Ranch life in the Big Sky state through the eyes of one who has lived through it...so far.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

And We're BACK!

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Helllooo? Anybody else back from the holidays yet? Personally, I've spent the past two weeks wallowing in calories of every shape and size, from hot buttered whiskey to Marge's To Die For Caramel Corn to prime rib. Christmas Day it was forty five degrees amd sunny, which was hands down the best present of the whole year.

Since our idea of excitement is to sit on the couch drinking Fat Tire beer, eating ripple chips and French onion dip and watching the Hannah Montana movie (honest to God, it was the best thing on television, and how pathetic is that?), it's probably no big surprise that we don't do New Year's parties. And now that we no longer live in the suburbs of Hermiston, Oregon, the neighbors no longer set off various types of large ammunition at the stroke of twelve, so I don't have to stand out in the pasture in my jammies making sure the horses don't run through the fence.

I've also never been much for resolutions, and my husband can't imagine what part of himself he would need to improve other than his bank account and his knees, but either would require doing something other than ranching. Which leaves not much to chat about on the ol' blog in regards to the new decade and all that. Instead, I'll send you over to my alternate blog, where I was equally at a loss so I slapped together a little New Year's story for your reading pleasure.

Lovin' the New Year

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Monday, December 13, 2010

The Snow Saucer of Doom

Up until about the time I was ten years old, we had two kinds of snow sleds. The first was the old fashioned wood type with narrow metal runners that you could supposedly steer by pushing on the bar at the front. This was a blatant effort by orthopedic surgeons to increase business by leading one to assume that you could veer around that haystack at the bottom of the hill. Their scheme was foiled on most occasions by the steel runners, however, which sank into anything softer than glacial ice and left you pinned to the hillside.

Our other option was the four person toboggan. This was an improvement for everyone except the person at the front, whose legs were wedged under the front curve between the chains, making it impossible to bail out when it became obvious you were heading straight for the creek. And if the others, due to lack of visibility or poor judgment, failed to bail out, the front person always ended up at the bottom of the pile.

Then along came the saucer.

Our first saucer sled was steel, painted orange, about three feet in diameter. It spun willy-nilly as it flew down the hills, giving the rider the distinct advantage of not seeing that they’d pointed it at a drop off, and therefore not dying of fright at the launching point. But the saucer didn’t become a true implement of doom until the day we tied it to the snowmobile.

At first we were satisfied to pull it along behind, bouncing over the dips and ripples in the snow left by the wind. Then someone had to go and boast that they could hang on longer than you could, and the game was on. We went out looking for the biggest bumps we could possibly drag each other over.

Considering the snowmobile had to traverse the same terrain as the sled, you would assume the danger factor would be self-limiting. You would be wrong thanks to Isaac Newton, whose Second Law states that a saucer sled on a long enough rope can be made to go places that no snowmobile need venture.

Our favorite trick was to cut a circle at the side of the hayfield, swinging the saucer across the big drifts along the barbed wire fence. Oddly enough, I don’t recall any decapitations, though there may have been a stitch or two. If that failed—and it often did with my brother, who was stubborn enough to hang on up to and including the point of unconsciousness—you could always aim the snowmobile straight at the side of the coulee, then veer at the last second and send saucer and occupant sailing over the lip of a twenty foot drop off. If they didn’t chicken out and let go, you almost always shook them when they smacked into a wall of snow on the backswing.

By the end of the first winter, our saucer was so scratched and dented it looked like it had been used as a shield during hand to hand sledgehammer combat. Our snowpants and coats were shredded. We had been forbidden to use the snowmobile without adult supervision. Spoilsports.

A couple of weeks ago, we acquired a second hand snowmobile, the first I’ve owned since high school. My brother in law used it for racing. It will go eighty five miles an hour. And my son just got a brand new saucer sled.

Thank the Lord he has no siblings. 





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Sunday, December 12, 2010

YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE...

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THIS BLOG IS SUFFERING FROM TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES DUE TO A COMBINATION OF POOR TIME MANAGEMENT ON THE PART OF THE OWNER AND AN EIGHTY MILE AN HOUR WIND THAT IS CAUSING POWER SURGES WHICH MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO GET A WHOLE VIDEO UPLOADED.

WE HOPE TO HAVE THESE ISSUES RESOLVED IN THE NEAR FUTURE. ESPECIALLY THE PART ABOUT THE WIND. PREFERABLY WHILE THERE IS STILL A ROOF ON MY HOUSE.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE. IF YOU RESIDE EAST OF GLACIER COUNTY, PLEASE KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR AN ORANGE SAUCER SLED. IT SHOULD BE LANDING IN YOUR YARD ANY MINUTE NOW. COULD YOU HANG ON TO IT FOR US?

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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Cast Your Vote

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Yeah, that one was just for the laugh. Don't know about you, but I needed it.

In case any of you wondered, Windows 7 was designed by the elves that Santa booted out of the North Pole for being devious, cruel and utterly without logic or reason. I was dragged kicking and screaming out of my comfortable XP world last week when the boss foisted all new computers on the administrative department. We are now the only office in town where the clerical staff sports football helmets...to cut down on the work comp claims for bashing of heads against desks.

Argh. My brain cramps just mentioning it.

Anyway...I have made a vow to get myself out to do some videoing and take some pictures this weekend. So you tell me, folks. What would you like to see?

How to load a feed pickup.



Haystack Jungle Gyms



The Snow Saucer of Doom. (Assuming it's not all melted by then. Hey, I can dream.)



Or...a topic of your choosing.

Vote soon. Vote often. I'll contemplate your suggestions and then probably do whatever's easiest.

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Strung Out on Christmas

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Yeah, I know, you're all getting sick of listening to me whine about the weather, so I at least dug up a non-snow picture for you. That would be what we call a ranch kid jungle gym. And I promise by next week I'll come up with something else to talk about besides snow. I hope. In the meantime, you can wander on over to my group blog for a few tips on how to put up those Christmas lights in a less than temperate climate.


Here's why I'm Strung Out on Christmas.






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