Welcome To The Ranch!

Hello to all my new Farmgirl friends!  I am Dori, your new Ranch Farmgirl for MaryJanesFarm and I am so eager to get to know you!

Have you ever had something that was the simplest thing but carried with it a very deep meaning? That is what this sign was for me for many, many years.


My husband and I dreamed of owning a Ranch of our own. I had been raised with parents and grandparents that were ranchers in New Mexico and so it was deeply rooted in my past. I can’t say that I yearned for it like my husband did, but certainly I yearned for that lifestyle.

My husband, an Engineer, had a very good job, we owned a nice little piece of property where we could have a horse, a ranch dog, our children could raise 4-H animals, and we could hang our sign! But the yearning never went away and finally, we bought our Ranch. The sign came with us and today it hangs on the fence next to our road through the woods!


It isn’t “Out West” like the Ranch that I was raised on, but in my heart I feel the same feelings, think the same thoughts, and love and appreciate the same lifestyle that meant the world to me growing up in New Mexico.

How about a little tour of our Ranch in the South?

This is the home we built sitting high on a Tennessee Hilltop.


Our faithful ranch dog, Belle and her best friend (the horse), Promise.


And what is a ranch without a bull? Meet our Angus bull, McKinley!


We’ve slowly built up a good herd of momma cows and oh do we love them and their darling calves.  I think you should just prepare yourself for lots of precious baby calf pictures!


I’m so excited to be a part of the Farmgirl community and to get to know all of you. I hope you will feel free to write to me, comment on my posts and enter in as I share my life here in Tennessee. Be it farming, ranching, calving, gardening, canning, cooking, crafting, or spending time with my grand-girls, I hope to share it all!

Until our gravel roads cross again…. so long.


  1. Mary Rauch says:

    I’m so curious about access to the house because it looks so steep up that hill, and how many kazillion feet did you have to drill for water?

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hello Mary. I plan to do a future blog post on our home on the hilltop… we certainly had obstacles getting utilities up there! As for access… we have a gravel road that has to do a few curves and climbs to make it up! A challenge in the winter time, or in the rain and mud…. but worth it!

  2. Betty Benesi says:

    Welcome Dori! I look forward to your Posts. I am a Mountain Farm Girl with a mini donkey and no cows.

  3. Karna says:

    Welcome Dori!
    Can’t wait to read your future blogs,
    See pics of your beautiful land!
    Go Titans!!

  4. Diana Henretty says:

    Welcome, welcome, welcome from the Missouri Ozarks!
    Your pictures are just plain gorgeous!!
    Hugs from Noel, Mo, diana

  5. Victoria says:

    Welcome Dori!! I will so be looking forward to your post. Since Shery (Wyoming Ranch Farmgirl) left us, I have longed for a ranch gal to give us the scoop! Finally! And that calf!!! Oh my gosh, what a cutie! I can feel his soft, baby coat right now, even though I’m thousands of miles away!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Victoria, Thank you for your welcome. I’ve spent the last month reading all of Shery’s past posts and enjoyed them. And yes, that little guy (my grand-daughter named him Sam) has been my all time favorite calf! – Dori –

  6. Ann says:

    Hi, Dori. Welcome Ranch Farmgirl! I am delighted that there is again a Ranch Farmgirl blog. It was one of my favorite posts and I look forward to reading all about your adventures and fun as our Ranch Farmgirl. I live in Ohio so it is nice to know we have a Ranch Farmgirl in the “neighborhood”. Best wishes on your blog. I look forward to your next post. Ann

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Ann, thank you. And yes we are almost neighbors! My husband has family in Kentucky and I remember one time standing at the banks of the river and him telling me, “That is Ohio on the other side”. That’s the closest I’ve ever been to Ohio! 🙂 – Dori –

  7. Hi Mary,

    Welcome to Tennessee! You are living in a beautiful state. I was born in Tenn. but still live in Texas – maybe one day we’ll move everyone to the Tenn. mountains. I’m a ranch farmgirl raising alpacas and Australian Black Swans. Our property is on rolling hills and it reminds us of Tennessee a lot. Our herd of 80 alpacas keeps us busy and we love the crias (baby alpacas), they are so fun! Shearing time for the alpacas is once a year in the spring and they give us the most wonderful luscious fiber.
    Looking forward to your post!
    – Candace

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Candace, do you know I have never been around Alpacas at all? I have always wanted to get to know them! They are such interesting animals. And a herd of 80?? Wow!!! – Dori –

  8. bonnie b says:

    Hello Dori, I was so pleased to see YOU as the new Ranch Farmgirl! i read the introduction that Deb, the Beach farmgirl gave you on her blog, and thought when reading it that you would be a perfect person to see on a regular basis. Loved your pics of the growth of your home and your grand girls. They are beautiful. And your flower cart – WOW- also loved that idea. Welcome! Looking to much more from you, and like the other Ohioan post, we’re glad to have someone close to our area.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Bonnie – thank you! Deb was so kind to feature me wasn’t she? Yeah, that flower cart is pretty cute alright! Thanks, Bonnie. – Dori –

  9. Paulette says:

    I loved your first post Dori! I am fortunate to know you in person. It’s been too many years since those childhood days in New Mexico, and I’m so happy we get to stay in touch this way! Yes, everyone, she is the “real deal” and just as sweet and talented in person as her posts reflect.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Dear sweet Paulette… we do have the ranching memories huh? And Debbie could add a few too! It has been way too many years. Hugs to you, old friend. – Dori –

  10. Dori-
    So excited you are here. I must comment about your hilltop! I had the pleasure to visit Leipers Fork and Franklin last month and must say it was one of the most beautiful places in the country. Residing in Idaho gives a very different perspective on ranch life than Tennessee. How fortunate for you to have your hilltop! 🙂

    Much Happiness!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Liane – Leipers Fork is gorgeous is it not? And Franklin also. Tennessee is such a beautiful state with the green rolling hills. You picked a good time to visit! And yes, Idaho would give a very different perspective. My husband and I moved here from Southern Utah, so a bit more similar to Idaho than Tennessee! – Dori –

  11. Peggy Gray says:

    Welcome from the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. My husband and I retired to a small farm and we absolutely love the farming lifestyle, never having done it before. We are raising Katahdin sheep, alpacas, Pyrenean mastiff dogs, with a few Pygmy goats thrown in, plus some laying hens and a few cattle for meat. I look forward to your ranching news from Tennessee. Peggy

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Peggy – I’ve heard about the Katahdin sheep that they are pretty special sheep. AND of course the Pyrenean dogs. We see quite a few of them out here and they just seem very special. – Dori –

  12. Kay (old cowgirl) Montoy says:

    Hi Dori,
    A big welcome to you. I always loved living vicariously through Shery. Now I am looking forward to do the same through your writings. I never had a ranch of my own so I picked girlfriends who did. I loved horses and riding them. It was easy for me to really like all my new friends. Most of us have stayed friends for over 60 years. I finally got a horse of my own a little late as it was in my Senior year and one of my teachers knew of my love for them and she gave me a yearling. I loved my horse so much and when she had a fowl it was pure heaven. Now because of my back I am not able to ride. I still love them with all my heart. Not quite as much though as my 2 Daughter’s and 5 Grandchildren.
    I am now busy getting things packed and put into storage. My house (out in the country) is going to be renovated. That means I have to rent a place and then move back to my house once it is livable again. Then it will be put up for sale. Once it sells I will be moving down to Southern Oregon where my Daughter lives. It has been me and my mixed breed dog (Dad was a Border Collie-Mom Farm dog) for almost 2 years. Time to move on and find new friends. My Husband and I went to New Mexico on our Honeymoon I really fell in love with it. I have lived in Oregon all my life, for the first 3years of my life I lived in Boise Id. then we moved to Burns Or. and I lived there for 25 years. That is in South Eastern Or.
    Well, I am so looking forward to your stories. Keep the faith, love, and smile’s.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Kay, I love your comment, “I picked girlfriends that did…”, very cute!!! And smart! 🙂 And girlfriends are so important in life aren’t they? Good luck with your home renovations and your move. – Dori –

  13. Niqui says:

    Welcome Dori!
    I am new to this blog and am loving it. I am looking forward to your posts and your pics. Looks like you are living in a little bit of heaven. And that Belle lives up to her name, as she’s a beauty!

  14. Denise says:

    Hi Dori, Welcome! Can’t wait to read about your adventures. We have 12acres, two mini donkeys, a herd of rabbits and a herd of cats. We raised 4 children in a small town. They really enjoy this homestead more, as do we. Our grandchildren are getting so much more from visiting here. It’s all good. Happy Life!

  15. Cyndie gray says:

    So looking forward to following you hear too!!! It’s going to be a grand journey!!!

  16. Jena says:

    Hi Dori,
    Welcome Ranch Gal! I’ve been a homesteader (small) in Wyoming and Pennsylvania and enjoy the Ranch life all the same. East coast farming is so different from Western…I am excited to hear of your experiences.

    All my best,

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Jena – wow! Wyoming to Pennsylvania. That is real huge difference isn’t it? But isn’t is awesome that we can have that same ranch girl feel regardless of the location? – Dori –

  17. Debbie says:

    Welcome, Welcome Miss Dori!!! I loved your introduction post to our friendly farmgirl community of sisters…My heart is swelling with happiness that you are here with all of us! Can’t wait to learn more about your ” southern” ranch life…! We both share a western perspective, and that stays with a girl no matter where she roams… love, Deb ( AKA BEACH FARMGIRL )

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Thank you, Deb. I’m pretty excited, to say the least! 🙂 And yes… our Western perspective and heritage really stick thick doesn’t it?! – Dori –

  18. Cody Smith Seaman says:

    I have to brag a little here… Dori is my first cousin whom I am over joyed to have as my family and she is the biggest inspiration for me and many others! If I have said it once, I have said it a million times “when I grow up… I want to be just like Dori”. Their ranch, home, and family are beautiful inside and out!! I love them dearly! Cody

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Dear Cody – what am I going to do with you??!! 🙂 Thanks for all you do for me, dear cousin of mine. xoxo – Dori –

  19. CJ Armstrong says:

    Welcome Dori! I’m a “barefoot farmgirl” from Southwest Colorado. Grew up on a farm right here where the air is clean and fresh and sky is incredible blue!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      CJ, I love that…. barefoot farm girl!!!! What a great name! Colorado DOES have the bluest skies imaginable. When we first moved out here to Tennessee, it took me quite awhile to get used to the skies not being as blue as they are out West. Now I don’t even notice it… until I go back out West and think, “the sky is SO BLUE”!!! – Dori –

  20. Hi Dori, Welcome. So glad we have a Ranch Girl friend now too, I have missed reading the ranch news. I know you will be the perfect Ranch girl. I don’t live on a ranch or a farm, But still consider my self a farm girl. I garden and can and sew and do all kinds of crafts. A real farm girl at heart. Hugs and welcome aboard. Juanita

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Juanita, I really think it is true that it’s all about what is in our heart. We don’t have to live on a ranch or a farm… it is that feeling that we have that makes us a farm girl! I also love to sew and do crafts. I’m working on an embroidery project right now that is making me SO happy! – Dori –

  21. Lisa Vogeli says:

    Dori, WELCOME. I enjoy everything you post. This is so YOU. Looking forward to it!

  22. Beverly says:

    I am looking forward, in the years to come, to read about your wonderful life in Tennessee!!! Your life sounds like something I long to have so I’ll vicariously live through you until, if I’m blessed, to have my farm or ranch of my own !!! Please give all your critters a hug for me!!!

  23. Rebekah Teal says:

    Well, Dori, THIS is fabulous news! WELCOME! I loved reading your first post. And your critters have already stolen my heart! I’m so excited to have you join us at maryjanesfarm! Exciting times ahead!

  24. Marian Grant says:

    Wow, how can you possibly do more? Sounds like you’re loving it. I just finished a yarn stitchery I’ve worked on 26 years, ha. For raccoons, hang old stockings with moth balls, they hate that smell. Good luck on your new adventure. Love, Marian

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hello Marian, Well… I do better when my hands are full! 🙂 Thank you for being such a faithful reader of mine, always! – Dori –

  25. Marian Grant says:

    Have fun with your new adventure. love, Marian

  26. Sharon Morgan says:

    We live on an acreage in Oklahoma where our kids raised their 4-H show lambs, a couple of bottle calves once, and of course, a family dog (Razzy, short for Raspberry)…isn’t it wonderful that whatever size the farm or ranch, it can be our own little paradise? :-). Looking forward to your posts!!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Oh, you are so right. Size is not the important thing…. the important thing is making it your own. Our kids were active in 4-H also. We loved those days! 🙂 – Dori –

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