Wednesday, December 31, 2008

sunny and beautiful

wow, what a beautiful night last night was. It's always so amazing to me to see how many stars are visible when there are no city lights to detract. I again saw a shooting star, which seems to happen most every night I'm out to notice.

Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for the beauty and glory and the priviledge of living here.

I will have to get the camera out to take some more pictures, it's so spectacular today, cold I will admit but sunny. Horses still don't spend any time in the barn although the cows do come in at night when it is really cold out.

Blizzard, that darn chicken.... I mean the wonderful house chicken seems to be missing Lawrence who spent the last two days snowmobiling in Wisconsin with almost 2 feet of fresh powder. Blizzard seems to crow quite persistently waiting for someone to come talk to him in the morning (Lawrences job :) )

I have added a link with directions for making rag rugs, I have always admired them but never made one....yet.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

chicken song

lol, hubby is in the kitchen singing a made up song, called the "chicken song" Blizzard the rooster is very helpful and crows at the appropriate times. Yes, we are the funny farm!!! the song apparently now is about his not having 11 special spices and herbs, but he must cook a pizza in a very funny falsetto. Its always interesting!!! Rooster does seem to be getting better, he is starting to use the foot more and more.

Had the Downs family Christmas get together yesterday. It was a good time, always interesting and usually intellectual conversations, at times getting pretty rowdy.

All of the critters are doing well. The driveway or should I say "slideway" is a now the luge run, the sun has been out and melting some of the snow off which all drains and then freezes on the long sloping 'slideway" Hopefully the salt we put out will make it at least somewhat passable.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Rodeo-yee haw

phew, finally dehorned the calves yesterday. Bezebull was as anticipated quite the rodeo. I have what I believe is the biggest bruise of my life on my thigh. It takes up my entire thigh and is a fascinating blend of blues,purples and yellow. I suspect that Bezebull is older than the breeder told us. He is a good 50% larger than the other two calves, and had actual horn formation instead of the nubs on the others.

We were very fortunate to have the assistance of two teenage relatives along with our teenage daughter. Having extra hands to hold and prep supplies was a huge help.

Snowing and blowing today, temp of 8* this morning. Blizzard the rooster continues to be an effective alarm clock. Hopefully soon he will start using the hurt foot.

Tiny the border collie was anxious to help herd the cows and sort them prior to dehorning. After herding she was ready to rewire the house, build an addition, plow the snow..... any of you with experience with BC's know what I am talking about!! Annie, the lab is occasionally showing her age, not however when it comes to retrieving the ball, she will still do that for hours.
Merry Christmas to all, have a safe and blessed season!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

bitterly cold

4 am this morning brought temperature of -11, due to global warming at 8:30am it is now -18!!! Beautifully clear skies create diamonds in the snow.
Horses still are using the barn, although the cows definitely are using it some. bob, the barn cat has now entrenched himself in a tight nest in the hay in the pole barn, coming down after the sun comes up for his food.

Blizzard, the chicken continues in ICU. He is much more alert and has taken to getting out of the kennel and wandering the mud room. He talks a lot to us, and always responds with either a coo or cluking when spoke to. he also politely holds his foot out for treatment.

We haven't received any more snow since Saturday although up north they did receive a few inches on Sunday.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ja, it's minnie-soda

WOW! lots of snow now. Received somewhere between 18"-24" yesterday. Hard to get an exact amount, as we went into blizzard conditions with severe winds blowing the snow everywhere.

I do know that the snow is up to the horses knees, past midline on the border collie. Dogs are unable to squat to do their 'business' Windchills in the -35.

This morning brings clear skies and the strong wind from the west. It was interesting yesterday to observe the snow coming from the east with little wind until 4 pm, at that time sky was dark to the west and then....BLAM!! severe gusts of wind and blowing snow from the west. A dramatic change that was interesting to observe. Unable to stay to observe for too long as the wind brought bitter cold.

Farm tasks for the week, move 'Rosie' one of our pregnant Dexters to the other barn to get acquainted with the new moo's we purchased earlier this month. Rosie is due around 1/15 but her last calf was a week early and we lost him. Hopefully this time will bring a healthy calf.
Chickens have not slowed down with laying. In fact we now receive 13+ from the 18 hens. C-rex the huge buff rooster has taken advantage of his being the only male currently in the barn to harrass all the hens, he's kinda a jerk!! Blizzard the house rooster is making a slow recovery from bumblefoot. He seems very much to enjoy his position in the house.

Mental health alert!

Today is one of the many National Mental Health Days throughout the year. You can do your bit by remembering to send an e-mail to at least one unstable person. My job is done!
Life is too short for negative drama & petty things. So laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly! From one unstable person to another. I hope everyone is happy in your head - we're all doing pretty good in mine!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

ja, ja it's a bit cold

LOL, only in minnesota do we finally say it's getting a bit cold when the temp. goes into the negatives. Yesterday was bitterly cold with actual temperature of -8 and windchill of some ridiculous number like -27 or so. My thoughts on both the wind chill and heat index are "it's too stinking cold or hot for man or beast"

Blizzard the rooster is continueing in ICU- that's the intensive chicken unit, for his infected foot. He's definitely feeling better as we start the morning coffee while he crows, it's actually fun having a rooster crow in the house in the morning, the girls however do not share our enthusiasm for it as they still have another 20 minutes before their alarms go off.

Snowing again now, wouldn't mind couple inches of accumulation. Horses and cows still refuse to hang out in the barn, out of the wind. I think they feel it necessary to keep a watchful eye on their hay in the pasture.....wouldn't want it to go MIA.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Batton down the hatches!!-or the vampiristic/carnivoristic chickens

Well this morning was a balmy 40 degrees, no sign of the impending "storm of the winter" Skip ahead to 3:30 this afternoon to a fridgid 30 plunging downward, winds about 30mph and gaining, throw in some snow going horizontally and you have a picture of this afternoon.

It's such a great feeling to know that all the critters and their accomodations have been fortified for the storm. Time will tell if we get any real accumulations of snow. Farther north has a better chance with some forecasts calling for 5-12".

the freezer is once again full or should I say soon to be full? Our wonderful friend who has hunting priveledges on our property shot a nice big doe for us. This year the weather is just right to let us hang the meat to age. Last year it was too balmy to age the meat.

I have also discovered that we have vampiristic/carnivoristic chickens. Quite a feeding frenzy of chickens in the front loader of the tractor that had been used to bring the deer to the barn. They were in the loader cleaning up the blood that had come from the deer, dumping the loader into the snow at least kept them out of the bucket, but into the snow to eat these apparently delectible morsels. Later the afternoon, prompted another frenzy when I started feeding the suet to the chickens, it was crazy feathers flying everywhere as they struggled and battled to get the most suet.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

WooHoo! SNOW

Well, it is very apparent that winter has hit Southern Minnesota. Woke up to about 6" of new snow. Kids are all excited, no school today.

Horses are having a great time kicking it up in the pasture. Cows meanwhile don't seem to share the horses enthusiasm. Slowly dragging their way out of the barn for their breakfast.

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's a grey day.

The weather has been cold, but that's to be expected in winter I suppose. It's very cloudy and grey today with intermittant snow showers. New cows are feeling completely at ease and enjoying their life at the 'spa'

Wonders of all, the geese actually put themselves to bed last night w/o having to be told to 'go to bed' Really, I have been herding them in at night since we got them and using the expression 'go to bed' after a few days that's all I had to do and they would go into the barn.

The Christmas tree went up this weekend, first time I have ever had a grown up tree. my mom had always gotten me hallmark ornaments through the years. Having worked for a christmas decoration import company the tree this year is very elegant with only gold, silver and a few red accent pieces. I'm quite proud of it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mini Moo's!!!!

Woo hoo! we finally have our new dexters here at home settling in. We now have 6 more, 3 cows and their 2-3 month calves. We have named the black girl "minnie Moo" Dexter total of 10. The in laws graciously purchased 3 of the new dexters to enable us to extend our bloodlines. Thanks, ma & pa downs!

animal inventory
10 Dexters
4 horses
5 geese
21 chickens-including one bantie rooster that sounds like a toy when he crows
4 babydoll sheep
2 dogs
1 cat
1 large fish tank- central american fishes

The geese seemed to have realized that they live here now and have quit trying to walk away. I think the 2-3" of snow have really helped them establish their new home. Chickens meanwhile refuse to come out of the barn with snow on the ground.

We have had two deer harvested off of the property this year. One to a first time 12 year old hunter, and one huge doe to one of our friends son. Our area was categorized as an intensive hunt area this year. Have spotted several bucks on the property this year.