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Monday, February 23, 2015

It's A Cold Moo Cow Monday

It's a bit snowy in our neck of the woods!

No matter the amount of snow, wind or cold, the cattle have to be fed.
These are some hungry girls!

Cake is laid out in a line.

Everyone  takes their place in the line.

The cattle are counted and checked for health.

Our calving season doesn't  start for another 2 weeks.
Flower Boy would have liked to have calves hitting the ground a in January.
Because of these past few weeks of cold weather, I am so happy I won that battle.
I have fears of raising a calf crop in my bathroom, mud room and utility!

 The girls wait as Flower Boy prepares their hay bale.

Cletus, the Angus Bull, he doesn't like to wait.

I love this shot!
It shows the passion Flower Boy has for our cattle and the respect Cletus has for Flower Boy.

I have to say, I am glad I got to stay in the truck!
It is cold outside!

What is the weather like in your neck of the woods?

I do hope you are staying warm!

Rancher Girl

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Letter To Future Ranch Wives

I have been handed a challenge.

It all started with The Bachelor 2015 Season.
Do you watch this show?
I don't.
I am normally asleep during its showing, somehow, the show just doesn't fit into our DVR lineup.

Apparently, this years bachelor is a farmer from Iowa?
There are a few country, rural or farm girls vowing for this bachelor's heart?
Most of the women are from the city?

Thus prompted the proposed challenge...
Write a letter to future ranch wives.
Oh, the things to type!

Dear Future Ranch Wives,

Being raised a rancher's daughter and living the ranch life my entire life, I thought this letter would be an easy one.

Living this life is not effortless.
There are long hours, never ending work, and countless disappointments.
On the other hand, this life will provide you with the most fulfillment, joy, and love ever thought possible.
It is a life like no other.

I do have a bit of advise for you.
Bare with me, as this advise is rather lengthy.

Learn the tools of your ranchers tool box.
There are different types and sizes of screwdrivers.
Phillips and Star drivers are not the same.
Standard drivers are not pry bars, but are often used as them.
Pry bars do look like very large standard drivers with a bent end.
 Know the difference between wrenches and sockets.
When your rancher asks for a tool, most likely, you will be the one retrieving it.
A 9/16 is somewhat standard, so grab that one first.

Lower your expectations.
You will make plans and have invites to attend many social events.
You will attend those events alone.
Your rancher will be in the field, it will be calving season, fences will be down, or bulls will be fighting.
You cannot expect your rancher to ignore his duties of the ranch to attend social gatherings.
He won't miss them all.

Know your directions and landmarks.
You will be called to the field or sent on parts runs.
When your rancher says "I need you to come 5 miles north, 2 miles east, back south 1 mile and west into."
You will have to find him.
He will hand you a grease covered part, telling you to drive 80 miles to the tractor dealer to pickup a replacement part matching said grease covered part.
Oh, and he expects you back in less than 2 hours.

There are 5 primary types of fuel;
Gasoline, Diesel, Farm Diesel, Propane and Kerosene.
As well as, 3 types of fuel cans;
Red, Yellow and Blue.
Gasoline belongs in the Red can.
Kerosene belongs in the Blue can and fuels the shop heaters.
Diesel belongs in the Yellow can, although when you are at the fuel station, the diesel nozzle is green.
Farm Diesel belongs in the tractor and equipment, while regular Diesel fuels his truck.
Propane is delivered via a transport truck.
It is stored in a very large and unsightly tank sitting outside your home and is used to fuel your heating system and cooking stove, maybe even your hot water.
Do not confuse the fuel types.

Shopping and meal planning are your responsibility.
Bottled water, potatoes, ice and Little Debbie's are staples.
Your rancher will not eat chicken, although he loves eggs.
It's what's for dinner!

Speaking of dinner...
There is breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper in your rancher's meal vocabulary.
Breakfast is eggs, bacon/sausage, potatoes, and toast/biscuits.
If biscuits are served, you will need to know how to make cream gravy from the bacon/sausage drippings.
YES, this is eaten!
Lunch is taken to the field or packed in the cooler.
This will be the only time your rancher will eat a sandwich.
Dinner is served at noon and eaten at the table.
This may be a meal you have spent time preparing and then...  well... your rancher doesn't arrive to eat because of issues in the pasture.
Pack it up and take it to him.
Remember your directions.
Supper is the evening meal, served only after all the chores are done and animals have been cared for.

The lawn is also your responsibility, most of the time.
While your lawn is green and growing, so are the pastures.
This means he will be spraying pastures and preparing for hay season.
You should be prepared for more parts runs.

You will not have beautiful flower beds around your house, unless you make them yourself.
It's easier to plant flowers in baskets and containers.
If you are lucky, your rancher will send you flowers often.
Mine does!
This will make up for not having, wanting or needing flower beds.
They are too much work anyway and you won't have time.

What happens at the pens, stays at the pens.
You will be expected to help work cattle.
Your rancher will yell and scream.
Remember he is not yelling at you.
He is yelling at the situation and frustration.
You will be expected to push the cattle to him, climb the fence, and assist with doctoring, banding and branding in the chute.
There are times when you are his only help.
He knows he needs you and will thank you for it on the way back to the house.  

There will be a medical jump box/bag located in the feed truck.
It's sole purpose is not for human use.
Keep an ample supply of liquid dish soap, rubbing alcohol, peroxide and bleach, on hand.
That shiny chain and D shape hooks that are in the feed truck door, leave them there.
You will soon learn the purpose of all the above.

There are also several types of gloves.
Cotton Gloves are the gloves your rancher will wear during the winter.
Leather Gloves are the gloves used to put out hay and fix fence.

Then there are OB Gloves...
They encompass your entire arm, all the way to your shoulder
Your arm and shoulder!
His arm is to large to fit in the end of a heifer when she is calving.
You will have to assist.
This will be the moment you are educated about the medical jump box.
It will be one of the best moments of your life!

Date nights will not always consist of meals out and movies.
Consider truck time, tractor time, chore time, and watching the sun set, a date.
Those are much better than "dinner and a movie".
Your best dates will be calving season and those moments you both assist in birthing a calf.
This will be the point at which you realize you and he are a team and you are a part of something much bigger than the ranch.
Wire is a necessary part of the ranch and will always be on the back of your ranchers truck.
Baling Wire, Electric/Hot Wire and Barbed Wire
Bailing Wire is used to hold small square bales together as they leave the baler.
Baling Wire is considered a tool to your rancher.
It has many uses, after the square bale is fed.
 Electric/Hot Wire, although used to feed current, it is not to be confused with the insulated electric wire in the walls of your home.
Barbed Wire is the fencing wire that contains the cattle in the pastures.
It will be used daily, as there is always a broken wire somewhere on the ranch.

Always remember, your rancher and his horse were best friends before you.
Their relationship is as special as your relationship with your rancher.
Allow them time together.
His horse will never love you.
To him, you took his best friend.
None the less, show your rancher's horse love and affection.

There will be a time when your rancher will call and you will have to tend to the house chores.
House chores are not inside the home chores, like laundry and cleaning.
Those are already your responsibility.
House chores are normally cattle that are in the lot or sick pen and feeding your rancher's horse.
Be prepared for the horse to push you against the fence and bully you.
This is his way of getting back at you for taking his best friend.

As for laundry, there will be plenty of it!
Your washer and dryer will run every day.
Laundry is never ending.
A soaking sink is a requirement.
Prepare for mud, water, dirt, blood, and poop!
Do not wash your work clothes with your rancher's.

Don't talk to your rancher when he is watching the weather.
Although he can predict the weather better than the forecaster or any of the 5 weather apps he may have on his phone, he still considers it important to watch.
Markets also fall into this same importance. 

Never pass up a moment to spend with your rancher.
The ranch is his job, but you are his priority.
You will realize this when you see the love he holds for a new born calf or compassion for a momma cow in distress.
He sees the beauty in a patch of wildflowers or a red tailed hawk, as it flies over the truck.
He finds a new beginning in every sunrise and a since of accomplishment with each sunset.
Your rancher's heart is as big as the sky.
His faith is deeper than the ocean.
He knows love like no other.
He loves you more than you will ever know.

Your rancher's expectations are high, but only because he believes in you and knows you have the ability to make things happen.
You are among the elite to be chosen. 
As you enter into this relationship with your rancher, you also enter into one of the hardest, but most rewarding and life changing experiences, you will ever undertake.
You can do this!

Rancher Girl

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Rockin' B Vehicle Detailing

It all started with this!
A beautiful photo, of frosted mud and grime on the feed truck, posted on Instagram!
I think the photo is beautiful!

I am the only one, on the ranch, that thought so.
Because, that photo led to this!

A date night at the car wash!

Several months ago, we had to say goodbye to Ole' Red.
It was our old feed truck.
Actually, there were two.
We said goodbye to both.
They were older and costing more to keep them maintained than they were worth.
This was a decision that had to be made.

With that, Flower Boy was able to upgrade to a larger feed truck.
The "new to us" truck provides all the things we need and room for growth.
This photo is Flower Boy and the truck, before the bale bed and cake feeder were installed.
It's a happy day in a ranchers life when he can upgrade his old worn out feed wagon!
Just look at that smile!

Of course, along with the "new to him" vehicle, came the speech, from his Rancher Girl, about how this vehicle had better be taken care of, washed, cleaned, vacuumed, and stay nice.
It is going to have to last for a very long time!

After I posted the photo, of what I thought was beautiful, I think Flower Boy took it as a hint to detail the truck.
 Drewman requested to do the honors.

The truck was pulled into the garage.
 Something about the sun not hitting the wax and temperatures...

No words needed on this photo!

Drewman applied wax and removed wax.
Wax On... 
Wax Off...
 Flower Boy inspected.
 Now the hood.
 The drivers side.

After several coats of wax Flower Boy's truck looks better than it did when it was purchased.
 Thanks son!

I believe this was the beginning of Rockin' B Vehicle Detailing!
Need your feed wagon, mom wagon or dirt road wagon looking spiffy?
Contact us!
Drewman will fix you up!

There may be a wait list.
My car is next!

Rancher Girl

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Texture Tuesday ~ Transformed Rancher Girl Style

I snagged this little cabinet, from a friend, for $20!
According to my photos it was early October.
It has set in our garage this entire time.
Like most of my projects after the house build, this pretty little cabinet took a back seat to our busy life.

I love the lines of this cabinet.
It is solid wood.
It is the perfect size and dimension for the location in which I wanted a cabinet placed.
I had a desire to transform it into something ranchey.
You know...
The type of Rancher Girl style or spin I like to throw on things.
With me, nothing can be simple and plain!

I took to sanding.
I roughed up the finish.
Knocked off the sharp edges of the corners.
In some places, I even sanded it down to bare wood.
Then I went paint shopping!
In the storage shed!
We have several gallons of old paint stored there.
I knew I could find a color that would work well.

I did find a taupe type color and some dark stain.
The more I thought about this combination, the less I was inclined to place it on the cabinet.
The walls of our home are sand color.
I wanted the cabinet to pop!
Not blend.

This took me to the store.
I hate shopping and spending money.
Lucky for me, I had some items to return.
They had been riding around in the back of my car just waiting on the right time to be returned.
Somehow, I knew I would be purchasing a different color of paint.

This is the color combination I came up with!
  After the dark stain was added.

I had my mind set to make this cabinet pop!
I had no choice but to dive in!
One light and watered down coat.
I wanted texture and some of the grain to come through.

After the second coat.

Every Rancher Girl knows to NEVER walk away from a project if it is in a place to be in contact with the animals.
I walked away for a very short time!
Just long enough for the second coat of paint to dry!
I said I wanted this cabinet to look ranchey!

 The entire cabinet after two coats of orange.

Don't forget the shelves and door!

I then added another dimension by dry brushing the taupe paint onto the cabinet.
 It dulled down the brightness of the orange.
Don't you think?

Lastly, I coated the entire cabinet with the dark stain.
 I believe the stain added even another layer of depth.

It has now found its place in our living room, between the front door and the entry into the mud room.
Although I am still shopping for that perfect ranchey pull for the door and there is still some decor to be added, I love the cabinet even more than I did when I made the $20 purchase back in October!

Pretty ranchey!
Don't you agree?

I can't wait to do more projects like this!

Rancher Girl

Monday, February 2, 2015

Moo Cow Monday!

We had to build a little electric fence not long ago.
This had to be done in stages, thanks to the Oklahoma weather.
The property owner has some clearing and cleaning to do on the front few acres.
We installed the fence to keep the cattle in the clear and away from the activity.

Posts were driven on the first stage.
Drewman and a friend drove the posts, with Flower Boy's supervision.
This was a quarter mile fence, so several posts were driven.

Flower Boy's shoulder was another reason for the stages of fence building.
No worries!
He is fine.
Just a little bursitis from a very old injury and abuse to his body when he was younger.
Note to those reading:
Take care of yourself!
God only gives us one body!
 Wire was strung.
 I drove the truck.

The wire was tightened.

 The wire was clipped to the posts.

The solar charger was installed.

 There is this huge electric tower that sits over the fence line.
 Right under the tower is the gate between the two pastures.
 Open the gate and call the cattle across.

 Happy Monday!

Rancher Girl