Thursday, December 31, 2015

December.









 
December.
 
You were a month we spent a lot of time at home.
 
Mostly waiting for our little guy to show up, but also just taking care of things around the ranch.
 
We also got to celebrate with the UCCA a lot of significant accomplishments this year - and it was an annual meeting to remember.
 
A good month - and one I'm looking forward to again next year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The holidays & my goals for 2016.

We had such a nice Christmas this year.

Christmas Eve we went to dinner with the Murdock boys.  It's their tradition to go to the local Chinese buffet to eat that evening, and we really enjoyed going with them (even though we were missing Lindsay who is in Australia). 

Now some people may turn their nose up to Christmas Eve dinner at the local Chinese Buffet, but let's be completely honest here.....

Having someone else cook your Christmas Eve dinner and everyone getting to eat whatever and as much as they'd like?

Winning.

We got the boys Apples to Apples for Christmas, and since we had plenty of room at our table, we broke it open after dinner and played a few rounds.  Ian won both games - it was a good time!


The next morning we slept in until 6 and had a bit of time in the morning to open presents before doing chores.  Clint and the guys had double fed most of the groups the day before, so they just had to open gates and lead the cattle to hay. 

All was going well until they got to the first calf heifer group (which these heifers aren't due until Jan. 20) and found a heifer who clearly wasn't feeling good, and was trying to calve.  They got her sorted off and loaded up, and instead of heading to the Raymond's to have breakfast, Clint and Jack ended up bringing her in and pulling a set of dead twins. 

One calf was "normal" but totally turned around and ended up coming out rear legs first and the other calf was actually underformed (think no hair, a tannish-brown color, and only about 18 inches long).   We figured that's why the heifer didn't feel good, and tried to calve early.  But Clint's also had four or five heifers calve now, and he can't figure out why they're starting so early.  They're not due until the 20th and in good body condition, so it's caused him to be a bit puzzled. 

Hopefully the rest of the group will hold off for awhile.

The rest Christmas was really enjoyable - we got a quick nap before heading to the Francis's for a delicious Christmas meal and a few games of Skip Bo.  Whenever we're home on Christmas, we eat with the Francis family, and we really appreciate them including us.  Later that night after doing chores we ran up to Helix to hang out with the Raymond's for awhile, and that was fun too.  My family came over on Saturday and spent the night, and we enjoyed a really nice steak dinner, funny movies and playing Farkle, Rummikub and Gin Rummy together.

I'm not sure what New Year's has in store for us - but hopefully it involves spending time with friends and playing more games - my favorite way to spend NYE.

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I don't normally make a resolution each year, but this year I thought I'd put a few goals that I've been thinking about out there for the world to read....hopefully by doing that, I'll actually hold myself accountable.

Right?

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Organization.

A better word for this may be purging....but don't tell my husband.  ;) 

We are really good at "collecting" things in our house.  If it has or is a flat surface, we can usually find a way to fill it with something.

I figure with three months off at home after the baby comes, I'll have a good chance to slowly chip away at piles of things that we {have} but don't necessarily {use}.  And while it might not all get thrown away, I at least want to get things organized and put away.

Reading.

I figured this will be a good year to get a few books read, and so I'm starting a list.

The first book on my list is "Babywise".

I'm bound and determined to have a good sleeping baby!  :)

I'd also like to re-read "Love Does" by Bob Goff, and Melanie Shankles newest book "Nobodies Cuter Than You".


Any other must reads for 2016? 

Quality time with family.

 December was such a quiet month at home for me - other than working late the first part of the month at work - and it was so nice to just BE at home in the evenings and spend quiet time with one another.

 I want to continue to make a conscious effort in 2016 to carve out time to be at home, available {mentally} and not running on fumes when I am at home.  For us - this usually looks like me having time to go with Clint to check cows and riding along in the pickup (versus staying at home doing laundry or dishes).  I know it sounds sappy, but I just really enjoy being with him - whether we're feeding, or checking cows - and so I'm going to try to make an effort to do that more often.


Here's hoping you had a great holidays as well - and that you have grand plans for 2016!



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Silent nights.







Life lately.....

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It's been a little quiet here on the blog lately....

They talk about pregnant ladies nesting, but I'll tell you my house doesn't really look like it.

Although I did go grocery shopping & made a Costco run this weekend so we actually have a full fridge - winning!

I've been spending a lot of late nights and weekends at work, trying to get to a place where I feel comfortable leaving for three months during my maternity leave.  (Although I will be taking my laptop with me and working a bit from home...)  And last weekend I actually got to spend a whole day with Clint at the ranch helping him feed, pull heats, doctor cattle and AI heifers.

And during the week, after I get home late in the evenings, instead of editing pictures or writing blog posts, I've been trying to spend a bit of time with Clint before we head to bed in an effort to try to get some extra sleep.

Because something tells me our {silent nights} are coming to an end here shortly....

Although I do hear stories about babies who sleep 6-8 hours thru the night right off of the bat -

If Santa is reading this, that's what I want for Christmas!

Our little guy will be making his way into the world here soon, and I'm sure I'll be filling up this space with pictures of him and how he's fitting into our lives.

But until then - I'll be frantically trying to wrap things up at work, trying to make a few homemade dinners each week (although we've been spending our fair share of meals at El Erradero and Last Chance) and spending my evenings going to bed early rather than typing out blog posts.

I hope that wherever you are, and whatever situation life finds you in - that you are enjoying the holidays and all of the merriment that comes with them.

Merry Christmas friends!



Tuesday, December 8, 2015

From the cab of the feed truck.

 
I've been helping the guys feed on the weekends.
 
Normally, I'd prefer to be the one on the back of the truck flaking off hay but being 9 months pregnant isn't very conducive to that, and the doctors kind of frown on it. 
 
So I've been the designated driver instead.
 
 
Mostly I just drive for Clint, which is good because he loves me.
 
And so he has to put up with me when I drive down the wrong row, struggle with a gear, or hit a bump too quickly.
 
;)
 
Although I haven't bucked any bales....or anyone.....off of the feed truck yet.
 
Knock on wood.....
 
The other morning I had my camera with me and we were feeding the three year old cows, which is also the pasture where our Charolais cows are. 
 





 
 It was fun to see them, and since it was relatively flat I capitalized on my chance to take a few pictures as Clint was flaking hay.
 
I maaaayyy have hit a bump or two in the process.....
 
Which is where the love I talked about above comes into play.  :)


Saturday, December 5, 2015

K is for Kookie.

Except I always think of his name as being spelled with a "C".
 
 
But if you look at his tag - Clint decided when he was born that his name was to be spelled Kookie with a "K".
 
Yes, the four year old Double M mascot Jersey cross steer has his name on his tag;
he's too good for a number.  ;)
 
He's named Kookie, because his mom is called Creamy.
 
Last week Kookie was hanging out with the late fall pairs when Jack & Clint went in to feed them. 
 
He's always the first one to the gate - and to the feed.
 



 
And when we went to go move these pairs last Sunday to a new pasture, Kookie was the first one out the gate - leading the rest of the pairs down the road.
 
He's a good lead steer.
 
 
I think we'll keep him around.  ;)
 
 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Halter Breaking. Sort of.


Grady needed a steer for county fair this year, so Morgan & Clint picked out a calf born at the ranch out of one of their cows, and one of our Charolais bulls.
 
They picked him up this weekend, and so we took a few pictures while they were giving him his first halter breaking lesson.
 






 
He was actually really gentle, and did well for his first time on the halter.  By the end of the alleyway, Clint led him onto the trailer.
 
We hope Grady has a great experience with #5287.
 
:)