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Monday, August 29, 2016

Mouse and Luta's MooCow Monday

Well folks, It's Monday!
MooCow Monday!

I went on a bit of a spending spree this weekend.
A Rancher Girl spending spree is not a day at the spa, shopping for fancy clothes, shoes, or purses.
A Rancher Girl's dream shopping spree is buying cattle!

Meet Mouse!

She is a Angus Charolais Cross.
Cattlemen call this crossbreed "SMOKE".

We had a few "off season" calves that needed to be sold.
(Off season calves are calves that are born outside of our Fall or Spring 45 day calving window)
Friday evening, Drewman came home and helped gather the off season calves and the fancy heifers.
The fancy heifers needed to come home to the lots, because they are due to start calving within the next week to 10 days.

I know I'm spider webbing here, but it is necessary to lay the ground story of my shopping spree.

Early Saturday morning, Flower Boy and I started in the working pens.
The off season calves were sorted, loaded in the trailer, and headed to the cattle sale.

We arrived at the sale, unloaded, and as always, Flower Boy needed to walk to the back and watch them bring the calves to the holding pen.
There are many reasons he needs to watch this happen.
The main reason being to make sure the cattle aren't injured after being off loaded from the trailer.
If an injury occurs, buyers will not pay top premium for the cattle.
Normally, when injured cattle are brought into the sale ring, the auctioneer will point out the injury and start the bidding at a greatly reduced rate.

While walking on the catwalk, Flower Boy is focused on finding The Rockin' B cattle, while I am always looking below at the other type of cattle being sold.
I spotted this little gray mouse colored heifer, grabbed Flower Boy's arm, and said "That's a nice little gray heifer down there.  She need some groceries, but she has the frame and style of our cattle."
He looks at me, asks me to point her out, takes a long gander at her, and says "Well you better go get your checkbook!"
I took the keys, from his hands, before he could say another word.
On my way out to the truck, I notice he was behind me...
I grabbed the checkbook and headed to the buyers counter to get a number.
Just like any other auction, you must have a number to bid.

The mouse heifer was mixed in with several other odd sized calves, ranging from day old calves to larger finish sized calves.
It was a pretty sure bet, with that pen of cattle, the calves would sell as singles.

Sure enough....
They were!
We snagged her up for a pretty good price too!

I quickly sent the big kids a text.
"Just bought Bower a little gray heifer!  I think she needs some color in her herd."
Her Daddy's response...
I may not have been able to help Bower Marie's Daddy with his college education, but I have vowed to have a nice nest egg set back when Bower heads off to further her education.
She currently has 4 head in the 6th generation Rockin' B herd, with plans to add more each year.

Thinking to myself....
"Well shoot!  Now I have to buy another one because you don't want that gray to be lonely!"

Honestly, I don't have to buy another one.
We have Luta in the pasture.
Mouse and Luta will pair up nicely.

Speaking of Luta....
I don't think I ever told you about her!

Luta is another "off season" calf.
Along about September of last year, the neighbor's longhorn bull got into the pasture with the Fancy Heifers.
The heifers were gathered, brought home, and given shots of Lutalyse.
Lutalyse is a veterinary product that is used to synchronize estrus cycles.
Since the bull had only jumped the fence and was in the pasture no more than 3 days, Lutalyse could be administered to the Fancy Heifers as a form of birth control.
Luta is a product of her momma's dose of Lutalyse failure.
Hence her name.

When she was born Bower Marie's momma was so excited and couldn't wait to see pictures.
It was that very moment that Luta became Bower Marie's calf.

She is a keeper!
Although she is half longhorn / half angus, she is growing into one awesome heifer!
She is long bodied, has depth of rib, straight legs, tracks/walks well, and holds her head in true Rockin' B fashion!

Mouse is the same!

She just needs food!
She will be a different calf in a month with our feeding program.
This little girl has never seen grain.
She didn't know what to think of it last evening when Flower Boy gave her receiving ration.

Receiving ration is a starter feed for cattle just being weaned or in Mouse's case, never eating grain.
Flower Boy will transition her to different types of feed, before turning her out with the other cattle.
This will take a month or so.
About the time the Fancy Heifer's are finished calving and are ready to be taken back to pasture, Mouse will be ready to go with them.

Remember me telling you about cattle getting injured when unloading and sold at greatly reduced prices?
I bought one of those too!
She was purchased with Drewman's money and much like the Mouse heifer, a text was sent "Just bought you a heifer."
His response "What? Wait!  Do I need to go to the bank?"
My thought was he was probably sleeping and wouldn't respond to my text.
We took a bit of a chance on her.
She came in with a group of fancy heifers.
She had a limp on her right front foot and a bit of a slip in her back end.
The auctioneer quickly told the ring hand to cut her off and sold the remainder of the pen.
She was sold as a single.
She is worth the chance.

She has a brucellosis tag in her hear, which means she has seen a veterinarian.
Within the state of Oklahoma, Brucellosis vaccines can only be administered by veterinarians.
This is also a good indicator that she has had her calf hood shots, too.
We will administer her boosters for safe measure, as well as a few doses of wormer.
She too will be taken to pasture when the Fancy Heifers are finished calving and are ready to return.
She will be placed with the bull, along with Bower's older two yearling heifers, in the spring, adding to our fall born calving season.

Drewman has named her 50sumthin.
His Rockin' B eartag numbers are 50's and she is a bit thin.
That too will change over the next month or so.

As of Sunday morning, this little girl had no limp or slip and the swelling in her right front hock had gone down.
A chance well worth taking!

 Happy Moo Cow Monday!

Rancher Girl

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Lost Treasure

Hey there!

If you follow me on social media, you know I have been busy in the Rancher Girl Designs workshop all summer.
I have completed several projects, which I will blog later.

Today, I wanted to tell you about some vintage finds I found while scavenging some barn wood for projects.

There is this barn, on one of our land leases.
 It honestly speaks to my soul!

Off to the side and throughout this pasture are piles of tin, barn wood and just plain rubbish, including but not limited to; rusted metal, old feed sacks, blocks, bricks, tires, and the like...
This is where I tend to scavenge.

I pulled off a section of old fencing.
It was holding down some rusted barn tin.
Under the rusted tin was a red plastic milk crate.
The milk crate was covered with an old tattered blanket.
I hesitantly and so very slowly pulled the blanket out of the milk crate.
Fearful of a snake or mouse or other varmint jumping out at me, because I had disturbed his home.
Thankfully, no one was home!
Under the blanket were these perfectly secure and unharmed treasures!

  A Tamac Pottery Tumbler!
The pattern is Frosty Pine.
It's value is about $20.
Perry, Okla is our home town!
What an amazing piece of history!

 You sure don't see many of these things now days!

 A single Pressed Carnival Iridescent Glass Candle Holder.
It's value is about $12.

 A Harker Pottery Cameoware Sugar Bowl with Lid in Pink!
This is such a pretty piece and is in pristine condition!
It's value is unknown, as I can't seem to find one in pink.
I have found one in blue, valued at $30.

I don't see this being used as a sugar bowl in my house.
I see it sitting on my dresser or makeup area.
(these are the only places in my house that "pretty things" are allowed)
It may hold ear rings, bobby pins, cotton balls, or even q tips.

Last but not least is this Pyrex 3 Cup Teardrop Measuring Cup Bowl with Pour Spout!
This is going to be a keeper, as it has already found it's place in my cabinet next to my other Pyrex measuring bowls.
It's a perfect fit, with the handle setting over the cusp of my hand, between my forefinger and thumb.
I see this little gem being used a lot in my kitchen!

All of these finds are dated to the 1940's.
None hold much dollar value.
I'm sure each one has a story to tell.
They were important to someone, at some time and place.

I will keep them safe.
Use them as needed.
Enjoy each piece.
Give them a new story and place in history.
All the while, wonder who placed them under that tin and why!

Rancher Girl

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

10 Things We Learned Over The Weekend

Before anyone flips a switch, yes, it is I, back to blogging.
I'm not going to apologize for my distance or lack of blogging.
I have realized since the kids are all gone and we are empty nested, I tend to be more of the worker bee than the photo taker.
After a day at the day job, evenings are spent choring and completing unfinished tasks.
When finished for the night, I am dog tired and ready for bed.
Lunches use to be my time to blog, as my commute to and from work were spent reflecting on the daily blog post.
Now, lunches are spent running errands and attempting to prepare for the ranch jobs needing done.
Let's just say, we are very busy folks without kids!

We were able to get away this past weekend.
We took a quick trip to visit Drewman.
He is interning for Helena Chemical and is "planted" in Garden City, Kansas.
This is a 5 hour drive from the ranch.
We drove through the Oklahoma Panhandle and up the south west side of Kansas.

We learned 10 very valuable things over the weekend.

10)  There is a difference between north central Oklahoma and south western Kansas.
The soil type is different.
The terrain is different.
The trees are different.
There actually aren't trees in south west Kansas, unless they are in and around a homestead or have been planted as a wind break.

9)  While driving through the Oklahoma panhandle and into south west Kansas, you will see road signs that say
"Watch For Cross Winds"
They mean it!

8)  God and Mother Nature have made some pretty amazing sites!
Gloss Mountains in north western Oklahoma. 

Monument Rocks - Chalk Pyramids in south west Kansas.

 Random drive though the country in south western Kansas.

Kansas sunsets are as amazing as Oklahoma sunsets!

7)  Man made some pretty awesome sights there too!
This loading alley is made of old irrigation wheels.

This tree reminds me of My Daddy!
When I saw it, my first thought was
"This was made by pipeliners that had nothing better to do, on a cold or wet day, then make a metal tree to intrigue folks for years to come!"
 I'm always drawn to those things welded.
It's probably only something a welders daughter could understand.

6)  Cattle aren't in open pastures in south west Kansas.
Most of the cattle are in feedlots.
Cattle people say the smell of a feed lot is the smell of money.
We didn't mind the smell!

5)  The land is used to grow crops.
Where Oklahoma is mostly a wheat state, south west Kansas grows wheat, corn, soybeans, milo and potatoes, as well as several varieties of hay.
Drewman has spent many an hour in these fields, inspecting crops, scouting and taking samples.
It was nice to be able to job shadow him!
 Drewman in a field of soybeans.
 Soybeans are a legume plant that produces its own nitrogen.
They do so by these nodules on their root system.

Above are the flowers, of the soybean, and the beginning stages of the soybean pods.

4)  There are different types of land in south west Kansas.
Dry land and irrigation land.

3)  Most irrigation fields are called circles.
2)  There are two different types of irrigation.
Pivot and flooded.
Pivot irrigation is a system that has a water well and pump connected to an irrigation system that circles the field.
Hence the fields being called circles.
The pivots can be 1/4 mile or 1/2 mile systems.
A 1/4 mile system is about the same as an Oklahoma 1/4 section or 160 acres.
A 1/4 mile pivot irrigation field equals 120 to 140 acres of crop, due to the corners of the field not getting irrigation.

A flooded irrigation is still supplied by a water well and pump, but irrigation pipe is laid on the ground and the field is "flooded" to obtain the proper moisture desired for the crop.
On a side note...
Soil is different than dirt!
Dirt is misplaced soil.
We were taught this last summer while drilling holes for our working pens.
The Number One Thing We Learned Over The Weekend...
Drewman has a passion for the land of south west Kansas!
He loves the area!
He loves the diversity of the crop production!
He has an amazing support system there!
Drewman is wrapping up his final week in the Garden City area.
This morning he gave his intern presentation to his salesmen.
The Garden City area consists of 5 different locations.
Therefore, every day of the week Drewman is in a different location.
He has visited New Mexico, Colorado, and Oklahoma while being "planted" in south west Kansas.
Next week, he will travel back to Iowa, where he began his summer, and give his final presentation, before heading back to Oklahoma State University to start his junior year.
What an amazing summer it has been for Drewman.
Flower Boy and I saw so much growth and change in him, in just the short amount of time we spent over the weekend.
We saw a young man moving forward towards adult life, ready to focus on his final coursework and preparing for a career.
 Although Drewman will always be "our baby boy", we could see no "boy" in him.
Growing up is hard on kids.
Leaving home is even harder.
Moving hours away, to people and places you don't know, can't be easy.
When you have goals, drive and determination, you go with your foot to the floor.
You arrive knowing you have work to do.
You leave knowing there is nothing left unfinished!
Proud Parents and Empty Nesters
As for mommas...
We aren't talking about what it's like to let your children go!
It is a feeling of accomplishment to watch them grow, mature, complete educations and start careers.
I Thank God, we were granted grandchildren to keep our mind off the tears!
Rancher Girl