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You might be a rancher if ...

Marci Whitehurst for Progressive Cattleman Published on 14 April 2016
boy and dog

The grass is greening up; babies are jumping around fields; and it's time for some spring-cleaning in the yard. It was in the yard where I found hundreds of bones. OK, not hundreds, but a lot. I found them in my flower beds, the grass and under the porch. Apparently hunting season was good for our cow dogs.

Aren't cow dogs one of the signs that you're a rancher? What place would be complete without them? Ranchers must have a momma dog, a replacement, and well, there's that one special pup out of each litter. I won't admit to how many dog dishes we fill each day.

Dogs aren't the only sign you're a rancher. Jeff Foxworthy has his telltale, "You might be a redneck if ..." I'm certain we ranchers would overlap with some of Mr. Foxworthy's statements, but it wouldn't take much to come up with a list of our very own.

You might be a rancher if ...

That door in your refrigerator has actually never housed eggs, but is considered the "vaccine compartment." Our kids used to call it the medicine door.

Terms like "calf pullers," "nipples" and "insemination" come out in casual conversation.

The kids use the terms above at school.

You make no friends in Lamaze class due to aforementioned terms.

Riding on the tractor with your hubby counts as a date night.

There is a sign above the bed that reads "Please remove your spurs before getting into bed." (We picked this up on our honeymoon because we thought it was funny, but found it slightly appropriate.)

Laundry stains don't stop at food drips. Pat yourself on the back if you've ever gotten calf scours out of jeans before.

You rip one sleeve off your shirt after an emergency in the field. Or, you know why your husband ripped one sleeve off his shirt and you're glad he did it.

Supper's late because you run on cowboy time.

You watch reruns of the classics: Gunsmoke, The Lone Ranger and anything with horses. You get double the points if you think Texas John Slaughter is a superhero.

Beef truly is what's for dinner. Almost always.

Brandings are your favorite community event. (This isn't funny. They really are the best.)

Your work clothes are your coveralls, and your good pair has a hole in them.

Work gloves are purchased in bulk.

No one but another cowboy wants to use your pocketknife to cut open a package of hot dogs at a barbecue.

You no longer smell manure.

When someone gives you a bumper sticker, you consider putting it on your horse.

You are late for church, a date or a wedding (anything you've dressed up for) because the cows got out or the neighbor's cows got out.

Your 12-year-old can drive a manual as well as an adult.

The "birds and the bees" speech morphs into the "bulls and the heifers" speech.

You plan your wedding and other life events around haying season and calving season.

"Fast food" makes you think of antelope or mule deer.

And lastly, when you forget to stock up on J-Lube for preg-checking or A.I.'ing and the ranch supply is closed, the local pharmacist doesn't even raise an eyebrow when you buy an entire case of KY Jelly.

This list certainly isn't exhaustive. I'm sure many of you ranching comrades out there could add several fitting additions. The reality is we are blessed by the life we live. Those outside of the agricultural arena may not always understand us, but at the end of the day, home is a comfortable place to pop off our spurs and hang up our hats. We are grateful to say, we're ranchers.  end mark

Marci Whitehurst is a freelance writer, ranch wife and the mother of three children. You can follow her at her blog.

PHOTO: One of our ranch dogs getting some love before getting banished from the chute. Photo by Marci Whitehurst.