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December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

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May the peace and purity of a cold Nevada morning be with you today and throughout the year. Merry Christmas from the Vineyard Bunch

December 15, 2006

Bringing Them Home

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Since September we have been shipping cattle, yearling steers and heifers that were either sold over the video auction or are being sent to the local sale yard. If not working yearlings, we have been gathering up the cowherd. Most wander home on their own but there are always those that prefer to stay out. They are the valuable ones, but we have to locate them and give them a push home with horse and dog.

October and November were busy with cattle work. Sorting the cows, pulling the old or cull cows that didn’t raise a calf, had health problems or udder problems. NO pun intended. The cows get sorted into
age groups, and processed through the chute to take care of any health related problems; at the same time we immunize this years calves. There is more sorting, splitting the cows and calves to wean, all resulting in sore shoulders from chute work, muddy cold feet and wet gloves. All this is in preparation to hunker down for winter and feed hay every day.

Today though is a reprieve from the weather and the work. It is a beautiful clear warm winter day. To take advantage of the weather we went after a group of colts that were up country and needed to come home. We still have a horse permit which allows us to run a portion of our horses out on the BLM.

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After the colts were run in to the Dry Creek corral, I decided to stay and wait while Steve and Sam hauled the saddle horses home and came back for the load of colts. After protests of “What if,” I convinced them I would not freeze to death or fall prey to a mountain lion. What they didn’t know is that I had a thermos of coffee and a few goodies packed with my camera and notebook. What a great day to be away and by my self, away from phone, computer, balance sheet, and cook stove.

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Either curious or hungry, just like a bunch of teenage boys.

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The last few years have been pretty chaotic. Our son Nate was in Iraq for a year, shortly after his return to the states, my mother had a debilitating stroke and after a solid year of traveling through hospitals, rehab facilities and nursing homes our youngest son graduated from high school and we moved home to the ranch full time, selling the house in town. This was followed by another year with more time spent away from the ranch negotiating the labyrinth of the Medicare system and trying to make things as good as they could be.

It hasn’t been until this fall that I’ve felt a settling down and an awareness that the pace has slackened. Instead of a full-extended trot out in the morning because I know there won’t be enough daylight, it is beginning to feel more like a Western Pleasure shuffle, slow, head down, the sl-o-o-o-w trot.

My husband Steve has been generous and intuitive about this. After summer cooking, he took over preparing breakfast at the cookhouse. Steve, Sam our son, and Dan, one of the ranch hands, take turns with the cooking. This seems like quite a miracle and how liberating for them, or so I encourage.

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Looking east down the Dry Creek drainage.


So today is a good day to be out by myself enjoying my coffee, camped under the loading chute in the December sun. I do hope they come back for me; it will be getting cold here in awhile at this altitude. Oh, they wouldn’t leave the horses without hay and water and only a snow-drunk fence leaning at a compromising angle to keep them corraled.

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These posts are as solid as the day they were set despite the snow.

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Ready to go home

December 12, 2006

WiLD--Women in Livestock Developement

Happy Holidays;

In this land of plenty and privledge I've pledged to help Heifer International plant the seeds of peace. I chose a high goal by choosing to dedicate my efforts to project WiLD. WiLD recognizes that women make up 70% of the world's poor, produce 80% of the developing world's food yet own less than 1% of the earth's land.

Heifer International's project WiLD understands that rural women are often overlooked by government programs and educational opportunities and face a cycle of poverty, hunger and despair. In a world where many women feel powerless we rural and urban alike have the power through a simple gift to change the lives of others. By focusing on women we help struggling families and communities.

Please join me this holiday season and together we can make a difference in the lives of families around the globe.






December 3, 2006

Remembering Autumn

Usually fall is my favorite time of year in Nevada. Usually, Nevada’s autumn makes up for the very rare offering of spring. After such a dry summer it seemed like the usual splendor was not evident, then I started focusing on the textures of autumn and this is what I saw.

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December 1, 2006

December 1, 2006

7:30 a.m. Mountain Standard Time

Today's Forecast: Clear, cold and just enough wind to make your eyes water.

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Miscellaneous Books

Breaking Clean by Judy Blunt

Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza

The opinions expressed in the Western Folklife Center's Deep West online journals are those of the online journal participants and not the Western Folklife Center. The Western Folklife Center does not moderate these journals and as such does not guarantee the veracity, reliability or completeness of any information provided in the journals or in any hyperlink appearing within them.

About Robin Boies

Robin Boies
Robin Boies is the product of a northern Texas cattleman and a city-bred girl from Boulder, Colorado. As a child Boies remembers Sunday's marked by church school and the weekly sermon, followed by an afternoon of Pitch or Twenty-one with red, white, and blue poker chips stacked neatly in front of her. When it came to culture it was sublime opera in the house and Hank Williams in the green Chevy pick-up truck. Boies found herself in Steptoe Valley north of Ely, Nevada, at age seventeen. For the past 28 years Boies has lived 45 miles north of Wells, Nevada, at the Vineyard Unit of Boies Ranches with her husband Steve. There they raised three children, Teema, Nathan, and Samuel. Teema enters Gonzaga University this fall to pursue a graduate degree. Nathan is back in college when not at the ranch after a service engagement in the 101st Airborne, and Samuel graduated from high school last year and has been in New Zealand since September 2005. While tending to the needs of the ranch Boise works to understand and tell the stories of contemporary ranching culture through writing and videography.
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