Monday, December 31, 2012

Let's be better together in 2013!

What did 2012 mean to you? Did you have any goals that you accomplished?

2012 was my year of being better.

All year, I've had this overwhelming desire to be better and improve in every way possible. It's been a little ambitious, especially for someone like me, but it's truly taught me so much about myself.

It's also a desire that will continue thru 2013 and I look forward to it. 

Some things I'm trying to be better at include being a better wife. Better at juggling the stresses of life. Being mindful. Better at deflecting negativity and the list goes on.

The list goes on because you know just as much as I do that there is a lot we can all be better at. 
The summer of 2012 I started building friendships with people that inspire me to be a better person. We so often get stuck in relationships that just drag us down. Why do we do this to ourselves? As hard as it has been to let go of some friendships and create distance between others I am a better person for it.

I've also spent a lot of time evaluating my reactions to certain situations. I ask myself this question a lot, "Is this reaction in proportion to the event?"  Talk about getting some perspective. Give it a try sometime.

I've also made a conscience effort to use my words.  Sounds elementary, right? I've practiced speaking my mind and not constantly apologizing or being embarrassed for the way I'm feeling. Every emotion is justified. There is no need to apologize for it, but to stand up for it.

I did more things for me this summer. Like completing the Tough Mudder-Beaver Creek! This was one of my biggest challenges yet! It was a blast. I never thought I would be able to push myself mentally the way I did for this challenge. I've never been so proud of myself. 
As 2013 approaches, I'm anxious to see what it has in store.

One thing I DO know is that it's going to be a year of home projects because J and I just closed on our first home this past week!
In three days we've put in over 40 hours of work and I look forward to lots more. It's the most fun I've had working up a sweat, I think...ever. I can't wait to show you what we've done so far!

Our new home came with a chicken coop so, there may be some cockadoodledoo-ing in our near future.

Here's to a new year and making 2013 about being better!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Country road, take me home! Fast. (another forgotten summer 2012 post)

I hope you can keep a secret...
I may be the exception to the saying "You can take the girl out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the girl."

Here's why.

I went to Miami this past summer for a training (another piece of proof, that I meant to blog this year!). I've been to Florida before, but stayed on Marco Island which isn't a busy city, but more of a place where people over the age of 65 go to rest their heads. This recent trip I stayed in Coral Gables for five nights then stayed with a sorority sister for two in Miami. I ate a lot of sushi, Cuban cuisine here and visited this very cool bookstore among a few other things like an air-boat trip in the Everglades.

My favorite restaurant to experience was Michael's Genuine Food & Drink!

The menu changes daily at Michael's, but I was lucky and caught a weekend that their Lamb Chili was on the menu. It was nothing short of delicious. We had falafel, homemade pop-tarts (YUMMY!), crispy hominy with chili power and the blueberry pancakes and because my sorority sister is loved by everyone she meets they gave us a complimentary order of homemade Samoa cookies! I ate way too much and of course I brought home about 10 pounds of souvenirs from this trip...5 on one thigh and 5 on the other! If you are ever in Miami you MUST eat at Michael's. Must. As if you needed another reason to eat here...they are advocates for their local agriculture community and only buy locally! (I'm totally not badass enough to be paid to write this!)

I hope I am not saying too much about myself when I admit that my favorite part about Florida was the food. However, for those that know the town I live in, good food, let alone sushi is VERY hard to come by. 

The scenery was pretty if you enjoyed the vista from inside an air conditioned building. The humidity was just something crazy, definitely not my cup of tea. My girlfriend and her fiance said you get used to the weather and I believe it...while I was a glossy sweaty face mess, she didn't have a shine to her forehead. Pretty impressive.

The people weren't the friendliest either, but I don't know of a big city where they are.

Being in the city made me wish I could tap my shoes together three times and get back home. While it was great to have fun with a very good friend, eat (wayy too much) very good food, I was happy to get back home and Jigs was happy too!  

It's amazing what perspective does for us. Had I never moved to Colorado six years ago I would have thought I lived in the most awesome place ever. Southern California.

People that have never experienced Colorado and all it has to offer will never know what they are missing.

And, that is okay...I'm fine with keeping this beautiful country our little secret. 
I know at least one other blogger that is with me on this one! 

image from here 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A late post, but post-worthy

This blog post is proof that I had good intentions to blog this year. To say I was a bit distracted with life happening is an understatement. Even though it's late, it's definitely still post-worthy.
This past summer we welcomed four kittens to the ranch. Mama Galena is doing wonderful and so are her babies! (and has since been spayed! kittehs have a date scheduled in February!)

Hard to believe the same summer we lost a very loyal member of the ranch crew.

This summer Joe, our oldest Pyrenees was put down.

Joe was about 12 years old and was a great guard dog. It was clearly visible his last few days on the ranch were tough for him. He had started to howl and moan in pain all through the night. He had bad arthritis and couldn't walk on one of his legs because he was hit by a car several years back, it continued to get progressively worst. Joe lived a good life and was "working" up until the day he left the ranch.

Joe was loyal dog and lived to serve his owner and protect his sheep. He has been and will continue to be missed.
Rest in peace, ol' Joe.

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.
You are his life, his love, and his leader. He will be yours,
faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.
You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."
-- Unknown

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Fleece Navidad!

Hope ya'll had a great Christmas. 
We trailed sheep today, which I'll tell you all about in a few days, but for now I wanted to share with you our sheep trailing about a week ago. 

We've been at this a little over two years now. Lambing, shearing, trailing sheep, cold winters, late nights, cold mornings, etc.

At what point do these everyday activities become the norm? For me, it seems like they may never. J asked me Friday night, "Are you all ready to trail tomorrow?"

At that very instant, I had knots in my stomach and was full of anxiety. I just don't understand why I get anxious and worried. We are out of feed here and need to start heading south for the winter. We were hoping to stay where we were for a few more weeks, but it was just too dry and there was little feed left. So, trailing it is. 

Saturday morning, we wake up bright and early and look outside. It's snowing and it's so, very cold.

Here we've been praying for snow for weeks and today of all days we get this...

Upper Left: Right before we got on the road. That is the fence the sheep came out of.
Upper Right: Animals always line up at the fences to see the sheep come thru. It's so neat.
Lower Left: It didn't budge from 25 degrees the entire trail.
Lower Right: The sheep coming down their last hill. They are about 100 ft from the gate to the pasture.

I didn't dare wish it away, but it reminded me of a saying I heard once, "Farmers and Ranchers are never quite happy. There will always be too much moisture, not enough moisture or moisture at the wrong time." It's definitely a love-hate (def more love) type of relationship.

Even though the trail today was a shorter one (only 9.5 miles), doesn't mean it was easier than others. However, it's made a bit easier when you have good help! Like the help we get from these two.

I'm a little late to introduce these two (we'll call them L&T), we've been friends for over a year now and they really are the most amazing individuals J and I have ever had in our lives. Truly. Our mutual love of In-N-Out is what brought us together, but so much more keeps us together.

L&T helped us at a tricky intersection today and it went smooth - they are awesome trailers. Pretty much professionals at this point.

The three of us were stopping cars at the intersection and while I work on stopping a motorist, I find that she is one of 'those people'. Let me define this a bit better...

There are three types of people that you run into while trailing sheep. There are the "Lovers" who enjoy driving thru the sheep. They take pictures, smile, sometimes stop to chat and a few will even turn around for seconds.

Then you have the "Grumps". These are the people that grumble thru the sheep and most likely thru everything else in life.

Then you have "Those People".  These are the people that think it's the most horrible, awful, most miserable thing to drive thru the sheep. These people don't slow down, they speed up and honk their horn because sheep know what the sound of a horn means.
I mean really, is driving thru sheep really that bad?

Anyway, as I'm stopping this motorist, I realize it's a postal service worker. I said, "Mam, would you mind stopping here for just a few minutes? The sheep are coming thru."

To which she replied in a panicked tone, "But, I have the mail!"

Oh!! Well, in that case go right on thru. I'll just let the sheep know you have some important deliveries to make. I'm sure it won't be a problem. Let me part the seas right now!
I shook my head and promised her it would be less than 3 minutes. She seemed okay with that.

After the intersection, it was a breeze. About an hour later the sheep were where they needed to be. They'll stay in this pasture for 2 weeks.

Unless it snows, of course...then we'll need to keep heading south. Love-hate I tell you...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Doggie Ed

I realize I haven't been posting lately, but I HAD to share this video and newstory with you!

Buckle Up!


I'll be back soon.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Ewe'll be coming down the mountain..

"Oh, wow! How funny. I'm on my way and there is just some random sheep walking down the road," a co-worker said to me on her way into the office.

"Welp, can't be one of our sheep, because ours are way up in the high county and not quite making their way down the mountain yet."

7 hours later.

As I'm making dinner J says to me, "Do you want to know something pretty cool that happened today? It's amazing, actually."

I was all ears considering my husband NEVER uses the word "amazing".

He continued, "A few weeks ago, D (our herder up in the high country with the sheep) told me when I went to move camp that he lost a ewe. He told me she was sick and he doctored her, but she went astray and he couldn't find her and I hadn't heard anything since.

Well, today E (our herder here at the ranch) came up to me and asked if D ever said anything about losing a ewe. I told him that he had, but he wasn't sure where she went off too. E said, 'I think she is here.' Apparently, the sheep walked herself home! She was here on the county road just grazing alongside the fence line waiting to be let it in."

Now, who said sheep were stupid animals?
images from here and here

We did a little bit of recon and it seems like mama ewe walked about 35 miles through mountainous terrain over the course of approximately three weeks. Mama endured lonely and cold nights without her flock, and I imagine she fought off a few bear and coyote in the process. ;)

I made a map to give some perspective and to further prove that sheep are not stupid animals...or, at least ours aren't.
Why do we think this is the route she took? This is the route the sheep take off the mountain every fall when we bring them home. It's the only way she knows. 

Another question you might be thinking - how do you know it was YOUR sheep? All our sheep are marked with ear tags and this one was marked with red chalk on her back. D marked her with red chalk when she became ill so it would be easier for him to spot her in the herd. 
* * * * *
The Friday our mama made her way home, there was a picture of her on the front page of our local paper! They caught her crossing the busiest intersection in town!
image from here
Mama is now home at the ranch and will be reunited with her babies this weekend when the large herd works it's way home from the mountain!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Fun.

One of the great things about being a sheep rancher's wife is that every sheep story my friends come across, they send it to me.

Ever wonder where sheep go to shop?
Here is a fun story you are sure to enjoy on this Friday afternoon!  Sheep in a Store.

Have a bewetiful weekend!  

from google images

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mutton Mondays - Thanks to the USDA

The USDA announced last month a $170 million dollar purchase of lamb, pork, chicken and catfish for federal food nutrition programs, including food banks, National School Lunch Program and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.

The purchase aims to alleviate pressure on farmers that have been affected by the recent drought and to help avoid rising food costs for consumers. 

It is said to be the worst drought year since the 1950's. 

The purchase breakdown in dollars is:
$100 million in pork products; $10 million in catfish; $50 million in chicken; and $10 million in lamb products.

The purchases will assist "producers who are currently struggling due to the challenging market conditions and the high cost of feed resulting from the widespread drought," Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsak said in a statement.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My niece is missing - I need your help! *edited*

Hi friends!

It's been a while, I know...and while I owe you more than a few good posts I'm here to ask for your help.

I usually don't post too many bits of personal information especially regarding my family, location, names, etc., but this circumstance calls for it.

My niece, Antoinette Garrison has been missing for 3 weeks yesterday. She is 16 and we fear she is in danger or being held against her will. She is classified as a "Runaway" because she left a note saying that she wanted to go back home (she was born and raised in VA, but recently moved to Northern Colorado). After 3 weeks, if she was in fact heading to VA she should have been there by now. While law enforcement in Fort Collins, CO and Charlottesville, VA are doing everything they can, the more we get her face out there the better.

Until she is classified as a "Missing Person" the media won't touch the story so this is why I'm asking for your help.

If you have any friends or family in Colorado and/or Virginia would you please share this flyer/blog post?

Here is a link to a google doc if you would like to hang up a flyer or two or twenty in or around your area. please click here for flyer

Also, if you would take a moment to like the Find Antoinette Garrison page on Facebook it would be more than appreciated. We need all the help we can get.

Here is a podcast with my sister, Annette Garrison that gives more details on the case. 

Thank you so much! It means so much to my family. Truly, it does.

My niece was found alive on 9/17/2012 in Laredo, Texas. She is home with her parents. Thank you so much for sharing this page and helping us spread the word. We are very thankful for everyone that showed so much love and support. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cooling off in a water trough.

I have no excuses for being such a bad blogger. Well, I actually do have a few, but they don't matter.

It's been a hot summer and I have to admit I'm glad it's almost over. I never thought I would wish for winter, but I am.

I'm wishing for a snowpocalypse in the SW corner of Colorado!

For now, we are doing all we can to stay cool!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dog Duty.

A good friend was in town a few weekends ago and wanted to take some photos of us at the ranch while she was here.

Christene owns C.S. Photography and to say she is uber talented is an understatement. When she asked us to be her models I jumped at the opportunity and felt super honored that she'd want us as subjects!

She chose a pretty good weekend because while we are making the shift from lambing season to irrigating season things are calming down and I knew that this would be a decent weekend for J.

I told J to plan for picture taking on that Sunday morning and asked him to puhlease keep Jigs clean on Saturday.
She's a beauty when she's clean!
It wasn't a huge request. She just needed to keep her out of the creek and keep her from running through the wet fields for ONE day! I understand that can be a daunting task for some, but my girl listens very well and I just figured he'd put her on a "sit-stay" command.


Saturday afternoon while I am out celebrating my birthday having sushi with a friend I get this text message,

"Looks like she'll really need a bath now."

I open the photo attached and see this. 
After an evening dog bath, we were ready for pictures on Sunday morning and the pictures turned out beautifully! 

You can see the full blog post with our pictures on C.S. Photography's blog by clicking here.  
Thank you again, Christene!! 
We will cherish these forever! 

here are just a few of the photos...

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Winter Write-Up and Spring Beginnings!

As much as I would have liked winter to stick around much longer and give us more moisture than it did, I know it has passed and Spring is here!


I tried really hard to stay busy this winter. I tend to gain a few pounds from staying indoors and snacking, but this year I feel like I did a lot better.


J got me a pair of these bad boys which made it quite pleasant to go outside in the chilliest of weather. So, I really had no excuse.

Women's Flannel-Lined Jeans
I had a few things I wanted to get done this winter and overall, I am pretty happy with what I was able to accomplish! :)

{numero uno}
I really wanted to learn to drive a stick shift. Sounds pretty simple, right? Not so much.

One thing I learned to accept is that my ever-so patient and loving husband is a horrible teacher! I'd never seen him more frustrated than when I would stall the car over and over and over.

After a few weeks of arguing, neck jerking and stalling in the road, I was able to get the jist of it. I'm still no pro, nor do I feel comfortable driving alone, but I have more confidence than I did a few months ago.

{numero dos}
This winter I wanted to refurnish a bench for my mother in law. They winter in Florida and I thought it would be a good project for me and I knew she would really enjoy a refurnished bench. It turned out pretty nice, don't you think? She loved it!


{numero tres}
I wanted a physical challenge. I've always been somewhat "athletic" and by that I mean I frequent the gym, but I wasn't working toward any specific goal.

Welp, after some convincing from a few good friends this girl registered for the Tough Mudder


Now, when I tell people that I registered, I also add my disclaimer which is - Just because I registered doesn't mean I will cross the finish line on two feet. I might crawl or be carried.

Since this is one of the most challenging things I will probably ever do in my life I'll be sure to keep up all updated as the big day nears! I'm about one month out and I feel good!

{numero quatro}
This goal was more of an overdue personal investment for my skin, but I wanted to get it done this winter when my face is usually at it's worst. I figured if a product can save me in the worst of times, it will have no problem doing the same during the easy months. Every winter for the past few years my face gets really dry and I get some serious acne. I know it's a combination of being outdoors in the elements and the dry weather, but I just couldn't find anything that worked. I've tried all kinds of different scrubs, moisturizers, toners, the list goes on and on. I have spent so much money on different products and nothing has worked like this.
Then, one day an angel appeared! ;) I learned that a friend of mine was now doing some consulting for a skin care line and so I asked her a little more about the product. The line is called ElevenSkin and I can't stop singing their praises. 

Now, I know I don't usually do product reviews, but I am so happy with my skin after starting this regimen that I had to share. For anyone that suffers from combination skin that is uber sensitive I really suggest you give this line a try. I am currently using the items in this kit. The products contain minerals from the sea, it's not heavy or oily at all, is very rich and easy to use.

I am so happy I found this product!   

*I wasn't compensated for this post or asked to review the product. I am doing it because I'm sure there is someone out there that is desperate for some relief like I was. :) 

{numero cinco}
I wanted to re-plant a few trees near our place this winter. Which I later realized was ridiculous because most of the winter the ground is frozen. After my first few attempts at digging into frozen ground I realized this goal may just not happen before winter's end, but it did folks! J and I re-planted 4 trees.
Now, we just wait and see if they grow!

Overall, winter was good for us and the sheep did well on the winter range. The sheep arrived back at the ranch April 14th, we've sheared and lambing is well under way. 
Houston, we have babies!
Spring is off to a great beginning and now....we just pray for more rain! 

What are you looking forward to most this Spring??

Monday, March 12, 2012

Raising awareness...

Last week I mentioned I was putting on an Ag Day Event at our local library in honor of National Agriculture Day.

I started getting super nervous that no one would come and J and I would be eating baked potatoes for weeks to come, but to my surprise we had about 40 people attend.

Although forty people isn't a ton and I'm sure more than 40 people in the county eat food or use products that are directly tied to agriculture production, I feel like the event was a great success.

We raised awareness about the agriculture industry, partook in a Baked (locally grown) Potato Bar,
listened to a Cowboy Poet,
and watched the movie Temple Grandin. Have you seen Temple Grandin? Such a great movie!

On top of all the fun we provided important and interesting information about the industry.

Considering the county I live in is rural and we are all surrounded by farms and ranches, I am a little surprised more people didn't come. I think a lot of people just take the abundance that agriculture provides for granted and some just don't care.

I obviously can't change the world, but if one person left my event this past weekend feeling grateful toward the agriculture industry, then I guess I did what I set out to do.

I plan on making this an annual event and I can't wait to watch it grow.

If you missed the Ag Day/Week celebrations don't fret, in the words of fellow blogger, Crystal Cattle, " can celebrate farmers everyday!"

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Happy Ag Week!

Did you know that National Ag week is March 4th-10th?

Are you thinking this doesn't apply to you since you aren't in the industry?
You don't raise cattle, grow corn or run sheep?

Welp, think again.

If you ate today, thank a farmer or a rancher, and celebrate Agriculture!
Agriculture Week is a time to honor and thank those that work in the agriculture industry. When you stop to think about the abundance Agriculture provides you will realize that everything from what we eat to what we wear comes from the industry.

Those warm wool socks that keep you warm and cozy at night...yeah, a sheep rancher raised the sheep that provided that wool.
Image source: here
The egg you ate for breakfast...somewhere, someone was so proud to see their hen delivered one on that cold, cold morning.
Image source: here

Did you know that each American farmer provides food for more than 144 people?! 
That's a lot of mouths to feed. 

The purpose of Ag Week is to raise awareness about the industry in hopes to encourage our youth to consider a career in agriculture because let's face's not a 20-something year old's first career choice.

Farmers and Ranchers don’t have weekends off, don’t clock out at 5pm and they sure as hell don’t get holiday pay, but they do what they do for the love of the job. They do what they do for the joy they feel after each season of success, for the pride one feels after assisting in the birth of a calf that otherwise wouldn't have made it. They do what they do for the simple feeling of knowing your hard day of work will show for itself when you ship your animals to market.

On top of the long hours of physical labor, there are a ton of public policy issues this industry deals with on a daily basis. Things I only know of because I get legislative updates through organizations we are a part of like Farm Bureau and the American Sheep Industry. While a ton of people go about their lives, there is a continual battle being fought against legislative issues that threaten the industry...

I’ve never in my life appreciated agriculture as much as I do now. I wish everyone had this experience because despite the constant fight to do what we love, it’s definitely worth it.

How will you celebrate Ag Week?!

I've been working on an event at our local library this Saturday, in honor of Colorado Ag Day which is March 8th! I will be sure to let you all know how it goes!

Happy Agriculture Week, Everyone!

...and don’t forget to thank a farmer or a rancher for that food that is in your belly and that shirt that is on your back!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mutton Mondays - Paid in Oats.

I read a story in Range Magazine that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I had to learn more so that's when I went to Mr.

The story is about a Marine. A Marine that sacrificed it's life time and time again for fellow Marine brothers. This Marine is best known for the heroic hours during the Battle of Outpost Vegas in March of 1953 that lasted five days. 

Now, I will be the first to say that every Marine in my book is a hero, but this Marine stands out amongst the rest because during the Battle of Outpost Vegas the Marine made 51 trips from the Ammunition Supply Point to the firing sites carrying ammunition for it's brothers.  These trips to and from required this Marine to walk over 35 miles across open fields, up steep mountains all the while ignoring the sound of enemy fire coming in at the rate of 500 rounds per minute.

This Marine also carried wounded soldiers to safety, shielded fellow Marines from enemy fire and took two gun wounds, but kept going.

Meet Sgt. Reckless -
Recipient of two Purple Hearts, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with star, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.
Image source:

Good gracious, I love this story! 

Learn more about Reckless and watch videos here - you know you want too!