Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Working" Cows

Often you will hear people use the phrase, "working cows" or "working cattle." As in: What did you do today? We worked cows. What will you do tomorrow? Work cows. I kept asking, HOW??? HOW do you "work" cows? What are you actually doing? So, I was invited one afternoon to the end of a day of "working" cows. Here's what we did:

1. (done before I got there) Get all the cows & calves into a pen
2. Move them from a big pen into a smaller pen (see photo above)
3. Separate the cows from the calves (no photos, I was working)
a. Smack the cows on the butt and get them to walk away from you
b. Smack the calves to get them to start walking
c. Lead the calves into one pen, the cows into another
d. Yell at them to make them go the right way
e. Lead them all back to the start when cows went to the calf pen
f. Lead them all back to the start when calves went with the cows
4. Lead 5-10 calves into a tiny pen
a. See above a-f when trying to move calves
b. Get the calf who jumped in out of the watering hole
5. Lead the calves one by one into a shoot (use "hot shot" cattle prod when needed)
6. Vaccinate calves one by one
7. Let them back into the pen with their moms
8. Lead all the cows & calves out of the pen to the road
9. Get on a 4-wheeler and drive behind them down the road
10. Get all 140 cows & calves into the field across the street.

FAQ 1: What do you "smack" them with?
A cattle prod. It looks like a blind-person's stick- rubber, thin, with an orange tip.

FAQ 2: Does it hurt the calves?
NO WAY!! Most of the time they didn't respond at all to it.

FAQ 3: What's the "hot shot"?
It's the electric version of the cattle prod. It didn't hurt either.

FAQ 4: Was it dangerous?
Kinda. I did get stepped on. These things outweighed me by hundreds of pounds, so when they wanted to go somewhere, I just got out of the way.

For more photos go here and click to the right.

For some new photos of the Grizzly's game we went to in Missoula go here and click to the left.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Overheard: Just now

Me: No one commented on our blog.

Him: That's because no one loves us.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


We've lived in Montana for 18 months. It took me this long to realize something big. Something important. Something so important that I took the "internet" away from Stephan (who was doing his best to use the laptop like a violin- with it resting between his left shoulder and chin, supported by his left hand, typing only with his right) to write you this blog.

After moving here with nowhere to live, bleeding ceilings, brandings, spiders the size of shitzu's, medical procedures, killer deer, killer rabbits, killer mice, killer pheasants, killer sage grouse, sausage suppers, hay bale fires, county fairs, quilts, antelopes on the roof of the car, rodeos, bucking horses, bull riding, well-drilling, bar "hopping", and dog pooping I finally realized WHY Stephan wanted to live here.

Because I think his 34 years on this planet have been leading him to this very moment in time, a moment when he could honestly ask someone... in all seriousness....

"Do you want some of my beef?"

.... and mean it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

To Do:

- Put clothes away

- Take out garbage (it is dump day!)

- Thaw Buffalo meat

- Make Christmas list

- Get yard ready to move dirt

- Call friends/family so they know we're not dead

- Seal foundation of the house

- Insulate closet

Like everyone else, we're getting ready for winter, and in case you didn't get our phone call letting you know we're not dead.... we're not dead.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Boola Boola, We're in Missoula

Missoula, where we keep saying the hippies live, but really it's just full of "tree huggers."

So far we've taken a few good hikes, shopped a lot (a mall, a bead/gem store, a quilt shop), visited the University of Montana, and did some other stuff. There are photos.

Photos of the branding office.

Photo of the winery we visited.

Photos of me being a cool wife.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Who's Lazy Now??

We did it.

We really did it. Seriously. We travelled to Helena (photos to come) and registered a brand.

Uh huh. We registered a brand.

This is our brand....

It's not the same one we had on all our wedding stuff because that one wasn't available. There are over 60,000 registered brands in Montana. The lady (photo to come) had to look through a LOT of brands (there isn't a computerized program, it's an actual book). And there are LOTS of rules. Here is a list of them!!

(this list took forever to put into the computer, I don't have a scanner out here, so I copied the page into Vectorworks and, although I'm the fastest draftsperson in the land, this still took over an hour)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dear State Trooper,

I know that it's the law and everything to carry your drivers' license when you're, oh, say, driving a vehicle. However, my husband forgot his wallet at home before we headed out on this 500+ mile road trip to Missoula, and along with his credit cards and cash, he forgot his license.

So please do not pull us over on the way home.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

What We Did Tonight

Bear Down, Chicago Bears
Make every play clear the way to victory
Bear Down, Chicago Bears
Put up a fight with your might so fearlessly.
We'll never forget the way you thrilled the nation
With your T-formation

Bear Down, Chicago Bears
And let them know why you're wearing the crown
You're the pride and joy of Illinois

Chicago Bears, Bear Down!*

*does not reflect upon the journalistic talents of the blog-author, only the html talents she is willing to exploit for love.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Swirling Vortex

Sorry it's been a few days- I was waiting for yet another biopsy result (I didn't post about it because- I just didn't want to) which came out negative yesterday so YEAH! This one was much closer to vital organs, and if it had come out positive would have netted me a nice tummy tuck. I figure if I have to have cancer, I might as well reap the benefits! But I don't- so anyway...

What you missed:

*Stephan looking HOTT getting ready to fight that BIG fire.

*The start of football season, and the Fantasy Football Draft.

*My booth at the Fallon County Fair.

*Return of the MOUSE!

Needless to say I did not run the 10k I was trying to run... It's still on the list and if I manage to do it before Christmas I'll think of that as a major accomplishment. Mostly I've just been fixating on the whole cancer thing, and amazed and happy that it's gone for real.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

On a Personal Note

A lot of music touches me, especially lately. We just watched the movie Once and I bought the soundtrack and LOVE it (which is good since the CD player in our car just broke and we can't eject it).

But just now I was digging around in my computer and found a Melissa Etheridge Cd that I downloaded from iTunes Originals and I'm bawling.

The world recently lost a wonderful woman to cancer. She used to read this blog all the time, sometimes she'd comment, but more often she would just email me cute thoughts, encouragement, love. When I started listening to this CD I really started missing her again.

It's weird that there are so many different things that are called "cancer". Some of them kill you, some of them let you live. Sometimes you "catch it" soon enough, and sometimes you don't get there in time. It sure isn't fair. That's about all I've learned in the few months I've been thinking about all this.

This CD is a set of songs that Melissa E. chose to sing live and talk about that outline her life, not only as a singer, but as a gay person and as a cancer survivor. Don't get me wrong, I'm not waving huge flags of survivorship, since my cancer was pretty little. But the last track is really good. And wow. Here are some of the words:

It's been years since they told her about it
The darkness her body possessed
And the scars are still there in the mirror
Every day that she gets herself dressed
Though the pain is miles and miles behind her
And the fear is now a docile beast,
If you ask her why she is still running,
She'll tell you it makes her complete

I run for hope, I run to feel
I run for the truth for all that is real
I run for your mother, your sister, your wife
I run for you and me my friend
I run life

It's a blur since they told me about it
How the darkness had taken its toll
And they cut into my skin
And they cut into my body
But they will never get a piece of my soul

And now I'm still learning a lesson
To awake when I hear the call
And if you ask me why I am still running
I'll tell you I run for her soul

And someday if they tell you about it
If the darkness knocks on your door
Remember her, remember me
We will be running as we have before
Running for answers, running for more

*emphasis added by me, because that's what made me cry