From the FarmWife Project: Hauling Water, Betty Shahan

Hauling water for the Shahan cows gave me a lot of joy and a lot of memories.  We had our cows on the Indian Reservation in Farmington known as NAPI.   On this project, the Indians have circles where they grow crops.  Some are potatoes. corn, pumpkins, onions, etc.  They had a well with a powerful pump on it to fill our tanks so those of us who had our cattle on those circles for the winter could haul water to them.  Many a time I got a good dousing.  It took quite awhile to fill the truck so most of the time I would read while it was filling. So if I didn’t get the pump turned off when the tank was full I got a cold shower.  There was always a big line of trucks with all kinds of tanks to fill so if you didn’t get there at daylight you spent hours waiting.  As soon as I discovered that, I got out of that bed and headed for the well. We fenced our circles with electric fence and put our drinkers out in the center so the cows didn’t have to walk so far to get water if there was a solid road in the circle  for us to drive on. Sometimes we had to put the drinkers next to the fence because there was no solid ground to drive on. The drinkers had to be lined up along the fence so you could reach them with the hose.  We started paying another fellow to haul water for us but that didn’t suit me.  It cost a lot and a good bit of the time your cows were standing in the afternoon at the drinkers waiting for the water truck.
 
When we bought the truck the fellow we bought it from took me for a drive and showed me the gears.  But it wasn’t long until I found out he didn’t tell me ALL about the truck, I mean a big truck.  One of the circles I had to haul was on the opposite side of big, long, deep draw, so it was down a steep hill to the bottom and up a steep hill to the top.  My tanker would run out the holes in the top when I went up the hill because we didn’t have caps for the holes we put the water in.  It had 3 baffles to keep the water from sloshin back and forth and jerking you so bad you couldn’t drive.  I had to fill each on of these baffles so had to take the hose out and quick fast stick it in another.  Another time to get wet!
 
So what I wanted to tell you about my water truck is this:  I had filled, was on my way to the cows on the other side of the draw.  Just before I got to the steep down hill I discovered…NO BRAKES.   Oh, Man, oh, Man.  I knew I was a goner but Praise our Lord I kept my head.  It was going over a million miles an hour.  I was looking looking for a place to take it off the road and bog it down in the sand.  And I found one and it worked and the truck stopped.  As I sat there in the cab trying to get myself back together the repair shop manager stopped on the road.  Oh how glad I was to see him.  He wanted to know, “what you doing down there”?  My answer was, ” The good Lord doesn’t want me yet so you have to put up with me longer.” So he popped the hood to see what he could see and there it was.  The brakes ran off of air and the belt was broken!!  He showed me in the cab the gauge that recorded the amount of air the brakes had.  Something the seller never told me. So there I was with an angel.  He took me to the shop and we found a belt that fit.  I didn’t have to go into Farmington to get one and then he put it on for me. 
 
Let me tell you people my eyes went from that gauge to the highway from that time on.. Also I was blessed again because the truck was able to pull the tanker out of the sand.  On the right hand side of the sand I dived into was a big huge cement  irrigation ditch.  It was empty but huge.  I mean huge.  But I was able to keep the truck in the sand,  and there was no power steering.  I just can’t say Thank You, God enough for that blessing.
 
Just one of the things that happened on the reservation.  I’ll tell you another thing in just a few days.

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Momma said…

Me and Caden with the snack-size, Farm Fun Barbie Board. Note: the size of the board and the size of the boar. And the boots. And the fact that he's wearing shorts and I'm wearing short sleeves...in Colorado...in March. Did you see the boots? You can be jealous of my style, I don't mind.

Momma said there would be days like this.

The good news is that I didn’t spill my iced tea when I fell on my face in front of Loaf n Jug today. My head didn’t bleed when I forgot just how tall the inside of the stock trailer is and the bleeding on my hand has just about stopped.

Momma should have named me Grace.

Given my cat-like relexes and unparallelled shows of athleticism today, it was a fabulous day to load hogs to go to the sale barn. When sows and boars aren’t doing their job and producing quality litters of piglets, we cull them, or send them to the sale barn. Today was the day for six of them.

I wasn’t exactly planning to load hogs today but, as often happens, I found myself in weird combinations of clothing paired with rubber boots. Today was one of those times. Luckily, my pink polka dotted rubber boots complimented the capri pants I was vaccuuming my living room in when I dropped everything to load hogs. Continue reading

From the FarmWife project, Jean Meinzer, Scrambled Mind

Today is tough. I’ve got my Bible open and I’m trying to read, but sometimes all I see are words. That’s not right. There is a meaning here. Last night, Limon police officer Jay Sheridan was killed in the line of duty. That cuts deep. First of all, things like that are not supposed to happen in Limon. They’re not supposed to happen anywhere, but it is the type of news we’d expect to hear in Detroit, Chicago, New York, and, perhaps even Denver. It shouldn’t happen in Limon. That peaceful little village was rocked by a devastating tornado years ago. They rebuilt from that and they will rebuild from this horrible tragedy. But the tragedy goes even deeper. I know the family. I know the in-laws particularly well. They have been my friends throughout life. Now what kind of words can I offer than can help in this situation? There are the cliches–“if you need anything, let us know”; “what can we do for you?”. Everyone is sincere when they say those things, but it sounds so cold. I want to be able to do something, so I am. I’m dedicating this blog to the Sheridan and Pfeiff families. Their lives must go on. They have to find a way to cope. I think of the new Rascal Flatt’s song that could easily be played on Christian stations: “I will stand by you, I will help you through, when you’ve done all you can do and you can’t cope; I will dry your eyes, I will fight your fight, I will hold you close and I won’t let go.” That sounds so much like God talking here. Yes, we can question God, we can wonder “why?” But isn’t it in these situations that God is testing us for all we have? He knows where the rapists and murderers stand, but doesn’t He want to see where we stand as Christians, to do things “For His name’s sake?” Two scripture verses jumped out at me this morning: “I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father. I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.” And the other verse: “Be still and know that I am God.” May God bless you, Tim and Penny, Heather and Firecracker, and all the rest of your family. Please know that we are here for you in whatever way you need us! We love you.

Out Here, Third Installation, Voodoo Queens

Find the second installation of this fictional short story here.

The voodoo queens nearly carried me away more than once. I fought to keep my head above swamp water but know the sting of water in my nose. When I met Grady, the ground solidified and the voices of my past had experienced their turn and were silenced. The voodoo queens want you to think you aren’t whole enough to love or be loved. They want you to think that the swampy ground is safe and they want you to think that you don’t have any more strength left in you. They drawl and want you to believe that even though you may be able to find some kind of one night reprieve from an empty bed, no one will stay past dawn. Their voices drip with chickory and sweet tea syrup but don’t be fooled into thinking they’re right. Continue reading

The MOM moments

From time to time, the RAS  moments, or when I sound like my dad, sneak up on me.

My mom, on the other hand, is stylish, is the queen of decor, and is skilled with her hands. She sews, smocks, knits…the list goes on. I often curse genetics that I missed out on RAS’ metabolism and my mom’s ability to create and organize.

My inability to be stylish aside, I did have a MOM moment the other day. I made it to town without pliers, muck boots or a visor. I had on my glasses, jeans, ballet flats and a leopard scarf. I reached to open the glass door and….Mom?! Is that you behind me…?

I spun around, a little like a crazy person, and looked for my mom. The only person there, was me, the crazy person.

I’m hoping that our similarities eclipse just the reflection in the door glass and my spelling abilities.  My mom is talented, beautiful and a pretty funny broad. She is a woman of faith and a fine Baylor grad. I’ll take a MOM moment any time.

From the FarmWife Project: Grass Fire, Rachel Vermillion

It’s dry and there’s no denying it.

Bankers out here are graying at the temples and the elevator manager can’t quite get it all to pencil. Discs are parked, hooked to fueled-up tractors, lying in wait of lightning. Cigarettes. Flat trailer tires sparking. Fools.

Guys are talking like they’ll have to sell their cows if it doesn’t do something by the end of the month. There’s no grass and even though they’ve only fed a few bales, there won’t be any more.

Sure, the wheat is drilled but it’s storing just as well in the ground as it would have in the bin. I toss my little bucket of water on the poles just to try and keep the hot wire grounded. Continue reading

From the FarmWife Project: Stuck in a Rut, Jessica Waite

I’m sure ya’ll have seen a two-year old throw a fit, now picture a 20 year old woman doing that. Make you giggle? Well this story I hope will make you smile because it has made everyone else I have told laugh bug, I didn’t think it was too funny at the time. The end of the weekend had rolled around and that only meant one thing, I had to head back to Colby for school.

All morning we drove around looking and feeding cattle like Abe and I usually do on any given morning. Noon had rolled around I was dreading leaving but I knew I had to go. Here is a little secret about me; I am a cry baby, like big time! Anyways, as I was packing my bags the dam broke loose and the river began to flow. I walked out in the living room, kissed and hugged Abraham and thought to myself “this will be the last time I see my baby for almost a month!” Drama queen, I know!! Little did I know I would be seeing him pretty quick. Continue reading