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 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 woman 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.
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!