The View From My Saddle

Some days you get be a cowgirl. Other days you get to be the cook. I love to do as many things outside as I can, but I don’t mind being under a roof either. There is a place for everything in a balanced life. Balance is an art and it is also a very do-able thing even though Life sometimes challenges our ability to make it so. Oft times the ‘view from my saddle’ is a treat – rather than being what I do most of the time. Cowgirling isn’t an every day affair.

The other evening we moved cattle to a different pasture. It is too muggy and hot to ride during the day; the cattle get over heated and so do we. I love evening light … it is soft, golden and serene. Daylight lives are winding down for the day. Others are waking up … like the Nighthawks that soar and swoop at dusk.

Our cattle look better this summer than they have in years! Drought is an ugly thing to endure. The abundant rain has *kept* the grass ideal and growing. The calves are ‘waddle fat’ :o) Below, a momma licks her calf and the baby is obviously enjoying it.

Here is one of our steer calves. He’s just about a perfect specimen!

Likewise, his sister. She looks like a ‘keeper’ – a good replacement candidate.

The hazy-pink sunset indicated there was a big fire somewhere … and it reminded me of our Idaho neighbors to the west that have been stricken by wildfires.

Our evening ride was leisurely, no hurry and the cattle were quite willing to just go along. They understand that a move like this usually takes them to fresh grass. Forgive Ribbon’s bad-hair day. Her mistress neglected to keep her properly coiffed. :o) She needs her bridle path trimmed in the worst way.

With all the moisture this summer, every manner of growing thing has bounced back and appears to be fully recovered from years of drought. The Sagebrush has gone from gray to that lovely minty shade of blue … like Blue Spruce evergreens. The evergreen trees are also a vivid shade of whatever is normal for them; lots of new growth and tons of berries on the Juniper.

And, my garden. Now we’re enjoying the return. Cabbage and tomatoes. The second go round of leafy greens is coming — lettuce, spinach and swiss chard. I think I’ll make sweet beet relish next week.

I planted dark red Coreopsis and they turned into shrubbery! I love their deep crimson color. The tag didn’t indicate that this variety is a perennial, so, I’m leaving them be in hopes that they will re-seed. I think I’ll shake some of their seeds elsewhere too.

There are purple ‘Grandpa Ott’ Morning Glories draped on everything they can find to climb on. These morning glories are a little smaller than the ‘Heavenly Blue’ variety [which I also love] and they far & away outbloom them. They also eagerly re-seed.

I bet that a survey of gardeners would reveal that homegrown tomatoes get the #1 slot for favorites. However, everything grown in a garden is 10 times better than store-bought. Homegrown cucumbers and carrots are as different from their store-bought counterpart as tomatoes and apples.

There must be a thousand ways to eat garden tomatoes. I love a plain tomato sandwich: good multigrain bread, slather on a little mayo, slices of tomato and salt & pepper. I also like to add a slice of sweet onion and fresh greens of some kind. Most recently, I concocted my own version of Picco De Gallo aka Mexican coleslaw. I lovelovelove fresh salsa with lots of Cilantro in it. Adding a hefty portion of finely sliced cabbage turns a dipping salsa into a salad … and more. Here is my recipe.

Ranch Farmgirl’s Mexican Coleslaw

1/2 of a medium sized cabbage – finely shredded

1/3 of a Jalapeno pepper (minced) – use more if like ‘heat’

4 C tomatoes – process in food processer till it is smooth.

1/2 tsp minced garlic (or more if you prefer)

1 handful of loosely chopped cilantro

1 handful of green onions – chopped

Juice of two limes

1 Tbsp vinegar

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp honey or guava nectar

Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients, toss & roll carefully. This is best if it can sit for at least an hour or so. Serve as a salad side-dish, a topping for tacos OR as a dip, but, if you serve it as a dip be sure to put a serving fork in it so that you can flop some on a tortilla chip. Oh-My-Gosh … it is addictive!

On other fronts, my farmgirl pals & I are planning to go on our next “glamp out” next week. If all goes as planned, we’ll have two NEW [old] glampers with us. Brenda is feverishly restoring her vintage beauty and my sister may not have the interior of her camper painted by then, but she should be able to come.

My sister’s glamper décor theme is ‘Farmhouse Chic’ … lots of WHITE … like an old farmhouse. I’ve been gathering up some things for her … like this cluster of vintage enamel goodies. She’ll also have lots of antique linens inside. I can’t wait to see it. My husband lost his man cave ‘mamper’ to a good cause! :o) The reborn version will be so girled up that most he-types will be allergic to it – ha! :o)

And, oh the western skies … I know I take too many photos of the sky … BUT … honest to pete, you can’t help but look up out here in the west. The skies are absolutely breathtaking.

Two huge formations converge …

Summer is nearly over. Indian Summer is on deck. At the nearby farmer’s markets, pumpkins will soon make their debut. Oh, how I love the onset of fall. But, I don’t want to hurry things. I savor every day of temperatures way above freezing, for I know those days will come sooner than I want them too. With that idea in place, my parting thought is this: savor the flavor of summer to the very last drop.

Enjoy all the fresh produce now gracing your tables. What a beautiful blessing it is to see a dinner table overflowing with homegrown, homemade edibles and a bouquet from your own flower bed. No wonder we say Grace. Everyday is Thanksgiving for the gardener and those who ‘put food by’. He blesses us and then we bless Him right back. May your cupboard overflow with the harvest. ~ Shery

  1. Claudia says:

    Beautiful! Can almost smell the sage…

  2. Diana Henretty says:

    I love your post for several reasons, the pictures are out of this world with beauty, and the way your decorate just gives my heart a thrill. I made your little candle lamps with tin bowls and hurricane globes placed inside you had displayed around Christmas, now a centerpiece on my kitchen table.
    But, a couple other reasons, is that each time I read it, it reminds me so of the John Denver "Song of Wyoming", and also his many songs about the cowboy’s life.
    The father I barely knew, spent his last years on his ranch in Wyoming, and so when I read your post, it connects my heartstrings to him, even though he has been gone for 34 yrs, when I see your pictures, it somehow helps me see
    him once again.
    Thanks so much for making my day brighter and my heart lighter!
    Hugs from Noel, Mo. ……Diana

  3. Denise S says:

    I always love ALL your pictures you post!

  4. Ann says:

    Dear Shery – I am always delighted and astonished by your prose and gorgeous photos. I have the delight of sitting on my screened porch right now and oh, how I wish I could capture the scene as you do. I enjoy your musings and blessings very much!

  5. Joan says:

    Once again another super read and visual delight. Thanks for the fun afternoon, sitting here with the beautiful breeze, looking out onto my flower gardens, none as pretty as yours though. God Bless

  6. Cindy Hunter says:

    Love your post…especially the pictures. While this time of year is busy with all the bounty of the garden, I savor every moment! Winter will be here soon enough.
    All of it is a blessing.

  7. Carol Norwood says:

    Shery … As always I love your post and your pictures. I don’t think there is such thing as "too many" sky pictures; I love them all! Is there any chance of getting your sweet beet relish recipe? It sounds delish! Enjoy the remaining summer days … Carol


    Carol, Actually it is my momma’s recipe and I would be happy to post it :o) Thank you all for the friendship and kind words.  Shery

  8. Karen says:

    Dear Shery, I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoy your pictures and the topics you write about..I have never lived in the west…I have only dreamed about it since I was a little girl. Being raised in Ohio, my Grandfather and Grandmother had a small farm where we spent most of our weekends. I have been in love with horses ever since I can remember. Your pictures sometimes make me cry, they are so beautiful and full of life. Wyoming is such a gorgeous state. In 1975 we took a trip to Yellowstone. It truly was the trip of a lifetime. I wish I could return! Please continue to post your lovely stories and pictures. Thank You

  9. Jan says:

    Wow! Your plantings are doing superbly! Do you fertilize on a regular basis? What do you use?
    What a wonderful summer…


    Jan, I don’t use plant food…just good homemade cow & horse poop :o) In the spring, I top dress my garden a new layer of aged manure and then turn it over.  Thank you, Shery

  10. Marian says:

    Thank you for sharing with us your Saddle sights. I live in BC, Canada on Vancouver Island in an area called Yellowpoint. My husband and I moved here eight years ago for our retirement. Not much retiring is happening but we are doing what we love to do; me gardening and developing a very small scale kitchen/market garden and my husband fly fishing. We love the country living but some days we do wonder what we were thinking taking on a very small property which needed much work and a fixer upper helper house in need of much in the way of renovations. But, we plug along, doing what we can when we can and when we can afford to. Your entries are most interesting and give me incentive to keep on going with our projects here at ‘Naturewood’ our given name for our little plot of land. Thank you. Marian

  11. taylor says:

     First time i have posted. i live in kentucky having moved here from the mountains of new hampshire. my horses- arabians and rocky mtns. keep me busy as well as gardening and "junking" – still searching for my little teardrop or small trailer to cowgirl up. i love your pictures, your horse is lovely- a quarterhorse ? your plants are lovely as are their containers. what fun- will be looking forward to your blogs from now on- thank-you !

  12. taylor says:

     First time i have posted. i live in kentucky having moved here from the mountains of new hampshire. my horses- arabians and rocky mtns. keep me busy as well as gardening and "junking" – still searching for my little teardrop or small trailer to cowgirl up. i love your pictures, your horse is lovely- a quarterhorse ? your plants are lovely as are their containers. what fun- will be looking forward to your blogs from now on- thank-you !

  13. Pasture Road says:

    How jealous I am! I work on an online auction website that sells tac and other farm equipment. Some of my best days are those that I get to drive a herd of cattle. Currently, my work consists of posting pictures of cattle that are for sale…Not the same.

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