Saturday, November 15, 2014

Shipping Day

Yesterday was shipping day.


 Its payday for the ranch and this is a GOOD year. If you've been to the meat counter lately, you can attest to that. Cattle prices are wonderful, but everything that combines to put that meat on your table: hay, feed, medicine, pour-on... it doesn't take long to rack up a $7000 bill when we're at the vet supply store. Even though this is a year that we'll end up in the black, we're really just making up for all those years where both ends did not meet in the middle. If you ranch for the money, you're in the wrong business, but there isn't a better life.

The boys left out horseback early Thursday morning and as they walked out to the barn to load their horses, it began to snow, Our first snow of the season. I ran outside to grab the receipt from the propane man just as it started to accumulate.

On Thursday we didn't even break the freezing mark. No worries though. The crock pot was hard at work making dinner.  Taco Soup was on the menu and the cast iron skillet was ready and waiting to bake cornbread by 6 am. I was planning on making something else, but the weather dictated a change in plans and the way those boys piled their plates and bowls at noon, it was a good decision.

I made biscuits and gravy and eggs and sausage for breakfast on Thursday morning hoping a hearty breakfast would keep them warm. Heck, I was cold just looking out the window and I felt a little guilty being inside in a warm kitchen.

DH pulled on multiple layers and I wondered how he was going to get on his horse. After they shipped out the calves,

they brought in the bulls and vaccinated them:

Yesterday morning I made breakfast burritos and a big pan of cinnamon rolls. I also made DH's favorite cookies - Gingersnaps and Special K Cookies. The boys went to town on the cookies and requested recipes were copied and stashed in coat pockets as leftover cookies were sacked up and stashed in pick up seats.

We had all sorts of activity going on yesterday morning and it was a given that buyers and brand inspectors and the crew would be shucking their coats in my mud room at some point during the morning so I kept the coffee hot and let them munch on baked goods.

When I went out to grab something from the deep freeze this morning, I found a visitor on the back porch. Meet Charlie:


I love roadrunners. He doesn't even look like a roadrunner here. He looks more like a Kookaburra from this angle:

I think they are funny birds.

 DH's wool quilt is mocking me from the sofa and I am sorely tempted to give in and add a few stitches. I've been working on it in the evenings and its been a toasty companion. I've been teasing DH that he might have to bribe me to give it to him, Hopefully he won't mind sharing. :) I imagine he'll be wanting it after a day horseback in 20° weather:



Shelly said...

I had to laugh at your comment about your cowboy being able to get on his horse with all those layers. It IS difficult -- you're so bundled up, you can barely bend your arms and legs! I've laughed at My Cowboy (and at myself) many a time for just that thing. And I think I'd rather just stay in the warm kitchen with you!

Cathy said...

I know how hard you all work. Congratulations being in the black!

Gwynette in NW Arkansas said...

We sold some steers and were amazed at what we got. Have plenty to buy three this winter.... One to butcher next fall and two to sell so we can buy three next winter... Over and over and it works for us. Share the beef with our daughters and it keeps us from having sticker shock at the meat counter.

We are in the deep freeze, too, with a little snow expected tomorrow evening. I dislike cold and I'm ready to surrender to winter already!!!

I know the cowboys were happy with your meals and sweet treats. Everything sounded so good!!

Stay warm stitching on that wool quilt!!

Gwynette in NW Arkansas said...

Forgot Charlie!! We have roadrunners, too and love to watch their antics, especially when they catch a snake!!!! Charlie seems somewhat tame.

Phyllis in Minnesota said...

You are definitely a hard working family but vaccinating those bulls sounds insane!!
Congratulations on your good year.

Scrapatches said...

Good to see that all the hard work is paying you well this year, my friend.
Thanks for all the pictures. It gives me a view of life that I will never see outside my city windows. We see more than enough of snow here, though ... ;) Pat

Judy said...

Congratulations to you and all the hard work of your ranch. You are a wonderful ranchers wife and I appreciate yours, and other ranchers that have hamburger for my hubby. I need to start using my crockpot more. You are an inspiration to me. Enjoy your down time this winter.

Nancy said...

Always pleased to hear of good farming and ranching years, as it gets harder and harder to make those ends meet. So glad that good market prices and Mother Nature decided to be generous this year.

Dar said...

You and your DH definitely earn a good return for your hard work in ranching. Charlie is cute. He did not seem afraid of you for taking his picture. I know your cowboys appreciate all the cooking and baking you do for them.

sherry said...

i remember one year bringing the cows home for winter in the bitter cold…it was so cold riding those horses and moving cows…my father brought us thermos full of coffee which he added whiskey to, to keep us warm…what he didn't know was my mother had already done that…the rest of the drive went really well…haha

Anonymous said...

I miss shippin! The coldest I have ever been was in fall of 94,helped ship at the coppermine Division of the Cowan Ranch(Archer Co Texas) 30 degrees ,30 mile wind ,and it rained the entire time.We left out in a lope to head to the back of the shippin pasture( they had a helicopter to throw them in there the day before).Got the trucks all loaded and amazingly they pulled out without the dozer helping.I made the mistake of getting off my horse once to step int the scale ouse for something.I like to dont got back on and he only stood 14.2. I was soaked through my leggins and Wranglers and they were stickin to me pretty good.Didnt help that I couldnt keep my pld slicker snapped.Miss it all

Denise :) said...

Roadrunners were my Grandma Willie's favorite birds. They would 'winter' in Arizona in their travel trailer, and she'd always come back with roadrunner something or anothers! I still have one of her cute little pins, which was a roadrunner. Sweet memories your post brought back!! :)

Alycia said...

I am with you on the cold - I love the weekends when the kids are free to do ALL of the chores for me ....(insert wicked laugh) Your meals sound yummy!!

Go ahead - put a stitch or two in the quilt - I won't mind ;-)

StitchinByTheLake said...

The cold hurts my bones! It looks so beautiful but I'd be glad it was my husband out there on that horse and not me! Blessings, marlene

Kristie said...

We've only had flurries here in KY but we are expecting an inch or so today.

Cattle prices are good here too. Glad you are having a good year!!! I love your ranch!!

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