Sun, March 18, 2018
 16 Pages
The Region's Agri-Business Newspaper Volume 27, Number 6 
50 cents 

Agri-Times NW

Back Forty
by Roger Pond
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Farmer's Fate
by Brianna Walker
Janie's Journal
by Janie Tippett
Outdoor Scoop
by J.R. Groupe

Janie's Journal

written by Chelsea Matthews,
Janie's granddaughter-in-law
If July means hot summer days and nights, then as we quickly approach the end of the month, it's starting to seem like July. For better or for worse, it's heating up around here. That to say, we've had some great moisture this month- a few really wonderful days of pouring rain accompanied by cool weather. We're incredibly thankful! The grass still has a green tint to it and for the end of July in NE Oregon, we're counting that as a major win! The heat has arrived, but we are definitely several steps ahead of where we were last year at this time.

Both in the cool as well as in the heat, we've been riding and pushing cows quite a bit. The kids are proving to be great help and have been real troopers when they've had to ride longer than they've wanted to. Cooper still has to be "pony'd" behind my horse, but the girls progressively improve as they work on their own. In fact, Lucy had a milestone moment a couple of weeks ago. We were pushing cows in the evening and had arrived at our destination gate. The cows were trickling through the gate, so Buck went back to get a pair that had previously gotten out, but needed to go in with this particular bunch. As soon as he was out of sight, a couple of calves decided to take off, headed right back to where we came from. I tried to trot ahead, but with Cooper behind, I couldn't get ahead fast enough. Lucy was with me and I encouraged her as she was already en route, that she needed to get ahead and turn the calves back. "Go! Go! Go!" I yelled after her. She and her ranch horse, Dish, took out after the calves. They went clear out of sight as Cooper and I trotted-trying to catch up. Katelyn came with us and as she trotted along, she tried to encourage Cooper, who wasn't enjoying his bouncy ride- at all! She kept saying things like, "All you have to do is hold on!" Eventually we got to the pickup and trailer where I sat Cooper on the flatbed and quickly tied his horse to the trailer. Kate stayed close to them and I took off to help Lucy who, on her own, had the calves turned back. She and Dish were out of breath, but they got the job done. I was incredibly proud of our girl- she didn't give up and she had to ride a lot faster than she prefers. It was actually just the push she needed to feel comfortable going fast- she realized Dish is quite trustworthy and as soon as we had a chance to talk, she declared, "Mom, he totally knew what we were doing!"

Speaking of knowing what to do… I've had quite a summer with my flower beds. This spring, I planted a whole bunch of perennials. And then planted more as the weather warmed up. In one bed, where I've had a hard time getting much to grow, I decided to have a Snapdragon bed. I babied them along and they were really taking off, but we've had some ground squirrels who wreaked havoc on a couple of beds and my sister in law's dogs wreaked more havoc on the Snapdragon bed while she was here visiting. (She made up for it by sending me some really cute outdoor pillows for the chairs on our deck, so that worked out just fine!). Anyway, the perennials have been coming up and a few I've been watching closely all summer (including some Hollyhocks and a few I don't recognize, but have been anxiously awaiting to see what they are.) When my parents were here at the beginning of the month, I pointed out some of the perennials I'd been waiting for. I pointed to one and as quickly as she declared it a weed, she ripped it right out! I gasped because, truth be told, I didn't believe her! She hinted at a couple of others that she was pretty sure were weeds. At which point, I quickly escorted her away from my precious flowers and would hear no more talk of my perennials being weeds. As humbling as it might be to admit this, a week later, the weed she pulled out was growing right back and I realized she was actually right. Luckily, I still had plenty of real flowers to wait for. So one evening, when we were at the house, I told Buck to take a detour and come check out my flowers. "They're doing so well!" I said enthusiastically. I took him down the line and was readily receiving his affirmation for my work. We got to the end of the flower bed and I said, "And this big one. I'm not sure what it is, but it looks like it's going to bloom soon!" And he said, "I know what that is, and it's not going to bloom." "Really? I thought all the perennials I planted were going to bloom". "They might all bloom, but that right there is Pigweed! And that's as pretty as it'll ever be!" I ripped it out and started muttering under my breath, "You might have told me. I didn't know, I mean, I've been waiting for that 'big plant' to bloom all summer!" And while he walked off and into the house, he said, "I did tell you. Last week I said 'It looks like you have Pigweed growing in your flower bed'." I guess, in my flower growing ambition, I missed that info. And I've been humbled.

Besides riding and gardening, we just arrived home from an extended weekend vacation. This past Friday we left for Seattle and made our way to Bainbridge Island for the wedding of Amelia and John Stewart. Amelia is the youngest daughter to ranch owners, Mike and Darden. After the drive across Washington state, we intended to stop in Seattle and take the kids to Pike Place Market and show them downtown. But we arrived in Seattle at about 6 o'clock Friday evening and to say the vehicle and foot traffic in downtown Seattle was crazy, is a major understatement. We drove past Pike Place and, in a hurried and "Let's get out of here" tone, we yelled to the back seat, "Kids! Look out the window! That's Pike Place Market! It's really cool! Promise!" We were way out of our league in city traffic and had a ferry to catch so we maneuvered our way to the ferry line and waited for the next boat out to Bainbridge Island. We stayed with "Music Mike"- the school teacher who likes to come work for a week or two in the summer. We met his family, including wife, Robin, and two teenage sons, Graham and Cory. We had a blast hanging out with them! They took us kayaking on the sound and sight seeing before we had to start getting ready for the wedding Saturday evening. The wedding was beautiful! It was in Mike and Darden's back yard overlooking Puget Sound with the backdrop of Mt. Rainier. It was gorgeous- a fun celebration with a neat group of people. On Sunday, we left Bainbridge Island and headed to San Juan Island where we visited the "other family" who used to live in Troy- Nat and Lisa. Our girls went to school with their two boys, Wesley and Jullian, for two years before they moved. We had a wonderful visit and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the island. I can tell you that on this quick trip, we were very spoiled. We ate salmon three times in four days! We played and relaxed and had a delightful time. We drove home Tuesday, left the island at 8 o'clock in the morning and arrived home at 8 o'clock in the evening.

Now we are recovering, quickly. The girls are going to be in the Chief Joseph Days Youth Parade on Friday so we have horses to wash. We have tickets for two nights of rodeo. And somewhere in the middle of all of that, I have to drive to Idaho to pick up a horse. Oh! But I did come home from Seattle to a surprise. My gladiolas (real, tall, non-weed, beautiful gladiolas!) are blooming, right here on Grouse Flat! -Chelsea




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