Monday, May 12, 2008

Pipes, Cows, and Calves

The last two days I've spent chasing calves, rounding up cows, and laying out pipes. Yes I'm back on the fields. Jess, my niece, my wonderful hard-working never stop 25 odd years younger than me pipe changing cow herding niece, has moved to Saskatchewan for a few months. Okay I was fine with that (not really) because my BIL's girlfriend (Julia) took over the pipes, she's only about 20 odd years younger than me and is in training. This gave Grandma and I time off and we were both content to watch. Bad news is Julia's mom passed away last week and she had to head off to Ontario. This left Grandma and I holding the bag so to speak.

Saturday wasn't bad, even though my arms felt like lead by the end of the day. We changed two lines, picked up a line with the pipe wagon, and laid out two lines in the barn field. My brother has been here for a couple of weeks so he was a big help but Frank left for home early Sunday morning. Even being the city slicker he is, it's nice to have a third set of hands so without him it was murder! After doing the pipes in the graveyard we headed over to the barn field, two lines there to move... three in total so far. We drove up to the old road to check on Pops who was moving most of the cows with calves down to the river. Brent, a friend, was there helping and other than a few stray calves everything seemed okay, we headed back to the house.

Within half an hour Pops came in and asked if we could help with those stray calves. We had to try and herd them off the field down to the river, to meet up with their Mama's. Well, after running under sprinkler heads, jumping fences, flinging my jacket off to use as a flag, jumping through downed trees, and basically running and hollering after six very temperamental calves that would not listen for over an hour, we gave up.

Grandma and I then headed over to the 14 field where we had to lift the pipes over the fence into Black's and hook 'em up. After that I managed to sneak home for an hour or so before she called and said we had to grab the pipe wagon, pick up pipes at the end of the Triangle field and move them back to the beginning of the field. Pops came up and instructed us on what to do. I ended up driving the truck, while Pops and Grandma (the woman is a work horse!) off-loaded the pipe wagon. We then dropped the wagon and I headed for her place to grab my vehicle. She told me to come in and grab a turkey pie she had in the freezer because by that time it was darn near 5:30 and it would save me coming up with something for supper. I chatted with her for half an hour or so and then headed for home.

As I come in the driveway the first thing I see is a cow standing there, then another, and then a calf. "Oh great, there must be a gate open," I mutter to myself. Then I see Jevan playing in the sand-pile. He comes running over and says "Mama, Mama, the cows are here!" I spy fresh cow manure on my side lawn and then see the open gate! Darn it!

I quickly grab the phone, let Grandma know, and she sends Pops out to round 'em up. I herd them over to another nearby gate and somewhat have them cornered, I open the gate and holler at the girls. They come a charging, I don't know whether to drop the gate and run screaming because they are heading straight for me! I decide to stand my ground and they slow to a trot and file through the gate, one by one. Pops comes riding up and all is done, sweat beads rolling down my brow, but all is done :)

It's lucky I came home when I did because surrounding my garden and the open gate, are all the cows that Pops didn't send down to the river. Here's hoping the fence holds up and all the gates stay closed!

It's Monday and I'm on my way out the door to change five lines of pipes and lay out another line. I've called Dally who's on her way out to help, thank goodness for that because Grandma and I are about spent... and it's only been two days!

Well I didn't get time to post this before I headed out the door so I'll give you a quick update. Dallas came out, as well a Dorothy, a friend from up the valley. Two extra sets of hands and the job was much faster today. Tomorrow we have six lines to do but Dallas won't be here but I'm hoping Dorothy comes back...


Baking Soda said...

Phew Kansas.... What was the blog header again? "The little things I do"?

DaviMack said...

Once again, thanks for the snapshot of your life there, and what a life!

Donna F said...

I remember it well. My last time helping with pipes. In a size to big gumboot I tripped over a pipe and down I went.(I have to blame it on something) :) Just a few bruises to me and my dignity. Then when we were about to leave the field and load up in the vehicle, I am looking for my little chihuahua in knee deep (actually higher) alphalfa and getting more worried by the minute. It was about and half an hour before she finally managed to get to the road at the top of the field. What a nightmare! I sure was glad to see her. She also looked pretty excited to find us. I would help with pipes if I was there but Tacobell would have to stay home. I know it is hard work. I feel for you.

Love Ya!

dawn said...

Oh, I feel like such a city slicker. What do you mean by pipes? It sounds like a tremendous amount of work, but I am not sure what you are doing.

jackie said...

Wow! You just made me glad that I spent Monday scraping gunk and clay off the basement floor at work!