Workers Behind the Scenes

Many times we work along doing the big jobs. The big jobs are important and we see their benefit instantly. This is with any job and with any aspect of life. 

However we many times forget all the little jobs that make life easier. As I was walking to the barn the other day I was reminded of this.

 You see several years ago we were overrun with mice. Now that doesn’t sound so devastating, but let me tell you it is. Mice get in everything! They get into the equipment. They chew wires and hoses in vehicles. The hunting house is only used for about a month out of the year and they enjoy the warmth it gives and their ability to be wild and free with no humans around. We also had just bought a camper and in a matter of hours the obvious sign that a mouse had gotten in was there. 

I had tried to get cats over the years. Probably 20 or more. None stayed around and I decided it was probably the fact I was getting cats not kittens. 

I took action I went to Facebook looking for kittens. I ended up with 14 kittens! Yes that’s correct 14. With these fourteen was our house cat Dumbledore and soon to be seen was Big Tom. Big Tom apparently had been living in our hay stack for years. I had never seen him, but when kittens began to scurry around the barn, he showed up. 

I spoil my kitties. This is their own stall in the barn. I purchased small square bales so they have shelter from the cold and made a loft to climb on.
Now we live on a ranch and well ranch life happens to us all. A few met sad ends with Joe (the cat killing border collie)taking out a few, a few getting locked inside buildings, the boys grew up and just left, and some just died. Of the original 14 and two others. We have about 4 of the original and big Tom left. Luckily some have had babies and we see those from time to time. Some are a little wilder than others. 

This is Link. He stays near our house. He has two white spots on his head where he was bit by a rattlesnake.

We now have some amazing cats that do wonderful pest control. These are my behind the scene workers. They work to make my life easier. We truly have no mice. I have not placed my eyes on a living mouse in a long time and for that I am thankful. 

Today they got extra food to ensure a day of relaxation. 

My Job. . . Fire Watch

When welding needs to be done. Someone needs to be on fire duty. So I watch for smoldering grass and flare ups. In our dry climate in Wyoming this is an important job. The grass feeds our livestock. If a fire starts up it could not only burn our pastures but our neighbors as well. 

This is just another one of those daily tasks that are just as important as our livestock working days. Keeping fences and water sources in top shape enables us to focus on other things. 

Today we were fixing corners and supports around a new solar well. This will help the cattle to utilize this side of the pasture. 

This helmet was my sons Christmas gift. He was at school today and my hubby needed one. It works great, thanks John. 

 Outdoor Therapy

Today is one of those days for being outside. It Is one of those days where you just want to stay outside and find anything to do. You know the kind of day where you want to find anything so you don’t have to go back in your house and clean.

This morning has been one of those. One of the cows in the lot calved, but she pushed it outside. The hubby looked and looked but never could find it. I found it snuggled up in the shade beside a tree. Tucked under a fallen limb, just as content as could be. I reunited the pair and away they went. 

Then we got down to some much needed springtime work. One of those chores that vine every year, fence fixing. I really love fixing fence. Looking for lost staples out of a fence post and then putting them back just does something to my soul. Maybe it is the history lover in me or maybe just the nostalgia of it all, but knowing that I am putting in a staple that someone else put in 50+ years ago it warms me. I feel connected to the past. I feel that I am keeping up their hard work. So today that is what I did. 


And now off I go. My son and I are headed to Sheridan where he is competing. I am stopping to pick up a kitchen aid professional mixer I bought in an auction last night it is a Hobart made one. I am so excited I love the larger ones. 

Aboo likes to help. Well she likes to run around anyway.   

And You Thought You Were Having a Bad Day!!

Oh!cake everywhere
Oh! Cake Everywhere. This is a small snapshot of the spill!

Yesterday started out just as any other. I woke up, cooked breakfast for the kids. Then off to the school bus stop we go. I wished my lovely studious little children a good day and headed back to the ranch. Wow, what a grand life.

Once I was back in the house the plans for the day were discussed. My wonderful hubby gave me the details of the rest of my day. He was going to work on a few things, then after lunch we would move cows to another pasture. Burr, I thought. Then, bless his heart, he informed me that I could ride in the truck and call the cows, while he rode the four-wheeler behind.  I tell you I almost screamed with joy.  Yeah,  won’t be cold.


This is the 5 ton feeding truck. Now you see why I enjoy driving it.

The rest of the morning I worked on cleaning out our old email account and doing a few other odds and ends.  I joined JJ in the kitchen for a quick lunch and out the door we went.

It ended up I was driving the 5 ton army truck. Not a problem. I loaded up the dogs. In this I do mean I literally loaded them up. It is a ways up there. JJ had already loaded the 600 pounds of cake into the cake feeder. I was headed up ahead of him to start gathering the cows.

I love driving this huge truck. I am the king of the road, I am high up and can see everything. The dogs, I am not sure what they think. It’s loud. It’s bumpy. But they enjoy being with me, so down the road we go.

You know that feeling when things are just great. When your flying high on life because, well what can go wrong. It was a beautiful although windy day in the high 30’s.  Moving cows is always fun. I was going to enjoy this time.

Then Wham!!! It all goes down the drain.  

I got too close to the shoulder. Our new road that the oilfield companies recently built has a very steep shoulder. Let me say a 5 ton truck on a steep shoulder. Oh yeah, I was in a panic. I just new I was turning over.  I quickly removed my foot from the gas and let it go down the shoulder and out into the pasture. Well army trucks don’t stop when your foot comes off the gas. They go, and go. I panicked. Then there it is. A large embankment. More like a motocross jump looking hill was coming at me fast. I remembered the brake and both feet hit it at once.

Did I mention I had 600 pds of cake in the cake feeder on the back of the truck. Well I did when I started. OPPS!!

I got it stopped as I crested the first hill.  The cake feeder flew off the truck.  When I looked back the cake was spread from the moment I left the road all the way to that hill. Well I drove it back up on the road.

I faced the facts. I had to call the hubby. I already checked the cake feeder, it was not damaged. Wheww. but it was definitely empty. oh noooo!

Well I called him and mentioned I was in a little accident. He was concerned but when I mentioned the cake was no longer available to feed with, well plans had to change.

He showed up, we moved the truck. The new plans were discussed. I would be riding a four-wheeler along with him on the motorcycle to move cows. Did I mention the fact I was going to be riding in truck, so I did not dress for being outside.  He did take pity and give me his stocking hat. It was out of pure pity, I know.

Well it all worked out. The cows got moved, I survived riding in the cold. We picked up the kids and he didn’t kill me for spilling 600 pds of feed.

Well today we went up and scooped as much as we could and I picked up some more by hand. Everything worked out. I think at the end we managed to gather up around 300 pounds of cake and a lot of dirt!