Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas to All!

...When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter.
Away to the door I flew like a flash,
Tore open the screen just in time to see.....
....Dad and his team of Haflingers :)

Thank you so much for traveling the gypsy trail with me this year!
Merry Christmas to All, and to all a good night!
~ Mindy

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Friday, December 23, 2011

If you jump...make sure you clear the wheels

I received a call from my Dad saying that he needed me to come help him feed. Annoyed with the interruption to my day....but I still threw on a coat and headed out the door. For some crazy reason I had it in my head that we were feeding with the pickup and I'd just be driving.

I had plans to run some work errands and the Big Town was on the agenda. Well, needless to say....when I get close to the house I can see Dad with the team and I am clearly NOT dressed appropriately. Wet hair, town coat, muck boots, and jeans. not to be covered in feed...I said I would drive.
"If you jump....make sure you clear the wheels"
These are the words of encouragement I received from Dad as I took the reigns and we headed out to feed. You can't see from the picture but this little contraption Dad has hooked to the wagon has 2 metal tractor seats.....and WHEELS directly to the outside of both of them! (Yes, that makes me terribly uncomfortable...but I am a sissy so I'm sure there is no real danger)

Here is a back view picture where you can see the edge of the silver seat....
& WHEEL directly to the side of it.

The next directions I receive from the man on the wagon is....
"Don't let them (the team) get away from you"
"OH GREAT!", I'm thinking to myself.

To help the feeding process along...
we have a pack of Corgi and Basset Hounds chasing the horses....
and a very very very bad Corgi that thinks he should get in front of the team
and bite at their faces to stop them.
(That naughty Corgi learned about a 3 legged collar trick
that improved his hearing immensely)
This is a beautiful lil' Catahoula puppy. She is as sweet as pie.
I set her on the feed wagon with Dad and she rode there with Dad
polite as can be the whole time.
(In case you were wondering...the naughty dogs were BOTH males)
This is Dad's new Haflinger Team. They are actually really nice lil' team.
Dogs and all, they handled it all in stride. The one on the right even tried to teach the Corgi a valuable lesson about staying away from horses hooves ;)

Feeding was finished in no time

Dad even drove the team out so I could grab a few pics with my phone
(...and close the gate ;) I was more than HAPPY to turn the reins back over...not because the team was naughty....but a METAL Seat in single digit weather...not optimal without wool pants...or snow pants...just sayin.
After it was all said and done....this short break would be the highlight of my day and the interruption I was so put out with was a perfectly gift wrapped blessing .
Thankful for the good Lord above guiding us to blessings in spite of our "plans"

Thank you for taking the Gypsy Trail with me today.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mules and Beaver Hats

Tonight Dad and I had the privileged of visiting a young couple in the neighborhood. Joe, age 96, and Ella, 95. We had set out to take them a loaf of Christmas Beer Bread. Little did we know what a blessing that visit would be. Joe and Dad started talking about hooking teams and the history began

“Sutter County, California ….North of Sacramento

…..After Grammar school I went to a few months of high school. I couldn’t see no sense in that so I quit school and started farming for a Henry Highstreet.

It paid $1.00 a day and $1.25 if you fed yourself. You made a little money. ( I know this sounds sarcastic but please understand that this was said in all seriousness and sincerity that he was making money and getting ahead)

Joe drove a 8 mule team, hooked 2 wide, to plow fields. They were farming mainly grain, hay and some milo. ( I had never heard of milo and had to ask what it was. Joe said it was used mainly to fatten hogs)”

Joe spoke of the mules… “I never have seen Mules have a runaway. Horses will get in a runaway. A mule won’t get into wire. A horse will get himself all cut up. You never have to worry about feeding a mule too much. A Mule takes care of himself.”

“They also told about a man named Ernie coming over from St. Anthony to trap some Beaver for them. He caught them and cleaned them all up. They were then sent to Hailstone in Pocatello to be made into a fur coat and hats. When Hailstone received the beaver he questioned them about who had caught the beaver. He remarked that he had really known what he was doing and they were some of the best beaver he had ever received.”

~ paraphrased story from Joe Marty

Pictured above is Ella's Beaver Hat from Hailstone. She has worn it for many years.
Joe also had a handmade beaver hat made by Hailstone. It was sitting in the closet and hadn't been worn for about 10 years. They told me to try it on. I did and Joe told me to keep it.
What a wonderful gift and beautiful piece of history. It is so so warm!
Thank You so much!

Joe and Ella moved here about 40 years ago in 1972. They had never been to Monteview, Idaho until this last Sunday. Monteview is probably not over 25 miles from their home. Now that is how you know that you’ve worked hard your whole life! What an amazing couple! So blessed with such wonderful neighbors, what a rich personal history they have to offer. So thankful for all the stories shared tonight and for my Dad taking the time to deliver Christmas bread with me.

Thank you so much for traveling the Gypsy Trail with me tonight. I am so grateful for the opportunity to write and share these stories with you. ~ Mindy

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It was a good one

“She wasn’t where she had been.
She wasn’t where she w
as going…but she was on her way
…And on her way she no longer looked for the answers,
but held close the two things she knew for sure.

One, if a day carried strength in the morning,
peace in the evening,
and a little joy in between,
it was a good one.
…and two,
you can live completely without complete understanding.”

~ Jodi Hills

Thank you for stopping by the Gypsy Trail today. If you liked this post you might also like the Red House Ranch Blog. Happy Trails, Mindy

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ADRIAN Buckaroogirl

YAY! YAY! YAY! …….So excited that I am BUSTING at the seams…and not just from Christmas cookies! Today I would like to share with you a little bit about a beautiful young woman with a BIG voice and that is just the tip of the iceberg! She is a singer, song writer, artist, jewelry designer, and all- around AMAZING and lovely lady!

I had the honor of crossing paths with Adrian on the gypsy trail this fall at a Nevada rodeo. She is every bit as charming in person and I've been excited to learn more ever since. Adrian was kind enough to answer a few questions and give us a glimpse into her amazing world.

Name: Adrian
Age: 19
Hometown: the open road
Talents: Endless

Q: Hometown?

Hometown: Dang ,it I wish I had one! Born in Southern CA, raised in Northern NV for part of the time, Scotland for a lot of it and a bunch of places overseas including (but not excluded to!) France, Switzerland and Ukraine. Then back to Nevada and now Northern CA! So I guess you could say my hometown is the road!

Q:How old were you when you started singing?

A:I honestly don’t think I remember a time I wasn’t making a ton of noise, making a song up about something or just generally trying to make some kind of everyday sound-change into something in-tune or different. I’m totally fascinated by sound!

When I was 14, just for fun, I sang a few songs I had written on an open mic at the Monteray Cowboy Poetry Gathering. A couple from Utah, Mike and Liz Vanderhoof, heard me. They walked up and said “Hi, we know this is out of the ordinary but we’d like to help you make a cd and a career”. I was totally freaked out of course, I’d been planning on becoming a Museum Cureater when I was old and this was so crazy! But then it ended up being this amazing ride to a profession, and a passion of a lifetime…So long story short, lets just call it 14!

Adrian's cd ~ Hwy 80
Q: Favorite place to write music?

A: I know lots of artist’s who have a specific place that they write REALLY well, a little hide-away in their house or a favorite casino/coffee shop ect. I’m no different...except that mine has wheels!

It’s so funny but I literally can write the best when I’m in my truck on the road somewhere. It helps if I’m in a certain area, but there is just something about the freedom of being on the road, the old motel rooms, the gas station coffee (can you tell coffee is a huge part of my life?!) Everything about the blacktop life creates a backdrop to write, and write for myself. I always carry a bazillion little books with me, in my purse, back pocket, coats, truck….I have pens falling out everywhere. It’s actually quite funny looking, but I have to have some way to capture that lyric at that second or you will lose that moment’s awesomeness!

Another place I can truly WRITE is just horseback out doing something of value. .Gotta admit though, it gets a little tough sometimes. Always writing with one hand while holding a calf or having to stop something to grab a pen. It’s all a part of the beauty of being able to do what I love, and I wouldn’t trade this crazy wonderful life for the world.

(I've been listening to Boots & Pearls on repeat for days!
The more you listen, the more you love it! - Mindy)

Q: Favorite Song ?

A: Oh boy! Tough! Of mine, I’d say probably say of mine right now something off of the new album that’s gonna be here in 2012….Either Branding Pen of My Father which is a duet with Waddie, or Run Boys Run, which is kind of my little freedom song about not allowing myself to be tied down, not be told what to do and escaping from someone who tried to stop me from being me.

Of someone elses right now I am pretty much re-discovering all of Ian’s older albums, and I can’t take “Aldelta Rose” off of repeat!

Q: When did you ride your 1st bucking horse?

A: Oh dear…I don’t know if “rode” can be the term used. I got on my first one in Cedarville, California, during something called Superbull. I came out on this bay mare and just ate it not even 3 jumps out of the chute. But the second I hit the dirt I wanted to get on again. I’m hooked, and I cant imagine not being able to get on buckin ponies after I’ve had a taste.

Bucking Horse Girl Sketch by Adrian

Q: What inspires you?

A: "Crazy wonderful inspiration! It’s amazing how life can throw so many different ideas, and I find inspiration in everything. A Disney movie, the color blue, that split second before you catch two heels in a branding trap and you know your daddy is proud of you, the feeling you get settling down and leaning back in the saddle in the chute, lifting as hard as you can and nodding your head for a bronc you’ve waited for forever, the way the snow flies sideways when you’re hauling horses through the valley outside of Austin, the sadness when the summer ranch rodeos end and the elation when your love grabs your hand horseback and smiles after you’ve choked down a mean old cow together, the way a new pair of underslungs hurt just right, the way that old worn Jack Keuroc books opens just right onto the perfect words, a sip of Glenlivet Whiskey aged 12 years and shared over stories of when Nevada was really wild.

The things God has gifted us without needing to here on earth, He didn’t HAVE to grant us colors, sounds smells and hearts that feel things deeply. He could have given us a world in Black and White….I am challenged everyday to make the most out of what he has given us, and to make people feel something through my writing and music….I see that as the greatest blessing in the whole world."

Below are a few of Adrian's art pieces that INSPIRE me! Not only is she a talented singer/ song writer but she also is a very talented artist and jewelry designer. From head to toe...or in her case...Boots to pearls....Miss Adrian is all TALENT!

Adrian's first two canvas paintings

Crazy Cowgirl Sketch

Bucking Horse Moon

Pearls and Bucking Horses by Buckaroogirl Jewelry ~
to see more visit facebook ~

Q: Heros?

A: Well heavens, My heroes are tough. I am INSPIRED by lot’s of people-and amazed by so many it’s hard to pick a few! My family has always been some of my biggest heroes (and if you ask them fans too!) and especially my sis of course.
But this last year I’ve added new heroes to the list-I’ve met so many amazing STRONG confident women that truly amaze me and push me to do better and better. For instance, my best friend, Katie is the most crazy motivated person with her school. It impresses the heck out of me and makes me want to try just that much harder in the future. Reading really has given me new heroes too. Discovering the history of someone you admire is an amazing thing and the more I can read and learn about the person I admire the better!

Read more with Adrian at her blog:

All photos courtesy of Adrian, thank you

Adrian is so talented! I could just go on for days and days. She is a truly inspiring young lady! Her work speaks to my soul! I LOVE it all!

Links to more:

Adrian's web-site:

BUY Highway 80 (Adrian's 1st cd)

BUY Boots & Pearls (Adrian's 2nd cd)

Buckaroogirl Blog (Adrian's Blog)

Adrian Buckaroogirl ~ facebook and the best place to keep updated on new releases, latest drawings, and BUCKAROOGIRL jewelry!!!

Thank you so much for traveling the Gypsy Trail with me today. It was my pleasure to share a glimpse of the amazing Miss Adrian's talents. Go out and buy Adrian's cds! You will love them. I'm so excited to hear the next album! Oh, did I mention, Adrian and her beautiful sister Liz wrote a book that is at print right now! Buckaroo Barbie! Be watching for that also!

If you can't tell, I'm ridiculously excited about it all! I'll update with links to purchase when they are available. :)
Merry Christmas!
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Red House Ranch

Today I want to share with you a jewelry collection that I adore.
Mary Jo and her beautiful Red House Ranch creations.

Here is a small sampling of the Awesome Red House Ranch collection

PUSH ~ Pray Until Something Happens
(link to the PUSH story)
No matter where I go, no matter what I do....
there's a little cowgirl in my soul
She's SPICY Ring
Bucking Horse & Lone Star Ring

My TOP 5 favorites!!!! ~
PUSH Spur Rowel & Initial!!!! Love, love, the PUSH spur rowel!

Don't Fence Me In~ ...Let my heart have wings and let's see where we go.
PUSH ~ Spur Rowel Earrings

Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken necklace ~ ....Love it!

Last, but certainly not very favorite....ok...I love them all but this is AMAZING~
The friendship Bell Bracelet ~ click here for story

Not only does Mary Jo create beautiful jewelry that speaks to my soul....I also love her blog! Check out her 31 day challenge, I started reading and have been hooked from day one. Don't take my word for it, check it out yourself. (Link to blog )

Thank you so much for traveling the Gypsy Trail with me today. So glad I could share Red House Ranch with you today. Want to see more?!?!? Ask and you shall receive :)

See more Red House Ranch:
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Orginal Cowboy Brieface - by Nancy Martiny

Today I'd like to share another one of my favorite Christmas gifts I've received over the years. My talented mother hand crafted this beautiful full flower design and carved it into leather just for me. I use it almost everyday and it is more beautiful today than the day I unwrapped it.
Above ~ My Beautiful Cowboy Briefcase

The Cowboy Briefcase is just what the name implies – a case to carry all of the cowboy’s essential papers. Two interior flat pockets hold driver’s license, hunting license, credit cards, etc. Money clip in center holds paper money. All the basics!
Inside View of a Cowboy Briefcase

The Cowboy Briefcase is handmade from high quality cowhide, hand stamped in basket stamp and various geometric stamps, and available in natural tan, chestnut, or dark brown. An assortment of laser engraved designs are also available in Old West ( brown shades) and color tinted. Antiqued Knife cuts designs also available. Custom designs also available . Email for custom designs.

Cowboy Briefcases available right now:

Thank you so much for letting me share one of my favorite things with you today. If you are interested in order you can shop online at:

Links to some of more of my favorite presents:

Thank you so much for traveling the Gypsy Trail with me! ~ Mindy

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Yummy Potatoes

Hey Hey Good Lookin'! What ya got cookin?!?

Family Holiday Party fast approaching and my assignment is POTATOES!
Well, I can't just make any potatoes. I'm an Idaho girl and their are expectations; )
so I'm going to make YUMMY Potatoes!

Yummy Potatoes are a recipe that I first collected in a high school home ec class. (As are most of the recipes in my recipe box, thank the Lord above for teachers ) It was contributed by Jonathon Yearsley.

Yummy Potatoes made the journey to college with me and were always a big hit to feed ...whoever happened to be sleeping on the couch or bean bag that week. Some know who you are....still insist that I make them whenever I come visit.

These Yummy Potatoes work just great in a dutch oven too! They have made their way down the rodeo trail to feed a hungry crew and even on a camp out or two. (Seriously, they are pretty much indestructible because I've tried ruining them...edible, every time :)

Great as left overs and just a happy food! Fun left overs, Soft Taco shell, add scoop of yummy potatoes, a some steak strips for a Bad A breakfast burrito! lol....I could go on & on.

With out further ado....

Yummy Potatoes

The black is the original recipe. The red is what I do with it.

Yummy Potatoes
6 medium potoes~ cooked, cooled, grated (I use 1 bag frozen or refrigerated shredded hashbrowns...if you want to get real exotic, use the onion & red pepper hasbrowns. I will be the 1st to admit...real potatoes that you cook, cool & grated taste better)
1/4 cup butter (Butter or Marg dSoftened ~1/4 cup maragrine, cheaper)
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup (I use cream of chicken but cream of mushroom works in a pinch too)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I just throw it in by the hand fulls, I use half orange cheese & half pepper jack to spice it up alittle)
2 cups crushed Cornflakes (I just grab handfulls and cover the top of dish)

Combine butter, sour cream, soup & cheese with grated potatoes. (aka~ throw it all in. Order doesn't matter just try to get all ingredients in ;) Put in baking dish & cover with 2 cups cruched cornflakes. Bake 350 for 30 minutes

Cast of Characters in today's dish!
Also ~ remember to preheat the oven at 350 degrees
Potatoes & Cheese Please!
I try to use local cheese and potatoes whenever possible.
Idaho's are the best :)

Add in the gooey goodness
(If you ar e out of Cream of Chicken, Cream of Mushroom will work in a pinch)
9x13 Pan will fit to perfection :) I've made it in numerous sizes.
Fits a Basic Dutch oven just grand also.
I use Brand Name Kellog's Corn Flakes
(After a run in with a bad generic, decided I would stick with the tried and true!)
Let the Fun Begin! I recruited Ellie to help crunch up the corn flake topping!
Put in your preheated oven and cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

30 minutes later you will have a bubbly hot delicious Potato dish that everyone at the table will want to devour!

What are you cooking this holiday season????? I look forward to hearing about the dishes that get your loved ones anxiously gathered around the table for a meal!!!

Thank you so much for traveling the gypsy trail with me today. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and I look forward to hearing about the goodies your making to set on your table!
Merry Christmas ~ Mindy

p.s.Here are some other recipes you might like:

  1. Sour Cream Apple Pie ~
  2. If the Chuck Wagon's Rockin ~ My Shepard's Pie ~
  3. Uncle Jim's Famous Beer Batter Bread ~
  4. Cowboy Approved Sandwiches ~
  5. Best Brownies in the World ~
  6. Cheesy Card Game Chip Dip ~
  7. Yummy Potatoes ~
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