Every Once In A While….

You hear a song or a sound that takes you back in time…maybe its a visual image that takes you back to the memories you hold dear in your heart…

Not long ago, I was looking out my kitchen window…

doing lunch dishes and I saw a pick up and stock trailer go by…

Wondered who it was and if they were moving cows…

And then I saw something big come around what we call the big corner, about a half of mile from our house, and another something big followed it around the corner and another and another and another…five semi cattle trucks!

Oh be still my heart…

I was immediately transported back in time…old memories of cattle trucks on their way here, either delivering cows or picking them up…and I so miss it!

I have not seen five cattle trucks come rumbling around that corner since the old Juniper T days when my dad and his brothers ran 800 head of Black Angus mama cows…and it took my mind back to old sounds and good memories…

When I lived on the winter cattle ranch…as June 1st dawned, the first truck came over the first hill with full lights on and dip down into the next hill while the second truck bobbed into sight on the first hill and so on until they all lined up in front of my house.

Lined up and ready to load in the early morning dawn, as one by one they left loaded full of cows, heading for the summer range in the Blue Mountains of Eastern Oregon…

I grew up in those mountains gathering cattle with my dad and also on the winter ranch. We had around 25,000 acres on each ranch…the last summer we were on the big ranch was 1979. In 1980 we began raising 200 head of steers on mountain pasture that we kept until 1992.

That’s when Wild Bill and I hired out to manage cattle ranches with many an adventure on the two large cattle ranches we managed…going from Central Oregon, 35 miles out of Prineville, on the Crooked River. close to Post, Oregon. Draw an X through Oregon and the middle of it is Post, Oregon….post office, store and bar.

And then on to Pinedale, Wyoming where we ran cattle on the high desert close to South Pass during spring months and then moved them to the summer range up behind Yellowstone.

I was one lucky cowgirl that I was an only child as Dad took me everywhere with him to work cows, gather cows, salt cows, fence and develop mountain springs…we often traveled 20 to 30 miles horseback gathering cattle and moving them to new pastures all summer long…we would leave at first light, with frosty dew still on the ground, riding out a few crow hops to wake us up and return home at dusk…horses were tired and we were tired…mom was waiting with a hot meal and a hug…it was a life not many know.

We lived on the outside of civilization…no electricity, no telephone, no people, no TV or radio, no newspapers or mail delivered, no running water…our life was simple. During the busy times, we had lots of help with dad’s family, my uncles and cousins would come to help gather cows or in the early years help fence those 25,000 acres as it was not fenced…the first ten years dad had a fencing crew busy fencing, while we rode for cows…I think we had the better deal:)

I miss riding and gathering cows with my dad and our dogs, the one in the picture is Blue…Dad’s on Bucky, she was one of my high school horses and she loved to crow hop first thing…then she settled and all was fine. Every day we had a new adventure riding out early to check cows and babies, making sure the springs were all working and moving cattle to new areas with better grass…we both loved the cattle and the horses…our hearts beat the same with the cowboy life, loving what we were doing!

Seeing those cattle trucks brought tears to my heart as I remembered the old days…where time stands still.

I watched each truck drive by the ranch…disappearing down the canyon…as those old memories flashed in my mind.

I wanted to walk down to the barn and see the brand inspector, the cattle buyer, if we were selling and most importantly my dad…waiting on me to grab my horse, to help him sort cows.

By the time we had kids, the big cattle ranch I grew up on was gone…unfortunately, our kids did not learn to ride horseback or to gather cattle on the mountain or winter ranch.

Funny how those trucks took me back to old times…back to good memories…how I remember and how I miss it…be still my heart!

Now where is my kleenex! Darn It!

Gathering Time….Cattle Drives….Heading For Home

During the fall months, mainly in September and October…old memories flood back to my mind when I first wake up…I want to grab my long johns…(under armour with the nice slick material had not been invented yet)…instead we had the thick long johns which were never long enough for me…next I put on my heavy socks, then my wrangler jeans that I had to struggle with to get on over the heavy long johns…without the long john legs riding up my leg…which added to my mood of grrrr. I added a layer or two of tee-shirts on top with either a flannel shirt or sweatshirt or both with the finishing touch of one of my brightly colored wild rags to keep my neck warm and mouth/nose if needed…shoved my boots on with the heavy socks, grabbed my chaps, heavy coat and gloves and I was good to go…all depending on the weather as you never knew if you were going out in an early snow storm or rain or frigid temperatures. My knee jerk reaction in the fall is to be gathering cows on the mountain…after living it and doing it for over 40 years…old memories remain. I should be horseback in the mountains looking for cows…gathering and herding them towards camp…where we sorted and organized them for the long 90 mile cattle drive home to the winter grounds.

After gathering a large bunch of cattle, we pushed them back to the headquarters at Beaver Creek…somehow they seemed to know it was time to leave their summer home and go home to lower winter pastures where they had better grass and open lands. It is amazing to me how animals can sense the seasons changing…or an approaching storm…they have a sixth sense of life around them as well as what we are feeling with the sense of our emotions that they pick up from us.

It took many long days and several weeks to find and gather 1860 head off 25,000 mountainous acres…lots of ground to cover and many miles…and as Dad always told me “Now push them slow Marcy, we want to keep the weight on them and not work them too hard.” I can still hear him telling me this in my dreams…I already knew this fact from years of riding with him, as keeping the weight on them was what we wanted…but he would diplomatically tell me this in front of town friends who did not know. I would get the lecture of sorts…privately I had to roll my eyes and often I was embarrassed as everyone would look at me…”Dad, I know”..and no I never said that to him…I knew I was the fall guy.

We began to ride various pastures from the middle of August on to push herds closer to our headquarters at the main ranch on Beaver Creek where we had corrals and the set up to sort cattle and load them out into cattle trucks. We had 800 Black Angus mama cows to gather along with their calves…200 head of replacement heifers and 60 head of bulls…so that was 1860 head of cattle to round-up and account for…and every year we would find that we were short 20 to 30 head…thanks to the work of cattle rustlers.

One of our cowboys taking a bath in the Grande Ronde River…it took time to find each and every cow…and sometimes the cows would get confused and try to run away from you as their natural instinct was fear or flight…they did not understand what to do…especially if one got separated like this one.

The first two years Dad tried to run both Herefords and Angus…and then went to 100% Black Angus  and Black Bawly Cross as they surpassed the Herefords in weight gain, endurance and did much better overall in the high country.

Dad on horse Bucky with dog Blue…holding herd. One of my favorite pictures of my Dad as I can see his life and humanity…he loved what he did…cattle…horses…mountains…family. It was his life. When he was so very ill I often whispered the good old memories and times riding with him gathering cattle in the high country…and how God rides in the high country too and He is with us and with you Dad…and so am I…and someday I will ride with you again in the high country of God’s mountains:)

Another of my favorite pictures as this picture truly shows my Mom and Dad…you can see their committment and love. Mom grew up in the city with a cook and cleaning lady….then she fell in love with a cowboy and here she is with a smile on her face…she learned how to cook and run a ranch beside her man.  I learned about love and true committment from my parents…I was so very blessed to have them as examples:)  You can see why I called my parents “John Wayne and His Lady”. One of  my favorite John Wayne movies is McClintock with Maureen O’Hara.

Working cows in the corrals, sorting off the calves etc…in the background you can see the cattle trucks waiting for their loads. In the fall we sold the calves at the sale in Baker…the bulls were trucked down to the winter ranch and the mama cows would make the cattle drive to the winter pastures. In the spring we trucked the entire herd up, mama cows and their babies and the bulls…we tried to drive them up a few time in the early years but it was not do-able as the cows wanted to turn back and after several stampedes it was decided to truck them up June 1st.

The Juniper T cattle drive historically began October 15th and would last 10-14 days depending on weather and also how well the cattle moved. I have the cattle drive pictures matted and framed…this is early morning on October 15, the cows are leaving Beaver Creek heading for the low lands…they are crossing the Grande Ronde River at Starkey.

Heading out the second day from Four Corners…towards Indian Lake…two days ahead of us…cold with snow. In the early years the cattle did not know the way but in later years the older ones knew and would lead out pretty well.

Cows milling around close to Indian Lake…we are about half way through the drive.

From the air the herd is stretched out…

Cattle reaching the stock driveway…smelling home getting closer.

Taking a coffee break at the chuck wagon bus (WB wants to restore the bus as it is a Diamond Reo). Dad on the far left with the dark cowboy hat on and his brothers…and hired man “Big John”.

I am sure this was our friend and cattle buyer’s plane’s shadow, doing a fly over to see where the herd was at. He taught me how to play Gin Rummy and dang…I was good at it…I loved playing it with him and miss him. When we lived in Wyoming we called it Wyoming Rummy and when Oregon friends and family visited we challenged them to Wyoming Rummy verses Oregon Rummy:)

This in the Birch Creek crossing in Pilot Rock…we have about 2 to 3 days left before we hit winter pastures…as you see it is quite a bunch of cows! Going through Pilot Rock at daybreak was always interesting to me as I saw so many women out with hair curlers in their bathrobes ready to attack any dang cow who wondered into their yard to grab a bite or two of flowers or grass or shrubs…they had brooms ready to swat any wayward cow! We tried hard to not let that happen but it was tough to keep every cow out of yards….once we got over Birch creek we got on a road that became a stock driveway all the way to Butter Creek and the winter ground and headquarters for the Juniper T.

Today WB and his HRCG are celebrating our 36th Anniversary…can you believe we got married on October 15th…the first day of the cattle drive!!!! Long story for another time….

Stay tuned the story will be continued:) and I have some new photos to upload towards the end of the week hopefully if the weather co-operates with me:)

Juniper T Ranch Quietly Changes Scenery As The Seasons Of Life Continue On…

Juniper T Ranch quietly changes scenery as the seasons of life continue on with Autumn’s golden light on the landscape…where did summer go?

Life has been a bit crazy and I have not been able to blog as often as I usually do…I love to write and write and write…I love to photograph tons of various pictures to share with you and I like to yak a lot:)

I have missed reading your blogs…which makes me sad, as I enjoy hearing about your lives and seeing your photography…seeing a glimpse of your world.

A week ago Thursday my hubby Wild Bill had surgery on his neck. He was pulling hard on a wrench under a vehicle on the hoist last July and all of a sudden he heard a snap and loud pop sound in his right shoulder…instant pain…but “Mr. Tough Guy” did not say anything to me until about 5 days later…”Oh, uhhhhh MJ…can you call in and get me a doctor appointment, as I did something to my shoulder a few days ago and it hurts like heck.”

I have NEVER heard those words uttered out of his mouth before in 36 years of marriage…so I knew he was in pain. I was able to get him in right away so on July 25th he had the first MRI and our family Dr. sent him to see a shoulder specialist. At first they thought it was either a rotator cuff tear or that he tore his bicep muscle.

We had to wait until later in August to see the shoulder specialist. He ordered more tests and we saw the MRA’s and the MRI’s and you could see his bicep was still intact but had several frayed tears…and the rotator cuff was ok thank goodness! The Dr. was going to set up bicep surgery and Wild Bill was saying how much the back of his arm hurt too as well as he had two numb fingers on his right hand.

The Dr.’s eye brows went up and he said ok that is indicative of a neck issue. I want to send you to a nerve Dr. to do a nerve study…sure enough we heard his nerves screaming in agony in his neck on the nerve study and the next stop was the spine Dr….we saw him in early September.

Note: The above picture of WB was taken before his injury…and he was having fun!

Bill injured his neck July 20th…that is a very long time to live with the kind of nerve pain he was living with…but he did and we saw the Dr. who did another MRI on his neck and you could see the two vertebrae under the two that were fused 6 years ago, and a very distinct nerve under the bottom vertebrae looking pinched…surgery was scheduled for September 27th.

In the mean time I teased the heck out of him:) Imagine that! I have found that humor always helps:)

It was tough to have to wait as he was suffering intense pain..I have gone through a lot of surgeries but nothing like what WB went through. Nerve and bone pain is the worst pain you can have. I had lots of nerves involved in my surgeries but not bone…and yah nerve pain hurts and once it heals it is annoying…I get an itch and scratch but can not feel it….LOL:)

While we waited WB sat out on the patio with me in the evenings…we have not watched TV since last March…once the  time change happens with Spring Forward, I want to enjoy each hour of daylight. Winter is coming and it will be dark again at 4:00. During this time of the year I want to be in the middle of the glorious light and experience the clouds and feel the warmth. I love the evening light, the beauty all around us…seeing the wildlife, watching my horses, petting the dogs, counting the stars, hearing the crickets and frogs and just taking in all the wonderful country smells of summer and fall:)

 I love the colors of the sky during the magic hour each evening as the sun slowly sinks down to its bed for a good rest while the moon takes its place.

And if we’re lucky it will be a harvest moon that slowly peeks out at you.

And slowly rises over the hill across the road.

A shot of the log fence with our 10-12′ sagebrush that you see across the road in the background along Juniper Creek. We love our sagebrush and it is amazing when you stand in it as it truly is that tall. When I was growing up I spent hours over in the creek catching tadpoles and pretending various scenarios that always revolved around my horse and I…we played Annie Oakley or I was tracking buffalo or elk or cowboys and looking for the Native Americans:)

As September 27th drew closer we both became nervous. WB has only had two surgeries in his adult life…when they took him to surgery in 2006…I cried and could not stop. I took his clothes out to the car in the parking garage and was still trying to stuff my tears and emotions…and then I heard this beautiful music coming from somewhere or someones car. I looked around and did not see anyone…the music was a song I knew from church about God… how He loves us and will always watch over us…I knew then that WB was going to be ok and he was:)

This time when they took him to surgery I began to choke up and tear up trying to not let him see me doing that…it is so hard to see your loved one go to surgery as you feel helpless, worried and scared. Just as they began to take him through the swinging doors I noticed there was someone walking towards us down the hall…it was two of our best forever friends John and Tara…with big smiles. I grabbed the arm of the nurse to stop Bill’s gurney for just a minute so he could see them too. What a blessing it was for us that they came to be with us:) Having Tara spend the day with me was answer to prayer…she is a sister to me. And John, who is our family too, stayed to visit and encourage me before he left to join his wife for the day. John has been with us through lots of life stuff…God is very good:)

The surgery went well…as the Dr. lifted the bone off the nerve that was pinched, he said that even though WB was sleeping he let out a sigh of relief. Later when WB woke up in his room he said “Wow, my shoulder does not hurt anymore.” The Dr. also repaired the vertebrae using new bone and once they were done they attached a steel plate to the vertebrae with steel screws. The surgery was about three hours with almost two in recovery.

It is not an easy surgery or recovery. In 2006 they went in through the back of his neck and this time they went in from the front of his neck which involved moving the esophagus over to be able to get to the vertebrae. WB’s pain has been pretty intense the last week…he has three months to go before he is able to resume all his normal activities.

In the picture above right across from our house…see the joys of country living…dust gently hanging in the night air…drifting closer and feeling welcome enough to come into my house! It does add to the picture but darn it as I just dusted the house!

The first month of recovery is the toughest…the most he can lift is 5 pounds and he can not reach up over his head or reach to the sides or reach towards the floor etc. We have been home a week now…in fact they allowed us to go home that night about 9:00…I was Nervous Nurse Nellie…but it was good for him to be home and to sleep in our bed. And I have gotten into the role of being Nurse Nellie which means I give him his meds every 4-6 hours 24/7…and give him the stink eye when I see him doing something he should not do!

“Don’t worry WB, you will be perfectly fine…it just takes a bit of time to heal”. I love his smile:) Besides the surgical pain the hardest part right now is that he felt he would be further along after a week…this recovery stuff is all new to him yet…so I watch him like a hawk as he wants to do more but NOT now WB. I feel like a nag but he forgets and will start to bend over to reach for something and I say “No…Wild Bill, quit that”…then he looks at me like a little boy who was caught…it is hard for him to just rest and rest and rest and not feel guilty for resting. I remind him that yes I know…I had to be very good for six months after my year of surgeries…and it took me a good year to regain all my strength and energy back but I did and WB will too if I can keep him under house arrest:)

Melody says it will be ok WB…and do you happen to have one of those awesome Apple Berry Treats for me?

And Kiah loves you and says all will be fine Dad…now can I finish getting into your lap?

I have not fallen off the planet or quit blogging…just taking care of my hubby to get him well and healed back up:) Whenever I get the chance I head outside to capture pictures to share with you….which is a vacation for my mind and heart…I love the artistic part of me that gets fired up:) And I want to develop it more and more and more:)

I hope you have a wonderful Fall evening and weekend wherever you are…look around at the beauty that is all around you and smile:)

HRCG over and out for now!

Reblogged: Ranch Life: Hot Rod Cowgirl @ The Juniper T Ranch

Thank you Gary, for your support:) I am reblogging your post on Hot Rod Cowgirl:) Be sure to visit Gary’s blog at http://swittersb.wordpress.com/  A great blog to follow with interesting posts on fly fishing, fly tying, travel, life, scenery and photography.

SwittersB & Exploring

The Hot Rod Cowgirl of the Juniper T Ranch in Oregon receives all those special awards for Sweetness and Specialness and it is evident she deserves them. I enjoyed and I am sure you will to her blog  Hot Rod Cowgirl 

Family, traditions, heritage and obvious hard work. What’s not to like. Check out her awards, her blog and the sites she pointed to in passing on the love.



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Happy Father’s Day Dad!

I am a bit late with posting this but seems life right now is a bit fast and crazier than I want…today is a very special day of honoring our Dad’s.

This is my Dad…he was an amazing man…he lived with a left stiff leg from a football injury during his senior year in high school. Yet not once did he ever complain or make excuses for his life. Instead he fought to live a normal life and he did. I saw it and was witness to it…Dad was the real deal when it came to being a cowboy and a great Dad!

Dad with his horse Jingle across the road from the house in the 1940’s.

Dad roping in the 1950’s…

Dad in the 1970’s running one of the biggest cattle ranches in the state of Oregon. One of the very last cattle ranches in the state to drive their cattle down from the mountains in the late fall to the winter pasture. It was a 90 mile cattle drive with 800 head of mamma cows.

Newspaper Article On The Juniper T

Yearly Fall Cattle Drive

Cows headed home…we drove the cattle every fall for almost 30 years and by the time we did it the last year…it was a piece of cake. They knew where they were going…home.

Dad looking weary on the drive about half way through. This is my Dad…his horse Bucky…his dog Blue. He was pretty much John Wayne to me and Mom and kinda scary to Wild Bill:)

Oh come on WB Dad does not look scary here!!!

 “WB are you gonna marry my daughter?”

“Yes sir….I am!”

“She is our little girl…and our only child…so I am watching you!”

“Don’t worry Dad…I am good with WB.”

I have so many good memories of growing up riding with Dad and working cows…but some of the best ones are when Dad took me fishing or when he taught me how to drive a four speed Scout up in the mountains…he was the solid comfort in Mom’s and my life…and he always kept a going.

Dad, you gave me the gift of life and horses:)

Happy Father’s Day…I learned everything I could from you about life and living and I miss you and Mom so very much.

I thank God for giving me a cowboy Dad like you!

Hotrod Cowgirl headed on down the road with horse power and horsepower:) Over and out…see ya on down the dusty trail!

Round Pen Training…Developing The Foundation Of Trust

Today we finally have a bit of a break from the rain and blustery wind…make that a deluge of rain and dreary gray weather…I know I know…blah and blah…grumble and complain.  The rain has kept me indoors the last week cleaning of all silly things, so I took a break one day and sorted through some old pictures on my back up drive…it was fun to look back on lots of good memories…good people…good times and good horses of course:)

March’s last week of blahsay (is that a word?) weather was much like the day in this photo…wet…cold…gray…and dreary. This picture was taken a few years ago in the round corral…Cowboy son had come home to visit for the weekend and while he was here, he wanted to work with Fanny Annie. He was working on desensitization with Annie, which is important as it begins to lay the foundation of trust. She is learning to trust in her human no matter if the plastic sack is scary or not…

This teaches her inner trust in us so that when anything unexpected happens on the trail or anywhere we go when we ride her, she will not freak out being triggered into the fear or flight instinct. As he asks her to move about, he is watching her body language…looking for the try in her to trust him…waiting for her to turn towards him with two eyes…instead of her hindquarters, which is a lack of respect.

He had a ways to go yet with her as she is yet turning away from him. As we waited and watched you could feel the rain coming as the air was heavy with mist and a feeling of ominous blahsay…it has to be a word, as it fits the dreary day!

He continues to move her feet about…it is not mean if it is done right…she is learning that her world is safe with her human leader…just as it would be in the wild with her herd…ultimately she is learning to trust. Horses are born with the biological fear or flight mechanism…it is what kept them alive for centuries. In the wild when a predator approaches, the lead horse in the pack will alert the herd to move out if danger invades their world.

We humans want to ride our horses like no big deal…but unless we first develop trust with them or a very good trainer does it before we purchase the horse…we likely will deal with a spooky jumpy horse and be upset or worse, either the horse gets hurt or we do or we both do. A good foundation is a must when you raise horses and if you purchase one then you need to be sure that the horse has been given a good foundation of trust and consistency. And remember if for some reason you end up with a horse that is not so great…it is not the horses fault…they are doing what their natural instinct says, “fear for your life horse”…and that would be due to lack of foundational training…with daily training and relationship. We would not expect to buy a lion and bring it home for a house kitty…and expect it to be fine to play or cuddle with us…horses are the same way…they are much more vulnerable to pain caused by humans as the human did not know or understand the horse.

All horses want to get along but if they have been abused and if they have not been handled correctly or right…then they are spooky and fighting for their lives…they do not know if we are safe or not until we begin with them from the beginning. By the way I refresh my well-trained older horses in the round corral if needed…often both of us need it:)

Here Cowboy is touching Annie softly on her shoulder area asking her if she will settle in with him but she is still tight and tense…not quite ready to listen…

He continued by moving her off again…in the direction he asks…always when you work your horses, if you ask them to go to the right and they go to the left…you stop them and turn them back to the right…they must go the way you ask…again this is good communication and respect.

Annie is beginning to settle…she is facing him and you can see in her eyes that she is thinking…she wants to hook on to Cowboy…the first step that all is well and  she is safe. “Annie will you hook on to me now and follow me?”

For the sake of your eyes and boredom, unless you have horses, I fast forwarded the process and the pictures a bit 🙂

Ry is in the corral now as he listens how to connect to Annie, as she is looking for that sign of trust that Ry is safe too.

Touching Annie on her forehead is reassuring to her that all is well.

I have found that horses have a bond with children that is hard to explain…they are very soft with kids.

Dropping down to her level…we are showing her we are not over her but we are partners in this relationship and as partners you will be the safe leader…submission and trust are critical in your relationship with your horse.

Still working on trust here but making good progress.

Incredibly beautiful…as this is the moment when trust is being given between horse and human…see how Annie is looking at Cowboy…when your horse gives you their trust it is a sacred relationship.

One of my favorite pictures of Annie and Ry…she is such a sweet girl…and he is becoming such a cowboy too:)

That rainy gray morning…Annie gave her heart with her trust…she relaxed…joined in and  became soft.

The lesson ended with Annie introducing herself to Bo-Bo…he is the best dog…and father to our dog Dasher.

From here on we continued to develop Annie’s trust. The most important part of the relationship with your horse whether young or old is consistency…that is the key to the whole deal of your horses knowing that they are safe in this life with you:)

No more blahsay…hoping for a sunshiny today…is that the right spelling for sunshiny??? It is a word right?


“Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be”.

A bit of help from the Mama’s and Papa’s.

Hot Rod Cowgirl’s Fete A La Holiday

Hot Rod Cowgirl’s fete a la holiday…in regards to yesterday…what is a holiday?

Hmmmmm…living in the country as a ranch wife or farm wife and eventually a hot rodders wife still living on the ranch/farm…

Means your life is pretty much committed fulltime to either the cattle and horses or taking care of the land or building and driving hot rods…oh what is a girl to do?

Growing up on both a large cattle ranch and wheat ranch meant I got to ride horses and take care of cows…and take care of the land.

Then I married “Wild Bill”…the crazy hot rod person:)

Follow me back in time before “Wild Bill” to the cows and horses. In the summers my parents and I moved to the mountains with 800 plus Black Angus cows…my relatives stayed here and took care of the land while my parents and I took care of the cows. Everyday we were either checking cows or moving cows to different pastures etc. and if that was not the case then we would be doctoring a sick cow or putting out salt blocks or fixing fence or building fence or looking for the leppy calf’s mama…or taking care of the horses and so on. As Fall made it appearance we began to gather cows…this took several weeks…once they were gathered…then my Dad began a 100 mile cattle drive to the low lands for the herd to winter on.

Through the winter months it was calving time and feeding time. I remember we would get done feeding the cows about noon…then we loaded trucks up again for the next day getting done in time to make one last check on first calf hefers…if we saw one that looked imminent it was either moved to the barn area or we would watch her through the night. In Spring we vaccinated and had a huge several day branding at the lower ranch…and June 1 we moved back to the mountains to repeat the summer pattern.

I know the rest of the world celebrates with several holidays a year but around here and to this country cowgirl most holidays are just another day…Thanksgiving and Christmas we take the day off but if we have cows or horses then we still have to feed them and take care of them .


Holidays were either working or moving cattle or cutting wheat after we were married and moved to the ranch.

Or doing Hot Rod Car Shows on Labor Day Weekends.

Or harvesting on July 4th…

And we usually do not want to see any fireworks!


Tack room wall of bridles and bits.

And working decor…yee-haw:)

Tonight as I close this sort of educating work verses holiday on a ranch post…we are under a severe winter storm watch…winds have been blowing all day…gusting to 45 mph…we are to be inundated with snow the next 48 hours…and it is snowing hard right now…we need moisture…but could we hold off on the freezing cold stuff as tonight I am dang cold.

Sleep well and I am wishing you a warm and gentle night:)

Simple Times In A Simple Country Girl’s Life

Simple times in a simple country girls life in Juniper Canyon can be interesting…always changing…certainly not boring. What is it like where you live? If you were to ask me what is it like here, this is what I would say…

Amazing views because you can see forever…ever changing incredible light for picture taking nuts like me…you never know what living scene of daily life you will see or experience.

Most mornings you wake to a beautiful sunrise…filled with a revered quiet…stillness that fills you with a sense of God and peace for the new day.

Equally beautiful sunsets kiss your face each night and never fail to put on a chromatic color scheme of pure country beauty.

Solitude…looking into forever…not seeing another person…just you and the stillness of the land.

I know that horses will be in heaven because God made them and He loves to ride them…I feel like I am already  in heaven when I ride Melody…she makes my heart rest and my spirit go ahhhhhhh.

A warm winter’s night that feels like spring…it was incredible to look up and see two jets overhead in the golden evening twilight.

One of our resident hawks taking off to hunt for dinner. I then convinced Wild Bill to hike up on the hill as I was hoping for some moon shots.

Even after living here forever I never get tired of the views and knowing that the ground I walk on has been in my family for over 100 years…that speaks deep to your soul. I thank God for our home and this land everyday.

Here is a bit of history…the old clubhouse that we made for our kids and eventually became our grandkids. It has been everything from a rocket ship to a fort to a tank to a spaceship. In real life though it was an original tractor cab way back in the early 40’s. It kept the weather out and some of the dust…if only it could talk the stories it would tell.

And then…the moon peeked out from over the hill….perfectly blessed:)

Wild Bill agrees the hike was worth it!

Country beauty…country blessings.

Always interesting and intriguing.

As we headed for home we passed the stand of old trees that my Dad planted way back when. The weather and harsh winds take a toll on them but they have an enduring beauty of their own.

Hey Little Buck Buck…he is enjoying his evening hay dinner.

One last Juniper moon shot.

I hope you have enjoyed a small…very small part of our simple life here. May you be blessed where ever you are.

Crazy…Fast and Furious…Unpredictable Life Filled With Many Blessings!

Crazy…fast and furious…unpredictable life filled with many great blessings…I often experience a mix…and even though it is fast and furious I find myself grabbing on to the important seconds that tick by….filing them away in my heart and trying to see every little detail of God’s world that we live in.

Prince was my first horse and best friend. Prince carried me for several years all over out here where I still live…a heartful of memories in a young cowgirls life.

I grew up behind my Dad’s back…where Dad went on a horse I went too…that was life to me…being on the back of a good horse…riding behind my Dad…and I miss his back.

Cows and horses or horses and cows…how I grew up and what I saw daily, normal everyday cattle ranch life…my history filled with many memories.

I am sure you all have those early life memories of daily life with your parents and where you lived…how you lived and what your life was about…moments that will live on forever and yet often, only live on in your memories.

My life was growing up here…on the Juniper T Ranch…various family and friends were around during early summer when we moved the cattle up to the mountain ground and again during the fall gathering. Three of my Aunt’s are in this picture…and this is where my Mom cooked for 20-30 men every day on a wood cook stove in this log cabin…no water except hauling it by bucket…that was life back in the late 60’s for this redneck girl.

  With this post I am writing about life chapters…old times and new times…old memoreis and new memories.

A glimpse of the special moments.

Experiences of a lifetime…Hobby and I playing with a cow.

She was just learning to hook on here.

And then she got it!

I loved the feeling of a horse under me moving and dancing with a cow…nothing quite like it! Hobby I miss you girl…miss you lots.

From work to play on a simple warm trail riding kind of day. Sitting on top of the Blue Mountains…the best place to be on a horse around here in the summertime!

Life with many adventures and well-worn chapters in the book of simple times.

Chapters of buying a new horse and bringing her home…our time getting to know each other….Melody you are the song in my heart:)

Turning golden worn pages to another chapter of life…grandkids and fun times with friends at the beach.

Moments with our sons…ocean views…happy times…family memories.

Special birthday times with our youngest son who is a “Moose”…Hot Rod Cowgirl is 5’9″….youngest son is a “Giant” at 6’5″.

Snap shots of a funny moment of “Jagged and Wild Bill”…silly, crazy times!

Of course “Smart Alec Times”..I think Hot Rod Cowgirl is picking on Wild Bill:)

Birthdays and grandkids  helping me celebrate…two granddaughters…lots of resemblance in our eyes and mouth…you can see that we are family:) Ok guys you can close your mouth…Wild Bill…Natalie…Becca…ok I know the cake is looking yummy and all but come on for the picture…close your mouth like me and smile big:) Oh Becca…where oh where are you??? Come back to reality girl.

An ordinary life filled with times such as this with family…love…happiness…that incredible moment when time stands still and you know….this is beautiful life.

Life takes you to places you have been before and places you have never been before.

Like “The Portland Roadster Show” in 2006 when we took three customer vehicles and won three Best Of Class!

And snow storms that drift and give you great photo ops!

Christmas is coming sooner than we expect…and before we know it…less than three weeks!

Just ask Ms. Minnie Mouse:) She likes sleeping under the tree when we put it up…now on to decorating it.

Christmas with Grandkids:) on our antique red sofa…long story for another post….the sofa is 1940’s vintage red leather  and I love it!

Good Night where ever you are…it is super cold here tonight…snuggle down with your loved ones and remember to look for those special memories and moments in your life…may you be blessed by the season at hand.

I Am Headed Down The Road Of Fall Colors And Autumn Adventures…

I am headed down the road of fall colors and autumn adventures…as

Summer has faded into history…and even though I grumble that summer went too fast…I am drawn into the change of seasons with the vivid colors of autumn…softer colors and softer light for photography…rusty colors…golds…greens…oranges….burnt yellows and the deep rusty reds that I LOVE!

The ever changing landscapes of life arise with new colors in each season…the seasons softly call my name as each season has much life to capture…so I grab my camera to record the life and adventures that I see…feel…and experience…I am blessed to be here and part of HSL and Juniper T!

A few days ago I walked along the edge of Payette Lake, which was incredible, with my hubby Wild Bill…we felt the brisk air of fall with a touch of winter on our cheeks…hearing the cold crunch of leaves and rocks under our feet and seeing the geese planning their flight South for warmer weather…means that soon winter…

Will fall up on us…but for now it is time for fall’s gentle rains and various curious clouds to add interest to our ever changing views…each day the temps get a bit colder…the colors get a bit bolder…and I hold on tighter to WB:)

Evenings can be spectacular as the soft golden light of sunset falls gently on the parched dry land left from the summer heat…creating a beautiful landscape  with incredible hues that speak to your heart…I grab my camera quickly…I do not want to miss out on the magical moment…you know the one…the photographers moment for that one incredible shot…the one you will love and feel a part of.

October is a time of reflection as we look back over the year behind us and then forward to the family holidays that soon will be here with lots of yummy holiday meals with family and friends…I need to think about making Norwegian Lefse or potato cakes…by the way they are extremely good, hot, rolled up with 100% butter!

It has been said that Autumn is the years last, loveliest smile…and I do believe it is so…it is bittersweet and yet it is very sweet.

Another part of fall for us is getting the last load of hay into the barn for winter.

Grandson Cody and Flame are getting ready to load the bales onto the hay elevator. Our barn was built in 1909…we sided it in 1981 to protect it but I remember it when it was a burnt red and then white. I love this old barn as it has been here through out my life…I made many forts in it growing up and played with my horses in the stalls in the winter…it holds 100 tons of hay upstairs.

Fall is family time with sons and dogs…grandkids…horses…sweet kitty cats and warm gentle days…memories and fun times.

Speaking of horses…here’s “Lil Buck”…he is watching his winter food being loaded into the barn. I love Buck…he is so very laid back and yet he is so galant and steadfast…he is very true of heart.

Having the hay elevator is a huge help! The way this works is that you have a trailer loaded with 5 tons of hay….bales are 100 pounds…you pick up one at a time and load it on the conveyor belt of the hay elevator…

It takes the bale up into the barn door where others catch it and load it on a cart…the cart is stacked three or four high and is wheeled over to the stack to unload…another art in itself!

Son Greg is running the cart…by the way the hay cart is 100 years old…this cart was a wheat cart from way back when…wheels made of iron…yep heritage runs deep here…I bet my Grandpa Gunder  built it or one of his brothers did…Wild Bill is catching the hay off the elevator and Robby Bobby Blue Eyes is watching…and notice in my barn and only in my barn…see the headers hanging on the wall behind Robby? There is the reason for my name…Hot Rod Cowgirl!

Three generations here…Wild Bill…son Greg…grandson Robert…and me taking the pictures:)  Family history and heritage is sooooo very important!!! There are many traditions we pass on to our kids as well as family stories about old times…and good times.

Ah here are the barn cats Pat and Jack…go ahead break into the barn and make their day! No the dogs do not go upstairs to visit them as they are afraid to!  Pat and Jack are happy…they are getting new condos in the hay!

Can’t you see their smile? Kind of a snarly smile…with a few hooks of the claw.

Grandpa and Cody hauling hay for my ponies up at the house…I have a couple of rather spoiled ponies right outside my kitchen window…I am able to keep my eye on both of them:)

“Grandpa..geez..I need help…it’s not working:( It’s ok Cody…all is well…Grandpa WB will fix it:)

Fall clouds with magical light and incredible colors.

Evening sunsets with cloudy skies can be incredible if you watch for that one magical moment

When the sun touches the dark clouds with a sun touched kiss of beauty…I am grabbing my camera and hoping to catch the artistic shot for you!

Buck agrees…he is very wise.

So does Ms. Kiah…she is wise too.

And Minnie has her heating pad back on so she is a happy wise kitty too:)

This is a glimpse of the view I see when I ride my horses up on the hills that are all around us…can you see the mountains…on a clear perfect night you can see three mountains…Mt. Hood…St. Helens…Mt. Adams…and once in a great while Mt. Ranier.

Fall delights us and gently invites us to enjoy the golden warm days with ever-changing scenery…wherever you are I wish you a beautiful fall!

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