Puppies in the Kitchen

One Day Old
One Day Old
Growing Like Weeds
Growing Like Weeds- Ten Days Old

October 25, found us delivering our first puppies right in the Hubby’s lap. Nothing goes just how you plan it when you are homesteading- not even puppies.

The swimming pool was outside, waiting to be sanitized. April, our Dane girl, was not due; according to my friend who has bred a few of these big dogs, until November third. I had not yet driven to the Observer to get some old newspapers. The plan was to sweep and mop the kitchen floor, clear the counter of everything a Dane might nose, put the pool down, have it all lined with clean newspapers and be in complete readiness for the event… yah, well, here is how it really went.

As I was getting ready for work I heard a ruckus in the dog pen. April was emitting a low grow that was vibrating the dog house. The day prior, I blocked the big hole she had dug under the “doggie” deck. Her sister, Junezia, four inches taller, had decided to try the hole. That is right, she got stuck. After an anxious twenty minutes of shoveling; then pulling a hundred-fifteen pound Dane from her predicament- which was like pulling a stuck calf out of bawling cow- we were able to screw heavy boards to the deck. As an extra deterrent my daughter and I lined the deck with cement blocks. Thus, April could not birth her litter under the deck and for once I was a step ahead.

Listening to April growl at her sisters, it was decided to bring April inside where the hubby could watch her until we could get everything ready. These puppies were going to pay for every animals’ hay for the winter and the Dane girls dog food bill; so we were being cautious.
I came home from work at 4:30 to see a giant dog stretched in the lazy-boy- with slippers sticking out from under her. It took me a second to realize the hubby was under the dog. He was muttering, “She wouldn’t settle down until she got in my lap. She’s been groaning. I think she is in labor.”

I stepped over to check the tail end just as a puppy slid out. “No, honey, she’s giving birth,” I informed.

“What!” was his astonished reply. “You got to be kidding me?”

I lifted the wet, slimy, wiggling puppy; turning it upside down, “Nope…oh, my God, there is one on the floor still in it’s sack!”

At this point I went into emergency mode. The sack was cool and the fluid still in it. It was like trying to grab an egg off a tile floor one-handed. Remember I had the other hot mess in my left hand. Finally I had the sack and ran for the kitchen floor where I put the live pup down and ripped open the sack. Yah, it was a mess.

The hubby took the live puppy and gently shook it to help clear the lungs while April tried to drown it with her big tongue. The big boy was not moving and he was cool in my hands. April tried to lick him, too. Using a finger I opened his mouth and fluid came out. I rubbed, slapped, and pumped on the poor little guy, giving him quick jerky shakes. I heard a little growl, but, he was still not breathing. Gently I puffed a little air into his mouth. The hubby tossed me a dry towel and I rubbed the hide off him, I think. I gave him a couple of more puffs, and yes, he was wet and salty, but he was going to breathe. It was a tense five minutes. Finally the big blue pup took his own breaths.

Meanwhile, Don had thrown a towel on the floor for April to lay on. The second born pup was already happily robbing all the ninnies on her mom. The pup was going to need the head-start, as Minnie was the runt of the litter. At a full pound she was not a small runt, but, her brother was a half-pound bigger. After his near death experience; the little fella was slow to get started, once he did, however, Minnie had competition.

In a hurry I called my niece, telling her of my dilemma and asking her to get my daughter. Soon Mom and pups were in a clean pool with papers. Every hour a new pup arrived until 1AM. Exhausted, I left the situation to my daughter as I had to go to work at six. I just closed my eyes when I heard, “Mom!”

The last puppy arrived. A big white female harlequin who is now, two weeks later, a quarter pound heavier than her five brothers. All ten of the squiggly balls of fur are grunting, growling and trying to stand up. Yah, they will be ready for the outdoor pen in just a couple of days. In the meantime, there is a pile of puppies barely fitting in the swimming pool right in my kitchen. Their mom is eating us out of house and home, too. Wow, can nursing mom’s eat! Good thing I had thought ahead and cooked up real dog food. That store bought stuff just doesn’t cut it with a dog this big. Now, if I can just keep her out of the cat food!

PJ says "I can see!"
PJ says “I can see!”

Life is a bit busy right now. It always is when you’re trying to set your place up to homestead with the hope of going completely off-grid. Watching the babies grow is so worth it… Maybe I’ll find some time to set up at an indoor flea market and sell some of my self-published books and extra stuff cluttering up the place. Maybe take up a puppy to show off…

“Hey! Get out of that catfood!” Well, I’ll be right back…

It's my wagon! “It’s my wagon!”

Meanwhile Maya and Junezia are outside fighting over a car ride. Kids!

Moving Livestock Requires Planning Ahead

Angel and AnnabelOur four bottle calves from last year are yet in their small square pen. Because of moving my mother and brothers to the farm, I did not get a hut built. Out of desperation, when the January winds started to sweep in the harsher weather, we slammed the horse trailer into the pen. Then it became the March wet season. The trailer stayed.

It is now May 21. The end of winter was so gentle the neighbor is haying and the raspberries are starting to form. A few sharp frosts wilted my potatoes from last year and devastated my blooming wisteria. The daffodils are gone, the major dandelion bloom is over. By the way, the blooms are delicious fried in butter with a little salt and pepper.

I digress, a bad habit. Our calf moving adventure started with a backhoe to pull all the future fertilizer out of the horse trailer. An air compressor inflated a brand new tire. I must have picked up a nail or something, just lovely. Then, knowing where I needed the two females, it was decided to pull out the Jubilee tractor which is shorter. Of course, the 2″ ball was missing and it has a 3/4 inch shank. Here we go. Hunting around the farm for a ball. I really need some sheds; and get organized. Sigh. Come on publisher or movie producer, pick my books! Yah, like that is happening.

Again, I digress. We found the ball on the back of the Kawasaki mule, which has again chewed through its monthly bearing on the driver’s side. We set it aside because at a hundred plus a month, it is costing too much to keep trying to fix. We will have to send it off to someone who might know what is going on. The neighbor has the same model and it sits in his barn unused.

The ball hunt over, we started on our way only to be stopped by a fuel shortage. Minor oversight. Jubilee wanted fed. The truck needed fuel, too. Armed with a gas can, I made for the station three miles down the road. A big plus for times like this is a rinky-dink town not far off.

Putzing down the road on our speedy tractor we now faced keeping the yearling calves back. I did not need a rodeo. The easiest way I have found to move most animals is with a bucket of grain. Annabel is a real sucker for grain. She is six months older than Angel, and halter broke. In she went.  Angel followed with a few helpful shoves from behind. Up went the gate and our future milk cows were ready for transport. Around the house and up into the small square holding pen with knee-deep grass already getting grain heads. Everything is early this year.

Down to the pasture, through the gate and on to the next problem. One of the bull calves, a white-faced black Angus cross, hopefully with a Hereford, was on the wrong side of the fence. If I could get him through the steep brier infested hillside, I would have to lead him down through 14 very curious bullies (big cows) to get to the corral. Option two, remove the mesh square fencing, pull it back, and see if he would crawl back through the high tensile fence- which is what he had done on the far side. Only he had gone up and around the brier patch and now refused to repeat the process. Well, that did not work and the hubby was started to flail his arms around like men do when they really want to do anything but what they got suckered into. Hubby is a city slicker. He got roped into this country life. He has zero patience for animals or people. Which is why he makes a wonderful landlord- yah, well despite this, the bulls were coming out of the pasture tonight. I had a pile of eggplants and yams, given to me by some friends, to get canned tomorrow.

The hubby remembered further down the fence I used to put the goats up through an opening beside a falling down shed. After some coherence and a tempting bucket of grain, Honda was back in with his buddy, Old Man Whiskers. (He’s a Holstein with extra long whiskers on his muzzle.) We are trying to sell him, or else he will be neutered soon. Using the same technique of baiting the horse trailer, the bulls, being more difficult; imagine that; and fueling the city slicker’s impatience; imagine that, found themselves roughly shoved up the horse ramp. The hubby slammed the ramp into place and gave me the look. Yah, that one.

Mumbling like the Jubilee’s putting engine, the Hubby helped drag my prizes to the corral where they will stay away from the main herd for a few weeks. All the big cows are going to be three years old and the bull is in there helping the next generation arrive.

This should be fun. Eight first time momma cows and one city slicker hubby. Yah, I’ll be writing a book about the experience.

In the meantime, the boys happily munched in the late evening light. I spotted mint growing fresh along the stream. While the Hubby was getting the ramp up and pulling the trailer out the poor city boy was yet taxed again. I was getting that fresh mint picked before the young bulls stomped it flat.

With a big handful of mint, one impatient hubby and an old muttering tractor we were down the highway getting ready to retire for the evening.

 

Angel MarkDoesn’t Angel have the coolest mark on her forehead? It reminds me of a lady in a fur coat with a big fancy fur hat. LOL I was watching John Wayne’s North to Alaska while nursing her back to health. Angel was the name of the main female character.

When a life ends…

Jazz Posing for the Ladies

Today we have to put down our Tennessee Walker stallion. He was coming on to four years old. We believe the timber wolf we have seen around the farm may have attacked or spooked the horses. The stallion ended up in the barb wire fence. It wrapped around his leg and sawed all the way around until the bone was exposed. By the time we caught the injury too many hours had passed with the bone exposed. The vet said there is nothing to graft and things would go down hill fast.

I hate barb wire. This was new fence; no saggy pieces.  I just hate using it but the cows go through everything else. If it is electric, they know when the power is off and they take the hit if they really want through.

We are so busy on the farm. The garden is ready to be put in. Getting the farmstead started is difficult and time consuming. I would not have it any other way, but, at this moment I am crushed. Jazz Cat is such a beautiful stallion. He is so quiet you would think him a gelding. I was so looking forward to beginning his training; getting the corral fixed and turned into a training pen. My niece and I have been discussing it all week. Now I have to go look my young stallion in the eye and tell him goodbye. It just knocks the heart right out of me, but, you have to keep on going.

When an animal must pass I tell myself I gave it a good life. Lots of pasture to run in and time to be as free as a horse can be. Cows, you know their time will come. I thank the animal for its sacrifice so I might eat. Even the deer and other wild game. I honor their life by not wasting. A horse, however, is different. He is a big fuzzy pal who lets me sit on him so we can go places. He listens to me chatter about all my problems then puts his head on my shoulder as if to say, “It’s all right. Come back with a carrot for our next session.”

It is so therapeutic to run a brush over his coat. When you stand back and see his long mane and tail laying so smooth and flowing you feel like you accomplished something. You take him for a ride and your neighbors “eww and aww.” You proudly put him back in the field and he trots right over to his favorite spot and rolls off all your hard work.

Jazz Cat and I will never know this relationship. We never got to ride together. I will miss the beauty of his painted face and marbled blue eye. Such a picturesque beauty destroyed in a single stroke; a butterfly caught in a bird’s beak. He has been swept away. There are two foals about to be brought into this world. I can only hope one of them is a colt with a blue eye and painted face. I don’t know if the mare running with him is pregnant, but there might be a third life. It’s small console, for none is like the original. I will miss seeing my Jazz streak through the field, his mane floating like a white banner and his tail a streaming flag.

Jazz Looking QuirkyI loved you, you big quirky gentle goof. May your foals be born healthy and just as goofy.

Black Timber Wolf Visits the Farm.

FB

At nine at night last night my niece called to say they see our “coyote” on their front door step. They live here on the farm. I took the gun with me but of course the animal could not be found.

Three times we have seen an animal which looks exactly like this picture. We do have coyote in the area but the description by my niece told me we were talking about the young eastern timber wolf. Only, she said he was huge, almost the size of our great Danes. This would put him in the hundred-fifty pound category and fully mature. So far none of our animals have been bothered by this big guy. It has always appears alone.

The only thing being bothered recently has been the chickens. We caught a red-tailed hawk in the act of killing the only brooding hen on the farm. She was five years old and raised many eggs to hatching. By the time I got to the scene the killer took flight.

A big vixen fox has been visiting the farm early in the morning and now we have the wolf back. It is aggravating to know your favorite chickens are on their menu.  The other problem with this big guy hanging around here is it is taking out our fawn crop. We depend on deer to fill the freezer. Guess I’ll have to hunt up someone who can take out some of the local coyote population and maybe this big guy. With the neighbor’s cows calving the loss to them could be substantial. My niece is also worried about her kids being injured by such a big animal. Usually you could say not to worry, a wolf is more afraid of you than it, but, when you see a wolf right on your front door step those words are not reassuring.

Getting the neighbor a Lift inspires motivation…

My neighbor I have known for ten years… and grown fond of… is the same age as my mother. Her life was filled with hardships and abuse as a youth. It seems in her older years the hardships are not letting up. Pretty much confined to a wheelchair, she is now in need of a sit-to-stand lift.

Being that her husband was a war veteran I never expected to hear the cost of her lift would not be covered at all. Not by medicaid either. I know, I have spent many hours researching ways to get her the $4800 dollar piece of equipment they can not afford.

The situation became desperate when she came home from a rehab center in town. She stayed at the place almost two months. Once her social security was drained she was put in a room with a parking lot view, given drugs that literally made her lose her mind stopping her ability to do rehab exercises, and her diabetic wounds on her leg grew to the point they became infected. She told me they fed her bologna sandwiches for dinner every night. She dropped seventy-three pounds because she could not even stand the smell of another sandwich and refused to eat.   At this point her husband had enough and got her admitted to the hospital where her diabetic sores were aggressively treated.

My neighbor is now home, recuperating. On Monday we helped her into her wheelchair and it took all we had to physically do it. She weighs around two-fifty. When she came home from her appointments we had to call the fire company for aide. Over the years, everyone knows who she is, especially if they are in the fire company. It is extremely obvious she needed the lift; a sit-to-stand where she could actually use it as a walker and get much needed exercise.

While my neighbor will have to pay out of pocket for the lift I did manage to find a used lift on craigslist for one-third the cost. Today we are traveling two hours in her van to get it. (Lifts on ebay were five to fifteen hours away.) The people were generous enough to accept five-hundred dollars less than the price, putting the lift within the budget without wiping out my friend’s savings account. It is going to be a long trip, but so worth it.

I really am astonished how our medical system is yet treating our senior citizens’ need for independence so poorly. Had my neighbor been able to acquire the lift in the first place she would have never been in the rehab center’s negligent claws. I wish I had taken a more active interest in her needs sooner. Life keeps me so busy, moving my family to the farm in this instance, I missed out on helping her sooner.

I was right about the trip being a long one. It rained the whole way. The elderly gentleman who sold us the lift was in the process of moving to a downstairs apartment. His wife had passed away and he no longer needed the larger space. Being in his eighties, he revealed without the lift we were now buying the care of his wife would have been impossible. The family was just showing up to help him begin the moving process. They seemed a happy brood and the gentleman was always smiling. Knowing the lift was going on to help another family was gratifying to the family.

Once the lift made it to its destination, and I saw the relief and smile on my friend’s face I shared the sentiment. Life is not about how much stuff you can pile into a house. It is not about how much money is in the bank. The true meaning of life is revealed when you give of yourself, without expecting anything in return. Jesus came to the Earth to teach us a simple truth, “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.” Acts 20:35

When I see my neighbor out on the porch in her wheelchair enjoying a fresh dose of morning air it will lift my spirits to know I was a small part in giving my friend a much needed lift.

Helping others also encourages me to keep on pursuing the dream of seeing my books in the hands of a publishing company. To think of the changes success would bring to my whole family and to some of my friends is exciting. Can you imagine how excited they would all be if I were able to get them all together and flip on a demo tape and see an animation film of Major Ross Jackson ducking knives as Private Bucks loses her temper? or Jackson screaming as they ride off the cliff to land in a pool of water at the bottom to escape the evil General’s men? or when the squirrel steals Old Lent’s hat? or when Pearl, Bucks pet cougar, causes chaos?  My friends have laughed so well at the book… well… envisioning the movie version in my mind’s eye with everyone I care about gathered to see it…what a motivating dream.

It was the dream of a four year-old to own a farm with horses; it was the dream of a seven year-old to drive a big truck; it was the dream of a sixteen-year old to write a book; it was the dream of a thirty-year old to bring mother, daughters and brothers together on the same farm; if these dreams can be made to come real than seeing The Major’s Renegade or Shelby become a movie should not be so impossible a dream for a forty-year old, do you think?

 

My kindness will be the death of me.

As the day ended I fell exhausted into a chair muttering, “My kindness will be the death of me.”

The day started with me meeting a friend for some refreshing bible study. In my business I had missed our earlier date and now it was off schedule on this wonderful Friday in April. It was snowing after being seventy-two degrees the day before. People were mowing their lawns already. I’m not complaining because the cows would be eating a bigger hole in my wallet right now if it were not for this unexpected warm spring.

Sometimes the big guy upstairs knows when you need to start a day with him heavily on your mind. When I got home the true snowball started. The dogs were whining and caught my attention. The Dane girls are were full grown and we will be thinking about puppies pretty soon and the four weeks of hardship they will bring. Danes tend to lay on their pups and smother them without realizing it. It is an all night vigil to keep he pups safe. They will also be fed extra hand feedings twice a day so the mother does not get run down. All that kind of filled my mind, so I missed my mother’s car stuck in front of the grain shed.

I grabbed a cup of coffee, sat in front of the computer to check over a list of vegetables seeds to begin our farmer’s market adventure. A few seconds later I heard arguing. Don was missing, which I did find odd, but, then I thought he might be remodeling trailer nine; as we call the rental unit. It was the voices of my brother and daughter I heard. Rising to investigate the issue at hand I quickly learned by baby brother had unintentionally put all four wheels of Mother’s Subaru in the semi-frozen clay which was slicker than goose snot on a doorknob. It slid about thirty feet, tearing up what grass was beginning to grow in the unintentional roadway around the house. It had developed from bringing equipment in and out.

As I’m bundling up the hubby appears. He just could not wait to announce he had bad news. I am thinking, “Great, what died now?”

With an I told you so look the hubby informed, “Your car has been impounded and trailer one and two are in jail. Trailer one’s girlfriend is crying beside herself with worry and your niece is throwing up because her nerves are shot.”

Allow me to explain that my niece is a very dear young friend I adopted some years ago, along with her sister. Because of my close friendship with their mother I somewhere in time became an adopted aunt. My niece lives here on the farm. She met the best friend of trailer one and they have been getting along quite well, except for some infractions of common sense that comes with a man who has been a bachelor too long.

Hearing that my car had been impounded made me instantly mad. Trailer one was to meet me today at the notary to buy the car and make a few payments. I had allowed him, whom we shall call Frank, to burrow the car to get to work so he would have enough money to pay his rent and buy the car. Frank had taxed my patience to the point I had handed him an eviction notice. Suddenly he had enough to pay his back rent.  I am not going to go into how many other infractions of our rules I tolerated, and he did fix or stop doing. He’s a wild child with two beautiful little babies I had hoped would teach him responsibility.

Anyways, the hubby went on to explain he had just spent two hours consoling my niece. He went up because her phone had cut off and all he understood amounted to: “Cindy’s car was stuck on railroad tracks two hours from here and both the boys were getting hung in a tree.”

Immediately the crisis worker in me just held up my hands, “Okay, I’m bundled. Let’s go out and decide how to get Mom’s car out of the lawn before she finds out.”

My baby brother pipes in, “Too, late. He told on me.”

I looked to my other brother who grinned, “Ain’t everyday you get to see Mom mad.”

Rolling my eyes at him I said, “Couldn’t resist? I’m not going down to visit for a few days. You live there. Be that as it may, let’s examine mess number one, then I’ll go up to trailer one and find out where the ding-bats are and the number to get my car back then I’ll check up on my niece.”

A plan was hatched to get the Subaru out of the yard involving a fifty-foot chain and the tractor. We could barely stand up in the grass. There was no snow but the clay had turned to an unusual goo. Up the hill I trudged to trailer one and I could hear her inside crying. We shall call her April. Teary-eyed she opened the door. I half-smiled, “I heard the boys have done it again.” She commenced to lamenting that they had almost gotten the bills caught up, she finally had diapers, he was just laid off from work or he would have lost his job over this. Again there was mention of the railroad tracks, the car was hung up on them and a cop had been following the boys. Apparently Frank had a suspended licence an the other one had failed to take care of a DUI. The car was supposedly fine.

I just shook my head. “Get me some numbers. I have to get to work in two hours. I’ll get the car tomorrow I guess.” She was making arrangements for Frank’s bond when I left her to go check my niece.

My niece does not take stress well. She was laying on the couch in a darkened living room with a bucket not far off. For as feisty a woman as she is her nerves get to her. We has a half-hour talk and I offered to get her some ginger ale, Gatorade and I added a can of soup later.

Trailer one stopped me and we figured out she was going to need the money for the car payment to bail his sorry butt out and get the car out of impound because I was not paying for it. She needed to get to Wal-mart to send money. Reminding her I had to get to work in a little over an hour I told her to get the kids ready and I would run to the store for my niece.

Coming back I was relieved to see a friend of theirs had stopped in not knowing the recent events. They stepped in and took her up, revealing they wished they could kick Frank and I readily agreed.

My niece thanked me for the groceries and we talked not so kindly about her boyfriend and much more she was not going to take. If a man skating on thin ice could fall thru that boy had managed it, by accident. Taking my car out at near midnight to get some beer and getting lost on a back road, hung up on a railroad track because they took a turn too fast with a cop being the car behind them was just those boys kind of luck. Sadly, the DUI had just been the last thing the couple had discussed. My niece was adamant he take his next pay when he started work to take care of it. It was a conversation one night too late.

I dressed for work and literally fled the farm. The Subaru was unstuck and everyone was hurrying to get the animals fed.

As soon as I got to the house I called about the car. It was still in my name so guess who had to show up with an insurance car, title, proof of registration and ID? The car was an hour away. The guy was closed but if I needed the car he was just towing in another car. We scrambled to get all the paperwork and the hubby very irritably agreed to get the car. The fellow was not a happy fellow as we were a bit late- the insurance and registration card were not in the car so we had to dig to get the info, of course. The car drove okay, but it was covered in mud. Inside, there was beer on the windshield and open bottles. How they did not get a DUI or open container I have no clue. If it had been anyone else but Frank, they surely would have. The car was a stinking mess and the sight of it made me even madder.

Stopping at Taco Bell I needed something to eat. During this whole escapade I realized I had not eaten since four o’clock yesterday. Do you think life would cut me a break? Twenty minutes later I step up to the counter and ask the lady if our order was ready yet. Nope. Our order was kicked out of the computer. They gave us a refund and our dinner.

Getting home, oh no, this does not stop yet, I drove the car up to trailer one and there is Frank. Staying very calm, as the madder I get the calmer I get for some strange reason, I said to him, “Well, there’s trouble.”

“I’m not trouble,” he countered with an uneasy smile. “Yah, you are. So exactly how did you hang a car up on a railroad track?”

“First, I was not drinking,” he assured. “Greg had the beer and it’s all over.”

“Noticed,” I said quietly.

He went on to explain what the tow driver told me. The particular turn was poorly marked and seven times vehicles had done pretty much the same thing. It was dark and they were lost. The cop would have let them go if they could have backed the car off the rail, but, when the tow truck had to be called they were screwed.

“I hope you learn something out of this. I need the one-fifty for the car,” I said in a quiet tone I use to keep from blowing my stack at people.

Well, he had enough to make a smaller down payment on the car and repay me for the impound so I calmed. I just know something is yet to go wrong over this car. I just know it in my gut, but, that is life.

April said to me, “There’s no one like you Cindy. I can’t believe how good you are able to do all this.”

“Yah, my kindness will be the death of me at this rate,” I replied with a sarcastic smile.

Greg will not be getting out of jail soon. My niece has put him on a short leash and he knows one more stunt like this and he will be hanging from it and looking for a new dog house. I’m sending him a bible. Maybe it will do him as much good as it did me to keep my life calm. I am telling you, if it were not for the time I took this morning to think upon God I would be in jail right now because two boys would be swinging from an oak tree upside down!

This is why I need to get my books to become a source of income. When I sign that book contract the first thing I am going to do is take my big backhoe and crush those trailers into itsy-bitsy pieces of scrap!

Big Storm Warning All Week- Didn’t even get a Snow Fart

For over a week I have heard this big build up of snow coming. Three storms each worse than the first. The first one gave us five inches, second one flurries and the third- not even so much as a snow fart!

It is bad enough to have a sinus cold, but to have to hurry around because a “foot of snow is coming!”is worse. I could write a book based on one week of this farm living. Because the sky was falling yesterday I came home to the hubby putting up hay early. I just poured myself a cup of coffee and swallowed a decongestant tablet when he came in and told me to get dressed, we had cows out. Great, cows. Put that right up there with the weather forecaster. It was one cow, not plural, and she was happily chewing on the neighbor’s bank far from the main road.

Stepping out of our tiny ranch house, I saw my daughter coming down the road.  I snagged her and a bucket of grain. We hurried to put the cows back in while the hubby disappeared.

Panda, is the name of the cow creating havoc we faced off. She and Number 2 are professional escape artist. If there is a weak spot in a fence line all I need is to put a cam-helm on her head and she will locate every spot! One look at that tasty bucket rattling around and Panda forgot all about the sparse grass. She was back in before the hubby showed up with a round bale. Coming to get me when I’m sick and then disappearing to leave me figure out how to get the animal back in made for a cranky conversation.

Driving along the fence line on the Goodwin Hill roadside, it did not take me long discover Houdini’s escape route. With this big snowstorm coming of course she had to tear out nearly the entire bottom line. I told my  daughter I was going to round up the tools and wire. As soon as she and my little brother could get the feeding done she was to join us. I called Mom, hoping my other brother was there. I snagged two unwilling volunteers.

There was no time for nursing misery. Once Panda found a spot she would take the whole herd through. I chose the hubby’s car with Mom in mind. I did not need a frozen Momsicle, but, the more hands the merrier.

clouds30

With pretty views like this floating in the background and the temperature above freezing we started mending. I had put cotton in my ears so I’m sure everyone was talking louder than I thought. There was a lot of multi-flora rose and honeysuckle to be cut out of the way to run the new line. T-posts were pounded in to tighten the old rusted lines. My daughter and the hubby showed up and we spent hours trying to get the line fixed. The company was pleasant once the hubby quit whining.

Finally I had to go to work. If you have no idea what it is like to be locked up in a fifty-foot sardine can with a group of half-civilized loud children I suggest you try it sometime. Mine are fairly well-behaved as they know I’ll stop smack in the middle of the road and won’t budge until the mischief stops. In the worst case scenario I have many of the parent’s phone numbers- gotta love kryptonite!

After all this I ran up to the bank so I could go to the neighbor’s and pick up these little guys. Our first piggies!

PIGS

Mo in the back, Larry is laughing and Curly is in front.

Man, do they squeal when you pick them up! The hubby put his back out and was sulking in his office when he heard our new additions go squealing past. There was no sneaking these little guys in, even with the neighbor’s help. Squeeeeeee Squuueeeee Squuu-squeeee the three little pigs snitched on me!Somehow I forgot to tell the better half I was bringing something new home. Oh, well. It’s been a week since I seen that hairy-eyed half-pissed look anyway. lol

So after I got them settled in, got pictures and took care of an issue with a renter I plunked myself in the chair at seven-thirty. The phone rang and it was Mom and my daughter needing a ride to the store because Mom’s front wheel axle finally bit the big one on their way down the hill. Mom parked under the carport and needed assistance.  Yah, the day is never going to end.

Big Foot

When I leave for work it is dark. The porch light does not brighten the interior of the car. This morning I noticed the little gas door was open and of course you think the worse, then again, my brother burrowed the car and he might have put gas in it.
The fog is rolling in. I can hear the Dane girls rocking their big dog house as they step out. They are silent shadows in their pen. All three wag their tails, the white tips flashing. Cautious, I open the door and hear something stirring inside the car. Glancing, I see the window was left open about four inches. Just about then Big Foot, our seven-toed cat, jumped from the back seat, scrambled in to the front seat and did a burnout. In one leap he was out of the car.
Recovering, I sat in the car. How did he fit through there? There was a single paw print on the window to prove the feat.

You all can stop laughing now. I was scared out of my wits by Big Foot this morning.

our seven-toed cat.
our seven-toed cat.

A Calf Tale- Honda Coupe vs Bull Calf

CALF TALES from 2016

Helpful Calf Raising Tips on my website Cynthia Queen.com

June 3, 2016 Honda Coop versus Bull Calffarm humor steak

As usual, life distracts me from my horses. Yesterday, I distracted myself by going to the local auction in Waynesburg. Sometimes I can pick up a nice horse to train. 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 its 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 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 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. 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. I was glad I had left some boxes in the seat.

As I leave the auction behind I’m thinking this particular calf might not be such a good candidate for this ride. 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 drove down Route 218. Along the way the calf contented itself to lick the back seat and the the box. I was afraid to roll the windows down all the way, even though my air conditioner had quit working. It was ninety degrees outside and one-ten inside. Then, I hear this paper ripping sound. It is followed by some slurping and smacking. 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 is 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 is all clay. 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.