While the energy industry is falling down around me, I realize how lucky I am to have the job that I do. For those of you who do not know, I work for the US Department of Agriculture - Farm Service Agency. I run the County Office for Farm Service Agency that serves around 11.5 million acres in southwest Wyoming, Sweetwater, Sublette and Uinta counties. Our office consists of myself, 2 full-time program technicians and a part-time program technician.

Through work I have the opportunity to build relationships with ranchers and ultimately walk away with several that I can honestly call friend. I've sat in nursing homes, I've  said goodbye to old ranchers who were dying in their living rooms, I've watched trucks pull way with generations of range sheep herds on the way to their new owners, I've spent hours on horseback, in the side by side, walking fences, branding and searching for sheep lost on the desert,   I've laughed and cried with co-workers, I've made friends across the U.S, I've learned about different types of agriculture, I've learned about wild horses, BLM and Forest Service, I've learned about government regulations.


I don't always like my job, but its the little things that I have to remember why I do what I do and why I love it most of the time.
I'm grateful for my health, I'm grateful for being able to enjoy the world around me. And I'm grateful for friends to share it all with.











My second date with myself wasn't technically all by myself, but these two are just too cute and since they call me Aunt they can totally be included on a date with myself....you follow?

Little Boy, Miller Baby and I ran the Frostbite 5K last year. We had so much fun that we decided to do it again this year! Little Boy had his tonsils out last week and wasn't quite up for 3.1 miles, so Miller Baby and I represented the Team this year. We did awesome! We ran the whole thing and besides for earning a banana and a hot chocolate mug, we also won a $25 gift certificate in the "predict your time" contest.


I think my favorite quote of the race this year was (about halfway through) "Aunt Jen, I'm tired of running"......."Me too, girl, me too".

To finish out the weekend (read truth: I just didn't want to stay home and do laundry and the next showing was still at the matinee price) I went to see How to Be Single. 

HowToBeSingle 


 Appropriate for someone who is taking themselves out I'd say. Plus Rebel Wilson is ha-lar-ious!

"The thing about being single, you should cherish it." ~Alice, How to Be Single

my second date

by on 5:00 AM
My second date with myself wasn't technically all by myself, but these two are just too cute and since they call me Aunt they can total...


I've been in a funk at work, not really knowing what the problem was....then I realized.....ITS FEBRUARY AND I HAVEN'T BEEN TO A SINGLE SHEEP CAMP. doh, easy fix right there! So I spent my day off in coveralls on the desert and just like that I feel better!

I love it, I love spending time with my ranchers, I love meeting the herders, I love the dogs, I love the sheep and I love being in the wide open spaces. Hours melt into minutes on the desert and I honestly can't think of much I'd rather be doing than helping move camps, deliver groceries and making sure everything is ok.


Q: I know most of your dogs aren't aggressive towards people, but this one is extra friendly...what's his story?
A: Usually we put the guard dog puppies in a corral with sheep so that they will bond with the sheep and not with humans. Fugo didn't spend as much time in the bonding pen as he should have ie, he was "adopted" by humans. Fugo is not only a guard dog, but he is also the only house trained guard dog I've ever known.


Q: So if Fugo is a little spoiled....is he doing ok as a guard dog?
A: He shows alot of the same traits as many of our alpha male guard dogs. He is new to this herd and doing much better. The last herd he was with, there was already 3 alpha male guard dogs there and he wasn't faring so well. I think he is going to turn out ok, but he is for sure the friendliest guard dog that we have. So far he is leading all the pups that we have with this herd pretty well.

 
Q: Why are there cuts on the sheep's mouths?
A: Because its been so warm (mid 40s) and so windy (30 - 50 mph) the past couple of days its made the snow extremely hard. As they dig through the snow for forage and also for "water" the icy snow can cut their mouths. Because they aren't swollen, bleeding or fresh, they are healing and are past the worst of it. Hopefully we will get some fresh snow and they will really be in the clear.


Q: Why do you mix the ewe lambs and ewes in these winter herds?
A: We like to mix our ewe lambs with the older ewes so they can learn how to live on the open range, especially in the winter, the older ewes know where to go and what to do. When we cut the bucks out of the herd, we will also cut the ewe lambs back into their own herd before lambing.

Q: I'm seeing a lot of "wild" horses today, is the BLM going to have a gather soon?
A: The BLM should be conducting a gather later this summer. They will likely wait until later in the summer when the colts are older to reduce the chance of injuring them. The wild horse herds are reproducing at approximately 20% increases per year. The population gets out of control easily at that rate. There isn't enough grass or water to sustain a population that grows that fast with no management.
It’s Groundhog Month!! So, depending on how you look at things, you may be wanting that little rascal to see his shadow, or not. This month, I honor of the rodent and the great movie it brought us, I’m throwing it back, tune wise.


The City Put the Country Back in Me, Neal McCoy
Blame it on Texas, Mark Chesnutt
I Can Still Make Cheyenne, George Strait
Western Skies, Chris LeDoux
You’re Gone, Diamond Rio 


Enjoy!