Monday, November 28, 2011

Save This Farm

Is she or isn't she????
While almost everything has been quiet on the farm this thing has been growing. The thing is our lead cow #71. She has gotten big, not just a little big; big as in blown up by an air hose big. We are not sure if she is just really fat or really pregnant.
What I know about cow ob-gyn is not one thing. Someone said there was a way to tell call sleveing??? I am not 100% sure what that is, but I am 100% sure it is not on my bucket list.
What time will tell:
1) if we can save this farm
2) if Jake will be any help delivering a calf
3) is there is a calf to be delivered

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Save This Farm

Fall Chores
Hay has been gathered. Fences checked. (almost a daily chore) The pastures have been over seeded for winter grazing. The girl calves are getting hugh. I thought they were big five months ago, I was wrong. A couple of them are topping 800 pounds. Babies' Daddy is getting to be a stud. (at least he thinks so) His voice is changing and he sounds like a preteen boy.
At this point in time I am ready for a slower pace of life. So I am just going to let the calves grow, the pasture grow, and me rest. I am putting selling calves off until after New Years. This gives us a chance to enjoy the holidays. (I think they start with Halloween and go until January 2) It also gives us a chance to reflect on the past months and determine what works and what doesn't.
Reason to slow down:
1) you can't figure out what works best if you are always working
2) Jake seems stressed
3) I seem stressed

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Save This Farm

Okay, I know I complained about the hot weather, but tonight we are under a frost warning. (really??) This is Georgia and our weather is a little fickle. The saying is if you don't like the weather just wait thirty minutes and it will change. Tuesday we were working in shorts and T shirts, Wednesday we needed a jacket, today we needed a fire.
I had three new calves in the calf pen, they looked so cold and lonely I turned them out with the herd. When we opened the gate to let them out my lead cow and several of the older girls came running into the calf pen. They tested the water, licked the salt block, ate the hay, and even checked the food trough just in case some food had been left. It was like a Chinese fire drill, we were trying to get calves out and cows were coming in. After thirty minutes of chasing animals in the cold we finally succeeded in getting everyone out...
Things everyone (or every cow) wants to know:
1) what do others eat
2) what do they have to drink
3) what does their house look like

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Save This Farm

So we have a routine....we feed the cows, we count the cows, we check the water, we check the fences, we feed the cows, we count the cows......
Yes, we have settled into normal (at least normal for us). I would say we know what we are doing; but that would just cause something to go wrong. (never brag, it will bite you) Even the cows seem to know what to do. They come when they are called, mostly. They are all growing and even the sick one from last week is doing very well.
For now I am pleased with our progress. No money has been made, but we are getting by with Bob supplementing the sale of calves. I am now at the point of selling three buying four. I know when the number grows to buying six or seven the work load will increase. For now I am enjoying the peace of knowing what to expect.
Things I know will happen (or least pretty sure they will happen)
1) I will oversleep
2) Jake will let me oversleep
3) the cows will let me know I have overslept

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Save This Farm

Maybe it will get easier...
I'm still crying about selling my cows. The steer with the warts is gone...and you would think that would be a good thing. The problem is I named him (Warty) and I spent a lot, lot of time working with him. One day Bob asked what I was going to call him when the warts were cured..I flipantly told him "Gone".
I am hoping that when I do this enough I will grow thicker skin. If I do I will let you know; until then pass the kleenex. Buying and selling calves is a lot harder than I ever imagined..
Things I would do if I had thicker skin:
1) not take everything so seriously
2) not cry on Jake's shoulders
3) not worry about things I have no control over (yeah, right)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Save This Farm

A Good Day..
Today was one of those days where everything went well. (you know the really rare ones) Today is our older son's birthday. (he is 37 and I don't know how that happened) The cow which we had to give antibiotics seems a lot, lot better.
Monday is quilting morning with friends. (we solve all the world's problems...only no one ever asks our opinions) It also rained today...we have an eight inch deficit in Georgia so far this year; so a rainy Monday was a good thing.
Why quiet days are welcomed:
1) too much drama is too much
2) Jake is much better behaved when everyone else is
3) they give you a chance to appreciate what you have

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Save This Farm

Well, I will spare you the picture, but I have a sick cow. Everyone kept telling me when you have a sick cow you should do...... I didn't think I would have one, so I really didn't listen. (that will teach me not to pay attention)
The sick fellow has a bad sore on his lip. It seems this is not unusual. What is unusual is I have to doctor it. (I have no clue...) What Bob, my brother, and I have done so far is clean the sore and give him an antibiotic shot. (yes, dummies can purchase that at a feed store)
Some more things I didn't know:
1) sick cows are like babies, they can not tell you what hurts
2) Jake has been no help at all in dealing with this
3) I feel as if I have been no help at all in dealing with this

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Save This Farm

And the debate is on....
Did the feeding of warts to the cow work or did the warts run their course and just go away??? Well, I would not bet my life on one of these over the other, but the warts are going away. The cow now looks really good (no more horror movie cow). Bob thinks the warts just went away on their own. I sort of think the Internet trick worked.
No matter what happened I can now sell this cow. He has been with me since June 1. I know it will be another sad day when he goes. I have spent countless hours and products on him. He is very tame and has been patient through all my craziness.
Things cows will let you do:
1) give them nick names which they will respond to
2) put wart medicine on their face
3) remove warts while sitting on one side of gate while he is eating on the other side (pictures of this have been destroyed)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Save This Farm

Ahh, the ocean...
When you can't get away for a long break, a short one will do. We celebrated our 38th anniversary Friday. We both had a lot of work to be done. So, we took a 2 day vacation. We drove to Jekyll Island Friday night, spent Saturday being tourist, and drove home today. The ocean was wonderful. There is something about it that is so relaxing.
We over ate, played miniature golf, and walked on the beach. We did not talk work too much. Sometimes you just have to take a minute, slow down, and regroup. Now, back to reality and Monday.
Things I never thought we would have to do to take a day off:
1) get someone to take care of cows
2) get someone to house sit Jake
3) be married 38 years

Friday, September 30, 2011

Save This Farm

Got you...
Yes the new calves have been seduced by the green bucket of "sweet feed". They are now under my control. It took them three days to decide to try it; they liked the grass and hay, buy were reluctant to try the feed. But, as with all other cows before them, they have been smitten.
They are cute and have already elected a leader for their small pack of four. They are going to stay in the calf pen for another week. Then they will be introduced to the larger herd. Just wait until they realize there is already a really, big lead cow elected.
Things that are worth noting:
1) someone thinks they should lead every group
2) Jake would like to be the leader, but he was not elected
3) some days I am afraid they think I am the lead cow

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Save This Farm

Finally, after a pretty painful birth...
It was a four delivery. The first calves out were so little they would have needed to be bottle fed. I am sorry something that small scares me. I am afraid I could do something wrong. Also, they would have to be fed at least twice today. So, I went for the 200-250 pound babies. I tried to buy several but was out bid on all but four.
They are cute. They hit the ground eating. (no bottles needed) They did cry some and my girls came over to check them out. Everyone introduced themselves and seemed to get along. The new calves are in the new calf pen and seemed safe and somewhat happy.
Sale barn facts of the day:
1) just because you want a certain calf doesn't mean you can afford him
2) Jake can stay in house

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Save This Farm

....and the nursery is ready.
Yes we have the calf pen ready for new babies. It is amazing how many things were needed before really young calves can be brought home. They need a safe place to play. They need plenty of special food. They need shade to sleep. (kind of sounds like people babies doesn't it?)
Tomorrow will be "cattle auction day" again. This time I hope it will not be a repeat of last time. (my fanny can't take another 5 hours of bench pressing) The goal is to purchase 10 really little calves and start them off on calf pellets. Wish me luck!
Things I didn't know little bitty calves needed:
1) a mineral block just like the big girls
2) special feed
3) a large safe play area (ours is fenced so they can't get out and nothing can get in; we think)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Save This Farm

Ready for some R&R
I am not sure what is the most tiring part of being a farmer; the physical work, the mental work or the emotional drain. What I do know is I am exhausted. I am ready to see the ocean. My arms are sore, my brain hurts, and I am to sit in a beach chair.
Everyone needs to take a vacation now and then. I think Jake and the cows will understand if I get them babysitters and leave good instructions on what their feeding schedules are.
Signs you need a break:
1) you go to bed at 9:30, after taking an hour long nap on the couch
2) Jake thinks you need a nap
3) your precious 3 year old granddaughter asks "Are you tired?"

Friday, September 23, 2011

Save This Farm

Some help for you?
This week's project was finishing the calf pen. When everything but hanging the gate was finished the cows decided Bob needed some help. They all lined up to give their opinion. It is amazing how much cows think they know.
With the pen completed we are going to buy even smaller calves. Hopefully we can make a little bit more money buying them younger. I guess the cows we are keeping in our herd will be letting us know how to do that too.
Little known cow facts:
1) they are nosey
2) they are bossy
3) they are opinionated

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Save This Farm

The Good, The Bad, and The Jake
AM..."Jake the Hero". This morning Jake felt a disturbance in the force (I think he really heard the dogs barking) and alerted us to dogs chasing the cows. Because of Jake's loud barking Bob went outside and heard the commotion. He immediately went to the pasture and rescued the cow the dogs had cut away from the her.
PM..."Jake the Horrible". This afternoon Jake went with me to pick up my granddaughter from preschool. He knows he is supposed to stay in the cargo area of the car, but while I was inside getting Mal he climbed over the backseat, then into the front seat. When I got back to the car he was in the driver's seat looking very pleased with himself. He shed all over the car getting me in trouble with the car cleaner, Bob.
Good things and bad things about Jake;
1) Good - he will sleep anywhere Bad - he will sleep anywhere
2) Good - he will eat anything Bad - he will eat anything
3) Good - he never shares my secrets Bad - he never pays any attention to my secrets

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Save This Farm

Something is falling from the sky..
and it is not space junk
It is raining! I never knew I would be this happy to have rain. I also never knew I would have cows, pastures, and the need for rain. We have been in a drought situation for several weeks now. One of our neighboring counties has issued a total ban on outdoor water use. Maybe this is the beginning of the end of the drought. (fingers are crossed)
Things that matter now that didn't before the cows:
1) are the fences in good repair
2) is Jake on best behavior (today he "pointed" one of the cows)
3) is the grass green (on the right side of the fence of course)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Save This Farm

Maybe they are too well trained...
today when I went to check on the cows four were not with the herd. I put out the feed for the 19 who came running. As soon as I thought they were all content I walked across the pasture to find late comers. I had walked half way across the field when I realized the 19 good cows were following me.
They stayed right with me the entire time I was hunting the 4 bad cows. After searching for about half an hour I finally found the wayward cows. Then me and 23 cows walked back to the barn where everyone celebrated their safe return.
Reasons to celebrate:
1) things turning out well
2) the fact Jake is not having beans today (he did yesterday and it was a mistake)
3) friends will come find you even when you don't know you are lost

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Save This Farm

Never Say Never
and I didn't even know this was on my never to do list: but if I had known it existed it would have been. We feed warts to Warty tonight....yes I am ashamed to say I did something I found on the Internet. Several sites said to remove a few warts, let them dry, and feed them to the cow. The result is supposed to be a wart-free cow. (Lord, I have stooped to a new low)
I will keep you posted on the results of our procedure. The cow didn't know what we had done, but we did. I now know my decision to stay away, far, far, away from the medical profession was a wise decision.
Reason the medical profession is not for me:
1) our boys always called Bob when they were hurt
2) I am a sympathy thrower upper (if you throw up I am throwing up with you)
3) I faint at the sight of blood (just ask Bob's doctor)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Save This Farm

Perfect Weather
Sometimes you catch a break. Today we began fencing the new calf pen. Last time we started a fencing job the temperature was 98 and the humidity level was 98. Today the temperature remained in the 70s and the humidity level was 20. The job was still hard but not horrible.
The cows came to watch the beginning of the job. They seemed content to just watch and be quiet; but, when their green buckets were used for hauling water to the post holes they became very verbal. Green buckets equal food, and no food was being served. Sometimes we train our animals too well.
Fencing facts:
1) fence early in the morning (this is for people other than me)
2) Jake will not help fence (he has learned some bad habits from me)
3) Cows are not much help with fencing (especially if you use their green buckets)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Save This Farm

20 Questions?
Grandchildren are wonderful helpers; just ask them. My grandson has helped with the chores a few times and each time is a learning experience for me. Today's help consisted of me figuring out the answers to a five year old's questions. The questions were: How many cows do you have? 23 Why do they push each other for the food? they are cows and don't know any better Are they bullies? no, not really they just don't know any better Why do you keep cows who are bullies? they just don't know any better How do you know if they are boys or girls? the same way you know with puppies When can we milk them? never Why do you have barbed wire fences? to keep the cows in the pasture Why? because we don't want them to get hurt Why? (deep breath, I have not played 20 questions in a long time)
Things needed when you use five year old help:
1) patience
2) a good sense of humor
3) patience

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Save This Farm

Sad Goodbye
The first two calves I purchased were sold today. They were purchased on my birthday and have been on the farm since April. They are sisters and have become pets. I have to confess I named them (a really big mistake for me).
I have to confess tears were shed as the trailor pulled away with Split Ear and Little Sister. Their brother, Babies' Daddy, gets to stay for a while longer. I wonder sometimes if I am too tender hearted to be in the calf selling business.
Things I need to stop doing:
1) naming the calves
2) petting the calves
3) believing the calves have the same feelings I do

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Save This Farm

Doctor Appointment Day
My morning was spent traveling to Macon for an appointment with my rheumatologist. The joys of living in the country is you get to travel forty miles for a routine check-up. I think it's a fair trade off because I only have to go 3 or 4 times a year; I get to live in the country the other 360 days.
The reason I have a rheumatologist is lupus. I was diagnosed several years ago after suffering with fatigue, swollen joints, pancreatitis and general aches. I have not held a "real" job for three years, but don't tell the cows they are not a "real" job.
Reasons the cows have not figured out I have lupus:
1) they chew cud during my nap time and don't notice I'm MIA
2) they don't notice I am tired as long as I have green buckets of feed
3) they are pretty self-absorbed

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Save This Farm

Old Farm House
This 200 year old farm house is on the property we purchased this summer. It was built by my great-grandfather. The lumber used was grown on the farm. I would love for someone to use the lumber for some wonderful project. If you have any suggestions for someone who does this type of removal and repurposing please let me know.
We are planning on clearing more land for pastures and want to salvage as much of the old while making room for the things we need today. Change is hard, but not changing is worse.
Things we don't want to loose:
1) the history of the farm
2) out integrity
3) our minds

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Save This Farm

I have done some dumb things in my life...
but today I may have raised the bar. I actually bought and applied Compound W. What I bought it for is obvious...warts. What I applied it poor warty cow. Yes, I am doing confessions again. My cow now has wart treatment on his head. (oh, I know it's not right) I have tried wart shots, pulling warts and wart whispering. Nothing has worked.
The poor cow is next in line for the sale barn. I can not send him with warts. (no one wants warts on their cows...I know) So, fingers are crossed, wart treatment applied, and tomorrow we hope to see results; good results.
Things I never thought I would do:
1) wart doctoring
2) explaining to my husband what was on the cow's warts
3) buying wart treatment without laughing

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Save This Farm

If you want to make my husband mad...
Bob hates this may become my mantra. I admitted I was scared of asking for help and filling out important forms....but I put on those big girl panites (no sizes will be used to protect the chubby) and went to the FSA (farm services agency). As it turned out the person I talked with is someone I worked with several years ago. It was much easier dealing with a friend. The paper work is still in progress, but it seems they will walk me through it.
I need money for equiptment; especially a head gate. I can't ask my family to go through another vaccinating episode without one. I also need some minor things like a holding pen for calves, feeding troughs, a hay ring, etc.....
Good things that have happened by taking action:
1) the family farm is still ours
2) Jake is still ours
3) my family still loves me

Monday, September 5, 2011

Save This Farm

Little Lizard In A Big World
When I finally got time to relax on the deck with a cup of coffee I was surprised by this teeny, tiny lizard. Maybe if I had seen him before sitting down I wouldn't have screamed quite so loudly. I am sure he was just as surprised he could cause such panic in something as large as me. (not that I am that large, yeah right).
After my heart starting beating again I realized he was probably just as afraid of me, but he did manage not to scream. I wish I had that kind of control when I was afriad.
Things I am afraid of I should not be:
1) asking for help
2) filling out important forms (why I have a accountant)
3) small creatures

Save This Farm

Little lizard in a big world
When I finally went to set on the deck and enjoy a cup of coffee I was start

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Save This Farm

With a little help from my friends (family)
I am afraid even visiting relatives are not spared the "cow experience".
We had the opportunity to have Bob's sister and her husband spend Saturday with us and showed them a good time. (watching cows eat).
Luckily "the girls" were on best behavior and put on a great show. They came running, took the food buckets away, and posed for this picture.
Today the family fun continued. My brother helped us give shots to six of the newer additions. The thrill of giving shots is hard to put into words. (at least words suitable for mixed company) We need a head gate. Right now we pen the calves between two gates and try not to hurt the cow or ourselves. Needless to say "head gate" is at the top of our wish list. (right behind a million dollars)
Things only family members who love you will do:
1) go with you to feed your cows without complaining
2) pray for the return of Jake (which worked)
3) assist you in committing hari-kari

Friday, September 2, 2011

Save This Farm

Can you say drought?
Today we discussed whether or not we needed to mow our pond. The water level is so low grass is beginning to grow where fish used to swim. We could use some rain and use it now. The millet we planted for hay is not growing and we are not sure if it will be worth the price of diesel to bail it. Thankfully our well from which we water our cows seems to be okay.
The forecast is calling for rain next week and our fingers and toes are crossed. The rain is suppose to come on a holiday; but I think it will be a holiday just to hear rain on our metal roof.
Signs you are in a drought:
1) the grass crackles when you walk
2) Jake has forgotten he is afraid of thunder
3) you don't mind having a holiday rained out

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Save This Farm

The Thrill Is Gone
Yes, we said good-bye to three more cows yesterday. Remember the excitement of the cow sale, the smell of pooh, and the joy of watching people eat ice cream while sitting around a cow pen. Well after 5 hours of sitting at the sale yesterday I can now say it is no longer thrilling. I don't think watching paint dry could have been any more boring.
Everyone was so tired of watching cows sale that the owner of the auction barn passed out soft drinks and snacks. The problem was someone sold off their entire farm so there were twice as many cows to sell. I wish I had known, so I could have chosen a different date.
Confessions from a 5 hour cattle sale:
1) my fanny went to sleep after 1 hour
2) I could have gone to sleep after 3 hours (but the auctioneer would not shut up)
3) after 5 hours I ate a candy bar while sitting next to a cow pen (oh the shame of it all)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Save This Farm

....or maybe it's the possessive girls.
Yesterday the younger boys didn't want to come for the afternoon sweet feed get together. I blamed it on the boys having hard heads and selective hearing....but after watching my granddaughter Mallory guard her sweet treat (aka a sucker) today on the ride home from pre-school, I have decided it might be the girls.
It seems girls don't like to share a good thing with anyone else, especially a boy. Jake tried several times to get just one little lick on that sucker, but Mallory stood her ground and refused to allow such behavior. She scolded Jake severely everytime he even looked at her treat.
Girls rule:
1) looks can kill
2) sharing is so over rated
3) even a good friend doesn't get part of your sweet treat

Monday, August 29, 2011

Save This Farm

Hard headed boys..
Today when I went to feed all my cows, the older ones came running, so happy to see me and the green buckets....but the new group of boys from last week didn't bother. They just stayed way out in the middle of the field grazing and ignoring. You would have thought they had developed the same selective hearing my boys had when they were younger.
I did not know all boys shared this trait. I also did not know they shared the love of playing a little rough. The group of young boys (calves) love head butting, chasing and just kicking up dirt. Seems like little boys are little boys no matter where on the food chain they land.
Things I love about boys:
1) they can make a game out of anything
2) they can hear what they want to hear
3) they can not hear what they don't want to hear

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Save This Farm

Two more calves arrived today making our herd 28 strong. In five months we have reached our half way goal. We are now selling four buying five each month. The final goal is selling ten and buying ten each month. But before we celebrated our goal of being half way there we thought today's purchases weren't going to be delivered.
The farmer who sold them to us has a daughter who has been in the hospital all week. Last night she had emergency surgery and is in ICU. She is to remain in intensive care for two days. They have been very concerned about her prognosis. It is things like this that remind you of what is really important in life. Cows and making money are good things, but they are only things.
Facts of life:
1) you never know what is going to happen
2) you never know when something is going to happen
3) enjoy this minute

Friday, August 26, 2011

Save This Farm

Slow Learner
Confession time (again). In one of my first blogs I noted you could not herd cows in flip flops. I was in a hurry and didn't take the time to put on my work shoes (aka sh.. kickers). I believed all my cows would behave and come without any herding. (yeah, I know)
Two of the newer calves found themselves on the wrong side of the fence. They could see the other cows and the food...they just couldn't remember where the gate was located. So..being the good cattle owner that I am, I walked down the fence line to bring them to the gate. They were not bad to herd, but the flip flops were a hugh mistake.
Things to remember:
1) herding calves takes walking on rough ground
2) herding calves takes walking in

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Save This Farm

I know you shouldn't wish your life away...but I am ready for fall. I am tired of hot weather. I am tired of mosquitoes. I am tired of flies. I am tired of taking two or three showers a day. I have to admit fall is my favorite time of year and I am past ready for it to get here this year.
There are things about each season I enjoy. Fall offers pumpkins, leaves, cooler weather, maybe even cool enough for a fire. There are candied apples, pecan pies and chili. Just wishing....
Why there different seasons:
1) the same old thing all the time would get boring
2) Jake enjoys air conditioning and fires
3) we need a change in chores...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Save This Farm

Jake is in BIG trouble. Yesterday he killed one of my mother's little yellow kittens. He had a reputation as a cat chaser, but now he is a "cat killer". I just thought that was bad. This morning I was awakened by a call from the sheriff's department wanting to know if my dog was missing. I had to check; but, yes my dog was gone, again....
The dispatcher gave me an address and told me to hurry. I got dressed quickly and drove about 2 miles to the location they had given me. Sure enough, there was the sheriff's deputy, animal control, and a hysterical woman. (not me) It seems Jake had gotten in with a bad group of dogs early this morning and gone on a rampage. The dogs had killed the woman's goat and molested her dog. (luckily, I think, Jake was not among the goat killers, but he was the molester) Thankfully he has been "fixed", so no puppies will come from his horrible behavior.
Things you do not want to hear first thing in the morning:
1) this is the sheriff's department
2) this is the emergency room
3) do you have a yellow lab?


Monday, August 22, 2011

Save This Farm

Boy or Girl?
Well, two out of three ain't least Meat Loaf sings so. I have to confess I missed the sex on one of these three calves. The one hiding the fact she is not a he was a mistake. I thought in the rush of the auction today she was a he. (Bob is still laughing) At least she was a bargain, she cost me the least per pound I have spent on a calf yet. So,,she will stay for the four month flip period and move on. I hope I will be pleasantly surprised and make a profit....
Well, I don't claim to be an expert, but I am embarrassed. It really should be simple to sex a cow. I mean it is right there in the open....but....
Things I still need to learn:
1) to more quickly sex a calf running through the auction pen
2) to laugh at my mistakes
3) how to profit from my mistakes (they may be the only thing I profit from)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Save This Farm

We are the proud owners of twins. We purchased the boys Friday. We also purchased the very, very, unhappy girl with them. The boys have been hilarious. They have run, jumped and head butted everything. The girl has hollered, and hollered, and hollered. For three days she has been calling for her mother. The boys are only three months old and she is eight months old. She has never been away from her mother and is not coping well. The boys have been away from their mother for a week and are having a ball.
You just never know how well new additions are going to cope. Kind of sounds like people doesn't it?
Signs boys will be boys:
1) they enjoy running for no apparent reason
2) they will pick on the girls
3) they will try to eat anything

Friday, August 19, 2011

Save This Farm

Feed by the barrel
You know you are a farmer when you order your cow feed in bulk. Something I never knew existed; large orders of cow food. (Dog food I knew about) They seem to like it just as much in a barrel as they did in a bag, and I don't have to pick it up every week.
I have increased the amount of food needed as my group of cows has increased. I now have people calling to see if I am interested in purchasing calves. I never thought I would be at this stage in just 5 months. (maybe all my brain cells aren't dead yet)
I must be doing something right facts:
1) my cows are getting bigger (think more money)
2) Jake has not run away again (yet)
3) no cows have died in the making of this farm (yet)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Save This Farm

Empty Handed

well....after sitting for 4 hours on a metal folding chair I didn't buy a single calf. I did sell the calves I took for a decent price. (yes!) All the calves the size and gender I was looking for were out of my price range. Some days you get lucky, sometimes you get a tired fanny.

But, there will be another sell next Wednesday and I have 2 bulls coming from another farm on Saturday. I never knew I would be on a constant look out for baby bulls. People are going to start talking about the "crazy calf lady".

Cow sale barn facts:

1) The line to the ladies' restroom is shorter than the one to the mens'

2) No one dresses up

3) They can now spell "Beauchamp"

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Save This Farm


you know that thing squirrels do right before they are run over in the road.
They run half way across the road, then run back to the curb, then half way, then curb, then....well you know how this ends. That is how I feel right now. I think I have made up my mind, then change it, then make it, then change it, then....well you know I need to end this.

I need to stick to a plan. I am going back to my first plan with a few tweaks. I am only keeping 8 cows and my bull to have some babies. I am going to sell four cows tomorrow to get my cash flow in motion. (a non-flowing cash flow is a very sad thing) I am buying four small bulls to replace the four cows....and so the cycle will continue. I need to stop second guessing myself and have faith in myself....

Why women second guess themselves:

1) they don't ever want to be wrong (an impossible goal)

2) they don't ever want to fail (another impossible goal)

3) they don't ever want to let people down (yet another impossible goal)

Save This Farm

Save This Farm

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Save This Farm

Spa Day

Yes, even our cows get the special treatment. Fly treatment that is. Today they got a cool shower and a splash of ode of fly repellent. Bob got to be the ma sous, and can't you tell he just loved it.

There are a lot of things I never knew cows needed. Sundays used to be quiet. Now, they are quite a bit of work. We give the cows their weekly wash down, clean their water troughs, and check them to be sure they don't need anything doctored. Didn't know I would be a vet (a backdoor one, but one just the same).

Things I never thought I would do:

1) check cows for issues (I don't even want to talk about what these can be)

2) think Jake was a clean freak

3) think only doing four chores is a day off

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Save This Farm

What to do when the heat index reaches 108.......

we think it is a good time to repair a fence..(not our brightest move) We had one more fence in bad condition, and I mean really bad condition. The length of fence needing help was about 200 feet long. It took all day...there was some nap breaks...but who counts those hours?

It was hot, hot, hot, hot. At one point I got out of work for a "I think I am going to faint" time-out. Bob, my brother Mitch and I did manage to finish the job; and I didn't faint. (they would never let me live that down) Tomorrow is suppose to be cooler, only 92. I wonder what fun plan we can come up with for that chilly temp.

Things to not do in 100+ temps:

1) dig post holes

2) keep Jake in the truck bed (he wanted to go, but we wouldn't let him)

3) clip hog wire to metal posts

Friday, August 12, 2011

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Picture Perfect

Just what I wanted to see today. A group of cows grazing on a field of green grass. Nothing went as planned today, but the results were good. The farmer we were supposed to pick up our new calf from couldn't meet us to get her because his wife is in the hospital. (we are not the only ones who has plans that are changed for us) This actually gave us the afternoon off. Can you say nap time?

So, when nothing happens it is usually for a good reason. We had a break, the calf gets another week with her mother, and nothing bad happened. Sometimes, that is as good as it gets..

Things to do with an unexpected break:

1) accomplish something

2) listen to Jake snore

3) snore

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Save This Farm

Watching and Waiting

We are getting a new girl tomorrow. She is going to be a member of the herd. She is actually a registered black Angus heifer. She is about 9 months old. As you know earlier in the week the final decision on the bull was made; also a registerd black Angus. I hope they like each other, I so think blind dates are stressful. I guess you could really say it is an arranged marriage. (I am not going to explain any of this to the children)

This will make us needing a table for 25. We need another feed trough and another water one too. I can not believe we have increased our group to this number already. Next Wednesday 4 of the hiefers that didn't make the cut will be carried to the sale. I hope I can find 4 little bulls to take their place, and the cycle continues.....

Cow sales facts:

1) the more you want to not get attached the more you do

2) Jake is a little jealous of the cows (he really loves the children)

3) Jake and I might need another talk....he is under the bed again (sigh)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Save This Farm

The Winner Is...

You ask the winner of what??? The winner of being the "stud master" aka "babies' daddy"....

yes, I have chosen "the bull". The good looking guy with the yellow earring is the lucky one. He is still a little young to know what a big deal this is. When I told him he just acted like it was any other day. He is actually a registered black Angus, and this makes him a good choice. He also comes from a line of bulls which "throws a low birth weight". (I can not believe I know what that means and used it in a sentence.)

I still have tons and tons to learn but I have added a few new words to my vocabulary. Some of these new words I won't use in mixed company. Sometimes I use words I have no clue what they really mean, but they sound good....

New words:

1) brood cow....babies' mama

2) Jake....cow chaser

3) bull....stud master

Monday, August 8, 2011

Save This Farm

Monday all day long...

Never been a big Monday fan...and I guess I never will be. I think it may be a mental thing. I don't seem to accomplish much and if something can go wrong it will. Today was going fine...up early, cooked breakfast (miracles never cease), and quilted with friends. After that things took a turn for the Monday. We drove to the cow sale and found nothing but some really sad looking cows. Finally it thundered for several hours and we got several drops of rain. What we needed was several hours of rain.

The level of our pond has really begun to drop. Bob even began watering our grass today. I wish the fields could be watered, but an irrigation system isn't in our budget this week......maybe next Monday.

Monday things:

1) it comes every 7 days

2) Jake doesn't care about what day of the week it is

3) is it only me????

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Save This Farm


Spent the morning cleaning up the feed lot (aka holding pen) for the next group of calves. It is not easy to clean an area used by 24 cows. They are not house broken, potty trained or even discreet. I shoveled, swept and washed down the area I will be keeping the new purchases. I scrubbed the water trough and filled it up ready to go. Now... we have to go shopping again. Luckily Bob is able to go to the sale barn with me tomorrow during his lunch hour.

We are planning on getting four new calves weighing between 250 and 300 pounds. They will all need to be boys. When I started this I didn't know anything about what size and sex brings the most money when you try to "flip cows" (my friends and I decided instead of flipping houses I am flipping cows). Now I know they all bring about the same at 300 pounds, but above 650 pounds the boys bring about 30 cents a pound more. So...boys it is.

Shopping points:

1) bring your checkbook

2) Jake is a boy

3) checking cow privates is still embarrassing

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Save This Farm

Merry Christmas to me!

...I really didn't know I wanted a 5 foot mower for Christmas until now. But after 38 Christmases it gets harder to be creative. So, I think Bob did a great job of choosing something I have never gotten before; and he presented it early enough to get a lot of good out of it. Also, and this is a biggy, tractor driving lessons are included. (right now I have no clue as to how to turn on a tractor)

I knew starting a farm would open up a lot of opportunities to add skills to my resume. I just had no clue how quickly the list would grow. I can already add shot giving, ear tagging, cattle buying and selling. Soon, tractor driving and bush hogging (really?) will be new additions. I know the neighbors, family and cows can hardly wait for the show to begin.

Things I am refusing to do:

1) wear a cowboy hat

2) tie a red bandanna around Jake's neck except at Christmas proper

3) wear overalls (I do still have some pride)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Save This Farm

Not a good look for you....

When Jake came from his morning walk he was sporting a new do. He had spiked green hair.... I am too old to think spiked green hair looks good on anyone. I am way too old to think it looks good on Jake...mainly because I know what his styling product is. The joy of having a dog and cows. For some ungodly reason dogs think if they roll in cow poop they look good. (they are lying to themselves)

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at his complete confidence in sporting his new look. I thought about bathing him, but I decided to put him out and let him swim in the pond. (he made this mess and I think he should clean it up) After the cleansing swim Jake and I had the talk about "appropriate behavior".... I really, really hope it took.

Things that don't make sense to me:

1) the attraction to nasty things by dogs

2) rolling in nasty things makes dogs happy

3) dogs thinking you should be happy about them rolling in nasty things