For Our Troops......

For Our Troops......

Welcome!

Either you're searching for some information and stumbled across here, or already know me and are interested in what I/we do. :)

The dairy cow doesn’t ask for much, but she asks every day.
People who are creating wealth with a cow either are hardworking and reliable or get that way in a hurry. This is the way it has been for a very long time.
--Joann Grohman (Author of Keeping a Family Cow)


There are three kinds of people in this world:
Those who watch things happen,
Those who Make things happen,
or you can wonder what the hell happened.
--Captain Phil Harris (RIP)



A few of words of wisdom I have come across:


Choose not to just live within your means, but live within your needs.


If you don't want to be responsible for or defend yourself, please don't expect others to do it for you.

(My translation: Buck up and learn some skills!)


Prepare for the worst, hope for the best!

"Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the AmericanGovernment take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian."--Henry Ford

**~*~**Spread the word!**~*~**

Small Family Farms need our help when ludicrous charges have come up against them. Maybe someday it could be one of us on this "make an example out of you" chopping block.

Pushing back (via donations, interviews, getting the word out, etc) and standing up for what we believe in will send a clear message that we refuse to just roll over and give up!

When we know what we're fighting for, we fight harder--Sgt . Gary Stein (USMC)

THANK YOU!!!



Click for Jansen, Nebraska Forecast



Saturday, May 28, 2011

MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE

The hero dead cannot expire:
The dead still play their part.

~Charles Sangster














I wish there was no need for a Memorial Day....but it is a time of remembrance and honor for those that have passed on before us.

Memorial Day Weekend News

Jared and Kyle checking out some PSP game while eating supper.


Jared is home for...well almost 4 days. Patrick and I picked him up Friday morning at the KC airport.

The day started off for me at 2:30 a.m. when Jared called from the Fayetteville airport. Utter disappointment was in his voice. It seems he'd got a voicemail they'd canceled the flight from Charlotte to KC. (He went from FV to CH, then CH to KC).
I looked online, and called the 800 number I had written on his paperwork awhile back when I got his tickets. A big KUDOS goes out to Wayne who took my call and helped me sort out what was going on. It seemed they didn't have enough passengers, so had cancelled the flight. Then re-instated it. I wonder how many other passengers had frustration and were upset? Argh.
Anyway, he is home (on time for the most part) and I took 5 days off of work to enjoy the extra long weekend.

Grilled (homegrown) steaks were in order for the night. He has requested: Steak, Spaghetti and Chinese food, oh and homemade Apple Pie. :) Not in that order, either. I did pick up a watermelon as well. (Waaaay out of season, but it's a treat!)

Jared and Patrick went target practising today and later they will go fishing, two BIG things Jared wanted to do while home. I imagine they'll do more fishing and shooting before the weekend is over. :)

Kyle has to work all weekend, he forgot to even take one day off. So they are sharing my truck for the weekend. Jared's seeing a gal (plus hanging out with friends), and Kyle wants to spend time with his girlfriend.....I'm sure Jared will end up using the Dodge so they don't both have to juggle schedules.

Nessa likes zooming around the whole pasture and pestering the chickens. That girl has a bit of an attitude, at two weeks old--HA. I put a goat halter on, she got it off within an hour! She decided to kick at me twice last night....little drama queen!!
Milking is going good but I am getting less and less because Nessa is taking more. Time to separate them again!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Photos around the place


Lets see, we have Comfrey, then the Citrus plant JerseyMike, Jenn (and others) helped me save this late fall. (The other one croaked, I think it got too cold.) It's outside and happily blooming. The blooms have some color to them, they were just plain white when it bloomed inside this winter. I *think* its a Key Lime....yikes. I'm gettin' old!! :(

Then we have wild Roses (came from my Sister in WA state--but we have the same ones here in the Midwest), my Red Raspberries blooming (saved from my mom's farm a couple of years ago).





Then a storm cloud east of here this weekend, and finally, Creamline photos from Anna's milk. :) (I made sour cream yesterday....woo hoo!)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

We got Rain!

Nessa is starting to get darker already--she's a week old now.


We made apple pie the other day from apple pie filling we'd canned last year. I also put some cherry jam in it. Ummmmm. I think the outer edges where the milk pooled (from brushing the top) looks like stitching! Kinda cool! (Patrick did it, mine doesn't look "pretty".) HA

Milking is going fine. Anna has settled in nicely thus far. I am changing up her routine today, so we'll see how that goes. HA HA

We got 1/2" of rain overnight, Lord knows we need it. Forecast is for rain the next few days. I heard and saw tractors late into the night planting trying to beat the rain.

The turkeys are growing fast (good) and can still be noisy. You'd think there was 50 when you hear them, not just 4!!!

The garden is growing great...there was another late frost the other day. We got lucky and got missed again. Whew!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Baby has a name













Some of the photos I snapped while working yesterday. Pat wants to name her Nessa, a variant of the Hebrew name Nasya which means Miracle. But he didn't like how the Nasya was pronounced, he said it sounded like nausea! HA HA So Nessa it is!

The stanchion came from my folks' place, out of their 1800's barn. Galen and Deb have the other half--they've been using theirs for quite awhile now! (I didn't need one with Dolly, I could just tie her and milk her. Hence why I wasn't in any hurry to get this put up!) My half is the one my mother used when she milked. The 'sign' on the window area is just temporary. I stuck that up last winter to keep the snow out of that area. (Obviously I got it from work!) ;) Patrick is making me a 'air flap' I can close or open depending on the weather. The chicken coop is on the right side.


Oh and on the 12th, my white hen started setting. I had left the eggs in one nestbox the day before because I got a little sidetracked with Anna and Nessa. She did get up once, I counted 10 eggs. I want to pull any Bawky (Bantie) eggs, but this mama doesn't want me messing around. In fact, I put a brown egg I found in her box, and she promptly stole it from me and put it under her. I have the pitchfork up because the one Barred Rock (with her butt to the camera) kept getting in there with her. Once she laid her egg I took the pitchfork away.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Be Careful What You Wish For......



I've been sniveling about not having milk. Boo hoo poor ol' me. I guess God heard my silent whining...Anna delivered a healthy 30 pound heifer unassisted Wednesday May 11. Yippee!!! I discovered the pair after I got home from work. Patrick had checked on Anna and Dolly around 3 pm, after a heavy downpour. He said at that time: "they are being cows. Eating at the hay ring." By 7:45 there was a mostly dry baby waiting for me.

The major problem is: Anna herself is only 13 months old. (That's not a typo, she was a year old April 6--last month!) Here I went from "what am I going to breed her to" (she shouldn't of even been bred for another couple of months!) to a fast-forward "toss all that out the window and get to work" mode.

It's a Miracle she calved fine. Another Miracle the baby survived the birth. (At 6 months, Anna got: dehorned, shots, weaned then and transported here from another state. Four stresses right there, she could have aborted.)

Nope, we didn't know she was pregnant, and explains her expanding udder (that I have been racking my brain about). Now that I look back over photos, I should have known. Yeah, a "duh" moment for sure!

And I hear the snickers of some--how in the world didn't you KNOW?? Ya ignorant or somethin??
Welllllll.....when you buy a 6-month old heifer....in all honesty, who would even dare to THINK she was pregnant?? Even two months along already??? And being she is half Jersey and half Braunvieh, she is "beefier" than your average more dainty Jersey. She held condition excellent all winter, and still is more beefy looking than Dolly (who is all Jersey). And there is more to that story....her udder, her heats (or lack of them except for one [so I thought] back this winter) and I never did feel a baby move inside her. (Not that I was looking/feeling for one, either!)

When I called the gal I got her from, she was flabbergasted as well. I think she thought I was fibbin' at first. She started doing some math for me (my brain was scrambled at this point) and filling in the blanks, helping me come to grips of how all of this came about.

Mama and baby are doing fine, me however; I am getting over the unexpected shock! I was totally not prepared....no stanchion training, no nothing for Anna. Sink or swim time for the both of us. My milk bucket and jars were all collecting dust (literally) as well. Plus my hands are in nowhere near "in milking a cow" shape/tone. That will change quickly--all of it!!!

See, with Dolly it was easy, she knew what to expect, as did I. If I didn't know the answer, I asked Ann (her previous owner). Now I'm in uncharted territory, I thought I had about a year to deal with ALL of what I'm talking about. Anna doesn't "know" any better (or worse!) of what is good, bad or not accepted when it comes to milking. It's up to me to show her the way, and that can seem overwhelming, only if you think too much about it. Sometimes "doing" is better than over-thinking (or micro-managing!) some times.

Cows are simple: they thrive on routine. I'm aiming for a no thrills and spills and drama routine first. The rest will fall in to "our" schedule as needed. (I'm sure a wrench will be tossed in this idea at some point, that's only natural!) I'll take things a milking and a day at a time.

For the first couple of days, I have been milking when baby is nursing. This way there is no shuffling, kicking or other ill-mannered (or dangerous!) behavior. This weekend we will see just how well Anna does sans the baby. I expect no letdown. She held up when baby was first born and I or Patrick tried to milk some colostrum out to save.

I will say she is doing exceptionally well thus far. Her small teats are nice and uniform, the fronts are three-finger milkers and the back an easy two-finger milkers. All four orifices are awesome, easy milking! Baby makes the rounds of all four teats, not just favoring one or two.

And her colostrum isn't bad. It is creamy...not salty or flat or weird. I can't wait to taste just milk. And to see how much cream she gives.

Baby isn't named yet--she is lively and curious and will have Patrick wrapped around her little hooves in no time. He's already doting on her. Here he goes spoiling another critter for me! :)


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Second Week of May already!

Lily of the Valley flowers are blooming with their heavenly scent!

I haven't had much time to sit and write (again!) The first and second of May we had frost advisories. I dutifully covered everything up, and we were very lucky, no frost (it was too close for comfort, though)! The town west of us got a frost, many lost whatever they'd already planted in their gardens, as well as whatever fruits that were starting to develop on the fruit trees.
Patrick and I have gotten much work done in the yard and garden. The flowers blooming smell wonderful and look awesome as well!
We also have gone from near-freezing temps to the 90's over the course of a week. I welcome the heat (and yes, humidity and breezes), after a (too long) cold winter. It reminds me of Texas weather! :) I'm also secretly hoping it'll have my garden plants growing fast! ;) HA

Prom was last weekend and Kyle and Sammi looked like a million bucks. I took this with my camera phone at work, Kyle was being goofy again! (I managed to chop his head off in the best one--naturally!) Kyle bought his suit ($100) off e-Bay and picked up the vest for $12.50 on a clearance rack--not bad, eh? Now if I can get him to cut his hair.....HA :0 ;) He says "It IS cut!" Yikes I say!


Jared is more or less done with 'Field Exercises' for this month. (Training out in the woods I call it). Rain, shine, heat, cold, whatever they go out and train. Ugh, I feel for them. I asked him how many miles they run in the mornings, all he said was they run from 6:30 until 7:45. I'm sure they cover a lot of ground in that long hour!

Dolly did something to her hip the other day.....and was limping. She is better now. Her hip bones did look odd for a day or so.
Last week a hard mass was found in her right uterine horn--about the size of a soda can. It is unknown if its a mummy or a tumor. I haven't decided the course of action yet (or is that translated to "her fate"??) Sigh.

I had to once again let Anna's halter out another notch--only one more to go and she'll need another size!


It has also been very dry here, rains have been spotty if at all. We are hoping to get some later this week. Being so dry this time of year is odd, its usually later in the summer when it's like this. (I want rain, just not the nasty weather rains!)

I forgot to add: we got 4 turkeys a couple of weeks ago. They are growing fast already! They will end up in the freezer--and I have not raised them before, (but have chicks) so it is a new adventure for me. I also have not "processed" any poultry in ages, so it could be interesting! HA They are living in the chicken tractor--maybe it should be re-named the Poultry Tractor! :)


Friday, May 6, 2011

Photo Update