I came home just in time--the two W. brothers, Ricky and Tommy, who helped us work cows today, were just fixing to head of into the pasture and to the pens, with the others. Anyway, we got everything figured out. Then was lunch.
As Ricky had said that we would need more worm-medicine (which turns out we didn't--Daddy was right, there was plenty), I headed to Smith's. While Skyping with Daddy after lunch, I must have mentioned that there were some work in the pens that needed to be done. So, I also got some boards at Smiths. That was--to say the least--interesting. First off, I drove back to where I figured the wood would have been. Well, nobody came out and I wasn't sure, so I started to drive up to the front of the building--I was going to talk to the 'old man' (disrespectful I know, but somehow I doubt he would really mind), since he knows who I am and I know who he is--sort of. Anyway, a tall, skinny, long-haired, drummer-player looking dude is standing there. I slowed down and then backed up a bit. A big "hint-hint". He took it and asked if I was the person for the boards. "Yes." About this time, I saw in the rearview mirror, the Redneck fellow I mentioned in a pervious post coming out of the back of the building with a "what does she think she's doing" look on his face. (Hey, this was my first time getting boards!) Anyway, with the directions straightened out, I drove on back and got loaded.
That was fun :) Redneck (I have to give them nicknames--it helps in the story-telling) put the first 16 foot pine board in the back (16' is the only length for pine). He made some mention about tying them down and I crawled into the back of the truck, "I have a chain here." I started pulling it out from under the fence posts, while stradling the board. All of a sudden, I realized that Redneck had reached out and grabbed the board. I'm glad he did, or I would have gotten a rude shock! Anyway, I looked over my shoulder at him and we both grinned and laughed. I said something to the effect of "Thanks--that would have been uncomfortable!"
As he headed off to get the second board, I sat on the edge of the truck and put my foot on the one already in there. The old man came up and within minutes, he and Redneck had my five boards loaded. I wrapped the chain around them (the boards, of course!) and the Ol'man said something about getting some rope to tie them in better. Very well, I was to drive to the front of the barn for that process. Redneck sat in the back of the truck and held the boards down and helped with directions as I backed up two or three times to maneurver in a tight spot. Up at the front of the barn, Redneck and Ol'man proficently got me ready to head out. Drummer-dude showed up and got some pine sap on his hand--and made a semi-big deal out of it. Both of the other men baiscally said, "It's just pine sap--no biggie." I wonder if Drummer-dude felt the "what a whimp" coming off me.
Anyway, I got home without knocking into anything or anybody with the (at least) six feet of board sticking out of the bed--at an angle. I'll have to let the old man know I had no problems next time I go to Smith's :)
I promptly put some of those boards to work, fixing a section of the chute in the pens. Last time we worked cows, Daddy just about got hit in the head with that broken board.
This morning, ten minutes before my alarm was set to go off (6:oo), Savannah opened my door and told me it was time to get up--Granddaddy was trying to rouse us :) (Maybe that was why I was mostly awake anyway.) Anyhow, after dressing and having breakfast and coffee, we started out to push the cows into the pens. (By the way, the cows put themselves in the trap last night! There was no need for the bag of pellets...) Just then Ricky and Tommy showed up. Ricky has a real nice diesel Dodge Ram pickup :) So three pick-up trucks holding a total of five people, headed to the pasture. The cows worked real nice today.
Once we had the cows in the pens, I strolled around doing a few last minute things while the fellas (and one gal) drove around the way we always do. Here's the work order: Granddaddy was on the squeeze-chute tailgate (through which we let the cows out), Tommy was medicating the cows, Ricky was working the hopper gate (from up on the fence--he does it different--but it is actually safer), Savannah ran the beef gate, and I did any extra leg work (i.e. pushing cows from one holding pen to the next, encouraging them up the chute, climbing up the fence on the other end of the hopper to encourage the cows to exit). We started by parting the calves from the cows. As we pushed the cows up the chute, Tommy sprayed them with the worm poison. Once all the cows were finished (we forgot to count them!), Granddaddy came up to the hopper and basically ran that gate and made the call on which calves went to market. Ricky and I did the parting. At one point, I was standing there and one of the white calves was standing on my spur! I couldn't move and he wouldn't :) I guess it is good 'hopper experience' to work with the calves like that--a good starting place. They won't hurt you as bad as a grown cow will.
After that Savannah and I went with Ricky to Al C.'s place to pick up his trailer (I guess Ricky always uses Al's trailer). I was in the front so I got gate-duty. Fine with me :) Then we came back and loaded the calves and took them to market! I rode with Ricky and Tommy, while Savannah drove Granddaddy. Granddaddy was seller 19. The auction starts at noon and it was about 9:30 or 10:00 when we got there. Somebody said something about not many people would be bringing calves in today because of some beef convention going on. So, hopefully the prices will be real good. Oh, by the way, the load was 16 calves. There was another one that for some reason Granddaddy said to keep--it was a bull and big enough to send. But like Ricky said, it was good for Granddaddy to be out there and making those decisions. I certainly agree--even though I disregarded the order to leave a particular gate open...I had previous orders from Daddy. I'm going to rotate cows this summer and now is as good a time as ever to get started!
Savannah and I played some music...Granddaddy slept through (at least most of it). He is tired; it was big day for him.
I love working cows!