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Sow’s Ear

Proper pronunciation

October 11, 2019

When newcomers arrive “out West,” they often mispronounce the names of towns, villages, townships or actual cities. Maybe it’s only true “out West,” but be advised that the emphasis is always on the first syllable...


Maude takes a stand against swear word

October 4, 2019

My neighbor, Maude, brought up a question: To wit: Is anybody else sick and tired of hearing the “eff…g” word spewed forth by comedians, talk show hosts, teenagers and politicians — and nowadays — even...


Rancher/farmer blues

September 27, 2019

The following poem was birthed nearly 20 years ago, but in light of the current nutso political circus, it still resonates loud, clear and worried. This version bemoans the drought years and, while this season,...


Friendship precious beyond measure

September 20, 2019

Friendships along the fragile and sometimes frenetic trail of one’s life are precious beyond measure. Here’s my sincere tribute to the friends I have known over the years. You may recite or sing to the...


A play in a bull corral

September 13, 2019

Today’s column is a short play. The characters: a pair of bulls — Cuthbert and Bonebag — are attempting to out-bellow each other in order to impress a pair of cute heifer cows, Fiona and...


Trivia Quiz Game

September 6, 2019

Batch No. 2 of Cowboy Cowgirl Trivia Quiz Game. 21 What is a beaver slide? A) Where baby beavers slide off the creek bank. B) the b-flat wail of a blues song on a clarinet....


Older-than-dirt clubs

August 22, 2019

As one ages, one must inevitably give up all the things that make one want to live longer. Once you’ve wandered, shuffled, staggered or achieved the status of older-than-dirt maturity (through no fault of your...


The Vegetarian March

August 15, 2019

Being a rancher means a lot of things. It might mean you get to buy an expensive pedigreed bull to improve your herd and he either shoots blanks or snubs your cows and tears through...


Resourceful cowgirls

August 9, 2019

“Resourcefulness” — noun — defined in my dictionary as “the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties.” Such a quality is true of ranch women, especially cowgirls. Many moons ago, I worked...


What did you say?

August 2, 2019

Maybe it’s because I’m used to a rural ranch-country drawl, but I ask you. Is the entire population speaking faster than anyone can listen or decipher what’s been said? Or maybe, I have a “condition”...


Thanks for the exercise

July 25, 2019

Way back when I was still agile and my reflexes still functioned, I made the mistake of agreeing to help my neighbor, Agnes, work some cattle. “I’ve got two heifers that are having trouble trying...


The Lives of the Cowgirls

July 19, 2019

Remember awhile back — when, every so often — Garrison Keillor on National Public Radio would present a skit spoofing The Lives of the Cowboys? Well, here’s a radio skit spoofing The Lives of the...


‘Alternative’ curse words

July 11, 2019

In today’s current culture of bad-mouthing, lying, cheating, phony “alternative facts” and filthy cursing, everybody seems to be trying to outdo one another in the use of foul expressions. Comedians seem to believe their material...


Glory, glory I’m a cowgirl

July 5, 2019

After the first National Cowboy Poetry in Elko, Nev., way back in 1985, we, in Montana, initiated the first Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering right here in our small rural town. The gathering outgrew this town,...


Climate change blues

June 28, 2019

And the argument continues: Is climate change-global warming real? Or is it today’s current obsession? My neighbor, Fred, a horse breeder, wants a definitive answer. This past wintery February was a nasty one. Temperature dropped...


My favorite things

June 20, 2019

Julie Andrews created a parody to the song: My Favorite Things in which she sings about what happens as one travels along the pathway toward one’s sunset days and about how much she appreciates the...


Murder mystery

June 6, 2019

Our local Woman’s Club has taken on the task of performing “CAFÉ MURDER.” This hilarious murder mystery comedy is easy to produce and perfect for either a stage production or dinner theatre. Rosemary Saint-John is...


Tourist season

May 31, 2019

June is upon us which means the trickle of tourists visiting our state will increase. This is not a bad thing. Tourists bring money which is a boon to rural communities, but often, tourists and...


Agnes and Alice

May 24, 2019

Two old cowgirls, Agnes and Alice, sat on the veranda of the Home for Old Cowgirls reminiscing about days gone by. “Listen to this,” declared Agnes and read out a review of the first National...


Hornet ranching

May 10, 2019

Ranchers Zeke and Clyde were commiserating about the sad state of raising food, especially the four-footed kind. Zeke: “Ya know, these days we raise sheep and cattle so wolves, coyotes and bears have somethin’ to...