Wednesday, October 12, 2016

CALVES Poem..a step in the past

I wanted to share this article that was 5 years ago.  Some things have changed since then...I no longer teach but stay on the ranch to help as needed and now have Ranch Chic Corral.  We have grown our herd, and we have 4 beautiful hardworking ranch children, and the oldest off at college.  

BUT this still makes my heart smile every time I read it!  All our kids love the ranch and all of them a different aspect of it...we always make jokes that maybe some day after they have gone to college and done their thing that they may return.  Along with that we also joke and label each as "the worker", "the records person", "tell everyone what to do", "let's try something new"...yes we know what each of them would be (and anyone around my kids do too:).  But in all honesty they all have great traits and together they would make a great team...

So here is a little reading for you today from our now almost 15 year old when she was 9...

This was our daughter last year while branding!  Sporting the "giving shots" pose quite well!!

This was her when she was 9 years old, when this poem was written.

Have a great day!
Kristen Ham

Friday, October 7, 2016

Educating for my 5 year old Rancher

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the SD Women in Ag Conference.   What a great experience.  I was surrounded by amazing women all wanting to learn and increase their knowledge and education of the community that we all share. 

As I reflect on everything I learned personally, and just got done sharing with my handsome, hard working husband I felt compelled to write about it, because if I left with one main focus for any of us in the agriculture world it is:


We need to spread the word about how our daily operations function, how food is brought to tables across America, how consumers in America affect the legacy of our heritage, how no matter how much we are frustrated with politics, that we are the voice, the voice for the future of agriculture.  

At one point in the conference I teared up thinking about my 5 year old.  My 5 year old who could probably run a ranch on his own. The 5 year old that brings his "herd" which are cow/calf pairs with bulls to different pastures throughout our house (the kitchen table is winter pasture, his bedroom floor is summer pasture, our room is the sale barn). My 5 year old that hauls hay in his tractor each day to them, who "rides" his horses or four wheelers through them to make sure they are all healthy.  My 5 year old who puts his brand on all his livestock with a permanent marker to make sure no one invades his herd he has worked hard to build....and I wonder. Will he have an opportunity to pursue this passion if he chooses so when he gets older or will our industry be so far gone he won't be able to?  It made me sad, because in the exact moment how thought of how blessed my family is to be a part of the agriculture community and I want my children to be able to have that same opportunity if they want to.  But what if they can't?  

As I listened I thought to myself about how I can do my little part in helping educate America and I realized I should share more from my blog about our I am committed, committed to using the blog as a platform to educate about the beef industry, our cow/calf operation and how it functions on a daily basis, struggles affecting the agriculture industry and of course funnies and humors about our lifestyle (as we have many..we are quite an entertaining family). 

Okay so I get frustrated when I see or hear people say the "grass-fed" beef is people really understand the very limited difference between a grass fed cow and a cow that may have been grass fed but finished on feed?  Do they understand how less economical it is to have all grass fed beef?  Personally people will say, well it is more lean...well let me tell you..I am almost 40 and I have NEVER eaten beef from a store but I know the beef that I cook once, twice, or 3 times a day for my family has to have water added to it as it is lean and guess isn't all grass fed.  

I always feel like we are "organic" because we raise it, feed it, harvest it, and it goes to our table to feed our hardworking, healthy family and it is great tasting!

Here is a great article from the Beef Magazine that discusses much of what I shared.  Thank you for reading and joining me on this journey.

Ranch Chic Corral

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Strong Tongues, Strong Faith, Strong Women

Wow!  I have not blogged in quite sometime. 

Now don't get me wrong, I have thought of much to blog about but just haven't and probably need to because I am guessing there are many women who are moms, wives, and trying to be supermoms like me who have many of the same thoughts.  

To be honest, sometimes, while I am driving, I think of great blog post and create them in my mind but never get them actually typed!  

Well here at Ranch Chic Corral we have spent the summer adapting to change.  I am now officially on the ranch full time, and doing my Ranch Chic Corral business as I can and our oldest left the nest. We had a summer full of rodeos, boating, roping, haying, haying, oh and did I say haying?  Which reminds me...I have some new tshirts coming out for all you beautiful ranch wives and women!

July I did a barn sale to purge of some items!  It was great to see everyone and visit with new customers!

August I created an etsy page and stocked it with the signs I create...usually based on how I am feeling that day..I believe each one has a story to tell. 

September had another etsy fall sale and did the Country Junkin Show in Faith, SD...which brings me to my hard as ranchers work...sometimes I wonder if it makes them become self absorbed?

Okay maybe that is inconsiderate but really any of you experience this too?  
Be honest with me if you do!!...Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE my husband and all he provides for us through his hard work but sometimes I want to through the cow Sh** he worked so hard at creating in his lie, yes that was harsh but man do they ever need it sometimes!  
But by the grace of god I don't throw anything in his face, I usually bite my tongue and pray for the Lord to give me strength and be a woman of grace.

You know that...What are you doing today because I need you to cook for 10 people.  Sure honey I will, would have been nice if you would have told me before 10:00 on the morning of the for branding we are always ready, but those random..oh I am working a few head today and forgot to tell you.  Is my hardworking handsome rancher the only one who does this? 

Or the come in the house and yell your name, maybe 5 times if you did not hear or on the phone or maybe even trying to go to the bathroom and ask you if you are busy?  AND what you really want to say is everything that he doesn't even realize you do during the day, but instead you say "No, what do you need help with?" AND your morning is now taken away with a "5 minute" help job.  

So what made me wonder if all of our hardworking, handsome ranchers are like this..well, I had to haul my items to Faith for the Country Junkin show and about 2 days before this our hired man's pick up broke down.  This meant that he had to take one of our 2 that hauls a trailer.  I needed a trailer on Friday/Saturday and my husband needed one on Friday for hauling bulls and trailing cows and one on Saturday night for a Ranch Rodeo.  

WELL that turned into a downright fit throwing occasion..because why did I have to go...and why didn't I look at the schedule (as I booked a booth in like June for September) and not quite sure what else he all said but I am sure he said more.  

AND to top it all off..I decided that I would make our rodeo trailer work so I spent an afternoon cleaning out the front stall full of hay bales, buckets, grain, you name it..the put it in in case we need it stall over the summer.  Then I had to remove the rear tack as a table I made could only fit with the middle part of our trailer removed and the rear saddle rack and tack area taken out.  Well, I COULD NOT get one of the hinges out as I am not sure it has ever been taken apart so when my husband got home from working cows, he was sitting in our house with our neighbor and our good friend who helped him that day. I went in and said "Honey, when you get a chance do you think you could help me with that saddle rack, I can't get it out.  And then you and I could take the trailer down to Faith and unload, unhook, and go on a mini-version of a date by driving together with NO KIDS." Then a joke is made by our friend about you know that thing you do when your younger..parking..not sure if kids still even do that..anyways. I then proceeded to see if anyone needed any more beverages and thought all was good.....WRONG! 

He continued to visit so I thought I would go try again and I was able to use a hammer and a stake and get it out (and get grease everywhere)!  So I was glad I could now haul it out to the pasture and scoop out what I had piled up and I would load up and be on my way!  Oblivious that I hit the nail on the head with crabby pants...

After returning from the pasture with a beautiful, clean trailer...the "really you had to bug me to help you with the trailer after I worked all day" conversation started (pretty much with himself as I just kept working and acting like I was listening:) 

In my mind I am thinking oh he will be done in a bit and help me and we can mosey down the road, unload, bring trailer and pick up back, and I will return in the morning.  

Well, NOPE he decided he was going to move creep feeders around.  SO I loaded with my one daughter and decided if I could leave at 6:15 in the morning, drive there, unload, unhook and park trailer, she could follow me and we would switch vehicles and she could take the pickup back home so the Ranch Rodeo would not be missed.  

Well morning rolls around, I am ready to go early so go out and make sure I have everything needed....AND the pick up won't start. I go get the jumper cables with the electric starter and string two cords I had to gather up around the place AND they are not long enough about 5 feet I walk around looking for another one..find one that is slightly dirty and it is wet now I am good getting pretty grungy on my hands.  Get everything situated and get the pick up started.  

AND get I grab my coffee mug to go husband sticks his head out the door and says "Honey, did that not start?  The lights must have been hooked in wrong.  Why didn't you come wake me up for help?"  BAHAHA are you kidding couldn't help me with a pin last night and made a big fit over it but you think I am going to ask you now??  My response.."Don't worry I can jump a pick up."  I won't tell you what I really wanted to say....

The day went on..I had a great sale.  Got everything loaded and unloaded through sweat, frustration, and anxiety.  Stopped at the Ranch Rodeo on the way home to watch.  Actually held my husbands hand when done as we walked back to the pickup and trailer and remembered how much I love my handsome, hardworking, husband.  

I am sure all you other ranch wives have had experiences like this too and we are strong women and have strong faith, strong love, and strong bites on our tongues to make sure that everything gets done and sometimes with some bumps in the road but it gets done!  

P.S - I worked cows the next Monday..wait until I tell you about that:)  Let's just say my new tshirt design definitely was put to use that day!  Here is a sneak peek at it!

Thanks for visiting and reading!  Would love to hear from all you other Ranch Wives!  Visit my pages below and follow me!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Barn Graduation Celebration

Well, my oldest daughter is now officially a high school graduate!  We are so proud of her and excited for her to start on her new adventure next fall.  She has worked very hard to get to where she is at and hard work paid off with a full ride scholarship.  

So, as many of you know I LOVE to decorate and believe I was a decorator in another lifetime so I took the opportunity for a "party" which our family enjoys to do...and we created a FUN night of friends and food in our beautiful barn.  
This is a picture as the beautiful sun started to set that night.  

Here are some more pictures and then I will share with you how I  made it all happen.  

This is the front of the barn.  I had a chalkboard sign that I use at my barn sales that I put out.  It was made from the ends of a baby  crib!  
The cooler my dad made me.  I quickly put together some signs from some old table leafs that I had from a table that I am not sure where it is at!  
AND our benches came from good old SmartLic tubs!  I power washed 16 of those things...I was covered in cow manure and molasses!  We used boards that we had around the place to make benches.  

I bought two beautiful potted plants at our local Norma's Greenery to set outside the doors.  
The pillars that I had on both sides I had purchased earlier to make a headboard out of (on my to do list)! 
 I strung lights around them for fun.  
The round wreath with a red bow is actually a $3 Family Dollar hula hoop with wide burlap ribbon wrapped around it.

Here you can see more of the benches that we made.  
I happen to have some beautiful wood shelves I had made for our local fabric store and when it closed I took them out.   

This was our graduate corner.  
The old doors are ones that I have collected or people have given me over the years.  
I just lined them along the far wall and strung star lights across them.  
I then hung art work our daughter had done on some burlap twine with cute clothespins I had gotten from Michaels.  
The stars above were fun scrap wood pieces I had and put together.  
The Congrats large sign was made form a $10 rummage sale canvas picture I had bought.  It had scenery of mountains and a gold frame.  I sanded it down, painted with chalkboard paint, and whitewashed the frame!  
It turned out beautifully!  
For pictures we hinged two old windows together and strung twine and used colored clothespins to hang pictures.  

The tables and chairs are ones I have had from different barn sales I have had or furniture I have made.  
I put burlap or off white fabric on the tables, burlap runners in red and turquoise, and added blue ball mason jars to the tables with tea lights in them.  
I had these cute chalkboards for tables and used them to write on and put on the tables.

You can see the ladder we used to display all of her plaques so it wouldn't take up so much table space. 
 She also picked out a cute box at Hobby Lobby and we found letters at Michaels and glued CARDS on the inside of it!  
The CONGRATS banner we stenciled on to a red felt banner we found

A picture form the back of the barn looking outside.

Here is a picture of the outside.  
Benches on both sides.  
Each tub also has a white solar lantern on it and we had 4 solar lights on each side of the doors.  

Here is the other pillar, and hula hoop wreath with turquoise ribbon!

A view from the outside looking in.  
We put the tables towards the back where the food and drinks were and left space at the front for standing and visiting, or dancing:) 

Here is the "feast" table. 
 I made the burlap sign with stencils and red yarn.  
Put the napkins and forks in a metal fruit display we had and put a lace table cloth on an old desk.  

The "sweets" tables were two old dressers with the drawers removed and covered with burlap.  
We had a smores bar with 3 glass jars, skewers in a jar, and some candy. 
 I made the wooden box from some old pallets to put the little burners we used.  I found them at the Dollar Tree.  

This is our "drinks" bar.  
The two old galvanized tubs I had and we cut garbage bags apart and put in the bottom, filled them with ice and added pop and water.  
We put out paper cups with some fun straws and then filled two large glass drinking dispensers with lemonade and iced tea.  

Another picture of the ladders.

Fun picture of a table with some extra treats we had for our guest!

Now for a few details...

To begin with we cleaned out as much as we could and swept..a lot and I mean a lot of dirt out.  We pushed things, or my husband did, to the sides..he thought that would be just fine...BUT we have lots of little hands that were coming and machine oil, tools, nuts, bolts, you name it..was not going to be just "left out".  That is where the idea of the poles came into play.  I created the poles so that they can be moved to our new front deck and back deck to be used as "light poles" during the summer months.

To make these my daughters and I went to Lowes and picked up 14 medium size planting pots and Quickrete.  Once home we went to the local lumber yard and picked up 14 2x2 8 ft long.  Next I mixed the Quickrete, had my little guy hold the 2X2 in the pot while I poured about 3 inches of cement in.  I then used Gorilla Tape to hold the poles up.  However, these were not weighted enough to not tip so I added potting soil to it and filled them once everything was dry.  Once on our deck, I will fill with some beautiful flowers!

Now I started this about 2 weeks in advance knowing I would do a little in the morning and a little in the evenings!  The next thing I did was add eye hooks to the top of each pole on two sides.  I pre drilled the holes and then screwed them in.  

Next I put the pots where I thought they would work to cover everything up that needed to be.  I then strung some heavy twine rope from each eye hook.  I just looped through and tied them.  

Next I strung lights from each eye hook (I stapled the lights to the back of the poles as I didn't want to weight any more than needed on the twine.  

I bought $.98 table cloths for the back drops.  We did some white, white lace, a little red, and a few turquoise.  I hung them to the twine with little wooden laundry clips.  I used small ones so it would not have to much weight.  

The white and turquoise tissue balls I happen to already have on hand.  I had purchased them in a party store last summer while our daughter was at a basketball tourney in Minnesota.  Not sure why I bought them then, but now I know why:)  

Well, I think that pretty much summarizes most everything up!  We served roast beef sandwiches, corn salad, fresh watermelon, strawberries, and grapes, with all our great sweets. 

Thanks for stopping by and we are excited for our daughter to begin her new adventure!  She will be heading off to college to play basketball and right not plans on taking up Criminal Psychology.  

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Barn Sale = Success

Ranch Chic first barn sale in our community is officially in the books.  I had a great turnout and THANK YOU to all the wonderful customers I am able to inspire with furniture, signs, paint, and more!

Here are a few pictures of the Sale..

These are some pictures of some of the inside items.  I also had some "junk" items lined up outside.  Friday the weather was gorgeous, in the 60s and I could open the doors...AND we live in South Dakota so Saturday it wasn't..with snow blowing and coming down hard so I had to leave those things inside. 

It took me about a week to set up as this was a "bare" space and I covered the walls with spare fabric that I had or old doors. 

I do plan on trying to do them once a month or so to keep myself busy and customers happy.

Thanks for stopping by...Ranch Wife Living t shirts should be coming out soon!  Getting a website together for everybody to be able to order their own! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

T-shirt Line

Good Morning!  It is a WINDY spring day here...

   So I have been tossing around the idea of starting my own ranch style furniture line with my passion for furniture but mostly because it is HARD to find sturdy, true wood, furniture any more...while my brain was thinking..sometimes I wish it would just stop.   

     I had a "man graphic tees are cute" moment..BUT as a ranch wife I can find farming one but no true ranching ones..AND yes, for those of you who don't know..there is a difference between a farmer and a rancher. 
   I grabbed a piece of paper and started scribbling quotes that are often used in my home or that we joke about. 
It was very random (actually on the back of my youngest boys receipt for dental work he had gotten done).

     Now, I am pretty creative, I think so I spent the next day creating on a computer program...and here are some of the I have already tweaked some and am sure I will continue to change shapes and sayings but it is a start.  

    Goal:  Offer true to the heart Ranch Wife Living sayings...
Any woman who has had the opportunity to be married to a rancher or living with one, or a ranch mom..knows what these mean...

Thanks for reading and stopping by.  Leave a comment with your favorite one..there are 3 more coming!  

Keep up to date on my latest products, sales, and craziness on our facebook page..just click on the link below...

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Boots..Bags...Paint...oh and cute shirts

For the LOVE of These!

So, anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE boots, and cute bags.  I also enjoy spending the weekend in t-shirts, boots, comfy jeans and some cute accessories.  

What girl or mom can resist those things?  Right!  So Ranch Chic Corral will be offering some of my favorites to you!  Just click on the Corral button on the top to go to the page to select - bags,shirts, paint, and much more!  

To order you just need to click on VISIT our facebook page, like our page and message me with what you want and I will get it to you!

Enjoy your shopping!

Ranch Chic Corral

**Yesterday I made a hearty lunch from leftovers..will be posting the recipe tonight.  Check back!


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