Since attending The Pioneer Woman's signing I've taken some time to really look at her website, and I like it. The best part, in my opinion, is the photography. I love the pictures of the ranch with it's cattle and horses and gorgeous horizons. It reminds me of home.
We didn't work a cattle ranch, but we had some cattle, and two horses, and pigs, and chickens, geese, goats, cats and dogs. Sometimes the animals would escape from the corral, and then we had to chase them down and get them back in again. I remember Dad putting me by the corral gate so that when the cattle came that way I could guide them through it, and it scared me to death! I stood there with my heart pounding, watching a heard of cows coming right at me. I didn't think they would stop before hitting me. Why would they? I was one girl, and they were a heard of cattle. But they did stop. Dad knew they would. That's the funny thing about cows, they don't realize their own strength and so are complacent about being lead here and there. Maybe we're all a little too much like cattle. I suppose I am.
My brothers spent summer days out on the tractor cutting and baling hay, and then the whole family went out to pick the bales up off of the field and stack them. Marla and I worked with Mom in the garden, and shelled peas and cut green beans and the corn off of the cob. Mom canned a froze enough produce to last a full year. Remarkable.
I'm being nostalgic about it now. If I were completely honest I'd say that at the time I grumbled plenty about all of that work. But I've been a city girl for so long that sometimes I forget that I come from the country, and that it really is beautiful. There's serenity in the quiet fields and open sky. The horizon is a perfect line right along the ground, and the sun sets right there in front of you. It lights the whole sky on fire. You can see every star at night. And the air smells fresh. I used to stand outside after dark and breathe my lungs full of that air. It's so good.
If you're interested in the Pioneer Woman's cookbook, I found a good deal on Amazon, right here. It too if full of gorgeous photography. You might like it.