"Udderly" Surrounded

A Valentine’s Day gift bouquet can “twitterpate” us flower lovin’ farmgirls. A colorful wildflower mix would do it for me, which made me pause and think about the immediate landscape… the Valentine “garden” in my life.

I took inventory of the “flower power”, not just some of it, but all of the “flowers” I love…and those that love me back. Step into my Valentine garden. Afterward, take a look around at the garden in your own life. The flowers and plants will vary from mine, but I bet your garden is fragrant and full of busy butterflies and bees.
I love ranching for a living and working with my Valentine. At my age, I’m grateful for my parents being alive and well and near me. My Mom has the kindest of hearts; she is the source of my creative nature. My ‘Pop’ is still taking care of me; he polished up his ’53 Ford pickup just so I could use it as my booth in an art fair last summer.

I adore my pets and horses. A horse lets me see more of the great outdoors than I would on my own two feet. They’ve also helped me meet many of my friends. Everything about horses makes my world better and they’ve made me a better person. I never had children, but being a steward of animals has made my life full, front to back.
I love cows — they’re the source of our income. They feed us and they feed most of this nation as well. A kitchen without milk and butter is unthinkable in my world! I love a day-old calf awkwardly playing on new legs and I love the wildflowers she sleeps in. I love looking through my horse’s ears at grazing cattle. Then, as now, I’m “udderly” surrounded by the things I love and it is a matter of both work and providence. This is the life I want and the life I’ve been given. Therein is my Valentine wish for you. Farm a good life and be thankful for the harvest.

  1. Cyndarella says:

    I really enjoyed reading your blog today. I hope to live on a ranch someday soon. And reading about you helps me reach for the stars. Thank you. BTW Great pictures. I especially like the one of you.

  2. Victoria says:

    Great pictures, and oh how I love that blue truck!!!!
    Cheers –

  3. Marilyn McDowell says:

    Nice. These are thoughts I will take with me as I move through my day. (I especially LOVE the truck.) What a dad!
    Have a wonderful day Shery.

  4. Terces says:

    Good Morning Shery,
    Thank you so much for pointing my attention in the direction of all there is to be grateful for and how love is surrounding us all the time, no matter our circumstances. There are days on our farm when I see the dew on the blades of grass, and listen to the singing of all the birds and am brushing down our Dexter cows, or feeding the chickens and I think, "how beautiful it all is." We live in a yurt, with future plans for a house and sometimes I wonder if we’ll build the house and then move in doors, the out of doors is so inspiring!
    What a great start to my day your blog this morning was.
    Thank YOU.
    Love, Terces

  5. Ann says:

    Shery…how blessed you are to still have your folks. I almost envy you and to have them close by.
    Yes riding a horse is "one" of God’s blessings to us. Another is our animals. Whether they are for raising to provide food or just there for our "comfort".
    Thank you for reminding us of our "garden" in our lives especially this time of year when it is cold and windy and not a lot of sun out.
    May you walk in the path God has for you.
    John 3:16

  6. Sarah says:

    Thank you for the fabulous photos. I grew up a South Dakota farm girl and can vividly recall from my farm all of the blessings that surrounded me. Spring wildflowers, kittens in the barn, horses to ride and, my favorite, baby calves. Their rough tongues and big brown eyes and gawky first steps. Thank you for my memory walk this morning. ♥

  7. Cindy says:

    Dear Shery,

    You are so right! Love and goodness are all around us. Sometimes we focus on love looking a certain way, sometimes we think it should come in a green bottle, but it’s coming to us in a yellow box! I think you know what I mean, our pre-conceived notions of something can prevent us from recognizing the real deal. My life is full with a loving family….my husband, my two WONDERFUL daughters, my pets, the great outdoors I enjoy here in Kentucky and all the abundance I enjoy on a daily basis….and some chocolate never hurts either! You live a life I admire so much. I lived out West twelve years ago and always felt such joy when I was on the back of a horse! My fondest memories are of the Rocky Mountains. I think ranch people are the salt of the earth…and that means you, my dear! I love your blog! Happy Valentine’s Day to all the ladies out there that hold true to what matters in this life….LOVE!

  8. Paula says:

    Forget my Bonanza fantasies…Sherry you are living the real deal! (:

  9. carol branum says:

    Shery, You’re so lucky to still have your mom,she is a pretty lady,and your daddy a handsome man.Your right, I forget to count my blessings everyday. Happy Valentines, blessed be, Carol Branum themofarmersdaughter@blogspot.com

  10. Emily says:

    Thanks for the lovely blog and the ’53 Ford looks great!

  11. Vicki says:

    Hi Shery,
    Love your blog, love your pictures. Wow, what a truck! You are very lucky to be surrounded by things you love.

  12. bonnie ellis says:

    I’m sure Valentine should be your middle name. You and I love the same things, husbands, family, horses, pets and the beautiful settings God gave us in his autograph. Have a great day and thanks for the wonderful blog. Bonnie

  13. Hilda Collins says:

    The old truck and the vintage tablecloths are my passion.
    I only have the tablecloths but I am happy for your Dad
    and you with the truck. Your ranch looks beautiful!

  14. Catherine says:

    Beautiful flowers and some beautiful blessings as well. Thanks for sharing them with us 🙂 .

  15. Pat says:

    Love your blog. Shery, I also love your stories and pictures. Thank you so much for sharing. From a Virginia Country Girl.

  16. Oh Shery,
    Thank you for sharing your many "Valentines" with us…
    I have many too! my hubby of 37 years, my daughter & son-in-love, my grand foster baby & my 4-legged fur babies.

  17. julie hofmann says:

    Thank You Shery, for reminding me that after the snow and cold will come the flowers and new born calves. I look forward to each and appreciate all that god gives us. I to enjoy the many hours spent working with my valentine and am thankful he is in my life. Happy Valentines Day Shery.


  18. I just love everything about this post. Your loving appreciation for your parents & the animals in your life. To me this is what country living is all about.

  19. Linda says:

    Just this month I discovered Mary Jane Magazine and it had such a calming effect I decided to check out the web site. Love your photos Sheri and what a great story about your grandparents. I too love to hunt out special finds at second-hand stores, garage sales, antique shops etc. It’s not about the bargain, but the story I know is hidden behind my treasure!

  20. Sonja says:

    My husband and I love your post. We understand your love for your family, animals and your ranch. We have enjoyed your pictures (we love out west). Have a Happy Valentines Day.

  21. amy says:

    Since I was a child my love of animals and nature has stayed with me and kept me going. After decades of city living and raising daughters I have been able to restart my country life and reclaim my love of horses though I have always had dogs, never a day without them. I now ride, show and breed Rocky Mountain horses and as always when with nature I feel free in the spirit again. We now have chickens, miniature donkeys, one who is due to deliver any day and the new baby will be starting its life journey with us. This picture of life renewing life is one of country life’s biggest gifts. My life has renewed me spiritually and has been the culmination of my life dreams to come back to simpler, greener life filled with animals. You can take the girl out of the country but not the country out of the girl. One of the greatest gifts this life has given me is allowing my beloved grandchildren to have animals be a part of their life also. It is great to live in the country and still have access to the city where my grandchildren live. I am truly blessed by God.

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