Art · Books · Family · Photography

Ranch Life

Last Saturday was a cattle work day here on the ranch. That means clear the schedule, all hands on deck and put the “let’s-git-er-dun” hat firmly upon the head. We round-up the herd and run them through the chute for a variety shots, medicines, branding and/or measuring.photo-128

photo-129Sometimes this process goes smoothly and everybody has a good time.  I get to take lots of pictures on those days. Document our story! Right?

But sometimes cattle work days are rough.  The kind of rough that dives down fast into a real bad-ugly scene. I don’t usually take pictures on those days, mainly because there is just too much story going on. I’m either chasing a cow or ineptly manning a gate or running to the vet or bandaging wounds or trying not to tick off the leader of this here outfit.

Hear me loud and perfectly clear. I am no Pioneer Woman. Not even in the slightest.  I wishwishwish I had even a pinkie full of Ree Drummond’s mad skills. Most days I try hard but fail at the whole ranch wife persona.

But on cattle work days I like to pretend.photo-131

This past weekend happened to be a smooth experience and my job was to push the cattle through from the back, three or four at a time. I only got reprimanded twice for taking pictures (or as a certain man would say…lolly gagging).

Ok. So cute huh?
Hello??? What’s not to love here…
Our newest cow. Bless her heart. With a name like this and a toupee to boot, she needs all the love she can get.
Our latest purchase, bless her heart. With a name like this and a toupee to boot, she needs all the love she can get.

photo-138I’m working on writing down our story of the birth of CedarView Ranch which started thirteen years ago. I hope to share it soon. It’s been a character-building, gut-checking adventure for each of us McKnights.  Or at least that is how I’m choosing to frame this thing we do with part of our lives. We are a team. We are a team. Say it again kids, we are a team.

Caroline has yet to nail ranch wear. But that doesn't stop her from being the secretary.
Caroline has yet to figure out appropriate ranch wear, but that doesn’t stop her from being a crack shot secretary.

photo-134photo-136I’m reading a wonderful book by Emily P. Freeman called A Million Little Ways.  She wraps words around the idea that we are all designed to create “art” with our lives in  a million little ways. It’s a wonderful book. Did I already say that?

we-will-make-art-510x700

This ranching business is my husband’s art. And it is beautiful to watch his work and passion collide. We love him and are on his team, so we benefit from the art he creates.  Emily writes,  “The art you and I were born to make is released out of the core of who we truly are, where our spirit is joined in union with the Spirit of God.”

I’m realizing that discovering your art is crucial to writing a good story with your life. For me, embracing the art of my husband is one of the ways I can love him well.  One of those million little ways may look like taking one for the team.

photo-126

12 thoughts on “Ranch Life

  1. Kelli, That is a beautiful story. As I was reading the book I kept thinking my husband should read it to, his art isn’t as clear as your husbands. It’s a beautiful thing appreciating each others art in a marriage. I think you are a great storyteller.

  2. Emily tweeted your story, and I’m glad I popped over to read it. The cows look lovely. 🙂 Your lolly gagging was worth it. And it is so true that we can love others well by supporting their art.

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