Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A new path

Those of you that follow my page on Facebook have seen my comments and posts dealing with a science class that I am currently enrolled in that has taken a not so pleasant turn. During the class discussions the topic of farmers, ranchers, meat production, pesticides and genetically modified crops has come up. Rather than the class engage in meaningful and constructive conversation it quickly turned into blame the farmer and rancher for everything from childhood diseases to global warming to the world food "problem". These attacks as they came to be left me defending an entire industry in those discussions.
It also got me thinking that I need to get back to my blog and add a new path to it. One of sharing not only my store, but that of other farmers and ranchers out there. We all have different reasons for doing what we do. Some where raised doing this and can't imagine doing anything else for a living. Some of us fell into this by accident and then there are those of us that are still trying to figure out how we got involved! What matters is that we all have a tale to tell and it need to be told, before our way of life is gone.

So starting in the next few weeks I will be featuring some guest posts by those willing to share their story, either through words or pictures. If you are wanting to share your thoughts, stories, or pictures please leave me a comment or visit my Facebook page and leave me a comment or message.

Don't worry I will be getting back to posting pictures of my own too, some posts from me and of course recipes still, but there will be more on here helping to educate those who do not know our world, just what it is that we really do on a daily basis.

Here is a great pic of our oldest helping dad get the water tank set up. She was the only one small enough to crawl in and hold the spout inside!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Okay so yesterday I wrote about one of my chickens hatching a brood of chicks. She has finally let me get around her with a camera so here are the whole 3 pictures she let me have before she tucked them back under her!

For those that are wondering, yes this is the same hen that sat on eggs and hatched some during this last winter that never came.

Also here are some pictures of our puppy, who is not this small any more!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Branding, Babies and Independent Consultant

Well it is branding time here. The hubby and our oldest daughter spent this past weekend branding at the ranch that my father-in-law manages just outside of Flagstaff, Arizona. It was a long and hot two days for them and they were very glad to be back home.
Now we turn around and do the same thing here this week and weekend. Tomorrow will be spent getting all the water tanks ready and filled, double checking all the fencing for the pasture that the cows will be in for the next week. Thursday will bring the first day of gathering for the hubby, our oldest and a few friends that are coming out to help, picture taking for me (and yes I will share them). Friday we will go back for any cows and calves that got left behind from the previous day and the final count will occur. Also on Friday our friends Tori and Tracy and their 3 kids will be arriving for their first branding! Can't wait for them to get here as we always have a great time when they come for a visit. Wish our other friends, the Merkley's could come also, but their oldest son has his final dance competition that same weekend.

Saturday will bring a very early morning here at the ranch as the guys and both girls head out to gather the cows in the small holding pasture and push them to the corrals for branding. Then the hard work begins. I of course will be sure to take lots of pictures and share with everyone!

My chicken that hatched babies earlier this year is once again a momma! This time she has 3 little ones following her around and peeping at everything. I have one more momma still sitting on her eggs and she should be ready to hatch sometime next week I figure. Looking forward to watching the babies grow this spring and summer. Waiting to get some pictures, but the momma is keeping them close to her and does not like anyone to come around. Hope to have pictures in the next few days to share.

I am now in my last education class before I student teach in the fall and I can not wait to be done with everything! It has been three years this month that I went back to college to get my degree in education and I am more than ready to be done! Now just wondering if I will even be able to get a job teaching, what with all the cuts still taking place.

With that worry over my head I have become an independent consultant for Shelf Reliance Food Storage company. What is that you ask? Well it means that I get to go to peoples houses that have scheduled a party and share with everyone about Shelf Reliance food, their shelving systems and emergency supplies. In other words I get paid for talking! Those of you who know me you know that is an easy thing. So if anyone would like more information on food storage, making meal time prep shorter and no more wasted food, there is a link on the side of my blog that will take you to my Shelf Reliance website or just use the link here.

Finally I also have grass growing in my front yard for the first time in 5 years! It is coming in good and looks like by the end of summer I will have a nice patch of grass for a change. Now just have to finish up the garden and get it planted next week and I will be all done with my projects for the spring!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A new month

So March was not a good month for us here and I was not sorry to see it go. April on the other hand has started out much better and I have all intentions of it finishing that way!

The cows are still having their calves and it looks to be a good crop this year. We have gotten a few snow storms and one good thunderstorm the other afternoon.

We have added a puppy to our house, a blue heeler, which my two cats are not happy about. But they will learn to live with it.

This last weekend we were able to finally get the ground tilled up in the front yard and some grass seed planted. Also got my flower bed made and ready to go when the flowers come to our local stores. Now just trying to decide what type of flowers to put in there!

Have the garden all planned out, trying a new spot for me, but one that the family has used in the past with good success. Spending some time this week getting the fence fixed back up and till the ground up with the tractor. Then come May 1st the seeds go in the ground! I am determined to get this garden thing figured out here. I would be doing good if I could just keep the rabbits and squirrels out and let the plants get up and going.

I have also started on a new business opportunity and I'm enjoying that very much. I'm able to still stay at home, go to school and work my sewing business while helping to bring in some extra money, which on a ranch is always needed!

I have even managed to find some time to cook lately. It seems this past winter I was hardly in the kitchen at all and I have missed cooking and sharing recipes with everyone. So start looking for some great summer recipes to share with your family around the backyard and the grill.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Guest Post with Fairchild Farmgirl

I was recently asked by fellow blogger and ag mom to write a funny tale of something that happened to me as a ranch wife and about how crazy our lives can be sometimes. The story that ended up being the one is of when I broke my finger bottle feeding a calf. Yes that is right I broke a bone feeding a calf a bottle! You can read that story by visiting Farichild Farmgirl's blog.

That is not the only time that life has gotten crazy around here. Here are a few more examples:

Life on a ranch can be crazy busy at time and just plain crazy at others. I have learned this the hard way over the last 5 years that I have been a rancher’s wife. I did not grow up on a ranch; my dad was in the military. Sure it was in Texas so I was around horses and cows and always dreamed of being a rancher’s wife. The reality however is very different from the dream, but better.

So how crazy does it get? Well when I was still working in town at the local high school the hubby called one late spring afternoon to tell me to get home, there was a wild fire moving to the bottom end of the ranch that had all of our cattle in the pasture. I’m still not sure if I told anyone why I was running out of the office in the middle of the day! I’m pretty sure I hollered, something about fire, cattle, the hubby and I have to go! Good thing about living in a small town, they are pretty forgiving on things like that.

Two years ago now, the girls and I were getting ready to head to town for a small concert at a local church when the hubby called and said to bring a bottle and towels to the pasture below the house. I knew then that we had a baby whose momma either didn’t make it or was not able to get up and we needed to take care of it until she was able. Well needless to say there went the concert, I had a calf living in my kitchen and living room for 2 weeks and then in the back yard for 3 months. That calf, Dot, is now a 2 year old heifer and will still follow me where ever I go and I can call her by name across a pasture and she will run to me!

Here is Dot just a few hours old in the kitchen

Now here she is at a year old. Still loves to be petted any chance she gets
As to the just plain crazy, well between me getting bucked off horses, breaking a finger bottle feeding a calf, getting chased by pigs, wild dogs, broken water lines, cows breaking down fences the night before branding and the morning of shipping, things can and will get a little crazy on a ranch. But if it didn’t then it wouldn’t be fun. 

The funny part is a I was writing this the other day the phone rang and it was the hubby. He and our oldest were riding the pasture and moving the cows to water when he found a calf we had been looking for since the momma had died a few days before. I was just finishing up so I could go to town, run some errands and make my lunch appointment for my business. So the little one and I loaded up in the truck and off to the pasture we went to bring the baby back to the house. Got the baby home, in the pen and all set up, cleaned up and off to town we went. You just never know what your day will bring on a ranch.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Month I'm ready to forget

There are just some days or weeks that you can't wait until they are over. I'm ready for this month to be over. It stared out okay, lots of babies coming and that is always a good thing on a ranch.
Then one of our first time momma's lost her calf. It was still born and that momma just could not understand that even though she licked her calf dry, nosed it to get up and spent hours trying it just was not going to get up. The hubby finally went down there and got the calf and momma. When he got there you could just see that momma looking at him and her baby asking him why won't mine get up like the others. We hate seeing the ones that just try for all they are worth to get a baby to make it loose the little ones. One thing we do know is that when she does have her next calf she will be a good momma.
Then as if that was not bad enough, the hubby went down to feed one afternoon and our youngest miniature pony had died. We are not sure what happened as he was not even a year old, but sometime during the day he had passed away. One of the hardest things I have ever had to do was to tell her that Gizmo was dead. Made it even harder when the hubby said he would have rather it been his favorite horse Tom, than to have to see our youngest loose her pony.
Then today a calf that we had been trying to save lost her fight. We found her on Saturday morning when we went to put out feed. The momma had left her and she was nothing but skin and bones and covered with fleas. We got her home, bathed in dog flea shampoo, dried off, brushed and some milk in her. She was doing okay, we were able to find the momma on Sunday so we put them in a pen together to see if the momma would feed the little one. Went okay for Sunday afternoon, but the cow would not eat any hay and so she stopped making milk. Then she started running over the little one. Got the momma out of there, but it was too late by then. Our poor little Chance, as we named her, just didn't have enough strength left to fight. We were trying to get her to eat this morning when she passed on. Was hard for the little one, first time she had been there when one of the animals had died. The girls picked a nice spot under a tree, wrapped Chance in a sheet and buried her.

I am ready for this month to be over. I know these are things that happen on a ranch, but it does not make them any easier to live with or through. We try so hard, take care of our "girls" as we call the herd, so it hurts to see the little ones not make it. Two in one year is a very rare thing for us so that makes it even harder. Some years we don't loose a one and those are the best years. Then situations happen that you have no control over and you loose one, it was still born, bad weather or the like. There are somethings you can't control. I just hate the ones that you think you can control what happens but no matter how hard you try or how much you pray, the outcome is not the one you want.

So I am glad that this month is almost over. We are praying that April brings not only a better month, but rain too since we are already having to haul water.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Our daily life

Well everyone is going about their business for the day. The hubby is off for the day and the girls are cleaning the house. I'm getting ready for a run to town and then back for school work and some sewing.

The baby calves are coming along nicely, mommas keep having them everyday. Not sure what we are up to now, last I heard over 25 already, about a quarter of the way through for the year.

Our winter here has been some where else this year. Worried about the spring and summer and how much water we will have already. Been so mild here that I'm already thinking about planting some cool weather veggies like lettuce, spinach, broccoli and the like. The hubby says go ahead, maybe that will make the winter come around finally! It is already almost 60 here and not even 10am! I like the mild winter for the cows and calves, just as long as the rains come in the spring and summer!

Well we are off for another day in our lives, this time of year means calves, calves and more calves.