Ranch Life

From city life to country life. Our joys, challenges and vexations. You are invited to jump in and share your experiences and offer advice with encouragement.

Location: Texas, United States

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

"It is time to get some cattle", he declared, so off to the cattle auction they went.
While he studied the auction sheet, she tried to pick the prettiest one. However, it was a cold and dreary day and the cows were covered in mud. Thus, the cute factor didn't apply for her and he was getting hungry for beef.
Auction barns almost all have a little cafeteria and each is renown for heaping plates of chicken fried steak and homemade pies. This one in Navasota was no exception. They are ranchers now, so they practiced having their main meal in the middle of the day at this cattle auction cafe. Over pie and coffee, they looked at the local "Greensheet" and saw an ad for some orphaned calves not too far from Navasota.
They called for directions and found just what they were looking for.
He loaded up a brown and white full bodied calf while she coaxed a tiny red Brahma bull into the trailer. Both calves were thin but the Brahma was all bones, hanging skin and droopy ears.
He named his bull calf "T-Bone". She named her bull calf "Cuddles".
Several months later, "Cuddles" is still a favorite for everyone who visits Burnt Biscuit Ranch.
He runs to the gate to be petted and is liberal with kisses while following her around like a puppy dog. Have you ever been licked by a cow? If not, you'll have to come to BBR for that experience. "T-Bone" is long gone. He went to the feed lot as soon as he was full grown. We have added more cows to the pasture but he refuses to let her name any of them. Why? Because "Cuddles" is here to stay - never to be eaten, never to be sold.
He is her pet bull.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Eighteen months later, there have been many changes including that addition to the house.
Initially the sounds of nature were interrupted by banging hammers, buzzing saws and loud music coming from the worker's portable radios. Ninety days and a few jangled nerves later, they had another 650 square feet to call home on the range.
Their daughter, Autumn, came to help with the move of things and animals. On advice of the stable hands where they kept their horses, they were told to keep them in their new stalls in their new barn for at least three days. What they didn't tell them: they had already been stalled at the stables for four days due to inclement weather.
Their horses are young but set in their ways. Day two of being surrounded by four new walls with sights and sounds they had yet to experience and bursting with pent-up energy, her gelding, Bullet, made the great escape as their daughter went into his stall that morning. He made the leap for freedom, flattening her against the stall wall. She recovered to run for the main gate to prevent his exploring the entire county.
Around and around he went, exploring his new world at a full gallop. On one of his trips through the barn, he was met by Autumn who had attached the cross ties to prevent him from going on through. They stared at each other, his nostrils flaring as were hers - both with determination. Autumn won. Bullet turned into his stall. She made the decision both horses could spend the rest of their adjustment period in the pasture. They did without further incident and there they remain.
However, there have been many changes to the world of horses and people since that day. She add them on, as time permits, over the next few weeks. Her goal is to continue writing their experiences as they occur which, out here at Burnt Biscuit Ranch, is almost daily.

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

With 2 horses stabled, 2 chihuahuas in our tiny patio home, we began the search for a place where we could all be together.
He said, "We can raise cattle, grow our own vegetables, ride our horses whenever we want".
She said, "I am not an outdoor girl. I like museums, eating out and Dillards."
He said he would take care of the animals and the chores.
She said she would track their bloodlines on the computer, in the comfort of air conditioning.
And so it began.
The search for our own piece of real estate in the country took months.
The first contract was cancelled when the inspector told us the termites were in occupancy, leaving very little solid wood holding up the walls and roof.
Just after Christmas, we found it!
There were pastures, arenas, a barn, a round pen and a pond. And trees!
The house was a great cedar structure with deep porches, front and back.
A stone fireplace, high ceilings and tile floors.
It was 2000 square feet with only four rooms: family kitchen and large den downstairs with two bedrooms upstairs.
He thought she would get bored with only four rooms so we left.
She went back.
He said those stairs were going to get mighty steep in a few short years.
She went back again.
He said we could add on a master suite downstairs.
And, so, we bought it.
The first night: Sleeping with the stars shining in the window instead of a street lamp!
We awoke to the sounds of a neighboring farmer's rooster crowing and cows mooing for their breakfast.
So it begins, our new life in the country.

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