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.