Wednesday, October 21, 2009

DONT FENCE ME IN

The past three weeks we have experienced wailing that would put any infant nursery to shame. Mothers diligently screaming at their children at the top of their lungs. Ya know, like the ones you see in department stores who just lose it and go berserk . There have been jail breaks like convicts escaping after an unattended Brinks truck. Stampedes like the ones you see in an old John Wayne western flick. Gooshing gooey mud like quicksand sinking this farm chicks barn boots so deep that when Hubby called out, "catch that renegade!" I helplessly replied, "I can't move, I'm stuck !" The Young Guns have been the most difficult bunch of calves to wean on the Ponderosa......ever! I don't know if any of ya'll believe in the sign of the moon thing but when you work with animals or children it can make a believer out of you. Hubby has the habit of checking the sign in the Farmers Almanac after we work, castrate, dehorn or wean the cattle. Three weeks ago after we penned the Young Guns we settled in our comfy chairs for the evening as Hubby pulled out the almanac announcing, "well, we couldn't of picked a worse time to wean 'em." No truer words were ever spoken.

Our nights echoed of loud blaring sounds from mothers with bulging leaky utters calling out to their obvious starving children who would all sing back in vocal unison ," Maaaaaaaaa!" Sweet uninterrupted sleep was not an option not for just a night or two but nights upon nights. During all this we had jail breaks of the occasional starved baby who weighs between 500-700 pounds push through a barbed wire fence and the secondary electric fence just for a nightcap of warm rich milk. Each and every one had to be retrieved during our flood and deep mud. Did I mention the bear? Yep, Smokey took a liking to the liquid feed which has a molasses base that was placed in the weaning pen for extra nutrients. Cattle just love it but to a bear it's like a rich sweet chocolate truffle to a woman with PMS. The act of a bear dining in their territory sparked more than one stampede not only tearing down tight barbed fences but bending steel posts to the ground. Each evening Hubby would arrive from work and I'd don the barn boots and help capture the runaways returning to the house with my fresh washed hair sporting the smell of cow manure. I just want to wash my hair and retain the luscious smell of my Catwalk Fashionista which lingers on my pillow. You know what I'm sayin'?

Last Saturday gave us a much awaited dry day. A day in which we could vaccinate the calves preparing them for pasture. We usually call in the Strongbacks (farm hands) when we full throttle work cattle but we had already castrated the Young Guns so Hubby and I went solo. We have been working together so long we have this vaccinating thing down to a rock and roll science. I had totally forgotten about the large bull calf who had been saved for a nearby farm. The farm that had backed out of the whole deal. The large 700lb bull calf who was now too large to be castrated would need to be banded. We needed a large burly dude with curly chest hair and some tattoos to kink this animals tail up and over its back in the head gate so Hubby could keep all his teeth while banding the calf's treasured family jewels. Nope, there was nobody 'round here to fit that bill so I became the chosen one. The one who slipped thicker leather gloves on her dedicate tiny hands. The one who reached up and over the head gate not really having enough leverage to do the job. The one who said, "I will NOT reach between the bars to grab the animal!" (Reaching to grab said large hysterical ballistic animal between two steel bars=broken arm, duh!) The one who filled the farm air with her high pitched tones announcing to God, Hubby and bordering farms, "I don't have enough testosterone to do this...I NEED MORE TESTOSTERONE!" The one who did it anyway and gott'er done.

Finally the Young Guns have settled. They have been roaming between the corral and holding lot enjoying their feed , sipping on fresh cool well water, snacking on hay and chewin' their cud. After three long weeks of weaning they are ready to be moved to wider greener pastures where they can roam and await the move to the lush winter wheat pasture. I look forward to silent nights, fresh washed hair and smelling like Cinnabar verses the calf pen. Soon and very soon the Young Guns will be moved and will not be singing that old familiar song, "Don't Fence Me In!"

*If you'd like to read more about the Young Guns see "Daddy Sang Base Mama Sang Tenor " July 28 under Ponderosa
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55 comments:

  1. you are a true farm girl! i remember cattle working days on my uncle's farm. my brothers and i were witness to many a castration. :)

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  2. Oh my! The housewife (moi) is out of her depth here lol. Maybe a pair of swarovski studded cowgirl boots would help you.
    p.s. I dont normally eat huge baskets of croissants and french goodies for breakfast, normally its bagel and cream cheese :), so there's nothing wrong with a nice bowl of oatmeal daaaaaaaaahling :D

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  3. LOL! I can just see you Nezzy, feather boa and all, chasing cows around in the middle of the night! You have certainly given me something to laugh about today!
    Big hugs!

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  4. Hilarious!!! I am not laughing at you, but I know where you are. Should been there when we were trying to shoot calves, WITHOUT a headgate.

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  5. I imagine that silent nights would be welcome.

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  6. Loved reading your up close and personal account of this fall rite on the ranch. We run cattle but they are not ours. So I can watch but don't have to dirty my hands. Whew! You are some kinda woman Nezzy!

    Cheers!
    Julie
    Julie Magers Soulen Photography
    Blog of Note

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  7. This is so much fun!

    Well, I mean, castrating bulls doesn't sound like so much fun, and neither does listening to wailing on both sides. Nor does tromping around in mud.

    But your account of it is great fun!!!

    Glad you lived to blog about it :)

    Lucy

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  8. I'm with Lucy, what great fun to read ABOUT this... you go gurl!! :) :)

    I'm on my way over with some of this fresh strawberry jam, still have some of those hot rolls left??!! Ummm-ummm!!!

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  9. Much more fun to read about than actually participate in, but your description was so good that I could smell the smells. I hope you are getting good nights of beauty sleep by now.

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  10. 1. I hate crying calves. It tugs at my mom heartstring. Makes me think they are missing their moms.

    2. I don't think it would hurt any of we women to be provided with a wee bit o testosterone. Of course too much and we might have to shave our knuckles

    3.Never a dull moment on the farm, huh?

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  11. OMG NEZZIE,
    You have had your hands full girl! I don't know where to begin but I can relate a bit having grown up on a farm. You must be tired down to the bone. My Mom used to deliver baby pigs when they would get stuck and she would have her hands up to her elbows trying to pull them out. I think you are one brave gal and yes the testosterone in small amounts can be a great thing. Hang in there friend, Cindy

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  12. Thanks you Nezzie!I had a good old guffaw over this one. I'm well known at work for my scent of eau de manure and for shedding hay around the office. We're having some boot sucking off weather here too.

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  13. I'm a townie, myself, but my hubby's granny had a farm and he has told me of this thing called banding. Yikes, I'm tired just from reading this post. I'll bottle some of my silence and send it to you, along with plenty of sweet smelling fall air to hold you over. Take care and have fun.

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  14. Sounds like a muddy good time there! You go girl! I Loved reading about your adventures..how about that bear!! I hear we have a bear two miles from here..I hope he stays away! You have a wonderful day! :)

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  15. Oh, Nezzy--
    I wasn't even there (thank God) and I am totally worn out from your adventures.
    Really, I don't know where you got the idea that the moon has ANY effect on animals and children??? I was told last year by our speech therapist that the moon OR the weather doesn't have any effect on them!!! (children)
    Yea! Right.

    Anyway--GET SOME REST and pamper yourself really good!!

    Melinda :)

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  16. You know the saying..."well, you'd probably have to be here to understand."? All I can say is that you described this scene so well I thought I was there! LOLOL!

    You're quite a trooper and a true helpmate to your dear husband! You're blessed to have each other to engage in this teamwork kind of episode :-)

    Blessings,
    Tammy ~@~

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  17. Great story! Brings back memories of the neighbors calves bawling away - keeping us awake! Weaning the horses is just as traumatic but baby goes in the box stall and preferably momma goes a couple miles away to the neighbors... Great story teller you are - enjoyed it and laughed.... I can just see you "manhandling that big boy" :)

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  18. Nezzy, Thank You for your comments on my blog. I have joined yours. Thank you for the laugh. I really enjoyed this post. I love living on a farm. Great story and pic:) Blessings,

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  19. You are a fun read! It makes parenting my boys look like a walk in the park!

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  20. You are not going to believe me when I say this but your life sounds so glam. Not high heels cocktail party glam but full on Robert Redford movie romantic glam. Glad things are starting to calm down! xoxo

    SC

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  21. Nezzy...yes this was a great and very descriptive post. You are indeed a farm girl.

    Thanks for visiting my Journal and leaving comments.

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  22. You go girl!! Reminds me of this cartoon and joke my mom and I share quite often: We are women, hear us ROAR!! Glad you survived with bones intact!!

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  23. Oh my goodness, is this what life is like on a farm? I don't think my heart could take it. Hearing the baby cows crying for their mama's would be too much for me to take. I couldn't even let my kids cry it out when I was trying to get them to sleep through the night. I always caved (which explains why they never take me seriously).

    My stepdad watched some show one day on the reality of farm life and he had me watch it with him. I think it was about sheep and they showed these guys holding the sheep down while they castrated it (if that's what it's called...they basically cut the sheep's testicles off). I couldn't watch it anymore.

    You must be one tough gal to do what you do every day...and then I can see you also have a soft side, obviously, esp when it comes to your family. One thing's for sure....your life is far from boring!! I'll bet every day is different!

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  24. Country road, take me home... I love going to the farm when I was a child. It was back home and I go to my grandparents' Good times!

    This gives me a fresh thought. :)

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  25. Great post. Enjoyable reading. Blessings dear one....

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  26. Oh Nezzy
    What adventures you have on the Ponderosa. Being a city girl I can't even imagine doing the things you describe! I loved the post. I'm glad oyu have a sister too. Mine lives 940 mikles away so we don't see each other very often but it sure is fun when we do!
    Hugs, Rhondi

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  27. LOL! You go girl! Git 'er done! That's more than I could ever do! I'd have fought tooth and nail to stay in the house! ;-)

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  28. Whatever in the world made me think the farm life was for me. LOL No...I think it was best left to the Nezzy's of this world! YOU are wonderful, my friend!! Just wonderful!!
    :) Hugs!
    Mona

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  29. P.S. What I came for was to thank you for your sweet and caring comments on my blog! How kind you are! I will get better...in time...and I must remember to be patient! I loved your story!!

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  30. Hilarious as always!
    I don't live on a farm, but we have cattle on the farm behind our two acres. I well know when weaning time is, as the babies cry 24/7 during that period. AGGGHHHHH!!!!

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  31. Hi Nezzy, thanks for stopping by. I really enjoyed your post. I am a farmer want to be. We are on the edge of town. So I can sit in my front yard and watch cow's graze. Walk around the corner to see horse and goat. Any way have fun.
    see ya

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  32. What a bunch of Bull:) It is all so interesting to this city slicker. Poor babies being weaned from their Moms. Bears too? Oh my! I have to hand it to you for helping out with the large bull. I would have been in bed with my head on the sweet smelling pillow crying my eyes out from fear. You totally rock! I swear a full moon makes people and animals a little wacky. Have a calm, quiet, and relaxing weekend.
    Joyce

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  33. Wow! This really took me back... back to the days when I lived near cows and chickens. I never thought I would miss it, but I do a little bit. Shhh... dont tell my husband. He would have a heart attack at the thought of roughing it. :)
    Hugs,
    Liz

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  34. nezzie...thanks for your sweet comments on the blog~~ya know, we slept with little heaters in our tents so we were plenty warm in the night and around the campfire. go anywhere else and we were chilly. i don't think we will ever camp that late again....or we will get a cabin!
    good times but TOO chilly.

    *********************

    never being around cows....i feel a little sorry for those babes.

    i know~ farm life is tough.

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  35. I've learnt a lot from your post, and in a funny way. Being an urban type, your description has aroused my curiosity about those 'wild' things going on on a farm. You're quite a "farm chick" and quite a story teller!
    hanks for sharing, and have a terrific weekend!

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  36. Nezzy, you never cease to amaze me! You are an awesome story teller. And thanks for visiting my blog. You always manage to put a smile on my face!

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  37. I don't know a thing about cattle but I sure do enjoy your writing style. Started my Monday off with a smile!!! Thanks for your visit and I have enjoyed browsing thru your blog today.

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  38. Hello, Thank you so much for coming over to my blog and leaving a note! I am so glad you have a wonderful memory of your Granny W. I wish I could go back and relive some of those special days.

    You sure sound like you are 100% farm girl. Have you ever gone over to Mary Jane Farm? She has a forum that I just love to go to. Thought you might like.

    I love living on a farm. Our son has cattle that we babysit when he needs pasture. They are a hoot for sure!

    Blessings Nezzy, I'll be back again.
    Linda
    Prairie Flower Farm

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  39. Sooo funny, Nezzy! Thanks for sharing this wonderful story with us. You are a spunky gal! And that's a compliment of the highest degree! Have a great day!
    Love, Debbie

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  40. You make it sound so glamorous! I think I'll stick with the burbs though. Thanks for your visit had fun checking out your blog!

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  41. I feel like we are all in one big sorority in blog land! xoxo

    SC

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  42. LOL!!! You take me back to when we helped work my uncles cows...good times...good times!!

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  43. Nezzy, that sounds like a deal to me. How wonderful that you have your Granny's butter churn. Now that is special.

    Blessings, Linda

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  44. I just loved your note Nezzy, it sure made me laugh! Talk to you when I get back from AZ. Hugs, Cindy

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  45. YOU are my new hero! What an amazing life you live!

    But when I got to.... "Did I mention the bear?" I immediately sent your link to my little cream puff of a niece who's studying to be a large animal vet so she can work on a cattle ranch. I wanted to make sure she NEVER sticks her arm between the bars and I strongly suggested she gain a little weight so she'll have the strength to lift her feet/boots out of the mud!

    This was a fabulous post. You have a real way with words Nezzy!

    More please.
    xo

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  46. Just hopped over from PW, love your blog! I am going to go now and read your older posts. Have a wonderful day!

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  47. I am a city slicker, but love the way you write, so consider me a new follower!! Thanks for stopping by!!

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  48. Wonderful post! You make me so interested in your life.

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  49. Loved this post....had me rolling on the floor, laughing! My sis is a farm manager, and I did get to help with the AI of the cows once.....that was enough for this city slicker....but I can say I did it!

    Have a beautiful, blessed week!

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  50. You had me cackling out loud with the image of you "with curly chest hair and some tattoos"!

    I think you totally rock!! Thank you for sharing that with us city slickers.

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  51. Love it,love it......I will be following,I don't want to miss anything. Brings back memories.

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  52. Just stumbled upon your blog and love it. I am going to settle right in and read as much as I can. We have lived in the forest on 2 acres. Before that we lived in a small town. Hate cities.

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  53. I love this post (and I'm not just saying that because I am finally reading blogs again and I have no students tomorrow :) It's very interesting and FUNNY. Note to Hubs: Any thought of reading the almanac BEFORE all the fun?

    And I know this is crazy, but it seems to me that the sound of a calf crying for milk would be sweet and cute. Haha

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  54. I have to admit, Miss Nezzy, that is some mighty fine story telling there. I have had the pleasure of listening to weening calves all night, and have had the pleasure of being chased around the pens by a high headed cow. Some fun. However, I am not a very good cowboy and so the real ranch hands asked me to stay at the house, to which I said okay. So now I am the cook. Works better for everyone involved.

    Loved your stories, thank you for faithfully stopping by my blog and leaving me such sweet comments. I always look forward to seeing your picture with you purple boa.

    Smiles and hugs and Blessings.

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Yippie Tie Yie Yay, I'm so glad you popped in. I adore, cherish and covet your comments. Even though I love seein' my name in lights I am an award free blog. Thanks for visitin' ya'll!

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