Ranch Life

From city life to country life. Our joys, challenges and vexations. You are invited to jump in and share your experiences and offer advice with encouragement.

Location: Texas, United States

Want more? http://www.flickr.com/photos/ burntbiscuitranch/ Carolyn Simons Manka on Facebook Website: BurntBiscuitRanch.com

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Bullet Wants Breakfast

Their daughter-in-law once asked, “What do you do out there all day?”

A typical day at Burnt Biscuit Ranch:
He is up at o’dark thirty. Soon thereafter, he is in the barn measuring out grain for the horses that are keenly aware of his every footstep. The gelding and stallion are brought in from the pasture for their b’fast and day’s rest in their stalls under cooling fans.
The barn cats make walking difficult as they twist and turn around his ankles as their reminder that they are also hungry.
Little Big Red takes him out to the end of the lane for the morning papers.

Back at the ranch house, she is feeding Maggie Sniffles and the dogs their breakfast.
Sheets are stripped and loaded in the machine before being hung out on the line.

By now, the mares are nickering for their turn to graze. Horse flies are bad this time of the year so each horse, in turn, gets a healthy dose of fly spray before being led out to the day pasture. His last chore is mucking the girl’s stalls. She does this on the days he works; however, trying to push a 50# bale of hay onto a wagon, she wrenched her knee. It has been an exasperating and slow recovery.

Back inside, he hurriedly takes a shower, jumps into his business clothes, and grabs a b’fast sandwich and juice while flying out the door for his 58 mile drive to the city. He spends the rest of his day searching for oil on his computer.

Chickens are fed and the coop cleaned in eager anticipation she can beat Sneaky Snake to fresh laid eggs. (Yes, another snake has arrived and, yet, to take the ceramic egg that will end his daily thievery). From the chicken coop to the cow pasture, she finds them awaiting her arrival. She goes in to find the little bull calf willing to let her pat his neck and head. The first of many smiles the animals give her on this day. On her way back to the house, she picks some day lilies for their home.

She runs her errands and returns to the ranch to take a critical look around. When did the grass get this high? On with shorts and a tank top and off to find the gas can to fill up the little John Deere. The thermostat says 83 so she has some time to get some mowing done before it gets too hot. Three hours later, she is pleased with the yards but she is feeling a little yukky. Inside, she takes a cold shower and checks the thermostat. The temperature had risen 12 degrees while she was mowing. There are days when she doesn’t do well in the Texas summer heat. This is one of those days.
She settles in with a cold glass of tea and finishes reading “Change of Heart” before planning the evening meal and returning phone calls.

He begins the 58 mile trek from the city to the ranch while she measures out grain for the horses and calls the guineas into the hen house for the night.
Horses are led back to their stalls. Some get bathed, some get worked but all get a healthy dose of attention.
As the sun sets over the hill, the gelding and stallion are put out for night pasture, their stalls are mucked and the barn cats are fed and put up for the night.

It is dusk. While dinner is simmering, they take a glass of wine to the porch and share the day’s events while watching the night birds diving for unsuspecting insects.

Tomorrow is a new day: windows to wash, weeds to kill, equipment to maintain, horses to work and a life to love.