Friday, April 30, 2010


I keep wishing desperately for spring. You know...the sunny, 70 degree days?

Last weekend we had rain. This week it's been cold. We'll, 40's and 50's cold.

Today though, looks promising. 78 degrees.

So I am playing hookey from work at noon. I'm stopping by the gym for my half hour workout, going to get feed for Jessie's steer and then I'm going home to finish cleaning out my flowerbeds.

I'm not showing you all yet the ones I haven't cleaned out. Except this one:

Which you can see how far I have gotten on it since Todd pulled the rhododendron's out.....which is not very.

I've been playing with pigs. And steers. And a puppy dog who is growing by leaps and bounds:)

Tonight? While Tyler is at a birthday party Jessie and I are going to go buy the fabric to make her show shirts for this year. I figured it up - she needs at least 3 shirts to show in. They all run $30 a pop. I can buy the fabric for under $10 with any luck. She has put in her requests - orange, purple, hot pink and bright blue. And we are buying her a sewing machine. She needs to get working on her sewing project for 4-H, and it is supposed to rain AGAIN this weekend, so we just may be able to knock some of it out. And after last year's fiasco with MY machine, there is no way she is touching
Have a good one!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Just so you all don't think it's turning into all animals around here, I did manage to finish my Calvados test knit for Thea Coleman of Baby Cocktails. And actually, I had it done for quite a few days before I managed to find buttons that I liked for it!

This was a very interesting knit! The cables on each front panel kept it interesting, and the pattern was very detailed.

This cool "belt" is on the back right smack dab in the center of my waist:

I love how soft this yarn is. These pictures make it hard, but it's a variegated green, grey and tan.

I did run into one minor snafu on it - when I knit my right front piece, you are supposed to have 3 long cables and 1 short cable at the top with button holes. When I did that - the fronts were about 2 inches longer than the back. So I omitted the short button hole at the very top and just put 2 snaps up there to keep everything closed up. ****Thea is correcting this in the pattern***

I did end up tacking it closed by the buttons - it was pulling a little bit. Not sure if my button choice is too small but I wore it to work yesterday and it was a very, very comfortable sweater. It probably won't be worn again until next fall, as it is very warm, unless we have some more rainy, 50 degree days:)

I love the collar and the sleeves. It's long - but I love long sweaters.

Pattern - Calvados by Thea Colman of Baby Cocktails
Yarn - Cascade Lana Bambu, 5 hanks
Size - Medium
Needles - size 8 for the body, 8 and 9 for the collar
Since I can never work on just 1 project at a time, I started the Rusted Root sweater the end of March. So far so good. Although I had to modify it some as when I got to the point of separating the sleeves, there is no WAY they would fit my arms.
Hopefully this will be done shortly -as I need some summer sweaters to wear to work. Although if the weather keeps going the way it has been, it will be a cooler than normal summer around her:)

Now it's back to washing a steer and walking some pigs round here....

Monday, April 26, 2010

I should NEVER be allowed to go to an auction!

On Saturday afternoon, a good friend of ours was having the first of his 3 4-H pig auctions. This one was a board sale that went on for 4 hours, and you gave your bids to 1 person who put it up for everyone to see. The kids had soccer games in the morning, and I had to run to Home Depot in the afternoon. But I drove right by his house.....3 cars there.
I call Todd, who is working. We'll go over there about 4 and see what is what. The last thing Todd said is ....we are agreed that we aren't going to State Fair this year, right?....absolutely....
We actually got to the auction about 4:45 and it was over at 6. As we walked in the door, I picked up a list of pigs he was auctioning off, and I get a bidder number... you never know what will happen....we don't have to use it.
At 5:55, I look for Todd - out of 35 pigs there were only bids on 11 pigs! Where do I find him? At the bid table of course, putting in bids on 2 pigs!
This one will be Jessie's State Fair pig:

The other one we picked for a companion (the one on the right).
So we now have 100 days to pack about 240 pounds on both of these guys, find a affordable camper to rent and get our entries into State Fair. Jessie's been after us for months that she wants to show something at the State Fair. She will get her wish. And even Tyler will get to show in the open show - if not Jessie's pigs one of the other pigs that will be down there that friends' of ours are taking (you can take up to 5 pigs to Ohio State Fair).
They came home about 10 last night. Actually, Todd went over to pick them up after we built a pig box to haul them in, and when they walked into the barn a heat lamp plug was smoking in the outlet! So Todd helped them put out the small fire that errupted and re-wire the outlet. I'm just so thankful that the barn and pigs didn't burn down!
And Jessie? She was out in our barn at 7:30 this morning sitting in the pen with the pigs making friends with them.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Another Bull Calf!

Jessie's beloved heifer Alli is a pain in the you know what!

We couldn't catch her A.I. last year so we turned her out with the bull. In the past he has been used on first calf heifers with great success. And you want tiny calves for first calf heifers....

This spring, our first two David calves weighed in at 85+ pounds each. Needless to say, we were concerned. And Alli was getting as big as a house. We brought her in on Sunday, April 18th as we had a friend lined up to check on her during the day while we are at work, and the vet lined up on the chance we would need him. We aren't loosing this cow if we can help it. She ran for the pen - she would much rather be inside than out!

Tuesday morning I let Barlie out and heard "the moo." I walk over to Alli's pen, and there he was. A TINY little red bull calf. All our worrying was for nothing. She popped it out on her own. And her small birth weight father kicked in, and this calf only weighs 55 pounds if he is soaking wet.

Jessie had to run out their and see her bull calf. And she hatched the "plan of all plans!!"

Mommy, I'm showing Alli's calf at the fair this year as a feeder calf. And since he is sooo tiny, Alli and him are going to go in the barn next to Punx so that they can both eat very, very well and he can grow big and strong. And I can start working with him right away. Then I'm going to ask Jason to sell me his BEST bull calf from this year, and I'm going to have my two steers for next year. And Alli can go to the fair again and be shown, but not by me as she pushes me around. I'll get Dave to show her or Mason to show her. And she can repeat her Grand Champion shorthorn win if the judge likes her.

Of course, I had to tell Todd and Jason (our friend and her advisor) about this plan. Jason thought it was the PERFECT plan for a 10 year old......

I'm just thinking how much more work she is creating for both her AND myself! She would take the entire herd to the fair if we would let her.......

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I really didn't mean to disappear:)

But life has been hectic here. Between a little boys birthday dinner with family and friends (4 kids who are good friends are a REAL eye opener - my Mom, of all people got Tyler a whoppie cushion - it was put to very, very good use on Sunday),

The first soccer game of the season - sorry, no pictures - it was in the 30's here Saturday morning, spitting snow....

Another bull calf born Tuesday morning:

Alli, Jessie's heifer, spit out a bull calf as easy as you please.....I'll do a separate post on him cause you all HAVE to hear what Jessie had to say....that girl can negotiate with the best of them!

And I'm madly trying to get flower beds and the house in order.....I spent all. day. long Sunday cleaning out the clutter (actually, just transferring it to the basement - the gremlins will take care of it right?)....anyhow, after the birthday dinner I remarked to Todd how much better i felt with the house clean....HE had to point out the dust and the cobwebs!

Sick rhododendron's on their way out of my flowerbed.

Something has to take a back seat. I'm giving myself until Friday to read all of your goings on in your blog posts, and I WON'T be posting until I do read them.....BUT, hopefully I will have some pictures of my new and improved flowerbeds when I come back.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Finally, after a two year wait, we've gotten our first bull calf again!

Tuesday night was a zoo. I had to work, Todd had fire practice. When I got home, this cow was in the very early stages of labor. I call Todd, he's inside a house they are burning down for practice. But as soon as he is done with that drill, he will come right home.

He got home about 10:15 and we pulled the calf. Another BIG calf (85 pounder - give or take a few).

Now Jessie is bummed. She had her heart set on showing one of our friend Jason's calves next year. But Todd says this little guy may be too big, so that is what she is hoping for:)
Two more to go.
It's been gorgeous out the last few days. And we've been busy to say the least. Wednesday night the kids had soccer and we went over to a friends' house for their daughters birthday afterwards. Last night Todd worked late and I was mowing the yard. Tonight the kids have a birthday party. Tomorrow is the first soccer game of the year. In between all that, I did manage to wash and dry Punx a couple times. Not as often as I should have will all work out. And I do have to find time to clean my house as both sides of the family are coming over for dinner on Sunday for Tyler's birthday.
So I'm thinking this afternoon I'm going to sneak out of work a few hours early. Just long enough to give my house a quick cleaning. Hopefully it will be warm enough on Sunday we can eat outside and no one will see the inside of my house:)
Have a great day

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Spectacular

I'm not sure I like this picture. She looks so much older than 10 in it!

Jessie had her first steer show of the year today.

After some nerves, she went into the ring for her first class.

She came out of the open steer class with a second in her class (out of 5 steers). Then it was wait and wait and wait some more to go back in for the championship drive.

After a long break, she went back in for the wayne county steer class, and came out of there with another second (out of 6 steers). And then wait some more to go in for the championship drive....
I love this green shirt that her grandmother made her, which is getting to small for her now, after she wore it last year at the fair and at the fall show we went to. I rushed this morning to make her a necklace and earrings to wear - we had brought a large black metal steer pendant and two smaller ones at the show last December - I did take a picture of it, but it is on the camera out in the other room. And I'm too tired to find the cord to the camera again, walk out there and get the camera:)


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Calf #3

Yes, another heifer. I'm getting tired of all these girls......

She was up, dry and running around when I got home. A rather LARGE heifer. I call Todd, who said "go out in the field and see if it's a heifer or a bull calf." I'm in my work clothes, mind you, but I crawl through the fence, wade through the weeds and take pictures. Nope - I didn't get close enough to see if it was a boy or a girl.

AFTER I went and changed clothes, I did go back out there and could report to Todd it was a heifer.

Todd: What color is it?
Me: Black and white. Looks like a holstien.
Todd: Huh?
Me: Hold on - I'll text you a picture.....
Todd: yes, that is definitely black and white. Wonder where THAT came from?

Apparently either our bull or this brown and white cow (or both) have a black gene in their makeup somewhere. She has 4 white legs just like a holstein would.

When Todd finally got home from work last night about 8:30 we brought her into the barn since we are supposed to get some rain over the next couple days. His best guess on her weight? 85 lbs.
Now Jessie is campaigning to show her at State Fair, Tyler is campaigning to show his heifer at State Fair this summer, and we are wondering if we are EVER going to get a bull calf to turn into Jessie's steer project for next year.
I'm just glad this calf is not crippled like this cow's last years calf.
And I can also turn my worries to Alli, who is bred to the same bull for her first calf. I really don't want her having trouble cause the calf is too big. I hope we don't have a train wreck on our hands.....
Have a great day

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Thank you for all your kind comments on Tyler's room. He LOVES it. And I love the floor - much easier to swifter it every other day than drag out the vacuum cleaner. Have I mentioned I hate cleaning house? And yes, seeing the dirt and dust that accumulates over the course of the day, carpet has to be gross with all that trapped in there:)

Flowers courtesy of my Mom for Easter!

I keep hoping that we will enjoy some spring-like weather. Not this 80 degrees we've had for the past week, and not the 40's and 50's that is coming up. 60's and 70's would be nice.

However, I'm not complaining, as at least we aren't getting a ton of snow!

I think all of my fish survived the winter. I cleaned out my pond last Thursday - yuck! Kinda hard to see in the picture but some of these goldfish and comets are over 6" long! And they reproduce worse than rabbits:)

This weekend is Jessie's first steer show for the year with Punx. He had a horrific case of ringworm which has finally cleared up enough that he looks decent. Hopefully she will do well showing him (not placing wise - we could care less about that - just showing him as well as she is capable

So we've been spending lots of quality time in the barn. Although spending every evening in the barn means my crafting time has taken a serious hit, I am so close to having a sweater done, I'm going to crank it out here hopefully by the weekend.

Oh and before I forget, seeing these fabulous ladies cranking out clothes for their daughters, I made Jessie a little something to wear to her spring concert last week.

Sorry there is no picture of her in it. We were running late the morning she wore this to school, but it looked really cute with jean capris and a white tshirt. I'll try and get a picture of her when she comes home from school today (she has it on again). No pattern - the fabric already came with the elastic gathering at one end. Simply fit around her chest, sew the side seams, sew 2 straps and hem. We won't mention the capri pants I tried to make to match - which the guy at JoAnn Fabrics didn't cut my yard of fabric straight so I was about 6 inches short to having enough......

Have a sunny Wednesday. I'll be by to see you all....


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tyler's bedroom redo

Over Easter weekend, we re-did Tyler's bedroom. I am so tired:)

I found a fantastic deal on laminate flooring - 47 cents a square foot (which translated to about $80.00 a room for each of their bedrooms). So I got enough to do Tyler's and Jessie's room both!

I gave all 4 walls a fresh coat of paint, beige on 2 opposite walls:

Red on 1 wall:

And blue on the 4th wall:

New curtains (which are kinda hard to see here):

Some firetruck prints on the wall. I took a bunch of pictures from the Firefighter Festival two years ago in West Salem, and printed some of them off. I'd like to get some of Todd's department and the trucks that are on it (especially the one that we rode away from the Church on when we got married):

And a spot to hang his fire helmet! This is Todd's first firehelmet when he joined the department back in 1989. Needless to say, it's not legal for him to wear it today. But Tyler has enjoyed playing with it, he LOVES to play fire fighter:

I still need to put baseboards up all around. And probably get a few more area rugs before next winter. But I'm thinking I'm going to wait to do the baseboards until we have the floor laid in Jessie's room. And I really don't feel like staining all that trim! Eventually we will have laminate flooring throughout most of our house - it's so much easier to care for than carpeting.

I was amazed at how easy it was to install it. A friend of ours and I did it on Saturday morning, we started at 8:00 a.m. ripping out the carpet that was in there, and by 1:30 it was done.

I still want to find a few things to hang on the walls, like an old fire hose and fire extinguisher (which I actually think Todd has at his parents' house), and I do have some letters spelling his name that I painted in royal blue that I need to hang, but for now, it's complete.
Now it's onto Jessie's room:)

Monday, April 5, 2010


Today Tyler turns 7. How can this be???

He's growing up so fast. He is almost as tall as his sister, and probably about 10 times stronger than her.

He has an eagle eye with his bb gun. He's graduated from shooting at empty pop cans to shooting at birds.

But he still likes to go to Grandma's house and hunt for easter eggs.

If it involves trucks, tractors, farm equipment or cows, he is all over it.

Happy birthday Tyler!