January Through April

2001 started as always with Mike's calving season and Darlene's tax season. Mike actually had a night time calver during the week for about 4 weeks which really helped. Of course consequently most of the calves were born during the day, but at least everyone got a little more sleep than during the past years.  Mike again took part in the Trailhead Replacement Show and Sale where his pen of 10 heifers won 1st place for the 3rd year.  Our annual bull sale was the3rd Tuesday in March, and we felt very fortunate with its results.

April Through May

Mike always seems to manage to start the AI program over Easter and this year was no exception. Since he synchronizes them, he has to breed about ninety in three days and it always helps to have the kids home for Easter to help. Since the 15th fell on a Sunday, Darlene's tax season didn't end until the Monday after Easter, so she had to work over Easter weekend. In between breeding the heifers and cows we made a short trip to see Darlene's mom in Lewistown and Molly's dorm room which we had never seen, and she was almost ready to start packing to move out. After branding and sorting, we finally got the cows out to pasture by the 10th of May just in time to make it back to Bozeman for Jason's graduation from college. Molly also was playing in the state rugby game that day so we went from one event to the next.

June Through August

Haying started early this year at the end of May because of the drought. Damian does all of the swathing and then as we have two balers, he bales right along with Mike. Molly was the one who kept the summer fallow in line. Jason and Molly went down to South Dakota for a couple days and went on a biking trail there. We only went on one packing trip this year. We packed into the Spanish Peaks area just south of Bozeman and north of Big Sky. It was a trip Jason picked out for us. We went in early July but the trail still had lots of fallen timber that hadnít been cleared, and we had to continually stop on a single file switch back trail to cut logs out of the way. By the time we got to our intended 1st night camp site, both us and the horses were worn out. Because the trail was so rough and rocky we didnít even attempt to go over the pass which had been our goal. For the 2nd night we just moved camp about Ĺ miles and then headed back home the next day. Pictures of TripHorse Pack Trip

Damian went to Washington, DC the 2nd week of July for a FHA Leadership Workshop. He's only regret is that his bus is the only one that didn't make it to the Pentagon.

Darlene went with Jason to San Diego to apartment hunt the last week of July just as harvest was starting. The 2nd cutting of hay was put up in early August, the fields irrigated again and then we were ready for another vacation. We backed out of our 2nd backpack trip and just told Jason that we actually needed a ďvacationĒ vacation, not one where we were worn out when we got home. So we never actually went any where other then a 2-day ski trip to the lake and another 1 day jaunt.

September Through November

We actually took our 1st kid to college this year when we helped Molly take her stuff. Before that everyone had just got our of here as fast as they could. We weaned the calves the 10th of September, completed the 3rd cutting of hay, and then Darlene started summer fallowing in preparation for seeding winter wheat, even though there was very little moisture.

Elk HuntMike, Damian, and Troy actually went on two elk hunting trips this fall, but it was to the same place and only about 100 miles from home instead of to the other side of the state. They were only gone a couple nights each time. Damian had drawn a cow elk tag there and he finally bagged one the second time. Since all the boys have now each shot an elk, the new hunting rules are that no matter who draws a tag, itís going to be open season for whoever sees the elk first!

Darlene then got involved in what has turned out to be her favorite project and that is a "kitchen remodeling."  Last fall Darlene got bought out of my interest in my momís duplex, and Mike decided that I could take that money and remodel my kitchen instead of losing it in the farm as usual. We started planning last fall but didnít have enough time, so started again after tax work. We anticipated the starting date for September when we would be in the fields, but it wasnít until October 25th that they started. By Thanksgiving they had managed to have the kitchen completely torn apart. However, we did have lots of empty space to set up a camp with the propane hunting stove. I had my ovens and the microwave: itís just that I couldnít find where I had stored anything. I had put it in every nook and cranny and in the calving barn. It was pretty wild, but we had plenty to eat even though all the dishes had to be washed by hand. The majority of the cabinets are finally in, but we still donít know whether the counter top will be in by Christmas, or any of the kids roomí habitable.


Where has the year gone. The kitchen is still not going to be completed by Christmas. We have no decorations up, but we did get a tree to hopefully fit in some corner out of the way. The weather is beautiful if we could just appreciate it instead of worrying over the lack of moisture.

Have a Happy Holiday Season, and a great New Year!

Darlene and Mike
Links to Other Pages
Jason in California
Troy in Billings
Molly in Bozeman
Damian is a Senior