Getter Done Gals


Monday, October 10, 2011


By Welda Grider

April 20, 2008

Pearls of wisdom

Filed under: General — Julie @ 8:38 pm
 ”Mama, when I grow up, I’m gonna be a cowboy.”
“Make up your mind son, because you can’t do both.”

April 19, 2008

Reasons not to assault a ranch woman

Filed under: General — Julie @ 10:56 am
This story was written by a friend of mine, Welda Grider, published in a local newspaper and has quickly made the rounds of the internet. It’s too good not to continue its path around the world. Julie Carter
Reasons not to assault a ranch woman
By Welda McKinley Grider
Violence does not scare us. We ride 1,500 pound horses and stare down an alley full of mad, snot-slinging cows that weigh over 800 pounds. We’ve held down calves that outweigh you by four times.
Don’t try to intimidate us. Most of our husbands stand a head and shoulders taller,outweigh us by 100 pounds and we aren’t scared of them.
Why would be we be frightened by someone who can’t keep their pants up?
Every time we work cows, our husbands threaten us if we don’t get out of the gate. They threaten us if we don’t stay in the gate.We are pretty much not impressed by threats.
Plus, if you get much closer we may give you some threats of our own to consider and be able to back it up.
Don’t wave that knife at me, boy. I castrate when we brand, throw the “mountain oysters” on the fire AND eat them, dirt and all. You probably don’t want to go there.
Don’t threaten to steal my pickup. I work for a living, so have insurance. The chances of you being able to drive a standard are next to none and there is no spare.
I’ve walked home from the back side of the ranch, I can walk from here.
You want my purse? Take my purse. It has little money in it because, as I mentioned, I work for a living.
You will find various receipts for feed and vet supplies, some dried up gum and the notice for my next teeth cleaning.
The only “drugs” you will find is something that is either aspirin or a calf scours pill but its been in there so long I’ve forgotten which it is.
Don’t threaten to hurt me. I may look old and fragile to you, but I can ride horseback for 12 hours, with nothing to eat or drink. I have been kicked, bucked off, run over and mucked out.
I’ve had worse things happen to me in the corrals than you have experienced in the little gang wars you’ve been through, and still cooked supper for a crew.
You may whip me, son, but you’ll be a tired, sore S.O.B. in the morning and yes, I will remember your face because I am used to knowing which calf belongs to which cow.
I’ll also remember which direction you went and what you were wearing because I’ve tracked many a cow with less information than you’ve given me.
You are not going to scare me with that little “Saturday Night Special” when I have a .38 in my boot.
You need not think I won’t shoot you. I’ve shot several coyotes and numerous rattlesnakes. I put down my horse when he broke his leg and shot my pet dog when he killed some sheep.
Don’t think I won’t consider you a rabid dog and go on my way.
Welda McKinley Grider was raised by a ranch woman, knows many and would pity the thug that tried to rob them.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Cowgirl Sass & Savvy By Julie Carter
Language ranks among the most visible, audible, extensive, and useful cultural evidence that human societies create. Undeniably, it is one of the more important parts of any culture.
Anyone looking into ranch life and cowboy history will find that the culture of the American West has a language all its own. Yankees don’t understand it and rarely recognize it as a real language.
I know that my personal dialect is that of a direct plain-spoken Westerner. I use words that others don’t recognize as words and I leave out words (that) others would place in the thought process I’m expressing. See parenthesis. They might call it correct grammar, I call it unnecessary.
While I possess in the recesses of my upbringing a full vocabulary of “range vernacular,” some very skilled mentors managed to round off the edges of my speech.
As a young girl my mother came to the West from the civilized world bringing with her a refined vocabulary. I was also blessed with teachers that were able to guide me to hold my own in polite company when it came to conversation.
I’m not embarrassed that I often have to look up the meaning of words used casually and easily by my fellow scribes. Given the opportunity, I could give them a few they would have to investigate, not because they are unlearned but because it’s a foreign language to them. And those words won’t be in ordinary dictionaries.
In the language called cowboy, jingle isn’t the sound that a bell makes or a rhyme. It is a verb that means to gather the horses.
By definition, hooley-ann isn’t a country girl but a type of loop thrown to catch a horse. Hoolihan is something completely different. While dew claw is a part of bovine anatomy, the labels for saddle horses from the remuda could include crow-hopper, craw-fisher or the blind bucker.
The early cowboy was generally not highly educated but he never lacked for expression. The sharp directness of his speech seemed novel and strange to conventional people but no one could accuse him of being boring. His ability to turn a picturesque phrase was as refreshing as it was unexpected and often showed his keen sense of humor.
His figures of speech are descriptive and clearly accurate. Trying to accomplish the impossible is “like tryin’ to scratch your ear with your elbow.” When expressing his idea of prominence he might say it “stuck out like a new saloon in a church district.”
Pretty is “prettier than a spotted dog under a red wagon,”and ugly is expressed in colorful descriptions like “so narrow between the eyes he could look through a keyhole with both eyes.” Chouse is chase -- cows or girls and sometimes both.
Today’s cowboy is quite often very educated, but you will find that the book learnin’ never takes away his ability to employ his words in a way that suits him. He will arrange them in a manner that best expresses his idea and be completely unrestricted by tradition.
That cowboy slang, twang and verbal saunter is often worn like the camouflage of a chameleon. It is not unusual for a cowboy to use it to beguile his listener, lulling them into a false sense of superiority.
The dumb-ol’-boy trick has made many a cowboy a pile of money. Their theory is to not ever tamper with the natural ignorance of a greenhorn.
Whatever their dialect, phraseology, and vernacular, the cowboy has always had a way of expressing a big thought in a few words.“Success is the size of the hole a man leaves after he dies.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Julie knows a cowchip is paradise for a fly. She can be reached for comment at

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Cowgirl Sass & Savvy by Julie Carter
It was about now, in the middle of a long hot summer, that I would start to miss school. Not school for the education, but school for the friends and the activities.
Rural living for us as kids was defined by isolation at the ranch in the southern Colorado Mountains.
No one "went to town" once school was out in May, except maybe Mom who made her once a month trek to the grocery store. Our return to civilization didn't happen until after Labor Day when the school bell rang once again.
The decade of the '60s took me from 8 to 18 and was jammed with life lessons and foundational principles. All the things I had but didn't know were important would not become apparent to me until I was old enough to mourn their loss, value their existence, and understand the lessons that came with them.
It was before we knew sugar wasn't good for us and Kool-Aid was our year-round beverage of choice either in the liquid form or frozen into popsicles in the summer. The alternative was the gallons of fresh raw milk that completely filled the top shelf of our refrigerator.
Summer days ran together in an endless manner that changed only in the way I changed. As a pre-teen, I began each day with figuring out what to do to keep me busy so the chore list from my mom wasn't increased. Saying "I'm bored" was a sure way to win half a day of weeding the gigantic garden, cleaning stalls or some like sentence.
Hay meadows and a nearby cold, mountain creek provided an enchanted play world for all of us -- three brothers, two summer resident kids and the occasional visiting cousin or two.
When I reached the age that I knew boys didn't really have cooties and that being a teenager made everyone else so very hard to communicate with, I was still in isolation.
I found solace in spending the days wandering the hills on my horse, talking to my faithful Australian-shepherd sidekick and daydreaming of a more romantic world that had no real definition. I spent hours reading books and writing long letters, both of which took me to an outside world I didn't really know.
I'd only heard about the "hippies" and all that went with what most people recall of that decade. Vietnam was on the news and a world away. A stamp was five cents and so was a Hershey bar. I am vague on where I was when the Beatles hit the scene, but I remember where I was when JFK was shot.
Civilization in the form of the nearest town of a few hundred people offered lessons in what it was to be draggin' main and the finer details of a Chinese Fire Drill. An icy Coca-Cola and a basket of French fries in town was the height of delight.
Duck tail haircuts, beehive hair, hip-hugger pants and mini-skirts were about as "with it" as any of us at school got. Go-go boots and shoulder-length hair with that perfect flip made you "cool." The way-out kids wore Nero-collared shirts and sported peace sign necklaces.
"Gunsmoke and Rawhide", (yes, in black and white) were favorites but we didn't get that channel and had to settle for "Wagon Train" and "Bonanza" on the one we did receive. "Big Valley" made its debut mid-decade, as did "Days of our Lives", back when a half-hour sufficed for soap opera drama.
There isn't a '60s memory that doesn't include late night radio from Oklahoma City. KOMA brought the latest and greatest in the world of Rock and Roll to every country kid in several states between there and the Rocky Mountains. The Beach Boys, Righteous Brothers, Mamas and Papas, the Supremes, Simon and Garfunkel and so many more. And, of course a few slow dances with Bobby Vinton.
The window to a world I was yet to know was as simple as a nine-volt battery in a transistor radio.
Julie can be reached for comment at

Monday, July 18, 2011


Cowgirl Sass & Savvy by Julie Carter
“Riding for the brand” and “making a hand” are two expressions that are short on words but big on meaning, which seems appropriate for the Western genre they represent. Much like the word “cowboy,” there is a lifetime of components built into it.
Every cowboy kid grows up hearing these phrases - knowing it is part of what and who he is destined to be. How he gets there is just part of everyday living.
Ranch kids are given big responsibilities at a young age. It might start with simple chores like daily taking out the ashes from the wood stove, filling the wood box, bringing in the milk cow every evening, and gathering the eggs from the chicken house which includes eluding the rooster that is always waiting to attack.
Right around that same age, the youngster will unassumingly be given some responsibilities in the pasture beyond the usual seemingly permanent position of riding drag behind the herd.
As his dad rides off one direction, he’ll tell the young button to ride down a long draw as he points to it, bring along any cattle he finds and meet the cowboys at the gate at the end of the canyon.
With some pride filling his heart, the button will sit a little taller in the saddle as he rides off.
As his horse picks his way through the quakies, a few head of cattle lift their heads from their grazing and start moving down the draw ahead of him.
The lad pulls off a small branch from a sapling as he rides by it and pops it on his leather chaps in a rhythm that matches the gait of the trotting cattle. He doesn’t know it yet, but those moments will be remembered by him as some of his happiest.
He keeps an eye on the ridge above him, hoping he’s not ahead of the rider coming that way or not too far behind the ones he is to meet. A few times a little worry eases its way into his gut. What if he wasn’t in the right canyon or not going the right way?
When he rode out of the end of the draw and no one was at the gate, he again gave thought to the possibility he wasn’t where he was supposed to be or maybe they’d forgotten about him.
The few head of cattle he’d pushed out hit the fence line. He trotted ahead of them, got them stopped and then sat quietly while they settled down.
He knew he should just wait. At least he had some cattle to show for his efforts.
He slouched in the saddle and began, one by one, stripping the leaves off the branch he’d brought along. He chewed on one and tossed the rest at a make-believe target a few feet away. Then he began peeling off the bark, keeping one eye on the cattle, and keeping his hands busy and mind occupied. Killing time he wasn’t sure he had to kill.
He stood in his saddle and looked in every direction for signs of anyone, anything.
He listened for the sounds of cracking branches and horse shoes striking rocks, or the sounds of cattle moving through the trees. Still nothing. Knowing he needed to trust his raising and for sure better be where his dad told him to be, he waited it out.
Finally, in a far distance he could hear an occasional “whoop” and “h’yah” as the cowboys moved a big herd down the fence line from the backside of the pasture. The button grinned, again sitting tall in the saddle, looking every bit the cowboy he wanted to be.
His dad rode by him and gave him a nod. It said all he needed to “hear.” In that gesture was “Good job son. You made a hand.”
Those times are the confidence builders that build a foundation for a life and it plants seeds for loyalty and pride in a job well done.
"It was probably a step in the making of a cowhand when he learned that what would pass for heroics in a softer world was only chores around here." Wallace Stegner, Wolf Willow: A History, a Story, and a Memory of the Last Plains Frontier
Julie can be reached for comment at

Sunday, March 6, 2011


by Julie Carter
"There's just one thing that keeps him from being the best cowboy ever - he's worthless."

That quote from John Erikson covers a lot of things, not just cowboys. However, as usual, my story heads down that trail.
Troy is cowboy, a roper, a contractor, husband, father, grandfather and a horse trader.
The trader qualities likely negate the credibility of the others and the stated order is probably not in proper priority according to Troy. However, the story will set that straight.
This week Troy has four good rope horses. They come and go. Sometimes he's afoot and has to borrow horses to rope on.
When he will finally, actually buy a horse for his own use, some fool will come along and offer him big bucks and it's gone.
He is the quirky kind of roper/horseman -- one that can make any plug look like a winner. People buy his horses because they think that the horse will make them as good a roper as Troy.
When Troy is afoot and needy for a horse to rope on, he gets pitifully melancholy.
He'd been to a benefit roping over the weekend and it set his mind to thinking perhaps he needed such a roping for himself.
The roper benefiting from the roping had an appendectomy. He was a truck driver, working for a big company and had health insurance, but was having trouble meeting the $500 deductible because he had to save his money for entry fees.
He also needed some time off to recuperate. He was running out of sick leave and didn't want to use any of his vacation days. He needed those for ropings come summer.
The "benefit" package of such a roping was looking good to Troy.
His personal pity party included the recall of all his most recent woes.
He'd spent a couple days sitting around a distant hospital waiting on a grandbaby's arrival. Once that happened, his wife gave him permission to go home.
He hit the ranch gate at in full anticipation of fun. He went directly to gather up his horses, get them saddled and head over to this local benefit roping.
As he led the horses to the trailer, he noticed one of them was limping. A close examination revealed he needed to call the horseshoer.
So he headed back to the house to use the phone and simultaneously remembered he was supposed to be watching his other two grandchildren who had been dropped off just as he arrived.
He called his father-in-law to come get the kids, called the horseshoer and then went back out to the barn.
When he got there, his hired hand yelled at him that water was "coming out of the house."
He remembered that he had to gather clothes for the kids anyway, so he went back to the house.
He found massive amounts of water gushing out of a wall.
Quickly taking the siding and the insulation off, he found that the pipes that had been frozen earlier in the week, were now thawing and broken.
Recognizing that the repair was going to be a major job, he shut off all the water to the house. After all, the wife was still off with the new grandbaby business, what did he need water for?
Eventually, the father-in-law showed up and Troy had to shortcut him from going into the house.
He got the clothes gathered up for the kids, the horseshoer arrived and did his thing and finally, Troy left for the roping.
There was a nice big buckle to be won and Troy took it as part of his plunder for the day. He roped all day long, rode down his two good horses and only came out $16 in the hole. Success is relative.
What sealed the deal for is desire for a personal benefit roping was when Troy greeted another roper he knew.
"Hey man, haven't seen you in a while. Where have you been?"
"Aw, I've been working three days a week," was the pitiful reply from the accomplished #8 roper.
"Three days? How's that working for you?" Troy asked.
"Well, had to go to three, two didn't work out, I couldn't pay my bills."
Julie can be reached for comment at