Thursday, September 6, 2012

Food stamps and frustration

I really do not like to use this blog as a political forum or as something that is controversial but go to both of these links and then tell me that government, taxpayer spending, and the direction of this country makes sense to you.

Wolves in Washington State, millions of dollars being spent 

Record number of people in this country on food stamps and lacking basic food security

"Roaneo" is at the Columbia Basin Junior Livestock show and is content and ready for the next four fair days. Tonight a large community of agriculture people came together to get animals weighed and entered, served a great meal to both exhibitors and parents, and people wonder why I am proud to be part of a community that understands what it means to live a simple life, supports economic freedom,and supports our youth and the future of this great nation.

Today's picture is "Precious" with her first calf. Her life story is coming in a later blog post.

Where did common sense go? Ok, so I am not near as angry in life as this Cowman Youtube music selection might convey, nor am I as sick of everyone portrayed in  my good friend Tim Wilsons song and video. But, in general this sums up why I don't have a television connection, and am always on the edge of just leaving the bigger world and retreating to my own simple life.Remember this song and video was from 2007, so some of the ideas are a bit dated, it in no way means I am in love with today's political scene! *Language warning on the video* if you don't like a bit of profanity when it fits the situation, do not click on the Youtube video!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dori the adorable and Yes ma'am

Tomorrow we head in for the second of 3 fairs in a four week span. Dakota is taking a blue roan steer named "Roaneo" that I am not particularly proud of. He is not a bad steer but he really needs 30 more days and 120 pounds of finish on him. He was an April 2011 calf so we knew he would have to be pushed and we just didn't get him pushed hard enough. As I cussed this fact a bit today as I looked at Roaneo from every angle I had a little mental chat with Dad. He reminded me that sometimes you just have to go with the flow and especially where females are concerned, be it bovine or human you are best off to just swallow hard and say "yes ma'am.

Dad and I would argue about the attributes and deficiencies of just about any bovine especially show steers and mother cows. Now as I try and balance Dakotas decisions with my experience I often run up against a whole new issue. Dakota not only looks for a winner, she expects a steer to be "cute" and have some personality and/or special color traits. She likes a calf with a little "bling" to them. Now make no mistake, Roaneo is a blingy calf with his blue roan color and from the day he was born she was pretty set on making him see a show ring. In the end it is her choice and she makes some good points about doing some things just for fun and as a tribute to our ranch history. Yes ma'am.

She reminds me that sometimes these decisions work out really well and tonight's blog post about a yellow Brahma cross cow that earned her way into the cowherd is a prime example. We had an old Brahma cross cow for years that was affectionately known as "Rabbit ears". A blog post about her and her final calf before she passed from natural causes here on the ranch are here   
Rabbit ears had her last calf in February 2010 and was named "Dori" by Dakota as a shortened name for "adorable". Here Dori (tag #0203Y) is with her mother at 16 hours of age. She was a spindly legged clone of her mother and although she was "adorable" I doubted her future as a momma cow in our herd and told Dakota my opinion. As Dori grew up  though she started to show a bit more of her Daddies Black Angus body type and when it came time to select replacement heifers she made the cut with a great deal of lobbying from Dakota.Yes ma'am.

Dori spent the spring of 2011 with her replacement herd mates being romanced by two Black Angus bulls. In October of 2011 Dori was confirmed pregnant with a spring calf by my left arm which made me smile especially given the fact that her momma Rabbit ears had passed on and her legacy would continue on here at this ranch I love so much. 

This past February I was impatiently waiting to pick up Dakota at the bus stop after school to go check calving cows before dark. I did not let on what I had already learned earlier on that clear cold day. Dori had delivered unassisted her first child. A gray bull calf #2203y. As we drove to a secluded corner of the corn field the cows were grazing Dori stood over her new calf that she had expertly stashed on the wind protected side of a sagebrush plant. Dakota shrieked with joy and as she often says many times in a calving season, "That is the cutest baby EVER!" Yes ma'am. I can't find any pics of Dori with her calf as a newborn but last week I caught her with her now 6 plus month old steer calf by her side and as you can see sometimes a little "bling" goes a long way.Remember all pics can be seen full size by clicking on them. See you all at the Columbia Basin Junior Livestock show this week!

Today's Cowman Youtube music selection is a feel good song by Matt Mason that has a timeline an outlaw like me can really relate to. He sings "Good year for the Outlaw"  Hillbilly rock and roll at its best, just listen to the guitars, turn it UP, yeah turn it WAY up!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Wedding anniversaries, and the right attitude

Here I am making another late night blog post. My family and I, along with many good friends tonight attended a party and 50th wedding anniversary for some icons of the community. Thank you to the Moore family for all their hard work in making tonight a great party honoring your mother and father on their 50th wedding anniversary.

As I grew up Dick and Melette were people in the community that I was very proud to know. Mellete was always a strong supporter of my efforts at showing cattle despite the fact that she had two lovely daughters that were one year younger and one year older than I was. As the mother of a teenage daughter during my teen years this was not a small feat. Dick spent many years serving on our local fairboard and although I once tossed him a case of beer over the fairgrounds fence as a high schooler he was able to command respect and attention without ratting me out to my parents. Thank you to both of them for their efforts at raising me properly and their continued support through adulthood! I now watch my own daughter compete against their grandkids showing cattle and often smile as I see this circle of life continue.

Summer is coming to a close and that is always a difficult time for me from an attitude standpoint. Shorter daylight hours, knowing cows will soon need to be fed supplemental feed, and the potential for cold and snow can be depressing to even those with a good grasp on life. The last few days as I have contemplated the end of summer it is easy to see all the goals and plans for another year that I have failed at. About the time I am thinking things are not very good I just take stock of the rest of my fellow cattlemen across the country and realize life is pretty damn great at the current time here in the Pacific Northwest. Earlier this week I came across a broken irrigation riser that made me cuss. As I looked to the heavens and asked Dad why things like this always happen to me he spoke to me with some sage advice. Would you rather be in other parts of the country where they are suffering from extreme drought? How many guys in other parts of the country would give anything just to have access to some irrigation water? Humbling and reality, nothing better to bring a man back to what matters in life!
 How many people across the country would love to have old cows standing in grass like this raising calves? Yeah, It quickly makes a guy thankful!

It is not that everyday life cannot make your life interesting at times. The other night as Dakota washed up her steer in preparation for clipping for this weeks fair, she lost water pressure. I was pretty sure that the issue was the stockwater well had blown a hose. As I removed the lid from the stockwater well I was faced with a discarded snakeskin that gave me a bit of a jolt! I have yet to meet the snake that left this behind but I am alright with that.

Many people would find this life I lead as monotonous and boring. For me I am thankful that I am able to make a simple living chasing cows, chasing life and living a dream. Being able to live with and witness the power and beauty of Mother Nature suits me just fine. Luckily I had many people in my life like my parents and the Moore's that looked out for me and my future.

Today's Cowman Youtube music selection is Sawyer Brown singing, "I'll take the Dirt Road" which eloquently describes the joy of living the life I lead.