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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Saturday, January 29, 2011

How Complacent are You?

~Cowgirl Coffee:
If your spoon don't stand up in it,
put in more coffee.~

Ah yes...I am enjoyin' my Saturday mornin' coffee!!

My Man is off with the neighbors hauling calves to a feedlot over in Vale OR. He won't be back until late this afternoon. Last year when we helped them, it was a snowstorm...today, it's just freezing fog...they're going carefully.

Sunrise on the Rimrock
Sunrise ~ January 19, 2011
Cold and crisp.

Icicles Weeping from the Rimrock
These icicles are coming from under a ledge along the rimrock.
They remind me of tears...and a lot of those have been shed recently.

I've been cleaning out my inbox from the last week of email (between the blog, Facebook and friends, it was overflowing!) trying to answer questions about Cindy Sue's attack. Lots of questions were answered personally. But this question might be on a lot of your minds...

Susan asked: "One thing I'm wondering is how the coyotes got so close with your other dogs around. Our dogs run them off. We consider it part of their job. We don't shoot them unless they threaten to cause a problem, which they never have because they don't get close enough to."

Well, the attack was about 1/8 of a mile from the barn (just over our property line to the east in the neighbor's field). I've always called that stretch of his field the "coyote highway;" I see coyotes paralleling that fence line quite often. All four of my dogs go down to that fence line to sniff and mark like dogs do...sometimes they'll see a coyote and take chase (including Cindy Sue who really thinks she's a big dog in a lil' dog body).

I don't like them to chase after the coyotes, because I'm afraid that there is a pack of them waiting up in the sagebrush and rock like an ambush. They haven't earned the nickname "Wiley Coyote" for nothing. And my dogs don't have a mean bone in their body, and I think they would all loose against a coyote. So, I keep an eye on them as I feed the horses. That morning, I called for the dogs to come back up to the barn as I went to get the second wheelbarrow load of hay...and didn't realize that Cindy Sue hadn't come with the rest of the dogs...and that's how she got to be by herself.

I feel guilty as well as stupid for that mistake on my part. Here is what I wrote in my editorial for the February Horsefly:

The View From My Saddle

Complacent: To be content and satisfied with your life and surroundings, even when something which may destroy these conditions is imminent.

   This word has been fixed in my mind for the past five days, and it won’t go away. It all started last Friday when two coyotes got a hold of my little Rat Terrier, Cindy Sue. Living where we do, we hear coyotes daily and see them almost daily; and after five years, I really didn’t think about them too much. I didn’t like the fact that they visit my horse pasture quite often, and they also would look down from the rim rock just yards from the house, but they always had went their way, usually with my cattle dogs on their tails.

   Long story short, I didn’t pay close enough attention to where Cindy Sue was while out feeding that morning; and in a few seconds, she was tore up pretty bad. What saved her was  her winter coat that I make her wear on cold days, and my other dogs making a distraction for her to get away and come to me.

   Imprinted in my mind is the image of that one coyote, so determined to kill it’s prey, Cindy Sue, that it didn’t even realize I was there. I was screaming at it like a mad woman, and it finally stopped just a few feet away from me while Cindy Sue ran under the fence toward me. The coyote and I locked eyes. It looked back at Cindy Sue one last time then back at me; thankfully it thought the screaming mad woman wasn’t worth the risk, and it ran back to where Cindy Sue’s blood had been spilt on the ground.

    After a night at the vet clinic, she came home to recuperate. There’s still a chance of infection and her loosing some skin, but so far so good, and she’s got lots of friends praying for her too.

    Complacent. I’ve been kicking myself in the back end for five days for letting myself become complacent at the expense of someone that relies on me. Is is doing me any good? Well, yes it is. I’m taking an inventory of our lifestyle and looking where I need to be more watchful and diligent for the sake of everyone and everything that is near and dear to me. It’s definitely worth it! 

It was a week ago yesterday since the attack, and Cindy Sue had a check up with the vet. All of her bite wounds are healing fabulously!!! The drain tube was removed from her tummy...YEAH!!!!! She's down to one antibiotic pill twice a day for 7 more days. But, she's got two spots that I have to watch...they could be abscesses in the making.

Her vitals? She's poopin', peein' and eatin' kibble...just like normal!!! She packs her kibble from the utility room to the kitchen or the living room to eat it...one bite at a time! All is well~

Cindy Sue is sitting in my office chair with me as I type...she sends her love to each and every one of you!!!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sometimes It's Hard to be Wordless

~I've never had a store-bought dress,
but I'd sure like to.~
~Ruby Dell 1888~

It's Wordless Wednesday, and I just don't have it in me today. I've been working hard on getting the February Horsefly publication done since that's what I was supposed to be doin' last weekend...but the coyotes messed all that up...and no pretty photos to share either...

But, of course, Cindy Sue is still the center of attention 'round here...which she usually is anyway...coyote attack or not!

"Mom, do I have to wear this dang thing?"

Here she's sporting her new Elizabethan collar...yes, that's an old sock with stuffin' in it...but hey, it works, and it's a hell of a lot better than the big plastic lamp shade...and it was quite economical too! Our farm store didn't carry the inflatable kind, and the store clerk gave me the "sock" suggestion...perfect!

For an update...her water intake is good...so very thankful for that. Yesterday, she didn't have much of an appetite though. She wouldn't eat any breakfast...or lunch...but I decided to play a mind game with her, and I got her to eat some dinner. Competition is always fierce when it comes to everyone gettin' treats. So, I lined up Cowboy, Abby, Bella Jo and the Princess for a feeding line. One piece of chicken for Cowboy...two pieces for Cindy Sue. One piece for Abby...two pieces for Cindy Sue...etc on down the line.

We did that for about 5 rounds...and Cindy Sue decided she was full and walked away...but it worked!

This AM, she ate pretty good...but still needs to have her chicken pieces hand fed to her...I hope this doesn't turn into a habit!!

We go into the vet on Friday afternoon for a check-up. There has been nothing coming out of the drain in her tummy, so the vet said on Monday when she saw her that it might come out early.

OK...back to work...and trying to get around to read some blogs too!

Happy Wednesday...Wordless or otherwise~

Monday, January 24, 2011

Quick Update on Cindy Sue

"I just wanted to be with my mommy."
Yep, she was trying to come into the kitchen (where my desk and computer are) , but the dang cone got her stuck. I took it off of her and she followed me to my desk and wanted in my chair with me...just like normal!!!

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions about her issues.

She's eating well, but still wants me to hand feed it to her most of the time. I've used a small syringe to put water in her mouth, and she swallows it...but she mainly likes it when she licks water off my finger...whatever works!! But this mornin' she walked up to Bella Jo's bowl and took a big long drink!! YEAH!!

The cone thing is a real problem though. She can't even hold her head up with it on. It's only on her when I can't watch her (like going out to feed or make dinner). But, I have to go to town today, so I'll be checking out our farm store (Big R) to see if they have an inflatable collar (thanks DarcC for that suggestion). They've got a full pet aisle, so I hope they've got one. If not, I'll order one online. Dreaming suggested an infant T shirt and that might be an option too, but after we clean her wounds, she gets smeared with a Silver Sulfadiazine cream, and I'm afraid the T shirt would stick and maybe irritate. But, options are always worth a try!

I'm getting better at getting her pills down her too...it's a challenge, but it's getting easier.

Oh, the other thing that is really noticeable today is that her eyes are much brighter...I think she's feeling a lil' bit better.

OK...I've got to head for town. Thanks again everyone for all you've done~

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cindy Sue~Surviving the Coyote Attack

~Good friends always look out for each other.~
~Patty Carey 1901~

That quote is exactly what it felt like to me for the past two days.

I can't put into words how grateful we are for all of the prayers, good thoughts, well wishes, and just the outpouring of love and concern for our lil' Cindy Sue. From blogging friends, FaceBook friends, to Cindy Sue's lil' Dogster pals...everyone was there for her (and us). You've truly moved my heart.

And the wonderful thing is that all of your efforts are working!!! She's on the mend...and we're expecting a complete recovery.

So, after one night at the vet clinic, Cindy Sue was released to come home!

Cindy Sue with Dr. Macie when I went to pick her up yesterday.
We spent the next 45 min. learning how to clean her wounds.

She spent the afternoon and evening here on her comfy bed in
front of the woodstove...with a warm rice bag.

WARNING~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The following photos are graphic.

Her wounds need to be cleaned twice a day. She's on two types of antibiotics, a pain med, and Metacam (anti-inflammatory).

She's got lots of dried blood and drainage. It's flaking off,
but we can put her in the tub and carefully rinse the
areas that don't have wounds. You also see the drainage
tube from her tummy.

Cindy Sue's worst wounds are at the back end. They (the two coyotes)
tried to take her lil' stubby tail off! She has holes on each side
of the tail and on the upper leg and hip areas.

The hole on her hip is big, but the ones closer
 to her tail were deeper and are very painful.

This other hip side is a very deep one too. Her tummy
is all stitched up with the drainage tube to do it's job.
That will be removed in about two weeks.

Her neck is the least damaged. There are 3 holes on the top and one on the side.
They already look like they are healing closed!

This shoulder took a bad rip (not just a hole).
The Dr wanted to stitch it, but there was already some yucky
lookin' stuff coming out of it, and she didn't want
to trap infection inside by sealing it shut.
Poor Cindy Sue doesn't like when we clean this one :(
You can also see how purple and swollen her tummy is.
The tummy is the area where we hope we don't loose any skin.

Yesterday, she didn't have much of an appetite, and didn't drink any water. I was able to get her to eat some chicken, but I had to hand feed her. She peed three times, but no poop. I can put her coat on her and she'll walk outside with me.

This morning, I made some rice and she ate more chicken and some of the rice...but only if I hand fed her. She still hasn't drank any water, and that's concerning. If she doesn't drink anything, I'll have to take her back in and they may have to do the IV fluids again. Also, she peed and pooped this morning!!! It probably had to hurt...poor lil' Princess~

Right now, she's laying by the woodstove with the cone on her head...yes, she wants to lick...that's a no-no. She won't walk with the cone on...she just lays there in disgust! So, I better go spend some time with her and work at getting her to drink.

Again...I can't thank you all enough for your support.

Cindy Sue sends lots of love 'n kisses~

Sunday Stills~The Color Green

~If I don't look out for my own well-being, no one else will.~
~R.B Farmer 1887~

With everything that's happened to Cindy Sue this week, the Sunday Stills photo challenge was on the back burner. But, I already had a couple of pics, so we'll just go with these two. There isn't much green around here this time of year...it's mostly brown...not even any snow!   :(

Mornin' Sun
My late bloomin' Christmas cactus caught
 my eye one mornin' as the sun was coming up.

Crested Wheat
On the ledges of the rim rock, soil gathers in the cracks and pockets.
There's lots of surprises of what grows there, including this Crested Wheat.
Of course my green is the lichen and the moss on the rocks,
they made a nice frame.

Check out the other Sunday Stills 'green' photos by going HERE!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Update on Cindy Sue's Coyote Attack

First, I want to thank everyone for your kind thoughts, prayers and well wishes for Cindy Sue...so far it's working!

The vet agreed after treating her that if she had not had her winter coat on, the coyotes would have ripped her to pieces...they sure tried.

From the gaping hole of skin on her underside at the flank, they had pulled on her so hard that her skin ripped clear back to her vulva. She had numerous bites, with two of them that were the most serious. One came just a fraction from puncturing her abdominal cavity and the other is almost to the pelvic bone.

She is coming out of the anesthesia...laying on a heat pad with blankets over the top of her (just like she likes it at home). My Man stopped in to see her on his lunch break and said she was still a lil' bit groggy, but was alert enough to be looking at him...she seemed comfortable and was quiet.

Once she's more awake, they will test her legs, and they may take an x-ray to make sure there are no broken bones that they can't see.

Dr. also said she has what looks to be a scratched eye. Once the tears start flowing again, they will access that for any damage. But, Dr. says we are not out of the woods yet. She may loose some skin and she could get secondary infections...we have to take it one step at a time.

She will be staying the night at the vet clinic, but we can pick her up in the AM. The sooner she comes home the better...this house is awfully quiet without her.

Ms. Cindy Sue~The Princess
"Thank you everyone for helpin' me get better.
Anyone wanna come hunt coyotes wiff my mom???
Mom says she's gonna kick some coyote arse. Woof!"

Coyote Attack

~I've got a gun. I know how to shoot it. 
When the time's right, I'm gonna use it.~
~gtyyup, 2011~

This is not what I wanted to blog about today...or on any other day for that matter.

It started out just like all our other mornings. Get up, drink a cup or two of coffee waiting for it to get light outside to go feed. Cindy Sue sleeps in every morning...My Man and I jokingly say she's in Denio. Denio is a lil' bit of a town on the Oregon/Nevada boarder. It sounds so much like 'denial' that we just say that something's in Denio when they don't want to face up to reality...like Cindy Sue, who waits until the last possible moment to get out of her cozy bed.

We bundle up for the morning air. Cindy Sue always wears her barn coat since she doesn't have enough hair to keep her warm.

The dogs scampered off out through the alfalfa field toward the neighbor's driveway...the usual routine. I head into the barn to get the first load of hay and pushed the wheelbarrow out to Colt 'n Gus then headed back to the barn for another load for Whiskey 'n Toby.

I had just got inside the barn and heard Cindy Sue screaming...literally. I ran out the closest door and see two coyotes and her about an 1/8 of a mile away in the neighbor's field. Bella Jo, Cowboy and Abby are all with me in the barn.

I begin screaming like a mad woman to leave my dog alone; leaped over the rail fence and ducked under the barbed wire fence. I screamed the whole way across the alfalfa field as I ran as fast as I could...which isn't fast enough with rubber winter boots on.

Bella Jo 'n Cowboy were running ahead of me, and I told them to 'get 'um.' I couldn't tell if Cindy Sue was alive or not; the coyotes had her down on the ground. I was preparing for the worst...still screaming...and those coyotes didn't pay any attention to me.

Bella Jo 'n Cowboy finally reached Cindy Sue, and the coyotes backed off of her just enough for her to get up, and then they got her down again. Somehow Bella Jo 'n Cowboy got them away from her again, and Cindy Sue came running toward me...with one of the damn coyotes right on her tail.

I was at the fence line. There were two fences in front of me with the neighbor's driveway between the fences. Cindy Sue made it under the first fence and I thought the coyote was going to get her again (he was that close), but the coyote finally saw me and turned around. I could see blood and looked at Cindy Sue's belly and saw a big gaping hole. I gently grabbed her up and started walking as fast as I could back to the house. I could see blood dripping down my pants and onto my boot.

I called back to Cowboy 'n Bella Jo...both coyotes and my dogs were right there where Cindy Sue had been attacked. I kept calling them to come...Bella Jo did, but Cowboy didn't.

Into the front seat of the truck went Cindy Sue, who was obviously in shock by this time. I got a phone message to My Man to call the vet office and tell them I would be there ASAP. Cowboy finally got to the house and I locked the dogs up in the yard...and drove 75 mph all the way to town.

Cindy Sue was moaning slightly, her eyes were looking glassy, but she was staying quiet. I talked to her the whole way to town telling her that all would be OK and that she needed to be a tough lil' Rattie Ranch Dog. She'd survived the Great Horned owl attack, the rattlesnake attack...and she wasn't gonna let two lousy, stinkin' coyotes get the best of her.

We arrived at the vet office at 8:20, and My Man was there waiting for us. We took her straight into the surgery room, and they took off her coat and had a look. The Dr. said that it looked like they had just ripped the skin on the underside in the flank area and that no organs had been damaged. She had a couple of bite marks on her neck and a whole bunch of bites on her hips. She would have been a lot worse...maybe dead...if she hadn't had her coat on. Poor lil' Cindy Sue was covered in blood, shaking and totally in shock.

The vet will be putting her under anesthesia to get her all cleaned up and stitched up. They may take x-rays if they suspect any internal damage had happened. She will have a tube for drainage and there will be lots of antibiotics and pain meds. They put her on fluids and whether she still needs those fluids overnight will determine if she comes home this evening or tomorrow.

Ironically, yesterday was Cindy Sue's "Gotcha Day." We got her from a rescue down in Nevada in 2007. We pray that she'll live a long life here with us.

Coyotes are not beautiful wild animals...they are nasty wild animals...who love to take easy prey.

It's 11:45 AM right now, and am anxiously waiting for a call from the vet. So, I don't know how she is at this time. Please keep Cindy Sue in your thoughts and prayers. We appreciate it.

I'm a tough Rattie Ranch Dog...I'm gonna make it just fine.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

~If I don't think I'm having fun, I'd better move on.~
~Arla Sue Barnard 1899~

The Mother Owl

Our Great Horned Owls

Want to see more great Wordless Wednesday photos? Go HERE!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Gtyyup's Vlog for the Blog

~Think twice before you say yes to anything.~
~Susanna Alder 1901~

I did think twice about this...even three 'n four times...but...I guess I'm gonna do it anyhow... despite my better judgement!

OK...I survived...even from the ants in my pants...got 'er done in just did the one take.

Come on now...you can do it too!!!!

Here's the list:

Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?

What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?

What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?

What do you call gym shoes?

What do you say to address a group of people?

What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?

What do you call your grandparents?

What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?

What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?

What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Stills~Macro Pics

~If I work at being happy, it usually works.~
~Ella Sommers 1898~

Macro shots is this week's challenge at Sunday Stills.

Ed was givin' us a break from outside shots because of the frustrating weather most everyone is experiencing...but my indoor lighting skills suck...so between rain showers, I went back outside.

I Used to be Purple

My garden is all bare, but I hadn't snipped off these chive heads and they were about the most interesting thing I could find! They're so ugly, they're almost pretty!

Last Summer I Was Pretty

Check out more macro shots by going here in the comments.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Second Time 'round

~If you don't like what a feller says,
than pay no attention to it.~
~Suti Barns 1920~

Now that Suti Barns is my kinda gal...I bet she was a pistol in her day!

You've heard the saying "If first you don't succeed try, try again." Well, that's what we're gonna do.

It's been a couple of months...and time has just gotten away from me, but remember the 2 year blogiversary giveaway?!?  Well, the rule (and I like to stick by rules to make it fair) was for the winner to contact me via my email to claim the $25 gift certificate at Heart of a Cowgirl. The winner never claimed her prize...so it's only fair that I draw again!

Nothin' fancy this time...I just went over to Random.org and plugged in the total number (56) and it spit out a new winner...

...and the winner is KatyM! Congratulations!!

Stickin' by the rules, Katy needs to send me an email at gtyyup at wildblue dot net. If the certificate isn't claimed in 30 days...we'll draw again!!


What else do I have...how about some goofy night photography of Colt 'n Gus playin' in the snow! These were both taken back in November, and it was just getting dark while I was feeding the herd.

Gus is turnin' on the gas! (check out the moon above Hat Butte in the background)
I was just dinking with the settings on my camera to see what I could get. The above photo of Gus was with a flash of course.

The below photo of Colt...well I don't know what happened camera-wise...but I do know that Colt was NOT inside the round pen! I guess I would call the photo a 'blooper' but you know, someone would probably intentionally try for a shot like this...who knows!

~Colt the Phantom Horse~

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


~There is no safety out here on the plains.
If it's not the wind, it'll be something else.~
~Mrs. Colby Penn 1865~

Nope...not much excitement goin' on 'round here! I just got done with a round of Cattle & Sheep Ag Surveys...glad that's done!

I'm formulating a plan to get back on some horses...um...like Colt & Gus who haven't been ridden since before Thanksgiving. The options for indoor facilities are very few 'round here, but there are some. That's going to have to be my plan of attack...trailering the boys a couple days a week.

The conditions just aren't conducive to riding at home right now~

This photo was taken on December 29, 2010.
 After a long day of rain on frozen ground, then
 the temps dropped again...it doesn't make for a very useful training pen!

I took this photo this mornin'. Three weeks of sub-freezing temps has left the ground
with 8 inches of frozen top soil...then comes the rain with no where to go.

It's nothin' serious like a flood or anything...yet...it's just frustrating. I'm very thankful that we didn't get the 12-16 inches of snow that Burns and the surrounding areas got. They've got snow piled everywhere, and now it's raining. There could very well be some serious flooding in the northern part of the county.

What have we been doing?

My Man and I need to get a brand registered for the cows & calves. I never thought it would be so difficult to design a brand...which of course has to be unique. We need to send in a minimum of 4 brands in order of preference. When we know which one is accepted, I'll make a sketch and post it. It's a lil' exciting for us. Speaking of cows, Annabelle and Ellie May are doin' just fine...we expect them to calve between early to mid April.

I'm still getting used to my new PC and the new software. I opted to get Elements 9 and it's like Greek to me, but I've figured out how to do a few simple things in it so far. I also got a new desktop publishing program called PagePlus X5, and so far I really like that program. I've got to get started on the next Horsefly too!

Last week we woke up on Friday to faucets that wouldn't give us any water...say what? It's cold, but not so cold that the whole ranch froze up. After a visit from the water pump crew...and then the electrician guy, we find out that there's a bad connection in the buried electrical line to the well holding tank somewhere between the shop and the house...sixty feet...of frozen ground. They got us fixed up with a temporary above ground line. When the permafrost is gone, the rental place will rent us a ditch digger, so we can put in a new permanent line. We were so thankful that it wasn't something really serious. All the stock water comes from that well too!

It's still pouring down rain. Bummer.

Well, my list of 'to do's' is long, so off I go...hope everyone has a great upcoming weekend!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Stills~The Letter W

~I want to live where it's not so wild
and I can be a lady.~
~Vera Steers 1875~

Well, Vera Steers, I've got to say that I don't mind livin' here where I don't have to be a lady!!! But, they worked a lot harder back in 1875 than we do now...progress is sometimes a good thing.


Onward to the Sunday Stills photo challenge!! This Week's challenge is the letter "W"...Which Was a Wonderful Way to Widen my Willy Way With my camera...silly me   ;~)

Crested Wheat
Crested Wheat to be exact...with a nice Wood background.

Lookin' In at the Past (1/2)
Lookin' into the Window of the building of Old Princeton on
our property...it's like lookin' into the past.

Lookin' Out at the Present (2/2)
This is the same Window from the inside...lookin' out at the present.

Memories Were Made at this Window
The view facing northeast...how many people stood
 or sat at this Window gazing at this beautiful view in days gone past?

Incoming Flight
Wingin' it! We go through a lot of Wild bird seed
to keep these lil' buggers out of the chicken coop!

Thanks for stoppin' by!

Check out all the other participant's photos by going HERE!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

SkyWatch Friday

~He confused me in body and mind.
I'm still trying to straighten things out.~
~Virginia Ball 1890~

After my rant yesterday, I dedicate this 
beautiful sunrise to all animals in need. 
May they have a "new dawn in life."

At Dawn Up Anderson Valley

See more beautiful skies around the world at Skywatch Friday~

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Responsibility of Responsible Animal Husbandry

~When the time comes to die, I hope I'm ready to go.~
~Eve Thomas 1878~

There are no pretty pictures because this story isn't very pretty.

I know that I'm goin' to be preachin' to the choir here, but I guess I'm hopin' that gettin' this story off my chest makes me feel better.

Yesterday I made a trip up to the feed store. There was a man being waited on ahead of me, and I just waited politely behind him. His conversation with the store clerk came about that his 31 year old mare had died. The mare's mother had lived to 32. That's quite an accomplishment.

The man's next statement was something to the effect that "she just couldn't take the cold anymore...there wasn't any shelter from the wind, even though there wasn't much wind."

Excuse me!!!???!!! That's kinda your responsibility...to take care of the needs of your animals!

So, all I've been able to see in my mind for the past 24 hours is this poor ol' mare lying down and giving up on life...on a cold, lonely, dark night... The temps have dropped as low as -35 in some areas of the county. But let's just say it was -25 with a 5 mph wind...according to my wind chill chart the wind chill factor now reads -40.  Frost bite time at that temperature is 30 minutes.

How long does that idiot think anything can survive at 40 below! I just wanted to beat him over the head with a 2 x 4...knowing that he was laying comfy in his warm bed...as the mare died in agony...

Responsible animal care isn't overly difficult...

  • fresh, clean water
  • ample nutritious food
  • shelter from the elements

Throw in a lil' bit of vet care...

I don't feel any better yet...maybe I'll see that guy at the feed store again, and I'll get a second chance to knock him over the head with that 2 x 4...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas at Our Family Farm

~It's kind of exciting not knowing what's coming next.~

I know this is totally late, but the following text is what I wrote for the January Horsefly (one of the reasons I didn't do much posting after Christmas)...and wanted to share it with you. I'm adding a lot more photos than were printed in the publication...as usual (you know me!).

The View From My Saddle
You know, I’ve heard that it’s not a good idea to go back to a place you sold; it’s usually worse for wear and always a disappointment. In this instance, we didn’t sell our family farm, but when my father and uncle retired, they divided the farm which was located south of Hillsboro ,and my uncle sold his half a few years later.

After the new owners took over, they tore down the old two-story farm house I lived in for years as a child and replaced it with a manufactured home. That was hard to take. But the worst was yet to come. I remember the day I drove up the driveway for a visit and the old barn was gone. I was angry. I was hurt. A part of my life was gone…forever.

That old barn was the nucleus of my childhood. From hay forts and the smell of burnin’ calf hair on branding day to little girls spending a night in the barn for a sleep-over and getting my horse ready for 4-H fair; that old barn was my life.

Time has healed the wounds. I enjoy just remembering the way it was. My younger brother now owns the farm and has done wonderful improvements to not only the house that my mom and dad built, but has also built a cabin down at the irrigation pond.

The Irrigation Pond
My dad built this irrigation pond way back when.
It's fed by a stream. The deepest part is probably 13-15 feet or so.

The Cabin
The Cabin.
It comes with a pot bellied stove, running water, and electricity powered by a generator.
There's a half loft above with a bed. Totally cozy!!!

Hey~Move Over Bella Jo!
We spent Christmas Eve afternoon at the cabin playing
 the card game "Euchre" and eating popcorn.
Cindy Sue was trying to get a corner of the dog bed,
but Bella Jo was being a bed hog!

Every Cabin Needs an Outhouse!
What would a cabin in the woods be without a matching outhouse?!?

The Cabin at the Pond
Peace and tranquility.

Is this Seat Taken?
The dock sees a lot of activity in the summer. Big kids and little kids alike are out there
with their fishing poles catching bass, catfish and blue gill.
The boat ties up to the dock.

The annual family Christmas Eve gathering was held at the farm this year. My husband and I spent three nights there and enjoyed every minute.

Stuffed Cornish Game Hens
My favorite meal of all were these stuffed Cornish game hens...
(my brother's not too bad of a chef for a general contractor)

Fresh Boston Lobster
...along with these "fresh from Boston" lobster!!! Serious...they were still alive
when they got plopped into the boiling water...the best I've ever tasted!

Spending time at the pond and cabin brought back childhood memories of summers swimming and catching pollywogs and extreme winters when it froze over and the church youth group came out and we played hockey. Ah…the good ol’ days.

So, life goes on no matter what happens. Mom and dad would be mighty proud of our family farm now; even with the changes.

It’s good to know that the land is still in the family. It’s cared for and loved by all of us.

Well, that was our wonderful Christmas trip. The weather was pretty good going over the passes and we also got to visit friends. But, as always, we were sure glad to be home!

NOTE: The nursery stock you see in some of the photos is on the property that my uncle had owned. My brother raises a few Christmas trees, but leases out the majority of the land to another farmer.