Monday, April 30, 2012

Counting the things that count.

I caught myself counting to myself a lot over the weekend...

...counting cattle out of a gate.
...counting while I watered my flowers in the yard to make sure they each got enough.
....counting to 10 in my head so that I didn't overreact.
....counting the number of rings on a call before it went to voicemail.
...counting the dollars as I paid bills.
...counting to 30 as I thawed semen to breed heifers.
...counting the flakes of hay as I divided them at chore time.
...counting calves as they headed to grass.

But was I counting the right things?

"Not everthing that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."
-Albert Einsten

I guess I don't know whether I was counting the right things...but I know I feel a difference in myself when I stop to focus on the positive and the multitudes of blessings in my life.

So I'll keep counting on.

April 24-30, 2012
#66 - 82

Three new babies for three great families.

Congratulations RJ & Sandy, Freynie & Ryan and Karen & Jeremiah!

A fun evening of Bunco - and some new flowers too!

Laughter, visiting and good "eats".

Getting the house cleaned & laundry going by 7 am.

A Saturday morning drive.

A dog safely home after an evening visit to the pound.
(Although we were frustrated someone would pick Austin up - she was bringing a group of cows to Clint in a field next to the rest area along I-84 where we live....they thought she was "chasing cattle" least she came home safely.)

A fun afternoon of breeding heifers at the Hamby's

Visiting for a few minutes with Karl & Jeanne.
A new satelite - our dish was crumpled in the wind storm last Monday. 
You can figure out how much TV we watch when we didn't even realize it until Thursday. 

Flower beds weeded and mulched.

New flowers (50% off!) planted.

Spending the day with Terry & Anna and the crew they'd put together to gather, sort and haul cows to grass.

Extra hands to help us move cattle down the road.

An hour to unwind with my husband at the end of the day.

A new Bunco dip recipe to try this week.

New ID tags for all four of the dogs.

A new work week - I'm determined to have a better attitude & more patience this week.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Breeding heifers and pulling semen.

I guess I just think it's normal.

To talk about breeding cows and pulling semen like someone would talk about taking their boat out to the lake, or their kids to the mall.

I got a few funny looks at Bunco when we were all talking about our weekend plans, and I said I was helping Clint breed cows.

When one of the girls cocked her head, and wrinkled her brow as she looked at me with a puzzled face, I just said "Well, actually I just pull the semen."

The look just got more contorted.

My weekend plans make look a little different than some of the other girls I hang out with, but my life is normal too.

Clint and I don't own a boat, we don't go to the mall, and the last time we went to the movies was at Christmas.  But we do get to help ranchers obtain their reproductive goals and strategies, which results in more economical beef on your dinner table.

Yes, we help synchronize a lot of heifers.

Yes, Clint and RJ breed a lot of cattle.

And yes, I pull a lot of semen.

So while I may get a few funny looks at Bunco, or when I'm in the Mexican restaurant talking about breeding heifers on projects over chips and salsa, I'm not going to stop.

Because I had a shredded beef taco salad for lunch that day - and I knew that the beef on my plate didn't just "come from the grocery store".  It's important for those outside of the agricultural industry to understand that our food doesn't just come from the's raised and grown on farms and ranches across America.

And to get that food to the supermarket; it takes a lot of work.
Work and dedication and risk and triumph and blood and sweat and tears.

And sometimes - a few beers.

Hey - I'm just being honest.

April has been a busy month for us.....breeding cows and pulling semen.

And this is just our hobby - we all have normal {day jobs} too.

But while we might be busy, I don't think we'd have it any other way.



 All pictures taken at Cable Creek Ranch during their April 2012 breeding projects.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Battered...but not beaten.

Mother Nature reared her head last night, and showed us what she was really made of.

Thunder, lightning, torrential rain and heavy winds hit Eastern Oregon by force last night.

I woke up this morning, fully expecting to see my flower beds in shambles.

What I wasn't expecting was this:

The day got even better when I got to work and found that we had no internet, servers, printing capability or connectivity.

I work for the government, and while we push a lot of paper to deliver farm programs, we need computers to generate it.  The storm the night before had wiped out a T3 line two counties west of us, leaving a six county span of offices dead in the water.

But here's the thing:

The {things} above - they're just minor.

I might have felt battered at the end of today....but I wasn't beaten.

I didn't have a child in the hospital, or an insurance adjustor in my yard because a tree had fallen into my house.

I still have a job to go to tomorrow, and don't have to worry about where my next paycheck was coming from.

 We all have blessings to count, good lives to lead, and work to do.

We may feel battered - but with faith, we can't be broken. 

April 17 - 23, 2012
#45 - 65

Wearing green, and a reminder of the great people in agriculture industry.

A spring sweater on the clearance rack.

A slow cooker that makes dinnertime easy.

An efficient COC meeting.

A short work week.  Was I ever ready for 3:30 on Thursday.

A photo in the Top 10.

Brand New by Darcy Sexson.jpg

A Friday to do what I wanted.

A nice (and safe) day of riding Jug.

Watching the looks of drivers as we moved cattle horseback under I-84.

Cattle that moved smoothly, calves that crossed the pond and horses that knew their role.

Great help from Annie.

A smile caught on camera from Duane.  Shh...don't tell him. :)

A day spent with Lindsay.

A Costco run.

Lunch with friends.

Green grass, and turned out cattle.

A Sunday to rest.  And rest we did.

Breakfast with Terry & Anna.

Blooming tulips, transplanted raspberries and a growing garden.

A Charolais bull delivered.

A long afternoon nap.  It was soooo needed.

A new week and fresh energy.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Gone to grass!

It's what every rancher dreams of in the Spring....

turning cattle out to grass.

If you ask any rancher right now if they could have one wish;
 I'll bet you a dollar that they'd say they'd like to have all of their cattle turned out.

Calves grow better on grass, cows milk a little more, and best of all...

 ...the feed truck gets to stay parked.

And we get a morning to sleep until 7:00 am.

It's the little things in life.

Friday and Saturday the crew at Double M started to turn pairs out.

The bulls got to join in on the {grass} party Saturday too.

So for those of you with cattle out there....

are you turned out to grass yet?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Working cattle at the Francis Ranch.

We spent Sunday morning helping Terry & Anna Francis sort and work their cows and calves. They're getting ready to turn out to spring grass (hooray!) but before that can be done, the cows and calves needed vaccinations, wormer and for some of their cows, a new ear tag.

We showed up right after the hard part - gathering all of the cattle - had been done. (Clint had to feed and pull heats at Double M, so we were a bit later than the rest of the crew.)

But once the cattle were in corrals, the sorting began and we were in business!

A great day spent with great friends!