February 16, 2011

Home From the Ranch

This morning when I went out to check on Dawn and Sky, the mood was considerably more relaxed. I found Dawn up between the corrals and house, grazing.
Sky, on the other hand, was still holding vigil at the gate to the lot. Felt kind of sorry for the little guy, but his pain of loss will be brief. At least he can see his momma!
I decided to move Dawn into the south pasture. It occurred to me last night that in her current location in the pastures around the house, she could easily rush the gate when my father-in-law drives his tractor into the lot to feed. I didn't want to create another chore for him, in having to get her back out of the lot, so I moved her. In the south pasture, she can still stand at a gate with the horses and she'll have grass and water, but she's blocked from the main runway at the corrals and so will always be locked out of where he'll be driving the tractor around.

Before I walked her down there, I haltered her and got my brushes out and we had a little grooming session. She seemed to enjoy it. I also checked her bag. I had noticed before I separated them, that at one point Sky acted like he might go to nurse, and she had layed her ears back and walked away, so I was curious if maybe she'd already started the weaning. Her bag was kind of small and loose, but I could still get a little milk out, so we're sticking with the current plan. He can't get to her through the gate to nurse, so this will work well.

Thought I'd introduce you to two of my other ranch friends. This is Zadie. Isn't she a sweetheart? Her main job is to greet visitors and look pretty sunning herself on the porch.
 This is Lucy!
 Lucy is hard to get a picture of because she just won't stand still, even when your petting her. One BIG ball of furry energy.

She also likes to eat snow!
 Here she is! This is Lucy! Lucy's job is to decorate the porch with Zadie, and follow anyone around even if they don't really want her company. She's also more inclined to tag along if your headed to the corrals where she might be given a job to do. She comes "just in case." But she also has a real ranch job. She helps with the cows, rides in the tractor to help feed, helps keep visitors in the cars until Malcolm's parents decide if they want to visit or not, helps keep the Fed-Ex guy on his toes,....she's a big helper! She's a doll! I love her! And she's personality plus! Just has a few kinks in her behavior, but she's SO much better than she used to be and so much fun! And even when she tags along uninvited, she's pretty good to "stay" or go home when told to do so.

Today was going home day for me and the girls.
Malcolm will be home tomorrow. He still has to deliver the load of salt that we brought up here for the road department and tomorrow is the day! But I wanted to get my grocery shopping done and have the whole day tomorrow to work on taxes before going to the accountant on Friday, so me and the girls came home today.

In a few more weeks, all these ladies (at least it is hoped all) will have little calves by their sides, or tucked into the grass here and there. Do you think they have any inclination what's coming? I often wonder how much our animals know or think or remember. 
Anyway, me and the girls hit the road about mid afternoon. Traffic was kind of heavier than usual.
 But fortunately, most of it was going south, and I was heading north.
It wasn't too long after traffic cleared up that we reached the pavement and were able to make better time.
Sometimes when we're going or coming from the ranch, the time and distance is a frustration. Sometimes, that frustration and eagerness to get to the destination distracts me from the scenery. But not often.
One of the numerous tiny school houses in Montana. Quite a few are actually still in use, but this one saw its last group of students about 10-12 years ago. I think its used as a community center now which means its pretty much vacant and unused. Kind of sad.
These hills are about 80 miles east of Baker. They are on the fringe of one of eastern Montana's badland areas. This is near Miles City and is called the Strawberry Hill Recreation Area. I've never been up the road into it, but one day I hope to take the time to do so.

We arrived home this evening around 7:00, after stopping in Miles City for grocery shopping. My car is covered in mud and I wanted to get it washed, but there was a line of about 6 cars waiting on the car wash. I guess everyone else thought it was a great day for car washing too. Well I'll get mine done Friday when I go into town.  Besides, not much point in getting it too clean. When I got home I discovered that our road was a muddy mess from the melting snow, so it would have just gotten dirty again. And tonight and tomorrow we have another chance of more snow. Just a little, but it will add to the mud and road grime.

I'm amazed that I convinced my computer and internet to let me load this many pictures at home! And I haven't lost signal yet! Since I am apparently able to blog from home, I'll just have to do so more often! No more 30 minute blog posts to update you on a weeks worth of home happenings! I'll be able to keep you up to date from my kitchen table. Just so long as I do all my blogging late at night or early early in the morning. That seems to be when the internet is most agreeable around here!

Carlie Jean just came over and asked if it was time to go to bed. I think she might be right. There's some flannel sheets and a couple chapters from a good book calling my name!


Farmgirl_dk: said...

I ♥ Zadie and Lucy! What a team.
Haaaa....loved the "heavier traffic" you encountered. Funny picture!
Glad the weaning process continues to go well - that must've eased your mind today before you left, to see it going so well.

ACountryCowgirl said...

Love the traffic pic:) That is the best kind of traffic to have;) Glad you are getting in some home time and "baby" time:)

Meagan said...

Love this post! I always love it when you are home and it just makes me wish I was there with you! :-) I'm VERY excited that you're able to post from home... because I like you not being out of touch for so many days and I am excited about our "party" coming up! YAY!

Dreaming said...

I always fantasized about teaching in a one-room school house. I love the picture you included.
I guess I'm a "Little House on the Prairie" kinda girl!