Monday was a day for the books. We woke up to snow and it was snowing hard, I guess a late April Fools Day joke?? Toni went and checked and Lura had a beautiful blue roan colt. Lura is a range mare, Toni attempted to get her into the barn, but she was anti. Luckily the colt was big, healthy, and was sucking, so at some point you have to weigh the stress of trying to get them in with leaving them alone. In this case, where Lura really didn’t want to come in, it made sense to leave her. The cows decided that they did not want to be out in the sagebrush anymore, and we do not want to have to feed them, so they continued to come home all day, they just have to cross a plowed field to come home. Toni and the kids fought with them most of the day before taking them home. Lane came to see Anna and got the spend the day running behind the cows. It had stopped snowing at that point, but they got to sort and document which cows and calves they had in the hail. Toni had Lane and Anna stand in the covered part of the barn while they sorted as Lane was a guest. Bull 134, who is in with the show heifers, somehow got out of the corral and went up to Gayles house in the middle of the night. Gayle thought it was Hayley’s bull, Hayley called Ben because it was not her bull, so Anna and Hayley got him in. Anna was leaving Wednesday morning to Reno, so trying to get packed. They finally got done and came down and we did chores. Throughout the day they had rain, snow, hail, lightening. We got chores done and went out to check. We went to hook up Butte to the red trailer, since dad was going to Inchelium and Daisy on Tuesday and the battery was dead. So we jump started Butte, unhooked the camper and hooked up the trailer. Here is hoping for a better day tomorrow.
Tuesday we just had frost in the morning, a big improvement. Dad headed North first thing after Anna loaded the bulls. A straggler cow, 813, was waiting at the house to be let into the pasture. Toni and Jaxsen went out to check and found Running Sparkles and her new blue roan colt by Gunner. I called to change our reservation to Reno to Wednesday instead of Tuesday as check in date and the guy I talked to changed it to be one day. So then I had to call back and they said they did not have any rooms. I said my reservation was literally just changed, so that room should still be available. What do they said about April, in like a lion and out like a lamb?? Toni, Kade and Kaine fixed a pole on Jackpot’s pen and a pole on King pen Tuesday night. And brought in enough poles to put up some hill fence. Toni wanted to get the hillside between the old mares and King replaced over spring break. That is her goal. Her and I have been putting in posts for awhile, slowly, so now it is just getting the poles up, some panels at the top, and packing the wire out. It doesn’t sound hard but it is time consuming. Anna packed to leave on Wednesday. She went and got a wool suit jacket from Toni as Reno is not known to be warm in April.
Wednesday morning bright and early Kat and Kady showed up to pick up Anna and head to Reno. Ben had a pot of coffee on and breakfast sandwiches made. On my way to work I saw that Shasta had foaled, so I texted. When Toni got down there she say Shasta and Zoie had both foaled. Zoie had a stunning filly with a big blaze and two blue eyes, so Toni got more pictures of that one than of Shasta’s. Both were really nice foals. After the kids worked on steers, Toni and the boys put up a couple more sections of wood fence on the hill and got the panels up. The boys actually thought it would be a good plan to wench the panels to the top of the hill and wasted quite a bit of time trying to make that work. The wench cable just wasn’t long enough, so everyone ended packing panels and wood poles up the hill anyway. They got all but the brace at the top done and taking down the old fence. Chores were still normal, doctoring the heifer, doctoring baby Blackie, and Double. Then feeding and checking.
Thursday I left bring and early for Reno, Anna and Kady started showing in the afternoon, so I had to get on the one flight out of Pasco in the AM. Toni and the boys planned to leave for the Pomeroy jackpot on Friday. So Toni called the boys to see when she should go down and watch them practice showing their steers. They were up working on their boat. She wanted to know which steer was named boat, but it was an actual boat. The boys went back to the barn and got their steers in show halters and did a mock round of showing. Toni said she wasn’t super happy, but they boys are big enough and tough enough that she wasn’t going to worry about it. Toni and Jaxsen finished the fence, putting up the brace on the end; chopping and picking up all the barbed wire and getting it out. Then chores.
Friday was a busy day all around. In Reno we had the Jr Angus show and the PG&S. Anna and Electra were 4th in thier PG&S class and Kady had a division reserve champion with Spike. Toni, Kaine, Kade and the BB crew headed to Pomeroy for the Garfield County show. They had a late start because Leslie had a tire issue. So the boys loaded their steers, then unloaded their steers. They did everything pretty much on their own. Took the pick-up and hooked it up, loaded everything, including the steers, then went and picked up Toni. Mom sent them with a bunch of baked goods and so did one of the neighbors. They got to Connell right when the BB crew was loading. So after a brief chat with grandma they were on their way. They had a good, uneventful trip and got to Pomeroy in good weather. All the steers unloaded great and acted like pros. Lots and lots of friends and some family were there. 75 steers were entered in the show, with many coming Saturday morning. Still lots of people on Friday. The crew visited and had dinner, then got ready for Saturday. At home Marlo and Jaxsen were in charge of horse chores. So a big thanks to Marlo for taking care of all of that.
Saturday was another busy day. In Reno we had the Open Angus show and we had a good time. Back in Pomeroy, for once the weather was actually good. No snow, no hail, no real rain. Most of the exhibitors showed up and the steers did great. Kaine and Kade, along with their cousins, all showed great. With 75 head entered, there were lots of spectators and people everywhere. The boys handled their steers really well and placed well. While at the show, Toni received a text from Jaxsen with pictures of a pole down at the corral, her heifer out, and the caption, “We have a problem.” Luckily Mom and Jax got all the gates shut, so the heifer was locked in and Ben was able to come put everything back to what it should be. The show was done about 3, so after cleaning out and loading, they hit the road for home. Both boys napped while Toni drove. They planned for Toni to do chores while they washed their steers, but chores were done by Kick and Ben, so the boys went and washed steers and Toni went and doctored baby blackie and Double, grabbed Jax, and headed home.
Happy Easter. We headed back from Reno. Mom and Dad had easter eggs hid in the backyard for the boys. The boys told Toni she couldn’t see the eggs so she couldn’t easter egg hunt so of course she did. She took Anna’s spot. She tied with Kade for the most eggs. After that Ben went and made dinner for the people staying home. No Easter foals. So that was disappointing. But a great Easter for everyone. Great food, good people. Uncle Skip showed up later in the day and spent the night. I got home around chore time and went down to help. Anna unloaded her heifer and started her chores. Ben had gotten the rim and tire fixed on my Colorado so I had that to drive again.
What an amazing week. Anna had a great trip to Reno. It was her first time there. We are so proud of all that she is doing and participating in. Anna has gone from being pretty introverted to pushing her boundaries to become the best version of her. The three boys really stepped up this week as well and took on extra responsibility to help keep things going on the ranch. All of these kids are hard working and dependable. Jaxsen may not love the ranch work, but he understands that we have a responsibility to take care of our livestock and be good stewards of our land. So all-in-all we had a great and productive spring break week!
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