Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Catholic Cattle Company Day

Spring has sprung and it's time to start thinking cows. The goal this year is to get us 12 heiferettes and butcher them throughout the summer and fall. Now's the time to start gathering them but grass has a ways to go before they can go to pasture. So Gerry and Gwen Geis generously offered their corrals for a couple months while we build the herd. The first two critters came in today.  

Beneath these western skies...

George and Jeannie Etchemendy brought the two girls up from Douglas and after Mass we made the swap.

I've never had red cows before. Weighing in around 900 lbs.

Welcome home girls. 

So it begins. If you want to have a good summer you can't wait until June 21 to start planning it. Plan your work and work your plan, is what my ole man always taught me. Our plan, 12 head on grass in Hulett through the summer. Now it's time to work it. 

Circle of Life

 The spiritual life is not linear, but more circular. 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Grow Your Own

On my way back to Gillette from Cheyenne I swung through Riverton to see my ole buddy Jack Schmidt. If there's one person who can dream bigger than me it's Jack. I often joked that we shouldn't be able to hang out alone because we get too many ideas going. Well Jack isn't just a dreamer, he's a doer. And his dream of local food sustainability is becoming a reality. For the past few years he's been teaming up Central Wyoming College to offer a meat processing program for their students. Turn's out he's ahead of his time. Well done ol' son.

The plan is to build a permanent processing plant, but for now they've gone portable. 

This triple axle queen has enough stainless steel in it to satisfy any cowboy's dream. She's all set up and ready for work. And meets all USDA standards. 

Even the most hardened vegetarian isn't safe from Jack's enthusiasm for locally processed meat. 

So if you have a critter you'd like cut up, give Jack a call. He'll come to you. This here's the granddaddy of them all, a portable slaughter unit. They'll bring her right to your ranch. And once the animal is shot and bled, they'll bring it into the trailer to dress, hang, and cool in one fell swoop. This will all be done under the observant eye of a USDA inspector. 

Cutting is one thing, marketing is another. With these two bad boys they can deliver their finished product directly to the consumer. And because it's USDA inspected meat, there's no limit to the market.

I'm proud of you buddy. Keep up the Good work. Lord knows we could all learn from Jack Schmidt's ambition and optimism. What a treat for me to see such a high class operation. But the real reason I went to see Jack is to pick up this pack saddle he promised me. Thanks partner, you've got my wheels turning in more ways than one.


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

St. Patty

 Jesus likes to use average Joe's for evangelization. 

Patty Wagon

In honor of St. Patrick we celebrated Mass in Moorcroft. On the way there I stopped by Carl's Trailer Sales in Belle Fourche. Ernie had sold my old trailer so I was in the market. As providence would have it, we found just what we were looking for.  

My buddy Ryan Huxtable turned me on to Carl's and Mike got us fixed up.

06 20' Circle D. She's been used but not abused. 

After Mass we consecrated her to the Lord and to St. Patrick. 

Think we'll call her Patty. 

Pretty clean one owner I'd say. 

Now don't worry, we're not hanging up the stock racks. But with two horses and cows to put on grass we need a stock trailer. Patty's our girl. May she be an effective tool in the New Evangelization of America. 


Saturday, March 13, 2021

Riding for the Brand

We heard a 100 year snow storm was heading for the Rocky Mountain front, so the Wyoming Catholic Cowboys jumped in the bus and headed for Meadowlark to check it out. 

Ol Yeller had been sitting idle for a few years so Kurt and I spruced her up and fitted her with the Diocesan brand, the Rockin Chi Rho. 

Eight of us in all were brave enough to go.

Kurt took the wheel so we could celebrate Mass and start the day off in the right direction. 

The Sports Lure in Buffalo outfitted us with skis, boots, and helmets (for those without hard heads). 

The bus was built for adventure.

When I was a kid there was no chair lift. This is pretty slick. 

Don't look down Lungren, you might get scared. 

Collin knows this hill well so he showed us the ropes. 

Kurt's not used to unmotorized sports, but he did pretty well. 

Stu hasn't been on skis in nine years. You'd never guessed by the way he tore it up. 

Leah's determined to master skiing this year. She's well on her way. 

It was good for Jeanette to get away from the books and smell some fresh mountain air. 

Typical Jared, always showing off. 

If he wasn't such a good cook we'd leave him at home. Just jokin. Thanks ol' son.

A fun time was had by all. Poor Claire, her bum knee wouldn't allow her to ski, but she was able snow shoe and hang loose in the lodge. Without her we wouldn't have gotten this trip organized. 

My favorite dismissal at Mass is Go in peace, glorifying the Lord with your lives! That's what we did today. St. JPII, who's papal motto was Totus Tuus, which means Jesus I am totally Yours through Mary, was smiling down on us. He loved to ski. His first words to the faithful after being named pope was Be not afraid! A little snow storm doesn't scare us. Why, because Jesus is in our boat. And when we ride for His brand, life rocks!


Saturday, March 6, 2021

Round Two

Kurt and I had some redeeming to do so back up to the Big Horns we went. The snow had settled, but not the score. Dad and I had found the weak link in my sled last weekend. The aftermarket quick-drive belt was just a problem. So back to stock we went. We stayed the night at the cabin, and after celebrating Mass and soft boiling some eggs, we were off and running.

There was no problem starting the sleds as the spring sun had the snow melting even before we hit the trail.

Battle Park was our area of choice. The sticky snow made it pretty easy to go. 

Kurt shredding some white sand


I came out unscathed, but not so for Kurt. After 40+ hours on his bike this season, his drive chain finally gave out as he kissed a rock.

Getting him up out of the creek was interesting. But after we figured it out, the ride home was a walk in the park.

Well, success! To celebrate Kandis and Jim Ford treated me to some fish, raw fish! Jim coached me through my first go with sushi. Not bad ol' son, but I'm looking forward to Easter. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Spring Fever

It's starting to warm up and I'm getting spring fever. Chief and Mollie are eager to get to work as well. We're grateful to Colleen Chauk for allowing us to set up camp on her place. I think her late husband Ed would be proud.

The kids are a mess but doing great together

We cleaned up Ed's old tack shed and Starla Paschall gave us a second saddle 

Next up is fixing up the old round pen. There's much potential around here and the view is great. I love spring. Time to cowboy-up. 


Practice What You Preach

 Do my actions match my words? Good question.

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