About Me

I'm a ranch wife of 27 years and loving every day. We have three grown sons and have one son home to continue our ranching heritage. My husbands family has owned this ground for over 62 years and my family has been in ranching for over 70 years. I love my heritage in ranching and the strong Christian values I have been raised with and have passed to our sons. ENJOY!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sunshine & Encouragement

The sunshine out today was really just a tease - although it looked like it could provide some warmth, the breeze off the Arctic ice cap took all the warmth away.  I left late this morning to move the entire cow herd by myself, pretty large task if I say so myself.  I had to ride to the other pasture and shut and open gates so the cattle would stay where I put them .  I was thinking that the horse's hooves sounded like I was trotting on asphalt or a highway.  The click and clatter from the ice made me very aware of how slick and precarious our footing would be today.  Now I don't come up with very many thoughts when long trotting across the pasture in a hurry.  I knew I had to hustle to get back and be the cook!!  However, when I topped the crest of the hill and saw all the cows in the meadow I had to have a picture.  As I got closer to the gate I  snapped another shot as I was thinking how I would get them all to move.

I know for a fact that a cow will follow another cow just about any where if the both of them feel they are making an escape or just sneaking away.  So I chose 4 cows that where relatively close to the gate and started to shoo them toward the proposed 'escape hatch'.  It took a little while to get them to move on the ice and then actually look to see that the gate was open.  Once they did - Katy bar the door cuz they started thru and then told all the other cows they'd found a hole!!  Now that brings us to a cow's verbiage.  Now I know most people would never think that a cow has different 'moos' but there are distinct sounds she can make in regards to various situations.  A mother cow coos at her baby calf, some may even say she would 'low' at her baby.  It's a much different sound than a 'bawl'.  A bawl is pretty close to a whine if you ask me.  The cows in the back of the herd bawled because they wanted fresh hay and didn't want to walk anywhere for grass.  However, when the cows found the open gate, they mooed.  It's a simple call but not actually a whine.  More informational - "hey ladies - look what I found"!!!!  Not to be confused with a 'bellar'.  When you hear a bellar you'd best be looking to see what's wrong.  A cow bellars when she's lost her calf or is calling from a hill or the middle of the group.  It's loud and long and takes a bunch of air.  A bellar at it's worst is when a cow is mad or challenged, then you'd better have a fence to crawl or just get out of her way.  Anyway - it's hilarious to ride into a herd and open a gate and listen to the conversation.  "Harrrrieeetttt - did you hear?  the gates open"....  pretty soon every one had seen cows moving toward the gate and they started making their way towards the 'escape hatch'.
Now I know this sounds pretty silly... kinda think so myself - but I know that cows watch to see what the others are doing and then 'talk' about it.  I sure made my job much easier to have pushed the first four cows out the gate and then let the others find the 'hole'.

Kinda reminds me of church people - we like to talk - we watch to see what others are doing and then we talk about it.  Well, maybe the last part is something we should work on.  Just talking about someone's problems doesn't encourage them at all.  We've been admonished to encourage those around us.   A Christian's joy is something they should be able to share freely cuz it is replenished by the Father Himself and will never run dry.  Was reading my 'Our Daily Bread' last night and found this - 'Jesus promised His disciples on the night Judas betrayed Him, "Your joy no one will take from you" (John 16:22). Remember that joy is the fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22) Let's ask the Lord to help us look beyond our sorrowful circumstances and encourage our hearts by the vision of joy that awaits us (Heb. 12:2)'
Our joy can not be taken cuz it's in our hearts - heaven awaits us - actually 'here' is not our home :) just thought it was another encouragement....

til later - or I stuck thinikng somewhere.....  :)


Thursday, January 21, 2010

When weather gets above freezing :)

Wow!!! What a difference a couple weeks can make - I was pretty much staying inside over Christmas and New Years cuz of the cold and now....we have run our cows thru and given them Ivomec to help with internal and external parasites. Had a couple of really nice days to do it in. We spent the first week moving cows closer to the house. I took a camera along and got some great shots of our valley from the West end looking east. Cows are pretty easy to move this time of year, they know that we are bringing them in closer to feed. We wanted to leave them on our meadows til the end of January or so because we had so much aftergrowth (we hay the meadows in the summer and aftergrowth is the grass that grows back after cutting and baling)  This picture was taken just a couple days before we had to move the cows closer home. 

 I was taking the next picture from the top of the big hill in the background.  

We had moved our broodmares with the cows 
up closer, so we didn't have to drive so far to feed them. We had to sort them off and push them to the north. They've got a nice meadow to graze and we can feed them hay when its colder.  

I have two old dogs that have shown my boys the ropes of dog obedience in 4-H.  I always had to hide in the car when their turn came up cuz the dogs would always look for me and not pay attention to the boys.  I really tried to have them be the boys dogs but now that they have grown up and on, and aren't here very often - I am their favorite person.  Their age is dictating how far they can go on drives.  The black dog, Skipper, will probably start staying at home more.  This day was almost too much for him.  

We moved just under 600 head across the valley.

My most excellent horsemen and camera shy cowboy sons Stetson & Sterling  !!!  :) 
Now.... I had intended on having pix of us running the cows through the chute but they day went well and I never had the chance to pull a camera out of my pocket.  :(  Good that we got them all down in just about 3 hours but I had hoped for some pix - maybe next time.  

Ok - I also must back up about week - Cash (hubby and my Marlboro Man) and I decided to go snowmobiling.  As we were leaving the valley we found Stetson in a bit of a pickle... notice Cash's grin and Stetson's disgust!!  
I watched him dig while Cash went back for a tractor.  
His efforts, which were excellent and a definite effort...
yielded no results!!!  :(

So here came the dad to save the day!!!!

So the tractor went back to the house and Cash and I sent on and snowmobiled.  

And yes, we had a great time... more later - maybe more snowmobiling pix cuz we did check wells that day or.... maybe ditch digging with the excavator we've got rented - so that's all he does cuz he's only got a month with it,  anyway - lots of choices so til later.....


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cascading Cleaning

Been thinking that the closets around here have been stuffed into for much too long. Isn't it amazing how much stuff you can stuff into an area without even realizing how much stuff you've got stuffed in there!! :) Once you are brave enough to pull a couple items out you become painfully aware that you have opened pandora's box and it cascades from there. I decided to do one shelf in the office today - it seems to have belched and landed mostly on the office floor. I thought one shelf wouldn't take too long, welllllll I just have one more box that I have been piling pictures on for several years - you know the ones - snap shots, Christmas cards, pix given to me or my sons - ones that really ought to be organized before putting them in an album. So for now I will move them on to the second phase of my cleaning. Once I found the puzzles in the back of the closet I knew I wanted to move them across the house into a different closet (are you seeing the cascading yet). Well, that closet wasn't needing anything more put into it until it was gone through also. Sooo the mess was on - I threw quite a bit away, reorganized and put it back with an amazing amount of room ready to accept more stuff. Ok - then I went snowmobiling with Cash and got thinking (by the way, the snowmobiling was a hoot - I would never have thought that me, the horse lover, would enjoy sledding to very very much but .... I DO!!!!)- aren't our lives like that - needing cleaned out soooo we can add more stuff again. But first to prioritize and throw away, rearrange and organize. I'm finding that closets can be kinda fun if you look at them as history or an adventure - what'd I leave in here????
One other thing - found a feather pillow in the trailer that needed washing - WELL - what an experience in patience....getting it to stay in the water - oh yeah air bubbles!!! :) Then two days in the dryer - I knew to put a shoe or something in the dryer to beat the feathers fluffy again, however the shoe kept opening the dryer door. anyway, not sure I'll take that project on again but the pillow smells good and is fluffy once again.

ahhhh success - one pillow fluffy and a closet ready for stuff!!!!

more rattling on .....



Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ranchers Snow Day

Today, (being the day to start a blog), I'm literally watching myself get snowed in, hoping that this snow system will move out as quickly as it moved in. Electricity blip took out our DISH receiver last night and 'thank heavens' I still have internet or I'd play the piano all day - Makes for a sore hand! :) Snow Days for ranchers really don't exist - they just don't have the same 'fun' aspects that most everyone else enjoys when someone says SNOW DAY! Ranching in this weather adds tremendously to the challenges of caring for livestock. Being able to provide cattle with wind protection with our Sand hills and giving them enough hay to fuel themselves to stay warm is a ongoing task and challenge. Today has been harder because my hubby is gone and my son and I are holding down the fort. Feeding was done early and everything had fresh warm hay to eat and bed down in. Tonight I am on the internet watching road conditions guiding him home thru wind and snow, well normal winter driving conditions. I think about how easy our life has become with the internet to help us along the way. Kinda like God, I think. If we'd realize that He is there, waiting for us to use Him or access His wisdom, things would go much smoother. By placing our lives under His direction, we can reduce our worry a bunch (notice I didn't say 'get rid of it' cuz that's not reality :) From Our Daily Bread, Jan. 2nd, 2010 - Scottish mathematician, theologian, and preacher Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847) wrote:"When I walk by the wayside He is along with me. When I enter into company, amid all my forgetfulness of Him, He never forgets me...Go where I will, He tends me, and watches me, and cares for me."

One more thought and then back to searching for road conditions.... Why do we try to go life alone - we have access to GOD!! "I am with you and will keep you wherever you go" (Gen. 28:15) - "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Heb. 13:5)

Well suppose this is a start - like I said a rancher snow day isn't the same as everyone else's - I've had a bunch of time to think today - watching the snow and wind out my window....