Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Ah, the cowboy life

 As we all know, Hollywood and television made the life of the cowboy a very romantic thing. Yet, the nature of being a cowboy is some of the hardest work ever accomplished. 

The men of the trail often worked up to twenty hours a day. We find ourselves exhausted after eight. A typical cowboy day begins before the sun rises. Horses are saddled in the predawn and then its on to the range where their jobs consist of moving uncooperative cattle or horses from one watering hole to the next or shifting herds from grassland devoured to ones rich with green. It doesn't stop for seasons, holidays, or inclement weather.

                                                          Image from Cowboy Calendar

But it wasn't just moving from spot A to B, cowboys were the first protection for the ranchers investments. Danger from weather, four footed, and two footed predators often snatched stray cattle or wandering horses.Small thefts added up. It was up to the cowboy to keep these loses to a minimum in order to keep smaller spreads from drying up. If injured, cowboys had to treat the animals with whatever preventative care they carried in their saddlebags. Medicinal homemade remedies were good for man or beast.

Sometimes distractions such as stampedes shifted the riders attentions. A downed rider could be and often was trampled under the hooves of frightened cattle. Another fear on the trail were river crossings. This fear was equally as great for man as it was for beast. Most young men didn't know how to swim.

When we think of these seasoned hands, images like Wayne, Selleck or Elliott come to mind. This was far from the truth. Many young men hit the trails at the tender age of 12 to 13. It wasn't until labor laws were established in the early 1900's that defined childhood, school, and working hours. Children of ranchers often had to stand toe to toe with the adults in order to make ranches successful.

The work was long, hard, and dangerous. When time came to slow down, these pre-teens turned to gun play, whiskey, cards, and other pursuits that spelled trouble. With medical care often no existent, the average life span of a cowboy was only 35 years of age.

Yet, the tradition of being a cowboy continues. The Department of Agriculture records there are anywhere between 600,000 to a million working cowboys in the US today. Of these numbers one third are women. The range is an equal opportunity investment for those willing to try.

So hats off, to the young men and women who keep our nation fed, who rise early and get to bed late, and get the job down. Down to earth, close to heaven, God loves the American Cowboy! 

Celebrate National Cowboy Day - July 22, 2023.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Travel back in time in Winthrop, Washington!

Welcome to Ruthie L. Manier's Cowboy Kisses blog. Yesterday my son Jon and his boys my grandson’s Elijah and King and I took a drive through the Majestic Cascade Mountain’s over to the small town of Winthrop, Washington which was incorporated on March 12th 1924. My youngest daughter and her family were camping there and invited us to join them. It was a warm wonderful day spent with loved ones. The first to call this treasure of land home was the Native Americans who hunted, fished, dug roots along the banks of the river, and picked berries to survive. Fur trappers arrived in the nineteenth century. The Spring of 1868 placer gold was dug up in Slate Creek. By 1915 most of the mines had shut town. In 1883 the first permanent settlers arrived. one of the three was named Ben Perrygin. Perrygin Lake is named after him which is a popular lake that many tourists flock to located in the town. Winthrop was named after Theodore Winthrop a talented author and adventurer, even though Guy Waring was founder. Guy’s Duck Brand Saloon is still standing and is now the town hall. It is the oldest Saloon in Washington State still standing and open as a buisiness. The town had a meeting reconstructed after Highway Tweny was built through the Cascade Mountain range to resemble the 1850’s when it was an old mill, and mining town by the same architect who transformed Leavenworth in 1972. Much like Leavenworth it has become a favorite tourist location. Did you know the Author Owen Wiser an old college friend of Winthrop wrote Americans first western novel ’The Virginian’ after Honeymooning in Winthrop? Now Winthrop is a bustling tourist town. known to be the continent's largest network of cross-country ski trails, yet there is much to do year around. Hiking, camping, fishing, ice skating, and even hot air balloon’s. The list of outdoor adventures goes on and on. ***
I am pleased to announce that ‘PEYTON’ the fourth installment of my ‘Chasing Time’ series is now available on ebook and in print. Travel time with the Clark family once again. Witness Peyton’s transition from a crippled veteran about to end his life to a man in love with the woman surgeon from the future who healed his leg and evan more his heart. Here is the link: amazon.com/dp/B0C8V5W7P4
Until next month: I hope you all enjoy celebrating our Independence Day on the fourth of July! Be kind to yourself and others. Follow me on Amazon, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Find all my books on Amazon under Ruthie L Manier

Friday, June 23, 2023

Chief Standing Bear Wins Civil Rights Case by Zina Abbott


During a recent trip to my local post office, my attention was immediately drawn to a current stamp offering featuring Chief Standing Bear. 


I recalled learning a bit about him when preparing a post for a different blog about the Dhegihan Siouan Language Roots, shared by the Osage, Quapaw, and Omaha tribes. The Ponca people, originally part of the Omaha tribe, broke away and established their territory along the  Niobrara River. To learn more about these tribes, please CLICK HERE

Chief Standing Bear

Chief Standing Bear (Ma-chú-nu-zhe) was the leader of a band of about 82 Ponca people who lived near the banks of the Niobrara River. Once the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 was passed, farmers in the East expected to obtain the cheap land that the government was planning to put on offer. The indigenous tribes, including the Ponca, were being urged to sell out and remove themselves to "Indian Territory," in what is today Oklahoma.

A bit of history:

By 1789, when Juan Baptiste Munier acquired trading rights with the Ponca, they had villages along the Niobrara River near its mouth, and ranged as far east as present-day Ponca, Nebraska, at the mouth of Aowa Creek. A smallpox epidemic had reduced their numbers from approximately 800 to 100 at the time of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1807.

When Standing Bear was born about 1829, the Ponca traditionally raised maize, vegetables, and fruit trees in these sites during the summer. They ranged westward for the winter bison hunt. The hunts brought them into frequent contact with their traditional enemies, the Brulé and Oglala Lakota. Sometimes the Ponca allied with their enemies to raid Pawnee and Omaha villages, but they also suffered raids by them.

In Standing Bear's childhood, Brulé raids forced the Ponca to rely more on agriculture and less on the winter bison hunt. In his adolescence, the tribe split into two villages: Húbtha? (Fish Smell) near the mouth of Ponca Creek; and Wái?-Xúde (Grey Blanket) on the northwest bank of the Niobrara. Standing Bear learned the ways of the men, how to hunt and fish, and prepared to take his place in the tribe.

In 1859, when Standing Bear was a young man, the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 had encouraged a flood of European-American settlers, and the United States government pressured the Nebraska tribes to sell their land. At the same time, they were suffering raids from the North by the Brulé and Oglala. Because tribal land claims overlapped, the Omaha treaty of 1854 included a cession of a 70-mile-mile-wide strip of land between Aowa Creek and the Niobrara, which was also claimed by the Ponca.

By 1862, white settlers were quickly moving in and building the town of Niobrara where the Ponca summer corn fields had been. The Brulé raids from the north cut off the winter hunting grounds and forced the Ponca to abandon Húbtha. In 1858, under this pressure, the Ponca ceded much of their lands to the United States. They reserved the land between Ponca Creek and the Niobrara, approximately between present-day Butte and Lynch, Nebraska.

Ponca near Ponca City, Okla

The land to which the Ponca moved proved unsuitable, leading to continual famine. The tribe was still subject to raids by hostile tribes. The Ponca spent years attempting to hunt and raise crops and horses near their old village of Húbtha? and the town of Niobrara. The government failed to provide the mills, personnel, schools, and protection that it had promised by the 1858 treaty. It did not keep up with the increasing Ponca tribal enrollment in distribution of annuities and goods. Relatives sought annuity payments, people lost resources to sickness and starvation, and raids from hostile tribes were frequent.

In 1865 a new treaty allowed the Ponca to return to their traditional farming and burial grounds, in the much more fertile and secure area between the Niobrara and Ponca Creek east of the 1858 lands and up to the Missouri River. Unfortunately, as part of the 1858 Treaty of Fort Laramie, the government illegally gave the new Ponca reservation to the Santee Dakota as part of its negotiation to end Red Cloud's War. The government soon began to seek to remove the Ponca to Indian Territory.

The Ponca did not want to sell out. They did not like “the hot country” lands assigned to them in Indian Territory, and decided to return to their traditional homelands. The U.S. government decided differently. When the eight Ponca chiefs reached their homeland, the government representatives issues and official order on 12 April 1877 to force their removal. Federal troops were called in to enforce the removal orders, and by May 1877, the Ponca had begun their forced migration to "the hot country."

Ponca Trail of Tears

Between May 16 and July 9, 1877, is what became known as the Ponca Trail of Tears. The above map follows the trail taken by Chief Standing Bear when he led his tribe back to the new territory assigned for the Poncas. It is a visual representation of the long trail the Poncas had to travel by foot. Along the hundreds of miles, tribal members suffered various difficulties, including inclement weather. They lost over one hundred members of the tribe, including Standing Bear’s son, Bear Shield.


Bear Shield’s dying wish was to be buried among his ancestors back along the Niobrara River. After arriving to their allotment in Indian Territory, along with a small contingent, Standing Bear decided to return back to their homeland in order to bury his son. Upon arriving at the Omaha reservation—that tribe being allowed to retain most of their traditional territory—Standing Bear was arrested and judged. That began one of the most important cases for the legal status of Native American people. It set an example for the widespread application of Human Rights all over the country.

Standing Bear, wife and son

Chief Standing Bear successfully argued in the U.S. District Court in Omaha that Native Americans are "persons within the meaning of the law" and have the right of habeas corpus. He became the first Native American judicially granted civil rights under American law. His first wife, Zazette Primeau (Primo), daughter of Lone Chief (also known as Antoine Primeau), mother of Prairie Flower, who died during the journey to Indian Territory, and Bear Shield, who died shortly after arriving in Indian Territory, was also a signatory on the 1879 writ that initiated the famous court case.

Chief Standing Bear in National Statuary Hall of U.S. Capitol

In November of 2019, a statue of Chief Standing Bear was donated to the National Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol by the State of Nebraska. This was to commemorate the civil rights case Standing Bear v. Crook that recognized Native Americans as "persons within the meaning of the law" who have the right of habeas corpus.

There is also a Chief Standing Bear Memorial Bridge crossing the Niobrara River.

If you wish to learn more about legalities of this civil rights case, please CLICK HERE


I became interested in the tribes who settled along the Missouri River while writing my Old Timey Holiday Kitchen book, Bee Sting Cake by Brunhilde. Since “oma” is the German word for grandmother, and she would soon be traveling to the town of Omaha, she wanted to know who Ha was. I am happy to announce that, as of this month, this book is available in paperback as well as an ebook. For details, please CLICK HERE


Elise is my other book about a new immigrant from Germany. She also would travel past this region, but would do so by steamboat instead of train. This book is also now available in paperback as well as an ebook. For details, please CLICK HERE











Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Meet the Youngest Ridge

We've met Wyatt, the oldest brother who broke away from tradition and left the ranch. He's still there when his family needs him because well the Ridges are cowboys born and bred. Conner, the peacemaker who stepped up and took over the ranch and then there's Cooper, the youngest and the trouble maker of the family. 

When everyone expects you to screw up, it takes them a while to catch on that you're actually growing up and coming into your own. I am excited for this release. We've seen and gotten to know Cooper in the last two Ridge Ranch novels, so of course he had to get his own book. 

Redeeming Cooper -

Cooper and Jo’s Story

Jo Williams

In high school, I was in love with my best friend. The problem—he never saw me as anything other than a study buddy.

We’ve long since graduated school, and I’m not the nerdy girl in glasses anymore. He, however, still has quite the reputation. I’ve always wondered if he lives up to the hype. One night by my rules, turns into so much more.

Cooper Ridge

The youngest of the Ridge brothers and the one no one takes seriously. In my defense, I’ve been a screw up most of my life. It’s getting old, even for me. I’m known for my no strings attached, but then a flash from my past has me second guessing everything. I can’t get enough, and all I want is her.

What happens when past feelings won’t be buried? Will I give up my playboy ways? Can we be enough for each other? Will a surprise give us both more than we bargained for?

If you enjoy small town romance, grab this steamy, surprise pregnancy novel with characters you’ll love and a town that shows the essence of love and care of each person there.

  • Small town
  • Cowboys
  • Second Chances
  • Happy Ever After
  • Surprise Pregnancy
  • Series of Standalones
  • Redemption
Pre-order here.


Monday, June 19, 2023

Wild Deadwood Reads

 Deadwood, South Dakota never disappoints.

Over the years I've been to many events there, or just driven there for dinner. It's always a good time. 

Wild Deadwood Reads has to be my favorite event. Even if this year was the first time I attended.  I have been wanting to go for the past few years but always have to work that weekend. This year I took vacation time and was happy to spend a few days among some great authors.
I had a great talk with Laura Scott and Lori Handeland. I by chance sat next to them at the bar while having dinner. Naturally, I had a ton of author questions for them. (They humored me well) They gave great advice and were awesome gals.

I met a lot of new people and finally got to meet several that I've been hoping to meet one day. I was horrified when I was driving home and realized I never made it back around to several tables to get signed books to match my kindle books. (I had to run to the car for more money and got sidetracked when I came back in)
But I still came home with a bunch of books. I was glad this event brought so many great authors to one location near me. A few of the cover models attended as well.

I was so thrilled to finally meat Shanna Hatfield and Pam Crooks!!!   I wish we could have had more time to talk. I probably could have chatted with them for hours.

With any luck I'll be able to attend again next year. Maybe even have a table there. It was fun to go around and see what authors bring for gifts and how they set up their area. I loved the author banners. There was such a variety of how authors displayed their books and goodies.

I now have a Wild Deadwood Reads shelf at home. I have lots of reading to do!

Thursday, June 15, 2023

"Remember the Alamo"


No battle that I know of exemplifies heroism like the battle of the Alamo. Less than two hundred men held the mission-fort against Santa Anna’s men numbering fifteen hundred or more for thirteen days as they waited for help that would never arrive. And when they finally realized help wasn’t coming stayed to fight anyway.

Lieutenant William B. Travis, who vowed death over surrender, along with James Bowie, led this small group of valiant men. Among the fighters, the famous Davy Crockett, who’d brought a small group of volunteers with him.

On March 6, 1836 the Texians and Tejanos holding the mission fort managed to repel two attacks from the Mexican army but fell on the third.

Most of the Texians and Tejanos died fighting, but those that surrendered were quickly cut down. Some noncombatants were allowed to leave to spread the word of the battle.  Hearing about Santa Anna’s savagery to men who’d surrendered enraged Texians and Tejanos and had many volunteering to fight.

The battle of San Jacinto was fought on April 21, 1836. The strength and bravery of the men who defended the Alamo inspired the Texians and Tejanos, who fought and won the battle, as they shouted their battle cry, “Remember the Alamo.”


*Tejanos: early settlers of Texas of Mexican ancestry.

*Texians: early Anglo-American settlers of Texas.