What did you do this weekend?  I went to a swine auction in Fallon, NV.  I literally could end this post right there.  That sentence alone is enough to give you a good enough laugh for the day.  But you just know my San Francisco self has something more to say.  And it starts with the nose.   This was my first view of a swine auction.  Call it a hog or pig auction if you want.  It’s all the same to me.


What you don’t get from the picture above… is the smell.  Oh my lord!  It’s like walking into a wall of cobwebs.  It literally makes you recoil at first contact.  I live on a ranch.  Cow and horse manure are common place in my world.  Pig shit is another story!  It’s like no other smell I’ve ever smelled.  It literally assaults your nose.  It stopped my feet in their tracks.  It made my brain wonder if I could really enter this room.  Fortunately, like other smells, it passed… but not 100 percent.  You know how Thanksgiving dinner smells so good when you walk in the door, but after 30 minutes you can’t really smell it anymore?  Well pig shit stays with you.  It never completely dissipates…. but at least it did enough to get me in the door.









The day was quickly made better with these little guys.


Some were just 16 pounds… others were about 70.


Several 4-H clubs from northern Nevada attended this auction.  The kids buy their pigs in a real auction type of sale.











Then the dads had the fun of putting the purchased pigs into the trailer.  Oh this video makes me laugh.  Keep an eye on the pigs right hind leg… priceless!

Once loaded up, the pigs were taken home and will be raised by the kids until the Nevada Junior Livestock Show in May.


Last year, our kids raised lambs.  We made the jump to pigs this year because… well, I have no idea why.  But for the time being, our family has now grown by 8 feet… 8 little pig feet.







4-H Lambs

 I’ve been hearing for the past 9 years how when “Our kids are old enough, Wendy, they are going to be involved in 4-H!” And my San Francisco self would reply, “Great.  What the hell is 4-H?”










Well, I found out this past weekend. We all climbed into Darrin’s truck with two dog kennels loaded in the back. We pulled onto Timothy Lane. Ok side note, moving onto Timothy Lane is now on my bucket list. This street is located in the rural section of Reno called Windy Hill. It’s lined with white horse fences you think of when someone says “Kentucky.” All the homes are on acres of land and off to the left, behind The Skagen Horse Training Center, sits a beautifully manicured ranch that talks. Literally, with the windows down, you can hear the land talking. That’s because dozens of sheep are grazing the pastures.  Baaaaa’ing at passers by.  And two of them were coming home with us on this day.

Eva and Domi are in the Leg of Lamb, Side of Beef, Slab of Bacon club (again, my San Francisco self is saying they do know there are yacht clubs in this world right???).  Today they are picking out the lambs they will raise for 20130130-075621.jpg3 months. 


They entered a small corral with about 17 lambs jetting back and forth trying desperately to avoid them. They had to pick their favorite.  So how  exactly do you pick a lamb?  4-H leaders have taught them to judge a sheep four ways.  Their backs should be straight.  You want the biggest distance between the last rib and the hip bones because that’s where the loin is.  Their backsides (I wanted to say asses but I was afraid you would all think we were now talking about donkeys) need to form a triangle.  And their legs should be straight.  Apparently bowleggedness runs rampant in lambs! 





Domi picked number 13.   Eva selected  number 17. 











Darrin then got the fun job of carrying them to the awaiting dog crates and hauling them home.  Hey!  I would have helped but I was the photographer at this rodeo!!




4-H is all about teaching kids where their food comes from… among so many other things.  They will show the lambs at the Nevada State Junior Livestock Show and sell to the highest bidder. I’m already worried about that day in May!







But for now, it’s all about having 2 lambs that will completely depend on Eva and Domi for everything. As we shut the barn door on them that night, Domi whispered in my ear, “Mom, I FINALLY have responsibility!!!”   Well HELL!!   Is that what it takes for kids now a days to realize they have responsibilities?? 2 4-H lambs??? Good luck with that everyone!