Monthly Archives: August 2013

Great Story

JARWI received this story from a JARW reader.  I thought it was so cool that I needed to share it.  I’m embarrassed to admit that I have never heard of the Doolittle Raiders.  I  believe we need to celebrate and recognize all those who sacrifice everything for our safety, our freedoms, our rights, and our way of life and all we too often take for granted.  So to all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, and for all those in the armed services please accept my heart-felt thanks!

The story is as follows:

“On Tuesday, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, the surviving Doolittle Raiders gathered publicly for the last time.

They once were among the most universally admired and revered men in the United States. There were 80 of the Raiders in April 1942, when they carried out one of the most courageous and heart-stirring military operations in this nation’s history. The mere mention of their unit’s name, in those years, would bring tears to the eyes of grateful Americans.
Now only four survive.

After Japan’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, with the United States reeling and wounded, something dramatic was needed to turn the war effort around.  Even though there were no friendly airfields close enough to Japan for the United States to launch a retaliation, a daring plan was devised. Sixteen B-25s were modified so that they could take off from the deck of an aircraft carrier. This had never before been tried — sending such big, heavy bombers from a carrier.  The 16 five-man crews, under the command of Lt. Col. James Doolittle, who himself flew the lead plane off the USS Hornet, knew that they would not be able to return to the carrier. They would have to hit Japan and then hope to make it to China for a safe landing.  But on the day of the raid, the Japanese military caught wind of the plan. The Raiders were told that they would have to take off from much farther out in the Pacific Ocean than they had counted on. They were told that because of this they would not have enough fuel to make it to safety.  And those men went anyway.

They bombed Tokyo, and then flew as far as they could. Four planes crash-landed; 11 more crews bailed out, and three of the Raiders died. Eight more were captured; three were executed. Another died of starvation in a Japanese prison camp. One crew made it to Russia.
The Doolittle Raid sent a message from the United States to its enemies, and to the rest of the world: We will fight. And, no matter what it takes, we will win.

Of the 80 Raiders, 62 survived the war. They were celebrated as national heroes, models of bravery. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced a motion picture based on the raid; “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo,” starring Spencer Tracy and Van Johnson, was a patriotic and emotional box-office hit, and the phrase became part of the national lexicon. In the movie-theater previews for the film, MGM proclaimed that it was presenting the story “with supreme pride.”

Beginning in 1946, the surviving Raiders have held a reunion each April, to commemorate the mission. The reunion is in a different city each year. In 1959, the city of Tucson, Arizona, as a gesture of respect and gratitude, presented the Doolittle Raiders with a set of 80 silver goblets. Each goblet was engraved with the name of a Raider.  Every year, a wooden display case bearing all 80 goblets is transported to the reunion city. Each time a Raider passes away, his goblet is turned upside down in the case at the next reunion, as his old friends bear solemn witness.  Also in the wooden case is a bottle of 1896 Hennessy Very Special cognac. The year is not happenstance: 1896 was when Jimmy Doolittle was born.

There has always been a plan: When there are only two surviving Raiders, they would open the bottle, at last drink from it, and toast their comrades who preceded them in death.
As 2013 began, there were five living Raiders; then, in February, Tom Griffin passed away at age 96. What a man he was. After bailing out of his plane over a mountainous Chinese forest after the Tokyo raid, he became ill with malaria, and almost died. When he recovered, he was sent to Europe to fly more combat missions. He was shot down, captured, and spent 22 months in a German prisoner of war camp.

The selflessness of these men, the sheer guts … there was a passage in the Cincinnati Enquirer obituary for Mr. Griffin that, on the surface, had nothing to do with the war, but that emblematizes the depth of his sense of duty and devotion:”When his wife became ill and needed to go into a nursing home, he visited her every day. He walked from his house to the nursing home, fed his wife and at the end of the day brought home her clothes. At night, he washed and ironed her clothes. Then he walked them up to her room the next morning. He did that for three years until her death in 2005.”

So now, out of the original 80, only four Raiders remain: Dick Cole (Doolittle’s co-pilot on the Tokyo raid), Robert Hite, Edward Saylor and David Thatcher. All are in their 90s. They have decided that there are too few of them for the public reunions to continue.  The events in Fort Walton Beach this week will mark the end. It has come full circle; Florida’s nearby Eglin Field was where the Raiders trained in secrecy for the Tokyo mission. The town is planning to do all it can to honor the men: a six-day celebration of their valor, including luncheons, a dinner and a parade.

Do the men ever wonder if those of us for whom they helped save the country have tended to it in a way that is worthy of their sacrifice? They don’t talk about that, at least not around other people. But if you find yourself near Fort Walton Beach this week, and if you should encounter any of the Raiders, you might want to offer them a word of thanks. I can tell you from first hand observation that they appreciate hearing that they are remembered.
The men have decided that after this final public reunion they will wait until a later date — some time this year — to get together once more, informally and in absolute privacy. That is when they will open the bottle of brandy. The years are flowing by too swiftly now; they are not going to wait until there are only two of them. They will fill the four remaining upturned goblets. And raise them in a toast to those who are gone.”

Until next time– JARW

This Week In Photos 8.29.13

Spent a few days watching this replacement heifer that had a little eye irritation.  We wanted to make darn sure it that it didn’t progress in to anything more than a little runny eye.  Thankfully it didn’t!


Cut in to a watermelon this week and it was hollow. Completely.  I have never had that happen  before.  It had three distinct sections, but completely hollow in the middle.IMG_9615

The Wild Child and Huck.  I think they love each other.  Good ole Huckleberry!


“You talkin to us?”  A few of the bums watching me intently to see what my plan was, and already planning their escape route.  Their mommas were old and/or crippled cull cows that went to the sale this month.  There wasn’t a plan.  I was just checking on them.  They didn’t make a run for it, which is always nice.


Eagles Nest.  The view in our winter pasture.  The place where the Wild Child’s imaginary eagle friends, Earl and Pearl, live.   We have TONS of Earl and Pearl stories.  They are really quite delightful, mischievous, and helpful– depending on the day.


This beauty was a LONG way away from a hunter looking to score big.  I honestly wasn’t laughing… shaking my head, but not laughing— really.  Poor guy.  There were some nice ones by him, too, so I’m sure he wasn’t too upset.


Huck will just grab the Wild Child’s finger and hold them in our mouth.  They are both so goofy.IMG_9625

One of the waterhole blinds.  It is actually quite pretty here, but still don’t know how many hours I could sit in one.


This is how we wash the dirt off of tomatoes at our house.  Isn’t this how everyone does it? She is going to be a wet little girl when they all start turning!


Until next time— JARW


cd28ab1c6a16594f75f560b866220dfdI have had an interesting couple of weeks to say the least.  I have had people email me that they are “unliking” my JARW page because we talk about GOD too much.  Sorry folks.  I’m going to talk about GOD.  I believe in GOD with my whole being.  HE is who I am.  HE is why I am.  I’m not preaching at you and telling you to believe in GOD.  I’m telling you that I believe, and I’m eternally blessed by all HE has given me.

Now I have people emailing me that they are “unliking” JARW because of my political posts.  Hitler is NOT about being republican, or democrat, or a tea-partier, or an independent.  Hitler is about what happens when people become complacent and don’t know what they believe or why they believe, and then allow someone else to tell them what to believe.  I don’t care what political party you support– nor will I debate it on JARW.  However, I do want you to think about what you believe in and then have the courage to defend that.

At this point, nearly everything I believe in is under attack.  We aren’t supposed to talk about GOD.  We aren’t supposed to talk about race and being different and being proud of being different.  We aren’t supposed to have guns.  We aren’t supposed to want our meat labeled in a way that the consumers KNOW that it was born, raised, and slaughtered all in the United States.  We aren’t supposed to want consumers to know when they mix beef from another country in with our beef on which we stake our pride!  We aren’t supposed to teach our local kids things that we deem pertinent to our kids– we are only supposed to teach them what people in Washington and big businesses deem necessary to teach our kids.  We aren’t supposed to take responsibility for our actions in any way, shape, or form; instead, everything is someone else’s fault.  Christians are being slaughtered all over our globe for their beliefs.  People are being killed because of their race.  People only want to blame someone else for everything.  It makes me crazy.

My Hitler post is to make you think.  Are you being complacent?  Are you letting someone else tell you what to think and what to believe?  When it comes right down to it, are you going to stand up for what you believe.  What would happen if you were told you can’t congregate to praise GOD and had to instead do it secretly?  Would you stand up for your beliefs?

Until next time– JARW

This & That 8.26.13

First of all, my daughter wanted me to know she firmly believes in “Choose Happiness.”  So much so, in fact, that she wanted me to take this picture of her and post it on my blog to prove it.  Her purse she found at this awesome shop in Hill City, South Dakota called “Bloom.”  Everyone should shop at Bloom.  It has such awesome stuff.  (Have to fess up– it is owned by my sister so working on some brownie points here, but it DOES have awesome stuff!)IMG_9705

I moved her to college this weekend.  What a change it will be not having her around.  I had two pieces of advice:

1.  Be safe and watch each other’s backs.

2.  Go to class!

Well, I might have had a few more then just two, but those were the two main ones.  The rest of the advice is going to come from you JARW readers.  You don’t know it yet, but the question is coming!  Be thinking!  My girls are all going to really miss each other.



Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6

The WC and I spent yesterday putting out some mineral and fixing fence.  Hot!  Wowza!  Thank heavens for BIG water jugs!  We then came home, checked water, checked on a bred heifer that we had doctored, and checked a calf that we think had been snake bit.  Everything is on the mend.  Yeah!

Another hunter coming in today, as well.  Don’t know if I could hang out in one of these during this hot weather.


Have a blessed day.  Have you made someone smile today?

Until next time– JARW


JARW Advice 8.24.13

“You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.”  Joyce Meyer Ministries

I have a sign that hangs in our bedroom.  It says “It’s never too late to live happily ever after.”

Happily Ever AFter

Happily Ever AFter

 I love it.  I bought it when I wasn’t — happy that is– and neither was my cowboy.  We were each in our own place in life at that time– and we weren’t a couple.  We were both very unhappy, although completely unaware of the other’s situation.  We were life-long friends, but hadn’t even seen each for several years.  I was at the end of a 15-year relationship that should have ended LONG before, only I was way too stubborn to admit that and give up.  Instead I just kept praying that something would change.  My now better-half was at the end of a 12-year relationship and gearing up for a very, very messy divorce and fierce custody battle.  Happiness was foreign to both of us.

When my older kids were my younger kids they very rarely woke up grumpy.  When they did, though, I always gave them the same advice.  I would tell them that they were choosing to be grumpy.  Then I would send them back to their room to make a different decision and to choose to be happy instead.  They would stomp off to their rooms, and usually within a minute or two would come back out with a smile.  If only it were always that easy.

1012421_600496943329142_1967504780_nHappiness is a choice.  Heck yes there are days when nothing is going right and we are grumpy and bitter, and absolute hell to be around.  There might be days when you are easy to be around but everyone else is trying to suck your happiness away.  Is it sometimes easier to be grumpy?  Sometimes it definitely is.  We are given the power to make conscious decisions — whether the decision is to be grumpy or the decision is to choose happiness.

Is choosing happiness hard?  Absolutely; it sure can be!  Everyone is fighting their own battle.  You might be caring for a dying spouse, caring for a sick child, fighting a debilitating or life threatening disease yourself.  You might have had a devastating loss.  You might have been totally wiped out by hail, by fire, by a blizzard.  You might be losing your marriage, losing your relationships with your children, losing your relationship with your best friend.  No matter your battle, you can still choose happiness.

Happiness is there for the taking, always, even though it is not always an easy choice.  I am in no way implying that I don’t have days of sadness, of anger, of hurt, of being completely ornery or extremely grumpy.  However, when I really evaluate and count my blessings, I go back to choosing happiness.  There is always, always someone who has things way worse than me.  When my brother-in-law was dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), his sister (crying) said “This is so unfair.”  His response to her was to ask if it would be more fair if someone else was dying from it instead.  He never felt sorry for himself.  He just kept trudging along, counting his blessings, and exemplifying the true power to choose happiness.

My JARW advice for you today is this.  Instead of putting a spotlight on all the things that are wrong in  your life, instead why don’t you work on putting a magnifying glass on all the things that are right and good in your life and watch those things grow.  Choose Happiness!

Be Joyful Always. Thessalonians 5:16 

Until next time— JARW


Everyone is kind of going their own way around here.  Papa did some second cutting, Pine is busy hauling hay, Granny is taking care of everyone, and the Wild Child and I are trying to do chores here and there.  Yesterday we started tearing down a wind break that needs replaced.  It was nearing the end anyway, but a storm in June gave a chunk of it a final farewell.  I can run a hammer, a crow bar, and a wonder bar so figured we better get to work.  IMG_9651

I have the best helper in the world.  Plus, she sells nails on the side.  “Nails.  Get your nails here.  Bent ones $12 and straight ones $10.”  She sang this while carrying around the nail pail and gathering up the nails.  She unloaded boards from the mule into the trailer and picked up chunks of wood that had broken off.

IMG_9653 IMG_9655

When she was ahead of me and waiting for more boards to load she decided she could pull nails.  She was pretty darn good at it.  Once in a while I would hear, “I’ve got a tough one here, Mom.”  So I would go help, but for the most part she worked at them until she could get them pulled out.


We made quite a bit of progress.  My helper said “Can we go ride for a while before it gets dark.”  My answer?  “Absolutely.”


On the way back to the barn I said “How was your day, Sweets.”  This was my answer.


I don’t know if life could be any sweeter.

Until next time— JARW

Working Women

IMG_89032.jpgAs the Wild Child and I head out the door to start tearing down a snow fence, I had to stop and give thanks for all our blessings.  Starting with GOD, my health, all those I’m blessed to call my family and friends, and my ability to actually be able to head out the door and tear down a snow fence.  I’m continually amazed at the things that women accomplish on a daily basis.  I’m not discounting men in any way, shape, or form.  However, for being the “weaker” sex, we dang sure hold our own and contribute in amazing ways.  I’m also not just referring to ranch wives or farm wives– but to all women out there who are taking care of things on a daily basis whether in their own business, as employees, as spouses, as mothers, as aunts, as daughters, as friends, as caregivers, as meal makers, as doctors, as lawyers, as vets, as servicewomen, as equipment operators, as…  You Get It!  We are all amazing going down whatever path GOD set in motion for us!  So to all of you— Way To GO!  Give yourself a pat on the back!

Now to share a cute picture– she can kill me later.  I have two sisters who are also “ranch wives”, as well as two sister-in-laws who hold the same grand title.  This is a post from one of my sisters.  If the other three of you wish to share a working picture with me I would be glad to post it.  I have some that I have taken myself, but would prefer your permission before posting.  My sister, Paula, on the other hand— well.  She can take it.

This is her picture, followed by her post!  Thanks for stealing my shirt that I bought in 1989.  Wonder where it had been all these years!

Paula working


“Another mowing season in the books….Thank you to “Bloom” for the hat, Tami Gilbert for the shirt (do you recoginze it), my brother Joe for the shorts..My daughter-in-law, Tab, for the shoes, my son, Tee, for the sunglasses you left at the house, my other son, Tanner, for the Ipod loaded with music so I could sing to my hearts content, and most of all to Papa for keeping me up and running…..”Success” …. —

Wishing you all a glorious “work-filled” day.  Until next time— JARW


IMG_9318I don’t know where the summer has gone, but am now facing a week full of changes.  We had to run north this morning for some doctors appointments and errands.  The poor nurse who checked me in had dropped her oldest child off to start school this morning.  “Did you cry?” I asked.  “Like a baby,” she admitted.  I remember those days with my older kids.  I was worried about them being brave enough on the first day of school.  I need not have worried about them.  I’m the one who could barely get to the car before bursting in to tears.

We still have one in high school.  She has already started volleyball practice this week, and her first day of school is tomorrow.  She is pumped, and while not complaining, I know she is disappointed that we haven’t officially gone school shopping.  She even cleaned her room and her closet readying for an influx of new clothes.  I hate to be a spoil sport, but she has come home with new clothes on and off all summer.  I realize the fun in “school-shopping”, but my checkbook absolutely HATES it and doesn’t think it is fun at all.  Even so, I have promised her some retail therapy this weekend when we haul our beginning college freshman to school.

My May high-school graduate has lived and worked in town all summer so she has already been missed from our regular routine.  However, she was still “home.”  Now I’m less than a week away from hauling her to college.  We have discussed things these past few weeks– the necessities of college– that I never remember even thinking when I went to college.  I also guarantee I didn’t hear them from my son when he went to college.  Things like “Mom– I love your laundry soap.  Will you make me some to take to school?”   Or, “My roommates bedding is gray and pink so I need to make sure mine will match and not clash.”  Really?  I  actually would be surprised if my son went to college with bedding, and even more surprised if he used sheets while there.   If you read in the papers about the mom whom they dragged sobbing from the college campus—-  don’t judge.  It might have been me.

How did my kids all get so old and me not so much?  My Wild Child is keeping me young-ish, thankfully.  She isn’t going anywhere for a few years.  Matter of fact, by the time she is old enough I don’t know if I will be able to let her go to school.  I told my nurse this morning to not blink too fast because tomorrow her kindergartener will be graduating from high school.  It really seems like it has gone that fast.  I don’t know how I missed so much.

Until next time— JARW

Bringing Home the Bulls

IMG_8300.jpgBullsI talked about this a week or so ago, but just in passing and didn’t explain much.  I will try to do better this time around.  The bulls don’t pasture with the cows year-round.  We choose what dates we want our cows to calve in the spring, and thus we put the bulls out in the summer to fit that schedule.  Preferences vary from ranch to ranch.  We usually start calving our 2-year-old heifers about the 20th of February, and then the older cows start about  three weeks later.  The 2-year-old heifers being first time mothers are much more labor intensive, hence we try to get through a big chunk of them before the cows start calving.

As for how long the bulls are out with the cows– well this is also a preference that varies from ranch-to-ranch.  Some operators choose to only let their bulls breed for 45 days, some let them go for two months– some more and some less.  There is not a right or wrong way.  It is what works best for each operation.  Our bulls were out for 60 days.  At the end of the allotted breeding time, it is necessary to gather the bulls and take them back to their home for the rest of the year– which for us is at our South Place.

Pine ridingGathering bulls is never exactly easy on a good day, but on a bad day it can be positively ugly.  A hot day can get the bulls on the fight pretty easy.  We have had bulls that walk in to a dam and refuse to come out even after you have ridden in after them.  We have had bulls lie down and refuse to move.  We have had bulls fight through fences, horses, etc.  We have had bulls that chase the horses and won’t let anything close.  It can be chaos.  Even on a good day you might not find all your bulls in the right pasture, but instead might find them “visiting” the neighbors’ cows (even though the day before they were where they were supposed to be.)  You might find bulls that aren’t necessarily on the fight, but are hurt and not wanting to travel.  Plus– these boys don’t really want to leave the cows they have just spent the last few weeks getting to know.  You just never know what the day might bring.  

This year, however, we had about the best day we could have possibly had.  We started early, as we always do in the summer to try to beat the heat.  Even early morning it was still 60 degrees and humid.  However, there was a little breeze, no bugs, and all-in-all it was a beautiful day.  The first pasture we gathered had five bulls we had to gather.  We found two right away, a third soon after.  I held those three with some cows while Pine went in search of the last two.  

Things were going fine until some other cows decided to head out towards a draw going up to a windmill– a long ways away from the corrals where we were needing to go with these bulls.  My group was wanting to tag along.  I kept things in check for awhile before all broke loose and one of the bulls had decided he was going.  Our high-school daughter kept two in check while I went for the third.  Riding hard, yelling, turning him back one way, and then around the other, still yelling to try to get him to turn back, and thankfully– finally– some much-needed assistance from Pine who was riding back from another part of the pasture and saw the action.  He got there just in time to help me get him headed back the other direction, rounded up with the remaining bulls, and down a fence line towards the corrals.  Our HS hand and I trailed them towards the corrals while Pine went to the last available corner of the pasture that hadn’t yet been checked hoping to find the 5th bull.  

After getting in to a smaller lot with everything still under control, I sent our high-school daughter back to find her dad to make sure he was getting along okay.  I finished getting the bulls in the corral and headed back out to help.  Topping the first ridge I called Pine and asked if he had found the bull and where he was.  Just after asking I saw him riding down a fence line on the far side of the pasture following a bull.  He said “ride out and meet me.”  I assured him I was on my way to help.  Coming up out of a draw at what I thought would be almost the exact spot he should be, I found nothing.  No one.  No bull.  No cows.  No riders.  Nothing.  I called him back and asked how I had missed him.  He said he was at the windmill, which was a long ways from where I was at.  I said I had seen him coming down the fence and he said to ride out and meet him.  He responded “No!  I said ‘those are riders in Niemi’s’.  I didn’t say ‘ride out and meet me.'”  I can laugh about it now.

BullsTo make a long story a little shorter, we finished the first pasture, dumped the bulls in pens at the livestock pavilion to be picked up on our way back by, gathered the second pasture without incident, and headed for the South Place to unload bulls.  By this time, Pine’s brother had already hauled a load to the South Place from where he was gathering and had picked up the bulls we had unloaded at the pavilion and hauled them for us.  Love saved trips!


We got to the South Place where the hired man had already gathered from one bunch and was riding out to gather the last load at his house.  His first gather was a little wilder as he trailed the bulls down the fence line and loaded them directly in the trailer without any corrals.  It must have went fine.  He didn’t look stressed or worse for the wear!  We unloaded horses and rode with him to get the last of the bulls to bring to their pasture.  This gather, too, was uneventful.  All-in-all, it was a glorious day and absolutely could not have gone smoother.

IMG_9461Until next time– JARW

Saturday Sweetness 8.17.13

FYI—Did you know that even if your jaw is so swollen that your teeth can’t touch, that ice cream and homemade fudge sauce can STILL be eaten– only it is no longer just for dessert because now you HAVE to have nutrition so you must eat it for breakfast, lunch, and supper!  Rats, rats, rats!  Thank heavens I made a double batch of the incredible hot fudge sauce!

When I Am An Old Horsewoman

I shall wear turquoise and diamonds,
And a straw hat that doesn’t suit me
And I shall spend my social security on
white wine and carrots,
And sit in my alleyway of my barn
And listen to my horses breathe.

I will sneak out in the middle of a summer night
And ride the old bay gelding,
Across the moonstruck meadow
If my old bones will allow
And when people come to call, I will smile and nod
As I walk past the gardens to the barn
and show instead the flowers growing
inside stalls fresh-lined with straw.

I will shovel and sweat and wear hay in my hair
as if it were a jewel
And I will be an embarrassment to ALL
Who will not yet have found the peace in being free
to have a horse as a best friend
A friend who waits at midnight hour
With muzzle and nicker and patient eyes
For the kind of woman I will be
When I am old.

~ By Patty Barnhart, originally published in “The Arabian Horse World” magazine in 1992