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Monday, March 31, 2008

Quickest post ever....

Tornadic activity in the area today. Town east of us got hit. Lots of thunder storms so haven't been able to even hook up computer, even have to disconnect phone line. Power out for two hours.


But, yeehaw, I posted every day of this month!!!!!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Anticipating Spring produce

Here is a picture of some radishes we grew the first spring I was here. They were pretty good, although husband is more radish crazy than I am. He likes onions better than I do as well, though I love to use them for cooking.

This weekend we got some onion sets and onion plants to put out, so hopefully we will have produce for this year pretty soon.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Another Sign of Spring

Here is yet another sign that spring is springing, as it were. The turtles in the ponds start coming out and sunning themselves. Of course, since I took this picture we haven't had any warm turtle friendly days, but at any rate this one enjoyed himself.

The first spring I was here, along in late spring maybe, the gal turtles started little migrations across the yard to lay eggs. It was fascinating to watch them try to pick a spot. They'd do little test scratchings here and there, then they would pick a spot and create mud, I am guessing they'd urinate copiously to do so. Then they would use their hind legs/flippers and dig a good sized hole and lay the eggs. Then they'd cover the hole back up and use their bodies to pack it down really well. After they were finished you couldn't tell that anything had been done, except for the fact that it was damp. But usually the skunks dig up the eggs and eat them. If not the skunks then probably the 'possums or armadillos. I tried protecting one spot, but nothing hatched or crawled out. I love to see the baby turtles.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Round Up in the Creek Bottoms

For lack of time, thought and originality here is a photo from a couple of years back when my nephew was visiting. Riding an ATV and helping with roundup was one of his favorite activities. This also shows a nice shot of what it's like in the bottoms in June.
Very pastoral.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Certain Magic

There is a certain magic, an intense satifaction I suppose, in being able to take raw materials and create something from them. I guess that is what fuels the whole scrapbooking or any kind of craft craze.

Husband needed some boards to fix the new trailer he bought to haul his backhoe. So day before yesterday he fell a few trees and then yesterday he fired up the sawmill for the first time in well over a decade I suppose, maybe even longer, and sawed up some lumber. I was called upon to help move and/or pile up the scrap stuff and lumber as it came off the saw.

The screech of the saw, the smell of freshly cut wood, the weight of the lumber as we stacked it, all added up to a small taste of the primal joy the first settlers must have felt as they cut logs and built their cabins and carved lives for themselves from nothingness.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Free Cement

Just a short post today; too many things to do, namely take care of the squalling child tugging at my knee.

Yesterday husband was getting ready to leave the place for an hour or so when a cement truck pulls in. He went over to talk to they guy, who says that the neighbor was having concrete poured for some pilings and would husband like the leftovers for free.

Husband is never one to pass up on free stuff. So we now have a nice new concrete pad out back of the milk barn.

The Lord is good.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Yet more randomness

1. We have only 3 dry cows up the road; all three are "fluffing up" (their udders that is) so they will be calving within a couple of weeks.

2. Husband did some dehorning on Saturday, so there are a bunch of soreheads up the road. But they are all doing fine. There are a few more to do but we have to wait until we can get them caught in the corral. They are the ones that don't normally go in when we feed them because the older ones chase them out. Do cows have pecking orders? Oh, yes they do. I was going to blog on the dehorning and take a few pics, but I guess not. It's not fun anyway.

3. There is one heifer that is down in the open heifer lot. That is, she has a hoof problem and won't/can't get up and walk. Husband carts her food, water and what grass he can get every morning. I hope she recovers.

4. We moved all 15 calves from the weaner pen into the ummm...bigger calf lot this past weekend. You should have seen them cavorting around, all excited about something new. Then as time goes on they realize that things are different and they stand around and bawl off and on for a couple of hours. They seem to have settled in pretty well by now though.

5. This morning various members of the milking herd went over and stood by the gate to go down into the bottoms. They looked so anxious; they are tired of hay and want some grass. Husband said he saw them there, but since he had tried it last week and there wasn't any grass down there yet for them to get they'd have to tough it out and eat hay for another week or two until the weather warms up. It was 19 degrees yesterday morning when I went out to do chores. Ugh.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Country Sayings

One of the things that fascinates me about country living is the different colorful sayings that are used to illustrate a situation. Here are a few of lists of some of the sayings husband has grown up with here in rural Missouri. Those in the know could probably add a few more.

There are many sayings for how hard it’s raining:

Raining pitchforks with saw logs for handles.
Raining like water pouring from a boot.
Raining like a cow peeing on a flat rock.
It’s a real toad strangler out there.

Chickens are common in the country, thus sayings abound in reference to them:

Scarce as hen’s teeth.
That beats a hen pecking with a sore bill.
I’d as soon do without the eggs as to hear him/her cackle.
Like a hen after a June bug.

Here are a few other miscellaneous sayings:

Snowflakes coming down like cats a’fighting.
Talk’s cheap; it takes money to buy whiskey.
To “crawfish” out of a situation.
Too much sugar for a cent.
Let the hide go with the tallow.
Thick as hair on a dog’s back.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Resurrection Day!

On another blog I follow the question was posed: Why did Christians embrace the cross as their symbol when it represents such suffering? I can understand why. But I guess to my mind the real representation of my faith isn't the cross; it would be the empty tomb. But that would be hard to depict and wear around one's neck, wouldn't it? I think the Catholic faith is the one that probably made the cross more popular. But that is just my humble opinion.


Today on the dairy.

1. We went to church after doing morning chores.
2. There was a record turnout there; 107 people! Most of them were CEO Christians of course (that would be Christmas and Easter Only folks)
3. Came home, then went to in-laws for dinner.
4. Came home, rested about 40 minutes then went to visit more in-laws. (All in-laws are within less than a mile from us.)
5. Came back home, got a loaf of bread going in the bread machine and got on computer.

Have to go now; must do research and answer my regular email.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Grumpy Saturday

No, I am not grumpy. But the weather is. It refuses to become spring. Husband sent the cows down the hill to the bottoms yesterday, but they weren't having anything to do with it. Some of the newest heifers who'd never been down there came back up the hill and stood around in the back lot wondering what was going on. Husband thought they'd be able to find some grass down there, but apparently not. So today he put them back out in the winter lot.

So, no early spring this year. But it's just as well, I'd rather have it this way than what happened last year. Last year we had an early spring; grass, dogwood blooms...etc. Then the first of April it came a 4-5 day deep freeze and killed everything back for a few weeks.

Anyway. This pic is where I'd rather be right now; back in Malaysia. I went there for 2 weeks back in '03 to visit a friend who was over there with her hubby for a year. It was great. This was the apartment complex where we stayed. Nice.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Walk Photos List

Here is a list of photos I took yesterday on my walk to the creek.

1. There is something enchanting about the combination of running water and mossy rocks. This is one of the two springs on our place (Hence the "formal" name of the dairy: Two Springs Dairy. But we only use this when registering the cows/calves with the Holstein Association).

2. Here is an overflowing pond that was dry just a week ago. It filled up and flooded the pasture overnight. It is fed by the second spring on our place, which isn't really visible in the picture. Only once before have I seen water in this pond and that was maybe 2-2 and a half years ago.

3. Here is a crawdad (or crayfish...maybe...those of you in the know about these things can correct my terminology if I am wrong) I ran across while wading in the creek. He obligingly swam up and parked here on this twig underwater while I was out wading. I noticed how he lines himself up with the flow of the water so as to camoflauge himself. I actually reached down and touched him. In response he lifted his right claw out of the water as if in salute and swam off. I found it interesting that he swims backwards; at least that is what it looked like to me.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Walk in the Woods and a Lesson Learned

Yesterday I took a walk down to the creek to see what the damage from the flooding was. It wasn't too bad really. But I had one of those "eek" moments.

I wore my boots, of course (the ones WITHOUT the hole in them), and went wading in the creek where it was shallow enough to get out in. Then there was this spot where there was a new shallow little gravel bar there in the creek, just a quick hop over a deeper rivulet. So I hopped.

That is when I had my "eek" moment because my foot just kept going down and down and down. Fortunately it didn't go any further down than to maybe just 2/3 of the way up my calf. My life did not flash before my eyes; there wasn't enough time for that, but in that split second I wondered how long it would be before anyone found me and if I'd be fossilized by then.

Lesson: In less than 24 hours after a creek has flooded it is not advisable to go hopping into new gravel bars, they haven't had time to settle yet.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More Randomness...

Here again is a list of random events down on the dairy.

1. Yesterday we got I dunno how many inches of water. It came down pretty steadily for over 24 hours. Our yard and pastures were just standing in water. Husband said if he started seeing the animals walking two by two he was going to pack up and clear out. All the creeks and rivers in the area flooded so they had to divert traffic. We are on one of the main detour routes so we found out pretty quickly when they barricaded the roads because of flooding.

We are still getting quite a bit of "strange" traffic. I am sure I have said this before in an earlier post, but the locals around here; at least my husband and his family, have this tendency to stop whatever they are doing and look out the window whenever a car goes by. They just HAVE to see who it may be; you never know if you might see your neighbor going by with a new gadget in the back of his truck or whatever. So last night at supper I told my husband he was going to get a whiplash from trying to see each and every vehicle that went by, not to mention that he was never going to finish eating. It was funny.

2. I didn't go up the road to do the graining yesterday because it was too nasty and was still thundering and lightning. Today, however, I did and had to drain the feed bunks. These cement feed bunks come with drain holes in them, but husband plugs them up with large bolts because he says too much of the grain goes out the holes. So whenever it rains we have to drain them. This can be treacherous because if you are standing there at the bunks the cow critters assume you have put feed in there for them and come charging up puffing and blowing and carrying on. The will go from one bunk to the other, tossing their heads and snorting. At two lots, if I am quick, I can shut the corral and keep them out 'til I am done. At the others it's Katy bar the door. I usually take the flag from the 4-wheeler and beat them off; or I use an empty bucket if I have one.

3. Up until this big rain hit husband had been busy delivering gravel. He also had his first backhoe job to work on. Said he's busier now than before he retired from driving the school bus. He was talking to a guy who also had retired and who told husband; "Yeah, I am thinking about going back to work to get some rest." Ha.

4. Ellen's cutting a new bottom tooth. No wonder she has been cranky.

5. We got another bull calf a couple of days ago; that is about 4-5 bulls in a row. At $150 US a pop that's not bad, but heifers are the future herd and to get a good one you have to have quite a few as most of them are duds.

6. I have run out of randomness for now.

7. Thanks to everyone for reading to the end!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fun things to do in Missouri

Here's a list of fun things to do in Missouri; besides feed calves, ride 4-wheelers and the like:

1. First off; going on a float trip down the river...see pic above. This was on a section of the Niangua close to us here. Some people like river rafting, I prefer the peacefulness of just drifting along and enjoying the scenery. Of course there are some fast sections, but it was for the most part pretty slow.

2. Silver Dollar City. This is a family oriented amusement park, the theme of which is Missouri life in the 1800s. They have modern entertainment too, but if you're ever there go to the saloon and see the dance hall girls kicking up their heels.
3. Various caves. Missouri is situated over limestone which makes for great caves. Fantastic Caverns is one that is so large they take you on a tour in a vehicle. It's pretty neat. I think they said they used to actually have music shows in one section.
4. Oh, of course; Branson. That is if you like country-themed comedy and music shows. They have some great stuff. Of course, I have never been to any of them as they are mostly in the evenings, but why don't you come check it out for me?
5. Missouri has a couple of large cities; Kansas City and St Louis; I have never been to either, but I am sure they have lots of fun things to do there. I want to go to one of the bigger zoos in one city. I think Kansas City has a nice zoo. Maybe some day.
In the meantime; here it is pouring rain and most of the main roads are flooded. It thundered all night. That is the only thing about spring time here; major thunder storms and tornadoes. Ick. I prefer riding out the earthquakes on the west coast; much more fun.

Monday, March 17, 2008

You have heard of the following:

A herd of sheep
A parliament of owls
A murder of crows...etc

I decided to come up with my own terms here on the dairy.

1. A cavort of calves
2. A gallop of heifers
3. A brute of bulls
4. A bag of cows
5. A crank of dairy farmers
6. A weariness of farmer's wives


Sunday, March 16, 2008

The 100th post of this blog...yea!

Here is a list of what I like to do on the dairy:

1. I guess by far the best thing is taking the 4-wheeler (ATV) on rides across country; the wind in your hair, the complete sense of wild freedom, the almost running into a barbed-wire fence. I almost did that last week. I forgot husband had fenced off a section in the bottoms last spring to grow hay in. I almost took a header into it, but slowed down enough to where I was able to stop and only had the first strand of wire pushed out of alignment an inch or two. HA. Of course with the price of fuel this kind of fun requires a good excuse to get out and do...see #4 below.

2. Bottle feeding calves. This can be exasperating, but it's fun as well. When you are first starting a calf off on the bottle you can get covered in milk and slobber and whatever else they smear on you, but once they start pumping away at the bottle and their little tails are switching, it's cute. You have to be careful or they will get excited and head butt you though. They have quite a bit of power even when they are newborn.

3. Putting calves in bigger pens. It is fun to watch them get excited and run and kick their heels up. Sometimes they will hike up their tails, pin back their ears and gallop full speed ahead. Usually they stop for the fences...usually.

4. Looking for/find newborn calves. Sometimes husband will have an expectant heifer with the milking herd down in the bottoms, where you have 100 acres to search through. Searching for cow and calf is fun; like an Easter egg hunt. Sometimes, no matter where the cow may be kept, in the bottoms or up the road in the dry cow lot, sometimes the calf is hidden and you have to go looking. This is always fun when the grass is waist high (think chiggers and ticks). You'd think it'd be easy to spot a black and white calf in green grass or gray brush, but it's harder than you'd expect.

5. Raking and burning leaves. I know this isn't necessarily a dairy chore, but I like it for some reason. Maybe I am weird. I grew up where there weren't enough leaves to rake, so it's just a novelty for me I suppose.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A list?

Oh, I know... a list of things I don't like to do; on the dairy or otherwise. Tomorrow I will do a list of things I do like to do.

Things on the dairy I don't like to do.

1. Walk in the mud with a leaky boot.
2. Go grocery shopping. I know this isn't done on the dairy per se, but it is a chore that has to be accomplished somehow. I have also mentioned elsewhere in another post that I dislike grocery shopping, but it's worth repeating again.
3. Chop ice.
4. Shovel snow.
5. Deal with flies.
6. Do chores in the heat of summer.

That's it for now.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Gardening on the Dairy

This is a pic of a baby bird I caught roosting in the tomato vines last year. I was out watering them and saw him. I think he was trying to learn how to fly. I rushed in and got my camera.

It is hard to believe that it will soon be spring and time to start gardening on the dairy. Here is a list of things I grow on the dairy.

1. Green beans

2. beets

3. zucchini (the everlovin' zukes)

4. cucumbers

5. onions

6. lettuce

7. spinach

8. radishes

9. cantaloupes

10. watermelon

11. tomatoes

12. sweet potatoes

13. peppers (sweet green peppers-but I want to try some hot kind this year.)

14. peas

15. wren egg beans (kind of an heirloom type of shelly bean that the family has grown for years.)

16. I want to try putting in berry vines; raspberries I am hoping.

17. I also usually try to do some flowers in certain spots. The petunias tend to reseed themselves year by year, so they are the easiest.

Hmmm, I know there might be more, but I can't think of them now. With the melons it's tricky because you never know how they will turn out. Sometimes they are really good and sometimes they are bad and sometimes you never know because the opossums get them before you do. Last year I got quite a few really yummy cantaloupe and a yummy watermelon or two. It was great.

The peas are tricky too because we use...umm..homegrown fertilizer as it were, which after it sits a few years turns into great black dirt, but it's really nitrogen rich and peas just don't go for that much.

That's it for today.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

March post number 13

What to post, what to post...

Weather is warm, baby is cranky, cow up the road is going to calve soon. The Newsboys are singing on the stereo.

Yesterday I went with DH to deliver a load of chat to some folks from the church. It was interesting at the quarry; piles and piles of gravel all over. Dusty, when the dude loaded us up. 16 tons of rock. It's cool riding in a big dump truck; you can see the countryside pretty well from up there. We went back into hillbilly country, seemed like; junk piles in front yards, old rusted cars and stuff. Fascinating. I wish I'd had my camera with me I'd have made hubby stop so I could take a pic of this rebel flag flying in someone's front yard. On it was written: "I ain't coming down!" Old mindsets die hard it would appear; they keep getting passed down through the generations.

Also yesterday; DH went up the road putting out hay, 10 of neighbor's angus heifers and a bull are running up and down the road. He helped round them up but was afraid our bull was going to break out; he was really excited and running up and down the fence carrying on. Wish I could get a video of the bull when he gets excited; he's something else.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Entertainment on the Dairy

Here is another list I managed to think up...what I have for entertainment on the dairy.

1. Books/magazines
2. Computer
3. Walk
4. Stereo
5. Gardening
6. Crafts

OK, so it's a short list. Also, note the lack of a television. Nope, it's true, we don't have a TV. Many folks wonder how I survive without one and say; "I'd die without my TV." Well, I dunno about that but I just don't have the time or interest to watch it. It's not that we are rabid anti-TV people it's just that we don't really care for it. Sure there are some types of shows I miss, but not enough to have one. I watch DVDs on the computer, or play games. Mostly I read your blogs or emails. I do have a bit of free time when the baby is sleeping or down to her grandma's, but I fill that up with trips down to the creek or reading books or magazines I don't have time to read otherwise. The rest of the time I am busy with the baby or with chores. Hubby doesn't watch TV either; at peak hours he's out in the barn milking. In this I KNOW that God answers prayers because before I married I prayed "Please God, don't make me marry a guy who watches sports all the time on TV!" And He didn't. Not that I have anything against sports or guys who watch them really, it just isn't one of my interests.

And thinking about it; I really don't remember the last movie I went to. When the closest theater is about an hour's drive away and it's $2.99 for a gallon of gas, you just kind of have to weigh the cost in the balance and opt for staying home and waiting for the flick to come out on DVD.

I don't really have much time for crafts either, but I put it on there just in case I should have time to do some. I did some drawing awhile back, but I don't have a formal place where I can set up permanent shop to do crafting.

Well, that's it for this today.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Oyster

It isn't even halfway through the month yet and I have run out of lists or anything amusing to tell you about the dairy. So here is a poem I picked up on a homesteading forum. It does deal with ag issues, just of a different sort...


The Oyster
Baxter Black

The sign upon the café wall said OYSTERS: fifty cents.
"How quaint," the blue-eyed sweetheart said with some bewildermence,
"I didn't know they served such fare out here upon the plain."
"Oh, sure," her cowboy date replied, "We're really quite urbane."

"I would guess they're Chesapeake or Blue Point, don't you think?"
"No ma'am, they're mostly Hereford cross . . . and usually they're pink
But I've been cold, so cold myself, what you say could be true
And if a man looked close enough, their points could sure be blue!"

She said, "I gather them myself out on the bay alone.
I pluck them from the murky depths and smash them with a stone!"
The cowboy winced, imagining a calf with her beneath,
"Me, I use a pocket knife and yank ‘em with my teeth."

"Oh my," she said, "You're an animal! How crude and unrefined!
Your masculine assertiveness sends a shiver down my spine!
But I prefer a butcher knife too dull to really cut.
I wedge it in on either side and crack it like a nut!

I pry them out. If they resist, sometimes I use the pliers
Or even Grandpa's pruning shears if that's what it requires!"
The hair stood on the cowboy's neck. His stomach did a whirl.
He'd never heard such grisly talk, especially from a girl!

"I like them fresh," the sweetheart said and laid her menu down
Then ordered oysters for them both when the waiter came around.
The cowboy smiled gamely, though her words stuck in his craw
But he finally fainted dead away when she said, "I'll have mine raw!"

Monday, March 10, 2008

Some Randomness...

Sigh. I have run out of the more obvious dairy lists so will just make a list of random things.

1. The past week or so we have had 3 bull calves. Two have been from first-calf heifers.

2. It is a pain in the kazoo to train first-calf heifers to the milk barn. They don't like the sensation of having things hooked to their nether parts. I don't blame them; I wouldn't either, I'd do some kicking myself.

3. The mud is gradually drying up from the 7 inches of snow we had last week. It takes it forever, it would seem.

4. I have a horrible time with my rubber boots; they always get a crack in them across the top side of the toe on my right foot where it bends when I walk. I can't get a pair to last more than a month or two. When you spend $45-50 for a pair of insulated boots you kind of expect them to last a year or more.

5. Calf #94, the one that went blind from a fever, is still hanging around, fat and sassy. I expect her to croak at any time. She has cataracts in her eyes and gets an infection every time she gets a cut or sore, but she keeps recovering and going on. Plucky little buggar.

6. These dratted Asian lady bugs are driving me...well...buggy. Now that the weather is warming up they keep coming out of their little winter hidey-holes from around the windows and doors and crawling around. They stink if you bother them and the baby keeps finding them on the floor somehow. *sigh*

7. This daylight savings time change is a pain. Husband likes it because he doesn't like it to be light in the mornings when he is finishing up milking; says it makes him feel like he is late. Not only that but it messes up the baby's sleep schedule. She didn't crash 'til 10 PM last night. It makes it hard when you have to get up at 3:45 AM.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Visit from the County Sheriff

A list of reasons why the county sheriff might pay a visit to an Ozark dairy farm:
(Guess correctly and I’ll send you a free cow skull)

A. The cows got out and a neighbor complained.
B. A domestic dispute. (Not unknown in our neighborhood.)
C. Your house is on fire. (He did come to the neighbor’s house when it went up in smoke.)
D. He needs some backhoe work and a load of chat on his place.
E. It’s an election year and he wants to put up signs along the road on our place.
F. B & C
G. D & E

Give up? Ding, ding, ding…it’s letter G. (Cow skulls are too heavy to mail anyway; you’ll have to come get our own. haha)

Now husband has another potential customer for his new business and the whole county-well those who drive down our road-knows who we will vote for in the upcoming election for sheriff. Our property goes for about ¾ mile along the road so he was able to get a couple of signs up.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Buddy and Hay Scams

Yesterday I forgot to list Buddy, who was a nosy heifer when I first came here. She was one of the bolder calves and would let me scratch her head; thus her nickname. And for the record; we have several registered cows/heifers. Rosie is one, Messy is actually registered and her registered name is Petals. Husband registered her as that. I nearly howled with laughter. Messy got her Messy name because she well...she likes to let the chips fall when she is in the barn. Another heifer I registered I named Violet, but we never call her Violet; first off she hasn't had her calf yet and second we don't know what her personality will be like yet.

No lists today...I am all listed out. I thought of making a list of what cow ailments I could remember but that seemed too depressing. And really the only one I can think of now is Johne's (pronounced OH-KNEES)

In thinking of something to post about I can't believe I have neglected to talk about hay scams; on the internet of course. On most any board you advertise on you will get scammers contacting you. Here's the deal; they want to buy what you have to sell, they send you a cashiers check via UPS for twice the amount you want. They ask you to contact their shipper, cash the check and pay the what he requires and then keep the extra for yourself. Of course the check is totally bogus and in the end you are out thousands of $$.

Last spring DH advertised on the hay boards that he needed to buy hay. From this he got any number of offers to BUY hay FROM him. (one guy thought we had a hay farm and wanted to buy THAT) Never one to pass up a chance for some fun he'd ask what kind and how much they needed. Oh, they'd give him some weird amount of hay bales that a real ag person would never ask for (like only half a semi load or something), then he'd quote a price that no real ag person would ever pay and they'd ask for his address and phone and bank number...etc. Then he'd give them the sheriff's name and address and office number(not expecting that local law would be able to do anything about it, but just to play and have fun). The results were actually hilarious. DH would get them to call the number and ask for the sheriff by first name, then they'd email back and say that they'd called but he wasn't in. They would mail the check and DH would track it by number and see which deputy signed for it. HA. Then the guy would email DH and ask when he was going to mail the check to the shipper. DH would then give him the sheriff's website and say something to the effect of; "You idiot, you mailed it to the local sheriff. I bet your mother is proud of you!"

One guy, after looking at the website asked: "I see you are the sheriff...does that mean I'm not going to get my money?" Bonehead!

Just a few days ago one emailed husband saying he wanted something husband had on web for sale and was going to mail the check if DH would email address, bank number...etc. Husband emailed back asking what it was he wanted. Guy says; "Oh, what all do you have for sale?" Idiot.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Cow Nick-Names

I know I have listed a few of them before in a different post, but here is a list of some of the nick-names we have given cows and/or calves; some of which have passed on. As a general rule we try not to name them but it's hard not to.

1. Messy
2. Squeaky
3. Cleopatra
4. Rosie
5. Speedy
6. Fluffy
7. The Eyebrow Cow
8. B.O.B (bump on bag)
9. B.O.F (bump on foot)
10. R. C. (renegade cow)
11. The Black Witch
12. S.E. (split ear)
13. Uk (unknown) actually there are a couple more of these; Uk2, Uk3...
14. U. T. (udder tilts)

That's all I can think of at the moment.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Snow on the dairy

The little Birthday chair; as promised.

Let's list today is going to be on what's good about snow on the dairy. A couple of days ago we got 7 inches of it. ARGH!!!

1. It covers up the green winter that would NOT be grass.
2. It gives your legs a good work out when you walk through it.
3. It gives your arms a good workout when you shovel it out of the feed bunks.
4. It makes lots and lots of nice gooshy mud when it melts.
5. It fills up the creek when it melts.
6. You get to see lots of animal tracks in it.
7. You can make fun tracks in it yourself when you are riding the 4-wheeler up the road.
8. If you have the time and energy after chores you can make a snowman with it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The End of the Virtual Tour-a list of pics

1. This is the milk tank. Husband got this one Feb 05, soon after I arrived here. It holds about 4800 pounds of milk. I think I have stated in another post that we have only had it overflow one time during spring flush; year before last I believe; that was when it measured 4800 lbs. One thing we haven't yet figured out is what we are going to do when baby Ellen gets big enough we can't harness her in her carseat when she is out in the barn. See the valve in the tank at the bottom left tug on that little handle there and all the milk comes flowing out and down the drain just beneath it. Hmmmm...I think we will have to maybe keep her in her stroller.

2. Here are the little calf pens DH made. Also in the pic is the hay shed, which is being emptied quite rapidly, even more so since this was taken. The hay used to be all the way back to the furthest strut which is between the calves in the picture. This little red calf is Rosie's calf, who just happened to be in the right place at the right time when I was out photographing. She's cute, isn't she?

Well, the list will have to stop at two items for today...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ellen's First Birthday

Baby Ellen had her first birthday last Wed, Feb 27th. Here's a bit of the story on it.

Husband and I were in a quandry on what to get for her. We didn't really want to get her any of the China stuff from Wal-Mart, but he desperately wanted to get her a little rocking pony. We went to Wal-Mart and they said that they only carried those ponies during Christmas season. So DH went to Craig's List, but wasn't successful there either. So that did it for that idea.

The week before her birthday I told DH that what I wanted to get for her *eventually,* maybe for her 2nd birthday, was a nice little child's rocking chair; not one of the pressed wood, mass-produced ones, not a personalized one, or one with some freaky cartoon character on it, but a nice little chair for her to be able to pass on should she have kids. Apparently this idea had to gel in his mind for awhile, but Sat DH said that we were going to go to Lead Mine on Monday. Lead Mine is Mennonite country, here. But, he said, his mom said; "Oh, for a chair like that you are going to pay $30 or so." I just raised my eyebrows and said; "Umm Hmmm."

So on Monday off we went to Lead Mine. Once we got there we had to get off the main road and onto a gravel road that seemed to go forever. There was still a bit of ice and snow on the road and it was really slushy. I think it must have been in the 20s still as far as temps were concerned. On the way to the place where the guy carried oak furniture we went by the Mennonite church and school. The children were on their recess. They were so cute in their long dresses and bonnets and big insulated boots; out playing games. They all stopped and had to watch us as we sloshed by. Most of them waved. There were sheds there full of bicycles and there was a horse with a wagonload of lumber waiting at the hitching post. There was also a line of kids at the outhouse.

We finally got to the store and there were little children's rockers there; a cool $85 a pop. DH was stunned. I was expecting something like that. So we got a pair of insulated boots for me and went to another place; which necessitated going back by the school children, who once again stopped their games to watch these "Englishers" drive by in their truck. There was still one little guy waiting his turn at the outhouse.

At the next store they had a much, much fancier rocker there; $145. Hmmmm.. So we went sloshing back to the other place and Ellen is now the proud owner of a little Mennonite solid oak rocker. I will try and get a pic of it to post. She isn't too impressed with it, starts to fuss when in it. She just hasn't learned to balance it yet, her feet don't reach the floor.

And here's something funny: Just a few days after her birthday one of DH's friends brought over some toys his grandkid had outgrown; one was a little furry rocking pony!

That's it for now. No NaBlo list today...this is quite enough!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Good Smells on an Ozark Dairy

Another day in March...another NaBloPoMo list post...

So much is always said about how dairies stink...I agree. You can't get away from it; when you have a collection of large animals you are going to have a stink. However...there are also good smells on a dairy that are rarely talked about.

1. of the best smells in the world.

2. The creek (see above picture). I love the smell of water. Not all dairies are fortunate enough to have running water, but we are. Down in the creek bottoms is one of my fav hangouts. It's gorgeous in spring.

3. The cow, not the poop smell, just the bovine smell. You know how horses have their own smell and dogs and cats, too. So do the cows. It's warm and homey.

4. The cold milk in the bulk tank. I don't like the warm, fresh milk smell, but the cold milk smell reminds me of ice cream.

5. The smell of the woods in spring and fall. It's a spicy, heady, almost intoxicating smell.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

First signs of Impending Spring on an Ozark Dairy

1. In mid February the buzzards (turkey vultures) start coming back north to replace the bald eagles. We see them, buzzards, alongside the road snacking on the occasional unfortunate skunk or opossum.

2. Also in mid February we start craning our necks to watch the honking wedges of Canadian geese headed back home. It always gives me this wild, wistful feeling to hear them as they go. Some of the flocks are huge and you can hear them long before you see them.

3. Above mentioned skunks start roaming around in Feb also; the prime breeding month for the stinky little monsters. They are out trolling for mates; which is how they become road kill more often in Feb than in any other month.

4. Along about now; early March, we will get a couple of nice warm days where it stays above freezing ALL NIGHT and gets quite warm during the day; this brings out the peepers, these beensy little frogs that are also trolling for mates and make this shrill piping peep. In peak season; a few weeks from now after last frost date, the peepers are so loud that it makes your skull vibrate if you are out there too long in the evenings.

5. I can't verify this with scientific proof but I think that about this time of the winter the cows start to gag on hay and long for green grass to snarf up. They also LOVE the wild garlic that starts to put up shoots in early spring. Sometimes the garlic is so plentiful and they eat so much of it that they stink up the barn during milking.

6. The seed catalogs start pouring in and we start getting garden fever. It's great fun to look through them but most of the stuff is so expensive to order; we can get things much cheaper in town.

*sigh* That is all I can think of for the moment.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

More Virtual Tour

To continue with the virtual dairy tour, which has taken me so LONG to do...

Here is a pic taken in the boneyard:

In the dairy business they say that you lose 3-5% of your herd a year. I guess that is pretty correct. In bigger dairies disposing of carcasses is a major hassle, you have to fork over dough for someone to come pick them up. However, when have a small dairy and live on plenty of acreage you just haul the carcass off and let the coyotes and buzzards and whatever else take care of it for you; ashes to ashes, nature to nature....

Well the baby is squalling, more touring later...

March we go...The First Post

The theme for the March NaBloPoMo is "lists." You don't have to follow this theme, but it helps to have a guideline...I have been wondering if I could possibly think up 31 lists that could be dairy/agriculture related. Dunno.

Here goes.

Make a list of bovine breeds that you can think of off the top of your head:

1 Holstein
2 Red Holstein
3 Jersey
4 Ayrshire
5 Hereford
6 Gelbveih
7 Angus
8 Brown Swiss
9 Limousin
10 Charolais
11 Simmental
12 Black Baldies-I dunno if this is an official breed or not, it's a cross between Hereford and Angus I believe.

OK, I know there are tons more, but I can't think of any and I cheated too, I had to look up the spelling of Gelbveih and found Simmental listed there.