Monday, December 12, 2011

baby Jig.

Our friend's baby carseat was left in our car and this is what Jigs thought about that!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

yes, it's true. i've been a baaaaad blogger.

It is obvious life has happened and my blog has taken a back seat for the past few months.

A lot has happened in my world since my last post, but I’m sure it has for you as well.

Let’s start off with how I fell off the blogosphere…

A few months ago it was brought to my attention that I could be doing more around the ranch. A few other things were said to me and it really got me down. It was a huge blow to my ego since I really felt and still feel like I am doing as much as I physically can. 

Besides, I wasn’t raised doing physical labor and it’s definitely not something you can learn overnight. I truly believe with time, I will feel more comfortable working around big pieces of equipment and animals that weigh more than me.

Looking back I realize I took it way too personal, but at the time I began to feel like a failure so, I backed off the blog for a while. I started to think maybe I hadn’t earned the title “Rancher’s Wife”. It took me a few months and a few good pieces of advice from some good friends to realize that I have.

Because I’m here, I’m trying and it’s working.

So, now that it’s been decided (at least in my world) that I’m not a failure I want to tell you about some recent successes!

This photo won 2nd place in the Action Category of the American Sheep Industry’s 2011 Photo Contest.

This photo made it into the 2012 Grow Your Flock ASI Calendar:

The photo above also made the FRONT COVER of the ASI National Convention brochure!

Another photo of mine made the inside of the brochure:
Not bad, eh?

I am going to try and get back in the swing of things soon, but in the meantime
thanks for sticking around!

Monday, October 31, 2011

National Hug a Sheep {winner!}

Congratulations to Janya! 

She is the winner of the National Hug a Sheep Contest!!

Here is her photo.

Janya, email me at citylifetoranchingwife(at)(gmail)(dot)(com) to claim your prize!

I apologize for being two days late on this. 
Life happened. :(

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Shipping Day?

Found this over at The Rustic Chick
It's shipping day at the ranch and I've contemplated writing about shipping day because it's a day of mixed emotions. I don't really know how I should be feeling about it yet.

I love all furry things and I have really enjoyed watching the lambs at the ranch grow, but the reality is that we do sell them in order to make a living. Does that make me any less of an animal lover? Is it okay that I am proud of our success in raising our first herd to sell?  Or am I expected to only feel heavyhearted?

Today, I am feeling a bit of both.

I guess this is just how it goes.

We can't keep every single one of these animals because it's just not possible and they are not our pets. Our job is to raise the lambs, give them the best lives possible and make sure they are happy, safe and healthy while in our care. I can say that we have done all this and now it is time to ship them off.

I think people take having food so accessible, for granted. It's easy to do. I'm guilty of it as well!

Today is a reminder that milk doesn’t come from the carton, meat doesn’t come from the deli and vegetables don't come from the produce section at the grocery store. These things come from farms and ranches like ours.
Found this at the Missouri Farm Bureau website.
Just know that ranchers and farmers truly care about their product(s) and it's good to remember the hard work and care that goes into making the food you eat.

{don't forget to submit your photo!}

Saturday, October 8, 2011

National Hug a Sheep Day! {contest}

Crazy Sheep Lady has coined National Hug a Sheep Day and I am loving it.
This year, National Hug a Sheep Day will be on October 29th and you better believe I am celebrating it!

So, here's how we are celebrating at City Life to Ranching Wife.
No, we aren't strangling sheep despite what the picture above looks like.

We are {hugging} sheep!

All you have to do is email me a picture of you hugging a sheep (it can be any kind of sheep – a doll, a picture. Get creative!) before October 29th and you’ll be entered in my little giveaway. That's it!

What will you win?
The winner of this contest will win this sheep picture frame.
How will I pick the winner? 
I will pick the winner at random, using a random number generator like this.

So, get to hugging and send me the picture! That's it! It's simple. 

By entering you are giving consent to have your picture posted on the ever so scary internet! I don't mind linking your picture to your blog or website, either. (Just a little more incentive to enter.) ;)

Email your pictures to citylifetoranchingwife(at)(gmail)(dot)(com) on or before Friday, October 28th.
The winner will be announced on October 29th.

Can't wait to see the entries (and crossing my fingers that I have at least one participant)!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays - Pups in the high country

Here are a few pictures J managed to get a few weeks before the sheep came off the mountain. 

Nell taking a break.

Handsome Wito.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I'm a poet and I want to show it! ;)

While trailing I came up with this little poem.
Twelve miles is a long time to just take in the scenery! As beautiful as it was, I needed to entertain myself! ;)

Hope you enjoy!

When the dogs start barking and the sheep start talkin'
Better hit the pavement whether running or walkin'.

The sheep don't care if you want a morning stroll...
They have in mind one mission, one goal.

If you thought you would take in the scenery, let me give you a little tip
You better do it on a jog or a really good clip.

There's so much pride in bringing your sheep home to pasture
Wouldn't change it for anything, might just move a little faster.

They want to get back to a place where they can roam,
A place that is cozy,
The place they call home.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Coming Home.

The alarm buzzes and I think, It can’t be time already.

As I stumble through my morning routine I am ready within minutes for Rambling Ewe Ranch’s big day.

The moon fills the sky and sheds enough light so we can find our way to the truck.
Orange flag in hand, Camelbak packed, we load up water and lunches for the herders. J checks the trailer to ensure proper hitching and we hop up in the truck.

We pick up Alberto, he lives nearby on the ranch. Elias and Daniel are waiting for us at the mountain.

Our herders are used to this early work, it’s a daily occurrence for them. For me, it's a little tough and I find myself unable to hold back the yawning.

As we all make our way up to where the sheep, Elias and Daniel are waiting, the excitement begins to build.

The mamas and babies are coming home!

Make way B-town…Sheep on Road!

I am dropped off about a mile ahead of where the sheep will get on the road and  I find myself smiling with excitement. It’s just me, the horses in the field nearby out this time of day and the road is quiet. Soon enough cars will be making their appearance. I sure hope we have happy drivers today.

It’s important the cars see me as they are driving.  My sole purpose as flagger is to alert cars that sheep are ahead and to PLEASE slow down.

Most cars slow down and enjoy the drive through the sheep. Some smile and wave and roll down their windows. Some want to chat with you about the sheep and ask how many we have this year. Many times children poke their heads out of the car to get a better view of the sheep. Other cars take heed to our signs that are posted the week prior and avoid the street altogether. That's fine too.

Some forget the sheep are on the road and are either pleasantly surprised or grumble the whole way through.

I radio J on the walkie-talkie and ask them what his status is. He replies back, "They are on the road!"

I wait to see the first sheep around the bend and start walking!  "Okie dokie! Here we go!"

Soon enough we are rocking and rolling.

J will trail the back of the herd in the truck. He slows traffic behind him as he pulls our horse trailer full of our dogs that were working on the mountain. There is an orange, bright sign on the back of the truck that says, Sheep on Road. We don't let the dogs trail on the road, we've had a car hit one of our dogs once before and want to ensure that doesn't happen again.

They want to be where the sheep are. They aren't happy campers when they aren't.
Last year the sheep wanted to run home (all 12 miles) and this year was a bit better. They weren't in such a rush.
Jigs did come along for the ride, but slept most of the time in the car. She gets by on her looks, not her hard work. ;)

Along the way, I enjoy the view of the foothills of the San Juans. It’s a lovely sight and there is something about leading hundreds of sheep to a place they love, that makes your heart happy.

And so, I am reporting back with news of a good and successful day. Today is a milestone for J and I. We made it through our first full year of sheep ranching! It's a wonderful feeling and I want to say thank you to everyone that has offered us their support, prayers and words of encouragement over the past few months.

Tonight our herders are proud of their work (as they should be) and our sheep are happy. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Making enemies in a small town is easy.

I need to remember that I live in a small town.

This means that everyone knows everyone and there is no exception to that.

I need to remember that even if I don't personally know the person driving (way too fast) on the dirt road near our house there is a good chance that my husband does.

If I don't know them and J doesn't know them, then there is a good chance that my mother-in-law taught them in school. Also, it wouldn't surprise me if she was their favorite teacher. That seems to be a statement I hear often.

If my mother-in-law doesn't know them, there is a good chance my father-in-law has done business with them in the past. He's probably made a few good teeth for them (he used to own a dental lab) or maybe he's sold them a lamb or two in the past.

If that fails, there is a good chance our families are connected through my sister-in-law's marriage.

Bottom line is...the stranger on the road that I (loudly and rudely) screamed at for speeding yesterday is not a stranger, but now I'm pretty sure is an enemy.

I clearly need to work on my friend-making skills. Clearly.

Happy day, my friends!

It's a big weekend at the ranch. We are bringing the sheep home from the summer pasture!
Gringo leading the pack!

Stay tuned...

...oh, and not to toot my own horn or anything, but the picture above won 2nd place in  the 2011 American Sheep Industry photo contest! all the entries will be posted on the American Sheep Industry website on October 1st. :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Poo On Road. Use Alternate Route.

It's that time of year...the leaves are changing, kids are back in school, the crisp fall air surrounds us and the sheep make their way back to the ranch!
If you've been around here long then you know that the sheep coming home from the summer range up in the mountains is one of my favorite times of year! (The other is when the sheep come home in April from the winter range.)

Our herder, Daniel did a spectacular job tending to the sheep this summer and for his first year on the mountain he far surpassed our expectations! We are grateful for his hard work and dedication to the ranch. Very grateful.

Our sheep will be coming home Sunday, October 2nd and yes, once again I will be leading the pack (aka flagging oncoming traffic while I say about 100 yards ahead of the herd). I'm not worried though...I've been mentally (not so much, physically) preparing for this trek all year long. Bring it on!

If the sheep want to run all 12 miles home, then running it is!!

Back to the story at hand...

This weekend was our towns annual Heritage Days Festival. The history of our town is celebrated in the park and is kicked off with a 5K Fun Run and the annual "Trailing Running of the Sheep!" The other sheep rancher in the area brings his sheep off the mountain a week before we come off and times it so the sheep make it through the main street around 9am on Saturday (sheep time).

I, unfortunately didn't get many pictures, but this will give you an idea...
Our sheep used to be the sheep that came through town, but we can get another week of feed on the mountain and we have to take advantage of that! 

After the trailing and the road is covered in poo, there is a parade through town then vendors in the park. There are several events including a car show, a redneck fashion show, music and this year there was a lamb roast, the lamb provided by yours truly.   :)

It was yummy!

It's truly a great event in which my mother-in-law helped start and I do plan on having a more active role next year. It's important to keep this tradition alive. It's what this area was founded on!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays - "Look Mom, I sit like a lady!"

The sheep are working their way down from the high country! Will have a sheep trailing post soon! Still trying to get back in the swing of things around here. Thanks for stickin' around. ;)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays - Siblings and Sharing.

Hi Everyone!
I've been a bad blogger the past few weeks. Hope to get back in the saddle in the next week or so!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

An Update on the Sheep

I haven't had any sheep related posts the last few weeks so I thought I would give ya'll an update.

The sheep are currently up in the high country and will be there until early October.
You know...when I help trail them down aka my unintentional half marathon last year!

I was able to take my family up there a few weeks ago. It just so happened J needed to move camp while mi familia were in town and I jumped at the opportunity. We also took an unplanned trip up there the next week to pick up one of our herders. More on that in a sec.

The sheep look good. Really good. They are grazing away, loving their lives.

It's beautiful up there.
 Here comes Gringo to say hello!

Let me give you an idea of what it is like for our herders up on the mountain. They have no running water and the water they use is freezing cold. They sleep in tents in the middle of the forest and are  frequented by bear and coyotes (thank goodness for our awesome guard dogs!).

Now while they do have cell phones, the service is spotty and their battery has to last until the next "move". This is when J will bring their cell phone home and charge it. He takes it back to them the next move.

Their job up in the high country is to keep the sheep in a certain area (we'll go over this in a bit) and tend to them as needed.

Our Forest Service permits allow us to be at certain places on the mountain for a certain amount of time.

When our time is up (or there isn't enough feed) we move camp to the next location. "Camp" consists of our herder's supplies and sleeping quarters (tents). J goes up every week, takes our herders supplies and moves everything to the next spot. It's really a tedious process.

For instance, today J moved camp. He left at 7:00 this morning and spends hours on the 4 wheeler taking in supplies (since obviously we can't drive right to the "campsite"). It was a long day for him.

It's 11pm and he literally just walked in the door.

Some trips he'll trade out dogs. Today he took Nell to the mountain and brought Sage home. Duke and Nell, our newest pups are spending their first summer up on the mountain. Hopefully they learn the ropes!

J also brings me an update on how things are going. He is sure to tell me how all the dogs are doing - Wito, Embre and Gringo are the guard dogs currently up there. They are doing a good job keeping the bear and coyote away. Daniel says we've had bear and coyote almost every night. Yikes!

I am proud to say that I've gotten him in the habit of putting some treats in his pocket for the dogs on "Camp Moving" days.

If only I can get him in the habit of packing a lunch and a Nalgeen. He came home super dehydrated and starving.

Wordless Wednesdays - Can I help you with something?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Family Trip to the Farmers Market

One thing I love about summer is the Farmer's Market.
A few weeks ago we took a family trip to the Farmer's Market here in town and walked away with some delicious fruit.
We took a walk on a nearby trail and Jiggy got to cool off in the pond. She loved it.
Summer has been good to us this year.

It's sad to see it come to an end.

{What is one of your summer highlights?}

Friday, August 26, 2011

{Flaco} May He Rest in Peace.

Yesterday was a sad day at Rambling Ewe Ranch.

Flaco, one of Pop's beloved horses died.

Although I've only had a relationship with Flaco for a little over a year, my heart is sad. He was a part of the "outfit" and has worked hard for Pop for many years.

When Pop started the operation in the early 80's he used Flaco (and Blitz) to carry supplies for our herders up on the summer range. Flaco spent the last few years hanging out on the ranch and enjoying life.

Blitz is definitely mourning. He neighed all afternoon and well into the evening. I don't really know how to console a horse, he wanted nothing to do with the apples I took him. I'll go back out tonight and see if he'll let me brush him. Any ideas?

Flaco was a good worker, a great companion to Blitzy and very beautiful to look at. He will be missed.