Things I’ve Learned on the Ranch

Dream of owning a ranch? Wish you lived amidst a picturesque setting with 360 degree mountain views? Know what it takes to maintain 99 acres? Here’s what I’ve learned seven months into our ranch ownership journey:

  1. 99 acres seem small when you’re driving but much larger when walking.
  2. My kids hate when community members tell them that ranch work builds character.
  3. Bats are black, creepy, milking mammals, live 20+ years, migrate south in August.
  4. Critter guy that eradicates bats, mice, and cluster flies is my new bestie.
  5. The night sky is void of city lights but full of star lights.
  6. It’s a myth that mountain homes don’t need air conditioning.
  7. Shooting at targets, still or otherwise, is fun.
  8. Morning baths are futile whereas evening showers are necessary.
  9. Draping a steel rope across our ranch entrance does not deter former guest ranch customers from trespassing in search of breakfast.
  10. Our Maltese and Yorkie, previous yuppy city divas, love romping on the ranch.
  11. My ATV needs more storage compartments for my phone, tissues, bug spray, bear spray, sunscreen, cucumber scented wet wipes, flashlight, tools, work gloves, snacks, thermos.
  12. Pushing a lawn mower in the city isn’t fun. Pulling a 52″ brush cut mower behind an ATV is rockin’ fun.

    Unloading my brand new brush cut mower

  13. Cowboy hats, jeans, and boots are our protective friends.
  14. 12-year-old boys love getting dirty. 13-year-old girls are stronger than they thought. 18-year-old hired summer ranch-hand boys are determined to get a college degree.
  15. Make-up is unnecessary.
  16. If a neighbor goes into town, they call to find out what we might need and bring us the local paper upon their return.
  17. Rain is a hug from God.
  18. UPS and FedEx deliver to me. USPS doesn’t know I exist.
  19. Fellow ranchers commend our burn piles and comment about their own. We all await three feet of snow and volunteer fire department bonfires.
  20. With dirty faces, tanned arms, sore muscles, and cold beers, we proclaim happiness.
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12 thoughts on “Things I’ve Learned on the Ranch

  1. Just wonderful! When can we move in or build on one of your beautiful acres!???? Absolutely Kirk’s dream and I get to share those with him! Have a 12 yo boy and 10yo girl that appreciate the outdoors too! Living vicariously through you Natalie!!!! Trish Anderson

  2. As usual your posts make me smile. What a blessing this life is to you and your children. I find myself wanting to pull on my boots and my cowboy hat (it’s straw, but still) and start walking west. Thank you for sharing your story, I’ll continue to live vicariously through you! Hugs to the family.
    peace-
    Sandy

  3. I loved reading this! The photos are great ! Tell the kids that we will come help! We need more back breaking manual labor! Sounds like “life” at the ranch suits y’all, and God’s “life” lessons are at work even out there. Mike and I know you are having FUN! Did you get a large telescope yet? big night sky event coming up on Aug.11.
    Love to you all!! Ceil

  4. Love this! Don’t get too comfortable in ranch living, I am depending on your “city-eye” to pull off the Valor Alumni Black Tie…..and yes, that means morning bath, heels and make-up.
    Xoxo. LL

  5. Loved this post and the beautiful pictures! I esp. loved that the bat/ critter man is your bestie:)
    lol Kristin

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