Saturday, August 4, 2012

ThiS Is WhY I nEEd AflAc

Most now know that Mike and I bought a house in Conrad.  It is mostly an investment for us to start building a retirement of some sort.  We thought that we should start thinking along those lines as old as we are getting (sigh).  So the home is an older home, 2 story on a full, half finished basement.   We have dreams of what we can do to update it and increase our investment, but for right now our focus is on making payments on the 2700 square foot American dream.  This means, I have a job that now has to support a house payment.  Which also means, I have to work, and be physically able to work!  So, a standing joke we have had lately is me making excuses of why I can not do dangerous things due to the simple fact I do not have Aflac!

Well, this leads to my story....  Yesterday, around 5 in the evening a chariot that was consisting of a truck and trailer and 2 1/2 horses (if you were to see Reed's horse you would see why we only consider him a half a horse) showed up to whisk me away to the mountains.  After the 4 mile drive, we unloaded the horses from the trailer and were headed off to "check" on the cows and their calves.  The night was beautiful, except for the few dark clouds that threatened to rain on our heads.  But the sun won out and we were able to stay dry in the saddle. 

At one point we rode to the top of a ridge to look out across the pasture the cows were in and Mike immediately said, that is a bear over there.  I, then commented on a moving dark spot not far from where he saw his bear and we determined mine were cows in the wrong pasture.  So Mike pipes up and says we must make sure they are our cattle and check on them.  Of course our route will take us right by where his bear had been seen.  I always enjoy riding my horse next to bears, I am sure I can predict what will happen when the horse I ride encounters one with me on top.  I also know for a fact that I am not rider enough to stay on top of that so called horse when he blows up and takes off, but fortunately, I survived another day with out finding out.  Mr. Bear stayed away from my very skittish equine! 

As we entered the pasture in which the cattle were not to be in, but someone had left the gate open to, Mike pointed to a trail for Reed and I to follow up into the trees while he split off his own way, of course taking the bear dogs with him.  Lucky for me, he gave me the loud, somewhat annoying (to a bear I am sure) Reed.  Which was my safety measure.  Reed and I were riding along looking for cows when Mike hollered out and said he was in need of my help.  You know, up in the trees wherever he was, just follow his voice.  After only one wrong turn I was able to climb the thickly forested area  picking my path carefully as to not have an eye poked out by a random branch (something I tend to worry about while trotting a horse through thick trees).

As I came upon my husband and a herd of bawling cattle, I realized he had a rope around a large steers neck.  Well, let me tell you how handy it is not to have a calf roped in densely forested area.  After a few attempts at healing this said steer (which was hard due to the fact there was no possible way to even swing a rope without hitting something), my ever so patient husband jumped of his horse with rope in hand and preceded to tie it off to a tree.  The first tree he tied off to promptly came out of the ground and began to be drug.  Luckily he is swift on his feet and was able to get it to another tree that was rooted much deeper into the ground, and was alive.  He then commenced to trying to catch the beasts back feet with his hands so that he could tie a piggin' string around the back legs.

Lets just say this 550+ pound calf was having nothing to do with it.  So, being the brave sole that I am (laugh, roll eyes, and shake head here) I decided to get off my horse and join in the tangled mess that was becoming the rope, Mike, and several trees, not to mention the uneven ground.  At one point things were looking like we were winning when the calf went down and Mike jumped up to get ropes situated.  Then the steer found its fifth wind and jumped up going between Mike's legs giving him a ride until the steer came to the end of his rope.  After I got done giggling I decided that I should try and get my rope around his back legs, until he determined to come after me and take me down that is.  I need to work on running backwards up hill, with spurs on my boots through the trees I decided.   Because before I could get very far, he had me stopped in my tracks stepping on my foot.  My poor husband was pulling for all he was worth from the back end trying to dislodge the weight off my foot when at last relief came when the steer decided to charge at me again.  As I limped, scampered away to safety, Mike was giving me a kind warning to watch myself. 

It was at this moment in time, with the thought of  a possible broken foot, twisted knee, that I decided "this is why I need Aflac".  Well, it wasn't long until my foot allowed me to walk again and I hobbled over to Mr. Devil Steer and helped Mike get him to the ground.  Now mind you, we usually have horse flesh to help with such instances, but due to the trees and safety concerns (obviously not our own) we abandoned the horses and did this by foot.  We might reconsider next time.  And the steer now has penicillin and sulfa pills to make him healthy once again! 
The subdued steer taking his medicine!

Reed on Pistol with Emmy
Mike and Reed with Poppy, Bandi, and Emmy

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

MiSsIng: JUst a liTtLe MIA

Wow... Did you see that?  Months just went by and someone went missing! Here is our life in a nutshell~
  • We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with a group of friends in Conrad....  Lots of food and fun games!
  • Mike and I went to Charleston, South Carolina and walked on the beach together for the first time!
  • Hyrum celebrated his 8th Birthday and had a wonderful baptism!!!
  • The kids did a great job with their School Christmas Program (The Sound of Christmas)
  • Christmas was amazing being home and being our little family.
  • We took a trip to White Sulphur Springs right before the New Year and enjoyed time with family.
  • New Year's Eve was spent with friends in Conrad again.  Fun Times!
  • We had a batch of puppies (4) which we kept one and gave 3 away.
  • Reed Celebrated his 6th birthday (moment of silence for the sad mom and dad).
  • We went skiing on a school trip (which was another first for our family to do together).
  • Mike has been knocking out some honey do's and building in the boys room.
  • Mike was called into the Bishopric of our ward.
  • Calving started!!!
  • Mike celebrated a birthday.
Hyrum's Baptism Day

Cowboy on the Beach

KwinLee Christmas Morning

Reed in his Birthday Duds!

KwinLee and Spencer working on their Science Fair Project (1st place ribbons)
Mike still wakes up everyday loving his job, which means the world to us.  Our family (extended and close) have had changes in their life and it has made us take a step back and look at the BIG picture.  It is interesting where life will take you and what challenges are put in your way to help you grow.  I am thankful for such great friends and family who believe in us, give us encouragement, and show us faith by example. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

MaXitO the ReD BanDito

It is with heavy heart I write again about another one of our dogs. What are the odds we would lose 2 dogs in 4 days time?

Max was with us since we lived in Boulder. He was given to us by Mike's brother Bill to use as a cow dog. He was a red-healer mix and full of life. He loved to work cattle. He was aggressive with the fighting ol' witches and gentle with our kids. I grew quite close to Max... But for Mike, he is losing one of his right hand men. I can't even begin to count the hours the two of them have spent together, nor the miles they have gone.
Mike and Max headed to work!

Max and I riding on the sled (crazy dog)
Right before we left Helena, a cow got him down and broke his back leg. We thought this might be the demise of him, but he came back strong and returned to fighting cows. He was the mischief dog as well. He would act like he was taking off after something and get all the dogs riled up, then he would saunter back (grinning I am sure) while they tried to find what he was after.
We would get a kick out of his wily ways.

On Sunday Mike and I watched him walking through the trees by our house. I wish I would have known it was the last time I would see him. For days I have been waiting for his return, hoping that I would see him curled up in the flower planter he took over, or hear him whining, letting us know he wanted to go work cows. But he has not come home. He might still, we can hold onto hope. But he was almost 12 years old, we saw signs of his age, and he to mourned our Payson. So, again, I am writing about another dog...... But again, he was more than just a dog. He earned his keep.

He came home.....  8 days he was gone.... Who knows where.... We had given up hope, us of little faith....  We have had frigid, freezing weather with snow and all that.... Yet, the "terd" (Mikes word for him) came home ALIVE!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


**Cheryl (my mom) do not read!**

Just over 13 years ago, Mike and I took a trip to Utah.  While we were on this trip, Mike bought a truck (his dream truck, which he sold later to help pay for a surgery, but that is a story for another day).  While we were getting new tires put on the truck, I happened to be looking through the classifieds and came upon an ad for yellow lab puppies.  Mike had been telling me I could get a dog, so I jumped at the chance.  By that I mean I took advantage of the fact he was getting a new truck, so I should be able to get a new puppy!  Mike said go for it and I headed to Payson, Utah to pick out what would become the best $75.00 ever.  Mike about died when he found out I paid money for a DOG!  But he forgave me and soon fell in love as well.
Payson the winter after we got him!
Payson has been on every move with us, which has been quite a few.  He started in Lima, went to Dell, then Rexburg, onto Ovid, back to Lima, to Boulder, Clancy, Helena, and now Dupuyer.  He was a faithful dog right from the beginning.  He kept me company when Mike would work long hours.  When we moved to Rexburg I was 8 months pregnant and it was a hot August.  Payson and I spent hours by and in the river that our yard ran into.  I would park my plastic chair right in the depths of the water, right up to my chin, and he would swim around me fetching sticks.
When we moved to Ovid, I became fairly busy with a 1 year old and a new born, and Payson didn't get as much attention from me.  Mike hated the sad eyes he would get as he and Jiggs would load up to go to work.  It did not take long for him to succumb to those puppy dog eyes that I am sure Payson coined.  Hence, Payson became a cow dog.
When Payson barked, he meant business.  Mike and I can usually pay no mind to our other dogs barking, but the second Payson would give his deep, booming bark, we would jump and go see what the matter was.  It could be a mountain lion he was warning us about, a stranger that was prowling around, or a cow that was not where she was supposed to be.  When he was moving cows and would give that bark, he would almost create a stampede.
He was known to take a 2000lb bull on the fight down to the ground, hold calves down that had run through the fence until Mike could get around to them, and even let our kids ride him like a horse (he was their first pony).  He loved our kids.  He was so good to them, even when they would climb all over him.
He knew how to bask in the sunshine, usually sitting in a regal pose.  We would call him our sphinx the way he would always sit with his front legs crossed.  From the time he was a puppy, whenever I would sit by him, he would have to be touching me.  Usually this meant a paw on my hand, or foot, or leg.  He was never a needy dog, or a jealous dog, but he was a great dog.
13 years is a long time to have a dog in your life.  Especially for us.  In 13 years our lives have changed and grown, and he has been there through it all. He has changed as well.  The once bounding, vivacious puppy changed into a old, crippled, broken down dog.  It is hard to watch them get old.  When we moved here, I remember looking at him and saying, "Payson, this is your last move old man."  And it was....  Buried outside our home today, under a tree, is truly a close friend.  I know he was JUST a dog, but he was my dog....  And he will be missed so much..... Goodbye Old Man, I love you!
He always looked sad, but was truly happy....

At the elk ranch in Ovid, ID

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

As iF I WilL GeT BeTTer

Another 2 months has passed....  Oh how time flies, seriously, slow down!


In August we went to Silverwood Theme Park as a family.  The kids helped earn the money to go and we were so excited.  At least until the weekend before we were to go.  That is when Mike tore his hamstring muscle off the bone.  Needless to say he was on crutches for the whole experience and in quite a bit of pain.  But he tagged along all day on crutches and was a trooper, just watching us have all the fun.

 We had a lot of fun, and it was great for the kids to see that their hard work this summer paid off.

The Kids also started school at the end of August.  KwinLee is now a 6th grader, Spencer a 5th, Hyrum a 2nd, and Reed is in Kindergarten.  Yep, all 4 kids are in school.  The Dupuyer School has 9 kids total, and 4 of them are ours.  You do the math.   Of course I followed them to school.  I love being where my kids are, I am kind of attached.  I cook breakfast and lunch everyday there and teach music twice a week.  I finally found a way to get paid to cook for my kids, now if I can find a way to be paid to do their laundry I will be doing great. 
This is their first day of school photo.  Do you see the dog at Spencer's feet?  Her name is Emmie and she is attached to Spencer and Reed.  She follows them everywhere. 
Well, this is birthday month for us.  Spencer turned 11, KwinLee turned 12, and I don't talk about my age.  KwinLee has now advanced into Young Women's and is enjoying it.  Plus, she gets to hunt this year.  Spencer can't wait for the day he gets to start hunting, but hunters education is not far off.  KwinLee received her dad's cell phone for her birthday and couldn't be happier (wow!!).  Spencer got his first, very own brand new bike.  And he loves it.  He has been riding it all over.  He has even rode it the 10 miles to school a few times.  We had to put a hold on that while the bears are migrating back.  I received a Blendtec blender and absolutely love it (so does the rest of my family that has been benefiting from it!).

Well, so far this has been just a routine month.  Oh, except I hit a deer and did some damage to my car, KwinLee sprained her ankle and we found out that at some point she chipped a piece of bone off of it, and the kids will be getting a new school teacher within the next few weeks.  So, as life changes, we try to roll with it.
We have also spent our non-school time helping Mike.  We have most the cows gathered in, the calves pre-conditioned, and we are getting ready for shipping day.  And the occasional wild beast is still feasting on our calves, we lost one yesterday to a Sow and cubs.  UGH!  But, so goes the battle of ranching. 

We are also madly writing letters to all the powers that be (congressman, senators, the President, and Postmaster General) trying to convince them to keep our post office open.  It would be such a sad thing to lose, not to mention the hardship.  Round trip for us to another post office is 66 miles (over 30 of that dirt road and not great roads in the winter).  All to save a tenth of a percent of costs because Congress won't deal with the real money saving issues (like no post on Saturdays or paying back the money they mismanaged of the postal service's).  Well, enough of that, I just am sad to think of the hub of a community being tossed to the way side.

Here is to the next 2 months!

Monday, August 8, 2011

AuGuST ~ 2011~

Lets be real.  I stink lately when it comes to blogging.  So, here are some pictures to make up for my slothfulness.

We have had a lot of family visits (which we LOVE).  We have friends come spend time with us (which we LOVE).  We have had our fair share of smores, bug bites, running through the sprinklers, and all that summer time jazz.  We have spent time in the hay field (all of us), running for parts, moving cows, and doing whatever we can to spend time with Mike.
We just experienced our 2nd Dupuyer Grizzly Day.  We loved every minute of it.  The fireman's breakfast, the parade (which the kids were in), the music in the park, swimming in the creek, the duck race, the greased pig contest (Reed caught the pig and the other boys gave it a good effort), their own lemonade/cookie stand, and a impromptu music jam (Mike played his fiddle).
The kids have a couple of weeks before school starts, so...... we are following through with a promise.....  We have purchased tickets, booked the motel, and the kids earned their spending money (thanks to said lemonade stand)..... WE ARE GOING TO SILVERWOOD!  I will blog about it later.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

2 Months... Really?

I can not believe it has been 2 months since I have wrote on our family blog...  Where is time going so fast?  So, I guess to catch up to the here and now I just need to be brief (ok, it is me, and that is never possible).

-Calving season has about wrapped up, barring the few stragglers that we bought late. 
-We were able to brand the big bunch of calves on a beautiful day (which we haven't had a lot of lately).
-The kids finished off the school year (with raving reports)!!
-I have been teaching a fitness class 2 times a week in Conrad.
-I also was hired to work at the school next year (now that all 4 kids will be going, sigh).
-We have been having heck with wolves in our cows.
-We took part in our first Conrad Whoop Up Days (Boys were in the parade, went to the rodeo, and I ran my first 5K in almost 2 years).
-It rained for 15 days straight, gave us a 2 day break and then we had down pouring for another 5 days.
-I got brave and went for a run out on the road and wouldn't you know it, there was a bear and 2 cubs!
-My kids have a job of mowing and taking care of 3 lawns this summer.
-And life is going on....
Our kids took part in an amazing spring program (musical play) and here they are-
Blacksmith Buck

Bronc Buster Bill and Isabelle
Their Biggest Fan
 Whoop Up Days
5K Race

Scout Parade
And that is our life for the last 2 months in a nut shell! 

About Me

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Ranch born and raised, we love the lifestyle that ranching offers. We also enjoy the oppurtunity of passing on the tradition to our four children.