Archive for the ‘Daily Working Ranch Chores’ Category

Ah…alas…Tammy and the cowdogs are still here. We never left. We never quit. We are still raising retained ownership feeder cattle and feeding cattle in SW Nebraska. We are still AI’ing SimAngus cows…reds and blacks. We are still calving in Autumn. Puppies are still being raised. Young cowdogs are still being shown around the place to let them grow up into working cowdogs. We still gather cattle from pastures, bring them home to the working facilities on the various locations/pastures, and we still sort and process cattle.

What has changed? Well, in September of 2015, the matriarch of Tammy’s cowdogs passed away. Cowdog Hawk joined Cowdog Bert and they met up again in the loving and peaceful arms of God in heaven. Even though the sun still came and went each day, the sense of a normal life was completely shattered. A month later, I had to put down my oldest horse friend…Eight  2015 was just a bad year. Yet, despite the terrible hands dealt I carried on with raising planned litters of cowdog pups for my customers. Nineteen young cowdogs were started and moved along to their new working ranch homes. All the life of 2015 went on without broadcasting fanfare. There was too much work to do to spend time in the broadcasting booth.

I made a decision to lessen my work of keeping four written updates going on at the same time. With all the technology in our lives I was being buried for hours with keeping up to the minute with everything “techie”. Cell phone ringing, cell phone messages chirping notifications to me, text messages coming in, email notes flying through the cyber air, landline phone stacking up with voicemail messages, Facebook (FB) hack attacks messing with my oldest Facebook timeline, Facebook hackers to my Tammy’s Cowdogs FB page, FB automatically transitioning my FB timeline to a second FB page (without notice),and FB denying my access to my own FB pages. My website blog (here) being facilitated by WordPress and WordPress not being totally compatible with FB and posts and pictures being lost in thin air. My nine year old smart phone took a death fall and cracked up on a sharp rock in October 2015 and after four months of limping along with a cracked phone screen I bit the bullet in January 2016 and took a day off to go get a new smart phone. Low and behold, the AT&T techs could not get my email to work on my “smart phone” and I am into August 2016 and still do not have email on my smart phone. But hey! Life has gone on without email on my smart phone. I mention all this trivial stuff because I made the decision to lesson my work. Being a slave to gadgets beeping and collecting requests from folks was just a full-time job and there wasn’t time left for me.

I maintain a FB presence on a daily basis. FB is simple, easy, sometimes cranky, yet it is the ease of use that has trumped all the other technological accesses to my ranching and cowdog business life. During the fall of 2015, I transitioned all my contact information to an office address and set the wheels in motion to nix the landline. My posting to my blog (here) was suspended when Hawk died. Even with a narrowed up social media presence I still have to spend a few hours a day or night to visit with folks on a one-on-one basis. The Spring litter of pups came and have left.The Fall litters of pups will be here soon and they are all sold. The started cowdogs being worked with are sold and will leave once I get through with Fall calving and early Winter CIDR/AI work. So, as usual, I am sold out of pups and young started cowdogs for the remainder of 2016. Life does go on. It doesn’t end until God calls us home.

I am very lucky to have such a solid customer base for my cowdog program and for the cattle program that we work with each day. It has been a long, hot, humid summer in 2016 and it will be a welcomed relief to have some rain show up to grow grass and hopefully put the pastures in better condition before going into Winter.

If you want to follow along on what goes on here each day please consider trailing along on Facebook. Facebook is easy to use and you can limit your social exposure by being selective in creating a list of folks to follow on Facebook. Here is the link to my Facebook timeline… https://www.facebook.com/TammyJCowdogGoldammer . You should be able to copy this link, paste the link into your browser, and get routed directly to logging in to your Facebook account or if you are currently on Facebook the link will take you to the Facebook site of Tammy Goldammer. You can also find Facebook pages Tammy’s Cowdogs and Tammy’s Cowdogs Page. The pages are not updated each day simply because I just don’t keep them linked. When things go haywire with FB automatic linking then I just let it go and move on. So, the best bet until I mentally make up my mind to tackle all the technological snafus is to just search Facebook for Tammy Goldammer.

Anyway. Tammy and the cowdogs are still here…working…taking life a day at a time…and planning on our future of tomorrows. The retained ownership cattle business has one certainty, “What I do today is how prepared I will be for 15-18 months from now.”

#hangintreecowdogs #TammysCowdogs #RockOnRanching

2015 Collage.jpg

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FB Post…September 14, 2015

From soft and silent to rustling rigid paper tones.
Spring’s life yielding to Fall’s birth.
The winds’ music on the leaves is more bass than soprano.
There is a new gathering taking place…from growing on limbs from buds,
To gathering where ere their new travels take them.
Roaming free or others held by their surroundings.
Life’s transitionings.

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FB Post…September 13, 2015
~~ Smoke on the Water. Fire in the Sky. ~~
NW Cole County central Missouri…46F, 100% humidity. Was a tad of a soaking cold to the face and fingers this morning. Come January, 46% will be a no coat Indian summer, a welcomed relief, a day to let the sun radiate on the face. Today, that 46F signals to the trees and leaves that they need to move along in their transitioning to make ready for winter, resting, sleeping, and survival. The 75F of today marches to 90 over the next few days. It will be a warm week again…hastening the leaves to let loose and begin their journeys across the pastures and finding places to take ahold and be organic. Letting loose, letting go, holding on…I miss you Cowdog Hawk. Thank you for all you gave in your life with me.

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FB Post…September 12, 2015
Coming home last night at 8:30 and the air had a newness to it as it called out, “Jacket.” No sleep for the weary, a heavy heart, a heavy shirt for the day, a silky warm paisley rag to keep the cold air from trespassing to my core, out the door at 5, and it was there…Fall. Fallish has arrived Those shortening days which have been whispering “change”…it is here…Fall.

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Friday, September 11, 2015, 7:48 AM
~~ Slammed into Neutral ~~
I didn’t want Cowdog Ducchess to forget her mom Hawk so I have taken Ducchess home at night to sleep in her mom’s second comforter. Ducchess found her on the comforter and on the floor next to my second Sandhill’s Saddlery saddle from the Feusner family of Ogallala, Nebraska. Putting on my boots this morning I missed Hawk’s head bumping for me to wipe my palms across her loving, soft and glowing eyes. My face grew flush with tears and Ms. Ducchess quietly got up from my side softly whining, “Hey, hey, don’t cry. I know. I miss mom too.” Up, to the door, shutting off the light, and pulling the door shut I felt so empty. So much to do today.The feed truck coming this morning, the virgin heifers to get in and deworm, then haul them N to a winter pasture for the breeding season. Then, back to home to get the heavy heifers in to deworm them and move them out of the dry lot to the NW hay field where they will stroll, eat and learn the nightly drill of the coyotes who will be watching the calving range sisters every move. Time permitting, then move the handful of spring calves out to roam with the coming yearling fall born heifers of 2014. The two bull calves now steers will be held back for a few days since I castrated them yesterday and I should keep them handy to watch for pesky flies. Remember Mr. Tuesday, the little frozen earred popsicle that I walked home to save from the wrath of the 30 some below zero wind? He is now less in the scrotum as is one of the last twins of the spring. Maybe I should go N to the Windmill and check the handful of cows that I hauled to there yesterday. See if they have settled in, found the rest and comfort of the trees along the big steep banks of the branch, and look to see if the gal with the fresh pedi is enjoying having the hind foot flush to the ground again. I need to take them mineral but I have to wait until the truck arrives today from Quincy, Illinois. And, I will need to go S to see what the logger fella has left for me in the skidder. Yesterday, the dozer man filled me in about the nests of yellow jackets, large red wasps,bumble bees, honey bees and hornets that he and his helper have found in the past few days. The dozer fella’s story of how Wyatt had a cab full of yellow jackets was a gasping tale of humor and terror. Wyatt’s high lift was overrun with yellow jackets. Wyatt jumps out and runs, leaving the high lift running in neutral against a stump bottom, and Wyatt is swarmed with the striped bastards. Wyatt runs over the ridge to the dozer fella and says, “What the heck do I do?” The dozer fella tells him to go home and get a sprayer of gas and find the nest. Wyatt leaves, comes back with a sprayer of gas, finds the nest about 15 yards from the still running high lift and sprays the piss out of the area. Wyatt gets back into the high lift, puts it in gear and from under the floor board comes the masses of the yellow striped bastards. The wasps had stayed with the high lift and had been taking in the heat of the motor while Wyatt was out gassing the wasp’s home place. Wyatt got stung 8 times or more and had to go home. Yep, life can sure dish all of us out a crappy hand. The sting of wasps. The sting of death. The lingering impacts of things gone wrong.
We got an inch of rain last night. Standing in my mom’s back yard this early morning and to the SW behind the steers, the timber was releasing waves of steam which was forming and rolling up from the rocks of the woods. Surreal. A flurry of thoughts power-stroked rapidly through my mind…all my heart, all my soul, all my energy, like sinew, you are the air I breathe, you are the beat of my heart, you are the steps of my feet, you are the fiber of my being, you are me, life doesn’t have to be sad but it is. The inch of rain is nice but for some reason, “I don’t care.”

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September 9 at 6:53pm · Edited ·
~~ History Repeating Itself ~~
Here they are. The twin girls from the 1st calf heifer. Ms. Ducchess and I went and brought them home from the N place. While Ducchess and I were driving home with the twins I thought we’d just go ahead and gather up the virgin range sisters, spray their flies off and haul them home too, “Heck, why not.” We unloaded the twins and their mom, got her a bit to eat, opened the pen so she could stroll to water and we were off to the N and W to the Windmill. We took the Iron Steed and the spray rig. Through the pasture we drove…just me and Ducchess…aka the gate getter and the range sister wrangler. About 1/2 way through the pasture, down along the steep banked branch. I stopped and told Ducchess, “Hunt ’em up and bring ’em.” She bombed off the iron horse like a rocket, down the steep E bank, grabbing dirt and smokin’ up the W bank, out wide, in behind the heifers on the W side and down the bank to the E and catching the E side heifers. With her heifers all gathered up, Ducchess pushed them up the steep E bank and I drove on to get the gates at the corral. Ducchess and the virgin range sisters were not far behind and coming at a walk. A few tried to break and beat it down the steep bank at the corral and take off but swifty Ducchess was all over them. Little heading job and all were turned back and headed to the gate. Ducchess held the heifers in the pen on the come by side, the iron steed and I had the middle and the away side. The fly killing commenced. We got the gals all sprayed down and headed back home for Ole Red the flatbed and the trailer. Four loads of 9 and we had everything hauled home before noon. Tomorrow morning we will pour them and haul them back to another place to the N for the winter and breeding season.
It did not dawn on me until Ducchess and I were coming down the drive at home that I had repeated history this morning. Unknowingly, repeated history. Five years ago on this same day, Hawk and I headed to the Windmill and did the exact same thing. Gathered up some heifers and hauled them home a few days after we buried Daddy Bert. Today, Ducchess and I took on the same task a few days after we buried her mother Hawk. I wonder if Bert and Hawk realize their first born girl carried the same torch today as did Momma Dog Hawk five years ago when we lost Daddy Bert. I choked back the tears and looked at Ducchess as we crossed the autogate, “Ducchess, thank you for your help.” Then I realized I said the same words to Hawk five years ago after we accomplished our first work task after burying Bert. I started reciting Psalm 23 to calm myself. Then it dawned on me that I recited Psalm 23 as I fought back the tears with Hawk five years ago.
To try to shift my mind from the dark sadness, I grabbed the camera and took pictures of my new twins and found two photos of their sire. This heifer is a dandy. I’ve gotten 7 calves in the last 24 hours out of this bull and they are all as gentle as can be. Gestation is running 273 days, birth weights are in the mid 60’s, and the calves are built perfect, fly right out of their moms and hop right up to nurse. So far, all the heifer udders are in great shape. Time will tell how the milk quality is. ~Sadly, Life Goes On

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FB Post…Wednesday, September 09, 2015, 9:00 AM
~~ A Censored Mourning Morning ~~
With Cowdog Hawk safely buried in the backyard by the red maple next to the clothes line, I took on yesterday as if there was not going to be a tomorrow. Rain was in the forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday…like 1-2″ of much needed rain, “Yeah! Oh hell no!” Too dark at 5 AM, but by 6 AM I was shimmying up the ladder with a hammer, nails, caulking and no fear to tap down a shingle and clean up a roof valley before the rain was to arrive. 7 AM roof done, stuff put away, Cowdog Ducchess loaded up, to the home place, hook up the trailer, put two buckets of range cubes on the Iron Steed, and off to the N to gather some bred ready to pop 1st calf heifers. The heifers were nowhere in sight, a few “come on girls”, some waiting, and through the timber from the furthest point to the NE came two, then a few more, then a few more, all strung out, but in about 15 minutes there were 26 with the last one being pretty far behind. Thought to myself, “Hum, bet she has already calved.” As the heifers got closer and across the humped up 5 foot culvert at the ditch I could tell that a little brownish spot was trailing along with the big girls. A calf walking with a pace and stride of being a week old and not less. The heifers got to the corral gate and were just loaded with face flies and a new oncoming brood of horn flies. I knew the flies would be bad by now since the last spraying and I had the Iron Steed spray rig all ready to go. I jingled the range cubes in a large arc in the larger corral pen of grass, went back to the gate, kept my mouth shut so I didn’t suck a pack of flies up as the heifers strolled through the gate and tossing my head and motioning my free hand to brush the flies from my face. Bastards. This pasture of gals have not been on the garlic concoction the past few weeks since I have been nursing Cowdog Hawk so the flies had a leg up on me and the young with calf bovine sisters. The little calf was indeed about a week old and she was as gentle as a couch poodle. Score one for the yearling bull that sired these little chiggers. She is a nice size of 65 pounds, built square and a flat back, shapely square hips, feminine and friendly as all get out. She walked with a stride of being special and important. Momma Dog Hawk would have looked at her with approval, “A new baby. How cute is she!” Ducchess and I did an “away to me” and eased the heifers on into the smaller pen, leaving the pair for last and putting them in the alley with one other soon to be mother. Then the fly killing commenced. Ducchess held the come by side, I had the away side, the Iron Steed had the middle and we worked with the wind to our drift advantage. Right to left, left to right and the occasional move it around to get the young range sisters to give me their other sides. A pass to the pair and the other soon to be young mother and Ducchess and I were done with the fly killing application. Off to home we went for Old Red the Flatbed and the trailer. Four loads later and at 10 AM crossing the home place autogate and here came a sprinkle of rain. It rushed over me, “We did it Ducchess. Home before the glorious rain.” While washing the semi-liquid grass out of the trailer there were a few rain drops pattering the roof. I felt a sense of sad accomplishment. Sniffling. Hawk would have loved the chore of the loading and hauling and the conversations to and from one place to the other. Loving, talkative eyes on the passenger side of Ole Red and a right shoulder slumped against the side of the seat. Yep, that would have been “us”. But that “us” was replaced with the upright sitting of Ms. Ducchess, looking straight ahead and giving me an occasional chatter to signal the fun she has in her work. Damn death. Damn future. Damn pain. Damn it all. The rain was not a rain. It sputtered out at about 100 drops, the sky lifted from light grey to a dingy grayish whiteness. I went in and grabbed the Fall 2014 calving folder, parked here in front of the ‘puter and began to peck, cipher doodles and notes, poke the information into the awaiting Excel spreadsheet and got all the last details of weaning weights and last year’s calving information into the Fall 2014 cow file. Then, found the cow file for the 1st calf heifers I just hauled home and printed it off for their calving data record sheet for Ole Red’s dash, put the calving book with the landscape spreadsheet data and noted the 1st calf that so graciously strolled home with her mom and her aunties…the other soon to be range sister mothers. Before you knew it, it was 2 PM. I went to check how things were going in the dry lot where I had put the soon to be mother range sisters. Across the fence, peering, scanning and I spy 2 new babies up and sucking, “WT!” Yep, two fresh out of the gestational chambers were two new baby bovines. A leg swing up over the fence, scouting more and I see a third and fourth range sister were doing the stroll. Thinking to myself,”Damn glad I got these girls home this morning.” I just did not want to face calving at the N place in the midst of all the brush and cedars and coyotes and stick tights and I wanted them home for the breeding season. Accomplishment in such a sad time in my life was not exactly joyous but I knew deep down that I’d be damn glad I got the task done when I did. After the stubborn pace of “poke me with a stick” doing cowdog chores, I went back to check on the new baby bovines and their mothers. Alas, here was a freshly out of the gestational chamber baby being rolled around and then ignored by the new mother who knew the rolling ball was hers yet she wanted “the other baby” too. “Really? Give me a break.” I picked up “the other baby”, hopped on the Iron Steed, drove to the W end of the lot, set the tike off, walked back and got its mother, strolled her to her tike and shut the gate, leaving the “I want that one” heifer with bewilderment and a “WT” all over her face and mind. “Tough. That one is yours. Deal with it,” I muttered. Walking back to the gate I was greeted by a moo and calling of, “Hey, my little one is back at the pasture.” Upon further review, “Yep, you are right. I’ll get the trailer, another range sister for your company and I will take you back to find your little one.” I had wondered at 10 AM if this were the case with this range sister mother. So, I loaded up the two gals, hauled them back N to the pasture, and let them out. Off the range sister mother went with a mission and the pace of a mission. Ducchess and I left. This morning in the fog, ’round 7 AM, at the N place in the corral was the uncalved pal range sister, across the way along the timber line was the supposed mother. Ducchess and I get closer and sure ’nuff there is a brown spot near the new mother and a second brown spot out in the hay field, “WT? Twins?” A little closer and here is one calf running circles and enjoying being reunited with mom and a second calf calling out. Yes, indeed the beautifully built 1st calf range sister has two little ones…A and B…two little girls, “Yep, two girls!” Keeping close tabs on each just like her grandmother did when she had her first calves her first year. This new mom is the spitting image of her grandmother. A 1/4 mile stroll later, the twins and their mom and the other range sister pal were in the corral to wait for my return to load them up and take them on back to the home place. Just another reminder that death comes, drops you to the lowest point in your life and slaps you around to remind you, “Life goes on. Deal with it.” Damn death, “I hate you.” I love Momma Dog Hawk. I miss her.

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