From Pipi’s Pasture: Getting those steps in
Recently, one of the evening news channels featured the findings of some experts on exercise. What I took from the report is that a person does not need to exercise (like walking) in one large block of time; small periods of exercise per day add up, too. I was happy to hear that, because I do quite a lot of walking during the day, mostly corral-related, so maybe all of it is beneficial to my health. Besides that, I usually carry a lot of stuff, too, which possibly makes my “workout” more challenging.
I don’t have a way to keep track of my steps, so I tried counting them to and from the corral. However, the count wasn’t really accurate, because there are too many variables involved, like having to backtrack if I forget something.
However, the steps I take each day generally add up as follows.
It begins in the morning, when I leave the house with a bucket containing a can of cat food and an empty can for measuring grain. The first stop is the carport, where I leave some cat food and measure out grain for the corral animals. Then, it’s to the big double gates that lead into the hay/corral area.
By now, the cat Nuisance is walking in front of me, so close that I sometimes step on him. I’m not sure what effect the cat has on my “workout,” but he surely is annoying. When I get to the corral, I have taken an estimated 357 steps.
At the corral, I make several trips up and down the corral fence line to put out grain and hay and check the large stock tank to make sure the calves haven’t unplugged the tank heater — again — so that the water is frozen. Finally, there are more steps inside the corral to put out more hay and to break the ice on the unheated water tanks. Once the ice is broken, I gather it in a bucket and throw it on the growing ice pile. More steps.
Then, it’s back to the house to get ready to put hay out to the main herd of cattle. Right now, we’re feeding big bales off a trailer, so I get to ride. However, in years when we feed small bales, I walk over the feedlot, breaking bales and spreading out hay, which means more steps — lots more steps.
Sometimes after feeding, I walk to the corral again to check water and sometimes to even put water in the tanks. More steps, especially if I have to stop at the shop for hoses.
In the afternoon, I always do have to fill stock tanks. I gather up my bucket at the house and stop at the shop for a bucket of retractable hoses and a short piece of garden hose that has been keeping warm. Then, I follow the same route to the corral as in the morning, except now, I’m carrying two buckets full of stuff and have a hose over my shoulder — and Nuisance is walking in front of me. It surely feels like a workout, especially to keep from dropping the hose.
At the corral, the steps are about the same, except this time, there is a tank filling job to finish.
During calving season, there are lots of steps involved in checking cows at the corral and in the pasture, sometimes every couple of hours!
I’m surely glad that these little “spurts” of exercise are beneficial to my health.
When we’re not cooking something on the grill, it’s great to be able to whip up nutritious casseroles for summer dinners. This week’s column features two casserole recipes. I make “Skillet Beef–a-Roni” often. I don’t keep the ingredients for the other casserole on hand so don’t make it as often.