Confluence Chronicles – Where City & County Meet 1-25-10 |

Confluence Chronicles – Where City & County Meet 1-25-10

Oh, goody, I just saw a TV commercial for another reality show that will soon be aired. This show is about large company CEOs who decide they each want to get an idea of what their most basic employees do every day. Other reality shows include swapping wives, bachelors seeking dates and women looking for publicity. On the right show, you can be voted off an island, or have a team come in to your extremely messy and cluttered home to help you clean it up and get organized. Or a married couple who actually had eight children can make their family a reality show that ends up with the parents divorcing and the children as pawns. Or you could work at a job and be publicly fired on national TV. Don’t these all sounds like fun, inspiring programs?

To tell the truth, the only one I’ve actually seen all the way through an entire program is the house cleaning team at work. But it’s easy to see they are fake, scripted and not spontaneous as they purport to be. To start with, they are terrible actors and the story lines are not believable. No one could have that much junk over every square foot of a home. It has to be staged that way.

If you want to truly experience reality, contact a rancher and inquire when her calving season will be in full swing. We start in mid-January. If the weather continues as it has been the past two weeks, we will have some very hard realities … calving when it’s below zero. When a calf is born during cold weather we say it’s much like a person stepping out of a warm bathtub and going out onto the cold ground. It is not unlike being a member of the Polar Bear Club, but it’s not just for fun, it is for life. If a little calf can get right up and suckle, and the mamma cow “mothers” it, then usually all is well.

In our operation if a calf gets chilled, I prefer to have him brought into my kitchen where I have room to work, and am warm and comfortable myself as it can come any time of the day or night. We place him on a blanket, rub him down with towels and warm him with a common hair dryer. Stimulating the blood flow and warming the calf is the goal. How do we know when a calf is ready to go back to his momma in the cow pen? We put a hand into his mouth to see if his mouth temperature is warm. If it is still cold, he is not ready to leave the warmth of our home and we keep working on him.

On a note further from home, U.S. troops are involved in the most crucial reality shows in the world. They are scripted nor trumped up; they are life and death realities.

We need to keep them in our hearts and prayers.


Peggy writes from the family ranch in South Dakota. She can be reached at

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