Category Archives: farm

Missy the Wonderdog

 

Many of you have followed Missy the Wonderdog‘s adventures on FB for over a decade.

Cow dog, business dog, chicken herder extraordinaire, teacher, companion, playmate,

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Surveying her domain

garden guard, doorstop, protector.

(she is also the reason Big Papa’s favorite truck sounds like being in a wind tunnel)

Missy was our rescue pup. She was actually being born as her mama was being rescued from a puppy mill that had gotten out of hand.

Big Papa said NO DOGS IN THE HOUSE.

Period. Ever.

And then she turned those great big brown eyes on him and it became “Only in the mud room.”  Pretty soon she had commandeered a spot by the wood burner and Big Papa would play dolly with her.  When spring came, she was given a deluxe dog house outside complete with mobile fur coats (cats) to keep her warm on cool days.

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Snitching from the calves

Missy was supposed to be a cattle dog.  And she was… She would drink from bottles just like the calves, she would eat hay and grain just like the big Girlz, slept in the roundy-rounds with calves,  she played with  all the cows and followed them everywhere.  She even swam from time to time in the watering trough. Missy could help herd the cows. Right up until a gate or barn door was open. And then she would go sit in the opening, barring them from entrance!

So- technically she was a cattle-dog. Just not the way Big Papa wanted.

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Missy the Wonderdog and Sis ‘herding’ the cows

Eventually Missy learned to ride the 4-wheeler to better chase her Girlz and bring them treats. She loved the wind in her hair!

Missy also became the unofficial spokes-dog for ShopSmallSaturday championing small

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small biz champion

businesses everywhere.

Now- back to the Not-in-the-house thing….. Missy was a smart girl. She knew exactly when Big Papa left the yard. And as soon as his truck cleared the tree row, she would be at the door.  I am a sucker for a cute face, so I would let her in.

And on the days she was in the house I would sweep and mop to hide the evidence. Bless the day my mother-in-law called and told me to get a Swiffer!! So much faster and easier!!  Thankfully I was also starting get grey hairs about this time, so sometimes Big Papa would spy some fur I overlooked and I would say “Ohhhh! Must have been mine!”

Mostly I liked having her IN the house on the nights Big Papa worked away from the farm. She always made me feel safe.

One time, Big Papa came back home shortly after leaving… as he was parking I was literally dragging Missy the Wonderdog out the other door! Almost busted!!

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Big Papa

Missy wasn’t supposed to ride in the car either. There may or may not have been an incident with Lilly the Lab and his favorite pickup years before that made him forever bar me from doggie rides in the car.

Eventually though, Missy won and commandeered a spot in the old farm truck and would help me drive from field to field.

Missy the Wonderdog became part of the family.  A constant companion, always happy to just sit nearby and offer us wags and smiles.

Over the years the kidd-o’s accused me of treating her better than I treated them.  (SHE never talked back or held her hand out and was always happy)

This year Missy slowed down. We’d go for walks and she’d stop and rest. I thought it was

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Never without a dolly

because she was a little on the fluffy side after retiring from full time cow and chicken herding. As it turned out, she had the cancer.

For love of us, Missy the Wonderdog concealed her pain and discomfort for a long time.

The decision to let her cross the rainbow bridge was a heart wrenching one. It was decided that we would let her be until she was no longer able to be a dog but before she couldn’t do her job anymore.  Missy kept her Doggie Dignity. As long as she was still walking out to the coop for a daily chicken head count (we no longer had cattle at this point) all was good.  One day, she looked at me and let me know in her own way that it was time. 

We had made arrangements with our vet to come to the house to help Missy cross the Rainbow Bridge painlessly and in comfort, surrounded by her friends (cats and chickens) and family (Big Papa and I ).  Holding on to her Dolly and snuggled on her favorite blankie with us petting and crooning to her, she slipped away to a better place.

We know without a shadow of doubt that D’art, Mosely, Lilly-puttin, Bambii the Amazing Albino Elk and her favorite Girlz -Barbie and Rusty were waiting to walk her across.

I was working in the garden the next afternoon (-one of her favorite places to hang out in the summer) feeling incredibly sorry myself, when I heard a very faint, muffled barking. I knew in that instance Missy the Wonderdog was letting me know she arrived safely on the other side and is still watching over me from afar.

“And when my time on earth is done, missy11
And at heaven’s gate I’m near,
I don’t want any harps or horns,
Just … happy barks to hear.”

~Katy~

 

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Missy as a pup

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Gone farmin’

Scipio Utah never fails to delight

For many years now (ok- more like decades) I have chosen Hwy 50 as my preferred route from Colorado to California.  Mostly for the simple joy of the open road and partly because each time my fingers are crossed for some more wonderful Scipio sights.

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Around the bend

The very first time I came around the curve from the west,  right smack in the middle, crossing the road was an old buckboard wagon dressed up in patriotic finery. Bunting and bedecked horses, kids piled in the back also decked out. As it turns out I was just in time for  4th of July- country style.

Of course I stopped and stayed a bit! I even have the photos somewhere in my stash.. (that was back when everyone had a little 110 camera) And, OH! The welcome I received… Everyone was so nice and inviting.

That was the first time I seriously thought about just staying. Forever.  There had been a

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Traditions Café (yep! The same one I shoulda bought)

 

run down, closed up café for sale in the middle of town, and I just happened to have skill and youth at the time. Alas- life pulled me in another direction.

That first time sealed the deal for me… Hwy 50 it would be.

After dark on another trip, coming around the bend from the east, nearly every house was lit up in white lights. It was so beautiful! So quaint. So very Norman Rockwell-esque.

On other trips I have seen everything from herds of elk to a full cowboy roundup right outside of town… around the bend 

In the ensuing years, Scipio has not grown much- in fact, back in it’s heyday Scipio was still a community under 600 scipio2ppl. But there is a ‘new’ gas station on the corner where it meets the interstate and the café has been dolled up and re-opened.

There has never been a time when I stopped, that people weren’t willing to chat. I love that.  Just something about the feel of the town draws me in. I IMG_4582delight in the past mixed with the future, the old Vico Motor Oil sign faded on the sides of buildings, the majesty of the elk at watering time…..

I  came through  in early October with my mother-in-law. She has never traveled across

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Most photographed gas pumps ever!

country on back roads and it was a joy to show her how Rural America looks .Of course we stopped in Scipio and took photos with what I am sure are the most photographed gas pumps in Utah!  Our bad luck though, the café was closed.  But there

is a older home with a couple acres right on the bend for sale…As always, I see the possibilities…

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Mama in front of the cafe

Sometimes I still think I should have…

Scipio never fails to delight- next time you’re headed that-a-way, make it a point to go through.

Scipio is also very easily a Kate’s 8 town.

~Katy~

*Katy is a motivational speaker and rural advocate at Tait and Kate helping small towns and businesses grow and thrive.

 

 

 

Remember that barn down the road???

Remember that post about the barn down the road from us? ( https://katescountryliving.wordpress.com/2016/03/01/the-end-of-an-era-a-praire-barn/ )

I said I would drum up some before pictures and  have…

2013winterbarnI have to thank Lexi, the owners daughter. She shared them with me.

 

 

From barn dances to boyfriends,IMG_1379

 

And weddings and wakes, these silent sentinels have seen it all.

 

 

 

 

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Sunrise to sunset, always a hub of activity.

 

 

 

Memories in every corner.

 

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I am lucky to be able to share these, and they will be added to a coffee table book I am making for the family.

While the barn may be gone, the memories remain and the tales will be told.

 

~Katy~

 

Mama’s Ukrainian Lokshyna Recipe

What the heck is Lokshyna??IMG_5019

Lokshyna is a Ukrainian “tasteless” egg noodle casserole. And it’s easy to make! (And cheap.)

All you need is:  1 pkg  egg noodles (cooked)                                      2 eggs -beaten

2 Tbs butter                        1/2 C heavy cream

1/2 tsp salt               (Or Sour cream or milk)

*and whatever you want  that sounds tasty.

Traditional Lokshyna  is just the base recipe with a little  cloves and sometimes 1 C cottage cheese thrown in-

WE happen to LOVE it with some cooked diced bacon (and the fat.. or at least some) and sometimes Ham and onions. It is also good with 1/2 C cheese and some spinach.

~In large bowl -Combine the cooked noodles with melted butter. Add in the eggs, salt and sour cream. Mix well. Pour into a greased cake pan.

You can also make this in a bunt pan. Some of the old timers do this and fill the center with ‘stuff’. Usually something like Deviled Ham or some such craziness.

Also if you melt some butter and mix it with bread crumbs and sprinkle on top before baking, it gives the Lokshyna a crunchy top.

Bake 350 for 45 minutes.  *doubles and triples easily*

shchaslyva yizha

(Happy Eating in Ukrainian)

~Katy~

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do a seamtress and a coffee roaster have in common?

Community.

That’s what a seamstress/creative and a world class coffee roaster have in common.

“When people talk, community happens”Becky McCray

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Me and Jo

(And let me tell you…. Jo and I can TALK!!)

We are a community. A community of entrepreneurs. A community of women. A community of small town advocates. A community of creatives . A community of givers and do-ers~It only takes two to be part of a ‘community’

~The funny thing about our “community” is that we don’t even live in the same town. Not even the same part of the state!~

I met Jo Kahlifa , at a local Pride of Dakota event a number of years ago. We instantly became friends and have since done a number of exciting things jointly both personally and with our businesses. ( check out MoJo Roast and read about her and the coffees)

IMG_4902The fact that we are a “community”  was driven home this past week when we attended an OTA conference. (NorthDakOTA,MinnesOTA,SouthDakOTA)  Part of the purpose was to bring together creatives from towns across a tri-state area to help transform where we live into great , re-envisioned communities. Places where people once again gather and talk to each other instead of about each other. Communities where roots are put down and dreams are realized.

Community matters. In so many ways. And Community is not always where you live. Often it is what you do.

~Katy~

 

 

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I am “Country Woman” ~ hear me roar!

Every year Farm and Ranch Guide puts on a Country Woman of the Year contest.

People are supposed to write in why they think their woman should win…. But there are guidelines… Community involvement, Special deeds, Involvement with the daily operations etc.  ~  This implies all manner of things.DSCN5883

Most of the women nominated log long hours in real production in crops and livestock, they are active in church and volunteer for nearly everything, blah- blah- blah. All without a hair out of place. You know the types.

Don’t get me wrong~I am not disparaging them in any way. Many of the nominated women are my neighbors. Some of them have won. I admire these women.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I asked Hubby once WHY he didn’t nominate me. He said because I am none of those things, but am Everything to him. (and that he sucks at writing)

That being said- I AM a Country Woman of the Year… Day in and day out. Year after year.

I don’t need a contest to tell me so. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“I can bring home the Bacon…. Fry it up in a pan…….”  Remember that commercial? That about sums it up.

In my little world, I am the one who raises the kids and attends school functions, nurses the bottle babies (Calves and Kitties alike), bakes fresh bread every couple days, Cooks from scratch every meal, minds the garden, cans more goods than a grocery store, gate girl when it’s blizzarding and -30 out, sews and mends, shuffles hubby and vehicles from field to field, watches the markets, tracks the weather, brings him lunch in OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe field, never ever calls him when he’s out with the guys, works from home, goes to church, does the parts running, beer fairy,  handles correspondence and the usual round of maid chores too. I  put a good spin on things when they go awry and make hubby feel better about it.  I  am20140906_173647 constantly championing small business in rural communities, attend Downtowners Conferences on my own dime and time so I can better myself and my community, make a quilt every year to donate for raffle at charity, finds the humor in the dark times, mend broken hearts and bruised egos, teach the kids to dream, keeper of the memories and family stories, teaches others how to bake and sew, butchers chickens with the best of them, run a small business of my own, don’t complain when our plans are cancelled yet again 20141128_101658(1)because ‘We have to go to the field, NOW’, I know that  boots DO go with everything, and more. ~ I know that there are 3 big social functions (4 in a good year!) … Two farm shows and a Pheasants  4ever banquet (you can sub- cattlemans, DU or whatever)  If it’s a good year- a trip the fair gets tossed in. Otherwise my social engagements are solo.

Things I won’t or don’t do? I refuse to ever again “Hold that panel, damnit!” when the BULL is making a break for it nor do I drive his big boy toys.

I am proud to support my Hubby- an American Farmer-  behind the scenes in all these little ways.

~Katy~

Giving hubby a Christmas list~

Always an adventure.

The hubby tries. He really does.

But you would think, being that we actually live in the same house- he would KNOW my tastes…

I have learned over the years to be pretty specific.

There was the year that I had mentioned new pots and pans were needed… (waaaaaaaay before Christmas!) and an Electric Skillet with 5 pounds of Potatoes appeared

This year my list looks a lot like a ransom note.

I cut out pictures of item specific things I would like and pasted them to paper along with Where they could be gotten. I only listed the stores I actually thought he would go IN

Fingers are crossed!

~Katy~

L-A-R-D you are a friend of mine!

LARD.

How do I love thee? Let me list the ways~

Mouthwatering cakes, finger-licking good fried chicken, crispy onion rings….well you get the idea. But I could go on.

Potato Pancakes…. sizzling!

In todays world, most people cringe when you say LARD. “Whaaaaat?? Lard???? That’ll kill you! ”   In the past century some of the greatest recipes called for rendered lard.  Pork. Beef. Chicken. What do you think people used before all these processed oils???

(*ok.. besides the Italians, Greeks and Spanish that had a direct line to God with their olive oils.)

In the years we butcher a pig, we render our own.~ otherwise I suffer with Armour or Morrell  because it’s what we can find locally. Want to know how to render your own lard?? here’s a great link for making your own in the crock pot : http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2013/01/the-mystery-of-the-missing-pig-fat-and-how-to-render-lard.html

My grandmother made the moistest, richest chocolate cakes with lard. And I have made some incredible Chocolate/Apricot COOKIES with a recipe gleaned from an old boyfriends mom…. It was in  her WW2 era cookbook.1305759103-minimalistic-cookie-monster-pac-man-wallpaper

 Happy cooking!

~Katy~

A Summer to Remember

So my cousin Hannah has come for a month long visit to our farm. She is 9 years old.
At first I was “What am I supposed to DO with a GIRL?” We raised Boys!
~As it turns out, there was nothing to fear.~ We both speak SARCASM fluently.
She was (is) a self admitted “indoor” girl.Fashion-ista
Well- things have changed a smidge.. I am sure her Mama will have a few bad habits to break!
BOOTS go with everything. Hannah has worn her boots more that her sandals and hasn’t even touched tennis shoes yet. 🙂

Cookies for breakfast

Cookies for breakfast

COOKIES for breakfast are ok sometimes.
WALKS  are great for dream making… Hannah wishes to be an Artist or a Fashion Designer… I hope she follows her dreams, where ever they may lead.
Dirt won’t kill you… we have been in the garden daily. she has learned to simply rub things that fall in the dirt on her pants and keep on going…

She can DO ANYTHING. She has learned that with a little perseverance and cussing, all tasks are do-able!  So very proud of her!!

I Can Do it!

I Can Do it!

Coffee nearly BLACK… and a sweet tooth for French Vanilla flavoring.
POLKAand two-step are a must have in the dance repository if you want to be ‘social’ around these parts.

fun in the sun

fun in the sun

   HAY BALES are great fun. So is the quad and the dog. CHICKENS will follow you like the Pied Piper.

Well~ I gotta run. More on our adventures later…. sewing, baking, swimming, dancing and more!   We have MEMORIES  to go make!

~Katy~

Why Burlap??

 Why not?
It’s versatile, biodegradable, recyclable and more.
Hessian or Burlap as it is called in the US, is made from a tall, grass like plant called Jute. It is cut and woven.jute%20oogst

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  I use burlap in many of the projects I make at Buffalo Gals Mercantile. I love the rustic-ness of it. The graphics on the vintage bags are fabulous and truly speak of our Agricultural roots and early advertising.

Burlap is biodegradable- we actually use the scraps on the garden. It’s a natural soil enhancer and weed barrier. We just till it in at the end of the season.  “Post consumer burlap compost creates a constantly renewable product that increases soil fertility, rather than depleting it” -The Green Building Handbook

10256824_501759616595111_2700429621183935268_nBurlap is recyclable. –  Use old bags to make purses, chair covers, window treatments, accessories, table runners, stuffed animals, lamp shades … the ideas are limitless really.  Here’s a link to Pintrest  with fabulous ideas!

Did you know…. Statistics show that Burlap is quickly gaining  in popularity and  may surpass Cotton as the most used natural fiber?

Burlap is Eco-Friendly & Eco- Chic .   A great way to use it is as a market tote. No more plastic bags! And it’s quite the fashion statement as well.

~Katy~

 

 

 

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