Bridal bouquets have become as individual as the bride herself. Style has moved away from the foam holder set-up and moved to the gathering of open ended stems, giving a canvas to an entirely new stream of creativity. Stem wrapping is taking the world of wedding flowers to new heights, presenting yet another means of adding the personal touch to your bridal flowers and those of your maids. A more rustic wedding, on a ranch, a cabin, a barn, or outdoors in the mountains or lakeside can feature bouquets wrapped with burlap or leather strips and “fastened” with antique jewelry charms, vintage buttons, or a pounded silver and turquoise brooch. The tack on your horse drawn carriage can be decorated to match your bouquet wraps and your groom and groomsmen can wear boutonnieres bejeweled with the same vintage jewelry or buttons. These bouquet wraps will bring a sparkle to your walk down the aisle and that sought after wow factor in your photographs, and the high country pop the discriminating bride is looking for.
We hate for things to come down to appearance, but on some level, your image will affect your ability to gain clientele. How you look needs to match what you do. A person selling construction materials would look silly showing up at a site in high heels and a business suit. By the same token, your best attire for a board room meeting with a CEO and his lender is unquestionably something from Joseph A. Banks. If you clean houses for a living and you pull up in a car that has moss growing on the grill and remnants of last week’s lunch in the back seat, you might be throwing up a red flag as to your competence. If you are an interior designer for high end business offices but when you meet with your client you’re wearing snagged polyester pants and a tube top, their confidence is going to wane. You don’t have to have a lot of clothes, but a well cut business suit and shoes that gleam will tell your investment clients that you spend your money wisely and tastefully and you will do the same with theirs. We live in the west so embrace it. A skirt and jacket from Pine Country Cowgirl Boutique, accessorized with one of their fabulous handbags will help you present your professional best without looking stuffy and never underestimate the power of a great hair cut. A cut that suits you and has a clean, unfussy look tells people you put your money where it counts, and you count more than anything else in your business.
We call this day Memorial Day because we are meant to remember the people in our lives who have been lost to death. We deem remembering so important, in fact, that we have set aside a whole day, for thinking of the people in our lives who have crossed the threshold into eternity. The day seems to be spent, often with family and friends, cooking outdoors, sharing some pre-summer sun, perhaps working in the yard. All of those things are worth doing and we wish everyone safety and fun in their endeavors, but we wish everyone something else. If on this day you have a lost someone you are thinking of, we hope that your thoughts will be filled with joy, with memories of all they meant to you, with laughter for all the funny times that life throws our way, with tears for the days you wish you could talk to them just one more time, with contentment for knowing that you have loved someone enough to carry them in your heart always. Pine Country Feed wishes you a happy and memorable Memorial Day!
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!
What were we thinking when we went from the Stage Coach as a main means of mass transportation to the “bigger than the state of Delaware” bus. Buses have gotten so big they have to put an accordion fold in the middle of some of them just to be able to get around a corner. Their size alone seems to give them a sense of entitlement, like ownership of the road, both their lane and yours, comes from the fact that they could run you into a ditch without even feeling it and the amount of fuel they use is heart breaking. In the era of the Stage Coach, the passenger traveled with three, at the most four other people, and most of them wore hats, so you didn’t have their dandruff falling on your shoulder if they dozed off on the trip, and a lot of them were carrying guns, so the fear of hijacking was pretty much alleviated. An occasional hold up, wheel break, or washed out bridge was inevitable, but it just made the trip fodder for the next letter home. The cost of fuel was minimal, water and feed, and during your trip you usually got to stop for a cup of coffee at a ramshackle but cozy place where they were glad to see you and happy to do what they could to make the rest of your journey a pleasant one. If you didn’t mind having your bones rattled and being covered with dust, the Stage Coach was a very civilized way of getting from here to there – not fast, but fuel efficient and these days that is the name of the game.
Ranch Way Organic Feed
has come to Pine Country. Pine Country Feed is proud to announce that we have become a Ranch Way Feed dealer which means we are carrying the Ranch Way Organic Chicken Feed. The Ranch Way feeds are certified to be grown without chemicals or pesticides, on land that has been organic for at least three years. The end result is a product that will give you healthier chickens, unfettered by harmful substances that are not only harmful to the chickens but to the people who eat their eggs. Organic Chicken Feed, means healthier chickens, means better, healthier eggs, and it all starts for you at Pine Country Feed. What kind of feed are your chickens eating? It makes a huge difference. What do you want to know about feeding your chickens? We’re all ears.
There are certain things in life you just have to know to be a true success. Cornbread should always be baked in a cast iron skillet, people who don’t like dogs probably don’t like you either, and there is no day that can’t be improved by chocolate. Be it gourmet, or the last grab when you’re about to check out at the Wal-Mart, that touch of wonderful will turn a questionable three into a ten within two bites. There is a lot to be said for the taste and texture, the aroma is a highlight, but the real draw is the extravagance of eating pure luxury while you’re on your way home from work, or waiting for a movie to start, or before you do the dishes. It is a relatively inexpensive way to say to the world, and even more to yourself, “I am choosing to do something that just makes me happy, and I may decide to do it again tomorrow”. It might have almonds, or toffee, or caramel, but the chocolate is the thing that puts it above the level of snack, way beyond the concept of treat, and takes it all the way to a spiritual experience. Our advice is simple. Whatever your station in life, choose to do the right thing, and make it a chocolate kind of day.
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.
Spring is coming, actually later this month, and that means two things at Pine Country Feed – new clothes and chicks for sale. Besides our chicks to fill your coop coming in April, we are loaded with great choices to fill your closet – real cowgirl outfitting from Ranch Royalty, Tasha Polizzi, Petrol Next Generation, Cowgirl Tuff and True Grit to name a few, plus knock out jewelry, and bags that will make your mouth water. Step into the coming warm weather in a stunning pair of boots and a jean jacket with just the right amount of bling, and don’t forget the tight and sock combinations that are made to put your legs on the map. Spring, yes, it’s really just around the corner, and Pine Country Feed is the smartest stop on your way.
It’s that time of year again when all hearts look forward with anticipation to chick days at Pine Country Feed. Mark your calendars for April 13th – 15th, when the cheeping of the little yellow balls of fuzz will once again fill the air giving quick thinking individuals the chance to own a little piece of the farm – the egg producing part. Let us warn you that last year all of the cutest chicks were gone within a couple hours, and they were all pretty cute, so don’t delay. So set your clock and sweep out your coop – chick days at Pine Country Feed are about to hatch!
From the very beginning it was you and her, no cell phones or staff meetings. You and the one who understood that your soul was a priceless thing that deserved a moment of rest, a bit of understanding and a good amount of listening. When all the others didn’t get it, walked away, shook their heads the two of you stood by, undaunted, knowing that your answers would not be found on the bottom line, or even in the policy report but on the solitary journey, through the field, over the ridge to your point of perspective, where reality waits. The place you go together to remember what actually matters, and why you bother with all of this in the first place. She always knows right where to go, exactly what you need to find that place inside that assures you that you know what you’re doing, that you knew all along. She takes you to the place where you can believe again.
Just a word about jeans – long. They are meant to be long, stretching the full length of the leg, skimming the top of a boot and staying put when seated in a chair. They don’t need tugging to get into place, they are made for long legs, or for short legs that long for length, and they are tailored to the cowgirl swagger. Pine Country Feed carries only one kind of jean, several styles by companies like Cowgirl Tuff, True Grit and Ranch Royalty, but every one sports a pair of legs that will dress your two legs without a flash of so much as an ankle, because, let’s face it. If they aren’t long enough they aren’t anything.
The huge misunderstanding about cowboys is mostly Hollywood’s fault and it all stems from fashion. When they tried to make people like Sylvester Stallone play a cowboy, you know they were reaching and they missed the mark completely. Real “cowboyism” has to go back to Gary Cooper and John Wayne who walked as though they were born astride a saddle, and talked as though they considered communication a courtesy, but not anything to get too excited about. The key was, they always wore the same clothes. Jeans and vests and shirts that buttoned, and no matter how long they had been on a cattle drive, or how many gunslingers they had faced, they never saw a need to change their clothes. They seemed to need the dirt and the frayed edges to keep their gun belts in place. Unless they were going to meetin’ (church) they pretty much kept to their boots and hats and their belts and the jeans that were broken in to the point of actually having a distinctive shape, like other people’s shoes, you couldn’t loan them to anyone else because your imprint had taken over. Awards were never given by the Academy for the costuming in a real western, but that was the whole point. When you walked out of the theatre you couldn’t remember what the stars were wearing, but you never forgot their hard lined, squint into the sun faces. They were cowboys, and they were the real thing.
There is something about horses and kids that make for a great marriage. It is a lovely picture, 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.
Driving around town today was an effort in “staying between the lines” due the ridiculously high winds, which I have decided I don’t like. I know that it blows the smog out, but if you think about it, that must mean it is blowing someone else’s smog in, and frankly, clean air or not, the wind is annoying. As I drove I passed a man walking up the road, which had a measurable incline, and when I say walking I mean he was “ralking” because I believe his intention was to run, but the wind and the incline were holding him in place. He had his head down and his hand grasping the top of his head in order to keep his hat on and I couldn’t tell for sure, but I think his eyes were closed. At the time he was running by a little group of shops in town, one where coffee is served to sensible people on a windy day and I found myself wondering why he didn’t stop his pretend run and step in for a bit of refreshment. He could get a ride to his car, because we do that sort of thing around here, and drive over to the rec center where he could engage in a productive run on the windless track. It reminded me of the way we conduct our lives at times. We start out to do a thing and when halfway through we discover that the method we have chosen is impractical, way more work than we expected and as a result becoming intensely stressful, but because it was what we started out to do we feel we must finish it or admit failure. Let us remember that failure is not seeing a mistake and correcting it, failure is seeing a mistake and stubbornly making it worse. The lesson here – come in out of the wind and drink your coffee.
The fleetness of time seems to take us by surprise every season, and believe it or not, spring is in actuality just around the corner. If you just finished storing your Christmas decorations, first of all, know that you are in good company, and secondly, be certain that you don’t let the long nights of winter lull you into thinking that the cold will never end. There are great sunny days ahead when time spent outdoors will be everyone’s highest priority. Don’t let the joy of the coming warmth catch you off guard. New boots, something sassy, and a wide brimmed cowboy hat are in order for the warmth that awaits us, and a high on style jean jacket will wrap everything up with some flair. Pine Country Feed Cowgirl Boutique is brimming with flirty skirts and blouses, belts, boots, hats and bags and of course jeans that will take you into the new season with the perfect face the world wardrobe you are craving. Get yourself out of that parka and into Pine Country. It’s time to get your cowgirl on!
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!
We’ve been anticipating its arrival and now it is upon us. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and you are feeling that great sense of panic, because it is a widely known fact that men are not the only people who leave their shopping for the last minute. Take heart, we’ve got you covered. We have cowboy hats, denim dusters, spurs, bolo ties, knives, animal hide throws and some rockin’ signs that will help him bring a little of the ranch to his stuffy old office. There is a lot to look at and inspire you because we believe in romance at Pine Country Feed and we can help you get yours in place without even breathing hard. So stop in and we’ll get you saddled up for your best ever Valentine’s Day and a refreshing recharge for your epic romance.
Girls! Girls! Girls! The Pine Country Feed Cowgirl Boutique has the latest in leg wear – graphic tights and stockings, with socks that match or not so much. It is the newest rage in fashion chic and perfect worn with a skirt, or shorts and chunky boots. Pair the look with a belted sweater and you are on the fashion forward track to comfortable, “can’t get enough”, style. There are piles of colors and patterns to choose from and they are made to be mixed to suit your mood. They provide a great break from the usual winter garb, and what a fun way to show off those fabulous legs of yours without getting frost bite. Pass this along to your Valentine and let him know that we are giving free, yes FREE, gift wrap on Valentine’s purchases, and we promise, while he’s here we’ll make sure he sees our stunning jewelry, watches and handbags, also gift wrappable and perfect for the girl of his dreams.
If you haven’t thought about it, it’s time you did. Valentine’s Day is February 14th, like it is every year, and that means it is coming quickly. Since it is indeed the same date every year, there are no real excuses for forgetting. People who forget anniversaries or birthdays are thoughtless, but the ones who forget Valentine’s Day have no excuses. They are mean. The great thing about this holiday is that it doesn’t revolve around how much you spend but rather around the fact that you thought of another person, be it your grandmother, your best friend, the guy who runs the toll booth, or your sweetheart. Treat your loved one to your creative genius by giving a handmade card with glitter and ribbons. Bake heart shaped cookies and frost them with pale pink icing – put them in a basket with a half pound of your favorite coffee blend. Give your spouse one heart shaped item for every year you have been married and it doesn’t have to be expensive – soaps, candles, notepads, earrings – can all be found in heart shapes, and placed in a tissue lined heart shaped box, they will be a treasure. Try to remember that there is nothing worse than not being thought of on the day Americans set aside for love, so remember them all. The best Valentine you will ever receive is the one you give yourself when you show that you care.
Some of the most sensible beings ever to grace the White House grounds are the horses of the Presidents. When the country was just beginning, horses were the best means of transportation, and many of our presidents have been land owners, country folk, who loved a daily ride for the exercise and the chance to clear their heads. George Washington started the tradition by bringing his horses to his presidency, always white horses and always six. He kept them in gleaming condition and was even known to brush their teeth. Thomas Jefferson was said to love to ride, but he never mounted a horse before wiping its back with his handkerchief to remove any unwanted dirt. All of the presidents who rode during their time at the white house paid for their own horses and their feed, and purchased their own riding accompaniments. Ronald Reagan may have been the greatest lover of horses in modern times. He was partial to Arabians and he and wife Nancy rode at their California ranch whenever they broke away for a vacation. There is something about a leader who understands the value of a horse. Winston Churchill once said, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” He was a smart man.
Shepherd’s Pie is a traditional dish from the British Isles, loved for its deep meaty flavor and hearty textures. It is easy to make and something tasty enough to serve to guests.
Brown 3 pounds of steak (your favorite cut), thinly sliced into bite sizes, one large chopped onion and two cloves of minced garlic in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the skillet, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. When the onions are tender and the meat browned on all sides add one quarter cup Worcestershire sauce, 2 cups of Swanson’s Beef Broth (it is less salty than other brands) one bottle of your favorite dark ale, and three to four carrots sliced. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. After twenty minutes add one bag of petit frozen peas and continue to simmer.
While the beef mixture simmers, cut six large peeled red or gold potatoes into bite sized pieces and place in a pan of salted water on high heat. When the potatoes boil turn down, but let the water continue to boil for fifteen minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes thoroughly in a colander so that they are dry. Return to pan, add six tablespoons of sliced butter, garlic salt and coarse ground pepper to taste, two teaspoons of ground sage and one third cup heated half and half. Mash potatoes until creamy and spices are incorporated.
When the beef has simmered for one half hour and the liquid has reduced by about a third, transfer to oblong glass pan. Sprinkle mixture with two tablespoons of flour, spread mashed potatoes over the top and sprinkle with one half cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Bake pie in a 350 degree oven for fifteen minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serve immediately from oven with a green salad or sliced tomatoes. When you receive rave reviews, be humble and say it was just something you threw together.
The recently released film, War Horse, directed by Steven Spielberg and adapted from a children’s novel written in 1982 by Michael Morpurgo, tells the story of a horse loved and raised by a boy in England prior to and during World War I. There is always a fear in animal movies that the film will endear a creature to the audience then snatch it away in a poignant ending scene. There is a tendency in film makers and some writers to believe that children need to face the harshness of life by dealing with the death of a pet. This hopelessly shortsighted philosophy has ruined many a novel or movie over the years for those of us whose hearts are shredded most easily by the suffering of an animal. It is our pleasure however, to inform the hesitant movie going public, that though the story of the War Horse named Joey, does take the gallant creature through seemingly endless difficulties, facing the full onslaught of a devastating war, the audience is rewarded with a victorious ending, which makes it worth the price of admission. There is nothing more gratifying than beating the odds, and Joey’s story lets us beat them soundly.