Buttermilk is Here

Well, I did not get to finish posting my daily “Minty Baby Watch.” Everyone in the family has been sick……really sick. We are feeling better now, thankfully. The up side has been that Andy got to spend yesterday at home with us, not wanting to spread germs at the office!

As Andi Beth has done every day for a week, when she got up she ran to the door to see if Minty has had her baby. The answer was the same this morning as it has been every other morning. No, Minty has not had her baby. Andi Beth was sad, but Andy noticed that Minty seemed to be acting funny. After we watched her for a few minutes, we decided that she was in labor. We went outside and watched Minty while the kids played. After about an hour, we could not stand it anymore. The calf was pretty big so we decided to help Minty by pulling the calf. Andi Beth got to see Buttermilk just after she was born.

Buttermilk is just a few minutes old in this picture, Minty is about to clean her off. I would not let Andi Beth get to close until mom and baby had done a little bit of bonding.

This picture was taken about 30 minutes later. Minty was still cleaning Buttermilk, but Andi Beth had stayed away as long as she could. It was time for her to bond with Buttermilk as well.

Papa and Andi Beth spent the rest of the day caring for Minty and Buttermilk, and getting everything ready to start milking again.

All is right in the world again; Andi Beth has a reason to go to the barn every day. I am sure there will be many adventures of Andi Beth and Buttermilk!

Minty Baby Watch Days 2 – 5

Minty is the milk cow, on our farm. She is going to have her baby any day now!!

Day 2 was Friday………I really did not think that Minty was ready to have her baby, but we did walk out in the pasture to see her and confirm that Minty did not have have her baby. 

Day 3 Saturday……..I was out of town to so Andy was on baby watch. Also my niece M was at the farm for the day. She kept going to the door to look and see if Minty had had her baby yet. She was very disappointed every time with Minty had not had her baby.

Day 4 Sunday……….Still no baby. Between church and nap and choir practice Andi Beth did not have a lot of time to wonder about the baby.

Day 5 Monday, Today……… We went to check on Minty. Still no baby, but Andi Beth got to love on her and pet her. Right now Minty the milk cow, is laying peacefully in the pasture enjoying the warm sun.

Keep checking back for more info.

Minty Baby Watch 2012

When I got ready to start this Blog, I considered naming it “The Adventures of Minty.” Minty is my daughter’s milk cow. Anyway that name did not work out for the blog, but Minty was a driving force for this blog. It is only fitting that I spot light Minty at this point. A couple of months ago Andi Beth and I were talking about Minty and the baby she is going to have. Andi Beth said she sure wanted Minty to have a girl, a heifer. I told Andi Beth that unfortunately there was a chance that she would not have a heifer. I continued by telling her that I had had two babies…..one girl and one boy, so it was very possible that Minty would not have a girl this time. Andi Beth looked at me and never changed her expression when she said that’s right momma, but we didn’t have to eat Cooper. See when we have bull calves most of the time they are sold for meat. I laughed so hard.

Minty is going to have a calf any day now.

This is a picture taken on Thursday of Andi Beth and Minty. I will post pictures as soon as the baby is born.

 

The Fair in Texas is ALWAYS in October

At the beginning of October, my nephew made his FIRST livestock show. It was the State Fair of Texas, and showed a pig and chickens. The pig was one that was born here at our farm, so this was very exciting for the whole family.

So, loving the chance to take the kids to the fair, Andi Beth, Cooper, and I headed to Dallas on Wednesday. Well actually Andi Beth went up on Tuesday with Nana, Papa, and my niece. Everyone was very excited to see my nephew in his first show. He did really well; the pig did not do as well as we had hoped. The pig actually got hurt before the show, so it was kind of expected.

This is Rascal the pig and my nephew, going in the show ring!

This was the fun part, before they went in the ring however it got kind of sad. My niece learned that Rascal would not be going home from the fair with them, that Rascal would be sold. This is what happens with show projects. Unless it is a breeding project, a heifer or a breeding gilt, they get sold. Always. This will not be the last time that my sweet niece will cry over a project that is not coming home after the show. I, myself, have cried over selling many show projects. See, you get a project when they are small and you keep them and care for them for several months. You feed, water, and train them. You bond with them. You tell your kids not to get attached, and yourself, but you do!!

This is my niece and sister in law saying bye to Rascal. It was really cute.

After the show on Wednesday, I took Andi Beth to ride the famous farris wheel. She had a great time. I did not get any pictures of her because I did not want to shake the seat we were in and scare her, or maybe scare me!! It is really high.

We also visited some of the exhibits that were geared for kids. The “Little Hands on the Farm” was cute. The kids “picked” pretend fruit and veggies, got to feel real wool, and then got to “sale” their goods for a snack. Again no pictures, chasing a 5 year old, 4 year old, and a 2 year old is not very conducive to taking pictures.

Thursday brought the chicken show!

I love the look on my nephew’s face in that picture, it is so cute. He was trying to smile at me and pay attention to the judge and not look like he is struggling to hold his chicken. Priceless!

This is my nephew with one of his friends and my sister in law. You see it takes 3 people to show a pen of chickens. Those chickens weigh about 6 ½ pounds each, and those kids are 8 and 9 years old. If you want to know what it is like get two 3 pound weights and hold them out in front of your body for several minutes. That is what it is like to show a chicken, and you do it several times. The judge keeps coming back and feeling of the chickens and moving you up (or unfortunately down) the line. We got moved up the line all the way to 5th place!! I think my sister in law was actually crying at one time.

This is the crew that made the trip to the show. This is mostly family and one of my sister in law’s students. We really had a good time!! Congrats B on a GREAT 1st Show!!

P.S. I did not take the kids to see Big Tex while we were there. We just ran out of time. The week the fair closed Big Tex caught fire and burned. So very sad, the rumor is he committed suicide because the Dallas Cowboys are losing again. Actually there was an electric short in the mechanism in his jaw that caused the fire.

Something As Simple As A Gate

Today I am sitting on my front porch watching the kids play outside, something we do most every day. I love this time of year. Great weather and not a lot going on on the farm. October seems to be pretty quiet around here. There is a cold front that is locked in on us, so we are getting a lot of outdoor time in. Yesterday was no different, or so I thought. After the kids finished breakfast they got dressed and headed outside while I finished up a few things inside. I joined them pretty quickly. Andi Beth was on the swing set and Cooper was looking for trouble. Cooper started “moo”ing and waving. I thought he has talking to the cows in the trap in front of our house, but looked up to see strange cows in our pasture. Red cows and Longhorn cows, something we do not have. Also, our cows are in completly different pasture. After some investigation I learned they were the neighbors cows, so I was pretty unconcerned. Until I noticed that they were in the hay meadow that is missing a gate. Oh this could be trouble.

The kids and I loaded up and went to put them in the big pasture. When I moved them from the meadow to the pasture through a gate, I realized that the gate going to the chicken houses was open and the cows were headed straight for it. No big deal, left Andi Beth to shut the hay meadow gate and rushed to shut the chicken house gate. Picked Andi Beth up and headed to Jose’s house to talk to him about a chicken house fan that was not running. As I drove up to his yard I realized that there was NO gate going from his yard to the pasture. We had some fencing work done a couple of weeks ago, and I guess the guys did not finish. I drug a gate over to put in place, and realized I had no way to keep the gate there. We usually all have cord with us to tie up gates and the like. Unfortunately it was in the two trucks that were not on the place yesterday.

I headed down to the barn to see what I could find. I found one old piece of cord hanging on the fence and two short pieces of hay string. Close enough.

This what it looks like when the farmer’s wife has to make it work.

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I finally made it over to Jose’s to tell him about the fans, his daughter pointed out that the cows were out AGAIN.

The gate on that side of the pasture was also off the hinges and open. So I got the cows back in again, this time there was cord and a chain on the gate.

It is amazing how gate when left in the wrong position or not there at all can completely change your day.

By the time the kids and I got all the cows in a pasture with ALL the gates in the proper place it was time for lunch. So much for enjoying that wonderful warm weather.

Visitors at the Farm

Usually we have pretty full weekends around the farm. We either have to go get bulk feed or hubby takes the time to ride the tractor for more than 2 hours. Sometimes he has to get ready for chickens or bale hay. Steve and I use the time to do things with the cows, in the day light!! However, there I times when we get to take a break from all the work and show off our hard work! We have had the farm for about 10 years, but this is something that Andy and his dad have worked towards for over 20 years. I love watching him show off the farm when he gets the chance.

A few weeks ago, some friends of ours that live in Missouri, but have a home in Lufkin, called to say they would be coming through. We of course invited them to stop by the farm. We started this visit with lunch at the Happy Junction. The Happy Junction is the wonderful little café across the highway from the farm. Now, I love to cook but when it comes to a hamburger and French fries no one does it better than Mrs. Pansy. After lunch we loaded into the Kubota and started the tour.

You can’t see Andy’s face in this picture, but he is so happy telling Dr. Lovett (our guest) about planting grass.

The tour started with the hay meadow that we planted this summer. This is one of Andy’s favorite projects on the farm. After the hay meadow, we went to the chicken houses. This is where most people are in awe because the chicken houses are so technologically advanced and also because we raise chickens on such a large scale. There is between 20 thousand and 25 thousand birds in each house. We have 12 houses. Then, there is my favorite, the cows. At about this point, Dr. Lovett’s wife Prya and my mother-in-law, Nona, and Andi Beth decided it was getting hot, so they went back to the house. Now normally I would I have gone to the house with them, but Cooper wanted to stay with his daddy. I stayed, too, to help keep Cooper out of trouble.

Another one of Andy’s favorite things to show off is where the cows go under the train trussel and across the bridge. It is pretty neat to show off to visitors. It is the only way to get to what we call the back side of our place without getting on the highway. The problem with this is the Kubota will not go under the trussel, so after we show off the bridge, we get in the truck and drive the 7 miles around to the gate. A tour of our farm is not complete without seeing the back 40 acres. This has truly been a project. When we bought the property 5 years ago it was covered in hardwood timber. We have cut the timber, cleaned the land and planted grass, twice. Andy and I love to show this off, it has been a labor of love. It has also brought us closer together.

This is Andy, Steve, and Cooper showing Dr. Lovett the grass. You know who ever said watching grass grow was boring, well they have never put their blood, sweat and tears into planting it! That is what they are doing looking for evidence of the specific grass that was planted.

When we got back to the house it was time for a cool drink of water and some dessert. Of course we had to take pictures.

From L to R: Prya, Nona, Andy with Cooper, Dr. Lovett, and Steve, Andi Beth is front and center (her favorite place)

Someday I will do a virtual tour of the farm just for the blog!!

Getting Back At It

I know that it has been a while since I posted. We have had some crazy things going on in our lives. It has actually been more than a month since I last posted.

When I last posted I thought that my world was going to slow down. Andi Beth was starting 3 day a week pre-k, Cooper was going to spend Wednsedays with Mrs. Lettie, and both kids were going to spend most Tuesdays with Nana. It was all planned out. I was going to have two days to work around the farm, and I was going to have time to post on this blog. Well after just two weeks of Andi Beth crying on the way to school, begging not to go to school and telling anyone that would listen that she did not like school, we dropped out. This was a very prayerful decision for our family, that was not taken lightly. There is nothing wrong with her school; it is just not right for us now. This would have been her 3rd year at this school. So, now we will be working at home to make sure we are ready for kindergarten. Andi Beth also knows that next year she will go to a new school, 5 days a week, all day!

The kids will be staying with Mrs. Lettie on Wednesdays, and well who knows what they will be doing the other days. Most of the things I do on the farm they can do with me, so my carefully laid plans are out the door and we are back to just doing what we need to do. If you want to make God laugh tell him your plans!

Andi Beth got a surprise last week. She got a cute little paint pony named Cha-Cha. Cha-Cha is going to live at Nanny and Pappy’s, my grandparents house. I see a lot of trips to their house in the future to ride Cha-Cha.

I am really enjoying Andi Beth not going to school, things are still busy, but moving at a slower pace. Actually today we are enjoying a nice morning outside.

Yes my daughter is in pjs, but to be fair I am still in workout clothes. We like to save on laundry around here.

We have a very small fall calving season and it is just about over. In fact we are just waiting on one more calf. Most of calves will be born starting in January.

Our fall pigging season has started. Our first litter was born over the weekend and another is coming in day or two.

We will also be getting baby chickens this week, and we have hay cut.

I am still mowing, not as much as I was but STILL mowing. You know there was a story that went around several years ago about a man and shoveling snow. It was fun at the beginning, but then it got to be well work and some other 4 letter words. That is kind of how I feel about mowing. Actually mowing is not really that bad, it is just that it feels like I have been mowing forever!

I am working on some upcoming posts on moving hay and our recent trip to the State Fair of Texas!!