Showing posts with label Adventures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adventures. Show all posts

Thursday, August 25, 2016

On The Map!

Last month I got an odd email.  A little gal claiming to be a TV producer wanted to talk to me.  "Yeah suuurreee," I thought.  She said they wanted to film a TV episode about 6-man football and that she had read a blog post I had written about the Rivals football team here in my little town.  (You can read the post she found if you click HERE.)  I wrote it a couple of years ago when a filmmaker made a documentary about the team. So I did a Google search to check out this "stranger" and found she was a bona-fide producer.  So I wrote her back and agreed to talk to her about my little town.

She called one afternoon while the kids and I were enjoying ice cream from the drive-in in Fort Benton.  I sat there with my soft serve dripping all over and told her a love story.  The reasons I moved here, the many things I love about our little place and a few of it's secrets.  We talked about the football team but we also talked about the life we have here and why it's so special.  I hafta say it was a fun conversation because it's basically what I blog about already.

Alyonka let me know they were coming the week that school starts to do some filming.  That is this week.  The kids had their first day of school yesterday and the film crew was there.  The kids were lit up like the Fourth-of-July!  I got to hear about the experience from my favorite high school kid.  How it was weird, but fun, but really weird to be filmed while you're eating!  Gotta love it!

The feeling I'm having about what's happening here this week is.... tickled.  How cool is it that this tiny town in the middle of nowhere is once again getting a little national attention?!  The kids here will likely remember this unique experience for the rest of their lives.  They are feeling so special and important right now.  They get to do a TV show! The children of farmers, ranchers and truck drivers get a few moments to shine like stars.  Yup, I'm tickled for them.

So sometime in the future, look up "Vice World of Sports" for the episode on "The Rivals" and there you will see our little town, right there on the map!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Blooming Tulip

I didn't think this story would get written. I don't like to write sad stories and I didn't think this was gonna end well....
Ten days ago Miss Ivy had her babies.  Twin girls that came just a bit earlier than expected.  Sadly, one baby did not make it.  I don't think she even took a breath.  But one tiny, precious thing was alive.  She was the oddest color for a goat.  In the sunshine she almost looked pink with a black stripe down her back.  Immediately I knew her name was "Tulip".
Tulip's first hour of life.
 I quickly noticed that Tulip wasn't in perfect health.  She had a very large, abnormal swelling in her throat. She was weak, cold and had no interest in momma's milk.  Not a good sign for a baby goat.  If they don't get momma's colostrum milk within the first few hours of life they usually die.  Colostrum is how most baby critters get their immunities. And she wouldn't eat....

I reached out to a network of Farmgirls for advice and information.  I also read on the internet about "goiters" in goats and how they are caused by the mom not getting enough iodine. It said the Boer breed is particularly susceptible to being iodine deficient and Tulip's daddy is a Boer goat.  The prognosis was not good.  But I am a "never say die" kinda girl.  While I know that losing animals is a part of ranching, I refuse to just accept that.  I'm stubborn and I hate it when any kind of critter in my care dies.

So I tucked tiny Tulip into my lap on my 4-wheeler and led her momma across the farm to a warmer place in my main barn.  Then I fashioned a make-do goat pen inside the feed room, moved the feed to a safe spot, bedded it deep with straw and hung a heat lamp from the rafters. I used two different ropes to secure the heat lamp because hate those things and the risk of fire associated with them.  But they are a necessary evil.  After getting the heat lamp to just the right height, I grabbed a 5 gallon bucket for a chair and sat with tiny Tulip on my lap, soaking up the heat.  After an hour or two, I milked some colostrum from Ivy and fed Tulip, one drop at a time from a syringe.  She still had no desire to suck and would not even try a bottle. The swollen thyroid gland made it difficult for her to swallow.  I wanted to cry....

Finally, late that night she had an almost normal body temperature so I tucked her into the straw, said a silent prayer and left her and Ivy to themselves.  I really didn't think she'd last the night, but to my surprise she was still hanging in there in the morning.  She ate a bit more from the syringe, protested the iodized salt I mixed into the colostrum, forgave me when I rubbed molasses on her gums.... the day went by and she was still here.

On day three she started to come to life!  She even gave a few half hearted sucks on a bottle!  More syringe feeding, lots of time under the heat lamp but she was ok.

Day four she finally nursed on her own!! Just a little bit, but she did it.  She started with just tiny sips and still needed the syringe but she was getting stronger and her swollen thyroid was shrinking!  I started to allow myself to have hope that she'd live.  I finally allowed my little boys to see her and pet her.  Up to that point I hadn't because I didn't want their hearts to break when she died.  She did start to develop a slight fever and raspy breath sounds so I began an antibiotic treatment right away.

Today, I am pleased to tell you that after 4 days of doubt, 5 days of antibiotics and Prairie Granny and I watching her like a hawk, Tulip is thriving!

Her swollen thyroid continues to shrink.  The pneumonia symptoms are completely gone and she is a happy little goat!

There is nothing cuter than a happy, baby goat!  I think they are even cuter than puppies!

I'm kinda glad I'm stubborn.... and I'm really glad Tulip is too. Stubborn enough to live against the odds. 

Bye for now,

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mr. Goat's Horrible Not Very Nice Day

We have had a "guest goat" for a few months now.  He is hanging out at our farm until Miss Ivy has her babies.  Or maybe just "baby".  We're not sure.... Anyhow, Mr. Goat is here to keep her company because goats really much prefer to be in the company of another goat.  I didn't want Miss Ivy to be lonely!  I'm not exactly sure of Mr. Goats real name, I think it might be Butternut....or Buttercup...or something like that.  But I just call him Mr. Goat.
Today, Mr. Goat had one heckuva bad day.  I don't know why.... and I don't know how.  But Mr. Goat managed to get himself into this little pickle....
As my big boy and I were walking around the farm doing the chores this afternoon, we found him in his pickle.  I usually don't do the chores until my son gets home from school.  He's my official gate opener and I need his help.  So Mr. Goat looked to have had himself stuck like that for quite a while.  A few hours at least, maybe longer.
The obvious thing we needed to do was remove the panel from the fence and give his poor little kisser some breathing room.  But of course we had walked down to do the chores and my hammer was all the way  up at the house.  (Note to self: Put hammer in big barn, near goat pen.)  So this cowgirl had to hoof it up to the house as quickly as possible.  I tell you what, I am not in shape for a quarter-mile run, uphill, in muck boots.  But I made it without passing out, grabbed a hammer and drove the pickup back down to the goat pen.
I yanked the fence staples out and freed the panel.  Then my big boy pushed his behind forward while I did a twist and yank procedure on his head to fit his horns back through the fence squares.  His little head is gonna be sore for a day or two!  And his lips were chaffed and swollen too....

But a minute or so after being released from the goat trap, he was happily in the feeder, chowing down.... that's always a good sign. 

I think I'll call Mr. Goats owners and let him know he would like to come home soon.... he doesn't like my fences.

Bye for now,

Thursday, March 20, 2014

How About A Glampout?!

Prairie Granny and I had another crazy idea.  We get a lot of those!!  It's not easy for us to get away to take our cute little glamper out glamping.  So we have decided to host a glamping rally here at the farm!!!  For those of you who think I am speaking some other language:  Glamping is, Glamour + Camping = GLAMPING! We have been fixing up our little vintage camper.  It now has pretty pink floral upholstery, a pink chandelier etc.... Now I just need the perfect glamping, vintage dress!  I'm thinking something very colorful and glitzy....


So far, we hope to have everyone pull in on Friday afternoon or evening and share a bonfire, meet-n-greet on Friday night.  Saturday is open for adventuring around Montana and we are looking forward to a potluck on Saturday night. 


So next June 6, 7 and 8th we are hoping that lots of ladies will bring their glampers and enjoy our little piece of heaven. We'd like to see a donation of $25 per camper for the weekend to help cover the costs of setup.

One of the painted sunsets from last summer.

The old truck loves to be a photo prop!

Square Butte from my back porch  03/18/2014

The mighty Missouri River is minutes away for those that love to fish.  There is a charming ferry that crosses the river to a jewel of an antique store in the town of Virgelle. 

 Nearby Fort Benton is a very historic, darling community.  There is an interpretive center and the actual "Fort" that eventually became the first town in Montana. The Fort is open to the public from the end of May through the end of September.  Visitors to the Fort will see rooms filled with period furnishings, the trade store with buffalo robes, beads, trinkets, blankets and other period trade goods, the warehouse with its fur trade era collections, and the blacksmith & carpenters shop.

My little farm is home to horses, calves, alpacas, goats, chickens and piggies.  There should be plenty of cuteness to go around!

Shoot me an email at for contact info and to RSVP.

Bye for now,


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Winter Bliss

People in the city often think small town, rural living is "boring".

"What do you do for fun?", they ask....

They wonder if my kids are too "sheltered"....
I think the folks that have asked me that need to get out more!


What do you think??

I think.... I wouldn't trade this for the world.

Bye for now,

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

How Was Your New Year's?

Another year has passed.  Last night was the annual fundraiser and dance for the Geraldine swimming pool.  It is always such a fun time and last night was no exception.  Cowboys in costumes, good food, a silent auction that was at times quite a wrestling match, dancing and a good ol' gab fest.  The snow was falling in large, fluffy flakes that begged to land on eyelashes and the tip of your nose as we walked into the old auditorium. Perfection.

My companion and I decided to enjoy the dance until nearly midnight, then hit a long standing tradition of a house party out in the hills west of town.  We drove the road over the mountains as midnight rolled around and the snow swirled.  Friends and laughter were found in a lovely, warm farmhouse.  Stories were told and plans were hatched until yawns outnumbered the laughter.

We headed out the snow buried driveway and down the gravel road until we were just to the pavement. The truck didn't sound right.... an unidentifiable noise.  We went a bit further....  Then the "low tire pressure" light was flashing and it became obvious we were going to have to fix a flat in the middle of the night, in the middle of a snow storm, in the middle of nowhere.  We were then disappointed to discover that the necessary parts for changing said tire were not to be found.  Both cell phones were mocking us with their "no signal" status.  So there we were.  Not a house in sight, no phones, no changing the tire. We decided to lay back on the heated seats and take a snooze until morning.  At least we had plenty of fuel and wouldn't freeze.  In daylight maybe we could flag someone down for a ride to town.

Morning came finally and the snowstorm had moved on.  In the distance near some ancient grain elevators there stood a little old shack of a house and I saw a light come on!  "Hey! Does someone live down there?" I asked my partner in crime. Turns out yes, an old codger named Kenny lived there.  Surely we could use his phone to call for some best friend back up.  "Does he like you?" I asked.  "Think so...." was the answer.  We decided to creep the truck slowly towards the shack, hoping to not destroy the wheel.  My traveling partner disappeared to the house and came back with Kenny and the key to an old pickup truck.  I guess he did like us okay.  "Kenny, you are a scholar and a gentleman...." and off we went with the old man's truck.  Quite an eventful first day of 2014, I'd say. Now, I'm ready for a long night's sleep.... Happy New Year everyone.

Bye for now,

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Birthday Goat

There is a funny quote going around Pinterest from Duck Dynasty....

So today I made sure Prairie Granny and I became "proper women". Today is Prairie Granny's birthday!  So what do you get a woman who has very few "wants".  You get her a goat!  Well, we're going to share the goat.  I get to do the lion's share of the care and milking and Granny get's to enjoy her. 
So world, meet "Ivy"!
She is a three year old, Toggenburg dairy goat. Togg's are mine and Granny's favorite breed.  She is friendly and sweet and great about riding in the back of my car!  She's expecting babies in the spring.  I can't wait for them and the fresh milk too!

A friend of Ivy's came along to keep her company.  Goats get very lonely without another goat buddy to talk to. The lambs are not sure what to think of their new paddock mates!  But my big boy is very excited that we have a goat again and I'm pretty sure this was a perfect birthday surprise for Granny.
We're off to birthday dinner!
Bye for now,

Thursday, December 19, 2013

How To Meet the Neighbors

My big dogs were naughty.  Very naughty.  They took off early yesterday morning and I couldn't find them anywhere.  Something had been really getting them riled up at about 2:30 a.m.  When I got up, they were gone.  I decided if they weren't back by the time we got home from taking one of the rugrats to a doctor's appointment, I would call the sheriff's department and ask if they had been reported anywhere.

Just as I was pulling out of my driveway, and older, blue, Ford ranch truck pulled up and Chuck rolled down the window.  "Do you have a huge white dog and another dog?"  I confirmed I did.  "Well, they're at my house in the barn.  And they tangled with a porcupine."  I apologized profusely and told him I'd be over to get them as soon as I could.

Chuck and Karen live two and a half miles to the west on the cutest farmstead you've ever seen.  I've always liked their place but had never formally met them or been out there.  I wish I had better reason to go meet my neighbors than to retrieve my rotten dogs.  But they we're so kind and gracious about it and I'm actually kinda glad it happened.  It's always great to get better acquainted with nice folks, however it comes about. 

The dogs sure enough had tangled with that porcupine.  Each dog had a nose full of quills.  I am thankful it wasn't worse than that.  Some dogs try to eat the porcupine and end up having major surgery to remove them from their throat. 

First thing this morning I loaded up 200 pounds of dog and went to the vet.  I wasn't able to convince the big babies to hold still and let me rip quills out of their nose.  Imagine that!  We needed drugs....

But with the help of Dr. Evans and technician Nikki, we got them quill free and they are now sleeping off a good trip in my basement....  Now I'm off to bake my neighbors some, "thanks-for-not shooting-my-dogs cookies".
Bye for now,

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Difference A Day Makes

Yesterday was such a peaceful day on the farm....  Today was not!  This morning I was up extra early to take two lambs into Fort Benton to be processed. It snowed during the night so everything was extra cold and icy for my trip to town.  Twenty seven miles of solid ice.  Both ways.  With a trailer.  Sounds fun right?  I would've rescheduled but those boys at the meat shop are very busy this time of year.  So I crept into town and pulled up behind the shop.

 I hopped into the trailer and caught the first lamb, the one I'm keeping for our freezer.  After I put a rope on him and handed him off to one of the guys, I went to catch the lamb I had sold to a nice gal from a neighboring town.  I jumped in and told the nice young man to please hold the trailer door.  Which he did.... for a second or two.  Then he got distracted and stepped away from the door.  Just then it swung wide open and that lamb took off like a bullet and was gone in .5 seconds flat.

Have you ever seen how fast sheep can run?  They are fast!  The fastest thing in the world if you are trying to chase one down while running on a sheet of ice.... while it runs amok all over town.

The butcher shop boys jumped in a 4-Wheel Drive an sped away after the lamb.  I had a big ol' trailer on, but tried to follow and keep sight of the lamb.  That lamb was like a ghost, there one second and gone the next.  It ran up Front Street.  It ran behind the Grand Union Hotel.  It ran past the Police Department.  It ran all the way down river and disappeared.  Old men were out standing in their driveways laughing and shaking their heads.  People out shoveling snow where wondering if they really did just get passed by a sheep....

The city cops tried to help.  A sheriffs deputy tried to help.  I lost track of the butcher shop boys and the sheep and gave up.  I figured it left town and would be on the next Greyhound to Florida.... But low and behold!  The butcher boys showed up with the lamb on their lap.  After it's two hour jaunt around town, the lamb got to come with me.  All that adrenaline would not make for tasty lamb chops.  So I unloaded the naughty lamb and tomorrow I get to do it all again.... Hopefully minus the icy roads and two hour marathon around Fort Benton....

Judge thinks we work too hard....

On the up side, it's a gorgeous day.  The snow makes everything so beautiful!  And I'm certain that nice young man will never walk away from an unlatched trailer door again.  Like.... ever.

Bye for now,

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A New Leaf

 Those of you that know me, know I am always in the middle of a project or two.  Or six.... But after a lot of thought I decided it was time "Prairie Barbie" became real.  I have launched my new website and I am pretty excited about it!  PLEASE check out !!

My hope is that the new site can be a hub of sorts for us like-minded country girls to find and share what inspires us.  I am NOT an interior designer or an expert on anything what-so-ever.  But I believe we don't have to be experts to do inspiring things and chase our dreams. 

It's my wish to include content and ideas from others that have dreamy things to share.  I will visit some beautiful homes and share them with you.  I will try and share yummy things, especially if they are locally grown, organic or homemade yummy things.  I will share with you the things that tickle my fancy, because it might just tickle yours  too!   Please don't be afraid to toss ideas at me.  If something touches your heart and puts a spark in your eye, I'd love to hear about it.  If you are a farmgirl that writes and want to share something on the Prairie Barbie site, let me know!  Let's make something beautiful!

Bye for now,

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Two Whole Years!

My goodness! I can't believe it's been two years since we descended on this little town.  We moved to Geraldine the night before Halloween exactly two years ago.  My rugrats were so little then....

My big boy was in Kindergarten.  He's the handsome one in the yellow shirt.  This was his first school concert, just a few days after we moved here.
Tonight we made the rounds trick-or-treating through Geraldine.  Just like we have for two previous Halloweens.  (You can recap a little about our first Halloween in Geraldine by going here.) This is not one of those places that frowns on trick-or-treaters! No way!  Folks here love to see the kiddos all dressed up and running amok all over town.  Hired Man Jim was over at the V.F.W. hall serving hot cocoa and handing out treats like they have done for more years than he could remember for certain.  We stopped in to Rusty's Bar and Café to chat with our friends and show off our costumes, then we hit the streets.
 We were lucky this year, it wasn't snowing!  Around here we choose our costumes by making sure we are able to fit winter coats, and snow boots under them.  I spent quite a few Halloween nights trudging through snow when I was growing up over on the other side of the mountains....
There was a little magic in the air tonight.  The good Lord gave us an amazing sunset.  The sky looked as though it were on fire with it's gold, orange and purple lighting up the sky.  Then a flock of eight whooping cranes swooped over head in formation.  I had never seen more than one or two of the cranes in one place before!  It was a very special sight.  Someone shoulda told them they were going the wrong way though!  They were on a path toward the northwest....
The boys had the time of there lives and momma enjoyed it too.  Then we came home to our warm house, had a treat or two and then got them tucked into their beds.  Now I'm off to bed as well.... tomorrow is another day in paradise,
Bye for now,

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hey Hay!

Farmer Tom is our cousin over north of Fort Benton.  They have a very busy, family farm that has been operating for four generations now.  Farmer Tom married into the family and into farming.  It's a bit of "new" thing for him, but he has taken to it very well in my opinion.  I am very grateful that Tom and Roger grow some nice hay, put it into nice, small bales and haul it over here for me.

The first load they hauled went like clockwork.  Roger has designed this handy dandy trailer that slides the stacks off the trailer and onto the ground in a very nice stack.

Today was different.... Just as I was heading out to take some things to Farmer's Market the phone rang.  It was Cousin Joellyn calling to let me know that some of the hay had fallen off the trailer en route.  Could I please bring a truck so we could get them off the highway and back onto the semi trailer?  Of course! 
I had the easy part of the job.  The driving along to pick them up, job.  A thunderstorm hit just as we were loading them.  Then it rained....  Jake and Tom are probably pretty sick of stacking bales tonight....
Once they got the trailer out to the farm, the next task was to slide the stack off the trailer.  Unfortunately this was not Tom's day.  The cable that pushes the slide down and therefore the hay off, broke.  So there we were trying to figure out how to get about 300 bales of hay off the trailer any possible way other than by hand.  Lucky us! I have this little backhoe sitting here on the farm....
But our idea of pushing the stack off with the bucket didn't work.  And our idea of pulling the stack off with the straps, didn't work either.  But lucky for us I have this really cool little forklift just sitting here on the farm.... So after we filled up it's big ol' flat tire, we put it to work pushing the stack off the trailer....
It actually worked! Kind of ....
Look! It's a bale-ka-bob!
My very favorite saying these days is, "Good enough is perfect!" That's a quote from my favorite farming guru, Joel Salatin!  The hay is off the trailer!  We'll fix the stack a little and it will be perfect!
Don't ya think?
It was a perfect summer evening in north central Montana.  Tom made the comment that it was waaayyyy better to be out bucking bales on a Montana evening than running on a treadmill in some gym.  I could not agree more!  Now we have just two more loads to go.... wish Tom luck!
To read more about Farmer Tom and his lovely wife Joellyn, go to
Bye for now,

Sunday, September 1, 2013


September arrived today and that little fact makes me smile.  I love autumn. It is starting to feel like it's on it's way, even though it was ninety degrees today..  Next month I am hoping to have some wether lambs that are ready for the freezer.  But before that happens I wanted to be sure to harvest their wonderful fleece.  I plan on having it blended with some of the alpaca fleece.  I'm told it will make amazing yarn!

The young man I bought the lambs from last spring happens to be an actual sheep shearer!  Shearing is very much a dying art and I am so pleased to see a young guy that is still willing to work that hard!  Most of the old timers that used to shear around here are long gone, so I am very lucky that Josh was willing to come all the way out here to give my lambs their haircuts!

Josh Pecukonis, sheep shearer extraordinaire.

We also had Jim helping us again today.  Jim has become pretty much invaluable around here.  Especially since he is a sheep whisperer!  It was his job to wrangle the wooly buggers and hand them off to Josh.
Then we'd shear each one and I'd gather up the good parts of the fleece and bag it.


Then Jim and I would scoop them up and haul them over to their pasture.  It's sure is easier than trying to drive them anywhere!  They scatter like ping pong balls!

Boy, I'm sure glad I only have nine of them!  They are weighing between 80-100 pounds or so!

Up and over!

Of course we did have some spectators! 

When we were finished we had some of Prairie Granny's awesome homemade pizza and ice cream!  The best part of a tough project is the dinner afterward!  I'm very grateful to have help in that department or we'd be eating at the local bar and café on a day like this.

Special thanks to Josh's mom, Anita for taking the great photos for this post!  It sure takes a village to make everything work some days.  Thank God for the village.

Bye For Now,