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Posts Tagged ‘ranchers’

What a great evening Wednesday night!!!  It was 43 degrees outside with very little wind so of course (since it’s April) I was gardening.  I was gardening in my winter coat and stocking hat but I was still gardening.  I have always figured if you can stand to be outside for more than half an hour without your coveralls then it must be time to start gardening.  That’s South Dakota for you.

The first thing I did was spray some weeds.  Tell me, how is it possible that the snow has just finally disappeared and there are already a bumper crop of weeds?  It’s just not fair.  I never spray chemicals in my vegetable garden but anything that rears its ugly head through the gravel of the Wedding Garden is fair game.   Guess what we have coming up in there – oats, lots and lots of oats.  Of course it’s because we threw oats instead of rice at the newlyweds so it’s my own fault.

 

Ahhh – memories…

After taking out my frustrations with a spray bottle of herbicide I spent the rest of the evening planting onion sets and cleaning up inside the little greenhouse, turning over the soil and getting it ready to plant.  I worked until it was too dark to see.  Thank goodness turning over soil is not difficult work and since it was pitch black when I decided to head to the house I was also thankful for the solar lawn light I happened to have close by.  I’m sure I looked like the Statue of Liberty coming across the garden to the house holding the light by the ground spike over my head.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses of…  sickly plants…”

It’s true – I’m a very patriotic gardener.  It was a touching moment but when I stepped into the kitchen I forgot all about that because I saw something on the corner of the kitchen table that I thought you might like to see – Hubbys record book. 

If you live with a rancher or farmer you already know what a record book is.  Every rancher keeps one.  Most men will choose a new one every year, like the changing of the guard at Buckingham palace it is a ritual worthy of much thought and planning.  Most record books are small notebooks that can fit into a shirt pocket – like the proverbial ‘little black book’  but for ranchers and farmers they can be any color – except pink – I have never seen a pink one.   And because all ranchers and farmers are cheap, almost all record books come with advertising on their imitation leather covers.  You might see ads from a feed store, seed company, the power company or even the neighbors annual bull sale.  Those are my favorites.

 Ranchers and farmers write down everything into these small books – weather conditions, cattle health records, the phone number of a guy with hay for sale and I’m betting there are deep, dark secrets in there too.  I have never really checked out this theory but I’m pretty sure it’s true.  In my line of work I have had access to many ranchers record books and I have been watched like a hawk from the moment I got their book into my grubby little hands until I have carefully handed it back.  I guess it would be like me handing over my journal – it would make me nervous too. 

I have seen grown men literally tear a house apart looking for their misplaced book and if the absolute worst should happen and the book goes through the washing machine you might as well pour yourself a stiff drink and start thumbing through the yellow pages for a good divorce lawyer.  It happened to me once.  I was horrified to open the washing machine and pull out the soggy, mangled pages of Hubbys record book.  There was no hope of salvaging it.  The only thing that saved our marriage was that it was in January and he hadn’t had much time to write important stuff in it yet.  It was a close call.

Most men I know carry these small books with them where ever they go but occasionally, they have been known to forget their book and then what do you do?  You make do with whatever you happen to have on hand. 

Hence, Hubby’s logbook.

 

I know – it looks like an ordinary pair of dirty old leather gloves, but look closer.

Those are ear tag numbers from calves – it’s a regular register of new babies.  Remember #53 the mini bull with attitude?

Yep – There he is.

I only count 16 tag numbers on these gloves but I know there are many more calves than that out in the field so I guess Hubby must have remembered his record book most of the time but everyone has had a few of those days when you leave home without the things you need.  On those days – you must adapt.  At times, you even have to be a little creative and believe me ranchers are very, very good at this.  If you don’t believe me just check out this fence repair job. 

 

You can’t see it very well from this photo but that old wooden fence post is totally rotted off at the bottom.  The only thing holding it up is the steel fence post – well, that and the fact that the wind generally blows from the west most times.  It is a modern marvel of engineering that has been standing like this for at least 4 years (that I know of)  and with the way things go around here it’s probably going to out last the rest of the fence. 

I have seen artwork in galleries with $30,000 price tags that aren’t as fascinating to me as this simple fence post.  I’m not sure why that is – perhaps it reminds me of the ancient conflict of mankind, depicted by the use of both old and new medias that makes me think of the old rancher, weathered and knarled, reluctantly turning over the reins of ownership to the next generation.  Or perhaps it’s the symbol of strength portrayed by the single metal fence post that supports not only the weight of the old wooden post but also the fence lines running in two different directions.  Steadfast and without complaint, it holds everything together – supporting the weight of the world on its rigid frame. 

It could be…

But more than likely it reminds me to send a prayer toward heaven for the strength – like that fence post – to hold things together for just one more day.

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We had a great weekend!!!

I went curling with my sister and this time my Hubby, my Dad and my nephew went with us. 

I know what your thinking – isn’t it sweet that those guys all wanted to come and watch us curl because we’ve obviously gotten so good at curling that the men in our lives are sooooo proud of us and they just know that someday we will be chosen to represent the United States of America on the Olympic Curling team and they wanted and even begged to go with us just so they could show us the love and support we need to help us in our quest for Olympic gold. 

Yeah, right…

That would have been cool but really they just wanted to ride with us so we could drop them off at the Black Hills Stock Show.

Thanks a lot guys for crushing our gold metal curling dreams.

 

Oh well, I really can’t blame them because I wanted to go to the Stock Show too.

If you’ve never been to a Stock Show what are you waiting for?  Make plans now to go to the next one you can. 

Stock shows are full of all kinds of interesting stuff like lots and lots of cute cowboys in tight Wrangler jeans and bunches of beautiful cowgirls all dolled up in fantastic western wear that is ‘all about the bling’ right now.  I’m sorry to say I’m not one of them.  I’m one of the tough old ranchers wives who bought a new pair of jeans (Wrangler cowboy cut) for the occasion and threw on the stretched-out turtle neck shirt (because it’s damn cold outside) and the wool vest (half price last spring at the feed store) and forgot to put on any makeup (Makeup?  Do I actually own any makeup?) or even earrings.  I did tie on a silk scarf to spiff up the outfit a bit but frankly I’m lucky most days if I get my hair combed.  I’ve always been about 15 years behind when it comes to fashion but it’s still fun to check out all the clothes at the venders booths.   And, Boy-Howdy, did they have venders!

Even if you don’t buy a single thing there is so much to see.

For one thing, there’s really big Tonka toys inside the building.

Here’s my sister, our Dad and a brand new loader.  There wasn’t even a tray under it to catch leaking oil – I was so impressed!  And did you know that if you ask really nice and say ‘Please’ the guys in charge of the booth will let you climb up into the cab and pretend you are really serious about buying it?  Ha!  That thing cost more than our house.   But then, as soon as they realize you don’t have any money and they give up and go talk to someone else you can bounce in the seat and make engine noises with your mouth and spit all over the inside of the windshield.  Not that I would do such a thing.  I’m much too dignified and refined to do such a thing.  I’ve really grown up a lot since last year – haven’t I?  The truth is my knees were still killing me from curling last weekend.  I didn’t think I could even climb up in there.

After we checked out the big equipment we went to see the cattle – every Stock Show has them – or else it wouldn’t really be a ‘Stock’ Show, would it?

There were lots of cattle

Just look how pretty and well-behaved they are.  Not a cow pie or speck of manure anywhere.  It takes many hours of work and dedication to train your cattle to do this stuff and look this way.

Our cows don’t look like this. 

Our cows leave cow pies everywhere they go and usually they have lots and lots of manure smeared all over them.  I’m pretty sure that if you tied one of our cows to that pretty little fence and tried to comb and blow dry her she would freak out!  You would probably get stomped into the ground or at the very least she would blow snot all over you before ripping out the fence and dragging it and all the other cows tied to it on a wild-west tour of the entire stock show.  We just don’t have diva cows – ours all blow snot. 

It’s a cow thing. 

Besides, if we brought one of our cows I’m afraid they wouldn’t place very well in the BBP (Bovine Beauty Pagent).

Yikes!!!

She’s a nice mellow momma cow but Damn Girlfriend! – that’s a face only a rancher could love.

Don’t worry honey, we love ya!

But talk about divas – check out these boots.

Boots like this will make you want to sing.  My sister did.

“The stars at night are big and bright… X  X  X  X  X,  deep in the heart of Texas!!!”

Go ahead, you can sing along.  No body will hear you.

Yes, people were looking at us strangely and keeping their children far, far away from us and the guys were pretending they didn’t know who we were but we did have fun.  I can’t wait for next year!

 

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