Tag Archives: Hero

My Mom – My Hero

I woke up to rain this morning and not the dreaded snow I figured might be here (no branding for us today either). I can’t celebrate yet though as I’ve heard there is snow all around us so I’m sure we will see some before the day is done. Let’s just say that there will be lots of green grass around here soon and I am very thankful for that!

Today is Mother’s Day so I am going to pay tribute to my mom. I wrote an article about her a few weeks ago and I’m sharing it with you. Here goes:

Easter is now over and Mother’s Day is quickly approaching. I’ve always enjoyed this holiday of sorts as it was the perfect time to let my mom know just how much I love and admire her. Now that I’m a mother, I love the day even more. When we lived in Montana, Mother’s Day was usually spent at the horse races in Miles City. Those were such fun Sunday afternoons and I sure do miss them.

The last five years or so our branding has been held on Mother’s Day. I’m not really sure how this happened, but it did and it has stuck. On one hand a gal may be upset to have to work so hard on “her” day, but we ranch gals look at it differently. Aside from shipping our calves, branding is one of the most important days of the year on the ranch. It’s a day to appreciate the fruits of our labors over the long cold winter months. It is truly heartwarming to see all the cows and calves bunched up together. That sight is a true testament to all the winter feeding, chopping ice, checking during calving, and all the prayers we say when Mother Nature throws a fit during the spring months (calving season). It’s a time to gather with friends and neighbors, work hard to get the task completed, share a great meal, and then shoot the heck out of things. That last statement is a fun one. After our branding, we have a skeet shooting marathon. It’s a blast….literally!

My mom and I work together to accomplish many things on the ranch (branding dinner is a big one). I’ve been planning our upcoming day for the past week by ordering vaccine, taking inventory on our branding supplies, and planning our menu. As I was thinking about my mom and what role she will play this year, I remembered something that brought a smile to my face. I owe her my life on more than one occasion. No joke!

It was June 1999. I was home helping my mom and dad back on the ranch in Montana on Cherry Creek. We had gone to the Harms place to do a bunch of riding and check on the cattle. Foot rot was prevalent that year so we brought doctoring supplies in case we needed them. During our riding we came upon a cow and calf. The cow was pretty crippled up with foot rot, but we managed to trail them to a set of corrals we had there. The plan was to rope the cow, tail her down, and then give her a big dose of LA 300. It’s funny how plans sound so direct, so doable, and so easy. I can honestly say that most of the plans around here never go….as planned!

 I can’t remember now why, but my dad had to rope on the horse my mom was riding. If any of you know my mom (Lila Glade) you know that she was a top barrel racer in her day. She won the circuit in Montana and competed at the NFR in Oklahoma City in 1976. She trained many barrel horses, which is why I did so good in the barrels and poles in youth and high school rodeo. Well, my mom rode a barrel saddle. Dad often told her that she should ride a roping saddle, but that just wasn’t for her. She wasn’t a roper! So, imagine my dad climbing on her horse…..into her barrel saddle, which had no rubber on the horn. I’m not sure why we proceeded at this point, but we did. The cow was quite feverish so we knew we had to get this job done as quickly as possible….or suffer the consequences. Luckily, my dad is one heck of a roper. The first loop he threw he caught the cow by a leg. Not being faint of heart, I jumped in and began to tail the cow down. I can’t remember if I got her down or not, but I do remember that my dad started yelling to get the heck out of there. With no rubber on the saddle horn, the rope started to slip as the cow fought. He did what we could, but he couldn’t keep his dally. The cow got up and she was MAD!!! Of course, the pen we were in was a big one. I took off for the fence, but as luck would have it I had worn my slick Roper boots that day. There was a bunch of milk weed growing in the pen. As I scuffled backwards trying to get turned around to run for the fence I slipped and fell flat on my butt. I looked up just in time to see the cow charging towards me. I swear she hesitated, leaped in the air, and pounced right on me (she may have even snickered a bit). She landed hard right on my left shin and my right inner thigh. She rolled me good. I remember thinking it was the end. I was yelling and hollering and choking for air at the same time. When I came to my senses I realized I was only about 20 feet from the fence. I clamored to get up and get to safety, but just as I did here she came for round 2. Holy cow….she was within three feet of me when this bright color went flashing in front of her face. She veered off and ran to the opposite side of the pen where her calf was. I limped over to the fence and tried to catch my breath. Dad rode over to make sure I wasn’t missing a limb or bleeding internally….he said, “Yell a little and the pain will go away.” We half-laughed about what he had said. It’s something we always say when someone is hurt, but not hurt really bad at our place. My Grandpa Art was famous for saying that in all kinds of situations. It has provided comic relief at just the right moment for many years around here. As we talked about what had happened it dawned on me that the bright color I had seen wasn’t my life flashing before my eyes….it was my mom’s coat! She had bravely run up there and waved it in front of that crazy cow’s face. Imagine my surprise that my mom was secretly an amazing bull fighter! I don’t know how she got the gumption to get that close to the cow, but to this day I am ever so thankful that she did. I could have suffered some serious damage if she hadn’t intervened.

Eventually, we got the cow doctored and I managed to work the rest of the day. The next morning I woke up to a purple egg on my shin and an even uglier sight on my inner thigh. To this day, I can’t feel part of my shin. I guess that old cow got the last laugh on me in a way. Over the years, I have acquired quite a few scars and pains that I feel frequently, but each one of them has a story. Maybe that’s why we have them….so we won’t forget. I definitely will never forget that day in June and what I learned. I learned just what a mom will do for her offspring (human or otherwise). I will never forget my close call or the fact that my mom is my hero….then and today. Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and to all of the other moms out there! I hope you enjoy this special day that celebrates just how amazing we all are!

Here we are together back in 2007:

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My mom loves her horses and it shows!

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My mom has accomplished some awesome things in her life!

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She is a great mom and a wonderful grandmother too. Yep, she’s my hero….what more can I say! Love you, Mom! Happy Mother’s Day! ~Cheyenne

Hero of the day…..Tipster!!

This morning (before my coffee, mind you), Shane says, “Cheyenne, come here….you have to see this”. I become a little wary whenever I hear him say that lately (our flooded kitchen the other night springs to mind). Since he was back by my son’s room, I figured…why not. I walk back there and on the floor near my son’s Happy Toy Maker truck (I’ll go over this some other day) is a dead mouse!! A feeling of pride wells up inside me! Why, you ask? Well….we have a house cat now. He joined us a couple of months ago. Let me tell you all about Tipster.

He’s an incredibly unique cat! Here he is:  image (5)

He looks like he has Siberian Husky markings. His fur is unbelievable soft……..he loves to cuddle and lay on his back with his feet in the air. He’s a funny cat! He was given to my son by our neighbors, The Bolln’s. Traci (the daughter) had Tipster picked out to take to her house, but when Stone picked him she was gracious enough to let him bring Tipster home. Tipster came to us with a couple of his litter mates, Oreo and Mouse. From the beginning, my mom thought Tipster would make a super house cat. House cat? I didn’t want one of those at all! I’ve been through the whole litter box ordeal and I really didn’t need another job.

Stone fell in love with all of his cats, but he took a particular shine to Tipster. One day out of the blue, Stone asked if Tipster could come and live at our house. We mulled it over and decided that it might not be a bad idea to have a house cat (hence, our mouse problem). We would get set up and bring Tipster home. The only problem was that Mouse had passed away leaving Oreo alone if Tipster came to live with us. I decided that I needed to find some friends for Oreo. We have two older barn cats that we’ve had for ages, but Scotchy and Lollie detested the new recruits. I was on a mission to get a few more friends for Oreo.

I got home one night from working at the Swank Shop. I came into the house to find Shane, Stone……and Tipster!!! What?! Unfortunately, a visitor’s pickup ended Oreo’s life earlier in the day. (I no longer had to worry about finding more kittens to bring home.) Shane felt it best to bring Tipster home as he knew he probably wouldn’t make it through the night alone (we had only put them outside from the bunkhouse the previous week). I scrambled to make a makeshift litter box and rounded up some kitten food from the bunkhouse. That was the night that Tipster moved in!

I had already visited with the vet about getting Tipster neutered. I was glad I did because Tipster had squatted on my cowhide in the living room two times the first night he was in the house. I cleaned thoroughly after each incident and took him to his litter box. I’m happy to say that he never did it again. Maybe in part to getting him neutered (tom cats are bad for that).

I also broached the subject of declawing him. Yikes…..I’d never had that done to a cat before and I knew the kind of commitment we were making if we did that. Tipster’s days would be limited to our house from then on as he wouldn’t be able to defend himself. I made the commitment (knowing that I would be the litter box cleaner, cat food and water dispenser to our new cat from then on). Truly, I was doing it to save our nice leather furniture (something that I had dreamed of having most of my adult life).

So, a couple of days after moving in, Tipster went to the vet. He spent the night (declawing is pretty awful….I really didn’t know what all it entailed). Tipster also had to be opened up….not a simple neuter job due to his anatomy. We finally got Tipster home the next evening. He was pretty stiff in the front legs due to his declawing, but he healed up quickly. He was pretty lethargic for a few days, but he bounced back with vigor.

As time went by, it was apparent that Tipster is a long-term member of our family. My son loves him to death…..and Tipster absolutely loves him back! I’ve never seen a cat roll around exposing his tummy like he does.

See what I mean? image (6)

He is truly a lover and the sweetest cat ever! He loves to nap on our bed and has the funniest purr I’ve ever heard. I guess that covers Tipster coming to live with us. So, back to our find this morning.

A dead mouse is a beautiful sight! That may seem a bit callous, but if you’ve ever had a mouse problem you can relate to that statement. We live in a double-wide trailer next to a field…put your imagination to work. We have fought a mouse infestation since the beginning. Almost immediately of putting in our brand new house they showed up……very uninvited. We’ve tried everything…..poison, moth balls, dogs (that’s a good one….they would lay there and let a mouse run over their back while barely batting an eyelash), etc. I had thought about putting cats under our deck and outside of our house, but our three dogs would have likely made that a mess. We have trained them to put up with our free range chickens and our barn cats, but our youngest dog Remi (a blue heeler) always makes me worry as I’ve seen her when she thinks nobody is looking. If you know blue heelers then you know what I’m talking about! Finally, I had to just rely on the poison and moth balls as nothing else was working. Until this morning!

image (7)Here’s the mangy critter!

I posted this picture on Facebook/Instagram earlier this morning. People were commenting on the gun nearby! Haha! Yes, that’s how badly I detest mice….I’d like to shoot them all. Actually, this is one of Stone’s toy guns. It’s funny how it was left last night….with the mouse dead near it. Like I said, this was before my morning coffee! The thing that makes me shudder is that I was pretty sure we had our house sealed up so that mice weren’t getting in here anymore. Back to the drawing board on that subject I guess.

Anyway, Tipster is earning his keep and I couldn’t be more proud. Shane even remarked that he got the mouse without his front claws. Atta boy, Tipster!  One less mouse……only 983 to go….staring NOW!! 🙂 ~Cheyenne