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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"Carrie" George...

otherwise known as "Curious George," the monkey who belongs to the man with the yellow hat, but called "Carrie" by Ellen, made a pretty big showing this Chistmas.

Thank you to Portland Aunt for the package we got a day or so ago. In it was a Curious G. book AND stuffed version of the fellow. Ellen loves them. A friend of mine from CA also sent a version of CG that runs on batteries; push his tummy and he yawns and plays a few bars of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. He is dressed for bed and has a blankie and a teddy. Ellen loves him, but won't touch him yet because she is suspicious of a monkey that plays music, I suppose.

She has quite the monkey collection; a blue long armed affair that hoots when you push his tummy (from MO grandma), one with magnets in his hands a feet who perches on the fridge (she loves to play with him on occasion too-from her aunt and uncle in Portland), a little red monkey her dad got free at a yard sale (it's one of those McDonald's kids meal's toys) and now two Curious George monkeys.

She's doing better at her monkey collection already than I am at my giraffe collection, and she's only been at it less than two years.

Ellen also enjoys coloring. The color book from Portland already has colors on every page. She loves to color and already knows most of her basic colors, thanks to her Missouri Grandma and Aunt working with her. Well, I work with her as well, but not as much.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday again

At least I believe it is Monday. I am having trouble keeping track, I know it's been a long time since I have blogged. Oops.

The theme for NaBloPoMo for January is CHANGE, but I think I will skip it this time and just blog when I can.

So far we have had a good holiday season. Christmas was nice.

Hubby and I had our usual Christmas "discussion" centered around whether Santa Claus really exists or not. He says Santa DOES exist because he brings him a "big weenie" every year. I say; "Bosh! The summer sausage that you get every year is from your sister who tries to disguise her sickenly perfect writing on the tag. Besides I saw her bring it in from the car when they brought their gifts down here. There were never any gifts from Santa under my tree when we were kids because our parents were more realistic."

"Ha!" he replies, "You never got gifts from Santa because he doesn't deliver to doubters."

And on and on.

Then on Christmas Eve he tells me triumphantly; "I just heard on the news that Russian radar picked up a flying object over their borders, so Santa IS on his way! I hope he doesn't skip our house because he knows you don't believe in him."

*SIGH*

On Christmas night after he came in from milking he also accused me of being a grinch because I'd already taken down the tree and tossed it out the back door.

I said he'd be a grinch about the tree too if he had to sweep up all the cedar needles all the time.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas


Here's hoping you have a wonderful, blessed holidays.

News:

Yesterday we were supposed to have a horrible snow/ice/freezing rain type of day, but it went south of us. We got a bit of rain, but it warmed up and things thawed out instead of freezing up. Thank the Lord. It has cooled off again today, and a few snow flakes actually came down out there a bit ago, but hopefully the worst is over with. I am not one of those white Christmas admirers; if I have to do chores I'd rather it be dry.

Yesterday hubby had to pull a bull calf and had a first happen. This was one of those where I knew from the beginning it was going to be an issue. When I went up to feed the dry cows one was in labor with just one huge hoof and a huge nose coming out. Hubby went up later and still no progress so he brought her down here. One of the calf's legs was folded back so hubby had to shove the whole calf back into the cow and then try to get both legs coming out at once. (This sounds easy in print, but shoving against an 800 or so pound beast is no joke) But before he'd figured that out he'd cleaned the calf's nose and mouth so it could breathe. Then while back inside the cow the calf let out a moo. Hubby said it was weird, he'd never had one do that.

The calf is doing OK, but it was so large that it has that tendon problem. Sometimes when the calves are big their legs get cramped in the uterus and after birth the tendons won't extend so that they can stand. I forget what exactly they call it. We have had this happen several times since I have been here, mostly with the bull calves. But they always keep attempting to stand and stretch it out eventually to where you'd never know there was a problem. I am hoping he recovers soon. I don't want to have to keep feeding him. We'd like to get rid of him ASAP, but there isn't much market for bull calves anymore. No one wants them. Hubby says CraigsList has quite a few people on there advertising the bull calves, and we are hoping our regular buyer will keep on buying them for awhile longer.

Anyway...Merry Christmas...Happy New Year to everyone far and near.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Well, I guess I blew NaBloPoMo

But, oh well. It wasn't wise to sign up for it this month anyway. I am just so burned out on computer stuff, anyway.

Let's see...what's been happening?

Not too much. We got a little bit of ice and snow, just barely enough to cover the ground, but still plenty to ice the roads up for 3 days or so, they cancelled school for the kids Mon-Thurs. It warmed up and is raining now. More ice on the way though.

This morning I had to catch a couple of the littlest heifers we have with the open heifer herd up in the winter pasture. This is always a challenge because the bigger ones usually chase the small ones out of the corral...meaning the little ones don't get anything to eat, and we have trouble catching them to bring them back to where they CAN get food.

It was pitch black when I went up there this morning to do this job. They weren't around the corral so I had to bang buckets on the bunks and holler for them. Then I heard them coming, and if I hadn't known what was coming, I would have high-tailed it out of there myself. Do you have any idea how frightening a herd of 27 half-grown bovine sound charging through a pitch black wood? Occasionally one would huff and snort. I thought that must be what Lewis Carol imagined the Jabberwock to sound like; a whole herd of huffing heifers rampaging through the woods.

Anyway. Once they got there I had to wait 'til the little ones came up, and through a bit of jostling I managed to get them into the corral. But then came the tricky part; I had to close the corral panels; there aren't any gates. One panel has to be hoisted over one of the feed bunks while at the same time the quarry has to be kept in the corral. You should have seen me scrambling back and forth over the bunk and shouting and shooing. All in the dark with just the 4-wheeler lights to illuminate the scene. Thank the Lord no cars went by. There are few truly dull moments around here.

Ellen is doing well. Today she started playing with her little fake cell phone in a new way; instead of just pushing the button to hear it ring she pushed it, listened to it ring, then held it to her ear and asked: "Heh-woh?" It was so cute.

If you ask her what her name is she still says; "Punk-kin" but she refers to the little girl in the mirror as "Eh-nen" and she did tell me when she was playing that "Eh-nen talk on phone." So she knows the difference.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thanks:

*sigh* I can think of lots of things to be thankful for, but I don't have the time or patience to make them entertaining.

I will be thankful if we don't get the nasty weather they say is headed our way tonight. I don't like freezing rain one bit.

Maybe sometime this week I will be able to post something worth reading, but if we don't have any power I guess I will have to deal with that too.

Right now I have a little one wanting to watch Frost again.

Bye

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thanks for:

Here's another fly by night post....nothing to post, just making a post to mark time. We went to Camdenton to pick up the new truck. Ellen didn't get a full nap so she has been cranky all day, meaning that I have had to endure.

No one at church is very encouraging about this Terrible Two stuff; they all say it lasts forever. Oh, la la...I am going to go get a shower now while hubby and daughter watch Frosty the Snowman on here.

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thanks for: Fridays

They always come around just when you need them. Like putting on your jacket in fall for the first time since early spring and finding a $20 bill in the pocket.

That's all for today.

I'm bushed.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thanks for: My Learning Capacity

It never fails to amaze me what my daughter can teach me without even trying; she just is her little self and does what she does and I learn so much.

For instance:

Did you know that a whole roll of paper towels unrolled off the cardboard makes a nice frothy pile in the front room that's about as high as my knee?

How about the fact that Aleene's Clear Gel Tacky Glue can be used to repair a rip in the wall paper that was about as long as my forearm?

I learned these things today. I also learned that I have a pretty good sense of humor because all I did was laugh.

What's more fun than learning? I dunno. I am sure Ellen will teach me many more things as time goes on. I will keep you all informed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thanks for:

Well, we did a quick rehearsal tonight at church, with all the parents watching. The kids did much better at their parts...at least my older teens did better. The little one were still squirrelly. But they were a bit better, I guess. I look forward to the end of the whole thing.

No time to write a serious post tonight.

Adios

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thanks for: My Camera


It takes pretty good pictures and is fun to play with. This morning I did a few Christmas pics of Ellen. I was going to do more but she got restless, and she kept wanting to see the pictures and getting up to look at them in the camera. It didn't help to explain that I hadn't had a chance to take any of her yet. Plus she kept wanting to play with the gifts.

I guess I ought to write more about the dairy, but there just isn't much going on right now. Hubby is having to put out hay most every day. He is also busy getting in firewood for us. I haven't had a new bottle calf in well over a month. That little bitty calf is really coming along, I was afraid she'd croak on us, but she's really feisty.

Hubby has decided that to up our production he wants to find a dairy with good quality milkers and buy a few Holstein heifer calves, in the 500 lb range. Then get rid of some of ours. We'll see what we can find.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thanks for: Mondays

Mondays are as sure to come around as spring after winter, fall after summer, the sun after the moon.

You can count on them showing up pretty regular-like. They give you a new chance to begin again, to start anew as it were, to write something original on the slate of your life.

OK. So I am getting desperate. It is more difficult that I thought it would be to think up a new thing every day, something that isn't as obvious as the...well...obvious "I am thankful for" things.

Ellen is beginning to parrot everything we say, and to tell what has happened to her in her recent past. We are having to watch what we say closely. I think hubby was rather put out when she started saying "buttsy." She said it in front of his mom and he said darkly, "Well, she didn't learn it from me." *sigh* I just giggled inside but didn't say anything.

Then this morning I woke her up out in the barn after chores (she takes a nap out there during AM chores) and she was laying there ruminating it would seem. Suddenly she said; "Aunty working." I agreed that yes, Aunty was at work. Then she said; "Aunty, Pooh." Yes, Aunty shows you Pooh bear movies when you visit her (which is every night, pretty much. Then she said; "Aunty juice." Yes, Aunty gives you juice when you visit. THEN she says; "Aunty cream."

AH HAH!

Aunty gives you ice cream?!

The proverbial cat was spilled from the bag and mewed loudly.

Ha.

Kids do not keep secrets very well.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thanks for: This Days End

Today was the annual Holiday potluck at church. As always they had great food, and good company of course.

The main drawback was that my calm, bashful-in-public child was a screaming mimi the whole time. We'd no sooner get her calmed down than some well-meaning soul would get up in her face and ask her what was wrong and she'd go off again. *sigh* The pastor especially has a knack for setting her off. Poor guy, he's really nice and loves the kids, but she just wasn't going to tolerate any sympathy from anyone today.

What was wrong was she hadn't had her nap out and she, as her father put it, woke up on the wrong side of the pew.

Hang on, she wants to type her side of the story.
n.kk4333333333rrrrrrrrrrrrrffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffkkkklllllll

Yes, she did actually type all of that. 55555555555555 and this. Mostly she likes to turn the number lock light on and off. That really floats her boat.444444444444klllllll;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666

OK Ellen, they believe you. Now let's watch Baby Einstien...after we check Mama's email.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thanks for: My computer

It's a great tool. Especially if you connect to the internet. Hubby does lots of research on it. On Craigslist, that is. For the past couple of months he's been looking for a new farm truck that we can use for various other things.

Today we went to Camdenton and got one. It's a 3/4 ton, extended cab '93 Ford. Only 89,000 miles on it. A bit dented up, but that made the price much less. It has lots of extras that we'd use on it, including a plate for a gooseneck trailer hitch, a winch set up on the front bumper, some other kind of odd hitch attachment on the back, A/C... He is pleased.

By the way, while I am talking about hubby. His drilling paid off. This past week he took and passed the test and is now a licensed well driller. He only missed one question; something about what sediment you'd find along a river. He actually got the following question correct; How much air pressure PSI (pounds per square inch-I think it is) would it take to push up a column of water that is 6 inches around and 100 feet tall? He KNEW, off the top of his head, the formula to calculate the weight of such a column; then he diddled on his calculator and came up with an answer that was about .30 off of one of the multiple choice answers. He has a mathematical mind. Good for him. I don't.

Anyway. The computer is a handy tool. Tonight I watched "Flywheel" on it. (Yes, Jel, I actually watched it. Now to get it back to you.)



"Flywheel" is a feel good Christian movie about a used car salesman. The movie was never intended to go national; it was supposed to be a local outreach deal. You can tell it's not really professional. But it has great moments. It's produced by Sherwood Baptist Church down in Georgia. They also did "Facing the Giants" and "Fireproof." I haven't seen "Facing the Giants"yet. It's about sports and doesn't interest me much. But then again, neither did used car sales.

The computer is good for lots of other things too, but I've run out of time for tonight.

Bye

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thanks for: Matilda


She's my furry little buddy. She was born here on the dairy, in the garage on the concrete floor behind a pile of old tires.

In the spring and summer she is a wild cat; never comes inside and doesn't ask for too much food.

In fall and winter during cold weather, like now, she turns into a pampered inside cat...at least at night. During the day she rambles all over outside, but at night she keeps my feet warm.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanks for: Swapping Sites

Like paperbackswap.com and swapadvd.com.

The only trouble is the books or DVDs I want have a waiting list a mile long. So I either have to suck it up and wait or shell out the dough and actually buy the book or DVD.

Normally I don't bother with popular fiction, but I happened to run across "Wicked-the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West" and I read it. And it was rather entertaining, even though I didn't really "get" the politics of the Oz that Gregory Maguire created. I have found the 3rd in the series, the Cowardly Lion's story, but I have yet to find "Son of a Witch" which is about Elphaba's (the WW of the W) son, Liir.

And because I find British TV series more interesting than US I'd like to get DVD sets of some of their series, like; Keeping up Appearances. Not to mention "The Tudors" or the complete Poirot set with David Suchet.

Well, I'll have to save up my credits and get on the waiting list.

Anyway, these sites are great for "free" entertainment.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanks for: Cow Squeezins...

Otherwise known as milk.

Rather an obvious thing to be thankful for on a dairy, don't you agree? But, there it is. Around here it's the white stuff that makes the green stuff...in more ways than one. Let me rephrase: ummm...it's the white stuff that brings in the dough.

Or: On the dairy it's the white stuff that keeps the wolf from the door.

Or: On the dairy milk is money. That pretty much sums it up.

So as long as people keep buttering their biscuits, topping their tacos with cheddar, making hot chocolate on snowy days, and pairing cake with ice cream, milk will always be something a dairy will be thankful for.

In other news.

Ellen was less than impressed with the snow we got a couple of days ago. She wouldn't have anything to do with it. Acted like it was going to scald her if we tried to get her to touch it.

This morning, in an effort to get her to eat more dairy products (she refuses to drink milk unless it's in a bottle, which I have almost eliminated from her diet) I put some cream cheese on her favorite crackers. She looked at them with a skeptical eye; "White...snow." she said, and would have nothing to do with them. "Here, Ellen, just taste one, I coaxed. "Nope! Snow!" she said, and pushed it away. I just laughed. How can you argue with that logic?

Kids.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanks for: In-Laws

There is a plethora of jokes about in-laws; mostly a wee tad on the negative side...ok, well, mostly WAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY over the line on the negative side. But I was really blessed when it came to getting in-laws.

We were kind of wondering about my brother, but he did a great job of finding a wife...even if he did have to go to Japan to find her on a military base in Okinawa. She was teaching English over there. Over the years she has been a great support to me, to our family and of course a great wife to my brother and mother to their children.

My family in turn, yes, they were all wondering about me too. And what really gets my goat is they didn't even blink an eye...or at least not where I could see them do so...when I told them I was quitting my job, packing my bags, leaving them all behind and hoofing it to the Mid-West to marry some internet dude. I guess it all turned out well in the end though. And, look what my mother-in-law gave us yesterday:



It's a turkey pie. She had lots of filling, she made two of them. And instead of putting it in the freezer she sent it up the road to us. Isn't that the best?!

Yes, my hubby's family has been very supportive over the past 4 years. As far as I know they didn't blink an eye when hubby told them he was getting married. Though MIL said she never thought he would marry. Ha. Anyway. They have helped us garden, rake and burn leaves, snap and can beans, given me recipes and plants and a place to sleep when we lost our power. Not mention babysitting. Of course they have their own reasons for doing that. Heh heh heh.

OK. It's almost bedtime. I'd better stop for now.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Month of Being Thankful

NaBloPoMo theme for December is THANKS. So my first thankful post is for:

Snow.

We got about an inch worth of "no accumulation" yesterday and last night. People in other climes might laugh at such a piddly amount, but to Ellen it was quite a big deal. Two new vocabulary words to work on: "white" and "snow." She didn't want to touch it, or taste it or anything too personal like that. She just wanted to look out the window at it and walk in it.

This morning as I was riding up the road in the semi-dark doing chores, snorting the snow out of nose as it blew in my face, and swiping it out of the feed bunks while trying to avoid being trampled by the cow critters, it occurred to me to wonder what there was about snow that I should be thankful for. Hmmmm....

*It rather makes me thankful for fall and spring weather. (There is very little that could make me thankful for summer weather in Missouri, except to be thankful for winter weather maybe, but that is for another post, perhaps.)

*Snow covers up all the dreary colors that winter weather creates.

*Snow sparkles in the sun.

*Only with snow can you create a snowman.

There. My first thankful post.