Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Home Town

Our home town is just wide place in the road. You can stand alongside and count the cars coming.... and going. There is a post office, a few tourist stores, a gas station/general store/hotel and a wonderful restaurant that happens to have the best ground beef from a local ranch. I bet you can guess which ranch, huh? So, if you ever find yourselves driving our World Famous Avenue of the Giants make sure to stop at the Avenue Cafe.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pregnancy Check

For those of you squeamish, don't look any further....
This is the face of a man who seems to enjoy his job, although it could have been because it was the first time the paparazzi was following him.

We are smiling too. It looks like this year we will have a good calf crop. Last year we had a bull problem and about 15 percent of the cows didn't concieve. This is the first time we have had our cows preg checked. We were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to accomplish and how well our new chute system worked.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I am a Lousy Cattle Woman

I always dread the round up this time of the year. Most of our fall babies (calling them babies might be part of the problem) are hauled in to our local auction yard to be sold. Usually it takes us about 4 or 5 days to gather everything from around the ranch. I guess we have been slackers because this year we got 'er done in 2. We only had 2 days because of the party we just threw for Jo and Eric. Yikes. Too busy for me.

First day I spent about 14 hours driving the little Kubota around finding cattle and then slowly coaxing them into a pen a few miles away. Boring. Mark and Cody were on the quads behind me speeding things up a bit and scouting the ranch to find herds. They put over 60 miles each day on their steeds. Last night after dark, and while Mark was on his way home from delivering the second load of calves to the auction yard, I hauled up my round pen panels, precariously perched across the back of trusty Kubota, to make a trap for some tricky cows and their calves. They watched dubiously as the pen was noisily assembled, and baited with alfalfa, then panels were arranged to form an opening I could quickly close. I was so astonished when it actually worked! I think we put the last 3 calves in at about 10 o'clock last night. So second day was 15 hours.

This morning we loaded up the last of the calves. It all went fairly well. Fairly well that is until some lousy cattle woman forgot to pin the trailer gate. I got a call from Mark a few minutes after he left to tell me that he lost half of the load. The back half. UGH. Ok, I cussed. I said a really bad 4 letter word. It felt good at the time. Then I ran down to our barn because as luck would have it my trusty Kubota was out of fuel. I saddled up Stormy to go get the calves. I thought there wasn't much of a chance but worth a try. Two of the calves (the ones we caught here) had already run the mile and a half to the barn. Mark called to say four more were warily approaching the arena where they had been loaded. After a fashion we got the calves back in the pens and then in the trailer. I am always so surprised at how good Stormy is at cutting cattle. We just trail ride her mostly, but whenever we have lost a calf or two she has risen to the occasion splendidly. And it was NOT boring! Yeehaw!

mark here: The facts are true, but I must report that Tammie's hand's MAY have securely contacted the saddle horn during some parts of the penning exposition.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sisters at Heart

My daughter's husband couldn't make it to the ranch reception so she brought her second choice. Amanda Sue has been her friend since the 3 rd grade. Loyal friends through thick and thin. Amanda hadn't ridden in years so they went for a ride.
Then they headed down to the water falls to go for a swim. What you can't understand is that it has been very, very cool here and the water is freezing. REALLY COLD.

But Amanda had to go do some cliff jumping, so they climbed and climbed and got a bit bruised.
Then they jumped. Sarah first to show the way.
Then Amanda Sue. Amanda said she had to doggie paddle because it was too cold to swim BRRR!
This is some of the stuff memories are made of.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

When Magic Happens

You know when you have been touched by magic, or mystery, or God, when the hairs stand up on your arms and time stands still. The moment seems to stretch out and out and out. Your breath is held while your body is suspended. I know you've felt it. We all have. Those magical moments that bless your life along the way.

One such moment happened at sunset. Instead of 4 horses to call in to feed, I had four bucks grazing in our pasture. They stood less than 50, no closer to 40 feet away from me. The setting sun's rays lit up their large velvet covered horns and turned them gold. Golden horns on gleaming bucks. But where were the horses? Had fairies changed them into something more fleet of foot? When I whistled would these dance into the barn and breath into my nose? What does deer breath smell like anyway? I bet its sweet. The moment lingered and I stood transfixed by their beauty, their grace. I could see their skin twitch the flies away and see their ears turn.

A wind change brought one head up swiftly. It turned my way. Black large eyes looked at mine with surprise. I smiled. Away the four flew. The moment gone.

Horses did eventually show up. I am surprised to say that I was a tad disappointed.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Storing up Treasure

Where do you store up your treasure?

Apparently the mice that live around my house thought that my car would be a good place.

They were wrong.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in a d steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do no break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. -Jesus as quoted by Matthew

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Amazingly Tiny Horse

You can store him in your pocket and take him out to watch him walk along your fence. Not much good for riding unless you yourself are tiny!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again

Went out to check cattle on Sunday with the bruises. I am doing much better, but am surprised how sore I still am. I also am a little more vulnerable and lack confidence. It will come back. At one point my horse spooked and shot about 8 feet sideways down a slope. I stuck the middle of it. It felt good.
Mark is still riding on his Molly. It is interesting to note the differences between starting a 3 year old versus a 10 year old. Molly may not be trained very much but she has emotional maturity and confidence. Mark loves her. He says she is a little a opinionated, but that he is used to that!

Here is a little group of cows and calves we came upon. When we give them their vaccinations we also give them an earring with a number on it. I like to make sure I match every calf to its mama before we sell. That way I can keep track of which cows are giving the best calves. Soon we will be taking the fall calves to auction and begin harvesting the 2 year old steers for the neighbor's freezers.
The newlywed's came along for the ride. They are so cute!This isn't so cute though! At least not to me, but Eric has always loved reptiles. While he was growing up our house always had one thing or another slithering around. Today he just enjoys them in nature.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Grandma Peggy's French Bread

This following recipe was from Mark's grandma. It is easy and tasty and perfect to make with children.

1. Gather ingredients: large bowl, wooden spoon, 1 package dry yeast, 1.5 cups of hot tap water, 1.5 tsp. salt, 1 Tlbs. sugar, 1Tlbs. oil, 4 cups of flour, and a young friend!
2. Put hot water in a bowl and sprinkle yeast on top. Watch it dissolve.
3. Add salt, sugar and oil and stir.
4. Add one cup of flour at a time, stirring with spoon or your hands to mix. It will get fairly stiff and dry.
5. Dough should look like this when ready. Cover bowl with towel and place in warm place to rise. Set timer for 10 minutes.
6. Every 10 minutes for one hour, stir or punch dough down, getting rid of air bubbles.
7. Let rest 10 minutes then shape. What do you think this shape is? A peace sign perhaps?
8. Let rise 30 minutes in a warm place. Then bake in oven at 375 degrees until golden brown, about 20 to 30 minutes depending on your shape!

Enjoy with butter on top! It's an elephant of course.