Black & White

posted by Chelsea

I haven’t taken quite as many branding pictures this year as I usually do.  But the ones I have taken, I’ve enjoyed editing.  And I happen to be on a black & white “kick”.  I’m going to share some pictures today- from two different brandings on the ranch.  We have one more big branding next weekend and every calf should have an iron on it!  For now, some black & white pics… and I’ll start right… with the girls…









A three-picture-sequence…


learning the ropes












posted by Chelsea

After much anticipation and waiting, I’m pleased to announce the arrival of Rose’s filly, Zinnia “Zinny”.


She arrived this morning about 12:30 a.m.

We knew Rose was close yesterday evening, so I went down to check on her at midnight.  It didn’t take long to see that labor was in full swing so I called Buck and he woke up the kids.  It was dark, but with the help of a spotlight everyone got to see Zinny make her entrance into a 60 degree drizzly May night.  This is Rose’s first foal so she was a little confused and surprised and baffled and tired. (Who’s to blame her?!) After Zinnia was born and Rose was all clued into what was going on, we sat in the grass and watched them get acquainted.

And then I was filled up with a lot of emotion.  For starters, Rose is as good a horse as we could ever ask for.  She was 4 when Buck and I got married- he had started her the summer before and was just beginning to really use her.  She has been a champion for us ever since- she’ll go anywhere and do anything.  She does it all with a competent and easy-to-get-along-with-attitude.  I’ve watched her hold a rope tight on big angry bulls, several wild cows, and she’s drug more calves to the fire than she cares to count.  We love her.  And basically her baby is like our baby.  Except it’ll stay with her and stuff.  Yay! And we won’t be doing anymore midnight checks.  Yay!

Back to my emotion– Second.  To have our kids there and for them to just get to revel in the moment of this new life was super special.


Ranch life carries with it some really neat times, but it also carries with it a lot of disappointment.  I can’t tell you how many calves the kids have helped doctor only to have them die.  The chickens they raised have suffered the wrath of our aggressive cow dogs.  We lost the other foal we were anxiously waiting for this spring.  Disappointments are part of the deal.  So when the good comes,


it’s extra sweet.  To sit out in the pasture as a family and watch this miracle- this newly born foal who has the God-given ability to jump up on it’s wobbly four legs and know right where to go for food


and to whinny and knicker at her mama…. is not only a good reason to be awake at one o’clock in the morning, it is just downright “livin’ the dream”.


A Harrowing Adventure

posted by Chelsea

I’ve started two other posts, ones to fill you in on Spring Break and turning cows out.  But they’re overwhelming me (it doesn’t take much!) and so I’m going to go a different route this morning and show you the “boys” in our family.  They were headed out for a “harrowing adventure” (ha!) this morning.  First (just to keep it all in perspective) Cooper has a persistent night-time cough.  So the last couple of early-mornings he’s ended up with us…


…I couldn’t help but sneak in with my camera when I saw him still snoozing in the sunshine.

When Cooper learned that he got to go “work with daddy” in the tractor this morning, he was all business.  Actually, when I said he needed to get dressed he thought I said “take a rest”.  He had a concerned look on his face and just wanted to make sure it was a “quick west” so he could “work with daddy in the twactor”.  No worries buddy!  Just need to get out of the footsies!  :)

We filled up his Spiderman bucket with snacks for the day and off they went…


Bye Mom!


This picture…


totally gets me.  He has to be lifted in for now, but someday he’ll be in jumping in all by himself.  Makes me ridiculously teary. And Buck ridiculously happy- he won’t mind giving up tractor duties, in fact, today is the only day he’s harrowing.  The girls and I will be on our own harrowing adventure through the weekend.  It was either that or go around fence.

Anyway!  Buckled in and on their way…


They’re off…


A harrowing adventure awaits!



They’re Cute!

Posted by Chelsea

I’ve been told it’s time for a new post.  It has come to my attention that some of you (I won’t mention names) are tired of “Crazy Mom” staring back at you when you check the blog.  So… First, a sincere thank you for checking the blog (Jessie)! I do want to write more.  And it means a lot to me that you still show up and wonder if I have anything new to say.  And second, I have a post brewing about our Spring Break “adventure” (beware there may be some graphic details about sickly children included) but it’s not finished because the sickly kids now have a sickly mother.  In addition, Spring Break ended on a pretty heavy note for our family and while I’ll share more on that later, tonight I need to keep it light.  So for now, I want to tell you something semi-not-important-at-all.

Here’s the thing.  I have always worn black bog boots (definition: mud boots that keep your feet warm and while not wet from the outside, real “boggy” on the inside from your own warm sweat.  In our house we refer to feet spent in bogs all day as “bogged out”- that being an official ranch term).   ANYWAY! I have, since the beginning of bog-time, worn the tall “rancher” style boots, as in, no frills, even though they can be purchased in colorful prints and patterns.  I figured since they’re just going to get muddy and gross and sopped out disgusting, no sense being cute.  Well… my tall-black-rancher-style-no-frills-bog-boots finally broke out last fall.  And since I needed new bog boots, I went ahead and did a 180.  I decided, who cares if they’re going to get muddy and gross?  They might as well be cute too! So I did the right thing and…. told my mom.  And on my birthday she showed up with these…


And you know what? They must be cute, even with dirt and some other stuff on them, because in all my black-bog-wearing years, I never once took a picture of my no-frills-bog-boots.

I’ve decided that cute is important.  Even it’s dirty or muddy or has the bodily fluids of a bovine creature on it, cute is a nice, feminine addition to just about anything.  That’s my opinion.  And I’m sticking with it.


Crazy Mom

posted by Chelsea

During calving season we often walk out through the cows to check on things.  We might tag some calves, band a few bulls calves, or check to make sure we didn’t miss a set of twins or something.  During these “walk-throughs” the cows don’t “panic” because they’re used to us and this routine, but they usually pop their heads up from eating and make a quick look around to spot their calf…


and often, they mother-up with them, unless their too busy eating or something.  Normal newborn scenario, right?  I did would have done the same thing when my babies were new and someone wanted to come rope them or tag them, even if I was eating…. I mean, I don’t blame the mama cows one bit.

So the funny part.  You remember “the Lucy Cow“…


Well, we thought she was open (not bred!) last year and she’s getting older, and so we would have sold her except she is “The Lucy Cow” and so we kept her.  Well, she ended up being bred really late and was a fall calver, she calved in September or something.  Normally we would sell fall calvers because they’re hard to get back on a spring calving schedule, blah blah blah, but because she is “The Lucy Cow”… you’re catching on here… we kept her!   And so… she is currently in with the rest of the cows, along with her giant baby…


who is now nearly weaning age.  Every time we walk out into the field (to check on the newborns!) she bellers and runs for her giant like he’s an infant.  He’s usually off eating grass or drinking water from the river and looks up at her like “Are you crazy?!”  It’s basically like a human-type-mom running through a nursery of newborn babies desperate to get to her teenager before someone else tries to swaddle him.  While it makes us laugh every time she goes bellering through the newborns to find her teenager, that’s part of the reason we love her- she’s a good mama!  A little bit crazy… but good!  I think we’ll keep her.