Monday, April 12, 2010

There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot. Steven Wright

The farm has become BUSY! Norm is working again until after dark...his usual summer time work hours. He hasnt begun yet leaving the house before sunrise, but that will happen soon when planting begins, which will be before we know it! I cant believe how fast time is flying these days. I never dreamed when I was a kid that the years would just pass by me like this. I remember how the days would just drag on, winter used to last FOREVER, and those summer days playing barefoot in the yard until my mother used to drag me in well after dark seemed like a month in its self! Now Summer is gone in a blink of an eye.
King has been doing very well the last 2 weeks.
The antibiotics cleared up the infection in his hoof and it had apparently entered his blood stream which was what I had feared. He is still limping constantly from hip pain, riding him is out of the question and he is retired that is definite. And he is on borrowed time. How much time that will be I dont know. We caught the infection quickly that got him down so fast, and I am thanking God that I do spend so much time with my horses. At first I was beating myself up thinking that I should have been more diligent but looking back, I was apparently being diligent, or I would have lost him. After removing him immediately from the hard ground he was on for all this time since he first went down. After having 3 weeks of minor limping and 2 weeks of being able to have only a small dose of pain medication on bad weather days for his arthritis I decided to join him with Jack and Gypsy for a few days and see how he was doing. He was beginning to call for them, and his spirit had improved and greet us daily and I knew if I didnt join him back with the herd soon he would become depressed. And I'm so glad that I did. I've never seen such a happy reunion! He and Jack ran and jumped and ran and ran and ran some more. They played until they couldnt play some more and I worried so much all day that it was a mistake and King wouldnt be able to walk for a week, and he was pretty sore. But I had dosed him up pretty good with some pain medication before I put him in, knowing that there would be a good amount of running, and he actually did well considering. The hard ground has caused some noticeable limping BUT I have noticed an improvement in his spirit, it is about quality as far as I'm concerned and I cannot continue to keep him sequestered all the time. I'll removed him every so often onto softer ground and now that the chicken coop is being moved to where we had him we are moving his little area right next to the pig paddock the other horses are in so he is able to see them and rub noses. That will help when I separate them. I'm pleased with his progress so far. And watching him closely. Its really all I can do at this point, make him comfortable when he gets down and happy as I can. So good news to report at this time! Thanks for your kind words, good wishes and prayers for my boy! You dont know how much your encouragement means!
On to some cow business!
Soon the big boys will be back in with the cows! Bummer, well I just dont like being on the 4-wheeler with bulls in the pasture....I just dont like those big animals looking at me! But they make some pretty baby's! They are just so big, even if they care nothing about me at all and probably find me entertaining riding on my get-away vehicle!
Little Lilly I found out has recently found a way to get milk from her momma through the fence we had separating them. She hadnt been doing this the whole time, because already Patti's bag is about dried up again...the little fart. So we kicked her out with the heifers behind the house that are calving. Just 7 or 8 more to calve and they have yet to accept her into the group and I kinda feel sorry for her. BUT she needed more room to run thats for sure and to make friends. I feel bad for Patti now by herself. Wondering if I should put her with the young girls for a time that havent calved yet to get out of that small lot? Lilly had gotten full of spit and fire for a little Jersey...wanting to challenge me...actually just she needed the knocking around the big girls are giving her...much good it will do her!
Massey (named after the tractor Massey Ferguson) is getting big! He keeps getting scours on me tho'! He cleared up but last night had to put him on his second round of antibiotics! I think I started him on his third bottle too soon and should have given him 2 bottles of milk and 1 bottle of water to begin with....I caught it right away so he should be better fast, but I'm aggravated I did that. I guess his tummy just is a little sensitive still. He and Levi are the biggest buddies! I didnt realize how much so until last night they were in the barn playing. Levi LOVES to play with the calves but they usually dont play back as much or start the playing, but Massey actually charged Levi and started the games!!! It was just too cute!!!! Levi loved it!
Patti got her own round bale of hay and as you can see was feeling quite proud of herself! This was the first time she got her own bale like the other cows rather than just a square bale, now she could just eat all day! One happy cow! She just didnt know what to do with herself!

On to other things over the last couple weeks: Just included this next photo from when I took Douglas to school on a terribly foggy day....glad I took my camera I got some lovely shots!!!!
I got to spend some time with one of my best friends I grew up with, Eileen and her lovely daughter Courtney, that I havent seen since I was 13 or 14!!!! We met for lunch when she was home from Michigan visiting family. I was so excited to see her and had such a wonderful time catching up! I love you girl! This time we wont make it so many years! Its so funny how time and miles can pass but it can be just like yesterday that you last saw someone! Some friendships ARE forever!

Spring Break was very nice this year. We didnt go anywhere and just chilled at home.
I would have liked to have gone on a little vacation, but I have some plans for a few places this year I'm taking the kids. We took some pics of the kids with the horses, worked on the chicken coop, and spent a lot of time in the sun! Time with the kids is precious in every way to me, especially since we dont get to see Leah every day. I dont know if she realizes just how much we treasure that. So sometimes just hanging out and doing nothing in particular, rather than running around going here and there is nice. Since I had gotten sick 8 months ago and began that new medication the neurologist gave me which has helped so much I've lost just over 30 pounds! Looking at these pictures and back at ones from a year ago when Leah and I were comparing pictures of Jack when we first started training him we were shocked at what a difference those 30 pounds made! I sure was pleased! :-) (sorry had to brag just a little!) I do wish my neurologist was able to give me an answer to what happened, and its caused migraines that have been debilitating when they hit, but they are getting better now and not as often. Something he tells me are a result of "whatever" happened in my brain and just have to "learn to live with".....??????....hey - this is the way I look at it. God gives me each day..after the day "it" happened that put me in the hospital I appreciate each day and have a deep appreciation for my blessings. Rainy days, days my migraines get me down, when I stumble over words and cant pronounce them correctly, or have little memory, or days that totally zap me...days that I feel great, each day is a wonder - its beautiful and God given and I find joy in something when I wake up. I'm Thankful right now that most days right now are good ones and I'm fitting this into my life. I'm sad I cant do some things I was doing, making soap at this point in time is something I've had to put on hold, 12 hours a day and the smells are something I cant handle, mostly the smells make me so 8 months of not doing what I enjoy really has bummed me out but its been fun trying other peoples! So hey..another blessing! Hey I'm rambling arent I? One more thing....Since all these health issues....I have really strengthened my prayer life and devotions have become part of my daily routine. I have to admit it was something I didnt include before. Not on a regular basis. It has made my faith even stronger and my convictions so much greater. A strong prayer life is an amazing thing!!!!!
So here are some pics from Spring Break.
Jack has gotten SO big! 2 years old now!!!
Doug and Gypsy have developed a very special relationship that I havent seen from her with anyone! She as well has really brought him out of his shell with horses, he went from being terrified again and hiding on the very top of the stack of hay to suddenly going out into the horse pasture and climbing up on her back with no saddle or reigns and no one being out there with him! She just stands there and lets him "be". Sensing he needs her gentleness. When he rides, she "knows" he doesnt really know how and rides with no efforts and go where he wants with none of the argument or resistance to come back to the barn like she shows Leah or is truly amazing the relationship they are developing! He is truly "her" human and she is "his" horse, there is no doubt about that! I love this next shows the sweet tenderness between them!
Leah, Douglas, and Neil went fishing. Neil caught all of them except for Doug he caught one little fish! Poor Leah didnt catch a one, mostly cause Neil is a fish hog! Shame on you Neil for hogging the one spot all the fish were gathered in! :-)
Mari - our neighbor, and good friend - and fellow chicken wrangler, had a cookout that we all attended. The kids had a blast!

My Bestest friend Nita and her beautiful daughter Bethany stopped by on their way home to visit the chickens and knowing how Bethany LOVES horses Leah walked her around on Gypsy for a bit. I think Bethany would have sat up there all day if we let her! She is just a doll! I realized when I looked back at these pics just how fat and mule-like my poor girl Gypsy looks! WOW she is out of shape! Time for Pilate's and Thigh Master Gypsy!
Chicken Stuff!
Day 3 Construction of Peppers Mansion (still lookin' for a good name, not settled on Peppers Mansion)
Looking at the walk in door which will have a window. Using an old front door taken off Norms moms house when hers was replaced a few years ago.
From the inside standing just inside the door looking out where the walk out chicken door will be
Again looking at the front, where the walk in door will be this is the side you will see from the road
This is the side that faces the barn that will have a big window that is also from Norms moms that was taken out last year when her windows were replaced, they can be raised in the summer with a screen for air, and closed in the winter to hold in the warmth. Just like a real house! Another window will be just opposite of this one to allow air flow. Roosts will be placed through the coop, 2 heat lamps in the ceiling. Long nesting boxes will line the walls with dividers for the nests.
This is inside the chicken yard facing the chicken door, this is the chickens view of their home!
^A little Red at about a week old just starting to fly^
No thats not a mutant chicken, you see that is a duck, no two ducks, actually there are 6 in all! For 2 weeks they were quacking my name! And am I so glad I got them! They have been so joyful to watch...may not enjoy them later when they are big and end up int he crock pot! They sell like wildfire in the spring (if I can get them to hatch and end up with a momma and daddy) and the eggs are hard to find around here and people love them, so had to try em. I also got some Americaunas and Black Sex Links and I'm glad I did. Americaunas are great meat birds and Black Sex Links are Egg-cellent egg layers, I've been told to take my egg orders now. They lay early and a lot! Very gently birds! The Americaunas can be somewhat aggressive towards others, so I'm curious to hear what other people say about them...again I've got a crock pot!
I must not leave Pepper out...
What is she thinking about all these birds? Ahhh found out she really dont care, I've put her in with the older ones and she is really more curious about their small coop than them, then trying to figure out what they are egg-actly. Remember she doesnt know she is a chicken. I hope she will get over her identity crisis shortly after she is joined with them in the coop.
So meet the ducks! Some Pekin (those big white ducks) 3 to be exact, and 3 mallards. I'll clip their wings to keep them all in the coop, and we'll keep the yard covered, we do have hawks around here thanks to me feeding song birds and the hawks figuring that out at then end of the summer. The now regularly visit the yard to see if there is an easy meal!

Its a gorgeous day outside....and I dont want to waste another minute indoors so I'd best finish my household chores and get my rear in gear! I'll stop by your way tonight and see whats happenin' in your neck of the woods!


Thanks for visiting the farm! We love comments and hope to hear from you! ~ Rachel, Norm, Kiddos, and all our furry friends!