Thursday, April 3, 2014

Horseshoes Rusted

It's been an extremely long time since I've written in my blog.

Many things have happened. …But I am excited to share something that has been taking off in my neck of the woods.

I have created a little company called Horseshoes Rusted and I am creating many wonderful creations using reclaimed wood.

Here are some of the items I have created out of wood….I can hand paint and hand burn signs out of reclaimed wood.


Hand Burnt Flying M Ranch with Brand

Hand Painted Sign


Picture Frame



Hand Painted with Orion Belt Constellation



If you are interested in selling any of these signs in bulk, let me know. If you are interested in purchasing some of these creations for your own home I can do that too.

For the most recent collection please click HERE.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Branding 2013

Back in May our family held our annual Morehouse Branding. This was our first branding at our new ranch in Oklahoma. My in-laws, Jim and Lucile provided their chuckwagon and drove from Colorado to Oklahoma, roughly 14 hours with their dog Rounder.

There is a stereotype about in-laws. You shouldn't like them. I, however, love mine. :) Lucile enjoys the same things that I do. We enjoy hiking, nature, gardening, cooking, and animals. Her and I can enjoy hours talking...well...I do most of the talking, she just patiently listens....something that I am always working on. My father in law, Jim, loves to create wood projects. I didn't get into projects like that until after I left...wish I would have gotten into 'wood crafting' before so I could pick his brain.

So they made the journey to Oklahoma. At the time we only knew our neighbors so we asked for their assistance and told them we'd appreciate if they rounded up others. We called a friend from Texas and we set the date.

This year, we did something different. Even though we have a registered brand, we chose to earmark the calves, band the steers, and give them a shot. Usually we castrate, brand, and vaccinate them. But we are already going back to branding. The ear marks, when they healed, grew over with tons of fur, making it near impossible to tell we had earmarked them.

In addition, we always had old working cattle friends that would rope and drag the calf to the fire. Folks in Oklahoma don't do it like that anymore. I'm finding the old days....are becoming more and more rare.

The day before the branding was great catching up with Jim and Lucile. Here is Reese taking a break to love on the horses, who hadn't dropped their babies yet. (The branding was back in May-and I'm just posting it, in Jan. of 2014!) I'm on top of things!
I gave Lucile a tour of our ranch. Little Lucile helped.
Reese helped Grandpa Jim with food preparation.

Our neighbor boy, Rocky, gave Lucy a ride the day of the branding.



Here is the old chuck wagon.

Jim rebuilt the chuck wagon using only authentic material. It still has wooden wheels. It's amazing!

Lucy inspecting Grandpa's cast iron pots.

And the work began. We just started grabbing and throwing. This is harder than it looks. Which is why we decided to buy a calf table. Yes, we are becoming modernized in Oklahoma. 

Chuck, on the left is clipping the ears, Kristy is vaccinating, I'm holding the front leg and Dalton is pulling the back one. In the background, others are flipping and holding. On average we would have two to three grounded at a time. 

Some took a bit more help...Ok..a lot more. Some of them were big boys!

Back straight, knees bent, holding a kicking calf. Ohh the posture! Shawnee to the left helped in flipping.


We also banded the steers.

You can also hold the back leg at a sitting position. Towards the end we all were sitting...

Barry flipping and sorting through the maze of calves.


So when we got tired we opened up a larger pen and started to rope and drag. Barry, Rocky, and Dalton roped (as a host, you never rope-it's a rule of thumb, you allow your friends to do this part)..You work! Not play and rope! :) Here I am either taking off a rope or gathering a leg for a two leg catch. If the rope catches only one back leg we down the calf and hand place the rope on both back legs, so the horse can pull both feet. I only got kicked a couple times.


Water breaks were frequent. It was hot out but because of our huge pecan tree, we had shade most of the day. 

Finally the work was complete, we were able to enjoy a hot meal from Jim and Lucile. The kids helped cook. Here is Meagan and Jaimie. 


Did I mention the food was the bomb! We had brisket, potatoes with green chilies, baked beans, biscuits, and peach cobbler. 

The kiddos got to ride Casey, our horse. This is Lilly, one of our friends.

Of course dad put Lucy on....and let her go. Mommy shouldn't have panic attacks but she was only two! But..yet again, she's a natural.

Carol.

Reese got a turn.

I loved on Boomer. He was good most of the day. 

Kiddos playing.

Nate kicking the herd back out.


Bellies full...kids were slowing down.

Like father like son.

Lucile captured a rare moment with us. We really do love one another.

And of course once we saw, we became goofs. I mean, no one needs to see that sissy stuff.

Happy cows.

Next day we hiked the property with the dogs. Notice our border collie, Gin, far left and his once a year shave...My husband is no dog groomer.

We also had a calf that had scours and ended up dying. Here we tried to hand milk the mom to keep her milk supply coming but ultimately this was the result. (I wrote about the babies death in a circle of life post). 

Kiddos and I enjoying the day after.

We were able to snap these rare photos just before Jim and Lucile left.

Even got one of our family. 

Hope you all enjoyed the pictures of our annual branding...that will go back to branding this spring. I will try to be more diligent in posting sooner but on this ranch...it's sorta like we try to get things done. And facebook, blogs, and social media seem to take a back seat to the ranch. As it should be! 

Happy 2014!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

January 2014 Giveaway for Following my Etsy Stores!

JANUARY GIVEAWAY!!!!
Greetings Okie Suds fans! If you haven't already, go to www.facebook.com/okiesuds and like that page for giveaways all year long! I think with the start of the new year, I am going to be giving away one bar of soap (Fresh Snow) to one lucky winner for the month of January!
So how do you enter? 

Follow BOTH of my Etsy stores…that's it! I'll do a random.org drawing on the last day in January and make the announcement here. 

My Stores:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/OkieSuds
https://www.etsy.com/shop/HorseshoesRusted
(Click on "Favorite" with the heart)

Pst. There are VERY FEW FOLLOWERS. I think I have like one in HorseshoesRusted…lol! Let's get my followers up! Pst. If you follow 'as a secret follower' I won't be able to find you and your follow won't count.  Sorry!
Fresh Snow

Monday, December 30, 2013

Etsy

Please favorite my store!
Etsy listing at https://www.etsy.com/listing/158592935/lavender-oatmeal-soap-by-okie-suds

Monday, December 23, 2013

Boycotting A&E AND GQ

Goodmorning folks!

I normally don't write about my religious or political beliefs on my blog for ….the sensitive readers. I never want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.

So let's jump right in…and if you are sensitive…well…let's say you better toughen up.

Most of you know about Duck Dynasty's patriarch Phil Robertson being lashed and everyone boycotting A&E.

I am going to just say something about that…..

WE NEED TO BOYCOT GQ!!

First of all the writer, Drew Magary, is a horrible writer. How did he get a job writing anyways? Cause he can bull shit into a paying gig? His strategy is to throw in cuss words once in a while to keep it appealing to GQ readers and to make some smart ass remarks here and there?

Let's just be real for a moment. GQ SET PHIL UP. Yes you heard me right. I'm sure some executive at GQ said…let's spice up our next article, Drew…talk to that religious nut about something controversial to his religion.

Abortion? Homosexuality?

I can just see them all chuckle and then GQ let the shark go.

Let's put this into perspective, Drew shows up at Phil's house…where a man can truly be himself. Then  Drew asks him some ice breaker questions to get him loosened up and warmed up to him. They are driving around his property. And I'm sure, in my opinion, Drew said, "Oh and I can't believe some people can be gay! I mean what is up with that?"

WHY WOULD I SAY THIS?

Look at the quote from GQ: REF: http://www.gq.com/entertainment/television/201401/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson
"It seems, to me, a vagina-as a man-would be more desirable than a man's anus. That's just me. I'm just thinking: There's more there! She's got more to offer. I mean, come on dudes! You know what I'm saying? But hey, sin: It's not logical, my man. It's just not logical."

Perhaps Drew, you should have gotten shot for being an impostor.

You got your article….

So now…I am going to BOYCOTT the snake on the tree, not the apple. GQ, if you want to mess with someone's livelihood based on their religious beliefs, you are more so the antichrist than A&E (who I am also going to boycott).

I have friends that are gay, lesbian, and transgender. I will always love them. I also believe in the Bible and how you should not sin. And their lifestyle is in sin. (I have sinned too-and I will always try to repent) …because Christ said, "Go and sin no more"….

Our founding fathers in this country believed in God. We are trying to believe we are a nation that you can worship however you wish….yet we are stifling God out of our schools and our government.

I come from Oklahoma. We still talk about God here. We still work hard during the day and go to church on Sunday. We raise our children to have manners and yes.. I SPANK MY CHILDREN. (omg).

I think GQ needs it's own spanking. If you were my child you wouldn't get a damn time out. You'd get a whipping over my knee. How dare you play with someone's livelihood.

I'm Autumn from Oklahoma and GQ, you come to my property, and you will get shot for trespassing.

So…what are you doing about it? Don't just sit back and do nothing. 
Sign the petition at 

It's about time we get our country back. 











Monday, December 2, 2013

Ranching with a Vegan company

So I have a company. :)
It's a soap company that is all vegan. But we also live on a cattle ranch. Isn't this hypocrisy you would ask yourself?

To answer this question I will have to go back to the beginning.

In high school I was a vegetarian for several years. I still ate cheese and drank milk. I have a strong love for animals. I volunteered at the local animal shelter and also had an intership at Sea World in San Antonio. As we were flying back my friend said, "I would rather see them in the ocean". That statement, all though small made a huge impact upon my life. I was wanting to be a marine biologist at the time.

In my mind we needed places like Sea World. But not because of the shows. What they had behind the scenes was what captivated me. We learned about the various marine animals and it was in those moments that I really found my connection with them. My parents wouldn't fund my education for a marine biology degree stating, "You will be away from us too much" and I didn't know that we had choices (apart from our parents' ideas) so I ended up going with computer science, switching majors, and ended up with a business degree. My life with animals became non-existant as circled around my computer and worked for non-profits as a single mother.

Years later I met and fell in love with a rancher. How was I to know what it was like??

I saw some crazy stuff happening all around me. I saw the most grittiest cowboy who could rope a wild cow off the back of his horse, stop and nurse a calf back to health. I also saw him shoot a calf when it was in too much pain.

We raise our beef on grass. I once was asked, "Since you don't give any growth hormones or anything to your calves, what happens if one gets sick. Do you deny antibiotics?"

I turned to her and said, "Why would I want anything to suffer. I will give a shot of antibiotics to a calf that needs it. I would not appose killing a calf, with a bullet, if it was suffering." This year we only doctored two calves. One made it, one didn't.

I'm not a monster. I thought to myself as she stormed away. I'm human. I have feelings and emotions. We have horses, dogs, and cattle. Our animals live such a free life while at our place. Our dogs spend every day outside running around. We've had other strays come into our yard and we've fed them. They stick around until the neighbors come and get them. I can't help but think that if they had it so bad at our house, they would just return where they came from.

I think back on my life. I understand people want to have a certain lifestyle that allows animals to live and be free. Free from eating. Free from pain and suffering.

I also think that our mother cows are treated with the utmost humane care. I have a bunch of them and they are my life. I have gone out in an ice storm to help a calf get to the other side of the fence with it's mother. I have massaged scours butts' of calves (nasty-yellow-smell) to get the calf to eat from it's mother.

That is the animal lover in me.

So why would you kill a calf? One nasty twitter reader once tweeted me because they saw I was a rancher. They don't know me.

I love my family. They also need to survive. God gave us the animals so that we could eat and provide for our families. I don't take that lightly. This was my husband's choice before I met him. I am with him and now it is my choice to stand by his side and ranch. We are conscious meat producers. I buy cage free eggs. :) (ADD MOMENT: thinking of getting some chickens).

I can feel my hippy come out in me when I ask my husband for one more day to get a calf to take a bottle....but even I know when it's time to let animals go. Just like the powerful cycle of life. It's mysterious. It's sometimes not fair (one of my clapa (Cleft Lip and Palate Association) friends just gave birth to a stillborn son). I can rest assure anyone's hatred if you personally come to my ranch and see how we live. If you have the time to do that. If you get to know me and still think that I am a monster, by all means....write hateful things about me, to me, etc. But most likely you will discover that I am a human. Our greatest need...each and every one of us....is to be accepted.

Okie Suds has vegan products that do not contain anything from an animal....no fat, no milk, nothing. Strictly from the vegetables on this planet. Why? I don't like the smell of goat's milk. I love gardening. I also love all natural products. They make my skin feel amazing.

I wanted to write this because many of my soap customers are vegan and make strict decisions. I wanted them to understand these things about me personally for being a producer of beef and also having an eco friendly company. It's a choice. I fell in love with a rancher with a heart as deep as the ocean. And....I'm an animal lover.

But also ... we use our animals to create our living. We use our horses to ride. We use our dogs to help gather. They are working dogs. We also use our cows for beef.

I still dream of life on the ocean. But... perhaps another time. For now,  I will study grasses, watch cattle, and enjoy my family.....which includes the entire herd.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Building a pallet back yard swing

It's summer time and since our nearest park is about 15 miles away, I am bringing the park to our house. I bought two pieces of rope from the hardware. I slipped it through some tubing we had but you can also buy tubing at the hardware store. I put it in a secured location and placed a slip knot to secure the ends to the tree. 

I had two pieces of pallet that were pretty sturdy. 

I used another pallet and cut it into several pieces.

Those pieces I then screwed into the two sturdy boards. 

Upon flipping over the wood, I discovered a scorpion. Yikes. I never have seen a scorpion before in my life so it was pretty freaky since I didn't know how poisonous they were. I ended up talking to a local and they said they hurt like sin but won't kill ya. Good to know. 

I then set it up just to see if it would work. The rope is a bit far but I wanted it large enough for two people to sit on it, aka, my kids together or two...