The Rafter T

We helped my Dad sort cows and brand calves all Memorial Day weekend. To be honest J helped my Dad all weekend. Because by the time I get both girls up, fed, dressed, packed up and make it out the door with my own boots on, I’ve usually missed a big part of the work. I swear I don’t do this on purpose. I must say though that life is getting a little easier. We no longer have to pack baby gear and once we arrive, the girls can usually keep themselves occupied on the other side of the fence while the rest of us work in the branding pen.


This is a big victory since up until now, they’ve needed one person giving them their undivided attention during the entire cow working experience. Bittersweet as this also means that there are no more human babies on the ranch.

Laney even did her part to help out.


I have to apologize for the blury photo, but it’s the only one I was able to capture of the action. We brand calves for necesary herd identification purposes.  I’d be happy to answer any questions about this process.


Kinley only climbed on the gate once. She does love her Poppy.


And my little ragamuffin only fell out of this chair once.  All in all, I’d chalk that up to a good day.


More to come on the processing of the Crown Dot cows. That’s just how we roll when we have 3-day weekends at this joint.


Stampede Weekend

This is the kind of thing Memorial Weekends are made of for us.

Saturday at the rodeo with Opa and Gam. My Dad got all kinds of compliments from his friends on his new glasses. Doesn’t he look smart?

20130526-114411.jpgKinley just had to use my sunglasses to keep the sun out of her eyes.


20130526-114725.jpgBecause we are diehards, we ventured back to the Stampede on Sunday when J could join us. We had VIP seats. Big stuff at the Marysville Stampede.

20130527-214055.jpgThere was an amazing intro to the National Anthem.



20130527-214345.jpgLaney ate a hot dog

20130527-214424.jpgAnd Kinley shared her Cheetos.


Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to the men and women who have laid down their lives so that we can enjoy these simple freedoms. We are so grateful and so blessed.



Sunday J and I boarded a plane for Louisville. He had a work conference and I tagged along, which I haven’t done since before we were married. Our 5th wedding anniversary is approaching, and while we had been brainstorming fun things to do to celebrate, this quick trip ended up as one of our few options. J was to be gone Sunday through Thursday, but I decided I’d better get back to the kids by Tuesday.

We arranged for the girls to stay with my parents Sunday night and with J’s parents on Monday night. Kinley loves having sleepovers with both grandparents, so it was no big deal for her. Laney has only had a sleepover on one other night, and since her sleep habits have been less than desirable lately, I did worry about her. Laney was already awake, when we left the house at 6:00 am, so I was able to tell her goodbye. My mom stayed with the girls at our house until they both woke up, so J and I snuck in and kissed Kinley goodbye, careful not to wake her. That kid is a bear if you wake her out of a good sleep.

20130522-232558k.jpg It was a fabulous time, complete with a dinner by ourselves, a visit to Churchill Downs and a full nine hours of sleep. While J was in meetings Monday, I walked through two different downtown Louisville neighborhoods, exploring museums, shops and architecture. I loved it. Sometimes I love to explore new places by myself. I’m weird like that. And for all I cared, I could have spent two days in the Nevada desert as long as I was able to sleep in. But J and I did get some much needed quality time, which was the perfect start to year #6.



J’s parents and the girls picked me up from the airport and we were all so excited to see eachother. Kinley looked me square in the eyes and made me promise that I would not forget her the next time I went to “Bentucky.” How could I say no to that?

At least we know she can hitch a ride on my suitcase if she needs to

At least we know she can hitch a ride on my suitcase if she needs to

In other news, both girls slept all night, both nights with thier grandparents. I was certain that they would be up at least once, like they do at home, but apparently they just like to save that kind of quality time for their father and I.