Friday, August 28, 2009

SOMETIMES EVEN COWGIRLS BITE THE DIRT

By Cowgirl Sass & Savvy Julie Carter

The business of being a cowgirl is not for sissies. Doesn't matter if you are thinking cowgirl in the rodeo arena or on the ranch.
Both require a measure of grit and tough that one either has, or not. You can't buy it at the store.
Tenacity is a mindset that gets a cowgirl through a life of measurably tough times. Some folks call it hard-headedness but it goes beyond that, goes beyond stubborn or even just gutsy.
Frankly, it's the same inborn "cowboy-up" gene that puts a cowboy back on his horse right after a wreck, that lets them think getting bucked off over a prank is funny and that allows them to endure long days, short nights and working in weather that stops the rest the of world.
There was a time when I thought "cowgirl" was a choice. While the word is both a noun and a verb, it is also a chemical, biological explanation for why you can take the cowgirl to town but you can't ever get the "cowgirl" out of her.
I think back and recall the places in my life where I tried to graduate from the country-kid cowgirl I was raised and attempt to become more cosmopolitan and worldly.
There was the disco-phase in the '70s.
Donna Summer and I were constant musical companions and I had the moves down pat, which were no more than a country jitter-bug morphed into a classical kind of dancing.
Then, the flash-dance phase.
Torn, off-the-shoulder sweatshirts, rolled bandanna headbands and lots of curls, flounce and bounce in the hair-do.
Although during this phase, I did own a horse and trailer and spent my summers rodeoing, making me a mixed message.
There have been periods of my adult life where I lived in big cities (Denver, LA and Phoenix).
I lived in apartments and condos and spent my free time on a beach with the Pacific Ocean serving as my "home on the range and wide open spaces."
I got over that. "Cow-girl" always called me back. That inner yearning, an emptiness that was never filled with fast lanes and fast living.
Somewhere along the way, I figured it out. I am what I was in the beginning.
I wasn't supposed to go anywhere to be someone different, I was only to be me wherever I was.
Now I look at the young'uns, as we older people call them.
Tough young cowgirls with a life ahead of them to experience and the youth to be the best they can be.
I hope they can find the understanding that who they are now is who they are going to be, and their job is only to improve on it.
Photos (see below) of a young cowgirl in a progressive wreck at a rodeo where her horse was falling, reminded me of the tough involved in being a cowgirl.
I was in that same kind of wreck so many times - I got up and brushed myself off as I watched my horse run back to the arena gate. I'd lived to do it again another day, and did.
Life is kind of like that. You fall fast and fall hard.
All in the course of living. Without giving it a second thought, you just get up, dust yourself off, and walk on out the gate knowing you'll be back to run another day.
When I get to Heaven, I'm pretty sure I'll be wearing boots under my white robes.
They'll be a large crowd of us, those that were blessed enough to be born cowgirls.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

CASH FOR CLUNKERS - NO THANKS!

By Tracy Dowson

Yes, I'm a car dealer's wife and I would like to tell you what it'sreally like to be the wife of a businessman. First of all, he likes plaid. Really! And as a bachelor he had chrome end tables with aparking meter lamp in his parlour.
As of this writing (August 25, 2009) we still haven't received any reimbursement from the "Cash for Clunkers" program. We know of some who've received a payment or two; and we believe we will be paid ultimately. But - the money isn't here yet. However, we still have to make payroll, for sixty five employees and their families depend on us. Plus, there are the regular overhead payments to make.
Do you realize the federal government is forcing us to borrow from our future...and our children's and great grandchildren's futures...again!
People who would normally be ready to buy a car in a year or two will take this opportunity to buy now. We are preparing for those lean months.The Cash for Clunkers program is taking cars out of service before their time. It could be for 50 thousand miles or so, but it's still changing the natural course of cars going out of service and cars being sold. A car that may only need new tires or a new windshield is being smashed into bits. Businesses that service the related auto business are not going to get any business from this government interference.
We now have an emerging driver; our son is 16 with a learner's permit. For his own safety, I would like to keep him in an older, heavier car.
Understand too, that most auto dealers are strong members in their community.Look at Time Magazine for the detailed list of Time Quality Dealers who give their time, money and talent to their neighbors.These men and women are cutting edge business people who do not want government interference!
I have noticed that with hard-work and intelligence, people in the carindustry can excel. They can make a good living for their families.
The term working "bell to bell' means, from nine in the morning until nine p.m. - or until the last customer leaves.
About the only times my plaid loving car salesman and I ever had a fight,was when he missed dinner because of working late to help a customer.
Building your own business through long days and honest hard work has always been, and remains, the American dream. This is in stark contrast to today's system that rewards those with a degreed education, instead of those who have given years of their trade skills and loyal hands on service.
Fantasy, as opposed to reality learning, is where you have a teacher teaching business courses without ever having run a business. Then they become bureaucrats who make laws that resemble their fantasy.
No wonder it's all an up-side-down mess.
I for one, will be working hard to reinstate our American work ethic. Will you please join me?
The Cash for Clunker program was a program propelled by the human greed-factor that some people just couldn't resist!
Others smartly made the dash from this skunker!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

STOP SIGN FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA

By Tracy Dowson
Aug. 15, 2009

Dear President Obama,

1. Stop - health care reform. If you want to do something, clean-up the fraud that is currently in Medicare and Medicade.
2. Stop - stimulus, TARP, and bailouts using taxpayer’s money. Let businesses fail or succeed on their own. It was never the intention for our government to get into private businesses. Hold those who profit from their dishonest business practices accountable through the court systems, maybe some form of class action suit against the following:
a. Merrill Lynch CEO Stan O’Neal - $161 million
b. Citygroup CEO Charles Prince - $68 million
c. Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo $100 million
Do not borrow from countries like China to leave our children in this debt!
3. Stop - hurting our country by giving government contracts to businesses outside our country i.e. Airbus.
4. Stop - killing our troops by releasing prisoners of war to fight and kill again. You need to win a war before you can leave.
5. Stop - all aid to illegals, no health care, no anchor babies. Get them out of our country and build a fence!
6. Stop - monopoly on education. The voucher system would make our schools more competitive a nd be in the best interest of our future.
7. Stop - cap and trade. Many of the current government policies already cripple business in America.
8. Stop - use of Czars. Unless you are making a moving about Russian history! You need to be accountable to the people who put you into office.
Remember the meaning of our constitution and how important freedom is to the people of the United States of America.

Friday, August 21, 2009

LOST AND FOUND

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy Julie Carter

John Rex believed himself to be, and therefore claimed he was a lover, fighter and a wild horse rider. Not an uncommon thought process for cowboys.
In real life, he was very much married and had a couple tow-head kids that would run into his back pockets if he suddenly stopped in his tracks.
There was the possibility that he might have accidentally become involved in a bar fight a time or two in the distant past. Considerable distant.
As far as riding the wild horses, his current job entailed starting the colts born of very gentle mares on the See Nothing Ranch (branded C 0 ) where he was currently employed. "Wild" was a relative term as far as these horses went.
For the most part, John Rex stayed at the ranch. Only when caught in his "unawares" was he enticed to travel with his wife to town. And at that, it absolutely never involved Walmart. That just wasn't tolerable for him.
Somehow, on this occasion, his bride had successfully pulled a fast one on him. Before he realized it, he was walking along in a building that, to his notion, would work pretty good for an indoor roping arena. Except of course it was filled with clothes, groceries and everything else from power tools to tennis shoes.
The little woman had told him she needed to pick up just a few things, so in resignation, he followed along.
Not paying any serious attention, he suddenly lost mama. He wandered up and down aisles until he encountered a sudden obstruction.
He found himself hemmed in behind a corn-fed lady in millennium yellow spandex pants. Since there wasn't any clearance on either side of this glow-in-the-dark object in the aisle, he stood there with many thoughts running through his cowboy brain.
The first of which was "How many folks had it taken to get her into those britches?" Surely, it involved all four of her kids that were milling around and her husband, and probably a neighbor or two had helped out with the project.
John Rex needed rescuing in the worst way and his bride was lost to him somewhere in the endless vista of dry goods.
Finally escaping when he and this yellow aberration reached the end of the aisle, he turned down the next one, still on the lookout for his wife.
It was in this runway that he circled up on another wonder of the world, also wearing yellow spandex. However, this time the model was blonde, every bit of six-feet-tall and built like the proverbial well-shaped brick outhouse.
John Rex, like any other lover, fighter and wild horse rider, appreciated well-made clothes so he decided that since he was lost anyway, he would just stand there and visually inspect this lovely and her fine yellow garments.
Predictably, this was close to the same time his bride located him. In an instant, John Rex was catapulted into validating the "fighter" part of his legend. Yellow never was a good color for him.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

YOU CAIN'T MISS IT!

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy Julie Carter
Whether its dark or light, day or night, cowboys have an unerring sense of direction.
Seldom to walk, their inner GPS serves them well as they navigate by horse or by pickup.
Not long ago, one cowboy was set to go to a roping in a town about 400 miles from home.
He called a friend in that same town to get directions to the arena.
"No problem," was the response, "You just take one of them roads out of town, go down couple miles, and it's right there. You cain't miss it."
There is no telling how many miles, for decades, have been traveled on just such reliable information.
The topography of the land is always figured into the information given and is clearly thought to be helpful.
In the Texas Panhandle, where there are miles and miles of flat country and endless wheat pasture, the driving instruction will almost always include: "You just go down to that wheat field, turn west, and it's right there. You cain't miss it."
In that same part of the world, directions could include, "You go down past the elevator, down to where that feller was changing a tire last time I went by that way, and then take a hard left. You cain't miss it."
Rodeo cowboys are no exception to this phenomenon.
One set of ropers had a plan to go to the million-dollar roping in Las Vegas. Their directions were to head to El Paso and take a right, with the guarantee of their arrival in Vegas. "You cain't miss it."
Then there was the time Jess and Dan went to a roping down the road a ways.
They had gotten safely to the correct town, but they had no clue as to the whereabouts of the arena.
They, collectively, as it took both of them to form a reasonably intelligent thought if it involved anything except roping, hit on an idea.
Their simple plan was to find a pickup and horse trailer on the move in town and follow it to the arena where the roping was to take place.
It didn't take long until a suspiciously authentic-looking rig with just the right specifications came by. The semi-lost duo pulled out from the local Dairy Queen parking lot and fell in behind the suspiciously authentic-looking cowboy that was driving.
The targeted rig stopped at the Quik Stop, stopped at the tire store, stopped at the feed store, the bank, the Co-op, and then finally headed out of town.
The trailing ropers were quite relieved at this progress because it was nearing time for the roping to start. They followed him along until he pulled into a ranch gate.
When they walked up to his truck and asked him if he was headed to the roping, the man advised them he had just taken his horse to the vet and was now on his way home.
However, he did give them directions to the arena. "You just go on back up this here road a ways, take that left by that big oak tree, and go on down a couple miles. You cain't miss it."
Do you think the fellas at NASA in Houston tell the astronauts something similar?
"You just strap this rocket to the backside of your spacecraft, and just point that sucker toward Mars. It's right up there a ways. You cain't miss it."
Julie cain't be missed with a note at www.julie-carter.com

Friday, August 7, 2009

FRESH FACES OF TOMORROW

By Julie Carter

Where did they all come from? Dozens of new, (to me) young, fresh faces with big smiles, easy laughter and energy without end.
The county fair has been in forward motion all week starting with the arrival of the kids and their animals for the junior livestock shows. Squealing pigs, bleating lambs and goats, crowing roosters and the sounds of laughing children fill the barns as the activity of the annual event moves in a blur through each day.
This beehive of activity from daylight until well past sundown is accented with the faces of families. Everywhere there are babies in strollers and toddlers exploring their freedom to be able to wander to the ring fence, under the bleachers or to the nearby goat pens to point and touch the animals inside.
Tweens and teens in groups can be found everywhere practicing their social skills of looking cool and the age-old art of looking but pretending not to look at the opposite sex.
Grandmas and grandpas, aunts, uncles and cousins line the bleachers cheering on their favorite show contestant. Businessmen, teachers, doctors, lawyers, judges and young adults who have moved beyond their county fair days all drop by to inhale a dose of show ring ambience and visit with people they sometimes see only at the fair each year.
Like Christmas, the county fair comes every year, and like Christmas, in brings different gifts to each one involved.
For me, it's the delight in watching people, mostly the kids. I love the dynamics of county fair families - from the diehard, dedicated competition-driven to the timid first-timers who seem a little overwhelmed but are eager to become a long-term part of something that highlights the last month of summer every year.
For every bit of sadness there is in not seeing those "favorite kids" that became the cream of the crop in the show ring after 9-10 years of showing before they went off to college, there is a renewed energy that comes in watching the first-year kids so full of hope and enthusiasm.
This year there seems to be an influx of faces I haven't seen around the fairgrounds before. And I love it. New "fair moms" and dads line the show ring, stand in the wings dressed in the usual style of fair families - rubber boots, wet jeans from time on the wash rack and hands full of brushes, rags, a spray bottle, a bucket and the occasional lead strap or bottle of fly spray.
The indoctrination process to reach full-fledged fair parent status takes only one day. The day their child is to show his or her animal.
Today's fresh faces of the fair are tomorrow's hope. Raised on values involving, honesty, fairness, thoughtfulness for others and
hard work before reward, these 9- and 10-year-olds experiencing their first fair will one day be managing the world. I'm very glad that behind them is a legion of hard-working people who are willing to volunteer hundreds of hours of their time to make this event happen.
Thank you families for being there. Thank you fair board and volunteers for making it the place to be in August.
See you at the fair.
Julie can be reached for comment at jcarter@tularosa.net.

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