“Don’t Duck” and other rules for sports
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
by Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
5d ago
My 7th grade basketball photo. It only went south from there… Listen. There is not an athletically gifted bone in my body. My entire childhood, my cousins called me “Tuck and Roll,” because I spent plenty of time falling off horses and breaking bones. I had to try hard to be considered for the C Squad when it came to my short-lived basketball career. My now-sister-in-law was my junior high volleyball coach and she likes to recall, at family dinners, how scared I was of the ball. Apparently ducking when someone hits a volleyball your way is not in the play-book. Also, having your boyfriend’s si ..read more
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Trick rider or bronc rider?
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
by Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
2w ago
We headed to a rodeo in our town a few weeks ago. The blizzard that was forecast hadn’t fully set in yet, and so we put on our going to town boots, I curled the girls’ hair for under their cowboy hats and we all hit the not-yet-icy-road. This particular rodeo promised a set of cowboys and bucking horses that are the best in the country, and we wanted to watch one of our favorite cowboys ride. But Rosie, if you recall, declared confidently into the microphone to the entire pre-school graduation audience that she was going to be a trick rider when she grows up, so when we learned that this rode ..read more
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The Yellow Boat
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
by Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
1M ago
Winter visited us again this past weekend, but spring teased us a bit the week before, so we know it can happen. This got me thinking about spring cleanup and all the little relics that are often left behind in the draws of ranches like ours, waiting to be repaired or picked up by the junk guy, but more likely just staying there for years reminding us of the time when we were younger and it ran. Which got me thinking about my husband’s yellow boat. The Yellow Boat A few days of warm weather will get the plans rolling. And the smell of the thaw, the sound of the water, the blue sky and sun an ..read more
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“Nothing’s Forever” a Podcast Interview
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
by Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
1M ago
Heya! Happy Friday! I’m celebrating the weekend by watching the snow fall, practicing my set for a couple concerts across the state next week (see you in Moorhead, MN?) and catching a rodeo in town on Saturday night. I heard there is going to be a trick rider and Rosie is PUMPED. (Because, according to her announcement at her pre-school graduation, that is her career aspiration.) Recently I had the chance to sit down and talk to the brilliant and resilient Jackie M. Stebbins. I met her at a women’s writing event and in the short time we had together we could just tell we were cut from the sa ..read more
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The good life of a good dog
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
by Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
1M ago
My dad lost his old cow dog, Juno, last week. After fourteen years of chasing cows through the draws, barking at squirrels and fighting with raccoons, howling with the coyotes and riding shotgun next to dad in the side-by-side, she took her last rest in her snug bed under the heat-lamp in the garage and didn’t wake up again. Fourteen years is a long life for a ranch dog living wide open, tasked with the very thing they were bred to do. The job of moving cattle alongside the horses, chasing them out of the tough brush or keeping them motivated while moving pastures is dangerous enough, but add ..read more
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Let us be bored.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
by Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
1M ago
Last night while I was folding laundry, my daughters wandered out into the living room on a pretend mission to escape something. Edie, my oldest, was dressed in overall-shorts with a little toy fox stuffed into her front pocket. Rosie, well, she was dressed as a granny, complete with big glasses, a bun, sensible shoes and a stick horse as a walking cane. I listened to their conversations a bit to see where the game was going, laughing to myself at Rosie’s grandma voice and her commitment to her character. When I asked her if they could stop for a minute so I could take their picture (they wer ..read more
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Forever’s in the Saw Dust
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
by Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
1M ago
Us, in the olden days… When my husband and I were freshman in college at the University of North Dakota, I used to visit him in his small, stinky dorm room in Walsh Hall and he would make me tuna salad sandwiches. This seems like a silly way to start things off, but every single one of us is living in the ordinary, everyday moments here, and February has drug on and left us with March and more routine and I think there’s something to say here… Recently, our little routine has been intercepted by a home remodeling project. Our plans, homework and furniture are covered in a layer of sawdust as ..read more
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Country kids go to town
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
by Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
1M ago
When we were kids, my little sister loved to go to town for one reason. Sidewalks. It seems silly, but, of course, we didn’t have sidewalks on the ranch. Every path was either made of crumbling and sharp pink scoria or dirt turned to mud. We weren’t much for rollerbladers or skateboarders out here, but we got pretty good at our bikes, because the alternative hurt quite a bit. A few weeks ago we brought our daughters down to Arizona to meet up with my parents who are seeing who they might become as snowbirds. After last winter, my mom got online and committed the whole month of February to a h ..read more
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Blue Lipstick
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
by Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
2M ago
This week’s column is from the archives and I’m sharing again because I love the way a memory sneaks up on you in the middle of an ordinary moment.  I leaned in towards the mirror after my shower, hair fixed and on to my makeup, cursing the laugh lines around my eyes and the gray hair that accompanied them as I worked to hide the evidence of the years on my face. My 2-year-old daughter stood next to me, her blond hair wild from the morning. Each time I set something down on the counter — concealer, blush, eyeliner — she reached for it, as if mimicking my every move would help her unlock ..read more
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Tooth Troubles
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
by Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
2M ago
Ok, here’s a legitimate parenting question. When your kid finds a tiny box full of her baby teeth because you sent her upstairs to your jewelry box to look for a pearl earrings for her granny costume, what do you do? Also, what state of parenthood sentimentality possessed me to save those baby teeth in the first place? I sure don’t possess it anymore, given I completely forgot I had that tiny box containing tiny chompers until my second born reminded me with a very concerned look on her face. When I tell you that I took a moment to collect myself in the middle of cooking supper and packing fo ..read more
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