Trust everyone, but always brand your cattle!
It seems the only thing I know how to blog about anymore is branding. Maybe it is because that is when I get a couple of days off and get “caught up”! Well, another branding is in the books, and it was relatively uneventful compared to last year. There was a minor hiccup, when Macklee threw her friend Brody off the golf cart and he banged his head, but other than that a real pleasant day.
A Hand For Sure!
When you click through old branding pictures, the only thing that truly changes is the kids. Time is precious, and in this drought it seems to be evaporating quickly. Dalli now is old enough at 12 to do everything! She saddles the horses, peels the chili, flanks, and cooks dinner and desert for the cowboys. We are so proud of our girls and hope we are instilling in them the love of their ranching heritage. After all, they are the 5th generation ranchers. In a couple of years, we may not need too many neighbors to help. (Think of all the money we’ll save in beer!)
It is work to feed America. However, we are so thankful to raise our kids on the ranch, where they learn to work hard, and to appreciate God’s blessings everyday.
The most eventful part of the day (read “Branding 911” below) over shadowed our new, up and coming branding crew. Eric Encinias and our neighbor Marcelo were excellent teachers for the next generation (which just happens to be all girls!)
The girls did an amazing job and were fearless. So much so that when both flanking crews were busy, and a third calf came, Macklee went to grab the rope alone! This is a picture of her mad after I would let her take that calf by herself. (Mean mom!)
The next branding we went to they were able to practice some more.
If these girls continue to be such a great flanking crew, think of all the money we will save on beer!
Why do I want to write a book? Because I love to write? I am not entirely sure why I wish to write a book. It has always been a dream of mine to tell my story. Maybe it is from my love of reading, or a desire to suck a reader into my story. I feel I have many interesting stories. Some of you, that read my work regularly may agree, or you are thinking she doesn’t even write in her blog regularly, how is she going to write a book? Don’t worry. I have found an accountability partner. My new neighbor and I have jumped from the edge of the swimming pool, right into the cold water, and everyone who knows me knows I cannot swim, but that hasn’t ever stopped me before! (Neither of my children can swim either, but that is another story.)
The outline was already completed, when I was invited to an author luncheon this weekend. It was a wonderful event. I sat with some great ladies from Hondo at lunch. I shared my aspirations with them and they didn’t even laugh. Yes, I am now sharing my aspirations with complete strangers. I even met Charlene Bell Dietz, the author of The Flapper, The Scientist, and The Saboteur. It is a great book, and she is the first author I have ever met in person. She talked a lot about the book, and some of the ins and outs of writing it.
I left there inspired, thinking to myself, I got this. How hard can it be? Well according to my research, most novels are 80,000 words. So if you can hammer out 1500 words a week, you will be done in . . . . a little over 1 year! I am sure I will learn many things on this journey. I have already realized that I like organizing the sticky notes on the outline! I really like the organizing of most projects much better than the actual doing of the projects. I finally had to leave well enough alone and start typing. I didn’t stop until my tendonitis kicked in at 10,674 words! (not including those on this page) Stay tuned! Macklee is in California visiting Aunt Sandie this week, not sure if I would have made 100 words had she have been here!
Tried a recipe for cauliflower crust pizza tonight. Not a do-over. A flour tortilla is a way easier pizza crust and probably just as healthy except for the gluten! It looked pretty though.
What a wonderful day we had today. It started with a French press coffee. (Very fancy cowgirl coffee)
My favorite mug!
We were horseback first, before it got too hot! Then we retired to the house to try
out some new and old recipes. We made sweet potato salad, pasta salad, homemade granola bars, coffee ice cream. And if that wasn’t enough . . . our speciality oatmeal chocolate chip cookies! It is a good thing I don’t stay home often, I would weigh 300 pounds. Macklee gave the pasta salad “4 thumbs up”!
My biggest worry was making sure that I got my clothes off the line before it rained (don’t laugh, I really thought it might, of course for any of those wondering, it didn’t!)
We checked waters and made crosses! (I thought this would be simple, as that was the theme of the day!) Surprising more difficult than what my brain had envisioned! At the end of the day we made time for a rose petal and lavender foot soak.
A beautiful, blessed and most importantly a simple day.
The cowboys that watch over America’s rangeland have such a huge responsibility that we take very seriously. Teddy Roosevelt said it best, ” A ranchman’s life is certainly a very pleasant one, albeit generally varied with plenty of hardship and anxiety.” While trying to do what is best for the livestock, the land, and our families we find ourselves constantly under attack from ignorance, environmentalists, market fluctuations, and drought. (to name a few) However, more than most we are blessed to notice our surroundings and strive to appreciate the awe and beauty of America daily, but especially on her birthday.
Today we celebrated America’s birthday by scurrying to Capitan, NM for the Smokey The Bear Stampede Ranch Rodeo. The endless food included ribbon fries, brisket quesadillas, snow cones, and fresh lemonade.
It seems that there is nothing more patriot than a rodeo. The colors are posted horseback as the Star-Spangled banner plays. The prayer is powerful, thanking Him for all our blessings and asking Him to watch over our cowboys, livestock, land, politicians, and of course pleading for a little rain.
The celebration continued once we reached the ranch with smores and sparklers! We sure enjoyed your birthday.
Today we attended a lecture about an amazing local historical figure named Maude Medders. This was an interesting topic for our family because there is a place on the ranch called Medders place. This belonged to the Medders family until 1942 when David’s grandfather Von Cain purchased it.
Maude Medders is famous for being abducted by Pancho Villa and his bandits. They stole Maude and her first husband, Ed Wright’s ranch and cattle. The banditos killed her husband and she was forced to leave her two year old son Johnny behind. The ordeal lasted for nine days. Micheal Hays did a wonderful job taking us through those nine days of her captivity.
She was known as a horse women and even took care of Pancho Villa’s remuda when he organized his raid on Columbus, New Mexico in March of 1916. When the raid was over she asked Pancho Villa’s permission to leave. He only asked what direction. She replied Norte and was allowed to head out.
She eventually married Will Medders and settled outside of Mountainair, in the little house we call the Medders place. After the presentation we gained a ton more interesting information from Maude’s grandson Bill Luther. His mother was Ruth Medders. David has known Bill for a very long time but never knew Bill was Maude’s grandson. He told us Maude had 8 kids one of which is still living. (Johnny,Pearl, Ruth, Bill, Harold, Lulu are the ones I can remember!). Maude’s son Harold Medders was a great friend of the Cain family. David has tons of memories from his childhood involving Harold!
Bill told us that Maude was named Maude S, after her parents best mule. We learned Harold and Bill Luther married sisters. We also learned that Betty Lovato was Pearl Medders daughter. All people that mean very little to most of you reading this but I needed to write it down so I could recall it at some future date!
Maude’s motto was complaining doesn’t paint a pretty picture.
We painted a beautiful picture with the rest of our day as we saddled up and rode our horses. We went and showed the kids where Harold had told us there once was a full size baseball diamond. No complaining here.