WHO AM I? Confronting the ME I want to be…

 Sept. 2017 moving cows to Cramp Springs 021

Recently I’ve felt uncertain of myself.

More than likely, it’s because I’ve been out of my comfort zone. I’ve had to do things in the past six months that I’ve never done. I’ve even had to pretend I was stronger than I really am.

Here’s the deal: I am a ranch wife and there are things that happen here that don’t happen anywhere else. There is laundry that needs to be washed, re-washed, and the machine disinfected. There are bizarre injuries, land issues that couldn’t be dreamed of, and I…

I…

Well, I feel inadequate. I’ve seen other ranch wives who take pictures of solutions they thought of in less than one second. I’ve tasted perfect dishes that when I ask for the recipe I hear, “Oh, a little of this and a little of that…” As if they never had to try. I’ve seen ranch wives throw on their husband’s flannel shirt and a pair of jeans first thing in the morning and look like they could be ready for a cover shoot. I’ve watched amazing women saddle up and outride their men.

I… Ugh.

That’s not me. Google and Pinterest are my resource solutions. I use recipes with real measurements. And if you see me first thing in the morning, well, I may need to identify myself, let alone be ready for any kind of picture. As for riding, my mount usually has a motor and four wheels.

Maybe I just need to get all this off my chest so I don’t give you any false impressions.

Or, maybe I’m writing this because in church yesterday I heard this phrase: “We live according to who we think we are.”

Insecurity says, “What’s wrong with me?” and you live trying to make something happen. Some things you can make happen–others you can’t. Trying to force things though is controlling and it really doesn’t help anything.

Ranching is tough. So is life. Things don’t always turn out how we think they should. BUT…that isn’t all life is. It’s beautiful and hopeful.

Last week I watched my oldest daughter ride some rough country with a bunch of old guys. Her perseverance and tenacity made me proud. Beautiful.

She inspired me: To try new things. To quit letting myself feel “less-than”, especially when it comes to ranch wifery. I even “dumped” supper in the crock pot.

Inferiority and insecurity aren’t new; but they are downers. Someone is always going to be better than me. There are going to be things that take me longer than someone else.

But someone isn’t living in my house. Someone isn’t occupying my thoughts. I am.

Maybe you’ve never struggled with knowing what it’s like to not measure up. Maybe you’ve been invited to every party. Maybe you’re at the top. However, I bet we all have areas where we feel “less-than”. Perhaps bad circumstances scar our identities. I could rattle off a few. However, if we live out of those thoughts of hurt and failure, we never begin to live out of who we really are. I’m imperfect, but still a ranch wife. Not a shiny buckle cowgirl, just regular ‘ol me. But I’ve learned a lot. I can cook for a crew. I can vaccinate cattle. I can irrigate. I can run a house and a four-wheeler. I love animals. I help my husband who is a full-on rancher. I have a passion for agriculture. So, maybe I can’t quilt. Maybe I won’t break any colts…

I’m still a ranch wife. A cowboy wife.

I think Dr. Seuss’s words may be timeless on this subject:

Image result for dr seuss quotes be the best you can be

 

What It Might Be–Is This Homesteading?

As I mentioned in my previous post, we recently moved and bought a place that needs a lot of TLC. We’ve been working on the inside, but as spring approaches, we’ll be working on the outside too. We have acreage–our land to put our cows on–it really even feels good to write that. We are blessed. With the blessing though comes restoration. Fences are down and the ones that are up are so old, bad, and twisted they wouldn’t hold in anything. We’ve been doing a lot of clean up, but my hubby’s good horse still gone torn up on something–He’s been hanging out in the barn with a “turtleneck” on to keep him from rubbing on the stitches, munching on antibiotic cocktails and calling to his buddies.

Yet, what we see right now is not what it could be.

There is work to be done for sure, but we have ideas in mind for the place it could become. Don’t you think that’s what the homesteaders thought? They traveled west, looked at ground, and settled in a place because they had a taste of “what it could be”. I suppose we are modern day homesteaders then. Often though in life we approach things not for what they are now, but for what they might be, if only given attention.

May we all continue to see and begin to see things with an eye for “what it might be”!

Marci's phone pics and videos April 29 2015 014

It may need work, but here’s some of it’s beauty!

The Joy of New

It’s that time of year again, where we begin thinking and talking about new things, hopes for the New Year, resolutions, etc. I’m not much of a resolution maker, but I do love thinking about new things. I love the birth of possibility. As we begin thinking about newness, the atmosphere bubbles with creativity, and thus, life.

As you may have noticed, I haven’t posted for about a month. The day before Thanksgiving, we unloaded our UHaul and started a new adventure in Montana. We’ve lived in Montana before (although near a different city) and doors opened up for us to be able to buy a small ranch of our own. We’ve dreamed of this happening for eleven years now. Eleven years ago we bought ten cows and put them in a rented pasture to begin our ranching endeavor. We weren’t clueless to ranching; we realized this wasn’t how you run a grand enterprise, but it was what we had. We decided we’d rather do something with what we had than do nothing at all. We didn’t own land, couldn’t afford to and we scratched together to buy those cows. (I’ve written before on this tiny motley crew—they were laughable indeed, but affordable.) So to think that here we are now, able to have some land of our own, well—it truly is a miracle. Our place is quite the fixer-upper, but seeing beyond the current state into what it could be, we see potential in our spot. The views alone are worth it.

The house needs/needed a lot. Before we moved in, we spent a few weeks going back and forth between Idaho and Montana, trying to fix up what we could before we moved. Electrical, some plumbing, tearing down walls to open it up… The day we moved in, the septic system failed, backing up for weeks. We discovered it had been backed up and failed for so long, all the drains were plugged and we’d have to replace both the septic tank and the drain field. This was disappointing because we were told it was new…

Apparently new to one person, isn’t new to another.

On the journey to wanting to fix something up, trying something new, start an adventure…there are a lot of cow pies. (That’s the nice way of putting it. J) I’ve found myself excited, frustrated, happy, upset, peaceful, angry, and hopeful. The road to dreams worth pursuing is hardly ever paved.

I focus a lot on dreams and hopes because without them, we parish. (Proverbs 29:18) I truly want to see my own dreams come true, but not just mine, my husband’s, my kids’, my friends’, all of you, your dreams as well.

It’s a process and I like to perform so that it all looks pretty, but life is messy. Let’s not give up, but press on towards what is worth pursuing.

Happy Holidays and Blessings in 2015!

The views
The views from our new place.

 

Beginning our remodel
Beginning our remodel.
Getting walls prepped for texture and paint.
Getting walls prepped for texture and paint.

 

Further into the process
Further into the process

 

Taking Care

Don’t you love those days when things flow? You hit the lights right, work gets done on time, and there aren’t “surprises”?

Yesterday wasn’t one of them. 🙂

It seemed one thing after the other popped up as a surprise and needed attention right away. A family member’s health is failing and I can’t fix it. Simple life details had piled up and then we discovered an out break of pink eye in our calves. The calves were  gathered up so we could run them through the chute to vaccinate them and treat the active cases. It is just a small bunch of about forty calves, so it shouldn’t take too long, right? (Insert raucous laughter.)

A couple slipped through the head catch–which I didn’t close in time. A needle got stuck in the shot gun and no one could loosen it and I didn’t have pliers handy (we forgot to grab them before starting because we haven’t needed them in awhile…usually they twist right off). It was hot and the critters didn’t want to be run through the chute…and even though I talked nice to them (the guys can laugh at me, it’s ok) they had plans to go somewhere else. Needless to say, it wasn’t as quick as it ought to have been and I left a little before it was over to get the smell off me before hosting a baby shower that night.

It wasn’t a bad day, just not a smooth day. I’m not sure why I’m surprised when things don’t go smoothly because life just happens. Sometimes things just need taking care of…right away. When my kids are sick, then we take them to the doctor or change plans to let them rest. The same is true of cattle. Cows are living creatures and if they have needs, then we stop to protect their health.

Thankful today for the people and resources that allow us all–people and animals– to take care.

A dusty day in the corrals
A dusty day in the corrals