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, 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

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.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friday Fences

Yes, I know, it's Saturday...but I found this meme and I like it...so I'm just going to do it a day late!

Fenced In or Out?

Friday Fences is a blog hop...hop on over and check it out!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mornin' Ritual

Unless I'm heading off to help a rancher work cows or working at the PostOffice, every mornin' is sort of the same...

Through the Clouds
Watch the sun come up for another beautiful day~

Sunrise Breakfast
Feed some hungry critters~

Mornin' Bird Chatter
Listen to the lil' birds chatter on the electric lines and fence lines...
wondering what they all have to say~

Who's Watching the Sunrise
Checkin' to see what the owls are doing. Momma owl is on the right,
but we still don't know if it is Pappa owl or one of the owlets
sitting with her...I'm beginning to believe (and we hope) it's Pappa owl~
It was a serene, pretty mornin' an hour ago...but now it's snowin' 'n blowin'...we'll see what the day will bring.

Happy Friday everyone!

Participating in Skywatch Friday ~ Farm Friend Friday ~ Farmgirl Friday!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Coat Time for Cindy Sue

Actually, Cindy Sue's been wearing her coat for a couple of weeks now...poor lil' thing has no hair!! We had that bit of snow almost three weeks ago and it's been dry, cold and windy ever since. We had a sprinkle of rain this mornin' but it lasted a whole 10 minutes.

But, it's supposed to be cooling off this afternoon and a front is coming in with some chance of snow tonight and all day tomorrow. It doesn't look like too much snow is going to fall, but the wind is really blowing the leaves off the trees finally!

We're practicing for this week's Sunday Stills~Portraits~without too much success :(
And yes, I promised Cindy Sue a new coat...it's on my "never ending to do" list.
The 3J Ranch has another batch of cow/calf pairs that need gathering and sorted for weaning, and I guess we're going to help them on Saturday or Sunday...which ever day's going to have the best weather so the calves won't get too stressed.

If you've been wondering about Bella Jo, all is good in her world it seems (it's still way too quiet around the house without her)! I spoke with the gal and Bella Jo's fitting in really nicely. The lil' grand daughter is actually 4 years old...her name is Sophie...and all the first evening she had to keep going out to the garage and see Bella Jo.

I guess Sophie's been caught in the cat's bed with the cat before (that would be a cute photo!)...so it won't surprise me that she'll be doing the same with Bella Jo! The grandmother said that Sophie is the animal lover of all the grand kids, and it sounds like she is...lucky for Bella Jo!! The gal is supposed to give me a call this weekend with an update, and if all is well, I'll mail her all of Bella Jo's vet records...I guess that would make it pretty official.

Do you believe in fate? Whether it's fate or just something that's meant to be...there's always a reason. A friend of mine hadn't stopped by my blog for a while and decided to do so just after I had posted about Bella Jo going to a new home.

Timing is everything...

She's done "unofficial" rescue for many years and has been fostering an Australian Shepherd...the dog had been dumped at the public rest area west of Burns and left to starve...they've had the dog for about 9 months or so...waiting for the right home to come along...and if it didn't, well, they'd just keep him...he will always have a home with them.

This is Red
Red is most likely a purebred Australian Shepherd from some good blood lines. They tried him on their neighbor's cows and he's got lots of drive...pure instinct. He's about a year and a half old, loyal, affectionate, crate trained, travels well, and gets along with other dogs...been neutered...all that good stuff.

So, we're scheduled to go take a look at Red this weekend. I've been reading as much as time will allow on training a dog correctly...something that I didn't do as well as I should have with Bella Jo...and I'm just hoping that he's not too much dog and that I can finish train him correctly. My friend has done a lot of the basics with him...she says he needs to just get tuned in.

The training thing is confusing enough in itself with so many people with their own programs out there...it's just as bad as trying to choose a horse trainer!!!

I'm not getting too excited...I'm actually more apprehensive of making the right decision...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Music ~ Dave Stamey

I came upon this video via another FaceBook user. He posted a Dave Stamey video...which lead me to this one...

So, I get to watchin' this video...lovin' the music...and toward the end I see two people I know!!! One is my farrier, Pat, and the other is his best buddy...I knew they went to the Vaquero Fiesta, but I didn't know that there was a video...Pat's been holdin' out on me ;~)

The first thing I did was go to iTunes and buy the song...

Well, now I can't get this song out of my head...probably 'cause I keep playin' it over and over and over and over and over...must have somethin' with Spinnin' the Pony ;~)

Hope you enjoy~

Happy Monday!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bella Jo Meets a New Family

My, how the days, months and years fly by! November 7th was Bella Jo's 2nd year Gotcha Day anniversary with us.

She has turned out to be such a nice dog...loving and quiet yet playful with lots of energy at the right times. But, she never did like working cows (which is why I got her). Her last outing with us was the first day of the two day cattle drive at the beginning of October. On the morning of the second day, we had the horses loaded and I opened the door for her to get into the back seat of the truck, and she ran into one of the dog houses and laid down...she wouldn't come.

I still don't know why...nothing bad happened...it was a good day, and she had a blast. Since then, I've asked her to get into the truck to go somewhere (without horses) and she still wouldn't get in...she'd run and hide in a dog house.

And Beyond the Next Hill?
Beautiful Bella Jo

A couple of days ago, I happened to see an ad on FaceBook's Harney County Free Classified's from a gal that was wanting to give away a border collie. Another woman made a comment about having just lost her 17 year old cattle dog and they were looking for another...so I messaged the woman that was looking for a dog.

It's one of those things that you really don't think anything will come of it...and I really hadn't made a plan for Bella Jo; I just knew that I wanted/needed a dog that will help me. Bella Jo would always have a home here...but it seemed like an option to explore.

So the woman called me and we talked and they made arrangements to come and see her Saturday afternoon. I was working at the PostOffice that day and told them I'd be home at 3:30, but My Man would be home all day.

Well, they (husband and wife of retirement age) came a little before 3 o'clock...tagging along were their 3 grandchildren...the littlest one who was probably 2 years old. The wife said the little one was the animal lover and was their biggest concern...the dog had to love children. The lil' one was hugging and playing with Bella Jo in all of two minutes...best friends. When asked if this was the dog she wanted the answer was "Yes, I like this dog." The lil' girl loved Bella Jo and kept repeating her name over and over again.

My Man told them about her bad experience with her first owner and riding in the bed of a pick up (she's scared to death to do that) and that Bella Jo hadn't been wanting to go in the back seat of our pick up lately. The man asked if she would get in their hatch back type car...they opened the back and two kids got in, My Man asked Bella Jo to load up and she hopped right in. The man closed the back and there she sat with her new best friends.

The man and wife talked about her food and some other details...then down the driveway they went...Bella Jo sitting between the two kids...seeming quite happy.

They were very caring people (they had had their other dog for 17 years), they have 50 acres so Bella Jo will have plenty of room to run, and they were impressed with how well mannered Bella Jo was...it seemed like a very good fit.

Bella's Kind Eye
The last photo I took of Bella Jo.

I didn't get to say good bye...and I've shed a lot of tears...the house seems very quiet. My heart is sad, yet happy as long as Bella Jo is happy. I've called the folks this morning and left a message...I hope to hear from them this afternoon...Bella Jo will always have a home here~

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans' Day 11-11-11

Honoring our Nation's Veterans...thank you
for the service you have given to our
country...keeping us free~

Sunrise on 11-11-11
SkyWatch Friday