(Or, How the Bag Lady Spent Her Day Off)
The Rancher and the Bag Lady weaned calves yesterday. They had been planning on doing it for a few weeks now, but things kept getting in the way (work, weather, illness.....) Yesterday was bright and sunny and the temperature relatively mild, so it is a good time to take the calves away from their mothers. If you wean them when the weather is poor (cold, rainy, snowing), it increases the chances of the calves getting sick.
The calves had an opportunity in the morning to have a good last drink of milk, and once they were locked away from their mothers in the corral, the Rancher and the Bag Lady gave them lots of hay to eat and spread out lots of straw in the shed for them to sleep on. Things will be a little noisy for a few days around the ol' stump ranch, because the mamas will be bawling at their calves, trying to get them to come and have a drink to ease their aching bags, but once they realize that they can't get to them, things will quiet down again and the cows will go about the business of eating and drinking and growing next year's calf! They will also be grateful that they aren't still feeding their calves when the weather gets really cold. That is really hard on their bags - when the calf finishes drinking, those wet teats freeze!
Oh.... was that too much information? Sorry. It's just a fact of life. The Bag Lady sometimes thinks she should try not to be too plain-spoken about things like that, but then she realizes that most of the people who read her blog are intelligent adults, so probably won't be offended.
They also took some of their older cows to auction on Monday, which made the Bag Lady sad. She doesn't like to see them go, but when they can no longer do their job (and with the scarcity of feed this year due to the drought), they have to be sold. The Bag Lady and the Rancher have pensioned off several cows over the years, allowing them to die on the ranch of natural causes, but that is not exactly sound economic practice. The Bag Lady has a habit of becoming too attached to some of the animals.... she sometimes thinks she isn't quite cut out for this job.
After they separated cows and calves in the morning, the Bag Lady finished painting her hallway. She is pleased with the results, but isn't quite ready for the "reveal". She wants the paint to dry so she can see if she needs to do any touch-ups, then she'll replace the light switch covers, etc. and hang the paintings before she shows you what she's done. (Besides those reasons, she's just too darned tired to take pictures right now!)
She cleaned up her mess, then made supper. Then she cleaned up that mess and made some pomegranate liqueur. It needs to steep for a few weeks before it's ready, and she wanted it for Christmas (which, by the way, is a month from today. Eeek!). In between all of these tasks, she did some laundry so she has something clean to wear to work tomorrow.
Did someone mention day off?