Saturday, April 22, 2017

Murphy's Law...

You've probably heard of Murphy's Law...you know...if anything can go wrong,  it will.

Well, today being Saturday,  it would have to be the day that the barn cleaner broke.  The barn cleaner is one of the most crucial pieces of equipment in the barn. It's the only way to get the manure out of the barn, and we use it 365 days a year.

As Jim was cleaning out the east side of the barn, this piece...the one that holds the chain in place...broke...


What do you do on a Saturday morning, when most businesses are closed? It's not something that could just be fixed at home.  Jim got the piece off the elevator and eventually found an Amish business close by that could repair it. They had to do some cutting,  grinding and welding, and after about 1 1/2 hours, we were good to go again.


The bill? $13.00.

It wasn't an easy 1 1/2 hours...its never fun to be covered in manure ( Jim), and I was trying to be helpful while fighting the flu. A friend from church had just texted me to see how I was feeling, and I asked her to pray for my attitude and that Jim would be able to fix the problem. I'm very grateful to say that what looked like a day where Murphy's Law would win, it lost big time.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Down-side Of a Mild Winter...

We had such a mild winter this year, and for the most part we were thrilled...hardly any water lines freezing, very little snow to deal with, etc...

THIS, however,  is quite a  problem...


The chickweed is out of control in my iris bed beside the meadow!

Jenna started tackling it on her Easter break, but it's a horrid mess...


It's going to take LOTS of dirty hands...and knees...and patience until it's finished! Maybe even some weed killer.

I'll keep you posted,  as there will be much cause for celebration when it's finished!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Gotcha...the Egg Thief...

I knew he was there.  I would forget to gather the eggs one day, and the next morning there would be nothing but a few broken egg shells under the "porch", next to a suspicious looking hole under the shed...

Now the thief has been caught...


Did you know that skunks like cat food?  That's what lured him in.  No more eggs for this guy!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Farmer Date...

The lazy days of summer winter are drawing to a close, and before we know it, the not-so-crazy-busy days will be gone, and our days will be filled with outside work.  I'm looking forward to some of it...gardening, mowing, opening the windows...bring it on!

We have a whole bunch of springers (cows that are about ready to calve) due in the next few weeks, and no where to go with them in the barn. So...we looked them over, and decided who might be the best option to sell at the sale barn.  We had her delivered to the barn yesterday, and today she was sold at the dairy sale.

I had to spend the morning shopping for a new dishwasher, but was finished in time to go with Jim to see her sell.  We got to the sale after she was already sold, but picked up the check (which more than paid for the new dishwasher! :) ) and watched some heifers sell.  I snapped a picture of the sale...(not our cow in the ring)...


It was a farmer date!  We stopped for lunch on the way home, and now it's just about time to head to the barn for evening milking.

I'm sitting here typing...hearing the furnace run because it's chilly inside...but hearing the birds singing out on the porch through the closed windows. They're just as glad as I am that it's SPRING!!


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Winter? Or Spring?

A month.  That's how long it's been since I've posted.  I'm in a blogging slump right now, but stick around!

We've been keeping busy with regular stuff...you know, milking, feeding, cooking, cleaning, repeat.  The weather, however, has been very confused!

Two weeks ago we were running around in shorts and T-shirts...at least Jim was!...and last week we had a "blizzard".  Stella, the nor'easter paid us a visit on Monday evening and 'til she was gone, we had somewhere around a foot of snow.  We didn't know what to think!  It was pretty cold, but seemed frigid, considering the unusually warm weather we had all winter.

Here are a few pictures from the storm...

On Tuesday morning, just after I got up, and the snow wasn't too deep yet, I snapped this picture of the daffodils along the south side of the house...


The biggest concern for us was when the milk truck would come, and whether or not we would be ready for him.  He showed up just as we finished milking, and just as Jim was ready to hop on the skid loader to open the driveway.  It was pretty good timing, actually, because the snow was only about 6" deep at the time, so between the chains on his truck and Jim on the skid loader, he came and went with little trouble...


That's always a relief.

When I fed the calves in the morning, I glanced in the chicken pen, and was surprised to see these hens all huddled together outside...


I have no idea what they were thinking, but there were no tracks around them, so I'm assuming that they huddled together outside all night, with the snow coming down around them.  I carried them inside the shed, where they happily joined their friends for the duration of the storm.  They're fine...and laying eggs quite happily now that the snow is gone!

I got a new phone, and was having fun taking pictures in the snow.  This is one of the hens that was outside all night...she was intrigued by her first selfie...



Now, a week later, most of the snow is gone, except for a few big piles.  It had better be...because SPRING is officially here, and I'm happy about that! While I don't like losing an hour of sleep over the change to daylight savings time, the longer daylight hours energize me.  I feel so much more motivated to get things done when there is daylight and sunshine!

One thing I've been working on the past few weeks is something called 40 Bags in 40 Days.  You may have seen postings on face book about this, or read about it online somewhere.  I'm not following it to a "T", but I'm working on cleaning out and simplifying.  It coincides with lent, and is so satisfying to me.  I've cleaned out closets, cupboards and book shelves. (why was I keeping things in my kitchen cupboards that I never use?) When I'm done cleaning out, I'm planning to scrape wall paper in the upstairs hallway.

Enough rambling...

I hope you're seeing signs of spring wherever you are!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Balmy February...

Sometimes the farmer has to play a little, especially when February feels like springtime...


Windblown, but having fun this afternoon in the MGB...



We had almost record setting temperatures again today...73 degrees...

Is it just us, or does spring seem to be coming early everywhere?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Good Winter's Night Supper...

What do you do when you remember at 4:00 pm that it's not a food co-op night, and your family is going to be hungry for supper before you know it?

You go to the freezer and pull out a package of frozen Italian sausage from Costco...throw the links in the microwave for a few minutes to thaw...cut them into 1 1/2" pieces...cook them on the stove top in just a little bit of water for a few minutes...

Wash and cut up a couple of (unpeeled because it's easier and they taste much better that way!) potatoes into bite sized pieces...

Wash, trim and cut a package of brussels sprouts in half...

Toss everything together in a baking dish...drizzle with olive oil and seasonings of choice...


Set your oven timer for an hour at 375 degrees...

Come in from the barn to a delicious smelling and delicious tasting quick and easy supper!

(If you've never had roasted brussels sprouts, you simply have to try them! They are that good!!  Thanks to my sister Marge and her husband Hermann for introducing us to them!)