beautiful rooms

I’m not talking about decorating ideas for your home, but rather enjoying the view from the room in which you find yourself.

Spent last week at the ranch cooking for the branding crew. I enjoyed my view from the kitchen, even though things got a little hectic.

Did you know the branding crew likes to ride out at daybreak? That means the cook’s alarm clock is set for 3:30. I’m talking in the A.M.

Being a compulsive extremely organized overachiever, I put a pork roast in the oven one night, so lunch the next day would be easy-peasy. The sweet daughter-in-law woke up at 3:30 to prepare breakfast. She was jolted awake to a house full of choking smoke. My roast had overflowed and smoked up the entire house. Yeah, that’s the kind of quality help I am. You can thank me later.

Did you know there’s a very valid reason no one makes fried chicken at home anymore? It’s complicated….hard….a lot of work….so of course I HAD to make homemade fried chicken and mashed potatoes for 25 cowpokes.

The night before the chicken feast, I filled two big aluminum pans with chicken pieces soaking in buttermilk and salt/spices.


Job #1 the morning of the BIG LUNCH. Peel 10 lbs of potatoes.

potatoes Check.

Retrieve the buttermilk-y chicken and coat with flour and spices. Tell yourself you’ll have time to wash your buttermilk-soaked Levis later.

chickendippedPour a boatload of peanut oil into two deep skillets on top of the stove.

chickenfryingDon your hip boots so you can safely wade through the grease on the kitchen floor.

Mash the potatoes. Assemble a salad. Make beer bread. This was a big hit with the diners.

beerbreadTry to keep your energy up as you continue into your second hour of frying chicken.

kathytiredI forgot to take a photo of the huge pan brimming over with fried chicken, but here’s a photo of the aftermath.

chickenandpotatoesHappy cowboys and a gratified cook. The smiles and conversations really enhanced the time I spent in this room. Hope my chicken reflected the fondness I feel for each of them.

Sometimes, I left the kitchen and enjoyed other rooms.

The view from the pens.

Cherished this view. He’s my favorite cowhand.

Dragging the calf to the branding crew on the ground. They have the HARD work.

downloadI enjoyed my view from the back of the forgiving ranch horse, Pogo. This room is one of my all-time favorites. Being horseback is medicine for the soul, I tell you.

photo(1)Events of the week had me recalling this verse of Scripture:

John 14:2-4
English Standard Version (ESV)
2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.

paradisebranding 179b

Hope you are savoring the view from your room this weekend.

Original-recipe love to all.


the ranch: photos

I’m pulling the photo album out of my granny-handbag. Finishing up the three-part ranch series with my favorite captures. I snapped these with the Nikon d700 and the 50mm fixed lens. I didn’t want to be bouncing around in the 4-wheeler with tons of equipment. Simple is best.

Sit with me on the loveseat, won’t you? ***grabbing your sleeve***

I know you’ll want to see these, honey.

What’s a trip to the ranch without a cow picture? These softly back-lit ladies are beautiful.
Our intrepid archeological assistants at the petroglyph cave. Who knew how much they love rock art?
Elk horn sheds line the wrap-around porch.
Adorable ranch kids riding their faithful horse, Smoke.
Caught the sun just right in this rock formation. I like it best in B&W.
Moi, in the waning light. Proof I was really on the trip.
This photo made me LOL. Observe the shadows. Looks like we’re about to be attacked by a wolf! Run, Sprout!
Who knew the Texan had such an artistic eye? He saw the sun setting through this barn and summoned me to capture this moment. Grateful I still listen sometimes to the Texan. A photographer must always be ready at sunrise/sunset.
G played for hours with this friendly barn cat. Nothing bothered this cat….tail-pulling, swatting, inadvertent kicking….he kept coming back for more. The toddler was endlessly entertained.

Now…..drum roll, please….my favorite photo of the ranch trip. I like the starkness of it. Feels familiar and it feels like art to me. I call it hommage a O’Keefe. I think you’ll understand.

A desert big horn sheep skull hanging in the bunkhouse. I admire the starkness and beauty of the skull, but I’m also drawn to the negative space in the photo. I may have to print this one.


Oh….you have to go now??***unfurling my tightly-wrapped arm from around your shoulders***

Come back and visit real soon.***wet kiss***

Here’s hoping you always find the flattering light.

Land of Enchantment-love to all.

up before dawn

Yeah, you heard me…up before dawn a while back to help with gathering cattle.  To verify the ‘before dawn’ part I took my camera along for photographic proof.
Rom at daylight

Seems the Texan and I are such incredibly talented cattle drivers with super-Ninja advanced horsemanship skills we were asked to…….we were asked to.……drive the feed truck and honk the horn.  For the uninitiated, driving the feed truck and honking the horn is seriously critical work.  The cattle have been fed from the truck for weeks leading up to shipping day.  When they see that truck at daybreak and hear the horn, they come a’runnin’.  The cowboys hardly have to do anything!
The Texan and I jump when the Big Sprout (our #1) allows asks us to help with any ranch task.  It gives us opportunity to highlight our mad feed-truck drivin’, horn a’honkin’ skillz.  See how the cattle magically follow us??  Just call us St. Francis of Assissi.

The Texan is checking out the cattle in the pens.  I told him this photo made him look too skinny.  Why do some folks lose their butts as they age? 

In the pens, there was cow counting and sorting going on.  The Big Sprout’s reliable wife helped get the cattle through the chute and up the ramp into the cattle truck.

The Big Sprout was opening and closing gates, shouting instructions and getting a head count at the same time.
Here’s the Texan and the Big Sprout discussing the numbers…..weights, shipping, and trucks.

Father and son….nice, isn’t it? I am blessed. A beautiful morning. Thanks for sharing it with me.