Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Define cowboy

The new in style thing is to be a "cowboy". Everyone seems to have run down to the local western store and bought the most expensive pair of boots and hat they could find. Next they get to searchin on their computin machine for a horse. And we all know that the if it costs more then its obviously the best. The next thing they are gonna go hunt down is them one of those high dollar pick em up trucks accompanied by a 4 horse slant with a 16 foot short wall. And of course these new "cowboys" got to run down to the sale barn and get them some cows. They walk in with their new digs shinin in everyone's face and never seem to notice they are the only ones there wearing new anything and definitely the only one without a speck of dirt on them. They watch a few minutes to see what everyone else does and by the time they start bidding they get bid happy and outbid everyone without ever noticing that they will soon be hauling home the sale barn dreggs. They are pretty proud of themselves while everyone else snickers behind their back because if it wasn't already obvious they just proved their stupidity. I know this happens every day because my neighbor is basically my prime example of this. I would also like to point out that these "cowboys" are also the ones that bush hog everything to the ground in the middle of the summer and kill every blade of grass that was going to grow there for the next 3 months.

So this leads me to my topic today. Have you ever tried to define "cowboy"? Its pretty easy to point out things that are NOT cowboy. I do it every time my boss walks in the door. We have nick named him john wayne being fecetious about his lack of any common sense or knowledge about how to run a farm. I have asked severally people to define cowboy, I've yet to get an answer. So I turned to my good friend google. A couple things that the handy dandy google gave me were:
  • a hired hand who tends to cattle and performs other ranch type duties horseback
  • a performer who gives exhibitions of riding, roping, or bulldogging
  • a person who is reckless or irresponsible (especially when driving a vehicle)

The first one is basically what I would call the old school definition and truely I think that's where the spirit of real cowboys come from. They worked hard. They were honest, and they were 100 x's the people as most people I know today. This definition makes me think of my grandpa. When he was younger, and of course when his father was still alive, he worked on his father's ranch hearding cattle horse back and all the other things that come along with it. To tell you how long ago it was this was when the majority of the country was free range. Every day they were up before the break of dawn. They went out to milk the cows and saddle their horses. They would come back for a large breakfast made by grandma stewart and always consisted of eggs(from their back yard), homemade biscuits, and some sort of pork (from hogs they raised and slaughtered) and they of course drank some of the milk they just brought in from the barn. My grandpa's stories about his younger years always make me happy because I feel like I was meant to be born in that day and age.... Anyway. After breakfast they mounted up and headed out. They worked hard until mid day when grandma stewart would bring them a big lunch. And they would continue to work until almost dark and come in to do the feeding and chores. And for supper they ALWAYS had corn bread and milk. I am 100% sure that, although my grandpa would not own a horse now days, he is and always will be a cowboy and nobody could change my mind about that.

The second definition. I can kinda see that. But then again, I beg to differ. A good friend of mine is from the north. She was never near a farm, never worked in the dirt, knows nothing about cows yet she barrel races, ties goats, and ropes. I absolutely love this girl so don't take any of this wrong. But she is not a cowboy (cowgirl). She is talented yes. But if I learned to do a magic trick nobody is going to call me a magician. I go to a lot of rodeos and ropens and I see people the whole time I'm there that have never been near a cow other than throwing a rope around its neck or seeing them standing off beside the highway. I will admit, these people are usually pretty talented. But I'm not buying that they are in fact cowboys.

The third definition.... I laughed. Most people I know that I would qualify as a cowboy... fall in that category and that's about all I can say about that without telling some pretty funny stories on some people.

But I have my own definition of a cowboy. In my opinion a cowboy is someone that above all else has heart. they don't ride horses to impress other people. They ride it for the love of the life style. They know no way other than running cattle on any piece of property they own. They build fence. They teach themselves to do all their own vacinating because if you've ever owned cattle you know that if you've got to pay someone to do all that for you, then you just ruined any chance at making a profit at sale that you had. In my opinion most cowboys are always accompanied by a dog and a rifle. They probably do wear boots, hats, and buckles a lot of the time. But they do it because that's what they like, that's what is comfortable for them. And some of them probably wear shorts and t shirts at some point... they are secure enough in who they are to know that clothing is not what defines them. Its their attitude. They are honest and will do what they can to help their friends and neighbors. They are GENERALLY mild mannered, aren't bother by being a little dirty, and when they work outside they wear a long sleeved button down. That's something I'm still learning to understand. These are the people that will eventually become absorbed in their families. They might rope some for fun, and they might be completely absorbed in it. They will love to be on the road, but they will always have a home that can never be replaced. These are the kind of guys that think pretty views are: perfectly built fences, a fresh cut hay meadow, a pasture full of well built, healthy cattle, the sun setting over a piece of land they own and love. I don't think anyone can be a cowboy. I think its something you are born with in your DNA. You don't just wake up one day and run out to become a cowboy. You will be born a cowboy, you may not always live as a cowboy, but you will be a cowboy at heart. And when you come to find your place in the cowboy world you will suddenly feel at home, probably for the first time.

That's what I think a cowboy is. You are welcome to disagree, but I think you're crazy if you do.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Randomness for the day

Woke up in the middle of the night last night freezing to death. I really thought I had enough covers. 2 blankets in the middle of august? That should be enough right? Well yeah, it would be. If I had 2 covers. Come to find out Fancy wedged herself between the wall and my side of the bed on top of where my covers were hanging off the bed then proceeded to roll herself up in the covers, pulling them off the bed and off of me. I jerked, pulled, tugged, and fought with the covers to the point of waking chad up. He yells at me "what the hell are you doing?" He already thinks fancy should sleep outside. So I tell him "rearranging my covers", and lay back down... coverless and try to fall back asleep. About the time I am cold enough to go numb and start falling back asleep, chad's alarm goes off... damn it! I hate when his alarm goes off because it always winds up that he hits the snooze button for about 30 minutes and it gives me a massive headache to wake up and go to sleep off and on like that. He finally gets up and gets in the shower, I steal his covers and get my sleep back on. About 20 minutes later he wakes me up "I'm leaving" and I mumbled something that was probably supposed to sound like "ok, have a good day" and then he proceeds to harass me about if I am coming to work at ludwig this morning or not. Seriously, I am TRYING to sleep! So I get out of the bed, I'm half way ready for work and decide.... I'm not going. I'm already working 40 hours at my other job this week, my bills are actually paid, and I've worked 8 hours at ludwig this week already. How many hours will chad get this week? My money is on less than 30.... why should I go to work this morning and then go work on the farm after lunch? Not happening. So I did some stuff I needed to do around the house and made chad a big lunch. Went to the school, worked some and went to atwoods for a wheel barrow... and a snow cone. haha. Cleaned stalls for what seemed like an eternity and then clocked out to come home and fix supper then relax. Pretty standard day basically.

I was thinking today. When did manners escape society? The most simple of all table manners, wearing a cap at the dinner table, has fanished from sight. Now you have to understand, I grew up in a very chaotic life and we didn't all always sit down together, we ate whatever we could scarf down between the kitchen and the front door... that's the way it went. Some days we'd come in from haying, working cows, or picking up dead chickens and we'd be covered in shit, dirt, and sweat. We'd come in, wash our hands, and sit down at the table, filthy or not. At some point in there if you were wearing a hat or cap... it came off. I always love to see people sit down at my grandparent's dinner table with a cap on. My grandparents are the most polite, curtious people you are ever going to run across. BUT everyone draws a line somewhere and my grandpa draws his at wearing a hat at the table. There are many ways he might approach this problem. Sometimes he will simply stand up, walk over, remove your cap, and ask if your parents let you run with wild animals or if you're just a rude ass. If you know my grandpa you understand why this is so astonishing. He never says an abrupt or unkind word, unless you wear a cap to the table.... (or break my heart, that will land you at the very tip top of his shit list with the morons at AT&T). Sometimes he will stare you down until you have become noticably uncomfortable and then he will politely ask "would you like to sit here and have supper with us or do you want to head on down to the pool hall where they check your manners at the door?". If you can't figure out what you've done wrong at this point, I suggest you leave because if you sit there and say nothing and don't remove your cap things WILL get ugly. If you sit down at the dinner table wearing a hat in the presence of my grandparents there is a good chance that you and I won't have a future together. While my grandma doesn't so much like you wearing a cap to the table she has another pet peeve. One thing you don't come to the table without is a shirt! You don't have to wash your hands, take off your boots, or even wear pants necessarily... but if you show up without a shirt your ass is fixin to gain a raw spot. My grandma is from the north (providence, rhode island but raised in boston, mas.) so she doesn't have the civilized, southern confrontation techniques my grandpa uses. She will flat out tell you "there is no way you are sitting at my table without a shirt on, you are rude and inconsiderate for even sitting down here without one. Now get up, leave my table, and find a shirt or find you a drive through to visit cause you will not be eating in this house!" My grandparents are far from uppity, picky, or nagging. They posses something I think the world these days is missing, good old fashioned manners. You shake someones hand when you meet them for the first time or see them out in public. You DON'T text at my grandparents table, that will land your cell phone in the dogs water bowl or possibly even a pan of still pretty hot grease on the stove top (trust me). My grandparents are the only reason I have any sort of similance to a civilized way about myself. They pay their bills when they come in and don't buy groceries or anything else until the bills are paid, that is law at their house. I try my best to do the same but with my mom's dna in me its pretty hard for me, I don't know how she managed to leave home without basic knowledge like paying your bills on time but she did. My grandparents taught me you don't have to like anyone, but you will respect everyone. They taught me more about being a good person than anyone else in this world. I am a part of a generation that somewhere along the line decided they don't have to follow the rules or respect anyone. I'm pretty ashamed of my peers being the way they are. I think I was born a coupole hundred years too late. I know I'm not perfect, I know I do some things I shouldn't. But I'm going to try and do better. I want to be a better person, someone my grandparents can look at and say, we did good with her.

I just wish more people in this world were more worried about being good people than being the biggest partier, the laziest worker, the one with the most fancy stuff, or the one with the highest dollar clothes. I just want to be a good person.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Shopping is the devil

Yesterday we headed out to texarkana for some R&R and a little shopping. When we first got to texarkana we drove out to north forty, although it is not far from the main drag with the lovely road construction it took us approximately 20 minutes to arrive in their parking lot and read the sign posted on the door "CLOSED for vacation, will reopen August 7th". Jerks. Back to the drawing board... We head back to the theater to go ahead and buy our tickets to Despicable Me. I though it was in 3-D, wrong. So we buy tickets to this not 3-D movie. And because we can't visit texarkana without going to cold stone, i mean seriously we're on like or 10th punch card, and because its in the same parking lot as the theater we go ahead and go get our ice cream. Ice cream makes everything 100% better. We walk in and look at the flavors. I already had it on my mind that I was really wanting a "gotta have it" sized portion of amaretto mixed with marshmallow cream in a chocolate dipped waffle cone bowl but I of course was going to pick out a flavor to try first... As I'm looking for what flavor I'm going to try just for kicks and giggles I make an awful discovery! They don't even have AMARETTO! So I count to 10 breathing slowly and regroup. I can do this. I decide I'll just have marshamallow cream mixed with coffee. WHAT?!?!?! They don't have marshmallow cream? "Somebody has got to be pulling on my leg". I basically throw a fit that any 4 year old would be proud of and I call the manager an ape and tell him that cold stone has gone to pot and I hope they go out of business so someone can move in a marble slab. Chad tells me to calm down and he's sure I can find something else. Well yes, under normal cicumstances I would have been able to, but these are what flavors they offered: vanilla, chocolate, chocolate cake batter, regular cake batter, key lime, peach harvest, blueberry, cotton candy, non fat sweet cream, oreo cream filling, coffee, cheese cake and mint. (No, I didn't memorize the flavors they had... so what if I did). The cake batter flavors generally make me want to vomit because they are too sweet, the cotton candy tastes like nasty cough syrup, I don't eat ice cream with chunks of fruit involved, who goes to cold stone and orders vanilla, chocolate, or non fat? The flavors left aren't really good mixing flavors. I finally settled for coffee/cheese cake hoping it would turn out better than i expected. It didn't. Chad got a cookie minster and subbed peanut butter cup for the oreos. His was amazing but he ordered the same size as me and got half as much. So thus far every bit of "buying" we've tried to do hasn't gone our way yet. This day is off to a pretty bad start... but we're gonna make the best of it any way. So we head down to cavendars cause I'm in the market for some boots and he wants a new hat. We go in and immediately find nick, we don't shop there without him. If you go in there go find him, he will know what you're wanting before you open your mouth... he's awesome. And currenty single for those of you out there looking. I tell him I'm in the market for some new boots for stompin around in, he says ok go see what you can find I'll be there in a second. I go and pick out about 6 pairs I like. None of which have a size 6. I get a little irritated. Come to think of it there were only about 2 boots in the whole store that were a size 6. JERKS! Anyway. Nick walks up and says "what have we go our eye on?" I said the front door. He encourages me not to give up and asks what the problem is. I ranted about my short chubby feet and how nobody makes shoes that fit them. He smiles and says lets go look at the kids boots since they are just for work. I'm sure my face read "you've got to be kidding me" but I figured I could at least give it a shot because he does usually know what he's talking about. He picks up a size 4 boot that looks just like my good boots only smaller and the tops are shorter (and they cost about 1/5 what mine did.) and says try this on. I did. It fit like a charm and looked good on me. I grabbed the left shoe and tried it on... it suddenly became obvious that my left foot is definitely bigger than the right. The boot wasn't even going to think about goin on my big ol foot. Crap. So I tried on every pair of shoes from a size 3 to a 5 in the kids department with no luck in finding a pair to fit me right. Back to the drawing board. Nick manages to find this god awful looking boot in the women's department and asks me just to try it on. Holy crap it fit like a charm, even if it did look like a bucket full of smashed ass holes. I was pretty impressed with his mad skills. But then we couldn't find another size 6C boot in the store. Great... he tells me to pick out a boot and he'll see if they can get it. I point out the one I had originally wanted but the smallest size they had was a 7 which would be about like me wearing skiis to work every day. They can't get it in my size. We go through this on a couple others and he can't get those in my size either. But they can get the $300 pair of high heeled, pointed toe boots in my size. Go figure, I'm not wearing those to wear. I'd break my ankle. Or I'd use them as a weapon to kick our fearless leader "John Wayne" in the junk because he is a moron and that's how I usually feel like reacting to every word that leaves his mouth. Yeah, definitely don't need the pointed toe boots. So nick sent me home bootless to look on their website at all the boots he can get in, he said pick as many of them as you want and I'll have them here friday when y'all come back through for you to try on. He's such a good guy. we leave the boot department and go to look at hats. Chad goes through the same issues with hats. 6 7/8" hats are hard to come by and any hat with a short crown instead of the new style cattleman's crown are especially hard to find and that's all he'll wear. He tries on every 6 7/8" and 7" hat they have with no luck and nick advises him to also visit the website and we'll just have a sizing session when we come through friday on our way to mena. So now we've left empty handed with unsatisfying ice cream in our stomaches. We decide we better eat so we'll have time to get to the movie and get seated. We go to Texas Roadhouse of course (by the way, someone put in a longhorn steak house next door! WTF?!?!). Its a 30 to 45 minute wait and the girl tells us its a 15 to 20 minute wait. Either way I don't think that gives us enough time so we decide to sit at the bar, walk in and there are 2 seats open. Something has finally gone my way. We sit down and look at the menu, I'm of course getting the sirloan cause they are awsome there. And while i'm looking at the sides I hear a familiar voice begin to hit on me (yes, while my boyfriend is sitting next to me) and I am scared to look but I do. I am sitting next to a bald, tattooed version of "Lt. Dan". Dear God, please make him go away before I stab him with my steak knife. Thanks. I smiled and looked back at my menu and he tells the barmaid to bring something "girlie" for the big boobed babe beside him. Chad has finally caught on to the situation and catches my arm 2 seconds before I can land my steak knife in my obnoxious neighbor's eye socket. I hollar to the barmaid that there will be no such drink for me just as a couple down the bar gets up to leave. We move down a few seats in hopes of a more peaceful meal. We get our food and its rather tastey and we're watching rally car racing on the X Games! Just so everyone knows, that's what I was born to do! And about the 3rd trial Lt. Dan catches on that I'm watching it. He starts hollaring and cheering and carrying on about what's on the tv. Seri0usly dude, did you drink a case of stupid on your way in here? Shut up! He continues on and goes from being obnoxious to be a DB, so I hollar down the bar "would you mind shutting your cake hole, I don't see anyone around here asking for a blow job so I see no need for your mouth to be flapping like that while I'm trying to enjoy my meal." He, along with everyone seated anywhere near the bar, stares blankly at me... thats where my meal became truely great because it was suddenly peaceful without his mouth flapping in the wind like a 2 dollar hookers lower lips! I was able to finish my salad, steak, baked potato and 5th glass of tea without hearing his voice again. Thank goodness cause my next step would have been throwing my glass at his big, bald, stupid head.
After supper we went to watch our movie. It was pretty good. I laughed almost til I was in tears at the "fart gun" and a couple other places... but it wasn't the "my belly hurts from laughing so much" movie I was expecting. But I'm seen it now so that makes me happy.

We got home about 10 and went to bed about 11. Fancy was still full of bottle up energy from being left home alone for practically 2 days straight and she wasn't ready for bed. She kept jumping on the bed until about 12 then she finally laid down and let us sleep but she woke chad up about 5 to go outside. I think she can stay there a while and burn up some of that energy.

Today I am going to hopefully accomplish butt loads on my trig homework and do a little house work. I have a trig test tomorrow. So not excited.