Saturday, April 30, 2011

S-N-O-W-!

Yes, when I went out to check the cows this afternoon, the misty rain we were having when I walked out the front door quickly turned into huge snowflakes! These cows weren't expecting snow either, obviously, as they weren't over with the rest in the protection of the shelter-belt....


While the wind blasted and blew the snow all over outside of our house, inside we were having a lovely family day. :) Mother and I realized we were wearing similar outfits and asked the guys to take our picture. It doesn't show here as well as in real life, but my skirt does have gold in it, and Mom and I were wearing our matching necklaces even!

Next, we realized that Jacob's shirt also matched our color theme--black and gold! Mom wanted a picture of the 3 of us children together, now that Jacob's taller than I am, so we searched Andrew's closet for something black and gold for him to wear, but all to no avail. So, here he is, looking a bit disappointed that he's "Just" dressed in black and green. :) (We're all a bit blurry in this picture for some reason...? Must have been laughing too hard!)

Of course, we couldn't leave our camera man out of the fun! Here he is, with 3 extra heads. :)
Mother and her little boys...







The following pictures are older, from days gone by.


I received a big package in the mail yesterday (the one bright spot in the day!), and it contained a dream come true for me:


A Kitchen-Aid mixer of my very own! :) :) :) I've wanted to get one for a long time, especially for making smooth icing for my cakes and for whipping cream, etc... Now that our Dimension Bread Maker broke though, I had incentive to go ahead with my plan of "Buying one some day." This is the heaviest duty mixer that Kitchen-Aid makes (with a 6 qt. bowl), so I'm hoping it will be able to handle a full batch of bread, but if not, we'll just knead it in 2 batches I guess. Does anyone else have experience with mixing up bread in a Kitchen-Aid and, if so, how much dough can it handle well at one time??? I made one dessert already with my mixer, following a recipe for Lemon Cream-Cheese Bars that Jacob requested and, those of us who like lemon desserts, really liked how it turned out!

This piece of paper came in the mail the other day and, though it was no surprise to me, it still is nice to see it written down on official paper, don't you think? :)





As I imported the pictures onto Mother's computer today, I found some of the greenhouse that I didn't know we had. This one was taken right after the guys and my mom put the plastic on...


...and this one is of the inside of our greenhouse, right after we finished planting the rest of it. We now have peas, beets, broccoli and lettuce coming up and the plants that I transplanted in the ground are doing well. You can see the door(s) the boys built on the other end of the greenhouse a few days back. Dad designed it so we can either open the 2 foot door for a slight breeze, the 3 foot one for more air, or open both for the best ventilation, depending on the needs of the day.

Here Jacob is assembling the little red tractor planter that we now have sitting out by our mailbox with some tulips planted inside, for the time being.


Oh, and here the guys are testing out their 2 street bikes that they fixed up and are now trying to sell. We don't have much use for motorcycles out here!


The beautiful bouquet Mom bought last week to cheer us up:


And this last picture is of Andrew, getting ready to leave with his grain cleaning rig:



Please join us in praying for all the people who lost their homes and/or loved ones in the recent storms down South farther! Reading about their struggles and losses makes me feel guilty for feeling bad about the loss of a few animals in this weather! There are so many people hurting far more than we are...


I'm going to post this right now and go talk to our Father above! Good night~

Friday, April 29, 2011

...............

It was a difficult day here on the farm (see Mother's blog post for more details if so desired), but God saw us through and we are all back at home together again, ready for a much needed rest!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fence fixin'...

Due to the lovely weather we've been having of late, the snow on the south side of the shelter belt has been melting slowly and we can now see the fence posts and a bit of the wire. The weight of the snow has pulled most of the wires down to the ground in some places. It would be easy for cows to walk out if they didn't mind stepping through the snowbank, so after Jacob and I did the morning chores, and after the electric fencer was zapping in the front part of the milk cow pasture, and after putting air in the van tires, he and I went out and pieced the top wire of the fence back together. Hopefully it will discourage the cows from leaving their pasture while we wait for the rest of the snow to disappear!

Once the fencing was done, we still had 1 1/2 hours worth of time until I had to head to town to work, SO we grabbed our 22's and headed out to gopher territory. I shot 2 and Jacob got, I think, 5 in the half hour we were out there. We could have had more, except that we're thinning them out so much that we have to drive around searching for them, whistling as we go.... We headed back to the house then for a quick lunch and I showered and got ready for work and made it just in time.

When I returned home, I found a brand new garden hoe on my bed. Hooray! Thank you Mom! Our old ones have slowly been disintegrating (and one got run over by the tractor, oops!) so I'm excited tonight. :)

It is bed time however, so I'll say good night and I'll "Talk" to you again tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The greenhouse is all planted, almost.



Mother, Jacob and I worked in the greenhouse for a few hours this afternoon and are now nearly done planting. We are done actually, except for a few dwarf fruit trees I ordered from a couple seed catalogs, the trees not having arrived yet..... We planted several different kinds of peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins and melons close together so they get going. Then, when the main garden area is worked up, we can transplant them after all danger of frost is over. It is SO nice to have a greenhouse! A new blogger friend, Mrs. Laura at "All Good Gifts" posted about their greenhouse today as well, so you can click HERE to visit her and see how she made a slip-over plastic cover for their greenhouse. :)






I'm so pleased with how Jacob is taking over the manly responsibilities here at home! Yesterday, he got the big tractor hooked up to the big digger (vibra-shank) all by himself and pulled it up in front of the shop so it can be inspected/fixed before heading out to the fields. Plus, he's been our main cow checker during the day and he feeds the cows twice a day too. This evening, the bulls needed a bale and, after I was done milking cows, I heard him across the road at their pen and thought maybe he'd need help with watching the gate. I hopped on Andrew's 4-wheeler and zipped over there, only to find him closing the gate, already done with the job. Tomorrows job is fence fixing. Fun, fun! Want to come help?






Oh, I should tell you about what Lady found yesterday... She was in the barn when I went to give Suzie (the young milk cow) her water and she was looking at something underneath the built-in feed trough. Curious to see if there was a new chicken nest under there, (our chickens have free-run of the farm and we consequently get to hunt for our eggs,) I knelt down and took a look. What should I find but: 3 little kittens, 2 orange and 1 calico! :) They are very small yet and still have their eyes closed. We have more than enough cats already, but it still is always exciting to find new babies!






That's about all the news of the day, I think. I could tell you about the tiny red heifer calf that Jacob and I fed half a bottle of warm cows' milk to tonight as we're not sure if it's getting enough nourishment from its mother or not; or I could write about all the tulips that are getting ready to bloom out front in our long flowerbed; or how I split up our large Bleeding Heart plant this afternoon and planted them in the open areas of our corner flower bed; or how Dad and Andrew come home exhausted and dirty from grain cleaning for 13+ hours each day; or of how Mom needs to be in Bismarck early tomorrow for sessions; or......., but I should probably get some sleep as I also should get up early to make the guys' their lunches.






I thank God for such an interesting life!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Do you cut your roast before putting it in the pan???

One day a little girl was watching her mom make a roast
beef. She cut off the ends, wrapped it in string, seasoned
it, and set it in the roasting pan.

The little girl asked her mom why she cut off the ends of
the roast. Mom replied, after some thought, that it was the
way that her mother had done it.

That night Grandma came to dinner and the little girl and
her mom went to her and asked why she had cut the end off of
the roast before cooking. After some thought, Grandma
replied that it was the way her mother had done it.

Now the great-grandmother was quite old and in a nursing
home. But the little girl went with her mom and grandma to
see her and again asked the question.

Great-Grandma looked at them a bit annoyed and said, "So it
would fit in the pan, of course."

Monday, April 25, 2011

The frogs are croaking tonight...

It was such a lovely day, temperature wise and otherwise too. Dad and Andrew went cleaning grain all day, so Jacob and I (more Jacob than I, actually) checked the cows and then he fed them again tonight while I milked the cows and etc... Mom was busy with clients for a while, but we also made bread and did some outdoor work. Jacob and I planted some watermelon, cabbage, and cauliflower plants (I'd started them indoors) in the greenhouse. It was VERY warm in there (100+ degrees) so we cooled off by spraying some water up on the plastic ceiling and, as the wind blew the plastic up and down (we had a door open a bit), the water would gently mist down on us and kept us kind of cool. :) We worked on some other farm-beautification projects too, but I'll wait to tell you about those things for when I have pictures. Now we're all back together again and ready for a good nights sleep! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz........

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A beautiful bouquet...

My mom did a nice picture post today (including pictures of the beautiful bouquet), so instead of posting the same pictures and writing the same things, I'll just point you in the direction of her blog. CLICK HERE! I just got home from working in town again and am pretty tired, so that's one other reason I have for sending you there. :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A sunny day!!!

It was such a wonderful moment this morning when the sun shone through the clouds for the first time in a few days! It was sunny all day and some of the cows were bouncing around as much as the calves were. :) Oh, what Heavenly sunshine can do to a saddened heart!

After our noon meal and after listening to a Dr. Davis message ("When to let go"), my parents and Andrew headed for Mandan to visit our Bornemann grandparents. Grandma had invited us today, as she thought one of my dad's brothers and his wife were going to be coming, but they ended up not being there, so it was just the 5 of them, but I guess they had a nice time and plenty of food. :)

Meanwhile, back at the farm, Jacob and I took it easy until chores time and then Jacob fed the cows their hay and then went out on the 4-wheeler to check them, while I milked the 2 cows and fed grain, hay and water to the calves, goats and 3 cows that are locked in the barns as they needed extra attention to make sure they took their calves.....

It was a very good day!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Want to meet Sweet Pea?

The following is a video I took of Suzie and Sweet Pea a while back. Do you think Sweet Pea (the baby) will be gentle when she grows up??? :)



video

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Prairie Days website is updated! :)

I spent some time yesterday (and the day before) getting the new tentative schedule posted on the Prairie Days website and also updated a few other things. If you'd like, feel free to take a look at it HERE and let me know what you think. There will actually be a 1 day Appleseed Shoot on the Friday before Prairie Days (June 17th) this year, so hopefully many people can come for that too! I know my mom's cousin's family from WI (the mother in the family and one of their sons spent a few days with us last Summer) is hoping to be able to come for the whole time, so that will be really fun! Prairie Days is just such a great time of learning and of sweet fellowshipping with others, we've not missed a year since it started 9 years ago. The Dagleys asked me to do an old-fashioned hair-style demonstration again this year, so I agreed to do it for an hours time. Mom and I've talked about maybe doing a hair-cutting demonstration too, but the boys didn't think they'd want to be itchy for the rest of the day, so that probably won't happen, unless someone else volunteers to get their hair cut. :)

I'm not sure what all happened at home this afternoon/evening, as I was working at the nursing home again. It rained for most of the day again, but thankfully it's stopped now. There were 0 new calves today, so in a way, that was a good thing! The babies are much warmer in their mommies' tummies than they'd be out in the great big, wet world.

I hope we can plant a lot more in our greenhouse tomorrow, in the midst of cooking and baking and cleaning and calving........ It is so exciting to finally have a greenhouse!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The greenhouse works!

......Meaning: it gets very warm in there (and moist!!!)! While out of doors, it looked like this and was a temperature of 30-37F degrees:


Inside, it felt like Summer, reaching a temperature of, can you believe this, 107F degrees!!!!! We will definitely have to get the other door put in so we can open both ends when the outside temperature increases and makes the inside temp. even warmer!

Dad and the boys have been buying barrels from Titan Machinery in Kintyre ($4 a piece) and today we started filling them so the water will absorb and hopefully maintain some of the heat into the night time. Here's our row of barrels, and Andrew, tilling, while I'm picking rocks. :)
I had attempted to till at first, but when the tiller just skimmed across the ground, pulling me with it, Andrew took over, thankfully! He got a real workout too! He went over the ground several times, tilling in the composted manure and peat moss we added to the soil...










Right before supper, the boys and I marked off 4 beds inside the greenhouse and planted one of them with carrots, lettuce, beans, peas, beets and broccoli seeds. It will be a learning experience growing in such a warm, humid environment and, if anyone has suggestions or sees something we're doing wrong, your advice would be welcomed!




Well, I'd best post this and get some sleep. Jacob and I are checking the cows around 2:00AM, taking Andrew's 4-wheeler. I didn't mind taking the tractor out by myself and checking, but when I did, the cows all got up and followed me all over, thinking it was time to get fed, so now the guys have gone to checking cows with the ATV and I don't feel comfortable taking that out by myself, so Jacob agreed to come along. :) Last night, Andrew took the 3:30 checking time and there was trouble with a weak calf, so he came in and got Dad and Mom to help him get the cow in. Andrew never did get any sleep after that and Dad didn't get a lot of sleep either, as he took the 1:00 check and then the 5:30.... Hopefully things will be more peaceful tonight.




We were praising God for the sunshine today!!!!!!! It melted quite a bit of the snow and dried off the calves. Now we're praying that the storm that's in the making for tomorrow night doesn't hit our area!

Discouraging weather....

I just got home from working in town a little while ago and then went out with my dad to feed half a bottle of colostrum to the 1 living calf that was born today. It is in the calving barn with its mother who is, by the way, a very protective mother..... There were 2 other cows who calved today and they had their calves right in a mud puddle, so by the time Dad found the calves, they were nearly dead and then died. :( It is STILL snowing now. Please join us in praying for sunshine!!!! Not just for our cows' benefit, but for all the farmers that live around us who are going through the same thing! One lady at work told me her house smells like a barn currently on account of all the calves they have in their basement. Another lady said they had 1 calf in their house, and I guess we had 1 in our house today too for a while, until it passed away. *sigh* Our guys are checking the cows at least every 2 hours now through the night....

Please also pray for us all to see the bright side of this, you know, the reason to be glad. Have any ideas?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I have a wonderful Dad!

I just got home from work in town a little while ago to find a note sitting on top of my laptop that read, "Cora, I will check the cows tonight. Dad" :) I'm so glad because I am so tired. I've been tired all day for some reason... I guess it's time to do something about that now, time to curl up under the covers and get some sleep! ~Sweet dreams~

Saturday, April 16, 2011

We played Scotland Yard...

In fact, we played 3 games of it. "Mr. X" was not too successful in 2 of the games, but the last game went much better, from his (Andrews' that time) point of view! Have any of you played this game before, outside of Lane K. (who taught us)? :)

Dad and Andrew pulled one of my calves this morning. Then, my cow didn't want to take her baby (she wouldn't lick it off or anything), so Jacob and I worked with her for quite some time and, thankfully, this afternoon the baby was up and drinking on its own. Hooray!

The snow got somewhat melted, and pelted today. The boys and I had great fun crunching the sticky snow into odd shaped snowballs and throwing them back and forth. Thankfully, the sun came out for a while today and dried off the babies. We still have a lot of snow, but hopefully it will be gone in short order... Jacob and I also bedded down the calf shelter again for the babies to sleep in. One morning, my dad saw about 30 calves in there!

The peppers are finally starting to peak out of the soil where I planted them. I never realized they were so slow in germinating...

Well, here's wishing you all a great new week,

~Cora

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sometimes, life is hard!

It was a sad morning on the farm when my dad came in with a nearly dead calf in the loader bucket and the news that there were 2 more dead calves (all newborns) and 1 more that needed help... After trying to revive the 2 extremely cold and weak calves in the kitchen, they passed away, leaving us with a bad taste in our mouth for this cold, wet weather! We realized we need to check the cows more often than we have been during the night, so I'll be heading out at 1:00; Dad at 3 or 4; Andrew takes the next check.... Now that there's 8-9 inches of snow everywhere, with mud underneath, the only thing we can get around with in the pasture/lots is the tractor... I have a few pictures of snow to share, but first, here's a picture of one of the ways we communicated with Andrew while he was away for several days cleaning: I-pods sure are nice, especially when you can use them like this! (We're able to hear and see him, and vice-verse.) This picture was taken yesterday, around supper time.
...And this is what it looked like outside this morning!

It kept snowing for a good part of the day, although it was warm enough to melt the snow down to the driveway gravel/mud after Dad pushed a path with the loader.... These robins and sparrows weren't looking too much more fond of the weather than we were/are!

Poor birdie! Maybe it should have waited a couple more weeks before flying so far North?
Dad spent the afternoon cleaning out one of the pole-barns... The calves did find the calf shelter (the white building in the picture below) and stayed in there for part of the day.

For dessert tonight, I decided to try my hand at making my second Angel Food cake from scratch. The first one I mixed up, I tried to make it somewhat healthy, and it flopped, so this time I followed the recipe (you know, sugar and white flour) and this was the result:
It still didn't rise like a mix cake would, but it tasted pretty much the same.


Well, I think I'll try to get a little sleep in before heading out to the tractor to drive around in the dark, looking for cows/calves that need help. We would really appreciate prayer for warm, sunny weather once again! Losing calves is really sad!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Well, the snow WAS nearly gone!

Here, I have proof! Jacob took this picture of our farm when he and I were returning from running a computer part down to the mailbox at Titan Machinery yesterday (that's what we do when we need to mail something after our mailman's delivered the mail already for the day.) The tulips are popping up and everything...
And now it's snowing again.... We're praying for our little calves to do alright in this wet, wet snowy weather. We pulled a calf shelter out to the cows and located it on some fresh straw, so hopefully the babies will be smart enough to go inside for the night!


I took this picture of my goldfish that survived the Winter out in our stock tank. They were only about an inch long when I put them in the tank last Summer and now they're about 5 inches long. :)
OH, and here is Sweet Pea, drinking from her mother the hard way (from the back!)

Here is Sweet Peas' mother, Suzie. So far, we'd just been milking her here in this part of the barn by dumping some grain in a trough and setting a pail down beside her and milking her, but Andrew got home tonight (HORRAY--HE'D BEEN GONE SINCE MONDAY!) and decided it was time to start training Suzie right and so he, Jacob and I worked together to get her in the stanchion. She didn't like the idea of being stuck there too well, but eventually began to eat her grain and settled down. Meanwhile, Sweet Pea was having fun bugging Andrew! The other day when I milked Suzie, little Sweet Pea came from the back and pushed on me until I nearly fell off my pail. When Mother milked Suzie last night, the little calf thought sucking on Mom's boot laces was great fun too. She sure is cute, but I suppose we'll have to start teaching her some manners if we want her to respect people when she grows up.... Nobody wants a 1,000+ lb cow rubbing on them or sucking on their boot laces!

While Andrew and Dad were gone over the last few days, Jacob had to feed the cows a few times (when Dad wasn't going to make it home before dark.) Here he is, driving the 9030.

While Jacob and I were out with the RAM, checking the cows yesterday afternoon, Jacob captured some fun pictures of calves, a few of which I've shared below:


My White 222's baby. :)
See that black calf toward the left side of the picture below? OK, now, do you see that white circle on his hip? That is a real mark on the calf, not one that we made or anything. He'll be very easy to tell apart from the other calves!
This is one of Jacob's calves (Orange 4)...

These 2 reddish calves were so cute together, standing on some old bales that used to be a wind-break.


FYI:


  • We now have a total of 60 live calves!

  • 2 calves have died.

  • 1 calf has needed pulling.

  • There's just been 1 set of twins.

  • We're not half done calving yet.

AND NOW, about our greenhouse:


This is what it looks like from the outside...
Here is the view when walking from the house...



And here is the inside, nearly ready to seed in. The barrels are going to be filled with water so they will hold heat into the night, hopefully. It is so exciting to have a large greenhouse after all these years of talking about building one! We are so blessed!

Now, please come back Spring so we can enjoy Springy things once more!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jacob and I took lots of pictures today, but...

...I need to get to bed right away as I have the DRH shift to do at the nursing home tomorrow and need to get up at 5:30, so I'd best get to sleep now! Until tomorrow then, ~Cora

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In need of pictures...

I have several things I want to tell you, or actually, show you, so I think I'll wait to write about those until tomorrow, as I want to share pictures here of the "Things". :)


One "Thing" we didn't get pictures of though was yesterday when some people came from Wishek to buy 8 of our geese. We literally had a wild goose chase, trying to corner and catch a few of those honkers! We eventually caught them though and loaded them in the back of these people's suburban and sent them on their adventurous journey. Does anybody else want to buy some geese? We still have about 20, + there are 3 geese setting now! We're wanting to get rid of them all as they make a huge mess all over the lawn when we let them roam (actually killing the lawn in some places and nipping off our flowers and....) and, when we lock them up in a pen, it defeats our purpose of having them, that purpose being bug eating. We used to really enjoy having ducks and geese when we lived by a creek and they could just stay down by the water and eat bugs and splash and enjoy a waterfowl's way of life, but now we don't live by water, so they're not happy and we're not either.... I think we'll stick with turkeys and chickens for our bug patrol from now on!


Andrew didn't make it home today yet, as he has more cleaning at our friends' place than what he'd originally thought, which is good, really! We do miss him though......
Well, I'm pretty tired tonight, as I worked in town again all afternoon/evening, so I shall bid you all a good night and a happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Great news, good news, and bad news....

Let's reverse that, though, and give you the bad news first:



Jacob was disappointed today because his Teen Driver Safety movie didn't make it to the judging round. :( Maybe next time, Jacob!



Good news: Andrew headed for some Organic farming friends' place this morning to clean grain for 2 days, but I guess he had some troubles and broke down (he thought it might be something major), but the good news is that he and our friends were able to fix the problem and got everything up and running again! He is spending the night there, as it's a couple hours drive away, so those of us here at home get to milk Sally for the next few chores!



And the GREAT news is that, while I was away at work in town, Dad (after he was done with a cleaning job that lasted all morning and part of the afternoon), Mom (after baking bread and doing sessions) and Jacob (after doing schoolwork, I assume, and checking the cows) put up the plastic on the greenhouse!!!!! They still need to make the doors, but the plastic is UP! I can hardly wait for morning to come so I can see it! :)


I wonder what tomorrow will bring....?


PS. The calf report for today was down a bit: "Only" 2.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Would you be interested in attending an Appleseed Shoot event at our farm???



We've been talking on and off about hosting another Appleseed event at our farm this year. We'd like to do it earlier than we did last time so the weather is warmer! But before we plan an event, it would be nice to know if anyone would like to come. :) So, if you are interested at all, please leave a comment and let me know what month/week/day etc... would work best for you.

If you're not familiar with the Appleseed program, you can learn more about it HERE, or you can read about the shoot we had at our farm HERE.


Also, there will be a shorter, one day Appleseed event held at the Dagleys' farm the day before Prairie Days starts, so that may be an option for those of you who live farther away who are interested in both of these fun and informative events! Please let me know what you think!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

.....And the winner is:

After writing out the names of those of you who entered my giveaway, and then putting them in a hat, and after Andrew thoroughly mixed all the names, I reached in and drew the name, "Robert" (and no, my dad did not enter my drawing. :) ) So now, Robert, you can just let me know which of the prizes you'd like and where I should send it to and I'll get "It" in the mail soon... If you'd rather not have me publish your address, that's fine, just let me know. Thank you to all that participated! It was really fun to see that there are some new people reading my blog now, and also to see that my "Old" friends still read about our life here in ND. I took a few pictures today and thought I'd share them here. This is a box that holds the tomato and pepper seeds I started. I have a couple other boxes that I started seeds in too and now have cabbage, cauliflower and onions coming up. :) The toothpicks in the box below mark off the separate "Plots" I've planted (there are many different varieties of peppers and tomatoes in there that should be peeking out any day now.) This is how I've filled up those shelves I was telling you about a while back: It's nice to have extra room on my dresser and piano now for books and boxes of seeds and....
Speaking of books, this is the kind I've been digging into recently. I'm SO glad it's finally Spring!
We had to pull our first calf (of this year) this afternoon, as it was upside down and backwards, meaning the mother would not have been able to push it out, no matter what. My dad managed to get the calf turned (inside the cow) so it's feet were down and then we pulled it out backwards, quickly. The baby is doing fine, so we and the mama are happy!


I counted tonight and, with the 8 calves today, we now have a total of 53 calves (we've had 2 dead ones so far). One of the cows who calved today (Suzie) was Sally's (our milk cows') calf from 2 years ago. Andrew's thinking he might try and milk her in a couple weeks, when he's done with grain cleaning and is around to train her. He thinks she'll be easy to teach, as she was a bottle calf and he's kept her fairly tame all along. She even let him squeeze some milk out tonight to make sure there was some there for the calf. Oh, the calf is a beautiful heifer, by the way, whom he's decided to call "Sweet Pea".


Those were the highlights of this day. I guess I could tell you about how Dad and Jacob were really with it while playing Foosball today, but that wasn't really a highlight for me! :) Or, I could write about how Mom and I tried playing out of our new piano duet book, but that didn't sound the best (yet), so that wasn't a great highlight either! It was, for the most part, a peaceful day and we're now ready for a new week. How about you?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Giveaway deadline coming up, and another anniversary date~

I just wanted to remind you all that the deadline to enter my 2nd-year-of-blogging-celebration-giveaway is tomorrow (Saturday) around 5:00 (meaning it for sure won't be before 5, but might be a little later than 5.) Scroll down to my post from last Saturday to enter, if you so desire. :) Oh yes, I thought I'd say too that I'm willing to ship the package to someone out of the USA too, as I have a couple of friends that are not in this country and I don't wish to exclude them! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I realized today, while dating the cream "April 8th" after separating the milk, that it's been 1 year exactly now since I started working at the nursing home! My how time does fly!!! To me, it does not seem like I've been there a year already, but a couple of my coworkers have told me that it seems like I've been there for years. :) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~We had some adventures with our cattle today... The first adventure happened this morning, after Dad finished feeding the cows. He noticed that one of the calves, Tag# B20 was really weak and wobbly and wondered why, as this calf is already a few days old. Then he noticed Jacob's cow, O4 running around, looking for her baby. He drove around a bit, looking for her baby too, and when he finally found the baby, he was frustrated with the sight that he beheld! #B20 (the cow) was claiming O4 (the calf) as her own for some reason and was abandoning her own baby... Soooooo, we had to get cow #B20 in the calving pen (and later in the head-gate) and then go get her weak little calf and take it to her mother so she could nurse. This afternoon, #B20 was letting her baby drink without being locked up and this evening, while out feeding cows, Dad saw that the O4s had reunited, so all is well, hopefully! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Our second cattle adventure came tonight when Andrew said that his milk cow, Sally was in heat and he wanted to get a bull in with her. We got one in the same pasture with her alright, but not for long! The bull was really dumb and kept running along the fence, wanting to get out while Sally tagged along behind him. He finally did crawl THROUGH the fence, back to his original pen, so then the guys went out and got a different bull in and locked him and Sally in a smaller pen so the bull couldn't break out. This was a smarter bull, thankfully, and Andrew should be getting a nice little calf in January, if all goes as planned. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We had hoped to get the plastic up on the greenhouse today, but it was very windy, so we are waiting for a nicer day to finish that project. There were many other things to keep us busy with in the meantime! One of the things we're doing to help heat our greenhouse is to put large, 50 gallon barrels in the greenhouse (some filled with water and some with oil) so the liquid will absorb the heat in the daytime and release it at night. The guys bring back a pickup box full of barrels that they've bought each time they go down to Titan and then they are lining them up against the black plastic wall. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Mom and I were busy in the house today, cleaning and cooking mainly. I used a new razor blade to clean off the sides of my aquarium, as recommended by a friend of ours, and it worked really well! It did feel pretty funny though when I had my arm in the water (to clean the bottom of the glass inside the tank) and a fish came up and "Nibbled" on my arm! I baked 4 pies: 2 sour cream raisin; 1 chocolate pudding; and 1 peanut butter! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There were literally HUNDREDS of cranes in our corn field this morning and they kept flying around the farm all day, making their gurbly noises. We are located in the middle of one of the main flyways for birds, so we get to see and hear all kinds of God's flying creations! Sometimes, when the wild geese fly over head, our domestic geese will try to fly across the pasture or yard. They surprisingly get a few feet off the ground, but can't stay up for very long, on account of their liking their feed a little too much. :) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well, that's a pretty thorough review of our day. I guess I didn't tell you about the Don Knotts movie we tried to watch this evening, but there really isn't much to tell, as we were only able to watch about a third of it, as either the tape is dying or our VCR is! I hope you all have a peaceful weekend, spent with those you love most.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A day spent with friends, and a greenhouse update!

This has been a very pleasant day, especially for me! First thing this morning, (first thing, that is, after getting up, dressed, doing chores, and showering) our neighbor, Kristi and her 3 little ones (Amelia, James & Michael) came and picked me up to go with them to Napoleon for the morning. We did some errands and then we went to the nursing home I work at and watched Amelia and her daycare friends "Tumble" and sing songs for the residents. It was fun to see other neighbors there as well, and it was different to be at the care center without having to work there! After Kristi dropped me off again at my house, Mom and I made a quick lunch and, after we all ate, she and I headed for Linton to do some more errands and then drove to our friends, the K. family's (the ones who had a little baby girl about a month ago) house to help Sarah with whatever needed doing. Mother helped Sarah by taking up a broom and scrub mop and folding clothes, while I got to be outside in the nearly unbelievably beautiful weather! (Ila informed me that it got up to 65 degrees!) My job was to cut off and rake up all the dead flowers and leaves from Sarah's flower beds. The children helped me some of the time and, once we were done, they (Ila, James and Edmund) wanted to show me their big water puddle. So, after putting away the shovel, rake and pruning shears, I followed Ila over to where her brothers were already splashing around in the "Puddle"---the puddle proving to be the ditch, with quite a bit of water lying in a flat area. :) The children assured me that their Mama lets them "walk around in the water because it's so nice out", so I watched them play for a while and then, as the water was coming in my boots already from the soggy ground that I was standing on, I took my boots and socks off and joined them in the cold water that was sparkling in the sunlight.... Sarah came out a little time later with the baby to ask if I'd be willing to hold her (and keep her dry) so she could get some things done in the house, so I stayed on the dry land then, cuddling the sleeping baby. It was a great day! The following pictures were taken over 3 days time and are of our greenhouse project. The first step was to level out the ground, as our garden area is slanted and we wanted the greenhouse to be level. We thank God for tractors that can do in a few minutes what would take us a few days to accomplish with shovel and backache! Meanwhile, the boys trimmed off several branched from the trees by our garden, both so we can mow under them and so we can get to our greenhouse easier from the house. At this point, the guys were laying out the bottom boards and getting them level, sometimes piling dirt up and, more often, digging a trench so the board would go down into the dirt.

The next day, the guys built the frame and the greenhouse started to really look like something. They put the black plastic on the storage shed wall to attract as much heat as possible.

Now, what do you think they used the 4-wheeler for?
Well, the guys thought it might come in handy to stand on while putting the extra little braces in the ceiling, and they were right!
They had to dig out the long ladders though when they got to the 3rd row!

Here, Jacob is drilling holes in the boards and then putting bolts through to clamp the boards onto the rods the guys stuck into the ground several feet.... I helped too, by holding boards while Dad measured and screwed them in, and also by leveling out the dirt inside a bit, as there was quite a mess left from the tractor tires and all..... We still need to bring in some composted manure and possibly some top soil from the field and then mix it all together so as to have a soil that will actually sustain life!


Cutting...
Screwing...



And finally, enjoying a nearly finished project. We just have to put up the clear plastic now and build some doors and, yes, get the dirt ready. This greenhouse is really a dream come true for Mom and I!!! And it's so big!!!!!! I can hardly wait to start planting in it. :)