Monday, November 25, 2013

Schedules, Planning and oh hell lets just roll

How many of you go through your days following or trying to follow a particular plan or order? I commend you that do and have the patience for such folly and at the same time I am very grateful that I rarely do. My Dad used to say two of the best things about being a cattleman are: 1. You never run out of things to do. 2. You can do what you need to do in just about any damn order you please within reason because you will never finish everything anyway. I used to have some jobs that required a very ordered and structured day. I used to carry a dayplanner stuffed with itemized time schedules, lists, and lots of notes for future reference. Now on a good day I have 2 pages of scribbled crap on a yellow legal pad that likely has some coffee, Rockstar or spittoon juice dried on it and on a bad day I have illegible scratchings on a few C-store receipts, the back of my hand, and/or the dust on the dash of my pickup.

Today was a good example of not having a particular plan and how things tend to work themselves out in the end. I am desperately behind on paperwork and office things. I had planned a quick check of cows this morning, then some paperwork time. Well my cow checking turned into a 2 hours of time pissing away just watching cows grazing corn stalks, looking at and digging in cow manure and trying to gain some insight and knowledge about how they think and why they do things the way they do.

 But you know what, I am ok with that because I think I did learn a few things in that 2 hours. When I did get back to my desk and the pile of paperwork I just couldn't resist logging on to see how the live cattle market was going by watching a few cattle auctions with internet feeds. Oops, another few hours of daylight during a time of short daylight hours burned away.

By this time it was time to get my afternoon chores completed and prepare some nice T Bones for the grill tonight. When I took a look at the cows grazing stalks again I got a little surprise from one of my cows. Apparently #7320W had ignored my plans for March/April calves and was able to find a little time with a bull last February and rebred about 18 days postpartum (rare but it can happen). While this isn't optimum a live and healthy calf born ahead of schedule wont cause me any lost sleep. My daughter Dakota is worried this calf won't have any playmates for awhile but if one cow did this I expect there will be a few more calves before the March/April rush. It just shows that you can plan all you like but when working with living things and Mother Nature sometimes she will tell you to go screw yourself.  

Things tend to work out. The flesh (stored fat) this cow is carrying, the fact that the corn stalks this year have lots of grain in them because of fall windstorms will assure that she will be able to provide for both herself and her new heifer calf just fine through the winter. One last thing about planning is I never really gave it much thought and certainly no planning but I found out this week that in June I am going to be a Grandpa. Congrats to my oldest Amanda and her husband Kenneth. 

This news did cause me to make plans for November of 2014 when a little cowboy or cowgirl will get a chance to dig through cowpies with their grandpa to make sure the cows are getting enough corn in their grazing diet! 

Today's Cowman YouTube music selection from Justin Moore is a tribute to both of my Grandfathers that both were great men and taught me so much about life. I plan on being as good at that job as you both were. Lets hope that plan comes together. All pictures can be viewed full size by clicking on them and as always thanks for reading and any questions or comments about what I do for a living are always welcomed. 


Jim Fisher said...

I just roll with it, my cattle ranching style is that of opportunity. When I get the opportunity, I'll get it done. I mostly work with the weather, if it's dry then I get to it and it gets done. If it's wet that stuff will have to wait.

I have seem way too many wannabes ranchers take time off when the weather was right for ranch work. They don't last.