Sunday, December 19, 2010

Are you ever ready for winter?

The pictures below are from earlier this fall. (Sept and Oct) It seems like we work all summer to put up enough hay for the winter. Then we spend all fall (and a good portion of the winter) hauling it home. This year we put up a new barn as well. My kids are sure they don't care to have to tackle that project again anytime soon!

Above is Mike standing next to the frame of the barn. He had no idea I had him in the picture that's why he's actually looking my direction! :-) He thought I was just taking it of the end as we needed pictures (as well as measurements) to take to the guy who was cutting the tin for us. The tin is all now and we just need to do a little dirt work around the edges and put the 2 sliding doors on. Nothing like cutting it close huh!

Here is Mike unloading another load of hay back in October. Look at how green it is then!! So far they've hauled about 80 loads of hay with another 20 or so to go yet. Thankfully I don't have to go with him every load. Just move the tractor every now and then.

Above is Dustin helping unload hay. He goes with his dad every minute he's not in school. He often asks if I'd like to go to school in his place so he can stay and help his dad. He's talking like he wants to come back and ranch after college. We'll see once he gets away from home for awhile but I have to admit it sure wouldn't hurt my feelings to have him come back!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cattle work

Sorry it's been so long between posts. It's been a busy fall here. The weather has been great and we're enjoying every day we get a reprieve from the impending winter! We got our lambs sold, fall calves branded, spring calves sold, part of the yearling heifers shipped out and just putting on the last of the tin for the new barn. Hopefully we're ready for winter!

I thought I'd share a few pictures of moving the spring calver's back to their pasture after we sold calves. Jag, Rock, Mike and I moved them. I love having dog broke cattle!



(Jag pushing them through the gate and across the road)



Monday, September 6, 2010

Starting to look a lot like FALL

Okay, I'm sitting here at the computer feeling a bit sorry for myself but also very fortunate at the same time. A weird place to be in I'll admit. Hearing about all the dog trials going on right now that I'm missing because of family and ranch obligations is tough. Of course there's a part of me that wishes I could be there having a go at it with my own dogs. The other part of me doesn't want to miss a day with my family right now.

Dustin and Brady are both back in school and playing football. Well, Dustin is playing and Brady is conditioning with the Junior High team hoping that he'll get his cast reduced to below the elbow before the first game. He can't play or hit until that happens. He goes back in for another checkup on the 10th and his first game is the 16th. Talk about cutting it close. :-)

The football season is making the fall trial's a bit hard to get to right now. Between not wanting to miss any of their games I'm also spending a big portion of my day herding my sheep around. It's that time of year again when they're on the hunt for anything green and fences are merely an obstacle to be conquered. Thankfully it's been cool this past week so it's not effecting my dogs at least.

(Nell moving the escapees back)

We're planning on selling lambs on the 16th of this month. I hope I can make it that long as I'm ready to bean them most days. Not to mention how great the market is right now. I keep praying that I'm making the right decision to wait for the big sale on that day and not go this week. Below is a picture of the lambs from their best angle taken over a month ago.

(lambs in late July)

I'm sure enjoying my dogs right now. I sold Cash back in June and it's been a tough adjustment for me to not have him here. He was so darn easy to get along with but he's doing great in his new home and even running well at the trials for his new owner already. Not having him has helped me step up my game with Rock and Bet though. They are both nice young dogs and need the extra work at this point in their lives. Jag is still the main man when it comes to the big jobs but both Rock and Bet are stepping up quickly.

I've taken over Dustin's young dog, Speck, as his schedule isn't allowing enough time to get him trained right now. What a super talented young dog! I wish we hadn't had so much time off with his injury but even if he doesn't make a nursery dog now I'm still excited about his future. My biggest concern with him is if he'll stay sound with our dog's working lifestyles.

I also have another young female who will be a year on September 17th. Jess is a full sister to Rock (Reece and Jag) but one litter younger. She is SO much fun to work. Full of intensity like her brother but with a bit more style. She might not be quite as full throttle as him but I could use a little of that right now! :-)

(Jess at 11 months)

So I really don't have any excuse to be feeling sorry for myself for missing a few dog trials. I'm really fortunate to have two boys who are so darn enjoyable to be around (despite being teenagers - just kidding all you teens out there), a hubby who supports my decisions even when I don't know what they are all the time, a ranch that is productive and enjoyable, as well as a kennel of dogs that I'm so pleased with right now. I guess in the grand scheme of things, I've got it pretty good!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Silver Spring and L & M SDT's

Jamie and Lee Spring had us all up to their place on August 26th and 27th. They have such a beautiful place and as our judge Dianne Deal said it makes you want to go buy a gingam dress and play "Little House on the Prairie". I'm not sure how well that dress would serve a person while staring down the range ewes Jamie brings in for the trial though. They were yearling rambioullet ewes and were tough as they hadn't been worked by a dog much prior to this. They tested the dogs and it took a lot of work the first day to get them lifted off the top. This was definetly a DOG trial.

The course is on a hay field that runs uphill so it's a perfect shape for a trial field. It was a 12 minute course for the Open and it still ended up being a very long day the first day. We all went to the house for supper that night. It was great to relax and visit awhile after being out in the heat all day.

The second day the sheep got a little more manageable as they were figuring out the "rules" a little more. There were more scores the second day and we also got done earlier. This was a relief as we needed to travel the 2 1/2 hours SE to get to my place.

We ran at Mike and I's place on Saturday and Sunday (the 28th and 29th). The temps didn't cooperate anymore for here than they did up north. I'll admit it started getting to me a bit on Saturday afternoon but managed to rally up enough energy to finish on Sunday without being to big of a crab. Hopefully anyway. :-)

We ran on 2 ewes and 3 lambs for our trial. They'd been running in that pasture for a couple of weeks prior to the trial and knew where they were. It helps from a sheep production stand point because if there is a wreck and one gets singled off, they already know where they are so it's easier to get them back to the bunch. On the other hand, it makes them tough as they like to split and try to "divide and conquer".

The dog's adapted well though and most handled the sheep really well and there were quite a few good scores both days. The outrun was about 700 yds and the sheep had to cross two draws on the fetch. It really didn't seem to give anyone to much trouble and it was fun to watch the dogs handle the pressure coming out of the draws.

Both Jamie and I couldn't do these trials without the great support of our families as well as all the help from those running in the trial. We were both running around like chickens with our heads cut off most of the time so very few pictures got taken. Hopefully we can scare up a few though and share them with you soon!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


My friend Jamie Spring had a litter of puppies the third week of August. This is a repeat cross of her Reece and my Jag. The previous pups have turned out really well. If you're interested in one please contact Jamie at .

Monday, August 23, 2010


Well, the boys had a good time at their Rodeo Bible Camp. Dustin made a lot of progress with his horse and got to do some chute dogging. Brady's week was cut a bit short though. The second day they were riding practice bulls and on his fourth one (right in a row) he broke his arm. So, he's in a cast until the end of September. I think most of his friends were more worried about him possibly not being able to play football then they were about his arm.

Thought I'd share a few pictures of them. I don't have any of Brady actually doing anything as he didn't get to compete. Here is how thrilled he was the day after he got it casted.

Here is Dustin with his horse Mick getting ready to rope. He LOVES this horse and Mick loves to track cattle!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Time flies...

whether you're having fun or not. So you might as well enjoy it, right! Our summer is flying by at warp speed. We're actually only 2 week away from the boys starting school again. That seems crazy to me. Seems like they just got out.

Speaking of the boys, they are both gone to a Rodeo Bible Camp this week. I grew up going to these and absolutely loved it so was happy when the boys decided they wanted to go. I got a quick phone call last night and it sounds like they're having a blast. Brady is riding bulls (yikes) and team roping. Dustin is calf roping, team roping and bull dogging. He wants to ride saddle broncs so bad but he's just not built for it. He looks like a big yard dart to me and I've seen SO many wrecks with saddle bronc riders that I just couldn't bring myself to letting him do it yet. I'd rather having him ride bulls but the boys don't want to be competing against each other so they try to stay out of the same events. Team roping they'll hopefully be working together. Might be a challenge for those two!

We got a chance to go on a short family vacation to CO back in June. We were only gone two nights but the planning for all of us being off the place at the same time is horrible! It was a great trip though and got to see most of my family again. It was so much fun. Mike, Dustin, Brady and several of my relatives went white water rafting the last day. I think the boys would do it again in a heartbeat.

I haven't made it to any dog trials since the one in May. Just so busy with haying and ranch life that it really hasn't allowed for it. I think retiring Zac has played with my head a bit as well. A friend and I are headed to UT for one this next weekend though and I'm REALLY looking forward to it. Not sure if it's the dog trial aspect or just getting away from the hay field for awhile! :-)

Well, I need to get busy. I will try to post some pictures soon from the boys rodeo's if I get a chance.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Our rain dance

Well, it must have worked. People who live down dirt roads always say the best way to make it rain is to wash your vehicle. I'm guessing since we used SO much water that is why it rained SO much this past weekend.

See the water tanker beside Brady? That's what we use to fight fires and now wash suburbans!

We got 3 inches of rain (that's a LOT in our country) and the grass is actually making noise with how fast it's growing now! I'll try to get some new pictures of the ewes and lambs. I think the lambs might be having growing pains as fast as they're growing as well.

Mike is helping Dustin figure out how much pressure he can get away with without stripping the paint off my vehicle. They had a pretty good time. So did the dogs!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

So far behind

Our springs are so busy that I find I not only get behind with posting on this blog but I'm also way to far behind with life and work in general. After awhile you figure you can only accomplish so much in a day and quit worrying about it so much and do what you can do. That's pretty much where I'm at now. I'd like to be able to catch you all up on what is all going on around here but it's to much for the time I have right now. So, I will try to scribble down the important parts and let you fill in the rest with your imagination. :-)

Lambing was successful and quick. 3 weeks and we were done. The ewes and lambs are out on grass now and loving it! Speaking of grass, we have it in spades right now and we're loving it!! Got the right amount of moisture early on and lately some sunshine so it has grown like wildfire. Most people are complaining because it hasn't warmed up enough yet but I would be perfectly happy to live in a sweatshirt every day of my life.

Brandings are a big part of our life in the spring. They started in mid April and we will have the last one (our own) this week. There are honestly few ranch related things that I look forward to more than branding season. It's so much fun to get together with neighbors and family. We work hard but it honestly feels like a bit of a vacation at the same time. It's enjoyable to watch my boys grow up and become such great help at these as well.

We still need to get lambs in one more time and give them a CD/T booster shot but will try to get that done right after branding. The stud colts needed cut so we got that accomplished yesterday. We're gearing up for a big haying season so trying to get the machinery all ready for that. Not sure I'm as fired up about haying as Mike is though. It gets really LONG!

Jag is back to full health and doesn't seem to favor that shoulder much at all. I can't even begin to explain how happy I am to have him back. Having him laid up all winter has made me appreciate him so much more. It did give the young dogs a chance to step up with him out of commission though. I'm pretty thrilled with how they're coming on.

Speck, the one who had ACL surgery, has been cleared for work again. Took him out for the first time the other day and he looks good. It will be exciting to get him really going this summer. He's nursery age for the CO finals so hopefully we can get him caught up now for that. If not, it's not a huge deal. He seems to have what it takes to make a really nice Open dog as well as very helpful on the place. He LOVES working cattle and is good at it likes his parents so looking forward to having another one to help with all the fall cattle work.

There is probably more I should write about but now I'm getting further behind on the real work. So, I will leave you with that and hopefully do a better job the rest of the summer!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lambing is upon us

Well, it's that time of year again. We are officially supposed to be starting lambing today but have been going pretty steady since last Friday. The weather has been really good so far and I for one thank the good Lord for that! I pasture lamb and prefer to limit the number of ewes that have to see the inside of my barn. Cold, wet weather puts a bit of a crimp in my "style" so every warm, halfway dry day is a blessing this time of year.

The majority of the ewes are 4 year olds which makes things pretty easy. This isn't their first "rodeo" and they're still young enough to not have to worry about milk issues. It was a tough winter and I was worried about their body condition but they held up really well. We're getting quite a few singles but that honestly doesn't bother me that much. The lambs are healthy and doing well so that's all I can ask for.

The ewes are a Rambioullet x Meat Merino cross and we bred them to predominately Hamp rams. The younger rams in the picture below just turned a year in March. I'm pretty pleased with them. We did this cross last year as well and they were some of the fastest growing, deepest bodied lambs we've raised. Hopefully they repeat that again this year! The grass situation is looking good right now so they ought to grow!

Jag is pictured moving the rams back to their summer lot. I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to have him back to work in time for lambing! He's been my main man for the last couple of years and it's been a long winter around here with so many yearling steers without his help. Probably good for the young dogs but made life just a little harder without him for help. I have cussed this dog at trials so many times in the past. I hope I can remember how much I missed working him if things don't go just perfect on the trial field.

The weather is supposed to turn wet towards the weekend so I expect quite a few ewes to go today. It's already really foggy this morning. I guess that means I should quit for now and get out the door yet again. Until next time!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My teenagers

My boys are growing up! Dustin is 15 and Brady is 13 now. It's hard to imagine that time can go this quickly. People warn you about it and when your kids are little and into everything. You say you believe it will go quickly but I don't think you really comprehend the full extent of it until they are older. I'm sure when they are both gone to college it's going to be even more shocking to me.

They have gone back to public school this year as I was pretty sure high school math was going to start getting over my head. I'm convinced the transition was harder for me than for them. I thought I'd be overjoyed at having my "time" back to myself again. I'm loving being able to go with Mike so much again now but I must admit this last fall was pretty tough on me. I felt lost with my boys gone so much of the time. It didn't help that they were in football and were gone from 7 am until almost 7 pm most days.

They have made me very proud in school. They have both been on the A Honor Roll all year and are consistently getting glowing reports from their teachers on their attitudes and work ethic. I know the cardinal rule about never bragging on your kids or your dogs but I just can't help it right now. I know they will both make plenty of mistakes (trust me we've already had several "good" ones) but right now I couldn't be more proud of how they're growing up.

Yesterday the boys barely got home from school and got put right to work. We had a broken legged yearling that need roped and loaded in the trailer. Another yearling that we missed castrating and needed to brought in to get cut. There were still 600 hd of yearlings that needed fed again before dark. So, Dustin took off with the tractor and processor and took care of feeding while Brady, Mike and I managed to get the broken legged yearling loaded and hauled to the house. Dustin is sporting a good welt on his leg today from holding the yearling for his dad to castrate him. No complaints from either of them though.

The other day the season's first branding brought home to me how much they've matured. They know the work, they have the ambition to get in there without having to be told and they both have enough heart to finish the job. I'm not always the best at telling them how proud I am of them but I made sure to take the time when we got home that night. I tell them "I love you" so much they probobly think I'm a broken record but I need to work on pointing out how proud of them I am as well. Everyone likes to hear they've done a good job and teenager's are no different. I think I'm going to try harder to show them how much I appreciate them from now on.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool's Day

It's that busy time of year around our place again and I've been slacking on writing on here because of it. So, I thought I'd share a Rory and Stan cartoon that I thought was funny this morning. You can check them out at

Friday, March 12, 2010

Growing up!

I love training young dogs. I especially like that year to two year old range. They grow up so much in that time frame. I start using my young dogs for real work as soon as I have a reliable stop and recall on them. Then we train as we go. I still take them out for official "training sessions" from time to time but a lot of what they learn is on the job.

I have two young dogs right now. Rock just turned 2 the middle of February and Bet will turn 2 on March 15th. It has been fun to watch them come along and mature. They are both quite different and it's always fun for me to adjust my training and handling to different dogs.

Rock reminds me a lot of most of the males from my lines. He's pushy, confident on stock but has a little tension. He also has a lot of his mother in him (Jamie's Reece). No quit, great balance and about the most fun dog to just hang out with ever!

Bet is off of Tim Naasz's Ryn (Nell x Spot) who is a littermate to Jag. Her sire is Don Helsley's Cap. I'm not as familiar with Cap's lines obviously but she has been a bit slow to mature. Most of the female's I've worked actually get pushier with age and sometimes I'm not sure if they're going to be "enough dog" for me when they are a year old but most times they catch up with the males before their two.

Bet has been this way. She had all the natural ability in the world just wasn't sure she wanted to take the training early on. Driving was tough for her and because of that she just got to the point she wouldn't push at all. The winter has been a "bit long" in our area and because of that she got a couple of weeks off from all work. That must have done the trick because she has come back better than ever. She's full of confidence in herself as well as our partnership. She is driving with gusto now and it won't be long before I have to tap the brakes a little more with her. Right now I'm letting her be a bit pushy.

This past week has brought quite a bit of snow to our area again. The wind picked up and we were in the middle of a blizzard again yesterday. So, we needed to move the sheep to a better place. There wasn't any way to get around other than the tractor's so I took one and Mike took the other. I grabbed Bet as she's the smallest dog I have and loaded her in the tractor with me. She thought it was great by the way!

We couldn't see very far at all and the sheep didn't want to move through the snow very well. Bet handled the whole situation with a ton of maturity. She never got silly or dirty but pushed hard enough to get them going and keep them moving. I took off ahead in the tractor and she brought them behind me down the road. Several missed the gate coming out and tried to go up the fence line as the other sheep were in the ditch. I saw her cover them and move them back to the gate and through. So, I knew they were all there and then we were off down the road. They tried the same thing at the gate I turned into but she handled it just as well there. I LOVE a thinking dog.

So, I think my young'uns are officially growing up and making the transition to adulthood smoothly. I'm hopeful for their future's and quite proud of how far they've come!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rock is 2 years old!

Rock (Reece x Jag) turned 2 years old last week. I can't believe how fast the time has gone. I met him when he was 3 weeks old and tried so hard not to pick him. I wanted the one who looked like a mini Jag (Erin's Z now) but when I held Rock he looked straight in my eyes and I could feel him reach right into my heart! He's been there ever since.

(Rock - aka Frog boy or Eeyore - at 4 weeks old)

(Rock at 4 weeks in one of his rare calm moments)

He has grown up into a handsome boy with loads of talent. He still acts like a pup at times and still needs lots of miles of work to fully mature but he's got everything he needs to become a great dog. It doesn't hurt that he has to have one of the best personalities ever. He can be a bit of a spaz at times but it's just because he lives life at full throttle. There is never a dull moment with Rock around. My whole family adores this dog and we're hopeful for his future!

(Rock at 1 1/2 yrs)

(Rock this past fall moving some ewes)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pictures from BHSS

Here are a couple of pictures of Cash and I from the BHSS. Jan Swan Wood from the Tri State Livestock News took them and also did an article. She emailed these to me as well. The one where Cash I are together at the Y-chute just cracks me up. Cash's butt in the air is SO him!

These were taken in the prelim round so the crowd wasn't very big yet. They estimate about 3000 people there for the finals. What a great chance to promote the Border Collie to ranchers in our area.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Winter Western Stock Show

Dustin, Brady and I traveled to Gillette, WY for the Winter Western Stock Show on Friday, Feb. 12th. I ran Zac and Cash and Dustin ran Kat. Both of my dogs ran really well but just missed getting in the money.

Dustin on the other hand laid down a beautiful run in the PN and won it! It was a timed trial but Dustin and Kat's run proved that smooth is usually efficient as well. It was just one fluid move on a straight path. I was so proud of him. He's really stepped up as a handler this last year. He doesn't get to very many trials so it's hard to advance very fast when you're always busy helping your dad! We're both hopeful that he'll be ready to move up by summer or fall though.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Skunk attack!

Holy smokes, it was a long night in my house last night! Dustin and I have been taking turns taking Speck out for walks and it was my turn right before bed last night. Jag and Zac were out with us and out in front a little ways. I should have stayed closer to the house and under the dusk to dawn lights. Lesson learned!

We went down near the haying equipment and post pile to see if Speck would go quicker. Zac and Jag were dinking around and ended up in the post pile. The next thing I heard was Zac barking. I hollered at him but figured he was just barking at a cat as they like to hang out down there. NOPE. It was dark enough I couldn't tell what it was but saw it standing it's ground against Zac. He called off and came right to me and Jag came running by it. I looked back as I was walking away and it was following us. It was then that I smelled it!

I ran back up to the house and went to put Speck back in when Jag busted by me to get in the house. He ran up the stairs and I hollered for Dustin. He wasn't sure what was going on and neither he or Mike figured it out for a mintue or two as I was downstairs. Jag promptly rubbed all over the couch trying to get the spray off his face! Then he rubbed all over Dustin before he realized what was going on and finally ushered him out the door.

I went out and tried to at least clean their faces up a little so it wouldn't burn. They got to sleep outside though as I don't have enough tomato juice on hand right now to give them a bath. I'll pick up some today though and hopefully get the smell to die down a bit. Poor Zac is pretty upset about the idea of sleeping in the kennels though! Jag is the big issue though as he's been confined to the house because of an injury. Not sure what I'll do with him today as I don't want him out in a kennel all day but I REALLY don't want him in the house right now either.

If anyone has any good home remedies for getting rid of the skunk smell on dogs, please feel free to share them with me! I went through a whole can of febreeze trying to get the smell out of the house. Between that and the exhaust fan running with open windows for an hour last night it's at least liveable now! This does mean war now for the skunk and I though.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Winter is dragging on here. When, oh when, will there be some blue skies and warm weather? We have a couple of feeder calves that are normally up in a 5 acre lot but the fence is still under so much snow that we can't hold them in there. So, they have to stay in the corral for now. It's cause for a lot of long, slow days for them.

New and interesting toys are tried out to see what provides the best entertainment!

When it gets to miserable out it's always best to just cover your head until it gets better!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Speck's surgery

Okay, today is Speck's surgery day to fix the ruptured ACL. It's going to be a long spring for this young, exhuberant dog trying to be quiet and calm. It puts his training behind schedule as well but hopefully the time off will allow for more maturity. In turn, maybe he'll progress quickly once we get going again. I'm going to miss having him for all the cattle work these next several months as he's right up there with one of the best young dog's on cattle I've seen in awhile.

Think of all the quality time he will get to spend in rehab with Dustin and I though! Do you suppose he feels real fortunate? If you would keep him in your prayers today I know I'd feel very forunate. Thanks!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Black Hills Stock Show

Wow, if there was a cloud 10 I think I'd be on it right now! Cash, my young dog, won the Black Hills Stock Show dog trial. It was his first year to compete there (it's actually been just a year now since he first set foot on a trial field) and the crowds and noise didn't seem to phase him at all. I couldn't be happier with the boy! He handles his sheep well and penning with him is just about like using Zac already.

We actually had a really good day in Rapid City yesterday overall. Zac just missed the cutoff to make the top 16 by one place. He was 4 seconds slower than Cash. He held the 16th spot until the last dog and then got bumped out by my good friend Tim Naasz and his good female, Zoey. Tim was first with Ryn (Nell x Spot) and second with Zoey (Tim's breeding) in the preliminary round. Rene LaBree and Jazz, were 3rd in that round and Dennis Edwards and his good young dog, Craig (Nell x Lew) were 4th.

I also ran Nell to fill in for Jag who is still out with an injury. She did really well for not being to a trial in a long time. She was slower than she needed to be but got around the course and was still in the top half out of 60 dogs. Dustin ran Kat and it was a good learning experience for him. He got through the figure 8 handily but then got hung up at the Y-chute. He learned that it's pretty important to run your dog the way it works best for them and not try to run them like someone else runs their dogs. He has come so far as a handler and I couldn't be more proud of him. He handles loss with more dignity than some adults.

Dustin was also great about helping me stay focused and calm before my runs in the semi's and finals. He took the time to pray over Cash and I before each run and the whole time we were running as well. He is definetly a shining light in this world!

Here are results that I have recorded. I don't have the way we placed in the semi's but the cumulative times to get into the finals. I know Cash was the fast time in the semi finals and I believe Dennis Edwards and Nap were second. They pay fast two times in the prelim's and semi's. Then everyone in the finals.


1. Tim Naasz - Ryn
2. Tim Naasz - Zoey
3. Rene LaBree - Jazz
4. Dennis Edwards - Craig
5. Murray Ketteler - Jack
6. Jeff Garman - Matt
7. Alison Ramsbottom - Cap
8. Alison Ramsbottom - Rob
9. Joni Swanke - Sweep
10. Shannon Fritz - Ben
11. Gerald Bunney - Lou
12. Tim Flint - Lad
13. Dennis Edwards - Nap
14. Pete Carmichael - Liz
15. Joni Swanke - Griz
16. Laura and Cash

Combined time order to get into finals:

1. Murray Ketteler - Jack
2. Tim Flint - Lad
3. Laura and Cash
4. Shannon Fritz - Ben
5. Gerald Bunney - Lou
6. Dennis Edwards - Nap


1. Laura and Cash (Yay for my boy!)
2. Murray and Jack
3. Dennis and Nap
4. Tim and Lad
5. Gerald and Lou
6. Shannon and Ben

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Signs for a modern woman

I got these in an email yesterday and just wanted to share. They would fit in with my "decor" around here so well! Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Friday, January 29, 2010

This and That

Okay, basically I'm just trying to get back in the habit of posting more often again. So, hopefully I don't bore you to death with everyday "stuff".

Dustin is taking fiddle lesson's and is riding up to Rapid City with my dad for one today. Brady plays the guitar and dobro and my dad plays those as well as the banjo. Dad LOVES having grandkids that want to "jam" with him now. Dad and Brady are especially fond of Bluegrass and Gospel. Dustin thinks anything by Charlie Daniels is the greatest.

Winter has been long in our country again this year. Seems like it's been rough for a lot of people though. Our livestock are all doing well though so we really shouldn't complain. We still do from time to time, but we really shouldn't! The next 10 days are forecasted to be in the low 30's for highs and the teens for lows so at least it's not brutal cold for now. A welcome reprieve from the -35 windchills we had for 2 weeks around Christmas.

The procession of calves coming in has finally begun. We've been feeding calves for another producer for the last couple of years. He buys them in various load sizes and then we process them and they stay here until going to grass at our cousins. It works well for us. Lots of work but enjoyable work. I wish they could all come in at once so we could have one really big branding day and then just go on with feeding every day. Alas, that's not how it financially works best for the other guy though.

So, I was looking forward to all this cattle work again for our young dogs this winter and spring. Rock and Bet are at a perfect age to be a lot of help and I'm thankful for that. Dustin's young dog, Speck, has already proven to be a good cattledog but unfortunately he will be out of commission the whole time these calves are here. He was going way to fast around a corner and clipped a metal gate with his hind leg. He ruptured his ACL and has surgery early next week to repair it. He won't be able to return to work until early summer. Huge bummer for us!

Jag is also out of commission right now and we're not sure what's going on. He's non weight bearing on his left front leg. It appears to be in his shoulder but my vet can't find what would be causing this much pain on xrays. They've been sent to the University and hopefully they can give us something to go on. We've started him on Adequan and if that helps we know it's joint related. He was moving some calves from one pen to the other and went to jump off a snow drift (there are a lot of them here) and took a pile drive into a metal feedbunk. It wasn't pretty! He seemed fine right afterwards but it's progressively gotten worse. Keep him in your prayers please as we'll be lost without Jag's help this spring. Not to mention I hate seeing him in pain!

Okay, I'm sure I've bored you to tears now and for that I apologize. We're preg checking cows and moving another bunch tomorrow. Then the Black Hills Stock Show on Monday. So hopefully I'll have more interesting stuff to report on next time.

PS - If you made it this far, way to go!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Denver Stock Show

First, I must apologize for how lax I've been with the blog. No good excuses just busy with life and didn't feel much of it was news worthy. Then I pile things up and don't feel like I can write about everything that's happened in one blog so I just do the big one's. I'll try to do better now. :-)

Just got back from the Denver Stock Show. Spent quite a bit of time with my family down there and really enjoyed their company! I think it's the main reason I go to that trial every year. That and to go somewhere warmer even if it's just a couple of days! My brother Dan rode down with Dustin and I. It was nice to spend some time with him. We ran into a little snow coming home but for the most part it was good driving.

Our dogs did well down there. Can always do better but overall we're very happy with them. Dustin and Kat were up first for our crew in the Intermediate. Kat always handles lambs so well and she didn't disappoint us this time either. She had one that refused to go in the pen and it cost Dustin being in the money but he still ended up 11th out of 49 dogs so he was still happy. Then I ran Cash one last time in a lower class. He did a really good job. Handled the lambs really well and did everything I asked of him. If I hadn't dropped the ball at the pen (let a lamb slip under the rope twice) our score would have been much better. As it was we ended up 5th so in the money.

Then on to Sunday and the Open Sheep. Zac was my first dog to run and he hasn't worked since his surgery back in early December to remove the broken toe. It was like driving a cadillac again!! I just adore that dog and love working him. He put down a good run that could have been better if his partner (me) hadn't pushed on the lambs so hard at the Y chute. He ended up 5th in the prelims. Then I ran Cash in his first open trial. I had planned on running Jag but he's injured and still working on recovery right now. Anyway, Cash wasn't quite like running Zac but nonetheless he was a VERY good boy! Missed a couple of whistles on the figure 8 but still had a fast enough time to come in just under Zac and get 6th in the prelims out of 42 dogs. So, in his first open run he got the exact same place that Zac got in his first open run. Suppose that's a good sign! ;-)

So, both dogs made it back for the finals where both drew up towards the end. Cash was getting a little tired of the lambs trying to break back on him and wasn't listening quite as well but still managed to get them around the course. He is SO good at the pen. Zac was the last dog to run for the day and went out looking good. I've been a bit worried about his foot since it's only been 6 weeks since the surgery. He looked great in his first run but when the lambs broke back on him and he tried to beat them between the fence, something happened. Not sure if he hit the fence with that foot, got stepped on a little or just twisted it wrong but he threw his tail and I knew it hurt. So, I slowed things down for a little bit to see how he was. He seemed to be okay and wanted to keep going so we did. He had a great run despite the limp and ended up 5th in the finals. He was running and playing with Kat outside 10 minutes after his run and has worked sheep again this morning so everything is fine. Must have just been a stinger.

Great trip. Wonderful people to visit with and great dogs to watch. Overall I was thrilled.