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Mountain Cowgirl

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Before it slips my aging mind, I wonder if all of you know that the term "to moon" referring to dropping your drawers and showing your bare bottom as an insult, came from the old ritual of cutting out a moon shape in an outhouse door. To moon meant to set your bottom on the comforts of that carefully sculptured hole leading to an underground chamber that would be dressed with a sprinkling of lime after the business was concluded.

Sometime in the late 1970s my friend a horse nut, announced a girl road trip up to Hermiston for a big horse sale. She needed another horse like she needed a hole in her head. Her overgrazed pastures were to my advantage because, in trade for a highly trained cow horse on a lease spring to fall, I provided 10 acres of luscious grass pasture. I wasn't much into trail riding and all that recreational horse stuff, but riding the allotments checking on cattle for area ranchers was a fun way to pick up some extra cash and keep my coveted status as a cattle woman. Just having a horse alone was seen as being a "cowgirl" even though no cows might be found for 100 miles. That always frosted my patoot. A frosted patoot is another saying I developed from my winter outhouse using days. I don't think I need to explain.

Anyway, on that trip just shy of North Powder, traffic was moving slow and since I was riding "shotgun" I and the back cab (Ford 250 dual cab) shotgun rider were dared to moon the shirtless well-tanned hunks working along the freeway. They were waving at us so after we whistled at them and on a dare, we shotgunners mooned them. Sure glad I got that off my bucket list when I was young because now such a baring of my bottom, public or private, to a male would have me in jail for manslaughter. Indecent exposure is a lesser charge than manslaughter. The beauty of being in our late 20s is none of the guys filed charges against us. Doubters say that the old dual axle horse trailer blocked the pickup license plates, thus saving our bacon.

Ok, let's depart from that irrelevant rambling to address the origin of riding shotgun. In short, it referred to the rider carrying a shotgun alongside the teamster driving a stagecoach. I feel a twinge of sadness as I now reflect on Soapweed's stories about his days as a teamster. I miss his stories here on Ranchers. Wiping tears, I now try to refocus on the proverbial privy documentary.

Wait a minute. Why are undies referred to as drawers? That one puzzled me as a child, but my granny cleared the air stating the obvious. Outer clothes are hung but underwear is put in drawers. Long Johns is another puzzler but easily understood when you think of using "the john" on a cold day which was originally an outdoor facility void of any "fancy pants" modernization. Long johns were worn to bed so a mid-night visit to the "john" was a bit more bearable.

Now fancy pants come from the idea that one wears dress pants rather than work pants. Sunday dress is excluded from this saying of judgment. A salesman in a suit trying to sell aluminum siding to a remote rustic ranch boasting a log cabin would be met with, " Hand me my shotgun papa some "fancy pants" vermin is headed our way to try and swindle us out of our last buffalo (referring to a nickel).

You all see how the outhouse, the privy, the john, the loo, the potty, the facilities, etc., opens doors to an entire variety of topics. Even Sears and Rearback and Monkey Wards can be mentioned in the same breath. I gotta see a man about a horse comes from the days when that was a phrase used for a guy to escape off to the horse race and hang out with his buddies where nothing good ever happened, so the wives assigned a factious meaning to it indicating a visit to the bodily relief facilities was in order to express their disgust with their spouses attempts to hide the truth.

I was discussing the outhouse of old with a group of young ranch ladies that claimed outhouse experience because they had used port-a-johns or potties at the rodeo. I was incensed that that had the audacity to compare that plastic highly chemicalized oasis of refuge to the organic wooden outhouse of old. Does that plastic container of toxicity have a moon cut in the door? No, it does not, so there!
 
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webfoot

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During the winter of '78-'79 I was falling timber on the west side of the Olympics in Washington. I had an old high school buddy and hunting partner working for the forest circus over there. So I set camp with him. We were up stream from Lake Quinalt headed to the National park. It was 3 miles passed the end of the power lines. It was like moving back in time. We had a wood cook stove, wood heat, a hand pump on the back porch, kerosene lamps the whole 9 yards. That location is the Olympic rain forest. Somewhere around 200 inches of rain a year. No running water so yes we had an out house. The old saying about the out house being 100 feet to close in the summer and 100 feet to far away in the winter really applied. Especially in the winter portion. There is a certain flavor added to a late night dash when it is pouring buckets.
 

Mountain Cowgirl

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"Forest circus"...🤣😂🤣
Perfect!
Yes, it has always been the Forest Circus in these parts. I worked one season on a thinning contract running a bowbar and that mundanity combined with idiots in charge that couldn't agree on what to do and the worthless slash piling pot smokers that did clean up, I was done with that bunch of morons that voted for Jimmy Carter. The only other job I did for them was building a range fence. I quit one day when some pencil you know what chauvinist pile of liberal swine poo demanded that my rock jacks be redone because I didn't use the right size of rocks. I had jammed some smaller rocks in the spaces between the larger ones for extra weight and stability and put hog wire over the rock pile. They exceed any specs known and would stand even under a bison stampede, but despite the approved adequate larger rocks, the smaller rock was prohibited. No one changed them after I walked off. I bet they are still there today.

Forest Circus is sugar-coating it. The Ringling Brothers wouldn't give those Forest Gumps on steroids the time of day. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

Mountain Cowgirl

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Getting back to the out house they were called a Biffy around here/
Interesting. Biffy is another name for butt around here. "You can bet your sweet biffy on that." :)

Did anyone know that the crescent moon on the outhouse was for women and a star for men, but since men chose to use the great outdoors rather than be confined to the space of an outhouse, that starred outhouses became rare. I have never seen a star on an old outhouse, but I have seen photos of such. I have seen both the moon and a star on newer built outhouses indicating unisex.
 
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Mountain Cowgirl

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I never used the outhouse in the winter time.
I did it in the barn behind the cows as it was MUCH warmer!
Hope all have a great Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for respecting your cows rights while keeping your own tush warm. My dad used the barn year around. He had his own corner insulated with straw. That barn/outhouse/bovine medical clinic is featured below on a snowy cold day. The chickens also hung out there and my mom and I refused to collect eggs due to toxic methane levels.

New Imageggg.jpg
 

leanin' H

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Y’all have described our cow camp circa 2021 perfectly. Kerosene lamps? Check. No running water? Check. Outhouse? Check. (Hand built by me and my brother by the way). Phone service? Nope. Electric power? If I feel the need to start the generator. And I wouldn’t trade it for all the modern amenities going!!!
 

Faster horses

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My dad worked on a Wyoming ranch in the 30's. My folks continued to remain friends with that family until they passed away. I used to go there in the summertime, that's where I learned to love ranching. I called them 'Aunt and Uncle'. I was older before I found out they were brother and sister and neither ever married.
They had no running water, even in the house they built. Outdoor toilet all that time. We hauled water from the creek and put it in a cistern, so I guess they did have 'running water' but boy, you had to be sure to not waste any. They had 2 neices and a nephew that would come from California every summer. Us kids used the same tub of bathwater/ once a week whether we needed it or not!. Dishwater got pretty bad before it was thrown out. Those were absolutely the best memories!! So glad I got to experience those times. The 'old log house', the one they lived in before they built the new one, had bullets in the logs from the Johnson County Cattle War. Their heir, and a childhood girlfriend who lived in California, donated it to the TA Ranch, historic site of the Johnson County Cattle War, so the old log house is there. Fun to see that.

Uncle passed away from a massive heart attack when he was 47 years old. I was 18. His sister came home from town and found him. It was such a shock it ruined her health. I loved them both so much!! They had a great influence in the rest of my life.
 

webfoot

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The 'old log house', the one they lived in before they built the new one, had bullets in the logs from the Johnson County Cattle War. Their heir, and a childhood girlfriend who lived in California, donated it to the TA Ranch, historic site of the Johnson County Cattle War, so the old log house is there. Fun to see that.

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Where is that historic site? I assume somewhere around Buffalo. I will have to put it on the list of places to see next time I am in that part of the world.
 

Faster horses

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South of Buffalo. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TA_Ranch_Historic_District

You will see the old log house on your left as you drive in. It's not by the highway but before
you get to the main buildings. They have done a good job keeping everything authentic.
 

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