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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween

To answer the anticipated question; one I answered several times yesterday in town....no, I am not taking Ellen trick-or-treating. No, I did not even get or make her a costume. I seriously doubt she'd get anything out of going around begging for candy, except more sugary things that she doesn't need anyway. And I also doubt my ability to get her to dress up in anything odd looking anyway. She is proving to be picky about choosing what clothes she wears already.

I can't recall as I ever had the urge to go trick-or-treating when I was a kid. In gradeschool I remember dressing up because we had some stupid Halloween parade we had to do every year, from K through 6th grade I believe. But I was too naive back then to realize how dumb that was.

Once in Jr High (back in my day there was no such thing as "middle school")I went over and spent the night with a friend and we dressed up and went trick-or-treating. But that was it. It was fun, and I remember that night quite clearly. One guy made us each tell a joke before he'd give us anything.

When Ellen gets bigger and in school I will probably take her to some school party or something and if she wants to dress up she may, but I am not going to teach my kid to go begging every year. She gets enough without going out and begging for it.

That's my bah-humbug holiday story. Ha!

Friday, October 30, 2009

The last Friday of the month...

Last night I carved Ellen's pumpkin. She was more fascinated with what came out of it, rather than with the face I made in it. She keeps looking at the pumpkin and asking about what came out of it. I guess she had the idea it was hollow or something.

Today we went to town, Ellen and I, and as usual we went to the bank. We came out loaded down. She got her usual bag of popcorn, then a nice bank lady gave her a little bag of candy, and on the way out we got ourselves two of their free calendars.

I have joined NaBloPoMo for next month. I actually didn't join this month, which is a shame, because unless there is a problem tomorrow I will have succeeded at blogging every day.

There is no theme for November blogging, so I am thinking of what to blog about. Last year I saved up mail order catalogs for a week. This time I think I will try for the whole month and see what I get. Ha!

This morning before we went to town, we had to round up a cow from the dry herd up the road. This is always great fun after it has been raining off and on for 2 weeks because the mud in the corral is over your head...well, not really, but you don't escape unscathed. Hubby had to use the tractor instead of the truck to take the trailer up there and get her because the truck wouldn't have worked in the mud, even the 4W drive wouldn't have helped.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thirteen for Thursday

(I borrowed this concept from the Domestic Bliss blog, who borrowed it from Roots and Rings...I just modified it a bit, but want to give credit where credit is due.)

Thirteen for Thursday


1. What are you going to be for Halloween?

I'm going to be answering the door, if anyone comes at all. Usually we have only one family come and they are relatives.


2. Have you ever been on television?


Ummm...yes, inadvertently. Once in my former life in Portland, when I worked with the sheriff's department I had to go to a courtroom to get paperwork. It just so happened that they were having this big arraignment on some major newsworthy criminal, the courtroom was jammed with the news media. A co-worker and I both went together (we were too chicken to go by ourselves and get the pprwrk-haha) and ended up on the evening news on one channel.

3. Do you have a toilet paper preference?

The flap should hang down over the top. I prefer 2-ply, white.

4. When you’re pregnant, will you find out the sex of the baby? (Or if you’ve already had babies, did you find out the sex?) Why or why not?

We didn't find out the sex of the baby. Hubby likened that to opening a Christmas present before Christmas.

5. What are three items that every kitchen must have?

A very sharp never-needs-sharpening knife, a cast iron skillet, and someone other than myself to do the cleaning up.

6. Do you enjoy Christmas shopping?

Yes. Most of the time....as long as I have the money.

7. What is your go-to recipe? (The thing you cook more than anything else because it’s easy and mindless.) Please share the recipe.

Weeeeellll...I make my own meatballs (except mine are meat squares because I am too lazy to make up all those annoying little balls. I make up my meatball recipe, smoosh it into a 9X13 inch pan, bake until done and then cut up squares.) So when I am lacking imagination to think of something for supper. I heat up the meatballs in gravy, mash 'taters and have some sort of veggie.

Orrr...this is currently my favorite recipe: Brown boneless chicken breasts or tenders in skillet. Top with a large sliced onion. Mix 1 large (26-28 oz) can spaghetti sauce w/ 1/4 cup brown sugar, pour over chicken and onion, simmer for about 30 minutes or until juices run clear. Cook pasta, whatever kind you prefer. Serve chicken over warm pasta, along with veggies and whatever else you'd like. The great thing about this is that if you make too much, or have lots left over; it freezes well. Just thaw and enjoy again next week.

8. What position do you sleep in; back or side?


Side

9. How do you feel about Tom Cruise?

I dunno if I have ever even seen a Tom Cruise movie. I really don't have much of an opinion on him.

10. What books are in your “books to read” stack?

La, child, there are so many I'd have to list the type I don't like to read first. Ha. I am trying to slowly read all the "classics" so I can have an idea of what to guide Ellen into as she gets older.

11. How many times have you been out of the country?


Twice. Once to Mexico and once to Malaysia

12. If you could take a month's vacation in Hawaii or Alaska, where would you go?

Definitely Alaska. I have never had the desire to go to Hawaii. I'd prefer a cruise in Alaska or parts north like that. I want to see a glacier calve, watch the grizzlies fishing for salmon...that kind of thing.

13. What Internet site do you like to lurk in?

Homesteading Today. Though there are times I have lots of questions, too. And at this time of year they have the Christmas ornament exchange, where you sign up and exchange ornaments with someone. It's fun. They also have a Christmas card exchange, but I already send out so many cards that adding another 50 to the list would be insane.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hmmm...

Only 10 minutes to think of something trenchant to post for today. Tonight I will be going to church, so I won't have time to blog. Oops.

Well, for one thing. I don't think I like this new template, too much green, but I don't have time to change it now and I dunno what I'd like. I tried most all of the one offered and didn't like them much. Perhaps I'll just go back to what I've had the past year and a half. But I got bored with that. I guess I could get fancy with it, but since I am on dial-up those fancy ones take TOO long to come up.

Oh, well.

I made Irish Soda bread today. It's pretty good. I like bread. I wish I didn't like bread, but I do. It smells so good when it's baking.

Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Icky Apples

What does one do with icky apples?

A week or so ago I bought one of those bags of apples that were on sale at our local grocery store. They were on sale for a reason. Even Ellen wouldn't eat them. They are called "Paula Red," have very white flesh, and are terribly mushy and tasteless. Normally I go for the "Fuji" every time, but these, as I said, were at a bargain price. I must remember when I see a bargain at this store that they are the ones that put outdated food items (prepackaged stuff, like granola bars, International Food Coffees...etc) and even medications in their bargain bins for sale.

Anyway. I took the icky apples, peeled and sliced them, mixed a bit of sugar and cinnamon with them, put them in a pan, topped them with a mix of oatmeal, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon and butter and popped 'em in the oven.

They were quite palatable after they emerged.

Apple Crisp is such a very "autumn" thing to do, don't you think?

Monday, October 26, 2009

I made some butter...

Not that this is anything new really. I made up quite a bit of butter about three years ago, before Ellen was born. But this time I actually put it on the table to use. Mostly I'd used the butter I made previously for cooking and baking. At this time of year though the butterfat content of the milk tends to go up, since they aren't eating as much green grass, so I have quite a bit more cream to work with instead of putting it in coffee or cooking with it.

Hubby really liked the butter this time, so much so that I made another batch. He took some down for his mom and sister to try. He said when his Grandad used to have a cow, they'd get "cow butter" from them. But that it tasted "cow-y." He said this didn't taste cow-y. I said, "well, it's just sweet cream butter." I don't let the cream clabber first. Blech! Besides, when it is sweet, you can just put the "buttermilk" right into the milk jug and never know the difference. It's just REALLY skimmed milk.

The main trouble I have is getting the milk out of the butter and figuring out how much salt to put in it. I think I did a bit better with the salt on this second batch, but it was sure hard to get the liquid out of it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Big News, Big News!!

At least if you have lived in this area before this might be big news for you.

HA.

Someone bought the Windyville store, and she plans on opening it again. Yesterday she had a big yard sale there. She bought the big white house kitty-corner from the store and has lived there about a year.

There are some who remain skeptical about the whole deal, but we all wish her the best with her venture. They, she and her family, have come to our church once or twice and seem to be nice people, though I haven't met them. She is shooting for a grand opening in December.

Other news:

We had our monthly singing at church this evening. Every last Sunday of the month we do that. It was very nice. Afterwards there are treats in the back that everyone has contributed. It's great to get together and have fun like that, on an informal basis. Not that we are a formal church in any sense of the word. There's a father and son team there that play in a popular local band called "Potter's Wheel." They have played at Silver Dollar City, just a couple of weeks ago, I believe. Anyway, they do bluegrass gospel and really know how to get with it.

It has been raining most all day. And it's supposed to rain most of the coming week. Weird. We are hoping it doesn't continue on like this all winter; it would add up to quite a bit of snow and ice if it does.

Out of time for now.

Good night!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hooray for Agriculture!

I am tired of the same old lists of questions going around on Facebook and on email. I made this list up myself…have some fun with it. Feel free to add your own questions and pass it around.

Hooray for Agriculture!

1. Do you live on a farm? Yep, dairy.

2. What kinds of ag animals have you ever owned or raised?
Cows. At various different times while growing up we had horses, cows, rabbits, chickens, ducks, goats and one sad sheep.

3. Ever raised crops other than regular veggie garden? Once my dad raised about a quarter acre of wheat. Made us thresh it by hand too. I wasn’t impressed.

4. Ever been injured on the farm or by a farm animal? Once when I stayed overnight with my cousin one of her horses bit me. I don’t think I ever told her about it though. (That would be ML in ID-of course this was in CA at the time) I’ve never cared for horses since then.

5. Ever done any showing of your animals? Won any medals? No, never had anything I wanted to show.

6. Ever butchered your own animals? Do you eat what you sell? Ummm…I barely remember once my dad had a bull butchered. I was quite young at the time and had no idea what had really happened. I just remember people talking about it years after the fact. Here on the dairy we don’t raise our own meat. But, yes we drink the milk we produce.

7. Besides beef or poultry what other kinds of ag animals have you ever eaten? Goat and rabbit. They were given to us I believe.

8. Anything ever happened on the farm that made you laugh out loud? Many, many things. Once hubby sneezed so loud out in the corral that he scared the bull, who was dozing on his feet, and the bull did a cartoonish WHOOPA-WHOOPA thing with his feet and fell to his knees.

9. Ever had to help with the birth of an animal? Yes. I have watched hubby deliver calves often. Once out in the field the cow wouldn’t herd to the corral, she just lay down in a dozer pile. We couldn’t her to the trailer so hubby just hooked the ropes to the calf’s hooves, and we both dug in our heels and did a heavie-ho thing until the calf came out.

10. Ever raised any exotic ag animals? (Buffalo, ostrich, llamas…etc) No

11. Which do you think smells worse: a turkey farm or a cow lot? It definitely HAS to be the turkey farm!

12. Ever driven a tractor? Name off the brand names you have driven. Yes. Allis-Chalmer, Oliver,

13. Have you ever mowed, raked or baled hay? No, not yet, but I am sure it’s coming. I almost did some raking until it rained the night before.

14. Have you ever done any brush-hogging? Oh, yes, several hours’ worth.

15. Own or drive anything other than a pickup truck? Nope, no four-door vehicles on this dairy farm.

Friday, October 23, 2009

This week is almost over...

Thank God.

What random mundane dairy details can I relate today?

With his undefeatable determination hubby got that load of wood up the hill today and got it split and stacked.

I did the dreaded weekly shopping trip today. Ellen actually did really well; she didn't even throw a fit. But then again, we only went to 2 stores.

Yesterday I tried a new cake recipe. Actually I have had the recipe for awhile, just never tried it before. It's called Candy Bar Cake and involves a layer of caramel, choco chips and nuts in the center of the cake. I didn't have a devil's food cake mix, or a box of instant choco pudding, so I used a German Chocolate mix and a box of vanilla pudding, and it seemed to do well. Hubby doesn't care for nuts in things, so I skipped those too. It was still really good, as far as cake goes. I'm not much of a cake fan.

It has been blowing and raining off and on the past couple of days, so we have a veritible carpet of leaves all over. We are probably going to mow them this year, instead of burn them.

I am about ready to start advertising these kittens, to get rid of them, that is. Though I doubt anyone will want the little gray one. He is lame in one leg, doesn't use it at all. And the orange one is so homely, not to mention a female. Well, we shall see.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I feel so bad...

Last night at church I heard some really sad news. One of the families from church lost a family member (I think it was a cousin, but not sure)to a freak accident. The man took his 8 year old son out to cut wood on Tuesday. A tree fell on the father and killed him, in front of his son. So here I was on Tues celebrating my husband's escape from a freak death and somewhere in the area on the same day a lady lost her husband and a little boy saw his father killed. (The family is from Urbana and is new to the church so I don't know where this happened or even remember the name that was mentioned.)

On my Facebook entry one neighbor (who knows what she's talking about) commented that widowhood happens in the strangest ways and often there's no warning. And that's the truth. Like I said in one of my responses; often it's the everyday things that will get you. The things you do on an everday basis that you start taking for granted, and suddenly something weird happens and BAM! You are gone. It pays to be ready to go.

For instance I think it was just a week or two ago, during a storm a dairyman from Phillipsburg went out to check on a fresh cow and calf. He was struck by lightning and killed. And it wasn't in a major storm, just a little thunder off to the west or north. So now his widow and 17 year old son are going to make a go of it and try to keep the dairy going. The man was only 41, from Mexico. He'd just got his citizenship. I go out and do chores in storms all the time. It's scary.

We get "The Budget" which is the Amish/Mennonite weekly newspaper. I'd never thought about it before but they live a highly dangerous lifestyle. We are forever reading about freak accidents they have with horses, machinery, motor vehicles hitting their buggies; you name it. So many people maimed or killed by things they do every day.

Well, enough on the depressing stuff. Whoever you are, wherever you are: BE CAREFUL!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Pic from the Recent Past


Here is a picture I took back not long after we were married. We were doing some landscaping out back here and hubby was using the Oliver tractor to blade out a pile of dirt. So this is what it looked like before.

I haven't taken a pic of it since he got it turned over. But this morning I heard it chugging up the hill, a little the worse for wear, but still going. He'd taken the hood off of it, and the front white grill, along with the exhaust pipe. As you might imagine it leaked quite a bit of fluids all over, so when he initially tried to start it there was smoke and it wouldn't fire straight off. He took one spark plug out, tried it again and said a jet of flame shot out to the side-a combo of gas and oil in it. He hopped off and blew on it to get it out. *sigh* But then it did fine, except for a bit more smoking. Amazingly enough neither of the two lights were broken or even bent at all. You can just barely see them mounted on either side just over the back wheels.

Poor little feller, he'll probably never look the same again.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Keep us Safe..."

This is something we usually pray over our breakfast every day. And more than once in the past 5 years I have lived on the dairy, I have been thankful that the Lord hears our prayers.

Today was a great example of that. It was about 1 pm and hubby comes in the door and announces that I almost became a widow this afternoon. Hmmm...

He went down into the creek bottoms to get a load of firewood. The road back up is very steep and, after the recent rains, very muddy. Something went wrong with the little Oliver tractor; he started slipping backwards, the clutch started slipping too, and it just kept going backwards until it was jack-knifed. The wood trailer was up on top of the tractor, which was tipped over. Here is what it looked like initially:



It could so easily have gone straight over on him. We brought the other tractor down and tried to pull the Oliver out from under the trailer. It just wouldn't work because the trailer was wedged on the back wheel of the Oliver. This is what that looked like:



Then hubby tried to push the trailer off of the tractor, using the hayspike. But that wouldn't work either. You can't really see in the pictures but it's right on the edge of a little ravine. But as he was pushing at it the whole shebang started slipping and over the embankment it went. I nearly cried. The poor Oliver:



He shook his head, looked at it a bit, then went and got the battery out of it and looked at it again. One of his first comments was; "That's a pretty good hitch."



The perspective is kind of weird in this photo, but if you look closely you can see that this is the belly of the Oliver and the hitch is bent clear back over to the left, that is the trailer tongue over on the left.

Anyway. An hour later the Oliver, a bit battered with the hood and radiator skewed a bit, was up on all fours again. Somehow he used the bulldozer to get it righted. The steering wheel wasn't even bent. He can't start it yet because the fan would hit metal, but once that's adjusted it'll be hauling wood again. Maybe not from the creek bottoms though...

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Lovely Fall Day

It's quite warm today; almost 70 degrees. Kind of breezy, but that's nice. The clothes sure dried fast.

The bugs are really out flying around. The Asian lady bugs are swarming at the doors and windows. Ugh! They stink when you squish them.

Hubby and I have been getting in wood and doing other winterizing things. I have to clean out the garden beds. Plus we have leaf raking and mowing to look forward to. After what happened to his Aunt last year I doubt we will try burning any this year. I am sure she won't burn any either; at least not alone again.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another random photo...


I just went to my picture files, clicked on one and voila, Boston Cream Pie...the fast way. I dunno but what I have posted this pic on here before. It looks good; maybe I should try it again.

I need to bake a cake tomorrow. I want to try something different. I need to get back into trying to make pies; real pies. The last time I made a pie, outside of a pumpkin pie for Christmas last year, I forgot the sugar in it. *sigh* Hubby said that zucchini pie without the sugar resembles what a green persimmon pie might taste like. HA!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What kind of plant is this?


Actually it's a vegetable. You can see that this pic was taken back in June when it first started coming on, by now there are so many shoots you can't see the ground. This is what asparagus does when you don't pick it. I just got them this last spring and you aren't supposed to pick them until the 3rd year after the seed was sown. So I will be able to pick them this coming spring, as I got them as 1 yr root stock. I can't wait to have another vegetable FREE from the garden.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Calzone


For want of anything else to post I have been taking random pictures of things. Here is a picture of supper the other night.

I like making these because I it makes up a double recipe for us. I cook and freeze half and then take a break from cooking a couple of nights down the road. When I make up this recipe it usually makes four meals for us, so it's fairly economical. I just pair it with homegrown veggies or a salad. Hubby usually likes the fresh stuff from the garden; like sliced tomatoes, or peppers or radishes. Right now the winter radishes are coming along nicely.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Story Time


This was a shot I couldn't resist. Ellen loves to read. She will set up her stuffed animals and dolls and read to them. Sometimes just one or two, sometimes a whole line up. This time she decided to read to the kitten, and the kitten seems to be very attentive.

This yellow kitten continues to amaze me. I am quite sure she must have been the runt of the litter and didn't get any colostrum before she and her litter mates were chucked off to the side of the road. She just seems more frail and is just a bit behind in her milestones. The grey kitten is now weaned off the bottle, but this yellow one just doesn't quite get how to lap milk up yet. She does eat some solids, but not enough.

Anyway, yesterday just before I went to church last night she started acting weird; acted weak like she couldn't walk and was barfing and well, going from the other end as well. I thought she was a goner. But when I came home she acted weak a bit still, but was hungry and looking for food. Today she is right as rain. You wouldn't know anything was wrong. Hmmm...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sundog



While we were on the hayride Saturday evening we were happily putt-putting along through the pasture when someone pointed out to me what was happening with the sun.

To the left of the setting sun appeared a seemingly second sun. Sometimes they will occur on both sides of the sun. This phenomena is called a "sundog" and is a great forecaster of rain. Somehow the moisture in the atmosphere causes a sundog to occur.

But, sure enough, in less than 36 hours it was raining. And it has been overcast here ever since. Not to mention being drizzly and wet as well. HA!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hayride Chapter Two

OK. To begin where we left off. After we saw the demons cast out of the crazy man we went putt-putting over to do the traditional tug of war; which represented the battle between good and evil. This picture is the losing side, and ironically enough that would be the real and bonefide County Sheriff as the anchor on the losing side. He picks his sides much better in real life, rest assured of that.



After the evil side was defeated; twice, just to be sure they were trounced good and proper, we went to where Saul and Stephen were hanging out in one of the back pastures. Saul was happy to have us show up so the kids could help him stone Stephen with the bucket of black water balloons sitting conveniently at hand. Of course the kids were happy to comply. And Stephen, played by one of Ellen's cousins, was a good sport because despite the sunshine, it was very cool and windy that evening. However, I managed to catch a picture of Stephen apparently losing his cool and hurling a "stone" back at someone. This is actually very funny because he is the nicest, most laid-back guy in the church, and to catch him looking mean is a rare thing.



Once Stephen was soaked good and proper we loaded back up again and headed off to the pumpkin patch. The host family actually grows these, along with little decorative gourds for the kids to take home every year. Ellen was quite proud of her prize and nearly had a fit when I set it down to pick up a couple of gourds. She insisted we carry her pumpkin in our laps the rest of the ride.



After getting pumpkins we headed off to the actual fish fry. It was very nice and everyone contributed something, so there was so much food there. Afterwards, for the younger ones, they had a "Candy in the Haystack" scramble. They had 2 different piles of hay that they hid candy in. Each child was given a small paper sack and on the count of three they all dove in. Ellen was too shy to do that, but she got some of the candy, snagged by a couple of caring adults.



All in all we had a wonderful time and are looking forward to next year already.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hayride 2009

Here are some photos from the annual church hayride and fish fry. It was great fun as always, though this time was better than the last, for various reasons. For one thing Ellen could walk this year; last year she hadn't started walking yet, so it was rather a pain. Then for another, it was shorter; last year it went on for over 2 HOURS and was just interminable; too many skits that went on and on and on... This year it ended in time for us to be able to actually see what we were eating during the fish fry! YAY! Also this year the location of the fish fry was up closer to the main residence; not down on the river with the mosquitoes.

Anyway; everyone had a great time; there were no disasters (even though the kids running on top of the hay bales nearly gave me heart failure), and the food was great, as always. (Though someone DID forget to bring forks!)

Here is a pictorial tour:

We were in the last wagon, so it was a great spot to get a panoramic shot of the procession ahead of us.



The first skit was the testimony of the two women who found Christ arisen from the tomb, Mary Magdalen and Mary the mother of James. This was done by two teen girls from the church who did a fabulous job.




The next skit was of the crazy man in the tombs who Jesus delivered from demons; casting them from the man into a herd of swine. The crazy man was played by a very nice young man who did such a great job at being "crazy" that "Jesus" (our pastor in disguise) got so tickled he couldn't do his part for laughing. The poor crazy man had to stay crazy a little longer until Jesus got his serious demeanor back. It was also at this point, while the demons were being cast out in very loud strident tones, that Ellen decided she didn't like this skit at all and began crying and wanting to go home. (She was so scared she was shaking.)



Well, this is going so slow I am going to have to post it and add to it tomorrow.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Under the Wire

Just a quick post to say that I HAVE posted today. Will try and not be so busy tomorrow.

HA!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Popcorn Caper

Our wonderful local bank always has free popcorn every Friday morning. In the past couple of months I have been letting Ellen have a little bag on our way out whenever we go to the bank. She used to get all excited about the little Dum-Dum sucker they'd give her, but NOW she has to have the popcorn.

Well, horror of horrors, yesterday the popcorn machine was out of order! AAARRRGGGGG!!!! We went in and it was empty! She just kept looking at it the whole time I was with the teller. All the gals in there, most of whom know our whole family, kept watching her and saying 'uh-oh.' One handed her a sucker, but she rejected it straight off and threw her dolly down on the floor in protest. She wasn't vocal about it just yet though.

It was when we headed out the door, past the empty popcorn machine that they tears started. "Want my popcorn!" she wailed and sat her little two-year-old self on the floor. "Want my popcorn!"

The tellers, being very good-natured, made sympathetic noises and told me to either go to the downtown branch, whose machine was working, or to wait an hour and come back as that branch was going to deliver some bags to them.

Well. Being the softie that I am I couldn't deny my kid her once a week go to town treat, so we headed to the downtown bank. ("Downtown" being just a couple miles away) Ellen moaned all the way there, but was happy when she got her bag of popcorn.

Of course in the grocery store I cleaned most of it up off the floor. But what can you do? It kept her occupied for most of the shopping trip; which is the main reason I let her have it in the first place.

Ha!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Cow Quirks (and a note to Solomon)

(*Solomon...I keep trying to get to your blog, but it won't let me log in, no matter how many different passwords I try, or how often I try to enter them. Once I get a new password it rejects it when I try to enter it...sorry)

One tends to think of cows as...well...just cows, doing their thing; grazing, chewing their cud, giving milk. It never occurred to me before I came here that cows could have so many different personalities and quirks. Some of them, no matter how long they have been milking, will kick the milkers off every time they come in the barn. Some of them, when they are out in the dry lot, won't bother to come into the corral to eat. "Just grass or hay for me, please."

Then there's this one we have. She's a first calf heifer, been fresh (milking) about 2 months. For the first maybe 6-7 weeks she does fine. Then suddenly last week she starts hacking and yakking in the feed bunk during the milking. And every time she hacks, she throws up her feed. Hubby has had them do this before sometimes for a feeding or two when they first start milking, but never had one so consistent about it. It's so gross. She yaks up just about all of the feed he puts out, and he only puts out about half rations for her now, and messes up the bunk so none of the other cows will eat anything. So he has to shovel it out. He makes her wait to be the very last cow in the barn.

Well, there it is. Another gross post from down on the dairy.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

It's raining, It's pouring...

and it's only day 8 and I am having trouble coming up with something to blog about.

Ha.

They predicted up to 6 inches of rain in some areas today. So far we have just less than 2 inches, so I guess we are doing pretty well.

The kittens are growing like 60. They are almost weaned (thank You Lord!) and are working on getting litter box trained. They seem to train themselves almost.

I've started doing Christmas shopping. Does everyone know what they want for Christmas? I don't know for myself yet even, but I have to come up with some kind of list for my husband. He always wants a list for birthdays and Christmas, but never responds in kind. But that's nice in a way because I usually get what I want and he can't complain about what I get him because he didn't give me a hint or anything.

Ellen has developed this new "thing" for following me around the house, hollering, "Hey, Mama, wait up!" As if I am going to disappear into thin air or slip away before she can catch me. Where she got the "wait up" phrase is a mystery; but probably from some one of these shows she watches.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wild Heifer

Last night we milked a first-calf heifer. I always hate having to train them to the milking barn; you never know what they will be like. Well, this one, #63, came into the barn easily enough, and I cleaned and dipped her.

Then hubby put the milker on her and things started going downhill. She said; "Hey, somethin's got hold on me and I don't like it." So she started lunging and kicking around.

Hubby put the kick-stopper on her, but even that didn't help. Suddenly she was lunging and kicking around anyway. She did this little hop-and-lash-out trick with her hindquarters and caught hubby on the bicep with her hoof. It knocked him backward a couple of feet. He didn't even know what had hit him, but I saw it happen. It freaked me out because it looked like she'd caught him on the chest. It just happened so fast there was no time to do anything but ask if he was OK.

He is OK, but he has a nice black goose-egg on his left arm.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Revisiting Malaysia Pictures

Is this a hoot or what? Ha Ha! While in Malaysia back in '03 I think it was, I went to a photo studio and had some pictures made. They had you choose a few different "themes" for the shoot. Here is the cowboy one, complete with fake hair:



Here is the butterfly one:



And here is a halfway decent one:




Funny stuff!

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Calf Chase Morning

Yesterday we got two new calves. (To go with the new calf we got Saturday) They were both from first calf heifers down with the bull, which necesitates some tricky working to get them and their mothers out of there.

I waited 'til daylight to go down and do the feed and capture thing. I got all the extraneous animals, including the bull, trapped in the corral so hubby could come down later and try and lead the new moms across the road into a different field.

He did manage to find the calves, but one cow wouldn't follow and the other one only followed part way, he had to leave her in the open field. So I find myself going BACK up there (the 2nd trip with the 4-wheeler) and catching one cow in the corral. After that we take the truck and the 2 calves back up there. We get the cow that's in the corral with no trouble. Even the bull was tired of the whole thing by then.

We shove the other calf under the fence to be with her mother (who was back at the fence looking for her). But this calf has a momentary lapse of sense and goes galloping up the fence and lunges back through it, away from her mother. Hubby goes charging after her, shoves her back under, only to have to run a couple hundred yards along the fence after her to continue shoving her back through at intervals. The mother herself was also trotting along, helpfully lowing at the calf as if in encouragement.

Hubby finally gave up and just let them go and hoped the calf stayed in the field with her mother. I guess we will find out tomorrow.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cooking With Ellen

This morning we made "doubled" eggs. I sliced the eggs in half, put the yolks in a bowl with mustard, salad dressing, salt and pepper, and then, with a tricky bit of hand work, we both smooshed them together.

Then Ellen counted the "nests" ...you know, the white halves of the eggs, as I filled them.

Voila- "doubled" eggs.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Blog Post Number 400

Yay! I need to blog more though.

Today I took a cake recipe and converted it from pumpkin to sweet potato. I had a bumper crop of sweet taters this year and am determined to use them up for once. So I am going to find recipes that call for pumpkin puree and substitute sweet potatoes. This particular recipe is a Bundt cake. It turned out well, smells good, but it's not cooled and glazed yet, so it is still untested. I hope it has a pretty color.

Some motorcycle club must be having a big run today; so far more than 20 riders have gone by in separate little groups. It's funny; when I moved out here from Portland, the last thing I expected was groups of motorcycles going whizzing past. But this is one of their through roads, I guess. One of the neighbors up the road is a serious biker I believe.

That's all for today.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Haunting Theme post

This month's NaBloPoMo theme is "haunting" and today is a good day to talk about such. It's a regular October day out there; blustery and whirling with leaves.

Not being the superstitious type I wouldn't say that I have ever been haunted, in the ghostly way. I guess I have been haunted by things in the past; things I've done or haven't done. That would all probably fall under the "regrets" catagory as well I believe.

(Ummm...excuse me...Ellen's puzzle is barking at me. Yes, it is. It's one of those sound puzzles and she left a piece out of it. The light is hitting is just right to activate the dog barking.)

One thing I regret is not being more outspoken in my younger years. I was too worried about what people thought of me. Who gives a rip? But I guess that is something most of us feel as we age.

One thing I was told I'd regret but I don't is my not going to the senior prom in high school. I didn't want to get then, I wouldn't go now if I had a chance. Who cares?

I think one of the main things I am haunted by is the fact that I lost touch with so many friends from high school after graduation. Perhaps the fact of growing up and growing apart enters into the equation, but mostly in my case I believe it was more my being totally socially incompetent; embarrassed by who I was and not knowing how to change myself.

Well, that's enough haunting for now. It's too depressing. Ha!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Starting off with a Splat

This month I am going to try to gear up for NaBloPoMo next month. Meaning that I am going to try posting every day. TRY being the operative word.

Normally one starts things off with a bang, but seeing as how I live on a dairy I thought I'd start it off with a splat. In previous posts I have warned my reading audience that I would visit this subject again, so here it is.

On the dairy one has to get used to...ummm...doo, as it were. We get as much of that as we do milk. With 2 orphaned kittens to take care of, I deal with it on a smaller scale as well. Now with hubby in the septic installation business, the whole subject has multiplied. But actually this story came from one of his well-drilling magazines (I don't remember if it was National Driller, or International Driller), in an article by a dude who does water-witching. (Yes, water-witching is still quite popular and merits a different post I would guess.) It is really disgusting and hubby was kind enough to wait until AFTER we had eaten supper to tell it to me. Ha

Seems this water-witch guy went over to this family's house to witch them a place for a new well. They had a hand-dug well out back of their house, with a cement cover over it. Seems they were told they needed a new well because an in-law had come visiting and got a SEVERE case of e-coli, had to be hospitalized. The only thing they could trace it back to was the water.

So the WW guy looks over about 10 feet from the well cover to see another similar cement structure in the back yard. He asks what it is.

"Oh," the man of the house replies. "That is our septic tank. We dug and installed that too."

Turns out they'd made it out of cement blocks. Very porous cement blocks. Only ten feet away from their well. Do you get the picture? It had been like that for many years. They were immune to it because they'd lived with it like that for so long.

Now: enjoy your popcorn, or carrot stick, or candy bar...or whatever you might have been eating while you were reading this. HA HA HA!!!