You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2011.

It’s really howling. Gusts to almost 50 mph. Sure drying out the mud! But up to almost 60 degrees.

Cindy and I ran into town yesterday. Got some flowers and put them on the folks graves. On the way home we stopped over at Red Owl and put a flag on Great Grampa’s grave. He was a veteran of the Civil war. Fought for the north. I am afraid if it happened again, I’d have to join the south as it was really a fight about states rights. I read where ol’ honest Abe even would have allowed slavery if the south would re-join, but they wouldn’t. As far as I can see, that was the beginning of the fed’s taking over duties better left to states and counties and cities, that is strangling us today. I am afraid we will have this same fight in the future. Or another fight to free ourselves from tyranny, except now the tyrants are in DC instead of England, but it is still taxation without true representation, looks to me like. Sad. You’d think we’d learn.

While in town Cindy picked out new cabinets for the kitchen. They will make the bare bones of them and our son Tate, who is doing some terrific work with tables and such, will make the doors and drawer fronts for us out of old barn wood. Now, just to pay for it! πŸ˜‰

And of course the dishwasher died and we need to do something with plumbing and she would like the oven to match the dishwasher! Oy!

Got heifer bulls coming this afternoon. I moved all the heifers to a far pasture last night so I will either have to trail the bulls in or let the heifers come back a little bit to the east to join up with the bulls.

The dogs “helped” me move them and I rode Peaches. She is one tuff little mare. We trotted and loped most the time and she only sweated where the saddle set. Them heifers are about like chickens on drugs! Silly creatures. Kind’a put you inΒ  mind of high school girls! πŸ™‚

And they were either chasing or running from the dogs. For a little ways. Then stop and come back. Oh well, we all got a good workout and a few heifers learned to respect the dogs. Bob enjoyed it so much he didn’t want to leave them when we got done. He’s a little hard of hearing when you try to direct him, but they can’t back him off. Tuffer than a pigs snout! Sure would be fun to take a Border Collie who is supposed to be tuff and test him/her on these little girls. Course, when they have to deal with 450 head of them, it is pretty hard to whip them all, at once! Maybe one of these days I will get one. That is on my wish list, but he’s got to be medium to short coat and have them little prick ears.


No, it’s not about sales. It’s about sacrifice.

My great grand father served in the Civil War. My uncle Wayne served in WWII. My father in law served in Korea. My brother was in just at the end of Viet Nam. My son served in Iraq. I have relatives serving now. Active and inactive.

I am very proud of all of them for the sacrifices they have and continue to make.

Thank you, all who serve. I pray for you all daily. Wish I could do more.

All the way up and back it was green, green, green! I don’t know as you people in the eastern part of the country know how good that feels, to see that, for us here in the high desert plains states. Oh sure, there is mumbling and grumbling about work not getting done, but it is a very minor inconvenience when you look at pictures of bad floods and things like Joplin MS. We will be dry soon enough and the work will get done and looks to be a heck of a start on a great year!

Had a great time and stayed up too late having fun so I am sleepy now, but well worth it to see old friend and meet some new ones. The night show might have been the best one I’ve ever seen up there and way better than many others. Great line up. Lots of great talented people around this 5 state area. I played two of the new songs to rave reviews so that made me feel better about them.

I got confirmation on the people I wanted to perform at Devils Tower this fall on September 4th. Elisabeth Ebert, DW Grothe and Daron Little. Ought to be a great show and Beth made me promise that Chance would come too, so I will have him to accompany me. Mark your calendars. That is the Sunday before Labor day as always. Might be our last year, what with all the funding cuts. If so we will go out with a bang. Tho’ sounds like the funding comes from other sources, but if one area dries up they will make cuts in all programs.

Had to drive 35 mph in 4 wheel drive down a graveled county road on the way home and almost went in the ditch several times as it was. Wish they would quit mixing mud in for binder on these roads and just let us drive on them rocks when it is dry.

As they say down south, meaning, tired.

Helped Lyle and Cindy trail pairs to summer pasture yesterday. Went well. Good crew, good weather. We did pick up one little feller who was moving slow and he rode in the back of Danny W’s rig that Danny and Jesse were driving, opening and shutting gates.

Saw something I have never seen before. We were just traveling along, cows grabbing a bite and then walking on when all at once there was the dangedest bunch of bellering and milling and cattle running around and then back to the bunch. Turns out it was a new fawn and them mama’s didn’t like him close to there calves. they ruffed him up pretty bad before anyone could get to him. Rick J loped up and got over him with his horse and the cows trotted off. He thought he was going to die but by the time Lyle and Robert J came by they said they thought he was gong to make it.

It made me think. My first instinct was to go get him and take him along and try and nurse him back to health if possible. But if we did, he would never be accepted back by his mother and we’d have to bum him and feed him until he could survive on his own and he would never really ever be a deer in the traditional sense, no idea of what to do and not terribly scared or respectful of humans, so would probably die in the first hunting season. Or have to be shot because of bad behavior. Or he would just end up a pet in a zoo or someones yard and never realize his first potential. Basically we would have killed him with kindness.

Talking to a friend last night and telling her about it and we got to discussing the ills of the country, one being Welfare and all the entitlement programs. All of them were started with the best of intentions, but now they are administered by a large bureaucracy, and all on it are not people but just faces with a name. And like the baby deer we are killing these people with kindness. If it was administered by a local church or some other local organization, and the people doing the helping knew the people who were getting helped personally, then they would be less apt to just giver money to people who would not try to improve their life. Especially if the money was coming out of the people’s pockets (which in reality it is) who were passing it out.

Yup, we are an entitlement country. Getting more socialistic each and every day. And mostly with the best of intentions. Watch the terrible mess in Joplin. There will be people showing up to help and donating money and that is well and good and as it should b e. But in time, most of the people being helped will go on and improve their life and the mess they are in at the moment. But…. a few, a small percentage, maybe even some imports who know the system, will collect on the largess and make a living for themselves, learning how to game the system. This would be less likely to happen with local control and the money coming in from the locals.

If you have a friend or relative who falls on hard times., you and others will gladly help them in any way you can. But after a time when you see that that is not really helping them, you will attempt to get them to find a job, or in some other way improve their situation so as to no longer need help and if things are as they should, that person would then go on to help others as they have been helped. And that is the intent, but not what happens in many cases.

Many times what starts out as a hand up becomes a hand out and as I see it the reason we have so many entitlement programs and will have a hard time to ever get rid of them is that it has become a major business employing many people. Just think of all the people employed by government. In any way shape or form. Now take away all the jobs involved in the entitlement programs. Now, where are you going to have all those people work, who are involved?

Yeah. That is what we are up against.

Especially when you consider how well we all are off as compared to most of the rest of the world.

And people wonder why we have all these illegal aliens fighting and dying trying to get here.

This used to be the greatest country on earth, and for good reason. I wonder any more if it still is.

Thank a service person this weekend, or anytime you see one for that matter. Happy Memorial day.

Sure is drying the wet out, but not to worry, we got a little more yesterday evening.

I caught up Peaches and rode south to move some yearlings around and shut and open gates, checked on the tank I had turned on, drug a couple lick barrels of mineral into a fresh pasture for the heifers , then trotted north. Looked thru’ the cattle up there and made sure they were all doing okay, then trotted home, caught up the new yellow horse and trimmed his feet. Then I caught the Lena filly and messed and brushed her, so she would find out everytime she is caught that she isn’t going to get rode.

In a bit here I am heading out with Beaver to Help Lyle and Cindy trail some cattle to summer grass up north on Sulpher creek. Might get a few pictures.

I am still debating whether I will go to Medora tomorrow or not, for the big Poetry Gathering. Lots of flooding up there, but last I heard they were still going to have it. I haven’t been there in quite a few years and I will have lots of old friends I don’t get to see and hang out with, up there.

It’s a little cloudy and windy and a small chance of rain, today and more this evening.

Setting here gathering energy lost from a long day yesterday and decided to tell this story.

When Chance was about 17 or so, he went to doctor a yearling heifer. At the time he was thinking tripping them was real cool so was practicing it at every chance he got. He found a heifer who needed a shot, pulled his horn knot down and took to her on Kid, the horse Illinios Rancher got from us. Kid may not be the fastest horse (as Saddle Tramp will attest toΒ  Β GrinΒ  ) but he was rock solid. Chance gets this little lady necked, turns off and discovers that he maybe should have snugged up his cinch a bit more!Β  roflmao

Saddle turns quite a bit and ends up in Kid’s flanks and Chance is trying to get the knot off the horn while Kid stands there all humped up like the ol’ cow in Charlie Russel’s first famous painting. He gets the knot off and the heifer moves out into a shallow dam. Chance gets the saddle reset and tries to recover the rope or drove the heifer out but he can’t get in there very handy with Kid as the bottom is pretty muddy. Like any good cowboy would, he studies on the situation, notices the old jon boat lying there on the shore and the light bulb clicks on.

He hobbles Kid, gets the boat in the water and builds to the heifer. She is not impressed with him and continues imitating a whale or duck or whatever water creature you like, so he proceeds to ram her with the front of the boat until he agitates her enough that she leaves her watery home and heads for dry land. Chance beaches his vessel and get on his horse, finds him a stick, runs up and uses the stick to pick up the trailing rope, dallies up and the heifer gets doctored.

Fast forward to a week ago or so. Chance is working on a ranch on the banks of a flat little river with a lot of gumbo on and around it. They take on all this rain and the river comes up and they have a bunch of stranded ewes, still in the wool, on an island. The boss has a friend in town who brings out a boat and he and said friend launch the boat upstream from the sheep with the intent of trying to load them in the boat and ferry them to shore in some way. But when the sheep see the boat they sell out and most swim for shore and make it. All but one or two who are less scared of boats and men or are just more waterlogged. But now the boat is about 600 yards down stream and they don’t want to have to try and paddle it back up against the current. Chance gives them the end of the rope on his saddle. He is riding Jake who is nervously watching all this and then Chance heads out up stream, on the bank and Jake don’t want nothin’ to do with pulling boats so the trip is real rapid. Tho’ reluctant about it, Jake is a boat pulling SOB! Right up over the top of a steep hill and back to the original starting point of the boating adventure.

They get the boat back up stream and the sheep are rescued.

Couple days later another hired hand, in another camp, calls Chance and tells him they have some bucks out on an island and they need the boat, is there any way Chance can get it to them? We are talking 3 miles of water soaked gumbo just to get out to the main road, on a straight line, but Chance hooks on to the boat, again on Jake, and is figuring that he is going to have a real tired horse when/if they get to the highway. But….he forgot about that wet gumbo and the fact that boats float and slide real well on it very easily!

So he and Jake go merrily on their way out to meet the other guy at the highway. Chance gets there first and here comes a car along and stops to watch a cowboy pulling a boat on muddy ground, a fair ways away from any big river, looks like.

Car stops, lady gets out and with a strong eastern accent asks Chance why on earth he is pulling that boat with a horse? Chance said, “I am not real sure why I said it, but I just told her, “Well hell, I’m going fishing!”

When talking about this yesterday, several better one liners came up, with the crew I was with and the best one was, “Well hell, we are water skiing………..What the hell? I lost the skier again??!!”

Started riding a little before 7 and got back to the trailers about 7 tonight. Didn’t stop for dinner, just lunched on beer, pop and calf fries off the branding stove. Really good day, tho’ when we started dragging calves the gumbo in the pen was so muddy after about 3 calves your rope was clogged with gumbo. Hard to catch two feet and hard to pull the trap shut after you caught them. but we managed. it had dried out enough by afternoon that the second bunch was much easier roping. Here’s some pictures. Click to embigginate.

On Sunday I and a couple neighbors drove over to another neighbors to brand. It drizzled on us all day while we sorted off the calves and worked the cows then we decided to run the calves thru’ and give them over eating shots, just in case. We put the calves in a shed and went in and ate some lunch then after dinner we penned the calves out in portable panels on grass, away from the mud of the corrals and it kept drizzling as we branded the calves. Afterwords we had to take the scenic route across pastures to get bask to a good gravel road, while several people rode out and led the horses, to avoid throwing the horses around in the trailers. One young feller miss judged the distance and slope at one gate right at the yard and had to be pulled sideways to avoid tearing out the corner post and scratching up his trailer. But we all made it out, wet and bedraggled. I loaned my coat to a young lady and wore my slicker over my vest and stayed warm but my hat weighed 5 or 10 pounds from all the rain it soaked up, seems like.

When I got home we had our friends from Iowa here. So the lady and I rode for a tight bagged cow yesterday that we found a lost calf of hers. The calf was off wandering around with some yearling steers. We brought the cow in and she is old and lame and only has 3 quarters , so I tied her up and let him suck yesterday afternoon. When I went to get her in this morning, she was a little on the fight and didn’t care to claim her calf so I said the hell with it and we will feed him on a bottle and she will go to the sale. Dumb ol’ rip of Chances! We got to feed one calf on a bottle, it ain’t much more work to feed another one.

Had a family come last night and they took a horse Kieth had dropped off and Patches the ugly little POA to try out. I think they will get along well with both of them, from what I saw. And looks like they will both have a good home.

Supposed to go to another branding tomorrow and ride in from the hiway. We’ll see. πŸ˜‰

We have over an inch and a half right now from last night and this morning. I drove Cindy’s car down to Punkin Center and left it for tomorrow and all the creeks and draws are running water. Must be time to get my kayak out again! πŸ™‚

Went to Ricks and branded yesterday. Nice and cool but not too cold. Went well.

After Cindy got home I rode Beav up the creek to doctor a heifer with a sore foot. Got that done and noticed I had a few yearlings in on Darrel. While I was looking for the hole in the fence he came along and pushed them back and they found it. He went to patching and I was going to head home for Purple and fencing supplies. He mentioned he’d seen a baby calf with some steers. I looked and couldn’t find him, so assumed he had gotten back with his mother. As I was jogging along I noticed some steers and here is the little bay, mothered up to a steer. He was just born yesterday. I tried to get him to follow Beaver but that didn’t work too well. So I dropped a loop over him and pulled him up into the saddle with me, but he got to kicking Beav in the front shoulder and that didn’t work very well either!

So I tied him by a front and back leg, loped home and got Purple and Cindy and we went and picked him up and went looking for a cow with a tight bag, looking for her calf. Never could find one, tho’ there was one of Chances old red cows grannying another cow’s calf. So we brought him home, fed him some milk and he is living with Fred until I can find his mother.

I am headed over to Glen J’s to brand after bit. When I get home this afternoon I will ride and see if I can find a tight bagged cow.

Recognize the saddle blanket Lisa? I washed it in hot water and then drip dried it and then put it in the dryer. It’s smaller with a tighter weave now. πŸ˜‰