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Friday, August 28, 2015

Last Night's Lessons Learned

I made the below post on social media, last night.

Lessons learned on the ranch today:
1) Baby calves panic when their momma gets sick and they are separated.
2) Momma Cows get upset when baby calves panic. Even when the baby isn't theirs!
3) I can semi rope.
4) Flower Boy can bulldog like nobody's business!
5) Princess Sheba and Miss Royal are the two most patient dogs in the world!
6) I need a bath!

Here's the story behind it!

This Momma Cow got sick.
Sunday, she was fine.
Monday, she was fine.
Tuesday, she wasn't feeling well.
Wednesday, she was down!
(I will tell you more about her sickness in next week's Moo Cow Monday post.)

She was so sick she didn't argue getting to the pen, loading into the stock trailer, receiving a shot, or being placed in a pen at the house, without her baby.
At the time we were loading her, we couldn't get her baby along with her.
The baby was left in the pasture, as we knew we needed to get the momma care.
Her baby would be okay, with the herd, until the next day.
We have several Granny Cows in the herd.
The baby could nurse from them for a bit.

Yesterday was the next day.
I apologize for not having photos or a video, but I will do my best to paint the pictures in your mind.
(A lesson learned, aside from these, is I get busy working and fail to take photos.)
I got home from work.
Flower Boy was waiting on me.
I ran into the house changed into my tennis shoes, a pair of running shorts, and a tee shirt.

We pull into the pasture.
Call the cattle up to the catch pen.
All the Momma Cows come into the pen.
A few of the calves enter the pen.
The little baby, that has the sick momma, she doesn't enter the pen.


We take some time.
Let the cattle settle.
Flower Boy attempts to rope the baby.


Now, when you are missing your momma, one would think, you would come to meet the persons trying to help you get to your momma, right?

Lesson Number 1 Learned!

We take a different approach.
Flower Boy drives the truck.
I walk behind the calves.
They are directed towards the catch pen.
When we get close to the catch pen, 
I grab the rope.
The calves are then herded into the catch pen by the truck and me with the rope.
Flower Boy jumps out of the truck, slams the gate, grabs the little calves back leg, I throw the rope on her neck, Flower Boy bulldogs the calf, and the Momma Cows become very upset!

 Hence Lessons 2 thru 4!

While Flower Boy is tying the calf's feet,
I run all the other cattle out of the catch pen.
Making sure the gate is secure, with the cattle on the outside!

This little calf was born July 15th.
No matter how hard we try, we always seem to have a summer born calf!
She is a fancy little heifer.
Her body is square.
She is also very strong!
There was no way we could load her onto the back of the truck.

Flower Boy "Can you hook on to the gooseneck?"
Me "NO!  I will stay here with her.  You go get it!"
With the cake feeder on the back of the truck, I can't see to back up to the trailers.
It would have taken me an hour to connect the trailer and get back.
Flower Boy could do it much quicker than I.

Off he goes!
Leaving me, in the catch pen, with the hogtied little heifer, who weighs twice my body weight or more!
She struggles to get loose!
She cries!
The other Momma Cows ram the fence panels to get to her and ME!
They beller and paw the ground!
I talk to them and her.
"Clam down!"
"We are only trying to help."
"This has to be done to get her back with her momma."
"Go tend to your own babies!"

I pat and pet the little heifer.
Doing all I can to keep her calm

It's getting dark.
I look around.
I notice, we are laying/sitting in the discharge/recycle end of the cake line.
The calf and I are covered with cattle poop!

Acknowledgment of Lesson 6!
Soon Flower Boy arrives back with the stock trailer.
We pull the calf into the trailer.
Untie her feet.
She stands up.
We deliver her to her momma!

Momma and Baby pair up!
Baby cries!
Momma moos!
Baby starts nursing!

 Our job is done!

Lesson 5:
All this time,
Princess Sheba and Miss Royal have been patient.
They have both sat in the truck without a single whimper, whine, or bark to get out.

As for the lessons we realized this morning?
1) Always saddle the horse!
2) Always take the stock trailer!
3) Wear jeans and boots!
4) Bruising and body stiffing start a few hours after the rodeo!
5) Look back and laugh at yourself!
6) Go to lunch together and laugh some more!

Flower Boy,
I am so blessed to have you as my partner!
How about a Ranch Rodeo Team?

Rancher Girl

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wordless Wednesday ~ Look What's Cookin

Happy Wednesday!
Rancher Girl

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Texture Tuesday ~ Loading Alley

A few weeks ago, this went into place.
Flower Boy purchased this several years ago.
I will never forget the day I pulled this thing home!
It was back in the day when Flower Boy was an active police officer.
He just happened to be on shift, at the time of his purchase, therefore it was up to me to Cowgirl Up and get this monster sucker home!
I had a nervousness in the pit of my stomach the entire 45 mile trip, with this thing pulling behind the truck, back to the ranch.

You might be asking "What is that thing?"
It is a portable loading alley that is used to load and unload cattle to and from semi trailers.

On the day, a few weeks ago, when this thing was put into place,
I got another nervousness in the pit of my stomach!
This time it wasn't a "how am I going to do this" type feeling.
It was a "this is real and happening" type feeling!

This also started the completion of Phase 4, of our working pens!

The guys started hanging guard rail, in the area, where the stock trailers will back up to load and unload cattle.
 We were blessed the guard rail from My Sissy, her hubby and his brother.
They used guard rail on their working pens and gave us the extra when their job was complete.
 It was so hot during the time this guard rail was placed, the guys worked at dusk and even into the darkness, to stay cool while under the welding hood.

This is a small area.
Drewman is actually standing in the loading alley where the cattle will go to the holding pens.

This past weekend, Flower Boy called in his boys to help.
The guard rail is too heavy for the three of us to wrangler.
Actually, it is entirely to heavy for me to even attempt to pickup!
 I think these sections, of guard rail, are 20 feet each.
Two sections completed one row, on the long side, of the loading alley.
 Flower Boy was one happy man!
A Father and His Boys!
Although only one of these boys are ours, we don't know what we would do without these young men!
We were missing one, on this day.
Darn those day jobs and college homework!
No matter the time or request, these young men always make themselves available to help out at the ranch!
Thanks Boys!
We love and appreciate you more than just the food we feed you!
 Drewman spent his day under the welding hood!
His face may not show it, but he loves it!
 Row two up!

 Row three!

 The last panel of guard rail!
 This is the view from the holding pen.
The cattle will move down the alley and into the trailer.
Loading alley complete!
On the right, you will see the gate leading to the working alley.
The gate can swing both directions, allowing cattle to be moved out of the holding pen, into the working alley, or allowing cattle to be moved directly off the trailer into the working alley towards the chute.

Flower Boy did a awesome job of designing these pens!
He and Drewman have done a stellar job of building them!

I, on the other hand, have simply been the go-fer and helper.
I have enjoyed every second of working side by side with the guys.
It has brought me so much joy and memories of times working with My Daddy as his helper.

These pens have been a solid year of work, welding and fabrication.
After so much sweat, labor and dollars put into them, it does give a since of nervousness!
It is an excited and good nervousness!
A feeling of accomplishment and reaching of goals nervousness!
That type of nervousness that is only felt with the achievement of dreams!

We have one more phase to complete.
That is when we can say "Our work is done!"
Then I get to paint!

Have a great Tuesday!

Rancher Girl

Monday, August 24, 2015

Moo Cow Monday!

A few months ago, we posted that we were dealing with foot rot, in the herd.
We are still dealing with foot rot!
This summer has been a cool wet summer, when compared to summer's past.
Although we are thankful, we are also getting a bit discouraged.

Our big bull, Cletus, had to be pulled out of the pasture and brought to the pens for treatment of foot rot.
It was a week or so ago.
Flower Boy and a few of his Cowboy friends gathered Cletus in the pasture.
Cletus has fought foot rot off and on since May.
Flower Boy will give him shots, Cletus get better, but within a few weeks, he is back down with foot rot.
The only thing to do was bring him home, dry lot him, and start a strong antibiotic regime.

So here we are!
Notice in all the photos, I am a distance away from the activity...
Thanks Flower Boy for not allowing me to work with the bulls!
 Walk Cletus out of the pen, down the alley, and into the sweep tub.
We are happy to have this portion of the pens complete!
They sure make life easier, not to mention, the pens are in our back yard.
 Have medications and supplies ready.
 What do you do when your bull is too large to fit into the working chute?
You work him in the chute alley!
 Cletus gets two shots every few days.
All of the cows are bred, therefore there is no need for Cletus to be in the pasture with the girls.
Having him in the lot allows him time to rest and heal.
He is getting some extra spoiling from Flower Boy, as well as added protein and feed.
We are seeing improvement, as Cletus is starting to stand and use the foot that has been infected.
He is gaining back some of the weight he has lost too.
Just another obstacle in the course of ranch life!

Happy Moo Cow Monday, Y'all!

Rancher Girl

Monday, August 17, 2015

Boots N Bling

Last week we received an email from New Horizon Ranch.
They are a therapeutic riding center located in Rantoul, Kansas.

New Horizon Ranch provides equine assisted activities and therapies to individuals who face cognitive, physical, social and emotional issues and youth-at-risk.
Their goal is to dynamically transform the lives of kids, youth and adults by partnering them with horses.
As many of you know, horses are phenomenal athletes, partners and friends.
One can only imagine the change the horses can make in the riders paired with them!

New Horizon Ranch have their Boots N Bling fundraiser coming up.
The event will be held on August 27, 2015.
That is next Thursday!

Boots N Bling will be held in Hale Arena at the American Royal in Kansas City, MO.
Doors open at 5:30pm.
There will be a silent auction, hors d'oeuvres and cocktails.
The dinner and program will start at 7pm.
Live music by Travis Marvin, with the live auction by The Nigro Brothers.

Amberley Snyder, The Wheelchair Cowgirl, will be guest speaker.
Come celebrate the Freedom to be Unbreakable and hear Amberley's inspiring come back to barrel racing!

Tickets are $85 each, $600 for a table of 8, or $1000 for a corporate sponsor table.

Sponsorships and donation items are still being taken.
Please contact Joy at 913-620-2788 or visit New Horizon Ranch on facebook for more information to help with this great cause!

Feel free to share!

Rancher Girl

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wordless Wednesday ~ Working Pens Work

Rancher Girl

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Texture Tuesday ~ Top Rail

I haven't blogged much this summer and many of you have reached out asking why.
I really do have a good excuse.
One thing I have noticed, about being empty nested, is I work more than I take pictures and it is hard to find time to fit everything into my day that I want to get done.

We have worked all summer on pens.
That is to say between day jobs and rains.
We are thankful for an abundance of moisture this summer.
The grass has remained green and the cattle fat!
The temperatures have been below normal up to last week too!

Today, for Texture Tuesday, I thought I would share with you how the guys, Flower Boy and Drewman, prepare and place top rail.
Top rail is just what it sounds like.
It is the top rail of the pen.

(I have blogged these before.)
Once the posts are set, they must have saddles cut.
 The top rail will set in the saddle, much like a cowboy sets in his horse saddle.
Once all the saddles are cut, a 30 foot joint of pipe is brought in.
It is placed in the saddles.
 The joints of pipe thread together.
The thread screws the two pieces of pipe together like placing a nut on a bolt.
The pipe is then welded at the saddle to secure the top rail.

We have set over 70 posts, put up over 350 feet of top rail and have 160 feet of top rail left to place.
This does not include the bottom rail.
Panels were added just as there were in this post, during phase 1.

I have lost count on the amount of welding supplies purchased and couldn't begin to tell you the amount of time we have worked.
Let's just say we have been a bit busy!
We do have working pens and an alley!

The sweep tub and working chute are in place too!
Look for tomorrow's post to see how they work!

Rancher Girl

Monday, August 10, 2015

MooPaw and MooMaw

If you are personal friends or family, then you already know what this post is about.
If not,
The Big Kids are adding a 6th generation to Rockin' B Ranch!

Just call us MooPaw and MooMaw!

The Big Kids came home last Friday, as they often do, for the weekend.
We thought nothing of their visit.
We enjoy them coming home, as they enjoy the get away from the hustle and bustle of their day to day lives.
We like to think home, at the ranch, is a relaxing safe place for all the kids to come too.

As I arrived home from work Friday evening, there was a gift and package of fancy cupcakes on the kitchen island.
I didn't think much of it either because The Big Kids are often giving gifts and the cupcakes are some of our favorites.
I actually thought "Sweet!  The kids got cupcakes!"

As supper was being fixed, The Big Boy says "Oh Mom!  Here is your Mother's Day Gift."
If you remember back in the spring, we had a lot of rain and stormy weather.
We didn't do Mother's Day because of it.
I never expect gifts and thought and maybe even said "I don't need a gift."
We have seen the kids several times since Mother's Day, but it did make since that they may have forgotten the gift at home when traveling to the ranch, or something of the likes.

I opened the gift bag to find a photo frame.
My first thought was "Why are they giving me a picture frame?"
Then I picked it up!
The tears began to flow!
I am not a crier.
I cried like a little girl!

Flower Boy and Drewman kept looking at me.
I couldn't speak!

Finally, I looked at Flower Boy and said "We are going to be a grandma and grandpa!"
He jumped up, with tears in his eyes, and hugged the kids.

Drewman's first words were "We've gotta go buy boots!"

The Big Kids celebrated their 5th anniversary in June.
They dated all through college.
Their relationship is one I only dreamed about, until Flower Boy.
They are the best of friends.
Love radiates from them like a beam of sunlight on a bright sunshine day!
 They will be great parents!

We are so blessed by their new bundle of joy and expression of love!

Come on February!
MooMaw wants to hold, rock, cuddle and love on this baby!