Sunday, May 31, 2009


Good grief - I slacked off. On both posting and blog reading....

I call the chickens "slackers" on the days we only get 12 or so eggs. Maybe I should call myself that?

This weekend was spent wierdly. I had to work Saturday - 7 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. 260 miles out to the west side of Ohio and back for a meeting. While I don't mind the working - only having 1 day on the weekend to get my stuff in is just. not. right.

We finished putting up fence - pictures to come....and worked outside.

6 cows were bred A.I. last week. In 3 days. Next March will be BUSY for us if they all caught this time around.

The kids are at home with a new teenage babysitter. Today is the first day. And I think I am going to have to explain again that the cell phone at home with our home number is not for Jessie's personal use or for her to be calling me 6 times a morning. As I told her this morning, I could care less what you have for lunch as long as you eat what you get and don't make a mess. That was after the 4th call.
Have a great day

Friday, May 29, 2009


Things are calming down here.

It's helped that we have had 3 days of on and off thunderstorms:)

We are in the process of trying to breed all of our cows. This year, we gave everyone that we could a shot to make them come into heat. Then we pay someone to come out and A.I. (artificially inseminate) them.

So I've been spending several hours each day sitting:

Doing some hand quilting:

And watching the heifers for any signs of heat:

It's not so bad in the afternoons from 2:30 to 4:30 to sit out there in the barn with the fans running and keeping an eye on the heifers. 6:00 in the morning? Not so fun.

We do have a bull we could turn these heifers out with but...he tends to throw rather large calves, and since these are first calf heifers - we like to make this as easy on them as possible.

My tomato plants have all survived the storms from the last couple days. Hillbilly tomatoes are supposedly great eating - we shall see. Since I don't eat tomatoes in any solid form (sauce is it for me) I'll be relying on Todd, Jessie and Tyler to let me know if they like them.
Last night we actually bred 2 of the heifers above, and 1 cow was bred this morning. I think there are at least 2 cows to breed tonight - and then it's just wait on the last 1 or 2 to come into heat. At least all the calves next year will be born within a week of one another if they all catch this time. We are still waiting on 1 cow, who may not be due until the end of July according to the vet - so she may be going down the road on a little trip.
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Weekend in Review

Tyler's teachers loved their quilts. Jessie's teacher loved hers. The other room Mom and I had a picnic for them on Friday afternoon - with a water balloon toss, sack race, bubble gum blowing contest and egg carrying in spoon race. The kids had a blast.

Friday night saw our 4th calf of the year be born - ANOTHER heifer. She's cute, healthy and mom is good with her. We kept them in Friday night and Saturday - and then tossed her butt out in the field with everyone else. She has incredibly long legs.

And I caught Tyler doing this Friday afternoon:

My garden is totally planted! It may never look this nice again.

32 roma tomato plants, 12 hillbilly tomato plants, 4 pepper plants (so far), 3 cherry tomato plants, 2 crook neck yellow squash plants, zuccinni, pumpkins, sweet corn, green beans, beets and 50 sweet onions.

And I have 3 new flower beds. But only 2 are mine to take care of. A few years ago we saw a flower bed with field corn, soybeans and wheat in it. And Tyler wanted to do this. So we yanked out a bush and 3 gigantic hostas, and Tyler and Todd planted field corn and soybeans in it. Here in a few months we will plant some wheat, and he can do this again next year.

I spent all day yesterday digging flowers, moving flowers, SIL and MIL came up and took truckloads of flowers. Some of my flower beds I have had for 5 or 6 years and things were getting rather large. And I was threatening to roundup everything and start over, which they couldn't bear to see happen. Of course, when we moved the hostas, my SIL was there. This is from 4 hosta, and she took home just as much with her if not more. So you get the idea on how large they were.

I put an herb garden in under the purple martin housing - which we now have at least 3 pairs of purple martins. We had to forcibly evict some tree swallows, but....

Last year I had my herbs out in the garden, but when we tilled the garden up for the winter, the herbs got tilled up too. I still have to get a few more plants.

The ponds are still not finished - hopefully this evening we can get them finished. I am anxious to get mulch spread around and be done for the most part.....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Teacher quilts Round 1

The first two teacher quilts were finished up last night about......10:00 p.m.

But I had to get up a little earlier this morning to trim threads and wrap them up.

And I stopped at Wal-mart this morning to buy goodies to fill the canvas bags that Tyler decorated (with Jessie's help).

I think they liked the tablecloths and aqua colored plastic dishes to use outside. I was hoping to make each of them something but.......time is in seriously short supply around here.

The last quilt was finished late this afternoon for the party tommorrow for Jessie's teacher. Then it will be back to my normal routine....with any luck.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I am NOT saying a word....

about the white top and the good-almost-brand-new-worn-only-twice shorts.....

Since she took the initiative and went out there on her own to wash and blow dry Oreo (I found her washing him - she walked him outside, tied him up and proceeded to rinse him with no adult help).

I believe this is known as picking your battles but.....DANG is it hard to keep my mouth shut.

Oh least clothes will wash.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Have shovel.....will travel

My "mother's day" present was a stream. And I was thrilled with it. So on Sunday morning (bright and early I might add) Todd got busy and dug my stream.

Sorry I don't have to many in process photos:

The upper pond was filled in with stone (to creat the bog filter that will keep the big pond with the fish crystal clear here in about a week), rubber hose was laid, and the stream was dug. It's still not finished (we need more stone in the upper pond to raise the water level a little), and I need to finish putting rocks in and around the stream bed,'s functional.

This weekend Todd is building me a bridge over the stream. When we get around to finishing the concrete for the sidewalk, we will be able to get into the house through the basement to take off boots and heavy coats in the winter. And they will be out of my kitchen.

While he did that (because shovels do not fit my hands) I weeded most of my flowerbeds, cut down high weeds in the new flower bed and started raking it smooth, and transplanted a bunch of flower.

Tyler has already asked if his army guys can go white water rafting.....and we have 3 friends/acquaintances/neighbors who want water gardens put in.....

Friday, May 15, 2009


Looks like the rain is done here through next weekend - we are SO DOING the happy dance!! A few days of 30% chance, but that. is. it.

Todd is bringing me home 5 yards of mulch tomorrow. So I know what I will be doing this weekend.....weed and mulch......mulch and weed. Won't be near enough will get me started.

Jessie is at a Young Authors convention at the College of Wooster today. Only 39 kids out of 300+ from our school (grades 3, 4 and 5) were picked. I gave her money to buy one of his books....we'll see if she looses it.

I changed up my kitchen windowsill......I'll try and get a better picture after the sun goes down - those sunrises are killers on getting pictures......

Some of my flowers are is good.

And I'm off work at noon so I can go to the water garden nursery to buy the part for my water pump that I placed somewhere safe.......and some fish and some plants. Water gardening is so much easier than regular flower gardens.....hopefully by Sunday I'll have pictures of a finished pond, stream and bog filter!

Have a grand weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Tuesday was the 3rd grade concert at the elementary school. They sang 6 folk songs, one of which was the slower version of "Cotton Eye Joe".

Not the song I recognize but.....

We are gearing up for the end of the year. I'm madly working on teacher quilts - I stopped yesterday on my way home to get some flat sheets to back them in - much cheaper than fabric and should look just as nice. Hopefully I'll have some finished pictures to show shortly......

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The calves are getting big.

The brown and white spotted one was born crippled somehow. Her back legs seem to be double jointed at the hock and hip. At first we thought she would not make it, and were actually in the process of acquiring a dairy calf to orphan onto Mom.

But she pulled through, and now is the fastest calf out there. She's still double jointed, but growing, running and playing.

So we are leaving her alone for the time being. 3 different vets have said she is in no pain, and she just may compensate for being double jointed. It's a shame, because she is easily by far the nicest calf out there.

I'll try and take a video of her tonight to upload.

The cows are getting plump. We are still waiting on 2 of them to have their calves - which should be happening before the 1st of June with any luck.

And Tyler has informed me that I have "no picture on here of him and his calf" so here's a picture of Tyler and Mittens.

Have a great day!

Monday, May 11, 2009


Happy Belated Mother's Day everyone!

We had another wonderful weekend. Which wasn't very stressful either - how did I luck out?

I did have to work for about an hour Saturday morning, rather last minute got us up and moving before soccer games. Tyler's team won (5-3 and Tyler scored 3 goals). Jessie's team lost 4-5, but gave them a run for their money at least. Then in the afternoon I cleaned the house really well, and worked some in my flower beds.

Yesterday we spent most of the day outside. We are putting in another flower bed (which will make 11) and so Todd and the kids spent quite a bit of time hacking down the weeds that had grown up and leveling off the dirt. We had great plans 3 years ago to put a rock garden in that corner of our yard, but never got around to it. I think it's finally happening! Whooo Hooo! Although the rocks I want out of our woods - everyone's saying it should be the boulder garden hehe.

We also cleaned out Jessie's steer pen and both kids' pig pens and bedded everyone up with fresh straw, fresh water. And we weighed her pigs.

And we have all decided Jessie will be turning heads at the pig show at the fair in September. She has really been putting forth a lot of effort with her animals, and has her pigs to the point they follow her around (kind of like the Pied Piper). She is supposed to walk behind them driving them where she wants them to go in the ring - but they prefer to follow her. Her advisor says "I'm sure she is going to catch the judges eye at the fair if she takes them in this way".

Sorry for the blurry photo - but she has to walk really really fast so they don't catch up to her and trip her up, and she was trying to walk backwards to boot.

Tonight I am going to a flower and vegetable garden about 5 miles from our house - Todd told me to buy something for my mother and his mother for Mother's day, and while I'm there get a few things for your new flowerbed. So I'm sure I'll come up with a few things. Which I had better empty out the back of the Durango so I have plenty of room.

Have a terrific Monday everyone!


Friday, May 8, 2009

Still here....

Between working a little extra (which I am really not complaining about in this economy) and end-of-the-school-year busyness, well.....last night I met myself coming and going!

Jessie is so into this whole 4-H project thing. Doesn't help that she got her project books, and she can be a little OCD (read: anal) like her mother. And she will tell you this. At least she doesn't say she has a mouth like me, right?

I have been trying to organize my time a little better - and usually right when I come home from work (around 2:30-3:00) I've been spending time cleaning the house. Just for an hour. And baking something. The kids are revolting that I am not buying fruit snacks and double stuffed oreos anymore but....they have their choice, homemade cookies, frozen fruit or crackers for their snacks now.

Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. I found the recipe on a blog yesterday. I'll look for it later today and post a link here. This is a recipe that will need tripled in our house. It made 38 big cookies. Which are mostly gone now. And I really need to get a cookie jar.

I had to hide some to put in Todd's lunch for today:

Then I have been trying to spend an hour (or more) in the evenings playing in my flower beds. Nothing as intensive as what my Mom is doing to her flower beds at the moment but.....the dandelions are not my friends this year. At least the chickens like them:)

Last night I thought Midnight had the right idea:

So I sat on my swing for 10 minutes and saw this:

While the kids were playing something on the trampoline. I don't know what EXACTLY they were playing, other than it involved a hose and lots of yelling "Pull him up NOW". Ok then.

And I was off and running to make sure chores were done, baths were taken and the kids were ready for bed at 8:00:). Which I then realized as I was starting to fill feed buckets that I had ALREADY fed the steers (or rather, I had helped Jessie feed them when she was done washing and drying Oreo). Duh.....

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I guess my tendencies to overfeed are transferring to the animals as well......hehe

We've had the pigs for a week now, and have gone through a little over 100 lbs. of feed. We should have gone through about 60. So I call a friend of ours, who has been a BIG help in working with the steers, getting things going for these pigs...... And they are WAY bigger than they should be. Which I never weighed the feed - and apparently what I should have been feeding to 2 of them, I've been feeding to one of them.

Ooops! So we spent an hour last night modifying their diet. And they are actually fuller and happier after eating. Although I've been instructed and warned NOT to feed them until he stops over to see how much they ate this morning - and we will adjust accordingly.

Even if they start telling me they are hungry. (which they shouldn't be as when I went out to feed them this morning they still had food left from last night).

On other news, my bleeding hearts are blooming up a storm. I really, really wish they would bloom all summer! I have (or should have) white ones amongst the weeds in the 1 remaining flower bed I have to clean out!

The local produce market starts up this Friday - I think I'm going to see what I can find. Maybe some flowers, maybe some early veggies......we'll see what comes home with me.

Monday, May 4, 2009


What a great weekend. We went and looked at a calf Friday night, Saturday morning both kids had soccer games (it was FREEZING, but at least the sun was out) and during the afternoon I mowed the yard and started working on my water garden.

We had gotten it dug last year, the liners in and filled with water and fish. And then it sat. Todd was working Saturday afternoon, so I started hauling rocks. I have all the rocks around it and we are to the point of leveling the dirt around it, putting down mulch and planting flowers (ignore all the weeds - I can't get in there with the riding mower, so we had to spray them last night).

Our plan is to turn the old, small pond into the filtration system for the bigger pond, and have a stream connecting the two of them. And that still needs done, but that involves lots of shovel work .....and the shovel doesn't fit my hands, really.

When we went to PA in early April, Todd's uncle gave us 4 purple martin birdhouse gords. We got them up a couple weeks ago, and last night saw birds flying all around them.

We were so hopeful they were purple martins, but it turns out they were tree swallows.

So the gords came down, we put bluebird houses up last night, and hopefully the swallows will relocate!

And Tyler and Jessie were able to walk their heifers this weekend - this is Tyler and Mittens.

Have a great day!

Friday, May 1, 2009

The usual.

I've gotten some great fabric lately, on sale as well:

I think these fabrics will make a wonderful 9 patch quilt.....I found some cream at the local quilt shop, on should be all set. Of course, Jessie saw them and wants a new quilt for her bed. Apparently the flip flop quilt and the lots of boxes quilt that are in progress are too bright for her now!

I realized yesterday morning that I did not put a label on the quilt for Tyler's teacher! So I quick did this one and hand sewed it to the back of the quilt before going to the party.

Which she loved the quilt! What a relief. I'm always worried that someone will not love a present I make as much as I do.

I don't think we have ANY plans for the weekend - other than soccer and the kids have a birthday party to go to on Sunday.

Jessie got accepted for the summer enrichment program sponsored by our local college. It's only for 2-3 weeks the end of July/beginning of August, I think, but we have to pick out her classes now (they can take 3). One of the classes is for math, but it's somehow connected to the Civil War Underground railroad and making the quilt blocks that people used as signals. She thought that one sounded cool, and there was one for science and birds. After I talked to her teacher (to see if anyone else from her class was going - thinking carpooling) she was the only one from her class to get accepted. Which she is apparently fine going off by herself for the time and meeting new people, but this is also going to put a crimp into the summer camps she wants to go to. I haven't mentioned the summer camp dilema to her yet - the enrichment program is WAY cheaper than summer camp:)

Other than that, it has just been the usual here. Waiting for the rain to dry up - if it would just come down at once we'd be fine - but no.....we get a little here, a little there.......ugh.

Have a great weekend!