Grandpa Cowboy Jim

Dad, family ranchGrandpa tells me stories of long, long, ago, about the ranch where he grew up in Bruneau, Idaho.

Dad and Clara Bell

When he was just a little kid, way, way, back when, he would hold and talk to Clara Bell; his very own pet hen.

Jim Craig, Rosalie, & Shirley Hawes

Grandpa had a little cart pulled by a goat named Billy. He shared his fun with his good friends, Rosalie and Shirley.

I like to sit with Grandpa Jim on his front porch step. That’s where he told me his best friends were Buster, and old Shep.

Dad and nick on block

I like all of Grandpa’s stories, but the favorite I would pick, is about his little pony. Grandpa Jim called him Nick.

Dad on pony 4-2

They rode together many miles, Nick and Grandpa Jim. Grandpa wore his hat and fancy chaps his daddy made for him.

Dad, cowboy Jim

He got a brand new lariat the day that he turned ten. Grandpa Jim was a cowboy…even way back then.


Some day when I’m a Grandpa I’ll sit upon the step. I’ll tell my little grandson about Buster and old Shep.

Dad, family ranch

All the stories of long ago, I will tell to him; stories of the ranch in Bruneau, Idaho,

Dad, cowboy Jim man

And my Grandpa….Cowboy Jim.

My dad, Jim Craig, passed away September 9, 2022, from a long battle with ALS. He was born and raised a cowboy on the family ranch in Bruneau, ID. This is a children’s book I wrote for, and about him a few years ago. I am hoping to someday publish it in his memory.


Our Love Has Turned Golden, Fifty Years

,Today we celebrate Fifty years of marriage. They call this the Golden Anniversary, which symbolizes prosperity, strength, wisdom, and lifelong love.

It takes Fifty years to turn a marriage into gold. While holding hands and standing together we have suffered, cried, laughed, and prayed.

Life has not always been easy, but I can say it has always been good. I am not saying there have not been bad times, there have been. But even the bad times were good because we have shared them together.

Prosperity: We have that. We have never had the kind of riches that would put us on Forbes list of the worlds’ most wealthy, but we are rich beyond measure in the things that really count. We love each other, our three children, and the nine grandchildren they have blesssed us with, our country roots, and our God. The blessings these have given us, have made us two of the richest people on earth.

Strength: I have found that strength is something that usually comes from going through trials when we most often feel the weakest and most vulnerable. We have been there a time or two and only by knowing Christ will “Never leave us nor forsake us”, have we made it through.

Wisdom: They say that comes with age. I think that is because when you are getting closer to the end of the road, the material things of this world don’t seem so important, and you begin looking upward for true wisdom.

Lifelong love: Fifty years of loving life and each other have given us a pretty solid claim at this one!

I can’t thank God enough for the life partner he has given me, the ranch life we were able to share and raise our kids in, all the joy, laughter, and even the pain and tears we’ve gone through.

It is called life, and ours has definitely become as precious as gold. Let’s make a few more memories!

Happy Trails to us !


This means more today than it did when I originally wrote it. Watching elderly parents and other loved ones struggling with health issues has shown me more than ever how much I am blessed by their love.



It’s just a simple word, family, but it means so very much.  The dictionary says it is the succession of persons connected by blood or name.  That sounds very mater of fact, and a little cold.  There is such a feeling of warmth that comes over me when I hear the word…I know it means so much more than that!

It means traditions handed down from one generation to another.  Traditions like making Christmas cookies and candy together, hanging your socks on the mantle, going to church on Christmas Eve, reading the Christmas Story from the Bible, or The Night Before Christmas.  It’s traditions like giving plates of goodies to the neighbors, or writing letters to Santa.  It means many different things to different people.

But more than traditions, family means to me I have people who love me no matter what.  It doesn’t matter if I deserve it or not…

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Patsy and her Rolly Doll


320-1 Sister “Patsy” and her Rolly Doll

I don’t remember this Christmas.  I don’t remember my sister, Patsy, getting this doll as a present.

What I do remember as a kid growing up, is that doll always on a shelf in her room.  I also remember the stories of our longtime family friend from Bruneau, ID who gave her that doll.  His name was Rolly Hawes.

Ok….I’ll admit it.  I was jealous and I guess I still am!  I loved that cute little cowboy doll!  He was never played with that I can remember.  He just sat on that shelf gathering admiration from those who would look his way.

But really, all you Bruneau people who knew Rolly Hawes, doesn’t that doll look like him?  I think that is why I wanted it so bad.  It reminded me of Rolly, who always gave us Idaho Spud candy Bars when he came to visit.  He was always a…

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Letter to My Dad

Jim & Harriett Craig

Harriett, Jim, Sherry & Pat Craig

Dear Dad,

Today I am 71 years old! I’ve been looking back over those years and I want you to know that the greatest birthday present I have ever received, was to be born to this beautiful couple. The second best present was the sister you gave me who has been my first and forever friend.

As a family we have shared more love and good memories than most people ever know. There have been good times and bad times. But even the bad times were good because we shared them together.

I look back on my life and I know God has blessed me so very much by giving me my birth family and also the family I raised with my husband of 50 years, come June.

You have been such a big part of both of my families. You have given me love and guidane as a child, and also as an adult. You have shown that same love and guidance to our children and their children.

There is a line in an old Paul Overstreet song that I think he wrote about our family.

“Forever’s in my heart and in my blood, you see I come from a long line of love.”

Thank you for that Dad…and because of that I can say, “Happy birthday to me!”

In our prayers always.

Love you,


Jeremiah 31:3

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfullness to you.”

My Heros Have Always Been Cowboys

I was born and raised on cattle and horse ranches. My Father, Jim Craig is a cowboy as is his brother Bob Craig, and as was their dad Ed Craig. My husband was born and raised on ranches and so was my son and our daughters. I have uncles who were true cowboys, and cousins, and now a days even have some grandsons following that lifestyle.

They are all my heros. But today I am going to talk about the cowboy who raised me. His name is Jim Craig and today is his 95th birthday! They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I am going to let pictures tell most of this story.

Dad was born and raised on the family ranch in Bruneau, Idaho.

His childhood was a nurturing ground for his love of horses, cattle, dogs, and all animals.

Dad and Nick
Dad on Nick
Dad on Nick with chaps his father made him
Dad and Clara Bell
Dad with his dad Ed
Jim Craig, Rosalie, & Shirley Hawes
Best friend Shep
Dad, Buster and pet rabbit
Chore time
Jim Craig 10th birthday
Dad fishing with brother Bob at Pole Creek
Jim and 4-H steer
More 4-H
Jim Craig, 15 years old on Pinky
Jim and younger brother Bob
Jim served his country in World War II in Hawaii
Jim in Bruneau, ID
A cowboy’s life is more than riding horses, It’s working and doctoring cows
And branding
And feeding and teaching your kids to love this way of life
And Sorting
My Dad Jim Craig, trained Quarter Horses. This picture was on the Double J Bar N Ranch in California.
Dad showing Dorado Pledge in California
Showing him at halter
Branding at Beartooth Hereford Ranch, Columbus, MT
Such a handsome man, my father!
Taking his grandson, Dustin for a ride on Roany
He always dressed in classic cowboy style
Because that is what he was
And what he always will be!

This has been just a glimpse of a man and the era he lived in. He has blessed me in more ways than I have words for.

He is the best father I could have asked for. He was kind and gentle and funny. He taught me to be honest, giving, and loving. He has helped me to accept whatever surrounding I am in and find the good and beauty around me.

It is because of this man, the way he lives, the way he treated not only me but everyone around him, because of his integrity and love of God’s creation of all kinds….This is why I can say MY HEROS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN COWBOYS!

Happy 95th Birthday Dad!


I know he was your world, Donna, because your love for him showed in your face. Your smile for him, and your sparkling eyes were truly a reflection of his love for you.  Together you both showed us what love, should be. Love for our spouse, family, and especially for God.

Johnny was so much more than a friend to us.  Speaking for myself he was a mentor.  No, he didn’t give me advice as to how to live. He didn’t give me advice on how to treat others or how to live out the love of Jesus in my daily life.  But he was indeed my mentor.

 He mentored me by his example.  His genuine, warm and caring smile every time I saw I him, made me feel loved. His hug which always followed gave me encouragement and a feeling of peace knowing I belonged in his circle of friends. And when he had no words for us when my husband and I were going through one of the hardest times in our life, his tears of compassion gave me comfort.

I know he treated everyone the same, because I witnessed it. That is how I know that there are so many who feel the same way about Johnny as I do.

I was going to say he will leave a hole in my heart, but I can’t. He filled me with so much love and so many good memories, that even death can not take them away.  They will walk with me forever on this earth, and I will take them to heaven with me where I can tell him thank you in person.

My heart hurts because I miss him so much, but it is so full of gratitude to God for letting him be a part of my life.

I pray God comforts you and your family Donna. Know we love you as well, and know that even in these hard times, as Johnny always said, “God is good.”

Old Glory

Independence Day was yesterday. Because of Covid-19 many city sponsored fireworks celebrations were cancelled. Our country is at an unrest like I have never witnessed in my 69 years of life. There are violent protests across our nation and people burning our flag to supposedly make their point of view bring awareness to their cause.
But in my opinion they are making that divide wider, and stirring up anger in many hearts that were never there before. Our flag stands for sacrifice, courage, and bravery of all those who fought to bring our nation to what it is today; the home of the brave, land of the free..United States of America ! Although many public firework shows were canceled, our little town was aglow with every other house setting off their pride and respect for our Nation’s Independence Day Celebration! That is why I am resharing this blog post from a couple of years ago. There is love, respect, and meaning behind and for our flag. Don’t trample on, spit on, and burn Old Glory!



The United States of America.  Land of the free, home of the brave.  This is where I am blessed to live. I was born and raised on cattle and horse ranches.  I lived a simple country life.  It was a life learning to admire the beauty, grandeur, and awesome peacefulness of God’s creative hand.

We didn’t grow up admiring beautiful skyscrapers built by the hand of man.  We grew up admiring majestic mountains created by the hand of God himself.  We weren’t privileged to visit neighborhood museums where we could be awed by paintings of world renown artists.  We were awed by the beauty of creeks, and rivers rushing over rocks, soothing us with stress relieving sounds more beautiful than any orchestra.  We didn’t admire paintings of flowers, we were awed by wildflowers growing on a mountainside or prairie. We had the real thing.  God said of flowers in the…

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Somebody Did Something

Somebody did something. Yes they did! Eighteen years and this day still overwhelms me. We as a nation vowed we would never forget. I for one never will. Facebook is flooded with posts honoring those who died, and also those who survived that terrible day.  So I know I’m not the only one who has not forgotten.

There are some I fear however who have, or at least have become so sensitive to “political correctness” that they can’t call a spade a spade.  The fear of offending someone has resulted in efforts to change our National Anthem, remove “In God we trust” from our National monuments, buildings, and our money, and on and on.

Our government is allowing elected people to take their oaths on the Koran instead of the Bible, and erase Israel from the map in their office.  Don’t think they don’t plan to “erase” America as we know it also.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not against all middle eastern peoples who happen to belong to the Islam religion.  It is not the people with good hearts I’m talking about. It is the religion itself and the radicals who follow it and its commands to kill all infidels who  won’t submit to their Allah. This is who attacked on Sept. 11.  This is the Somebody who did something! This is what we are Never to forget!


Some People Did Something

“Some people did something.”

That was said for all to hear.

Four little words

Which I heard very clear.

I saw and heard the aftermath.

We’ll never be the same,

People jumping from the towers,

To escape a death by flame.

Their screams, and ours too,

Who watched in disbelief,

Haunt me and always will..

Let our souls have no relief.

For if we forget the evil,

We can’t recognize the good,

Of the bravery and sacrifice

On which 3000 stood.

Heroes arose that day,

And more than just a few.

There were firefighters, medics,

And New York’s finest dressed in Blue

Doctors, nurses, equipment operators,

Pastors, and strangers on the street;

So many doing what they could

So many needs to meet.

Some people did something

Eighteen years ago.

And others answered back

Are you ready guys? LET’S ROLL!

Yes Somebody Did Something…


Sheryl Craig Russell