Monday, March 31, 2008

Beautiful, Beautiful Moisture

We woke up to this...

It's really pretty - kinda like the first snow of the year - but better...

Red Dog was so happy he had to burrow in it...

Ute has to get in the picture and immediately a game of grab-ass commences...

I had to sub today - for the Art teacher with a wicked sense of humor...He always leaves a note that says "Sadly, combat pay is not awarded...Try to have a nice day anyway..."

OMG - Its America's Next Top Model....

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Visit from the Dentist

I got a surprise phone call from our equine dentist this morning. He was in town and wanted to know if we had any horses to do. Well...yea...we have tried getting him to come since DECEMBER!!
So lucky for me that I was home and happened to be in the house when he called. I really like this guy. He is so good with the horses, gives them breaks so their jaws don't get so sore, explains everything that is going on in your horses mouth and has all of the latest tools. So I forgive him for being extremely busy and am grateful that he FINALLY shows up.
Getting Rip to "say ahhhh......"

Rip had a few sharp points and a bit of the "wave" going on but he was easy to do and took it like a champ. Such a good boy...The denstist was surprised to see he still had his wolf teeth. I was just as surprised because the vet usually pulls them when they geld. They fell out in dentist's hand when he wiggled them.
And then there is Moon....Ughhhh...This horse has the worst mouth ever. This is the second time we have had him a year. My little pin-headed speed demon has what they call a shear or scissor mouth. Meaning his teeth are not level. They close at an angle making it difficult for him to chew his food properly and next to impossible for him to eat much hay. Mr. Dentist has nearly remedied this problem and says that by the next float(in 6 months) that it should be fixed. Yayyy - having to feed this galoot as much grain as it takes to keep him looking decent is expensive. Moon is not as nice about it as Rip... It took 2 doses of "you are very, very sleepy" juice to keep him from jumping forward onto Mr. Dentist's feet. And then he about fell over when his head was released(maybe he is the reason Mr. Dentist takes his sweet time coming back?). After being dosed 2X's Mr. Dentist recommends leaving him tied until he wakes up - so he doesn't try to eat something and choke on it.
Moon was snoring... LMAO

About an hour and a half later his head was coming up - but he was still very sleepy. Rip was back to his normal self.
Ohhhh-that sun feels good...

***As for the unsafe wire panels in my corral - I tore down part of the corrals last summer because we are rebuilding everything and had to piece it together when we brought horses to town. Old bred mare should not be with anyone. Rip and Moon fight constantly so they had to be split up and winter came and I am NOT digging postholes in frozen ground. So when I get my beautiful new continuous pipe fence installed this month I can take this old pieced together crap down.
This last picture is for Mikey over at The Horseshoeing Housewife - how do you like this rack???

These are the longhorns kept at the Ft. Worth Stockyards. I guess they use them when they have the cattle drive down the main drag there. Aren't they beautiful?

Thursday, March 27, 2008


As of tonight, the 4-H horse season is officially upon us. Tonight we had the annual horse safety meeting for the horse project kids. It is a mandatory meeting if you want to show in 4-H in South Dakota. This was a good time to get the kids to fill out their goal sheets that I provided for them this year. I am changing the horse practice juuuusssstttt a little. You see...they have been providing the same practice routine for about the last 30 years. This I know because I was in 4-H for 10 years here in Mellette County. I have been out for 20 years. Last year I stepped in to help a little with the practices, but I didn't want to step on any toes so I just helped try to make the existing program a little more effective. This year I am changing the whole routine. No more will there be - Showmanship followed by Stock Seat followed by a few kids trying out the Trail course and a few kids running their horses repeatedly around the barrels(and making the same mistakes over and over)...
This year there is going to be Showmanship night, Horsemanship patterns night, Reining/Western Riding night and even an English night. This year my goal is to actually get some of these kids to move up a notch. Don't get me wrong...I like and respect the leaders that have kept this 4-H program going here. They are good horse people. But they are busy people and I am not so busy.
I was kind of nervous because I wasn't sure how this was all going to be received by the kids or their parents. I was extremely relieved to see that the kids were excited about it and quickly started filling out their goal sheets after I explained how the practices were going to work. I was totally surprised at the number of kids that wanted to learn to ride English. I contribute this to Megan. Last year, she was the only English rider and even the judge was astounded that there was someone showing English here. This year she is adding Jumping to her roster.
This is Megan and her beloved Strawberry at The State 4-H Horse Show last year...
This is me getting ready to show at the only show I got to participate in last year...
I think the judge just called my number...

Yep...Me and G beat 14 other mares in the Aged Mare Halter...

Not to shabby for the first time ever showing her in a halter class. She also won the Showmanship...but it was all down hill from there. It was about 112 degrees that day(I was dripping wet under that jacket and that was at 9am)and she went into mare mode when I saddled her and that was the end of our winning streak. Oh well...
You know I have said that my dogs go everywhere with me and just so you know - these boys are beyond spoiled when we travel. They get the entire folded down back seat of the pickup to themselves complete with folded comforter for padding and dog bed to snuggle into...
So why does Ute think he needs to nap on Megan's pillow?

And of course the ever serious Red Dog - Are we there yet?Are we there yet? Are we there yet?...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Home Again

We finally made it home again. Glad to be home, but already missing Chris. We barely beat the storm. Just as we was unloading our stuff it began to rain and snow. That was followed by thunder and lightning. Crazy!!
I am on my mom's shit list. Oh well, it isn't the first time and I am pretty sure it won't be the last. LOL. Maybe some day I will go into the tenuous relationship my mother and I share but I am afraid that only a team of psychiatrists would think it interesting. They would probably write a book about it-LMAO. The rest of society would feel like they were watching a bad car wreck-you don't want to watch, but you can't look away...
This is funny though...She called to make sure we got home and asked me why we were so late. It was 8:30pm. I'm thinking to myself-kinda thought we made good time-considering we usually get back about midnight or so. I told her we got a late start this morning. She didn't say anything for a minute(I think she was trying not to explode) and asked...No, I mean two days late? I had to think about that one for a second. I couldn't help it. I had to say it. I told her I was running on Rez Time.
Kaboom!!!! The screaming commenced. LOL - I knew it would...
I very quietly hung up on her. It's okay. The cats missed us....LMAO.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I was suckered...

I had every intention of heading home first thing this morning. We got up early... Megan even made coffee for us. I stepped outside and the day was perfect. I sat outside and drank my coffee and smoked my cigarette and was mentally getting ready to roll. Chris came out with me and popped the garage door open. Ugghhh...I really wished I could have gotten something done with this garage this trip. And then Chris threw out the line..."We really need to get this garage cleaned up." "I know", I said. He set the hook - "Maybe I will get rolling on this today." My mind is working-How mad is my mom going to be if I stay another day? How much can we get done on this project today? Does one more day really matter? How long will it be before Chris feels like tackling this mess? I really want to get this garage cleaned up!!! Actually, what really bothers me is the fact that the previous owners didn't paint the walls. That really kicks my OCD into overdrive.

"Can I paint?" I ask. "Sure" Chris says. I can't stand it. I am staying. He reeled me in. So we load the fam up and head to Wal-Mart with a list. Within 1 1/2 hours, I am cleaning junk away from the walls, sweeping them down and rolling on the paint. Ohhh glory haliluya. I kept Chris busy going through the piles of stuff that are all over the floor and setting up shelving units. Four hours later, I have used up the gallon of paint I got and swept about 50lbs. of dirt into the middle of the floor. At this point, we have to take a break because we promised to take the kids to Bananas to play video games and ride the Go-Karts. I forgot the camera or I would have a kick-ass picture of me beating Chris in a hunting game. hehehehe. Back at the house, Chris and I finished sweeping up the floor and hauling the last of the garbage out of the garage and looks like a garage.

So we didn't get it all painted, but I am satisfied for today. Ninety percent of the junk has been dumped and almost everything is up off of the floor. There are only a few rubbermaids for Chris to go through and now he can find everything. Yayyy!!!

The next time I come out, this corner is in trouble....

I know I should feel guilty for not heading home, but after accomplishing this much today, I don't!!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Yardwork...Western Slope style

Chris and I started on his yard work this weekend. Well, we figured with all of the kids here, it wouldn't take too long. And I have to say, I like how people around here deal with their weeds. They burn em down. Everyone seemed to be doing the same thing. The plumes of smoke were coming from everywhere in the valley. So much for the environment....
Burning out the irrigation ditches is the big thing. But Chris let it burn whatever it wanted too. Man does this save on the raking and cleaning. I wonder how POed my mom would get if I tried this at home???
The kids wanted to drive around the yard in the old Bronco Chris bought for them. They had to give it a jump to get it started. It hasn't been driven since last summer.

Chris' new "family car" - LOL. He just got it back after getting the lift kit put on it. It shore nuf has room for all three kids and two dogs. Thank god gas is only $3.35/gallon - LMAO.
Ugly Bug was looking a little greasy to the girls, so they decided to give her a bath. Actually, she doesn't really mind the water. No that isn't a choke hold Megan has on her...

Tonight.... a trip to the mall, a bonfire in the new firepit and roasting marshmallows. Tomorrow - it is time to head back to South Dakota. I am sure that being gone for 4 days has sufficiently pissed my mother off to where I will get yelled at for the next month or two...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

In Colorado

Friday, Megan and I headed to Colorado to spend Easter with Chris and his kids. I was going to post some pictures of the trip, but Chris' old laptop is being persnickity and I don't feel like fighting with it to upload more photos. Anyway, today Chris went to Wyoming to pickup his son and daughter to spend Easter with us in Grand Junction. Needless to say as soon as everyone was accounted for the first order of business was to hook up the new "Rock Band". It is pretty fun to listen to the kids rotate through the various instruments and have to sing. Megan's friend, Casey was over as well and she has an incredible voice, so she did most of the singing.
Megan tried her hand at the drums...

The girls settled in to color eggs. They are jamming to music while they do this. I have to admit, it is pretty fun to listen to them singing with the songs. Of course, I have to join in once in awhile(although I sound like I am being killed). That is Megan with the red "do". Chris' daughter, Tia with the stocking cap on and Megan's friend, Casey.

Chris' son, Connor didn't want anything to do with coloring eggs - not when he could get the PS3 all to himself...

Meanwhile, Chris is grabbing a little nap and his guard cat, Ugly Bug is making sure that no one disturbs him. This cat is sooooo in love with Chris. Kinda funny considering he was allergic to cats when I met him all of those years ago. Mind over matter sometimes.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ta Da---I'mmmm BACK!!

Yayyyy - I am finally back online. Holy buckets--I have been really lucky all of these years and never had a bug like this. Nasty little sucker came in on an email. My system did not catch it until I forwarded it on. Too late for me - the damage was done. But, a couple of days into fighting with the little sucker and I had to hand it over to someone with more experience than me.
Thank you JJ Powell!!!
So what has been going on the last couple of weeks? Well, there has been no rest for the wicked(hehehe). I have worked almost every day at the school and started spring cleaning. If images of me cleaning my house is coming to your mind - HAHAHA - LMAO!!
Spring cleaning around here involves barns and pastures. I spent 2 days dragging my pasture and then 2 more walking over it and hand raking all of the piles that didn't break up. After that I started cleaning up weeds along the fence lines and around the corrals. Four pickup loads of junk later-I can really see the difference. I only have 1 or 2 loads left and then I can start on trimming the dead branches off of the trees. The corrals are clean and the barn has fresh shavings. Tree branches are picked up and the garbage has been cleaned out of the road ditch. Whew-my muscles are aching.
On to more exciting news-Megan and I saw the baby move in Woofer. Only 7 more weeks til her due date. I am nervous about it already. The old girl looks great though. Not nearly as heavy as last year but completely filled out through her back and hips.
Even more happy news-A friend of my middle brother's is taking 2 of our geldings to pasture ride for the next 2-3 months. Court Sears is a fantastic cowboy and roper. He old man breakaway's and is known for being the guy to beat at the rodeos. I am hoping that he will also take another gelding, but I have to get his teeth worked on first.
The best news-the White River boys basketball team won the State "B" Title. Go Tigers!!! We haven't won the title since 1955. These boys deserve it. It took this team 3 years to get it together-but they went to win the title this year and they did. A lot of it hinged around one senior, who also happens to be South Dakota's All-Time High Scoring High School player. He is phenomenal(and I am not much of a sports fan) and the really impressive thing is, is that he is such a nice kid.
Megan has started track and really seems to be enjoying it. Today she got 2nd place in a speech contest at school. She gave a memorized speech on the Vietnam War Memorial. She never fails to impress me with her ability to stand up and deliver a speech.
It seems that I am turning into the local beautician as well. A few days before the state tournament-I dyed red(and I mean Fire Engine Red) flames in her hair. Within a couple of days-several girls asked Megan if I could do their hair. I had a couple of people tell me that they couldn't believe that I would let Megan do that-but I was pretty quick to tell them that I had done it for her and that it is only hair. My mom and oldest brother were not amused when I told them that I was just preparing Megan for her "biker trash" lifestyle. LOL-Megan, Chris and I thought it was funny as hell...
And that is pretty much what has been going on around here. It has been a busy and exciting couple of weeks.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Gotta Bug

Have been having computer problems. Will be back as soon as I can get this bug out of my system.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I once had a professor tell me that there was a reason they called them "practicing" doctors. I finally had to take Megan in to have them get make sure she didn't have Strep and see if they could give her some antibiotics for this cold/flu/crud that she has been fighting for several weeks. Now, I do not run to the doctor every time Megan gets the sniffles. The last time she was on antibiotics was when she 5 or 6, and that was for an infected tooth. But this crap has been dragging on her for weeks. Her immune system obviously needed some help.
The nice thing about the WR clinic is the fact that I have known these people forever. They have known Megan since she was born. I am comfortable with them. They do their usual weigh-in. Megan was very happy to find out she has reached 101 lbs. The nurse came in and wrote down the info we gave long, what symptoms, any allergies, how long since she has been on antibiotics,etc-you know the routine. A couple minutes later, the RN comes in, he is not the RN I know. He is visiting from the Rez clinic. We answer the same questions again(isn't this why they write everything in the chart the first time?). He says everyone has it and writes a prescription.
I drop Megan off at school and go to the Drug Store to have her presciption filled, buy more cough syrup, cough drops, any cough suppressants that they had.
Six days later, I noticed Megan had a rash around her neck. She had touched some insulation I had in the back of the pickup. I thought it was weird that she was breaking out, but it didn't itch. Within 15 minutes it was climbing up her face. WTH?? No problems breathing, no itching. I am getting kind of worried. It's a Saturday - clinic is closed. The nearest hospital is 50 miles away. At mom's she took her sweater off, washed her face and stayed in the house while mom and I worked horses. When she came down to the barn and pulled up her shirt-I knew we had a problem.
We hauled butt back to town and I dropped her off at the house to shower and get out of those clothes. Maybe, it was the insulation. Funny it wasn't itching though... I ran to the store to get some clarityn and benydryl. By the time I got back and Megan got out of the shower, her entire body was covered in this rash. She is having an allergic reaction to something. I am pretty sure it isn't the insulation by now. The only thing left is the antibiotics. I ask mom-she isn't sure. I ask Chris when he calls. He said YES-she is having a delayed allergic reaction to the amoxicillen. Have her stop taking it-make sure she can breathe okay and load her up with Benydryl.
Alright, I have never heard of a delayed reaction like this. I thought either you were allergic or you weren't...shows you how much I know.

The poor kid was covered in these spots for 4 days. They are just now starting to fade. Luckily, they were off her face by Monday morning. You know how teenage girls are...I took her back to the clinic and Chris' home diagnosis was correct. And the reason behind it? The visiting RN prescribed a 500mg dose-3x's a day. Yeaaa...that is like strong enough for a 300lb guy. Most adults get 250mgs. WTF???? Needless to say, I am pretty disgusted about this. Now they say she can not take a penicillin based antibiotic for the rest of her life. Shesh this kid has the worst luck.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Walk On The Wild Side

I finally got to head to my(well-my brothers' and my)ranch today. It is 23 miles from town and the last four miles are not graveled, sooo with all of the melting snow, I haven't been able to get out there. I was intent on looking over the horse herd(s) we have out there and see how things were going with my oldest brother.
But as I drove, I started to notice that the wildlife was really out and about today. Must be gonna get a weather change...
The bald eagles are really getting thick around here. This guy is just starting to get his white head. First the head starts changing to white and then the tail.

These muley does were part of a herd of about 60 or so deer. Only one of many herds I saw today.

This little muley buck was grazing with the cows. There was another MUCH larger buck with him, but he blazed...guess that is how he survived last hunting season-LOL. Megan says she wouldn't shoot this little guy.

The neighbors always have a big flock of wild turkeys, but it looks like they got a good hatch last year. This was only about 1/2 of them. I know whose door I am going to be knocking on this fall...

Well-I know it looks like a brown blob...But this is a HUGE Golden Eagle that has made the ranch his home in the spring. This is his second year here. He sits up on this hill above a prairie dog town and waits for my brother to shoot him a couple of prairie dogs. We have snuck back down on foot and watched him come and pick them up. He is fully mature and one smart bird.

I also saw several Red Tailed Hawks and several other smaller hawks that I don't know what they are. They just started showing up last year. I was looking for these guys-they are usually sitting on fence posts, but they were pretty quick to fly off today. They will settle down and I will be able to get some drive by photos. It is good to start seeing some big raptors around here again.

I was especially lucky today and managed to get a photo of the most elusive creature on the plains....

It's a BaDonkaDonk....

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Titanic

Some days I feel like I am bailing water out of the Titanic with a tin cup.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Weather Induced R and R

I think our "In like a lion" was one day late. The wind blew like nine thousand miles an hour today. You could barely stand up, much less do anything else outside. But the cats had no problem with it and showed us what to do in such a situation...

It was actually what Megan has needed. A long day of nothing. The poor kid has been dealing with that vicious flu bug that has been hitting everyone. Of course with these last couple of weeks of boy's and girl's basketball districts and regionals, she has been on the go anyway.

Ute couldn't resist getting mom to give his belly a rub...

Red Dog was not to be left out and decided to stare Megan into some love.
R U looking at me? Oh come on... pet me...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Of Ticks and Lice...

Today was a busy day for me and the little cowgirl. This was the nicest day we have had yet and we weren't going to waste it inside.
After feeding, cleaning pens and filling water tanks at our own place, Megan and I headed to Mom's to clean horses, trim some feet and doctor horses.
Now, I know that mom has had problems with ticks on her horses in the past, but last year is the first time we had ever seen these other little buggers show up. This year, I found several of the horses infested with these things. I mean they look like a tick, except not... I found them in January. Mom said that some of the horses had been rubbing their manes and tails, so we figured we would trim feet and worm everything. When I started putting horses in stalls and brushing them, I started pulling out these fat, white things, with no legs that you could see at first glance. Well, mom and I scratched and scraped with our fingernails, down into that thick winter hair and pulled out dozens of these things along with just as many ticks. Yuck!!! So we cleaned out what we could and dusted them with a lice/tick powder.
When I was out there a few days ago, I started working on some of the horses again and found them to be infested, again. Okay, the powder isn't going to work. I saved a couple of the nasty things and brought them in to compare with pictures on the internet(God-I love the internet!!). The closest I could figure out was that they were either Sucking Horse Lice or tick larve. Either way, anything with Permetherin in it would kill them. Called mom - "order something with Permethrin in it" and ran out to check my horses in town. Thank goodness, I only found a couple on them and none on my bred mare, because I was not going to treat her.
Today, was treatment day. It is really a simple process. Pour a line from poll to tailbone, parallel to the spine. According to the internet, we will have to dose again in 2-3 weeks because nothing kills the eggs. Nice!! But, it does give me a chance to get everyone in the stall, brush them really, really well, clean out and trim feet and give my mom that verdict that I give her every time I get my hands on one of her horses...they are TOO FAT!! And I don't mean just by 40-50lbs., I am talking 100-150lbs. too much.
Grass founder and selenium poisoning are real problems around here(huh? grass that is too good?) and obese horses are more succeptible. And with this nice weather and all the moisture we have standing around, green grass will be here very soon.
The only horse out of nine head that did not have a single tick or louse on them was my brother's 3y/o. Now, I know this colt is big, but I haven't had him in a stall since last fall. I stepped in the stall with him and OMG!!! I guarantee he is 16H. Oh crap!!! I have to break this giraffe this spring? Mom was laughing(very evilly, I might add)"sooo... how are you going to get your foot up to the stirrup?" she asks in her sweetest voice. I just scratched my head-actually I don't know. Thank god he seems to have a gentle nature. I am thinking groundwork, groundwork and more groundwork. You know...Megan has been saying she wanted to learn how to start colts....
This is VooDoo, the giraffe. Doing what VooDoo does-stickin' his nose in everybody's business.
Now I gotta go-after being around all of those little creepy, crawlies, I gotta get in the shower.