Monday, May 11, 2009

Traded Shoes in for Cowboy Boots

On Saturday I traded in my sneakers for a pair of cowboy boots and headed back to the farm where I grew up. I suppose unless you knew me as a youth, chances are you don’t know about my farming roots. I grew up in a small farming community. When I say small, that is exactly what I mean. There are about 1,500 people in my hometown. I graduated with about 55’ish’ kids and in my entire high school (9-12 grade) there were only about 200 students. It is a very rural area.

I've since moved about an hour away to a booming city of about 50,000 people. My dad, however, still lives on the farm and on Saturday he needed help branding this year’s calf crop. For those unfamiliar with ranching lingo, that means mark them with a branding iron so you can tell whose cows are whose. Each farmer registers a brand that is unique to him so you can tell cattle apart. Sometimes cattle crawl out of the fence or gets mixed into another farmer's heard but if they are marked, you can find your cattle pretty easily and return them back where they belong. Along with branding, you mark their ear for the same reason, easier to spot from a distance. My family’s ear mark is slicing the tip of the right ear off. We also give them vaccinations and a steroid pill to keep them healthy. I’ve always enjoyed doing this kind of work. There is something very rewarding after you put in a full days work on the farm. Loren didn't grow up on a farm and he loves any opportunity to "play cowboy" and help my dad.

This past Saturday was the day we traded in our shoes for boots and went to help my dad work the cattle. My girls had a great time…even though they thought this ranching practice to be slightly barbaric. I suppose it might be to "city slickers" but on the farm, this is just how things are done. Branding your calves is the socially responsible thing to do. :-) I put the pics in a collage because there were a ton of them! Click on it to make them bigger...also notice the pic of the new baby colt. The girls were enthralled by him. The pics inside the barn are of the calves and the ones outside are when we vaccinated and de-wormed the mommy cows. The girls worked very hard and were able to color in more spots on their chore thermometer! That swingset will be here before we know it!

P.S. my sister malory did a cute blog post as well with the pics. She had some funny commentary that I enjoyed. :-)


Amy said...

I, too, grew up in a rural area (there were about 32 in my graduating class!) and my dad and grandpa were both farmers. I love the farm and sometimes feel sad for my kids as I feel they have missed out on so much! It's an amazing way to grow up- to learn about life and to appreciate simple things AND hard work! Good post Shamae!

Melissa said...

Aaah! The memories. Life seemed so much simpler then. I'm sure it wasn't to our parents. But I miss being around the family and friends all working for the same thing. Thanks for bringing back the good times for me.

Tara said...

you guys make great cowboys/farmers!! looks like you had fun (if thats what you call it)!!

The Lane Family said...

Shamae, I am so homesick now that you shared all of these wonderful photo's. After my mom died my dad sold the cattle farm and moved to Alaska with his new wife. I very much miss "working' the cattle and the new babies in the spring. I agree there is something so rewarding and just plain awesome about a day working on the cattle ranch. It looks like you have a wondeful family and great oppurtunites for your kids.

I am trying to guess where you grew up but there are several small communites like that in Idaho. A couple guesses are maybe Butte County, or Grace?? Just a guess.

Drew & Malory said...

Who's that girl in the green shirt? She's pretty cute! Just kidding! That was a fun day! I loved what you wrote about it.

carrie said...

This is so funny! Jayson's family branded last weekend and it always amazes me.... you would think it's a Holiday or something! haha The first time I went the whole family...all the aunts & uncles...cousins galore... I think they put as much effort into coming down that weekend as they do for any family reunion! haha It still baffles me....... Cute pictures! I'm sure Syd & Morgan will have such fun memories of stuff like that. :)