Thursday, April 24, 2014

Romance in cow manure, or "will you marry me?"

Guest blogger Jen Anderson first wrote about her experience on a farm during Christmas. Now she shares with us her excitement of getting engaged--on the farm!! Congrats, Jen & Brandon! I look forward to hearing more about your life on your farm.   --Deb.

Three months have passed since the magical night on January 15 that I’d been dreaming of for months.  Brandon and I were pretty serious a few months in to dating and had been discussing marriage ever since May 2013.  I sold my house, changed jobs and changed schools for my son in fall of 2013 to move closer to Brandon.  It was about that time that I was anticipating a proposal.  I had made so many changes in my life and thought the timing was right to be engaged.  Thanksgiving came and went.  Our year anniversary came and went.   So did Christmas and New Year’s Eve.  My emotions were running wild, wondering just what was going through Brandon’s head. 

By early January, things were feeling different.  Brandon was pretty quiet for a few days during a major snow storm and then was sharing more emotions than usual few days later.  “I can’t wait to spend time with you on Wednesday night.”  “A big hug is waiting for you tonight.”  These were not every day Brandon comments, as he can be a man of few words.  My radar was up.  I was having a pretty crazy work day on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 and was counting down the hours to see Brandon.  I was running late from a meeting and received a text at 5:28 p.m. from Brandon with a picture of the sunset.  A breathtaking sunset and he told me to go see it.  I got to see a bit of it on my drive home as the sun was setting, wishing I was already home with Brandon.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Feedyard terms & what they mean

Guest blogger, Nicky Tiffany, of Tiffany Cattle Co. blogs regularly for me to show a bit of life in a Kansas feedyard. This is where I feed my cattle!!

Howdy!  WOW, we’ve had some crazy weather lately!  It was 55 degrees today, 70 yesterday and they’re calling for snow tonight!  Don’t tell Debbie, but I’m secretly happy I don’t have to check heifers tonight!  We’ve had a whirlwind of activity lately that I can’t wait to share with you, but I thought I’d better have a quick vocab session (we homeschool so I’ll put on my school marm hat) before I get carried away – literally, the wind has picked up again, ugh. 
Tap, tap, tap.  Let’s begin…
Feedyard – a type of animal feeding operation used for finishing livestock prior to slaughter
Feedlot – same as above
Commercial- licensed for operating under strict guidelines and regulations

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Visitors witness a big surprise--birth of a calf!

Even though we have hundreds of baby calves born on our ranch every year, I still get giddy when I witness the actual birth! I rarely see calves born...if I know a cow is in labor, I will check to make sure she is getting the job done. I look to see if there are two feet presented and that she looks like she can handle it and then I head out and get my other work accomplished.  I usually return an hour or so later to see a live calf standing and nursing its new mama.

But today, I had visitors coming. I planned to show them the cows and new calves and then we were going to see a new set of twins we had a couple of days ago (which in the excitement we totally forgot to do!). A few days ago, my high school classmate, who did not grow up on a farm, sent me a message that she was visiting our old hometown and wondered if she could bring her kids to see my ranch! I was thrilled and readily said yes!  So when they arrived, we loaded up into my pickup and headed out to the maternity pen to see the new baby calves.  The first thing we saw was a cow in labor with two feet presented--and the cow was very focused on what she was doing so she didn't mind us watching! So I drove a few yards from her, parked the truck and turned it off and we had a front row seat to a true miracle of Nature!

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