Post Storm Thoughts

On my Journal of a Spring Blizzard post, I mentioned that I had a few post storm thoughts …

1. Teamwork: work done by several people with each doing a part to contribute to the efficiency of the whole. Calving during inclimate weather is one of the most stressful situations ranchers face. Teamwork becomes a key to success and survival. As a ranch wife I work side-by-side with J. Our work may not be equal (I’m not big, strong or mechanical) but my help is significant. Moral support, being the go-for, good meals, clean clothes and doing little things all make a difference.

April 10

2. My Mom is a true believer in having stuff in the freezer. A Ranch Wife never knows when she will need a pop in the oven or crock pot type of meal. The day before the storm I made Irish Soda Bread, during the week I pulled Chili out of the freezer along with banana breadcookies and cake.

Monday afternoon I prepared Swiss Steak; Tuesday morning I stuck it in the oven with a couple of baked potatoes and headed outside. Thank goodness for a hot meal when we walk in the door for dinner.

J and I are not big leftovers fans, but there are dishes that are better the second time around. Wednesday we ate leftover taco dip on tortillas.

April 10

3. During the entire week I only had two times when I got a little crabby and it wasn’t ugly. The first was in the early morning hours of the 3rd consecutive all night check. In April one shouldn’t have to bundle up in winter clothes and check cows all night because the temperatures are in the single digits. Nor should one have to drive calving cows into the barn at said early morning hour and try to avoid getting the 4-wheeler stuck in snow drifts. It crossed my mind that night calving in the winter does not make my list of favorites.

I can’t remember what the second crabby incident was. Most likely I was tired and not thinking clear.

April 10

4. There is something to be said for good cow mothers. A cow that has her calf, tends to business liking it off and mothering it. There is something to be said for a calf that jumps up and starts sucking. We call it priceless.

Docile cattle are essential on our ranch; we don’t tolerate wild cattle. We have a few cow that act protective or go through temporary insanity when they calve, but for the most part our cows are tame. Safety is important, especially when checking cows at night and running them through the barn.

April 10

I captured this cow calving on my phone camera.

5. There are always silver linings that improve moral during tough times: sunshine, bright blue skies and big puffy clouds, family that are willing and able to help, watching the miracle of birth, healthy lively calves and a shower, just to name a few.

What are some of your calving time or calving during a storm survival tricks?

Linking Up at Random 5 Friday with Nancy from A Rural Journal

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18 Responses to Post Storm Thoughts

  1. Roan says:

    Interesting post. I suspect without teamwork not much would get done around the ranch.

  2. Kim says:

    Those freezer meals can be lifesavers for sure! I hope this week is less stressful and that you can put the heavy chore clothes up for the year!

  3. Sandra says:

    Sorry you are having terrible weather.
    I agree, one shouldn’t have to tolerate this in April 🙂
    Our first week of lambing we had freezing rain. Almost lost a ewe, thankfully the weather is clearing up.
    The weather really affects what kind of lambing season we have.
    Hope you get some warmer weather soon!
    Good luck with your calving.

  4. Loretta Beavis says:

    This is the stuff you live and write that I crave to know Robin. Thank you so much for revealing your life! Whenever my turn comes for ranching/farming, I will gratefully share my “tricks” and blessings.
    I think meals are extremely important for survival, not only for nutrition and energy but to reduce stress.
    I have two books with recipes I want to try one is Cowgirl Cooking–meals you can fix at a gallop and a Cowboy Cookbook–I want to learn the “Dutch Oven” style.
    Do you have any fruit trees such as apples and make/freeze home made pies or cobblers? Apparently the cobbler was a big thing in that day because fruit trees were in local towns as cattle drives moved across the country…
    I had dwarf Nigerian goats for awhile…can’t have one at a time, gotta have four. The antics of the babies are so cute. I do not think goats are very good mothers when they have multiples, seems one always gets “thinned out” and I would get mad at the doe. They do not clean their kids like cows apparently not in the job description.

    • Robyn says:

      Loretta,
      I am glad that you enjoy reading about life on a South Dakota cattle ranch; it’s an adventure.

      Good luck with your new cookbooks, they sound like fun. I have a dutch oven and love it. I use it in the oven not outside over a fire. My Mom has a cousin that does the “Dutch Oven” style cooking outside. He even has a catering business.

      I don’t have any fruit trees in my yard.

  5. Linda R says:

    So happy to see that you have blue skies now. Your photos have me smiling this morning. I love to have meals ready in the freezer as well. You just never know when you will need a quick meal.

    Hugs~

  6. Linda W says:

    Glad you weathered the storm okay. I’m sure calving is stressful enough without having to worry about bad weather. Hopefully spring is on its way now.

  7. Myla says:

    I enjoy a good freezer or crockpot meal at the end of a hectic day! Standing in the kitchen prepping and chopping is the last thing we want to be doing. And I know after being chilled to the core, they help heat you too.

  8. Cheri says:

    This is so true! Team work and gentle cows are my top two must haves!
    Gentle cows are so nice. Especially when you need to get them in or doctor a calf in the middle of nowhere!
    Hope things are going well for you guys. And you are getting a few more minuets of sleep! 🙂
    Cheri

  9. Maggid says:

    I remember my aunt having a fully stocked pantry. It was always possible to pull together a great country meal for MANY – at a moment’s notice – because, Helpers always got fed at her house.

    YOU are a wonder.

  10. Jen says:

    It sure does sound like you and J make a perfect pair and teamwork.. Well that would be a must I imagine to have success in your work. Happy to see your weather has improved 🙂

  11. I always have something in the freezer for those “i don’t have time to cook” days. Sweet calves!

  12. abrianna says:

    Hopefully winter weather is now over and all calves have good mothers.

  13. Your life is so totally different from mine. I doubt I’d be able to handle yours. You are indeed awesome for being able to deal with all you do. It’s a smart idea about food in the freezer. I should do that more often for those days when I just don’t feel like cooking instead of opting for Fast Food (which isn’t good for you).

  14. tanya breese says:

    it’s so nice to have a meal pre-maid and waiting in the freezer and i agree, some things are just better the second time around! i pinned your swiss steak recipe. my mom used to make it when i was a kid. i haven’t had it in a long time!

  15. Sarah says:

    I always feel like soup is better the second day.

  16. Karen says:

    I’m not quite sure how I’d feel about checking in the cows through the night in frigid weather – I suspect it would make me very cranky. I rarely have anything prepared in the freezer, but I know it’s a great idea. Teamwork is definitely makes work smoother – everyone’s role is different, but all are important to the whole.

  17. My grandma ALWAYS has endless food supplies in the basement freezers, along with shelves stocked with homegrown canned goods and various other preserved foods.

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