Friday, September 24, 2010

Tuesday 9/21

I (JP) woke up this morning at 630am to join Tony and watch one of their cows get slaughtered. We had a bit of coffee and drove down just past the pasture in front of their house, and we met the two men who Tony hired to slaughter the cow.  Tony first had to convince the cow to walk toward us, confirming once again the cow’s aloofness (as we were all standing behind the closest fence, one of the men holding a scoped .22), and then the man shot the animal perfectly between the eyes.  I was surprised how suddenly it dropped, its legs contracted and the dead weight fell quickly to the ground.  Immediately after it fell, the two men ran over and started to cut it apart.  First they cut off the head, with buckets and buckets of blood flowing onto the muddy grass.  They were considerably accurate with their knives.  

I didn’t expect it when the butcher stuck his knife sharpener down the cow’s now fully exposed throat and thrusted it back and forth for about a minute.  I wasn’t sure whether he was causing the heart to beat more rapidly or whether he was rubbing the rod along the spinal nerves, but whatever he did was causing the cow’s body and legs to spasm violently. They proceeded to cut off the feet (which was to avoid getting kicked in the face) and then to completely skin the cow.  They used the lift on the back of their truck to raise the hindquarters of the cow into the air for easier access.  After about 20 minutes the cow was cut into two halves, the feet, head, tail, and entrails were piled on the ground, and they drove the two hanging halves back to their trailer for storage.

I feel like I handled the whole event pretty well, the only parts that I had a difficult time with were the slimy intestines (which were expanding and contracting all by themselves), the tons of blood, and how the body continued to quiver and spasm even after is was fully dismembered.  Oh, and one of the kidneys was really bloated looking so I asked the guy if it was a tumor, but he said it was just filled with fluid and he popped it with his knife!  Luckily I jumped back in time to keep the fluids from getting in my gum boots J

For work today we drove with Tony and Sharyn out to their rental house – about 45 minutes South – to clean it up, while Sharyn met with potential tenants to show them around. The house was freezing and the wind was crazy strong – so we worked fast. We basically just gave everything a good scrub over, along with Sharyn, while Tony was Mr. Fix-it, replacing broken appliances.

In the afternoon when the boys got home, Tony took JP, Jesse, and I out on the motocross track with one of his big rickety trucks. Umm, it was terrifying. :) Before we went on the track he drove right up to this ledge, overlooking the track – and I thought we were gonna die… or at least I thought the truck would somersault over the edge. Oh good lord. Both JP and I were terrified. Umm, but somehow that didn’t happen, and we spun around and went down to the track. A lot of that area was inaccessible because of flooding from the storm, but Tony took us over a couple of jumps – and yeah, like I said, it was terrifying. I don’t know why I was such a wimp. I love going on crazy rides and roller-coasters.  Maybe it’s because rides are so well controlled… whereas it felt that it wouldn’t take much at all for us to spin out of control and nosedive straight into the ground. I don’t think I’m cut out for four-wheeling. :) I’d at least never take the wheel.

We got stuck in the mud once on our journey back, but Tony safely returned us back to the house. JP, Jesse, and I then joined Corban in feeding little CJ and we enjoyed frolicking around the farm with him. He’s so cute… he’ll just follow you anywhere – so close to your feet, you have to be careful not to trip over him. And if you kneel down and call to him, he’ll come running right into your arms, and start butting you with his mouth, in search of your udder. He’s convinced I have an udder under my knee.

Later on, enjoyed a fun couple 2 or 3 games of Carcassonne with the boys. First game, Corban, the youngest, beat us. And he aaaaaaaaaalmost did the 2nd time.
We haven’t taught Sharyn and Tony yet, but we will. :)

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