Updates

So much has been going on I haven’t had time to sit down and do much on my computer. Between getting ready with Brother at his farm for the cold and finishing up projects, and getting ready here for the cold, school concerts, 4-H meetings, I have been leaving the house early and getting home late. I have so many pictures I need to share and write about, one of these evenings I will get caught up. In the meantime, you will have to do with a quick update.

For starters, there are Diamond and Gemstone, who are now 10 days old and really doing well!

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Gemstone, Janet, and Diamond

Mommy Janet must have some pretty healthy milk! They are growing and bouncing all around.

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Janet and Diamond

They are starting to look into maybe having a little feed for a snack and nibbling hay with mom.

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Diamond and Gemstone

They barely stand still long enough to get a good picture of them. They are all bedded down in the kidding pen with their mom and Diana.

Then there was our surprise rescue of Wednesday the Kitten.

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She is getting tons of snuggles and really warming up to us and loving being out of the laundry room. She is doing really well using the litterbox.

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I believe tormenting the guinea pigs is her favorite activity. They moved into the house last week when it finally got cold. I think they are fairly happy to be in the warm house, except for maybe having to deal with Wednesday.

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She is absolutely queen of the house already, making herself right at home.

Then last Wednesday, the 7th, Diana presented us with a gorgeous big doe. I found her early in the morning, got her all dried off and left her in the newly bedded pen under the heat lap and went to work. Brother let me come home at noon to check her. Thank goodness I did! All the straw was pulled away from her and she was out away from the heat lamp, laying on the concrete! She was freezing cold and very lethargic. I grabbed her and put her on the floor board of the truck with the heat on high while I rushed back in to the barn and milked out Diana quickly. We then raced to the vet.

 

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Poor frozen baby.

I will be honest, I wasn’t very hopeful. I thought I had waited to long. But when I got her to the Vets, they grabbed her while they rewarmed the milk and gave her a chance to try sucking and then tubed her. For those of you that haven’t spent a lot of time around baby animals, tubing is simple slipping a (for goats) very small tube down their throat straight to the tummy and basically pouring fluid directly into the stomach. I have tubed a calf, but not a goat. They are so much smaller and I worry about getting it into the wind pipe. I am going to get brave and try to learn one day. Anyway, Vet put about 3 ounces of Diana’s milk (which is almost straight colostrum) which she desperately needed straight into he tummy. If anything is going to perk her up, that and warmth will do it.

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I then headed back to work and took the baby with me. She went into Mom’s house (Mom never has had pets in her house, but baby livestock get a special pass) in front of the heater on a heating pad. There she rested the afternoon away. By the time I came back to check her…

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BIG time improvement! She wasn’t standing alone, and she had a little help from her box. But this was much better and gave me hope! That night she spent the night in my house and ate pretty good. The next day she went back to work with me after a quick visit to her mommy.

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Of course Niece#5 spoiled her and played with her getting her to walk around the shop. Since we are now hopeful she will make it, the kids decided that her name would be Pearl since she was born on the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Oh how wonderful baby goats are for little kids!

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That night when we got home, she went back to visit her Mommy. Diana still wanted to try to be a mom, so I let her lick and nuzzle Pearl while I did chores. She then came back inside for the night and night feedings.

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It was obviously a very tiring day. After a long nap, she was up and very active.

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While not the best picture, Wednesday and Pearl were playing for about an hour. Her strength is definitely improving. The next day she spent almost 6 hours in the barn with her Mommy. Although Diana at this point will not let her nurse, she is very concerned with where she is and laying by her. I am now hopeful I can pull something off I have never accomplished before. Because Diana is a first time mom, I would really like her to raise Pearl. While having a little pet bottle baby is always fun, I would always prefer moms raise the kids. If I can’t get her to nurse at least if Diana accepts her and cares for her she won’t be beat up and left out. The next day, Pearl spent from 7 am to night in the barn and really seemed to be adjusting to the cold and the barn.

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I made the decision to let her sleep in the barn. She is still eating bottles from her mommy’s milk.

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And she is still completely spoiled and sleeping in her box. Then yesterday I was talking to Brother about how he gets cows who won’t allow nursing and has to sometimes tie their leg back until they get used to the sensation of nursing. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that, I had to tie Diana’s leg to milk her the first few times. So I started thinking. Since I have been milking her twice a day for almost a week she is standing better now and I don’t have to tie her anymore is the stantion. Perhaps if I put Diana in the stantion like I am going to milk her and bring baby Pearl to the stantion? Well, good news!! Diana let her nurse for about 10 minutes! I am going to continue to try to get them bonded and nursing even if I have to help 5 times a day. I have never even come close to getting a baby back on mom after taking it away and bottling for 4 days, but I am sure feeling good about this pair! Wish me luck!

So that is what is going on with our baby animals. I will let you know soon how everyone else is doing with the cold snap.

 

 

 

Comfort food

As the cold slowly drifts into our daily life here is lovely ole’ Iowa, I am starting to think about food. I love food. A lot. I especially love winter comfort food. Soups and stews and casseroles, oh my!

The other day I was at Mom’s for dinner. She had made a soup that my grandma calls Alice’s Soup. It was delish! It really didn’t sound all that great, but boy was I wrong. I could have definitely had a second bowl. So when I went to the grocery store the next time, I got all the ingredients to make my own batch. You see, as we slow down on the farm in the winter I am home a lot more regularly and eat dinner alone most days. Soups are my go to meals. This one is on top of my list. It’s a really simple soup that is hardy.

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It starts with Cauliflower. A whole head, chopped.

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Of course I never do anything with veggies without taking the trimmings out to the rabbits.

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Once chopped and rinsed well, put in a pot with just enough water to cover it and bring to a boil. Boil until tender.

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While that is boiling, I cut up the onion and potatoes.

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I made a double batch so I couldn’t fit all the cauliflower and the potatoes in one pan.

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Lovely! In to the pot they go and boil until tender.

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One whole onion finely chopped. Sauté in butter until tender.

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I also used bouillon cubes instead of chicken broth. Boiled the water and let them dissolve.

20161202_09005120161202_090727.jpgThe next thing is the ham. The recipe says as much as you want. I used about half of this ham for a double batch.

20161202_092218.jpgOnce cubed I just set it aside.

20161202_092618.jpgThe last ingredients are Bean and Bacon soup and Velveeta.

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Of course mom does all things to taste. But she told me how much she used for her soup and that’s what I used. It was only about 4 oz.

Once everything is mix it all together in a pot and simmer.

20161202_094626.jpgNow, here’s where I hope my mom isn’t reading this. I am always giving her a hard time about not just following the recipe. Well…I didn’t exactly follow the recipe.

20161202_091617.jpgI was digging through my pantry and came across a can of mushrooms. So I thought, huh, that might be good. So I chopped them up and sautéed them in butter.

20161202_092233I then added them to the soup. I thought is was about perfect. However, when I went to town the next day I say corn and thought, Umm maybe I should. So I did. A half of a can of cream corn and a half a can of regular corn. Now it is perfect!

I froze a number of containers and ate a couple. Can’t wait for some cold crappy day to settle in with this.

Can you see me?

I was supposed to let the cows at the jungle into the corn stalks to eat them down. I went looking for them and found them fairly quickly. They started following me and off I went walking ahead of them. I got to the gate and turned around.

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Wait. What? There was a whole group of cows behind me!

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It’s like they were hiding! The whole group was behind that bush. I think they didn’t believe that I actually had anything for them and were giving up following me until they saw some evidence of food. Once I got around them and headed them into the stalks they seemed to figure it out.

Friday’s Hunt v2.23

I am trying to get my Friday’s Hunt done at the right time this week! It’s been kind of a busy week around here and a little crazy so bear with me! This week our prompts are the Letter W, Weeks Favorite, and Machine.

For my Letter W, we got a couple little surprises this week. Started Wednesday night. I was up town dropping a couple things off and when I walked out to get in my truck, I saw a kitten run across the street and under a car! Thankfully it was being driven by a dear lady from here in town who also saw it. She stopped and shut the car off and we got down on our hands and knees to look for it. We finally found it in the tire! I was able to get my hand through the tire and get ahold of it and pulled the little stinker out and so…

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Meet Wednesday. I checked around to see if she belonged to anyone, but no one seemed to know where she came from. So unless someone claims her, I guess she will be ours.

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She seems healthy. But she was extremely hungry, so a little goat milk and cat food and with a belly full, she came home to live in the laundry room for now until she figures out the litter box.

My Weeks Favorite makes me squeal with delight! I have been watching fat Janet for months thinking she was pregnant. She finally bagged up, as I showed you last week. This morning I went to the bathroom and thought ‘Gosh, Janet looks thinner than yesterday.’

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She was! Two big babies thinner! After I ran out the barn, I nearly fainted seeing the two off them all dry with full little tummies. And oh, their colors!

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I could not be more happy! She is a wonderful mother just like her mother Scarlett! They are all direct descendants from Eden Hills, our wonderful host!  I have a feeling these girls will be here a while!

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She is very concerned with them right now, so I let her be. They are just so big and healthy!

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Can you believe two girls?! That hasn’t happened ever for me since I have had goats. Oh my gosh, I am so excited. Landon went out and meet them and then named them, since they are his. So meet Gemstone (Dark) and Diamond (Light).

For Machine, I have to include my favorite. I spend a lot of time with this old M. It’s one of my favorite machines. I know it’s one of Brothers. Grandpa bought this tractor originally, I don’t know when for sure. But I do know he had it converted to a propane. Back when Grandpa had it converted, propane was pretty cheap. So a company converted it and to pay for it Grandpa had to pay $0.06 a gallon instead of $0.04 a gallon to pay it off. Him and dad used it for many years. Then Grandpa donated it to the school to be rebuilt. After a couple years of not hearing anything he asked Brother if he would go get it. So Brother and Dad took a flatbed trailer into the school to pick it up. Of course, little did they know, they were actually going to pick up 4 tires, a steering wheel and a bunch of boxes of parts. Brother took it all home and rebuilt it, and has used it ever since. I guess all of that makes it pretty special to me.

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Thanks for joining me for another weeks Friday’s Hunt. As always, please if you have time, stop over to Eden Hills and check out the other Friday’s Hunt! Have a great weekend!

Moving Bulls

So we put the bulls out in the Jungle pasture to keep them away from the cows for awhile and let them eat some of that grass down. But, it was time to put the bulls back out with the fall calvers and the open young cows for next years fall calves. Besides, we needed to move a group of cows to the jungle to eat the corn stalks. So Brother asked me to move them up to front part of the Jungle. Ok, that shouldn’t be hard. I do that 10 times a summer with the cows. And they were only in the middle, so this shouldn’t be too bad. Of course, this is not the first time I have been really wrong.

So, I get everything set up and ready to move them to the front. All the while I am calling for them. I hear nothing and start to wonder if they have gotten out or something. Once everything is ready and opened up, I head out to walk through the pasture and find them. I walk and call and call and walk. I final come up over a hill and down below I see one.

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I need 6. I have 1. Oh good. All my calling is being completely ignored.

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There is actually 5 in this picture. Behind trees and bushes and in the creek. I didn’t see them all until I walked basically right up to them. They didn’t even pay any attention to me. In fact, I actually had to walk up to one of the old ones and give him a tap to notice that I was there. During the summer when these guys are with the cows they act like the cows and come when called. When it is just the boys together apparently I am not worth their time.

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Once I got them all into a group, they turned and headed up the hill towards the front end of the pasture. All is good for about 5 minutes.

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We get to the first corner and this. One of the younger bulls and one of the older bulls. Well, pause and stand back. You never know what way they will go and they DO NOT pay attention to you when they are fighting. I remember that from being a kid on my horse. Of course they don’t pay any attention to the horse when they fighting either, but the horse can get out of the way quicker than and is much more coordinated than I can on foot. So I am actually much farther away than it looks in this picture.

Anyway, these two quit and they all headed around the corner. Unfortunately, that was the end of our quiet walk.

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They all decided it was time to fight. Oh Goodie. Now I am a ways back. The four up in the corner are the 2 old ones, L55 and 1767, and the two young ones, N62 and P100. The 2 that are off by themselves are L40 and L66. Now, all the bulls are from the same breeder. The 3 with L number are all the same age. And apparently, they don’t get along. Actually I think L66 is a bully. They all went on fighting, despite my screaming at them and throwing rocks and sticks and anything else I could get my hands on and launch from that distance.

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And it just continues.

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And still going. Now eventually the young two and the two old ones over in the corner give up and continue down the trail. L66 and L40 don’t quit. In fact, they actually get more aggressive.

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After the other four went on by them, they continued to fight and actually come back towards me. You see the small waterway between them and me? Just out of the picture in the bottom corner it falls off in to a ravine. Well, so did they. Pushing and fighting the whole way. L66 ended up on top. By this time I am out of the pasture on the other side of two little tiny electric fence wires. I didn’t feel all that much better. Once the two crabby bulls get their feet, do they stop? Oh no. They start right back up and continue to head back the way we came. L40 decides this is obviously not his day to beat L66 and tears off down the hill we just came up. Only he veers off through the rose bushes with L66 in hot pursuit. Excellent. Well, the other 4 bulls have stopped, so I head off after the two fighters and try to follow them to get them back with the other 4.

Insert a HUGE SIGH here. Of course, since they are bulls, they don’t care if there is a path. No…they just run through whatever is in front of them, making it a little hard to follow. Plus, did I mention they are running? This is not the plan boys. I finally catch up to them on top of a hill half way across the pasture from where we need to be to meet up with the other 4, panting and resting. So I joined them because seriously? That was exhausting. How am I going to get these two back to the other ones.

Thankfully, the other 4 goofs decided that all the action was on our side of the creek. Here them come, across the creek, up the hill, through the bush, and up to the top where we are resting. Oh my gosh. After an hour and a half, I have all 6 Bulls kind of where I need them. If only they will walk now and stop fighting. Well, sort of. L66 wasn’t willing to give up and of course he is in the lead. About every 30 seconds he turned on all 5 and they all scatter. I throw something at him and round them back up and we go again. Finally I get them back across the creek and start up the hill. Of course L66 has to try to start it again with L40. Off they go, back across the creek and half way up the other hill again.

By now I am probably not staying out the way like I should, but he is making me mad. They take a break and I walk up and whack him across the rear. I take L66 by himself, back across the creek and back up the hill and through the gate. Where, I should mention, he took after the other 4 promptly upon enter the pond area. I go back down the hill and get behind L40 who is not really sure he wants to go into the pond area but after a little convincing, he went. So the fighting starts all over. Oh for goodness sake.

After about 20 minutes of not agreeing, they finally went through the gate into the front. Of course they had to fight on the way through the gate and broke the end set. Awesome.

So now that this is done, I head to mom’s to find out what my second job is. Want to guess?

Yeah, go get the bulls into the corral. Just perfect!! Some days I just have to laugh at myself.