Monday, April 18, 2016


Updated pictures of the calf from today. She's a heifer, and we named her 'Aibreann' (AW-brin; Gaelic for 'April')


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Patch Has Her Calf

NOTE: SECOND attempt to publish this update. Tried five times last night and it kept dropping out. I fell asleep around 2330 on the sixth attempt - also a failure. And now... On with the news

A bunch of stuff happened today, but the only thing that matters is that Patch had her calf sometime between 0900 and 1200. Everybody looks to be doing well - it appears to be a bull calf, but of course we won't get too close so as to allow it and Patch some time to bond. Of the three calves she's had, this is the first born in the barn. Patch seems more than a little protective this time around, perhaps because we stand in the only way in (and only way for her to run out). So we're quiet, soft, and slow, and will keep our distance. We've not seen it nurse as of yet (1900), but it appears dry and strong so I'm guessing if it hadn't nursed by now, we'd see a weak shaky calf. Patch fusses over is - licks it and nudges it around when the cats (or we) get too close.


Friday, April 15, 2016

Great Friday

I'll get right to the point: no calf today. She looks more than ready, and her udder is full and sagging and sways a lot when whe walks (waddles). But nothing...

The hogs are doing well and have totally adjusted to eating out of the flap feeder - you can hear the flaps smacking around all day. They're too cute.

As are the chicks - they're big enough to stand on their legs (that look like chicken legs) and their feathers have really come in. We turned off the heat lamp and left the top section of the door open as they looked warm.

We watered the gardens (still not the corn/bean patch) and things looked well. While I was at fire fighter training, Nancy spied this new potato plant pushing up.

We spent three hours this evening undergoing recertification training for CPR, AED use, and choking intervention techniques. It was some GREAT training, but made for a long night.

Tomorrow we'll mow the lawn and I want to build a small 2x6-foot raised bed for the rhubarb plants. Until next time, take care of each other.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Corn, Pinto Beans, And Harvey Girls

Woke to a very dense fog that took on a silvery glow once the sun came up. It was gone by 0830 or so.

Morning chores went well. Still no calf, but Royal was in season - always interesting out at the barn. The hogs weren't in the mood to wake up, but finally stirred when we gave them the table scraps from last night's get together.

After breakfast, we got to work. Nancy planted some perennial flowers along the edge of the southwest garden bed to frame in the blueberry plants. And she planted four new plants out by the front steps.

While she was doing that, I decided to run the drag harrow over the corn patch to smooth out some ridges left by the rotor tiller. The Grasshopper promptly got stuck - it's a great lawnmower, but a lousy tractor. We got the truck and towed it out and I hand raked the ridges... That ground is very soft!

Because Dennis tilled it longer than it had been, I extended the yellow guide lines to 50-feet. That made for eleven rows with approximately 80 corn seeds per row: 880 corn plants in all. And along the western end of the field we planted six 24-foot rows of pinto beans (had some left over from last year so we figured, 'what the heck'?) for a total of around 450 beans. I sure hope the forecast stays warm (I'm betting on an early and warm spring).

We picked up Rick and Cindy and headed over to a Jackson County Historical Society Dinner and presentation on the 'Harvey Girls' - young ladies who waited on restaurants in the Harvey Hotel chain. It was very interesting and a good evening.

Home in time to plug in the chicks' heat lamp and shut them up for the night. All's good. Until next time, take care of each other.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wonderfully Busy Day And Friends Visit

It's been a good and busy day. We started off with a cool morning but not the hard cold like we've had. I sure hope the freezes are past, as it's time to get stuff planted!

We're still missing Starr out at the barn (four or five days now), but all else was good. Patch is looking very, very ready to have her calf. She and Royal really enjoyed their chow, as did the cats and hogs.

Just after breakfast, I was toned out to a structure fire about six miles west of town. Early in all the calls they were looking for more guys so I continued on. I was about two miles away when they downgraded the response and then cancelled - it turns out somebody's fireplace flue got clogged and the smoke backed up into the house, quickly filling it, and making folks think it was on fire. All's well.

Back home and Nancy was finishing up watering the gardens. We drug out all the tposts and panel sections and set the climbing wall for the cucumbers (we'll plant them late next week) and the tomatoes (due to arrive next month). Rather than use the clips that come with the tposts, we used wire and knotted it around the post and panel - it looks to be doing fine so far.

On our way in to town for groceries, we saw that the cows were hidden somewhere so we stopped to check. They were chilling in the barn - no sign of anything imminent. Bert was peeking in the basement window and jumped on in - it's amazing how agile these cats are becoming (almost ten months old now).

While Nancy was making some lemon bars, I ran out to check on the chicks. All's well and they're growing so quickly now. The big girls gave us five eggs this morning! What a deal!

We made a run out to the Country Greenhouse up the road and picked up some flowers for the back garden, some others to replace the decorative grass by the front steps, plus some sweet corn (peaches and cream... Is there any other?), and a garlic.

Our friends Josh and Katie came over with their four boys for a visit and dinner. It was a wonderful time, and the kids throughly enjoyed themselves. They scampered around the place, inside and out, walked down to visit the cows and hogs (the barn cats all hid), and enjoyed the grain bins - one of them filled the hog feeder to overflowing - and Fintin managed to fill his boots with hog grain as only a three year old can!

Tomorrow I'll plant the corn patch while Nancy plants the new plants. Until then, take care of each other.