Herding cats uphill

I blog every day… in spirit.

In real life, days and weeks pass between my posts.  I am unable to write more often because I spend a lot of time engaged in what we call “herding cats uphill.”  You can imagine the futility of herding cats anywhere, much less up a hill.  In this analogy my kids, of course, are the cats.  We’re not going anywhere fast but we sure are doing a lot of running around!

I’ve been sorting through our recent photos, and here’s a quick look at what the cats and their wranglers have been up to:

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The mowing, the mowing, the mowing.  Our yard is abloom with springtime, and sometimes we don’t finish mowing before it’s time to start again!

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Awww…. Marsi (4) picked me this lilac sprig.  Perhaps not coincidentally, Marsi’s favorite color is purple!  My dad has always collected old bottles and had lots of opportunity to seek them out through the years as he rode (I would bet) over every square foot of the PV Ranch.  This old purple jar is one of my favorites of his.

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We had fun hunting asparagus with our friends the Gambles last week : )  Nothing better than fresh wild asparagus.

 

 

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Some of us around here eat dog food.

 

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This horse, Oz, has had a tough spring.  Most recently he had a meeting with a rattlesnake (or maybe two) and sustained a couple bites to his nose.  We are so thankful we found him and got him to the vet clinic before his airways closed off.  A vial of anti-venom and several nights at the clinic later, we just can’t wait to see the vet bill!

 

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This horse, Ranger, was my first 4-H colt, and he’s had my brand on him since I was 12 years old!  Now Emi (6) is threatening to steal him from me.  She’s riding at right with her friend Kaelynn.

 

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Marsi, meanwhile, thinks Jiggers is pretty great.

 

Speaking of Emi, she and her friend Rylee — who lives maybe six miles away from us — have started talking on the phone a lot.  It makes me wonder:  if they talk this much now, how much will they talk when they’re teenagers?

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For his part, Beau has been running around like a crazy man trying to keep various ranch balls in the air.  One of his recent projects has been documenting all the stock tanks on the place to meet some new water rights requirements.  Looking through his photos, I thought this was an especially nice one:

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Speaking of Beau, after years of pining for one, Beau finally bought himself a roping machine this spring.  And we have played with it exactly once in the last two months.  There’s just so much work to do… so much little kids’ softball to practice… so much Bible school to attend… so much ranch rodeo to plan… not to mention so much mud from all the rain we’ve received recently.

But it’s not all work I guess.  Over Memorial Day we headed west to spend the night in a rustic Forest Service cabin nestled in the Gallatin Mountain Range.  It was a fun adventure which our kids are not going to let us forget, and we thank our friends the Reeders for having us:

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I know camping is lots of fun for kids, and I know they would go back tomorrow if we said okay.  But for mommas camping is kinda all about packing a ton of stuff, unpacking it at the campsite, repacking it for the ride home, and then washing everything:

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(Some of us had to cry ourselves to sleep more than a few times on the long drive to and from camping.  Although looks like this time he fell asleep with a sucker in his mouth.)

One more great picture to share of Muggins, below.  We just thought he was blond and curly until, during a recent outing, we ran into a little guy who is truly blond and curly.  Muggins, left, was very interested in this other little creature who was about his size and who was definitely out-doing Muggins in the hair department:

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A quick look at this truck…

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… which seemed to be in a hopeless predicament.  Last week this truck left the feedlot fully loaded with yearling heifers destined for Wyoming.  Instead of taking a left when he got to the highway, the trucker took a left at our mailbox and followed an increasingly poor-quality dirt road for a mile and a half, until he just couldn’t move ahead anymore in the slick mud (again, we’ve had a lot of rain the last few weeks).  There was nowhere for him to turn around, so once the tractor helped him get moving again, that poor trucker had to back up… all the way to our mailbox… which means he backed a mile and a half, making three 90-degree turns along the way!  We were very impressed watching him navigate the challenge without too much trouble.  Once he was back on track, pointed south again, he jumped out of the truck and we noticed he was about 25 years old, wearing skinny jeans and sneakers, tattooed solidly from his chin to his shirt collar, with a big red gauge earring in one ear.  Goes to show… you can’t judge a book by its cover!

 

Oh, and speaking of the ranch rodeo, you’re invited…

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Also, branding season is officially underway.

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(Proof that I’ve been hauling out meals.  The first day was a disaster because I wasn’t in the swing of things yet.  There was even a fire in the oven that day!  The kids were amazed.)

But more on branding later, except to say that our niece Tay has been here to help brand the last two weekends.  We love it when Tay’s here.

Here we are driving with Tay in our new full-size van (yes, our weird full-size van dream has come true.  It’s so darn handy for hauling the kids around):

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Here’s Tay posing for the camera at the Hysham Lions Club Park (get it?).

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Tay is growing into an extremely goofy young lady.  Turns out she is interested in being  a lion tamer.  We could certainly use a lion tamer around here.  (Remember the whole herding cats uphill thing?)

© Tami Blake

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