Monthly Archives: December 2012

Job Interview

Well, we went for a job interview today, a 5 hour long one.

It was an impressive operation, some really good ideas. Sure not what I’m used to though. Intensive grazing is not totally new to me just somewhat unfamiliar (80 acre paddocks? Instead of 5000 acre pastures?), very different grass. . . and trees, lots and lots and lots of trees, lots of trees, yup lots of trees.

I like trees, individually. I think, on my part, I could even call some friends but, my goodness, I’m not used to that many trees. They sure do take a huge chunk out of the sky.

There are few concerns but I think we might be foolish not to take the job (which they did offer us) only it’s a long way from family and friends and from my precious prairie and it’s endless heavens. It’s tough for me.

Rethinking

I spent some time actually flat ironing my hair so it would look good then had to crush it with my winter hat and earmuffs to help with feeding the horses a new round bale today (they have to have full bellies for Christmas) which totaly trashed all my hard word. But horses are more important than hair.

Pic was hungry looking and while everyone else was running for the bale being unrolled, he and Trouper followed me into the corral where they got their own personal round bale (Pic, cause he is old and Trouper because he is smart).

Pic is looking old, has been for some time. I owe it to him and to my old dog Blue not to head off half way around the world without them, so I better rethink Australia as a right now option. Mind you I don’t want to rule it out altogether, maybe just wait for the sake of my two best friends.

Adventurous

Ok, I guess if I’m gonna be scared I might as well be adventurous.

Considering Australia as an option.

Odd thing about when the rug gets jerked out from under you and you hit the floor. It gives you a whole new perspective: UP.

Scared

I was almost hoping the Mayans were right. The whole world ending seemed better than just my world ending.

I vacillate from being brave, maybe even adventurous, to being horrified, to being terrified. Always nagging me is the questions: where will I have to go to survive? What will I have to lose? What grief awaits me?

I once heard an Indian say the rocks and the grass were his brothers. I know that feeling. And Nature is my mother. Might as well cut my heart out as remove me from this family. It’s hard to explain how much I love the prairie and the life I have lived on it.

I know I need to trust that it is part of God’s plan for me but. . .

Today I’m just scared.

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My Friend

I’ve been working on a thankfulness journal, challenged by Sherry over at Fern Valley Appaloosas. What a blessing that has been, to be forced to sit down and actually think of the things I am thankful for. I didn’t realize how hard it would be this month.

Today it is my crazy old horse Pic. He has been a trial of my patience for the last 12 years. But he and I have finally understood each other and I say his name with great reverence now. I think I have found a place in his heart as well.

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My cowboy bought him back in the days when he was a header and working for bigger money than what a cowboy makes. He cost more than we could ever afford now.

He was not a practice/jackpot horse; he was taught to give you one spectacular shot and earn you money at a big payout rodeo. He likes to run and run fast (faster than I ever want to go).

When we ‘retired’ (from making money to cowboying for a living) and moved to the ranch Pic was commissioned into service as a cowhorse. Too frustrating for my cowboy to ride he came to my string by default.

The first time I used him I was moving two bulls who didn’t like each other and had taken them a couple of miles with Pic jigging to go and flinging his head every time I picked up the reins. Finally he upset the bulls too long and they left the country about 1/2 mile from the corrals. I screamed, I cried, I got off and walked the last 1/2 miles swearing I would never ride that stupid horse again. But I did, for the last 11-12 years.

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I’ve seen a lot from between those ears.

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Sitting on his strong back feels better than sitting in the most comfortable chair you can imagine.

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He’s learned to watch a bull and match his pace to their lumbering agonizingly slow cadence.

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He’s kept me safe at speeds that make my eyes water so that I can hardly see. I learned never to doubt that if I need to get somewhere fast he’ll do that for me.

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He and I together have helped a lot of cattle.

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Sometimes he’s been my only shade on a hot long day on the prairie.

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I can hardly count the miles we’ve traveled together following around my cowboy.

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But best of all, we’re friends. When he sees me come out to the field he comes and puts his head in the halter or just lingers for a pat and a scratch.

The Least

Just one of my favorite stories.

Change

Good Grief! Change is hard.

We are headed to the next province over, Saskatchewan (known in western Canada as the land of opportunity lately with less people in the whole province than in the city of Calgary alone. Lots of Albertans moving there now) for a job interview on a cowboy out fit, 3000 head and close to one of our girls. So it sounds good.

I hope housing isn’t a problem like at the last interview. I know that smell. I don’t mind a mouse or two scurrying across the floor (a good cat can easily fix that) but when I think they have taken up residence in the walls I have to admit I get creeped out.

I feel lost. It’s too bad it’s so snowy and cold. I want to go out and hug the prairie or at least lay with it touching my back and look up at the endless Alberta sky.

It’s hard contemplating making changes.

Grass

I can’t seem to sleep at night. In the day yes, just not at night. So what does an old cowgirl think about when she can’t sleep? Grass of course, native grass of course.

I have this map of the remaining pockets of it south of Edmonton Alberta. Not sure exactly how accurate but it gives a person some idea

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There really isn’t that much. Now I hear the EID that owns the land we are currently on will be piping in water to turn part of it into farmland under pivot. That makes my heart hurt.

This grass is so precious, irreplaceable really, developed over millennia to be the best thriving plant community possible.

So many wild animals depend on it and cows and old cowgirls.

Repenting

I need to repent. The neighbor I liked the least called to offer his sincere sympathy. Said it had been a pleasure to work with my cowboy and really wished us all the best.

He said: “in the end, we’re all just people.” I asked my cowboy what he meant by that and he told me it was this neighbor’s way of saying there isn’t anybody any better or any worse than anyone else.

I know that’s how our Father in Heaven sees us. I think I better repent and start seeing people that way too.

Chin Up

Oh my goodness, it’s tough keeping my chin up on this one when I just feel like staring at the floor. I keep trying to figure out what I’ve been doing wrong to feel so bad. Pride, stupidity, am I lazy, too old, unforgiving, chicken (as in too scared, I have been having some issues with that) and the list goes on.

I guess everyone wonders: why me? when adversity, in the form of change, hits. I usually think adversity happens because I did something wrong and it is a consequence or that there is some great lesson to be learned because of it.

Maybe it’s all just a test because I’m learning and this is a step in my progression. I’m not sure I have ever liked tests.

Well no matter what, I have to keep my chin up above the murky water of self pity so I don’t drown in it.