From the Barnyard

Driving the Titanic - an oldie

With all the talk and pictures of my new truck, I didn't want anyone to get the idea that I was being frivolous. We have been without a truck to pull the trailer all summer. Here is an old story, but a good one, about our miss mash of ranch trucks around the place.

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Driving the Titanic(From February 8, 2012)

We have several trucks here on the ranch, all in various states of disrepair.

The two-tone blue GMC is my truck. The passenger door won’t shut unless the window is rolled down. The driver door won’t shut at all. (I usually just hold it closed and hope I don’t have to shift while turning a corner to the right.) The front bench seat won’t stay upright, so there is a cooler holding the passenger side up and a stick holding the driver upright. The windshield wipers don’t work unless it is a dry sunny day. Which is particularly bothersome in the spring when the 1/4 mile driveway is nothing but a mud bog. (I have been seen driving into town with my head hanging out the window like a heeler dog so I can make it to the gas station to wash the windshield and my face.) The truck gets about 4 mpg and has about 300,000 miles on the odometer, but just keeps ticking along.

The blue flat bed was Grampa Andy’s. It is possibly my favorite to drive. When you are in town everyone in my small community remembers how Grampa Andy drove as if he was the only one on the road, and other motorists just get out of the way! Which is a good thing since there isn’t a mirror you can see behind you, and the windshield itself lacks considerable visibility, but you can see the road below you through the hole in the floor board!


The white dually is a newer truck (which means it was made after the turn of the century.) It is a bit of a lemon, the radio doesn’t work, there is something screwy with the dash (you can never tell what gear you are in till you give it some gas.) It has leather interior, which the dogs and children took to mean “large chew toy.” And it has been in enough ranch accidents that tourists in Cody stop to take pictures of the carnage.

Seriously - this has happened.

Finally there is the brown dually with the tricky clutch. I can’t remember everything wrong with this truck... there is quite a list. But the most aggravating at the moment is that the battery cables are loose. So every time you start the truck you must open the hood and jiggle the wires.

Every time.

The other evening we started doing the chores. Which involves driving to the different animal corrals and forking off hay from a large bale to the critters.

This bale was on the brown dually. The cold, wet weather made popping the hood and jiggling the wires more of a chore than usual. It also meant keeping the truck running was more of a challenge ... and the jiggling needed to take place again and again!

Dick backed into the bullpen, with difficulty, (did I mention the power steering hasn’t been working?) It was wet and mucky in the corral and we steered to the driest-highest spot and fed some hay to the bulls.

I let Dick drive back out, armstrong steering and all, while I got the gate (two panels tied together with baling twine.) It didn’t take long to figure out, we were stuck in the muck. Naturally, the thing to do is get behind the truck and push, so I did. I was mid shove when one of the duals broke loose and spun out like a cat with a tin can tied to its tail.

I had gobs of green, wet, slick, slimy bull sh-- manure everywhere.... everywhere. Spit. Everywhere. Cough. Spit. Gag. Every Where.

Why do you s’pose my mouth was open?


The view from the driver window.

The only option was to get the white dually to pull the brown dually out. Dick backed up and attached the chains. I sat in ol’ brown and resolved to give ‘er some gas and keep from killing the engine.

The view from the windshield. (The defroster isn’t the greatest either.)


Dick revved the white truck and started the tug. Unfortunately the duels were spinning on ice and the weight of the stuck brown truck pulled the white dually sideways and sent a panel crashing into the fenders like the iceberg into the titanic.

Dick hadn’t noticed.

I started yelling and jumping and screaming. The damage had been done, but I didn’t want to scrape the taillights off too. Finally Dick noticed my hysterics, got out, surveyed the damage and cussed, a lot.

We pulled the panel loose and went to go back to the brown truck and to finally free it, when I noticed, in all my excitement I killed the engine.


Thanks for joining us here at the barnyard for a trip down memory lane! Come back and see us soon!

<<Next Nature^^Back to the top ^^ Prev. Raining >>

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It's raining, it's poring….

Ok, so maybe I haven't "cracked" the Instagram code yet. Truthfully I am not really liking it, if I see one more picture of someone's gross looking green slush they are calling a smoothy I am going to throw my phone! (Not really. I just UN-follow them all with a vengeance!)


But I do love the quick effects you can just slap on your snapshots and make them look like photos. Check out my new truck!


Her maiden voyage here at the barnyard was to go round up these two renegade horses. They crawled over the fence. Aren't they beauties?! That is Gunner, my super-sweet stud and a pretty blue/gray filly named Fancy! Oh can you imagine the babies next year?!


We've been getting a lot of rain!


Like enough I think it is time to start building the ark!


It is cold and miserable. All you can hear is the squish and the suck and the splash as the horses trudge through the muck. Everyone sits alternately stodgily resigned to the wet and cantankerous and grumpy in the cold.


Some fun pictures...


We even had to load the new truck full of hay, since the windshield wipers on the old GMC don't work.


With all the cold and wet I decided it was time to break into some fall cooking. I stuffed this Hubbard squash from dad's garden full of yummy deliciousness and call it Shrek Stew. It was pretty good, we are still eating on it!


One final image that I am just really liking.

Thank you for joining us here at the muddy, mucky, cold and miserable, but we love it anyway Barnyard! Next time we will shoot for something a little bit more warm and cozy!

<< Next the Titanic ^^Back to the top ^^ Prev. Random >>

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Random Tuesday

I heard Instagram is taking over the world… well if that is correct I might be being left behind because I haven't cracked the Instagram code yet. But I do love the effects we can put on the photos! Here are some images I edited with Instagram.

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I live on a ranch. The poodles are fighting over a horse apple. Anyone else not understand that?

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In my next life I want to come back as a cat.

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Check out the bug we found in the stock tank.

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Grapes - aren't they beautiful?

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Some people just look "right" in a truck. And the pup is cute too.

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BLT time!

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Cody farmers market

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Kids and puppies. Not my photo, but I had to share.

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Fall is in the air.

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We've been getting a lot of rain.

You can find me on instagram "erinstiverhenson" let me know you are there and we can share photos. Is that the idea? I am still catching on. So far it seems like just a bunch of pictures of peoples' food.

I would be happy with a few pointers!

Thanks for joining me at the barnyard! The weather is cooling down, we are looking forward to the season of stews, soups and pumpkin pies! Thankfulness, family and friends! And the NFR and Las Vegas Baby!

See you soon!

<< Next - It’s Raining… ^^ Back to the Top ^^Prev. Grape Harvest >>

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Grape harvest


This was the coolest grape harvest ever! Temperature wise at least!


The morning was wet and dreary and chilly.


Kind of like the expression on the farmer's face and little sister's face!

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But the grapes were abundant and delicious!


Just ask this little cowboy.


And he got to ride on the tractor, with a puppy, what a day for a little cowboy!


Dolly and Aunt Kathy came up.


It was Aunt Kathy's birthday, so we had Cammy made her a cake. We've been keeping Cammy busy lately!

Cammy's Elegant Edibles

656 Road 5, Powell, wy • 307-764-2393


Little Sister Loves the cake!


And the best part of a grape harvest!

Thank you for joining us for the grape harvest! Come back again! If you want to learn more about Dad's garden/farm/vineyard go to

<< Next - Random Tuesday^^ Back to the Top ^^Prev.A Birthday Powwow >>

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A birthday powwow!

My guy turned 10 here recently, so we had a birthday powwow.

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He wanted a life-size buffalo cake. We talked him into scaling it down a bit.

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Look at what Cammy made him?!

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Look at the looks on their faces! If you want a cake that is this beautiful and tastes as good as it looks, call Cammy!

Cammy's Elegant Edibles

656 Road 5, Powell, wy • 307-764-2393

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We madeIndian Elk Steak and Sweet corn from Dad's garden. And we made moose meat Campfire bombs! They were the BOMB!

I got the idea from this gal, so I will give her credit. Go check it out and them make them tonight!

They were so good! The kids ate them ALL on Sunday night then Monday when they got out of school the first thing they asked me was for more campfire bombs!

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While we are in my kitchen - my friend Krysti pointed out all the odd assortment of things I have on my shelf. Strawberry jam, WD-40, dog wormer, Pickles, Banamine, Celery salt, Pepto (for horse upset stomach) and acidolphilus for my my upset stomach. I didn't tell her I keep the emasculators in the drawer with my cookie cutters.

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The kids rode ponies, played on the hay stack and had a wonderful time! We had 6 of the best kids in the world over for the party! Addie is on Molly and Aiden is on Sara.

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Even Blue got rode. She was thrilled.


Labor Day week was so busy! I think I am still trying to recover!

Sat we got to go to the lake. That was fun! And relaxing and great.

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Sunday we spent the day hauling horses to Meeteetse. It took three loads.

Plus I showed puppies.

Plus I had to pack for the family.

Plus we had to feed and water the animals enough for two days.

Then we stayed up late sewing extra padding to the flanks.

Monday was the rodeo. It was a blast! Check out my previous posts to see some super exciting photos!

Tuesday I had school/Work. Gymnastics at 5:10, soccer at 5:15, and soccer again at 6:15. Plus the usual chores and watering.

Wednesday I should have gotten caught up on things. Instead I decided it was time to deep clean the living room. And it was time, but it took time. Time I didn't really have. But it is so much nicer walking through a clean living room! *Sigh* Or it was for about 2 hours. Till the kids brought the rabbits in the house.

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Thursday was the Farmers Market in Cody. Check out the traffic jam we got stuck in n the way there?! Dick and Aiden decided maybe they will fill their deer tags with a lariat this year!

We went out for fabulous Irma Hotel Prime Rib Buffet in honor of Aiden's impending birthday and got home, tired and full and tired.

Waking up Friday was difficult but like a trooper I persisted. We were between Lovell and Cowley when I got a text from Aiden's teacher. "We have made our final pick-up. Is Aiden coming with us today?"

Ugh! head slap! The field trip to YELLOWSTONE! I dropped Addie off at the school, and raced behind the bus trying to catch it. The teachers were super nice and stopped at the Walmart in Cody to let us catch up, but next time young man… OK who am I kidding? I will always chase the bus for my boy. Probably!

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Saturday we headed back down to the Worland farmers market. Addie and I made a fun tutorial about selecting a melon. Click here to check it out on my dad's garden web page.

And Sunday we had and amazing Indian Powwow Birthday party! Come back soon to hear all about it.

Sometime during the week my friend Veesha asked me on a Facebook post, Erin do you ever sit still?

The answer Veesha, is not nearly enough!

Thanks for visiting the barnyard! I have so much fun stuff to share with you soon! Please come back!

<< Next Birthday Powwow^^Back to the top ^^Prev. 5-week-old mini aussies

5-week-old mini aussies

These pups are all sold! I will let you know as soon as I have a new litter. Check out the mini aussies here.

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Thank you for joining us at the barnyard! Please visit again soon!

<< Next - BusyBack to the top ^^^^^Prev. Dental Plan >>>>

Dental Plan's big spill

Here are two athletes working their hardest! They both walked away from this wreck with no major injuries.

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What a breathtaking series of shots! My first instinct was to put the camera down and run out there, but I resisted and got the photos. Not much I could have done in the arena anyway.

Not a boring day around my clan - ever!

Thanks of rejoining us here at the Meeteetse Labor Day rodeo!

If you have a rodeo event you would like to have us bring some good rough stock to, give Dick Gifford a call at 307-272-4083. Or if you are looking for some good ones to buy, we've got those too!

Email me if you are interested in a print!

<< Next - 5-week old mini Aussies^^Back to the Top ^^Prev. Meeteetse Rodeo>>

Meeteetse Rodeo Photos - round 1

Here are a few photos from Meeteetse this last Labor day. More coming! It was a fabulous day! I hope everyone was able to make it!

If you have a rodeo event you would like to have us bring some good rough stock to, give Dick Gifford a call at 307-272-4083. Or if you are looking for some good ones to buy, we've got those too!

Email me if you are interested in a print!

Thanks for joining us and see you again tomorrow I will be posting the pictures of Dental Plan's big wreck (don't worry everyone walked away just fine)!

<< Next - Dental Plan’s big spill^^Back to the top ^^Previous Friday! >>>

Erin Stiver-Henson 2013