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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Monday, February 28, 2011

March is Blowin' In!

~Sometimes I try so hard to be happy, I forget that I'm not.~
~Billie Randolph 1901~

I just call these days "Winnie the Pooh" days. But it sounds like a lot of folks are having the same thing...lots of wind!

When I let the boys out of the barn this mornin', and they had to kick up their heels for a good 15 minutes. I sure wish the sun would have been out, the photos would have been so much better.

My Lil' Man Gus
Gus was havin' a GREAT time!

They raced back and forth numerous times...Whiskey and Toby just kept eating their breakfast watching them 'n lookin' at 'em like "I remember those days!"

Let's Play!!
The boys will be boys.

As I unplugged the tank heater for the Wild Bunch, I noticed two owls in their favorite elm tree. Momma owl is supposed to be sitting on their eggs. I walked to the nest, and didn't see anything. I hope nothing's gone wrong. It could be that Momma owl is just hunkered down in the nest, and I can't see her...and maybe one of these two owls is an owlet from last year. I keep going to the window and checking, but there are still two owls in the tree (hangin' on for dear life in the wind!).

Hangin' On
Who's sittin' on the eggs?!?

While I was checking on the owls, I spotted a flash of color at the bird feeder...I got this shot from inside the house (through the window) with full zoom on. We don't get many colorful birds...this is a nice change!

Color at the Feeder
Nice to see some color at the bird feeder!

Happy Monday everyone...have a great week!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Michelle Severe & The Gift

~Ya gotta try different things cuz
that's what makes ya smarter.~
~Marge Medling 1896~

The title I wanted to give this post was "Michelle Severe, My Man & The Gift." But, that was going to just be a lil' too bit over the edge for me! But, Michelle Severe did have a conspiracy going with My Man...it started last August.

I've posted about Michelle Severe before. She's a wonderful western and wildlife artist using oil, pastel, pencil and pen & ink. But the talent doesn't stop there. She also does scrimshaw, glass etching and wood burning. In her spare time, she's a dang good hand with a horse, a cow and a rope! I better not forget to mention that she's a great friend too!

As the story goes...My Man cornered Michelle last summer at one of the cuttings and asked if she would be interested in doing something of his wife. She said sure (of course). My Man just needed to decide what he wanted. As Christmas got closer, My Man talked with Michelle again and said that he wanted something of his wife roping. Michelle said that he needed to go see our mutual friend Andi Harmon and that she had a great photo from this year's Futurity. So, he did. And three weeks later, this is what came framed in a big box...just a few days before Christmas...

"Circlin' Up"
Colt in the two-rein as a 5 year old.

Taken from this:

The original photo that Andi Harmon took during
my fence run at the Harney County Reined Stock Horse Futurity. 

As you can well imagine, there were lots of tears shed when I opened that box. I would have never guessed in a million years that My Man would have thought of "the perfect gift." I mean, I never thought of it for myself. If I want something, I usually just get it...because it's usually something I need. I'm not much of a shopper. But, this tops the list of gifts.

Michelle did such a great job too!! I love how she's captured Colt's facial expression and all the tiny details, down to the romel reins, the tooling on the breast collar, his wispy forelock and the fringe on my chinks. And yes...the silly cow IS sticking its tongue out!!!

Of course it's proudly hung in our living room.

Then, as if that wasn't enough excitement. Michelle wanted to include my piece in her "Working Ranch Women" series!!  I'm humbly honored to be included with these great women! Here are a couple other pieces from the series:

"Common Ground"

"In the Hackamore"

Last month, Michelle and Andi shared a vendor booth at the Red Bluff Sale. And the way Michelle told me, the very first thing that she sold was my print. WHAT???!!! Yep, there were lots of reined cow people there and the gal that bought the print is on the Board of Directors with the California Reined Cow Horse Association...so Colt and I are hangin' on someone else's wall...that is just weird when I think about it...but again, it truly is an honor for me.

Michelle Severe is working on updating her website, but please give her a visit at MichelleSevere.com You can also friend her on FaceBook! Check out her awesome pieces with wild horses too.

Isn't My Man the BEST?!?!? I think so ;~)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cindy Sue~The Fashionetta Rattie

~I've never met a woman that I didn't have something in common with.~
~Iris Martin 1885~

I know some of you are wondering how Cindy Sue's doin' since her last update from her coyote attack. Well, I'm happy to report that she's doin' GREAT!!!

A week and a half ago, I was able to get some ridin' in and Cindy Sue was out there runnin' like nothin' ever happened! She's one tough Rattie Gurl~

What looked like this on day two...

looked like this just three weeks later.

And it looks even better now, since it's been another week since I took the above photo!

Her lil' tummy still has some swelling, but it's slowly going away!

She sends you all lots of Rattie kisses and hugs...she loves you all!!!

Cindy Sue got a couple of 'get well' packages in the mail from her Dogster pals, and we had to show off her wonderful treasures...

OK...I admit that she doesn't make the perfect pup model...did you see those looks she kept givin' me?!? LOL...but, she was tryin' her best to cooperate!

Thanks Keeko, Jack, Molly, Twiggy, Bud and the Dogster moms for such sweet gifts...she's stylin' now!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Stills~Old Churches & Graveyards

~Things are sometimes harder than a person can bear.~
~Prairie Woman 1875~

This week's Sunday Stills photo challenge was a fun one. I cheated though and used photos from my archives since I was out of town for most of the week. Crane is just 10 miles north of our place.

Crane is an unincorporated community in Harney County, Oregon, United States, northeast of Malheur Lake on Oregon Route 78.
Crane was named for the prominent local features Crane Creek and Crane Creek Gap. Crane Creek Gap is the pass between the Harney Basin and the drainage basin of the South Fork Malheur River. Crane Creek is probably named for the Sandhill Crane, which was once abundant in Eastern Oregon. Crane post office was established in 1895 and discontinued in 1903. When the Union Pacific railroad was completed from Ontario, Oregon, in 1916, the post office was reopened.
Until the railroad was finished to Burns in 1924, Crane was an important livestock shipping point, and the town was thriving with its five restaurants, four hotels, three garages, two general merchandise stores, a warehouse, a lumber yard, livery stables, a dance hall, a newspaper, a bank and a movie theater. After a series of fires, the latest in 1938, however, the town never returned to its former prosperity. As of 2006 (and still today in 2011), a post office, service station and tavern, and a farm supply store were the only businesses in Crane.
Crane Union High School and Crane Elementary School are in Crane. The high school, which draws students from a large rural district, is a boarding school.

Twin 3 year old daughters died just 7 days apart.
I assume disease or illness of some sort.
So very sad. Someone had tried to stabilize the broken
headstone, but it has fallen again.

Interestingly enough, there was no date. Also, it seems that the "N"
was stamped onto the slab backwards.

This is a very creepy photo...badgers are very common around here.
They have dug numerous holes in the cemetery grounds.
That weirded me out!

This cemetery is not just a pioneer cemetery.

Check out other interesting Sunday Stills photos here!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Man and His Traeger

~When my life is over, I hope someone remembers me.~
~Susan Shaw 1890~

I'm going to mention "Christmas," but don't get into a panic...I'm talkin' 'bout this past Christmas!! Yea, yea...a lil' late, but better late than never...

If the wife gives her husband a fancy barbecue for Christmas, does that fall in the same category as the husband giving the wife a vacuum? Of course I'm talking about the "thoughtless gift" category.

Well, it might...but I did it anyhow!

The lumber store that My Man works at carries the Traeger brand of wood pellet barbecues....and he's always talkin' about what his boss has been cookin' on his...so, it sounded good to me...actually very tasty!!!

I got the smallest one, but it's still huge and came in a box...it had to be put together. That particular day, I was driving the car and the box wouldn't fit. So, the plan was for one of the other staff to wrap it and they would tell My Man that it was a package that was delivered at the store for me (which actually happens quite often). But this package weighed at least 100 pounds!!!

So, My Man brings it home, and I act just as surprised and confused as he was..."I don't know what it is." But, I said I'd open it up after he got out of the shower. While he was in the shower, I made a big sign with a bow on it that said "To Husband From Wife."

He finishes his shower and comes into the living room...sees the box and sign and said something about me being a sneaky lil' thing  ;~)  Of course I'm sneaky...how else could I have kept it a secret!!!

Our first dinner with it was a whole chicken...OMG...to die for!!!

Puttin' on the bird.

Barbecuing inside? Yep...in the shop! It's best to keep it out of the wind and as warm as possible, because it affects the cooking time. This summer, it will be out on the new deck!

After 45 minutes of "smoke" it's ready to turn up to the "high" setting.

Total cooking time is 1 hour and 30 minutes. Dinner's ready!!

Seasoned to perfection, cooked with mesquite wood pellets...perfectly moist and delicious!!!
Would My Man have liked any other gift? Nope...not this time!! We're totally enjoying the food that this barbecue does...and it can do just about anything...even pizza and desserts (which we haven't tried yet)!!

Tonight's menu...pork loin chops cooked with Hickory wood pellets...yum!

What did My Man give me for Christmas? Well, that's comin' up~

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hey...It's Just Me~

Yep, just me in a hotel room...far, far away from home...missin' My Man and all my critters :(

I'm at an ag training in Portland...ya know, I gotta do somethin' to earn money to get Colt 'n Gus to the shows this summer!!! The trip over was way better than expected. Bend got dumped on (15 inches of snow), but the pass over Mt Hood was relatively easy!

Tonight, I'll be meeting up with my lil' brother for dinner...he has the cool cabin on the family farm you saw at Christmas. We'll be feasting at Wonker's Corners on micro brews and fish tacos!!

This has been my first experience to use my 'new to me' laptop computer. I don't have any photo software to work my images with...so, there aren't any! But I'm lovin' havin' the computer in my room to keep up with email etc.

OK...it's snowing at home...5-7 inches. My pet caretaker came to take care of Cindy Sue today and couldn't get in the driveway because the snow plow had left a huge pile in front of the drive...she said she didn't know where our driveway was to the house anyhow, so she just walked to the house (which she could barely see through the blizzard)!! My Poor Man has to feed and plow out the drive tonight all by himself...which I'm sure he'll do a fine job of...I just feel bad...and I'd rather be home anyhow!!!

Here? Well, it's raining...and raining...and raining...I hate rain. It's one of the reasons we moved from here...NO regrets!!!

Lookin' forward to bein' back soon...thanks everyone for stoppin' by!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Spring? Why Yes!!! And a Lil' Love for Valentine's Day~

~It's hard to raise children alone, but not impossible.~
~Carrie Blacksmith 1885~

For humans, that quote is true...but not so for many species of wildlife. It takes two most often to raise their young...and I would say this is true for our resident Great Horned Owl family.

Look who's nesting...the two love birds owls!!

Look Who's Nesting! 1/2

We moved here five years ago, and this pair has been here long before we arrived. They've raised offspring every year; anywhere from 3-5 young.

Many people say to get rid of them. But, they do a great job with the rodents. But, they will attack. I was dive bombed the second year we were here when I saw one of the fledglings fall from the nest (25 feet) and thought I better make sure it was OK. Well, one of the parents swooped down on me as I got close...I decided at that point, it was just going to have to survive on its own!!!

Look Who's Nesting! 2/2

Yes, most all of you have heard the story about Cindy Sue's attack when she got too close to the nest. They will fly in the daytime when they deem it necessary...beware!!!

I'm going to try to follow them more closely this year. They use the same nest in the rock rim wall every year. They started nesting on February 8. So, we'll see if I can keep track of them!

Friday, February 11, 2011

SkyWatch Friday

Signs of spring are not always budding flowers and green grass. As spring approaches in SE Oregon, varmints that we call 'Sage Rats' come out of hibernation to begin their cycle of 2-3 litters before they go back into hibernation again in late June when the weather turns hot.

Bald Eagles can be seen perched on electrical poles or irrigation equipment overlooking the still dormant alfalfa fields (the sage rat's main stay of food) ready to swoop down for a tasty meal.

I was lucky to get a close up as I drove my truck into town this morning. My best Eagle shot ever...with some gorgeous blue skies too!

Bald Eagle 1/2

Bald Eagle

Enjoy more SkyWatch Friday skies from around the world: SkyWatch Friday

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's Gonna Bite Me in the Butt

~You must always do the thing you think you can't.~
~Kathleen Harris 1910~

I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I haven't ridden a horse...mine or anyone else's...since before Thanksgiving...slackin'...big time.

And my horses and myself will end up with the short end of the stick.

Somehow, I have a really hard time gettin' my motivation back up after the holidays. This year has been the worst ever...and Gus is so far behind from where he needs to be for this summer's futurity it ain't funny.

If you were around last year, Colt came up with a pulled tendon from playin' in the pasture just when I was going to put him back into training. This time it's just me gettin' in gear.

But, the weather's been cooperating and my round pen is usable...I know...it's a lot more than most of you can say with feet of snow and ice. So, I feel for ya...and, I really do consider myself lucky!!!

I'm gettin' the wheels in me turnin' again.

Look at me!!! I'm back in training!!

Last week, all the boys got wormed...yesterday the wind was blowin' 40 mph. But today...the sun was shinin' and it was a good day to get started...so we did!

I just let Gus do a few laps in the round pen first off, then took him into the barn to get brushed and saddled. He was perfect.

Back out to the round pen to free lunge him...he had a couple of humps, but I really don't think he can buck (knock on wood). He just settled into listening to me. I attached the line and worked on moving him across himself left and right. Had him stop and back with a wiggle of the line...he didn't miss a step.

All I can say, is that I'm glad he's smart and remembered everything from months ago!! Way to go Gus!

I threw Colt into the round pen for a few laps too and he's ready to be saddled and ridden...I can't believe he's a 6 year old this year. The plan will be to ride Colt 'n pony Gus to get some legging up and get their cardiovascular going again...they both ran out of air quickly. I've got to build them up. We'll be doing a lot of long trotting up Anderson Valley Road and back.

OK...I'm ready...bring it on (well, between taxes and ag surveys) LOL!

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Wee Spot O' Sunshine

That's all Princess Cindy Sue needs!

A Wee Spot O' Sunshine

A Wee Spot O' Sunshine
Hey...can't a gurl get some beauty sleep 'round here?!?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday Stills~Emotion

~Going to school just about killed me.
I hated the whole notion of it.~
~Edna Mace 1888~

This week's Sunday Stills photo challenge:

"This weeks challenge it to 
post pics that will cause an emotion 
in the person who checks out your blog, 
not your emotion."

This was hard. I Googled 'types of emotions' and found a list...which, after reading the list, made me think that photos most always spark some sort of an emotion.

But would the emotion be the same for every person who views the photo? I think not.

I did use my archives for this challenge, but none of these photos have been on my blog before.

So, what emotion do the photos bring out in you?

Steens Mountain

Sagebrush Without the Brush

Great American Icons

Check out the other Sunday Stills challenge participants HERE.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pasture Antics

~When I wear britches, I feel like a he-woman,
and no cowpoke better mess with me.~

Catnip is the only female equid on the place. Our one mare, Carina, left us a couple of years ago, and that left lil' Catnip to rule the herd...well, the Wild Bunch anyhow.

The Wild Bunch is down to just four: the two mustangs, Rohan & Brego, and the two burros, Stetson & Catnip.

Now, you'll have to look closely at this photo...do you see what's going on?

Catnip's head is a lil' bit blurry because she's snaking Brego and givin' him the evil eye...and Brego's stickin' his tongue out at her!

Ah...they love each other I'm sure!!