Friday, April 2, 2010

Another day of work...

This is the view from my rear view mirror...yes, I am the cow's equivalent to the "Ice cream truck." haha

I was out working at sunrise and I had to snap a picture or two...

It has been a busy few days...
I went to a bull sale in Alvarado to buy some more bulls for the ranch. I always enjoy these type events but I also often feel a bit like a worm in a punch bowl. I am usually one of the only females at these events and often time I find that men do not take me seriously because I am a girl.

I also had to gather a pasture of cows and "work" their calves... this involves castrating the males, giving all of them an injection of a vaccine that protects them from many form of Clostridium, giving them a growth implant and notching their ear so we know they have been "worked." The cows also receive 2 to "deworm" them and one to protect them against reproductive diseases. I try to gather as many as possible into a small "trap" (a 5 acre pasture)but there are always a few who won't cooperate and so they have to be gathered the good ol fashioned horse back.

I also had to gather a pasture of cattle that have newborn babies because some of the babies got scours (diarrhea) and one calf died. I had to give the calves that were really sick a shot of antibiotics and a bolus (giant Imodium pill for cattle) and the others a vaccination to prevent them from catching the scours.

I will be gathering yet another pasture of cattle in the next weeks to wean and sell their calves.

....the work of a rancher is never done.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Ant and the Grasshopper

MODERN VERSION: The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving.

CBS, NBC , PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so? Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing, 'It's Not Easy Being Green...' ACORN stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, "We shall overcome." Then Rev. Jeremiah Wright has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake. President Obama condemns the ant and blames President Bush, President Reagan, Christopher Columbus, and the Pope for the grasshopper's plight. Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government Green Czar and given to the grasshopper.The story ends as we see the grasshopper and his free-loading friends finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which, as you recall, just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around them because the grasshopper doesn't maintain it.The ant has disappeared in the snow, never to be seen again. The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident, and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the ramshackle, once prosperous and once peaceful, neighborhood. The entire Nation collapses, bringing the rest of the free world with it.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote in 2012.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Babies...

One of my favorite parts of ranching is getting to see the results of hard work in person. Many people probably think you just throw a cow out in the pasture and put a bull out there and voila you get calves...but it's not quite that simple.

First you have to have the right kind(breed) of cow for the climate, the kind of cattle you want to produce...etc. Then you have to have the right kind(breed) of bull to cross with the cow to get the kind of offspring you desire.

For our program I picked cross bred cows (means they are mixed breed) with Brahman influence. Brahman cattle have large ears (helps them with the summer heat,) they are naturally bug resistant and they are very protective mothers (good for us since we have coyotes that would like to eat the babies.) Most of our cows are black in color but I also have some tiger stripe, red and red baldy cows. So in order to get a uniform group of calves (meaning they all look similar...this makes them more valuable when you are selling a large group) I was somewhat limited on the breed of bull I could use. I ultimately picked Charolais bulls. They are whit and will usually produce a white or tan calf not matter what color the cow is. Charolais are also very meaty and grow really quickly. Which is good since Brahman influenced cattle tend to be on the lighter muscled side and slower growing.

I went to 2 bull sales last year and bought bulls I was very proud of. I finally have my first group of babies on the ground from those bulls which brings me back to what I was originally's so neat to see all that work come to fruition.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Storm Rolling in...

I was out doing some work on the ranch...feeding some cattle and putting out mineral and salt and caught these pictures of a storm rolling in.

This past week was bitter sweet. My dear Aunt Barbara lost her valiant fight with complications from her cancer treatment. These pictures of the storm clouds kind of represent the mood many of the family have been in. As I was driving home from a few days spent with the family in College Station a song came on the radio that touched me in light of the loss we all feel. I have heard the song hundreds of times but it really hit home. Below are a few lines from that song.

"Sitting with Mama, alone in her bedroom, she opened her eyes then squeezed my hand, she said I have to go now, my time here is over and with her final breath she tried to help me understand, Mama whispered softly time will ease your pain, life's about changing, nothing ever stays the same. She said how can I help you to say goodbye? It's OK to hurt and it's OK to cry...come let me hold you and I will try can I help you to say goodbye?" ~Patty Loveless

I know my dear Aunt was taking care of her girls and my Uncle...even in her suffering. She made sure they were home with all their loved ones around them before she went to be with God. We all loved her and she will be forever missed.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mardi Gras

So....I had my first Mardi Gras experience...I must is AWESOME!!

I want to live in Cajun-ville...

This is to speak....

and her sister ....Amy aka "Curtains"!!!!!!!

Dumb and Dummer!!!!!!!

We had fun!!

I Love Mardi Gras!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

TV and other stuff

Sorry I have neglected my blogging for a few days...I got swamped!

Last week on Wednesday I had to take all 6 of our working horses to the vet to have their "annuals" done. In the process of unloading the horses "Critter" got a bit excited and he and I had a battle of wills and my fingers on my left hand lost. So I am typing minus a few fingers. (They aren't gone just sore and swollen)

Then I had a full day in San Angelo on Wednesday buying all the supplies and groceries for the weekend full of hunters.

On Thursday I had to feed cattle and finish moving the herd I started earlier in the week. Then I got cleaned up and headed to the airport in Brady to pick up 6 guys who we entertained for the weekend.

I played the roll of guide and cook all weekend. That meant 3 18 hour days...I was pooped!

But the bright light in the weekend was getting to see my girl, Dawn, and that is what this post is really about.

Let me introduce Dawn:

Dawn is my partner in crime so to speak...

I met Dawn a little over a year ago and quickly realized I had met myself in another body...literally.

Dawn and I have dreams of a hunting/outdoor adventure television show. We have been gathering footage since last fall and are in the process of trying to get enough footage to put a pilot together. We have a few leads on a station that might be interested in picking up a new outdoor "fingers crossed."

Anyway... we have a few ideas for a name but as of right now our favorite is "Another hunting show...only prettier." Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!!

So long for now....more pictures later!

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Homemade Chili Recipe

I made homemade chili for supper tonight and I thought I would share my quick easy recipe with you.

In a skillet I browned 1 pound of ground axis meat and 1 pound of ground turkey breast. (You can use ground beef instead of the axis...I just had axis on hand and it is super lean and healthy!)

I added to the browning meat:

2 T. Cumin
3 t. Garlic Powder
2 t. Paprika
4 T. of Chili powder
1 t. Oregano
and salt and pepper to taste (which equals a lot in my book!)

Meanwhile I had my crock pot heating up. I poured the browned meat into the crock pot and added 1 small chopped onion, 1 beef bullion cube, 1 small can of tomato paste and 1 can of diced tomatoes (rotel can be used if you like it spicier...I have to feed it to my kids so we went with diced tomatoes.) Then I added 2 Cups of HOT water. Stir and leave it for at least 5 hours in the crock pot.

I served it over Frito's with shredded cheese over it for the kids. I like mine with sour cream on it and I eat it with brown rice. Yummy! Warms you from the inside out on a cold winter day!