Friday, February 6, 2015

The difficult part of being a RancHer

So, FarmHer asked us to describe why being a FarmHer or RancHer is difficult. is a great website & gal who is helping promote women in agriculture by sharing their story though amazing pictures.

I was going to say that MY perceptions of how others view me as a "girl who takes care of her husband's cows" affect me.  You see I think MY perceptions affect me more than what anyone else thinks.  As I filled my truck with diesel this week, I had my husband's wallet in my hand to pay.  A man mentioned asked me if "He's letting me drive his truck today?"  I just replied, "Nope, I'm just letting him pay for my diesel today". The gal behind the counter just laughed because she sees me hooked on to that 40 ft trailer each week.  I think his comments (and other's opinions) make me better.  They drive me to be better & do better for my cattle.  

Then, today happened.  Today being a RancHer was really difficult.  I think more difficult because I AM a female.  Today we lost a little lamb. A lamb we have had in the house for two weeks.  A lamb the kids have love on & played with.  A lamb that I have been feeding every two hours through the night.

I lost it.  I cried & cried.  I cried for the lamb, I cried for my loss, I cried & sobbed for the kids's loss.  That is when being a RancHER is the most difficult.  Because I am a female it makes the losses a little more emotional, personal.  Please don't misunderstand, my husband was sad that the lamb died.  But I do think most men tend to be a little better when handling these losses.

But, I also think these same emotional maternal qualities also make me a much better RancHer.  I get more attached.  I rely on my fEELings (like maternal instincts) more.  Meaning that sometimes to get a fEELing that I need to go check something out.  9 times out of ten, I find a calf or cow that needs a little help.  I also am the RancHer in this house who has always done the night checks.  Because I stress & worry more with heifers calving, or cows calving on very cold nights.

That caring, emotional side is a blessing and a curse as a RancHer.  Today it hurts, but it will help drive me to be a better person, mother & RancHer every day.  

~Shanen - Momma to the Mama cows (& All the creatures) at the ECC

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I love this life

As I sit here it's 9:30 am.  I'm in Barnes & Noble in the big city drinking a Chai latte. I'm in my fancy Buckarette Collection Stormy Kromer & a big beautiful scarf.

I'm surrounded by business men & women with their laptops & fancy clothes working. 

That. Used. To. Be.  Me. 

Wow! 13 years ago that was my life. I hadn't even dreamed of my current life as possible!  Don't get me wrong; I enjoyed talking with my customers & helping them get to their goals.

But. My.  Life.  Is. So. Blessed.  Amazing!!

Yep, yesterday I spent 10 hours in the truck hauling hay & alternately freezing my fingers off feeding cows & stacking hay.  After basketball practice & chores then house chores I fell into bed at midnight. This morning I rolled our of bed lazily at 4 am to load a cow & drive up to the new Story City Locker. When I get up that early I don't turn any lights on in the house. So, the scarf & hat are necessary. I'm lucky to brush my teeth on my early days. Once the cow was delivered, I need to pick up some shoes for my boy in the big city. This the Tea break while I wait for the store to open. Then it's back home, feed the cows, check the other cows, load Missy & Buster (show heifer & Sale Bull) to take them to get their feet trimmed. Then chores.... You get the idea; busy, dirty, cold. 

I love this life. Really! Thanks to all the businessmen & women that make it possible for me to raise your food & live this life.

Love where you are. It will lead you to bliss.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

To the Mom who hasn't brushed her hair in a week

This was written in November 2013. It is now My birthday in August 2014. 
It is still true. 
Part two is now languishing in drafts. 
I blame the Crown for lettin me publish - and Kim :)

This is for The Mom who hasn't brushed her hair in a week

Huh? How is this possible.
Well, it is. As of right now, I can't remember when I last brushed my hair.
I've finger combed it for a second.
I've washed it.
I've pulled it up in a messy bun.
Ponytails & loose braids are my best friends.
Hats, yes every kind of hat is a near necessity.

What does this mean I've become?
Careless about my appearance?
Fat?  Huh-that adjective just popped right out? Wonder what that reeeally means?
A    m.o.t.h.e.r.

Yep, being a mother means that you put others before yourself.

But, if you don't take good (adequate) care of yourself how can you care for your family?

This first part is real. I've let myself sit with this revaluation for two weeks now.

I decided to brush my hair.
I decided that I should take time to look, really look at myself in the mirror.
I decided that.  I should meet that person in the mirror, because I don't have a clue who she is.
I decided I need to like what I see in that mirror.

Monday, November 11, 2013


A newlywed couple travels 400 miles to an auction with only two cows on their list.  He had talked of this heifer and her cowfamily for weeks. She came from a great line of Showgirls; in name & characteristics. The heifer was relatively unknown in the area & we had hopes that we could afford her.

Upon arrival we went out to the pens.  Being a horse girl, I was unsure what to expect from a cattle sale of this caliber.  We walked all the pens looking for the tag number of the heifer, because we hadn't even seen a picture of her.  Finally, found the tag on a beautiful black & white heifer.  I walked in the pen with her. He walked to her rump, quietly inviting her to walk so he could see how she moved. I stood at the front. I held out my hand. She walked right up to me & licked me.

I had been around cattle at school, but they were not pets. They were animals there to do a job.  I has never seen their personalities before.  So, I was instantly in love with this heifer. She had the kindest eye, the sweetest personality. I was instantly in love. 
Then the nervousness began. Waiting for the auction to start & my cow to enter the ring. Yes, I was already calling her mine. Honey's first pick entered the ring about 10 head in. She went for nearly $10000. Ouch. No way we were close enough to buy her. Her opening bid was more than our budget. So, we wait... Nearly two hours. The once packed stands start to loosen; the prices stay consistently at our budget.  Her only saving grace is that she has lots of white on her; not a desire able trait in a cow for most cattlemen at this time.  We might be able to afford her. Might...
I'm so nervous at this point; I'm afraid to twitch. The ring men were faster than any others I'd seen.  Oh my!! She enters the ring. Honey doesn't immediately bid. What!?! Then he raises his number. She started with 5 bidders; now we are down to two of us. The bidding slows; then stops with us.... Just over our  max budget. My poor Honey is so still & nervous. I kick him. The ring man sees me so it. Announcing that he better bid; because Mama wants the heifer. Honey glances at me & nods! She's mine! I mean OURS!!!! I vow to him that I'll find the extra $. We go pay & wait in line an hour to load her. Thank goodness! That would have been a long 5 hour drive if we hadn't won her.

Lacey was my baby from the time we unloaded her until the day she died. She was my very first MommaCow. When the kids were little & we would take the truck to check cows; I would roll down the back window & she would lick their cheeks :)  At the first holler of "Come Baaas" she would trot to the truck. 

One year she kept getting out to the north. Every Day! Within 2 hours of putting her back; she would be out. So I sat across the road & watched... We had a cattle panel for a gate. She stuck her nose under the edge & crawled on her knees under the gate & then are the super yummy ditch grass. Stinker. I wired an old wood fence post to the bottom of the gate so she couldn't slide her head under. Fixed that problem.

When it was time to work cows; Lacey always let you know she was better than the average cow & needed special attention to go through the tub & chute. She wanted haltered & grain like during her old show days :) Honey would always curse her & tell me to get "my" cow. She would put her head in the halter & walk through like a princess. She would wait until her shots were given & demand grain. (Meaning the only way you could get her out was to offer grain). She was the highlight of my day checking cows. 
As she got older; she showed signs that she was moon blind. She could see sometimes & not a thing at other times. Lacey & I  worked out a system of come baas & maaamas to get her to come to me & direct her through gates if she couldn't see. When I started my grass fed beef program I started with a golroup of calves that had pink eye as babies & their sight abilities varied. I put Lacey in with them in a 10 acre paddock. She thought them really quick to come to me when I brought alfalfa cubes & salt. She also led them to water & the barn each night. The last several years she lived completely in the barn. Her hips became really sore & arthritic. I was ok with that. She kept Lenny company in the winter.  

We thought Lacey was done having calves 4 years ago. Sure enough, A.Cowgirl comes running in from the barn shouting that Lacey has FEET!!!! Huh? She is CALVING! This would be the first calf A.Cowgirl took the time to watch a calf born from start to finish.  The calf was red; a heifer.  After much discussion between the girls; her name was Freedom. Her sire was Lenny (registered name Liberty). 
Freedom would be A.Cowgirl's first show heifer. She had her momma's amazing disposition & loves her girl to the end of the world & back!

The following year Lacey began to be bothered by her hips. Once again, we thought she was done calving.  This time deep in March, J.ustaCowgirl comes running inside saying Lacey had feet!  So we went outside & watched her calve. When the last foot was out & we were rubbing her down; the girls started debating about her foot.... A Star! Yes, the calf had a Star! Many cheers because it was a heifer too!! 
The last couple years were hard. But Lacey wasn't ready to go. She taught all the show heifers that being scratched & loved on was a good thing. She followed my voice through all the gates & pens. She thought me to love cows many yars ago & still to this day.  She died in December. She is hurried in a large mound.

Thank you Lacey for being my first cow love. 

GreenRanchingMom- Mama to the Momma Cows at the ECC

Friday, October 11, 2013

Be a CowPuncher at the Ebersole Ranch

Would you like to be a CowPuncher at the Ebersole Cattle Co?

First, what IS a CowPuncher?

The dictionary defines it simply as a Cowboy.

To us a CowPuncher
  • Ranch Supporter
  • Ranch Help
  • Spectator
  • Receives Monthly Beef
Many of you have asked for a Beef CSA, or a way for you to fill your little refrigerator/freezer with beef each month.  So... Here We Go!

As a CowPuncher you will get a Punch card that lets you CHOOSE your monthly beef options.
~Delivery to East Village in Des Moines each month
~You don’t need a deep freeze to fit all your beef! 
*~*You will also get special access to Ranch work & activities like cattle drives!


Several Sized Options to fit your family

Full CowPuncher – 200  pounds/yr  

Half CowPuncher – 100 pounds/yr  

Tiny CowPuncher – 50pounds/ yr 

Remember - YOU get to choose what you would like delivered each month!  Your total CowPuncher Card will include about 1/3 Steaks - 1/3 Ground Beef - 1/3 Roasts & Special Cuts

Ground Beef CowPuncher  

200# Ground Beef/yr

Half Ground Beef CowPuncher

100# Ground Beef/yr


Monday, August 19, 2013

One year go today

I learned how much we DID have.

I learned STUFF doesn't matter

I learned about the depths of friendship 
I learned how amazing our community truly IS
I learned how wonderful our neighbors are
I learned that people ARE wonderful
I learned how to "run from my problems" and that physical running will get you perspective
I learned how much we can do without
I learned that Karma has a good side

Y'all are AWESOME


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fire. Part 1

The past year has been a whirlwind.

We'll backtrack a bit.

Last summer my main goal was to make our little bitty old house into an inviting loving space. So I ransacked every single room. One by one I sorted everything. All the trash was tossed. Good things donated, stuff I "couldn't" get rid of went to the semi (our storage) & only the things we used every day were left.

August 19 was 2 days before school started. I has ALL the laundry done & convinced Beau to help me rearrange furniture. We loaded up the kids & headed 15 miles away to mow hay (I followed the tractor in the truck). Tractor gave us fits & so we went to check cows.

We were a mile back in the pasture when JP our neighbor calls us.
"Whatcha burnin?"
You're burnin something, I'll call you back! He says.
We then start out the pasture, shutting gates as we go.
JP calls back, nearly in tears. "I'm sorry honey, it's your house"
He then explains that the electrical wires are jumping & sparking. Roger was with him & he finds the electric shutoff at the pole & turns it off. Very dangerous! I stumble & babble through warning him that the grill had 2 brand new propane tanks. JP said they were going off bright & pretty (he is such an upbeat guy)
We let him go. Shut the last gate, and headed for "home".
The next neighbor Spence calls: "Whatcha burnin?
Beau in response "Apparently the house"
"Oh crap, we'll be right there"

The girls were nervous because they didn't know if it was the barn. Their horses were tied up. They were somewhat relieved, because no animals were lost.
Wyatt cried, named a toy, cried, named a toy & repeated the process all the way home. I couldn't help comfort them other than talking because we were driving so fast. When JP saw the house he knew it was too late to save anything.

The picture is what we saw when we pulled up. I took one with my phone. All the neighbors were there. More arrived to help as the night went on.
We are all ok.
Could have been much worse.
Even this many months later, my stomach still turns when thinking about that ride home.
Thankful for such amazing people.