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.

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The Cake Truck October 25, 2012

Filed under: ranching — Piper Long @ 6:31 am
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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.
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And they began to follow.
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Until they noticed the fresh, healthy greens on the opposite side of the road.

Oh the dilemmas of life.

Healthy greens… or cake?
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Cake!

Definitely cake!

 

Beyond Bird Creek October 18, 2012

Filed under: ranching,Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 9:02 am
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I love fall. I would love it even more if it didn’t come with colds and allergies.

The other day, I was fighting off my first cold of the season.

I was curled up under a cozy blanket on the couch armed with a box of Kleenex, cold medicine and the remote control. The kids were off to school and the laundry was in the wash when Drover walked in wearing a denim Wrangler shirt, a pair of faded Wrangler jeans and spurs.

“I’m not feeling so good today,” I informed him from the couch where I was irrevocably stationed. “I think I’ve got a cold.”

He sympathized with me for about .45 seconds and said, “Well get your boots on, I wanna show you the land across the creek.”

Drover had been so busy since we moved that he hadn’t had a chance to show me all of the land at the ranch. Exploring the back acreage would knock one more section off the list of places to see out here, plus I’d get some idea of what I’m in for when we start building new fences over there this fall.

“Ok,” I replied, pulling an inordinant amount of 2-ply Kleenex from the tissue box. “But I’ll have to go barefoot. I just painted my toenails.”

He looked at me, glanced down at my bright red toes and gave a sort of nod before clanging his way back outside to saddle the horses.

When I got outside, Drover already had Hoyt saddled for me.
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Hoyt was just a colt when Drover gave him to me, about 15 years ago, while we were still dating. I kept him in the pen just down the hill from my parent’s house, where I would feed and brush and spoil him daily.

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But it was Drover who trained him, eventually breaking him to ride.
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Once we crossed Bird Creek, it was all completely new to me.
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There was pasture land, another creek named Clem Creek and miles of an old railway path which included an old bridge with tunnels.

But I couldn’t get over the view on this ridge.

It’s amazing what you can find in your own back yard!
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I don’t even know where we are in this picture, nor do I know how to get there again.

But I was informed that this would be one of the many places where we will be building fence in the very near future.

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I’m pretty sure if you looked up tranquility in the dictionary, you’d see this picture.

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Or maybe this one.

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If this isn’t enough to make a girl feel better, I don’t know what is.

 

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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Fight! October 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 12:45 pm
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Over the weekend, Drover (aka my husband) saddled me up and took me with him to the farm to assist him in roping a calf that was feeling a little under the weather so we could give her a dose of medicine.

Fortunately this didn’t actually entail me roping the calf or we’d have been in trouble.

That’s where Drover comes in handy.

For him, it seems, roping is innate. In our 14 years together, I’ve never seen him practice his roping skills. It’s always been a spur-of-the-moment-on-the-job type situation.

How he steers his horse and ropes a full grown cow or a wriggly little calf is beyond me.

I didn’t get those genes.

Once the calf was medicated, we decided that the rest of the cows were going to need a little coaxing to get them to go out the gate that we intentionally left open a week ago so that they could access the pasture with grass that was more than a few inches tall.

Here’s the thing with cows and gates.

1. Cows will only go through a gate that has been left open by accident.
2. Cows will only go through a gate that has been left open intentionally if bribed.

It’s reverse psychology.

I think.

Anyway, somewhere along the way, the bulls got into it for one reason or another or no reason at all.
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Honest to Pete, the pictures do not do this fight justice. The force with which these bulls hit is ridiculous.

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“Um… excuse me, fellas… but could y’all just scooch over a tad so I can squeeze through the gate there…fellas?”

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“Ya know, on second thought, I’ll just….try the back way.”

 

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

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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.

 

 
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