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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Second Birthday pic


Here is Ellen on her "motorcycle." That is what she calls it. Her dad got this for her in lieu of a Radio Flyer wagon, which was too expensive. Not that this was cheap by any means, but she loves it, so it's all good.



She had a great birthday party; such as it was. She got quite a load of loot and was very pleased with herself.

The only toy she isn't quite sure of is the animated Tigger that plays a song and "bounces" when you squeeze his tail. She says she doesn't like it. But I am sure she will get used to it eventually.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Two days of Excitement

Oh for a peaceful day!

Well, so far today actually hasn't been TOO bad, but there are still quite a few hours left.

This is Ellen's birthday; a big 2 years old! I haven't taken any pictures of her yet, but I will later on. At least I will try. The trouble with trying to get her pic is that instead of standing there she follows me around trying to get a look at the baby in the viewfinder of the camera. It's annoying.

Anyway.

On Wednesday afternoon I had just got the baby down for her nap when my Portland sis in law called. It was nice to hear from her and as we were chatting amiably about family news I looked out the window and saw my husband charging across the front lawn. I looked the other way and here comes my mother in law from the other direction. Hubby charged off the again and MIL went around the corner of the house to the garage. I went to the window and saw hubby with hoses on his shoulder, he saw me and hollered something at me through the window and ran off to the garage. They roared off to the west in the truck.

All the while I am concentrating on my phone conversation, yakking away and not really computing what was going on. I went outside and looked off to the west. I could see a plume of white smoke going up over to where hubby's grandpa and aunt live. In the back of my mind I think, "hmmm...not really big. No reason to panic."
About that time SIL has to go so we hang up. I go back in and have a quick internal debate; "Should I go up there? What if I get in the way? Should I get the baby up?" Then I go back outside and look again; there are now huge flames and black smoke.

I crammed the phone in my pocket (I dunno how THAT could have helped, but one tends to not think at such times) ran inside, snatched the baby up from her nap, tore outside and into the truck and went up there.

To shorten a long story; it was a leaf fire that got away from them. The wind wasn't really bad, but just enough to get it out of control. They lost an old barn that was full of ancient hay and a few odds and ends that they had. He, Grandpa, lost an old antique tractor, an old motor, and few other things. The main thing that really hurt was that they lost their rear-tine rototiller, the only one that Aunt can start and use in her garden.

But thank the Lord they are both OK: exhausted and scared, but alive and well, which is what really counts.

That was Wednesday.

Last night during milking time we had a big thunder-boomer blow over. Hubby called me and told me to take the baby and go to his mom's because there was a tornado over Buffalo and headed our direction! So for the second time in 2 days I found myself grabbing the baby and fleeing, this time in the opposite direction.

But the tornado, thank You Lord again, didn't touch down and the storm was gone within about 20-30 minutes. Hubby only had had 12 cows left to do so we left Ellen at her grandma's and went and finished milking. It was so eerily still, but we could see lightning flickering in the north and east of us. And in the air outside it smelled like Christmas; from the hail having bruised the cedar trees.



We have decided that birthday times are too exciting in this family. Last year on Ellen's birthday the neighbor's house burned down and on SIL b-day we did have a tornado go through Buffalo.

Please let it be boring next week.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cold, calves and schools

It has been cold here in the Ozarks the past few days. Temps well below freezing. I am so looking forward to spring, even though it means more work; gardening and such.

We had two calves arrive this weekend; one on Fri and one Sat. Both heifers. We are glad they are heifers, bull calves are hard to get rid of nowadays. You practically have to give them away. We were selling them for $150, but now they are barely bringing $25 at the auctions.

The price per 100 weight of milk is supposed to plummet, but I am quite sure that won't be reflected in the grocery stores.

The big news here in town is that they are going to try and close the local grade school-grades K-5, I believe it is, and merge it with the main shool in Buffalo. Most of the locals are up in arms about it. They are having a school board meeting tonight and will hear public comments on it. The opponents have chosen 5 spokespersons. We are curious as to the results of it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Randomness

There hasn't been much going on in the dairy lately. Well, last week we did do some dehorning. We need to do more this week but hubby has been busy helping with this house that is going in a few miles away; he's hauled gravel and dug ditches...etc.

Recently an email pal and I were talking and we both discovered that our husbands are of the same mind in the changing of their daughters' diapers; they refuse to do so based on the fact that they don't think they ought to be "down there" on their daughters for any reason. Hubby doesn't even like being in the same room when I am changing her diaper. It doesn't bother me. He'd probably get it on upside down anyway. ha.

Last week at the business meeting at church I made the proposal that we ought to have quarterly Wed night youth meetings; in which the kids are in charge of the service and we do some fun activity. It being my idea of course, I am in charge of this. The 5 regular Wed night kids are thrilled with the concept and already have ideas for it. I am encouraged by this because I feel that the more they are involved the more they will feel they "own" their church, and their faith, and the more they will stick with it. If that makes any sense.

So our first Youth meeting will be a cookie swap; the Wed before Easter. I am praying it will go well.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Gift from the West Indies



Sister in law got back from her cruise in the islands last week. She brought us a unique condiment from her travels; Banana Ketchup. Really it tastes much more like mustard, much spicier than tomato ketchup. But it's good. We like it. The banana taste is very prominent and makes it naturally sweet.

From SIL's descriptions I don't think I'd be the type to want to take a cruise. I don't think I could take the sea-sickness factor. Not my thing. Also, she said that all they really got to see were the touristy areas, not very much of going out into the real country side. Then again, pretty much all of those islands down there depend on tourism to even survive.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Poo in a Purse

OK. I now know for sure that men never do grow up.

This past week hubby was down at the place where the renters used to dump all their trash. He found an old purse. Thinking back to his younger days he took it, put a couple of dried cow pies in it and put it out in the road.

This is an old country trick. You do this, hide in the bushes and wait for a car to come to a roaring halt and pick up the purse. You watch to see how far they go before the purse comes flying back out the window.

He didn't stay to watch, but the purse disappeared. It is nowhere to be found in either direction.

His theory;

"Wal, lookee here, here's a right fine purse I could give to Maw on Valentine's day. I'll dump out the poop and it'll look right nice for her."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

More this and that...mostly Ellen again

Kids are so funny when they are starting to talk. I wanted to record a couple of Ellen's phrases.

"Watchuhdune?" This is the question she asked me this morning. She was sitting in her highchair coloring and while she was so occupied I hustled into the bathroom to clean the shower. As soon as she heard the spray hitting the shower stall I heard her little voice; "Watchuhdune?" Translation: "What are you doing?" I slid open one of the doors. Again the little voice answered; "Mommy clean shower."

"Em-eye-innaway?" Another question she asked me this morning. I had my feet up on the footstool and she wanted by. She gets this from my sarcastic (which I said I was going to try and avoid)question to her during our kitchen time. We have, as I heard a former music pastor say, a One-Butt kitchen. When two people try to occupy the kitchen at once there isn't much room to turn around. So anyway, while I am doing dishes she'll try and shove in and open the kitchen drawers to drag out various bits of flatware and other cooking items. So I would ask her: "Am I in your way?" Thus, now whenever anything in is her way, that is what she says.

Friday, February 6, 2009

This and That

It is warmer here in the Ozarks. After a snow and freeze that means that everything is squishy outside. But it is nice to be able to have the windows and patio door open and air things out in here.

Ellen is getting her 2 yr molars in (I guess that's what they are called) and is kind of grumpy. But so far she is sleeping fairly well during the nights. This might be because she isn't taking much of a nap during the day though. I guess it all equals out.

Our two main issues with Ellen now are:

1)She won't drink milk. I have kept her on the bottle WAAAAYYY longer than I ought to have for this reason. She will look dubiously into a cup of milk and then push it away. Refuses to even taste it. I figured once I took her off the bottle completely she would start to drink it. But no. Warmed up? Nuh-uh! Cold? Not a chance! In a sippy cup? Nope! With chocolate in it? A couple of sips and that's all. I give her cheese, yogurt and ice cream. That's all I can think of. Oh, and a supplement of course. I'll ask the doc at her next appointment and see what she says. What a problem to have in a child raised on a dairy.

2) She has a horrible temper. For the most part she is pretty quiet. But let something annoy her and she will grab the first thing that comes to hand and give it a fling, vocalizing loudly in some way at the same time. This is fairly normal for this age I realize, but still we are trying to address it NOW before it gets out of hand.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Winter Walk

Here are a few pictures from my walk the other day. It was nice to get out and get the cobwebs cleared out of my head.



This first one is just a shot to remind me that I am not the only one who walks down in the creek bottoms; most of these tracks are either coyote, deer or turkey. It was interesting to see them all criss-crossing in the snow.



The second here is a turkey track up close. I didn't have the forethought to put my boot in the pic so you could get an idea of size, but rest assured, a big bird leaves a big track. I went down into the creek bed and walked along and kept seeing more and more turkey tracks that looked to me (a tracking neophyte) fairly fresh. I didn't go too far before I saw the whole flock take off running up the hill ahead of me; too far away and too quickly to get a picture of them.



In the creek bed, to my surprise, I found standing water. This was the largest pool of it. All along I had been feeling sorry for the wildlife and wondering how they get water, but apparently that wasn't a concern. There were no tracks around this pool. There was one other smaller pool I saw before this one, I walked up to it, heard ominous creaking under the snow as I approached, at that point I fled, trying to do so very delicately. HA!



This final picture is just proof that 40-year-olds are still kids too. On my way back across the field I couldn't help but start a snowball and push it until it was killing my back to push it anymore. Then I just left it.

I didn't take a pic of any coyote tracks; they just look like dog tracks. But there was one spot where there was a scattering of them; more than one animal I presumed, along with a couple of patches of yellow snow. I wondered if they'd had a little meeting there.

Never fear; I neither sampled the yellow snow nor included it in the snowball. I wonder if they came along and piddled on it later that night. How insulting! Ha!