Thursday, March 31, 2011

Busy Morning

Whew!!! Good afternoon everyone! Sorry it's been so long since my last post but it has been a busy week! In between my work schedule and calving season, I made time to load up the kiddos last weekend and head a few hours away for a bridal shower. I ended up bringing a friend and her son along so the kids could go swimming in the pool at the hotel. Okay, maybe I brought her along because I thought it'd be nice to have some adult conversation, too. The bridal shower went great, and I can't wait to welcome in a new member of the family in a couple weeks.  Won't be long and I'll have my first sister in law, and we can gang up on all the men in the family! Watch out boys!

I figured I'd share with you this morning's adventures. After Shawn (my husband) took care of a prolapsed cow and the heifer in the lot calved without any problems, we headed to the "Heiser" place to gather an abandoned calf. The calf was one of a set of twins born yesterday, and the momma couldn't take care of both of them. Shawn figured the calf would be pretty easy to catch to bring home but boy was he wrong! The little guy was all curled up beside a creek, and I got out of the pickup to gather him up but it wasn't long before the calf was high tailing it through the pasture and I was left in the dust! My Muck boots weren't quite agile enough (or maybe it's just me) so Shawn jumped out of the pickup after him.

We usually have a rope with us or we are horseback, but today we were in the chore pickup with the kids so it was all up to Shawn. He eventually got him wrangled and loaded while the little man and I were laughing from the truck. Shawn tied up the calf to take him back to the herd. We wanted to make sure there weren't any mommas to claim him before we took him back to the homestead. There weren't any interested mommas for the poor little guy so the little man has another bottle calf in the barn. I wish I had pictures to share of this particular "adventure" with all of you but maybe next time I will capture Shawn's akward moment on film!  Of course he wouldn't let me post them even if I did...

After the first laughable adventure, we went to the "Shoemaker" place to cake and hay some cows. Shawn and the little man fed hay, while lil sister and I went to cake. The little man even got to drive the tractor today (with a little help from Dad, of course)! 

Everything went smoothly over there and all the little babies look happy and healthy!  Since I promised you guys some pics of the new calves a while back I took a few pics this morning. Enjoy!

I had to throw this final picture in because this is how I felt exactly 4 months ago when I was only a few days away from going into labor with lil sister!
I think it's a year for twins on our ranch and I making a wager that this momma is gonna have a set! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tribute to the Horses

I thought since calving is really starting to pick up I would give you guys a glimpse of a couple of our horses. During the winter, our horses get a bit of a break and by the time spring arrives they get used day in and day out. From March to November our horses are the most important mode of transportation on the ranch. Don't get me wrong, the horses are used during the winter months as well, but not near as much as now. By the time branding time arrives they'll all be in shape, and by the time branding time is over they'll all be wishing they were turned back out to pasture.  We recently got a new colt to add to the herd, and he has been getting a bit more riding than the rest. My husband says there's no better time than calving time to break a colt, and he has made it his mission to get him in tip top shape by summer time. It will be interesting to see how much time I get to spend in the saddle this year since we now have two kiddos instead of one, but I'm sure I'll still get my fair share. I sure hope so, anyways! Have a great day everyone! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Scenes From The Ranch

This morning we loaded up the kids and went to feed at the "Heiser" place and the "Roth" place. Each of our pastures have names, and I am still trying to keep them all straight. The fact that I still get lost in some of our pastures drives the Cowboy a little nuts, but some of those pastures are big! It didn't help this morning that their wasn't the greatest visability because of all the fog. When you're in a pasture with only a few landmarks and 50 yard visability it isn't easy to tell where exactly you are. Unless you're the cowboy, of couse. I think he could ride his way through the pastures blindfolded.

When we go on these adventures the Cowboy only brings me along to open the gates. It's a hard job, but somebody has to do it. Okay, maybe it's not so tough, but it's a job just right for me. I guess it saves him a little time, we get to spend some quality time together, and I get to breathe some fresh air first thing in the morning.  This morning after my duties of opening the first two gates were over, I asked him to drop me off at the homestead at "the Heiser" place. The Cowboy and the kiddos went to cake and hay while I took some photos of the homestead in the morning fog. I didn't get around to taking photos of all the buildings because the Cowboy was in a hurry to get back home this morning to haul some yearlings home. Here are a few pics from this morning's adventure.  

I had some fun taking pictures of this old Chevy stock rack. The Cowboy says it's a 1950's stock truck that would haul about 8 head of cows. He said it was the Cadillac of stock trucks back in those days. Couldn't imagine life without our cattle pot these days.

This old barn at the "Heiser" place seems to be the perfect backdrop for some engagement photos or a senior picture. I just need to find some willing subjects!

I forgot to mention that we have a few baby calves on the ranch nowadays. I love the way a mother cow protects her new baby calf. This momma seems to be doing a pretty good job! Have a great day everyone! I will have more pics of all the new babies in an upcoming post.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Where are all the babies???

I know I will regret this post...

Our calving season was scheduled to start 3/14, but we are yet to see a baby calf on the ranch. I love seeing the all the calves running around and bringing new life to the ranch, and I have been eagerly awaiting their arrival. Our little guy, who is now 3, is pretty excited about the baby calves too. I don't know how much he remembers from last year but this year he's old enough to really get excited about things. Calves not only represent a change in seasons (SPRING!) but they also represent our the hard work put in through the long winter months by the Cowboy, a.ka. my husand. With calves come the hard work, but the promise of fun times during brandings.

Since we haven't seen a calf yet, and only a few "heavies" are out in the pen, I am bracing myself for an explosion of baby calves in the coming weeks. Instead of a slow trickle of new calves, I'm imagining an overflow of babies all at once. This is why I am going to regret this post... While we are leisurely awaiting the arrival of our first calf, those heifers out in the pen are all going to pool together and decide to calve out on the same day. It would be okay as long as everything goes smoothly, fingers crossed, but nothing is guaranteed in this industry.

Excuse me while I take a nap now, because I know there are busy days and nights of checking heifers in this ranches near future. I thought I'd add the image below because it reminds me of all I have to look forward to. Baby calves on the ground, warm days with the kids, green grass, gardening and branding time!

Have a great day everyone!

An Adventure in Caking Cows


Sorry it has taken me so long to write a second post… My computer got a virus that I couldn’t rid it of myself, so it has been in town the past week getting fixed.  I’ve only got a few minutes this morning before the next adventure begins, but I thought I’d share some pictures from this morning.  We all loaded up in the chore pickup and went to the south pasture to cake the cows today. We have one cow that will blow through the rest of the herd to get to the pickup first and get her belly full. The little man was pretty excited to feed number 775 out of his hand this morning, and he jumped out of bed in a hurry when my husband, we’ll call him “the Cowboy”, told him the agenda for the morning. I’m pretty sure the two men of the household fed her ten pounds of cake before the rest of the cows even made it to the pickup. It’s mornings like this that I am grateful for the lifestyle we live. My kiddos have the opportunity to wake up and go outside on daily adventures to learn about animals, nature, work and the lifestyle that has kept the ranch around for more than 100 years.



It took a while for number 775 to warm up to the little guy feeding her, but she was just hungry enough to try it. It wasn’t long before she was licking his fingers, and he was laughing with excitement.


This is when the little guy really got to laughing. I think she might have a belly ache this morning after the amount of cake she was fed! I think the cowboy might have had as much fun (if not more) than the little man this morning but don’t tell him I told you so!


I had to leave you with this shot… I don’t really think i’m THAT grouchy in the morning but as soon as we saw this cow the cowboy told the little man, “Hey, that looks like Mom in the morning!” This cow does look like she’s having a rather rough day… maybe she just needs her morning fix of caffeine, or she’s just angry that number 775 is getting all the cake.
Have a great day everyone!

About Me.

Here I am, starting a blog about being a South Dakota ranch wife and my new photography hobby. I will say I never thought i’d see the day! I’ll add that I’m not the ranchiest, roughest, or toughest ranch wife around. I work in town. I learned from an early age that “behind every successful rancher is a wife who works in town”.  I work as a registered nurse in the local community hospital. It’s a tough job, but not nearly as demanding as my husband’s job description. He’s currently fixing a chore pickup in the shop, and I won’t pretend I know what he’s doing or how he’s doing it.

Being a nurse isn’t my only job, however. I am also a mother to two wonderful kiddos that my husband and I are blessed to have. I’m in charge of cooking and cleaning (which, let’s face it, most mom’s and wives are). I’m also not going to pretend that i’m the best chef in the west (though I am proud of some of my meals), or that I have the cleanest house in South Dakota (NOT EVEN CLOSE). We’ve got muddy ”Muck” boots in front of the door, dirty roping gloves on top of them and the dishes from lunch are still on the table. They’ll get washed before I go to bed though, don’t worry Grandma!

I’m not sure how often I’ll post here or exactly what all my posts will be about. I suppose i’ll write about the cattle, the horses, the dogs, the kids and the everyday adventures of living in the middle of nowhere.   I will also dedicate some of my posts to my new hobby, photography. I purchased my first DSLR camera, a Nikon D90, after graduating nursing school. I can’t wait to figure out how to use it to it’s full potential! I am taking a course in April and hopefully i’ll be closer to understanding all those blasted buttons.
I guess that’s enough about me for now. Welcome to the ranch and I hope you enjoy the ride!