Friday, August 28, 2009


Today was our trial date with a judge to hear our neighbor's complaint about why we should not have our cows, should not be able to do light agricultural activities, etc. on our property.
And a HUGE weight has been lifted. The judge said I have to look at this how a NORMAL MAN would look at it, not how your would look at it Mr. ___, and I believe that a NORMAL MAN would feel that they are NOT a commercial business and their cows ARE NOT obnoxious or offensive to residential use (emphasis added based on the Judge's tone of voice during that statement).
So we will not be having to sell cows, Jessie can keep her 4-H projects with no problems, and we can keep doing what we love to do. Which is work awfully darned hard most days.
I'll be the brunette doing a booty dance around the property line if you happen to be driving by:) So don't be alarmed!
And now I'm off to clean my house really, really good.....the kids left the basement door open yesterday and there was a RAT in the house this morning. I am embarassed to say I screamed like a girl when I saw it, and jumped up on the table. But Todd came to the rescue with his 22. Tyler's cat and the 2 barn cats were absolutely no help at all. They are entirely too well fed.....
I'll be back to visit you all later,

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I'm going to be absent a little bit around here.

15 days until county fair weigh in!?!?!?!?!?

I am sure I will have wrinkly dishpan hands by the time we 2 till county fair from washing all of these animals. BUT....

We will succeed in getting everything ready. This weekend is paint the grooming chute, fan cage and fan stands (their current colors of green peeling paint and rust are not doing anything for me) and pack up EVERYTHING that we will not need for the next 2 weeks.

Between school, HOMEWORK (jessie had about 2 hours worth last night), soccer, 4-H and the animals, it hasn't been tooo bad. I've picked 3 1/2 bushels of roma tomatoes and now have my saucing capabilities down to a science.....pick them on day 1, let sit outside just to make sure they are ripe (it would not be because I am lazy and had too much to do); wash on day 3, put in fridge, cook down and juice on day 4, cook some more on day 5, and can into pint jars.

And there are probably another 3-4 bushels out there waiting on me to pick them. Maybe this weekend.

But we did take off Monday night to go looking at heifers. Seems that one of the heifers we brought last year is not breedable (she is too young and not mature enough), so the Amish man that we brought her off of suggested that we bring her back and pick out another heifer.

It is so hard to narrow it down to 1 heifer when there are 25+ to pick from.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tomato heaven

The next time Todd tells me he doesn't think my roma tomatoes are going to do anything, I'm going to point him to this picture. A half bushel basket filled with red romas. Off of 4 plants!

With probably 3 times this many green romas on those 4 plants!

32 more roma tomato plants to pick off of (or is it 28 plants yet to pick off of? Either way.....a heck of a lot of tomato sauce and ketchup will be coming my way this weekend) :)

I do have a question for all of you gardening guru's though: there are some black spots on a few of the roma tomatoes - is that the "blight" that is creeping around? Should I pick all the green romas to ripen inside? Or wait and see if they get black spots? Out of that half bushel basket that I picked, I had maybe a dozen tomatoes that I threw out due to black spots......

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Privacy screen

Late this spring, we planted Tyler's flowerbed.

Now we have our own privacy screen:) Too bad that is field corn and not sweet corn......

The first day of school went well. Tyler asked his teacher again, Are you sure I cannot come back tomorrow. I might forget everything I learned today if I skip a few days....
And I cooked homemade waffles for breakfast this morning. Wonder how long this cooking breakfast is going to last?
I'm off to the garden after work today to pick any and all ripe tomatoes. We will be home this weekend with no where to go except soccer pictures, so it will be a good weekend to do some canning. I also want to find a 1/2 bushel of beets somewhere and can some of them.
Have a great day

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

No More Baby

He would be MORTIFIED to realize that I still think of him as my baby – since he has referred to himself as a BIG BOY for…..4 years now probably.

But that is a Mom’s right – to think of him that way, right??????

Today was the first day of school. I didn’t get up as early as I needed to……we have friends who are both working full time jobs this year and they needed someone to get their son on the bus. She drives right by our house on her way to work, so I said no problem. The problem will be when she drops him off at 6:45 and I am still in my pajamas packing lunches…..maybe tomorrow I’ll do better. Too funny though when she had to CALL me after leaving wanting to know where I got my pajama pants because she wanted a pair…..uh….vintage sheet that I had and I made them. At least I was decent.

I made a French toast casserole that Katie had posted on her blog a while ago. Can I just say yummy, yum, yum, yum? I mixed it up last night, mixed the topping this morning (at the unheard of hour of 6:30 a.m.) and shoved it in the oven. You all are so lucky you got a picture after I dished up the kids’ plates. The loaf of bread I used was HUGE. I'm thinking I can reheat it for Friday morning as well. Unless Todd wants it for dinner tonight, which is fine by me. Todd thinks this is going to be crap that I am cooking breakfast as he is walking out the door (I offered to let him get up even earlier to cook breakfast, or he could change his hours and go in later……no go).

The great news is, with the kids bus not coming until almost 8:30, I CAN cook breakfast, clean up the kitchen after we eat, get myself ready for work, wash a load of clothes and get them out on the line all before we have to run out the door.

So he is now an official kindergartener. I did drive up to the school to help the kindergarteners get off the bus and get to their classrooms – but did not get to help Tyler, as he had already gone inside the building. Seems like he is ready. He is only going 1 day this week, as they have some sort of state mandated testing they have to do – but his teacher sent me an email this morning. Apparently he asked her If I do a bad job on the testing today, can I come back to school tomorrow and Friday and try again? I really want to start coming to school every day.

I don't know why he looks almost sad in this picture - he might have been concentrating on what Mrs. Hartzler was telling him to do.

I guess he REALLY wants to go to school.
And when I was at school this morning - I NEVER saw Jessie - I'm assuming she was where she needed to be.

Monday, August 17, 2009


This weekend was incredibly hot. Highs in the mid 90's, I think......

So Sunday we had to paint the new show boxes that a friend of ours made Jessie for the fair. Correction - she did. I started to paint them, and then she wanted to help, and she took off and primered and painted both of them. I just had to do around the hardware and the seams on the insides.

So I sat on the swing and kept her company.

While we did that, Todd and Tyler mowed the weeds in the horses pasture. In the air conditioned cab of a neighbor's tractor.

Then we all headed to Todd's parents so the kids could swim. Tyler figured out he could wear these snorkle goggles (even though they were to tight) and he could swim underwater using the mouthpiece as well from one end of the pool to the other.

When we came home, there was a steer and a pig to wash. And pictures to take.

But all the fun is coming to an end. I did my entries for our county fair. Am I insane as I added preserved food and baked goodies (bread, cinamon rolls and a chocolate cake) to the mix? And I ventured into the garden - the roma tomatoes are about ready to take over. But that is good, as I hear ketchup and tomato sauce calling my name:)

Have a great sunny day!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

One more thing

to add to the mix. Last night was Jessie's first soccer practice. Interesting.

She has a different coach this year, and was really excited when practice was over.
Tyler is doing jump start for kindergarten. 3 days this week (today is the last day) for 2 1/2 hours a day. He loves it, after he came home the first day thoroughly TICKED because he didn't learn how to read that day.

So for the next few weeks, we will be either on the soccer fields or in the barn. 27 days until fair.

Monday, August 10, 2009


When your kids bring you in a bouquet of flowers.....

You should put them in something.....even if they make you sneeze.

Tyler and Jessie raided my flowerbeds on Thursday night. After they brought the first blossoms in with 1/2 inch long stems, I told them to pick me a few with 12" stems. And I got the above. Which I love....although something they brought in is making my allergies act up. Maybe the catmint???? Oh well....they are pretty. A little ragged by now but still.

Busy weekend - we went to Ohio State Fair on Saturday to watch the Market Hog and Market Steer classes. And of course, Jessie came out after watching the pig show - I am so showing down here next year with a pig. So we go to watch the steer show - I'm showing in this one too next year. We'll see missy. It is an awfully expensive show for a very small chance of winning anything.

My nose? It's healing. A lovely shade of yellow right now around both eyes, still swollen but....the cut is not as noticeable today. My MIL is bringing home a tetanus shot today, and I will run down there and get the shot. Todd put Alli in the grooming chute Friday night and yesterday - and she walked in like a champ. Her and I must have been having a bad day together on Thursday. Although I still haven't walked her yet. Jessie walked her yesterday and she was ok for Jessie.
My coming along. All this lace makes my eyes cross. But just a few more inches to go and I will consider it long enough for me, and then will do the sleeves. I'm a little worried that it is going to be too big when I get it done. And won't that be a bummer?

Have a great day - if you are getting the heat we are (84 today) - hope you all stay cool!

Friday, August 7, 2009

I don't do blood.....

Let's just say I'm a wuss....blood, stitches, needles, they all freak me out (makes you wonder how I managed to have 2 kids, right?). I've been known to get very lightheaded when other people and animals get stitched up and I have to watch. The occupations I KNOW I cannot, nurse, doctor, surgeon. Todd and I both know this and make accomodations (he held me down both times during childbirth so I could get an IV and an epidural - but I asked him too - much easier).

Well, this time it's me getting hurt and not Jessie. And I survived the blood bath.

Last night I washed and dried Oreo. He's a champ. So I walk Alli out, tie her up, wash her off, walk her back to the barn......and she refuses to go into the grooming chute. So I pull, she tugs, I pull some more. Round in circles we go. Get her half into the chute after 20 minutes. There are side poles that go up and down, but aren't attached so you can take them out. She whips her head around, and knocks one of the poles out.

And where did it land? Right between my eyes. I'm sure I said some very bad words, hung onto her, drug her up the rest of the way into the chute and tied her butt up.

Of course, there is blood EVERYWHERE. My favorite tshirt may very well be ruined. I got the worst of the bleeding to stop, blowed her dry.....she walks out of the grooming chute like a champ where I proceeded to tie her butt up in her stall.

Todd comes home from work.....starts laughing hysterically. Then he looks at it.....maybe you need this time I've taken the tylenol, taken the advil, considered an adult beverage (I didn't) and the bleeding has stopped. Nope I'm not getting stitches right between my eyes. He says it will leave a scar. Do I really look like I care?????

It quit oozing about 11:00 last night.....hopefully today it will not start up again. And I have strict orders from Todd to wait til he gets home to wash Alli, so we can try and figure out what her deal was yesterday.

At least it wasn't one of the kids.....I'd have passed out for sure:)


PS - and as for why numbers are down at most county fairs? Unless you have cattle and calves to pick from, it is a VERY expensive project - with the calf running you anywhere from $500 - $5,000 and feed running $100 a month. Come to think of it, I also don't WANT to know what I've spent on pig feed for Jessie's pig, that is running us $40 a bag and a bag lasts 6 days.......

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Last night we went to the Medina County Fair to watch the steer show. There were only 34 steers. I can remember when my brother showed and there were 90+ steers. Sorry for the bad photo - I took it with my cell phone and the lighting in the show arena was not the greatest.

So I'm tired today.

I'm stopping at our Amish neighbors on the way home tonight - the kids and Todd like canned beets, so I thought I'd buy some and can them. Since my beets didn't get more than a couple inches high and then died off.

Jessie spent about a half hour yesterday working with Porky. She has got him to the point she sets up 2 buckets in the barn, and walks him in figure eights around the buckets. Of course, we had to adjust his feed again. 10 lbs. in 3 days is not a good plan for an ideal weight of 275 at the county fair weigh in.

Next week I start my new schedule at work, since Tyler starts kindergarten next week. I'll be working 9-3 so I can get the kids on and off the bus. I'm hoping if I can continue to get up at my regular time (6:00), I can fit in cooking breakfast and a 2 mile walk every morning before putting them on the bus at 8:20. Somehow, walking with the kids tagging along is not. the. same. as walking by myself for exercise. Lately I've seen 3 or 4 other mothers/grandmothers out walking up and down our road early in the morning - it always creeped me out walking by myself when I was pregnant with both kids (we have some pretty nasty looking houses that are at the other end of our road), so safety in numbers? Even if they aren't with you they are there.

Hope your day is sunny!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

We have Sweet Corn

Not to eat yet but.....there are ears on the corn stalks and tassels, so it is just a matter of time.

The racoons have not gotten it yet, which may be due to the fact that the garden is at one end of the horse pasture, which is nicely enclosed by 4 strands of electric fence.

However, I will be keeping an eye on it and the tomatoes in the coming weeks.

And I am leaving work early. Seems I managed to loose the front license plate on my durango, and the nice police officer gave me until tomorrow to replace it:) So off to the license bureau I go.
Have a great day

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Summer Days

I think someone is ready for the kiddie tractor pull at the Wayne County Fair. Not sure how far he will get on the trike but......
Last night was Jessie’s beef skillathon. The poor girl gets soooo worked up. She had to finish 3 project books yesterday (Market Beef, Beef Breeding and Feeder Calf) and she did some studying. Todd and Tyler went with us – and the whole way in she is worrying what if I don’t do good, what if I forget, what if I forget how to tie the rope. We finally told her to stop it! She can get a zero and still be good to show at the fair – there is no pass or fail.

We wait, and wait and wait some more. Fortunately there were a LOT of people we knew there, which made the time go faster.

She comes out – she got a 96. Apparently her books weren’t complete enough because I didn’t have her do the final profit and loss pages. HELLO? 36 days til fair? How in the heck can we figure out the final amounts if she hasn’t sold her flipping steer yet??????? (Apparently we are supposed to make it up - I found that out this morning).

Anyhow……she is beyond thrilled, I’m just happy the skillathons are done.

Tonight we are washing the two feeder calves that are going to fair. This ought to be interesting as neither of them are very tame yet. Tomorrow night we are going to Medina County Fair to watch the steer show.

And I was out in my garden last night. And I have TOMATOES. Nothing red yet but for a couple of romas but……they are coming. And our sweet corn is tasseling. I need to do my other ½ bushel of green beans that I got from the Amish. Maybe tonight. And I have a LOT of herbs that need dried, so I’m off after work to find a decent dehydrator for them.
Is anyone else amazed at how fast this summer is going? I cannot believe it is August already.....

Monday, August 3, 2009

Saturday Fun

Saturday morning Jessie and Tyler had a very important job waiting for them.

Helping to wash cars at our 4-H fundraiser. There is a car dealership in Wooster - Performance Pontiac. The owner allows groups to come in and do car washes. And the kids get all the money.

They have to rinse the cars off and wash the wheels before an employee drives the car through the automatic car wash. Then they have to dry the cars off after they come out. Sorry - no pics of the actual work they did - my camera batteries died. Which is a good thing - as when I was back supervising the kids spraying off the cars - I got soaked twice.

And there is lunch provided - this year it was hamburgers and hotdogs and chips grilled out while you waited for your car to dry.

Our 4-H club made over $400, all of which will go to a local charity. I was not there all day - I left about noon to go home and can 18 quarts of peaches and make 12 pints of peach jam - which has not set up yet:(

Tonight is Jessie's beef skillathon, and I am turning in my entries for the fair - a lap quilt (the top is done but I haven't quilted it yet), flowers, bread and a sweater (still have to finish knitting it). Tyler said he wanted to take something to the fair, so he is taking his corn, his eggs, hay and straw.