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Ramblings

Montana Gold

We had our second Montana trip of the summer a few weeks ago. We spent the week in Glacier National Park and had the time of our lives with my family.  On our way back from Glacier to my parent’s house, My Cowboy and I just had to stop and pull to the side of the road for this sunflower field. As if the field of flowers with the Rocky Mountain backdrop wasn’t enough, it just happened to be sunset hour.

Montana Gold from butterloveandcowboys.com

Montana’s official nickname is “The Treasure State”. This nickname originated from the 1800’s, when it was discovered her mountains were rich in silver and gold. As I think of Montana, I definitely think of gold, but not the metal variety. The Montana Gold I’m referring to holds little monetary value, but is far more precious. So if you ever visit Montana, promise me you will take time to sit still and breathe in everything around you. You will discover she does in fact hold a whole lot of gold. 

Montana Gold from butterloveandcowboys.com

Montana Gold is in the sunrises and sunsets that illuminate the entire Big Sky. It’s in the thousands upon thousands of acres, acres containing fields, brimming with ripe grain. It can be found in the quaking aspen leaves as summer begins that brilliant shift to fall. Haystacks piled high with a full winter’s supply also hold a beauty just like that of gold.

Most recently I found Montana Gold in this stunning sunflower field. The evening was so perfectly calm. We had just enjoyed an entire week of Montana’s rugged beauty in the unparalleled Rocky Mountains. Plus I was with My Cowboy. It was the ultimate ending to our trip. 

Montana Gold from butterloveandcowboys.com

Montana Gold from butterloveandcowboys.com

Montana Gold from butterloveandcowboys.com

Montana Gold from butterloveandcowboys.com

Montana Gold from butterloveandcowboys.com

Montana Gold from butterloveandcowboys.com

Montana Gold from butterloveandcowboys.com

Montana Gold from butterloveandcowboys.com

Montana Gold from butterloveandcowboys.com

Montana Gold from butterloveandcowboys.com

Montana Gold from butterloveandcowboys.com

Montana Gold from butterloveandcowboys.com

Montana Gold from butterloveandcowboys.com

Montana Gold isn’t only to be found in the landscapes. It’s in her people too. A big piece of my heart will always belong to Montana, a heart that was shaped by so much more than the wildflowers and the sunsets. Montana filled my life with people whose examples of kindness, community, faith in God, friendship, and love outshine any valuable mineral or even a great, big, beautiful field of sunflowers.

Call it what you will, but that’s why I consider it the Treasure State.

Ramblings

A Montana Sunset

Two weeks ago My Cowboy and me traveled up to my home-state of Montana. Three of my siblings and their families were there as well, so it was a good time to visit my parents and other members of my family. We planned to only stay for the weekend, but we have been so busy this month that I completely forgot Clay would be gone the following week for a work trip. I hate being home alone. I usually travel to be with my sister that lives close-ish when he has work trips. Said sister was living it up in Montana as well though, so that wasn’t an option.

Naturally, being the thinker I am, realized I would either have a week at home alone, or I could stay in Montana for the week and party with my family while Clay was on his trip. I love to party, so I chose to stay in Montana all week. It was so much fun! We had good eats, good company, and did many things that make up a great time.

Prior to this month, (July is excluded from these feelings because it has been so fun, crazy, chaotic, fun, busy, and fun, thus the lack of blog posts) I had really been feeling the daily grind and craved a break from it. I think most of us have those times. Sometimes life just gets daunting and we need a change of pace, a change of scenery. This trip was just the thing to give me what I needed. It helped rejuvenate me and brought me peace I hadn’t felt in a long time.

One evening, I took a little walk down the road. The road I took was filled with the perfect view of one of my most favorite scenes- a Montana sunset. 

While I strolled, the Montana sunset completely encompassed my world and reminded me of things I so often felt as I walked that road when I was younger. It brought me peace. It brought a remembrance of my days before adulthood that were filled with work, family, friends, the beauty that surrounded me daily, and fresh-cut hay. (If you don’t appreciate the smell of fresh-cut hay, you need to.) As a teenager, I loved all those things and knew I would miss home once I ventured to college, but I still don’t think we fully appreciate home until we leave it. 

I’m grateful for the opportunities to go back to my childhood home and enjoy a Montana sunset. Most of my siblings don’t live as close to Montana as we do, so we work hard to travel there often and take advantage of the proximity. Last week, several of my siblings and I had the opportunity to enjoy our childhood home together. That made my Montana sunset even better. 

 

A Montana Sunset from butterloveandcowboys.com

I am convinced that barley is the prettiest crop.

A Montana Sunset from butterloveandcowboys.com

And Montana is the prettiest place…

A Montana Sunset from butterloveandcowboys.com

A Montana Sunset from butterloveandcowboys.com

A Montana Sunset from butterloveandcowboys.com

A Montana Sunset from butterloveandcowboys.com

A Montana Sunset from butterloveandcowboys.com

It is so refreshing going back home and spending time the way I spent it when I was a kid. That always seems to bring fresh perspective into my life. Going back to our roots is a fantastic way to remember who we have been, who we are, and where we want to be. For me, it offers a real chance for self-reflection.

Taking in a Montana sunset also instills in me a deep gratitude for my parents. They gave us a good life. We had space to play, work, and grow. The country life may not be for everyone, but it was and is SO for me. It brings with it a simplicity and pace of life I just couldn’t imagine being found anywhere else. 

A Montana sunset is so much more than what meets the eye. I highly recommend one.

Happy Friday!

 

Ramblings

10 Reasons Why I Wanted to Marry a Cowboy

I have wanted to marry a cowboy almost as long as I can remember. There are a lot of reasons that has been my ideal and I decided to compile a list to share. What the world says a cowboy is and what a cowboy really is are, in some ways, completely different things. 

Why Marry a Cowboy from butterloveandcowboys.com

If you were to type cowboy in google or pinterest, you are likely to have a thousand photos nail you with shirtless men in Wranglers four sizes to small, leaning against a fence, and a cowboy hat atop their head. He is probably holding a beer in one hand and likely his back pocket contains a package of Skoal. In no way does this represent the kind of man a cowboy is. It certainly does not entail what a cowboy means to me. Nor does it represent the many reasons I love and admire My Cowboy.

The world paints a picture of the cowboy as an extremely restless and reckless individual that doesn’t stick around, or keep up with commitments outside the spotlight of a dusty arena. This is so far from the truth of a what real cowboy is. I hope this list will help you understand what I mean.

Here are a few of the reasons why I wanted to marry a cowboy:

  1. A cowboy knows how to work. Not only has My Cowboy put in countless 14-15 hour work days to provide for us in the last five years of marriage, but he has a strong work ethic that I admire. I so want that instilled in our future children.
  2. A cowboy is respectful. I knew I wanted to marry a man who not only respected his mama, but my mama as well. If he couldn’t respect these two, why would I expect him to respect me or treat me as an equal partner in marriage? 
  3. A cowboy is God-fearing. Religion is everything to me. Finding someone with similar beliefs and commitment to God was an absolute must. My Cowboy is tough, tough enough he understands His need to rely on God. 
  4. As mentioned, A cowboy is tough.  A couple months ago, My Cowboy was working on a spud planter and fell off. Long story short- he landed on his feet but caught a lot of metal and bars, on various parts of his body on the way down. He always lands on his feet, but always seems to do the most damage that way! (Like the time he shattered out his teeth, but that’s a different story for a different day). He writhed in pain as he caught his breath a few minutes. He felt really nauseous, but got back up on that planter and worked another hour until he got the job done! Now whether that was the best thing to do or not, I won’t say.
  5. A Cowboy has a soft heart. My Cowboy can lift a hundred pounds, yet I have watched him tenderly bottle-feed a shivering calf, who lost their mama, in freezing temperatures. He is every bit as compassionate and caring as he is tough and strong.
  6. A Cowboy has a hearty appetite. I love food. I love to eat. I love sugar, if you didn’t know. I believe food is more than eating, it is an experience. I knew it would take a man with a real appreciation for good eats to keep up with my hobbies in the kitchen!
  7. A cowboy loves his animals. I believe how a person treats not only people, but all things under their stewardship says a lot about him/her. 
  8. A cowboy loves to ride. Riding a horse is fun and in the ranching world, very useful. It provides perspective and the opportunity to see the world from a horse’s point of view. Besides, who doesn’t wanna spend date night saddled up beside a cute cowboy?! 
  9. A cowboy loves the country. I’m a country girl through and through. I love visiting the city, but I don’t wanna live there. No offense to those who do, it’s just not for me πŸ™‚ This girl desperately wanted someone who wouldn’t make her trade alfalfa fields and blue skies for Wal-Mart and asphalt roads.
  10. A cowboy can change the oil. My own Dad’s ranching background made him a competent mechanic. He may not have been able to fix everything, but he wouldn’t lug any vehicle of his into the mechanic until he had at least tried! I always hoped for someone who had this mentality and could take care of their own oil changes. 

Why Marry a Cowboy from butterloveandcowboys.com

These are just some of the reasons I am so grateful I found My Cowboy. The list really goes on and on though. I try to constantly remember how blessed I am to have found a man with all these wonderful traits and qualities!

Ramblings

The Beauty of a Horse

In my opinion, horses have to be the most beautiful animal to roam the earth. They are athletic and incredibly graceful. Their undeniable intelligence gives them a chance to be trained for purposes for which we couldn’t trust most animals to follow through. Agility is another companion with which they outshine many other animals. On top of that, quite plain and simple, they are a sight to see. Over my twenty-four years of admiration, the beauty of a horse is something for which I have a deep appreciation.

As I have said before, few things have ever been as attractive to me as a man on a horse. My Cowboy, for instance, boy does he look good in the saddle. I still gawk when I see him ride. As good lookin’ as he is, I can’t deny that is only enhanced by his horse.

Horses certainly have many different uses. Racing, jumping, dressage, cows, transportation, rodeo, or just plain riding. Around here, they are most heavily used for cattle work, so the more ‘cowie’ the horse, the better.

I can’t talk about cowie without mentioning the beauty of a cutting horse. Have you ever watched a good cutting horse work? If not, I highly recommend the experience. Resort to YouTube if you must. 

The Beauty of a Horse from butterloveandcowboys.com

A horse’s eyes- another true demonstration of The Beauty of a Horse. I love searching them and determining for myself what I see there. Some days I can visualize hopes and dreams of what I want to be. Other days I see opportunities to become something bigger than just myself as I climb up in the saddle for a ride. 

The Beauty of a Horse from butterloveandcowboys.com

What do you see?

The Beauty of a Horse from butterloveandcowboys.com

The Beauty of a Horse is never-changing. Time passes, horses age, people too, and life changes. But a good horse never loses a certain air of their regal nature within. It simply won’t be fully crowded out by time, age, or any of those ever-changing circumstance of life. No, the Beauty of a Horse remains.

The Beauty of a Horse from butterloveandcowboys.com

The Beauty of a Horse from butterloveandcowboys.com

The Beauty of a Horse brings me peace. Sifting through my thoughts in their presence is an opportunity to experience a little piece of heaven on earth. An overwhelming appreciation for the creations for which we are indebted to God always came naturally for me. I suppose it was pretty easy considering the beautiful place I grew up. The Beauty of a Horse is another one of God’s creations for which I feel that sincere respect.

The Beauty of a Horse from butterloveandcowboys.com

The Beauty of a Horse from butterloveandcowboys.com

The Beauty of a Horse from butterloveandcowboys.com

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The Beauty of a Horse from butterloveandcowboys.com

The Beauty of a Horse from butterloveandcowboys.com

The Beauty of a Horse from butterloveandcowboys.com

The Beauty of a Horse from butterloveandcowboys.com

I consider it a privilege to have this beauty so readily available in the pasture across the road. These horses have cooperated with me many times so I could share a small piece of that with you. My hope and prayer is that it brought a smile to your face or improved your day!

Ramblings

Cowboys and Wrestling

The Cowboy.

He knows how to do a hard days work and give his all, often leaving the common amenities of daily life behind. For instance, a day spent out on the range requires that basically all modern comforts are out of reach. That means no running water, no bathrooms, and complete exposure to the elements, including whatever mother nature decides to send our way. And it continues until the work is done. Often, all four seasons will reach a cowboy on his ride in the same day.

Through it all, you rarely hear a cowboy grumble. They are too happy spending time in their most favorite way. There are always remarks on the weather, but no complaining. Sounds like a pretty tough group right? That toughness is a combination of inner strength to endure unfavorable conditions as well as muscular strength. 

So much of a cowboy’s life involves animals. Animals are unpredictable. No matter how well you know cows, horses, or any other type of animal, they are still an animal. In this case, we have a branding day. Most of the calves get drug in and their head caught with the head catch. With a little manpower from a cowboy, this will hold it down for the branding just fine, but there are always a few, usually larger calves, who put up a fight. 

This year, there was one in particular that I just happened to have the camera up and ready for. Here is a calf who didn’t even make it to the head catch. I thought I had caught the whole event, but I didn’t quite get the final fall, just everything leading up to it. 

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

Three of My Cowboy’s brothers are wrestlers. Now, I’m not a big wrestling fan nor do I know much about wrestling. My brothers are basketball players. I am no good at it myself but it’s an exciting sport that I have always thoroughly enjoyed watching. My hometown was a total basketball town. High school basketball was always huge. We didn’t have much time for wrestling nor did we have many wrestlers. I went to one wrestling tournament my entire high school career. 

And then I married My Cowboy and got some wrestling exposure from his younger brothers. I still don’t care much for wrestling nor do I really enjoy watching it, but I definitely have a respect for the sport I didn’t have before. It takes serious strength. It’s no wonder My Cowboy’s younger brothers are good at it! 

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

I can’t help but think experiences like this paved the way for them to have the skill, strength, and technique to do well in the sport. Cowboys and wrestling go hand in hand, I’ve decided. 

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

This Cowboy doing the wrestling and I share the same childhood hometown. It’s always fun to find people you have a connection with when you grow up and move on. My Cowboy and I actually have HIS daughter to thank that we ever met at college. She was a roommate to one of my good friends and introduced us on the dance floor. Are you gawking at how romantic meeting on the dance floor is or what? I had always felt the dance floor HAD to be one of the cutest ways to find romance. πŸ™‚

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

And………………………………………..that’s where my photos of that whole ordeal end, but it was pretty great. Cowboys and wrestling- sometimes they win and sometimes they don’t. However, they DID eventually get that calf taken care of.

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

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Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

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Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

Cowboys and Wrestling from butterloveandcowboys.com

Ramblings

The Art of Roping

Shortly after My Cowboy and I started dating, he invited me to watch him compete in a team roping with his boss at the time. I was all for it so I tagged along. As I enjoyed the evening of observing him, I remember thinking, “I really need to marry this cowboy.” Nothing was as attractive to me as a man on a horse. That was even multiplied in my smitten mind by the whole roping part of the deal. 

I still love to watch him rope. It never gets old. I certainly can’t rope myself, even attempting in the least scares me, because it takes a lot of skill. Although, that very first night I ever saw him rope, he told me he would have me roping in no time. Psh…five years later and I’ve  never even swung a rope on the ground! Maybe someday.  For now, I will just continue to enjoy gawking at him. 

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

See? Doesn’t he look good? I can never seem to get enough of it. As I’ve already mentioned, in my five years of marriage to this cowboy, I have learned that very few things bring him as much happiness as a day spent roping and riding.

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

This family branding that I have been telling you all about is where all of our cowboys started to rope. With a little help from those who are older and already had the skill mastered, they slowly learned themselves. Fortunately, My Cowboy has a great roper for a father, who was able to pass on what he knew to all five of his boys. Isn’t that one of the greatest blessings of this life? Learning a skill at the feet of someone who understands it and was once in your shoes, progressing and growing themselves. And the understanding that they once needed a master of the art to teach them and started out just like you, with that thirst for any knowledge and a willingness to work so they could eventually land on their feet, in a place where they would have the skill and abilities to teach others who likewise will need the benefits of their instruction. Like these cowboys, I imagine most of us owe a lot of what we have learned to our parents. I sure do!

This post is entitled “The Art of Roping” for a reason. It is an art. All of the things a roper has to keep their focus set on to glide that loop right were it is intended to go is so impressive. There is such a beauty and eloquence in these skills amidst the seeming rudeness of animal behavior, unpredictable weather conditions, manure, and days laden with dust.

Looking into these faces and getting a glimpse of the satisfaction they feel from a long day’s work, participating in ways they thoroughly enjoy is something that is a privilege to see.

I’ve shared several pictures of this little cowboy nephew of ours. With help from those who have been where he is, he dragged in his first calf this year!

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

 

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

Roping from butterloveandcowboys.com

I am so grateful for the many individuals who have blessed my life, by sharing with me what they know so I can grow and progress in ways that bring me closer to my goals. The patience and love that it requires to effectively teach someone has touched me many times from the countless individuals who have helped me learn throughout my lifetime.

God’s patience is another gift for which I am continually thankful. A seasoned roper sees the potential in the eyes of a little cowboy, like our nephew, as they remember how they got their own start with a rope. The fact that God doesn’t just view me as I am now but with the potential of all I can become if I choose diligence and hard work is something that is extremely special to me. 

Ramblings

Branding Part 3: Roping and Groundwork

Howdy all. I still have a lot of branding pictures to share and I haven’t even gotten to the best part- the actual branding! While some of our cowboys and cowgirls rope the calves, there are also bodies on foot, who take care of the groundwork. Groundwork includes vaccinations, castrating, earmarking, and, you guessed it- branding!

Here’s how it goes- a cowboy/cowgirl heels a calf and drags it towards the branding iron, where someone on foot will place the head-catcher on the calf’s head. The head catcher helps keep the calf in place as those on the ground proceed to vaccinate, castrate, earmark, and brand. Once finished, they release the head catch, and off the calf goes- usually pretty swiftly!

The roping part is the part My Cowboy lives for. Few things in this life make him as happy as a day spent on the range branding, where he gets to ride and rope. He despises anything that has to do with a calf table. All operations are different and have to do what works best for their outfit, so absolutely no disrespect is meant towards any calf-table users. There are pro’s and con’s to roping, just like there are pro’s and con’s a calf table. I’m simply highlighting how much our crew LOVES their time spent roping. 

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Clay’s oldest brother’s wifee! She is also known as “The Rancher’s Wife” as she has a blog where she shares all about what happens on the ranch- you can find her here. Check it out!

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

My Cowboy. My favorite cowboy.

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

 

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

How cute is this little cowboy?!

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

While I still have more pictures to share, as for the explanation of a typical branding day, there you have it! It is always a full day of cows, dust, roping, singed hair, good food, family, friends, horses, and photos.  I will be back before long to continue sharing all that I captured that day with you πŸ™‚

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Ramblings

Branding Part 2: Sorting

Next in our branding day comes sorting the babies from the mamas. This means, before we start the actual branding, after the calves and mothers have been gathered up, the cowboys and cowgirls sort out the mamas from the corral where the branding will take place. There are a couple reasons for this. A most practical one is that the corral where this branding happens isn’t big enough to keep all the mamas in there while they rope the calves. Another reason is that all babies are different, but when it comes to calves, they are usually easiest to deal with if mama isn’t too close by.

Let me explain.

Most of these girls handle their mothering job very well. If they don’t, they are generally culled from the herd. Naturally, they have protective instincts and intend to ensure that no harm befalls their babies. Which is how it should be. So it is a bit easier to rope a calf with mama out of the way. Those mother instincts can also make tougher work for our crew once a cowboy or cowgirl throws a loop around their calves’ heels and drags them off toward the branding iron. Especially in a situation like this where the corral isn’t very big.

This is where sorting comes in handy. During the sorting process, some stay on their horses, while others help on foot. Once in a while, someone may be found flat on their face as an attempt to help chase out a mama or hold back a calf, landed them anywhere but their feet. That just makes the experience all the more interesting πŸ™‚

 

Sorting from butterloveandcowboys.com

Sorting from butterloveandcowboys.com

 

Sorting from butterloveandcowboys.com

Sorting from butterloveandcowboys.com

Sorting from butterloveandcowboys.com

Sorting from butterloveandcowboys.com

Sorting from butterloveandcowboys.com

Sorting from butterloveandcowboys.com

Sorting from butterloveandcowboys.com

I have no idea what these two were talking about, but I sure thought they looked entertained! πŸ™‚ Any caption ideas?

Sorting from butterloveandcowboys.com

Sorting from butterloveandcowboys.com

Sorting from butterloveandcowboys.com

Sorting from butterloveandcowboys.com

I can’t say the girls are always that happy to be separated from their calves by a corral. Sometimes I just wish I could tell them, “Hang in there Mama! It’s only for a little bit and overall, it’s for your baby’s own good.”

When it comes to calving season there are ALL SORTS of things I would love to talk to the mama’s about in regards to what is truly for their calve’s best interest.

Sorting from butterloveandcowboys.com

Happy Tuesday!

Ramblings

Branding Part 1: Gathering

We just finished up April. That means branding has been in full swing around this ranch. On most Fridays and Saturdays last month, you were sure to find our cowboys and cowgirls riding and roping the range. And without fail, they’d come home smelling like singed hair.

A few Fridays ago, we had the favorite family branding. This is the branding where My Cowboy’s family brands just their cattle. Most of the other weekends they will be branding with others in their cattle association. Those branding days are still great fun, but what’s better than just looking after your OWN cows?! My Cowboy looks forward to this branding all year. It probably hits the list as his third favorite holiday.

I will write all about our average branding day, but let’s start at the beginning- gathering.  Naturally, if we want any calves to brand we have to gather ’em first! We like to start early, but not too early. Seven or eight am seems to be the usual. Personally, I despise rousing anytime before the clock ticks seven. So I sure am happy they don’t like to start TOO early! The riders saddle up and are off to begin the task of bringing in the Mama’s and their babies to the corral.

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

I realize this post includes the first photos of our crew so I will make sure to point out the most common faces that you will see on Butter, Love, and Cowboys. My in-law’s had four other cowboys, five altogether, if you count My Cowboy. Now they are all grown and love to be in the saddle as much as any men I know. Four of the five brothers saddled up for branding this particular day. 

We have many uncles, cousins, and friends who always join in to help get the work done as well. 

Here’s a brother.

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

And another brother.

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

This post consists of a bit of a photo overload. I just couldn’t help myself when it came to sharing many of these photos. Branding days make up some of the most challenging and fun days when it comes to photography. My goal each year is for my photos to be better than the last. 

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

My Cowboy.  

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

The cowboy on the right is the oldest brother.

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

My Cowboy’s brother and his wife. This cowboy found himself a gal who could rope alongside him and it is fun to see them be able to share something they both love together! Plus they should be models for some western magazine.

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

This is our nephew- the smallest and cutest rider of our branding crew!

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Branding from butterloveandcowboys.com

Once again they got the job done. 

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Ramblings

Spring Dreams

Spring dreams come to us all and for me they started a couple of weeks ago. We had a some really nice weeks in March that teased us with sixty degree days. Those days came before spring officially started, in the beginning of the month. Those weeks played an awful joke on us! Since then our temperatures have dropped a bit, more towards the forties and fifties. Not too bad for early spring right? At least not in our neck of the Idaho woods.

Spring Dreams from butterloveandcowboys.com

The part of the story that made those warm weeks such a teaser are the howling winds that have begun to accompany the forty and fifty degree temperatures. Wind is an abomination. It can easily turn a pleasant day into a bone-chilling nightmare. I believe wind ruins more outdoor plans than any other factor of the weather.

I am no stranger to wind. I grew up in north-central Montana. In Montana, strong winds are a fact of everyday life. My Mom was frequently exclaiming, “The winds are blowing a’ hundred miles an hour!” In fact, I seriously thought the winds often blew “a hundred miles an hour” until about a year ago when my sister pointed out that, while Montana winds blow fast and hard, if the wind is really blowing one hundred miles per hour, there is likely severe damage. She confided in me that she had always been confused by that expression and thought our winds frequently blew “a hundred miles an hour” as well :). I still love that expression though because it reminds me of my Mama and my childhood home!

Spring Dreams from butterloveandcowboys.com

Said winds are pretty much the only complaint you will hear me moan about in regards to Montana. Other than that, my home-state is ideal :). My Cowboy is no fan of Montana winds either. He, like many visitors to the territory will often be heard to express, “No matter when we come here, the wind is always blowing!” However, after moving to our little corner of Idaho for about a year, I have to say, it may have Montana beat. If it does not have her beat, it is a tie or close second place.

These forty-fifty degree days, and the winds have awakened a deep yearning inside of me for warmth and spring! Until the winds let up, I suppose “Spring Dreams” will have to suffice. I have been dying to share ranch photos with you, but this ranch is in that awkward phase of grayish-brownish-almost greenish as it transitions from winter to spring. Now I will finally explain what these pictures are all about. I am sharing some photos from last year when the days were warmer and the grass was greener!

Spring Dreams from butterloveandcowboys.com

Spring Dreams from butterloveandcowboys.com

Spring Dreams from butterloveandcowboys.com

Spring Dreams from butterloveandcowboys.com

Spring Dreams from butterloveandcowboys.com

Spring Dreams from butterloveandcowboys.com

Here’s to sunshine and greener pastures ahead! Happy Spring!

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