This fall, we had an elk calf join our herd. We think her momma got hit on the highway and the ranch’s cows were the closest family.

The first time the crew moved the herd with our new “calf”, the calf took off in wild zig zag patterns ahead of the cows and the cows tried to follow her…it was a little crazy.

One of these things is not like the other…

When we sold the calves, the elk calf stayed with the cows.

When we processed the cows, we thought the elk calf was going to go into the corrals, but she changed her mind.

The next time we moved the cows, there she was… and she walked right through the gate!

The elk stayed with the herd for a couple months. I took this picture driving home not long ago… the elk has grown so much!

I’m not sure where she is now. We moved the cows out of this pasture and the elk herd came back by, so I imagine she hopped in with her kind. I kind of miss her, but I think she’s probably doing fine.

So, dear friends, you never know what you might see out in your field. But I hope 2022 brings a lot of goodness. Happy New Year!

* I know there is a concern over brucellosis with elk and cattle, so please be aware that we bled the cows to check for this. No brucellosis!


Powerful Lessons Never Forget Authenticity

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Lodisa Frizzell, telling of her family’s travel to California in 1852,

wrote: “On the 30th day of the wagon train, we passed several graves. . . .

I do not think there would be as much sickness as there usually is for we

have passed less than 100 fresh graves . . . hope [wolves] will not disturb

the graves.”17 A few pages later in the diary, she wrote:

Saw . . . one old cow, a paper pinned on her head. It stated

that she had been left to die . . . but requested that no one

abuse her as she had been one of the best cows. . . . It called

up so many associations to mind that it affected me to

tears. . . .(italics mine)

 When I read excerpts of diaries from the westward expansion in the 1800’s, it is mind boggling the trials these people faced. They either made it or didn’t. Can you imagine dying with nothing left except a cow, so you pin a note to her?

I read this today and it caught me.

Here Lodisa Frizzell pours her heart on the page and it isn’t happy.

Am I allowed to do the same?

Perhaps that sounds ridiculous. After all, we are in modern America and we have so many blessings. True.

Yet don’t you ever feel like the fight you are fighting takes the best of you? Certainly I don’t believe this is God’s best for us, but aren’t there days when you feel like you just don’t know if this dream will live or die?

I’ve also been reading about the hard paths many people took to achieve their dreams. Slept in their car, sold their last belonging, etc… We are certainly not that down and out, but during this year, we’ve lost so much, been challenged so much, and I’ve not even had the health to “deal” with it. We are having one of those days when you wonder, IS IT WORTH IT?

I assume it is. There are good days when you know it is. Yet when you’re in the trenches and nothing goes right, more problems happen than you have answers for, and the cash flow isn’t a’flowin’… it is hard to determine that this dream you have is worth it. Did the settlers headed west convince themselves to keep going? I suppose it was their only option.

It seems to be our only option too. We are too far in to go back.

Eric Johnson said in a recent sermon (my paraphrase) that sometimes faith looks like continuing on in what is your only option.

Is it ok to say you’re facing huge struggle? Isn’t that authentic? I often wait to blog so I can give you the happy ending or a boost of encouragement at the end. It’s still coming because we believe in handing this situation over to Someone bigger than ourselves as we pray and wait for answers. Yet, I’m being real in the fact that the struggle is real, like seeing the graves on the trail west and wondering if you’ll make it or not. We are on the trail friends. Aren’t we all at times? We will give it what we’ve got, while dreaming of what lies ahead. KEEP MOVING FORWARD