Branding Day 2009

Monday lived up to it’s reputable name last week when neighbors stopped by to tell my husband and me that the “girls” had gone wild and were seen a mile or so away from where they were supposed to be.

About thirteen head of those sassy heifer calves found a weak spot in a gate and made it as far as a county road cattle guard before we found them. Between calling them and repeating our long and two short honks that we use to get them to come to the feed bunks, we managed to get the runaways back with the rest and tightened up the gate a little better.

Later in the week my husband and I geared up for our Sunday branding. I told him yesterday to remind me next year to never suggest doing ours back to back with the neighbors (theirs was on Saturday) as I nearly dropped dead from exhaustion last night.

I did more work beforehand than necessary because I wanted to help gather branding day morning, and wrestle some calves instead of being stuck in the kitchen the whole time. I paid dearly, but it was worth it being with my husband and the kids in the branding corral. It had been about ten years since I’d been able to ride or wrestle more than a couple calves on our branding day. We cooked up all the neighbors’ and our calf nuts on a piece of channel iron that my husband welded on top of the branding stove while we branded— we estimated that we cooked over 400 nuts!

We branded the kids’ three calves with their HR brand first and made a big deal out of it. Our son ran the branding iron on one calf and he and I and his sister, wrestled the other two.

I tallied about 35 who showed up. A few of the young guys left before dinner to go to another branding to help wrestle calves down by Buffalo Gap.My standard branding day feed generally consists of coffee and (48!) homemade cinnamon rolls after the sorting is done. For dinner, BBQ ribs, roast beef, doctored up mashed potatoes (potatoes with extra ingredients), gravy, homemade cream corn, homemade bread, tossed salad, peanut butter pie, cherry cheesecake, and extra salads and desserts other ladies bring, plus meat, cheese and veggie tray, crackers, chips and taco dip.It was a great day, but I was beat and glad once branding day was behind us.

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