I think I mentioned before that I have now inherited the bookkeeper’s job at Grapevine, as well as doing the books for the cattle ranch, and that sure keeps me busy! I had forgotten just how much fiddling around there is to bookkeeping, and more so since Quick Books had deemed it necessary to make their program more efficient by making it more complicated! At the cattle ranch I have the old one, dating back to the nineties, I think, and it is far more user friendly than the updated 2007 or whatever version – such is often the case with improvements, isn’t it?So what is new? We had a great October round up, where we gather the cows from the Flats and bring them in for pregnancy tests and necessary medical check up. The day of the gather went well, and the day of the corral work put us, as usual, ankle deep – or shoulder deep in the case of the vet. doing the preg testing – in the you-know-what. My dog Tuffy, who had really excelled during the September round up, where we sort off the sale calves, was busy at the chute, doing not much more than running the cows out of it towards their gate, but she had a marvelous time! So entertaining to see a dog having fun – she had a grin on her hairy face all day, even towards the evening, when we were all flagging. The next day we drove the cattle out to the winter pasture on the mountains, and that’s a fun drive as well, as the cattle have to cross the Grapevine Canyon and climb over the mountain to the Shields Pasture on the other side. I didn’t go on the drive – I figured I’d had enough what with being on my feet all day and risking both my hands giving unruly cows injections through the bars of the chute, and I stayed home and counted my fingers. As always over the past 20 years, they were all there and not much the worse for wear.
One of the cows we had decided to keep even if she were not bred, is an old, 17 year old cow, who had had a calf every year. We figured that she had earned an honorable retirement, even if she was open, and that we would turn her out with my two princesses, Clementine and Twiggy, and let her live out her remaining time in peace. To our amazement, she is bred!! How is that – calf number 15 coming up. She deserves not just a good retirement, but perhaps some special feed as well, I think!
And I have finally retired my wonderful horse, Tequila, who is getting some age on him, and who is not enjoying our outings all that much any more. I had retired Comanche about a year ago, and they spend their time out on pasture, being happy. However, I have two new horses coming up, both of which I have talked about here before – one that was born here by name of Scotty, and the other, a rescue horse from the Premarin program in Canada, called Chikala. Both are big horses – Chikala is about 16 hands and Scotty is not far behind – and both are round as tubs of lard, which is not necessarily good. So now, it’s up on one or the other, via a good sized mounting block, and off to the mountains. I am particularly enjoying Scotty, who is full of devilment and communication en route. His specialty is spooking at nothing – he doesn’t do much when he spooks, but he obviously finds it entertaining, so who am I to mind? The funniest thing about the whole business is that, each time we come home, he spooks the hardest at objects that have been there all his life – but I mean, all his life, like a grain silo on its side, plainly visible on the way out and back in. It must be some kind of game, I guess, but, as I said, who am I to interfere with his amusement?Talking of spooking, one of our young horses, another Premarin rescue, who is just over three years old, is now being ridden, and doing great. Seeing he came from Canada, we named him Yukon, but call him Yukie for short. His stable mate, named Alberta (Bertie for short), is next on the breaking-in program. Anyway, here is a photo of Yukie being ridden by Dustin, who has done a great job of training him. They look good, don’t they!
And I am excited – in the next few days I have my stepdaughter Sally and husband Craig arriving from Australia, and we are actually taking a few days off to visit Pinos Altos in New Mexico. There is a great little motel there, which the owner built himself, so the cabins are true cabins, built of wood in the pines, some of them double storey, and the great attraction of the place is that they take dogs, so Tuffy can come along too. I have a feeling I might have talked about this last time, so I won’t say any more except that I will be thinking of you!