Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home
It snowed, snowed, and then snowed some more.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

No Hat Is Safe

Not my best picture!
I know that we live in a desert and in the desert you have dust storms, but when you add a herd of 200 cows in front of you walking into the wind, it is like riding in a hurricane of dirt. Then to top it off, I thought it finally had started to sprinkle a little bit, by the time I figured out that it was 'just' the cow pee blowing back on our dirt covered faces another hurricane gust hit and ripped my hat off and it landed in a green grass fresh cow patty!!! Can you say "NOT HAPPY AT ALL"!!!

Paulino started to laugh and that was when his hat lifted up and flew away, it landed somewhere in the sage brush. It took him a good 20 minutes to find it!!! Roger had his hat tied on with a piece of twine, he look completely ridiculous but he still had a hat that was in one piece at the end of the day.

After the cleaning.
This was our Friday, we got up early to beat the storm that never showed up. Got to Meadow Creek around 8 am gathered up the newly branded calves and their moms and started them up Kelly Canyon. This was our 2nd bunch and they weren't to excited about moving to the mountain like the 1st bunch was. The 1st bunch left on their own and we only had to push around 35 out the next day, these 35 were included in the 2nd bunch because they had come back to the meadow so they could load up on the green grass again, which is the ingredient for the green grass patties or better yet the green grass squirts - you never want to be hit with the squirts. Ok, now that we have covered that, on with the story.

The grasshoppers have beat the cows to the grass in the bottom of the canyons, which mean the cow have to go up on top. So we headed for Little Jim, this is the canyon that I had met some bears in last summer so I took my faithful Buddy, Roger and Pauleno were on their own because I took the front 75 or so up ahead and left them with the 'slow' cows. I knew that the trail had been washed out and it was going to be difficult getting them to climb up the canyon, they didn't let me down, I wasn't aware that cows don't really care to make new trails until we came to the washed out part of the canyon but I am fully aware of it now - you learn something new daily.

By the time I had gotten my herd up the canyon, I had yelled and screamed so much that my voice was gone. I am sure that all the dirt that had been forced down my throat by the wind didn't help matters any at all either, but I then realized that I had left my water in Rogers saddle bag. Not a problem I would just dig down in one of the springs until fresh clear water comes out and get a drink, then I would zip back down and help the guys get their cows over the ponderosa tree that is laying across the trail.... so I started to mine for water, it worked, I found fresh - clear water. Now I know that when it flooded last summer it put around 2 feet of loose dirt over the springs, but I needed a drink. I stepped up to the spring and sunk up to my knees in mud, there went the clear water. See I learned another thing, you should always remember how deep the dirt was after the flash flood because if don't you will end up with a couple of boots filled with very cold muddy water.

After this experiment was complete I figured that I would just go find Roger and my water. You would never believe where I found the guys, they were off of their horses mining. Roger was digging down to find the fresh clear water, then Pauleno stepped in to get a drink and down he went. Now I don't care who you are, this was funny, I guess it only takes one woman to find water and very cold muddy water filled boots and it take two men to make it funny!!! Roger wanted to know why I didn't warn them, I told him that would have if I could talk. They had drank my water, and theirs, which did not make it funny for very long.

It took us about another 2 hours to get the rest of the cows to climb over the downed tree and up the hill. None of us had really bothered to look at the other, because when we arrived at the truck, Sandra busted out laughing. Our faces looked like a wind shield that was covered with dust and a few sprinkles of water had landed on it. I am going to post the pictures, and this is a hard decision for me, but for my followers I will show you how dirty this job can be!! Even after the cleaning, your brows, ears and noses were still covered with dirt.

Roger and I went back the next morning to make sure that the cows didn't come back, and there were 35 cows with their calves and 2 lazy bulls that came back with them. So we pushed them out on foot in the wind....again.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Everyone Is a 'Want-To-Be' Until The Work Begins!

Jay and I with Lil Buck.
If I had a $100.00 for every person that has came out here to work and then decided that it wasn't their cup of tea, I would be a billionaire by now. If only......

Now this might sound a little harsh or a bit rude, but there is nothing I like better than having some bar stool cowboy come out here to teach us a thing or two. You can pick them out from a mile away by the big shinny belt buckle that must pinch their spare tire every time they bend over and you know darn well that they didn't get it by participating in any rodeo or on a live animal, by their perfectly shaped and spotlessly clean 10 gallon hat, and you really can tell by their boots and the way they are wearing them. Most of them are chewing a wad of tobacco shoved in their lips for the first time and they have their heads spinning so fast that they can barely walk in their bar stool fancy boots and skin tight wranglers - we won't even mention the pinching that is going on there!! There are other types of Want-To-Be's to, and it seems that they all end up out here.

We are cattle ranchers, not cowboys. We ride good horses because we depend on our horses with our lives. We have skinned up boots and our spurs aren't shinny. We have ragged jeans and shirts from being ran through the brush and trees. Not one of us out here have a hat that isn't bent, tore, or dirty. This is no place for a whiner or crybaby, because you will be doing a lot of both if you are....and we will see to it. Since we don't have much entertainment out here, whipping some bar stool cowboy into shape is a real high light for us. We never have to fire anyone, it seems that they all leave at their own will and if we somewhat liked them we might give them a ride to Pelican Lake Cafe, if not then it is a long walk to town.....

Seth helping Burt
I will just detail a few that have came and gone in the past year. Let me see, there was Seth and Dillon. Seth was a good kid and he could ride a horse and he was a good worker, but he was afraid of the dark and it just so happens that we don't have any lights out here so the winter nights were a bit long for him. Seth got a ride to the cafe. Dillon on the other hand did manage to get himself fired, he was lazy and the only skill that he really had was leaning. I guess he thought he was a post leaning up against the fence, because that was all he ever did. Dillon was only here for 4 days, and had to find his own ride to town.

Next came 'The Foreman'. Yep that's what he thought he was and told everyone that he was, even family members. The Foreman could ride a horse-somewhat-as long as you were walking, he always wanted to be in the lead and never knew where he was going, and it was never to hard to find The Foreman because his horse was always eating instead of herding cows. Now with The Foreman, you could never tell him what to do because he would run home and cry about having to work. The Foreman didn't like to shower because there might be a spider in the shower so you never wanted to get down wind from him or have to be in a vehicle without a/c with him. Another amazing skill that The Foreman had was if he lost sight of Clay he would go into this panic state and run in circles until he found him again, we weren't to familiar with this so it was quite amusing for us to watch. It didn't take long for us to pick up on the fact that this was a guy that deserved to be roughed up and toughened up every minute that we had to be around him, you know like the tattle tale in school that you shoved in the lockers and left all day, well this was 'The Foreman'. Another irritating thing about The Foreman was that he would show up sometime on Monday or Tuesday and be out of here by Thursday afternoon, now you might figure out that this didn't set well with the rest of us!

Not a ding on that hat!
All American Cowboy Kent....not much to say here, he had shinny spurs, tight wranglers tucked inside his boots that matched his shinny spurs and a spotless 10 gallon hat. His saddle had a buck roll on it, which didn't help him a bit, he fell off of two horses in two days!! Kent made the claim of being a horse breaker, and couldn't even ride our baby mule!! Kent only lasted a few days....The thing I remember about Kent, was that I had to help him get on and off of the horses and in the process of getting on his 3 inch spur would get stuck in his bright yellow plastic raincoat that was tied on the back of his saddle. Never seen anyone like Kent before and hope to never see another one like him again.

After Kent came Gregorial and Elvarado (guessing at the spelling). They came together and out of the two, Elvarado was the better worker and Gregorial had some abilities but you couldn't get him to apply them. Gregorial was always on the phone and since we don't speak Spanish, we had no idea what he was saying until we woke up one day and they were both gone. Not sure how far they walked but they left with the clothes on their backs and their phones. As we later found out, they needed someone to pay their way up here from Peru and to sign on as their employer so that they could get up here to work, but they had already lined up a job in California and that's where they are now. Right in the middle of gathering season, they up and leave.

Julio was always smiling
Then came Julio, he was a good guy and was a cousin to Gregorial. It seems that Gregorial was feeling a bit guilty about running off so he lined up his cousin and sent him out here. Julio was a city guy 100 percent and didn't adapt well to not having his modern conveniences - tv, phone, electricity, washer and dryer and woman companionship. He called this place 'Stress Canyon' and begged for us to get him out of here! He was here for 2 months and hugged us the day he left for sending him to town. I felt sorry for Julio because he really was a good man and he was going crazy out here, all he wanted was a wife and he wanted one very badly.

Now as you can see, it is hard to get good dependable help out here. If it wasn't for Jay and myself there wouldn't be any help out here. Jay has been here for so long that I don't even remember when he first showed up, but one thing you can count on with Jay is that he don't claim to be anything but will do everything. Jay lives on Willow Creek in an old cabin the only has running water in the summer and he is content with that. Jay does not like to ride and might complain after 6 hours or so, but he will do it as long as you need him to. Jay is a good guy that always has your back covered and all he asks in return is that you cover his. We never say it, but thanks for all you do Jay, this place wouldn't be the same without you here working with us. 

Jay and Tess