Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Team Roping

What do you get when you put together 2 cowboys, 2 horses, and 1 steer?

Cowboys team roping, that's what!



I walked into a cowboy's dream: horses running, dirt flying, sweat dripping, ego's boasting, and caught every minute of it with my camera.


This is how it went....


Cowboys and their horses are like boys and their toys.  They love them, depend on them, and expect them to perform to outshine their counterparts.  I learned roping cowboys should be classified as their own breed.  They are are a class of good-ol'-boys that stick together.


Ropers bring their horses dressed to impress with saddles previously won, embellished with engravings to prove it. 


They proudly display shiny buckles on their Wranglers showing off a win too.




Sitting in the stands like a the other fans, I started off taking pictures of the cowboy teams from my vantage point. 


I quickly grew impatient with shots containing fences! 

Fences are no fun to look at.


 I needed to get in the arena where I could get some up close and personal shots of what roping is all about.


So off I went, I was going down, whether the horses liked it or not!


Fortunately, as I was going down the stairs, I ran into this cowboy, Judd, who is a friend and neighbor, and he escorted me right where I wanted to be, inside the arena right next to the cowboys, a couple of cowgirls, and the horses.  

That's when the fun began for me.



I wanted to get right in there and take the shots up close where all of the action was happening.  I could hear the horses hooves pounding as they ran by me and hear the lasso whipping in the air which made it an experience I won't soon forget.








For those that don't know the purpose of team roping there's a few things one ought to know to understand.

The steer is let out of the gate to get a running start.

He runs like there's no tomorrow.

The first cowboy chases the steer with his lasso swinging in the air.

I think they call him the header, but I could be wrong.

The steer runs faster, knowing a rope is gonna get him.

The first cowboy lasso's the horns on the steer's head.

The funny looking helmet on the steer's head is head-gear = protection.
 

The second cowboy, there's a name for the guy who chases the rear, but I can't think of it right now, tries to lasso the back two feet of the steer.

This all is done in record time, they hope.

If they win, they win big money, saddles, shiny silver belt buckles and probably more stuff that I don't know about.



Here we go...the steer is off and running.

Hopefully he runs away from me.

I'm not wearing red.

Oh, never-mind he's not a bull.




The first cowboy lassos the horns, and the second cowboy is ready to lasso the back legs.



These two team ropers did a great job.



I noticed something else about the ropers, they all have certain facial expressions that represent their hard working minds.







Cool as a cucumber.

Did I mention that most of the cowboys wore pink in honor of breast cancer awareness? 

Well they did.

And they wore it proudly.

And they looked darn nice in pink!



Maybe it's a sign of how good the roper is.  I noticed the more expressions and tongues sticking out, the better they did.

Something to think about.


 Did I mention there were a couple of cowgirls roping too? 


There were only three, they all did a great job, and they all wore pink too!





The day was great, watching the perfectly organized event, one where I was much happier on the ground than on a horse.



I even enjoyed the dirt and chunks flying at me while trying to capture the action.

Not really.





It was fun to see our friends, who happen to be brothers, sons, and uncles roping together.



And it was really great to see the next generation of ropers out learning and team roping with family.

What a great day, hope you enjoy too!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Planting Alfalfa Seed


What's going on at the ranch these days?

Sowing seeds that's what!

A lot of work has been going on around here getting a new field ready for a crop of alfalfa.  Since the price of alfalfa has gone out the roof, so to speak, we decided to put our land to good use.


This is how it went....



We bought seed that is high quality and engineered for warmer climates, non-dormant and disease resistant.  If everything goes as planned we should have a pretty nice looking crop next spring.



September is the time to plant alfalfa seed, in our part of the country, for a new spring crop.  We planted on September 6, 2011 and expect to see this crop ready for it's first cutting in the March or April, always depends on the weather.  Once established and grown to cutting height we will cut every 40 to 45 days, again, depending on the weather.  I talked about what had to be done to get this field ready in the Growing Alfalfa post, if you didn't already read it.




The feild we chose to grow the new crop had to prepped for seed. This feild has never had a crop or any type of plantings.  The ground was hard as a rock from the cows trampling and eating the natural grasses, so we had to rip up the dirt by cross tilling with a tractor.




The land went from this...



 To this!  


I find it amazing that a tractor and a great operator can make the ground so perfectly manicured.





The seed was planted with this Land Pride seeder attached to the tractor.  We planted about 25 lbs of seed per acre.  This field is approximately 6 acres.  We are expecting to yield about 100 bales per cutting.  We will see how it goes next March-April...depending on the weather. 








It is a lot of work getting a field ready for seed, but it will be worth it when it's all said and done. 





If it goes as planned, we hope it looks like this!


I'll keep you all updated.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Needing a Friend

Just another Saturday.



This is how it went....



Teeter Tottering is no fun without a friend!

It's hard when your sisters aren't home to play and you don't have a pint-sized friend to join you on the other end of the totter.





Sometimes you have to resort to other ways to find a friend.

Like calling your dog over to play.  

But for some reason, Jack didn't want to play.


Lucy didn't want to play either, she just wanted a scratch on the back, and that's no fun for a kid!


What's a kid to do?


Ask Mommy to push with her feet! 



Mom's are good for something!


"Do it again Mommy! That was fun!" 

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Day of Work


A couple days ago I had the pleasure of performing one of my least favorite chores, the kind I usually don't get too excited about, but I couldn't procrastinate any longer.

At the top of the list of To Do's for the day was....
cleaning the chicken coop. 

Yuk, but there are goods' and bads' to every situation.


This is how it went....


 First thing to do when cleaning a chicken coop is to remove the glorious eggs.
  
This is the part of chickens I like, the rest if for the birds!



I parked the Ranger right next to the coop where I was working and "set-up" Sophie in the back of the Ranger with her trusty friend King.  Sophie put her work gloves on (pink mittens) I and got busy pulling out the old dirty straw.

At some point in time, the chickens decided to come out of the pen one by one, this is when the fun began.  Lucy, our new puppy, hadn't met a chicken yet, at least face-to-face anyway.  She turned into a wild-animal and in a frienzy like state she began chasing after the chickens! 

I think she was saying, "oh, I want this one, no, I want this one, no, I'm gonna get this one!" 

She was running in every which direction, the chickens were screaming and jumping and flapping, searching for cover from the wild-animal.  I began screaming for Lucy telling her "No!" and to "Come Here!" and what do you know, she did.  I was shocked with the fact that she is only a puppy and she listened. 




 She promptly put herself in Time-Out under the Ranger and panted away. Again I was surprised, she never moved from under the Ranger until I called for her.



 King (the black dog) finally came out of the back of the Ranger and joined in the cleaning project, but that only lasted for 5 minutes, he's a typical teenager; either tired or hungry and 'work' is out of the question!



 He's even learned how to sleep standing!


 We finally finished our job and cleaned up, Lucy took at turn sleeping too.  Rough day for the dogs!



The rewards of putting in a day of hard work is an ice cold Popsicle!  Sophie deserved it, she survived a red-ant attack and stinky dirty straw flying in her face!


To reward the dogs for their hard work, we drove them over to the pond for a bit of fun, only King and Lucy enjoyed the swim, Jack has 'issues' with water, so he hid in the Ranger.

The End.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Peanut Butter Krispies


I told you a week or two ago that I would post the second half of my night out with the girls cooking, laughing, and drinking wine together. 

Somehow that post never happened.

Maybe it was the wine? 





This is how it went....


Marian's Peanut Butter Krispies! 

These little tasty treats are famous among the young and old, or at least they were in my Grandma Marian's world.  She made these most of the time at Christmas but also for special events she attended and always as a gift to a friend or family member that loved them. 

I'm so happy that my aunt thought of the idea, to get together to learn how to make my Gram's famous recipes, in honor of her, at the celebration of her life.


Add one cup sugar to medium size sauce pan.


Add one cup Karo Syrup and turn on heat to medium-high.

Stirring constantly until mixed thoroughly.   


Mixture should begin to bubble before adding the peanut butter.




Now add creamy peanut butter. We used exactly what Marian used, which is whatever she found on sale and with a coupon! 


We had a lot of fun cooking together.  We should have done this together, with my Grams, before she passed away.  We always said we would, but never did.  I know she would have been thrilled to see us all together making her favorites.


Once the peanut butter is blended in, turn off heat.


Fold in the Special K cereal one cup at a time.




This was a good time to get the kids involved. 



Using a spoon, make dollop sized spoonfuls and plop onto wax paper.





We made several batches for our party, they were a hit in addition to the lemon pies.




Yum! 


They are rich, sweet and peanut buttery.




Clean-up is a cinch when you have your cousin doing the work!


Thanks my cousin Jennifer for letting us gather at her house to bake and laugh together, we had a lot of fun!






Marian's Peanut Butter Krispies

Yield: 12-15 treats (depending on how big you make them)

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup white sugar
1 cup Karo Syrup
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
4 cups Special K cereal

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium sauce pan on medium-high heat, combine white sugar and Karo syrup stirring constantly until bubbling and thoroughly combined. Add creamy peanut butter until thoroughly combined.  Turn off heat. Fold in Special K cereal one cup at a time until mixed thoroughly. Using a spoon, drop a dollop of the mixture on wax paper one by one until finished. Let cool and eat!

These are great to give as a gift.  Layer a tin with wax paper, layer stacks of treats between wax paper until tin is filled.  That's how Marian did it!

Enjoy!


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