Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy Earth Day 2017

Happy Earth Day from the Circle L!

When your  main office is the great outdoors and your commute is on horseback, preserving and protecting the Earth is part of the job description. This Earth Day 2017, America’s cattle farmers and ranchers are recognized as having one of the greenest jobs.

Earth Day, Trees, Earth Day 2016
“Every day is Earth Day on the Circle L Ranch -
it’s the right thing to do and our ability to keep
feeding Americans depends on it."
“My Cowboy and I work every day to teach our four children what it means to be truly passionate about the land and the animals.  It is our job to preserve our natural resources, it is how we make our living and how we secure our family business for our children and grandchildren.”

Everyday is Earth Day at the Circle L! Each and every day, our goal is to leave our land better than it was yesterday.  Here is a list of ways that we help in preserving our planet.

We utilize innovative practices to raise more beef with fewer natural resources.

We partner with state, local and national environmental agencies to monitor land, water and wildlife and make improvements to the environment.

Allow livestock to graze and consume natural and organic forages that convert to healthy, nutritious beef.

Utilize rotational grazing in which livestock are moved to different pastures to prevent overgrazing.

We protect open spaces from development through programs like conservation easements.

We recycle materials such as feed bags, pop cans, feed sacks and plastic containers (mineral tubs), batteries, used motor oil, tires, and scrap metal.

We save Energy.  We use Windmills to pump water for wildlife and our animals. We turn things off like lights and unused electronics.

We maintain open space as cattle grazing pastures, allowing land to remain natural, free of trash, debris and invasive weeds and trees.

We maintain and introduce habitats as homes for numerous endangered species.

Hold up water on ranch lands for extended periods of time in order to replenish underground aquifers and filter out nutrients and particulate matter.

We plant trees for windbreaks, which provide protection for livestock, wildlife and soil.

We optimize delivery of feed allowing for fewer trips to the farms.

We reduce fuel consumption by using ATVs that use less fuel than other farm/ranch vehicles.

We utilize solar-powered electric fence chargers.

We use recycled products to build fences and to fix machinery.

We provide habitat for ground nesting birds.

Control weeds and prevent residue build-up on pasture land so it doesn’t turn into hot and dangerous fires. 

We grow a garden.

We open our windows in the morning and close them in the afternoon.

We have chickens and pigs that eat our food waste!

We wash our clothes in cold water and hang them to dry on the clothesline.

We use reusable bags like Thirty-One bags to carry our groceries and supplies home.

These are just a few ways that we care for our earth.  Like our neighbors and our friends, ranchers and farmers are a valuable asset to our earth. So on the Earth Day, I would like to say "Thank You" for all do.

I am  thankful each day that God is letting us take care of his land.

I wanted to share with you some photos from the ranch. 
Earth Day 2016, Circle L Ranch, Wildlife, Wild Turkeys
 Circle L Ranch provides habit for wild animals to live and thrive. 

Ranch Kids, Ranch Life, Nebraska, Earth Day
“As short-term stewards of this land,
it’s our job to ensure it’s left in better shape for the next generation.”

Earth Day 2016, Earth Day, Circle L Ranch

 Trees are very important to us at the Circle L Ranch. They
provide shade/protection for our cattle, help control erosion and
help provide us with clean air.

Monday, March 27, 2017

A Sunday Thought~To Busy to Pray?

A Sunday Thought~To Busy to Pray?

Dear God, please help me today. Give me strength when I am weak, take my
hand and guide me through today.  Help me up when I have fallen. ~Amen

Have you ever found yourself too busy to pray?
I have!

Have you ever found yourself asking God to to help you relax?
I have!

Have you ever said "Lord, help me shut out the insignificant details?"
O man, I have!

Have you ever prayed, "Lord, help me to slow down and enjoy the day that you have given to me?"
Yep, almost everyday!

And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Luke 10:41-42

I feel like Martha most days. I feel my responsibilities push my tendencies to become lazy about praying. Like Martha, I often have too many things on my to do list: ranch work, feed store work, laundry, dishes, chores, cooking, spending quality time with our kids and Cody, spending time with good friends, juggling all the extra things I am involved in.
Prayer time on my knees? O man, I think at that I am failing.

But Jesus talked to Martha, which I believe was to me as well,

And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:41-42

That "one thing" is connecting and spending time with God.
That "one thing" is sharing our fears, longings, and dreams with God.
That "one thing" is listening for his voice.
That "one thing" is asking for our orders so that we can spend our days doing what he has in store for us to do.

That "one thing" is what I am going to work on.

I know for a fact, that I need his wisdom and guidance.

What really matters in time and eternity?
I want to be more like Mary, I want to discover the "one thing" really worth being concerned about.

My prayer is this:
Help me not to be so busy and distracted doing so many things that I miss the most important thing. The most important thing is time with you. Please teach me today what really matters.

Happy Monday, dear friends!!
Have a Godly day!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

You Know You Live in a Ranch House When....

You Know You Live in a Ranch House When....

A little collection of ranch house notes.

The other night while winding down after a a long day, I was thinking about our ranch house. You see, we moved into the Circle L Ranch house about 7 years ago when Cody's parents retired. This ranch house is our home, and now a part of the story of who we are and a large collection of all the things we love.

After talking to our older generation neighbors, we have come to the conclusion that this ranch house was built before 1910. Our house was a 1 room homestead. The previous owners then added a larger kitchen, a couple of bedrooms and an upstairs.

In 1965, Cody's parents, Fred and Darlene, bought the Circle L Ranch and in 1979 Cody's parents added on a living room, bedroom, bathroom and a laundry room. Cody's parents raised 5 kids in this ranch house.

I came up with a few lines about living in a ranch house.

You Know You Live in a Ranch House When.................

You can only run a few appliances/ electronics at once.
We are pros at knowing what will flip the breaker. Even with updated wires, this ranch house can only handle so much. If we flip the breaker, we have to run over a hill to flip it back on.

Your bathtub also serves as a calf warmer and dog bathtub.
It also has seen more sand, mud and manure than most houses in its lifetime.

Your refrigerator has 2 shelves/drawers full of vaccinations/ medicine for cattle, dogs and horses.
Yep, you read that right. Vaccine and medications for all our animals is important for us to have on hand at all times.

Your laundry room also serves as a vet room.
Our laundry room is pretty big, it has a shower, a huge sink, a washer, a dryer and large shelves. This room doesn't only hold dirty and clean clothes, but you can find all vet supplies needed to treat a sick cow or calf, bandage a sore on a horse, animal ID tags, and the list goes on and on. We make sure that we have all the necessities we need because it takes a vet at least an hour to come to the ranch.

Your washer has washed more than clothes.
I will just leave that right there!!!

You have fresh air EVERYDAY!
I mean really, think about all the drafts of fresh air that we get. When Cody and I moved in, we had new windows put in and even though these windows helped with a lot of the drafts, it didn't stop them all. Let's just say when the wind blows so do our curtains.
This is just one corner...

Your entry way look like the Calvary came for a visit.
I counted them this morning and we have 30 pairs of boots in the entry way. Whether we need Cowboy boots or Bog Boots, they are ready to go!!

Your fireplace has a place for a wood box.
No, not a box for wood, but a box for a cold calf.

Your kitchen sink washes more than dishes.
For example, calf bottles, calving equipment, dirty kids, etc. Don't worry, that's why Clorox was invented.

Your mud room really has mud in it.
And NO I don't clean it everyday.

Your floors have the creaks.
No really, it is one of the things that I love about ranch houses is the creaking floor. You can hear the kids coming when they get out of their beds.

You have a floor furnace.
Actually I love the floor furnace. It is very convenient to warm your cold feet and dry wet clothes.

Your house has a cellar.
Every old house that I know has a cellar and it is servers as a weather shelter and for food storage. I am thankful to have it.

Your electrical outlets are only 2 pronged.
This is probably one of the things that drive me up the wall, all appliances need 3 pronged outlets. Let me tell you, it is frustrating!

Your front door is the original wood door.
That is all. Our door is heavy and made right and I like it.

Isn't this a good view? Iron on the hill.
Your lawn ornaments consist of old rusted machinery.
Let's just say that we have a stock pile of iron.

Your sewer is just a pipe line to a row of old trees.
Our ranch house does have a septic tank which was put in when Cody's parents added on, but the rest of the house just has a pipe. The good news is that when we have a back up, all we have to do is go dig the dirt away from the pipe.

Your back door serves as the door to the gun safe.
Yes, there are guns by the front door, back door and everywhere in between.

Your walls are insulated with old Levis and Western Shirts!
Yes, you read that right. Back when this house was built insulation consisted of old shirts and jeans. Our walls still have them in it. We put insulation on top of them to help. We also found old newspapers packed in the walls. We left them.
Ranch house hat rack.

Your hat rack is a prized buck.
I will leave it at this: Check the photo out!!

Your floors are hard wood.
Living in the Sandhills, I appreciate our hard wood floors.

You have a clothesline.
Fresh air is the best to dry laundry and I know ours has been drying clothes since the 1900!

Your cook stove is gas.
This is one of the most important items in our ranch house. This is handy when the power is out, we can still have a home cooked supper and boil water if we need to.

Our ranch house is made with beams, walls and lots of stories.
The form of ranch houses never matters as much as what goes inside – because those are the people and special things that transform any space into a home. Ranch houses not only house and protect people from the elements, but they tell a story, express a person or family’s interests and make guests feel welcome.

Ranch houses are originals and they all have character.

You are welcome to come visit our ranch house anytime.