Sunday, February 19, 2006

More Winter

We had to hike over half the property to find where the donkeys had holed up for the bad weather, carting two big tubs of feed along with us. We had the new foster dog, Ashley, along as well, so it was a bit nerve-wracking -- you never quite know how a new dog will react to hoofed creatures. She did fine. She's very loving and was obviously well-loved by someone -- she had a nice leather collar, was in good health, isn't afraid of people, knows how to "sit" on command, and has been spayed. It breaks my heart knowing there's someone out there devastated over the loss of their family pet. Hopefully we can reunite them, or if not at least ensure that their dog finds a good home where she'll be just as loved.

We finally found the donkeys, and distributed our room service delivery. No donkey babies yet, despite the cold snap which can apparently cause instant baby-dropping. Which is weird, because if I was a baby there ain't no way I'd leave a warm womb for freezing temperatures. I'd be hanging on to that umbilical til August, screaming "I ain't ready, I ain't ready!!"

Along the walk back to the house, we saw cedar trees with frost riming their northern halves. It made for an interesting contrast, the dark green on one side and the icy white on the other. I was also surprised to see ice sheathing the ropes we've used for various small purposes around the place. I don't know why, but for some reason I didn't think rope froze. I imagine if they were made of hemp they would still freeze, they just wouldn't mind so much (and pass the Doritos, dude).

I needed to drive in to work today, there are a couple of hundred photos of body jewelry I need to doctor and get into shape for use on the new site, but I was defeated by the weather. In Texas if the temperature goes below 40 the entire region gets locked down. This is a good thing, because driving on ice didn't make the "Things Texans Are Good At" list.

Of course that didn't stop Cousin Mario, newly a civilian, from stopping by with Cousin Jill on their way back to San Antonio from Fort Hood (the big Army base where most soldiers stop on their way to and from their postings). He said that besides Cousin Jill (his wife), the thing he was most looking forward to upon returning to America was authentic Tex-Mex food. Yo Quiero An Honorable Discharge, Sergeant!

So that's the news from the ranch on a cold and blustery weekend. Yankees are welcome to this stuff, ice sucks. As our friend Russell said, this is the kind of weather you just kick back by the fire and catch up on old movies.

I sure wish that Corona truck had gotten stuck a little closer. As long as I'm cold anyway, a cold Corona would be just fine.


The Cow Whisperer said...

Jeff, this reminds me of a couple of good stories from my "pre-'has-been'" days.

The very first day I went to work for the Padlock Ranch (headquartered in Northern Wyoming....stretching ~70 miles into Southern Montana...) I was driving around with one of the ranch bosses. Some of the guys on the south end were moving about 1200 cows down this little two lane road and I was riding point in the boss's pickup, pulling a gooseneck trailer. I had my hazards on to warn on-coming traffic of the beeves they would soon encounter. Naturally, I didn't know the lay of the ranch yet....missed the turn off and tried to turn around with that trailer. It's a funny thing about the side of the road up there. It's a ditch on both sides....but the snow hides this. Within 3 hours of employment, I managed to stick the boss' pickup and trailer BAD. Thought we'd have to wait for spring (which arrives for 2 days in August). Luckily, Greg was originally from he was very understanding. One week later, I was sentenced to Owl Creek (i.e. "The Owl Creek Center for the Strange") where I saw no one but the other 10 guys I worked with...and I pulled calves for 4 months. I was paroled later that year and transferred to the north end...a part of the ranch that borders the Little Big Horn battlefield.

The other story comes from a day I was trotting back to headquarters and proved that I didn't learn from my first experience. I came to a four way stop and, being horseback decided to cut the corner for a right turn. We promptly sank in the snow up to ol' Bud's chin. Luckily, I was able to get him out myself. Perhaps Bud had worked with a Texan before....

They don't check SAT scores for cowboys before they hire 'em you know....

Jeff Hebert said...

Now that's a real cowboy! You should've told them "In Texas we make our trucks bigger and tougher, they would've pulled out of that ditch no problem. It must be these wimpy Wyoming trucks that're the problem."

Jill Phenix Avila said...

very impressive cowboy poet!! Of course everyone knows that if we want to ride a horse like you, then we have to learn the hard way... or the best way which is the cowboy way.. with the exception of idiot cowboys that are mean to their animals but from your stories I know you guys weren't from that stock.