Tuesday, March 2, 2010


March 1, 2010 can it really be March and can it really be 2010? Could it be that a whole 25 years ago I was looking forward to my high school graduation in two months? It just does not seem possible that it could be true. March used to be one of my favorite months. When I was a kid it was the start of springtime, warmer weather and the end of feeding hay. When I was a teenager it was warmer weather, the start of track season and girls wearing miniskirts with leg warmers. Yeah I said legwarmers and yes I did think they were superhot. When I was in college March was warmer weather, almost spring break and that much closer to summer.

When I was a super trucker pounding the highway March was warmer weather, the beginning of seed potato hauling and close to the end of dealing with those nasty heavy three rail tire chains. When I was a potato grower March was warmer weather, the time for tractor work in the fields and the start of a new season. When I was an apple orchardist spring was warmer weather, some nights of cold weather and frost season. Since becoming a fulltime cowman March has meant warmer weather, winding down of calving season and spring grass.

All of those things are mostly positive and something I did look forward to and continue to look forward to. Despite all those positives since 2008 March has become something different. March is now the month I lost my partner, my confidant, someone who was like a brother and my best friend. March is the month I lost my dad which steals much of the joy from it. With that known to ya’all I hope you will forgive a few possibly sullen posts throughout the month. I will try and temper that with a few humorous stories about my Dad of which there are many.

Today was a very normal spring day; too many things to get done and not near enough time to get them all done. That’s the plus and minus of spring in that you have purpose to your day, yet you seem to struggle to ever feel you got enough accomplished. It also can be a bit overwhelming because as busy as the days are now, you know they will only get busier as spring progresses. All the feeding, checking and eartagging went well today. Three new healthy babies and nobody died, you live for days like that. The weather was pleasant and sunny. I did get a bit more fencing done today and spent some time working with 2009 books and planning and fretting financials for 2010. I wonder if bookkeeping would be more enjoyable if you actually had positive numbers on a regular basis. I guess it is probably all relative and Warren Buffet is probably no more excited by a $3 billion profit than I am by a $3,000 profit on a project. I doubt he is any less concerned over a $3 billion loss than I am over a $3 loss on a particular project.

As I spent some time tonight dealing with bookwork and trying to decipher old records that my Dad kept I was getting tired and more than a little frustrated. I have found whenever I am feeling blue about anything I can usually help myself temporarily by thinking of Dad and something funny that he said or did that I witnessed or someone else has shared with me. Today as I drove by a neighbors bordering field I thought of one such story.

Neighbor Bob said one year he was growing some onions in a field and for many consecutive mornings Dad had cows out and walking through his field. Neighbor Bob was nice about it and called him several mornings and my dad would rush to put the cows in and fix the fence. After a certain amount of consecutive days neighbor Bob had enough! He called Dad and told him the cows were out once again and when he finished getting them in he needed to stop by neighbor Bobs house and discuss the situation.

Dad arrived quickly, put the cows in and then met angry neighbor Bob on his porch. Bob says he really laid into Dad and told him that the cows were out too often and that there was now quite a lot of damage to his young onions. Bob also told Dad that he was going to call his insurance company about the issue. Bob said he was the most angry he had been in his life and also the most amused at my Dads response to calling the insurance agent. Dad said in his sometimes dry and aw shucks way, “Bob I do not think you need to call your insurance company. Those onions have not done a thing to hurt my cows!”

Today’s real environmentalist species found on the ranch is the American badger aka Taxidea taxus.

Today’s picture is a video of cow number 4421w enjoying some post partum afterbirth (placenta) for breakfast next to her new calf. I know you love it!