If you want to be a cowgirl, get ready to live by a slightly different set of rules than many women. Cowgirls do not let their estrogen levels rule their lives, they are not princesses in the sense of Paris Hilton, but they may be princesses in the sense of Rapunzel, because they still believe that there is wonder in the world and they want to share it with the people around them. There is a long lost moiré of polite society that says a real woman is refined in the art of inclusion, of seeing that all of the people in the room are engaged in conversation, that nobody is going unnoticed, and a real woman would never put her own insecurity ahead of the welfare or comfort of others. That may be the most important cowgirl trait there is, the one that can talk to the old, the young, the lovely and the unlovely and make them all feel welcome, and she is confident enough to talk to the most attractive woman in the room in the kindest and most gracious of manners. Being a cowgirl means you understand that how someone feels about you after you leave is not nearly as important as how they feel about themselves.
New at Pine Country Feed! Stop in for our new Fall collection~ We have some great Fall Clothing in the store. This Tasha Polizzi Canoe Jacket is a must have…. it is machine washable and the faux fur collar is detachable. LOVE THIS JACKET!
If it were entirely up to you there would be time for coffee every morning on the porch, the dog would be welcome in the Board Room and your children’s laughter would be the loudest noise you heard all day. If it were your choice people would always be treated with respect and the longest part of the day would be the ride you take over the range as the sun is just beginning to go down. Not everyone is asking your opinion but in the areas you control, you respond first with kindness, you give a little more than is expected, you make it a point to sit with the old man on the board walk to hear his stories about a long ago war. You’ve never seen anything quite as beautiful as the darks eyes of your mare peeking out from under her mane, and you make a point of letting the people you love know that you do, and you’ve no plans of quitting. You’re a cowgirl and it’s the little things that matter to you, because in the grand scheme of things they are all that you can count on.
As I listened to the rain in the evening on Saturday it took me back to when I was a little girl. In the summer we spent many days with our grandma. Without fail, as the afternoon turned into evening, the clouds would roll in. The clouds had rain in them every time and before we knew it, there was a downpour outside. This sparked chaos in the house! Grandma would grab the tea kettle for hot water on the stove and my sister and I would get out three coffee cups and pour coco mix in. We waited for the whistle to sound from the kettle, it seemed like it took ages to blow but finally there it went! Grandma quickly poured the water
into the three waiting cups and my sister and I would stir in the mix and add a few marshmallows to each cup.
All three of us would take our cups outside onto the covered patio. The rain was so loud! I remember the smell of the rain on the grass, mixed with hot chocolate in my cup! I remember the cool concrete on my legs as I sat cross-legged.
It was my favorite part of the day, my sister, me, and Grandma sitting on the patio, talking, giggling, and loving the summer rain!
Out on the range, when there’s nothing to answer but the call of the wild, and the only clock you have is shining overhead, things seem to make sense. The little things start to matter more and all the other stuff kind of gets lost in the dust. Taking stock of what we care about, what makes us say “this was worth it” has a lot to do with why we own Pine Country Feed. We care about giving people what they came for, meeting needs and alleviating frustrations, helping people create a life in a place they love, and giving them the service they deserve in the midst of a world where nobody has the time. We love living in the mountains, we love the smell of horses and worn leather gloves, and we love our customers, people who have made the choice to put in the work to have what some people couldn’t begin to imagine. Thank you for letting us be a part of your lives and thank you more for being part of ours!
So you’re wondering why in a world where speed and riches are everything I would choose to be a cowboy. Why would I choose to work until I’m blistered and bruised and covered with dirt, and what is it about me that makes me think it’s okay to wear jeans for my work clothes and jeans for my church clothes and jeans when I take my best girl to dinner. You wanna know why a guy like me, with a Masters Degree in Business, would spend long nights in the barn during calving season, and longer days in the winter getting hay to the herd on the upper forty, and why I would rather shake hands with a man whose palms are worn by the reins of a horse than one who has a cell phone attached to his ear. You can’t figure what makes someone like me tear up when I see a soldier salute the flag and why I think of a summer afternoon on the porch as paradise, why I wouldn’t think of leaving the house without my hat. The answer is a simple one, but it’s the only explanation I can think of. Truth is … I was born this way.
Real comfort food is the very best thing in life. This is something you can prepare quickly, because comfort does not have to be time consuming, and it will delight all diners.
In a large skillet heat two tablespoons butter and add three boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Sprinkle chicken with one tablespoon tarragon, a shake of garlic salt and course ground black pepper. Turn chicken and let cook for three minutes. Remove the breasts one at a time and cut into large bite size pieces then return to pan. Continue to cook chicken until it is white all the way through. Do not over- cook.
While preparing the chicken, heat a large pot of water, adding two teaspoons of salt. When the water boils add your favorite pasta, radiatore is especially nice, but linguini or fettuccini work perfectly and are more traditional. Add one pound of the pasta to boiling water and cook, uncovered for 10-12 minutes.
While the pasta cooks, melt together in a heavy saucepan, one stick butter, one 8 ounce package cream cheese, one cup heavy cream and one half cup grated parmesan cheese. (don’t save calories by using fat free substitutes, you will lose the creamy flavor) Stir frequently until the butter and the cream cheese are completely melted and the ingredients are combined.
Drain your pasta completely and place on a platter, then sprinkle with course ground black pepper. Spread the cooked chicken over the top of the pasta and cover with the sauce. Serve with grape tomatoes halved and sprinkled around the platter as garnish.
This isn’t a dish you would eat often, but when you do, enjoy every bite. The ingredients are genuine and fresh, and worth the splurge!
Valentine’s Day is the time to celebrate how much you love the people around you. It is for love between sweethearts, best friends, families and even our favorite fur covered friends. It is the day for telling the people in your life that you are privileged to know them, that their affection for you makes every day better, that your love for them is bigger than the sky and twice as bright. Do something this Valentine’s Day that reminds your loved ones, and you too, that with all the busy days we live, and all the hours we work, and the many times we feel we might be in over our heads, it is the ones we love, the ones whose love we are blessed to share, who make each day worth the effort. Sharing the joy of our hearts with the people we love brings health and strength to our lives in ways that nothing else will. Loving someone is better nourishment than the finest fruit, and greater exercise than the longest run, because it gives our insides the chance to set our own cares aside and focus on the needs of another, and that is life lived best.
It isn’t that it gets great mileage, because it doesn’t, or that you’ve got some kind of hang up about the wheels you get around in. It’s that when you’re behind the wheel of the midnight blue, 1951 Ford Pick-up you feel like you belong, like the direction you’re going might actually lead to something. There is a comfort in knowing that your truck has been around longer than you have, and it still turns heads as it drives Main Street. Parked on the springy leather bench seat, windows down, stick shift waiting for your next command, makes it all seem real, like the things we commit ourselves to every day make a difference in the long run. Having a thing that has lasted through decades of change and the evolution of the truck into a monolith on wheels is reassuring, and it’s right to cherish something that has given over three hundred thousand miles and still purrs on idle. So turn on the radio and move on down the road. You and the Ford are going places today, and you may never come back.
Horses are often called upon for a variety of therapeutic reasons, and one of the most inspiring is the Excelsior Youth Center in Aurora, Colorado that uses Equine therapy for girls who have suffered great rejection and abuse in their young lives. It hasn’t been defined scientifically, but there seems to be something in the horse that makes them know when they are dealing with a fragile damaged being who needs their gentle assurance. The horses develop relationships with their riders, making the girls feel worthwhile and yes, even loved. As the director puts it, having this great beast waiting for you, happy to have you back, acknowledging that they know you, gives these girls whose young lives have offered little security a chance to trust again. The teachers and counselors at the center are continually amazed at the healing that the work with the horses encourages in the girls, and the girls make it clear they have found a place with their four legged friend where they are safe. The Excelsior Youth Center houses and educates over 100 girls currently and their equine program is in jeopardy for lack of funds. There are those who can help. If you are one, we invite you to visit http://www.excelsioryc.org/ and invest in something that counts.
There is something about horses and kids that make for a great marriage. It is like the story of the gorilla who loved the kitten, the mammoth being, meekly deferring to the tiny one, the one that could be swept away with one aggressive snort. Yet they stand together, nose to nose, one in deference to the other, because the horse, in its four legged splendor seems to understand that this smaller than average two legged creature is precious in some way, a treasure of some kind, and their keeping is a tremendous responsibility. It is the gentle and wise heart of the horse and innocent nature of the child that makes the mixture ideal, even magical. See them together and you will feel a smile spread across your lips, a lift of happiness in your step. Their gift is the perfect combination of generosity and delight and they are meant to be together.
It’s cookie time at Pine Country Feed and we have some great ones. We’re starting here with something light and pretty that will make you want to eat a dozen.
Cut 1 cup cold butter (no substitutes) into 2 cups of flour until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle with 2-4 tablespoons of heavy cream and form into a ball. Add more cream if necessary 1 tablespoon at a time.
Roll your dough out to 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface and cut with a 1 ¾ inch, round scalloped cookie cutter. Place cut outs on ungreased baking sheet and prick each one three times with a fork to form three parallel rows of dots. Bake for at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until edges are just barely toasting. Remove to rack and cool completely.
Mix 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons softened butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream, bringing mixture to spreading consistency. Add more cream if needed. Frost one wafer with a small amount of the frosting then add another wafer to form a sandwich. These are lovely left completely white, but if you would like to add some color, add one drop of food coloring at a time till you have a pastel hue.
Serve on a plate sprinkled lightly with powdered sugar. The wafers can be made ahead of time and frozen for up to three weeks, then thawed prior to frosting. This recipe makes forty sandwiches.
When Indiana Jones burst onto the screen in 1981 he had an immediate air of believability, and the reason is obvious – it was his jacket. The worn leather bomber jacket that was always buttoned at the waist and hanging loose across the chest became the trade mark for the consummate American hero. When Wyatt, Morgan and Virgil Earp come walking down the main street of Tombstone in the 1993 production, they are recognizable as a formidable force for one reason – their long, black cowboy dusters. There is a lot to be said for a proper jacket. The right jacket can let people know that you mean business, that you’ve figured them out and you’re not impressed, that you are going somewhere and they’d be welcome to come if only they could keep up. There is nothing like a well cut, well worn jean jacket to take your look to the next level. When Marilyn Monroe strutted into the middle of the 1961 production of The Misfits, she put the woman’s jean jacket on the map. She was stunning but there was something else. The blue denim jacket made her look confident and smart, and people took her seriously, something she had wanted since she first started acting – and all because of a really great jacket.
There’s a reason I’m a cowgirl, actually a few reasons. It’s about the horses which sometimes are more human than people, and about that relationship of trust with an animal that speaks to your soul. There’s an independence in riding and thinking and being part of the sky and the trail and knowing that you belong where it’s just a little bit wild. I like the feel of jeans that are saddle worn and boots that can haul during the day and dance after dark, and I like being part of a great sorority of women who have stood for family and hard work and knowing when to let their hair down. It does my heart good to know that I live in a country that was settled by people with spirit, men and women who valued the cost of freedom and who believed in making their own way. Cowgirls are so much more than the blingy belts and the sassy hats and the jeans that are made for curves, but all those things say that we are who we are and we’re proud of it. Give me my horse and my home, and a man who can keep up with my dreams, and I’ve pretty much got heaven on earth.
The time has come for home adornment and nothing says Christmas any clearer than the wreath. They can be hung over the fireplace, on the front door, anywhere you want to add a touch of celebration. The wreath has long been a symbol of eternity since its shape has no beginning and no end, and when it is made of the traditional pine boughs it also represents life and survival. The evergreen branch has long been used in wreaths to represent the struggle for survival. In Roman times a natural wreath was given to warriors as they returned home from war, as recognition of their victory in the battle. At Christmas the pine wreath symbolizes eternal life, and celebrates the passage of the dark days of winter, and let’s be honest, it smells great! If you’re looking for something to hang from year to year, the choices are endless. At Pine Country Feed we have an array of all natural, dried wreaths as well as some blingy beaded choices that will get things started right. Wrap your home in Christmas this season with a wreath on every door and a hug in every heart.
One of the best things on earth to eat is Caramel Corn. It is crunchy and gooey and sweet, and it insists that you lick your fingers when you are done, which qualifies it for an award. Some recipes for Caramel Corn require several steps plus baking time, but this one is not only easy, it is some of the best corn drenched in caramel you will ever eat.
Pop 1 cup of corn in vegetable oil, then coat the popped corn with one quarter cup melted butter and sprinkle lightly with salt. (this is important because the saltiness of the popcorn enhances the flavor of the caramel corn)
In a large sauce pan melt one stick of butter (1/2 cup), ¾ cup brown sugar and nineteen large marshmallows. Stir as the ingredients melt together until the marshmallows are completely liquefied and the mixture is a creamy tan color. Pour immediately over prepared popcorn and stir with large spoon being careful coat all of the popcorn.
This is the best caramel corn for watching a movie, visiting with friends, or wrapping up a long work day, but be sure you have several people with which to share, because you’ll want to eat the whole bowl.
Thanksgiving is past and we are staring Christmas in the face, the lights, the trees, the packages and all the excitement. There is nothing quite a like a mountain Christmas on the ranch with horse drawn carriages and dark pine forests. Don’t let the splendor stop at the front door, bring it in and settle it on the hearth, right next to the rocking chair draped in Grandma’s quilt. Pine Country Feed is addicted to Christmas and helping you make your home the joy center it is meant to be. Simple, chic, loaded with rustic outdoor charm, you’ll find just what your house needs to say Christmas done right. There are items for the tree, the table and something perfect to take you to those holiday parties in style. Start your Christmas with a trip to the place that puts you in the holiday spirit the minute you walk through the door – Christmas at Pine Country Feed!
When you’re getting ready for the upcoming holidays don’t forget about the four-legged family members who give us so much joy throughout the year. Pine Country Feed, though known for their larger animal supplies, also cater to the house pets in your life. You’ll find favorite toys, bones for chewing, the best foods and treats, and Pine Country will help you put it all together in a snuggly bed for your furry friend. While you’re there be sure to take a trip upstairs to the cowgirl boutique where you’ll be delighted by the Christmas decorations and the myriad choices of gifts that you haven’t seen anywhere else. The great part is, you won’t have to go to the mall where you’ll look for parking and walk a good mile and a half to finally get to the store that carries your mom’s favorite hand cream. Be adventurous and skip the slippers for your sister. It’s time she had a blingy belt, or a turquoise encrusted pillow. The shopping you do at Pine Country Feed will leave you feeling refreshed instead of frazzled and the gifts you give will be one of a kind and from the heart!
Sometimes we just have to talk about our favorites and there is no question that Brad Paisley is one of our favorites. We are pretty fond of cowboys as a rule, but this cowboy has won a place in our hearts and it looks like it is here to stay. Some people are just meant for the hats and boots, and Brad is definitely one of them, add the guitar and you have one the best representations of what we love about the west, about country music and about America hands down. Brad Paisley is a family man, a talented singer, song writer, and an over the top, the only guy allowed to play Santana’s guitar, guitarist. When you’re listening to his music and there is an interlude that sounds like a marching band has suddenly joined the group and they’re all playing guitars, that’s Brad – just Mister Paisley having a little fun with the strings. He has made the statement that he won’t perform a song he couldn’t sing in front of his grandmother and that seems like a good guideline – at least it’s working for him. In 2010 Brad Paisley (and that is his real name) won the CMA’s Entertainer of the Year award, just adding to his career that boasts 25 breakout hits and 16 number one singles.
What could be better than a store where you can buy feed for not only your horse or your dog, but you can get groceries for your goat, your bird, your chickens and your llama? Nothing, unless you could also buy a pair of sterling silver earrings, and perhaps a designer handbag, and what about a hand tooled saddle and some killer jeans, and a rug made of hand tied leather strips. Pine Country Feed is not your ordinary feed and tack store. It is a feed and tack and dog toy and cowgirl fashion and home accessory and turquoise bracelet watch store. Stop in for pellets for your stove then take a gander upstairs and see if you don’t find the belt of your dreams and some handmade natural soap to go with it. Pine Country Feed offers you an eclectic, “I have to have that” shopping experience and it all comes together with a big “welcome you home” atmosphere where you can shop for your horse and your wife in one fell swoop. Brilliant!
There is a place in your house where nearly every person who enters your home will at least see, and many of them will spend some time, and that is the bathroom. Don’t let your bathroom be an afterthought in relationship to the rest of the rooms by filling it with nothing but towels and toilet paper. Let the theme of your household décor carry over to this probably smallest, but most important of rooms. Tie in your rustic chic with a wiry beaded garland over the mirror with rusted iron stars intermingled amongst the twists and turns. Switch plates, soap dishes, towel racks and hooks for jackets or bath robes come in a variety of themed fashions that can dress your room in everything from wrought iron twigs to horseshoes. Why not stuff a basket with fluffy towels and a fringed leather pillow, and don’t forget the lighting. Shades trimmed out in leather laces, or embedded with malachite and jet will bring the flair to the room that you’re looking for. Tooled leather, pounded tin, rough hewn wood – all textures that can serve as art on the walls and Pine Country Feed has it all.