeo and (hopefully, fire ban and weather permitting) some fireworks!

Also: I’m writing this on Sunday and scheduling this post. I feel like a boss because two weeks ago writing one blog post felt impossible, not to mention actually getting one done and scheduling it. Again, we’re focusing on the little things around here!

God bless America, and I hope you don’t get BBQ on your white t-shirt.

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! It’s one of our favorite days of the week (duh, #basic, whatever). Even though neither one of us has a traditional job with a traditional workweek, everything just seems lighter on a Friday.

Plus, not to be a summer humbug or anything, but every Friday that goes by is another week closer to not being hot and worrying about rattlesnakes. Fine, just label this Take 1 from Confessions of a Summer Humbug.

I’m so grateful to be getting back into the swing of things, so here’s a sort-of-celebratory Friday Favorites post! These are all things that I’m currently loving.

Favorite Face: Beautycounter Cleansing Milk. I love this, truly, which is sort of a big deal because I was a little sad when I got it because I usually order their Nourishing Cream Cleanser, and this doesn’t smell nearly as good (my one criticism of this product!). But, good golly it works. It gets my skin clean without drying it out–the first cleanser I’ve ever tried to do so! I’m trying to simplify my skincare both in terms of products and ingredients, and this is a permanent part of my lineup. At least until I have another baby and my skin changes completely again.

cleansing milk
Favorite Drinker: Yeti Rambler. Bert got me one of these for Mother’s Day customized with our brand (as I’m sure you know since I hardly hide my love for it on Insta), but I really do love it. It’s huge, but not too too, and fits in a cupholder. You put ice in this baby and hours and hours later, it’s still there. Icy-cold water is one of my love languages, and so I want like, five more of these.

yeti tumbler

Favorite Thing: Yeti Tundra 45. I got Bert this bad boy for Father’s Day (one of those “I want one so I’m getting you one so I can use it” sort of affairs) because, well, all the other kids have one, and please see all comments above re: Rambler except for the cupholder part. Keeps things cold for literally days. Expensive as hell, worth every penny. I want another to keep in my car for when I go to town. Specifically a pink one. Or one of the new ones with wheels.
yeti coolerFavorite #NerdAlert: North Point Media’s There & Back Again Podcast. I love podcasts. I love book series. So you can imagine how I feel about a podcast that talks about one of my favorite series of books! I love learning more about Tolkien and the universe he created and all of the nerdy things that go along with that. I’m not a mega-super-nerd, but I love stories, and I’m re-reading the LOTR series to follow along with this podcast so you decide. He also has one for Harry Potter, and the Outlander series, ps.
tabagin
Favorite Summery Pasta Salad: Herby Couscous salad. So, couscous is a pasta, in case you are like me and have been going through life believing it was a rice. It is not. Thus, this is a pasta salad and it is delicious. Bright and fresh and would be so good with herbs from your garden if you are not like me and have a garden. Worth mentioning though is that Bert didn’t love it. Like at all. So, it’s not on the dinner menu but it’s delicious cold so it’s perfect for lunch! Which is what it’s supposed to be for, so…
couscous salad
Favorite Worky-Outy-Thing: Nike Dri-Fit Sports Bra. So, disclaimer, I didn’t actually buy this. I was given a pile of them by my beloved best friend who is a collegiate athletic trainer and gets tons of team gear and passes some of it on to me because she’s amazing and one person can’t possibly wear 1000 sports bras. I love these. They are so soft–with other sports bras, I’ve had problems with chafing underneath my arms and on my sides, but not with these–and their length is perfect. Also they are constructed in such a way that Sports Bra Uniboob isn’t as pronounced, and they come in both normal colors and crazy colors depending on how much hoo-rah you need to get your workout done. Verdict: I’d actually buy these, and probably will if I ever run out.
sports bra
Favorite Yes I’m Shocked Too: Frankincense Essential Oil. So, I am not a woo-woo crystals type of gal, and I’m very wary of things claiming to be toxic or not toxic or green or more natural, etc. since a lot of the time those claims aren’t true. I did order a starter kit from Young Living, though, mostly out of curiosity and because they were on sale. and my good friend made a small commish. I’m sort of hooked, and want to try more. No, I don’t think they are a substitute for modern medicine, and yes, I think lots of people overstate their use and/or efficacy. But let me tell you what–this little oil has made a huge difference in my skin. I will keep buying it because, like I said before, I’m trying to simplify my skincare. I mix a drop or two with jojoba oil to use as a moisturizer, and apply neat on blemishes. My skin has never been so luminous, less flaky (to be fair I know this is in part due to the new cleanser, but this is also making a huge difference!), and it actually works to help heal zits. So, while I’m not totally jumping in the essential oils deep end, I’m sticking a toe in the kiddie pool and so far, I’m liking it.

frankFavorite Car Snacky Snack: Rx Bars. One thing I am sure about, though, is that there is so much sugar in so many foods! I really noticed it in Canada, where I’d have something that they have here, but it was so much less sweet (and typically much tastier), so I’m sort of on a mission to remove as much excess sugar from our diets. If I’m eating sugar, I don’t want it to be in a granola bar, or in yogurt, or in peanut butter. I want it to be in ice cream and cookies and cakes and candy and sugar straight out of the jar, you know the little lumps of brown sugar? #ragingsweettooth. Anyways. I love Rx bars and have added them to my monthly subscribe & save order. I picked one up for the first time in the airport a few weeks ago, and I’m hooked! My favorite flavor, of course, is one of the sweeter ones (Mixed Berry), but it has no added sugar, and that’s what I’m focusing on (first–baby steps!). I’m looking forward to trying more of their flavors because I love to keep bars on hand since we are often eating snack in the car (a habit that I hate but that is nearly impossible when everything is at least an hour’s drive). I also love that if things are frantic at home and I can tell hangry is right around the corner, I can grab one and be a better human.
rx barFavorite Kid Thing: Joey. So, last time they were here, my in-laws brought this for Wace. It’s basically a magnetic paper doll, and while I thought it was cool I wasn’t sure if it was something he’d be super into for more than a day or two. Friends, I was so wrong. He loves it, and we’ve taken to having some one-on-one time each evening before bed playing with Joe–he’s made bedtime so much easier because Wace really looks forward to it and I enjoy that time so much with him, since most of the day is spent trying to keep him and Buster for assaulting each other. We put on each outfit, talk to Joey about it a little, and it’s adorable and is great for those fine-motor skills and imagination muscles. When we’ve done each one, we put everything away, Wacey covers Joe with his “blanket” (an infant washcloth), and–I kid you not–gives him a kiss after tucking him in. It’s adorable. They don’t have very many of these, but I think we definitely need to get him another one–Julia looks like a nice gal, and I think we can always use another feminine influencel around this tiny frathouse.
joeyFavorite Tiny-Bit-Shocked-That-Something-So-Cheap-Is-This-Awesome: Kroser Laptop Backpack. Before I went to Vancouver, I decided I needed a better carry-on situation for all of my things. I don’t have a satchel big enough for my gargantuan laptop (I’m a 17″ type of gal) and I wanted to minimize the hot mess-ness that is inevitably Cassidy in the Airport. So, All Paths Lead to Amazon and I found this guy for less than $40 and I love it. It has pockets for everything, and my megatron laptop fits in the compartment even if I keep it in the sleeve. It has a charger thingy that I bet is real cool but I need to figure out how to use it, and a couple of pockets in the front that make you look real slick when you need to produce your travel documents or credit card in a hurry. Now, it’s a straight-up backpack. It’s not beautiful, but it’s not ugly, and does the job perfectly. Of course, if it were made of hair-on hide it would be perfect, but this is a solid 9/10 and makes running to the next gate so much easier. Just hike that baby up and go.
backpackFavorite Apparel: Embroidered Tunic. I don’t need to say much about this top except that it’s beautiful, makes me feel like a million bucks, and is currently sold out but that’s okay because this little boutique has the most amazing things at really surprising prices. Get thee over there, fellow embroidery lover!
pink embroidered top

Favorite upgrade: Adirondack chairs. We finally got a couple of new (plastic) Adirondack chairs to replace our grody ones on the front porch and they are wonderful. They are super comfy, and look nice. Granted, they’re not the solid-wood versions. But, I don’t want the wood versions. I want the plastic versions so that when they inevitable become pulled over by a child, they just cause said child to be pissed off instead of injured. Now, you might be saying “But Cassidy, a child couldn’t pull over a wooden Adirondack chair,” to which I’d say “But Gentle Reader, Buster weighs over 30 pounds and has the most shocking strength you’ve ever seen. He’s like a tiny, less tan Hulk. I promise you he will get it done.” To which you’d say “Touche.” Because it’s true. Anyways, I digress. These chairs are fab, the mini version are great too, and we are getting two more because no one wants to sit in the sad old ones anymore and now they look even sadder. Someday we’ll get wooden ones. That decade is not this decade.
adirondack chair
Happy Friday, team! I hope your week was great and that you have some amazing things planned for the pre-Fourth weekend. We have an exciting weekend full of a birthday party or two, caking cattle and checking water, and (God willing) a little hanging of things on the walls because our house is still bare and it makes me feel like I live in a tan mental institution. In the best sense, of course.

God Bless America, and Amazon Prime.

Family · On The Ranch

A Family Affair

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Do you remember going with your parents on “Take Your Kid to Work Day,” or when you had a day off from school? I grew up in the city–Denver–and remember those days so well! I remember camping out under the conference room table at my mom’s office, eating snacks, or playing dolls and listening to CCR with my dad in his office while he worked.

When we bring our kids to work, they may not get fun snacks in a conference room table fort, or get to have their own desk to “work” on, but they have a ball and we’re lucky that on a ranch, there’s a whole lot of “Take Your Kid to Work Days!”

A couple of weekends ago, we preg-checked our fall-calving cows (to see who was pregnant and who was not) and it was so  fun. I didn’t really help, to be sure–the boys and I showed up late (but can you blame us, the vet was there at 6:15!) and mostly just went because we just love working cattle. The boss’ whole family was there, too, with some of the neighbors and the owners, so we had 70+ years between the oldest (the owner) and the youngest (Buster).

The kids were pushing the cows from the tub to the chute, the neighbors were pushing the cows up the alley to the tub, the vet was doing his thing, Bert was running the chute, the owner and his wife were vaccinating and taking care of the records, the boss was checking teeth*, and his wife was making sure the kids were actually helping, and taking over when they needed a hand. I was taking pictures, offering encouragement and bad jokes, and we were all holding Buster, haha.

The kids only hit each other in the face with the flags a couple of times, one of the girls got peed on by a cow but only a little bit, the owner’s wife made the most delicious snickerdoodles, and Buster didn’t eat too much dirt or dirt-like substances, so we’ll count it as a major success.

Afterwards, everyone got wet (or downright soaked) putting horses in trailers and packing up supplies, but we were so grateful for the rain that not a soul complained, and it made lunch together a little festive. I love that we get to spend time together, and that it’s always a family affair when it comes to this ranching gig.

Except when it’s reaaaaalllll hot outside. Then I’m busy. With something inside. I won’t always have the excuse of “it’s too hot for the baby!” but you’d better bet I’m going to use it while I can.

*as cattle get older, their teeth can get worn down or fall out altogether, and that can make it hard for them to eat, so we check teeth to make sure they are living their best life. Plus, our country is so rocky that their teeth can wear down faster!