Coyote Soup

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

The Sidetracked Side of Things. November 7, 2012

Filed under: Country Life — Piper Long @ 9:50 am
Tags: , , , , ,

I still haven’t started painting fence around here. Primarily because I’ve been making excuses and getting sidetracked. At first it was too cold. Then it was too windy. And lately it’s been too…

pretty.

I know I’ve used this excuse in the past, but it’s a valid argument.

I’ve used this same excuse as a reason to procrastinate hand picking pecans to replenish my freezer stash. Every pecan season I contemplate whether or not I should buy pecan harvesting equipment so I will no longer have to pick the pecans by hand. Ultimately, each season, I decide that I wouldn’t have near the time or help I’d need to pick up each and every twig in order to run the equipment through our large, muddled pecan grove.

Sure I have three boys who are completely willing and able to pick up sticks. But I’ve learned that in boy talk “stick” is code for “weapon” and the domino effect of potential outcomes that could develop from an entire day of gathering “weapons” with 3 boys just doesn’t compute.

So each year I decide it’s best to have our neighbor harvest our pecans as usual while I hand-pick the fruits of the trees that can’t be harvested with their equipment.

But today I’m really thinking that even though it’s supposed to be a perfectly beautiful day, I should really go pick some pecans because I know that when Drover gets finished planting his wheat, he will have me out building and tearing down fences. And then I will have zero time to pick pecans, crack pecans and dig the meat out of the shells.

At least moving on to fencing means we will have helpers. I’m sure it will come to no surprise that my boys are quite helpful when it comes to the destruction of old fences.
065 - Copy
One removes clips.

070 - Copy
The other holds the clip bucket.

“Have you tried the kare-ra-tee-CHOP! …That’s how I’d do it.”
067 - Copy
“I will try your so-called fencing pliers… but I still think the kare-ra-tee-CHOP would be thy best method.”
072 - Copy
Here, the middle child struggles to remove a stubborn clip.
074 - Copy
And the eldest lends him a hand.

Then one of the boys notices an armadillo wandering by, minding its own business, unaware of the curiosity young fence demolitioners exhibit. And then the helpers are sidetracked.

I can’t imagine how this confounded characteristic took root in my children.
084 - Copy
All I know is that our sidetracked helpers have ditched the fencing pliers and clips for weapons like sticks…
085 - Copy
…and t-posts which they intend to use as make-shift probes to drive the armadillo out of it’s back entrance.

Or the east entrance.
083 - Copy
Or maybe the west entrance.

Advertisements
 

A Belated Monday List October 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 10:33 am
Tags: , , , , ,

1. When one gets a dog, one should always take into consideration all possible indirect expenses of caring for them.
002
e.g. computer cords.

I was all set to jot down my Monday list yesterday when I noticed my computer cord had been chewed almost entirely in half.

I thought I could pick up a new cord for around $20. Turns out cords are more approximately $75.

Needless to say, this was a depressing realization for me.

2. So I made butterscotch pie.
067 - Copy

And the world was a happier place.

3. Then my grandmother called to tell me my brother had left some knives at her house for my boys.
001 - Copy
Because my brother lives so far from me, we often exchange items at her house because her house is the half-way house.

Not to be confused with the halfway house.

“Your brother left some knives here for the boys,” she informed me.

“Knives?” I asked.

“Yeah. He said he told the boys that if they made straight A’s on their report cards, he’d buy them knives. And they’re really big ones too,” she said.

Big?

“Like how big? Like machete big? Or Samurai big?” I inquired.

“I dunno, but I do know they’re bigger than a switch blade knife,” she said, “and they’ve got a lifetime warranty.”

Great.

That’s all my kids need. Weapons that will last them a lifetime.

“Ok, I’ll be by later to pick them up,” I replied.

4. Speaking of knives, we finally carved our Halloween jack-o-lanterns over the weekend.

We, meaning me.

My children were not allowed to operate the carving knife.

5. However, I did allow my 5-year-old to operate my car.
024

6. My boys started wrestling yesterday.

Being a wrestler requires special shoes, and because my boys waited until the last-minute to inform me of the need for the shoes until the day of practice, I was forced to buy them while they were at school.

Which means they wouldn’t be able to try them on.

Fortunately, my 9-year-old and I wear the same size shoe.

So there I was in the store with my purse slung across my shoulder, trying on wrestling shoes .

Apparently, this is typical because none of the salesmen said a word.

7. Getting to the bus stop early to pick up your kids can make for a boring wait.
002 - Copy
Unless your brother happens to get your young children dangerously large big game hunting knives in which case your time can be well spent splicing computer cords that have been chewed by dogs.

8. Last night, the sunset was amazing.
015 - Copy

9. Utterly amazing.

016 - Copy
10. Not to be confused with udderly amazing.

 

The Cake Truck October 25, 2012

Filed under: ranching — Piper Long @ 6:31 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Cattle guards are a wonderful invention.

They are typically used in place of gates where the fence meets the roadway to keep cattle from wandering over into the wrong pasture. They save hurried ranch wives oodles of time that would otherwise be spent parking the car, getting out of the car, opening the gate, getting back in the car, driving through the open gate, parking the car, getting out of the car and closing the gate.

I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

Up until recently our cattle guards have done an outstanding job guarding the gate area.

But recently, the cattle have been jumping the cattle guards.

Some are even tippy-toeing across and gathering at a green patch of grass near the house.

“Why do they keep jumping the cattle guard?” Drover asked, looking out the kitchen window. “The gate was open when I came in and the cows were nowhere in sight. It’s not like they don’t have plenty of food in their pasture.”

“You wanna know why?” I asked, drying my hands on the kitchen towel. “It’s because you drive all over this ranch, handin out that cake grain from your truck. Sure they’ve got food lyin around, but you’ve got cake. You’re like the ice cream truck, only with cake. Heifers will do anything for cake.”

Drover looked at me and I could see the corners of his mouth turn up ever so slightly. And with that he headed out the door to resume his cake truck route.

As soon as the cows heard the sounds of the cake truck in the distance, their ears perked up.
044
And they began to follow.
045
Until they noticed the fresh, healthy greens on the opposite side of the road.

Oh the dilemmas of life.

Healthy greens… or cake?
046
Cake!

Definitely cake!

 

A little muscle please October 11, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 9:55 pm
Tags: , ,

Rose of Sharon

I really meant to get a post up this morning, but Drover volunteered my muscles to help him heave a seed spreader into the back of his flatbed truck. The seeder was in an old barn down in the bottom pasture where some of our cows reside, and since we were driving all the way down there, he also decided we needed to feed and check the herd of bovines.

I was riding shotgun listening to Adele on the radio while Drover rattled off a lengthy list of things that needed to be done in the bottom pasture and how the weed spray he put out earlier this spring had done a good job of getting rid of the pesky yellow wildflowers like the ones I had in a vase on my table.

I might’ve tuned out a bit here and there, but ended up being fairly present by saying, “uh-huh” every now and then.

We drove up beside a young weak calf and Drover pointed out the need to bring the horse back down to rope the calf to medicate it.

“Ya, that’s probably a good idea,” I said as though I know what’s best in situations like that.

I looked over at Drover who was looking out the driver’s side window at the calf and felt the engine rev as the truck accelerated into the pasture. The next thing I knew, Drover had bailed out of the moving truck on me.

The driver’s seat was empty, the door was wide open and the truck was veering off toward the herd of Momma cows.

This is where a bench seat would have come in handy.

I leaned over the center console to see Drover wrestling the calf to the ground, the truck still driving itself through the field of cows. I grabbed the wheel while angling myself over the center console into the driver’s seat, trying to steer the truck away from the herd without hitting Drover who by this time had already immobilized the young calf.

The man is invincible.

Remind me to increase his life insurance… Just in case.

When I reached the driver’s seat, I slammed my foot on the break, threw the truck into park, grabbed a rope from the back seat and hopped out to assist.

Turns out the calf had been mauled by either a dog or a coyote and needed further medical treatment for a gaping wound under his right hind leg.

Once again, Drover volunteered my muscles to assist him… this time to heave the calf up onto the bed of the truck so we could give him proper medical care.

Tonight the calf is safe and sound in a pen near the house, with Honey, the Great Pyrenees, keeping watch.

 

Pop Quiz! October 8, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 9:34 am
Tags: , , , ,

037
1. These bulls are:
A.) Having a rational political conversation.
B.) Fighting over the last remaining blade of green grass.
C.) Male.

001
2. The person on the horse is:
A.) Me
B.) The Headless Horseman
C.) Drover

Untitled
3. The boy in this picture:
A.) Is ashamed to be wearing a hat he found on the road near the Drummond ranch.
B.) Hates candy.
C.) Won 1st place in the Tulsa State Fair Bubble Gum Bubble Blowing Competition over the weekend.

050
4. The Hereford in this picture:
A.) Is the class clown of the herd.
B.) Can touch her tongue to her nose.
C.) Both A and B.

074
5. This little cowboy is:
A.) Adorable
B.) Precious
C.) All of the above

044
6. These kittens are:
A.) Adorable
B.) Precious
C.) All of the above

Through the gate
7. This horse’s name is:
A.) Trouble
B.) Trigger
C.) Cattle

Lavender
8. Today is:
A.) Monday
B.) Columbus Day
C.) Both A and B

Answers: 1. C 2. C 3. C 4. C 5. C 6. C 7. C 8. C

They’re all C!!!

Happy Monday ya’ll!

 

A Good Seed October 4, 2012

Filed under: Gardening,Musings,Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 12:38 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Once upon a time, I lived on a farm.

On this farm, I had a garden.

It was a good garden. Free from weeds. Fertile. Full of only good seeds and plants. Surrounded by lush, soft, beautiful green grass that smelled heavenly when cut. I’m obsessed with the smell of fresh cut grass lately. Mostly because the drought has deprived me of the scent I didn’t realize I craved. I smelled it for the first time in a long time when Drover mowed the few blades of grass in our yard the other day. I’ve been in a state of euphoria ever since.

Looking back at old pictures of this garden, I remember the euphoria it imposed upon me. And not just the garden, but the farm in general. The farm that has been in my family for years and years and will continue to be in my family for as long as I live. It’s the farm that we spent so much time restoring and manicuring. We built 4 big, new barns to replace the ones destroyed by the tornado. We dug nice deep ponds that filled with water back when it rained. We stretched sturdy, tight fences that actually contained the livestock we put behind them. For the most part.

In other words, we worked hard on this dairy farm.

‘We’ meaning Drover for the most part, I helped as best I could.

Each day I would throw my hair up in a bun and wrap it in a doo rag and head out to help Drover take care of whatever needed to be taken care of.

Looking back now it seems this typically involved dealing with manure.

Scraping manure from the lot… scrubbing manure from the walls of the barn… shoveling manure out of the chicken house…

My hair just wasn’t ever up for any of this. Hence the doo rag.

I don’t know why, but for some reason this picture always reminds me of the time when there was a thick layer of snow on the ground and I was going out to feed the bottle calves. Instead of just stopping at the doo rag, I decided to add a warm black knitted stocking hat… the kind that not only goes over your head, but your entire face with cutouts for the eyes, and mouth.

It also happened to be the day the vet was coming out to preg check some cows. He was dressed in Levi’s, a flannel shirt and a Carhart vest. No hat. I remember him looking at me with smiling eyes, trying to hide his amusement and saying, “Oh come on… it’s not THAT cold!”

Clutching the bottle carriers in both hands, making my way toward the barn, I tried to respond, to defend my cozy head piece, but by then the knit cap had worked its way up over my mouth and all that came out was mumbles.

Which brings me to where we are now.

281
Gardening at the ranch.

The ranch that has been in Drover’s family for many, many years.

The ranch that we decided needed a little sprucing up…. new fences… new ponds… new barns… new garden…

279

It’s a good thing we have three little braves to help us out.

They’re pretty good boys.

280

This one here…

He’s a good seed.

I think I’ll keep him.

 

A Dent in my Car October 3, 2012

Filed under: Musings — Piper Long @ 8:52 am
Tags: , , , ,

There’s a dent in my car,
It twasn’t my fault.
Tis the spot where my horse’s hiney
came to a halt.
Untitled
He was minding his own,
eating feed from the truck,
When he was startled by someone,
Who spoiled his luck.

Cause when a horse finds some feed,
it is fortunate you see…
Cause bicycle seats
aren’t quite as tasty.

010

Tis a good thing I saw this
after the fact,
the horse pen was built
to hold me back.

Through the gate

 

 
%d bloggers like this: