I wanted to title this post “Chariots of Fire” but then thought that might raise alarm that we had a fire here, and thankfully we didn’t.  The thing is that this week my sisters were chatting back and forth posing and answering questions relating to my Mom’s paperwork.  I piped in that I wouldn’t be free to add in to the conversation, that I was on the run yet for a solid couple hours.  I wasn’t exercising, just to be clear. My sisters offered encouragement for the work I was doing, it was Jan who really addressed the situation when she sent me a YouTube link with the theme song to “Chariots of Fire”, iconic in our generation for its stirring race running scene/music.  Hearing that song did inspire me.  It also helped me to see the common thing that shaped the focus of the days activities, and that is, chariots of the modern variety……..vehicles. 

At about 5:08am (on Tuesday) Russ was in the bathroom attached to our bedroom starting his day.  Unfortunately he bumped his ankle on the foot pump part of our spin mop pail, it caused nerve pain up to his hip and he let out a loud and slightly harsh string of iffy words.  That woke me up.  He apologized but it seemed I was awake enough that more sleep would be hard to come by.  Since I was awake Russ invited me to come with him to do the morning check of the cows.  I was not really into that, I mean what would you choose, staying in a warm bed with a cup of coffee or heading out into a chilly morning?  The thing is, Russell had caught the tail end of a prairie chicken mating dance the morning before.  He said this time limited and seasonal activity may not be viewable much longer.  There was a chance we could catch it.  I was so torn.  I love my bed.   Yet, he described it as being an amazing natural thing of beauty and he said the male prairie chickens sound like motorcycles as they sing and dance.  This is what got me, a bird that sounded like a motor cycle.  I got myself ready, Russ made me a coffee to go and off we went, accompanied by our pack of dogs.   We loaded into the jeep, our somewhat rickety vehicle with amazing suspension, it is fantastic for cow checking.  It would be the first vehicle of importance in this day.

The jeep in it’s natural habitat.  (Picture taken on a different day.)
Bingo appearing to be at the wheel of our faithful jeep. (A summer 2020 picture)
The jeep last summer, under a rainbow. Except for a lot of problems with fuses this $2500 purchase has served us really well and saved wear and tear on the essential trucks.
Family time in the jeep, enroute to the cows and the prairie chickens. Life is never dull with Coffee dog around.
  This was kindv’e how we looked as we found the prairie chickens and watched with interest.  We could see them moving but didn’t hear anything.  Shute.  We had to keep our distance.  We wished we had thought to bring our binoculars.
This cow is special to me, she is named “Kumi” after a friend from Japan who travelled with me in “Up With People”, Kumi had calved not long before Russ and I arrived.  She has the morning sun in her eyes.  What is it about morning sun?  It seems especially good to me.
With the cow and heifer herds checked, the prairie chickens observed and breakfast delivered to the sweet girl in quarantine we headed to the corral for the work of the day.  We were getting three semi-loads of cow/calf pairs ready to go to pasture.  The pairs were in the holding pen at the north end of the corral.  When the riders were sure that a Mama and baby were correctly matched they brought them down the alleyway and I counted them as they went by.  We needed three groups of 40 pairs.
This barn cat kept me company for a while.
This is not a picture from yesterday, it is from December 2019.  I was not thinking about taking many pictures while we were working so I missed getting the shot that would capture the 2nd chariot of our day, the semi.    Using this picture I get to show Gina hard at work on the ranch.  Haven’t seen that lately, we miss our girl.  We are super grateful to get to work with Harold, he has trucked cows for us for years.  The process of getting the truck loaded starts with separating the cows and calves.  Including the time for pairing up and counting it ends up being a pretty time consuming thing.  Harold arrived for his first load shortly after 10am, getting three loads ready and loaded took us til about 3pm.  We used every minute that Harold was driving back and forth to get each load prepped, and we had a quick lunch. (A Liz Griffin Photography Image).
Harold’s truck is our cattle chariot of choice for hauling the big loads.
(A Liz Griffin Photography Image).
Cousin Laurie was out to help us again for the duration of the day, this time it was a planned thing.  After getting the first truck load sent off he and Morgan went up to the 7 quarters of land we rent up near Manor where the pairs were being delivered. They made sure that all pairs got  where they were supposed to be and were successfully reunited with each other (the cows and calves don’t travel together in the truck).  Morgan should have been at school but we were super grateful to have him in the saddle.   After the truck was loaded for the 3rd time I checked the herds again, was relieved to find no troubles and then dashed to town for groceries and got some beer just at closing time.  On my way home I caught the guys back together and still at work in the calving pasture.  We ripped open a bag of chips and each had a beer, (Morgan had a pop.)   It was a wonderful part of the day.
Laurie got this picture of us and in the background you see the 3rd chariot of the day.  Where we are sitting is special.  It is on land we rent, the foundation we are sitting on was once part of the home of a woman we have known and worshipped with at our church for a long time.  We call this little cement pad “Nell’s Porch.”
Russ sent me these pictures.  In that early morning check of the cows we noted that Baltimore had birthed twins.  It seemed wise to not leave her to mother both of them, not when we had the cow Owl with milk and no baby, (the Mom from the c section the day before.)  So here the guys were performing what they called a child abduction.  I would say this is dark humour, they all have the tenderest hearts ever, but after working so hard and seeing so much, sometimes you make dark jokes.  We had the van at the pasture anyways, so they jumped into what they jokingly called their abduction van and worked at getting the calf that Baltimore seemed to favour least.
That is Morgan hanging out the window, he is getting a rope going. 
With the abduction completed things were a bit chaotic in the back of the van.
Here is the van back in the fall, used for the purpose it was intended, to haul food and supplies needed for the meals offered while trailing cows home, and to give some wind shelter. (A Liz Griffin Photography Image).
The van is set up so that 10 people can eat inside. (A Liz Griffin Photography Image).
Here is the cowboy that dreamed up the idea of a Bayliss Chuckwagon, he is a master auto body guy and he created the van and gifted it to us. We are really enjoying it. This is David Powell. (A Liz Griffin Photography image).
The man who made this statement was the main character in the story “Chariots of Fire.”
I relate to this.
I found this graphic online, the action in this picture really reminds me of how life feels lately. I believe this was the movie Ben Hur.

Its now Friday evening, I have poked away at this. I have said I want my blog to be real so I want to share that the series of days recorded in the last few blog posts have come at a cost. I am not superwoman. I was toast on Wednesday. I had high hopes that with my own agenda to guide the day I would get some order restored in my life. It didn’t turn out that way, I was down and out, I was physically tired and for some reason emotionally fragile. I am not altogether myself yet.