Where are they supposed to be? On the floor while I sweep something, put something in the laundry or rinse a dish or two in the sink.
I know, I know, that damn garage.
But it’s been a busy week at the ranch.
Well, more technically it’s been a busy week in town as the human inhabitants of the Veeder Ranch were pulled in a hundred different directions by their day jobs that include planning big events, helping establish new businesses, serving on committees, sitting in on important meetings, maintaining oil wells, delivering drinks, selling shoes, snuggling a baby and singing for their supper.
But there is no rest for the weary around here. Yes, we have jobs in town, but we have cattle out here too. And when your day job is heated and buzzing and full on busy, you can bet your fancy khakis the cows are getting out.
It’s all about timing.
So pops and I took the morning to saddle up and take off after a bull who was out visiting the sexy neighbor cows in the adjacent pasture. I will admit I took my time opening my eyelids and rolling my weary body out of the cocoon of my room, because although I love a good morning ride on the top of a horse, I was realistic about what was waiting for me outside my cozy doors.
It was what kept me lingering with slurpy sips on my morning coffee and taking the long way to the barn to stop and pull up unruly burdock and kick a couple cow turds…
because we were chasing a bull today.
A single bull who made new girlfriends and settled into the clover in a new pasture.
A bull with attitude.
Because there’s no bull without attitude.
Anyway, I’ve been here before, behind a bull who has decided that the grass is greener and the ladies friendlier on the other side of the fence…so he hops right on over with no intentions of coming home.
Now, I brought my little camera along knowing full well there would be very little chance to whip it out, so the documentation of the bull we found standing a few yards away from the gate who spotted our smiling faces and immediately turned to run off with his women in the opposite direction, is a little patchy.
Forgive me, but when you’re heading up a steep, muddy, slippery hill at full speed to turn the cows who have no intention of turning it’s hard to take a good photo. Things get a little blurry.
But as I was taking direction from pops and recalling all the lessons I learned in similar situations like this growing up (i.e.: how to move a bull with a few cows in order to get him to cooperate, how not to push him too hard, how not to get him running, how to stay the hell out of the way, how to let the cow horse under you do what she does best and how not to lose the shirt tied around your waist while running at full speed after cows it turns out you didn’t really need to be running after in the first place) I got to thinking that the techniques used to move bulls are similar to the techniques I have been using on the man I call husband for years.
Let me try to explain here.
See, husband and I have an ongoing struggle in our household when it comes to getting big tasks accomplished. The damn garage is a perfect example. We will agree that the garage needs to be cleaned out and torn down. Great. But from there it gets hairy. Because as soon as that statement passes my lips, I am out there waist deep in junk throwing it all over my back and out the door willy nilly like some cartoon character with no plan about where to go from there.
Husband resists this technique with his heart and soul. Because he likes to think it out, see the outcome seventy-five different ways, make a full fledged plan to get it started and then stand back and think some more before he proceeds, weeks later, to open the garage doors, pick up each item and turn it over in his hands a few times before deciding to toss it.
The same goes with closet organization, dishes, laundry folding, construction projects, yard work and any kind of purchase.
This behavior, however, is null and void when it comes to bringing home a new dog, as you have probably already figured out by the existence of the pug.
Ok. Mooooving right along.
I have known this man for a solid thirteen years and in those solid thirteen years this quality of contemplation when it comes to a task, big or small, has never wavered.
Oh, I have fought it, yes I have. Just like I have fought a bull who prefers to run the opposite way, take after your horse at full speed or stay in the brush, thank you very much. The outcome of the choice to argue, with bull or husband, is never good. In fact it usually results in a further run in the opposite direction, a sarcastic swipe at my ways of jumping the gun and at least double the time in the brush or the easy chair.
But after some time spent battling with man and beast I am finally beginning to see the light…and damn if that light hasn’t revealed that some of the rules are the same.
So wives I offer you these tips from a woman who has attempted to nudge the most unruly of the male species in the house and in the pasture only to come out on the other end with a bull through the gate and a husband filling garbage bags in the garage.
Grab your pencils and let’s get started with today’s lesson:
On bulls and husbands
The first tip is the most important….
1) If it’s your idea, find a way to make it his. If a bull is dead set on heading south and you want him to go west, let him go south. There’s no use in fighting it, eventually all those gates lead to the place you need to go.
2) Ask once. Ask nicely. Wait patiently. What kind male soul, man or beast, wouldn’t respond positively to that?
Which leads me to…
3) Unless you want to be disappointed, at home or in the pasture, forget about deadlines.
Which will help you when dealing with the next tip…
4) Once he’s on it, let him do it his way, even if your way is easier/shorter/faster/smarter. In the pasture, as soon as the bull is heading in the right direction, your best bet is to stay back a bit, watch his head for any signs of straying, and let him go. He might weave a little, go up some nasty rocks or gnarly trees, but as long as he’s getting there, leave him be. Same goes with your man ladies.
But better than standing back is this…
5) Find some company that is moving in the right direction. To get a bull to move he needs his lady friends along for the walk. Same goes in the household. You want him to do something, help him for crying out loud! That, or just start the task yourself. I mean the best way I can get husband to fix that gutter is to pull out our giant ladder in an attempt to do it myself…
So there you have it, five simple rules that I have found to work to my benefit about 80% of the time. What about the other 20% you ask? Well ladies, that’s why we have rule number six…
6) When all else fails, let him stay in the brush…eventually he will get thirsty and come out.
Implement these this weekend and let me know your results…
Oh, and try not to lose your shirt while you work, because then all bets are off.