Dreaming of Summer

I’m dreaming of summer… even fall!  Just not winter.  I’m pretty much being a baby as we have some beautiful days coming, but tonight…. It’s cold out there!!   What’s not to love about days like these pictured.  Watching the Wild Child ride off next to her dad always makes my heart happy.IMG_6333 IMG_6337 IMG_6343

The Wild Child and her Papa riding out.IMG_6360

The Wild Child and her dad riding back to the trailer.  She was expounding on how she felt the day went.
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And now… with lots of new babies on the ground that I have yet to take any pictures of, I thought I would share a few pictures I took last fall of some of our “babies”.IMG_6387 IMG_6388 IMG_6395I tore the tailgate off of the pickup a couple of weeks ago.  Well, actually, I mangled the tailgate and then removed it from the pickup.  I didn’t actually “tear it off”.  The result is the same.  2015-01-24 07.00.29There is a mangled tailgate that is no longer attached to the pickup.  Ugh.  I followed that up by pulling up to the house to unload groceries, opening door to several bags falling out and pouring their contents on the ground.  Then, just to make sure I completed my day of yuck, I put the pickup away and walked my in-law’s mail into their house only to find that I had left their mail at our house and taken our mail to their house.  2015-01-24 07.00.18At this point I just started laughing.  It was either that or cry.  Nothing to cry about, no one hurt or suffering, so I chose laughter.  It was a good choice and one that I need to choose more often.

Lizzie, the paint horse that the Wild Child has been blessed to get to ride the past few months, cut her foot just2015-01-14 14.48.01 above her hoof while pawing at a fence on Christmas Eve.  It ended up having to be sutured and casted, and then Miss Lizzie was on “barn rest” for a few weeks.  She wasn’t too pleased with us.  She wanted out to hang out with her friends.  The day finally came to get her cast cut off.  She was a rock star.  The vet said she was the first horse ever that he didn’t have to sedate to cut the cast off.  Way to go, Liz!  It was after I had unloaded Lizzie that I tore the tailgate off.  I had pulled the trailer in line with the other trailers to unhook it and couldn’t find my block.  I called the person that had hooked the trailer up that morning to find out where he had hidden my block.  It had been frozen to the ground.  At this point, in the dark, I was crawling around with my flashlight under the pickup and the trailer trying to find the missing block.  It was then that I realized I had pulled back in to the space where the cattle pot had been sitting that morning, not the horse trailer.  So what’s a girl to do but jump in the pickup and pull around to the right spot.  UGH!!!  Yes— with the tailgate open.  My costly little mistake.  Rats!

2015-02-16 20.37.00This has been our life for the last three weeks.  Calving heifers and cleaning barns.  Thankful for my cute helper.

Until next time…. JARW

Oh, one more thing!  Look at these awesome projects my friend has been working on.  The pipes are cool, but the buffalo horn!  Awesome!
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Merry Christmas

Christmas 2015My good friend, Jody, sent this to me some time back.  I loved it then and love it every time I go back and read it.  She found it on this website:  www.goodbyehousehellohome.com

Let’s focus today, not on our “have-nots” and wants, 
but rather on our “haves” and present blessings. 
Why not take a moment right now to pause and thank God 
for the place He’s given you to live?
Accept your home and be content in it. 
Offer it to the Lord today to do with as He pleases and ask Him 
to send His creativity through your home as you use it 
to serve your family and all those He will send your way.
Don’t be ashamed of your things, for in them lie possibilities.
Remember what Jesus was able to do with water (turn into wine) 
and a few fish and a few loaves of bread (fed a tiny city)– 
He is able to do anything with what you bring to Him in faith.

Merry Christmas, JARW friends!  How blessed I am to have “met” so many of you through the past year.  May your Christmas holiday season be filled with love and laughter.

God Bless,

Just A Ranch Wife

Happy LATE Thanksgiving

bible

Tis the season of giving thanks and sharing blessings. I have so very much to be thankful for, and in fact count my blessings daily and give thanks.  However, I think I need to give some extra thanks during this season of CHRISTmas.  So here goes.

First and foremost, I am thankful for my faith.  GOD has blessed me abundantly, and continues to bless me abundantly.  I am so thankful for HIS infinite wisdom, guidance, blessings, and timing… even though I am often very impatient.  :)  HE reminds me quite frequently that things happen on HIS timeline.  Seeing all that is going on in this world makes me so sad.  There is a definite lack of GOD in our world.  I try to daily keep all those suffering in my prayers.  I need to add all those who are committing atrocious crimes to my prayers.  They sure need GOD.

IMG_7228As you would expect (yes, I’m predictable), I’m extremely thankful for my amazing family, in-laws, and out-laws.  ;)  Our Thanksgiving was spent with my side of the family, and our CHRISTmas will be spent at home with Pine’s side of the family.  I absolutely can’t wait.  Our Thanksgiving was glorious, filled with love, laughter, lots of kids, and even a new baby great-nephew to love on.  How can anyone NOT be thankful to GOD when there is a new baby to snuggle.

Blessing #3 is being ‘Just’ a ranch wife.  Kate Moving CowsI love this life that I live.  I love WHERE I live.  I love what we do.  And most of all, I love that the Wild Child is growing up here, and that all our older kids (even though only one is still here full time) are “ranch kids.”  The life lessons learned growing up in agriculture are amazing.  The work ethics learned from a life in agriculture are unmatched.  I am eternally thankful that my broken road led me to this place.

Value of a Moment

My washer and dryer make my blessing list.  I can’t imagine living back in the day of wash boards, freeze drying clothes, lye soap…  I was so thankful when I unloaded the suitcases from our trip to Cass’ state VB tournament and unloaded suitcases after our Thanksgiving trip and started loads of laundry.  Oh yes— and the fact that we have so many clothes to choose from (probably too many actually) is another blessing.  We are surrounded by abundance.

I’m blessed for all the prayer warriors in my world.  I have two friends who are battling breast cancer, one of which is getting ready to undergo surgery as I type this, and other friends battling other forms of cancer.  There are so many suffering from many diseases and heartbreak.  The prayer warriors work overtime and for that I’m eternally grateful.

More blessings are our businesses.  We were so abundantly blessed this year with moisture, hay, amazing cattle prices, and thus far a fairly mild (albeit extremely cold some days) winter.  It is amazing that we can make a living doing what we love.  My home-based business is thriving, too.  Our cups runneth over.

My blessings go on and on and on.  I hope you are equally as blessed.

Until next time… JARW

Miss Procrastination

WorkWork 1Time has gotten away from me once again, which doesn’t surprise those who know me.  To the rest of you, the closet door is open and I’m introducing another of my many skeletons.  You’ll learn to love her given enough time, or learn to tolerate her anyway.  She is lovingly (or grudgingly) known as Miss Procrastination.  Every day I think “I need to get a JARW post done.”  And that dang Miss Procrastination ‘saves’ me from getting it done day after day.  Today, however, she is locked in the closet and I’m getting this post done no matter how hard she knocks on the door or how loud she hollers.

My last few weeks have at least been productive.  We have preconditioned calves, shipped calves, pregnancy tested cows, hauled cows closer to home, attended local church soup suppers and local pancake suppers, cheered at volleyball games and football games, watched our daughter be crowned the high school homecoming queen, hauled hay, watched hay burn up… the weeks have been busy.  I’ll save you reading time and instead give you a pictorial glimpse of our last few weeks.

UPDATE:  Here it is SEVERAL days later and I have yet to get this done.  Today is the day!!

Entertaining herself while waiting to push up the next bunch of calves.

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Granny cussing me because I had caught her on camera.  :)IMG_6475

Fred and the Wild Child pushing up calves.IMG_6479

Pine and his brother, Matt, discussing the merits of a heifer calf.IMG_6480

It was a LONG day and eventually little ranch kids need a break.

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Heifer calvesIMG_6487

Granny & Papa checking out calf weights while shipping.
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Heifer calves coming off of the truck.
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Trent & the WC waiting for another load to show up. IMG_6500

Our volleyball girls supporting “Pink Out” and the fight against breast cancer.  They wore pink socks and pink hair bands all month long.IMG_6580

Bobbing for apples at the local “Trunk-or-Treat”IMG_6690

Eli’s and the WC’s masterpieces.IMG_6697

The Queen and her wicked sisters.

IMG_6429Until next time… JARW

Ultrasound

IMG_6150The snap of a latex glove causes some to shiver.  Imagine an entire latex gloved arm!  Yep!  It is that time of year again; time for ultrasounding and pregnancy checking.  We ultrasounded the bred yearling heifers a few weeks ago.  It was a cool, damp day, but we loved every minute of it.  The heifers looked great, and the pregnancy rate was awesome.  Doesn’t get much better than that.

 

The Wild Child, being a ranch girl, knows you can always take clothes off if you are hot, but we might not always have extra if you are cold.  She loves working with us, and is not afraid to bundle up.  She is putting on an extra neck gator here on her way to the corrals.

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Doc Beck from the Fallon County Vet Clinic in Baker, MT is the ultrasound magician.  He makes our spring heifer calving MUCH less stressful by giving us all the details we need to make detailed sorts.  Here he is showing Carmen the calf details on the ultrasound screen.

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Where the magic happens… and shit.

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The lost is found again.  This bull had escaped capture when we took all the bulls out of the cows and heifers to go back to their life outside of breeding season.  He was back with the heifers when we gathered to ultrasound.  I’m sure he was sad he had to go back with his buddies and not hang out with the girls anymore. IMG_6153

Just when we were flying through heifers, one jumped up and popped a hose.  Doc Beck had spares, Fred had tools, and before too long things were back up and running.
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The breakdown gave Gary a chance to clean up his glasses and wipe off the rain.
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Our friends Laurel and Christine, visiting South Dakota from sunny California, got to experience the whole situation.  I am confident that they were happy to go back to their regular jobs and not have to participate in this job on a regular basis.  IMG_6159

All in all it was a great day.  The heifers tested well.  The moisture is always welcome.  We got all the heifers hauled a lot closer to home.  And best of all, we had a great time all working together.  IMG_6161

Until next time… JARW

Oh– one more thing.  If you are on Facebook, check out my sister’s blog posts.  Here is the link to two of them.  I may be a bit biased, but Damn!! This girl is good!  Enjoy!

Letter to my Good Wolf

Dear Good Wolf:  I have a new key!

The Jennifer Principle

T.I.P. , Muhammad Ali

Hail No

IMG_6138We have had some extreme weather events this summer.  The moisture has truly been a GODsend, but we have had some other craziness.

The hail got us in July.  I was about 25 miles away at a youth rodeo with the Wild Child when a CODE RED phone call came over my cell phone.  The message told me that there was extreme weather headed towards our home place.  I immediately called home, but I was too late; the storm had already been there.  Fortunately, almost all the vehicles and tractors were in the shop.  However, it broke out several windows in my in-law’s house, dented up a pickup that was at the field (Pine was baling), dented up some trailers and the semi, and did some damage here and there to our house.  It sure laid the grass down all over, but didn’t shear it off so it was pretty much back to normal after a few days.  Overall, we were pretty darned blessed.  It could have been so much worse.

IMG_6133Labor Day weekend we were hit with another crazy storm.  LOTS of rain and some wicked straight line winds blew through here.  There were many broken electric poles (we didn’t have electricity for a couple of days), lots of downed tree branches, some tipped over windbreaks, an exploded little oil field building, and just lots of craziness.  Once again… blessed.  No one was hurt, no livestock loss, and stuff can be replaced.  Here are a few pictures from that storm.

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We had some damage, but nothing compared to what agriculture producers in our neighbor state of Montana are going through.  Look at the devastation from the flooding.

http://www.kpax.com/news/9-000-hay-bales-lost-in-montana-flood-waters/

http://www.ktvq.com/news/9-000-hay-bales-lost-in-flood-waters/

Please keep all these folks devastated by these flood waters in your prayers.

Until next time… JARW

Super Horses

On a ranch just outside of my hometown, I got the chance to watch the funnest event series.  Routier Ranch held their first annual Super Horse Challenge.  It was awesome.  The ‘Challenge’ is that one person has to ride the same horse in five different events– barrel racing, team roping as the header, team roping as the heeler, goat tying, and breakaway roping.  There were close to 30 super horses entered and they all did an excellent job.  You could tell that there had been a lot of time put in to these horses (and contestants) to compete in all five events.

Riley, Jess, their family, and all the other volunteers put on an excellent event.  It was awesome to see the versatility of both the horses and riders.  Going in to this I thought the women contestants had the upper hand with the goat tying and barrels, but the men showed up proving that they had spent quite a bit of practice time in these events, as well as the team roping.  Congrats to Chad Miller for having the champion Super Horse!  Here are a few of my way too many pictures.  I can’t wait for next years event.

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IMG_4772IMG_5582IMG_5584IMG_5848IMG_5866Thanks for the laughs and great entertainment!

Until next time… JARW

Our Little Trip

We took a few days and went on a little road trip through Buffalo, Wyoming, through Sheridan and up on the top of the mountains for the night, then down through Cody and the awesome Buffalo Bill Museum, to the top of the world, and then down to Red Lodge.  Oh my… the beauty.  Indescribable!  The roads–scary as heck.  I am definitely a flat lander!

Heading to Crazy Woman Canyon outside of Buffalo, WY.

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Crazy Woman Canyon
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Out of the canyon and heading back to Buffalo, Wyoming.IMG_4510 IMG_4514 IMG_4519 IMG_4520

Up above Sheridan, Wyoming heading to Bear Lodge and Elk View resorts.IMG_4524

IMG_4530 IMG_4526 IMG_4527 IMG_4528A couple of the awesome displays at Buffalo Bill museum in Cody, WY
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On top of the world… Going to Red Lodge, MT
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And finally… home!  We are surrounded by beauty. IMG_4628IMG_4629IMG_4632IMG_4641IMG_4646IMG_4649Until next time… JARW

Who’s The Idiot

IMG_4640Square bales.  Idiot cubes.   Looks like work doesn’t it.  Don’t kid yourself.   It IS work.  The first few bales you are throwing on the trailer feel light; each bale gets exponentially heavier.   Pine had a friend of his come up and bale some second cutting alfalfa into square bales for barn feeding during calving.  Square bales are much easier to deal with than big round bales while doing barn chores.

Jason was planning on showing up after his regular work hours to bale this for us.  We had talked about it the day before and all was well.  Except that there was major rain in the forecast, AND Pine had to leave to go fight fire down by our south ranch.  He left me with specific instructions:

  • “Run down to the Hansen Place and get Papa out of the tractor where he was baling hay.  Tell him you need help as you need him to drive the pickup and trailer while you are loading square bales.”

  • “When you get back home, hook the red flatbed up to the black pickup and head to the field.”

  • Oh— and this one…”You have GOT to get all these loaded and under shelter before the rain comes.”

Being the good ranch wife I am, I followed his instructions ALMOST to the T.  I did run down and get Papa out of the field to drive the pickup and flatbed.  I did hook up the red flatbed to the black pickup and headed to the field.  I did make sure all these bales were loaded and under shelter before the rain came (It never came.)  But, I improvised just a little.  I got on the cell and called Trent, my 23-year-old son.

“Trent.  This is mom.  I need help.  I have to get these square bales loaded and under cover before the rain comes.  You can pick up a case of beer on the way through Ludlow and I will pay for it.  Can you come and help me?”

“Absolutely, Mom.  I just happen to have four guys in the pickup with me right now.  We will be there in 30 minutes.”

No idiot here.  Those kids had the flatbed loaded in under 15 minutes.  Papa drove.  Jason and Tucker stacked.  The other four threw bales.  Andi and I gathered bales in to bunches to make them handier.  I think the driver stopped ONE time and that was when he was negotiating a corner.  It was awesome.  Plus, they were laughing and having a good time doing it.  One thing that makes this momma’s heart smile is watching kids work and enjoy it so much that they LAUGH while doing it.  Blessed.

The next morning Pine came to the house and said “Well, we better go get these bales unloaded and stacked.  I need them out of the shop.”

WHAT?!?  Why the heck didn’t he tell me where he wanted them the afternoon before when I had all that help.  Lucky for us, Cass had just gotten home from volleyball practice, stiff and sore, and we were sure unloading some square bales would be the best thing for her.  She threw them to the back of the trailer, and Pine and I hauled them in the barn and stacked them.  Granted— this isn’t where they will be come winter.  The majority of them have to go to a different barn.  But we couldn’t unload them there as there is a building project going to happen on that barn this month.

When it comes time to load most of them once again and haul them to the other barn, I am sure hoping Trent and his buddies can still be bought for a case of beer.

Until next time… JARW

 

The Big Question

Kids in agriculture often learn life lessons much earlier than most.  They experience the loss of calves, lambs, pets, etc., early in life and sometimes often.  On the flip side, they are blessed to see the miracle of birth way more often.  And, they learn about the birds and the bees earlier than most kids.

Tonight we had been talking about getting the rest of the bulls out of the cows as the breeding season has ended for us, and then hauling the bulls back to their home pasture to recoup and get ready for next year.  Later while tucking the Wild Child into bed, after prayers, we were visiting about our day.  She started telling me about a day in late June when we moved some pairs from one pasture to a new pasture.

“Mom.  There was this bull with a dirty butt… I think he was #4.  Anyway, he was riding all the cows.”

“That’s his job, honey.  He was breeding them so they can have calves again in the spring.  Cows can’t have babies without bulls.”

“Oh yeah.  I knew that.”  Silence…  and then, “So moms can’t have babies unless dads breed them?”

“Ok!  Time to go to sleep!  Have a good night, Sweets.”

Sometimes it is best to leave the birds and the bees talk strictly focused on animals, especially when dealing with a 5-year-old.  Yep— she caught me off guard on that one.

Until next time… JARW