You know, they say that having kids changes things. And seeing as how I don’t have any of my own kids (yet) I don’t have first-hand experience of that sort of change. But I can say, that having Zach’s kids full time for the last week has been different, challenging, and my routine is all screwed up. I’m not complaining. They’re fun to have around; though I had no idea how much energy a coming 8yo boy really has. His attention span doesn’t last very long, and sometimes that can be frustrating. He’s not bad, just energetic, but when you’re not used to that kind of energy being around it wears you out. Ok. Maybe it’s just me that’s worn out.
I spent part of this week updating our ranch website. It’s not done yet, as there’s still new photos of the studs to put up, as well as video of three of the four; there’s also updating to be done on the broodmare page as we lost two this winter. But photos of the new babies are up.
The rest of the week we spent riding, sorting off yearlings, keeping up with chickens, checking the horse herd at one of the river pastures (no new babies there- and we lost another colt), going to the barrel race, and we had the kids’ cousins over for a couple nights too. Maybe I just haven’t had enough sleep and that’s why I’m worn out?
Yesterday we went and branded at the neighbor’s place. That always makes for a long day. We gathered two pastures, sorted off the mama cows, poured them, vaccinated them, and then the fun begins. The babies are roped by the back feet, and taken to a place where we catch them with a contraption that holds them behind the neck, the cowboy/cowgirl horseback, keeps the rope around their back feet tight while a group of several people works on them- there were three different vaccinations to be given- so one vaccination per helper (once given the vaccination the calf is marked with a colored chalk so that the help knows that he’s been given all his shots, or that he needs one). There’s someone to band the testicles of the male calves, someone to help hold it, if necessary, one person pouring them with a fly/lice repellent or de-wormer, someone putting fly tags in their ears, and two people (one of whom was me) with branding irons. So each calf has a group of 7-8 people at it, and in a matter of about 2 minutes it’s through and back out to pasture to find it’s mama. Shuttle believes that chasing and gathering cows is super fun. She totally digs it.
(p.s.- we may go help Zach’s cousin brand today).
I have no idea how many calves we branded yesterday. But I know we got up at 6:30am, were at the neighbor’s by 7:00am (their time- technically we’re mountain time but use the central clock- they don’t) and didn’t finish until 5:30 yesterday. Zach and I had to go to Pierre, after all that was said and done. We needed to drop off his neice so she could go visit her older sister, and we were out of groceries. Going to town after branding is probably not a great idea. We didn’t get in until midnight. So it was an exceptionally long day yesterday. Where are the kids, you may ask? Well Ty is with is mom at an archery tournament somewhere in SD, and Kelsey went camping with her friends for the weekend. Sounds like good activities for both of them!
As an aside- an antelope just walked by my window.
I don’t kow if I mentioned it in all the craziness that has been my life lately, but Turtle, the cat had kittens. Three of them- one was stillborn. They’re living under my back step.
While I was in Texas our vacuum died. Zach bought us a new Dyson Ball- the pet model. Can I tell y’all how much that vacuum rocks? It is the coolest, easiest to use, lightest, suckingest vacuum I’ve ever owned. How’s that for a review?
We had a new filly born a couple days ago. A pretty buckskin. I will try to take photos today. I still have pictures of Zach’s latest project to share, but that will have to wait. I should get up and around. Today, I have to plant some things in my garden, like tomatoes and pepper plants, and I should fertilize my flowers and get my new bed ready to be planted. I need to ride, and maybe I’ll rope some yearlings just for fun, on Shuttle.
Tomorrow we’ll be cutting our stud colts- the old fashioned way. I hope there’s enough help for me to take some pictures, learn how to do this, and share the whole experience. I can’t wait.