Come on people! It's 3:30! Daylight's a burning! Well, not literally, but breakfast was at 4:30 this morning. By the time daylight actually made an appearance, I was ready for a nap!
Yep. We're branding this week. It's only the first day so coveting a nap at 6 in the morning on the first day is not a good sign. Our crew rolled in last night from Texas and their arrival officially signals the beginning of our Spring Works.
I think we'll be able to get everything worked in 5 days. I think I can handle 5 days. 400 some odd calves. 14 meals. 130 plates - give or take.
We all actually really look forward to working every spring, but for some reason, we're all rung out this week. Maybe it has something to do with the weekend away last weekend, or the fact that everyone in this house is sniffling and feeling under the weather, or the manic trip to San Antonio we have coming on the heels of branding, or the triple digit temperatures that have chosen to make an appearance in May, or the fact that we're weary from gazing into a cloudless sky in hopes of spying a rain cloud. Sigh.
So after a breakfast of waffles and sausage and eggs and fruit and muffins, the crew stacked their plates and jingled out to the pens. I enjoyed letting the cool, fresh air of the morning drift through the open kitchen window as I washed the breakfast dishes and scrubbed down the kitchen. I then enjoyed a leisurely walk through my yard and garden as the morning light began to spill over the horizon. I'm not a big fan of getting up this early, but I must admit that taking some time to be still and greet the light of day is worth it. The colors of the morning are really breathtaking. I once read a book to the kids called "God's Paintbrush" and I was reminded of it this morning. The Master Painter has given us a new work of art each and every morning so instead of grumbling about having to crawl out of bed at such a crazy hour, I am going to enjoy the show and this particular morning was especially spectacular because we had misty skies! Rain is preferred, but it's a start! Cool, damp, drizzle is a cause for celebration! The smell of rain must truly be what heaven smells like!
The scent of honeysuckle first thing in the morning was a treat too and I lingered a few moments to gently weave the gangly new shoots betwixt the wires of the chain link fence. The tomato and pepper plants seemed to enjoy their morning shower and I made the rounds amongst the fruit trees that I planted at the completely wrong time of the year last summer and celebrated the fact that they are thriving. I even had company. The Western Tanager seemed to follow me as I meandered this morning. There is something very therapeutic about my early morning sabbatical. It's one of the things I love most about the summer.
So now dinner is calling and I've got to take the Apple Crisp out of the oven. One of my summer rules is that all baked goods must be made by 9 in the morning. This kitchen is impossibly hot in the summer and I do all within my power to not turn on the oven after 9. I've been threatening to knock a hole in the wall between the kitchen and dining room for years now. The fact that this house is a century old and it is quite possible that the roof would come crashing down if I did, is the only thing that has kept me from taking a sledge hammer to said wall. Well, that and the fact that the crew might not enjoy the taste that a fine dusting of sheet rock powder would add to the biscuits.