January 14, 2015

To Do Lists

I am a big list maker. It's not that I enjoy seeing all that I have to get done in a day, but I love crossing things off. My days can be so jam packed that sometimes I actually put "take a shower" on there. Then when I have days I feel like I'm not getting much done I add things on there I've already done. Things like "make bed," "take kids to school," or "unload dishwasher." Then I cross them off. :)

Today I had a few things planned, then I was given a list of a bunch of things to get done before the vet comes on Friday to preg-check the cows. That is, to see which ones are pregnant and which ones are not. With the Ranch Hand training a new agent in his day job, he had no time to get any of it done. In order to take the stress off of him, he gave me a list. It makes me feel good that he can hand me this huge, long list and forget about it, knowing that I can get things ready. He needs to be able to focus so I assure him I have it all under control. And most of the time I do, but sometimes I really don't want to do some of the things I have to. Sometimes I want to call him up and say, I'm not doing this, or do you have any idea how hard "this" is to do alone? But I don't.... anymore. Because it doesn't help him, and it doesn't help me. The best thing to do with lists, is to get started. So that's what we did today. And we gotta do it again tomorrow.

After we did the regular morning chores the first thing we needed to do was put a gait back up because we needed to move the replacement heifers onto the alfalfa field. It was buried in hard crusty snow. This was a moment I wanted to just bag it. But I knew I couldn't. So I got the shovel, dug it out and moved onto the next job.

Someone moved the cows off  the corn field and the wonderful water tank where I had a perfect overflow set up. Then they took my overflow off and used it on another tank where their overflow had frozen... a few times. I wonder... who... that could have been.....? So I re-did the overflow. Except now the entire tank was one huge ice cube. Leaving the water on so it flows out the overflow should melt it fairly soon. In the mean time there is plenty of space between the ice and the top of the tank for the heifers to get a drink.

I left the gait open after I'd fed the heifers thinking they'd wander their way across the pasture, then I'd take the 4-wheeler and get them onto the field. They didn't. They went right to the yard instead.  When they heard the 4-wheeler start up they started following me. Heifers are funny creatures.  Kinda like three year olds. You never know what they're gonna do until after they do it. UNPREDICTABLE! (Yes, said like Vector. What, haven't you seen "Despicable Me"?) Anyhow, they  made it to their new home quite easily. Cross that one off!

Next I moved their hay feeder, and their hay.

About this time it was getting past lunch time and we'd been out all morning. The sun shines through that tractor window and makes for perfect napping temperature. Thank you Kubota for making your tractors with doors on both sides so I could still slip outside to get gates without waking up the boy.

We went in and had a little lunch. I turned some Tom and Jerry on so I could step out to the corrals and do a little work out there. The gate on our Bud Box is heavy, and also sagging. I took a crescent wrench and tightened the bolt which lifted the sag up. Now it will shut properly, which the Ranch Hand will surely appreciate while he works groups of cattle into the alley.

On to the chute. It needed greased to assure it would open and close smoothly and we could run the cattle through without problems. I think grease zirks are so cool. They are a spot where you can put grease into a moving joint to keep it from getting stuck. Simply stick the end of your hose nozzle onto the zirk and squeeze the grease in.

When it's full you will see red grease come out, if that's the color of your grease. Never think things are going wonderfully when you are working on a list. Because right after I thought I might get all the things on the list done today, I broke a grease zirk off and it is still stuck in the nozzle. Plan B. I oiled the heck out of the chute, not after much wasted time trying to get the zirk out of the nozzle. Sigh.

There it is, all ready to steady the cows! Trusty old thing anyways!

By now I had to get the kids from school and pick up some feed from the feed store. We drove to town, got the first two kids, picked up the feed while the third child was at the math tutor, then picked #3 up and came home. There was one other job I just had to get done today. That was to move the feed bunks out to the heifers so I could grain them in their new pasture. I hooked them together, then hooked one up to the Chevy and pulled them out to the pasture. Done, with the list, for today.

But not done for the day. Fixed a simple supper that one child actually had to eat on the way to basketball practice. Entertained small children while older children practiced an hour and a half. We played "Red Light, Green Light" and "Mother May I" with some other kids that were waiting. Practice finally ended so we came home.  Fed the kids a snack of home canned pears and apricots, then sent them to bed. I looked around the house. Dirty laundry, dirty dishes... tired mom... needs a cookie. Yes, I am an emotional eater. So I made cookies while the laundry washed and the dishwasher did it's thing. I tried to tidy up a bit and fold some whites. Tomorrow I will do a crockpot meal and hopefully finish the list... 

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