Yesterday was Awesome… Okay Let me back up and start at the
beginning. Sunday Robert came over and we spent time riding, roping and just playing around. About 8pm I had a small episode, as we call it, and had to take my medication and go to bed. I think it was the heat, excitement and just overdoing it a bit that got to me. Anyway, Robert helped unsaddle my horse, do chores and we were all in bed by about 9:30pm.
By morning I was feeling fine. We were all up by 5am. We loaded the saddles, tack and ropes when we did chores. Mom cooked up a mess of pancakes to send us out for our day with a full stomach. We ate, loaded the horses and were on our way. We went to my Uncle’s house and met up with the first bunch of Cowboys that were going with us. Then we made one more stop to pick up the rest of the help. By 7:00am we were on the road. It took about an hour to get there and then the unloading took a bit alone with the saddling. After everyone was ready we broke up in to three teams. Robert, Dad and I were all on the same team. Everyone got their assignments and we were supposed to go straight up the middle to the Canyon and turn back East and drive everything we found back to the south Gate. We had to look for stray cattle and kick them up out of the brush and trees. When we got to the Canyon where we were supposed to turn East we found that the “Fearless North” team as they were called had chickened out on Crossing the canyon. They were the crew that had done this round up many other times and knew how to handle the canyon but instead we had to do their job. With every step Robert and I worried because our horses slid on the muddy slopes of the walls of the canyon. Every rock we knocked loose rolled to the bottom with an unforgettable sound and seemed to take more rocks with it. When we reached the bottom and gathered the cattle we had to go up the other side. I don’t remember sliding as much but then again I didn’t look back down the Canyon and kept pushing through because both Robert and I just wanted it to be over with. When we reached the other side we turned back East along the north fence and headed everything in our path South. At the East side there was no canyon and I was thankful for that. The canyon had narrowed to a creek that we passed over with no excitement at all. I think Robert was happy we didn’t have to cross that canyon again too. When we got everything gathered at the South gate we drove all 92 calf/cow pairs (a total of about 184 head) down the gravel road another 2 miles to work them. On the way to the place where we were to work the cattle 2 calves went through fences along with 5 or 6 cows. Even with the old fences along the road we worked harder bringing them down the road then we did bringing them out of that huge pasture to the south gate. Dad had to rope one calf that got tangled in the fence while they had to send the truck back for 3 cows that had to be tied and left because
they wouldn’t work into the herd. When they all were penned the Adults had to work the large cows. They got their shots, wormed and counted. Us kids got the fun job. We got to rope and drag each calf out one at a time. Then the Adults would grab it and work them as well. They got shots, wormed, ear tagged and counted as well as all bull calves got cut. After all that we got to have a meal of Goulash, Corn, baked beans, and Cut baked potatoes. For dessert you got a choice of Jell-O with Fruit or pudding. I have to admit the food really tasted good but it might have been that I was just that hungry from all the riding and work. After Lunch we had to move the cattle back and turn them back into the pasture. I don’t know why but on the way back the cattle seemed to know that they were headed back to the pasture and didn’t give us any trouble. Maybe it was that they were to tired to put up a big fight or run off. There was no prettier sight then when we saw all those cattle in the pasture heading off to places unknown and we shut the gates.
With the big round up done we unsaddled and headed for home. Chatting all the way about the happenings of the day. Robert sure had some stories to tell because his horse was new to a round up and gave him a fit now and then. We were all glad to see home where we came in and sat in the cool, ate a cupcake or two, drank some tea and lemonade and told Mom all about it.
I slept hard last night and today I helped Mom. We had to go to town and get feed and lumber to make her trash can holder. When we got home we cut the wood and got it all put together. The only problem is that we made it a bit tall. Mom said we would redo it another time and for now we put cinder blocks under the trash cans to make it work. At dark I moved a few chicks from the brooding tub in the bathroom to a hen that was wanted to set. She
thinks they are hers and took them right in. Mom had her own set of problems when the Crazy Rooster tried to flog her because he wasn’t used to her being in shorts. Then to top her day off Tonto the goat bit through her finger nail.
Now that everything is starting to work out okay with Ranger, even though he doesn’t like being steaked out, I can tell you about Robert. I met Robert kind of like I met Mikie. As a matter of fact it was at the 3L youth Rodeos. He ran poles and barrels, Goat tied and rode steers. Him and I were in the same age group and had to compete against each other in the Goat tying. Mom has a funny rule that I don’t even think much about any more but it did lead to Robert and me being friends so I will tell you about it. After I compete in anything I have to go up to one of the other competitors, shake their hand and tell them nice job. Sometimes I don’t like to do it but Mom ALWAYS makes me. It doesn’t matter if I win or lose. I have to tell them they did good. If I don’t Mom says there will not be next time to compete. Anyway, Robert had just run against me and I went up and shook his hand and told him good job. He didn’t say anything but his parents started talking to me. They asked if I practiced much and if I was always at the 3L rodeos. Through that talk I found out that Robert was goat tying with no practice at all because all he owned was a horse, No Goats or calves to tie down. I also found out that he was taught to tye like a girl. Oh man, I know that sounded bad but I typed it three times and can’t put it any other way and make it sound right. Let me explain, Girls tie goats with a soft rope with the help of their mouths. Boys tye like we are roping a calf. The end result is the same but guys are faster our way.
Anyway, back to my story. I told Robert that I brought a goat to the Rodeo and that if he wanted he could join me and Mikie in some practice before we made our runs from now on. He smiled and said he would but that he wouldn’t be there next week. Come to find out he had to miss every other week because he had to go to his Dad’s on those weekends. He even had to miss Finals. I felt bad for him too. Okay, back on track now… From those practices Robert learned to ty goats really well. Mom invited him over a time or two to practice at our house. We helped him teach his horse to calf rope and now he is one of my best friends. He doesn’t do rough stock anymore but he does do break away calf roping as well as heading and heeling in the team roping events.
Tonight he is coming over to spend the night so that we can head off to be real old west cowboys for Memorial Day. We will get in some practice roping and Dad will fire up the grill for some burgers and hotdogs. Then tomorrow we will be up early, travel to my Uncles lease land in Kansas and we will spend the day rounding up cattle and then us kids get to rope and drag the calves so they can get their shots and be tagged. It is like in the old west when the work was done on the range. My Uncle will even feeds us lunch.
Okay so you read that Ranger was getting Jazzie. Mom comes home from work after her second half of her split and finds Ranger has now got one of my chicks. Yes he ate it. He had blood all over his paws and Dad snuck up on him and saw he still had feathers left. While we are dealing with Ranger and Tying him out for what Mom says will be awhile, We look up and the Goats are in my chicken coop. I can’t believe I have spent the day fixing things that are not even things I have ever even thought about. I wanted to Introduce everyone to Robert since he is coming to spend the night tomorrow and we are planning a big adventure I am sure you guys will like. To bad every chance I have get to be on the computer I have had to post bad news. Okay it isn’t bad just not good news. I know pups will be pups but Ranger better get his act together soon or Mom is going to be on him like Stink on a Skunk ….. And for what it is worth Mom thought up a way to keep the Goats out of the coop and Dad got it done. All the while I have chicks Peeping. What a day …. Can it end now?
Okay this is an in the middle post. It has nothing to do with anything … just a pain for me and I am going to vent my anger here. First, Last night the Mikie Rodeo was rescheduled due to the rain. (That isn’t what got me mad just a little bit of info you should know) So Dad and I headed over to a playday (a different kind of rodeo) so that Ice could get in some more practice before I have to go to State. Robert was there and we both did pretty good. I got 2nd in the Goat tying and 1st in the Calf Roping. Only problem was when Mom got home from work she called me to tell me Jazzie (Jasmine) the Goat had 2 bloody legs. Mom caught the Dog chewing on her again and this time he broke skin. Boy did Ranger get a lesson in manners. He even had to sleep outside the goat shed in his dog house last night … I was mad but Mom was really, really mad. Then this morning I was on Goat watch to try and catch him doing it. And I think you know what happened. He did it again but this time I caught him in the act. I got after him and then tied him up. I called the man I got Ranger from to see if he had any tricks to break Ranger of this new bad habit and he said to separate Jazzie off and see if Ranger does it to any other goats. He thinks the problem is that Jazzie is just to nice. While the other Goats will thump on Ranger, she doesn’t. He said if that didn’t fix it he would trade me out a different dog and his goats would correct the problem all by themselves. I am just so mad that Jazzie is the one I have to pen and the poor girl didn’t do anything wrong. Stupid Dog!!! (I know I am not suppose to say that word because Mom says there is no nice way to say it so that makes it a hateful word but I really am mad and fustrated and hurt and Ect.) I still Love Ranger and I don’t want to have to trade him out but aaggghhh! Mom came up with an idea. She got him a hard bone to chew on. Maybe he will figure out that hard is to chew on and soft is to leave alone … It is worth a try.
Today I am happy to introduce to you my little buddy, Mikie. Mikie is who I will be spending my Night with at the Rodeo tonight. Robert might be there but I am going to be with Mikie because this is one of the Rodeos that we call a Mikie Rodeo. They are Rodeos I go to, not to win but just to hang out and be with Mikie. You know, just spend time with him. Mikie is about 6 years old and I met him when the family went to our first cowboy church about 2 years ago. Mikie is a short, round, little guy that wears jeans and a bright red shirt every chance he gets. He was known around the church as the little guy with the big 10 gallon Taco shaped cowboy hat. He was in the little kid room and I was in the youth room but everyone knew Mikie. I guess he noticed me in my Cowboy hat and favorite red shirt too but it wasn’t until that spring I really got to know him. First I need to explain about cowboy church. Cowboy Church is held on Sunday mornings and Monday nights. Mom works Sunday mornings so we go on Monday nights. On Monday nights after we hear the good word, the men go out to the roping arena and team rope and the women sit in the café and eat pie and fellowship. The kids run around and eat pie and watch the roping. I know it sounds weird but yes the church owns a roping arena and a café. And although we don’t attend that church much anymore, you can check them out at http://www.cowboyjunction.org if you are interested.
Anyway, back to Mikie. As spring came on I asked Pastor if I could bring a little goat that we bottle fed and let the kids and I practice Goat tying. It would give the kids something to do and we could have a lot of fun too. Pastor agreed and the next Monday we brought Roger, the Goat, to church. Yes, It is funny to me too that I can say I have taken a goat to church. (I have taken my horse too but that is another story.) Anyway, after we got out of church that day we all couldn’t wait. We ran out and I taught everyone that wanted to try how to do the goat tying. After most the other kids left Mikie kind of wondered over. (at that time he was 3 going on 4 I think). I asked him if he wanted to
try and he just shrugged his shoulders. I told him I would help him, and with some of the other kids cheering him on, he learned to Goat tie. It was the same way every Monday after church for about 2 Months. Mikie would wonder over and tie Roger, the goat, after almost everyone else was gone. Mikie loved Roger a lot and I even caught him talking to him from time to time. After that I didn’t see Mikie for awhile because he wasn’t at church.
Then the summer series started up at the 3L arena and Mom and Dad let me go. It was run by a friend, of a friend, of my Dad’s and Mom and Dad knew it would be a safe place to take Ice and Me to train. When we pulled in to the youth rodeo who do you think was working the gate… No, not Mikie, he was to young. His Mom was. She told me Mikie was there too and asked if I would try to keep an eye out for him because there had been another bigger kid picking on him due to his size and she was stuck at the gate. I told her I would and didn’t think much more about it. When I got my horse saddled that day I had no idea what it would mean to Mikie or me. I went to warm up Ice as everyone does and there on the sidelines I found Mikie. Mikie isn’t a shy kid, he just doesn’t talk much. He was just sitting there. So I hopped off my horse and asked him how come he wasn’t riding. He Just shrugged his shoulders and didn’t say anything. I looked at him and asked “You want to ride with me???” He hopped up and got to his horse as fast as those little legs could go. From that day on Mikie and I were and are Buddies. I started bringing Roger to those rodeos and helping kids practice and learn to goat tie. As a matter of Fact that is where Robert and I met. I think that is a story for tomorrow. Anyway, Mikie even started Goat tying and riding his horse into the arena to do it when kids his age can run on foot if they want to. Later my Mom was talking to his Mom and found out that up until then Mikie didn’t ever ride his horse at the Rodeos. He just left him tied to the trailer. His Mom says she owes me a lot for what I did for Mikie but to tell you the truth I didn’t do anything.
Our lives now? We are forever Rodeo buddies. I am the one person he will get on the phone and talk to about just about anything, including upcoming Rodeos we can meet up at. We plan some weekends that we both go to the same ones so that we can ride together. We don’t do anything special just ride and talk. Mikie’s Mom likes it and says that she never hears Mikie talk that much any other time but when he is with me. I just wish he would learn to talk without using his hands. I am always having to remind him to grab the reins and steer that horse of his. He just busts out in a giggling fit and we ride on together. As for Roger the Church going Goat? Well, He got lonely after all the other Goats we had that spring went back home, so with a little dealing on Mom’s part, I ended up with Roger and when Mikies goat got hit by a car in an accident I gave him to Mikie. Mikie says we are partners in the Goat tying Business. I just say Roger got a good home and Mikie got a best friend to play with.
Oh man, I shouldn’t have let you vote. Mom is playing the Mom card, as I call it. There were more votes for Sister then anyone else. (I counted the story about Mom and Dad meeting as a ½ for each of them) After I saw the votes I didn’t want to start with My Sister but Mom being Mom said (in that Mom voice that really doesn’t give you a choice) That I needed to. Up until now I have gotten to pick what I put out here but now it is different and man can it sting. (Growing pain going on right now … Just in case you missed it) Have you ever had to do something you just don’t want to do. Well, this is one of those things. I was really hoping that nobody would even catch the fact that I had a Sister, let alone want to hear about her. I can’t believe I have to start my First day by telling my one QT (Ms. Nancy … She bought my 1st pot and put the first deposit from here in my College fund) about one of the not so good things in my life. Not that Sister is a bad thing … Well, I guess I have to explain.
First let me just say I love my Sister very much. I just don’t like the way she acts or some of the things she does. She is 10 years older then me and doesn’t live at home anymore. I have great memories of when we were younger. We did things like lay out and look up in the night sky and chat about nothing for hours. We played on the trampoline for hours, giggling about each others
landings. The walks we took to the pond will linger in my mind always because those were the best times I can remember having with her. She has even stopped a bully from picking on me on the school bus when I was younger and in Public school. She has always been there for me up until she moved out of our house.
When my Sister went off to college a lot of things changed, Mostly my Sister. I don’t know what it was all about but I do know she did things that she shouldn’t have and even ended up in Jail. I know Mom cried a lot and Dad just seemed to stay angry all the time. When she finally told Mom she was going to straighten up Mom helped her move home but by that time she was engaged, She lived with my Granny until she found her own place and got married, She had a good job as a loan officer for about 2 years and everything was going great. She even had a foster child. Then this Christmas Happened. I didn’t know it at the time but both my Sister and her Husband were not faithful to each other and by New Years Day the foster child was taken away and they were split up. That is when things went back to the way they were when she was at college. She is back to drinking and partying a lot and I know she has tried Drugs in the past but I am not sure if she still does them. Mom says to make sure you want the answer before you ask the question and I don’t want to know so I ain’t asking her.
I pray every day that she will settle down, as Mom calls it, and be the loving Sister I once had. She does come to Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter but she didn’t even come see Mom on Mother’s Day. I guess when you live 17 miles away a card will have to do.
Today was a big day for me. As many of you read I am getting my College fund growing. I was excited to get to tell everyone at “Fiber Club” that I sold my first Pot. One of the ladies told me I was now a professional artist. I am not sure about that but I am working on it. Tomorrow I get to start introducing the people in my life to you. I can’t wait and I am having trouble deciding on who it should be. I am thinking my Mom but Most of you already know her in some way. I will put it to a vote. Leave a comment telling me who you want to know about tomorrow and I will start there. Your choices are Mom, Dad, my Sister, Kenny – my best friend, Robert – my other best friend, or Little Mikie – a little guy from church who likes to hang out with me. (*** All names will be changed to protect others privacy but the actual events, feelings and personalities are true as I see them***)
Okay, Just like all the other winners of the JMF Big Give away, I have decided to start a CSA too but Mine is a bit different then the others. It is actually a CSAA! Mom said if we were ever going to do something like that we would have to have something special to make it stand out from the rest. And I do. I have an extra A (and me!). Let me Explain: I started all this to get my college Money. No one said it would be easy and I don’t mind the work (so far it’s been kinda fun). So I came up with my own take on things. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. But not to me. I am not only blowing the roof off of CSA but I am Shaking it up and settling it back down as CSAA which stands for College Supported by Agricultural Arts. As most of you know I started this because I am home educated and we needed to find a way to pay for my college education. Small family farms don’t make big money. Most of the time we don’t even make enough to pay the bills. That is why both Mom and Dad have to have what we call real paying jobs. Even though we don’t have the prices or details worked out yet, I will share with you how I want this to work. When people invest in my CSAA they won’t be investing in just the animals, but they will be investing in my personal education. That is right, the investors will be a part of me. This Fall I will be selling my yarn, roving, fiber and heritage projects just like everyone else. However, when you invest in RJ’s QTs not only will you get your share of the product, input in naming the kids, watching the cute fuzzy things grow up and have babies of their own but you will know where your money is being spent. You will get my whole story from Age 13, not just my goat flock story but it will include my growth, learning, growing pains (as Mom calls them) and education. You will know what I am good at and what I’m not so good at. You will know what my dreams are and what I want to do with my life. It will be like having a virtual kid of your own. From 8th grade, which I start in Mid June, to college Graduation. You will know where our products come from and why. I know that some won’t want to follow because all I have to offer is a simple online story (complete with pictures of course). Although I hope someday to have a web cam and let you watch all the action as it happens Mom says it is expensive and that is money that will pay for my college education. Here on the Straw Farm, Home of RJ’s QTs, it will be as it always has been. Mom will still be the workhorse and Teacher as well as the business manager. Dad will still be the foreman and Manual labor when Mom needs it. My CSAA gets all that for free and since I don’t have to pay them, my college fund will grow. I have heard “you get what you pay for” so I don’t know if I should be bragging about that or not. Other then that It will be me, my goats and the things I make and sell, and it will be Me who gets to go to College. From the birth of the animals to my college Graduation, You will know the animals, the farm, our family and Most of all ME!. Everything I earn from anything I sell is going into my college fund. That is one reason Mom is looking into the Art Studio. She could give lessons to make extra money and I could sell the things I make. (She said something about having a cleaner kitchen table too but I am not sure what that has to do with anything.) It would also give me a place to do my fiber arts. I have been practicing my drop spindle and my knitting loom and a few days ago I learned to weave. I did ask Mom if we do all this and get our farm/studio making money for college, if I could just skip college and make our farm my business and she told me that was “not an option” because I would need at least a business or Ag degree to run it. With all that said we made our new web pages and are getting things nailed down so that we can start selling the shares and art as soon as possible. I am thinking that we will even number the art that I sell and have a certificate to go with it explaining the piece. Mom said she would keep a catalog for me too. I have number one already made with our New Mark on it. Anyone interested???
Hey, maybe someday I can even do a scholarship fund so that I can help someone else can go to college too! That would be so cool. Then all of you would be QT Aunties … LOL
This is me during the storms … Mom thinks it is funny ….
Today I woke up to more storms. Mom and I raced out to do chores before another round came through. Then we all ate waffles with homemade syrup. After that the day kind of got weird and boring all at the same time. First Mom is talking about opening an Art Studio. This time I think she has Dad convinced to let her. She even sat down and started making lists of things she already had and things she would need. Her big thing is a place. She talked about renting a space in town but now I think they are taking about putting in a shop. I told Mom I wanted to help so we got together to come up with a symbol for the name that I can use on my art work.
It is a Brand style QT. I even made another pot today and used it. I told Mom I was thinking of selling my pots and baskets. She said I could go to farmers Markets and craft shows and sell things there. I told her I thought I would sell them right here. I think I am liking the Idea of an Art Studio. Mom does beadwork, pottery, basket weaving, and Finger Weaving along with some wood work. Now Me and the QTs are going to add in the Fiber Side of it. Mom is Excited and serious about it all at the same time. In my down time I played some Video games because it rained all day.