The Last Full Week of Summer was full of smoke and haze.

Monday was a smoky hazy day. Harvest was canceled for the day for both Ben and Dad due to the poor air quality. So Dad went to Basin City and got more equine senior for Double, Kool and Smoke.  We buy that stuff by the pallet. Jaxsen’s only chore is to feed the old horses their Senior. Dad also got us more lag bolts for the never-ending fence building. Bruce from Old Mill dropped off our protein tubs for the trio too on Monday. Due to the smoke, there has been little water evaporation, so the South end of section of Continuous fence we were on was flooded Monday, but don’t worry, Toni pushed us through so we got three panels up and finished that end on Monday. We were all muddy, wet and cold, but we moved up to the other half to start on Tuesday. We found out on Monday that our friends at J Spear Ranch have a big fire there, we have them in our thoughts and hope that everyone stays safe and they are able to get their cows and horses out. We also have many friends in WA that have been affected by the fires, Washington Cattlemen’s is one of the many organizations collecting donations and getting them out to the people in need, so if you are in need, contact the WCA, if you have a donation, also contact the WCA. Toni is on the board, so you can contact her and she can get you more info. Dad took some dog food, livestock mineral, and equine senior into Jamie Utech in Connell that arranges for donated items to head north to fire areas.  Everyone here is trying to do what we can to help.

Tuesday and the smoke and haze continues.  The kids have virtual school, then fencing. We got three panels up Tuesday. Toni and Anna worked on the colts, the boys did chores. My back was hurting on Tuesday so Kaine did my tamping for me. I bought a new work pickup on Tuesday to replace the Blazer, Kaine says he is taking over the Blazer until it dies. Then Ben said he is taking over the work pickup because his pickup is about to die. 

Wednesday was still smoky. Toni took the boys to Jade Anderson’s house to socialize, they took their laptops to log on to school when it was their turn. Jade was kind enough to bring them home when she was done with them. She got to experience Jaxsen’s deal making when he wanted her to text Toni and request a longer visit.  They did get to stay longer, but had to be home in time to build fence. We put 4 more posts in Wednesday night and put panels next to them, we were out of clips. Ben and Kicker went and got the new work pickup at Musser Bros. I found an ad for a metal recycling place in Othello, so Toni called and ordered a container.  These people will bring out a container for free and pay for the metal, so we are all excited to finally get some of these metal piles gone that we have been stockpiling.

The news said Thursday morning that the air quality was better, so I guess that means there is less smoke, but you cannot really tell.  Toni and Anna shipped out our precious Burnin Vernon to his new home. Jen is a friend and repeat buyer so Anna allowed us to sell her colt to Jen. Of course, Burnin loaded like the perfect guy he is and went off to live with his new owner. We went out to build fence on Thursday afternoon and saw Easter limping so went out to check it out. She had a fight with a porcupine, I guess you could say she lost, because the kids walked around the field and did not see a dead one. So Toni and I got her back to the house and talked to both Dr Sorensen and Dr Wisse on treatment. We got her in the crowding alley and pulled out the quills, she did pretty good, only had one meltdown. Mom got the meds for us and then came out and helped. Kaine got Toni’s pickup stuck when they were looking for the porcupine, so he ran back to the house, because he felt we were too busy to help him, so we pulled it out when we got done.  Lucy also went in and got spayed on Thursday. Thursday was just a very busy day.

Friday Chad was scheduled to come out and trim horses, and then Toni had meetings scheduled, and the other lawyers did not feel like the farrier coming was a legitimate excuse. So, the three older kids were in charge, Anna and Kaine until Kade was out of school. Anna and Kaine have their virtual school in the morning and Kade’s is at 1. Chuck brought out a broke grey gelding on Friday as well, we have a list of people looking. He is going to go and live with cousin Jodi. Katie brought Butterscotch bank to us as she is not needed at their house anymore. Chad and the kids got the horses on our list done.  It is really nice to have kids old enough to get stuff done. Dad had a short day, so he was also out supervising. In the kids’ free time, they were instructed to put metal in the metal bin, and did a pretty good job of it. We are actually giving them all the money (whatever that small amount will be) on this first bin because they have helped collect the metal from all around the ranch. There has been some disagreement about whether Jax gets a full 25%. That is still being negotiated. He maybe didn’t do as much as the other three kids. Maybe. Toni and I both rolled into the house about the same time as our friend John Gray. John has been buying horses from us for a long time and wanted to come see his fillies, Sugar and Easter. Easter was much recovered from her fight with the porcupine so John was happy. John also brought Jordan Pace out with him. Jordan grew up in Sunnyside, moved to the coast, and is not back and working as a trainer in the Sunnyside area. Jordan has started approximately 14 horses out of our breeding program. He does have some openings if anyone is looking to get a young horse started.

                Saturday Kade came down and Anna, Kaine, Kade and I got 925 in, and he went to his new home in Pullman. Then we got the steers in for Kevin and put the scales in. Then we took a lunch break. Keven got there and we weighed the steers and loaded them up for him and sent 4 steers to Maple Valley. Then we checked cows, and after that we tied up the show steers for Spokane. Whitney and Shelby came over and were helping Toni and Kicker work on fence and load up metal into the metal bin. That took all day for some reason. Ben was at work. After the kids and I got done we went down and helped Toni, Kicker, Whitney and Shelby work on the fence.  Our goal is to have the fence done asap. Toni and I feel that our bodies can’t take much more fencing. We only have a tiny bit more to go.  We actually got all of the continuous fence panels up on Saturday, and the railroad ties for gates. So we could actually claim to be done.  After that we all jumped on Sam, the gelding we got for our cousin, and rode him around bareback with a halter to see how he rides. He is a super nice horse to have around. We put him out with the weanling foals and he is just one of those nice, kind, easy horses.

Sunday morning Toni took Michael out to visit Howa. Kicker went down and worked on cleaning up the metal. Anna, Kaine and I tied up the steers and then haltered the heifers.

After lunch we let the steers go and Toni, Kade and Jaxsen came down and we took the new white pickup, the little trailer, Red, the gooseneck, the blazer and Toni PU out and caught Gunner, led him to the corral, the mares followed. Then we got an in-heat heifer and the bull calves in. We had to fix the interior fence a bit as the cows like the horse grass better than their grass. We hauled Gunner to his winter pen.  Hauled the mares to the house, John showed up and stated helping. We weaned Howa, Firepower and Walt. Then we hauled 7 mares back out to Gunner pen, after we wormed them.  That pen is now going to be the dry mare pen. We are hoping for moisture/rain to allow the desert grass to grow. Luckily Gunner’s pen still has a lot of grass so we can take the majority of the mares out there and get them out of the pen at the house.  We put Piper D and Easter back out in the big pasture, Easter’s legs don’t show any signs of the quills and she is moving really well.  This is the first, and hopefully last, time we have pulled porcupine quills out of a foal.  We continued to fill the metal bin and did chores.

Life continues to plug away. Dad, Ben, and Kicker are all in harvest. We hear the kids will go back to real school Oct 1. Toni is going to miss having them home. And Pow is with Rachel in CA and it turning into a horse, and not a pasture pet. However, she did feel the need to try to convince Rachel that she had not been saddled. LOL

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