Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring is Here!

Spring is here in all it's glory! This is one of my favorite times of the year, as the land begins to awaken from it's winter sleep. I am so blessed here in Oregon to get to experience Spring in all it's splendor. And the word the Spring in Oregon is alive!
Babies are being born, and arrive in their fluffy, wooly, amazing cuteness! We calve year around so we don't have a calving season like many other livestock, but the new arrivals aren't lost on me. I love taking a drive in the Spring, down back roads, past pasture filled with new spindly legged life! Nothing says Spring to me like all the new little ones!
Flowers, trees and bushes bud and come to life. An explosion of color spreads across the landscape, in hues that are breathtaking at times. The grass grows like a fever in rolling waves of green, so much green, the colors of Spring in Oregon are green. Alive in so many vibrant tones, I love to see that green. The green that will nourish our animals, no better feeling then the cows out enjoying the sea of green pasture.
Spring.......yes, I love Spring! The sunshine feels warmer, those closer rays that promise renewed energy and a break from the biting cold. A time to look forward, breath deeply of the fresh air and just enjoy. Yes Spring is here, and I am so glad! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The toughest post I may ever write........

I've been kind of quiet for the last week on here.......but tonight I feel the need to spill out all my overflowing emotions.

My heart has a huge hole in it.

Today I said my goodbyes to my best friend for the last 20 years.....way more of my life I have known with Mikey, then without. Not quite sure where to go from here. He's always been here, always been there for me, always been a part of my life.

So how do you say goodbye to a friend like that: hugs, kisses, scratches, kind words of thanks and love, all his favorite treats. And tears, lots of tears.

I had been afraid of this day for so many years....the day I had to make the decision it was time for Mikey to go. Turns out I shouldn't have been afraid; it was a bittersweet blessing that I will always cherish. I got to say my goodbyes, I got to make sure his last moments were the best they could possibly be. Not everyone gets that opportunity. 

So here's to you buhba boy: You were the most amazing pony a girl could ever ask for. A once in a lifetime friend, opportunity, first love, teacher. There will never be another you. And all that you leave me with, makes me who I am today. You tested me, pushed me to my limits and built my patience with your stubborn spirit. You taught me to be the most amazing rider, I wouldn't have learned an ounce of my "stick um'" seat with out you. You thoroughly reminded me when I messed up, another horse will never put me in the dirt as much as you did. You were always there for me, with a soft nuzzle and hug, and sweet listening ears, you brought me through more issues with your pony responses then any person ever will.

Thank You! 

I will always have the memories, so many memories, most all of childhood memories have you in them. Most of my favorite memories have you in them. But right now, I feel a heavy weight with your absence.....

My heart will always have Mikey in it.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

March's Cow of the Month

Miss March 2013

Abiqua Acres Yogibear Briar has been bestowed the honor of Miss March (And February, I know I am behind, so she's got two months worth of honor!) but she could honestly take the title of Rookie of the Year without batting an eye. 
   We often times get inquires from people interested in buying a young heifer and everytime I turn them down explaing that we keep all of our young stock to freshen them out. Briar is a perfect example of why: we never know who that next best cow might be. That is part of the fun in raising your own replacements, especially when you get one that really surprises you. 

Briar has definitely been a surprise! Her Mama Abiqua Acres Aaron Bindi was a complete flop. No matter how perfect you think you have a mating, sometimes the resulting cow just doesn't turn out. You always hope the next generation will be an improvement, but genetics always go to show us there are surprises waiting. I don't remember Bindi's exact story, but she didn't even finish her first lactation. But she did give us a heifer calf, one we weren't really putting any stock in after Bindi's performance. 

I remember Briar as a calf, because of her long ear hair. She has the cutest long hairs in her ears since the day she was born.She calved in November and has some into the herd with a fire! Some cows just have a will to milk, it's a desire that can't be measured until they start milking. Right now after 4 tests she is averaging 55 pounds of milk at 4.1 fat. She is projected at 15,774 and while this isn't the most milk ever, she has got our attention. Some just really surprise you with their vigor and attitude. Briar is always curious and a definite go getter. She is working her way to the top of the herd, being one of the early ones into the parlor.

Briar is full of spirit that shines through her little frame. And while she might be short on stature, she has a knockout udder. She was just classified VG-85 with an EX-90ms! And she deserves it! I have high hopes for this little girl, she definitely has me excited! She is the perfect example of why we are more then alright with little cows!  Looking forward to what the future holds for Briar.

Taking a deep breath...

Our wonderful small town joined the ranks of cities with a shooting story last week. You can view the whole story here, but we are all definitely thankful this situation wasn't worse then it could have been.

My mother-in-law works at the nursery directly across from the RV park and heard the first shot and watched the whole drama unfold. Amazed at the quick response, as more then 25 cop cars arrived at the scene quickly. I was thankful that my husband as a firefighter usually doesn't have to response to situations like that.

Don't talk to me about gun control, that's not why I am writing this, I am writing this because I feel strongly that as a society and community, we have failed; as humans we have FAILED.

Call me old fashioned, but I feel many of the issues we are facing with situations like this are a direct result of our current lifestyles. We spend more time "connecting" to our friends through social networks, text messages and other techno outlets. But where has the face to face gone, the real conversations and interactions. Interactions that lead us to really know somebody, really see their true colors and knowing when something is wrong.

Maybe it's just because I come from a community and lifestyle where a hand shake and true word are still valued. Maybe it's because I am still "living in the dark ages" in a location that doesn't offer service for a smart phone. Maybe it's because I am in the minority that I can see the affect these changes are having, but I think we are headed in the wrong direction.

I'm not the most social person, I am not likely to start a conversation with a stranger, I don't enjoy standing up in front of a crowd. But situations like this are the perfect reminder that being aware, looking up from your screen and smiling at the people around you can maybe make the biggest difference. We have a long ways to go for mental health help to be more available and accessible. But I think as communities, as a society and country, as humans, we could get there part of the way, by just being present in the world we live in.