Oklahoma Ranch Gates

Eastern Oklahoma is cattle country. We have beef and dairy cattle and plenty of horse ranches besides. Near our farm is a buffalo range, a sheep farm, an angus bull ranch, an alpaca ranch, a goat farm, and several small chicken and hog farms.  Mostly though, our area raises beef.

Ranchers keep donkeys sometimes as guards. They will protect a herd from maurading coyotes and from cattle rustlers.

I have photographed dozens of ranch gates. I find them wonderfully amusing.  Once I saw a red-tailed hawk perched on one longhorn of the Allen Ranch gate! Watch my slideshow which will give you glimpses of fun ranch gates and some of the livestock I see everyday.

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I love the Fox Hill Farm sign and the Allen Ranch gate.  I visited the Allen Ranch years ago when they gave trail rides and groups could field trip there and have a campfire.

The Dillingham Ranch was at one time one of the largest in this part of Oklahoma (10,500 acres). It was slated to become a resort with a golf course for a while, but the deal fell though.

Our ranch is small. We call it “Holliswood” because our last name is Hollis. We have one horse and at present a herd of 14 cows. Our house, an old farmhouse is at the front of our pecan orchard. behind that are 40 more acres where we harvest hay for wintering our cows.

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Take a look at my newest books. One is titled What’s Good About Home. I don’t mean it as a question but rather a commentary on the good things about it. The cover is from a photo of wildflowers and day lilies I took myself.  I love flowers and I love the fields and meadows. I think you will enjoy reading stories from my farm and the lessons I learned raising my seven children here.

Life With Mama is a book of stories about my mother and my life in a large family.

The latest is a small gift book, titled The Heart of Spring, containing prayers and encouragement for school teachers.

These are avaiable from Amazon and other online book stores.

Life with Mama (http://bit.ly/2LIFEMAMA)

What’s Good About Home (http://bit.ly/2MYHOME)

Heart of Spring (http://bit.ly/TeachSprg1)

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Foggy Farm Morning

“Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark.”

Sir Rabindranath Tagore

5e554-fog037Fog does not come on little cat feet here. It rolls in across the land––rising from creekbeds and farm ponds. It makes ghosts of winter’s tree skeletons. It hides fences and gates.  It muffles sound and turns the morning into a mystery.

It waits and when the sun rises bright in the east, it sips the fog away. Only a mist is left and it lifts and disappears leaving spider’s webs spangled like a rhinestone cowboy’s dress shirt. The webs are everywhere––in the ditches, strung from tree branches, on the barbed wire fences, and from my picnic table to a lawn chair.

I watch as I drive to town. Snippets of white are still sitting in the hollows, in the dips of the road, across the creekbed and hovering above ponds. They sit still and silent like little clouds that overslept and missed the bus.

It is a beautiful sight to see. Soon it is completely gone. It disappears and you can’t tell when you might to see such a marvelous thing again.

 


 

 

 

Find these new books by Elece Hollis on Amazon.


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Baking on a Winter’s Day

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” John 6:22:35

 

I love to bake bread and in the cold of winter it warms the house and gives off that wonderful yeasty smell that is so irresistable.

Cinnamon rolls are fun to make. They are made with a soft white bread recipe and divided and rolled out. I spread on the soft butter and then add brown sugar, cinnamon , golden raisins, and chopped pecans.

Roll the whole into a cylinder shape and slice off pieces. I crowd the slices in round metal cake pans and let them rise for another hour.  The top left photo of a ring is done by slicing almost through the dough and placing it to bake on a round pizza pan. Shape into a ring and work the ends together. You can leave the center empty or add a slice from another roll.

When the rolls have risen nice and puffy, I put them in the 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. Oh boy, do they smell good! They whole house smells of sweetness and is warmed up.

When they are browned on top I turn them out on to plates and then flip each over. Cool and then spread with a confectioner’s sugar, butter and cream icing.

Find my recipe below:

The dough is made by dissoling 4 and 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast in 2 and 1/2 cup warm water. Add 3 Tablespoons of granulated sugar, one egg, 1/4 cup oil or melted butter. Add 2 cups whole wheat flour and 4 cups of white flour and one tablespoon of salt. Mix and knead for at least four minutes.

[To rise well bread must have an oil, a liquid, salt, a sugar, and the yeast or levening. You may sustitute another sugar, like honey, or another oil, like butter, but if you omit any of these your bread will fail.]

The dough should be placed in a large bowl and covered with a dish towel until it rises to twice the size. Next punch down the dough. Turn it out on a floured surface and knead some more. Divide into loaves or roll out for cinnamon rolls.  This recipe will  make 1 loaf and two pans of rolls.

Soften butter and spread on the dough. Mix 1 cup brown sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon with 3/4 cup raisins and 1 cup chopped pecans. Roll the dough up and cut in slices. Place in the pan you will bake in. Allow to rise again.

Bake at 375 degrees for twenty minutes. Turn out within five minutes. Frost with a mixture of 2 cups powdered sugar, cut with 3 tablespoons butter. Add cream to desired consistency. Spread on warm rolls.

 

Mama was a baker. She made wonderful orange rolls when we were kids. They were my favorite. (Once she baked them during a blizzard!) I learned to bake from her. In my Life with Mama book you can read how she refused me an Easy Bake Oven which I wanted for Christmas when I was a child. Instead gave me a cookbook, mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, cake pans, and cookie sheets. She sewed an apron and put me to work cooking up a storm. Real food! Not easy bake. I have loved baking ever since. (Also read about the blizzard and the man whose life Mama saved.)

Life with Mama (http://bit.ly/2LIFEMAMA)

What’s Good About Home (http://bit.ly/2MYHOME)

Heart of Spring (http://bit.ly/TeachSprg1)