A NOT Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal for those of you who only follow me online and not on Facebook. Take 15% off of any product order until Friday (12/6) midnight— Yes Friday. I’m a rebel that way! Just message me with your order, your mailing address, and your email address for billing purposes. They will be shipped as soon as the order is paid for so they should definitely reach you before Christmas if they are paid timely.
The shirts are all $20 before discount and am getting short in some colors/sizes. When they are gone they are gone and there will not be more in before Christmas.
The “Ranch Kid” shirts are long-sleeved and come only in youth sizes (s,m,l,xl) in pink, carolina blue, gray, and dark blue.
The “Ranch Raised” and “Ranch Wife” shirts are also long-sleeved and come in adult sizes (m,l,xl, 2xl, and 3xl) and tend to run a little small. They come in red, green, gray, and carolina blue.
The “Just A Ranch Wife” military caps are $35 regularly and come in brown, pink, tan, black, navy, and olive. The bling colors vary. Some colors are getting close to being sold out and I will not have more in before Christmas.
To order click “contact me” to send an email to order. State sizes, color choices (better to have a backup in case your initial color is gone in that size), email address for billing purposes, and shipping address. I will email you an invoice as soon as I get notice of your message with a payment link. The email may route to your junk mail so please watch there, as well.
You DON’T have to be a Ranch Wife, Ranch Kid, or Ranch Raised to wear one of these shirts! You can simply love the way or life or wished you lived this way of life!
The last couple of weeks has found us driving pretty much across South Dakota and back two times. We took a couple of different routes just to see some country that we normally don’t see. Well worth the trips. South Dakota is definitely the land of variety. We didn’t get to the farthest eastern part of our wonderful state, but we definitely enjoyed every single mile that we did travel.
Western South Dakota is ranch country, especially as far west as we are. We live in Harding County. You can see on the map that Harding County is split just about in half by Highway 85. We live on the west side of the highway. The northeastern part of our county has the most farm ground in Harding County; the western half not so much. Our ranches have hay ground, but we don’t plant crops that are harvested by combining. If we plant barley or wheat we are going to cut it for hay.
The majority of the land in the far western corner of South Dakota is native. The sod hasn’t ever been broken up. The grasses are a combination of cool season and warm season grasses, but mostly warm season that puts pounds on calves and lambs. We are cow country, but it takes a lot of acres to run these cows. It takes an average of 30-35 acres per cow/calf pair. In contrast, when visiting with some farmers/ranchers around Huron, South Dakota, they only need 3-5 acres. What a huge difference just traveling a few hundred miles.
Traveling across the state we got to see sights that we don’t normally see at home… namely corn stubble fields. Mile after mile in eastern South Dakota we passed corn stubble fields. That is not a normal sight for the majority of our county. We personally have no corn fields, or soybeans, or wheat, or peas, or… You get it. We don’t farm. We do plant haybet barley for forage production. We occasionally plant spring wheat for forage production, and there has been some millet for forage production, but for the most part our ground that has been broken up is all alfalfa grass mix.
The extent of our personal farming usually consists of just going over the existing fields to re-plant them. The Big Guy went through several fields in the last couple of weeks. They are ready for spring planting. The smell of turned earth is wonderful. Reminds me of eating a garden fresh tomato. I know– I’m a little off, but it really does. The turned earth is a huge change of scenery as we are used to seeing grass. While beautiful in its own way, I’m much partial to stirrup-high grass waving in the breeze.
Whatever scenery one prefers and is used to, it is wonderful to be able to see some country and some diversity. However, nothing like being home and watching the sun set from your own yard.
Until next time… JARW
The cows are all officially off of summer grass. The last batch was hauled home yesterday. Two pot loads, two trailer loads, and the Wild Child and I hauling horses. They are in the corral as I type this readying themselves for being pregnancy checked this morning. Everything will then all be checked, the rest of the opens will be hauled to the sale, and we will be one more step closer to being prepared for the winter / spring. How blessed we have been to have open pastures still at the end of November and not feeding hay every day. Every day is one day closer to spring!
There are still some cows and yearling bred heifers on fall grass and not right here at home. They are on some land that is about seven miles away by road, little less as the crow flies. We will trail those home in a week or two as the weather dictates. We will then have everything where it belongs and where they will stay through the end of calving / branding season. Seems like all these “seasons” get closer and closer every year. Is this happening to anyone else? Seems like only a week or two ago we were sorting pairs to haul everything out to summer pasture. Now here we are wearing long-johns and “light” winter clothing getting ready to pregnancy check our last bunch.
Yet another thing for me to be thankful for… all the cows being close to home again. The dogs will be happy, too. They have been bored all summer and fall waiting for something to do besides bring the old horses in twice a day during chores. Maybe now they will quit dragging around a 12-foot piece of 3-inch PVC pipe that extends from our drain pipe on our house. They drag it way out in to the middle of the alfalfa field and then dig around the ends trying to get that crazy rabbit that never seems to appear. They definitely need something to do.
So out the door we go, the Wild Child and I, to enjoy yet another beautiful fall day. Hope you day is filled with blessings and getting to do something you love.
Until next time… JARW
Our beautiful fall day two days ago was spent outside just enjoying our day. I saddled up Speed for the Wild Child and she rode to her heart’s content while I filled some grain boxes, cleaned up some planters, and just putted around outside. The weather was amazing.
We have had an interesting last few days, but not how one would expect! My cowboy sent some pants to the cleaners for a blast of heavy starch. Now to really understand the story, you must know that the cleaners is 110 miles from home. We can’t just run them downtown. We have no downtown. We are in the middle of nowhere / everywhere– depending on your outlook. Back on task, we dropped the pants off at the cleaners a week ago while we were in the Hills on business. In doing so, we realized that they would probably be there for quite some time until we were back that way.
Living in a small community has LOTS of benefits, ONE of them being friends who ask “do you need anything in the hills today?” Silly thing to ever ask. Someone ALWAYS needs something. Well our something was to have the pants picked up at the cleaners. Not a problem. The pants would be back in town on Friday afternoon. This was awesome as this week we have to head to watch our daughter in the state volleyball tournament. Everyone needs good ole heavy starched jeans to watch volleyball… Don’t they?
The pants made it safely to the town where our daughter goes to high school, which is still 35 miles from home. The deliverer called and told me he would just bring them out to us in the morning as he was coming this way anyway. Perfect. Then he called back and said that he would just throw them in our car at the school. Perfect. The third call was to tell us that since school was just about out that he would just meet our daughter and give them to her. Not so perfect, I replied, as she has practice right after school meaning that he would have to wait for three more hours. He didn’t think that was perfect either so he was back to bringing them out. Once again, perfect. The last call was that he decided to go ahead and drop them off in our car. Did she have the maroon car. Yep. So the plan was made.
Our daughter got home from school/practice and during supper her dad asked “So, did you bring in my pants?” She was confused as she had NO idea what he was talking about. We explained that there was supposed to be several pair of pants left in her car. Nope. Was she sure? Yep. Better run out and check. She did and nope; no pants. We called the deliverer of said pants. He had put them in the front seat of an older maroon Buick since the back seat was full of what looked like suitcases. We drive a maroon Mercury. No one had any idea who might drive an older maroon Buick. Our daughter was pretty sure that no one drove a maroon car at all, except for her, and that the only Buick was dark blue. The search was on.
We called and made inquiries with anyone we could think of. Finally the Big Guy consented to letting me put out a “Lost Pants” facebook post. You can only imagine the comments this got. My brother posted to tell me he thought I was past the stage in my life that I needed to look for my lost pants in the back seat. Funny guy. I replied they weren’t my pants anyway, they were the Big Guy’s. My friends wanted to know why the Big Guy had to send his pants to the cleaner and why his wife wasn’t taking care of things at home. The ribbing continued. Still no pants. My friends were sharing the post with more people. Still no pants. We had given them up for lost.
Monday rolled around and our daughter’s economics teacher asked if we had found the pants. One of her classmates perked up. By gosh he had some pants in the front seat of his car, but he figured they were his dad’s pants and he had left that car at home. Yes– he drives a dark blue Buick. To make this incredibly long story a little shorter, I will just tell you now. He had the pants. He brought that car to school yesterday. The pants are now home. All is well.
Moral of the story? No idea. But extremely grateful for people who pick up our laundry and deliver it, even if they are color blind. Also extremely grateful for small communities who are all looking out for each other, even if it is just trying to find our lost pants. Lastly, incredibly grateful that we are indeed WAY past the stage in our life where we potentially could have lost our pants in the back seat of a car, which by the way, NEVER happened! EVER. SERIOUSLY. Stop laughing. NEVER.
Until next time… JARW
The WC and I walked to the house last night after doing chores and the coyotes were serenading us like crazy. It sounded like they were just over the hill south of our house. My crazy WC kept howling back. She said “I bet they think I’m a wolf!” Probably! She has spent many hours watching hunting shows with her dad. She can blow a coyote call with the best of them! Turns out she thinks she can howl like a wolf, too. Who knew?!
We weaned replacement heifers a couple of days ago. Once again, we were incredibly blessed with amazing fall weather. Here we are gathering the first bunch. Weaning allows the cow to use the energy and nutrition that was used in milk production to instead improve her own condition and prepare for her next calf. The body condition of a cow is important for many reasons, but especially for reproductive issues and raising good healthy calves. Thus we want to make sure we always try to keep our cows in the best shape possible. We sorted off all the heifers and hauled them to my brother-in-law’s house where they will winter. It was a muddy mess there; he definitely had more snow then we did. Weaning is stressful on a calf. Not only removed from their mothers, but also our replacement heifers are taken to a place they have never been. When a calf is stressed, just like people, they become more susceptible to sickness. Every heifer calf gets run through the chute to get a subcutaneous injection and a nasal solution. The nasal solution works immediately to boost the calves immunity, while the injection will take a bit.
We spent the day after weaning pregnancy checking all the mommas of the replacement heifers. I also took a few minutes to take some pictures of the weaned bull calves. They are looking good. So fun to watch the animals you raise and keep (the bull calves and the replacement heifers) grow up.
The view from the back. :)
Below is a bull calf we kept out of a new AI sire we used last year. I put his momma in the shed about 4:00 a.m. one morning on my last check of the night. I went to the house and went to bed as the Big Guy was then officially “on duty!” At about 8:00 a.m. I got a call to come to the barn because, as he encouraged, I just “really need to see this calf.” Well what ranch wife could pass that up. So I jumped up (well maybe “jumped” is a stretch– instead maybe slid out of bed like a slug), got dressed, and headed to the barn to see what the fuss was about.
On arrival. the Big Guy lead me down to a jug (pen inside the barn) to look at the new calf. He was an awesome little bull calf.
The BG said “I bet that we end up keeping this calf for a bull. Just look at him!”
What a great little calf he was. Spot on was the prediction. We did end up keeping him for a bull. We watched him all spring and he just continued to impress us. He still continues to impress us. Not very often, well basically never, is a bull calf picked on the day he is born. They change so much over the next few months. But this boy– he was impressive. I can’t wait to see what he looks like next spring as a yearling!
Until next time— JARW
My ranch wife-ing has taken a backseat as of late to being a mom and a sports fan. Our high school football team played in the second round of the play-offs last Monday. On our drive to town the Wild Child started complaining about being hot, but we had our long johns, etc. on for the football team so that didn’t worry me too much. Then she said her belly didn’t feel too good, but we were a couple of hours late for dinner so that didn’t worry me much either. We turned on the air conditioning, got some food in her belly, and went to my mom’s house in town to rest up before the football game. She said she was much better and played until game time. About the second quarter, though, she didn’t feel so hot. We spent all the second half rocking in the bleachers and for the Wild Child– that is unheard of. We ended up leaving in the fourth quarter as she was now running a fever and feeling horrible. She slept the whole way home and cried when I woke her up to put her pajamas on because her head hurt. She never did throw up, fortunately, but we spent the next several days in the house battling a fever on and off, and with her spending lots of time sleeping.
Our daughter’s volleyball team got a bye in the first round of districts thus allowing the WC a couple more days to heal up. Thursday found us loading up and heading to the semi-final game of the district tournament. Our girls won thus sending us to the championship game on Friday night. Even though they tried to push the parents in the stand over the edge with craziness, our team won the district tournament in five games. The Big Guy took the WC and our daughter’s car and headed home. I loaded up the two older girls and a straggler (just kidding Jimi!) and headed half way across the state to spend the night before driving the rest of the way on Saturday morning to watch my nephew and the rest of our high school football team in their semi-final game. They came up short. Rats! Our senior boys, though– man what a high school career they have had. In their four years of high school they have made it to the semi-finals two years and to the championships two years– winning the state championship last year. It has been so fun to watch them.
Those 979.3 miles and seven hours of bleacher time, plus the hours of car time weren’t enough so we loaded back up on Tuesday and went to watch our daughter play in the regional championship volleyball game in their bid to win a trip to the state tournament. The 334.4 total miles round trip, the five hours in the pickup, and the two hours of gym time were definitely well worth it. The girls are heading to the state tournament next weekend. What a grand time we have had chasing kids!
On the days between games we keep plugging along here on the ranch. I had to laugh when I heard someone ask my husband if he has all his fall work done. He replied– “Last years.” It sure feels that way some days. Our kids, though, will be gone before we know it… well all except the Wild Child. She will be keeping us on our toes and running for quite a few more years. Until then, we plan to miss as few of their events as we can. Life is grand.
Until next time —- JARW
Some sweetness from one of the JARW readers, Jacque Trumbull. Thanks Jacque for sharing your talent with us! Published with author’s permission.
Just what is a cowboy poet?
I’m beginning to ponder that thought
‘Cause some folks don’t think I fit the mold.
Guess I don’t look as they think I ought?
Well, I’m not really a cowgirl,
Only a rancher affiliated with cattle.
But the poems that I spin as I ponder
Are based on ranch life including a saddle.
I’ve ridden long miles cross the prairie,
Spent many years in the hills of sand
And I’m most happy to say,
“I wear the Master’s Brand”
My poems tend to have a ranch flavor,
Often telling about things of the life.
One thing I will tell you for certain,
Cow country sees plenty of strife!
I wouldn’t trade this life for another.
I’ve lived elsewhere and it just don’t take.
Watching wildlife and grazing cattle
It’s a life I don’t care to forsake.
Maybe I don’t fit the mold set by some,
I’ve been a maverick according to some
So I just write Cow Country poetry
And pray that to Jesus others will come.
6 July 2013
We have spent several days over the last couple of weeks pregnancy checking cows. Let me rephrase that— The Big Guy has spent several days over the last couple of weeks pregnancy testing cows and helping his brother feel more confident in his testing skills. I spent many days over the last couple of weeks doing whatever was needed from pushing cows up a chute, running a vaccine gun, or (as evidenced below) leaning against a sorting stick looking all grump-ass while everyone else worked. That, my friends, is why I carry the camera and take the pictures— so I’m not busted with proof that I was lazing around.
The Wild Child kept busy doing what she loves to do best… riding her trusty steed, Speed.
When she got done with that she helped push cows up the chute, even ducking down when necessary so they would keep moving.
Pregnancy checking is a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Who better than the men!?! For those who have never seen the process, the picture proof is below, along with a video. Yep, he has his arm right where you think he does.
These cows were done and watching the action from as far away from the chute as they could stand. Probably not how they expected to spend their day!
Dressed and ready for action… after enjoying a glass of iced tea.
Double checking to see what his brother was feeling while helping him hone his pregnancy checking skills.
Only two more bunches to check and then we will be done for the fall. As a side note, the cows tested as “open” or not bred are normally hauled to the sale barn as it is not cost-effective to keep an open cow for over a year.
That ends your ranching lesson for the day. Until next time— JARW