Mowing in January

Today’s Weather:  High of 48.  Low of 32.  Beautiful weather for being out and about.  Unbelievably good weather for January in Montana.  Sure, winter could move in tomorrow, but for now we’re darn sure making the most of January thaw!

 

Today On The Ranch:  This morning it was school for me and the kids, office work for Beau.  Our 16-year-old nephew, Nate, claims he had no school today (!), so he drove into the yard this morning and spent the day with us.  All ribbing aside, we’re always glad to have him.  Beau sent Jacob and Sterling to ride Fort Pease, one of the ranch’s big summer pastures, looking for six head he was sure he remembered seeing out there some late afternoon this fall during the blur of trying to finish fall works.  Sure enough, they found the stragglers and got them in.  Sterling ate lunch with us.

After lunch Beau took Nate, Asher, and Emi with him to The Creek Place to work on the water line and the tank in Lower House.  Though I wasn’t there to take a picture today, I did get one at the troublesome tank the other day:

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Man oh man, keeping all the water going around here is a steady job.

****

Marsi, Muggins and I had the afternoon ahead of us here at home.  It was such a beautiful day; we just had to get out and about.  Of all the things I could have chosen to do today, I decided to… MOW!  Yep, I mowed in Montana in January!  This is probably going to seem weird, but I’m going to go ahead and try to explain anyway.

I’ve written before about how the kids and I like to go for our morning walks on the land that Beau and I own just north and east of the feedlot here at headquarters.  Our family lives in a PV house on PV land, but we own this little bit of raw land that’s just a holler away from our front door.

Beau and I feel so extremely blessed to have our own little acreage.  Sure, 23 acres is laughably small compared to the 200,000 acres on the PV… but it’s ours, and it’s fun to be out there with the kids and dream our big dreams.  I promise to write the full story soon about our land, about how we ended up with it and what we want to do with it, but the midnight oil is burning and so for tonight only a chapter must suffice.

Our piece of land is long and skinny, and I mowed today because I wanted to mark out a route that would be easy to push the stroller over so the kids and I can walk the half mile from the west side of the land (the side near our front door) to the east side of the land.  There’s no existing road where I want to walk, not even a two-track, and because the route goes through an old, overgrown feedlot, it had proved impossible to push the stroller through the tall weeds.

Problem solved:  Today I loaded 2-year-old Muggins and 4-year-old Marsi on my mom’s old riding lawn mower and we mowed ourselves a stroller-worthy path all the way to the east side!

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On the east side of our land — farthest away from the PV — is an old dump where for 100 years the Webb family (we bought the land from, and will forever be thankful to, Bob & Sylvia Webb, who lived and farmed just east of PV headquarters until their retirement a few years back) accumulated anything they didn’t want anymore — from old trucks like what you see in the photo above to horse-drawn machinery, from satellite dishes and TVs to old-time beet diggers:

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The junk pile is both a treasure trove to us and a real dilemma as we think about how we’re going to clean the place up and make it our own.

More on that tomorrow!

© Tami Blake

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