Friday, April 15, 2011

When the Phone Rings

Most mornings begin rather quietly around here. Up before the sun and in the kitchen before my vision clears. Ah! The rich smell of coffee wafts through the air as I measure the proper amount for the morning jolt. Funny thing is...I can't drink the stuff. Love the aroma, but it tastes awful.
I make it for DH.
 Because I love him.
Because its the little things.
This week we're working cattle. We'll have our big Spring Works in May, but once in a while we have a week or two of smaller cow works. So I don't have a big crew. Only 6, but 6 or 12, doesn't matter - cooking is still what I do. So I plan the morning and take the rolls from their hiding place. Around here, rolls must sometimes be hidden or they simply disappear into thin air someone's tummy and although I love making homemade bread, I don't love it everyday so I made a double batch the day before.

Brrrinnng. Brrrinnng. I reach for my cell phone. No new fangled music for my ringtone although I once had "Amarillo By Morning". I love the tinny ring of an old fashioned telephone...on my cell phone. I love my technology, but long for back in the day when times were simpler. A contradiction. Yep. that'd be me.
It's DH.
"What are you doing?"

Oh. Oh. I'm familiar with that question and immediately begin to scurry about. Turn off the stove. The oven. The Iron. I don't know what's coming, but I know what's coming.

DH might be bringing in a newborn calf that lost it's Mama... or need me to run into town for parts... or need me to help him pull a well...or to come help him doctor a horse...or work the gate while he sorts cattle...or to haul a rig over to the other side of the ranch...or to...

And, no, I'm not complaining. I love helping him although I often feel badly that he's stuck with me for help. It pays to be a 'fly by the seat of your pants' kinda gal when you're a ranch wife and after 24 years, I've done a lot of flying.
"I'm cooking dinner."
"I need you to hook up to a trailer. Bring me the medicine chest

and a bottle of Banamine.

Grandpa's horse is colicking."
"Where are you?"
"Head to the shop and go east to El Tank. Take that road to the south. You'll see us down here a ways".

So I scurry around a bit more, load up, hook up,

 and drive out. Takes me about 30 minutes to bounce over the roads.

Truth be told, I love it when I get called away from the kitchen, although I don't love the reasons for it and when I get back, it's crunch time in order to make up for the lost time.

 Grandpa's horse was sure enough feeling puny. Poor guy's knees were buckling everytime he even attempted to take a step and he was trying his darnedest to plop down. DH gave him the magic shot and about 30 minutes later, he looked quite relieved and then disappointed when Grandpa loaded him in the trailer. He was itching to finish the job, but we weren't taking any chances. Thank goodness that's all it took. No pictures of the poor old pony. I had strict instructions to not leave my seat behind the wheel. Shoot. That limited my photo opportunity severely, but I snuck in what I could. Lots of dust and dirt. It's been a rough winter around here. After a banner year of record moisture last year, we're high and dry now. No moisture since September and good old Farmer's Almanac says not to hold our breath if we're waiting on rain. We spend lots of time praying.

Never get tired of aiming my camera in this direction:

 Sure do wish that dust would settle:

DH stopped to tie up the fence in order to let some little ragga-muffin calves who had escaped, cross back:

In his element:

DS holding the herd:

They went that-a-way

Sure do wish those fluffy, white clouds would dump some rain:

Had to wait around a bit and let the crew get down the road a piece before we headed to the house.

 A rouge calf broke from the herd and Bryce went after him. Grandpa told me to back the trailer down around the bend.

Um. No. Backing trailers is something I have been unable to master. Well, let me clarify that. I can back them as long as the road is straight and the gate is wide. It might not be pretty, but I can get the job done.

 Grandpa got that twinkle in his eye and we both chuckled. Sure glad the rest of the crew's attention was diverted. When I initially drove up, Dave looked surprised and asked whether I had hooked up the trailer. He received a loving, yet withering look in reply.

Two hours have passed since the phone call. Doesn't leave me much time to round up dinner. Sure am glad the good Lord takes charge around here. He knew that double batch of biscuits was gonna come in handy and he's gonna send that rain any day now.


Staci said...

Karin--I so enjoyed this post. So well done! Such an interesting glimpse into a life so much different than my own. I'm glad the horse is better! Hope you get some rain soon, all that dust must make the animals as miserable as it makes the people!

ytsmom said...

Know what you mean about that rain! We did manage to just some very wet snow yesterday, so that was a blessing. Don't want as much as last year, as that cause problems, too, but, just the right amount!!

Ranch wife said...

I am tired of dirt. Period. That is the end.


Marli and Memory said...

When I read that his horse was colicking, my heart sank. Colic is bad stuff for horses. :(
We got a boat load of rain here! LOL Maybe you'd like to read about it on our blog,
I loved so much about this post! Wonderful description and great pictures!
Happy weekend!

Janice said...

Loved your post and all the pictures! I'm glad the horse is ok now. I know what you mean about backing a trailer - my mom can back one anywhere, I didn't get that trait from her!

Karin said...

I loved your post - I felt like I´m reading a chapter of a book ;-) The pics are awesome and it shows lots of differnece to farming in Germany. I´m glad the horse is doing better.

cottonpicker said...

Girl, we need to have a trailer backing lesson....can't cook or take pics like you but I'll sure teach you how to put a trailer within a half inch of where you need one.....:)

Saska said...

I get the same calls "what cha doing?"...or "I need ya....NOW!" But my theory is also this. I'm glad that I CAN hook up the trailer and go. So many of my friends couldn't even get the pickup backed up to the trailer. I've even hooked it up and found that it had a flat and I changed it! Yeah, us farm/ranch wifes can do a lot more than we let on.
I bet DH didn't grip about dinner that night either !

I'm sick of dirt too. It'll rain soon 'cause we knocked our wheat crop down for hay.

NaomiG said...

Oh, I love this! So very glad it ended up ok. The pictures are great.

And, I'm praying every day for rain for you guys down there, and strength to hang on until it comes.

Theona said...

I never tire of reading your posts. I know you work plenty hard, but you make it look so easy and fun. Glad you love your life so much and like to write about it!

Shelljo said...

My favorite picture was of the medicine fridge. Typical medicine fridge, made me smile.

I too can't back a trailer. I won't even try anymore. It causes too much stress and frustration for me.

Shelly said...

Ugh! I just wrote about nearly the same thing my ownself today . . . it was my first time pulling the trailer! I could hook up, but I've never tried pulling it, and I'm certain I can't back it anywhere! Like you, I don't mind getting called to help, even tho the reasons aren't so great sometimes. I wish I could send you some of our rain -- it's flooding around here . . .

randi said...

neat pictures! i am a city girl, so that life seems so idyllic to me. loads of hard work, i am sure!

i have the ring ring on my cell phone too. got tired of being alerted to phone calls by disco songs! haha!

Cow Pies & Mud Pies said...

Please feel free to share my blog. I want others to be encouraged!

rosie said...

I just loved reading about your life, so different to our farm and yet so very similar!! It looks so dry, I do hope you get some rain, I guess that is why you have so many acres to compensate..
I have book marked you so I can call again!! Take care..

Paula said...

Don't you love Banamine! Goodness I've missed you! I'm back and I promise I'm not leaving again! I love the pictures, I can hear all the sounds and even smell the rolls!


RobinStar Quilting said...

Thank you for sharing a little bit about your life and what it is like to live as a rancher. Your post made me nostalgic for my childhood days when I would spend summers with my grandparents that owned a dairy farm and grew their own alfalfa. Good luck on your quilt project.

Janet said...

Great post. You take interruptions much better than I do. You say it all so well. I hope you get rain real soon!

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