Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas, from ours to you!

Merry Christmas from the epicenter of the Bakken Oil formation!

I have written and mailed a Christmas greeting every year since 1996.  Some years this greeting consisted of a few lines on a post card and some years an elaborate picture card and letter.

This year, I decided to 'KISS' (Keep It Simple Stupid (don't tell Kyle I just used this word or I will be in big trouble with him)) the holiday season and along the way save some postage, paper and time.

As always, it has been a crazy and busy year for us and this once cozy little community that we are privileged to call home.   Cattle prices have been strong.  Flourishing economies in Japan and other places abroad have made the high quality genetics of the high plains much more valuable than they once were.  The Bakken is crazy right now and is good for Main Street, but at the same time hard on infrastructure and stress levels.

Business is good and the family is doing well also!  Pete's mom and dad moved into their new house (on the ranch) in late August.  Kyle loves have them close and so do we.  My mom and dad are enjoying retirement.  Did I mention that Pete quit his 'town' career in February 2012?  He doesn't get off the place much now.  Lucky duck!  I past four months I worked for the new veterinarians in town helping them with the things that small start up businesses need help with.  December 21st was my last day there.

Kyle has a new cousin, Jaden a new sister and Kim and Lee a new daughter.  Morgan Rita Murphy was born on November 30th.

WE HAVE NOT MOVED BUT HAVE A NEW ADDRESS (compliments of the dysfunction that comes with having a mega influx of people moving into a sleepy little community in a very short period of time).  PLEASE UPDATE OUR ADDRESS TO:

Pete, Vawnita and Kyle Best
1930 118th Ave NW
Watford City ND 58854

(If our 911 address is 19030, the little post office in the middle of the Bakken will happily send your mail back to you and not deliver it to us.  They take great pride in following ALL the rules.)

Our dining room Christmas tree!  Merry Christmas from the ranch!
Our basement Christmas tree, a badlands cedar.  Yes, the lights are GREEN and GOLD.  Yes.  As a matter of fact they are BISON green and gold.  Why, yes!  They are playing for the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP on January 5th!

Our Christmas Eve supper (Pete was sick in bed most of the day).... tenderloins from our own beef, Mexican style green beans and cheezy cauliflower.  YUM!  After the reading of the First Christmas and supper, we watched the movie ELF and went to bed awaiting Santa's visit.

We are thankful for friends and family as we look back at 2012!  We understand that our fortunes and freedoms are those very few ever experience!  We know that we live in a special place and we are thankful for being able to live, work and play here close to the things that we cherish, value and love!

From our back deck on Christmas Day morning 2012!


Pete, Vawnita, Kyle, Tyra and the rest of the crew (three cats, sixteen horses and two hundred and forty  cows)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Weaning, Winter and 'the Works'.....

Greetings from the epicenter of the Bakken Oil Formation.

Since my last post, our short fall has since slipped away and winter has been with us for a couple months now.

We have gathered and brought home pairs, weaned calves, ultra-sounded (pregnancy checked) cows and carried out the typical 'winter activities' that normally go on in the high plains region.

Our last couple months in pictures (and in reverse order):

Kyle with Santa Clause.  ONLY ONE request:  A REAL cement truck that makes REAL cement.  No problem.

Pete bringing hay to the home place after an early significant accumulation in November.

November brought the North Dakota Angus Association annual meeting and awards banquet.  Above is the awards table as well as an inventory of North Dakota wine which was auctioned to benefit an Angus family which had recently faced tragedy. 

The head table that was honored at the annual banquet.  Duane and Rita Opp were awarded the 'Man of the Year' award recognizing Angus breeders for their life time achievement.  To their right, the Lambourn family, 'Commercial Breeder's of the Year'.  This award recognizes commercial cattlemen for their commitment to stewardship and Angus cattle. 

Dr. Gullickson ultra-sounding cows in November.  The majority of the herd was ultra-sounded in October (when the fetuses are easy to image, age and sex).  During this same 'chute run' in November all the cows were boosted (for adulthood vaccinations) and 'bled' to screen them for two diseases of concern in the domestic brood cow population, Johnes and Leukosis.

The cows being gathered for their November chute work.... the equivalent of  'flu clinics' for humans.

Kyle and Grandpa Lyle enjoying the first snow fall of the year in early October.

Huckle napping in the dirty laundry.

Kyle and Great Grandma Olga on Halloween

Our 'birthdays of fall' being celebrated - Brad, Pete, Lee and Kyle.

Bringing cows home from summer / fall pastures.  Pete and our friend, Jason McLennon crossing Rough Creek.

Eva and I 'turning' the herd.

Trailing a group home from the Rough Creek pasture... Pete and Dos, Kurt and Oops, Jason McLennon and Hoss.

Our trip to Fargo for the NDSU Homecoming game!  GO BISON (and yes, they are still going)!

Kyle and Grandma Rita harvested their squash and sunflowers in late September.  Lucky me!  I had a beautiful fall display on the fire place hearth.

Here is to a fall of reflection and meaning which 'fell' right into a winter that to date has been about right!  Until next time,  HAPPY TRAILS!