I have been trying to learn as much as I can about the cattle business and part of this process led me to Medicine Hat’s Beef Pen Show in December for my second time. The event grew by about 100 animals this year and it was quite amazing to see all the cattle. I really enjoy seeing the 4H calves and it is really hard for me to not go up and pet or hug them. Hubby told me the first year that it is not something people do and besides I would wreck their hair-do. They are just so cute!
The first year I took 2 pens of bred heifers and this year I took one pen of breds and 2 pens of heifer calves. A pen consists of 3 animals. There are purebred and commercial cattle classes and my girls were in the commercial cattle class. I do not get to pet, hug, wash or brush my girls, they are ranch cattle and after watching the 4H people, I am ok with this. I will love them from a distance, it is far less work.
The first year we purchased small bales of hay to take for feed and bagged up some silage. Then hubby brought out his buckets and tubs (I think they are just big bowls) from his days of showing cattle and loaded me up. He helped me set up and then I was on my own because he had to come home to feed everyone else. I swore that year I would bring big tubs for water the next time. Between the amount of water the cows drank and all the cattle being washed, all I did all day was stand in line for a hose and carry buckets back and forth.
So this year we got out the buckets and tubs and bagged the silage but we didn’t buy the small bales of hay. Hubby said we will just cut one of our bales open and re-bale a couple flakes by hand. Well let me tell you that I don’t care how much small bales are, I am buying them next year. It is very awkward, tough, and itchy to wrangle a flake from a 4′ x 4′ bale and tie it up again. I did however take big tubs for their water. Hubby filled them when we arrived so I only had to keep them topped up.
I was very lucky the second morning because I was close enough to the building to be able to take the hose outside and fill one of the tubs. Well it turned out that one of my girls thought this was very interesting and came over to see what I was doing. She stuck her nose under the water first, then her forehead, and then she figured out what it was and out came her big grey tongue. She started lapping at the water falling from the hose. I don’t know why I found it so intriguing, but it made me smile watching this big creature. I tried to get a picture but it was a little difficult with one hand.
During the down time when hubby came back after feeding the rest of the herd, we wandered around the exhibits. There are some very talented people around. One such person is my cousin and her husband who had a booth there. Deb has always done work with leather and wood but her latest is silk scarves. Her husband Bob also works with leather and makes saddles.
While we were chatting and I was showing some of my many pictures of the ranch, I happened to come upon the picture I took of a porcupine sitting in a bush. That was very exciting for me and my enthusiasm came out while I was telling the story of how I came to take the picture. Apparently I was the only one who thought seeing a porcupine up close and personal for the very first time was exciting. When Deb and Bob looked at me with weird grins, Hubby said “I know. It’s like working with a 4 year old every day. Everything is exciting and new to her.”
Well I do try to take pleasure out of the small things in life every single day. Life is too short and amazing not to.