Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Meet Foxy Brown

So the earlier post about the cow with the c-section....she's doing pretty good, considering she had a surgery performed on her in the barn.  LOL.  She's still a little sassy, so I named her Foxy Brown, check out the pic, doesn't she look sassy mcsassy?  And man, what a good livestock photographer I am...maybe I should sell my skills to one of those "bull auction books".  Cow whisperer for hire!  Takes great photos!  LOL

I'm working my cow-whisperer magic on her too, she doesn't give me the crazy serial-killer eye anymore when I have to spray her with some cow-neosporin.   

Her calf was a stillborn, and it got me to thinking (along with this morning's radio show), how to tell kids about farm animals dying.  And there is a difference between a pet you have in your home, versus one that is outdoors.  For example, we have barn cats, their population is a constant up and down.   Kids will be out here one time and play with the kitties and the next time they're here, they're gone.  Now, I've been saying "they ran away."  Which I consider a 1/2 truth.  The said cats probably did wander too far and became coyote food.  Is that lying to children?  Are children ready to learn about the life cycle via the family farm?  Hmmm....I'm not a parent, so I really don't know the appropriate age a child is ready to hear that an animal is dead, or ran over, or coyote food, or whatever.  Thoughts?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Louise Had a Calf!

So while J was down checking on Tatonka, he noticed that Louise had had a calf.  For those of you that don't know about Louise, here are a couple of previous blog posts about her  :-)

We first met Louise here: Louise and saw her picture here: Isn't she Cute?

He said, she's real tame--she must have been whispered too (because we know I'm the cow-whisperer  :-)  Anyways isn't the calf a cutie?  And what a good momma Louise is  :-)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Just Call me Florence Nightenhoof

Florence Nightenhoof?  Why? Because it happened at night and it involved a cow.....

So yesterday J is at work, so that means I'm on cow patrol to make sure none of our little honey's have problems having their calves, and if they do, to call somebody--we all know I'm not pulling a calf out.  So yesterday afternoon most of the herd is sun-bathing enjoying a quiet afternoon...except this one cow off by herself bellering and making all kinds of racket and looking a little crazy.  So I figure she's going to lay down and plop one out, so I sit and wait to make sure.  Well the calf wasn't ready, so I figured I'd go up to the house and check on her later.  So I wait a couple of hours, look outside and she's in the front pen by herself making even more racket...oh brother.  So once again I don the pink coveralls and head out there to see how she is.  This time I see a little funky residue hanging out her tail-end and know its about time.  So I pull up a log stump and play some words with friends and wait to see what happens.  Well still no dice--she just keeps walking around making noise...this lady does not like labor one bit.  So J comes home and we go out there, and I'm like she's been acting crazy like that for a while...uh-oh he says, calls his Dad up....Houston, there's a problemo.  So we try to wrangle this cow into the barn so we (I really mean J and his Dad can get a closer look--I really don't need to get close to cow-girl parts) can see what's going on.  But this fine animal has been in labor for a while and is no mood for games...the term crazy *itch came to mind.  J is on the four-wheeler and I'm running her in, I must say I totally feel for firefighters...I was running up and down the pasture boots heavy with mud, heavy coveralls, ground that was muddy and uneven, I was out of breath.  So we finally get her in the one barn, and she is not happy, as in this crazy cow is going to jump the fence.  So Dad shows up and we finagle her into the shoot, and Dad gets his long glove on....its like a full arm condom, and sticks it up the hoohoo.  Ugh.  There's something wrong with the calf, so we call a vet and the vet comes out.  He also dons an arm condom and feels around for a good 5 minutes (did I mention the cow was crazy....well she really didn't like this whole business).  The verdict, the calf is stillborn and needs to come out--C-section style.  Now I've seen c-sections on TV and in biology class...but not on a cow or in a barn.  This should be good.  J and his Dad have never seen one either---double fun.  So we get her into a pen in the barn and tie her up.  Cow c-sections are done standing up and on the left side.  So I'm standing there holding the surgical instruments, flashlight in hand, J and his Dad are trying to keep the crazy cow penned up.  And the vet goes to work.  I must admit its pretty slick, and similar to a human one.  Shave, cut, cut, cut, vet goes in, hooks the chains to the calf and starts pulling and out it comes.  Well then the uterus and lining and all has to be sewn back up.  So J is holding the uterus and the vet pulls out his stitchery and stitches that thing up oh so nice.  Personally I'm a needle worker and was quite impressed with his stitches and stitchery.  Now the cow was sedated by this time, but was still irritated.  But sure enough vet finished and she was back on her feet and was eating hay before we left.  Did I mention it was like 11:30 at night when we got back in?  Talk about a long night...but wow was it memorable!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Our Very Own Tatonka

So for those of you non-farm peeps, the animals during the winter get their fur, and look all bushy.  Their hair just fluffs out and they kind of resemble a large cotton ball.  Then when it warms up, they shed their fur and once again get their shiny coats back.   Well one of our little steirs is even bushier than he should be.  I don't know what's wrong with this guy...its like you put a cotton ball in the dryer and on the super-fluff cycle.  His hair goes everywhere (I can kinda relate because my crazy curly hair tends to do some crazy things too).  Well anyways being that he's so bushy, he kind of resembles a buffalo calf--Tatonka!  J nicknamed him that and I'm pretty sure that little booger will be Tatonka until he sees the stock trailer coming to take him to greener pastures.  And how can you say Tatonka without putting your hands up by your head--LOL.  Tatonka! Totally had to youtube Dances with Wolves and watch that scene  :-)

Anyways here he is, and of course he's not looking at the camera, or showing his buffalo side...hmph!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Day I Stalked a Dress

So downtown Newton is full of little shops, and one of them is a thrift store with mainly clothes, the Etc Shop.  It is fabulous!  And we all know I love a good thrift store and they typically have a few good vintage items that I scout out and add to my clothes collection.  Well...they were closed for a month or so for renovation, but as a teaser posted this video for their re-opening:  Video .  Well I saw that black and white dress and knew I had to see it in person.  So I head over there and look at their vintage racks and alas it wasn't there, oh well somebody else must have gotten it.  So I make my purchases and head out the door, when... "Hello Lover" my own Carrie moment..there it was hanging in the window.  I rush back in and pull it out of the looks like it might fit (I never look at size labels when shopping at thrift stores).  Rush back to the fitting room and slip it on and I'm pretty sure the Alleluia chorus started singing in my head.  There was no way that this dress was not going home with me.  It fit like it was made for me.  Betty Draper Francis eat your heart out--this sucker was mine.  So did I stalk a dress?  Or was the dress just courting me over the Internet?  Hmmm.....

The dress is a Miss Elliette, which according to the Vintage Fashion Guild, was a highly sought after label...and I own one! Bam!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Adventures at the Flea Market

So I've mentioned before that J and I both love going to flea markets and checking out random stuff--well a previous time he had said there was a sausage stuffer machine (or something) and he might like to have one.  Now I've never seen one of these things, and if I have, totally glanced over it.  Well we went back, and sure enough there was one still there.  Here's what it looks like:

To me it looks like an ancient ice cream maker, but J swears that it is used to make sausage, and how cool it is that the lid smushes the sausage down and how it still has the spigot and blah blah blah.  Great honey. 

I on the other hand, spot something like this (totally forgot to take a pic of the one in the store):

I was like, J come look at this--how cool is that?  He's like what is it?  Its a combo step stool, chair, and ironing board--boom!  If the one in the store had been in a little better shape, I totally would have gotten it!   Oh well, I'll keep my eye out for it  ;-)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

You Know Its Love When....

Your husband gets you your own axe for Christmas so you can chop ice when its your day to do chores.  LOL.  See previous blog and what I used before I had an axe here:  "why-yes-i-do-remember-when-it-was-16"  This weekend, my friend K came down and spent some much needed girl-time with me...and as an added bonus got to experience some "farmgirl" time.  J and his Dad were moving cattle back to our place so that we can keep an eye on them when they start calving.  So I see the stock trailer pull up, and say to K "you want to go see some cows unloaded?"  Sure, why not.  So we both bundle up and head out there.  As we head out I see J's Dad running around and hollering, well something must be up...and then I see the distinct little black legs of a calf and realize he had had one in the truck cab with him, and this little booger was trying to make a getaway.  So we run over and hold this little calf (turned out to be a little girl-aww!) while Dad got the little ear-tag gun ready.  Now K to my knowledge had never been this close to a bovine creature, and was like, their bammaaarrr comes from their gut, and what pretty eyes they have.  Yep--they do!  She is a little cutie, and got her ears pierced just like a big girl would.  :-)

The next morning, we get bundled up to do chores, and K got some great pics of me chopping ice...LOL, it was fun or something....

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

the Mirror of Life

So people grieve very differently, its a personal thing to each person and no 2 people probably react in the same way.  Well one way for me is the outpouring of written here goes.

When I was in college and my Dad died, it was a very sudden thing.  There wasn't a lot of tears, the band-aid was quick.  Now over time, random things get to me.  But they are generally private and only me, or my bro and sis get what I'm talking about.  Yesterday, my Grandpa passed away, and it wasn't a quick thing, it was something that we knew was coming.  As I waited with my Grandma and the rest of my family, I hugged my Grandma and heard her say "What am I going to do--he's part of me?"  Now they had been married for 63 or so years, and dated before then.  This is incomprehensible to my little mind, spending a lifetime with someone and having them not there one day.  But this is what grieving is--a mirror of our own mortality.

When my Dad died, I grieved, but in a different way, and thought about it differently.  With my Grandpa, I look at my own life and my new husband and realize how blessed am I to have such a wonderful man that God has paired me with.  The thought of him not in my life makes me sad--and its not even a speck of sand in the hourglass compared to my grandparents.  I look at the banquet of family that was there at the end and realize what a blessing my crazy, obnoxious, opinionated, family is.  The mirror of what we have and what we had is spinning, the blessings shining through both sides.  So what is grieving?  Is it sorrow of what we had?  Is it sorrow of what we missed?  Or is it sorrow for what we haven't appreciated yet?   Hmmm....I don't know, but the hubs gets an extra hug tonight--does yours?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Adventures in Gardening

So this past spring/summer, I noticed that we had bulb-type flowers growing in random locations around our place.  Like a patch of daffodils out by a tree (that I'm pretty sure got mowed down every year), some unidentifiable bulbs, and some purple somethings that were in the back yard where no one could see them.  Well I get the bright idea that they should be moved to the front of the house in this little rocked in place out front.  J, being the great husband that he is, willingly helps  :-), although to be honest I think he thought it was a fruitless idea.  Especially after the plants were moved, they started to get all brownish.  But!!! What should my wondering eyes should see when I take little Jose out to do his business?  The sprouts of some of these plants!  Boom!  Now I don't know if all the plants made it, but seeing 4-6 different little sprouts made me smile. 

I don't know if you can see, but the sprouts are about every eight inches or so!

Here's a close-up of one

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Does Keeping Separate Divide Us?

So this blog has been rolling around in my head for months--we'll see how it pans out.

This past fall I attended the Newton Library's Council on Humanities book discussion on Middle Eastern Culture.  It was very good--and got me to read books I would never have read otherwise.  The first book, The Israelis : Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Land by Donna Rosenthal, was excellent.  The moderator said it was used in history classes, and I can understand why.  Ms. Rosenthal is an excellent writer and presents most of the ideas factually and not with a slant.  One of the things the group talked about, was that in the Middle East, there are separate groups of people--based on religion, culture, jobs, income etc.  And they do not intermingle--which of course creates problems (not the only source of problems, but one reason).  The different religions go to their separate schools, separate markets, don't intermarry, and don't really learn about the others.  During the discussion, it was brought up, does this happen in America?  Do people segregate themselves?  If so, what is the outcome? 

When I lived in KC, I didn't see as much of it, but since I've moved here, I see it a lot more.  Around where we live, there are pockets of one religion, then another religion, even some towns are all one religion, then the next town is another one.  Religious-based private schools are very prevalent, and people really don't intermingle with one another.  Are we separating ourselves?  And does that divide us?  If a child is raised in one religion, goes to that religion's private school, what happens when college arrives and there's a menagerie of people?   Hmm.  Maybe that's why I'm not pro-private schools or home-schooling.  The world is a melting pot, and even if you don't like or have never been exposed to people with short noses (I'm using that as an example), who's to say when you go to an interview, your interviewer will not have a short nose?  When we stay within our pre-described boundaries are we protecting ourselves or are we dividing us from our neighbor?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Day Without the Poofy?

So sorry about not posting this week...I have been sick...ugh.  Like the kind of sinus sick where you wake up with drool on your face because you can't breathe out of your nose and your mouth is drier than after a night of college-style drinking.  Like the kind of sick where you're cold, but then once you get bundled up, you start to sweat.  Like the kind of sick that makes your brain process things so slow, and you wind up being that dumb person that gets a joke five minutes later and laughs when everyone else is talking about something else.  Yep that was me this week.

Dear Kansas-thank-you for your crazy 60 degree January/February sinuses can not keep up, and wish you would return to normal winter weather.  That is all.  Thanks much! Love Barbie. 

But one of the standard things when I'm sick is the Poofy Blanket.  Now the Poofy Blanket is something my Mom made each of us (my bro and sis and I) way back I can't remember a time being without it.  It was just different scraps of fabric that she cut into squares and then just stuffed with filler, so its just "poofed" every so often.  It is great--its lightweight, keeps you warm, kind of snuggly because its different shaped, you can use it on the floor for padding because it has the poofs, I could go on and on.  Now my poofy has had better days by now, like I've patched some holes, and more need to be patched.  When I washed it this week, some more filler came out, and J said, maybe you should send that home with your Mom so she can sew it back up.  Increduously, I look at him and say "You mean be away from the Poofy?"  Like this thing has been everywhere with me--college, sorority house, KC, when I lived in Florida for a year, its been with me.  And to be away from it--what if I got sick?  What would I snuggle with?  LOL.  My mother is an excellent seamstress and I'm sure could fix it up lickety split...just not so sure...might have separation anxiety.  LOL.

Anyways, here's a pic of my niece (and nephew) jumping on her poofy blanket--its a family tradition!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Update on Dennis

So I know many of you love hearing about Dennis and all his crazy antics...but since he's been at the in-laws I haven't had any stories...that is until I decided to go visit  :-)

So J had to get some feed at his parents, so I while he was doing that, I walked out to the lot and visited with Dennis.  Up I walk, yelling "Dennis--Dennis".  I start to hop the fence, and then think---oops I think they have a hot wire!  (Guess my Guardian Angel was watching out for me--although I'm sure Dennis would have loved to see me get really crazy and electrified).  So I walk around the barn and crawl over the non-hot wired fence and walk out into the little feeding area.  Oh Dennis sees me alright.  His little ears poke up, he's eyeing me through the round pen, like "what are you doing here?".  Now the other critters in the pen, a couple of bulls, other steers, etc, aren't very familiar with my antics or me just hopping in and walking around (plus the idea of running into a hot-wire fence just didn't seem appealing), so I hopped back out.  Here's Dennis though--still looks shady  :-)