Calves of all Colors

We’ve got a full spectrum of colored livestock this year.  While most of our calves were black last year, this year’s crop comes in quite the variety.

We’ve got black ballies.

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We’ve got Charolais.

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Little darker colored Charolais.

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We’ve got red-bodied-white-faced-and-socked babies.

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Charolais…Hereford…Gray looking babies.

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Red-bodied-white-faced-except-an-eye-patch-and-with-a-skunk-tail babies.

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Chocolate brown and a skunk tail.

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And finally, some that are all black!

IMG_2235I’ve never seen so many different colors and markings come from a herd of mostly black Angus mothers!  The bull’s looks obviously have a lot to do with how the babies turn out.

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Chubby Cheeks

Hey, All!  So sorry to have abandoned my blog for two weeks.  Things have been crazy around here.  Sick mama, sick baby, 48-hour trip to Montana, loads of laundry, church activities, picnics, birthday parties, the list goes on and on!  I’ll try reeeeeally hard to keep up with things a little better.

So that’s it, I’m back, and here’s a picture of my bundle of joy.

0329151847She’s practically perfect in every way (and I know she’s the reason many of you read this blog).

Grumpy Gopher Girl

Whoa.  Someone looks terribly unhappy to be checking gopher traps with Daddy.IMG_2354

Red nose.  Grumpy eyes.  Pursed lips.  Little Miss is not impressed with the bouncing stroller, swirling dust, or picture-taking mama.IMG_2355

But wait!  There’s a toy on the stroller.  Maybe things aren’t so bad after all.IMG_2374

Oooo, she sees the camera!IMG_2375

Not letting it, or the crazy-lady-behind-the-lens out of her sight.IMG_2376

Now she’s just annoyed.  Really, mom?  Is another picture necessary?

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Yes, my little punkin, another picture is totally necessary.

 

Rolling Over

This is what rolling over looks like at our house.

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Little Miss can roll from her tummy to her back, but she hasn’t quite figured out how to do the reverse.  Her shoulders get in her way and she gets really mad and incredibly frustrated for a three-month-old.  Most of her time spent on the floor is spent with her legs and belly facing down while her head an shoulders are stuck on their side.  She’ll get it one of these days!

Book Review: Seven Miracles That Saved America

I finally finished an adult-length book!  It took me a few weeks, partially thanks to Miss Henley and partially thanks to the depth of the book.  I loved the book, Seven Miracles That Saved America by Chris and Ted Stewart.  As you may have guessed from the title, this book discusses seven events in the history of the United States and their imperative importance to the development of this country into what it is today.  The events discussed include: Columbus’ discovery of America, Jamestown, Battle of New York during the Revolutionary War, writing of the US Constitution, Abraham Lincoln and the Battle of Gettysburg, Battle of Midway, Ronald Reagan and the end of the Cold War.  I liked the depth of the history found in the book as well as the overwhelming optimism the authors embrace.

I’ve always liked a good story and what better place to find one than in a history class?  This book discusses details of US history that were pretty new to me.  For example, the very near tragedy of the Jamestown colony.  Perhaps my schools didn’t cover the cannibalism and almost failure of this colony in order to spare young students from such horrible things.  Probably a good move.  Someone more knowledgeable regarding our nation’s history may not be surprised at the depth of this book, but I bet most of you, like me, will learn a thing or two from this book.  If nothing else, this book is a good history lesson, but if that’s all it was I wouldn’t have enjoyed it so much.

The truly wonderful part of this book is the positive attitude the authors take toward the US and its future.  Events in the present world, especially as of late, seem to have cast the United States in a very poor light.  It seems like people throughout the world and within our country doubt the US and hold very little respect for this country anymore.  While it’s true that the US is not a perfect nation, it is also true that its formation has led to incredible things.  The freedom allowed here has been instrumental in medical advancements, scientific discoveries, industrialization, and liberation of much of the world.  To quote the book, “No man is perfect.  And neither is any nation.  Yet, despite our weakness, we are still, as Abraham Lincoln said, the best nation ever given to man.”  I truly believe this will all my heart.  The US is an incredible country and I am proud to call myself an American.

In the midst of the bad things happening in the world today, it can be easy to lose sight of such things.  It’s much easier to go along with the pessimistic attitude of others and take a negative outlook.  Reading this book encouraged me to look instead at the good surrounding us, to take a positive view of things and hope for the best.  I encourage you to read this book, it is excellent!

Cow-dogs

Hey there!  Hope you all had a fantastic weekend; I especially hope none of you had the same miserable head cold as I did.  Not to worry, after a lot of sleep and countless bottles of water/gatorade, I’m feeling much better.  Still sniffly though.

Today I wanted to share with you a snippet about the dogs Mr. Rancher uses to help move cows.  We, of course, have our dog Bo who is the youngest of the cow-dogs.  Bo isn’t quite trained, but he is very aggressive and persistent.  If only he would work so hard and listen to what we’re telling him to do.  We’ll call him a work in progress.  The other dogs all live at my in-laws’ house and don’t technically belong to Mr. Rancher.  I think he takes credit for all of them though.  Patch is the oldest border collie and he is the best babysitter.  He will fetch anything–a ball, a sock, a stick–for hours on end and doesn’t mind playing with kids.  He’s pretty good about working cows too.  Rex and Fly are the next oldest.  These two are brothers from the same litter.  Ty got Fly as an early Christmas present a few years ago and two weeks later Lexcie got Rex as an actual Christmas present.  Fly is the tiniest of all the dogs and probably the most anti-social.  He really likes Ty and Ty’s immediate family, not really anybody else.  And he hates guns.  Fly is a good worker when he wants to be but tends to be on the lazier side of things.  Rex is, well, the poster child of our border collies.  He’s built and colored the closest to the breed standard–even though border collies can be a very wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes–and is the hardest worker.  He lives to please and loves to work cows.  Stanley is the second youngest of the cow-dogs and is by far and away the largest one.  He is a good worker as well and is the best at playing with any new puppies.

All of the dogs, regardless of their desire to actually work cows, like to go with Ty.  A few months ago Mr. Rancher and I were loading our bulls for a visit to the vet’s office and all of the dogs were there to help us.  Five dogs to load five bulls.  Maybe a little over-board but they all like to help so darn much!

I’m sure Mr. Rancher and I will always have a border collies.  We’re a little biased and picky when it comes to our cow-dogs. and border collies are what we like the best.

This is Rex, the poster child.IMG_2393

Isn’t he gorgeous?!IMG_2395

Such a pretty dog and such a hard worker and such a sneaky thing too.  Rex prefers to ride in the front of the pick-up rather than on the back or in the trailer.  As a result, he’s learned to jump through any open window into the cab and lie very quietly in the back-seat so no one will notice.  A few days ago he did just that and hitched a ride home to my house with Mr. Rancher.  After checking gopher traps we drove Rex back out to my in-laws’ house.  I have no idea how many miles have been driven looking for lost cow-dogs, taking cow-dogs back home, or picking up cow-dogs that fell off the pick-up.  I’m sure it’s a lot though.  These guys are critical components to taking care of the cows and I don’t think we could live without ’em.  IMG_2396

Fresh Calf

I love seeing fresh-out-of-the-womb calves like this little one.  I’ve yet to see a mother cow actually giving birth, but I have see quite a few wet babies, just minutes after their birth.

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When we first pulled up in the feed truck, the calf was all by his lonesome.  Seeing this new baby alone freaked me out a bit.  Probably since I just had a baby a few months ago and cannot imagine leaving her by herself right after she was born.  Not to worry, the mother came a runnin’ as soon as I climb out of the truck to take some pictures.

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I think my all time favorite pictures of cows include a mother and a baby.

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And their signature sniffing to double check that it is indeed their calf.  I love it.  It makes me happy.

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Have a great weekend, folks!

Sore Butt, Sore Abs, Sore Back…

Oh my heavens.  Riding horses hurts.  A lot.  My butt.  My back.  My neck.  My tummy. My legs.  I haven’t been on a horse since last June–thanks to my prego belly–and riding last Saturday felt horrid.  Well, actually the riding part of things wasn’t so bad, it was waking up the next morning with a sore body, not sore muscles my entire body, that was totally wretched.  I forgot just how many muscles it takes to ride a horse.  Clearly not using those muscles for about a year bit me in the butt.

Despite the pain I had to endure afterwards, I had a really good time riding!  Mr. Rancher and I spent the afternoon with my brother Kevin and his girlfriend Amy, without the company of a certain little baby.  Miss Henley spent a few hours with Aunt Lexcie, and even though I called Lexcie every thirty minutes to check on the baby it was really nice to have a few hours to just be me.  No diaper bag to tote around.  No pacifier to lose.  No puke running down my shirt.

Being on the other end of a babysitting deal was a bit surreal for me.  Before Lexcie arrived, I was rushing around my house trying to make sure everything was ready for her.  I’ve been babysitting since I was eight years old and have had many great experiences taking care of little children.  I’ve also had many, many, many rotten experiences.  Most of those involve situations where I couldn’t find something I really needed, the kids not being well-fed or being over-tired, or the parents being out of touch for hours on end.  I tried really hard to have everything that Lexcie could possibly need laid out for her, my house clean, snacks for her to munch on, Henley fed and napping, and my cell phone on at all times.  I also gave her detailed, specific, probably ridiculously overly-informative instructions.  I couldn’t help it.  I’ve been the babysitter too many times!  I’m happy to report, Henley had a fantastic time with Lexcie, and I think Lexcie had fun with little miss.

Mr. Rancher, Kevin, Amy and I all had fun riding together.  We checked cows, saw a few new babies, took some fun pictures, and I lost my phone.  My lot in life is to be the girl who always loses her phone while riding horse, feeding, or changing water.  Mr. Rancher really doesn’t get surprised when I tell him I’ve lost my phone.  He’s actually started asking me to check for it at random intervals during our little outing together.  I’m so lucky he looks out for me and the well-being of my electronic devices.  He really might ask me to check for it just so he doesn’t have to go search through the fields for it later.  Me losing my phone, yet again, was only trumped by my brother falling off his horse.  Kevin’s not much of a horse guy and this little accident may have sealed that deal for him.

So other than the phone losing and falling (and sore bodies the next day) it was a great afternoon.

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Our cute horsies, Salt and Si.

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Kevin and Amy!  Such troopers.

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