Every Nook And Cranny

GoodGollyMissMolly! Things ’round this outfit have been busier than usual. Must be the close of a season – as in the door officially slammed shut. There are still several things I/we need to do before winter sets in. One of the ‘check list’ assignments was to take senior photos for a young friend [Jessica] during her favorite season … Fall. Here is one – taken on a high bluff at the family ranch. C’mon in to see the rest and some of the other ‘ranchy’ goings on … in every nook & cranny.

A few pastures away, a few miles and several fences [below] … we’re Jessica’s neighbors. We’ve helped one another at branding time for years. The other day, we brought our cow/calf pairs in [heifer calves and their mommas] to be vaccinated and treated for parasites. A friend and I sat out here a’ways to create a ‘wing’ so that the cattle would veer to their left toward a gate.

Aside from the afore mentioned goals, the other task [for me] was to choose replacement heifers from the group. Then we tagged them so that come shipping day, they’ll be easy to separate from those we’re selling. A few friends and my BIL came to help. I vaccinated.

The mother cows walk through the chute and receive a pour-on of liquid to rid them of parasites.

I picked this cow a few years back. Her markings are my favorite – a classic panda bear face :o)

Among other things, what you look for in replacements is quality and uniformity. To some folks, temperament is not a big issue. It is a REAL BIG item for me. I walk quietly amongst the baby girls once they are in a pen by themselves. I look them all over and when I see one I like, I close in. If she’s shy, that is normal, but if she’s overly fearful and jumps & crawls over the others, it means one thing: DQ. Disqualified. So, the girls that *I* like move away calmly and pay attention to me without being goofy. They win a slot to stay. I picked 22 and all of them behaved like ladies in the chute [and it is scary for them]. I chose to veto one when she acted like a rabid ape in the alley. Gosh, the calves look sooo good this year because of all the rain which = lots of good grass. Here’z my gaggle of pretty little girls…

Literal ‘cowgirls’ with new ear tags and a future on the ranch. Below is another pretty girl with an exciting future ahead of her. She wants to be a rancher. But first, she wants to go to college and major in Ag Ed. Jessica’s mother had one request while ‘Jess’ and I were out and about taking senior photos: ‘Please take some on the rock shelf at the pointy butte above the corrals. My parents had their wedding photos taken up there.’ So, after we had taken lots of other pictures elsewhere, we headed to the ranch and scaled the steep butte to take the last photos. Here she is on the ‘shelf’. It really IS a shelf of stone.

I had found a Double D Ranch label dress just a week earlier at a 2nd hand shop. I bought it and was going to pirate the concho buttons on it, but when it occurred to me that it might fit Jess, well, here it is on her. WOW! I made the jewelry. She looks so grown up. Gee, it seems like it was only yesterday that she was learning to wrestle calves at brandings in her daddy’s lap.

Before we went to the ranch, we took pictures all around our little town – wherever we found some pretty fall leaves, old buildings, old cars, and so on.

Jess and I BOTH like ‘old stuff’, so we got along great when it came to taking photos of her in the midst of what others might see as junk.

No cowgirl photo portfolio would be complete without a duet portrait of a girl and her beloved caballo.

Oh … and this too … Did any of you witness the huge moon last month? Big and bright. I could see the face of it with even my not-so-fancy zoom. I went out later than usual to shut the chicken house and went back in to get my camera.

About the chickens … Well, I ordered Delaware pullets this past June and they are very nice birds – clean and classic looking. I thought I bought six hens, but one of them turned out to be a cockerel. He can stay though, he’s very friendly and gentle and maybe we’ll make our own little chicks next spring. Its been awhile since I raised my own from scratch. I usually take them away from the hen though because they aren’t as tame if they aren’t hand-raised. Just my preference. Less work to let momma raise them to be sure, but…….

I had a few antique this & thats to restore. I almost stalled too long. The weather is going to put an end to this sort of activity. But, I did get the short list done: two benches and a mirror frame. The big bench is for the offside of my harvest table in the porch. The smaller bench is now an end table next to my recliner. As far as painting, sanding etc – the whole process from beginning to end is really easy to do on the gravel driveway next to the porch. No worries about paint dribbles or sanding dust.

C’mon inside and I’ll show you my new laundry room — well, it isn’t really new and it isn’t really a ROOM – it is actually the size of a closet. Anyway, here is the half-door my husband built … from the porch to the laundry room. I found the sign at an antique store. It was all white – the painted lettering had long since wore off. So, I repainted the words and antique-d the sign with a little mild sanding.

A couple of months ago, I knew my old washer’s days were numbered. I planned to re-do the laundry room – as in repaint, but I was hoping to replace both appliances as part of the new look. To get those big ole things out of there was like pulling a watermelon through a knothole. But, here ‘tiz all done. Good thing I like red barn paint. It covers a lot of territory around here – inside and out. I don’t want to talk about what the floor looked like underneath the old washer and dryer. One word is all I’ll offer. S C A R Y. I removed the old handles from the cupboard doors and replaced them with old serving spoons.

At the same antique store, I found an old piece of molding. I mounted it on top of the coat closet in the porch. The hamper and old buckets with lids hold dog and cat food. The watering can is for rolled up grocery sacks.

When my glampy galpals and I were glamping this past July, Michele made a wreath out of wild grapevines for me. Here it is dressed for fall. It hangs on an old door.

I found this faux berry wreath recently and hung it on an old window screen.

At a friend’s auction, I bought this dandy old rake. It hangs in the hallway across from the guest bedroom. I hung an old flag banner, a couple of stars and a spray of millet on the tines. Reminded me of part of a verse I’m sure you’re familiar with: “Amber waves of grain.”

Finally finished the guest bedroom. A chenille bedspread was the last addition. This too, my sister gave me a beautiful antique rug she brought back from Turkey.

Our bedroom always looks like a C [to me] on a report card. I’ve just never been real happy with the way it looks. But, I found chambray denim curtains and some mixed floral bedding that makes me smile. I like an eclectic mix of rustic & ruffles.

I stole an idea from my friend, Michele. She has an antique quilt hanging from a saw in a bedroom. So, when I found a nice old saw, I copycatted her. This vintage quilt isn’t in good enough shape to hang squarely. I love old scrappy quilts the very best.

Another old goody I found a use for is my momma’s antique iron toy stove. All the little holes for the burners make great slots for kitchen utensils.

I like decorating, but what I like best are things that look cute AND serve a purpose. My favorite antiques are utilitarian objects — either they still work for a living or they once did and/or I can find a new use for them!

I love the old minnow bucket that my farmgirl pal, Jennie, gave me for Christmas last year. Makes a dandy lamp for my living room that has an outdoor ‘campy’ theme.

I would like to think we might be able to go glamping ONE MORE TIME before old man winter sets in for the duration. I tidied up my camper and put Hudson Bay blankets on my bed in hopes for one more road trip. I also stocked up on wooly wraps for sitting outside next to a fire. There is a goose down blanket at the ready too. I don’t mind a little chill in the air … but NONONO to icy roads!

I put my garden to sleep two weeks ago. Pulled out all the old plants, cleaned out the tanks, tidied it up so that everything is ready for planting in the spring. I left quite a few carrots in a tank…covered them up good. I might can them when it is time to pull them up. And, one other last foodie project to-do: there is a big bag of beets in the fridge that need to be addressed. I was delighted to learn that I can freeze them! I didn’t know that. I did make liqueur from chokecherries [think I already told you that] AND wild plums. The latter ought to be ready now. I like to mix it with Fresca — kinda like a wine cooler, but with a more distinct flavor.

So, now that summer is behind you and fall too [almost], what do you still want/need to get done? In other words, what didn’t you get to yet ;o) Ok, maybe I better save my smartalek remarks for myself. I never seem to get caught up. To really feel like you ‘arrive’, a person has to STOP adding to the to-do list. I can’t do that though. Problem seems to be I run out of fuel and energy before I run out of list! Oh well, there are worse fates than looking forward to doing things you enjoy.

Enjoy the warm, sunny moments that are left to us this time of year. ~ Shery

  1. Amy says:

    Love your house and love seeing the prairie. I live in SE Ohio in the hills of Hocking County and enjoy seeing your wide open spaces. I wish I could say my house looks as nice as yours. I am too afraid to make a mistake so just leave it as is. You inspire me.

  2. Betty Benesi says:

    Ok so we’re in the Santa Cruz mountains in California so we need firewood. Only one night cold enough so far to build a fire. I need to clean out my pantry before the holidays. Mine is an old pie safe with screen doors actually made out of packing crates. Hem my new curtains and maybe paint the stair case. My husband wants me to stencil "Duck, Duck, Goose on the lower steps because our first story has lower than normal ceilings. We don’t have snow like you do so we can still do stuff outdoors except when it rains:)

  3. Kim Robbs says:

    Love the pictures! thank you for sharing, but have to find out where your daughter got the long black coat or did you make it?

  4. Brenda says:

    My list is always longer than I can expect to get done. I put it away for a while because we are getting ready for my hubs parents 50th anniversary and decided just to mostly keep my mind on that and give myself a break from waking up at night stressing about my long list. I have decided that sometimes it is nice just to do things as I see them and not worry about the rest for a while. The Christmas season is coming up and there will be plenty back on a list soon enough. Love all you decor and finds. I canned beets for the first time this year. I have found I will need to grow quite a few more next year because I only ended up with 5 pints. We did roast some in the oven to eat also. Well just taking a break from some business of Grands visiting so back to my task at hand. Hope you get another Glamping trip in!

  5. Kerri says:


    Wow! You are one busy lady. I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now and am so impressed with all you do. At the top of my list these days is fixing up my 1955 12′ Lakewood Camper…she’s a cute little thing that needs some TLC, luckily my hubby is "into it" (he actually surprised me with it a few weeks ago, which is "surprising" considering he gave me much grief about wanting a vintage camper for the past few years). Seeing you and your gals glamping it up just makes me want to get it done that much sooner…I can’t wait!! Our first trip in it will be to the beach, so my hubby can surf/rest/surf/rest…and being that we are in SoCal we can take her out as soon as she’s done. 🙂

    Looking forward to your next post,

  6. Victoria says:

    Shery, Your cows are magnificent, your little friend beautiful, even your chickens are goregous!!! Do you ever just sit back and take a deep breath and take it all in? How blessed you are!!! And when do you get to bring the new baby home? I can’t wait!!!!

  7. terces says:

    You continually inspire me, I don’t know how you do it all and with such a warm and gracious spirit. I always feel like I can barely keep up and taking time away from the farm always sets me behind, not to mention the milk that starts adding up quickly….. Thanks for all you share and how amazing a job you do of that. The photos you take and show are stunning!

  8. Mercedes says:

    Stole your stolen idea for hanging a quilt. I had the saw and did not know where to put it. Thank you.
    Love your guest room. It is lovely.

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