Monday, May 31, 2010

Moving Cows

So the other day, my cowboy had to move some cows. We drove past them earlier in the week and he said: I hope those cows don't get out.
Me: What do you mean?
Him: Well, they are used to crossing the road and going out into the field after branding.
Me: Are you serious? They would remember that from clear back, last year?
Him: Oh yeah, they are smart. They know exactly what they do and where they go. When we let them out into the mountain in the summer, they remember exactly where their water is and such.
Me: Are you kidding? I always just thought they were big and dumb. But I guess they ARE big. So they would have a big brain in their heads... Unlike goldfish. They forget every three seconds huh. It must be related to brain size, don't you think?
Him: Whatever honey.

So a few days after that conversation (my poor husband)...He came home in the afternoon and told me that they needed me to come out and flag.
Okay... so what is that?
He said, "We've got to move the cows across the highway, so I need you to come and flag traffic."
I pictured myself with an orange flag and vest, like a school crossing guard, but for cows.
I asked, "What do I do with the kids?"
He said, "You are staying in the car, you can bring them with."
So soon I found out that my job was to park alongside the highway facing oncoming traffic. I had to turn on my lights, and stick my arm out of the window and flap it. Ya know, cause that is the univesal sign to other cars that they need to slow down, cows are crossing the highway.
I had no clue, did you?
My cowboy said that everyone would know exactly what I was doing. I said, "Yeah, everyone except for any city girls that drive through. They will just wonder what that crazy person sitting on the side of the road flapping her arms, is doing. He didn't answer.

Here are all the cows waiting at the fence to move across the road. Wonder how they got them to gather right here?

Just put a truck full of hay in front of them, and they'll follow you wherever you go.

So then I drove to my post. I was to remain there for ten minutes. I parked, turned on my lights and waited for the first car.
As a white truck came around the bend, I stuck my arm out the window and started flapping, slowly. I decided that I better wave with my other arm, because as you know (if you have been reading) everyone in town waves to each other as we drive by. So I thought I better be friendly too. Good thing I did, cause I found out later that the white truck was my brother-in-law.
But anyway, I felt really goofy! hahaha. I felt like I was doing some sort of tap-your-head, rub-your-belly sort of thing.
But sure enough, everyone started slowing down. So I guess my cool moves really were a universal signal that cows were crossing the road up ahead.
Except for one girl. She came speeding around the bend, gave me a weird look, and didn't slow down. It was okay though, because enough cars in front of her were slowed down. That would have been a mess.
Soon, in the middle of my arm flapping, my husband's friend drove up to my car to tell me I was doing a great job. I told him I felt like the biggest dork in the world. He just started laughing. He said, "Don't worry, everyone knows what you are doing." I said, "I guess. It's working. "

Pretty soon I turned around. All of the cows had crossed the road except for two calves.

Who needs to ride a horse when you have a truck?

Or a ranger.


But if neither of those work, you can always try chasing them on foot.

Here are the rest of the cows in their new field.

My husband didn't get home until late that night. He commented that it took forever to catch those calves. He felt like they were chasing them all day and he was so frustrated. I had to laugh. Just because I thought, "Heck, I know what that feels like...chasing toddlers all day long!"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Moley is on Vacation...

So our cat, Moley, has gone on vacation.

You see, we gave her kitties away to a neighbor a few days ago. So now that she's not caring for them, or attending to their needs,I think she went on vacation. It's only natural. I mean, when my babies get big enough, I'm ready for a vacation. You need a little break after birthing, nursing, and caring for them for so long. When they get big enough that someone else can help take care of them, it's nice to take a little get-away.

I have not seen Moley for days. She hasn't come home at night. She hasn't even come in the garage to eat. I know that she is on vacation, and not dead, because my husband sees her about once a day out in the fields, or near the shop, catching mice. Thus, my assumptions about her being on her own little vacation. I mean, before the next pregnancy comes along, she needs a little "Moley" time. I don't blame her. I can't imagine having quadruplets. A vacation would sound nice to me too.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Denny and Sadie

Those are the horses names. Denny and Sadie. They are both female. Can you tell that I asked my husband some questions last night?

I got the up-close shots of Denny. Although I never knew that Denny was a girl name. I always thought it was a boy name. Ya know, like Denny's the restaurant? Does anyone know if it was named after a male or a female?

Anyway, Sadie is a very old horse. He said they are just waiting for her to die. She is the one in the far distance. She actually doesn't look too great right now because her "winter coat is shedding."

Denny is fat. I thought so when I was taking her pictures, but my husband confirmed it for me. I asked if anyone rides them. He said no. I asked if they were still ride-able. He said sure, Denny is. If you can catch her. He said that she's very fast and fun to ride. Even though she is fat, and even though he hasn't ridden her for years. I don't know if I can call him a cowboy anymore, if he doesn't ride a horse. This may be cause for another discussion.

Monday, May 24, 2010


So I'm back! I was gone out of town, doula-ing for a while, but I came home yesterday, and everything is back to normal. :)

So I thought it might be time to introduce you to our horses. Here I have talked about the cows for a couple of months, but I have left the horses out. There's actually a reason why I did this. I couldn't see them. Here is our first conversation about the horses:

Me: Honey, where are the horses?
Him: Ouside, in front.
Me: But I looked for them, and I couldn't see them. Aren't they supposed to be in the front yard?
Him: They are down by the sewer ponds.
Me: The sewer ponds? Okay, so I know our sewer is somewhere in our front yard, but I didn't know that we had a pond. And I still can't see them. I'm looking!
Him: That's because they are down by the city sewer ponds
Me: The city sewer ponds? Why are they down there?
Him: There's more to eat. Nothing to eat up here.
Me: Why do they have sewer ponds?
Him: Every city has sewer ponds. Ours eventually run into the creek.
Me: Uh, so watch out for the creek huh?
Him: No.. it's broken down before it goes into the creek.
Me: I never knew that about sewage....

Anyway, so they were too far away to take pictures of. I kept meaning to drive down to the sewer ponds to take pictures of them, but I never did. So while I was out of town this past weekend, my husband moved the horses back into our front yard. Now I have pictures!

Bet none of you get to have a front yard fence of barbed wire. I do, because we have horses out there.

This is how close they are to the front door. Not too close, but now ya know.

I don't know this one's name, but here is a picture of her. I think it's a "her."

I'm not sure what they do beside stand there and eat. No one rides them....and they don't get on them to herd the cattle. That's what trucks and rangers are for, right?

Thursday, May 20, 2010


So, sorry to have abandoned this blog! I've been doing a lot of doula-ing lately. In fact, right now I am here with a good friend of mine that will be having her baby soon. But I'll be posting soon! Thanks for checking in on the blog!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Night Sounds

So now that the weather is getting warmer, we can open our windows at night and enjoy the fresh air. I thought that sounded wonderful to have the fresh, country breeze to fall asleep too. So I got in bed and closed my eyes and listened to the rustle of the wind and a few crickets chirping. Then all of a sudden I heard, "Baaa!"...."Neigh, Neigh!"...."Moo!"... "Quack-Quack!" And I couldn't stop giggling. I'm not used to these nights sounds. I'm not used to going to sleep to all the animal noises, but it was quite entertaining!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


This past weekend, I've been doula-ing and sleeping! It was a great weekend. A beautiful baby girl was born early Friday morning to a happy mom and dad! It was a really neat experience, but probably one of the most challenging births I been to -as in challenging for my client. She had a lot of obstacles to get through and I was so impressed with her. She was amazing!
She delivered at the hospital that I will deliver at, after I get pregnant of course and then nine months later. :) It won't be for a little while, but as a doula, I plan these things. And now that I have been to that hospital, I know exactly what to emphasize in my birth plan. One of the topics being, "Please do not keep my baby away from me if my baby is healthy and breathing. I would like to hold her as soon as I can after she is born and not wait for her footprints to be marked on a piece of paper."


Thank you very much.

Yes, I am very passionate and opinionated about how I feel the ideal birth should be!
Hope I haven't said too much...
Post to ya later!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

You're messy!

So the little things around here really amuse me. For instance, the other day, my husband came home from working with the cows to our two kids eating dinner. Bo was so excited to see him that he ran up and started hanging on his pant legs.

He had dinner all over his hands and face. My husband commented, "Hey kid, don't touch me with your messy hands!"

I looked over at him and said, "Really honey? You already have poop on your pants.."

"Oh yeah, I guess you're right!"

Where is My Husband?

Who are you?

And what have you done with my husband?
Wedding Pictures 113

I've always thought my husband was smart, but he is VERY smart.
And I've always thought my husband was handy, but he can fix ANYTHING.
Also, I've always thought he was a hard worker, but he sweats in the sun and freezes in the snow now for hours on end.

I really thought I knew him well, but now that we are up here, I'm seeing a whole 'nother side of him that I guess I've always known existed, but I never really got to see. He LOVES farming. He loves the country. He loves being outside and working his brains out. And he knows so much. I had no idea all this knowledge of country life, farming, cows, machinery, gardening, tractors, you name it, was inside of him. Okay, I had a little idea, but now I'm so impressed. I'm getting used to this new him....the one that was buried inside of him while we were living in the city.

I've always thought he was great, but he is REALLY great.

There are still some things that I don't quite understand just yet. For instance, he deals with cows all day. Messy, dirty cows. He can shovel manure, wade through it all day, put his arm into a mama cow to try and reach her baby calf that's stuck, and not be grossed out at all. (While I AM!) Then he comes home and I ask him to change a diaper. This is what I hear from the back room. "Oh, sick!"... "This is nasty!"..."You stink, kid!"..."Blech!"..."Gross!" and on and on. About something so tiny from a baby. I mean, have you ever seen a cow pie? Shall I go take a picture for you? It's about as big as the head of the child he is changing.
And vomit? We can't even go there. He gets so sick at the sight that he almost pukes himself.

Hahahaha. I just don't get it! Although, I wouldn't trade him places. I don't want to mess with the dirty cows. So I'll stick around here and change diapers all day!

Monday, May 10, 2010


The total population sign just below our house reads "Population: 316" but someone put an "8" over the "6" making it read "Population: 318." Anyway, my cowboy and I have always debated if this is really true or not. He's always said it's an old sign and there are probably a lot more people that live here now. Well...

I just found the 2000 census information for our little town. Granted, a lot can happen in 10 years. So we'll have to see how it compares to the census results for 2010. Although I can't imagine it being that different. It's not like we have new developments and new subdivisions going in all the time. :) So here you go:


As of the census of 2000, there were 316 people, 100 households, and 80 families residing in the city .According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.3 square miles (0.8 km²), all of it land. The population density was 1,074.9 people per square mile (420.7/km²). There were 117 housing units at an average density of 398.0/sq mi (155.8/km²).

There were 100 households out of which 45.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 72.0% wer emarried couples living together, 6.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.0% were non-families. 19.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.16 and the average family size was 3.65.

My husband's family size was off the charts then at 11! But we are doing pretty good now, at a household size of 4.

So...I just want to state for the record that what I usually say is actually true: There are more cows here than people. (Remember we have about 300 cows alone.) And many more farmers around here have cows. It's what they do. I'd LOVE to get the total population of cows! Now wouldn't that be interesting.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hot Irons and Cheerios

So I went out to the feed lot to get some pics for my blog. I've watched the guys brand cows before, but it's been about 5 years. Back when I was only dating my husband. So ya know, I wanted to be cool and come outside and be part of the experience. Ever since then, I've been married and have stayed inside to take care of the kids and chat with the sister-in-laws. At least the ones that didn't want to go out and brand.

Anyway, I slightly remembered the process.

First they have to separate the mama and baby cows. I wish I would have gotten a video of that, but they were just finishing up as I got there. There's a lot of yelling, poking, hitting, hissing, running, arms flapping, sticks flying - it's great to watch. In fact, my little five year old nephew told me this morning."You know what my favorite thing to do on the farm is? Chasing cows. I get to do it again today!" Yep, it's a family affair and all the little kids are invited too.

Anyway, once they separate the baby cows...

from the mama cows...
IMG_5235 gets very noisy. Neither side is very happy about the separation. I completely understand. No mama likes to be separated from her baby! Especially if it's nursing time! And no mama likes to see her baby have to get their first shots. That's no fun either. Here's a little sample of how it sounds up here right now, and how the mama cows try and get as close as they can to the babies. Here are some mad mama cows!

So after they are separated, on nephew chases them up this little chute...(okay I don't really know the vocabulary here, so I'm giving you the city-girl interpretation).

Then the other guys squeeze the calf into some other thing, that I don't know what to call. See his little bum?

And his little head?

Then another nephew gives him his first shot.

Then I heard someone said, "Heffer or bull?"

So I turned to a brother in law and asked him if they were castrating today. He said, "Nah, just cheerio-ing... Do you know what that is?

Oh yeah. I think I remembered. I said, "It's like that elastic band they put on them which eventually causes it to fall off?"


And then I remembered what happened to all the placentas that drop around here (nothing)... and so I asked, "So...they just drop whenever, wherever....all over the place."


I will leave it at that. No lie.

I apologize to you city folk, but I'm just telling it as it really is!"

Moving on, please. Oh, but first, a picture. After this conversation, my other brother in law came over to show me a "cheerio." They are very supportive of my blog. Thanks.

And my husband performed the next procedure.


Okay, so now we are really moving on. To the actual branding part. The nephew gets the iron in place...

And then...

Let me tell you, it stunk. I had to move after I took that shot!

All done calf! Now go find your mama! They let them loose and out the run. I followed one to take his picture and I got this face. This is what he thinks of us now.

Then I left. When my cowboy got home that night he said, "Honey, you missed the most eventful part. Some of them were too big so we just had to cut them off."

End of story.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Branding Time

It's branding time! Yep, the cowboys are taking all their new calves and putting a hot iron on their rumps to distinguish whose is whose, I guess. Is that the reason why? Maybe I should ask.
I also think this is also the time of the fated castration. I would be out there taking pictures for you, but I have a terrible sinus infection and I feel like my head is the size of a cow, so I haven't made it outside there yet. Maybe later on. If not, I will assign my cowboy or his brother to take some pictures for your viewing pleasure. So what are you doing this weekend?


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Small Town Planning

A couple of guys from town, stopped by the other night to talk to Ladd. I had to tell them he was at a "Ditch Meeting," and I couldn't do it without laughing.Which seemed to amuse them, since they know I am from the city.

They told me that not too many city girls move up here. So we started talking about city life and country life. They joked that ya have to plan more when you live in a small town. Cause you have to plan when to go to the store, what to get, etc. Then they thought about it and said, "But ya know, in the city, you have to plan when to drive on the streets, and what direction so that you can avoid traffic."

THEN they said, "Wait, but up here you might have to plan for traffic sometimes too. During alphalpha season, you could get caught driving behind a swather AND a combine. Or sometimes you get caught behind a cattle drive. Although, that's pretty entertaining. But watch out, sometimes you just get stuck behind two farmers talking to each other in the middle of the road."

So there you go. We do have traffic jams up here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Lawn has been Mowed...

Last week, I got the exciting opportunity to mow our lawn for the first time, on the riding lawn mower.

Now, most people would be excited about this. I mean, it's a RIDING lawn mower! But I was not that excited about trying to handle that thing on the steep hill in our front yard. Plus, it was awful weather outside. It was cold and the wind was blowing like crazy.

So I bundled up (yes, my cowboy made fun of me) and went outside to mow. He showed me how to operate it and he laughed at me a little bit. I'm dumb when it comes to any kind of machinery! But after I figured out how to take the brake off, turn on the blade (?), and move it forward, I just got going.

I felt like I was on the tea-cup ride at Disneyland.

There is something wrong with the steering! It took me a while to figure out how to control it. I felt like a complete idiot. This was the first time since we've moved here that I was VERY glad that my neighbors were FAR away and could not see me!

And then what does my husband do? He pulls out his phone and takes a picture of me! I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry!

I went around the yard once and when I came back, my cowboy told me that I was driving too fast. I said, "Well, I didn't want to look amateur! I didn't wan to look dumb. But I guess I'll slow down." Then he told me that he wanted me to go back and forth across the lawn to make nice straight lines. He didn't want me to just mow around the edges in circles. Whatever. So I started doing that. Slight problem. It's annoying. I mean, you can't pivot a riding lawn mower like you can when you are pushing one. You know what I mean? So I had to circle around to come back and make a line the other way. I got tired of that really fast and decided that if he wanted me to mow the lawn, then I would do it my way. So I went in circles. It went by much faster and I was done in two and a half hours.

The wind, like I said, was awful! It also doesn't help that we have some patches of dirt in our lawn, so I would cut those up as I drove over and the dirt would swirl around me like crazy and get into my eyes! I'm a sissy. I was glad when I was done. So I had to take some pictures for you. It was nice of the sun to come out from behind the clouds when I was done.

Here is the lawn mower and the back yard. Do you see my nice straight lines? Well, sorta straight..

And the front yard. Finally, everything is green!


And just so you feel bad for me, a picture of my irritated eye after I was done. Looking at this still makes them sting!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Field Dirt

Here's another phone call I just received:

Lady: Hi! You don't know me, but I'm calling to see if you have some field dirt that I can buy for my backyard.

Me: Uh, well, I know we have lots of fields and lots of dirt, so maybe?

Lady: Well, I'm trying to get a hold of "Joe." Is this the right number?

Me: Oh sorry. No, it's not. Sorry. I don't know anything. I just moved here and plus I'm just an in-law. Joe is a cousin that lives down the street... I think.

Lady: Okay, well maybe I'll try to call him. I think I heard that he sells field dirt.

Me: Oh, okay. Well if you can't get a hold of him, you can call back and I'll ask my husband in the meantime.

Lady: Okay, bye.

Me: Bye.

I dunno, maybe we could get into the business of selling field dirt? What do you think?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Back Home

So I've been out of town for about 4 days, and I just drove back home last night. The drive was quite entertaining. Almost like a safari. It was dark so with my bright headlines on, I could see the reflection of all these beady eyes in the bushes along side the road. The mouse population is crazy. And they weren't scared to run across the road in front of me in countless numbers. I don't think I hit any, they were pretty fast. Then something much bigger than a mouse ran out into the road. I didn't get to see it cause it went right under my car...but I didn't hit it.
Then came the rabbits. Tons of them. They would run to the side of the road, but then were smart enough to turn back. All of a sudden, something was sitting in the middle of the road and I had to slam on my brakes. It was an owl. He kind of flew away slowly, like he knew he was important and I wouldn't hit him.
I also saw a skunk, yuck. I was grateful to pass him by without incidence. Of course next came a cow. Those darn cows. They are black and are hard to see, so he scared me to death. He was just finding some grass on the side of the road. Finally I was almost home when a black Labrador ran out into the road like he was on a suicide mission. But I swerved and missed him.
Anyway, like I said, I enjoyed my country safari.

And now... here is a funny article that I heard in one of the classes I attended this weekend. Enjoy!

Beauty and the Beast


(This classic Dave Barry column was originally published on Feb. 1, 1998.)

If you're a man, at some point a woman will ask you how she looks.

''How do I look?'' she'll ask.

You must be careful how you answer this question. The best technique is to form an honest yet sensitive opinion, then collapse on the floor with some kind of fatal seizure. Trust me, this is the easiest way out. Because you will never come up with the right answer.

The problem is that women generally do not think of their looks in the same way that men do. Most men form an opinion of how they look in seventh grade, and they stick to it for the rest of their lives. Some men form the opinion that they are irresistible stud muffins, and they do not change this opinion even when their faces sag and their noses bloat to the size of eggplants and their eyebrows grow together to form what appears to be a giant forehead-dwelling tropical caterpillar.

Most men, I believe, think of themselves as average-looking. Men will think this even if their faces cause heart failure in cattle at a range of 300 yards. Being average does not bother them; average is fine, for men. This is why men never ask anybody how they look. Their primary form of beauty care is to shave themselves, which is essentially the same form of beauty care that they give to their lawns.

If, at the end of his four-minute daily beauty regimen, a man has managed to wipe most of the shaving cream out of his hair and is not bleeding too badly, he feels that he has done all he can, so he stops thinking about his appearance and devotes his mind to more critical issues, such as the Super Bowl.

Women do not look at themselves this way. If I had to express, in three words, what I believe most women think about their appearance, those words would be: ''not good enough.'' No matter how attractive a woman may appear to be to others, when she looks at herself in the mirror, she thinks: woof.

She thinks that at any moment a municipal animal-control officer is going to throw a net over her and haul her off to the shelter.

Why do women have such low self-esteem? There are many complex psychological and societal reasons, by which I mean Barbie. Girls grow up playing with a doll proportioned such that, if it were a human, it would be seven feet tall and weigh 81 pounds, of which 53 pounds would be bosoms.

This is a difficult appearance standard to live up to, especially when you contrast it with the standard set for little boys by their dolls ... excuse me, by their action figures. Most of the action figures that my son played with when he was little were hideous-looking. For example, he was very fond of an action figure (part of the He-Man series) called ''Buzz-Off,'' who was part human, part flying insect. Buzz-Off was not a looker. But he was extremely self-confident. You could not imagine Buzz-Off saying to the other action figures: ``Do you think these wings make my hips look big?''

But women grow up thinking they need to look like Barbie, which for most women is impossible, although there is a multibillion-dollar beauty industry devoted to convincing women that they must try. I once saw an Oprah show wherein supermodel Cindy Crawford dispensed makeup tips to the studio audience. Cindy had all these middle-aged women applying beauty products to their faces; she stressed how important it was to apply them in a certain way, using the tips of their fingers. All the woman dutifully did this, even though it was obvious to any sane observer that, no matter how carefully they applied these products, they would never look remotely like Cindy Crawford, who is some kind of genetic mutation.

I'm not saying that men are superior. I'm just saying that you're not going to get a group of middle-aged men to sit in a room and apply cosmetics to themselves under the instruction of Brad Pitt, in hopes of looking more like him. Men would realize that this task was pointless and demeaning. They would find some way to bolster their self-esteem that did not require looking like Brad Pitt. They would say to Brad: ``Oh YEAH? Well what do you know about LAWN CARE, pretty boy?''

Of course, many women will argue that the reason they become obsessed with trying to look like Cindy Crawford is that men, being as shallow as a drop of spit, WANT women to look that way. To which I have two responses:

1. Hey, just because WE'RE idiots, that doesn't mean YOU have to be; and

2. Men don't even notice 97 percent of the beauty efforts you make anyway. Take fingernails. The average woman spends 5,000 hours per year worrying about her fingernails; I have never once, in more than 40 years of listening to men talk about women, heard a man say, ''She has a nice set of fingernails!'' Many men would not notice if a woman had upward of four hands.

Anyway, to get back to my original point: If you're a man, and a woman asks you how she looks, you're in big trouble. Obviously, you can't say she looks bad. But you also can't say that she looks great, because she'll think you're lying, because she has spent countless hours, with the help of the multibillion-dollar beauty industry, obsessing about the differences between herself and Cindy Crawford. Also, she suspects that you're not qualified to judge anybody's appearance. This is because you have shaving cream in your hair.