view sourceprint? 01 Ramblings from a Ranch Wife: July 2012

Random Thought:

"The darkest nights produce the brightest stars"

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Truth

(Photo courtesy of Heidi Stevens)

I have some confessions to make.  I'm 33 years old and have not rode a lot of colts.  I can only really take credit for 2 colts, and in my opinion only 1 of them is anything spectacular.  It has taken me 10 years to get him there.

I lack patience.  I want the cream to rise now!  I'm riding a colt.  His name is "Maximus."  I call him "Max."  He is HUGE.  His size makes me forget he is still a baby.  I want him to do all kinds of wonderful things like stop, turn, and back up.  Which he does sometimes....  He will be 3 on Tuesday.

I don't like the round pen.  I get dizzy trotting in circles.  I'm not good at pleasure riding.  I need to be doing something productive like moving cows or looking for sick calves.

(Photo courtesy of Cara Small)

I don't like cats, but I do like dogs.  The best dog I've ever had was a "Border-Rat" named "Buck."  He was my best friend and went everywhere with me, even school.  When I took a shower in the morning, his little nose was inside the shower curtain so he could see me.  I knew my husband was "the one" when I came out of the kitchen and found Buck cuddled up next to him on my couch.

I don't mind farming.  I actually like dragging meadows and raking hay as long as I can do it by myself.  There is something relaxing and peaceful about being alone in a tractor with my thoughts.  My thoughts and my iPod.

(Photo courtesy of Cara Small)

My favorite place in the world is home.  The place I grew up, where we give directions, not by names of places, but by "remember where so and so shot that buck and it was snowing?"  Where a four-wheeler is for wrangling horses and irrigating, not for cow work, and branding time involves all our our family, friends, best horses, and good food!

My biggest fears include my boys growing up in a place where they can't walk a mile in any direction without seeing another person, feeling tall grass catching their spur rowels as they trot across a hay field late June, or having a green colt hump up with them on a cold morning.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Wickahoney in it's heyday.

My great grandma Rosella Tindall Chambers was raised on a cattle ranch that doubled as a stage stop in southern Idaho.  She was married when she was 19, had my grandma when she was 20, and was divorced by the time she was 22.  She watched her older brother die from a bleeding ulcer one day while trailing their cattle to the rail station in Elko.  Not long after, her father hung himself when the bank turned him down for a loan to buy hay for his cattle at the start of a hard winter.  Her mother having nothing to live for without her son or husband took rat poison.

This all happened in the Early 1930's.  My great grandma found herself divorced and alone with a baby girl, and a cattle ranch to run in the great depression.  A very unheard of situation for a woman at that time.  Her cowboys wouldn't take orders from a woman, so she found a foreman who would.  She would give him her orders and he made sure they got done they way she wanted.  The bank wouldn't give her a loan, so she found someone who would.  She was out of underwear for her daughter, so she would take the cowboy's old, worn out clothes and made her some of whatever she needed out of that.  She worked all day doing cowboy stuff, then came home to take care of her baby and make a home.  She made do, she got by.

Wickahoney today.

From the time she could stand on a box, she was expected to work.  My great grandma could work just as hard as any cowboy, but at the end of the day she was always a lady.  After a hard days work, she came in and cooked dinner.  If she was going to town she wore her best clothes and did her hair.  My grandma and great aunt (her daughters) never learned to cowboy.  Grandma said that "If you can't milk a cow and you can't ride, you don't have to.  If you can, you do.  You have to do your work and real man's work too."

Sunday, July 22, 2012

School Days

TR starts school this fall.  He is really excited to be going to "that garden place" (kindergarten).  Mom of course not so much.  It is going to be interesting to see how we all do when school starts. 

I am having a hard time believing that my baby is old enough to be in school.  It seems like just yesterday I brought him home from the hospital.  QT is so attached to his big brother, I'm not sure how he will make it with him gone a couple of hours a day.

I'm also really worried about how he is going to do in the classroom setting.  He is going to be one of the younger kids in his class, and being a mom, I worry that he is "ready" for school.  I asked him the other day if he would like to stay home with me just 1 more year and go to school next year because I will miss him.  He told me that he would "stay with mom until [he] is 45, then he will go to school. 

To make matters worse, other parents who have kids the same age as TR are doing all of these wonderful things.  They are reading, writing their names and all this great stuff.  TR doesn't do that.  He likes numbers, and can do some basic addition and subtraction, but does not write, and I have to bribe him just to say the alphabet.  But, he can spot thistle at 20 yards, and can recognise Leafy Spurge most days.  He knows all about a lot of animals, and a wonderful imagination.  He can identify several different types of animal tracks too.  Keep your fingers crossed he gets a teacher who can appreciate these qualities!

The Wild Boys Ride Again

We've had a pretty busy spring and summer. As you can see TR and QT have been busy helping as well. This is the first time I have really turned them loose on horses. We are very fortunate, my dad gave us a horse to use that he raised and I rode quite a bit when I came home from college. "Cowboy" is a great fit for TR. I am so proud and impressed by the confidence he has give TR. We moved some cows last week, and TR rode with the Cowboss while QT rode with me. At one point, the Cowboss heard some whooping and hollering behind him. He looked back to see TR hell bent for leather, over and under-ing his horse running up through the middle of the cows we were pushing. When he asked TR what he was doing, TR informed him "I had to open up a can of whoop ass on that cow. She wasn't going like I wanted her to." I'm so thankful we have a horse that he can "open up cans of whoop ass" on.

QT isn't quite ready to be completely turned loose yet, and lets face it. I am not ready to hand over my best horse to him yet either. He has been riding and showing my horse "Cricket," just not outside by himself yet. He is pretty entertaining horse back. For one thing, he talks nonstop, until he falls asleep. His favorite phrase is "Get up there you black hearted cow!"

I've titled this picture "Thing 1 and Thing 2." Where ever we go, whatever we do, the boys are together. I took this at the Silver State Stampede last week, just before the boys got on their sheep in the mutton busting.

I am so proud of TR for coming out of retirement to ride a sheep by himself. While I'm not sure of his technique, I am proud to say he placed third on Thursday night. It took some doing though to get him to ride by himself and not have dad pull him off.
Cowboss: You can win this TR if you let me turn you loose.
TR: No dad, I don't want to win.
Cowboss: You can win a buckle though!
TR: =/
Mom: We will buy you a snow cone.
TR: Fine, I will win this so I can get a buckle and a snow cone.

This is QT's ride. The Cowboss pulled him off just after this.