Digg'n Some Photo Challenge

Here is my last half of July! Can you believe it? If you missed my first half you can check it here. Or better yet, follow me on Instagram, like my Facebook page, and don't forget about Twitter! And to do it yourself, I mean, to play the game, go to fat mum slim to get the August list! You'll be glad you did!

Starting from the top left and heading over:

Your addiction
9 o'clock
Upside down
A stranger
On the road
Last thing you bought

In the past I haven't been posting these to Ranch Mama's Facebook page. But I am thinking I will start. I always try to remember to tweet them and I use Instagram to edit them. I don't always take the picture with my iPad. I don't have an iPhone, it wouldn't work here so what's the point? But the iPad is old and the camera sucks. I use my point and shoot Panasonic or my husband's nice, but old, Nikon. Then I load them to the iPad and use Instagram. It's more work than it should be, but it's still fun.

Have a great day!


Your Sunday Best ~ Rocky Mountain Wildflowers


Mexican Hat

hair bells 

These are the names our mountain folk call the flowers. Aside from the Yarrow, I don't know their true names. I have found that even in a floral shop, the names of a flower can change drastically by location. If you know any other names for these flowers please let me know in the comments!
I would love to know! Thank you!


The Truth

If someone could have told me, when I was nine (or 12 or 17 or even 25) 
that someday I would be living on a ranch with 30+ houses, 
I would have been happy forever. 
I would have known that dreams really can come true. 
I would have stopped asking Santa for a pony. 
"No, I'm good, don't worry about me!" I'd say.

I am lucky. This place is amazing. What a blessing. What a dream. 
But I'm that one team player who never gets off the bench. 
The one who dreamed all their life of making it to the big leagues but is still not in the game.
Instead, I stand on the deck and take pictures. 
What happened? I'm the mama. The Ranch Mama. I have little ones. 
Perhaps I'm doing it all wrong, but right now, I can't run out to muck stalls because I'm mucking something else. Namely the diaper pail and the dirty dishes.

The truth is, I don't know the first thing about horses. Yes I've ridden, about once a year all my life. That stat is still true. This is our second summer here, and so far I've only ridden twice, once last summer and once this summer. Both times was when either my parents or Adventure Man's parents were here to watch the kids. This breaks my heart. I wish I could just go saddle up and go, but the thing is, I don't know how. I don't know how to put the harness on, let alone a bridle. And forget about the saddle! It's never been done! Not by me anyway!

But while I am here with the toddler and the preschooler, 
my older girls are doing something about my dream. 
They are learning. 
They are riding. 
They are getting the chance of a lifetime. 
They know how to harness and saddle and mount and dismount. 
They are learning all the things I've always dreamed of.
There is a moment in every mother's life when she has to step back and let her daughter, or in my case, daughters take the spotlight. Right now it is they who are coming to be the horse women.
 The cowgirls. The wranglers. 
And as much as I still dream of that for myself, 
I would never forgive myself if they didn't get the chance.

Who knows, someday they can teach me all the things I've dreamed of. Because these little ones won't be small for ever. And the way my little Bunny toddles after all the horses (and makes us all have to watch her like a hawk!)
 I'm sure we have another cowgirl in the making!

Yeah I'm a mama. But that too has always been a dream of mine. Sometimes we don't get to choose what dream we live. I'll take each chance when it comes. And I'm pretty happy with where this one's taking me. And where it's taking them.

The good news it that my parents are coming today and I'm quite sure that I will get another ride in with my nephew who will be with them. So next week you'll get to hear about it. 
And this blog may be a little less busy while I'm having fun! 


Wordless Wednesday

I am a proud parent of this orchid. 
All five buds are open now and I wanted to have 
these Instagram photos in one spot. 


Momma Judy's No Bake Cookies

My husband has a friend from Southern Colorado. Near Durango, but out away from town. Way away. Any town. We're talking middle of nowhere. And yes, if this is sounding vaguely familiar, that's because I live in the exact same spot, only we live in the mountains of Montana and our friend lives in the desert of Colorado.

These people are amazing and beautiful and my heroes. They are the kind of friends that are so great, they are family. And even with thousands of miles of highway between them and us, time doesn't seem to have pasted when we are together. (So why are the kids getting so darn big?)

They have worked hard every day of their lives. They use everything. Them make everything. Homemade bread, pasta, ice cream. Even their hot dog buns are homemade. I love it. They laugh because they're kids get so excited at store bought buns and I get so excited by homemade buns.

When Adventure Man and I were visiting while we were just a pair of young fools, our friend's Momma made no bake cookies and I asked for the recipe. I obviously didn't have it, although now I think it's fairly common. This is the recipe she wrote out for me. Word for word.

2 c. sugar
2 T. cocoa
1/2 c. milk
3 c. oatmeal
1/2 cube margarine
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 t. vanilla

mix sugar, cocoa, milk & boil for 1 min. 
Add the rest & 
put out. 

And there you have it! I like these in the summer cause you don't use the oven, it takes 2 minutes and the peanut butter and oatmeal stick to the ribs. And in my case, the thighs.


I'll Give You a Reason To Cry!

I love having all my kids home for the summer! It's our time! Time to play, time to work, time to learn, time to teach, time to tear my hair out. Wait, did I say that out loud?

The first day I took all 4 of them to Big Town to get shopping done I came home and counted out how many days until school started again. No, not really. But I did ask my Husband to count it out. Which he didn't. He laughed and obviously thought I was kidding.

How many times can I pull the car over? How many times can I tell them, "If you don't stop we will leave all this in the cart and walk straight back to the car, drive the 80 miles home, WITHOUT even the MILK!" Before they realize that Mom would NEVER waste a day, let alone the gas, to do something like that. Nope. I really wouldn't. That would be stupid. So I put up with it. And I bribe. (Candy? Milkshakes? Snow Cones?) It never really does much.

In an attempt to reinforce their good behavior, as a posed to the awful stuff I was screaming about, I pulled an old memory out of my childhood. My dad was a high school teacher and he taught the "skills for living class." Yes, he was the sex ed teacher! One of the lessons I remember him sharing with us as a family was the Warm Fuzzies. Doing good deeds and being kind brings a warm feeling and so each time we do something good we get to add a warm fuzzy to a jar. When the jar is full, we will go do something awesome, like go to the water park. OK, I don't remember the water park being the goal as a kid, but this was something my parents tried to implement and I thought I would try it to. Even though I'm pretty sure it didn't work for them either.

The problem is actually remembering to issue the warm fuzzies. Which are pom poms. So really it's a work in progress. But still! The kids are into it, so we all keep trying. Otherwise Mommy will be checking into the nut house soon.

At this point, however, I'm starting to think I should be taking the warm fuzzies OUT of the jar.


Your Sunday Best ~ A Change of Shoes

If you know me, you know I love shoes. 
And when I saw these, I knew what I had to do! 
Take a picture! 
I shared them on Instagram this last week. 
But this is the original picture. 

You can follow me and my obsession with wildflowers, My Mountain, horses, all things Montana, 
and my kids @ranchmama on Instagram


The Only Blogger In Montana ~ Is There Anyone Out There?

Come and see this great blogger, Shane @ Whispering Sweet Nothings, who set up this coast to coast directory! She even had a lunch with a bunch of bloggers who live in her area because she got to see who was close! It's such a great idea.

But this is what is so crazy! There is only one blog in Montana. Mine! Apparently, blogs, computers, the internet… aren't all that popular in my neck of the woods. I mean, my Internet is run by hamster wheels so it does take forever just to add a photo to a blog. But I would think there would be a few more. You know, like South Dakota. Plus, it's not like we have anything else to do up here in the North. Like feed cattle, break horses, bake corn bread, water crops, hunt elk, fish. You know.

Come check it out! I have found some really great blogs this way! 

You're Welcome! 


Gett'n The Fire Started ~ S'more, Please!

We do s'mores on Monday nights with the guests. 
And we take every opportunity to be sure everyone learns a thing or two. 
So we use a bow drill.
Nature Boy is having LuLu help him this time.   

Look! Smoke! 

The friction of the cottonwood creates an ember.

The ember goes in the basket of inner bark and dried grass.

They blow. It lights. 
Ok, after a few tries. 
But it works. They did it! 

And we all have s'mores!
Now I want you all to go have yourself a nice camp fire with made with a bow drill. 
I'm sure you can do it! 

Or you can have s'mores the way we do it the rest of the week:
Put one half of a graham cracker on a paper plate.
Put a piece of chocolate on the cracker.
Put a marshmallow on the chocolate. 
Put the plate in the microwave. 
Cook for about 15 seconds.
Top with other half of the Graham cracker. 

And that's how this City Girl makes S'mores!
Your welcome! 

Wordless Wednesday

I left a light on the other night, and it attracted these two lovelies.


Me, Myself & I ~ A Link Up Party

Today is the Me, Myself and I blog hop and we've been asked to do a few Q&A's. Boy, has July been the "Getting to Know You" month or what!? Well, the more the merrier, Right?

 Here we go!

1. What is your biggest phobia? 
I'll tell ya, but you can't laugh, ok? 
The phone. I hate calling people on the phone. (I know, lame, right!) Especially calling someone BACK! My heart starts to race, I get so nervous. Even people I know, LIKE MY MOTHER! There Mom, now you know why I don't call you that much! I'm sorry! 

I'm the one in the ears
2. If you could relive any day of your life, what would it be and why? 
I'm thinking Disneyland. Some random day when I as at Disneyland. Either that or my wedding day. That was pretty darn cool too.Or there was the time Adventure Man and I went to Disneyland while we were dating. That was a good date.  

3. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be? 
I believe we always think of our self as one particular age and for me that is 19. In my head, I will always be 19. That's why I can't figure out who's in the bathroom with me? Some crazy old lady! 

Bahahah bahahaha!
Image Credit: wikipedia 
4. Which celebrity do you get mistaken for? 
Hahahaha! Mistaken? No. But when I lived in Japan I was told I looked like two people. One, Titanic had just come out, and I have long curly hair. I know, you see where I'm going with this already. It's just way to outrages! But some of the kids would say I looked like Kate Winslet in Titanic. Bahaha… Ok, or the other one I got was Sigourney Weaver, which I totally buy, as I have thin lips and a pointed nose. At least better than Rose! (These were my students who said this of me! Yikes!!!)

5. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life? 
I Want CandyEvery Little Thing She Does Is Magic
and Here She Comes are all songs I've been known to sing to my kids. As well as, You Don't Always Get What You Want, we can't forget that one. 

And as for me… This is how I'm feeling this summer (snicker)!
Just push PLAY:

Music Playlist at MixPod.com

And Join the fun, 
click the link at the top and add yourself! 
You know you want to! 

Up The Mountain For The Night

At the end of the day, we send the horses up the trail into the National Forist. There they have all the sweet grass they can graze. The chute goes right past our home, as the trail head is at our door. It's a fun ritual to watch.

And that would be Sam, bringing up the rear. He's our "special" horse because he thinks he's a labrador.