Ankle High and Knee Deep: Women Reflect On Western Rural Life

Ankle High and Knee Deep: Women Reflect On Western Rural Life

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0762792116

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


 Colicky horses, trucks high-centered in pastures, late nights spent in barns birthing calves--the trials and tribulations of farm and ranch life are as central to its experience as amber waves of grain and Sunday dinners at the ranch house. Ankle High and Knee Deep collects together essays about lessons learned by ranch women, cowgirls, and farmers about what they’ve learned while standing in or stepping out of “mud, manure, and other offal” in their day to day lives on the land. This collection of entertaining and inspirational voices offers unique perspectives on relationships, loss, love, marriage, and parenting and other universal issues. These are contemporary accounts of women struggling to keep a lifestyle intact, recollections of childhoods spent in open spaces, and tales of overcoming obstacles--inspirational reading for city dwellers and country folk, alike. 

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Saddle Trinity Lewis Daddy’s saddle was much different from any I’d ever seen. It had covers over the stirrups and had a brand on the back that said “lazy VP.” Most saddles only carry one person, but here Daddy’s saddle was different too. He’d throw me up on the swells, and that’s where I’d sit the whole day through. But it wasn’t just Daddy and I on the saddle together; my brother would ride on the back. We were little kids still, and didn’t ride alone yet. I’m real glad Daddy cut us some

their mothers, but ours surely took the cake. When Mom got a call from the school, she’d drop everything and head to the rescue of one of her seven children. What she had to drop was often a hive tool and bee smoker, since she was a beekeeper during a time when very few women worked outside the home, let alone at nontraditional occupations. In an era when most mothers wore dresses or skirts, the more daring ones might show up at the school in fashionable capris. However, Mom invariably arrived

flowers left in the valley. No one was the wiser as the yard filled with over three hundred people. Yes, rain is always a sign—a promise—that renewal is on its way. Freshly planted fields will produce an adequate and, hopefully, abundant crop. The water table will be refilled, insurance against the dry summer months. Animals will have enough to drink, and the river and creeks will teem with wildlife. No, never take rain for granted, cautions my husband as he watches the gathering clouds on a

makes their home in rural Quartz Valley. Monica’s publishing credits include two nonfiction titles for Arcadia Publishing, one on the Shasta Nation. Her first novel, Timberbeast, has just been released on Kindle. Monica is an avid horsewoman and creates unique jewelry. A graduate of the University of Tulsa, Marcia Hensley taught at Western Wyoming Community College, where she directed the Western American Studies program. She received the Wyoming Arts Council’s Neltj Blanchan Award and has been

rocks. Using dry-stack techniques, I crafted yet more planting beds and a pair of low pillars to mark the gateway into our property. More recently I’ve started gleaning mica flakes from granite outcrops to create mirrored puddles in the herb garden. When I’m out walking and spot a chunk of quartz, I pocket it and add it to the lightning streak of white I’m embedding in a red gravel walkway beneath the deck on the house’s north side. Each new pair of gloves I buy soon sprouts silvery

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