Questions and Answers – February 2011 Edition

Alice wrote:
Do you enjoy flying or do you just tolerate it?

Alice, it’s been about 5 years since I’ve flown anywhere… but I don’t mind it.  I’d prefer it if it came with a map because I’m always wondering what that is over there, and what kind of crops are in that center pivot, and what those mountains are called.  I want a tour.  And a full can of pop to drink!

Sharon wrote: What kind of camera do you use, Carol?

Sharon, oooh, that was a long soap opera for a while… I went through 3 Panasonics for a bit, each one lasted about 3 or 4 months.  I now have the newest Panasonic, the DMC ZS7.  I probably wouldn’t go this way again, but they won’t refund my money, but they will give me another camera!  My best big cameras have always been Olympus, but I wanted a little pocket camera with the biggest zoom I could get, and Panasonic had it.  Maybe if you didn’t carry them everyday in Wyoming dust and hay they’d last longer.  I guess I’m saying I’m not sure what you should get!

Marg in MO wrote:

I have a question. Around here all the small hospitals have closed so it means a hour or hour and half drive. Does Ten Sleep have a hospital? How do you handle medical problems for the humans on the farm.

Ten Sleep does NOT have a hospital.  Worland does, which is an hour from my house.  My three kids were all born there.  When Vernon smashed his hand under some equipment, he wrapped his hand in a greasy rag and had his mom drive him over there.  That’s basically why I wanted to advance my basic first aid skills, and why I’ve volunteered for the ambulance the past few years.  I figured I would be out in the boonies with the guys and wanted to know more than just the basics.  It’ll take the Ten Sleep ambulance an hour or so to reach you sometimes… Once we called in Life Flight’s helicopter from Casper, depending on where you are, they can get there faster!  I want to be prepared… my Girl Scout training is showing…

Tom wrote:
Hi Q and A We moved to the mountains in Ca 7 years ago and heat our house with a wood stove. As cold as you guys get, I was wondering how you keep your bathroom warm for a shower and how you keep your pipes from freezing? Love your blog, Tom

Tom, thanks, I’m glad you enjoy it!  We use propane for our main heat with wood just as a back up.  Yes, there have been times that’s all we had, but I think 3 days was the longest we went having to use it exclusively.  We don’t usually have problems with pipes freezing in the houses… now, the corrals are different!  Insulation and heat tapes are all we’ve ever used…

Marilyn wrote:
Any one remember “Jack Frost” sugar? You can google it and read the interesting article about a company that started in Colonial times.

I’ve never heard of Jack Frost sugar… but I’ll be looking it up right after I finish this!

Holly wrote:
Just curious – will you have a wood stove in the house at the Mills place?

Holly, I wrote about it here.  Plus we have various ones in shops and other outbuildings.  I love ’em.  I do wish I had an old kitchen cookstove though…

ginny wrote:
Question: Did you finish your education before you got married? How is/was the cattle class you talked about recently.

Ginny, yep, four years under my belt.  Well. 3.5.  I graduated a semester early.  My degree is in anthropology.  SURPRISE!  I focused on North American (western U.S.) archaeology.  I can see some of you roll your eyes and say, what can you do with a degree like that???  Well, I had an EXTREMELY well paying job doing surface surveys during the oil boom.  Every time you move top soil on federal land (of which Wyoming has millions of acres) or even if it has federal minerals… it must be walked by an archaeologist (me!) as one of the pre-permitting processes…  one of those hidden costs oil and mining companies must pay and no one outside of the business knows about.  Until now.  The Master Cattleman class is good… the first have been a little dry, but the rest look very interesting!  I’ll write about them as I go to them…

Sandy wrote:
ok, my first thought was…at 31 degrees below zero, how do they keep their snot from freezing? but lets just go with…what do you do with all that baling twine? now i know why all of those pioneer women wanted to birth boys…geez!

Sandy.  Yup.  That snot freezes and glues your nostrils shut sometimes!  I’d love it if someone figured out what to do with baling twine.  Some people have braided things from it, but it comes in bright orange, yellow, and blue… which clashes with most everything.  My brainiac idea… chop it into 3″ sections and mix in with blacktop to strengthen it and keep it tough through the freeze/thaw cycle.  Kind of like fiberglass in cement.  Most likely it’ll either get burned when the pile of it is HUGE, or it’ll get dropped into a eroding draw… it’ll catch the dirt and twigs and leaves and stop the erosion, and build back up what’s eroded away.

Steph in Oregon wrote:
At sub-zero temps, how do you dress for the weather when you are going to be out working in it? Any article of clothing you just can’t live without?

Depending on how cold it is… multiple layers which MAY include long johns, fleece lined jeans, Carhartt coveralls, WARM socks, pacs, Arctic level Carhartt coat (sure wish I could get Carhartt as a sponsor here!), undershirt, tshirt, long sleeved shirt, sweatshirt, scarf, hat, earcovering, and warm gloves.  I usually stick my hair in a ball cap and then wrap a ear cover over the bill… unless it’s really windy or cold, then just a fleece hat and hood.  The ones I can’t live without?  Well, Carhartt coats for sure… my fleece lined jeans are simply spectacular, oftentimes, I don’t need long johns underneath them!  They’re soft and very warm and I have a LARGE size, so I won’t win any beauty contests in them, but they’re toasty!  I also have flannel lined jeans, but I like my fleece ones better.  The other thing I won’t live home without… a scarf.  See my photo up there on the left?  I’m wearing my lightweight Carhartt with a camo sweatshirt, and a green scarf.  I really don’t care if it’s nylon or silk (I’m too cheap to buy silk very often) but wrapped around my neck the cowboy way… helps keep me muchmuch warmer!  That Wyoming wind chill is stopped right at my chin… and so is *most* of the hay!

Judy wrote:
What is the weight of the hay bails you are removing the bailing twine from?

Judy, I think they’ll average about 900 pounds/bale.

Judy wrote:
Now that you are moved (almost) which dogs live at the new place with you and how are they adjusting? Is there any living at the home place with the boys?

My three English Shepherds are here… Boomer stayed with Daniel.  He’ll be much happier as a lone dog… and there’s no way my dogs would be anywhere without me!  They need lessons on living next to the highway.  I left them in the yard the other day… Vernon came home a bit later and they were laying out on the dry highway pavement waiting for me to come home… Big Trouble.  They’ll get it, they just thought I’d be right back and were waiting out in front of the house like they would at home.

Marilyn wrote:
I’m interested in knowing about your potato crop! How did they turn out, how do you store them, and if they are all gone yet!

The potato crop wasn’t one of my best… perhaps the lack of water had something to do with it!  I just keep them in 5 gallon buckets in either my basement or the root cellar.  Oh, yes, they’re gone.  We eat a LOT of potatoes around here!

Meadow Lark wrote:
Good Day!
In honor of the National Western Stock Show here in Denver (which has just concluded), do you and your family ever make it down for the festivities? Or do you have something similar in Wyoming that you attend instead?

Meadow Lark (love your name by the way!), I have not ever been to the National Western, nor have I been to Frontier Days.  I want to go… it’s on my list of Things To Do… I’d like to see the working dogs and all the expensive cattle and horses… I, honestly, just don’t get anywhere…
Thanks, guys!  Good questions!  I’ll end with my trailer trio…
February 5, 2010   No entry.
February 5, 2009   Lucas’ Paw
February 5, 2008   a different calling

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