Frosting

Last week our world was covered in ice.
IMG_9916IMG_9874

This week, just in time for Christmas, it has turned nice and white (and rather slippery).

IMG_9947IMG_0032

The beautiful thing about this place and its erratic weather is that every day it looks a little bit different out there.

Every day it’s a little bit new.

IMG_9920

So I like to explore it. And when the new pup is involved in my little quest, it’s even more fun.

He’s just a ball of energy jumping around, licking the snow, biting the heads off of weeds and bouncing his way around, discovering his world.

IMG_9881

So take a break from what is hopefully your last working day before Christmas, sit back and watch my home transform from icy brown to white.

Because who doesn’t love a little frosting, especially on the holidays.

IMG_9888

IMG_9886
IMG_9885IMG_9872
IMG_9870
IMG_9922
IMG_9921   IMG_9903 IMG_9902 IMG_9899 IMG_9898
IMG_9883  IMG_9878
IMG_9910
IMG_9908
IMG_9929
IMG_9925
IMG_0053
IMG_9950
IMG_0051  IMG_0044 IMG_0040  IMG_0035

IMG_0022 IMG_0030 IMG_0027  IMG_0009 IMG_0008 IMG_0006 IMG_0002 IMG_9997 IMG_9980 IMG_9985 IMG_9988 IMG_9994 IMG_9991 IMG_9958 IMG_9956 IMG_9951 IMG_9946 IMG_9943 IMG_9939 IMG_9935 IMG_9933 IMG_9931
IMG_0047
Peace, Love and Merry Christmas,

Jessie

Christmas Card Rejects.

It’s that time of year again.

IMG_2755

Time to roll out the holly, fill your cup up with egg nog, bake something and send out the Christmas Cards!

Now, we’ve talked about our card already here, about how, regardless of our small little family, I chose a photo of Husband and I sitting on a cooler at a music festival after a few drinks and a few hours in the sun and dust.

Christmas card 2

I think it’s festive in its own way, you know, minus the roaring fire, twinkling tree and coordinating Christmas sweaters.

It will do just fine I think. It has to.

Because it was our only choice.

I’ve mentioned this before, a few years back, that each time the holidays roll around I’m faced with the dilemma of finding a suitable photo of my Husband and I that doesn’t make our friends and family concerned for 1) Our Relationship and 2) Our Mental Health.

It’s a tough task.

IMG_8239

And after spending the last few years traipsing around the countryside photographing beautiful families and beautiful couples and sending them off into the holidays armed with at least one or two catalog worthy shots, I have yet to coordinate my own JCrew photo shoot for me and my man.

We are not photogenic.

We are awkward.

And this is our catalog…

IMG_2733Merry Christmas (and no, our house still isn’t done)

DSCN6369
Happy Holidays from my nose and his beard

DSCN6339Warm wishes from Florida. We’re not tourists. And no, this isn’t Husband’s first time to Disney World, no matter what the button on his polo says. 

DSCN6653
Celebrate! The Dweebs have been released from the ranch!

IMG_2434 Happy Festivus…IMG_2510 No,no, we haven’t been drinking.  

IMG_2858
Aww, cute, we should cuddle up in front of the tree…take off your cap and act like you like me…
IMG_2861
IMG_2865
Nevermind, put it back on…
IMG_2887
Uhhh, Happy New Year?

IMG_5961
Good tidings from the Scofields…and the creepy guy behind us…

IMG_6135
Sweet dance moves…
IMG_6198
Sweet dance moves…
  IMG_6143An attempt before…IMG_6258  It all went horribly wrong…(and I’m not just talking about my hair)

IMG_9481Do we love each other? Yes. Are we having fun? Of course. 
Does it look like it? No. No it does not.

IMG_8243Aww anyway…IMG_8244 Here’s to good cheer. 

Happy Happy Christmas Card Season One and All!
Hope the catalog of your beautiful life has more options than ours.

Peace, Love and awkward family photos,
Jessie & Chad

(Oh, and the dogs too)

IMG_20141217_0001

IMG_20141217_0002

A Girl Needs a Dog: Music Video Submissions

One of my favorite parts about making and performing music is meeting the people who have found they can relate to the songs I write. I’ve been performing out and about in support of my last album “Nothing’s Forever” since it’s release in 2012.

Since then I’ve hosted CD release parties, been hired as the opening act for big names, have been the main event myself, joined up with another band of great musicians, sat around campfires and house parties, performed at bars, major events, and festivals surrounded by so much intimidating talent it made my heart beat out of my chest and,

of course, met hundreds of wonderful people along the way who take the time to tell me that they can relate…

To the songs about rural living. To the cowboys in the music. To leaving the light on for the people they love. To the weather so cold it freezes your bones. To the loneliness for a familiar place. To being so happy you have to sing it louder.

To their story told in Boomtown.

And then, my favorite, your response to A Girl Needs a Dog.

What was a fun, catchy song that almost didn’t make it on the album surprisingly turned into an anthem for the women out there listening and singing along, thinking about all the times that dog of hers was the only one who got it.

The only one who understood when there were no words.

Me and the dog in the grassThe one who comes with her to clear her head on a walk through the trees. An every day companion.

PudgeThe most loyal. The most sincere. One of her favorite things about this life, even when he poops on her rug or chews her favorite pair of boots or tears through the kitchen screen door in a thunderstorm.

IMG_8585 With each show, after talking to the crowd and watching you sing along,  I understood more and more that this song needed to be written. It was a story that hadn’t really been told yet. A simple one, but apparently, an experience many of us share.

A girl needs a dog in times like these
Some hope and a plan
Clarity
A girl needs a bike or her own car keys
A girl needs a dog
A girl needs a dog

You showed me photos of your pets, sent me emails with stories about how the two of you found each other. There were labs and shitzus, mutts, poodles, an array of cow dogs, dozens of pugs and even one missing an eye like my lost but not forgotten Chug the Pug.

ChugYou told me about your daughter and how she begged for a puppy. You sent the song on to your nieces and granddaughters. Your sister who brings her Chihuahua everywhere.

What a thing to come together in the name of a song about a dog.

Dog in the stock tank But as much as this song is about our furry companions, it was written as an anthem to a girl finding her independence and being comfortable and strong in it. And sometimes, when you’re unsure about it all, that dog helps hold us up a little.

That’s what I think anyway.

Turns out, that’s what you think too.

Anyway, in a few weeks I’m heading to Nashville to record another album. Since the release of “Nothing’s Forever”, I’ve been writing and re-writing and putting new songs together, songs that will mark a different time here in this place that I love, a place that’s changing every day, but still so much a piece of me.

There will be stories in these songs about loss and hope, love and home and work and the rain pouring down on a hot summer day.

But before I move on to the next project, I want to finish this one. I need to make “A Girl Needs a Dog” come to life.

IMG_8905 So here’s the plan. I need your help. I want to see you with your pooch in action and I want to feature you in a video for the song. You know your dog is the best, so why not show her off?!

So here’s the task my loyal listeners with loyal canine companions. Send a video clip (video is preferred) or photo of you and your dog (or your sister and her dog, or your wife and her dog, or your daughter and her dog…you get the point) working, playing, getting into trouble or just hanging out to jessieveeder@gmail.com and I will feature them in a music video for “A Girl Needs a Dog.” 

To thank you for your help in this effort, the first fifteen women who shares her video/photo will receive a free “A Girl Needs a Dog” t-shirt featuring a sketch of the beautiful one-eyed pug. Simply include your address and size in the email (M, L, XL, 2XL)

The rest of you will receive a free track of the song as a thanks for sharing, and of course, world wide fame for you and your beloved pooch in the video.

Thank you for helping to make this song come to life and for celebrating and taking such good care of all of those awesome dogs out there.

I’m sure they’re so happy to be taking care of you too.

I can’t wait to see you all on the big screen.

Peace and puppy love,

Jessie, Hondo and Gus

Jessie and Dogs

Horses and Home

IMG_5428It’s a little familiar, a little bit wild
A big dream in the wandering eyes of a child
It’s all of the secrets wrapped up in the land
And all that we know about the pride of a man

IMG_5457

It’s letting it go then holding on tight
It’s what’s left to lose at the end of a fight
It’s saying a prayer before hitting the ground
And when you need to be gone, it’s where you can be found

IMG_5470

And that’s how it goes
With horses and home

IMG_5425

It’s dirt under nails and work left to do
It’s fist clenching, back breaking, things that can bruise
It’s broke bits and burs and get up again
And all of the reasons to call someone friend

IMG_5495

And that’s how it goes
With horses and home

IMG_5487

We put up fences to own this place
Tame all the wild beasts and give them names
But we cant’ be sure just who’s being saved
When we let go of the reigns…

IMG_5511

It’s wind through your long hair then on to the trees
Forgiveness and bravery on trembling knees
And then there’s the part where you think you might be
Stronger than most and a little more free

IMG_5515

And that’s how it goes
With horses and home

IMG_5483 That’s how it goes
With horses and home

IMG_5442

Badlands Skies.

It’s Friday and it seems I have run out of words for the week, but that’s ok.  I want to show you something that I don’t think I need many words for.

Because I was in the badlands this week, in the South Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park near Medora. After my work was done,  I went out looking for landscape, for beauty and life in those rustic buttes, and found that above the vibrant green of the grass there were these colors in the sky, constantly changing, casting shadows and light that changed the way the world looked every minute.

I couldn’t take my eyes away.


Here’s to a beautiful weekend.

Peace, Love, Sunrise to Sunset,

Jessie

 

Happy Day Earth! Thanks for being our home.

IMG_6720Earth, we love you. We love how you bring flowers after the snow. How you promise them to us, even when you’re still brown and thawing. How you don’t let us down.

IMG_6553Earth, we love you. We love how you keep us, how you hold us, how you call us to lay down in the grass under the warm sun.

Cowgirl Wildflower

And how that warm sun changes you so you look different every day.

img_3094.jpg

We love your tall trees and your tall grass.

Grass and Sky

We love your mud and dirt for growing things.

Rain on the ButtesYou’re stark and flat and predictable.

IMG_6740

You’re rocky and uneven and scary and beautiful.

Horses in BadlandsWe love your horizons and the way the moon emerges from the edge of it all.

moon above the landscape

And then the sun comes.

Ranch SunriseOh, we love your sun.

IMG_6727 Wild SunflowersSunset

Sunset RideAnd your wind.

IMG_6517 WindWindWindAnd your rain.

Rain on horsesRain on ConeflowersRain on berriesBarnyard RainAnd your snow.

Purple flowers in snow Bird in snow

snow stormFrom all who take from you, live on you and love you and thrive…

Horses on Hill

IMG_5492

one last clover Lake Binnoculars Laying in the grass Big Lake Lab

IMG_6745Happy Day Earth. Thanks for being our home.

Landscape

When to fly home

I went out on the last day of winter to see if I believed it.

I had been driving for much of the day, having woken up in a hotel room in the middle of North Dakota to find that during my sleep snow had fallen.

It was the last day of winter and, well, you know how winter likes to hold on to the spotlight around here.

I waited a bit then before scraping the windshield of my car and heading back west on a quiet and slick highway, lingering over morning talk shows and hotel room coffee.

The weatherman said it would warm up nicely, the sun would shine and the roads would clear on this, the last day of winter.

150 miles west those roads were shut down and traffic backed up. Too slippery to be safe.

Not spring yet.

Oh no. Not yet.

But we gave it some time then, under the sun, and the fog lifted off of the thawing out lakes. The snow plow came.

White to to slush. The earth warmed up.

And me and my guitar buried under a mountain of groceries made it back home to the buttes on the last day of winter.

And when I arrived I changed out of my good boots and into the ones made for mud and I went out in it, knowing full well that just because it says “Spring” today on the calendar hanging by the cabinets on the wall, doesn’t mean the snow won’t fall tomorrow.

I heard the snow is going to fall again tomorrow.

But today I’m sitting in a patch of sunshine making its way through the windows, bouncing off the treetops, on to the deck and into this house and I’m telling you about yesterday, the last day of winter, when the brown dog and I headed east to my favorite spot to see how the land weathered the bitter cold of the season.

I followed the cow trail behind the house and through the gate, where the petrified bovine hoof prints from last fall magically turned into fresh tracks in the mud of the elk who make their home back here.

Sniff sniff sniff went the nose of my lab as he wove back and forth, back and forth in the hills and trees in front of me, always looking for something.

Squish squish squish went the rubber soles of my boots on the soft ground.

And then there was the wind, everything is second to the sound of it in my ears.

But as we followed our feet up and over the hills and down the trails to the stock dam there was another sound I couldn’t place.

It sounded like crickets or whatever those bugs are that make noise in the water at night. But it was too early for bugs. Too cold for crickets just yet.

I stepped up on the bank of the dam and watched my lab take a chilly spring swim in the water where an iceberg still floated white and frozen in the middle.

I put my hands on my hips and tried to place that unfamiliar music over my dog’s panting and shaking and splashing about.

It could be frogs, if frogs chirped like that, but there are not frogs just yet…or snakes or minnows or other slimy things that disappear when the cold comes…

No…none of those things…

but there are birds…

and well…look at all of them up there in that tree,

perched and fluttering, covering almost every branch.

Are they singing? I think it’s them.

Listen to that!

Relentless in their chirping conversation against the blue sky of the last day of winter and unafraid of the big, clumsy, slobbering canine sniffing them out.

Not phased by his two legged companion squish squish squishing up to the tree, shielding her eyes so she could get a better look at them.

A flock of proud little birds with puffed out chests, wearing tufts on their heads like tiny showgirls in Vegas.

Putting on a show for us on the last day of winter…

And if you would have asked me earlier that morning if winter was over, the fresh snow stuck to the bottom of my boots, my white knuckle grip on the wheel and my breath making puffs into the morning air as I pulled off the highway and stepped out of my car to admire the view, I would have said oh no, it is not over yet.

But under that tree full of songbirds I would have believed in anything…spring and summer and music and joy and tiny little feathered miracles who know, without a doubt, when to fly home.

Let loose…

The world’s full of mustangs
and stray cats
and untamed
men lighting smokes and making promises to you

You show them the fences
the spots that need mending
and the holes in the trees
in case you need to break through

Let loose.

Let loose.

You’re tangled and unbraided
just like the mane
of that pony who taught you
about getting up again

And bones they might break
but words have a way of
screaming out secrets
only that pony ever knew

Let loose.

Let loose.

Let loose the horses girl
Let go of the reigns
It’s no use being lost this way
though I know you love to roam…
Let that horse bring you home

You forgot
All those things you said you’d do
When you’re lost
and no one’s coming for you…

Let loose.

Let loose.

Let loose the horses girl
Let go of the reigns
It’s no use being lost this way
though I know you love to roam…

Let that horse bring you home.

What’s in an hour…

The sun has started waking us up earlier. A funny little phenomenon called “Daylight Savings Time” made it that way. We moved our clocks back on Saturday night and woke up at 6 am on Sunday, watching the sun come up over Pots and Pans, waiting for some light to help us assess the recent neighbor call regarding a cow (or three or four) out in a pasture by the highway.

I remember when moving the clocks back meant moving the hand on an actual clock. I look around my house and I realize I don’t have an actual clock anywhere. Our clocks blink blue numbers on stove tops and microwaves, on telephones and digital temperature gauges and cellphones, computers and iPads that are smarter than us and don’t even need a human hand to remind them to change. They are programmed to know.

They do the same when we cross the river into Mountain time, switching swiftly and we gain an hour. Switching back and we’ve lost it.

I’ve spent that last few days looking at those clocks, the one on my phone and the one on
the stove I haven’t managed to change yet, and saying ridiculous things like:

“What time is it really?”

“So, it’s 9 o’clock but it’s really 10 ‘o’clock?”

“It’s 6 am but it’s really 7 am?”

“Man, it gets dark early.”

“Man I am tired.”

“Man, I miss that extra hour of light at the end of the day.”

But what’s in an hour anyway? It’s not like the changing of the clocks changes time. There are still 24 hours in these days and the sun still does what it will do up here where the earth is stripping down and getting ready for winter.

Daylight Savings Time, moving the clocks, adjusting the time, is just a human’s way to control things a bit. Moving time forward in the spring months means farmers and ranchers and outdoor enthusiasts get to stay out under that sun, working on the tractor, chasing the cattle, climbing a mountain, until 10 o’clock at night when the sun finally starts to disappear.

Moving the clocks backwards in the fall means we might drive to work in the light and get home in the dark.

It means a 5 pm sunset and a carb-loaded dinner at 6. It means more conversation against the dark of the windows, more time to plan for the things we might get done on the weekends in the light.

It means I went to bed last night at 9 o’clock and said something ridiculous like “It’s really 10.”

But it wasn’t. It was 9.

Because we’ve changed things. (Although I still haven’t changed that stove top clock).

I lay there under the covers in the loft and thought about 24 hours in a day.

10 hours of early-November daylight.

If I closed my eyes now, I thought, I would get 8 good hours of sleep.

I wondered about that hour and what I could do with an 60 minutes.

A 25 hour day? What would it mean?

Would it mean we could all slow down, take a few more minutes for the things we rush through as we move into the next hour?

Five more minutes to linger in bed, to wake each other up with sweet words and kisses, to talk about the day and when we’ll meet back at the house again.

Three more minutes to stir cream into our coffees, take a sip and stand in front of the window and watch the sun creep in. A couple seconds to comment on it, to say, “What a sight, what a world, what a morning…”

Four more minutes in the shower to rinse away the night.

Two more moments in front of the mirror to make my hair lay straight and my cheeks blush right.

An extra moment or two for the dogs so that when I throw them their food I might have been given some time to extend that head pat and ear scratch and stick fetching game.

Six more minutes on my drive to town, listening to the radio, the weather report and the school lunch announcements while trailing a big rig with out cussing or complaint. I have an extra hour after all. What’s six more minutes to me now?

Fifteen more minutes for lunch with a friend, a friend I could call for lunch because I have sixty more minutes now and the work can wait.

Five minutes more for a stranger on the street who asks for directions to a restaurant and then I ask her where she’s from and she makes a joke about the weather and we laugh together, a little less like strangers then.

Then, when I get home, eight more minutes on my walk to the top of the hill, to go a little further if I feel so compelled, or maybe just sit on that rock up there and watch it get darker.

Four extra minutes to spice up the roast for supper or stir and taste the soup.

One more minute to hold on to that welcome home hug.

Three more minutes to eat, for another biscuit, to wind down and visit.

And four more minutes to use to say goodnight. To lay there under the blankets, under the roof, under the stars that appeared and be thankful for the extra time.

So what’s in an hour really? Moments spent breathing and thinking and learning. Words spilling out that you should have said, or should have kept, or that really don’t matter, it’s just talking.

Sips on hot coffee cooling fast.

Steps on your favorite trail.

Frustration at dust while you wipe it away, songs hummed while scrubbing the dishes or washing your hair.

Broken nails, tracked in mud, a decision to wear your best dress tonight.

Laughter and sighing and tapping your fingers on your desk while you wait.

Line-standing, hand-shaking and smooches on best friends’ babies as you pass at the grocery store.

Big plans to build things, to change things, to move. Small plans for dinner or a trip to the zoo.

A phone call, an answer, an “I love you too.”

It’s not much, but the moments are ours to pass.

And those moments, they move on regardless of the clock and the hour in which it’s ticking.

Although not many people have clocks that tick anymore.

I suppose that’s just one of the many thing time can change…