Ok, I’m coming out of the closet. I have a gluten allergy. I spent several years in denial, stuffing myself with bread, and having recurrent health problems, before I finally got a blood panel done that confirmed the diagnosis. I spent the interim, waiting on the results, thinking that I had an autoimmune disease like lupus. If you’ve ever known someone who had lupus, or even googled it, you’ll know why that was a terrifying proposition! When I finally learned what was causing my illness, my reaction was “That’s IT?! That’s so easy to fix!” Although I was that person who could (and would) eat bread for my entire dinner, it’s all about perspective. Even now, every time I’m tempted to reach for that dinner roll, I remember all over again that my health could very well could be out of my power. And when I remember that…well… that dinner roll doesn’t seem quite so tasty anymore, and I sure don’t bother feeling sorry for myself.
When I was younger, we lived on a crop and cattle farm about five miles north of a little town named Martinsburg. We would occasionally get a dime here and a quarter there from relatives, or for some small job accomplished. The main thing we worked for, and saved our money for, was that once-in-a-blue moon trip to town that also happened to coincide with the point at which we had saved enough money to buy ourselves some candy. These days our kids seem to always have candy on hand, or it’s at least easily accessible. But for a farm kid with frugal parents in the 1980’s? Not so much. Let’s just say my brother and I could identify pretty closely with “The Little House on the Prairie” TV show, where half-pint gets one piece of candy a year for Christmas, along with a tin cup of her very own. My parents would probably argue with me, but I’m stickin’ to my guns on that one. Mostly because it’s my only excuse for the fateful decision that led to this story.
Every year, through those months of November and December, my husband invariably comes home with goodies after a long workday. Everything from baked goods, to book marks; as a professional horseshoer, he is blessed with some amazing clients! Because of this, I try to have items for my husband on hand to give out to his clients in return.
This past year, I found this super-cool recipe for Cowgirl Cookies, a mason jar DIY recipe, here at Bakerella, and they were an absolute smash hit! These are a basic chocolate-chip, oatmeal pecan cookie mix, stored and presented in a decorated mason jar. They have super simple directions printed right on the jar label, to add three ingredients, mix and bake!
I have to admit, Fall and I have a love/hate relationship. I’m a summer girl. I live for the long nights, campfires, float trips, rodeos, trail rides, swimming, going barefoot, and everything else that comes with summer. I’m even OK with the sultry, hot days, and the bugs. Can’t have the good without the bad, right? And I’ll take summer however it decides to present itself.
But here’s the thing. I don’t have that attitude about winter. I loath it. I mean really, when people mention Fall to me, and talk dreamily of how beautiful and wonderful it is, I tend to roll my eyes and think “Who cares about fall, it’s only that harbinger of my old nemesis…winter…” As far as I’ve always been concerned, fall is a perfect example of guilt by association. I try to like it, but it’s just not happening for me. I’ve always been good at staying positive, and looking on the bright side. Until it comes to fall. I can’t even see the trees turning color without thinking “they’re only doing that because they’re getting ready to lose all their leaves….for winter…”
This past weekend was the weekend. Weaning day. It’s always fun and exciting, gathering our small herd of cattle on horseback and pushing them the mile or so down the road to our home pasture and our working pens. On this morning our good buddy Kenneth was there to help.
I recently participated in my first EVER beauty swap! Thanks to Crystal Cattle and Messy Kennedy, it was super easy. Never heard of a beauty swap? It’s a super cool thing where two ladies are paired, make contact and share a little info about themselves, and then send each other a fun care package of their favorite makeup! This is PERFECT for the average ranch or farm wife, because I think the majority of us don’t have a lot of time, or money to devote to trying new makeup. What a cool thing to get to share your favorites with someone, and be sent theirs in return!