Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Yes. You can.

I've never been the toughest or strongest chick around, a fact that never bothered me much and one I never really thought would change.  I was just, you know, me - more analytical than athletic.  More tender than tough.  More weenie than winner - you get my point.  

Storm coming in over fields near Coyote Creek
Moving here's changed some of that, sort of.  I mean, let's face it, I'll never be the kind of cowgirl I've always envied; the type who knows exactly how to tack up a horse with a Western saddle, can call the cows in with a two-fingered whistle, and back up a livestock trailer one-handed.  I will always always cry a little at the sight of a rattlesnake and "culling" my own irreversibly ill animals - forget about it.  You've got to know your limits.  
Pretty old Lady
 There are so many components to this life I never anticipated.  If you're not from the country, and if you've only admired it from behind a car windshield, some realities are worth understanding.  Unless you're independently wealthy (congratulations!!), country living demands a lot of manual labor.  Growing up in a rather manual labor-free environment, this realization was a shock to my sensibilities.  Turns out: trees don't dismantle and clear themselves.  Water buckets don't stay full in perpetuity.  Escaped animals rarely return without first being chased (and found) in jungle/thickets.  Cars stuck in mud don't extricate themselves.  While Jeremy always bears the brunt of these burdens, I've helped too.  The loss of my back this spring was proof of two things: 1) Obviously, I hadn't done much of this type of constant work before, and; 2) I DID, I really, really did help. 
What remains of a town square
Today I met Kimberly out at Coyote Creek Farm again for more organic livestock feed.  This time I tripled the amount of feed previously purchased.  The goats are weaned now (this involved a level of goat screaming and drama that was really worth filming), and their grain intake has increased.  Remembering to grab my camera, I snapped a few shots of the places mentioned yesterday and a few more places that I often pass on my errands around these parts.  They're all pieces of this life that motivate me to give the whole tough-as-nails-cow-girl thing a good, solid effort.  Just because I started out a little puny doesn't mean I have to stick with that identity forever. 
Road home

View towards Austin 
There's something about bouncing down potholed country roads carrying a load of feed and hay that gives a girl confidence.  Plus, the view's a lot better from behind the wheel of a beat up pick-up truck.  By the time I got home, the storm that had been threatening off to the east started to grumble overhead.  The 450lbs of feed and hay just purchased would sit out in the rain unless I took some action.  It was obvious I'd have to move them all, something Jer would normally do for me after returning from work.  So, I backed Buster up to the barn and chucked the contents of his bed inside, arranging them all along one side like a proper feed room. 

6 months ago, it's unlikely I could/would have chucked 450lbs of anything from the bed of a truck through an open door.  There's a damn fine view from the inside of the barn now.  Pretty enough to make me want to kiss my arm muscles, put my hands on my hips, and try to call the animals in with a two-fingered whistle.  Turns out I still stink at the whistling thing, but I'm pretty sure there's a legitimate cowgirl/farmer in here who's finally making her way out.


Kimberly said...

Ah, girl! You should have told me, I would have happily followed you home and helped! You rock!
A couple years ago I could barely carry a bale of hay out of the truck and into the feed room. Then last year we bought 75 squares. Preston took them off the top of the stack and set them on the back of the tail gate. My job: grabbing them off the tail gate and stacking them in the barn. I thought I was gonna die. But it only made me stronger. Now I can carry two bales of hay at a time and not even think about it.
But I can't whistle. LOL!
There is something deep inside that craves the ability to do it on your own. It's part of this life. Once it's loosed, it's really hard to ever stop it.

SarinOz said...

Like many things in life, when you think its getting easier, it turns out you're just getting better at it.

No Name Farm/Ranch said...

Kimberly - if Jer ever gave me that job I'd fall over laughing - you're stronger then I'll ever be, girl :) But you're absolutely right about wanting to do (most) things by ourselves out here!