Friday, December 30, 2016

Fence Building with an Adolescent Girl

The title of this post sounds terrifying. It's Christmas break, I'm on vacation (trying to burn up time so that I don't lose it), and things need to get done out in Carmine. Primarily, we need a fence around the cabin to keep the dog in and a wintertime explosion of calves out.

I have heard stories about how prolific Norman the bull is. He is a master of breaking fences to get to a cow he fancies; no matter how far down the road she may be. But lately, I'd say he's managed to satisfy the love craving within his own heard.

Norman is very white and very ugly.  However, he knocked himself out on the cuteness factor this winter. Especially this one whom I've named Napoleon Dynamite because of his frizzy frontal fro.

Although he's very young and inexperienced where begging for range cubes is concerned, he seems to be a fast learner. This little guy is not opposed to a little tug on his fro if he thinks it will produce a goodie. Easily the most mellow calf I've ever encountered. I think he's going to be a major pest, so I need a fence fast.

Hate looks at 8 a.m.

As many already know, I'm a morning person, so I wanted to get up and get out to the property early. That means a certain 13 year old girl would not be sleeping until noon. It sucked for her, but I flipped the light on by 8 a.m., took the nasty glare without batting a eye, loaded up the truck, and had us on the way before 10 a.m.

Once she was up and awake, Elizabeth turned out to be a very good sidekick, and to my surprise, fence builder. Granted, this is going to cost me some money, but that's O.K. One of my parenting goals is to teach her the value of hard work.  After spending some time with the cows  - I mean, it is cowland these days - we got started setting fence posts.

(I'm naming the little tan one Bart because he totally looks like Bart Simpson)

Two Capricorns make a lot of noise

I wanted to get at least one line of t-posts driven in one day. With Elizabeth as my helper, I figured the learning curve would be steep, and it would take way longer than it should. Let me tell you. This kid is a natural. We got those posts driven in less than an hour. She asked to be the pile driver, and I agreed because it's easy to pull up a post if it goes in crooked. She was efficient, and her posts were straight. That means I had time to dig the hole and set the corner post.

We finished by 1:45, went and had some lunch, then went to visit an old high school friend. And we still beat Tammy home! What makes this so amazing is that Tammy and I are both Capricorns. We get stuff done. But when we get stuff done together, it's two too many bosses on the job. So the arguing is thick. The posts may not be straight because the technique will vary greatly between us. We'll get it done, and get it done right, but not without a lot of noise.

Elizabeth is an easy work partner. 

Since we did so well on day one, we went back out to Carmine for a second day and finished driving all the posts; including the final corner post. Elizabeth knows how to square a corner, she's an expert with a pile driver, and she is quite pleasant. (She told me we work so well together because she lets me tell her what to do; unlike "Mama.")

It's time to stretch some fencing. And I need to do something about that pile of brush, as well as move those monster logs somewhere else. We'll have many more to add to the pile in the next year, so they need a less visible place to live until we can get them milled for use.

Stay tuned for fence stretching. 

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