Monday was the last day of school for the kids for 6 weeks, they picked up their packets and whatever else they needed from school. Toni has her neighbor, a Science teacher, who is going to help the kids with their science lessons for the next 6 weeks. He is a high school Science teacher, so we told the kids their lessons might be a little tough, but we know they can do it. And we really appreciate his help. Toni is working for a minimum 2 hours per day with the kids on a home school type program. 3 of the kids are doing great. We will not comment on the other kid. We finished the top pen of the corral with poles, except the one section that the posts are 13.5 feet apart instead of 10. No new foals or calves on Monday, which was good since it was still cold.
Tuesday was still cold in the morning. Anna checked cows since the kids are off. Toni picked them up at 10 to take to her house for their school work. In Jr High they are logging in and learning online. We have most of the poles up at the corral, so we moved the last of the old rail road ties out and moved a little dirt around Tuesday night. Then we went out and checked mares.
Wednesday Kayla came out and brand inspected first thing. Toni called me and asked for an address, and I said that is all on the sheet that is sitting on the laptop that I sent you a pic of this morning. So they got it all taken care off. The three older kids have most of their work done from school already, their packets will be 100% done by mid next week, and they are just working on them a few hours a day. So Toni contacted ABCMouse.com and they are sending out free subscriptions for the next few weeks, so the kids are starting on that. We are trying to restrict the public in the office I work at, the South Columbia Basin Irrigation District, but, water is flowing and so it has proven to be a trial. However, the more considerate farmers and calling from outside to see if they can do it from their truck and are trying. No one wants to get sick. Social distancing is being practiced here. Wednesday night Toni and the kids had the bottom of the corral tore down when I got there and we made a new pen for Ro and Jean since they had part of that pen. Then we went and checked the mares. Cleo is going to foal ANY DAY.
Thursday was a beautiful day. Cousin Jolene had her baby last night, none of us can go and see her in the hospital and we need to stay away from the baby. Jolene and Nick had a baby girl, Reese Augusta (after great granny), she is a beautiful baby. Toni and the kids got a lot of work done on the corral rebuild, things are going great. We are all concerned that Toni is not going to go back to work, she is having too much fun bossing the kids around and building fence. She is still working from her office.
Friday the kids got a day off from school work, Kade and Jaxsen did 30 min in the morning, and we worked on steers and heifers. Anna, the dogs and I checked everything in the morning, everything is looking great, the weather was awesome. While the kids were washing steers and heifers I got the bulls in and sorted the sold off of the unsold, one bull was leaving Saturday so I got him sorted off. I put everything back, Toni brought he kids and I lunch, tamales from Mr Metzger, they were VERY good. Jaxsen did pretty good washing his heifers, not a lot of complaining for him. Jax has admitted that his heifers are kind and maybe he has bonded with them. A guy has to have a bond with his heifers. Maybe there is progress with him working on his cattle? Dad and David Smith went to the Moxee area and got us long poles to finish the corral work. So the top pen is now done except for the gate we had to order. We worked on the corral Friday night, and got the short side of the bottom pen done. Shasta had been on our heavy list but we really thought some other mares were heavier, we were wrong! Shasta had a colt by Bishop for us Friday evening. He is a big bay colt, now we wait to see if he is roan.
Saturday Ben, the kids and I went to Ontraio to meet Candice, James, Cristy, Kaydence, Lydia and Aeliana to get two puppies, one for Traci’s kids and one for Ashton. We practiced social distancing with strangers, met in a big park were there were not hardly any people, got KFC through the drive through. We had a great time, and Traci’s girls were very happy to have the puppies. They are keeping Ashton’s until she can come and get it. Toni, Kade, Jaxsen and Kicker did a lot of work on the corral while we were gone, they finished tearing out the bottom side and burnt the old wood. Also, THREE foals were born and one calf while we were gone. I guess we should leave more often. Toni and the boys were pretty excited when they called us to tell us there were 2 foals in the desert. Cleo had foaled at the house. Mom and Dad were SURE it was a filly and that they were going to keep it. Toni actually looked and had to be the bearer of bad news that Cleo produced a colt, not a filly. But he is a sweet little thing!
We got LOTS done on Sunday. The farmers grabbed the barbed wire fence with the plow on Saturday and ripped a huge section out. Another farmer grabbed our lake fence and ripped about 400 feet out. Only a few cows got out, but they went up by the yearling bulls and so a couple of them jumped out and went down to breed some cows. So first thing Sunday we were getting cows in and sorting bulls and heifers out. Toni started fixing the stud pen in the middle of circle 4, Ben, the kids and I ran to Othello to get groceries and insulators. The kids caught their heifers and steers. Kicker took out part of the fence in circle 6 so Isidro could farm a little more. Then after lunch Toni and I finished the middle fence, Ben fixed put up a temporary hot fence where the barbed wire fence was and Kicker worked on fence in 6 and 7. Toni and I fixed the riding horse fence too. The kids went up to Kendels and got some used hog panels and worked on their miniature hose fence. Kendel went over and helped them for a while. We put Reba with Sagebug, and got him out in the middle pen we just rebuilt, we put Pepper and Comet in with Gunner. Lola went in with Jackpot, who will go out in circle 6 when we get that finished. Hopefully we get Ellie and Ro out this week with Leroy. That quote that we love this life is totally true.
Sometimes this life is frustrating, especially when we have to rebuild fence that we shouldn’t have to rebuild, but the good outweighs the bad. We are thankful that we have such a good, strong, helpful family that works together to get these things accomplished. Sunday was a long day and we had hoped to get all of the open mares out with studs, but at least we got three out. So the glass is half full. Hopefully this week we can see some real progress on getting those mares out, getting the mares with foals in, and moving all of the breeding programs forward, cattle and horse.