“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” ― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

We are already on the first full week of April. We have a few cows left to calve and about a month in on foaling. It is spring break for the kids so Toni told them they got the week off from school work. Then she told them last night that they still had to write letters, so they were not super thrilled with her. The kids also found out on Monday that school is canceled for the remained of the year and they will be home schooled. Jaxsen is still hoping he is going to get transferred to a different school. Any school, anywhere. Although he isn’t excited when military school is mentioned. After work and school, we sorted through the poles we have left, by length. And then we took a couple and replaced some up by the house. Kaine and Kade took the broken poles we took off to use in their “fort”.

Tuesday we finally had another foal, out of Bayley and by Bishop, a cute bay colt that is possibly roan. Mom and dad went and got the kids today so the kids could play at their house. Kaine and Kade have been building a fort/bunker and wanted to get it done. They spent an entire afternoon digging it out. We have no idea why. Jaxsen helped them a little, but when the digger started he had to go in the house and sit with grandma, it was just hard for him. We moved some panels around Tuesday night, we moved one of the heavy duty power river panels that were around the corral down to where we load out foals and put in another post. It looks way better, feels better. We had a colt go over the old panel last year. Luckily the colt only scraped up his back leg, but hopefully nothing can get over this old-school, heavy has heck, Powder River panel.

Another foal Wednesday, we are really getting going now, a Twist/Colonel filly. Toni and the kids checked. After work we put in some t posts in the Double/Rocky pen down by the road. Rocky has been scratching his neck on the fence down there and is wearing it down. So we put a lot of T Posts in to hold it up. It takes a lot to hold wire up from Rocky when he is itchy. A one ton bull can do a lot of damage with his big body. Not on purpose, just because he is a bull. Also on Wednesday we bought a Trojan loader and a box scraper from the Anderville retirement auction online. Lots of excitement over getting another loader. We are starting to get tractor/loader poor and probably need to get rid of a few.

On Thursday Toni’s pickup smelled warm, so she did a quick check. Bailey’s colt came up and smelled her face, so she was pretty happy about that. Toni’s shoulder has been sore from all of the corral building, so she kind of gave us an evening off. We just started some water. All of our irrigation water is on now so it adds some work during chores, but it results in green grass, so that is a win-win. Then when we got home the cows decided they were done in the spring pasture and were headed home (which is just across the alfalfa field so not very far) and so we spent the next hour getting them in. Some of the cows didn’t come home, so we had to make sure and pair up all the cows and calves and make sure calves had moms that were in and not still out.

Friday I tried ordering groceries from Costco first thing for delivery, but they are already full on Friday, no more deliveries. I guess I will go to Leprechaun in Othello again. At least I have been really good at supporting the local grocery store lately. So have mom and dad since I have been picking stuff up for them from the leprechaun. Also, the Connell High School is doing adopt a senior, and we adopted a senior on Friday. So the kids are making cards and stuff to send to her. The three boys worked on speeches all week for 509 show circuit on Animal Science. Kaine and Kade took it seriously and had decent speeches prepared that they had researched and written out. Jaxsen, not so much. The first line of his speech was “Warning, this speech is full of bad jokes and information.”

The wind started blowing Friday night, so even though it was not unexpected, it was still disappointing that it was still blowing on Saturday. The three boys had their virtual speeches with 509 show circuit Saturday morning, all three did great.

After that we went down to circle #6 to build fence around Jackpot’s pen so we could move him down there. We built fence down there until Ben texted me and reminded me that Larry was coming to look at bulls at 11:30, it was 11:43. So Toni, the kids and I all raced back to the house to show Larry and Koko the bulls. The kids went in the house to rest and eat lunch, while Toni and I stayed out and shot the crap with Larry and Koko, and kept at least 6 feet away. They picked M905, one of Kade’s bulls. Then we took a lunch break, cleaned all of the dirt off of our faces, and went back to building fence. We finished Jackpot’s fence and went and got the gooseneck and hauled them down. Things are a touch challenging when you have one mare/foal combo, a young stud, one renegade mare, and three stand in the way please pet me mares. Luckily our trailer is long and has three compartments, so we got the three pain in the butt mares in the front, mare and foal (foal did not want to load) in the middle, and Jackpot and Lola in the back.

Then we got Bailey and Twist in and moved them up to the corral at the house, where Jackpot was. We caught and loaded Twiggy and Splinter and then moved them up with Dude. We loaded Colonel and Vegas up and hauled them down to the pen where Jackpot was, and put Twist in with him and Bailey in with King. Then we got our chores done and were done for the night. Our faces, necks, and eyes were burning from the wind and the dirt/sand.

Happy Easter! We went down to mom and dads and hunted eggs in the morning. Then everyone came back to my house for lunch. Skip did not get to come due to social distancing and sheltering in place, and Kicker, Toni and the boys normally go to the Meachams and they could not go there. We all have been around each due to ranch activities. So we called Skip and we all talked to him for a while, we also called Grandma Bennett and talked to her, Dad called his brother Jack and talked to him.

After everyone left Ben, Anna, Kaine and I went out on the 4 wheelers and got the last of the cows off of the spring pasture, most of them had come back, and we had one calf come back without his mom, so we had to go and get the rest to get his mom. We tagged the three no tagged calves and then turned them out in the pasture.

Then we went down to mom and dads and Toni, the kids and I hung a gate and then Toni, Anna and I worked on getting a nut on an old gate so we could reuse it. The three boys went and helped dad move the big gun out front. Then the three boys did chores while we continued to work on the gate. We did not get the old gate hung-up, we are having technical difficulties and we had to quit when our muscles were so fatigued we couldn’t keep going. We will fight that fight another day, which means tomorrow. We ended the day on a really good note. Things might not be ideal right now, with a lack of seeing family and friends, but when a person can go outdoors and do really good work on a ranch, it helps keep everything in perspective.

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