Monday, October 25, 2010

Barefoot and Pregnant?

I know I promised a blog with pictures of Taco Dog's adventures in the goat pen. Alas I've been swamped with other things, primarily being a parent and making the "best decision" even though it makes me cry. Jolene had to skip her last volleyball game and instead come home and study, but that's another blog. Anyway...This last Saturday, Rod came by and felt up the girls. I'm very excited.

To begin, Jolene and I had to rearrange panels and do all the regular ranch chores. The fun came later. As I was pulling T posts and scooting Jenny Cow (technically still a heifer but you get the point) out of my way, Jolene was filling water troughs and feeding the critters in the barn. I yelled at her to get me a bag of range cake/cow cookies. She had been driving the ATV from pasture to pasture with the hose and back to the barn for about an hour. Instead of dumping the fifty pound bag of range cake on the ATV and bringing it to me, she decided to throw it over her shoulder and haul it 'old school' as she says, over to the cow pasture. It didn't go as I would have planned but I'm sure dropping it in the driveway and putting a hole in the paper bag was in Jolene's plan.
She did it on purpose, I'm sure. She wanted to make sure that I left my duties to assist her with the bag. After rescuing the range cake from certain scattering, I released Jolene to return to her piddling. I got my catch pen and squeeze chute placed just as I wanted and went to seek out Jolene. She was kissing Taco Goat, (clearly not Taco Dog, a whole other species) and feeding peppermints to the donkeys, Tansy and Ellie. I told her I was ready and she said that she had completed her chores as well. We jaunted down to the chicken coops and collected eggs. As we were returning to the barn, Rod pulled up with his magic tank of frozen straws.He glanced at the girls and opened his magic tank. We pushed, pulled, and finally bribed Jersey Cow into the chute. Bing, Bang, Boom it was done. Jersey squeezed her wide girth out the front of the chute and we yanked Jenny Cow in. Jenny was nervous, asked all kinds of questions, requested a reprieve (which I denied), and asked about government provided parenting classes. I told her not to worry and relax. Soon enough Jenny's date was complete too.

We gave both girls a few cookies and chit chatted with Rod for a few minutes. Rod sealed up his magic tank and he was off again. Jolene and I rushed to the house to get a shower before heading to the Creek. Jersey was left standing it the pasture with a look of dissatisfaction. How now brown cow, don't you worry with any luck next August you will have a new bouncy bundle of joy.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Oh Saturday, the time we have!

So the weekend started out like any other. We failed to set the alarm for Saturday morning. Since there was no possibility of a blaring annoyance in the morning, the Universe must have posted a memo to the dogs, stating that it was okay to sleep in. We woke up at 727am. We were scheduled to leave for Ordway at 730am. The Bean had a volleyball game. I wanted a shower but Shelly felt the need to consume all of the hot water in 7.2 minutes. We managed to get out of the house at 8am, and actually arrived on time.

Bean and I had originally planned to check out a firearm exhibit at a museum in Canon City. Since Shelly is not he museum type we opted for a pumpkin patch and corn maze. Shelly acted more like the 11 year old than Bean did. Fun was had by all, pumpkins picked out and maze conquered, we headed out of town after our usual cherry dipped ice cream cone from Dairy Queen.

On the way back to the ranch we stopped to watch a herd of cattle being pushed back to their pasture behind the fence. They had been free range grazing for most of the summer along the county road. Along the side of a hill were two little boys with their terrier watching what I only assume were their parents on horseback pushing the cattle. The whole scene made me nostalgic. I'm not sure of what or why, but I just had the feeling.

When we arrived back at the ranch, after a change of clothes and a bathroom break we all headed down to the barn. Jersey and Jenny were scheduled for a 5cc shot of Lutalyse. Both girls will be having a happy, happy moment with a straw of swimmers from a beautiful bull named Jamal on the 23rd of this month. I'm very excited. Since our squeeze chute is at Phoenix Ranch, we just walk the girls up between two panels. Since there isn't a 'back' to the two panels someone has to stand at the hind end and keep the bovine from backing out. I'm not sure why I generally get that job, but I do. It's not discussed, it just happens. Shelly stands outside the panels with the syringe I get behind the behind of the cow. We start with Jenny, the heifer, she walks up between the panels without too much trouble. I pull the panels in and squeeze her a bit, she resists a bit and tries to back out. I push her forward again and grab the bars on the panels to hold her in place. Shelly jabs her with her finger a couple of times in the rump and then sticks her with the needle. As I watcher her inject the hormone, I feel a warmth oozing down my abdomen. Then I smell the warmth. My oh so cute, little heifer let loose and pooed all over my University of Kansas sweat shirt. As soon as the injection is completed I open the panel and let Jenny out. I look down at my sweatshirt and see the splotch of stinky feces oozing down my body. My clothes are stuck to my body. In an attempt to rectify the sticky situation I put my hand in the pocket of jacket only to discover that the poo has filled it and is now covering my fingers and under my nails. The smell is overwhelming. I don't do well with poo, of any sort. Shelly and Bean are laughing uncontrollably. Shelly helps me shuck the jacket and we push Jersey up between the panels. Jersey is usually predictable, as she was today. She separated her back legs, lifts her tail and lets it go. I wait until she's finished and push her up in the panels. Shelly gives her the injection and we let her out. Both girls laugh at me again. I grab my sweatshirt and head to the barn. I strip down in the wash rack. I hose off my boots and put them back on. I'm now standing in the wash stall with my bra and undies, sporting my classy cowboy boots. Bean helps me rinse out my sweatshirt. She sticks the hose in the pocket and makes noises as the poo flows out of the other side. We finish with my clothes and flop them on the side of bed of the truck. I climb in, still wearing very little and we head to the house. Bean drives to the end of our drive and instructs me that I will have to walk to the cabin as she and Shelly are going to feed the chickens. That's the last time I let the 11 year old drive. She was mistaken thinking I was going to walk up the drive in my undies.

After completing evening chores, letting dogs in, letting dogs out and letting dogs in again, and feeding the outside cats we settle in to a relaxing evening. Shelly and Bean decide that a little play on the Wii is in order and retire to my bedroom with my computer as I have clinical notes to catch up on. After about an hour of which I completed zero notes and winning 3 dollars of "real money" playing online poker I venture back out into the living room to check the progress of the video gaming. I see the tail of what I think is a cat outside eating the cat food. I approach the patio door to see which cat it is and find an itty bitty skunk chomping on the cat's food. I inform the girls and everyone gets up to see the unusual site on the porch. We watch for minute and then the skunk starts to wander off. Everyone resumes their places on the couch and I see another skunk, only bigger than the first. The larger one finishes off the cat food, sniffs around the wood box and then ventures off the porch into the darkness.
I guess in the end it was a pretty normal Saturday.