Saturday, June 27, 2009

Makin Fun Out of Nothin At All

At an early age I wanted to go with the guys to "pull a calf" ("deliver a baby" in ranch terms), round up cattle or just ride in the pickup while my dad cut open gunny sacks full of "cow cake" ("food for the cattle" in ranch terms) shaking it out of the back of a slow moving vehicle put in "granny" (low gear)....I pretended I was driving the 1954 Ford. I absolutely loved doing this and would get in with anyone that was going through our driveway. My favorite past time when left in our feed truck for long periods of time was to get into the steering wheel draping my legs through the open spaces, grasp the top of the wheel and swing it from side to side. I would also analyze all of the knobs and buttons on the dashboard. I can still remember what the dashboard of the feed truck looked like.
I said I would get in with anyone that would take me. My mom told of a time I got in with the hired man at the age of 2 or so and went with him 45 miles to one of our other places. No one knew where I'd gone. Finally, Ella, the hired man's wife from the other place called and said I'd gotten in with Iman and was over at Lenora. Iman was our hired man and my best friend. He worked for us for the next 15 years.
Other times I enjoyed studying the dashboard of the truck was when I would go out with the guys to a place we leased in Cheyenne Valley and wait while they rounded up cattle. There were large Diamond Back rattlesnakes on that place and my dad would warn me not to get out of the truck. That terrified me so I would roll the windows up and wait. I know I probably shouldn't be alive today because it probably got over 115 degrees in there! My husband's family bought that ranch after we leased it in the 1960's. We didn't know each other then, but today he and I own it and we still go out there. Diamond Backs still call it home and when we're out there and I'm left in the pickup for extended periods of time I still keep my windows rolled up...with the air conditioner running and study the dashboard.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Blessings In Small Packages

It's been a busy week. Worked at my daughters flower shop on Wednesday. I'm dragging. Wheat harvest has officially ended tonight. We are still baling/swathing hay and cutting canola. Meals are still going out to the field... they're getting skimpier. We celebrated Malachi Mahan's birthday last night with around 20 familiy members showing up to swim, eat hamburgers, cake and ice cream. Malachi is one of our grandsons that, until recently, had been living in a cubicle in the Washington D.C. area among the other 9 million people...with a yard the size of my bathroom. His family had the opportunity to move back home and start working on the ranch, so this guy is excited everyday about being on the farm! This morning he walked with me over to our office which is next door to our house. I commented on the fact that it was getting dry and I wished the Lord would bless us with a little rain. He said, "He will Drammaw Andy, you just have to be patient." From the mouths of babes...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cyclone Back to Oz

Got back last night from Kansas, then had to turn around and go back again today by myself.
Brad, my husband, is a pilot. He offered to take me...but I don't fly. He is continually telling me how much time could be saved if only I would fly. It's not that I don't trust him...I don't trust gravity. The extra trip was to take more water resource info to our lawyer. We had been gathering affidavits, etc for over two years and our file was huge. My house was teaming with activity; grandkids were swimming, I was making trips back and forth to our office which is next to our home, people were in and out of the office, the phone was ringing off the wall and harvest men were needing fed. Finding an opening to exit, I grabbed my purse and headed to Medicine Lodge, KS. At Seiling, which is 10 miles from our home, I realized my reason for going had been left behind...but where? Almost in tears I called home and told Brad I thought I left the file on top of the car and I bet those papers were scattered all over Dewey County. A flashback of the time I left my purse on top of our car and drove around with it on top came to mind. I turned around and headed back. Brad left our house and headed towards town to check for flying papers. No sign of them. That was a relief. I must have left them in the chair by the door. Sure enough they were there. I was 30 minutes late for my appointment, but I had my stuff...The Lord Takes Good Care of Me...someone has to!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Back From Oz

Kansas is an interesting state. I lived there for 10 years and there is a definitive difference once you cross the line. Today the thing that caught my can sit in the middle of a state highway; one that was once paved with asphalt, but has now been resurfaced with DIRT, for over 30 minutes and talk to the driver in the other lane and never have to move. It's always interesting.

Cutting Wheat

We're in the fields cutting wheat. We do this every year and it usually takes almost a month. We feed the men, most always taking the meal to the field they are cutting in. It really is kind of fun. Everyone is working together during this time. My mother, my sister-in-law, and my daughters and daughters- in- laws always help. Today I won't help, I have to go to Medicine Lodge, KS. to take care of water issues we are having on the ranch up there. It's a two hour drive. It's usually late when we get back from a Kansas trip. Gotta go, my son's honking.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Today is father's day. My dad is 82 years old, and has been a great father. He is the patriarch of our family. He has built our ranching operation, along with the help of my husband and brother, that today supports our family and 12 employees and their families. I' m having lunch today to honor all the dads in our large family. There will probably be around 25 of us if everyone shows up. We're having Mexican Fiesta. It's easy to fix for a large group.
Better get moving, got to help with Sunday School Class in 1 hour.
Mexican Fiesta
Chili(made with ground beef, cumin powder, chili powder, tomato juice, salt and pepper cooked slowly to reduce volume) Brown Rice, Chopped Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Green Pepper; Mushrooms, Coconut, Pecans, Pineapple Tidbits, Sour Cream, Salsa, Tortilla Chips, Shredded Cheese, Brown Olives. Pile it high in any order. Fast and easy.

Nothing New Under the Sun Including Sustainable Development

  I wrote the piece below last summer after listening to KrisAnne Hall speak at the CICA Convention.  As the Global and U.S. Roundtable fo...