January 12, 2013
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Listening is a skill that most of us learn early in life. We listen to our parents to learn how to speak and learn every day skills. We listen to our teachers to learn more. Some people also listen to clergy to help guide them through this life. Listening can be the most important part of a relationship. The funny thing about listening, though, is that when it is done right, it is done with an open mind and with your mouth shut.
Thanksgiving. The word brings so many things to mind. Giving thanks, traditions, family, friends, food and warmth are just a few. We’ve had fancy dinners at nice hotel restaurants and meager dinners at a tiny diner where we were thankful the gravy was good and covered the rest of the food that wasn’t quite so tasty. My favorite Thanksgivings, though, were those spent in our little homestead house at the ranch.
There’s always a special bond between a mother and a daughter. Sometimes it takes a little time for the lessons a mother can teach a daughter to really take hold.
Black and white photos in an old scrapbook fill the pages with names and dates delicately scripted underneath. Grandpa in his Marine dress uniforms on the steps of a building with his beautiful bride.
Fall is the perfect time to make pies. The cooler weather makes it tolerable to turn the oven on and heat up the house. The smell of the baking pie crust wrapped around the warm, fragrant fruit fills the air. Making pies totally from scratch isn’t heard of a lot with the convenience of pre-made pie crusts and even frozen pies. My favorite part of pie baking is the leftover crust my mom would make into cinnamon sticks.
One of the things that inspires me to write this column is my passion for where I come from — right here. There still are things that happen in this community that make me feel that we will overcome any obstacle, whether it be the oil and gas booms and busts, the president and governor attacking our industries, or the question of becoming a new state. Our community is here for one another.
Enjoy this Halloween and don’t take it so seriously. Remember to enjoy your kids and all the memories that you’re making. Have fun, be safe and don’t forget to laugh.
This electronic world we live in amazes me. I am in awe at how it works with email, Facebook, snapchat, texting, phones; there is communication everywhere and just about anywhere. When I was in high school we didn’t even have a phone, let alone a personal cell phone that you can do all of the above on. My friends were all in this town except for a pen pal maybe. If you didn’t live here, I most likely didn’t know you.
Our family is full of colorful people. That is putting it mildly. They like to tell stories, joke and pull pranks. I think October could be a great month to let you in on a few of these stories. My grandma used to tell us “ghost stories.”
The cold creeps in and wraps around us like a blanket of fog. Sometimes you can actually see it. Other times it’s just the feeling. It makes us want to dress warmer. It makes us prepare to spend more time inside, closer together. It makes us want to cuddle, to drink warm drinks and sit by a fire. It makes us excited to plan for the holidays ahead.
I grew up learning it’s better to give than to receive. We all are programmed to give, give, give. But I’ve learned a valuable lesson the past few months. Sometimes, you need to be a gracious receiver. When you are raised to be strong, to be the giver, to do all you can to help others, it’s kind of hard to get in the mindset to accept help or gifts from others. But, what is the best part of giving? It’s knowing that you helped someone or made someone a little happier by your gift. So when you give, most likely you’re expecting a certain reaction from the receiver.
I grew up being taught to treat others how you want to be treated. OK, maybe when it came to my siblings, that rule didn’t get used enough, but for the most part, I have tried to always abide by this rule. I really think it applies in the real world and if more people used it, every day would be a little brighter all around.
I drive by the chokecherry bushes everyday twice a day; on my way to work and on my way home. They change throughout the year almost like we do throughout our lives. They make me really think about how quickly this life goes by. In the spring, these bushes are just lots of grey twigs sticking out of the ground. There’s really nothing to them. They may be sprouting some green buds that will eventually be leaves, but really there’s not much there. Kind of like when babies are first born and they just eat and sleep and you find yourself staring at them for hours.
Oh, to be young again. Actually, I don’t wish to be young again, but it would be nice to feel young again. Watching teenage girls figure out who they are can be very entertaining.
Marriage is a commitment. The definition of commitment is: 1. a pledge or promise , 2. Engagement, involvement. My parents celebrated 50 years of marriage this past weekend and my in-laws are on their 54th year. Talk about commitment. I look at these couples and I find inspiration to make my marriage last (we’re on year 16).
Approach of fall brings back memories of gathering cattle with the family.
A fair family is a family of a different breed. They live for this one time a year where they spend a week or two before school starts running like crazy, making amazing memories. Fair families work hard together toward a common goal. It’s actually the 4-H motto: To make the best better. And that is their goal every year — to have a better product than the year before.
Smiles and sweet memories are easy to come by in summertime. With the sun sinking down over the horizon and the glaring heat seeming to disappear with it, relaxation kicks in. With that usually would come a treat in the evening.
National Friendship day is Aug. 4, so that made me think that friendship would be a perfect topic to cover this week. I wrote about my best friend a while back. She doesn’t live here, but we are still extremely close. We make an effort to stay in touch, and I know we will be friends, as the saying goes “until we are senile and are new friends again.”
My daughter has a friend that is still away at college. He had come home for the Fourth of July holiday and had mentioned how he really misses home when he’s away. So, my daughter came up with the idea to send him a care package when he went back to school. This care package started off as a way to make someone else’s day, but we had so much fun putting it together. We sat down and decided what to put in this package. The first thing that came to mind was food. Food is pretty comforting when you’re missing home.
Love your kids. When they try to push you away, don't listen, as the next second they may need you — even for just a moment. And don't ever be afraid to brag about your kids. Let them hear you. They need to know how proud you are of them. These years with them go too fast to not love them every chance and every way you can.
I have always believed that when you speak things out loud they seem to have a chance of happening. For instance, have you heard ranchers say that we need rain and they say out loud that it will rain when their hay is on the ground? What usually happens? It rains when their hay is on the ground. When we tell ourselves that we can accomplish something, what usually happens? We accomplish it. When we tell ourselves we can’t? We usually don’t.
Life passes by so quickly. The loss of someone we love is bound to happen because no one lives forever. Some are taken way too soon, and we will never understand why. The past couple of years, so much loss has passed through our families and our friends. That’s why it is so important to make sure your life was a life worth living.
Country-dances bring back memories of old, and help us celebrate new generations.
I’m so thankful that kids are so resilient.
My parents were self-employed, so when summer came, I was with them all the time.
This last week was an eye opener for me.
This upcoming weekend, Grand Olde West Days and Wild West Weekend will be in full swing. Everyone should get out and take advantage of all the community has to offer this weekend.
A large hill of rocks sits behind our house.
It was the first day of kindergarten. I was scared to death because I had never really spent much time away from my mother. I remember seeing this little girl across the room.
In the past week, we’ve lost two members of our family: our cow, Cocoa Bean, and our dog, Girl.
You know the old saying, “If you get bucked off a horse, you better get right back on”?
I’ve been noticing the articles about the trash, and Craig clean-up days will be coming around the bend. I’ve been thinking about this community clean-up and I think it’s a great idea.
“Major,” that special horse I had that taught me about patience, played such a big role in my childhood.
Have you noticed how everyone in this economy is trying to get the best deal they can for as little as possible? I’ve noticed this in several areas, not just in buying goods, but that is a great example.
Spring is in the air. I can smell the wet snow melting and making glorious scents of spring. These smells on our ranch usually mean mud … lots and lots of mud. But it’s all in how you look at it. You can take the positives or the negatives.
I recently chaperoned a 4-H trip, and I was pretty nervous about it. I wasn’t nervous about the trip in general, I was nervous about how I would fit in with the other chaperones and about how to be a good chaperone without ruining the trip for my daughter. This trip ended up being a great learning experience for everyone who went, and especially for me.
There are few things that smell like home to me more than fresh baked bread. Last week as I wrote about my Grandma’s apron, it brought back memories of baking bread with her. It also seemed like my mom was always baking bread when we were growing up. I love the aroma, so warm and delicious.
I read a post on Facebook the other day about a grandmother’s apron, and it made me smile as I thought of my Grandma’s aprons. I always have loved aprons, and today I enjoy sewing old time lookalikes.
Not too long ago, I was having a conversation with my son about how I’ve raised him and made so many mistakes. He assured me that he has turned out OK. He also told me something that really hit home: He told me not to hold on to the past or to grudges, but to give each day a new start. I know, he’s pretty wise for being so young. This is easier said than done for most humans, but not so much for dogs. I have a dog that is really good at this.
This Valentine’s Day has brought to mind to me several country music songs. One that really stands out is Brad Paisley’s “Two People Fell in Love.” It talks about how the love of two people can have an effect on so many whether it’s through their actions or through those they have brought into this world.
Inspiration is something all of us need at times. I’m always looking for inspiration to help me be a better assistant, mother, and wife. When I’m searching for inspiration to be a better person, I don’t have to look far. In fact, I have two friends that pop right in mind for that sort of encouragement; Mo and Susan.
It is amazing to me how we teach our kids values and they don’t even know it. I was working more on my list of things that are important to me and I started remembering happy childhood memories of very teachable moments. I started thinking about how I learned that giving back to my community by volunteering is so important. When I was little one of my very first memories is sitting on my mom’s lap while she was playing piano in this little white house made into a rest home on Yampa Avenue here in Craig. At least once a month you could find my mom in there on a Sunday afternoon playing and singing hymns for the residents.
As this New Year is upon us, I’m thinking how I want this year to look. In doing so, I’m organizing the things that are important to me. The trend seems to be getting back to the basics and I am all about that. After all, I live on a ranch and I enjoy “the basics.”