Hi, y’all! Welcome to my blog.
I’m a “Plains Girl” as opposed to a plain girl (which I am in some ways, too), born in the southern plains of North Texas where many of the spirited women are both belles and cowgirls and raised in Kansas where the subtle surprises of the land and the people remind you “there’s no place like home.” When you grow up on the prairie, you learn to appreciate the beauty of small things, from bluebonnets and meadow larks to a capricious wind blowing through tall grass and the smell of rain.
I’m a kinda crafty lover of DIY who dreams of projects day and night. My execution is almost always imperfect and often includes hilarious twists and turns, provided I can laugh at myself. When you can laugh at yourself, you’ll never want for entertainment. At the end of the day, I usually enjoy the results.
I started this blog to connect with other women in cultivating the joy of making a home, not in a Martha Stewart burdensome way, but to encourage myself and others to embrace the crazy, lovely, messy, poignant journey.
Because I tend to be distracted and often disorganized (I’m an INFP, for you Meyers-Briggs nerds), I wanted to bring some accountability into the equation of becoming more intentional and disciplined while still offering heaps of grace. We are all works in progress.
I’m married to my college sweetheart, Shawn (the Fix-it Farmer) who is a logical engineer to my creative dreamer. I’m often coming up with ideas, but his practical approach helps bring them to life. He’s the left brain. I’m the right brain. Together, we’re better… when we can appreciate each other’s differences instead of letting them drive us crazy.
He’s a farm boy, raised on a fifth-generation family farm in central Kansas. He’s got a strong affection for wide, open skies. In his regular job, he spends most of his days sitting at a computer or wrangling team members on big projects. Working on Plum Prairie Ranch is the best kind of vacation for him.
Many blogs on home and family are written by moms with young children. As a mom of three young adult daughters, I’m often dumbfounded about the challenges of parenting older teens and twenty-somethings. When your kid walks out the door, car keys in hand, you realize how little control you have. No one told me how hard this would be!
What’s a mom to do as the nest is emptying (or not emptying)? Plum Prairie Ranch is about finding new dreams that inspire us to look forward with anticipation for the next stages while discovering the momentary magic of now.
What I love:
- Taking “the road less traveled,” especially through the countryside.
- Seeing a dream come to life, even if it doesn’t match the picture in my head.
- Special times with family. As my kids get older, I treasure those moments even more.
- Connecting with other women about REAL life, not just the Pinterest-worthy snapshots.
- Old movies, especially screwball comedies like “Arsenic and Old Lace.”
- Being compared to Sue Heck from “The Middle.” I’m a dork optimist, too!
- Running with my crazy dog – our pound puppy Elektra – which oddly enough, helps keep me sane.
- Growing in my Christian walk and loving others wherever they are in their faith.
Where struggles have become passions:
- Having a severely bipolar dad gave me the desire to shine a light of compassion on mental illness.
- My youngest daughter was diagnosed with celiac in 2013, so I’m always on the lookout for gluten-free recipes.
- I’ve struggled with disorganization my whole life, earning me the title of “Random Woman.” But I’m still working on ways to bring more order to my world. To quote “Galaxy Quest,” “Never give up. Never surrender.”
I’ve loved writing since I was a little girl. I followed in my dad’s footsteps and became a journalist. My first job out of the University of Kansas journalism school was to be an assistant producer on a half-hour interview show for a small public television station (Channel 54 in San Jose, and yes, I know the way). I got to meet some interesting folks like James Earl Jones, Condoleeza Rice and Steve Jobs. In recent years, I’ve been a reporter for The Star-Telegram and a couple of their weekly community newspapers.
As I see the print world shrinking, I’ve seen opportunities for writers expand with blogging. I’ve dabbled in the blog world since 2012, writing infrequent posts on faith and family. I’ve moved some of those posts here. Anything dated before March 2017 started life on sandra.engelland.us. Now I’m ready to start the Plum Prairie Ranch blog focusing on planning for “what comes next” while celebrating “what comes now.”
I hope you’ll drop by Plum Prairie Ranch and join me in the adventure of creating a home on (and off) the range.