Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Well, it started out as a gorgeous, cool Sunday morning...Jake's home from college...I can't believe he's a Sophomore now!MOM...I'M HOME....CAN YOU DO MY LAUNDRY?

As I looked out over the wheat in front of the house, I realized how devastating this drought has affected the crop...usually, the wheat is hip high, and this year's crop is not even knee-high!

Of course the cacti can handle the drought and are still able to bloom and grow!

One of our 5 mature trees died, so Dyke cut it down and we now have next winter's wood already curing!

The drought didn't seem to stop this hen from sittin' on her clutch...but she sure didn't like me flashing the camera at her!

The biggest and most obvious victim of the drought is our tank...the fish will need to be caught and transported to another tank in order to looks like a puddle!

Changing the subject, my two saddle pals have been training Nestor the Christmas Donkey to pull a cart and have entered their rig in the annual rodeo parade, which is this afternoon. (pictures to come...)

Being that it was a cool Sunday morning and Jake was home, I decided that it would be the perfect time to get the calves cut and worm the cattle for the summer, so I sent out and started hollering for them and pretty soon all 30 of 'um were lined out and following me to the barn...

It's amazing what a sack of cubes and some high pitched hollering will do...they all just sauntered into the pen and started their brunching!

All but one calf and 3 heifers...Dyke was convinced that we could get them in the pen as well, but as usual, I was right and HE was wrong....
We planned and executed an on-foot roping strategy with one son driving them to the barn and the other hiding in the shadows with the rope ready to slip a loop over the calf...
As I thought, it was highly unsuccessful. That lead to a cross-country chase once Dyke pushed them too much with the 4 wheeler, so I saddled up Ed and headed out to help. As Dyke pushed them up to the barn, I decided to stand at the bottom of the draw where they come and go to the barn - keeping them from getting back out into the pasture. Well, that all was well and good until one dang heifer decided to run her way past me to get to the freedom of the wide open spaces...well, on her way down the draw, she caught her leg in the hot wire gate that I had pulled back out of the way, to avoid such a catastrophe...spastic and wild, she got that wire pullin' with her as she ran down the draw toward me. I thought for sure, but the time she reached me, it would sling off of her foot...but for once, I was wrong... the wire transferred and slung (is that a word?) off of her legs and wrapped around Ed's front legs! When I look back at it now, it seems like it happened in slow motion...Ed exploded in a series of bucks, crow hops and wildness! Trying to gain control, but knowing that I was not going to stay afloat very long, I just remember baling off on the right side, just in time to avoid impalement on a hot wire post. Ed continued his dance while I lay in the dirt with my leg torqued back in one of those "track stretches", that were outlawed long since my High School track career ended. The boys, who witnessed the entire performance, came running down the draw calling me "Woman of Snowy River"...I was still seeing stars, so my responses were slim to none. Dyke roared up on the 4 wheeler and said that he knew something went awry when he saw Ed, still bucking, but no passenger! He wanted to cut my boot off before my ankle swelled up inside, but somehow I was able to pull it off. I got on the 4 wheeler and headed up to the barn to soak my foot in the trough. The water was cold and even though the throbbing hadn't commenced yet, I was hoping that the cold water would keep the swelling at bay. They all took off to get the runaways back in our pasture, as they had plowed through the fences and were out on the road. After about 15 minutes of soaking, I knew I had to get to the house to find the old crutches that we've kept around since Jake broke his legs 3 times in elementary school! I was able to hop about 15 feet to the horse trailer and drag a 1x4 piece of lumber out of the burn pile, to use as a crutch of sorts...I felt like I was back in the pioneer days, but was glad that I wasn't having to fight Comanches while I "poled" my way around the really wasn't helping much and I was getting splinters in my hand, so I ditched the piece of wood and got down on all fours and crawled the rest of the way, carefully holding my ankle up in the air. The cats immediately ran over and were pluming their tails and arched backs in my face as I crept along at their level. Silky, white whisps of cat hair stuck to the sweat on my forehead. Finally, I made it to the steps at the door and became vertical again...hopping was the only way now and I prayed I wouldn't trip and fall. I made it to the closet under the staircase and thought I could just grab the crutches and be on my way, but it was black as pitch in there, so I had to hop back to the kitchen to get a flashlight. Squeezing my good foot among the stocks of about 20 guns that rested in that closet, I was able to shine the light to the back and VOILA - there they were! I could hear the angels singing and lots of Hallelujas and I think the clouds even parted! HA! Somehow, I used the broom handle to hook the crutches and drag them from the depths of the closet. There were 2 pair, so after some quick measuring, I found the best pair for me and I took a deep breath and just hung my armpits on them. What an ordeal! Damn heifer! There was still work to be done, so I headed back out to the pens and waited about 20 more minutes for Dyke and the boys. Parched, I took a swallow from the hose that fed the trough...I knew that probably wasn't the best water to ingest, but I didn't have a choice. Finally they all returned and we could continue to get these cattle sorted, worked and released.

Zack brought me the first Horned Toad of the season - I think as a peace offering for all of the whoopin' and hollering and "Woman from Snowy River" comments...

Dyke and Jake wormed them with pour-on wormer.

They sorted the cows, leaving only the bull calves in the pen...then it was time to work...

Jake, Zack and Dyke caught, flanked and held the calves down and I hobbled in on my trusty crutches to do the castrating. I was thankful that they were small calves. Once cut, I'd "crutch up" again and hobble to a safe spot before they released the calf. Luckily we only had to do that 6 times and we were done.

Jake's peace offering was an old, sweat-stained, lace-up ankle brace that he used in High School Football. It did it's job and gave my ankle more support.

It was a job well done and I was glad to have that checked off the list!

Later in the afternoon, I decided that I better call in "sick", so they could have a sub set up for in the morning. The next day, I went to the doctor, had it x-rayed and was given the order of staying off my feet for 1 week! I am glad that I had this picture in my camera, as I will miss my kids this next week!

This is kinda a wierd extension of my blog, but this picture of the Navy Seals that stormed in on Bin Laden, was sent to me, and it just made me proud of our troops, proud to be an American and thankful that we live in the best nation of the world! (Oh yeah, the xrays showed NO BREAKS, so for that too, I am thankful!) God Bless!!

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