I hope that all of my American followers had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I myself had a nice relaxful one. My grandparents were awesome and gave me the day off, so I didn't have to get up at the butt-crack of dawn to go feed some hungry cows. That and I was still a little limpy on Wednesday. I slept in until like 9:30. OMG. It. was. freaking. awesome. K's parents came over for dinner - the traditional turkey dinner with stuffing, cranberries, corn, green bean casserole, roles, and the like. With pumpkin pie for dessert.
I've had a few things I wanted to post about, so this is going to be a hodge-podge of stuff. You know you like it. ;o)
A couple weeks ago, it was freaking cold. And snowy. And it snowed the day before I drove over our lovely mountain to go to work on that Saturday. Which meant the road was . . . well . . . white when I went over it. The speed limit was listed as 35mph (about 55kph for my international friends), so it was icy.
Yes, it was as cold as it looks.
The entire pass looked this way, both sides. Luckily it didn't look anything like this on the way home.
When I made it over the hill to work, the temperature had dropped significantly. Oddly enough, our little valley is about 10* warmer in winter, but 10* cooler in summer than Town on the other side of the hill. Very strange. So, this is what my temperature gauge in my car said (and it's pretty accurate):
Yeah. 7*(F), which is about -14*(C) for my international friends. The parking lot at work was pure ice. I sprinkled ice melt all over the parking lot. I skated while doing it. And I'm no skater. Just sayin.
Luckily, it hasn't really snowed since, so most of the snow has melted. At least in the valley. But it's only a matter of time before it comes back.
Now, also, a couple weeks back, I had two very large dogs come in to be neutered. Now, this gal had brought in a dog the week for that, and she was at least 100lbs. She'd never been off the ranch so the woman and I had to literally carry the dog inside the clinic. Well, when she brought the two boys, they were larger and just as determined not to go anywhere. She'd loaded them in her two-horse trailer, and it took her, myself, and the tech that came with the injured doctor to carry these two monsters into the clinic. When the tech and I had to do it alone after they'd been sedated, we could hardly do it. The injured vet who isn't supposed to lift anything, had to grab the middle with his good arm so dogs wouldn't become frozen in a permanent "U" shape. They were so sweet, but seriously, WHO needs dogs that freaking big??? Okay, I understand that these dogs are great at fending off coyotes (which can be a problem for those that raise smaller livestock like sheep or goats, but geeze!
Anyway, the two boys slept the entire day, like comatose sleeping. They were just content and couldn't be bothered. I finally went in and snapped a picture of them sleeping to show you how big they are. Now they don't look like they each weigh 125-150lbs, but trust me, they really do.
They are Akbash/Kengal crosses. The one in front looks like a polar bear!
And the weekend after Thanksgiving was busy! On Friday we weaned the calves in our spring herd. There were quite a few, that in the end we had to split them into two groups for feeding and space purposes. We moved the fall herd to a new pen and that went swimmingly, and they even got a bull put in with them. All went off without a hitch. Then it was time for a quick spot of breakfast.
There was our problem. By the time we got to the spring herd to move them, they were no longer that hungry and therefore were not so interested in the feed truck. So when we hit a nice spacious pasture, they decided they'd go spread out and graze and ignore said feed truck. K and I were the herders on our ATV's while Papa D was driving the truck. I know K cursed a lot, because I know I was cursing a lot. We would just get the cows to start going the right way, when one cow bold said, "Whatever", and went the opposite direction, so then every other cow followed her. K and I whipped around on our ATV's and when that didn't work, we jumped off and ran after cows with whips, screaming "SHOO!" or whistling. (Now just for clarification, the whips are not used to beat the animals with, they are used as a tool to block a hole to hopefully prevent said cows going through said hole. Often times just swinging it and using it to make a noise to get the cattle to move where we wish).
Now, I'd only been walking normal since Thanksgiving, the day before. So there I was running around these fields trying not to twist it again by slipping on a cow-pie, or stepping in a hole. Again. Eventually grain worked to entice them, but by then they were completely scattered. But, K and I were finally able to keep them in a group and once in the lane to the corrals, it went perfectly. Then we sorted the cows from the calves, which actually went pretty smoothly. Then we started working the calves - they needed three vaccinations and a few had lost their ear tags, or had mean mothers and couldn't be tagged, so needed new tags.
We filled up the syringes, and K and I both wound up piercing ourselves with new needles. I later went and got a tetanus shot to be safe, since my last one was when I was 16. The swelling is already gone and it's only slightly tender.
K and I got into a really good rhythm of getting a calf into the chute, handing off syringes, and sending the calf on it's way. We worked until about 12:30pm and then it was clean-up and splitting the calves into two groups. That went really well, too. Then we finally had lunch. Sitting down never felt so good.
Sunday was a busy day as well. K proclaimed it a perfect day to do yard work, so that's what I did all day. Well after feeding the cows, that is. I borrowed some old laupers from K, and trimmed my roses back. Papa D brought over empty protein tubs for me to put my yard trash in, so then I had to chop up the roses even smaller to fit them into said tubs. Then I raked my front lawn to get rid of leaves, and put them in a tub as well. I washed my front windows, swept my front porch, and cleaned off cobwebs off it, too. Then I set to work in the back yard, in which I raked up pine cones. I also pulled out my Christmas decorations and started working on that. Somewhere in all that I had a spot of breakfast and lunch. I was soooooo sore at the end of the day.
Me after my day of yard work. Yikes - no makeup!