Saturday, July 4, 2015

Growing Stronger

Heath is growing and I am slowly getting stronger. There are always a few setbacks but I think I am making good progress. I've gotten a bit of yardwork done, with much more to do, but having done a shout out to some folks nearby, I'm bartering assistance for teaching how to make soap, do canning, work with sourdough, breadmaking, and various other skills I have picked up along the way. We had a delightful two days this past week with a lady and her son who helped clean off the back porch and the brooder in the milkroom. We made cheese (which I made a mistake with, by forgetting to turn off the heat at a couple of points along the way) candles and body butter. We also got up early to go watch them branding some calves down below our pasture, and take some pictures.

A neighbor pulls calf behind him, waiting for a heeler

One of the ranch cowboys is set up for the heel shot

2 pair of buckaroos keep the ropes tight while the branding crew does the ground work

Big smiles are always a treasure from this girl, as she recoils her rope and gets ready to bring another one in

Neighbor and her nice horse digging in and starting towards the branding crew

Getting the job done

 It's always a good time, watching the cowboys and horses working together and making sure to cause the calves the least possible amount of stress. In spite of what the process entails, the calves resent being held down more than being worked on, and once they are finished, they jump up and go eat. Cattle are amazingly tough animals with a fairly low functioning central nervous system which allows them to feel very little pain. They are well suited for the rugged life provided on the range.

Meanwhile, Heath has gotten bigger. He's managed to get himself up on the papasan chair, has learned to pick up his toys and put them away (although apparently bones and chewy hooves don't belong there) and has had a great time using his almost boundless energy chasing bugs and things. He brought me a mouse he had dispatched (Good Boy Heath!!) has killed several bugs that were stalking me, and unfortunately responded to my ebullient praise by bringing me a potato bug! Ick!

He caught me watching him one morning...and totally made my day by happily running into my arms with all the love a puppy can fit!

It's been a great month so far. God bless you all, and have a wonderful Independence weekend!