Monthly Archives: July 2013


cropped-IMG_83001.jpgThey say good fences make good neighbors.  Neighbors that come right out to fix fence that their cows and bulls have wrecked are even better neighbors.  We have great neighbors. Good fences are a LOT of work.

I looked out my bathroom window a few days ago to see cows and calves lining a hillside in our far west pasture.  We don’t pasture anything at our home place during the summer months.  That could only mean one thing.  We had a fence down somewhere and the neighbor’s pairs were in our pasture.  Rats.  I walked outside for a better look.  My father-in-law happened to be out there working on a swather.  He grabbed the mule and I ran back to the house for some telephone numbers.  We then went out to take a better look.  Before we left the Big Guy got home, too, and couldn’t see anything.  He thought perhaps that I was losing my mind.  Happy to report that I most surely was NOT.

We got to the west pasture to find that there were about 20 cow/calf pairs and one bull on one side of the fence, and another bull and another batch of pairs on the other side of the fence.  Our first assumption was that the bulls had gotten to fighting and tore down some fence.  Only, we couldn’t see any fence down.  On closer inspection, we realized that the bull in our pasture belonged to our neighbor whose pasture was southwest of the pasture we were in, and belonged in that pasture.  The pairs belonged in the pasture to the north of where we were and belonged to a different neighbor.  The stray bull had made quite a trip.

We trailed the pairs up the fence to the closest gate.  The stray bull, in the meantime, headed south– kind of back to where he originally came from– only would have to go a ways west, as well.  When we got to the gate we found where the commotion had occurred.  The gate was standing and not damaged, but the H-brace (while still standing) had all the wires tore out.  The next fence post was broken off at the ground.  The fence was completely demolished to the top of the hill– about six sections of fence from fence post to fence post.  We got the cows through the gate with no problem.  We were able to reach both the owner of the cows and the owner of the bull, which was amazing in itself.  You can never get a hold of people in the summertime during the middle of the day.  They both said they would be right out to take care of things.  Hallelujah.

 IMG_9342I ran out yesterday to pull some weeds around a windmill and water tank, check the fences, and make sure that everything was still where it needed to be.  There was not a cow, calf, nor bull anywhere in sight.  I STRONGLY cussed the creeping jenny and the rest of the weed crop that was flourishing by the water tank.

IMG_9341The fence was repaired and looking great.  The broken fence post had been replaced with a steel fence post.  I never did really find a spot where I thought the other bull might have come through, although did not go along the entire south or west fences as we will be back out there before our pairs start coming back home.  However, I have no doubt that the neighbor owning the bull went along everything and fixed whatever was needed.

Great neighbors!  Another blessing.


IMG_7037Ranch kids sure seem to learn about death early, and sometimes often.  The Wild Child has had a tough go with her livestock this year. Her 3-year-old cow, Kaydee Cow, sloughed her calf in January and went to the sale a few weeks later.  She hated to see Kaydee Cow go. Her first cow-induced sadness.

Her 2-year-old heifer, Lula Belle, had a runt calf in March– Brown Eyes. She calved during the night and I carried him to the barn.  He was so little, but a spunky little thing.  When the WC got up the next morning I bundled her up and took her to the barn to show her Lula Belle’s calf.  On the way down there she was adamant that she was going to name the calf Blue Eyes because she was sure it would have blue eyes just like she did.  When we got there she just shrugged her shoulders and said “Well– I guess I better name it Brown Eyes.”

cropped-IMG_67271.jpgBrown Eyes went to heaven when he was about six weeks old.  He had looked a little out of sorts when we were sorting some pairs, but nothing that we were concerned about.  The next morning Pine went out to check on him, came back to the house and said, “I need to talk to you in the bedroom.”  I knew it couldn’t be good.  He had just found Brown Eyes dead.  So we broke the news to the Wild Child.  She took it like a trooper, said “Well I guess GOD needed him”, and then wanted to go out and see him and check on Lula Belle.  That’s what we did.

We found Lula Belle on the feed ground filling her belly.  The WC says “She looks so sad.”  I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing.  Lula Belle looked anything but— she only looked happy to have hay in her mouth.  That afternoon we brought in another calf off an old crippled cow and grafted it on to LB.  The WC was in the barn that night checking on the progress.  She told the graft not to worry that Lula Belle was going to take good care of her, and it seems she has.  She was just so matter of fact about it all.  

Yesterday she had another rude meeting with death.

IMG_7867Our old dog, Better, went to heaven.  It was a sad, sad day– for all of us– but especially for Papa as Better was mostly his.  He buried him in the pasture along side of his last faithful old dog.  Better was 14-years-old.  This morning the Wild Child said to her dad, “Did you know that Better died yesterday, Dad?”  He had been on a parts run when it happened.  Then she started crying.  With her crying, me now crying too, and him with tears in his eyes he said “I did, Kate.  It makes me so sad.”  And here I sit crying again.  Dang dog!  I just hugged her and said “Oh don’t cry Sweetie.  Better is in heaven with GOD.  He doesn’t hurt anymore.  He can run and play again.  He is probably even chasing rabbits!”

“MOM!”, she replied!  “If the rabbits are in heaven they are already dead so he won’t have to chase them too far.”  Her view of the situation was so enlightening.  She just knows that when friends die they are going to be with GOD.  She was sad, but realistic.  It happens.  It sucks.  But she knows and trusts that all is still well with the world.  She should give lessons.

Rest In Peace, Better Dog!  You will be missed.


Saturday Shenanigans



Waiting on the baler.IMG_9334







The moon last night. IMG_9330


A little poem that totally could have been written about me.

Forgetter Be Forgotten

My forgetter’s getting better,
But my rememberer is broke
To you that my seem funny
But, to me, that is no joke

For when I’m ‘here’ I’m wondering
If I really should be ‘there’
And, when I try to think it through,
I haven’t got a prayer!

Oft times I walk into a room,
Say ‘what am I here for?’
I wrack my brain, but all in vain!
A zero is my score.

At times I put something away
Where it is safe, but, Gee!
The person it is safest from
Is, generally, me!

When shopping I may see someone,
Say ‘Hi’ and have a chat,
Then, when the person walks away
I ask myself, ‘who the hell was that?’

Yes, my forgetter’s getting better
While my rememberer is broke,
And it’s driving me plumb crazy
And that isn’t any joke.

Taken from the Thursday, July 25,2013 edition of the Nation’s Center News

Author not named


My “OH Sh**!” move of the week…  I may have taken my corner a little wide trying to catch all the windrow.  This is right along the highway hence the woven wire and not just a five-wire barbed-wire fence.  Glad I saw it immediately and got stopped before I ripped out a whole chunk of fence.  Guess I know what I will be doing this week.



My heart was broken when we got home at 3 a.m. this morning.  We found our old dog Better standing outside the shop like he didn’t know where he was, couldn’t really walk, and looking at us like “What the heck is going on and what is wrong with me.”  We hauled some blankets out to him right in the middle of the driveway.  I’m afraid today is the day that we will have to say ‘Good-Bye’ to our old friend.  I’m crying while typing this as I know my tomorrow post will probably be telling you that he is gone.  My heart is so sad…



IMG_9132Our summer has been crazy busy.  Thank heavens for lots of hours of sunlight.  We are using them all, plus lots of hours of night!  This was my view from the tractor seat a couple of days ago.   We were rained out about midnight last night, but were able to go all day today.  It was a beautiful day with a nice breeze, which helps keep the flies under control.  They are crazy and driving the dogs nuts.  Going to try to spray them down tonight and see if I can help some.

A few pictures from my week.  I love moss roses.  They should be the token flower for Harding County.  They don’t mind drought.  They don’t mind wind.  They don’t need babied!  My kind of flower.


A touch of beauty gracing my kitchen table hand-picked by my Wild Child.  Love them.


The storm blowing in over our house.  We were about 8 miles away haying and trying to beat the rain.  We didn’t.


The Wild Child heading out for her first day of vacation Bible school.


Listening intently.


The moon on my way back to the hay field.

IMG_9130 There so many wonderful and amazing sights and smells related to summer.  Here are a few of my favorites — alfalfa fields, Russian Olive trees, and fresh cut hay.  Alfalfa FieldsIMG_8895


A Night of Sleep

IMG_9089The Big Guy may have had a case of the “I’ve had about 5 hours of sleep in the last three days” grumps going on one day last week.  The day had been relatively uneventful.  We finished up a field, moved equipment to the next field, scoped out the path the swather had taken and my plans for raking, and then headed home to wait for things to toughen up a little bit.  I worked on pulling weeds around the corrals, weed eating around a hay corral and equipment, and some yard and garden work.  The Big Guy worked on repairs in the shop.  A hot summer day spent the same as most of our other hot summer days.

Supper was uneventful, as well, and then I did some transcription work, laundry, dishes, etc., and the Big Guy did some equipment research. No controversy up to this point.  He ran out to check the barley and came back in telling me we were still about two hours out.  At this point I decided to take a quick snooze and he was “watching” some coyote calling in his recliner.  Somewhere during this watchful waiting things went south.

IMG_9130I was awakened by drawers being slammed around as he dug out sweatshirts to head to the field.  I could tell immediately he had his grouch on.  That doesn’t deter the Suzie Sunshine in me!  No way!  I jumped out of bed, got dressed, and went to get the Wild Child ready to head to the field as he stomped out the front door.  We finished putting on our shoes, grabbed water and sweatshirts, and headed out to the waiting pickup.  We walked out the door and there we stopped.  The pickup was gone.  Groucho Grump had left us and headed to the field.

It took me about 30 seconds to decide how to handle this situation.  I turned around, walked back in the house, took the Wild Child’s sweatshirt off and put her back in bed, and then I headed to bed… laughing.  I didn’t admit this to the Big Guy, nor will I ever, AND if you guys rat me out I will deny it, BUT being left didn’t hurt my feelings whatsoever.  I think it took me all of five minutes to go back to sleep, and during these five minutes I took great pleasure in thinking about the Big Guy having to rake a bit, change tractors to bale for awhile, change tractors to rake some more…  and so on.  Yep– I went to sleep laughing.

Oh I gave him the required cold shoulder the next morning to let him know he shouldn’t have been a grump, but inside I was still smiling.  I got a full nights sleep– restful sleep with a nice cool, summer-smelling breeze blowing in the bedroom window.  I woke rested and refreshed, showered, had some nice little “me time” before he got in from the field and the Wild Child got out of bed.  It was awesome. I didn’t ask if he stewed all night in the tractor because he had been a grump and was having to do it all himself or not.  I didn’t really care.  Unfortunately, he hasn’t done it since so neither of us has had sleep since until getting rained out last night.  Grumpy or not, I’m not dumb enough to leave him home, though, and he probably is too smart to do it again too.  Still laughing…


Been too long of a week for sarcasm.  So today I am just sharing a few songs that I have been listening to.  I love this artist– Paul Thorn.  Hope you enjoy these as much as I have.

To speed it up a little bit…

And back slow…

Now for a little poetry.  The Wild Child has declared this her favorite poem.  It makes both of us smile. It is out of the book “Dirt on My Shirt by Jeff Foxworthy.

True Love

Cows have horns that don’t go beep

Dads have sweaters, so do sheep

Turtles have tails that they can’t see

I have you and you have me

Have a great Saturday,


Friday Funday 07.19.13

After 13 hours in the field, these are the things I am thankful for today.

**FM Radio– and my now favorite version (piano) of one of my favorite songs.

**Being tired enough and simple enough to get a chuckle out of my welcoming committee.


**The newest residents in the horse barn. IMG_9077

**A hot shower

**Icy cold watermelon

**Omelets and bacon

**A comfy bed in a DARK room

**That I had all my typing done last night before I left for the field so I can take a little siesta right now.

**The Wild Child picking me flowers while I was cooking brunch.  Also for her hours of keeping me company in the tractor AND bringing books along so we could read while waiting for the baler. IMG_9081


IMG_7037Meet Better.  The boss of the dogs.  He has been the ultimate calving help for many years.  If there was a cow that wasn’t wanting to take her calf we only had to yell for Better.  He would come in and belly-up right at the edge of the pen snarling and giving the cow something more to worry about then knocking her calf around.  The instructions were always simple — “Watch her, Better.”  He has been the chief help in many ranch chores.

Better is a little protective.  When I first started hanging out at the ranch he wouldn’t let me up on the steps unless I was with the boss.  He got better about that after a few times.  Then one day he backed me up against the house when I was throwing a frisbee for he and Pard (the only other dog at that time before Huck came in to the picture.)  When Better gets tired of playing everybody has to stop.  He takes whatever it is we are throwing and keeps it– growling at whomever tries to take it away.  That day he got the frisbee and then proceeded to bark and snarl his way to me backing me up against the house.  I was yelling for the men who were inside.  They saved me by coming out and giving Better a tongue lashing.  I think that was the last time I ever had a problem with him.  He has been my best friend since.

When the Wild Child was born he became her protector.  He didn’t want her to touch him and would scoot out of the way if she tried, but he wouldn’t let any of the other dogs near her.  Four years later he trusts her to pet him without pulling his hair and lets her love on him.  If we aren’t home he won’t let someone up on our step, but otherwise he has mellowed.

Better is now old (14) and getting crippled.  He lost most of his hearing through the winter so doesn’t hear much anymore.  This isn’t always a bad thing as he was scared to death of thunder and would try to claw his way into the house– usually through one of our screens.  We have replaced many screens.  He now doesn’t hear the thunder and will sleep right through it on the front deck.  You can still get his attention, but you really have to yell.  He still makes his morning and evening rounds checking out the two houses, what is going on in the corrals, and making his way through the pens and around the shop, but it is slower.  He hasn’t been able to jump into the back of the mule for a couple of years and would instead put his front feet up on the tailgate and we would lift him in.  Now he can’t do that as his hips are sore.  He loves going so now we lift him in and out.

We don’t know how much longer he will last before he gets too sore and crippled.  I pray that he just falls asleep and doesn’t get up for his morning rounds.  It will be a sad day.  Until then, I am thankful that he still wants to go, and even more thankful that he can’t hear the thunder.  He definitely has earned a spot in all our hearts.


Dinner? Aargh!

IMG_6792I get the Taste of Home magazine.  I get the Taste of Home emails.  I LOVE recipes on Pinterest.  I have participated in recipe chain letters and recipe emails.  My mom is a tremendous cook, as is my mother-in-law.  You would think that something as seemingly simple as coming up with what to cook for meals would come easy.  It doesn’t.

I am blessed to have a freezer full of beef.  I am blessed to be able to contribute for a basket from Bountiful Baskets thus enabling me to have lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.  I am blessed to have a pantry full of extras.  Plus, my family actually loves just about anything.  So why is the thought of having to make a meal so depressing?  Also, isn’t it a bit ironic that some crazy ranch wife who just posted an awesome JARW tip about using the crock pot is now complaining about having to cook supper?  I know.  I know.  But I’m having cooking block (you know– like writers block).   Ironic or not, I’m officially stuck in a rut.

I hate figuring out what to cook for supper.  Running to the basement, grabbing a roast, and throwing it in the crock pot is wonderful, but unfortunately I can’t use that little trick every day.  There are so many great chicken crock pot recipes.  I don’t have a freezer full of chicken breasts; I have a freezer full of beef.  Matter of fact, there was some great chicken crock pot recipes on my Facebook page that I couldn’t wait to try.  I was sure I had a pack of chicken breasts in the freezer.  NADA.  Nope.  No go.  No chicken.  It is now on my grocery list.


We eat beef.  Lots of beef.  Marvelous beef.  I want someone just to make me a menu.  A menu using LOTS Of beef recipes.  A menu that allows for making some extra to freeze on occasion.  A menu that uses the crock pot — often.  A menu that has easy peasy sides, like lettuce salad.  That’s my wish for today.  Maybe I should make it a challenge and anybody making me a week’s worth of recipes gets a special prize — like leftovers.  Or a big picture of me smiling happily beside a supper table full of food that I didn’t have to put any thought into.  Or a picture of my family smiling happily beside same such table as they were getting a nice meal instead of me saying “How bout we just have fruit smoothies tonight!”   Any takers?


Tractor Seat Views

Like all those around me, I’m spending some quality time in the seat of a tractor.  I’m not complaining.  We were blessed with moisture and so tremendously blessed with lots of hay to put up.  I have a radio (that most often isn’t on, but have one if I want it) and I have air conditioning.  Spoiled.  I also get to see some of the coolest stuff.  IMG_8974 IMG_8973

These next two pictures are in the field right outside of my yard fence.  Loved having the smells floating in my sliding glass doors.  

IMG_8901 IMG_8902

Discussing the plan of action.


The view out the front window of the tractor.


The view out the back.


The rabbit I spooked out of my windrow trying to hide from the tractor on the next windrow.


Windrows waiting to be baled.


Working on some twine issues.


Looking back up the field.


Part of the mess from a plug-up in the baler.


Pictures from the wind/rain storm. Windrows blown all over.


Windrows blown in to the ditch.  I pitched these back up on the field to be raked back up!


Windrows blown in to piles on the field.  Blessed that they were still on the field.


Alfalfa field that hadn’t been swathed yet.  The wind and rain just laid the plants over.  We were able to swath them without any problem.

IMG_9016This is what has been going on in my life for the last couple of weeks.  Loving the beauty of it all.  JARW