Thursday, January 31, 2013

She who is not ready

Okay, so I live in North Dakota, I know it is winter AND I know it gets cold in a North Dakota winter.  But I have become a wimp!! 

Ok...brrrrrr??  @[100003138369000:2048:Jill A Yakey] @[529152272:2048:Kathryn] Boisselle @[100004561091069:2048:Samantha Shopstoomuch]
The forecast on the morning of Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It is the time of year when we need to start checking our cattle more closely.  You see, it is calving time (or will be within the next week or so).  At this time of year we try to check the calving herd every four hours or so.  It is a little early for this yet, but the weather has taken a turn for the worse and sometimes those calves start dropping!  Christopher checked the heifers (cows who are expecting their first calf) around midnight.  He knew we were still awake so he called to ask if I would check between 2-3 because one of the heifers was acting odd.  "Sure," I told him and set the alarm. 

Well, you need to know that I have been quite spoiled these last couple of years.  Our sons are here full time so I don't need to go out to help with chores and repairs very often.  It has always been my job to check the cows in the middle of the night during calving season, but I just was not ready for it yet.  Because I haven't been going out to help with the outdoor side of our business, I have not gotten my nice warm boots out of their summer hibernation.  I've yet to purchase a nice warm pair of gloves for the season.  AND, I certainly had not prepared myself mentally for all of this!  Oh, and to top it all off, the weatherman reports that tonight is the coldest night we have had in two years.  GREAT and I am going out into this. 

I think most people are like me.  Getting up in the middle of the night, getting dressed and going out in minus 50 degree (F) wind chill is not your idea of a good time.  It is hard to wake up and focus ... until you open the door!!  WOW!  Talk about take your breath away.   (Now remember, I have not gathered my winter work gear.) 

Without my long johns, coveralls, warm boots and gloves, I am in for trouble.  I borrow someone's gloves since they lay by the door (the ribbing around the wrist is still damp from sweat).  I slip on my coat (without a working zipper for years) and snap it closed best it will do.  I put on my old sneakers  (remember, my warm boots are still hibernating and, lucky for me, there is hardly any snow) and stocking cap.  Off I go - first to the pickup to find the flashlight.  The pen of cattle that I need to check are in our yard so the dogs and I go walk around them to see if anything is calving.  (Oh the wind is COLD.)  We wander around each group of girls as they are snuggled in their little groups to keep warm.  (My legs are freezing.)  Wander. Wander (don't trip on frozen cowpies).  Good, everything looks okay.  We head back to the house.  (My legs and face are stinging from the cold.)  Into the house.  (I can't see a thing, dumb glasses fog up.)  Dogs are happy - so am I.  Now, do I go straight back to bed and snuggle my COLD body up to hubby to get warm (and risk waking him)?  Nope.  I need to find the charger to get that flashlight charged again.  Dang, where did I put that thing after last calving season?  Found it.  Need something to drink ... ahhh, a nice glass of chocolate milk.  Better write about this experience.  (Here I am.) 

Life on the ranch.  It is the best even if it is the coldest night in two years and I am not ready to go out into it at 2:30 AM.   Best place/job in the world.

Now, off to bed.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Andy: Week 4

Andy got to go on a little road trip today.  Mark had a meeting in Bismarck so Andy & I tagged along! 

The temp here is COLD!  It was around zero when I took this photo of Andy.  He should have had a coat but I couldn't find anything in our vehicle for him.  So, I was quick to take the photo.  There was more Andy would have enjoyed doing.  A couple of kids playing, a bison, a horse, and so much more.  I guess we will have to visit again when it is warmer.

Andy at the North Dakota capitol:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Andy: Week 3

I didn't know what I would find Andy doing this week.  In fact, I was afraid I might have to look through my list of ideas.  I would hate to use up all of my ideas too soon.  But, he came up with something all on his own.

Today we had a little company.  A sweet little girl spent part of the afternoon at our place.  She really missed her Mommy so there were lots of tears.  Andy to the rescue ...

But, a little snuggle time with Andy and she was able to relax

Since it has been years since we have had a little one around, it was fun to watch her.  The flexible body (she had her feet wrapped around her neck), the reactions to the cartoons and our dogs, and her excitement when she got to see the cattle up close.  Yes, it was fun to see life through the eyes of a little girl.  It was extra fun since this little girl just happens to by our Goddaughter, Stephanie.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Andy: Week 2

Remember the 52 week photography project?  Well here is week 2. 

Today I went to Kenmare for a haircut.  I asked my beautician if she'd help me with a little project.  She was nervous at first.  Could it have been that I was hiding something behind my back?  Anyway, when she met Andy and heard about my project she couldn't help but chuckle and agree to help.  She said she had never been asked to do anything like this before! 

Andy wanted to get primped for his photo series ...

He sure sat nicely! 

I think this little project might be kind of fun!  I have a few more photo ideas for the series; however,  I still don't have 52 ideas (though this was a "spur of the moment" idea).  I would appreciate you leaving a note so I know someone visited here AND share something that you would like to see Andy do this year.  Thanks.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Meet Andy

Sorry, I am not the best at keeping things updated and I won't promise to better in 2013! 

This is what happens after opening gifts

We had a nice Christmas with Mark's family.   Now it is time to get back to work (okay, my guys kept working - I was lazy).  The guys are busy hauling hay and more of that straw.  Luckily we currently are having nice weather. 

I have joined a Facebook page to encourage me to take at least one photo a week containing the same object.  I have decided to try this and will take Raggedy Andy along with me.

My Mom made Andy and a matching outfit for Christopher 20+ years ago.  Christopher did not have a great appreciation for the "doll", but I do!  So, we will see what kind of trouble and fun he can get into this year.  I know he is over 21 so he is legal!!

If you have some ideas  for Andy to take part in, please share them with me as I will need every bit of help I can get.  52 photos of Andy will be alot.  I am sure he will visit new calves, maybe the tractor, so I need 50 more ideas!!