Friday, August 2, 2019

Rodeo Days: The Farm Report 08-02-2019

Rodeo Days

The Farm Report 08-02-2019

It is time for the Sidney Iowa Championship Rodeo this week! I have a strong connection with this rodeo. No, I'm not a cowboy. I can identify cows, and I have actually ridden a horse, but I am by no means a cowboy. But my two grandfathers were! Both of them, Clarence Inman and John Rhode, were among the founding group of World War I veterans and Legionnaires who started the Sidney Rodeo back in 1923. (There were some Civil War veterans back then, too.) At the time, they didn't know they were going to be my grandfathers, but that is what happened. I have a photo of the original group in the archives somewhere. Someday I'll find it and show you. My mother's father, John Rhode, was a blacksmith and farrier. He traded Earl Tackett this saddle for a better one. The saddle in the picture is one of the original bucking saddles used in the first rodeos. Back in the day, the Legionnaires owned the equipment and the stock. Now, it is provided by contractors.

If you look closely, you can see the scuff marks on the bucking roll. 

As the stories go, the cowboys didn't like these saddles. They caused too many injuries because the cowboys couldn't get out of 'em when they were being bucked off. The high front bucking rolls were a problem, along with the high backed cantle which added to the problems. 

My mother, Marcia Inman, helped us write up this description of the saddle, its history, and its problems. She will be 92 next birthday and likes to say she 'grew up' at the rodeo. Her father, my Grand Dad, would set up a farrier's booth at the rodeo (which ran 2 weeks then) and help take care of the horse's needs. They camped out on the rodeo grounds and enjoyed the shows. To this day, Mom still considers rodeo a sport more than an exhibition. Plus, until her arthritis pretty much grounded her, she would ride anything that moved! We have pics of her on long horned steers, elephants and camels, you name it.  

Annie Oakley is getting along fine. I'm sorry to show you what the underbelly of my shop desk looks like, but I have to in order to show you where Annie seems to like sleeping the best. So far, I haven't rolled over her tail or pinched her. 

Mom had 'Bat Ears' and Pop had floppy ears. I think Annie is going to have one of each. 

Fun with animals: 'Miss Kitty' the official shop cat used to beat up on Zoey something terrible. She would act like Zoey's best friend, then WHAP! she would pop Zoey on the nose with no provocation whatever.  This is Miss Kitty's first self-introduction to Annie Oakley. She just walked up and sat there until Annie spotted her. 

Puppies have a 'retreat and defeat' defense. Annie smelled a rat, and retreated to the safety of a desk pad on the floor. She then laid down in the 'Please Don't Hurt Me' pose, and tried to make herself invisible to the cat. Of course, seeing that she had elicited the controlling response she wanted, Miss Kitty immediately lost interest, and left. 

This is an archive good-old-oldie! The dog is 'Lucky' and the pretty lass is my Carola from Germany. Our AFS daughter from our Wisconsin days. Lucky was our undisputed most best dog ever. He was an abused farm collie who just showed up at the farm. My aunt Irene spotted him as a good dog and fed him. Whatever room Irene was in inside the house, she could look out the window, and Lucky would be laying at the foundation under that window. He was always an outdoor dog. He refused to come inside any building - even though I made places for him to go. In his older years (he lived to about 17) he would come into a back porch area through a little door I made for him and spend the coldest nights there. Otherwise, he was an outdoor guy. Wise beyond words, he was truly our Shepherd. He had been shot through his front leg, and apparently beaten. To his last days, even though he knew he was safe with us, when I would pick up a hammer to work with furniture projects, he excused himself and found other farm chores that needed done. When I put the hammer away, he would return. Bad memories are hard to shake. 

Kids have to ride in car seats - even if they don't like to. 

Annie loves to go for rides with me in the Ranger, but she's just a little girl and squirmy. I use this canvas bag for hauling in the mail, and decided it could pack a pup, too. We set up the strap and hook for Zoey. We fastened a riding harness we made for her to the strap so she wouldn't go flying into the wind shield if we had to stop quick. 

Acquiescence. If ya gotta, ya gotta; I guess. 

Down in the orchard, I did manage to find some Yellow Transparent apples that were saved from the Japanese Beetles. This is an early ripener, and probably the best pie/sauce apple you'll ever find. Unless you grow them yourself though, you will never find them. They aren't available in stores. Why? They have a useful life of about 10 days total. They ripen quickly and go off just as fast. While you're in the window with them though, they are superb. Some merchants will try to tell you that Lodi is just as good. PFFFFFFT!

A nice pail of apples, and off to the kitchen we go. 

Presto Chango! add a little sugar and heat - and some LIME juice if you like it like we do - and you have apple pie filling all canned in a jar. Joyce kept perfect 'Home Ec Teacher' notes so I have the know-how written down. (Now they would be called FCS notes, but hey.... I'm an old guy, so give me a break.) 

As mentioned before, this is a crappy garden year, but a home grown tomato by any other name would be - so much better than anything you can buy in a store. This one is Burpee Super Beefsteak. Ugly but delicious! 

In just a little over one week, Annie has gone from not being able to go up or down stairs to now being able to leap them all whenever she has the urge. She is really smart and takes direction well, but I don't actually think she was wanting to check out any of my books. Although I will tell you, if you are a reader, that the ones under the Henry Ford biography at the bottom of the pile are the 'Olive Farm' series written by Carol Drinkwater. She is a wonderful author and you would enjoy her books. Does the name sound familiar? If you're old enough to remember the 'All Creatures Great and Small' books/TV shows by James Herriot, Carol Drinkwater was the actress who played the original part of 'Helen' in the BBC productions. Maybe Annie associated veterinary stories with these books.

"What did you say?" So here's the 'Dog Story' for this episode: I have been getting up with Annie about every 2 or 3 hours all night taking her outside to 'Do her chores.' I decided that I would rather do this than train her to a 'Piddle Pad' now and then have to 'untrain' her from it later. We're both getting more sleep now, and I think it has been worth it. Every time I set her down on the grass, I say, "Do your chores." and she responds! She will squat and pee pretty much on my command now. She is learning. We're a team.

Except: Apparently little dogs don't have very good language discernment skills at such a young age. Last Saturday night about 6:30 she got up from her nap and started noodling around. Seeing the cue, I got up and headed toward the door with her. "Come on Annie," I said, 'Let's go outdoors."  Well, in doggie language, it appears that the phrase, 'go outdoors' is exactly the same as 'do your chores.' Even though we were in the dining room and not on grass, when I said the 'go outdoors' words, she looked up at me in confusion but also in obeyance. She squatted and peed on the dining room floor immediately. Her expression was like, 'we usually do this outside on the grass, but you're the boss. If you say it, I'll do it.' Now, I say, 'let's take a walk.'

Just for evidence: We've still got 'em. Not so thick now, but they are still around, dang it.

Finally, I told you I wouldn't be showing you pictures of the garden patch anymore. But for honesty if not for instruction, I have to put this one in. Among any gardener's arsenal of favorite tools should be a huge lawn mower capable of cutting down giant weeds and cornstalks. They don't talk about this too much in the fancy garden magazines, but I'll bet you a dollar to a dime any gardener with any experience has done this little trick. ZAP/POW! Gone! I'll till it in and start some fall beans in a few days. The Japanese Beetles munched off the sweetcorn silks right down to the ear husks - so we didn't get a single home grown ear of sweetcorn. Next year..... Other'n that, all is well - and cooler now. 


  1. Loved your post. Good family history, good dogs, good food (although I DO NOT like Yellow Transparent apples!). I remember 'Helen;' did not know she was an author! My beloved Aussie Jackson has one 'up' ear and one 'down' ear, too, and I never saw the sense in using piddle pads or newspaper and having to UNtrain 'doing their chores' in the house. Ugh.

  2. Something must be wrong with you if you don't like Yellow Transparents - unless you live in Apple Heaven somewhere west of me, and have access to other sources of apple bliss.... Just kidding of course. My grandmother used to send us kids out into the corn field to get her a bucket of YT's. The tree was off in the middle of the field. Maybe it is the memories of slogging through the hot Iowa cornfields in July that shapes my (warps my?) memories.

    1. That's me – somewhere west of you in Apple Heaven!!!

    2. Some of my favorite apples, too! The very best applesauce

  3. Love your blog. Always makes me a little homesick. I will be there soon!

  4. As a child I was an unwilling Rodeo rider. Our horse 'Misty' was very picky; she didn't like me, but liked my sister. I was regularly thrown off; my sister never. It put me off horses for ever.

  5. Homesick here as well! I grew up in Illinois on a hog farm with 3 milk cows and 1 horse. No rodeo down here.

    Oh your apples...we lived near Stark Nursery in MO and bought Golden Delicious every fall. We made a giant cauldron of apple butter, peeling 10 bushels of apples. Your beefsteak tomatoes look great. We canned those as well.
    Looking forward to visiting again. Over from Cro Magnon.

  6. Agree 100% about the apples. I found some years ago and am now spoiled for life about how I rate applesauce.


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