“You do realize you’re gonna have to take care of everything while I’m gone, right?”
These were the words I heard from my husband several days ago, just before he left for his annual elk hunting trip with our oldest son and a couple of his friends. I knew he was going to be leaving for this trip, I just hoped he wasn’t going to be leaving without hiring a replacement for his muscles.
In the past, we’ve almost always had a cowboy to take care of things, at least for the majority of the time. This year though, it’s all on me and my biceps. This is a problem because I am having to manually bucket feed the livestock.
In order to prepare me for taking charge over the hundreds of cows on both the farm and the ranch, I was given a 5 minute after-dark refresher on the new, old, open cab John Deere we recently purchased for the ranch. I say refresher because I haven’t driven an older tractor since we traded for our climate controlled New Holland with the cushy, cloth-covered seats nearly six years ago.
Not that I feel completely confident on the New Holland.
It’s got so many bells and whistles and radio stations, that I can hardly concentrate on the basic functions for any length of time without threatening the lives of the livestock.
This brings me to the next concern.
I have searched near and far for a list of cattle in which to call roll each day. I’ve since decided that such a list does not exist. At least not on paper. Thus, I have no way of knowing if each and every cow, calf, heifer and bull is in attendance at the required feedings. Which, by the way, is the only thing I was told to do.
I certainly hope the suggested serving amounts haven’t changed in the last few years.
Hay is pretty much an unlimited all-you-can-eat-buffet. I got that. It’s the grain I’m concern about.
And what about drinks?
The ponds are getting low.
What if they go dry?
Do I let the cows water from the creek?
And what about the acorns by the creek?
Are the cows still on a strict no-acorn diet?
What dish am I going to take to the Thanksgiving feast?
Will there be more earthquakes?
Can I blame the mess in my house on the earthquakes?
Will I ever be able to get all the hay out of my hair?
What day is it?
I don’t even know any more.
I just know that I’m exhausted and dirty EVERY single day that my husband is away. Doing my work and the work of 254.2 men, aka the work of my husband, is nearly impossible.
I need a break.
I need my husband.
I need a haircut.
Calgon take me away.
The cows have already been testing their limits with me. They’ve noticed the size of my biceps and the potential challenges said biceps would face when confronted with loose barbed wire fences. What they don’t realize is that I realize the importance of buying family members gifts that will ultimately make my life easier. So, thanks to the 13th anniversary gift I gave to my husband, we now have a Texas Fence Fixer.
And I’m not afraid to use it.
…when I find it.
I’m sure it will turn up along with the mental list of cattle inventory upon my husband’s arrival. At which time it will rain and all the ponds will be full and all the cows will go back to their pastures and I will go back to my kitchen and stay for ever and ever and live happily ever after amen.
But until then…
It’s all under control.