Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Who Let Their Cows Out–who,who,who?


So…..I sort of love this picture!  When I was 7 the Texas panhandle had an epic blizzard.  Lots of snow and high winds caused drifts of snow so tall you could literally walk from the roof of your house to your neighbors.  As a kid……….IT.WAS.FREAKING.AWESOME!

As an adult, particularly a cattleman, I’m quite sure it was the equivalent of beating repeatedly on your thumb with a hammer.  Just as we children reveled in the massive snow drifts, the cattle all decided to go on a winter vacay.   All they had to do was walk over the barbed wire fences and travel with the wind.

And travel they did, miles and miles.  I think it took a really long time for all those cattle to be rounded up and returned to their rightful places once the storm was over.  Thank God for branding!

However, on the heels of what is being referred to as “Snowpocalypse” or “Snowmageddon”, this photo has shown up on the internet A.LOT.  And I really get amused   PO’d at some of the comments.

Comments like “how irresponsible to allow your cattle to be roaming loose in such horrible weather!”  Ummmm, ‘mkay…..we kind of felt like maybe it would be wrong to lock them in a barn and then have the snow keep us from getting to them to feed and water them.  Or heck…’s a little hard to ring the bell and holler out the back door… it’s time to come in now (especially when the wind is blowing 75 mph).  Another favorite “oh, the poor things must be so cold.”  Sorry…we ran out of sweaters for them and couldn’t get to the store to buy more, we were hoping their leather coats and higher body temps would prove sufficient.  “How long were they loose?”  I guess as long as it took for the winds to die down, the snow to quit blowing, for people to be able to get their vehicles out of the snowbanks and garages they were stuck in and go looking for them.

There is no bigger animal lover on the face of the planet, but where I am from cattle are an industry, a business that has been part of my life forever.  I’ve seen my granddad cry at the sickness in his herd, watched him up to his shoulders trying to help a calf be born and saw him dedicatedly be on the spot, on time twice a day to milk. so those milk cows would not suffer from being neglected.  These cattle were not loose because people were negligent or uncaring.  These cattle were loose for the same reason they get swept away in tsunamis and tornados or swallowed up by earthquakes.  This was nature's work and you can’t stop Mother Nature when she’s got her drawers in a bunch.

And really, this group of bovine could very well be from several different herds who found safety in numbers and just drifted along with each other.  I think it is funny they came to town which leads me to question……how you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm? Luckily they only went to Pampa.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Playin’ Chicken


I've never understood the whole "chicken" thing as a description of a coward.  You know, you are driving your car hell bent for leather head on at another car and the first one to swerve away is “chicken?”

Chickens could be some of the bravest creatures on the planet. Think about it - there you are happily scratching the dirt for nature's little treasures when the farmer's wife comes strollin’  through the yard. With a pan of seed, waves her hand back and forth and dinner falls to earth like manna from Heaven.

Suddenly..............she snatches you up and with a quick little flick of the wrist you are running around the chicken yard WITHOUT.YOUR.HEAD.  Now instead of getting dinner, you ARE dinner.

And yet…….tomorrow - some loud mouthed testosterone filled rooster will announce to the world there are still lots of you available for frying and all your living feathered friends will exhibit the same enthusiasm for Mrs. Farmer as YOU did today.

Ah say....Ah say.....that, my no chicken!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cruisin’ For A Bruisin’


This was one of my dad’s favorite expressions.  Used as a warning to my brothers and myself when we were dangerously close to stepping over the lines of his endurance.    It seemed to work amazingly well.

However, events of late have brought Cruising to the forefront of all our realities.  For those who have cruised, there is a first hand knowledge of what all the hubbub is about. For those of us who’ve never floated the oceans and seas on the equivalent of a city on water, there is perhaps a bemused attitude.

First of all….these people who were inconvenienced recently were……inconvenienced.  Yes, their cruising experience might not have been pretty, or pleasantly scented but they weren’t harmed.  And for most of them, they made out like bandits.  Refunds, vouchers, free cruises…I think they have been treated most fairly.

Was this unfortunate……..absolutely!   Was it intentional……doubtful.   And will these put upon poor cruisers venture forth to cruise again………I would wager so.

Anyone complaining about having to smell sewage while in the middle of the ocean surrounded by fresh sea air has obviously never been in a baseball complex outdoor bathroom in August in Arkansas.  Now….there’s some smell accompanied by flies roughly the size of B-52s.  Sleeping on the deck of a ship sounds kind of exciting to me – after all, that would have never been allowed had there not been a problem on board.

I’m just thinking it is a good thing this wasn’t a Disney cruise – just think…..they all could have been trapped aboard that boat with 2 children for every adult.  Now that would be my idea of a nightmare.

Get over yourselves people….it is experiences like these that give you interesting stories to tell your grandchildren.  Imagine their wide eyed wonder when you tell them how you were trapped at sea, living on the edge…..fearing you would never see land again.  WOW!  If you can manage to get over it I’m betting in 6 months you will be laughing about it, because while you might not see it now, I can imagine all kinds of things you have heard, seen, smelt or felt during your hardship that are side splittingly funny.  Laugh about it…..I did.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I Bought It One Piece At A Time

If you follow my rantings and ravings you are aware that I have very strong opinions on everything from raised toilet seats to firearms in church. And since I don’t particularly like to argue with anyone over the validity of my opinions, I choose to Blog. In the Blogging world if you don’t like someone’s comment you simply get rid of it. Sad that all of life is not that easy! I’m kidding of course, I actually think good healthy discourse is productive. However, I also find that often there will be one component in a debate unwilling to let the opposing side have an opinion at all. They simply want their way, their words, their thinking. But…this is why I blog. I blog about things that are sad, things that make me happy and most of all things that I find wet my pants funny or give me those “what in the helicopter” moments.

I was watching television the other night. Admittedly probably reality TV – I am a card carrying Addicted to Reality show junkie. This fact drives my husband insane. I know he thinks I am above par in the intelligence department, but he DOES.NOT. get my compulsion to watch what he refers to as….”that crap”. Well, that is sort of what he calls it. But I ask you, where else could you see hair pulling, spitting snarling hairdressers? Redneck duck call manufacturers? Illegal Moonshine makers? And, gals who have a mission in life to help the overly endowed women of America find the perfect foundation garment. Really….who could not embrace a show called Double D…vas? And, I will spare you my glowing recommendations of all things “Housewife” – I keep hoping for a Real Housewives of Eastern Oklahoma – if they do that one I want to be involved in the casting process at the local Wal-Mart. **Calm down ladies……I have loads of perfectly wonderful friends in that area, but even you have to admit there are some real interesting folks over there** And I have no doubt it would soon be followed up by a spin-off for the ladies of Western Arkansas.

Part of the fun of reality TV is commercials. It was reality TV that introduced me to the For Farmers Only online dating opportunity. No………I didn’t call in for my perfect match. I’m totally happy where I am and besides at my age and weight I would probably be matched with Moonbeam McSwine’s dad.

The commercial that caught my eye of late is for a perfectly wonderful way to purchase a new car without having to pay a penny for it yourself. Given the fact I could really use a car I feel I may need to explore this option further.

This is a registry where you create your vehicle and then solicit donations from family and friends to “sponsor” an individual part. You know just like a bridal registry where someone buys you 2 bowls of your china pattern. Except………they might purchase two pistons. Think about it… one would ever have to wonder about what to get me for Christmas, my birthday, Valentine’s day, anniversary or just because I am wonderful.

My only concern is that at a ripe old age of nearly 63 do I have enough time left to provide enough events to get my car funded? What happens if I pass away with only a steering wheel, one tail light and a hood ornament? That would be the visual representation of my life….I’ve always been one blinker short of a good right turn.