The Last Round-up for 2022

Just in the nick of time all the cows are home. As I sit to start writing the words that go with the pictures I have received and assembled, the snow is flying, the wind is blowing, it is so wintery feeling. Down in the south east corner of the province we are the last to get hit with winters blow. We are thankful we had the time we did to get our fall work done up as much as possible. The biggest piece of that is getting our cows and their calves home from their fall and summer pastures.

Now that the cows are home we turn a definite corner. The work shifts towards ensuring the cows are fed and have access to water, and we start strategizing for the marketing part of our work. The season ahead holds more evening hours in the house, usually, we are definitely ready for that.

The last part of our cow chase work took place over this past Friday and Saturday. There are some nice pictures that tell the stories of the days.

Griffin shared this amazing sunrise picture from Friday with me. It was still and very cold as evidenced by the frost on the grass. We were bringing cows from “the Vanstone pasture”, east of Carnduff, to home pastures.
Griffin also shared this picture. Thats Teanna, Gina, Russ and Rhett. There was no school so it was a great day to invite the teens of our circle to help bring these cows home. Russ notes that he and Rhett had switched horses for a time, Rhett was trying out Russell’s saddle, which meant riding “Sundance”, who is notoriously grumpy and a challenge to ride. Not many would do what Rhett is doing in this picture.
Laurie couldn’t join the crew for the day but was available to help block the highway at the point where the herd crossed. He was able to catch this picture. What is it? In the very chilly morning temps Russ got craving a coffee. When it had warmed to about -6 he called ahead to Precision Ag, where we usually buy mineral, salt, fertilizer and pet food. Russ asked about customer perks and wondered if they could get five coffees to go. Sure enough, upon arrival, the place that is not a coffee shop had hot coffee in to go cups ready to pass out. Thats a happy memory.
Gina grabbed this picture from her perspective at the pasture gate. The first group of cows for the day was home and it was time to go home for lunch.
Emet got this picture of his dog and Coffee hanging out on a bale. Its cute!
After lunch the crew was off to bring another herd home. This time they headed to what we call “The Sheep Pasture”, I drove part of the crew and so was there when many things were getting done to be ready to go again. I grabbed this cute picture of Russ. That is the Viterra grain elevator in the background.
I like this action shot of Teanna.
Dani flashed a great smile when she looked up from dealing with her horse.
Sharon took this picture of Russ ready to roll. Thats Coffee, Knightwing and Bingo in the picture with him.
This is Griff ready to roll.
Sharon grabbed this picture of Teanna and Dani.
Gina took the passenger seat and let Dani drive home from the pasture at the end of the chase. Maddie is healing from an injury and didn’t get to chase, but got to be part of this time with Dani.

Russ wasn’t sure how it would go to juggle two different moves in the same day. Both herds moved more quickly then he thought, the crew did great and both lunch and supper were served an hour before Russ had estimated. I’ll be honest, as the cook, I struggled with the changing details, it was good in the long haul, but I didn’t find the flexing too easy to do.

Tenley sent me this amazing picture of the scene at sunrise on Saturday. The crew had left the yard about 6:45am and they headed to “the Boyes pasture” in the Glen Ewen valley. In contrast to the day before the skies were brooding, but at this point the air was quite still and it was warmer.
Griffin caught a moment when Morgan was being unusual. I am not sure what he was doing. Maybe I can ask him before I post this.
Sharon shared this moment where her grand-daughter Emma is ready to roll for the day. Emma has been on lots of Bayliss cow chases but this was the first for this year.
Griffin caught a cool sunrise picture, it also allowed me to see Emet’s dog in the saddle with him.
Jen saw this moment, the sun still rising and beautiful, Morgan ready to roll.
Becca sent this glimpse of the getting ready process. The sky is still intriguing.
Jen does excellent selfies, the sun on her face and Russ in the background makes this an especially nice one. I am guessing this was the last time the sun was seen on this day.
Becca brought her brother to his first cow chase in a long, long time. He was a good sport through what was a tough day because of the weather.
Sharon’s grand-daughter Hannah was back on the trail.
This is Bill in the centre with his granddaughters on either side of him. Sharon took this picture.
As the cows made the final mile before crossing the highway Becca took this picture.
Dwayne sent me this close up picture of the process of getting across the highway. In the background you can see the Mounties stopping traffic and keeping everyone safe.
I think Becca took this picture once across the highway and looking back at what was behind her.
Russ invited the Mountie on duty to pose for him, he obliged. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could direct the cows with hand signals like this? The RCMP are made aware of our plans, if it works into the demands of their day we get their help, but obviously other things take on greater urgency at times.
It was decided that quick progress meant a late lunch at home versus lunch on the trail was quite do-able and preferable given how windy and miserable it felt. However, a break for the cows was needed, the riders took advantage of the chance to stretch their legs. Sharon got this picture of Gary.
Sharon also got this picture of Bill making some adjustments.
Sharon took this picture right around the break.
Teanna and Dani grabbed a quick lie down in the ditch moment. Sharon was on the job with her camera.
Sharon has always been one to document our adventures, Becca got this shot just after Sharon finished a picture.
Jen and her daughter Emerson.
Jen’s selfie records a fashion moment, she and Griff have matching sunglasses, thanks to Griff wrestling an old bent out of shape pair into service.
Jen grabbed this moment when a good friendship was easy to see.
Jen and Dani….the queen of selfies strikes again.
Becca shared lots of pictures, including this selfie which reveals a nice spread of the cows behind her.
Becca captured her brother Dylan guarding an approach.

Following the break things got hard. Rain began and never quit until the ride was over. Tenley told Gina she has never been so cold on a Bayliss cow chase, which is saying quite a lot. The rain soaked through and challenged everyone. I got lunch set up for everyone in the house and left just as the crew was drawing near. I came across these cowboys coming home after getting the cows into the pasture. I was on my way into town to sing at a funeral. By the time I returned home everyone had eaten and most had gone home to find warm showers. It was hard to miss out on the meal, the chatter, and the words that might celebrate that the cows are all home, however the deceased was a friend of ours and I wanted to be there representing our family. Listening to the stories that came from lunch I sense that everyone was in survival mode and the celebratory mood would need to wait for another time.

The final quarter mile of the 2022 season.
Liz Griffin took this picture in the first half mile of the 2022 season. This captures the fact that we started with fog and ended with rain. There was no snow this on the trail this year, high wind at times but not like other years, we had some great sunny days.

Its November 7th, a few hours ago I reduced the table back down so it seats just six. Jill and I did up the last of the dishes lingering from the weekend. We watched two movies last night. The cows are home. We had a safe and successful season of moving them. The best thing, we had time with people we love so much, we met new people, we experienced teamwork and the sense that others have our back. I have been encouraged through the readers and comments with the blog. With a little rest in our bodies, and the sound of the wind just whistling around our house, our sense of gratitude rises to the surface in a very big way. We heard that one of our cowgirls cries for a half hour every year when everything is over. Russell says, “we know how she feels.”

The Tenderlands – A More Complete Version of Things

Some of the literal tenderlands near our place. (A Brodie Sollid Aerial Photo).

One of the things I do that does not help me at all is compare my life to others, that is, to what I glimpse of others lives.  Right now I am most guilty of comparing how I seem to be managing compared to others, I assess my housekeeping, my yard and what I have or don’t have.  Day by day it varies but right now these are the general categories I have in my brain.  In earlier days the topics were different, basically depending on what I was struggling with.    There are things I do well and I know it and maybe people compare themselves to me at times, clueing in to aspects of my life that I have shared here or elsewhere.  There is a risk with all this.  That is that we are comparing ourselves to others based on minimal knowledge of the whole situation.   We judge ourselves, and its costly judgment, based on information that isn’t complete. 

I think we humans only tell a partial story in the public setting because we have to guard our privacy and keep ourselves feeling safe.   Sometimes to feel good and safe we exaggerate what is going right.  That all makes sense at some level, however, it has a price when we judge ourselves based on a comparison with what is only a partial picture that others offer. 

I was thinking about this just now.  I am having a tough day.  I thought that I should avoid writing until I feel a bit better. I should not let you see this side of me. Or….., I could say something, and shed a bit of light on the wider picture of me and the Bar MW Ranch. 

I am sad today and its making me feel fragile and guarded.  I am currently sitting in the library in town, our Hyundai is getting an oil change.  When I planned the appointment I figured I would use the time waiting on the vehicle to go over to Grandma Shirley’s for a cup of tea and a visit.  But I am too brittle. I feel like I have nothing to give, or maybe its more a matter of I feel like I only have a ¼ cup of oxygen within me and that means none to spare.  Brittle is the best word maybe.   The sadness is perhaps harder to cope with because I am physically tired.  I simply loved our weekend, we had company that resulted in me feeling more whole, we had a cow chase day that held tons of stress but ultimately great satisfaction, sleep was cut short.  Its pretty normal human territory over here where I am. 

The sadness is about grief.  Two years ago today we were driving Gina to the airport in Regina, at the end of her trip home for my Mom’s funeral.  As we traveled I got word that my friend’s daughter had died unexpectedly.   Thinking about all that this morning I was raw, perhaps triggered, that whole autumn season of 2020 held many difficult things.   

Russ and I had an interaction yesterday that I don’t want to have bother me but I can’t deny that it is.  I know from experience that if I ignore it it will fester and breed crappy stuff in me, so at some level I am processing when and how to have a talk. 

Russ is helping the neighbors, within the hour I need to meet him, we will head to the bank for an appointment.  We were fortunate to get the chance to buy some land, we need to get the financing in place.  Its not a good day for that kind of appointment, that is the scary stuff in my world, and I only have that 1/4 cup of oxygen in me. 

So that is how everything is going.  No obvious positive blog post to make, instead, struggle, but I see you, you see me, you can see this.

Before I sign off, lets break down a situation.  I post pictures that reveal feeding hot food on the side of the road to 30+ people, it might seem impressive. Days and times like that are not the whole picture.  If you are going to compare yourself you need to know that my job is at the ranch.  I am not juggling off ranch employment.  I used to but I gave it up during Covid and Mom’s cancer.  I haven’t returned because I can’t consider juggling that.  My only job on chase days is to prepare food.  I have help.  I don’t have little kids at my feet.  I have years of experience with chase meals under my belt.  I have lots of equipment, crockpots, tables, benches, even a food delivery van at my disposal.  I have a house designed around creating and serving big meals.  I like cooking.  I really like lists and organizing, they make me feel good.  I can spend as much as is necessary to get the crew fed.   I am an introverted people person.  The way I am wired it gives me joy to see the faces come through the food line and it warms my heart to hear the thankyous, but I only engage this big group for brief parts of the day, it works for me, it’s a self-fuelling scene in many ways. 

In contrast I am not so well wired for the scary work I find at my desk or the challenge to tame our yard.  I definitely fall short there and in many other life situations.  That’s the bigger story.

My concluding thought is brief………I think we need to tame the comparing and be gentle on ourselves. 

A few pictures, taken by Liz Griffin over the years, to match a few of my points.

This is a picture of the final steps to get breakfast rolls to the truck before departure.   I can do that with a mega box of chips on the counter beside me, breakfast and lunch prep side by side.  I have the space I need to pull off what this schedule requires.
See that brace on Russell’s knee? He had a random and quite devastating injury in October of 2020.  Part of the pile up of crap that haunts me some days.
A picture taken the day after returning from Mom’s funeral, we had a chase to do, but I had been in many iffy places, hence the mask as I prepped food in my own house.  Liz caught me double checking our packing list for lunch.  Lists and I get along well.
I get to see a string of faces from my post where I serve lunch, then I return to my quiet kitchen.

Day 5 Cow Chase Season 2022

The crew from the ranch was on the trail again this weekend. It was a very memorable one. It was really only one day of chasing, Saturday, but it was a long day, as we mostly expected, and it held lots of moments that we will be talking about for a long time. I have had a ton of pictures shared with me, the story of the day will emerge through the pictures.

Our work for the weekend began on Friday when Russ, Gina, Laurie and Morgan went to check pastures. They were assessing animal health and pasture conditions. Russ was deciding if we needed to bring a herd home on Sunday but decided that the herd could stay for one more week in the pasture, there is enough grass.

The day started early, the crew was ready to leave the yard by 6:25am. Some of my family from Saskatoon were here for the weekend which made the weekend extra exciting for me. My brother in law Gary took this picture of the morning darkness.

Sharon offered this glimpse of the cows in the pasture, before departure.
Before departure, it was a bit nippy in the morning, bundled up to ride are Kaitlyn, Dani and Dwayne. Sharon took the photo.
Cowgirl Kaitlyn ready to go. A pic shared by Sharon.
The fabulous smile of Tenley. Sharon shared this picture.
Sharon grabbed this early morning photo of Jesse.
Gina and Meadow at the gate. Another Sharon picture.
Seth, who is my nephew, sent this cool picture, about 3/4 mile down the trail. They were able to go cross country at this point. The cross country sections of the trail really help, to cut down the distances and make less corners neccesary.

During the day there were seven calves that needed to be caught and put in a trailer to be transported home. There were two reasons for this. As soon as we hit the trail it was discovered that we had some sick calves. Russ figures the snow and rain of earlier in the week was the reason that four of the calves had symptoms of pneumonia. We needed to rope them, push/drag/wrestle them into the trailer and then treat them. Russ had brought a small kit with usual medicines in it, just in case. This came in really handy. The next pictures show some of this action.

Gary S (my brother in law) (we also had a Gary M) sent this picture. Thats Morgan and Meadow working to rope this calf. I don’t know where this roping fell into the order of things. There were four in total that were discovered to be sick.
Teanna sent this great picture of success with roping. Meadow caught the head, Morgan the feet, Russ is with it giving it two needles full of Nuflor, Jim is standing by, Bingo is on alert and Ron is ready to get the trailer door open. (That Nuflor will save their lives and return them to health, their suffering is minimized this way. One of the sick calves was already dead when they got to the pasture. Nuflor in time would have prevented that. Supporting antibiotic free beef has hard consequences for the animals. In this highly regulatred industry that Nuflor will be gone long before they enter the foodchain, any further antibiotics given require a clearly prescribed waiting period before they go for butcher.)
Sharon sent me this picture of Gary S doing his part to get a roped calf into the trailer. The calves were large and the effort very significant. Knightwing is hopefully helping with moral support at this point.
Sharon sent this pic of Russ starting to deal with a roped calf.
Sharon sent this picture of Russ pushing and Meadow securing a calf.
Gary took this picture while riding our mule Dick. Thats Emet on the left and Stephanie on the right. We were on the road.
Russ grabbed this picture of Bailey riding Wrangle. Bailey was one of three riders who had never experienced the BAR MW trail before. Quite an introduction with the day that it was.
Meanwhile back at the ranch…..my cousin had come for the weekend to give me a hand with cooking. We were working away at creating taco in a bag. Lisa prepared a well appreciated amount of fried onions. I asked her to prep three peppers, it wasn’t enough. We fed 33 people. I wasn’t always thinking straight with the prep. I am so grateful for her help. Our Grandmas were sisters.
The extra action in the morning had meant delays and it was a late lunch break. Here is the lunch crew. Jill dressed up to celebrate halloween. Sharon took our picture.
The cows were moving slow, lunch was late, some of our usual riders were not able to be with us, (I really missed them), many riders were feeling a bit of pain, the feeling in the air at lunch was subdued, except…….Jill. Her costume brought so many smiles at different points.
I grabbed this extremely goofy moment. It was a situation which began when Gina phoned me in the morning, “Mom, can you bring a calf bottle to lunch, I want to see if Moo would be interested in it.” Moo is our ox who once was a bottle fed calf and then Morgan’s 4H steer. He is now 2200 lbs plus and we use him to guide the herds home. Jill put a bit of water in it and with hope set off to offer it to Moo. I have no idea what was in his head as he saw Jill. Lets just say he had very little interest in the bottle. Was his effort to get away from her a result of her weird outfit? Not sure. Thats Moo with the white head patch just off to Jill’s right and looking at her.
Moo and Morgan in 2015. They have both grown. In the days when a bottle meant everything to Moo.
After lunch Seth was done with his job of moving trucks and he got in the saddle and on the mule he was sharing with his Dad. Here is Seth ready to roll.
After lunch Bill got back on his horse and I just had to grab this picture before he rode away. I had the privilege of conducting Bill’s wedding this past summer. He married my singing partner’s sister Caley. Bill and Russell met at the wedding and hit it off. The plan to get Bill on the trail was hatched then. Russell really loved having him along. He was VERY complimentary of my cooking which I really appreciated.
On the trail after lunch, Seth got this picture.
Gary S gave me this picture of the head guy, he looks fairly relaxed at this point.
Gary sent this picture of my niece Brodie (on Smoky) and her friend Clare on our red mule Jane (who Russ tells me has been herding cows since 1997). We were really happy to have Brodie back on the trail and to introduce Clare to trail life. She was a great sport.
Gina, Brodie and Clare on the trail, as seen by Gary S.
Gary S sent me this picture and he captioned it “The Bayliss Crew” and I feel that title so deeply. Russ, Morgan, Gina, cousin Laurie, Bingo and Coffee are all there. They were all working their butts off, and with a big herd like this, one or two of these crew are usually at the front, which could be as much as a mile away, Russ likes to stay at the back. This was a rare moment. They are joined in this picture by one of the crew from the White Ranch, thats Jordanna furthest to the right.
Things got pretty serious in the afternoon when three of our calves broke into the neighbors pasture. I am not totally clear of how everything went down but the bottom line is that Sherry our neighbor got nominated for neighbor of the year. She was gracious and understanding and helpful when some of our crew went into her pasture to rope those calves and get them out of her herd of yearlings and into the trailer. Morgan and Meadow were on roping duty again. This picture features Sherry in the back and Sharon looking uber relaxed on the right.
Gary S grabbed this moment on the trail. The bright sun was a gift.
Another nomination …..Russell nominated Gina for cowgirl of the day. I said, “Russ, she got it last time.” He said, “you should see that girl Kathy, her foot still isn’t right but she won’t stop, she was in charge of the whole operation when I was off dealing with those calves, she isn’t going to be here much longer, I am nominating her.” Gina sent me this picture because she spotted our cow named “Kathy” and got this selfie with Kathy grazing in the background.
Close to the end of the day Gina phoned me and said, “I have a nomination for cowboy of the day.” It was this crew member, Dwayne Henderson, she had some significant help from him with a problem earlier in the day and she just observed how calm and focused he was all day, and it was a long day. It was an epic day. Thats six times using day in one caption. It was epic. Laurie timed just over ten hours on the trail.
Russ took this fine picture of Morgan. The evening sun is nice.
Gina sent me this picture as her picture of the day. Its her Uncle Gary and she is so happy to have shared a day on the trail with him. He spent most of the day in the saddle and did incredibly.
Dani sent this picture in for her picture of the day. What a moment. Gina and Teanna approached the last mile of the chase, the ranch in sight, holding hands because their hands were cold and the truck with their gloves was nowhere in sight. The picture also allows mention of a nomination that Becca made, she texted me, “I would like to nominate Gina for the most fabulously dressed cowgirl today! Her shirt added flare to her cowgirl attire!” Her school friends will recognize it as her favorite shirt for dance and one she wore every Thursday for Jazz class.
Jill took this picture back at the ranch during supper hour. Bingo chilled with the crew.
Russ took this shot of Morgan and Knightwing……a significant amount of weariness!
Jill found a way to include Buster in the cow chase blog,.
Gina shared this pic of after supper visiting, most cowboys gone home, but not Bill, the furthest drive and the most endurance. He headed home to Brandon shortly after this. I love how Seth is sitting on Russell’s knee and laughing at something with Bill who you can hardly see.
This was earlier today. The cows home and grazing in the west pasture. Brodie took this with her drone. She makes awesome calendars with her drone photo shots from all over the Saskatoon and north area. I can get you one.
Russ, Morgan and Laurie helped our friends move their yearlings and cows this morning, whipped home for a late lunch with us and then we sent all our company back north. Gary took this.
Gary took this picture of our crew earlier today.

Now…….our cowgirl Becca took many great photos but a technological challenge meant that I just got them. I am tired. I can’t go back and tuck them in. So here is a glimpse of the day thru Becca’s lense and only just a tiny bit of captioning because you know almost everything already by this point anyways.

This picture features Emet in the foreground working the back of the herd. We are glad to see this picture, giving us the chance to say that his work on the crew has developed quickly this year. Gina tells me that twice yesterday she said to herself, “thank goodness for Emet.” Being in the right place at the right time doing the right thing is everything.

These are Becca’s kids Peyton and Matthew. They were great crew members and super cute. Their personalities made for memorable conversations, they really made us smile.

Loose Ends

Loose End #1 – Those of you who are subscribers and get notified of a new post through email might have been confused by a link you received earlier this week that said a new post was up but then you found it password protected.  Sorry about that. I was trying to get it approved by the people being named in the post before it went to public distribution. I was going to change the setting to public when I had the thumbs up.  I didn’t realize that all subscribers would get the confusing email.  Sorry about that and oops.  It should now be viewable for you.  I am always learning more about how WordPress works.

Loose End #2 – I received a few pictures from last week’s cow chase work after I had already posted about it.  I like the pictures though so I am adding them here. 

Sharon sent me this picture. I am not sure what was going on exactly but its funny, there are no cowboys in sight. Its as if the cows said, “hey, lets go for a walk shall we?” In fact, there are times when this happens, when they get this idea in their heads and when it does it is not a laughing matter. Our Ox named Moo is leading the way.
Sharon also sent this super picture of Teanna and Kadence having their lunch.
Sharon is great about grabbing pictures of the lunch girls in action. I like that this picture captures the scope of what we have going on. I am slightly alarmed that the lid is off the gravy. Everyone must have been fed.
There are eight trucks and trailers waiting for the crew at the destination pasture. This is thanks to some friends whose role is to drive trucks from the start point to the end. I am thankful Sharon grabbed this photo.
Griffin sent me this beautiful Saturday sunrise photo.

Loose End #3 – And finally we have a new horse to introduce you to.  There is a story that goes with its arrival.

Several years ago Russell and I decided we wanted to do better at teaching our kids delayed gratification, like you don’t always have to have everything you see, just because in the moment its enticing.  We started using a question. When any one of us become sure we need to buy something, to help ensure its not an impulse buy we ask “Did you wake up this morning thinking you needed a ________________?”  This question has served us pretty well.  Except for that one time when it was used in an attempt at humor. 

We were at Costco.  Which means we had been having some kind of roadtrip day.  All five of us were shopping.  Which means my patience was likely getting tested to the max.  Just before we went to the check-out I remembered something I forgot and I raced off.  When I returned I also had a bag of ciabatta buns in my hand.  Jill looked at me and said, “did you wake up this morning thinking you needed ciabatta buns?”  I did not find this funny, at all, and I nearly bit her poor head off.  This moment ensured that the phrase “did you wake up this morning……?” would become enshrined in our family dictionary and also that ciabatta buns would be a topic to tease Mom with for a long time after.  It has died down recently. 

Fast forward to Monday.

Russ and I had booked a little tiny cabin to stay at in Carpio, North Dakota, an hour from our house and a little place to rest.  We decided to travel there via Minot, get a few groceries and goodies (cheap beer and Copenhagen) and do a tiny bit of shopping.  We checked out a store new to us, “HomeGoods”, while there we both found things.   I found the tablecloth I had been looking for, long enough to fit my table when stretched right out.  Russ found a horse statue.  He really liked it but left it where he found it.  The only problem was that, wouldn’t you know it, he woke up on Tuesday morning saying to himself, “I think I need that horse.”  Which means that he could say to me, “Kathy, I woke up this morning thinking I need to go back to Minot, thinking I need that horse.”  Wednesday the same thing happened again.  He woke up thinking, “I need to buy that horse!”  So, after we left our little cabin we came home via Minot and stopped to buy our horse.   Russ loaded it with care, insisting it must be strapped in and we brought it home. 

Its a good thing we didn’t have the dogs with us, I can’t imagine what Bingo would have thought of this.

At this point we have not named it.  Nothing obvious is coming to my mind.  We would welcome any suggestions.  I figured I should post about our purchase because we introduced you to Elton John and Skywalker last month, why would we hold back on this purchase?

A little bit more about Carpio……  After our big chase weekend, as we headed south for our time away, we were very quiet.  As we ate lunch in Minot, we were very quiet.  I said to Russ, “we are really quiet.”  He said, “Kathy, I try to talk to everyone on the trail, I am sure that yesterday I talked to forty people.”  By Wednesday as we headed off from Carpio we were yucking it up, both of us in supremely good moods.  We had spoken to exactly two people since we arrived there on Monday, (not counting a few phonecalls).  It was only the waitresses who had served us some food in Carpio and Foxholm whom we needed to interact with.  That’s it.  We seemed to benefit from that quiet.  Even as we have landed firmly in middle age I think we are both still figuring out what it takes to keep us fuelled.  As much as we love the friendzy of our cow chase weekends (an intentional typo there), we need the pull back time too.  Probably many of our crew do too. 

Loose End #4 – This morning I changed my earrings. I took off the ones I had been wearing since just before Hurricane Fiona struck. I wrote about that in an earlier post (Celtic Solidarity?). It felt odd. I was not relieved to have something new. I did ponder how very much the Nova Scotia people went through while I wore them.

Well I think I have tied up all the loose ends I need to for this day.  I will let you know what we call our newest horse once we get it named!    

When Kindness Meets Humor

Preamble: The start of this post was written a month ago, on the plane enroute from our vacation, it was finished this week.

We have a pretty special thing going on. A friendship that came out of the blue. Sitting on this plane, a blanket of puffy, shiny white clouds below me, I have pondered “what is this that has happened?” Here are the words I put on it. This story is called “When Humor Meets Kindness and They Bring All Their Friends.”

I have talked about the Fentons on the blog before, after they spent a week with us in May. I don’t want to repeat too much, so here are the essential story pieces.

Russell’s friend Crystal in Nova Scotia talked about Russ at her riding barn. Carvell and his family were regular riders at the barn and based on what he heard Crystal saying Carvell sent a facebook friend request to Russell.

Carvell had questions about horse bits which he sent to Russ. Russ enjoyed answering. Carvell has a great appetite to learn and Russ loves teaching.

Messages went back and forth alot for two years before our families met in May.

It was early May when Russ and I booked plane tickets to Halifax for this fall trip we are just finishing. We agreed that although the Fentons live in Halifax we wouldn’t tell them of our plans in case they arrived at our place later that month and we didn’t like them.

I am not sure how long it took us to decide we could tell them of our plans but it was less than a day. We were enjoying them.

October 18th – I didn’t get a chance to get back to this until now. Its almost a month later. I have thought about it alot. In my mind I think I have whittled this down to the essence of what I am trying to say. It is to ponder this question, “what is the recipe for strong friendship?” Friendship seems so important to our lives, most of us can’t live well without at least one good friend. I feel like in observing Russell and Carvell develop a friendship I have observed a case study in many things that make a friendship good. Here is the list I have:

-they both value kindness above many other things

-they both practice living with humor

-they are both unafraid to ask questions, they can tolerate appearing to not know stuff.

-they each want to listen, even if they interrupt, they can find their way to listening again.

-they have interests in common

-they have a lot of interest in each others lives and each others families.

-they each have an enthusiastic approach to life.

-they each have spouses and kids that support the friendship

-they are both honest

-they both choose to be positive

As I write all this it strikes me that it takes energy to live like this. How does that energy come to a person and get renewed? As a case study I can say from what I know about Russell that this kind of friendship capability does not come from getting lots of sleep, but perhaps it comes from excessive caffeine and Copenhagen. Certainly Russell is wired to want friendship but it still takes energy and openess.

As I ponder the impact of the list I made above I find myself wondering what happens when two people meet and just one thing on the list is clear. Perhaps a tentative connection begins. Perhaps as time and opportunity reveal more a friendship grows, and starts putting down roots too. I’m saying perhaps because I am no expert on this, I have no TED talk in my backpocket, I am just going on what I observe. What I am observing is that the more boxes on this list that can be checked the more safe I feel in a friendship. By the age we are, having taken some knocks and had a few painful reality checks about the way life goes, well, that safety really matters more and more.

Getting back to our holiday time with the Fentons, we enjoy them all so much that we snuck in visits as much as we could, we had so much fun. Here are the pictures that make us smile and perhaps illumine a bit of what I have described above.

After a 5am departure from Winnipeg we were settled into our air bnb by mid afternoon. We were forty minutes from the Fentons. Why not invite them for supper? I was the princess who had a nap while Russell cooked bacon and eggs.
The next day we joined the action at Evangeline Trail Rides, the place where Carvell first heard of Russell in 2020. We got to trail-ride together.
We had a day set aside to tour with the Fentons. Here is Russell and I with Izzy in the back, with Carvell and Lynette in the front.
Russell and Carvell at lunch on the Halifax harbor. They were a bit of an attraction all on their own, these two men in hats, they were stopped and asked how they kept their hats on. A policeman stopped Russell to ask him if he had any sisters. Random strangers shouted out, “I like your hat.” People wanted to talk about the TV show Yellowstone.
At a very cool display at the Halifax Citadel. This showed the key pieces of machinery and strategy used as the D-day landing at Normandy proceeded.
Atop the Halifax Citadel.
We explored Peggy’s Cove at sunset. It was stunningly beautiful.
I knew that if Liz Griffin was with us, and I was wishing she was, she would grab a silhouette picture under these conditions. Izzy stood in and did a good picture for us. We did a “Walk Like an Egyptian” moment.
We also re-enacted the iconic scene from the Titanic movie. I am singing “near far, wherever you are……” at this fairly unattractive moment.
Russ and Carvell did their own version. I simply love this picture.
This is my favorite version of our goofy pictures. Lynette is glowing. Her sincere kindness and loving heart are bursting through.
The pals that brought us all together.
We stopped at the monument to honor those who died when SwissAir #111 crashed in the waters here in 1998. It was a sobering place to visit.
We returned to the Fentons for some amazing homemade pizza. Lynette is a great cook.
Izzy and Russ are a close pair of pals now too. Right from the start she has seemed to get Russell’s quirky sense of humor. I enjoy Carvell’s photobombing of this shot.
The written part of this post has mostly been about Russell and Carvell but clearly their friendship has enfolded their families and impacts us all. Our kids talk with lots of affection about the Fentons, even Gina who has never met them. The bottom line for me is that when I am with them, I feel seen. It matters so much to me. We were blessed with solid friendships before we met the Fentons, friendship is and has been a huge part of our life. Our friends take very good care of us. In the midst of that I am amazed at how our hearts can expand to fit more. When kindness and humor meet and they knock on your front door, you answer and life is good.

Day 4 – Cowchase Season – 2022

It is 5:08am on Monday. I forgot to turn my alarm off, so…..I am awake blogging now, Russ is watching Netflix. I am feeling a little stupid but it does give some moments to do this. I just asked Russ, “how would you describe yesterday?” He replied, “it was a good day….it was a great day.” There were challenges and mishaps, but overall we have much to be thankful for.

Jen sent this picture early on, the first glimpse I had of the work. Russ says they were just bringing the cows into McNeil’s yard for sorting. That is Griff, Morgan, a rider we aren’t sure of from behind and Jen’s dog Paisley.
More of the crew moving in to get the job done. This is all the pictures I have of the early work. Jen said her hands were too cold to take her gloves off during the actual sorting. It was busy and cold (-7).
Jen, Kenzie, Jordanna and Tenley in the McNeil yard.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I came into the house after getting buns from the garage freezer. Buster was sitting on my desk. That has never happened. Buster doesn’t usually get included on cowchase posts, this was his chance.
The frazzled cook has hair half up and half down.
One of the last lunch prep jobs was making the gravy to go with beef on a bun.
Jill has become the master packer of the van. This lineup meant many trips.
The scene inside our big chuckwagon. We figure it’s our sixth season rolling down the road in this creation David Powell gifted us with.
Jill and I came from the east and caught a glimpse of the herd coming up to Alameda. We were excited and drove past our lunch spot to see them. We were getting a glimpse of the action and seeing if we were needed on the highway. The herd had been slow moving and we got in a wee bit of heck at the end of this video, for looking like we were going to stop the herd at a crucial moment. 🥴🤦‍♀️
Jill took this picture. Peyton had to come back for seconds, our dog Knightwing had stolen part of her lunch. She was extremely cute telling us her story.
This looked like a fun moment to capture but I ended up getting involved and it didn’t go well. Gina ended her day in an aircast, one we own from a previous injury of hers. Gina was riding bareback because her horse had developed a cinch sore. Mounting up was tricky. Despite hurting her foot/ankle in the process she worked all afternoon, she didn’t want to miss out and it was clear to her that her Dad was relying on her. Indeed, Russ and Morg had to leave the herd for about an hour to try and rope a calf that left our herd and joined another in a pasture along the way. He returned to find Gina with a survey stick in her hand working the herd back and forth, back and forth. She was 100% focused on the cows. Long before lunch she had been nominated for cowgirl of the day, Jen witnessed Gina helping to sort the three herds from each other in a way that was admirable. After riding bareback most of the day and enduring pain all afternoon she definitely earned the nomination.
Jill took this picture of Russ at lunch.
Gina took this picture of Russ shortly after lunch as they headed over the dam.
Patrick took this picture. The dam is a mile and a quarter long and has a low guard wire. Russ reports this was the first year he can remember that no calves got over that cable.
Pat got this one too, his daughter Emory joined us on the trail, that’s her in the foreground.
Becca shared this picture from her vantage point, where she was guarding an approach. I don’t often see head on views of the herd and hardly ever on the dam.
Russ got this picture of the newest rider on the Bar MW trail, this is Jessie Henderson.
This picture of Russell’s features Dwayne who spent his birthday riding with us. I totally forgot about his special day at lunch.
Patrick and Emet, a picture of Russell’s. During lunch Russ was appreciating finding Emet at the right place at the right time, guarding the herd, without being asked.
At the front of our herd is our ox “Moo.” He leads the herd on many chases and Russ says after six years he knows all the routes. Russ says the old west trail bosses would have a steer who knew the way, they used them year after year. Moo is a calming influence and a good leader. He is fraternal twins with Jen’s horse Cinder.
Dwayne shared this very pretty picture of the herd on the move.
Tenley shared this momentous picture of the cows going into the pasture.
It wasn’t clear that we would have supper together but a couple delays along the trail meant the crew not getting back to the yard until right before supper. Jill and I learned this at 4pm and swung into gear. We served an easy meal and it was fun.
Some of the supper scene.
Maddie’s position at days end is something most of us involved could relate to I think.

Chase Season Day 3 Part 1 & 2 -2022

The Bar MW crew was on the trail in full force today. The work today actually started yesterday.

We have 110 cow calf pairs that spent the summer at the public pasture near Hirsch. The Bar MW cows shared various pastures with cows from the McNeil and Cowan ranches from May until now. Yesterday we worked together to get all these cows rounded up out of a 1600 acre area. We took them into a smaller holding pasture our friends Chad and Crystal Ross let us use overnight.

Yesterday was bright and not too windy. Gina got this cool shadow picture.
Jen got this good picture of Gina.

After yesterdays prep work at and from the public pasture, which took about 3.5 hours, it was quick to get the cows on the road this morning. A few factors in our favor meant a fast chase. Before 12 noon the cows were in McNeil’s pasture, the crew was in the McNeil’s yard and lunch was just about there.

It was a cloudy day but started with a warm glow of a beautiful sunrise. Jen took this selfie.
The crew left the yard at 6:05am which meant they were in the saddle already by the time the sun cracked the horizon. Jen caught this moment, sunrise glowing on Cinder’s head.
Gina sent me this picture early this morning.
The cows are in the distance, the crew is gathering, Jen grabbed this moment of mustering.
Tenley’s perspective during the mustering. Russ says at this moment Gina had advanced ahead to the herd. Her job was to sing to the cows, wake the cows up and tell the calves to get ready for their day and have a bit of a suck.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I started a 6x batch of chili. This veg base got split into 3 crockpots and then beans, onions and cooked ground beef added.
A little ways along the trail, they were able to cut cross country and Patrick caught this cool panoramic shot.
Russell took this 20 second video early on. It gives a sense of the cows and a bit of Russell’s levity.
Sharon had this view which grabs alot of action.
When riders are new to the trail it is hard to do the whole distance. Sharon got a chance to visit with our newest rider, Brooklyn, when it was her turn for a truck break.
With the crew done early we ready had to hustle at the house. Jill was my saving grace.
Packing lists and sturdy baskets are essential.
While Jill and I got lunch set up in McNeils shop some pictures got taken. This one features alot of our teen riders and a couple who are just a bit older than that.
I got summoned from the food table for “the old guys” picture.
Some of our lunch time customers. On the left side of this picture is Griffin Currie. Part way through the morning I got a text from Tenley simply saying “I nominate Griffin for cowboy of the day.” Later she told me, Griffin was the guy who headed into a swamp to make sure cows trying to get a drink got out without having trouble. I was told he had to be decisive, effective and patient and he was all that. Tenley said she and her horse could not have done it. Gina said she was warned away from it, a possibility of sinking being real. Griffin just did it.
Jen grabbed this pic of my dog customers.
Gary was thrilled by the dessert options. Due to some generous cooks four different kitchens were represented and Gary sampled them with delight.
Back at the house after lunch I sat down with coffee and a puffed wheat cake, made by Olivia, who at the age of 10 appears to have mastered a fine puffed wheat cake, many of us know, this is not easy to do.

Tomorrow morning starts with sorting cows, separating McNeil’s and Cowan’s cows from ours. It takes lots of help and co-operation, good horses and good management, and there are three ranch chiefs on hand! Then the Bar MW cows will walk another 11 miles or so to their autumn pasture. We are hopeful for sunnier skies and lighter winds. We will see what the day holds. Today held safety and good friend times. We are thankful for that.

Laundry Lingo

It is 8:40am on a day we are chasing cows. It is slightly ridiculous that I am sitting at my desk writing. We have a large crew on the trail, I have lots of mouths to feed. However, everything seems under control. I told myself that if I got the chili in the crockpots by 8:30 I could write til 9. All that is left to do is make coffee and hot chocolate, load up and get to our lunch destination, near Alameda.

The chili is in the crockpots.

I have a guest staying in my laundry room tonight. Therefore it is a bit of a priority to keep working at my regular laundry routine. Usually I ignore it altogether on a chase weekend and maybe for a couple days afterward. However, to make room for the bed I have to get my sorting carts out and I would rather do that with them less full rather than more. So, after getting the crew on the trail this morning and washing up the dishes, I headed down to the laundry room.

I opened the dryer to find a load of dark clothes waiting for me, one of Morgan’s work t shirts was peeking out. The collar was opened right up for view. The tag on the t-shirt was fully visible. It said “KYLE W”, an iron on laundry id tag for the days that my Dad lived in a nursing home. I have this shirt because after he died we came home with alot of his clothes. Russ has been using them for work, they didn’t fit him well enough to be good clothes, and now Morgan is wearing them.

I spent many moments yesterday thinking about my Dad. Mostly the shape of my thoughts was, he never saw this stage of my life, he never viewed me at home on the ranch I share with my family, he never ever saw this side of me. The follow up thought was, “my Dad would be proud of me, he would find it very interesting to watch me do my thing.” He was intently interested in people.

This morning, as I strive to be on top of things, I opened the dryer door to see his name staring at me. Obviously I have handled his clothing hundreds of times over the 16 years since he passed. It struck me odd however that in all the multitude of ways that clothes can tumble and land in a dryer, it all landed in a way that allowed me to be confronted by his memory.

Later as I was getting the chili organized I was listening to Youtube, to a public speaking specialist, he was using a Brene Brown talk to explore the key elements of good public speaking. He used the very opening moments of her speech and so I got to hear the moment when after she was introduced she stepped on stage to raucous applause. It went on and on. The thought went through my head, if my Dad could respond to me right now I think he would be applauding me. The thought gave me goosebumps. As I write this now I it almost brings me to tears.

While I was cooking some messages were zinging back and forth from Nova Scotia. Pictures shared, comments about the day passed back and forth, from people I didn’t even know a couple years ago and even last month at this time. Real live people offering a living presence of kindness and encouragement.

I will always remember my Dad and his cheerleading presence in my life. I am grateful for the ways that others step into the gap. I suspect it is a task that we all face to dance with our grief, our memories, our sense of loss and all that it means and at the same time be thankful and grateful and alert to the multitude of ways that love and care break into our current daily lives.

On that note……Liz Griffin shared a picture she recently took of Morgan on Facebook yesterday. I love it. He is a little bit like my Dad, but he is fully himself and I am blessed to get moments with him every day.

Celtic Solidarity?

Preamble: I am struggling to get this post written and posted. I started it and almost finished it a week ago, so the contents might seem odd, timewise. I am sitting in a waiting room now, Russ is getting his eyes tested and new glasses ordered. Here is what I have ……

After Hurricane Fiona left Nova Scotia we had lots of messages go back and forth with our friends and family there.   Our hearts were so heavy for them.    I had the cell number for one of the family that I only just met for the first time in our recent trip.  Despite not feeling super connected I wanted to check in.  I knew that Gary was a very busy man with lots on his plate but I risked bugging him.   It turned out that Gary is very generous with words and stories and we have been texting back and forth almost every day.  His messages have given me goose bumps as he has detailed how the neighbors are looking out for each other.  His family seems to have an especially tender spot for the widows who need help with generators and dealing with their isolation.  It has inspired me and warmed my heart.  He has also sent me many photos, including this picture of one of the blueberry fields in autumn. I find it so gorgeous.

I find one of the hard parts of having my people going through hard things is the powerless feeling I often have as they struggle. Especially when the distance between us means we can be of no practical assistance.  We simply sit here and wonder and imagine what it’s like.  We pray too, for their strength and their peace amid everything. In some situations, like this one, that seems to be the extent of what we can do.

I think this is why a few days ago I got a somewhat silly notion in my head.  I looked at the earrings I was wearing, I had put them on the last full day we were in Nova Scotia. Russ had bought them for me at the Halifax Citadel gift shop.   As I looked in the mirror I thought to myself, “its time to change your earrings Kathy!” But even as I considered that something in me was already resisting it.  I got thinking, “I am not taking these off until our people all have their power back on.”  Well, Monday morning the message finally came in from Gary, a New Brunswick power man had come in their yard and said, “you can turn your generator off.”  (Can you just imagine how momentous those words would sound after 9+ days without power?) The washing machine was put to use almost immediately Gary told me.  Later that day standing in front of the mirror I contemplated that with the Fentons, the Mannings, and all 3 Brown homes now back on it was time to change my earrings.  But then figured, “no, I am not ready, not yet, my people have power but many still do not.”  I decided then that I would keep them on until every person in Nova Scotia has their power back.  The first thing Gary told me yesterday morning is that 8000 homes in Pictou and Colchester counties are still without.    I will be wearing my Celtic knot earrings for a while yet it seems.

This is all stupid, in a way.  Maybe quite boring as the main subject of a blog post.  But something tells me there is something here.

Do my actions illumine just how very uncomfortable I am when I feel powerless to make a difference?  Yes. Absolutely true about me. Is this common for humans?  I think so.

Do my actions make any difference? No. There is no way my earring choice shifts anything for anyone.

But maybe it’s an act of solidarity. Maybe, when I really analyze the crap out of this, it says “I can’t help you, but if you are dealing with limits I can too.”

Maybe by wearing the earrings bought in Nova Scotia, representing a piece of their Celtic heritage, I am carrying a piece of them on me at all times, maybe thats a tiny form of solidarity.

Maybe it’s a reflection of the wisdom that actions speak louder than words. Maybe the wearing of the earrings and the pondering that goes with that is a form of prayer. I think about the Holy Spirit quite a bit lately. I think about how the Spirit might serve as a courier, taking the love and courage and peace I have to share, from me to those I pray for. (I then trust that God is refilling me so that I have enough for myself and more to share with others.)

That’s all I got written until today….a week later. If my understanding of the Nova Scotia Power Map is correct there are still some without power. I am still wearing the earrings.

If you look it up on Google you will find that the Celtic knot (the symbol used for my earrings) takes on many forms. It has various meanings.

One of its characteristics is that while a Celtic knot may look like it has distinct sections or parts, in fact it is made with one single strand that weaves back through itself and is not tightened, or in other words, is held loosely, it has no beginning and no end.

I really love the symbolism of this. It is a visual reminder of the connection that exists between us and the unique forms our friend and family groups take. The reality of knots that are not tight says something important too I think. Obviously sometimes tight knots are important, I am a rancher, I see this regularly. But the tie that binds friends and family together, across vast distances and through hard times can be held gently, can be a means for our prayers of love, mercy, courage and strength to flow freely.

As I wear these earrings in the days and years ahead they will be a reminder of our trip. They have become more. I am so grateful for our Nova Scotia history, our Brown family there, our Fenton and Manning friends, and the invisible and gently woven strand that connects us to them. In these post hurricane days my earrings have become a testament to love and a reminder to pray.

Weekend Aftershocks

We try not to plan much for the day after a weekend of cow chasing. Today was that kind of day.

Events last week meant we were short one of our trucks for hauling our 2nd trailer for the cow chases. Fortunately for us the Powells lent us a truck for the weekend. This morning we wanted to get that returned. We made it our planned reward to go out for a late breakfast between that drop off and our next thing. A reward for doing the work of the two chase days. I have to say it felt pretty fine to sit at the diner, and it was noticeably great when Christine slid a delicious omelette in front of me. I was being served, after almost a hundred thousand calories passed through my hands enroute to others this weekend, (105 meals at a 1,000 calories per?). After breakfast was over we got a tractor picked up from one field and headed to another to get a load of bales. While Russ loaded the flat deck full of bales I sat in the truck and returned messages. I made him pose with his load when it was done.

Bingo was itchy I guess and is not showing her most dignified self in this picture.
Russ

I got a message late last night with a couple more pictures from yesterday.

Maja took this shot. It’s another one with beautiful colors but also records the presence of Judith (on the left), an agriculture worker from Germany, and Jenna on the right. She is David’s daughter and has not been with us on the trail recently. It was great to have her.

As Russ and I had breakfast we talked over how things went on the weekend. Two things might be of interest to readers….

1. Why do we start so early?

Saturday we had a very long ride and needed every hour of daylight to ensure we got the herd to pasture before dark. They made it with 90 minutes to spare. Several years ago complications meant that same ride took til well after dark. That wasn’t the first time we ended in dark but it was the most extreme. It was dangerous and very worrisome. We had riders that day that never ever have come back.

The risk of a dark arrival was not high on Sunday with a shorter distance to cover and moving heifers versus cow calf pairs. Indeed, the crew was back at the ranch and eating lunch by 1:30. I thought to myself “Russ must really live in fear of a complicated chase to get everyone up so early that no sunlight is wasted.” When we talked it over Russ said it wasn’t that. Early October days can get hot, an early start means avoiding the heat of afternoon. Last year this same chase started after we had lunch at the ranch. It got hot. The heat tuckered the cows out. Russ called the Patons to ask permission to break into their pasture and water our cows from their dug-out. They gave their permission. No small thing in a drought year. They had to rest the heifers for about an hour then. Russ didn’t want a repeat of that. So there are a few variables in how things get timed out.

2. Why so many riders?

We actually had a pretty searching conversation about this with the kids at supper. That many people around shapes the experiences of all of us. To my surprise it was Morgan who questioned the practice of a welcome extended to all. He is tired, not the easiest time to draw forth one’s welcoming instinct. The bottom line is we invite the people who show an interest and whoever shows up shows up, although we mostly know in advance who that is for trailer, horse and food planning purposes. We don’t enjoy everyone, we are not angels and none of our crew is perfect. It can get tricky. Every single person on the trail gets stretched in one way or another almost every day.

Yesterday our numbers were pretty extreme, we had almost 1 horse and rider for every 2 heifers on the trail. It turned out to be helpful twice. First when rounding up the herd in the heavy fog we dealt with yesterday. Russ organized the cowboys and cowgirls very strategically to advance across the pasture almost in a formation, allowing them to sweep forward all the heifers that emerged from the fog before them. The second time was when they needed to cross railroad tracks and these young animals were skittish and very hesitant. Russ got the crew to completely surround the herd and contained like that, fenced in so to speak, they gave the heifers time to think about it, settle down a bit and decide it was their own idea to go across. Russ likes this method of dealing with cattle, slow and easy, non aggressive unless neccesary, he feels it’s safer and easier on the animals. I heard some riders talking about it later a little amazed at how Russ made that crew coordinate in those moments without raising his voice much at all. That is not always the case. Russ yells on the trail when neccesary, it’s hard for those of us who are used to his more cuddly demeanor.

As Russ and I sat and talked over these questions he was reminded of past times when he moved animals home. He said this weekend we had one extreme, he has lived the other. Back in the PMU days he moved a herd of horses home from the Manor pasture all by himself. He had seven horses loaded in the trailer that Walter his Dad drove down the road. Russ had played them all out by the time it was done. He had a couple other stories that if you didn’t know Russ or his family you might not believe. These stories should be a blog all on their own. Russell’s summary of it all, “I have done this with both extremes of help, zero and lots, with help is way more fun.”

Maja’s 2nd picture…. a worn out “Coffee” dog. She got kicked on Saturday, she was fortunate to have no lasting effects. She was so goofy on the trail yesterday there was some brief wondering if she was more affected than first thought. She apparently couldn’t decide whether to clean up the ditches or chase cows and often tried to do both.

Post chase days almost always include an episode of lost and found. Today that includes this mug and a pair of Polarized brand sunglasses. Any takers? We also found a strange half grown black and white kitten in the barn. It’s possible it was a stowaway on one of the trailers in the yard this weekend. Anyone know anything about that?

There were lots of readers from Canada, the U S. and Europe that had a look at the weekend blogs. That was fun and encouraging. Thanks to you readers! Feel free to share any blog if you think someone in your circle would enjoy it.

We have a little bit of a break from cow chasing now. Ranch activity over the next bit involves alot of effort to bring hay and straw bales home. I am hoping to get some things off the to do list and get writing. There is alot to be said.