“In spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” — Margaret Atwood

Monday started out as a brisk morning. Piper D had a filly during the night, so we are calling her born on Easter. Anna was so preoccupied trying to get a picture of her she drove the blazer into a deep circle track and got stuck and had to call Auntie to rescue her. While they were down there they saw that the Jackpot pen was out in the alfalfa, Isidro texted Toni and said he saw the colt go through the fence, so I guess Ammo did not notice all of the reflective tape on the fence. It took Toni and Anna longer than they would have liked to get the fence hot. There was a short in the fence on the backside of a t-post that was hard to find. The question on Monday was, is Anna excused late from “school” or is it an unexcused tardy if she has to call her teacher to come pull her out of the circle track? After work and school we worked on the gate at the corral for a while, the gate is winning the battles, but we will win the war. Basically the gate is old and the bottom hinge does not allow the nut to move. Lots of pounding on that with the sledge. The boys did chores and Anna worked on water. Ben and Kicker were still working on circles when we got done so Kaine and Kade came home with me to feed the cattle grain. Anna fed her bottle calves, there are only three, but it seems like there are 15.


Tuesday was not quite as brisk in the morning. The kid are building barns for their 509 Assignment of the week, they are looking pretty cool. I have found a few virtual shows that I have entered the kids’ jackpotting steers in. This will be a whole new experience, I am kind of looking forward to it, it could be fun. There will definitely be a learning curve. The 509 Speech Contest Results were up, Jaxsen got second in PeeWee, good job Sonny! Toni didn’t think it was good that he got second as that just encourages him. The boys did chores again on Tuesday, Toni and I continued our work on getting the nut on the gate. We are making some progress. Not a lot. Anna watered and was setting up a float for Colonel’s pen, setting up because it was new and so she had to put it together. The trough is on too steep of a hill so it did not work. So we need to move the trough a little so we can move the float around.


Wednesday was a beautiful morning. The wind picked up later, the desert ground is already pretty dry from the lack of rain. Toni and I finished putting our gate up while Kaine and Kade did chores. We didn’t get the nut where we wanted, but we called it good enough! We were just done with that gate. It works. It looks ok, so we are calling it done. Jaxsen did his chore, and Anna helped for a little while, then she had a call with one of her teachers. The Trojan and box scraper showed up Wednesday, so that was pretty cool. The Drovers Show Us Your Bull photo contest was done on Wed and Anna and Toni both placed in the top 10. Anna was 4th, so we are pretty proud of her.


Thursday was a beautiful day. There were no new babies, but we have mares and cows getting really close. The kids got their barns submitted for 509. They got their school work done. It was Toni and Kicker’s 15th wedding anniversary, so we didn’t do much work beyond chores.


We got a lot done on Friday. I went and got Kade early, Anna, Kade and I checked the horses and cows. Then we went and got Kaine and we got circle 4 in and sorted the bull calves off of the heifer calves. We stopped and had a short lunch break. Then we chased the bull calves out to the middle of circle 4 and got the Herefords in. We put the Herefords on the outside and moved the heifers and cows with heifer calves down to 5.

We got Piper D and Easter in and moved them down with Leroy. Piper D pulled some fence down, but luckily didn’t get too hurt.

Once we were done with chores, we were about to head out to fix the fence when Kicker and Ben told us they were there to flip the shed over and move it. They had the new Trojan and the Case. So we all trooped out to the yearling colt pen and messed around with getting the shed flipped up and moved. We finally got the shed moved to the new spot, but in 2 pieces. It was almost 8, so Toni and I jetted over and got the fence fixed up enough to keep the horses in. Kade spent the night at our house.


Saturday we got up early, checked, and then caught the steers. The kids washed their steers, Ben worked on the continuous fence and watched them. I went in to the FFA plant sale in town, you order online and then they brought them out and put them in the back of our car. I was picking plants up for Grandma, mom, Toni and I. I brought lunch home for Ben and the kids, and I got groceries for everyone too.

Then I got home and we had lunch and the kids clipped their steers, with virtual help from the twins. Kaine had too much for lunch and then was out in the heat, so he had a bad stomach in the afternoon and went and laid down, but we took videos of Anna and Kade with Fatty B and Goldmember, and send them to Toni, the twins, Leslie and uncle Joe to get critiques.


Toni and Kicker spent all day and mom and dad’s- taking out the old corral debris, getting the shed re-set, re-attached, moved into position, taking out shrubs, putting a scratching brush in for Rocky, and doing all kinds of spring clean-up. We also took the nine heifers from mom and dad’s, got them out with a bull, took a summer heifer and a grass steer back down, took a mare out with Gunner, got the heavy mares sorted and moved over to the maternity ward. The maternity ward is full, so babies need to be born.


Sunday Ben, Anna, Kaine and I took Runner to Ontario to meet Shannon and Jake and they took him home to Idaho. We brought a puppy to Pasco and sent him with his new owner. He was a really cute puppy, a mini auggie that Ben’s cousin’s wife raises. We only stopped for gas, and got subway, sanitized after every stop. It was a quick trip and we got home in time for chores.

Toni, Kicker, Kade and Jaxsen and spent the day down at mom and dads pulling up shrubs with the new Trojan and fixing the area up. Toni was unnecessary so she went ahead and caught all the yearling fillies, west niled and dewormed them, then still had time so did the 2 and 3 year old fillies too. Once chores were over, Kade really wanted to start breaking the 2 year olds, so we started their ground work. There are 4 of them, and all so so good. The biggest issue is that Sally is huge so it takes decent muscle to lift Kaine up to lay across her back, but we got it done.


The latest and the greatest is that these jackpot cattle shows are going to virtual. We are trying to get that figured out. The days are getting long and we are trying to use every second of light to get work done on the ranch. We are wrapping up calving, with just a few left and are about half-way done with foaling. We are posting new born foal pictures on FB first, so stay posted for our posts!

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