Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Family, Friends, Brandings, Roundups, Scenic Views, Rodeos and County Fair

Regardless of any troubles one may have, life continues to happen.  Most folks envision the country life as one of leisure; sitting on the front porch watching the sun set while sipping a tall glass of sweet tea or meandering through the days without the need to watch a clock.  The reality of country living is that we are often more busy than our urban counter parts, especially during the good weathered summer months.  This summer has proven to be as busy as ones in the past. As if growing, maintaining and putting by a 5,700 sq. ft. garden, caring for livestock, lots of very dirty laundry, and the sweeping of floors 7 times per day wasn't enough, we kept ourselves occupied with the following.

A late spring / early summer branding:

First step is to rope the calves by the hind legs  (Farmer Boy)

Second, the calves are drug to the fire

Third the calves are wrestled down and held while ...  (Mr.B & Songbird)

... they are tagged, branded, cut (bull calves only), and inoculated.
They are then released back to their mamas.  (Mr.B & Farmer Boy)

Our family friend, Miss N, and Musician and Musician's Bride came out for a visit.  While visiting we all enjoyed some of the spectacular landscapes of eastern Montana and western North Dakota.  We can't wait for everyone to come back again.

Miss N and Farmer Boy enjoying the view of Painted Canyon, North Dakota

Musician's Bride and Musician;
I'm sure their city friends would chuckle at the site of Musician in a cowboy hat
AND their attendance to a rodeo.  Most of their friends don't realize that
Musician grew up watching Mr.B team rope and me enlisting his help
with the chickens, rabbits and garden.
Yes, our Musician is a well rounded young man.

It was a real pleasure to tour Medicine Rocks, Montana with Miss N.
The weathered sandstone feels like rough sandpaper.

Rodeos are always fun for our family.
Miss N seemed to enjoy her first one and gave us all a good sporting laugh
when she asked why the cows were wearing little hats.
For any of you city folk who don't know, the steers are not wearing hats,
they are wearing horn wraps which protect them against rope burns and
broken horns during roping events.

Ever hear the phrase "Ride'em Cowboy!"
It is derived from saddle bronc, bare back and bull riding rodeo events.

We rounded up and worked our goat heard while Musician and Musician's Bride were visiting.  Having extra hands made the work go fast.

Farmer Boy, Songbird and Sam herding the goats up to the barn so
they can be inoculated and wormed.

We finished up our summer with County Fair.  As mentioned in previous posts, most country kids work toward and eagerly anticipate County Fair each and every year.

Farmer Boy and Songbird participated in several horse events this year.
This  was the halter class.

Farmer Boy really enjoyed the working ranch horse exercises.

Songbird took home the blue ribbon in poles and barrels at the county fair.

Although Songbird and Mini Mouse only earned a 4th place blue ribbon in the
market class for the swine project, Songbird took home the gold in showmanship 
with the Sr. Showmanship award in her swine project.

Farmer Boy's, Bob, weighed in at 343 pounds, making him significantly over finished.
Thus Farmer Boy earned a red ribbon in his market swine project.
However, with regards to the showmanship class he took home an
unprecedented 3rd place blue ribbon.  There are generally only two places,
grand and reserve, awarded in showmanship, but Farmer Boy impressed the judge
so much she handed out a 3rd place blue ribbon.

Farmer Boy had a tough time with his market lamb project this year,
 losing two lambs prior to Mr. Anderson whom he took to fair.
Since Mr. Anderson was an alternate lamb to two others,
he was born late and just barely met the weight requirements
for market class, earning Farmer Boy another red ribbon. 

This year Songbird again moved up the awards ladder in market lamb
bringing home a blue 3rd place ribbon.  She really impressed the judge
with her showmanship skills and earned Grand Champion Showmanship in sheep.

Although their goats were a little young, Farmer Boy and Songbird still earned
Grand Champion Goat and Reserve Champion Goat, respectively.  
Songbird again wowed everyone with her showmanship skills by taking
home the senior division Grand Champion Showman in goat AND
Farmer Boy's been paying close attention to his sister's showmanship skills and
accordingly took home the junior division Grand Champion Showman in goat.

Songbird was most proud of her accomplishments in her market beef project.
She earned a 4th place blue ribbon for Willie in the beef market class,
Reserve Champion in beef Showmanship and
GRAND Champion Showman in the senior division round robin.

Although I don't have photos, Farmer Boy also won Best in Show for his poultry project and GRAND Champion Showman in the junior division round robin.

Not to sound braggadocios, but when the rabbit judge for our county fair was a no show, I was asked to judge the 4-H, FFA and open class rabbit competitions.  Fortunately, I didn't know any of the contestants very well which helped curb any favoritism.  I was surprised by how much I enjoyed judging the rabbits and getting to see the pride and care our competitors placed in their projects.  We had some fine bunnies and I am now considering entering my rabbits in the open class division at next year's fair.

In addition to all of the above, thus far, I've put up 21 quarts of corn, 49 pints of zucchini & tomatoes, 57 pints of bread & butters, 60 quarts of green beans, 12 1/2 pounds of English peas (shelled), 12 quarts broccoli,6 quarts of greens, 14 jars of peach butter and 3 jars of peach jelly.  Tomatoes, carrots, peppers, beets, watermelon, cantaloupe, pumpkin and yellow squash are still in the garden and I hear them calling out to me.  So, I suppose I should get off this computer and get out there while Farmer Boy works on his reading lesson.  I hope my next post won't be three months in the making.


  1. Oh How I miss this part of my Family! I am so proud of all that all of y'all are doing! Such hard workers.

    I love you and Miss you terribly!
    Mrs. A

  2. This picture of branding and cruelty was disgusting. God's animals feel pain too and to see your clan holding and sitting on the animals brought me to tears. Glad I'm not in your family with your abhorrent lifestyle.

  3. Hello Dee,

    I must apologize to you as I just removed my first response to your comments regarding our lifestyle. My response was snide and was not a positive reflection of a Christian. Thus, a more appropriate response to you would have been ...

    It is obvious by our lifestyle that we strongly disagree with your opinions. Thank you for taking time to comment.



Thank you for taking time to read my blog and leave a comment. I try my best to respond to each one. God Bless You, Mrs.B