Coyote Soup

Bringing life back to the family ranch with three young free range braves and lots of organic elbow grease.

I’ve Done Decided. October 15, 2012

Filed under: Musings — Piper Long @ 8:14 am
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1. I’ve decided that I like color in my world.
I can always count on the leaves to fill this void in my life.
Consequently, fall is my new favorite time of year.
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2. I’ve decided that rain is a true blessing.
Especially if it’s enough rain to fill 7 ponds.
Because any more than that could be too much.

Any less would be a slap in the face.

3. I’ve decided that white pants and boys do not mesh well.
Especially in football. They shouldn’t be wearing them after labor day anyway, right?
It’s a fashion faux pas.

Therefore, they should be off limits for football players altogether.

4. I’ve decided that I like westerns a lot better when Audrey Hepburn is the leading lady.

It saddens me that she was only in one.

It’s also saddens me that she was only one year younger than me in ‘The Unforgiven’ and Drover thought she was a teenager.

Maybe it’s time for a makeover.

5. I’ve decided that long hair and ranching does not mesh well.
Unless you’re Audrey Hepburn, in which case it’s not an issue.
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What was I thinking when I got a shaggy dog to live on the ranch?

6. I’ve decided that pecans are the perfect food.
Especially when they are in a pie.

You get your protein, fiber, antioxidants, sugar fix, bread group and with a big glass of whole milk, your dairy group.

Is it wrong that I considered these facts when rationalizing the idea of serving Chocolate Double Pecan Pie as dinner?

7. I’ve decided that I like that my boys have 3 day weekends throughout the school year.
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I reserve the right to change my mind on any given weekend.

8. I’ve decided that snot has no real purpose in life.

I don’t care what anyone else says.

9. I’ve decided that I missed my calling as a wildlife photographer.
This picture is living proof.

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The bug on this wildflower is obviously posing for my camera.

10. I’ve decided that my life would not be complete without this man.

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A Good Seed October 4, 2012

Filed under: Gardening,Musings,Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 12:38 pm
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Once upon a time, I lived on a farm.

On this farm, I had a garden.

It was a good garden. Free from weeds. Fertile. Full of only good seeds and plants. Surrounded by lush, soft, beautiful green grass that smelled heavenly when cut. I’m obsessed with the smell of fresh cut grass lately. Mostly because the drought has deprived me of the scent I didn’t realize I craved. I smelled it for the first time in a long time when Drover mowed the few blades of grass in our yard the other day. I’ve been in a state of euphoria ever since.

Looking back at old pictures of this garden, I remember the euphoria it imposed upon me. And not just the garden, but the farm in general. The farm that has been in my family for years and years and will continue to be in my family for as long as I live. It’s the farm that we spent so much time restoring and manicuring. We built 4 big, new barns to replace the ones destroyed by the tornado. We dug nice deep ponds that filled with water back when it rained. We stretched sturdy, tight fences that actually contained the livestock we put behind them. For the most part.

In other words, we worked hard on this dairy farm.

‘We’ meaning Drover for the most part, I helped as best I could.

Each day I would throw my hair up in a bun and wrap it in a doo rag and head out to help Drover take care of whatever needed to be taken care of.

Looking back now it seems this typically involved dealing with manure.

Scraping manure from the lot… scrubbing manure from the walls of the barn… shoveling manure out of the chicken house…

My hair just wasn’t ever up for any of this. Hence the doo rag.

I don’t know why, but for some reason this picture always reminds me of the time when there was a thick layer of snow on the ground and I was going out to feed the bottle calves. Instead of just stopping at the doo rag, I decided to add a warm black knitted stocking hat… the kind that not only goes over your head, but your entire face with cutouts for the eyes, and mouth.

It also happened to be the day the vet was coming out to preg check some cows. He was dressed in Levi’s, a flannel shirt and a Carhart vest. No hat. I remember him looking at me with smiling eyes, trying to hide his amusement and saying, “Oh come on… it’s not THAT cold!”

Clutching the bottle carriers in both hands, making my way toward the barn, I tried to respond, to defend my cozy head piece, but by then the knit cap had worked its way up over my mouth and all that came out was mumbles.

Which brings me to where we are now.

Gardening at the ranch.

The ranch that has been in Drover’s family for many, many years.

The ranch that we decided needed a little sprucing up…. new fences… new ponds… new barns… new garden…


It’s a good thing we have three little braves to help us out.

They’re pretty good boys.


This one here…

He’s a good seed.

I think I’ll keep him.


A Dent in my Car October 3, 2012

Filed under: Musings — Piper Long @ 8:52 am
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There’s a dent in my car,
It twasn’t my fault.
Tis the spot where my horse’s hiney
came to a halt.
He was minding his own,
eating feed from the truck,
When he was startled by someone,
Who spoiled his luck.

Cause when a horse finds some feed,
it is fortunate you see…
Cause bicycle seats
aren’t quite as tasty.


Tis a good thing I saw this
after the fact,
the horse pen was built
to hold me back.

Through the gate


A Monday list, 8 hours 10 minutes late. October 2, 2012

Filed under: Musings — Piper Long @ 7:10 am
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1. Ticks take all the fun out of an unexpected, spontaneous stroll through the woods.
Especially teeny tiny eensy weensy seed ticks that your five-year-old can barely see good enough to remove with your best pair of tweezers.


2. Never underestimate an old cow’s greatest strength.
She might just hold the title of Head Butting Champion of the Herd. In which case, it might not be easy to rope her and load her in the trailer without going head-to-head with her.

3. Cinnamon Rolls are quite effective at removing kids from their 3″ memory foam topped mattresses.

4. Smoke alarms work well too.

5. Together, they’re brilliant.
Especially when the smoke was produced from the dripping buttery sweetness bubbling over the dish, having no effect on the deliciousness of the cinnamon rolls.


6. If you see a cowboy hat on the side of the road near the Drummond ranch, just keep driving. It’s prolly worn out.
Because if your kids are anything like mine, they’ll want to wear it anyway. Nevermind that they have nice, new fitted cowboy hats that are clean.


Hungry Horse September 13, 2012

Filed under: Country Life,horses,Musings,Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 6:36 am
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So, earlier this year, January 10th to be exact, I resolved to start keeping my animals in pens.

Funny thing is, that didn’t happen.

But I did try.

The horses were contained for a few weeks by an electric fence. Then they got word that I was serving half eaten apples on my windowsill and they busted out.

I’m not sure who told them.

Maybe the cats told them.

Or maybe the kids are to blame.

Hungry Horse

I don’t know why homes aren’t built with windowsills like this anymore. They remind me of the walk up window at the Tastee Freeze which my family has owned for generations. I remember as a child having full access to all of the delectable ice cream flavors, toppings and soda varieties imaginable, mixing them all into an insanely delicious concoction edible only to children under no supervision and having my cousin serve said delicacies to me through the walk up window. Then she’d charge me, but I’d have no money and be forced to work the window to pay my debts.

But I didn’t really mind.

I can see why they had these windowsills back in the olden days. They really are a lot of fun. You can serve your cats, your horses, your locked-out children.

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The locked-out children climb up on the windowsill, sweaty from a recent football/wrestling match that had to be taken outside.

Tap, tap, tap.


I can hear the tapping because the children have been locked out.


“Can we have a drink?”

“You got any money?”


“Well then you can have water. Water’s free.”

I love walk-up windows!


How long has it been? September 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 8:47 am
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It’s been so long since my last blog post, I almost feel like I need to reintroduce myself!

Hi. My name is Piper.

I live on a ranch.

I have a husband and three boys.

If it weren’t for the hundreds of female cows living on the ranch, I’d be of the minority gender.

I have survived one full year of homeschooling.

I’m still recovering.

The quite, peaceful, serene days when my kids are in public school help me heal.

They’ve since begged to be homeschooled once again.

To which I laugh hysterically.

They plea their case of inadequate fishing time and lack of time to dirty the house enough for me to clean.

I hand them the homework papers the teacher sent home and remind them that it was their decision to return to public school.

The two oldest boys are playing football.

One is the quarterback, which happens to be the only position I know anything about, but I’m learning.

My youngest is playing soccer.

Which I love because I never hear of soccer players breaking their necks and getting Alzheimer’s and ALS.

In my free time, I sit and try to remember what I did in my free time back when I had free time which I think was back in the 1800’s.

My husband, Drover, usually happens in on these moments of deep thought and instead of seeing a woman in deep thought, sees an available ranch hand.

Then I find myself in a field with cows, fixing fence.

I’m currently reading the latest Captain Underpants book with my 9-year-old.

Who, along with his brothers, is with my husband, checking cows in Kansas.

Which is how I came to remember that once upon a time, I had a blog.

Pleased to make your acquaintance…again!


Delivering Lunch in the Woods October 2, 2011

Filed under: Musings,Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 9:42 pm
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I got a call from my husband this morning asking if I would possibly have time to deliver lunch to him and the guys out working on the bulldozer.

“Sure”, I said, “What is the exact Latitude and Longitude of your location?”

“Well, I think it would be faster if you’d walk.”

Pardon Mui?

“Walk?” I asked.

“Yeah. Well… okay, you know that trail I started to take you on and then 10 minutes into it, you wanted to know where we were in relation to the road, so I took you up the hill and then we cut back to the gravel road and went back home?”

“Uh-huh…” I replied, not sure about the whole idea of me wandering around in the woods with a tub of Drowned in Butter Cookies and a basket of Jalapeno Chicken. Granted, if I got lost, which is not completely out of the question seeing as how it is a documented occurrence in my past, I would have plenty of chicken to sustain life for at least a week… whether it’s my life or the life of a hungry, rabid animal was the real concern.

Which brings me to the issue of attire, because almost everything I think about revolves around attire.

I’ve gotten real good at translating my husband’s words into the outfit I’m supposed to wear on any given occasion.

Delivering lunches into the woods being an occasion.

“Just take that trail (Rock And Roll Cowgirl Jeans) past the barbed wire fence (old fitted T-shirt). You should be able to hear the dozer, then you can just follow the sound. …And watch out for rattlesnakes and copperheads (tall leather boots), we’ve seen a lot lately.”

I persuaded Osage to tag along since I didn’t have my little braves to keep me company.

I’m not sure if you’ve met Osage.

Here he is. He was real excited about delivering lunch.

We sometimes call him Osager or Osagerader. Not sure where Osagerader came from, but I think it stems from my four-year-old’s term for Gatorade. He calls it Gatorader.

Fifteen minutes into the trail, and when I say trail I mean a faint, narrow path where cattle, deer, bobcat or coyotes frequent…. I heard the purr of what I hoped was a motor. Ten more minutes into the unknown, I heard voices. Better yet, they sounded familiar.





I love it when lunch is the highlight of their day.


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