Posts Tagged With: #ranchlife

It’s all a matter of perspective. You can look at mud and see mud, or you can use creativity and positive thinking and see potential grass.

It’s all a matter of perspective. You can look at mud and see mud, or you can use creativity and positive thinking and see potential grass. Right now we are being really positive. Monday was a marvelous day, the sun was out, and the weather was awesome. The foals were playing, birds were flying. The kids did the front chores, Toni and I did the back chores, since we have spring forward and I am home to help with the chores now.

Then came Tuesday, freezing rain, snow, just a general dissatisfaction with the weather. Kids had no school, we had a late start. It warmed up during the day and the snow turned to rain. Luckily no foals and no calves during the weather event.

Wednesday was a nice, sunny day. Anna had horse judging practice after school and rode the activity bus home for the first time. Mocha had a cute bay roan filly by Gunner. Dad swore she was grulla, but up close she is clearly bay roan. Mocha’s foals are always super sweet right off the bat. This filly will leave her mother to come nibble on your coat. The only problem is that she has no problem leaving her mother. Day one she was already over investigating Curly the bull with no adult horse supervision. Luckily Curly is easy going. We had someone come out and look at Regis. Everything is still covered in snow or now it is covered in mud. Kicker had to stay at work late so Toni helped Ben feed the horses and Herefords.

Thursday was still nice and sunny. It has still been freezing at nights but it getting warm during the day. The Sandhill cranes are circling and wondering why there is still snow. Besides everything being cold and frozen life is pretty good. And it definitely good be worse, we could be flooded like part of the Midwest. We shipped out a bull on Thursday to some new buyers. The bull was awesome and Toni loaded him with the buyers. Thursday night tall John had to come out and help with chores because he needed a foal fix. We think he might have an addiction problem. He is addicted to horses. So Toni and John fed the Herefords and horses. John also grabbed Toni’s camera so he could try it out since it is new.

Friday was a great day, it was chilly in the morning but nice and sunny in the afternoon. The snow was melting, you can definitely see a difference. I took Trinity and Jewels to the vet in the morning, Jewels is getting spayed, since she cannot have puppies, and Trinity has a growth under her chin getting removed. I took them both to Sagehill vet in Othello. Then I got home and got circle 4 in to sort off the cows and heifers that are getting AIed on the second round. I got them all sorted then had a quick lunch and ran into the school and get Anna and take her in for her sports physical. I got into an argument with the nurse about eating beef, besides that everything went fine. Then I grabbed all the kids from school. We got home, they had a snack and I left them to help Ben with the CIDRS while I went to get my dogs. Both were happy I was there to pick them up. I got home in time to help pull out two CIDRS then we headed down to do chores.

Saturday we checked first thing. Then Ben helped me load up some hay and Toni, the kids and I tried to get the horses in the snow filled corral to haul the heavy and open ones up to breed. It was quite interesting. We were able to get 4 open ones in. Then Toni and I hauled them 2 at a time out, circle 5 is VERY muddy, we barely made it out the first time with our partial load and did not make it the second time and had to lead Barb and Bayley up the hill. The pick-up and trailer had to be towed out and we broke one tow strap in the process. The mud was deep. We put Barb in with Leroy, Annie in with Colonel, Abs in with Dude, Bayley and Stinger in with Bishop, and Ellie in with Gunner. Toni got stuck again, this time on a snowpile that hadn’t melted when she slid into it because of the ice that is still out and about. It was a long day and we had a lot of walking. Then we took Double down to the house and put him in the heavy pen, so we had a pen for Sagebug to go into. The barn is actually empty for the first time in a while so the kids got to catch their Spokane steers, who have had a LONG break that was not good for them mentally.

We also got some videos of Whim when we moved him, which was hard due to how muddy and slick it is. Whim is such a pretty mover though that the videos look ok.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, I got the kids St. Patrick’s Day Potatoes from Sees. Dad went and got Sagebug on Sunday, and we put Cleo and Mocha in with him. We also got one of the heavy mares into the corral, Mud, and we hauled her down and she is in the heavy pen. The kids caught their Spokane steers again, who were not happy about being caught two days in a row after their long break. The kids also cleaned off the watch rack, from all the mud so they can start washing them, they are muddy messes.

We are really happy with how well Josh did with Sagebug, he has had a lot of riding in the short, snow filled months he has been there. With Sagebug home, we are now officially started into our mare breeding season. We can’t say we are excited about it, but it had to start sometime. With the better weather, the bull market has picked up and we are excited to see our repeat bull buyers. If you are in the market for a bull, we think we have some really good ones so feel free to come look. We are also getting some amazing foals on the ground for anyone wanting a 2019 foal. With the better weather, we will once again be ready to give people the ranch tour and show the horses. Just let us know if you are in the area.

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Checking Pictures March 12

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Sun, sun, where are you?

Another hectic Monday, but the kids DID have school. Not only did they have school, but I had an email when I got to work from Anna’s ag teacher that they had CDE regionals after school. So mom and dad went and got her clothes and ran them into school for her. Her friend Daisy went too. Cousin Kendel needed our bottle calf to put on her cow, so her and Toby came down and got her and she is happy to have a mom. Toni tried to let the foals out to run around in the sun today, but the Jersey Norman kept trying to come in the barn and lay on their new straw Toni gave them, so it was a cluster. One of Maria’s calves was frozen to the ground in the morning as it was 9 degree weather, so Toni met her with a bottle of milk to feed it and try to get it moving. We have a yearling bull that slipped on the ice and hurt his back leg, so now he is in the barn too. And we also have to figure out where to separate the cows too to breed them starting next weekend. We don’t have a lot of places right now that have water and that we can get too to in the pickup to feed them. It definitely does not feel like the week of March 4th. When Toni, Kade and Kaine went out to do chores the fence was broken around the hay stack again, so that needed fixing. Kaine and I went home to water and feed the animals in the barn and let the mares back in. It was a chore keeping Norman the Jersey out and the show steers and get the mares in. Sally calved yesterday, and her calf did not nurse, so Ben and Kicker tubed in with colostrum. We had a heifer calve, a KM Broken Bow 002 daughter, Ben and Kicker put her in the barn since it is her first calf and it was so cold out. 548 and 508T also calved, both of their calves got up and nursed right away and did great. Anna got home from her FFA competition at around 9:30, I picked up her and Daisy and met Maria. A sheriff saw Maria sitting along the road waiting for us so he stopped to ask her if she was stuck. Ben and Kicker did not get in until 9:30-10 from feeding and getting all of the calves situated. Then Ben was up all night checking the cows since it was so cold, I told him I would have switched and he could have slept but he said he could not sleep anyway. The stress level is getting to be too much for all of us! Even when we think we have enough straw down, the animals situated correctly, we are all up wondering if we missed something.

Tuesday, it was still cold and did not feel like March. It was dress up like your favorite Dr Seuss character at the elementary school so Kade make costumes for himself and Sonny. Overall it was a pretty good day, we had one calf, a cute Hereford heifer out of a Times A Wastin daughter and by our 10Y son. I asked who was going to show her and Toni said she was. I told her she was no longer a Jr and she told me she was forever 21, so she still qualified. Toni and the kids had chores done when I got home, we just had the stuff in the barn to do when we got home. Ben and Kicker were actually in by around 7:30.

Wednesday, the snow was back……..And then the rain came………then back to snow. Boy scouts was canceled due to the weather. Kicker took the kids to school, Toni and the kids did chores. Toni got some cool pictures of the mares in the ice storm with her new camera. Like Larry O, a neighbor, said in his twitter post, as bad as it is, just think of how bad it would have been 50 years ago, no pickup, no spotlight, no heater, you are out checking for new calves on horseback, trying to get through the snow and ice. It really makes you appreciate what you have.

Thursday was a great day, the sun is shining and it got to 40. Ben sorted off the cows that need to have their cidrs pulled at 8 on Friday morning. Toni and the kids did chores, minus Jaxen of course. The two mares and foals enjoyed being turned out with the steers in the sun shine. Toni, the kids and I all went down to put them back in the barn for the night to put straw out. Toni and the kids had to actually go out and get them in, they did not want to come back. We made Jaxsen help put straw out, you would think we made him shovel the whole driveway. But, he did help somewhat with a grumpy look on his face. He reminds us he doesn’t have to like animals!

Friday morning dad texted that Cleo foaled, good girl waiting for a nice day. I am VERY disappointed it was a colt, but very happy that it was a grullo. We would really like Cleo to have another filly for us. Mom thinks we need to keep him for another stallion prospect. Toni and Ben pulled the CIDRS bright and early in the cold, but from how the weather has been it could have been colder. Since Cleo had foaled Toni went out and checked the mares, Mocha did not want to be found and she had to hike to her. But she had not foaled. And as we keep saying, to ourselves and everyone else that will listen, the weather could be worse.

Saturday we ran the AI cows in and gave them shots. Then we went out to check on the mares and found Ceecee and her foal, so we went back and got the trailer and got her and Mocha in. We moved the old mares at mom and dads over a pen and put all of the mares and foals, and Mocha in the front pen. We had to shovel out some of the gates to get that plan to work, snow drifts are still all over even with a couple of sunny days. The mares and foals have 2 big grass straw bales and a shed with straw in it. And a bull, just in case they need a bull. All four colts are now at Mom and Dads in the front pasture along with Mocha. Then we got the cows in again and sorted off the Herefords and the second AI group, we put the Hereford cows and Eric, our 10Y son, down in circle 5 with the horses. Then we ran the AI cows in again and sorted off the bull calves so when the cows started to come in heat they would not ride. Next, we went down to do chores.

After chores we had a birthday party for Kicker, we had pizza, 2 pies and a lemon torte.

Sunday we got up bright and early, especially since it is the best day of the year with spring forward. Toni and Kicker put out big bales. Ben, Anna, Kaine, Kade and I got the heavy cow pen in and sorted out the cows that had calved, tagged the calves and turned them out. Then we got the AI cows back in and sorted them into AI groups, so it would be faster when Mark got there to AI. We went in and had a lunch break then were ready when Mark got there. Mark brought an extra person, Alex, so AIing went really fast. We got done in record time and then put the Herefords down in circle 5 and the Angus out in the corn field with Bub, our KR Direct Deposit son. Then Toni, Anna, Kade, Sonny and I went down and got Twiggy and Shadie and took them back to put with Mocha to watch. We need to move a few more mares, but we can’t get to the corral down in Circle 5 yet due to snow. Shadie and Twiggy are two that we can walk out and catch and we had to lead them up the hill because of how soft the road is. We are now feeding the mares and the Herefords in Circle 5, but until we have this snow off the ground, we have to feed. Hopefully this snow melts soon. We hear the forecast is for more snow and potentially freezing rain on Tuesday. But we are trying to stay positive that this is the last and we can see spring around the corner.

And we are getting great reports back from Josh and Crystal regarding Sagebug. He is doing great, Josh has been opening gates off of him and riding him down the road.

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Toni’s checking pictures

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Mares in the Ice Storm Last Night

Due to the pickup fire, Toni got a new camera. She took some really great pictures last night when she was out feeding the mares. You can see the ice hanging off of the mares. Hopefully this all melts, soon…..

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Checking Pictures

We have the heavy cows on the hill so they have some nice warm straw to have their babies in.

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Appreciating what you have

More snow Monday, and more snow and more snow. At the end of the 10 day forecast, guess what, calls for more snow. The foals and mares are tired of being locked in the barn, but at least there is a barn to lock them in. Toni took the kids to school so we did not have to worry about the bus, she said 260 was horrid. Then she went out to check and plow through the snow drifts. The kids got off early, Toni went back to the school and picked them up. Then Toni and the kids did chores. The loader would not start so Ben and Kicker game down and got the tractor. Toni, the kids and I went to my house and we put new straw in for the foals and calves. Then Ben and Kicker called, they were stuck feeding and we needed to come out and get one of them to come back and get the tractor. Red is now chained up to try to make it. We had one calf that day, he was born in the heavy pen and had straw, and is doing great.

No school, too much snow. We actually did not get any snow today during the day light hours. Anna was sick so Toni left her home and did not take her to help work. Toni and the boys were busy, feeding, check, etc. On Facebook we found a really cute picture of Kaine on the 4H website. Then, when they were out in the desert Toni’s pickup started on fire. Luckily everyone is safe. But Toni lost her camera, Dewalt 2ov power tools, and Lucchese boots (yes, she packs them around in case she need to jump on a horse and take off her snow boots). Ben and Kicker dukes of hazarded it out to them when Toni called and said her pickup was on fire. But there was no saving it. The pick-up was gone. Then they got to the house to do chores and the 4 wheeler would not start. So when I got home dad was trying to hook the 4 wheeler up to the battery charger, so he and I did that. Then we locked Cleo up with a shed since she is getting heavy. It was a long, long day that could have ended a ton worse than it did, so we are all trying to remain positive.

Toni cannot believe how many tools she lost. She has tried to put the necessary tools on her amazon gift list, like fence stretchers, sledge hammer, fencing pliers, wire cutters, bolt cutters, all the stuff she packed around in her toolbox. It is amazing how much stuff she had accumulated over the years, and how much it cost to replace it all! But again, it could have been worse. The boys got out of the pick-up fine and no one was hurt. We repeat that a lot. So far the only thing she has been able to salvage was the ball off the back. Everything else is a loss. No one wants to use fence stretchers that may have compromised metal and look like they went through a war. That fire burned hot.

Wednesday, MORE SNOW and no school again. But this snow kept the fire from spreading, so again, a positive. Toni bought a new very used pickup, tan this time, and Kicker went and got it. Toni was back checking with this pick-up by 11. She borrowed Ben’s pick-up for earlier chores. Anna was ill and still at home. Toni took my blazer home that night, which does not have 4 wheel drive and I am hoping that Kicker fixes the window, since Toni is driving it. Since Toni got a new pickup so fast, my window is not fixed. Insert sad face here.

Thursday still no school, but the winds howled during the night and many of the roads are drifted over again. Most of the day was pretty normal, feeding, checking, etc.

Friday we needed to put CIDRS in cows to AI next Sunday. I took the kids to school and then got the cows in and started sorting. I did not get a lot sorted on my own. I had to leave at 12:30 to go chaperone a math competition with our good friend Maria. Ben came home from work around 1 to continue sorting on his own. Then Toni got down there to help after her last conference call and then Kicker was down after work. They got done CIDRing the cows at around 8 that night, so then they were not in from feeding until almost 11. Our math team was 4th overall in their division, which was awesome, there were over 200 kids there and 24 schools. We rolled in about 11 pm as well, so Ben and I got home about the same time. Maria’s uncle brought Dutch Bro for Maria and I.

We also had to cows calving during the sort, Ben and Kicker saw one of them early enough and got her in the barn. The second one calved in the pen but they saw her right after she calved and got the calf in the saddle shed.

Saturday we got the cows in again to sort out the heavy ones to put on the hill due to the cold. We let the two colts out with the steers during the day so they could run around out in the sunshine. We also tagged and moved out the already calved cows in the heavy pen. Toni, Kicker, Kade and Jaxsen were in West Richland for Kade’s last basketball tournament, they were third in their bracket, good job boys. Ben and Anna went to the father daughter dance, they had a good time. So Kaine and I had a son mother night and ate coconut shrimp and watched Christopher Robin.

Sunday, were has the week gone?? Ben and Kicker put straw out in the heavy pen and cleaned up the old straw, they had both the loader and tractor going. Ben went up and pulled a calf at cousin Kendel’s house, so I helped Kicker get done feeding the cows. We did chores and checked cows. More snow predicted this week along with freezing rain. We do have people coming out and looking at bulls and have made deposits, but this weather is too junky to actually get them shipped out of here. We are now into March, and the saying is, “In like a lion, out like a lamb.” Well, we are now into March, I am waiting for that lamb!

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Snow, Snow and more Snow

Back when we were growing up, Dad would put us, and whoever else was helping, in the pick-up, along with the dog on the pick-up floor, and out we would go to check and feed cows. There were times when there were 3 or 4 kids, a hired man, a dog, and Dad all crammed onto the bench seat of that Ford pick-up. The good news for our kids is that all of our pick-ups have a back seat, so now we just cram the 4 kids on the back seat, and the adults in the front. It keeps life entertaining. We all get sick of hearing about dinosaurs and dragons, but Sonny will outgrow this faze at some point, so I guess we get to enjoy it while it lasts. Monday was President’s day, so the kids had no school and I had no work. While Anna and I were checking we saw that Ro had foaled. We did a Facebook poll to name the cute guy since it was Presidents Day and KT Cant Trump This won. Besides the foal we had a pretty normal day at home, feeding, watering, checking, deicing. I am definitely ready for winter to end. But it looks like more snow is in the forecast for next week.

Tuesday the kids FINALLY had school, the roads were actually clear. Anna texted on her and Kaine’s way to the bus that 0041B had calved, we have the heavy cows next to the driveway since we don’t have that many of them right now, and that way they have lots of straw. 0041B had a cute bull calf by Eric, our 10Y son. Toni checked that morning and that was all that was going on. However, by the time Toni went and fed the horses that afternoon Lola had foaled. She had a cute bay colt by Bishop. Ben and Kicker went out with the trailer to help her get them up to the barn. I hear it was a fun time with all of the mares trying to steal the new colt. Luckily Lola was great to deal with and they got her walked out to a farm road so she could be loaded and taken to the house. Ro was not happy about sharing the barn, even though they are each in their own stall. Dad and the kids finished up chores and then when I got home I took them to my house so we could all see Snip (new colt).

Compared to Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday was pretty uneventful. Kade and Jaxsen had boy scouts, it was their friend Aram’s birthday, who was also at boy scouts, so dad went and got the three boys and then dropped Jaxsen off and picked up Kaine, and took the three to Aram’s house for a birthday party. I went and picked them up after I got home from work. Toni checked the cows and nothing was going on. Ben had pesticide class Tuesday and Wednesday, so he was home late and him and Kicker got started feeding late, since Ben had the pickup Kicker could not start without him. The only event on Wednesday was that Tiny Tim the tiny calf in the barn somehow got out of the barn and Toni couldn’t find him. Luckily she finally found him under the grain mixing box and packed him back to his mother. Tiny Tim is out of Poison, one of Kaine’s show heifers. He is a cute, perfect, little tiny bull. Everyone just dotes on him and he is very tame, which is why Toni just picked him up and packed him back to the cow. The barn is full right now with Tiny Tim, Snip, and Trump, with their mothers, all taking up spots.

Thursday we had two calves when Toni went and checked, nothing was happening then, but 4016 and 402T calved later in the day. They were both in the heavy pen in the straw. No new foals, but we are keeping a close watch on the mares. Shady got moved back to the barn and is in with the heavy cows. She is not loving that spot, so we are going to have to move her when the weather is a bit better.

Friday Anna got to go with FFA horse judging in Finley, she was pretty excited to go. She wore Toni’s FFA jacket, I guess soon we will have to get her one of her own. Her friends Daisy and Kelten were also going for CDE, also 7th graders. Dad took Daisy and Anna into school, since they had to be there early before the bus would have gotten them there.

Cattlemen’s was Saturday, we always have a great time with our cousins and friends. Also on Saturday we fed the horses and cows, checked the cows to see if we needed to get any more in the heavy pen. And did normal Saturday things.

We woke up Sunday to MORE SNOW. I am starting to feel like it is never going to go away. We made it home from Cattlemen’s, dad, Kaine and Kade had done chores and checked the cows. The horses in the desert were down hiding in the trees, so we had to fight our way through new snow drifts to get down and feed them.

Now we are at the start of a new week and it looks like it is supposed to snow AGAIN, ALL WEEK. But we are staying positive, at least we don’t live in North Dakota! This could be worse.

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Calves in the Snow

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Horses in the Snow

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