14 days ’til Christmas

Beau and crew left early this morning for Horse Camp, where they gathered enough pairs to wean about 390 calves.  Part of the crew stayed at Horse Camp to load the calves on trucks bound for the feedlot here at headquarters; part of the crew returned home, along with Beau, to weigh and sex the fresh-weaned calves and to ride the rest of the feedlot pens for health.

Beau called me about 11:30 and wondered what time I could have lunch ready for him and four other guys.  They were driving home from Horse Camp and wanted to eat fast, Beau said, because he thought that if we hurried we could make it to the sale barn in Billings on time to see the PV heifers sell (as I mentioned a couple days ago, Beau had sorted off a batch of the ranch’s extra replacement heifers to sell as a group at this week’s big fall sale at the Public Auctions Yards).

*The irony is that they always eat fast.  A gal like me works and works and works to prepare a delicious meal and cowboys like them usually sit down for about 15 minutes tops.*

Thank goodness that lasagna I made yesterday was already heating in the oven.  Everybody — including the four Blake kids — was fed and out our door before 1:00.  We Blakes were in the van speeding toward the sale barn in Billings.

… And we got to the sale about five minutes after the PV heifers went through the ring.

Still, we did get to sit and watch the sale for a while, which is something we always mean to do with the kids but never actually take the time to do, and the auctioneer took a moment to tell Beau the heifers had looked nice as they went through the ring… and of course to tease us about how many kids we’ve gained since he saw us last!

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From the sale barn we sped back east 70 miles to Christmas play practice at the church.  Beau headed home with 22-month-old Muggins, leaving me and the other three kids at the church for play rehearsal (we hitched a ride home with Grandma).  This first play practice went better than I, as the playwright, had hoped it would.  There were only a few hitches:  Joseph and Child No. 2 were both missing in action; there was a shepherd who insisted she would rather be an angel; there was an Old Testament prophet who was pretty sure she ought to be an angel too; and the real angel, the one actually selected for the part, had to hold back tears when she realized there were no angel costumes left.  Still, like I said, it went better than I thought it might.

On to tomorrow!

© Tami Blake

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