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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

L is for....

The Last day of NaBloPoMo posting for a couple of months at least. Hot diggity dog! I am going to be going out of town for a couple of weeks at the end of May/first of June. Heading back to the West Coast for a visit.

Not too much really has been happening here, so I probably won't be posting every day. The garden is starting to come along, as are the weeds. Ellen is getting more and more active, as you might expect.

The neighbor who was burned out is now living in WI, but we keep getting lots of visitors asking if he is selling this or that thing. Last night some guy came up to the door (Husband was out milking) and asked me if I knew anything about him and if he had a "mammoth jack" he'd sell. I'm thinking, "What? What kind of car jack is that, is it for a tractor or something?" But I didn't say anything, I just referred him to my husband. It wasn't until later that I thought; "Oh, neighbor breeds mules; it was a jackass he was wanting to buy." Then when the guy left hubby said he'd asked the guy what he did for a living. He said, "Oh, I'm a Vietnam Vet, but I raise Redbones now." Hmmm...I had to ask; "What's a Redbone?" So I found out a Redbone is a breed of 'coon hound.

Mammoth Jacks and Redbones. You learn something new every day.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I is for...

I Never Saw A Moor
Emily Dickinson


I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet I know how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.

I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.

Monday, April 28, 2008

R is for...

Road...as in the one not taken. This is one of a few poems I have memorized by heart. It makes me ponder on just how our decisions in life affect our future; the roads we choose to take or avoid certainly affect our future, don't they? Sometimes I wonder what I would be doing if I had decided to stay in CA where I grew up instead of going to Oregon. Or what if I had married the first guy who'd proposed? (Thank God I didn't!) What if I HADN'T married current husband? One second thought; maybe these things are best left unpondered.


THE ROAD NOT TAKEN
by: Robert Frost (1874-1963)

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

T is for...

The Tiger
William Blake. 1757–1827


Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?


In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?


And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?


What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?


When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?


Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

W is for...


Where's the grub? A couple of calves wanting some feed. They have been weaned by now and are in the weaner pen. I am running low on bottle calves and it's not looking like we will have any new ones any time soon.
Tah for now.

Friday, April 25, 2008

G is for...


G-59; one of our up and coming heifers.


I think she has cute markings on her face. Husband worries about their udders; I worry about their markings. Ha. I hope this one turns into a good cow. You just never know.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

E is for...

Escape!



It was a normal Thurday morning: The baby was down for her nap and I was cleaning up from lunch (we eat lunch at about 10:30 AM, due to the fact that we eat breakfast at 4 AM) and boiling some eggs for later use when the call came in.

Husband answered; it was his aunt calling to say that she had opened her front door and there was a milk cow standing on her front walk, looking at her. (Our property borders theirs) There was one other cow standing around out front and three more out in their pasture.


So before baby Ellen knew where she was I had her plucked from her crib, bundled in a coat and shoes and her father was whisking her up the road to Grandma's house for a while. Meanwhile I went out and got the white 4-wheeler and went up to asess the situation. Hubby was right behind me with his chainsaw and fence repair tools in the red 4-wheeler.










We got up there and find hubby's 92 yr old grandfather out chasing the escapees up the road the opposite way we wanted them to go. But by means of some shooing and stick-waving we got all 5 escapees back to where they belonged. Then we had to go check out the fence situation. There were some smaller trees that had fallen across it and pushed it down, so I helped hubby get the wires back into place. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, but your heart always does a big leap when you hear that there has been an escape.
Here is a shot of one place where hubby fixed the fence; by using a tree. It had been used before, as you can tell from the old rusted wire that has grown into the tree at the bottom of the pic, off the the right of center. My own father would have had a fit to see that as he would never put metal into a tree in the event he might want to use it for lumber, but hubby has no such qualms.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

S B is for...

Shotgun Boogie

Husband has the lyrics for this memorized, it's one of his favorite funny songs to sing. Sometimes to keep sane in the milk barn or doing menial chores around the dairy we sing stupid or funny songs to pass the time. I made a link to the YouTube recording of Tennessee Ernie Ford singing this; I dunno how to link it otherwise. I didn't even watch this whole thing as it takes soooooooooo long for this computer to download any video.

This is the type of music that was quite popular around in this area back in the day, and it is still popular with many people. There is a discussion on gun control on this particular clip on YouTube, but you have to understand that hunting was a way of survival for many years here in the Ozarks, and to this day many people still depend on it. Due to conservation control there are so many whitetail deer around here that they keep extending hunting season for them in fall. There are doe seasons now too. Many people who hunt donate their deer meat to various organizations who dole it out to needy people. When you are hungry deer meat is quite welcome. Rabbit and squirrel are still popular dinner items here too. You have to get them when they are in season as well.

Anyway; here are the lyrics:

Shotgun Boogie

There it stands in the corner with the barrel so straight
I looked out the window and over the gate
The big, fat rabbits are a-jumpin' in the grass
Wait'll they hear my old shotgun blast;
Shotgun Boogie,
I done saw your tracks
Look out Mr. Rabbit when I cock my hammer back.

Well, over on the ridge is a scaly bark
Hick'ry nuts so big you can see 'em in the dark
The big fat squirrels they scratch and they bite
I'll be on that ridge before daylight;
Shotgun Boogie,
All I need is one shot,
Look out bushy tail, tonight you'll be in the pot.

Well, I met a pretty gal, she was tall and thin
I asked her what she had, she said: "A Fox Four-Ten"
I looked her up and down and said: "Boy, this is love"
So we headed for the brush to shoot a big fat dove;
Shotgun Boogie,
Boy the feathers flew
Look out Mister Dove when she draws a bead on you.

I sat down on a log, took her on my lap
She said, "Wait a minute, bub, you got to see my Pap
He's got a sixteen-gauge choked down like a rifle
He don't like a man that's a-gonna trifle"
Shotgun Boogie,
Draws a bead so fine
Look out big boy; he's loaded all the time.

Well, I called on her Pap like a gentleman oughta
He said: "No brush hunter's gonna get my daughter"
He cocked back the hammer right on the spot
When the gun went off, I outran the shot;
Shotgun Boogie,
I wanted wedding bells
I'll be back little gal, when your pappy runs out of shells

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

B. C. is for...


Bottle calf...


I like the markings on this calf's face. It's kind of like a twisted hour glass or a tornado formation. She was just moved from an individual calf house to the group calf lot over by the barn.
Our turkey hunter apparently didn't get anything yesterday as he was back again this morning, but he got rained out. We had a thunderstorm blow through and he must have gotten soaked, though husband said he might have ducked into one of the sheds down in the creek bottoms.
Every day I think of trenchant things to write in here, but then when I get on the computer my mind goes blank.
Husband's aunt killed a little copperhead in her front yard the other day, so I guess the snakes are out and about. They usually appear in April. The ticks are starting to get thick too. If there's one thing I dread in Missouri, it's all the little varmints that show up when the weather gets warm; snakes, ticks, chiggers, wasps...etc. Actually the non-venomous snakes don't bother me, but the copperheads do.
I forget who sings it but there is this country song out where this backwoods boy is singing about how he wants to take his girlfriend out for a walk the the sticks and through fields of wildflowers and then check her all over for ticks. Cute. Real cute...until you have one bite you. They are nasty and the bites itch for a day or more. Not to mention Lyme disease. Or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever; that's ugly. (Out here they claim we don't have Lyme disease, but something called Lyme-like disease...ummm...whatever, the symptoms are still the same.) Some boyfriend.

Monday, April 21, 2008

V is for...

Venison!


It's turkey season, so our hunter is back to get his tom or two. He got a deer here this past fall so he brought us some venison sausage this morning. He's a good guy.
We will share this with the rest of the family; it'd take us quite awhile to eat this much. We usually have a few slices on Sunday nights after milking, along with bread straight from the bread machine. The venison sausage is pretty good; it's cut with pork (I believe) to give it some substance. Last year he brought a couple that were cheese and jalapeno flavored. That was really good, but you had to eat it with bread or crackers; eat it straight and it was pretty hot. Hubby liked it though, which surprised me. He really is more of an adventurous eater than I'd thought he'd be.
As far as turkey hunting is concerned our Hunter shouldn't have much problem getting one, really. I hear them gobbling from various locations down in the bottoms every morning during chores. He usually brings us some turkey meat too.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

C is for...


Cleopatra! Yea! Yea!


She has a wicked gleam in her eye, but she's an OK kind of gal. She is a good example of a dehorning gone wrong...well, the problem was that her horns were allowed to grow way too big before dehorning so hubby wasn't able to get them shorn off down far enough. That kind of deforms them and they grow out weird. Usually cow horns grow up, not curl down like this. You have to watch really closely or they will grow into the skull.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

D

DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT
Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)


Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.


Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way
Do not go gentle into that good night.


Grave men, near death, who see the blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


My own father went quite willingly into that "good night" and I am afraid it was his children who raged against the dying of the light. Even after 11 years now, it still is not easy to accept.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Y again

It struck me last night that I could do more with the letter "Y" than a poem...as in:

Y is it whenever I am on the phone, on the computer or sitting down anywhere in the house, including in the bathroom, the baby's radar immediately locates me and she comes squalling to be picked up and held?

Y is it that whenever I have laundered my chore clothes we get a new calf that same day and I have to train her to bottlefeed and she spews milk all over my clean clothes?

Y is it the computer always crashes when I am trying to comment on a blog, when I have just finished a long email, or when I am trying to post in my own blog?

Y is it when I forget to change out of my good pants and I go to the milk barn that a cow lets loose with a major flying pie and gets me?

Those are just some of the "Y" in life I have.


In other news:

Apparently I didn't scare the wrens away from the gourd; I saw one going in it yesterday with a beakful of nesting materials. Husband says they aren't easy to scare away. He has tried to chase them away from nesting sites before, but with little luck except to totally block the area. He has had them build nests in the garage, in his little tool cubby holes. Once they built a nest in a papersack full of roofing nails, he came in and saw nails scattered on the floor underneath. I hope they raise a family in the gourd.

We have yet another young heifer (about 1 year old) getting puny on us. Husband says he doesn't know what else to do; they have all been treated and wormed and are getting the best feed and hay we have. (I cart the feed to them, I KNOW they aren't getting stinted!) We were going to sell some of them this spring, but now hubby says if they all die on us we will just wait for them to die instead and save gas in carting them to the auction; maybe we'll come out ahead in the end. *sigh*

It's fertilizing time. Meaning that the fields get fertilized for good grass; both beef and dairy operations do this. But the price of fertilizer has skyrocketed. Last year it was about $250 p/ ton, this year it's up to $600 per ton. When you need several tons to do your acreage, it's not funny. Our feed truck driver is selling pelleted chicken manure ($250 p/ ton I believe), which is, I guess, what many people are going to use this year instead of regular fertilizer, but husband isn't too convinced of its efficacy. Who knows what the process of pelleting does to the content of the manure, it might lose its power to fertilize.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Welcome to Blogging

I almost forgot, I wanted to give a welcome to Cindy from PA, who just started her blog this month. I think mostly she's keeping in touch with family and friends, but drop by and tell her how cute her kids are:

Gaggle of Gaskins

Thanks.

P

P is for:


Pippa's Song
Robert Browning


The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew-pearl'd;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven-
All's right with the world!


A fitting poem for a spring morning, don't you think?


Here is a picture of a birdnest gourd I grew year before last. Here it is popular to paint them and sell them, but I haven't exerted myself to paint any yet, though I have a bag full of them in the storage shed. I just put this one out on the clothes line to see what would happen. Last summer it was the abode of a nest of red wasps (nasty beasts). When I was hanging out the clothes sometimes I'd give the gourd a good spin and watch the wasps come boiling out and buzzing around-of course I'd make sure to be a good distance away.
This year a wren started to build in the gourd, but the wind was so bad that I used some wire to stabilize the gourd and I think that scared the birds away. I dunno. I think I will make another one and hang it up in a better place. Maybe that'd work.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Y

My tribute to the letter "Y." I like finding poems that have well-used sayings in them and wondering if they are the source of the saying. I just have never understood why it is a dog that has his day; why not a goose or an aardvark? Dunno.

A footnote on Ellen's new phrase: Just yesterday after posting I noticed she was starting to draw out the "oo" sound of "who" and sounding like an owl: "Oooo is that?" she asks her dolls and books and banana at breakfast. "Oooo is that?" I laugh every time she does it. Yes, kids learning to talk are so much fun. I'll never forget my niece asking for "more crappers and cheese" when she was tiny. Too funny.


Young and Old
by Charles Kingsley


When all the world is young, lad,
And all the trees are green;
And every goose a swan, lad,
And every lass a queen;
Then hey for boot and horse, lad,
And round the world away;
Young blood must have its course, lad,
And every dog his day.


When all the world is old, lad,
And all the trees are brown;
And all the sport is stale, lad,
And all the wheels run down;
Creep home, and take your place there,
The spent and maimed among:
God grant you find one face there,
You loved when all was young.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Q

I haven't been doing too well on keeping up with the NaBloPoMo theme for this month: letters.

After visiting some of the other blogs I became embarrassed at my lack of imagination. So here is my tribute to the letter Q. It comes straight from the depths of my memories from my college days so you must forgive any mistakes in grammar or punctuation, especially since I can't get the tildes and upside down question marks and all in here because it's in Spanish; from poet Gustavo Adolfo Becquer.


"Que es poesia?" dices mientras clavas
En mi pupila tu pupila azul.
"Que es poesia?" Y tu me lo preguntas?
Poesia eres tu.

A rough translation:

"What is poetry?" you ask while cleaving
In my eye your eye of blue.
"What is poetry?" And you ask it of me?
Poetry is you.

In other news.

Not too much to report really. However, Ellen is cracking me up. Most babies her age (just over 13 months) start off saying things like "Mama" or "Daddy;" Ummm...no, not her. She can't be bothered to learn such piddly words. She sits and plays with her toys or looks through old copies of magazines or mail order catalogs and asks, "Who is that? Who is that?" just as clear as day. I can hear her now. She repeats it over and over. She will also ask ad infinitum when we are playing or reading a book or eating breakfast or whatever: "Et's that? Et's that?" She's got the word "who" down pat, she is still working on "what."


She is going to be exactly like her father with an insatiable and odd curiosity. He drives me nuts with the questions he asks. Once a friend who lives in the city sent an email describing how she got dog doo on her shoe at her apartment complex and her subsequent reactions. I was telling husband this and he had to ask: "Well, whose dog was it?" I wanted to growl, ARGH and run from the room. What difference does it make whose dog it was? That wasn't the point of the story. Anyway.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cold Monday

It was about 6 degrees below freezing this AM when I went out to do chores. Argh.

The thermostat on the hot water heater in the milk barn went haywire last night and when hubby went in there it had turned the tank room into a sauna; everything was dripping. Apparently the thermo didn't kick off when it should have so the water kept getting hotter and hotter, it kicked the overload, kept sucking cold water in and boiling it off. We will be getting a new thermostat soon, very, very soon.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Random Photo


Here's a random photo I pulled from my photo files for lack of anything else interesting to post today. It's a shot of the new dump truck engine. For some reason this was really important to hubby that we get a pic of it so he could post it in some of his heavy equipment forums talks. I guess men do these things-those who are into big trucks and stuff. Oh, it was important because he wanted to brag about how clean the engine is...or at least WAS at the time he bought it. "Look bubba, no grease!"
The milk man drools over this truck, says he wants it should hubby ever want to sell it. He has two big semi trucks that he drives to pick up milk and on the main one he has well over one million miles on it! Yikes! He'd turn this truck from a dump truck to a milk tanker.
Sorry, I can't relate. A truck is a truck is a truck; metal and grease and gunk. Ha

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Snow in April...and a stray saying

Can you believe it?! It was just little flurries this morning, but still it's annoying. Monday the lows are supposed to be well below freezing; so much for fruit from the fruit trees and berries and such. Hubby says that's why he doesn't bother having fruit trees.

I haven't had much time on computer lately, as I have said before, which is why I haven't visited and commented on other blogs or emailed anyone yet.

After yesterday's depressing post here is something funny...well I thought it was funny.

Yesterday morning I went out to do regular chores and saw hubby walking away from the barn; he had shut down the vacuum pump-closing up shop it would appear. I thought I was late, but apparently he was missing 10 cows. He'd had to wait 'til daylight to go find them. Off he took on the 4-wheeler. I went about my regular chores and directly I heard the 4-wheeler coming back, bringing up the rear. The stray cows were trotting ahead of him and it was funny because these staid, sedate animals were having the time of their lives; kicking up their heels, head butting each other and generally carrying on like calves escaped from their pen. They'd never had so much fun, their old udders flopping in the breeze. Husband was fuming because they were putting him off schedule and the milk truck is coming early nowadays. I didn't let him know I laughed.

Here is a saying I forgot to include last time:

"Charge it to the dust and let the rain settle it." To be said when money is owed that can't be payed back. As in local vernacular with a previous saying attached: "Don't think you're ever gonna get money from him; you might as well charge it to the dust and let the rain settle it, he ain't got money enough to buy a setting hen."

Cheers.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Bits and Pieces

Yes, the weather has been grumpy for the past few days. They are predicting we are supposed to get freezing, and well below freezing temps on Monday. Great. Happy Spring! But I guess the last frost date around here is in mid-April, I don't remember exactly.

Anyway. On Wed we went up to get one of the downed calves. (The other one is already out in the hay shed) Hubby took the tractor and hip attachment thingy (I dunno the official name for it.) and chains, I brought the 4-wheeler with the little wagon. Calf was down in a ravine and I was petrified that he was going to tip the tractor over getting down to her, but he didn't. He attached the hip-thingy to her hip bones and lifted her out of there and hoisted her onto the cart and I brought her back here. Then after all that she died that night. Well, I guess you can't save them all.

On Wed evening our bull calf-buyer called and said she wasn't going to be able to buy them any more. So that kind of leaves us hanging. Of course you can always take them to the auction, but that's a lot of trouble. But then again I understand her point; it's a pain to raise them because you have to get milk replacer and all sorts of other stuff, which is pretty expensive.

So yesterday we get a bull calf. Ha. Hubby has someone coming over 60 miles to get him. That is a long way for one little calf. Today we got another heifer calf. They are cute.

Bye for now.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Quick Post

Not much time on the computer today as there have been thunderstorms coming through off and on.

Will post more tomorrow....maybe.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

More Sayings

Hubby was on a roll last night in the milk barn giving me more of these country sayings.

More chicken sayings:

* Couldn't afford a setting hen. (Something you say about someone who brags about how much they have or what all they are going to do with their money.)

* Scarce as hen's teeth. (This is a pretty common saying, I think)

* I'd go scratch (insert expletive-if you are of that bent) with the chickens before I went back to that job.

On being stingy:

* Tight as bark on a tree

* So tight his hindend (change to your choice of expletive) would hold coal oil (kerosene I believe)

In general:

* So sour it'd make a pig squeal.

* It'd stink a dog off a gut wagon.

* So spoiled that salt wouldn't save her. (About kids in general.)



Here is a copy of my response to a comment someone left yesterday on my blind calf blog post from back in August:

Iris-no we didn't treat the calf for anything for the blindness; just took the wait and see response. Really, I don't know what we could have done. At any rate she is still quite alive, though she has developed what appear to be cataracts on both eyes-there are white spots in the iris. But she sees because she will flinch when you make a quick movement to her face.She was actually born sighted, I believe. At least we didn't notice anything out of the ordinary like you described. It, your case, sounds really strange-that the eyes are an opaque green.Good luck. Let me know what happens.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Heavy Equipment photos



OK, so this isn't of hubby's equipment in these pics, but hubby found them on Heavy Equipment Forums and was fascinated by them. Apparently this is how they unload coal from railroad coal cars. There were several other pictures in the series between these two positions, but I don't want to take time to post them all. It looks pretty freaky to me. In the forum discussion they were saying that the backhoe is modified specifically to do this type of job.
The sick calves are still holding in there, though we don't know for how long. In one comment C stated as how it seemed they lose all the male calves. In yet another forum on Homesteading Today, they have had discussions about how it is always the male calves that seem to die. Some folks believe that the females are just stronger than the males, some say it depends on the sire and some say it is just the luck of the draw. I dunno. We seem to have them both die equally on us. Which isn't to say we have a high mortality rate, but when they DO die, it doesn't seem to discriminate between the sexes.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Letter number I dunno how many

Dear Everyone,

OK. This NaBloPoMo is fun, but it's getting to where I don't know what to post anymore. I remember way back in my jail employment days someone passed out this fictitious letter from a kid to his parents while he was at camp; he goes on to say that the camp leader was on parole and it went on from there. Pretty sick humor, but you've got to understand that after you have worked at a jail for any length of time your humor starts to really warp; like really, REALLY badly. Anyone who's worked there can testify to that.

But I won't look it up and post it because I don't want to freak anyone out.

So for this letter I will say that this AM hubby got out the tiller and tilled up the garden beds. Then we planted our onions, 2 kinds of radishes and ummm...3 kinds of lettuce I believe.


the end

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Dear Everyone...

Today is a nice spring day; sunny, warm but not too hot and just enough breeze to be nice. Church was good today. Hey, the Sheriff and his family were back. They came on Easter Sunday. I was uncharitable enough to remark that it's election year; of course they'd come to church. But maybe that was rude and untrue. Time will tell. Our attendance is up quite a bit overall at any rate and that is good.

Tomorrow we are going to try and plant some things in the garden; onions, radishes and lettuce. Hopefully the heavy rains they are calling for later on in the week will not manifest and wash everything out. Then, of course, when we have storms in spring it generally means high winds and possible funnel clouds. *sigh*

We have a couple of sick calves. One has hoof rot, we think, she is one of the larger calves and has been down for at least a week, closing in on two weeks, I believe. She is on her side now, so it's pretty much a sure thing; calf number 89 is coyote bait. Husband has treated her to no avail. Then just yesterday calf number 84 that had been kind of puny-like for a week or so is down and can't get up. Dunno what is wrong with her. Husband said she looks like she has an infection where she was dehorned; but dunno. He treated her also, but I think she will croak too.

What else is going on? Not much...well, Ellen is fussing, that's the end of my blogging for today.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Dear Amrita

Here's another letter for today as well. This goes to Amrita in India from Yesu Garden-see link at left-who sent me my very first blogging award!

Dear Amrita,

Thank you very much for the lovely garland award! I appreciate the thought and friendship behind it. It means so much to me to be able to make new friends in Christ from all over the world.


God bless you for your friendship!




This is how she described the award:

Here is an Indian ethnic award I created. The "I Garland You Award" Garland holds special significance in India. People are garlanded as a sign of honor, respect, welcome, love and friendship. Garlands are used at weddings, welcome ceremonies and social and religious occasions. Some people make garlands of real bank notes, usually for weddings to flaunt their wealth.

Dear Victoria


This letter goes out to my long-time snail mail pen-pal in the Ukraine.


Dear Victoria,


Thank you so very much for the lovely quilt you made and mailed to Ellen for her first birthday! I am so touched by your thoughtfulness and generosity. We all appreciate it so much. I know it will be something Ellen will treasure all of her life. It must have taken hours and hours to piece all of those little blocks together.
My grandmother used to make numerous quilts and someday I hope to get a sewing machine and do the same thing. They are a lasting testament of love.
Thank you again!

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Busy Couple of Days

Dear Friends,

The past couple of days have been busy and frought with ups and downs.

On Wednesday evenings I teach the teen class at church; a challenge at best, but one I enjoy as you never know what they will say. Three weeks ago a couple of students actually LEARNED something: Jesus had a brother! (And perhaps other siblings.) It was funny to see the lightbulbs go on. This past Wed evening we ended up having a counseling session on a subject that didn't have to do with the lesson I had prepared, which was great as that is what I am there for. But this wasn't any light subject brought up and by the end I was more exhausted than if I had chased errant heifers around all day.

Thursday, yesterday, hubby and I moved 18 heifers to their summer home in a town just NW (I think, I am not too hot with directions) of us. We have a field out there for their spring/summer home. This means hubby will be shuttling feed back and forth to them on his motorcycle and I will only have to do one run up the road to grain the bull and his heifers and the dry cows. Yea!

Today, Friday, was grocery shopping day. UGH! That is always a pain. My least favorite chore.

That is what has been going on here.

Tah for now.
Calfkeeper

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Two Week Notice

Here is a copy of the notice I gave to my previous employment before I came to Missouri. Upon leaving a job I have always (with one exception) tried to be creative with my parting words. (Ummm...names have been changed to protect the innocent.)




September 20, 2004

Her kind and gentle grace, the Lady Rebecca; to their estimable and honorable graces; the Lady Hannah and the Lady Leonora:

Greetings,
It is with both great joy and deep sorrow that I take pen in hand and scribe to you these few and final lines; joy for that I stand upon the threshold of a new Adventure awaiting, sorrow that I must now take my leave of this Esteemed Establishment; the County Sheriff’s Office.

I laud the day, the Sixteenth of March, in the year of our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Ninety Eight, when I did stumble upon this most Gainful and Enjoyable Employment, and I am honored to have been able to bask in your Gracious Presences and to have partaken of your Kind Friendship, which has come to mean so much to me these past years. Would that time and chance had sorted themselves differently and I had been able to be longer with you.

Yet, alas, now upon the horizon I behold the mast of the ship that comes to bear me from these Fruitful Shores unto a New and Glorious Adventure in a land far, far away. Verily upon the prow I behold my betrothed beckoning to me.

Therefore I beg leave to depart from your Gracious Presences on the 15th of October of this year that I might prepare for my voyage into my awaiting future.
Always know that a piece of my Soul shall remain here, believe me…

Your Humble Servant; Rebecca

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Dear Ellen


OK. Here we go with a letter for NaBloPoMo. Not fictitious, but something that has been at the back of my mind since Ellen was born. (This pic was taken 3 days before her first birthday.)


Dear Ellen,


You aren't walking yet, you are just too cautious, but I am just as glad because I am not ready for the worries that will come when you do start to walk. (Ellen, please leave the computer plugged in, I am trying to blog here...)
There are so many dangers you can get into here on the dairy, it just isn't funny. There is the pond just outside the back door; not 100 yards away and I know you can just zip under the barbed wire fence in a second. There are any number of leaf piles around the woods, potential copperhead nests. Not to mention the stray copperhead crawling through on occasion. There's also the highway, 55 MPH, not 100 yards from the front of the house. (Ellen, please get out of the DVD/CD cabinet, you keep opening them up and taking the disks and labels out and they are a pain to put back together.)
There is the windmill ladder I am sure you will eventually try to climb. (Now I understand my father's paranoia about us kids climbing the Monkey Tree-as we called it-back when we were little.) There are any number of chemicals in the milk barn; acid wash and soap and bleach; all on tall shelves, but kids can climb like goats. (Ellen, please stay out of the dirty laundry basket; some of those are chore clothes with cow poop on them.)
And I know that every toddler has that "don't leave my behind syndrome" and will run after anyone who is leaving, potentially resulting in getting backed over by a truck or tractor or backhoe or dumptruck or roadgrader or well drilling rig or top loader, or whatever other equipment your father has here on the place. It has happened before around this area. (Ellen, where are you? Why are you so quiet? Hang on blog...I'll be back in a minute. *sigh*)
(The kitchen may never be the same, but here I am again.) And let's not EVEN talk about the bulls.
Anyway. Ellen, as you are rapidly along toward your next milestone of walking, please be careful. Mommy tries to be vigilent, but it's not always easy. (Ellen, what's that smell? Oh, gotta go now.)
Love, Mommy

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Still here in Missouri....

No, we didn't get blown away to a different state yesterday; though we came close I guess. They said there was "rotation" in the clouds overhead, but nothing touched down in our area. I guess it was pretty bad in the town that is WEST of us, not east as I said in previous post. About 20 houses were flattened, according to one account we heard, and 4 business were destroyed.

In the bigger town east of us a school bus was turned over; only the driver and an aid were on it. No one was injured. So far we haven't heard of anyone having been killed locally, but that may have changed since last night.

At any rate it was pretty bad, no matter what. We keep finding pieces of vinyl siding and papers and things around the place.

The power went off last night right when I was going to fix supper, so I had raw meat for meatballs sitting around. I put it in the fridge, but cleanup didn't happen for awhile. We had tuna sandwiches.

The power stayed off until after the usual chore time (which is generally 4:30 PM), we were up at MILs having birthday cake; it was hubby's sister's birthday, when the power came on at a bit after 6 PM. We came home and did chores anyway. The cows had been down in the bottoms (thankfully they were on the right side of the creek, which had flooded) and some had come up and were looking quizzically around; wondering when they were going to get their own supper.

So all's well on the dairy.

This is April, and the theme for April NaBloPoMo is "letters" which one may interpret however they wish. I was going to do a series of fictitious letters from some teens visiting a dairy, but I don't have the inspiration to begin now. I can if anyone really wants to read it, but only by popular demand. Ha.

'Til tomorrow.