Unpredictability is the spice of life and something we are accustomed to in the ranching business. The biggest unpredictability we deal with is the weather. Last Thursday, February 12th, it was 9* and breezy. I remember because J and I ran the bulls into pour them and give them a hoof rot shot. I was glad to lead the bulls in the warm pickup while Rosie helped J follow them in. By afternoon it was in the mid 30’s.
Friday was a gorgeous, blue skied day with temperatures in the 50’s. Our after chores task was sorting off cull cows, so J and Cousin T could take them to town on Saturday. No long johns or heavy coat needed! I always appreciate the days I can get by with one or two less winter clothes layers.
Saturday, Sunday and Monday brought cold and wind. Monday I went to North Dakota Border Town for a dental appointment and by the time I got to town it was snowing right along. J went to watch the cows sell and came home on slick roads. We got enough snow to cover the ground.
Tuesday we woke up to -2* and howling wind; it warmed to a high of 12*. We were in a wind advisory all day. 25-35 mph winds with gusts up to 50 mph is eligible for wind advisory conditions. Yesterday was cold, but tolerable as we didn’t have any wind.
The unpredictability of this weather pattern makes me feel like I’m on a roller coaster. I’m glad we aren’t dealing with feet of snow and consistent negative temperatures.
I made another batch of rub with the adjustments J requested. We mixed the new batch with the leftover rib rub. The Boston butt was basically prepared the same as the ribs. The biggest difference we did was let the butt rest. Around 4:30 pm the internal temperature reached 201*. We took the butt of the egg, wrapped it in two bathroom towels and put it in a small cooler. Around 6 o’clock J took the butt out and pulled the meat. It was still steaming hot!
J did a great job with the Boston butt; it was perfect. J is now two for two, I like the predictability for future smoking success.
I mentioned that J caught a cold on our trip to the National Western Stock Show in Denver. It has been a tough one to shake and he has a lingering cough. Monday he started coming down with more cold like symptoms. Yesterday, he went into the clinic to see what is going on. The PA gave him some meds to help clear up his “walking pneumonia”.
I’ve talked to several people who have had colds and/or coughs that seem to drag on and on. I’m still crossing my fingers I don’t catch it. Following J around the house with Clorox wipes in hand doesn’t hurt my chances.
Yesterday morning J spotted a heifer that looked close to calving; from our ultrasound data we knew she was pregnant with twins. J said that we would go bring her in after dinner and keep her under watch. When we went to get the heifer in she was actively calving. By late afternoon we had two babies and an attentive mother at work. After supper we put the twins in the hotbox to make sure they were dried off good.
Today and tomorrow we are working on pre-calving projects.
Between the weather and first calf heifers the unpredictability of ranch life will increase. It’s the spice of life, it’s our way of life and we are very close to ready for calving season 2015.