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. The horses are wishing they were somewhere in a stall with blankets on them . . . . or not?The 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!The 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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
My life has consisted of many imperfectly sewn together squares. These squares are the equivalent to the chapters in a page turning novel, that currently remains unwritten. The fabric that has held everything together so far has been veterinary medicine.
The animals have always been my passion. When I decided to become a veterinarian there was no stopping me. I vividly recall being at a local gas station and bothering maybe even begging, Dr Regusa for a job at Raton Animal Hospital. He worked his magic and an interview with Dr. Mark Jansen was granted. I ate, slept, and dreamt veterinary medicine from that point until present.
Mark informed me if I was going to succeed, I better always be doing something. There was always something to do in a vet hospital he said. Randomly, he threw out some examples of things I could clean. He mentioned there were tons of other tasks and I should be able to find them without bothering him. Employees should be productive all the time was his mantra. That summer I carried spray bottle and rag everywhere I went.
This was my first official job that included a boss. I previously ponied horses at the race track, where I was my own boss and knew what was expected. Laboring in a hospital was a hugely different dynamic which sometimes was served up with drama, both veterinary and otherwise. Looking back, I knew so little. I wonder how often, one gets to step into the shoes of their mentor. As a practice owner it is amazing how different the view was, surprisingly much the same as my mentors I bet. I now know what it is like to be in the self employed club, it is a definite blessing that is weighted heavily with stresses.
The memories of those summers play daily in my mind. Like the time we were semen testing bulls and Mark was talking and talking with the rancher. It was starting to snow, it was miserable and cold. I finally asked him to stop talking and start ejaculating! He and the rancher never let me live that down. There are so many other stories that stream through my mind like the rubbing alcohol incident, the new tire incident, the escaped heifers incident, the lasix caper, and working on African wild dogs and zebras. The above definitely constitute their own book/blog!
Mark was always smiling, laughing, joking, and was infamous for his practical jokes. He loved to talk and always had something he wanted to show or tell. Looking at it from my current situation as the head of a small company, how did he make time for everyone and still accomplish all the necessary tasks required to run a hospital and treat patients. He was the quintessential people person. I regret that I didn’t make the time to tell him how much he meant to me. He will be greatly missed. The thought of going to Raton and not having the option to pop in (usually because I have forgotten something or needed something for one of my favorite brother’s animals) and visit a minute causes the tears to flow.
He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and the community he served.
Macgyver doesn’t have anything on most moms! When a ranch mom digs deep into her pantry the possibilities are endless! Anyone could have crafted these cupcakes if they gone for supplies. However, that is why I am so proud of them, because they were created out of only the supplies on hand. When did this become a cake blog?
The cupcake problem began when my mom, the grandma informed the preschool that Macklee was going to bring cupcakes to school for her birthday. What I might mention here is that my mom does not bake. Aren’t grandma’s suppose to bake? Good thing she has amazing other talents. (Sure shopping is a talent, almost a science if you go with my mom!)
Normally, this would not have been an issue, however on the heels of this weekends cake debacle (feel free to read previous blog!). the stakes were high, real high.
Did I mention it’s farm week at preschool? The amazing shopper went on a quest for small cupcake topping farm animals, you know the dollar store variety. Apparently, these are a hot item in Belen, NM, they were nowhere to be found. (Let me tell you if they were in Belen my mom would have found them!). Now what? Plain cupcakes? This is when inspiration struck. I never meant for this to turn in to a food blog, but was incredibly proud of making something out of nothing!
Today, Macklee is officially four and I get a birthday hiatus until January! Oh except for my moms birthday but she isn’t getting a cake this year for obvious reasons (read previous blog!). Happy Birthday Mom!
Let me begin with the admission that as a mom, birthday parties have never really been my thing. I usually try to scrape something together to acknowledge the day i.e.cake. I tell myself that I make everyday special so there is really no need for a large production. Then, about every four years, I go all out and do too much birthday! This was not an all out year. One other teeny weensy fact before you examine the pictures, is I did attend three courses in cake decorating. I have certificates, or at least I did until the Wilton Cake Decorating people read this blog.
Before . . . .
This is the unicorn cake that I ordered for MJ’s 4th birthday! I would just like to take a moment to honk my own horn here. This alone in the past would have brought the waterworks from my poor eyes. However, I really took this in stride. I faced it head on, with an I can do attitude.
How hard could it be to replace a unicorn cake head. I began baking. I then cut out the cake into many pieces and stacked them ever so carefully. It was amazing, it really was resembling a horse head. This is where I started patting myself on the back a little early. It was when I attempted to frost the warm cake that it all went wrong. . . .
The funny thing is the birthday girl could care less. All the fears I have of ruining her childhood will have to wait. I guess there will be no therapy sessions for the unicorn cake that my mom didn’t master. No support group in high school, for girls that never had pretty cakes!
So the moral of the story is twofold. The first lesson is true stories are always the funniest, and the imperfections of life create the best memories.
The day was wonderful for my princess.