Back to profile

Diane Prather

Stories by Diane

Prather's Pick: A lot to be learned from ‘How to Babysit a Grandma’

Most busy parents leave their children with Grandpa and Grandma at one time or another so that the grandparents can “babysit” their grandchildren. However, the children might look at babysitting the other way around. “How to Babysit a Grandma,” by Jean Reagan and illustrated by Lee Wildish, was brought to my attention by my sister, Darlene Blackford, who lives in Rocky Ford. Darlene conducts workshops for early childhood teachers so she’s always looking for children’s books that she can use.

From Pipi’s Pasture: A special parade

Last week while I was wracking my brain, trying to bring back some memories of childhood Fourth of July celebrations, I remembered a recent Fourth of July parade that we attended with our son Jody and family. This story didn’t happen in Moffat County; in fact it took place in Utah, but it’s involves hard work and dedication, and it’s a heartwarming story, too.

Prather’s Pick: 'Never Look Back' is a thrilling police mystery

If you enjoy reading mysteries, the kind that have you sitting on the edge of your chair as the tension builds, then this week’s novel for adults is for you.

From Pipi’s Pasture: Remembering the 4th of July

It’s nearly the Fourth of July here at Pipi’s Pasture, and I’ve been trying to remember how we celebrated the holiday when my sisters, brother and I were growing up on the ranch at Morapos. I’ve talked to my sisters; I’ve talked to my brother. Nothing much stands out. I think it’s because July is a busy time of year for ranchers, and in those days we couldn’t afford to take the time off to celebrate.

Prather’s Pick: A book to celebrate 4th of July

Sally Beauchamp, children’s librarian at the Moffat County Library, brought this week’s book to my attention a while back. “My Country ‘Tis of Thee: How One Song Reveals the History of Civil Rights” is a picture book intended for children, but I learned a lot while reading the book, and I’ll bet other adults will, too.

Over a Cup of Coffee: Yummy blueberry dessert

Blueberries are a favorite at our house. This week’s column features a cheesecake with blueberry pie filling spread over the top. Although I haven’t tried it, I think that you might substitute another kind of pie filling — like cherry, for example.

From Pipi’s Pasture: A cow named 'Ucky'

This summer, I’m helping two mother cows feed their calves — at least for a while. The calves are nursing on their moms; the cows are nurturing their calves, but I’m not sure just how much milk the babies are getting.

Prather’s Pick: ‘A Boy and a Jaguar’ gives voice to those with speech issues

“A Boy and a Jaguar” is the true story of Alan Rabinowitz who, as a boy, struggled with stuttering. The book’s beautiful illustrations, rendered in acrylic and charcoal, were done by painter Catia Chien.

Over a Cup: The story behind the ‘$250 Cookies’ recipe

Awhile back, probably a month or so ago, this column featured a recipe for “$250 Cookies,” a recipe that I had found in some newspaper years ago. (I have made the cookies, and they’re delicious.) So then about May 15, I received a letter from an anonymous reader with a story about the cookies. I usually do not put recipes or other information from anonymous readers in my column, but this time I have broken my own rule. This column deals with that story, an intriguing one to say the least.

From Pipi’s Pasture: More animal stories

Yesterday morning when I was at the corral doing chores, I heard the sounds coming from a litter of brand new kittens — a late batch of kittens, perhaps. The baby cries were coming from a stack of hay bales, and my first thought was, “Oh, no! Kittens in a hole between the hay bales. I’ll have to move the kittens around before long!”

Prather’s Pick: Rescuing children from Nazi Germany

This week’s book for adults starts out as if it’s fiction, but the book is a true story of the incredible rescue of 50 children from Nazi Germany. Gil and Eleanor Kraus, an American couple, spearheaded the rescue, which turned out to be “the single largest group of unaccompanied children brought to America.”

From Pipi’s Pasture: Getting a chuckle from animals

Whew! It’s been a busy week here at Pipi’s Pasture, but we finally have the cattle settled for summer, and we’re starting to get the garden planted. I’m even beginning to get a ton of work-related paperwork under control. Next week things should calm down a little bit.

From Pipi’s Pasture: So now it’s June…

Each Moffat County spring is similar to the last, yet unique in its own way. The uniqueness has to do with the weather “events” that take place in winter and early spring.

Prather’s Pick: ‘Poem-Mobiles: Crazy Car Poems’ is an imaginative, wacky book

From time to time, while watching the news or special documentaries on television, we learn about the auto makers’ plans for cars of the future. We’ve heard about cars that run on discarded vegetable oil and cars that run on natural gas, but I’ll bet that you’ve never heard of a car that runs on a “ton of sauerkraut” or spaghetti or a car that is carried from place to place by a bunch of balloons or large rubber bands.

Over a Cup: Turkey Casserole

I probably don’t feature recipes using chicken and turkey often enough, so the first recipe is for “Turkey Casserole,” although you might choose to use chicken instead. This might be a good dish to take to a summer barbecue. It’s also a good recipe for using leftover turkey or chicken.

From Pipi’s Pasture: The chicken house

We don’t have a chicken house here at Pipi’s Pasture. We don’t have any chickens or any other poultry, for that matter, but for some reason I’ve been remembering the old chicken house on the Morapos ranch where my siblings and I grew up.

Prather’s Pick: A picture book with funny-sounding names

Children love “big words” (like the names of dinosaurs), and the funnier-sounding the words are, the better they like them. Besides that, the book is highly imaginative and colorful, and the “beastie” characters in the book aren’t scary at all. I think kids will enjoy having the book read to them over and over again.

Over a Cup of Coffee: Some recipes from Mom

This week, I took a couple of recipes out of a looseleaf notebook that I’ve kept for more years than I want to admit. These recipes were given to me by my mom, Judy Osborn.

From Pipi’s Pasture: The countdown begins

Right now, turning the cows out onto summer pasture is what’s on the minds of our family members — and the cows.

Prather’s Pick: ‘Prize Winner' is a feel-good book

Terry Carwile, of Craig, recommended this week’s book. It’s the true story of an incredibly strong, talented and spunky woman who found a unique way to provide for her 10 children. “The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less” was written by Terry Ryan.

Over a Cup of Coffee: A quick dinner and dessert

This week, I found two recipes that I got years ago when I belonged to a recipe round robin. Both recipes are quick to fix.

From Pipi's Pasture: Mom's button jar

Kids have terrific imaginations if they’re encouraged to use them. Some of our most fun play came when my siblings and I found a way to “make do” with whatever we had, wherever we were.

Prather’s Pick: ‘Still Life with Bread Crumbs’ captivating

Rebecca Winter, the leading character of this week’s novel, is a well-known photographer; in fact, she’s the youngest person ever to win the Bradley Prize. Rebecca became famous for a poster, “Still Life with Bread Crumbs,” thus the title of the novel. “Still Life with Bread Crumbs” was written by Pulitzer-prize winning author Anna Quindlen. The novel, with a 2014 copyright, was published by Random House.

From Pipi’s Pasture: Toys back then

All those years that we were growing up on the ranch, my siblings and I had plenty of time to play. We received toys for birthdays and Christmas, but we had only a fraction of the toys most kids have today. We certainly didn’t have computers, video games or the electronic gadgets that kids enjoy at the present time. We didn’t even have a television set in our home until I was a teenager.

Prather’s Pick: A book with a message about bullying

“Colorful” is one of the words that describes this week’s picture book for kids. Besides that, it’s just plain fun, and the book has a message about bullying, too. “Peanut Butter and Jellyfish” was written and illustrated by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. The book, copyright 2014, is published by Alfred A. Knopf.

Over a Cup: Easter desserts

I enjoy making fancy desserts for Easter dinner. That doesn’t mean that they take a lot of time; it means that they’re made with puddings, whipped topping, fruit, etc. This year I’m short on time so I am going to bake a yellow cake, leave it unfrosted, and then provide bowls of thawed and sweetened strawberries and peaches, whipped topping and vanilla ice cream. Family members can put them together as they like.

Pipi’s Pasture: The unpredictable Easter weather

When my brother, sisters and I were growing up on the ranch, we spent some worrisome days just prior to Easter. We looked forward to the holiday, and we worried that we might not get to have an Easter egg hunt. Our dad always said that an early Easter meant an early spring, but in Moffat County it really didn’t matter whether it was March or April; it could always storm.

Prather’s Pick: A book with a World War I setting

This week’s book for young adult readers (probably aimed at middle school age) has an unusual title and a rather unexpected plot. “Stay Where You Are & Then Leave” was written by John Boyne, the author of “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” which became a Miramax feature film. The novel was published by Henry Holt and Company (2013).

Over a Cup of Coffee: Easter morning breakfast casserole

There are several recipes around for breakfast casseroles. I especially like those that you refrigerate overnight and then pop in the oven the next morning.

Pipi’s Pasture: The positive spirit of the county fair

County fairs have been around a long time. Perhaps they began as a way to celebrate the end of the summer harvest. Whatever the reason, I can imagine how people must have looked forward to county fair.

Moffat County Fair board revises open classes

In recent years, the Moffat County Fair Board has been making some revisions in classes for open competitions. (Similar changes are being made for county fairs statewide.)

Prather’s Pick: Writing a book can be fun

This week’s book, written by Elizabeth Sims and published by Writer’s Digest Books, is not only filled with valuable information about the writing process, but it’s fun to read, too! “You’ve Got a Book In You” (a stress-free guide to writing the book of your dreams) is written in a humorous, down-to-earth style. Sims has dedicated the book “to anyone who has ever looked at a shelf full of books and thought, ‘I wonder if I could do that.’”

Over a Cup: A double fudge dessert

This morning, while I was searching for an appliance book on the shelf where I keep my recipes, a folded blue paper floated down to the floor. Typed on it was a recipe for “Double Fudge Fancifills.” I don’t remember making the dessert, but I know that I did because the paper has chocolate spots on it. I think it may have been given to us by one of my husband’s co-workers when he worked in Greeley.

Pipi’s Pasture: Showing off your creativity

Carol Haskins, Moffat County Fair coordinator, says if you enjoy competing in the open class pavilion competition during the Moffat County Fair, take some time now to think about which of your favorite projects you might enter in the 2014 fair. Perhaps it might be a painting or photograph, scrapbook pages, a short story or poem you’ve written, a masterpiece made from Legos, needlework or a wide variety of other projects. Decide what you’d like to tackle and then sit down and work on it as you watch the snow come down.

Prather’s Pick: A book for Easter

Kids of all ages, including young-at-heart adults, will enjoy “The Easter Egg” written and illustrated by Jan Brett. What a delightful book to share with children this Easter season! Besides that, the book can be left out on a coffee table for everyone to enjoy. Adults will be amazed at the illustrations that can only be described as “exquisite.”

Pipi’s Pasture: It’s calving season when…

According to the calendar, it’s spring. Spring in Moffat County means that there likely will be wind, rain, hail, snow and sunshine all in one day, just like it has been today at Pipi’s Pasture. It also means that for most ranchers, calving season is underway. That’s what most ranchers are talking about, anyway. You know it’s calving season when…

Pipi's Pasture: It's one of those days

Sometimes I have a morning that starts out with some kind of a mishap, like spilling coffee grounds all over the floor when I’m making the coffee or, worse yet, missing the reservoir in the coffee maker and pouring water all over the counter.

Prather's Pick: 'Daisy and Josephine' is an adorable tale

This week’s picture book for children was written by Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls in the “Little House on the Prairie” series on television. It was illustrated by Julia Kuo, the creator of “20 Ways to Draw a Cat and 44 Other Awesome Animals.”

Pipi’s Pasture: A tribute to Megan

It’s calving season here at Pipi’s Pasture. Yesterday, one of our granddaughter Megan’s cows surprised us by having twins. We usually get a set of twins each year, but it’s this cow’s first experience with twins. Since Megan lives in Bailey, she hasn’t gotten to see the twins yet. One thing is for sure, though: Megan will love them.

Prather’s Pick: The Walt Longmire books

According to the folks at Downtown Books in Craig, the Walt Longmire mystery series is popular — so popular that the books aren’t on the shelf very long. Written by Craig Johnson, the series is about eight books in all. The leading character is Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire. The books inspired the A&E television drama “Longmire.”

Over a Cup of Coffee: Making a sandwich

People make all kinds of sandwiches. Years ago, when our boys were small, my husband Lyle mixed up mashed bananas and peanut butter and made sandwiches for them. I’ve heard of onion sandwiches, and our son Jamie puts potato chips in his bologna sandwiches.

Pipi’s Pasture: Remembering the Hamilton Busy Beavers

This week, the monthly Moffat County 4-H Newsletter arrived in the mail. When I saw the Hamilton Busy Beavers 4-H Club mentioned with the 4-H Council, I was reminded of those years long ago when I was in 4-H. I belonged to the Hamilton Busy Beavers Club, and I don’t like to think about how many years ago it was!

Prather’s Pick: Teachers should read ‘Little Red Writing’ to help with speech, writing

Picture books that retell well-known tales are popular these days. In this week’s retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood,” Little Red is a pencil. Teachers might want to check out this book, especially if their students are ready to learn about the parts of speech and the steps to writing a story.

Over a Cup of Coffee: A craving for Mexican casseroles

Perhaps it’s a craving for Mexican casseroles that sent me to my files, searching for casserole recipes. Most of the Mexican casserole recipes I use are pretty similar in ingredients and preparations, so I was hunting for something a little “different.”

Pipi's Pasture: Transitioning seasons

Each time the season is about to change her at Pipi’s Pasture, I just can’t help myself — I have to write about it. After all, it brings changes to what is going on in the agricultural community and, for that matter, the rest of our community as well.

Prather's Pick: 'Worthy Brown’s Daughter' is an intriguing and well-crafted book

This week’s novel, set in the early American West, 1860, is based on a real court case from the Oregon Territory. Phillip Margolin, author of “Worthy Brown’s Daughter,” has plenty of experience with court cases. Besides being an author, he has a background as a criminal defense attorney and has handled thirty murder cases. Although he has written 17 bestsellers, this is Margolin’s first book of historical fiction

Prather’s Pick: A book about being in the middle

Readers may wonder what the letters “J” and “YA” — sometimes found on the outside spine of a book — are all about. Sally Beauchamp, children’s librarian at the Moffat County Library, told me that “J” (juvenile) and “YA” (young adult) mean the same thing, but the “J” designation is newer. These letters indicate that the books are intended for fifth through 12th grades. However, it depends on the vocabulary and content of the individual book as to the exact reading level.

Prather's Pick: The newest book in the Bad Kitty Series

“Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble” is the 10th book in a series of “Bad Kitty” books by author and illustrator Nick Bruel. This new book and other Bad Kitty books can be found in the children’s room at the Moffat County Library. The author’s purpose in writing this book was to show kids how books are written. Included in the chapters is information about the elements of a story.

Over a Cup of Coffee: Festive Valentine's candy

Next week we’ll celebrate Valentine’s Day. Betty Ann Duzik, of Craig, called with her recipe for Valentine’s candy that she makes each year.

Pipi's Pasture: Honoring livestock show exhibitors

This week’s “From Pipi’s Pasture” honors three Moffat County 4-H/FFA members who exhibited livestock during the 66th Arizona National Livestock Show in Phoenix, Ariz., held during the last week of December 2013 and the first week of January 2014. The exhibitors were Jerica DeLong, Andrea Maneotis and Brice White.