Live from C-Town!

That photo is a first place winner. Literally!!! I took it and it won at the fair. But lemme back up a moment.

Wow, what a summer! The last time you heard from this Cow Chip, we were celebrating the 4th of July and Lady Mixx-a-Lot was in full swing. Well, I’m proud to announce that the Lady has earned some vacay from my smatterings of batter, doughs, and buttercream and we did TONS more after the 4th. So here’s a breakdown of what’s been going on for the past two-ish months.

We traveled to Albuquerque so I could earn my Concealed Carry License. That’s right, folks, Red Lips ‘n Cow Chips is legally allowed to carry a firearm! Now, don’t get all crazy and start sending me links on how guns kill. I have the license but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I am always packin’. I am a firm believer in education and learned quite a few things to help elevate my awareness in gun safety. If you’re local to Albuquerque, check out this online/in-person class.

A week later we were camping! 6 days on the open road with my favorite co-pilots was so much fun. We checked out the San Isabel National Forest near Trinidad, CO (gorgeous site at Purgatoire campground and we even saw a bear!!!), stayed at the Rio Chama RV Park which sits next to the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad; if you haven’t checked out this historic railroad, you need to get there. It’s beautiful and the scenery is AMAZING. Next we spent a day at the new Angel Fire RV Resort. All I can say is the jacuzzi is wonderful, the laundry facility is a welcome sight, and the elk who travel every day nearby just make you love nature. Lastly, we spent two days with dear friends in Red River at the Roadrunner RV Park. Y’all, this is THE place to stay when you travel to Red River for the summer. Gorgeous sites, the river runs right through the park so you can get in a little trout fishing, and the owners and staff are on-site and so extremely friendly. But reserve early because they sell out quickly and often!!!

The following weekend we decided to squeeze in “one last trip” to Morphy Lake, a primitive but gorgeous little gem of a lake operated by the New Mexico State Park system. Ranger Pat even talked with us about bears and the importance of keeping our trash and food secure. The only downside is that small campers and tents are best for this place. We have a truck camper (it fits on the back of the truck) but it’s tall – we lost a satellite and vent cap on our way out. NATURALLY we had to go to the big city for replacements. And also “one more last trip” of the summer.

Here’s something y’all don’t know about me. I love this band called 311. Maybe you’ve heard of them? They’re kind of a big deal and been around for about 27 years. They celebrated the occasion with a summer tour and a new album I’m currently loving called Mosaic. Maybe you haven’t but you should totally check them out because they make my life happy. Now, Andrea, what kind of music do they play? Well, it’s a mix of rock, rap, reggae, and whatever else they decide to add. Basically, it’s my happy place and the concert in Albuquerque was FANTASTIC. It’s so good to see musicians just…be musicians! No crazy fireworks and choreography that’s been rehearsed. Just amazing music and about 1,000 people who love 311 just as much as this girl. I haven’t had that much fun in a while! My poor husband was like you, a little clueless, but he’s game for good music and staying at fancy places. I think he’s become a lifetime fan after that one concert.

Did I mention I entered the Union County Fair? Yes, friends, the country-zation of Red Lips ‘n Cow Chips is complete. Lady Mixx-a-Lot helped concoct the tastiest cake (Devil’s Food cake with a Mocha Buttercream Filling and Frosting with a Dark Chocolate Raspberry Ganache on top, thankyouverymuch), my happy little camera got some great pictures from our camping trip and my mom gave me the best tutorial on flower arrangements. And they each won a first place for their category! Not only that, I got 3rd in the Photography Class. So honored, so humbled, so excited for next year! Seriously, go to your local fair and enjoy and participate and CHEER those kids in the ring. The dedication they have to those animals is unreal.

Lastly, I decided to do something I didn’t think I could do…I became a DJ for our local radio station. Because why not? Ya know how some people say to do one thing every day that scares them? Well, I did. And I got the job. And now I’m on klmx.us streaming every Monday through Friday from 7am to 10am MST. Yep, I just threw that out there!

*Oh, sidenote: remember how much we loved Taco the Cat and thought what a great guy he was? So cuddly and sweet and a total gentleman? Turns out Taco is female and just had 5 kittens. So, there’s that, too. We’ve also gotten about 7-8 inches of moisture in the past 2 weeks. Our norm is 14″ FOR THE YEAR. There’s some pretty cool photos I took yesterday of the creek running and valleys completely filled with rain. YAY FOR MONSOONS!!!

The highs have literally been no more than 86F this summer. For a girl who loves the cool, fall air, I’m in heaven right now.

Here’s some pics of what we’ve been up to, including some of the photos I entered in the County Fair. Have an awesome day! We’ve got a big celebration coming up and my baby is going to Kindergarten. I still haven’t decided: box of Kleenex or mimosas? It could go either way.

 

 

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Baby, it’s (finally) cold outside!

Well, hello, December. You already have dropped temps about a zillion degrees and there was even snow on the ground this morning. Heck, our basketball team had to cancel due to icy roads. While I’m still waiting for these crazy things called “blizzards” that everyone warned me about, I am thankful that we are here and our cows look good and we have hay and cake for them to eat. Not like birthday cake, it’s just compressed feed. More detail in another post because this one is kinda long as it is. Sorry, back to December… Thanks for showing up even though October and November dropped the ball. Ya see, I love December. For starters, it means I can put up my Christmas decor. Then there’s the whole yuletide cheer. People are happy when they’re full and they start their seasonal weight gain on Thanksgiving. Full tummies = happy people. Except for that one old crotchety person we all know who seriously needs to be un-Scrooged. And the warm fires. I LOVE warm fires and it doesn’t make sense to have a warm fire in 83 degrees. But 44? No one bats an eye. Heck, they ask you to put another log on. And since we have literally tons of wood, I can only happily oblige. So, December, I humbly implore you with all the cow chips a girl can muster: don’t screw this up.

So what else have we been up to at the ranch? Well, there was Thanksgiving and what a Thanksgiving! We went the non-traditional route, as is our traditional custom – does that make it traditional? – and got a cabin in Red River. I’m absolutely going to tell you where and how to contact them – click here for the site. We loved it! Clean, in order, and cozy. Both of our moms, us, our daughter, and my mom’s dog all in a 3 bedroom cabin in the woods. Well, not really in the woods because it’s mostly State or National Forest. But, it was near the Red River ski area and that has woody areas. So it’s in the woods. And also a stone’s throw from the lifts and shopping because Red River is small and awesome and I love it.

We enjoyed some well prepped food (cooked it at home, put it in a cooler, drove it on up) and lots of well prepped drinks (boxed wine – Bota Box is a game changer), and tubing on the bunny slope and shopping in the stores. By the way, I put in a photo of my Thanksgiving lip color. I literally had it on about 10am and it didn’t come off until about 10pm. No budge, no mess, no wine glass stains. I just HAD to show you because it was a really pretty color. You need some so follow the link here and order it already. Funny thing is that Taos is really only 45 minutes away so my mom still got her Black Friday shopping in without a hitch. Now the big event for our daughter (well, me too) was seeing the Man in Red. Santa. He was there. I saw him. And Mrs. Claus. She was there, too. She’s awesome. Huge fan of their holiday cheer. And they’re a true power couple! I mean, really: all year long he’s prepping for “his moment” and she’s just cooking away, probably feeding the reindeer, breaking some ice, tending to elves and their labor disputes, paying the bills and putting receipts for feed in Quickbooks and CattleMax (oh wait, that’s me) then she gets all gussied up and hands out candy canes and – let’s be real – we all know she’s the one in charge of the schedule. But she lets him have his day and just smiles and smiles. I bet as soon as Mr. Claus rides off she pours herself a box of Bota and soaks in a tub and listens to ANYTHING but Christmas music.

And just in case you’re wondering, no I don’t ski. Tried it, but I just don’t have that desire to hurl myself down an icy slope on toothpicks on purpose. The one time I tried snowboarding I hit my head on ice trying to get off the chair lift and I was done. If you want me to go skiing, do me a favor and open a tab at the bar. Plop me down and have fun in the freezing temps getting wind burn and I’ll buy the house a round and we can sing Christmas carols on the balcony as you french fry/pizza pie your way down the black diamond. Because no.

Speaking of trees, we found the perfect Christmas Tree. Every year our other somewhat non-traditional tradition is to go into the National Forest and cut down a tree. For $5, they’re yours for the taking! Plus, it helps the National Forest Service with thinning overgrown areas and you get a hike in with the family to enjoy some gorgeous scenery. Or if you’re like me and my husband, you get to pretend you’re a mountain goat and find the perfect tree that happens to be on the steepest hill in the canyon. But, hey, I got in a workout so that counts for something. Plus, no more $60 tree at the big box store! You can save that money or spend it on a fancy lunch or a gift for someone or even Starbucks!

Update on my animals: Dogs are great, cats are spoiled, the pony and horses love each other. I think they all pretend like they’re a little horse family now. Any time we take the pony in just to work with her, the mare gets all upset and paces the fence line and the gelding watches like the husband holding his wife’s purse at the mall as she raids JCPenney. Alpacas still love the wide open space they now have. I have no idea where their poop pile is but I’m sure I’ll find it once spring comes around and there’s a patch of perfectly green grass somewhere. The Guineas now greet us on the front porch EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. Tap tap tap on the window. Sounds cute but it’s really not. At 6:54am, it’s annoying. But they do keep bugs down and I have to remember that. Because right now….

And the chickens.

***Warning: I talk about eventual chicken death. Move on to the funny photos if that disturbs you.***

The chicks have moved in with the older hens. For the most part, they ignore each other. My problem is that one, Baby Lou, is a Cornish cross and he’s a big boy. Like huge. Compared to the other chicks, he’s just…gigantic. The other chicks weigh MAYBE 1.5lbs, while he’s a stout 8 or 9. And he’s so sweet! He actually comes up and wants to be petted, doesn’t flip out when I try to hold him, and pretty much is my favorite chicken ever! But here’s the Debbie Downer part. He’s a meat bird. Ya know the chicken you buy prepackaged at the store? That’s his breed. And I can’t keep him to breed babies because his type doesn’t do so well in the mating department. But I have a heart for my animals, even the ones that we grill in the summer. So I’m putting him on a weight management plan. It won’t stop the inevitable but it will at least slow it down.I kick all the fluffy butts out of the coop and I put the food a little bit away from the water to make him get some exercise. The pecking itself takes some energy, as does the walking back and forth. If it were summer or spring he could forage for bugs but it’s not so we make due. I think the exercise is working. He is much more active every day, he doesn’t tire as easily, meaning he can make about 20 steps before needing a break, and he’s getting sunshine and fresh air. All that is pretty much all I can do for him and as long as he’s not in pain, I’ll keep it up. Most people on my FB Chicken groups (yes, they do exist, don’t be jealous) say that it’s more humane to process/cull/eat him before he has a heart attack or becomes lame, while others say they had Cornish crosses for 2 years before they had to demote them to the stew pot. Now if that got your goose that I’d talk about eating my own chicken, well, I guess ranching isn’t for you. Fact is, it will happen and I have to put it in my head now that, yes, I am eating the meat I raised. However, I know that he was treated extremely well in his short lifetime and, as I took care of him he can now take care of my family by providing a nutritious meal in the future. Really, it’s the circle of life. And it moves us all. Through despair and hope and faith and love. Till we find our place on the path unwinding, it’s the circle, the circle of life.  It’s stuck in your head now, isn’t it? You’re welcome.

 

Now that we’re all back on the same paragraph, I leave you with our crazy, totally random pictures of the holidays. Y’all be nice out there! Or go eat something. Then go work out because I hate New Year Resolutions. Why resolve later when you can resolve now?  Anyway, Happy Holidays!

A week (or two or three) in Pictures

If you’re an avid reader – and who isn’t? – of my blog, you might have noticed that in the previous post I mentioned something about camping. Then I didn’t show you pictures! Well, I was so excited about the rain from the past couple of weeks that I kinda forgot. Sorry about that. I did have to bust out the mower again and that’s always fun. I get to jam out and sing my terrible efforts in Spanish and French and whatever whilst trying to dance in my seat and not hit anything. We have 2 1/2 fenced acres, it could happen.

In an effort to keep the rabid fans from beating down the cattle guard, I will make this post mostly pictures from the past few weeks. Camping with our family friends, the Montaños, near Vado lake, driving through small towns like Folsom and getting lost trying to find Folsom Falls (we found the falls – it’s now closed to the public), overlooking Johnson Mesa on the way to Raton, the big lake at Sugarite Canyon plus our camper at the small pond at Cimarron Canyon. We even took a daytrip to Red River and I took a photo of the precise moment I realized I might have a fear of heights. We also added another animal to the zoo AKA the ranch AKA home.  I’ve got a whole Mexican Fiesta of Food happening…Nacho the dog, Taco the cat, and now we finish it off with a Corona. That’s right. Corona the border/heeler puppy. She’s sweet and cute and loves her belly to be rubbed. She tried to herd the chickens this morning, though – we’re working on that.

Anywho, enjoy all the pictures of Northern New Mexico and our adventures! If you ask, I might be able to tell you which is which but don’t hold me to it. I just smile, snap, and ride shotgun.

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