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 A BLOG by Cynthia Queen

 

                   This one is more connected to the world

                          of blogging. Listed below are my old

                  entries. More like farm diary then true blogs.

 

 

Just a few of the pest controllers.

Lass brought us home a groundhog on groundhog day.            Himmy used to growl a lot but now she is an ace moler.

    Caught in the act; the mousers have one spotted.             After all that mousing it's time for napping.

May 23, 2016     Where to start...

Writing a blog is kind of fun but there is so many things to write about. Guess I'll start with this rainy weather. I tried to beat a storm coming in so I hopped on the riding lawn mower, had the lawn half way there when I blundered and forgot a little hill of dirt that wiped me out. Got the blades hung up and snapped the cable as I tried to stop them. I did stop them, but, with no cable to pull up the handle  they stayed a little more stopped than I had in mind. Just as the rain started I pulled the mower almost under cover. The kawasaki side-by-side, an old beast, was in the way. I backed the mower  out, jumped in the "kawi" as we call it, and abruptly broke it to. All I did was put in reverse. There was a load crunching, grinding noise, the wheel felt funny and it stalled. Got off and the wheel was at an angle. Yup, that was not a good sign. Put it in neutral and pushed it forward- the lawn mower was going in or bust. Pushing behind the thousand pound heap it decided to not argue with me- I still had JD and Big Moe if it wanted to argue. The loader/backhoes. Pulled the mower in and down came the rain.

All I have to do is start a project to know it just is not going to get finished. There is no place on this farm I can look and not see something I started and have not finished. Let's start with the lawn, now, move into the brush pile that will not get moved because Don has two new casualties to fix.  I just got a call from my niece who lives in a trailer on the farm telling me she needs my daughter who lives in a trailer here on the farm, also, to watch her kids because her boyfriend just put a drill bit through his finger, and, yes the drill was very much attached. She should be speeding by the house... there she goes... to go pick up my daughter.  Guess my day looks a little better now.

We are all trying to recover from some kind of a plague here on the farm. It started with stomach flu conditions and went for me six weeks later into bronchitis and the battle is still on for all of us. I'm pulling out more natural remedies but I have to find time to cook them up. Yah. Well, the rain stopped. It's 8pm. Guess I should draw up the plans for the chicken coop I need to put up near my daughter's to hopefully nail the tick over population at her end of the farm. We have fourteen very crowded chicks that need out of their swimming pool. I'm thinking about repurposing a pair of oil tanks.  One might be enough, but if it works and Don already has the torches out he might as well cut me the second. I'll get my guinea chicks, then, but you did not hear me say that as he hates guineas. The last ones ended up in the sink for getting on the neighbor's car. I'll put them up by the horse barn. They shouldn't get near the cars or Route 218. People will not stop for a tractor but they'll stop dead in the road to see the oddest looking bird, puffed out and running them down.  Honking and gackling and making a whole assortment of noise. I had twenty-three and I'll admit that was a bit many. If a car stopped they would fly off the shed roof and aide their fellow aggressors in stopping traffic. On the bright side the tic population and ground bees were amazingly low.

Tomorrow the goal is learning how to can chicken soup. I really am needing a big bowl of grandma's chicken soup with chunks of potatoes and onions. I loved her cooking when we would get to visit. I kick myself for not writing down all her stories of the family. She never ran out of stories. She could go on for days and even if she retold one it was worth hearing again. I can not wait for these books to take off. I want an addition and a kitchen table. I just want to sit at it and see her peeling potatoes with the small skinny blade of the knife cutting toward her. She had done it that way all her life and the peels would come off in rings. I can not tell you how many beans we snapped then watched her pour out to pick through and freeze. And peas... steaming hot with that fresh green smell. I just wanted to grab up the butter and have at them. Of course, I was so full of the raw ones we had spent hours popping open, I might not have done the steaming bags justice.

  May 24, 2016Getting Started

Came home to the goats in the wrong field. Yelled up and the little rascals ran back through the electric fence which is obviously not charged for some reason. Barely started to work on getting my website ready for public inspection when the renter that is moving, sad to say, as I like them, needed some receipts for their bank loan. I'm happy they are getting a house but I really enjoyed having them here on the farm. There is five rentable trailers here and two that I'm trying to get fixed up. One would think that is great but the amount of money we have dumped into everything to get it up and running we have yet to see back. So I guess they are not really making the mortgage. The repairs keeps me away from the typewriter and the books I need to finish are just bursting to get out. It's like having a mental zit and not being able to pop it. All these scenes and characters are locked up. Hopefully once I start taking books in to the Flea Market and setting up stuff to sell maybe something will happen and I'll get a chance at a real publisher seeing my work or maybe even a movie producer. You have to have the vehicle before you can drive someone once said. I have four books, the farm is sort of kind of stabilizing, I'm going to be forcing myself into the public eye for scrutiny and who likes that. I have a blog started, my website has been running for years and I'm collecting all kinds of neat stuff on it.

Speaking of blog guess I'll end this entry with used JD to play in the mud to fix a ditch, dug holes for three apple trees and seven blueberry plants. Um, bought those like six weeks ago and the berries made it all winter on the porch. Lost four pots. Figured if they made it that long in the bags guess they deserve planting. Just hope the goats don't get loose and eat them to the ground. They gnawed my peach tree pretty bad. Worse than deer.

Started the fence line for the bank. It is removable incase township needs to dig.

I will probably work on the rental tonight. Painting the bedroom then putting down carpet and putting in new windows and molding. The porch needs lifted before it pulls on the trailer and then the roof repainted. Then it's on to the one my daughter is living in to finish the molding and the kitchen wall that was dry walled. Dog pens, chicken pens. my best friend hopefully will be moving into the next open rental. I call her my sister and her daughters who live here my nieces. Their kids are my great nephews and nieces. Well, I don't have family here so I guess I sort of made one. I never planned it that way, it just sort of evolved.  I'm sure there are others who understand, not, that I did not beg my brothers and mother to join me... but that is a whole other tale.

 

May 25, 2015     All in a day...

I can tell school is almost out. The three little boys who sit in the front seats have been acting up. When I was on the road it was a peaceful experience and if the cargo made any noise it was time to pull over and check your underwear because something just busted loose that might have nearly rolled you over. Honestly, I do not know how our society is going to survive if we can only teach dogs to be quiet and elephants to sit. Somewhere along the line the kids started to chant, "We want dollars," to the point it got irritating. I told them enough and if any of them wanted dollars I had weed eaters and push mowers at the ready. They looked at me as if I had lost my mind. I looked at them and saw why foreign countries want to take us out- and I do not mean to dinner. There would have been a day when children would have jumped at the chance to work and bring home something they were proud of.

Got home to another day of goat escape.  Forget the coffee went straight out to the fence line and sure enough one of the lines was busted. Pinched myself with the pliers while trying to repair the break and the whole thing got personal, to say the least. Today's project just suddenly became repairing the fence line to the bank and getting those little brush mowers someplace they want to stay. Let the hens out to hunt worms. The other set of fourteen chicks I bought on a whim for a dollar a piece are outgrowing their swimming pool and I have to come up with some place to put them.  The idea is to put them where they can do tic patrol. It's been two months and they are definitely needed a bigger place. Guess today is there day, too. I also missed some goat hooves to trim and I'm working on my first attempt at canning chicken soup.

Got nowhere near the rental yesterday and almost finished planting my bushes and trees. I need some better dirt. Should have got the potting soil at the store. Forgot that it was all clay in there. Poor bushes.

 

May 26, 2016 Four-legged Brush Hogs

Let's see, today's post. So far the goats are in but I think that has more to do with the rain. We are fixing the fence line to the bank so now I'm sunburned from weed eating. It must have hit 80 degrees. I have to keep them off the roots of the two tulip poplars as they dug and played under them so much last year the roots got exposed and the trees lost their leaves early. Not good. My little brush hogs are great for clearing the neighbor's fields, not like there isn't seventy acres on their side to clear. They are so neighborly.

A hydraulic hose on the tractor's loader gave out as I was finishing moving gravel around. The driver dumped it in the wrong spot last year and the gravel is stuck in the grass. Yep, next time I'll burrow a dump truck and do it myself. Anyhow, the hubby just woke up and to go along with snapping the cable on the lawn mower and the ty-rod on the side-by-side finishing it's disintegration  while I was driving it, I get to tell him this one.

May 30, 2016   Flea Market Idea begins.

Working on the goat fence. It's amazing how much time is consumed pounding in T-posts, putting on insulators and running wire. Whoever said homesteading was easy needs run over by a herd of goats. I bought a parts car and now I have to take everything out of the car hauler. I purchased it last year with this great idea I was going to take items to the flea market and sell my books. I bet that turns into a joke, but, don't know until you try. I needed to organize stuff so it works out. Never ends does it?

June 1, 2016 Sundance- Step One

Did you ever work so hard to have something, get it, then not have time for what you worked so hard for in the first place. My love of horses is what has motivated me to buy this farm, but, I haven't put a brush to one in months. Today at the insistence of someone we pulled Rugger out of the field and I then pulled Sundance out. Sundance is a beautiful horse and he does just what his name says. Two years ago I sent him out to train only to be disappointed to find out he rears. I did a lot of ground work with him. I have had him since he was two. At first I could not touch his ears. He tried to bite. He did not pick up his feet. He was more stud than anything. It has been two years since I have tried to ride him. He saddles fine. I can take a rope and throw it all over him. He does not like a tarp though. We need to work on that. It's hard when you put that much work into something to let it go because he might be too much horse for me.

Tonight as my daughter led his buddy out of sight I decided to see what he would do. I called to him and at first he was upset over his buddy leaving. Finally he came to me and I put his halter and lead on. Sunny is a shorter horse, fat and sassy like a pony, but smart like a mule. He's a deep bronze dappled with a gorgeous long mane I used to spend hours just admiring. He's a real piece of eye candy I just love to watch run across the field. He's so much eye candy it's easy to forget his absolute love to sunfish, kick out his heels, terrorize studs,  and his stubborn streak.  It is absolutely amazing to see how my hand on his shoulder will change him from a wild eye crazy mustang into a standing obedient horse.

Tonight I pulled him out of his field for the first time in months, his buddy already out of sight. I watched him put his nose to the ground and begin his snorting sniffle. It kind of sounds like a pig snort. He did this to smell the scent of his buddy, Rugger. As we walked down the road I could see the wild horse he could be, but, he stayed at ease on the lead. I let him put his nose down and like a bloodhound he followed the scent. He was quite content to snort all the way down the road in this manner. Mules will also do this, as will donkeys. I don't see this so often in horses and I've had a dozen come and go just this year.  I work them on the ground where I am most comfortable, once a friend breaks them to ride, I ride them. Like my Tennessee Walker. Only, Sundance is different. He acted up so badly for everyone no one will ride him. He puts his head over my shoulder and before I leave he has to have his hugs and kisses. If I forget he will stand there, stomp a hoof and almost pout.  So, this one, I will have to train because obviously he is my horse.

 So now the challenge is, can I ride him and not get killed trying. He's a fast horse, real quick with turns, that could easily unseat a rider. I can not tell him to do anything, but, I ask him.. sometimes a few determined times... and he does it. Have you ever had to do something you really did not want to do. I really want to ride this horse because I have felt his gate and it is like glass, but, I know he's like a firecracker to handle if he decides to go off the deep end. If he bolts I'm not sure there is any stopping him and worst of all he's fast. I'd need someone on a racehorse to catch the little sucker. The guy I let try to train him came into sight after a nine mile ride and there was barely any sweat, Sundance proceeded to sunfish after he was slapped for not standing still. The two butted heads and the guy ran him up a mountainside twice, Sundance promptly reared, sunfished, tailspinned and finally settled when I came over and took hold of the bridle. I hesitantly stepped on in the saddle and let the guy lead me. I was definitely afraid to take the reigns after seeing this horse's stubborn side. The guy fell to the ground after he lead me around and I dismounted, "There's no teaching that horse," he declared. "That rearing is going to get someone hurt. You need to sell him."

That poor fellah had been taken on a trail ride that should have taken several hours and Sundance ate it up in half the time. So, great, I have a bad knee and an endurance horse with an attitude. As I leaned back into Sundance's shoulder and he stood perfectly still as I rubbed my back into it I kind of smirked, "Guess we come by it honest don't we? Well, guess I'm getting up early and we are going to see just how much attitude you have. I know one thing you do know, pretty boy, your human Momma is more stubborn, speaks softly but can pick up a big stick and swat your backside if you don't mind your manners. Just out of spite of all these trainers who won't step on you, I am going to teach you. What do you think of that Pretty Boy?" Sundance turned on cue and put his nose in my hand and gave a piggy snort. He's such a stinker.

June 3, 2016  Honda Coop versus Bull Calf

As usual I got distracted from my horses. It's either raining or someone needs something. Yesterday I distracted myself by going to the local auction in Waynesburg. Sometimes I can pick up a nice horse there. Today I met my niece and already she had bought a pot of flowers. I picked up a bucket of eight-penny nails and two four foot gates. You would not believe how pricey a gate can be brand new. I always like to buy used when I can.  Take my little Honda Civic two-door. I got it from a friend who had it all but it's first three years. Sixteen years old and running strong. We watched the horses go through and a beautiful gold leopard appaloosa made me sit on my hands. Good thing it was not a mare as my Tennessee Walker stud would have had one more added to the field. It is so hard not to collect horses as they are like beautiful potato chips. I'm always a little sad when someone buys one, but, the fun is to go pick out another training prospect. The calves came up and a nice black Hereford stepped out.  I had a set price in mind and went up to it. Calves always went higher then my price so imagine my surprise when I found myself a proud owner of a bull calf, only, guess what I drove to the auction. Now my niece is laughing because she has to go the opposite direction of the farm. Guess what has to go in the backseat of the car and take a ten mile trip?

Luckily we bumped in to a male friend with good arms. He volunteered to bring the calf out to us. While I'm clearing the yard sale stuff out of my backseat that might get damaged five people see my niece as she arrives with a "tux" pad as she calls them. Usually hospitals put these under patients to catch any accidents. They are great for baby farm animals, too. So, here comes the farm boy with my calf and a big grin on his face. He doesn't hesitate to push the calf behind the back seat and slam the door. If I could have only had a camera for the surprised look on the other people's faces. It was priceless to say. My niece is laughing hysterically at this point as she says, "It's all about the farm life."

I smiled and said, "Gotta go. He'll over heat."  Now, this isn't my first offense for bringing babies home in cars. Usually it's my hubby's Cadillac.  Shh-h-h he never reads these articles so I'm safe here. Anyways, this calf is not laying down as they normally will do. Instead, it is trying to see out the back window like the dog and I was very glad I had left some boxes in the seat. Even I have my limits as to what I want on the seat.  As I'm leaving the auction behind I'm rethinking this particular calf might not be such a good candidate for this. Last year a heifer, identical to this one, caused four hours of stress after she jumped off the back of the truck and raced out of sight into the neighbor's fields. That story is under "Porter House Steak." She is a yearling now.

Well, the calf will not settle down and I am beginning to worry that it might try to jump up and drive. I stretched my arm across the other seat and for fifteen anxious minutes we drove down Route 218. Along the way the calf contented itself to lick the back seat and the the box. The windows I really wanted all the way down as my air conditioner had quit working.  It's ninety degrees outside and one-ten inside.  I hear this paper ripping sound. It's followed by some slurping and smacking. I realized the calf had found the newspaper on the floor and was quite happily eating it. Good thing it was yesterday's news.

Once to the farm I drove up to my daughter's trailer and grabbed her. Why is it when I need a camera to capture people's expressions I'm lacking it? I looked at her and said, "Good, you got your shoes. Hop in and let's go."

My daughter is staring in disbelief at the hind end of the calf. "How?"

Without hesitating I replied, "We pushed. Now get in because we are going to have to pull this little guy out of here before he has a big accident." Jumping in I stopped at the driveway and instructed her to get the dog collar and rope off the porch. It's there for escaped goats. I drove the Honda through the yard. After she opened the gate I drove into the goat yard very glad we had dry weather. It's all clay normally. After some pushing on the backend and some pulling on the front my car gave birth to an unhappy baby bull who was promptly named after his Momma, "Honda." So that is how a Honda is born, folks.    For some calf tips you can see this page.

 June 7, 2016

Until you start writing things down you do not realize how much actually happens in a day. Take yesterday, Monday. I decided come what may, I was getting a buddy for Honda. I really wanted a heifer calf. I want to raise my own milk cow. I went up to the auction and met up with some friends there. My niece is bold enough to go behind the scenes and check out calves. Usually there is a break between "junk" and "stock" but there was so much junk being sold and chickens that I was not able to sneak back with her. She said there was only three heifers. I wanted a Jersey, which are hard calves to bottle raise. You sneeze on them and they will fall over dead. Though everyone said if a chicken gets an open wound they'll die of infection. I have two that prove the theory wrong. I'm not grossing anyone out with their injuries but both were serious open wounds.

We sit through all this which reminds me I have to get the onion sets and the rhubarb out of my truck. I'm going to soak the rhubarb and see if I can't get some roots to grow. I was interested in the pheasant chicks but they went for too much. Finally we got to the calves. I'm trying to listen to this auctioneer and if you have ever been to one of these events it's quite fast. There were forty calves this go around. No beef calves at all so I was going to have to settle for a dairy. I did not want to loose out on a buddy for Honda. The prices were high but not like earlier in the year. This bull calf came trotting into the lot, head up, perky, and full of life. He looked about the size of my calf so I bid on him and got him. I have not has a chance to get a real good look at him because of the next calf I bid on. My niece said, "That's a heifer." I bid.

I asked, "Is that the one you said was laying back there sick?" I inquired and bid again. The little calf was adorable with it's marble markings. She weighed sixty pounds. Probably less. She looked to be a Jersey-Holstein cross maybe. You can never tell as fast as this stuff goes.

My niece hesitated, "She was just a little dehydrated I think. She didn't have any scours on her."

I bid again, "The tag is on it's backside not it's head. The auctioneer called it a bull calf."

"It's not a bull," my niece insisted. "Trust me it's a heifer."

I eyed her and bid again, "If it's a bull it's yours."

Now wouldn't you know someone else must have known what we did. I ended at fifty cents a pound higher than what I was willing to pay. She was mine. Had I seen her I would not have bought her. I would not have stuck around another half hour watching the bull calves go through. I would have done exactly what I did when My niece's friend laid the poor creature out on the bed of my truck after stuffing the first one in the carrier I brought.

I said to him, " Get her off the back of the truck and into the cab with me. She won't make it home back here." I spun the carrier around and my niece helped me ratchet it down. As soon as I was in the truck my foot hit the accelerator and I was literally in a race to save the calf's life. Looking at her rolled eyes she needed sugar, corn syrup. I was angry with myself for forgetting the bottles and the syrup at the house. I was definitely regretting it. I talked to the new girl and tapped her with my empty pop bottle at every red light to keep her from sinking completely into shock. I know that sounds rude but she was out of my arms reach and I was driving. 

As soon as I got in the drive I ran in, cleared the bathroom floor, and got the hubby. He was not happy I purchased a dead calf. I was pretty sure at this point that is exactly what I had done. I got her in my arms, dead weight, head hanging, and barely made it into the bathroom. Nurse Lass had gotten underfoot and nearly spilled us all. As soon as I put her down the little think pooped yellow water. She had scours and in the advanced stage.

I found the corn syrup and rubbed it all over her gums. The calf suckled on my fingers which I was not expecting. The hubby drove the other calf to the pen where Honda was. He came back as I dabbed more syrup around the calf's gums. Her tongue was pale and she was about ninety percent crow bait. I left her long enough to secure the new calf.

I pulled up my website and picked from my arsenal of advice. It's why I made the page on calves in the first place. My memory is terrible.  My daughter dug out the heating pad, and armed with ideas we set to work.  Dehydrated calves get cold so I put a heating pad under their gut, closer to the heart. The body can then focus on other things. We gave her over a course of an hour two quarts of re-sorb which I thought I was going to have to tube but she managed to swallow everything in a metal feeding syringe. I gave her egg white in one dose, scour halt in another, vitamins in another and two packages of Knox Gelatin in two separate doses. In the morning I found a diarrhea bolus and chopped it up and added this to her twelve ounce glass of resorb. By afternoon she was lifting her head and we graduated her to the front porch. Tonight she rests under a heat lamp and we are finishing up two quarts of Save-a-calf formula just for pneumonia and scours. I also gave her a B-12 shot and a dose of LA 200 to keep the pneumonia out of her.

It's been a long forty-eight. We had to go up and get medicines in town plus all the farm chores. I mowed around the little trailer court and the bigger lot we are purchasing from the neighbor's. I should be excited, but, I am not. It is going to take a lot of work and time to get the rundown trailer ready so my daughter can stay in it. I wish I could wave a wand and it was done. I do not even want to guess what we are up against. There is a piece of plywood on the roof if that says anything. We'll see. We don't have paperwork started yet.

6-8-16 The hubby woke me up to tell me the baby moo was standing up and bellowing for breakfast. Considering I did not get to bed until nearly midnight, moo was going to be extra hungry by seven.  I woke, stumbled out of bed and sure enough the moo alarm was going off with nurse Lass wagging her tail like I needed to take care of the problem immediately.  "Do you mind if I get coffee first?" I asked her. Her reply was to sit and stare at me patiently. Critters. While the coffee perked I went about fixing the bottle. The cats were meowing outside. I truly hate having the cats inside at all because of the damage they cause.  That is a sore thorn between the hubby and I. We will not go there.

I had me an idea this calf was sold because she did not want to latch on. So far I had not been able to get her to truly suck even my fingers. From experience, this could take a few days to get her to actually suck from the bottle. Armed and ready out the door we went to be greeted by a hungry bellow. Trust me, I was thinking we were burying this animal when I dragged her into the bathroom on Monday. That possibility was still very real. The air was damp and chilling. I had put a heat lamp out and I would keep it on all day. It was my luck the temp was going to drop for the next couple of nights. I might even run a lamp out to the other calf pen. The newest one was no older than a week old. If my daughter put a bed of hay as deep as I told her to Honda and the new calf should be fine. That forty-seven degree has me a bit worried. Without a big mother cow to radiate heat it is tough on the little guys. Once they get to be about a year old minus the unforeseen the cows seem to do well on their own. It's pneumonia and pink-eye I have to constantly watch for. That reminds me, I have to put a cow rub up for them to get rid of those nasty flies on them. We did a head count on Sunday and it is amazing how fast the cattle's appearances changed. I almost did not recognize them.

I looked down at my little dairy calf and sighed. "Okay, round forty-two- ding." She lay there, her soft eyes looking at me. I am a sucker for those lovely eyelashes. On her forehead is her angel mark. As she grows how long it will stay there, who knows.  I slipped my fingers in her mouth to see if I could get her to suck on them. After a minute she had the idea but when it came to the nipple she was having none of it. For about five minutes we struggled, her tongue trying to push the nipple out of her mouth.  "Not, yet, huh?" Going back inside I cracked an egg white into the heavy glass then added some vitamins and Save-A-Calf formula. Out we went and down the hatch with some feisty resistance. Hopefully my niece is reading this and apologizing for suckering me into this calf.  Of course, who knows where this little girl would have landed and if those people would have known how to do what she needed. She was one step from an IV bag and that I would not know how to do. I'm not a nurse. Sad thing is, there are no vets that will help with these calves in my area. It's all pets. We have one mobile vet which can take a week to get out here. The next time she is out I'm going to ask her about IV supplies because my niece knows how to do it. Nope, I hate needles, hate giving shots, and it is the one thing I will pay someone else to do.  Only if I am totally desperate and alone will I try it, and God help the critter.

Well, that's over. Time for another cup of coffee and to make the other calves bottles. Guess I should mow my own lawn and weed eat around the garden. Got two windows to replace if no rain is in the forecast. Looks like the tip of what is hitting my daughter is just missing us causing the damp morning. My other daughter lives near Harrisburg. Sure wish my books would take off so I could buy her a nice little house and get her back out here. She would come in a heartbeat. Patients. It's all about patients.

I'm having to get my mind set on the Flea Market idea. It's not going to go anywhere but at least all the extra stuff that is laying around will get sold. I'll probably end up selling the trailer and maybe fixing up my old truck with the cap on it and just selling books out of it. I wanted to get into designing T-shirts, plaques, hand bags and cups. I got some really cool farm designs. With all the repairs and machine purchases I doubt I get to get the business idea off the ground and when an I suppose to find the time? I still have to get the changes to my web pages uploaded before I start handing out bookmarks to the general public. Just advertising is hard work.

Well, nurse Lass is asleep at my feet and it's time for the Doc to go make rounds in her bunny slippers drinking coffee. lol.

6-9-16  Bottle Baby

At five this morning the whole neighborhood was awakened by a hearty tiny "moooooo." It was very hungry little mooo that demanded an immediate fix to the problem. Yesterday, in front of company, my tiny little moo decided to give us all a gift. She pooped the smelliest pile of tan jelly. Everyone looked at me really strange when I clapped my hands and said, very excited, "Good girl." Then I had to explain that it was her first solid poo in three days. As I hurried to clean up the present I further told them that she now had more than a fifty-percent chance of living. Then they were a little more excited and very glad as the hay diaper was quickly disposed of. Guess this will hurry the hubby to fix the power washer. He-he-he- evil chuckle.

As I pour my coffee and heat Angel's milk it occurred to me to get it on film. She's mooing her little heart out. So here's the video. Believe me, I'm very happy at the end, no more syringe feedings! Hooray!

6/10/16 Double Trouble

My closest friend made the suggestion we should go horseback riding. She would bring the horses over, all I would need was my saddle. The saddle is the only kind I can ride in as I had knee surgery. Everything is soft fender. Even though it fits me I can not enjoy much more than an hour. After that amount of time it becomes an endurance work for me, not the horse. I have horses but I never get to ride them either. So we made up  our minds to get this done. Last night my other calf decided to start the scours, Old Man Whiskers is his name. I have never seen a calf with so much hair around his muzzle.  It's too cute. We put Angel in with him as both are scouring. So last night we rigged up a heat lamp and a deep bed of hay. It was under fifty degrees and Whiskers was shivering. Because I wanted to go riding I was pretty sure something would go wrong. I got up early and went out expecting a dead calf. Whiskers was right out there ready for breakfast.  I fed him and Angel. She was so hungry she kept loosing track of the bottle, doing circles around me. Her coloring and coat texture is very different from the Holstein bull's. 

About the time I'm looking around thinking, "This might actually work. My friend and I might actually get to do this without any major catastrophes. The running joke is, "So what's happening on your end of the universe, and do I want to know?" It's calm on my end, only no phone call from her telling me she is on her way.  About the time I'm thinking I should call her she calls explaining the horses were not cooperating. For over an hour she and her husband chased them. They tied one to the four-wheeler while they tried to get the other. In the process of rounding up another victim Red decides to pull on the four-wheeler and it moves. He spooks, pulling it back over a small bank. The four-wheeler rolled three times and snapped the halter on the horse.  Red stood still. My friend managed to snag another horse and after getting another halter they put the horses on the trailer. On her way across the narrow back roads she was met by a wide-load on a bend. She made it to my house with all her paint intact. On my end the hubby comes in early from work. He ad put his back out. As soon as he sits down a renter shows up to tell me his water line broke and the bathroom is flooded. The water from the main line shot up through the hole in the floor for the pipe.

No, I can not make this stuff up.  I look at the hubby and say, "I do not care if the house blows up, I'm riding. I've been planning this for two weeks. I'll help you when I get back."

My friend shows up and as fast as possible we put my saddle in her truck and hit the accelerator.  On the way I jested, "The two of us in the same vehicle. this just can not be good."

She smiled, "Well, if we break down we got rides home."

Aside from being out in eighty-degree heat on biting fly magnets, riding through briar trails and having one horse get its bit over its mouth we had a pleasant ride. The cicadas flies were everywhere. Every seventeen years these big flies hatch out. The noise was almost deafening. We had to yell above it. I can only imagine how loud it was to the horses. More than once the big bugs landed on us or the horses. I was very glad she had picked the calmest horses for this idea. Sometimes you just have to stack the deck.

8-23-16

How the time flies and I am going to regret not writing all the events down. Let's start with today. On the menu was to pick up where I left off on the dog house a week ago, before I went to visit my mother and brothers over six hours away. I wish I could say visiting brought back pleasant memories. Unfortunately, every time I visit, I see how their two bedroom trailer is affecting their health and mental state.

It would be hard to put into words the anguish I feel knowing my mother is living in poverty and cob-job. Imagine plywood laid over your sinking bathroom flooring with strips of linoleum to cover it. The toilet has a square cutout. Pieces of white paneling are glued to the ceiling with tan glue that shows in every crack. A car fan hangs in the ceiling and, yes, the steam does go up the hole. The lights are new; barely hanging in the old trailer ceiling. The water heater needs replaced like the floor under it and the shower smells of rotten eggs, but it is clean. As you turn the outdoor copper handle to switch to the shower you realize the sink handles turn in the wrong direction.  Yes, sink handles. A long copper pipe with a ninety-degree elbow is the tub faucet. Oh, wait it gets better. The shower wall is seemed with the same tan glue on the ceiling. It caulks the tub in a squished-out pattern. The  tub kick-pan fell off years ago. It is an unpainted plywood board with a wire cage on the end to allow the heat to get under the tub so it will not freeze. The tub always served as double-duty for the exiting of the wash water. Yep, into the tub and down the drain. I wish the nightmare ended there. It doesn't. From one end of the trailer to the other it's a clean, crowded nightmare of cob-job. I'll leave your imagination and my mother's embarrassment there, but, I do have to say the string running from the front door, thru the porch and into the trailer attached to an old schoolmarm's bell tops the cake. Just gives the mental picture of cluttered chaos that winning cherry.

Yah, I want my mother and brothers out of there badly. I think they might actually come down to the farm this time. Mom is getting near retirement and she is absolutely sick of the whole dilapidating mess.

It's good, yet, it is bad timing for me.  Financially, the hubby lost a good paying job and he is not scrambling to find a new one which mentally has me chewing my fingernails like a squirrel in March on a forgotten cob of corn. If anyone has been through the stress of a family member losing a job and taking their sweet time to find another you know what I mean.

While visiting mother I enjoyed going to the small family reunion my Uncle and Aunts started.  My cousins had pictures of my Dad when he was young. My father passed away several years ago. I don't have any photos of him as a child. During the visit another relative, I discovered, worked at a sound studio where he edits the narrations of books. He recommended the idea of blogging. So in the long about way I guess this is the real reason I am making this first stab at blogging.

I guess the goal of my blog is honestly to promote my books- which right now I need to fly off the shelves like hotcakes in about the most desperate way possible, but, I'll bet I'm not suppose to say that.  I have sold privately many copies of all four of my self-published books. I have a dozen people that I know who bought all four of my books and want more. I wish I had the time to write, but, somehow the goal is ironically attached to my income. The catch twenty-two in my life. That is something you can help me out with by clicking here and purchasing a copy or copies-and telling me what you think.

The second goal of my website is to impart some commonsense homesteading and health care of animals and humans. My website is chalk full of the lessons I have learned and the ones I'm yet learning. I have included some photos and also shared with you some of the fun things I like to collect and do; especially anything about horses. I am trying to get our small farm turned into a homestead that supplements our income and gives us a sense of accomplishment. I love pinning things on pinterest, trying new recipes, garden tips, and stumbling through canning foods and building we are building a greenhouse next. This should be a blast; and yes, I'll probably do all the work by myself. The backhoe is something I really dig operating- sorry I could not resist. A ruler and a hammer are my second favorite tools next to the pen.

I am going to try and post on a weekly basis. I might post a few days in a row or not, just depends on what's cooking in my busy life and if time will let me sit down long enough to contemplate the confines of the universe and visit with the hubby. Yah, I think I watered and fed him at least twice today.  Saw him running around on the farm a few times. Guess I better figure out this blog thing and find out what is on the menu for tomorrow's projects. Top of list, Get hubby a Job. Second, call Mom and see if she has changed her mind about moving to the farm again. Third, finish dog house and place the three Dane girls inside their new doggie home before they finish digging their way out of the barn.  Yes, I have three Great Danes and that's another story. Last, but not least, finish the rental so we can get it advertised.

Somehow, at this late hour, I think my goal to start blogging is somehow going to spill over until tomorrow. I really need seventy-two hour days. Sigh.

As I do not trust other people's websites I will continue to post my blogs here as well but I did manage to get wordpress to work. Now to start learning this whole fun adventure of blogging.   BLOG LINK

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                   

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