The first week of May treated us with warm days, busy days and feelings of accomplishment. Even though April is our primary calving month, May is every bit as busy with cattle work, fencing and moving pairs to summer grass.
Tomorrow we are hoping to brand two pasture groups of calves; it will be a huge day. We are crossing our fingers the rain they are talking about holds of until afternoon. Thus, I decided to publish my blog post this evening. I’ll be up early sipping on a cuppa joe and making ham sandwiches for “lunch” break. The branding crew will be here to start gathering pairs at 5:30.
We started last week with Sunday birthday dinner for Cousin T and his family. J made ribs on the Big Green Egg.
Monday’s project was setting up for working calves. It takes us half a day to set up panels, dig out the calf cradle and cover up any holes baby calves might try to push through. J also gathers up all the supplies we need to vaccinate, fly tag, castrate and brand. Late afternoon we ran our 4 head of yearling steers through the chute and got heifers off feed so they would be ready to spay.
Chores and heifer spaying occupied Tuesday morning. We don’t have many spay heifers to run as yearlings this year, but it still takes time to run them through the chute.
Tuesday afternoon J cleaned up the feed wagon and got it ready to put away for the summer. I found myself power washing small vehicles. It was a dirty jobs type of afternoon.
I spent a good chunk of Wednesday in the kitchen getting food ready for branding. J smoked a brisket on Tuesday, so I had a jump-start on food prep. I made potato salad, apple pie and put together a veggie try. J’s Mom, B, added coleslaw, fruit salad, corn on the cob and cherry pie to the meal.
By the time I got all my foodstuff under control I was ready to be outside. B and I attacked the shaggy yards. While I was mowing J and the folks got replacement heifers turned out to summer grass.
Thursday we branded the oldest pasture group of calves. With only one group to brand we decided to start gathering pairs at 8 o’clock. We had a full crew and beautiful morning to work.
J had the idea to re-purpose our hard plastic feed bunks as raised garden beds. After the cotton tail bunnies ate more garden lettuce than I did last year, I thought it was a great idea. After we got branding stuff cleaned up and put away, I twisted J’s arm into getting me a loader full of dirt. I planted romaine lettuce, salad lettuce, carrots, radishes and zucchini. Next time I got to town, I’m in the market for garden plants to put in my tractor rims and raised bed.
Wind was Friday’s story. Friday was one of those days you really don’t want to work outside windy days. J and his Dad cleaned cattle lots and I did odd ball house jobs.
The folks left early Saturday morning to travel for a Wedding. It took J and I all morning to chore. We didn’t have problems, it just took us a while. In the afternoon, J and I set a posts for a new little pasture we are building to breed heifers in.
April 30th J and I attended a funeral. The lady who passed is the grand mother of one of J’s closest friends. Over the years J and Josh’s friendship grew to the two families becoming close as well.
This paragraph was part of the obituary and a statement I think applies to many ranch and farm wives.
“Margaret’s mission in life was to help and support her husband in his endeavors to build a successful ranch and farm. She worked side by side with him as they farmed and ranched. From haying, fencing, lambing, calving; their life was a partnership in caring for the land and livestock. She took pride in this achievement and was a savvy business woman making decisions on livestock care and herd growth.”