April is Over, Thank Goodness

April has been a month of amazing highs, incredible lows, and so much going on, I am very glad it is over!

The month of April started out with the move. It took two weeks to get everything out of The Place and into either storage or up to The Ranch. It was kind of heartbreaking to leave The Place, but I know the kids who purchased it will love it and raise a wonderful family on the five acres. I wish them well and nothing but the best.

However, now my office in Portales consists of the kitchen table in the RV. This means that there is no place to eat at and, worse, no place for my paperwork except my briefcase. I will be able to work around that for a while.

April also brought a chance to go back to the Ranch for the month. With my oldest son and his family coming in from Georgia for the first time in two years, I had the opportunity to go home and clean up before they arrived. They were to spend a week and I would finally have an opportunity to meet the latest addition to the family, my grandson.

They arrived during the second week of April and the rest of the family came in droves to see everyone. My house was overfilled with family.

My husband and I snuck off to the cattle auction on the 16th and found several new cows and calves to bring to the ranch. When you buy animals at an auction, you never know just what you will get. One of the cows rejected her calf so I ended up with a bottle baby to raise. We had purchased a new born as well, so now, twice a day, it is time to make the bottles and go feed my babies.

One of the calves is a red holsteen. She is in wonderful health and will make a good addition to the herd. I am hoping she will make a good milk cow if we ever need one. The little bull calf that was rejected is doing well and growing fast.

It was during my son’s visit that the worst low came. It was the first time my three kids had been in the same room together when a call came from a hospital in El Paso. The kids’ father was dying. He passed away two days later, but all three kids were able to see him one last time. It was such a shock to them and all I could do was stand on the sidelines and offer moral support.

I was very proud of my children. They handled all of the arraingments and took care of their father’s passing. Each came to me in turn and talked and grieved. Soon, I am hoping they will begin to heal.

A high came during the last week Friday of April. My husband and I had seen all of the company off and went to a second cattle auction. It always felt like going home when I go to the Cattlemans’ Livestock Auction in Belen, NM. I haunted that place with my father has a child, and even throughout my adult life. I love going up on the catwalk and checking out all of the animals. Listening to Wayne Connell as auctioneer has always been a treat. Last year, I bought my first calf at the auction. Always before someone else would do the actual bidding, but that was my first purchase. The calf I bought was a heifer, not much to look at, but the price was great. When we got her home, she turned out to be extremely wild. If someone entered the corral, she would take off on a dead run to get away. However, within a few months, I had her literally taking treats out of my hand. I named her Sweetheart and have really ejoyed watching her grow and mature to become part of our breeding herd.

My husband was very concerned that Sweetheart would have trouble having her first calf. We were pleasantly surprised when we went to pasture one morning to find her nursing her new baby girl. The baby calf is long legged and mother is very proud of her. So is grandma!

We bought four more cows at the auction on the 30th, one with a calf by her side. The other three cows are due within the next month or so.

It has been a strange month, this April. We have had a lot of moisture for New Mexico. The gramma grass was green by the 15th and the cows are healthy and fat.

All of the new livestock seem to be doing well and are fitting in with the herd. My kids have scattered back across the country and life is slowly returning to normal, including me, once again traveling to Portales every week. It is good to be normal again.

May 4, 2010  Tags: , , , , ,   Posted in: Livestock, Ranch

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