Ranch Heritage

Trust everyone, but always brand your cattle!

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Determined Flanker!

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.

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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!)

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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.

Girl Power

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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!)

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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!)IMG_7701

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!

The Book!


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.

Simple Life

What a wonderful day we had today.  It started with a French press coffee.  (Very fancy cowgirl coffee)

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My favorite mug! 

We were horseback first, before it got too hot!  Then we retired to the house to try
pastaout 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.foot bathecross

A beautiful, blessed and most importantly a simple day.

Star Spangled

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.

 

Maude Medders

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.

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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!

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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.

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Snow Day

The weather persons have named this storm “Goliath”.  We weren’t too concerned as they are often wrong.  However, this time,  it did start snowing yesterday at 9:30 a.m. and 36 hours later hasn’t quit.  I had just finished my workout and decided to brave the blizzard to go to town for milk (without any makeup and in sweats!) I could think of nothing worse than being snowed in for days without milk.  DSC_0014The horses are wishing they were somewhere in a stall with blankets on them . . . . or not?DSC_0070The storm delivered. It continues to snow as I write this at 6 p.m. December 27, 2015.  So far, we have around 18 inches on the level.  The problem however, is the drifts many are greater than 5 foot high.  The entire sorting alley is snowed in to the top pipe!DSC_0078The real snow hero is my husband.  He has piloted the blade or the bobcat ALL day.  He has delivered feed to all the animals and cleared the roads and the pens.  He has not stopped since early this morning.  We have had some water problems.  It started out as snow waiting down floats, and has progressed to pump house leaks and smoking pumps. He has just left again to recheck the red tank, he hopes be be back by 8:30 p.m.  I guess this why he doesn’t want to move to Alaska, where much like today, I would do my part . . . bake and keep the fire going!

Halloween over!

The weekend has flown past again, while we wondered what happened to it. We were suppose to go to a kids rodeo, but it was canceled due to rain. We received 1.1 inches of rain in the last week. (This did make it interesting getting up my dirt road). We decided to use Saturday, to get some groceries and visit our beloved neighbor GG.

We drove to Albuquerque to see GG, she had a stroke a couple of months ago and has been in and out of the hospital ever since. She is so tough and fighting to get better, it is very difficult to see her body failing when her mind is still so sharp. It is so depressing to think she will never come back here and we will never have her as a neighbor again. We snatched groceries, and high tailed it home to get ready for trick or treating.

Dalli was Cleopatra originally, but changed to a bat. MJ was Cinderella and changed to Carrie Ingalls! We made quick work of Limit street, in the town of Mountainair. The kids rode on a trailer filled with hay, and hopped on and off to gather sweets. The kids faded rapidly, complaining they were tired, cold, and their bags were too heavy! MJ was super excited to get to trick or treat at two of her teachers houses!

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Sunday brought some much needed rest and relaxation. A nice chat with my dad who wanted to make sure we bet on the Denver/Green Bay game. We decided on $20 as he didn’t want me to have to go into debt defending my Broncos!

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Dad, is the check in the mail?

The Hoarders

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Three generations (one of which is no longer with us, but definitely contributed to the problem) of hoarders came together to clean out the old shop this weekend. The cleaning and sorting was like being in a giant dusty time capsule. Why we felt the need to save some of the things we did over the years will remain a mystery. It was hard work, with lots of manual labor, old memories, and tons of scrap metal.

The shop has served the Mack family well over the years. It was first Mack’s Marine, where they serviced boat engines. Then they progressed to Mack’s sales and sons when they begin repairing small engines, like chain saws and lawn mowers, and today thrives under the heading of Mack’s Drilling which seems to encompass the tons of things they do including my brothers new adventure www.mackswesterndecor.com

Two trash trailers, one utility trailer, one dump trailer full of scrap metal and we are still not done. There is still a garage sale pile, Wes’ keep pile, Bobs keep pile and of course more scrap metal. My pile came home in a utility trailer that I still owe for! (Hopefully I have a good interest rate!)

There are such pleasant memories associated with that old building. There were 4 separate rooms, the main machine shop, the parts room, the garage, and my grandmas office (which was located off the parts room, and apparently was also the old chicken coop before my time!) There were new chainsaws displayed in a tree (old log) that reached from floor to ceiling, in the center of the parts room.

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My grandmas office with the navy maps on the wall, marking all the places in the world my dad’s submarine had sailed, when he was in the Navy. The old cash register that was on the end of the massive showcase, oh how we all loved to punch down the big buttons.

The back of the shop held my grandmas mint condition Rambler, and all her wood working tools. All the walls were lined with peg board, and every tool had its place, although in the machine shop, they were rarely in their places because they were strewn out next to some engine or other project on a parts table. I can remember my grandma making rags out of all kinds of material. The rag bin was there next to the degreaser, she always kept the bin filled, and laundered the nasty greased rags weekly.

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20140408-195615.jpg My dad built our horse trailer in there. Patches had her puppies in there. The 8 track player was always playing good ole Johnny Paycheck, singing “take this job and shove it”, before I even knew what a job was. It is bittersweet, to have done a lot of work with my family to clean it up, however at the same time realizing that was the last time I will ever set foot in that space again. I wonder how much this family business grossed in the 40 years it used this make shift building?

Tax Cowboy

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Today was the dreaded tax preparation day. I say today, but all told it is at least a two day process. Some of our biggest marital disputes over the years happen when we start preparing our taxes to take to the accountant. The basic problem is my husband’s lack of paperwork organization. His receipts seem to pile up on him throughout the year. This udder dislike of paperwork combined with a tendency to procrastinate is like fuel to the fire, since his favorite wife rarely procrastinates and loves order, in all aspects of life, especially paperwork.

I know there are many ranch wives that are kind enough to take care of their husbands endeavors. I know many of these great women, I just wonder if they have to deal with the piles of receipts that have no order what so ever! We have set up accordion folders, 3 ring binders, boxes and hanging folders. We have discovered no system that my husband finds enjoyable enough to use!Was that receipt for feed? What is this 78.47 to Gustin Hardware? Did you buy that dump truck this year? The fun is endless! Then, when you feel a great sense of accomplishment, he usually goes outside to his pickup and brings in another couple of handfuls of straggler receipts.

Just remember what doesn’t kill you makes you closer? When the mound of half crinkled paper is filed away, it feels like you just won a marathon. The receipts bring back floods of memories of what was happening on that particular day. And if we have saved enough receipts we may have enough money left after taxes to buy some more cattle tubs!

David says that I am the one with the problem, since I am insisting on getting our taxes done on Jan 10th! (Instead of April 14th?). I will admit that this year seemed less tense than years past. Notice how the pile is shrinking?

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