Saturday, June 15 2019

June 15, 2019

The frenzy of yesterday and today might as well be rolled into one, since activity levels have smoothed over any discernible difference between the two.

I’m gradually guiding the cows’ orbit around our pastures back toward the barn so one more grassfed animal can be shipped to the abattoir.  It’s necessary, to avoid needless commotion, for the finished cattle to meet the truck where our handling facilities are located; they’re used to the pens and stress is kept to a near nonexistent level.  Due to this necessary rendezvous I spent most of Friday morning building the grazing corridor that will keep the mob moving along where I need them to travel.  I suspect we’re on schedule for an easy loading Monday afternoon.

When I finally decided I’d made enough progress that my task could be completed in a timely fashion later in the evening, I readied myself and travelled to Marienville to visit the family camp of BJ, who celebrated his bachelor party the week before marrying my sister.  They have a wonderful piece of property on a stream, and the opportunity to spend an afternoon doing nothing more than enjoying the view and chatting with a few folks was welcome.  As is frequently the case, my overzealous addiction to work called me away from the party well before dark, much to the surprise of the others who were setting in for a long evening of food, drink, and friends.

Upon returning home I hauled water for the herd and moved them into fresh grass one last time in preparation for my early departure from the farm on Saturday morning.  I did manage to get Henry into bed before dark.

I awoke much later than I wanted to after a sleepless night.  Baby Henry decided it was necessary to scream at high volume between the hours of one thirty and three; Gina finally got him settled.  I don’t know what she did, but she’s an amazing mom.

There were a pile of orders to prepare for market day in the Strip, and only through the coordinated efforts of my family were we able to get the truck loaded and me on my way in something resembling on time.  Saturday mornings are ‘all hands on deck’, and focus is the name of the game.  We pride ourselves in maintaining a professional business for our customers, and, it seems, that level of focus can pull a family together quite well.  Despite the early start, I enjoy Saturday mornings.

The bustle was wild in Pittsburgh, and we had a good day.  I hauled very little beef back home, a clear indication that many coolers were emptied at the hands of happy customers.  My after-market routine usually includes a stop to see my apple friend Aaron, my barbecue friend Richard, and my baking friend (really, one of her employees) Eliza.  I’ve become proficient at navigating the city to reach each destination, a skill, I believe, honed by my lack of GPS navigation.  When I’m trying to reach a new destination, I borrow a friend’s phone to look at a map, then try to figure out the streets from memory.  I haven’t been lost too frequently.

As is always the case, I get home, unpack, change clothes, and head out to move the cows.  Today I was really dragging from so little sleep, and the coffee I drank only made me feel worse.  There is nothing like the duty of cattle that can push a person to keep on keeping on.  They’re good teachers of discipline.

My Uncle Paul arrived from North Carolina yesterday and brought with him something unique to share: hard cider from Bold Rock that’s made with Jalapeño and Carolina Reaper hot peppers. What fun it is to try new things! Surprisingly, it’s pretty good. I’m sipping some now, and hope the traces of heat don’t amplify when I collapse into bed shortly. Certainly nothing will keep me awake tonight, though.