Cowboy Regalia

In keeping with Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee media blitz, I thought I’d share the American Cowboy version of regalia.

A cowboy’s rope, chinks, saddle, saddle blanket, boots, spurs, hat, conchos and so on are his version of regalia.

Andre the Giant

Meet Andre the Giant!  He was born on Tuesday night to Cow #5187 and weighs over 100 lbs.

His momma ran away for a day after giving birth so we loaded him up and took him home for a bottle.

Momma was located and they are now back together.  Both are adjusting well.

Sheesh, I’m pretty sure I would’ve run away for a while after trying to give birth to a baby this big, too!

Saddle up

To the untrained eye, it looks like a cowboy is getting ready to ride.  Well, that’s true.  Cody is getting ready to move cattle in this photo.

But, nothing about how a cowboy prepares to ride is left to chance.  From the bit he chooses for today’s work to the direction his rope honda faces when tied to the saddle or how tight he pulls his cinch, it’s all a carefully organized process.

Each cowboy is different and has his own way to saddle up.

Hospital corners

Surely you have at least one thing in which you are particular.

My list is long but a clean sink, perfectly tucked corners on the bedding and an organized desk are tops.  My husband has three:

1.  His closet.

2.  His saddle.

3.  The Christmas tree decorations.

As I write this, he has officially spent one hour and 15 minutes arranging ornaments.  It’s our annual tradition.  I put the tree up and place the decorations randomly then he swoops in and begins arranging the decorations.

Everything has a place and it sometimes takes two or three tries before he is happy with the placement.

I usually watch for a while before I start checking the beds for perfect hospital corners.

© Janice Morrow, RealRanchWife and Morrow Family Ranch, 2011.


A sight for sore…

It appears the bulls have earned their keep this year.

This is Lugnut. Not all the bulls get a name on the ranch but he has found a special place in our hearts.

The cows are checking well above 90%.  In cowboy language, that’s damn good. It means that almost every single cow on the ranch will have a baby in the spring.

Have you ever seen a preg check in action?  It’s quite a sight for sore something and I’m not talking eyes.  But, these girls don’t seem to mind.  It’s all in a day’s work.

Boot Boneyard

Another pair of boots has gone to boot heaven.

My cowboy has gone through a lot of boots in the last 16 years.  They go from good for special occasions, to good for going to town, then finally to good enough to work in.

But, this probably doesn’t compare to dozens of shoes I’ve been through in the same amount of time.  The difference is that his are usually totally worn out.  Mine are probably less worn out than out of style.

A few of my current favorites!

Cowboy boots never go out of style.  Even when they are totally worn out they still look cool.  The history of cowboy boots dates back to the days after the civil war when traditional boots were found to be uncomfortable during long rides.

These custom beauties are made by Lisa Sorrell, I saw a PBS special on her work which made me want to visit for my own pair. This coming from the girl who doesn't usually wear boots.

My cowboy announced his current work pair was no longer comfortable.  He wondered if we should resole them or send them to the cowboy boot boneyard.

We’ve resoled many.  This pair doesn’t look like the leather can withstand another fix. So, go in peace old friends.  Go in peace.

This boot boneyard is in Portales, NM at a friend's arena.

Lost things

Surely you remember the bag phone, right?

In college, I didn’t know anyone with a cell phone except my cowboy. He was on the bag phone bandwagon before anyone, an early adopter.  Like his father, he loves to talk on the phone.  To listen to this end of a conversation with his brother sometimes sounds like a Seinfeld episode, very funny but often a conversation about nothing.

5 a.m. and on the horn.

He’s been through many phones since.  Last February, he finally upgraded to the newest Droid phone on the market.  That phone is his everything–phone, social network, words with friends, notepad for jotting cattle numbers and other relevant information, jukebox, GPS, etc.

It’s lost in a pasture and he is having withdrawals. I finally handed my cell over to him so he doesn’t feel disconnected.

By the way, the phone is not in the same pasture as the lost iPod.  It’s not in the same pasture as a lost bridle. It’s not in the same pasture as a lost set of reins.  I wonder what those who come after us will say about the lost things they will find?

I wonder if they will laugh at the sight of the Droid and iPod as I laugh at the sight of a bag phone?

The kid is alright

I’m sure there are a few vegetarian cattle ranchers out there somewhere.

My six-year-old has decided she is not a meat eater.  Actually, this has been the case most of her life with the exception of a chicken nugget here and there.  It’s not about ethics or politics and she sure doesn’t mind anyone else enjoying a juicy steak.  She just likes other things to eat.

It’s true my girl always takes her lunch to school.  She takes fresh fruit, vegetables, parmesan or goat cheese and a yogurt every single day because that’s what she prefers.

Picky?  Sure.  But, I am not opposed to her food choices.  I am really pleased she loves fruit and vegetables and doesn’t need ranch dressing or ketchup to make them edible.  I also find it amusing that she likes stinky cheese–a girl after my own heart!

But, I wonder how she will do as a vegetarian cattle rancher?  Other than not eating meat, she is just like most ranchers; she loves the herd and remuda and she has the best interest of the animals at heart.  She’ll be alright.

Witch’s Brew

Small-town grocery shopping is sometimes challenging.  First, it’s a few hours out of the day because I have to go to town to get groceries–I might as well throw in a few extra stops while I’m there.  Second, it’s not always easy to find some items (my favorite Chai, for example).  But, the toughest part is getting the cold groceries home while they’re still cold.

Many people haul a cooler to town.  I usually forget to load it up in my grocery getter.

The local grocers cater to the country folk, though.  They have a cooler of dry ice on hand.

And, they offer to package my cold food without a second thought. I prefer the local grocer for this reason.

Ranch Market. Clayton, NM

When I go to one of the chain grocery stores a little further down the road I have to ask for dry ice and I have to pay for it.  It’s not the cost and I am certainly not too good to ask for what I would like or need.  I just appreciate my home-owned grocers because of their keen customer service and willingness to help.

I also appreciate having easy access to dry ice.  Not only is it an ice cream saver it is also a perfect ingredient for the Halloween witch’s brew!

Dawna and Seth ran to town just before the Halloween party to be sure the witch's brew was a hit! And it was. The kids loved it!

p.s. Thanks to Dawna, Shannon, Reon, Kodi and Justin for the impromptu production meeting yesterday during cheer practice!  It helped me pull this post together.

Soul food of the Southwest

My Grandma Mary is an award-winning New Mexican food master.  She has a stack of blue ribbons a mile high from the New Mexico State Fair and a few other local contests.  She was even featured on Food Nation with Bobby Flay a few years ago.

On cold and snowy days like today, her green chile stew recipe is a favorite in our house.  Mine is definitely not as good but it will do.  The delicious scent that fills the house on a cold, snowy day is second to very few things in my world.

My heart pitter-pattered when my husband called home to request a pot of green chile stew.  It tastes best with a bite of tortilla just warmed on the open flame of the stove.

As any good New Mexican will tell you, green chile is the soul food of the Southwest.  Grandma Mary’s green chile is the soul food of my life.