Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Winter Storm "Rocky"

Winter Storm Rocky, Thunder Snow, Blizzard of Oz, Snowapocolypse 2013...whatever you want to call it, it seems to now be OVER.

The first round found us with 14 inches of snow, give or take. 2 days later, we got another 6-8 dumped on us.

My boys have been out of school for 4 days, home now for 6 straight days, if you count the weekends. I am pretty sure they have NEVER used this many snows days in a year, and certainly not right smack in the row like this.

I have enjoyed having them home with me. I cringed at each snow day, not because of them, just a bit more of the "we are trapped" feelings and disruption of our routine. I am finding the older I get, the more lost I become without that. 

*I* actually took a snowday yesterday. There was no way anyone was getting up to our door, and I just thought most of my families shouldn't be out anyway. What does one do with a snow day? Well, if your a teenage boy in my house, this means spending a lot of time in your underwear, playing games in the basement. Bedrooms did get cleaned, and Jacob made a double batch of no bake cookies for us.

Front yard, after all the storms were over

(I do have plans to make them get dressed today and they work on thier 4-H record books just a little bit. And Tristen has a 4-H article to write for the paper.)

For Danny is meant pulling up radar every few minutes, snoozing on the couch, while catching up his TV shows, trips out to the barn to make sure no snow was blowing in on the rabbits, and trying to keep the sidewalk clean.  He had made sure the cows were safe and had plenty of food, having to have a tractor deliver a bale for us, because there was no way he was getting on in with a pick up.

Back deck, the morning after.

I stewed a bit over our cows--we have a new baby, and 2 heifers due to calve in a couple of weeks. Danny keep reassuring me they had taken cover in the barn. Thankfully he was right and everyone kept those babies in!

A snow day for me involved lots and lots of food. I made 2 loaves of beer bread, which were fantastic! I made one with chili beer, the other with plain beer. Easiest bread I have ever made!! I also made cherry pie bars, and potato corn chowder and cooked a pound of bacon. Had plans to make Snickerdoodles but got sidetracked and didn't get it done. Maybe today! I also sat by the window and just watched a lot. I put out a pie pan of bird seed on our swing, and it was pretty popular with the birds, even with the wind blowing.
My day also involved a lot of Facebook and Pinterest time, but after a while you start to feel brain cells start to die from too much social media. I read a book...The Long Winter  by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Fitting, huh?) ...and began to be thankful I was not waking up with snow in my bed, or having to burn hay for warmth. ;)

I think one thing people who aren't in Ag, or didn't grow up in Ag, do not understand is what a double edged sword this was for our area.  Yes..we are SO very thankful for the moisture. But this storm came right smack in the middle of when a lot of ranchers calve.  Do you know what happens to a calf when its born during a snow storm? =(
Nature tells babies to hunker down low in the grass, but what happens when snow drifts over the baby? Or when it gets lost in the storm?
This storm meant most farmers and ranchers I know were working extra hard keeping everyone safe and sound, and warming up cold babies and taking lost babies in to safety, hauling in hay,  while they themselves are cold and tired. Because its what they do.  Everyone loves the "God Made a Farmer" commercial that aired during Super Bowl, and I thought about it again, while people were posting about losing calves and sleeping in barns on Facebook and I would cringe a little bit when I'd see someone else post "Bring on the snow!"

Here it is:

So God made a Farmer

And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said I need a caretaker- So God made a Farmer
God said I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk the cows, work all day in the field, milk cows again, eat supper then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board-So God made a Farmer
I need somebody with arms strong enough to wrestle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild; somebody to call hogs,tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to await lunch until his wife's done feeding visiting ladies, then tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon, and mean it-So God made a Farmer
God said I need somebody willing to sit up all night with and newborn colt, and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say maybe next year. I need somebody who can shape an axe handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make a harness out of hay wire, feed sacks and shoe straps, who at planting time and harvest season will finish his forty hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, will put in another 72 hours- So God made a Farmer
God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain, and yet stop in midfield and race to help when he sees first smoke from a neighbor's place-So God made a Farmer
God said I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales,yet gentle enough to wean lambs and pigs and tend to pink combed pullets;who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadowlark. It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight and not cut corners;somebody to seed, seed, breed, and rake and disk and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and a hard week's work with a five-mile drive to church. Somebody who would bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing;who would laugh and then sigh, and reply with smiling eyes when his son says he want to spend his life doing what dad does-So God made a Farmer
By:Paul Harvey
From his address to the 1987 AFBF Convention

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Snow DAY!

Is there anything better than a snow day?? How about *2* of them??

It started snowing around 2:30am Wednesday morning. I had a serious bout of insomnia that night, and was awake from 12:30 until 4, so I watched it come in.  It's almost like waiting for Santa. There is something magical about watching and waiting for a storm to come in.

Sometimes the snowflakes were itty bitty, swirling around as they fell. Other times they were big and fat beautiful flakes, falling straight down and plopping on the ground.. Its a wonderful thick wet snow, that makes the trees bend from the weight.

So far, we have about 14 inches. Its suppose to snow all through today, stopping early this evening.

Lots of white out there!

Deep muddy hoof prints

I'm enjoying having my boys around. Yesterday Tristen made chocolate Reese's cookies, and Jacob made No-Bakes. I plan on making a batch of blueberry biscuits just as soon as my little daycare boy eats lunch and takes his nap.

Nothing like warm milk on a chilly snowy day!

I just love her. See her little pink tongue?

THIS snow...this snow will hopefully quench our parched land. It will not fix the damage of horrible drought of the past couple of years, but THIS SNOW will make our farmers smile a little more.

Tree row at the farm

Dads wood at the farm. Good thing the boys loaded him up inside before the storm hit.

  We've got another storm that is suppose to hit on Sunday. I'm starting  to feel like a caged lion, but everyone keeps reminded me to think about the moisture, and how green my yard will be soon!

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Valentine's Day GRINCH

Can I tell you a secret?
I really don't like Valentine's Day.
Oddly enough I enjoy DECORATING for Valentines day, with cute little heart shaped baskets, and candy jars filled with conversation hearts, but celebrating the actual holiday, not so much.

I don't cook elaborate breakfasts or dinners for my crew. I joked that I did, in fact, make Tristen's breakfast this morning, because dumping milk on Lucky Charms and handing it to him is actually making breakfast, correct?? I don't, nor have I ever, made beautiful homemade Valentines for my children or for my children to hand out when they were younger. We were always lucky to get Valentines they actually liked, because more of often than not, I was the mom frantically looking for anything but Barbie the day before.
Facebook made me feel a bit like an inadequate mother/wife because I didn't go overboard preparing the heart shaped pancakes and chocolate dipped strawberries. I had no candle light dinner planned for my love, nor did I send balloon bouquets and candy to my boys at school. They probably would have puked, ripped up the card, and made up some story about some hot girl in another town sending it to them anyway.

I don't enjoy my husband spending hard earned money on flowers that will die in 2 days, or the cheesy cards, or the heart shaped boxes of chocolates or on anything else he REALLY didn't want to buy, and is only doing it because the calender TOLD him he needed to.

I guess it comes down to this: I know he loves me.  He doesn't need to haul home overpriced flowers or a card he didn't even read, just signed Love, Danny on.

That guy has maneuvered out to the middle of a dump, to haul out a "treasure" I wanted. He has built project after project for me, with out being able to see my vision, but just knowing it was what I wanted. He has ripped out bushes in the summer heat, so I could plant flowers, and will come home from hunting and tell me about a very strange bird or owl he saw that day, because he just knew it was something I would have loved to have seen. . He has sat up all night long with my sick father, and checked the oil and tire pressure on my sister and mothers cars.

THAT, people, is love.

And so much better than a heart shaped box of chocolates.

I'm not saying I don't enjoy surprises. It just means so much more to me when he does them because he was thinking about me and WANTED TO, verses becuase he felt like he was SUPPOSE to. 

He DID haul me to a local restaurant last night for prime rib and shrimp.  His idea. I fought him. Hard.  I wanted to get it to go. Yes, I even asked if we could. ;)  But I went. And it WAS wonderful.

I just pretended we were out to eat and it was just another day and NOT Valentine's Day. 


Monday, February 11, 2013

Birth--It's Kind of GROSS!

Thursday evening, Danny and Tristen come home from feeding, and Dan announces he's pretty sure our old cow, Rosie, is in labor.  She was bagged up, had stopped eating, and seemed really uncomfortable, so he thought we should head out as soon I got off work. We pulled up just as her water was breaking, and things just starting to get serious, so we quietly found a place to sit and watch.

This was the second time Tristen has ever seen something give birth, and the first time he was too young to really GET it, but he does remember. It wasn't the beautiful mother-son bonding moment I thought it would be, but he may have a new found respect for females! HA! His wide eyes and expression would have had me rolling in the grass, had we not been trying to be very quiet.  In his words later--Birth is kind of gross! ;)

Rosie is an old pro at giving birth. Probably finding it more of an annoyance now, since she has to stop eating to do it.  Birth seemed pretty easy, and out came the calf.  The calf seemed to be a little slow to responding, and we were just talking about intervening when up popped babies head.   Momma got it all cleaned up, softly mooing to it, encouraging it to get up. 40 minutes after it hit the ground, we headed home, and baby was up eating.

Isn't she cute? Love her little pink nose!
Dear God, Thank you for getting me here safely. I love it here. Now, if you could just help me get away from this crazy lady in the purple coat, who keeps taking my picture and making some weird squealing noises and saying SO CUTE over and over again, I'd really appreciate it. She's getting annoying..
Yesterday I just sat out in the lot and watched her, as Danny was getting a bale. She was running around, doing the "calf bounce".    Pretty sure this  is on the universe's  list of top ten cutest things EVER!

We spent Saturday in Abilene. We  were up at 3, on the road by 4:15, and back home at 10. LONG DAY!! But it was fun to spend the day with our friends.  Jacob's Havanas were pretty much class fillers. Our on-off weather has wrecked havoc on coats, and all his younger stuff was TOO young to compete well. His Havana friend Madelynn kicked butt, and she ended up winning 2 Best In Shows with a stunning little black doe. Its always fun to watch kids you love and know work hard do well!

Tristen had a great day! He hauled some stuff he was anxious to get on the tables, and also some young 14 week olds that he grabbed at the very last minute, mainly to teach them some manners and get comments.  It was a good call. His little baby blue buck won Best Opposite Sex in one show, and Best of Breed in the another. 

Yuck..MONDAY AGAIN! This one seems more painful than usual. I'm guessing because our schedules are messed up! Off to get some more coffee! Have a WONDERFUL day!

Monday, February 4, 2013


I have spring fever SO very bad.  I have so many projects I can't WAIT to get started on. Projects that I'm sure will be forgotten about when the summer heat starts, but I'm not thinking of that now! ;)

I recently went and picked up an old sewing machine base, and came home with the base AND an old window from an old hotel here in town.  THIS is the end result:

I just finalized vacation plans for this summer.  I had done nothing but think of the beach for a few days when Tristen came up to me and asked if we could JUST PLEASE go to the ocean again this summer. Apparently, we are cut from the same cloth and require salt water on our skin every few years to keep us going.
It won't be a long vacation..more like a really long weekend, but we found someplace close where we can leave and get there the same day.  

Source: via Rebecca on Pinterest

And our family is growing. Oh no. Not me. Please..close your mouth.  I am going to be an Auntie again!  My sister Michelle is going to be a momma, and is due September 1st.  I went with her to a recent doctors appointment and her sonogram. I know I've given birth 2 times, but sometimes you just forget the miracle of it all. Hearing that little tiny heartbeat come through that doppler.. is absolutely AMAZING!