Posts Tagged ‘Rooster’

We attempt to lead a normal life…  Honest, we do!

Yet ‘Weird’ seems to follow us around like a dog on a leash.

Take last Saturday for example:

The day started early.  We were up and on the road by 6:30 am, long before the sun had made its first appearance over the horizon.  This was a quick and unplanned trip to meet up with our son and daughter-in-law at Pierre, SD.  The last time they visited us at the ranch they had borrowed our large flat-bed trailer to haul an old pickup across the state to Watertown where they now live.   Dalton has been working on restoring the seventy-something Ford for several years now but he wasn’t sure she would make it the whole way on her own power.  So they were thrilled to use the trailer even though it is a heavy old beast – weighting over 2 tons all by itself. 

Dalton and Dani both grew up in households where if you borrow something from your neighbor (or family) you always bring it back better than when  you took it.  We also live by the principle that if someone brings you a covered-dish or plate of cookies, you never return the dish empty – you always fill it before you return it so it makes perfect sense that if you borrow a big, old flat-bed trailer you must fill it before you return it.


Well, they did.

They knew we have been looking for hay so when Dalton called Thursday night and said they would be headed our way with the trailer filled with hay we were excited.  Since it was going to be a very quick trip we offered to meet them half-way at the SD State Capital city of Pierre. 

Like I said – Saturday started early.  We loaded Steve in the pickup and pulled out of the yard at 6:30 am – sharp.  We stopped at the end of the driveway to mail a letter, drove thru Hell Canyon to Custer where we stopped at the bank then on to Rapid City where we stopped for breakfast at McDonald’s.  A half hour later we pulled on to the interstate and sped (Yes – I was driving and yes I have a heavy foot) to Wall, SD – the home of the world-famous Wall Drug. 

I have to stop and ask… 

“Have you dug Wall Drug?” 

If you’ve been there – you will understand.

We stopped in Wall long enough to fill up the tank and pee the dog then we were back on the road to Pierre.  That’s where we met Dalton and Dani with this:

Sweet!  They can borrow the trailer anytime they want!

Nothing ‘weird’ so far – right?

Well, actually the ‘weird’ started about 5 minutes before they pulled in to the parking lot where we were supposed to meet. 

Hubby and I arrived first at the local Perkins and since Hubby has a bladder the size of a peanut he went in to use the restroom while Steve and  I waited for the kids.  As he returned to the pickup he was the first to notice something weird…

“There’s a chicken in the parking lot.”  He stated as he climbed into the pickup.

“What do you mean there’s a chicken in the parking lot?”  I asked.   “We’re in the middle of town.”

He pointed under the truck.

“There’s a chicken in the parking lot.”

I got out to look.

He was right.  There was a chicken in the parking lot…  

A white rooster who was missing some feathers…

A white rooster,who was missing some feathers and looked strangely familiar!!!

A scowl furrowed my delicate brow.


Flash back to an earlier post:

”  Levi (the dog) and Franklin (the rooster who lives on the porch) supervised the whole operation so you know it was done right.  Franklin is very picky when it comes to the details.  They were very impressed by my carpentry skills.  Can you tell? “


Present day:

It was Franklin – just a little worse for wear.

Franklin lived on our porch for a while last spring.  By summer, we had moved him along with the other chickens to the other chicken house but he had never really gotten along with the other roosters so he had moved (escaped) out of the coop and took up residence on the road grader.  Which turned out to be his saving grace. 

It has been a bad summer for chickens at the ranch.  When Hubby started to notice that the fowl numbers were dwindling, he set out catch-em-alive traps and soon racked up the impressive tally of 11 skunks, 3 raccoons and 1 mean old badger.  Unfortunately, by the time he had thinned out the predators a bit we were down to 1 hen, 3 roosters and Thomas the turkey who is so old and tough that not even the skunks would touch him. 

A couple of weeks ago we moved what was left of our little flock back to the chicken coop by our house to keep a closer eye on them.  And once again Franklin, our ‘Lone Free-Range Rooster’ had decided he didn’t like the chicken pen full of roosters so he escaped out into  our yard and had been roosting at night amongst the vehicles. 

It appears that Friday night he chose the Chevy pickup for his roost not knowing it would be pulling out before daylight.

Hence Franklin’s trip to Pierre.

We’re not sure if he was roosting under the pickup in one of the wheel wells or under the hood next to the engine.  Hubby thinks he might have been sleeping in the bed of the pickup – which would explain the big smile I got from a passing truck driver.   What a let down – I thought he was flurting with me.

Where ever Franklin was, by the time we saw him he had ridden for 5 hours and a grand total of 250 miles before abandoning ship.

It only took a moment to catch him.  He had gotten quite tame when he lived on the porch and frankly, I think he was afraid to leave the safety of the pickup.  We rigged up a set of chicken hobbles from a piece of baling twine we found in the pickup then set him in the back – covered up with a nice warm blanket while we ate lunch.  The waitress even went out to check on him while we ate.  She thought it was hilarious!

Franklin was cold and shivering (and probably in a state of shock) after flying down the highway for the last 5 hours.  It’s amazing that he stayed put and didn’t hit the pavement at 80 mph.  If he had I’m sure there wouldn’t have been anything left but a few feathers blowing in the wind and we would have forever wondered what had happened to that crazy old bird.

Of course I had to post pictures on Facebook and we laughed all they way home about the funny comments everyone made. 

Besides the photo shown above there was this photo.

“Can I ride home inside the pickup?”

And then I posted this one of Franklin and Steve in the back seat.

My sister says:

“Puppy smells chicken.”

Franklin says:

“Beef.  It’s whats for dinner.”

Can life get any weirder?

Franklin never made a peep all the way home.  He travels very well considering this was probably the first trip he’d ever been on.  I suppose life on the ranch can get a little boring at times – especially if you’re a chicken – so maybe this was a nice change to his normal routine.  We did find out that he loves Sun Chips and he really did appreciate a little drink of water.  Maybe it’s not to bad to be hobbled as long as someone is waiting on you. 

I suppose there is the possibility that Franklin has now discovered that he enjoys traveling and he will be watching for another opportunity to stow away on the next trip.  It’s a thought.  It’s pretty easy to spoil a chicken.  Maybe I’ll have to get one of those mirrors with the long handles that the secret service agents use to check for bombs under vehicles – just so I can check for Franklin before I pull out of the yard.  I would sure hate to get caught transporting chickens across state lines even if it wasn’t my idea.  I bet you have to have a permit for that kind of thing and there’s probably all kinds of fines and jail time if you get caught without it. 

I’ll have to check into that.

On another note, I have personally declared November 3rd as National Take Your Rooster for a Ride Day.  There seems to be days for everything else so why not this?  I considered bringing it before Congress for an official declaration but we all know Congress can’t agreed on anything so I’m sure it would only add to the stack of worthy bills they need to be working on.  

But as Forest Gump would say, 

“That’s all I have to say about that.”

With that I will leave you with one parting thought by Steve the Wonder Dog.


“I like Chickens.  They taste like…      chicken.”


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I am pretty sure this post will show up as having been posted a day late but actually it is still Mother’s Day where I am so HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!  I didn’t get to see any of my kids today but they did call and wish me a happy day anyway so life is good.

I have been running so fast and furious for so long that I don’t even know where to start so let’s see what’s on the camera. 

We are still buying yearlings so we have a new batch to brand at least once a week.

Two weeks ago I went to the Wyoming Master Gardener Conference in Gillette, WY where I learned how to build a snazzy hoop house and how to make Strawberry-Basil ice cream.  I also learned a bunch of stuff about native plants and even more about poisonous plants and fairy gardens.  It was great!

I even hitched up Nadine, my camper and pulled her over to Gillette to sleep in.  Of course since this conference was in Wyoming – in April – it rained and snowed every blessed day and the wind blew like crazy.  

It was 80 degrees and beautiful the week before – go figure. 

Anyway it wasn’t a total bust – I did discover a few things about Nadine – she has a leak above her front window so one corner of the bed was a little soggy.  I’m pretty sure she has no insulation in her walls.  The jack on the front of her hitch is broke (thank goodness for Handy Man jacks) and the furnace still doesn’t work but thankfully, I had packed a small electric heater that warmed her up in about 15 minutes so it wasn’t too bad even though it was 30 degrees outside.  

Nadine also doesn’t have a very secure lock on her door so being the ‘ready for anything, Boy Scout Mama’ that I am, I fashioned a dead bolt for her door once I got to the campground. 

You can’t be too carefull!

One Handy Man Jack plus one load binder and you too can have your very own Redneck Dead Bolt.  Perhaps I should patent it.   There was no way anyone was going to break in and surprise me in the middle of the night!  At least not without having to tear the door knob completely out of the door.  My Dad said I could have also used the removable handle to beat an attacker senseless if needed.  Yes, my beloved Handy Man Jack – the all around survival and self-defense device of every ranch wife.

My husband thinks I’m nuts…

Last weekend I went to a Quilting Retreat at Outlaw Bible Ranch just outside of Custer, SD.  Nadine stayed home and I stayed at my parents house which was much warmer and drier.   My baby, Morgan had requested a Crown Royal quilt made from the purple flannel bags the whiskey comes in so this is what I made while I was there…  at a Bible camp…  with 40 good God-fearing Church women…  I made a quilt out of whiskey bags. 

 I am so going to Hell!

That’s me at show and tell.  I really didn’t envision this quilt ending up like this – a little wild and crazy.  It just kind of took on a life of its own.  I have titled my latest artistic endeavor ‘Morgan’s Drunken Trip Around the World’.   He loves it.  Everyone wanted to know who had to drink all that Crown Royal for the quilt (I cut up 87 bags) I just told them I love my children so much that I will do anything for them even drink 87 bottles of whiskey!  Ha!  Don’t think so – actually Morgan’s buddy Brandon has a step mom who owns a bar.  Sweet…

Last but not least, today I finally built the railing for the front steps. 

We have absolutely no idea what those cool metal wheels are off of but Morgan found them in the iron pile and he brought them to me.  I really love that kid!

Levi (the dog) and Franklin (the rooster who lives on the porch) supervised the whole operation so you know it was done right.  Franklin is very picky when it comes to the details.  They were very impressed by my carpentry skills.  Can you tell?

Other than that it’s been work and lots of gardening.

But I did take time to come up with a ‘top ten’ list for Mother’s Day and all you Ranch Moms out there so here goes,

You might be a Ranch Mom if:

1.  Mother’s Day is spent in the corral – dehorning, branding, de-lousing, doctoring, vaccinating and castrating.

2.  You go to the bathroom and while you’re there you carry on a one-sided conversation with the bum calf, chicks, lamb or baby pigs that are temporarily living in the bathtub till the weather warms up.

3.  You receive gifts such as chain saws, post-hole diggers, back hoes, dump trucks, a milk cow or a load of well-rotted manure and you are thrilled!!!

4.  The bum calf, chickens and every other critter on the place eats supper before you do.

5.  You work full-time at the ranch but also have an 8-to-5 job in town just so you can rest and heal up from the ranch work.

6.  You can back down and turn a charging cow with nothing but a kitchen broom in your hands and the crazed look in your eyes.

7.  You can imitate a cow lowing well enough to calm a scared calf.

8.  At least once you’ve lost both your boots and both socks to 1 foot of sucking gumbo mud before slipping and face planting yourself just to save your baby who is stranded in the center of the corral because he thought it would be fun to play in the mud.

9.  You’ve ever zipped your 2-year-old child inside the front of your Carhart coveralls so they could stay warm while you do chores.

And finally,

10.  You’ve raised more 4 legged babies than 2 legged ones in your life time.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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