Writing is like cooking, if you spill something, you should make it look like part of the act.
–John Keeble–

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gone to work

For nearly two years now I’ve been collecting the gear to be able to help out on the ranch. A couple days ago I finally got to use them.
Boot- the cowboy boot where given to me by James’ mom. I needed appropriate footwear for the rodeo. In the early morning chores they got covered in mud and cow dung. Pink Carhartt jacket- after helping the boys outside in the early spring, I told James that I need a coat that I could work in. A pink Carhartt jacket was a birthday present in the following weeks. This morning they held my pocket knife as I pulled it in and out of my pocket to cut twine. Pink Pocket Knife- after James and I were dating, James bought me a pocket knife. His reason was “everyone can use a pocket knife”. This was weird to me at the time because people who cared pocket knives got in trouble for caring weapons. “They’re tool”, and I’ve come to see them that way. As James used the back-hoe to carry the feed it was my job to cut the twine and free the bails. Gloves- at the co-op we picked up a pair of gloves for me, so that I could help. Well, I lost them and did not have them, so I got mud and cow poo on my hands from freeing the bails. Crochet Hat- while James was on field trip to Seattle he bought me a hat from Pikes-Place Market. This caught the straw that I threw into the calf pin for a bed. So good news everything got broken-in… almost everything.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Dead Cow

Living in the suburbs and living on a ranch has it similarities, none of which when it comes to talkin’ cows. Not actual talking, but the subject of. “There is a dead cow that needs to be taken care off” might be something my Mom would say to refer to dinner. My Husband is referring to the rotting meat out in the field Here the cows are put on the corn fields during the winter; corn stocks about knee high are what the cows feed on, along with salt licks and minerals. Temporary electoral fences are uses to keep the cows penned in.
All geared up against the cold weather, we jumped in the Back-hoe. I figured we would just scoop up the animal in the bucket and be on our way. It grew more complicated than that once we reached the animal. Chains were placed around its feet and hauled up in the air. The complicated part was when I got to help run the Back-hoe as James chained the legs of the cow to the bucket. Snow was falling, the kinds that never seems to find its way to the ground but swirls around your head as we headed back. “Stock holders will lose”, old Leroy, our neighbor to the west, said as we crossed his place with the stiff meat hanging from the Back-hoe, “that is what I said to myself when I saw it out in that field”. Neighbors around here are different too. Driving a Back-hoe down the free-way doesn’t turn heads, even if it is hauling a dead cow swing from the bucket. I pictured in my head kids screaming in a School Bus, but James pointed out that kids that have to pull calves aren’t too affected when they see dead cow, or if it gets shot in front of them. It is after all the way of life. I jumped out as we passed the house, and James finished the business. This was dropping the animal off by the front of the property for the “Meat Wagon” to pick up. I’d grown up knowing where my meat came from, and that hard working Farmers and Ranchers lived to grow me food. Let’s face it, I truly did not understand were my food came from, the details of the hard work, because the closest I’d come to a cow was a petting farm. Being around here I truly feel like a city girl, but refuse to be a Paris Hilton, and plan on getting dirty.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The SunBeams: little rays of sun

James and I have been called to be Sunbeam teachers in the Sunday School. these little three year old are teaching us more about life than either of us wanted to know.
This last Sunday was Easter, which means hunting for eggs filled with candy. Our calling is keeping this group of kids busy for two hours. We got to experience the height of their sugar rushes and the crash.
My conclusion, sugar affects kids hearing, they can't hear what you are saying, and they have to talk louder to hear what they are saying. Candy also affects the eye sight, all day the kids could see something in the corner of their eye and were constantly trying to see it more clearly. the result was them flinching, turning their heads quickly, and constant movement of all body parts.
to stay sane we told them the Easter Bunny was going to leave them a treat if they behaved, and no they were not going to see the Easter Bunny because no one see the Easter Bunny on Easter, Duh!
we got through class and handed them each a plastic egg filled with candy. As we handed the kids back to their parents, with sugar back in their systems, we smiled and wished them a Happy Easter.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Higher Power of Lucky

Author: Susan Patron
Title: The Higher Power of Lucky
Information: atheneum books, 2006, 9-12
Number of Pages 134
plot summary: Lucky lives in a small town called Hard Pan, with her guardian Bridgett. Lucky's mother died after a big rainstorm, so her father asks his first wife from France to take care of Lucky. Lucky listens in on all the support groups in town, and one day wants to be a famous scientist like Darwin. When she think that Bridgett is going to leave her, she runs away during a windstorm, but little Miles is already lost in the storm. She takes Miles to the old bunkers and take care of Him. the Towns people finally find them, and Lucky understand the meaning of a Higher Power.
Reaction: this was a cute book, i liked the characters and the description of the town.
Potential Problems: Lucky runs away, the littlest boy walks around freely asking everyone for cookies
Recommendation: i think that this is a great book for everyone.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Magic School Bus: Inside the Human Body

Author: Joanna Cole
Title: The Magic School Bus: Inside the Human Body
Publishing information: Scholastic, 1990, 4-8
Number of Pages: 40
Genre: Informational

Summary of Plot: Mrs. Frizzle takes a trip into Arnold’s body. The class explores the digestion system, the brain, blood vessels, lungs, bones, nerves system, muscles, and the nasal cavity. Arnold all alone walks back to the school, to wait for the class. when the class get out the diagram the body.
Your Reaction to the book: other than learning so much, the great thing about this book is the side notes that tell you more.
Potential Problems: this book takes a look inside the human body, so if you have a weak stomach I don’t suggest you read this book.
Recommendations: kids who love to learn.

The Outsiders

Author: S.E. Hinton
Title: The Outsiders
Publishing information: Puffin, 1965, 9-12
Number of Pages: 192
Genre: fiction

Summary of Plot: Ponyboy is raise with the idea that there are two types of people in this world. Greasers and Socs. Ponyboy and his brother are greasers, and they hate the Socs. While he is walking home from the movies with his friend he is bet up by a groups of older Socs, but he is saved by his brother Sodapop and other greasers. His oldest brother Darry takes responsibility for his younger brothers and the gang. They next night Ponyboy and a couple of his friend go the movies and flirt with Socs girls. When Ponyboy get home get in a fight with his older brother and runs to the park. Him and his friend sit and watch the stars. They are attacked the Socs drunk boyfriends, and one of the Socs is killed. They run away and hide. They cut and dye their hair and live in a church for a week. When they hear about a rumble between the two groups they decide to go back and help their gang. While they were away from the church it catches on fire while a school group was inside. Ponyboy and his friend run into save the kids. Ponyboy’s friend is hit by a falling timber and is badly burned. After the fight Ponyboy’s friend dies from his wounds. At court he get off because the Socs death was not his fault and he get to stay with his brothers. At the end he understand the importance of family.
Your Reaction to the book: I thought that this book had an interesting point of view. I like the difference between the brothers and their friends.
Potential Problems: there are a lot of violent scenes.
Recommendations: older boys, not for younger kids.

The Giver

Author: Lois Lowry
Title: The Giver
Publishing information: Delacorte, 1993, 9-12
Number of Pages: 208
Genre: Science fiction
Summary of Plot: Jonas is born within the ideal world. No one gets sick, there is always enough food, the population and weather is controlled, and every family has a daughter and son, and everyone sexual impulse are stifled with special drugs. At the age of 12 everyone receives a job, Jonas job is the new Giver. He meets the older giver and is given the memories of the town. At first Jonas receive good and happy memories, but as they continue Jonas loses his innocence and see his world for what it is. He learns exactly what his father job as a baby care provider means. When his father brings home a small little boy, Jonas runs away with him. As the journey through the snow, Jonas thinks he sees a town and hears singing.
Your Reaction to the book: after I put this down, I thought about it forever. I really liked it.
Potential Problems: The world Jonas comes from scared me a little bit and I am an adult.
Recommendations: I think that if a younger group of kids were to read this book they would not understand it. This book is for older kids.