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A Cowboy’s Faith: Pneumonia is serious illness

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Most people know the word pneumonia but do not understand how dangerous the sickness can be for animals and humans.

Pneumonia is one of the most significant diseases affecting calves causing inflammation of the lung tissue and airways. Damage may be irreversible in severe cases as it is the most common reason for death and poor performance in young cattle.

Factors that can cause calf pneumonia include the presence of bacteria and viruses, the environment, and the immune status of the animal. Symptoms of pneumonia are reduction in eating, dull demeanor, dropping of the head, increased respiratory rate, nasal discharge, cough, and raised temperature.

Strategies to reduce pneumonia should target improving cattle immunity and reducing stress, as well as treating any disease present. Fast and effective antibiotic treatment is critical for minimizing potential lung damage.

Providing treatment with long-acting antibiotics will often improve the health of a sick calf, resulting in quicker return of appetite and more rapid recovery. The lungs take 10-14 days to heal, therefore a treatment course should last this length of time, even if the animal appears clinically better after just a few days.

Health fair April 25 to focus on seniors

Hello from the Osage County Senior Center and Osage County Public Transportation.

We have some things to look forward to this month: The health fair is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 25; we will have door prizes and you do not have to be present to win. The casino trip leaves at 9 a.m. April 23, you must sign up in advance to get free play. Lunch Bunch will be going to the Hay’s House for lunch 10:30 a.m. April 26. Herms foot care will be here April 30. Don’t forget that we always have our potluck on the first Wednesday of the month at noon with a band to follow.

Mahjong is played 2:30 Tuesday afternoons; the lessons are going great. Line dance 2 p.m. every Friday. Ceramics class is $5 per class, all supplies are furnished, lots of bisque to choose from. Sewing group meets Wednesdays ; all are welcome to join. High Rollers is 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Maria from Home Town Health Care is here to call quarter bingo at 10 a.m. every Tuesday.

Shopping trips on the first and third Thursdays of the month, going to Topeka Walmart, Sam’s and Aldi’s; reservations required.

The nutrition program is collecting bottle caps from Auburn Pharmacy, which dontaes 25 cents per cap; just drop them off at the senior center.

I am open to all suggestions for activities and or outings.

Come and enjoy the fun and activities with us!

Thanks, Franny
Franny Deters, Osage County Senior Center director

For more information, contact the senior center at 785-528-1170, Osage County Public Transportation at 785-528-4906, or stop by the center at 604 Market St., Osage City, Kan.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Greener grass is possible

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

That is not true, but evidently seems so to cattle pushing under the fence for more this spring.

Heavy pressure exerted by the cattle reaching for more grass is why many fence posts slope from the pasture itself.

They go under, over, and through the fence in hopes of finding additional tender lush green grass.

Eventually the pasture will have sufficient growth to satisfy the cattle’s greedy appetites. They will graze at ease and not continually search for an extra green sprig.

Until that time, it is cattlemen’s continued battle to keep cattle in pastures, as they often push through the fence. Calves are an additional menace getting under fences to the greener other side.

Despite quality of the fence, cattlemen typically spend considerable time each spring mending fence.

It is a required effort to keep cattle in and a regular maintenance task year around. All pasture fences are typically checked regularly with a thorough going over before turning herds out for summer grazing.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Living by five P’s

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Prior planning prevents poor performance.”

It is an adage repeated in recent readings about increasing cattle operation profits, but also applies to life in general.

To produce a profitable outcome, the decisions that must be orchestrated to increase likelihood of favorable performance are demanding. It is a stringent process that mandates commitment to planning.

While most development tends to be focused on technical details, too often the human element is forgotten. With all the pieces in place and systems organized, there is a failure to provide the right training. Workers must be properly managed with enough hours in the day to get their work done in the allotted time.

Resources need to be lined up efficiently and maintained in a feasible working order. Often, a missing link in the process of setting the stage for success is assuring the people are properly rested. They must be refreshed, informed, and nourished going into demanding tasks of time and talent.

Sleep deprivation leads to mood changes, impaired judgement, ineffective mental processing, and reduced immune function. When emotions are poorly regulated and mental focus is dulled, the likelihood of accidents and mistakes increases significantly.

Recordkeeping and information-heavy processes are negatively affected when the workforce is functioning on the edge of exhaustion. Making sure that worker rotation is designed with rest periods during and following peak work sessions will have positive payoffs.

Effective training should include ongoing communication centered around well-designed processes. Training in advance of work helps to assure that people feel prepared for the demands of the task.

When employees can evaluate outcomes and adjust to workloads, they are more likely to remain more engaged and motivated. Knowing what is expected with tools and training to perform the job with sensible processes are essential to high performance.

Providing feedback and affirmation of a job well done are important in assuring that a plan is built and executed. Most essential key to productive performance is caring for the people who are expected to do the task at hand.

“Prior planning prevents poor performance.” So, plan for the future, prepare the rested, educated working team, practicing makes perfect, provide affirmation, and production will prosper.

Reminded of Proverbs 24:4: “Any enterprise built by wise planning becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts.”


Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

 

 

 


A Cowboy’s Faith: Chicken wings still fowl

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It is nothing short of amazing what the poultry industry has done to expand sales.”

Much of the population already had a fondness for chicken prepared in a variety of ways.

Then somebody somehow made one of the lowest quality chicken parts, wings, into what many consider a food delicacy.

Contrary to most, chicken prepared in any manner and all forms of eggs never appealed to one wannabe cowboy. However, growing up as Dad’s assistant in the grocery store meat department, there was lots of experience with chicken.

Fryer-chicken was always a best-selling meat product, and most housewives preferred them cut up ready to fry. A butcher’s helper was called upon to cut chickens into common dinner table parts, legs, thighs, breast, back, wings, etc. From the Arkansas poultry processing plant, giblets were bagged separately and then sold with the cut-up fryer-chicken in a tray.

Learning to cut up a chicken takes a little time but can be developed into quite a skill. It became a meat block contest to see who could cut up a fryer-chicken the fastest. A slip of the sharp butcher knife one time left a permanent left index finger scar.

While fryer-chickens were most popular, lower-priced whole hens were also sold for making soup or chicken and noodles.

Poultry products have always been marketed for considerably lower prices and been highly competitive to beef sales. Unclear about the nutritious value of fowl compared to real red meat.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Rural-oriented youth groups offer untapped opportunities

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Young people are busier than they’ve ever been since the beginning of time.”

There’s always something going on with school, athletics, work, church, parties, and the list continues. That’s all positive, enjoying life and learning about so many useful opportunities now and for years ahead.

Expressing a serious personal prejudice, a number of adolescents are missing what two major longtime rural-oriented youth groups offer. Membership has declined in 4-H (head, heart, hands, heath) and FFA (Future Farmers of America) through schools’ vocational agriculture curriculums.

Despite the vast experiences youth are already privileged with, these two groups present more unique involvements for increased life skills. While both youth groups were initially rural-oriented, that is far from all that they now have available. Membership in the organizations exceed the multiplicities of agriculture, homecare, family living, production, and trade skills. However, each of those enjoyable educational connections can be and are included in the vast privileges of both associations.

Seemingly most people, youth, and adults, have a dislike for public speaking, managing finances, and writing down thoughts. It’s an automatic turnoff for the two rural-oriented youth groups being discussed because those are their three most basic emphasis.

Young people learn to speak their thoughts and opinions in a public setting. Many adults are unable to express viewpoints due to lack of learning the basic skills.

Sad but true, many in the world don’t understand bookkeeping partially because they’re unable to add, subtract, multiply, or divide. With poor records, their income is often high, but they never have any money. They can’t keep track of what’s coming in and where it’s all going, often on the most wasteful purchases.

Senior Center Update: New buses added to public transportation fleet

Hello from the Osage County Senior Center and the Osage County Public Transportation.

We just got our new bus and a new mini van delivered, and three more mini vans are coming in the upcoming month.

We have some things to look forward to in April: Quarter bingo to benefit the CASA program at 6 p.m. April 2, with Osage County Sheriff Chris Wells being the bingo caller; the spring craft show 9 a.m.-2 p.m. April 13; and the health fair 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 25.

Please don’t forget that we always have our potluck on the first Wednesday of the month at noon with the band following.

Mahjong is 2:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoons and the lessons are going great. Line dancing is at 2 p.m. every Friday Ceramics class – first class is free then $5 per class, all supplies are furnished and we have lots of bisque for you to choose from. Sewing group meets on Wednesdays and all are welcome to join. High Rollers is 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Maria from Home Town Health Care is here to call quarter bingo at 10 a.m. every Tuesday.

Shopping trips are on the first and third Thursdays of the month, going to Topeka Walmart, Sam’s and Aldi’s. Call the transportation department to make reservations.

The Meals on Wheels program is collecting prescription bottle caps from Auburn Pharmacy, and they donate 25 cents per cap to the program; just drop them off at the senior center.

For more information, contact the senior center at 785-528-1170, Osage County Public Transportation at 785-528-4906, or stop by the center at 604 Market St., Osage City, Kan.

Come and enjoy the fun and activities with us!

Thanks, Franny
Franny Deters, Osage County Senior Center director

A Cowboy’s Faith: Bull’s job is important

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“A bull must romance successfully with a cow for a profitable cow-calf operation.”

It’s a repeat topic of discussion with important reminder recently heard several times. First, both the bull and the cow must be fertile so when mated the cow will birth a live calf. Perhaps initially verifying bull fertility is easier than confirming a cow will breed and calve.

Evidently, those cattlemen who have already tested their bulls to be used this summer are finding high infertility. Of course, causes can be many and varied. However most blame is being given to last year’s hot summer and this year’s early freezing conditions. Sometimes, a combination of both.

As with many tests, bulls that do show up infertile should be rechecked again for safety’s sake. One thing certain, if a bull doesn’t pass stringent fertility testing, he’ll most likely not get cows bred. It’s impossible to make money in a cow-calf operation without calves to sell.

Several other criteria go into successful bull-cow mating. The bull must romance the cow when her body wants him to do that. On sweltering summer days, certain bulls would rather not romance their female counterparts. They have found out it can be hard exhausting work.

Some bulls do wait until a cooler time of day. However, if a bull is never nosing around the cows, there is reason for concern.

Thanks to everyone for the great prom shop in 2024

Well that’s a “wrap” for the seventh annual Help House Prom Shop. A total of 138 dresses were given out . We would like to thank everyone who came in to shop with us this year. A huge thanks to those who help make it happen by giving so much of their time, and the effort it takes to put it together and help all of the gals find the perfect dress. We wish we could be there to see all of you on your special night.

We all wish you a magical night.

Thanks to the Crew:

  • Lee Ann Smiley
  • Corinne Dubois
  • Carol Grady
  • Donna Young
  • Connie Bonczkowski
  • Cindy Hueffmeier Ledgard for loaning us The Hideout to hold the event a couple of years and providing a space for storage.
  • Jan Henneberg Newman
  • Dannie Smiley for helping us move to our new location this year
  • Bob Grady and Carol for “building “ our awesome dressing rooms and fixing all the racks to make them taller to accommodate the long dresses. And providing a trailer for the move.

A very special thank you to the Burlingame school board and superintendent for donating the use of the space for the Prom Shop this year. It allowed us to give the appearance of a professional shop giving all that came the best experience possible.

So much fun was had by all.

Side note. Think of all the dollars saved for the dress recipients. If you were to value the average cost of a dress at $300 x 138 – that is $41,400. Some dresses had new tags with a price of $600.

Thanks again to everyone.

Raylene Quaney, Help House

A Cowboy’s Faith: Valuable calves are hard work

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Baby calves are the most valuable property in recollection of nearly seven decades in the cattle business. Prices recorded at auctions today, usually several hundred dollars, far surpass the level of half a century ago.

Heifers that calved in feedlots of yesteryear were a major detriment that managers wanted little to do with. These newborns were often available by calling the feedlots, which were anxious to get rid of them as soon as possible.

Today’s generation of calf buyers will hardly believe that feedlots sold those calves for maybe $15 or even less. While the investment was low, so was the possibility of making money with the calves. Numerous attempts at growing baby feedlot calves failed.

Stress from their birthing, lack of momma and feedlot manager attention, and time delay were immediate setbacks. They typically never got their first milk containing colostrum from their mothers. So, the generally small, thin, fragile, often shaking babies had to get the artificial colostrum from new owners. The first food was too late in most cases and did not accomplish what it was supposed to do.

Often the little calves would succumb within a few hours of arrival. If they did live with regular feedings of milk replacer from a bottle, longevity was still usually quite short.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Transitions in moving cattle

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.

Most cattlemen nowadays have large gooseneck livestock trailers they pull with a big powerful pickup.

Others even have semi-tractors to pull single, double, and sometimes triple-decker livestock trailers.

There are still a few cattlemen who have bumper hitch livestock trailers, but trucks with stock racks are almost nonexistent. Quite contrasting to decades ago hauling cattle from one place to another.

Early last century, cattle were driven from horseback or walking behind. There were a few trucks with makeshift cattle hauling racks, but not many. For long distance transportation, railroads had cattle cars, which continued with limited use into the 1950s.

Mom insisted we have hogs to help pay the bills with horse ownership. That bred Hampshire gilt called Susie Q was hauled in the back of the grocery store delivery station wagon. Notably, Susie had twins and one succumbed.

For hauling horses to the fair, floorboard stock racks were built for a trailer pulled by the grocery delivery car. Things looked up when a used pickup was purchased, and wooden stock racks were built to haul livestock.

Memorable time was purchase of a new two-horse trailer pulled by a Ford Galaxy to participate in horse shows.

Eat Well to Be Well: Boost your breakfast – sneak in more veggies to start your day

Eating more vegetables for breakfast is easier than you may think!

Are you a breakfast person? If so, I have a tip for improving your health – remember to sneak in veggies for a healthier start to your day.

I know it’s easy to stick to the usual breakfast foods like eggs, cereal, or pancakes, but adding some vegetables to the mix can be a game-changer. Not only are they packed with nutrients, but they can also add some fun and creativity to your morning meal and have a powerful influence on your health.

Vegetables’ powerful influence on our health

In a world where most of us struggle to meet our daily vegetable intake, incorporating them into breakfast can be a game-changer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a staggering 90 percent of Americans fall short of the recommended daily intake of vegetables, which should ideally be around 2 to 3 cups per day. By adding veggies to your morning meal, you’re not only boosting your nutritional intake, but also diversifying the spectrum of essential nutrients your body receives.

It’s essential to stress that consuming various vegetables, often called “eating the rainbow,” is vital as different colors signify the presence of distinct phytonutrients and antioxidant vitamins.

Research agrees that meeting the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables can significantly reduce the risk of various diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cows are having calves

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Spring calving time has arrived, and workload has sharply intensified for Flint Hills ranchers with cow-calf operations.

A cow’s gestation is the period between conception and birth. During this time, the baby grows and develops inside the mother’s womb. The cycle is around nine months, about 285 days, but it can vary depending on several factors.

Some cattle breeds take longer to have a calf, and boys are often born later than girls. Of course, inclement weather conditions can delay when smart momma cows decide to have their calf.

Research indicates that feeding cows later in the day and evening increases the number of calves born during daylight hours. It is typically easier to keep a close eye on them.

Bulls are generally turned out with cows about May 1, so some cows could have calves as early as February 1.

However, most cows don’t mate with a bull the first day due to several reasons. She might not be ready for romance yet and the bull is busy breeding other cows.

Typically, a couple bulls are with a certain number of cows to help ensure mating when the cow is ready.

Ranch managers must keep a close eye on their cows once calving season is underway. Most mature cows can take care of themselves when it’s time to calve.

However, there are instances when even the very best producer can have problems. A calf can be too large, or come backwards and require assistance. There are extreme cases when a veterinarian must be called to get a live calf.

Those cow-calf producers with lots of experience can generally tell when a cow is thinking about having her calf. He will keep a more watchful eye on her to provide help if needed.

LTE: February is for love … and discussions about healthy relationships

Dear Editor,

February. For many it’s the month of love; a remembrance and celebration of that someone special in our life. However, for the sake of our youth, perhaps we first should start discussing how we define love, respect and personal boundaries. Even better, what if February served as a yearly reminder to educate children about the dynamics of healthy relationships and how they can get help when someone is being mistreated?

The silent and unacceptable truth is one in three U.S. teens will experience some form of physical, sexual, or emotional harm in a relationship before turning 18, while one in 10 high school students have already suffered physical abuse over the past year.  In response to such alarming facts, SOS continues to initiate meaningful dialogue with local schools, and the communities we serve, to better understand the fears and challenges our constituents face. These conversations give our advocates a welcome opportunity to help teens understand the most common triggers and red flags of abusive partners, as well as how to formulate strategies to protect themselves.

Because domestic and dating behaviors are often passed down from generation to generation, impressionable youth are more likely to engage in healthy or abusive relationships based on their home life or daily environment. When there is an absence of positive influences and strong role models, the vicious cycle of interpersonal violence is far more likely to repeat.

Before the advent of smart phones and the internet, signs of personal abuse were primarily relegated to physical harm. But now in this post-tech world where social interactions are increasingly conducted over electronic devices and digital applications, traces of emotional and psychological abuse are much more prevalent, if not devastating, by giving abusers far greater access to their victims than ever before. In this light, one of the most important discussions parents can have with their children is regarding the risks of being online. Unfortunately, the generational gap in technology usage has allowed many unhealthy relationships or behaviors to remain hidden from adults.

And while these mediums can be extremely educational and beneficial to society when used properly, the digital world is also full of devious schemes, perverse material, and hateful exchanges that can wreak havoc on an adolescent’s privacy, self-esteem, and sense of well-being. The ugly side of social media can take teens down a path that leads to emotional trauma, criminal charges, and suicidal thoughts, especially when there is a lack of oversight and resources to help them navigate these numerous dangers to fully comprehend the consequences of their actions.

Even something as simple as sharing pictures, locations, and text messages with a dating partner or a group of friends can jeopardize an individual’s safety or reputation; whether unknowingly obtained by online predators, or spitefully used against them after a relationship or friendship ends. While many of these ploys and pitfalls are unlikely to cease anytime soon, together we can empower teens to make the right choices for the sake of their future.

Healthy relationships aren’t limited to being honest, trustworthy, respectful, compassionate, and fun. They’re a reflection and testament to who we are as individuals and a community as a whole.  Only by continuously having open conversations about these critical issues, our experiences and expectations, can we give our youth the best opportunity to succeed and remain safe from avoidable harm.

Here are a few more disturbing statistics* to not only remind everyone about the importance of having these critical discussions every February, but every time we’re with those we care about:

  • 80 percent of teens say they know someone who has been controlled by a partner.
  • 29 percent of teens say they have been physically abused by a partner and 54 percent report other forms of abuse.
  • Only 37 percent of parents are aware their child is being abused.
  • 27 percent of teenagers report that they have had a partner track them by using social media.

Sincerely,

Danielle Armitage
SOS Outreach Prevention Coordinator, Emporia
www.soskansas.com


*Statistics from:New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, https://opdv.ny.gov/february-teen-dating-violence-awareness-month; and Love is Respect, https://www.loveisrespect.org

Senior Center: Tax preparers coming in March; craft show and health fair in April

Hello from the Osage County Senior Center and Osage County Public Transportation.

We have some things to look forward to in the upcoming months: The AARP tax preparers will be here on Friday, March 1, 2024; please call and get on the list as it is filling up fast. Quarter bingo to benefit the CASA program will be April 2; spring craft show April 13; and the health fair April 25.

We are having classes to learn how to play bridge every Tuesday and Friday mornings at 10 – come down and check it out. Don’t forget that we always have our pot luck on the first Wednesday of the month.

Anyone interested in learning how to play Mahjong, we are playing on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30 and the lessons are going great. We are trying to learn to line dance every Friday at 2. Ceramics class is $5 per class, most supplies are furnished. High Rollers is at 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Maria from Home Town Health Care is here to call quarter bingo every Tuesday at 10 a.m.

We are going to the Pizza Ranch on Friday, Feb. 23. We are going to the casino at 9 a.m. Feb. 27; call now for your reservation.

Shopping trips are on the first and third Thursdays of the month, going to Topeka Walmart, Sam’s and Aldi’s. Call the transportation department to make reservations

Our make-n-take craft will be a rabbit to hang on a door- 2 p.m. Feb. 21; cost will be $12.

I am open to all suggestions for activities and or outings. Reminder: The senior center can be rented for events for $75 a day.

For more information, contact the Osage County Senior Center at 785-528-1170, or stop by at 604 Market St., Osage City, Kan.

Come and enjoy the fun and activities with us!

Thanks, Franny
Franny Deters, Osage County Senior Center director

A Cowboy’s Faith: Highway construction finally completed

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Is the highway open yet?”

That question has been asked and responded to dozens of times in the past several months.

“Yes.” After more than a year, the ranch front highway to cities north and south has traffic going by. Official opening was weeks ago, but painting and signage construction has continued in recent days.

While the project seemed like it would never get done, talk about the renovation has been ongoing for years. Each time a schedule was announced, another highway or bridge took priority, moving the date back.

The project was deemed necessary to make the highway safer, which included widening, straightening, and reducing blind spots. It was a two-phase effort, so detours were not as long as rebuilding 30-plus miles all at one time.

As with any construction, the “new” highway is far from perfect, but nobody has denied “much better than before.” If one accident let alone a fatality is prevented, it’s worth the cost and time-consuming hassle.

The south half of the project was the most frustrating because drivers were forced to drive on gravel. Detour signs were either nonexistent or confusing, so many commuters became lost in the countryside.

Regardless of what the destination was, it took twice as long to get there, not considering all the flat tires.

The north half of the construction required more time because a large bridge was replaced to meet railroad specifications. Additionally, straightening the highway required tearing out some pasture hills.

Large modern bulldozers and land moving equipment with knowledgeable operators made the major project possible. One wonders how the original highway construction through prairieland was even possible decades ago.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Modern machinery still better

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“The days of tossing four small square hay bales out the south hay mow door to the bunk are gone.”

Morning feeding chores would be finished by pitching two more bales down the chute to the barn manger. Sometimes a harnessed draft team was hitched to a wagon for distributing hay to other nearby pasture critters.

Those days when a family was raised on a quarter section farm have become hindsight. Now it takes big trucks and tractors to get the livestock chores done hopefully before noon.

Instead of a couple dozen head of livestock fed in the barnyard, it’s several hundred if not a thousand. They’re spread out over a section of ranchland or sometimes several miles away.

It was sorrowful for some farmers in the past century when they replaced horsepower with tractors. Several families have talked about tears shed when a farmer replaced his team with a tractor. The horses had become almost family as they were handled and used every day.

Small tractors became essential for field work and handling livestock with pickups filling in for feeding and hauling. Like all agriculture, technology changed rapidly, and bigger, more powerful equipment was deemed essential for growing enterprises.

An established routine makes choring relatively easy for the operator with livestock soon becoming accustomed to feeding time. Problems are part of farm living and equipment breakdowns are quite frequent always increasing when the weather becomes inclement.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Optimism for better days

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Cold weather rapidly multiplies problems on the ranch.

Exactly how much is too complex to figure for one who barely passed his college algebra course. But some people say it doesn’t have anything to do with algebra, rather it’s a math equation, add, subtract, multiply, divide.

Whatever, freezing temperatures day after day add up to more and more “confuedalties.” Now that isn’t a word, according to the dictionary and knowledgeable editors, but a “made-up” term Mom said frequently. As appropriate description as one can give of the turmoil everyone across the nation faced in record winter conditions.

“The water won’t run” is typically the first alarm heard, warning that pipes are frozen because of freezing temperatures. There is not adequate insulation to keep water thawed as cold air leaks through the tiniest crack.

More hay bales around the home are the first step, while heaters blow on every visible in-house water line. When water runs, it is best to leave the faucet dripping to help prevent freezing.

Electrical power is often taken for granted until there isn’t any and then it becomes very important. Hard to do much on the ranch without electricity nowadays, and it’s often difficult to restore.

Ice in ponds and creeks can be chopped to provide livestock water supply unless it’s frozen solid in shallow areas. Pumps must start and stop frequently during the cold, causing damage so eventually that water won’t run either.

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