Friday, July 31, 2009

Meet Ali

As Jessie pointed out the other night, I have a LOT of pics of her and Oreo on here, and her and her pigs, but non of Ali.

I never thought a heifer could be a pain in the butt, until her.

Notice the good shorts?

This girl has a theme going on of getting dressed up to go to the barn.

Oh well - they will wash.

We brought her last fall as a calf, and she spent the winter in a large pen inside with 2 other heifers (didn't want them being bred to young by Mr. Bull now). About April Jessie decided she wanted to show her, so we started tying her up and walking her.

We turned her out for about a month here about 2 weeks ago, and she hated it. She is a real people cow, if that is possible. She would see us walk out of the house and come running and be waiting by the gate. Her other 2 friends (heifers all brought from the same place) have adjusted to being outside, but not our Ali.

She looks almost identical to Oreo. Which means you can tell who picked out Jessie's heifer and steer. I pick on color and markings, Todd picks on conformation and good beef qualities. Sometimes, like in the case of Ali, we get lucky and end up with a cow that we both like.

Of course, Tyler is ticked that we didn't bring in his calf, Mittens. But she and Moose are enjoying being outside with the gang.

And Tyler and Buck. Just because they are such good friends. Buck is supposed to be a bird dog, but.....he would much rather play with Tyler and go on walks than actually hunt birds.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thank you

for your kind compliments on Jessie's sewing ability!

She did not qualify for State Fair - which is a HUGE sigh of relief in our house. That would have entailed 2 days to go down to columbus for the judging, and we are already going there on the 8th to watch the steer show and swine market show, and she will possibly show in the pig show. State Fair is EXPENSIVE but I'm planning on taking a cooler of drinks. If memory serves me correctly, it's something like $4 for a small drink. I don't think so.
But she did like sewing enough that she wants to do it again next year. So I'm thinking her very own sewing machine will be on her list of Christmas presents from Santa. I just got my machine back from being fixed from the last time she used it.

And yes, I am taking time for myself in this hectic life we are calling summer. My 3rd sweater for ME is coming along very very slowly. But I am enjoying the process as I sit out on the deck and listen to the kids argue, fight and play. I try to take the hour right when I get home from work and sit down and work on it or read a book.
And the kids have been using new chore charts for their chores every day. They don't have strenuous chores, just things like: water the pigs, water the steers, gather chicken eggs, vaccum, pick up their bedrooms, water the flowers and unload the dishwasher. If their chores are done by the time I get home (2:15) I pay them 25 cents a chore. If they aren't done, they pay me.
And I don't pay for the watering the animal chores - if Jessie wants to show these million animals, she needs to take the responsibility. But....she will also get the money that she receives from the sale to put into her college account, so it is a fair trade.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Is what Jessie received on her beginning sewing project - both the judging and the construction parts.

So I am thrilled that I did not help her much at all!!!

We were at the judging last night from 5:45 to 9:15 last night. Of course though, tonight is the "style show" and apparently to find out how she placed, we need to go to that as well. So I know what we will be doing tonight. And she has decided she needs orange flip flops (she asked for orange high heels, which I shot down in a hurry) for tonight even though the judging is long over.
Have a great day everyone!

Monday, July 27, 2009

All over the board

That is where this post is going:) hehe

I've been swamped. And so grateful that I have a good job where I don't work 40 hours a week, but after last week (I think I logged 66 hours between Monday a.m. and Saturday night at 9:00 p.m.) I am so thankful that I normally only work 30 hours a week.

Jessie's 4-H projects are chugging right along. Oreo is large. Her pig is large. Who incidentally she has not named, so I've taken to calling them porky. I know.....original. Her feeder calf has been weaned and has a halter on. 45 days to keep everyone on track with weight, get her feeder calf walking and convince her heifer that standing there without licking her to death or chewing on her is a good thing. Ally is a pain in the BUTT she is way to friendly.

We've been spending about 3 hours of quality time out in the barn most every day. Not all at once - we've taken to breaking it up - some in the afternoon when I get home from work, with the majority of the time in the evenings. And she is out there every morning like clockwork making sure everyone has water and hay and is comfortable. I have not been brave enough to let her feed them - some of the supplements we are feeding are rather expensive, and I don't want her feeding too much or not enough. But that is ok. She is only 9 and is pulling more than her weight in taking care of the animals.

Tyler starts school in 2 weeks. Yes, in 2 weeks I will drop my baby off at the elementary school for 3 mornings a week. So he can get acclimated to the school before all the big kids come back to school. And in 3 weeks he will get on that big yellow bus and be gone all day every day.


Can you tell both him and I are so ready for school to start????? Seriously, I love my kids but it is time. And he is so excited to start school.

And I have 2 finished knits inbetween the craziness we have called summer:

Yes, I did finish up the second sleeve of the karate sweater at 5:00 a.m. before going to work on Saturday. Which I love this sweater and wore it saturday to work and received lots of compliments on it.

I've had lots of time to sit and knit while waiting for judgings to be completed. The third sweater for ME is about 1/3 of the way done. Can you tell I am selfish? But....I have not brought myself a brand new sweater years.....lots of hand me downs from my mom or my SIL, lots of sweaters brought from yard sales. But these are brand new sweaters knit just for me (I have broughten lots of the yarn on clearance or off of ebay).

I have not touched my sewing machine, but I do have to crank out 2 quilts that I enterd in our county fair. So I guess I'd better start thinking about that soon. Although I cheated and entered a lap quilt, a table runner and a sweater. No bed quilts this year. Just not enough hours in the day.

I won't mention my garden til I drag myself out there tonight after Jessie's clothing judging. When I was out there last week - the only thing I had growing were tomatoes, peppers and corn. The green beans, peas and beets grew about an inch, and then died out. It's been a wierd summer here - cool with not much rain until this last week.
I still have about 200 blog posts to read and catch up on. And I'm really trying to visit you all - I will get there eventually! So hang in there with me, please.....
Until later,

Thursday, July 23, 2009


We've been doing this:

This is the Jessie version of walking her pig every night. We've got a looonnnngg way to go.

And this:

I'll be back after I wade through my 400 blog posts to read:)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

County 4-H

Can I just say I LOVE our county 4-h. Not so much some of the people (read parents) of kids who show 4-H, but the advisors, the people "in charge." Monday night was a beef clinic. The girl who was going to be demonstrating showmanship won overall showman I think 10 years running. And the kids could bring their animals.

So Jessie's advisor, Jason, loaded up Oreo in his trailer (Todd was working late and I wasn't feeling brave enough to hook the trailer up behind my durango with a 1400 lb. animal in it) and we headed to the fairgrounds.

There were only 20 kids maybe. And Jessie was the only one who brought her steer. But the good part about bringing her own steer - when everyone else had to switch and share the animals that were brought in - she stayed out there with her steer. And she had the lady who runs the beef division at the county level working with her one on one for a good part of the hour long session on showmanship. And who also offered to hook up with us Friday night of the fair to work with her again before the steer show on Saturday.

Once Jessie had a good idea of what she should be doing, we let a few of the other kids walk and set Oreo up. The animals that were hauled in for the kids to use were good, but....they weren't very well behaved and there are some kids littler than Jessie who really didn't get a chance to practice. But I tell you what - Oreo was one tired boy when it was over. And in this heat with him being black (and all the hair we are growing on him), he was HOT. So he got to go home to his nice comfy stall with the fans on him for the rest of the evening.
She also had to do her pig skillathon last night. And she was stressed. But, she came out with a 95% so she was thrilled. Her piggys are GROWING. It's a good thing we only have 57 days until weigh in.

She does the beef skillathon on the 30th of July. I'm not sure I agree with the whole skillathon thing - here in Wayne County they don't have to pass it, they just have to take it. But....she is having fun.

Have a great day


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Caught Up

I am certainly NOT all caught up, but I thought I was for a brief period in time!!!

Saturday morning found us hurrying up to get all of our errands done. THere was a party to go to with lots of this:

And this:

You get the idea.

Sunday I spent working around the house - the cleaning, cooking, washing that I specifically tell the babysitters not to mess with.

But I finished Flair. And I love it.

Not the best photo but hopefully I'll get some better ones tonight. I started another sweater right away. This is giving me LOTS of sitting in the sun time.
And THANK YOU for all of your good wishes concerning our trial. It was continued to August 28th due to a scheduling error with the Court. We are still hopeful, but I am SO READY for this garbage to be over.
Have a great day

Friday, July 10, 2009

There's no guarantee

when dealing with the court systems!!!

We walked into court this morning, confident in our position and ready to put this neighbor in his place.

And the Judge HAD NOT written the trial on the calendar, and so in essence, the courtroom was double booked with our trial and grand jury hearings (and we all know what happens when you have to pick between civil stuff and the criminal cases that actually go before the grand jury).....

So our trial was continued to the end of August.

Which is fine, as now we are TICKED and are going all out to stop this nonsense once and for all.....

But now I'm off to wash and blow dry a steer for one little girl. And grill some hamburgers for dinner with my hard-to-make coleslaw (it's so hard - dump a bag of coleslaw in a bowl, pour marzetti cole slaw dressing on top of it, stir, refrigerate and eat)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sounds like life......

Things have been rather quiet around here. That will all fly out the window with a beef 4-H clinic, skillathon and field trip to go on next week in the evenings.

Oreo is getting bored with his daily rinsing, blowing, walking sessions. And of course, true to form with me feeding the animals, he's just about finished out 62 days before the county fair.

Her pigs are being watched closely. If I'm not careful, they will be horrendeously overweight and unable to show at the fair.

Tommorow is our actual trial with the neighbor who does not like farming, animals or anything agricultural and is making it his personal mission to wipe out any sort of farming in our county, which is the number 1 agricultural county in Ohio (some say). We feel positive about this, and are ready for it to be over. So the other night I was trying to take some pictures of views of our place in relation to his to show the judge just where everyone sits in relation to one another.

I just like this picture, so I cropped it down.

Let's just say I almost had to break out the telephoto lens to see his place. From the corner of our pasture where we keep the cows. But I didn't because I wanted it to be as acurate as possible to try and convey the sheer distance we are from him. The white mobile home and semi in the middle of the above picture is his.

And my rhododendrons are coming out this weekend. I'll cut the clematis back next spring and train them correctly. My sewing machine should be operational in my house by Saturday (somehow it got knocked out of time). And my sweater is just about done - 1 sleeve, 2 inches on the botton and the collar and it will be complete. I cannot wait.

I'll be back after tomorrow's circus.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I remembered to take some pictures last night!

My newly cleaned out flowerbed:

Yes there are trees growing that Todd needs to cut out. I'm planning on dividing/moving some of my daylillies, black eyed susans, purple coneflowers, coral bells and iris and putting in here. I do have in there a couple daylillies, an iris, a hosta, a miniature hollyhock and some coral bells which I'm intending to keep there. Of course, now that it is relatively empty, I need to get more mulch.

The daylillies are just starting to bloom:

The clematis is blooming:

Question for anyone? These clematis are behind some rhododendron's. So we have not been able to "train" them to go up the deck. As soon as Todd gets a free moment, he is pulling out the rhododendrons for me - they are looking really sickly and have for a number of years now. Can I cut the clematis off at ground level to hopefully train them better next year? I love this purple one - there are 3 of them back in behind the rhody's - a white one, a purple one and a burgendy one.

The bog filter on the pond is really kicking in and the pond is now crystal clear (almost). The downside is I found more baby fish in the pond over the weekend. I think we are up over 20 fish now - hopefully I can find friends and family that want some fish!!!

And this is what we worked on last night. Or rather, Todd, Tyler and a friend of ours worked on. I was told my job was to bring cold drinks and keep them coming.

I love it when my job is simple!

Have a great day


Monday, July 6, 2009

It's not Quilty but it is Crafty

My sewing machine died. I haven't had the TIME to go near it in weeks, but of course, this weekend I want to finish up a quilt top to send it out for quilting and it dies (Todd and I have talked and in the interest of saving wear and tear on my machine, anything larger than a lap quilt I will be sending out to be quilted - we just cannot fit in the budget right now the machine that I want). Not sure what happened to it - it worked fine when Jessie took it to sewing camp last Monday night, and she sewed on it some on Friday just playing around. It's going to the doctor this afternoon when I am off work. It runs, it just won't pick up the bobbin thread and SEW. It was time for a good cleaning anyhow so.....

But I'm still being crafty. And this sort of crafting I can do sitting out on the deck, or on the swing or by the pool:

Luxe Neckwarmers from Knit 2 together. I had to make 2 - the first one (the dark brown one) I bound off too tightly and can barely get it over my head.

The start of my Flair sweater. I've been working on this one for a week Sunday, it would be going a LOT quicker if I hadn't had to rip it back and start over 3 times. I should have started over again - the button holes really aren't in the right place and there are a couple spots on the button bands where I screwed it up minorly is what it is.
And the deconstructed jacket I started? I'm almost done with it - but it's very slow going and VERY boring.

And I got a wild hair on Friday and ripped out a good 40 foot section of my flowerbeds. Things were growing too wild for me - and were overtaking my rose bushes. So I hauled 3 yard cart fulls of flowers up into the woods. I'll be replacing them this fall with stuff that does not take over, like black eyed susans, day lillies, coral bells and iris's (yellow yarrow, red yarrow, red valerian, white valerian, hardy geraniums and perennial bachelor buttons are what left). Of course, now I need more mulch since that flower bed is mostly empty. I'll try and remember to take pictures this afternoon.

See ya,

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Belated 4th of July!!!!

Hi everyone! Yes, it's been awhile since I've been here, but as happens....things get HECTIC. And it seems like this summer is even worse. But we are enjoying it so far, so I cannot complain.

Last night was Orrville Fireworks. This year, we met up with friends there at the high school and had a picnic.

9 kids, 8 adults. And a TON of food.

We met up there about 5 or so, with hotdogs, smoked sausage, pasta salad, wings, crackers & dip, chips & dip, key lime pie, strawberry shortcake, chocolate cake, cheese cake, watermelon, veggies and dip, cheese and crackers, s'mores.... (notice the desert theme going on???). The chocolate cake was a birthday cake for America - but we did not put the candles on it.

The kids had fun, the adults had fun, and the fireworks were fantastic!!!

And if the camping grill dies so you cannot roast your marshmallows, you roast them over the citronella candle (we hurried up and restarted the grill for the kids to do some marshmallows:) and threw out the citronella scented ones before they could eat them)

Getting out of there at 10:45 when the fireworks were over was not fun. Neither was the hour long wait in traffic but.....

I've been busy in my flowerbeds, veggie garden and the barns. I'll be back later with more of what we've been doing the past week.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday. We're off to another picnic this afternoon (3 fun picnics in 3 days now), so I really need to get the yard mowed. It's looking a little ragged around the edges.......