Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's Wednesday, do you know what that means?

Each Wednesday Granny & Papa head off to the sale. Some weeks they go with a load of cows to the sale and come home with a load. Sometimes they go empty handed and come home with a load, or they go with a load and come home empty handed. Did I lose you on that? Regardless, today is Wednesday, and that means that they go to the sale today.

Last week Travis decided that he would feed the cows for Papa before he got home so that he wouldn't have to do it in the dark or cold. Carter and I were quickly recruited to be the gate openers. Carter of course, not much help but he's catching on. Me... I probably wasn't much help last week either, but hey! I'm learning too! :) Twenty head of heifers looking back at you within inches of you can be intimidating to a girl like me. Today, we got the call to meet Travis at the gates and off we went. As I usually do when I leave the house, I slid on my favorite Reef flip flops and off we went on the four wheeler. Oh, and you know I had my camera in hand.

Travis was waiting for us, so there was not much time for my 'quick' shots, I had to get to work. There were cows standing at every gate within viewing distance. One pasture held probably a hundred or so cows, the other had about fifteen or twenty that were recently taken from their momma's, sixty or so in another pasture, and then about thirty in another. There were cows standing everywhere, patiently awaiting their hay! As Travis approached the first gate and I was unlocking it, my eyes caught "the man". Yep, that's right the bull. He was laying very close to the fence and it's been brought to my attention that he can be a bit moody at times, if you get my drift. I looked back at Travis with a look of, "what about this guy????" He just said, "push the gate open, he'll move!" Umm, yeah... okay, right on that boss! This animal is huge and you want me to walk towards him, is this correct? Yep, that's what my husband wanted me to do, along with sixty of his closest girlfriends. :)
***That's him in the picture below laying in front of the fence to the left!***

Luckily, my husband was right. Those cows weren't the least bit worried about me, they had their sights set on that tractor carrying two bales of hay. I was just in their way and needed to move!! :) Carter and I watched as Travis bounced through the gate on the tractor into the field. Those cows followed him like school kids in line going to the cafeteria. The others in the fences on either side, watched anxiously as they knew that their turn wasn't far away. They were eating off the bale on the front of the tractor, and the back of the tractor. Not caring one bit if they were in the way of the tractor or not. Oh, and the wrapping they put around it to keep it baled together... they don't care much about that either. Travis jumped off to remove the wrapping and those girls & guy could not wait to for him to get out of the way so they could continue to fill their bellies!

Time for pasture number two. By this point, I'm thinking, okay I've got this. I push the gate open and off he goes. Carter is at the far gate that connects the two, and he is actually working too! After the second set received their hay, Travis headed out the gate and I look and Carter has this face of, "oh no!" then I see him look down and it had happened. The dreaded step, into a big pile of poo! You are probably thinking that I freaked....nah, not this time. He had his rubber boots on (since the dogs chewed up his other ones earlier this week), and I actually laughed. Travis asked me what happened and I told him, he thought it was funny too! He never said it, but I'm sure he was patiently awaiting me to step in a fresh pile myself since I was wearing the inappropriate pair of shoes to be feeding cows. Reef flip flops are not the ideal footwear for this job, just F.Y.I. Just wait, we'll talk more about that in a minute.

We headed off to the third pasture. These are the youngsters that are facing the world alone now. Still fairly small and oh so very cute. I opened up my gate and squeezed as close as I could to the gate since Travis would have to make a sharp turn to get in this pasture. Carter was on the opposite side watching intently. He would give anything to be on that tractor with his daddy. I'm sure it won't be much longer and my title of gate opener will be passed on to him. I grab my camera in hopes to get pictures of the little ones chasing after the tractor.

Oh, I got the picture but I also got something else. As I stepped to take the shot, I felt an immediate burning sensation on the inside of my left foot. I knew immediately what had happened. I had stepped in my lovely friend, stinging nettle! If you've never stepped in this stuff it feels like an instant bon fire on your skin! My thoughts of taking pictures of the little moo moos was the furthest thing from my mind. My foot felt like it was going to burn off! Of course, this made my husband chuckle. Once again he was right, I didn't have on the proper footwear, when will I ever learn?!

Burning foot in tow, I tried to ignore that I felt like I needed to go the E.R. and headed off to the last set of cows to be fed. This was the big group, and everyone of them was at the gate looking at me like, 'just open the gate woman! We want our food!!!' And just as a side note, these gals were looking a tad bit hefty, or should I say healthy?! :) I pushed the gate open and made sure that Carter understood his part in this job. If any of them were to try and come out the gate he was to wave his arms in the air and shew them back in!! Yep, I put my three year old up to that task, luckily he wasn't needed today! :) When I say that these gals weren't interested in me, that is a complete understatement! They were after one thing, and one thing only..... the tractor with the hay! A few of them were I guess what you could call slackers, they were more concerned with me then the hay but quickly figured out I wasn't near as intriguing as the hay, and off they went. I snapped away like a mad woman. Then I see Travis motioning towards me and I hear him say, "Ears, ears!"

Ears, is what one of the young calfs has been so perfectly named by granny and papa. He is the cutest little thing I think I've ever laid eyes on. He is this beautiful chocolate brown color with the most adorable floppy ears you've ever seen. When Carter heard his Daddy say Ears, he said "Momma! That's him, do you see Dumbo?!" Carter prefers to call him Dumbo, rather then Ears. After Travis unloaded the hay and made his way back to us, we all three rode out into the pasture on the four wheeler in hopes of catching a shot of Ears/Dumbo, whatever you want to call him. Sure enough, the little guy let us get pretty close and I did get a few good shots of him and several of the other ladies in the field. I love this pasture because it is full of expecting mommas, mommas with brand new babies, and then those like Ears who are a wee bit older but still cute as a button. This pasture is the one that when you drive down our driveway is to your left. Makes me smile just about every time I come down the drive and see them playing in that field or lying close to their mommas.

That concluded our Wednesday chore of the week. Once again, I'm pleased to say that I'm loving this life. I'm loving this house, I'm loving this property and the simplicity that it brings. In a way it's my peace. I love everything about it, well almost everything. If we could teach Tater & Cowboy, our dogs, to quit chewing up everything within their site, I'd love absolutely EVERYTHING about this place.

Hope I've not bored you with what seems to be becoming a Wednesday routine for us. It's a day in my life, one my husband loves, and my son is growing to love. Soon, there will be three of them out there feeding cows and I can sit back and watch and just smile and thank God for how blessed I am to be here! My little piece of heaven, here on earth.

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