Monday, March 8, 2010

Country girls

This is going to be a busy week and today was a busy day. The main group of spring calving cows has to come home this week from Basin City. Once that is accomplished I will no longer have to do the 25 mile round trip at least once and sometimes twice a day and that is good. The down side is I am going to leave at least 2 weeks of feed there that I paid a set amount based on total volume not on time. It is not the end of the world because I thought I would have the feed used up and been forced out 2 weeks ago.

Today I had a meeting with my mother; who celebrated a birthday yesterday by the way, Happy Birthday again Mom and two of my three sisters were present for the meeting as well. The meeting was to discuss both short term and long term plans on the ranch. I could not have asked for a better discussion from any of you and I really appreciate it so much. I actually think I may sleep tonight without waking up and feeling the need to go over a spreadsheet or use an adding machine for the first time in weeks. I am so glad that my Mom and all my sisters grew together with this ranch like I did. They may not have the same burning desire that I do to see this place to forever be a viable cow calf ranch, but they do feel it is important and they understand how important it is to me. A big reason why this is true is because they knew it was important to not only me, but my father, my mother and my grandparents who started this operation.

My mother and my sisters were no wallflower farm and ranch girls. Neither were my grandmother and aunts. My wife and daughters have shown that same work ethic and “cowgirl grit” as well. When you have an operation such as this it is often fronted by a man who has a woman who has his back, even when his back is against a wall. That has certainly been the case on this ranch over the years as well as today. I could never list all the different ways that wives or daughters contribute to a farm or ranch operation but I will talk about a few.

Probably the most glaring one to me is the food. Both of my grandmothers and my mother cooked and baked daily like the cookie monster on methamphetamine. My own bride makes some great dishes as well as bringing home a check every two weeks so I can fund my addiction to being a cowman. Some of my personal food favorites are fried beef heart and scrambled eggs, potato salad and a rib steak as well as homemade bread and pies. Oh my heck the pies, at this point in life I would give up ever having another piece of cake, another cookie, another donut, or even another cinnamon roll if I could guarantee the last week of my life there was a variety of homemade pie to consume.

Damn, off topic again and hungry, anyway. Farm and ranch women are in my mind some of the most special people on the earth. Not only are they expected to perform all the tasks I have already mentioned they do so much more. I doubt many urban wives have ever had to try and get a cowshit stain out of a pair of jeans, much less welcomed and offered a cold baby calf access to their bathtub overnight. I bet the number of dollars of the national debt is far less than the number of times a farm or ranch wife has bit their tongue when mud or cowshit was tracked across her freshly mopped floor. I could never count the times some female has filled a syringe with vaccine for me, or held a greasy green tail for me or assisted me in pulling a calf. This does not include the times they did all those tasks themselves if I was away doing whatever.

Not only do these amazing women do all these things they still can doll themselves up and head out for a night on the town and look amazing. I have seen my wife in a little black dress, stockings and heels look as good as or better than any supermodel. That being said I think the sexiest she ever looked to me was one day sorting cows when she made the right cut with the gate and paid for it with a gate slammed into her face and a cut on her nose. Standing there in her coveralls, boots and glossed lips with blood trickling down and over her upper lip made me feel as in love and frisky as I think I have ever been. The fact that the last two cows that ran down the alley were in the correct pen was just a bonus.

So here is to all you farm and ranch ladies. I know we never say thank you enough for all you do to help us in this life. We also know that without this help, support and encouragement our lives would be very empty and not nearly as successful. You many never grace the cover of Vogue magazine but a woman who knows how to bottle feed a calf, knows how to drive a tractor and knows how to love and nurture her children and her cowman will always be in vogue to me.

Today’s real environmentalist species found on the ranch is white clover aka Trifoleum repens.

Today’s picture is some sandhill cranes relaxing by the home place pond.