Sunday, August 28, 2022

Hitting the Hay

You ain't no cowboy today unless you have a living quarters in your horse trailer. Fortunately, we have that one covered. Patty is a multipurpose trailer. We can haul horses, cows, sometimes both, haul hay, and even campout.


The tack room is where I lay awake all night. 


When you close the door, she's a little snug with the saddles. Even though I rarely catch a wink of sleep with my nose against the roof, it sure is fun. 


Gerry prefers the great outdoors. Being more of a mountain man, he likes nature as his bed.


Asleep on the hay. 

Just ranchin'. Keeping up with Jones' in ranch world is tough. Driving around Campbell County one can be kind of intimidated by all the fancy setups running around. No need to worry here. Our trailer is ranch ready. She can haul the load and house the cowboys. 


Receive

We have to receive without pay in order to give without pay.




Friday, August 26, 2022

Cutting Room

With 40 cows ran through the cutting room so far, we've come across some improvements that could help in the process. The main one being the floor. The aluminum tread plate was next to impossible to keep clean. So with butchering season around the corner, we took advantage of a window of opportunity to fix her up. 


There is really nothing I can think of changing that would speed up our processing. We don't have a band saw, and I really can't think of a use for one. We leave most of the carcasses in the cooler, so we can keep the cutting room as clean as possible. 


The aluminum diamond tread plate is not original to a semi reefer trailer. It was installed as part of the former owner's project. If fat or dirt would get down there, it would take a wire wheel or pressure washer to get it up. 


So we installed a subfloor. This allowed us to fasten down the tread plate better and make ready for heavy-duty kitchen vinyl. 


John Black came in to do a professional job of instillation. Thanks man. 


We also made a few minor tweaks to the room to make it more friendly. Buddy has been a nice addition. 


Come on cows. 

    I'm excited to spend the fall and winter evenings cutting fine beef to feed fine people. The beauty of the amendment to the Food Freedom Act that we operate under, is that we do not have to be an inspected or licensed meat cutting facility. We do not sell meat, so the state does not need to be involved at all. We are not open to the public either. The meat processed and housed at Lungren Brothers Cattle Company is for share holders only. All have signed a contract with full knowledge that I am uninspected. When they come and get meat, and there is an exchange of money, it is for my labor in cutting our meat. 
    The truth is, an operation like this is self regulating. If I thought the outfit processing my food was shady, I'd stop going to them. The fact is, more and more people keep signing on and coming back. The proof is in the pudding. We try hard to provide a good product for good people. We're not out to make money, but to Feed America. 


Roundup

With the rise of fall, roundup season is starting to emerge. My cowhand is fixing to go back to Spain in a week or so, so I figured we better get the girls moving sooner rather than later. Friday was the day. The plan was to roundup our eight heifers on Raney's place east of Hulett. Move four to Joe's and bring four home. 


Dad always taught me to plan your work and work your plan. With all the steps in mind, we figured we better not burn daylight. After Mass, saddling the horses, and a Maverik Bonfire Burrito, we hit the trail. 


We eventually found the girls hiding in the trees. I kept my eyes on these red ones. They usually lead the pack.


Coming out of John's north pasture isn't easy. It wasn't last year and it wasn't again this year. But we had our gates set and were ready to ranch. The herd broke on us twice, but we rode hard and cut them off at the pass. Eventually, they got the message of who was in charge and cooperated. 


Gerry and Chief get the top-hand award today. They stayed calm and cool and even shut ole red down when she broke free. Couldn't have gotten them without you two. 


Once we got them in the front pasture, it was pretty easy duty to get them in the corral. We jumped the four lights in and hauled them to Joe's place to graze with the herefords for another couple months. The four fats, including the red devils, came home for the last time. 


Not a bad load for a little 6.0 gasser. 


Nothing better than a victory burger and beer from the Gulch. 


The girls are glad to be back home. They have plenty of Kochia to mow down. 


If we want to get 11 cows processed by the first of the year so we can go snowmobiling, we better get started. 


Good ride cowboy, good ride.

It's no fun to ranch alone. Gerry has been my right hand man and I'm not looking forward to loosing him. The fun isn't over though, but it is starting to wind down. I'm super thankful for what we accomplished today. There was a lot of highlights, but source and summit of the day was Mass. We could do nothing without Jesus in the Eucharist. On to the next one...


Thursday, August 25, 2022

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Witness

Modern man listens to witnesses before he does teachers. And he listens to teachers in so far as they are first witnesses. Paul VI



 

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Ranch Rodeo

Every once and a while, we'll get the call to do the opening prayer at a rodeo. Such was the case at the Ride a Horse, Feed a Cowboy ranch rodeo in Hulett. Whenever I do so, I like to make sure everyone knows it's Catholic. I think it was appreciated. And, thanks be to God, no one got hurt and we all had fun just like we asked for.


Burch provided the rough stock for this fund raising event. I always like to see their horses buck, they are kickers. 


I'd rather be in the bird's nest than behind the chutes these days. Still had to cowboy up though. Saying an important prayer in front of a crowd can be intimidating. 


Ranch bronc is it's own duck. You get to use your western saddle and grab ahold of something, like your rope, to help you keep a seat. 


Always good folks at the rodeo. John Raney found us and stole a beer.

Tough to beat a good local rodeo. It's small town America at it's finest. Gerry would like to give it a whirl, but he promised his mom no bronc riding. Better listen to mom, partner. 

 

Narrow Gate

Following Jesus with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength is entering through the narrow gate.




Friday, August 19, 2022

Bull Ride

With hamburger going fast at Lungren Brothers Cattle Company we decided to go looking for a bull. Just in time, Ryan and Anna Huxtable came through with a young red angus whose equipment was broke. Not wanting to waste anytime, Gerry and I saddled up and headed south to Wright.


This was a big day for Ryan. He had been working at the highway department for the past three years and decided to turn in the keys to his snow plow and ranch full-time at home. Go get em, partner.  


So we headed across the prairie in search for ole red. 


Once located, Ryan and his stallion made their presence known.


Thankfully, he didn't put up much of a fight.


Later in the day Gerry and I sent him home to the eternal pastures. 


Being a young guy he'll make some nice burger. 


Bon appetit. 

It's hard to beat fresh cow heart. What a fun day. Ranching full-time sounds pretty good sometimes. But I couldn't live without the priesthood. It's my first love. 


Sunday, August 14, 2022

Just Winchin

Back in high school, all I wanted was a winch. I'd be sitting in math class, thumbing through an Off Road magazine, daydreaming of a putting a winch on my pick up. That desire was eventually fulfilled when I moved to Montana after graduation and drove tow truck for my uncle. There, I always had two hydraulic 12k pounders right behind me. It was kind of like packing heat, you were always ready. Well, since those days I have felt a bit naked. A little under prepared, you might say. Until now.


I've had thoughts of a winch on White Horse since we built the bumper for her in 19. We put in a receiver tube thinking we could plug one in and out if need be.


Well, the day finally came when we found one. My buddy Tom from Carlile had a farm sale and was auctioning off this Ramsey 12,000lb electric winch. What I like about this style is that it is worm gear driven. They are tough, and when you let go of the button it stops, not winds down. A worm gear will also never reverse on itself. Meaning, the cable can't drive the motor. In other words, they are super secure. Tom assured me this one was ready to work. All she needed was a new cable, which we already had back home.


Plugging it in and out of the receiver tube didn't seem like a good option though. That had back breaker written all over it. So we decided to go the permanent route and mount her behind the front bumper. At this stage in the game, there is no turning back. Burn the ships boys.


There was definitely potential. The truck frame was right there along with good 3/8" plate that mounted to the bumper.


Gerry got right to work cutting some angle iron brackets.


I used the plasma cutter to rework the front cover.


Once we had her positioned, we welded her in place. 


Then installed the 125' of 3/8" wire rope.


Dad came in as our anchor man as we spooled her up for the first time.


Muy bien. 

I feel much better. Really not sure how I made it this long without a winch at hand. We are now ready for whatever comes our way. Be it a tree in the creek, a car in the ditch, or a horse that won't load in the trailer, White Horse is ready for action.


Suffering

For the sake of the joy that lie ahead of Him, Jesus endured the Cross.




Thursday, August 11, 2022

Cucumbers

One of the best homilies I have given is probably my cucumber homily. Since then I receive a plethora of cucumbers each year from mid July through August. I love cucumbers, especially straight from the garden. It reminds me of home when Mom would grow cucumbers. I'd usually go out after her and pick all the ones she missed.


Straight 8's are probably my favorite. I'm not really a pickle guy so the fresher the better.


I generally don't use salt. The rust and debris of whatever I cut last on my pocket knife add good enough seasoning. 


Delicious. Just like home.

It's usually the simple things in life that draw us closer to God. Cucumbers help keep me a kid. What's your cucumber? 


Poverty and Virginity

Chasity and poverty of spirit are two indispensable virtues in the spiritual life.



 

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Sons of Mary 2022

It is good when brothers dwell in unity. This week marked our 3rd annual priestly fraternal retreat in the Big Horns. Not all the brothers could make it, but we took what we could get. We call ourselves the Sons of Mary, taking seriously our Lord's final words to us as He hung upon the Cross: Behold your mother. Mary keeps us in the saddle of sonship. We live out of our baptismal identity as sons of the Father in order to serve well as priests of Jesus Christ. 


L to R: Fr. Clark Lenz, Fr. Hiep Nguyen, Fr. Robert Rodgers, Fr. Brian Hess, Fr. Bryce Lungren. 


My job was to make burgers on the first night. I think Bob was impressed. 


On our one full day together we took a hike looking for Hesse Peak. Do not follow where the path may lead. Go where there is no path and leave a trail.


The peak in the center was our destination. 


Our fearless leader Brian ensured us that all was safe. 


You ain't no cowboy if you hike instead of ride. Not sure Boone could have made it up here though. Beautiful.


On our way back to the cabin we swung by the James Saban lookout tower above Meadowlark Lake to eat our lunch. Cool.


Of course we had to get a little mountain surfing in on West Tensleep Lake while in the area.


We also took plenty of time to lounge.


Hiep was in charge of our main meal. With him at the helm I knew it would be good.


Sure enough.

Priestly fraternity is so necessary these days. It won't take time to find you so you have to take time to find it. Totally worth it. These men of God always inspire me to be a better priest. And more than that, to be a better son. 


Faith Is

Faith is a decision, but also a disposition.             https://youtu.be/Xv08C162FSY