Monday, February 23, 2009

Bag Tag

Just a cute TIRED picture of Squeak, cause I had my camera out. (The girls were in bed)

Well, RanchDivaRachel tagged me for this. And its easy and doesn't require many brain cells to be awake, so here we go.

1. Post a picture of whatever bag you are using today.And I am guessing that you have to post the contents of your bag too....
2. Tell us how much it cost. This is a no-judgment zone -- there will be no ridiculing or eye rolling here. And, if there is a story to go along with how you obtained it, I'd love to hear it.
3. Then tag some friends.

A little bacwards in the picture order, so these are the contents of my bag at the END of my day today.
My book, for any waits that I have. A scarf for my neck (I always wear one this time of year).
An empty (ICKY) sippy cup.

A diaper that didn't get used.

Knife, Nail files and polish (DUH, doesn't every working cowgirl have both of these in their possession at all times :-) )

And, at least 50 rounds of Ammo (I cleaned it out of the backseat floorboard of the pickup, so the girls wouldn't step on it) No, Farmgirl, I haven't tried the new Hornady Lever Revolution, but Honey LOVES it! But the rest are half spent, half good 243 rounds for the Coyotes that may mistakenly pass through our pastures.

This is how simple the contents of my bag started for the day.
Breakfast - Protein bar and a DrPepper (and a spare). Oh woe is me, I've fallen of the wagon and again rely on that wonderful liquid to survive the day.
Nail Files and Polish
Two Diapers
Hair Brush (J's brand is on the back, and she wanted to make sure I said it was hers)
A single Squeaky Shoe. I had to find the other one before I left for the day.

My bag of the day is my "Pot Bag". As many of you know I have a little one that is..... thinking..... adding.....15 months old (WOW! My baby is growing so fast!). So, I usually have a bag, rather than a purse. I prefer a bag over a "Diaper Bag" for my days. I can fit more of my stuff in a bag, and then I have more room for the days' requirements.

Where did I buy my bag? At a craft fair. We call it the "Pot Bag" because the booth smelled rather peculiar, and the bag stank for a week until I washed it. Lets just say the guy was REALLY nice, and his bags we sewn very well, or I wouldn't have stood in the aroma for long enough to buy the bag (I was pregnant with Squeak when I bought it). I think I paid about $70 for it. But, it is really sturdy, and does have some great inside pockets, and its reversible.

Now for the tagging.


Tattooed Mama


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Nothing to report

Well, our life is boring....
Feed Cows
Check Cows and Heifers
Feed Calves
ooo a different thing - Gather Eggs
Check cows (listen to them screaming at you the entire time to "FEEEEDDD MEEEE")
call the house yelling "we got feet" (meaning that a set of calf's feet are sticking out of a heifer's hooey)
Then you repeat the above list
"Yeah, another calf ! It's a HEIFER!" (this is our first 26T2 out of a registered Angus cow, so it'll be a very exciting halfbood)
Then you keep repeating the above list over, and over, and over. Remembering the midnight heifer checks, just incase. And even if we don't PLAN on a Midnight heifer check. My body doesn't remember this, and wakes me up anyway. And Squeak is liking to wake up at 2:30 or 3. Just as I'm getting back to sleep really good.

On another front, I think I'm finally ready to take the homeschooling/unschooling plunge! I really have to meet up with the Iowa group this Thursday on "park" day. J doesn't have school, so she'll get to tag along and maybe meet some friends. They didn't have shool on Friday, and so we "did school" on Friday.

You will really be amazed by the things that my girls want to learn (and did) about.
Context - how and where you say something matters, and what you were saying before makes a difference too.
Spine, and types of muscular and skeletal structures. Cartilage structures too.
I was totally suprised by what they wanted to learn about, and happy that I could discuss these things in detail. We even used a puppy demonstrator or two, to show the different structures, and how they are the same or different for different species.
We learned and discussed all the different species on our farm too. I have two that we didn't research to find. Chickens and they wanted to know Goats. Ladies help! What is their proper species name? (like bovine, canine, equine)

Now, I just have to find out who I need to contact, so that we are "allowed" to homeschool/unschool. But, I think I can do this!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Gizzards & Calf Fries: Lil Man Learns Ranch Lesson

Gizzards & Calf Fries: Lil Man Learns Ranch Lesson

Red Neck Mommy is HILARIOUS

This is the type of thing that happens to me (not really, but maybe)

RedNeck Mommy had me literally falling over laughing, and trying to shut my laptop fromthe girl's eyes.

Have fun Laughing!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Wreck and a 7-UPdate

Well, some of y'all were wishing for a 7-UPdate so here is a total horsey update.

The last couple of weekends have been BEAUTIFUL! Two weekends ago, we were going to pour some concrete pads for atutomatic water-ers (seems redundandt spelling, oh well).

So, since it was about 50 or 60 degrees, Squeak was napping in the truck, and we saddled up some horses for the girls. J rode Kenneth, my first pony, who is 14.1 and 25 years old. We saddled up Ozzie for A, and asked them to keep it at a walk, since it was mud on top of frozen ground, and still slick. Honey and I got started, and I needed to tote 80lb bags of quick crete about 40 feet to the first waterer.

Well, we had a horse and a calf sled, sooo. I decided that it was time for the girls to start to learn to use a rope and drag things. Started out with A, and Ozzie (did I mention the warm SPRING weather, and how well the horses were feeling, and Oz is only 5, and was started as a 3yo?). Just used an old lead rope for the girls to drag with, so they wouldn't have much tail, and no rope burns. I dallied up for her on Oz, and started leading her. The sled is RED and PLASTIC, and apparently a little scary. He twitched his ears, and turned a little, but he got into it and just drug it away. I had loaded about 400 lbs on the sled. I was trying to teach A to just let go of her dally, when she got in a tough spot and Oz would jump or turn hard. She got the hang of it and was having fun. J (5 year old) got to drag the empty sled back to the pile. Kenneth wouldn't spook for anything. And I seem to remember pulling my sister on a sled at a full run when we were kids off of Kenneth (SOOO FUN!!!)

I also had the kids practicing (sp) steak race. In other words, I passed them the trash from the bags, and had them put it in the trash can. (What, kids aren't my personal slaves??? The gotta learn these things somehow, and I gotta keep em busy!) We kept up with 3 or 4 rounds of dragging and (daddy was really nervous about a fresh horse that we hadn't warmed up) finished that waterer.

We decided to finish the other waterer, and loaded the truck with all of the supplies, since this one was over some icy ground. The kids were out in the pasture close to us now, and since the ground was good we let them trot around while we were working.

Then, they decided they felt good. The kids were both turning to come back to us side by side, and Oz wanted to stretch. He crowhopped 3 times, and A lost it. She held on for the first two and just couldn't keep her seat during the crowhops at a lope. My baby got bucked off. (well she fell off, but we're not telling her)

J was crying, A was crying, Ozzie was confused and sad (cause he was upset A was hurt), Daddy and I were relatively calm. Dusted her off, and she seemed ok. She decided to get back on, and walk around. YEAH!! I went in the barn to get another bag. When I came back out, A told me that she was OFFICIALLY a Cowgirl! Cause she got bucked off!

WOW! That one hit me hard! My b.a.b.y. is not my baby any more. She is a big COWgirl. Oh, the fun things I have to learn as a Momma. The end of an era! We all know it is going to happen, but when your baby grows up it is still a hard thing!

Now for the 7-UPdate. Since we've been calving, our stud, Koda, has been getting moved around alot. The night before he had been locked in the barn behind 7-UP's tiny pen. Koda decided he wanted 7-UP's premium alfalfa, and unhooked the chain latch, and helped himself. Not a big deal really, except we had taken off 7-UP's wrap to let his leg air out for the night, and now he was in a BIG (only 20x18, but big for a little shetland with a broke leg) pen. Well, he was feeling good! When he realised he was going to get caught, he started running. YUP, RUNNING, on his broken leg!! YEAH!! Well, kinda, but he felt comfortable putting weight on it and even stretched it out a little with a couple of good bucks. We caught the little fart (yes it took two of us). And Honey helped me put his boot back on, and his leg felt good. Didn't feel any movement and no pain for him when I felt the break area!

WOW!!! Thank you EVERYONE who helped with advice and encouragement to at least try to heal his leg. We put his boot back on and will keep it on for another month or so.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Whew!!! It's done!

Well, I've been on what most call a blogation (blogcation? Blog vacation). It was, only because I was working NONSTOP on Calving heifers, and getting ready and handling the IA Maine Anjou Beef Expo Show and Sale.

It's done.

I'm Tired.

My wonderful parents-in-law watched all 3 kids and my cows, while we were in Dsm Wed and Thursday. I'm and admitted control FREAK, and this caused much distress! (But I'm really trying not to complain! and I'm really lucky that Squeak was alive when I got home. OOPS, forgot, not complaining!!)

I did find out on Monday, that the childcare I have for Squeak on Mondays is AWESOME!! When I said I didn't know the plans for this week (cause I didn't know if my childcare would bail on me) Esther said, she would take the kids for me. And she meant it. She did warn that squeak might have bruises on him, from her girls fighting over him. SO SWEET!!!

Tuesday, was a rough one. Honey and I went out to feed all the pens hay early, and in the second to last pen, the IH1466 (tractor) BROKE!. Uh oh! Well, we'll just mix the ones that don't have hay (2yo colts) with the heavy cows. Then after the girls were off to school, I drove the White truck (the one that has our hay spears on it) to the shop... Did I mention that It was broke down too?? In Dsm (the Big City), I had the dealer drive me to my parent's where I promptly stole one of their vehicles (THANKS DAD!!!), and took care of all the stuff at the fairgrounds for the Beef Expo (THANKS BRAD n JULI!!!). Then I headed south (home) to pick up my trailer for my sub-driver on Thursday, and tried to get the house ready for us leaving (again for Expo). It was too nice out and Branden and his girls stopped over, and the kids rode the horses around . Oh well, you gotta have fun, and it really doesn't matter if your house is trashed, right???

Wednesday, we were off and running early. Had two heifers trying to calve when we needed to leave (Sorry Abby, you will really get your beef! I PROMISE!!) I arrived just before Check-in of calves, and it went pretty good. Only one person who didn't have their paperwork in order and wanted to give ME grief about it.

More grief at the banques in a smart ass style from same person, n that was IT! I'm done, I will not volunteer for this job next year... Then came the awards part of the banquet. Have I mentioned that Honey is the President of this association, and we have been trying to finish up the awards this year, and getting nowhere with all of the old board members, that decide these things? And so, we had NO idea that they were awarding Honey and I as the Maine Members of the Year. Wow, They do appreciate all the work we do. Honey was being a SmartA$$ later, and asked me if they "bought another year with, the coat they gave me?" Did I mention there was plenty of Crown N Dr. Pepper at this banquet, and Honey hadn't eaten all day? So, he was unusually outgoing, after only one of his (think, half a glass of Crown Royal, with a quarter glass of Dr. Pepper). The banquet was fun, and I was slightly convinced that I was appreciated, and might, do the sale again next year.

Thursday was the day of the Show and Sale. It went pretty well! The cattle sold good and were very consistent in their prices. The Bulls Averaged $2350 and Heifers averaged $2655. We had a couple of calves over 5000, but after that prices were very consistent, with only a couple of calves below the average.

I had a system, so we were done with the closeout by 6pm! WOW!! Last year we were there until after 9pm. and the sale ended before 5pm.

Then It was back home. When we got home all was well. Girls were asleep, house wasn't quite a disaster, Valentines were ready, no dead calves. Then I went to our room to go to bed. (Squeak's bed is in there). And. I. Found. An ADULT PILLOW, and 4 BLANKETS in bed. With. My. BABY! He was VERY tangled. OMG!!! I am SOOO Lucky he wasn't dead. (I really hope those P-I-L) don't ever read this blog...) Really, I'm trying hard NOT to complain, but the US Government spends millions a year educating people about SIDS and how to prevent it! And she is a NURSE! I thought she would know these things. I really wasn't joking when I said that I hoped my kids wouldn't die when they were watching my kids. I'm still not over this, and I won't be. NEXT TIME THE KIDS R COMING WITH US!!! Even if it IS Cold!! I can't do this. I was sooooo stressed out, and I found out I DID HAVE A REASON to stress! Yikes!!

Now, I'm off to think of something romatic, and loving to do for my honey! I have the movie Fireproof, and think it will be a good one to snuggle up with tonight.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A gate and my chin

Yup, Shanen is a Klutz!

My darn chin always gets in the way. I’ll have to tell you about the bicycle accident later. Right now I’m sporting a big black and purple bruised chin. Two days ago in the morning, I’m sitting in my chair reading blogs and watching Squeak play. The night before we trailed the cows back out to pasture and the calves had quit bawling. Then from the south I see a cow go by, and then, the pups were trailing her. These are the now 6 month old pups out of Chilli and Rosie.

I quickly scooped up Squeak, and asked J to sing to him while he was in his crib. I turned Hannah Montana on the iPod radio, and ran out the door, with the real dogs following me. Apparently, I didn’t need to run. The pups put her away. Yup, we hadn’t put the cows in that pen but 2 times, and as I came out the door I watched Lola turn her for Big Dog and they worked together to put her right down the hay pile. I ran for nothing. Huff, Huff, Puff, Puff. I “Stayed” the dogs, and snuck down the fence and opened the gate. I brought the dogs on slow and walked her down the fence line and right into the pen.

Wow! The instinct that is bred into the dogs is AMAZING! They have been following along for about 2 months when we’ve moved cows across the road, and when we moved them into different pens, but as of yet, they haven’t shown anything other than basic interest in herding. They sure surprised me, and impressed me too!

Just goes to show you what good breeding does for an animal. We have 3 more pups bred back the same way that are looking for good working homes.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Life and Death on the Ranch

Wednesday morning brought two suprises. One Great, one not so great. First, we had a heifer that suprised us with a 50 pound Gigolo Joe Bull Calf. Yup, just one. No twin. This calf is so tiny and CUTE!! It was pretty cold, so we made a makeshift blanket for him. We took an old pair of Honey's sweat pants, and cut the leg off. We cut a hole for the legs to come out. and the end covered up his ears pretty well, to keep them from freezing.

I have to modify this "slinky" cause it keeps dropping down over his eyes, and honey cut the cuff, so I can't just cut eye holes. See how fresh he is, with his bright red umbilical cord! She really calved him easy!

You can see, he got up right away and nursed. He should be a GREAT CALVING EASE bull! So excited to get all these new calves on the ground to market them!!

Then, the other side of life on the ranch. We had a dead spring born heifer. Honey noticed she was a little bloated the night before. I went into the pen, and couldn't pick her out of the line-up that was eating. We decided that we were going to wait and see if she would go down on her own. If she was bloated in the AM, we would tube her with some oil. Well, no need to tube her. She died. That part sucks, an 800 pound heifer, dead. Her gut was probably twisted, since she died so quick, and didn't look that bloated 8 hours before. She was fine at the midnight check too.

Ahh, the realities of life on the Ranch. Both the wonders of life, and the realities of death.

I think I'm going to take Pony Girl's lead and make a Blogging Schedule. That way, I'll try to post on a regular basis about different aspects of Life, and Life on the Ranch. If you want to learn more, or hear more funny stories, just drop me a comment. I love em!

Monday, February 2, 2009

This Weekend, and Music on the Ranch

Well, after loosing our first calf this weekend, the rest of it went pretty well. We did move cows on Saturday, and weaned and worked the fall calves. A friend came over with his two girls. I love my barn!!! Sorry, but I do!! Even though the entire working system isn't finished, we have the working chute set up where the roping chute will eventually be, and it works well. Honey and I were able to sort all the calves off easily and move colts around so they have a pen next to their mamas.
That's where we get the music. Mama cows singing and crying and SCREAMING for their calves. Some take it harder than others. Those are the one's that give us fits. But, not really this year. Because of our wonderful new pens. Steel Pipe pens. That means, unless they jump really high (6 feet) no cows are getting out and going for a run. I am SOOO thankful for our new setup! You see in the past years, cows were always out! And calves would get back out to their mamas. And then its a mess! The cows know they are about to get separated, again, and head for the hills! So, this year, when I hear a cow bellering in the middle of the night, I go back to sleep (unless it's my turn for heifer check). I can sleep because of our wonderful new pens, and knowing that everyone is in their proper place! And honey is sleeping this year, because I'm not dragging him out of bed to chase cows in the dark!
Then, as you see in the picture above, we let the girls ride. We even put on saddles later for them. The girls were able to ride inside the open end of the barn, while we worked the calves. It was great! Squeak was taking a nap in the truck, and the girls were in heaven. I love these old horses! The paint was my first pony. He and the Palamino are 24. The sorrel is 13. These three let the girls climb all over them and trade places about a million times. AHH, to be a little girl again, wait, I AM! I never grew out of the love of a horse and the pleasure they bring to me!!

Sunday, we (I mean Honey) clipped a bull, for the Iowa Beef Expo Sale. He turned out GREAT!! And he is such a pet! UH OH, yes, you hear me falling in love with him. And, we do need another bull! We'll see. Hopefully for his owner's he brings a ton more money than we can afford!

Hope you like the pictures, and THINK SPRING!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Puppies - New pictures - Reasons you need a puppy!

So, I know I haven't put new pics up for a while. Here you go. Rosie (Dam)is in my profile picture. Well, here are some updated pictures.
I would like $250 for the merle and $150 for the Black Tri's. Sire and Dam (sorry, we're cattlepeople)are both very good working dogs.
I love this cross because the Heeler (sire, named Chilli) is very strong and unstoppable when it comes to an agressive cow. Chilli is my husband's dog and would protect my husband with his life. I take him when I help work our neighbors cattle, and he also watches me. He will take directions from me also. The only reason I have been taking Chilli, is so that Rosie (could stay home with the pups).
Rosie is a mini-Aussie registered with the National Stock Dog Registry. She is a large mini at 19 inches. Rosie was a slower dog to go to work (around 9 months) but now she would do ANYTHING for me. She has ridden with me every day of her life, except for when she has had pups. This is her second litter. Rosie always has the look that she does in this picture. She just wants to know what I want her to do? She'll go for a run with the kids, or she'll help me walk in a pair, or she'll load a trailer very aggressively.
On a personal note, my youngest child is just a year old. While pregnant, Rosie was very protective of me. When Squeak was born, she would not leave his side. When anyone else would hold him, she would sit by them and "come get me" when he fussed or cried. She is simply wonderful with the kids and will let them do anything to her (so will Chilli). I truly believe Rosie and Chilli would die to protect me or the kids.
We kept two of the last litter, for our girls, and they are working great, and staying right with their girl. Another one of last year's pups is started by another friend, and proving VERY aggressive. We have started ours slower, but they have the drive and are intent on their mission.
If you think you might be interested in a pup, just drop me a note or comment, and I'll get you my phone number, so we can talk.... on the phone.