Saturday, April 24, 2010


Well, I had planned to get this posted yesterday for Earth Day, but as usual, it was crazy around here and I didn't reach my goal!Spring has really sprung around here. The wheat has "headed out" and will start to turn golden in the next month. By the end of May, the "Wheaties" will roll into town with their HUMUNGOUS John Deere combines chained to ENORMOUS flatbed trailers. They'll stay in this area for a week or two, to cut/harvest wheat on the many farms around Vernon and then make their annual journey back to Canada, stopping along the way to harvest more wheat, corn and maize. It's a very well-oiled round-the-clock schedule with these harvest companies - they don't waste any time or man power...they get into the fields, harvest, truck it off to the grain bins in town and move onto the next field...If machinery breaks down, their personal mechanics that travel with them are instantly on the spot to fix the problem. It's very impressive!

The fig tree is budding out....

Dyke and Zack dug up some seedling trees from the river and they've started them in pots in the garden

Last week, we had 3 days of rain - totalling 5-6 inches! Zack found a baby cottontail trying to stay afloat in the lower pasture, as it was like a lake down there from the swollen creeks! We kept him for a week, and when he was eating well, Zack released him back to the pasture. While he was recovering and strengthening in his temporary home at the house, we woke up several mornings to find that he had escaped the box! We had to bring Penny into the house to "sniff him out!" She was successful and we knew that the bunny was getting strong enough to survive on his own.

Jake and 3 others were invited to "perform" in a fashion show as part of the local Campfire Girls meeting. They had to come up with their own outfits, so Jake chose my black slinky dress with cascading turquoise beads. I had only worn it one time - on the cruise that I went on a few years ago. It was a sight to behold! He wore his turquoise-topped cowboy boots, and stuck a fake flower in his ear. I did not attend, but heard from many that they were a RIOT!!!! Ah, that's my boy!!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


After school today, I thought I better check on the welfare of the calves we cut last night... I walked down to the tank with the dogs to see if they were down sign. I then cut up and across the "henhouse" pasture and found Tuff tracking down the first Texas Horned Toad of the season! Zack scooted over and saved it from an uncertain, early death. Medium size, tan, spiky, and very docile. The poor thing probably thought this was the end of the road. He had made it through the winter to simply emerge from underground into the jaws of death!



After the photo shoot, I released him back where we found him. (for those PETA members that may be reading...)

I crossed the fence to the west toward the other tank. As I neared the tank where the creek merges with it, AGAIN, I saw Tuff with something in the grass. He grabbed it in his mouth and it squeaked. I quickly grabbed his collar and found a baby cottontail rabbit between his teeth. He released it, but was still interested in chomping on it, so I had to keep walking with it in my hand so that I could "fake him out" soon as he ran up ahead, I ran back and put the bunny in the clump of grass that was near where I found him.
The dogs were steadily hunting and sniffing and running and pouncing on stuff in the grass.

I found the cows up in the far corner of the pasture and all seemed well!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010


The weekend brought a slight fever, runny nose, aches and sore throat...this dang wind that constantly gusts across the plains must have brought something that my body didn't like too well. I didn't even go to church...that's bad! Monday morning brought a call-in to the school secretary requesting reinforcements in the form of a substitute. It was granted and I was able to lay low most of the day.

At 2:00 sharp, I entered the examine room of a great general surgeon here in Vernon - Dr. T. I was prepped and ready for my procedure. I had a smallish raw sore at the base of my neck - that hadn't healed in probably close to 2 years! I knew I had to have it removed, but never got around to it...ya know how that goes. Today was the day. As I lay on the examining table with my disposable blue paper "blouse", Dr. T entered and we engaged in an enlightening conversation about what was about to take place. The sore, he said, had to come off and had to be sent off to the lab for testing. It was only about the size of a pea, so I really never thought it was much to bother with...anyway, I was glad that I was finally having it looked after. It didn't take too long, and the only part that hurt was the needle that stuck in my neck and injected the deadening fluid. After that - it was a piece a' cake! Although I did bleed like a stuck pig, I didn't feel a thing. He had to close it up with 5 stitches and here's what I am hauling around with me now... The incision is a good 2 inches long! We'll see what the test results show...if it's skin cancer or not. It makes me regret all of those many times that I abused my skin in the past...

Then, 2 1/2 hours later, I was sitting in my family physician's office to see if he could do something to help this sinus junk that I picked up from somewhere... I am so thankful for medicine, doctors and the availability and freedom to take care of illness when necessary.

By the morning, I was better (well enough to face the friendly faces of my little friends at school). The morning shower water stung the incision, so it wasn't a very injoyable waking up. School went fine and as the day progressed I returned to normal function.

After supper, we decided to cut the remaining calves and with Jake returning home after work right at that same time, we gathered ropes, gloves, pour-on wormer and some cubes to lure the calves into the pen. It worked, Dyke wormed the cows in the pen and I wormed the longhorns and a couple that outsmarted the lure and remained outside the gate. (The longhorns have learned not to like Dyke at all, so with a few cubes poured on the grass, I was able to basically walk up to them and pour on the wormer while they ate.)

Once they were wormed and settled down, we let the cows out and kept the calves back, so that we could castrate. It got a little "western" when the ropes were thrown and the bull doggin' was on! I stayed by the fence, ready to climb at a moment's notice,afraid that I'd rip my stitches out if I got too involved...I left the wrestlin' to the guys! The sun was on its way down, so we were racing the clock...
All in all, only one calf was almost on the "too big" side...300 pounds of wild, raw bull was enough to man-handle in one night! Of course, I did the honors, while Zack squeeled as if it was happening to him! One set of nuts was as long as a dollar bill and almost as long as my knife (so I just had to get a picture!) The dogs slurped them down in one gulp! By then it was too dark to do much more outside, so we headed in for baths and bed!

Fudge and her new calf (2 days old) wanted no part of this rodeoing...and headed to the lower pasture before the "cube lure" got the best of her! Her calf will be ready to cut by the end of school...we're not waiting until it's 300 pounds! The nuts are actually easier to grab and pull when they're so big like that, but without a squeeze chute, it can get pretty hairy takin' 'um down.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


It seems that ever since the winter drew its last breath,the days started to whisk by...before I have realized it, one week, two weeks and three weeks have blown behind us! Jake's graduation is steadily approaching and I truly don't know if I am ready for it!By making his own blueprints, Jake designed and built, from scratch, his new "Ranch-hand" pickup grill-guard. His skills and abilities to make meticulous measurements and weld in such a precise manner, has opened up his creative eye. He really enjoys making things by welding, cutting and designing whatever is needed. His job at the local feedstore (after school) has become such a cauldron of creativity, cognizance and commitment! David, the owner of the feedstore operation, has imparted vast amounts of knowledge and hands-on exeriences for both Jake and Zack. Both boys work for him on the weekends and are planning to work throughout the summer. They both truly enjoy what the job has to offer and the way that David facilitates their daily lessons in wiring pick-ups, welding, mechanics, and various and numerous creative projects! Dyke and I are so thankful for David and his wife Pauline and how they have provided such an amazing learning environment for them.

With turkey season in full tilt, Zack has moved his focus off of duck hunting. He is obsessive with his passion for ducks...I haven't quite figured it out yet. His new "afterschool" duty (after his chores are finished) is trying to keep the blackbirds from creating a rookery (The term is applied to the nesting place of birds, such as crows and rooks, the source of the term.)in the tree above Dyke's game warden truck, where their scat accumulates and disintegrates the paint. So he and Penny sit out by the chicken pen trying to reduce the number of birds that land there.

He created decoys up in the trees, by tying the dead blackbirds to the limbs.


Penny sits at eager attention waiting to retrieve the birds on command.

Every once in a while, we fellowship in the evening with dancing, eating and visiting! It was my first Round Up and I can't wait until the next one! Great music by the church band, perfect dance floor by pushing the chairs back on the stained concrete, pot luck supper of sandwiches, chips, dips, desserts, name it, it was there!

Tony, one of the lead guitarists, a bulldogger on the rodeo circuit and is currently working on cutting his first CD in a recording studio up in the panhandle. His voice is amazing and his music is filled with spirit, soul and praise for Jesus!


Dyke, his brother (game warden in Wichita County to our east) and Zack...discussing Pie Balds.

EVER SEE A PIE BALD CATFISH BEFORE??? I had only heard of it with paint horses...