The wood cookstove in the cabin at the Palace. Copyright 2010 Link Bar Ranch Life Photography. All rights reserved.
While the cows have it rather palatial, cow camps for people are rather, shall we say, rustic. My great grandparents, grandparents, and parents have all lived modestly. Having large homes and fancy cars has never been their priority. Many moon ago, when I was a young child, my grandparents and parents purchased this hillside to create this maternity ward. They disassembled an old chicken house and reused the wood to build this cabin. My grandmother came over to inspect the project. My grandfather was building on the cabin. Grandma said, “You can’t swing a cat in here!” (Meaning it was small.) Grandpa replied, “Why Ethel, it’s a palace!” And compared to what they had been using for accomodations during calving season, it was an improvement.
The rest of the room. Copyright 2010 Link Bar Ranch Life Photography. All Rights reserved.
While the cattle have had water pumped to troughs from the pump house for over 43 years, it’s only been in the last three years that water has been plumbed into the cabin. I am so grateful I no longer have to haul water in a bucket from the pump house into the cabin. I don’t cook as much on the wood stove. I bring a microwave.
Every year I scrub the walls, ceiling and floor before we move in. A year’s worth of dust shows in these pictures. But it doesn’t take long to get the place gleaming. The place may not be fancy, but it certainly will be clean. My parents used to put a bed in this room when they did the night heifer checking . My sisters and I stayed in our regular home and my grandmother would come over each morning and get us up so we could get ready to go to school. My Mom would try to be home in time to kiss us goodbye as we boarded the yellow school bus.
The addition to the first room. Copyright 2010 Link Bar Ranch Life Photography. All rights reserved.When my husband and I moved back to the ranch, we skidded a one room cabin that was elsewhere on the ranch over and attached it to the first room. We could put a bed for us and then a crib, and then a crib and twin bed, and then a crib and bunk beds as our young family grew. Then I did night heifer duty. Five of us slept in this room for two months every spring. We have some WONDERFUL memories of our times here. Seven years ago we purchased the neighbor's ranch. I was getting old enough that I no longer had the energy to work all night and then all day too, with maybe two hour snatches of sleep if I wasn't waiting on a heifer. So now I have the luxury of having Cliff do the night heifer checking duty. He likes it and does an excellent job. And I feel absolutely luxurious sleeping all night long. The fanciest outhouse in our county! Copyright 2010 Link Bar Ranch Life Photography. All rights reserved.
When the boys were young, we had an old out house that had a definite lean to it. It was also dark inside, and cold, and the boys were afraid to use it. One night #2 son was sick at both ends, and caring for him at the Palace was difficult. No indoor plumbing of any kind. Heat the water on the wood cook stove, and cleaning up the mess was more than I wanted to deal with. So I told Old Buzzard I was taking the sick kid home to indoor plumbing, flush toilets and hot and cold running water. So he had to do the night duty and then work all the next day.
It wasn’t long after, that a new outhouse, complete with a HEAT LAMP was built and installed!!! Woohooo!!!! A two holer no less!!! I scrub the walls, ceilings, floors and seats in it too. A broom and bucket of strong cleaning solution are a wonderful thing!!
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The vet cabinet in the barn. Copyright 2010 Link Bar Ranch Life Photography. All Rights reserved.
I also clean the barn. I bring some cats to help reduce the rodent population. I sweep everything out and then scrub it with a broom and bucket of strong cleaning solution too. The packrats take up residence in between our stays. And it smells of them. So I try to clean as thoroughly as possible.
The intensive care unit. Copyright 2010 Link Bar Ranch Life Photography. All rights reserved.
This is the ICU room. There is a heat lamp here to warm a chilled calf, I can hang an IV bag on the wall and treat a dehydrated calf. I paint it to lighten the room while I work in here. It also helps make the room easy to clean. Many women have to have cold or sick calves in their houses, but I am glad we don’t have to do that. Now that we vaccinate for scours (diarrhea) I don’t use this room for sickness as much as I do to thaw a cold little newborn.
Put some hay on the floor, turn on the heat, and pretty soon he’s up and ready to go back to his mother.
The bonding suites. Copyright 2010 Link Bar Ranch Life Photography. All rights reserved.
The bonding suites are stalls for a cow and calf to have some privacy and learn that they are a pair. Sometimes a cow’s calf dies, for a variety of reasons. Sometimes a cow will have twins. Cows generally will only claim one calf and seldom have milk enough for two if she does claim them both. So we will take a calf that doesn’t have a mom and “graft” it to a cow that doesn’t have a calf. We sprinkle some special powder that looks like coffee grounds and smells like ammonia on the calf and the cow’s nose. We let the calf nurse the cow while the cow is in a stantion (head catch so she has to let him nurse) and then put them in a stall so they can get accustomed to each other without any wind to blow the new scent away. It works like a charm and makes for a happy new pair.