Monday, August 22, 2011

This One's For My Girls...

My cowgirls, that is....

Last week, an anonymous commenter on the blog asked me to quit calling myself a cowgirl, because it was offensive to "those of us who live the life". Well, darlin, I've got news for you. If I've offended you, then I'm doing my job. This is my blog about my life. I'll call myself anything that I damn well please. I regularly call myself a klutz, a pain in the butt, stubborn, and crazy. No one has argued with me about those. But just in case you argue the definition of a cowgirl, this is what Merriam-Webster's Dictionary has to say about it (; accessed August 22, 2011):

Cow girl noun \-ˌgər(-ə)l\

Definition of COWGIRL

1: a girl or woman who tends cattle or horses

2: a girl or woman who is a rodeo performer does that definition fit me?
1. I am a woman;
2. I tend horses, both at my little farm and at Southeast Boarding Barn where I am usually found in my off hours; and
3. I am a rodeo performer. Not a good one yet, but I'm working on it.
Now if your question is: how am I further qualified? I've worked cattle..even though I don't own any. My family has ranched the North Dakota badlands for the last 100+ years. I know how to fix fences and spent one summer helping string a mile's worth of it. I have the veterinary knowledge that being self suffient requires or I know who to ask to get help. I bust my ass from dawn til dark to take care of my family, my job, my property, and my animals. I know that I'll be eating canned beans and baloney before any of my animals go without proper care.
I don't have any delusions of grandeur where my little farm is concerned. Its not a ranch, nor would I ever call it that. I'm saving that for the 200+ acres I will be buying someday. I've got to work to get there, but I will. But that little farm is MINE.
And finally, being a cowgirl is a attitude. Its a take-it-all on, work through the pain, bust tail til the job is done and the fingers are bleeding mindset. You fall off, you get right back on and tackle the world.
And darlin, if you've got a problem with that...then don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya on the way out.

Cowgirls gone wild!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

All My Eggs Are in One Basket

My chickens are laying! It started off with one random egg every few days about 3 weeks ago.

Since the egg were too hit or miss to count on, I wound up throwing away the first few since I wasn't checking the nest boxes every day. Over the last couple of weeks though, more and more eggs are showing up in the nest box. There are four nest boxes. They all seem to prefer the one in the front right corner. No skin off my nose, its easier to grab them all in one swoop. I guess I'm going to be giving them away or selling them in short order since there is no way that we can eat four to six eggs a day!

The eggs from the last week. I've already given away half a dozen of them! I guess I just have extra talented chickens since they aren't really supposed to be laying for another couple of weeks...and we're in the middle of an awful heat wave. But hey, if they're willing, I'm happy to get my money back on all the feed I've been putting into them!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Step Above

It seems like every week, something new is happening at my house. I mean, when you live with a 4-year old, something new is always happening. Shaving cream murals in the bathtub, macaroni in the carpet, and strangely colored cats are among the things that happen with an astonishing regularity in my house. But lately, we've been letting the kiddo play with the power tools. Just kidding. No, really, I'm just kidding. He just holds the hammer and bucket of nails while his Papa and I build.

This week's project?

New stairs.

It has long been recognized that the stairs up to the porch at my house are at the very least a safety concern and definately a safety hazard. And after nearly ripping a toenail off the other night in the dark, I had enough.

This is what my stairs looked like:

Yikes, right? And no, that's not the angle of the photo, that wood "stair" really does lean like that.

After two hours, this is what the new stairs looked like.
They are set in place and concrete will be added soon to make them a solid pad. And the tilt IS the angle of the photo.

And since a) I can't stand the bushes in front of my house, and b) I needed steps down into the yard near the front door...

We built them too...

I'll post photos of the concrete work next week!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Da Deck

Last month, my insurance company called to tell me that they were going to be dropping the coverage on my house. Why, you ask? Because the back deck was 28" inches tall and needed railings on it to be up to code. And I had a month to get it fixed. Dad and I looked at it, made trips to Home Depot and worked out costs to build the railings. We priced it out if we did everything ourselves or if we used pre-built railings and posts. The difference? $250 if we built it from scratch. $350 if we used everything pre-built. We decided that the $100 was worth it in time and went all pre-built.

We bought all the materials that we needed and headed to my house to start throwing it together. As we are discovering with nearly everything in my house, the deck was built wrong. The floorboards were uneven with the end of the deck. There were not enough boards to reach to the side of the deck, and one of the boards was cut too short. So much for the slam the railing on plan. So we unscrewed EVERY LAST floorboard (and discovered that he hadn't used deck screws either).

Then we screwed them all back in so that they were even on the end, finished off the side of the deck, and replaced the missing board. After all that was complete, we added the railings and moved the stairs closer to the house.

Its finally done. Makes the deck look so different, but I'm looking forward to getting a BBQ and patio set out there to enjoy it. Eventually, it will be finished out so that it connects to the back door, but thats a whole other kettle of fish!