Sitting in the driver seat of a tractor, warm wind blowing while the seat is bouncing up and down; that’s a great place for a young person in the middle of summer. I was 9 or 10 the first time I was allowed to run the tractor by myself, raking behind my dad, who was cutting hay in a tractor in front of me. I didn’t have a big tractor with a cab and air conditioning. No, I had no cab and it definitely wasn’t the newest tractor to choose from. It was a 1956 Massey Ferguson 35. I didn’t really even care that it was smaller or had no amenities. I was so excited to get to run this by myself that it really didn’t matter. I felt important; I was contributing.
A good friend from the Texas panhandle sent me a printed poster of a new program enacted by the Amarillo Humane Society. It is designed to encourage dog and cat owners to spay or castrate their pets.
When I was a kid growing up on the ranch, our family occasionally went on a day-long fishing trip up on the White River, some miles from Meeker. We always left the camping area early enough so that we could see the deer coming into the meadow of one of the ranches on the way home. It wasn’t that we didn’t have any deer on our Morapos ranch, but they weren’t as plentiful as they are today.
This week’s “Over a Cup of Coffee” holds a treat for readers. Mary Burnett, of Craig, a frequent contributor of recipes for this column, sent me two recipes a few days ago.
Religious schools throughout Douglas County might be unhappy with the state Supreme Court ruling knocking down the dodgy DougCo voucher plan. But, the national voucher-movement people who are pushing the lawsuit must be thrilled with the ruling against them. The way for them to win is by losing, at least in this round. Winning in Colorado would be small stakes. Winning at the U.S. Supreme Court level, which is where this case may be headed, could be transformational.
Last month, Sen. Cory Gardner and I teamed up for our inaugural Colorado Wheat Tour on Colorado’s Eastern Plains — a place Senator Gardner calls home. The tour was sponsored by the Colorado Association of Wheat Growers, and Senator Gardner’s hospitality gave us a great opportunity to meet with rural Coloradans. From the Country Steak-out in Fort Morgan to the Colorado Highland Wind Project in Fleming and the Anderson wheat farm in Haxtun, we had the chance to discuss a number of issues important to rural communities, including the Farm Bill, trade, and economic development. While we didn’t agree on every issue, the common theme we heard at each stop was how refreshing it is to see a Democrat and a Republican working together. The tour proved what people in Colorado already know, there is plenty of common ground for both parties to get things done.
As a social studies teacher at MCHS, the invariable question that always arises from students is, “Why do we have to learn this stuff? It doesn’t mean anything to my life.” Even though social studies teachers groan at this question, it is one we must try to answer for students each and every day. Some days we are successful. Some days we are not.
What a week! Obviously the Supreme Court knows how to give us all some talking points over the July 4th weekend. Skipping the obvious disagreements that people have regarding the (mostly) 5-4 decisions, we have become a nation whose identity has become sharply divided along lines of personal choice and beliefs. If our country reflects the Supreme Court (and it seems to), hot weather locally will be the least of our high-temperature discomfort. We did get a mild reprieve in the EPA decision, which instructs the agency to consider the cost of their decisions on the public they serve.
“The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus”, this week’s nonfiction book for kids, has received two awards — The Robert F. Sibert Medal and the Caldecott Honor for illustration. The intriguing book was written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet. It is published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (2014).
Baseball is creeping up to the All-Star Break already, and fantasy baseball is also finishing up its third month. It's been a rough season for my team just keeping my head above water in the middle of the pack, bouncing between sixth and seventh place. Although it's been a subpar season for my team so far, there is some hope with players like Carlos Gonzalez coming around and hitting again, Chris Davis also starting to hit some more and with the fantasy baseball MVP Paul Goldschmidt.
How active do you think you should be in the political arena? Most people think that voting every couple of years and writing a letter to their elected officials about things that concern them from time to time is enough, but is it?
A few days ago it officially — by the calendar — turned summer. Here I’ve been writing about winter and spring at Pipi’s Pasture for what seems to be a long time so now it’s summer’s turn. Here’s what I’ve noticed about early summer.
It’s hot in Sand Wash Basin this time of year. The heat brings the annoying “no see’ums” those nasty little gnats that find their way down your collar, up your pant leg and into your clothing in the most aggravating places. You don’t notice them so much at the initial onslaught, but give it a few hours. You reach to scratch and then the burning, itching and welts began to rise. I’ve found about the only thing that works has to have deet in it and then there’s no guarantee.
This week I did use the Crockpot once — to cook a piece of roast beef until it was tender. When I got home from work I made sandwiches with the beef, cheese, and sliced Jalapenos for my husband Lyle and none for me. I wrapped the buns in aluminum foil and put them in the oven until the cheese melted. This is one of our favorite sandwiches, and the leftovers can be warmed for lunch.
Politeness counts. When threatened by a cow moose with youngsters in tow, do not say “Excuse me for living Mrs. Bullwinkle.”