Coyote Soup

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

A Belated Monday List October 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 10:33 am
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1. When one gets a dog, one should always take into consideration all possible indirect expenses of caring for them.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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9. Utterly amazing.

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10. Not to be confused with udderly amazing.

 

I’ve Done Decided. October 15, 2012

Filed under: Musings — Piper Long @ 8:14 am
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1. I’ve decided that I like color in my world.
I can always count on the leaves to fill this void in my life.
Consequently, fall is my new favorite time of year.
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2. I’ve decided that rain is a true blessing.
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Especially if it’s enough rain to fill 7 ponds.
Because any more than that could be too much.

Any less would be a slap in the face.

3. I’ve decided that white pants and boys do not mesh well.
Especially in football. They shouldn’t be wearing them after labor day anyway, right?
It’s a fashion faux pas.

Therefore, they should be off limits for football players altogether.

4. I’ve decided that I like westerns a lot better when Audrey Hepburn is the leading lady.

It saddens me that she was only in one.

It’s also saddens me that she was only one year younger than me in ‘The Unforgiven’ and Drover thought she was a teenager.

Maybe it’s time for a makeover.

5. I’ve decided that long hair and ranching does not mesh well.
Unless you’re Audrey Hepburn, in which case it’s not an issue.
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What was I thinking when I got a shaggy dog to live on the ranch?

6. I’ve decided that pecans are the perfect food.
Especially when they are in a pie.

You get your protein, fiber, antioxidants, sugar fix, bread group and with a big glass of whole milk, your dairy group.

Is it wrong that I considered these facts when rationalizing the idea of serving Chocolate Double Pecan Pie as dinner?

7. I’ve decided that I like that my boys have 3 day weekends throughout the school year.
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I reserve the right to change my mind on any given weekend.

8. I’ve decided that snot has no real purpose in life.

I don’t care what anyone else says.

9. I’ve decided that I missed my calling as a wildlife photographer.
This picture is living proof.

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The bug on this wildflower is obviously posing for my camera.

10. I’ve decided that my life would not be complete without this man.

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Pop Quiz! October 8, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 9:34 am
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1. These bulls are:
A.) Having a rational political conversation.
B.) Fighting over the last remaining blade of green grass.
C.) Male.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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

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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
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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.

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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…

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

They’re pretty good boys.

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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
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There’s a dent in my car,
It twasn’t my fault.
Tis the spot where my horse’s hiney
came to a halt.
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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.

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

Through the gate

 

A Monday list, 8 hours 10 minutes late. October 2, 2012

Filed under: Musings — Piper Long @ 7:10 am
Tags: , , ,

1. Ticks take all the fun out of an unexpected, spontaneous stroll through the woods.
Especially teeny tiny eensy weensy seed ticks that your five-year-old can barely see good enough to remove with your best pair of tweezers.

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2. Never underestimate an old cow’s greatest strength.
She might just hold the title of Head Butting Champion of the Herd. In which case, it might not be easy to rope her and load her in the trailer without going head-to-head with her.

3. Cinnamon Rolls are quite effective at removing kids from their 3″ memory foam topped mattresses.

4. Smoke alarms work well too.

5. Together, they’re brilliant.
Especially when the smoke was produced from the dripping buttery sweetness bubbling over the dish, having no effect on the deliciousness of the cinnamon rolls.

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6. If you see a cowboy hat on the side of the road near the Drummond ranch, just keep driving. It’s prolly worn out.
Because if your kids are anything like mine, they’ll want to wear it anyway. Nevermind that they have nice, new fitted cowboy hats that are clean.

 

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.

“Mom?”

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

“Yes?”

“Can we have a drink?”

“You got any money?”

“No.”

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

I love walk-up windows!

 

How long has it been? September 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 8:47 am
Tags: , , ,

It’s been so long since my last blog post, I almost feel like I need to reintroduce myself!

Hi. My name is Piper.

I live on a ranch.

I have a husband and three boys.

If it weren’t for the hundreds of female cows living on the ranch, I’d be of the minority gender.

I have survived one full year of homeschooling.

I’m still recovering.

The quite, peaceful, serene days when my kids are in public school help me heal.

They’ve since begged to be homeschooled once again.

To which I laugh hysterically.

They plea their case of inadequate fishing time and lack of time to dirty the house enough for me to clean.

I hand them the homework papers the teacher sent home and remind them that it was their decision to return to public school.

The two oldest boys are playing football.

One is the quarterback, which happens to be the only position I know anything about, but I’m learning.

My youngest is playing soccer.

Which I love because I never hear of soccer players breaking their necks and getting Alzheimer’s and ALS.

In my free time, I sit and try to remember what I did in my free time back when I had free time which I think was back in the 1800’s.

My husband, Drover, usually happens in on these moments of deep thought and instead of seeing a woman in deep thought, sees an available ranch hand.

Then I find myself in a field with cows, fixing fence.

I’m currently reading the latest Captain Underpants book with my 9-year-old.

Who, along with his brothers, is with my husband, checking cows in Kansas.

Which is how I came to remember that once upon a time, I had a blog.

Pleased to make your acquaintance…again!

 

A History of the Farm… in a Magazine October 5, 2011

Once upon a time, the cows and I were in a magazine.

And so was one of my recipes.

I had submitted two of my family’s favorite recipes at the editor’s request.

At the time I didn’t have many recipes with exact measurements, so I settled on the two recipes written with measurements, baking times and pan sizes that gave me consistently satisfying results. They were a bread recipe and a bread pudding recipe.

I’m sure the editor was thrilled with the variety I provided.

In addition to the two recipes, they asked that I hand over my diary for the month.

Not the typical senseless ramblings of my thoughts and emotions type of diary, mind you, but rather the diary that I write in daily which pertains to farm and ranch living.

Hence the name of the magazine, Farm & Ranch Living. We were featured in the Oct/Nov 2005 issue.

I was 25 years old.

25. Years. Old.

When I only had one stretch mark.

And my babies were babies. With baby fat. And clean kissable toes.

sniff, sniff, sob

That’s my middle child in the playpen at 18 months of age.

He will be 7 next month.

I started by introducing our family and the history of the farm. Here’s an excerpt:

“The farm’s history goes back to 1907 when my grandfather’s grandfather… was allotted… [land] within the Osage Indian Reservation…. In the early 1920’s, my great aunt built the home where we live, but sold the property during the Great Depression. In 1956, my grandfather was able to get the farm back and began to renovate it…By 2000, the farm was devastated, not only by years of neglect due to my grandfather’s poor health, but also by a 1991 tornado that destroyed all of the barns and acres of pecan trees.”

We purchased the farm from my grandfather in October 2000 and began constructing barns, installing new fencing, planting crops and updating the historic home.

The magazine documented our daily activities from July 11 through August 10th. And despite the few minor inaccurate accounts, it is something that I enjoy looking back on.

It is also a huge part of why I’m writing this blog.

 

Free Range Eggs July 1, 2011

Filed under: Chickens — Piper Long @ 10:18 am
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Shell color aside, I can always tell a free-range egg from a battery cage egg simply by cracking it open and looking at the yolk.

Can you figure out which eggs are free-range and which are battery-cage?

The battery cage hens only receive grain and are never allowed to access outdoor pasture, thus producing a pale yellow yolk.

Alternatively, the dark orange yolk comes from my free-range hens and is a true reflection of their out-of-doors lifestyle. They eat anything they want on the ranch. Including but not limited to:

1. Donuts
2. Grasshoppers
3. Ticks
4. Moths
5. Rejected cereal
6. Leftover fruit
7. Stale bread
8. Worms
9. Impatiens
10. Grass

And I love that in a round about way, we are eating everything that we buy. Including the crumbs at the bottom of the Ruffles bag and the generic Cookie Crisp cereal that was reject by my children.

And FYI: Free-range eggs have been proven to have significantly less cholesterol, less fat, more vitamin A, more vitamin E, more vitamin B12, more omega-3 fatty acids (the good fat) and more beta carotene. Google it, you’ll be surprised at the difference.

 

 
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