Adventures of Memorial Day Weekend

Well, I had big plans for the weekend. They mostly consisted of tilling my garden, planting as much as physically possible and mowing. But the torrential rain we got Saturday about noon really set me back. No tilling meant no gardening. I did finally get most of my mowing done. But, since I couldn’t do what I wanted I found other ways to keep busy!

Saturday…

 

20170527_094142
Piper checking on the overly dramatic Raider the Sheep after his banding.

 

Started to morning by banding all the boys, goats and sheep, and giving them their second CDT shot.

20170527_100929 (2)
Button with Laker and Royal(standing) Dodger being a little dramatic.
20170527_100947
Indi with Ziggy (back) and Xavier (front) who wasn’t dramatic at first and then holy cow goat!
20170527_100940
Scarlett’s kids Jacy (left) and Jeff (laying down) wondering what the heck happened here?

Once we got that done I ran to town for some groceries. I was still planning on tilling the garden about 1. Then the rain came. Hard fast moving rain that dumped about .9″ on us. Gee just when my garden was almost dry enough to work in. Sigh.

20170527_190406

After some minimal pouting, I turned around and this. How can you be upset about rain when there is beauty like this behind you?

20170527_185812
Cookie
20170527_185212
Miss Kitty
20170527_185224
Taj

So I brushed these guys out and double checked new tattoos and nails and switch them to the outside pens. Then I kind of wandered and checked everything out.

Much to my surprise the pigeons have started laying eggs! We got two, but one had a tiny crack. They are so cute.

Sunday…

20170528_131158.jpg

Madelyn had gone camping with some friends, so the boys and I decided we should have our own adventure. We sent to Buffalo Wild Wings and ate, which was probably enough excitement for the day to them. Then we head on west of Ames to the Ledges State Park near Boone. They weren’t sure what to expect. At first, I think they were fairly convinced that they were going on an adventure like we do at Mom’s house. With creeks and ravines and some trees. They like those adventures, sure, but I think they were hoping for something new.

20170528_130546

They thought it was very beautiful walking through and finding stairs. They were sure by this point that we had seen the ‘ledges’ that were actually just little ravines.

20170528_130638

His face when he actually saw the Ledges, completely priceless!

20170528_130634

The excitement level ramped up a bit here. While we still had to hike a ways, they couldn’t wait to see what it actually was like down there!

20170528_13305420170528_13093520170528_133115

It was beautiful. I had driven here before but never taken the time to walk around. It was beautiful and a perfect day.

20170528_134901

20170528_134816
I am almost certain that Landon has done or said something that upset Denton here!

 

Of course they had to get in the water and played and explored here for about an hour.

20170528_135133

The swallows nest along the ledge are crazy. It looks like they barely fit.

 

20170528_142026
Third time up these stairs, my energy is fading, theirs seems to be growing!

20170528_14203720170528_142050

 

They were very excited to get to the top and see what was up there. Ended up mostly trees, but there were some beautiful sights on the way.

 

20170528_142136
Looking back to where we had been.
20170528_142145
Straight down.

Over all it was a great afternoon together. We finished by heading through Dairy Queen for a smoothie and headed home to clean up and relax. Which is when I finally got the mowing done.

Monday…

20170529_071453.jpg

Started bright and early at the Rhodes Fire Department Annual Memorial Day Pancake Breakfast! Yum! Then I had to go to town for our business to get everything finalized for the Rhodes Memorial Day celebration. Then we got ready and headed to Collins to meet at the cemetery for the event there. I missed taking a picture of the awesome fly over a local pilot does! It was very cool and I got caught watching!

Then after we all ate dinner at the bar in Rhodes with the local legion, we all headed back to mom’s for our family fun! Started by getting supper ready and cooking and then headed out for an pasture adventure.

 

20170529_165109
His boot tops are too short to get in.

20170529_16502220170529_165051

20170529_165539
Littlenephew made it to the top of the big big hill.
20170529_165758
Throwing rocks.

20170529_165910

20170529_170416
Niece#2 was actually considering pole vaulting the creek!
20170529_170619
Niece#3 was happy to help her sister out in this poor idea!
20170529_170751
I wonder what Denton and littlenephew are discussing?

 

 

Just missing Niece#1, Niece#5, BigNephew, Sisinlaw and Brother, but quite the crew. My heart is full. After a Creek long adventure, we headed back to check food and play our usual game of kickball! No serious injuries, but Sister did come out of retirement and she might be a little sore today!

We celebrated Niece#3’s birthday and had way to much food and a lot of loud discussions, but there is no where I would rather be!

Thank you to everyone who has and will serve for this blessed life and beautiful country I get to call home. Freedom is not Free.

 

After being gone

20170319_182017.jpg
Scarlett Buck Jeff

Well, I will start with before I left actually! A couple days before we went on vacation Landon discovered that Scarlett had a baby!

I went out and checked and since she was still pushing, waited and it wasn’t that long and…

 

20170319_183359
Spotty doe! Her name is Jacy.

 

Yup! Twins. I was relieved because they had a couple days to get going before we left for a week.

 

20170319_183608
Jacy in the back, Jeff in the front

 

Then since we were going to be gone to save people the trouble, we moved Scarlett and babies, Indi, Button, and Tawny to 7th Heaven Acres so that Niece#4 and Sister could care for them and check the other 2 does that are due any time. Tawny went along for the ride because after being in with the bucks for over a year and still not getting bred means she needs to go to the sale barn.

 

20170320_174637.jpg
Scarlett and babies settling into their vacation home.

 

20170320_174644.jpg
Indi, Button, and Tawny settled into to their vacation home.

Sister had a goat that need to go to the sale as well, so she was kind enough to take Tawny for us that week.

 

indixavier.jpg
Indi’s buck Xavier

 

They were also kind enough to care for Indi, who decided to kid while were on our way to the airport! I mean why wouldn’t she? I have only been doing barn checks for the entire week before we left through the night.

 

Indibabies17
Xavier and Ziggy

 

I am really not all that upset because she has proven she is an excellent mother and had wild colors again so we are happy. Another buck and doe for us. So we returned from our trip and got everyone moved home and settled back in. It is spring so it’s time to start thinking about fair. Since this is Denton’s last year as a Clover Kid, that means bottle babies.

 

20170401_182203
Jazzy
20170401_182445
Buster

 

 

 

We got these two from my friend Deb and they took right off. Unfortunately, Jazzy took a turn for the worse and despite the vet and I trying everything we couldn’t save her. The next day, my friend Michael came walking up to me and said ‘I have something for you’

 

20170409_080536
Dear friend Alishia really wanted to claim him for her own!

 

Not a goat but he had a lamb that no one would claim. They are his dad’s and his dad is on vacation currently so I brought him home to bottle feed as well. Meet Raider the Lamb.

Then we had some excitement at Sister’s farm! Prim, Niece#4’s bottle goat from a couple years ago had her first kids! Triplets!! They are tiny, adorable, and doing great! They all pretty much look exactly like the one that Neice#5 is holding! Niece#4 got 2 bucks and a doe. She was so excited she could hardly breath!

 

20170408_134633
Niece#5 and Leia with Denton looking on. The bucks are Hans and Luke.
20170408_134408
Neice#3 and LittleNephew checking out Polly’s buck

Then more excitement at their farm. Polly, Neice#2’s Alpine doe had twins! A beautiful buck and an equally beautiful black doe! She has named her doe Layla and was unsure of a name for her little buck.

Then we come back to our place for more excitement of the spring! Button was still expecting and she sure surprised us!! Landon called me in a panic. ‘Are there supposed to be 7 babies in with Scarlett?’ Umm, no unless someone had new babies!

20170406_180812

And someone did! Button gave us a variety pack of color in her triplets! 2 does and a buck for us!

 

20170407_194100
Button’s does Royal
20170407_194108
Button’s buck Laker
20170407_194116
Button’s doe Mystic

So far, other than some wonky legs that first day, they are all doing well and appear to be getting enough from mom! I will watch them carefully to ensure that their tummies stay full and they are growing without supplemental bottles.

After the triplets were born, the kidding pen seemed a little full with Scarlett, Indi, Button and 7 babies vying for spots to lay down and eat. Scarlett’s kids were bigger and doing great so I kicked them outside.

 

20170407_200043
Jeff and Jacy

 

They could not be happier! Oh the bucking and kicking and jumping that is going on out there! They are absolutely adorable and so much fun to watch. Indi and her two will probably join them after this next round of rain.

 

20170407_194052
Not a great picture, but Pearl is the black and Diamond is the light

Meanwhile, since I was moving around, I figured it was time to wean these two. Janet and Diana had pretty much already done the weaning, but I would like the two does to dry up and put some weight back on before rebreeding. So these two are in with the bottle babies to eat and grow.

Now that everyone that is currently due has kids on the ground, I only have to find a bottle doe for Denton. I really want him to have the chance to have a doe like Scarlett that Landon raised. He’s pretty sad about Jazzy, because she just a doll, but unfortunately with farming, things go wrong sometimes for no reason at all. This should catch you up on the babies for now. I will get out and get more updates on everyone else soon.

 

 

 

Moving Bales

Some jobs just have to be done. They take time and are kind of the same thing over and over. Like today. We were moving bales from the farm by Sisters house to Brothers House. Start by unloading the back of the trucks so the flatbeds can be hooked up. Load the skidloader, and off we go. Load both trailers.

20160823_151013.jpg

Brother drives the skidloader, I drive both trucks. After they are loaded, he gets out and takes one and I take the other home. The first two loads we left at the farm we were at for later.

20160823_155919.jpg

Once we get home, he gets on the 706 and unloads. He is getting quite the pile stored up. But these have to not only feed his calves he weans, but also all his cows, spring and fall herd, all winter.

20160823_160614

This is what he had before we started unloading.

20160823_160619

And all those on the other side of the dually. While he unloads, I unstrap the trailers and then move the trucks and bring the other one up. Only one minor mistake today. I was watching my trailer so I didn’t run down too much of his hay field that is right beside me and bumped a bale. I think I cracked his bug shield, but he isn’t convinced it wasn’t already. I hate when I do things like that!

20160823_165229

Repeat the same process, there were 62 bales putting 8 on the dually trailer, 7 on the grey truck trailer, so we had to load and unload 4 times. Brother had to go back and get one last bale and the skidloader, but he did that after supper.

We did have a couple little helpers today. Little nephew is trying to ‘jump in’ the truck.

20160823_152940

Niece#5 was my copilot. She is loving having to help farm. Brother is going to have some really great helpers!

20160823_151139

Niece#5 picked me some beautiful flowers. I was supposed to keep them, so I stuck them in my hair. Because she says ‘everyone should be pretty, even when they are sweaty and gross’. I think she has a point!

 

 

Walking Beans

We might be old fashion but that’s ok. I like old fashion. Technology is great, but sometimes nothing beats good old fashion hard work. This is one of those times. Brother has tried spraying, but certain weeds just don’t respond to spray anymore. Like lambs quarter and water hemp. They might be stunted, but then they almost always come back stronger.

20160805_125544

We started in the big field. We are a little short of help this year due to Niece#3 having surgery earlier this summer and Niece#2 having a stress fracture in her leg. I know they are really disappointed at not being able to help.

beans3

But Niece#5 was there helping! She doesn’t take up many rows but she is learning and trying.

beans1

Niece#4 was there and did a really good job. You can barely see her, just her red hat as she is bent down pulling a tough one while Denton takes a break. Big Nephew got in on one day before he leaves for the start of Football season.

beans2

Denton and I working? He did the whole field with us, which with half mile rows makes a mile a round. We figure we made about 10 rounds yesterday.

beans4

He was a trooper. Only complained a little mostly about being tired, which we all were, but it was a great day to get a field knocked out.

beans5

This is how you hold your hook evidently. Landon struggled a little but I think that had more to do with being tired than anything. You should have seen the energy these kids had after we were done.

20160805_125622

Dinner time in the field with the whole crew. Brother, Mom, Big Nephew, Nieces#4 and #5, my 3 kids, Neighbor and Neighbor’s Grandson made a pretty good little group. We ended up about 3 rows short of finishing. One thing Mom is very talented at is packing a meal in a field for a crew.

20160808_111757.jpg

We have a couple fields left and are hoping to knock them out early this week before more rain.

Wesley and Michael.jpg

Little nephew doesn’t get to spend the whole day in the field. But he sure is excited when he gets there. Especially to see his dad. Brings tears to my eyes remembering how Brother ran to Dad this way. It’s great when your hero is the guy at the end of your row.

20160808_121704.jpg

One of my favorite statements Brother has told the kids when they complain that walking beans is the worst thing ever, “if you can do the worst job in the world well, everything for the rest of your life should be easy”. Each year the kids get better and better at it, watching Big Nephew patiently coax his sister along and check on her shows that they do grow out of the complaining stage and become leaders in the field.

Until next Summer

It’s that time of year. Big Nephew is going back to school. We have basically spent most days together as partners in crime.

20160701_194920

He might not be in every picture, he’s usually with me.

20160617_113923

He’s always patient with all my picture taking.

20160722_113422

He works pretty hard and is learning a lot.

20160620_113735

He helps me with my picture taking sometimes. He even laughs hysterically when he slingshots me to the creek. But that’s a story for another day. Let’s just say that regardless of what job we are tasked with, no matter how hard or how hot it is, it’s fun with him there to laugh with. I will miss him, but I hope he has a great year at college. Go Mustangs!

 

Pushing and Pulling

I told you that Big Nephew and I were tasked with clearing pastures. It has been fun and a lot of work, but I dearly love working with him and he’s becoming a pretty darn good dozer operator.mulestuck1

You may remember me telling you about that one time Brother buried Mom’s Mule?

mulestuck2

And we had to go a little over board to pull it out?

20160801_153027

Well, this is the reason we were in the creek in the first place. During a flood this tree either fell in the creek or was washed down through our gap. Brother had the Mule in the creek trying to get this huge tree cut up and burned. He managed to get the branches and the root ball cut off.20160801_153028.jpg

You can see the root ball way in the back where the tree originally was. As you can see the tree has moved away from the root ball and Brother would like it out of the creek before it goes around the creek and takes out another gap.

20160801_154710

We started by trying to hook on to the front and pulling, first with one chain, then with two to get the dozer out of the water. It didn’t really matter, the tree just dug in and wouldn’t move. So back he went to the other end to try pushing.

20160801_155609

He had to back around it or he would just dig big ruts in the creek.

20160801_155618The pushing worked for a little bit and then back to the front to pull again.

20160801_154757

He went until the dozer started digging in again.

20160801_155545

So back around he went. Again.

20160801_160950

This time he made good progress! We are out of the creek. Of course this is about the time the track on the one side decided to quit working. When he wanted to turn, it would not. When he wanted to go straight, it would turn him. But Big Nephew is not a quitter. He wanted to get this tree out of the creek.

20160801_161223

He pushed at one end, then the middle, then the other end. Back and forth until it was finally up on the grass and high enough the water shouldn’t get to it. We then had to park the dozer and got to clear the pasture the old fashion way. With our hands. Ok we cheated a little…

20160722_114808

But we did use our hands!

 

Lately

Here lately, besides taking time off for the fair and baling hay, Big Nephew and I have been clearing pasture. I am sure we are going at a snails pace compared to more experienced operators, but we are certainly making progress!

20160722_113422.jpg

He’s the dozer operator. I am what you would consider the supervising grunt. We work really well together. I get him started moving something, and then while he is getting it in the pile, I pick up the bigger ‘sticks’ that are left behind.

20160722_114808

Ok they are really not sticks. Like small branches. But half of them are so rotten that they actually don’t weigh anything.

20160722_114812

The hillside is looking much better and now Brother will be able to run through it with the Bushhog mower and tractor.

20160722_114815

And we will be able to have some bonfires! I really like jobs that when you are done you can walk away and look back and see how much you got done. Makes being exhausted feel a lot better!