Wednesday, December 07, 2005

BREAKING NEWS! BRAKING GNUS!

We interrupt this blog’s travels through last week to bring you BIG NEWS.

WE HAVE ANOTHER COW!

That’s right. We had Isabella, our milk cow. Now we have Isabella and Sarah. Sarah is a black baldy heifer. Black baldies are a Hereford/Angus cross. They are all black except for their faces, which are white. Some have a bit of white in other spots and Sarah has a white patch on her chest.

I was at a meeting yesterday and I got a message that I needed to call Alice or Joe Pat Hemphill. They are long time Coleman County residents and ranchers. Their son is also the EDC’s attorney. Anyway, they had a dogie that they had found that morning and needed to put her someplace. They called because they had read about us in the paper and wanted to know if we were interested. Dang right we were.

So, in the midst of a bone chilling afternoon, the temperature was in the teens, Stephen and I got the old chicken coop modified to hold Sarah. Joe Pat delivered her all tied up in the back of his pickup and we untied her and put her in the cow coop. She managed to escape. Stephen and I ran after her and cornered her. I actually roped her. Then we got the harness on her and Stephen and I took turns dragging her back to the cow coop. She is all snug and out of the wind in the coop now and Isabella is milked and we will get after taking care of her tomorrow morning, bright and early.

Joe Pat says that she saw her first humans yesterday and is a bit wild. After my brief encounter with her today I must agree with him. I think we can calm her down in the coming weeks though as she has to be hand fed and the kids will be doing that. We now have the first cow of the herd. While she is only about a month old, she will grow up. When she does we will breed her and build a herd. I have read that black baldies are not ideal for this purpose as the advantages of the mixture of the breed are only there for the first generation, but good eatin’ is good eatin’ and she will be producing food for the table.

I cannot tell you how great this feels. Yesterday, during Bella’s morning milking, I was thinking about how we were going to the red side of the ledger awful fast and was busy thinking about options. As I walked from the stanchion to the house I realized that I had never felt better about my place in the world than at that moment. I had a bucket full of milk I’d taken from my cow and was headed to the house with a beautiful sunrise coming up over my shoulder. Later that same day, from out of no where, the Hemphills call and they have a cow they want to get rid of – we do have pay them for the cow when we sell her, but not right now and not in advance and only calf value, not retail value – and they want to know if I want it. That cow was delivered today and is now in the shelter I modified for her to go into. In the coming years she will provide meat for my family as well as income. By the way, to tell you about the character of the Hemphills, the kind of people that I get to deal with out here, I want you to know that I still have not met Alice and I only met Joe Pat this morning. They had a cow and they knew a person that they had never met could use that cow. God bless the Hemphill family. We certainly will always remember their kindness in our prayers.

Roger

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