Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mr Weatherman, You & I need to have a Talk...

BEFORE we go into 2013.

You see 2012 wasn't so great.  I kept up my end of the bargain remaining ever optimistic for moisture in the form of rain or snow but you let me down you louse.  You let me down a LOT.

I even bought Mad Bomber Hats for both the grandkids thinking it would keep their ears warm when we pulled them with horses on the sleds.
This particular mad bomber hat is available at Sierra Trading Post.

EXCEPT you louse, you messed up those plans as we have NO Snow or so little snow no decent sled would be caught trying to sled over the dirt.......

And now to add insult to injury, tonight you predicted a low of 8 degrees Above zero.  Well I just checked and it's two degrees BELOW zero.  At 8 pm.  Its going to get maybe 10 BELOW.  Now there is a difference between 8 above and 10 below.  Like 18 bone chilling degrees.

AHEM, you really need to change your ways or I'm ending this relationship.

Friday, December 28, 2012


I haven't been posting for some time as my computer kept locking up after a few minutes.  Well it quit doing that about two weeks ago and started giving me THEE BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH and then rebooting...ergh!!!

So over New Year's I will be setting up the New Computer I received for Christmas.  This one will quite literally go out the Window!

I think life was much simpler BC - before computers!!!  And maybe before Children....LOL.

Anyway hope to be back up blogging soon!
The Christmas Jammies were a hit with the Grandkids

Halloween was also Grandson's 2nd birthday.  Best Woody Cowboy and Snow White Ever!

Happy 2013 to All!  May it be the Best one year yet.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Not a good way to start a Sunday Morning

Hubby came in and said get going (I was being pretty lazy and had not even dressed yet) Jeannie the pony is colicking.!!

OH NO!  Believe you me, I was dressed with checkbook in tow, called and vet and we dashed in, pony in tow.  Colic can kill a horse.  It's the bane of owning a horse.  But I'm happy to report the vet called this evening and said Jeannie appeared to be in no more pain, she will give her a small flake of hay in the a morning to she how she does on it and we can pick her up.  Thinks it was gas colic but I don't think we are quite out of the woods on a upper impaction as she had not passed the mineral oil yet. (They tube them with mineral oil to get things to literally slip out.)

I think she will be okay as the vet said Jeannie was rather put out she did not get her evening feeding.  Well that was good sign.  Well actually Jeannie has been put out since she got put back into the Fat Girl Corral and back on a Diet.  She is as they say 'an easy keeper'.

This horse is NOT allowed to be sick!!!

Lately we've had an itch---an itch for a bigger place.  One that will run maybe 50 head instead of Saturday we took drive.

We saw lots of country.....
And even more country with very little grass.

AND I discovered that sometimes there is NO PLACE LIKE HOME!!!

Itch Scratched.

HI HO SILVER (well in this case NO silver!!)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Too Close for Comfort

We started out the month of September thinking we were going to fence in our few acres on the mountain.

So we got several trailer loads of.....

Fence posts and a load of poles...........


This happened the day BEFORE everyone was to start a week's vacation to put the fence up....
I am standing on the corner of our property shooting the view to the's all BURNED

Yep the Sheepherder Hill fire started across the road from us... and it was Fierce!

Our lot is below the crook in the road in the center of the picture.  This photo was taken by Brian Weathers from K2 Radio and you can see some pretty spectacular photos on their website at

It went from zero to over 10,000 acres in 24 hours!!!  It burned 37 cabins/homes and missed 850 more (thank goodness!)

I watched a big bomber drop slurry in Elkhorn Canyon from my office window.  WOW - that was pretty impressive.

By the time it was contained it had burned 15,556 acres which is a lot of territory.

We were banned from entering the fire zone for two weeks  and our place?  Here's what it looked like two weeks later.
We didn't even have ASH on the place!!  The wind was blowing everything away from us.

August 2012 was the driest August on record in 118 years! since they started keeping records and the mountain sure paid the price along with 37 cabin owners.  

Because of the drought and the cool nights but hot days; the color is intensified this year.  It's gorgeous but somehow you cannot forget about what you cannot see.

Oh and that load of fence posts -- we bought those instead of replacing my dishwasher which went Kaput!!!
Hmm maybe that wasn't a wise choice.  But oh well, there's always next year!

And a BIG Thank you to the Casper Mountain Firefighters.  A splendid job well done.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Thrill of Victory

The Thrill of Victory....
And the Agony of Defeat....

Watching four year old play soccer PRICELESS!

Hey Mom, did Sissie make a goal?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

They Are Back -- and apparently Recovering!

One of the delights of living North of Nowhere is the Wyoming Wildlife and getting to watch it.

For quite a number of years, we had a small group of sage grouse raise their young somewhere around us and they were frequently over by the buildings.  Several mornings, I made a s-l-o-w drive to the gate because the young grouse were in the road.  And young grouse do not move fast and tended to slowly mosey down the road ahead of my car rather than leaving the roadway.  Why they do that I don't know but it must surely make them a sad target on Wyoming's highways.

Grouse have become endangered in Wyoming due to 2 factors:  West Nile virus, to which they are highly susceptible, and oil and gas drilling, which disrupts their breeding/rearing.  In our area, I think West Nile hit the populations very very hard.  To the east of us, there was a lot of coal bed methane drilling and that probably affected the population also.  We have had NO grouse sightings for several years until last year when a large male and two females came through briefly.

But look whose BACK! This was taken out the back door Friday morning.

West Nile virus had 'died' down in our area so I am sure that has helped the population.  The coal-bed industry has died due to low gas prices and all those wells are now idle and shut-in with no new drilling.  That must have helped also.  This was the group of eight that showed up Friday morning.  Later, when we drove out the gate to go to a doctor's appointment, we saw four young grouse and there may have been more lurking in the brush we could not see.  That's 12!!!!

Sadly, now horizontal drilling is starting to take place RIGHT here where we live and also east of us.  Horizontal drilling take a much larger 'bite' out of the land requiring 20 acres for a drilling pad rather than one about the size of a half football field like the coal-bed.  If coal bed bothered these birds, what will all these large rigs do to them?    And what will it do to our sub-irrigated pastures that we rely on the water and the wildlife relies on also?

Frankly, I'm worried -- for us and for them.

The green line is our water hose and the tires are the horse trailer.  That's how unafraid they are!

We have had some rains over the past two weeks and in places the hills have gotten just a 'tad' greener; which lowers our fire danger!!  Hope we get more.

Over the years, we have seen antelope, deer, elk, badgers, red fox, otters, ducks, canadian geese, sand hill cranes, pelican(?) (couldn't get close), egret? (wasn't sure); sage grouse, turkeys, rattlesnakes (could do without them!); weasel, prairie dogs (not too fond of these either!) all on our little slice of Wyoming.  Sometimes in the summer we like to just sit out on the porch and watch our wildlife TV.  It's GREAT!

So I guess I will enjoy while I have it.  And hope for the best.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Who's Got the Rain?

Not us I can tell you.  We have hit 'survival' mode in the drought.  Today hubby and #1 Son and Daughter-in-Law spent over 8 hours in the saddle and doing fence repairs -- Emergency Fence Repairs on the leased pasture.  Pasture we had been counting on to take us into October.  The Big Rancher next door apparently isn't watching his cattle -- they were out of water and grass.  Thirsty and hungry.  There went the fence and in a matter of a day -- there went our grass.

Discouraging - you bet.  Hubby thinks now we will be out of grass in August.  But we can't bring them home.  Because we have these:
Green Cockleburrs -- the cows will eat them and they are poison.  Over the years we've lost at least 2 cows to them.  They aren't dried up until September.  They grow in our sub-irrigation ditches and pop up in August when the water disappears.  We've thought of trying to kill them but then you spreading MORE poison on your grasses so we've managed it by keeping the cows over on the leased pasture until the end of September.

So what will we do???  Probably pay for pasture that has no grass AND cake them.  With Cake that will cost well over $400 a ton (as opposed to the $240 it used to cost).  Corn prices are going sky high and that will affect all grain products because corn is like Santa Claus -- It's EVERYWHERE!!!  Rather it's in EVERYTHING.  It will affect the human food prices too.  Ca-Ching!  Those cash registers will hit everyone in the pocketbook!

On a happier, Hubby was so glad #1 Son and DIL were there to help.  They said they had a grand time but they sure looked pretty exhausted from the heat/work/riding when they came in at 5 pm.  DIL said she was so glad she had on this:
It's a Troxel riding helmet.  She came off Ember when Ember dived right out from under her turning a cow.  The cows were pretty bad I guess as they had been ATV'd herded and they can be real pigs and disrespectful of a rider on a horse. They are always trying to outrun the horse like they can a ATV. (all terrain vehicle -- you know four-runners).  BUT a horse can stop 'em.  DIL said she lit hard and the helmet THWACKED when she hit.  A head injury for sure without that helmet.  A Good Reason to Wear One -- ALWAYS.
Here is Ember, the Hero Horse of the Day, on what our pastures SHOULD look like this time of year.  Instead they are brown and sparse.  We did get some good news today though.  Ember had pulled a tendon last year; and when we tried to use her lightly re-pulled it.  So we turned her out.  This was the first time she had been written since then and today was a HARD ride.  She had nary a limp and worked all day.  That was a silver lining for sure!

But cuts need to be made.  So today I posted Ember's daughter for sale.  She is two years old, registered Morgan, and will wind up at 16 hands like her mother and her sire.  She's a nice filly, one of the better ones I think that we've raised.  Here is her photo from today.  She wouldn't perk her ears up for me.  I think she thought it was toooooo darn hot to be PERKY!

The babies had been at #1 Son's place while he & DIL took them through their Manners #101 courses.  They didn't think it was too hot when they were turned out for Hi-Jinks though!
AFS Hi-Note and AFS Ryder Hi Brida; our 2010 filles enjoying a run and just being a horse!

My Day today had consisted of being the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer.  I prepared lunch, no body showed up.  Uh-Ohh; that means things are not going well.  1:00 nobody here, put away lunch type stuff and prepared a nice side dish of cukes and onions and a fruit salad.  2:00 no one.  Put a large kettle of corn ready to boil on the stove.  4:00 -- still no one, hamburger is thawed, prepared lots of patties in the pan ready to fry when they get in.  5:00 here they are -- we had potato salad, hamburgers, cukes, fruit salad and fresh sweet corn.  They all said it was a great meal but I just think by that time, not eating since breakfast, they were just ravenous and anything would have tasted good.

Our hay guy told us he thinks he is going to be way short on our hay order for winter.  No surprise there.  We had been expecting that.  Sooooo maybe we can supplement the cows with some cake and reduce their hay comsupmtion (ca-ching! on the cash register) or we might have to just sell them and buy back when the drought ends, risking losing the lease pasture.

Choices - hard choices.  I just hope we don't make a Porch Horse (poor choice) in all this.  Fortunately this isn't our living.  It's just a hobby-farm but I REALLY do think we should be able to declare these cows and horses as dependents!!!!! on our income taxes.  I mean fair is fair.....................we have to pay taxes when we sell them.

News commentators are starting to compare this drought with the Dust Bowl.  But I KNOW it's not that bad here yet.  2004 - 2006 was a LOT rougher here in the most recent drought.  I think it was 2006 our grass never even came up here at Horse Patch and one of the elderly ladies in Outlaw City told me the Dust Bowl years were worse than that!  Man I thought how in the world could that be possible??? Bare dirt is bare dirt but she assured me it was worse.   On a good note, bare dirt don't burn!  So far no fires at Horse Patch this year and that is a darn scarey thought.

So Who's Got the Rain????   Apparently nobody in the Lower 48.

Just sign me MeridethinWyoming ,where a LOT of Discouraging Words On the Plains were Said Today!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Boise and Back

We just got back from a whirlwind slogging trip to Boise Idaho and back to pick up a skid steer we purchased..  40 hours in the truck over a period of 3 days.  I don't know how truck drivers do that!

For the trip over we went through Jackson.  The Tetons were stunning as usual and of course, I hadn't taken my camera so photos by me.

But the rocks really never change :)  If you've never gone to see the Tetons, you should.  It's one of those things that should be on everyone's bucket list.

After we climbed over Teton Pass we managed to miss our turn south in the road construction and wound up going about 40 miles further north than we had anticipated to hit I-15.

There were some surprises on the trip.  One was how the Snake River has shaped the entire southern tier of Idaho.  Close to the Snake -- lush irrigated farms.  No Snake - No water - NO Grass either (or hardly any).  I was totally shocked to find that southern Idaho is High Desert Plains and a lot of it lies on top of volcanic rock with a small layer of topsoil (like mere inches).   That was a huge surprise.

We spent the first night in Twin Falls - and here the Snake River has carved a huge canyon out of the volcanic rock creating this:

We drove over the huge gorge to get from I-86 to Twin Falls but I don't think it was this bridge.  Apparently somewhere near here there is a set of falls also.  I could see a golf course at the bottom of the gorge as we drove over it.

Coming back, since we were so loaded we opted for interstate almost all the way home (well at least to Rawlins) so we wouldn't risk blowing a tire over the rocks in the construction zones.  Home was a slow slog through the HEAT.  It was 100 degrees....and still is.  Most of Wyoming is under a critical fire watch.

Summer you gotta love it.  Adios - I'm going to soak my square behind in a tub of ice water.  LOL!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Love Story or Don't take Me to a Sappy Movie

One of the first life lessons you learn as a country kid is death is inevitable.  That bum lamb you feed five times a day might NOT make it.  Your horse dies from old age or colic, your dog gets run over, yadda's always there and you learn quickly dying is a part of life.  Everyone's Life; Everything's LIFE.   And you get past being sentimental.  Because it's how you survive the brutality of the inevitable as a kid.

Fast foward to 1970.  I'm in college.  I love college, it's a blast.  I went from a graduating class of 12 in town of 380 people and a pretty large rural population to a college in the 2nd largest city in Wyoming. Population about 40,000.  It's HUGE to me.  New York City Huge.  I live in the dorms, yippee it's like having 200 sisters I never had.

One of my best friends comes from Bountiful, Utah and we decide we HAVE to go see LOVE STORY with Ryan O'Neal and Ali McGraw.  It's being RELEASED at the new multi-plex in Salt Lake City.  Yes, yes, yes, we are going.

So my roommate and I (rm 310 McIntyre Hall) and the other two girls in rm 301, one of whom is the Bountiful gal, hitch a ride to Bountiful for the weekend.  Our ride is Floyd from Morad Hall.  A really nice guy who put up with us four girls and had a heart of gold.  But a nerd, probably a very wealthy engineer nerd by now.  We flirted with him for over 300 miles, begged him for pit stops, and he graciously indulged us.

Night of the movie, Rm 301's dad loans her the car and we are OFF to the Multi-Plex and the Premiere of LOVE STORY.   Love story is soooooo 1970's.  Set in Boston, boy meets girl in college, sappy romance, they get married, she gets cancer, she dies, he grieves, touching ending.  It was a huge hit with the 1970 college crowd and starred Ryan O'Neal and Ali McGraw.

Except.......................I'm a country girl. Remember this point.  I'm not going to view this like all the star-struck teens in the audience (which was pretty packed and had quite a few adults also).  All four of college girls sit together UNTIL....................

We get to the death scene.  At which point I realize there is an audible sobbing wafting through the theater.  It is rising in crescendo.  I lean over to my roommate and whispered...hey listen to the audience.

And at that exact point, the 30 something housewife behind us, blew her nose with a VERY audible, VERY Loud HONK!

We both LOST IT.  Not a quiet subdued giggle but a loud raucous guffaw.  And the more we laughed the more we couldn't stop.  Everyone in the theater turned and looked at us.  The Room 301 girls got up and MOVED.  They were so embarrassed they would not sit with us.

We laughed some more.  Tears were running down our cheeks.  And Finally, we were able to compose ourselves.  At that very moment, 30-something housewife, bless her, blows her nose AGAIN.  And it sets both of us off again.  By the time we finally are able to contain ourselves permanently, Poor Ol' Dead Jenny is in the ground.

So now we go through the final moments of Ryan O'Neal displaying his profound grief, touching tribute to Dead Jenny and I really don't remember what else (I've never watched it since).  

Roommate and I stand up.  Room 301 girls rush out to the car; not wanting to walk with us. 30-Something Housewife gives us a disdainful look as the house lights come on, turns to her companion and states, "There I was, crying my eyes out and THOSE TWO were laughing!"  Omigosh, we lost it again.

We laughed all the way back to the car in the HUMONGOUS Parking Lot.  At which point we were informed neither of us were welcome to go to the movies with THEM again.  

Not to worry - it only lasted a week.  My roommate and I were the only ones with a available car at college. It was her brother's, who was also a student.....Being indispensable does have it advantages.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Kids and Ponies

Of Kids and Ponies -- We looked a long time for a nice pony for the grandkids and found Jeannie.

She's as cute as a bug's ear don't you think?
Jeannie is 18 years old and has a raised a passel of kids -- in other words she is PERFECT!
I think she is a Shetland/Mini cross and is a whopping nine hands tall.  Last weekend the grandkids were introduced and Jeannie is a HIT.  As we knew she would be.

OF course one's new pony must be thoroughly approved by the little brother and then properly brushed.

And then for a ride around on her.  I bet by the end of the summer, granddaughter is riding her in the round pen by herself.  Jeannie is not a lazy pony at all and really steps out nicely.  A feature that will be much more appreciated as time goes on; but I think the kids found it a little intimidating at first.
It wasn't all fun and games.  There was some SERIOUS discussion going on here--grandson, grandpa and Uncle -- 3 generations.
Aunt L and Grandson were official supervisors for part of the big foray into Pony Land.
And we will probably never know who wound up being the best roper but I really don't think it was anyone in this picture!!!


Oh and Grandma is really partial to this pony because
This IS Grandma with her 7th birthday present in 1958! Her name was Heidi and she was PERFECT too!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spring Sprungs

It's been a while since I've posted but a lot has happened.  We took a quick trip to North Dakota to pick up this, the cutest most gentle little white mare named Jeannie.  She is shedding and the sparrows love her as she is providing plenty of nest material!  When I take the shedding blade to her, it's like it's snowing.  And she closes her eyes and sighs.  It must feel very good.

I think the grandkiddies will like her and I love her!  Jeannie reminds me of this:

Heidi was my first pony.  She was my birthday present for my seventh birthday and she was only about 9 months old when I got her.  She started me down my 'horsey' path.  I was devastated when I lost her 18 years later, she had gotten tick fever and just couldn't recover well from it in spite of numerous trips to the vets.

The trip to North Dakota was interesting and we really enjoyed it.  We discovered we are only about 7 hours drive from the Teddy Roosevelt National Park (South Unit) and we are thinking we need to go ride the trails there one of these days.

Spring sprung early in Wyoming,  early and dry!!  We had some moisture this weekend but not near enough.  We did not get our usual big snowstorm so the grass is really struggling to come up.  The drought monitor doesn't look real good for our neck of the woods predicting we have over a 50% chance of being abnormally dry in April, May, and June.  These are our critical months for pasture growth.
This is after the rain and look how dry it still looks!
Plans to buy some more cows has been postponed indefinitely.  We are now hoping we don't have to sell what we have!
My three guienas have been hard at work hunting all day every day.  I have noticed a huge reduction in mice this spring so between poison in the house and barn and the guienas it appears we are winning the 'mouse war.'  Thank goodness.
Odie is now officially a gelding and I think he is much happier.  He isn't escaping out the gate when we leave trying to get to the mares anymore.  We will finish breaking him this summer and then may offer him for sale. We really don't need another gelding and I have both Trystar and Ember to ride.  My mare, Tyrstar, is 23 this summer.  My goodness!  Odie is very nice and very gentle when we started him so he should make someone a nice saddle horse.

Bound and determined to have chickens and have a coon-proof coop; I set 6 posts today.  My goodness, who made cement so durn heavy?  I feel like my shoulders were going to pull out of their sockets hefting those bags and buckets.  Next will be cement floor on the 4 x 12 coop.   4 x 4 will be for the guienas to separate them from the chickens.  Then 8 x 4 for the chickens.   I have six guiena keets ordered for mid-June and I already have my golden-laced Wyandotte chickens but they have to stay under the brooder for a while yet.

And not last and certainly not least, we almost lost our Dubber to snakebite.  I didn't get a picture of him while he was so swollen but he spent a day at the vet's and had garden hose up both his nostrils.  I'm sure if we had not done that we would have lost him.  Horses cannot breath out their mouths, just their nose.  If it swells shut from snakebite; you lose your horse to asphyxiation.  

Dubber today singing "Nobody Nose the Trouble I've Seen!"  He is feeling much better and his nose is almost down to normal.  Although he is NOT happy about the medication in his oats and refuses to eat them.

And that's the News from Sixty Miles North of Nowhere!  

I am hoping to find the time to sew this spring but it ain't lookin' promisin' is it?

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Wisconsin Oleo War

I saw a post on facebook the other day claiming oleomargine was originally manufactured to feed turkeys; and when it was discovered it actually killed the turkeys, it was then manufactured for human consumption.
I couldn't find where it killed turkeys but I did discover that to my surprise, Oleo isn't a new 20th century product, originating clear back to Louis-NapolĂ©on Bonaparte III  who offered a reward to anyone who could invent a tasty substitute for butter.  Apparently even in the 19th Century people though real butter was expensive. Click HERE for the history of oleomargarine on Wilkipedia.

What I do know is my mother was involved in the Oleo Wars in the 1950's.  Yes, my own quiet sweet Mother was a Butter Rebel.   Although we lived in Iowa, we crossed the Mississippi River over to Prarie Du Chein, Wisconsin to shop at the Piggly Wiggly. (remember, in previous genealogy posts my mother's family were French-Canadians who came down the Mississippi River)  I think mother thought the Piggly Wiggly was much cheaper except for...............

Butter!  You HAD to buy Butter in Wisconsin, as oleo margarine was outlawed.  Apparently the dairy industry in the 1950's had a HUGE clout in the policies of Wisconsin and clamoring housewives be damned.

So Mom would pile us into the car and head the car for the short drive to Prairie Du Chein.  When we got to Marquette where the bridge over began, as you went up the incline right before the actual bridge started, there was a Mom & Pop grocery store. 
Main Street of Marquette,Iowa.  If you look above the shorter building, you can see the guard rails on the approach to the old bridge my Mom used to take to drive to the Piggly Wiggly.  The bridge has since been replaced so I think this is the now the approach to nowhere.
The store had a huge sign (up on the bluff over it if I remember right but I was pretty little but apparently old enough to read) that said "LAST CHANCE FOR OLEO" and in much smaller letters under that "Green Stamps".    Mom was always careful to stop at this store AFTER the trip to the new, modern, huge (and very small by today's standards) Piggly Wiggly in the Butter State.  Years later I came across a partially filled book of green stamps from this store but I don't know what happened to it.  I also don't remember what my Mom redeemed her green stamps for.  Probably a gravy boat or something!

So Mom never bought butter in Wisconsin and we always stopped for Oleo in Marquette and whatever else she thought was cheaper on the Iowa side of the river.  I do remember the oleo was white and it came with a coloring packet you stirred into to make it look like butter.

I dunno; maybe it did kill those turkeys.