Search Results for: A Cowboy's Faith

A Cowboy’s Faith: A time for everything

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It never was that way before.”

The comment rang appropriate truth not just subject at hand but seemingly everything nowadays.

Conversation related to several dump truckloads of creek gravel in a big yard pile for spreading on the driveway.

Ruts and potholes in the barnyard entrance needed filled and smoothed again. Be interesting to know how many times that’s been done in a half century, nearly 48 years home place.

Simpler than days gone by as the ranch manager son is talented operating tractor with frontend loader leveling the roadway.

What brought the subject up was cleaning old hay out of the pole storage barn, coupled with downpours.

The barn held standing water with big ruts in front. Even deeper water bogged furrows in the lean-to where the square baler is stored. Gravel will make a base again.

Winter cow lots don’t have a bottom without gravel for solidity. However, those bovine, their calves, sometimes other cattle and horses year around leave droppings accumulating to necessitate regular cleanup.

With loader tractor and manure spreader, wastes go on nearby brome field. That again leaves low spots in the corrals and accompanying pens which must also be filled with gravel and smoothed out.

Never before, at least in lifetimes, have some seen so much rain causing such havoc in so many directions. Likewise, when Mother Nature wields additional detrimental acts hopefully one has not experienced and never does again.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Rains bring more intruders

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Ample moisture is better than a drought. Yet with continuing downpours come forever increasing problems.

Of course, flooding is the horrific detriment with such extensive physical and financial losses.

Rainfall is essential for crop production if seed gets planted, doesn’t rot or wash away, and remaining growth cycle cooperates. All things considered, water at the right time in appropriate amounts is the biggest attributing factor to yields.

Grasslands are green, lush and already stirrup high on a stocky ranch horse with promise of ample grazing and hay. Enhanced conditions for desirable plants also have intruders growing at record pace. Every kind of weed imaginable is popping up out of nowhere.

The list is extensive but most apparent in recent days has been musk thistle abundancy. Big purple blooms blowing in the wind might seem pretty to lay people not realizing detriments of the noxious weed.

Right out the office window one five-foot-tall thistle glowed in the sunlight. Fortunately, the yard keeper sprayed poison, and the “pretty flower” wilted away. However, the sticky weeds are rampant not just on agriculture ground but everywhere.

Dozens of thistles blooming brilliantly were all around the arena fence at a recent horse show on state property. Evidently, managers don’t understand thistles are weeds that government regulations prohibit to the extent of fines if not controlled.

A Cowboy’s Faith: A celebration of freedom

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Don’t blow your finger off.”

For many decades that’s been advice typically said in jive at this time of the year.

Yet it really is a legitimate concern as children and young at heart are excitedly lighting firecrackers and other fireworks.

Without exception every year there are major body injuries, even fatalities, from carelessness with the explosives.

Interesting how big a thrill so many people get from fireworks, both setting them off and watching colorful night shows.

It was exciting and profitable operating a fireworks stand six decades ago in the grocery store window corner.

That opinion has completely changed these days such that those noisy fiery pyrotechnics seem like a hazardous waste. So many dollars just go up in smoke when they could be put toward many other worthwhile endeavors.

Reason for celebration is still most important although many people don’t even realize what it’s really all about.

Yes, the Fourth of July is a federal holiday for family reunions, parades, picnics, concerts and obviously plenty of fireworks. However, it’s really Independence Day, although seldom called that anymore. The Declaration of Independence of the United States was signed on July 4, 1776, two days after voting approval.

The Continental Congress declared that the 13 American colonies were no longer subject and subordinate to the Monarch of Britain. They were now united, free and independent states.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Ample grass for hay

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Make hay when the sun shines.”

A familiar saying for generations since the beginning of time most likely, its meaning has certainly come to life again.

Fortunately with all of the overly abundant rainfall, there is hay to make this year; at least right now. That’s sharply contrasting the situation a year earlier when lack of spring rains held back tame and native grasses alike.

Short grass, whatever the variety, means short hay and inadequate feedstuffs for livestock. Insufficient hay supplies coupled with harsh wet winter again hampered cattle profitability on many ranch and farm operations.

While those combined inclement winter days stalled fertilization so critical to tame grass growth, Mother Nature lent a helping hand. Despite nutrient application much later than management desired and scientific recommendation, there appears ample brome and other domesticated spring pastures.

Problems always seem to continue in one form or another. Getting those abundant spring grass supplies wrapped up into bales or into other feed storage methods is being hampered.

One sure feels bad ever complaining about moisture, but continuing small showers will not allow grass to dry into hay. Hay process requires mowing the grass and letting it dry sufficiently to be baled for storage. Moisture must be out or the feedstuff will spoil in the bale. Not only is the feed strongly devalued but sometimes harmful to livestock that consume it. Added to the worries, spoiling damp hay can continue festering causing bales to become flames of destruction.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Outreaching helpfulness for devastated

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Mother Nature has wielded a wicked hand to agriculture and many others in the Midwest this year.”

So we are now looking back at nearly six months of abrasive conditions and in harm’s way.  Winter was “like never before,” according to some descriptions. Yet, others quickly reflected tougher cold, wet, snowy conditions. Still this recent winter had additional detrimental impaction from short feedstuffs due to the previous dry summer.

Native grasslands are likely forever scarred from continually deepened mud ruts created by ranchers moving nourishment to hungry cowherds.

Seriousness was more extreme as unceasing pour downs caused flooding of the nation’s richest cropland. Much of that will never approach quality of previous lifetime. Yet, worse is the loss of human lives, accompanied by livestock deaths, homes, buildings and equipment valued in the multi-millions.

Staggering are the acreages reported with extensive damages from earlier rainfalls fortunately prompting government financial assistance. Money is essential for livelihood but cannot replace lives, topsoil and family heritage of centuries.

Add to terribleness, rainfall has continued, with flash flooding frequent in many locales earlier not harmed. Major overflowing remains in almost daily warnings as occasional reprieves are soon replaced by worst threats.

Those missing high waters soon got humongous hail stripping trees, grassland, fences and homes. Sprouting leaf growth was gone, pastures appeared burned, and fence posts flattened. Some homes completely destroyed while others extensively, expensively damaged.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Enjoy cheeseburgers and fries

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Don’t eat bread or potatoes; they’re harmful to the health.”

Just wait a minute. The human race has lived on those two foods likely since the beginning of time.

They’ve done pretty well all things considered. History studies indicate that’s about all there was at certain times, and it sure beat going hungry.

Yet, opinionated eating hazard philosophy has been going around for some time now, too.

Just think how good a piece of bread with peanut butter and jelly tasted after school. Bread with butter and thick sugar spread on it also hit the spot. Those kids grew up just fine.

So what are people supposed to eat these days? The advice heard last week was quite contradictory to nutritionists’ information not really that long ago either.

“Eat lots of meat and it’s okay if there’s fat on it.” That’s good news for red meat producers.

Remember when fat was supposed to be bad? Well cattle and hog breeders got their livestock too lean. Not only were the animals too skinny to efficiently produce, but their meat was tough without appetizing flavor.

Fat really is an important part of meat. Now nutritionists as well as livestock growers seem to have come to senses of that fact.

Eggs have had their share of bad rap through time as well but now get praise for nutritional eating. Vegetables are perfect eating complement it’s proclaimed. “Oh corn is so good.” Nope corn is a grain; that’s bad, ugh?

A Cowboy’s Faith: Those were good times

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Everybody is so old.” “Who is that old woman over there?” “That old man looks familiar, but he’s older than he used to be.”

Well, semblances of those comments were whispered more than a couple of times. Yet, the words went through minds much more often.

“Are these really the golden years?” That was the most frequent sounded question.

Okay, it was a golden party, the 50th high school reunion. Everybody there was still alive since walking across the Ole CG High stage with a sheepskin in 1969.

Not all of the diploma recipients of graduation day for the largest class ever at that time attended. Less than 40 percent of the 100 members were there, some traveling halfway across the country.

Saddest part of the first event of the three-day celebration was that 20 classmates have gone to the great beyond. They were solemnly memorialized with inner thoughts of each as they looked 50 years ago.

Half a century is a long time, longer than some who passed lived. Yet, it was like only yesterday when memories of high school days were recalled.

Remember the twins’ car? What teacher liked certain girls only on the front row? Who was it who ran through psychology class that day? How many jumped out of the biology room window?

A Cowboy’s Faith: Day for remembering, honoring

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.It’s time to remember and honor those who’ve passed on. Memorial Day, Monday May 27, is a federal holiday in the United States.

Businesses will be closed and special events will be hosted at many cemeteries.

Yet, likely majority of the population will not visit gravesites. Even sadder they will not even give perhaps a single thought to family and friends gone to eternity.

Oh yes, it’ll be a day at the ballgame, on the lake, long awaited road venture, whatever weather logistics permit. A day without work to catch up on rest is always appreciated.

That’s not what it’s all about. Memorial Day, known as Decoration Day by forefathers recently as the 1960s, is for remembering and honoring those who’ve died.

It was originally for recognizing those who died serving in the United States Armed Forces. Now, the day is set aside to honor all those who’ve gone to the great beyond.

During cemetery visits, memories are reflected and typically flowers placed at gravesites. The practice of decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers is an ancient custom.

Soldiers’ graves were decorated in the United States before and during the Civil War. Volunteers also often place an American flag on graves of those who’ve served in the military.

It is now older generation who visit cemeteries and take part in Memorial Day programs. Millennials, those born between 1977 and 1994, sometimes follow family tradition paying respect to deceased family and friends.

“Your grandchildren will not visit cemeteries,” a good friend insisted when relating annual cemetery stops on parents’ birthdays. The thought hadn’t occurred but it’s likely a fact.

Don’t those young people have any respect for their relatives? They wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for earlier generations.

Yet, what seem important customs are definitely going wayside. Traditional funerals and burials have become less common. More than half of deaths result in cremation with that number increasing annually.

Urns of deceased are sometimes buried, but as frequent put on a display shelf or cremains spread over nature.

Too often there is no memorial or any honor of the deceased gone and forgotten forever. Even with spiritual beliefs assured, that somehow seems an eternal gloom.

Fortunately reminded of John 11:25: “Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Him may die, yet shall live.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Foggy days deserve respect

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Visibility zero.” “Visibility one-eighth mile.” “Visibility one-quarter mile.”

Any of those forecasts are time for alert. Actually best just stay home until the report changes. A quarter-of-a-mile allows some vision, but one-eighth is treacherous.

Zero visibility means there’s no way to see. Like the dark of night with cloud cover, no moon, no stars. A person can’t see anything period. It’s essential to stay off the highway for personal safety and well-being of any dumb one driving in the fog.

Needing to fill up with gas before heading to work, turned right to town, roadway ahead could hardly be seen. Not very far. By the time came out of town heading north, there was fog, but could see enough to feel safe.

Next morning, another group of cows and calves to work before grass, crew was to be ready at 8 o’clock. Barely seeing the road, arrived in ample time, but the gate couldn’t be seen let alone any cows with calves.

Starting time delayed an hour, and it was still foggy, as cowboys horseback headed east to gather the pairs. Somehow everyone was accounted for when the makeshift panel corral gate closed.

Wasn’t long before sun was shining bright, no inkling that one could barely see minutes earlier.

Whenever the fog is that bad, can’t help but remember many years ago driving to Concordia for a farm show. It was foggy for sure, but driving slow carefully, wasn’t worried about hazards.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Powers of floodwaters devastating

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It’s better to have too much rain than the opposite.”

That’s the comment heard reflecting dry conditions of a year ago compared to now.

Obviously local opinion is legitimately countered with disagreement from those suffering irreplaceable, financially devastating flood damages.

Deepest heartfelt condolences are expressed to those experiencing terribly dramatic forever life altering acts of nature.

Vastness of loss remains incomprehensible to outsiders despite vivid news coverage of extensive flooding horridness.

Worst loss is human lives taken by uncontrollable, no escaping raging high waters.

Everybody in the nearby flooding region has been lifetime diversely harmed. Farms of generations destroyed, never to be replaced. Richest soils of the world were stolen by rampant overflowing.

Entire livestock operations morbidly were taken with no reprieve despite distinct natural instinct and owner-operator management assisting tactics.

Even with government programs and broadest generous financial assistance, life as was never again, no matter how evaluated.

Money cannot buy what has been lost. No way to start over, begin again. Life goes on in an entirely different direction, never expected or imagined in the scariest dream.

No actual semblance, yet cowboys are experiencing dilemmas with local flooding now, too.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Good sides of weeds

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Favorite flowers on the ranch are dandelions.”

At least that must be the case as the entire yard has been covered with the colorful yellow blooms.

Interesting the response for roll call at a recent meeting when members were asked their favorite flower. More than half of those attending said: “dandelions.”

Evidently, everyone’s weed control methods are identical. Nothing was done and the little pretty yellow flowers thrived.

One time years gone by, a broadleaf herbicide was spread over the lawn when green started showing. Believe it or not, hardly one dandelion lived.

Even worse than the lawn flowers are the white fuzz balls replacing pretty blooms and now intensely seeding dandelions. If it’s possible, next year’s yellow flower bloom crop will likely extend the present one.

Now just wait one minute, perhaps instead of complaining entrepreneur business enterprises should be started.

It’s been contended that dandelions can be used to make wines not generally available at most places selling alcoholic beverages. Promoters proclaim the prolific yellow lawn weed is easily crafted into a “tasty true elixir of health.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Barn hole actually blessing

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Marvelous Magnificent Maggie kicked a dinner plate size hole in the steel siding of the indoor riding arena this morning.”

That note on the ranch house kitchen supper table greeted a cowboy returning from a long day at the office.

Wasn’t any use getting upset eight hours after the buckskin mare had been “making laps, bucking, running and kicking.”

Still, laughing about the rambunctiousness and damages sure wouldn’t have been the right take on the hole-in-the-barn either.

Most importantly: “Was Maggie hurt?” Apparently not, at least there weren’t any obvious cuts or lameness.

“So what caused her to get so excited? Was she scared of something?”

Perhaps, a piece of paper blew across the arena? Maybe a mouse scampered under her feet? Strong winds might have rattled the tin or the big sliding door?

A sparrow or mourning dove may have flown in close over her head or came in suddenly from her backside? Possibly one of three barn cats out hunting ran by her unexpectedly?

No logical explanation could be given.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Exceeding speed always hazardous

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Driving too fast is dangerous to all concerned.”

Preface conversation with legitimacy of thoughts having received too many “traffic citations.” Friend mentor decades ago, Warren Gilman, Chamber of Commerce leader, got “tickets” on occasion. Each one just shrugged off: “They’re manmade laws and can change upon a wisp.”

Certainly, that’s true with frequency that speed limits have gone up and down. Likewise, varying stringency, leniency, inconsistency of enforcement, such enforcers often exceed posted signs.

Still, no question, wrecks increase with heavy footed automotive driving.

Interesting though speeding on roadways was considered dangerous resulting in fines long before cars were invented.

If President Grant were alive today, he’d probably have quite a few points on his license by now.

While Grant was president in 1866, accidents forced Washington, D.C., authorities to crack down on speeders. For policeman William West, the last straw was when a woman and six-year-old child were seriously injured on West’s corner by a “driver of fast horses.”

The next day, West caught Grant’s buggy going at “a furious pace.” America’s top elected official was immediately pulled over.

“Mister President,” said West, “I want to tell you that you were violating the law by driving at reckless speed. It is endangering the lives of the people who have to cross the street.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Blaze best for grass

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“That’ll stop the smoke.”

Longtime farmer friend accessed another pour down walking out of church.

For several days, Flint Hills had been ablaze with smoke apparent in the sky every direction.

It was a haze drawing critical attention from a handful or so of large urban centers.

They were offended at the contamination and fright of hazardous damage to the environment.

Such a controversial issue has been pasture burning since beginning as necessary range management tool.

Fact is prairies were free of most intruders until ranchers started productive grazing programs.

Nature took care of itself, it’s said; lightning started fires, pastures burned, lush grass grew. Buffalo, deer, antelope, prairie chicken and creatures of the wild thrived on native rangeland.

Farmers and ranchers started planting trees of various sorts for windbreaks, home shade and landscaping.

Worthwhile endeavor until wildlife and wind were seeding trees all over the lands.

Then environmentalists encouraged various additional herbaceous plantings in attempting to slow land erosion.

“Helpful” plants soon were nature spread beyond eroding draws, washouts and steep acreage into land never intended.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Old ways still best

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Just a newspaper.”

That simple phrase brought ire from a dedicated reader when writing about checking the mailbox and finding “just a newspaper.”

“Oh Frank. How could you write it?” she questioned.

“Having spent my entire adult life in the company of print journalists, my heart sinks at the words: Just a newspaper,” the lady continued.

At first alarmed, the sting quickly left realizing that “off the cuff” comment could be taken offensively. Even more so emphatic for “a print journalist myself from time to time.”

Clarifying her point, she added, “I’ve seen your stories in other newspapers, so I know you have respect for an audience of readers.”

Guilty as charged, immediate apology was in order seeking reprieve for wrongdoing.

“Ooooops. You are right. As a lifetime dedicated writer, newspapers are always important mail. Subscribing to nearly two dozen daily, weekly and monthly print publications; it’s only disappointing when one doesn’t arrive.”

Briefly relating newspaper career spanning high school, college and 46 years professionally, apology insisted. “I’m sorry for my bad stepping across the line. In modern times, seldom does anybody edit stories. Had a smart knowledgeable person like you critiqued the piece, suggestion could have been made to change that offensive terminology. Unquestionably, there is room for improvement of most writings.”

Fortunately, the concerned reader, a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, accepted the cowboy’s penitence.

“Thank you so much for your response to my rant. My late husband had a lifelong career with The Kansas City Star and Times. Big urban newspapers have shrunk drastically in recent years, but smaller papers continue providing news that is the lifeblood of small communities.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Reaping what is sown

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Reflections of this heroine keep returning in the memory.

Farm girl, cowboy’s wife, encouraging mother, never ceasing community thinker, lifetime friend Donna Muller passed away several weeks ago.

First are ruminations of Donna wearing a summer dress appropriate for the ’50s in her lawn chair collecting rosettes.

Husband cowboy Kenny was showing home raised Quarter Horses, winning purple prizes pitched to Donna ringside at the county fair. It made a lifetime impression on a wannabe cowboy who didn’t even own a horse.

The family acquaintance went back decades earlier when Mom was Donna’s country school teacher. A prized scrapbook possession is the photograph Donna had of her and Mom on the first day of school.

She actually followed footsteps teaching country school for a while. Both sides of Donna’s family were lifetime Four Mile community farmers; always Buchman’s Grocery customers.

Fair time was a highlight for Donna since her 4-H club days. A Four Mile 4-H Club leader, helping members, Donna guided her own children Suzanne and Richard to statewide titles.

Donna’s cinnamon rolls and county commissioners’ cookie jar entries were always fair champions.

Her certain knack for helping develop project talks and demonstrations earned many youth blue ribbons. Donna was often called to judge such competitions, including FFA speech contests, many years.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Rains bring in spring

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Get ’em out of the mud.”

The statement has many connotations but been heard more and more as moisture continued coming down.

“It’s a tale of woes,” whoever’s relating their difficulty in caring for cattle in this “most unusual year,” comment added.

Certainly cattle in confinement even with highly coordinated drainage systems, there’s no relief from the mud.

Major cattle feeders report reduced gains from combination – sloppy pens, mud packed cattle backs, record cold, then too warm.

Problems expand for cow-calf operators with first calf heavy springer heifers behind the barn.

Even those with high maternal instinct can’t find a dry spot to birth. Drop the newborn in the wet mud, sometimes even a waterhole, because no alternative.

A certain mud reprieve comes when ground freezes overnight, but that’s less often, and the icy cold creates its own havoc.

Calving in grassland is generally satisfactory for mature mommas with more knowledge of caring for young, but not this year. Finding dry grass for birthing is difficult, more so with every additional sprinkle, let alone shower or downpour.

Hazards of water filled draws, fast running creeks, and ponds are always a haunt for newborns. Now, there’ve been more reports of finding babies in flooding streams, on ponds frozen tight, or stranded alive.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Go ahead do it

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Can’t is over in the ditch.”

That was first grade teacher Mrs. Gibson’s response, 62 years ago; when classmates said something couldn’t be done.

“Don’t say it can’t be done; just find another way to get accomplished what’s needed.”

That was coworker Sean Carter at the recent Farm Profit Seminar when somebody said there was no more display space.

While not always completely accurate in either scenario, both statements encourage efforts for finding solutions when quitting is easier.

Looking around the ranch front, office situations, community needs, and seemingly unconquerable projects everywhere, “can’t” is a common analysis.

An excuse of one kind or another can be determined for nearly every project that requires extra effort, coordination and cooperation.

In grade school long ago, it was easy for any kid to readily contend: “I can’t do that.” Whether printing their name, erasing the chalk board or adding one and one, the teacher proved everyone could do it.

Finding places for late arriving sponsors at last week’s seminar was as simple; crowd together, share areas, use smaller tables. Can’t was sure not the solution when all originally planned sponsorship areas were filled.

Of course, getting everything accomplished that the majority first insist can’t be done isn’t always nearly that easy. Still all things considered, generally, “where there’s a will, there’s a way,” quoting a common longtime philosophy.

That’ll require a bit of give and take from everybody involved. Certain ones are not going to get exactly their method. It must be united effort for best results.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cold night healthcare rewarded

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Could you please come help a heifer with a prolapse from birthing her calf?”
It was 2 o’clock in the morning, below freezing, winter moisture, herdsman calling the veterinarian 25 miles away.
Less than an hour, not smiling but ready for her job, the bundled-up animal health doctor arrived.
Heifer and wet but alive newborn were in protection of the barn. That is a major deal compared to the wet, cold, snowy mud dim shadowy corral.
Or, in the middle of the half section pasture miles from civilization with pickup headlights and low-battery flashlights. Through the decades there have been all of those scenarios thankfully with understanding yet inner-grudgingly cooperating veterinarians.
Such medical assistance is difficult in the best of environment softened some being inside despite tightness of confinement. Sanitation is of obvious importance with barn straw bedding considerably better than sloppy germ-ridden barnyard conditions.
Sure not knowing much about the physical aspects of it all, for the even less informed, simple explanation seems appropriate. Mr. Webster said, “Prolapse is to slip or fall out of its proper place in the body.”
What comes out must go back in, stay there, combat any infections which might arise, and heal up. The very good doctor adjusted, manipulated, pushed, medicated and got everything in place again sewed up tight.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Are medicines really needed?

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Evidently, the ranch ought to become a pharmacy. That would be a “drug store” decades gone by, but it might get wrong connotation nowadays.

Boldface headlines daily target law-breaking news about “pills” and other such consumptions, unknown to ranch life, for “recreational” purpose.

“Getting high,” it’s said, although really wouldn’t know. Horseback ride on a brisk winter morning serves that purpose here.

Perhaps, giant medicine chest would be more accurate description of the mudroom and kitchen.

Except, most of the always very high dollar “supposed preventives, treatments” recommended health improvements aren’t in a cabinet. They’re here, there, wherever, ready for immediate use upon need or suggestion.

Now, this includes both livestock and human medication, or definition derivative thereof, maybe painkiller, to use old timer’s common terminology.

It’d be hard to know which requires more medicine these days: cattle, horses, and cats, or the ranchers. Counting all of the bottles and packages, there’s actually quite a bit more for critters.

That said, neither required such health “necessities” half century ago, can’t remember hardly any. Oh, a colt might get kerosene lard if a cut swelled up, but that was it.

Grandma, when she was in her 80s, would take one of Carter’s Little Pills. Dad was on high blood pressure tablets, and took one whenever he remembered. Mom never had any medicine period until terminal diagnosis.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Dedication receives right reward

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“There were five drooling coyotes on the pond dam this morning.”

That was the son-herdsman’s report in the back door after another check on the first calf heifers in the corral.

In the frigid cold, the varmints were anxious for a warm tasty breakfast of afterbirth should a baby arrive. Obviously, they knew the flavor and somehow instinctively readily came into the barnyard in anticipation of free easy taking.

Should a calf arrive when nobody was overlooking the herd, the wild ones would all pounce for food without manners.

If new momma is attentive to her newfound duties, generally the baby wouldn’t be in initial harm. That can change if mother moves away from a cold shivering one or there is apparent newborn weakness.

Attentiveness to assist first calvers is a major ordeal, let alone worrying about hungry canines. It’s an every three hour task day and night confirming if help is required. Having gone through that dreadful ranch task, fortunately the younger stockman and his mom will still do the work.

Typically, especially in the subzero chill index, if there are telltale signs of an arrival expectant momma is moved inside. That far from eliminates problems but reduces elements harshness.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas