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AMY KIRK: Something always goes wrong when the hubby is gone

  You’ve heard the phrase, “It’s not if it happens, but when.” When I’m left in charge, there’s no doubt that something’s going to happen. That’s why I say, “It’s not if or when it’s going to happen, but ‘what?’ and ‘how bad?’ ”

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If you’ve been reading this column for a while, you’re aware that Murphy’s Law frequents our place. Last week, my column was about finding the poly tank’s hose smashed between the trailer’s sidewall and 900 gallons of water when I was hauling extra water to our cows on a 90-degree day and my husband and son were elk hunting in Idaho.

Past experiences have taught me that if my husband’s going to be gone, I should anticipate something happening that I’ll have to handle on my own. I try to outguess what the dilemma will be, but unfortunately, the only way for Murphy’s Law to occur is when I least expect it or when I have someplace to be later in the day.

While my guys were gone, I anticipated finding cows on the Mickelson Trail, via a crappy fence, since a cow was on the trail the week before their elk hunt. The other place I expected trouble was finding cows in the gravel quarry owned by a local gravel business, since Art and I found cows there the day before he and Junior left. Instead, my daughter and I found a bunch of cows four miles west of the gravel pit in a draw where they could’ve potentially ended up in a residential area of homeowners who do not like cows using their yard as a bovine rest stop.

For preventive maintenance reasons, I decided to quick push — on foot — the 30 or so head eastward over a hill and away from the potential problem area.

Naturally, my tween wore worthless shoes (hence Murphy’s Law), so I did all of the cow-pushing uphill and left her and the dog on Jeep duty.

I can handle most situations by myself, but it’s the ones that the work is more successful with someone else helping (and wearing appropriate footwear) that I worry about getting stuck doing alone. My key to surviving my husband’s absence and Murphy’s Law simultaneously during stints of overseeing the ranch operation alone is being prepared. Having dependable girlfriends on hand for moral support and picking up kids if necessary doesn’t hurt either.

If the hubs (husband) is gone, I face the day with low expectations of getting my to-dos completed and focus instead on what shenanigans those cows might pull. Cows are my No. 1 cause of cancellations, so I also avoid scheduling appointments and making plans whenever my husband’s gone.

I try accomplishing time-consuming ranch tasks earlier than normal to allow for time-sucking setbacks. My warped logic is that the more I anticipate hindrances, the less likely they are to happen.

Cell phones are usually useless when range-checking, but I take one along anyway. I’ve found places I had cell service as long as I didn’t move.

I never do morning cow checking without eating a hearty breakfast beforehand. Cows have taught me that I never know how much energy I’ll need or what time my next meal will be.

Most importantly, I abide by Amy’s Law: I always dress as if I were going to chase (aka push or move) cows through timber — wearing appropriate footwear.