Saturday, August 29, 2009

Happy 31th Mom And Dad!

My Mom and Dad will celebrate their 31th wedding anniversary on the 31st of this month. To celebrate, the family is coming to the house on Monday evening, for waffles. Yes, waffles. They wanted homemade waffles, so that’s what they are getting! =-)

My parents married young. My mother was only 17 when they tied the knot. Their marriage has been one that's seen its share of many ups, and many downs. They’ve survived the death of their parents, the blessed birth of 2 children, the OH SHIT birth of another, job changes, a 3 year old that required 2 operations, a sheriff election, rebellious teenagers, 2 weddings, personal struggles, the birth of 2 grandsons, and major illnesses.

They have defiantly taken the “For better or for worse, in sickness and in health” part of their wedding vows seriously.

As a daughter, I got to see my parents become "new parents" with the arrival of my baby sister. This event was after seeing my mom cry for months over her unexpected pregnancy. However, I will never ever forget to look on my dads face when he came and told my brother and I that we had a new baby sister. I remember thinking, in my 14 year old mind, how retarded he was acting. Now that I am a mom, I know now what he was feeling. I'll never forget sitting in my moms hospital room, watching my parents stare at the little cheese covered alien in the pink blanket, while smiling at each other in between. Though it made me gag then, now it is an honor to me to have been able to be old enough to always treasure these memories of the love shared between the two of them while celebrating the birth of alien girl...err...Michelle.

Happy 31th, Mom and Dad!! We love you guys!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Week Reflections

Well, Chewy is back out in the lot! He is about 95% back to normal! He is DEFINATLY seeing, however, I don’t think it’s quite what it was before. But he sees enough to get around just like he did before all this happened. I’ve decided that there must be guardian angels for animals, too, because everyone is shocked he made it! We are happy, and the boys have their little buddy back. We’ve pretty much concluded he did indeed clench his chompers down on the electric fence.
I’ve been a canning mad woman. I’ve made more salsa, and Melanie had brought me some jalapenos to use, and I didn’t use all of them, so of coarse I had to make another batch so they would not go to waste!! ;-) I’m finally getting room back in my freezer but still have at least a couple more zip lock baggies full of tomatoes. I have this weird OCD thing….it is THRILLING me to no end to see those pretty sealed jars all lined up in my cupboard!! Hopefully I’ll be able to let go of them and use them! hehe
My husband ordered me 10 lbs (!!) of bing cherries at the grocery store so I’ll have to experiment with some different cherry recipes! The store has had them on sale the past few weeks, with the weeks being the best a 2lbs for $3, but every time I went in there to buy some they were sold out. So, D went down to get me raincheck, so that even though the sale is over, I can still get them at that price. I wasn’t, however, prepared for him ordering me 10 lbs worth, but that’s ok! That means more in the freezer!
New school year is off to a great start. I’ve said it before, but I really love having the boys home on Fridays! They’ve gotten a bit slower now with getting up, so the new is wearing off. It almost takes a bomb to get J out of bed in the mornings, and he waits till I am almost yelling at him before he gets up.
We are getting geared up for the State Fair. This weekend we have to separate some of the buns, as we have 2 of the does together. Well, we have one that is eating the majority of the food that’s to be for BOTH of them, and she’s getting a bit too plumb. She’s at the weight right now she needs to be at, and we still have 2 weeks till the fair. So we’ll move her, and put her on a bit of a bunny diet.
We looked at the fair schedule and it looks as though we are going to be going to the fair *5* times before it’s all said and done. Well, I say that, but I think D will be doing most of it. I think I only have to go 3 times. Hehe Next year, if they decided to show again, it should be lot easier because T will be old enough to show in the 4-H show with J. The open youth show and the 4-H show are on different weekends.
J also gets to take his cherry cookies he made for the county fair! He’s excited about that!
We’ve got some projects planned for this weekend, so the plan is to try to get as much of my housework and laundry done so I can play outside with the men!
Have a great weekend!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Nasty Weekend

What a weekend! Not one that I care to repeat anytime soon.

It started off great. Got my porch all cleaned off and rearranged. Flower beds got weeded and I got even more cherry jam made and canned.

The guy that is putting cattle in the south pasture at the farm was out putting up an electric fence and was about to release the cows out. He told us that we could put Chewy out there with the “big boys” if we wanted to. We thought it would be good for him to eat better grass out there, as well as to learn how to be a cow, instead of dog, or whatever it is he thinks he is. D sent him out, Chewy was acting normal, and mooing excitedly, and we thought all was well. About an hour and ½ later we went out to see how he was getting along, and he was down by the gate, barely alive. I immediately thought bloat, because D and I have been noticing he’s been...round..lately. Dr. Deewall, our vet, just happened to be eating pizza at Dave's, and was able to talk us through what we needed to do. Basically you either stick a needle into the stomach and release the pressure or you stick a tube down into his stomach and release it that way. We had a crew of 6 people out there helping us, and I finally came home around 2am. D never went to bed. He actually went and clocked in at work and rotated between working and going out and checking on him. We later found out some of our family was doing the same thing, so it seems he was never left alone for too long.
Kelly, the vet, called the next morning and told us she was in the area. She wanted to check on him, tube him and pull out what was in his stomach and give him some antibiotics. He started doing this really weird “cude chewing” motion that we blew off. However, when she was checking him, she realized that he was blind, and the weird “cude chewing” was actually a neurological “tick” meaning something was wrong with his brain. =( He was walking in circles, stumbling, having weird ticks, not responding to us and acting like he had no idea what was going on.

“I am concerned this little guy may have rabies.”

With those words my blood started to turn cold, and I suddenly saw in my mind all the times my boys played with him, letting him suck on their fingers, wiping slobber all over each other. All four of us, as well as all those people who were helping us, had been exposed and would need a series of shots.

She told us if there was no improvement she would come back over the next morning, put him to sleep, and send his brain off for testing.
We kept checking on him..from a FAR distance...throughout the day, because if he died before the next day, Kelly was going to come over so she could get the “sample” she needed. We went out about 5:30 and...there he was, standing, walking normal, and as we poked our heads in, he LOOKED STRAIGHT at us!! The “ticks” were gone, he was walking, not stumbling, he was responding to our voices and perked up when I “baby talked” him. I ran and got some water for him and he took a couple of sips of water. D went back out there at dusk and gave him a big pile of hay and a bucket of water, and this morning, most of the hay was gone.
He is still blind, though the vet thinks he’s at least seeing shadows, since he looks at us when we come into the barn, and since he’s eating and drinking, and IMPROVING, it’s not rabies! I feel as though we have been blessed with a mini miracle. We were so scared and I lost count of the number of times I prayed to God for the strength to get us through this.

What happened?? Well, either the dumb ass chomped down on the newly installed electric fence and got the crap shocked out of him,(he chews and bites on EVERYTHING) or he ate something very nasty out in the pasture.
He’s on Penicillin and Thiamin for 3 days, and Dr. Deewall thinks some of his vision may come back, but it’s hard to tell. He’s locked up in a small part of the barn and he has learned really fast where things are at. It’s sad though when he “over shoots’ something and runs into the wall. We’re keeping him in the barn for a while to see how much comes back, with hopes that sometime soon he can go back out into the lot. If not, we’ll figure it out as we go, I guess.

Things I have learned through all this:

Rabies is still alive and well, and very much still a threat and cattle have surpassed cats and dogs with being victims. Most often it will come from a bat, skunk or raccoon bite, and you may never see the bite mark. And the rabies virus can take a long time to show up.

Family and friends and people you hardly even know will come together and help you out when it comes to livestock.(I'm still not sure what it is about the words "down calf" that makes people come running, but we are very thankful they did!" We had people volunteering to help and give us whatever we needed.

Our vet ROCKS!!

We need to have kit together and ready to grab for things like this, just in case, instead of having to make do with whatever we can find.

God does answer prayers.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

School Week #1 Complete!!

Well, we survived the first week of school. Both boys seem to be happy. J LOVES Jr. high---this year he gets to get SALAD BAR and bigger portions. Ahh..the important things to an 11 year old.
T hasn’t really said much, but he hasn’t even met his “real” teacher yet. His class has a sub at the moment as the teacher’s mother passed away.
Our school changed over to a 4 day school week this year. They go to school from 8 to 4. I am finding I am really enjoying this! I can schedule dental appointments and stuff like that with out them having to miss school. The hours may be longer but we really have not noticed much of a difference from the past years. I will say they are STARVING when the come home. J doesn’t eat till one, and for a boy with hollow legs, that’s a long time to go without food. He’s even keeping a box of granola bars in his locker so he can make it home without dying from starvation. ;)
I am finding I have more energy now that I am getting up a bit earlier.
Though I wasn’t ready for them to go back, the new routine is very nice!!

Spent part of Saturday morning working out in the garden. Pulled all the corn since it was done and T harvested about 20 mini pumpkins and there are at least that many that are almost ready to go. D got 2 “giant” pumpkins that ended up being the same size as a regular pumpkin. Our “regular” pumpkins haven’t done anything yet. They’ve got some blooms but that’s all. Our neighbor was complaining about his garden and he’s usually got a garden to die for, so I wonder what went wrong this year.
Still getting tomatoes and I should have enough to make another batch of salsa. I’m really enjoying canning. I’ve dropped several hints to my mom that I’d like a pressure canner for Christmas. =) Don’t have ANY idea how to use one, but….!

Bing Cherries are on sale at the store at the moment, and I bought 7 lbs. So last night I used 2 lbs of them to make spiced cherry jam. Yum…it has Amaretto in it and it is just heavenly. I still have 5 lbs of cherries to use, so I think I will just make more of this jam and freeze some of them for later. I was pretty proud of myself!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Misc. Ramblings

The big ol’ bus came and picked up the kids again. I can not believe summer is over. Summer always seems to go so fast, where as winter always drags on forever.

Friday I took a shopping trip with my sister. We had a good time, got some good deals, and everyone was pleased with what I came home with. We had an awesome lunch at Red Lobster, where we even made room for dessert. We then rolled our way over to Target. I wasn’t sure I was ever going to need to eat again after that meal.
I don’t get to spend enough time with her, and with school and sports coming up I was happy we got the chance. We laughed a lot, told some secrets, and just enjoyed being with each other. She’s turning into a really amazing person and I am so happy she’s my sister.

Sunday we got up at 5:30 and headed to Wichita. We met up with Sam and Marion Oller and then headed to Newton to pick up some new rabbits for J. (At the fair, J’s rabbit judge told him that his rabbit has small bones, so he has been on the hunt for a doe to “counter act” this, and that’s what he got!!) He got a big ol’ proven doe that looks like she could take off your arm if you made her mad. I call her Big Mama. He also got a Jr Doe and a Jr Buck, so that means he now has 2 does and 2 bucks to play with. Hopefully he can get what he needs to out of these for some good rabbits to show!! He was pretty happy. The man that sold these too him was an older man, and J really learned a lot. He gave him some hints on feeding, as well as what to use on their fur right before they are shown at a show. (Pantene Pro-V!—who knew!?!)
After going to Newton we hung out at the Oller’s house for a bit and looked around their rabbitry. They show mini rexes, which is what T is doing now, so T had really been looking forward to this. They have some awesome rabbits and it was cool for us to see some set ups!! It was a fun day! I’m starting to see that rabbit people are really best understood by…other rabbit people!! =) We have met some amazing people who are always eager to help you.
Both boys are showing at the State Fair this year. T is too young yet to do it at the 4-H level so he’s showing in the open class youth show, while J is showing at the 4-H show. This means we have rabbits to drop off/pick up on different days, at different shows, on different weekends!! Yow-za.
J is doing showmanship at the state fair also. This is a HUGE deal to him…even more so than showing his rabbit.
We had a couple weeks of quiet time, but it looks though things are picking back up again now!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Our Anniversary

Sunday was D and I’s 12th wedding anniversary. We spent it by getting up at 5:30am and heading to Wichita to pick up some rabbits of all things for Jacob, but that deserves a post all of its own, I believe.
So, yes, 12 years. 12 LOOOOOONNNNNNGGGG wonderful years my husband says!! HA!
We promised each other we would go out to eat sometime this week. We were both too tired last night and I fell asleep on the floor at 7 while he was watching football.
Ahh…yes,the romance is still alive.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Airplane Rides and Farm Projects

Saturday morning we got up really early and headed to the airport for the free plane rides for the Come On Home celebration. The boys had never been up, and we thought it was time they had!! Both were excited. J went up with Rick in the 2 seater, while D and T went up in a bigger 4 seater. I decided to stay on the ground after my most recent experiences at the I-max and State Fair rides. I didn’t want to embarrass my self or my family in front of a crowd of people. Maybe someday soon I can get back up in the air just to see if planes make me sick too. (They used to, but only at take off/landing. My tolerance has gotten MUCH, MUCH lower as I’ve gotten older though. Yuck.)
Anyway, it was a HIT. J took the camera up and got some really neat pictures of the lake and town. T thinks he’d like to be a pilot when he gets bigger and the pilot that took him told him he was that age when he decided to become one. I guess I have a few years to convince him to do something that keeps him planted firmly on the ground. =-)*

Ol’ Chewy is growing really well. He’s going to get “cut” in the next week or so. I think I’ll be staying at home for that chore. We put him on a diet. I am not used to dairy cows, since all I’ve ever been around are beef cattle, and have “over-loved” Chewy…a lot. He’s down to one bottle a day, and was getting creep feed as well as free grazing. He looked as though he as about to give birth any day. Actually, I said he looked like he swallowed a giant egg. Jerseys are supposed to be really boney in the hind in, and the ribs are supposed to show a bit. This morning he was FINALLY looking like a Jersey calf again. He’s not really happy about being cut off his feed though. We got the old calf scale out, and weighed him. That was a lot of fun. HA! Imagine trying to weigh a calf on one of the manual scales at the Dr’s office. He finally just plopped down on it when T gave him a bunch of grass he’s picked. He’s at right around 110 lbs now. I added a couple of pictures of him I took this morning. The middle one is a funny one of Chewy sucking on T's ear--hearing T's shrieks and laughter made it even better!!

This fall we plan on adding at least one, maybe two, more calves out there.

We also have a couple of new animal projects we are going to start. The first one is we are getting ready to get some Ameraucana chickens. (Everyone calls them Easter Eggers or EE’s) They lay the most BEAUTIFUL eggs that are pretty shades of blue, green, and pink. We should have the baby chicks with in a month, so by spring I should have some pretty eggs to share!!

We are also getting a few feeder pigs this spring. My dad’s been helping us figure out the best spot for them, and I think we have it all figured out. I can’t wait for the day we have a freezer(s) full of beef and pork!!

We had the most delicious lunch today. Mashed potatoes and corn on the cob, all homegrown, and fried chicken, not homegrown…it came from the store!! HA! It was so cool to me that I had to go buy was the chicken! Little thrills!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!! I’m off Friday to do a little bit of shopping with my Sista!!