Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I forgot to mention

With all the hecticness (is that a word?) going on in the last week here on the farm - we had our final calf of the season last Thursday - another bull calf.

This mama is such a good mama - she had it on her own (as all her calves have been) sometime Thursday morning. When we got home from work it was up running around. One year she had twins, and cared for them all summer together with no troubles (although she has been known to frequently nurse other cows calves with no complaint). And we are able to get semi close to the calf, and have been able to since last Thursday.

So the final tally is boys - 6 and girls - 2. A little depressing for Todd, who wants heifers so we can start getting rid of some of our older cows (this mama is 10 years old this spring, and her udder and teats get so huge that most babies have trouble nursing for the first 24 hours unless they are very aggressive). But it was not to be this year. We were blessed with lots of little boys (much to Tyler's delight).

Me, I'm kind of glad we have 6 steers to choose from for 4-H projects next year (wouldn't that be a bummer to have to go and buy a steer calf to show at the fair??)

Now onto thinking of next year' calves......


Tuesday, May 27, 2008


After 82 degrees yesterday, we were lucky to make it to 55 today. I am REALLY not liking the Spring we have been having. Although I see that by the weekend, we are back up into the high 70's.

But my garden is planted (except for a few things), my flowers are done, and we had a wonderful Memorial Day.

We went to the parade in our little Village - honestly, 10 minutes and it was over - but the kids enjoyed it.

I finished up most of my flowers - a half a flat left to stick in the ground somewhere and I am DONE.

Hopefully my tomatoes and other veggies will survive the night. I don't think they are calling for heavy frost (or any sort of frost - the low is like 42) but I worry. I had to cheat - I grew my seedlings in the basement under a grow light since mid-March/early April - and the danged things died on me - I set them out in the dappled shade on Saturday to try and get them acclimated, and they croaked on me after about an hour. I'm not sure if the spring breeze was too much, or if it had been to cold in our basement (we have no heat down there and they were teeny tiny compared to what I brought at the greenhouses) so fortunately I had brought enough seedlings from one of the greenhouses and we will be fine (if they don't freeze out).

And Tyler learned how to swing ALL BY HIMSELF this weekend - I wasn't really pushing the issue, as I want my little boy for as long as possible, but he did it. Next he says the training wheels are coming off.

They grow up entirely too fast, don't they???


Sunday, May 25, 2008

I. Am. Tired....

This morning, I was up and out the door before 9:00 - to go to our TSC store to get a hand garden seeder (for my green beans, peas and beets). I came home, I hauled everything I needed out to the garden with the 4 wheeler and got busy.

3 hours later it is done. I have herbs (12 different kinds), cabbage, head lettuce (I think that is what butter crunch? is), slicing/eating tomatoes (3 kinds), paste/sauce tomatoes (4 kinds), sweet peppers (2 kinds), medium hot peppers (3 kinds), extremely hot peppers (4 kinds), green beans, peas, beets, crook neck squash, zucchini, and pumpkins. In to go yet are acorn squash, spaghetti squash, cherry tomatoes and eggplant. And my garden will be full.

Am I forgetting anything? Probably most definitely I am. But I can't think of it now for the life of me.

Then it was more flowers this afternoon and mowing my yard. Still more to mow tomorrow but the majority of it is done.

Todd got done working about 5 (they had to work yesterday, today AND tomorrow to get semi caught up) so he came home and ground feed for the cows and planted our field corn and our sweet corn this evening. Of course, Tyler had to "help." I did not get any pictures of the actual planting of the corn - I was to tired to walk all the way around the horse pasture to snap a picture, and didn't want to unhook the 4 wheeler from the garden cart to take it.

And I am so ready for bed.....



Greenhouses are my weakness (well...that and fabric shops really).

Yesterday was preparation day. I went to 2 greenhouses (one greenhouse I made 2 trips to). The first one to get my veggies (and came home with all this):

The second one to get more flowers for my pots, more veggies and came home with all this:

To turn the flowers into this:

Which took all. day. long (there are about twice this many pots and hanging baskets I have going all summer).

Then the lawnmower dies, and Todd finally makes it home about 9:00 to do this to our garden:

All so I can plant it today.

And we have a pygmy goat here just overnight. A friend of mine was wanting to get rid of her (she beats up on their other 3 goats) so my FIL is taking her. Meet Chloe:

Cute yes, ...but I really don't need a goat.
Off to the garden,

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Poor Jessie....

We have been so blessed to have wonderful teachers at our elementary school. This year was no exception. Last year the room moms and I made quilts for the 1st grade teachers.

This year, for Mrs. Ferrell, we decided to do this:

I'm going Saturday to get
some flowers to put in it.

I was showing it to Todd (I picked it up today so I could get the flowers into it this weekend) and as we are looking at it on the table, Jessie's sitting there with tears running down her face. When we asked what was wrong, she says Mrs. Ferrell must not like me - my handprint isn't on the flower pot. Turns out, the day the class painted this in Art class was the day Jessie got her full leg cast off so she missed Art, and the other mom picked it up first thing the next morning. So tomorrow night, I'm going to add Jessie's handprint to the flowerpot. As I told Janet (the other mom who helped me with this as I am the only room mom this year) at least it was my kid we forgot - it'll be pretty easy to add her handprint:)

The bags are done for Tyler's teachers (with a few hours to spare, I finished up about 7 p.m. tonight). Tomorrow morning I'm stopping at Dollar General before his class picnic to get candles, pens and notepads to put in them. Not very crafty fillings but hey, I'm trying (originally I was going to get notepads and cover them like Christina did, but I'm running behind here). I still have to make a bag for Mrs. Ferrell from Jessie - maybe I'll cover a notebook for her. Which reminds me, I need to take some tissue paper to stick in there too.

Now I'm off to FINALLY clean my house......

See you later,

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


The weather finally turns decent.....

Todd's out as we speak discing the 2 acre corn field we plant. Just enough to feed our animals for the year, but tomorrow night might be his only night to get it planted before he gets busy at work. There is talk they are going to have to work Monday (sigh)....

Here's my block 4 for the Quilt A Long:

And 1 preschool teacher bag:

I'm frantically sewing on the other 2. I realized I need something for Tyler's speech teacher. I would just go buy her something, but she loved my chicken bag. And we are so thankful for her for working so hard with Tyler to teach him how to say "truck" (he substituted "f" for the "tr" - use your imaginations!!!). He's getting better . . .still slips sometimes especially when he is in a hurry. Dump truck was another thing she is working with him on (he drops the "p" so it sounds like dum *uck - you get the idea).

So it will be a late night for all of us (Todd and I). Jessie's in bed, Tyler is on his way there. . . .

Gotta LOVE Spring.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Weekend Insanity

What a weekend!!!

Friday night Todd decided he didn't like the chicken coop/buckeye barn where he put it originally, so we had to move it:

And if it's too muddy for the skidder to move the shed,

You get out the little tractor!!!

And then, while you are at it, you cut down some more trees (Yes, very blurry photos here, but I was using my cell phone - didn't want to run inside for the camera...)

Saturday morning found us at the hatchery at 9:00 in the morning - and we will at various points over the summer (June 16th, June 23rd and July 21st) be bringing home a total of 24 little chicks - 6 of which will be roosters which will eventually be cut down to 2). Tyler is excited though, so that is the important thing. Wonder what happened to our plans to get only 3 or 4 hens and 1 rooster?????

Then it was off to 4-H for the Cloverbud field trip - we went to the YMCA. Home by 12:30, switch children with friends of ours for the rest of the day and Sunday morning. The boys were good, but they didn't go to bed until almost midnight, and then were back up and at it at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday. I was soooo tired.

Yesterday morning, 3 of our cows were in heat - so we decided to go ahead and A.I. them. We'll be turning the bulls out this coming weekend, but might as well try and A.I. them - we've had the equipment for a number of years now - might as well get some use out of it.

I realized I never posted a picture of this quilt, which I finished a while ago:

I just need to figure out where to put it.

Today was my first day at the new job - as Administrative Assistant/Secretary in a District Church office. It'll be interesting, different (way different) from the law firm, but I think it'll be good. The hours are a good fit for us (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.) so I won't have to be leaving work early when the kids have stuff going on at school.

This week is Tyler's last day of preschool - so I'm taking off on Thursday (already:)) for his picnic. Next week is Jessie's last week as well.

Tonight it's do my block for the quilt along, and try and get preschool teacher gifts done for Tyler's teachers for the picnic on Thursday. Nothing like waiting til the last minute, right?

Have a good evening,

Friday, May 16, 2008

Finish It Up Day

This is my last weekday off before returning to work - so I thought I had better get some stuff done around here.

This quilt I started (and I am embarassed to admit this) 10+ years ago. It's a journal quilt from KT Quilts - and I can I say I absolutely positively love this quilt. I figured out how to sew bindings on by machine, and at 9:00 this morning I sewed the binding on this one to the back side, flipped it over, and sewed it on the front, and was done with the binding by 10:30.

Into the washer and dryer it went. It still has wool/fabric appliques that need to be sewn on, but I am considering it done. It measures 70x 81 - I wish it were big enough for our bed (king size).

I got the binding sewn on my flag table runner (and I sewed the binding on by machine before figuring out how to put the entire binding on by machine) so I had to handsew the binding to the back by hand. I made a pieced binding, and love it. Now if it was the right size I would be really happy (it's too big for the dresser I had intended it for - oh well, I'll find somewhere for it)

And I got my house cleaned. A major feat, considering Tyler wanted his Geo Trax train pulled out of the basement and set up. These trains are huge, but he has been occupied All. Morning. Long. So I am thankful. This is about half of his train, maybe a little less. The kid is a train fanatic.

Now I'm wondering if I can turn this fabric:

Into this top (the one with the very short capped sleves):

Although I am also wondering why bother - it's been so stinkin' cold here recently. I really hate sewing clothes - I am so afraid I'm going to end up with something too big or too small. So I will measure and think, think and measure and hopefully get it right.

Tomorrow will be a busy day. Between going to order our chicks, 4-h, and swapping children with some friends of ours (their son is coming to our house to spend the night with Tyler, and Jessie is going to their house to spend the night), we'll have a busy, busy day tomorrow.
Hope everyone has a good Friday evening,

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Destroying a Backpack

I don't normally endorse name brand stuff for my kids - unless I get it on sale (I am a regular at the Children's Place twice yearly clearance sales at our local outlet mall when everything is 3.97 and under - you won't catch me in there any other time of year). But there is one exception:

Backpacks for school.

Back when Jessie was starting preschool, I brought her the cheap, plastic disney princess back pack. It didn't last the entire school year, and she was only going to school 3 mornings a week (with me driving her there and picking her up). So before she went to kindergarden, I searched for a backpack for her - and discovered LLBean and Lands End backpacks.

Her's is the pink LLBean one (obviously) and she has had it for 3 school years now - and she is bound and determined (without much success I might add) to destroy it, as I told her at the beginning of second grade the only way you are getting a new one is to put holes in this thing so it won't hold anymore.

She has dragged it across concrete and gravel by the straps. Tonight as I was getting her off the bus, she stood at the top step of the bus and tossed it over my head to land in the dirt (she says has a phobia about hopping down the steps of the bus with her backpack on and a cast on her leg - I think she is trying to annoy the living daylights out of me - which lately she is very, very good at).

And the sucker keeps on ticking. Not a hole in it. A few slightly worn spots on the bottom, but not a hole. I'm sure it would last another year easy. Todd used to say I was being mean not to buy her another one every year (but heck, the thing had barely started to fade after kindergarden). Now he is wondering if this one will last until she goes to 6th grade at our middle school (in fact, he said something to the effect of I could patch any holes that develop in it - I said get real.

Tyler's had to come from Lands End - by the time I got around to ordering his for last year, that was the one I found - but it has made it through 2 years of preschool (this year was 4 mornings a week) and still looks pretty dang good.

So for all you mothers of school kids either now or someday in the future, this is one product I will pay the $24 for it. And I just might be stubborn enough to have her use it another year....

oh - she will not like this if I do that. She has her eye on the blue floral one from LLBean as we speak.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tyler's Chickens

Well, we are going this weekend (Saturday morning) to place our order for day old baby chicks. After much debating and looking online, we are going with little ones rather than the 17 week old pullets the hatchery offers. Tyler has his own views on the whole system - which for the most part agree with what we are thinking:

Our first order should be ready for pick up June 2nd:

5 female Barred Rock
4 female Rhode Island Red
1 rooster Rhode Island Red

Our second shipment won't be ready until June 30th:

4 Jersey Giant females
2 Jersey Giant Roosters
2 of something else (Todd says whatever as long as it is a brown egg layer). He mentioned Black Stars, but I'm thinking these or these. I would really, really like to have some of these, but I was outvoted by Todd and Tyler - Jessie said they were wierd, but she would go along with me.

Okay all you chicken keepers out there - is there anything else we need to know? (And don't even tell me we need more chicks in each batch - the only reason we are doing 2 batches is the Jersey Giants won't be ready until the 30th of June, and Tyler is a little anxious to get these and get started).

The plan with all the roosters is - if they all cannot get along, some will go in the freezer when they are ready (the Jersey Giants mature at 13 lbs.). And we are getting so many banking on the fact that a few could not make it throughout this whole process. Although as I said, the way our luck runs, every single chick will survive and thrive.

My parents have chickens, white ones and golden comets (?). They have a really, really tame chicken. Tyler said to me yesterday - "I want one of Grandma's tame white chickens, and when I go to visit, I will take the chicken in a cage so the chicken can visit with Grandma and Grandpa and all her chicken friends." How cute is that??? That definitely makes up for wanting a Rooster to flog his sister when she is mean to him (which he mentioned again - so I'm thinking he is serious on this - might have to have a little talk with him).

So then last night it was look around and try to figure out where in the heck we are going to keep these things, and all the other boring but necessary stuff. Turns out we have a buckeye barn - we were going to use it for the dogs in the winter and make runs attached to it with a concrete pad - guess the chickens will live in it for now - and we'll fence them in a little area. Todd does not believe we can do the whole free range chicken thing, but I have other plans on that (we'll just do it when he is not around). But, we do have lots of coyotes around us, so I can see the point when we are not home to keeping them penned in.

On other news - it's been crappy and rainy here - is warm weather ever going to arrive? We've spent our evenings hunting wild mushrooms (so far, we've only found about a dozen).

Enjoy the rain!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Where did the day go????

Finally - the first sunny, fairly warm day here in a number of days. So it was spent outdoors - no inside work for me.

My rhubarb are mulched with cow poo; my strawberries and blackberries are weeded. I think iit is safe to say all survived the move - there is new growth already on the blackberries and the strawberries most all have flowers.

My flowerbeds are weeded (funny how after a number of days of rain, the weeds just magically appear); the grass is all mowed (I had gotten 1/2 done before the rains last weekend).

And I took pictures of the calves - hopefully these will pass Todd's approval to send into the extension office.

And our most recent calf - this cute little heifer (I couldn't get a picture of the other heifer - too flighty):

Enjoy - I guess tomorrow it's back to more rain.....