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Archive for October, 2011

Wow – 3 posts in less than a week!  That’s got to be some kind of record for me but don’t get too excited, my life usually isn’t like this.  There is just so much going on right now that I want to share. 

Like today – we worked cattle. 

It’s that time of year when we sort off the calves, preg check the cows and decide how many are going to the sale barn.  I took two days off of work – one so I could help today and one more for tomorrow so I could go to the sale barn at Belle Fourche, SD. 

Here’s a few photos of todays adventure:

Selling calves is a pretty big deal in our family.  Our son, Morgan took off from work too.  When the boys were young we would even take them out of school to go to the sale.  When you’re born into the family ranch you’re part of the business from the very beginning. 

As you can see from this photo we prefer cattle that are easy to handle.  Of course they’re not all as curious as this one.

First we sorted the calves and yearlings off of the cows.  These are our girls.  Dr. Pete showed up at 9:00 am to preg check them and this year we came out really good – only 5 of the girls aren’t pregnant and they are probably the ones who had late calves.  Sometimes we sell the cows who are ‘open’ (not pregnant) rather than feed them all winter with no hope of a calf but since these are all really nice cows (good-looking and nice to handle) we will keep them.  There is also the chance that since we ended up with 7 late calves last spring these cows may be pregnant but just a month or two behind the others.  Having late calves can be a hassel but we usually end up keeping the little ones and then selling them in the spring as heavy calves or else the next fall as yearlings.

This is our hydraulic chute.  My brother-in-law, Scott built it and it works great. 

The yellow stick with the red ‘paddle’ on the end is a Rattle Paddle – a sorting stick that makes noise when you shake it.  They work well for sorting cattle and they’re kind of fun too.

Hubby and Paul run the cows into the chute, Morgan ran the chute,  Dr. Pete preg checked (a job – no one else wants to do) and I applied the pour-on pesticide.  And good news – since I’m kind of messy there’s a pretty good chance that I won’t have to worry about round worms, lung worms, grubs, horn flies, sucking and biting lice, and sarcopic mange mites for a while.  Wa Hoo!

The girls even seemed impressed with the new hay trailer Hubby built.

We have some of the best looking calves we’ve ever had this year.

 

Once we finished with the cows we sorted the calves out of the yearlings, did a couple of quick counts and then pulled a couple more small calves out of the bunch and turned them back with their mamas.

 All the cattle are looking good.

Here’s that batch of skinny yearlings we bought last spring.  They have put on a lot of weight this summer. 

Maggie got put to work too.  This is her ‘Come hither and unsaddle me’ look.

And this was our last helper – Steve.  Steve is Morgan’s new puppy.  He’s pretty young but he’s learning.  He doesn’t like the cold weather very much but he sure looks stylish in the cut off sleeve of my old sweat shirt.

By 2:30 the truck had arrived and our calves and yearlings were loaded.  A 2 hour drive to Belle and they should be settled into a couple of pens and ready for the sale in the morning. 

Sale day is always the best.  This is the day we work toward all year.  Prices have been up this year so we’ll hope for the best and see what happens.  But the best thing about sale day this year is that Morgan will be going with us and we’ll also get to see Dalton & Dani too.  I’ll be sure to take some pictures.

And of course Steve will be there too – he’s quite the social little creature even if he isn’t to fond of chasing cattle yet. 

“No.  I will not come out from under this snuggly blanket to chase cows!”

 

 

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Age

I have reached a difficult age. 

Next month I will turn 50.

How the Hell did that happen?

My brain seems to think I stopped aging somewhere in my 20’s even if my knees and hips disagree.  But, if I remember correctly, at that point of my life everything revolved around dirty pants, snotty noses and projectile vomiting. 

Being a ranch wife, dealing with bodily secretions is an everyday affair but now that I think about it – it has been a couple of years since I had to change anyones dirty pants.  Maybe I have gotten older.

Sure, there’s a few gray hairs that I never noticed before.  I suppose I could dye my hair but since I’m pretty much lazy when it comes to that kind of stuff I know I would end up with one of those 2 tone hair do’s that make people cringe as they stare at the top of your head and their brains scream inside their head “CHECK OUT THOSE ROOTS!!!!!!”  So instead of taking care of it I just tell myself that I’m not going gray – I’m going platinum blonde like Marilyn Monroe. 

Hey, it could happen.

So I go along, quietly living in my own little world of make-believe when one day out of the blue something happens that slaps me up-side-the-head and dashes my misguided beliefs.

 Last week was one of those days.  

After work I made a quick stop at the local department store.  The latest ‘Pirate’ movie was out and I had to have my very own copy so I could drool over Captain Jack Sparrow and dream about being a mermaid – all in the privacy of my own home.  I was feeling good & looking fine as I sashayed my way through the store, picking up a few things before I headed for the 16-year-old kid at the cash register.  He flashed me a smile, rang up my purchases, called me ‘ma’am’ and announced the total of my order. 

A crease furrowed my delicate brow.  How could this be?  Not only did he call me ‘ma’am’ but my whole purchase had added up to less than the cost of the movie alone.  Being the kind and good-hearted woman that I am, I chalked up the whole” ‘ma’am’ thing” to good manners and a strict upbringing by his folks but obviously the misguided young man had made a mistake on his register.

Quietly, I pointed this out to the ‘infant’ behind the counter – not wanting to embarrass him in front of the people in line but sure that he would be forever grateful that I had been honest enough to point out his mistake – thereby saving him from a shortage in his till and being fired from his job.   But with a bright, innocent smile on his acne covered face he announced to all within earshot (roughly the whole store) that it was Senior Discount Day and he had deducted my discount.

I stood there, shocked and appalled.  Glaring at him, I pictured in my mind the expression of terror that would transform his face if I  jumped the counter and bitch-slapped the little bastard! 

I would have done it (if it hadn’t taken $7.53 off my purchase). 

You see – basically, I’m cheap – so instead of chasing the idiot young man around the store and beating him senseless with a bag of chocolates I ran home to my Hubby (who supposedly loves me) and told him how the nasty little boy at the store had insulted me.  Of course there was no sympathy there – Hubby and Paul, the neighbor nearly fell out of their chairs with laughter.

And then there’s the mail…

Did you realize when you turn 50 there are companies out there just waiting to pounce?  You would not believe the letters I’m getting.  American Association of Retired People, life and health insurance, pre-paid funeral planning, bladder control and reverse mortgages.  On one bright point it appears the Marines  have finally given up on getting me to join – and just when I’ve reached the point when I would actually be a real threat to any terrorist or dictator I happened to run into.   Think about it – what could possibly be more frightening than a platoon of angry old ladies air-dropped into a foreign country.  Take away our hormones, tweezers and alcohol and hand us loaded weapons instead.  Sure, we would look innocent enough – at least till our beards filled in – but BAMM as soon as the alcohol withdrawals started – look out!  No one would be safe.

 And how about our dear friends at AARP?  Just for the record I would like to give you a little piece of advice on salesmanship.  Do not start your letters with the sentence; 

“As we grow older…” 

That’s as far as I got before I shredded that letter, lit it on fire and buried the ashes in the back yard by the light of a full moon. Really, who writes this stuff?

Here’s the way I think you should start your letters:

Dear Young Lady,

Here at AARP we know there is absolutely no possible way in Hell that you could be old enough to buy liquor, let alone become a member of our fine organization but since a few years ago (when you were soooo young that your father and mother had to give permission for you to wed) you married a man at least 20+ years older than yourself.  Since the man of your dreams was obviously much-to-old-for-you at that time and since he is now a dusty old fossil you may qualify for some of the benefits we offer.   

We realize that a young and vibrant ‘fox’ – such as yourself may need help dealing with the problems associated with being married to a wrinkled, saggy and overweight old man.  But since he was smart enough to marry such a beautiful, strong and sexy woman, such as yourself, we have given him the benefit of the doubt and decided to offer him some help – through you –  because it’s so very sad that he has not aged as well as he could have and obviously can’t take care of his-own-self….

I could go on but since they’re not paying me I will let them figure out the rest. 

Yes, I had been feeling a little sorry for myself, but then, just when you think you will have to finally accept the facts and agree to age gracefully one bright shinning moment catches you by surprise.  That happened to me a couple of nights ago.  I was headed to garden club but needed to make a quick stop at the grocery store to get vinegar and rum. 

I know it’s a weird combination but the garden is winding down so I have been doing a lot of pickling lately and I really need the rum just to soften the blow of reading the mail these days.

Anyway, there I was with my vinegar and rum when the sweet little old lady at the register looked up through the thick lenses of her glasses, squinted at me under the fluorescent glow of grocery store lighting and asked that immortal question we all feared as youths.

“Are you old enough to buy this?”

God bless her sweet-little-near-sighted-cateract-blinded-heart…

She carded me.

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One of the funniest things about this strange little blog I do is pulling up the stats page and seeing what people have typed into the search engines that has directed them straight to me.  I had a few extra minutes so I thought I would check it out.  Frankly, it says a lot about my blog and people in general – and not always in a good way.  Today there was an especially good batch so I thought I would share some of the ‘classic’ ones with you.

Obviously, RanchDaze is known first and foremost for the Worthy & Weird quotes.  Weird quotes is the top number of searches that leads people to me and surprisingly people have Googled ‘Farting Quotes’ more than any other type of quote.  Kind of scary – isn’t it?

We also have:

I may be weird quotes

Deep weird quotes and

Weird quotes in lifes philosophy

I thought that last one added a bit of class to the whole list and really shows just what caliber of people are out there.  

It also appears that quotes are not the only ‘Weird’ stuff people are searching for:

Weird humans (I can’t imagine why that one lead them to me)

and my favorite – Why welders are Weird

Frankly, I don’t know why they are weird, but I promise to ask the tough questions and get back to you with an answer.

And then there are searches that are just plain strange:

Arnold Schwarzenegger holding a fire hydrant

cute bedroom with a waterbed for 9 year olds

water in house fun

and

what is used to fill the finger holes in an old bowling ball

OK – that last one was actually covered on this blog a short time ago so maybe that isn’t so strange but I’m pretty sure I’ve never mentioned Arnold holding a fire hydrant or waterbeds for 9 year olds and I personally know for a fact that water in the house is NOT fun!!!

Some of them do make perfect sense such as:

Redneck lake chair

cowboys kicking

old redneck couple on tractor

pictures of redneck on a cruise

and another favorite – emasculated branding cattle

It just sounds down-right nasty when you put it that way. 

Castration seems to be a common theme with:

castrated elk 

 OK – just for the record we don’t do that here but we do have

 calf nuts

People have also found me by typing in:

people that are afraid of cows

I wouldn’t really say I’m afraid of cows but I do have a healthy respect for what a pissed-off cow can do.  I will admit I am rather afraid of the person who typed in

daddy go fart & I go zoom

Yep, that scares me almost as bad as knowing that if you type in Exotic wild life you will also end up here. 

I’ll bet not everyone who found their way to RanchDaze was happy to be here.  I’m pretty sure who ever typed in www.thisoldhouse.com was misdirected to my site but if not I would like to let them know that I would be available for advice any old-time they need it.  Just type in

Redneck Repairs

or

House construction 101

And then there was someone out there who must have been terribly disappointed after typing in Wyoming house wife sex.  I’m pretty sure the stuff I write about isn’t what they had in mind.

But my all time favorite – one which I just might have to frame and hang on the wall is:

Hot lady riding black stallion on beach

Damn, they’ve got me pegged!

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Just Sitting Around

I know – you think I’ve been doing nothing but sitting around, watching TV and eating chocolate bonbons. 

Well, you’re right.  I have been doing a lot of just sitting but I do have an excuse.

I been quilting!!!

And here’s the proof.

 

These are the first ones I’ve finished.  They measure 14″X24″ and are super easy to make.  Best of all the patterns are free on the internet at www.Patsloan.com .  Go to free patterns, scroll down to patterns for 2007 & 2008, then go to October Treats.

I love the Candy Corn!!!

The next quilt project I finished is this:

 Each of these little quilts measure just 3 1/2″ X 8 1/2″.

This pattern comes from Pearl Louise Designs.  You can find them at www.thimblecottage.com or at 902 Mt. Rushmore Road, Rapid City, SD 57701.  I had driven past this quilt shop for years until last month when I actually had time to kill in Rapid City – Damn!  Their shop is GREAT!!!  Now I will have to stop every single time I get to Rapid.

They have lots of different Itty Bitty quilt patterns and they have them displayed on the cutest little metal stands but of course I didn’t get one of those when I was there so I walked out to the tree strip and cut a branch.  Not only am I lazy but cheap too.  Oh well, it doesn’t look too bad.

I have also started a BOM (that’s Secret Quilter Code for Block of the Month). This one is free on the internet at www.fandominstitches.com .  It is titled There and Back Again and is based on The Hobbit –  I totally love that book.

There are about 40 pieces of fabric in this little 7″ block.  Basically, I did it just to see if I could.

Wah Laa!

 Can’t wait for next month’s block.  Since this is a mystery quilt I have no idea what’s coming next.  Tune in next month for the continuing saga.

But for now I have to go catch my horse – we’re gathering yearlings this morning and I got to go.

Hmm…  I wonder if I can quilt on horseback?

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Do you remember this?

Guess what – after a month of hard work ‘that’ turned into ‘this’.

Pretty amazing isn’t it?  And more amazing – it survived the forest fire burning behind it.  It’s been a wild summer.

So we planted lots of plants inside and watered it every day or so…

We rolled up the sides in the morning and shut them tight at night and before we knew what happened we grew lots and lots of veggies.

So every Saturday morning for the last few months I have gone to the local Farmers Market and sold veggies.  It has been great but a lot of work too!!!

Here’s my little booth all decked out.

I’ve sold a bunch of veggies, made some money and generally have had a lot of fun.

But summer is pretty much over and it’s a good thing – because I’m exhausted!

There are still a few veggies in the garden.  Just enough left for me to can a few things for our own pantry and maybe a few more tomatoes to sell because anyone who knows me knows I always plant to many tomatoes.  I can’t help it – it’s the way I am.

Yes, there’s still work to do before the weather turns bad but for now I think I’ll take a little break and be thankful for fall.  Hope you’re enjoying the beautiful colors.

 

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