Tuesday, December 24, 2019
The peace of Christmas Eve, 2019
I didn't start out peaceful, lemme tell you that!
Started out strange.
But it was strange even before this morning. I felt awful all night with the return of the stomach thing, feeling drained and lethargic, achy, headachy, a little bit of fever.
Even before that, in the early evening yesterday, things started to go to shit. As I was driving down CR28 on my way to check cows, just around sunset, I hit something in the road. It thumped under my left-side tires and clattered. I should say it CLATTERED, because it was a big, noisy, metallic CLATTER.
By the time I finished and got home my left rear tire was all but flat. This morning I aired it up but quickly realized it was essentially destroyed. I was feeling bad enough that I didn't want to put the spare on, so I over-inflated it and headed south, figuring that in the worst case I could pull over and change it. I made it, but just barely. In the last half-mile I spied the offending piece of metal in the road. It was a big firetrucking piece of rebar.
Anyway, so bad shit, followed by a night of feeling bad and very little sleep, followed by more bad shit and near-bad shit, followed by finding the rebar. Ah well, it's just the kind of stuff that happens from time to time. Bad luck? Meh. I probably would have seen and avoided the rebar if I hadn't been half blinded by a broken windshield that I've refused to fix for two years.
So after switching to the F-150 I took and went and picked the dangerous rebar out of the road.
Today was the day to start sending cows to corn stalks. Before the owners arrived to do the magic, I prepared the south unit water system for draining.
In case you're wondering, and I think I touch on it in the videos to come (ad nauseum most likely), we drain the system to make sure no water remains in the risers connecting to the bottom of the various stock tanks. If there was water in those risers it could freeze and expand, breaking the riser pipes and causing a hell of a mess and a lot of work and money to repair.
But before I could worry about draining the north or Cederburg pasture water system, I had to go set gates and prepare to help bring the cows home to the loading facilities. Which meant I had to have me an adventure. The adventure of driving across/through a deep snow drift with the very real possibility of getting stuck. I'd like to think I'm smart enough to not get stuck, but, well, I may not be the sharpest crayon in the drawer...
Having made it without getting stuck, we quickly moved the cows back and before you say "not again" I was right back at the snow drift, trying to master it for a second time.
Then it almost all went to shit. The cows were shy about crossing the snow drift so they started moving north between the fence and the trees on the west side of some seriously deep snow drifts. Which would have been fine, but they needed to be on the east side of the big snow drifts, and they only place where the snow was shallow enough for them to cross was at the place they were shy about crossing. Red and I did an end around, scrambled over a 10-foot drift, and headed 'em off at the pass. So all was well, but not until the third adventure of the day.
From that point it was only a walk of a couple of miles to get to the corrals.
As we approached the corrals the question was whether the passageway between the tree lines was drifted closed or not. I was reasonably sure -- based on long experience -- that it would be navigable by the bovines. However, I hadn't actually checked. Sooo...
Yeah, that'll work. I think. Then we'll be famous!
Once the cows were in the corral it was up to the owners to load them up into stock trailers. It's a tricky business, and one too many cooks can spoil the hell out of the broth. So it was time to go drain stock tanks and prepare to drain the water system. So back to the Cederburg!
With the tanks drained or draining, time to drain the lines.
With that chore complete it was time for some lunch. More importantly, time for a bit of aspirin and meloxicam, because I was hurting. Snow mountain scrambling was a bit much. Not too much, just a bit much. As salad and some NSAID's down my neck and I was ready to get back after it.
Driving back to work after a mid-afternoon break I found that the world had been transformed. I was speechless (and should have been so later).
Rattly but not too blabby.
Water lines were still draining. Beauty everywhere you look.
A couple of stills.
Christmas Eve, 2019. A day that just kept getting better and more peaceful.
Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.