Sunday, November 27

Project: Christmas Lights!

This weekend Melissa came over from Lander to visit, and while she was here I enlisted her to help put Christmas decorations on the house, something Scott was very grateful for. :-)

This is the second year I outlined the house's roofline with lights, and I just had to remember the system I worked out last year.

We brought back extra pine boughs from our Christmas tree hunting trip, and used them to create four mini trees in some planters I bought from Ross and used for flowers all summer long.

Melissa helped by untangling and checking the light strands before handing them to me on the roof. Her dogs Miles and Chip also came to Casper to visit.

And Lucy was there.

And so was Foxy.

Levi's mini tree ended up on the table on the front porch. The wreath on the door is a creation of prior roommate Amanda.

Melissa also strung the lights and ribbon on our pine bough trees.

And I kept plugging away on the roofline, with a break to feed Levi inside.

Tada! I stepped outside to take a few photos after dark.

I really liked the pine boughs on the railings like I did last year, but I wanted something different this year. I think our mini trees are just the ticket.

After Melissa left I finished up a few things and put the timers on our extension cords, so now we're all set for the Christmas season!

We would have had a lot of this done yesterday, but Levi caught the cold that I had on Thanksgiving, so I spent a lot of time yesterday and last night with him. Thankfully he was back to his normal self today, and this morning all four of us went out to brand the colts in a wind that was much stiffer than we expected.

Saturday, November 19

Levi's Remuda

Levi now owns more horses than any other three-month-old that I know.

Thanks to coworker Denise, he inherited this collection of model horses.

They will remain packed away for quite some time still, but I'm looking forward to watching him play with them when he gets older.

My thought is to get a few out for him, saving enough for his younger siblings that they can each have their own. Why not share the good fortune?

All I know is that I would have loved to have this many model horses to play with when I was little, so I hope he enjoys them as much as I would have. :-) Thanks, Denise!

Friday, November 18

Fall = Lots of Cows!

I didn't really have anything to write to go along with the above photo, but I liked it so I figured I'd post it. Nothing like standing out in a crowd! I think Mrs. Red Cow is very pretty, even though black is preferred and rewarded in the U.S. cattle markets right now.

After a summer of not doing too much livestock work because of my growing belly and achiness (Is that a word? My computer doesn't think so), this fall I got in on some fall gathering and shipping up at the Association. On this particular day I think Levi was five weeks old, and we packed him up and took him to the ranch while we shipped the calves off this bunch of cows.

My photo trips this fall have paid off when it comes to the paper, because the last six weeks have featured images from the Association.

The photo above also ran on the cover of the paper. When I was taking pictures this day I didn't think I'd really gotten anything I could use, but it turns out we've used several for the Roundup cover.

Have you heard it enough already? I still love my new T3 camera, and my Pixma printer. So far the printer's only been used to print photos of Levi to give away to family members, but I think that's a worthy cause. :-)

This photo also ran on the cover, and features two of the heifers we brought back from Iowa last winter. They were wintered in a feedlot at Thermopolis, then came to the Association for the summer to eat, grow and be bred. So far they look really good, and none the worse for the elevation, but it remains to be seen if they'll calve this spring. Time will tell!

The last month and a half I've been working really hard to keep doing my best work at the paper while taking care of Levi 24/7. It's certainly been a challenge, but I feel like the paper's been going really well. There were a few bumps in the couple weeks after I came back to the office in early October, and I realized the importance of being in touch with the news on a daily basis to generate article ideas. It's really easy to get out of touch really fast, and that's something I'll do differently next time I'm out on maternity leave with Levi's little sibling.

I owe a big 'thank you' to the other half of my editorial team - Saige did a great job handling the paper while I was out with Levi, and came out alive even after a few surprises. I got her a fifth of Pendleton and a set of whiskey glasses for her trouble, because I know that being in charge of an endeavor like the Roundup can certainly call for a drink every now and then. :-)

Wednesday, November 16

Levi: 11 Weeks

Because I have so many photos of Levi, I decided to dedicate a post to the latest batch. :-)

I have really enjoyed the higher ISO speeds on my new camera - up to 6400! That allows me to take photos of Levi in the dim lighting of our living room, without using the dreaded flash.

He's starting to get the hang of this photo thing. It's quickly become a fact of his life. :-)

He knows he's cute.

So these photos were mostly posted for his grandmom in Iowa, who can download whatever ones she might want to print.

The one above is one of my favorites.

And the expression on this one's pretty good. :-) I obviously enjoy taking photos of Levi, so hopefully some of you enjoy looking at them!