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!

Branding 911


So our branding started out resembling all the previous years, but quickly became memorable.  I finished preparing breakfast, while David went to saddle horses.  The Cowboys arrived and ate breakfast, then we hopped on our horses and set out to gather one of the pastures closest to our house.  We had the pasture gathered and were pushing the mommas and their babies toward the house corrals.  A couple of Cowboys kicked their horses into a lope to get ahead of the cows and hold them at water. This is where it all fell apart.  When Duane kicked Paint, it was a full fledged bronc ride.  Paint apparently hadn’t had enough coffee or was it too much green grass on a brisk morning?  Regardless, he bucked like a saddle bronc at the NFR, head between his knees the whole time. Duane rode him well, until he ended up on tilt.  He hit the ground in a tuck and roll fashion.  We knew there was a problem when he tried to stand, twirled around and collapsed back to ground. 

Magic and I kept him company while the Cowboys went to get the Artic cat to transport him.  He knew his pelvis was broken as he could feel some grinding and it hurt to move his left leg.  If he would have been whiny, I probably wouldn’t have been able to stay with him.  But he was normal Duane, his sense of humor was definitely still intact!  On a side note, I did do an excellent job of keeping Magic from trampling him further while we waited.   We got a text to go through to his wife Shelly, but since I spelled his name Dewayne instead of Duane she wasn’t sure who I was talking about.

When the Artic cat came we knew he couldn’t sit and sent them back for a flat bed pick up. Wayne and Randy finally arrived and we removed his pistol and chaps.  He said he was missing a pen he had just acquired.  With Wayne’s EMT expertise we were able to roll him onto a vest and zip it up to stabilize him as we lifted him.  Wayne tripped and almost landed on him, and Randy had a hard time getting off he ground, other than that it went smoothly and  we finally got him loaded.  “Even if I scream keep going,” Duane coached.

I galloped to the house and dialed “911”.  

I directed dispatch to “just turn at the yellow entrance.”  

“Where is he now? Don’t move him.”  She quipped.   Too late, I thought.

 “He is in the pasture, but we’ll have him out by the time the ambulance arrives.”  

He had a posse keeping him company while we waited for the ambulance.   I told him I was glad he had eaten breakfast because they weren’t going to feed him in the hospital.  He told me that he knew I had served quiche this morning and Cowboys don’t eat quiche.  If I would have been quick enough on my feet I would have told him it wasn’t quiche it was egg pie!



The ambulance carried him off all before we branded a single calf.  The rest of the day went well, however a somber haze hung over us as everyone worried about Duane.  He had pelvic surgery and is doing well, but will be wheel chair bound for the next 8 weeks.

Minnie Mouse Mania

The mania has begun at our house. We are so excited about our trip to visit with some mice. I once read somewhere that sometimes the anticipation is as fun as the event itself. So, today, we are building some amazing excitement with the countdown we created.

2015/11/img_5481.jpg The above picture is very unusual, as I generally do not allow things on my fridge.

The next step to get us “rolling” was to deal with the change we have been savings for our Disney get away. Our family has been savings our change since our last Disney trip, patiently awaiting another go around.

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This was a family project, and the truth is it is probably worth the money the coin machine charges! Once the shoebox was loaded, I couldn’t lift it! We have saved $577.00 in pennies, nickels,dimes, and quarters. Not to shabby.

Hang on Tight

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It has been one of those whirl wind weeks, where all you can do sometimes is hang on.  The clinic was extremely busy for late October.  I also had to incorporate parent teacher conferences into the week.  We were able to easily clear that hurdle.  So, my much deserved relaxing weekend was in view, until we sold the calves on Wednesday with a delivery clause!  There went my weekend.  So Friday night, my dad showed up with a trailer and we were set to head north in the morning.

David and I saddled up, and headed out at sunset, to gather the calves.  We were able to gather them successfully, with no drama from us or the cattle.  We must be maturing, we usually don’t get along that well working cattle.  (maybe he was nicer cause I was all he had)  All went well and they were sexed and weighed, and we were ready and waiting when the brand inspector arrived.  I was a little worried when my dad was working the steer gate, he doesn’t move like he use to, and I was so nervous that he wouldn’t get that gate opened in time, and we would be back to square one.  But he didn’t miss even one!

So it was off to God’s country to deliver our beautiful calves to Folsom, New Mexico.  Up early this morning to power wash trailer and head back home to start another crazy week tomorrow.IMG_1644

Drama Mamas

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For the most part, living on the ranch is hard satisfying work but bearable, much like breaking in a new pair of adorable shoes, painful but worth it. There are those times however, when the bliss of entering a grocery store and not knowing or caring how that package of hamburger got there seems like a welcome alternative.

This is that time of year. We have been calving heifers for what seems like eternity, but is actually a couple of weeks. This consists of rising in the night to make sure none of these first time moms is having any difficulty delivering there babies. If they are, we help, usually at some God awful time of night, in the frigid cold.

It is generally acknowledged that the female is the brightest in most species, cats,dogs,horses,humans, etc. This rule of thumb, unfortunately doesn’t apply to the female first time cow. These heifers are so silly, snorty, relatively uncooraporative, and unappreciative of the help we are bestowing upon them. Then, when you do provide them with assistance, you sit huddled and praying that she will begin to accept (read lick and clean here) her baby, not walk off and abandon it, leave it to freeze, or stomp on it.

So, I am off to pull the covers over my head, and hope that unlike last night, tonight will bring no drama from the soon to be mamas!

Romance Ranch Style

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It’s Valentine’s Day, yeah! You know chocolates, flowers, jewelry and love letters . . . or not! Nope our first order of business was a trip to the Surratt Ranch to buy a new high dollar bull. The last high dollar bull we have is currently in our freezer.

Then the Valentine’s Day fun really began. My gift was the opportunity to take a one hour nap before we went to find and move some of our heavy (ready to calve) heifers close to house where we can monitor them and intervene if necessary.

At 3:30 David and I embarked on our journey. First stop was to locate 6 missing heifers. After they were found, the next step, was for me to drive the truck and trailer to a different location and gather up some more heifers, and my husband would bring his bunch to meet mine. Here is where the problems could arise.

You see this is a new pasture to me, and my husband was giving orders like I knew where I was headed. The problem with most Cowboys ( I might have to go out on a limb here and just say men) is they don’t take the necessary time to explain the commands that they bark. However, the more time you take, to make sure you fully savy the instructions, the more impatient they become, and consequently, the worse the instructions become.

David took the first group we came across, and Magic (my caballo) and I, jumped in the truck and set off praying as we bounced across the rutty ranch road, that we were going to end up where we were suppose to end up. Don’t tell me I am alone in this, wives and daughters have been doing this for years, taking mediocre directions, and crossing our fingers that it all works out like it is suppose to!

Through some divine intervention I arrived and got my bunch before David arrived. (Just barely). Then the real fun began as we pushed these girls 3 miles to a new smaller pasture we call the Medders Trap. These heifers were in no hurry, even with David serenading them periodically with “it’s beginning to look a lot like Spring!”

At dusk we reached our destination, I took off to get the gates and David went to fetch the pickup. It was after dark, cold and scary by the time my husband made it back with the truck and trailer. But, at the end of the night, my valentine told me how much I was needed today. (That’s close to a thank you and better than chocolate!)

We snuck away Sunday morning to take the girls skiing, morning only because, of course, we had to get home and check those heifers! The reality of ranch life is romance happens daily it just doesn’t come in the form of red heart shaped boxes!

Pain in the Back

Friday morning I ran around the house in my usual chicken with head severed fashion. I finally made it out the door and was headed to the car, when I noticed that I must have accidentally, dropped a shirt on the ground the night before. As, I hastily knabbed the shirt there was an instant excruciating pain in my lower back.

The pain was so great, it caused an bout of nausea. It took what seemed like forever, to make my way to the car. David brought me Advil and sent me on my way. I was fine on the commute until I tried to exit the vehicle at my place of employment. One hour and 10 minutes later I was able to exit the car.

The rest of the day was a blurr. Every day since has brought improvement. The silver lining is I haven’t had to wipe a 4 year old rear end in several days!
The back issue might be sympathy pain or genetics, as my dad has been suffering for a week with back issues as well. He has been in awful pain.

Finding a surgeon in a timely manner to correct the impingement on his spinal cord, has been an incredibly difficult undertaking. Hopefully, he will get some relief with the spinal surgery tomorrow.

Always surprised how quickly life can change. Remember to live each day to its fullest, stop and smell the cacti and be thankful if you have a nice strong healthy back. And above all else, bend your knees!

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