Posts Tagged With: ranch life

“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.”

Monday started out like a normal day, a little windy and cold but not too bad, but then the snow came. So the day ended cold and wet. Pre-storm was entertaining , with animals we are supposed to be checking on, feeling their oats and running through the hills. Since they were all running, we figured they were ok! Kaine and Kade had a math team competition, parents were not supposed to be in there until around 5 for the knowledge bowl, but since the snow started to come down it ended early, luckily cousin Hayley and Aunt Gayle were in there and brought them home for us. Both boys did great, Kaine was 6 overall for this grade and Kade’s team got 5th. Good job boys. Anna and Toni did chores in the wind and snow. Toni told Anna when they first left the house not to worry, your face will numb up soon and you won’t feel cold at all. I don’t think Anna was impressed. Ben and Kicker were out late doing the cow chores, feeding everything due to the snow and wind, and lots of water to thaw.

Tuesday we at least all had delays, the kids had no school. Ben and Anna went and checked the cows early before he went to work. I brought my own pickup to work since my work pickup is two wheel drive and it was not a pleasant drive home the night before. But, Butte handles it like a champ. Dad, Anna and Kaine took Jewels to Sagehill Vet in Othello to make sure, one last time, that she is not pregnant. She is not. Toni and Kade did chores in the snow and cold. Anna and Kaine worked on the two mini fillies in the barn.


Wednesday it is still cold, I am still hoping for some warmth, people are calling me crazy. Toni and I went to Pappy’s funeral Wednesday afternoon, for all of you that know Miss Kyra, Pappy is who bred her and gave her to us. Pappy was a great man with A LOT of knowledge about horses and racing Quarter horse blood lines. He loved spending time at the track and we are so happy that he was able to see one of Miss Kyra’s foals run in 2018, and it showed him as the breeder. One of his life long ambitions was to see a horse he raised raise, and we love that we helped him fulfill that goal. I had an LID meeting in Burbank at 7, so I was really late getting home.


Thursday I went to Mattawa first things for interviews, they have a lot less snow then us. Toni checked cows and of course we had a cow calving, however, at least it was sunny on Thursday, she had him all right and he got up and nursed and was dry before dark. Toni and the kids did chores, and the kids went sledding down the big hill.


Friday it snowed again, all day…..The drifts are getting high, Toni and the kids barely got the 4 wheeler around to do chores. We were also getting nervous about our horses, but we continued to check them and they were all doing really well. Again the kids went sledding. Toni and I used to sled the hill behind mom and dad’s house when we were younger and it is an awesome sledding experience. Just enough slope to really get some speed without being scary.


Saturday it snowed and the wind blew. Kicker went down and plowed out the drive way at mom and dads with the tractor so we could do chores, it was still rough going, we could not get the 4 wheeler around so we used Toni’s pickup to do chores, with googles on to keep the show out of our eyes. We had to walk into the corral where Double, Kool, Whim, and Bish are. Toni still got the pickup stuck in a drift and Kick came and pulled her out with the tractor. Ben, Anna and I got out to the desert and fed the mares a few bales of hay and checked them. Saturday they did not know if they were hungry yet and half of them ran off. See all the calving cow pictures on Facebook, I am glad we don’t have many that are calving right now. Our cousins have 90 calves in the show barn and the shop, they are divided by pens, depending on what pen they came out of, and they are hoping to mother them up when they take them back. This weather is hard on everyone that ranches.


Sunday it snowed, but luckily the wind had stopped, or slowed down, so it was not as cold feeling. Kicker had to go to Moses Lake to get flowers for Grandma and Grandpa’s 70th wedding anniversary celebration. Ben, Anna and I got back out to the dessert, and the horses decided they were at least a little hungry on Sunday. Toni and I tried using the tractor to do chores, but, dad decided he was going to drive it for us. So, dad drove and Toni and I walked in his tracks. There are lots and lots of drifts everywhere. With the wind lots of snow has blown into the barn, and the mini fillies don’t really like it. We had to get all of the bulls that we had out on pastures to the house, since they were watering on lakes that we can not keep open. So the two older bulls that we are using are in with Gunner, and none of them like that, and the yearling bulls for sale are in the Spokane steers pen, so the Spokane steers are locked in the corral. We put Dyna in with the yearling foals since she had a hard time getting around in the snow, so she does not have to walk as far.


Sunday night we braved the weather and went into Connell to celebrate Grandma and Grandpa’s 70th wedding anniversary. Most of the family made it in. Rick Machatto was the emcee for the night and did a great job keeping everyone entertained and the night moving forward. It was also the Sale Dinner with the BB Cattle annual bull Sale moving forward on the 11th. Everyone had a great time and thank you to Michael Jay’s restaurant in Connell for staying open for us and providing a sensational meal!


Grandma and Grandpa have provided a great foundation for this family. A line from the BB Cattle Bull Sale Welcome letter really sums up their marriage, “Snow was deep, wallets were light, and optimism was necessary.” What a way to start a marriage!

And more snow pictures:

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Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.

Monday the kids had no school, teacher in-service day, next Monday the kids have school, then next Monday the kids have no school, BB Cattle Co bull sale, then the next Monday no school for President’s day, then we will have to see about Mondays after that, we might revisit school on Mondays. Dad went and got more pellets, which was good since we were close to rationing. Anna and Kaine checked the cows Monday AM. I went to the East District for a meeting, then took coworkers to Checos for lunch. Kade had basketball practice Monday night, so Toni, Anna and Kaine did chores. Kicker came down and took the pellets off of the trailer. Ben got the steers in so we sent one to Colton Tuesday afternoon, he shows our steers at the fair.


Tuesday everyone was back to school again. Anna was excited because it was the start of a new semester and she has Ag with Mrs. Shattuck this semester. Anna is applying to be an ambassador with the 509 Show Circuit too, and she is excited about that. Toni checked cows Tuesday morning. Dad took Jewels to Sagehill Veterinary clinic to get an ultrasound to see if she is pregnant and he took a tire in from the flatbed trailer for a tire repair. Then he snuck in my house to get the left over pie out of my fridge for mom, but I caught him on the camera and sent him a text. The kids did chores, Toni had a meeting that went longer then she had expected.


Wednesday Toni checked cows in the morning, our big red eyed Hereford cow had a really cute black ballie heifer. The kids and dad did chores, Toni headed to Tacoma in the afternoon for a big case that she has going on. 337 calved after Toni left and before Ben got home. Thursday dad checked since Toni was in Tacoma, Rob’s cow Olivia calved. Kade, Jaxsen, Kaine and Kicker went to the Pinewood Derby in at the boy scouts. Both Kade and Jaxsen’s cars did really well. Kaine got his last Cub Scout award since he aged out of cub scouts. Toni said that the eating was good in Tacoma, but the people and weather, not so much.


Friday I did not have to work so I checked. Dad had an apt for Red to get the oil changed so I went and picked him up and took him back. Diane needed some totes, and we have lots, so she came out and got totes. Besides that I just checked the cows, cleaned the office a little. Toni’s mediation did not get done until late Friday, so she was really late getting home. Kade’s basketball team got to play during half time at the varsity girls basketball game, dad took him to it since Toni was not home yet. I hear it was a really good game. Kade’s team won, but it was against the 3rd graders, so good job to them for playing so well.


Saturday we had a pretty good day, we tagged the calves and checked the cows. Krista and Sue came out to look at Jitter Bug and Hollywood Cad. Ben, Anna and Kaine got the yearlings heifers and steers in and were getting yearling weights when I got back. Toni, Kicker, Kade and Jaxsen were at Kade’s basketball games in Connell, they won both, good job boys. Then we did chores and looked through the Hereford World and picked out Hereford bulls and heifers we want to buy (haha).


Sunday we checked cows, like normal this time of year. Then we weighed the show steers, they are gaining really well. Cody came and checked on Felix, and brought some friends, one is scared of horses. So of course the horses had to maul her. Then we did chores early to get home to watch the super bowl, and Toni, Kicker, Kade, Jaxsen and Kaine with to a superbowl party at Booths. We were also going through our long list of bulls to AI too and narrowing it down. Toni and I normally like the same type of bulls and Ben likes a different type, and Kicker normally just waits to see what we pick out and pick from those on what to breed too. Ben’s comments are always super amusing. One bull he says is so short bodied he looks like he ran into a feed bunk, and another is so fat his blubber is just falling off of him. Toni and my comments back on his bulls are must better, like not enough rib shape, not deep enough, etc. it is quite comical. We have the more professional, legitimate comments that count. No one can take Ben’s comments seriously. Winter it last night, so lets all hope it comes and goes quickly.

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Checking Cows and Horses

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If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there with ya.

Hopefully everyone had a great Martin Luther King Day! The kids were home from school Monday so Anna and Kaine checked cows. Cousin Diane and her daughter Tash were over visiting so Toni made lunch for them, dad, mom and the kids so she came down and got Kaine and Anna late morning. They all had a great time and a nice visit. No new calves Monday but it was a beautiful day. Toni had a dribble off (basketball dribbling) with the three older kids in the afternoon. Toni says she creamed them, the kids tell a different story.


Tuesday everyone was back at school. Mom and Debbie went to a sewing class, so dad was getting everyone off of the bus, so no homemade pizza pockets as after school snacks. But not to worry, mom had a loaf of bread dad just had to put in the oven, so they had fresh bread, cinnamon, sugar and honey to put on their bread. Jaxsen had an Angus calf on Tuesday, Loud calved, I guess it is Jaxsen the 2nd?? Two of Jaxsen’s calves are shown below. Toni was going through her pictures on her phone and this made her decide she should check the mares, no foals. When Ben got home there were two more calves to greet him. When Toni got home there was a dog by her mail box that had been hit on the road, luckily she got ahold of the Adams County Pet Rescue and they came out and got it.


Wednesday Ben stayed home from work to semen test bulls with Dr. Hank Wisse. Dad came down and assisted Ben in getting the bulls in. The older bull was down in circle 5, and it was so muddy down there the pickup went anywhere but straight. So luckily dad was there to help. Poor baby Jaxsen had to have mouth surgery, and they had to be in there at 7. After the surgery when Jaxsen was asked how he felt, he said he felt like watching Netflixs, so normal. Towards the end of semen checking bulls our load of grain showed up, Stefan had forgotten to text me so we were not ready for it. Luckily Ben was home and the driver was a nice guy. So the driver walked around while Ben and Hank finished up and then Ben cleaned the old grain out before the new grain was put into the pile. Kade had boy scouts on Wednesday, the boys’ friend Aram also had scouts so dad picked up both boys and Aram helped do chores. Kade told me he was going to miss my birthday with me because he had basketball practice Thursday, I told him that was acceptable, but no cake for him.


Toni checked cows on Thursday, she texted me that it was a muddy mess down there and she could not get some places due to the mud. However, they are just out in a corn field, so she could see the places she could not drive too. Jaxsen was back at school and made sure everyone saw his missing teeth, I asked him what he had for lunch and he said chicken soup that I had made him. I said I don’t think I made soup for you, he said, “yeah, don’t you remember?” So I guess I made some soup for Sonny. Kade had basketball practice so dad took him to that while Toni, Anna, Aram, and Kaine did chores, they got most of the cockleburs out of Whim so were just finishing chores when I got there. Mom had paid lemon bars for my birthday, and they were awesome. Ben made a really cool Horseshoe Angus brand for me out of metal and barbed wire to put on the show shed. Mom made some awesome embroidered towels with unique buttons for the kitchen. Toni got some makeup for me for Cattlemen’s and a cool shirt that says not my pasture not my bull. Anna made a cute little box for me in class out of clay to hold trinkets. And Ben went and got Checos for dinner and that was pretty great. So I had an outstanding birthday, thanks everyone for the birthday wishes.


Friday the kids had a half day of school, so Toni and mom picked them up after school and got them bacon cheese burgers from the Burger Factory, Toni ran into Aram while she was picking up the kids, and he wanted to go home with the boys, so she talked to their mom, and picked up Aram and Daisy too, and went and got more burgers. Dad headed to St. John for a funeral for one of his class mates. He saw some other local people so he should have car pooled. Toni and the kids got Whim all cleaned up and he looks really good.


Saturday we had a busy day, Ben, Anna and I checked cows, then Ben needed to head to Pasco to get his 4 wheeler, so we dropped him off at the house and he took Kaine and left. Then Anna and I went around and checked all of the horses. We got the cows in and sorted heavy heifers. Toni came down to show a Hereford bull, so Kade helped us move the heifers around. Then we went down to take pictures of Whim since he was all cleaned up. The kids did the front chores while we took pictures. Then we had my birthday party on Saturday night, I got more then a girl could ask for. We stayed up and played Phase 10 until well after 11.


Sunday Ben and Kicker built fence around the corn field so we could let the cows out as soon as hunting season got over. Anna and I checked cows, and then we grabbed Ben to help tag calves. Kade came down and Anna, Kaine, Kade, Toni and I tied up steers. Anna and I headed to town to get groceries, Ben and Kicker loaded the flatbed trailer up and Toni and the boys took the grass straw down for Toni and dad to put grass straw out. Ben and Kicker kept working on the fence, when Anna and I got home we went out and helped them, pulling out fence posts. Then we went down for chores and Toni and the boys were working on a small fencing project. We finished that up, did chores and went home for the night. Another week in the books for 2019 and so far it has been great.

 

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Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction.

We started out the week with Toni telling me she would only be here in body, not spirit. She had six hearings in five days, three in Federal Court, so her mind was elsewhere. But she did manage to check the cows a couple of days, it helps keep her centered to get outside. Monday we had 4 calves, all Angus, Kaine had a game in Basin City at 4, dad took him to it, and Kade has practice at the Youth Ranch, so Toni took him half way to meet the coach for a ride. Anna and Toni did chores, and Jaxsen sat with dad and watched TV. Tuesday we had one Angus/Hereford calf, so Jaxsen had one calf Monday and one Tuesday and they are named Jaxsen and Jaxsen Jr, and his Hereford heifer is Jackie. No, he is not egotistical at all. Kaine had a game in Connell that dad took him too and I met them in there, and Kade had practice at the youth ranch again. Wednesday Kade and Sonny had boy scouts. Toni had to work late on briefings for her hearings on Thursday, so Dad and the kids did chores. Whim somehow managed to jump out and luckily only scratched up his chest a bit. Dad and the kids put him back and put a taller panel where we feed him. Because he is the last yearling stud colt left, we have moved him to the corral with the intention of moving the coming yearling colts into the colt pen, separating them from the fillies.


Thursday was Kaine’s last game. Also, dad took Jewels into the vet on Thursday. Toni had a job shadow start on Thursday after her hearings were over, so she was late for chores again. Kade also had bb practice so everyone was heading different directions with kids. The rain has been constant, making everything a muddy mess. Normally we have wind that keeps things dry, but not this week. Working on King has been difficult, but necessary. King is very different from what we usually raise. He is very reactive and needs consistency. We can normally be done with the halter breaking process in about a week, but King is well into his third week. He leads fine until something sets him off but he calms down quickly. This colt has amazing athletic ability. He is one of the coolest horses to watch move, with very level, quick action. This colt does not lack in the smarts department, he is just hotter than our normal foal. We had originally thought to keep him as a stallion, but time will tell if that is still in the cards. Toni and I both really appreciate the good qualities that this colt possesses, it is just a matter of if those qualities outweigh the qualities that we see as negative for our breeding program.


The other big excitement on Thursday was watching liveauctions.com to see our cousin Jay and his crew show at Denver with the carload that they had taken. Denver is seen as the premier Hereford bull show in the country. BB Cattle used to go to all the big shows, but had slowed down just due to logistics. Jay decided it was time to get with it and had a mostly girl crew that he took. Lots of people came to see the bulls while they were there. With a bunch of hard working, good looking ladies, and a pen full of top notch bulls, what was not to like? Jay seems happy with how the bulls did. And for Denver the weather was decent.


Friday I was home and got to check, I also took Nezzy and Popcorn to the vet to get spayed and neutered, Jewels helped me feed and I caught up on some paperwork. Then, in the afternoon I took Ivy up to Kolton and Scarlett’s house. Ivy did not like being alone so we went over and got the mini mare Foxy, who was across the road, and put her with her. Then I went down and the kids and I did chores.


Saturday Kade had two basketball games At Ki Be, they played well. Chad came out and trimmed feet, we did a bunch of mares, two studs, Bunny, and Foxy. Anna helped Ben tag calves, and according to Anna Pudding tried to get him (Pudding is one of Sonny’s cows) and Ben said she was just following him around and around the pickup. Ben also cleaned out one of the feed lot pens (cleaned mud out) so we could sort the Spokane steers off by themselves. We put Smoke in a pen by herself since Ivy is no longer with her. Smoke is now in the pen that the coming yearling colts are supposed to go into. Due to the continuous rain and lack of urgency, the colts have not been moved yet. We have talked about it. We have looked at them and talked about it again, but no actual movement yet.


Sunday we put King back over with the other foals, he gets to have a halter breaking break since it is so muddy and he is doing decent. Not much happened on Sunday. We all were kind of tired and just did chores and worked in the house. Sometimes it is nice to just take a bit of a break. By that I just mean we didn’t put in a 10 hour day, because even when you are taking a break, you still have to feed, check water, check livestock, check fences, and deal with anything there is to deal with. On Sunday night we sat around for a bit and looked at old pictures. Toni was trying to find some pictures to give a friend who has lost her father. It was really fun to show the kids some of our old pictures and reminisce, taking some time to share family history and stories.

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Time for real life to start again.

Monday the kids went back to school. Time for real life to start again. Monday Toni and dad were checking, Toni always takes lots of calf pictures when she is out checking. It is fun to check the picture drive after she is done. Toni checked Monday and Tuesday, Dad Wednesday, Toni was back to checking Thursday and Friday.


Both big boys went back to basketball, and Kaine had games this week. His team is very enthusiastic. Luckily Dad is able to help get the boys back and forth. Kade goes to Basin City to play and Kaine goes to Connell, so they are not even headed in the same direction. Kade and Sonny also had cub scouts. Kaine has officially aged out. That puts a lot of pressure on Anna to help do chores on her own. Yes, we are all aware that Sonny is old enough to help, but is it worth the effort? Sometimes yes, sometimes no, rarely is it yes.
Shaun was home from college this week and was able to come out a couple of days this week to help with chores. It is also really nice to get these foals exposed to someone new. Shaun, Anna, and Toni took video of Cole Thursday as well as moved Whim and Major to the corral. We also noticed a leak in our water line, so had to shut the corral water off until it could get fixed. On Friday Toni and Dad took Sagebug and Major to Josh and Crystal. They are buying Major and riding Sagebug. Sagebug is already getting great reports from them. He is such a treasure. Josh and Crystal moved, but everyone decided to meet at the Colfax fairgrounds to switch the horses. Considering how little work Major has had, he did great. Sagebug loves to load because he likes to go places so he was fine loading into a new trailer. Also on Friday dad took Jewels and Thunder to the vet to breed Jewels, so hopefully we are having puppies.


Saturday Ana and Keisha from Fantasy Stables came out with their new game, Fantasy Ranch and the kids played it all morning as test subjects. They LOVED it and there are lots of KT Ranch horses in the game; including Gunner, Dude, Colonel, and lots of foals. We are also excited that our good friends at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch in Sandpoint, ID are one of the dude ranches in the game. The kids all argued over who got their card and who got the Gunner card. Two out of the four horses on the cover are also from KT, but now live at West Pleasure Guest Ranch. When the game hits the market there will be a press release and a coupon. Let us know if you want one. The game will be sold on Amazon, but you can check out the sponsors, cool graphics, and see the cards at http://www.fantasystablegame.com/.


Also on Saturday, Kicker fixed the water line going down to the corral, dad assisted. Ben fixed fences around the place and moved hot fences around for the cows. Ben and I also tagged all of the calves that had been born all week. Then I cleaned out the heavy heifer pen, moving the ones that have calved out. Anna went to a friend’s birthday party, so while she was gone Toni and I turned Shotgun Sally back out. We are really happy with our decision to keep this filly, she has been a real joy to work with as well as being pretty, correct, and calm.


Sunday Ben and I finished up tagging, we had a couple of new ones from Saturday to tag. Kicker finished up the water line, he had to let it dry the day before and then went back down and turned on the water and covered it back up. Anna, Kaine, Ben and I got the yearling bulls in for yearling weights, Kade and Kicker helped us get them in for the last little bit. Toni, Kicker, Kade and Sonny then went down to Taiten’s 21st birthday. Taiten is Toni’s god son and great kid that we have watched grow up. He used to come out and ride with us when he was little. Sunday night I got extra chore helpers as Scarlett and Kolton came out to see the horses.

This week dawned with snow flurries, rain, and fog. Let’s hope that the weatherperson is correct and we have a slight increase in temperature and no snow. We need snow in the mountains for the snowpack, not here. We are now over 50% calved out but still getting multiple calves per day. So far we are pretty happy with our calving season. Let’s just hope that it continues!

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Calves, Calves and more Calves

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And the New Year is Upon Us

New Year’s Eve, this year has been a great year for us and New Year’s Eve is always a great time to look back and reflect on all the year’s accomplishments. Toni, Kicker, Kade and Sonny took a mini vacation for New Years on a Lake Cruise. Lots of fun. Ben, Anna, Kaine and I went to cousin Leslie’s show barn party. Ben helped Anna and Kaine do chores since Toni was gone. So King and Louie got the day off. Our second group of synchronized cows are due on the 1st, so we had a hand full of calves on the 31st.


On Tuesday Ben and I got all of the calves tagged and we did general work around the place. Toni, Kicker, Kade and Jaxsen came back from their vacation. I worked on King and Louie. Wednesday Toni took a little break from work and took Kade and Jaxen and checked all of the horses. Everyone is doing good. A bunch of the mares look like they are getting ready to foal. The weather was fantastic so they all were feeling great. Toni was still working on Louie and King on Wednesday and Thursday.


Ben had to go back to work after being off for the month of December. With the extremely nice weather, Ben took it upon himself to doing fencing projects around the house for the month. Toni had to order him over 300 lag bolts by the time the month was up. He re-positioned the fence and gates going into Circle 4 so we would have better access to the new show shed, fixed the fence down the driveway, added a gate to the heifer pen that is big enough to drive through and reconfigured fence to water troughs. Ben kept himself super busy with fencing and cattle work over the month of December. And for a couple of those weeks he had Anna and Kaine to help. The wood fence also looks a ton better.


Kade started basketball practice again on Thursday since he plays AAU. Luckily Dad was able to take him to meet his ride and pick him up.

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Friday Anna, Kaine, Kade and I had a busy day. We went and checked the cows, Anna got to drive. We cleaned out the barn, put new straw down and tied up the steers. Then the kids took down their calf shelter since we are bottle calf less and it was in their wash rack. Anna and I worked on King and Louie. Then Kaine and Kade helped me move some panels around in King and Louie’s pen. Anna, Kaine and Kade did the front chores while I worked on the foals some more. Toni rolled in late and we finished chores.


Saturday Anna went over to Connell and helped work on bulls that are going to Denver. Kade’s friend Tye was out. He moved away and his family was up visiting for the weekend. The three bigger boys had a great time playing, and sometimes Jaxsen played too. Ben and I tagged a couple of calves. Toni and dad put out grass straw for the horses and bulls. Toni also got Smokey ready to go as Smokey went to his new home on Saturday. We decided Saturday that Louie is done and we need to get Sally in to halter break. She is our LAST spring foal to halter break. We moved her over with King.


Sunday we finished tagging the calves and made a long heavy list for Toni and dad since they are taking over checking the cows. Then we weighed all of the steers that are in, I think they all weighed decent. We had to get Kade’s show heifer in, Dark Knight, from a few years ago, she wanted a clubby calf this year, so we had to put her back with her calf. We had to get Kaine’s cow in and pull her calf (actually Ben and Kicker did) and then at about 7 we had to get Pinda in and pull her calf too. So the nursery is full! Toni and Kicker worked on pulling down the majority of the old fence that we had replaced along the East side of the horse pasture. Not only did they get to pull out old barbed wire, but there were good posts to be pulled out too and stacked to be reused later. If anyone needs old barbed wire, we have quite a bit. If someone doesn’t come get it, we will put it in the metal bin at the end of the week. I started halter breaking Sally. Toni and I didn’t realize how tall she is, we think she is the perfect combination of Gunner and Strawberry. We are really excited to keep her.


2019 is upon us. The kids headed back to school today and we all went about our daily work. Currently we are experiencing perfect calving weather, but the forecast calls for snow. We can only hope that the mild weather will continue as the cows continue to calve and we start to get ready for foals.

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Out checking Saturday

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Happy New Year!

Well, Monday was Christmas Eve, so a pretty easy day. Checked cows, tagged calves, early chores, and then headed to cousin Jenny and Kevin’s house for Christmas Eve with the family. We had a great time, with soup, a new game, and then White Elephant. We are really lucky to have a set of grandparents still living. Grandpa just turned 91 and grandma was 88 in October. They will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in February. The cool part is that they are very healthy, mentally stable, and grandpa is still a micromanager that wants to manage everyone and everything, including all of his grandkids and great-grandkids. But how many people can say that their children knew their great-great grandma (who we just lost Jan 13, 2018) and have a set of great-grandparents that they know? All four of the kids will tell you that great grandma is the best cook, period. No one can beat her in a cook-off. They love going over and having lunch with grandma and grandpa in the summer. So Christmas Eve with our Bennett side of the family (mom’s parents) is a tradition that continues. Almost the entire family comes to celebrate, including our Aunt Peggy who just started cancer treatment again. We are truly blessed to have our family.


Tuesday was Christmas Day, we zipped around the cows quickly and then headed down to mom and dads to open presents. Santa was really good to us all this year, we got everything we wanted and then some. Toys, clothes, jewelry, guns, tools, candy and more. Toni, Kicker, Kade and Jaxsen headed to Clarkston to have Christmas with the Meachams and we headed home to cook Christmas dinner. Mom, dad and Skip came for dinner. Skip left an extra box of gloves, flashlights, and knives for us to sort through. You know you are country when you get just as excited about all-weather gloves as you do about a nice pair of earrings. I was home so I got to work on Justified and Hollywood. I have to agree with Toni, they are REALLY nice colts. We could not be happier with the Leroy foals. Hollywood is our last one of the 2018 Leroy foals to halter break and all four have been soft, supple, and smart. So basically Leroy fits into our breeding program. We do not like having hard to deal with horses. Clearly you are going to have a few just because, but limiting the amount you have with mare and stud quality is the name of the game for us.


Wednesday was cousin Leslie’s birthday, and what did she get, twins calves, so she has one at the house to bottle feed (plus one on Christmas Eve). Leslie is a lucky lucky girl. Ben helped Anna and Kaine do chores since Toni was still in Clarkston. Anna and Ben also expanded the corn circle and gave the cows more room and more stalks. Dad ran to Othello and got a 5-way shot for Bucky which Ben gave him in preparation for Bucky to leave Thursday. Bucky is one of those horses that you just call his name and he comes to you. He has been a fun gelding. Everyone knows we prefer not to have geldings, but if we did, he would be one we would keep. Anyone can ride him, he is super chill, and he loves attention.


Thursday Toni was back by noon for John to get here to get Hollywood and Bucky. Bucky was locked in, but Dad texted Toni to tell her that somehow Hollywood and Justified had escaped their pen. Luckily they are both so tame, so Toni just walked out and grabbed Hollywood and led him in with a piece of twine. Hollywood loaded great and him and Buck went on their way. Toni then went back out and caught Justified and turned him back out with the other weanlings. He is done in the halter breaking pen. Anna and Kaine helped Ben build fence and check cows, and then Ben brought the kids down for their annual Dr Appts. We all got our flu shots, and the kids got a few more. We got home and Toni and I did chores. The fog had set in so we did not get the next two in to halter break.


Friday was an exciting day for the kids, their “show shed” showed up, so they started moving all of their show supplies out of Ben’s shed and into their new shed. Ben and Kaine built a wall in the shed for my kennel part. We still need to move the kennel panels over and make the dog door. Toni and I wormed our last 4 we had to worm, the 4 yearling (almost two year old) colts. We love our Azteca colt Whim, it is probably good that he is not a filly or we would keep him. He is so smart and pretty. Smoke and Felix did great too, and since Felix is now a gelding he moved out and joined the big herd. He is not very happy about it. We also got Louie and King in and started halter breaking them. And it snowed on us most of the afternoon. We had a fun party Friday night with neighboring landowners.


We had a strong wind on Saturday that melted the snow. Toni’s little preme calf started nursing on her own, so her and her mom got to move back out to the heavy heifer pen, the mom is a heifer. The cow was very excited to move back, but the calf was not since it was so windy it almost blew her over when she left the barn. We also had another clubby calf Saturday, since he is black and white Anna is claiming him as hers. Aunt Toni agrees that Anna should get this calf since she doesn’t like calves with too much color. Anna went over to Connell to help Jay, the Twins and Kaycee get the bulls ready for Denver, she had a great time with them. Kaine and Ben changed the wall, they decided the dogs had too much room, and I moved more of the show tack over. Then Ben took the loader in the barn and cleaned it out. Toni worked on Louie and I worked on King, I think both did better than expected. Louie is our other AI colt and King is our only foal out of Bishop.


Sunday Anna, Ben and Kaine hand finished the barn and now it is going to dry out for a few days before we start tying up steers again. Anna and Kaine worked on moving more show stuff over to the shed and organizing it. Toni took our friend Erica and Erica’s friend Bri around to look at the horses and mom and dad’s and pet on our precious Jag. Toni and I worked on our colts some more.

As 2018 comes to an end tonight, we just want to say thank you to all of our friends, family, and customers who have made 2018 one of our best years. Ranching is not easy, but it was something we were born to do. Having the support that we have makes it a bit easier. We are excited to see what 2019 brings. Happy New Year!

newyearkt

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