13 days ’til Christmas

Another day down!  Here’s what was accomplished:

Beau and crew spent the day at Horse Camp running cows through the chute for the vet to preg-check.  Though it was chilly, everything went smoothly, and he said they went through 600 cows in about five hours.  He had been wondering what the threshold was; i.e. how many cows the crew and one vet could run through the chute in a perfect day at the Horse Camp corrals… and he figures now we know the answer.

Part of the crew stayed here at the feedlot today to process the calves that were weaned yesterday, and they ate lunch at my house.  My mom came to help with the meal and we fed them meatloaf and gravy, mashed potatoes (of the instant variety, and only because I realized about 10 minutes before lunchtime that the baked potatoes in the oven weren’t going to be done on time), green salad, and chocolate cake.  Mom has been a huge help in my kitchen (previously her kitchen) this fall.  She likes to say that dishwashing is her greatest talent, and while I wouldn’t limit her to that, I do have to admit she is an extremely efficient dishwasher.  I think the trick is that she doesn’t mind doing dishes and so just dives in and gets ’em done.  I, on the other hand, could cook ’til the cows came home while coming up with every possible excuse for why I shouldn’t start doing dishes yet.  So my kitchen has a real tendency to grow huge messes.

All self-discipline issues aside, I really do like having a clean kitchen.  And the kids do like having Grandma here.  And I do feed her lunch to pay her for her efforts.  So I guess we all win?

A quick explanation of the photo:

IMG_3370

Tawny is kind of an unsung hero.  She never gets on a horse, never worries about trying her hand at any of the more glamorous jobs associated with ranching.  Instead, she’s just shown up every morning for 25 years now to drive her feed truck and take care of her “babies” in the feedlot.  (She’s in charge of the ranch’s feral cat population, too.)

I’ve know Tawny since I was a young teenager and she’s always been real good to me.  But when I started having kids, she morphed into something new.  I can remember her first offering:  I was holding a newborn Asher in my arms nine years ago when she proudly presented me with a bag of gummy sharks for him.  Now, he didn’t have any teeth yet and we hadn’t started him on solid foods.  Still, it was the thought that counted.  In the years since, Tawny Treat — as the kids have come to call her — has so regularly contributed to my kids’ candy stashes that even Muggins (at 22 months) knows to put his hand out when she drives by in her feed truck.  She has definitely perfected her method for winning kid hearts.

As a former employee once said, we’re kinda like a family here at the PV.  A big, messy, dysfunctional family perhaps… but still a family.

© Tami Blake

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