Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pepperoni, fair wives and 3rd rock from the sun

Hey, good news readers, two posts in the same month! Once you get out of the hospital from your strokes please let me know! Tonight's blog post is going to be a bit all over the board because that is just the kind of day it has been. My thoughts and actions today really fit well with the term "scattered".

I started the day early as I had a full schedule of tasks to complete, each with their own special emotional components. At daylight I loaded 2 older cull cows and 1 cull bull into the stock trailer. The cows were fairly nondescript, just older cows that were past their production prime that needed to be sent down the road. The bull was a bit of a different story. "Pepperoni" was purchased 3 years ago with a specific task in mind. The idea was to take a crossbred bull that was a bit smaller framed and had good fleshing ability, breed him to cows that were a bit too big and inefficient, to produce daughters that are the kind of females I like and want to keep. Sadly for Pepperoni his success at his task was the reason he needed to leave. You cannot have bulls around that will be breeding their own daughters for obvious reasons. For the most part I use only "purebred" bulls and Pepperoni was not a purebred. He was 5/8 Black Angus and 3/8 Shorthorn, a breed I wanted a bit of back in my herd without going too far. "Pepp" you will always be remembered as a favorite by all that knew you, and your daughters will long be a part of the future of this ranch. Here is Pepperoni earlier this month. He also did what he was expected to do, produce some productive, easy fleshing and efficient mothers like this young lady #9207Y nursing her second calf. He not only did he do this, he added blue roan color which has now been a favorite for 3 generations spanning my Dad, myself and Dakota. I know one cowhand up in heaven that will be glad to see you arrive and will put you to work breeding cows.

As I rambled up the highway this morning to deliver cattle I ruminated about last weeks fair and a few thoughts. I share my beef barn Superintendent duties with my "fair wife" Debby. We really work well together because I don't do well with paperwork and Debby doesn't do well with mornings so we cover each others weaknesses quite well. I call Debby my fair wife because we end up spending more time together than I do with my spouse that week. Debby shares in this view but prefers to call me "Debbys bitch" and several red solo cups sported this moniker as the fair week progressed.

Another reason I call Debby my "fair wife" is because of a story from years ago when we first shared duties as beef barn Superintendents. Each night during fair week as the rodeo ends, the VIP area closes and festivities generally end for the night Debby and I make a final check on the steers in our barn. We check to make sure halters and neckropes are tied, nobody has legs over ropes and in general that the steers are content and comfortable. This nightly exercise happens between midnight and 2 A.M. depending on the night. We usually have a few laughs like this year as we witnessed a steer consuming a red ribbon from his exhibitors display faster than we could stop the action. The last thing we do is turn out the lights in the barn. So the story now from our first year of sharing these duties.

One young lady exhibitor (the daughter of some good mutual friends) had assumed all week that Debby and I were married based on our work in the barn. When Friday night (the final night before steers leave) came around I had my "year round" bride Christine with me after the rodeo. I told Debby that I would handle the steer check and light shutdown that night in the barn. As Chris and I finished up the check and as I turned down the lights for the night I got a bit amorous, grabbed a fairly deep kiss, and a bit of a shallower "ass grab" on my wife. Unknown to me this young lady witnessed this exchange and promptly told her parents that Larry had been kissing some shorter lady with darker hair than his wife in the steer barn! Luckily her parents knew Debby and I were not married and saved this poor young lady years of therapy! LOL, The main focus of the week is kids having fun and learning and educating the public. I am very proud of "Larry's kids" in the steer barn as is Debby. I failed to take many pictures last week but here is one with a clean full barn of steers! 68 steers this year up from the low 20's just a few years ago! I always tell the kids in the steer barn that if they feel a bit better than their counterparts in the other bars it is because they ARE better than their counterparts in the other barns!

 So I delivered my auction items, unhooked my trailer and headed 40 miles north to the Washington State Beef commission meeting. What a great meeting and great people we have serving the beef industry in our state. Then it was back to Toppenish, picking up a trailer and a check and then 80 miles home. The day ended checking cows, irrigation water and working with Dakota and her two remaining steers Jerome and Roaneo. Roaneo, the pretty blue roan son of Pepperoni! Remember, all pics can be viewed in full size by clicking on them.

Today's Youtube music selection that encompasses today's scattered thoughts is Joe Diffie singing "Third Rock from the Sun".