Sunday, August 31, 2014

Moving Cows on a Wonderfully Rainy Day

You know that we are desperately in need rain.  Every time we have a cattle drive means that we come home covered in dust.  Somewhere there always seems to be a trough that runs dry.  The feed is so dry and not so palatable (not that I would want to eat yucky dry crusted wheat!) that those blasted cows are out all the time.  That all equals some pretty intense praying and praying for rain.

We have had a great answer to those prayers.  In the last two weeks we have had 3 inches of rain.  THREE!  Its been amazing!  There was so much rain that we were having flash floods... all over our freshly cut hay.  With the fields so wet we couldn't even haul out the bales... with out getting stuck.  We found that out the hard way.  There was so much debris and water coming down that we had some intense back hoe work to be done to get the water following in fine fashion again.  The ground was so saturated that any bit of rain turned into a flood.

But we were so thankful for the rain that none of that mattered.  It didn't even matter that we had hundreds of cows to move seven long miles... we are just so happy for the rain!  It was muddy and cold... but so wet!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Love me a Little Rodeo

Naturally, I love rodeos. Everything about them.  I love the crazy rough stock (occaisionally I cheer for them instead of the cowboy) and I love to see a good ride.  I love fast roping, especially now that I have a new appreciation for the art since I started.  I even love the crazy rodeo clowns and their terrible, intermittent jokes.  And as terrible as it is, I love watching the bull fighters run for their lives! 

There is just something about the energy in the air at a rodeo that makes me smile.

I guess there is one thing that I don't love... That's the terrible lighting at a night rodeo.  I just never manage to get good pictures by the end of the show.  Especially when I don't have all of the equipment I would love to have or I don't have close up access (but I'm really ok not being in the arena with those crazy critters!). 

Never the less, I do have some fun, great photos from the IMPRA Rodeo when it came to town!


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bringing the Party Home- Team Branding in Malad

Team branding.  By this time of the summer we are counting down how many are left.  If the heifers could count, I'm pretty sure that they, too, would be on the count down.  The team branding for our fair has to be one of the favorites for me.

Part of it is because we don't have to travel a long ways.  Phew... For once the stock contractor doesn't out drive the cowboys.  But the best part that since it is local we see so many of our great friends and neighbors!  Normally at the end I am just praying for these things to get over because we are all tired, cranky, bored, and someone has most likely gotten hurt.  But not in Malad. I'm so stinking busy doing fair board stuff, helping with the heifers, taking pictures, visiting with friends and watching my own kids.  Scratch that last one... with so many friends around, everyone else is playing with my babies that it seems like I hardly see them!

Prepare yourselves for a lot of pictures.  Not all are that fantastic... I blame the light and the timing.  If only I could be in charge of the timing of this shin-dig... But alas, I'm not.  So deal with it.  I would rather share these photos that might not be my best than not show them at all! :)

Click "Read more" for the other pictures...

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Day at the Races

This last week was kinda a big deal for me.  It was fair week.  Normally I only hang out at the fair to support the kids and watch the rodeos.  I have no babies doing projects yet and even though I enter some pictures, nothing is really high stakes.  Being on the fair board this year meant that fair was a whole new ball game this year.  And I am so happy to report that not only did we survive it but we rocked it!  I don't think that I had a single melt down and The Rancher still loves me.  Sure I heard a few grumbles of the incompetency of the fair board and I did have one lady take a go at me... But we are still in one piece and after a few days of napping I think I'm ready to go again!

We always start the Oneida County Fair with the horse races.  I wasn't able to go to the first weekend of races because we were too busy playing wedding with The Buckaroo.  (Ps, anybody want to hear about that?  Good, because you will... later...).  The next weekend I was sure to make it to the track.  Especially since I have never EVER been to a race.  It would be a good idea to know what we are talking about when we get the "races" part of the agenda.

By the time the races were done I had a few things figured out, like only cut through the beer gallery if you aren't in a hurry.  Nothing crazy happened this year (last year the man in the water truck got a great show from the ladies...) but there are always funny comments or people making a fool of themselves.

Most of the jockeys were Mexican and I would have given anything for a Spanish/English dictionary (or just The Rancher available for translation at all times!) to hear what their little wives were telling them.  I knew just enough to know when they were saying they were so proud or the times when they were telling them to man up.  But you might not need any translating for that...

I know for next year that if you want a good spot to watch and take pictures you better park your can for the duration.  There's no calling "place-back" or "saved-spot".  To that end I don't have tons of pictures.  I used my charm to peek my camera through the track gate just after the finish line to get a few fun shots.  But even then there were some crazy ladies hovering over me that got a little too close for this girl's comfort!

These horse are incredible and crazy at the same time.  They are so fast and strong and wound up SO TIGHT!  The race is only a quarter of the track, but we need the rest of it to get the darn things stopped.  I like to watch them, but I don't want to take them home!  Hmmm, that's what I say about other people's kids...

Before I let you go (because you are totally enthralled with my awesome whit, right?) I have one more funny to share.  As a member of the fair board I helped present the winners with a horse blanket in the winner's circle and smile for a picture.  By the last race I had learned that I just hold out the blanket and the families with the trainer, jockey, and owner quick jump in and hold it.  As I went to step back this man grabbed me around the waist, "Oh no, pretty lady!  You stay her by me!"  Ok man, I'll stand here.  I'll flatter you for the sake of the picture and maybe it will keep you quiet.

But oh boy he kept going, "You want a beer?" "No, I'm good" "Soda? Water?  I buy for you pretty girl!"  I should have asked if it was ok to invite my husband... Maybe then he would have let go for the picture.  Lets just say that he had a great time in the beer gardens and was having an even better time that they had just won!  Then there was something about showing the picture to his girlfriend of him by a pretty blonde...  And that he was sure we would have to ask for forgiveness.  All I could think was, "Take the darn picture already- his hands are sweaty!"  What a great way to initiate The Rancher's Wife to a day at the races!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Haying on the Ranch

The Rancher is out baling tonight.  I told him that I was going to bed... but I have some pictures that just need to be put.  Its 10:30 pm and he's out baling, while I'm in bed writing about it.

We started second crop last week, slowly.  We have been blessed rain this week.  Not a lot, but enough to slow down progress.  We did have a little hay down-its what happens when the weather man cries wolf too many times.  He says that its going to rain, it doesn't, we cut hay.  Most of the time that works out but not this week.

94.7% of the time we have to work around Mother Nature's unplanned schedule.  We work around the storms, rake and clean up after the wind, and bale at night when the dew is on (or should be on...  Its why I never have baling pictures!). We could just do it when things are convenient.  The boys would get a lot more sleep, but we believe in doing things right.  Even when Mother Nature tries to throw a kink in the mix.   

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

2014 Stone Rodeo

Raise your hand if you have heard of the Stone rodeo.  Ok, don't really.  Someone is going to think you are crazy... but good for you if you have!  If you haven't, now you are!
The Stone rodeo, practically a Holy Day in this area.  Stone, Idaho is the tiny gathering of homes and ranches near Snowville, Utah and good ol' Holbrook.  The community is so small that there isn't a single church, bar, post office, or gas station.  But any good town full of cowboys will have some rodeo grounds!  But don't let the small town setting make you think that this isn't a quality rodeo.  Or the fact that the square arena is closer to an egg shaped!  Amateur rodeo or not, they ride hard, rope hard, and sometimes fall hard!
These rodeo grounds are used just the two nights of the Stone rodeo.  Now days the bleachers are all permanent, but back in the day they had to haul in seating.  Except for those that bring their own, and I don't mean a camp or lawn chair.  Days before the rodeo, the arena is lined with pick-ups reserving their spot and getting them front row seats! 
The events at the rodeo are entertaining for everyone to watch or participate.  We have roping for all the hometown cowboys, rough stock for the crazies and dreamers (aka The Buckaroo), milk calves for the kids, and wild horse riding for the brave (or drunk...)!   Every year I can guarantee two nights of hand-clapping-side-ache-laughing-country-good-time-fun!