Saturday, April 17, 2010

Just What I Do When I’m Not Feeding Elk & Taking Chopper Rides

Just Want I Do When I’m Not Feeding Elk & Taking Chopper Rides

Now the last stories you heard from me were pretty exotic. Wolves, Gran Tetons, Helicopters, and Thousands of Elk! Well, the following is a look into just few of the adventures I get drug into during a typical week at home.


Regg calls and asks me if I can come drive for him to feed? No problem, I reply. He’s gonna come down & pick me up. Sounds good, simple chore and won’t take long. He arrives about 10 minutes later in an old blue feed truck. We set out the back way around the block to go feed. I’m on the phone…… when suddenly…. a mouse appears right by the gear stick! I SCREAM!!!!!!! Death curdling SCREAM!!!! I don’t like mice in general but I’m really not a fan of them in enclosed areas with me! The mouse scurries away down a hole in the floor lining & disappears. Oscar is laying right underneath my feet & he doesn’t even see the mouse by his head! So much for my dog being a good mouser! Regg thinks I’m crazy…he didn’t see anything either.

My phone friend has hung up….thinking that we died in a fatal car accident while on the phone with her. I call back to let her know it was just a mouse. Keep in mind I am now sitting with both feet up on the seat underneath me. Aaaaaah! Another mouse appears RIGHT UNDER REGG’S FEET! GET HIM! GET HIM! GET HIM! I am yelling at Regg to step on the mouse under his feet! I looked the mouse in the eyes…I swear it was a different mouse than the 1st spotting! Regg doesn’t see him at 1st & by the time he does the mouse has crawled under the plastic floor matting that is peeling up. Regg is stopping on the floor & all about trying to get it. Hitting the gas pedals….brakes….& anything else the culprit tries to hide under!

Thank You! We are finally to the field to feed! I am more than happy to jump out of the mouse infested pickup to get the gate. I even offer to feed. Regg says if I’d know all we needed was mice for you to feed, he’d have got some long ago. ; )

Finish up feeding & I get the gate so we can head home. If I’d know we were feeding another set of horses…I would’ve never got back in the cab. I think we are headed home so I get back in the Blue Beast. Sitting with both feet on the seat….kind in a squatting position. Didn’t want them to touch my feet! We are half way down this back alley road when….Out of no where…..A HUGE MOUSE COMES RIGHT AT ME! I swear he was trying to sit on my lap! I SCREAMED…..JUMPING SIDEWAYS & using Regg’s head as a foot step to climb on! I was practically sitting on him…but that was as far away from the mouse that I could get!!!!! UGGGGG! Gross little creatures anyway!!!!!

The old wooden gate is drifted in with sand and tumble weeds & I am more than happy to GET OUT to open it! Feeding….from the back of the pickup is also no problem. When we finished I went ahead & got the gate & ….remained in the back of the pickup on the trip back to the house! I’d had all the MOUSING around I could handle for one night!

Feeding with the Tractor

Once again, I get a call from Regg. He’s feeling under the weather & needs some help doing chores. No problem, just call when you want to go. The cows get feed a concoction of goodies thrown together in the mixer. Regg is gonna load the mixer & then send me out to feed. Well, while mixing the 1st load….the saddle horses get out. Ellie is chilling with me in the tractor so we jump out to help capture the escapee. Escapee detained & back to the task at hand. The load is ready to go & I get my directions. I fed with a similar feed last winter in Nevada so I figured I could get the hang of it ok.

Ya……I can’t even get it to move forward! Ok, we get a little more schooling & off we go. My comprehension of the gears is not real good & I bounced Ellie’s pretty little head off the window a few times. She got to hold on when cousin Mindy was driving. A few cell calls later & I had it close to under control. Didn’t even hit the fence …but came real close…& all the directions about quantity & spacing of the hay…were a waste of breathe. I was just lucky to get the hay in the manger without hitting anything!

Go get another load mixed & head out to the big bunch of cows. Oscar has been following us in the tractor. Well, when we get out to the cows….that isn’t gonna work. David’s honky ol longhorn cows are good mommas & don’t like a dog being around. They are trying to stomp him into the ground & he is trying to take refuge under the tractor. I can’t even hardly move forward without hitting a cow trying to dive in after the dog. I stop the tractor…(which is amazing cuz I still don’t think I had it in neautral….really struggled to understand my gears) & hop out to load my dog. He, conviently won’t come to me & hides under the tractor. I reach under to grab & throw him in just as a honky white long horn is headed for the cab! Dang it! Stupid dog! I bang my elbow on the step of the tractor or something. Wow….now the feeding begins. I did ok. Got a little better with my starting without knocking Ellie off of her seat ; )

Not to worry, I fed for him again the other day & I was a pro. Shifted good, ran my PTO, put it in park when I stopped….I’m pretty much awesome now : )

Ellie & I takin pics in the tractor while Regg mixes a load of feed for us

Working on a Well

Regg calls & needs help at the neighbors working on the well. The neighbor is Tommy Thompson. He is an amazing man. Super handy & can fix anything. He has helped my family out on many occasions & anytime I can do something to return the favor I am more than happy to.

Well, here are some pictures.....Yes, It's as cool as it looks :) This is a cable that we hooked to the front of the pickup & it ran up to the top of the tractor. Regg stood on top of the roof attching the cable to the well pipes. Tommy stood down in the well directing the pipes into the hole. I drove the pickup forward & backward in accordance with Regg's hand signals.

Fixing Water Lines to House

I was such good help with the well Tommy called to have me help get some water lines cleared out to get the water running in the old house behind there place. Don’t get me wrong…I AM NOT HANDY but this task I could handle. LOL…I stood down in the cold, damp well hole turning the water on & off as I was told to. I felt like I was Sloth from the goonies : )

Oscar looking down at me in the well....He did not think it was a good idea to be down there!

Cool rock walls & the pump in the well..or Sloths bedroom as I like to call it

Rockin the headlight ;)

No pictures, but throw in playing cards at Dad's, feeding with the team, dying easter eggs....add that to Well Fixer, Mouse Screamer, and Tractor driver....that's how I've been spending my spare time :) So just when you get to thinking that I might get get bored living here...there is never a dull moment with my neighbors!

Here are a few bonus pics from the last couple days.

1st Pic ~ My new shaggy puppies

2nd Pic ~ Ellie's new mode of transporation when the cows are on the fight :)

3rd Pic ~ New surprise baby...MULE at Dad's place a dull moment!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day in the Life of an Un-Handy Girl

Day in the Life of an UN-Handy Girl

The day starts out with a phone call from one of my favorite cousins, Regg. He asks if I can help him. Quite a few things on my plate for the day so ask how long it’s gonna be. He confidently replies. “No more than 30 minutes. I just need you to drive a rig. They will be loaded on the trailer when you get here” K, No problem. Call me when you’re ready for me, I reply.

I get a call about an hour later & head down to the corrals. Oscar in tow, seems like the perfect time for some training. We get there… cows are loaded. Regg & David are in the alley sorting. Soon I’m being yelled at to come run a gate. My Dad is being bad bad bad…not listening & my helpful collar is out of batteries or something….but It’s not working! Catch him and make some adjustments…still nothing! Hmmm….dang it!

Next we head into a corral to sort out some more pairs. I’m still yelling at my dog…No…Get Out….No! Not really paying too much attention to the cows. Next thing I know, this big ol cow comes straight out of the heard at Regg! She has him lined out & isn’t weakening! I have a perfect view from behind! He’s running! She’s right behind him! He tries to zig or zag but to no avail! He is right between her horns & just hits them no matter what way he tries to go! She got him in the ribs once. He finally makes it to the fence! Wooshka! She is on the bunt now! It was awesome! She looked just like an Ol Cow in a Will James book…..cross that with a slow motion cartoon chase & you’ve got it! Dang it! I wish I had my camera! (heck ya, I would’ve took a picture…I couldn’t yell to distract her…was right behind them just would’ve made them go faster) Good thing she never out her head down, she’d have knocked him down for sure! (Just for the record, my dog wasn’t standing by Regg when he got hooked…but I definitely tied him up as soon as I could catch him so I didn’t have a Doggy Target standing by me ;)

Woo….that was pretty wild! Finally get some pairs sorted out! I’m paying attention now! That ol’ girl is still pretty excited! We repeat this process of sorting out pairs a few more times….minus the full on getting hooked. (She attempted a few more times but didn’t commit)

We are making another sort up the alley & back. I’m running the alley gate & doing a piss poor job really. Let one big horned red cow back. Ok, paying better attention now, being more aggressive. K, well, now I’ve got cows sorting to me & cows coming back from my alley wanting back in! They aren’t happy but most can be buffaloed back. I’ve got my gate closed now until the sort is ready to come to me. Holy crap! There is this twisted horned cow right there…. Maybe I’m not fooling her as much as I thought! David is yelling at me to let the sorted cow out. Ol Twisted horn has me on the gate & I’m kicking her in the head trying to get her back so I can open the gate for the sort! Geez!

Finally, we get one trailer loaded & I hop into pull it up so we can load another one. Ya, I here Regg yelling WHOA! I cut it to sharp & was fixing to take out the side of his barn. Dang it…not on my A Game ; ) Back up, swing wider, thanks for not letting me hit that Regg. Get another set loaded with little to no problems.

As David & Regg are leaving to go unload, David asks me to go get in the calves that have got out threw holes in the fence so we are ready when they come back to load. “Sure, no problem” I reply. Ellie (Regg & McKell’s daughter) wants to stay & help her awesome cousin Mindy. We head down the alley to the far pens & escaped calves. Making a wide circle, we get them all pushed up against fence on the short side of the corral & head towards the gate. Well, this fence borders the pen with the Cows in it. Shocking, but that big red longhorn is still on the fight. She is following us the whole length of the fence. We get to a water trough hole & 1 of the babies isn’t trailing & is trying to go thru fence. Instead of fighting him, I figure I can just shove him thru. Well, the fence isn’t in the best shape so I have Ellie wait back from me a few steps. I figure that Big Red Cow will be more concerned about me man-handling the calf & be right up by me. Well, the calf isn’t that easy to push threw. Finally, I decide if I throw him down…I can push him under. I have a cow right there in front of me on the other side of the fence...but not Big Red. I look over & she has her head thru the fence & is blowing snot on Ellie! Holy Crap! She must have thought she was a dog or something! Oh wow! She couldn’t get very far thru because her horns were so big but….holy crap! I get Ellie gathered up & throw my calf under the fence. Packing Ellie now, we push the rest of the calves down the alley. The alley also borders the cows corral & Big Red is hitting the fence every inch of the way! Like I mentioned, the fence is old & well…..let’s just say Visions of the “Sandlot” fence coming down crossed thru my mind….& if it did should I cover Ellie with my buddy or try to throw her to the other side. Luckily….the fence stayed up. : ) Now, I just had to get the calves back into the gate ….with the cows in it. Easy enough….well….I have two hot cows hitting the gate. Hmmm, pretty sure I’m gonna put Ellie on the other side of the alley….just in case a cow comes out. That way the 3 year old doesn’t get hooked & maybe she can go get help if I do ;) Big Red finally backs off and goes to the far end of the corral. I get Ellie on the other side of the alley. (She wasn’t happy about that. Then I opened the gate & hurried around my calves as a Cow comes out in the alley. Between Ellie crying & a little pushing from my side….we got them in & the gate chained before the cow even hit the gate again!

Yay! Gather Ellie up & give her a high five for being such help! Whew! (for the record….we are way past 30 minutes right now) Ellie & I head to the house to go see Grandma. Her Grandma Crystal’s car is parked at the house so we go looking for her. No sign of her anywhere so we finally give her a call. She’s went with Regg & David to unload. THEY ARE STUCK! Ya, pickup & horse trailer is stuck. Regg calls from his phone while I’m talking to her. Regg is lining me out about coming to get them. I ask if my car can get to him. He says “No, better bring the feed truck under the shed” The blue MOUSE feed truck???? I ask. Oh great! (MOUSE truck story hasn’t been told yet but it will be in the next installment of tall tales ;) Don’t worry, Ellie & I stopped right there in the yard & shot gunned our boots before we got in the blue beast.

We go get Regg gathered up & help him get the tractor ready to go. I HAVE to GO sign my taxes…tomorrow is due day & I’m out of time. He asks if I can take Ellie with me. That will sure help him. Ok, no problem. I stop & get her car seat. We head to my house to pickup town stuff. We haven’t been in the house 2 minutes…..DANG IT….she has an accident! So we strip down, clean up…& fashion a Toga out of a towel. Feed her some mac & cheese for lunch & head to her house to get clean clothes. For the record, it’s now 2:30 & I am no closer to town than I was an hour ago.

Regg calls, they got the outfit unstuck & are headed back for another load. Wait to drop their kid off. When we pull into grandmas...a young bull is out...& I use my car to buffalo him back down alley so I jump out & get gate. Just one of those days ; )

They get back & I head to town to take care of taxes. I called a friend on my drive to town, as I’m re-telling the “I survived the Hoggan Ranch Tales” ….Dog doesn’t mind, Regg getting hooked, almost hit barn, karate kicking cow, getting snot blown on EllieIt occurs to me….My life would be a lot easier if I was just a little handier.

Oh well, Like I’ve said many a time, I’m like having 2 good guys gone : )

BIG RED Longhorn Cow with her head down....pawing the ground. I think we will name her Peach. This is a good 2 hours since anyones ever been around her. What an honery ol hide!

(this is the cow that hooked Regg & blew snot on Ellie)

Renegade Bull we got in with the car :)

See bulls are's those dang cows you have to watch out for at our house!

Ellie & I making friends with the boys....much easier to get along with than the girls :)

These pics were taking while walking across the bull pen. Notice the proximity of these...compared to the cow pictures...& I thought we were plenty close to the cows :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lil' Red Roan on the road to the DCNFR

Hello Rodeo Tails & Gypsy Trail Friends,

Lil' Red Roan is packing up shop & headed to Pocatello for the Dodge Circuit Finals Rodeo! Bucking Horses & that's my idea of a great weekend! Tons of fun new Jewelry, Headstalls, Will James Books & much more more! Come visit Lil' Red Roan & Martiny Saddle Co. at the Dodge National Circuit Finals!

What: Cowboy Expo.
Where:Pocatello, ID
Location: Red Lion Hotel
When: April 8 - 10th
Time 9 - 6:30

Special 10% at the tradeshow off all Lil' Red Roan products for Rodeo Tales & Gypsy Trail blog fans!
promo code I LOVE BUCKING HORSES :)!

See you there!

Mindy Hoggan
Lil' Red Roan