I have never blogged about our lifestyle. Our meaning Husband and I. We both grew up on ranches. Both in the same extra teeny tiny community. Ironic, I know. Our families both raise cattle. The husband's family also has some sheep.
Ranching cattle is in my blood. And it will definitely be in my children's blood. My dad's family has been ranching cattle in our extra teeny tiny community for over a hundred years. Pretty awesome, if you ask me! I love cows.
I love everything about cows. I love new baby calves in the spring. I love going riding during the summer to move the cows to new feed. I love gathering all the cows and calves up in the fall. And I even love eating beef :)
I think sometimes I shy away from talking about this part of my life. And I don't know why. I guess because I don't want to seem like a know-it-all or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, a dude or something. But I really don't consider myself either of those. I am the first to admit, there is definitely LOTS I don't know about cows. As a girl, I didn't push myself to learn everything. However, I also feel like I can be pretty decent help. My dad expected his daughters to work. And over the years, riding a horse or driving a tractor or branding a calf have all come to be things I enjoy and love.
The husband also loves cows. And horses. And wide open spaces. He gets claustrophobic in this big city we spend half our life in. He is through and through, 100% a cowboy. Which I love :)
So what do these ramblings have to do with anything? I was just thinking of how profoundly our ranching lifestyle affected how I was raised, how my husband was raised, and how we think and act as adults. Unlike some occupations, ranching really defines a person and a family. Ranching defined how my mother cooked. And why she gardened. And I guess that's why this fits in my garden slash food blog. Ranching, and being raised by a rancher and a rancher's wife, defines how I cook and why I am trying to be a gardener.
Mom didn't cook gourmet. She didn't cook fancy. She cooked hearty and delicious and the basic five. And she never got caught up in the latest health nut trends. Potatoes, beef, vegetables from the garden. It kept her family happy and healthy.
Not only does ranching affect my cooking or gardening, ranching taught me that sometimes, life just doesn't go the way you planned. (And that's okay.) Against all your best efforts, sometimes the grass just doesn't get the rain it needs so it doesn't grow. And sometimes, even after you doctor the sick calf, he still dies. Its part of life. Mom's favorite saying was "Well... that's life on the ranch." She used this in all sorts of situations. Dinner was two hours later than planned and so now its burned? Well... that's life on the ranch. A big day of branding interferes with a party on her side of the family? Well... that's life on the ranch. We didn't get to stay a whole week on vacation because Dad needs to get home to farm? Well... that's just life on the ranch. Ranching taught me to accept what happens around me and move on. Make the best of what's left. Its not something that I'm perfect at. But something that I honestly try at, and sometimes even succeed.
I love my ranching heritage and am so grateful for life on the ranch.