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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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Carpenter Ranch Branding

After all that snow on Saturday, most of it had melted by Sunday and we loaded up Colt and Whiskey and headed over to the Carpenter Ranch for their branding. Our schedule finally worked out to where we could go to a branding on horseback instead of the calf table! So, this was definitely a treat for us.

A young buckaroo.
I love to see kids raised in the tradition.

This is my farrier, Pat.
At this branding they roped the calf by the neck
and then heeled it. Some ranches only heel them
and drag them to the fire. It all depends on what
the cow boss wants.

Pat again...making the dally.

I would call this a nice seat ;~)

Hmmmm...another nice seat ;~)

Do you feel like you're in the saddle?

Pat swings his riata.

The smell of burnin' hair...

Everyone knew their job...and the horses were really good.

Hmmmm...I think the saying is "Don't squat with your spurs on."
I think you get the point ;~)

This is where I got nervous...My Man got his first chance to rope...ever!

There was a lot of heavy concentration...gettin' that loop just right.

My Man and the Cow Boss...swingin' in rhythm.
This branding pen was just the right size for four riders to be
roping at the same time.

And he did it!! My Man caught his first calf...look at that smile!
I was proud of Whiskey too...he was Mr. Steady Eddy
the whole time...way to go!

Of course we got to eat and have a couple of beverages when the work was done...it was a good day!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

One Week in One Post

Where have the days gone?!? Since I got back from the Big City, it's just been a whirlwind I tell ya!

The trip to Portland for my ag survey training was good. The classes went quickly, I got to have dinner with one of my brothers (who we decided that it'd been at least a year since we'd seen each other), and the blogger meet was a blast!

Bella Jo and Cindy Sue got to travel with me and had a doggie sleep over with their friend Daisy.

The weather was wet, but so much warmer than at home.
Look at all that lush green grass!
Daisy and Bella Jo had a blast playing for 3 days!

As usual, Cindy Sue is giving me the wary eye look...knowing
that I'm probably going to leave her. 
Once I'm gone though, she gets along just fine.
Their Aunt Nancy & Uncle Gene treat them just like family!

From the blogger meet at the Old Spaghetti Factory...

wilsonc on the left from canterbalance.
Jocelyn on the right from For the love of a horse.
We're all going to be at the Pendleton Roundup this September
and have got our cell phones dialed in. We're planning
a blogger breakfast at the Cowboy Breakfast at Stillman Park!
Come join us!

SquirrelGurl was also with us. She works for the same
company that I do and her blog is Notes from the Squirrel Nest.

Pauline was our photographer. She's a good friend of Jocelyn's and has horses too...hopefully she'll start up a blog. So the five of us talked horses for 2 1/2 hours, ate great food, and had a beverage or two...it was a great time!

The last day of my training conference included a field trip to downtown Portland for a visit to the Wheat Marketing Center. I thought it was an amazing place. They do research on wheat...sounds so simple, but it's important that the right type of wheat is used to get superior products. They have a noodle lab, analytical lab and a baking lab...I loved the baking lab...we got to sample all of the breads. I did a collage of some of the pics...

Top left clockwise: wheat being off loaded from a barge that came down
the Columbia River and approved wheat being loaded
onto a ship for Singapore (about 90% of Oregon's wheat
is exported); noodles (these were like gourmet Top Ramen...yum!); 
flour tortillas; unleavened bread baked in a clay type oven
(tasted like a cracker); bagels; steamed bread filled with BBQ pork
or a spicy bean mixture; pocket bread baking in the oven;
testing for elasticity.

I didn't get home until 9 PM (it was a 6 hour drive because the weather was good). On Friday, I loaded up Colt for a cutting lesson...he did great! Bob said if I cut 3 cows like that in every competition, I'll be bringin' home the buckle!

Then Saturday rolls in...and with it came this:

May 22...the snow plastered door...

Bella Jo belly deep in a snow drift.

Two foot drifts...anyone want to relax at the picnic table?

This drift finally melted last night.

Well, one good thing...we save a lot on electricity by not irrigating...
but the alfalfa sure doesn't grow very fast with these temps.
The alfalfa is 8-10 inches tall and all we could see
were the tops of the plants.

I believe I mistakenly said something about how I hoped
the cold weather would stay away so we could have
apples this year...we'll see :(

It snowed and blew until noon. Then it started melting...and pretty quickly too.

The next day we went branding...I'll save that for tomorrow...

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sometimes It's Best Not To Speak

Or just be mighty careful about what you say...

So, My Man and I were changing wheel lines on Friday evening, and we had to hook up the hand lines that water the horse pasture...and it was taking a lil' bit longer than planned.  The horses hadn't been fed yet, but we were only an hour behind schedule.

I had just got done telling My Man how well Gus was doing...settling in nicely and he was no longer worried about the other horses (even though they were only 25 yards from him). I had enough confidence in him to leave him in the round pen during the day. It attaches to his run, so it just gives him more room.

We had just started hooking up the lines, and we heard a huge crash, boom, bang. Looking up at the barn, we see a cloud of dust with Gus in the middle of it...on the ground. He then scrambled to his feet and headed for the horses at gate. He had successfully jumped out of the round pen...but in doing so, he landed on the panels and had his first wreck. Knock on wood this is his last!

I should have taken the photo when they were still attached
to the rest of the round pen. But he bent the top
on the left panel, and his weight collapsed
the legs on both of them. Half of the pen
was no longer round...he pulled it all out of shape.

I was so glad he didn't break a leg! He only had scraped some hair off on his front legs, and he had a pretty big swollen bruise on his left outside forearm.

Of course I need to catch him and get him back to his stall and run. I get a halter and quietly approach him and wait for him to acknowledge that I'm there. He proceeds to take off running toward the barn and runs into a field fence type fence and he rips it off the post and Gus's front legs are stuck in the field fencing...and he stops...and begins eating...he tries to pick his feed up...and can't...and he continues eating. He picked up his front feet again and wiggled them around enough to where they came out of the fence and he walked off...calm as a cucumber! He proceeds to go in the front door of the barn, and I close up the barn so he can't get out.

I'm still in amazement that he was so stupid about jumping out of the 5 foot panels, but didn't give a rip about being tangled in wire...go figure!

The next day, I didn't let him out of his run, but went ahead and turned him out with Colt in the irrigated pasture in the afternoon. I was confident enough that he would let me catch him with Colt being caught too...they were best of buds!

There was a lot of this kind of action!

And after Colt herded Gus around like he was
a cow for 10 minutes, they went to eating grass.

Colt helped me teach Gus to pony...so Gus will get to go up on the hill for trail rides and build up some muscle tone. He really enjoys his training sessions. I like the lil' guy! Well..except when he jumps out of the round pen!

I think I'll be a lil' more cautious about what I say from now on!

Coming Soon!!! Another blogger give away...to celebrate my 300th post...WoW...that's a lot of posts!! Stay tuned...it's just 'round the corner!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Macro Monday~5/17/10

Are we tired of flowers yet after yesterday's Sunday Stills?!?

The apple blossoms are about to open.
I hope the freezing weather will stay at
bay for a while.

I never knew dandelions could be so pretty!

I'm leaving today for Clackamas...so no internet (well, I'm actually going to try using their 'courtesy computer' to get email).

Blogger meet: It looks like we're going to get to meet some new faces!!!

Date: May 19
Where: Old Spaghetti Factory (Clackamas Town Center)
Time: 6 pm Happy Hour in the bar; 7 pm Dinner

Leave a comment if you'd like to join us if you haven't already done so. We'd love to have ya!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Stills ~ Flowers/Wildflowers

Ed picked a fun and easy Sunday Stills photo challenge this week...the high desert of SE Oregon is bloomin'!

In my opinion, the best (and only) way to search for subjects is to saddle up your favorite horse and hit the hills!

Colt was more than happy to help me search
 for wildflowers...look what he found!

This is Arrowleaf Bitteroot, which I learned last year
during a similar Sunday Stills challenge.
They are just about past their prime
 and starting to dry up.

Then we found these pretty lil' ones. They grow in a clump
and there weren't very many either.

I don't know what they're called...please leave a comment if you know!
They have a very unique shape and the color is so delicate.

Ahhhh...one of my favorites...Indian Paintbrush.
There were many to photograph, but I liked
how this one was tucked up underneath the
dead sage brush...and a glimpse of an
Arrowleaf Bitteroot in the background. 

You can sure see how the flower got it's name.

And lastly...

Another unknown species...there weren't very many
and I almost missed it. They're not very prominent in the landscape...and
really not very attractive as a whole.

But the tiny blossoms are very delicate and rich in color.
Sage backdrops this photo.
Again, please leave a comment if you might know
what this wildflower is.

Take a stroll through flowers and wildflowers throughout the world by visiting other Sunday Stills challenge participants...click here and go to the comments.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Owls, Burros and a Tack Room Makeover

This is what an owl looks like in 30 mile an hour winds!
They usually stand upright all day long in the elm
tree...but papa owl was hangin' on last week!

I know you've been wondering about the lil' baby owls...well, they're out of the nest, and I'm waiting for my brother-in-law to send me the pics he got of them while I was at my clinic last week. They're hiding somewhere on top of the rim in the sage brush...hard to find!

But on that same windy day...the Wild Bunch was goofing off...

The "Headless Donkey" aka Stetson!

Catnip is showin' Stetson a lil' bit of motherly love and
Rohan is in between coat changes...he's got to
loose all that long white hair still.

One of our other projects on last weekend's list was the beginning of the 'Tack Room Makeover'...which is part of the 'Extreme Barn Makeover!' My Man works at a lumber/hardware store in town and sometimes gets some pretty good deals on materials that have been in their yard too long. There were some floor joists that they wanted to see gone...and we needed some...so they have a new home...in our barn!

After taking all the tack and shelving out of the tack
room, you can see why we need a makeover
in here...they only used 1/2 inch plywood and
green lumber for support underneath...it was a
pretty shabby job.

The old floor is almost gutted out. You can see how bad the
support was...the broken 2 x 6 against the wall!

All the sub-flooring is in...ready for the new 1 inch
 sheets ...that's this weekend's project! 
Note the layer of plywood on the bottom
of the joists...the goal is to make the tack room rat
 and mouse proof!

I've got some paneling picked out for the walls. It's oak sheets (old, thick, nice stuff) coming out of an old building...we're just waiting for them to demolish the building; they won't let us have it until then.

My Man's going to put up shelves for storage and saddle racks that will go on the wall above the saddle stands...this'll give us a lot more room.

He's also going to build a 4 foot door...I don't know how many times we catch the dang door knob on the tiny 3 foot door we have now...

Huge thank yous to My Man!!