Monday, June 29, 2009

Productive Day on The Farm!

(Amy - My favorite cow! a.k.a Miss Friendly)
After several days of some really hot and humid weather in the upper 90'sf, today was so AWESOME! No humidity, and a high of 85 f, with a great breeze all day! This week will be the same all week so its a great time to do outdoor work and activities!
The barn was in a major need of organizing and cleaning. So today was spent organizing the tack room, and cleaning up the barn runway. I only got half done with the runway, after mucking stalls and cleaning it up (empty feed sacks were piled up - no garbage can in there, something to remedy) that's about all the energy I had! I only have about 1/3 of the runway to clean up now. I had straw laid when our mare was foaling, she only stayed in there a couple nights and its not dirty just heavy with straw. Norm has to move the hay wagon out and fill it up and get the cow chute pulled out and out of the way. I was also able to get the cages all cleaned and fixed neatly in the barn, the rabbit, the dove, and the small coop for Pepper. She isn't really happy about going in at night and lets me know all about it, but she is free rang all day and only put up at dark and let out in the morning so she can squawk all she wants! After the first day the kittens have left her alone and I'm sure she is happy to have the company of them now. Hopefully she will also keep the bugs down. I had gotten a disposable fly trap (stinks to high heavens) but worked VERY well. It was also nice to get all the feed organized, feeding was much easier today, I filled up each bucket with the separate feed and carried them around to the miniature zoo of farm animals. I've been meaning to do this for a long long time, but time seems to be lacking lately!
I've been planning in my head how to build a larger coop and a MUCH better one than I had (the poor thing got destroyed in the ice storm). Amy at Twelve Acres and Callie at Chickens on the Porch have given me some great advice and some cool links to some other chicken coops you can view them here and here. Now if I had the money this is the coop I'd build. You must take a look! Stained glass windows...yeah its awesome. The others are a really great design for a coop made from dog pens, and the other is an adorable outhouse designed coop...both are great.
Tomorrow is the garden....I dread that! Today Norm tilled up the section not planted yet for it was overtaken by weeds, so the rest of the weeding and tilling will be tomorrow! We already have some huge squash!!! And probably some cucumbers...hmm hoping the green tomato's have ripened as well...the lettuce is wonderful so I'm hoping some fresh BLT's are in order for lunch and dinner! YUM!
Farm Report:
Saturday - Soy Beans replanted in the fields that got flooded
Sunday - the rest of the silage corn has been drilled and the alfalfa has been mowed.
Monday- Wheat has been thrashed and straw bailed. Barn cleaned and Doug mowed (most of the yard).
Tomorrow - Alfalfa will be bailed (should take the whole day). Garden work. Salt and Mineral the cattle.
Wednesday - Will have to see how tomorrow goes, in the afternoon we are driving to Louisville to watch Leah in the 2009 Kentucky State 4-H Horse Show. She has been doing drill team and I'm really anxious to watch her!!!!! The 3 of us along with my mom are driving up! I can't wait.
The cattle are all doing well and fat and happy on all the nice grass they have had all spring and into the summer!
On another note...I've lost 8 pounds!!!! I've changed some meds and one of which I've been taken off of made me gain about 30 pounds, so since I've been off of it for almost 2 weeks I've lost 8.....I've really been working at watching what I eat and portion sizes. Working outside has helped bunches, and I still need to start walking either outside or on the tread mill. But I'm on the way! YEA ME!
I'm gonna close with a poem that I got from C-ingspots. I just love this to pieces!

"Old Cowgirl"

I shall wear diamonds
and a wide-brimmed straw hat
with silver and leather on it,
and I shall spend my social security
on white wine and carrots
and sit in the alley of my barn
and listen to my horses breathe.

I will sneak out
in the middle of a summer's night
and ride the chestnut mare
across the moonstruck meadow,
if my old bones will allow.

When people came to call I will smile and nod
as I walk them past the gardens to the barn
and show, instead, the beauty growing there
in stalls fresh-lined with straw.

I will shovel and sweat and
wear hay in my hair as if it were a jewel.
And I will be an embarrassment to all
who look down on me.

They've not yet found the peace in being free,
to love a horse as a friend,
a friend who waits at midnight hour
with nuzzle and nicker and patient eyes
for the kind of woman I will be,
when I am old....

Question - How to repel spiders and bugs from barn?

Does anyone know what I can get that will repel spiders, wasps, flies, etc from the barn? I was thinking I've heard that moth balls will do that, but not sure...anyone know and have some suggestions of things you have tried that works?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A day at the lake!

Today was a good day. Douglas and I went to Nolin Lake to visit with our friend/neighbors who have a house there. (the picture above is a view of the hill we have to climb up you can barely see the house from the water..talk about a long hard wear-you-out walk!! We swam for about 3 hours and went to the neighbors beside them Ronnie and Carrol and ate a huge meal! It seems that each time we are there there is a cookout! I'm not complaining! Except that I probably added the 6 pounds I lost right back! it was some great food!
The kids had a blast playing in the water and I finally got some much needed sun! Here the kids are all waving at me!
Douglas and Neil had a lot of fun playing Marko-polo (sp?) and Neil had fun throwing Doug into the water off his shoulders. Poor Michaela in the background looks like she has fallen asleep! LOL
We always have a great time, going out on the boat fishing, and laying in the sun! I do have to say it really wore me out and drained me, the sun was so hot about 93 degrees today and not a cloud in the sky...I have no idea what the heat index was but I can tell you it was hot!
Back at the farm:
Pepper is doing well free ranging, so far she has kept the kittens at bay and in fact they seemed to not really be obsessed with her yesterday. I know she can defend herself with those claws, I'm actually more worried about the kittens loosing an eye! LOL
Norm didn't get to go with us today to the lake, since its supposed to rain and storm again tomorrow he had to stay back and finish planting the soy beans that got flooded out a few weeks ago.
Molly had been a little sore footed, and since she wont let us pick her hooves I was worried about her. She gets a little rank and since she is SO big its something I dont attempt! She foundered (not badly) several years back and a shoeing makes her a little sore, but this happened a week or so afterwards. She actually has pretty good hooves even with the founder, and bounces back quickly and I noticed today she is fine and dandy. I intend to start working with her picking up her feet, but I've had so much here to do and like I've said recently I've just had too much going on and havent done much with the horses at all.
Did I tell you I went the other day to see Babe? Larry isnt keen on giving her up and I was afraid he was going to back out. But now its a done deal and I'll be happy to have my special girl back home with me! Leah and Douglas are just as excited, Leah thinks its so cool that Douglas will get to learn to ride on the same horse that taught her to ride. And yes I meant it that way - Babe did teach her to ride! She was all fat and slick and just as beautiful as ever. Her age (about 14 or 15 yrs) doesnt show and she looks like she is about 8 or so. She is in great health and shod all around, ready to go! WOO HOO!
I've been looking online for some used tack. I want the works (not really needing a saddle but if I found a great price and it matched everything I'd consider it!). We want a tie down and nose band for King since he is into throwing his head around the first 15 minutes he rides. Bad habit, however the last time we rode he didn't do it at all. So maybe he has learned his little trick wont work. We are going to move Jack to another pasture for awhile, he needs to learn to not be so dependant on King. It's almost like we need to wean him all over again! And King worries too much about his friends when he is away from them. Big Baby's.
We will miss Bella - we are trading her for Babe- she is a sweet horse, but too much horse for all of us besides Leah. She is a great horse and very showy but you have to decide which is more important..Bella who we all cant ride, or Babe who we bonded so strongly with when we had her and who has taught us all to ride and can be ridden by anyone. There was no question for me...Since I had to sell Babe to Larry when I moved I've regretted it and longed to get her back.
Poor Buck got his nose shocked on the hot wire but is slowly realizing I'm not the one who shocked him! I think since I was feeding him both times it happened he thinks I did it! He has loosened up though.
Well off to lay on the couch and unwind from a long day at the lake!
See ya'll later, its time to post my Sunday Stills photos. Click here to see mine and others great pictures!
Later! ~*~Rae~*~

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lots Going On....

Seems like its been busy around the farm and the world the past few days!
First Ed McMahn dies, then Farrah Fawcett & Micheal Jackson. Okay I must admit I'm really not feeling anything for Micheal, except maybe what comes around goes around. Then I found out about what these purple boxes are hanging from trees along the roads. Kentucky has quarantined 20 counties to contain Emerald Ash Boer's. Read More Here. Then Kentucky has limited cattle imported from Nebraska, Texas due to tuberculosis. Read More Here. Both information on the Emerald Ash Boer and the cattle are on the same blog, COSDA.
We have been busy on the farm as well. Norm has been raking hay this week, and will begin re-planting the parts of the soy bean fields that flooded out the soy beans. The warm humid weather has dried up those low area's quickly!
I've been working on the garden tilling out the weeds that are prospering with all the rain. A real job in this heat. Right about now I'm wishing we had a pool to jump in!!! I worked in the house re-arraigning furniture and got quite fed up with it all cause its just not suiting me one bit! Our office area and the living room are combined a long room and hard to make it all fit just right. usually I can decorate my house and fix all the furniture well and cute...NOT today! So Douglas, Gin and I went to town to Wal-Mart (I HATE THAT STORE!!). I didn't want to go there but Gin needed some yarn to finish a quilt she is making for the fair and I needed to pick up a few groceries. We made it to the mall so Douglas could trade in his games for a new one. I'm really lucky, he doesnt play much at all, but in the winter it keeps him occupied. He would rather be outside than anywhere else. We ate Arby's at the mall, which wasnt that great, but all of us needed something to eat.
Then I went to work in the barn. I actually cleaned cages, the rabbit, the dove (the baby one that cannot fly), and the chicken. I had so much sweat dripping from me I thought I was gonna drip away...it was like a sauna in that barn. I moved the chicken back to the barn and fixed her smaller coop she used in the winter back up and going to put her up there at night while she roost's. I'm going to let her free range during the day. She usually stays in the barn and not venturing too far out into the yard. Last fall and all winter she was housed there with my bottle calves and thought she was one of them! Her temporary coop we fashioned last summer when we got her (if you don't know - I found her in the parking lot of Doug's school. No owner could be found so we took her in). I was planning on a coop and getting chickens this year anyway, so the dog pen was converted for her. But the ice storm we got in January all but demolished it. Still was up but looks terrible. And I need the pen for Levi, my dog, to put in when we are working cattle and at night. He has done fine at night and keeps an eye on everything, but after Norm saw a BIG coyote this morning not far from the house I decided to put him up. It wasnt a normal coyote, it was taller than Levi, and moving through the day in the open. It is probably a Coy Dog. We have several of those around and they arent shy like a wild Coyote is. The are much bolder and pose a bigger risk for animals and humans alike. In case you dont know a Coy Dog is a mix between a coyote and a domesticated dog. They are MUCH bigger.
So I'm putting him there for the night since we often have the coyote's close to the house. A coyote usually dont come up to a house, but we did have several pay a visit last fall and we have seen them in the back yard about 10 feet from the porch. So I'm playing it safe. We probable wont have a problem, but since my dog is not aggressive at all and thinks every canine is a friend, he wouldnt fair well with a pack of them. Well he is like that during the day, but he does guard his territory at night and I wouldnt want to be someone coming into the yard. I've been working on my design plan for my coop though. Amy at Twelve Acres has given me some ideas with the chicken and the coop. And a Duck recipe for the one Douglas got. (I really need to cook it for him). He also has this squirrel he got a few weeks ago. Yeah only one, so a special supper for him alone! So if anyone has a good recipe for squirrel let me know!!! I'm hoping to work more in the barn tomorrow. It needs a lot of cleaning up. I've neglected spending time with the horses lately, so many other things that take precedent over them. I've been working on Buck (our Rocky Mtn.) coming up to me, he is shy with me (though he adores Norm, knowing him all his life) . Feeding time has become a time to try to get him more acquainted with me. I really need to get him out and groom him to improve our "relationship" but I just havent had the time. I hope to start that next week. I was really making progress with him until the two of us found out the hot wire fence was grounded and when his poor little nose touched the metal trough I was putting his food in shocked him he has not come up to eat. Rather when its feeding time he snorts around unhappily telling me "I am not under any circumstance going near that trough!". Poor guy, really set back all I'd done. I think he relates me to the shock! I hate that! I've been putting his food closer each night to the trough for him and he is getting close, about 5" away now, but I think it will take awhile to come any closer. he eyes that trough like its a monster and gonna reach out and grab him any second. (Yes I'm unplugging the hot box so they wont get shocked while they eat). Well as you can imagine I'm pooped and after moving around some concrete blocks into the barn to put the cages on my back is killing me! So I'm gonna head for the night....I'll have to catch up with everyone tomorrow if I get some time. I've got a lot to fit in tomorrow before the weekend, we are going to the lake for the weekend. So good night all! I hope all is going good, sleep well!
~*~ Rae~*~

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A look Around Last Night

I took these as the sun was going down so sorry they are so dark. The rain has done wonders for the garden, these are a few shots. We did do a much smaller garden than last year, the sweet corn is not planted here at the house we have it in the same location as last year. My squash is huge and doesnt have blooms yet, so I imagine before its done they will be well over my head! Since we have had all this rain the weeds were beginning to get out of control so while its been sunny I've been slowly working on it, its been so hot and muggy I end up being a pile of sweaty mess after a very short time.
I havent taken many pictures of the new kittens who are supposed to be in the barn eating mice. They must be doing their jobs cause I'm not seeing many around or seeing much damage to my feed sacks like before they came. My previous barn cat disappeard not long ago, right before the end of fall *frown*. Both boys came up from the barn last night and little Indian cant seem to stay away from Norm rubbing around his legs, little does he know Norm really doesnt like cats. Cowboy ran up the tree to get away from the dog (he thinks they are his personal play things) and since it was his first time in a tree didn't really think he could get down on his own...so we helped him out this time...twice...Douglas couldnt help but be goofy with his face and a stem from a wild unwanted polk plant...he and Norm had fun goofing off.
The sunset was really beautiful! Across the street the sun was reflecting off of the clouds so beautifully and its so neat to see how the colors change and get so deep. I've never seen sunset's or rises like we have here! So I got this "bright" idea I'd take some pictures of the horses with the sunset behind them, I'm sure I'd get some beautiful shots right? NOT!
The sun was going down fast, should have done this earlier, and since I was barefoot I didn't want to get into the lot and get another broken toe, so I chose to lay on the ground my the fence and take pictures. Why is it when I try to get a good picture with a beautiful sky behind them they wont cooperate, yet when I just take a normal picture they pose? As you can see I had to shoot with my night time program and no one would cooperate at all, and the above is all I got.
I'm really determined to get some great shots of them with a beautiful background, ONE DAY I tell you...One day. I'll blog later when I have more to say!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Exciting Horse News and Random Thoughts and facts about me (been tagged)...

Okay...here it is!
I've blogged so much about my mare I used to have a few years ago, you all know the story about Babe....I've been praying like crazy one day I'd be able to get her back....the steps to her used to be a world away, and now I'm just a half a step from her!!!!!!
My friend Johnny called me today to say that Larry (her current owner who bought her from me) will now consider selling her back to me!!!
My heart stopped! Since we have decided to sell or trade Bella, the mare we have now, I have offered him a trade, one horse for another. I should know over the next day or so what the verdict will be....so my horsey friends...say a big ol' horsey prayer to God for me!!!!!
I'd give up so much to have her again. And if Larry does the trade I'll have peace of mind knowing she will be well cared for.
********UPDATE!!!!!!!**********
IT'S A DONE DEAL...I'LL HAVE MY GIRL BACK WITHIN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS!
I'M SO HAPPY I COULD SPIT! EVERYTHING WORKED OUT GREAT FOR ME, AND FOR BELLA WHO WILL NOW GO LIVE WITH LARRY AND BE WELL CARED FOR...AND SOON YOU'LL BE READING ALL ABOUT BABE, PICTURES GALORE, AND MY HAPPY RIDING TRAILS, WITH BABE - I HAVE NO FEAR!
************************************

Okay on to some random thoughts and facts....I've been tagged....so here goes:
  • Why is it that I keep forgetting to put the full container of tea in the fridge at night?
  • Why does my other cat only come out of hiding and want attention when I'm in the bathroom?
  • Why did Douglas shave off half of his right eyebrow 2 days ago?
  • Why cant I remember to NEVER walk into the barn with anything other than barn shoes? I now have several pairs due to my stupidity.
  • How did I forget I planted carrot seeds until I read that another blogger had planted carrot's in their garden..hmmm thats what that plant is?! DUH!
  • How is it that my cat's poor fur is so matted up since his stroke a couple weeks ago, after not having any matte's at all - yet he still sheds like crazy? Why dont those hairs matte?
  • Why does my stupid dog stand in front of my car when I pull in and wont move?
  • Why cant he swim..he is a Labrador after all!
  • Where did all my kitchen knives go?
  • Why are flies all over the sides of my house and car?
  • And why are the flies so bad this year?
  • I really hate sausage - with a passion.
  • Why oh why has my hair started to curl with humidity when it used to be stick straight..old age perhaps? I wont mention all the grey showing up either
  • Why do I love the smell of a barn, cow poop and all? But cant stand dog crap?
  • Why is my favorite flower a weed?
  • I need to start playing piano again
  • for that matter I need to paint again
  • I hate spiders
  • I love sitting under our big shade tree and just doing nothing!
  • I wish I could drive all the farm equipment and help my farmer more
  • I could sit and watch my farm animals for hours yet usually dont want to be around people that long.
  • I love to re-arrange furniture but cant seem to get the energy to do it lately
  • I'm so happy - finally
  • Did you know it's common for a cat to develop a brain tumor?
  • how did I get through 37 1/2 years before breaking a bone since I was such a reckless tomboy growing up
  • Norm and I share our birthdays on the same day..October 25th, just one year apart!
  • My daughter was born the day before my birthday
  • my sons birthday is the same as my mothers birthday
  • I love going to the lake but hate swimming in the lake where I can't see whats below me
  • I hate icing on cake unless its cream cheese icing
  • my favorite guilty pleasure is Dove chocolates
  • why does my son want to hug and talk to me when I'm typing or reading on the computer or talking on the phone, but I can sit next to him for an hour and he has nothing to say
  • I stepped on a dead birds beak when I was little, yes - it hurt
  • I almost cut my thumb off my senior year in high school cutting country ham
  • I also got a black eye from running into a big side mirror on my dads truck a few days later - imagine the embarrassment of going to school after all that.
  • My brother broke his leg the day after I almost cut my thumb off...mom was questioned for child abuse when the same admitting nurse saw both of us
  • I've only seen my real father 2x's since I was 14
  • I am finally at peace with that
  • I can never remember to water my plants until they are almost dead, thankfully they are all forgiving.
  • I remember the first time I was on a plane, I was going to Wisconsin with my grandparents to visit my aunt and uncle, I was 2 and the stewardess had red hair. but I cant remember the easy stuff?
  • I tend to hold a grudge for far too long than I should
  • I get my feelings hurt easy and lash back
  • I am now cancer free - 5 months and counting!!!!!!!
  • I always start my prayers out with a thousand thank yous before I ever ask God for anything.
  • I would love to travel the US, well the world for that matter
  • We have some weird ghostly things that go on in our home from time to time, Norm doesnt believe the kids and myself when we tell him.
  • Tonight's dinner is polish sausage...remember I said I hate sausage? So why cook it? The smell makes me want to barf
  • my dog is a heavy sleeper and scares easily - TOO FUNNY!
  • I've put my head into the electric fence...ouch
  • I really never thought I'd love chickens but I'd cry if something happened to mine!
  • I'm a sensitive sap really - movies and sad TV shows make me cry my daughter laughs at me about it and just rolls her eyes
  • I'm really blessed to have a wonderful family, a man that loves me, and a man I love, and a home I never want to leave!
Okay now your turn if you want to....the only rule I followed was to list random facts about yourself and thoughts for 5 minutes. There done!....all for fun. I hate rules on these things anyway, sorry. I'm not going to tag anyone do it if ya want or not.
Have a great day ya'll!
~*~Rachel~*~

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill

*Yawn* "where's the coffee?"
Looks like today will be a busy day, got a barn, coop, rabbit and Dove cage to clean. Norm has been bush hogging, so may help him out a little with that too, would be nice to get some more sun, though I got a little burned the other day. Oh yeah....the garden needs some major work...I may have to put the barn on the back burner.
I'm optimistic that this week will be a productive one for us...So far yesterday and today I feel pretty good! Doug and I did some kitchen and living room cleansing. A little spring cleaning a little late...I wonder if Douglas does windows??? hmmm now thats a thought. I've still got the office, my bedroom, and bathroom to clean, I should be able to knock out at least one of those! I hope this week to get my "goat area" measured out, new coop too. So looks like a busy week if the rain stays away!
So what do you have planned for the first week of summer?
I've been really proud of Douglas lately. He's been so helpful and when I've asked him to help with cleaning or chores and he's done them when I've asked and even done them right!!! He's been so affectionate and caring. He is even working through his fear of horses! Yesterday he got in both horse lots without running when the horses came up to him, even rubbed King on his neck! Big accomplishment! (this is a picture before his accident when he liked the horses)
He asked me if we could saddle King up and lead him around!!! WOW! I think he is seeing the enjoyment Leah and I take from the horses and wants to join in. I cant blame him at all for his fears and trepidation, after his accident with a horse, and it was a big one, he has every right. We have not pushed him on the horses, in fact I've told him he doesnt have to have anything to do with them at all. But he seems to really want to conquer this fear! Yea Doug!
Which brings up another issue.......
A friend of mine has recently had to deal with some really nasty and ugly comments on her blog. She had a really bad accident with her horse and has decided to sell her. A decision I think sounds wise knowing everything that happened, and knowing my own fear I've developed over the last 3 or 4 years of horses....dont ask me why I'm still trying to figure that one out. I've had some ugly comments too that I've promptly deleted and in all honesty I dont care what they think (wasnt about my horses tho)...this is my blog....I can say what I want and I know that Lisa and several others feel the same way. But there is always going to be those trolls who find it easy to hide behind a keyboard and computer screen and try to poop all over your blog. I'm finding that some of those horse lover blogs ( NO not any that I'm following and is why I don't follow them!) are pretty uppity with their opinions (which is what has happened to lisa). It makes me wonder with their point of view, how wild horses and my own for that matter even make it to live a long and healthy life! I'm not a fanatic, probably many would think I dont pamper my horses enough or dote over them, or because I dont spend every waking hour with them - that I'm doing things all wrong. Funny...my horses are all healthy - "as a horse" ha ha- and happy. They love us, yet I let them be horses. One thing I've been told that I believe is true is that horses are not pets...they are our partners, a work animal, and treating them as a pet is a disaster waiting to happen. I know for myself and Lisa and other horse loving bloggers, we read each others blogs to learn new things, new techniques, and equine care. Not to have opinions pushed down our necks or to have rude and hateful comments if we dont do as they do, nor asked for. I hate it for her thats she's had to deal with this. This is not a place to be like that, this is not a forum - it is a blog a personal journey or diary, or for anyone to be un-Christian like and make inappropriate comments about anything you post, like Lisa and myself have had. I guess after reading everyones reply to Lisa's post ALL of us have experienced ugliness in blogger land, in one form or another, either from bloggers we really dont know, or even people who do know us. I just think its pathetic.
And with that said (needed to get that out of my system)
like Lisa, I have decided to sell Bella (my Tennessee Walking Mare) only Leah is advanced enough to ride her, though she is a great horse - smart, loving, and wants to please, she is more horse than the rest of us need. You cant have a horse your in fear of, as we all know they know when your scared. This is a decision I'm quite at peace with. I'm not feeling any guilt at all and know I'm making the right decision for my family. I hate it that she isnt what we need, I love her and her personality, but she is not the horse for us. And I cant afford a yard ornament. So nasty comment leavers....I'm sure like on Lisa's blog, you'll have something to say about that, just leave it to your own blog.
Okay....I'm over it, on to my regular blogging attitude! (I usually dont even mention that kind of junk here or acknowledge it, but felt today I needed to.)
SO...did you know that a bull can break his penis? I had no clue! But the other day we discovered one of our leased bulls has done this very thing!!
Now you know I try to be informative with my posts about farming and farm animals, sometimes explicit about care and Animal "issues", and this is blog is for that purpose, to document farm life....and not everything is Rosy and pretty...there are some really weird and to some, disgusting yet, natural occurrences with animals. It is a fact of life. And you wouldnt believe the amount of people who find my blog due to search engines asking legitimate animal husbandry questions, many 1st time farmers, or inexperienced animal owners. Luckily I have Norm who has 38 years of experience and who has taught me SO much. I thought I knew a lot about animals, yeah, whatever! There is always more to be learned...such as this topic.
Okay like you are probably doing I laughed and made all kinds of jokes about our bull breaking his penis, that were actually serious questions but when asked just made us laugh harder and just too funny. How do you fix it? Does the Vet put a Popsicle stick splint on it? Or a cast? HOW does that happen?? When Doug came rushing in the house to tell me he said " Mom do you want the bad news or the bad news...trust me the bad news is disturbing" Then when he told me I had to laugh at his comment, it would be disturbing to a male!
Well all joking aside, it is true and happens when a bull is mounting a cow and another bull decides that he needs to be doing the job and head butts the other one, it can cause one sore bull with a broken penis in the process. (hmm are they even called a penis in a bull???) Can it be fixed? Well....it can, if only the tissue is torn, but not if the bone is broken. (anyone else have this happen to one of their bulls and has more knowledge in this area??? let me know what you think and have experienced)
Almost all of the time, the bull is sold for slaughter and goes into those wonderful Mc D's hamburgers. They are no longer able to serve their purpose. I wonder how PETA will react to this post considering they were all over Obama a week or so ago for killing a fly....yes..they were up in arms, now calling him a fly killer...WHAT????!!!!! I swear, and I've said it before because I have a major beef with PETA, they are all fanatics and over the edge of sanity. I wish I could squash them like a fly. They make me want to wear real fur coats!
If your going to comment on the Bull '"issue" I just talked about...make it respectful please and a real question, and not something I'll have to delete! But PLEASE feel free to laugh though and make a good joke!)
I found out some really interesting and even troubling news today.
A mutual friend of mine and my parents, Elizabeth, is a really good woman. She and her husband adopted two special needs and abused children when they were very very young, her daughter being a baby and their son just a few years old. There have been many trials throughout the years, dealing with incompetent schools, getting the care they need, many doctor and therapist visits, etc. Her son is now graduating and going to college. Her daughter is almost out of high school. Her husband and her have really done well caring for these children and raising them the best they could and have really worked at preparing them for life on their own the best they could.
She recently found out she has breast cancer, and she is still in the stages of discovery and tests to find out what stage she is in and what the course of treatment will be. Her life right now is put on hold, in a way. THEN - here is the kicker to the whole sad affair - she after 22 years of marriage and trying to have children of their own, at the age of 45, has had one ovary and fallopian tube removed ---- is now pregnant!
Her husbands response, and all of us who know her is..."How did that happen???"
She is elated that they have finally been able to conceive, scared that she wont be able to do any treatment for her cancer because it will harm the baby, her age scares her as well. And what if it comes down to saving the baby, or saving herself so she can continue to mother and care for the 2 children she already has who will need her throughout their own lives due to their special needs. I have no clue what God has in plan and we are all dumb founded at the news. I would just like to ask you prayers warriors to say a prayer for her and her family. I'm sure at this point she is still trying to wrap her head around all of this. Overwhelming.
Another gripe...cooking.
I really hate to cook. Dont get me wrong, I CAN cook and cook well, I just really hate it! I see you all post some awesome dishes with recipes to match...and I'd so love to sit down at your table and share them with you....but I cant bring myself to experiment at home with cooking. I'd rather pop in a pizza, or have a bowl of cereal. No I'm not lazy about it, I just really dont like to cook!!!! My Hungarian grandmother (my grandfather is Italian so she had perfected the art of cooking authentic food), is probably rolling over in her grave right now and every time I complain about cooking. She was old school and cooked everything from scratch down to her noodles, bread....etc...all day before sunrise she'd begin and let me tell you - she made the most awesome food I've ever eaten in my entire life and the most amount of food in one meal I've ever seen! I miss her cooking so much, but then again...she made it not me! LOL I really wish I enjoyed cooking, I want too.....but I guess its not me. I would rather do the dishes than cook, and if you know me you know how much I DESPISE doing dishes. Hopefully Leah will not have a hatred of cooking like I do, and that her fathers side of the family has instilled their cooking abilities in her...cause I know I sure havent! I do love it when she decides to cook for us, cause its always yummy! And she enjoys different types of foods. Okay, now I'm hungry..think I'll settle for a bowl of cereal.
Yeah, I've been a little gripey today....it happens every now and then. But now its time to get some of that work done that I need to do..think I'll start in the office rearranging the furniture...the garden will wait until the heat of the day is gone.
Have a good day
~*~Rachel~*~

First Day Of Summer! Finally!

It may be hot, rainy even...but it's so much better than winter!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

There is nothing better than sitting back and talking to your cows - Russell Crow

So far it's still been pretty rainy here in Kentucky. It has really brought the corn and beans growing good. We have gotten so much rain though...we are hoping that it continues throughout the summer. Remember that flooding we got a couple weeks ago...not too much damage really. just a few low spots and one smaller field of beans ruined that need to be replanted. It sure could have been worse.
There have been so many wild flowers growing big this spring and holding on longer than usual. I have really enjoyed driving the 4-wheeler around the farm and seeing all the pastures so green with wildflowers everywhere. The only thing I'm not enjoying are the amount of spiders and fly's. it's unreal how many are around, especially with the major ice storm we had, I was hoping that it would kill a lot of them out...no such luck. Doug got his first squirrel last this past week. Unfortunately it was only one, so when I cook this up for him, it will be his special supper...hope he likes it!
He was so proud! I took him out two times on Friday squirrel hunting but no luck, it was so hot and muggy I guess they were all hiding out. We also went to the lake, but it stormed and rained a bunch, it was a quick storm so the kids all got to swim for a couple of hours. We took levi, which I've decided not to do again...he drives us crazy trying to "rescue" everyone. It really gets annoying when a big ol' dog is splashing toward you grabbing a hold of you cause he thinks he needs to be held once he gets to you. he hasnt quite got the rescuing down pat. The water was so high after all this rain, and he wouldnt go back to the shore, instead he'd swim to the dock, and had to be pulled out. Dummy would grab hold of the edge of the dock and since he quit paddeling he was going under..nothing more annoying that pulling a big Lab out of the water and then being covered in his shedding dog hair.
Bo has been having more strokes, small ones, but still alarming. He isnt eating good again like last time, and feels like he has lost weight in the last two weeks. His fur has matted up terrible, he is hiding 22 hours out of the day. Freaking out at everything. Jumping higher than I thought a cat could when he gets scared, cautiously coming up to items he has seen forever, not knowing what it is. His pupils stay dialted. The worse part of this behavior is that he has once again forgotten how to use the litter box. When he does come downstairs I've been taking him to the litter box which he promptly uses. It has a very strong odor, more so than normal cat urine. Telling me he isnt drinking enough water. Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done, except hope that he pulls out of this like he did last time and stops having these strokes. At least for a time, I know they will continue to come back. I wonder how much more his brain can take before he can no longer function. As I have said before, he wont have the normal lifespan he should...it breaks my heart. But there is just nothing I can do. Since he isnt quite himself he let me get a few pictures of him, usually he wont sit still long enough for one, but he had a particuarly bad day when I took these and I guess needed some comfort once he regained his old self back somewhat. He seems to remember us even when he has these episodes. I'm happy about that at least.




Well time for bed, again not feeling well the last few weeks, and hoping this passes, some of you know whats up with that and I'd rather not specify, but I'm really hoping to get it all straightened out soon and feel like getting back to making more soap and blogging more, I've missed you guys! Take it easy....OH! I did 2 posts here today, so scroll down to see some pictures I've taken this week!
~*~ Rae ~*~

Never Kick a Cow Chip on a Hot Day - Proverb

A walk around the farm......
I forget what this "weed" is...its one of my favorite flowers...weeds are just flowers out of the garden
Wild Rose - next year I'm transplanting some of these closer to the house
The new ground Norm leases from his uncle that adjoins ours
Doug squirrel hunting - Friday was the last day so I took him out around the farm..no luck, we've had a lot of rain so everywhere is green, it's so pretty when we are not in a drought!
More flowers...I dont know what kind this is, but its interesting




This is my friend Tina's Dog, they moved into the house on the back part of the farm, his name is Lucky
Doug was helping Tina clear out a flower bed and found tons of Rolly pollies, we didn't notice her babies until they all came out from underneath her...they carry their babies this way

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Leah has been working King, yesterday she did figure 8's with him and he really seemed to enjoy the workout. My boy is so good, and Leah looks so good riding him, she's quickly becoming a pro!
As I sat under my shade tree I hear a horse behind me...and I bet you can guess what I turned around to see...Leah and My Boy taking a cooling off walk in the yard. Several cars were rubber necking (as if they have never seen a barn animal in a front yard - with us there is no telling what animal we are gonna be playing with in the yard anyway!)
Water is slowly draining in all the flooded ares. Today Norm was able to get some more hay put up, he got to feeling sick (his blood sugar I think got too low) and came on in. Yesterday evening we took the 4-wheelers out for a couple hour's and rode around the farm...here are some of the farm, YES I take my camera everywhere!
As you can see the garden is coming a long:

Even my Hummingbird/butterfly flower mixture is coming to life...I planted the seeds just a few days ago and already they have come to life, I cant wait until they bloom!!! A lot of them are perennials and a few annuals in the mix.
Path through the woods
There isnt much that is prettier than fields of Daisy's! And they were full of them!!!
Now - this is the flower Norm and most all farmers hate THE MOST...I think they are so pretty! But they spread like wildfire, once they seed if you dont bush hog they multiply like rabbits and soon you have a full field of thistle..they choke out the other grasses...so I defiantly understand why Norm hates them...but they are still pretty and take a great picture.

I havent altered any of these pictures...but the next one you will swear I did...promise - I didn't, I couldnt get it this green if I tried:
I think that is such a pretty picture!
And no farm documentation would be complete without a farmer checking his crops coming up:
lastly we had a nice setting sun this evening, the camera just picked up the sun as being white, but it was as red as the rays and bright as can be......A great day here on the farm!

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Horses Right Of Passage - Becoming a Gelding

Today was Jacks big Day!
This morning we took him to the Vet to be gelded. I was worried about how we would get him on the trailer cause I'm such a dimwit and didn't work on loading at all this week. He has only ridden in a trailer once before when he was purchased and then he was a foal and road with his mom and dad. I have watched several natural horsemanship shows and I think that paid off today. One of the things I learned was to go slow , let them look - dont push- let them look-and back away, repeat it all over again until the horse loads which usually doesnt take long. But we were in a time crunch so we got King out and loaded him we had to repeat this a few times and Jack finally jumped on in. We went faster than I wanted, BUT luckily he is a quick learner and the experience stayed pleasant for him.
See....he followed his adopted dad and loaded up and made the trip with no problems!
We get to the Vets and he is given his sleepy medicine which began to work right away! But the little bugger needed an extra meds and finally went down
He went out cold! (can you see the blue speck in his eye?)
Jack then had his leg tied up around his chest for easy access and to insure that Jack didn't move his legs while he was being gelded
Awwww my sleeping beauty..notice the feed he was saving in his checks for later?
He is then prepped by Dr Mike (Our favorite Vet!) cleaned with a sanitizing solution
The area must be cleaned of all debris and sanitized to ensure no infection
His scrotum sack is then cut, the Vet pulled out his smaller testicle first

It is then clamped and cut and the testicle removed
As you can see his next nu nu is ready to be removed

This time, since it is much bigger the cord that flows from both testicles is clamped
and held into place while some stitches are put in place As you can see there is VERY little blood. We go by the signs which were below the knees and that ensures very little pain or bleeding. YES the old way and farmers almanac works..we use it for working cattle as well, weaning, etc.

Stitches are cinched up tight
And the last testicle is cut and removed just like the first
Dr Mike then places a few more stitches to close the opening in his scrotum after it too has been cleaned thoroughly.
Here is what it looks like when its completed
Leah and I wern't aware he was so pink! in his underside...he's just cute in every way.
My Boy King waited patiently...I'm sure he was thinking, Been there - done that-glad it's you Jack!
Took Jack what seemed like eternity to wake up...going under always scares me. I'm afraid they wont wake up, but he did with some prodding.
Here is a little bit of random information about Jack. Jack has a genetic strain of DNA thats called Homozygous. He is a Tobiano (click here for more information) which which is the most common spotting pattern, characterized by rounded markings with white legs and white across the back between the withers and the dock of the tail, usually arranged in a roughly vertical pattern and more white than dark. A Homozygous is a spotted pattern coming from a simple dominate gene. A Homozygous can NOT come from a non-homozygous horse but will be produced from any horse that has the gene whether it be homozygous + homozygous or non-homozygous + homozygous. Simply meaning a homozygous horse mare or stallion will always and only throw a homozygous foal. The spots are characterized by secondary spotting called "ink spots," "paw prints," "cat tracks". This means that the dark spots are covered in white hair. below is a picture of the secondary spotting. It is included with the normal spotting such as a "true" Paint being either black and white or brown and white. Click here for more information on the Homozygous gene.
So it was an interesting day, especially for little Jackabo, who isnt so little anymore. He is coming two and was getting quite feisty and getting harder to handle and enjoyed biting. Common for babies I know, but I want that stallion mentality gone as soon as possible. We put fly spray all around his rump and legs, careful not to put it directly on his incision, but to keep the flies away. They are so bad this year. Here are some videos of Jack with the meds taking effect, getting back up and loading back into the trailer. Now THAT scared the daylights out of me...you'll see at the end how close he got to falling off the edge of the ramp! Thankfully that didn't happen and lesson learned, from now on, loading a sedated horse we WILL back the trailer INTO the shed rather than a few feet from it. Another lessoned learned. Enjoy the funny videos!

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