Crispies…..aka…How I caught My Hubby!

It’s another rainy, windy day here on the ranch. Windy may be an understatement….it actually sounds like a freight train outside. It feels like March outside and not the almost beginning of May…..ready for some nice weather that sticks around!

I was elated to see the cattle in such good shape on my check this morning. We have had close to 4″ of rain in the last two days mixed with snow and howling winds. It always amazes me how tough cattle are! Here are a few sights from today:

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I heaved a sigh of relief at how well everything looks. The running water is just the beginning of what we may be dealing with in a day or so. The pool above is about 15 feet deep already! It is crazy muddy out here and I won’t be surprised if I don’t get to town until Friday. Stone’s preschool graduation is in the evening so we are hoping we can make it in for that.

While the weather may be cruddy right now for outdoor activities it comes at a good time for me for baking. I’ve been planning the menu for our upcoming branding on Mother’s Day (this is our annual tradition). Branding is one of the most important days of the year for a rancher and ours is no exception. We like to work hard with friends and neighbors to get the job done as quickly and safely as possible. Then we celebrate with good food and entertainment….shotgun style. We shoot skeet after we eat….sometimes it goes until dark. It’s a blast….literally! 🙂

I pretty much have our branding menu planned. I decided instead of getting caramel rolls from the bakery in town I would do some baking ahead of time. This weather has served well so I can spend some time in the kitchen. When considering what to serve at our branding one has to take several things into consideration. Brandings are not a leisurely outing…..they are intense and very focused events. The treats we serve need to be hearty and mess free for the most part. There is no time for a plate, fork, and knife during our break. Treats need to be mobile, good, and filling. When I was thinking about what to make one things popped into my mind….CRISPIES!!!! If you’ve never had a Crispie, let me just say that you haven’t lived yet until you’ve had one……or two…..or three! The recipe goes back to my Grandma June (It’s awesome how I can pull out one of her recipes and I instantly feel connected to her – she passed away a little over two years ago…..I miss her a lot). My mom makes them often so it’s only fitting that the succession of making them falls to me.

What I said in the title line is true about Crispies……I believe they helped me “catch” my hubby. 🙂 I laugh about it, but I honestly think it’s true a little bit at least! My husband and I had been dating for a couple of months. I had cooked for him and his buddies while he was working on a place as a hired hand. They needed some good nourishment during calving season and they were always very appreciative when I cooked. I had never done a lot of baking when I was younger, but for some reason I felt the need to prove myself in the kitchen. So, I got out the big guns…..I called my mom! She emailed me the recipe for Crispies……I made them…..and it was love at first taste. Haha!! I really had no idea that Shane had such a sweet tooth and that he loved homemade baked goods. BUT…..no matter who you are…..once you try one of these you will know why he fell head over heels in love with me after that first taste. (I’m joking a little…..I personally think he was head over heels for me before that….as I was with him, but handiness in the kitchen can only sweeten the deal….right?) 🙂

Here is the recipe……you can thank me later! 🙂

Crispies

  • 1 pkg. yeast, dissolved in ¼ cup warm water (almost hot)
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter or margarine (softened a little, but not melted)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk, scalded and cooled
  • Cinnamon & Sugar (sprinkled on dough till covered)

In a small bowl dissolve yeast in water. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, and ¼ cup sugar. Cut in butter with a fork.

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Combine eggs, milk, and yeast.

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Add to flour.

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Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

When ready, take dough out of the fridge.

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Divide it in half. Roll out and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

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Roll and cut slices with a piece of thread or string (slip it under the rolled up dough and put together – a knife will get all doughy).

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(Yes, I used fishing line – don’t worry it was new, unused, and still sealed in the package…..I had to improvise out here in the wet gumbo so far from town!)

Place on greased sheet and flatten with hand.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. The bottoms should only be light brown. Do not brown on top as they will get tough. Frost while hot.

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Frosting

  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tsp. hot water
  • 1 TB. butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond flavoring

Stir all ingredients together and spread with a knife (less is more as the thick frosting will get runny when on the warm Crispies). Remember to have frosting ready so you can put it on right away.

Repeat with the second half of the dough.

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And VOILA!!!!

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Deliciousness abounds!!! BUT….be careful of Crispie thieves….they are everywhere!! 🙂

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I hope you try these…..everyone who eats one will comment on them….want the recipe…..kiss you…..or you may even get a marriage proposal out of it…..so beware! 🙂 ~Cheyenne

 

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Easy Bean & Ham Soup – a great meal on a rainy day!

It’s absolutely pouring here and it has been for over five hours now. At this rate, going to town tomorrow is looking pretty doubtful. Am I worried about it? Not in the least! Kayla has things at the Cowgirl Swank shop covered (a big thanks to her) and preschool is somewhat optional so……I’m not stressed at all. In fact, I’m rejoicing a bit. I need a day or two in the house to get caught up on cleaning, baking, and writing/blogging! Plus, I think I can hear the green grass growing outside so all is good. 🙂

We have been unbelievably busy lately.  I swear it’s a race from sun up till sun down. That’s life on a ranch though…..the winter is slower, but when spring comes….look out! We race around trying to get as much stuff done as possible. Do we complain? Not much…..we get the pleasure of seeing green grass, baby calves, and beautiful sunsets/sunrises. Life doesn’t get much better so it makes for a pretty happy life out here.

We spent the weekend helping our friends/neighbors brand. Here are a few pics of the day:

image (130) Shane and Shotgun make a really good pair!

image (132) image (134)  Doc is my favorite boy. He and I can accomplish just about anything we set our minds to!

image (133) My friend, Kayla, captured this picture. My two favorite guys working together. We believe in teaching our kids young. It’s a good thing!

image (131) Stone and his horse, All Star. If this picture doesn’t make you smile I don’t know what will! 🙂

Today I had a monster headache. I’ve been fighting it for three days now. It comes and goes, but today it came back with a vengeance and turned into a full blown migraine. I take medicine for it, I use oils, I try massage, I take hot baths, etc. Almost every remedy out there I’ve tried……and they don’t help that much. I’ve found that these migraines just have to throw their fit and move on when they feel like it. I blame my hormones. I’m at that time in my life where things are starting to change….that’s my prognosis anyway. My husband thinks I should go to a neurologist. I’m of the thought that I can diagnose myself for a heck of a lot less money. I may give our neighbor’s hired man a try though. He apparently works miracles on migraines. I’m at the point that I will try just about anything! I managed to take a hot bath, use some oils, and take a long nap today. When I woke up I could still feel a bit of a headache, but I was on the road to recovery. Hooray!!

I felt so much better that I even got some writing done. I’m writing a column for several publications several times each month so it keeps me on my toes (The Wrangler Horse & Rodeo News, Today’s Horse, Cowgirl’s In Style, and The Cowboy’s Digest). I enjoy writing so much. It’s kind of my sanctuary. I wrote about Mother’s Day today…..and paid a small tribute to my mom…..she certainly deserves it! I will post it on Mother’s Day so you all can read it here as well.

Today was a perfect day for soup. I ended up making Bean & Ham Soup. It was kind of a throw together meal as I didn’t even have white (pinto) beans on hand. I ended up improvising and it was delicious! Here is the recipe:

Easy Bean & Ham Soup

  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cans (15 ½ ounces each) Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 bay leaf

Saute the carrots, celery, and onion in butter until cooked.

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Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 15-20 minutes.

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Serve.

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*I ended up using black beans and kidney beans in place of the Great Northern beans because I didn’t have any. Guess what…..it was delicious! I’m used to improvising so I wasn’t afraid to give this a try.  Enjoy! ~Cheyenne

 

 

Working Hard & Loving It!!!

Wow……I’m turning into a stranger, aren’t I?! When I started blogging in January I knew there would be times that I wouldn’t be able to blog every other day like I originally planned too, but this is getting crazy! Calving season hit and now it’s turning into branding season. You may not hear from me until October at this rate! 🙂

I’m not complaining about being busy……I’m actually relishing in it. I’ve had more time at home with my family this spring than I’ve had in ages. I’m loving every minute of it (well, maybe not every minute, but the good far outweighs those times that are trying). Calving has been going well and our calves and cows look good. We are keeping a close eye on them to guard against scours or overeating, which we have heard has been prevalent around us this spring. Nothing pains me more than to calve out and then loose some calves to illness. I think it’s preventable if you keep a close watch so that’s what my main focus is right now.

We just finished Easter break. It was a great time! I hope you all enjoyed time with family and friends as well. Shane’s folks and two of our nephews came down from Montana. We had 4 days filled with visiting and fit in a few tasks a well. My father-in-law graciously made the 6 sawhorses I need for the upcoming Walt Woodard clinic that Shane and I are putting on in May in Chadron. Bless his heart! Shane doesn’t have a lot of time for honey-do projects right now so I’m thankful however they can get done. We also put up Stone’s new trampoline over the weekend. He loves it and jumped until his stomach hurt. 🙂

Easter Sunday dinner was wonderful. My folks came over as well. It was a wonderful meal full of family….doesn’t get much better than that! I even managed to pull out the china that my late Grandma June left me. It was fitting to use it for our Sunday dinner along with the silver she left me as well. Today marks two years since she went to heaven. I miss her so……it felt like she was with me during dinner and today…..we had a gorgeous sunrise and then a rain shower. Gram was smiling from heaven…..I just know it!

Shane and I also become an Uncle and an Aunt again today….on Earth day! Shane’s sister had a little boy. He is welcomed by his three bigger brothers and his dad. I can’t wait to meet him! Stone is excited to see his new little cousin as well. He is enamored by babies…..and he knows we won’t be having one here so he is happy that he has a new cousin. 🙂

We are getting ready to brand in a couple of weeks and we’ve been cleaning up around here as well. Fencing has taken on a new meaning. We had a lot of crossings go out with the three major runoff events this spring so we have much work to do…..never a dull moment around here. I haven’t had much time in the kitchen for new things, but rest assured……I’ll be back at it soon. I hope all of you are enjoying the spring weather that finally decided to show up. I know I am!! ~Cheyenne

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Happy Friday! It’s funny to say that because out here on the ranch the days tend to meld together. We really don’t pay mind to if it’s Monday, Hump Day, or TGIF. The one thing that does rule our life however is the weather. We have been very fortunate to have a mild April so far (I say this quietly while physically knocking on wood). Mother Nature dealt us a bad hand last year at this time. We endured three awful storms that ended the lives of many baby calves. I don’t like to talk about it, but it is reality out here.  We definitely know how fragile life is and we also know there is little we can do when storms of that magnitude come along. It’s a very helpless feeling that all ranchers can relate to. I don’t like to focus on negative things, but I always keep memories like this tucked in the back of my mind. It helps me to be thankful for each day we have on this earth, plus when the days are nice….I rejoice!

I have been fortunate to see so many new babies on my daily morning checks. I have been posting numerous photos on Instagram and on Facebook of the daily “treats” I find. They truly make me feel alive and oh so happy!

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Our livestock are a representation of the fruits of our labors. Those mama cows are our lifeline and their babies are our future. We know how important they are to us. Hence, this is why we stay close to home especially this time of year. I have some major errands to run in Rapid City (the biggest city close to us and it’s still 100 miles away). I also need to do some Easter shopping as we have family coming to visit. This doesn’t happen very often, but I’m headed to town for the day……by MYSELF!!!! What will I do with myself?! Well, rest assured….I won’t be going to get my nails done! I have a million things to do so it won’t be a leisurely trip (what is that anyway?). However, I am excited to see how quickly and effortlessly I can get things done by myself…..I live an exciting life, don’t I?! 🙂

I knew I was headed to Rapid City for sure yesterday. When I am gone I still need to be concerned about what my guys are going to eat (there is no pizza delivery out here). Shane and I had watched Ree Drummond’s (Pioneer Woman) show last Saturday. She made Scalloped Potatoes and Ham. I must admit that I’m not a fan of this dish so I never make it. Shane was drooling all over the television and saying how much he loved to eat this. So, yesterday I decided to surprise him by giving her recipe a whirl. Let me just say this…..Holy Cow!!!! I have tried Scalloped Potatoes and Ham before and was not impressed…….but, I hadn’t tried PW’s recipe yet……she is truly my ‘go to” person for recipes because everything of hers that I have made has turned out incredibly well. So, here is her recipe (Thanks, Ree!):

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds Russet Or Yukon Gold Potatoes, Washed Thoroughly
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 3 cups Diced Ham
  • 1-1/2 cup Half-and-half
  • 1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1 cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Chopped Parsley (optional)

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a large casserole dish.

Heat butter in a large skillet. Add onions and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they start to turn translucent. Add ham and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat and set aside.

Combine half-and-half and cream in a microwave-safe container and nuke for a minute or so, until no longer cold. Whisk in flour and black pepper until totally combined. Set aside. (You may add salt, but cheese and ham are salty, so add sparingly.)

Combine the two grated cheeses. Set aside.

Using a mandoline or slicer, slice potatoes into 1/8-inch slices (very thin.) Layer 1/3 of the potato slices in the buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle on 1/3 of the ham/onion mixture, then 1/3 of the cheese, then pour on 1/3 of the cream mixture.

Repeat this twice more, ending with a sprinkling of cheese and a pouring on of the rest of the cream mixture. Cover dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes at least, or until bubbly and hot.

Cut into squares and serve. Sprinkle on chopped parsley if you’d like!

(Note: To speed along the process a bit, you may boil sliced potatoes for 3 to 5 minutes before assembling the casserole. Just drain and slightly cool before assembling.)

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*I followed her recipe to a tee. It was amazing…..I liked it, Stone liked it, and Shane LOVED it!!! So, now I can head off to Rapid City without feeling guilty (kind of). I know that they will have a hearty, tasty lunch waiting for them (all they have to do is warm it up). This is what we ranch wives do…..our work is never done…..and we wouldn’t have it any other way! 🙂

Give Ree’s recipe a try. I am SO glad I did! Enjoy your day……I plan to as well.  ~Cheyenne

Three Cheese-Stuffed Shells with Meaty Tomato Sauce

Oh my gosh, where does the time go?! I’ve been pretty committed to blogging every other day or so and then April hit….holy cow! I’m barely able to fit in once or twice per week……please bear with me!

I am in charge of checking the cows every morning, which I enjoy immensely! I compared checking calves earlier this week to looking for Easter eggs….they are everywhere…..and sometimes hard to find! I count the calves every morning….I like to see how we are progressing. So far,  we are half done….exciting!

The other morning while checking the calving pasture I saw something extraordinary……and I hope I can describe it accurately as there was no time for pictures of any sort. The past month of checking on the cows has allowed me to see some really amazing sights. I saw my first batch of 6 coyotes hunting together. I’ve seen 3, 4, and even 5 coyotes packed up together, but never 6!!! It was amazing! They really don’t bother our cow herd that much. We have never lost a calf to a coyote attack as some people will claim they have so I wasn’t too nervous seeing them, but I always keep a watchful eye. If something looks out of order, I take note. I also always pack a gun…..in case of such problems. I’m no Annie Oakley, but I’ve been known to out shoot some of the men around here so……(guess I will pat myself on the back out of their sight!). 🙂

Anyway, I cam onto a flat…..I call it “Baby Flat” because this is where our cows like to hang out with their babies. I looked across the prairie and could see little black flecks everywhere (baby calves). Our cattle are for the most part black angus and black angus cross. We have a few Corriente cows and a few Longhorns….I actually love to see their bright colors every once in awhile (eye candy). As I was checking everything out I happened to look across the flat to the hills. I saw a bunch of cows (30 or 40) acting strangely….running and circling around. As I looked on, I saw one cow in the lead…..and she was charging on. It was while I was checking her out that I discovered she was chasing something….something light colored and quick moving. Holy moly…..she was chasing a coyote…..she was in hot pursuit and not slowing down! No kidding…..she was on that coyote’s heels! She chased it all the way over the hill and kept on going! The cattle were all quite riled up by then so they all followed her. Over the ridge they went and down the hill to the dam. They didn’t stop till they got to the water….this was a trek of about a mile or so. I figured the coyote was long gone but the time I got there…..nope….there he ran….and 5 of his buddies weren’t far off. I decided then that I definitely need to keep my eyes open from then on as to these coyotes. If they become a major problem…..well, we know what happens to major problems to our livestock around here…..enough said.

The next day I searched for the coyotes, but didn’t see a single one….and I haven’t since….maybe that old cow gave that coyote a run for its life. Maybe it decided to go elsewhere and told it’s pack mates the same thing…..maybe…..we’ll see.

With all the busy days on the ranch I haven’t had a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. We’ve been up early….going all day….then eating supper sometimes at 10 pm!! Last night we got home rather late, but I decided to make something new….we deserved it! So, I made the Pioneer Woman’s Three Cheese-Stuffed Shells with Meaty Tomato Sauce. O – M- G……it was too die for!!! Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces, weight Jumbo Pasta Shells
  • 30 ounces, weight Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
  • 8 ounces, weight Parmesan Cheese, Grated, Divided
  • 1/2 cup Grated Romano Cheese
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 12 leaves Basil, Chiffonade
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Parsley
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 pound Italian Sausage
  • 1/2 cup Red Wine
  • 1 whole 28 Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 whole 15-ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Parsley

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta shells for half the cooking time; make sure not to overcook. Drain and rinse in cool water. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a minute or two. Add Italian sausage and brown, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. Pour in red wine and let it cook for a minute or two.

Pour in cans of crushed tomatoes and stir. Add sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check for seasonings; can add crushed red peppers if you like a little heat.

In a separate bowl, mix ricotta, half the Parmesan, Romano, egg, salt and pepper, basil, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Stir until combined.

To assemble, coat the bottom of a baking dish with sauce. Fill each half-cooked shell with the cheese mixture. Place face down on the sauce. Repeat with shells until cheese mixture is gone. Top shells with remaining sauce. Sprinkle on extra Parmesan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Serve with crusty French bread.

Here are my pictures of my cooking adventure:

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How good was it? My husband (and I) flipped….he rarely gets excited about anything besides steak, but he absolutely loved it!! 🙂 2 thumbs up, Pioneer Woman…..this is absolutely divine! Give it a whirl and let me know what you think. Enjoy! ~Cheyenne

Back It Up!!

Yesterday was not the best day I ever had. It wasn’t the worst day either, but it was cause for me to have a mild freak out. What would cause that, you ask? Let me tell you….it was my Quickbooks program. I am the bookkeeper on the ranch and I also fill that role in my business as well. To keep everything separate I use two different programs: Quicken for the ranch and Quickbooks for my business. Quickbooks is fairly new to me. I got it mostly to assist with invoicing and check writing. It also helped with retail transactions when I opened my store. I am quite proficient on Quicken since I’ve been using it since 2005. I’m not as familiar with Quickbooks as I’ve only been using it for about 15 months.

I’ve had our ranch accounts balanced and finished since January (a record for me). I’m usually down to the wire with these things and I swore I wouldn’t be this year. My attention to the ranch’s bookkeeping just how I wanted it to be. My business on the other hand was a nightmare. It literally took me three solid days of sitting down and manually entering every transaction to get it correct. I finished late last week and sent it off to my accountant. I was happy and relieved to be done with it. I didn’t get it done as early as I would have liked, but I wasn’t sliding in on April 14th either so I was satisfied. Whew!

I was paying bills yesterday at the shop and came to the realization that my landlords name was missing. I searched and searched for it, but couldn’t find it. This prompted me to search my check register in the program to see when I last entered her name. It wasn’t there and neither was all of the expenses for 2013 plus the majority of my 2014 transactions were all gone. Three days of manual entering was GONE?! Yep, gone! I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. I searched and searched as well as I could not knowing Quickbooks like the back of my hand. I hurried and called my accountant. She looked at what I had emailed her and said that she had the same thing. Insert scary music here! She had me come down with my laptop so she could try to find it. She looked in files and in my backups, but the sad truth was all of my 2013 expenses were gone….vanished into cyber space.

Girl Computer (This was me!)

I honestly felt like crying. I know…what good would that do?! I don’t know, but it seemed like the logical choice at the moment. Then I thought about getting drunk. I quickly realized that wouldn’t help either (especially since after two drinks I’m done for). So, I went back to the shop and finished out the day. I came home and listened to my husband as he tried to explain what I should do next time. It’s funny how this happens every once in a while (slight smirk here). He was right though. I should have backed it up on an external hard drive or a disc as he suggested. My online backups were useless.

Mean Computer(I swear this was my computer!)

It’s a sad thing when an electronic device holds so much power over us. Don’t’ get me wrong, I love most all modern conveniences (you won’t find me without my iPhone very often). Computers are a wonderful thing…..when they work correctly. When they don’t, misery can ensue like a swarm of mad hornets. I don’t long for the days of using a pencil and a ledger for keeping track of things, but it would be nice if things would just “work”. It’s kind of like when working cows I guess. Some days they work so well you almost think they sorted or worked themselves. Some days are kind of like my current problem.

I would love the opportunity to negotiate with Quickbooks the way I negotiate with our cattle sometimes. Do it my way and life is good. Try to do it your way and I will “make” you do it my way. One way or another, I come out on top. The sad thing is my computer cares not that I’m in a bind. It doesn’t care that it is calving season and I really don’t have time for this. In reality, I shouldn’t even be writing this. I should be entering transactions back into Quickbooks. I’m in a bit in denial right now. I’m going to finish my coffee, go out and check the cows. When I get back I will tackle this nightmare. I’d like to say that I’m looking forward to it, but the truth is I’d rather go muck out a dirty cattle pot with a spoon than enter all of these transactions again. Yes, that’s how horrible this is to me! I guess I definitely learned a lesson in all of this. No matter what, hook up my external drive and back it up. Duly noted!

On a positive note, after I wrote this I called a childhood friend of mine, Jeremy, who owns ProTech Computing in Gillette, Wyoming. I figured one more try to find my lost information couldn’t hurt. He was able to remotely access my computer and after a bit he located all that I had lost. I was so elated I didn’t know what to do. I guess the moral of the story is always….and I mean, always back up your important stuff. And if you are lucky like me, you have a friend out there who knows a thing or two about computers. Until next time, I’ll be backing things up around here (probably to an OCD level)! ~Cheyenne

April Fool’s

Are you a lover of April Fool’s pranks? I am if I’m the one doing the prank! 🙂

We aren’t big pranksters around here. I think we have too much going on a lot of the time and don’t get around to that. Don’t get me wrong….we have plenty of laughs, but they are mostly due to things that happen around here by chance (not on purpose).

I was sitting here thinking this morning about an April Fool’s Day prank my grandma played on the hired men years and years ago. I was too young to remember it, but I enjoy the story my mom tells. My grandma was the camp cook back in those days (how blessed those people were as my grandma was the best cook around). Breakfast was a hearty meal always. I’m not sure how my grandma got the idea to do this, but I sure wish I could have been there. My grandma set about making pancakes, eggs, bacon, etc. She served it and the hired men and my grandpa sat down to eat. The one hired man was a bit on the shy side. He picked out the top two pancakes and doctored them up with butter and syrup. He started to cut his pancakes, but quickly had difficulty. No matter what he did he couldn’t get them cut. He was far too shy to say anything, but my grandma looked on with a big smile on her face. Soon all the guys at the table stopped eating and were watching him try to cut his pancakes. Eventually, the hired man stopped trying to cut them and looked up. About this time my grandma said, “April Fool’s”! It took a second for it to register with him, but he finally grinned. My grandma revealed how she had fooled him. She had taken bits of an old rag and put it in the pancake batter. She then made a couple of pancakes with rags in it (careful not to ruin the whole batch). He just happened to be the lucky one who got the “raggy” pancakes! My mom says that everyone at the table laughed until they almost cried!

This story makes me smile…..smiles and laughing are so important in life! I’m so glad we know this kind of happiness. Did you play an April Fool’s joke on someone today? Perhaps you had one played on you? However you spend the 1st of April, make it a good day full of smiles and laughs if you can. I will do the same! ~Cheyenne