This was a hard week with extreme ups and downs. Toni had a busy and hectic day on Monday. She had a meeting in Othello, and on the way, after she got the kids on the bus, she dropped off the three Prineville heifers (for health and brand slips), two mares to ultrasound, and two colts for health and brand slips off at Sagehill vet. Ben loaded the three heifers before he went to work so at least Toni had those loaded, the rest she did on her own. We had been trying to get Miss Kyra bred to a running stud as a legacy to her late owner, Pappy. But unfortunately during a routine pregnancy exam, she suffered some complications. This was a fluke thing that ended with Miss Kyra having to be put down. We had hope a couple of times during the week, but Miss Kyra developed a secondary infection that complicated everything. On Sunday we talked with the awesome staff at Sagehill Vet and made the decision to do what was best for the horse. It was an emotional father’s day, with everyone upset about losing such a kind horse. But in the end, we had to do what is best for Miss Kyra, not us. We can’t thank Sagehill Vet enough for the care they took of her during the week, even though it did not end as we would have wanted.
We still have 6 mares to foal, at least Cupcake is looking kind of heavy. The kids are counting down their last days and hours of school. They are also counting down the hours to their first Jay Team show. Brita came out and looked at Double Down, Cutter and Summer Sky Monday night. I went home and Kaine and Kade told me the non clubby show steers were out, could I help get them in, they were right by the gate on the far side. I was like sure, they said here, do you want to ride the bike (like as in bicycle). So they run and I pedal down there and of course the steers RUN away. So we are trying to get around them with a bicycle in the weeds and soft dirt, the whole time I am thinking, my horse was RIGHT THERE, why I am riding a bike?? So that took WAY longer than it should have.
I saw on Facebook on Monday that Jenks were selling cherries for $3/lb, so I message Kameron about getting some for grandpa, he LOVES cherries. So Tuesday morning I ran money by Toni’s house for Kameron, if you want cherries I can get Kameron’s number to you. No foals when I went by, one day, there WILL be a foal. Toni went to Connell to see grandpa, now Toni, mom and I have four more Hereford heifers. I am not quite sure how that worked. Coco was there to help with chores so Toni worked on more poles while Coco and I did back chores, the kids had done the front chores before they went to work on their heifers and steers. The top wire was broke on the hot fence, so Coco and I walked out and fixed that. We decided we needed our steps. Toni got all the poles we have left ready to go up and found some kittens while doing it.
The kids had a short day of school on Wed, Toni got the three oldest out to go and clip steers at 1. Jaxsen had to stay for the whole day, but he got to go home with his best friend Luke after school. Toni brought our 4 Hereford heifers back from Connell when she brought the kids home. Kaine also got a haircut when Jay was done with the steers. Coco and I did most of the chores, since Toni was in Connell and got back later.
Anna did not go to school on Thursday since it was play day and she did not want to play, but the three boys went. Kaine did not know why ANYONE would want to miss play day, it is the best day of the year. After chores Toni, Coco and I worked on the corral fence for a while and then Toni and I went and bred Meno to Bishop. Ben and Kicker switched the pickups and trailers, dad was taking the little trailer to Otis Orchards on Friday to get Cammie and Toni was taking Butte and the gooseneck to Connell to drop off the steers and kids. The kids packed the trailer up and were ready to go.
Friday the kids did not go to the last two hours of school. They tied all the heifers and steers up in the morning. Lamar came after work to trim the show heifers’ feet. Since they were locked in, and not out where they can chip them off, sometimes they need their feet trimmed like a horse. Toni took the three older kids over to Connell and they stayed with Leslie to go to the NW Farm Supply Jackpot with Jay Saturday morning bright and early.
We have used the same hoof trimmer for years, and he has been trimming hooves for over 20 years and plans to retire after this year. In another freak event, somehow Kaine’s heifer Deedee got her leg stuck in the hoof trimming table and broke her leg. This has never happened before. It was a total fluke. The leg was not fixable and we had to put Deedee down. This is a heifer that Kaine has been showing since last October and that he had bought himself in the Evergreen Sale with money he had saved up. We exhausted all of our resources trying to come up with any other option that would get the leg fixed. There were not options due to the position and severity of the break. Kaine is devastated, he loved DeeDee, all the kids (and us adults) are upset, she was a sweet heifer and we had high hopes for her. Lamar is very upset, he called Saturday morning to see how the kids were doing.
Now for the positive, because after those two events, it seems hard to bounce back and be positive! The kids went to the NW Farm Supply Show on Sat and showed to the best of their ability. Kade came away with grand champion Jr. Showman out of a really tough group of kids. All three of the kids showed great, the steers did great and we could not be happier. Anna and Kade were second in their market classes and Kaine was third. They had a great show and a lot of fun. Jolene, Nick and Bronty went and watched them and that made it extra special. The jackpots have super tough competition, so coming away with a win is a big deal. Last year Kaine and Anna won showmanship at the same jackpot and Kaine won Market, so go Jay Team!
Also on Saturday, Ladybug foaled. This is the first Reed filly we have had. Mom named her Lacey Bug. She is an adorable grullo filly. We also sent Hollywood Cad to his new home on Saturday and Toni gave Donna and Lorenzo a tour and they are also going to buy Ruthless Colonel, so we have a pending sale on him. I tied their other steers and heifers up for them while they were gone. Ben and I went and checked all the cows, Kicker and dad went to Othello to get parts for dad’s circle. Toni, Kicker, Jaxsen and Kade got to go to a Dust Devil’s game Saturday night, so they met Jay in Kennewick and got Kade. I went over and took Andee with me to see her sister, Leslie has Andee’s sister Paisley. Andee was fine with Paisley until Paisley got by Kaine and then Andee went crazy on her sister, so now mom is teasing Kaine that he can’t have a girlfriend because Andee will get them.
As a family we went to TX roadhouse on Sunday to celebrate Father’s Day. We have a very good role model in our dad, and 2 great husbands that deserve some recognition for what they do. Also on Sunday, we got the older heifers in, and a May heifer for Jaxsen, and we locked the clubby calves in to start halter breaking. This will give the kids something new to think about.
This has been a tough week. But in the end we try to stay positive and remember that it could be worse. We are very lucky to have 4 healthy kids between us, healthy livestock, a set of grandparents that are still alive and active, parents that are phenomenal, and the lifestyle that we love. Ranching isn’t always easy, but it is what we are and we wouldn’t trade it for anything.