Welcome to JKs Rough String Ranch

Welcome to the Rough String, and thanks for stoppin' by!! Grab a hot cup of coffee and sit a spell!
10/22/18 You will see a name change on the blog. Lots of things have changed in my life in the past few years, and I feel compelled to share my story.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dinner's On In Blogosphere

And a can of corn!

That was dinner...and it was great...it tasted much better than it looks in this pic! One of the things that I really like about blogging is all of the stuff you can learn or find out about. Cooking is important...quick and easy cooking is even more important to me!

Living where we do, you don't just make a quick trip to town for a missing ingredient. So, I try to keep the pantry stocked with all the basics and My Man usually does the weekly shopping in town...yep, My Man is the shopper!! Isn't that great! Well, it's out of necessity. He's there, so unless I have to be in town (45 miles away) for some reason, he does the shopping. It sure has saved on fuel.

But, back to dinner...I just wanted to share a couple of my favorite cooking blogs with you. The first is Country Whispers. This lil' gal has some fantastic recipes that are easy and tasty. She home schools and is a full time mom, so she knows how important it is to keep is simple. So, the Buttery Sour Cream & Chive Potatoes recipe came from her blog...but I encourage you to check her other recipes too!! Actually I can hardly wait to try her Sweet Potato & Zucchini Fries!!

Ok, the second blog is A Year of CrockPotting. Yes, Stephanie used a slow cooker for 365 days in a row!! I'm a fan of the slow cooker. I love to stick dinner in it and let it do it's thing for the day. By dinner time, I'm tired and don't want to cook...so this solves that problem!! So, I found the CrockPot Rotissere-Style Chicken recipe on her blog.

So, now you'll have more time to ride...and still get a good meal on the table...Happy Trails!!!


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sunday Stills

Landscapes...that's the challenge this week for those of us participating in the Sunday Stills photo challenge.

I took these photos last week in Grant County Oregon. I had a business trip up there and took advantage of the beauty of that area...and a lil' bit of sunshine too! It's still the very beginning edge of spring here...you'll see the first of some green, but not much!

Ok, all I can say is imagine what it will look like in July!!! Oh so beautiful...

But, my personal favorite...

More old barn photos can be seen at my post from last week here.

Would you like to participate in Sunday Stills? Come on over. Our illustrious leader, Ed, will post next week's challenge late on Sunday and you'll have a week to find your favorite shots. Post them on your blog and leave a comment on Sunday Stills for that challenge so we all can enjoy everyone's hard work!!!


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Photo Tag

My truckin' buddy Ed (the truck drivin' photographer) at Thoughts from the Road photo tagged me.

So, I was to go to my 10th folder and post the 10th photo...well that file only had 8 pics in it...so here's my 10x8...

My Old Man Toby
January 2007
Waiting for me to get Colt saddled so he
could pony him up the hill.

And, I'll tag~~

Brandie over at Brandie's Prairie

Jocelyn at For the Love of a Horse

Andrea at Mustang Saga


Do You Like Old Barns?

I love old barns!!!

My part-time job interviewing farmers and ranchers gives me an opportunity to get out and about a lil' bit. This latest assignment has taken me up into Grant County three times. Grant County is just north of us, but is quite different in the terrain and vegetation. Many parts of the county have beautiful TALL ponderosa pine trees...oh they are so beautiful...

This past Monday and Tuesday was my last trip up there. I packed up an overnight bag for me and one for lil' Cindy Sue...she's my assistant "enumerator." Yep, I've even got a title with this position!!! Enumerator...I'd never heard of one before this job!

But, I'd been wanting to get some photos of the barns in the area, so I left early on Monday...and got lucky that the sun was shining!!

I couldn't do justice for these old barns to try to speak for them...I think they speak quite well for themselves...

Cindy Sue was having a great time...fresh air and lots of room to run after being in the lil' commuter car for almost 3 hours!

Look at the stump in this next photo...years of restricted growth by the barbed wire fence made the large indentation around it at the base...that stump will probably be there for another 50 years or more!

And my favorite...not just the barn...the whole homestead...let your imagination take you away...


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sunday Stills

Lines. This is the Sunday Stills Challenge of the week. It's interesting that when the new weekly challenge is announced how the brain starts working on what might be good for the "perfect shot."

I think that is why I love doing this challenge. It gives me a week to find something interesting to photograph, and hopefully it will be pleasing to the eye.

This is part of the rock rim that runs 1/2 mile along our
property. Birds and vegetation enjoy it equally.
I see a few of "Mother Nature's" lines in there.
Do you?

A birds eye view from our hilltop.
You can see property lines, edges of fields,
roads, and swather lines
in the hay fields.

Another view from the hill includes a pivot, the
circle in the center left. Our neighbors are
replanting it this year and the ground is in the
process of being worked.

This photo almost looks like it's in B & W, but it's not.
Sagebrush isn't out of dormancy yet.
It has a twisted, harsh look to it; similar to
the winters here.

I was looking at the slightly frozen edges for this photo, and
then realized how the reflection of the wood post
and the sheep fencing in the water made interesting lines too.

It's so drab here still; green is just starting to happen.
But, you can see the swather lines from last summer,
along with the irrigation wheel line...and
of course the obnoxious power lines!

But, we really do have green... eventually...

From last summer... rows of fragrant, fresh cut alfalfa.
Ahhhhhhhhh...it's just around the corner~~

See more "lines" photograph bloggers here.


Friday, March 20, 2009

The Hackamore

I finally got my Christmas present from My Man yesterday, and I'm so excited!! See, I kept putting off making a decision on what I wanted for Christmas and when I finally decided, there was a complication...

The maker I wanted to make the hackamore for me was a few months out, and I'd have to wait...until March, and that was in December!!!

When we went to the Winnemucca sale, Dan Fowler, the maker, was there and had my hackamore there too...but it wasn't finished. He still had to put the heel knot on it. So, he got that finished for me, and I got it about two weeks ago.

I also was lax on getting the horse hair macate rein made...so I got Carl Hammond to make me one with the colors that I wanted...I picked that up yesterday...

It's awful pretty hangin' there...
let's see how it looks on Colt.

I like it!!!

I really think Dan does good work. He focuses on the balance
and flexibility of the hackamore along with the quality of the rawhide.
When I hold it, it's just like holding a piece of art...it feels good.

Colt is lookin' all grown up!

I worked on the ground first getting Colt to flex left and right. Then I stepped on and did the same. Then we started a walk and I asked for an arc in circles left and right. More flexing at the halt. Picked up the trot and did the same. Colt seems to like it and was catching on to the new feel.

This is a new learning curve for me...as has been this whole cow horse training thing. I'll be taking Colt over to Todd's to get some training tips and make sure I have it adjusted correctly. We've got a lot to work on before the Futurity in September!

~~Thank you My Man for such a great gift~~


Thursday, March 19, 2009

I've Got Proof~~Spring is Here

Spring is always a long time coming in Eastern Oregon. We're in a "high desert" area with an average of 9 inches of rain a year and our home is at 4150 feet. So needless to say, we've got a pretty short growing season.

We're low on our water year (as usual), so we haven't had a lot of precipitation lately, but the wind blows, and blows, and blows...yesterday it finally quit!! Amen!

Wind and cold dampens my spirit for riding. My Man and I are working on a plan to build an indoor round pen...but until then, I ride when I can suffer through the cold and try to take advantage of all the good day.

Yesterday was one of those good weather days! After lunch, it was 55 degrees, the sun was shining, and hardly a puff of wind. Colt and I hadn't been to the top of our hill since last fall and that sounded like the perfect thing to do today.

The sunrise to a perfect riding day.

With 3 dogs tagging along running in 3 different directions (they were pretty excited too to be going for a trail ride), Colt and I start the climb. Colt isn't in as good of shape as last fall...we had to take a few breathing stops, but it's so good for him.

I'm really pleased to see a lot of this!
Lil' clumps of green grass coming up everywhere!
It doesn't look like much now, but this grass will grow
2 feet high...we'll lease out the grazing to a neighbor
for his cow/calf pairs.

Making our way to the 4700 foot summit.
BLM land is on the left side of the fence where
we can ride for miles and miles.

The footing was a lil' slick in spots. Just a couple of days ago, there were still snow patches up here. But with the wind blowing the way it does, added with the warmer temps, it drys out real quick. These types of rides for Colt are really good for him because he needs work on his footing. He's just coming 4 this year, and he'll get better with time and experience, but one thing that I don't have to worry about with my mustangs is teaching them to travel.

Now, I admit that Colt is like a gangly teen that trips over his own feet and not all Quarter Horses are that way. Toby was a pretty sure footed colt at that same age. But, what I'm saying is that my mustangs are just so natural at trail riding. It's in their blood to be comfortable with the out of doors, just as Colt loves cows and is more suited for what he was bred for. But, I want Colt to be able to take me anywhere I want to go...with the exception of the Grand Canyon...I'd never trust Colt to take me there!!!

Ahhhh...the top...what a view!!

Colt gets to enjoy a few mouthfuls of grass.
He was puffing pretty hard!

After enjoying the scenery for a while, we started across the ridge to the cow trail that goes down a nice grade. And as we cross the most rocky part of our property, I saw it...and IT made my good day totally excellent!!

The tiniest flash of color caught my eye...
On the barren, rocky ridge where the wind blows like
nobody's business in the winter...life.

And another one!!
Even some green life along with the yellow life!!
Could anything be prettier? Not this day~~Not for me!

Now, I really can't complain all that much about our winters here...compared toLinda at Just Another Day on the Prairie or Shirley at Ride a Good Horse. Now, they've got some pretty serious winter up there!! So, I'll just be thankful that God showed me a lil' bit of true spring.

We made our way back down the hill, and I worked Colt some in the arena. He even sweated!! I'm sure he's hoping to loose that winter coat ASAP!

Ahhhh the smell of a wet horse...

Everyone's happy at the end of a good day.

~~~Welcome Spring!!~~~
And all the beauty that comes with it.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Birthday and A Gotcha Day!!!

Not only is it St. Patrick's Day it's also Cowboy's birthday and Catnip's gotcha day!!! This definitely is cause for celebration. The corned beef is in the crockpot...simmering in beer and spices...it's already smelling really good!!

So, my Cowboy is 10 years old today!! How can the years go by so fast...he was a pup not long ago in my mind...and a cutie he was too!

Day one at home.
He only puked once on the 2 hour ride home!

Cowboy on his first horse camping trip...
we did provide a bed for him, but
he seemed to prefer grain tubs!

How could anyone have resisted those
cute lil' white eyelashes and the white tipped ears?!?

On our wedding day, he got into some spilled wine...
he was passed out on the garage floor during
the whole reception!
I think he looks pretty good with pink flowers...don't you?

He prefers cow manure of course!

Cowboy was a very good friend for this calf named Angelo.
Angelo was paraplegic and I was trying to rehab him.
Cowboy loved to keep him company.

Cowboy is showing signs of hip dysplasia...we bought him
a new therapeutic bed and he loves it!

Thank you for a wonderful 10 years Cowboy.
Happy Birthday my lil' buckaroo!!!


And of course we can't forget Catnip!! We adopted her from the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in 2006; three years ago today. The wild horses and burros on the Refuge are not protected like the BLM land horses and burros. There have been some pretty bad stories about round ups gone very bad with lots of causalities.

My Man and I decided that we'd like to have a baby around, but I'm not really into mares, so we decided a burro jenny would be fun. We'd never had a burro before. So, we contacted the Refuge and they were in the process of bait trapping burros and not long after, 2 jenny's and their yearlings were caught.

Caught in the trap on the Refuge.
Catnip is the largest brown burro.
The gray jenny was adopted by my friend in Vale Oregon,
and her name is Zelda.
The yearlings also found homes.

Where did the name Catnip come from? I tend to name my wild ones with something that came from the area. On the Refuge there is a Catnip Mountain and a Catnip Canyon Creek. So, there you have it...not very exciting huh?!? But, she seems to fit her name.

Getting to know Catnip.
Food is a good motivator for burros.

We didn't know for sure if she was in foal when we got her, but there was a very good chance she was, and sure enough...she kept getting bigger and bigger...

"What are you lookin' at?"
"Haven't ya ever seen a pregnant burro before? Geesh!!!"

We waited and waited...my friend's burro, Zelda, had her lil' burro baby in June...so we figured it shouldn't be long now...we waited, and waited...and waited some more...

Then finally on the morning of August 23, 2006,
Catnip presented us with Silverbelly Stetson.
Baby burros are the cutest things God ever made!!!

Catnip is still a lil' standoffish, but that's because I don't work with her near enough. But we can trim her hooves and get her wormed and vaccinated. We love to hear the two of them sounding off...always for food!!

Glad you're here Catnip...you are a
special part of our family.