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

Random Thought:

"The darkest nights produce the brightest stars"

Friday, October 26, 2012


He is bright eyes and a devilish grin.  Biteys

and vroom vrooms.  Rules and buck reins.  Rawhide. 

Cinch rings.  B’s big brother.  Chalk dust and singed

hides.  Get back and sick em to you wanna

bet?  A button nose and eyelashes to make

a girl jealous.  Quick ropes and bridle horses.

Knowing cows and knowing horses.  Stick

horses and tractors.  He is a cowboy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I make mountains out of mole hills.  I let things bother me that I should over look, then I dwell on them for days.

I watched Magic Mike because I think Channing Tatum is hot.

Consequently, I think Sam Elliot was a much better Beef It's What's For Dinner voice than Matthew McConaughey.  I love Sam Elliot's voice!

Speaking of Channing Tatum, I read The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff because I liked Channing Tatum in The Eagle.  It is a good book.

I eat cake for breakfast if I have it.  So I don't make cake very often.  My favorite is red velvet.  Mostly because I like the frosting.

I made more money teaching for 6 months than the cowboss and I made together cowboying for 1 year.

Everywhere we go, TR and QT point out weeds that we "forgot to spray."  I am kind of more proud of this than TR being able to write his name.

If there aren't good horses to ride, yearlings to rope, and loyal dogs in heaven, I don't want to go.

Monday, October 22, 2012


I love fall.  The days are getting shorter, the air crisper, and the nights colder.  It just might be time to pull out the flannel sheets.  The leaves are turning and most mornings you can smell smoke from wood stoves, taking off the chill.  Makes me feel like wearing wild rags and wool sweaters.  Time to put the palm leafs away until spring.

We've been busy busy this past week.  In between shipping out truckloads of bred heifers, we also weaned our calves.  Weaning is a big event in a calf's life.  It is where their mamas are taken away and they have to adjust to eating grass, hay, and other forages.  No more milk.  We do this because it is time.  If we leave them on the cow much longer, it draws the cow down, or makes them fall off.  Basically they begin to loose body condition which is a horrible thing when the weather forecast calls for snow here this week.  They need to put all of the energy they are getting out of their feed into fat reserves for themselves, and nourishment for the baby they will be having in a couple of months. 

The weaned  calves can go a couple of different directions in their life journey.  They are either going to be fed out for the winter to be put with a bull next spring so that they become a breeding animal to raise more calves, or they will go to the feed lot where they will be fed a finishing ration and then harvested to provide nourishment and sustenance for us.  We wean them and vaccinate them and get them going so they can gain well eating hay, so their transition to a feed lot or pasture for breeding will be easier and less stressful for them.

What we do is gather all of our pairs.  A pair is a mother cow and her calf.  Once we have them gathered into a lot or corral we sort the cows off of the calves.  Sending the cows into a different holding area, be it another corral or field.  This is not an easy task.  The cows don't want to be separated from their calves or the calves separated from their mamas.  After everything is sorted we process the calves through a chute and vaccinate them with different vaccines based on our geographical areas.  We then sort the heifers from the steers and weigh them.

I'm sure you are familiar with the saying good fences make good neighbors.  Good fences also make weaning much easier.  We put the heifers and steers in separate lots with good fences between them.  This keeps them from breaking through the fences and mixing.  We also make sure there are good fences, and preferable a field or two separating the cows from the calves.  It will take 4-5 days for the cows and calves to forget about each other.

We got the calves weaned and processed Thursday.  We shipped out a truckload of bred heifers Friday, then spent most of the day fixing fence and re-weaning and sorting calves.  It also sometimes doesn't matter how good your fences are, cows can be pretty persistent!  Saturday was spent resorting the cows that were missed on Friday.  Sunday we rebuilt more fence, and I think finally today the calves are fairly content with where they are at, and the cows have forgotten they had calves last week!
Believe it or not, I still believe that a bad day cowboying beats a good day teaching!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Racing by...

So far this month, I have been to Mountain City one weekend to ship calves and vaccinate cows.  Then the Thursday after that we hauled 5 lambs to Mountain City to butcher.  From there went to Simco, just outside of Mountain Home, Idaho to haul our cows back to Lamoille.  Got to Lamoille Saturday afternoon, turned around that same afternoon and headed back to Mountain City.  Spent a couple of hours that night, deer hunting with no luck.  Got up really early Sunday morning and right at daylight shot a nice 4 point.  Got him hung and skinned in the barn, cut and wrapped 5 lambs, then hung the buck in the walk in cooler and headed back to Lamoille.  Wednesday we made a flying trip to Twin Falls, Idaho and back to sell our calves.  Sunday it is back to Mountain City to cut and wrap my deer. Will life ever slow down?

Left Behind

It has started.  I just sent my first born "soldier cowboy guy" out the door with the Cow Boss to gather yearlings this morning.  QT is still in his jammers, and I am still rubbing sleep out of my eyes.  TR was upstairs this morning before the Cow Boss was even out of the shower asking if it was time to go yet and if he was up early enough to go with the cowboys.  While my heart is nearly bursting with pride that he wants to ride with the cowboys and it doesn't matter how early it is or that it is cold outside, I can't help feeling a little sad too.  Next year marks 5 years we have lived in Lamoille and worked for Maggie Creek.  He was just 3 months old and so tiny then.  It's definitely a bittersweet morning here.

The boys and I got to help doctor last Thursday.  TR had a permagrin on his face and told me first thing that morning that he "feels like his old self again" being on his horse.  I have to admit it was a nice break from school!  I was able to get the boys to ride together just long enough to get a picture, then QT was back on moms horse.  Good kids horses are few and far between, so until another one falls into our laps QT and I have to double up.  He does ride with TR when it's time to rope something though.

We have an abundance of porcupines here in Lamoille.  This heifer got a little to close to one.  Both the boys were pretty enthralled with the whole process of roping, tying down, and yanking out quills.  One of our highlights was TR yelling at his dad "Rope her!"  I will have to get him to yell "Open your hand!" at his dad the next time he builts to one to neck.  The Cow Boss will get a kick out of that.

There was a badger out in the middle of the field so we sat and watched it for awile.  TR wanted to run out and kick it in the nose.  He's a fearless little thing sometimes!  I'm glad he stayed on his horse.  Those badgers are tough.  I watched 4 cowdogs and a coyote tangle with one once, and I think the badger came out on top!