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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

We Are One!

Today, November 26, 2013, A Building We Shall Go! is one.
We have been blogging for a year!
Do you call it a birthday or an anniversary?
We are just going to say We Are One!

I remember this date, last year, like it was yesterday.
I knew I wanted to blog about the building of our new home, to share with our family and friends, also to have a record of the house build.
At the time, the blog was the only safe place I could think to keep it documented, after losing everything in the house fire.
HOUSE FIRE! was our first blog post.

On this date, a year ago, was also the ground breaking of our new home.
Another reason I remember this date.
Oh the fears of signing that building contract!
But to walk out of that mobile home door, to see the crew laying out our new home, was like looking at your child for the first time after birth.

Funny how the two happened on the same day.


We have been blessed beyond imagination by this little blog.
Not only has it become a place for us to share, it has become therapy.
This is our 172nd blog post.
We have had a total of 29,005 page views.
Of that, 11,538 have been "The Art Of Pallet Wood Flooring" post.
Who would have thought this little blog and floor would have gathered so much attention?
Our floor has been the feature on seven other websites and blogs.
Before It's News
Home Design
(I can't seem to find the link to their blog, but trust me, we were there.)

Our floor has also been pinned on Pinterest a few thousand times.
If you search "pallet wood floor" our floor will pop up in the feed and images.

We have had so much activity it has been a bit overwhelming.
We have received questions and comments aside from those on the blog posts.
Here are a few that make us smile.

"Your article is beyond well written. Well, it IS well written. However, while reading, I was learning, and listening to your humor and just the whole of all you were saying. Bang for the buck in doing it your way and yourself....not to mention the 'Holy Cow!' task of not having boards match-up in clumps and textures/lines/knots/etc. The finished product is gorgeous! I figured that if I liked it that much, others probably would also. Kuddos to you and yours for a creative job Very Well Done......and, for teaching a bunch of us a real good ol' How To."

"I love this, just don't think I can get my husband to do it."

"Your picture is fantastic and because of it I am putting in a wood pallet floor in the kitchen and bathroom of my place next month. Thanks for sharing it. And great job!!"

"LOVE, LOVE this! We are building a home and this is definitely on my wish list! Thanks for posting a picture to begin with."

"I love your floor. You've inspired a lot of floors around the globe I'm sure."

And my favorite...
"Your Blog is inspiring , uplifting proof that a New Beginning is possible!....From ashes can come new life and happiness...Your Blog brings it all together...And it is people like you and your family that make others peoples lives better, stronger, and ready to carry on and fight for a better life!...Thank you for sharing your stories."

There are so many more from folks we don't even know!

We have made an attempt to respond to every comment and question.
Below are a couple of our responses that came from our heart and like the entire blog, they have simply been typed without thought or editing.

"We LOVE our floor! It is one of a kind, that is for sure! I think each floor, done with pallet wood, would make it's own pattern and detail, as all the boards are unique!
We are in our 40's. The floor was a ton of work! We felt old by the time we completed it. BUT it was worth every second!
Had it not been for our teenage son, who collected every pallet, helped tear apart every pallet, prepared every board, and helped lay the entire floor, we couldn't have done it! We are so proud of him and his drive to make this floor happen.
If you read the beginning blog "HOUSE FIRE", you will understand what this floor means to us. It was a huge healing for our family! Not to mention the bonding and glue to put us back together.
The pallet wood floor is a vision I have had for a long time. It is a blessing how that tragedy has allowed us to take the vision and bring it to life!
We are so proud of ourselves and the work we have done to create such a beautiful floor.
Dreams Do Come True!"


"We have to give most of the credit to Drewman as he touched every single board on that floor! We could not have done it without him! He took his mommas vision and brought it to life! I will forever be blessed to walk on that gift for the rest of my life."

As Drewman says "Our house defines us!"
 Our entire house build and this little blog has allowed our family to bond.
We Have Become One!

Thanks for reading,
Flower Boy,
Rancher Girl

Friday, November 22, 2013

How Do I Do It?

I have often been asked "How do you do it?"
My response is normally something like 
"It's a lifestyle." 
"I just do!"
"I don't think about it."
"I keep moving forward."

Last week, after my wreck with the deer, my co-workers and I were talking.
I was asked again
"How do you do it?"

This is where Flower Boy would stroke the side of my face and say
"You're so pretty!"
Because my answer, to my co-workers question, responded to what I perceived as our ranching life.
Getting up early.
Going to our day jobs.
Coming home and doing chores.
Fixing supper.
Cleaning house.
Then starting over again the next day.
Long hours.
Cold winters.
Hot summers.
Even sleepless nights when the girls are calving.

After the post "New Beginnings" and you all sending me messages, emails and comments,
I realize, my co-workers question wasn't about ranch life!

You all are so sweet!
I had no idea my blogging was an inspiration to others!
I only started this little blog as a healing, for me, after the "HOUSE FIRE!"
If there is a day I don't blog, I feel like there is something missing.
It has become my therapy.
Who knew it would become yours too?

I have one personal message received, from the "New Beginnings" post, I would like to share:
"I wanted to tell you that I've read most of the blogs that you've posted and I just want to say thanks for sharing. The one today really hit home for me and probably for so many others too that need to hear that there is a reason for moving on and that life can and will get better. It's been a joy to watch your process and I pray that God continues to bless you and your family. Thanks again!"

There were others too!
This one touched me the most.
I cried when I read it.

How Do I Do It?
Dale Evans Rogers sums it up best!

"A Cowgirl is an attitude, really.
A pioneer spirit, 
A special American brand of courage.
The Cowgirl faces life head on,
Lives by her own rights,
And makes no excuses.
Cowgirls take stands.
They speak up.
They defend the things they hold dear." 
It's The Cowgirl Code!

Does that mean a cowgirl doesn't need a helping hand once in awhile?

Does that mean a cowgirl is hard-core and doesn't need girlfriends to talk with?

Does that mean Cowgirls don't face health issues, financial issues, relationship problems, or worse, the loss of someone close to them, including our four legged ones?

Does that mean a Cowgirl doesn't need someone to love them, share life with or buy them flowers?

It just means we pull on our boots, strap on our spurs and ride the ride!

God Knows What He Is Doing!
He has a greater plan for us all!
Me and mine are living proof!
Thank you all for your comments, messages, emails and overwhelming support.
The inspiration goes both ways!

Rancher Girl

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Beginnings

With each sunrise, we see a new beginning.
Have you ever thought about the BIGGER New Beginnings?

As many of you know, last week I hit a deer while driving 65mph and totaled my car.
I walked away unharmed, with only a small bruise on my left hand.
The deer and my car not so much.
The safety features on my car kept me from being injured.
The airbag deployed, the seat belt locked up and the breaks did their job.
I saw the deer jump the fence line, only allowing me enough time to lift my foot from the gas peddle and check my mirrors, before hitting the deer.

This turn of events got me to thinking.
God has granted me a complete New Beginning!

You see, several years ago, I was in a very dark and dangerous marriage.
I reminded myself often, during that marriage, my big boy told me entering into it was not a good idea.
I was taken a fool and went against everything my therapy had taught me.

I sold the home my boys were raised in and purchased the property we live today.
I have no regret in doing this.
It was close to My Daddy and I was back in my old stomping grounds.
It is HOME, now.

Within 10 days of My Daddy's death, Drewman and I came home to find this very dark and dangerous person had removed himself from our lives.
I took that Friday as a Blessing from God and the start of a New Beginning.
Drewman and I NEVER looked back!
We kept our heads up, shoulders back and continued to face the sun.
Flower Boy re-entered our lives shortly after.

Flower Boy and I had a relationship in our past.
I knew way back then I was in love with this man.
Flower Boy had just returned from Iraq.
The time, then, for Flower Boy and I, wasn't the right time.
We both went in different directions and had no interaction, until a fellow police officer contacted Flower Boy after the very dark and dangerous person had left our lives.
Flower Boy called me
We began our New Beginning!
Drewman says it best in his college application essay.
"Our last house wasn’t very much of a home with all the past memories, this new home is a fresh start in a “pasture never plowed”. Our home describes us. Through the last year our family has grown in our faith in god, and faith in each other."

God has granted us another New Beginning!
Our beautiful new home!

My car, the one I wrecked last week, was the final tie that bound me to that deep dark dangerous past.
I purchased that car while in that marriage.
That poor little deer took that away, with Gods help!

As for a new car...
I'm livin on the Edge, my friends!
 Here's to New Beginnings!
Rancher Girl

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tag! From Settling West

A Building We Shall Go! was tagged by Settling West to play a game.
November is "Game Month"!
I guess it is to get us all ready for the holiday season.
Not quite...
We don't have a Christmas Tree!

Back to the game...
We ARE ready to play along!

Favorite flower?
If you have read "How Did Flower Boy Get His Name?", you will know this answer.

Organized space in your home?
  It has to be our closet.
"Things You May Not Know" tells you, I have a severe case of OCD.
Our closet is organized by long hanging, long sleeved, short sleeved, pants, boots and shoes, belts and bags.
Flower Boy's side corresponds with my side.
i.e. His long sleeved shirts are in the same spot, on his side of the closet, as mine are on my side.

What book have you read recently that really moved you?
The Cowboy Code
I know there will be a time to blog and tell you about this book.
The time has not come.
It will!
I feel it!
So be watching!

What dish are you most looking forward to at Thanksgiving Dinner?
I'm not sure I have a favorite dish.
For our family it is more important for us to be together.
Eating is a bonus!
Our family has some amazing cooks, so all the food is great!

How do you take your coffee?
I am a latte' kind of girl!
I like flavored coffee with lots of heavy cream!

What do you miss most about high school?
I don't miss a single thing about high school!
I don't miss the drama and crazy high school stuff.
Call me old and settled...
I know I am.

Most memorable concert?
Dierks Bentley at Hard Rock Tulsa in 2010!

Dots or Stripes?
I'm just not a fan.

How do you unwind before bed?
I take a long hot bath.
Without it, I can't sleep.

There you have it!
I am now safe at home!

I am tagging a few fellow bloggers of my own!
Play the game and tag others.
It's FUN!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Things You May Not Know

There is a game going viral on social media "Things You May Not Know About Me."
The player is given a number by the person who just posted their list.
Today, I was given the number 8!
Here goes.....
1)  I haven't spoken to my mother in over 18 years. 
Although, I speak to My Daddy daily.
2)  Even though I pray several times per day, I have never owned a Bible of my own.
3)  I am allergic to cats. 
Being next to one, my eyes will water and throat will start to close.
4)  I am seriously afraid of mice. 
I can actually smell them before I see them!
5)  I have undergone therapy to love the person I am, but still struggle with my past.
6)  I have a severe case of OCD. 
Everything has a place and must be in it!
7)  When I am with Flower Boy or Drewman, I don't open doors or order food.
8)  I have a strong desire to continue my higher education. 
There is a good possibility I will be taking classes soon!
My list could go on, but I shall stop at 8.
If you comment or like this post, I will be giving you a number.
Play the game!
It's fun!
Thanks for reading!
Have a nice evening!
Rancher Girl

PS, if you like another persons post they will add to your number...
I have to add 3 more!

9)  I require time alone each day to stay in balance.

10)  I am deathly afraid of heights.

11)  I have a high threshold to pain.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day!
Veterans Day has always been a day to recognize current and past Military Members.

My boys have been raised to honor our country, our flag and our veterans.
My Grandpa was a Koren War Veteran.
He was a member of The American Legion. 
My grandma is still a member of the Legion Axillary.
Both my boys have had the privilege of attending The American Legion Boy's State.

Today, I had the honor of attending The Veterans Day Assembly presented at Drewman's school.

Drewman's FFA Vice President shared the FFA Poem.

There were several students who spoke about the Symbols of Democracy.

The Boys State and Girls State Delegates gave The American Legion presentation.
Each Delegate spoke.
Coop ~ Drewman's brother from another mother.

Drewman spoke of the symbols making up The American Legion Emblem.
 These seniors made their school proud!
Not to mention, their parents and the Veterans in attendance.
Great Job, Kids!

These past 3 years, Veterans Day has brought on a whole new meaning to me.
Flower Boy is a Veteran.
Flower Boy and Company
Flower Boy enlisted in the Army just out of high school.
He traveled, to many places around the world, during his 4 year term.
After his term in the Army, Flower Boy enlisted in the Oklahoma National Guard for 11 years.
Of that, almost a year was spent in Kuwait and Iraq during Iraqi Freedom.
Flower Boy ~ bottom row - far right
 The general public perception of Veterans is that of courage, honor, bravery, heroes, dedicated, soldier, noble and self-sacrificing.

A Veteran's family member agrees with the public perception but sees much more.
We see Veterans as humble, selfless, loyal, admirable, protective, disciplined, routined and heartfelt towards his fellow and fallen brother.

I am proud to be a part of My Veteran's life!
I am proud of all he has done to provide our country freedom and liberties!
I am proud to stand with him to honor The United States of America and Her Flag!
Tears come to my eyes when we salute the flag or sing The National Anthem!

Veterans don't talk about their tours of duty, much.
As a matter of fact, Flower Boy rarely speaks of it.
I set very quietly when Flower Boy and a brother talk about their time in Iraq.
Not because I am scared, but because I believe they deserve to be honored for what they have done.

Today and the days to come, when you see a Veteran or Active Military person, stop and tell them you appreciate what they have given you.
They will most likely say thanks and walk away.
They don't like to be called out or be in the spotlight.
To them, they are only doing what they have been called to do.
Although it is their choice to enlist,
I am thankful they do!
 Thank You, Flower Boy and all those who have and are currently serving!

Rancher Girl

Friday, November 8, 2013

5,000 Plus

Yesterday's blog post got me to thinking...
With the help of a good friend...

I don't want to delete any photos!

Today, I took a long look at the amount of photos I have taken since the HOUSE FIRE!
I have 5,000 plus pictures!
All are on my phone, my computer and one single SD Card!

I don't want to delete a single one!
It's a hard thing after you have lost everything.

I have photos of nothing but dirt.
I have photos of hearts sent to me by My Daddy!

I have photos of things that make you say "What the heck did he use these for?"

I have loads of photos of the cattle!
AND even more photos of the house being built!
I have photos of the dogs!
The chickens!
The horse!

I have photos of Drewman!

I have photos of Flower Boy!

I have photos of the sunrise!
And sunset!

I have photos of projects completed.
And those yet to be completed!

I have photos of wildlife.
And photos of fungus.

I have photos of clouds.

I have photos of the moon.

I even have photos of our hometown cafe sign!

So here is my question...
Where do I store all these photos?
Anyone have an answer?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Good Fortune

As I was searching through my phone looking for photos to remove so I could have enough space to complete an update, I found some very interesting and telling photos.

Everyone knows how Flower Boy got his name, so there are lots of photos of red roses.

What you don't know is what I send him!

Each time I get a fortune cookie, I snap a photo of the message inside and send it to Flower Boy.

I'm silly like that!

Here are a few that were on my phone...

Go to the elders when you feel a confidence crisis.

Dreams are extremely important.  You can't do it unless you imagine it.

Perhaps you've been focusing too much on that one thing.

A dream will always triumph over reality, once it is given a chance.

Failure is not defeat until you stop trying.

Does anyone see a pattern?

Here is a photo of the backside of a message.
Maybe I should....
My lucky number is not on this list.
My Lucky Number is 29!

He sends me flowers.
I send him good fortune.
Rancher Girl

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

For the past few weeks we have been seeing Scissor-tailed Flycatchers.
They hang out on the high line wires about a mile from our house.
Odd, because two miles from our house, dove hang out on the high line wires.

Have you ever taken a close look at the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher?
I mean in real life, not photos in magazines or Oklahoma History books.

They are so brightly colored with a powder blue neck and chest.
 A brilliant orange under their wing.
A touch of scarlet purple on their backs.
Scissor-tailed Flycatchers have tails twice the length of their bodies. 

Scissor-tailed Flycatchers are noted for their sky dance.
I attempted to catch the dance in the photo below.
The photo doesn't come close to this birds grace and poise.

I was late for work the morning I took these photos.

It seems they are paired.
I can't find research stating if the Scissor-tails mate for life.

Scissor-tailed Flycatchers sing a beautiful song! 

They became the official Oklahoma State Bird in 1951 and are protected by law.

The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher diet consists mainly of non useful and harmful insects.
Therefore, these birds are of great economic value!

Scissor-tails migrate to Mexico in late summer. 
 I sure hope they made it to warmer weather before the cold front hit here last night!

Next time you see a Scissor-tail Flycatcher, I encourage you to stop, look and listen.
Even if it does make you late for work.
It will be worth it!
You'll be glad you did!

Chirping away,
Rancher Girl