Sunday, September 9, 2012

Just Another Day





The dog days of summer are behind us, but days do seem long. Pain has been absent from my life lately, for which I am grateful, but fatigue has taken its place. I pull  myself from chore to chore trying to enjoy the day, sometimes succeeding, sometimes falling asleep, sometimes just not caring about it much. Life is still good though, because I know it will not always be this way. God is still on the throne and His mercies really are new every morning.

This day, we had to dispatch the 12 game roosters that came as “packing material” when the hatchery shipped the meaties to us. They grew up to be truly ugly and flighty birds without much meat on them. I was hoping to save the breasts for canning, but their purpose will be better served as sustenance for the dogs. Randyman heads off to work so I begin harvesting chickens. I get through 3 of them before I am too tired to go on.
I head back to the house with Cider after gifting a bird each to the ‘polar bears’ who have done such a beautiful job protecting all the stock. After securing their treasures, they both come to the house for a nap inside the cool, dark living room. There aren’t many windows in this house and the light shines dimly across the kitchen.

I choose to work on my grandaughter’s birthday clothes. It’s not a birthday ‘suit’, as she, naturally already has one of those. One outfit, requested by her mom, needs eyelet lace which I forgot to buy on our trip to town, so I ordered 3 yds online. It came and I see that I got the wrong size. It will have to be set aside until we go to town again next week. I begin again on another outfit only to find the seam binding I was SURE I had purchased, is nowhere to be found. I dig around in my patterns and fabric piles to look for yet a THIRD choice.

Randyman shows up for lunch and I pull out what is left of the Claypot chicken from last night’s dinner. The meat birds were such a good investment. The flavor and the amount of meat on them has been a boon for us. I wish I had known about them years ago. 34 isn’t going to be nearly enough to get us thru the year. I wish we had room for one more freezer, of just chicken...maybe some other time. I grab some pepperjack, tortillas and Cholula and make a couple of quick and tasty quesadillas. We scarf them down and I put the rest of the leftover meat back in the fridge for later.

I had pulled out the 50 lb bucket of hard white wheat berries and milled them earlier, putting the flour in to soak with some fresh buttermilk, courtesy of EmmaLou Moo. I grab the jar of sourdough starter I had fed earlier and put it all together and make a round of bread. I’ve not been as constructive this week as usual, do to the lack of energy, but I did manage to make some fettucini noodles for the first time using the pasta press I had finally ordered. They came out fantastic and even Randyman said they were perfect. That’s a big deal for a guy who never has an opinion.






A couple of hours later, Randy shows up and asks if I want to go with him to fix an irrigation pipe. I grab my camera, just in case, and climb up in his work truck.

Leaving Cider home with the polar bears, we head down the ranch road to where he goes to work fixing the water problem while Scotty, his dog, bounces around watching.





Afterwards we head down the public road, which is 50 miles of dirt and gravel from the ranch to the first pavement. It’s fall now, and the 750 pair that had been pushed up to the top of the mountain are on their way home. The ranch cowboys spent a week up there gathering them and pushing them down the long, steep, winding path to the valley floor where they are left to wander the 10 miles back to the ranch at their own pace. I always find it interesting that they remember where to go, traveling these great distances from the desert permit back to the ranch, or from the top of the mountain and down the long road thru the valley back home.




We pass 15 pairs but as we approach the cattle guard we notice a cow in the middle of the road that isn’t moving. With a groan we see she has walked into the cattle guard and gotten both front legs stuck thru the pipes. It’s obvious she has been there for quite some time as she is drawn up and both legs are swollen and a lot of the hide has been rubbed off from her efforts to free herself. There is a set of tracks where someone, a tourist most likely, drove around her and continued on their way without bothering to let anyone know there was an animal trapped and needing help out on the road. This is just another confirmation of why I am glad we live where there aren’t many people. So few leave a favorable impression on me.








Seriously...could you just leave her there and keep driving? These are probably the kind of folks that say we are cruel for roping the cows so we can doctor them. My experience has been that most of them people are uninformed, with tunnel vision. Am I ranting?




Randy tries to free her but it can’t be done. He calls the boss who jumps in a truck and heads out to join him in freeing her. He shows up after about 15 minutes and grabs several fence posts out of his truck, placing them between the bars of the cattle guard  as a bridge, in case she tries to go forward after being freed and prevent her putting a leg through again. After looking the situation over, they decide the only option is to cut her out. Randyman grabs the welding torch and sets about cutting a notch out of the pipe while the boss does his best to keep her head and legs pushed as far away from the work as her situation will allow.







He sends me to his truck for a gatorade, which he then pours on the hot pipe to cool it before they try pushing her legs over to the notch. The liquid steams into small clouds, rising from the cattle guard as the red hot steel slowly cools. Between them, they finally manage to pull one foot free. She promptly jerks it over next to her other leg and jams it through the pipe again.



















Groaning, they go to work restraining and cutting once more. Sparks fly and dry mustard weed, under and next to, the cattle guard and cow erupt into a blaze. The boss asks me to grab a shovel and I begin putting out the small fire while they continue their work, focused only on freeing her.















Finally the job is done. The cow is free, we are all relieved and she heads on down the road, far behind the others, while we all head for home.

There are calves to feed, and goats, sheep and horses to take care of, along with EmmaLouMoo and Sushi, before dinner is made.

Another day is almost done.


17 comments:

  1. There is no way on earth I would have left that poor cow standing there stuck in a cattle gaurd. Shame on whoever drove away with out trying to help.
    Sorry you have been so tired lately, but thank God you are pain free. Wonderful news.
    I guess we all do that with supplies, or one thing or an other. Buy (or think we did) something and not be able to find it when needed, Such a frusteration.
    If you find a system to prevent us from misplacing things (or put in a SAFE place,only to never be seen again) let me know! LOL
    Have a wonderful week. Hugs...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have a great week too, my friend.

      Delete
  2. I enjoyed this entry so much. Just another day for you, but a compelling glimpse into life on your ranch. Your pictures are beautifully descriptive...

    I thought of Proverbs 12:10,. I'm sure that poor cow is thankful that you "considered" her. It's good to hear your pain is decreased, being in constant pain is incredibly exhausting, and your body is probably trying to catch up. Hoping for more energy for you in the coming days.

    Kristi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great verse! Our stewardship is important and it brings its own blessings! Thanks, I am hoping to jump up one morning and feel awake! :)

      Delete
  3. What a wonderful, and sad, thing that animals have to live with humans. Some don't care... and others, like yourselves, will always be there to help them maneuver the pitfalls of mans inventions. I didn't realize that a "cattle guard" could trap a cow, or that a cow would even attempt to walk on one. But, I'm glad you were there and could help. I hope the cow is OK and thank God that it didn't break its legs.
    As for energy... I fight the lack of it all the time. Part is age related, some is mental... but some can be physical and I think it's time to have your thyroid tested. Mine was damaged during radiation for breast cancer, years ago, and I take Thyroxin everyday. If I don't my energy goes right down the tubes... just like that sweet cow. I feel like I can't maneuver without it.
    Just a suggestion, but it might be that you have developed a deficiency of some kind. Get some blood tests. Have your Thyroid checked and... drink plenty of water. Do you take a multivitamin? Do you take a power nap in the afternoon? We aren't "spring" chickens anymore. It's time for being your own advocate and taking care of yourself as well as everyone else.
    As usual, I love the photos and the stories. Wish I could visit before winter. "D" says she is working in Montana. Has she returned yet? Hope so. I feel closer to her when she is at your place.
    Take care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Usually the cows won't try to cross a cattle guard but every once in awhile you get an adventurer who likes 'living on the edge' and just has to try it. I have a couple of auto immune issues and this is one of the chronic symptoms it seems. I am not just tired, i am tired of being tired! D was here for a day to rescue B but is back in Montana again. Hope they come back soon!

      Delete
  4. Just another day?!? Poor old cow, I'm glad ya'll were able to free her and nothing was broken. How dare those people just drive on by her!! Grrrr...
    I hope you get some of your get-up-and-go back. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Candy. I agree, it boggles the mind that they wouldn't at the very least stop in at the first ranch to tell someone...of course, that would have been us, but they just buzzed on by. Probably to trespass at the hot springs or hunt. :(

      Delete
  5. Beautiful pictures.... I love getting a glimpse into your world :)

    So happy y'all came across that poor cow... Such a shame that someone else drove on by without at least letting someone know she was there.... World needs a few more of you around :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi, I hope they felt guilty enough never to do it again. I mess up way too much to point a finger. Randy is one of my heroes. I had to watch a football game for the first weekend since I started playing. I was really busy so it didn't hurt too much. State practice rule says I need nine full practices before I play. I can take it and only sniffled once. School however is another...oh well. Devon takes chia seed for energy. God bless you, Petey...dexer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope they do too, but we'll never know. How many practices a week do you have? You are a tough guy, I am a doer not a spectator too, so it's hard watching everyone here go out and do stuff. Chia? Like..in ...chia Pet? I'll have to look into that, thanks dex. God bless you, good to see ya back! Tell D-san I said howdy

      Delete
    2. Yeah, like in Chia Pet. The seed is kind of expensive in The US cause health nuts are discovering it. Soak it in water (mason jar or some container) with a little cane sugar and lime juice...it makes a tapioca type goo and you drink it...half a glass I supppose. Looks horrid but doesn't taste bad. He shakes his well at a half jar more than once before he fills the jar to the top. Play with the recipe. Too much seed and it turns to cement...but you don't want it too watery. Of course you know my brother may be an ET. I'll tell De-man you said hi next time we call. Four practices a week when we have games. Of course I'm tough I'm the dex (tough guys cry hardest)

      Delete
    3. i'll look for that and give it a shot. I like tapioca, not so sure about cement tho. You crack me up. Thanks for that! :)

      Delete
  7. I'm happy to pass on a well deserved blog award to you - please stop Saved by Dogs to pick up your One Lovely Blog award. I know what chronic pain is; my best thoughts are with you for a more comfortable fall.
    chris

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Petey, just stopping by to say "hi" and have missed reading your posts. Hope everything is okay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Frenchie. Just not doin real great, so no bloggin goin on. Hope all is well over your way

      Delete