Saturday, May 31, 2014

May.


















Early mornings faded into later evenings.

AI'ing kept us busy throughout the month, once all of the cows were turned out to grass at Double M.

Jackpots, Jordan Valley Big Loop and an afternoon at the lake gave us reasons to relax and we enjoyed a bit of downtime.

Life has an ebb & flow, and while May always starts out crazy, by the end we're starting to see the light.

Here's to another great month - May, I hope we'll see you again next year!


Friday, May 30, 2014

5 on Friday.

1. The Must-Have Wedges


I finally bit the bullet, and bought these.

 I follow Sheaffer at Pinterest Told Me To, and she has been raving about these wedges for a sweet forever.  Our lifestyle doesn't exactly justify multiple pairs of wedges (I already have a neutral pair from BOC that I love) but when these went on sale, I bit the bullet.

And can I just tell you...

I FEEL SO TALL IN THEM!

AND THEY ARE COMFORTABLE!

Yes, they are worth screaming about. 

And the two facts above justify every penny of the $46.86 I paid for them. 

If you want a pair for yourself there are limited sizes in putty & black left, so you need to HURRY! I highly recommend them...I wear a 10 normally, and I'd say they're true to size.

2.  Happy Birthday Paco!


My sister's birthday was yesterday and now she's an old, old, OLD lady. 

Haha. Just joking Lindsay. 

I just had to give you grief because you think anyone over 25 is old. 

And you're not old like the rest of us, because you're 25 for the 2nd time, right?
;-)

 
3. On the Road Again.


It's that time of year.  Moving cows to different pastures is pretty much a daily occurence in the late spring and early summer months at Double M.  Since last Monday was a holiday, I helped Clint move this group and Jesse who was here visiting brought up the rear and helped the slower calves come at their own pace.

'Tis the season.

4. The Weather.


We have had some of the nicest weather here lately!  It's been nice and cool in the evenings, and in the low 70's during the day with a nice breeze.

If there is somewhere in the world that has this kind of weather all year round, I'd like to know about it.

But until then - I'm going to enjoy our little corner of the world.  I know the farmers could use a good healthy shot of rain for the crops, but I can't control that, so I'm just going to be thankful for the days of beautiful weather we've had this past week! 

5. Off to AI More Cows

This post is actually auto posting, since we left last night to head to Mitchell, OR to breed cows today and tomorrow.   It's supposed to be great weather, and we'll have a great crew there to help - all good things to start a project off on the right foot!

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Happy Friday friends!
Keep on living the dream!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Green choppin'

Double M is putting up it's first cutting of hay as green chop, which means the fields are chopped (kind of like you'd mow a lawn) and the forage is hauled to a pit where it's unloaded and packed.

A lot of ranches around here chop their first cutting of hay because of moisture problems and rain.  Hay loses nutritional value if it's rained on, and since it's still early ranches chop the first cutting so they don't have to worry about it going into the pit wet.....actually, it has to go into the pit wet to ensile correctly.

While we haven't had any rain, the moisture levels have been good for green chop. Hay grows back, and we normally get 4 cuttings each year, so the resulting cuttings will be put up for hay.


Big trucks drive through a field of hay, as choppers cut the standing hay into small pieces and blow it into the truck bellies that drive along side.  Once the truck is full, it heads to the pit to unload.

Once the trucks drop off a load at the pit (there'll be a steady stream of trucks coming from the fields all day long), whoever is running the tractor begins to push the green chop up the mound, and the weight of the tractor packs it down.



It's important to "push" as much air out of the green chop, because ensiling is an anaerobic process, and oxygen that remains trapped just spoils the silage.  

Once all of the green chop is in the pit, and packed, it will be covered with a tarp and the crew will lay tires on top of the tarp to "seal" the silage. Then the fermentation process will begin; this is when all of the oxygen is depleted in the green chop that's locked below the tarp and the pH is lowered by lactic acid that is created by the lactobacillus bacteria that are present on the forage when it is chopped.  Once the pH is lowered, the forage can remain in a feedable, fermented state for multiple years as long as it isn't exposed to oxygen.

That's why when someone feeds silage, they only peel back the tarp a little bit each day, and uncover the amount that they can feed quickly.

Think about it like beer production; to make beer, they ferment barley & hops, and then seal it away from oxygen in a bottle.  Once the bottle is opened, you have to drink the beer within a short amount of time or it goes bad.  But if left unopened, the beer lasts for a long time in a fermented state.  The process of making and sustaining silage is similar in concept.



It's a lot of "back and forth" on the tractor all day long, but time is of the essence because the longer the top of the pit is exposed to air, the more spoilage occurs.

And so goes another day at the ranch! :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Power Dog.


Sweet Austin.

She's been with Clint longer than I have.

She's been a great cow dog, a traveling companion, and one of the best pets.

I think anyone who's judged for Clint on a livestock judging team probably has an "Austin" story.

Whether it was being smuggled into a hotel in a duffel bag, or traveling under the front bench seat in the 12 passenger van across the country to contests - she's been a dog many remember.

She quickly got the nickname "Powers" since so many called her Austin Powers, the Power Dog.

A few weeks ago, Austin went with me to a ranch where I was putting in CIDR's, and we got there a bit early, so we had our own little photo shoot for about two minutes before the rest of the crew arrived.





Haha.

As you can tell, she was reeeaaaallll impressed.  :)

We just love this dog of ours.  She's getting up there in years now, and can't hear a dang thing, but she seems to be staying healthy so we're going to enjoy having her while we can.

Austin, you will always be our "Power Dog".

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Our Memorial Day Weekend.

Whew!  What a weekend!

We had a {full} Memorial Day weekend.....a jackpot in Madras, shipping heifers to Wallowa, and work at the ranch filled up most of our time. But when you're doing what you love, with people that you care for, it doesn't quite feel like work.

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The 5 Peaks Classic Jackpot was this weekend in Madras, and I headed down bright and early Saturday to help Cathy and her crew in Ring A. 

It was another great show - I think this is the 4th or 5th one the Bartels have put on - and the weather couldn't have been more perfect!  The kids showed outside on the grass this year, which made for great pictures!






This jackpot helps support the "Heaven Can Wait" breast cancer group, so many of the kids and show staff wear pink to show their support.  There was also a raffle for a cattle blower with pink detailing, and many of the prizes were detailed with pink.  It's a great way to support an important cause.

All pictures will be posted on the 5 Peaks Facebook page later this week!

The next morning, we were up bright & early to ship heifers to Wallowa!


Austin stayed home, but Leo got to come and help move cows with us.

He did a great job!



I helped the guys get the heifers from the corral where we unloaded them to the pasture gate, and then headed back to get the pickup & trailer.  They finished pushing the heifers to the bottom of the mountain, and then we headed to lunch at Terminal Gravity! 

TG is my favorite place to eat when we go to Wallowa.  The entire menu is delicious, but I especially love the nachos, the steak pita, and their salads.  If you're near Enterprise, you need to eat there!

After we got home from Wallowa, we doctored a few calves and went to bed early.

Monday we fly tagged a group of pairs, and moved another set of pairs down the road.  It doesn't sound like a lot of work, but we didn't get done until a little after 2:00.  I ran and grabbed us a quick bite for lunch and then did a few other chores before we headed to Terry & Anna's for a BBQ.




See all of the bright red ear tags?

Those are fly tags....super smelly, but they seem to help keep the flies off of the cow's faces for a little while.


The set of corrals where Double M works these cows has an old manual Powder River chute, so a week ago Cling hauled our portable hydraulic chute over there and placed it in front of the manual chute.  He's been using it to fly tag cows, and doctor calves.  I was running the tagger yesterday, and appreciated having the chute there since it has a neck stretcher on it (two bars that hold a cow's head out so that she can't thrash) and that really made tagging easier and safer.  Two things we like here.  :)


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I am so thankful that we get to live in a country where we're free to live as we choose, free to make our own choices, and free to work towards the lifestyle that we desire.

Freedom isn't free.

Thank you to the current and past men & women of the United States Armed Forces who have made this country the land of the free!

Friday, May 23, 2014

5 on Friday.

1. Spring Grass and Curious Cows.



We've had some pretty good grass growing weather around here lately, and because Double M intensively grazes, Clint is moving groups all of the time to new feed.  He tries to move pairs in the evening when the weather is cooler, and I usually help flag the road for him.  While I was waiting at the gate this week (Clint, Ty and Wyatt were out in the field gathering the pairs), I snapped these pictures of the heifers that were across the road.  They'd been shaded up in the old barn, but when they heard the other pairs coming from across the road, they got pretty curious and had to come check things out!

2. Birchbox.

I joined Birchbox in March, and wanted to receive a few boxes before I shared about it.  For $10, you receive deluxe samples each month that are chosen for you based on a survey of questions you answer.  The boxes ship free, and then if you like the samples you receive, you can order the full size product and it ships free to you for that month.  The box I received this month is probably my favorite yet! 

If you're interested in joining Birchbox, click here for more info!

I think this would be a fun gift to give for a birthday, or Christmas too.  You can buy a month, or 3-month subscriptions and then the recipient just fills out the questionaire and starts receiving their box.

 How fun is that?

3. These just make me laugh.




Can you tell I've been really wanting a nap lately?!?!
And I just love this one;


4. Speaking of laughing...

Have you watched this video on YouTube?

I seriously laughed from exit 199 all the way to Pendleton this morning on my way to work!



Roll the credits.

5. Bare Minerals Giveaway


Congratulations to Robyn!

You are the big winner!  I'll get your makeup mailed to you first thing next week.

Robyn is a frequent commenter, and blogs about her life on a South Dakota ranch over at The Ranch Wife Chronicles.

Robyn wins her own set of some of my favorite, and most used Bare Minerals products.

She'll receive a full size Marvelous Moxie lipgloss in "Maverick", a 0.85g All Over Face Color in "Love Radiance", a 0.2g Mineral Veil, a brush to apply both, and a Next Big Thing eyeshadow compact with the colors Rising Star, Smash Hit, Hoopla and Ensemble!

I hope you enjoy these - these products make getting ready super simple for me, and I hope they do the same for you!



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Happy Friday friends!

We're spending the weekend at a jackpot show and hauling heifers to Wallowa.  Maybe Monday we'll even have time for a nap - I sure hope so!

We'll also be remembering that the reason for this long weekend is because of the generous sacrifices members of the United States Armed Forces have given to our country.

A special shout out to the members of our family who have served and are currently serving.  We appreciate you!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Cow Nike's.

Last week, Clint noticed that one of his Charolais bulls was limping out amongst a group of cows, so he sorted him off and one evening after dinner we loaded him onto a trailer and took him to the white corrals to be doctored.  It was late and dark, so we just dropped him off in a pen with water, and Clint went out early the next morning to doctor him.  He figured it was just foot rot, but after looking at him in the daylight, he realized the bull had somehow lost the outer part of his hoof on one of his toes.

That's pretty painful (we imagine it'd be like having a toenail ripped off, and having to put weight on the part without a nail) for the bull, so Clint asked RJ to come over and look at him.  RJ owns a trimming business, and has portable trimming trucks so he met us at the white corral last week in the evening to take care of the bull. 

RJ just drives his truck up to an alleyway, and then lowers the hydraulic life and lets the cattle walk into a head catch.  Then a series of belts is pulled taut around the animal, and they're lifted over onto their side so that RJ can work on their feet.  The cattle remain comfortable, and don't struggle at all.





Once RJ assessed the hoof, he gave the bull what he calls a "Cow Nike". 

A "Cow Nike" is when the hoof is blocked.  RJ glued a plastic sole onto the side of the hoof that was still healthy/intact, so that it raised the entire foot off of the ground  (this way the bull wasn't putting pressure on the toe w/o any hoof, but rather putting pressure onto the good part of his hoof that didn't hurt) and then wrapped the entire foot so that hoof would stay clean and heal.




I've seen RJ trim feet before, but hadn't ever seen him block anything. It's pretty neat what he can do, and the way the bull walked back to the pen was evidence enough that what RJ did helped him.  Prior to getting blocked, he would barely put any weight on his right rear foot.....afterwards, he walked with just a slight limp back to his pen and put weight on the hoof with the new block.



Cattlemen care for their cattle, and we appreciated RJ helping us out.  Now that the bull is blocked, Clint will keep him segregated from other cattle, so that he has the best chance to recover as fully as possible.

Thanks RJ for the great help! 

We appreciate it and you!