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Letter to the Editor (Mother Nature)

Dear Mother Nature,

Girlfriend. Sweetie. Honey.

What the hell are you thinking? Get it together.

 

Sincerely,

Red Lips ‘n Cow Chips

 

 

Lemme back up a minute and fill you in. The above eloquently worded letter is what I’d like to say to Mother Nature; the unedited version is full of many more bad words. If you look out any window in our house, you’ll get a taste of what happens when Mother Nature feels like playing a sick, twisted joke on us. This was from lunchtime. Notice the white stuff giving way to the muddy stuff. That’s about to freeze up.

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Snow! Not only did she start April with the best April Fool’s Day joke EVER with snow, but now Mother Nature is ending April with round 2 of her fury. Don’t get me wrong, ranchers and farmers are grateful for the moisture: we need it. But with high winds? And right after I *just* planted my rosebushes??? That’s just mean.

Meanwhile, we are eating our emotions, checking Wunderground for the millionth time, staring out the window to make sure there isn’t a stray cow, and look like this:

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(This is fictional character Soraya Montenegro. The character is crazy and kind of a big deal. Click here to learn more about her.)

The one thing I’ve learned about living out on the ranch is you don’t mess with Mother Nature. The prairie fire in the panhandle and disastrous weather like The Dust Bowl and the drought that only ended about 5 years ago prove that, as much as we love this land, we don’t take the good days for granted. I guess with that in mind I should be thankful that this moisture will definitely keep things green around here for the foreseeable future but I think my cows would disagree.

Did I mention how we are in the middle of calving??? Yeah, the ladies are having their calves! We’re doing pretty well on the calf count. I try not to jinx myself with an absolute number. This cold weather, though, makes things a little more difficult for the mothers and their calves. They need to clean and nurse their babies to ensure a successful delivery. But when the biting cold slows everyone down that gets a little more difficult. So, in our jobs as stewards and caretakers, we are obsessing over the ladies and their babies. We were out at about 5:30am checking and counting and leading them to the windbreak in the corner of the ranch. There were some hurdles but it seems like they’ll be OK. I guess we will find out tomorrow when the snow melts and we can count yet again.

One cool thing I did today, besides bake the biggest loaf of bread to ever grace my belly was to warm up a calf in the middle of the entryway. Little thing was shivering, born only yesterday, not able to walk but still alert. So, a 90lb calf was in the house while I dried it off with a beach towel and rubbed it with a blanket that the dogs sleep on. Meanwhile, Corona the (somewhat annoying) Heeler/Collie mix sat with the calf, making sure it was OK. Turns out, she’s a great cattle dog and we need to train her!

Naturally, I sent a text to my rancher friends and asked “Is this normal? Have I gone off the deep end?” Turns out, totally normal! One friend even had a Christmas delivery; they brought it in, dried it off, and named it Christmas. Now I know I should never name the calves but, gosh doggit, I saved this one’s life. It’s name is April. Not sure if it’s male or female but April is the name that will stick. Luckily, mom was able to be found and they are happily reunited. Here’s Corona, April the Calf, and Jackson in the background (not pictured but probably sniffing something in another room, Nacho).

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I mean, honestly. We literally had a GREAT Easter. Awesome food, Oma (German for Grandma) and our Princess Cowgirl went to a fantastic service, I even made my first run at the cake I want to present for the County Fair. And lots of good bubbly! I think the temperature that day was 78F. SEVENTY EIGHT DEGREES FAHRENHEIT. I had plants out. This is what it looked like:

 

Then today happened. And it’s still happening! I’m literally watching snow fall sideways right now. 40+mph sustained winds and 29.7 degrees and dropping. WHATEVER.

The only good thing about this storm is that I finally experienced this blizzard that everyone warned me about. I’ve been hearing about how bad the weather gets, now I’ve experienced it for myself. Great. Now if this could happen when I don’t have calves on the ground that would be great.

So, yeah, Mother Nature. Quit messin’ around and get your seasons in check.

Great

 

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Spring has Sprung – sorta!

Ok, I won’t lie. I had this great post that was long and funny and scrapped it. I was going to tell you about how we enjoyed the best April Fool’s joke ever – Mother Nature gave us snow! I was also going to gloat over my new chicken coop project because you know there’s always one and how cute my “fancy” four dollar chicks were doing and remind you about the Wine and the Lips and how we’ve just come out with new products at both sites. Well, I guess I just told ya!

But…

Y’all.

I have MUCH more exciting news to share. They’re both equally amazing!

First, because she’s my baby and cute as a button, our little Cowgirl Princess lost her first tooth! My goodness, it’s so funny hearing her try to say “Christmas”. She worked on that little tooth for about two days and didn’t want any help getting it out. In true Red Lips ‘n Cow Chips fashion, she wanted things to work out in its own time. So she waited and waited until it was time…at 2:14 am. At Oma’s house (German for Grandmother; luckily, Oma’s lives down the dirt road).

The second, equally cool, news is we got our first calf! Finally!!!! I would like to introduce you to calf 1776. Turns out, the number means something – besides America’s year of Independence. The first two numbers represent the year a calf was born. In this case, 2017. The last two identify the matching cow’s number. So mom’s number is 1476, calf is 1776. Cool, huh? FYI, you never give a real name to your cattle. Unfortunately, we forgot to tell my toothless cowgirl and she named the calf Twinkles. Or Sprinkles, no one can remember.

So those are the two most important things that happened recently. I’ve got other fun things happening, like my semi-homesteading fun with plants and the projects I’m working on for the County Fair. Yep, I’m going full country and baking things.

Enjoy a few pics: Gorilla Cows in the Mist (it was really foggy that day and husband thought that was hilarious), our giant snowball keeping YaYa (my mom) from leaving, 1776 with mom 1476, and my toothless Cowgirl Princess.