I live in the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona with my husband and our three children. I write about the comical side of living on a rural cattle ranch in the great American West. I might as well, because my family is going to laugh at me anyway.
I aim to entertain, and that’s about it. You won’t find life hacks, tips for better living, wholesome recipes, or advice of any sort on my website. My goal is simply to make you laugh, or at least smile if I’m having an off day. Let me know if it works.
My debut book, a memoir titled Never Burn Your Moving Boxes, will be published in September by Trafalgar Square Books. Click here to preorder. It contains all the good stuff I can’t publish in a magazine and reveals way more family secrets than even certain family members know. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed living all the stories included on the pages.
If you’re looking for more cowboy content, my family was featured in the movie Cowboys: A Documentary Portrait. Check out their website for viewing options. Take a few minutes to watch the trailer – I’m in it! Along with two of my cowkids.
I’m really enjoying reading your articles. I’m an old NM / AZ cowpuncher. My wife & I moved over 30 times the first 7 years of marriage. All the while totin our boy w/ us. I got into another line of work and started building our own outfit. After 32 years we got it. Still owe some on it but ours. She is still by my side, working has hard has ever has an ASM @ Tractor Supply. Remember your gonna hit hard , hard stumbling blocks in whatever it is your gonna do together. Just get pockets full of faith and love and take small deliberate steps. Thanks,
Noticing lots of workin buckaroos wearing work boots these days. We used to also. Maybe you could give me a reply on that.
Hi Mike! So nice of you to leave that lovely note. I’m working on a blog about what modern-day buckaroos wear, and work boots are definitely on the list. Guys who have broken their legs and/or ankles in the past often wear the lace-up kind for added support, and others wear the pull-on kind at brandings or when processing cattle because of all the walking involved. They’re also great for winter because you can wear thick wool socks (or stuff handwarmers into them), which you can’t do with a pair of custom Paul Bonds.
Can I steal your line “Pockets full of faith” for a blog title? I love that!!
I have enjoyed reading your blog. My Mom has lived just outside of Winnemucca since I was 14, I’m 38 now, but I spent all my summers and winter and spring breaks there with her. I miss Nevada and the great basin so much! Your blog gives me a little window so that I can escape the hell of San Diego for awhile.
Thanks for the nice words, Miranda! I love Winnemucca, great little town. Glad I can help provide a virtual escape from city life. 🙂
Loving your blog! The images that your writing have created in my mind are cracking my husband and I up! Bringing back so many memories! Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome, Ruth, thanks for reading! Have a wonderful day.
My husband, Bud, shared your blog with me, and I’m so glad he did! I found myself clicking all over your website to read more. Thanks for sharing your words and humor!
Hi Megan, thanks for the feedback! Your husband was so gracious to help me with my photography last year, I can still hear him say “don’t be afraid of the shadows” when I’m editing my photos. I’m glad you enjoyed my website, I have been revamping it this week to try to make it more dynamic and engaging. Thanks again and have a great day!
Your blog mysteriously appeared on my FB page this morning. Great way to start the day. Please add me to your list of admirers. Hope our trails cross one day. Many blessings…
Facebook mysteries are the best! Glad you enjoyed. I post one blog a week, click the “follow” button and enter your email address to receive alerts to new posts! Have a great evening.
The first time someone sent me a link to your blog was 2 years ago. It was the “If you’re going to marry a cowboy” one. At the time I thought, “wow! This is soooo relevant!”
Relevant was an understatement. We’ve moved 5 times in the last 2 years. At one point, I remember thinking “Hoooolllyyy poo. A year ago we weren’t even a the last place; we were at the place before THAT!” Lol. A friend of mine said growing up, she moved 23 times. True ranch wives are a rare kind, that’s for sure. I’m beginning to think it will take at LEAST 23 times at this rate.
Thanks for keeping it real 🙂 I love reading about it from someone else and reminding myself that it’s not just me. :’D
Glad these stories are helping you, I’ve found we ranch wives have a unique lot in life and need to stick together! Whenever my house is really dirty, I think of the line from the post you mentioned that goes “…you better get used to dirt” and I think “Who in the Sam heck would write such a stupid thing?! Dang bloggers!” LOL the dirt does get a little old sometimes. I just want to be clean for half a day!
I saw your article in Horse and Agriculture Mag which I picked up at Savoini’s Feed in Prescott. Please do not describe yourself as ‘desolate’, I think you are one of the most fortunate of women. I lived at the ORO in 1989-1990 with my then-husband Pat Cain who was foreman. In my opinion the entire ORO Ranch is God’s country, and Triangle N was one of my favorite places–I wished we could have lived there instead of at Headquarters. I have many photos i took at Triangle N because I loved it so much.
Correction of above entry–I found your article in AZ Horse Connection (not Horse and Agriculture–I go them both the same time).
Hi Nancy, thanks for the feedback. I love the Triangle N country as well, I think it is so pretty! We wintered at Mahon, so it is nice to be a little closer to town, especially with my kids being so young. I know we are blessed to live on such a beautiful ranch – the “Desolate” in my column title refers to the remoteness of our home.
Loved your article in Cowbow Magazine. You paint a wonderful picture with your words. I’d love to meet and shoot (pictures) with you sometime. My wife, Nancy, of 46 years just keeps walking when I’m shooting and I catch up later. Consequently I’m on my own mist of the time.
I’m truly enamored with the cowboy lifestyle ever since reading a first hand account from the late 1800’s.
Hi John, thanks for the feedback! Are you located in the Southwest?
Howdy, I’m guessing your man doesn’t know how lucky he is. It takes a special woman to live the life. And that is what it is it’s the life .Ranch life is like no other I experienced as a young man but now no so much. I’m a weekend cowboy now and we go mug cows for fun. I’m happy I ran across your article. I will be following. Thanks
Hi Darrel, thanks for the feedback! Don’t worry, my husband knows how lucky he is – I make sure to tell him at least once a day 😉 Glad you’re following the blog, happy to have you here.
I also lived on the ORO’s in the 50 and the 60. My Uncle was foreman until he retired. We lived at Bear Creek and then France creek. If you want to talk give me a call. 602 5685024 or email email@example.com
Hi Julie, thanks for reaching out! Emailing you now 🙂
I stumbled onto your site surfing the interweb, and have been thoroughly entertained. My wife and I have what you’d consider regular jobs, but have a small cow / calf operation with friends in sunny (and hot) south central Florida. Yup, there’s cows in Florida! How we look or get the job done may differ, but we all do what we do for the same reason. Keep writing. I’m betting it makes a lot of people smile.
Hi James and thanks for the feedback. Do you have lots of alligators in Florida? I have heard they will bite your horse’s leg off when you are out working cattle. Yikes!
There are a lot of gators. A cow dog or a calf are more likely victims, but horses having run ins with gators have happened.
I found you article about the RO Interesting, we have a winter home in Florence , Az. and a cattle operation in Nebraska, our grandsons will be the 5 th generation if they continue.
I look at the difference in our separate operations, yet they remain the same. Our spring branding is a big social event and gathers as many lookers as cowboys
I marvel at this country down here, there is so much history, I hope we don’t lose it all
God bless you and yours
Whipps Land & Cattle Co, Inc
Saw your column first in the Wickenburg Sun, and then the Real Country paper. Didn’t grow up on a ranch but worked my way through college doing farm and ranch work in Kansas. Love the stories, and especially the humor. Retired musician/teacher living in Congress. BTW, I helped move the Out of Africa park to Camp Verde several years ago. Wide open spaces. Keep writing.
Hi Tim. Thanks for reaching out! Glad you are enjoying the stories. I have heard of Out of Africa, it sounds like a really neat place. I hope you are enjoying retirement! Thanks for reading and have a great day.
I want to thank you for devoting your time to this blog. I find so much joy in your writing. As a buckaroo’s wife, It makes my day reading your entries. On the bad days here on the range, I find peace of mind in your work. On the good days, your pieces only bring even more joy to the day. Being a buckaroo’s wife is SO not easy, and as I am learning toughest in the first few years, but I always stay positive being that is the way to go out here! Thank you for your writing and thank you for spreading the word of the Buckaroos.
Thanks so much for the sweet comment, I read it twice just because I liked it so much! I will keep writing stories, just took a short break here lately because I had my third baby. I will be back at it soon, though! Thanks again and take care.
I haven’t looked at your blog yet but I found out it was you last year when my daughter saw a post on facebook of a picture of one of our cows with a quote under it that said something like nothing like seeing a fat old hereford to put a smile on your face. She said mom I think this is the Jolynn that went to Big Springs and she showed me a picture. Yep it’s you. I was so excited to hear how you’re doing and hear some of your stories. I listened to your interview on horse radio. it was great. Sorry it took so long to finally get in touch with you. I’m procrastinating as usual on putting my tax stuff together. I remember you fondly from your days at Big Springs and performing at the Etna Rodeos. You were a good writer then so I bet you are an amazing writer now. I remember your 8th grade quote was to make it to the National Finals rodeo and I promised I’d go watch you if you ever made it. Is that still a dream of yours? I’d still go watch you if you made it. Hope all is well with you and your great little family. I’d love to hear from you. I have 2 grandchildren now, they are a lot of fun. Mason is 3 and a half and Addilyn is 1. I babysit in the summers and on vacations. There is never a dull moment. Yeah I’m still at Big Springs and believe it or not in charge of technology and the computer lab. I don’t secretary the rodeos anymore tho, to much ranch stuff to get done. Take care and send me and email and catch me up one of these days. Love always, Mrs. Luiz
Hi, Mrs. Luiz! So wonderful to hear from you. Sending you an email now!
Loved your article in June Western Horseman. I’d love to see some pics of Teaks! I’m an old cowgirl who dreams of owning a gentle fine horse and riding again before I die!!!
Always enjoy your essays in Western Horseman. I admire your toughness.
Keep your chin up!