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.
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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.

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The Sidetracked Side of Things. November 7, 2012

Filed under: Country Life — Piper Long @ 9:50 am
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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.
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One removes clips.

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The other holds the clip bucket.

“Have you tried the kare-ra-tee-CHOP! …That’s how I’d do it.”
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“I will try your so-called fencing pliers… but I still think the kare-ra-tee-CHOP would be thy best method.”
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Here, the middle child struggles to remove a stubborn clip.
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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.
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All I know is that our sidetracked helpers have ditched the fencing pliers and clips for weapons like sticks…
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…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.
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Or maybe the west entrance.

 

Wrestling with Dirt November 6, 2012

Filed under: Country Life,Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 10:38 am
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Things get so darn dirty around here.

A. My car.

I’m pretty sure it’s the reason why I have so few friends. It has become a giant mobile text message with all the graffiti my kids have scribbled in the dust-coated exterior provided by my 6 mile long gravel road. Hangman is a popular game for my kids to play on my car while waiting on me to take them to school or wrestling practice.

They’ve also written things like:

I heart my kids

and

Help Me!

I’m really hoping that when people see me and my three boys pass by, they realize I’m the one actually in need of help. At wrestling practice last night I saw my 9-year-old take down a 125 pound boy, nearly twice his size and bigger than me.

It would probably be wise of me to pay a bit more attention to the lessons at practice tonight. Maybe work out a bit. Pump some iron. Perfect my fireman’s carry.

Regardless, I’m thinking the days of getting my bluff in are numbered.

Too bad the days of doing laundry aren’t. I’m pretty sure I will be wrestling with dirty laundry for the rest of my days.

The only thing saving my sanity when it comes to laundry is the delay start button on my front load washing machine. It makes me look so effortlessly efficient.

I can use all the help I can get in that department.

With the delay start button, I can put a load of filthy laundry in the machine before bed, set the timer to start early the next morning and have one load of laundry freshly cleaned and ready to dry before I even get out of bed. If it weren’t for that and the sanitize button on the machine, I’m not sure I could survive life on this ranch.

Don’t get me wrong, the boys do help clean things.

1. Saddles.

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2. More saddles.

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3. And tack.
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But typically they only clean things if it means they can get dirty in the process.

Help me.

 

A Monday List : Have You Ever… November 5, 2012

Filed under: Country Life,Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 10:18 am
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1. Have you ever lost your keys in a football helmet?
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On Saturday, my boys’ football teams had pictures, equipment check-in and a pizza party. While we were there, I was keeping my eye on the clock because I also needed to get my youngest boy to his soccer game in another town.

But somewhere between pictures, changing clothes, equipment check-in and the pizza party, I lost my keys.

I had searched the car, the parking lot, the check-in table, the bleachers, my kid’s pockets… everywhere except my son’s football helmet which by now had been added to the huge heap of 1st-6th grade football equipment piled on a flat-bed trailer.

Fortunately, one of the coaches remembered the general vicinity of my son’s equipment and miraculously found my keys resting in the bottom (or is it the top?) of my son’s football helmet.

How we ever found my keys in that mess, will forever be a miracle to me.

2. Have you ever been late to be early to where you needed to be?

The key fiasco ended up making me 3 minutes late to be early for my son’s soccer game. Which means that instead of being 15 minutes early to the game, we were only 12 minutes early. Which means we were late.

This was a difficult concept to explain to my 5-year-old.

3. Have you ever questioned whether or not the book you were reading was actually written by the author listed on the cover?

Anyone?

Sometimes I find myself getting to know an author and knowing their style and then reading one of their books that just doesn’t seem to read the same….

That’s when I wonder whether they actually wrote the book or just put their name on the cover.

4. Have you ever noticed how peaceful and beautiful the sunrise is in the country?

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5. Have you ever went hunting with a 5-year-old?

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Early one morning this weekend, my two older boys went with their Dad to care for the cows on the ranch, leaving me and my youngest all alone at the house. I dressed us both for comfort in sweatpants and sweatshirts and made a fire in the woodstove, happy to hibernate for the day.

Then my youngest, loading BB’s into his BB gun, asked me if I’d go hunting with him.

How could I possibly say no?

6. Have you ever went hunting with a 5-year-old and happened upon a deer?
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7. Have you ever noticed how cold hardy cilantro is?
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I didn’t plant a fall garden this year due to the drought, so anything that comes up in my garden at this point is purely volunteer.

I love volunteers!

8. Have you ever had Chicken and Wild Rice Soup?

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It’s hardy. It’s filling. And really tasty.

9. Have you ever been to Bass Pro Shop with 3 boys and 1 gift card?

… and wore the wrong shoes and seriously considered having your boys push you around in one of the shopping carts?

10. Have you ever noticed how peaceful and beautiful the sunset is in the country? Especially in the fall?
Sunset at the ranch

 

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.

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I’m sure Junior will lie on them.

Junior is a completely useless cat.
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He has few wants.

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

But we love him nonetheless.
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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.
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Hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!

 

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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A little muscle please October 11, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 9:55 pm
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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.

 

 
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