December 20, 2011

The Chores That Wait

In a dream world I would be the number one ranch hand, fence builder, painter, herdsman, mom, wife, cook, crafty person. But back to reality I sit looking out the window of my office making a mental list of the chores that wait for me to do at home. The rain came and snow fell yesterday and this morning, while it's nasty, it could be so much worse. So what's my plan when I get home:

- clean out wood burning stove and get a fire going
- change laundry and dishes
- dress Tana in ski bibs and two coats, leather gloves and her boots (this actually takes a while)
- dress myself, although last night I discovered a hole in my rubber boots while standing in wet **** in the cow pen, lovely, but they will have to do for tonight too
- make the trek to the barn, there's no way the gator will make it in the drifts - Tana will probably want to ride on my back
- dogs first, fill water, feed and love on them
- horses next, check water, hay then grain
- cows, first the heifer and bull calf in the pen, see if he has nursed, check all waters, move gates around if needed (Sunday we put out several pens worth of hay because we knew it would be too wet to get back in the pens, we try to always be prepared for a week to a week and a half's worth of hay out)
- check the last few heifers that have not calved yet, see if any of them need to be penned
- did I mention carry/drag/answer questions/occupy Tana the whole time? Don't worry she carries a small sorting stick and knows how to use it! And she'll stand near the new calf just to see if he'll let her pet him. She has an amazing way around cattle and when she says 'cows come pet me' they usually let her pet them!
- trek back to the house and check the pasture of weaned calves, it's their turn to be fed today. They have been weaned for four weeks now, and rarely fed from the feed truck. Actually they usually see me at night with a flashlight! But the way I look at it, the more contact you have with them, the gentler they will be. I'm proud of the herd we have and except for a few, we have raised most of them and they are super-gentle to be around.
- peel the clothes off of Tana - she will be wet, she can't resist puddles of mud and she will love playing in the snow
- stock the fire and work on dinner, change the laundry again!!

This routine usually doesn't take long...but with drifts of snow a couple of feet high we will go much slower. Ryan brought Tana and I to town today, so he'll have to take us home. He plans on taking us home early (it will actually be daylight) and my plan is to have all of this done before he gets home. It was a late night and he was up early monitoring roads and routes for work. We could all use a quiet, relaxing evening (but maybe that's in my dream too)!!

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