Monday, March 31, 2014


March was filled with a lot of my favorite things.

My favorite man - The Clinton.
My favorite breed of cattle - Shout out to the Charolais!
My favorite season of the year - Spring.
A trip to my favorite convention - Hey, Hey Oregon FFA!

And it was filled with a lot of other great things.
Bull sales, branding season, beautiful sunsets and just life in general.

There's so much to be thankful for.

Let's give thanks for a great month. 

 March, I hope we see you again in all of your glory next year.

Our weekend in cell phone pictures.

The end of March is one of my favorite times of year.  

 We get about two weekends that are pretty relaxing - the guys are still feeding every morning, but calving is juuusst about wrapped up and we won't start hitting the AI projects really hard until the first of April. So the stress level is at a decent level, and we can usually sneak a nap or something fun for ourselves (like going to a branding, or running errands) into the afternoon.

After the guys fed part of the cows Saturday morning we helped Ryan & Beau ship and trich test bulls. 

After lunch (and a quick nap for me) the guys finished feeding the cows while I opened gates with my trusty co-pilot Austin who also felt like she needed a nap.  The wind was HOWLING - but we got a few drops of rain, and this sweet rainbow!

It's been 1/2 Muck boot weather here - warm enough that you need to keep the tops rolled down, but still slick/wet/greasy enough to need Muck boots.

Speaking of calving - the second to last Double M Cow calved Sunday morning bright & early.  Only one more to go!  Woo hoo!

Sunday was beautiful too!  We did chores, fed cows, put CIDR's in a group of heifers and branded.  A great day to round out the weekend.

I hope you all had a great weekend too! 

Friday, March 28, 2014

5 on Friday.

1. The sunrise this morning was beautiful.

It's hard for me to resist a good sunrise (or sunset) and since I was running a few minutes early, I pulled off of I-84 this morning at the Woodpecker exit and snapped a few frames.  This picture is SOOC.  Pretty sunrises just set the tone for a good day, and this morning's was just what I needed.

2. These make your laundry room smell AHH-Mazing!

I first read about Downy's Unstopables on Erika's blog and picked some up last weekend when I was at Costco.  (Costco has them in the "Fresh" scent, and they were about $11 for a huge bottle.)  Friends - this product is a game changer.  I have a front load washer, so I just throw these into my wash before I close the door (don't add them into the detergent cup) and my laundry has never smelled better.  The nice thing about these is you can use a little (I just use a tablespoon or so) or a lot, depending on your preference.

Try them - I bet you'll love them.

3.  Capri pants.

I'm on the hunt for a good pair of comfortable & affordable capri pants. I'd like to find a pair that aren't jeans, but casual enough to wear with a jean jacket.  One of the gals at work told me about The Loft's capris, and I'm going to try a pair but was curious if any of you had any other suggestions?

4. I kind of wish I'd had these pajama pants.

I came home after work yesterday feeling so nauseous, and ended having the stomach flu.  Blech.  So as soon as I got home, I changed into my comfiest PJ's and curled up in my recliner.  While I would have a hard time justifying a $90 pair of pajama pants, I've only heard GREAT reviews about them....and sometimes, you just want to feel comfy. 

5. We love a good branding

I'm still working on a post of branding pictures from the Raymond's branding at their house last weekend, but here are a few of my favorites.  We're hoping to go help again in Pilot Rock on Sunday - if it doesn't rain. 


What are you plans for the weekend?

Whatever they are, I hope you enjoy them and have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Branding at Double M

The crew here at Double M has been branding calves here for the past week or so, and has a few more groups to go.  I'm home for a bit this morning before a dentist appointment, so I got to see Clint out the door as he left to go get a set ready to brand before it rains today.

Rain this time of year is tricky - we want it to rain for the crops, but you can't brand calves that are in between storms, the crew tries to brand if they can.

Last Friday when I was home, I was working on taxes in the morning (ugh....eventually we'll get them done!), but ran down to the calving barn to help Clint sort calves, and then stayed for a bit to take pictures.   I just love my three day weekends!  Everyone at my office works 9 hour days, and then we all get a three day weekend every other weekend.  Some of us take a Monday off, while others take a Friday so that we have office coverage and it is one of the best perks of my job!

Anyway - back to branding.  This set of calves was the AI Progeny Test calves out of the 2 & 3 year olds.  They are growing like gangbusters!  

Double M brands everything over a table, and everyone has "their job".  It's a really fluid routine, and they get into a good rhythm.  Kenneth was at the ranch, since he's on Spring Break, so he was the gate opener, and did a great job!

Of course Austin felt like she needed to stand to watch and make sure she was supervising the calves. 

Another year of Double M calves branded, and we'll be on to breeding their mama's!

PS - The brand at Double M has always been a UR and stands for the "Umatilla Ranch" since the ranch property is situated right along the river.  Kind of neat!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Oregon FFA State Convention.

I believe.

16 years ago, I stood up on a stage in Corvallis, OR and said those words, followed by the rest of the FFA Creed.

My corduroy jacket was zipped to the top, my tie was in place, and my knee length black skirt skimmed to my knees.  This was it, the final four.  Prior to walking onstage, the four of us - Jo, Angie, Stephanie and myself - had sat together in the sound proof room, waiting to be called forward.  One by one, we recited the memorized FFA Creed, and answered a question posed to us by the judges.

This weekend I made my way back to the familiar - the blue & gold, the excitement of students, the dedication of ag teachers who contribute more than they'll ever be compensated for - and relished in it.  

After a quick drive to Mountain View High School in Bend, OR I checked in as a judge and listened to the Top 8 in the Extemporaneous CDE.  I visited with friends & advisors only seen once or twice a year.  I caught up with Past State Officers (kindly referred to as "Has Beens") in the aisle during the session.

My FFA Advisor, Mr. Bob Beckner

Half of the 2001-2002 Oregon FFA State Officer Team
Joanna, Wes & Myself

The 2014 Past State Officer Reception

And you know what?

I still believe.

I believe that the FFA changes lives. 
I believe that the FFA offers something for everyone. 
I believe that FFA advisors play a pivotal role in a young person's life. 
I believe that what I learned during my time as a Newberg FFA Member has served me more than I could ever give back. 

And I still believe that the future is bright.

"FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education."
- The FFA Mission -