Friday, May 31, 2013

On Vacation

A rancher is always busy... ALWAYS.  Its one of those unspoken rules that a rancher wife just gets to deal with.  There are two ways to approach it.  Either you go solo and leave the rancher behind to his chores or you chose to help out with the chores and never leave the ranch (which is what this rancher's wife usually prefers to do).  That is for about 95% of the time.  But occasionally the rancher will admit that he needs some time off of the ranch so then we quick load up the posse and head out!.

So that's what we did!  We headed to Las Vegas!

I know its the wrong time of year for a cowboy family to head that direction but there are more things than the NFR to draw us to LV.  This time my dear friend was giving her mission farewell.  She has chosen to serve as a missionary for our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  We decided that we would go support her, spend some time before she leaves for 18 months and make a whole family vacation out of it!

And that, my dear readers, is why the ranch front has been quiet- we were gone!  But I promise to make it up to you because as I said earlier, a rancher is ALWAYS busy! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Cow Dog or Coon Dog?

The Rancher has a one-in-a-million kind a of dog.  He is a darn good cow dog that has a few other skills.  Like one day moving cows I look over to see him jump onto The Rancher's horse and take a ride.  Another time I saw him riding on the motorcycle with The Rancher, hanging onto the front bars.  This silly dog is the best at loading up into the pickup, even when its date night (what an exciting third wheel!).  After Sunday we can add another skill- he can tree a raccoon!

Yes you read it right...  I'm not sure if we have a cow dog or a coon dog on our hands but look at his handy work!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Some Time Inside for The Rancher's Wife

Being a rancher's wife calls for more things than being out on the ranch.  Sometimes it requires days spent in the house.  There are the typical cleaning, laundry and cooking that The Rancher always needs done but this is how I spent my morning...

Can you guess what I did?  Here's a better look...

Yes, those are The Rancher's pants on the sewing machine (and The Rancher's Girl keeping me company in the back :) ).   I had been putting it off for a LONG time (some of them have needed to be mended for over a year!) and I got away with it because there was always another pair of jeans that didn't have any holes... until there wasn't .  I finally gave into The Rancher's request after doing a load of laundry and I realized that EVERY pair had holes... So I sat down with the sewing machine and a movie (because I knew it was going to take a while) and got to work.  In the end I mended 7 pairs of jeans and threw out 3 because they had too many darn holes.  And now maybe I can go another year before I have to mend his jeans again!  What do ya think?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spring Has Sprung

Last year it seemed that Ms. Winter hung on forever.  And when it finally let got Ms. Summer jumped right in and we didn’t have too many days to spend with Ms. Spring.  This year we have!  We have had those perfect cool and crisp mornings that warm up just enough to not worry about getting too hot (or sunburned!)  We didn’t have too many April showers but enough that we are green.  The Rancher spent some busy days doing his spring farm work planting grain and alfalfa (correction, I was just reminded that we haven’t put in the alfalfa yet… but will soon).  The sprinklers are rolled out and turned on.  We have the new spring chicks and the plum tree is beginning to get its leaves.  Yes boys and girls, this year spring is in full swing. 

The Rancher's Sister

It’s probably not too hard to imagine that I am a rancher’s sister (and a rancher’s daughter, just to throw that out there).  I grew up on a ranch and ALWAYS loved that lifestyle, so much that I always told my dad that I would marry a cowboy (doesn’t that sound so romantic?!).  To clarify, that meant a rancher cowboy not a rodeo cowboy, although I found both in The Rancher.  

Ok, side note over…  I went to visit my brother, let’s call him The Lemhi Rancher (yep, you guessed it, he lives in Lemhi!).  We were having a family gathering so the kids and I loaded up the covered wagon (aka the Tahoe), kissed The Rancher goodbye and hit the road.  The Rancher had to sit this one out because they turning the cows out onto the spring range.  Can I get a woot (that the cows are out, not that I went without The Rancher)?  

Even though we live on our own ranch and see the horses, cows, 4-wheelers, and ect. daily we always have such a great time at The Lemhi Ranchers ranch.  And he does have one thing that we don’t have… BUFFALO.  

About 4 years ago the owner decided that he wanted to add buffalo to the ranch.  Nope, they didn’t get rid of the cows…  Now they have a cattle cow-calf operation and a buffalo cow-calf operation.  As soon as The Lemhi Rancher gets done calving out the cows it is about time to calve out the buffalo.  The nature of the buffalo (can you say wild?!) changes how they do it all, in fact calving is so hands off that all they can really do is keep a good watch and monitor what’s happening.

We always like to spin through the buffalo.  This trip was a little different since they are in the middle of calving so there were tons of new babies jumping around.  Most days I will tell you that I find the buffalo to be ugly but there are times that they a sort of rugged beauty and their power is quite awe-inspiring.
And in the barn they had a special treat for us- a baby buffalo!  We walked out one night and helped The Lemhi Rancher feed the little guy.  

So even though this isn’t something happening on our ranch, it’s still fun to share some other ranching fun!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Refreshing Rain

Our little valley, like most of the area, is really suffering for rain.  We are just bone dry due to such little snow for winter 2011/2012 and only a few inches of rain last summer.  This last winter we were blessed with the snow we needed but if we don't continue to get water we will be in trouble again.  The Rancher watches the weather man every night to see if the rain will come.  Every night he prays so earnestly that we will have some moisture. 
A look at the clouds coming in from my front porch

And I think that he has bombarded heaven enough that little by little we are getting some moisture.  In fact you can see that the fields are turning green and the rain clouds are rolling in.  Its amazing, I never thought I would love rain as much as I do being a rancher's wife.  I do admit that I do have some selfish reasons for wanting rain- maybe if it rains enough, The Rancher will slow down for a day that I can see him! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Checking Water

Something you really should grasp about Locomotive is that it is a wide open desert range.  In fact, lets consult the thesaurus to really get a feel for it...  DESERT: desolate - deserted - empty - wild - barren - dull.  Yes I think that sums it all up!  Actually I am afraid to admit it into the blogosphere (because once anything is on the internet it is there forever!) but it does have a unique beauty that has really, REALLY, really grown on me.  That doesn't mean I love it, but the emptiness is somewhat peaceful. 

Ok, I got way off track... It is desert which means that there is NO water unless you make it happen, by either hauling water or digging a well.  With the number of cows and the thousands of acres they went with the latter.  This also means that it needs to be checked often to be sure that there are no malfunction because no water= bad news.  If The Rancher doesn't have plans to stay to Locomotive all day we will ride out there with him. The actual checking of the water isn't that interesting, but it is always fun to go for a ride and look for a good picture. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Heifer Haul-out

While the cows calve out in Locomotive (north of the Salt Lake), the heifers stay at the ranch to calve.  Because they are first time mommas we like to be close for if when they need help.  Once their calves are old enough we load up a semi-full and head for Locomotive.  Here's some fun trivia for you... the reason it is called Locomotive is because this is where the Transcontinental Railroad ran.  The tracks are gone but the path is still around.  The Rancher tells me that there are still some telephone poles (or something that ran with it) but I can't point them out...  Someday I will get some pictures out there!  (Road trip, anyone?)Anyway, here are some pictures from hauling the heifers out.

Wide open spaces in Locomotive

Check out The Rancher!  Sporting the HOT scruffy look
The Rancher's boy- an ever faithful sidekick, ALWAYS willing to help

Where we unload there isn't a loading chute or corrals which means we get to bring along our own

Some one set down the hot shot... Better watch out!