On the Ranch Journal
Christmas Story: Kris Kringle and a Country-Western Christmas
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE!
Just wanted to send along a tiny update to let you know that I am fine and hope you are, too! Much has happened since we last "spoke." But, rather than try to round up everything in one, big writing, I'll be catching you up on my news over the next few weeks.. I'm sitting here, now, searching over the scratchy, little notes I've kept near-at-hand...some scrawled in my little, hip pocket cow book, some on scraps of feed sacks, some on old envelop backs...just so I won't forget all the things I wanted to tell you...Some of the notes make sense...some do not...some are happy...some are sad...
Yes, it's been so long...too long...since we've last "spoken." I'm remembering getting together with good friends, who've traveled many miles to visit us...Doc Ed, whose annual sojourn we always excitedly look forward to; and Julaine, the bouncy Minnesota City Miss, who rode JJ at the end of summer; and our dear Indiana dairy farm friends, Yvonne and Louis...Good times...And I'm remembering, too...
End of August We lost a beautiful young teen with bacterial meningitis as she began her much anticipated college education. Wonderful family...tragic loss...
Saturday, September 1 After finishing our haying project, we are looking ahead at all the fall work: the fencing, cattle work, vaccinating, hay hauling, "nut gathering/storing" work...
Tuesday, September 11 The World Trade Center, many innocent lives, and in essence, America, are crushed by a terrible but cowardly, looming evil...
Thursday, September 13 Finally captured the little varmint that has been dining for six weeks at the hen house. Yes, it was the cutest, little bear cub that you've ever seen - the one from my past photo diary . (Please remind me to tell you his story sometime this winter...) I'll not be surprised, now, at anything that happens in the Daniel Valley after this "beary" exciting, unusual experience...
End of September Old Scoop, the former state
chariot race champ - the old fella that I'd fed "senior"
grain to all last winter was sent to southern Wyoming to join his
teammate, Stranger...After a short reunion, they were put to sleep
together and were buried in my sister and brother-in-law's horse arena...
Monday, October 22 Another sad day...had to ship Heidi, my sweet, old milkcow...her bag was bad and she was old...Another winter would not be kind to her...
End of October Middle School eggs didn't hatch...Hannah and Rachael want to try again...took more eggs and my own calibrated incubator to school...Students hard at work on their individual projects...Teacher evaluation team wandering about observing classroom activities...I wandered about, too...noticed the strangest peach-colored frog swimming about the confines of a large aquarium. Mrs. Ullery, the teacher, told me that the curious, little fellow is called an African Diving Frog, or properly, Xenopus laevis. His diet consists of Frog Brittle Tubifex, Floating Food Sticks, and his own ROOMMATES - sometimes one a day! I gotta say: the way he looked at me through the glass as I snapped a few pictures, led me to believe that he definitely was convinced that I, indeed, was much less intelligent and much lower on the food chain than him! Yikes!
Thursday, November 1 A wild fox was chased into my aunt's basement by the family cow dogs! She said she watched from the doorway of the basement as the dogs give chase, and to her surprise, all three made a beeline for her and right into the house they all rushed. The frantic fox was then cornered in a shower stall, the dogs were called off, and the fox narrowly escaped to safety from wince he came... Amazing! But, like I say, nothing catches me off guard anymore!?
Friday, November 9 Stub the very old barn cat bit son John on the toe...unusual behavior for this cat...drooling at the mouth...not tracking right...very distraught...hissing...spitting... Though the disease hasn't yet reached our county, we fear Rabies...can't take a chance...I cornered the poor, old, buddy barn cat, captured him, and put him in a live trap to take to our vet. They'll have to put him to sleep and send him to the state lab for brain analysis. The poor, loyal fellow; he's been here on the ranch for so many years that I hate to have his life end in such a cold, sterile situation, but we have no alternative.
November 13 Results of rabies tests on Stub...negative...must just have been old age, weather, and a flu bug...we breathe a sigh of relief...John's toe mending...Rudy tells him, "John, don't you know; this ain't no beach party! Quit wearing them damned sandals to the corral, then things like this won't happen to you!"
Mid-November Middle School eggs again fail to hatch successfully...Varying stages of fetal development occur, though. Not sure what went wrong...perhaps Nature knows best...Rachael and Hannah will work with and report the results anyhow.
Thursday, November 22 Thanksgiving Day! Snowing! Tramp is lying here at Rudy's feet and is carefully, ever so carefully, pulling snowballs from his own thick, black and white coat. He reminds me of a little kid who's building and stacking snowballs for the "bound-to-happen" neighborhood snowball fight. Every time the snow is this consistency, Tramp starts stacking snowballs on my dining room floor.
Sunday, November 25 Cold, snowy day...still another sad time, starting well before daybreak...had to load Billy the old, crippled, desert horse, and Hawkeye, a very good friend's old paint saddlehorse (the one that visited the chiropracter), into a trailer bound for horse heaven...glad the darkness hid my tears from the guys...hard to do...really hard to do a job like this...
Saturday, December 1 --'Tis a beautiful, frosty, snowbound winterland that has come to visit with us, 18 inches so far, but in all it's cold beauty, so too, comes the passing of life. Last night, Spur died. You'll remember Spur, the little Bandy rooster that ruled the hen house for the past decade-plus. He was completing the last leg of his earthly journey when I did the morning chores, so I tucked him in a soft cloth and set him gently in an unused nest where he could spend his last moments in his own way. So sad and I did cry, I admit. But this is the way it happens on a ranch. I would rather have known the little fellow and cry now, than to have never enjoyed so many smiles and laughs from all of Spur's feisty, little antics...
Tuesday, December 11 Remembered the Trade Center
Wednesday, December 12 Rudy's birthday! Sixteen below! Two new horses came to live at our house... Peppy and Outlaw... the bosses new string...
Well, enough out of me for today...Thank you for your
patience in waiting for my letter. I sincerely hope that I won't be
gone so long next time. Hope you enjoy my Christmas
story about Kris and Kora Kringle. Take care, friends, and Happy
|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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyrights: Photos and page text content copyrighted,
Cris Paravicini, 2001. No part may be reproduced without permission
of the author/photographer. Page graphics copyrighted, Pinedale Online,