Friday, September 24, 2010

Busy Season?

I've had lots of people comment to me lately that things at the ole rancho must be busy as I haven't updated my blog lately. That's pretty much the truth. Things are always busy here though. I really should not use that as an excuse for slacking on the writing. The whole truth is much more boring. Shelly hasn't done anything silly, I need material. Shelly did pass on a little story about Evelyn (Shelly's mom) getting peed on by one of the dogs. That should be good enough for me to embellish. Alas I wasn't there and I can't seem to fill in the blanks.

Here is what has been happening:

I got bored one evening and ripped apart a pallet and made my niece the Alien a little picnic table.

Here it is in it's natural form, which means it is full of staple holes, nail holes, it has warped boards and lots of places to get splinters.

Here it is painted green, after a little sanding too. Still has those warped boards though. I was able to complete it with mostly recycled material. I had to buy wood screws but the wood came from one pallet and the paint was left over from some project of the past. Now I'm brainstorming on what to create from lousy, splintery pallet wood for the nephew.

Jersey Cow is in full milk again. We sold Pasquale the calf to the Plumber Donnie. Actually we traded. If there is a barter to be made, I'm on it. Donnie the Plumber has been out to the ranch a couple of times lately. The first time he came out and tightened a screw so that the ice maker/water dispenser on the new fridge wouldn't leak. I managed to convince him that Shelly was feeling weak and that's why we had to have him out. I paid him in beef jerky. The next time he was called to replace the toilet guts at the renter's house and adjust the flow of a hydrant. He got a three month old, newly steered calf on that visit. In hindsight, I think I got the short end. I didn't mind trading the calf for the work. I had to castrate the guy with an elastrator band before they hauled him off. Apparently being squished with a panel and having someone fiddle with your testicles is not a pleasurable experience. The darn bovine decided that my white tshirt needed enhancing, and he pooed all over me as I removed my applicator pliers.

Pasquale at one day old.

I'm a little sad knowing that he will be dinner for Plumber Donnie's family however I know that up until then he will be treated with honor and respect. AND...Jersey is more than happy to head to the milking stand. Today she gave me just over three gallons of milk. I only milk once a day, around 1030 in the morning. Jersey is at the gate every morning mooing as if to say good morning and ask me how I'm doing. There is a connection between milker and milkee. Jersey is patient most days. If I upset her routine or so something that she just doesn't like she will let me know in some fashion. I have enlisted a friend to milk her one day per week. In exchange for milking her, he gets that days milk. My friend is overjoyed with the arrangement. Jersey is not as impressed. She tends to wait until he is almost done milking. Enough milking is completed to make her feel better, relieve the pressure of a full udder (I'm sure anyone that has breastfed can relate.) and then she lifts her tail and pees. So my friend has worked hard to fill his bucket with milk only to have to ruined by a splatter of urine from a sassy cow. I'm hoping that she will come to accept the arrangement. I swear she scolds me the day after. Tells me that I have some nerve to let someone else squeeze her teats.

I am so thankful for the milk and I'm sure to tell Jersey everyday. I think it's safe to say that I'm a milkaholic. I LOVE milk. I had a fellow counselor tell me once that I was addicted to the histamine dump that milk provided. Okay, whatever-->I know that I really like milk. Since I've been squeezing my own, either from my cow or one of my goats my addiction has increased. I have not had store bought milk for over a year. I hope to never have to again. I'll save my raw milk, homegrown, No Farms->No Food speech for another time. Just know I love milk. So today since I had just over three gallons I strained the extra into a Kerr jar and placed it in the coldest part of the fridge. After I returned from being bounced around in the tractor I found that my extra milk was good and cold. I squirted in some chocolate, screwed the lid on and gave it a shake! YUM!

Unfortunately we've been busy on the emergency service end too. We've had several interesting calls and one helicopter take off that almost made me wet myself. Recently a wildland fire had our awesome crew working 24 hours plus in a row. Four Mile Emergency Service is just an extraordinary group of people.

So in short those are a few of the festivities. We did manage to have a family day a couple of weekends ago. We took the kiddo to the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park.

It's just down the road. Just down the way is an old west town attraction, Buckskin Joe's. On the way to the bridge all three of us commented on Buckskin Joe's, saying that we should stop on the way out. On the way out, we commented saying that it wasn't too far from the house and we will make it a point to come see it sometime. I had been there as a kid, Shelly and Jolene had never been. At any rate we didn't visit the attraction that day. Later that evening, I was watching the news and discovered that Buckskin Joe's had been sold for something like 2.2 million and would be closing it's doors FOREVER the next day. Sometimes I just wonder about my sense of timing.
Other than the usual daily ranch stuff; we've had a couple of lambs, the turkeys are getting big and making noises, I've sent a few goats off to other homes and somehow accumulated a few too. At the end of each day I try and take a few moments and reflect on how wonderful my life is and am thankful to live on this beautiful mountain. Now I just need to find a few minutes to start working on Halloween costumes and creepy food!

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