As we look back on 2013 all I can say is it was a year of dynamic challenges.
January – We rang in the new year with the exciting news of pregnancy #4, a trip to the Doctor and a weeks worth of lab work. The lab work came back with sad results. Two days later we lost our good Cow Dog, Roxie.
February – February kicked off with a visit from Miss J, Mark and KJ’s family! Cattle work included bangs vaccinating heifers, preparing to calve and getting our first calf of the season. Before calving season started I made a trip to visit Mom and Dad.
April – Calving and farming pretty much sums up April. We had two major snow storms during the busiest days of calving. There were lots of babies born in the barn. J and I discovered that we can make more calving pens than we ever imagined.
May – May is a very busy month with branding and moving cattle to grass. The stress of a drought was heavy on our minds. Community conversations were based around “what are your plans if it doesn’t rain?” On Mother’s Day my optimist Husband planted corn in the dry dirt.
June – The first weekend of June we celebrated the 90th birthday of J’s Grandma with an open house. Ashleigh and I went to Iowa to visit Sister and attend the Iowa Sheep Industry Association Sheep and Wool Festival. J sprayed crops and planted millet. I spruced things up around the ranch by doing a little painting.
July – We made hay, watched our corn grow and checked cattle.
August – In August J and I took several old trees out of the yard, ultra-sounded bred heifers and had new windows installed. Cousin T and J built a catch pen at our south pasture and attended Dakota Fest. Molly and I spent a couple weeks in Nebraska visiting home, showing sheep and taking in the State Fair.
October – The beginning of October is one I would rather forget. It will be in the history books for many generations to come. Blizzard Atlas blew through western South Dakota, Eastern Montana and dipped down into Nebraska leaving devastation in it’s path. Following the blizzard we had fall like temperatures and the ground was soaked. We tried to move hay but had to give up until November.
We added a new member to our family, Rosie!
November – It was November before we got around to weaning and working our calves. Preg checking cows and hauling hay were big projects we got to check off our list. J and I enjoyed Thanksgiving in Motorcycle City with his extended family.
December – J and I took the first weekend of December visit friends. A week of frigid cold greeted us with highs well below zero. J and I celebrated Christmas with family and neighbors. We enjoyed a few days of nice weather before Old Man Winter blew another cold front in.
2013 was a year of uncertainty and challenge, but we survived. J and I are very blessed with the the people we have in our lives. We are healthy, we live in a cozy home, we have clean water to drink and an abundance of food to eat. J and I are making a living raising cattle and practicing an agricultural way of life. We face our challenges one day at a time and end the day thinking about all we are grateful for.