Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Heritage Breed Turkeys

They are beautiful. The have some of the most interesting feathers I have ever seen.......
I know that they are more like wild turkeys but come on...the least they could do is cooperate on occassion! They have tested my patience so many times this morning already that I have lost count. I can not wait for thanksgiving time to come! Then maybe with less of them to chase around all over 150 acres...I will be able to "herd" them into safe zones...which yes, by the way...means away from this road we live on!
I know that God brought them to us to test my patience...which I am learning is about zero. I am having second thoughts about raising them for stock. I am doubting even wanting to keep the ones that we do have.
Hey God...If you are listening, why couldn't you design them to be just a bit smarter so they don't play in the road? Please give me the patience to deal with them.
Hope everyone else is doing well. My time is consumed with bird herding, barn cleaning and planning for speeches at the moment. Miss you all! God Bless!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Full freezer and filling pantry

Our freezer is now full of what is affectionately called "Buck Burger and Steaks". We have eaten a few of the steaks already, along with a couple packages of burger...and "oh, it's so good". Tender and juicy, not too fatty. The least I can say is this...I am glad we raised our own meat.

The pantry has accumulated two additional shelves this year. With the rate at which the tomatoes are still coming on, we may even need more than that. We have canned some where around 25 quarts of sauce and around 15 quarts of stewed tomatoes (which by the way are from the plum cherry tomatoes that are all from 6 plants).

We have some how managed to acquire another calf as well. A bull calf, that will be steered, was given to us a couple of weeks ago. Bubba J. is just a little guy. I don't think he weighs in at 70 lbs. yet. He is full of spunk and rules the older calves like he owns the place already. I love having calves around here!

Our fluctuating number of chickens are doing alright too. We are suffering through a molt right now, so egg production has dropped to around 50-60%. We are fluctuating our customers who buy our eggs right now, and the waiting list of new customers is growing each week. With what we are making off the sale of the eggs, we are nearly purchasing all the feed for 27 turkeys, 32-33 chickens, 5 cows, 2 dogs and a cat. I think that we are managing rather well and I am happy to know that our farm is fairly sustainable. With the money we save on the canned goods and on meat, we are actually making money! That makes me very happy.

It is hard to believe that fall is fast approaching. That means it is time to start advertising our turkeys for thanksgiving dinner tables. Hard to believe that the summer has gone by so quickly. I have no idea where it went.

I have to let you all know....I have this little red hen that comes over from the neighboor's house everyday. She is the best landscaper! She has dug around all of the trees, pulled weeds and turned the soil. This morning, I kept hearing a crowing on the wrong side of the road (our house is on one side, the barn is on the other) and when I went out to see which of our roosters had escaped and crossed the road...I see this funny looking Rooster with a huge, feathery hat cock-a-doodling under the apple tree! This bird is definately not one of our birds! I couldn't help but think that must be the little red hen really likes spending time around here because she brought a friend over with her this morning! What a little stinker! Of course, I haven't explained that I feed her scratch grain every morning and I keep a jug of water under the tree for her too. I am just waiting for the day when she starts laying eggs in my lawn! I am really starting to think that animals really do like it around here.

It's almost corn chopping time here on our farm. Any day now, the chopper will pull in and my hill of corn will be all gone til next year. I have to admit that I really like having the corn around here. At first, I was kind of iffy on it...but now after having it here all summer and watching as people stayed away because of the corn, it kind of grew on me. Oh, and the reason they stayed away is because they were hunters and you can't see much of anything through that tall corn! Hehehe!

Well, I am off to just sit around relaxing while I work on my newest project. I am currently working on a crocheted blanket of a train for the five year old little boy that lives next door! I am about 3/4 of the way done and can't wait to get it finished! We are going to give it to him at his birthday party the end of the month. I have already finished and completed a pair of leg warmers for his eight year old sister's birthday and the next project will be a backpack for her gymnastics stuff.

God Bless you all.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Down by One

Well, after a hectic morning...we are now down by one animal here on the farm. Our steer, Buck, was slaughtered and went to the butcher this morning. I will miss him dearly but not his attitude. It is hard sometimes to say goodbye to an animal that you have raised for over a year and spent a great deal of time with them. Still, it needed to be done. He was fast becoming a safety hazard around the farm. He was hurting the calves, was destroying things and was hurting me on occassion as well.
He went off in quarters weighing in around 455 pounds of carcus, after hide, head and internals were removed. That should put somewhere around 225 lbs of meat in the freezer for the winter. And there is nothing like home raised meat!
I shed a few tears as he lay there on the ground, but he had been a good boy most of his life and now needed to serve his purpose. I know, I know...It may sound horrible but really, you just need to put it in your mind that he was raised to feed you. That he had a good life and lacked for nothing. His life had been mapped out to become meat for our freezer and the only way to get him there was to do what had to be done.
I am sure that he is in good hands now, enjoying a lush green pasture with a big ol' shade tree...I can almost see him laying there under the tree, chewing his cud and wagging his tail. I am sure that once in awhile, some man or woman will come by to stratch that secret spot on the top of his head or rub his fat belly. I will hopefully get to see him again someday when I pass on to the next world.
Yeah, a few tears are slipping down my cheeks but, again, I know that he was predestined to become food for our home. I also know that he will live on forever in my memories and in my heart. He was, generally speaking, a good boy. I know that God can now enjoy him as much as I have and I thank God that he gave me the opportunity to be able to raise him and supply food for my home.
So, I ask you, on this sad and somber day, please remember my Buck and say a prayer for him in heaven...if only to say "Hello"...Buck would like that.
God Bless you all and keep you safe from any harm. May you find the peace and mercy all your days.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sad Goodbyes

Well, the time to say "goodbye" has come. I am sad in a way but I know that it has to be done.
Buck, our steer, has developed a very bad temper and has hurt one of the calves. He will meet his demise early Saturday morning. I am sad to see him go but it really needs to be done. He is getting nasty, as bulls (even though he isn't really anymore) will do. This evening at feeding time, we went out to find Norman injured. We are unsure of the exact details but, Buck was being mean when feeding time finished. Mean by head butting and attempting to slam the calves into the barn wall. Rich is afraid that he will turn on one of us next, so he has to go. Needless to say, I will miss him. He is my first steer in many years. I knew this was going to happen but, I thought I would have some more time to prepare myself for this step. I just have to keep reminding myself that this is what he was raised for, that this was his purpose for being here on the farm.
I do have one thing to console me with all of the heart ache due to mean and injured animals....I have a baby bird here that is temporarily with us. Our new little friend is a week old morning dove. The dog found him under or near the front porch...What a noisy affair that went on for such a tiny little bird! I could not find the nest or a mother anywhere close by...I couldn't let the poor thing die. I read some information online about what they eat and how to care for them. Now, I am exhausted from lack of sleep and stress out with business, personal and farm issues. Not a good combination but in the end it will all be alright.
Norman, poor little guy, is the calf that was injured this evening. Poor kid has had a rough life already and really didn't need to be hurt again. I will keep everyone updated on how he is and exactly what is wrong with him.
The other two calves seem to be alright, but by morning hours that could be very different. Hopefully, the dark will calm Buck down. If not, I will put him in the stall until Saturday morning. I hate to do it, but I will if it keeps the other animals safer.
It is already after midnight, so I am keeping this short.
I pray that God Blesses each and everyone out there that is in need tonight and even those that aren't.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dear Friends...

This last weekend was a great weekend. I got to spend time with BigMomma and Lil Momma! Having the farm is all worth while to see the smile on the face of a four year old.
Big Momma and I have not sat down to talk in ten years or so! It had been way too long. Big Momma was actually a friend of my sisters. I love her just like a sister and am so happy that she is still a good friend.

Things are the farm are going good. We are keeping busy with harvesting and canning. The animals are all doing great. The three calves are growing like crazy! Ma Belle is gaining weigh good and is getting back to her "normal" weight with each passing day. Buck is almost ready to head off to the butcher.
Vehicles are here are another matter entirely. Rich's truck now has a suspension shackle coming through the box of his truck that needs to be fixed and my truck blew out a brake line on Saturday. Never ending battle it seems. I can't wait for the day when we both get newer vehicles. Which is hopefully before the end of this month!
Yesterday was a rough day around here too. I blew the belt off the lawn mower and ended up dumping the water jug off the wagon that attaches to the back of the four wheeler....Let me just say that yesterday was definately a Monday.
I found a wild bird yesterday too. The bluetick was outside barking like crazy. When I went out to check to see what was going on, I noticed this little gray fuzzy thing crawling around on the ground. I had to look twice because I thought it was a rat at first...then I noticed that it was a bird! A very small baby bird! I had no idea what it was with it's fluffy little feather tips and dark colored beak. I came inside with it cradle into my hands and started looking up images on Google to try to figure out what it was. Come to find out it is a baby Morning Dove! So now, I have a coffee can with an old bird's nest from one of our trees inside it and am hand rearing it. Poor little thing was so hungry that I thought it was being agressive. It is doing much better now. It is active and eats good about every two hours. Which means not much sleep for me but I cannot just let it die either. So now, we are rehabilitating a morning dove along with the other animals here who need it.
Well, time to feed the bird, then off to finish up some chores in the barn. Then back inside to do dishes, make phone calls and get some stuff prepared for a few meetings that we need to do tomorrow at the Farm Show...
I pray that everyone has a fantastic day and God Bless you all!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rainy Days

Well, needless to say. Everything has turned on it's head now that harvest time is here. We have been making jar upon jar of various kinds of pickles. We have already completed some where around 6 gallons of pickles. They all look so beautiful stacked in the jars! I am so happy that we had such a great harvest of cucumbers this year. We have also managed to get enough beets to make several batches of potato and beet salad and some extras that we canned. We have had tons of lettuce straight from the garden, for around 6 weeks now, we have had fresh lettuce with dinner everyday. We have pulled around 20 pieces of squash that we have made into various things to eat or blanched and froze for soups this winter. We have pulled out more peas and beans out of the garden then I ever thought possible. The potatoes are not ready yet but there are around 70 we should have enough to get us through the winter months!
Our steer is just about ready to head off to the butcher. According to his measurements, he weighs around 1200 pounds now. Not too shabby for a jersey.
Our chickens are going through molt now and have cut back on egg production. But there is just enough being layed everyday to provide for our customers and a few left over for us. We only eat eggs with breakfast a couple days a week, but I use several of them a week to make my own mayonaise. I have also discovered that the chickens we raised this spring for meat go a long ways on the dinner table. We cooked one about a week ago in the rotisserre. Rich and I ate a bunch of it that night (til our bellies were full). Then the following day, I pulled off a bunch of the meat and made chicken salad enough for around six sandwiches. After mixing up the chicken salad, I looked at the carcass and there was still a bunch of meat on the bone, so I boiled the reminder off the bone. I then used the meat and mixed it with gravy and fresh vegetables. I stored it in the refrigertor and the next night we had chicken and bisquits for dinner. There was still extra meat left! So, I made up a batch of chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles. I took the soup to Rich's parents and shared the meal with them. I didn't realize that there was so much meat on one of those birds!
It is raining here today, so things are a bit slower. A good day to catch up with old friends and do some updates. I am still working on some pickles today but it isn't so fast paced and relentless today. The animals are all quiet, that is except the dog who wants to be outside but doesn't want to be in the rain.
We managed to get third cutting done of the hay field this week too! I can hardly believe it but this year has been a great year for hay! That's good because we are going to need extra this year due to the extra calves this year. Belle, our adopted cow, is doing great! She is steadily regaining the weight she so desperately needed. We are going to have AI done on her this month. That means she will calf out in May. A little bit later in the spring than we really wanted, but between everything else that has gone on, there just hasn't been the time. I don't mind her calving out in May. The weather will be better by then and we shouldn't have to worry so much about the cold. I am actually out looking now for an additional heifer. I am not activily searching, just watching and listening for one. If it is meant to be, then it will happen.
Well, time for me to get off this computer and get some of the house cleaned up. It is difficult to keep up with two dogs and two men in this house. Today will be a good day to get somethings done inside, not that there is really a lot to do.
God Bless you all! Have a great day!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A New Family

Well, Rich and I welcomed a new addition to our family on Saturday. Our daughter married a wonderful man and together extended our family. We are very happy for both of them and welcome our new son-in-law with open arms.
It was a beautiful outdoor ceremony, even though it was a sweltering 93 degrees with a heat index of over 100. The reception started off in the heat, but then a brief thunderstorm rolled through, soaked the over heated guests and insited a round of mud-slide and mud wrestling. It was a beautiful and absolutely wonderful event.
I cried when Rich was dancing with his daughter to the song "In my daughter's eyes" by Martina McBride. I guess I never really realized until this last week just how much I have grown to love my step-daughter. I may not be her mother by birth, but I love her with all of my heart. I am so proud of the wonderful person she is.
To those of you who are friends on facebook, please feel free to look at the photos of the event and make sure you compliment the beautiful bride! She was absolutely stunning!
It is nice to get back to normal today. No more running, rushing or planning. Just being able to sit down today is a beautiful thing.
Tomorrow it is back to the daily grind of work! So glad that I decided to make sure that today was an easy day. There was a ton of house work to get done since it hasn't been done at all for the past week.
I will write more about the farm tomorrow...but so everyone knows...things are good here on the farm. The weather is much cooler today and it is quiet here on the hill. I am enjoy the chirping birds and the distant tractors that are working out in the hay fields.
May God bless you all with as much love and happiness as we have found within the lines of our family!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Finding Patience

Not one of my best attributes.....patience is something that comes in waves.
Usually, I can manage to dig deep and find the patience I need to make it through each day but today is a bit overwhelming.

First thing this morning might have something to do with that. Rich and I got into an arguement before I even had a chance to have a piping hot cup of coffee. I messed up and over slept, til (wow) almost 8:30. Rich went out to do chores and came back in grumbling like a wild man. Why can't men just bite the bullet and do one thing without complaining like a five year old? I am tired of dealing with the temper tantrums and accusations of not caring for my animals! Like he knows...heaven help him if he lifts a hand to help me out for just one morning. I will tell you this, I have learned my lesson and will never lay back down to catch an extra few winks as long as I live!
I have a routine. I will just have to grin and deal with it myself.
Then on top of that, I fix breakfast. Heaven help him if he lifts one finger to fix his own food! Just to get yelled at due to the fact that we have no coffee creamer...which reminds me...He is driving my truck because he can't find the energy to take his down to drop it off at the, that means I have no means of transportation. So please explain to me how I am to go to the store! I am suppose to walk the seven miles one way to get there? I mean difficult is it for him to stop on his way home from work to grab one container of creamer from the grocery store he passes twice a day?
Then, just to top it all dress for the wedding won't be in until Wednesday as the store only recieves deliveries once a week. And..the wedding is Saturday. I still have to send it out to be dyed to the right color too! I have no patience left today and it isn't even noon!
Yesterday was full of a dozen and a half phone calls that amounted to jack squat. Can't seem to get anything done lately...and I am worn to the bone.
I need a vacation so bad I could rip out my hair and scream!
Yeah I know .... I am doing nothing but complaining! There are just times in peoples lives that everything just gets too overwhelming to bear! and unfortunately, right now is my time!
The animals are all doing great...except Belle, our cow. The hole she had in her back when she came is still not healing...nearly two months and it is still a hole about the size of a pencil eraser. I did manage to find out part of the reason why....there was an orange colored spot on it the other day and when I went to pull it out, thinking it was a piece of hay stuck in there...out came a sliver about two inches long covered in puss (nasty, nasty)...I just want to know how the person who had her prior to use manages to have animals and allow them to get like that. Needless to say, it pisses me off more than anything in the world! This woman should be made to live under the same conditions!!! Grr, just one more thing that makes my blood boil...and then to have Rich accuse me of not taking care of my animals is enough to make me explode like a stick of dynamite under bedrock!
Anyway...enough of being lazy...time to take this nasty attitude out on the barns since they need cleaning up again.
God, if you can, could you please send me a little bit of extra patience to just get through today and maybe the next week? I don't want to sound redundent but how much more do I really have to take.
God Bless you all for reading this rant...I wish you all nothing but the best and hopefully you are having a better time of it than I am right now.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Anniversaries, Weddings and Work Oh My!

This past month has been hectic, full of business planning through countless hours. Up til late (like one a.m.) and back out of bed by six! Lack of sleep and high stress are starting to wear me down.
The newest battles have been over flood plain issues and building permits. Everything with this business has been an uphill battle. I just can't wait for the day when all of the preliminary stuff is finished and we are finally ready to open the doors. I have had enough of this to last me more than a life time or maybe two. Between the long hours and lack of cooperation....I am in desperate need for a long overdue vacation. One with no phones, computers and preferrably electricity.
On the person level, things are busy than ever on the farm. We have added another eight barred rock hens and a rooster to our flock. I love hearing the big man crowing in the morning! We will be ready to start hatching some chicks out soon. Time to start thinking long term and be prepared for spring with a new brood. Then in the spring we will hatch out a bunch more that we can either sell or keep, depending on egg demands. Right now we are selling around 15 dozen eggs a week. Not bad for a hobby farm, right? Thank heavens it helps pay for the ever increasing feed bills now that the calves are eating more and more grain.
The turkey poults are happy as clams in their new run. They hardly ever stay in it all day, but they sure do love being outside. They got caught out in the rain tonight as it moved through, but sure didn't seem to mind at all that they were soaked.
The calves are doing great and gain weight steadily. Norman is still having problems on and off with his back leg, especially when the weather is cool and damp but he is growing good and is right on track. Davy and Danny are finally starting to come around to the handling. The both stand about 35-36 inches at the front shoulder already....hard to believe they are growing up so fast.
Belle is steadily gaining weight and is progressively improving. I am still astounished at how well she does with all three of the calves. We are going to wean them this month and have her artificially inseminated, so hopefully we get a heifer calf next spring. We are switching her feed as well to allow her time to dry out, more corn meal for fat. Time to start bulking her up for the winter. It doesn't seem possible that it is that time already.
Buck is doing great...other than with his steadily growing temper. He got mad at me for brushing out Belle a few weeks back and smashed my the process, dislocated three bones in my hand. The one in my thumb is the only one that continues to nag me, but even that is considerably better now. He is going to butcher nice this fall. He is already approaching 1200 pounds. It is going to provide a whole mess of meat for the freezer this winter!
We have also celebrated Rich's parents being married for fifty years recently. Can you imagine? 50 years? I will feel lucky to live to be fifty. It was wonderful having all of the family together to celebrate though...even though Rich's one nephew just managed to get restationed in Washington State and missed the party. We all would have loved to have him, his wife and little one there with us to help celebrate.
The next order of business is our daughter's wedding! I finally managed to find a dress suitable enough for a "mother of the bride" I ordered it today and hopefully it will be in by the end of the week. I am so happy for her. I want to make sure that her day is extra special. I love the man she is going to marry and they are very good together. And if I may say so...they produce beautiful children. I do love my granddaughter with all my heart...even though she sometimes makes me miss my family so very much.
My sister in law and her two girls are here for the next month visiting from Texas. I am glad to have them here....we really need to get the "city" out of her youngest.
You know, some people have bad luck and they gripe and complain about how miserable there lives are. I have bad luck and I look around me. I look at all of the little things in life that mean more to me than anything else in the world. The smile of a baby, the happy chewing of cudd of the cows, the crowing of the rooster in the morning, the dinners all provided from the farm......I love my life.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Well, the grant package went out in the mail and was recieved by the department head less than two days ago for our business. Finally, one more thing that can be checked off the list of things to get accomplished. Now it is on to the farm plan, managing construction timelines, getting payroll and comp set into place......and way too much more to list! I am figuring a break and a vacation for me sometime in January now.
I am excited about this project. I will have a website up within the next couple of days that everyone will be able to go look at and learn more about exactly what we will be doing.
This whole business planning adventure has taught me so much about myself, those around me and how much spirit and determination provide. There is a buzz starting now that keeps going in my ear. The phone is starting to ring already as word spreads...I must admit, it feels great to hear just a wonderful response from the public point of view.

On a personal note, with everything that has been going on with the business and here on the farm there isn't much time left for me. I don't get to spend the time with the animals like I would really like too. Hell, I haven't even had time to mow the lawn in two weeks! When I do have time, it friggin rains.
The animals are all doing well. Belle is slowly regaining her weight and she will have AI done toward the middle of next month. Buck is being an ass, no better or nicer way to put it. He smash his head into my hand yesterday (which I think is broke). Now I have numb fingers that are swollen to twice their size and my wrist is killing me...which probably means another trip to the doctor's office yet again! The three boys are growing like crazy. Norman is loosing his baby fur now and we have discovered that he is going to be a beautiful black jersey! Such a beautiful shade of dark chocolate brown. He is doing extremely well. His hip is nearly healed and he is now running, playing and jumping just like the other two now. Davy is my little buddy. He still doesn't fully trust me but if I sit really still, he will come up to me and lick my cheek or forhead. I have also discovered that the boy really enjoys garlic. I had some garlic oil on my hands the other day and wow...I don't think he missed one spot. Danny is doing great, he is starting to pack on the pounds now due to the fact that he is eating about 1 lb. of food a day. He is slowly adding more and more food to his diet.
All of the turkey poults are starting to color up and feather out nicely. We have at least, two toms in the mix. One of them is a chocolate palm and the other is a blue slate. I haven't seen any of the others strut yet, but they could be late bloomers like the royal palms where. Hard telling until they get a bit older.
The chicks are all big enough so that we are going to butcher them this weekend. It is amazing how fast they have grown. And, to let y'all know, they taste delicious. We butchered three of them last week. One went into the freezer, another to Rich's Dad and one into the rotisserre. HMMMMM good.
Well...I really need to get busy on phase two now of our business details. I have already procrastinated for way too long. We should have a website up and running in the next week or so....It is continually giving me fits of every kind imaginable! But I will let you know when it is up.
God bless...enjoy this beautiful change in the weather from all of the rain we have had.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Battles-Fighting for the Farmer

This last week was an extremely stressful week. Nothing went right or managed to get done on time. Opening a new business is difficult enough without the added stress of government agencies changing thier minds last minute or meeting getting cancelled.
There have been times thoughout the planning for this new adventure in my life that I have seriously wondered if I am strong enough in my belief of this system and the good that it will create. I think that God tests that belief time and time again. Kind of his way of making sure that I am staying on the right track and his way of making me assess the whole plan and what my expectation for it truely are.
I keep my faith though that someone needs to make a stand and do something to assist out the local agricultural community. I am tired of reading about another farm that is selling out because they can't make any money. This week...I have heard of seven farms within our region that are selling out or downsizing. I don't know which bothers me more. When farms have to sell off land that has been in the families for generations just to stay afloat and pay thier bills it makes me sick inside.
Guess what people...the family farm is the crucial to everyone's existance! We all need milk...not only as an important part of our diet, but for things like cheese, yogurt, butter, and an additive for many healthy recipes. No farms means no corn, no beans, no peas, no soybean, no wheat, no oats........Stop and think about every farm you know the next time you go buy something in the store. Nearly everything you purchase can be traced back to a farm out there somewhere in the world. We can all do our part in the securing the future of the farms across America by buying and using American based farm products.......
I am begging everyone and anyone that may read this...we are losing farms across the national at a rate that exceeds anytime before in history. Please help a farmer and their families out today by doing the right thing and buying American based products.
So you all know, I live next to a county that has seen a 25% reduction in farms in just ONE YEAR! We can not afford to lose another!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Wow is it hot out there!"

This weather around here has been unbelievably hot around here. Floating above the 80 degree mark everyday for over a week. We have had no rain and are now listed on the drought warning.
We are going through about 100 gallons of water a day for the animals and another 50 to 75 gallons of water for the gardens. I don't ever remember a time when it was so dry this time of year. Usually the farmers have a difficult time putting up dry hay for first cutting....not this year. Even hay silage is drying out before they get a chance to chop it. In a way, I would love for this kind of weather to stay but on the other hand we need a couple nights of some good rain. It would do the gardens, corn crop and hay fields good. Not to mention, then I could go pick nightcrawlers to go fishing with...not that I really have the time to go but still.
This weekend has been hectic but kind of relaxing. There are a ton of things going on that are keeping me busy but no too busy. I managed to get out into the pasture yesterday to brush the, do they look nice. Mama is finally starting to gain enough weight where you only see four of her ribs instead of every single one. She is starting to regrow her hair but what she does have is a nice glossy coat now. Her hair is still coarse but it is slowly coming back into shape. Her back is nearly healed now. Buck was stunning when I had him all brushed out. His coat is amazingly soft and so shinny. I wish I had taken a photo of him then so I could hang it on the wall. I will just have to get him all brushed out and get one taken.
The calves are all doing great. They all need a good brushing as well but getting them to sit still is like telling a two year old to sit still. I will get them all done before too long. Just going to have to fasten them down basically to get it done. I will probably leash them so they can't get too far and then fight them as they run around trying to get free. Davy is getting better at letting me touch him now but Danny is still spooky as all get out. Norman on the hand comes right up to me to have his horns rubbed and loves the extra attention.
The chicks that we are raising for meat are HUGE! They are about four pounds now and gaining more every day. We are going to butcher a couple of them in a week or so...I will let you know how they taste! :)
The turkey poults are growing very well too. The are nearly all feathered in now...but now it is difficult to determine the breed they are. The blue slates I can tell. The chocolate palm I can tell but beyond that....forget it.
The chickens are laying good...just not enough for demand. Our eggs seem to have grown in popularity since the last time we donated them to the church for their free-will breakfast. Rich and I have discussed it and we are going to get another dozen or so. What I really need to do is find a rooster, which I may have in the chicks that were given to us, and start breeding my own chicks. Buying them just isn't the most profitable way to get new layers.
Tom turkey has found a new home. He hasn't left here yet, but very soon. The idiot is still insistant on crossing the road to attempt thumping the blue tick. It never stops, that is why I decided to find him a new home...He drives me crazy most days!
We will have a video of our two tom turkeys fight on Youtube soon. We had a guy come fishing yesterday that thought that Tom was loose and tried to put him back in with the other tom. Let's just say it wasn't very nice and Tom didn't stay in there for very long. A animals were hurt in the recording of that video! Not one blood spot, not one injured animal. Just to make sure that everyone knows...that is the biggest reason why Tom the turkey is in with the chickens and not with the turkeys...too much fighting going on when you get those toms together.
Well, I am off now to go take pictures for the day and make a little money. I have a get together and bonfire to go to tonight that I have been looking forward to for over a month now. It will be good to just get out, away from the phones and computers to just relax with some great friends.
Hope that everyone has an enjoyable Memorial Day ... and that you remember and pray for our soldiers, fallen or not. We owe every single soldier a debt of gratitude for all that they do to keep us safe.
God Bless our Soldiers and keep them safe from harm. Lay your divine hand upon their lives and protect them as they do those of us at home. Please make sure they know they are honored, loved and respected by many. Thank you God for giving each and every service member to us. Amen.
God Bless

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Latest Activities

Can anyone point me to where this week has gone? I just realized that today was Thursday. These tight deadlines are killing me and I have been working so much on everything that we need to get to the bank that I have lost all track of the days somehow!
I have been through an emotional rollercoaster when it comes to this new business. I am tired of reading and rereading everything. Tired of all of the seemingly endless changes. Tired of people we are working with not listening and not completing the tasks at hand in a timely manner. Heaven help me, I just want this stage to be completed and move on to getting machinery set up and the doors open. Our opening date is actually set for July 1st and nothing seems like that will happen...but there seems to be a divine hand in everything that we do with this business, so I will just take each day as it comes and go from there.

The animals on the farm are doing great...they aren't enjoying all of this hot weather we have had lately but they are doing so well. Belle is steadily gaining weight and is looking better with each passing day. Buck is still is same typical self...full of piss and vinegar and a royal pain in the butt. Norman is doing great. He is healed up so that he is now running, jumping, kicking and playing with his two other playmates now. He is slowly adding more gain into his diet everyday and is growing like a weed now. Danny is eating tons of grain and packing on the weight like a mad man. He is up to almost 170 lbs. now and looks fantastic! Davy is doing well. He is eating the least grain out of any of the calves but seems to be managing well. They are all eating tons of grass everyday and drinking so much water that the 40 gallon drum has to be refilled about three times a day in this heat.
The chickens are doing well but aren't laying anywhere near the amount of eggs that we now have requested for each week. I may have to add in a few more laying hens just to keep up with the demand. We are now selling on average between 9 and 12 dozen eggs per week. Not bad for the 21 layers that I have. I have orders that I could fill for 16 to 20 dozen per week...that means that I would need about 40 laying hen to keep up with that kind of demand. Not sure if I could talk Rich into that one or not. Good project for over the weekend :)
The chicks are growing so fast it is unbelievable. They are all up to around 4 or 5 lbs. now. Either this weekend or next week we will butcher a couple of them for a bbq...then the rest will be divided into the coming weeks until they are gone and the next batch is here. The turkey poults are all doing great in their improved area. They are running around, inside still due to the potential of blackhead disease, but will be able to get out sometime over the weekend once the fencing is constructed. I want to keep them inside a fenced area until they are a little bigger and can fend for themselves a little better with the chickens and other turkeys.
The dogs have become whimps in this weather. They spend most of their time lounging in front of the air conditioning trying to stay cool. It has been nice with this heat though...things are quiet other than the tractors going up and down the road due to perfect dry hay weather.
Our garden is growing like wild fire. We planted three different kinds of tomatoes that are all looking a special tree tomato that you pick the small cherry like tomatoes from and then dry them in the oven so they look like raisins. We now have three different kinds of peppers. Two seperate kinds of cukes. Two varieties of squash. Three varieties of peas and corn. Then there is swiss chard, broccoli, califlower, basil, oregano, chives, onions, potatos, sweet herb (an all natural plant that grows to replace refined sugar) and beans. I have one large garden that is about 300 feet in length and about 30-35 feet wide, one small garden that is about 30 feet long and about 20 feet wide and then I have two raised beds that are approximately 5x6, 5x5 and 3x4. Thank heavens some of it is lined with plastic to cut down on the weeding but a little rain would be nice so I don't have to water the plants daily.
I will be busy this weekend. I have tractor and truck pulls that I am going to be the photographer for, just like I did on Labor Day weekend last year. That means two whole days of being out in the hot sun, standing on my feet. I love it though...just hope that it doesn't really stay in the 90's all weekend like it has this week. I plan on taking a huge cooler full of water but still, I will be out where there is zero shade!
I must return to finish some paperwork up that needs to be edited now so that it can be sent in for review tomorrow. Never ending battle but that is alright...I will get it all done someday, somehow.....
God Bless you all...and remember...everything happens for a reason. We just need to go along for the ride, don't question it too much and learn from each new experience. Have a great weekend...I will update if I have the time! Miss you all!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hectic Weekend

Well, needless to weekend was packed full of things to do. We planted all of the gardens. We are now growing peas, beans, switch chard, spinach, broccoli, califlower, tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn(3 different varieties), cukes, two different kinds of squash and melons. It took almost six hours to re-rototil and plant the two gardens. We also worked on moving animals into new areas, mowing the rest of the lawn and thoroughly cleaning out the cow barn! And that was all on Saturday after chores and going to pick up the tomato and pepper plants.

Yesterday was full of adventures! I got to see one of my friends that I have not seen in way too long! I miss not seeing her more often but sometimes it is difficult with life being so hectic. I went to her graduation party to make sure she knows just how proud of her I am...she has accomplished something that I never have...and considering that she has a daughter, a full time job and is a single mom....that just confirms what I already knew in my heart! She is a fantastic person full of determination who refuses to let anyone get her down! I hope that she knows this about herself...I hope that she can see just what a special person she is to everyone's life that she touches. I know that she struggles sometimes with some personal issues...but the way I look at it..all she has to do is see her as I and so many others do. We all love her for who she is inside and out! know who you are, and honey, it doesn't matter what you weight or how you are one of the most beautiful women ever! You are kind hearted to those who deserve it and strong when push comes to shove! A smile on your face and laughter in your voice makes the whole world shine! Never let anyone make you feel bad about yourself...If they can't see you for who you are, then screw 'em and leave them in the dust as you head to new and better places!
As you can tell...I love this girl like a sister! She deserves so much out of life and I wish her nothing but the absolute best. Her luck is like mine...good when you expect it to be bad and horrible when you wish it was good! Yesterday during her party, her little one fell of the steps for the slide and bumped her way to the ground...after a trip to the Doc it turns out that she has a broken arm/wrist. What a way to celebrate...I feel so bad for both Mom and little one but, kids heal quick and she will be driving her mom crazy in no time...sorry big momma but it's true lol
After we left the party, we went to visit with our Granddaughter. She is a precious angel and loves her grandma very much. She was crying her eyes out when we got over to me she comes and haha guess what no more tears. She didn't cry one more tear while we where there. I love that little one to pieces. After that, we went shopping to pick up some more things for the animals and then we went to Rich's sister's house to visit with some more of the family. It was a good time!
Then it was home to do chores..and finally head to bed about 11...we had to go look at what kind of turkeys Rich and I are going to pick out to give to Rich's daughter and son-in-law for a wedding gift. It is going to be funny when Rich's whole family buys them livestock as gifts! I will make sure I get a ton of photos to share!
Well...I am off to get chores done...before it gets too hot this morning!
I will write more later...God Bless and stay cool out there today!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I have no words that can express to any of you the emotions that are whirling through me right now....After ten months of long hours, hard work and a boat load of research the business plan is complete! I am elated! There are no words to express the feelings of getting the final approval on the plan...I am so proud that I have completed this project in ten months. The feasibility study is back...and the project astounded the economic professor! I feel relieved, amazed, proud, and so much more...but now begins the real gritty portion of all of this. Time to file for LLC's, trademarks, EIN numbers and so much more....It doesn't seem like such a daunting task now though!
Our deadline is June 30th...and right now I am about three weeks ahead of schedule! So I will keep plugging away until I get this done! More late nights like last night when I was up until 1 am. But, as each step counts down, I feel a little bit more pressure come off me and a little bit more relaxed. I will keep everyone informed and I am hoping to have a website up tomorrow for you to review and think about!
Off to work more and then chores later! Rich's son should be here this evening so there is still much to get done today....
God Bless you all and enjoy your night...I will be back tomorrow!

Attention Chicken Farmers

I was involved in a conversation of the Hobby Farms website about how to clean and store chicken eggs....something that I have done wrong all of these years, kind of. I did some research and here is what I discovered on egg cleaning:
Dr. Christina Winstead of The Department of Animal Science Cornell University says the following:

"A household refrigerator can be used to store eggs from small flocks, but the low humidity will cause air cells to enlarge rapidly. Eggs may absorb off-flavors if stored with other produce such as onions.

Sanpaper, emery paper, or steel wool are useful for dry cleaning eggs. Egg washing is not recommended for small flock owners, but if done, an egg wash containing a sanitizer should be used. A temperature of 110 degrees F is preferred but a range of 90 to 100 degrees F. is suggested. Make sure the water is at least 20 degrees warmer than the egg but never more the 50 degrees. Wahing should not exceed 2 to 3 minutes and shoulb be followed by a rapid drying and cooling. Never wash eggs in cold water. It causes the egg contents to contract and draw-in the dirty water.

Egg quality declines as eggs get older, but the nutritional value is not affected. For maximum quality, eggs should be used within 2 weeks after being laid."

I also learned some valuable information about keeping eggs. I never knew that you could freeze them. To freeze the whites and yolk of eggs together, break the eggs and thoroughly mix the yolk and white. Can can use an electric mixer at a low speed, avoiding incorporating any more air than necessary. Pour the mixture into containers and freeze. If you want to greeze whites and yolks seperately, separate the eggs in the usual way. Be careful to avoid getting any yolk into the white; they will not whip if mixed with yolk. Mix the whites to a smooth foam-free consistency. Freeze in a suitable container. The frozen, separated yolks will gel unless salt or sugar is added when they are mixed. Add 1 teaspoon of salt or 2 tablespoons of sugar, corn syrup, or honey to each cup of yolks. Remember to allow for the salt or sugar in the added ingredients when using frozen yolks in recipes.
Hopefully, this will help people the same as it has me. I would be glad to research anything else that you may have questions on when it comes to eggs or poultry. I have a couple of great connections at Cornell that are always will to share information with me.
Well...back to work for me. Will update more when I can...Have a great day and God Bless !

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Deadlines and Advancements

Well, the newest information that I can share is that our plan for the new business is nearly complete! One last step to do and then we are still waiting for one part of the technical study to be completed....I have managed to secure enough money through Guaranteed Loan Programs now!!!! Today provided me with the final approval on everything!!!

Since August of last year, I have committed many, many hours to developing this business plan....The further I research and wrote, the more information I gathered, are all coming to an end with us actually having a viable plan! This all makes so much sense now that I have all of the information and I can't wait to get out there working with the "public" on this!

Our new deadline is fast approaching....everything needs to be set in stone by June 30th...but our goal is May 30th! I am so excited to be in the last and final stages of the planning part...I am so excited that we are getting so close to moving forward, to being able to get the machinery needed! I will keep everyone updated as I go...but time is short and there are still so many things to finalize details on.

The animals are all doing well...nothing adventurous with them today...Other than a lady driving by stopped to tell me that I have some beautiful cows!!! Now that was a nice surprise at 6:30 this morning! She sat in the drive and watched them for almost an hour as they ate (Buck and Belle) and played (Norman, Danny and Davy running, jumping, kicking and head butting). It was a peaceful day other than the ringing phones, beeping of arrived business e-mails and meetings! Tomorrow morning I will be spending extra time with the cows and chickens as both barns need a good cleaning...that will be an excellent project for my early morning work out! I would rather shovel, muck, spray and mop than exercise to a video anyday!

I am off now. Chores have been done for hours and I really need to get back to doing some more of my reading for work....then I will be off to bed. Good Night and God Bless you all!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Birthday Visits

Well, today was Mr. Farmer's birthday. Not quite a half century old but still old enough to have aches and pains all over.
The best part I like about birthdays is that family comes to visit. We visited with Rich's dad first today. He spent time with Rich while I printed off some photos for him. Then Rich and him spent some time with the animals. After he left, Rich and I went for a four wheeler ride around our pond. We didn't see any fish or go fishing but it was still a nice peaceful ride. Then we went to check out his sisters small pond and we managed to see a Canadian Goose family with just one baby. I will have to get down there within the next couple of days to get some photos of the new gosling.
We then came home and I read for a bit until our daughter came with the most beautiful angel in the world, our granddaughter. Rich took her over to visit with the animals and she got to ride on her first John Deere tractor...which made Grandpa very happy. Considering her daddy is a huge John Deere fan...I am amazed that it hasn't happened yet. We sat in the lawn for a long time enjoying the sunshine and watching the Little Miss play with the cat, the dog and the grass. She had tons of fun when she was flying over Grandpa's head as he lay in the grass. It is so healing to watch a baby smile. She is such a beautiful and sweet girl. She is four and a half months old and is learning so many new things in the world.
We took off to go visit with Rich's parents with the "kids" in tow. It was nice to see four generations all together. Everyone was smiling and laughing, having a great time. Little Miss got to eat her first real food today...a lunch of Gerber Sweet Potato! The faces she made we awesome. She would pucker up her whole face like it was really sour but she wouldn't spit any of it out. She is such a peach!
Now we are home, relaxing after I did my nightly chores and waiting to lock the birds up for the night. I will start the daily run down with the smallest animals first today.....The turkey poults are all doing great. They are finally discovering that those feathers on their wings are great to fly with. They are all zipping all over, flying from one end of the "brooding area" to the other. They are roosting on the wall divider now. It is amazing that two week old birds are flying like they are...and man what fast runners! Kind of hard to catch them now as they zip all over.
The chicks are going like they are on fire! Rich and I have come to the conclusion that they weight some where right around 1-1/2 to 2 pounds. The twenty of them are eating somewhere around 24 cups of food a day! It is amazing how fast they are growing...and to think that in another 5 to 8 weeks they will be between 8 and 12 lbs. Hmmmm, Hmmmm, they are going to be so yummy though!
The Rhode Island Red chicks are doing great since their move into the poultry barn. They are coming outside now to get grain in the morning with the rest of the chickens. They are sleeping in the nest boxes at night and are eating food right along with everyone else. The play hide and seek with me when I go out to check on them during the day. They are just too funny.
The turkeys are all doing good. Our two hens are gathering clutches of eggs now. Big Momma has five of them inside a wild rose bush out in the pasture that she is sitting on now. How so many managed to get in their so quick I have no idea. She is such a good momma. The other hen has just one egg so far, but she seems fairly broody, so we will leave her alone and see what happens....Maybe we will have some more poults in a month or so! Tom turkey is still trying now and then to come over across the road to beat on the dog but he seems to be calming down on that...or atleast today he did.
The calves are doing great. Norman's leg is healing up and some of his hair that he lost due to the bucket feeding is growing is growing back in Black though! Danny is doing good...growing fast and starting to finally get used to me. I think his adventure outside the fence the other day helped. Davy is still a little shy but he is getting more curious everyday. He will let me get within arms reach of him now as long as I don't reach for him.
Belle is doing great. Her back is nearly healed, she is gaining weight and is starting to get a beautiful glossy coat now that her hair is starting to grow back. Buck is being stubborn as usual but loves his attention. They are both getting along well until it comes to feeding time and then you see Belle do some body checking to keep Buck away from her food. They are doing amazingly well with the calves!
....I am so glad that all of my animals are healthy (or getting closer) and happy. It is wonderful to watch them lounging around in the shade or oming up to me for attention. I am so proud of all of my critters!
Anyways, I still need to fix something to eat and fasten up the barn. Good Night all and God Bless.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday Adventures

My Saturday adventures include things like mowing the lawn, caring for the animals and rescuing my neighboors from the pond!
I woke up a little late this morning...not like me but with all of the stress going around lately I know why...and didn't make it to the barn until almost 8:30. Everyone was happy to see me, especially the cornish rock chicks...they were starving(or so they thought).
After morning chores, I watch a little tv while lounging in bed...It was cold in the house at 63 degrees this morning. So I enjoyed the extra few minutes relaxing under the covers. Then I played around online for a bit. I also decided after playing around that I needed to get something accomplished, so I went outside and mowed the lawn. Rich was still napping on and off so I decided to start across the road and get along the fence line and in the log yard done first. Some of the grass was so thick that I had to mow first with the deck way up and then go over it again. It hadn't been touch in about 4 weeks and was almost as high as the hay field. This rain has done wonders for the plants...too bad that includes the lawn. After it took me almost two hours to complete the areas across the road, I move on to the yard. First thing I do is blow the drive belt off the mower...never fails, almost everytime I use the mower it breaks one way or another! We have two sections of the lawn, the lower section is about an acre...with a ton of trees, horse shoe pits, barbeque, a flower bed and now a garden. The top part of the lawn, which is actually one about 1/4 of an acre, is the part that always gives me fits! Just after starting the top section, I get the mower stuck in the ditch, when it slids on the wet ground. So...I come inside, get Rich (who goes out in his boxers and socks and yes I did get a photo for memories sake) to push it out. As soon as he gets the mower out, I am back onto the mower to finish the last ten or fifteen passes...when the stupid thing runs out of gas!!! I refilled it and managed to finish up unscathed for the rest of the passes!
After mowing, I decided to refill all of the water dishes for the animals and to take my camera with me. As I am on my way, I notice a Killdear struting around in the corn field, so I managed to get a couple of really good pics! Then I go spend an hour or so with the animals, taking thier weekly photos that will go into the albums so that we can mark their progression.
After that, I come inside to order dinner for Rich...Pizza. His favorite and his birthday is tomorrow. When I am getting to leave, our new neighboor calls to ask if I would be so kind as to go rescue her father, mother and children from our pond...It was dinner time and they weren't answering their phone. I drive down with the truck, the bloodhound in the front set to get them for dinner. I end up bringing back just Grandma and Seth. Seth decided that food in his belly was more important that fishing!
On the way back out, with two people in the back of the truck, a turkey flies right up in front of the truck! A wild turkey was buried right down into the weeds and I could even see it until it flew up in the air.
After getting back home and finally being able to eat, then phone rings and Rich's sister decided that she was going to come up with their cousin and a friend to get eggs and visit the animals. Everyone who comes can not believe how friendly our animals are. The turkey (Big Momma) who comes to you to be pet, the steer(Buck) who thinks he is a dog, and Tom the turkey who will follow people all over are just the specific one's that you notice first thing.
What a day...but even with the "adventures" that came my way...I still did everything with a smile and even laughed at myself for all of the mishaps. The tension is gone today and there is a feeling of contentment that I have missed so much this past week. I feel normal again! Even though I am running late at locking the chicken barn up.
I am going to sit around tonight and not do too much at all...maybe I will read some more about the history of the United States....there are so many things I never realized....t
things like:
Did you know that the telegraph was first used highly during the Civil War?
That the first portable camera came into use around the same time?
That embalming came into high use during the same time?
That the Statue of Liberty was actually given by French Citizens, not the government?
That the Statue of Liberty was suppose to be in the states for the celebration of the first hundred years of America?
Did you know that the only piece to arrive by 1876 was the hand and torch?
Did you know that Lady Libery's skin is the same thickness as two pennies?

So many amazing things.....too many to list at the end of this note....maybe I will have to do another post on an upcoming rainy day all about the crazy things that I have learned through my new readings and research.
Anyway, I need to go do the rest of my chores! Good night and God Bless you all.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Well, there is nothing like miserable rainy misty weather to put people in a bad mood. I am not a person who stays that way for long, but other people are me are.
I am tired. Tired of so many things. Have you ever woke up in the morning to a grumpy significant other that has just destroyed any possibility of having a good day? That's how my day got started today. First thing, not even 6 am. There are days that all I want to do is sit and cry. Cry for dreams of better days and answers coming when they should. Cry for the life I wish I had. Not that my life is overly bad. I live in a great area, have wonderful and supportive friends, and I live the life I always wanted. It just seems completely empty to me this week. Nothing has gone right or on time, which has made Mr. Farmer absolutely miserable. I just don't what more I can do. I make the calls, I do my own complaining but I am still the one who ultimately pays the price. Days like today, I feel so very alone in the world. So small and insignificant.
The misty rain that is falling from the sky isn't helping my mood at all. Even the animals act off this morning, like they wanted to huddle up and not move. The chickens didn't even lay but two eggs by ten this morning when I usually have a dozen by now. I want the sun to come back out!
Today is going to be a thoughtful day, one when I remember the times when I have smiled and not been forced into so much stress that all I want to do is scream. I need to find something to lift my spirits, not sure how that is going to happen...but you can bet I will try.
I am tired of feeling like I am nothing...that I can't accomplish anything! I know that I can...I know that I just need to get it together and find the patience to deal with the situations at hand. It is just hard to do when you have someone slamming you into the ground every time they get a chance. Yeah, as you can tell, there are days that I hate my life, hate Mr. Farmer and unfortunately today seems to be one of those days. I just don't understand why I have had to struggle through every infinate detail of my life! Why can't one thing just go as planned and happen smoothly?
Enough of the drama......I have a ton of things to get done today before the weekend comes. I can already tell that this is not going to be a good weekend! *sigh*
I wish every one the best...may you find your dreams that God has planned for your life. God Bless you all for everything you have done for others.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Oh Happy Days

I don't think anyone is happier about the sun shining than I am today! No more cows in the barn all day pooping up a storm of their own! That means less cleaning for me! Atleast on the surface that is......
Well, Mr. Farmer man decided to come home early from work today...again, yeah I know! Don't remind me. It sets my whole planned day into a different turn of events. Nothing like trying to complete a task while being baraged with questions about something else entirely. Let's talk business while I iron clothes and do dishes. Let's talk about farm machinery while I am trying to email clients! irrate me beyond belief sometimes.
My day doesn't get any better....I had to borrow a friend's iron to iron the clothes that come out of the new super fancy ultra deluxe washer/dryer efficiency unit! I haven't had to iron clothes in years and now I have to do ironing after every load of laundry...even jeans! So much for new technology! Anyway...back to the iron...I borrow one from my friend Ann. It's old but in good condition. I plug it in, it works great..I get all of one shirt ironed but the sleeves, which by the way are the worst wrinkled, and all of the sudden, I get no steam! The iron is cooling. I have checked the breaker, it's fine. I have plugged into a different outlet...and nothing! So now, I broke my friend's iron and have melted carpet to mine!!! Great week! HaHaHa
Appointments that we have had this week have fallen through. Nothing is working out according to the "plan"....what can I say...I am sick of all the nonsense and just want to go away and not think about anything for a day! Not going to happen though. Too many things to do and get I sigh one more time, put a smile on my face...and now I am off to work some more..........

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rainy Days

Unbelievable that it has been so nice, then so cold (we had snow on Sunday) and now rain for days! It makes the farm a mess! I have cleaned the barn out twice today due to all of the cow manure that is accumulating since the cows are hanging out inside. Oh the smell! I can't wait for a nice day...then I am going to completely clean the barn out....right down to nothing and spray it all out and then refill with a good bed of hay.

The chickens don't care if it is raining or not. They are out running around eating up the worms and bugs. Even the four chicks are out running all over...except for when the wind blows, then they hide under the barn or inside it.
The Cornish Rocks are huge! They eat so much food...I have no idea where they put it all. They are up to about 15 cups of food a day between the 20 of them. I have never seen animals eat so much or drink so much. They are drinking down almost 3 gallons of water a day now too....I bet they weigh almost a pound each now! Hoggers lol
The poults are all doing great. They are getting more feathers every day and are eating well. We lost a total of 7 birds, which makes me sad but I don't know what else I could have done. Maybe it was bad genetics or maybe it was the temperature fluctuations....all I know is that it had to be something that happened that was different than usual because I have never lost any birds prior to these. Other than the one that ran away on us last year!
The calves are all doing great! They are gaining weight like crazy now. Norman is up to 147 lbs, Davy is up to 148 and Danny is now a whopping 150 lbs. I wish I could add in videos here...It is adorable to watch them out running in the field. The chase each other, the chickens, Tom the turkey and head butt the ground! They are all good boys, even though Danny escaped the fence somehow today. I can tell you that he does not like to be haltered but, we managed. I think him and I came to an understanding about who is boss. I really need to start working with him and Davy more so that they get used to people handling them....That is definately a project for a nice day so I don't manage to land on my tush trying to keep them under control since they weigh as much as I do now.

Minestrone Soup for dinner tonight. It worked great since I left it simmering for about four hours today. It was done early enough so that I could actually enjoy my meal before chore time. I need to start doing more meals like that...maybe, okay more like hopefully, it will reduce some of stress levels. I have to learn how to plan a little better but sometimes my days are so hectic I don't even have time to go to the bathroom let alone fix a meal. I am kind of hoping that once my step son arrives this weekend, that it will relieve some of these issues. Will be kind of nice to have someone around that will be able to help out a little. I don't need a ton of help, just someone to clean the house, cook the meals, manage a business, pay the bills, take care of the animals....haha just kidding...I just need a little help out now and then...Then I could take a break for a few hours and enjoy a nice hot bath or even sit down to read a book that doesn't involve something for work or maybe even write some letters that I have been meaning to do for some time now.
Well, the sun will be setting here very soon. I still need to finish up a few barn chores and then lock the birdies in for nighty-nighty. Then, since I am still attempting to recoup from yesterday, I am off to bed to rest up for tomorrow.
God Bless and Good Night

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I woke up late this morning and not feeling very well at all. It is difficult to struggle through things sometimes for me. You see, about a year ago I was diagnosed with MS. Today is a rough day for me. I coughed and hacked most of the night last night, which left me exhausted today. I have severe tremors in my right arm and also in my leg. I am attempting to relax and do as little as possible. There are still phone calls to make, emails to send and paperwork that needs to be done....
We are still working on getting the final dates set for our gas lease and getting finalized paperwork for our first loan for the biomass business. Nothing seems to be progessing fast enough. We sit right on the edge of moving forward with a dream and a purpose that will not only help us but will help the local agricultural economy. Maybe we can get this done within the next couple of days but, if I continue feeling like this it is going to make it difficult. It is difficult to talk on the phone when all you do is cough.
Not much else to report as of right now. I think I will attempt to rest until chore time this afternoon. Hopefully that will help me feel better, that and some good sinus meds....
God Bless and stay well....

Monday, May 10, 2010

Funny Farm

This is a funny farm....that by the way, I do not find so amusing sometimes. Between broken gates, escape cows and mishaps, I can't decided which is the worst!
Today has been going okay until about an hour ago when I had a "mishap". I will explain our watering system this way....We had a wagon like the small one's you fasten behind a lawn mower, so we rigged this plastic barrel inside and since it had two openings on the top, we devised a way to put a spout in one of the holes so that we could run a valve. Once the tank lays inside the wagon and the wagon fastened to the four wheeler, we fill the tank with water and take it across the road to fill all of the animals water jugs. This tanks holds about 50 gallons. Needless to say, the ground around here isn't the smoothest and the stupid thing came off of the wagon...even through it was rachet strapped inside! No way can either one of us lift or want to lift 50 gallons of water in a tank back onto a trailer wagon, so out the water goes....I guess that section of corn crops will grow good! Haha!
All is better now. The cows have tons of fresh water, along with the chickens, turkeys and all of the chicks and poults. It is amazing how long it takes just to rinse out and fill water containers around here. But, atleast it is one chore done for the day and that means that there are only two more to do. Cow feeding at 7pm and chicken lock-up at dark. I should be fixing dinner right now, but after a day of endless phone calls and paperwork, this feels nice to just sit and relax for a few.
By the way, to those who know about our cow, her name was BeBe Booper. Not very suiting for a sweetheart like her, so I gave her a new name that seems much more fitting. Her name is now Belle. She reminds me so much of a southern lady. She is sweet and polite. Never pushy or mean. She is so patient with the calves. I have no idea how someone could ever neglect or want to shoot an animal like her....but she has a much better home now and is doing great! I can't wait for the day when all of her hair grows back, her wounds heal and she regains the weight she is lacking. She is going to be a beauty! The Belle of the herd!
I am looking for some suggestions on some new things that I can do with my "junior assistants". Does anyone out there have any great ideas for me?? I am always open to new ideas..........
Any way, I need to get off my tush and get something done. Hope everyone enjoys and God Bless you all.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Broken Fences

Well, just when I thought today was going great and that it would just be one uneventful day that passed by without any issues....Our fence gets broken and we have an escape steer running all over! The dumb steer, Buck, decided that he wanted to come outside of the fence and spend time on the other side. I guess as they say, he thought that the grass was greener on the other side of the fence.
One thing that you need to understand is that our house is on one side of the property and the barns and pasture are on the other side. We live on a hill and unfortunately live right where there is a blind spot when driving up the hill and another when coming down the hill.
So, here we are, attempting to herd a steer that weights some where around 1,000 lbs or more from running into the road. We managed to get him into the barn for his nightly feeding but, while attempting to repair the gate, he escapes again. This time to run right up the road, heading for the neighboors house. A car came down the hill and starting beeping the horn, which scared him causing him to run back down the hill into our front yard and on his way, kicking the whole time! He was running at full speed. He disappear behind the house. I went into the house to get a leash to walk him back but when I came back out the door, he came blasting around the opposite side of the house and straight across the road.
Rich and I managed to get him back into the pasture and without much help from Buck...who kept ramming his head and horns into the barbed wire fence and ripping it from our hands...we managed to get the fence repaired. He is now standing at the fence, staring out across the road toward the house and extremely unhappy that his adventure is over!
Me, personally, I am happy that he is back in and he has been informed that if he doesn't knock it off and stop being a butthead...he will in the freezer before he thought. That stupid steer has eaten up things that only a goat would touch and has just been a stubborn animal. Hopefully, this is the end of our adventures for the day. . . And now it is time to go lock the chicken barn up for the night and have dinner. Good night all and God Bless!

Graduation and Mother's Day

I am proud that I missed posting anything yesterday. I missed the day because we made a round trip to Buffalo, NY to watch our son graduate from Buffalo University. Both Rich and myself are extremely proud of our son(my step-son). It seems like just yesterday he was graduating from high school. He is now a proud graduate of the one of the best engineering school in the country with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.
The trip was a rough one. The high winds pushed on the front of the truck working like a brake. Then the wind would push from the side on literally move vehicles sideways. After the graduation ceremony, we sat in the truck waiting for everyone to come out of the building and watched the trees bend sideways and the snow start flying. This weather has been amazing but, I am ready for it to end.
We spent from 8am to 11:30am making the trip to Buffalo and then left at about 3:30pm, took the long way home via the scenic route and made it home around 8pm. It wasn't too bad, other than the weather.
Today is Mother's I hope all the mother's out there have a wonderful and relaxing day. As many of you know, I have tons of "kids" to take care of that unfortunately can't give me cards, flowers or candy. The don't provide me with hot coffee cups in the morning or even breakfast in bed. My children are not home, so this morning it was just me and Rich. And then, of course, the two dogs, the cat, the steer, the cow, the calves, the poults, the chicks, the chickens and the turkeys. The only downfall to my day today has been the inch of snow on the ground and the cooler weather today. I don't take days off but, this got me to thinking about some words that I would like to say to all of those mom's out there.

"No matter how tough your days get, remember that you do the most valuable job in the world. You have been blessed by God above with the ability to do the most thankless job in all the world. You have been chosen to care, teach and provide for children. What an honor God has bestowed on Mother's. The honor of carrying a child within your womb, to give birth to one of His creations. To watch as they take their first steps, get thier first tooth and read their first book. To watch as the go to school the first time, the day the play their first game and get that first homerun. To watch with tear filled eyes as they graduate from school and move on to college or career. To watch as they become married and have children. Through dirty diapers, painful earaches, skinned knees, broken hearts and broken dreams, mothers are always the one's with a healing kiss, a bandaid and the one's who piece together the broken parts of children's lives. Mother's help their children fulfill their dreams and to become responsible adults. Mother's work and worry about their children like no father can. We work without pay and sometimes recieve more attitude than we have ever deserved. The only payment we ask for in return is to see a smile on our children's face. No amount of money will ever take it's place.
I wish every child out there could understand how much a mother's love truely means, before it's too late. I know that not ever mother shares love the way they should and sometimes they don't really have the same feelings that I discribe above but, I know that there are millions of mom's out there who would give their own lives to save that of their child. Even though my mother isn't one of the good mother's out there, she still deserves respect for giving birth to me and showing me things that have eventually been valuable lessons in my life.
Today, I am going to end with a prayer, so God Bless and Good Night.....
God, will you please watch over all of the mother's out there that you have blessed with a most important job. Please give them the patience to deal with each day as it comes. Please provide them all with many, many years of memories and smiles from their children. Thank you God for providing mother's with a special and different kind of love, one that I know you feel every time you look down upon each and everyone of us. Thank you for providing the children of the world with mother's to watch over them. Thank you for sharing your kind heart and thankless work with us. I, and many other mother's, are blessed by your hand. I am humbled and honored by all that you have given. Thank you. Amen.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tuekey Crossing

Today has been just one of those days.....Already and it is only 9:20 in the morning!

First off, I moved the Rhode Island Red chicks into the barn with the adult chickens. They are all huddled into a corner with a food dish and the hens are all inspecting them over and over. A couple of my hens are a little testy, so I will need to keep an eye on the situation but everyone seems to be managing alright so far.

Norman is lame again. He is in the stall...he went in by himself and is lounging around. He is walking stiff again, but that could have something to do with the rain that we got overnight. I worry about him.
Danny and Davy are doing well and are currently out eating up all of this wet grass. I wonder if it is sweeter after a night of rain. I do know that I am not going to be the one to go test it out.

Tom the turkey decided to be a butthead this morning....and now I need a turkey crossing sign. The idiot likes being around people so much that today, for the first time, he decided that it would be fun to run across the road. I chased him back across the road and back behind the barn assuming that he would decided that was a better place to be. Oh how wrong I was! As I ran, yes I did say ran, back across the road...he was right there on my heels! So back into the gated area I took him. Granted, you need to know that most of our birds go where ever they please and we do not officially have them completely fenced in. He decided to go around the other end...and again chase me right back across the road. I don't know which was worse...him not staying over by the barn or the bluetick hound, Raven, barking up a storm. Right now, he is over on this side of the road, gobbling his voice out in our garage. Ugg...what next????

To make the day even better...I have spilled a whole cup of coffee on the kitchen floor this morning. Spilled on the wet grass and fell on my tush. Got yelled at by a State Trooper for not having Rosie on a leash.....I can already tell that today is going to just be one of those days when I really wish that I could just crawl back into bed and sleep the day away. My patience are worn to thread bare already. And to think.....I have international calls to make today! Maybe I will get lucky and the phone will go out! Haha...doubt it.
Please God grant me the patience to just get through today! And then I can start over again tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rough Patches and Animal Life

As you will probably notice, I have found the next books on my wish list. There is a series of 12 books (I have seen them in the past and Rich has read three). I would love to be able to get my hands on these books, but with everything the way it stands right now, it is going to be a bit before I can even afford the $13 for the first in the series. The whole collection is $207. I will manage to get them somehow, just need to watch out for them. If anyone sees them cheap and in good shape...please let me know.....
Unfortunately, we have hit a rough patch on the new business and with the lease....we will make it through but it isn't going to happen on the deadline that we have anticipated. I have been on an emotional roller coaster now for two, maybe even three days. I need a vacation so bad it isn't funny...just a couple of days when I don't have to work, take care of animals or stress about what needs to get done. If anyone ever tells you that owning or starting a business is easy....tell them to go to hell, because it just isn't true. This is the toughest work I have ever done in my life. It really isn't physically draining, but mentally, now that is a different story.
On another note, the dandelion syrup is a huge hit. Everyone who tastes it loves it. I am actually working on selling some it now....I need to get out and pick some additional flowers, but time is not on my side right now. The chicks and poults are all doing great...other than the one chick that I tried to smush under the feeder today...dumb thing ran right underneath it. I feel horrible, but it is all cuddled up with the turkey poults for the night and should be alright by morning.
The calves are all doing great. They are steadily eating more food (grain)and grass as each day goes by. Norman is up and walking normally but still isn't running. He is getting a little better each day. Davy is a spooky little one. He doesn't like anything that is different, like his shiney feed dish. I have to feed him from a plastic dish so that he can't see his reflection. Danny is the hog of the bunch. He sucks down all the milk he can, he eats a dish full of grain and still manages to find room in his tummy for a whole mess of grass. He is heavy and is going to turn into a fine bull. Ma is nearly healed on her back now, thanks to an oil from Melaluca. She has a great round belly now and has filled out a little in the rump. She eats almost constant still, but there are times when I have found her lounging with Davy out in the field chewing her cudd.
The big white turkey, Big Momma, is completely healed and taking a vacation from her pesting chicken friends. She decided late yesterday afternoon that she wanted to be inside the turkey barn and away from the chickens and the overbearing Thomas the tom turkey. She spent her day today with the other tom and his woman. She seems to be happy and enjoying herself.
Rosie and Raven have been enjoying themselves with the kids. They are loving all of the attention....although the cat on the other hand is probably ready to go live with the turkeys. Poor Midnight is picked up, carried and hugged more than she ever has been in her life...yet, when Caleb, the 4 year old, comes in the door she still runs right up to his legs....she should know by now that he is going to do all these things to her. She tolerates it, might even enjoy it...for about a half hour and then that is enough...outside she goes with Caleb right behind her while the two of them play hide and seek. Caleb is getting good at that and Midnight needs to learn some new hiding spots very soon.
Rich finally managed to get the back yard garden rototilled tonight. Tomorrow is going to be rock pickin' day! There are a few other things that I need to get done tomorrow building a gate, doing a few business things, dishes, laundry and housework (never ending), dog baths and cleaning out the stall in the barn. Yup, that will about take up the whole entire day. I want to work on getting some of my little projects done, but I think they are going to have to wait until a rainy day....
Well...this chick is ready to go roost for the night and my rooster is already fluffing his I am off to dream a little dream.
God Bless and Good Night.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dandelion Syrup

Well, needless to say, the animals are loving the cooler weather today...and even the quick burst of rain that flew over today. It's one in the afternoon now and things are quiet around here. The birds are chirping, the neighboors have gone to town and traffic is down to nothing!

My adventure for today was to finish my new recipe for Dandelion Syrup. It is on it's last heating but, since I can't find patience today to save my own life, I have already tasted it! De-Lic-Ious as all I am going to say! Definately worth the time and materials! It reminds me of Wildflower Honey with a little bit of a lemony twist to it. The recipe is about as basic as it comes.

Dandelion Syrup:
4 large handfuls of dandelion flowers, stems removed
2 lbs of sugar (and for those of us who have measuring cups now...that's about 4 1/2 cups)
The juice of 1/2 of a lemon.
1 quart of water
You add the rinsed flowers to a pot with the water. Heat over a low heat until the water begins to boil...this takes a bit, but once the water starts to steam, keep a close eye for the boil. Once the bubbles start popping for the boil, keep it boil for 1/2 minute (I counted to 30 and shut it off, removing from the heat). Allow to cool overnight.
In the morning, strain flowers, pressing out all of the water from the buds. KEEP the liquid. Once strained (I used an old dish cloth after it had been disinfected and dried in the sun) add the sugar and lemon to the flavored water. Over low heat, bring up to temperature and cook until most of the water is gone. You will see the water laying on the top of the "juice" underneath. Once the water is nearly gone, remove from heat and allow to cool. I cheated and used to fridge to bring the temperature down to about body temperature. You then put the pot back over a low heat until thickened to about the same consistency of maple syrup! I then added the syrup to reused glass jars with metal lids that I scalded in very hot water for 15 minutes. The lids resealed themselves.
I am going to make my own labels to put on the jars and WA-LA Dandelion Syrup that tastes a lot like Wildflower Honey with a bit of a lemon flavor to serve over the next batch of pancakes or waffles. I am going to have the neighboors test it out later today....I will let you know what they think!!!
I am going to experiment with some other edible flowers as well. I will let you know exactly what "flavors" I come up with!
Now, I am off to make labels for my jars and to pick some more dandelions in a few (after the sun dries them off) to make a batch of dandelion wine that is a favorite around these parts! I am so proud of myself and happy that I have discovered another long lost delicious thing to add to our family meals!
God Bless and May all of you find as much joy in life as I have!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cooler Breezes

I sit here listening to the TV and doing a little research on "old homestead" living. There are so many things that I have learned today.

Like how useful those pesky dandelions actually are! Right now, sitting on the stove, is a pot full of flowers that have slowly been brought to a boil and are now "resting" until morning. Then I will add the rest of the ingredients and hopefully by tomorrow night, have a couple jars of Dandelion Syrup on hand! Yes, that's right...I did say Dandelion Syrup. I found a recipe for it today on a website about old fashioned living.

I remember eating dandelion greens in salad when I was little. The are close to spinach in flavor, but the key is to pull them root and all before they flower. I also discovered that you leave the roots on until you are ready to prep the salad, but you don't through the root away....You can roast them and grind them as a replacement for coffee! Oh, and with as much coffee as I drink, you can bet your last dollar that I will be trying this! I will have to keep you updated on how all of this turns out. Tomorrow, (weather pending) I will be picking a whole mess more of the flowers to make dandelion wine, which is definately one of my favorite things to sip on a hot summer night.

Rich tilled the ground up for one of the garden today, which I discovered changed in area from year to year (the less he takes care of the smaller it gets). Tomorrow, we will be tilling the yard garden for the herbs and small plants, to keep the chickens out of them. We bought most of the seeds already, including a few more today. He will get the tilling done and then we will get everything planted and then it is on to harvesting the horseradish.

Hopefully, the weather will be cooler tomorrow too. I want to make up a batch of homemade pasta for dinner tomorrow. Since, we are going to be fixing fish that the "boys" caught yesterday. I am also going to make a new recipe that was shared by a friend. It is called Baked Potato Salad. It sounds delicious and I can't wait to fix some to try.

Well, my show is almost over. It has been great to watch and listen to the history of our great country! It is just another reminder that no matter how hard or difficult things get, we can make long as we stay strong in our hearts and learn how to survive.

Good Night and God Bless.

Sunshine and Sundays

I know that I missed a day or two, but things have been crazy around here. First the weather is freezing cold and snowing, and yesterday we hovered around the 90 degree mark. This weather is tough enough on us but worse on the animals. The cow and one of the calves sure were doing a whole ton of panting yesterday. The drank around 100 gallons of water between them.
Norman is doing great. He is slowly building strength in his hind leg but he is our jumping and trying to run with the other two calves now. Buck is getting bigger with each passing day and is huge! Momma cow is doing great. She is already starting to gain weight, the sore on her back is healing up good, her hair is starting to grow back and her coat is already getting that glossy coat to it. The two calves, Davy and Danny, are doing awesome. The are starting to eat more grain everyday and will be able to be fully weaned in about two or three weeks.
The Cornish Rock chicks seem like they have doubled in size in the last week. The are huge compared to the turkey poults. The four Rhode Island Red chicks are doing great. They are nearly all feathered out now and are learning that they can fly. The new turkey poults did not fair well with all of this temperature fluctuation. Three days ago, they were sent via the mail in 30 degree weather and then two days later, it is 90 out. We have lost 5 poults, something that is extremely rare. I feel bad, but unfortunately, the weather is out of my control and there really isn't anything more that I could have done to help them survive.

On another note, Rich went fishing with his Dad (alone) for the first time in over 20 years. The "boys" had a great time and caught a ton of fish. Rich's Dad was funny, he called Rich Thursday night asking him all kinds of questions and then yesterday when they made arrangements on what time to go...his Dad showed up here about 1/2 hour early. They spent about 5 hours out fishing and both of them came back with big grins on their faces and a stringer full of fish about 9:30 last night. The put the fish in water, put them in the fridge and agreed to fillet them out at 8 this morning. Rich wasn't even out of bed when his Dad pulled in at 7:30 this morning. I guess his Dad was excited and had a great time. I don't think he can wait to go again.
Well, we are off to go enjoy a ride around today. Just one of those nice days to take off with the camera and enjoy the weather. Hope everyone enjoy a peaceful Sunday. God Bless.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Prayers and Blessings

I have a neighboor, who is one of my best friends, get called to Halifax a couple of days ago. Her niece, that is still young, attempted to commit suicide. She is progressing, in case you are wondering, and thankfully, expect a full recovery (in due time). I guess this whole thing really hit me hard, for the fourth time this year...actually the fourth time in less than three months.
Rich works on Cornell Campus and recently, their shop assisted with the installation of fences on ALL of the bridges and walkways throughout campus. They had to due this as a suicide prevention method. In a three week time frame, three engineering students on campus jumped to their deaths at various locations on campus. All of these students were juniors and had good grades. To outsiders, they must have "seemed" like they were on the fast track to success. This got me to far are we actually pushing students? Is failure really difficult enough for them to deal with to make them end their own lives? And then, of course, I start wondering how no one can notice a group of young people who are screaming for attention and for help. How can we, as a society, not notice that someone is on the brink? Are we, as a society, not to have compassion anymore about the people who walk by us on the street? Have we lost our hearts? Doesn't anyone really care anymore????
Then the "issues" with my friend.....I will continue to say this until I get the point across...
You know, when you see people with their kids in Wal-mart and the kids aren't behaving...please don't judge, you don't know what kind of problems the child has. How would you feel if after making a remark to the person you are with or heaven forbid to the parent, you find out that they are autistic? Instead, why don't you just try giving them, all parents, a little bit of sympothy. All kids act out now and then, parent's don't get to choose when that time is. Maybe the child is ill, imagine that the parent is absolutely exhausted (as any parent knows can happen in a moments time) and how bad that makes the parent feel. Could you imagine if they are on the edge already and trying to cope with depression? Can you imagine how hurtful a dirty look or a harsh word could be?
You never know anyone circumstances until you walk a mile in their shoes...Stop judging a book by the cover and have a heart!
I can tell you just from experience in my own life, how much a small smile can mean. Just one small movement of someone's mouth can change a bad day into one that lifts my spirits. A kind word of encouragement or one of caring has an amazing effect on a person.......ESPECIALLY IF IT COMES FROM A STRANGER! I will say that some people just don't deserve it. Maybe one in ten don't. But, what about the other nine....why punish them for someone else's stupidity, immorality or just plain laziness? I remember one older gentleman that was miserable with everyone. No one liked him. He never smiled. He was always, always grumpy. I meet him in the hallway of a hospital while he was shouting at a laundry lady. I literally felt sorry for him. I remember walking up to him and saying, "Hush, you grumpy old man and tell me a joke. You have to know some good jokes." At first he looked at me stunned, like I was out of my mind. I probably was. I stood there waiting for him to bite my head off and tell me to go away. To my surprise, he tipped his head back like he was thinking and says, "Young filly, I haven't told a joke in so long, you have to give me a minute. I am old and dammit my mind works slow sometimes." I couldn't help but smile. A few minutes later, he was rambling off jokes (most of them crude but hilarious) with a smile on his face. I made friends with him over the next several weeks. I learned that he was actually depressed and didn't know any other way than anger to express the resentment and lonliness that he constantly felt. His wife had died about a year earlier, his kids lived with their families in Colorado and California. He was alone in the world. I gave him hope through jokes, laughter and friendship.
He died about two months ago, still living not far from here. I can tell you that when he passed, many nurses and doctors came to his calling hours. A few people within the community that his children had never known while living here came too. And, of course, I went. We all discussed how he changed after that day in the hallway. He became much more personable. I think he realized that by being loud and angry, all he managed to do was push everyone away. He was one of the nicest and kindest men I have ever had the opportunity to spend time with. He told me many stories about funny things that he had done in his life and things that he remembered his kids doing. He will be missed dearly.
We all have the power to do this kind of thing in someone's life. All you have to do is say or do something that will make a person smile. Take one day, as an experiment, and trying smiling at every person you walk by. Watch their face closely to catch their response. Ask them right after they make contact how they are. You will be down right amazed at some of the answers you get back.
May God Bless all of the unfortunate souls who feel alone and unworthy, help them find your grace and give them strength to live life to the fullest.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cold Weather and Warm Home

I am sitting on the couch right now, just inside from taking care of the cows. Between yesterday and today, things have been difficult trying to keep calves warm. The two new calves are managing with the cooler weather better than Norman is. Norman is having some difficulty with his back leg again and spent most of his time today inside a stall. I hate keeping him locked up like that but, I really don't know what else to do. I have to keep him so that he stays warm and doesn't injury his leg more than he already has. I feel so bad sometimes that I feel like crying.
Momma is doing well with the new addition and all of the attention that she is getting. She is doing much better and is starting to look better already.
Buck loves his new family, he actually knocked the fence down today so that he could spend time with them. The whole group wandered around the field together munching on the grass throughout the pasture. I didn't think that he would be as good with them as he is. I am impressed with how good his is with the calves.
The calves have names now. The redder colored one made a noise yesterday that sounded just like a person saying "Davy", so I started calling him Davey and he would pick up his head, stare straight at me, and even make a couple of steps toward me. So, as I was cleaning up the manure out of the barn, I started thinking of names that would go with Davy. The only reference to Davy that I could think of was Davy Crockett. To go along with that, all I could think of was Daniel Boone. The name of the strong-willed fuzzier calf is now Daniel or Danny or when he makes me mad...Danny-boy. After Rich assisted with moving them into the barn last night, he thinks that Danny is fast approaching 100 lbs. but the other two he puts at around 85-90 lbs. They will start gaining weight faster now that they are starting to eat grass and grain. Before I know it, I will have to start milking the cow.
Once I start milking though, I will be making butter and buttermilk as a side product along with working with Rich's Dad, Jim, to make cheese. He wants to make some and so do I, so we will work together on the first batch.

On another note, I am currently in the process of making copies of a 1971 version of Rich's family geneology that dates all the way back to 1800. It is amazing to see how many of the families here in the little town that we live in are actually related. No wonder why they treat all new people in town like's because we are! Atleast they aren't marrying within the town anymore. Hahahaha. Now most of the "spouses" are all from outlying townships. I think that this little town is actually a rarity anymore. It is almost a throw back to another time and place. The people here treat their neighboors with respect, but respectfully mind their own business unless their neighboor is in a time of need. I am proud to now be accepted as a part of this community. The community reminds me so much of my childhood, including the dependency upon Agriculture and the attitudes that people have toward their friends and family. I don't think that most people around here lock their doors and it isn't uncommon to wake up in the middle of night to hear someone knocking on the door because they need help due to a car in the ditch, a smashed car from a deer "run-in" or even to have someone come to the door after dark asking if we could come help catch a cow.
I wish that more places in the world were still like it is here! Remember, be kind to people, no matter what, because you never know what kind of problem they have or what is going through their minds. Sometimes all it takes if one simple question like "How are you today?" to save someone from committing suicide.
Wishing everyone the best and may God bless you in all that you do!