Meanwhile, Back on the Ranch…

Hello everyone!

The holidays are fast approaching and, as usual, I’m wondering where the time went between harvesting tomatoes and calculating how long it takes to thaw a turkey in the fridge. 

This is my favorite time on the ranch. The cows are on winter pasture, so we don’t have to feed them everyday. Likewise with the horses. If the weather cooperates, the horses and cows might be on pasture until spring. We get a lot of wind where we live, so the snow blows into drifts, scrubbing the pastures and allowing the cows, horses, deer and antelope to continue to graze. We have a herd of close to 30 antelope that winter with the cows.

The only guy we have to feed is the bull, and he’s on a diet. His bedding is edible, and his weight kind of got out of control, so now we have him on rations. 

That said we did have a bit of early snow. This is my sweetie and I feeding in September! 

And here are the cows waiting to be fed…in September.

Thankfully the weather has calmed down, the snow melted and we were able to do some last minute fence fixing. Fencing-fixing is like laundry–it never ends.

And a young  moose came to visit. He’s actually larger than he looks in the picture. He’s about as big as a horse–and totally fearless. Thankfully, he took exception to the riding lawnmower and decided to settle in a place with a little less noise.

Now that winter is almost here, I’m looking forward to spending my free time writing (so many ideas!), sewing and reading.  I have some history books I want to read and a lot of western romances to catch up on.

How do you plan to spend your time as the holidays approach?


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Jeannie Watt raises cattle in Montana and loves all things western. When she's not writing, Jeannie enjoys sewing, making mosaic mirrors, riding her horses and buying hay. Lots and lots of hay.

30 thoughts on “Meanwhile, Back on the Ranch…”

  1. We love to go and visit the Christmas trees and see Ice Sculptures. Then of course, we enjoy decorating.

  2. I’ve probably asked you this before and forgot to come back and see your answer? We used to leave the Winecup Gamble Ranch. What ranch do you live on?

    As far as my winter I will be spending it going through drawers, boxes, and my mother’s storage building trying to widdle it all down and eventually get rid of her storage building. I can’t handle doing much of this kind of work in the spring and summer because I have MS, which causes heat intolerance, and I get hot when its cold I’d I’m working. Between now and Christmas I plan to make some pinecone wreaths for our Chinese Christmas and for a few gifts because I’m broke than broke this year.

    I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving and holiday season.

    • Thank you, Stephanie. I’ve driven by the Winecup many times since I lived in Northern Nevada for 30 years before retiring. I now live on a family ranch in Montana’s Jefferson Valley. My parents are older and we only run 50-60 head of Angus-Piedmontese X aimed at the boxed-beef market. At one time the folks had cows, 30 head of quarter horses and a herd of reindeer. Now, since I’m “retired”, I’m glad we only have a small herd of grass fed cattle.

      Good luck paring down the belongings. That is such a time consuming ordeal. I think handmade gifts are the best. Now that I’m older, I don’t need stuff so much as knowing that people are thinking of me. 🙂

  3. I love seeing pictures of you and your hubby in action on your ranch! You are a busy girl, my goodness. Had to smile about the overweight bull. Ha! Happens to the best of us, eh?

  4. Welcome. Nice post. I grew up on a farm, so am familiar with a lot of the work. We got snow once (about an inch) and the community went crazy. LOL Now I can laugh. The farm was in Apple Valley, CA the desert. But Big Bear mountain was only abuot 1/2 hour away from our farm. Now I live where we get snow every winter.

    • So funny about the snow, Lori! Your farm sounds like it was in a nice place–I love the desert and I love snow. I hope you have a reasonable amount of snow this year. With the weather lately, there’s no telling.

  5. Hey Jeannie! I plan to binge read a series during the holidays.

    Thank you for sharing these awesome photos! I especially love the moose!

  6. I really enjoyed your post and all the pictures. I especially like the picture of the moose. It’s really beautiful up in that part of the country. We drove through Wyoming and the Dakotas on our family vacation this summer (from Texas) and we enjoyed the scenery and ranch lands as much as everything else.

  7. Hopefully, I will get to do some reading. I like to snuggle on our couch or if the weather permits sit outside on our patio swing in the sun and read. And just enjoy the holidays with family.

  8. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get some reading done! Other than that, we don’t know what we’re doing for Thanksgiving yet. I’m guessing as many family members as possible will get together, and I know we’ll have less than 36 since 4 won’t be coming from New Zealand!

  9. The holidays certainly rushed upon us this year. I had surgery the end of October, nothing very serious, but it has put me way behind where I need to be. I am working on getting the house straightened and ready for company. We will only have one daughter and her family for Thanksgiving this year. Oldest daughter is in law school in Chapel Hill, NC and will be busy working on her application for the bar. The roads are so busy over Thanksgiving weekend that I really prefer she and her family don’t travel. They will be in the area over Christmas splitting time with her husband’s family through Christmas Eve and then come here Christmas Day to spend a few days. Our son got married this past summer so we are figuring our how to schedule with the new set of in-laws. We won’t see them for Thanksgiving even though they live locally. To be fair, her parent’s invited us to join them for dinner, but other plans were already made. We will have to see what we work out for Christmas. I look forward to baking and cooking, but more importantly visiting with the family. We are all busy and even though 2 of our children live locally, we don’t see them as often as we would like. I hope there will be time for reading and just relaxing. We will likely watch a few favorite holiday movies.

  10. I totally understand trying to juggle family and visits, Patricia, while paying attention to road conditions–it’s a lot to consider. It’s great that you are close, however, and get to see one another. I hope you have time for reading and relaxing. It’s so important to stop and take a breath this time of year.

  11. The September snow missed us but there was some 20 miles east of us….very rare. We did get the cold temperatures.

    This year we’re having Thanksgiving and Christmas at our house. For me that means cleaning now which should give me more time to enjoy some reading by the fire in December.

  12. Last fall when we were driving into Glacier National Park from Browning, we drove by the Mad Dog Ranch. We had to check something on our camper and pulled over. Soon several horses came to greet us. That was so fun. We loved them up and were on our way. The first snowfall had arrived and the cattle were covered in snow. Beautiful. I love to go on a horse drawn sleigh ride this time of year. We will entertain our family and grandkids. We will attend church together which is everything to me. Loved your pictures and blog today. Thank you for sharing.

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