Saturday, April 30, 2011

Going for it

Well, I finished the top. And actually wore it to work and was comfortable. But....I now see where I need to alter the pattern just a little bit:)

I cut out the patterns pieces for this top just under 1/2" bigger than the Large (the large was a size 36 - I of course am a 38). And could have probably left well alone and cut out the Large, and just not done the 5/8" seam allowance. I did end up taking in the sides to make it a little less tent like.

I've also decided that when I make it again (in either top or dress form) I am going to try and lengthen the bodice piece by a couple inches - we'll see how that one goes......

And then did not try it on before heming it (and just blindly cut it off where I thought would be good....). It's shorter than I like, but ..... live and learn and it's only too short if I raise my arms up above my head.

Fortunately for me, I have a tank top the same shade of green that I just wore underneath it.

I do like it alot - it was very comfortable and not restricting in the least! Which was my goal when I started this top. I'm pretty sure I could wear a long sleeved tshirt underneath it in the early spring/late fall days and it would still fit!

Now I'm wondering why I have been so leery of cutting into fabric to make myself some clothes. This top cost me about $7 in fabric - much cheaper and will last longer than anything I can find in the stores currently (and I'm figuring if this is the dress pattern I use, I can make the dress for under $20 in fabric - which definitely beats the $180 price tag of the 1 dress that I found that I liked.....).

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sewing for me

Todd's cousin is getting married in August. And while it is an outdoor wedding at the farm, I'm pretty sure that is one event that my jean capris and a cardi or tshirt will not cut it. I've been looking (both in stores and online) for a dress that I could wear to both the wedding and to work for a large conference that we have the end of July. Everything that I am finding is either too short, too fitted or too low cut. And on this almost 40 year old body, none of those are a good thing. I did find one dress online, but the $180 price tag is a little out of our league.

Then I found this book online - Chic and Simple Sewing. I ordered it off of Amazon and had it in a couple of days. And I fell in love with some of the items in it.

For Good Friday, the office was closed. So I hit JoAnn Fabrics for some fabric to make a few of the items in the book out of. Specifically the baby doll top, the circle skirt and the shift dress. Loose, feminine but not bulky. And no zippers or buttons. Of course, I brought home some extra fabrics....

My only complaint about the book is that it only has 3 sizes in it - small, medium and large. And if I were to go by measurements, I would need an Xlarge (to get the size 38 that I am). But I dove in on Saturday night about 10 p.m., enlarged the pattern pieces slightly and made the baby doll top:

I'm still working on it (needs a little bit of improving and a hem yet)....which is why you are not seeing the whole thing. Flowy is good....looking a little like a tent is not:)

But I did cut out and finish the circle skirt in about 45 min. on Monday. As soon as I find a white tshirt to go with it, you'll see this one on this body as well...

And Jessie liked the patterns enough that I have to make her graduation dress out of this book. Which meant another trip to JoAnn Fabrics to find a pretty blue and lime green batik fabric. She picked out the summer sundress pattern - I'm going to widen the straps just a bit so it's not quite so skimpy (she is 11 after all and does have a dress code to follow at school about how wide the shoulder straps need to be) but since every blessed dress we have looked at she has not liked, hopefully this will fit the bill!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Calf #4 of 2011

Last Wednesday, I had someone coming to pick up a twin sized waterbed that I sold on Craigslist. And as I pulled in, Jessie's pain in the a$% heifer Ally was calving. As was the psycho heifer.

So I called Todd to come home from work. (I normally wouldn't call him so fast, but we had a funny feeling that Ally's calf was going to be larger than normal sized, and I didn't want to deal with that. And Psycho is a first calf heifer and more apt to run than let us help her if she was having trouble).

I got there at 3:30, right behind the guy who brought the water bed. And as we were loading it in his truck, within about 15 min. of me getting there, Ally spit out a good sized bull calf (90 lbs.) as if it were nothing.

Which calf then jumped right up and started nursing, all within about 10 min. of birth. I love it when that happens.

And then he started to run around the pen like a raving lunatic trying to buck and jump on legs that weren't even an hour old.

And Psycho? She lost her calf. After about an hour of nothing happening, Todd reached her and she wasn't dialated. So we called the vet, who came out and helped Todd pull the calf. It was a big one, and a bull calf, but it had been dead for about 12 hours by that point, which may be why she wasn't progressing. But she stood through the ordeal like a trooper, and didn't put up much of a fuss (other than kicking Todd about 3 times while he was trying to reach inside her the first time) so we are giving her another chance. The vet wasn't sure why the calf died, other than maybe either she is just to small yet (she is a very tiny heifer) or it was in the wrong position and she had been in the very early stages of labor without showing any signs for too long and had trouble. Depressing yes, but it happens sometimes.

We have 3 more to go, which hopefully will all come by the beginning of next week. We are going to PA the first weekend of May to pick up Jessie's 4-h pigs.......I cannot wait!

Friday, April 22, 2011

calf #3 of 2011

Even with all the steer and heifer shows we have been going to, it's still calving season. Last Saturday, we got home from Ashtabula about 6 p.m. And jessie had a slumber birthday party to go to. And I was tired.

Todd woke me up at 6:15 wanting me to go check on the cows to see if anyone was calving. But I didn't move fast enough for him, so he went out and checked. And had to come back in to get some supplies and get me up, as we had a cow that was in labor, and he didn't know how long she had been in labor and wanted to do some checking on her.

After checking her, he realized it was going to be a BIG calf. When the calves hooves are the size of both of my fists together, that makes you pause for a minute. So while he went round and round with momma cow trying to put a halter on her, I grabbed the chains, handles and calf puller. We've had trouble with this cow in the past, and she is bred to a good A.I. bull carrying a bull calf - who could be Jessie's 2012 steer prospect.

But the calf's head was not in the right position, so Todd had to reach in there and get it turned around (YUCK). And every time he would let go, the calf would shift and move it's head out of position. So we had to call in the vet.

We did keep trying though, and just as the vet was coming down the road (7:45 a.m.), the calf decided to cooperate and get into the correct position so we could pull it.

After letting momma and baby have some time to themselves, we went out and weighed him.

We were not in the least surprised to find out he weighed 121 lbs.

So far, he's doing great. He was up nursing within 20 min. of being born, and was running around that afternoon testing out his legs.

And Jessie? She is royally ticked that she missed another birth. When I went to pick her up, I didn't tell her the calf had been born. But as she got out of the truck, Todd told her she has to be gone more so we can get all these calves born....she didn't think that was very funny:)

I did have a good laugh though. We bred this cow to have a steer prospect for Jessie (which is why he was so big). And the entire time Todd was trying to pull this calf he was ranting and more club calf bulls! We are going back to the smallest dinkiest bulls we can find... blah...blah...blah....I asked him last night who he was going to breed her back to for next year...he says the same bull:)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ashtabula County Classic

We got up Saturday morning at the unheard of hour of 5:30 a.m. so Jason and I could take Jessie, Tyler and 3 calves to a show in Ashtabula, OH. Todd couldn't get out of work (spring busy season) or he would have been getting up with us before the crack of dawn as well... was well worth it!

Jessie showed Fancy first, and won her class.

Then Tyler showed Fabulous and got 2nd in his class.

Both kids had to go back into the ring for Grand and Reserve Champion heifer overall. And Jessie ended up Reserve Champion, while the calf that won Tyler's class ended up Grand Champion.
Then Jessie took Tank into his steer class and got 3rd place. This steer is a riot. Most steers and heifers will quit eating while they are at shows....not this guy! Jessie and Tank are starting to work together really, really well. And he has enough personality to make this fun. So our plan to work some of the weight off of him by showing him is backfiring - in a major way. But we are going to plan b this week - he is getting turned out to pasture for a month to just be a calf. He will loose all the hair that we've worked so hard to grow all winter long, but......he just weighs entirely too much. And this picture? I saw a father with this jacket on, and am thinking Todd needs it for Christmas next year.....

We rolled into home about 6:00 Saturday and crashed about 8:30. There are 2 more shows we can go to, but we are on the fence about them.......although we will have to make up our minds shortly who is going to go.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring Spectacular Steer Show

Last weekend we went to a steer show. It was in Wooster, which is about 20 min. away, which might explain why we went a little nuts and took 4 calves of ours, and dragged along 3 other kids with 4 calves between the 3 of them. It's also a sentimental show for us - this is the first steer show that Jessie ever showed in, 2 years ago.

We started off showing with Tyler and Fabulous. Tyler got 2nd in his heifer class!

Then Jessie showed Fancy. And won her heifer class.

Both kids had to go back in for the heifer championship drive, where Jessie and Fancy got Reserve Champion Heifer (talk about knocking me over with a feather).

Then our friends' daughter, V, took Huey in to a steer class. Where she got 4th. Oringially Tyler was going to show Huey, but our friends had a mishap on the way into the fairgrounds and V ended up with no calf to show.

Then Jessie took Tank into the open show and got 1st place:

Jessie had to go back in for the Steer Championship Drive, where she didn't place. And then all the Wayne County steers turned around and went back in for the Wayne County Steer class, and Jessie got 2nd in the Wayne County class.

It was a crazy day, but a lot of fun.

It is so nice to see to Jessie and Tyler grow and improve every time they show. This past weekend we went to Ashtabula, OH for a show. The kids are enjoying this and both keep saying they want to go again (and again, and again). Me? I'm looking for a little time off now......I have flowerbeds and a garden calling my name!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Newest Additions.....

Last weekend, in addition to clipping calves until 1:00 a.m. on Friday night, and going to a steer show on Sunday (more on those later, I'm still sorting through the 175+ pictures I took that day), we also went to a pig sale. It's getting to be that time of year again, and if we are going to State Fair, we need to find some pigs.

Meet "Tyler Junior" and "Jason":

We originally were going to buy just 1 state fair pig as a companion pig for a pig that we have coming from Todd's cousin in PA, but it won't get here for a few weeks yet. And as we were sitting at the sale, I mentioned to Todd that we are just about out of pork in our freezer.

So we had to buy a companion pig for the companion pig!

If all goes as planned, Jessie and Tyler will show 2 pigs at the Ohio State Fair in August. And one of these pigs will go in our freezer:)

And when we got home, the kids had to spend some quality time with their new pigs:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Tyler turned 8 today. And yes, it's taken me all day to get here. And then I have no pictures on this computer. Hard to believe that he is growing up so fast..... Tomorrow is their last day of school this week. Their spring break was cut short due to snow make-up days. Tyler got his clippers (as part of his birthday present) while we were down at Expo. He's anxious to try them out tomorrow clipping with our friend Jason for the upcoming show this weekend.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Calving Season

A week ago this past Saturday (the 26th) we had a momentous day here at home.... The first baby calf was born! Last fall we had our vet ultrasound all of the cows. He was able to pinpoint due dates of the calves for the most part (more on that later) and on some, like this little guy, could tell us if it was going to be a bull calf or a heifer calf. Rondell was the 2nd on the list to calve. And she was due to have an A.I. bull calf to Cool Customer. We are supposed to have 4 bull calves this year, all A.I. calves (that he could tell what sex they were). When Tyler and I got home from the Pinewood Derby at 4 p.m....nothing. Jessie had gone to the mall to buy a dress for 5th grade graduation with a friend. When Todd got home at 6:30, this little guy was on the ground. Jessie got home about 9:30, and immediately claimed him for herself. We'll have to see how he looks in a couple's so hard to tell when they are this young just how they will grow! He's been in a pen with him Mom for the last week, and yesterday we tossed his happy little butt outside (so we could bring in the next cow).
Then, this past Sunday (the 2nd), the other cow we brought in when we brought Rondell in we noticed her about 5 p.m. starting to deliver. By 5:30, Todd had pulled this not-so-little heifer and we were on our way out the door to a friends house for dinner (Todd would not have pulled her but for the fact that when her legs were about 1/2 way out - they are HUGE. And we were leaving and didn't want the cow to have trouble while we were gone).

Our vet got the heifer part right on this one, but missed the due date by about 2 weeks. But....we never saw her get bred to the bull (we didn't try to A.I. her so we weren't watching too closely) so we didn't have even an approximate date for him to work off of.

We do have some concerns about her front legs being to straight. But hopefully, they will work out of that the more she is up and around.

I am just so glad that we have a couple calves on the ground.....hopefully in the next 3 1/2 weeks we will be all done and all 8 calves will be on the ground.....