Friday, January 30, 2009

Cryin in my Crown N Pepper

Well, we lost the calf. : ( Not for lack of trying!! We got her in the headgate and pulled. Then we got out the calf jack. Sorry, no pictures. I was covered in fluid and blood. So no camera, besides we were too busy. This angus heifer just had NO pelvic area! We worked on her for about an hour. 45 min into it, the calf quit breathing. You can coach a woman and MAKE her push. Or you can push on her stomach. You can't MAKE a heifer push, and you can't push her calf out for her. And this heifer just quit trying!!

We finally got the calf out, and along with it came a glob. We took the calf inside the house and worked on it for about 15 min. We breathed for it (yes, mouth to mouth) and drained its lungs (hung it upside down) and pumped its heart. No dice. We worked and worked and worked. Nothing. So, we both spat out the fluid from our mouths and "called it quits". We weighed the calf, only 74.5 pounds. Not that big. Heifer should have had her easily. We took the calf back outside to have the heifer lick her off and mother her (yes, the calf was a nice heifer). The heifer was still laying down. A good amount of blood behind her, uh oh. Honey felt in her hooey, and pulled out two big globs, of FAT. We estimated all the globs (including the first one) to be about 5 pounds. WRONG! Just Wrong! A heifer should not put that much fat into her uterus! That means that she was too fat to calve, and most of our calving issues were due to the fat. Hmmm.

Got her in the barn and she laid back down and started mothering the (dead) calf. Good. Just hope she doesn't bleed out. Honey made a call and we will have a (reputable) bottle calf in the AM to replace hers. We will skin the dead calf and put the skin on the new one to get the heifer (now cow) to mother the new one. Honey has this neat little trick to skin a dead calf and keep the anus intact, so you just stick the live tail thru it and tie a string around the neck (live calf) and into the hide. That way the skin will stay on pretty good for at least a week. I know its gory, but its the truth, and it IS useful info to a cattleman(woman).

So, I hope she(the cow) makes it thru the night. And we can at least graft a calf on her, cause she has a really good udder.

But, that doesn't mean I'm not sad and upset (and feeling my Crown n Pepper, wait I poured a full glass, and still have half of a can of pepper left, oh well, I'll sleep well till midnight check). If it were any other heifer, she should have had this calf VERY easily. And it did look like a good heifer.

So, now that we have gotten that out of the way (loosing a calf) for the YEAR, I'll sign off and go to bed. Yup, at 7pm. Honey has the kids snuggling and watching Hannah Montana.

Thank God for Midwives, Doula's and Hospitals! I'm glad my last 2 children were in the prescence of these! Heifer should have had a C-section, and the vet that does them was at least 2 hours away.

We've Got FEET!!!

Just got home from taking Squeak to the Dr. And sending the Freegrazers home at a run (Rosie LOVES her job). Stopped in the barn to check heifers, while on the phone to my sister, and screamed in her ear, "We've got Feet!, gotta go".

I know, we live on a cattle ranch, and these things are supposed to happen. BUT, it's the first one of the year, and we bought her, and I'm really excited and nervous! So, I went in the house to fold laundry. Nothing like something mundane and annoying to get your mind off the subject. But, I will be back outside checking her in another half hour....

I have no clue how you midwives and doula's stay so calm and are so wonderful! I am as nervous as a cat on ice! So, I will check her every half hour, and see if I can help her stretch when the time comes. Then I'll help take care of the calf. I might even try to take some pics. The one at the top shows how long I have to wait,..... a LONG time.

BTW - Calving is 506T (44 from Juli's sale) She is a SPA Blackbird 1407 (angus) bred to Gigolo Joe (Maine Anjou) and was due 2-9-09. This should be a very exciting halfblood Mainetainer calf!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dam Freegrazers!

Name that movie! - No offense to those that live in freegrazing states. But we don't; we live in IOWA. You are supposed to have fences. And you are supposed to CLOSE the gates to keep your cows in. AND it would help if you actually fed them and chopped ICE, so they would have water. Ahh, I feel a little better.

Apparently, we live in a freegrazing area of the county. NO ONE keeps their cows in their fences. And the latest and most frequent to our house, cattle visitors, are "owned" by our county assessor. He lives 1 mile north and 1 mile east. Down a Level B road. [A level B is basically a dirt road, that is maintained 2 times a year, wait then our main road to our house should be a Level B].

The cows have been out since 3 or so, and Honey did call to let him know. And, SO HELP ME, if those cows are on my hay pile when I go out at midnight to check heifers.... The dogs will get a workout and "I'll scatter them to the 4 winds" (can't help it, once I get on that movie, I can quote it all night). No really, Rosie has been so penned up (with the pups) she is itching to work, or just chase something!! She was begging me all night as I chored with those big blue/brown eyes and begging "pllllleeeeaaaaseeee, come ON, they're not in a pen, we gotta go get um! Ruf!" circle spin, run to the road circle spin! IF any of you have aussie's or working dogs, you get the idea.

She KNEW they weren't supposed to be there and she just HAD to put them away. So, after an hour or so, I walked to the road and said "SKOOO" (that's her word to move the cows away, and bite if they aren't going). You would have thought that dog won the Lotto! She took off, barked for her pups (the 9 month olds) to get up here and took off. At this point, the freegrazing cows were 1/4 mile north of our land and headed towards us at a trot, 'cause I had been feeding our heavy cows. Well Rosie and the others turned em! She stopped them, turned them East (took a good direction from me after waiting to see which way I wanted them). She even called off pretty easily considering they were so far from me when she got them turned. She brought the pups back and was praised to high heaven!! She even tried to show her pups that my praise was a good thing. She danced on her hind legs and pranced and was SOOO excited! I wish everyone could love their jobs as much as Rosie and I do!

Still can't figure out whose nuts stink. It doesn't smell as bad, but there is a faint odor. So, tomarrow, I'll put them in the alleyway and check nuts to see if we need to re-band one, or doctor someone. Yes, I consider all my animals people. They all have their own personalities and feelings.

Today was a good day. Got off to a slightly rough start. Honey went out to hook up my truck to my pig trailer (so sweet!) and 2 mares were waiting in the yard for him. I hustled outside and we gently led them to the pen. One, wasn't a broke mare, but she was tame. The other was our one-eyed mare. As soon as Tasha could hear me, she turned her pretty little head and let me take her back to the pen. I knew the gate they had knocked over, and wired it up right this time.

Hauled my piggies, and arrived home after noon. Squeak still doesn't feel good, so we fussed and fretted till he passed out with me at 3. I snuck out of the house when the girls got home at four and started choring. While the waters were filling, I moved some more tin for my "real" round pen. The pen we made the other day is about 56' x 56', and looks like we will have it filled with cows/heifers for the next several months. So, I hope to build a 30' ROUND pen this weekend. I want it small for slow work with some colts.

Honey got home, and kids were still doing great, so we hooked up a new bale unroller on the tractor. (as soon as I figure out how to get them off my phone, you'll have pictures). I went out and honked the cows up. [Imagine a crazy lady in a painted up, dented up old crew cab pickup, driving out through the pasture honking her horn and calling "come baaaaassssss, um baaaassss"] I brought the cows up to the new hay and fed them a little corn. They love the taste, and were chasing me the last 60 acres! It was all I could do to keep from bouncing out of my seat, and staying infront of the cows, so I could cross the creekbed first! Honey drove the farm pick up to work and the seat was all "messed up". You have to remember he is 6'4" and I am 5' 0" and we keep our seats as opposite as you can make em, so it takes me a while to get the seat "right".

I came in the house, and to my suprise, he was cooking! AND, he had the girls picking up the house, squeak was getting fed, and there was no yelling or whining! WOW, what a man! He does supprise me sometimes, and it was wonderful for them to all help pickup the house since I had been so lacking today, with my pigs and a fussy one. AHH, I love my honey.

Seriously, has anyone guessed that movie yet??? It's my current favorite, and has been for a while.

One other odd tidbit, I just put Pomegranate & Mango Chipotle Sauce on one of our chairs. A pup has been chewing, and I didn't have any tabasco (must have used it on tales when the colts were chewing) and this sauce really heats up your mouth. But it is good, so I didn't waste the whole bottle.

Night y'all, I'm headed for a nap until my midnight night check, or Squeak's teeth hurting wakes him up, whichever comes first. I'll bet Squeak wakes me up at 10.

I'll have to figure something out and do a drawing for something fun, for all of you who guess at my movie lines.

Happy Birthday Dad!

Well, my dad's officially OVER the hill. Cause he's been perched at the top O that hill for a whole year now. I'm sure you guessed, he is now 51.

Wow! I used to think 30 was old. Then 50 became old.

I once heard a teenaged cousin at a family gathering say that this guy was REALLY old, like 80 or something. Then someone cleared his throat. It was Granpa Smith. He had just turned 81 and we did not consider him really old. That small snipped of a conversation changed my whole idea of old. Now age is something you strive to attain. Because you have a ton of knowledge when you get there! And you've actually made it!

Congrats Dad! You've survived your own childhood, AND us two girls. Hope to congratulate you on another 50 or so birthdays!! LOVE Shanen

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Nuts and Butts

That is the story of my days around here now. And will be for quite a while, it's calving season.

First the Nuts - Somebody's nuts stink. [My honey says I must edit this right away to note that HIS nuts and Squeaks nuts do NOT stink! A calf's nuts stink] So I have been checking nuts on the (soon to be) steers. You see, two weeks ago we banded everything that we aren't going to keep as bulls. Banded is just like it sounds, we have a tool that lets us put a large rubber (think surgical strength) piece and wrap it around the nuts and click it into a clip, and thus you have a TIGHT band that will slowly and with little risk of infection, cut the nuts off a bull. Really a great little tool! We haven't had ANY issues since we started using this bander. Because we like to cut our spring calves later, so that we can see who is really going to mature and grow (cause the good growers might get to keep their nuts).

Then the Butts- All day, every day, SEVERAL times a day (AND NIGHT) I check butts. This time I am checking all of my girls (cows and heifers, but these ones are new, and will be babied BIG TIME). As of yesterday, we have 8 heifers and 1 cow in the barn, at least a dozen more outside the barn, and several across the road on pasture; that are ready to calve.

[I hope y'all forgive my grammar, but that is really how I talk. So, my "bad" writing will probably continue]

Checking Hooeys* will continue until May when all should be calved. Thus, you will hear aLOT about nuts and butts in the weeks to come. We will be banding all the fall calves this weekend.

* Definition of a Hooey (pronounced WHO-EEEE) Long story but it is a synonym of the noun, HOOHA. This word is a general term for the external genetalia of a female bovine. Hooey or Hooha is a MUCH preferred term over ANY of the general cowboy terms that can be heard behind an AI chute or in the calving barn. When thinking of other cowboy terms, make sure that no children or women are present, because they are all derogatory curse words for anything female related. The terms Hooey and Hooha were required language at our previous ranch when we had at least 5 cowboys present when AI'ing 1500 head and a then 3 and 5 year old daughters present (and they decided to repeat exactly what terms the cowboys used, but I will say the girls used those "terms" in the same way they heard them to describe a cow's but).

There, so now when I blog, y'all will know the definition of Hooey. : ))

A Round Pen

Last nite was great! I loaded the kids up in the truck with their Nintendo DS’s (a privilege to play) and parked at the barn when my honey got home. We built a Round Pen!! YEAH!!! Those colts better look out on Monday when squeak is at “school”! They’re gonna get a workout.

Well, it’s not round, but it is a pen.

And I will work the colts. If its not filled with Cows (or rather heifers).

I’m sure you know it IS calving season. And we do have some new (expensive) heifers. And, right now, cows pay the bills! But you better bet that if there aren’t any little, cold cute little calves in the barn, I’ll rotate the heifers into a different pen, and look out colts!

Halters are in store, and some petting. You see these things are really scarry for some of the little ones, and some of the yearlings aren’t yet totally halter broke. But they will be, and one by one, they will see that people are great things! They will love you and pet you, and FEED you. And they will all be getting new homes in the next year.

If you need a new (or another) beautiful, kind eyed quarter horse, just drop me a note.
Also, the pups are eating food great and will be ready soon. Holler if you think you want a great working family dog!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Not Again Monday

OHH, by popular demand, here is my ponytail. After this was cut off, Amanda cut another 3-4 inches off of my hair! Also, now that the pic is done, this tail is off to lock o love. Yeah!!

So, I din't post yesterday, but I wasn't crying for my child's shool day problems, AGAIN (but younger daughter this time) NOT ME! Yah right....

I went today, and interviewed a new school today. I am going to fill out the open enrollment forms with my honey tonight. We don't have to "activate" this open enrollment form if we decide that we are happy with the current school..... Don't think it will happen! But it could....

The new (proposed) school would have between 6 & 10 in each class (entire grade level). The enitre shool K - 12 has about 97 students TOTAL. I think this might work well for us... I would get to be involved and help in the classrooms, and they would get the social interactions that they are used to. The students are tought the core subjects (math, reading) in their grade level only, and then grades will combine to teach other subjects. It is an older school, but they have TONS of caring going on, between students, and teachers too.

OHH, by popular demand, here is my ponytail. After this was cut off, Amanda cut another 3-4 inches off of my hair!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wow, What a week

Well, I haven't blogged in a couple, and it has been eventful!!
So, lets go back a few days....
Monday, finally make the noodles, for that YUMMY Rooster Noodle Soup... MMMM, wheat noodles, homemade with our own eggs! (BTW, I don't use the white bleached flour - EVER) I usually use Hogdson Mill or Pauls (love it, but I usually don't pay attention enough to have extra on hand).

Tuesday, stayed mostly at home, some running errands to see how much postage for our fabulous Beef Expo Sale Catalogs. A BUCK a piece, for 12 pages, cause the president (hubby) won't let me fold em in half. Oh well, they look pretty good! Lacy did a great job!!

Wednesday, now that one was FUN!! I had a ME day. I went and had an eye exam, so I could get new contacts. You see when you are pregnant, and after your eyes might change, and mine REALLY DO. So, no more glasses. They are quite the pain in the cold steamy weather, with fogging and such. Then, I (GASP) got my nails done. I havent done this for at least 4 years, and back in my queenie days, I was never without acryllic nails. I had gel nails put on (for strength), and yes, I know I am very oxymoronic with all my green things and FAKE nails. But, every once in a while its ok, right??
THEN..... Are you ready for it??


Yup, In total I cut off about 15 inches. No, not a typo. My hair was down to my pants, braided. I have had long hair since about 5th grade. The shortest it has ever been, was just below my shoulders. So, I have an updated bob. That is, its a little longer in the front and shorter in the back. I can feel AIR on my neck. How wierd is that?? REALLY wierd if you never ever remember feeling it before.

Today, I hauled my baby pigs, and picked up my GROUND BEEF. She made over 500 pounds, and it is all fresh, not frozen. MMMMM, I've been browning some to freeze as taco meat, and going to make a bunch of thick hamburger patties later to freeze. If you're local and want some great beef, let me know.

And, I haven't forgotten, but I haven't figured out what to do with some WONDERFUL Lemonade I recieved, and I need to share.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Not ME Monday

Not me Monday, check out Mck Momma.

I have never pretended to be asleep on Sunday, to see if my husband would get up off the couch to pick him up after naptime, Not ME.
I have never taken my child to childcare and had a totally non-productive meeting with the principal.
I have never cried (out of sympathy and fustration for my child) in front of so-called principal, Note to self, need to talk to other home-shooling moms.
I have never thrown away or good-willed half of my children's toys when they were at school, Not Me!
I have never sat in the feedbunk so that heifer calves couldn't eat without touching me, I would also never sing to such heifers, Not ME.
I have never called my husband to come home for lunch so that he could pick up a dead turkey (wild) in the yard that the dogs have been eating.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My SECRET, and The Rooster

Chicken!!! Yes, I am! I am a quite conflicted "Green Mama" You see, I must confess something, a BIG something in my life and my line of work......

I don't do dead things, and I have never intentionally, personally killed anything.
WHAT, YOU?? Yes, Me. Momma, Rancher, Meat Eater, Hunting Wife, Avid Shooter, Natural Girl, horse lover, cow hugger, Animal Welfare Fighter. Yes all of those me's.

Tomarrow, we are going to have Rooster Noodle Soup. Yep, we did it, we took care of our MEAN rooster. That thing has chased J, and spurred her. He has chased me around the barn (I defended myself with the hose, and he didn't learn). He chased Beau, and met the shovel, and didn't learn. And, he has been mean to 7-Up. So, today he is no more.

It was particularily disturbing. You see, chickens are like snakes (STOP READING IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH) they keep moving after they are no longer living. I have been on many hunting and trapping trips and talked to many who have harvested chickens, and I was still not prepared for this.

Beau took the 410 (rifle- OK Had to edit this! I know, I can't type. A 410 is a shotgun. The smallest shotgun that they make, but none the less a shotgun. Please accept my apologies for the original typo) out to the barn this morning, (we had a babysitter so we could work all day) and made a perfect head shot. It kept running around (I know, y'all told me it would, but EWWWWWWWWW!) I kept hollering at him to "shoot it again" (cause it JUST wasn't right), and he said I shot it and it has NO head. I hollered again, and he asked if I wanted anything left. So, I just turned around and didn't watch. Please keep in mind, this whole process took less than 60 seconds, shoot to him bringing me the bird, and Beau did take off the head with a perfect shot. Beau was even kind enough to do all of the plucking and cleaning all by himself. I did have to hold a leg while he cleaned (but my head was turned away).

So now you know my secret. I will even tell you that when Beau and I met, I held the philosopy that "I will not eat 'anyone' I have met". I wouldn't feed the beef steers and I wouldn't participate in the hunting process until everything was skinned. Remember, "I don't do dead things".

But, I love my life. I live on a ranch, and "dead things happen" and someone (sometimes me) has to take care of them (But, I don't have to like it). And I now figure, that if I take care of our food as best as I possibly can, then I have done right by the animal.

I am a HUGE (H.U.G.E) animal WELFARE person, and I do not tolerate any mean-ness or too much aggression to ANY animal (mine or otherwise). But, there is a difference between animal welfare and animal rights. (Maybe, I will blog about this whole topic another day)

So, my secret is out and I feel better. And, I will enjoy some goooooddd soup tomarrow night, and I enjoyed my beef tonight (one of our own grass fed steers). Now, I hope some of you might share one of your secrets....

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Stroller and Tire Chains

Well, what do both of these things have in comon? They are both in my toolbox right now, and I used both of them on the same day. (Before Christmas, in the Ice storm).

Crazy, yes!

The true explanation of my life, YES!

You see, I am a fiercely independent, "Anything you can do, I can do better" kind of gal". A man says, you can't do that and I say WATCH ME! And I usually do it.

Most guys think that I'm crazy, (or my husband is for marryin me) when I say that I pull a 40 foot stock trailer. They think I can't count or measure or something. Then they see me pull in someplace. Like Wal-Mart, or McDonalds and parrallel park my rig. Hop out, with 1, 2, or 3 kids and a pair of dogs in tow, and instantly resume the Momma roll (that never stopped).

But, yes, that's me. I do love what I do. I get to have the kids whith me when I haul, and I get to have fun and get off the ranch a couple of times a week.

As for the Ice and Tire Chains, I hauled in the slickest roads I've seen in a while. My farrowing house (where the mommas have the piglets) had held their pigs for 2 weeks, and was stuffed to the gills. So, they couldn't wait. I had to haul 'em out. We chained up, put a movie in the tv's for the girls to watch, and off I went.

The hill coming down out of the Farrowing house is pretty steep, so I made sure the chains would fit the 17" tires on the Dodge (cause it has a pretty handy Jake Brake) and off I went. Not very fast, 30 at the max with the chains. I felt like a Mountain Woman (they get to wear chains a lot in the winter).

The pigs were all hauled, no problems with the rig, and NO SLIDING! I was even able to take off my chains pretty quickly by myself.

Now, you have a small peek at the STUBBORN side of me. I won't let most things stop me from taking care of my animals or my family.

BTW, I used the stroller later that day for the obligatory Santa Picture. Squeak wasn't even all that scared.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Anti-Gell is supposed to NOT GEL

So, if y'all don't know, I drive a Diesel truck. The "good" truck is a Dodge 3500 Diesel Dually. The "farm" truck is a 99 F350. Both are Diesels.
IOWA IS COLD IN THE WINTER!! Duh.... it was -22 this AM.

So, last night we parked the Dodge in the barn, and pulled the Ford in (it was hooked to my 40 foot pig trailer). We dutifully plugged both trucks in. We had put Anti-Gel in both trucks. I had filled up the Ford in Osceola, with blended fuel, and still added anti-gel.

We got up this AM, and Beau volunteered to go start trucks, and chore. No go....My "white" truck (Ford) is cold blooded and wouldn't start. Jumped it, no start... MyLove, comes in to warm up. Did I mention the windchill? No, well it was like -40 or something crazy!! MyLove again asks, did you add Anti-gel?? Yes, I added some of the stuff in the headache rack. Ok, and out he goes with some Diesel911 (wonderful stuff to fix gelled up trucks).

He adds the 911 and VROOM, no really, it was more like PUT, put, PUT, PUUUUTTTT, DoIhaveToVrro o o mmmmmmmmMMMMM.

Did I mention that it was now past 8am. The bus had already picked up the kids and my honey was late for work (he is a good one)?

Called, my guys at the pig barn, and off I went. Hauled my baby pigs, and ran south to get some new haystabbers for my flatbed (don't ask, I bent 'em all up). Fed kids, and kept supper warm for a still choring honey.

Ooops, there is the frozen hunk now.....

So, back to the title. After we started the Ford, MyLove noticed the entire jug of Anti-gel on the flatbed of the Ford..... WAS GELLED! How crappy is that? Not going to buy that brand any more!! Beau had used a different brand (our usual) in the Dodge. Solution found, bad anti-gel!!

Going to return it to the store tomarrow, and ask them what is the point of adding Anti-gel, to the diesel, if the stuff will gell when it is pure?

How did y'all stay warm today??

Monday, January 12, 2009

My Day on the Ranch

This post was supposed to go up last night......Here you go, a day "off" for me on monday.

Well, today was another one of those "Days Off". Meaning that I took Squeak to school (daycare, but its at the school, and that just sounds good). So, first thing, I dropped him off, yes, I got the girls on the bus (different school) and fed cows. We were supposed to get a blizzard. It was bad, but not that bad. ~4 inches of wet, fluffy, snow and still coming down.

I had just rec'd my final copy of the Beef Expo Catalog to proof that AM. But, I wanted to get some outside work done. Feed was supposed to be delivered today, so I set out to ready the barn. (Remember my fitness goals, they'll work their way in here) I started at the SouthWest End of the Indoor Arena, cause that's where I want to park the two gravity wagons.

OHHH, forgot to tell you, CARPENTERS are MESSY!!!! They left me with an entire barn full of TRASH and SCRAPS and good wood EVERYWHERE. (And this barn is 56x104 with two 18foot lean-to's on each side) So, I had my work cut out for me cause all of the trash/wood/tin has been thrown to the west side.

But, I DID IT!!! I piled ALL of the good wood in one section, and put the mid-sized sheets of tin on top. I picked up all of the small scraps of wood and paper trash and put them on the flatbed (read-10000 squats). I moved the chicken pen (a dog kennel) to the 2nd bay in the SW corner, and made them a pretty new nest (thank you Carrie). I hung up all of the extension cords nice and neat (6). I fed new cows in lot, Pet cows in lot, calves in lot, i gave them all new hay bales. I watered everything, and then I had luch with my honey.

Came back from town, and finished all of the little stuff. This entire time, I was working fast. I couldn't have kept up any conversation, so I think I was doing pretty good. I kept chanting, no panting "round pen". I will get a round pen set up in here this month to start working colts!

As I was doing all of this work (AND LOVING IT) I was thinking of excuses, reasons, why I didn't NEED to walk to the mailbox. "I did like 5 million squats picking up this stuff" If I have walked the entire length of this barn 250 times today, how many feet is that?" and "I really have gotten a workout today". But then I kept thinking how, if I make an excuse today, I will want to make an excuse tomarrow, and so-on and so-forth.

So, I didn't get the mail. I didn't drive to get it, but I didn't walk either.

Oh yeah, and when I went to get a load of hay @ 2:30, I got a Dr.Pepper and Peanut M&M's. Bad deal. Had to do it. You see, I'm hypoglycemic, and I knew I was going to crash after all that physical work, and needed the sugar (yes I should have had my trail-mix with nuts and sugar, but I didn't). Anyone have any suggestions, for after workout ways to not crash??

I still had tons of fun, and I did get a good workout. My, feet, butt, calves, and arms, say that I did a GOOD job!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fitness Goals - Potato Bread

I know these two things do NOT go together!! But, I will show you how they do work together in my life.

First, I joined or listed myself in a fitness bloggy thing for the new year. This is with a REAL person, so maybe it will help that all theese people will be doing the same thing, in the same way (meaning working on it in real life, with real life time issues).

Now, to the potato bread. I have found that if I have GOOD bread, just a little bit will satisfy me. If it isn't great, I will just keep eating until I find something that satisfy's my taste buds. Same thing with chocolate. If I have run of the mill chocolates (snickers bites, or m&m's) just a little won't do. However, if I have GOOD DARK chocolates, like godiva, or Hershey's Special Dark I will eat just one (~30 calories).

So, here is the recepie that I promised. For those of you who know me, you know that I don't measure well, and tend to improvise. So you're warned.

2 Eggs (I used 3 small Farm Eggs) and enough water to make 1.5 cups 80degree water

3 TBL spoons Oil

3 TBL spoons Sugar

1 tsp Salt

1/4 Cup Dry Milk

1/4 tsp Dry pepper (I skipped)

1/2 Cup Instant Potato Buds (I used frozen leftover Mashed potatoes 1 Cup, I just broke them up into little bits)

2 TBL Green Onions Chopped (I didn't put any in)

4C Bread Flour ( I use 4C Whole Wheat Flour, I don't keep any white stuff in the house)

2 - 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast (Since I use Whole Wheat, I use 1 TBL Yeast and add 1 TBL Gluten)

I set my breadmaker for White Cycle and Let er rip!

I think It will taste great and work for you! Let me know.

Now, back to the fitness.....

I want to get into my 10 jeans by Summer. I am now a 14 or 16. Don't know cause I refuse to buy new jeans, and these one's are REALLY old (at least 5 years, since J's birth) Now that I'm done nursing, I can restrict my diet more, and increase the exercise (read - outside work) since Squeak will be going to childcare 1 day a week.

And, the mailbox is now just over 3/4 mile from my door, and I VOW NOT TO DRIVE TO GET THE MAIL. The mailman comes during naptime, so if I work it right, I can put him in the stroller, get him to sleep, and go get the mail. Or, if he's awake, I'll just pop him in the Ergo and go for a walk.

Oh, the picture is an ode to Pioneer Woman, Lots of people have Calf bottles in their kitchens, don't we! After I read her post, I went in the kitchen, and there it was, my calf bottle. We have a cute little heifer whose mama wasn't feeding her well. Don't laugh, the baby bottle works well with larger calves that you have to fight (especially when you are 5 feet tall).

Friday, January 9, 2009

Just a little picture if 7-up in his entirety. He is doing well. We have to wait and see, but he does seem more comfortable.
Nothing much to post lately. I have been deeply immersed in the Maine-Anjou Beef Expo Catalog. I could rip my hair out for this volunteer position. I don't think I will be doing it next year. Three years is enough for me.
I did do one fun thing on Wednesday.... I introduced my new childcare (part-time) to cloth diapers. You see, most people initially freak, when you ask them if they do cloth diapers. They are thinking pins and plastic pants. No, I don't use those, eeeeekkkk! So, instead, I have initiated my childcare ladies, by arriving and asking if they have ever used cloth diapers, and then proceeding to change the diaper in front of them. Wednesday, I asked if they had ever used a cloth diaper, and 2 women said no, I said come see, and ended up with 3 following me to changing room. They were supprised, and relieved. They did say that they would have been confused if I hadn't changed the diaper, cause it works just like a paper (disposable) diaper, but its cloth.
Next Monday, I will put some cloth in the bag, and see if they choose to use them.... They weren't too fazed by it this week, so we'll see. They were impressed, and said they didn't look too bad. I do cheat though.... I use old stained cut up t-shirts to line my cloth diapers. That way if there is poo, I just roll up the rag and throw it away. If no poo, just wash with the diapers. (I CHEAT AND LIKE IT TOO!)
OOOHHH - almost forgot, testing the second batch of potato bread, and if it turns out, I will post the recepie.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Well, my day went well. Yes, I did get the splinter out of my hand. It still smarts. (whine, whine, whine – What?? No sympathy for a weenie??) I didn’t get the mail box down to our delivery site. Will use the farm truck to move it before I haul hogs in the AM.

Carrie from “Martinville” gave me an excellent idea for 7-up today and….. IT IS WORKING!!!
I took a splint boot (horse size) turned it upside down, and put it on. The part that usually goes on the fetlock, is over his hock. I cinched it up tight, and it fits perfectly. He is so tiny!! The boot goes all the way down to his fetlock. I think it is helping. Tonight when we did chores, he was standing up, and he was actually resting his foot on the ground. It looked like it felt a little better too!!!!

I’ve still got some feed additives coming, some colt feed for growing bone, and extra calcium, and syrup to go on top to make him want to eat it. I think the tricky part will be making sure he doesn’t gain too much weight.

It’s worth the work, if he can be comfortable. Maybe we’ll make him our mascot. ; )

Darn Wooden Fence posts

Well, most people use tweezers to pull a sliver, but when you get a giant one.... This is what I use. I know cheesey, but I won it in a pageant, (my younger years, no, I never won that contest). and it works.

But I got the fence post cut, so I can now get a Mail Box put up. No, not in front of our house, about a 1/2 mile down the road. Did you know they don't have to deliver to your house if you're more than a mile from their current route?? REALLY ANNOYING!!!

So, back to digging on my sliver.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Day OFF the farm, kind of

Well, early this AM, we did chores and loaded up the beef. Then, I met the bus at another family's house, and ran the beef to the locker about 45 min away.

Then, I got to have some fun. I ran to the DesMoines Cloth Diapering meeting (playgroup). I haven't got to go for about 4 months. Fun, talking with other like minded mothers.

Then, I stopped by the Gateway Market in Downtown DSM. I wasn't that impressed. I don't think I will return.

Then I had lunch with my dad. Squeak had tons of fun!! So did I. Dad decided that he would follow us to the Dodge dealer, and run around while my oil change was getting done. We picked up some new PVC to try on 7-Up's leg. Then we drove to some parks around Indianola. We went down to Aquabi. We wanted to drive down to the lake. We pulled into the park and stopped before a big hill because the road was covered in ice! Well, we stopped the car a little too late. We were 20 feet past the dry pavement on a hill, in a car.

Tried to back up. Slid farther down the hill. WE WERE STUCK...... We were still having fun!!! You see, when I was little Dad & I got stuck everywhere. Dad says we weren't stuck, cause you could still see the top of the car. We squirreled the car around, and Dad ended up pushing, and we got onto the dry pavement.

Picked up the truck, (won't be going back to the Dodge dealer, ongoing customer service issues), ran to Osceola and picked up my pig trailer for Thursday (early, cause it needs some modifications). The girls were off the bus (@ home)when I was 1/2 hr from home. They did okay and didn't kill each other.

After I got to the house we had a good night and made some Potato Bread. We'll see if it turns out good, and I might try to remember what I put in it, and post the recepie for y'all.

Whew!!!! That was rambling, but that's what a blog is for, Right??
Night, wish me luck tomarrow. I'm going to take Squeak to daycare, and work on ranch stuff.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


We have a problem on the ranch!! 7-Up our 8 yo Shetland pony, has broken his leg. I think one of the big horses kicked him.... We had the vet out today, and it is definately broken. I know he's not worth anything monetarily, but he is worth trying to save for the kids. Especially, for Squeak.

Has ANYONE ever had a horse with a broken leg?? We are thinking of setting it and trying to heal it. It is only a 2% chance, but I think we should chance it. He isn't in any major pain, and he is easy going enough to handle tons of time in a small pen.

I would really appreciate ANY and ALL imput and help in this matter. Any supplements, you have used to improve bone, or anything else!!

THANK YOU from me and the kids!!!!

(Even, my usually not attached cowboy of a husband is interested in trying to save him)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Ground Beef and pic of the puppies

So, first, I forgot to mention that we are having some ground beef harvested on Tuesday. We will have 5-800 pounds of ground beef. So if you want any VERY LEAN ground beef, just let me know.

The other thing is that I haven't figured out the picture, in blogspot thing, and I could only put 1 pic in that last post, so here is the pic of the new puppies.


Well, I don't think I have shared anything about my Rosie (my Mini-Aussie). After I lost a great dog, I went looking for a mini-Aussie. I wanted half a cow dog and half a lap dog. Well, It took a little while, but I found a red merle and I wanted her. Now, Rosie was not a "die-for-you-dog" in the beginning. She could take you or leave you. But, I took her EVERYWHERE. I mean it, I almost NEVER go anywhere without a dog or kids. I joke that if I did go somewhere by myself, people would think I'm crazy, because I would be talking to myself all the time. (Cause its ok to talk to a dog, right??)
Well, Rosie had her first litter with Chilli (Beau's awesome blue heeler cow-dog). I told the girls they could keep ONE puppy. Well, we ended up keeping one for each girl. They're now about 7 months old and learning to be good dogs, and learning to work.

About 2 weeks ago, I took Rosie and Chilli and was working around the ranch. Feeding hay, moving calves and cows. All day Rosie was driving me nuts! She wouldn't (couldn't) get on the flatbed. She would hit the edge just behind her front legs! Blast! What is wrong with her, why won't she just JUMP! I kept choring and working, and then it dawned on me!! They got out together ONCE, just ONCE when she was in heat. BLAST!!!! I was trying to save her to breed her to a toy-aussie who lives on the other side of our section. She COULDN'T get on the flatbed, cause she was PREGNANT!!!

Add to the fact that my sister was going to watch the kids, the weekend I calculated she was due, and I was in trouble! You see, my sister is great, but I knew she wouldn't be up to 3 kids 3 dogs and another 1 having puppies! Well, I got lucky, and Rosie waited.

Night before last, she was on and off the bed a million times, and was trying to burrow her way under our bed and make a nest. So I knew when I left yesterday, that I better leave her at home unless I wanted puppies IN the truck. (remember, its winter break & I was hauling hogs and shopping with 3 kids). Shure enough, after I chored and came in the house to potty, I called Beau to let him know he needed to bring the kids in with him, cause we were having puppies.

Well, Rosie did well, even though the merle was pretty big, and was stuck for a bit. She only had 3 since she was only bred once. But they sure are CUTE!! So, we will have some great family and herding dogs for sale in 8 or 12 weeks. If theese ones don't sell right away. I'll probably start training them and sell them started. Let me know if you need a great family or working dog.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

One Word

This idea is from Kim and burning in my head, so I'll save all the other stuff for later.

A single word for the year is a great idea!! I thought about this last night and I think my word is PEACE. Some of you might know that I try to be a FLYBABY, and FlyLady has peace in her tagline for 2009 and I think it has stuck.

I want to be at Peace.
I want to maintain a peaceful home.
I want (wishfully) our girls to live peacefully with each other.

Now I had sooo much in my head on this topic, and its gone. Oh well, the word itself says enough.

May you all enjoy a Peaceful day.