Last night there were all sorts of wicked, wild storms in the area; super-high winds, plenty of tornados and downed trees to usher in this month’s Strawberry Full Moon, that was in full glory this morning of Friday the 13th. I’m a few hours late for my Public Learning Challenge, but I think we’ll all survive — because we all survived!
One of my favorite Facebook pages is The Crafty Kitchen Witch, because it’s all about growing herbs, paying attention to Moon Cycles, invoking the power of stones and minerals, ETC., but what it is NOT ABOUT is love spells and scary-hocus-pocus trickery. I like the nature-wisdom aspect of it all.
Last November, I attended a brilliant Sonia Choquette workshop in Chicago, along with an amazing group of my now-new-peers, peers whom share a desire to live an extraordinarily rich and vibrant life. At the end of this three-day workshop, I declared that I want to be a Modern Farmer. These words felt as if they came rushing out of nowhere, and I’m still not clear I know exactly what being a modern farmer means for me; but my path has definately veered this direction since making the declaration.
Pay no mind to the fact that I was living in my deceased mother’s empty condo in Woodstock, Illinois and was once again “without employment”, which is jargon for “unemployed”.
All things told, I knew swift changes were headed my way.
A week later I was in San Miguel de Allende for Thanksgiving with Reed Burns, my crazy cowboy of an ex-husband. We found our way back to each other, something that surprised us both because we had both said in the past that we were DONE. We have become family again and more important, are friends this time too.
A few months later, here I am in Driftwood, Texas, living in Reed’s 1940s farmhouse on a few acres of land, across the road from Reed, as he lives on the main ranch. I’ve got my dog, a new job (more on than later, when I’m sure I still have a job HAHA), and up until this morning, I had 28 cows living in my front yard.
I wouldn’t quite describe this as being a “modern farmer”, but it certainly is a million miles closer to being one than I was last November.
These are Red Angus cows, and are most commonly raised for beef production in the US. Reed’s family ranch is named Charro Ranch, and the cows of Charro have almost 300 acres to graze upon before they go to market twice a year. These are, without a doubt, very HAPPY COWS. They roam, they graze, they reproduce, they raise their young, they yell at each other, they do it all over again.
We moved the cows to this property, across the street from Charro Ranch, in order for them to maintenance the land and keep it safe from grass fires. Exactly four weeks later, there is no more grass for them to eat and this morning they went home.
I adored having the cows here; there were back at the house just about every other day because they work the land in a circular motion, and it took two days to move around the fourteen acres. When they were close by, there were two gals in particular that would hop the fence and dine in the front yard. At first I would escort Helen and Syliva back across the fence line, but then I began to enjoy having them in the yard. Soon their babies joined them and I loved having coffee with the girls and their kids, every other morning in the yard.
They have personalities; some bigger than others, and I enjoyed getting to know them. There is a solid calm about cows that I really admire, they emit a calming affect. Reed thinks I’m crazy for this, but I know what I feel. My dad used to reminisce about how heartbroken he was as a teenager after he sold his favorite cow, Daisy, so he could buy his first car. His eyes would well up with tears every time he told that story and we would laugh at him for getting all emotional over a cow. “Don’t have a cow over a cow Dad, ha-ha-HA!”
I always liked that story and now I get it.
Maybe a modern farmer has cows that cut her lawn and then they go home; I’m not sure.
I am still sorting this out and I love the daily exercise of this life because although I have very few certainties, I am certain that I have never been more awake than I am these days. It’s a whole-lotta-Texas to take in, and sometimes I need a breather from all this country thunder, but *yahoo* I’m living in the Wild, Wild West and am totally grateful for this opportunity.
Recently I was driving out of Charro Ranch on a pleasant warm day, when I saw one of the workers standing out on the road waving his arms — and then I saw a cow close to the road. One of the cows had somehow hopped a fence or discovered a broken fence line, and was now out there close to the highway. People drive crazy fast down the Texas highways, so there’s no need to discuss the possibilities of a sad outcome here; there was no time, I jumped into action!
I had to get this cow on the other side of the fence NOW!
I obviously had never rounded up a cow before and especially using my jeep as my lasso to get him back home. But after I cut left in front of the cow, he quickly turned around and started to run towards the main gate. “WOW THAT WAS EASY”, I said to myself. But wait, no…. there’s a cow gate at the main gate, and cows won’t walk over nor jump a cow gate to get out, let alone get back in. So as I leisurely drove back to the front gate, this cow, whom I shall call RALPH, looked at the main gate and then kept right on running. WHOAAAA NELLIE RALPH!
I ran with Ralph for about 3 miles down the road, trying to get him to turn around and stay out of traffic. Ralph did not care if a semi trailor was hauling ass up the highway, he would dart out into the road and I would lay on the horn. I had no fear of getting creamed on the highway; I was all about saving Ralph and getting him back home. But Ralph kept running the wrong way. I yelled at him, “Are we going to see a show in Austin??!!” He didn’t respond. Yikes!!! When I would cut right in front of him, he would back up and cross the road. I called Reed and got voicemail; who does one call in a situation like this? Cowbusters?
Ralph & I kept running like Forrest Gump down the Texas highway.
And then a pickup truck pulled up alongside me; a woman yelled out, “GET HIM TO THE NEXT RANCH GATE, I’LL OPEN IT UP FOR HIM!” And off she blasted.
Ralph and I ran up the highway and like the friendly cowgirl said, the gate was open and Ralph ran in, without bothering to say thanks or bye or THAT WAS HILARIOUS or anything!
I got out to talk to the woman; she was the horse caretaker at a neighboring ranch and ony wanted to help — which she did so tremendously. No one was hurt, no accidents were caused and Ralph was safe inside our neighbor’s ranch! I was now so relieved and estatic about what just happened and that nothing happened except that Ralph was safe!!!!!!!!!
I made a FLIPAGRAM of the adventure! Just click this photo:
That was an awesome freakin’ day, thank you RALPH!!