Monday was a great day, even though it was HOT. We were at a secret steer show, and the kids had a blast. Anna was grand champion in Market, Kade was Reserve, Ady was third in the same class they were in, Julian was 4th in his class, and Kaine was 5th. In Fitting and Showing, Ady was Grand champion Jr Showman, Julian and Chicken Nugget did Great, Kaine was Grand Champion Showman, Anna was Reserve, and Kade showed so well he also had him in the championship picture and had him come back to the overall class. Anna, Kaine and Kade were in the top 5 showman out of all ages. Toni and I competed in the adult showmanship, I thought that Freddy was going to die from the heat, the poor guy was panting, but Toni and Goldmember were Grand champion and she got a whole bucket full of stuff, and Andy Williams was Reserve, Freddy and I were in the top 5, along with Lori Williams and Floyd Lewis. We got packed up and headed home. Everyone was so hot that we let the kids rest and Toni, Coco and I did chores. We can’t thank the people that put on this show enough. The kids were so happy to have somewhere to go and show.
Tuesday was another scorcher, and when it is over 100 we boycott Toni building fence. The kids were all exhausted still from the heat and the show. Kade, Jaxsen, Coco and Toni went to look at some puppies after chores, Anna and Kaine went home to feed all of the steers and heifers. Of course they loved the puppies and said they wanted one. We also got a call from Sam Shaw that the “heifer” we thought we bought at Express was a cow. Even though Toni had confirmed it with Express on the phone and in an email, somehow a big mix-up occurred. So now we own an open cow! Yes, Express is making us take her and not fixing this. Tuesday was not the best of days.
Wednesday it only got to 99, so Toni felt like that was fencing weather. Jackpot’s pen was down, so Anna, Kaine and Kade fixed it while Toni showed Holly and Josie Miller around to look at the studs, they have a few mares to breed for next year. Sheena emailed that Barb was done with treatment for a couple of infections that have kept her from getting bred, so dad went in and picked her up and brought her back. We noticed a fire across the highway on Wednesday, so we were also on fire watch. It was put out pretty quickly considering the size. Wednesday afternoon Kaine and Kade built another fort, I said fort #52, and I think they said only #14, or something like that. Before chores Toni and the 4 kids fixed some fence around the yearling pen, there is not any yearlings in there right now since we were putting up the continuous fence along the front. Coco and I got there in time to help at the end. Then the 4 kids went to do chores and Coco, Toni and I moved the panels to the next fencing project, in back of mom and dad’s house. We were then ready to start the second leg of the fencing project. Oh joy.
Thursday was supposed to be swimming day, but the kids were still too tired from Monday and needed more rest. Dad and Anna took Vegas to her new retirement home, we had someone contact us to see if we had any mares that were no longer producing, they just wanted a pet, so we sent Vegas. The fire across the highway flared back up, so we were watching that to make sure it didn’t come our way, but once again it was put out quickly. Toni and the kids moved the yearling fillies out to the pasture behind the house on Thursday, and they took new pics of them. Peanut’s halter came off and Anna fell and hurt her wrist. Toni was worried she had broken poor Anna. All of the yearlings did really well considering we don’t catch them and move them that much. The fillies LOVED their new pen, it is bigger and has taller grass. They ran around like crazies for about 3 minutes. When I got there after work, the kids and Toni had the hot fence down and the first part of the fence line marked.
Friday the kids and I worked on their steers and heifers, they needed to get their heifers clipped for the Corona Classic Protest we went too on Saturday. We tied up their Othello steers, and washed all of the heifers and steers. Marlo was working in Othello so we went and met Marlo for lunch and picked up the meat we had at TLC. Marlo came home with us after lunch and helped the kids, so I went with Toni and we got Jackpot in and moved him to Toni’s house, and hauled the two Canadian mares and Lizzie down to his pen. Toni had also moved Dude around to the front of her house and taken Dunny and Hero down to Mom’s. Hero is kind of spoiled and needs to be with other foals his own age. John came out to see his colt Aught, so Toni took him down to Leroy’s pen to see the colt. We also put a couple sections of continuous fence up.
Saturday we went to the Corona Classic Protest. Bill Cox was the judge, there were 3 peewees, 4 juniors and 4 intermediate showman. Everyone did great and all of the animals showed well. It was our last real show of the year, so we turned the show heifers out when we got home. (I took over 1200 pictures so I have only gotten through the peewees and some of the Jr pics). They thought that was great until it was feeding time, then not so happy. They came up behind my house and wanted to know where the grain was hiding.
Afterwards we got Sagebug’s pen in and hauled Shasta and Dais down to the house, and put the riding horses out in Sagebug’s pen and locked the bug in. We brought Izzy and Uni up and hauled them to the house as well. We locked them in the weaning pen and then put up a few sections of fence, to the corner. Then Mud and Ammo walked into the corral, since Ammo was the next one, we needed to wean we locked them in too. I guess we are officially starting to wean!
Sunday the kids cleaned up their show tack, since we are probably done for the year. Gary and Ruth came down to see how we were going with the continuous fence and to talk to the kids about the steers they had, they have some clubby steers. After lunch we got circle 4 in and doctored eyes. The show heifers are out in that field and tried to sneak in behind the chute when the herd came in. I think they are done with this being turned out business. We pushed them back out with the other cattle. It is time for them to be “real” cattle now. Then we went down and weaned the three foals and worked on the fence. Fencing is not going well because of the bench of caliche that we are trying to get through. Lots and lots of digging by hand and trying to break through with a breaker bar. We are thinking of advertising this work as one of those fitness programs. People pay good money for the kind of workout we are doing. So if anyone wants to volunteer to come smack rock with a tall metal bar and build up your muscles, let us know.
Ranch life is about doing the mundane tasks intermixed with emergencies. You learn to prioritize and how to stay calm in tough situations. If there is a fire, you drop everything and go, a hurt animal, fence down, animals out. You help your neighbors and you help your friends because they will do the same for you. With that said, a big thank you goes out to the volunteer fire department and our neighbors for helping contain our small fire on Sunday that could have become a bigger fire. Thank you!
This week, Aug 24-29, should be Benton-Franklin Fair week. It is a sad summer for kids all around WA that they can not take their animals to fair and show off all of the work they have done and sell their animals. For our kids, at least they got to jackpot some in Idaho. But, if you have time Friday and want to come down and bid on some 4H animals, there will be plenty selling in Kennewick, the sale stars at 9.