We got our branding done today. The weather was beautiful. Grandpa Daddy just finished a set of corrals on our west place this morning, it was so new the wood sparkled! By the end of the day we had baptized the whole thing with cow manure. GD also has a list of things he needs to fix so the setup will work better next time. ofrf-066

We have some friends who help us work our cattle, city people who did not grow up around livestock. How do you teach an adult to work cattle? They stand too close, are too loud, are in the wrong spot, can’t tell a pregnant cow from a new mama, and the worst of all, they can’t intuit what the boss is wanting, when what he says doesn’t make sense! I gained this wealth of knowledge in much the same way my husband did. Our dads yelled at us. This is a time honored method of teaching. For generations now, fathers have been yelling across the corral at which ever kid is not doing the right thing. The yelling is important, because a smart kid will listen to what is going on and will avoid making the same mistake his sibling just did. It isn’t wise to go off on your friends though. I didn’t realize it was so instinctive until GD pointed out to me what one guy was doing. When I replaced him, things suddenly started going smoothly. How do you tell a guy with a Civil Engineering license that he needs to stick a 2X4 behind the last cow so she doesn’t back down the alley! Fortunately GD’s nephew usually helps and he is savvy. He probably got yelled at by his grandpa and his dad.

GD went off on Mae early on, telling her to “just shut up!” My SIL was offended, but I have lived with the child for several years, and I can understand that it is hard to think when she is rattling, and I am sure she was making the cattle nervous. She did fine after that, staying out of the way and being relatively quiet.ofrf-036

I grew up working cattle the old fangled way, with horses. GD’s father sold his last horse years ago, and used four-wheelers and squeeze chutes after that. They have their place, nobody we know ropes, so a chute is a necessity, but when a calf climbed out, I was the only one who knew how to wrassle it. I had the front, and two guys who both weighed more than me were holding the back down. I guess it is like learning to do long division even now that we have calculators. You still need to know the basics.

ofrf-024 Some of you might recognize the back of this guy’s head.  He has moved on to younger wrassling partners.

There are many things my husband and I don’t do well as a team, but we do pretty well working cattle together, and I don’t think a lot of couples can say that.

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We go tomorrow to pick up Jane from her extended stay with Grandma and Papa. I guess I will go clean up the kitchen while these darn photos upload. I have been on the internet loading photos now for over two hours. ofrf-041 Longhorn calf.

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