Day 2 of Ponderizing

Still thinking about my relationship to the Good Shepherd. I herd a true story about sheep once back in the 80’s that I never forgot. 

This fellow was in morocco on some govt. business and was, along with some others in the delegation, invited to drive out thru the dessert to look at some ruins. He was traveling in the 3rd of 5 limos and lagging behind the second one by quite a bit. As the car he was in topped a hill he could see the 2nd Limo pulled over? The driver was talking to an man with a small herd of 10-15 sheep. He sensed there had been an accident and had the driver pull over. His driver explained to him that the limo driver ahead of them had stuck one of the man’s lambs and because of the law of the land was being offered 100 times the value of the sheep at maturity. But he wouldn’t take it. The catch was that he would have give up the sheep and it would be slaughtered. When the fellow asked why he wouldn’t take so much money the driver said: because of the love he has for the lamb. Then this fellow watched the man pick up the lamb, tuck it in the folds of his long robe, and pat its head saying the same word over and over. When the fellow asked what the word meant he was told it was the name of the lamb. 

That’s the first I ever knew what real shepherds were like, the first I began to understand the Good Shepherd’s love for me. 

23rd Palm

At church on Sunday we were all challenged to pick out a scripture and ponderize it for the whole week. Ponderize meaning a cross between pondering and memorizing. 

I picked the 23rd Psalm. 

Even though my cowboy has always joked about being allergic to sheep, to me, shepherds are Cowboys, just with sheep instead of cows. All I know about sheep I’ve learned because of the scriptures.  I learned this about the 23rd psalm today. For the basque shepherds it’s like a how-to manual/motto for looking after their sheep. 

It kind of helps to think of it from the perspective of a sheep, especially Holyland sheep like King David (the one who did big old Goliath in) would have took care of as a boy. (Did you know he killed a lion and a bear protecting sheep with his sling shot before he killed the giant?)

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” 

Sheep can trust their shepherd to care for them and whether he takes them back to the same pasture or a new one he pretty much can be counted on to take them to good grass. They don’t have to worry, he’s not going to let them go hungry. 

“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. “ 

Sheep, like cattle, start the days’s grazing at first light, eat for a few hours, then take a break to relax and chew their cud. Shepherds start their herd out first thing in the morning on rougher plants and gradually move them to to better and sweeter grazing till they take their break where they can actually lie down in green pastures. 

“He leadeth me beside the still waters.”

Sheep don’t really care to drink out of fast running streams. (Can you imagine falling in if you were a sheep with all that wool? Waterlogged, it would sure be heavy. ) For whatever reason, they prefer still water and a shepherd will find a good place for them to drink, maybe even dig a little spot somewhere safe, away from currents. 

“He restoreth my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. ” 

I read that a sheep will sometimes come to the shepherd for a scratch behind the ear, or pat on the head, maybe even a few kind words. And I think a shepherd takes pride in doing his job well, like a cowboy does. People know him as a good stockman. 

Yea, though I walk by the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil, Thy rod and thy staff comfort me.”

This part of what I read made that a lot clearer. Aparantly, sheep in the Holy land are moved through such a valley for seasonal grazing that’s about 4 1/2 miles long with sides about 1500 feet high and maybe only 10-12 feet at the bottom and in places so narrow not even a sheep can turn around which makes it necessary for everyone to move their sheep up the draw in the morning and down it at the end of the da. Water flows through there when it rains and cuts grooves in the ground that make getting through there too tuff for even a mule. Too top it off, there’s one place that requires some jumping and the sheep have to risk falling 8 feet down into a gully. If they do fall the shepherd uses the round end of his shepherd’s staff around the neck of a bigger sheep or around the body of a lamb to pull them back up to the trail. And there are predators too, wild dogs, waiting for an easy meal that the shepherd will throw his rod at and can knock the animal into the gully and more easily kill it. 

“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.”

For sheep, those enemies are stock poisoning plants that shepherds keep an eye out for in the spring and dig them out. They then are placed on stone piles (that might have been made in Old Testament times) where they dry out and then can be burned. 

“Thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over.”

So it sounds like, by a sheep fold, there is a container of oil and an earthen pot full of cool water (cooled by evaporation). Sheep are let into the fold one at a time and the shepherd checks each one for burrs and cuts or scratches. Each wound is cleaned and then dressed with the oil. The water is drawn out of the container by the shepherd in an overflowing cup and offered to a fevered sheep who will stick their whole face in (up to their eyes) and drink their fill. 

At night the shepherd wraps his warm wool cloak around him and with his staff within reach, in case it is needed to protect the sheep, he lays down in the doorway of the sheepfold to sleep. 

A sheep that well cared for might well think that same thing written by David, millennia ago: 

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. “

Sheep need a good shepherd and so do I. I’m so glad there is One. 

My Last Day


But I somehow knew it would be my last day.  

  I rode Wilbur. 

  He sure is big. 

  And pretty and so was the day, as pretty a fall day as I can ever remember. 

  Moved a herd. 

  Then checked another. My butt was sore by the end. I didn’t mind. I ‘ve had the one nice summer I pleaded God for. I Love the Lord for his goodness to me and for the trials he blesses me with. 
But the truth is I’ve been diagnosed with a nasty cancer, chemo and radiation to begin next month. And that on top of a long time strained relationship between me and my cowboy snapped under the weight of it all. We won’t ever be riding together again. 

I’m glad I don’t have to worry about a place to keep old Pic. He’s safe in his pasture in the up-yonder. Just Blue and me now.

So I’m thinking sad stories aren’t much fun which makes me think I’ll just leave my blog at that. If I make it to the other side of the cancer I might come back here. If I don’t look for me in the clouds. I plan on asking if I can have a job doing cloud sculptures on the other side. 

Love ya, all

Muley Etta Holiday


I was stuck in town all week thanks to a couple of appointments but I was able to get some organizing, furniture moving type stuff done. Since April we have been here so few days we are almost not even moved in. 

Finally got our bedroom suite here (it’s been in the storage locker trapped in the back behind a bunch of stuff) and our clothes off the floor, much nicer. 

We got the set for my cowboy’s 24th birthday so it’s old. Solid wood,  

 like they hardly make anymore. Feels  lots more like home now, even living in town. 

Maple Creek

Well that sale was an eye opener. A couple of years ago $5,000 dollars (Canadian) would have bought the kind of horse I wanted at this sale.  Today in Maple Creek Saskatchewan at the Cypress Hills Breeders Horse Sale it was $15,000 to $20,000. Ouch!

They hold the sale in the old Drill Hall. The structure of the building itself always fascinates me. It makes an awesome arena type building, all made of wood. 

 They have a preview outside in the rodeo arena next door so you can see the horses on cattle, team or ranch roping. (Forgot my phone to take pictures of that part.) but was a really pretty fall day. Not too hot or cold. 
 It was the 39 th year in a row for the sale, the oldest continuous breeders sale in Canada, according to the auctioneer.   
Blue spent most of the time trying to make friends with every single person that got even remotely close to him and the rest with Crystal petting or teasing him. 

She’s such a good friend and really fun to have around. We haven’t gone together every year to this sale but a lot of the years. 

Oh and I have a wonderful picture of my cowboy picking his nose, lol, which he begged me not to include on my blog so I haven’t. But it sure gave Crystal and I an excuse for another good laugh. 

What a fun day. 



Sometimes on the prairie, your horse is your only shade.  

 I kind of like waiting when I can lay on the prairie in the shade. 

Am I Ok?

Love you for asking Ellie. 

Anyone that’s followed my blog for a while knows how much I love the prairie, how not being there is kind of hard on me, and hopefully how thankful I’ve been for this beautiful summer. 

It’s a little empty out there without my old Pic horse. The season’s end is only a few weeks away now.  I’m feeling a little tired so maybe that’s a good thing. But fall is my favorite time of the year and I’m going to enjoy everyday.  


360 Degrees

Remember that song by the Dixie Chicks that said something about: Cowboy take me away into the wild blue? I always liked that song and now that’s exactly where I am.

Click here


IMG_8729.JPGsuch a hopeful saying, one of my favorites when life feels hard.


IMG_8774.JPGCan you see the rock splash? We were checking to see how much water before we turned cows into the field. It looks big but it was iffy how long it would last with the cows we planned to move there. Luckily we found a much better water source not too far away.

It’s all a big learning experience for us. It takes a while to figure out all the water and gates on over 40,000 acres.