Tuesday, September 10, 2013

They grow so fast

 Growing fast is part of the plan with cattle, and my husband's (and mine too now I suppose) calves have really put on the pounds this summer, making us both very happy. Here are a few photos from last week, after we moved them to fresh pasture.
Much as it pains me to say this out loud, Simmental/Angus crosses may not be that bad : )

It was a little brisk when this guy arrived in early spring!

 Here's the difference between a high percentage Simmental heifer ( on the left), and a high percentage Angus heifer (on the right). My husband just loves the one on the left, while my dad immediately commented on how much he liked the nice head on the one on the right.

 This is most likely an AI calf. My husband AI's his heifers and some of his cows each year.

As you can see, it turned out to be a great grass year in western S.D.
 Which also means an excellent milk year!

 These cows are mostly our first calf heifers and coming three's, in other words the young mothers. They're going to make a positive impact on the cowherd based on the number raising calves like this one. That's baby on the left and momma on the right. Oh, and one of my Wyoming transplants sporting a pink ear tag.

Here are the mothers, or "The Beef Council" as one lady commented on my Double H Facebook page. Hope you've enjoyed a good grass year in your area as well!

Thursday, September 5, 2013


I have started this post numerous times the last couple weeks. I am determined to press "publish" when finished typing this time, overcome my writer's block and get back to blogging.
The first two months of married life have flown by, and have been crazy. No one really told me about the crash landing that occurs when your honeymoon is over. How, about three days after being home, you're exhausted from sharing a bed the size of one you comfortably occupied alone prior to being married. How you have both been able to go to bathroom, start your car, run errands and accomplish countless other everyday tasks just fine for years, even decades, without this new spouse unceasingly telling you how to do every little thing. I naïvely believed we would float on bliss for a couple months at least until we started to deal with this sort of thing. Not so!
Then there are dealing with all the life events that don't stop, slow down, or have any consideration at all to the fact that you have been slammed into a whole new world, feel permanently separated from anything resembling a comfort zone, and are not finding anything lie is throwing at you the least bit amusing.
When your life involves being responsible for hundreds of other living things, all the feed to keep them full and happy during the upcoming winter and a return on investment ratio that would make a "real" businessman run for the hills, and when you're both use to being in charge of the day to day operations of such a place, it adds a whole new level to the adjustment period and the stress included in building the foundation of a strong marriage.
This has been our life for the last two months. We are incredibly happy one moment, and ready to attack the other with the closest blunt object the next (I mean that figuratively for the most part). We're completely worn out, very much still in love, determined to make this work in a way that includes us both getting some sleep, and actually starting to make a little headway some days.
We've discussed all this, and both believed, again naïvely, that seeing as how we are both responsible adults who maintain super busy schedules and multiple businesses, that blending our lives together would go fairly well. Oh I'm sure God got a good chuckle out of that thought.
Truth is, he has presented us with challenges right out of the gate that would be incredibly difficult at any point in life for one or the other, or both, of us to deal with right. For example, we had pinkeye sweep through our cows not once, but twice this summer. Every one of my cows but one has had it so far, and that was devastating to me. Seeing an animal, my animal especially, hurting or otherwise unhealthy or unhappy will put me in the worst mood, and has been very hard at times.
There have been other serious animal and crop issues. Our house was a complete disaster for well over a month after moving my stuff here, and you really did not want to attempt a trip through to the bathroom in the dark if you valued your toes. We have had multiple vehicle issues and breakdowns, I missed recording a couple checks in my register at one point (you can imagine the rest) and a raccoon pooped on the roof of my car!
But, through it all we have been working steadily on building the cornerstone of our relationship with Christ, as the man who married us explained was so important prior to and during our wedding. We feel stronger as a couple, are getting much better at running full-tilt with little to no sleep and have worked some things into our routine to make it easier for both of us. We've started to learned how to compromise, to enjoy the fact that we both love our lifestyle and have all these ideas on how things should be done, and to realize how much the other is trying to make this go as well as possible.
We're to the point where we very cautiously say "bring it on" with tired determination and a sincere hope it won't be brought on right away.
I can't wait to share it with you, as soon as I get my camera repaired and the memory card with everything from the last few weeks and our honeymoon on it to a tech person so they can hopefully recover all the images. I wasn't kidding when I said we were hit with challenges from every direction.
Here's to starting month three of marriage, farming, ranching and writing in Western South Dakota.