Posts Tagged With: #njaa

This blog combines 2 weeks because we were gone for a week.

Monday was 15 degrees higher than average. HOT HOT HOT. Ben had to be to work early, so Kaine had to get up early to help Anna with morning chores. Then Dad, Anna and Kaine took the 3 heifers going to Missouri into Sheena for their travel papers. They took Riggs in with them for a checkup, she has the broken leg.  Riggs had a good checkup, she is just healing slowly. The kids washed their steers and heifers and are preparing for our long trip. I called around and found a place to stay overnight with the heifers in Gillette, and got a room. Toni bred Lucy again on Monday and tried breeding Abs, Abs does not feel like she is in heat. Kaine and Kade have really gotten into fishing lately too after they get done with chores.

                Tuesday was still hot, but not quite as hot, and it was breezy. Dad was going to spray weeds but there was too much wind. So the spray tractor went back up to my house and the circle stayed on. Another outside mare went home, KC, she was in with Dude. Anna dyed and clipped her heifer to go to Jr Nationals. Toni tried hand breeding Abs and Lucy again, both did not feel like they were in heat. Toni moved the water in King’s pen, and I moved the water out front. Everyone wants their water on. Ben and the kids started loading the trailer to go to Jr Nationals. On my way home I saw a cow in heat in the bull calf pen, so the boys and I got her in and locked her in the corral.

We are getting down to crunch time. Kids continued to dye and clip heifers on Wednesday. McCall stopped by on her way home and helped them. While Anna and McCall clipped the boys and Ben took the fans and stands down in the barn and washed them. I had a work meeting after work, so did not get home until late. Toni hand bred Abs, she was actually in heat on Wednesday. Toni and Jaxsen moved the waters around the house. Jaxsen needs work on moving water. Hopefully he will get it while we are gone.  I ran to Winco on my way home and got some last min supplies.

                On my way to work I noticed that Abs had gotten out with the yearling colts. Luckily everything was ok other than the mare we are trying to breed to Stetson was out with 2 young studs. That will lead a DNA kit if she took. Toni took Kade and went down and got her in.  Sonny and Jeannie came by and brought Anna her new pigs. They are cuter than last years pigs. The kids continued to pack and get ready for the show. When I got home almost everything was packed. Toni and I tried to simplify all of the horses chores, turning everything out that we could. We did our best and hopefully all goes well.

Friday we headed out early and made it to Gillette, Wyoming. The roads were good except in Idaho, those roads were crap. We hit some road construction and there was an accident in Billings, so we were detoured through town, but we made it. We got to keep the heifers at the fairgrounds in Gillette, they had a nice big pen and were able to stretch their legs. We arrived in Gillette in the dark and left again in the dark, but what we saw was nice. We saw lots of wildlife, ranches, cattle, and good ag country.

We got up at 4 again on Saturday and continued to Kansas City, Missouri. Again, lots of good roads and we saw lots of country. Kaine called the pronghorns “jumps” so we started calling them that.  Really other than some wind in Wyoming and more road construction with a detour through Council Bluffs, we had a pretty uneventful trip. We have started calling our stay in Kansas City the Hunger Games. Day 1 we found out the American Royal Grounds are in down town Kansas City along the tracks, it was a little bit of a culture shock for us. The grounds are old, the ac was barely working, and lots and lots of fireworks.  It was 9:30 when we got everyone settled in to tie outs and the trailer unpacked. July 1st in Missouri is when they do fireworks, right by our hotel. So we then circled our hotel for an hour and a half trying to get in. It was 11 by then, we could not get any food in so we ate smoked almonds, pretzels and granola barns.  When we tried to get good directions from the hotel about how to get in with the crowds of people, we were told to pull up google maps. It was not helpful. We were all exhausted when we finally got to our room and could decompress.

Sunday we got up, luckily Ben had made us breakfast burritos so we took them with us to the barn. We had an extra so a guy from Nebraska took it. He said it was great. We got all set up, fans up, heifers in the barn. We were in a great location to meet people- right where the 2 barns connected so everyone had to walk their cattle by our area to get to the show ring. It gave Toni lots of opportunity to talk. She talked to lots and lots of people.  Day 2 of Hunger Games the heat was turned on. We spent the day getting set up, sweating and trying to keep the heifers cool. Yes, we realize that Missouri in July is hot, but there were actually excessive heat warnings because it was way hot.  We had expected it to be hot but it far exceeded our expectations. The boys’ 2 heifers came from Seldom Rest in Michigan so Andrew and Scott came over to talk to the kids and see the heifers.  We went out to the Porch, which is by the American Royal Center, for dinner and then went back and put the heifers out at tie outs when the sun went down, so approximately 9 pm.  It was still really hot, but without the sun it was bare-able.

Happy 4th of July. Day 3 of Hunger Games was additional heat and humidity. Record high heat warming. In the morning Kacey V and Anna went to a delegate meeting, they were the WA state voting delegates.  The kids had an AMP it up and livestock judging with Jr Angus. There were over 1800 head entered at the show, with approximately 1100 head that showed up with over 700 exhibitors. It is the biggest junior show in America. We had opening ceremonies and a pop-up event that night, WA brought iced coffee and applies. Both were a big hit. All of the states bring what they are known for to the pop up. Ohio was next to us with buckeyes, and buckeyes and coffee really pair nicely. CA was on the other side of us with fruit cups, almonds and black grocery bags. Louisiana had gumbo. Texas had Dr Pepper and millionaire bars. There was live music, corn hole games and more. We had a lot of fun. The kids got to reconnect with friends that made the year before and began meeting new people.

Tuesday morning Toni and Anna stayed at the hotel in the morning for an Angus Queen brunch. The boys and I went to the barn and washed the heifers. Kat and Kady took our pickup to the hotel, since Kady is the Western States Queen, and the 4 of them went to the brunch which was held at Union Station. The location was historic and inspiring. On Hunger Games the biting flies came, and more heat. They needed to turn up the volume to keep it interesting. Toni took Anna back to the hotel that afternoon to get ready for the delegate social meeting. The voting delegates had a social to get to know one another and ask the candidates questions. Anna and Kacey V. were the WA delegates. Toni, Kaine, Kade and I went to pizza for dinner and then went back and took the heifers out when the sun was down. It was still excessively hot. 

Wednesday on Hunger games it was hot, but cooler then it has been, we had biting flies, rain, thunder and lighting. The boys and I went back to the hotel and napped for a few hrs while Toni and Anna watched the heifers.  Anna napped in the chair. In the afternoon the kids did the skill a thon and did well. Also on Wednesday the kids went to a Sullivans clinic. Wednesday night was the Team Fitting. The WA Team Fitting team was Kade, Dalton Chambers, Matt Rosman and Sydney Dodge. They did really well. We have not seen the official results yet, and although we know they didn’t make the top 3, we are very proud of our kids. Kelsey V brought us Kaines (really Cane’s chicken) Chicken on Wednesday for dinner. We have had Ben’s breakfast burritos and sandwiches every day. They really saved us.

Thursday Anna showed in the PGS show. Her and Victoria did really well. They were 7th in their class and in the 9th class. Anna also helped Sydney Rylaarsdam show her cow and calf, Anna got to show the calf. In the evening we watched Dalton show in the showmanship. In between Dalton’s heat and the announcement of the top 15 we had Ben’s smoked beef and chips. Ben had a really nice smoke on it. Dalton made it back to the top 15, we were all very proud of him. Dalton and his brother Coulson are great kids and helped our kids out a lot.  

Friday Kaine showed Mia, he was the second to last class of the day, class 37, so it was pretty late in the day. Him and Mia showed really and she looked really good. Seldom Rest fitted her so that was nice for us to not have to take any chutes. We had Ben’s lunch burritos for dinner on Friday. Anna also did her queen duties. And the loose heifer IS NOT ours, but she was living her best life.

Saturday first thing was the showmanship show off, so we went and watched Dalton show. He did a great job. Then Anna was in the first heifer class. Her and Victoria showed well again. Victoria looked really good. About 7 classes later Kade and Laramie showed. They also looked really good. Then we packed up our stuff and headed out of town. We made it to Oacoma, South Dakota for the night. We walked and fed the heifers and they slept in the trailer. Some girls from the hotel came and gave them a pet. We also got to eat in a restaurant Saturday night which was nice. Saturday we had whatever anyone could find in the snack box for breakfast with gas station sandwiches for lunch.  Dinner sitting in a non-moving vehicle was good. It also ended up being the only real meal we got for the entire trip home.

Sunday we woke up early and headed out. We tried to stop at the big western store in Wall, South Dakota but it was closed, it did not open until 8. So we headed out of town. Toni put the pedal to the metal and we flew home. I typed and worked on pictures as she drove.  I told her she was like a barn sour horse running for home, she didn’t deny it. She stopped for fuel and bathroom breaks. If we were lucky there was food at whichever gas station she stopped at. We drove 19 ½ hours on Sunday to get home. We went through some beautiful country. We saw Custer’s last stand. We saw the turn-off to Mt. Rushmore, Toni said we didn’t have time to stop at either. We saw lots of other places and lots of wild and domestic animals through the pick-up windows. 

Some trip highlights. All of the WA (and Oregon and Idaho groups for that matter) were driven by their mothers, or aunts, no show dads from those states made the trip. We had 6 kids from WA and 1 from OR that all stalled together. We made lots of new friends. Our area was on the main aisle going to the show ring, so Toni and I talked to a lot of people and made a lot of new friends.  We also forged stronger relationships with our WA friends. As both WA Jr. Angus Queen and a delegate Anna had the opportunity to really be part of the proceedings and see some of the political side. Kaine and Kade made friends early and were often wandering around with their buddies. Mom sent us with lots of muffins and cookies and we ate well on the food we brought. We took our swim clothes, but were so busy we never had time to swim at the hotel swimming pool.

Even with the Hunger Games theme, we had a good time. The heifers were all good, for the most part the kids were good. Really the best part is that the kids said thanks. They understand it is a sacrifice to take the time off, the cost, the commitment, those that were at home that had to pick up the slack. Junior Nationals is about the experience, the relationships, being part of the Angus organization, and having kids that understand and are appreciative make it all worth it.

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I always like to remind myself, that things could be worse. No matter the situation

            So, since the kids and I were in Nebraska all week, Toni has been in charge of many things, including the blog post. On July 9th I sent her what I had so far, since I was flying our early the next day, and she had to finish it and write all below. So here is what Toni, Ben, Kicker, Jaxsen, Mom, Dad and sometimes Kendel did all week:

            I always like to remind myself, that things could be worse. No matter the situation, I always say, well it could be worse. Monday was going to be very busy. Started out with some girls from New Jersey out to see the horses while they visited family in Othello. After we got done at Mom’s, we only had time to look at one stud pen. They picked Sagebug, because he is funny. When we got down to the pen, I noticed that the fence looked wonky, but wasn’t too worried about it. When we got out into the field, we discovered that Can Can had somehow got the two wire hot fence completely wrapped around her ankle four times. It looked pretty bad. I cut the fence, but that didn’t help. I couldn’t get the fence off of her leg. So, I ran the people back to their vehicle, called for reinforcements, which were Kendel on her six-wheeler, and Mom and Jaxsen in Kaine’s blazer. We got the entire pen in, put them in the corral, and started trying to sort Can Can out to try and get the wire off of her leg. We could not get her sorted with her mother, but luckily, she sorted with Bebe her aunt. Bebe has been injured a time or two so was actually the perfect horse to keep her calm and allow us to try to get the wire off.  Can Can was rock solid, never kicked or got worked up, and eventually we somehow got the wire off of her leg. I am so thankful to have Kendel as a neighbor and cousin to help and of course, Mom is a godsent. After we got the wire off, Can Can back with her mom, and the the horses in a corral pen, I had to get home, get the dirt, sweat, and other stuff wiped off of me, put a suit and a pair of earrings, and head to the meeting I was supposed to be headed to 30 minutes earlier. On the way I called Coco to tell her all about it, and she graciously said she would go down and get the fence fixed.  I got home at 5:30ish, changed back into work clothes and headed back to the barn. Ben, Kicker, and I shorted Shiney and Can Can out, then moved the rest of the horses back to their pen. Ben and I gave Can Can a couple of shots, really examined her leg, put some topical on, then loaded Shiney and Can Can to move them to Mom and Dad’s to a smaller pen to watch for infection.

After the debacle of Saturday, with Jaxsen and I doing chores on our own and my almost getting heat exhaustion, Monday could have been worse. First off, I decided to pare down chores to make it a bit easier. Secondly, Coco was there to help with chores. It was still super-hot, but chores went much better. After chores we went back to the barn, helped Ben and Kicker sort a cow and calf out that we were selling, and sort our big herd bull out and pull him out of the cows. Monday was a really long day.

Tuesday continued to be hot, but things went well. Can Can’s leg was swollen, but she was walking on it fine. We decided to leave her in the pen to keep watching her. Chores were pretty mundane. I had to push bales off the stack so Jax likes to pretend it is an Olympic game and score my ability to get the bales on the trailer or if I miss then I get no points.

Wednesday Ben hauled the cow and calf into the vet to get them ready to leave for their new home, vet inspection, brand inspection, etc. The cow ended up being open, but the people wanted her anyway, so that worked out. Mom came out and drove the four-wheeler for chores. She didn’t think she had driven it before, but it is pretty basic. No shifting required and if I am throwing hay off the back, try not to be jerky and knock me off. After chores we went down to help Ben and Kicker. I wanted Jax to help Ben lead the steers but he would only lead his own. He said the other ones were “too wild.” I am really unclear how he figures that, but Ben let him get away with it. When I got down to the barn, Ben was working and Jax was sitting in the rocking chair talking to the bottle calf Rollin.

Thursday Dad was done with work for the week, so he helped with chores. Dad is helping the Moore family with wheat harvest like he does every year. This year was an abbreviated harvest due to the drought. Thursday afternoon the family from Sandpoint was going to come pick up their cow and calf. They got stuck in traffic on the way down, so they ended up getting here way later than they had planned. They had three little kids, so I took them around to pet the mini horses, donkey, regular horses, calves, cats, giant dog, and whatever else Kellie has accumulated at her house. They really liked the cow and were excited to get her home. She is a pretty tame cow so was a really good fit for their family.

Friday we were supposed to have people out to look at horses but they canceled. Marlo showed up to help with chores, so Jax was pretty happy. He was less happy when we were done with chores and she made him go work on his steer and help with the other steers. He tried to convince her he couldn’t work on the other steers, but she didn’t buy into his logic and made him actually help with the other steers. They aren’t wild. After they got the steers turned lose, they cleaned the barn, then came home for dinner.

Saturday everyone was just trying to play catch-up on all the things that needed to get done. Gunner was out again, so Jax and I went down to fix that fence. I got a splinter up under my fingernail, but luckily it was long enough I could jerk it out.  Jax and I had to fix the cross fence and the main fence, but we got it done. I think Jax is getting better at helping.  Then Dad decided we needed to fix the trailer tire and we wrecked it.  The tire was pretty iffy anyway, and we broke off some of the lugs holding it on the wheel, so we got chores done, but decided to fix it for good before we loaded hay back on it. We had bought a trailer, new to us, and pretty new overall so Dad, Jax, and I went and got it on Saturday afternoon. It is big, but lighter than our Titan, so easier to pull for the smaller loads. And it is red so Dad likes the color.

Sunday I figured I had better finish getting everything checked before Kellie got home. Jax and I started out at Leroy’s pen, and right off I knew it was going to be a long day. We knew that pen was pretty close to out of feed, but with the heat, they needed to be moved. Jax wanted to go raid his aunt’s pop inventory before we got started on any real work, so we headed back to her house to set the gates before we got the pen in. Jax found himself a nice water and a caffeinated drink that I made him put back.  Before we got Leroy’s pen in, I thought we should go check Sagebug to make sure he was in, because if he isn’t in, then he could run the fenceline we were going to run Leroy up. It was a good thing we went out to check, because Sagebug’s pen was out and the cows were standing in the gate to his pen.  I made Jax get out and chase stuff out of the gate, then we got Bug’s pen in, but they went very easily. Leroy’s pen didn’t come in so easily. Lona, mom’s mare, likes to take the herd the wrong way if she thinks you want her to go to the house.  Words may have been said, we will leave it at that. After we got them in, we sorted Leroy out and moved him to a solo pen, so his breeding season is over. We loaded the mares and foals into the new trailer and took them to greener pastures. As the summer heats up, as we run out of feed, we will continue to move the mares and foals back to mom and dads to get ready for weaning. It is much easier if they are all condensed into one area. Because Jackpot, Sagebug, and Gunner are on irrigated pastures with lots of grass, they are the last pens to be moved normally.

Once we completed the Leroy move, we went ahead and did chores. Ben and Dad had put new lugs on the tire, so the chore trailer is once again operational. Got water moved, horses worked on, everything fed. We moved Can Can and Shiney over with the old mares so Can Can can use that leg more. It looks decent but we are still watching it. Chores were complete so Jax and I went out to finish checking the rest of the horses and the calves. We finished about 8 pm, but I felt confident I hadn’t let anything die on my watch. Kellie got home about 8:30ish I hear, so we once again share the burden.

            As a reward, Mom made these fantastic raspberry cinnamon rolls with a homemade raspberry sauce. They are amazing.

It was a long week.

            Back to me (Kellie), the kids, Jay, Leslie, Traci and I had a lot of fun in Nebraska. The kids included the Twins (McCall and McKenna), Anna, Kaine, Kade, Natalie, Savannah and Kayla. Saturday Traci, the three younger kids and I should have beaten the other 7 there by an hr, but with all of the delays they beat us there by an hr. Basically Saturday and Sunday we set up everything, washing the heifers and got ready for the week. While in Nebraska the kids participated in Livestock Judging, Kaine and Natalie both got 6th in different divisions. Kaine and Kade were in the same division, and Kade got 29th out of around 100 kids and Anna got 49th in a different division out of about 150 kids. They all participated in the knowledge bowl except Natalie, and the senior team, the Twins, Kacey V. and Sydney R. made it to the final round. The final round is like a jeopardy round. The 4 younger kids did the skill a thon and the two boys did Team Sales with Cora T. and Hadlee B. They had a lot of fun. The kids also went to a social and met lots of new people. The 4 younger kids participated in the mentor program. They showed their heifers and all showed great. We shopped in the booths and had a grand time. The Twins flew back with us, and Leslie, Jay, Anna, Kaine and Kade drove back. It was actually more like 9:22 when I got home.  

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Last Week in Pictures