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Cowboy Gear: Wild Rag

Posted by on May 26, 2017

Bandana. Neckerchief. Wipes. Wild Rag. “It’s the man that’s the cowhand, not the outfit he wears.” The history of cowboy gear can be traced back to the Spanish Vaquero, who without question, looked very fine sitting astride a horse. The clothes they wore added much to their mystique and Hollywood contributed their own spin to the image of the American cowboy. The tools of their trade and the garb they wore had more to do with the work at hand and the tools used by a man whose days were spent under an endless blue sky. The costume of cowboys and cowgirls have adapted because it is more applicable to the work they do rather than the latest fashion trends. The wild rag is an example.   From pirates who sailed the seas, to British colonists, and even highway...

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Branding Crew Pea Salad

Posted by on May 19, 2017

It’s that time of year… Time to round up the new crop of Angus calves for branding and vaccines.  Cowboys and cowgirls are on their horses at sunrise, and the work is done by noon, way before the thermometer will reach its peak. The branding crews are quick and efficient, and the calves are returned to their momma’s side as soon as possible. No breaks until the work is done. When the Ranch Foreman says it’s time for lunch, breakfast is a distant memory, consumed before the sun had even peaked over the corral.  Everyone is well past starved.   “Grub pile; come a runnin’!” We are so fortunate at the Sanford Ranch to have capable working crews in the branding pen as well as in the cookhouse. Tavia Vinson and her sister-in-law, Belinda Sursa, have been cooking together...

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Calf on the ground!

Posted by on May 12, 2017

“Nobody ever drowned himself in sweat.”   Finally – it is spring! Birds singing, flower and garden planting, evening walks and vacation planning. If your livelihood has anything to do with a cattle ranch though, you best hold up because spring is when the real work begins. Cowmen spend all year turning pasture grasses into steaks to feed the public, and that beef has to be transported to where the meat processors and people are. The new additions to the herd have to be identified and this is done at the Spring branding. In the early days of the great cattle drives, few fences blocked the route from Texas ranches to the rail heads north. Cowboys drove herds to central locations and the trail drives consisted of thousands of head from multiple outfits. Livestock branding was the only way...

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Hey Mom, You Should Know…

Posted by on Apr 7, 2017

…I Kept the Bedspread. Remember the one that matched that wacky green carpet and odd gold walls in the new house on Cleveland Street? You laid it across your bed one day: mauve and pale pink flowers on a leafy background of green and gold along with a plaid pattern in muted shades of maroon. It matched the flooring and walls perfectly, as if the room had been decorated around that spread. After we admired it for most of one morning, I helped you roll it up and stuff it into the plastic sack. We shoved it back in the top of your closet. “I don’t want to get it dirty,” you told me. “I’ll use it someday.” That someday never came. It seems impossible that over ten years have passed without you. I still have boxes and boxes...

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Trouble in Texas: Horse Thieves

Posted by on Apr 5, 2017

A wild west adventure story, which all begins because of a missing horse. Click Here: Buy it now! Click on the BOOKS Tab at the top of the page for more details about the book. I’m releasing the first two chapters of my new book exclusively to my Email Newsletter subscribers. For most writers, creating a book can be an intensive, lengthy process and that’s just the writing part. The next step is the submission process which can be just as grueling. This is true about my book set in frontier Texas, a story that first formed in my mind in 2009. The main character came to me in a dream, in part because of a question from my then elementary aged son. He was studying westward expansion and had read a brief statement about lawmen and hanging criminals in...

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