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2016: A Backward Glance

As we close out 2016, it’s worth spending some time for a backward glance. For Medicine Spirit Ranch and this blog, it’s been a great year. Today is a milestone for Views From Medicine Spirit Ranch, as this is our 100th post!! Since the inception of the blog, each year has shown increased readership. I thank you for your interest and your terrific responses. Please keep them coming.

On occasion we’ve  written about important and meaningful topics such as personal aspects of the civil rights struggles. In fact our most read blog piece has been Reflections on Greenville, Texas: The Blackest Land and the Whitest People. More frequently we’ve dealt with  ranch and retirement topics, for example the birth of cattle twins on our ranch, the bottle feeding of the rejected twin, a series of posts about Norman during his calf development and adolescence, and the birth of a freemartin.

Betty giving Norman his evening bottle while Cecil drinks his own libation

Betty giving Norman his evening bottle while Cecil enjoys his own libation

We’ve written about stocking our tanks with fish and the discovery that I was unwittingly  chumming for the hunting benefit of a Great Blue Heron! Also pictures of various landscapes and sunsets have appeared from time to time with the hope of sharing our little piece of heaven.

Looking off the hill of Medicine Spirit Ranch

Looking off the hill of Medicine Spirit Ranch

A waterfall at Hidden Falls Ranch, November 2016

A waterfall at Hidden Falls Ranch, November 2016

We’ve had great friends and our wonderful family spend time this year on the ranch including Betty and Cecil Selness from Minneapolis, La Nelle Etheridge and Madeline Douglas from Lubbock, Judy Wilkins from Lubbock, Katrina Jansky and son Chance, from San Marcos, Will and Claire Plunket from Austin, Dave and Amy Riley and their family from Dripping Springs, Roger and Marilyn Johnson from Horse Shoe Bay, Greg and Nancy Hocevar soon to be of Fredericksburg, along with lots of family including grandchildren Ramsey and Graham, and Katie’s fiance, Kevin, and his wonderful family from the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Madeline and La Nelle wearing T-shirts thatread Tom's Ranch Hands

Madeline and La Nelle wearing T-shirts that read Tom’s Ranch Hands. You didn’t think the room and board was without strings did you?

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It has also been a great year for magnificent Texas sunsets, for breaking the drought with a bumper crop of hay, for the Super Moon rising over our barn in spectacular fashion, for fat cattle, for two lazy horses, for three always ready-to-travel dogs, and too numerous to count white tailed deer and other welcome animals e.g. painted buntings along with unwelcome ones e.g. skunks and porcupines that take considerable exception to our dogs.

A Texas sunset

A Texas sunset

Hay is (mostly) in the Barn

Hay is in the Barn

Also my book, Carrying The Black Bag: A Neurologist’s Bedside Tales was published this year. What a treat not only to see it in print, but also to experience many gratifying reviews. I’ve had a blast speaking at libraries, book clubs, service clubs especially Rotary and Lion’s Clubs, and private book events. I welcome speaking invitations. My thanks to all of you who have helped me in this never ending crusade to have the book appear, succeed, and obtain visibility.Carrying the Black Bag book

Of one thing, I am certain. We’re blessed to enjoy the love of family and friends, and the ambience of Medicine Spirit Ranch, and the readership of this blog.

The dogs and reflecting on 2016 and pondering what might come about in 2017

The dogs and I reflecting on 2016 and pondering what might come about in 2017

A Very Mooo-ry Christmas

From all the critters, stock, and folks at Medicine Spirit Ranch, we wish you wonderful holidays.

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Super Moon Over Medicine Spirit Ranch

Moon Rising Over Barn

Moon Rising Over Barn

Wish to share our view of the Super Moon that appeared last evening in case you missed it. This is the largest appearing moon in 68 years and results from the moon being at its closest point to earth plus it being full with a cloudless sky. It was striking and huge!

These two photos provide a more literal meaning to “Views From Medicine Spirit Ranch.” Hope you enjoy them.

Super Moon Hovers Over Medicine Spirit Ranch

Super Moon Hovers Over Medicine Spirit Ranch

Lazy, Crazy Summer

Spring has given way to sweltering summer. The rains gave rise to green pastures, full stock tanks, and murmuring creeks but now are only a remembrance. Mother Nature though has been good to Medicine Spirit Ranch.

A record harvest of both Klein and Coastal hay bales fills our barns and overflows to outside storage areas. I am filled at times like this with a sense of satisfaction which follows a season of worries about whether the rains would come, whether the fields would be dry enough to harvest, and whether the necessary equipment to carry out the harvest would materialize. Everything this time worked like a Swiss clock such that we produced more bales than ever before.

Hay is (mostly) in the Barn

Hay is (mostly) in the Barn

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I admit that my own efforts slack off during the heat of summer. Fortunately feeding the stock and maintaining fences doesn’t take too long. My ranch hand, Juan, has principally taken over the heavy lifting including the care of the lawn and ranch entrances.

 

From Manuscript to Book: How It Happens

Linda, what a wonderfully practical exercise for your students. This is good stuff and will benefit them as they move forward. Great stuff.

Linda Taylor: Writer, Editor, Speaker

I’ve been intensely creating syllabi for the last month. Spring semester begins February 1 and I have three classes to prep. (I never appreciated my class syllabi for my classes in college. But now that I’ve had to be creating them, wow. What a lot of work and planning!)

One class I’m particularly excited about is a new one I’m creating called “From Manuscript to Book: How It Happens.” I did a version of it during a May term at Houghton College back in 2009, but I’m refashioning it to fill a full semester. Five local authors have entrusted us with their complete manuscripts (all fiction), and my class will become a publishing company (name to be determined) that will walk these manuscripts through the entire publishing process.

My students will work in groups. Each group will receive a manuscript and they’ll first work as content editors. They’ll keyboardconsider all the things fiction editors have…

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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,000 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 50 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Generosity Begins At Home

Two calves and one mama. She accepted an orphaned calf

Two calves and one mama. She accepted an orphaned calf

A few weeks back we unfortunately lost a mother cow. The calf was old enough, barely, to be weaned. Nevertheless, the calf turned out to have different ideas. Something remarkable happened.

Typically mama cows push, none too gently, interloping calves away from the milk bar. To our great surprise, we found both the cow’s own calf and the orphaned calf suckling the generous mama cow.

I have never seen this before, nor have I read about it. The general rule is that a mama cow identifies only with her own calf, something to do with smell. I suppose every rule has an exception and this one made me feel really and pleased for the orphan. Thought you might like to see this.

Life is good on the ranch.