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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sleight of Hand

Here is something I have often wanted to capture on film over the past few years. Finally I actually had my camera in my pocket and managed to snap this a shot a few days ago.

When it is so hot during the summer months we often put our bottle calves in the bigger pen with the weaners (ummm...those are the calves who've been weaned off of the bottle). But in this enclosure there are no bottle holders for them, so you (meaning *I*) have to hold the bottles. Feeding one at a time is a joke because it'd take forever and you'd have to beat the others off with a stick. So your best bet is to feed them all at once; then it's over with. However this requires a special talent.

Three calves, three bottles, two hands and one camera=dairy sleight of hand.



In a still shot like this it would seem easy, but actually these little buggers are in constant motion; pulling on the bottle or "punching" at it with their noses, so you are constantly trying to juggle them to keep them steady. I prop the bottles on the fence, brace two against my hip and hold them steady with my right hand and then hold on to the other with my left hand.

Generally it works OK. But notice the middle calf, she likes to jerk on the nipple and get milk all over herself. She actually had it flipped all over her back and the back of the calf next to her. And a day or so ago she flipped it up into my face; up my nose and in my mouth. I'll be glad to wean her!

Then of course there's always an opportunist, whose forehead you can see at the bottom left corner of the pic; she wants to see if she can butt another calf off the bottle and get a slurp for herself; even though she's been weaned for a month.

Sometimes it's a rodeo trying to feed them.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Fall

This is my favorite time of year. I love fall weather, I love fall colors. I was married in the fall. Hunters are going to start getting rid of the pesky deer around here. (I sincerely hope!)

Leaves in the creek means 'tis the season for:
Hot chocolate
Spiced apple cider
Apples
Nippy weather
Nuts
Mums
Thanksgiving
hunting season
cool weather clothes
I get to wear fall colors again

Ummm...let's see, what else? In a couple of years it will mean school time for Ellen. That's hard to believe.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Get Rich Quick Scheme

Ellen has it all figured out.

A few weeks ago she and her aunt were playing a game in which Auntie put a penny under a puzzle piece and Ellen turned all of the pieces over until she found the penny. At which point she'd shriek and carry on like she'd found the motherload of gold. When it was time to leave Ellen took the penny; Auntie told her she could put it in her piggy bank. Last weekend this happened again. Ellen took great joy in putting the pennies in her piggy bank.

One day here at home she also found a nickle on the counter, one I'd rescued from the washing machine. Voila! Ellen trotted to her room to put it in her piggy bank. She was excited. She kept asking for more "pennies" to put in her bank. I found her a couple that had been lying around for a bit. You know how they tend to collect. She was mighty pleased.

Then this morning as I was fixing her breakfast I heard her talking about pennies. I went into the bedroom and found this scene:



Why ask for pennies when you can just go straight to the source and load up your piggy bank all by yourself?

That's just what she did. The little moneygrubber emptied my coin purse; quarters, dimes, nickles, pennies...all into her piggy bank. She didn't get over a dollar maybe. I am one of those annoying people who will scrounge around for the correct change when I am paying in cash...and I pay with cash ninety percent of the time.

Well, I can start collecting change all over again. Thanks to Ellen.