Archive for » June, 2014 «

First Blood

Our darling crazed Goblin Child has hurt her self many times in the past. Never any thing too bad. This one in particular comes to mind. She banged her lip up, it bled a little.2013-07-17 10.20.25Tonight she was running happily, crazily down the drive way when it happened. We knew it would but what can you do? Never let them run? She tripped over her own feet, again, and crashed into the gravel. We scooped her up and looked for blood. Her palms were lightly scuffed, her mouth was fine. Then we spotted the rock stuck to her forehead. Gently brushing the gravel away we opened the flood gates. Embedded into the skin the very tiny boulder had been staunching the flow.

Blood gushed down her face cascading off her nose soaking her fathers shirt. We hurried to the house, gathered supplies and staunched the flow of blood. She cried and sobbed.

Untill I let her climb on the dog house she isn’t supposed to climb on. A shriek was interrupted by giggles. We gave her the hose and all pain was forgotten as she chased us and the cat. She’s a tough little thing.

Happy, Belated, Fathers Day

Of course I didn’t get anything written and ready ahead of time, I could never be that organized. I didn’t get to this yesterday because I, we, were all busy doing things with you. Not great fun things for you but hanging out with you while you did things for us. You did grill us steak, that was kind of something for you. We love and appreciate you, always. Thank you for my hitching post, I will have to go for a ride and try it out.

 

My brother is also an awesome dad. He is always sending me pictures of all the fun things he and his son are doing. All afternoon on Saturday he sent me pictures of the great fathers day celebration their church was having. Fire trucks, a car show, motorcycles, food and fireworks. It sounded great.

IMG_20140424_083141And it managed to get my dad to church. He has fulfilled his dream of getting a motorcycle again, now that he has retired and he had fun looking at the bikes of the churches motorcycle gang. Not what they call themselves I’m sure. It got us reminiscing about when I was a little girl and he would ride his old two stroke motorcycle/dirt-bike to work. We could hear him start it to head home. Work was miles away, it was a loud bike. I would run down to the corner of our block and wait for him. He would stop and pick me up, being careful to keep me away from the hot muffler and give me a ride home sitting in front of him on the gas tank. Times were different then. He’s a good dad.

In which we Freeze

Before it got quite so cold

Before it got quite so cold

It was the end of May beginning of June, somewhere in there, summer was nearly here and we decided it was time to turn off the stove. Our house is an old house and a small one. It is heated by a single gas stove that sits in the middle of, well I am not sure what to call our downstairs room so just in the middle. It seemed pointless to have the pilot light burning in all that  hot weather we were getting, no reason to waste propane.

Friday morning dawned warm and humid like most every other morning this month, we spent the morning sorting pairs, again. Some clouds rolled over threatening rain. With nothing but false promises they left us behind, slightly cooler. We sat to eat our lunch to the incessant beeping of the weather radio. Once past us the clouds built into a real storm. First they warned of severe weather then a tornado was spotted near Gordon. We turned the radio to the Gordon station to listen to Jim’s first hand account of the weather. He never fails to oblige, when the weather is out his way. He said he had seen the tornado lift back into the clouds.

After lunch we returned to sorting under blue skies. To the east we could see clouds, nothing that told of any bad storms just fluffy white clouds. The afternoon continued to cool as evening drew near. by the time we started working the calves we were bundled up in coats. It hasn’t warmed up since, rain every day and highs in the fifties.

Here we sit still bundled in our snug little house that has finally cooled to the outside temperature. Last night was in the forties, I keep thinking we need to cover things in the garden so they don’t freeze but I guess it hasn’t gotten that cold. The heater in The Goblin Childs room that we had only Thursday morning unplugged got plugged back in. We could relight the pilot light but I refuse to concede defeat, today is supposed to get clear back up to seventy and none of us have frost bite yet.

Here there be tornadoes

Here there be tornadoes

He’s Baaack !!

They are spraying the corn now.

I am told that it’s about time, the weeds are crowding out the corn. Nobody knew when or if they would be coming.

As we got ready to leave the house this morning we were alerted to his presence by the roar of plane engines over the house. I grabbed the child and any necessary clothing and rushed outside. I can not stand to be in the house as he flies over. I have to know where he is and be able to run the opposite direction.

I think he noticed, as one time he made a bee line down the field towards us. I snatched up The Goblin Child and prepared to flee. After that, I believe, he started buzzing us. One time, as we watched from far far away down by the Quonset, he flew up the tree row behind our house and turned side ways to fit between the wind charger/internet tower and the shop.

I love watching him. It makes me thoroughly sick to my stomach to watch him. I also found that while I am able to sort cattle all day while day dreaming I am unable to do so while watching airplanes overhead.

You will have to watch these sideways, somebody (me!) doesn’t seem to know how to work a camera. Unfortunately they were the best ones. Wait for it, it’s worth it.

We had to get Jenny before we could get out from under. So we got to watch him go over a couple of times, really close.

This is of course why I had trouble concentrating on the cattle.

There go the cattle we are getting ready to chase already being chased by the plane

All the Pretty Flowers

Finally it’s done!

The garden is, almost, all planted. I don’t believe we have okra in yet. Right now it looks like we are growing a healthy crop of plastic. Not working on that all the time will leave us a little more free time. Now we just need to weed and water and eventually harvest, there went that free time.

In my little corner of the garden I am going to try for a sunflower house. Only with corn. Close enough, I never was one to follow instructions very well. My millions of pumpkins are coming up enthusiastically, so are all the volunteers from last years volunteer patch. Last years garden plot, laying fallow this year, is covered in little squash seedlings. It breaks my heart not to be able to let them all grow.

I got the last of my flowers set out too. The baskets of petunias that we started are looking beautiful and huge already. They spend more time setting safely on the ground tucked up under the eves than they do hanging though. Storms keep blowing through and I take them down so they don’t blow away with them. We are grateful for all the moisture they have brought, especially since it has not yet been accompanied by any hail. Everything is so nice and green right now, our yard looks like a jungle I should be out mowing instead of writing this.

My favorite flowers right now are the ones in the corner of the bunk house, day lilies and clematis and some brilliantly colored impatients. The flowers by the house don’t really qualify as a garden, they are more of a weed patch. I am never going to be able to get all that grass out of there. They help shade the house though and keep it cool in the heat of the summer besides, I like them. So there.

 

Sorting Pairs

We spent last weekend sorting cow calf pairs out of the herd to go to pasture. It’s been a mad rush around here trying to get everything done. With all the late snows and getting the farming taken care of the cows are very late getting to pasture. Sorting is very careful work, it’s very important to get the proper pairings. If we grab a calf that is standing next to a cow assuming it is hers and are wrong the calves will be orphaned. Especially if they get hauled off immediately. So we cruise the pasture carefully looking for nursing calves to run up to the corrals.

I may have been there physically riding that four-wheeler, but mentally I was mounted on Jerry back in the glory days of our youth working those cattle. In my mind instead of wrestling heavy unwieldy handle bars I gently gripped the supple leather of my reins. Turning to head off a cow required only a shift of my hips and the squeeze of a leg. My horse eagerly anticipated the cows every move as she slid to a stop and spun back around easily preventing the balking cow from escaping. In my mind Jerry and I were once again beating out all those good quarter horses to win the open class and take judges choice for best ladies horse at the show.

Now Jerry and I are both old and crippled up. She will never again thunder down a fence to turn a calf right at the flag swapping directions at full speed as we take it the other way. I am no longer sure that I would be capable of riding a good cow horse and be able to walk the next day. But we can remember. My good old Jerry girl will still try to pull the reins out of your hands to go get cattle and I will still think a four-wheeler should stop and spin on its hind quarters after a cow.

When not riding Jerry I was up on Coyote. We were back in thousand acre pastures moving a couple hundred head of cattle with just one other rider and a good cow dog. He could go for miles, move the cattle by himself, I was just along for the ride. Down steep draws he walked sure footed and steady. I remembered galloping across the winter pasture on footing of ice covered in a greasy layer of mud to turn the leaders as they tried to escape. Over the most treacherous of ground he carried us safely. He fought off cows on the fight and drug calves to the fire, he carried calves and tired dogs on his back and was always had more to give no matter how hard a day we put in.

He is getting older now. I dread the thought of life without him. He doesn’t mind taking life a little easier. He is no longer a full time cow horse, now he gives me and the main reason I no longer get to ride so much rides around the yard. He is still hot and cowy with lots of energy that no longer gets used up and I pray he lives into his thirties.

As we bounced across the pasture full of holes and ruts I was also glad not be riding a horse. Trying to avoid all the badger and prairie dog holes would be nearly impossible. Also, Daisy rides along with me all day, somehow balancing on the back of the four-wheeler. I don’t know how she stays on with all the speeding, fast turns and slamming on the brakes. With a horse I’m afraid she would have to walk, she wouldn’t like that.

Despite me spending the days day dreaming we got the pairs sorted, calves worked and cows hauled to pasture. The remainder of the cattleare still out there waiting for us. Maybe I can convince Cowboy Bill to come ride with me and we can play with the horses. That’s all any cow work on horses is isn’t it? Play?