As many of you know, Colorado has had a weekend of heart-break and sadness. There are no words that can be used to descried how senseless the Aurora theater shooting was. There are many people who are heartbroken, traumatized, and injured because of what happened last Friday in theater nine. There is no way to understand why or how something like this can happen and it is hard to move on knowing the pain people are dealing with today. My family and I live in the beautiful state of Colorado and today we would like to offer our condolences to all those affected by this horrific event. Our thoughts, prayers, and sympathies are with the victims of this tragedy.
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.
We’re thinking it’s time to believe!
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.
If you don’t understand that many of life’s issues arise over want of a descent cup of coffee, it is time you learned. When you’re sipping a brew with just the right heady aroma, and that extra soul soothing richness that can be found only in superior blends of freshly roasted beans, it is impossible to be angry with the person sitting across from you, as long as they are sharing in the ritual cup. Sharing the luxury of artisan coffee, brewed to perfection puts things in perspective, makes a lot of pesky differences seem unimportant. Will our worry improve the economy by even the slightest measure? It will not. Will traffic decrease by as much as an automobile if we are angry about it? It will not. Will having a cup of exceptional coffee in the midst of a day that is over hectic and a world that is spinning out of control settle a mantle of peace over your soul and a sense of well-being in your heart? It will. At Pine Country Feed we believe in bringing an injection of positive into the everyday whenever possible. Look for your injection, arriving soon at Pine Country – coffee that will bring you joy!
The right pair of jeans is similar in importance to the right hair cut. They have to fit properly, and comfort is a must, and it is best if they have that little something extra that says “now that’s a pair of jeans”. Pine Country Feed gets the whole “jeans are my life” way of thinking and they carry a fabulous selection of just right, soft as butter denim duds that will put you on the cover of “got it goin’ on” magazine. There are only a few things in life that can actually turn your attitude around in an instant but slipping into that perfect fit, with just the right amount of flair is one of them. Pair your jeans with a perfectly feminine, astoundingly stylish cowgirl designer top and you will be ready to bring in the herd or go out on the town, or both. Get out to Pine Country and see if you don’t fall in love, over and over again.
So it’s your turn to host the clan for the Thanksgiving extravaganza and you’re trying to decide if there is a way to get the house in presentable “haven’t seen these people in a year” shape without tearing the whole place down and starting over. The key to your success is in the details. When you clean your house remove all of the current accent pieces, the ones you have had out since you moved into the house, and start fresh. Clear the pillows from the petrified sofa and the colorless vase from the mantle and begin your adventure into tasteful, always inviting, cowgirl chic. A pillow with leather fringe and a pounded metal, bling ridden receptacle for your mums will bring new life to the old walls, without the hours of work that you should spend making your pies. Dress your house for the holiday in a way that will have them stopping and smiling and thinking how truly clever you are. Pine Country Feed will set you up in a quick morning’s stop, and send you on your way with a treasure trove of wow!
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.
In 1873, immigrants David Jacobs and Levi Strauss, combined their talents and resources and came up with a new phenomenon, called Waist Overhalls, more commonly known as jeans. From this first creation of denim thread and metal rivets, the single most popular clothing item in the history the world has taken shape, and variations are endless. Brilliant because of their durability and style, practical because they last forever and get the job done, jeans are synonymous with hard work and high fashion all at the same time. When women finally started wearing “trousers” in the forties and then “slacks” in the fifties, a proper pair of women’s jeans weren’t far behind. Cowgirl Tough Jeans have taken the jean world by storm, doing their well-fitting best to make women’s legs look longer, behinds firmer, and all with a sense of wild west chic. Pine Country Feed has the good sense to carry a product that goes so far in making women’s fashion about comfort, style and ease of care. Proud to carry the Cowgirl Tough brand, Pine Country is the place you’ll find a treasure around every corner.
Whether you prefer your coffee prepared by a sock of grounds thrown into a boiling tin pot over an open flame, or delicately encouraged to the height of flavor in a fine French press, it is an undeniable truth that coffee is the perfect blend of piping hot remedy and sheer spiritual experience. A cup of coffee, brewed to perfection with just the right amount of thick cream can serve as the only solution to a day that has run amuck, working its magic in sips of aromatic assurance, quieting even the most annoying voices in your head. Served after an enjoyable meal it will begin the evening with the grace and elegance of a string quartet, spreading its peaceful presence through body and mind like the music of a bygone era. Whatever the occasion, there is a coffee to make it richer, which is why Pine Country
Feed is looking forward to the introduction of its own private label, mountain roasted blend with great anticipation. A coffee blended with our deserving customers in mind. Just one more way we are letting you know that you matter to us and we want you to be blissfully happy.
At Pine Country Feed we are lovers of anything that adds richness to our lives – great friends, mountain air, jeans that fit, and of course a great cup of coffee. This week we are having a coffee tasting party to choose the signature roasts that will bear the name of Pine Country Feed and we can’t wait to introduce them to you. We will be deciding the names of our roasts, and we would love your help. If you have a great idea for a coffee name, and keep in mind we are going with a cowboy/cowgirl- Wild West theme, put it on our wall. If we choose yours, you’ll receive a free pound of coffee and all of our deepest admiration. So raise your cup and put on your thinking cap. Salut!
How about taking some of that Wild West ingenuity and spicing up the office – the place where the same work gets done every day and the brain begins to atrophy. We are told that the office requires professionalism and it does, but professional does not need to be synonymous with a “gee, I hope the parole board grants me an early release”. There is no place where the manifestation of your personality is more important than in your office, because remember, you weren’t hired to fill a chair, or because you were exactly like the person they just got rid of. They saw a spark in you, and you need to fan that ember into a nice warm fire that tells the people you work with that things are going to happen when you’re in the room, so they just better get ready. Hang cowboy hats on the coat rack, and wear one from time to time, put a painting of a horse in a full out run on the wall opposite your desk. It will remind you that there is life out there waiting for you. Hang spurs on the doorknob and throw an Indian blanket over the leather side chair. If someone questions whether or not you are behaving in a professional manner, explain that you absolutely are – a professional cowgirl.
So we have recently found the choices for big cinema entertainment wanting, and we have finally put our finger on the problem. The movies tend to parade leading men across the screen who obviously spend a good portion of their time in the gym, not necessarily bad. But we are bothered by the fact that only a small handful of the real leaders could manage a ride on a horse. They simply wouldn’t look right astride one of the glorious equines of the Hollywood 40s and 50s and we can’t even imagine most of them being able to get on the horse without major injury. Cowboy movies, the real westerns that put the country west of the Mississippi on the map, needed men to be rugged, not fit necessarily, but tough, and since the horse has been removed as one of Hollywood’s main characters, that element of grit, of rock solid, take no prisoners, don’t make me pull my six shooter persona has faded to black. There have been a few westerns in the past decade that have proven that there are a few of those boys left, but too few to our liking. Somehow being able to download the secrets of the defense department before the guy in the suit walks into the room just doesn’t give off the same aura as a man who can control his horse with the reigns in his teeth, riding at the speed of locomotion, while he wields both of his guns with the accuracy of a sharpshooter. Imagine.
If you’re beside yourself trying to decide what to be for Halloween, worry no more. Be a cowboy, in a long duster and hat with boots and spurs, and it might be helpful if you could pack a six shooter. It is said that houses that have been converted from barns to houses are often haunted by cowboys of the early west. They are never mean or scary; they just kind of reside in the barn/house harmlessly watching over the place. People who lived in one such house said that they often heard spurs jangling on the hardwood floor, and there was a distinct smell of horses and hay and well worn tack in the kitchen. One woman, awake in the early hours of the morning, saw one of the duster clad apparitions walking down the hallway between her living room and dining room and as he passed he looked her way and tipped his hat then vanished through the back door. It’s good to know that true to form, the cowboy, even a ghost of a cowboy, is friendly and polite even when he is haunting a house. Have a great Halloween weekend!
Stop everything – it’s time. The “almost like summer” days we have been enjoying are making their way into the great beyond, only to be replaced by the wonder of a crystal white winter. The warm days and blue skies have lulled us into ill-preparedness, numbing us to the reality of the cold, wet days and starkly cold evenings ahead, but all is not lost. Your boots and hat are waiting for you at Pine Country Feed, ready to warm your toes and protect your pretty face, and take you to town in style. Is there anything more reassuring than a good boot on the boardwalk, great pair of jeans, hat securely in place, the perfect jean jacket topped off with one of those scarves that make everyone look as though they have a real neck. Pine Country Feed’s Cowgirl Boutique is kickin’ its heels up for fall, ready to plunge you into a the kind of winter you have dreamed of – fresh, flashy, and fully clothed!
The constancy of breast cancer has become such a part of our daily lives we are no longer surprised by the diagnosis of thousands of women around the world, yet when it forces its presence into our inner circle we gasp with the harsh reality and shed tears of what lies ahead and it isn’t just the disease itself – it is the many methods used to combat the horror that subjects women to fearful, lonely, startlingly vulnerable scenarios that break their hearts a little at a time. When it is done, all the scans and readings, the surgeries, the endless consultations, the poisonous treatments, and you hopefully emerge “clean”, the pain of those months seem bearable, but in the early steps of the journey, and even the middle ones, before you can see the results, there is a deep grieving that the sufferer must endure. When my sister began the radiation portion of her treatment, and she described to me the mean moments of feeling helpless and exposed, at the mercy of people she didn’t know, I heard a wrenching discouragement in her voice, and the only thing I could pray was that somehow in the weeks of treatment ahead of her she would find some element of joy. There wasn’t anything joyful about a bi-lateral mastectomy, with months of chemotherapy, loss of hair and strength, utter exhaustion, always feeling less than whole, but somehow the radiation seemed like the final blow in a long drawn out fight, because we had hoped she would be able to avoid that portion. After her first ugly encounter, I dreaded the days she had ahead of her, until I received the call after her second treatment. She spoke of a room full of people, all awaiting their radiation treatment, and in their midst a group of nuns who called everyone honey, and walked from patient to patient with trays of donuts and Danish, pushing their sweets and their sweetness on the crowd. Every little bit one of them sang out a name, and the owner would pass the desk and ring a little bell as they went through the doors for their “medicine”. We laughed as she vividly described this elderly crew of women, dressed in their habits and Bronco sweatshirts plying the radiation patients with pastries and good cheer. The conversation concluded with a grand assurance in both our hearts that my sister, despite the weeks ahead of her, had found the one thing she needed to get through it. In those Bronco loving nuns, she had found her joy.
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.
The cowboy hat, though in large part, a fashion statement was originally developed and designed with the working cowboy, or ranch hand in mind. When the west was being settled there were any number of hat designs in use, bowlers being the most popular. The first cowboy has as we know it today was designed and manufactured in 1865 by John Batterson Stetson. He called his hat “Boss of the Plains” and it became the identifying accessory for the man of the American west. It had a wide brim, front and back to protect the eyes and the neck from sun and rain. They were made with four inch crowns to provide insulation from both heat and cold, they were light weight and waterproof. The hats were known for their rugged durability, standing up to any kind of punishment and they came to be a status symbol, an investment as it were to the working cow hand, and a fashion standard for men in the east. Early on the name Stetson became synonymous with the cowboy hat but even after the surge of the west its fame grew. In 1912 the battleship USS Maine was raised from Havana Harbor where it had sunk in 1898. A Stetson hat was recovered from the wreckage and after it was cleaned of debris, mud, and plant growth it proved to be undamaged and still waterproof.
Whether you are a fan of Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos or not, Sunday’s game taught a life and business lesson that is worth learning, again. There is no way to place a value on true leadership. It comes from vision and passion, and a commitment to the success of the team, and it cannot be measured in experience, in safe decisions, or in salary. It can only be measured in the inspiration it creates. When Tim Tebow came onto the field against San Diego he did so much more than quarterback the game. He made an entire city excited again about watching their team, and convinced a team of football players and coaches that they can win, even if they claim to be “rebuilding”. And the interesting thing is the fact that all of that happened and the Broncos didn’t even win, they will the next time, and we know this how? Because winning comes from a winning attitude, and for the second half of Sunday’s game that winning attitude filled a stadium, a locker room, a press box, and homes all over Colorado. San Diego won the game, but the Denver had all the joy!
Mix together 4 slightly beaten eggs, ¾ cup vegetable oil, 2 cups sugar and 1-15oz can pumpkin. Combine with a mixture of 1 ¾ cup flour, ¼ cup corn starch, 4 teaspoons pumpkin spice, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda and ¾ teaspoon salt. Beat just until well blended, fill lined muffin cups two thirds full and bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. The center of the cakes should bounce back to the touch when they are done.
Allow the cupcakes to cool for 30 minutes at least then frost with a combination of 8oz softened cream cheese, 3 tablespoons softened butter, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 4 cups powdered sugar. After frosting refrigerate lightly covered cupcakes until you are ready to serve.
A hot cup of coffee and a pumpkin cupcake and you’ll be fortified for days. If you feel weak after 24 hours, eat another cupcake!
We spend a lot of time in the kitchen – cooking, eating, doing dishes, drinking coffee, eating again – and it needs to be a place we feel called to, a room that tells us we are home. Sometimes we get so busy thinking of the kitchen as a “utility” room that we forget to make it work aesthetically. On the flip side, a kitchen that suffers from décor overload can make us feel disorganized and stressed. The kitchen does have to support the work that goes on there, but it should also be pleasing to the eye. Martha Stewart who simply refuses to work in a kitchen that is anything less than beautiful , suggests an investment in small appliances, bake ware and utensils that are not only functional, but that are pleasing to the eye. A mixer can beat the egg whites into a meringue just as well when it is lime green as opposed to something the color of Cream of Wheat. Have some fun, add some color, or go the other way and take every drop of color out. A totally white, or a silver and black palette can be stunning. Your kitchen works hard and it is screaming for drama, something that says to the world, “the food cooked in this room may change your life”. Make your kitchen a place you want to be after dinner is done and the dishwasher is running. And while you’re there, put your feet up. You work hard too.
It was a day that comes only once in a while when the sun is just warm enough to remind you of summer, but the air has that perfect chill of the new autumn. She cradled her mug, hot to the touch, sipping her heavily creamed dark roast as she sat quietly watching the pair in field. The porch was just high enough to allow her to see over the slight ridge into the meadow that sparkled with the new day, where the two of them stood serenely sniffing the warmth and snorting at each other. Once they noticed her, their demeanor changed, just slightly, they stepped closer to the fence and looked her way as if beckoning her to come and play. She knew she could never be the kind of friend they were to one another, but she loved that they included her just the same. It was a kind of respect, one strong creature to another, giving the nod of approval, allowing room for one more heart. They nibbled the grass while she drank her coffee, all three of them pleased that they could share these morning moments together.
What is it about us that makes us love a cowboy? Maybe it’s because we think the truth is important, and pretention a waste of energy. There is something right about the man who gets up in the morning knowing that his day will be full and his exhaustion at the end of it complete, that the people he cares about are counting on him to work the land and move the cattle despite the elements. We like that he doesn’t try to impress us with his money or his education, because our opinion doesn’t really matter to him. His goal is to look himself in the mirror every evening and know that he left everything he had on the range, and tomorrow he will get up and do it again, because it is just what he does. Not to impress anyone, but because he wants to do it. He cares about the land and the livestock and treating both of them with respect. And when the sky grows dark and the ranch rests quietly he’ll sleep in his bed, knowing he did it right for another day, and every callous was worth it.