Unromantic

While Lucas and Elsa seem to be going through a “romantic” period, today wasn’t very full of the ranch romance that people believe happens.

You know… “Oh, you live on a ranch – how romantic.”
“You get to ride horses like cowboys??? How romantic!”
Choke.
It should be more like…
“Oh, you get to pull the pump out of a 180′ well TWICE in one day… through the thawed 1/2″ of poop in a corral with an undercoating of dangerous ice… and get it all over you…  How romantic!”
Yup.  That’s it.  The romance of ranch life.  And if it doesn’t continue to work overnight, I’ll get to do it tomorrow too!  And it is supposed to be colder tomorrow with a chance of snow.  Well, maybe the top layer in the corral will stay frozen that way.  Gotta look on the good side.
No pictures today.  My hands were full of rust muck and poop.  My back, I’m sure, isn’t as sore as Vernon’s!
Then the heifer calves rubbed the gate open and mixed with the steer calves.
Then Dally pooped in my house TWICE because I’m trying to leave Elsa and Lucas together and so she goes from kennel to house with obviously not enough time (like 2 hours) in between to poop outside.  Shees.  Yecch.  She gets the “stupid dog” award today.  Or was that Boomer, who tries to sneak in a little good time with Elsa on the side and when Lucas appears, Boomer doesn’t have enough sense to Move Away from her… and when Lucas tries to kill Boomer, I have to go in and break it up.  Stupid Dog!
So… sigh…
Today wasn’t romantic in any way.
But I do know this about ranching and ranchers… they have to be positive and look on the bright side… otherwise they’d throw up their hands in disgust and move to the BIG CITY where they’d work 8-5 with weekends and holidays off and better pay and insurance and paid vacation and take-out and a teeny tiny little yard and only have to pay for a house and car instead of multiple tractors and expensive fertilizer and vehicles and fuel and land and vet calls.
So… I’ll go to bed now and wake up to a gorgeous sunrise and sweet husband and awesome dogs and think of my amazing children and send a special prayer up in thanks for good friends and a great mom and family and good health and start my romantic ranch life all over again!

Canyon

Last week we traveled over the Big Horn Mountains to deliver my daughter’s new Ford Escape to her in Buffalo, Wyoming.  90% of my trips over this mountain are enjoyable, 10% are the kind where your knuckles hurt after driving it!

Ten Sleep Canyon is an impressive stretch of highway with switchbacks and a runaway truck turnoff.  In other words, it is quite the grade!  Many people unused to mountain driving often overheat their brakes on their vehicles coming down this road.  Lots of unfortunate accidents have happened here.  But if you can get past the driving experience, the scenery is breathtaking.
Ten Sleep Canyon is becoming more well known amongst the rock climbing crowd.  Ice climbers sneak up to the waterfall on many winter days.  People cross country ski and snowmobile.  There used to be a successful ski area and restaurants.  There are lots of scenic turnouts for people to stop and take pictures.  And I’m still one of them after living here for 27 years!
See if you agree…

Sparkles

I took Elsa to my vet today to get her OFA done…  Finally, I accomplished that goal!
I was late starting out because Elsa is standing as of this morning… and I hoped she and Lucas would uh… consummate their relationship.  But I had an appointment to keep and couldn’t afford to give them the amount of uh… foreplay time they needed!  So, she’s still uh… not knocked up!  Gees… maybe I should have looked up some technical terms to help me out here.
The morning was gorgeous.  I eventually had to pull over and take a snapshot of the diamond snow.
This quickie doesn’t do it justice.   Oops.  Quickie.  Where is my mind?
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It was bea-u-ti-ful.  But it looks rather plain here.
We made it to the vet’s… Where I took this …
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Somedays, Elsa, the world is your oyster and a hot guy thinks you hung the moon.  Then someone steps in and smears that perfect picture into pooey.  Sorry to have ruined your day and your mood.   But it is for the best… and for the breed knowledge database… and gees.  I really hate it when you look like that.  Life isn’t always full of sparkles.

Dally Learns (Video)

Well, last night when Vimeo told me it would be 65 minutes before my video could be ready to watch… I gave up.

So to learn about this video, go to yesterday’s blog… or just to watch it – go here.

More Preparations

Along with pulling up the electric fence wire, our preparations for calving included cleaning the calving shed.  The red shed is easily seen from my house through the boxelder trees.  It is a five minute walk from here.
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Soon we’ll be putting our heifers, 60 of ’em, in here every night.  We’ll sort off the ones that are closest to calving… and keep them in the corral overnight.
They’ll be checked at 10 pm.
And  2 am.
And 6 am.
The pens are south facing.  Gathering that weak sunlight as much as possible.
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There are also two inside pens for those cold cold nights.
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In this room are kept supplies like iodine, calf pullers, plastic gloves, and boluses.
And my favorite.
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Although cracked, this stove does its job of warming the interior pens.
If it was in perfect health, I would have stolen it years ago and put it in my house.  It is the most gorgeous little stove I’ve ever seen.
Look at the detail.
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I am drawn to Celtic art… and this stove echoes those designs.
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Hickory Pennant No. 25, The Michigan Stove Co., Detroit, Chicago, Buffalo, New York City.
On the side it says 1898.
Oh, my!  1898!  Even if that is just the date of the patent… wow.
Even the top has decorations.
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I thought maybe those were hickory leaves… my knowledge of southern trees is sorely lacking.  But as far as I can figure, they aren’t.
But I did learn one thing while trying to figure that out… I didn’t realize pecans were hickory trees.  How did I miss that along the way?  Born in Oklahoma, but only visiting it throughout my lifetime… I’ve seen my share of pecan trees.  But I learned that on Wikipedia.  Genus Carya.  Learn something new everyday.
I definitely know fresh pecans cannot be compared, in any way, shape, or form with those pathetic things they sell you in the grocery store.
I know Kiowa pecans and Pawnee pecans are great.
I am extremely grateful for relatives that send us fresh pecans every fall.
I even ordered hickory cabinets for my new kitchen at the Mills Place.
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The Hickory Pennant stove is now cleaned up, ready for another calving season.
Beware little spider… your web is in danger… Charlotte?  You better move on…