On The Ranch

What’s Happenin’

The girls are all preg-checked, the calves are all weaned and out to grass, the boys aren’t having to saddle and ride out at dawn every day, and we’re not trucking stuff back and forth to the barn several times a week, which means….fall work is O.V.E.R! Alllll the praise hands, y’all.

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Don’t get me wrong, I really do love fall work, but for some reason, this year it seemed to drag a bit and we were all over it by the end. For me, it was a combination of being in my first trimester (ick), the prolonged summer heat (double ick), and a toddler who finally couldn’t cope with the craziness in his schedule and had a little bit of a wacky sleep moment there for awhile.

(Edited to add: we’ve hit the two-year sleep regression. It’s so great. )

So, what’s next? The guys are working on getting the cows all sorted by calving date since each camp calves at different times. The heifers (first-time moms) are already at our house, where they will stay until summer, and they got their second round of pre-calving vaccinations today. Pre-calving vaccinations are kind of like vaccines that pregnant women get–they help both mama and baby stay healthy and really make a difference.

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All the guys are taking advantage of the unseasonably warm and dry weather to complete some projects that fell by the wayside this fall, like cleaning barns and pens, fixing fence, riding young horses (and taking along young dogs, both of which are happening in the picture below), getting hay moved around, prepping vet rooms and calving facilities, and general tidying up of the mess that seems to accumulate from August to October. Sometime this month we will also ship the culls and opens (the cows we are getting rid of and the cows who are not pregnant) and we’ll start giving pre-calving shots to the other girls, too–the heifers calve first, so they need their shots first.

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For my part, I’m almost done getting all the fall data entered and the cowherd in good shape in the computer, and tying up all my loose ends with paperwork. It’s not exciting, but every year we have over two thousand animals to keep track of on our division alone, and I try my hardest to have the books and database match what’s in the pasture at the end of the year. Here in a couple weeks when all the cows have been sorted or shipped, I’ll start working on getting our calving books made up and printed and handed out to the guys.

This is about as quiet as it gets for us, but I don’t mind being less busy this time of year because it gives us more family time during the holidays. It’s also a relief to get Wacey back into a good sleep schedule because a) he needs his sleep and is a happier guy when he knows what’s up, and b) I’m counting down the days until the impending newborn sleep deprivation has us all exhausted–easily the hardest postpartum thing for me, and the part I’m most nervous about this time around. I’ve made a pledge to not worry about (or prepare much for) Little Brother’s arrival until after Christmas because I want to enjoy this time with Wace and really abiding in Advent.

Also, I with all the Christmas sales going on it’s a very real possibility that I could fall down the nesting, we-need-all-the-things-even-though-we-don’t rabbit hole, and that doesn’t need to happen. Because a) money, b) space, c) self-control. I have some. I swear. I only bought two tiny newborn things when I was in Oshkosh a few weeks ago! See all that self control? I have some (if I repeat it, it makes it true, right?)

Except when it comes to Christmas lights and Starbucks cold cups. This is something you should know about me right away.

Happy December 1st! Thanks for reading, again–so happy you’re here!