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.

Why I started this blog.

How time flies.  I am going to regret not writing events down of the past few weeks. Where to begin to discuss why I started this blog.

Quick update- finally got the family to move to the farm in November! Now I’m motivated to succeed and keep us all on the same farm! I’ll leave the post as it was, but, finally got Mom off the mountain. Yay!

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 who live 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 a sinking bathroom floor 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 and keep the cats from going under. 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 is 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. The bell gives the mental picture of cluttered chaos that winning cheery cherry on top of the tin banana split.

Hillbillies, can not live with them and would not dream of living without them.

Yes, I want my mother and brothers out of there badly. I think they might actually come to the farm this time. Mom is getting near retirement and she is absolutely sick of the whole dilapidated 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 dried cob of stashed 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 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 ideas and health care tips for animals and humans. My website is chalk full of the lessons I have learned and the ones I’m yet to learn. 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 the new skill of canning foods and building. We are building a greenhouse next. This should be a blast; and yes, I’ll probably do all the work 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 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.

juneIFITZ30

I will upload some new things to my website hopefully in the next few days. I started a recipe section because I often modify. If I put it on my website I’ll know where the recipe is for the next time I want to use it. Laugh, but I can not tell you how many times I have gone to my own website to look up the research I did on poison Ivy, cold cures, and so on. I hope you enjoy the website, find the information useful and of course order a book to read- for medicinal purposes- laughter is the best medicine after all.