Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Past Week...

Well, let's see what I have been up to.....

Two Saturdays ago, Tall Guy and Grandpa escorted two of their favorite girls to the Princess Ball.

(Dresses $30 EACH at Burlington Coat Factory, my NEW FAV place to shop!)

Besides watching it rain, Tink had basketball camp most of the evenings!  Woo!

Thursday, we had Basket Bingo at school, and I was the caller.  Hate the games when I can't say any B's, O's or N's.  Believe it or not, there are several of those.  Everyone had a great time, giggles were in great abundance, and we raised $$ for our school!

Friday, I had on my Benton County Farm Bureau hat on (Did I mention I am now PRESIDENT?!?!?!)  to talk to all our county second graders about sun safety, and yeah I actually forgot my sunscreen when I mowed and rolled the yard yesterday!  DUH!  DON'T FORGET YOUR SUNSCREEN!  These little beads on pipecleaner bracelets brighten up when the UV rays hit them.  Should have kept one for myself!

Bear's class!

Friday evening, my family gathered together to wish this guy good luck as a PURDUE UNIVERSITY GRADUATE!  Not quite sure where he will land, but he is looking.  Of course he has to pass his finals first, but he assured everyone one that would not be a problem!

Gotta love that late '80's perm!

Saturday, Tall Guy's mom and dad celebrated their 50th!  Congrats to them, and here is to reaching the next 25!

Sunday, we made it to church then rested a bit before starting our prep for next weekend's big event:
Little Bear's First Communion.  It just happens to hit on May 5, so I'm thinking fajita's and 7-Layer Mexican Dip and maybe "green drinks!?!?!?!"  Why not!  Bear loves cheese quesedillas, and I can swing those too.

Meanwhile on the farm front, we are watching the 5-7 day forecast and shaking our heads.  Not the first seed is in the ground, and we still have plenty of time to get them in (may have to change some varieties with late maturity), BUT the ground has got to dry out.  The sooner the better, but the weather duds are not giving us much to smile about there.

And we are gathering with a bunch of my favorite people to help one of my besties' hubby over the hill!  FUN TIMES!  (Dang!  You think I could have found a more recent pic!  Fun times in Florida BEFORE kids!)

Ok, time to hit the road.  PLEASE do whatever rain dance you do BACKWARDS to keep the wet stuff away!

Hugs and Love!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Doing Much Better

If you have been following this story last week on my personal or blog Facebook page, I have happy news to report!

Jerry is home!

Seems he has an infection somewhere in him that we couldn't find here. Tall Guy thought he had a DA, which stands for "displaced abomasum." The abomasum is one of a cow's four stomachs.  I just saw a blog that talked about feeding magnets to cows.  We sometimes do it to catch bits of wire or metal the cows might accidentally digest.

Here's a picture to kind of show how it works.  The dark teardrop shape is the magnet.

www.barransclass.com through Google

To backtrack, Tall Guy had been noticing that Jerry wasn't eating as much as he should or drinking as much as he should.  He listened to his stomach, and it would "ping" like the inside of a basketball would sound if you thumped it. That, apparently, is only a good sound if you are a basketball.  We decided to take him down to Purdue's Large Animal Hospital (TG had been on the phone with them a couple of times).  I knew if it was a serious thing with his stomach, Jerry probably wouldn't be coming home...so I called the girls out and told them what was going on with Jerry.  I probably had more tears than they did, dang it, but I want them to know the truth. It's just the way it sometimes works on the farm.  Life and death are a big part of the cycle, and we raise beef to be eaten.

So now we have to decide what to do with him.  TG is thinking Jerry might be too off his feed to be "finished" by fair time.  Finished to cows is like a body builder being at his/her peak for a contest.  He may get to go out and hang with a new bunch of beef cows we just brought home from the sale barn and just get to be a regular cow....We have some more consulting to do.  Meanwhile, we still have five steers and a heifer in the barn to break, AND the biggest news is that Lady Bug is returning so we can show her at the fair one more time.

Guess What!

She's expecting!  More about her when she actually returns to the farm, but based on her ability to get along with this "little" pig, she should be a great momma!

But for now, we will keep our eye on Jerry and make sure he is getting the best of care so he can be all that he can be in the world of cows.

*Editors note:  Jerry is down in a lower lot with other beef cattle working his way back up on feed.  This is  a good thing because he will be with other cattle eating at his own pace.

As a side note, I honestly had mixed emotions about Jerry coming home because now we will have to go through the "Good-byes" all over again, but again, this is what we do, and sometimes you do get attached, and it is hard, but we have to know that each beef cow that leaves our farm can feed one family for an entire year.  That is a big part of what we do to help feed this country.  I just need to tend to my heart a bit so it will be ready for the next time.

For now, Welcome Back Jerry!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Taking a Little Walk with the Moos

If you have ever worked with farm animals for a show or the 4-H fair, you know that (unless you hare talking chickens, rabbits, and pocket pets) you are going to have to do a lot of walking!  It's time for our SEVEN potential cows, one heifer and six steers to walk.

Remember last year? Click here.

Not quite sure how Tall Guy's mind is working about who is going to the fair and who is staying home this year, but these four guys are getting bigger every day!

( You all know that you can click on the red words and that will take you back to stories I have already posted right?  I always assume you do, but new readers might not know this, so in the spirit of NOT assuming {we all know the little ditty about asuming}, pardon me if this is a repetition!)

Beef cows, be they dairy or regular beef, should be walked for an HOUR a day.  Now you smart people can figure out that we all have more to do than spend SEVEN hours walking cattle right?

Here's how we do it:

DON'T FREAK OUT!  The girls are safe; Grandpa is driving, and the tractor is going about .05 miles an hour. Think crawling turtle speed!  (It's actually kind of boring to be in the driver's seat unles you are ten or eight!) Tink is reaching down to grab the rope of the milking shorthorn (brown and white) so he can get used to the pull of a person without her walking right beside him and risking a kick or shove.

Now she has a hold of the Brown Swiss.  

Here comes Tall Guy to see how things are going.

While we were out with the four youngin's,  Jerry was in the tool shed bawling his head off wanting to go for a walk too.  Being the sympathetic one, I asked Tall Guy to bring Jerry out.  He gave TG a bit of attitude, and so I asked to have him for a while.  He did better with me.  We had a couple of Come to Jesus moments to remember who is boss, then we hooked him up to the tractor for a bit of remdial walking lessons.  After that, he was right back to the good walker he was last year.

Hey look!  Tink is driving the tractor!  Woo!

We even took these cross breeds out for their first walk.  We dont' have papers on them, so that is why I call them "cross," but there seems to be a good amount of Angus in them.  Meet Jasmine and Alladin.

For some of the farm peeps, this cow walking is a spectator's sport, hopefully from a safe distance.

Brownie was obviously NOT impressed.

Columbus Jr. was trying some covert, undercover observtions.

Sadie, feeling the inner herder in her,  has to go on the leash during these walks, at least until the calves get used to walking.

Bear even wandered off to the rock pile to see what great finds she missed last year!

Poor Sadie is also dealing with being a kind of displaced pooch.

This is her home when she wants to escape the elements, but.......

This momma cat decided it was a great place to have her first litter of kittens, so Sadie has to deal for a while.  Don't worry, though, we keep the tool shed open for her to hang with TG and Grandpa and the moos.

Gotta say it is nice to have the guys around to help with the walking of the cows.  This time last year, we were in the field planting, and I pretty much was in charge of all this fun.  While I am sure Tall Guy would like to be out in the planter right now, the ground is way too wet AND cold for seed to go in.  Some journalists are running with this "late planting season" story, setting off alarms that the there won't be enough corn and beans come harvest because we are not planting!  I swear they take two college level courses entitled "The Sky Is Falling!"

Rest easy,  In our region, corn and beans can be planted any time between now and the end of May without too much fretting.  Beans can even be planted way into June!  This is just the one time farmers get itchy and impatient, and the media likes to jump all over that.  Ag is not suffering yet, and the rains are replentishing the loss in ground moisture we had last year.

Patience is an important word on the farm, whether we are working with our animals or waiting for the sun to shine for a few days in a row!  There's little we can do to control it, so we roll with it, and right now no one is overly concerned.  If we are still out of the fields by the end of May, then I will have some cranky farmers on my hands!

Have a great day!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Vacation DO's and DONT'S!

I'm seriously not sure how we made it to Daytona Beach this year.  I was required to pack the suitcases and car ( I still say car instead of van.... Do you?), and I have to honestly tell you I cancelled my Ob/GYN appointment the afternoon we left because there was no way I was going to get there and pass anything.  I figured he would probably lock me in the cardiac care unit or psychiatric ward.  That's how frazzled I was.

So I threw way too many clothes into the suitcases, put them in the van with various other vacation "stuff" and beach must haves, like the newest DVDs Wreck It RalphBarbie in the Pink Shoes, and Rise of the Guardians, and off we went~ thanks to Amazon Prime for super speedy delivery service on these life savers for long road trips!

Here's my latest list of Do's and Don'ts from this trip:

DO have a jetpack to take with you in the car so you can have internet connection even in the Smokies and less populated places along the way.  We also have a car charger for the phone because mine just won't last a whole day without a charge.

DON'T assume your ten-year-old packed everything she needed.  NO tennis shoes or her night retainer.  Didn't find that last one out until the night we came back.  Tink came down saying her retainer didn't fit.  I thought maybe that was because she lost a tooth on vacation*, but NO, she said, "Oh, I forgot to tell you I left it here!"  SERIOUSLY?  Stick the danged thing in your mouth and deal with it Missy!

*DO be prepared for "Fairy Visits" while on vacay.... Now if I could just remember where I put that danged tooth!  I'm sure I'll find it at the least appropriate moment!  What do you do with the baby teeth?  I'm not sure I can even tell whose is whose.

DON'T spend money eating out all the time! Stay at a resort/condo/ hotel with a kitchen.  Now when I took an informal poll about this on Facebook, it was a very polarizing question. You either totally agreed with this idea, or you were dead set against it.  I think children and the number of them going on vacation with you was a common denominator.  We do this ALWAYS now.  1.  It's Economical $200 more than covered our breakfasts, snacks, and lunch, and we brought some stuff back along with pantry stuff we took down with us.  2. You or your hubby or the kids can have food on hand without having to put too many clothes on or take a shower!

DO pay attention to pizza promotions!  Domino's had awesome deals like 2 14" pizzas for half off!  $18.00 for supper!  Can't beat that!

DON'T go all anal when your 8 year old, depsite all your and Dad's efforts to show her otherwise...

......decides she's going to play putt-putt all back-ass wards!

Sometimes, "Girls just want to have fu-un! Oh oh oh Girls just want to have fun!"

DO stop to admire the nice backside of a Tall Guy with a farmer's tan.  There might be a message!

DO NOT ignore the message when someone tells you to "Look Up!"

Look for the pelican!

DON'T give up taking the shot you want!  I deleted about 15 moon pictures trying to figure out on my own how to get a good shot of it.  This was my best one!

.....and don't forget to look down!

.....and straight ahead!  (I absolutely love the dimples just between Little Bear's top and bottom!)

DON'T think that Florida will be warm all the time you are there!  Last year we were sooooo spoiled, but this year saw some chilly days.  Thankfully, we stayed at a resort that had a heated indoor pool!  Saved Mommy and Daddy some sanity moments!

And finally, DO find a place in the sun to just relax 'cause that's why we drove the umpteen hundred miles down here right?  One chilly morning I opened up the window wide, and just laid out on our bed!  Wooo!

DO remember to do what Kenny Chesney tells us to do and spend time chillaxin' on vacation! (Sorry folks, but you are NOT seeing me in a swimsuit right now.  Be happy I posted pictures of myself when I was ten in the last post!) ;-) Cute bobcat though right?

Next posts:  What almost took the relax out of my vacation, and a picture of something I have never seen before in it's own habitat, or anywhere else live now that I think about it!  :-)  Or maybe I will swith it up and show you how to walk 5 cows who require 1 hour of walk time a peice!

Peace Out!  (That was one of our vacay sayings!)