July 23, 2015

"Patch of Heaven"

If you think it's tuff being a working mom, you should try taking your kids to work with you every day. Lately they have not wanted to go. Today I bribed them with a picnic lunch and a trip to the creek for wading. I did have quite a bit to do before the bribe would be fulfilled, but I told them that after we were bouncing along the dirt road. :) 
There was salt and mineral to put out, checking for sick animals, looking for a few animals I didn't see earlier in the week and check on a cow I had doctored that was in pretty bad shape. And that was only the first herd! 
About this time last year I was doctoring cattle for pink eye. Last year I spent over an hour just trying to rope a single calf. This calf didn't have pink eye, but had been laying around yesterday and again today. So I pulled out my rope and slowly walked towards him. Your best chance is on your first throw. You can imagine the joy I felt when I caught this little guy on my first shot!  I starting jumping up and down whooping and hollering to the kids in the truck that I caught him on my first try. I then drove over the rope and approached him to flank and throw him down when I realized that probably wasn't going to happen. His back was well above my waist, and though I tried it just wasn't happening! I tried pulling him over with his tail, nada. He didn't seem too wild so I just gave him a couple shots right there and turned him loose.

 On to the sick cow. Well at least today she was up. I was on the phone with the vet a couple days ago trying to drain an abscess. Her whole face was swollen. On top of that she must have some sort of sinus infection. Then to add to my to do list she's also dry. That means her milk has dried up... her calf is missing, which is why I've been looking for missing animals. It's complicated but her calf is either with the neighbors cows or dead. Not much more I can say about that. Ya, she looks like crap. Animals get sick and we do our best to take care of them, it's just a part of raising animals.
  We put out the salt and mineral and headed for the canyon pasture where the cows could be anywhere.
I parked the truck in the shade, let the 4-wheeler off the truck, took the older Cowboy with me and left the others playing "Uno" and "Spot It." We drove up and down, around and through trees.
We finally found the cows in some trees on the flat south end. The bulls were both there, healthy and doing their job. I was five off on my count of cows though. So we drove around some more. Then we decided to go for a small hike because the 4-wheeler couldn't go where I thought they might be. Around here when you go for a hike in the canyon you go down first, then up. Kinda backwards from growing up in the mountains. So we went down, saw some tracks that headed up the other side. We followed them out the other side and decided they were probably across the pasture in some other trees. Too long of a walk, and the temperature today was suppose to reach the mid 90's.
 We hiked back to the 4-wheeler and headed to the truck where everyone was hungry, waiting for lunch.
 About half way through lunch the cows showed up to get a drink at the creek. They were sure on the move. I think they were getting a drink and then off to the deep shade for the afternoon.
 Off to the creek we went! It was so hot and humid the water felt so nice! This is our own little "Patch of Heaven". Only three weeks until school starts and I realize another childhood summer with my kids is almost over. :( This makes me sad, because time just keeps zipping by, and it's not like the Ranch Hand and I are gonna go wading when they are all grown up. I love these little cowpokes and can't believe they are growing up so fast!
 It was after 2pm by the time we got home. Some friends invited the two oldest to go float on another creek so I took them to town to drop them off. The little kids and I ran some errands and got ice cream cones. One of the errands was to get a pallet of salt. When I got home to unload it the tractor battery was dead. I couldn't get the hood up to jump start it, so I decided to unload it by hand. Normally this ugly pile of salt would drive me nuts, but under the circumstances I decided to let this one go. There are some things in life you just have to let go in order to stay sane. This was mine today. I just slid that old sliding door shut and walked away. All in a good, long day's work!

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