In blog posts for the next little while the reality of names and naming is going to be coming up again and again. Calving season brings that to reality. It doesn’t neccesarily have to be this way. Many people get through their work as ranchers using numbered tags and everything goes well. Many people go their whole lives without naming their bathroom and that also seems to work out just fine. Here at the Bar MW Ranch we seem to have a thing for names. Russell would say that it is partly because of his numerous head injuries, which he thinks have affected his ability to remember numbers well, making the use of cow names easier when wanting to make clear which cow needs attention of some kind or has become grouchy and needs to be watched out for extra carefully. Lately our cow names have gone beyond common human names. Some unexpected words will be part of the story as more gets shared about the cows and their babies.
Now about that bathroom. There has been an important shift in the Kyle-Bayliss household in the last few days. For more than 7 years, since we moved into our house, our bathroom has had a name. It was titled after the first visitor who really made use of the bathroom. In those early days in our house we really made use of the bathroom name, Gina: “Mom, where is the mop?” ……Me: “it’s in Barb’s Bathroom”, everyone knew what I meant. In recent years Barb hasn’t been coming around and I would say we have really reverted to calling it “The Company Bathroom”. But then along came Diane, the rabbit Morgan brought home. After Diane’s passing happened, after she had taken up residence in the company bathroom for almost 3 days, Russell brought an idea to the family. It wasn’t a motion or a suggestion really, it was more a matter of him making a switch that he hoped the rest of us would follow along with. He started calling that bathroom “The Diane Mellencamp Memorial Bathroom”. Morgan feels it should just be the “The Diane the Rabbit Memorial Bathroom.” Russell feels the Mellencamp part of the name is important because it reminds us of the origin of her name. John Cougar Mellencamp recorded the song “Jack and Diane” in the 80s. Morgan says he knows this song because he is not a fan of current pop music. When he determined the rabbit was female (mostly a huge guess) he figured he could bring some sense of her species (JACK rabbit) into her name by calling her Diane. Would you agree this naming business is getting a bit silly? I am totally open to the name change for our bathroom but I am a bit skeptical that over the years the name will hold up. Picture it with me if you will…..Jillian home from University in 5 years, “Mom where do we keep the extra shampoo?”, me, “oh honey its still in the same place, check the closet in the Diane Mellencamp Memorial Bathroom.” It might hold. During the day today I did a bit of research about names and their significance. I learned that the expression “Whats in a name?” came from the Shakespeare play “Romeo and Juliet”, I learned that names are very important for giving us identity and belonging. I learned some other stuff too, but this is getting long.
And on another note, about names, yesterday I invited some ideas for the name for Kathy’s calf. There were some really good ideas but my cousin Lisa was the most persuasive in presenting her thoughts and so the calf of Kathy the cow, 2021, will hereby be known as Lisa. That makes me very happy too.