16 Jun
JW and Marcelyn Brown, my maternal grandparents

One of the characteristics I admire so much about previous generations is their resourcefulness. They lived by the mantras of, “waste not, want not” and “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” In our fast-paced, 2-day-delivery world, this is not a skill at which we are adept.

Recently I was decluttering my craft supplies. Thanks to my sweet Mom, Aunts and Cousins, I’ve inherited many things (mostly quilting related) from my Grandmother and Great-Grandmother. It’s been hard to let some of these things go because of the sentimental attachment and the historical appeal. But, my clutter threshold is fairly low and I do better managing a smaller inventory of items, so I determined to let go of some things.

As I sorted through, I was in awe of the materials they used for pattern guides, storage bags, and quilting designs. They let nothing go to waste!

There were tissue box tops, panty hose packaging, old panty hose itself as bands, bread bags, holiday gift boxes, detergent boxes and more. They put our current attempts at “reduce, reuse, recycle” to shame!

Tissue box tops, scrap cardboard, and bread bags
Worn out panty hose cut and used as bands to secure groups of quilt-block patterns
Holiday gift box as quilt block pieces
Panty hose packaging insert as a pattern for a quilt block. Sidenote: look at my grandmother’s lovely handwriting!
An assortment of scrap cardboard. Nothing went to waste!

Amazing, right?!

As an aside, I thought these old magazine cutouts and this pamphlet were so interesting! I’ve got loads more and I can’t quite part with any of them. If I do, I’ll try to find a historical society that would be interested.

What’s something you do, or remember someone from a previous generation doing, to be resourceful?


John 6:12

And when they had eaten their fill, [Jesus] told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.”

Analog Recipes

24 May

I have all these beautiful cookbooks filled with lovely, crowd-tested recipes. Their pages are filled with treasures from small communities, local businesses, good friends, and ladies who put heart into their meals. The secret ingredient is usually love…and butter.

And it occurred to me this winter that I don’t reach for them as often as I should. So I’ve purposed to try to “search” them before I consult Google. I’ve been richly rewarded with delicious offerings coming from my kitchen.

Monday night was no exception as I about foundered on this soup recipe from Grace Bible Church in Arroyo Grande, CA. The cookbook was sent to me years ago by my great aunt. It was exactly what I was looking for so I could use up a few ingredients I had on hand. And, oh my heck was it good. Church ladies have the best recipes!

(Full disclosure: my hubby and kids didn’t care for the corn in it, but I loved the sweetness it added. And my boy never really likes soup, so there’s that.)

Recipes can be much more than just a bunch of good ingredients in the right combination. They can hold memories and can help carry on a legacy. I put together a branding meal this weekend that included family recipes, favorites found in these cookbooks, and home-grown ingredients. My Grandmother made countless meals for work crews on their ranch and I carry on that task with pride.

What is a recipe that has a lot of meaning to you?


So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

Gourmet Breakfast

4 Apr

Every morning my husband wakes up early to make a gourmet breakfast.

Not for me. It’s for the cattle in the feedlot.

A carefully formulated ration of ground corn, silage, distiller’s grains and ground hay get mixed up in the feed trucks for the eating pleasure of our bovine customers.

The cattle give it a 5-star rating.

We custom feed cattle for several customers through the winter. Most will soon go out to summer grass to continue growing. They are usually sold in the fall to feeders who feed them to a good weight for beef production. This is often called feeding “fat cattle” or “finishing”.

Until then, we’ll keep the bunk buffet open and the four-legged customers coming back for more.


1 Corinthians 10:31

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Spring Has Sprung

25 Mar

I stood in the yard last night and listened to a robin twitter a lovely tune. The crocus pushed past the snow last week and are blooming in my flowerbed. My kids run and play in the sunshine every day with the pup nipping at their heels. I saw meadowlark soaking up rays on their golden breasts while I brought a meal out to the Farmer in the tractor today. So in my book, it’s officially spring. We might have snow again soon, but it will melt fast.

“Spring has sprung, the grass has ris’, I wonder where the flowers is?”


Luke 12:27-28

“Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

Frozen Stiff

13 Mar

March came in like a lion and it’s been a real bear. Am I mixing my metaphors?

We are grateful for all God’s blessings and provision no matter the circumstances; and events worldwide put our problems in perspective.

Still, there’s no doubt that the 6” of snow topped with 5” more of snow and subzero temps were troublesome to feeding cattle and calving. We got through subzero temps a couple weeks ago as well, followed by a GORGEOUS week, so we were grateful for that! But, during the frigid weather, diesel engines freeze up, waterers freeze up, and baby calves freeze to death. We do our best to prepare ahead of time and to be there in time to get a newborn calf into shelter if needed, but sometimes we areas not successful.

Ultimately, we just have to rely on God’s strength and provision. We do everything in our power and control; knowing that God is really in control and loves us.

And, like my Mom always says, “It all works out in the end. If it’s not working out, it’s not the end.”

And soon enough, the wind started blowing and the snow and ice started melting. And now there’s mud to contend with. So we will slop through, put out straw in the corrals and be thankful for the moisture because there are dry years we would ache for mud.


Matthew 6:33

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Getting ALL The Good

4 Mar

I lost my Gramma Marcie last June and I miss her dearly. We moved back to my grandparents’ ranch in Chugwater, WY when I was 12. Not only did I get to finish growing up just down the driveway from her, but she generously invited me to live with her twice in my college/pre-married years. I didn’t realize how impactful that time would be and I am forever grateful for those precious days.

I was cleaning up supper leftovers one night this week when I had a “Marcie Moment”. I scraped the mashed potatoes into the container using the serving spoon. Normally it would have been more than adequate. But I flashed back to standing next to Gramma at her stove. We were cleaning up supper dishes and she saw what was left in the pan of which I had “finished” removing the contents. She fished a rubber spatula out of a drawer and handed it to me, directing me to get every last bit. Waste not, want not.

So Gramma, this one was for you. I probably rolled my eyes at your concern for that tiny bit of food. But I thank God for every lesson you taught me. Especially to make sure I’m getting ALL the good out of each moment.


John 6:12

12 After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.”

Holy Cow

25 Feb

It was Sunday and we worked with cows. Holy Cow!

Yes, I’m here all week! Tip your waitress!

Is this thing on?

I’ll be honest. I’m not out at the farm every day. What I’m saying is, I’m unreliable help. But on Sunday afternoon the kids and I ran out to tag along. We fed our mama cows who are due to calve in a few weeks. They eat in the bunk and then mosey back out to the field to frolic and play.

Or maybe just graze and chew their cud. They are really pregnant. I remember being really pregnant. There was no frolicking happening.

We also fed some bred cows in another field and doctored a sick one. Poor thing. I am so grateful we have the resources to help our animals when they are sick.

The temperature was in the 50s and calmer. The wind has been howling so it was nice for a bit of a break. Especially since it snowed and dropped to subzero temps this week. Who let winter back in? I want a name.

So we soaked up the nice weather while it lasted. The kids played on the ground corn pile and I’ll leave you with this sage advice from Ella.

“Don’t get corn in your underwear.”

You’re welcome.


Isaiah 6:3

They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!”

Sharing My Heart, Again

21 Feb

I’m starting all over. Trying to shake off the rust. Offering my perspective. A few years and another kiddo later, I’m looking forward to sharing my heart again.

If we haven’t met before, I’m Liz. A happy Christ-follower, farmer’s wife to Tyler, and mama of two kiddos, ages 6 and 3. We farm in SE Wyoming raising corn, pinto beans, malt barley and hay. We also have 200+ head of cows and a custom feeding operation. My life may be different than yours, but I promise we’re more alike than not.

Some of what I share might feel foreign. But I hope it’s mostly relatable. You might learn something new about a family farm, or maybe you’re out there doing the same thing in your part of the world. Maybe you’ve never stepped foot in a field in your life, but you know a sincere wife and mama when you see one. Whatever walk of life you come from, welcome!


Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Our First Weaning

14 Oct

Our family ventured into the cattle business a year ago with the purchase of a load of bred heifers. We added another group of pairs this spring and two weeks ago, we weaned our first crop of calves. It was a beautiful day with wonderful help and an exciting milestone for our farm business.


Waiting to be gathered.


The temporary pasture sorting corral.

Weaning takes place to give the cows a much needed break from nursing their calves. They can then pour all their nutrients back into their bodies, and their growing pregnancy. It’s hard work being a mama cow, so the break is needed. And it’s time for the kids to grow up.


Our good friends Seth and Jalea, as well as our wonderful landlord Bing, came out to gather.


Jalea brings a runaway back to the herd.



Ready to sort the cows from the calves.


My brother-in-law Cooper and our employee Christopher waiting to help move the calves onto trucks.


Farmer Husband and Seth sorting.


Jalea keeps the bunch from pushing the panels over.


These first-time mamas aren’t quite sure what to think about what’s going on.


While the crew is busy working, Ella was checking on her cows.



#40 is Ella’s buddy. 


Getting her turn in the saddle.



After all the cows were sorted off, we started loading the calves onto trucks to take to the feedlot.



Headed to the feedlot.


Waiting for the truck.


A new home for the calves.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,


11 …You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. – 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (NIV)



See the Grain Cart Work

25 Jul

It’s barley harvest time! During grain harvest, we have a lot of engines running. The combine does the harvesting job, the grain cart does the transporting job, and the trucks do the hauling job.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

In the past I’ve helped by running grain cart. If anyone had told me ten years ago that I’d learn how to run large farm equipment with confidence and success, I’d have laughed. But, that was a lesson in never saying never.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

The past couple years, motherhood has taken top priority so I haven’t been in the field other than to run out lunch and be a passenger in the combine. As my mentor, Melinda, says, I also help by keeping things running at home. My farmer needs and appreciates those clean clothes, a peaceful home, and good meals.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

We have good help during barley harvest. Our fantastic, hard-working employees Chris and Ken keep the trucks headed to the bin and the grain cart running. Tyler’s brother Cooper also works for us on the weekends when he’s not mechanicing for a local John Deere dealership.

In the past, Tyler’s long-time friend, Scott, also kept the grain cart going. I get questions from some of my friends about what the purpose of the grain cart is, so here Scott demonstrates.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

After the combine fills the grain cart with, well, grain; the operator heads to the end of the field where the truck is waiting.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

This is one of the only times when 10 mph feels fast.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

As the cart operator approaches the truck, he raises his auger.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

Wait for it.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

There it is.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

He pulls back his RPMs and turns on the auger.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

Then he opens up the auger’s gate, revs up the RPMs, and starts to fill.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

The spout is adjustable so the cart driver can better position the grain as he fills.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

He starts at the front of the truck (closer to the cab) and moves toward the back as the box gets full.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

Once the truck is full, he closes his gate, shuts the auger off, and pulls away. He makes certain to be clear of the truck and then puts his auger back down.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

Then the truck driver takes the load to our bins.

Malt Barley Harvest 2014 | The Farm Paparazzi

At the bins, the driver dumps the grain from the truck into the auger, which fills the grain bins.

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

And the cart heads back to the combine…

See the Grain Cart Work | The Farm Paparazzi

…where he waits to get filled up and do it all over again.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,


I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. – Philippians 1:9

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