Sunday, February 13, 2011

That's Real

There are many times when I like to say that there is no issue that manifests itself in my life that cannot be solved with time or money. Lately the issue of time and having enough of it seems to really be prevalent. Yesterday I put over 500 miles on Griselda across the state of Washington in my capacity or lack thereof as Washington Cattlemen's Association president. I went over the cascades to Sedro-Woolley Washington for the Skagit County Cattlemens annual banquet. I want to thank them for the invite, hospitality and evening and assure them that the lighting flash, thunder clap and hail downpour that accompanied me as I walked in the door was total coincidence!

As I drove yesterday afternoon and late night early morning returned my mind was spinning like a bucking bull in Vegas in early December. I was fretting about all I had not accomplished over the last few weeks and all that the next few weeks had in store. Just when I was feeling a bit overwhelmed I came to a realization that made me feel better. What if I had no life to live or what if the life I did live was lacking in things to do. BORINGGGGGGGGGGGGG! I talked to a gentleman in a tavern as I waited for last nights meeting to start. The guy has been without steady work for close to a year and said other than a callous developing on his finger from changing television channels he felt like his life was dead and empty. There is nothing like a little reality check to bring you back to earth and understand a busy life is a full life. Speaking of reality checks I wanted to share a you tube video of a song that I am really loving these days. James Wesley sings about what "real" life is all about and I find it very inspiring.

Lately when I feel life is presenting just a few too many things to face I think about the alternative. I am going to make the rest of this post a speed overview of all that has been going on since I was last here.

On February 2nd Chris and I hopped on a flight from Pasco to Denver for the National Cattlemens Beef Associations (NCBA) annual convention.When I say "flight" that is a loose term as it was more like a Volkswagen with wings. This event has become somewhat of a working vacation but it is something I really enjoy. Spending a few days with people from all over the country that deal with the same issues I do on a daily basis makes you appreciate life. It was a great convention and I was too busy to post while there but I wanted to highlight two things. Karl Rove was a speaker at one of the general sessions and no matter how you feel about his politics the man was amazing in his recall of facts and numbers. He was also very gracious as he donated a weekend get away at his vacation home in Florida for the Political Action Committee fund auction. A very generous and thoughtful gift. The final night party was started with Larry the Cableguy and his takes on life. I was admittedly lukewarm about what the show would be like thinking it would be a re run of the whole "git er done" shtick. It turned out to be almost two hours of constant laughter of material I had not yet heard. I wish I could remember more of it but his take on the dangers of the tiny "smart cars" and how a friend of his had been badly hurt when he was driving one. He said it was a terrible accident when his smart car had hit a deer..............actually a deer tick! That there is funny, I don't care who you are.

We returned last Sunday and it was nice to be home to some warmer weather and many new calves on the ground. I want to thank my friends Scott and Loren for keeping things fed and covered and also to Dakota for all she did to keep things running while we were away. After getting things checked Sunday afternoon I was once again off to our Washington State capitol in Olympia to our WCA legislative days. I felt we had an excellent turnout and got many issues covered as an association. Thanks to all of you that put in a very long day representing our industry. To be part of a group that hits the Capitol campus in boots and hats and every legislator, aide, staff and lobbyist from every sector knows EXACTLY who we are and what we represent makes me very proud.

The rest of last week was spent catching up with fencing, tagging calves, I shipped out my yearlings and damn if I know where a week disappears so rapidly. I did catch one of Dakota's basketball games and watching her play at age 14 when it seems just yesterday I would come in the door to a little girl with outstretched arms saying"hold me daddy, hold me" makes me know the weeks just fade into months and the months fly into years more rapidly than my hair migrates from the top of my head to my ears and back.

I did have a few moments of excitement in the past week in the calf tagging department. I have a few cows that I don't even bother to try and tag their newborns because although I take pills to keep me sane I know I don't want to get pummeled by a protective momma just to place an ear tag. For some reason this past week it seemed almost every mother had some issue with me and my tagger. I even had a first calf heifer blowing snot on me as I tagged her kid on the flatbed. Festus was able to get her attention long enough for me to nimbly (yeah right) jump down and get back into the safety of the pickup cab. The closest call I had this week was with a mother not known for being any particular danger. As I pulled up to her she was enjoying her afterbirth and I was able to catch her calf but the tag was not quite in correctly and as I fiddled around with the calf between my legs it let out a loud bawl. 1140y immediately spit out her placenta and made a rapid charge. I was in front of the pickup and had no where to go but under the front end. As I dove under she was right on my butt and she helped me go a bit farther under than I had originally planned. After catching my breath from fear and laughing I crawled all the way under the pickup to the back, onto the flatbed and slowly slid in through the back window. I knew that sliding rear window was a good idea, as I drove away I spit a large phlegm ball on her forehead in return for the cow spittle she had plastered all over my Wrangler clad ass. Ahhh, the joys of having something to do each and everyday of life!

Today's real environmentalist species found on the ranch is the Barn owl aka Tyto alba.

I finally found my camera and even the charger that goes with it and promise to take many new calf pictures the next few days. Today's picture is cow 4914g and her heifer calf from back in January.