Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cow Tippin'

I grew up in a rural area where the farmers were just starting to fizzle out and the reaches of the city were extending into the rural areas with new subdivisions and new laws telling families that they couldn't have cows or horses anymore.

Still, we had plenty of fun catching tadpoles, playing with the barn cats, getting lost in corn fields, and always joking about cow tippin'.

When I started working in Buffalo, many of my "city" friends wanted to know if I'd ever been cow tippin'.  Seriously, did they really think you could walk up and push over a cow ranging from 500-1000 pounds?  Yes they probably did.

We had a septic system at my house and of course a leech bed in the yard where the grass was really green and long.  Once I invited my city friends over and they wanted to know about area of the yard to which I replied, "its the leech bed."  They wanted to know if there were really leeches out in it to which I sarcastically replied that yes there were and we used them to drain off our blood when we were ill just like in years past.  I still wonder if some of them believed me or not.

As you all know, we've had quite a few eventful weeks with things breaking and leaking around here.  So last night, I went to shut the chicks up for the night and I noticed our dog on the other side of our fence in the neighbors bean field.  The cows that are in our back pasture were bellowing so I figured he was bugging them and I had no idea how he got out there.  So, I called him and he appeared at my side.......the black animal on the other side of the fence was one of the calves.  It was dusk and I really didn't look thinking it was Shadow.  So we called out Trey and the owner of the cows came over and we chased the calf threw the bean field and back to her mama.  It was quite the adventure.

I silently pictured cow tippin' the whole time the Green Acres theme was running through my head.

So, then last night I'm on the phone with Kevin relaying the events.  He tells me that he would have chased the calf around the property to get her back up into one of the front pens. (The cows are in the back eight acres of fenced area.  The front four acres are divided into four pastures and the house area.....all of which is fenced except for the driveway).  I kinda thought that was  a lot of work trying to drive her so far when the gate was fifteen feet from where she was at.  And then he told me that he would have just chased it, caught it, and put it back with its mama.  I told him next time he was home I was going to have Dan bring a calf into the back eight acres and watch him "chase and catch it".  I'll have my video camera ready.  Let the chuckles and snorting begin!!  hehe

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

When it rains it pours

First the fridge/freezer in the garage died.  Thankfully, I didn't lose a lot as there wasn't much in the freezer.

Then the air conditioning died in the truck.

The push lawn mower died.

We all got a severe case of the stomach flu.

Yesterday I discovered that the carpet in my bedroom is wet.  About six inches from the wall the borders the shower in the bathroom.  I'm going to rip off the baseboard and see if I can figure out what's going on.  I really don't have the money to deal with a big problem but its looking like its going to be that way. 

Pray for my sanity and an inexpensive fix.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

And so it begins.....

Normally at this time of year, I have all of my curriculum already purchased for next year.  Not this time.  I'm just starting to order and hopefully some starts coming in soon so I can start lesson plans.  I will be placing smaller orders all through the summer because I have so much to get this year with five in homeschooling.  This year, I'm also placing some things on ebay and hoping that I can earn enough money to pay for the microscope that TL needs for biology.

We have been busy this week with swimming lessons down in our town's pool.  Well, okay they call it a pool, I call it a pond cause that's what it is.  They had to close it on Wednesday and Thursday to take care of the swimmer's itch.  Thankfully my kids hadn't been affected by it too much.

My father in law is currently in the hospital getting IVs full of antibiotics.  He's diabetic and has had a cut on his toe that hasn't healed in four months.  It had taken a nasty turn and they were talking about amputation but now it looks like the antibiotics are helping so that's wonderful news.

We have a friend who is also in the hospital.  His appendix burst and he is currently being pumped up with antibiotics and pain meds.  They hope to wait  until the antibiotics start to kill the infection before doing surgery.  Right now his intestines are all swollen, which is good because they are keeping the infection in one area, so they don't want to do surgery and risk hurting his intestines moving them out of the way.  His name is James, please pray for him.

The chickens are doing well.  They are half feathers and half fur right now.  Still cute, but starting to fly around and freaking the girls out some. 

The garden is doing well.  The push mower died, of course.  And we don't have a weed eater yet so we look a little ghetto right now.  I'm waiting for the farmer to pay us the money for renting out our pasture land to him so I can go and get a weed eater and then I can clean up this place.  It really needs it.

I started a new chore system with the kids.  TL has one household chore a day and cleaning up his room.  He is responsible for mowing (which takes about 5-7 hours a week with weed eating) and burning all of the trash.  He also helps the most with the chickens.  I have split up the house into three zones.  I have the smallest zone with the downstairs bath and my room....but I also have all of the garden to work on and weeding out these horrific flower beds and don't even get me started on the asparagus patch!  The oldest two girls have a small helper and get the larger is the kitchen, dining room, and upstairs bath and the other is the living room, schoolroom, and upstairs bath.  We worked together on the list and came up with chores that should only take them about 30 minutes to maybe an hour each day.  I realize I was trying to do to much, especially with everything that's outside that needs to be done and hope this new list helps out more with the zones instead of individual chores. 

I'm off to clean up the littles room and then hope to pull out my sewing machine today.  Its rainy on and off today and with the two inches of rain we got last night, its too wet to go out and do any gardening anyway.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Summer plans

As I'm writing this, I see out my window....could it be?......yes, it is the sun peeking out from behind the clouds.  I'm praying that it warms up (we've still had the heat on especially at night) and gets sunny out to help my garden.  Things are starting to pop up out of the ground but there aren't any bees around with the cold weather and rain.  I'm wondering if I'm going to have to take matters into my own hand and help out the plants.

I had planned on schooling with our shortened summer schedule through June.  I forgot to take into account Vacation Bible School at our church this week which runs in the evening.  It makes for a long day and night, and late bed times.  I've been letting the kids sleep in to try so that they aren't so grumpy at VBS.

I believe that we will run through the end of June and then take July completely off.  We have birthdays, camps, and of course, the fourth of July.  We'll start again on our easy schedule for a few weeks in August before starting in on our heavy fall schedule.  I'll add a little to our schedule each week starting at the end of August.  My mom is coming to visit at the end of September so we will take that week off and then head into the thick of it again.  I'm going to try to do several weeks on and then a week off.  Everyone likes the break, including myself and it allows me time to get things done around the house.  I function much better with order.

This summer we'll be doing a lot of work around the farm trying to get it into shape.  We have several state parks nearby that we want to explore and a swimming hole at the end of our street that the kids can go to.  They call it the swimming pool but its really a pond that has lifeguards and swim lessons.  Should be a good time, if it ever warms up that is.

Take care everyone and enjoy your summer!!


Thursday, June 6, 2013

They're here!! They're here!!

The baby chicks have arrived.  They are being smothered mothered by all the girls in the house.  Even TL has gotten into the action.  They sent us 5 extra so now we have 29 hens and one rooster.  Wow.  Anyone need some eggs in a few months? 

The girls are getting attached and wanting to name them. I have to keep reminding them that we will probably lose some and hope that they aren't too attached.

I have most of the garden in.  Its been rainy and cloudy everyday.  I don't know how much we're going to get this year.  Its a very strange year.  Many of the farmers never got their crops in and half of those who did are plowing theirs under.  Too much rain.  Over 12 inches in May and we usually get 3.  The lawn just keeps growing and growing.  I hope it dries out tomorrow so we can mow before it rains all day on Saturday.  The strawberries, raspberries, cherry tree, and three plum trees are doing well.  I had cancelled the order with the pear and peach trees because of the snow in May and then all this rain.  I hope to get them in later this year. 
We're done with school except for math, reading, and spelling.  Those are the subjects that we will be working on this summer.  TL also has to work on his Spanish. 
I'm going to be cleaning out the asparagus patch which is a giant weed fest.  The strawberry patch that the previous owner also had, is just as bad.  There is a tree that is trying to grow in there but its really viney so its choking the strawberries.  I also need to work on the flowers beds.  The previous owners left the house vacant for a year so everything is really overgrown.  I cleaned out the bed by the garage the other night and mulched it.  It looks really nice now.  I need to take the after picture.  I have the before, but it started raining and I couldn't get the other shot in.
Thought you'd enjoy Monkey's photo.  She's really great at applying lipstick y'know?


And they aren't ours, but our back 8 has cows.  We have rented it out to our neighbor and the kids are super excited.  They love watching the calves.