The Last Round-up for 2022

Just in the nick of time all the cows are home. As I sit to start writing the words that go with the pictures I have received and assembled, the snow is flying, the wind is blowing, it is so wintery feeling. Down in the south east corner of the province we are the last to get hit with winters blow. We are thankful we had the time we did to get our fall work done up as much as possible. The biggest piece of that is getting our cows and their calves home from their fall and summer pastures.

Now that the cows are home we turn a definite corner. The work shifts towards ensuring the cows are fed and have access to water, and we start strategizing for the marketing part of our work. The season ahead holds more evening hours in the house, usually, we are definitely ready for that.

The last part of our cow chase work took place over this past Friday and Saturday. There are some nice pictures that tell the stories of the days.

Griffin shared this amazing sunrise picture from Friday with me. It was still and very cold as evidenced by the frost on the grass. We were bringing cows from “the Vanstone pasture”, east of Carnduff, to home pastures.
Griffin also shared this picture. Thats Teanna, Gina, Russ and Rhett. There was no school so it was a great day to invite the teens of our circle to help bring these cows home. Russ notes that he and Rhett had switched horses for a time, Rhett was trying out Russell’s saddle, which meant riding “Sundance”, who is notoriously grumpy and a challenge to ride. Not many would do what Rhett is doing in this picture.
Laurie couldn’t join the crew for the day but was available to help block the highway at the point where the herd crossed. He was able to catch this picture. What is it? In the very chilly morning temps Russ got craving a coffee. When it had warmed to about -6 he called ahead to Precision Ag, where we usually buy mineral, salt, fertilizer and pet food. Russ asked about customer perks and wondered if they could get five coffees to go. Sure enough, upon arrival, the place that is not a coffee shop had hot coffee in to go cups ready to pass out. Thats a happy memory.
Gina grabbed this picture from her perspective at the pasture gate. The first group of cows for the day was home and it was time to go home for lunch.
Emet got this picture of his dog and Coffee hanging out on a bale. Its cute!
After lunch the crew was off to bring another herd home. This time they headed to what we call “The Sheep Pasture”, I drove part of the crew and so was there when many things were getting done to be ready to go again. I grabbed this cute picture of Russ. That is the Viterra grain elevator in the background.
I like this action shot of Teanna.
Dani flashed a great smile when she looked up from dealing with her horse.
Sharon took this picture of Russ ready to roll. Thats Coffee, Knightwing and Bingo in the picture with him.
This is Griff ready to roll.
Sharon grabbed this picture of Teanna and Dani.
Gina took the passenger seat and let Dani drive home from the pasture at the end of the chase. Maddie is healing from an injury and didn’t get to chase, but got to be part of this time with Dani.

Russ wasn’t sure how it would go to juggle two different moves in the same day. Both herds moved more quickly then he thought, the crew did great and both lunch and supper were served an hour before Russ had estimated. I’ll be honest, as the cook, I struggled with the changing details, it was good in the long haul, but I didn’t find the flexing too easy to do.

Tenley sent me this amazing picture of the scene at sunrise on Saturday. The crew had left the yard about 6:45am and they headed to “the Boyes pasture” in the Glen Ewen valley. In contrast to the day before the skies were brooding, but at this point the air was quite still and it was warmer.
Griffin caught a moment when Morgan was being unusual. I am not sure what he was doing. Maybe I can ask him before I post this.
Sharon shared this moment where her grand-daughter Emma is ready to roll for the day. Emma has been on lots of Bayliss cow chases but this was the first for this year.
Griffin caught a cool sunrise picture, it also allowed me to see Emet’s dog in the saddle with him.
Jen saw this moment, the sun still rising and beautiful, Morgan ready to roll.
Becca sent this glimpse of the getting ready process. The sky is still intriguing.
Jen does excellent selfies, the sun on her face and Russ in the background makes this an especially nice one. I am guessing this was the last time the sun was seen on this day.
Becca brought her brother to his first cow chase in a long, long time. He was a good sport through what was a tough day because of the weather.
Sharon’s grand-daughter Hannah was back on the trail.
This is Bill in the centre with his granddaughters on either side of him. Sharon took this picture.
As the cows made the final mile before crossing the highway Becca took this picture.
Dwayne sent me this close up picture of the process of getting across the highway. In the background you can see the Mounties stopping traffic and keeping everyone safe.
I think Becca took this picture once across the highway and looking back at what was behind her.
Russ invited the Mountie on duty to pose for him, he obliged. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could direct the cows with hand signals like this? The RCMP are made aware of our plans, if it works into the demands of their day we get their help, but obviously other things take on greater urgency at times.
It was decided that quick progress meant a late lunch at home versus lunch on the trail was quite do-able and preferable given how windy and miserable it felt. However, a break for the cows was needed, the riders took advantage of the chance to stretch their legs. Sharon got this picture of Gary.
Sharon also got this picture of Bill making some adjustments.
Sharon took this picture right around the break.
Teanna and Dani grabbed a quick lie down in the ditch moment. Sharon was on the job with her camera.
Sharon has always been one to document our adventures, Becca got this shot just after Sharon finished a picture.
Jen and her daughter Emerson.
Jen’s selfie records a fashion moment, she and Griff have matching sunglasses, thanks to Griff wrestling an old bent out of shape pair into service.
Jen grabbed this moment when a good friendship was easy to see.
Jen and Dani….the queen of selfies strikes again.
Becca shared lots of pictures, including this selfie which reveals a nice spread of the cows behind her.
Becca captured her brother Dylan guarding an approach.

Following the break things got hard. Rain began and never quit until the ride was over. Tenley told Gina she has never been so cold on a Bayliss cow chase, which is saying quite a lot. The rain soaked through and challenged everyone. I got lunch set up for everyone in the house and left just as the crew was drawing near. I came across these cowboys coming home after getting the cows into the pasture. I was on my way into town to sing at a funeral. By the time I returned home everyone had eaten and most had gone home to find warm showers. It was hard to miss out on the meal, the chatter, and the words that might celebrate that the cows are all home, however the deceased was a friend of ours and I wanted to be there representing our family. Listening to the stories that came from lunch I sense that everyone was in survival mode and the celebratory mood would need to wait for another time.

The final quarter mile of the 2022 season.
Liz Griffin took this picture in the first half mile of the 2022 season. This captures the fact that we started with fog and ended with rain. There was no snow this on the trail this year, high wind at times but not like other years, we had some great sunny days.

Its November 7th, a few hours ago I reduced the table back down so it seats just six. Jill and I did up the last of the dishes lingering from the weekend. We watched two movies last night. The cows are home. We had a safe and successful season of moving them. The best thing, we had time with people we love so much, we met new people, we experienced teamwork and the sense that others have our back. I have been encouraged through the readers and comments with the blog. With a little rest in our bodies, and the sound of the wind just whistling around our house, our sense of gratitude rises to the surface in a very big way. We heard that one of our cowgirls cries for a half hour every year when everything is over. Russell says, “we know how she feels.”

Day 5 Cow Chase Season 2022

The crew from the ranch was on the trail again this weekend. It was a very memorable one. It was really only one day of chasing, Saturday, but it was a long day, as we mostly expected, and it held lots of moments that we will be talking about for a long time. I have had a ton of pictures shared with me, the story of the day will emerge through the pictures.

Our work for the weekend began on Friday when Russ, Gina, Laurie and Morgan went to check pastures. They were assessing animal health and pasture conditions. Russ was deciding if we needed to bring a herd home on Sunday but decided that the herd could stay for one more week in the pasture, there is enough grass.

The day started early, the crew was ready to leave the yard by 6:25am. Some of my family from Saskatoon were here for the weekend which made the weekend extra exciting for me. My brother in law Gary took this picture of the morning darkness.

Sharon offered this glimpse of the cows in the pasture, before departure.
Before departure, it was a bit nippy in the morning, bundled up to ride are Kaitlyn, Dani and Dwayne. Sharon took the photo.
Cowgirl Kaitlyn ready to go. A pic shared by Sharon.
The fabulous smile of Tenley. Sharon shared this picture.
Sharon grabbed this early morning photo of Jesse.
Gina and Meadow at the gate. Another Sharon picture.
Seth, who is my nephew, sent this cool picture, about 3/4 mile down the trail. They were able to go cross country at this point. The cross country sections of the trail really help, to cut down the distances and make less corners neccesary.

During the day there were seven calves that needed to be caught and put in a trailer to be transported home. There were two reasons for this. As soon as we hit the trail it was discovered that we had some sick calves. Russ figures the snow and rain of earlier in the week was the reason that four of the calves had symptoms of pneumonia. We needed to rope them, push/drag/wrestle them into the trailer and then treat them. Russ had brought a small kit with usual medicines in it, just in case. This came in really handy. The next pictures show some of this action.

Gary S (my brother in law) (we also had a Gary M) sent this picture. Thats Morgan and Meadow working to rope this calf. I don’t know where this roping fell into the order of things. There were four in total that were discovered to be sick.
Teanna sent this great picture of success with roping. Meadow caught the head, Morgan the feet, Russ is with it giving it two needles full of Nuflor, Jim is standing by, Bingo is on alert and Ron is ready to get the trailer door open. (That Nuflor will save their lives and return them to health, their suffering is minimized this way. One of the sick calves was already dead when they got to the pasture. Nuflor in time would have prevented that. Supporting antibiotic free beef has hard consequences for the animals. In this highly regulatred industry that Nuflor will be gone long before they enter the foodchain, any further antibiotics given require a clearly prescribed waiting period before they go for butcher.)
Sharon sent me this picture of Gary S doing his part to get a roped calf into the trailer. The calves were large and the effort very significant. Knightwing is hopefully helping with moral support at this point.
Sharon sent this pic of Russ starting to deal with a roped calf.
Sharon sent this picture of Russ pushing and Meadow securing a calf.
Gary took this picture while riding our mule Dick. Thats Emet on the left and Stephanie on the right. We were on the road.
Russ grabbed this picture of Bailey riding Wrangle. Bailey was one of three riders who had never experienced the BAR MW trail before. Quite an introduction with the day that it was.
Meanwhile back at the ranch…..my cousin had come for the weekend to give me a hand with cooking. We were working away at creating taco in a bag. Lisa prepared a well appreciated amount of fried onions. I asked her to prep three peppers, it wasn’t enough. We fed 33 people. I wasn’t always thinking straight with the prep. I am so grateful for her help. Our Grandmas were sisters.
The extra action in the morning had meant delays and it was a late lunch break. Here is the lunch crew. Jill dressed up to celebrate halloween. Sharon took our picture.
The cows were moving slow, lunch was late, some of our usual riders were not able to be with us, (I really missed them), many riders were feeling a bit of pain, the feeling in the air at lunch was subdued, except…….Jill. Her costume brought so many smiles at different points.
I grabbed this extremely goofy moment. It was a situation which began when Gina phoned me in the morning, “Mom, can you bring a calf bottle to lunch, I want to see if Moo would be interested in it.” Moo is our ox who once was a bottle fed calf and then Morgan’s 4H steer. He is now 2200 lbs plus and we use him to guide the herds home. Jill put a bit of water in it and with hope set off to offer it to Moo. I have no idea what was in his head as he saw Jill. Lets just say he had very little interest in the bottle. Was his effort to get away from her a result of her weird outfit? Not sure. Thats Moo with the white head patch just off to Jill’s right and looking at her.
Moo and Morgan in 2015. They have both grown. In the days when a bottle meant everything to Moo.
After lunch Seth was done with his job of moving trucks and he got in the saddle and on the mule he was sharing with his Dad. Here is Seth ready to roll.
After lunch Bill got back on his horse and I just had to grab this picture before he rode away. I had the privilege of conducting Bill’s wedding this past summer. He married my singing partner’s sister Caley. Bill and Russell met at the wedding and hit it off. The plan to get Bill on the trail was hatched then. Russell really loved having him along. He was VERY complimentary of my cooking which I really appreciated.
On the trail after lunch, Seth got this picture.
Gary S gave me this picture of the head guy, he looks fairly relaxed at this point.
Gary sent this picture of my niece Brodie (on Smoky) and her friend Clare on our red mule Jane (who Russ tells me has been herding cows since 1997). We were really happy to have Brodie back on the trail and to introduce Clare to trail life. She was a great sport.
Gina, Brodie and Clare on the trail, as seen by Gary S.
Gary S sent me this picture and he captioned it “The Bayliss Crew” and I feel that title so deeply. Russ, Morgan, Gina, cousin Laurie, Bingo and Coffee are all there. They were all working their butts off, and with a big herd like this, one or two of these crew are usually at the front, which could be as much as a mile away, Russ likes to stay at the back. This was a rare moment. They are joined in this picture by one of the crew from the White Ranch, thats Jordanna furthest to the right.
Things got pretty serious in the afternoon when three of our calves broke into the neighbors pasture. I am not totally clear of how everything went down but the bottom line is that Sherry our neighbor got nominated for neighbor of the year. She was gracious and understanding and helpful when some of our crew went into her pasture to rope those calves and get them out of her herd of yearlings and into the trailer. Morgan and Meadow were on roping duty again. This picture features Sherry in the back and Sharon looking uber relaxed on the right.
Gary S grabbed this moment on the trail. The bright sun was a gift.
Another nomination …..Russell nominated Gina for cowgirl of the day. I said, “Russ, she got it last time.” He said, “you should see that girl Kathy, her foot still isn’t right but she won’t stop, she was in charge of the whole operation when I was off dealing with those calves, she isn’t going to be here much longer, I am nominating her.” Gina sent me this picture because she spotted our cow named “Kathy” and got this selfie with Kathy grazing in the background.
Close to the end of the day Gina phoned me and said, “I have a nomination for cowboy of the day.” It was this crew member, Dwayne Henderson, she had some significant help from him with a problem earlier in the day and she just observed how calm and focused he was all day, and it was a long day. It was an epic day. Thats six times using day in one caption. It was epic. Laurie timed just over ten hours on the trail.
Russ took this fine picture of Morgan. The evening sun is nice.
Gina sent me this picture as her picture of the day. Its her Uncle Gary and she is so happy to have shared a day on the trail with him. He spent most of the day in the saddle and did incredibly.
Dani sent this picture in for her picture of the day. What a moment. Gina and Teanna approached the last mile of the chase, the ranch in sight, holding hands because their hands were cold and the truck with their gloves was nowhere in sight. The picture also allows mention of a nomination that Becca made, she texted me, “I would like to nominate Gina for the most fabulously dressed cowgirl today! Her shirt added flare to her cowgirl attire!” Her school friends will recognize it as her favorite shirt for dance and one she wore every Thursday for Jazz class.
Jill took this picture back at the ranch during supper hour. Bingo chilled with the crew.
Russ took this shot of Morgan and Knightwing……a significant amount of weariness!
Jill found a way to include Buster in the cow chase blog,.
Gina shared this pic of after supper visiting, most cowboys gone home, but not Bill, the furthest drive and the most endurance. He headed home to Brandon shortly after this. I love how Seth is sitting on Russell’s knee and laughing at something with Bill who you can hardly see.
This was earlier today. The cows home and grazing in the west pasture. Brodie took this with her drone. She makes awesome calendars with her drone photo shots from all over the Saskatoon and north area. I can get you one.
Russ, Morgan and Laurie helped our friends move their yearlings and cows this morning, whipped home for a late lunch with us and then we sent all our company back north. Gary took this.
Gary took this picture of our crew earlier today.

Now…….our cowgirl Becca took many great photos but a technological challenge meant that I just got them. I am tired. I can’t go back and tuck them in. So here is a glimpse of the day thru Becca’s lense and only just a tiny bit of captioning because you know almost everything already by this point anyways.

This picture features Emet in the foreground working the back of the herd. We are glad to see this picture, giving us the chance to say that his work on the crew has developed quickly this year. Gina tells me that twice yesterday she said to herself, “thank goodness for Emet.” Being in the right place at the right time doing the right thing is everything.

These are Becca’s kids Peyton and Matthew. They were great crew members and super cute. Their personalities made for memorable conversations, they really made us smile.

Chit Chat Over Coffee

There is a little tiny joke in this picture. Can you see it?

Its 9:36am on September 1st.  I am writing to you live from the Chopper K Auction Mart.  Russ, Gina, Jill and I are here to watch our grassers sell.  These are calves we kept many extra months to grow up a bit.  We got here early after dropping Morgan off for his first day of grade 10. 

The sale hasn’t started yet, so we have been privy to the auction mart waking up and people getting in position for the work before them.  I just learned that it’s the first sale since June, so we are really witnessing the very beginning of a new season.  I have always enjoyed “good morning” type chit chat so its good to be here.  Gina reports that the action at this point reminds her of behind the scenes when the curtain is about to open in shows she has been in.  That is kind’ve fun to think about. 

The four of us free to hang out while others buzz about. The auction mart dog “Tina” came and wedged in between Russ and I. She is quite dear.

There have been a few things to check in about.

Gina is home!  Our girl who completed her musical theatre diploma in May and then extra training in stage combat since, finished up her lease in Victoria and moved home for a bit before carrying on to Toronto.  She has shown a lot of bravery this summer, going to big cities to study and learning subway systems and new people.  It has been awesome to see.  The big deal this week is that she loaded her car and drove home, boarding a ferry at 5:30am and driving til 10:30 that night, she spent some hours sleeping in her car in Strathmore, Alberta before heading on and getting home by 3:30pm the next day.  She really enjoyed the mountain driving.  What a monkey though, she wanted to surprise me so she didn’t give me accurate info about her location. So….she got home and I wasn’t there. I had been called to town and decided to have tea with Grandma Shirley while I was there, I thought I had time.  So, when I wandered into the house with my arms full of groceries, there she was sitting at our kitchen counter sipping a cold drink and video taping my reaction. Honestly. She hid her car behind the barn and had way too much fun catching me off guard! It was my joy to soon see all my kids sitting down for supper.

Yesterday we unloaded her car and I have to say it was impressive how much she had stashed in it!

How the car looked in the driveway the first night. Russ was impressed that Gina packed alot of stuff and kept her sight lines all around.
Gina’s pal Ernie spent the last two years in Victoria and accompanied her in the front seat on the way home. He told me not to tell Gina but he is glad to be back on the prairies.
All of this was in that little car!

Backtracking a bit…..My friend Deb and her girls visited over the weekend.  We enjoyed the visits, the storytelling, the wisdom shared, the laughs, there were some great hours spent together. 

A fun idea was hatched during our last breakfast, that idea is a cookbook.  We are both good cooks and we have been friends for 45 years.  I have a vivid memory of walking down the street together when we were about 11, talking about what we thought about becoming women.  We have talked about almost every dimension of womanhood that has unfolded since then.  It seems like maybe we could make some fun title out of that and create something, even if its a cookbook just for our kids.  It was fun to dream about it at the table and brainstorm what recipes would need to be included.  It was the cinnamon buns we were eating that …..

Oh……

Our calves are coming into the ring to sell.  Time to close the laptop.

Here are our observers. Jill with calculator in hand, this is her job for us every sale.

Here is a minute of what that kind of action looks like.

9 hours later…..

Well the selling phase of the day was good but certainly anxiety producing.  The prices we received are quite improved over recent years and that is well timed.  The drought and storms of recent memory have been so hard.  Cattle prices have not kept pace with expenses. We are thankful for this morning.

Our John Deere tractor is in the hospital.  It has been a hard reality to work around, slowing our progress with baling, but just one of those things.  A significant problem started last Friday making it not driveable.  Russ called our family at Fast Trucking and there was a truck in the yard within half an hour to pick up the tractor and take it to Oxbow.   We are extremely blessed.

Loading the tractor with its problems was very nerve wracking for Russ.

Further problems have arisen, so the tractor is still in Oxbow, Russ is getting familiar with the staff at the John Deere hospital and things are going well between them. 

About baling………we have all the bales we need for feed and are so close to being done we can just about say we are done.   This is a relief.   We will now begin baling some straw (likely once the tractor is out of the hospital) but that is less of a stressful thing, usually.  It is such a relief to head into winter feeling only minimally concerned about feed and water.  We know that a year like this is a total blessing.

To make a morning like the one we had today happen there are many steps. First we have to get the animals in from pasture and ready to load onto transport. I was able to take a good video of the grassers coming into the yard yesterday morning.  Our friends Jackie and Marisol joined Russ, Gina and Morgan to move them down the road and also helped with getting them sorted and prepped to load.  Here is the video, they move in quickly and it makes for an action packed minute.

Last Friday night we joined a crowd in Oxbow to see the province wide touring group Saskatchewan Express.  It was a really entertaining production and we had a special interest in it.  One of Gina’s friends from college was a performer.  Liz was the understudy that portrayed Shrek to Gina’s Fiona in all the performances we saw.  We hosted her for supper while we were in Victoria.  It was pretty nice to have a familiar face on the stage in Oxbow.  She was excellent.  There are some people in our small communities who work really hard to make our life together warmer, more interesting, and more connected.   Concerts like this one are a result of their efforts, it is a very good thing.

Maybe that’s enough of a check in.  I hope this finds you well and ready to face what this new season holds.

Oh wait….the joke……

Some of the people in this house love cats. We have cat mugs. I picked one by chance tonight, to hold my decaf coffee. Then I took a picture of the mug to use as a lead image for this blog. But wouldn’t you know it, right beside those cats was a mouse. A computer mouse. My fairly stressed brain was quite amused by the cat and mouse story going on on my desk. You got the joke right off the top didn’t you? I probably didn’t even need to explain. Sweet dreams!

My Life

Tonight Russell and I went out on a date, as the rain made the hayfield too wet to work. Yes, rain, I wasn’t sure I was ever going to be able to say that again. At different times as we rolled towards Alameda to meet friends for a double date the song “In My Life” was in my head, one line in particular, it goes like this, “though I know I’ll never lose affection for people and things that went before, I know I’ll often stop and think about them, but in my life, I’ll love you more.” It was funny to arrive at the restaurant and find our friends there and seated at the next table was my singing partner Erin. It was Erin who introduced me to the song and we now sing it as part of our set list. Living in a small area really has its perks, its very fun to accidentally run into people who are important to you. We really enjoyed our meal and our visit, another episode of life feeling more normal again and getting strength from friends. As we pulled into the driveway when we got home, that same line was in my head again, I found myself analyzing what I was really singing and then turned to Russell as I was heading up the walk and said to him, “do you know what I’m singing?” “I am singing that as much as I am missing my Mom and Dad, and I am missing them both alot lately, as much as I love them and always will, I, (and at this point I hit him on the shoulder with the charging cord I was carrying), I love YOU more.” That realization hit me hard. Russell responded very quickly. He said, “well you should.” He followed that up by saying “you have committed your whole life to me, if you don’t love me more you should leave me and find something better.” It was not a confrontative moment at all, it was like a discovery moment, me discovering that as much as my missing is normal, I have something as full and nourishing right beside me, my choice and my life option. This was a reminder maybe, to live in the present. Thats it. Thats what happened.

A 30 second clip of the song in my head.
A picture of my parents I keep on my desk. Dad was 2 years past his dementia diagnosis at this time.
A Liz Griffin picture, Russ and I a year ago this week, when we renewed our vows.

And it was glorious….

9am Monday – A quick blog post about yesterday, again, little writing and mostly pictures. I didn’t think I would get to do this today but what I am needed for outside has been delayed. The guys have some calving troubles to deal with before we put a small group, 40 cows and calves thru the chute, maybe I can get this done.

If you read the post “horsing around” you will know that the cowboys brought 80 pairs down the road to home late on Saturday. Those 80 pairs were the focus of our attention on Sunday.

The morning got off to a really quick start, the animals we were treating were already home and Jill checked the cow and calf herds all day, a good break for her from the life of quarantine. This was terrific. It was a good boost of momentum to be started early and for Russ to be allowed to focus. Meanwhile, Jill found that “Tulip” had birthed twins.
I took this picture in the morning, the rain falling off the roof of the pole shed created this impact, this clear image of water falling is the reason for the name of this post. As we worked Sunday morning everything went smoothly. After the chaos of the night before the cows were settled right down. They moved easily, everyone had a job and seemed comfortable, was doing great at it and in the background there was the sound of rain on a tin roof. We have had so little moisture in the last 9 months that we have a deep deep concern about hay, pasture and dugouts. With the music of the rain in the background I had a sense of peace and contentment come over me that I have not felt in such a long time. It was glorious.
It was a trick for me to have something ready for lunch when we got started way earlier than usual but I got a batch of bread going and put it in the oven to rise and set the timer to start on its own. I came in and took it out when my alarm went on my phone. Having had my experience with Coffee dog, detailed in the “come for coffee” post a couple days ago, I put the bread in the microwave to cool. I learned that lesson.
A picture that is mindful of my friends named Liz. Liz and I at the chute.
At one point I went and did Laurie’s job while he was helping Morgan bring more cows up from outside. Skipper the cow was not happy about moving forward. I gave her a minute to collect her thoughts and grabbed this picture. Kind’ve a cool vantage point of the calves, waiting for their turn.
In Jill’s checks of the heifers she found one having trouble calving. After an early lunch we brought “Talk” in and helped her get that calf out. Dawson took this picture. “Talk” is one of the heifers with names that equate to strength for our relationship, the name theme for this years new Mama cows. Just as the trouble with “pray” was a very true to life thing (referring to the “Praying Games” post) the fact that “Talk” had to be pulled is almost to the point of hilarious for me. When Russ and I got married we took a test to determine our strengths and our challenges. The test revealed that communication was one of our challenges. I was almost insulted by that. Couldn’t be right. I mean seriously. Well…………did that ever pan out to be true! Learning to talk well together has taken years and years. I think both of us had to figure out how to pull some important stuff from the other. Or maybe, what is more accurate, we discovered the importance of trying to understand each other which allowed “talk” to emerge quite naturally versus being pulled out. I am shaking my head while writing this!!!
Here is the calf you might have read about in the “Whats in a Name?” blog post, this is Lisa. She is the calf of “Kathy”, she is sure a cutie.
I had a tag marker nearby so I had the chance to personalize my calves tag.
Morgan’s friend Jacob worked hard pushing calves through the chute up to the table.
Shaylee also pushed calves, did a few odd jobs and learned a few tagging tricks from her Mom.
Morgan was more at home than ever heading up the very physical job of getting these calves moving along up the chute. He gave us a big laugh when he popped his head out at one point and referring to the fact that we determine the sex of every calf while we work with it, said “hey, this is like the worlds biggest ever gender reveal party!” It seemed funnier to me when he said it.
There are perhaps 2 “what the heck?!?” reactions that could emerge from this picture. 1. Are these not Covid times? 2. Russell why are you branding this sweet creature? Ouch. The fact is that both these guys are vaccinated and I am vaccinated. The rest of our team was constantly moving in an environment with a huge amount of air and 3 large openings and 1xxxl opening to the outdoors, on Laurie’s left is an industrial fan. We did our best. About branding…..people steal unbranded calves so we opt to brand. We would rather not. We cause pain, we hate that.
Our team at work, friendship will help us survive these especially stressful days in this pandemic. This was a beautifully oiled machine about 5 calves into the process. A process we just need to tackle in order to get calves ready to go to their summer pastures. With Jill and Gina not available and Ron getting miles and miles of pasture fences repaired, Laurie, Dawson, Eliza, Jacob and Shaylee helped us practically which meant great things for our morale.
A glorious sight which I do not take lightly. I almost hesitate to post this because I know how it feels when the life-giving rains fall for other people and not at your place. We were so blessed with a solid rain in the afternoon, again after the morning bit of glory falling down. This picture is from the door of our pole shed. We are feeling very thankful.