Thursday, March 6, 2008

Q & A #2 (aka No, It's Not a Froot Loop)

Now, now, I don't think it's quite P.C. to be exploiting these weight-challenged mamas like this. Hmmmm ... unless you would be willing to also share a pic or two of one of YOUR trips to the maternity ward! – clb

I have never really strived to be P.C. But since I showed the world my sister (whose initials just happen to be “CLB”) in purple plastic glasses, I suppose I’ll give her the sick satisfaction of laughing at a picture of me.


There. Now you can't blackmail me with that picture anymore. It's out there for all the world to see. And just in case you're wondering, no, none of my four kids were twins. There's just one in there.

Was curious about your tagging system. One tag shows 649 with 801 above it.....calf # and mamma's # above?? The other is 656 with an E above this one Erin's calf?? Let's see....left ear, yellow tag for heifers? Right ear, white tag for bull calves? Hmmmmm.....just a guess. - Brother in Christ

Well now, I don’t want to confuse anyone, but the double number system is used for heifer calves that we might be keeping for replacements. The mama’s name is the lower number, and the top number is what the heifer will be retagged with if we choose to keep her in the fall. Bull calves just get their mama’s number, and some of those mamas have a number above their number. That “E” is really the result of a very sleep-deprived rancher who wrote the “3” backwards when he realized he had forgotten it and had to add it while stooping over the top of a wiggly calf. Got that?

Lovely little poddy - do you have only Angus cattle on your ranch? (Is it a ranch? Unsure of American terminology?) - Bush Babe (of Granite Glen)

Our cows are mostly black Angus with a few reds and baldies thrown in the mix. We use only black Angus bulls, and my husband tries to keep only black calves as replacements because the black-hided calves bring more money at shipping. I protest this form of racism, however, and always attempt to keep back a calf with a little more character – like an occasional baldy.
As far as the terminology goes, in this part of the U.S., an operation with livestock is generally called a ranch. Our operation is predominantly wheat and barley, and the cattle are secondary, so most people still refer to us as farmers.

I'm not sure I would want to be a farm wife. I'll take my suburbia. However, THANK YOU for being one so that the rest of us can have some good eats! Life with Spirit

Thank you for taking the time to find out where your food comes from and for your appreciation for those who grow it. That’s a rare attitude these days.

I have to ask -- Do you cut the cord, or does it happen naturally? - Stacie

Great question. It happens naturally. When the calf emerges, the cow stands up and turns around to clean it off. As she stands and turns, the cord is broken. Another fun fact: after the cow licks off her baby and delivers her placenta, she will usually snack on the placenta as well.

Hmmmm ... picturing you hovering on a chandelier (but I know you don't have one), or teetering on the top of a tall ladder in order to capture that shot of your table. A very clean table, I might add. But, HOW did you get that shot?(Camera dangling from a fishing pole?!) - Colleen

I have four kids. I spend a lot of time up in the rafters.

When you were growing up, did you live on a farm too? What type of animals and crops did your parents have/grow? - Sandy

I grew up on the farm/ranch where my great-great grandparents settled in 1914. My parents raised sheep, cattle, wheat, barley, and hay. I was smitten with the sheep, and I ignored the farming until my brother left for college and there was no one else to drive the grain truck during harvest.

What is that, a Froot Loop? - jane

I love the fruit loop in there too! Was that a snack he had in his pocket? LOL!! - Andrea

Nope, not a Froot Loop. You can read all about calf elastration (using rubber rings) by clicking here.

Hey Erin!! I do have a question, but not for you. I was wondering, does Shane like the song "International Harvester"? Just curious. - Jim

I asked him that question. He shrugged and grunted. That’s pretty much the response I get to any question I ask during calving. I can tell you, though, that Matthew loves that song and begins to sing and dance when it comes on the radio.

I also like the picture of the chicken using the RED tractor for a roost! - Ibleedgreen

It might comfort you to know that our boys’ room is wallpapered with John Deere equipment, and my youngest son wears a shirt picturing a JD tractor that proclaims, “I only drive the best.”

My question is, when are you going to let Riley have a Riley-blog? - Colleen

Haven’t you asked enough questions today???

Truthfully, I would let him blog, but he already hogs the computer enough as it is. Besides, I’m not sure if the blogosphere is ready for Riley yet.

I noticed you're recommending the book 10 things (about children with Autism). I read this when our eldest son was diagnosed with Aspergers; are any of your children on the spectrum? If so what are your best at home resources, being so far from town? - The Johnston Family

Our oldest son was diagnosed with high functioning autism at age four. Six years later, he is thriving in fourth grade and fits the diagnostic criteria for Asperger’s Syndrome. My best resources during this journey have been my common sense, my patience, and my ability to read copious amounts of material in a short amount of time. I used the Hannan method of speech therapy when he was younger since he only had speech once a week. We didn’t have access to many services, so I just taught myself the techniques we needed as we went. Being in a small class (he has just 5 classmates) and a small school (around 120 kids in grades K-12) have been tremendous blessings. You can feel free to email me ( if you have any other questions. It’s always great to network with other parents of kids on the spectrum.

OK, question--in your photo from the backyard on 2-23 the mtns seem close, but the air must have been really clear. How far away are they? - Dad

That is the Bears Paw range, although we call the Bear Paws because it sounds better. As the crow flies, they’re about 45 miles away, but to drive there requires a person to literally go “over the river and through the woods.” We are separated from those mountains by the Missouri River Breaks. I was going to link to a site with pictures and information about the Breaks, but all I could find was propaganda that discussed how grazing should be eliminated in that area, so I refuse to link there. Someday I’ll share some of our own Breaks pictures.

Erin-I love the picture of the RED tractor with the chicken on top. You've never mentioned chickens before~what kind do you have? - suz

Ah yes, the chickens! Tell us all about the chickens! (hee hee) - Colleen

Sadly, the chicken saga will have to wait for another post. It’s a story in and of itself. It might even have a sequel.


Colleen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colleen said...

Oops - I'll try again.

When you get around to writing the most-entertaining "Chicken Saga," Glenn has another chicken question he would like you to answer: "Why don't chickens pee?"
[This is HIS question, not mine, as I seem to have reached my question quota!]

Brother in Christ said...


Interesting that you mentioned Colleen's glasses. What I noticed in those lovely pictures of our past was my plaid pants....I hated those pants, but couldn't seem to wear them out!!!

Am looking forward to the "Chicken Saga" also.


farmnwife said...

You are a braver woman than I to post that picture.


Andrea said...

That picture isn't too bad!! You look like you are all baby!! I get huge all around!! I have tree trunk legs and everything!!
And I guess it was silly of me to think that was a fruit loop when it probably won't have made it through the washer!!LOL!! Great post, thanks for answering questions!!

BoufMom9 said...

I love when you do this! It's gives me such a great insight into your life. So different than my blah blah life in NJ.
ps Making your potato soup tomorrow!

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