Long-time readers may have noticed that my blog’s “home” has recently changed from prairiemom.me to montanamama.me. I own both internet addresses and — if the tech support guru from India who chats with me online knows what he’s talking about — merging the prairiemom.me content and reader subscriptions (with which I have been working since 2015) with montanamama.me should have presented no change to my blog readers, besides the different address listed at the top of the page. What’s more, any search for the old site should automatically redirect to the new site. Same look, same archives, and so on.
Why change the name of my blog? First of all, because I have physically moved to a new home — not just on the internet! When I first started blogging, we lived at the VX cow camp north of Ingomar. Now we live at the main ranch in the Yellowstone Valley. Second of all, and I know not everybody will understand, but I’ve grown weary of the word “prairie.” In fact, the more I’ve thought about the word “prairie,” the more I’ve become convinced it’s never really fit my image. The dictionary defines prairie as “a large open area of grassland.” When I think of prairie, I conjure up images of rolling countryside growing thick with tall grass. I think of Nebraska and Eastern North Dakota, not Eastern Montana.
Around here, there’s not much rolling countryside growing thick with tall grass. To say there was would be an overgeneralized and shallow description of the land I love. The continuity of the country here is irretrievably interrupted by the intermittent waterways which through the centuries have etched deep wrinkles in the face of what is now a ranch, waterways with names like East Buffalo and South Butte, Indian Springs and Northfork, Alkali Creek and Higgins Ditch and Muggins and Froze-to-Death and Starve-to-Death. The ranch where we live and work is extremely varied in its soils and foliage and terrain from one end to the next. We who are lucky enough to live here ride wide circles around tall clusters of sandrocks where long ago Indians lay their dead to rest. We sometimes take the time to sift through what’s left of homesteads on patches of scratched-in crested wheat, all abandoned long ago by folks who believed the government’s remarkably inaccurate promises concerning this land. Here, two-track roads weave through creek bottoms that grow much more thickly with sage and greasewood than they do with grass. Our saddle horses top ridges bristling with ponderosa pine under which black cows seek shade; clatter over gravelly knobs as the cavvy is wrangled into the barn; and, following the last of summer’s bulls, pick their ways across gumbo flats covered with prickly pear cactus.
And so you see, as I’ve come to realize… it could never be so simple as prairie.
Another thing I wanted to mention is that I have big plans for this blog. In the last four years I’ve used up about 90% of the storage capacity offered on my “free” blog format, so sooner rather than later I’ll have to switch to a “paid plan.” (Ironically, I do still pay a little every year for the free plan!) While the expenses of the blog will increase with the switch, the potential of the blog will as well. I am planning to change the layout of the front page to make the archives more accessible and to categorize the content and to make it easier for readers to contact me. Encouragingly, the tech guru from India promises that once I’m on a paid plan, the disgusting and unwanted ads that plague my blog will disappear. (“The ten things all cheaters have in common,” anyone? How about “Three signs of heart failure you may have missed”? Or one of my favorites: “Gut doctor begs Americans to throw out this vegetable now.”)
All of my big plans for this blog are contingent on time, of course. Time to devote to the improvements and time to type out all the posts I have back-logged in my mind. As my recent series on time suggests, time is an issue I haven’t yet been able to solve. As a mother, and as a blogger, I never have the time to do anything grand. But as a mother, and as a blogger, I just keep plugging along. All the while I’m hoping that, in the end, all the little deposits I’m making — the blog posted after two long weeks, the half hour I spent “riding” with my girls last night, the 15 minutes I spent cuddled on the couch with a boy who suffered through the flu — will pay big dividends in the long run.
© Tami Blake