Me and Scout

Me and Scout

30 July 2013

Weekly Ride...and Walk

I know it is rare for me to do a blog entry two consecutive days, but let’s face it.  Yesterday’s entry was lame.  I spent a little time yesterday thinking if anything interesting had actually happened since the previous entry and I had forgotten that I wanted to write about Frisbee Golf.

Our family reunion every year used to involve a lot of physical activity.  Decades ago, we would actually have cows in the pens.  We would eat, visit, the all change clothes and go out to brand.  That ended in the ‘80’s somewhere.  I guess we realized that July is not the time to brand and a lot of family was getting left out of that.  Later, we changed to more traditional 4th of July sports.  We played volleyball, badminton, threw the Frisbee around, that kind of thing.  However, that kind of faded away too as Granddad and Grandmother got too old to set any of it up beforehand.

This year, as the cousins and I were talking prior to the actual event, we set up a Country Frisbee Golf course.  Now, the extreme Country version of this would use cow pies, but we are just sophisticated enough to use actual Frisbees.  In fact, my cousin Mike brought some actual Frisbee golf discs.  Where we were not so sophisticated is using old protein tubs instead of baskets.  This did make it easier and since none of us (except Mike) have any experience at all at this kind of thing, that was a good thing.  We set up nine “holes” that started from in front of Grandmother’s house and worked around through the Orchard past the Horse Barn, toward the back of our house, down the camp road, and culminating close to the cattle guard.  This course was really a lot of fun.  Mike and I ran it again after every one left just to establish a good feeling of what par should be on each hole.  I will eventually mark the coordinates with a GPS (once again our family blends technology and primitivism) and take the tubs up so the place doesn’t look trashy.  We will definitely do it again next year.

I may have mentioned before that I have a daily task list and a weekly task list.  Now, I rarely get to all of this, but today I did get to the weekly task of riding Scout.  We discovered yesterday that we have a bull in our pasture that is not ours.  I have seen him before with some others in the pine plantation south of us, but somehow he has gotten in.  I figured that I would check the fences on Scout since the Gator is up on blocks (another story).  This is just the kind of thing that he is good for.  The horse has a good pace and will keep it.  At one point, I was just sitting there with my arms folded while he loped along.  If he wanted to trot, I let him trot.  If he wanted to walk, I let him walk.  We went across the Savanna to the corner of the New Hay Field and checked the whole South perimeter and much of the West perimeter.  We then went back over the East and walked Scout, checking the fence up to the corner of the New Hay Field.  I went into the gap at the Southeast corner of the Savanna into the neighboring pasture.  There is a good road there and a gap at the Northeast corner and I figured I would look for sign down that road.  When I got to the gap at the other end I learned that it had been stapled shut.  I led him around in thick thicket, trying to work my way onto one of the roads that leads back to the horse pasture.  I had to give it up.  Not only was I not finding even a decent pig trail, I was getting turned around.  I did not want to have to call Anna to go to the corner and blow the horn so I could find my way out.  Now, those of you who are not familiar with the Big Thicket may not understand this, but those of you who are know what thick can be.  In the end, I came out, found the corner, then rode back up to the gap that I used to come in.

I did not find the hole.  I did not find any cow-sign, but it was a good day.  Winston Churchill once said, “No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.”  I heartily agree.  Even when you spend some of that hour hunkered down leading through the thicket it’s still true.

29 July 2013

Slow and Steady

It is hard to live without a routine that you are forced to stick with.  We have done okay, I reckon, but several things make a real routine tough.  First of all, no one is making us do it.  I will not get fired for not getting up and working on fence or the horse or what have you.  Second, it is stupid hot and humid a lot of the time.  This factor is not a show-stopper, but it can certainly slow you down or cause you to do something inside, especially if you don’t start early enough.  Finally, the slightest schedule change can throw a wrench in it.  Vacation Bible School in the evenings kind of messed us up (not that it wasn’t a really good thing to do).  I have also had to make a trip to Normangee to help out Dad and will probably go again tomorrow.  Not that I mind this, I’m proud to do it, I just need to get better about not letting things like this throw me off.  However, I think we are getting back into it, albeit slowly.

We had a successful Family reunion on the 6th of July.  That was a real motivator.  We did a lot of mowing and tidying up to that point.  The following week was VBS.  Last week we did some fence repair after some really good rains and winds, then we went to help Dad.  Since the last blog entry, we learned that Dad has lymphoma.  He is undergoing chemotherapy, but the prognosis is really good.  Still, this treatment does not leave room for outside work, so we are helping him out when he needs it.  I will probably bring back some equipment tomorrow so we can start cutting hay here.  We have a lot of it.  If we can get it cut and sold, we will be in good shape for next year.

I also have to confess the summer austerity budget is getting to me.  Not much else.  We are rocking along steady-like.