Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Fleeing Summer

I've come to believe that summer passes by so fast in an effort to just keep up with us. It is our busiest time of year (on a ranch), which is why I've been remiss about updating everything on my blog. I am outside most of the time, then steal a nap in the afternoon, forever play catch-up with the mundane chores in life and then back out to water the garden and landscape projects. So, I think I'll just post photos of my 'life at the present' and let it go at that. I hope any and all who may read this have had as busy a summer as me...the good kind of busy...and just as enjoyable.

Haying time...bringing bales home for the winter.

Freshly picked Nanking Cherries

Part of my flower bed...the new landscape project. My swinging night life consists of all of my evenings spent behind a hose; another view below...

My dear husband was at a ranch auction and he bought an old treadle sewing machine for me. The cabinet is beyond recovery, but I took the darling little machine out and the drawers will be re-purposed when we complete our mudroom-porch this fall. One entire wall will be shelves and cupboards. I want to use all old doors and vintage "junk". The tiny teddy is one I made years ago.

On a junk-hunt, I found a cute little old dish-drying rack to display some of my old china in.

"Ribbon" is coming along nicely. Here she was grazing while there was a branding going on in a nearby corral.

My Galpals and I got together for our MaryJanesFarm sisterhood meeting and we made mosaic goodies...mine turned out to be a tea-pot planter(?). Almost all of the broken glass and china that I used came from the homestead dump that was once my gr gr grandparents place. I am the little old white-haired lady.

My pullets should begin to lay sometime in October. At the moment, I am trying to play a role in the demise of a hawk that has sinister plans for my hens! I've shot at him 3 times with my 22, but with no success. Fortunately, the girls learned all they need to know about hawks after witnessing 2 of their sisters being attacked...one killed and eaten and the other I saved by running the hawk off. If only I'd had my gun then. The pullets run from one covered kind of place to another around the barnyard and when they hear the hawk's voice, they run and dive, dive, dive for cover! Chickens Are Not Dumb.

Above: a beautiful print I found (eBay) that I'll frame and put in the porch when it is done. Thus far, I've found a great barn-board bench, an old door to hang lots of doorknobs on for decor thingies, an old gate to hang hooks on for coats, a GREAT old step-back cupboard that I'll paint a olive green, old suitcases for storage containers. I'm on the hunt for a harvest table to live under the bank of windows, but I may have to have one made to suit the place. I'm so looking forward to at long last having a mudroom-porch and a covered, screened-in patio! Useful rooms are so fun to decorate and I'm stoked to see them when they finally are done. My husband has been hauling hay home every day for a few weeks. There's just not enough of him to go around and afterall, summer is for fun too and he loves to rodeo when he can get away from the ranch.  Well, that's all for now. I need to go out and put some chicken wire around my new run for the pullet-girls.  Happy Trails...until we meet again.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Maiden Journey

A few days ago, I finally took my 'baby girl' (age 3) for our first ride at the ranch. I've been breeding Morgan Horses for about 15 years and she is one I bred and kept for myself. Her name is "Ribbon" - registered as "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon". It's a long wait from the time they're foals until you've got a horse under your saddle! But, here we are finally and she's a gem. Just wanted to share our maiden journey. *

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bliss in Wyoming

Our winters are long...really long by most folk's standards, at least those who live in a more temperate climate. About March, I get cabin fever and it seems like it takes forever for springtime to come. But, it always does. My little garden is coming along nicely - I used old stock tanks for raised beds. We ride about twice a week to check the cattle. Wildflowers are blooming and the grass waves in the breeze...looking like a sea of green velvet. There are baby antelope scampering about on the ranch. I've got Bluebirds and Tree Swallows nesting nearby in birdhouses I posted on fenceposts. Here are some recent details from my little corner of the world. Summer is here at long last...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Wunnerful, Wunnerful

This time of year is just 'wunnerful' (to quote Lawrence Welk). Northerners wait a long LONG time for green to return and when it does, we're in a sort of glorious dither. I've got so many things to do, but sometimes I find myself just enjoying all the sights, sounds and smells of summer. I've got a small flock of heirloom pullets that are coming along nicely, I've been creating a garden courtyard of sorts out of recycled 'junktiques', my xeriscape project is an ongoing venture, we're riding for calving and brandings and really enjoying all the wildflowers along the way.

Babies, babies, babies...'tiz the season. I was thrilled to happen upon a WET newborn antelope. I hurried to take 10 photos and left quickly. Mama came right back and finished cleaning her new baby up. I also discovered a Song Sparrow's nest in a pasture by the house and I'm watching it so I can get progressive photos. And, the calf is one of our's...love her markings. She's an Angus x Hereford cross. I hope ya'all out there in Bloglandia are having a good spring too.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Freedom isn't free

The many freedoms we enjoy came at a very high price...paid for by others, many of whom are buried in foreign lands. May we NEVER forget to be grateful. We have so many reasons to be the most grateful of all countries. Historically, Americans who went off to war have always fought for the right reasons, willingly and with honor. We are a vain and forgetful species. If only we would learn to hold on tightly to the right things with uncompromising steel. If only each and every one of us would stand up for those 'right things' on a daily basis - not just believe in them, but STAND on them and really live up to what others have fought and died for. We haven't yet forfeited the freedom to do it with fearless and unrelenting joy, yes JOY. We should be HAPPY that we can stand on wholesome principles without being endangered. If we do lose ground there, it will happen because we let it happen. I pray for our country, I hope you do too.

To all who served and continue to...Thank You. To all who have lost loved ones, a Thank You is so small, but, I hope it helps to see people in this country honoring your fallen loved one by living as grateful citizens and with sincere, humbled hearts remembering who pays for our ongoing safety and freedoms. It isn't the politicians, it our neighbor's son or daughter. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Indian Name

If I did have an Indian name, it would have to be "Too Many Irons In Fire". I never seem to learn to set realistic goals. At age 54, that probably won't change via my own free will. Feeling my age is doing it for me these days. Ok, so it just takes me longer now - What-Ever.

May is always so busy for us because of it being our calving season. Nuthin' doin', I had to pile more on ... like a landscaping project, a gardening project and we're re-siding the house and building an addition. It'll all look great when it is done. I surrendered landscaping as an impossible mission many years ago due to our mate, the wind and heavy clay soil. I got tired of being a landscape loser though and this set my sights on changing all that. 50 plants, trees and shrubs later, I feel better about it. Now things just need to grow. I made my enclosed garden 'court' from 100% recycled "junktiques". The picket fence panels serve as a windbreak fortress.

I'll spare you the words and just post some photos taken over the last month...

I also went on a junkin' safari a few times this month. The mission was to find and bring home some fun old goodies to re-purpose. I have a few gal-pals that enjoy this kind of outing also and we had a grand time hunting for rusty treasures at neighboring ranches...with permission of course! I used the hydraulic bale-feeder's arms and chains to lift the tangled mess of 'iron spaghetti' so that we could free up the things we wanted. Here are a few pics...

Old iron beds make a great trellis for climbing roses, morning glories, clematis etc.

I've since planted trailing flowers in my shabby chair planter. They'll be pretty spilling over the edge by mid-summer.

I love old loopy wire fence. Don't know where I'm gonna use it yet.

And here are the little darlings...my hens at their present age: wee lassies. What kind you might ask? Welsummers, Barred Marans, Blue Wyandottes, Brahmas...all 'heirloom' breeds. I'm having a friend build a chicken coop on wheels. It'll be tricked out with all kinds of vintage goodies. The plan is to move it regularly down the driveway so the birds will have fresh greens to eat and they'll be far enough away to leave my garden alone! Everything works in theory ya know. We'll see about that.

This old hub-cap serves nicely as an open-air nesting spot.

I'm so stoked to ride my coming three-year old filly this weekend. My girlfriend started her for me. Arthritis changed my mind about doing this one myself. I'm blessed to have a friend who is a good hand at staring colts. The plan is for me to ride her for the first time at their branding this weekend. My girlfriend says she's a glide-ride, exceedingly smooth and very laid-back. That's how I bred her and I'm so tickled that she turned out to be my kind of hoss.

Now for summertime to get into full swing. The wildflowers are coming on and I'll post some photos soonish. I've replanted a few in my xeriscape garden. Thank you kindly for stopping by for a lookyloo. Happy Trails until we meet again.