Thursday, January 13, 2011

I Fixed It Myself!

Life on a ranch involves a lot of teamwork. Well, we all know that any successful marriage requires an adequate amount of teamwork, but it seems that ranching takes that teamwork theme just a step further, especially if one of the partners involved is employed off the ranch.
I don't mind chopping ice (it was a whopping 24 degrees this morning when I went out at 7:30--a virtual heat wave!). I don't mind fixing fence; in fact, it's somewhat soothing if it's not interrupted by the impatient buzzing of a rattlesnake. But that's another blog. I don't mind feeding the cows, especially during calving season when all the little babies are scampering around, playing king of the mountain. Ever notice how the 'cattle cafeteria' is always open--even when the roads are closed, schools are shut down, and the rest of the world has come to a standstill?
But the true teamwork challenge comes when something breaks down. In the perfect world, everything should work according to plan on every day of the week. If there is a 'break down' time, that should be the weekend when the spouse is around. But noooo, it happens during sub-zero days when I'm trying to hurry around to make an appointment somewhere. This was one of those mornings. No water in the first stock tank. "Jean, you can fix this," I say to myself, half-heartedly expecting an answer or at least some type of argument. Didn't happen (the argument, that is). I took a healthy whack at the ice with the axe--minimal damage to the water spout located in the middle of the tank when an iceberg fell on it (kinda like the Titanic only in smaller proportions). Water trickled out. I patted myself on the back, thinking I was successful. But, wait, the water should GUSH out. Check the float chamber. Ahhh, there's the problem. Smaller whack with the axe results in a good water flow and absolutely NO damage to the float. Check the tank--water's now gushing into the tank. Oh yeah, Jean, you're good. And you didn't even have to call the hubby on the cell phone to tell him to come home and fix the tank. All is well, cows were impressed. So impressed, in fact, that they chose to water at a different tank. That's gratitude for you. Happy trails...

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