As someone who is completely unqualified to offer advice to anyone on anything, I decided to give it a shot.

Here are some hypothetical questions for a ranch-type advice columnist and my honest answers. If you feel I am way off base in my advice, well – that makes sense.

I’d like to start investing so our money can start working for us, but my husband and I can’t seem to agree on what constitutes a good investment. Do silver bits count?

– All That Money Hanging On The Wall

Dear All That Money:

That’s great you’re looking to the future and researching investment opportunities. I checked around and, unfortunately, silver bits do not generally constitute a sound investment. That being said, I know more than one cowboy who has grabbed fancy tack off the wall and sold them for grocery money. So, to answer your question: Kind of. But only purchase bits you really like and that you’d trade for a bag of oranges.


I just moved to a remote ranch and no longer have easy access to a grocery store. How do I cook for my family? Will we have to eat canned beans for the rest of our lives? Will I ever taste fresh fruit again? Help!

– Hungry In The (Food) Desert

Dear Hungry:

Go find yourself a 4-H cookbook from the 1980s. No joke – these have all the best recipes for living and cooking far from town. Moms back then made things like Sloppy Joes and Three Bean Salad without any foodie twists involving arugula lettuce or lemon-infused sassafras oil. Their recipes called for things like table salt and tomato sauce, which I highly recommend you start buying by the case. No, you will not have to eat canned beans for the rest of your life, but you should try something called Mayonnaise Chocolate Cake. It’s rich, moist and delicious. Just wait until after your family has devoured seconds to tell them the main ingredient is mayonnaise.

Yes, you will taste fresh fruit again. You just may have to wait until the apples ripen on the tree by the barn in the fall. Okay, it’s not that bad – but you should eat fresh bananas on the way home from town, because they don’t travel well on long, rutted dirt roads.


Sometimes people, such as a friend of a friend’s cousin, my next door neighbor, the grocery store checkout lady and my mother-in-law, like to tell me you can’t make a living as a cowboy. They say the pay is too low and it’s no way to raise a family. What do you think?

– Worrying About Other People’s Opinions

Dear Other People:

Well, cowboying is how we’ve been raising our family for the last 10 years, so I think all those people can go kick rocks. Sure, you’ll probably have to get a side hustle (or two) and you will likely never know what the inside of a brand new pickup smells like, but a bad day of cowboying beats a good day of bagging groceries every time.

Author

Jolyn Young lives with her cowboy husband, Jim, and their three kids near Fallon, Nevada. She chooses to focus on the comical side of life, because her family is going to laugh at her anyway.

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