On the Ranch Journal
Stub & Family
|Cris Paravicini has lived and ranched
in Wyoming all of her life. These are excerpts from her diary of daily
life on the family Pearson Angus Ranch northwest of Daniel...
January 1 - Mom
Monday, January 1 Well, here we are again. A brand new
year with all good hopes of making it a grand one or at least getting another
shot at doing it right this time!
Tuesday, January 2 Had to wrangle in a first-calf heifer
from her winter pasture. She's heavy with
calf - compliments of the neighbor's bull. Normally, we're not supposed
to start calving until April 1. Hope the weather stays warm (been about
zero to five below at night), so the little rascal doesn't freeze off his
ears, tail, or feet. We're putting the young cow in a "warm" barn each
night with Heidi (the "feeling much better" milk cow) as a "babysitter."
The companionship of a veteran girl around the barnyard has a great calming
effect on nervous moms-to-be.
Wednesday, January 3 The "troops" hauled five more wagonloads of round bales from Horse Creek to the home place. Need to make a few more trips across this frozen stretch of road before it snows again and/or the wind blows the trail shut to 4x4 pickup traffic.
Thursday, January 4 Took my mom to our local clinic for a follow-up checkup. Her blood pressure is still fluctuating on the high side. More medication and twice-daily blood pressure readings are ordered.
Friday, January 5 My parents' 50th wedding anniversary! Brave folks, these stalwart couples who choose to wed in the wintertime in Sublette County! The mom and pop have lived and worked the past 48 of these wedded years right here on this very ranch. The first ten years were spent living in the old homestead cabin (still standing) that was built in the late 1800s. I even passed my first few years on earth in the old house in harmony with the mice, the sod roof, a hand water pump, and a nearby outhouse. (Please read my poem "The Golden Walk" - a tribute to my folks and all those "young" couples who have celebrated 50 years together.)
Saturday, January 6 Routine chores and a typical feeding day
- many gates, water holes, and mouths to feed.
Sunday, January 7 Nothing happening after chores and feeding,
so I let myself be talked in to (by teenagers, no less!) trying out that
crazy sport of snowboarding... Yep, it was a warm, sunny afternoon at the
White Pine ski hill - a good day to "get back to the solid feel of Mama
Earth" and at the same time amuse folks from all corners of Western Wyoming!
Monday, January 8 Found a yearling porcupine "hanging" out in
a nearby willow bush. Green bark had been nibbled and stripped from the
branches from several days worth of this little guy's feeding frenzy. Cute,
"pokey" fellow, though! And when I climbed into the willow with him, he
happily posed for some up close and personal pictures.
Tuesday, January 9 Much warmer today...Hibernating critters on the move...Tramp stumbled upon a groggy skunk under the horse trailer and insisted upon performing his "protect the ranch from intruders" duties... Sweet, sweet perfume! Won't be getting many visitors at my house for a few days...
Wednesday, January 10 After feeding, Rudy changed the filters on the ranch house furnaces and cleaned the chimneys. I cleaned the barn and hen house, then bedded fresh hay in the barn for the new calf, grained the old horse and sheep, and forked out more hay for the bull calves.
Thursday, January 11 Bull buyers arrive at 1 p.m. Sure hope they take the remaining eight calves...Bills to pay...
Friday, January 12 Took the countrified dog herd to the vet for
their annual shots and checkups. Cindi Lou was the only "kid" who cooperated.
All the others did an about-face at the clinic's front door and thusly
whipped for the car at warp speed when they smelled the medicinal atmosphere.
"Uh-uh, no way! There ain't nothing or nobody gonna make us go in that
place," they whined. "Been there. Done that. We're tellin' you; ain't no
fun! Uh-uh! We took a vote and we're goin' back home to the ranch."
Saturday, January 13 ...Bangs vaccinate the replacement heifer calves. Every female calf must be given a brucellosis (a cloven-hoofed, animal, venereal disease in which the critter will slink (abort) her fetus) shot before one-year of age (prior to a yearling or she'll have a positive titer count when tested at market time or any other time in her life). The girls are run through the chute, vaccine is administered, and a tiny tag is clamped into the left ear, together with a numbered tattoo as proof-positive of responsible livestock management; this whole process is always attended to by a licensed veterinarian.
Sunday, January 14 Son returned to the University for his last semester of chemical (with environmental emphasis) engineering college...I shall miss his smiling face and happy disposition, and how much he makes me laugh...
Monday, January 15 The new little heifer calf is doing great and growing like a weed. Good milk, warm coat, cozy bed, lots of attention! Seems a shame that I haven't named her, yet. She's spunky and alert; dainty and spry; cute as a bug and kind of shy. Yep. Almost every critter on the place gets a nametag if they hang out around the corral (and me) very long. I gotta think of a good handle for the little miss...
Tuesday, January 16 Minus 22 degrees! Where'd this come from?
Wednesday, January 17 And another slap in the face...minus 20!
Okay...but, I haven't put my heavy wraps away yet. Can't get too far from
a warm coat and gloves at any time of the year in Wyoming!
Thursday, January 18 A warm front prances into the valley and saves the day...To celebrate, I turned the hens outside the coop for a breath of fresh, balmy air beneath an ocean of brilliant, blue sky.
Friday, January 19 Heidi the old milk cow's bag is peeling, bad. A big, gross chunk of hide is sloughing off her still swollen, front, right quarter due to the high fever she had last month. Might have to pull the calf off her this spring and graft it onto a younger mom. Poor Heidi. We usually sell "cull" cows like this, but she's a friend, a pet, a family member. I just can't do that to her. Despite her udder problem, she's feeling good, licking her hair, and eating hay and grain, 24/7s. And she's still getting to bunk each frosty night with the new calf and it's mom in the protection of the cow barn...Geez, I gotta think of a name for that new calf!
Saturday, January 20 Watched some of the Presidential Inauguration activities. More than ever, I'm so thankful and sharply aware of the great importance that we've hired a compassionate, common-sense president and an awesome second in command (Vice President is from this great state!), who together understand the common ways of common-sense folks in the wonderful and diverse West. Okay...enough politics, or is it preaching?...back to more about my day job...
Sunday, January 21 Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Well,
Dorothy, that's right. You aren't in Kansas any more!
Monday, January 22 Cousin Zack dropped by to ride along with Rudy during the feeding circle to assess the merits of a round bale operation...might go that direction on his own family's ranch... Some good about it all...some not so good...but some of the drawbacks just take getting used to...trade offs and compromise in everything...
Tuesday, January 23 Took the Grandma to watch some of her favorite skaters make the ice shake, rattle, and roll at Pinedale's downtown rink. Cool evening in more ways than one!
Artwork by my sister, Mary. "Cowboy Art" will be donated to the local
high school rodeo club's fundraising auction.
Where did that story go?!? The stories from earlier front pages aren't gone. We just move them to the monthly journal pages to make room for the latest diary entries on the front page. See the Journal Index for a listing of all previous front page journal entries!
|The Pearson Angus Ranch is located approximately 2 miles
northwest of Daniel, Wyoming, and 11 miles west of Pinedale, where she
lives along with her husband, Rudy. Historic old Fort Bonneville, built
in the late 1800s, is located next to her family's ranch. Cris is a writer
and photographer for The
Sublette County Journal newspaper, where you can find more
of her accounts of life on the ranch. Cris can be reached by e-mail at:
Copyrights: Photos and page text content copyrighted,
Cris Paravicini, 2000. No part may be reproduced without permission of
the author/photographer. Page graphics copyrighted, Pinedale Online, 2000.