The wind rustles my hair as I step out the door. I close my eyes and breathe in deeply. The smell of sagebrush and rain greets my nostrils. It's lovely. I smile, thinking what a contrast this is to last year.

Last year, the acrid smell of smoke greeted me when I stepped outside. I knew that fires were rampant, and the smoke irritated eyes and nose. And there was the ever-present fear of one starting close, and the fear that other fires would destroy friends' homes.

God has been good to us this year. Rain has come all summer long. It's still green outside. We were able to make hay, so our cows will have food through the winter.

And I am content.



A Trail Adventure--Runaway Calf!

I shift in the saddle on my horse, Duke. We've been gathering cows to move them to a different pasture, and it's getting hot. It hasn't been an easy trail, but not terribly hard. Many calves have been separated from their mothers, and they are trying to run back, because they think that their moms have been left behind. I know that the cows are all up in front, not left behind, but the calves don't know that.

So I am moving Duke back and forth, keeping the calves in the herd.

Suddenly a calf breaks from the herd and begins to dash straight uphill, exactly opposite from the way we are going. I groan inwardly, seeing that I am closest to it. Then I nudge Duke onward and he gallops toward the calf.

I bump and jolt in the saddle--the calf chose some rough ground to run back over, and we are navigating it at a hard gallop. After a short dash, we get around the calf and stop short, but the calf dodges, and Duke and I are chasing it again.

Hooves pound, kicking up a cloud of dust. My breath comes hard, and I know adrenaline is flooding me. Duke stops with a jerk; we have brought the calf to a standstill. Then the calf twists and is off again--running directly away from the herd.

Duke gallops hard; we make it around the calf yet again, but it dodges 'round us, and now we are on the wrong side of the calf.

I angle Duke slightly away from the calf; maybe we can head it off. After a hard gallop, we come around the calf. I hold my breath; will it dodge us yet again or turn around?

It must have given up, for it turns around and begins running just as hard back toward the herd as it had away from it. I urge Duke forward to keep up with it in case it turns back suddenly. But we reach the heard and I heave a deep sigh of relief.

I brought the calf back.


The Gift

So I thought you might like to hear one of the songs I was listening to yesterday.. so this is The Gift, sung by the Sons of the San Joaquin. =D


Cowboy Songs

Cooowboooy! Great American Cowbooy!
With a hoss and a rope and a gun he tamed the West!

Yeah, i'm listening to cowboy songs. I just love 'em! NOT country songs. COWBOY songs. The Sons of the San Joaquin are an awesome group with awesome songs!

God made Montanaaaa for the wildlaand
for the pagaaan, and the Sioux and croow
But he saved his greateeest gift for Charlieee
Sayin' "Get 'er all doown before she goooes"



Branding Time is Here Again

Cows and calves bawl.
Mud gets on our boots.
Smoke rises into the sky.
Friends laugh and chatter.
It's hot work, pushing the calves in to the chute to the branding table.
But it's fun.
And it's every year.
And we have haystacks to eat after it every year.
That's just it.



cheep cheep
the sounds
of a flock
of baby chicks
are all around me.
have you ever
a baby chick?
they are
and cute
and yellow
cute birds.
it sounds
like I
have a flock
of chicks
in my
(well I do)
cheep cheep


The 10:00 pm check

I slipped on my coat. Looking over, I smiled at Jen* and we stepped out into the night together.

She held the flashlight, and I walked behind her. The air was crisp and cool--it felt like my breath might be cloudy if I could see it.

We glanced at the cows as we walked through them on the way to the corral. Some calves startled and pranced around. They were so cute! But we walked past quickly and entered the corral.

I opened the gate with a muffled "clang" and then closed it after Jen stepped through.

Now began the harder part of our task. We were to make sure that all of the young cows were fine--not having any trouble calving or anything. We walked through the cows quietly. They were mostly lying down or eating at the hay feeder. Jen pointed the flashlight and swung it around the rest of the pen. There was one cow that looked uncertain as to whether it was beginning to calve or not, but we decided it was not.

We climbed up one of the corral fences and jumped down the other side, surprising the milk cow calf. He jumped up and ran to the other side of the pen.

We walked through into the OB barn.

Inside the OB room, we flicked on the light. Warmth surrounded us. Jen handed me the chalk and I reached up and wrote on the chalkboard.

10:00 check. All quiet. SS JS

The check had gone well indeed. And now we turned our faces back to the house. We were ready for  bed.

* name changed to protect identity
**based on a real life happening



Lovvveeelyyy weather here!!!!!!!!

Hey, this is Maya here! It's getting warm again! And that means............fort building time!
And if you think that I'm going to talk about forts...
You are completely right!

And if you wonder which fort I am going to talk about....


It's a mystery......

Ooops, I just gave it away.............

yes, you guessed it!

We had another adventure with the Mystery Fort. Yeah, that's my title for it now.

It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day yesterday, and I and Dave and Jack and Kirsten were exploring. We decided to go to the Mystery Fort.

I got behind the others (did I mention I'm short and have a hard time keeping up with tall people?) Anyway, I was behind them.

And then I saw someone watching us. This person was dressed in camouflage and was just watching us. From behind a couple of trees.

Now, if you have read many books, you know that if you see someone watching you and you don't know who they are, it's a wise idea to NOT let them know you've seen them.

And so I just ran ahead to try and catch up with the others. I hoped MP (Mystery Person) hadn't realized I had seen him. ( or her)

At the Mystery Fort, there were some changes. I didn't want to risk telling the others about MP, but I wondered if they didn't have something to do with the fort. I looked around, and saw a strange rock in the sand around the outside of the fort. I'm going to go back later and take a look by myself if possible. This is really weird.



Spring is in the Air!

Yes....can't you feel it? The sun is coming up sooner and going down later each day, the air is nippy but not horribly cold. It still freezes, but there's still this feeling that spring is just around the corner.

The baby calves are prancing around.

When the sun shines, it's warm.

The chickens are laying more eggs.

You can just smell spring on the breeze.

It's true.



a new calf

The first calf is here! That means calving season is upon us....which is a lot of work. But it's also really neat, because I love seeing the calves running and kicking up their heels. Calves are sooo cute! I don't like the other stuff all that well, (ie. getting up at 2 am to check the cows) and I don't like it when some of the calves don't make it, but it's all worth just seeing those baby calves enjoying life.



Best Valentine's Wishes from Maya

I know, it's been forever since I did a post. Sorry about that.
I'm taking time off from my busy life to wish you all....
I hope you all have a wonderful day!


lone tree

I hear the wind
it's whistling
through the branches
of the leafless trees.
the sun is shining
but it's cold
but not as cold
as when the
snow flies blowing
through the air
i see the lone tree
it stands
and waits for spring.
and i wait with it.


It's Bread-making Time!

The wheat mill whines
It's time to grind
The wheat to flour.
It's bread making time!
The flour puffs
I measure cups
And pour in oil.
It's bread making time!

The stiff dough thumps
I knead the lumps
My arms work hard.
It's bread making time!

The oven heats
It smells so sweet
Can't wait to eat!
It's bread making time!



I got tagged, twice. I think it's the same award thing...anyway, it has the same rules so I'm treating it like I got awarded the same award twice.
Thanks so much, Storyteller and Evangela!

The Rules:
1. List 11 facts about yourself
2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger who nominated you left
3. Ask 11 new questions for those you nominate
4. Choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate
5. Go to each blogger's page and let them know about the award
6. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog
7. No tag backs

My 11 facts: =D
1. I am hopefully going on a trip in July.
2. To New York.
3. The state, not the city.
4. I would hate going to the city.
5. Because I am used to wide open spaces, not places where you can't see the sky.
6. And I don't like being in a crowd.
7. I get sort of claustrophobic in a crowd.
8. And I haven't even been in a real crowd.
9. Because crowds don't exist in Wyoming.
10. Because it is the state with the fewest people living in it.
11. and I love it.

The questions from Evangela:
1. Would you rather live on a deserted island a country farm or in a busy city? That's easy, a country farm.
2. If you were to write a story what time frame would it be in? Um, the ones I have written tend to be before the twentieth century.
3. What is your favorite name and its meaning? Ooh, hard one. I don't really know.
4. Which do you like best, Skittles or M&M's? Skittles. =D
5. What person has inspired you most? Ludwig von Beethoven has inspired me in music, and a lot of different people have inspired me in other things.
6. Which person would you rather meet, Adolph Hitler or Barak Obama? I would prefer neither.
7. If you had 1000 dollars what would you do with it? Save it, and give at least a tenth part away.
8. Which is your "love language"?
      1. Physical Touch (Hug, kiss, etc.),
      2. Words of Affirmation (Words of encouragement, affection, endearment),
      3. Quality Time (Going out with that person, spending time with them)
      4. Gifts (I think this is pretty easy to understand)
      5. Acts of Service (Someone doing your chores for you, helping you with your school)
I don't know. Maybe quality time.
9. Which of the four personality types are you?
    1.Lion-Needs freedom/Craves authority, Goal setter
     2.Otter- Energizer Bunny/Entertaining
     3.Golden Retriever - More interested in relationships than goals, a good time, or tasks
     4.Beaver- Perfectionist, cautious, high standards
I would say I'm part beaver and golden retriever.
10. What number are you in your birth order? (First child, second child, third child, etc.) First child.
11. What is your favorite game? I like lots! Progressive rummy, phase 10, Apples to Apples, etc.

And here's the questions from Storyteller.
1. What do you think about the idea of Eternal Security? Where do you get your facts for that? Explain. You mean like if you can't lose your salvation? In Hebrews 6:4-6, the Bible says: It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. I think that's pretty clear.

2. What's the most annoying song put out by your favorite music artist? Well, I don't really have one. I don't really have a favorite music artist, so I don't keep track of any artist's songs well enough to know of a really annoying one.

3. What's your least favorite song? I can't think of one right now, unless The Song That Never Ends, which doesn't really count.

4. Would you rather not have to do school or keep on doing school? Explain. I like school, but I don't want to do it for the rest of my life.

5. If you had been back before the Civil War, what would you have done about slavery? Would you have joined the underground railroad? Helped slaves escape, but not with the underground railroad? Explain. I think I would have tried to help slaves escape. I'm not sure if I would have joined the underground railroad, but I don't really know.

6. Would you rather design your own blog or have somebody else design it for you? If someone else can do it better than I can, someone else. If I can do it better, myself.

7. Who would you rather be--Frodo from LOTR or C-3PO from Star Wars? Frodo.

8. Who do you like better--Aragorn from LOTR or Luke Skywalker from Star Wars? Aragorn!

9. Who do you like better--Arwen from LOTR or Princess Leia from Star Wars? Arwen. Even though she's not really a main character in the books.

10. Who do you like better--Eowyn from LOTR or Padme from Star Wars? Don't even know who Padme is, so Eowyn, by default.

11. Who (in your opinion) is the worst actor of the Pevensie children in the Narnia movies? Uhh, I cannot say I am a good opinion, but maybe the one who plays Susan?
Now here's my questions for the people I nominate with this to answer.
1. If you could go back in time, which person (except for Jesus) would you most like to meet? 'why?
2. If you could choose which time period you could be born in, which would you choose? Why?
3. Do you prefer math or language arts?
4. History or science?
5. Do you like reading mysteries or adventure books more?
6. Do you like older books or more recently published books better?
7. Do you like acting?
8. Would you rather go on a plane trip by yourself, or go on a road trip in a van with a huge family?
9. Where would you most like to go in the world? Why?
10. Are you extroverted (like to be around people all the time) or introverted (Prefer being alone or with a few close friends)?
11. Do you like to draw/do art stuff, or do musical stuff better?

Annnd, anyone who wants this can have it. My brain is exhausted from all that work!


Crazy weather on the ranch

yeah, that's what this post is about. Want to know what I mean?

Yesterday and Saturday, it was warm out. It felt like spring was on its way. And when I woke up this morning...we had three inches of snow on the ground, and more was coming down.

It's actually sort of nice that it's happening now, but hopefully it will melt before the middle of February. Because that's when we start calving, and it's not much fun to be calving in the snow. But we need the moisture. So it's nice it's snowing NOW, not later.

Sorry, this post really lives up to the name of my blog, doesn't it? =P



the whatifs

What do you do when you feel both so excited and scared?
You know, when you're finally getting to do something you've always wanted to do, but you're having second thoughts?

It's then when you start doubting if you made the right choice.

What if something terrible happens?

What if I don't like it like I thought I would?

What if the people I meet are really not very nice at all?

What if I go, but miss out on everything, for some unknown reason?

And then you have got the whatifs. Which is exactly what i just wrote down.

So you have to start thinking of the good whatifs.

What if it's better than I ever imagined?

What if adventures aren't so scary?

What if you learn a lot?

What if you meet really  nice people, even if there are some mean ones?

What if you don't do it and something terrible happens anyway?

And then there's more good whatifs than bad whatifs, so I can just tell the bad whatifs to go away.

I really did have all those, because of something happening this summer. =D


A close encounter with the chicken thief kind...

Well I have something to report today!

Jack and Matt were checking our chickens last night, and lo and behold a raccoon was in with the chickens. Now to all of you who are thinking: "How awesome!" raccoons are NOT awesome, especially if you have chickens. They eat them.

Now our chicken house is a plastic greenhouse, so it gets a bit cold in winter. Because of this, Dad built another, smaller house in it. Well, when Jack and Matt looked in the chicken house, they could tell something was going on. The coon was jumping all around, and Matt ran up and poked it with a stick. That just riled up the coon more, and it about jumped on Matt's head! It ran up the wall and punched through the inner wall of the plastic and ran out the door.

It hasn't come back.


a poem

When life is tough
and days are dry
the wind blows cold
the rain won't try
you see the dust
and no more grass
and no more hay
a sky like glass
it's hard to trust
easy to fear
what will you do
this coming year
ranch life is tough
sometimes it's true
but God is enough
He'll see you through
remember this
as drought goes on
and trust him always
His love goes on.

Just some thoughts.


just some ramblings from Maya

It's freezing cold here. Colder, actually. And here I am, nice and cozy with the computer in front of me.

But that's just a side note.

We have been investigating more about that really mysterious fort.

There have been no changes.

I'm assuming that's because it's too cold for anyone to be playing outside for very long.

Which means that probably the fort will not be worked on until it gets closer to spring.

Oh! I forgot to tell you before, but I am now a driver-in-training.

It's awesome.



Have you ever seen a bank of clouds advancing like an unstoppable army? Or a whirlwind form above you, the precursur to a tornado? Or a thunderstorm barge its way above you? The mighty power of God is revealed in His Creation.



To Enter Storyteller's Design Contest.

I hope you like it Storyteller!


more from Maya Mitchell

Aannnd it has been forever since I posted. Sorry 'bout that.

I just had this really funny thing happen, and I wanted to tell you about it. So a lot of people here went to Casper, but those of us who stayed home,(Dave, Kirsten, Jack, Michelle and me) were staying with this wonderful lady we call Miss Nellie. She's in her seventies, but she's nowhere near old.

It was getting late, and we were all getting a bit hyper, and we started playing card games. We were playing Skip-Bo>>, and it was getting a bit slow. Kirsten got out some regular playing cards<<,  and was fiddling with them while she waited for her turn to play. All of a sudden Dave said, "hey, let's play progressive rummy at the same time!" So we were playing two games at the same time. It was sooo confusing, but fun too. You ought to try it sometime! =D



I have a lot to catch up on, don't I? I mean, it's not like I usually just disappear for more than two weeks.

Well, first I was sick. =P

And then I was just so extremely busy that I was unable to access the computer. You know, Christmasy stuff.

So here is my official apology.

I am sorry that I have not posted for a loooong time. I hope you will forgive me. I will try to do better in future.

p.s. Happy New Year!