Archive for the ‘Rural Life’ Category

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the shed

Not a creature was stirring,

Except for ol’ #11, bred heifer

With a white streak on her forehead.


She was restless and stirring as I headed off to bed

With visions of her licking a new baby bull calf in about an hour dancing in my head.

My wife was already sacked out as I made my way into the house.

Got my hot shower, then a bowl of ice cream as I dreamt of a ski trip to Taos.


When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, the cow dogs were just having their nightly chat with the coyotes about stuff that just doesn’t matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash. 

Yep, it’s been an hour and a half.

Better check #11 and get back to my warm bed in a dash.


When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a couple of miniature feet sticking out of her posterior.

#11 was on her side and pushing with all she was worth.

She just seemed to get nowhere so I rolled up the sleeve on my shirt.


I grabbed her tail and as dry leaves before a wild hurricane fly,

She jumped to her feet, cornered me in the back of the shed, then blew snot on me as she hooked and ran by.

She jumped over the gate and headed to the front pasture which was brushy and big.

I gathered the lariat rope, ob sleeves, the chains, a flashlight and jumped in my feeding rig.


On Cummins, on bale spikes, on big mud grips!

On high beams, on siren, and white caker that trips!

To the back canyon, to the plumb bushes and on to the flood control dam!

Dash on, dash on, we lost our hi-lift jack, post driver and truly tested the Ram!


Then… I saw the twinkling of #11’s eyes, as she held up behind a cedar in some sumac.

I gunned the diesel engine as she turned and mounted her final attack.

Her hooves came a pounding as she head butted my driver’s side door.

But call it Christmas luck, I got the lariat rope on her neck, dallied to the gear shift and put her on the floor.


Feed truck LS gave her a good pull and a tug, as I was still gloating over my midnight roping nab.

But as the slack drew up, my driver’s side door came off and #11 jumped into the cab!

Somehow I and the dog managed a miracle escape through the passenger window.

#11 now had full possession of my wheels; the Farm Bureau man would never believe this unusual show.


She was chubby and plump, not jolly at all.

As she kicked the feed truck outta gear and brought it to a stall.

I noticed she was caught like in a new hydraulic chute.

Her rear feet up under herself, with her newborn’s little nose sticking out. And then the radio went mute.


I spoke not a word, but went straight to my work.

OB chain around one foot, then two feet and a push, and here came a nose with a jerk!

I cleared the breech as she slapped my nose with her tail.

And a new baby bull calf popped out, while Momma was still somewhat in jail.


I sprang to my feet and cut my new rope with the knife the feed salesman had left behind.

#11 blew the siren, kicked out my glove box and slid out the passenger side.

She paired up and claimed her calf like nothing had ever happened.

I gave her a big smile, threw my driver’s side door on the back, sat down in a heap of slime and my coveralls were dampened.


Back to the house, back to the shower, again, and a good night’s rest.

But first, I noticed under the Christmas tree presents piled up like a big nest.

Santa Claus had been there, I was so glad to see he’d been back.

Because under the Christmas tree was a new rope, gear shift, seat cover, and to my surprise a new hi-lift jack!


Out the window I saw Santa get out of his sleigh

He took #11 a big flake of alfalfa hay.

And I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”





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Howdy friends and neighbors.  So who do I vote for in Oklahoma’s governor’s race?   Jari or Mary?  That’s the question.  Democrat or republican, liberal or conservative, blond or blond, I think.  Well, let’s just look at what’s going on around my place this year and see which way I should vote.

Oh, it’s been a good year for Tucker Cattle Company this past year.  We had wheat pasture last spring and the price of feeder cattle got close to a record high.  The wheat market rallied in the summer to a respectable level and we got just enough rain to make a hay crop and grow some grass.  I’m pretty sure neither the D’s nor R’s had anything to do with cattle or wheat markets or the fact that it rained.  So what’s next? (more…)

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 Howdy friends and neighbors.  Well I’m finally back at the keyboard pounding out another mess for your reading enjoyment or coffee shop debate.  Been busy sowing wheat and even busier running grasshoppers off what wheat had managed to come up.  We still have so many grasshoppers that they have to work in shifts because there is not enough for all of them to eat at once.  I even saw some grasshoppers wearing little tiny miner helmets with super small carbine lights on them so the night shift can see what they are eating.    

 Here is where I eat a slice of humble pie because my frost flower let me down this year.  It predicted a frost in early October but so far my thermometer has only gotten down to 39 degrees.  No frost yet.  But, and this is a stretch for a but, but it did frost in central Oklahoma last week.  So my flower was off by 200 miles.  Not bad in my book.   Maybe my frost flower knew the grasshoppers would be working nights and decided to bloom early to avoid them. 

 I hate to put a friend on the spot but this text message story is just too funny to leave on the shelf this week.  Okay, I have to set the stage for this little funny that happened recently.  I am a proud member and volunteer firefighter of the Sweetwater Volunteer Fire Department.  One of our major policies prohibits any alcohol while on duty as a fireman including work nights and training meetings.  It’s a great policy that has been in place as long as I’ve been on the department.  Reasons for the policy are quite obvious.    (more…)

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Howdy friends and neighbors.  Fall is here!  This is my time of year.  I like it when you start the day off wearing a light pullover.  The sun is peaking over the eastern horizon, steam is floating over the creeks and ponds, and freshly weaned calves are starting to bawl.  The old diesel feed truck takes a bit more care to get her started.  The summer grass is starting to fade to a lighter brown as I think to myself that the feed route, with a stop at the coffee shop, will soon be routine.  Out to the pens I go to check on the new crop of calves that are becoming accustomed to life on their own.  I sip some Dr. Pepper as the calves wander around with the sun shining on them and steam lifting from their backs.  A brave one comes forward to get a good smell of the cow dog standing guard under the pipe fence.  “Pepper” just can’t stand the fact that the juvenile bovine is invading his personal space and takes a quick snap at him. (more…)

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Howdy friends and neighbors.  Boy, just about the time I think no one reads this mess I get all kinds of e-mails and questions about something.  Last week I wrote about “frost flowers,” and now everyone wants to know, “What are they?”  “What do they look like?”  “Where do you see them?”  Well, it’s hard to explain.  I even “Googled” it but found a different plant.  What’ I’m calling a frost flower is just a weed.  It grows about two feet tall from a single point that branches out to several.  It has dark green slick looking leaves.  In late summer a white ball-like flower blooms on the very top.  That’s about the best I can do.  I will try to post a picture of one on my Facebook page and web site soon.  I want to add a big thank you to my new favorite fan, Donna, for the jars of sand plum jelly, MMMmmm Good!

Several years back a good friend sold me a gun cabinet as he was moving and didn’t have room for it in his new house.  On the front of the cabinet, he had taped a magazine clipping.  I never have removed that clipping and stopped to read it again the other day.  I just love it and want to share it with you.  So, here it is. The last one is my favorite. (more…)

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Howdy friends and neighbors, I’m in a dealing mood!  Let’s make a deal.  This has been an extremely good year for wild sand plumbs.  I will give a fully-guided sand plumb hunt including buckets, 4-wheelers, Deep Woods Off and Neosporin in return for some sand plumb jelly.  Yep, for the low price of one out of every eight jars you put up I will take you right to the heart of sand plumb utopia.  Sound good?

And next I will consult with my election forecasting eleven-year-old cow dog “Pepper the Wonder Dog” to tell you who the winners will be in the primary election.  Oh it’s true that not only can Pepper lay under stock trailers and create confusion among the bovines as I try to inspire them to load up or bark at commercial jet planes cruising at 30,000 feet at 2:30 AM or herd barn cats away from his dinner bowl, but yes he has a gift of predicting election outcomes just a few days before the big day.  Now where is his scooby snack? (more…)

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Howdy friends and neighbors, Summer time!  I kinda have to laugh a little every time I hear a news report about it being hot.  Yeah… it’s July in Oklahoma.  I think it is supposed to be hot.  I do still remember an ice storm back in January and wishing for some of that July heat.

 Well I have been away from my computer the past several weeks as the Fourth of July rolled by and then my family and I went on a vacation.  The Tuckers and an RV headed north.  We planned this adventure for a while so we could attend a family reunion of my wife’s mother’s family in Spiritwood, North Dakota.  OK, I can hear the snickers and remarks already about why in the world anyone would take a vacation to go to a family reunion in North Dakota.  On the contrary, it was right down my ally!  I looked at a map and to get from Sunny Point, OK, to Spiritwod, ND I got to drive through the heartland of the US.  No interstates, no huge cities, nothing but open country and I loved it!  Well, there was the fact that we were going to be living for ten days in a 29ft rented RV that we named “Daisy.”  I have never traveled in an RV before, excuse me, a “coach” before, so I packed everything I thought I would need in a worst case scenario.  Now, I’m a big boy, so first I packed three grills: gas, electric, and charcoal. My wife packed plenty of red meat and taters.  I packed all the portable chairs plus I had a table.

 I then packed all the tools that I could fit into a plastic tub: a lug wrench, bottle jack, crescent, 8 feet of baling wire, hammer, pipe wrench, socket set, wire strippers, screwdrivers, pry bars, log chain, allen wrenches, wheel chocks, 20 feet of rope, extension cords, garden hoses and most importantly a good pair of CeeTee pliers!  Then we threw in a 12 gauge and some fishing poles.  Hey, I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it!  We filled every compartment with something.  Put $128.29 worth of 87 octane in and pointed Daisy north.  She blazed a trail with all 10 cylinders and ran like champ.

 Beautiful country!  We traveled through farm land, ranch land, State parks, grass lands, wild life preserves and lots of small towns.  My wife and I liked best the sand hills of Nebraska between McCook and Valentine.  They have had lots of rain this year and the grass was belly deep and the water was clear blue.  But the best part about it, there was no one in our way!  No traffic at all!

We had a great time at the family reunion as well.  It was laid back with tons of food and great company.  Spritwood is a lot like Sunny Point except its farther north and about 4 times as big.  From there we filled up Daisy again with gas (this happened a lot) and headed for the Black Hills of South Dakota.   WOW! I never knew what that area was like.  It’s beautiful there and there are lots of fun things to do but way too many people for me.  Oh yeah, we saw Mt. Rushmore and no they haven’t started Barry’s face yet.  (I just had to throw that in didn’t I…?)

 Well, Daisy got us back home without a hitch so none of the tolls I packed ever saw daylight except for my trusty CeeTee pliers.  It was lots of fun and we have lots of good memories to remember.

 My final point is that I’m so blessed to be able to take such a trip.  I am so blessed to live in a nation that allows me to do so.  I know I’m weird because I enjoyed seeing beauty in land that many think is torture to pass through.  I was looking for that wide open nothingness and finding the beauty in it instead of complaining about it!

 I’m Monte Tucker and that is what’s under my hat.

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