Wordless Wednesday: Some Days You Step In It…

by Tammy Taylor

 

Wordless Wednesday: Some Days You Step In It, Other Days...  LOL - Poor Girl! #TaylorMadeRanch

Some Days You Step In It, Other Days…  LOL – Poor Girl!

~TMR~

Share Button

Veggie Garden Update: April

by Tammy Taylor

 

Well spring has finally sprung!!  I’ve always heard in our area of NE Texas (planting zone 7b) that you don’t dare plant until after Easter because a rogue frost can still swing by & kill your plants.  Oh my goodness it was so hard for me to wait!  So to pacify my need to garden I planted up my Indoor Greenhouse in February and as I watched those tiny seedlings sprout I just got more excited.  Then I decided this year I wanted to try something different – I wanted to Deep Mulch the entire garden surface to reduce the maintenance and hopefully quit fighting that dang Bermuda grass in my raised beds all year.  So I had RancherMan drop a 1,000-lb round bale of winter grass into my garden area & I started spreading it thickly over the entire surface.  When the garden was prepped I sat back & waited (im)patiently for Easter.  Then the big day arrived, FINALLY I was able to plant – woo-hoo!  Here is my April veggie garden update:

I'm deep mulching in the veggie garden - I waited (im)patiently for Easter so I could finally plant. Here is my April veggie garden update! #TaylorMadeRanch

Continue reading

Share Button

Relay for Life – Why Do I Do It?? HOPE!

by Tammy Taylor

Well, another year is on the record books for the Relay for Life in our area, an all-night relay to raise money for the American Cancer Society and to bring awareness to the evil that is cancer in  all its ugly forms.  Back in 2013 my team members walked in my honor as I was going through surgeries & recovery to rid my body of breast cancer.  They sent a picture to my mother as I laid in that hospital bed recovering from surgery – she showed it to me with tears in her eyes.  How touching that my dear friends were doing something so powerful in my honor.   So the following year I proudly joined the team and experienced my very first Relay for Life.  This year is only my second year, but it’s just as meaningful & just as powerful.  But why do I participate?  Why would I scramble trying to raise money for the American Cancer Society?  Why would I show up on a Friday night and attempt to walk All. Night. Long?  Why?  The answer is simple.  HOPE.

Relay for Life HOPE T-Shirt #TaylorMadeRanch

 

So RancherMan & I made plans to attend this year’s Relay for Life event.  It was requested that all cancer survivors show up at 5:00 for a special survivor’s dinner.  We were treated to a delicious meal served up all fancy-schmancy by an entire line of professionally-dressed servers and we were presented with a special purple-colored survivor’s Relay for Life T-shirt along with a goodie bag filled with goodies that various companies had donated such as candy, notebooks, pens, etc.  It’s a very touching gesture that they cradle the survivors so, and it was an honor to be in that room with the other survivors – some of which were just young children.

Then we went to the track to prepare for our relay.  Although the event’s usually held on the huge track outside, this year heavy rain was predicted so they moved it inside to the gymnasium.  The different teams were setting up their canopies & tables – they will sell various things to continue raising money even during the event itself.  They might offer face painting, a photo booth or various wares for sale but most tables are selling food that relay walkers can purchase.  It’s a very popular way to raise funds on the night of the event and there’s always lots of great food to be had.

Relay for Life Booths #TaylorMadeRanch

Last year I noticed there were many ribbon-styled trinkets but no PINK ribbon trinkets being sold, so RancherMan & I purchased vinyl stickers, charms and key chains to raise extra money for our team.  I had the Fight Like A GIRL cards and photo printed at a local printing company to both draw more attention to as well as organize to our small display.  I think it turned out great.

Relay for Life Fight Lie A GIRL Sales #TaylorMadeRanch

The Relay for Life committee had some of the decorating done already and had taped luminary bags up on the wall of the bleachers to spell out ‘2015 The Cure # TAMUC‘ (Texas A&M University Commerce)  I thought that was a very clever idea.

2015 TAMUC Relay for Life

On the other bleacher wall were luminary bags taped up to spell out the word ‘HOPE‘.  Right there – THAT’s the reason I participate in the Relay for Life.  I’ve been the one sitting in that doctor’s office when he said the ‘C’ word to me, I’ve felt that fear and that helplessness.  I want to offer someone else caught in that same place the hope that we’re not taking it sitting down – we’re fighting to kick cancer’s butt.  We’re fighting for the CURE.  It’s my sincerest dream that one day no one will ever hear those words again with the same paralyzing fear that I felt.

Relay for Life Hope - Survivor #TaylorMadeRanch

The relay begins with presentations from several of the university’s top brass as well as a lifetime achievement award for a team that has raised $100,000 since becoming a part of the Relay for Life.  Ironically that was MY team – the Crusaders for the Cure.  I was honored to be a part of such a hard-working team.  After the presentations were made the start of the Relay begins by the survivors gathering on the track to make the first round alone while all other participants stood on the sidelines and cheered.  LOUDLY.

Survivors Walk

Let me tell ya folks, this lap always brings humongo crocodile tears to my eyes.  I’m so moved by the whole experience of being a new survivor and feeling this kind of love from complete strangers.  As expected this lap left me with tears streaming down my cheeks – tears of appreciation, of amazement and of happiness.

Crusaders for the Cure Survivors Walk

After that lap the survivors complete another lap together with their caregivers, then the relay officially begins with all participants hitting the tracks.  Each team has a walking-stick baton that a member of their team carries for several laps until it’s passed off to another team member to continue the team’s walk.    Some college kids come in crazy costumes, it’s always so much fun to see who will show up wearing what!

Relay for Life Relay Walkers #TaylorMadeRanch

The walk begins and 7:00 and it’s a very party-like atmosphere.  There’s music playing and in the middle section people gather to toss a football or Frisbee, on the end by the music speakers there is dancing going on – sometimes line dancing sometimes Zumba, sometimes just freestyle dancing.  After a few hours of walking there is a slideshow presentation coupled with music depicting both various survivors as well as those lost too soon – it’s sure to bring a tear to your eyes.  Tears of sadness for those who have lost their battles, and also tears of joy for those that are fighting and those who are finally survivors.  A luminary ceremony follows where all the luminary bags are weighted with sand bags and illuminated (with glow sticks for safety) and a silent lap is done around all those luminaries to honor those people.  Luminary bags are purchased in advance and are to remember those lost to cancer and to honor those fighting the disease and also survivors.  This year I honored a friend I’ve never met in person but whom I found out is just beginning her struggle.

Relay for Life Rachel Luminary #TaylorMadeRanch

I was touched to see a luminary bag was also purchased for me as well by dear friends.  What a touching gesture from them!  The relay walk continues hour by hour, the baton being passed when one team member tires and another takes it up and completes a few laps before passing it on again.  Every now & then the program breaks for some sort of fun activity like a zumba session or scavenger hunt – it helps keep things fresh & exciting.  But the music always comes back & the laps continue.  There was even a live band this year – let me tell ya those speakers were PUMPIN’!  All in all although the event is tremendously tiring, it’s so very meaningful.  I’m honored to have been a part of it and I’m already making plans to attend next year!

~TMR~

It's Easy To Subscribe To #TaylorMadeRanch Blog just click the email icon!  http://taylormaderanch.com/blog/

 

Share Button

Paying It Forward… In REAL LIFE

by Tammy Taylor

 

By now many of you know I was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago (I just passed my two-year survivorship anniversary!!)  There were many frightening aspects of going through that diagnosis and recovery, but I was surprised to find many blessings along the way as well.  As I was going through the surgeries I found myself feeling depressed about the things that made up the gentle rhythm of my life that were completely disrupted.  Not only my health but my whole world was upside down!  Living & working on a cattle ranch means I certainty couldn’t do my ranching chores for awhile, and my strength was zapped so it was difficult to even do the simple things like cook and clean, and planting my beloved garden was out of the question.    But a group of friends surprised me by showing up at my door early one Saturday and planting my garden for me.  Tears of joy and appreciation streamed down my face as I was touched by their kind gesture.  I truly felt the embrace of God Himself that day.  D’ya hear that???  Felt the embrace of GOD.  Now that’s a powerful feeling, my friends!  Ironically one of the people that showed up that morning recently had a very serious accident.  Like me, he couldn’t imagine not planting his beloved garden but like me he just can’t physically do it this year.  He was there for me when I needed him in 2013 & he asked for nothing in return.  He was just giving of himself, showing God’s love.  He could have never known how much his gift meant to me but it meant a lot.  Now I’ll make sure he feels that love as well.  It’s time for me to reach out & pay it forward!

Paying It Forward In REAL LIFE!  People have the desire to Pay It Forward but don't know what to do. There are many day-to-day opportunities in REAL LIFE to do something great! #TaylorMadeRanch

 

Continue reading

Share Button

Wordless Wednesday: Wickedly Beautiful Clouds

by Tammy Taylor

 

Wordless Wednesday: Spring can be a frightening yet beautiful time. #TaylorMadeRanch

Spring can be a frightening yet beautiful time.

~TMR~

Share Button

Easy Beer Bread: Savory Rosemary/Cheddar Variation

by Tammy Taylor

If you remember I was recently asked to bring a couple of savory breads for a family gathering we were attending.  I like to bake these things myself instead of buying them for both financial as well as environmental reasons, but c’mon I like my convenience factors too!  So I asked my Facebook Followers if they thought I could successfully flavor up regular ole quick-bakin’ beer bread and the general consensus was that they didn’t see why it wouldn’t work.  I decided I’d like to try both Pesto and Rosemary/Cheddar.  The Pesto was made with the last of my homemade basil pesto from the freezer as well as chunks of my homemade tomato leather from last year’s tomato harvest.  That pesto bread turned out great, both soft & flavorful.  I shared the recipe and instructions for my Italian Pesto/Dried Tomato bread last week, but what about the Rosemary/Cheddar version?  Oh man, you’re *SO* gonna want to read this!

I love the ease & convenience of beer bread but I wondered if I could make a Savory Rosemary Version? As it turns out, yes I can! Check it out. #TaylorMadeRanch

Continue reading

Share Button

Fall-Back Friday: What I’ve Learned About Free-Range Eggs

by Tammy Taylor

WHEW, spring is in full swing these days!  I’ve spent lots of time  in the garden and we’ve just purchased our hens for this year.  But we’ve finally reached the end of the week – TGIF y’all!  And to celebrate Friday I’ll be sharing a Fall-Back Friday post with you.  What’s Fall-Back Friday?  Well it’s where I fall back into the archives and bring back to the surface a post that’s proved very popular with our readers.  And how timely, today’s Fall-Back Friday post is about the incredible health benefits of free-range eggs vs. commercial eggs. Before I raised chickens myself, I was always worried about eating eggs from a home-raised hen.

“What if the eggs are all gross & fertilized?” I wondered
“What if they didn’t harvest the eggs right away” I wondered
“What if they didn’t refrigerate them quickly enough” I wondered

Well since we started raising our own free-range chickens, those fears have of course all been erased and I’ve been amazed at what I’ve learned about the difference in nutritional value.  Check it out.

Benefits Of Free-Range Eggs #TaylorMadeRanch

(read more)

Share Button

Wordless Wednesday: “The BOY”

by Tammy Taylor

 

Wordless Wednesday - RancherMan refers to our beefy bull as "The Boy".  LOL  #TaylorMadeRanch

RancherMan refers to our beefy bull as “The Boy”.  LOL

 

~TMR~

 

Share Button

Easy Beer Bread: Savory Pesto-Flavored Variation

by Tammy Taylor

Recently we were planning a family gathering.  My siblings & I gather often with our families for a little R&R so this is not an unusual occurrence for us.  When planning the food for the group each of us brings certain elements of the meals.   it was requested that I bring several different items but one such item was to bring bread of some sort (pesto bread was the recommendation).   Of course I could just buy the bread but I always prefer for both financial as well as environmental reasons to make these things myself whenever possible.  I like the ease & convenience of beer bread plus I’d like to use ingredients that I already have on hand so I’m wondering… why can’t I pull out the last of my homemade basil pesto that I have stored in the freezer, thaw it, add some of my dried tomato leather & swirl it through the batter of plain beer bread to accomplish this feat with less bread-baking time in the kitchen?  Hummmm…

I love the ease & convenience of beer bread, but I wondered if I could make a Savory Pesto Version? As it turns out, yes I can!  Check it out.  #TaylorMadeRanch

Continue reading

Share Button

Unlocking The Secret To Long-Term Potato Storage

by Tammy Taylor

Several weeks back a friend & I were talking about gardening.  Her family had a huge garden when she was growing up and they relied on it to keep them all fed.  But because she felt it was drudgery back then, she doesn’t care to garden much these days.  She was quizzing me on the different things I like to plant in my garden and I rattled off all the faves:  Tomatoes, garlic, onion, bell peppers, jalapenos, cantaloup, squash, green beans, etc.  She asked if I ever planted potatoes and I told her that in the past I’d planted them, but I could never successfully store them long term whether garden potatoes or store-bought.  I know that freshly-harvested potatoes have to be cured but even when properly curing them, they would sprout within a short time.  She was surprised that I had any trouble keeping them long term and told me that they just used to store their potatoes on the ground in the barn and they lasted all season.  I was intrigued…

Storing Potatoes Long-Term: I've heard that you can store potatoes for months on end if you do it right.  I need some advice!  #TaylorMadeRanch

Continue reading

Share Button