Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Branding

 
Pretty quiet last week I know, just one blog, but I was having a emotionally tough time. My oldest daughter told her dad that I was in a bad mood. I was hurt by her comment. Here I thought I was being nice. She clarified and said that I was being extremely polite or quiet and that spells bad mood.
 
In my book that is far better than lashing out at someone. I don't care how sick you are or how tough life feels. Lack of self-control always stems back to self-centeredness. We all have some. It is a part of our survival makeup but whether we give in to the beast, or not, is a choice. Choose it and I'll choose not to be around.
 
I really do try to figure out social circumstances but I'm Autistic. I can tell I miss the mark a lot by the expression on people's face. Emotional people are really difficult for me as I'm a fixer. They often don't want things fixed for it takes away the emotions. You might think that I don't have emotional friends, I do. They just never yell around me. I delight in their zealous exuberance and they call me the voice of reason. 
 
I once was a yeller like my mom a very, very long time ago. Funny thing was I never yelled at my husband as I was taught to. When our children were very small, I realized I was self-centered and they did not deserve the verbal abuse no matter the crime. In fact fewer crimes transpired the less I yelled. The other discovery was that people who yell say the dumbest things. Somehow the voice of reason never comes at that volume. I also learned this stimulus was too much. I came to realize Autistic people process far more information than the average person. They overload, shut down mentally, and often physically too. It is why the severely Autistic become almost catatonic in defense. Couple Addison's Disease which reacts to stress by shutting down the body's functions like oxygen, heart, temperature, and walking, and you can see I'm not getting over these situations any time soon. 
 
This happened to me the beginning of last week. I said ENOUGH firmly and rephrased what was said telling the verbal abuser that I heard the message. Too self-absorbed, they continued to tell me how they were singled out for persecution. Normally I would of ended the conversation. Instead I put down the phone and let them rant. Funny, it was the same problems others in the family had gone through that weekend too. This person choice to ignore the abundant outpouring of blessings. It was those blessings showered upon myself and others that made functioning possible. No worries. The person who did this was connected by a person who is no longer, very soon it will be the end of association.
 
 Last weekend was a case in point about blessings coming with trials. I had discovered Friday, while Kirk was at work, that from top to bottom on one whole side of the house and garage (of our new place) a number of spots that were swollen on the siding. We had not seen them before. Maybe the thawing of temperatures had something to do with this. When I pressed on one, it crumbled. I cried inside, 'Not one more thing Lord! Plea...se, a break if you could.' I didn't know how to tell my husband. He's been stressed out too. While I thought on it, Saturday we left early for a barn sale with the intent to try and pick up a blade for the tractor. It was already sold when we arrived. Instead we came home with a super good deal on 11 boxes of solid wood flooring. Enough to do the entry room in oak and maybe the dining room or a smaller bedroom in maple.
 
Hubby wasn't thrilled with shoving one more thing into our already crowded garage that has stacks of belongings yet to be put away but how could we pass it up? --We were worried about how to come up with the money to do the necessary remodeling needed. Here was part of the answer. We are going to have to keep our eyes out this summer for more sales like this one. --When a friend later that day said he had a blade we could use as long as we owned our tractor. He hadn't used it in years -- BLESSING number two!
This was the same gentleman we went to help brand his calves after the barn sale. Sale at 7, branding at 8. It was fun, even though Kirk hurt so bad the next day that he spent most of it on the couch with a bottle of Advil. He was taking turns wrestling calves. I had the easy job. I helped sort calves from the cows and then guarded this opening to keep the calves in. Wasn't hard. I moved quietly and used the John Lyons approach of subtle body language to communicate, "I don't think so little ones." The ropers wandered in one or two at a time milling the calves about as they slung their ropes and caught the back two hind legs, dragging them out of the pen to the wranglers.
Note the light colored calf on the ground at the end of the rope. It is being pulled outside the pen. This bay gelding made me drool. Wow, did he have a pretty hip that extended down the leg. I said as much along with cheering the ropers on with thumbs ups and quiet comments as they exited the pen. There was a rodeo inside this enclosure and one cowboy ended up on the ground. Other times it got a bit scary with close calls. There were a few quiet, "Whew!" said as the ropers exited the pen, calf in tow.
 
 
One of the best ropers was a lady. In Wyoming, it doesn't matter if you are a male or female. All hands are expected to jump in to do the work. No men do this and women do that sort of thing. We women know men have more muscle but sometimes we can use brain over brawn and there is always a part we can play. It is not necessarily just in the kitchen for sometimes it is the men who cook while we work outdoor nursing a calf or calving a cow.
 
I was always better at roping hay bales than calves when I was young but I haven't had a lariat in my hands in years. I didn't rope though someone teasingly offered to let me. My job at the branding may not seem that important. I knew better. It is like the garbage man. He is sometimes only appreciated when he doesn't show up.
 
I know what it is like to have a calf or calves get out. It means finding that one or two calves amongst many the same color scattered about the field. There were over 130 calves handled that day. The loss of one always means herding in a number of cows and calves together, sorting the calves off once more before you can brand and vaccinate the one that got away. It means a big delay. It was the job I was assigned and by George I was going to do the best I could. No calves got out but a couple branded ones got back in behind my back. A gal suggested that it was on purpose to help keep the last calf in the pen content before it was their turn. I liked it. I went with it. 
 
This unique attitude of everyone pitching in may be why women in our state were first to be granted the right to vote. The mind set may of been derived because we are the least populated state, every man, women, and child, is needed.   
 
 
 
 
This day all took part. Each calf had to be branded.  An uncle of the cattle's owner took that honor. Branding is always a family and friends affair.

 
Each calf had to be given several vaccinations, horn nubs removed, and the male calves were made steers -- all but one. The hot pink bucket was reserved for the testicles, which in these parts is called Rocky Mountain oysters. We can be very inventive in Wyoming and restaurants serve these delicacies. We are after all a very long ways from the ocean. Never had them myself but my husband and son like them. What do they call them in your neck of the woods or do they even eat them where you come from? 
 

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