Coyote Soup

Bringing life back to the family ranch with three young free range braves and lots of organic elbow grease.

Mandatory Meeting November 9, 2012

Filed under: Animals — Piper Long @ 10:10 am
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The Bessy Club is having a mandatory meeting this morning. The meeting is being held under the pear tree, near the garden shed just slightly northwest of the chicken pen.

I’m pretty sure they are planning a party to celebrate the 90% chance of .2 inches of rain we are all so hopeful to get around here this weekend. It will be the first shower they’ve had in weeks. And trust me, they need it.

The fetid, malodorous aura surrounding their clique has been somewhat of a hinderance in the recruiting department. Which is probably why they’ve chosen to temporarily sever their relations with the rest of the herd.

They’ll have to be sure they are out in the open or they might miss the shower altogether.

That would be tragic.

The meeting was for bovines only. ‘Bessy’ being the required name/password.
Poor Rocket is just now finding this out.
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It really hurt his feelings.

Who needs a club like that anyway Rocket?

Not me.
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Not when we can hang out with cowboys like this.


A Bed of Pansies October 31, 2012

Filed under: kitties,Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 11:46 am
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Yesterday I picked up some deeply discounted pansies to dress up my front porch.

I’m sure Junior will lie on them.

Junior is a completely useless cat.

He has few wants.

Few needs.

And contributes little more than carbon dioxide to the good of the world.

But we love him nonetheless.
This bed of pansies I’m sure will be too much for him to resist. Hopefully his carbon dioxide contribution will be enough to compensate for the pansies’ inability to respire when he lies atop them.

There’s always hope.
Hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!


Hungry Horse September 13, 2012

Filed under: Country Life,horses,Musings,Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 6:36 am
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So, earlier this year, January 10th to be exact, I resolved to start keeping my animals in pens.

Funny thing is, that didn’t happen.

But I did try.

The horses were contained for a few weeks by an electric fence. Then they got word that I was serving half eaten apples on my windowsill and they busted out.

I’m not sure who told them.

Maybe the cats told them.

Or maybe the kids are to blame.

Hungry Horse

I don’t know why homes aren’t built with windowsills like this anymore. They remind me of the walk up window at the Tastee Freeze which my family has owned for generations. I remember as a child having full access to all of the delectable ice cream flavors, toppings and soda varieties imaginable, mixing them all into an insanely delicious concoction edible only to children under no supervision and having my cousin serve said delicacies to me through the walk up window. Then she’d charge me, but I’d have no money and be forced to work the window to pay my debts.

But I didn’t really mind.

I can see why they had these windowsills back in the olden days. They really are a lot of fun. You can serve your cats, your horses, your locked-out children.

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The locked-out children climb up on the windowsill, sweaty from a recent football/wrestling match that had to be taken outside.

Tap, tap, tap.


I can hear the tapping because the children have been locked out.


“Can we have a drink?”

“You got any money?”


“Well then you can have water. Water’s free.”

I love walk-up windows!


Hands December 13, 2011

Filed under: cows,Family,ranching — Piper Long @ 10:49 am

Over the weekend, the ear tags arrived, the fences got completed and the cows were gathered up and coaxed into the pens to be vaccinated, wormed, branded and tagged.

An hour after the branding irons had been heated, it seemed as though we hadn’t even made a noticeable dent in the south farm pasture herd of 80+ cattle that needed to be worked and I began to fear that we would be working throughout the day and well into the night at this rate. I needed more hands. I needed three hands for vaccinating, two for handing out the branding irons, two for tagging, two for documenting, two for worming, five for controlling the chute, the hot shot and our two youngest children.

And then I saw the hands of my oldest son arrive…. followed by the bear paw hands of my dear ol’ Dad.

And the angels sang.

I’m truly shocked that my Dad still comes to visit me.


But he never fails. He may find me cooking dinner, working in the garden, milking cows, putting out hay, scrubbing the barn, chasing stray cows, cleaning the house or working cows. He may leave smelling of roast beef, dirt, manure, dinner rolls, milk, oil, singed hair or chocolate cake.

It’s a toss up every time.

I’m just grateful he is up for whatever life throws his way.

This past July, he suffered a massive heart attack that damaged much of his heart. He’s been remarkable healthy his entire life, so to say it came as a shock is an understatement. It took a co-worker’s relentlessness combined with my husband’s certainty that his symptoms were that of a heart attack just to get him to the hospital. By the time I got to the hospital, he was already in surgery to clear the 100% blockage.

Having him around means the world to me… in more ways than one.


Catpot September 22, 2011

Filed under: kitties,Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 10:11 am

Remember V and Bobcat sleeping in the balcony flower containers at the farm?

I remember posting the pictures, but I’m not sure if I explained that at one point in time, I actually did have some young flowering plants nestled in the soil of those containers. I had visions of beautiful cascading waves of color draping over the balcony. But instead of flowers, I had cat tails. Little by little the cats’ insistent cuddling became a bit suffocating to the tender seedlings and the plants were forced to go to the big flowerpot in the sky.

And I was left with nothing but dirt and the occasional cattail.

Why these cats enjoy laying in flower containers is beyond me.

Apparently though, it is hereditary, because two of the male kittens belonging to either V or Bobcat, have taken up residence in the flowerpot next to my entryway door at the ranch.

They truly are much more lively than my plants ever were.

And occasionally they will interact mildly with an unsuspecting visitor.

Just don’t ever wake them to feed them scraps. They turn into vicious man-eating hogjacks.

I don’t think hogjack is a real word.

Vicious and man-eating are both real words.

In case you were wondering.

But sometimes, I get in these moods where I think maybe I need my porch to be decorated in a manner that represents the season. In winter, I have the hearty Christmas evergreen, but with the first signs of warmth, I go searching for bulbs. Once the bulbs are exhausted, I trade them out with Geraniums for summer. But come September, I’m mad for mums and scarecrows.

The kittens are not so mad for mums. And they don’t care so much for scarecrows either.


On my windowsill September 16, 2011

Lately, my windowsills have been quite the popular hangout. Aside from my kids, here are a few of the animals hanging out on my windowsill.

1. Chickens

I got a new rooster.
He was given to my Papa’s friend, Ken, who before Fred The Rooster arrived, had exactly no chickens. Apparently, Ken was driving down the road with one hand on the wheel and the other around the rooster when he met my Papa coming in the opposite direction.

“Ken, what on earth are you doing driving around with a rooster?” Papa asked.

“Do you need one?” Ken countered.

“Well, I bet my granddaughter could use one,” Papa volunteered.

So now I have a rooster.

The rooster still doesn’t realize we have a chicken coop.

Fred immediately took a liking to the feathered females running loose in my yard. In fact, he’s been so preoccupied with them that he hasn’t even noticed we have a chicken coop on the premises. And being so tired by days end, he has since made himself at home on the front porch. Along with all 7 of my hens.

If you’ve ever owned chickens for any amount of time, you know that having them on your porch for even a minute is catastrophic. But when they go and roost on your porch for 10 hours, you may as well find another exit.

So every night we move him and all 7 hens to the chicken coop. Fred is so tired he doesn’t even realize he’s been relocated to his appropriate sleeping quarters. All he knows by morning is that he’s got a lot of work to do.

2. Kittens
One of my antique windows in the kitchen is somehow missing it’s screen. I’m not sure how this has happened, but I think it means I need a new RED window to replace it. Regardless, because of the missing screen, it is always adorned with kitten drool. The drool, of course, dries and leaves the window with a rather dirty appearance. Partly because it is dirty, but mostly because the kittens are relentless in their efforts.

And just between you, me and the fence post… I was the instigator of the kitten drool.

One morning, while clearing the table after a full breakfast of fried eggs, sausage and biscuits, I noticed one of the kittens sleeping peacefully on the windowsill. So before heading out to give the dogs their morning treats, I woke the adorable sleeping kitten to offer a few scraps. It really wasn’t much, just a little nibble of leftover egg.

And I have regretted it ever since and will probably continue to regret it ’till my dyin’ day.

From now on I will always let sleeping cats lie.

That little stinker told his brother, then his brother told his mother, and now every time I look out any given window in my house, there is a kitten with it’s wet nose pressed up against the glass begging me for food.

Now all of my windows have kitten slobber on them.

And I can’t even blame my kids for it.

3. Tree Frogs
Every evening, there is a tree frog on my dining room window sill. And every evening, we watch him for a bit and try to see if we can catch his tongue in action.

We assume it is a male since he is alone. We reason that females are probably not alone. I’m not sure why we reason this. There is no scientific evidence to support this hypothesis. It just is. Earlier this week, our suspicions were confirmed when we noticed two tree frogs dining on the bugs outside our dining room window. The male frog had obviously brought a date.

Apparently, though, it didn’t work out. We haven’t seen the female since.


Baseball on the Ranch September 13, 2011

Filed under: Country Life,Family,horses — Piper Long @ 7:21 am

My boys love playing baseball.

Especially if their Dad is willing to hit them a few after a long day’s work.

This summer, they couldn’t get enough of the pop flies.

Also sometimes referred to as “chicken pops” by my middle child. (And now, consequently, the entire family.) I will never again be able to call them pop flies.

They are now chicken pops.

And if you think about it. If you really sit back, real late at night, like when you are writing a blog post and trying to make sense of something that doesn’t make sense…

You may find that chicken pops actually is a more appropriate term considering the baseball player has the option to

1. Be brave and position himself under a hard ball that may or may not land in it’s intended location
2. Be chicken, in which case he will abandon all projected destinations of the ball.


Chicken pops.

What I love about baseball on the ranch…

The intense expression on my boys’ faces as they strive to catch the chicken pops.

And the complete disinterest of the horses nearby.


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