There were several tales today related to Snip...I thought you might enjoy them.
First, I rode Snip this morning, instead of this afternoon. He was a tad stubborn about the bit, but it could have been much worse. At one point, he was standing on my spur, so I just leaned back against him until he figured out that he needed to move.
While riding, I lost my .22 revolover. I ride with it strapped around the saddle horn with one of my belts. Well, the belt busted. I didn't realize it when it happened. Anyway, I was riding through the pens, fixing to go onto the back 40, when I went to check my gun--and found it was gone! Needless to say, I turned Snip around and went back over the ground I had just been walking, trotting, and loping all over. (Loping with no bucks today!! Yippeee!! Improvement!)
I found the belt after one sweep and was off Snip when Mama and Katherine got here. Mom must have noticed that I wasn't on the horse and I probably looked distressed, even from a distance, because in no time, my back pocket started ringing and Mama wanted to know what was wrong. Soon, she and Katie were there helping with the search...then Savannah came out. I got back on Snip and went the opposite direction. I found my pistol out near the briars. Believe me, I was quite relieved!
I asked Katherine if she'd like to ride behind me on the way back to the house. I took my left foot out of the stirrup and leaned to the right while she got her lanky self heaved up. That was all fine and dandy until Snip spooked at the gate. We both tumbled off! I probably would have stayed on if I hadn't had the extra weight pulling on my back...but anyway, we slid off and neither one of us got hurt--except for a stratch on Katherine's leg (most likely from my spur) and a few minor bruises. Anyhow, we both had a good laugh about it and I told Katherine, "Hey, now you can say you've fallen off a horse!" Snip stopped immediately--like he does anytime I disappear off his back. Soon we were back on and had no more mishaps for the rest of the short trip.
Much later in the day...I was filling Snip's water tank. He got curious--as per usual. And...well, have you ever seen a horse drink out of water hose? I got wet as he kept poking his nose back into the stream of water. It was really quite hilarious! He had that rather confused look on his face the whole time too...which added to the humor of the moment. Not that it was like I didn't need a bath...I was filthy from working in the barn for a good chunk of the afternoon. But that water was cold!
Anyway...those are today's horse tails. ;)
P.S. Above misspelling was purposeful...
Greetings, dear readers!
I'm rather tired this morning due to the past weekend, but that does not dull my enthusiasm nor my story-telling capabilities (at least at the moment). I'll begin on Friday.
Friday morning, I packed the Cadillac. By the time I was done, the right side of the rear window was completely blocked. Poor Katherine had to be rather squished into the back seat with Savannah's ball dress dangling into her lap and some food stuffs under her feet. (Of course, she wasn't the only one with stuff under her feet. I had the pressure cooker [for heating up the chili] under my feet--both to and from the event.) We left after lunch and it took us longer to get there than we expected; partially because we got behind three separate slow-moving vehicles in places that we couldn't go around them.
We arrived at the event and registered. I was so excited and besides that a chilly wind was blowing, that I was shaking so bad that I was having difficulty writing. I was shivering...but it really wasn't that cold. I shelled out the $5 per person 'donation'. It's kind of my job to pay....
We found that the map they gave us was backwards, but found our people without too much trouble anyway. Savannah was driving (of course) and I was keeping my eyes peeled for the familiar trailers and trucks--and that green GMC camper of the L's. I really like the color of that thing.
We pulled in, said "Hello" to a few folks, introduced Katherine, and started putting the tents up. Elden came and helped us get them up (thank-you!). It was one of those times for me to remember to let the boys be gentlemen--I'm so used to doing things myself. (Which reminds me, I told someone, I forget who, that I was a "stand-in for a ranch hand" and they were very surprised. It amused me. *grins*)
We met Erica's Great Dane, Blue. I like that dog--he's nice. At one point, I guess it was yesterday morning, I was sitting next to Erica and Blue put his head in my lap. Then I said something backwards and set myself to laughing...I was talking to the dog and said, "Yeah, my head's big enough for your lap." What I meant to say was, "My lap is big enough for your head"!
Friday night, I was freezing...on top of that, I could only lay on either my back or right side, because when I attempted the left side, my back started bothering me. Still, I slept alright (it has actually surprised me how well I sleep on the ground.) Saturday morning, before we got up, I was talking to Savannah (about what I can't recall), and I kind of rolled over and peered at Katherine..."I think Katie is still asleep." Out of the depths of her sleeping bag came this: "Not for long if you keep talking." It made me laugh.
Anyhow, Saturday morning went something like this...after breakfast, we strolled down and watched colors. Colors is when the two opposing armies gather in the morning for the raising of the flags. (The Federal flag was about twice the size of the Confederate Stars and Bars and higher.) It appears that there was some talk betwixt the officers from both sides; almost as if the Yankee officers were reviewing the Confederate soldiers and vice versa.
After colors, we dropped by Mrs. Joanna's sutlery where Katherine found herself a nice hat--I didn't have enough cash on hand to pay for it, so Katherine went off to get hers...Savannah had gone off someplace to talk to someone else. I hung around the sutlery and talked to Mrs. Joanna for a while--about half of that being about my socks. She is quite willing to put them out...she later had Walter C look them over and said he was impressed with them...(Walter--who still owes me a dance from Ocklawaha, by the way--is "Mr. Authenticity". ;D) I saw Walter a couple times Sunday, but if he saw me he didn't let on...like his brother Tom, he has great hat and wears it at a studied angle. However, unlike Tom, he's quite talkative.
Anyway, while Katherine was gone and after it got settled that Mrs. K would try to sell my socks, I strolled out and found myself a big 'CSA' button for my secession cockade. Shortly after that, Dana L and Amanda C caught me and we went to the ladies tea. I called Savannah at some point before it was really going to let her know where I was and that Katherine might be wandering around--however, Savannah had Katherine and had bought her the hat! Katherine soon joined us at the ladies tea. The subject was children's clothing and games and they had a mini-fashion show. Towards the end, during the raffle (during which I won a hat form made out of buckram), I heard my cell-phone ringing in my purse (period draw-string thing), I hopped up and slipped out. I somehow managed to dump the entire contents of my bag out onto the ground when I got my phone out. I answered it and on the other end was 'brother' Matt. He and Leah had come out! I was so glad. We met out in front of 'Pipers Pub' (root beer stand). Katherine showed up someplace in here and then we went for a quick stroll through the camps.
Now, I will tell you, walking through the Yankee camp was rather...interesting. Particularly when we got to where the "Maine" boys were set up and I made eye contact with Captain S. I'm pretty sure he knows I'm Confederate...anyway, the look I got was almost quizzical. I think I smiled kind of like I was embarrassed (I was a little!) and looked down real quick.
In the Confederate camp, I told Leah mainly (Matt was hungry and so wasn't paying way too much attention :D) about the three Confederate national flags...and other flags--such as the 2nd Florida's regimental flag and how the place names on it (like Chancellorsville) were battles they had fought in.
I then hauled them back and introduced them to Mr. Joe and the rest before they headed off for lunch. We ourselves ate shortly after that and then readied to go watch/film the battle.
There was a crush of people. I first set up in the VIP 'box' (after I got permission to), then Katherine came down to get me--she and Savannah (I couldn't see them!) had a spot saved for me up the hill. Well, I went up there, but I was soon back in the VIP box because I was in the way. I wasn't even asked to move politely either. I was treated with something like disrespect by a couple of baby boomers. It hurt and left me in something of a bad mood. I was trying not to cry by the time I was back in the VIP box. Once there I soon began feeling better after talking to a Boy Scout leader who was there with his son and three daughters.
I got some footage, but I didn't go overboard with it. I did take a couple of still pictures of the Confederate cannon WAY across the field with the battle flag waving. That was pretty cool.
I was stationed directly behind the Federal artillery (again! I love the cannon), so I got engulfed in sulfur smoke time and time again. I got it in my eyes, in my ears, in my mouth, and up my nose. I think my blouse also took on a gray tinge. I had forgotten my ear-plugs, but I didn't have too much trouble with the noise this time.
After the battle, Katherine and I stayed around long enough to watch them launch 6 anvils, all at the same time, into the air. That was louder than anything else. Now, if you've never seen a blacksmith's anvil hurtling straight up into the air by a 1+ pound powder charge, you've missed an interesting sight. However, it won't kill you if you never see it. The "Anvil Shoot" was apparently something folks used to do around the 4th of July and such like (according to the MC). You know what I think? American's like to make loud noises with black powder. :D
The battle was almost two hours long...of our people, only Mr. Doug, Mr. L, and Mr. B were on the field. I think I heard that Elden didn't have his rifle, so he didn't participate. Later, I heard Mr. L talking and he said he 'died' twice--on the berms--so he got filled full of goat-heads. (Only, I think he called them something else...)
By the time the battle was over, it was about time to start thinking about supper. I ate more food then my corset comfortably allows, but in the long run, I'm glad I did. About 7 we started getting ready for the dance. Amanda came out dressed in a pretty red gown that was her mothers...Dana in her gold gown. Me...well, I showed up in a full hoop with a bright red secession cockade on the waist of my blue dress. :) Savannah's lovely silk gown was admired again. Then we were off. On the way, Savannah had to have her skirt adjusted. Amanda's hoop (her mother's) was sliding down and sticking out from under her dress. When we (somehow Miss 'Manda and I reached the big tent before Savannah and Katherine) got there, I crowded the both of us into one of those large handicap accessible porta-johns (the door wouldn't close...and I'm so glad they had just cleaned them out!) and tried to fix her up. No go...it didn't work. (Now, if I'd a just had a safety-pin....)
The ball was well, exactly that...a ball! (Sorry, no pictures of that!) Savannah danced quite a bit with Timothy, the Union artillery Corporal she danced with at Suwanee. Who else she danced with I didn't notice. Katherine primarily danced with an older Confederate gentleman, Mr. Richard...he danced with me a few times too, but I'll get to that. Katie was up against the wall of the tent early on (she and Savannah were on the opposite side as Amanda and I), so I sent Amanda across (I would have been bumping too many people with my hoops) to tell her to 'get off the wall'. Amanda, being Amanda, charged off happily to do as I asked.
As usual we started with the Grand March. I did that with Ethan, a youngster in company with the B family. I think he's about 10. I'm not too sure he enjoyed the Grand March--he thought it was complicated! (It's not...at least I don't think so!) The next thing was a Virginia Reel (I think--the order of these things can get mixed up in my memories). I did that with a chubby Union boy in a Glengerry cap. He doffed his cap to honor his partner (I liked that!) and when the head couple sashayed the set. In his round face, he had a pair of blue eyes...he didn't smile, but I do think he was enjoying himself.
I believe it was directly after this dance that I sat two out...a waltz was next when Zack, one of the "Maine" boys (and now it is suspected that he is Capt. S's son--Savannah heard him call him 'Dad'), came over and asked me to dance. Well, Yankee or no Yankee, I said yes; especially after he said, "I saw that you sat two dances out..." (Capt. S is good for those boys--all his soldiers [at least the ones' I've had contact with] are fairly gentlemanly.) I told Zack that I don't waltz very well, but we got along alright. I had a pretty good conversation with him...I asked him what rank he was (I was attempting first person impersonation somewhat) and he said he was a Pvt., but he was working on going up the ranks to make captain (this too was somewhat first person impersonation). The next thing that fell out of my mouth was, "My daddy's a Sgt." (Hopefully, it didn't come across coquettish...I am pretty proud of my daddy.) Naturally, his next question was, "What regiment?" Here I had to laugh--I'm constantly backing myself into corners like this--there went all the first person impression stuff! I explained that Daddy really is a soldier (retired), but this whole thing loosened both of our tongues and we kept talking on and off. I found out that he's 18 (after he asked me what grade I was in and I told him I'm graduated from high school and I'm 21--to which he said, "There's not much difference there [age wise]") and that he is going into the Marines pretty soon. He said something about having to convince his mom that it's not a foregone conclusion that he's going to get killed--though it's a risk that 'we' (he already speaks of himself as a Marine) have to accept.
During this time, he would ask occasionally, "You want to try a spin?" Of course I did! So, he would spin me--that's fun, particularly in a hoop; it feels very graceful so long as you aren't squished between two other hoops in the Patty Cake Polka (but that'll come...) Capt. S was waltzing by with Mary (a lady I've seen at all the events) about the time Zack spun me once...and he was like, "we can do that" and then he spun Mary. Zack laughed at him saying, "Not bad, but we do better!" (Essentially.) I laughed then and said, "I'm not sure about that!" At the end of the dance, we bowed and curtsied respectively, and Zack said he would be back for another dance, "If I'm lucky enough..." Flattery! Anyway, it worked and I told him I'd be pleased (more or less).
*insert Racheal laughing at herself and the Highlander Private...*
Over the course of the evening, I danced with Mr. Joe K's nephew Joe at least twice--I'm positive that young man is named after his uncle. If he wasn't, he should have been...he looks just like him, talks like him, and even has the same dimples peeking out of his beard! Joe is 28 and he was having a hoot teasing Amanda--whom he's known since she was an itty-bitty girl. After the 'Man-dance', he came back over to where Amanda and I were, standing complaining that some rascal (I don't remember the exact word he used; it's one I'm familiar with, but don't hear very often) had bent his hat out of shape. I kind of shrugged and said, "It can always be straightened out." He looked at me almost sternly, but laughingly and retorted, "Do you know how long it took me to get this blocked just right?" I dropped the subject since I couldn't come up with an answer for that.
Mr. L taught me how to polka! I had a ball dancing the polka and gamely stuck it out to the end though I was fixing to pass out by the time we were done. I got very overheated (not enough air-flow in that tent). I had already drank all the water I had brought with me and I didn't have any money, so I couldn't sneak out to the concession stand and get myself any. Regardless, I had a ton of fun panting my way through the polka. Savannah said I looked cute out there polkaing and that my skirt bounced just right. I guess I'll have to believe her because I couldn't see myself...and I was too busy grinning with a flushed red face to care how I looked.
The Patty Cake Polka is quite fun, but we could have stood to have the men at arms length distance from each other because of the ladies with hoops! I was between two other girls with hoops on and trying to get three sets of hoop skirts to twirl in the same space at the same time is rather interesting. I know at one point my skirt was caught on the lowest round so my hoop was showing! That was just about as embarrassing as my corset ties showing at the back of my dress where the bodice and skirt were refusing to stay attached to one another. (I kept having Amanda and Katherine 'fix me'.) It was during the Patty Cake Polka (which I started with Mr. Richard), that I ran across Zack again. He greeted me cheerfully and though we didn't really have any time to talk, there was a mutual understanding that he'd be back for that promised dance...there were a few other fellows in this dance that I recognized and was recognized by. I'm sure there were more around the circle, but we didn't make it halfway around before the music stopped. 7 lb.s of Bacon sped it up a little too early I think.
Anyway, after a waltz, Mr. Richard offered to buy me some water (I imagine I looked like I needed it!); but the concession was all out! They said they were working on it, so Mr. Richard basically said he'd be back to get me some after he danced with Katherine again. A dance later, Zack and a couple of his buddies were coming back from the concession area, both with two Styrofoam cups apiece. They set them down on a chair and he came over to me and asked if I were tired yet. "No, just in need of drink." He then told me that he would give me one of his cups of water, "It was just 50 cents...[so it's no big deal]." I thanked him, then we proceeded to enter the Broom Dance--another mixer. In this dance, I also danced with Timmy (the tall, broad, red-headed 15 year old you might remember from Ocklawaha), Capt. S, a Confederate kid (I also did a Virginia Reel with him), and a couple others that I can't recall. After the dance, as I left the floor, I saw Zack, holding both cups of water, standing to the side. I didn't immediately walk over toward him, since I wanted him to initiate (after all, it was his water!), but I did glance that way once, then twice--at which point he was looking at me. He held the water out and gestured with it in such a fashion as to say, "Come over here and get it!" I did so gratefully and made sure I thanked him for it. The "Maine" boys left not too much longer after that. If I would have had an opportunity on Sunday I would have thanked him again, because that water was SO good. I really, really needed it. (I didn't even mind the coffee flavor in it being a coffee drinker.)
As is usual, we closed the dance down. Joe walked the girls, all four of us, 'home'. Of course, he was camping in the same spot, so it wasn't out of his way. He might have walked us back anyway. I don't know...It was most assuredly after midnight by the time we got to bed.
Sunday morning, both Savannah and I were dehydrated and exhibiting our own symptoms. However, Savannah felt so bad that she left church (which was somewhat informal partly because Rev. D wasn't sure they were actually going to do it) and went and put on her 'civies' as she put it and laid down. We all tried to make sure we drank more that day. I'm still not quite fully re-hydrated.
We watched the battle that afternoon from the opposite end of the line...we were right there were the troops came in, so we got a little extra dirt in our faces. Around an hour before the battle started, we were already set up down there. I needed to run back to the tent for something (water most likely), and so Katherine asked me to bring her a seat when I came back. On the way back to camp, I got hung up as the Confederate troops formed up and people crowded around and took pictures. On the way back, I almost got hung up as the Union troops formed up!
Being Sunday, the Confederates won the battle. As soon as the battle was over, we headed off and started getting ready to leave. Elden and Thomas helped us take down our tents and pack stuff in the trunk. When we left, I walked around and hugged people. I didn't hug Thomas though...he was sitting there apparently trying to look small--I got quiet amusement from the laddie's head down 'you don't see me' position, so I just patted the top of his kepi. He looked up, grinned at me and gave me a two-fingered wave. That was good enough. I was mighty pleased that Micah gave me a hug--I was almost expecting to be rebuffed, but he gave me a good solid hug. I can't explain it, but I have a particular liking for that little stinker.
We got home safely--we accidently went a different way which turned out to be smoother, faster sailing. Plans are whirling for Mt. Dora...and authentic camping!! Mr. Joe's daughter found their tents and he is eager for us to use them. From now on out, we may be setting up in authentic civilian camp. Then Olustee...we have our story planned out for that one--but this here chile is going to have to learn to speak in a more period correct manner and see if she can hold the first person impression better than she did with Herr Zack at the dance!
I started the day with a jaunt across the creek to feed the cows. Once I came home, I finished up the rest of my normal morning routine.
After Savannah left with Granddaddy for his chiropractor appointment, I started busying myself in straightening out my ever-increasingly mounding desk and corner area. I'm pleased to say, you can actually see the desk and the floor now. Not only that, the remaining stacks are definitely neater than they were. From there I disappeared into my room to do the same to the foldout desk in there. Somehow, I found myself with the lemon oil in hand dusting the bookshelves. I migrated with that into the living room and did the wooden stuff in there. I hate dusting, so I impressed with myself. ;)
I also got all the ends woven into the latest pair of socks (rebelgraysocketeer
), pictures taken and listed. I discovered that the clothes box someone gave me a beautiful jacket in is great for holding a limited number of socks. I started my fourth pair (in blue!) last night.
These are short--8 inches...so I listed them as boys socks. :D
I rode Snip this afternoon. It took long enough to get the bit in his mouth...but for all that, I had the sense of 'almost a break-through'. (I'm not putting to much stock in it...) What I mean by that is, I got the bit held up against his lips/teeth and he almost nibbled at it. I think that is a good sign. When I went to get the saddle, I collected a pocketful of feed and fed him that. I don't think bribery works too well with my horse, but it's worth a try.
I had the sensation while clamouring on that I was fixing to rip the seat out of my britches (as some of you might recall, I've done that once before!) I didn't, but when I got off and got back on later out in the pasture, I made sure I adjusted my pants better before getting on. (In other words, I pulled the legs up some--my knees always hit too high in pants so to get proper bending out of them I have to jerk them up.)
Anyway, I found a dead cow out back...I identified her by the white mark on her cheek. It was Gorilla cow. Turns out, as I got to thinking about it, she was in the exact same spot where I last saw her when I rode the last time. I was a tad surprised the other day that she didn't get up when I rode by, but just looked at us like we were bothering her. Oh well. Maybe she's been sick and that's why she was somewhat touchy all last summer.
I discovered that the runway is a great place to ride. I can get up to speed without worrying about fences and trees. Snip bucked on me once today...I promptly sat him down and backed him and shouted in his ear. Brat...
I also figured out that I can strap my pistol onto the saddle. It's a whole lot more practical than strapped to me, where it bounces around something crazy and I am always having to readjust it. My poor 'gun-belt' is looking sorrier than ever. I like that belt...but it's rather coming apart now from the extra weight.
While attempting to clean out his hooves this evening, Snip got the grand idea to scratch his head on my backside. I ended up having to whack him on the cheek will the butt end of my knife. He stopped rubbing on me. (It literally throws me off balance when he scrubs his head on me--no matter what my position happens to be; besides that, with all those stickers in his halter, it tends to be uncomfortable!)
So...the long and the short of it is: Snip behaved overall worse today than he has in a while--but better than he could have. I was so dehydrated by the time we got done, I didn't really care. I just wanted to get done so I could go wet my whistle.
I think I'm going to be stiff in the morning.
Remember me mentioning about a cow closed up in the pens yesterday? Well...once we talked to Daddy and Mama about it, the idea formulated itself that maybe someone was in the process of rustling said cow. Hmmm....not a very pleasant idea. (And yes, cows still do get rustled...just not like you see in the old Westerns.) Anyway, by the time I went to bed last night, I kind of had the heebee-jeebee's--that is, until I zonked out.
I spent most of my day at the computer (again!) and managed to get the AfterEffects compositions rendered and placed. Only the audio work remains. I'm tickled pink!
About 4-ish I headed out (Savannah and Granddaddy had gone to a doctor's appointment and weren't home yet) to take a peek at the pens and open the west gate. From there I meandered down the run towards the back 40. Half-way down, for some reason I decided to check and see if my .22 revolver was loaded. (It normally is.) I felt like kicking myself when I flipped open the cyclinder to find six empty holes staring back at me. Thing is, I didn't reload it last time I shot it because I was going to clean it the next day--but I never did get to that. (I think part of the reason is because the piece you put the patch through is broken--cheap plastic!) Anyway, so there I was tromping around with an empty gun. Not much good for self-defense of any sort unless you're close enough to use it as a bludgeon.
I kept going regardless and wandered back onto the leased land. As I moved along I got to sniffing...there was that repulsive, yet sweet smell I've learned to recognize right off the bat as something dead. Looking off to my right, I caught sight of a mound I didn't remember being there. I went over to investigate and sure enough, it was a dead cow. She was one of the few with horns. I was kind of surprised that it was that particular cow. I didn't think she was in that bad of shape. It's my opinion that she probably just laid down and didn't get back up. I also got to wondering if that panther I saw last Saturday had anything to do with it--at least the eating part. Savannah suggested later that maybe the cow was down and the panther finished her off. I don't know; what I do know is that we lost another cow. That makes two this year.
I fixed a small piece of the electric fence on my way back from looking at the gate leading from the orange grove to the 'back 4o'. There is absolutely no lock on that. So...anyone wanting to sneak on to Granddaddy's land would have no problem whatsoever doing so.
I returned to the house via the runway and attempted to count the cows. I counted them I don't know how many times and most often came up with 43. That's bulls and cows, not counting calves or that heifer I was going to wean. However, I'm not going to put that down as a solid number until I get a better on-horse-back count. That's my job for Monday.
Speaking of horses, I went out this morning at around 8:45 (pretty normal) to feed Snip. I was fixing to do my usual whistling, when I heard a noise. Looking up, I saw that rascal horse of mine in the yard. He was standing by the pumps. He had apparently JUMPED the fence! Brat child...Anyhow, I hope the expirence was uncomfortable enough that he will not repeat it. (He got cut up some.) If I catch him in the act, I'm going to whomp him good. I had my breakfast sitting there getting cold when I peeked out at him and saw him nibbling that the fence. I charged out there and gave him a nose to nose scolding. After I went in, he walked away from the fence. I think he knew I was mad at him--but I couldn't tell you how much of my tirade he understood. He isn't stupid, but neither is he logical.
See, I have a total uninteresting life, don't I? ;)
That's a Gene Autry song...and I actually didn't sing it today. However, it aptly describes things.
After playing my cello and guitar for an hour/hour and a half, I got the notion to go ride my horse. Actually, I didn't just "get" the notion...the desire, urge, whatever you want to call it, to get back on my horse has been growing on me for weeks now. Seeing the cavalry at the reenactments probably hasn't helped. :)
I didn't plan on doing anything foolish, just mainly walking Snip. It took several minutes to get the bit in his mouth (I want to switch back to the snaffle, but I haven't found it across the creek--I may even need a larger [longer] one). It didn't help any that somebody was shooting and Savannah was riding her bike. Anytime that crazy horse hears gun-fire any more he is all ears and eagerness. It really is strange since the first time he heard gun-fire (a .22 rifle no less!), he freaked out and pulled the gate down (okay, so it was a rotten post!). Now, first shot and bam! he's there (normally right behind the backstop).
I saddled him up after combing the mass of goat-heads out of his mane. By the time I was done he had something that reminded me of one of those 'fro-looking 80's hair-do's with the head band. I actually didn't need a bucket to mount (I was afraid I was going to :D).
We walked, identified hog-sign (there is some out there--just in an entirely different spot than last time I saw it), and towards the very end I trotted him and loped him just a little bit. I think he attempted a buck on me, so I sat him down and backed him. I can tell how out of shape I'm in--loping wasn't the breeze it normally is--my legs are weak (and by then my seat was beginning to feel the saddle.)
Still, I'm happy, I put my spurs back on my boots and rode my horse for the first time in weeks (er, months). Now, it's time for supper. See ya'll later!
After a very busy Thursday packing everything (and I still forgot the apron and Savannah the peanut butter), we pulled out around 9-something Friday morning, headed almost all the way up to the Florida/Georgia border. We got there mid-afternoon and after locating the K's and D's camping spot, we meandered on into the sutler area...only to find that they weren't there. About the time we got back to the camping area, they pulled in. The men had gone boating the day before in their period-ish looking boats and slept out on a little island in the extremely heavy cold dew. Mr. K therefore was something of a grouch for the entire weekend...not that I have ever been grouchy when tired! (That's a laugh...anyone who knows me knows that I tend to get growly and bitey :})
So, we set up our tent between the K's trailer and the Caddy--which was parked behind the D's camper. I'm very thankful that the D's loaned us a heater because even with the wool blankets we would have been very cold if we hadn't had the heater.
Saturday morning we spent goofing off with Amanda in the sutler area. I bought a hat, a Confederate 3rd National flag, a book on Gen. N.B. Forrest, and we also picked up John Bakeless' Spy's of the Confederacy. Savannah got a pattern book or two and we bought a 'Civil War' song book. On the way home yesterday I was attempting to sing some of them (and then I also talked on the phone quite a bit so I was really hoarse by the time we got home!)
We got ready to head to the "Ladies Tea" and went the wrong way first. Anyway, we finally arrived--fashionably late. :) The presentation was on period fabrics which I found quite interesting. I couldn't tell you much about it now, but I enjoyed it anyway. Savannah left sometime during the presentation (though probably it meant more to her than it did to me) because she wasn't feeling too well.
After the presentation they did their 'door-prize' raffle. My ticket won a certificate for a free fry-bread, but since I couldn't use it I gave it to Amanda--who turned around and won the second free fry-bread certificate! :D She and her mother used those for lunch Saturday and Sunday...free food...what's not to like?
Someplace between the tea and the battle at 2 pm, we had lunch. It seems like we were busy all the time even if we were just walking around doing nothing...
I didn't even attempt to film (even though I'm using DV I like the way 'film' sounds better than 'video' as a verb...) the battle on Saturday. I just wanted to watch. Besides, I thought it might make Sunday's filming easier (which as it turns out, didn't really because they set up different on Sunday!) I find the smoke-rings from the rifles and cannon quite neat. At one point when the Confederates fired a volley, the branches of one of the trees swayed from the forces of the power being expelled from the barrels. The Confederates 'dressed right' perpendicular to the spectator line so close that you could reach out and touch them several times. It was pretty loud. I wore my ear-plugs Sunday, despite Amanda's teasing about it. I want to be able to hear when I'm a little old (fat) lady...
After the battle, we went back to camp and we played some music with 7 lb's of Bacon. Mr. K handed his guitar to Aaron--Miss Dee's nephew--and walked off for a little bit. I made some comment about playing a certain song better on my classical and Aaron offered me Mr. K's (black nylon strings! So that's why I thought he had steel strings on it!). I let Aaron play mine while I played Mr. K's. First thing he started playing? Stairway to Heaven. Figures.
Then was supper. We sat around and talked some; then I drug Savannah off to get her changed into her ball dress. That was somewhat interesting in a dark tent. I'm glad I had that LED key-chain flashlight. I hung that up on a loop in the tent and it really helped. Then we showed her off...and it was then that Savannah discovered she had hoop problems. The skirt has too much fullness in the front so it pushed the front of the hoop down. We headed to the ball and got there early. (The band had said the dance started at 7--but the schedule said 8...so we, having actually heard the band, showed up at 7.) We took a few pictures and ended up with both Amanda and I laughing like crazy people. She was attempting to get me to play that stare down/keep a straight face game. I, of course, am an absolute flop at anything like that. We were cracking up simultaneously...which made it even funnier. :D
We did a grand total of four different types of dances: The Grand March, the Virginia Reel, the Waltz, and a Polka. The band was a brass band and while I think that 7 lb.s of Bacon are more fun these folks were good and I really liked the way they used the drum while transitioning between songs in a medley. Very marital...of such things I am a sucker for...
I did the Grand March with a tall, blue-eyed Confederate kid (probably about 17) with big dimples. I ended up scrunched between him and another gray jacket--I'm sure neither young fellow realized that the girl in the blue dress between them was as squished as she was. Both of them had longer legs than me too...which didn't help. :D It was fun even though I couldn't get myself out of that wedged position (I was literally half a step behind them because I couldn't get any farther forward thanks to their shoulders!)
The rest of the dancing I did, I did with a real soldier named Adrian. We talked about everything from dancing (a natural place to start), to the military (since I'm an Army brat and he's in the Army), to family history (he's half Mexican, half German/Irish--quite a mix), to my Cow Cavalry documentary, to reenacting. I was somewhat disappointed that nobody else asked me to dance, but I guess what can you expect when no one knows you and they all know each other.
The men were handed duck tape to stick on their heel-plates as they came through the door. It might have kept them from scratching the floor...but it didn't keep them from sliding around in their leather soled brogans. Of the we three girls from the 1st Fl Reserves, I'm the only one who had on rubber soles--and I'm the only one who didn't fall down. The floor was real slick and people did fall down. I think I actually kept Adrian from falling several times during the Virginia Reel(s) because I'd grab his hands tighter and pull the opposite direction when we sashayed. In other words, I acted as a counter balance. I really did think he was going down once, but he didn't. I'm glad because I might have tripped on him then!
Savannah danced with a fellow named Michael a couple of times. Michael (or, as Amanda would say, "the dude who took his boots off for that one dance"), was a friend of Adrian's and the last time Adrian tried to get him to dance with Savannah again, Michael made some comment of, "she's still rocking the cradle"....I don't know exactly what was meant by that, not sure I want to, but I almost gave said young man a bit of information on my sister (she's not a baby!) Savannah also danced with another young man named Timothy several times and got glared at for it. (The young woman doing the glaring was pretty but she was rather over exposed when it came to her chest--and rather surprisingly didn't get asked to dance very much.)
I have no idea who all Amanda danced with--but she talked about 'this dude' and 'that dude' on the way back to camp. It was kind of funny. :D She had a blast...I know she did...even though she groused about the music some.
Like at Ocklawaha, on Sunday morning, we set up in the middle of the suter area and played gospel music. This time we had more people stand around and sing than last time. We probably did that for an hour and half or two hours. Mr. K was still kind of grouchy...and I think he hurt Miss Dee's feelings about something.
Twice on Sunday, I went back to our camp looking for Savannah and both times she wasn't there--and then as I was fixing to head out again, here she'd come! It was rather amusing...
One of those times was lunch time.
I got some footage at Sunday's battle. I think it will be neat because I got the cavalry behind a screen of powder smoke. At least on my LCD screen they looked almost like shadows. I'm especially I wore my ear plugs because they put the Federal artillary right in front of the spectator line...it was a good battle though somehow I think in the real fighting that the cavalry would have been slightly more active.
We changed out of our period duds right after the battle (we already had everything packed) and said 'adios' to our friends and hit the road. We stopped at Bob Evan's for dinner and both had steak and eggs and coffee. We got fuel twice on the way home and arrived safely almost half way through 'Columbo'. Granddaddy had the garage light on for us and the door was unlocked (we wish he would leave it locked!) and he was fully awake.
Today I'm tired, but at least I got the car unpacked. I'll get the pictures up as soon as I can....
I was standing there at the counter this morning, both hands full of collard green stems. Out of the blue, there was a very loud knocking at the door. I nearly jumped out of my skin! (Honestly, it must have been five to ten minutes before my heart rate went back to normal.)
I stepped backwards to peer out of the kitchen and through the laundry room/mud room into the garage. Standing there, with a smile on his face, was Butch! At first glance I thought it was Granddaddy, but I knew it couldn't be because he was in the bathroom. Besides, he wouldn't knock. :D
With my hands still full of greens stems, I hurried to the door and let cousin Butch in. He was kind of surprised to see me (and Savannah) here because he thought we were at another reenactment this weekend (that's NEXT weekend). Granddaddy knew Butch was coming (and in fact had told him to wear blue today--so they were color-coordinated!!), but he had forgotten to tell us.
Anyway, while the other three folks talked, I finished making lunch. It was pretty good even if I do say so myself. Greens, cooked in a skillet with bacon and onion, carrots and broccoli, and chicken. (The chicken was left over from last night.) Normally, Butch takes everyone out to lunch, but I guess since I was already making food, he decided to bypass that route. :)
After lunch we went shooting. Granddaddy hauled his old .45 out and fired a couple rounds. (We were shooting towards the mulberry tree since it's next to impossible to shoot the 'normal' place because Snip comes and stands down range!) I emptied the cyclinder of my .38 a couple times; likewise with the .22. Butch let me shoot his .44 revolver. I only fired it twice because the grip was so big that I couldn't hold it well and when it kicked back it bashed my palm uncomfortably. (I had a strong hold on it too!) Of course, I did my best shooting with my .22 rifle. We didn't shoot overly long, but enough to dirty the guns. I have to clean them yet.
Once Butch left I used up another 20 gallons of spray on the weeds in the pasture. I could have gotten another couple hours of work in, but when I came back up to the house to get more spray, I also popped in for a snack. I sat down and lost any energy I had. So I decided I would quit for the day.
I think I'm supposed to make supper tonight too...Savannah is busy with making ball dresses. Her's is gray and mine is blue. I think she is going to be absolutely gorgeous!
To sum up the weekend: I HAD A BLAST!!!
(If you didn't know...we went to the Skirmish at Chipco Crossing in period dress, staying with the 1st Florida Reserves and Civilians, in order for me to get reenactment footage for my Cow Cavalry documentary.)
We headed off to D. C. (not the District of Columbia, by the way), Friday morning. We had to stop three times and adjust the tarp over our load in the back of the pick-up truck...my knowledge of the horse-knot (aka the Bolin knot) came in handy. Around two hours later, we arrived at the museum where the reenactment was going to take place and set up camp--after we introduced ourselves to Mr. K (I like this man a lot). About the time we got finished, the L family showed up. One of their seven children had told me about the reenactment and invited us to come up...the L family: Mr. and Mrs., Samantha, Erica (the young lady above mentioned), Eldon (I think that's how he said it's spelled), Dana (a pretty girl), Thomas, Micah (a hoot!), and Philip. I had the strange feeling I'd seen this family someplace before. More people trickled in as the afternoon wore on...the S family: Mr. S, Rachel, Charley, Chris, and Katie. Even though we didn't talk much, I felt an immediate liking for "the other Rachel" and it seemed to be mutual. Whenever our eyes would meet we'd both smile--one of those 'clicks'. I also seemed to click with Charley and Katie pretty well. There was another family whom I can't remember their name, but they had four adorable kids and another one on the way: the kids were Mariah (the only girl), Noah (reminded me kind of another kid I knew 'way back when' :D), Josiah (buds with the younger L boys), and Gideon--he was cute as a button.
After the L's had been there a while (I gave them time to get mostly set up), I wandered over and, being myself, said something like, "I presume you're the L's?" Erica, being my contact (after a fashion), had to put up with me running my mouth at 90 miles an hour. That evening we played Rummicube (I'd never played it before). First it was just me and Erica, then Chris joined in...then Eldon, then Erica got out and Charley took her place, and then Chris quit and Rachel took his place. I was getting help from a girl named Amanda (reminded me quite a bit of one of my aunts) and later on from Eldon as the night got later and we were trying to wrap the game up. I forget who won.
We all headed for bed about 9-ish. It was already dark so no use staying up and getting eaten up anymore by misquitoes. (Next day, Mr. L noted that he'd accidently opened the flap of his and the younger boy's tent, instead of the 'curtain'...Micah commented about it this afternoon, too. They had skeeter's all night because of it.) I slept horrible Friday night (though I probably slept more than I thought I did), what with going to bed earlier than usual, the harder than usual sleeping quarters, and the TRAINS...they had to be going by about every 15 minutes! I'd be just about ready to drop off and here'd come another one!! (I can laugh about it now :}) There was one in particular that we were all talking about the next day. Eldon said he looked at the time when it went by--about 10:30. This particular train must have been traveling super fast because it shook the ground worse than the others did and was louder. I got a flight response to it--which is rather weird--but I was literally ready to jump up and get out of there! My common sense held me in place and I just laid there tense. It's rather awkward to get scared (I wasn't really scared--I mean not intellectually--but physically I was; if that makes any sense) by something that one knows cannot hurt them--however, apparently I wasn't the only one to get that feeling.
Saturday morning, after dressing and breakfast (I really didn't eat too much this weekend; I blamed it on the corset, but Savannah is probably right that I was just too excited to get hungry :D), I wandered around trying to determine if the schedule was correct in noting that 9:00 was going to be a presentation of the colors in both the Confederate and Federal camps. First I talked to Mr. K--no, his group (who we were with) weren't going to do it, so he sent me down to talk to "Mr. Scotty" in the Confederate camp. No, they weren't going to do it either. So, I headed to the Yankee camp. On the way, with Savannah, we bumped into whom I think was the 2nd in command down there and asked him. No, the Federals weren't going to do it either! Oh well....
I went back to the encampment (most, if not all of the 1st FL R&C's camp 'modern' in tents and trailers--at least at this event) and the boys were messing around with their rifles. I managed to get my hands on one...a reproduction Enfield (I forget the year--a 50-something probably). I shouldered it and of course it was too big for me (probably that's why it was Eldon's--being one of the biggest boy's; he's taller than I am and has big hands--and skinny. :D) Someplace along here it was discovered that the rifle Charley was supposed to use was fouled up pretty bad. They needed to clean it (obviously), but to do so they needed to boil some water. I offered the use of our propane stove; which offer was accepted. I sat on the tailgate of the pick-up holding a rifle while I watched Eldon clean the dirty gun. First he poured boiling water down the barrel. The water coming out the 'nipple' where the priming cap goes was gray. After it cleared up, he took a chunk of paper towl (admittedly cloth would have worked better) and put it through the end of the ram rod (like a modern cleaning rod it has a channel through it--something I didn't know). He swabbed the barrel several times with paper towel and poured some more water down it. Apparently, when the ram rod bounces just right, they know the weapon is clean. I found the whole process quite interesting. We all talked about something while the cleaning was going on, but I don't remember what it was.
At 10:30, a UDC group put on a fashion show...Miss Jeanie (I believe she and her husband are affliated with the 1st Florida Reserves and Civilians) was really the most period correct of the ladies. I was shocked at the lack of petticoats and corsets. The men were more amusing to watch than the ladies...there was the planter gentleman who twirled his cane the whole time and young Mr. Thomas C. in his Tennessee butternut uniform. He's got a fine, sharp black hat bespeckled with mud (most likely on purpose). He also has a clean black hat...but he only wore that to the dance. (Both hats worn at a cocky angle; Savannah's probably right that he's stood in front of the mirror to get it right :D )
At the close of the fashion show, two gents with their horses walked in. One was portraying a rider from Gen. Braxton Bragg (there was a slight jab taken at said general by said man--so slight that people less familiar with Bragg--and I don't claim to be an expert--might not have caught it). The other man called himself "Joe Cracker" and he explained the nature of a Florida Cracker's get up. He called western saddles "Hope" saddles. I'll leave it to your imagination to fill in the details. ;)
All along this time I was reading a paper that Mr. K had loaned me; he said I couldn't keep it because he hadn't been able to find the link again! :D I finished reading it while listening to him and Mr. 'Cracker' and a few other gents talk. Savannah and I talked to Mr. 'Cracker' some too. I also had several good--not necessarily on topic (aka Cow Cavalry)--conversations with Mr. K.
I didn't attend the noon officer's call (where they planned out the battle) either Saturday or Sunday (today), but I did talk to Mr. K about it. Saturday I filmmed from by the Federal camp, but today I filmmed from the top of the hill on the Confederate side. I got a great shot of the 1st Florida R&C's coming along by the moonshine still. If I had only been a spectator rather than filming, I think I would have been quite tempted to let out a 'go-get-em!' kind of yell. As is, I had to keep a lid on emotions and focus on framing. I look forward to looking at my footage, but I really need to finish editing the SCV Cross Dedication ceremony, so I may wait awhile. (Besides, I will have to make room on my hard-drive--again!) Among some others of what I think are going to be great shots, was the Confederate cannon (right down the bore!), Charley being dead (he's just a kid so it's particularly touching), Johnathan with his flintlock next to the old man with the flour sack hat, Mr. Doug limping away, Mr. L and Eldon running away (they came back)....I really think today's footage was better than yesterday's, but I like the fact that I got front and back footage of either side.
Saturday evening, before the pop luck supper this group does, I helped Mr. L, Thomas, and Erica roll cartridges. Technically, I suppose the cartridges were already rolled (I think Thomas said he and Eldon and rolled them), but Mr. L was measuring out the black powder while Thomas held the paper tubes (one end being securely twisted). Thomas then handed the tubes with powder in them to either his sister or I. I got the hang of it pretty quick and enjoyed folding and tucking the ends. Erica and I got confused a couple times over how many cartridges were in the plastic bag on her lap. I think we did 100...
7:30 Saturday night brought the highlight: the dance!! Mr. K had asked me to take some shots for him so he could make trailers out of them, so I sat out the Grand March and a waltz (or two) and a polka (or two). He is part of a band called "7 lb.s of Bacon Mess Band". They are great! :D
Away, the caller, the fathers, and the "Yankee in the highland pants" made sure that no girls had to dance with girls. I REALLY liked that. We did the Virginia Reel several times--once I danced it with Thomas L, another time with Eldon...There was the Snowball Reel (it starts like the Virginia Reel, then devolves into a continual 'strip the willow' until you get back to the top, then you break off into a polka); I danced that with the "Jimmy Palmer" look alike from the Federal camp. (If you don't know who Jimmy Palmer is, he's a character off NCIS...) Eldon attempted to teach both Savannah and I how to waltz. "It's always the outside foot..." Now, let's see if I can remember that... :D I danced a polka with one of the youngest Federal boys...he didn't know what he was doing anymore than I did--so we bounced around together bumping into other people and laughing the whole time. He asked me how long I'd been reenacting (um...never...this is my first time) and told me this was his fourth and "obviously, I haven't picked up on the dancing yet!" We did the Patty Cake Polka; I started that one with "Jimmy Palmer" (it's a mixer) and ended it with him. I really like they way they did that one--starting out slow and speeding it up til it got almost too fast! It was SO MUCH FUN!! I danced the Cumberland Reel with Micah L (10)--he'd gotten me figured out earlier in the day, so he (he calls himself the "clown of the family") just walked up to me with a stinkery grin on his face, left hand tucked behind his back, and just floped that right one out to me. He said nothing--didn't have to0. I laughed and took the proffered hand. At one point, Savannah and I were talking to Eldon, and he told us that if there was any particular dance we'd like to do, to talk to the band and the caller (Mr. Doug). The next break, I was standing over by my camera (getting a drink), and I saw Eldon heading for the bandstand. He looked at me and gave me a signal to "come over here". By the time I reached them, he was already talking to the band about the dance we girls had mentioned--the Gay Gordon. Mr. Doug wanted to know how it was done, so I 'borrowed' Eldon (I don't think he minded), and walked through it (teaching Eldon at the same time). Soon the whole room was walking through it, then the band started playing and it picked up some. Anyway, once we were done, I asked Eldon what he thought of it and he said he really liked it and it was a new favorite. I have to agree...the Gay Gordon and the Virginia Reel are my favorites! There was the Broom Dance--kind of like musical chairs with a broom--or in this case a mop with a face drawn on it (different from what my family knows as the Broom Dance). We also did the "Hat Dance"--more what we know as the Broom Dance. I'm sure there were other dances, but I can't remember them right now. I danced with "Yankee's" and Confederates, short and tall, thin and thick, and only once with Savannah (well twice, but we got broke up. :D ) The highlights of the dance for me were Micah's little hand flopping out there in front of me, dancing the Gay Gordon, and just laughing and dancing til my feet were worn out :D (Sounds like the whole thing, doesn't it?)
*Disclaimer: dances mentioned above were not necessarily danced in said order... :D
Saturday night I think everyone slept better. There weren't as many trains and we were all tired from the dancing. However, sometime around three in the morning the whole camp was waken by blaring hip-hop. It sounded like there was a car parked on the road right there...I wondered if it was a black person protesting the Confederates. When I mentioned it this morning to Mr. L, he said he had the same thought, though it didn't turn out that way at all. After awhile he called the police and two minutes later, Mr. S called the police (they compared phone records :D). Mr. D (who also preached this morning--exhorted might actually be a better term; but I'll get to that) walked down the hill to find out who was being so distruptive and found out that the people with that horrible racket were actually across the road, on the other side of the rail roal tracks! (Probably between 1/2 and 1 mile away.) Anyway, I think everyone went back to sleep and slept pretty well after the racket quit.
This morning at 10 we had church. We did some singing...thankfully, the lead singers were Mr. K and Mr. Craig (with their guitar and mandolin--respectively), so I didn't have to strain my voice. I think I ended up harmonizing. At one point, Erica (who was sitting next to me) made some mention about something "it's too high!" Which I can certainly understand; which is why I've figured out how to harmonize. Mr. D (excuse me, Rev D. ;] ), while certainly of a more Arminian stripe than ourselves, exhorted us to "get in alignment with God's Word". He used his own self as an example of how rebelling and not seeking God's glory (my words, not his) cause us great heartache. As Savannah said, "It was edifying..." It was, even though it wasn't what I am used to sermon-wise. We also took communion; Rev. D made mention that they (being his church I suppose) take it every week (like us!).
After church, Mr. Bret asked if we'd take his family's picture (the family with the four adorable kids mentioned earlier)--so Savannah did and then he took our picture for us. They are a really nice family. I danced with him a couple times last night. I'll say right here and now that the 1st Florida Reserves and Civilians is a great group of people...I look forward to seeing at least some of them again at Brooksville! (Mr. K told us to come stay with them, since they'll be there...) I asked Erica if they were going and she said she didn't know--"But I know which way I'll put my vote." (In favor.) Samantha agreed with her on that. :)
The battle took place at two and went off great. While on Saturday the Federals won, the Confederates took the field with glory today. Before they got started though, while I was still setting up, I got a surprise visit. I looked up to see Thomas C. coming up the hill. He reached the fence, put an elbow on it and started talking. I find him somewhat hard to understand because he talks fast, has a slight lisp, and his accent it a bit different than what I'm used to around here. Anyway, he wanted to tell me that he and one of his buddies have a group: the Liberty Guards Mess (I have to go to the website soon). Anyway, they do Cow Cavalry stuff. (As a side note, it's fasinating to watch that young fellow on the field--he carries himself like he knows what he's doing--very serious like.) He told me that he'd write the information down after the battle and give it to me. Well, he forgot. So, I put on my business woman hat (I had on my cowboy hat by now as the camps where closed and the public was gone :D), and chased him down. Not literally...he was helping take down a booth when I walked up with my pad of paper. I think he was slightly flustered because he had forgotten, but he wrote down his name and telephone number, then went off to talk to his mom about his brother's number (up until that point I didn't realize his mother was there--most of the time I saw him he was with Mr. K). When he came back, I got him to write down the name of his group. (Since I had really yet been unable to understand what he said!) I also gave him my last business card. Very polite young fellow...I'm not used to being addressed as ma'am--particularly by a fellow someplace within my age bracket. (I'd guess he's somewheres between 17 and early 20's...I'm a terrible one for guessing ages.)
We said good-bye to folks shortly after that and headed home. I gave girls hugs and shook boy's hands. Charley, Eldon, and Micah weren't too hesitant to shake hands, Thomas was, because his hand was dirty (they were cleaning guns), but I told him "don't worry about it". I also had to tell Johnathan not to bother about it, "I like gun oil!" I made sure to say good-bye to Mr. L (he was really nice and made sure we felt at home), Mr. Bret (because I liked him; he has a beautiful family), Mr. S, and Mr. Doug. Philip wouldn't shake my hand...I asked him if he were bashful, and he said "yes", but I didn't believe it. :D So I satisfied myself by messing with his kepi. It was great to see a bunch of little boys out there in minature Confederate uniforms....they were so handsome. :D
I had a thrilling, "Ye-haw" of a time :D Still, it was kind of nice to come home and actually take a shower...my head was really beginning to need it. I'm hooked....I want to keep attending reenactments--particularly with this group. Christian, primarily homeschooled...fun :)
I promise I will post some pictures soon--but it's too late tonight.
...isn't all fun. I do so enjoy it most of the time, but once in a while there are unplesant duties...like putting a cow down.
I rotated the cows this morning. As I came up to the gate I noticed that the old cancerous cow was laying there under the first tree inside the north side. She just cocked an ear at me and slowly glanced over her shoulder. Normally she gets up when the truck comes around. All the other cows filed past her into the south pasture. She tried to get up several times, but never quite made it up.
Once all the cows where by, I drove in and stopped next to her. I thought she looked kind of sad as she looked at me. I walked closer to her and the notion that she probably was finished solidified itself into a conviction. It was clear to me from the way the grass was flatted out that she had been trying to get up earlier and only managed to scoot herself around in a circle. Her back was bleeding (I have no idea why), she was breathing heavy, and she was listless.
I got back in the truck and came to the house--I had to get Savannah, because I couldn't shoot the cow with one hand--even with a pistol or revolver. We called Daddy and he gave us the instructions on how to properly (i.e. the quickest and thereby the kindest way) put the bullet in her.
I cranked up the tractor and Savannah took the truck. One well-placed shot and the poor old cow was out of her misery. We hooked the body to the tractor and drug it to the 'graveyard'...there was no way I was going to leave that poor animal's carcass out by the road.
I almost cried...I liked that poor sick critter...she always seemed to be a nice cow (some of them aren't!) So...that's when ranching isn't fun. Could I have pulled the trigger myself? Yes...but then I probably would have cried.
My ears are still closed up and I'm kind of stuffy...but I think I'm pretty much over my cold.
I spent the majority of my down time tapping on the keyboard of my 'antique' laptop...I like the keys on that thing. That's right--I'm working on another story. This time it is in script form and it's a Western. A rather large cast--the main characters belonging to two families--the James' (7 people) and the Burke's (also 7 people). Naturally, with that many characters some of them are less prominant than others, but they all have their own personalities. There is danger, fun, adventure, and even some intrigue...
Oh yeah, I forgot that at the very beginning of my cold, I finished typing up what is provisionally titled Zeke's Gun...It's a Western, too--of sorts. It starts in 1941! The story was prompted by Uncle Pat's old rusty revolver that we found in a box in the garage.
Butch showed up and we went out to lunch...The place was packed! All the locals eat there--you can tell :) When we came home, we plinked for a while...UNTIL that is, Snip decided he was going to come over and see what we were doing--the result? Take a look...
It was hilarious the way he went to where a bullet had kicked up dirt and lipped around. I think he thought some feed had landed there! That was before he came and stared at us over the fence.
Have I mentioned at some point that he broke his halter? Well, he did. I'm going to get him another one soon enough.
I tried shooting that thing too, but I didn't do so great...I don't like scopes near as well as I do iron sights.
I like this one...
Aim small, miss small...