As ranchers we have to make hard choices, deal with the results, and keep going. Sometimes easier said than done.

Everyone was back at school and work on Monday. Tulip and Toni worked on the 3 fillies, the two buckskins were pretty easy, Joss being the easiest. Gucci wasn’t terrible, but the worst of the three. Toni says we are selling the easiest and smartest one, I said that is because her mom is not old and the other two are out of old moms. Kaine and Jaxsen did horse chores. Anna and the men did cow chores. Kade had CCE practice after school for FFA. Three people came back from the last years team and they had three new kids. I have not had any reports on Molly for a week or so. She has been doing really well, she is now on spore probiotics. We discussed with mom moving her to a slightly bigger pen and not locking her in at night, so mom is considering it.

                Tuesday morning dad went and had coffee with his friends (old people). Toni and I joined Roberta’s Fantasy NFR, separately, and have argued each person we have picked for each team, I think. We did not consult on anything. Kade, Kaine and Anna also joined fantasy NFR at school with his FFA teacher. They did not ask for our advice on their teams either. We know Kade has Shad Mayfield because he loves Shad. Toni had the boys help her with the fillies, so they got used to other people. She had Cog help her get grain in the shed.  Cog (I call him Rich because that is his actual name) will pretty much go anywhere. He is one of he most mild-mannered colts ever. We had a skiff of snow and Toni and the fillies did not enjoy it.

On Wednesday I went to Spokane to a work conference, the roads were not good up around Spokane. Toni and Kade worked on the fillies. Kaine had a football program after school where he got awarded for making it as an Honorable Mention on the All Star team. Dad went and picked him up. Toni, Kade and Jaxsen put up their Christmas tree. I was at the Davenport, so saw LOTS of fancy Christmas trees.

                On Thursday Toni’s pickup didn’t start, so she drove down to check cows in Barry’s little stick-shift 1980’s pickup that he has at their house. Miranda did not recognize her in that pickup, but she took the Colorado out to check cows, so Murtaugh went, she will go with anyone. Miranda was mad when they got back that she was left. We started calving and had a cute heifer calf. Toni texted me that Molly was not feeling well, so her and mom were taking her into Sheena. Sheena diagnosed her with an infection from the surgery. Toni said the fillies are doing awesome. 

We lost Molly Thursday night/Friday morning. Many of you read the post, and thank you for all of your kind works. Losing Molly was very hard on all of us. We knew that there were impacts from the colic surgery, we had just thought she was out of the woods. Having her go downhill so quickly, getting her over to Sheena right away, and still losing her was a real blow. Friday I came home from Spokane, the roads were much much better than Wednesday. Marlo came out and Kade and Marlo did chores, Toni and I worked on the foals, then Marlo came over and helped. Kaine went snowmobiling with his friend Maxx, he was really excited to get invited. Friday night we had a cow calving and pulled dead twins, they had both been trying to come out at the same time. We started feeding the cows Friday night because it was so cold and they would have some straw for the calves as well.

Saturday we checked early due to the cold wind. Lots of heavy cows. After Ben worked on watering, Anna and I ran to a local dairy to get a jersey/char bull to graft onto the cow that had the dead twins. He is a cute little guy. Diane Schuler also stopped by on her way by to say hi and see some of the horses. After lunch I had some coworkers come out with Hamish Howard. Hamish is from New Zealand and we, at the Irrigation District, are looking at some work flow software, it is called Assura Software. He took a ranch tour, which is not as good in the winter, he fed Foxxy the cow and rode Gracie the horse. Eric also jumped on Gracie. Mom made them an apricot pie and then they headed on their way. We then did chores and worked on the foals. We also cleaned up all of the stuff related to Molly.

                We had a bitterly cold wind Saturday night, so lost two calves. So Ben, Anna and I got all of the cows in and sorted off of the heavy cows. We locked the heavy cows up by the house, so we had to combine a lot of show steers and heifers to make room. We have around 90 heavy cows locked in. Toni, Kade and Jaxsen went and checked the yearling heifers and rode around some on their horses. I went and picked Kaine up from Maxx’s house and then we did chores.  We turned out Gucci and Holly, haltered the Joker, Tee, and left Joss in. These are the last two of the weaned foals to be halter broke. The only one left after this is Summer, who is not weaned. Luckily by the end of Sunday the wind had lessened.

After a hard week, it always makes a person question decisions, question choices, put some self-reflection time in. In the end if we made choices because they were in the best interest of the animal, without considering cost, time, energy, or emotion, we have done our best.  Could we have done things differently? Sure. Would it result in a different outcome? We don’t know the answer to that. What we do know is that as long as we do our best by these animals that have been put in our care, we can’t second guess that. As ranchers we have to make hard choices, deal with the results, and keep going. Easier said than done, but something to keep in mind. Watching new calves being born helps to brighten a person’s spirits and keep focused.  Again, a big thank you for all of the support that we have been given through this ordeal. It helps.

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