Fun new words we learn from the kids- Fire. Now it is the substitute for awesome. So when Kaine said that is fire and we all looked around for a fire, we were told that if someone yells Fire, that could mean there is a fire, Or that could mean whatever is going on was awesome or hot. So to use in the proper context, we had a fire week. Or maybe, our week was fire?
Monday we were at the BB Cattle Co bull sale. We all had a great time, it is a family holiday so the kids get to miss school. Old Mill brings down some really good donuts from Ellensburg, that is all Julian eats all day, he did tell me he had an orange. We bid on some really good Hereford bulls, we did not get one because we are way too cheap. Toni and Leslie had visited with our friends at Old Mill back in November and saw this really cool roping dummy that is in a little chute. It gets hooked up to air, you hit a button and the dummy rolls out for roping fun. Toni had told Old Mill that she wanted to buy it for Kade in Nov, but it had about a $2200 price tag. We all know she did not buy it. Old Mill, being smart, brought that one and about 5 other roping dummies to the sale. After the sale Old Mill got it hooked up and had luckily brought some ropes so about 30 of us stood around watching the kids rope. Jay gave us his demonstration of roping which means you run up right next to the dummy and put the rope on it. Cameron Mulrony actually can rope, so he took a turn. Mostly it was the kids and they LOVED it. Vanna and Reese took turns pushing the button. They now know that the head nod is all they get to get that calf out of the chute. I think the kids would have stood around roping that thing for more hours than we let them. The kids had a great time with it and Kelly Cordill bought it. I told them I cannot wait to see it at the shows. We got home, did chores, and were too cold to work on the foals, since we thought the weather was supposed to be nicer than it was and did not have our heavy coats. Jax was very thankful to have the day off of “work.” He said he really needed a day off from school. School is hard work. He is supposed to work at the sale helping watch the younger kids, which he is very good at, so that wasn’t work. He was super excited when he realized that he had no school on the 13th due to sale, no school on the 20th for President’s Day, I think February might be one of his favorite months.
Happy Valentine’s Day. Tuesday morning was brisk, however it was a nice sunny day. Anna had an eye dr appt, shockingly (that is sarcastic for anyone that can not hear my tone) she needs glasses. So Toni took the kids to school. Ben and Anna checked the cows before they went down to the tri-cities. Toni also had a dentist appointment and somehow they all drove into the parking lot at the Ranch and Home UNPLANNED at the exact same time. Everyone got home from the Tri-cities in good time. Anna picked the boys up from school because Toni had a meeting. Toni is also really working to get Jackpot and King sold. And she wanted to talk about the horses in the Moses Lake Horse Sale catalog. There is a Mobster daughter in the catalog she really wants. Toni brought Chinese food home for her kids for Valentines and Ben got me Checos. Dad had gone to Reardon to get us a tote of feed and brought Mom back a flowering plant. We all have a great Valentines Day. We finished off the chocolate and lemon pies mom made, they were excellent had a great day.
Wednesday morning was another brisk and sunny day. When Ben went out to check first thing Orange Slice was calving and look like she needed help. So he found a string and helped her out. It was a pretty hard pull out in the pen. Orange Slice is a clubby heifer of Anna’s. Kade had FFA parli pro practice in Asotin on Wednesday, it sounded like it went pretty well. He had to be to the school by 6 am. Toni is still working on The Joker and Summer after work. I am counting down the days until fall back so it is light when I get home. I am really happy it is decently light on my drive home. That is always refreshing after a hard day at work. When Ben got home from work Wednesday one of the Hereford cows was calving. Toni found a mare she wants at the Billings sale now too. I guess we don’t have enough horses.
Thursday morning Ben and Anna loaded the cows to go to Topp up after morning chores. Dad and Steve took a handful down. Toni checked cows and petted the two calves that were pulled. Dad and Steve sold some beef to a random truck driver at a gas station. Way to go guys. Anna had FFA practice after school, so dad picked the boys up from school to do chores. Jewels (the Mastiff) helped Ben feed grain, she was really excited to get to go. She is too big to fit in the front so rides in the back if someone will back up to the rock garden so she can maneuver her way in. She is not a jumper. The horses love the new grain, Toni said The Joker almost aggressively loves it. Also, we found out Thursday afternoon that Anna was awarded her Bronze award through the Angus Association. Good job Anna. Anna has really been knocking it out of the park getting her work done and going the extra mile.
Friday Ivy and Honey (the future milk cows) escaped in the AM and Anna could not get them back in before she went to school. She asked Toni if it was convenient if she could get them in when she checked. The little devils were not easy to get in at all and continued to run around. They think they are cute. Anna, Kade and friend Keegan went to donkey basketball with the FFA after school, so Kaine and Jaxsen got to do all the chores since they did not go. I do not feel like it was an option for Jaxsen or he would have been gone. But we did have Marlo for chores. Marlo walked Summer and worked on her while Toni work on the Joker. Summer, who is just as good as good can be, really wanted that new grain so actually tried to trot back to the pen and lead Marlo. Marlo is tiny but made of tough stuff so Summer didn’t get away with it. The Joker is just doing excellent. He really picked up isolating his shoulder, hip, and rib and Toni really wants to show him in the next Virtual In-Hand. Summer will be gone and she thinks she can beat me with my own colt. The Joker also ground ties really well because he is lazy. He is a super smart colt that has tons of potential, but the work ethic might not be great. Sometimes he reminds me of Jaxsen. When he thinks he is done working and you ask him to do one more thing, he does it, but he drags his feet and gives you the eye, just like Jaxsen. If he could talk I am sure his words would be like Jaxsen too. Anna, Kade, and Keegan got home a little after 10. Keegan got to spend the weekend with the kids because his parents had his brother at a bb tournament. Keegan is like another nephew to us so it was really fun.
We had a lot going on Saturday, I know what a shock that is. Kade left early to trap shoot in Spangle. Dad went with them so he could see some of his friends that are up there and support Kade. Kade had a personal best competitive shoot at Spangle. We are very proud of how far he has come in a short time. Chad was out to do farrier work. We allegedly only had Chad for a ½ day, but we did 13 head, most of which were under 2, and two of the coming yearlings that hadn’t been done before. We also got Basil done which was a trial. But it got done. Thankfully we have Chad who helps us work around animals like Basil that need extra care. Basil is the second donkey we got to halter break with. He isn’t as friendly as Tulip, but he is starting to come around. We had a high school age youth that was starting out her herd come and look at heifers, so we got the heifers in. Originally she planned to buy 2 and they ended up buying 5. She had the same problem we have, they are all good and it is hard to chose. We also sorted the heifers and got our heifer bulls turned out. Breeding has started! Anna, Kaine, and Keegan were giving out food at the food bank with FFA. Because we were so busy we relied upon our good friend John to look at the Mobster daughter at Moses Lake. He bid her up for us but we didn’t get her. She sold for $7500.00 which is way too high for us. John and Joe (John’s brother) said the prices at Moses Lake were really high. And there were lots and lots of people there. It would have been fun to go but no time. Lane came out to see Anna and help out. Kade got back and the boys decided to ride. The Spokane steers had gotten out so they saddled their horses, gave Keegan Pistol, and went to get them in. Toni ran out and actually gave Keegan instructions on HOW to ride. They got the steers in then went on a jaunt. It started raining while they were riding, but they didn’t come back. Somehow they all made it back in one piece. Kade had gotten kicked in the knee by a horse running by him. They say that they had a great time riding. John and Joe came by after the sale so Joe could see Tank. We showed him anything new we had gotten since he was at the ranch last. We had a great visit with them, then they headed home. So Saturday was a full day of you know, normal stuff.
Sunday we needed to make up for lost time and get everything done that we didn’t get done on Saturday. We had some people interested in King so went down and got some new pictures, new video, got him moving and being a fat happy stud. After than Toni and I headed out to check all mares to see if anything looked heavy, as in going to foal while we are gone. We had a great time petting them, loving on them, and giving them a good look. Most were really happy to see us. The weather was perfect so there was lots of bucking and kicking and carrying on, like horses do. We have about five getting heavy, but nothing eminent. So that was good because we didn’t have to get them in and move stuff around at mom and dads. The Joker was back out with the big herd so just Summer is in waiting to leave for her new home. After lunch we had to get some of the poles at the corral fixed. One was completely broken and the other just knocked down. We have e now used our last spare pole. The kids caught their steers, then the boys went fishing for a bit then went on another ride. I think Keegan wants to be a cowboy. Pistol is probably a good horse to start with. After that we did chores and Kade rode Stormy. Hugo, Keegan’s dad showed up and we had a really good visit with him. Now that we all have kids it seems like we don’t get to actually sit and visit with friends very often unless they show cattle. Both Saturday and Sunday were very productive days. Hay got put out, all the livestock were checked.
What a fire week. Lots got done and we are very excited to see what these mares give us in 2023. We continue to work on the 2022 foals and frankly, they are going to be hard to beat on overall quality. But the 2021 foals were great too. Foaling is always an adventure and one we look forward to.