A dessert is worth a thousand words…

“I’m sorry, honey,” I said, repentant.

I was leading a horse down to the barn from the driver’s side window of our nice truck. Because it already had the carseats in it, and our barn is too far away to leave the babies, and I couldn’t carry one and lead the horse while watching out for the other.  “I’ll just take the truck,” said I to myself, “Problem solved!”…I thought. Our truck door now sported a two-foot wide dent, but the impact was accidental and it’s just a dent. The horse didn’t hurt itself at all. I would’ve liked for him to say, “That’s alright babe. It happens,” but there was silence on the other end of the phone. Yikes.

It’s the general practice, from what I understand, that men buy their wives a dozen roses to say they are sorry. But what should a cowgirl do? I’m not sure if other women ever have to apologize to their husbands as much as I do. Most times, it goes like this:

“Ah! who tracked mud on the clean floor?”

Sheepishly, I admit it was me. “Sorry, I’ll clean it up.”

On my own clean floor! I probably had to run inside (leaving two toddlers under three in the yard) to grab any one the items I forgot:
“Tassie” the pacifier (s)
Toothepaste the stick horse
kid’s shoes
or glasses…my own glasses.

“Who got hay all over the carpet here?”

Me again. I went to the barn with my pants rolled up and didn’t know they had collected those tiny alfalfa leaves; didn’t know my pants had come unrolled while I bent down to talk to my little one about picking up after herself; didn’t know I had left a trail of hay dust in the hall…on my own freshly vacuumed carpet.

The inquisitor is my dear husband, who keeps things tidy, takes his boots off at the door, rinses his plate after dinner, and uses the laundry basket-all without being told. So when something happens that was not my fault, the great likelihood that it could have been sort of stacks the odds against me.

Other ranch wives that I know have all said they count their husband as ‘one of the kids’ because, like them, he will track mud in or invite the dog to come sleep by his chair, or let the dog rinse his plate. They lightheartedly fuss about how he must have been ‘raised in a barn’. My response is a nervous chuckle and an indiscriminate nod. Oh, I understand alright. Much more than they know! One day on our outfit would reveal the truth. I pretty much was raised in a barn-by choice, of course. My mother wanted to raise a lady, but from the time I could walk, I wanted to be outside and if I had to be indoors, then dogs, ponies, rabbits, kittens, and all the dogie lambs, goats, and calves were invited in. My poor mother. She just gave up. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em… and that’s what she did.

When my happily ever after began, no one could’ve told me all the apologies that were in store for me. My husband was (and is) a gentleman who by now has had enough practice parenting (with me!) to be fairly competent with the kids, more so than most, I’d say.

I have learned that explaining too much when apologizing is a bad idea. A dozen red roses though? No. Cowboys don’t really do roses. I just don’t see my husband sniffing flowers and suddenly forgiving my careless mistakes.

But…my mom’s Cherry Coconut Dessert sometimes works like roses. If not, then Peppermint Brownies and Ice Cream will. Or a plain ol’ Chocolate Cake. With a kiss or two, of course. In extreme cases (like the horses denting the truck…on two different occasions), a nice shoulder massage with Young Living Essential Oils will relieve lots of tension. Literally.

God bless the good men in our lives who show us godly patience and grace. Or who learn how to show it because of us.

You’re welcome, honey.



Mom’s Cherry Coconut Dessert


2 cans cherry pie filling (Not plain water-packed cherries. The ridiculously sweet kind.)

1 box yellow or white cake mix

Chopped Pecans

Shredded Coconut

2 sticks of melted butter

2 tablespoons water

Heat your oven to 350 and spray a regular cake pan. You will then layer the ingredients in the above order in the bottom of your pan. Yep, just spread the dry cake mix right over the cherries. I make it heavy on the pecans and light on the coconut, or leave the coconut off entirely. It won’t hurt anything. When you pour the butter over the cake mix, do it slow and don’t miss a spot. The water is for the corners and edges, just to add a little moisture should it become too dry. (If your offense is truly criminal, sprinkle some sugar over those buttered pecans!) 

Place it in the oven for around 28-30 minutes, until the coconut looks toasty and the top is that famous golden-brown. Serve it warm.

Note: This dessert was originally my grandmother’s, and it has been served at more brandings and shippings than can be counted. It’s a family go-to, favored by all because it’s easy and delicious. Only those who count calories won’t like it.


Peppermint Brownies

Your favorite brownie recipe

4-6 drops of Young Living Peppermint Vitality essential oil

Simple: just add the essential oil to the batter, bake, and you’ll end up with gooey, chocolatey, minty goodness. This is better than peppermint flavoring because the essential oil has amazing benefits and no chemicals, dyes, or sweeteners, etc.


Essential Oils

image from google search

Young Living Panaway Blend might be Cody’s favorite for a ‘massage’, but he likes Stressaway, too. I call it a massage. Really though, it’s just a neck and shoulder rub during which I try very hard not to talk too much. Mix 4-6 drops of Panaway or Stressaway (or even just Lavender by itself) with a couple tablespoons of pure olive or coconut oil. Pour some in the palm of your hand and rub it on the neck and shoulder area and commence to ‘massage’ both your troubles away. 

I use essential oils daily for many, many things. If you’re curious about why, there’s a page here on the blog that explains my journey. You can find it by clicking on the “Essential Oils” button on the menu at the top of this page. My Facebook page, “This Instead: Life with Young Living Essential Oils” (search @makingahand), also has more information.



Up Next: Chapter 2 of Chisum’s story coming soon!

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