Search

Hoten Holler!

Category

Solar

Yeah, But How is Your Electric Bill?

12 February 2021 – snowing, high of negative 2, minus 15 this morning.  Brrrrr.

Oh boy am I eating my previous words about what a mild winter we were having.  I know we aren’t the only ones getting the five-finger icy death choke-hold from the polar vortex.  I see frigid temps and snow reaching much further south than normal, and I know the folks in North Dakota and Canada are really feeling it, or not, they may just be numb! As for us, we are on day six of what is forecast to be a ten day stretch where we won’t be seeing anything higher than 10 degrees.  Actually for the next three days we won’t get above zero and the evenings are much colder than that. It’s like Mother Nature said, “Oh, aren’t you enjoying this mild winter?”  and Old Man Winter said, “Ha ha, hold my beer!”

Cattle looking pretty cold

I can’t express how grateful I am, however, that the wind seems to have been shut off and by some miracle we are getting a bit of sun during the day.  This makes a huge difference in the real feel of the temperature. Also, as we are off-grid solar, the sun in the afternoons has made a huge difference.  Unfortunately, we have had about a week of really cloudy, snowy mornings which makes everything a pain regarding being dependent on solar energy.  

A rancher friend that we know has a much larger operation than we do. He has several out-buildings and runs quite a bit of heat on electricity.  He complained to me one time about how high his electric bill could get in the winter and I laughed to myself and thought, “Well, our electric bill is zero!”  But it really isn’t zero if you consider how many man hours can be required because we are not plugged into the grid.  This last cold spell has made Dave and I realize that getting on grid is a priority.  While solar is nice, it is not as convenient as good old fossil fueled electricity, especially when trying to heat water tanks overnight  and firing up block heaters to warm up tractors and other equipment.

Here’s the panels, or array after scraping once today. The black box beneath the panels is the propane generator that is called “emergency back-up” but has trouble starting with east wind and snow, so we put up a wind block of plywood.

When it’s full-on winter and there is little sun, our chores become a bit more involved.  Typically we get up and make coffee on the wood stove. Dave then puts on 40 layers of clothes and he and the Sheriff head to the barn to start the gas generator to plug in the block heater for the tractor. Then he slugs through the snow down to the house generator and takes down boards that protect it from freezing in the East wind and snow.  I see him do this and I start the house generator from inside while he scrapes the snow off the solar panels. When it is minus 15 degrees the house generator, which runs off of propane, sounds like it does not want to start and we both hold our breaths as it whines about its startup cycle. Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s feet get cold and he comes running back to the porch wanting to come back in.  He needs better winter gear.

Sheriff Joe will start holding his feet up out of the snow when he gets too cold. Then he pouts if you put him inside before chores are over.

Once the generator is running and powering the house it also begins charging up the batteries. I get some coffee brewing with the electric coffee pot and fire up the oven to get some breakfast going before we get out to feed.  Dave comes in for coffee and toast and to let the tractor block heater get warm.  After a bit, we both winter-up with our 40 layers of clothes and we go to the barn to start the tractor and Mule. About 10-15 minutes later once everything is warm (if it started) the Sheriff and I hop in the Mule and go open the gates.  Dave follows in the tractor and scoops a lane in the snow drifts while he unrolls the hay for the cows.  The Sheriff and I head up to the stock tank and start chopping ice and running water.

Rancher Dave headed to feed.

After the food is out, Dave opens the gate to let the cows come out for breakfast.  Lately, they have been packing into the shed at night.  I am so glad we got that project done this fall, it really is a big deal for them to have a place to stay warm and dry overnight and while they look at us like it’s our fault it’s so dang cold, no one really looks like they are having a problem with the temperatures and snow.  They are in fact the most spoiled cows in South Dakota.

Lucky looking pretty angry about the cold.

While the cows have breakfast, we check them over, looking at their eyes and noses, how they are walking, making sure no one looks like they are going to calve.  It’s still pretty early but the stress of the cold can cause bad things to happen. After cow-checks, Dave and I meet up at the shed and scoop out the manure that isn’t completely frozen to the ground.  We put down a fresh bed of pine shavings and make sure their room is all made up for the next night.

All lined up and waiting to go feed.

This morning was the coldest we have seen since we’ve been here.  The Mule wouldn’t start and we thought it would be easier to just feed square bales in the corral since there is so much snow.  Because the Mule wouldn’t go, we just put the bales of hay in this calf-sled and pulled it into the corral and fed everyone.

Feeding the old school way. I’m so glad we only have a few cows! We use this shed if we have to drag a newborn calf into the barn to get warm.

The next problem of course is keeping the water tanks open.  This would be easier with an electric tank heater, but again, this is a drawback of being on solar energy only.  We do have a propane water heater but it only works when it is about 20 degrees and above, so we are left to find other solutions.  Obviously we chop ice with shovels, spuds, and a pick axe, but when it doesn’t get above minus two for three days it is difficult to keep the water open for the cows. We never fill the tank to the top so we can always put in water from a hydrant and a hose.  This morning, the hoses were frozen as well, even though we kept them in the barn.  We filled a giant 32 gallon cooler with hot water from the house and several 5 gallon buckets and drove them up to the corral and melted all the ice in the tank.  

Watering the old school way, after filling the buckets/cooler inside with steaming hot water we delivered it to the cows 5 gallons at a time.

Oh yes, while all of this activity was going on it continued to snow.  I went back to the panels and cleared them with the snow rake, and then raked some of the snow off the house and garage roofs.  Dave went back in the tractor and cleared the barnyard and the driveway.  He was going to do the whole road, but it’s supposed to keep snowing tonight so he won’t waste the diesel fuel by doing it twice.  Instead he’ll do it tomorrow….if everything starts!

That has been morning life on the ranch the last few days.  It’s “things break cold” weather but the cattle need feeding and the snow needs clearing.  I am not complaining, at least we don’t have a power bill…hahahaha.  We are going to work to make our lives a little easier in the future winters by hooking into the grid.  We have new neighbors to the north and east and are trying to work out a way to split costs to get everyone hooked up out here. After hearing about our winter solar shenanigans nobody seems to want to be off grid.

It’s early afternoon, the snow finally stopped for now, and the sun is peeking out.  The cows are still shuffling around in the corral and they will probably hang out there or go back in the shed until we feed again in the early evening.  Sheriff Joe is passed out in front of the stove and the barn kitty ran back to the barn to hang out in the hay bales.  He has been staying in the mud-room at nights because it is so cold.  Notice I didn’t say “sleeping” in the mud-room. He likes to start meowing around 3AM but it’s way too cold to throw him out. 

And that is how things are on the Holler.  As hectic as the morning seemed, I still feel it was better than going to an office, or even flying in bad weather.  Plus, I get to work with my two favorites, Rancher Dave and Sheriff Joe.  The cows look cold but they seem to be doing fine and are enjoying their extra rations and hot water.  Valentine’s toe is fine, by the way. God Bless all of you reading this.  I hope you are warm and toasty and hanging on to your liberties out there in the real world.  Cheers!

Fatz after getting a drink of hot water.

A Frosty Morning

10 Jan 2021 – Sunny and 37 degrees

How’s everyone doing out there in the real world?  Things on the Holler have settled into a typically slow plod through the winter months, where the sun is only showing about 8 hours a day and that little amount of daylight is filled up by a million little projects and a few routine chores.

A frosty morning

This morning we had some spectacular hoar frost.  

Some hoar frost. When the wind is out of the east we always get a little icing on the cake!

The cows were even a little frosty, although they all seem pretty fat and happy, just how we like them.

Andy also got a little icing

Things are changing rapidly out here.  One of our neighbors sold off a big piece of her property, which was bought and subdivided into 40 acre plots.  Those plots sold almost immediately and shortly thereafter they put in some power poles.

Power company putting in poles across the way

This means that we will  probably have new neighbors on two sides of the Holler, although it seems unlikely this will happen quickly. The rumors are that local builders are scheduled out two-three years.  We are just happy they divided the plots into 40 acres and not five or ten, but it just goes to show you really have no control over most things, so you have to just roll with it.

We plan to take advantage of the power that has been set up.  As you may remember, we are completely off-grid solar here, which has its advantages and also disadvantages.  It’s great not having a power bill, but there are days, like yesterday, when it is completely cloudy and we get almost no charge to the batteries. Also, the winter days are so short, so if we get snow and we don’t get the snow scraped off the solar panels, we are back to depending on the generator.

These days we run the propane generator, which isn’t really an inconvenience, but it would be nice to be able to just use the grid as a back-up. Plus, it will be nice to not have to rush outside in the mornings to scrape snow off the panels.

Snowy panels do not equal good power.

I wish I had more to report.  Don’t worry, Hoten Holler Follerers, calving season, planting season, and a new crop of bees are just around the corner.  Until then, hang on to your liberties and have a great Sunday!

Wooly Bear looking for some cake

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

1 December 2018 – Snowing and a high of 35

It is the perfect December day here on the Holler. We are in the middle of a big snowstorm, expecting 3-5 inches before tomorrow, and believe it or not, we are pretty happy about the snow. We have been waiting and waiting to put down the nitrogen fertilizer we bought in October. The fertilizer experts said to put it down right before a big snow, that way it won’t just evaporate and the moisture will maximize its purpose. We got done fertilizing all of our fields and the fields over at the High Lonesome on Thursday and it started snowing Friday night. The timing was perfect, so we’re happy about the snow. More on this later.

IMG_7682
Beautiful snow – view from the barn

IMG_7680
Cows looking for food

Thanksgiving was really nice. It was about 65 degrees here, but we weren’t around to enjoy it. We took advantage of the warm weather and sun and road-tripped back to Iowa where we got to have Thanksgiving with my parents and my brother. It is difficult for us to get away in the winter because our house is off-grid and solar powered. If it snows while we are away, there is no one here to start the generator (although this is supposed to happen automatically, we are still suspicious of this feature) and no one here to scrape the snow off the solar panels. Also, the cows need feeding and watering, and if it is bitterly cold the ice has to be broken off the water tank. Fortunately, the weather was nice so the cows had plenty to eat and drink and the batteries in the house remained charged thanks to the sunshine. It was really nice to see my folks and we ate and ate and ate. You gotta love Thanksgiving, especially if you love pie.

 


We had a great time in Iowa, but we were happy to return to the Holler. There is no place like home, and Rancher Dave and I have really transformed into country people. We are pretty uncomfortable in the city with the traffic and the noise, and Sheriff Joe is definitely a ranch dog. He had to be leashed during our trip because he doesn’t have any sense about traffic, cars, and he has no understanding of other people’s yards and fences. He likes wide open spaces, cows, and mule rides. So do I.

IMG_7696
Joey’s ears flapping in the wind in the mule

We bought my brother’s pick-up and I drove it back. We had been searching for a little ranch truck that we can also run back and forth to town in and take some of the burden off of Truck Norris (our Toyota and only vehicle since we left Florida). Coincidentally, my brother was having a hard time selling his truck because it has a manual transmission. Apparently, no one can drive a stick shift any more, or they don’t want to because it makes it too hard to text and drive. Ha ha. I guess we are old school now and think it is pretty cool to drive a stick-shift. It turned out to be a good deal for all of us, so thanks, Bill! We love this little truck and have already had it back and forth to town a couple of times. It’s doing great in the snow, and proving to be a valuable ranch-hand.

IMG_7672
My new ride.  We named it Tonto (because we name everything).

Now, back to putting down nitrogen. The fertilization process would have went really smoothly if it weren’t for the dang cows. They are so MOOOOODY! Our herd is spoiled rotten, and they have become so accustomed to being fed cake that sometimes we can barely get the mule out of the driveway without being stampeded by those hungry bovines. They have become quite the pests and I have even started threatening them about making them into burgers and often tell them they would be more likeable covered in cheese and stuffed in a sesame seed bun. On a day where they get really pushy, I like to sing Jimmy Buffet’s “Chesseburger in Paradise”. They don’t care.

 

Rancher Dave wanted to make sure the broadcaster was set to the proper rate so we put down the proper amount of nitrogen. This would require a test run in one of the small fields and also require him to hold a steady speed in Babe, the tractor. Sheriff Joe and I were supposed to follow along in the mule and indicate how far the fertilizer was throwing out of the spreader, but as soon as we started the mule, those crazy cows came running. They were rudely pushing about in front of Babe, preventing Dave from driving a steady speed. They were rushing toward Joey and me, and we couldn’t even walk across the pasture to show Dave where the fertilizer was broadcasting. Finally, we decided to give them some cake in another pasture and get them out of the way.

But NO! Those greedy girls ate all the cake and came running back to the field we were trying to work. We had to give them two bales of hay to occupy their time so they would leave us alone. Eventually, we figured out the proper setting on the broadcaster and went to work. The next day, we tricked the cows and fenced them into a pasture over at the High Lonesome so they would be out of our way.

IMG_5750
Babe with the broadcaster attached, spreading nitrogen

Putting down fertilizer is pretty straightforward once you figure out the setting on the equipment and the speed you need to drive the tractor. The problem is that none of our fields are perfectly square so it is easy to lose track of where you have been already. Our good friend, Jeff, provided the remedy to this by introducing Rancher Dave to the MYTRACKS app. Dave put this app on his phone and was able to real-time track where he had been in the field. It also provided the speed as Babe has a tach but no speedometer. Look out Elon Musk, we’re pretty high-tech out here.

 

I got to do the driving on day 2, and this app made my job super easy. Of course, it looks like I did some drunken bowties in the middle of the field, and my excuse was that somebody texted me while I was working. I had to try to navigate my way back to the MYTRACKS app while driving Babe and this is the poor result.

IMG_7669
DON’T TEXT AND FERTILIZE!

I guess I shouldn’t make fun of people texting and driving any more.

Today, we got up right before sunrise. It was already snowing so I threw my snowpants on over my pajamas and went up to the barn to check on Maverick, the cat, and give him some food. I dusted snow off the beehives so the bees could go in and out. I scraped some snow and ice off the solar panels while Rancher Dave loaded the mule with hay. We fed the cows and by the time we got back to the house, the solar panels were covered in snow again. Dave went in the house to start the generator because it appears this will be one of those rare days where our batteries won’t get charged by the sun. Just because it was so beautiful outside and I was already wearing my snow gear, I decided to give the panels one more snow scraping.

I was nearly done and I turned around, looking for Sheriff Joe. I spotted him almost immediately as he was only about 50 yards from me. I was instantly shocked to see him in the international “dog play” position, with his front paws down on the ground and rear in the air, and NOSE TO NOSE with a coyote! The coyote was also in the play position. Alarm bells started going off in my head as I recalled story after story about coyotes sending out a scout to play with a dog, only to lure it back to the pack where it will surely be killed. I started yelling bloody murder, “Joey! No! Come! Get over here!” and “Dave, get the gun!” I was kicking myself because I had just leapt out of bed this morning and was unarmed. I didn’t even have my knife, although I’m not sure what I would have done with either weapon.

Dave couldn’t hear me because the generator was running, so instinctively I kept yelling and ran towards Joey and the “playful” coyote. I think Joe could tell I was upset and he came sprinting back to me, but the coyote just sat there and looked at us. I grabbed Joe’s collar and we ran to the porch and I said, “Dave, come kill this coyote!” Dave was on it, and threw on his coat and boots, grabbed his rifle and went out to the back deck. The coyote was long gone. We love animals, and are not keen on killing them, but after the disappearance of our cat, Goose, and the attempted abduction of Joey, we have decided it is open season on wiley coyotes, especially when they are brazen enough to come so close to the house with people outside and the generator making a lot of noise.

I’m sitting here now, looking out at the beautiful, gently falling snow and thanking the Good Lord that my dog didn’t get killed or attacked this morning. Dave is out scraping the panels again and shoveling snow off the deck. The cows are done eating and have headed back to the trees for shelter. I have a pot full of pinto beans and conecuh sausage cooking on the wood stove. It really looks like a Christmas Card outside and since it is the first of December, I think I’ll go dig out the Christmas decorations. We hope everyone out there in the real world is having a good weekend. Happy December!

 

The Dark Days

5 November 2017 – Cloudy and 23°

November hasn’t been a whole lot of fun on the Holler so far.  For the first time since we have been operating off of solar power (over 14 months) we have had five consistently cloudy days.  While we still have power, we are worried about the drain on the system’s batteries.

Quick Simple Explanation:  The solar panels take in energy from the sun and charge the battery bank.  The batteries provide power for all the needs of the homestead, but once they charge to 100% the sun provides the power directly.  This allows for us to have electricity at night provided by the charged batteries. As advertised, the batteries can last for 48 hours with 100% charge and no sun. The batteries are intended to last 7-10 years and are by far the most expensive part of the solar power system.  The best way to decrease the battery life is to run the charge down to a low percentage.

Additionally, we have a propane powered generator that should charge the batteries in the case of low sun days. Needless to say, we have been running the generator quite a bit the last few days.

IMG_4702
Foggy on the Holler….taken around 1PM

 

I am definitely oversimplifying the system, but the gist of the situation is that while we have been quite literally living in a fog, the batteries have been providing the majority of our power.  Plus, an icy snow left a white sheet of ice on the panels preventing us from sweeping them clear and allowing the little bit of sun available to charge up the batteries. 

IMG_4713
Solar panels swept off but some ice still remains

 

We are kicking ourselves a bit because we have been so cocky about how great the solar power is.  Well, it has been great except for about 5 days!  And we aren’t living without power. We also have heat from the wood stove and use propane for cooking and the water heater.  We are just being ultra-conservative while we wait and wait for the sun to come back out!  So enough complaining, these are minor problems and I think I see the sun trying to peek through the clouds.

Sadly, we also lost another chicken this week.  We were at home, getting dressed and ready to head out the door when Dave looked out the window and saw a golden eagle swoop down onto Ginger, one of our favorite girls and our most prolific egg layer.  Dave ran out and the eagle flew away, but she was already dead.  Fortunately, it happened very quickly and we doubt she even knew what happened.  As a result, we have been debating keeping the remaining four chickens cooped up again, but they are so used to free ranging it seems cruel to keep them in the run. We also think they may try to kill each other if confined since they are used to more space.  The continual question:  Is it better to be free and happy or contained and secure? We are discussing an expanded chicken run, but right now the ground is frozen and will make post driving nearly impossible. Ugh, poor Ginger!

On a positive note, we are really enjoying our winter chores.  Every morning, we get up and let the chickens out of the coop, break the ice off of their waterer and fill up their feed.  We check the beehive and make sure there is some thawed water on hand for them as well.  Then we head out to feed several bales of hay to the cows. The cows can hardly wait for breakfast, especially since there is snow cover on the ground now. Right about the time we are getting ready to feed them, they come out of the woods and head toward the house and start mooing.  “BREAKFAST!!!!!  Get out here people!”

IMG_4688 (2)
Waiting For Breakfast

IMG_4715
Guarding the Driveway

Then we start up the Mule and they get crazy because they know it is the hay wagon.  They act like a bunch of little kids when they hear the ice cream truck coming down the street! They chase us up to the water tank where we distribute the hay and some cake as quickly as we can so we don’t get mauled. Lately we have also had to break ice up on the tank so they can get a drink.

IMG_4696
Chasing the Mule to the feeding grounds

IMG_4703
Breakfast, finally!!

The calves are still separated from the cows, so we head over the High Lonesome Ranch to muck the stall and feed the babies and fill up their water.  They also get crazy when they hear us coming and while Dave fills up the creep feeder he has to be really careful not to get kicked.  The corral they are eating in is a disgusting manure pile, despite our best efforts, so it would literally stink if he got kicked or fell down in that muddy mess! 

IMG_4712
Dave giving Creep to the calves

IMG_4707
The muddy mess!

While Dave feeds, I muck the stall.  Then we fill up the water and we grab more bales of hay for the evening feeding of the cows. We repeat the whole drill just before sunset, and occasionally have a Keystone at the High Lonesome with Cowboy Dave and Linda.

Despite the power problems and the chicken murders, we are making the most of winter so far.  The key is to dress in LOTS of layers, and to have a great pair of mud boots! 

That Sounds Like a Grand Idea!

7 December 2016  – Pearl Harbor 75th anniversary – God Bless the Vets of the Greatest Generation

-4°F this morning but warming up to 12°F – partly cloudy

The warm autumn is long gone and it seems to have taken all the double-digit temperatures with it.  It has been cold and it is forecast to be colder for the foreseeable future.img_2263

We are burning through some propane, but we have been pretty warm.  We keep the camper thermostat at a balmy 64° and the heater is running nearly continuously day and night.  Fingers crossed that it continues to work!  We haven’t had much snow so far, but it’s coming.  (I’m dreaming of a white Christmas!) 

Our water pump and fresh tank have frozen again, but it is inevitable with the wind-chills in the negative teens. Dave and I were discussing the best way to get a warm shower despite our plumbing issues and we recalled a conversation held long ago on a warm and sunny Florida day, long before embarking on this big adventure. It went something like this:

  • Dave:  “We should find a rental place near the build site so we can see the progress as the house goes up.”
  • Me:  “Or, we could just buy a little camper, live on site and not have to throw away rent money!”
  • Dave:  “That sounds like a grand idea!  But it might get cold in the camper if we’re still building in the winter.”
  • Me: “I’m up for it if you are.  How bad can it be?”
  • Dave: “I’m up for it, we can survive the cold for a few months. Besides, it’s the banana belt! Let’s do it!”

And here we are, 8 months into the big adventure. Image result for shining meme + cold

The good news is there has been some great progress on the house.  Sheet rock, taping and texturing is happening this week through next.  The dumb-waiter is being installed.  The ventilation is being prepared for the gas range.  The mini-splits are in!  We have made decisions on floors, carpet and sink countertops.  The house is coming together and it is looking spectacular.

Another fun activity for us has been monitoring the temperature in the house to make sure it is within the plus/minus limit that the sheetrock needs as it dries.  Fortunately, the house is super insulated and it holds its temperature extremely well.  It is usually around 55 degrees when the construction crew leaves. They have a little propane blast furnace inside they use while they work and there is a lot of passive solar heat from the south facing windows during the day.  As the sun sets (at around 4PM) the temperatures outside plummet but the house is usually still in the mid 50’s at 8PM.  The sheet rock has to be maintained above 55 and below 65 to dry properly.  Before we go to bed we pop into the house and crank the propane heater to get the temp inside to around 60.  Then we monitor it via remote sensor from the camper.  Dave has been getting up between 4 and 4:30 AM to crank the blast furnace again as the temp only then falls to the 55 degrees.  That is some pretty good insulation!  Fortunately, we shouldn’t have to do this much longer once the sheet rock and taping is completely cured. 

img_2266
Blast furnace in the basement, used to keep house at temp while sheet rock dries.

 

I hope this post finds all of you out there warm and well.  Don’t worry about us, we are truly having a blast (an arctic blast)! It helps that we have both spent longer stretches of time in worse places, a Coast Guard Cutter in the Bering Sea, a tent in Saudi Arabia…etc. etc.  Life in the Holler, even in a camper, ain’t too bad. We remain happy, healthy, and optimistic and hope the same for all of you reading.

 

 

Homestead Update

Monday, 21 August, Hot and highs in the upper 80’s – Tuesday 22 August, highs in the upper 70’s (PLEASANT!!)

We are super excited to see all the work that has been completed on the house.  You can see the solar batteries have been installed and now the builders are working off power provided by the sun.  Thank you GenPro and thank God for the sunshine!

Big Kudos too to Todd and his hard workin’ crew!  Look at all the walls and progress.  Woot woot!!

And one more big thanks to Greg the excavator for his amazing work and persistence in busting through all of this rock.  We have a septic tank and a cistern for water.  Nice job, Greg!!

Solar Panels

The 20 panel portion of our PV system is now installed.  This will be connected to our house electrical panel which will contain the inverters and charge controller.  Once the walls are up, the battery bank and standby generator will complete the system.  Take that, electric company!

IMG_3485.PNG

The Woodstove

Our woodstove is complete and ready to ship.  Here are a couple of pictures from Woodstock Soapstone before it was crated.

Hoten-stove 1Hoten-stove 2

LED Lighting | Design Solutions | iLumigreen

Source: LED Lighting | Design Solutions | iLumigreen

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

The Misfit Farmer

agrarian misadventures, feats of agricultural exaggeration, plus lessons from a hard-knocking tractor

Humble Little Homestead

Living Simply and Enjoying the Good Life.

Feed Yard Foodie

A foodie running a cattle feedyard in Nebraska

Small-Scale Cattle Farming

Resource for people keeping small herds of cattle of any and all breeds.

Crippled Cowgirl

Raised on a spectacular Montana cattle ranch and living with Multiple Sclerosis

J.C. Brae

Country Music Artist

Homestead Diaries

Finding joy in red dirt, rusted hinges, and wide open spaces

On the loose

Living life in pursuit of ten feet tall, still!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

Jolyn Young

Writing (and laughing) through life

The Pioneer Woman

Plowing through Life in the Country...One Calf Nut at a Time

Life on a Colorado Farm

Life on a Colorado Farm (All Rights Reserved)

Cowboy Wife

Tidbits from life on the range

My Last Best Place

The pleasures & perils of horsemanship, marriage, and owning a small farm

%d bloggers like this: