Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gather and Branding with Pictures

Here are some of the pictures from the gathers this year both spring and for branding this last week.
This is from the spring gather when we sorted off the heifers and put the bulls with the herd

Here come the girls

My Char cow and her baby. This will be the last year we have her since she is around 12 years old

Hey what are you looking at?

Making friends

The hubby and Bibble loading a momma and baby

This is from the start of our branding last Saturday.

First customer of the day and the hubby making sure that everyone knows their jobs

Cousin Rick getting another calf for the guys to work

Our oldest runs all the shots and one ground crew while either the hubby or my father in law runs the other

Gotta get things right, so the "boss" does it

The hubby finally gets a chance to rope a few.

Our last calf of the day.
Had a great time branding this year, for once we had plenty of help. There were 4 generations here that day as the hubby's grandmother was able to come out and enjoy the day, my dad and the hubby's dad were both here and Bibble more than pulled her share of the work. Three cousins and one wife were able to come out along with a few friends to lend a hand.
I did not get a chance to get as many close up pictures like I normally do as I was keeping Granny company on the other side of the fence out of the way and then finishing up the lunch for everyone. Ended the day with more calves branded then we thought we had, which is always a good thing. Still have about 30 cows left to drop their calves so we will have to brand again around the end of July, but that time will just be the hubby, Bibble and myself. I am always glad when branding is over as the week leading up to it are longer than normal and busy. Also nice to have an idea how many calves you are going to sell in October since that is the only paycheck you get for the year.
Next week will find me working all the apples that I'm getting on Sunday. Looking to put some away for pies and cobblers and others will go to apple butter and apple sauce. Also going to make some pie crust and get that frozen so when I want to make a pie all is ready for me!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wee Bit of Me Wednesday #10

Okay I know that it has been a while since I have done a Wee bit of me Wednesday so here is a new one and on Wednesday too!

{one} what color best describes you + why?
Not sure on this one.

{two} how have you changed in the past year?
We started homeschooling our girls this last year which made me switch my major to elementary education from secondary. Other than just being one year older, not much

{three} have you ever had any surgeries?
Yeah, had both of my girls by C-section.

{four} why did you start your blog?
Friends were asking what it is like to live on a ranch and truly living this far from anyone else it is nice to communicate this way with others from around the country.

{five} what are you looking forward to this summer?
Rain! We need it so badly

{six} do you have any family traditions for the 4th of July?
We normally have a BBQ at the ranch with family and when it is not so dry we have our own fireworks show here.
{seven} what’s something new that you’ve tried in the past few months?
Can't think of one darn thing.

{eight} what is the perfect a/c temperature?
What ever anyone else has it set at, we don't have a/c in the house.

{nine} what was the last movie you saw in the theater?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I. We just don't go to the movies.

{ten} what song do you think everyone should hear at least once?
What ever song makes them smile when they are down, everyone needs that.

Working on my post and pictures from the branding. Will be getting that up this week so look for it by week end.

Friday, June 10, 2011

A months worth of updates

Okay I knew that I had been away from my blog for awhile but had no idea that the last post was from May 3rd. It has been a crazy month for us here. The end of spring/start of summer always is, but for some reason this year more so than the ones before.
It started back at the end of April when our hired help decided he wanted the weekend off. Normally that would not be a problem as the hubby, me and the girls can handle anything that comes up. But that weekend happened to be the one that we were gathering the cows, moving pastures and pulling out the heifers and putting the bulls in with the herd. Left high and dry we were lucky enough that neighbors of ours was available to help on Sunday after they finished moving their cows.
To say that I was hot under the collar would be the understatement of the century! He did show back up in the wee hours of Monday morning and went about his work that morning like nothing had happened, even asked me how my weekend went! Needless to say I would have fired his butt at that moment but one of the outside jobs we have to help the ranch out requires two people and I have enough on my plate that there is no way I can take on anything else, besides there would be no one to watch the girls. So we are stuck with the idiot until we can find a new cowboy to hire. Unfortunately the picking for that line of work are slim to none in our area of the world, so if anyone knows someone who is looking for full time cowboy work please let me know!
May brought the start of the branding season in our area and the hubby and our oldest were off to Flagstaff, Arizona to help my father-in-law brand on the ranch that he manages. Bibble was so excited to go this year as it was the first year to help out over there. She did us proud, giving the shots, keeping track of the count and helping to get some cows back that decided they did not like the inside of the pen. She was even invited back for next year by the owner! She was just excited that she got paid for the weekend and is putting her money away to start saving for college.
Once the hubby got back the first thing he did was to go and check on the cows. He had been gone for only 4 days and during that time was told by the "hired" help everything was fine, all the cows were in the pasture and the fence was great. Well that was all wrong. The cows were out, the fence was down and had been down for a few days because the tracks were in the mud and it had not rained at all since he had been gone. So after spending 2 days tracking down our cows and calves and fixing the fence everyone was home again. The worst part about our cows getting out into the neighbors pastures is they do not call to let you know they are there, they are just hoping that you don't notice and all of a sudden your cow has a calf with their brand on it! Yes that has happened more than once around here.
So the last part of May found us going around and improving the fences around the ranch. Not an easy or cheap thing to do.
Mean while we are still looking for new help, but no luck so still stuck with the idiot.
Then yesterday occurred. Started out okay. Got an early start in the morning and the day was not hot, that was about the last thing that went right yesterday. Now let me start by saying I am not the most experienced ranch hand, but even I know that you do not pick up a momma cow that you know has a baby without finding the baby too. Also is a momma cow does get picked up without the baby and she keeps trying to go back to where you found her at, let her go she is going back for her baby and you can pick them both back up on the next sweep through. Now after working on a cattle ranch for almost 3 years you would think this would be understood and common sense. You guessed it, not by our "hired" help. To top it off he would keep cutting off the calves and sending them running off in all different directions. What should have taken just 5 hours to complete was still not done and finished by the time the sun set last night. The hubby and Bibble spent most of the afternoon and evening going back through the herd double checking numbers and matching up mommas and babies, while the help went to town. Again not a happy person on this end.
So today is being spent looking for the 32 head that are not in the pasture that there suppose to be in and looking for them in summer pastures at the south end of the ranch. I feel bad because I have not been able to help as I'm in two science classes for my schooling right now and I've been helping my dad get a house bought here in town. And getting all the food ready for the weekend. In fact right now I have bread in the bread machine, blueberry lemon bars cooling and getting the final grocery list ready and going to make a run to town.
Okay so there is the short story version of the last month here. I am just hoping that tomorrow goes better and we are able to get everything branded and turned back out with no issues. I will make sure and take pictures and post them next week along with the other pictures I have of our calves and our colts.