Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Calf Number ?!?!?!?!? - 7 maybe???

Tonight, as I am cooking dinner (steaks, baked potatoes and last years green beans out of the freezer - totally local meal too), Tyler comes in - Nala's in trouble - there is something hanging out of her butt. This is the cow I've been watching all day. By the time I put on my shoes and walk the 50 feet to the cow pen - this was on the ground:

What a wonderful sight to see - and I couldn't get any closer to see what it was (boy or girl) - she 'bout came over the gate at me trying to keep me away from her baby. I'll make Todd go out when he gets home and see if he can tell what it is.

All day she has been trying to get away from everyone to have this calf - when they would come up, she would go to the pasture (Todd turned them out early). When they would go out, she would come up. Poor girl.

Edited at 10:15 p.m. - Todd just got home from work, and it is a girl so .. . .

Boys - 5 Girls - 2

More Gardening (and some sewing)

Despite the chilly, icky, rainy weather of the last 2 days - I've accomplished many things.

I mulched all around the blackberry plants with straw. I still have the straw covering the strawberry plants that I moved - we had frost warnings last night and I didn't want to kill them after I had moved them. Everything is looking like it survived being moved so far.

Yesterday I transplanted all 45 of my sauce tomatoes (and yes they did all come up from seed so I will be swimming in sauce tomatoes this summer) into peat pots, and then ran out when it was time to transplant my eating tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. A trip to the local feed store solved that problem, and I will finish up this afternoon.

Then, AmandaJean is doing another quilt along, which I wanted to do. I didn't want to go buying a lot of fabric for it, so was debating on what I was going to do. Last night I was cleaning out our closet in our bedroom - and came across a small rubbermaid tote full of fabric that I had brought years and years ago (sometime between when we got married in 1995 and when we moved in 1998) for who knows what project. The receipt was still in the bag (this was all before kids that I brought it). The background will be a medium brown, the stars will be all different blues, and the sashings will be a brick red fabric. Problem solved - I will do my quilt-along quilt with this fabric. And it should end up being big enough that when I am done, it will fit our king sized bed (with a couple creative borders added)

Block 1

I've had so many interviews, I'm just keeping my fingers crossed for now - and starting to feel the crunch of getting everything I wanted to get done while I've been off work (I could be starting one job as early as week after next). The good thing is, I went back to my eye doctor who did my Lasix surgery (if I go once a year for an exam, they will do any touch ups for free for life). Last year when I went, there was talk that they would have to redo the surgery on one eye. Apparently, since I'm not staring at a computer screen all day, my vision has improved but I've developed age related macular degeneration in one eye. They are 99% sure it won't be an issue for another 30 or 40 years, but it's there - so I'm thankful that every job I've interviewed for hasn't involved a lot of staring at a computer screen. And no touch up surgery for me.

I'm going to spend the day cleaning closets and watching another cow who looks like she's trying to pop out a calf - hopefully that will happen before too long here.

Have a sunny day!!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Gardening Rush Begins

After Saturday, Todd wanted to get out in the cornfield yesterday and get it ready. It was so nice out and any more, SUnday's are pretty much the only day he has left. He asked me what I wanted done before he left (I asked if taking the kids was an option - but it wasn't as we don't have a tractor with a cab). So I asked him to rototill a patch in the garden that I could transplant rhubarrb, strawberries and blackberries to.

He rototilled it, I raked it and in and Tyler and I took the 4-wheeler and yard cart through the horse pasture around to the garden with all the tools and the rhubarb plants:

the view our our house and barns from the very edge of our property in the horse pasture

Into the ground went:

3 rhubarb plants that magically survived our old garden turned wild weed patch

the 100 strawberry plants that I planted in the garden that the row looked like I was seriously drunk (and I wasn't), which turned into 130 strawberry plants (and there are still 50-60 in the ground that I am not touching)

and 10 blackberry plants that we turned into about 20 or so.

Then last night I looked at my seedlings - everything is coming along, but I think I need to pot up my tomato plants - so I am going to try and do that today or tomorrow. Do they look about the right size, Angie?

It's raining, so I'm off to do some sewing.

See ya,


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Oh. My. Gosh.

Today was so incredibly hectic - why oh why do I do this to myself????

Todd left for work at 6:00 this morning, so I got up and made him lunch (otherwise he would eat dinner Friday night and dinner Saturday night) to take to work. Tyler was up at 6:30 this morning then, so him and I watched an Air Bud movie - the soccer one.

We left the house by 9 to go to Tyler's soccer game. A stop at the gas station for a cappucino for me, and we were there. Jessie decides (in a pre-tween fit) that she isn't using the wheelchair, and wants to use her crutches - the entire morning. My response was - "that's fine, but I will not carry you from one field to the other" - there are 4 different soccer fields at our school spread out all over kingdom come (probably about 4 acres all told). Of course, by the time she walks the lenght of 1 soccer field, she is exhausted (and I'm thinking good thing I did bring the wheelchair), and sweet talks her old coach into carrying her to where she wants to go (I told him - oh these girls have your number - you are such a softie) - and he carried her all over when she was tired (and girls like to just move around a LOT). But he is an awesome father - and a great coach and mentor for these young kids.

Then, I was bringing Jessie, Tyler and one of his little friends, Braden, home until Tyler's birthday party as Braden's sister had a soccer game at 12, and they live at the other end of the county. It ended up I brought Jessie, Tyler, Braden and Logan (another friend) home with me until the party, and Braden's sister Blair, got dropped off after her game at our house. 7 boys and 3 girls (another one of Tyler's friends sister stayed with Jessie and Blair for the afternoon) for the afternoon. Fortunately, the sun was out and we were able to be outside for the party. Todd gets off work at 4:30 and calls me - how many chicken halves would you like? The Fireman's Association did a chicken barbque during the Village yardsales and they were selling the leftover chicken halves for $2 each - so we got 30. So I deboned 30 chicken halves (okay - 27 after we ate a few) and put them in freezer bags to enjoy later on for dinners. I'm thinking chicken salad, creamed chicken sandwiches - any other suggestions?

Why is it such fun to climb hay bales?

So I am exhausted. But I know why I do this - I want all the kids to want to come to our house, to feel comfortable hanging out here rather than god knows where - and if they are here (or at the friends houses) someone will/should always know what they are doing - right????? I am just so thankful that we have some really good parents in our district, and the kids all get along so incredibly well. We talked today that perhaps the 5 or 6 families whose kids are really close would all go camping this summer - I think that would be so fun (of course, it's 6 families and would be like 14 kids under the age of 9) - I'm really hoping this works out for us all.

Tommorrow I am moving my blackberries and strawberries - come h*** or high water.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Baking, Sewing & the Great Outdoors

I know - wierd combination but. . . .

I've been slowly getting myself organized. Yesterday while Tyler was at preschool, I went to the bulk food store and stopped to pick up milk, buns and butter. Then I started working on quilting this quilt:

And I know I might have mentioned that I was going to do it in straight lines, but the blocks are not lined up very straight at all (thanks to the pattern and the appliques that go on later) so I'm meander quilting it. I just have issues when I'm going to be putting a straight line down it that isn't matching up to any particular block. Wierd huh?

Then tonight, I baked zuccinni bread, brownies and Tyler's cake for his birthday party with his little friends tomorrow afternoon after soccer games. I've been experimenting with baking - I go through spurts every so often and bake up a storm, but I'm trying to bake more from scratch, and rely less on the prepackaged gunk you buy in the stores. And I have a weakness for zuccinni bread (seriously, I will eat a whole loaf on my own here before long - gee honey, the recipe only made 2 loaves this time around - hehe.)

Zuccinni Bread

3 c. flour
1tsp. cinamon
1 tsp. salt
2 c. shredded zuccinni
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. sour cream
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. oil
1/2 c. nuts (optional)

Combine sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add all dry ingredients. Add sour cream and zuccinni.

Bake at 350 til done (my propane oven it takes 40-45 minutes). Cut and slather with butter and enjoy (and believe me, I will be enjoying it).

And my house is seriously suffering. It's been in the mid to high 70's all week here with sunshine, so that means lots of outdoor time for Tyler and I. Our yard is mowed (a 2 1/2 hour job), my flower beds are mostly cleaned out, and all my patio furniture is out for the year. Todd was home early last night (at 8:30) but he already said tonight will be a 10:00 night or later.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

It has been such a busy 2 days. Where has the time gone?

Monday I spent the day outside - mowing the yard, working in my flower beds, doing chores. When I picked Tyler up from school - I took his bike and my bike (that I just got on Sunday) and we went for a 2 mile bike ride in West Salem. After 28 years, I still know how to ride a bike (but boy, were parts of me sore). Then we came home and flew kites in the massive winds we have been having every afternoon.

Yesterday was a field trip with Jessie's class to the OARDC (part of OSU campus in Wooster, Ohio) - where she ATE BUGS. Yes, my darling girly girl ate 5 different bugs. Guess she is not the girly girl I have always thought her to be. Actually, most of the kids ate the bugs and declared them yummy - except for a very small handful. Mom, of course, was grossed out beyond belief. It was educational (?) but my gag reflex really put me to the test yesterday. I wasn't going to go, but I got a call last week - since she is still in a wheelchair, she couldn't go on the field trip unless I took her.

chirppy cookies (grasshoppers I'm thinking)

chocolate covered something or other

cheddar cheese flavored meal worms.

It was interesting (when I wasn't gagging that is). They also had a science demo - where he showed them how to properly T.P. a house - you use a leaf blower with a paint roller handle stuck down inside it - and then put the roll of toilet paper on the pain roller and let it rip. I think the kids were more impressed with catching the toilet paper than in figuring out how to T.P. a house - thank goodness. Although as Todd said, using a leaf blower is a sure way to get caught when you turn it on.

Of course, I had to send Tyler to his babysitters and had to bribe him to do so (if you are good at school and at Erin's - we will go get ice cream when I pick you up). So we picked him up at the babysitters and walked/pushed Jessie the 2 blocks to the IGA. Works like a charm every time. And I needed a chocolate fix after seeing these kids inhale bugs.

And then Tyler had soccer practice last night. After soccer practice, another mother had a meeting and her 2 kids are a year older than each of mine - so daringly I said - I'll take them home with me, feed them, let the 4 of them play. . . . oh. my. gosh. The boys were like wild indians - running and chasing each other in and out of the house.

Today was more of the same - yardwork, housework (which I am sadly neglecting because it has been so nice). I think I figured out why the lawn mower keeps quiting on me every 20 minutes or so (helps when it has oil in it:)).

And. . .we did figure out the sex on our last calf - it's a girl. We still can't get near her, but saw her going to the bathroom on Sunday. So that helps.

Boys 5 - Girls - 1.

Tonight, I want to get another quilt started - that I can put in the Durango and pull out at soccer practice, soccer games or wherever to sit on. Nothing fancy, just use up some scraps and make something.

Hope everyone's days are sunny!!


Monday, April 21, 2008

Pay It Forward

A fabulous idea started a long, long time ago - by someone very smart. . . . .

And I received my Pay It Forward gift in the mail from Jacquie today - what a great gift!!!! Thank you so much Jacquie. I love it (and had been dreaming of one after I saw her's a few posts ago) and am trying to figure out where I can possibly hang it that it will be treasured for all times.

So now, who would like to play Pay It Forward with me? The first 3 people to join in the comments I will make something special for. Which you will receive in the next 2 months (the rules say actually 12 months - but I'm going to be daring here). In return, you Pay It Forward on your own blogs when you receive my gift:). It has to be handmade, but could be anything from something knitted, something quilted, some neat cards, something stamped, a beautiful photograph you took for a lucky someone to hang on their walls, use your imagination!!!

Back later,


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Road Trip!!!!

What a wonderful trip we took yesterday to Green Vista Water Gardens. And I am so in love with water gardens now - even much more so than before. The store was in Springfield, Ohio (close to Dayton) - 2 1/2 hours away. We left right after both of our girls got on their respective buses, and hit the road.

Once there, they had about 10 different display ponds. We walked around, looked at fish, looked at plants and DREAMED. Here are some of their display ponds:

I am not a big fan of formal ponds like this (above) - but I am a HUGE fan of these 2 little boys - Tyler and Hunter (Hunter has the red hair).

Pondless water fall (above).

These ponds are more my style.
We ended up coming home with 4 pots of flowers, some underwater oxygenating plants, and Kellie brought her new pump and filter system. The plants - we each brought 2, figuring they were so big, we are going to divy them up tomorrow (Sunday when I help her clean out her pond and get her new pump and filter up and running) and then we will each have 4.

Tyler was such a good little boy - he just went along for the ride, but he did say on the way home he wants his own water garden pond.

And I didn't buy a single fish - I have probably way more fish than I actually should in my little pond, so until we build another one (hopefully sometime this summer) I decided I had better not add to the fish population here on the farm. For anyone who is interested, water gardens are so much easier to maintain than flower beds. I spent about 2 hours cleaning mine out the other day, and now it will only take me about 15 minutes a week to maintain it - and there is no weeding involved.

My own little pond - after it's cleaning:)

I did get some really, really good ideas and now can hopefully spend this weekend moving flowers around in my water garden and around it in my regular flower beds. But first, I have a little boy who has a soccer game, and I need to go buy a new leaf rake today so I can finish cleaning out the rest of my many flower beds seeing as how I broke mine 2 years ago chasing some stray dogs who were chasing the horses.

Hope everyone has a sunny weekend!!


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Another Gorgeous Day

I'm not going to speak very loudly, but I think I need a day of rain:)

I put both kids on the bus this morning, and headed to Aldi's to do my grocery shopping. What an experience. I usually either have - both kids with me (wanting all the candy they can stuff into their little mouths) or I was trying to do it on my lunch 1/2 hour (I worked right across the street) and would end up forgetting a ton of things. So if my calculations are correct, I won't have to go back for at least 3 weeks, unless it's for the basics like milk and eggs.

Today, I had 2 hours until I had to pick Tyler up - I found so many things that I didn't realize Aldi's carried, because I had time. And I had a cart full of food (heaped full) for about 1/2 of what I would normally spend.

This afternoon I cleaned out my water garden. I spent a couple hours draining some of the water out of it, cleaning all the leaves out, putting new water in, repotting my plants - basically puttering around enjoying the sunshine (76 degrees). I played in my flower beds - cleaning out more of the dead stuff from last summer, and Tyler hauled mulch onto my concrete patio:)

A good friend and I are taking a road trip to southern Ohio tomorrow to go to a water garden center (supposedly they have over 150 display ponds) to see what is what. I don't think we'll be able to buy anything (I'm not sure fish or marsh plants would survive a 2 hour car trip home), but it will be fun to get some ideas for our water gardens. I so love to take garden tours in the summer - to see what everyone else is doing/putting together/making the most of what they have.

Then Tyler and I went on a bike ride (for him) and a walk for me. Our road is so not busy - all told we biked/walked 2 miles - and saw not 1 car. I so love where we live - quiet little neighborhood.

This is coming up our driveway - about 50 feet in -

I love it that you can't see our house from the road -

we get no one coming up to sell us anything.

Then tonight when I was doing chores (Todd is again working late), this little calf thought he had a new pen:

Funny how they all love to go in the roundbale feeder when it is empty, but try and get them to go through the creep feed gate and it's like pulling teeth. They must be like little kids - they like what they aren't supposed to.

And yes, they are out of hay, but they are going to have to stay that way until Todd gets home in a few hours - the skidloader and I cannot come to an understanding when I try to help out and run it for anything.

Be back later,

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

60+ and Sunny

After yesterday, today was a piece of cake.

Last night while Tyler had soccer, there were 3 little girls (two 2nd graders and a 3rd grader) who had homework. Tyler had soccer from 5-6 and then Jessie had Girl Scouts from 6:30 to 8. And when was homework going to get done?

Sorry for the blurry photo - I had to take this with my cell phone!!

Why at the soccer practice of course!!! One mom had the card table, I had an extra folding chair, and they sat in the sunshine (65 degrees) and did their homework. It felt like a tailgating party, as we all had brought food for the girls since they were on the go all evening (believe me, nothing fancy - just sandwiches and cut up veggies). The other 2 girls had soccer practice from 3:30 to 5, and their younger brothers play on Tyler's team. Next week we are doing dinner at practice (something easy, like sandwiches and salad).

Tonight will be a quiet night - after yesterday, we need some down time.

My seeds are doing well - I'm just waiting (not so patiently) for the peppers to sprout. But my lettuce seeds did sprout so we will be swimming in salads this summer.

Today while Tyler was at school, I worked on basting this quilt. I brought the fabric on clearance right before I lost my job, so I might as well finish up the projects that I have everything for them, before buying something new.

I had a promissing interview at the local bank yesterday - and have another one at a local church for next week (I know I said I didn't really want an office job - but apparently I am over qualified for a night shift position anywhere - or so they keep saying). The worst is the waiting, but I am oh so thankful for my family, friends and the blessings we have.

Oh, and we still don't know if calf #6 is a boy or a girl - Mama cow tried to eat Todd's lunch last night when he went in to check - he's thinking it's a girl because she is so dainty and this bull throws really, really thick calves, but we are going to have to either wait until she calms down, or have some help over here and catch them at the right moment to know for sure.

Hope everyone has a blessed evening!!


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Calf #6 and Gardening

Today has flown by. Last night, one of our older cows was standing off by herself. Todd says we'll have another calf by morning. And we did. (I did go out to check about 10:30 last night - but she was hidden way back in the corner and all I could see with the hunting spotlight was 2 eyes)

We still don't know if it is a boy or a girl yet. Todd tried to get in there this morning to check - and she 'bout ate his lunch (I really wish it had been light enough for the video camera - would have made a good momento). So we will try again tonight when he gets home, maybe. No sense in getting tossed if we don't have to just yet. Although I am glad she has good mamma instincts.

I was able to get about 4 feet away from the calf this morning (with 4 strands of hot wire inbetween her and I) but she didn't like it.

Then Tyler and I went to his doctor's appt for his follow up for his tonsils - those suckers were 9.4 grams, and each was the size of a golf ball. No wonder the kid had a hard time talking and eating. His adnoids were 1/2 inch bigger than golf balls.

Then it was work in the garden time this afternoon - last year we had put down black plastic to try and help with weeds - well, if Todd is going to rototill it this weekend (it was way to wet last night) so I can move my blackberries, all that had to come up. What a pain (we have a nifty little contraption that will bury the edges under dirt, but that just means it's that much harder to pull up in the fall/spring).

Now I'm just waiting for Jessie's bus to come, we will quick eat dinner (probably hamburgers) and Tyler will go to soccer practice for an hour, and then we will run Jessie to Girl Scouts. I was going to skip both of these tonight and go to my parents' house for dinner, but my Mom isn't feeling well, so - they can go to their various activities.

It's 55 degrees and sunny here with a little bit of wind. The rest of the cows are out enjoying the sun, and I saw one of the horses stretched out taking a nap about an hour ago.

Hope everyone had a good day and lots of sunshine!!


Monday, April 14, 2008

Not Very Motivated

For some reason, not working encourages me to not be very motivated to start anything. But I have gotten lots of necessary stuff done in the few days I have been jobless. I saw on Jacquie's blog a flag quilt - which has me thinking of digging through my stash to do one of my own. Flags (and really anything Americana) are my undoing. I have a bunch of fabric left over from my red, white and blue block of the month quilt - I could put the leftovers to good use.

After last week in the 60's, we are back down in the high 40's. This weekend was just a constant light mist/drizzle - which made Tyler's soccer game depressing. But we survived, and he had fun, which is the most important part.

I started more seeds, cleaned my sewing/computer room, and am plugging away.

Last year around this rock, there were so many daylillies you could barely see the rock. So last September I dug them all up and transplanted them. I look out there today and . . .

...more daylillies. These things must never die.

Then my blackberry bushes are budding out. YIKES. We want to get them moved from here - this is our old garden, and I want to put them out in the open a little more. I guess this will be a project for Saturday or Sunday (if it's not raining:))

The cows are getting tired of mud, but so am I. They spend their days hanging out in the shed, or back behind it on the hill. No babies yet - but I'm not too worried about the 3 that are left - this will be calves 8 (for 2 of them) and 9 for the other one, so . . . . if they can't pop them out we have a problem here.

All in all, if the weather holds, we will have a busy week. Todd was home early tonight (6:00) but if there is no rain, it will be 9-10 before he gets home the rest of the week.

I'm off to help him attempt to rototill the garden (weed patch:))


Saturday, April 12, 2008


I was tagged by Angie for the 4x4 meme - so here goes!!

4 jobs I've had:

veterinary assistant
legal secretary
horse trainer
Mom (the most important).

4 shows I watch:


American Idol
Prison Break

4 places I've been:

Washington D.C.
Spring TX & Houston TX
Punxsutawney, PA
Mayo Clinic, MN
(whew - that one was tough - we don't like to go anywhere I guess)

4 foods I like:

homemade bread
boneless, skinless grilled chicken breasts
And I will tag Sara, Jacquie, Jen, Katie & Lynsey

Enjoy, and I'll look forward to reading your responses ladies!!


Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday Night Chillin'

I am so glad this week is over. It has been both blessed and super, super busy.

Jessie got her cast on today - full length, hot pink. So far it's healing good. 4 weeks in this super long cast, and then 2 -3 weeks in a cast just up to her knee. She broke it good, but it should heal very well. I think we are finally over the worst of the pain - which I am so thankful for (now if she would just sleep through the night again, I would be a wonderfully ecstatic person - hehe).

Little Miss Hop Along

My seeds have sprouted. All but 7 on the first tray are growing strong.

Tyler has gotten to spend some quality time with Mom.

And after much soul searching and thinking, I don't think I'm going back to office work any time soon. I have several possibilities that have opened up in neighboring school districts and our school district, including substitute teaching, teacher's aid, paraprofessional (I think a fancy name for teacher's aid) and possibly a bus driver. I'm going in to talk to everyone next week - and will decide from there. I have come to realize I don't want an 8-5 Monday through Friday job again - it's just not me. I want to be out with my kids in the summer, working on the farm, growing a huge, kick butt garden and I can hardly do that in an office setting. As I told Todd this morning, I would rather go into a factory and work 3rd shift so I could be home during the day, than go back to a 8-5 job. Funny how I'm figuring out what I want to do at 36 years old!!!

The green around here is AMAZING. Seems like just a couple weeks ago, everything was brown and muddy, and now everywhere I look there's green grass, green hay, and still lots of MUD.

My rhododendron, which has millions of buds on it - I can't wait for it to bloom

Looking out over the horse pasture -

the square of dirt in the background is our little rented cornfield -

the grass next to it is our rented hayfield.

Although there is still a muddy mess in the cattle lot -

although the green behind them is their pasture -

here in another 3 weeks or so they will go out there.

Todd's been working a million hours this week - every night it has been 9 or 10 until he has gotten home, and he's been up and gone by 6:30 in the morning at the latest. And he will work tomorrow and miss Tyler's soccer game:( , but I will video tape all the important parts so he can see it.

And thank you so much to everyone who has left kind comments - I really appreciate each and every one of you. And for those lurkers out there - introduce yourself - it's really fun meeting people from all over, cheering them on and knowing they are cheering us on in our daily doings!!

I hope everyone has a blessed and wonderful weekend - I know I will!!