Monday was a beautiful July day. Anna snapped me that all of the show heifers and steers felt it was too hot outside and wanted to spend the day in the barn. Toni had court in the morning, not a case she seems particularly excited about. Anna and Kaine worked on the fence along the riding horse pen, we just had a temporary hot fence up at the top of the circle, and we are changing it to a more permanent hot fence with tposts. This was Anna and Kaine’s idea after fixing it all last week, and they did it 100% on their own with some help from Kade. Ben and Kicker got the tractor running so Toni and I started digging post hole for our second section for fence. The kids went up to feed, and the three boys went to catch tadpoles when they got done feeding grain. Ben and Kicker went out to fix circles after they were done fixing the tractor. The tractor look way longer to get running than we had hoped, but once it was going, it was good. We are building the bottom of the vet pen, which will be adjacent to the continuous fence with a 10 foot alley between that we plan to drive through to do chores.
Tuesday morning Gary texted that he had made it across the border and was headed our way with the mares. We expect him to arrive at around 4 AM. Anna and Kaine worked on the horse fence again Tuesday morning, starting to put in T Posts and switching them out for the rebar posts. They got 15 posts in. Toni had a meeting at 5, so the 4 kids did chores, she got there around the same time I did, so we dug a few holes and put some more posts in. The kids went to my house to feed steers and calves. Toni and I went up after and moved horses around getting ready for the Canadian mares, Butterfly and Crystal to get here. We moved Elsie to the barn, she was getting picked up Wednesday morning, we put Lizzie and Crossfire in with the show heifers and put Leroy back in his pen. So we have an empty pen to quarantine the mares in. We quarantine any new horses coming in, not that we have had an issue, but we have a lot of horses that could get sick if something was picked up on the road. Gary called Toni while we were moving horses and he stopped off at his house in Montana, so he won’t be here until noon on Wednesday.
Wednesday morning Gary texted Toni that he got off to a late start, and will not be to our house until 6 PM. Lettice came and picked up Elsie around 11, we had people out looking at foals at 11:30, they liked Aught. The boys went down to mom and dads in the afternoon to build forts, tadpole sanctuaries, whatever it is they are building. The kids did chores and Toni and I worked on the fence until we saw Gary go by with the mares. Then we all ran up to my house to see them. We are all ecstatic to have them here, they unloaded great, were very calm. Anna and I led them down to their pen while everyone else talked. They walked around, drank, ate, and acted great. The foals came off the trailer very nicely as well and seemed to be acclimating nicely.
Thursday morning Gunner’s pen was out with the cows, one side of their single wire hot fence was down, and who knows if it was the cows or the horses that knocked it down. So after chores, Toni and the kids put in a few more posts, we finished that up, and then Toni, Jaxsen and I went and got Gunner’s pen in and fixed it while the three older kids went and did chores at the barn. Toni and I had issues with getting the fence hot so Kicker and Ben came down to look, and for course it was hot. So annoying. Jaxsen got a lecture on trying to get out of work while the rest of us are working. He then proceeded to chop thistles for a bit before he got distracted by whatever he thought he saw in the little pond next to us.
Friday Toni and the kids went to Othello to pick up a beef and a half from TLC, if you need any grass fed we still have some of it available. We will have more grain fed this fall, we have a list going if you want on it. The payoff to get the kids to go was a promise to get Taco Bell, and not one $5.00 box for all to split, but they could each get their own meal. Wow, Toni was being a big spender. When they got there the ice machine was broke down so they still got their meals, but got warm sodas with them. Toni and the kids proceeded to fill the freezers with beef, so when I brought the Costco groceries home on Friday, we really had to work to get it all in. But, we have lots of food. We put up three sections of poles Friday after I got home. By that I mean, when I rolled in they had two sections up and were bringing poles over for a third section. Toni then asked if we should just put that third section up. Jaxsen was a hard no, the other kids thought that maybe we should, so we did. I actually think Jaxsen had walked off by then. We were all pretty much done by the time that was over, but we still went to my house and did more chores.
Saturday morning Anna went with her friends to Silverwood. Toni, Kaine, Kade and I went down and finished the last three sections of the fence we were working on. We knew we were a bit low on lag bolts, so once we added those up, we realized we were short by six to finish, luckily Dad was willing to get into Basin City to the hardware store and get us a bunch so we could finish the project. We really would not have been low, but some of the poles are so big on the one end that we have to use more than one lag to hold them up. It was so hot that we decided instead of loading the poles in the pick-up to drive them over to the area we were building on, we would just drag them. That took less energy. We also got the gate in position so Ben can weld plates on it and we can get it up and then top the 13 foot railroad tie that we just HAD to put in the ground. It was there, so Toni thought we should use it. Then we moved panels around so that Colonel and Kool can go down there and use the shed. Mom was pretty worked up that Kool didn’t have a shed, the funny part is that Kook walked in the shed, then walked back out because we don’t feed her in the shed, so she doesn’t even use it. Ben worked on circles in the morning and went to Othello and got pats to fix a sprinkler in circle 7.
Saturday afternoon we got the cows in again and doctored more eyes, the flies are so bad that the pink eye is worse than it has ever been, we don’t normally have much. We are hearing from quite a few fellow ranchers that they are having the same issue with flies this year. Ben fixed the sprinkler in circle 7 while we were getting the cows in and then helped sort them and look at all of their eyes. Toni, Kaine, Kade and I rode our horses moving the cows, we just rode bareback because it was so hot out. Cousin Kendel showed up a couple of times for moral support. Toni was pretty stoked that she can still jump from the ground onto the horse at her advanced age. She kept telling the boys that if she can jump on, they should be able to as well. Once we got done we did chores.
Sunday Terry, Erinia and Josey came in the morning and Toni and Kade showed them around. Erina wanted to see her foal and Josey and Terry just like to see everything. Then we went up to Toni and Kickers and had lunch. Ben made a brisket that morning and mom made potato salad and a raspberry dessert, I got raspberries on Friday from Lovejoy farms. After the Hammers left Toni, Kaine, Kade, Jaxsen and I fixed the bottom wire in Sagebugs pen and hung the panel that has been his gate. Toni got some hinges she has wanted to try out to make panels into gates. Then we did chores and we were all hot and sweaty. After I got out of the shower Anna was back and I went and picked her up.
It was kind of a bittersweet weekend. We had originally planned to fly to Oklahoma to watch the twins show at the National Junior Angus Convention. This is the one time they get to show showmanship at this level. Due to covid and the restrictions that it has put on everything, we had to change our plans. We are still very excited for the twins to show at this level and have this opportunity. We know that they realize we are with them in spirit and wish them all the luck that we can. Covid has brought on changes for everyone and the reality of life is we just have to roll with the punches, stay positive, and keep going. As they say, if life hands you lemons, make lemonade. (Below is only McKenna, she went with us to New Plymouth and showed Foxy.)