Eagles As My Witness

The plan was to get our cows ready for calving season… Giving them a couple of shots and some pour-on so that they’ll be at their healthiest when their babies are born.  Think of it as bovine forms of pre-natal vitamins, some antibodies, and, uh, wormer.

We always have some neighbors come help, and we’ll repay them soon with our help, so a big lunch was going to be necessary.  I decided on good ol’ meatloaf, mashed potatoes, salad, and green beans… which is ok, but it’s hard to go help with the cows and boil potatoes and put a meatloaf and brownies in the oven at the appropriate times.

By the time I had things cooking away, I knew I wasn’t going to run down the four miles and help *really work*, so I just relaxed and let them come to the food when they were ready.  I did go down after lunch, but they were just finishing up when I arrived.

Well, we all know when the work is done… there’s usually more work to do!  Sure enough, they put me to work trailing one bunch down the road to the other place.  Johnny took the lead… and Eden and I were behind.

It was a wonderfully gorgeous Wyoming winter day… The cows knew where to go… The sun was shining…

movingwitnessI took a silly selfie of Eden and I… Her first time riding on a four-wheeler….

selfieAn amazing time with only eagles as my witness.


Chicken Hunt

After going on a chicken hunt this morning, I went in to work at the library to cover for a sick co-worker.  My chickens occasionally prefer to go walkabout and I only had four in the coop when I went to lock them up last night.  Now, there are just about a bazillion and a half places chickens can hide around here… and Eden didn’t find them in the two favored spots.  I wished them well, wherever they were, and figured I’d see them first thing this morning.

Well, I didn’t… so I decided to go on a chicken hunt.  Their tracks were everywhere, so I ignored that and just listened.


Really?  Because Spot is usually a Very Vocal Rooster… I listened more… and then sent a pitiful er-er-er-er-ERRRRR into the cold blue sky.  Ha!  He couldn’t resist answering me and he was way over by the corral!!!

We tromp over and sure enough, Spot and six hens have “trapped” themselves in a three sided shed.  The three sides lay in the direction of the coop… so it must have blocked their way!  I sent them scurrying out the front and they ducked under the corral fence and ran promptly into another fence corner.

Heavens! Heavens!

Those silly girls could NOT figure out how to either go under or around the corner.  Eden was so frustrated!  I sent them BACK into the shed, and opened the back door.  They took two steps out into the snow and stopped.

I could see their tiny little brains thinking they needed to return to the dry shed… so Eden got a whistle and chickens were Highly Encouraged to continue through the snow!  Once they traveled, oh, maybe four feet through the snow, they hit the plowed road and then it was a fast track to the coop for breakfast.

The more I’m around chickens… the more I understand about The Little Red Hen and her famous phrase, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” <insert panic> <insert running around frantically!>

They are goofballs.

My project for the day was delayed until evening, but it’s halfway finished.  I’ve put two cheap fleece blankets together to make a warmer one for my car.  I need to clean it up and finish… and voila!  A nice little travel blanket for the Jeep.


Amazing Idea

I ran across something the other day… Now, it’s been happening since 2012, but, gee… I guess we are a little behind the times out here!  It is a spectacular idea, so I thought I’d share… just in case you are like me…

What if, when you get something new in the mail… you can use the box it came in to donate more items to charity FOR FREE??!!!

That’s the idea behind a Give Back Box.  First of all, you’ve ordered something cool for yourself… or maybe a gift for a friend… and the nice guy in the brown uniform delivers it and you unpack the box… Then, what do you do?

Well, for me, that cardboard box hangs around in my mudroom until I build my next fire, but for many of you who don’t have a fireplace or wood burning stove, you probably tear that box down and put it in the trash unless you’re lucky enough to have a cardboard recycling place.

What if, instead of adding to your landfill, you went to your closet (you know, the one that’s packed a little too tightly with those clothes you don’t wear?) and filled up that box with some of your gently-used-I’ll-never-fit-into-that-again items?  You then proceed to your computer, print out a FREE shipping label, and give that box back to your mailman or that nice guy in the brown uniform.  Your box gets delivered to the closest Goodwill.

Yup.  Just like that, you’ve received a cool present, repacked its box with clothing, accessories, or household items and shipped it off to a charity that helps people with employment placement and job training.  Your box will now go to the recyclers, having done double duty.  Oh, and tax receipts will be printed upon delivery.

Win.  Win.  Win.  Win.

Easy peasy.

Retailers like Newegg, Amazon, REI, and Overstock, plus others, are thrilled to partner with Give Back Box.

You need to go to givebackbox.com and read up on this program.

Oh, sure, for many of you there might be a Goodwill down the street that you can drop off stuff on your lunch hour, but out here??? It’s not that easy!  I thought it was an amazing idea.  I hope you do, too… and I hope you’re thinking about what you can pack up for Goodwill!

Deal With It

We bangs vaccinated our young little heifers today… Most of the work preparing for today, I have missed.  That was bringing them to the corral, sorting off any older heifers and cows, and weighing them.  Today I was late as well because I had to get lunch going first.  We did half of the bunch before lunch, and half afterwards.

I did make it eventually, and I simply had to keep them moving up the alleyway… everyone else had their jobs already!

The Good Doctor was on the job… and his toothbrush full of green tattoo ink was only knocked out of his mouth once by the girls’ slinging their heads!

vetHe vaccinates them, tattoos their right ear with his veterinarian logo and number, and puts in a numbered orange tag in their ear as well.

The Good Doctor is speedy… the only thing that seems to slow us down is the telling of Very Good Stories.

paperworkThis is also an exercise in record keeping… noting which bangs tag goes in to which heifer… and which direction the girls go.  They will go to different corrals… the smaller ones getting some extra ration to help them grow.  Brandon had this well in hand… which was great!  This is a job where I spent lots of time checking, rechecking, and triple checking numbers so I didn’t mess up!!!

I was happy to not have to deal with it!

How Many

Just have to share a few pics before it gets too late or I take more and never get a chance to share these…

When I ride along with the guys, I will see a chance for a pic and never say anything… just because we would be stopping ALL THE TIME.  Now, Vernon is Very Good to stop if I *do* give out a little squeal, but I try not to ask too often, because usually we Have Things To Do.

So, when we were out in the badlands, I wanted some “Sage Chickens in the Snow” photos, and I passed and passed and then they were too far, and then there was a perfect one with the sun and light just right, but I let that one go by too… But when we stopped at a gate, and Vernon said he was going to go down to the corner and kick two cows through… well, that just meant I was gonna go see if I could take a few pics of the lowering winter sun and maybe just see some sage chickens.

I grabbed a few shots of the sun, then headed back to the pickup…

winter sunwinter sunSorry, couldn’t decide which I liked best…

Then, walking back… and yes, it was a little BRISK… Eden swung out wide to my left… and flushed some sage chickens!

Well, the lighting wasn’t great… but, hey, I lucked out and my cowdog/birddog helped me reach my goal for the day!

sage chickensage chickensLook closely, click on the photo above to enlarge it… how many do you see????