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!!!



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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cooler weather, slowing down!

My Rose is blooming again--I took this yesterday.  It's the fourth time it's bloomed this year!

Tracy got his very own "ATV"--we saw this and couldn't resist getting it for him!  He took to it right away.  :)
 
It's "foot powered"--he IS the motor.  But it has cool buttons that make revving noises and talks, so he had to check those out as well:



Things have slowed down considerably here, since it's cooled down, not much is producing.  The tomatoes now taste bland, a step up from store-bought.  (bleh!)   I still have carrots and onions to harvest, but am letting them grow until we do get a frost or freeze.

It's been nice to slow down and just relax some!  Daisy has decided she likes the wheat I've planted out in the pasture (winter grazing).  I put the 7 pullets in with the two hens in the chicken coop/run, and the hens are molting, so no eggs for now. The 8 roosters are still in the chicken tractor, growing more and will be processed soon.  :)  I'll keep one to put in with the hens, I've got one picked out that isn't the dominate one.

Kyle is at training, at least he's in-state this time.  Jared called the other day and I got to talk to him briefly, sure was good to hear his voice.  DIL sent me this snapshot of them video chatting, it's the first time I've "seen" him for awhile:

As for time off for either of the boys, not sure how that will go for the Holidays.  I'm sure Thanksgiving is out (usually is) and Christmas is still up in the air for now.  No matter, we can celebrate late or early, whatever works out.  I just roll with the flow and don't get too excited about it, doesn't do me any good to get fretful!  ;)

Went with Pat last weekend to sight in his gun, sure was pretty where we were (only a few miles from here).  Saw plenty of deer tracks and I've been hearing lots of coyotes, even at 8:30 in the morning.  There's lots of them out there.....  :(

And that's the quick update for now.  I'm glad things are a bit "boring" around here for now, it's kind of nice.

Quick shout-out to Omaha Dave:  I know y'all have gotten hammered plenty of times with storms this year....there are some years like that.  I'm just grateful that some have extras to sell/share!  Putting something up is better than nothing. 
I'm bummed for you your Grandson isn't staying with you, I got a lump in my throat when you first said anything.  Amazing how we get used to so-n-so being around, and it's weird when they're not underfoot anymore.  He'll eventually realize the awesome times he's had with you, and I sure hope he gets to talk to you now and then.  ((HUGS))



Sunday, September 28, 2014

Totally late on blogging-Been busy harvesting/canning, etc!

Pat and Tracy on Pat's Birthday--Grandkids are great presents!!  :)


Wowza, where does the time go?  Lets see, where to start in the last month since I've (not-ha) updated?
Here's what else we've gotten canned:
Pressure Canned Green Beans, two batches.  Now we have lots!
Canned Pears
Canned Apples
Pressure Canned Chili
Pressure Canned Stew
Oh and probably other stuff we've put away already and forgot to mention!  And yes, there is more to do.  There was a frost in the area a couple of weeks ago, but we didn't get it (whew).  So the garden still gives her bounty!  We did get a couple of light showers in the past month, so that helped everything.
Now the Ash and Catalpa trees leaves are turning and dropping.  Soon the others will follow.....it's hard to believe it's the end of September already!

Finally got a full-sized fridge!  No water or icemaker, but now I have more 'cold' room!  The little fridge made do, but didn't hold much, and certainly not a whole gallon of milk.  We'll hang onto it for now for "just in case" us or someone needs it.

Pat had a birthday on the 17th, Chandra made him cupcakes and a Camo Cake.  Her and Tracy came over and spent some time with us.  Mr. Activity (Tracy) likes pots, pans and cooking utensils to play with.  Who needs toys when Grandma has all the good cooking toys?! HA

One morning at 6 am I get a phone call from Kyle--the clutch went out again on my Ranger.  He got it fixed enough that I could drive it home from their place.  So that needs fixed again.  (GRRR)
So just before Pats' birthday we went up to Lincoln, Kyle and Sammi took us out for supper--we went to Golden Corral.  We also found Kyle a car, and he went home that day with a "new" (used) car.  Its a Maroon Toyota Corolla and I think it's a 2000 model.  It'll be easier on gas for him and it should last him awhile.  Sammi can use it as a back up car once he's deployed, so it helps both of them out in the long run.
Here they are at their "new" apartment with Kyle's spoiled kitty:
 

I haven't talked to Jared online much, but Pat has.  There was a suicide bomber, a car packed with explosives that detonated by where he was at the time.  Thank goodness he didn't get hurt, but he did find car parts (shrapnel) near his tent, and some by where he sleeps.  Here's one piece:

 
Those rips in the green tarp-y stuff isn't supposed to be there........none of these guys are Jared, I got this photo from online.

I got the cows' shed cleaned out....I did most of it, then the neighbor came over with his ATV and scoop and finished it.  Now we have the start of an awesome compost pile again!  The next day I unloaded AND stacked 70 bales of hay in half the shed for winter storage/back-up hay.  I wasn't near as tired or sore as I thought I'd be after two days of pretty good labor.  At least it's done and I can check two BIG items off my "to do" list!   Yeehaw!

Pat canned one batch of green beans while I was out slaving in the cow shed......he's gotten really good at pressure canning.  It makes things so much easier and faster with two people working on it.  We both worked on the Pears (from our tree) and Apples (from the neighbors' trees).  We just canned the Apples for two reasons:  1) we were limited on time to get them done and 2) we have plenty of Apple Pie filling, Apple Butter and Applesauce canned from last year.  I can always re-make them into something else if needed.

My pullets are getting bigger--these are the ones a gal hatched out for me earlier this summer from my eggs.  Out of 15, I count 7 hens and 8 pesky roosters.  They are trying to crow, that is funny!  Not sure if I'll keep one, as it seems they turn into evil roosters after time.  Not sure if I'll eat/freeze the 'boys' or get rid of them.  Depends on how much work we feel like doing.  Processing chickens is messy, but now that I have a refrigerator, we can free up room in the freezers for them.  Or we could pressure can some.....much depends on the weather and what else we have going on.

Bratman is still here--and Peewee is getting bigger.  I weaned Bratman when Daisy stepped on my toe, I didn't need to be wrestling him even once a day and risk more injury.  I have too much to get done to get sidelined unnecessarily!  Peewee takes all the milk now, so it's one less thing for me to worry about when we need to go somewhere.  Daisy is back to her old self, the vet asks about her every time I see him at work (totally nice vet!).  I let him know how much he's appreciated!

Well, that's all I can think of for the newest updates!  Hopefully we won't be quite so busy and I'll have a bit more "blogging" time!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Just Dawned On Me.....

Yeah, I just realized, Labor Day is this weekend coming up, got a hectic work schedule to go with it as well.  :(  Oh well......for some odd reason I kept thinking the 'holiday' was a couple of weeks off.  That's what you get when you're uber busy and don't pay attention!

Been canning bunches, Patrick has been doing quite a bit of it, and has made so many different kinds of pickles it's boggling my mind!  We tried some of the pressure cooked corn (canned it) and it's yummy!  I've ate plenty of sweet pickles, we sampled the ones that didn't seal that we stuck in the fridge.  The salsa, a pasta sauce and a pizza sauce we made were great!  We simply chowed on some of the salsa, and used some of the others for Lasagna.  MMMM MMM good!  (Yes Jared, I'm thinking "spaghetti" when you get home!)  :-)
In fact, we ran out of canning jars, and resorted to finding some in the garage.  They were dusty, dirty but they cleaned up just fine.  Glad we have an 'extra stash' even if it takes some elbow grease to get 'em clean!

Got some rain (finally) and more is coming.  Had a freakish wind on the tail end of a storm the other night and it blew some branches down and rocked the house.  Just glad it didn't last a long time, otherwise much more damage to the trees, house and anything else not secured down.  It even flipped the old rabbit hutch and blew the hay contents out in a line.  Kind of weird!

My dishwasher is toast.  I don't mind doing them by hand, but at the height of canning season, it's easier to just stuff the dirty dishes and all the spoons, pots, pans, etc into it and let it do the work.  Pat looked that model up online, ha ha--the parts cost more than a new one.  Oh well.  I'll check the 'used store' for another one when we get over to the "big town".  ;)

Daisy is doing great since her accident, which is a big relief for me.  Finding another cow that is like her or Dolly is hard.  Now I just need to work really hard on getting her bred. 
Oh, I forgot, she has a 'new' foster calf on her.  His name is PeeWee (his name when we got him, Pat calls him Chuck [steak]).  He was a milk replacer bottle baby, and about a month old when we got him.  He was a twin and he's an Angus--so will have plenty of meat in time.  Here are some photos next to Bratman, the Jersey foster calf that lost his mama and we put on Daisy (he is Ann's calf, this saved her from bottle-feeding him).  Bratman (appropriately nick-named) is a month older than PeeWee.

PeeWee has been here since July 12, here's a "see what real milk will do for a calf" series of photos thus far:

The day after we got him, with Bratman.  See his ribs and how boney he is?  He looks more like a Holstein bottle baby at this point and only weighed only about 50#, Bratman for comparison weighed about 125#.  (And Bratmans' daddy is a Miniature!)

 

 
About 10 days after he came here, nursing.  He's slowly starting to fill out:  

August 12, after he'd been here a month (yes I took his ear tag out, served no purpose here):

 
About 10 days later filling out even more:
 
 
 
Bratman will be going home soon, and PeeWee still isn't taking all of Daisy's milk.  So once Bratman is gone, I'll milk the leftovers' PeeWee doesn't drink.  I'm sure in time he'll take it all, they all do!
 
On another note, Daisy managed to step on my foot/pinky toe Friday (the 22nd).  Woo wee the neighbors heard my sailor mouth that I can have.....I don't think she broke it, but it's still sore.  There is a couple of blood blisters on it, one on the bottom of my toe. And it turned a deep purple, but now it's a light purple.  Blech  I can wear my shoe if I don't tie it and often kick it off at work.  I know its healing, but it slows me down, and that is aggravating!
 
Talked to Jared online last Friday, was good to talk to him.  Kyle and Sammi started college again, haven't talked to them to see how things are going.  Chandra and Tracy have been swimming at the lake, and he's walking and likes to climb stairs.  ;) 
 
And that's the update for now.....will try not to be so sporadic!
 



Saturday, August 9, 2014

Another Month Flies By......Photo heavy!

Well, it's Kyle's birthday!  He's got Drills, so not sure if he's able to "celebrate" or not!
Chandra had a birthday late last month, I got to see her and Tracy for a few minutes before I headed off to work.  Mr. Activity (Tracy) is getting big, and walking now.  Way cool!  (Too bad Jared is missing out!)  :(

Jared has been moved from one area to another.....and hopefully he'll be home in a couple of months.  A lot of "wait and see" is going on right now I think.  Sigh.

The garden is weedy, but producing!  It's taken quite a bit of water to keep it going in the dry period we've just had.  Rains pass us by, but last night we did get 1/2"--the pastures are sorely needing the moisture as they are turning brown.   :'(

Patrick and I have been busy.....Pat hasn't been feeling so great most of the summer, the heat really affects him (hence why we didn't stay in Texas!).  Even with it being "cooler", the higher humidity doesn't help matters any.

Anyhow, we've gotten quite a bit canned, and Pat did some pressure canning (corn) while I was at work.  Awesome is all I can say!  The peaches have been ripening for a month or so....slowly a few at a time are ready (totally weird--they usually don't ripen until late August/early September).  So depending on how many we get, we either eat them or can them.  Thanks to  Daisy, Peaches and Cream is very do-able!  :-)

Daisy had an accident not quite two weeks ago.  Keep in mind we've had the same hay trailer for 5 years, and it's never been an "issue" with the cow or calves.  Daisy somehow got her head stuck IN the tongue of the hay feeder (1 foot wide at the tallest part!) and then struggled enough that she slipped onto her right side.  All her weight was on her neck and stuck head, good thing I found her when I did, I don't think she literally had another 10 minutes left in that position.

It maybe only took us 10 minutes to "free" her, but I could see her bloating and knew things were going from bad to a very, very critical worse.  With the help of the neighbor, we tilted the trailer and Pat shoved her head out (it was very swollen).  When she breathed it sounded like someone snoring, oh boy,  not good at all!  Doc Tyler (vet) was here within 10 minutes of calling him--poor Daisy was weak, wobbly and couldn't stand very well.

Doc gave her an IV for fluids and also gave her some anti-swelling meds (Dex and Banamine) and they also help with pain.  It took her about 4 days before she'd actually lay down for more than a few minutes and was still sore and walked stiffly.  Her neck, head and leg are peeling where she was stuck, it all acted like a rope burn.

I am grateful to pay $102 for the emergency call versus losing my sweet Daisy!  I do know had she been left with a halter on, it would of strangled her, so am extra thankful that I didn't have one on her for whatever reason. 
Her milk production went down for a few days, so I supplemented with soaked alfalfa cubes and she's almost back up to her 2 gallons a day.  Peewee still nurses twice a day, but Bratman (Jersey foster calf that lost his mama) is on only morning nursing now since he's older, and a rougher/more aggressive nurser, I didn't need him making Daisy more miserable!

This is only about 1/4 swollen compared to the night before (I was too busy taking care of her to snap photos!)  The funny black mark on her neck is actually damage (like a rope burn): 
 
This was 4 days later (see even by her ear it's "raw"):
 
 
And I just took these today to show the "peeling" of where she was stuck:

Yes, even between her eye and ear, it was titled to the top and rubbing on the tongue.
 
Even this was rubbed/stuck under her jaw:
 
And the nasty neck wound:
 
I didn't get a photo of her leg, it's peeling on the inside, too.  She'd flung her left front leg up over the jack trying to free herself and rubbed it raw as well.  Every "rub" mark you see was all swollen. 
And her is literally where she had it stuck, thank God we didn't have a full bale in it like in the photos, we'd of never got it titled sideways without crushing her or one of us:
Here's a better one:

That gap is only 1 ft wide and 20 inches long to the jack, and it narrows (in a "V" shape).
How she got her head IN there in the first place (or WHY) is beyond me.  I'd expect it from a calf, not a laid-back mature cow!
 
It's slated for modifications anyway, covering up the open part now is on "the list".

On another note, I am down to TWO hens in a matter of a few days.  A feral cat or fox or possum or 'coon or bird (hawk/owl), well, *something* has decided to take hens in broad daylight, or even from the coop roost at night.  So the two left are in "jail"--the smaller chicken tractor.
My 15 chicks are in the larger chicken tractor for the time being.  I know there are at least 5 roosters in the batch....time will tell if I'm not realizing if there are more or not.  So it might be awhile before the pullets start laying. 
Feast or Famine.....that is the norm with livestock/produce/fruit!

 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cool, Hot, cool, hot...rain/no rain=crazy weather!

We have been busy again.. First picking Strawberries, then the Raspberries, some green beans and now coming on is the tomatoes.  Our work is cut out for us!!
Fillet is now in the freezer, along with sausage we made a couple of weeks ago.  It was a learning process, what to do better, what NOT to do.  (HA)  All is not lost, it's tasty!!  Every time we do a project, we learn.  It's a good thing!

Kyle and Sammi stopped by on July 4 for steaks and chit-chat.  Sure was good to see them!

The foster calf is doing well on Daisy, but he doesn't drink all the milk, so I get a gallon (plus or minus some) daily.  I had the day off, cash in hand and all set to go to the auction yesterday to pick up a beef calf (future freezer meat) and not a soul was there.  Guess they went on vacation! 

With the on and off rains, the lawn is growing great, so great in fact, Daisy gets to "mow" the back yard for me!  She's not complaining, that's for sure!!  Out of 3 mowers, 2 are broke.  The only one working is the old one that sets high, meaning we have to mow more.  BUT it's nice, because I can mow over the garden hose and not chop it up! HA

Other than work, not much is new here.  Jared calls when he can, it's always good to hear his voice and talk to him.  Chandra and Tracy came over for supper last week, I swear Tracy gets taller every time I see him.  He's almost too smart for his own good, that is for sure! (HA)
Here he is playing with a Slinky (no, he hasn't messed it up yet!)   Pat and Chandra were playing cards, so I was keeping Tracy 'entertained' so he left their cards alone!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Kittyvision and musings

What's Kittyvision?  What I get to watch when these ornery brats like to run around the yard and play.  The mama is JJ, a stray cat from when we lived in TX.  So she's 7 or 8 now!


We had a storm roll through last night, no big damage, just a few branches here and there down and about 3/4 inch of rain.  Daisy ate the leaves off any of the limbs that came down in her area already by the time I got out there to milk.  I think Elm and Mulberry are her favorites!

I've been getting about 2 gallons a day since Fillet went to the locker last week.  She has a touch of mastitis because I didn't think A) she had that much milk and B) I knew I should of milked twice a day and thought I could get away with once a day (OAD).  Nope!  So the dogs and cats have been loving me, dumping lots of milk.  No clumps, strings or anything, just a slow-straining filter (slimy when done) and an off taste.

But you should see the creamline....she's not holding anything back!  She is an awesome cow to milk, plants that back foot like it's in cement.  Oh, she shuffles the other foot around and moves a bit, but her back foot doesn't move on my side when I'm milking.  Some days I don't even hook the stanchion board, she just eats her feed and munches her "special" hay (it's not really special, but she thinks it is because she's only getting it at milking time!) HA  Cows like her make a milkmaid's life so much easier!! 
Now I just need to get a calf to put on her to be my "next" freezer beef.  (Slow Food!)   Oh, and bring her 'boyfriend' over, it was too muddy to get him last week. 

The garden is growing well, we have a resident garter snake there.  I don't mind it, as long as I remember to look for it before it moves and catches me off guard.  (I don't like snakes, but can ignore the beneficial ones, IF they leave me alone!) 

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours digging up thistles, Pat came out and helped for a bit.  That job is done!  I'm sure I missed some little ones, but I'll find them eventually!  ;)  The front yard also got mowed, I had to use the old trusty mower because the other one didn't want to start.  Now Pat gets to fix the pull string as well, it didn't want to go back in like it should have.  Whoopsy!   I let Daisy chow down in the back yard for a bit...it needs mowed again as well.

We've been picking Strawberries, the Raspberries are almost ready, that will be fun as they are very overgrown, and thorny.  I am patiently waiting (ha--not!) for my few green tomatoes to ripen.  Hurry up I say!!  It's been a loooong time since I had fresh tomatoes!

A Happy Fathers' Day shout-out to all the dads/grandpa's out there reading.  Feel Blessed!!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Busy busy busy!


I made this wreath for our troops, it'll stay up for a long time!

It's been crazy busy again, but things are getting accomplished!   I hand weeded the beans, kale, eggplant, cucumbers, melons and garlic, then we got straw (from a farmer I know) put down on the garden.  Wowza was that an itchy job!  But hopefully it'll help with weed control and keep the moisture in.

We have a couple of green tomatoes growing (ok, a few!) and the strawberries are going crazy.  Those are still green yet, but we'll have plenty to eat and preserve when they ripen.  The pumpkins are coming up and the fruit trees have plenty of growing fruit on them.  It's going to be a busy summer/fall of preserving food!!  :-)

We had another 1/2 inch of rain, but it's getting dry again.  The rains keep going around us...I see some have cut hay/baled it already.  Fresh hay always smells so good! 

Jared called on Memorial Day, he was "bored".  But as always it's nice to hear from him.  Kyle has called a couple of times, but usually when he needs fuse/vehicle advice.  (ha)  Chandra and Tracy have been staying with her mom, so things have been quiet here.  They'll be back soon enough and Mr. Tracy will get into all kinds of things--but it's nice having them around.  :)

Here is Fillet and Daisy near the shed/milking area.  We take Fillet into the locker early next month....she's got to be pushing 1,000 pounds.  Daisy only weighs about 750....amazing what Jersey milk can do for a beef cow frame--fill it out quick and tasty!  ha
                                                                            Daisy

                                                                Fillet (and chicken) ha

All three cow photos were taken the same day.  I was trying to get a better photo of Daisy, but she wasn't being very obliging that day.
We have been getting plenty of eggs--so the neighbors are getting blessed with them as well!  I put the old bitty hen that isn't laying and got the nasty rooster into a chicken tractor by themselves.  Their destiny is the freezer, eventually on my plate! 
Two dozen eggs are getting incubated right now, a friend offered to 'hatch' them for me.  I thought the old bitty hen was going to set on eggs (I gave her three) but she only sat on them for one morning....so I told her that was her last chance to extend her freedom. 

I had an extra milk cow here for awhile, so was milking her twice a day.  Her owner had a family emergency and asked if I could milk Glenda, who had just freshened.  She was a dream to milk, and of course a Jersey baby is always cute to have around!  Daisy was jealous, because she had to wait her turn for the stanchion area.  Glenda and baby is back home, and Daisy is Queen again of her little world.  So all must be good!!  :)



Thursday, May 8, 2014

Blooms, some rain and plenty of wind

The wonderful smell of Lilacs blooming makes working in the garden extra nice! :-)
 
 
We did manage to get a couple of quick rain showers, totaling to less than an inch.  We had a storm roll over us last night, but didn't get much rain, enough to settle the dust, but no mud came out of it.  (Meanwhile, north, south and east of us got downpours!)  We have a chance for some rain later tonight, so am hoping it materializes--but I won't hold my breath.  It's getting awful dry; we already are in a mild drought situation.  :(
 
Chandra and Tracy are back for a long visit, we are sooooo glad to see them!  After a bit of a fiasco with her vehicle, things got sorted out and she made it safely here.  All the relatives are elated to have them around, Tracy has grown much in the last three months!  He is such a happy little guy, and a big flirt!
 
Jared got his third care package, we sent a personalized Zippo lighter--he was nicely surprised!  He'd requested a Zippo, but didn't know we'd picked out a "Once a Vet, Always a Vet" lighter with personalized engraving on the back of it.  The jeweler mis-spelled a word, so gave us the same engraving on another lighter we'd looked at, for FREE.  I was in awe--I told him he'd have to wait to get back to receive that one.  :) 
I have another care package almost ready to send, I'm just glad he gets everything in a somewhat "timely" manner! 
 
Jared did call me at work the other morning, it was good to hear from him, although it was hard to wait on customers and talk to him at the same time.  Patrick (and Chandra) also got a call from him, so it made everyone's' day!
 
Kyle requested that his kitty got declawed, he and his GF found another apartment and he gets to keep his cat there, as long as she is spayed (already done) and declawed.  So I'm sure she's hating life right now since I took her in this morning.  I know she didn't like the cat carrier!
He has school until early June, his GF is almost done for the year.  He switched jobs, he's at Shopko now, it's a better working environment for him, and better pay.  We don't see him much at all, between Drills, work and school....he's a busy fellow!
 
Patrick and I got most of the garden in, and it's doing awesome!  I have to go pick up some straw, I plan on putting plenty of it down as a weed suppressor--we can just till it in and it'll provide nutrients for the soil as well.  I don't recommend using hay, because it has grass and weed seeds in it, and they inevitably end up sprouting, causing more issues!  (Lesson learned from years ago!) 
Like I told Pat, planting the stuff is the easy part; it's getting everything ready and planning on what goes where is the hardest part.  We've feasted on Asparagus already, it was a welcome treat!  I found out Daisy likes pumpkins, so I got a medium-sized sweeter kind that I can also can/use for Pumpkin Pies. 
 
The Strawberries are just now starting to bloom, and the Gooseberries have fruit on them.  Our fruit trees have bloomed nicely this year; and I picked up a Cherry tree; the pie (sour) kind.  Our sweet Cherry tree had some issues, so I cut the dead part off and it's rebounding nicely!  The Pear tree was loaded with blooms, and the Peach and Apple trees bloomed and two are still blooming--a first for these Apple trees.  I'm super-excited, as this will be a first crop off of any of our Apple trees.  Fruit and Nut trees are defiantly classified as "Slow Food", it may take them awhile to grow and produce, but once they do, they'll provide for years and years. 
It's also nice to have a bounty of food just out back in one's yard--food security with a little work and plenty of TLC. 
 
I have three Tomato plants that I'm putting in 5-gallon buckets (with holes in the bottom) for Pat's folks so they can have some fresh tomatoes without bending over much and no weeding fuss.  I'm quite sure my mother has already planted a couple of Tomato plants where they live; she always does along with a beautiful variety of flowers.  She has the proverbial 'green thumb' and I think she can make a stick grow!  I try, but she makes it all look soooo easy.....I guess some of us have to work harder on our "talents" than others!  :-)
 
Hopefully I can post a bit more oftener--the longer days and warmer weather is a great lure to spend more time outdoors than indoors this time of year.  That's not such a bad thing!!  :-)
 
   
 
 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Rain, snow and more wind!

One of Jared's "co-workers" took this recently:

It's good to "see" him, he did call a couple of weeks ago and got to talk for quite awhile.  It's always good to hear from him (and Kyle, who tends to forget to call home--hint hint). 
Chandra is really, really good about posting photos/videos of Tracy for all of us to see.  At least we can kind of keep up with him growing--especially Jared!

One "care package" that I sent to Jared, well it only took 10 days to get to him (nice surprise for once!) HA  I sent another one off with more requested items to him last Friday, so lets hope it gets to him in a decent amount of time.  He requested eye drops, as it's dusty, windy and getting hot over there.  Baby wipes is just a "normal" thing to put in his packages.  Oh, and candy!!  :-)  I also sent him a $10 magazine (Frontiersman? something like that) that I hope he likes....I wanted to read it, but didn't have time.  The magazine he's requested I think I'll just have to subscribe to, I've only seen it once, it must sell out fast (Primitive Archer).

Last week was a work-outdoors-like-mad-before-the-rain-comes week.  With the help of the neighbor (in exchange for cow compost) we got compost spread on the garden AND got it tilled.  I also took compost and rabbit poo and put it on the asparagus, and compost on the rhubarb (which is coming up).  No signs of Asparagus yet though!  The peach trees are blooming, lets hope the frost/freeze yesterday (and the snow on Monday) didn't kill the buds/flowers.  Time will tell!

I ordered some heirloom seeds from Victory Seed Company, as I can save those seeds to replant more next year.  Got plenty of Cantaloupe for Pat, and "the kids".  They shipped fast and I got some started already.  The rest I can plant later this week when the weather stops freezing at night and I have time to get out and dig in the dirt.  I'll bet my single tomato plant I started will finally be happy to get in the ground!

That's "the news" for now...hard to keep up with the real-world news as much as going on.  I will say keep an ear/eye tuned into the Bundy Ranch happenings out in Nevada.  It's a hornets nest, he (Clive Bundy) is right to stand his ground along with the peoples' Militia who stand with him.  (He took two armed guards with him to church last Sunday--what's wrong with that picture??)  He knows it isn't about simply rounding up his cows, and said so himself.

After much digging and fact-finding here's the REAL reason for all the "fuss" (in a nutshell): 
Seems like their state Senator Reid wanted to "sell" the BLM land to CHINA for a solar project (that nobody is interested in buying power from because it'd cost too much). 
It's un-American if  you ask me and under-handed.  Now that the cat is out of the bag, and everyone KNOWS what the real deal is behind the smoke-and-mirrors, hopefully there will be a peaceful outcome and end.  Keep them in your prayers please!

And as a Post Script:
I myself get royally ticked off, as our men are fighting elsewhere for "enduring freedom" while our elected officials HERE are greedy, sneaky and taking advantage of our citizens.  It's an oxy-moron!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

It's Spring....I think!

Things are getting busy around here since the weather has been warmer.  I don't think I can plant anything in the ground for a month or so, but I'm getting geared up to!

Kyle, his GF and another friend stopped by yesterday, it was good to see them if only it was for a few minutes!  We've gotten a couple of phone calls from Jared, and I talked to Chandra as well.  She is really good about keeping "us" all updated online with photos and short videos of Tracy's antics.  He's such a sweetie, I miss them all!

I only had one tomato survive the winter, I think it's a yellow cherry tomato from a seed that was in the dirt of one I took a cutting from.  They all did good, until I tried to prune them.....they all died off one by one.  Ah, lesson learned of things NOT to do!

Fillet is over 800#, and Daisy is gaining some weight back--warm weather helps her not put calories into just keeping warm!  Mr. Sonny (the bull) should be arriving later this week, I just have to go get him.

Got one of the dead bull pine trees down in the front yard, it sure looks different!  One down, two to go......hopefully I can put my grape plants out there like I'd planned-I just don't want them in the way of branches/tree demolition(s)!

That's the quick update for now.....got more outside work to get done!  (It's never done, but I can make a dent in it!)  :-)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Just back from NC

Grandson Tracy hamming it up wearing Daddy's Beret:
 
 
Patrick and I made a quick trip to North Carolina to help Jared and Chandra move their stuff into storage and them into an apartment.  The weather was *~*awesome*~*!!  How awesome you ask?  Oh, mid-to-upper 70's awesome! 
We even mowed their lawn!  And ate Krispy Kreme donuts twice...a total treat since I couldn't tell you where the closest one near here is!
 
It was super great to see them, but it was a bittersweet trip, I miss them all already!  Of course I have tons of photos, but Chandra sent me this one while we were on our way home.  It's my (current!) favorite. 
 
Jared had a jump a couple of weeks ago, and I ask y'all keep "the guys" in the forefront of your thoughts and prayers in the coming months.  Military families can't always say why, but doing what the Loved One is trained for is the hardest on us as a whole.  Please don't take Family, Friends or our way of living for granted.  Appreciate that we are able to live the way we do, remember that Freedom isn't Free! 
 
So we've had a day or so of rest from 1,300+ miles of driving one way, now back to normalcy.  Um, whatever that is! (HA)  Actually we drove there and back....but the return trip wore on me more, I think because we were already [literally] butt-tired from sitting on the way there.  We got lucky and hit the bigger cities at non-rush hours, so we breezed through them.  I know CAN drive that far (just did it!), but I didn't say I totally liked it!  ;-)
 
Got a phone call that Fillet got out a couple of times when a storm came up and freaked her out.  The fence has a patch on it for now, and I can not wait for the ground to thaw some so I can fix it correctly; which means I have to pound posts into the ground.  Maybe I can get it done in a couple of weeks--who knows, as we have another snow storm and arctic cold coming.  (Oh joy--NOT!!)
The snow I can handle, it's the bitter arctic cold that gets to me (and the critters).  I know soon spring will be here and this bitter winter will be a memory.  Gardening and plants are on my mind already!  :)  Thinking positive here:  Woo-hooo!
 
When we returned the rental car, we stopped by Kyle and his GF's apartment.  He's been doing plenty of Honor Guard duties (funerals for Veterans); while going to school, working and Drills.  He's always been "Mr. On-The-Go", it's just his nature.  His GF also goes to school and works, I don't know how they have time to see each other!  HA 
 
That's the update for now.  Think Spring!!  :) 
 



Sunday, February 9, 2014

Winter remains, but Spring is coming (sometime!)

It's been slow, but yet hectic around here.  The fridge still isn't replaced (long story), Nessa and Dusty are now living in Oklahoma, my truck needs fixed again and the cold and snow still grips us.  We do have small 'warm up' reprieves, so it does help.

This is for Jared....thought he'd appreciate a patriotic Hello Kitty!  :)
 
And, as I looked at 'patriotic hello kitty' pictures online, don't know why, but I got a kick out of this one:
 
 (This one is either in time out and/or having issues or helping potty-train kiddos....not exactly sure how it ended up in that particular photo gallery online.....but I know we all feel like this at one time or another--ha)

With what is all has come on our plates for this year, I made the tough decision to sell Nessa.  Originally Dusty wasn't part of the original plan, but it just made things easier for her new Cow Mama to send him along, as she share-milks as well.  I get updates on how things are going, so that is pretty cool.

Daisy is still in milk, and Fillet is growing very well.  I made an appointment with the locker for June for Fillet.  Making appointments is easy....but in reality what leads up to that day isn't always that easy. The names we chose for certain animals is on purpose, it reminds us of "where" they will go eventually.  Lots of hard work, food/feed ($) and time go into the equitation.  It takes approximately 18 months of what goes into the "equitation" before the locker trip is made, and then another 2-3 weeks before you get to bring said meat home.

Slow Food isn't just a fad, its what makes food good.  Plants and animals take time to grow, and produce.  Instant gratification is only after weeks or months of work before you get that first ripe tomato, strawberry or steak.  But it makes one truly appreciate their food, because we know where it came from, how it was grown, and how much blood, sweat, tears and work it took to get it ready.  Seasonal eating at its best--when it is ripe and ready. 

People ask me over and over "do you still have horses?"  My reply generally is:  "No, now we either milk it or eat it."  People may find it crude, but it's honest and real.  I like horses, and at times miss riding.  But much of it has to do with economics, plus the fact that I don't have lots of land to keep one on anymore.  So whatever is out there eating hay needs to pay for itself one way or another.

Pat and I tried to fix my truck, thinking it was one issue, when he realized it was a major issue (the "new" slave cylinder--it's not that old!) so it needs taken in to the shop, we simply don't have the tools/resources to deal with dropping a transmission!  As for the fridge, it takes a certain height/width so I haven't looked very hard for a new(er) one.  Since it's cold out, it's easy keeping things cold in a cooler for now.  There's also the factor of:  there's only so much money to go around to fix things! (We must have Slow Money to go along with our Slow Food!)  giggle
 
Kyle had Drills this weekend, and he and his GF were down a week or so ago.  His cat always goes nuts when he's here, she misses him.  Hopefully they can find a new apartment that takes cats, she'd be in kitty heaven!  She IS entertaining.....but we get one or two of Jared and Chandra's kitties to "kitty-sit" for awhile anyhow.  Litter box duty....oh joy...maybe I should take stock in cat food and litter?!  HA

We call Jared and Chandra, and hear an occasional 'outburst' from Tracy in the background.  I miss them.   Chandra is good about posting stuff online with Tracy, so that helps--we all still get to "see" him and how much he's grown and what new he can accomplish. :)

Other than looking at seed catalogs, and the recent snows I haven't gotten much done.  There is fence I want to work on, but the ground is still too frozen.  I have had some time to catch up on some reading and research and talk to old friends.  I know all too well Spring is coming, and my "downtime" is limited.
I know the Strawberry bed will need to be expanded.....they don't take long to go crazy growing, but it's a tasty problem!  :)  I know the Blackberry patch needs thinning (I haven't forgot Omaha Dave!) and the Asparagus bed needs some serious weeding, but again, the work is worth the rewards.  I look forward to it all, even if I *think* I'm downsizing the garden this year.  (Um, lets see how THAT turns out!) HA

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Slow blogging, but an update!

Well, December was a busy month.  Jared, Chandra and Tracy made it here, and was able to stay for a couple of weeks.  It was nice spending time with them, Tracy is "Mr. Activity" and reminds me a lot of Jared when he was little.  He's a happy little guy, that's for sure!



Nessa calved a bull calf on the 12th.  His name is Dusty, and he's got a mind of his own!  Nessa let me milk, but not without complaints! 


All was going well until Christmas Day, I got the flu.  I spent two plus days in bed, and boy did it wipe me out for a couple of weeks!  I didn't have energy to do too much other than normal ol' chores.  I ended up missing a whole week of work as well.
I'm just now getting back to "normal".

Kyle and his girlfriend came down probably three times over the holidays.....we had a (homegrown) Prime Rib supper once, opened presents another couple of days.....Pat got the boys some (legal!) explosives and they enjoyed shooting and blowing them up.

In the midst of it all, the refrigerator went out....it sucks living out of a cooler!  The freezers are working fine--thank goodness!

We had the arctic air mass come through and I spent time giving the cows extra bedding and plenty of hay.  All survived the cold (chickens and all), which is awesome.
We have a temp turnaround and it's in the 50's the past couple of days.  A welcome relief from the bitter cold and wind.  But I remind myself it's January and winter isn't near over, the cold, wind or snow.

That's the quick update for now,  hopefully I'll be better at getting timely posts this year!