May 27, 2011

Calving and needles

Filed under: Cattle,Jaclyn Wilson,Life,Uncategorized — Jaclyn @ 3:06 pm

I love calving season.  Squirting myself in the face with milk, stepping in a pile of milk scours while getting ready to leave for town, and of course the joys of dealing with a “DSB” or “Dumb Stupid Bessy?”  that evidently must of had blinders on when she calved and didn’t notice the 75lb creature located behind her.  We push hard and fast here on the ranch.  This year our last heifer calved on day 22, and the cows usually finish by day 45. 

I evidently pushed a little too hard and fast.  The 90 hour weeks catch up to a person, especially considering most of those are spent on an ATV.  I was averaging at least 40 miles a day bouncing over rough terrain, and I’m sure I was going reasonably slow, or that is at least the argument I make to the Boss Man’s wife aka Mom.  When it got to the point I was needing the cherry picker to pick me up from kneeling while tattooing at branding, I was sent on a “mandatory vacation.”  Now, I’m not a fan of “mandatory vacations!”  That’s when the Boss Man and Boss Man’s wife determines that you can’t ride an ATV, horse, or tractor; you can’t lift anything and definitely nothing strenuous  until you can heal.  In other words in ranching terms “you should just haul her to the dead pile.”  The first afternoon, I sat in the chair, for a couple of hours, boredom won out and I gimped outside where I stood and watched progress.  That was irritating, so I went back in and threw things for a while, or at least that was what I wanted to do.  One afternoon, of me and my holly jolly mood, I was told to get out of there and go heal up.  

I headed down to Wichita, KS.  Wichita is not the beach destination I was dreaming of, but hey Dorothy liked Kansas, so it couldn’t be that bad.  It was recommended to look into acupuncture to speed up the healing process, and after getting over the mental imagery I had of some guy poking me with a Blackleg needle, I located a place to try. 

Now I’m a firm believer in chiropractors, but going this route was making me just a tad uncomfortable.  I mean what do you ask an acupuncturist?  “Are you BQA certified?” 

 I showed up at my appointment and after an analysis, I was informed I was “Jac’d Up.”  I had kind of figured that one out, and was hoping he wasn’t going to charge me for that diagnosis.  Next thing, I’m being lead into a darkened room where I sit on a cushioned bench and he comes at me with a handful of needles informing me “this will not hurt.”  I usually tell a cow the same thing when I come at them with the hot shot, so needless to say I was a little skeptic.  He flings three of them into my ear, two in my arm, some in my lower back, and a number around my shoulder blades.  Meanwhile, my mind is wondering if this guy has ever played darts, because he is really good.  After the dartboard act, he leaves me to “meditate” for 20 mins.  I try the Buddha uuummm, not working, I try to clear my mind, all I can think about is I’m full of needles.  Before I know it, those 20 minutes have flown by.  This skeptic, is now a believer of the ancient arts, and after a couple sessions was definitely on my way to healing. 

I’m just curious when I get home if I could teach the Boss Man a form of acupuncture.  It would probably include staples and a pair of wire pliers…and that my friends is “Jac’d Up.”

May 16, 2011

Playing dominoes

Filed under: Jaclyn Wilson — Jaclyn @ 11:54 am

I’m not a huge fan of dominoes, truth be told last time I played was when the Boss Man and I were in College Station for a symposium which I believe was around three years ago. Even though I don’t have much use for the game, I’m a big believer in the “domino effect.”

Case in point…..we received word a couple of weeks ago that the grade school in Lakeside was going to be closed for the following year.  I attended K-8 through those big double doors, and the thought of it closing is heart wrenching.  Attending a “one-room” schoolhouse taught me a lot.  It taught respect, hard work, dedication, and how to be an individual.   It made my educational process one that was leaps and bounds ahead of my “urban” counterparts.  Sure it didn’t have a sports program, or a state of the art auditorium, or even a lobbyist, but it did provide every necessity that a student needed to succeed.

Well evidently the School Board, located at the other end of the county decided there was not a use for a school that provides an education to not only my cousins, but the neighboring ranches and community.  People voiced concerns, which fell on deaf ears. Instead, they are willing to spend the tax money that we pay, but are not providing another reasonable option for a student to get an education.  In the city; it’s an issue if a family has to drive four miles or more for their child to get an education, but in rural Nebraska…..forty miles is not an issue (or even the 56 that I drove to attend high school).  What is wrong with this picture???

This brings me to the “domino effect.”  A lot of talk is centered around “Rural America.”  I can guarantee ”Rural America” is not going to grow and prosper, if you take away the schools.  With closing the school, it’s going to be difficult for the ranchers to find help (including the largest public land owner in the state, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints which owns a large amount of land in the district).  If ranchers can’t find help it’s going to make it easier to sell out.  If they sell, the majority of land is being bought by out-of-staters, that don’t fully understand the ecology of the Sandhills.   The land suffers, the community suffers, and before you know it, it’s just another Ghost Town that could of been great. 

I was an economics major in college, so I understand finances, but there should be exceptions especially when it is providing a topnotch education to youth that understand what hard work and respect is all about. 

Considering the closing is inevitable, I have thought about buying the soon to be vacant school house and turning it into a welding studio and a coffee shop…and that my friends is Jac’d Up.

May 2, 2011

Texting 101 ranch style

Filed under: Cattle,Jaclyn Wilson,Life — Jaclyn @ 3:30 pm

My brother and sister-in-law ventured back to the boonies this weekend to celebrate a birthday milestone for the Boss Man. Considering the last birthday milestone we welcomed the addition of the black and white Texas Longhorn trophy steer; Bond James Bond or “007″ to the family, we had our work cut out for us in terms of ideas for the gift department. Grandma of course added her two cents by saying it might be fitting to have a longhorn barbecue. I informed her that “007″ might not appreciate that idea. The debate ended when mom came up with the idea of a “smart phone.” Needless to say I jumped on board because I had heard the Boss Man comment a couple of times in just the last week how great it would be to text or find the markets and weather on his phone when he’s out feeding.

Now, every ranching family has their own form of sign language; a signal to close a gate or sort a cow a certain way or even the frantic wave when your doing something you shouldn’t of done. The Boss Man and I don’t use sign language, we grunt. Yep, dead serious, we sound like a pack of apes at the zoo. There’s no wild gestures or yelling at each other when we work cattle or are working on a job together, its more of a “Uhh uhh.” Its taken us nine years to develop this language and now this language is in jeopardy because of….. the “smart phone.”

The first day with the “smart phone” I was sitting in the dining room waiting with my mom and sister-in-law on the phone lesson to get over in the next room so I texted the Boss Man.

“We are waiting on you to play cards, are you two coming?”

My reply….a picture of the Boss Man’s foot.

Now needless to say sometimes I lack a sense of humor, and considering I was tired and had a throbbing headache from a run in with a twin (yes I got my butt kicked by a bottle calf), this was one of those times. So I replied back with a picture of the Boss Man and his feeder buried up to the axles in a mud hole. Needless to say they got the hint.

The second day with the “smart phone” I was pairing out and received a text from the Boss Man.

“The wind blew the fence charger on the pivot over yesterday, would you check it out?”

I had regained some of my sense of humor by that point and let that text slide considering the fact that the Boss Man was out feeding, and had actually drove within 20 feet of the charger himself.

Needless to say, I think we are going to have to develop a new Jaclyn/BossMan shorthand texting language. I can see it looking something like this:

Boss Man: “BTW WTH?”
Me: “Hey, what’s your problem?”
Boss Man: “I’m DUS so LOL.”
Me: “Seriously you are starting to concern me a little, do I need to call the Dr.?”

At this point the Boss Man will call and grunt through the phone.

Evidently I needed to “band, tag, weigh” the “white tag heifer’s” calf while he was “determining udder scores” so we could “load out later.”

Then the last text will come in “KISS”

Me:”Kicking into the south section?”
Boss Man: “Nope…. Keep It Simple Stupid”

And that my friends is “Jac’d Up.”

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