Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Truth About Me!!!!!

I know that I am a strange woman. This is the truth, I really don't like to shop like other women do. Oh, I like to go into the shops and look at new things, but, I am just comfortable in my jeans and T-shirts and sneakers. I have never outgrown the comfort that they give me. Many of my friends, my mother, my mother-in-law and others think that the new fashions are okay but not me. I hate polyester, it makes me sweat in the summer and I freeze in it in the winter. I like Cotton!!!!! Now, you can't buy everything in cotton but I would like to. I do like my nicer clothes to be a little on the dressy side, but shoot, I think a nice denim skirt with embroidery and a jacket to match is okay. I guess that I am not as concerned about fashion as I should be. It might help if I was a size 8 or 10 but I am not and never was. I like to shop for shoes, but when I find a comfortable pair, I usually wear them out. I wear a size 11 so it is not always easy to find a cute pair that is comfortable. I also have issues with knots on my heals, and a high arch. I guess I am just at the age in my life where comfort is what counts. No high heels for me.(I never liked them)

I do like to browse the antique shops and thrift stores. I love old things that are well made and furniture that tells a story. Some might say that my house is filled with someone elses junk but I have a love for the furniture that belonged to my grandparents and those things from my husbands family. It is part of our life story. If my own children choose to discard it, so be it. I love the old washstand that belonged to my great, great Aunt Gin and the not so old sofa that was the Ranchers great Aunt Lela's. I have been shopping for some new dining chairs. I have been into the furniture stores and find that all of the new ones are so heavy and most of them are made in Asian countries. This is not appealing to me. I am planning a trip to a nearby Amish community where they have a furniture showroom and see what they have. I want my furniture to be made in the USA. The newer things anyhow. An antique from England or Europe would be wonderful!!!!

This blog came about because I was at a church social this evening and all of the women were talking about shopping. They love to go to the City and shop. Me too, at the Antique Mall!!!! Don't get me wrong, I do like to shop for an afternoon or a few hours, but when I just don't care to spend a week-end doing it. Get it over with. I am sure that my daughters are reading this and hope they will never be like this. Guess what, I used to say the same thing, but somewhere in my life, I found better things to do, like waste my time on the computer and doing this blog. So there!!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What a Woman has to Do.

Many years ago, when I came to this ranch as a young girl of 18, my knowledge of being a rancher was very limited. I had grown up in a small town and lived for a few years on a farm. My father thought that a girl should help her mother and of course we could milk the cows, (by hand) and take care of the chickens and work in the garden. I was also allowed to bring the cows in from the pasture in the evening. All other things on the farm were left up to the men.

Did I ever have a lot to learn!!!!!! I married into a family where everyone does everything. Little did I know when I came to this Panhandle ranch on Sand Creek that I was about to embark on a whole new meaning of the word Ranchers Wife. I knew that I would be expected to feed the men when they were working, have a garden, take care of the children and do all of those things that farm wives do But I didn't know the REST OF THE STORY.

My first clue came when my husband needed me to help with a heifer. Now, I had not even witnessed a cow giving birth at this point in my life much less helped with one. This was one of those things that the men attended in my family. But since I was the one available, I was elected to help with the job. I helped, the calf was okay and in time this was a routine thing. This was only the beginning. I can hold my own when working calves. I can vaccinate, brand, dehorn, earmark, and just about anything, but I still refuse to take away a young bulls pride. Let the men do that.

One year during harvest, being a good wife, I volunteered to learn to drive the combine while my husband ate the meal that I had brought to the men in the field. My mother in law drove the wheat trucks to the elevator and I was the cook as I had small children. Keeping the combines running was top priority in this family. Get it to the elevators, while the sun is shinning. So......I learned to drive the combine. I thought this was a seasonal thing and would not last more than a few weeks out of the year with wheat and Milo harvest. However, this led to other things. I could now learn to drive the tractor. Oh, this was good as it meant time away from the kids for a few hours while hubby could spend some time with them. I learned to use all of the implements and drilled the wheat for many years. I didn't mind it but chose not to be smart enough to run the swather or baler. My husbands mother, said that was a really smart thing not to learn. She a had made that mistake. I still enjoy farming though and smelling the new turned earth.

I have learned to repair and helped build new fences. Helped with the shearing of the sheep, was the assistent at lambing time and worked beside my husband when we had a small hog operation to supplement our income. We have had many adventures on this ranch but the cattle have been the thing that has stayed with us.

When my father in law commented about yard work being a womans job, I just laughed and knew that it was just because a woman could do anything. I am not sure about some men.

The Rancher can cook on the grill and I am finally teaching him a few other tricks in his older age. I am thankful for his help as he was always thankful for mine. We make a good team.

A Woman Can Do Anything she sets her mind to.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cow Girls

Now that you know about the Boys from Texas, Here's for the Girls in Oklahoma. Well, they were born south of the Red River, but they didn't know any better. Just kidding you Texans as there is a bit of rivilary in this family from two states. Grandpa has been busy with these boys and is about worn out. Today he had to take a rest and go to town all by himself. Poor Guy.

A couple of weeks ago, Popcorn and Bookworm were here for a few days. there dream is for grandpa to get a "Kid Horse". All of grandpa's horses have moved on except one old appaloosa and we use some of the Uncles horses when it is necessary. The main necessity is having something for the kids to ride. Our cattle all follow the feed wagon when it is round-up time and Grandpa follows me as I lead them in.

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Back to the girls and their love for riding. Their mom loves to ride and she always had a good horse when she was at home. Now she might have a different story about that. Let's just say, she was a good horseman. The horse might not have been the best, but she was the boss. Most of The Time!!!!

Bookworm is quite a good rider.Add Image She is the one at the op. She ventures away from the building and loves the feel of the run. Popcorn on the other hand is a little more leery. She is content to stay within sight of the barn. She hasn't learned that Star would just love to head into the Shop building and rake her right off. She will be better in time. If they will stay close by, grandpa will probably see about a horse and someday they will be just like their mom. Well, we might not want all of the things she achieved on her horse.....Say a broken foot.!!!!

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Presidents

Well, you may have noticed that I had a picture posted yesterday. That was a first for me. You see, I am not at all technical minded. I can type, play games, surf the net and read my mail. I am a visual person though and sometimes all of these directions are just plain Greek to me. Out of necessity, and because I felt so foolish, I decided that I had to learn how to post pictures. Hey, guess what, I even downloaded the pictures from the Black Hills and various other places for the past several months onto my computer from my camera.

Let's see if I can remember just how I did that.....Well, I remembered how to get the picture on this post, but I wanted to put it here. Oh well, Maybe I will get it all together someday. Anyhow this is our view of Mt. Rushmore as we drove along the needle highway. It was a beautiful drive and maybe I will get brave and do some more on it later.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Grandpa and the Boys

When the two younger grandsons come to the ranch things get pretty busy. They are ages 8 and almost 11 and there is not a lazy bone in their body. They want to do a lot of things and they want to do them all now. They arrived loaded with fishing rods and tackle boxes, their .22 single shot rifle, golf clubs and enough soft air pellet guns for a small army. They came with their DS (?) books, sunscreen, caps, protector glasses (for the soft air pellets) and several pair of shoes. The older one forgot most of his clothes but he got here with all of the fun stuff.

The first evening after a game of war, grandpa came in and announced that it was certainly not a game for older men. Uncle agreed and declined the chase later in the day. That time was spent in target practice out on the range.

Seven o'clock would seem early any other time for boys but---NOT if you are to be down on the creek with your fishing gear. They had a successful morning and carried the catch to help stock the big pond below grandpa's well out in the big pasture. They also decided to take the John boat out on the BIG pond. Big brother took the controls to the trolling motor and it was quite a thrill. Little brother is not going back out there with him. Seems the back of the boat spun around and then they ran aground opposite where they thought they were headed. Grandpa was in the midst of it all though and made them wear their life jackets.

Sunday was a day of leisure and going to church. We also went to the big Church in Woodward to listen to a group reflect on their mission to Romania. Our granddaughter was Molly was one of those who made the trip and had a great time. We enjoyed listening about the adventures and the works they are doing.

This morning, Day #4, the golf clubs were loaded and the guys headed for the little town across the Texas border to play 9 holes. Yes, the rancher also plays golf. Not a great game, but a fun one and that is really what matters. The game was good, and now they are all out working on fence. They must learn that not all is play on the ranch but a little work helps to pass the time too. After all, the 8 year old says he is planning on taking over this operation when he grows up. Grandpa says he better hurry up!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What to write About

Not much goes on in my "Caught in a Rut" life. As I read my daughters blogs, I can see that I just need to look out in the yard and there is a whole new world to write about. I am going to have to have some classes on how to write an interesting blog though as I still cannot place a picture on this and it's Thanks to my daughters that there is any color on this page at all.

Today, I am going to talk about Katie. Katie was my grandmother and a very special person in my life. I hope that I have been half as patient of a grandmother as she was with me. Grandma Katie was like no other. She had lived a very full life and traveled more in her lifetime in a covered wagon and train that I have ever traveled. She did most of it before she was 40 years old. Katie was born in NW Kansas and when quite young, traveled with her family by covered wagon over the Oregon trail to Oregon. In her teen age years, she moved by train from the area of Eugene and eventually ended up near Pocohontus, Iowa. Here, she met my grandfather. Being adventursome and wanting a place of their own, they set out for free government land in Oklahoma. Times were hard and my grandfather often worked in Kansas in the Grain elevators during the summer. This training led them on a great move by train to Edmonton, Canada, here my grandad was a grain inspector. With their small sons they lived there until they could not endure the cold hard winters and moved back to the state of Wisconsin where some of their family lived. Through their many moves, they did end up back in Oklahoma and I am glad. Had this last move not been made, WHERE WOULD I BE?

My mother was the last child and only daughter of Katie and Myron. My grandad passed away before I was born so Katie was my only grandparent on my mothers side. She made us feel so special. She had a stern word for us when we didn't mind but we knew we better keep in line.

Grandma had time to take me on walks on the creek each morning. We admired the new growth in the spring and delighted at the abundance in the garden and orchard as we walked by them in harvest time. Grandma always wore an apron and we carried a bucket just in case there would be some wind falls from the peach or apple trees. This would mean fresh pie or just some fresh fruit for lunch. Grandma also made the best applesauce. Her cooking was done on a kerosene stove in the summer and on a wood cook stove in the winter time. She always longed for a summer kitchen outside so the house wouldn't be so hot. She didn't have air conditioning. SHE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE ELECTRICITY. She didn't need such things. It would just be something else to think about and worry her. What would she think of everything now?

The best way to cool off at grandma's in the afternoon was outside. She would hand pump a small tub full of water and we would sit with our feet in that refreshing water, out under the huge elm trees, and feel the wind blow on us. What could be better? Grandma, me and a bread and jelly sandwich, Life was grand.

Grandma taught me a lot of things, she taught me how to sew, cook, but most of all I hope that she taught me how to be a grandma. Katie was born in August of 1881 and passed away in 1970 at the age of 89. I am glad that she was my Grandma and I still miss her.