17 December 2012

Done for Real Now

It’s not finished until the pictures are hung.

So, now finally, even though she has been sleeping in her room for awhile, it is done! We got the light put up. It’s beautiful, a Christmas present from Elly’s Great Grandma. I can’t get used to that she will always be Grandma. All the pictures are hung, gifts from my mother. When people refer to her as Grandma I get all confused thinking of Grandma.

Who knew this was going to be so difficult.

It is so nice to have the room done. She even has her own computer. I can’t believe that she got a computer before she got a horse. When not pooping on every thing she is such a good baby. She is almost sleeping through the night. Around four o’clock she will fuss a little, but I can live with that. At her last doctors appointment she weighed in at a whopping 9pounds 12ounces. We can never believe how big she is getting and healthy as a horse. She is off all medicine except for her vitamins now.

Elly’s favorite thing to do right now is sit up. She’s not sitting on her own yet but loves to practice. She can roll onto her side and smiles all the time. At least when she’s not crying, but usually she is as sweet as can be. Waking up in the morning seems to be her favorite part of the day. She lays there smiling and happy looking up at her dragon fly.

13 December 2012

Doing In The In-Law

I nearly killed my father-in-law today. I really didn’t mean to, I like the guy. It was an accident.

After feeding cows this morning he graciously waited while I got my horse and we ran the cows in to sort off some late calves. Coyote plodded slowly towards the corn field wanting desperately to return to his herd, until he saw the four wheeler. He was so thrilled. He wasn’t going to be alone after all. He is pretty sure that he is a four wheeler. Together with his buddy we gathered the cows in from the corn field. It was going so well. We got them in to the first pen with no problems. I was thrilled to be riding. Coyote was trying to run away with me.Β  Life was good. The unwanted cows happily trailed back out the gate. No trouble no fuss. Down to the calves and a couple remaining cows we took them up to the barn and a smaller pen to finish sorting.

Once again no problems, easy cheesy, slick as silk, piece of cake. The cows ran right out the gate. The calves stayed in as was the goal. But….

There was one calf. A little runt of a calf with a red tinge to his hide. He, it was decided, needed to go back out with the cows. I don’t know why, it is not for me to ask these things. I am simply sitting on my horse doing as I am told, happy to be out and about.

That scrawny little runt of a calf refused to go out the gate. He would get right to it and dodge back past us to the other calves. I think they were egging him on.Β  A couple of times though he would stop and just stand, there under Coyotes nose. My father-in-law thought out loud about different pens we could move them to and schemes that might separate them. I really don’t know what all he might have said. I wasn’t listening. I had a horse, I had a rope, I could do this I thought. So as he droned on I dropped a loop around the calf’s neck.

It took me a moment to get over the shock of catching something. I am not a roper. I briefly thought that I should have worn gloves. Then I got my dally, Coyote turned like a pro and we drug the calf out the gate. I had time to be proud of my self. We had done it. Job completed.

Then the calf leaped sideways and banged into father-in-law and gate. Oops, but not to bad. He then came over to get the rope off. Now we had a problem. The scrawny runt of a calf grew to gigantic proportions. He bellowed and kicked and ran in circles. I have to remind myself that my father-in-law is seventy-ish, he is not at all feeble. But still he is in his seventies, he shouldn’t be fighting with a calf on the end of a rope.

He was flung about, stepped on, whipped around and generally beat up.

In the end the rope was retrieved. The father-in-law survived and I vow never to do it again. I will never ever head a calf again, trying to be helpful. Next time we will do something less drastic. Next time, next time I’ll heel it.

6 December 2012

Excuses, Excuses

I will take any excuse I can come up with to get on a horse. So when My father-in-law asked if I would take the other four wheeler and help move cows I said no.

I would come help move cows if he would give me time to grab a horse though. He had some other things to do so it wasn’t a problem. I grabbed my bridle and some cookies, horse cookies that is, caught Coyote and we were ready to go. I didn’t brush him or anything just hopped on bare back. We were ready in record time.

It’s funny how after so long of little to no riding I feel like my seat is better than it was back when I rode all the time. We galloped bare back through the corn field after those cows and I wasn’t afraid. I had no trouble letting go of his mane to grab the reins two handed and insist that we really did have to stop. I even fell of off the old boy last time I rode. One of those slow motion kind of things. I think he was standing still as I slid to the ground, but it didn’t bother me any like it usually would. Maybe because my falling offs are usually much more dramatic and painful.

It was kind of embarrassing, why does that sort of thing have to happen in front of an audience? An audience of four wheeler guys is worst of all. But I digress, we had a beautiful ride. I am getting pretty good at posting bare back. Those dang four wheelers go so fast I feel like I am holding them up all the time if we walk leisurely along. It doesn’t help that Coyote thinks he is a four wheeler and wants to keep up with his heard. I had to insist that we walk though when I started getting a charley horse in my thigh.

All this cow moving was due to an idea for which my father-in-law is becoming locally famous. He has made two news papers and come Febuary The Farm Journal. Wow.

During a corn harvest already made poor by drought, the wind blew for a couple of days around sixty miles an hour. It blew semies over and caused blinding dust storms that closed interstate 8o. It also blew the ears of corn off the stalks. Dropped the number of bushels harvested by half in many fields. All that corn laying there was too much to let go to waste, but was also to much to turn the cows onto. I had not known that cows could founded just like horses do. Well not just like, cows are ok afterwards they grow long toes and don’t walk very well.

With the sky high hay prices there had to be a way to make use of the corn fields. So husband and father-in-law spent a weekend welding braces to hold electric fence insulators and attache an electric fence to the pivot. The ultumet in rotational grazing. Get it rotational, cause the pivot rotates?

Oh never mind.

Any way.Β  The whole thing is surrounded by electric fence. Since the field isΒ  round, the perimeter fence is always the same distance from the pivot and a simple gate latch finishes the circuit. The cows are allowed a small sliver of corn laden field. With the whole herd on it there isn’t enough corn for any one cow to get too much. They graze for a couple of days then the pivot gets moved and they have fresh corn stalks.


4 December 2012

Christmas Tree

We went Christmas tree hunting last weekend. The weather was warm but windy. The trees and hills blocked most of the wind though and it was beautiful. We went to a neighbors pasture and hiked through the draws looking for just the right one. We found some that were to big. Many that were to small. Big beautiful thick ones, with at least two trunks. Tall thin ones with lots of “character”, to so much for some of us. Finally as we neared the pick up exhausted from our climbing we found IT. The One.

1 December 2012

Time For Christmas Music!

Finally! I have such a hard time waiting for November, much less until after Thanksgiving, to start playing my favorites. As soon as Halloween is over I want my music. Now that Decimber is here I can fully indulge my self. I love Trans-Siberian Railroad.

And of course