Ranch Rodeo



We were in Encampment last weekend for the ranch rodeo. The guys got second in two events, so we’re doing good! Since I don’t like to take pictures during the rodeo (I swear it’s a jinx), I was really excited when we found some on Facebook! 

These ones are from Steamboat–photo credit to Erin Christine Photography



deckyDecky sorting out their cow for the trailer loading. The announcer yells out a number that thye have to sort out. They rope it by the head, load it into the trailer, shut the gate, load two horses and then all the guys have to run and get in the pickup.

randy and deckyCatching aforementioned sorted-out cow. 

trailerLoading her into the trailer.

tuffyDecky’s horse, Tuffy, is NOT a fan of town or of other horses sometimes. 

bert broncBert riding his bronc! The rules are “Ride As Ride Can,” you just have to use a regular ranch saddle (rodeo saddle bronc riders use a special saddle), you can’t tie yourself to your stirrups or do anything cheat-y like that. You get extra points if you do something showy, like take your hat off mid-ride and fan the horse.

bert and decky“First he went up, and then he went down!” “Bert, I think that’s about right. But there was a sort of jump in the middle…”

These are from last weekend in Encampment–don’t their shirts look snazzy? The sorority girl in me just loves these guys being matchy-matchy. Just wait until they’re monogrammed embroidered! Photo credit for these goes to Pam Meyer.

cow milking 2Wild Cow Milking! Decky’s mugging (holding the head), Randy and Bert are on the tail and Todd has her roped around the head. There’s one designated roper (Todd) who catches the cow, and then the guys have to hold her still (hence the mugging and tailing) while the milker (Bert–see the beer bottle?) has to milk her. Then, they have to get the rope off of her and the milker has to run to the judge, who stands in a chalk circle, before time stops. The judge makes sure there’s milk in the bottle to confirm it’s a valid affair. Cow milking is my FAVORITE. 

cow milking 3

cow milkingSomeone always ends up on the ground. Usually more than one someone! Run, Bert, run!

decky 2This is a cool shot of Decky catching a steer during the Stray Gathering. During that event, the boys are in teams of two, and they each have to head and heel a steer/heifer, tie it up, and it has to stay tied for six seconds. They would do this in real life if they have a cow who won’t come back to the right pasture, or who is a little crazy and needs to be put somewhere else–they’ll head and heel her, tie her down and then go and get the trailer to take her where she needs to be. Or, sometimes they tie down cows/bulls if they’re big and need to be doctored outside, or if the bull is particularly ornery. 

Other events include team sorting (their best event), where there’s a herd of 12-15 steers/heifers, each with numbers, and they have to sort out five in a row, in sequence, one at a time, starting with the number the announcer calls out. The whole herd has to stay at one end of the arena, and if one crosses the chalk boundary who isn’t in the right order, the team gets a no-time. There’s also branding, where they have to rope and drag calves out of a herd and “brand” them, and steer doctoring, which is a lot like stray gathering except there’s usually only one steer, and they have to tie it and “doctor” it by putting a paint stick mark on its head (we use paint sticks to show when something has been given a shot so their treatment record is easier to track, and you know if something has been given a shot recently). Each rodeo is usually four events, plus a bronc riding, and so there’s different events at each rodeo.

That’s all for today–the guys have so much fun at these rodeos (me too!) that they’re hoping to do one more, either in Wyoming or Oklahoma, at the beginning of September. The more practice they get, the better they’ll be, and someday maybe they’ll make it to the world finals in Amarillo! That would be so cool :)


It Must Be Summer

We’ve been running around the great state of Colorado to ranch rodeos for the past two weeks, so that’s the reason for the AWOL. I have pictures of that coming up! In the meantime, this is what life (in between bulk-size boxes of Otter Pops) looks like.

We tried to put Ninja in with our saddle horses because she was getting lonely, but Miss decided to be a major you-know-what and promptly ran Ninja through a barbed-wire fence. Mares are awesome like that. Her cuts weren’t too bad, and she’s almost all healed up now. We gave her some shots, and cleaned her cuts every day, and put special cream on to help with the proud flesh and to keep flies out. She’s really good now when she’s caught, but she doesn’t like the rope when it isn’t around her neck. What a weirdo! She’s a sweetie, though, and I love to give her grain because she just gets so happy! But then my sweetie yells at me, because I’m making her spoiled. Which is true. And he doesn’t yell, but points out that I’m making her spoiled. Because it’s true.

doctoring ninja

Once she’s all the way healed and Wally gets cut (aka de-testicled) we’ll put them together out in the pasture so that they don’t have to be in the pens anymore, but we don’t want any unwed teenage mother situations, so we keep him and little Ninja separated. We keep them in because it’s been very recent that they have learned to be caught, and it’s a pain to have un-catchable horses out in pasture. And because we didn’t want Ninja running wild with a bunch of cuts on her front, because she has a habit of getting into things.

I also hung new curtains in the house (finally!!!). They’re off-white and long (and not too expensive, thank you Ikea!) because I couldn’t find a fabric that I liked that was less than $17 a yard. I found cool little horseshoe hooks that are meant to hold bridles in a barn, but I thought they looked neat for in the house! The next phase is getting rid of all of our color accessories–I just want cream, white and brown in our front room, thanks to the yellow paint that wasn’t supposed to be yellow :)



The last ranch rodeo Bert was in was Steamboat last Thursday. I’m convinced that every time I take pictures of the events themselves, it’s bad luck because they always do way better when I keep my camera in my purse. Here’s a picture of some of the cowboys lined up before the rodeo, our guys are all the way on the left end. The good news is that Bert rode his bronc, so that makes me happy :) Even if after riding his bronc, he ended up between a gate and the ground. He gave a thumbs-up when he got up, though, and he wears his protective vest, so all’s well that ends well. We got to see some of our friends from Walden, too, which was fabulous! Ah, rodeos.



Oh, and we got to swing by the outlets in Silverthorne just so I could make out like a bandit at J.Crew. I rarely buy clothes–especially compared to when I was younger!!!–but J.Crew is my favorite store in the world, and that outlet happens to be the best. Juuust in case you were wondering and didn’t know this fact about me. Three words: Pink Linen Shorts. Two more: On Sale. Three More: On Sale TWICE. Sign me up!

And Bert came with me, and if you’ve never seen a cowboy loitering around the men’s section of J. Crew looking at the way-too-short man shorts with a rather appalled look on his face, I’ll vouch for you that it’s pretty priceless. He does, however, make a good point about the shorts. Who wants to see six inches of hairy man thigh?? Literally no one. Who wants their shorts to be identical from their wife/girlfriend’s? Again, literally no one. Some of those shorts were even a length I wouldn’t want to wear. I may be a long inseam girl, but mostly because I’m against PDOBC. Which is Public Display of Butt Cheek. I am baffled by this. Break out your linen starburst-colored shorts any time you want, fellas, but keep your junk covered. Please. Because who wants to see that? Literally no one.

On a more long denim-clad and button-downed note, we went to the ranch rodeo in Colorado Springs on Saturday because the ranch had another team in it and VIP passes for all of us :) I took pictures there since I’m not a jinx unless Bert’s in the rodeo, so I’m hoping to upload them sometime in the next few days and share them, ranch rodeos are so fun!


Short Insta-Lately

I haven’t been Instagramming as much lately, I feel like we’ve been way too busy! Here’s a few of the latest and greatest, though.

buckaloMy friend Mike came to visit us from Florida, and I took him on a tour of the ranch. The neighbors have a small herd of buffalo, and it looks like they have a baby or two! See him? Folks, if you’ve never seen a baby buffalo, put it on your bucket list, because they’re so ugly they’re cute, and there’s nothing like them. 

BRANDINGThat same day, we also went to a branding, and here’s Bert on Miss. It never gets old watching him rope!  Mike took a video, but I can’t figure out quite yet how to upload videos. 


stormWe have had the craziest storms lately! Since we live in the basin, we haven’t really got much of them–we’ve had a few good rain showers and lots of wind, but the rest of the state has been getting tornadoes and hail and roof-destroying high winds. We caught this shot of the backside of a storm that was currently hailing and winding and tornadoing all over eastern Colorado–isn’t that thing scary?!

earlyThis, of course, is Early! He and his mother (who I call Molly, in honor of my most favorite mare in the world that I fell in love with in Montana) have come to live at the barn at our house, and I’m doing a post soon about all the horses we have around now. He’s growing big and strong, and is learning how to buck and jump and paw things. He thinks he’s a big horse! It’s about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.

best viewWe’ve had to alter our walking route since the pivot that we walk back through is now plowed up and planted and growing things, and since it’s summer and the snakes are out so we stick to the roads. Rattlesnake bites have been known to put a damper on a walk of a morning. I just load the dogs in the pickup and we drive to a different place every time we go, just for something new! This is one of my favorite views–everything you can see is part of the 20,000 acres that Bert’s in charge of.  Not a single soul that direction for miles, just cattle, and grass, and animals. 

jayI‘m trying to get Jay to understand that he can jump in the pickup, too. He’s getting better, but you kind of have to run with him to the truck and act all enthusiastic to show him he needs to get a running start. Otherwise, he just does this and makes you lift him up in there, and usually he’s all wet with pond water and mud, so no thank you, Jay. 

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to my daddy, who took me on lots of adventures and things, and made sure I didn’t walk anywhere for like, five years. He also taught me about building things and wearing really cool sunglasses.

nuggetThis is me and Dad. I am dressed in a white smurf bag. 


This is back before seatbelts, helmets and ex-naying the lead paint were more suggestions than actual rules. We lived on the edge. Of the sofa.



backpack 2

 See? I lived in a backpack. And looked like a Rhesus monkey.

shoulders 2



shoulders 3Then, when I graduated from (read: became too hefty for) the backpack, I moved on to shoulder rides. Eventually, though, even shoulder rides become difficult. Some dads would be like “sorry, kid, you’re on your own.” Not my dad!


 He was like “Here, I’ll pull you in this wagon!”


“And drive you around in this moving van!” 

horse“And put you on this horse! I’m tired of doing the work.”


 Oh Dad, you’re so silly. I would like everyone to note that this is our FRONT yard, so the likelihood that this was observed by more than my mother and myself is high. But you know, cool dads are cool because they don’t care if people see them jumping in leaves with their kid. Cool dads are like honey badgers, and honey badger don’t care. 

flowergirlThis is one of my first flowergirl experiences, and it’s a good thing my dad was there because I got in a fight with another girl about the flower baskets. He had my back. Stylishly.

flowergilr 2This is a later flowergirl experience. I didn’t beat anyone up at this one, I think that’s actually frowned upon. Shout out to Dad’s mustache.

sunglassesI’m telling you, my dad was awesome. Any doubts? Check out that popped collar. 

swingsetAnd one time, he built me a wooden swingset from scratch. Didn’t even buy the pre-thought-out kits, he just winged (wung?) this sucker! If that’s not awesome, I don’t know what is. I helped him a little, and then painted ladybugs and bumblebees all over it. 


Also, he would do cool things like this. I think we must be on the lookout for something, since I have what looks like half a binocular and my tee-ball bat. Or we’re protecting that bear and kleenex box. 

We now interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to tune into another episode of “Raising Your Child: Colorado Edition.”

riverHiking with your children and walking near fast-moving mountain streams? Without a doubt.

tongueFour-wheelers? Uh-huh. Windbreaker, America skirt, cowboy boots and beer? You bet! Shout out to Dad’s mustache.


 Christmas in Aspen, with a sleigh? Check.

cowboysHanging out with ranchers and with an actual ranch equine licking his lips in the background? Done and done.

fishingFishing? You bet. 


 Oh hey, Visit Colorado mountain biking advertisement. But really, though! PS, thanks for teaching me how to ride a two-wheeler in the Eisenhower Park parking lot, Dad. Training wheels would have really killed this vibe.

cross countryCross-country skiing? Yeah! Please check out Dad’s coordinating Patagonia. And how I look vaguely like Elton John.

sailboatThis is us, as Washington Park. We built the remote-controlled sailboat, which I named the Explorer II (there is no Explorer I–I just thought the roman numerals looked fancy). Dad broke his ankle while jogging through the golf course, and got a purple cast because purple is his favorite color, and was before real men wore pink or it was ironic to like “girl” colors. I think that’s awesome.  Also I’m wearing socks with clogs. 

hikingWe love hiking! And hiking boots! And nature! And there is probably a a granola bar on our person(s)!

silver plume
nd Exploring! This is above Silver Plume (if you’ve never been, you should go!) and we used to hike up the mountain and look at the old mine shafts, and then go pick up candy from the general store. And, I loved to watch the wooden ducks that were tied to float in the creek. It didn’t hit me until later that they were hunting decoys. Bummer. Shout out to Dad’s mustache.

gradFrom this graduation…

graduationTo this one.

lipstickAnd this fake wedding dress…

wedding…to this real one, thanks, Dad. 

flowersFor being the best, and not caring that your daughter made you do embarrassing things like wear dandelion crowns and get it caught on camera. Love you! 
Shout out to your mustache.


This is Early.



He is a baby horse that was born a week ago.

He is so cute I want to die.

His mother is one of Bert’s coworker’s mares, and he suspected she was pregnant (a neighbor has had her for awhile), but didn’t realize she was due to foal, well, last week! So he was a surprise. And, since he’s so small, they decided he was early. His interim name was Pickle, but his official, Christian name is Early.

This best part? This guy doesn’t really want to mess with a baby horse, so Bert’s trading some work with his mom (she’s funny on the ground) for Early! As soon as he’s weaned, of course. Being early, I want to make sure he gets the best start he can.

Early 2



Yesterday was a good day for pictures.

Yellow Cow (2)

On the way home, I found a cow that was out, so I pushed her back in the direction of the pens, where she ended up a little while later. The best part about this was that I happened to be listening to the score of Lonesome Dove at the time.

gaucho 1

gaucho 2

Gaucho was happy to see me. 

We have been getting some crazy-looking clouds lately! Not too much weather—I think because we’re in a basin, the weather just goes around us, but last night when we saw these guys building, we put the truck in the shop in case it hailed, and were glad we have a real basement. I devised a plan in case of a tornado that involves Bert throwing Duckie down the stairs to me, because she’s afraid of the basement and Bert has better aim than me.

I imagine a pair of hawking gloves and a hockey helmet would be a good purchase in that case, too, since she bites when she’s excited. Plus, that’s a cool outfit.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, and I’ll see if I’m handy enough to upload the video, too.



storm 2

Welcome to the Jungle

I’ve never had my own garden. My excuses are lame: because we never really had a stellar place to put one, and because I didn’t want to put a bunch of work into a garden that I would only use once, since we’ve never lived anywhere that we’ve been intent on staying for a long time.

Until now–on both counts!!

We have a fabulous raised garden right at the bottom of our deck stairs. I knew that if I didn’t plant something in it this spring, it would have taunted me over the summer because it’s right there, and it’s got good dirt and it would be silly to just let it sit. So, I called in the expert :)

Over Memorial Day, my momma came to help me plant my garden! She helped me pull weeds, and brought her weedwhacker with the coolest tiller attachment (I want one for ours now!) and tilled all the dirt and got it all ready for planting. I’m not very good with garden stuff yet, so I was glad to have my mom there. She’s the BEST! We planted tomatoes, asparagus, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, lettuce, arugula, strawberries, parsley, rosemary, dill, thyme, oregano and lavender, and yesterday I finished it up with two kinds of green beans, sugar snaps and two kinds of corn. Whew! Seeing all that written out–that’s a lot of things! I can’t wait to see what comes up! I’m planning a water tank full of flowers out front, but the back is for food. And lavender.

Here’s the first summery shots of our backyard, aka the jungle. We have chairs and a picnic table on the deck (and a grill, of course!), so we’re on our way to making out backyard a fabulous place to be! Right now, it’s an overgrown and undecorated place to be, but I still love it. We’ve never had this much to work with before, so here’s to it!


DSCF1480It just looks like dirt now, but just wait! Those little mushrooms mark where we planted seeds (Mom loaned them to me, Grammy!). 

DSCF1474It wouldn’t  yard work without my trusty assistants, Gaucho of the Limberlost…

DSCF1476And Miss Duckie of the Perpetual Chin Rest. Jay didn’t join us yesterday because he was putting away some cows with Bert and having the time of his life!

DSCF1484We have a veritable jungle in our backyard, my favorite aspect of which is this lilac bush. I didn’t get a picture of it in full bloom, but it’s purple and gorgeous.

DSCF1483This one is a white lilac bush. Can you believe how big and old these two lilac bushes are ??

DSCF1487Everything needs trimmed pretty badly, but I like how many leafy and flowery bushes we have! Our backyard smells AWESOME.




 also got a hummingbird feeder–we didn’t really have many hummingbirds in Montana, and in Rand we couldn’t hang a feeder because of bears, so this is exciting!! I caught this visitor on camera right from the living room!

DSCF1469I know you’ve seen the vultures already, but check out that lilac bush!



The alfalfa pivot is on!

We get the weirdest fog.

The best things in life are free, and Jay finds everything he needs right in the front yard.

Ahhh, the glory of the double rainbows.

Ahh, the glory of winter in May.

And then this happened. Heaven!

I finally chopped off my hair! I had the appointment for months, and that was long enough to decide it was time to go back to short hair. It’s just not practical since I no longer stuff it under a hat every morning. Also, I would like the world to note that this is my first-ever selfie on social media. Quinn asked, “How many pictures did you take before you took this one?” and isn’t that the question we ask about all selfies? See what I did there? I didn’t answer her question.

Last week at work, it HAILED. This picture doesn’t do it justice.

This one sort of does. Because we got, like, a foot of hail, and lots of dents in our cars. I couldn’t post this one on Instagram because the wireless and phones and all of that didn’t work, and 4G just wasn’t happening.

We have a mysterious vulture infestation. This group moved in a few weeks ago, and decided to hang out in our tree behind our house yesterday morning. Talk about creepy! I dislike vultures. Their skin-y heads are gross, and they swoop and circle around, and their wingspan is like, four feet, and they stare at you and let you get oddly close.

And they always hang out with the bad guys in Disney movies.

Have a fabulous Memorial Day weekend! We’re breeding the last of Bert’s cows today (!!!!). Tomorrow will be a day for working on the yard, getting some sun and firin’ up the grill!  

Lil Smoky

One of the heifers had a last-minute calf last week, and its color was a surprise! This accidental combo is a white bull and a black cow. White Bull+Black Cow=Smoky Calf. Feast your eyes on this little tail-waggin’ guy!