Saturday, February 1, 2014


It’s been so dry and sunny this month that I’ve been mulling a blog entitled, “The Winter that Wasn’t.” I’m holding off until March, though, and hoping against hope the blog won’t materialize. We finally got some snow and rain this week and the mountains are a good solid white in the distance. Our summer water supply depends on snow accumulation throughout the total Snake River and Blackfoot River watersheds and it's looking bleak so far.

If the ranch has a slow season, it’s now. Mark comes in relatively early and the evenings stretch out in unfettered luxury. Yes, he might watch TV, but often he busies himself with some kind of ranch book work. He may research composting on the computer, read an article on herd health or tackle any number of management questions to implement in the upcoming production year. Soon enough he’ll be back working “in” the business, so we need to make the most of this time working “on” the business. 

My favorite winter spot in the house is the glider next to the wood stove. I keep a dictionary and thesaurus handy for working on the daily crossword puzzle from “The Morning News,” (no googling allowed). Also at my elbow are the 2-3 books I’m currently reading. It's lovely, but the tough part is staying awake until lights out at 9:00 p.m.    

It’s the continuing education time for the larger ranching community as well. Yesterday we attended a tax seminar and next week we’ll learn about soil biology and meet with a group of ranchers to go over our strategic plans for the future.  

I got a nice surprise this morning. I’ve asked Mark for years to weld me a step on the back of our 1977 Ford 2-ton Truck. It’s a great truck, we use it every day feeding cows, but it’s awfully high and getting on the bed is a real conundrum for me. I’ve had to strategically place a pile of hay underneath it to climb on or get assistance from the driver. I hate needing help, especially when I watch younger more agile feeders leap on without assistance. Well, it finally happened! Mark designed a dandy step that slides down into the slots on the bed so it's removable when winter feeding is done for the year. I can even get on while the truck is moving! Who said a woman is hard to please?

So beautiful this morning . . . .

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