Okay. Raise your hand if you have ever taken a personality test. You know, the kind that tells you if you are right brained, left brained, organized or fly by the seat of your pants.
Or, raise your hand if you already know that you are the type who likes to have things lined out, vs the type who like to wing it.
I am very much the type who likes to know what is going on, when it's happening, who will be there and why we are doing this thing. I discovered this through one of those online tests after I discovered that rows of down hay that don't fit into my baling pattern, totally fuzz my brain. When I learned that there really is a left brained, analytical, schedule, pattern type to my behaviors, I could accept them and make adjustments.
But there are still moments when ranch life throws me a curve ball and my brain twitches and I have to take a moment to readjust. Husbeast knows this and he does his best to lob those curve balls instead of line driving them, but cows...not so much. The weather also has a plot against anyone who likes to plan much.
It's basically a daily adjustment.
Take now for instance. Husbeast made the call about a week ago to knock hay down. It usually takes about 4 days for the hay to be dry enough to bale. When he started, that was going to line out right for a soils class we wanted to be at. It was, ahem, scheduled about a month in advance.
Two days after that first section was cut, Husbeast went to check it and then went on up the mountain to check the cows. When he came back the report was not good. The cows hadn't exactly split up evenly and about 100 pair were watering at two troughs that are spring fed. They got to fighting over the water and busted the line. So instead of pretending to be intelligent animals and heading to the river, they stayed and fought over a garden hose like people Black Friday shopping.
Our new "plan" was for me and Katlyn to head up the mountain horseback the next morning and take as many cows as we could find at the trough, around the mountain where there are more springs and no one can fight. Well, they can, they just don't have a legit reason to...
That next morning, Katlyn headed out to catch the horses and came flying back in the house about 30 seconds later.
"I think we have a broken pipe. There's water running all over the yard and it starts behind the dogs."
I can't quote me or Husbeast because I would have to pay you all a dollar for the cuss jar at a nickel per word.
New plan! (Insert stressed emoji here). Katlyn and I would still head up the mountain while Weebeast and Husbeast fixed the pipeline. Then he'd head up.
Katlyn and I headed out and picked up two pair that had dropped back down the switchback to mother up. They weren't thrilled about hiking and fought us a bit. We finally made the top with them and started grabbing cows as we hit the upper gate and rode the mile to the trough. We found about 70 pair and busted them off the troughs. They were not happy about it either. They turned back and pouted and tried to hang out at the garden hose instead of believing that we were taking them to the Holy Grail of watering holes. They took every opportunity they knew of to either duck back to the trough or to head to the river. We finally convinced them we were right when we hit the canyon and they couldn't turn around. They lined out nearly single file, each with a calf, and hit the trail to the big pond. Katlyn and I sat at the top of the hill and aired our horses out while we watched them head to water.
I kinda wanted to stick my tongue out at them and say "told you so." But I didn't. It took quite a lot of effort for me to not behave that way...
As we backtracked and headed home, I fully expected to see Husbeast at the trough. We had been gone for three hours and I thought surely that was enough time to get things handled. He wasn't there. I began to twitch a little. We didn't see him until we were nearly home. The pipeline had taken longer to solve because there is apparently a tiny leak from the irrigation ditch to the trench he dug. Every time he thought he had the link pinpointed, he'd come up empty. He finally recruited Weebeast to watch for a water spout and he went back to turn water on. Turns out that extra water inlet had him off by about three feet. Once he had that mystery solved, the rest was easy. He was back on track to get the trough fixed. And we were back on track to get hay baled the next day, Day 3, and get to the class a bit late, but we'd be there.
That's part 2 and you can read about it here.
In this case, those couple of days of events that were completely unplanned for, really had me revisiting my coping mechanisms for things that don't go as planned. Ranch life is definitely not for the kind who like to have control of their calendar. I have to count to ten a lot. I have learned to roll with it, I'm learning to adjust to the moments that change plans. Cows. The weather. Equipment break downs. The unknowns keep us hopping around here.
When people ask if we can attend an event, you know, even something that we plan and invite them to, my answer has become, "I'm not sure. We will have to see what happens."
That's a hard sentence for me to use. I like my calendar. I like schedules. I like plans.
So much of what we do happens with only a moment's notice. Sometimes the day is right for the task even if it wasn't intended for a week or so. Some days, those things don't fuzz me and other times it takes me a moment.
My schedule these days is
3. bale hay
4. ride Maynard
They happen in that order. I just know something is going to come up and that's going to get rearranged. When it does, my reaction will most likely look like someone walking into a screen door they don't know exists.