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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Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Fences ~ The Filly

This lil' weanling filly is here at my place for weaning from her mother and basic halter training. She's got a very pretty smokey buttermilk dun color and her leg markings are not really bars, they're more like honeycombs.

Fenced In, Fenced On
The mornin' shadows created an interesting photo. I'm naming it
Fenced In, Fenced On.
Because of the zoom, she looks all boxed in, but the panel on the right is actually parallel to the round rail fence...and the row of sagebrush is an eighth of a mile behind her! In actuality, there are three fences, one gate and a panel in this photo!

The Filly
She's an active lil' girl...hard to get her to stand still for a decent photo!

Yes, that's a small scratch below her left eye...of course I can't figure out how she did it, but it was just the hair that got scraped off, it didn't puncture her skin.

This is the pattern on her legs. I think she's going to be a very
flashy girl when she grows up!

We just call her The Filly because I don't know if Ty gave her a name yet or not! She's been here since about December 14. Ty unloaded both the mare and filly into the run, and then we haltered the mare and loaded her back into the trailer and he left.

I had my Ol' Man Toby in the run next to her, but of course she cried for about a week. But, she's all over that now and is really coming along quickly. She learned how to lead the first day I worked with her (Dec 26...I had my hands full at the Post Office), but she had the "I don't want to" work ethic. She's getting over that very quickly since I am just staying soft and consistent with her.

When I'm finished with her training for the day, she follows me around like a puppy wanting more. She's fun to have around. I haven't halter trained a youngster for quite a few years. I enjoy shaping their minds so they can live a good life with respect for the human not fear and learn how to be a partner.

Check out the other participants on this week's Friday Fences over at Life According to Jan and Jer!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wild Bunch Wednesday

We had just a skiff of snow yesterday morning...we need a LOT more. It's dry. The temps have been 0-10 degrees every morning for the past month or so, but no snow.

As I was feeding the horses behind the barn, I spotted the Wild Bunch up on the rim.

Psssst~Up Here 1/6
Psssst...look up here...

Psssst~Up Here 2/6
...yea...it's us!! (Catnip is using her ears as weather indicators)

Psssst~Up Here 3/6
I see you!

Psssst~Up Here 4/6
What's for breakfast?!?

Psssst~Up Here 5/6
We'll just wait right here 'til ya get it up to us Mom!
Me: NO, I'm not bringing your hay all the way up there! 

Psssst~Up Here 6/6
Awwww come on...how could you refuse our cute lil' faces?!?

As you can see, they aren't lacking any food! We've let them graze the hill, but we've been giving them two flakes of grass hay split between the three of them...they're on a diet!

This mornin' it's a balmy 40 degrees, raining and the wind is blowing; we'll take the moisture...but the dogs are going to be a muddy mess!


We got an unexpected FaceBook message from the family that took Bella Jo. I guess she killed one of their chickens on Christmas Eve, which they said wasn't a big deal. But when she dug under the chicken coop and killed the rest of them, that was the end. So, they took her into town and dropped her off with My Man yesterday and she's back home.

Five dogs is beyond our limit, so we'll be looking for the "right" home for Bella Jo...obviously one without chickens!! In the meantime, Red and Bella Jo became BFF's within 5 minutes...they'll be wearing each other out playing!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Red is Mr. Postman!

I wanted to title this post "Red Goes Postal"...but didn't think it was very appropriate.

I worked eight days in a row at the post office before Christmas, and Red was allowed to come with me! He was a very good boy...and loved to see everyone who came in!

Hi!!! I'm Red...who are you??!!

My Man and I were laughing at his photo here and I said "Isn't there a song about that somewhere?" Well of course (just Google)...how could I have forgotten...now that I've listened to it half a dozen times, it's stuck in my head!!

Red was a very good Postman...always willing to help...

Do you need me to help you lick those stamps?!?

And everyone thought he as the cutest...yep, he is!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Yee-Halidays!!

Templeton Thompson (remember Girls and Horses?) and her sweet voice does it again with an awesome Christmas song that you'll want to add to your collection!

Thanks Templeton!!

Merry Christmas to everyone~

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ Frosty the PostMan

Frosty the PostMan

Go Wordless!!

Happy Winter Solstice...one of the best days of the year!!

BTW...this is where I've been spending all of my time lately...working :(

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Fences ~ At the Ol' Corral

At the Ol' Corral

This beautiful set of corrals is located in Central Oregon...I would sure like to have it on my property!

Check out more Friday Fences at Life According to Jan and Jer's blog hop!

Happy Friday~

Friday, December 9, 2011

Leanin' Left

Leanin' Post

...and I think the only thing that's holdin' up the post is the barbed wire!

Participating in Friday Fences and SkyWatch Friday!!  Have a GREAT weekend!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Settling In

Red that is...he is settling in very nicely! I have to be careful where I step because he is always laying at my feet...even at the kitchen sink when I'm making dinner or doing dishes! He really is sweet.

He's learning how to play fetch (among other things)...he brings back the toy pretty well, but Cowboy wants to snag it before Red gets it to me!

We had a slightly frosty, foggy morning today and the sunrise was spectacular...it lit up half of the sky with orange clouds. I should have been out there with the camera, but I was tired of taking sunrise photos...but I'm kicking myself for not being out there for this one!

I've been on the computer way too much the past two days...sorting through photos...picking out shots for a calendar. My Man's mother loves the calendars with all of the ranch photos; she requests one every year for Christmas.

I don't have any sorting or organization for my photos except by date...I need to do something about that.  How do you organize your photos?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Hodgepodge

I don't know what the deal is, but we've had the most beautiful sunrises this fall...more than I remember in the past...but my grey hair gets in the way of my memory, so I may be just full of it!

No matter...a good sunrise always makes the start of the day special. This photo was taken on the eve of Thanksgiving...pie making day. I was hoping that the sunrise was an omen that my pie crust would turn out perfect, but that was not going to be the case. On a scale of 1-10 I'd say the crust turned out a 7...the apple and pumpkin pies still looked good and tasted great, so I can't complain too much.

Another beautiful sunrise

My older brother and his wife came over from Portland and stayed three nights. We had a great time catching up on family news, playing cards and telling stories from our past. The last time we saw my brother was in the spring during sage rat hunting season, and I hadn't seen my sister-in-law since last Christmas.

Since we got Red, My Man's been working on rebuilding the fence in the back yard. It had some holes along the bottom where Bella Jo would get out and the posts were rotted off and the whole fence was going to fall over if we didn't do something. So, that was the project for the four-day weekend that My Man decided to do...with help from my brother, they got the old fence ripped out and all the posts in...between all the other stuff happening...like Thanksgiving dinner and Black Friday shopping in town.

Yep, we all went to the lil' town of Burns for Black Friday...it was fun! Red and Cindy Sue came with us. We went to the farm store and of course Red and CS get to go inside. Red really well, some people he didn't seem to like...others he loved. I'd say he just knows a good dog person and who isn't a good dog person...gotta give him credit for that.

Tamping in the posts

My Man is surveying the situation...and Red is inspecting
 the quality of the work! Red loves to hang out with his dad.
So far, he hasn't become just a mommy's boy!

For Thanksgiving dinner, we decided to try smoking/grilling a turkey on My Man's Traeger grill. It was only a 13 pound turkey, but it was still too big to get into the Traeger! So, I went to the Traeger FaceBook page and found that someone else had the same problem, and the solution was to spatchcock the turkey...huh?...I said the same thing...what the hell is that?!?

The internet is an amazing source of information...in case you didn't already know ;~)

Just Google it and you'll learn all about it. But, in a nut shell, you remove the backbone from the turkey and break the breast bone. That allows the turkey to be laid out flat in the roasting pan.

I felt like a turkey murderer as I was cutting out the backbone!!! Then I had to stand on a stool to get high enough to get any leverage to break the breast bone...which I really didn't break good enough...I'll explain...

The Traeger smoked turkey...1 hour from being done.

I found a smoked turkey recipe that I liked which was simply onions and an apple with some garlic and a can of carbonated cola...yep, Coke! All the reviews were excellent, so we decided to give it a try. I placed the spatchcocked turkey on a bed of onion, apple and coke in the roasting pan, and smoked it for 30 minutes, then turned the heat up to medium (350 degrees or so). We used hickory pellets. It should have taken about 2 hours at medium heat to reach the correct temperature.

The legs were done before the breast though...so, I think the problem was that the breast bone didn't get broken enough to lay flat in the roasting pan...so it took an extra hour to get the breast meat up to the right temperature. It was one of those awful waiting games where everything is ready to eat except for one thing!

But, it all turned out perfect...the turkey was totally awesome!!!! We all went into a turkey coma after dinner!!

My Man, your's truly, brother Larry and sister-in-law Laura...
and yes, I do have another brother...named Darrell ;~)

Saturday morning, Red and I had our first training class. It's a very informal get-to-gather of a few people and their dogs. We first did some obedience, then a lil' bit of agility, and then some search. Red had already done all of this with his foster family (B & B), so he was very comfortable in the surroundings. This is giving Red and I a good bonding tool and an opportunity to really get to know one another.

I have only done one obedience class and one agility class in my lifetime, and that was 12 years ago with Abby...I definitely need the refresher!!! I really enjoyed it, and Red did too. We'll do this every Saturday as long as the winter weather doesn't get too nasty.

The Red dog...look at that dirty red nose! He'd been digging!

My brother brought his 100+ pound dog Sydney. He and Red got along very nicely...they played and shared toys. The angle in the photo below doesn't show how big Sydney really is...but, he's huge for a Golden Retriever...and he fills up a room in no time when he lays down!! Sydney is just as sweet as he is big...he's a great dog.

Red and Sydney

This afternoon our neighbor stopped by. He has the dog named Missy that Bella Jo loved to play with...well, it wasn't much different with Red...they hit it off great!!

Play time!! Red and Missy.

I hope that you all had as wonderful of a Thanksgiving as we did!

Guess this means we're officially into the Christmas season!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ In a Heap

Stories I Could Tell...

 Check out other Wordless Wednesday photos HERE.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Red Comes Home

After we helped the 3J Ranch gather up the last bunch of cow/calf pairs for the year, we went over to see Red. Actually, I went to town the day before and had some extra time, so I stopped by B & B's house to meet Red...I liked him right off the bat.

So this visit was to see if My Man liked Red and decide if we wanted to give him a try. If he doesn't work out for us, B & B will always take him back...but I have a feeling that's not going to be the case.

The Red boy...totally sweet!

It was dark when we got home last evening and we had to unload horses, unsaddle, feed...and we have a new dog in tow...and Red needed to meet three dogs!

First I got Cindy Sue out of the house, Abby into the yard and Cowboy was already at the truck. I put Red on a long line and we made quick introductions to CS & Cowboy...all was good there. Then I had to tie him inside the barn where he wouldn't get stepped on...he just wanted to sniff everything in sight.

Once we got the horses settled, I needed to clean out the stalls and Red kept getting wrapped up around everything, so I let him off line and he stayed close. That was a very good sign!

We got the outside chores done and then it was time for Red to meet Abby. That went well until we tried to get all four dogs into the mud room and get Red and CS into the main part of the house. That was too close of quarters for Abby and she pounced on Red. I quickly got between them and was able to get Abby back outside and get Red where he needed to be and close the baby gate between the rooms...OK...all's well.

Even though Red seemed a bit confused as to what was going on, he tried to just take it as it came. Everyone got dinner, I took a shower, and there was Red sitting at the bathroom door waiting for me...how sweet! My Man, CS, Red and I sat at the wood stove for a while and he took all the toys out of the toy basket and every once in a while he would go to the sliding glass door in the bedroom and look down the driveway...was he looking for B & B to come get him?

At bed time, I tied him to the bed with the long line. He jumped up onto the bed a couple of times, stepped on Cindy Sue once and she had a temper tantrum at him, but then he settled on his bed next to our bed. All was good through out the night.

This morning he was VERY ready to go out and feed the horses. We started out on the long line, but I had to lead Colt and Whiskey out to their pastures, so I let Red off line. He was awesome...stayed close, came when I called, and spent a lot of energy just running...go, go go!! He went to heel at Colt and I told him no and he stopped...he was a very good boy!

We got back to the yard and had some play time...

Snow Play
Play? I LOVE to play!!!

Run? I LOVE to run!!!

First Cowboy decided it looked like fun...

Then even ol' Abby decided that it looked like fun!
Cindy Sue would have nothing to do with all that rambunctiousness...
I think she'll get better with time.

After play time, it was breakfast, and now Red's laying at me feet...I guess it's all go or none...I call that perfect!

A really exciting thing I learned yesterday is that there IS a dog trainer in our area (I've been here 6 years and hadn't a clue)! So, I'm going to give the trainer a call and talk about what it is I want to do with Red...from what B & B said, it sounds very promising...she knows herding!!

At this point, I've got all winter to work with Red before we'll have a opportunity to help anyone move cows...so the timing is perfect.