Married With Cows

Married With Cows, Wendy Liddle Illustration for my book “Well Hell”

In my poem, “Married With Cows”,  I take aim.  I hope the poem hits your funny bone.  Here’s some background.

The Story

While I was on the ranch, I gave it my best shot to be part of the Canadian music scene.  My ability to write about my experiences is one of my strengths. For this, I was hired by Ian Tyson.  He was looking for a performer to represent the cowgirl at his Cowboyography Show during Expo ’86. Writing songs about cows and fencing had an audience…and now I had permission to write more!

For his show, I wrote four songs of which there was time for three.  After twenty-one shows that week, I was geared up to play my spurs on both sides of the border!  What a wonderful time. So many beautiful “salt of the earth” people to be around.  Like me, they were expressing themselves and their worlds.

Later I wrote “Married With Cows” to put into perspective all those phone calls I’d had on the ranch.  There I made cold calls to agents and managers I had heard of. 

Life is more satisfying when you can see the funny side of things.  Especially when you don’t have to make it up.  Even though…it meant I would never be part of the Canadian music scene or on the radio.  When was the last time you heard spurs played over the air?  

Not Just My Experience… 

“Married With Cows” was on at Poetry poem.  While it was there, I heard from several men (husbands).  They wanted me to know the same events had happened to their wives.  They felt bad about it.  

So this is what I found to be true as a folk performer.

Everyone loves a good song and a sincere presentation.  Everyone loves to laugh and learn a little about the country they are visiting.    

So after the cowboy gatherings, I started performing for bus and rail tours. I no longer aimed for agents or managers.  From my homeland, I sang to the travelling world about the wonders of the Cariboo as a “singing cowgirl”.  Spur playing included and I also taught the Cariboo Yodel! 

As a folksinger, it doesn’t get any better than that.  To sing about your country in your country.  My handle was Katie, the Cariboo Song Rider.  You can check me out on facebook and here is a link to my music on sound cloud.

Here Is The Poem

Married With Cows

I wanted to be a singer
and sing my own true songs…
They wanted to know my measurements,
was I a redhead or a blonde?
And just how old are you?
And before you send your tape…
Send us a great big picture
and for the last five years – your weight.
“We’re not signing married women –
their husbands make them quit!
With years and years of experience –
our investments have to stick!”
So I didn’t send that picture,
my hair type or my weight.
I didn’t bother fooling them –
and I never sent a tape.
For the rules, they were describing
I never could kowtow…
so I told them, “I ain’t single,
I’m married with cows!”

©Katie Kidwell, 1997
Previously Published by Canadian Cowboy Country Magazine
Vol5 No.2, 2001

From My “Hay Days”

Katie, the Cariboo Song Rider with Abi Sha Trigger circa 1988

One of the songs I wrote for Ian’s Show – “The Cow-Boss Yodel”
You can practise for the next time we meet…

From the Tom Thompson Sessions – Meadow Show – Album I

©Katie Kidwell, 2019, The Living Of Loving Blog
©GWJ Creative Art

 

Lost Luggage

The “Secret Life” Of Lost Luggage…

In 1974, after graduation from high school, the spiritual community I lived in with my parents handed me and three others a brand new suitcase.  I often joke there was a hint in this….

However, the blue Samsonite suitcase was a well-known one as lots of people travelling by bus had one.  On one of my trips home via Greyhound, I arrived back in Vancouver minus my suitcase.

The Greyhound bus station then was on what is now an empty lot in Vancouver where an Art Gallery is planned.  A few days after this happened I received a call from Greyhound freight.  So I picked my suitcase up and headed back to North Vancouver.

I didn’t have much in it.  Just a few clothes, mostly dirty ones from my trip and my diary.  I wondered if anyone had looked at my stuff…

Monday night was my laundry night in my small apartment building.  So I tossed the dirty clothes out of the suitcase and into the machine.

My diary which I hadn’t used for a while had made the trip and seemed no worse for wear.  I seldom wrote in it now but when I did I was passionate.  I signed off on everything I wrote there with a “Praise the Lord” ending.

As I arranged my dirty clothes evenly in the drum of the washing machine I felt something hard.  Something wasn’t right.  I pulled a piece of clothing out… a pair of undies…with a 1″ x 3″ piece of cardboard stapled inside the crotch.  Written with all caps in blue ink was:  “PRAISE THE LORD”.

©Katie Kidwell, 2019 The Living Of Loving
You can message me @ GWJ Creative Art

 

 

Let Life (a poem)

Background

Wendy Liddle, use to live down the road from me in a little town called Clinton.  While she lived there we got busy exchanging my cowboy gags for her drawings.  Several magical moments came out of our working together.  One was the way she sketched my cartoon on my horse Trigger.  At the time it didn’t look like me. Years later when the Mill Girls (who also hailed from Clinton) asked me to join them – that’s exactly what I looked like!  Wendy of course was long gone from town…
 
Wendy illustrated my poem, “Let Life” with  a ballerina on a horse.  How did she know?  I never told her (or anyone) I had once been a ballerina…what seemed a lifetime ago and at the other end of the country!
 
Well here is the poem from my book “Well Hell” along with Wendy’s drawing for it.

Poem and Drawing

©GWJ Creative Art, 2019

Let life
Lift your chin
Stir your heart
Dance your limbs.
Let life
Take its course…

You hold the reins;
You ride the horse.

©Katie Kidwell, 1995
Previously Published:  ©1997 Cowgirls, 100 Years of Writing the Range, edited by Thelma Poirier.  Roundup Books/Red Deer College Press

Ballerina Katie!

Katie @Gloria Bondys School of Dance, Chatham, Ontario Age 8

©Katie Kidwell, The Living of Loving
GWJ Creative Art

 

When Cowboys Were Boys

     This is a short story published by Whitecap Books, 2000, 
“A Cowboy Christmas, Celebrating the Season on Ranch and Range,”  Edited by Anne Tempelman-Kluit

When Cowboys Were Boys

by Katie Kidwell

     You know, I’ve got some real fine memories of Christmas.

     Now when Christmas comes, and I’m snowed up and alone in some line shack feeding cattle, I get those memories out and have myself a grand old time remembering.

       Used to be when I was a boy we always had something happening and I remember one Christmas when the folks had to go into town to pick up some Aunt who’d just arrived from Boston.  My sister was quite a rascal back then.  Just as soon as they were gone we opened up both the front and back doors of the house and filled the floor between with a good layer of snow.  Then we took our old sleigh up the hill which was right behind the back door and boy did we let her rip…right through the back door and out the front.  Course we had to aim real careful or we hit the wall.

     Sure was fun…of course we caught hell when the folks got back.  I think my father got a kick out of it but he wasn’t gonna let mother know.  No, she wasn’t all that fussy about the mess we made, that’s for sure!

     Yes sir,  it sure is nice to remember Christmas when you’re all alone somewhere listening to the wind howl.  Kind of puts the sound of church bells and carols into your soul just thinking about it.

©Katie Kidwell, 2018

Previously published:
The Cowboy’s Campfire in Cyber Space, 1999

Whitecap Books, 2000, 
“A Cowboy Christmas, Celebrating the Season on Ranch and Range,”  Edited by Anne Tempelman-Kluit

Contact Katie:  GWJ Creative Art on facebook

 

If Keyboards Could Talk

Three years ago this blog was fun and silly to write..now it’s a little bit maybe true…

If keyboards could talk, it would be better than prime time on any network! Could you leave your keyboard at the office at the end of the day?

What a sight it would be, most everyone packing their keyboards home.  Cool outer gag wear would be created just for this unless of course our keyboards were fussing.  In which case a bottle of water might work.  Steel briefcases would be back in style ’cause some people might like to look innocent…taking files home to work on…

Of course everyone with a home computer would want to know if the delete or mute button worked when company came over.  Imagine having your cocktail party crashed by a drunk keyboard upstairs on full volume.  Whoops, who spilt the wine?

Yes, keyboard sales would go up.  Smashed ones at the end of the day would be followed by a Starbucks, and an extra one for the keyboard.  AND then there would be comments around the office like…“oh she’s such a goody-goody.  She never takes her keyboard home.  She’s always kissing the bosses keyboard…You get my drift?

Paranoid people worried about every keyboard they ever touched, wondering if their first one’s landed in the dump and were they safely buried?  Some of you know how revealing DOS can be.

In our world today, some keyboards would have top secret instructions…spy keyboards!  In countries all over the world, keyboards with top level info and those processing our privacy…It would take it’s place as the top criminal activity and perhaps the last war on this planet.

The health risks of deciphering and listening to keyboards would take time to evaluate.  The need for a steady hand and brain along with the need to stop the voice in your head would have some effect on drug sales world wide.  It would have to be determined.  Probably by a talking keyboard.

Lawyers would seek admissible keyboard evidence.  Special monitors and desk tops would be created so everyone could see the keyboard spill the abc’s of a crime.  Guilty by the default key.  The “National Liar” would have a field day.  Aliens might sue them for loss of interest and some Hollywood Stars.

Did Einstein have a keyboard?  Think of the treasure and the secrets!  Some boards would be priceless.  I’m not going to talk about my keyboard.  Who knows, the next program I download might have a trigger on it…a blab file for every keyboard hitting the…okay, it’s the mouse that does that.  Heh!  It’s the rat in the room!  Watch out.  Your talking keyboard might be one click away.  So keep your keyboards clean.  It might be your best protection.

P.S.  Right now my board is under surveillance.  If I disappear anytime soon, please look for me…or not.  Let me know.

©Kathy Kidwell, 2018,  The Living Of Loving                                                                          Previously published on-line:  © Kathy Kidwell, 2015  True to You (no longer on-line)   ©Kathy Kidwell, 2015  Living for the Present Moment Now (no longer on-line)