Saturday, February 28, 2009

March Giveaway!

Each month my Etsy Team features one of our team members for a monthly giveaway! This month is my turn and I'm excited about the items that I've included! All you need to do to win is visit our teams blog at : Bluegrass Etsy , simply visit my shop HERE, and then come back to our teams blog by clicking HERE , and leave a comment about my shop. Winner will be chosen at random from comments left April 1, 2009.

Here is what I'm offering in this Months Giveaway!

My ultra-nourishing soap combines Goat Milk and Honey in a base of wonderfully moisturizing saponified oils, unrefined Shea and Coca butters, that will nourish your skin from head to toe. Honey is a natural humectant, which draws moisture to the skin, and Goat Milk is a natural skin moisturizer and is great for sloughing away dead skin cells. With all natural ingredients, my soaps are hypoallergenic and mild enough for the softest, most sensitive skin.

All of our soaps are handmade with 100% pure and natural goat milk soap, and lots of love!
Goat Milk is known to contain lactic acid, proteins, vitamins, minerals, alpha hydroxy acids, proteins and Vitamin A and E that regenerate skin cells and nourish the skin, and leaves your skin feeling soft and hydrated! Gentle enough for your face and body! Goat's milk also has a pH level that is very close to our own skin's pH level which makes our 100% natural goat's milk soap gentle on even the most sensitive skin types including suffers of: Acne, Rosacea, Eczema,and Dermatitis.

Eco-friendliness: All ingredients of the soap will be decomposed into water and carbon dioxide by microorganisms within 24 hours after it is drained. However, it is not true if we say that it won't pollute the river and ocean at all, but I feel that using the natural soap creates much less damage to the environment than draining artificially produced, chemical-ridden substances into the water. Each of us can do benefit the environment by using the all-natural, handmade soap.


I - 6 ounce bar of the designer fragrance -"Very Sexy" by Victoria Secret for Women,A spicy citrus blend of light Bergamot & Jasmine, combined with exotic notes of Cedar Wood, Sandalwood, and warm musk. It has top notes of tangerine, pink lime, and bergamot leaves. The heart mixes Limewood, Cinnamon Bark and Sage. Vetiver and Orange Flower comprise the dry-down. "Very Sexy" lives up to its name, its as sexy and unexpected as the person who wears it!
You will also receive a 2 ounce Handmade Shea and Cocoa Body Butter with added beneficial oils in the same sexy fragrance. This Body Butter has the consistency of real butter, yet melts on contact with your skin! Use less than you think you need for this ultra rich Body Butter.

1 - 6 ounce bar of "Masculine Musk" for that special man in your life! Don't let the name fool you though, This warm yet extremely fresh musk based fragrance is one of my most popular with both men and women! A calming and soothing scent that you never tire of using!

1 - 5 ounce bar of my best selling "Oatmeal Milk & Honey"! This bar has been combined with my original Goat Milk, and Honey but also offers the soothing and exfoliating effects of real ground Oatmeal.

1- 2.5 ounce Guest Size bar of a fresh and invigorating scent called "Soapy Clean", the name says it all! A simple light unisex fragrance that leaves you feeling fresh and clean!

Also included is a large 2 ounce tub of Handmade Lip Balm flavored in "Strawberry"! This is the best lip balm I've ever used and the protective and soothing oils and locally harvested Bees Wax and Honey, last longer on your lips than any store bought balm or chap stick you could buy! The balm glides right on your lips instantly hydrating and softening your lips! And flavored with Strawberry, it cant be beat! I cant keep these lip balms on the shelf!

And thrown in for fun - a natural loofah sponge!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Farm Update

This week has been a busy one here on the farm.
Torro is coming a long nicely, healthy, and very active little bugger!
Georgia is getting closer to her due date! I'm very excited to experience the birth of a foal for the first time! I have come to grow on Georgia! She now knows that I am the bearer of good food, and she greets me with a friendly rolling snort! Get this! She even let me rub on her the other day! Woo hoo! Trust me that is progress.
Pepper is back to laying...but I wonder why everyone elses chickens lay more than 1 egg a day??? Is my Pepper defective?
Doug went to feed Torro yesterday afternoon and came running back to tell me there was a hawk in the barn...Oh no! Pepper! She was out all day! I ran down to find a Red tail Hawk finishing a meal of pigeon! Whew, pepper dodged the bullet! No more free ranging for her for awhile, now that the hawk knows there is a plentiful supply of pigeons, he'll be back again for an easy meal.
The bathroom that we have had renovated (new tile) is completed. We ended up having to get more linoleum but I really like the floor. Do you know how it is when you have a plan in your mind and its not done the way you want? Well the bath kinda ended up that way. The faucet in the tub is NOT what I picked out. For whatever reason they had to get another one, and i told them to get one like I had...same style...very country. They came back and put up a very modern faucet. Not at all what I wanted. Too late for me to say something.
I have a tile stripe running along the wall that I picked out..white beaded thin strip...I wanted it 3 tiles down from the end cap so that it would flow seamlessly along the wall, without the window or light switch breaking it up...both of these things were told to them several times, before I could say anything again....the stripe is only 1 tile down, with the window and light switch breaking it up...and to top it off the tile is not level in some places. *sigh*
And there is more...I wanted to keep the ceiling smooth, told this as well a few was textured before I even got back from taking Douglas to school!
The bad thing is...My uncle, cousin, and my uncles brother who remodel and build homes are the ones we contracted to do the bathroom and our hardwood floors. What do you do? Basically my uncle did it the way HE wanted rather than what I asked for. Bummed about that, because my vision for the bath is not carried through. I'll post a picture later....too upset to even walk in there right now. The white tile I picked out really brightened the room and made the bath look bigger...hey! A bright spot.
Cow and calf count on the hill is off...another baby was born yesterday which should make 8 calves, and only 7 has been counted for 2 days. This is not unusual, momma usually hides them away for 3 or 4 days before she brings him or her out to be with the rest of the herd.
Hopefully today we will get an accurate count.
Douglas is with his dad this weekend and Norm and I are celebrating my good health report and the fact that I can no longer worry about my cancer, with our good friends Donnie and Michele. I'm hoping to get our other friends and neighbors too, Dennis and Mari to go with us, but I havent been able to talk to Mari yet.
I'm supposed to go to Mari's to take some pictures for our Etsy teams March giveaway.
I'll post the link and instructions to win! It begins March 1st! Yea!
So this morning I've been busy making soap again! I LOVE IT! I also got an order last night, just 36 hours after I re-opened my Etsy shop. I had it closed since the ice storm. I've listed new items too, so come check it out.
I'll be getting some more on there tomorrow...some great body butter...Victoria Secrets - VERY SEXY! YUUUUMMMM is all I can say!
I got a wonderful surprise yesterday!!! Kacy gave me a call on the tele! We have become friends through blogger world and it was so great to "meet" in person! Unfortunately she lives in far away! Why is it that my friends have to be so far away!!!!! Bummer! I do plan one day to get out and meet everyone "proper-like"! I sure NEED to win the lottery so I can do all I plan in life! Kacy it was awesome to talk to you! I hope you get that blog issue worked out, and to get to mine its on my side bar...I NEED to write in it! I also hope that you get those issues we talked about cleared up and over with!
Cathy! Your so close, no reason not to come down and meet up! We'll celebrate our benchmarks with cancer like you said! We are both survivors and should be celebrated! YEA us! So let me know, I'm up for getting together!
Libby Dear - your so great! Leah is home next weekend...Indian??? Can you do that?
Let me know! I am excited to see you again! Hopefully I can meet the boys too!
Did I tell you that I love the dreads????
OOOOH just got an email I made another sell on Etsy! YEA...I get to make more soap! Tomorrow!
I had better jump off here, I gotta get cleaned up, I'm supposed to go to Mari's and take some picks of my giveaway items and email them to the team.
Like I said I'll let you know when its up, the link, and what to do!
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

8 Random Things

Amy has tagged me for a list of 8 random things.
This will probably be pretty boring, but here it goes!
1. My favorite color is Periwinkle
2. I loathe doing laundry
3. I love to color in coloring books! ;-)
4. I wanted to be a Vet or Archaeologist when I was younger.
5. I learned to drive when I was 14
6. I remember my first plane ride when I was 2 years old
7. I worked in banking for 13 years
8. I want to build a backyard habitat for native birds and wildlife this year
See- told you I'm boring!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

~*~Babe - A rock when I needed one the most~*~

There are things about me that I dont post publicly, some are just hard to talk about openly.
I did a post awhile back saying that I was going to tell you the story about Babe.
4 years ago I was diagnosed with Cancer and went through severe depression. It really hit me hard in every way and I wasnt myself for a long time. Cancer is scary, ugly, and something that you eventually quit talking about all together because you hear so many of the same questions from the same people, and you cant bear to be reminded every day, you do that yourself! They have good intentions dont get me wrong! I'm thankful for those same people. But its hard enough to wrap your mind around it, let alone try to help others wrap their minds around it! The same question day after day after day gets hard to handle.
I had surgery, a full hysterectomy which I wasnt ready or prepared for, but no one is prepared for something like that anyway. My doctor called it "corrective surgery". Due to being such a low stage of cancer I didn't have to go through any Chemo or radiation. I thank the Lord for that every day.
About 6 months after surgery when I went in for my routine pap to make sure all was clear. I didn't expect anything except that all is clear. I'd had a "corrective surgery" right? I got a call that devastated me. I still had active cancer cells, though they were pre-cancerous its not a good thing. I was recommended to Louisville Oncology ( who are great by the way) and had to have a pap test every 2 months. They came out abnormal...the next step is a colposcopy which is where they use a vinegar to highlight cancerous areas under a special light, which then led to biopsies. This went on every 2 - 3 months.
When I got the call that my pap was abnormal after my surgery I broke emotionally. Talk about not handling things well...I ended up on the floor crying for hours. I was scared to death. I had already been told that if the cancer had invaded the tissue in the walls that radiation was the only option...and I was told how that would turn out...I'm not going to list the uglies here, you can look online about what radiation can do to you when you have cervical cancer! Its not anything I would wish upon anyone!
I had gotten a mare by the name of Babe, not long before that, from an elderly woman whom no longer could ride and wanted to find her a good home. She was coming 9 years old, well broke, trail ridden up ( the lady stopped riding at 75 years old!!!!!!)
Babe was wonderful, she was gentle and loving. (I'll find her picture and post it on a later post)She would do ANYTHING asked of her without hesitation, and was careful to never do anything to scare you. When little kids led her around she would watch their feet to be sure not to step on them, when they rode she walked purposely slow and steady. Just an awesome horse, with a smooth gait and a willing to please attitude. I groomed her every day, building a very strong bond. We rode her often, and Leah used her in 4-H showing her and even winning several 1st. 2nd, and third place ribbons! I was so proud of both of them that day!
Leah rode her for 8 hours in a 4-H ridding clinic. Everyone wanted to touch her and ride her they commented on her beauty, grace, and quite knowing way about her.
I didnt go to the barn for a few days after I got that call...I couldnt deal with anything other than trying not to worry (yeah right!) and to be myself around my children and just "get myself up off the floor" so to speak.
I had a particularly bad day that same week as the call and needed to be at peace if only for a few minutes, so out to the barn I went to groom Babe - its a place I always loved to be in and was at peace within myself. So it only seemed logical. With her I always felt safe, protected, and loved. A strong bond. I didnt realize how much so until I got into the barn and brought her into the center isle. Before I could even tie the lead rope to a barn pole I again broke into a sobbing mess. I cried on my Babe as I leaned into her side. She never moved, just sighed heavily and let me cry. It felt as she was taking all my pain from me and holding it within herself.
Horsefly's where buzzing about and landing on her, never a move, I could feel her skin twitch from their bites.
I finally dried my eyes, she looked at me with her head hung low at eye level, and I knew she felt that I was hurting. I loved that horse, the rock I needed, when I needed one the most.
People who dont know a horse in their life time, or know one that is exceptional cannot understand how those of us who can cherish that special creature.
Some think I'm silly and stupid for how I've cried over the loss of Oliver last week, or reading this story, they will be critical and ugly.
I dont care. I know how badly I needed someone that day, when I had no one at that time, and she was there. In her lovely, graceful, quiet way.
I had to sell Babe 2 years ago, I had no where to keep her. It was a hard and painful decision. but I had to let go.
I've been thinking of asking my friend who helped me find her a good home if they wanted to sell her....its been on my mind a lot lately. I have had some health scares last week....a regular check up revealed some lumps in my throat. Nothing I expected, but with my history....again scary. This time around though if I got bad news I would be able to handle it so differently.
I received good news pap came back NORMAL for the first time in 3 1/2 years!!! My cancer is in remission - DORMANT - the relief I felt cannot be put into words!
My doctor did a COMPLETE work up of my blood, doing 5 vials of blood for tests I've never heard of...they all came back...PERFECT! The results from the ultra sound??? Didn't show anything, however it wouldnt show anything other than my thyroid...all clear. I've been given a prescription for some meds to see if it clears up the throat problem...which crossing my fingers it will...if not I'll be sent to a specialist. I'll know if it works within 8 weeks.
As I sit here now, I'm feeling that burden has been lifted, a burden that I've carried since October 2004. I feel peace....and utter joy. I am reminded of my beloved Babe. I remember staring into the precious eyes of an exceptional horse on that hot summer day, and I wish I could share that joy with a good ride just the 2 of us.
Maybe I'll find her again and have that joy I had for much too short of a time.
Being reunited with her, I cannot tell you what it would mean to me. I was able to reunite with king after several years....maybe one day Babe too....

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Torro Day 3/Mare Update/Calf count/Egg laying has stopped????

I was lucky enough to get a picture of the very first calf born this year! Can you see him??? Next are the first pictures of Torro taken, at a day old. What a cutie!!!!
Torro started out at just over a pint of milk, but wanted more. However not to shock his system and give him scours, we held off for two days feeding a watered down version of milk. He has acted like it wasnt enough so today tried him on a full bottle -full strength and sucked it down, wanting more! My goodness he will be an eater! This afternoon I gave him 1 1/2 bottles (3 quarts) and he filled up and only left a couple sucks of emptying the last bottle! He now knows who his mother is - ME- and follows me everywhere now. He finally got his legs last night, he looked bow legged at first and I was a little worried he had a deformity, but the straightened up good. I exercise him and get him to walk and run as much as I can. He helps me feed the rest of the barn. staying so close that when I stop I have a calf head running into my rear! LOL He jumped, kicking up his heels today for the first time! He is also getting some vitamines every 8 hours , 1/2 ounce due to size, its called Dairy and Beef Multi-Drench. So the critical part is over, unless he scours then its something to really watch, especially at this age, but he is very healthy and active and a great eater, good signs!
Pepper has now filled up a full carton of her cute little brown eggs! However she stopped laying for 3 days!! Any one know why??? Is this normal?
I have finally been by to see everyone, couldnt leave comments for a few, but I have been to everyone I follow! I'm so glad to have cought up!
I've had some new visitors and I want to tell you thanks for coming over to say hello! I hope you'll come back and visit some more! I'll come by and check out your blogs soon, tonight and tomorrow look to be busy....but I can't wait to check your little spot of the world out!
Georgia Update:
We have approximately 2 1 1/2 weeks until she foals...Today her bag has really filled in, and she had some discharge. I wish I knew more what to look for...again any suggestions and info on a mare foaling?
Calf Count
8 - On the Hill
7 - Poodles
5 - Heifers
Total as of 2/25 4:29pm = 20
Calf Lost (included in total above)
Making live calves
Calf Loss Reasons : 1- still birth
1- Buzzards
1- infection in navel area
Twin Count
1 set - Torro (rejected) and brother/buzzards
So yes Kim they can and do sometimes have twins, not often..BUT there are exceptions to every rule. 2008 we had 5 sets of twins and mother took care of both twins, except for on - Oliver...which is one the main reason you get a bottle fed calf. 5 sets is ALOT, only sometimes to you get of our bulls must be throwing twins. So we'll see how many more (if any) we get this year. last year we lost 13 calves - LARGE loss, but the twins help make up for that, and making it 8 loss - 4 or 5 is an average with this many cattle. Last year was super rough on them, the mud was just too much for those little calves.
We usually have a calf for every cow so we are expecting 170 calves...Next year we'll add 20 to that count..if we keep the heifer calves we want to keep this year. It all depends on the grain market.
Sold 20 of the heifer calves yesterday...smaller blacks and some of our Marchigiana mix whites. This is the dumbest thing...the feeder lots prefer an all black calf and will dock you for a white...HOW STUPID..they all eat the smae, but they say (supposedly) that all blacks eat more and gain more...hmmmm not sure on that at all.
Okay so here is the market:
Heifers averaging 430 pounds each brought 78.5 cents a pound (all blacks)
Heifers averaging 646 pounds each brought 75.5( mixed colors mostly blacks)
Thats the average we saw last night. Some heifers brought more than steers which is really differant steers bring more for the most part.
We are still feeding silage, but the mud has forced us out of the troughs and into the field laying it in wind rows and luckily the cows are eating it off the ground, in fact cleaning it up. Cows are fickle creatures, they often dont accept change - at least for a long time.
Well thats all for the report - Oh and Douglas made all A's and B's and Norm is WAY ahead of most who have had the same the worry is gone that he will hurt himself...well at least my worry, it could still happen for a time he needs to be careful...Ha whatever, Norm Careful.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

~*~Torro~*~Scours Remedy- answer to comments

They say when God closes one door...
another opens.
Whether this is true with beloved pets or not I dont know. Maybe its situational??
But today was a very exciting day for us, in fact the whole weekend was!
We had a cow calve twins, before the second one was born the buzzards got to it and killed it. Which unfortunately happens a lot, they can be more of a threat than coyotes. Our neighbors the last few years have had a lot of trouble with the buzzards. The momma cow never recognized the second baby.
Torro, born this afternoon, February 22, 2009
is our latest addition. He is my first hand raised calf of this year, and he came at the perfect time!
We are still so sad about losing Oliver, Doug wants to bond with this new calf, in fact he was the first to imprint on him, but he is hesitant and scared to get attached for fear of loosing him too.
I'm tickled pink for the opportunity to raise another baby, though its bitter sweet.
A new baby is what we needed to get over this bad week we have had.
Torro took to the bottle right away, no need to tube him at all! So much less stress on a calf that way.
He's a little case the name didn't give it away! he he!
Other good news...Georgia should foal within the next two weeks! Her bag is growing, milk vein is much more prominent, and she is heavy with her baby, now spreading her back legs a lot to walk and when she relaxes. She now greats me with a friendly snort, knowing I'm the one that brings her the food she has grown to eagerly await for as soon as I walk out of the house! She even let me rub on her head! Major break through. In case you dont know...she hated me. Why? No clue...but she did. I think she is warming up. She is defiantly a mans horse.
Leah has already named the know "here's my horse - Radish" LOL Horseradish! Yeah I know thats now how its spelled, but gives us a laugh anyway. The next heifer calf we have that will be kept hand raised or not is Patty...Cow-Pattie. Oh the fun we had today with names! Leah cracked me up today. I love when she is so happy and excited!
The next good new's....I've been feeling really bad, went to the OBGYN worried that my cancer had progressed again. I was supposed to get checked up every 3 -4 months, but I got so tired of biopsy's that hurt, more tests, pokes and prods and went through a rough time emotionally because of it all that I quit going. They didn't know where the cancer cells were coming from for sure and they were actually pre-cancerous. I had cervical and uterine cancer, however I was lucky enough that a full hysterectomy was considered "corrective surgery" they said. I wasnt staged no radiation no chemo.
I was so lucky.
But again this weekend - GREAT news! My cancer cells are no longer active, they are what the doctor said "dormant"! They may never even become active again...or they may never. But they arent now and thats the news I needed to hear. However...there is always a however huh?? No clue to why I keep getting the fevers and the general all over feel bads. And she felt my lymph nodes in my neck where hard and swollen, and felt several lumps on my neck....great. Wasnt expecting that! I had an ultra sound done on Thursday...hopefully that will be all clear. I'll know sometimes this week for sure. But I'm optimistic that it will be nothing.
The number one rule with a calf that gets scours is FLUIDS!!! They CAN die from scours. (for those who dont know....its the cows version of the runs!)
Here is the remedy...
Use for emergency Oral Fluids when you cant get to the store...
1 Table Spoon of 'lite' salt
1 table spoon baking soda
1 package jam or jelly pectin
2 quarts (4 pints) of water
Mix ingredients together and administer to cow or sick calf at least tow to three times per day if they have become noticeably dehydrated.
Some say to continue milk in between fluids, others dont..we have found its best to take them off milk for a day or two and give whats called Bounce Back, its the best we have found. There are many out can get all kinds at TSC including the bounce back....the others arent worth a crap.
There is also one called Scours Remedy..cant remember the color of the packets... I'm thinking blue? But dont mark my word I'll have to ask Norm about that one. On the Bounce Back..yellow comes in two separate powders that you mic in warm water and instructions on the back on how to administer and how much, how often.
Hope this helps you out, and I'm sooooo sorry I couldnt get this up here sooner. I hope Angus is doing better!
hmmmm this weekend was jammed packed and I still have not had the opportunity to visit every one, I'm really sorry I havent been by!
Several of you asked me:
Lisa - when we sell the cow that had the still birth, she will be sold but she will be bought for meet...sad huh, but thats what they are raised for.
Libby and Lisa were interested:
Why did the calf die? No way to really know. More than likely the calf had problems that otherwise would make it impossible to live, maybe a deformity of his internal organs? He was HUGE so maybe his momma was in labor actually for a long time and she wasnt having the contractions or able to deliver him. He was too big for her to have, so maybe he stayed in her too long? Maybe the placenta ruptured while he was inside? I just dont know. Generally I think its due to the fact that the calf had problems that would cause him not to survive regardless. Does Momma get depressed when this happens? I dont believe they have the same feelings that we have, but I did learn with Oliver that they do can enjoy our company and affection that we show them long after they quit taking the bottle. When a cow looses her calf for whatever reason, for days she will stay with him, never wandering far...nudging him to rise, clean him time goes on she wanders further and further away as her maternal instinct disappears. Not having the calf suck and seek her or call for her causes her to finally leave the dead calf. The cow today that had the twins was devoted ONLY to the first calf that the buzzards killed and never even recognized Torro at all as being hers, which is VERY common when twins are born. Libby. after trying to kill Norm and Neil when they got her in the barn to try to take to her other calf...I wont be patting her on the back! LOL But I'm glad she is fine and once she cannot find the dead calf, after awhile of looking and calling for him for a few for her will go back to normal.
One interesting thing about cows though along these lines...They will often leave several calves with a cow - the Baby sitter....go graze and enjoy the time off for several hours...then switch out! Its been so neat every time I see one cow with several of her herd members babies following her and doing whats told! Such a human thing to do isnt it???? I'm glad the pics didnt gross anyone out, I had several close ups that were much more graphic, but decided against those!
Yes Libby I'd LOVE to write a book, I've got lots to tell LOL I'm a talker anyway...but it would be so much fun!
Lets shoot for 2 weeks to get together for Indian food, Leah said I'm not allowed to go without her, Indian is one of her favorites!
Hi there Crystal J! I'm so glad you stopped by!!! I'll check to see if you have a blog and come visit! Lambs are so cute its got to be a joy to raise one!!!! Your so lucky! Where do you live?
I'm anxious to hear about what all you do!
Hi Kim! I'm sorry I've not been able to email you, I'm so back logged with all my Etsy stuff, and emails and my blogging friends its unreal! I hope things are good with you, and I'm still hoping that we can get some of our team members together soon, if not all of em, those of us really close! What fun!!!!!
Hey there Amy! I'll get my 8 random things up - promise! I cant wait to catch up with you!
Hi Elaine, I cant wait to see what art you have been working on, I hope the puppies are doing well too!
Thanks for your comment Cathy! I really miss my little guy.....thanks for stopping by!
Ramblings...your a doll, hugs appreciated! you too, keep the Terrorist healthy and away from hills!!! LOL seriously.....I wish I could have her, Lord those big brown eyes stole me long ago!
Hey there KK...I'm sorry to hear you in a sad mood too...I'll have to come over and see whats up! Whatever it may be...HUGZ!
Hey there Christy! Missed talking to you....yeah last week was rough all around..but we trudge on, I had tons of bad news but this weekend sure brightened my mood up tons!
Hi there Ian, glad you stopped by, I'll check out the blog you told me about sounds interesting!
Liz...send Maggie on over! LOL she'll fit right in the hen house! LOL
LOL Elaine..people probably think Leah and I are nuts! But like Liz said actually riding a cow isnt so unusual, they mostly do it out west, and in European countries...In fact I'm sure you've seen the old time paintings or pictures of little girls riding a big old gentle cow! It used to be done a lot back when! Wouldnt it be neat to do that though...ride a cow in a parade??? I bet Leah and I would be the one's who got all the glory and attention! Bet we would make the paper for sure! LOL
Hi there Sue! thanks a lot for your comments too! I hope to come over and visit in the next day or so...
Okay its about 11 pm and I will be going out soon for another bottle for the calf and then bed so I'd better hop off here to get that ready and check on little Torro...Pictures tomorrow I promise. It was too dark in the barn today to get any!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'll Miss You.............

February 8th 2008 - February 17th 2009
Those of you who have been following my journey know all about Oliver.
Oliver was my first hand raised calf, and quickly stole my heart.
To know me a few years ago, you know how I LOATHED cows. LOL I had a few bad experiences with them when I was younger, and I just grew to hate them.
Then - I met Oliver who totally changed how I thought about cows.
Oliver was a twin, who was orphaned by his mother. We spent 2 full days looking for where his momma had left him, in the biggest snow of the year. Huge fat fluffy flakes of snow were falling all around, and the silence of the snow fall was so breathtaking. Tramping around in the woods those two days with the snow and silence was just an awesome two days! No matter the cold, being in the middle of nature with no cars, concrete, sidewalks, or homes was calming. I dont think Norm would have wasted those two days to look for a calf if it hadn't been for me nagging him like I did.
Norm was ready to give up on finding the little calf.....but I wasnt happy with that answer either. Yes I was very scared of cows then, and wasnt attached to any of them (even though some had been given names!) I still couldnt let the little calf die. It had been 3 days now since we had seen him with his mother...time was running out.
At the last minute we heard a little muffled bawl of a calf! Finally! We got him home and warmed up and he was tube fed the first time, quite happy to have some warm milk in his tummy. Oliver was named after the movie Oliver Twist, who was an orphan too. Ollie took to the bottle quickly and his love for us was apparent from day one. We often got him out for long periods of the day and play all around the yard, with him following, jumping and making messes! I can't imagine what people must have thought as they drove by to see me and the kids running around the yard with a little calf following us everywhere just as if he was a dog! Yes we had several neighbors pull up to see this sight on more than one occasion, and a few near misses as people would strain their necks to see what in tarnations we were doing, and quickly have to swerve to get their car back on the road again!
He stole every ones heart, especially mine!
There wont be many like him, usually cows are aloof, but not Oliver. He loved every rub and scratch he could get and often made you love on him by rubbing his head all over you or putting his cold nose into your hand for a ear scratch! Tuesday morning came, already with me in a grave mood from the day before.
and then, we found Oliver, almost a year to the day that I first met him.
He somehow had gotten his back downhill and couldnt get up. Oliver was gone, dying sometime in the night.
Oliver was one in a lifetime.
Norm had just agreed a week before that I could keep him to use to teach Doug how to show calves, or just to keep as a pet. He knows how much I loved that little guy. Even though he was getting much bigger and a year old, Those dark brown eyes were the same as they were the day I first held his head in my hands.
My emotions were raw all day. I couldnt keep from crying, as I am now while I'm typing this and thinking about the week. Oliver taught me and my kids so much about cows, hand raising a bottle fed calf, the ins and the outs, and all the joy of a little calf who has adopted you as his momma. Oliver was special he can never be replaced. I'm so thankful that we got the opportunity to love and learn from him like we did. He has taught us all invaluable lessons over the last year of his life.
And with tears again tonight....I say goodbye to my Oliver.

You'll be missed by us all.....

I'm back!

One of this years first calves! And he is a little doll!
This is momma!
I've been gone so long! I'll have so much updating to do on everyone! I got TONS of emails and comments that I havent replied to, so I'll try to get caught up over the next few days. I probably wont be able to reply to each comment so I'll just say this...thanks guys for checking on me and your lovely comments!
I'll answer your emails later guys!
I have been lucky to have wifi access so I have been able to stop in by and by. I'm glad this nasty weather is gone....yesterday was 58 degrees and today I woke up to 26 degrees slapping me in the face! What a rude awakening! LOL
Okay so my blog is about farm life...the good the bad and the ugly...sometimes its a mixture of all.
Tuesday was a very unsettling day for me. I'm doing a separate post about that morning after this on a special topic.
But to put the day in a nut shell.......I wish it had never happened!
We began getting calves 6 days ago. We have a count tonight of 5 live births, 1 still birth, and 1 in the process of calving as I type. (I'm running out soon so we can go check on her)
Yes you read right, one still birth.
So I'm going to show and describe this incident.....I'm warning you now...if the sight of dead animals, or gross things make you sick...just go on and skip this post and go to the next. I have pictures included, not for the gore factor but for a learning experience.
Terrible Tuesday (as it is now referred too by me) started out with a flat tire on the trailer when we went to take the rest of last years calves to the sale barn, patched and promptly shredded half way there. But before we even left the house, we found a heifer (which is a 1st and 2nd year calving cow) trying to calve with her back downhill. Now cows are pretty athletic....that can be proven if you try to walk up to one of its little calves! They can jump and practically look like they are flying at you! LOL But when I cow gets her back downhill, feet uphill, they CAN NOT get up. Why? The way a cow stands prevents them from getting their footing or body rolled around when in this position. So this little heifer (who for a few days seemed like she was going to calve, acted a little sickly even)was trying to calve and if left there within 15 - 20 minutes would bloat and then die. The bloat is caused by the gases in their rumin not being able to be expelled or passed through the body. They can die within minutes if not found. We rushed to her, and saw an absolutely HUGE calf with only his muzzle and feet sticking out and the poor heifer flailing around everywhere. We pulled the calf, which is where you take some chains around each hoof, they are attached to a pulley- like pole and they are cranked tighter and tighter until it pulls the baby right on out.
Well did I say he was HUGE? OMG He was very big, no way momma could have had him even if she wasnt downhill! I pulled the bag from his face, and cleaned out his nose, and nothing. His head was REALLY swollen, and trying to "jar" him into breathing gave him a few kicks. Thats when we smelled him. Poor guy had died in the womb about 24 hours before she calved. No wonder she was sickly acting. Norm pulled her around and up on her feet and of course, things got worse...she prolapsed. Prolapse in case you arent aware is when the Uterus pulls free and falls through the cervix, or pelvic bone. So this poor sick heifer, who just lost her baby, sicker than a dog, been stuck for about 30 minutes, now had this happen.
Well Dr. Mark came out and sewed her back up, and after about 24 hours she was up and walking around and eating. Now she has to be sold, every time she calves she will prolapse. But at least she is alive.
So here are a few of the shots I took of the whole ordeal. I purposely didn't put the real Gorey pictures, I figured they were a little much. But here you will get the idea.
The day just wasnt a good one at all. In fact this week has been terrible. But I'm here and talking to you now! So there is a bright spot after all! ;-)
Well I'm going to prepare for my next's a hard one for me...and you'll understand when you read.
So to end on a good note.....we now have a full carton of eggs from Pepper! When my daughter gets home this weekend, we shall all have eggs for breakfast! I'm excited! And Lisa.....I read about your hen, Honey I too didn't think I could love a chicken.....but then again when I thought that, I'd never had a chicken...therefore I knew nothing! LOL Chickens are great and lovable and I'm sorry to hear about yours!!!!!!!!
Spinning yards....I assume that Angus is up and over scours???? I will post up that homemade scours remedy and what to do if a calf gets scours in another post tonight. Right now I've got to go check on a cow! Wish her luck!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The ice is gone...the heat wave is on!

"What are you looking at?.......yes......I'm beautiful...So?"
Pepper has become quite the D I V A! She is now posing quite beautifully for pictures! LOL What a crazy bird she has become! Not only does she follow me around the barn....she loves to sit on my shoulder....and inspect every little thing that goes must meet her approval. Since she has began laying...her little crop just appeared one morning.....over does THAT happen? My little girl is growing up! She is laying every other day....I reckon she feels too important to lay every day. Who knows what my little poultry is thinking! But this sure is a great picture isnt it?
The ice storm is passed...we got our electricity last Saturday...but still no phone service, and they told me yesterday they have no idea when we would get that still no Internet. But at least we have warm water! That first shower was the best one I'd had in 37 years!!
We went from single digit temps to 66 degrees! Kentucky weather is the most crazy and unpredictable of anywhere! Last year in Feb a tornado ripped through our farm, and through town, tearing up a path of snapped telephone and power line poles, ripped the roof off the high school, and several homes in its path were obliterated..several farms and a dairy were all but demolished....things have just now been rebuilt....and this happens. We were lucky last Feb...the tornado touched down in the back corner of our farm, but didnt get very destructive until it hopped over and began its terrible path on a neighbors farm...and it continued for several miles through E-town. So we dodged the bullet, and again we have been spared from too much loss. No animals were harmed and all fared well with this ice storm.
So its over, today is 66 and rainy (sorry Amy I think we stole your rain!). There is no telling what summer will bring. The last two years we have suffered a very bad drought.....we are praying this year will be the break we need!
The first possible day for a calf to come has gone and passed (8th) and still no little ones. Cattle havent been checked today though so maybe in all the rain and wind we got last night there are some little ones huddled up to their mommas today! Cows always choose the worse weather to calve in.
Norm and I ran into a neighbor at the mill where we went to pick up some horse feed yesterday, he has goats....but he didnt know of anyone around that I could talk to about getting some dairy's...then his wife called and offered us the Kentucky goat registry....YEA I'm getting somewhere! So we'll go pick that up this week.
I didnt get the chance to ride this weekend, but the kids and I did clean the entire barn out! My arms hurt soooooo bad Sat night I wanted to saw them off! Calves are WAY messier than fact 3 days after the calf's stall was cleaned its just as mucky and nasty as before! I was too sore and tired to ride....but Leah and I groomed the boys....Jack is a muddy stinky mess....King is polished and handsome! Leah wanted to bathe him so badly......I told her the next rain we get will clean him off for us....I was right, his white is white again this morning!
Jack was pretty skittish...he hasnt been worked with since the ice storm, so for 2 weeks nothing has been done with him. Leah went over some more desensitizing all over....we took the boys out to the yard for a little field trip. Wanted to see how he acted out of his element. He was very jumpy and nervous, but king just munched on grass and Jack took the lead and calmed down. He was jumpy again when leah was rubbing him with the lead rope, placing it on his back and rear and i did that to King so Jack would see the rope wouldnt hurt him...after that no problem. It sure helps to have a more experienced horse to show the little guys how to act and what not to be afraid of! He did pull away from Leah when going back to the barn....she couldnt hold on the rope was burning her hands....for a moment he turned toward the drive and thought about taking off...but we kept walking with King to the barn, and little bit followed. Whew.....disaster averted. So since his little temper tantrum we had to keep him out and tied and led around. even though we were done.....we had to keep working with him. When Norm and I get a chance we are going to repeat the whole thing over....he wont pull from Norms grasp! LOL
Norm told me the thing I've been waiting a full year to hear!!! I can KEEP my big pet calf OLIVER for another year or two, until he gets too dangerous due to his size....I'm determined that WONT happen.
I'm going to use him to teach doug to show in 4-H.....he's the perfect guinea pig, he is so gentle it unreal. It will help Doug get over any fear he may have of a bigger calf since he will be around him as he grows. I'll need to first halter break him, teach to lead, and Leah and I have plans to ...get this.....and I'm serious...RIDING a cow! LOL Yes....thats what I said! She and I were reading in my nephews cattle mag and it had a full story on riding cattle, out west its done alot in parades. The article said they are easier to break than a horse.....LOL dont laugh yet...wait until we can or cant do it first!
Okay I'm gonna run...Norm is here, I've got a Dr apt at I'm gonna hop off and check my shops and bank account! Hope all is well with everyone and I hope to be by to visit with you guys!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The biggest ice storm in kentucky history

Blogger is really messing up on me, so this post may be weird!
I have made several posts with pictures of the farm in this beautiful yet disasterous ice mess we have around here! Yes it got week and still no power. We do have a generator, grill, wood stove so we are doing well. We live in such a small community that we will be last on the list for power to be restored. The kids have been out of school a week tomorrow, but back on thursday....I think everyone is getting cabin fever!
I hope that you injoy the kinda shows what its been like, but they dont do this mess any justice really. There is not a tree in our county that has not fallen, been uprooted, or split in two, lost all limbs, and everyone I have seen has lost the tops off the trees. It is crazy. The clean up alone for everyone will take weeks...for us...I hate to think about it....not a single fence of ours is standing with out several breaks in wire, fencing, it has all snapped....power lines and poles are all snapped on our prop...not a single hot wire fence is working, the pics where it is white, thats not snow...its over an inch in ice every where on everything. I cant tell you enough what its been like, its one of those things you have to see to believe..but I hope none of you have to ever see a storm like this. It is the worse in recorded history....and I hate to imagine what clean up will be like for us. Norm and all the boys where going to begin limb and tree removal and begin on the fences when that is all done...week, maybe two before they can do that, but the wind got up so high today...limbs began falling again, and it wasnt safe to try to do that!
So far no calves...the 8th is the soonest we will get one...cows are minding the fence, even tho its down and not working everwhere....horses have now adjusted, but we got a day of 50 degree temps onSunday...melted everything, so all the horses, calves, cattle, EVERYONE is walking in several inches of water and way to help them out, and hoping that all the water doesnt hurt the horses hooves...cows for that matter.
King and Jack have finally adjusted....the ice storm dulled all their senses except for hearing, and as you can see in the pic of King....he was alert and listening at all times, I imagine the limbs and trees falling freaked them out. The ice covered all was strange for them thats for sure.
My chicken began laying eggs Sat...laid 2, skipped Sunday, laid one on Monday! These are her first eggs! I cant believe she began laying in the winter...Ive been told that they dont lay in the winter......but she did! They arent as small as I thought they would be either! I'll post some pics later when power is back on.
I'm at Panera Bread using their free wifi service today.....I dont know when I'll be back I'll tell ya'll now....I miss talking to each of you and I hope that you guys are well..I posted about 20 - 25 pics so scroll down to see them all! Enjoy!

Update on The Ice CASTLE!

Ice Storm...part 2....yes, it got worse!