On The Ranch

Bangs Vaccinating Heifers

Here are some pictures from when we Bangs vaccinated our yearling heifers yesterday! I know, super exciting. This is an important vaccine, though, and must be administered by a vet, so this day is a little more of an “event” than our standard vaccinations. Each animal is given a shot and a tattoo in their ear (the green stuff) to verify that they have received the vaccine, as well as a unique ID (if they don’t already have one) in the form of a metal clip in their ear. Our cattle all have EIDs so we don’t have to use clips.

bangs-vacc-tattoos

Scientific quickie: The bangs vaccine is not an immunization against bad bang cuts (although I wish this were a thing, except our cows don’t have bangs, some of them have tufts, or toupee-looking appendages though. Okay I’m done). Rather, it’s an immunization against Brucellosis, which causes, among other things, abortions in cattle. However, it infects more than just cattle–most domesticated livestock and some wildlife can become infected, and once infected, animals cannot be cured. It can be passed to humans, too, so it’s kind of a big deal. The disease was pretty much eradicated in cattle after strict test-and-slaughter practices some years ago, but some bison and elk herds in the Rocky Mountains are still Brucellosis positive, and there’s always a chance of an outbreak. Some states also still require cattle being moved across state lines to be vaccinated. Thus, we vaccinate our yearling heifers each January. See? That really was a quickie.

(If you want to know more about Bangs vaccinations, click here.)

getting-gathered-bangsgetting-gathered-bangs-2

foggy-morning

Bangs morning we woke up to a very foggy fog (“WHOA!” says Wacey), but it actually turned out to be a really nice day. The guys didn’t run into any problems gathering the girls, and our vet is speedy quick so we were done by lunch-less than four hours is pretty darn quick for getting 425 heifers done!

all-done

On big cow working days, I try to bring a breakfast-y item (that can be held in one hand, haha), to ease the sting of the early wakeup and the sort of monotonous nature of working cattle. Plus I’m hungry. Like, right now. It’s pretty much my permanent state of being. This time, I tried Alton Brown’s Overnight Cinnamon Rolls (cause ain’t nobody got time for waking up at four to wait for dough to rise), and they were…okay. I didn’t love them, but the guys did, so I’ll give them another go and tweak some things. But Wacey helped me make them, so really, they were perfect–toddlers are seriously the funnest. Not even the most fun. The funnest.

wacey-helping-make-cinnamon-rolls

Usually, there’s a lot going on when we’re working cattle: multiple vaccines, maybe a parasiticide, we might be getting weights or other measurements, or re-tagging, sorting, etc., but today it’s just two vaccines and inventory (my job). We’ll see these girls again (well, someone will, I probably won’t since I’m having a baby right in the middle of all our spring work #excellenttiming) in not too long for ultrasound, PAP testing, and AI, so there’s no real reason to do allthethings.

vet-bangs

Cow working days always leave me drained (yes, even when the majority of my time is spent sitting at a table) so we come home, Wacey takes a late nap, I sit down and work for a bit, and them muster up something resembling energy to make a simple dinner (like potstickers and the Pioneer Woman’s simple sesame noodles).

So there you have it, folks! And wouldn’t you believe it, I didn’t get a single picture of my trusty sidekick or my hilarious coverall situation (hint: they don’t zip anymore), but I’ll do better next time! I hope your Wednesday is wonderful and may heartburn give us all a break today 😉

Family · Fun · Home · On The Ranch

Weekendin’

best-friendsWe started the weekend off strong with a visit down to the pens on Friday afternoon to check out the new baby calves. If you’ve noticed a theme where we are at the barn a lot, you’re right! I can’t not take Wacey down there as it’s his favorite place to be, and so it’s mine, too.

chocolate-donutsSaturday morning was a win with a chocolate donut for this maniac, who didn’t enjoy it at all, obviously. We bundled ourselves up, and strollered down to the barn to check calves for Bert since he was moving cattle on another part of the ranch.

baby-calfOur cold walk was rewarded by the birth of a new baby calf we’d been waiting on! This mama did a great job getting her new baby licked dry and he up and nursing in no time.

calving-booksDuring Wacey’s nap, I got the final touches put on our master calving book, which is a gigantic labor of love (and necessity), and it feels so good! I spend days putting together calving books for each member of the crew as well as a big, fancy one for my records, and cleaning up our database so it’s all fresh and clean.

I also did some more mucking out and organizing (of course) and ordered the last few things for Stage 2 (of oh, a hundred) of our downstairs fix-up. I can’t wait to share once it’s all put together!

selfie-2

picture-of-cows-through-the-pensBy some miracle, the frigid, foggy morning that we’d expected to stay around all day turned to fifty degrees and sunny by Saturday afternoon, so there was really nothing for it but to go down to the barn and help Bert feed the cows and enjoy the sunshine. But mostly, mess with the cows! Of course. Bert tends to have a little less to do on the weekends (due to busting his butt during the week), so weekend afternoons are fun since we can spend more time just goofing off and looking at things. And opening and closing all the gates, of course.

Some families do a lovely and much more photogenic brunch-and-park combo on the weekend, we do family barn time. After all, the family that gets poop on their boots together, stays together right? Or at least takes their boots off in the mudroom together.

I think that’s the next big country hit–“Poop on my Boots.” Remember folks, you heard it here first!

Anyways. We fed some cows because, oddly enough, they need to eat every day. Imagine! We fed them round bales today, and the gals were not enthusiastic about how long it took for me to get the net wrap off (#dullknifeprobs). Also, it’s sort of a big deal to stand up from a crouching position when you’re in your third trimester gestating what feels like a block of cement.

cutting-wrap-2“Umm excuse me. Excuse me. Are you going to get the wrap off that bale any time soon? Because I’m pretty pregnant. And pretty hungry. Also pregnant. Seriously. Wait, are you taking pictures? Are you taking my picture? I NEED FOOD.”

cutting-wrap“Hey. HEEEEEYYYYYYYY! HAAAAAAAY! WHY IS SHE TAKING SO LONG?? WHY ARE YOU TAKING SO LONG?”
Girls, I’m stuck. Give me a minute.

funny-hayDon’t worry girls, that’s what I look like when I eat, too. A little less roughage, though, maybe.

cows-fences-hay

sunshine

wacey-stormy-kromerAfter we got done feeding, Wacey had to run around and inspect everything. Don’t worry, all is ship shape!

wacey-picking-bullsAfter we got home, we sat on the porch and basked in the sunshine while Wacey (aka General McMullet) perused the latest bull catalog and let us know all his top picks. He’s big into the Stabilizers this year.

Yesterday was a pretty typical Sunday: lots of laying around, planning for the week and spending long-overdue time with my devotional, laundry, and watching Netflix. PS–I had no idea the book The Magicians was made into a TV series and I am in Nerd Heaven right now!

I also cleaned out one of the dressers in Wacey’s the boys’ (<—WHAAAAAT) room for Bub’s clothes, and washed and folded all the tiny clothes and baby blankets. Cliche alert, but I can’t believe Wacey was ever that tiny, or that Bub will be too! Having tiny baby clothes and diapers in my hands made me even more excited for Bub’s arrival, and made the chores to get done feel even more urgent. Although, we’re pretty much there on the essentials: he’s got a place to sleep, clothes to wear, a carseat to come home in…buuuuut his mama sure would be happy if her office space was ready to go, a double jogger was sitting on the porch, and the baseboards were clean!

baby-laundryIt was supposed to snow buckets, but we only got a dusting (a blessing in calving season!) so we went out to an early dinner at the Mexican restaurant in town which happens to be ah-mazing. I mean, so good.  Unlike this picture that I managed to snap before my obsessed-with-looking-at-pictures-of-himself-toddler needed to gaze upon his visage to his little heart’s content.

boys-at-dinner-2Lazy Sundays are the best.

Now excuse me while I deny the coming of Monday by burying myself in our freshly laundered flannel sheets

 

Celebrate

Friday Favorites

It’s Friday! I’m glad. You’re probably glad. If you’re not glad, I’m sorry. Maybe go get some ice cream? Or Starbucks? Or a whiskey?

I’d love all three, to be honest, but only two are available to me at this present juncture.

I hope your week was great! My week felt long. It’s funny…in the third trimester, you’re both willing time to stop and for it to speed up, and this week felt like exactly that. I’m planning on knocking some baby to-dos off of the list this weekend, though, so I think that will help my ability to relax. Right now, though, I’m dreaming of life post-pregnancy. I’m not wishing away these last weeks in the slightest, but y’all? I feel huge, my hips are killing me, and I miss my waist. And, as nervous as I am about doing the newborn thing again, we cannot wait to meet Bub and just snuggle the heck outta him. Nine months is a long time to know everything about a person without ever meeting him, and I’m getting impatient. Will he favor me, or Bert, or will he be like Wace and be halvsies? Will he have as much hair as his brother? Will Wacey fall in love with him right away, or try to kill him for awhile? I’ve been assured of the latter, but that boy of mine loves babies so much that maybe we’ll get lucky.

Anyways. Favorite things.

Before I jump into postpartum dreaming favorite things, I wanted to share one thing that has helped so much this week. Lavender oil. I’ve had trouble sleeping lately, partially due to being 30 weeks pregnant, and partially due to Bert night calving two nights this week–I don’t sleep as well when he’s not home, and it’s so rough to be tired! I’m not ready for that business yet. But, after putting a dab of this on each wrist right before bed, I’m out in a hurry and I have a much easier time falling asleep if I wake up in the night. I don’t know if it’s a fluke or not, but I don’t care because it works and it smells so good! I’ll likely throw it in my hospital bag to help calm those baby day nerves.

lavender

PS–speaking of Baby Day, I’ve reached the point where the doctor is talking about it, and we’re making plans for when it’s time. On one hand, I’m so excited. On the other hand, I’m running around with my fingers shoved in my ears yelling “I’m not listening!” and humming. Not, literally, of course, as I can’t really run at the moment.

Anyways, figurative running and confused emotions aside, here are some other things that have my heart all a-flutter this week.

Favorite frivolous baby item: Bison swaddle set. We have so many swaddle blankets, but I might get this for Bub, or at least the Bison one, because I just love them, and it never hurts to have a little something new for a new babe. Wouldn’t a newborn cowboy look so sweet snuggled up in those??

bison-swaddle-set
Favorite Flowy: Francis and Benedict Aztec Maxi. I have nowhere to wear this. But gosh, isn’t it beautiful? I think it would be perfect for post-baby, too–a wide waistband and a flattering cut are excellent for that particular problem area. Maybe for my class reunion this summer? Or for a wedding? Or a baby shower? Actually, maybe I do have a place to wear this!!! Plus, this company is doing really great things! And also: pockets.
View More: http://carolinero.pass.us/francisandbenedict
Favorite Festive: Paint chip egg banner. Easter will be our  first holiday as a family of four, and I know Wace will actually want to egg hunt this year! I got a few decorations at after-Easter sales last year, and you’d better bet I’ll have them up as soon as possible, maybe before Bub’s even born so I don’t have to deal with it after. We have a spot in the house where I hung a banner at Christmas, and I loved how festive it looked, so this is definitely on the docket for Easter. I plan on doing this one for Valentine’s!

garland-eggs

Favorite…what?? I’m not even sure what I love about this outfit, except that it looks so easy and there is a waistline involved, and although I have very little of it in my closet, olive is such a pretty color. Mostly, I think it’s waistline envy–I cannot wait to get back into my old jeans! Or real jeans, period. Remember when bending over was a thing?!? I don’t.
jeans
Favorite Footwear: Kork-ease Berit wedges. OH MY HEAVENS THESE SHOES. I’ve been thinking about them since last summer, which is a sure sign I need to get a pair. I think these would look adorable with skinnys, and they’re leather, and a wedge, so I could wear them to a rodeo right? Right. I have not one single pair of wedges left from my college days, and if I’m going to be the only girl round these here parts I think I deserve a pair! If anyone knows my husband, maybe direct him thisaway for Mother’s Day??

kork-wedge-sandal
Favorite Feminine: Lace Tunic. Isn’t this gorgeous? Also looks like it would go great with a newborn and a toddler! Kidding, kidding. I think this would be another great still-losing-weight postpartum option, and I love how it nips in at the waist. It’s also a really beautiful option to go under a blazer with some jeans and boots, which are, of course, another one of my love languages.

lace-top

Favorite Hair: Updo for short hair. I’m not going to kid myself that I’m going to be able to fix my hair a lot after Bub is born, and I bet me and my already good friend Dry Shampoo will become busom buddies. This is pretty for when you want to do something other than a messy bun and haven’t washed your hair in awhile. Read: new mama. Or, when your hair resembles a bird’s nest and not in a good way. It’s the little things, folks, plus this one comes with a tutorial for all-thumbs folks like me.
updo
Favorite Favorite: Solly Baby Wrap. One of my favorite memories from when Wacey was bitty was carrying him around in this wrap, and I can’t wait to carry Bub in the same one. I love having babies snuggled up so close and tight, and newborns are so tiny and precious!

wrap

Thank you for reading, and have an excellent weekend! Mine will be full of–what else–house cleaning, organizing, baby-clothes-washing, baby calves, and let’s get real, probably Starbucks. Because at this point, I will drive thirty miles for one and I’m not even that ashamed.