Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Week 28

I'm two day late this week and contemplated not posting anything at all.  I don't have anything to say and when I looked through my camera file of the week's photos, this is what I found. 
Yea.  I was pretty excited to have scored these 4 bright collegiate ruled composition books for fifty cents each at Target. 

I didn't have any photos of the bear and cubs my dog and I spooked out of the yummy black cap raspberries while we were out on a walk.  Nor of the beautiful golden sunsets we've been having.  I didn't see any of the horses or cows with their slick, shiny coats, or of the swimming hole reflecting the sun like a bejeweled pair of blue jeans. I didn't even have any photos of the yummy food we've been eating from the garden.  We got home from Vegas and found tomatoes, cucumbers, lots of squash and we even still have peas and lettuce.  But no photos.   Just a photo of my new stack of journals.

I journal in the morning.  It is my vent session, self talk, prayer and general to-do list.  I call it my rudder.  I use it to keep me pointed in the direction I think I want to go.  It helps me notice things about myself that I like and things that I might want to change.  It has help me overcome some bad habits.  At the end of the year I burn the journals and start over.  I don't really want my ancestors to read them.  They aren't good and are only a tiny representation of my life and might give someone the wrong idea about things or people.   Like I said,  I vent sometimes and write private stuff. 

Sort of like this blog uncensored.

Blogging feels a bit narcissist and vain.  I don't really have anything important to share, yet I keep plugging away because I like looking back over these 'censored' journal entries and seeing all the things that make a life.  This is a place our ancestors can look at and get a feel for us and the ranch.  I write about real stuff, I don't make anything up, but I try to keep my rants here to a minimum.  And trust me, I am a hot blooded, Portuguese woman and I can sometimes be a bit emotional.  I put that stuff in my journals to rid myself of it and put more of the good stuff here.  The stuff I want to remember. 

I've had a few local people walk up to me and say," Hi, I read your blog."  There is an openness and familiarity in their demeanor and conversation.  They know me.  What they don't seem to realize is I don't know them.  At all.  It is a bit awkward sometimes.  It makes me smile.  I only think of two couples when I write out these posts.  They are my commenters.   Dan and Betty in New Mexico and Bill and Juanita in Colorado. We've since become friends in person with Dan and Betty and we hope to get out to Colorado someday and surprise Bill and Juanita at their lodge.  Both couples are an easy audience.  Really nice people.  But of course they aren't the only ones reading.  In reality I'm throwing my thoughts, our life, this place to the whole wide world and I wonder if it is safe or smart?  Sometimes, that is a bit unnerving and I consider stopping.  Do I really want this stuff out THERE?  Do you? 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Week 27

I had a perfect day this week.  A golden, shining day.

Mark brought me coffee to bed before he left for work.  I read a bit.  Early to rise I finished all my household chores by 9 am and then watered in the garden and pulled a few weeds.  I  went for a 6 mile hike that went by the swimming hole and I took a swim and laid on a rock like a lizard.  I watched the little water dippers and the glimmering falls.  I hiked home and had a fresh leaf lettuce salad with tuna and iced water with lemon.  Ahh.   Refreshment.   I fired up Bouncing Betty our one ton Dodge and drove the ranch roads delivering salt and mineral blocks to most of the cattle's water sources.  I jumped a large 4 by 4 buck with his antlers golden velvet.  Startled he stood and gazed at me before dashing deeper into the brush.   As afternoon shadows deepened I saddled up big Will and went for a ride.  As the sun fell lower still I got in our wood fired hot tub and had a refreshing margarita.  Mark got home and we dined on our organic heritage pork, blue potatoes and sugar snap peas from the garden. We cowboy camped that night on our deck under my grandma's old blankets and under a banner of stars.



Sunday, June 29, 2014

Week 26

It's half way through the year and I don't want to finish this post.  So I think I'll take a half time break.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Week 25

It has been a busy cattle week.   It went pretty well.   Nobody died.  We sorted the weanlings from the cows with just the two of us as the 'kids' have been living in town. (Eric got hired on a commercial fishing boat and Jo just got hired as a bank teller.) Good for them, more work for us.  

We have two corrals we sort from.  One new, one older.   The new one works well with just the two of us.  It's very safe.   The old one is wood and it needs work and the gates don't close easily, and there's wasps living in them and the animals always seem more nervous being handled there.  This photo shows them walking into the corrals.  

It was early morning.  It was one of the few photos I took because, like I said, I had my hands full with animals, wasps, breaking boards and difficult gates.  I kept thinking,  I'm not a man.  I might have said it out loud once or a few thousand times.   Gloria Steinem would not like that.   Unfortunately, Mark and I also got upset with each other a bit.   A few choice  words were said.  I got stressed, then the cows get stressed as they look to me a lot.  I had to keep reminding myself to lower my shoulders, drop my head, loosen my jaw.  It helped. It got done, nobody died.  Heck, nobody even got hurt.   The weanlings sold for a very good, very good price and they all looked good too.  That is a lot of good and probably out weighed the cussing.  I'm a bit ashamed of that part.   

For our preg check we hauled all the caught cows (those brush cattle are still loose on top) to our newer cattle handling area and Jo drove out to help.  Thank goodness for Jo.  She doesn't ever say she's not a man.  Needless to say, It went really well.  We also love working with our pregnancy check guy.   He's very calm and helps us.  He actually does artificial insemination (AI) for dairy cows for his day job,  but does a few beef preg checks and AI as well.  He's been very accurate and we trust his call.  We had 3 cows open.   Two were older, they will go to the auction. The other is only 3 years old so we will eat her.  I had sold all the other appropriate steers in our freezer beef sales and had kind of forgotten all about us.  Silly girl.  We got to eat too.

Anyways, busy week keeping penned up animals fed and watered as well as: sorting, cussing, wasp slaying, selling, preg check, and today- relax.  Spent some time with neighbors and at the river and eating at the world famous  Chimney Tree.  

The south fork of the Eel River

The Chimney Tree

Tomorrow Mark isn't working off the ranch, so we have to load up and haul the open cows and 2 bulls for this week's auction.   One of our bulls, Lou, is getting just too old. His heart is willing, his libido is good, but his body is letting him down. He needs a cane, he's getting very stiff.  The other bull is my pet, my Labrabull, Mr. Johnson.  So sad to see him go, but he isn't very interested in cows and he rarely leaves his buddy's side.  I will miss him though.  I hope the new bulls we end up purchasing will be nice like him, but have a little more, um, sex drive. 

Mr. Johnson is the cuddly one.  Lee is his buddy.   BTW- Lee does like cows. We can tell.

Until next week....