Friday, October 29, 2010

Stuck between a rooster and a steer

Just when I thought I had enough going on in my life, what with homeschooling our girls, my own college classes, helping to run the ranch, all the book work, and as my friend Kacee says "skirtwork" the girls have started 4-H!
The meeting part is not so bad, one Wednesday a month in town, okay I think I can manage to swing that schedule. It might even mean time for me to get a real cup of coffee from Starbucks in the Safeway while the girls do their thing!

What is at issue in our house right now is the fact that our youngest, Reyanna, wants to show a steer just like big sis. Yeah I can just see little 6 year old Reyanna getting a 1200 lb steer to go where she wants in the show ring. We have been trying to explain all of this to her, but she is hard headed and thinks she is 10 feet tall and bullet proof!  Asked her the other day what about showing the rooster we have for our chickens, for a boy I have to say that he is pretty with his gold and bronze feathers. Well that suggestion promptly got a look that said "he is not a steer".
It has taken much work and talking on the part of the hubby and I, but finally we have gotten Reyanna to agree to show Reggy, the rooster, for 4-H next fall. The final straw was telling her that Reggy would be her's, oh and her sister's steer almost shoving her into the water trough one afternoon! She turned around and told the steer that "sister can have you, at least a chicken won't try and dunk me".  I guess it just goes to show that there really is no reasoning with a 6 year old that is stuck between a rooster and a steer.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Years Worth of Hard Work

As I take a few minutes to sit down at the computer this evening I think back to the past year and all the hard work that the hubby, the girls, the young man who works for us and myself have put in. For many farm and ranch families a years worth of work boils down to one day, sale day. For us that is tomorrow. The money is not why we do what we do, this not a job that you get rich doing. So why do it then? What follows is a list of some of the reasons I have come up with over the last three years.

1) I can let my girls run free in the yard and around the house and I don't have to worry about them being safe.

2) My hubby is fourth generation working this ranch and we want to be able to see the 5th and 6th generations working that same land.

3) Where else can a husband, wife and the kids all work the same job at the same time and spend as much time as they want together.

4) There is something about the only rush hour traffic jam is cows laying on the road when you are trying to get the kids to the bus stop in the morning.

Lastly, there is just something satisfying and comforting looking out from your porch and seeing the land where generations before you have come and gone, worked, loved and grew and know that you are part of that continuing story that even after you are gone the land will still be there providing for the next generation.

What are some of the reasons why you or your family are involved with agriculture or somethings that you have realized over time.  I look forward to reading others thoughts.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Why We Do What We Do

Days like today and weeks like this past week give me the satisfaction and knowledge that the way of life, the industry and the heritage that we, as a family have chosen is right. I know I have been some what MIA this week from not only this blog but from those of you who are my friends on Facebook. Part of that is due to home schooling the girls and my own schooling for my teaching degree, but a large part of that is due to daily life on a family ranch.

For us on a daily routine, it is the hubby and one young hired hand that do the "heavy lifting" of the job, with the girls and I filling in when needed and we are able. During this time of year, that of fall gathering, sorting and shipping, it calls for all hands on deck. This week was just that. In years past, either the girls were in school or I was working in town and therefor unable to help the hubby unless the work fell on a weekend. 2010 marked a change for us as I was at home and the girls were home schooled, thus allowing us our own time table and schedule. The end result of this large change in our lives created a chance for our oldest daughter to help drive the herd 8 miles from the south end of the ranch to the holding pasture on the north end of the ranch with her dad and our help, Weston. Not only that, our youngest was able to ride by herself outside of the arena for the first time, helping dad to check the cows one morning during the week.

I am not sure that as a mom I am ready for my girls to grow up so fast, but if this week has taught me nothing else it is this: The next generation of ranching is in good hands, be they girls or boys, those of us who are sticking it out and making a go on family ranches this country over are offering to our children a way of life that is beyond compare.

I am proud to be not only a ranching wife, but even more so a ranching mom.  The ability to pass on our knowledge, our love and our passion to the next generation is just part of why we do what we do.