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Showing posts from 2010

Thanks Lord for 2010...It Was A Very Good Year

This has been the busiest most blessed year of my life.  I only thought I was busy and blessed when our four kids were at home.  Today the blessings have multiplied.  Four awesome spouses, nine terrific grandkids and a host of wonderful in-laws have found their way nestled right next to my loving, patient, understanding husband; the most awesome set of parents anyone could ask for; a doting 97 year old grandmother that still lights up when I come to visit; and three great communities within a 30 mile radius that I regularly revolve in and out of yet can comfortably call each one "home".   I stay exhausted , exhilerated and extremely grateful for the year God has blessed me with, taking none of the past 365 days for granted.

Biscotti!.. Can You Say Happy Santa?

This Year's Ranch Holiday Gifts Included Platefuls of Delicious Treats Including Lenne's Cranberry Almond Biscotti


It's fairly quick and easy and makes you look really smart!

Ingredients1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup almonds, chopped and toasted
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar at medium speed until creamy. Beat in the butter and almond extract. Pour the egg mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in the dried cranberries and almonds.
Using lightly floured hands, shape the dough into 2 slightly flattened 10-inch logs on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden. Let the logs cool slightly.
Using a sharp serrated knife…

Glorious Christmas Chaos

"Apunzel" Escorted by her Grandfather Ralph to Michael Martin Murphy's Christmas Ball


















Oh What Fun It Is To...



Perform 8 hours of holiday house cleaning THEN watch it "kid"destruct in 7 minutes



Watch 9 little faces, mouths watering, wait patiently for "Grandma's Crepes"



Clean up spilled milk, mac and cheese, juice, puppy chow (human and puppy), and Grog


Find an appropriate "potato replacement" for the potato guns Santa dropped off ---w/0 the potatoes. FYI according to five year old boys an onion, an apple or hard provolone works just
fine

Forgo sitting down, visiting with adults, eating at the table, or participating in the adult gift exchange in order to protect my home from the "In-House 9 Demolition Crew"



Forgo sitting down, visiting with adults, eating at the table, or participating in the adult gift exchange in order to savor the antics (good and bad) of the same 9



Savor the flavor of each person's food speciality: St…

Miracle on Foster Pond

This WAS a miracle. Do you realize how hard it was to get everyone together-smile- not pick their noses- stick out their tongues - scratch a body part? Thanks to our patient saint of a photographer Ashlea Parker from Weatherford, Oklahoma; and help from the Lord, we have a family photo...Hurray! MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS!

Wunda Woman

We have several Super Heroes on the ranch. This is "Wunda Woman" saver of kitties, baby goats, baby brothers, puppies and fallen bird's nest. If you're needing help through the holidays call 1-800 Wunda.

YUM

Lenne Leah took this pie to the Lenora Church Auction. It is to die for. OH MY!

Nantucket Cranberry Pie
2 cups fresh cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
2 eggs
3/4 cups butter, melted
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon almond extractPreheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the cranberries, walnuts and 1/2 cup sugar in the bottom of a buttered 9″ or 10″ cake or pie pan. Mix the flour, 1 cup sugar, butter, eggs, and almond extract in a separate bowl to form a batter. Pour the batter over the cranberry mixture and bake for around 40 – 50 minutes. Cool a bit in the pan, and enjoy.

Fall In Love With Family Farmers

Another Typical Day

A day in the life...

8:00 a.m. Walk over to our office next door. Linda our secretary is having a root canal so I'm on my own today. Linda has worked for us for over 19 years and is the glue that holds our ranch together, without her I'm convinced we would literally fall apart.

8:15 My dad comes in with a stack of bills- his daily routine. The phone rings several times. My brother brings in a new Mr. Coffee and starts to brew a pot in the kitchen (our office has a kitchen which we use during harvest and working cattle).

8:20 An anonymous (the name has been omitted to protect the embarrassed) person announces their visiting relative, a vet, is neutering the family dog on their dining room table. Astonished? Me? Not much...it's a typical day.

8:25 Three more males make their way into the room and a group discussion begins on the complex maneuvering of cattle, people, and trucks-from one pasture to the other; from grass to wheat; from wheat to grass; from one state to the o…

Random Thoughts

Do You Know?

What color your face can turn when your dad tells the hospital receptionist that she resembles one of the homliest national public female figures you know then tries to get you to agree with him---which you don't...reassuring the poor lady you see no resemblance?

How wonderful it is to visit with your adult children one on one, all alone, all day long and reconnect?

How great it feels to have your whole family, all 19, arrive at church at the same time?

How important your small town is to the survival of America?

What a challenge it is to stay girly in a guys world?

The gratitude you owe your dad for insisting you attend church every Sunday (a.m and p.m.-no questions asked)?

What it feels like to let your 3 year old granddaughter paint your nails with hot pink Hello Kitty nail polish (which should be sold in the professional spa section because it won't come off) forget you're wearing it, then realize how tacky it looks while fine dining with friends?

What a blessing…
Sunday dinner is a big deal around here...I mean literally. When all of us get together there can be upwards of 20+ mouths to feed. Yesterday I served Beef and Beans, Homemade Whole Wheat Bread and for dessert-Oatmeal Cake. I doubled this recipe and had enough to take to friends today. Enjoy!
OATMEAL CAKE
1 cup Old Fashioned Oats
1 1/2 cups boiling water
Mix and let set for 10 to 15 minutes
Cream Together:
1/2 shortening or use (1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup oil)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
Add:
2 beaten eggs to oat mixture
Then Add:
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp soda
1/2 salt
1 tsp cinnamon
Bake in greased 9 X 11 inch pan for 30 minutes at 250 degrees
I don't usually top mine but if you want the recipe is below
Topping:
5 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cream
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Spread on cake after done then return to over to toast about 5 minutes or until brown. You can use the broiler, but watch so it doesn't burn.

Movin' On Up

God Bless America

I can see a rainbow at the end of this confusing last two years...
2Ch 7:14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land
Keep Praying America and visit constitutingamerica.com

A Tale of Two Messages

HERE'S A MESSAGE...COWBOYS LOVE THEIR ANIMALS
I'm beginning to stay perpetually confused. It started...oh I'd say about 6 months ago. It revolves around Social Media. Last year I was gung ho. I was told to share my ranch/agriculture story via social media in an attempt to educate consumers about where their food comes from, so I started a blog. A little later I was urged to create a personal website (our ranch had one but a more personal one would be better), so created chainranchlady. My blog didn't want to follow me to my website, so I just let it stay there and started writing stories in it. All the while my website continued to grow.
A few months later an increasing, almost frantic, concern that animal activists were destroying our livelihood I started a Facebook page to get that message out. Before long that too was growing. On top of that I threw in Twittering and Tweeting...also an attempt to warn the public about animal activists threats.
Wh…

Fair Time

We've entered every year for as long as I can remember. Fairs are the chance for rural Americans to show off. Most of us are pretty humble throughout the year but come August and September watch out, because the gloves come off. Bread making, picture taking, fruit preserving and cattle,chicken,hog,sheep and goat showing become cut throat competition. Our county is known for STIFF competition on just about anything you enter. We have 20 consecutive year bread baking champions, 30 consecutive year canned pickle, peach, pear,green bean champions. Fair warning to other 3-5 year old entrants...these girls mean business.

The Next Generation-Seven of What?

To the crew here at home I’m viewed as kind of a “Ranch Office Seven of Nine” When it comes to technology I get asked the questions. They’re not hard questions,non-the-less,I run the technology side of the “Ranch Voyager”. That feeling was lost this past week when I wound up with a group of high tech ag chatting, social media gurus. I left Oklahoma with Dino, my 35 pound laptop, feeling very tech efficient. I boarded a train and headed north to attend the Ag Chat Foundation 2.0 Training at the Dairy Management Institute in Rosemont, IL.
Arriving at the DMI pulling Dino in a rolling carrier the “Seven of Nine” feeling left and a “Wilma Flintstone loading her record player via a bird” feeling set in. One look at the teeny tiny lap tops, Kindles, the quick fingered texting, tweeting and twittering and I was suddenly embarrassed. I left Dino in his sleek, black leather carrier, pulled him around all the first day…and took notes.

In March of last year, Ag Chat Foundation was founded by…

Out of Step

This morning two verses wrestled their way out of my cluttered confused thoughts: "Our God is not a God of confusion" and "The steps of a Godly man are ordered by the Lord".
Confusion pretty much sums up our country's state of affairs. It's seeping into my daily life at a rapid pace, as it is every American.
This week it seemed enhanced...bold...CONFUSION. For instance our beef industry's checkoff dollar is overseen by Government Controlled USDA. For many years this collection of a 1.00 a head on each animal sold has been utilized wisely for promoting our product. As with any large organization there have been disagreements in the past, discrepancies have been corrected quietly and this strong organization always moved forward. The past year or so our industry has witnessed confusion and anger with distrust spilling over into our once "mostly harmonious", healthy organization. Monstrous government rules and regulations (the USDA's over…

A Visit With Lincoln

Just returned from Lubbock where several ranchers from six of the largest beef producing states in the U.S. were able to speak with Senator Blanche Lincoln, D-Arkansas Senate Ag Committee Chairman. Even though our political views are different she IS a friend of Ag and is extremely well informed on all the issues facing our industry. Our goal was to create rapport with those in Congress and extend an invitation to visit our ranches and witness our lifestyles. We also extended a hand on any issue that may need clarification that relates to our industries when up for a vote. She was extremely gracious for having her come visit and vowed to stick behind us. She said the best way to get congress to listen to us is to "TELL OUR STORIES" She said "numbers and statistics" just swirl around Washington but if you have a "good story" they'll remember you. We invited her to our ranches and extended the invitation to all others. I want to thank Terry Stu…

Say What?

Driving with my 10 year old granddaughter, the radio broadcasting AM, my favorite station comes on with the news and the announcer is commenting on the G8 summit and the G10 and blah blah blah and that our president was urging the other countries in attendance to "spend more to help these nations out of economic disaster." Olivia looks at me with her nose wrinkled and asked, "Did they just say you have to spend more money to get out of debt?" Then she asked, "What are they thinking?" That pretty much sums it up...remember I said she was 10.

Enjoying The Little Things

Summer is here. A typical summer day at the ranch goes like this: rise and shine around 6:30 a.m. usually with a "sleep over" or two. We're haying; swathing alfalfa, baling and raking, swathing canola and preparing for wheat harvest. This year I've lost my raking position to the grandsons. I walk over to the office and work on renewing Indian leases which makes me want to pull my hair out. I listen to my dad recount his night; lightening struck his house and knocked him out of bed. Four grandkids circulate through the office as I try to make our church bank deposit. Our oldest son was in the emergency room last night with a 103.4 temp, he calls to recount his night. Between phone calls I try to do an inventory on our cattle herd. Our health insurance has increased 17% so try to figure out what to do there. Around 10:30 I slip out of the office back to the house with the four little ones trailing me...they're hungry...again (I am blessed with Linda, our great s…

Deja Vue

Deja Vue; I had it tonight. A birthday party for our grandson was held at his home- the one I grew up in. After blowing out candles and eating cake and ice cream, kids went on to play and grown ups sat around and talked about the fate of our country. One relative, a banker, made comments on the direction of the banking system. Everyone threw in their 2 cents and the fate of our country was soon doomed. As the discussion drew on some little ones had filtered back in and were eavesdropping on the adults. Just like I had done 48 years ago...
The area of concern then--the Cuban Missile Crisis. I remember that evening as if it were yesterday. My Grandmother Hazel sliced the Neopolatin ice cream "just so" making sure each plate had a perfect vanilla, strawberry, chocolate trio, Grandma Grace added slices of her homemade Angel food cake to each. I ate with ears "wide open" listening and absorbing what I could. I didn't understand what was going on but I knew we…

LIVING WITH HSUS: FACTS YOU MUST KNOW

Animal Welfare vs. Animal Rights
• “Animal rights” means that animals have rights- and aren’t ours to own or use for food, entertainment, or companionship.
• “Animal welfare” means providing proper care to animals- something that farmers and ranchers work hard to achieve everyday!
About Animal Activists
• They have been in the business of creating conflict between animal agriculture and the consumer for more than 30 years.
• The end goal? Cause animal protein products to become so expensive that the average American can’t afford them, putting farmers and ranchers out of business.
• These are not people who want to make a deal; this is a movement, an ideology, dogma, religion… this is a long-term battle.
• They are targeting youth, schools, colleges, and rock concerts by using “hyper emotionalism,” a false display of cruelty to get their message out.
Who is the Humane Society of the United States?
• The Humane Society of the United States preys on emotion to fundraise- even though, acc…

Knowledge of Ag: Haves vs Have Nots

I know you’re getting sick of hearing about “the train”, but I just have to share one more story.
When traveling by train dining is community seating so you’re always eating with people you don’t know. All the way out and coming back there were only 3 or 4 people I met during those meals that knew much about agriculture. Several knew about “factory farming” and lumped all of us into that category. This seemed like a good little representation of American folks…young, old, married, single, liberal, conservative, east coast, west coast, middle class, and I was amazed at the ag ignorance that prevailed.
When I arrived in D.C my cab driver who was from Africa asked what I was doing in town. I told him about HSUS and their attacks on animal agriculture and the Animal Ag Alliance Summit I was attending. He had heard of HSUS. At one point he asked, “What’s wrong with Americans, I love agriculture, that’s how we survive?” “We’re spoiled rotten.” I told him. He agreed. I just keep th…

Normalcy, What's That?

After attending the Animal Ag Alliance in Arlington, VA my train pulled back into Hutchinson, Kansas at 4:00 a.m. Sunday. I headed south for the three hour trip home but only made it down the road a ways before having to stop for a power nap. At 9:45 a.m. I walked into our small church back in northwest Oklahoma. Later that afternoon our church hosted an area wide youth rally for about 60 kids.

Monday morning I hopped in with a "stranger" aka "hubby" and traveled to Eastern Oklahoma to put bulls out. We caught up on each others week then unloaded those bulls, turned around and traveled back to Kansas – to the exact vicinity I’d been the morning before. We picked up more bulls there and brought them back to Oklahoma.

During our OK-KS-OK trip we discussed our daughter-in-law’s trip to NYC. She works with autistic children at our public school and was in NYC attending an autism convention (I was secretly jealous, Temple Grandin was one of the speakers) We were worr…

Social Media Agriculture's Survival Tool

This week I was preparing a short speech promoting social media for an ag meeting. I ended up not having to speak, which was a relief. But I want to share the thoughts that I'd penned..

I am a sixth generation farmer/rancher. Thanks to my great grandfather whose dream to start a farm on the 160 acres I call home over 117 years ago, my family has been able to enjoy a wonderful exciting life in agriculture. We are a cow/calf operation with our primary focus being retained ownership. We feed out almost every animal raised and have done this for over 70 years. We also raise wheat, corn, milo and alfalfa.
How would you like to pull into Sonic, ready to order- your mouth watering for that favorite bacon cheeseburger only to find the item’s price had tripled or was taken off the menu altogether and replaced with a tofu vegetarian alternative. Sound absurd? Well it’s not. . The Humane Society of the U.S., a deceptive anti-animal ag organization is now purchasing shares in fast foo…

A Wonderful Day

Today was a wonderful day. It began by waking up beside one of my grandsons...the one that rolls his little body up in a tiny ball and sticks his butt in your stomach...
For breakfast we made crepes and buckwheat pancakes and ate them to Sponge Bob. By noon the majority of his cousins arrived; the one that dismantles everything within her tiny arms length, the nine year old contemplative "wise old man", the one who talks as fast as he thinks...and moves, the one that mourns his leaving each time he visits, the one who is a collector of "many things" and the new one that watches and observes all the rest. Today two were missing... the "Idea Master" and his sister, "Tiny Dancer".
We ate noodle soup and bubble bread and shivered as a bear attacked "Ole Yellar", we wound the family cuckcoo clock as we waited patiently for the appearance of the tiny bird who lives there. Water color master pieces were created, knees were scraped, heads we…

Tradin Six Shooters For Key Boards

I apologize for not blogging. I've been sidetracked. If you've been reading my blog and website for the past nine months you're probably recognizing that I do have a method behind my madness...well, sort of. I'm on a mission...to help save my country and to help save our animal agriculture industry.
This past month has been arm to arm combat...not with a gun but a keyboard. Not with bullets, but "social media" and some things called Facebook and Twitter. The choice of ammo --my "become a fan of page" ExPOSE HSUS.
If you're familiar with HSUS you know they are not who they claim to be, but instead a slick organization with a mission to eliminate meat, dairy and eggs from the American diet while simultaneously driving farmers and ranchers out of business. Raising funds to do this deceitfully.
A large group of us have waged war against them with Social Media tactics...and we're making progress.
A little over a month ago Yellow Tail Wine …

Blood Runs Deep

I started my website for one reason- to share my story.
A little over a year ago I realized America was in trouble. I didn’t agree with the direction the government was guiding our country so I started emailing my thoughts at a frantic pace. When the results of the election ushered in a tide of liberalism and socialism I decided to attend an activist training (Brad referred to it as my “riot enhancement” training). At those meetings an explanation of how we could maximize our opinions with a website, Twitter, and Facebook was suggested. I was a good student and did what I was told.
Then there was the incentive to tell my ranch story. For several years, as a beef producer I’d been witnessing attacks on our industry along with other animal agriculture groups. Through our beef industry’s training program; Master of Beef Advocacy, cattle ranchers are trained to positively explain our beef industry to the public. I was told to get on the web, use Twitter and Facebook to tell my stor…

Why Shut My Mouth, Suitcase,Toothpaste & Purse

I don’t shut anything. My purse is always open, I leave suitcases unlatched, my perfume and lotion bottles don’t have lids, the toothpaste always has a slight ooze since the cap is no where to be found. I don’t know why I don’t shut and close things. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m lazy and I think “why shut it, close it or latch it, I’m going to be opening it again in a little while anyway.” I don’t like to iron and make beds either. To me it’s a total waste of time.

Brad gets so frustrated with me when I leave suitcases open. He loves to shut them. He loves to pack them neat and tidy and in order. Then he loves to make sure they are packed in the car in the right order. Not me, as long as I know the vicinity in which I threw it, I can dig for it when I get where I’m going. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a slob, I’m actually pretty organized, my house is pretty tidy, and my closets and drawers are beyond organized. I can give Brad the location of the little slip of paper that he wr…

Don't Wait

As the New Year begins, out of habit, I make resolutions. The older I get the more lax I get at making them. By now if I’ve not disciplined myself enough to conquer the intentions, I’m betting they probably don’t have a chance.
What I want to share with you was not a resolution, but an intention. An intention left undone. Today I carry a handwritten list in my bill fold as a reminder. A reminder to "do it now".
I had good intentions to have Danny over. Danny was Brad’s younger brother. He was fun loving, had a heart of gold and would do anything for you. He had gone through some rough times and was living alone. I had good intentions. I would ask him over for supper,sometime soon. But I got busy.
He's on that list that I now carry in my purse. The list where I had noted to wash the car, take back the coat, buy batteries, look at new fencing, check on tractor tires, call the bank, have my hair colored. Those busy activities were checked off. “Have Danny over fo…