Wednesday, August 31, 2011

InStyle in the Country?

So I subscribe to InStyle magazine-I love the fashion and to see what's coming out next, it's like a little gift catalog with articles.  Well one thing I do is to play a little game with myself to see if I can figure out the designer without looking at the caption or ad-wording.  Dior, Donna Karan, Givenchy, Ann Taylor, Gucci, Bebe, and my favorite designer Caroline Herrera.  I would say 80-90% of the time, I can tell who it is before I look at who it really is.  And if I really LOVE the piece, *sigh* I know its a Herrera.  Sad, isn't it?  What skills are these?  Does it really do me any good out here in the country?  The closest thing I get to the runway is when I walk around in new heels in the gravel circle drive to scratch the soles.  Oh well, the cows appreciate when I dress cute  :-)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How to do the Hokey-Pokey with a Cow

So I have a cow, her name is Gertie, she's real cute, her pic is below.   Also on our farm we have about 15 other cows/calves, besides Myrtle and Louise, there are also the Bunchettes, the Rockettes, Dennis, Gertie and Wilma.  Well let's just also say that the fence around our pasture could use a little work.  OK, a lot of work, some of its so bad no amount of ghetto-rigging will ever get it to where it actually keeps them in.  Well today is my birthday, and wouldn't you know it wouldn't be complete without me leaving for work and seeing a cow in the yard.  And not just any old cow, my girl Gertie.  Was she waiting to say Happy Birthday to me before I left or what?  So out I go to get her back in.  And for those of you that have never tried to run a cow back in, it goes something like this:

You take one step right, the cow takes 2 steps left
You take one step left, the cow takes 4 steps right
You take one step forward, the cow backs into a tree
You wave your hands high, the cow just nods its head
You take a running start, the cow goes faster

It goes on and on, I swear people driving by on the highway must thing I'm a loon.  She did make it back in and I made it to work, all in one piece  :-)

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Lil Man Jose

So I wasn't the only one who made the big move from the city to the country, because this girl comes with baggage (and I'm not talking about my shoe collection), I'm talking about my Chihuahua, Jose!  He's the cutest little 4 1/2 pound guy, and today's his birthday, so I figured I'd write about him  :-)

He really is the biggest mommas boy, he follows me around, curls up right next to me and falls asleep, basically he just likes to be with momma.  So he's adjusted to the country life, I think.  He doesn't wander off too far, but I do have to watch out for him (he's lunch to some of the creatures around here). 

But the other day he started limping around and licking his paw.  It looked all swollen and poofy!  J thought he must have stepped on a "goats head" of these mean looking cockle burr things in the front where Jose would walk.  The pic is below.  My poor lil man couldn't squat down to really do his business, because he would lose his balance and fall over so he got constipated!  Poor lil guy!  Then his paw got a little scab on it, I don't know if it shows up in the pic, but so sad!  

He's back to his normal self, and probably stronger for it--LOL

Mean Goat's Head

Jose's scabbed paw!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fearless isn't just a Taylor Swift Song

The other day I was cutting down trees with a lopper or hand shears, wondering if there was poison ivy in any of what I was doing.  Eh, instead of thinking about it, I just continued on.  Which got me to thinking, you have to be fearless to live in the country.  If you stop and think about the poisonous spiders, snakes that lurk around, machinery that could squish you into a banana peel, nothing would get done.  Maybe its self-reliance, that if you don't do it yourself, its really not getting done.  Maybe its not even really thinking its a dangerous activity.  J does some crazy stuff without taking, what I consider, safety precautions.  Now he would say he's been doing it forever, so what does it matter?  Of course, he sees me cut vegetables/cheese in my hand, with the knife going onto my thumb (if that makes logistical sense), and asks, don't you have a cutting board?  LOL, well yeah, but why not just do it this way?  Living in the city, there were different fears, but nothing like the country.  I think the biggest fear in the city, is what someone could do to you.  Whether its theft, assault, breaking and entering, etc, it was someone doing that action to you.  Whereas in the country, its the other way around.  It's what you're doing in your surroundings that dangerous.  Going out into the brush where there could be lions, tigers, and bears, oh my!  LOL.  Having to fix equipment in positions that could potentially maim or kill a person.  Crawling into a grain bin that could suffocate a person (I did NOT do this-J did--I try not to think about all the stories of people getting buried under a 1000 bushels of grain when I see him get in there.)  But country people continue on, maybe its that they're too busy to think about the fear, hmmmm...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It's What Makes they Hay Go Down

So several people have asked what "swathing" is.  Well to be honest 2 years ago if someone had said swathing or swather to me, I would have googled it.  But then I met the man of my dreams who thought I could drive one.  LOL.  First let me preface by saying that I don't mow, J knew this going into our relationship, so in my mind, that leaves me out of the whole mowing/swathing thing.  So one evening J decides that I'm going to be the next swather extraordinaire, and teaches me how its done.  Remember when I said I don't mow, well besides my car, I had never operated big machinery.  I think I'd ridden on a tractor before, combine no, swather, no, and he wants me to run this thing?  Let's just say a special drink was involved.  So J teaches me the same way his Dad taught him "WATCH YOUR MIRRORS, GO STRAIGHT, ARE YOU WATCHING YOUR MIRRORS, GO FASTER, NOT TOO FAST, ARE YOU GOING STRAIGHT?"  This lasted for about 10 minutes.  When you cut down hay/alfalfa/brohme/etc J was taught to make 3 circles around the whole field then start making the rows.  Well after 10 minutes going around, I say, one of us is getting out of this thing--it can be you or me.  See I learn best given good direction, then a little push to go out on my own.  I know I'll make some mistakes, but I'll learn and be fine.  And two people in the cab of that swather was getting crowded.  Looking back on it, I understand why J taught me the way he did:  1) the rows need to be straight so the baler can pick them up 2) going too fast does cause the header to plug 3) So I could be the best swather I could be--and I'm pretty d*mn good at it!

And, I name things, so this New Holland swather is named Sally (her pic is below).  Sally and I have spent numerous hours together, last year and this year.  J trusts me to do my own rounds now, and even go into pastures I've never been in before.  I've gotten up close and personal with Sally cleaning out her sickles (blades),  I've cleaned out her radiator fan thing, I've cut down short grass, tall-thick CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) grass, made it over terraces, through gulleys, around trees, dodged deer carcasses, all kinds of adventures.  The picture below shows one of my swath-rowed pastures.  Side-bar its one of the prettiest pieces of ground we farm--the Scary Dairy.  If you live in my area, hit me up and we'll go by there, it will take your breath away.

There really are some amazing things you see and experience when you get to ride around in field with really no one else.  I've had a "Dances With Wolves" moment with this coyote that kept following me around.  I've seen a family of little deer, with the fawns still with their spots.  The best butterflies you will ever see, are in alfalfa fields, and when you go through them, they just float up to the cab showing their pretty colors.  When J and me are working the same field, me cutting down, him baling what I've cut, we wave at each other, knowing we're working for the same thing.  The baler is pretty funny too (we do big round ones).  Once he's picked up enough hay to make a bale, the baler lifts its hood and out poops a bale.  Yes, I said poops out a bale, because that's what it looks like.  Its the smell of money baby--lol!  Everytime it poops out a bale, its food for our cows or money in the bank! 

And that's how its done  :-)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


So we have these 2 heifers, and their names are Myrtle and Louise.  Why are their names Myrtle and Louise you ask?  Well here's the deal, we got these heifers last year, and normally heifers are like teenagers, all over the place.  Getting out, causing trouble, being a general teenager.  Well these 2 just by-passed that part altogether and joined the red-hat society!  They are the laziest heifers I've ever seen.  So I named them Myrtle and Louise (sounds old-ladyish).  And I am kind of nerdy that I talk to all of the creatures around here, so whenever I saw these two, I would call out "Hi Myrtle and Louise!"  So after a while, they start to know their names  :-)  Well last week I catch Louise at the stock tank, and I reach out and try to pet her, and she lets me!  I go find her some corn stalks to chew on, and she just sits there and lets me pet her.  Maybe this is one reason J calls me an animal whisperer.  So yesterday, all the cows are by the stock tank and I call Louise, and she trots right over to me!  Woohoo! 

Next time I'll snap a picture  ;-)