The Montana Cowgirl

Guest Blog: Marmalade Boots – Montana Cowgirl

Posted by in Blog, Cowboys, Guest Blog, love, Marriage, Montana, ranch wives

I woke this morning to heavy dew filled air and the ever-present mountain backdrop gone. Vanished into the foggy sky. I grabbed my coffee and watched from the window as freshly weaned calves milled around just beyond our front yard. Like opportunistic predators, they check every morning to see if somebody forgot to shut the gate. They seem to sense that newly planted apple trees and other delights await them on the other side of the fence. I smiled to myself and shook my head “not today kids”. This is…read more

The Chickens Come to Elk Creek

Posted by in Blog, chickens

My mom, the Ponderosa Queen, had chickens when I was younger. I was still in elementary school and my feeling towards those chickens was that of love… and hate. They smelled, they had to be fed, they had to be locked up at night and let out first thing in the morning. Being the only kid around, chicken care, it seemed, was always my job.  The chicken coop was located a couple hundred yards from our old white farmhouse. It was a ancient coop, small with peeling white paint. The…read more


She will smile

Posted by in Blog, love, ranch wives

This weekend we lost Cowboy’s grandmother Roxy. After too many years of fighting cancer, Roxy left us to remember her, miss her and love her. For me, as the new addition to the family, it has been my chance to get to know her as the person she was and the family she leaves behind. It has been an incredible honor. As a rancher’s wife, Roxy did not just watch ranch life happening from the house, she was in the middle of it, pouring her own share of blood, sweat…read more

Why I Ride A Paint Horse…

Posted by in Blog, horses, love

Cowboy: Why were the indians so angry by the time the reached the battlefield? Me (glaring): I don’t know. Why? Cowboy: ‘Cause they had to ride paints the whole way there! (Hysterical laughter) Me: That’s hilarious… (Sarcastic. Kidney punch Cowboy.) People, there is an epidemic in Cowboy America and it’s even in my own household: discrimination and prejudice towards and about Paint horses in this country. But in all seriousness, my love affair with Paints goes back twenty years and is much deeper than even Cowboy knows. One of the…read more

Montana’s Definition of Winter

Posted by in Blog, Montana

[slideshow] 1win·ter ˈwin-tər 1: the season between autumn and spring comprising in the northern hemisphere usually the months of December, January, and February or as reckoned astronomically extending from the December solstice to the March equinox 2: the colder half of the year 3: year <happened many winters ago> 4: a period of inactivity or decay The above definition is courtesy of Merriam-Webster.  I have decided that Merriam-Webster (MW) must not live in Montana. Afterall, in Montana there are three seasons: winter, hot, and muddy. No spring or autumn to be found ( last…read more

Take it when you can get it…

Posted by in Blog, branding, love, ranch wives, tractor

The snow is officially here, and has been here for a few weeks now. Our little island under the Crazies is white and quiet as the hum of shipping, preg checking and other fall activities has long since ceased. The hot, dusty days of summer have given away to a few feet of snow and sub-zero temperatures. The green gold that was still knee-high a month ago is now hidden under a blanket of snow and ice, waiting until next year. Actually, we’re all waiting until next year. The mama…read more

Guest Blog: Marmalade Boots’ Fall

Posted by in Blog, Guest Blog, love, Montana, ranch wives, smiles

Fall by Marmalade Boots This fall was amazing. Growing up a California city girl where open-toed sandals are practical footwear for all seasons and a cardigan provides adequate insulation from the cold, let’s just say moving to Montana two years ago was a bit of a change. I arrived in this frigid, unforgiving country November of 2008; too late for fall. I proceeded through the winter in a cold but optimistic daze, waiting for the day Spring would arrive. Instead I was met by a winter that lasted till June…read more

The Last Ride of the Year

Posted by in Blog, Cowboys, horses, love, Montana, smiles

I have a love-hate relationship with fall, though this fall there has definately been more love in our relationship than ever before. Montana is not known for a long, leisurely falls. Last year, fall lasted for exactly 48 hours. The aspen leaves had just began to show a tinge of yellow and then WHAM!, a foot of snow and freezing temperatures. And just like the leaves that turned black overnight, so did my hopes of getting our engagement photos done among the fall colors. This year, on the other hand,…read more

Cowboys and Pickup Trucks

Posted by in Blog, Cowboys, Montana, town, tractor

If there is one thing I have learned from Montana boys, it’s this: they love their pickup trucks. They love driving them, washing them, working on them, and showing them off to girls. They love talking about them with their buddies, admiring them, and spending hellacious amounts of money on them (kind of like me with Cowboys boots).  My cowboy is no exception. Although Cowboy claims that I was too busy being cool in high school to notice him (a charge I can only half-heartedly deny, I was pretty cool…read more

I Own High Heels

Posted by in Blog, Cowboys, high heels, love, Montana, town

I own high heels. They live right next to my cowboy boots. Well actually, they live above my cowboy boots on a shelf but you know what I mean. On paper, I am probably not a person who would own, like or wear high heels, but I do. At just a shade over six foot tall, I certainly don’t need high heels to close the height gap between me and my cowboy. I’m taller than him standing barefoot (sorry babe, but it’s true), a fact that he has come to terms…read more

The Montana Cowgirl

Posted by in Blog, Uncategorized, welcome

Cowboys Don’t Cry… But Sometimes They Whine.

Posted by in Blog, Cowboys, horses, love, ranch wives, town, Uncategorized

A couple of days ago, Cowboy had a tough day. Keep in mind, Cowboy is tough, exceedingly patient and possesses an “everything is going to be alright, baby” personality. His “tough” days would have me curled into the fetal mission and drowning myself in chocolate and vodka, preferably at the same time. As my  mother-in-law has told me before, Cowboy has an incredibly high pain tolerance and is genetically capable of working himself to death. So when Cowboy complains about pain, I really listen. Cowboy’s job is relatively dangerous, compared…read more

Around and around… Welcome to Haying Season.

Posted by in Blog, Cowboys, Crazy Mountains, gardening, love, Montana, ranch wives, tractor

Summer is in full swing on our little island under the Crazy Mountains. The green gold is now hip height and higher in some places, our calves are growing and are wild with life, and suntans and cowboy sweat is a daily occurance under the Montana sun. The days of calving season, branding season and planting season are past us until next year… enter haying season. Haying season is a process of planting, waiting, praying, growing, waiting, praying, cutting, praying, raking, baling, praying, waiting, counting, hauling, stacking (and if you…read more

Pick Me Up!

Posted by in Blog, calves, Cowboys, gardening, high heels, ranch wives, town, tractor

  Spring has sprung on our little island under the Crazies, though summer has yet to show its face. The green gold is making its way to the surface almost everywhere, our yard in particular. As I lay there in bed this morning and the sunshine poured through my windows, I had a sudden bolt of inspiration to leap up, through on my running shoes, and enjoy this beautiful day with a walk/jog. Yes, I thought, I will get out there and start out the morning right. I grabbed my…read more


It’s just food

Posted by in food, love, Montana, ranch wives, sleep, town

It is my job, as a future rancher’s wife, to take care of my cowboy. When the novelty of washing jeans crusted with two weeks of cow shit and God only know what else wears off and I am no longer amused by wrenches living on my coffee table for months at a time, there is a task that does not get old, and honestly is the best way to keep track of the health and happiness of my sweet cowboy, I cook for him. As any good rancher’s wife…read more


The Perfect Day

Posted by in Cowboys, Crazy Mountains, horses, Montana

Let me take you back to last week, when the weather could not be described as anything but gorgeous. 60 degrees and sunshiney, the green gold had just started to break ground. The air was sweet and clean with barely a breeze blowing. While having a cup of coffee with my cowboy he asked my plans for the day. “Oh, this and that,” I replied lightly, looking past him at the monstrous pile of laundry that was awaiting me. “Well, I was going to ride through the cows. You wanna…read more


Bottle Feed… And Bottle Feed Again.

Posted by in barn, bottle feeding, calves, Cowboys, love, Montana, ranch wives, smiles

I think they’re cute and fun. My cowboy probably thinks they’re cute too, though he would never admit it. And for him, the fun starts to wear off as calving season goes on. I am speaking of our bottle calves, of course. Every calving season, there is one or two calves that have lost their mamas for some reason – she dies, gets sick, doesn’t want him, has twins, doesn’t have enough milk, the list goes on and on – and so we feed them milk replacer with a bottle…read more


Good Mama

Posted by in barn, bottle feeding, calves, Cowboys, Crazy Mountains, love, Marriage, Montana, ranch wives, smiles

Mama cows and baby calves… That is what fills my cowboy’s spring days on the ranch. Since our place is at the base of the Crazy Mountains and in a “snow bowl” we don’t start calving until March, considered late compared to our neighbors. Blue skies and warmer temperatures make up the difference, although there are those freak spring storms that can last well into June. I remember the first calf of this year… My cowboy and I were at dinner at our neighbor’s place. Having hurried home from town…read more


Branding… Our love story

Posted by in branding, calves, Cowboys, Crazy Mountains, horses, love, Montana

The ranch… Home… Our island under the Crazies… No matter than names I call this place, one thing stays true: it is its own living, breathing thing. Of course it would change left on its own, without my cowboy and his cowboy co-workers keeping to the natural ranch schedule of things. Life on the ranch is cyclic and so there is no start and, as any bride to a ranch cowboy will tell you, no end. The summers are a flurry of activity -fixing fence, moving cows, haying. Fall is…read more


6 a.m. at the Ranch

Posted by in Cowboys, love, Marriage, Montana, sleep, smiles

For those of you not permanently attached to a ranch cowboy, let me tell you about a cowboy’s sense of time. Unless it is hunting season, my cowboy is up at six o’clock in the morning. Up for breakfast, up to check cows, up to beat the heat during the summer. It is a rare occasion that he sleeps in, and by sleep in I mean anything past seven. On those rare days, he will lament not getting up earlier and therefore, is a crabby cowboy (never a good thing.)…read more