Sometimes ranch life isn’t too glamorous!

No, the Featured image is not recent, I just thought it was fitting.

Monday Toni and Kicker headed to the NFR for a few days. Grandma Sherri came down to stay with Kade and Jaxsen. Anna and Kaine worked on Firecracker and did chores, Jaxsen did his chore. We blanketed Double since it is getting cold. I picked Kade up from the activity bus, at the end of mom and dads driveway, and we had some banana cream pie and Pina Colada pie that mom made. It was very good. Lots of calves born Monday, the synchronized cows are in full swing. Ben is off for December and is home to check them. Ben worked on more fence in the corn field on Monday to let the cows over to have some fresh. He got most of the way done.

Tuesday Ben finished the extended fence and let the cows have more stalks. Toni and Kicker had 12th row tickets to the NFR on Tuesday, so we all looked for them all night. We did not see them. Jaxsen, Kade and Sherri got mom and I some Christmas hand soap, it smells really good, or so I am told. I can not smell, and it is not COVID related, I have not been able to smell for about 10 years. I had Kade smell it for me. I am told it smells like candy canes.  Frank and Firecracker are still in getting worked on so they can move to CA over the weekend. Both are great foals. Frank has been awesome, friendly, great since day 1. Like the day he was born. Firecracker has always been a firecracker, but it makes her entertaining. She is really smart and quick. Frank is like her big brother, keeping her calm and centered. They get to move to CA together so it is all going to work out great.

 Toni and Kicker came home Wednesday, like I said, a few days. Sherri stayed to watch Kade play a basketball game. While checking Wednesday morning Ben found an extra calf. One cow that calved was in the second AI group, so she is 3 weeks early, so we are assuming she had twins, but we will DNA the calf to make sure.  Dad took Sherri into the game so they got to watch Kade play some b-ball. He is the starting center and getting better and better.

Thursday Toni got initiated back into real life. Not quite first thing, Toni and Ben had to pull a calf out of Toni’s cow, 727. It was a very healthy heifer. 727 was Aied with sexed semen to the club calf bull, so the calf was supposed to be a bull (meaning eventually a steer).  Instead, it is a cute, healthy, vigorous heifer with lots of hair. 727 has a way of finding ways to stay near the barn in the winter, so maybe this was her faking us out so she can live in the barn and not in the field. Ben continued to work on fence, watch cows, and do normal ranch stuff. Toni went down and did her chores but didn’t get to see the kids.  Thursday Kade had another basketball game, this one in Royal City.

Friday was Kaine’s birthday party, somehow he is 14! Our biggest boy is the size of a man, does the work of a man, but is still our little boy.  He had the privilege of going to school then coming home for chores.  Uncle Skip drove down and Marlo was there. Ben made ribs, chicken and dutch oven potatoes. Mom made rolls, Apricot pie and sour cream lemon pie, it was all REALLY good. Kaine had a great party.  He is kind of a bad age to buy presents for, but acted like he liked everything. We played Phase 10 until about 9 then everyone was tired. We are real party animals.

Saturday morning we got up early and checked, the wind was howling. 839 had a cute heifer calf in some weeds, to protect it from the wind. Then Anna, Kaine and Kade went to the Methodist church to wrap presents for a FFA Community project. Ben and I tagged calves while they were gone. There were a lot to tag. The kids got back and Anna helped us tag the last few, there is still one no tagged one that Ben could not catch. We caught Anna’s show heifer, 006, and led her into the heavy heifer pen. Toni worked and had clients out until chore time. We did our normal chores and got the two foals ready to leave. They were scheduled to leave early Sunday morning. We went down and did chores early, then went to Connell for the Sep-January birthday party, so it was almost everyone.  While at the party we got a call that our CA buyers were broke down in Oregon. So they weren’t going to make it early Sunday.

Sunday was Kaine’s birthday, happy birthday Kaine! We checked early again, a few calves. Then the kids went to Connell and picked up Leslie and went to their annual Christmas shopping trip. They went to Bobs Burgers for lunch and got birthday Sundays. Ben and I looked for 839’s calf forever. Then got the heifers in off of the hill and tagged their calves and then hauled them down to circle 7 with the yearlings. Then got the show heifers in and sorted out the non show heifers and hauled them back down to circle 7. Went back and rechecked the pairs, the 2 year olds had hidden their calves down in the Russian Olive trees, so we spent a while looking for them. Then went down to do chores. The people that were picking up Frank and Firecracker had broken down in Oregon, got their vehicle fixed and were still on their way. They decided they wanted to load whenever they got to the ranch, then head back.  So we hauled the two foals to my house for a middle of the night pick up.  Sometimes ranch life isn’t too glamorous!

I am unclear if this would be on Monday’s blog or Sunday, but the CA buyers got to my house about 1 am. Toni met them out at Scooteney and Horseshoe and led them to my house so they wouldn’t get lost on the gravel road. Toni and Ben loaded the foals and let me sleep. I wasn’t planning on sleeping through it, so I had left my clothes on.  Toni has been in good contact with the two families so she was glad to finally meet them. They seemed to really like Frank and Firecracker. Both loaded really well. The halters they brought were too big, so they got to keep the halters we had. We sent them off with a bale of hay, some grain, and hope to see them again in the future.

                Two more foals off to their new homes. Wow. Only 5 more to ship out. Once the sold foals are gone we get to start halter breaking the ones we are going to keep. This next week it looks like Memphis is going to be brought in, probably her halter breaking partner will be whichever other foal comes in. We have a bunch of fillies we are keeping so probably one of those. We really have too many we want to keep. A couple of them are priced, but priced high. It is hard to rationalize selling a filly out of an old mare, or an AI foal. You just don’t know when you are going to get that cross again, if ever. We also needed to up our number of Leroy fillies, so we have kept a couple of those as well. 

                If anyone was wondering, the answer is YES- APACHE R HALI, the good gray mare that Junior Nogueira heals on and is a 2020 AQHA senior heading world Champion and AQHA senior heeling reserve world champion is a ½ sister to our two Apache Blue Boy daughters. Junior has said he has won about 1.5 on that mare. We do have a fancy black 2021 filly for sale out of one of those mares. Our mares have the same look as the Hali mare. For more on this great mare see the good AQHA article on her:

                We are pretty excited about our 2 Apache Blue Boy daughters that we got from Bridgeman Land & Livestock.  The reality is that we are excited about all of our mares, or they wouldn’t be here. Great mares are the cornerstone to any exceptional breeding program- maybe that is why we kept so many fillies this year?

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