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February hearts calendar2010

    Howdy folks!

Organized ScribblingsWell, here it is February, and I’m still trying to organize and sort out my scribbles for 09—both published and rejected. Yes, rejection is part of the game, and if you don’t take it personally, it doesn’t phase you much. Oh, I sometimes fight for a piece I’ve written, or a particular poem I thought was maybe judged unfairly, but most of the time, I realize I must rework something I’ve written to make it better if the boss gives it a thumbs down. Then, rejection becomes just another lesson learned. Guess you could say, I make lemonade outta lemons that way…

Anyway, back to my sortin’—I keep thinkin’ back as I go along with these boring tasks, (I am a daydreamer) just what are REAL COWBOYS doing this time of year, (besides daily chores like draggin’ feed to livestock, an’ breakin’ ice on the water trough or pond to give those lop-eared cows a long, thirsty drink—cattle get dehydrated real easy in high country where it snows and blows all the time. You gotta get plenty of water to ‘em everyday.

It seems as though ranching, and even farming are a dying art these days, so I give more than the usual amount of credit to those who hang on and tough it out year after year. There’s no glory in it, and very little money when it comes right down to it. It’s just plain hard work, and knowing that you’re doing what you chose to do the rest of your life rather than be under some boss’ thumb who knows less than you do about the job.

Ranchers and farmers have to live by the weather, and the price of beef and crops going up or down. One year it’s chicken, the next year—feathers. That’s just the way of it. God bless ‘em for their fortitude.

But hopefully, in January and February these hard-scrabble folks take a breather for a few minutes each day to reflect on something besides a lame horse, or the tractor not firing on all her pistons, or how to afford extra hay if the winter is longer than expected., etc., etc., etc. It never ends. There’s tack to be oiled, equipment to grease, and skids to replace tires on the old flatbed the ranchers use to haul hay out to cattle in the field (pulled by a pickup or tractor), stalls to be mucked out, sprinklers for watering crops to be fixed before spring, roofs to be shoveled off so sheds and out-buildings don’t collapse under the weight of heavy snow, chicken coops to clean (with an ammonia smell that can water the eyes of the strongest of men.) Talk about work never bein’ done! And these guys and their families never retire. They just take one day at a time until the preacher stands over them with a few words of praise before sendin’ ‘em off to their Maker.

I am to this day fascinated by the work ethic of these wonderful folks who keep to themselves asking for nothing, raising strong families who also are devoted to the land as each new generation comes along. These people are more than likely honest, humble and God fearin’ from birth to death. Which is why, I have no trouble believing a cowboy when he stretches out his big, rough paw to shake on something he’s promised. I’d put his word up against any elitist banker or government man, any ol’ time. Trust means everything to me, (and that includes most folks I’ve run across), whether it’s in a marriage contract, or any other promise or deal. And I know in my heart, I can trust a REAL COWBOY on nothing more than his word when his reputation is on the line,

Unorganized ScribblingsGotta get back to work….

Granny Tam

In my sortin’ and ramblin’ through stacks of poems to be filed or revised, I found a few I’d plum’ forgotten about, so I’ll drop a couple your way, and see if you remember them any better than I.


Snow Flakes FallingRanchin’ ain’t easy,Snow Flakes Falling
an’ it don’t get no better
when chores are plum’ awful
on account a the weather.

Storm clouds start gatherin’
above the horizon—
I dig out long-handles
tho’ I hate ‘em like pi’son.

A cold wind starts blowin’—
chills a man to the bone,
the future is troublin’
out here on my own.

Snow Flakes FallingThe house starts to creakSnow Flakes Falling
but stands up to the storm—
one more log on the fire
keeps it cozy an’ warm.

I pull on my old coat
‘n boots—pretty worn,
turn up my collar,
an’ head for the barn.

Snows blowin’ sideways
an’ stingin’ my face—
I think I’m half crazy
to stay on this place.

Snow Flakes FallingWind keeps a howlin’,Snow Flakes Falling
snows pile up an’ drift—
if I don’t find them cattle’,
they may fall off some cliff.

we herd some to corral—
we’ve been long together
so he’s more like a pal.

This task is repeated
in hastened routine
while the storm grows
more fierce, angry, an’ mean.

I take to my bedSnow Flakes Falling
Snow Flakes Fallingin wee hours of morn—
tired an’ half froze,
wish I’d never been born

The fire’s dyin’ down—
burrow deep ‘neath my quilt,
complain to my maker,
an’ feel plum’ fulla guilt.

‘Cause I know He saved me
from that terrible storm
as my limbs start to thaw,
an’ body gets warm.

Snow Flakes FallingLast thing on my mindSnow Flakes Falling
as I drift off to sleep
is, “Lord, I’m sure grateful
this cowboy you keep.”

Tamara Hillman



Where did all the cowboys go—

ol’ Buck, an’ Tex, an’ Billy Joe?

Where are those wranglers I loved so?

Where did all the cowboys go?

The ones who rode the river trail
thru’ heat, an’ snow, an’ drivin’ hail,
with no complaint—so’s you could tell,
doin’ their job, an’ doin’ it well.

When pay was short, if paid at all,
cowboys still stood straight ‘n tall,
workin’ jobs, both large an’ small,
in blisterin’ heat, or winter squall.

No vacations, no time free,
home was far as they could see,
bunkin’ where they chose to be,
‘neath the moon on the lone prairie.

They’d sit ‘n whittled with their knife,
plannin’ neither kids nor wife,
for they asked nothin’ of this life,
‘cept blisters, cussin’, stress, an’ strife.

I still recall cowboys of old,
an’ those tall tales they always told
of how they used to pan for gold
in younger days when brave ‘n bold.

The cowboys I knew in my day
were rough an’ tough in their own way,
they’d gamble with a whole month’s pay
but ‘fore each meal, you’d hear ‘em pray

Yes, where did all the cowboys go—

ol’ Buck, an’ Tex, an’ Billy Joe?

Where are those wranglers I loved so?

Where did all the cowboys go?

Tamara Hillman


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