Monday, October 05, 2009

Farm Update

Seems it will be yet another 4 weeks until my desktop is back from the repair shop! I'm using the little laptop and I hate it. Well I'm getting used to it actually. I haven't posted in so long I don't even know where to start! All my friends and family keep asking me when I'm gonna post again! And its that time of year for all the cattle questions to start coming in. I've already had several searches so guess I'll try to get back in the swing of things.
Harvest time is upon us here at the farm. Corn and beans are ready. Corn is right at 20% and Norm is going cut some to put in the bin with the fan to dry them out a little further. 20% is the highest you can go. The beans themselves are just right, but the stems are a little green and tough, so he is going to adjust the bean head on the combine and start running them. I havent gotten any good pictures yet, all its been so far is just machinery work getting it all ready to go! Kinda boring to me!
The two little cows above are MY newest additions. Flower is the mother and Lilly is her baby. I finally found my Jersey's! Flower is a 14 mo old and she was bred way to early but luckily had her calf, Lilly, safely and both are healthy. Flower (the momma) is a little thin, but will soon get to a healthy weight. She is eating awesome and the baby is as well. Both are extremely docile for not being hand raised. A trait of the breed. I'm really pleased and I've been spending a lot of time with them. In the few days I've had them they are now eating hay out of my hands! Soon I'll have them gentled down with a halter on them, and hopefully can work on leading. They are so sweet natured and quiet. Lilly the baby is even more curious and friendly than her mother!
The last month or more my very good friend and neighbor, Mari, have been putting in A LOT of hours working in the barn. The stalls have been holding water and urine more and more. I guess with the horses in the barn more often the ground is getting even more hardened and holding the liquid. its been so bad that we have decided to place a dense grade gravel down that will pack and harden over time like concrete yet still allow water to drain. A THICK layer of straw is then laid over top to prevent any sore legs or hoof problems. The horses will only be in this barn until spring, then another barn that is on the property thats not being utilized will be turned into their very own home. More space, better drainage, and access to a pasture that will be all their own without having to be moved for cattle or shared at any time. Its been a lot of work shoveling all that gravel and laying it all out as thick as we needed it to be. But I have to say I think the both of us got some muscle and lost a little weight in the process, not to mention how good the hard work feels when your done and the pride of your accomplishment feels! The barn will go back to the cattle, my baby calves and not have standing water! Which means no more wrestling baby calves at feeding time and getting covered from head to toe in poo and pee!!!! Well, if you know cows thats still gonna happen but not as bad now since the rain water doesnt hold in there now! :-) In this process of barn renovation I have discovered that MY horse King has fallen in love with someone else....yes..its true. *sigh* Its Mari. He loves her. She pulls in and his head snaps up, he comes up in the field to greet her right away with this beautiful rolling snort, lays his head on her shoulder, will let her rub him for ever as long as she will, in fact she can groom him awhile the other horses eat and he forgets about his food....YES...he doesnt care about eating even! Should I be jealous? LOL No...I've actually enjoyed watching this special bond develop. To see My Boy who a yr and half ago who was a horse closed off to the world, blossom into this beautiful loving horse who now loves the attention of humans and who has not only bonded with us but with really warms my heart to see them together. Okay, a twinge of jealousy!
Our Little Jack has had so much going on its unreal! I'm so proud of Leah and all her hard work which is paying off. He is the perfect horse to be her first to start. And she has done well! Here is an overview of the past couple months....first bath...first farrier work (no shoes just trimming) bridle...taking the bit...learning the bit...FIRST RIDE...

I think this is one of my favorite pictures I've ever taken of Leah with the horses..can you feel the love they were both feeling at that moment?
So..with each of these...Jack has been..let me say...PERFECT...not a jump, not a buck..not a scoot, not a twinge of nervousness! He acts like an old horses who has done all this a thousand times! He will make Leah such an awesome horse. He is just a couple months shy of turning 2, so they have many many years together and I think that is so awesome!
This is one of my VERY good friends Libby! She and her family came to visit, had a cookout and bonfire and a WONDERFUL time, I loved each of them. It was the first time I'd gotten to meet her two boys and her husband and it was really a lot of fun and I cant wait to have my hippie momma Libby and her clan back again! I love you Libby!!!!
So thats it in a nutshell.
Our annual Bonfire and Hayride is coming up for our birthdays....Leah, Mine, and Norms, and my nephew John's birthdays are all in October. I cant wait for our big party! It is always SO much fun! I love having our bonfires, we didn't get to have as many this year, it seemed to rain every time we planned one!
I'm going to try to get back into the swing of things again, I miss reading every one's wonderful blogs and I need to catch up, I wonder how everyone is doing, how your farms and horses are, your crafts are going, etc. And just how YOU are in general! I have missed you!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I dont even know where to begin

*warning my pictures are not in any order! lol sorry about that! my post is actually at the bottom of my pictures its late and I'm too tired to organize it all!*
Here are some pictures taken since I last bloggedThis is Buck being worked in the Round Pen Norm built for us
Leah working Jack
This is a picture of a living roof taken while on our trip with Mari last Sunday to Bernheim Forest..if I could build a house any way I wanted my roof would look like this, other pictures from the day are on here too but like I said my pics are not in order
here is Chicory (formerly known as Babe - story is posted below)picture taken tonight
This is Lauren riding Buck, his first ride in over a year
this was also taken at Bernheim Forest, this little deer has been there since before my kids were born, he was shot in the eye by a hunter and has lived there his entire life, I have pictures of my kids with him over the years, it will be weird to go and him not be there one day
this is one of the coolest statues there at Bernheim, its titled "emerging"
This is my friend Mari who we went to Bernheim Forest with, yes, she is like me and always has her camera with her as well
Chicory (formerly known as Babe) is actually Peppers horse, she roosts with her, nests in her hay, and Chicory wont eat her hay if there is an egg there either
one of the many flowers at Bernheim Forest
Taken Last Saturday when Leah and I went riding through the farm
Bernheim Forest again
And again
Our farm
Same day, oh hey...I've lost 14 pounds since we've last talked!
And I'm still a nerd, couldnt loose that unfortunately!

My view Saturday from my horse
Doug got him a squirrel last Saturday when he went hunting with my dad
my ride on My Boy King tonight -

We have had 4 fogs so far this month....4 snows this year then....hmmm we'll see.
This is Jasper, Mari's new kitten who showed up one day
Douglas climbing a hill of shale at Bernheim last Sunday
Leah working with Chicory flexing
Leah and Lauren taking Chicory and Buck out for a ride, Buck's very first ride thru the farm..he did well and only spooked once
Me tonight - notice my little trail friend will see him in every ride set of pics...he is always with us
Yeah so I wore my shorts to ride..So?
Doug working on his balance in the round pen on Chicory
Lauren working with Buck
Okay now onto my post
It's been so long since I've posted I have no idea where to start.
Not too much has gone on as far as farm work...well I mean the planting and plowing kind of work. Norm has been busy bush hogging and mowing and getting equipment ready for harvest.
Douglas turned 11 on July 20th, he had his friends over from school along with family and friends of ours for a cookout.
Leah had her best friend come for 10 days and they worked with Buck riding him for the first time in a year. Not to mention riding each and every day. Norm got us a round pen fixed up! WOW what a difference that has made!
I've been riding a lot, HEAVEN!
Jack - What a total 2 year old he has become. He can get out of anything and we have to come just short of pad locking his stall to keep him in, should have named him Houdini. He is also a thief. His newest game is to run off with things out of the barn, luckily he drops them before he gets to far.
King - Wow in just over a year My Boy has come so far. He came back to me a very withdrawn, inward closed off horse, to a horse that now seeks me out, calls for me, and wants my attention AND affection. Yesterday I couldn't get him to leave the barn when I turned them out. This was the first time that has ever happened. He hung around while I cleaned stalls, I was literally bumping into him the whole time. He let me hug all over his neck laying his head on my shoulder. He and I have really bonded strongly. I'm very proud of the progress I have made with My Boy.
Babe - Well the first major change is her name. Leah and I have ALWAYS hated her name...she is far from an OX..she is a small dainty legged mare....and Babe is so generic..and Amy was kind enough to point out to me that it reminded her of that pig Babe...LOL thanks I have decided to name her after my favorite flower which happens to be a field flower that covers our fields here in a beautiful periwinkle...Chicory! So you wont hear me refer to her as Babe any longer!
So Chicory's progress is really coming a long. See when I sold King to this guy I also sold Chicory to, he was already closed off to humans, so when I got him back, no different. But when I got Chicory back ( formerly known as Babe) she was different. I didn't want to see it at first, and no matter how granny she may get some day she will always be beautiful in my eyes...but I could see the diff. in her even if I didnt want to admit it. The happiness in her eyes was gone. Her coat was dull, burnt, her eyes, were dull and far away life less, and she was thin.
no pep in her step. We had to practically chase her to catch her, she didnt trust us at all. But in the few months she has been back "home" with me. She is waiting at the barn each morning, she never turns her head from me, she lets me give her kisses, her coat is slick, shiny and black, her mane and tail are coming in thick, and her poor pitiful forlock is growing finally, and her eyes, those beautiful eyes I remembered are back. She has that pep again and on our last ride I had to hold her back and made her mind she wasnt a dead head!!!!!!!
I have more to much has gone those of you who read my personal blog I'm gonna do a post tomorrow...if you dont read it and want to let me's about why I haven't been able to blog lately.
Hope you enjoyed the pictures! I've missed you all a lot and I dont know how I'll ever catch up, but I'll try!
~*~ Rae~*~

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer has its way...

of keeping your time away from the computer! it seems like ages since I've written, and I sure need to catch up with everyone....wondering how the end of your summer is coming along?!
We have been having a really good time, since Babe has come home there has been A LOT of time spent with the horses. Doug has been riding a lot too, and even went with Leah throughout part of the farm, they didn't go to far on his first "trail ride", and he got a little nervous, but did well non the less
Yesterday a sweet neighbor Logan came over to get some lessons and fell in love with Babe. Here she is on King (she said he hurt her butt to ride LOL) They all had a good time, and I love to watch someones face light up when they hop up on a horse! I know how they feel! Logan brought her mother Evelyn, a very sweet woman, and my friend Mari (all of us are neighbors) over to watch the riding lessons given by Leah and Lauren (Leahs best friend).
Everyone is falling head over heels for Babe, I wonder if she knows just how loved she really is?
There really hasnt been much to report here on the farm other than riding horses...all the animals are doing great, Norm Neil and Doug and another neighbor kid - Tyler, have all been working hay since you last heard from me. Guess thats why I havent gotten on much. Time seems to be slipping away this year faster than summers in the past. Tomorrow my baby boy turns 11 years old! We are celebrating his birthday with friends and family with a cook out in the afternoon. We have been searching ALL year for the only thing he wanted for his birthday...a youth model 20 gauge interchangeable barrel shotgun/243. We wernt able to get it as a 20/243 but were able to find a 20/22. We will order the 243 barrel online for him so that he will have his own deer gun this fall to.
Last week we had a very interesting view of a storm rolling in. My neighbor called me and told me to get outside with my camera it looked like we had mountains in the distance...hmmm. Walked outside to see the most magnificent clouds I've ever seen! They did look like we had mountains in the distance, or waves of the ocean. I've never seen clouds like this was really cool! The kids and I watched until the unique clouds disappeared. Very cool. I took a few pictures and of course they just dont do that sky any justice, but here they are any way.

Well I've got to begin preparing for Douglas' birthday party tomorrow, and get some supper laid out. You guys have a great Sunday, I'll be by soon to catch up when things slow down a bit.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saturday on the farm

(Molly above) We have had some full days lately. Norm has been bailing and raking hay all week. Today he did the yards and mowed a path across the farm for us to ride. Its bumpy from the wet winter with tire tracks from the tractor and cow prints, and in the tall grass its hard for the horses to see all the low spots and with all the rain we also had some "streams" running through causing even more ditches. (Isnt he so sweet to take up all that time just so we could ride??!!)
Even the kittens got into the act! This is Cowboy and King

And even the little Indian couldnt resist a ride in the saddle!

Neil and Michaela (the neighbors down the street and my other "children") spent the day and have been dying to ride the horses and since the temps cooled down tonight they were finally able to. Michaela is too scared to be away from home over night so she didnt stay till morning, but Neil comes over a lot on the weekends and stayed the night with Douglas.

This next pic is Michaela and Cowboy...again the kittens couldnt stay away and wanted to join in the fun (cowboy likes to play with the horses and swing from their tails!)
Cat in the hat?'s really Cat on a hat
This is Neil (he is a little too big for Babe)
But he sure did fall in love with her right away! No she isnt a pony, he is just very tall and she loves hugs so she lowered her head down for some affection from her new friend.
Now this is a better fit!
Can you see the love in Dougs eyes? I have just been so tickled with how he is riding, just jumping up there and going off like he's done this his whole life! he has finally faced his fears, next step is riding King, but he isnt confident enough yet for him.
Michaela was a little scared and has only been on a horse a few times, but she did well for her first time, with lessons from Leah,
Here goes Doug off on his own to the other end of the pasture, he even loped with her! Soon he'll be cantering along like a little cowboy
Best Friends (I love this picture!)
But this is my favorite! I wish it was more clear, my camera was taking some blurry pictures today and I couldnt figure out why.
The geese on the pond were making their way for a good nights rest

We topped the day off with the 5 of us (me and Norm, Leah, Doug, Michaela and Neil) sitting outside watching fireworks down the street making up for the rainy 4th of July, and my good friend Tina came over and we sat outside until well after midnight laughing and having such a good time! The only thing we lacked was a bon fire...why didnt I think of that?
Our days have been filled with horses since Babe has come home, work on the farm has actually slowed down since planting is done and most of the hay bailed and put away. Norm can now finally breathe a little easier now, and hopefully wont have to work anymore 15+ hours a day now thats its slowed down.
So what did you do today?