Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Milking Chronicles: Day 5

I know, I know, I skipped day 4. I didn't feel the need to subject you to day 4, but to quickly hit the highlights, the flies are back (especially in the evening) and that spells trouble when milking!! The fly in the milk disqualifies the whole batch and makes for very happy pigs.

Well since Lot left we allowed Treva to mingle with the other ladies. I should have known that Marian would try to corrupt my sweet girl. This morning she was out in the arena with the others, she had been returning to her corral even though the gates were open, and was not going willingly into the stanchion. To say the least I will not tolerate this kind of behavior and today she is back in her corral on temporary lock down. She has 2 corrals to wander and graze, and now she has time to think about the kind of cow she wishes to be. :)

On the upside, this morning it took dh and I 30 minutes to milk 2 gallons out. Since we only take 2 gallons in the house we milked the rest out into the bucket and the pigs got whatever was left. She is a great producer and I'm glad we are able to get her milked out daily. My hands are getting more used to it but they still hurt terribly. The new pump will be here soon so there is relief coming.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Our Service Animal :)

Well Lot just left to service the ladies at another homestead. We're all so proud of him for his efforts to provide quality service to others in need, lol :)

He has learned that stock trailers in the gateway are a sign that something is up, he has also figured out that you should not trust anyone trying to lure you into the gateway alone. (An important lesson even for children) We opened the gate and they were immediately excited, the ladies headed our way with no problem, dh, Dan and I worked them away from the entrance, which immediately told Lot that it was time to run. Luckily he is a cube whore and dh was able to lure him :) Once in the gateway he tried to run a few times until finally Dan and dh were able to get him in (I opted to "sit" on the sidelines and chat :))

My big boy is off to the service and we miss him already, thankfully he should be home in a month :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A few pics :)

Here's AR sitting with the sweet feed for Treva :)

Meet Treva (ain't she pretty)

Here she is from the other side :)

Here is DH milking Treva the first morning. :) He did a great job :)

Here she is wondering when this will all be over. (ignore my bent chair)

Here she is again wondering if the feed bucket is empty, and why it is not closer :)

And last but not least here is my Sammy boy, he looks so sweet on the quit my MIL made for our bed.

The Milking Chronicles: Day 3

We made butter, YAY!!! I'll come back to that. This mornings milking was a mcuh smoother process, she is getting used to where she is supposed to be and that makes it much easier to lead her. When she is done she runs back into the corral pen, lol. Lover boy Lot has settled down and waits patiently for the milking to be over and his gate to open. Then he makes his way to stand and adore her, lol. It's like a cattle version of Romeo and Juilet, lol :)

After a much needed nap, I got up skimmed the cream once more and gave the jar to AR to start shaking, the timing was wonderful as he was being pciked up for flag footbal in 25 minutes. He shook for about 7 minutes and we started passing it on to the next set of young arms. When they needed a small break I began rolling the jar across the table to HG. It was a lot of fun and after 20 minutes the butter was visible. We kept shaking to get as much as we could out. Then I strained off the butter milk into a jar and began washing the butter with clean water. The final butter was lightly salted and put in a sandwich bag in the fridge. It was really wonderful on toast. YUM!!

Friday, September 26, 2008



The Milking Chronicles: Day 2

We begin this entry at last nights milking. Feeling that Treva was a bit lonesome, I asked dh to put Lot in with her as he seemed so eager to meet her, lol. Well that was probably the understatement of the year because he immediately began to love on her by grooming her as soon as he got in. This would continue for the rest of the evening. It was time to bring her to milk and we wanted to run him over to the arena with the others so that Treva could get in and out quickly. We were obviously kidding ourselves at that point, that little horn dog would not leave her side for even a second. The former cube whore as he used to be known was now smitten by this beautiful Jersey and was not about to let her go anywhere without him. :(

Deciding not to fight this particular battle dh proceeded to get Treva in the stanchion while Lot bullied his way through the barn door in an effort to be next to her. I could swear here were several times he tried to kiss her but she was not having it. Finally I got AR's bat and stood guard behind her to keep him in line on the side. He was trying to get in the stanchion with her, lol. All the commotion made for a very interesting milking. When we were done we began hosing out the stanchion and I gave him a quick squirt, turns out a cold shower has the same effect on Bulls as it does men, lol :) Thanks to that little discovery, we were able to get the two separated and he was free to roam with the others. I think she needed a break anyway, ;) After all that excitement we gave the pigs that nights milk and they really enjoyed it.

Skip to this morning when my alarm went off at 4, I did not set it, I told dh the time to which he asked if I'd rather get up at 5. I assumed that was rhetorical and went back to sleep. :) At 5 we started scrambling to get ready to tackle the morning milking. We had a plan, since all 4 quarters have to be milked out I'd take the right 2 and he the left. It was a little hectic as we really hadn't done much prep but it worked out. With the two of us milking the work seemed to go much faster and it did from start to finish it took 1.5 hours compared to yesterday's 3 hours. About 20 minutes before it was done I went in to get ready for work. We had reached our 2 gallon mark and passed it. We had to scramble to find another jug. Thankfully we had one and I rinsed it and the pigs got a gallon of milk this morning. We didn't realise that she would give so much, her average per day is about 4 gallon, so we were a bit stunned when we realised how much she still had left in her.

If you've ever used a breast pump (sorry guys) you'd understand the need to get it all out. While my hands hurt terribly, I knew that we had to milk her out. I would stop to stretch my hands as needed but switching hands tended to really help. I am hoping they will hold out just long enough to get the milking machine up and running. (side note: Vacuum pump was way too small, ordering something else, will update as soon as I have more info.) Well I need to start stretching, tonight's milking is just a few hours away :) Oh, and we will be making butter tonight, pics to come later. :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cows, Peep Shows and Milking

Yesterday I left work to go see the Jersey Cows at an Amish Farm about an hour from here. Once I finally found the place (not mapquest/google maps accessible) i drove up to a sea of beauties. So many Jersey cows relaxing in the shade. I was greeted by the tinies little dog with the loudest wheeze, he sounded like one of the pigs but couldn't be more than 7 pounds. Turns out the wife of this dairy farmer got a ride to Wichita and along the way was informed that she had acquired the dog in return for the trip :( Anyway, I got out to the milking parlor (which is one of the reasons I took a late lunch, so I could be there). He pointed out the 3 options and I watched as they were being handled for milking.

The first in line, an older girl was very calm and was so full she was practically milking herself. He name is Zilla, she is 10 years old and calved on the 4th of July and has a very nicely attached udder. We moved on the lioness, she is only 3 quartered (only 3 teats work) but is a beautiful 4 year old cow, again with a very nicely attached udder. She is a little antsy about being milked in that when she feels she's done, she kicks off the teat cups, lol. The thing is that she has one teat that milks slower and so she usually has to be hoooked up again. Last but not least is Treva, a 5 yr old with all four quarters working, nicely attached udder, though she seems to have an "extra" teat (no it doesn't give milk too). Her back teats are shorter than the front. I was told she is a little frisky and has a little kick to her, though she didn't mind being milked.

Now that I had seen them get milked it was time to really meet the girls. I walked out to meet Zilly, the sweetest cow you ever did meet and if you thought I mistyped zilla I didn't. Zilly is from Zilla's line, which told me that zilla was a keeper. Zilly - not for sale :( - is a beautiful young cow that loves to meet new people. She walked up to me and before I knew it she had sniffed me and began actively licking me. lol.

Anyway, this is not about Zilly, no matter how wonderful she is and how great she would be to own :( But seriously, I had to make a choice on the other two as I couldn't afford them both. As previously mentioned cow buying is not a quick sort of thing. Oh and I should mention that all of these cows are dehorned (I think I will be dehorning my others). Dh finally showed up and was greeted by the friendly miss Emma, a cow who vigorously licked his shirt, lol. Anyway, I called him over to meet the girls and as he wandered around them lioness seemed not to like him too much, while Treva smelled him and licked him. (Guess which on we got, lol).

We talked a bit more and then the wife suggested that we try to get them haltered, I immediately liked her thinking. She had mentioned that the oldest boy tries to halter train the cows, tries is the operative word. Zilla was not going to do it willingly though she did not put up too much of a fight, Treva on the other hand took off running. We decided to wait a little longer to try again. The farm has a very interesting way of loading animals and I will definitely be trying this if I have to load an animal again, walk them up to the gate, have 2 movable gates on either side of the trailer (creating sort of a triangle), 2 people in the spaces inside the triangle and close the gate, which pushes the animal forward gently. Both girls were loaded without incident. Once inside the dairy farmer climbed in and haltered Treva.

It was then I asked about the records and he mentioned something about the date Treva was bred. I stopped. "What? I didn't know she was bred." He looked at his wife and they asked, "did you not want her bred?" I was ecstatic. This was a great bonus, then as he went to get the papers she asked if we wanted them to transfer the registrations. Again, I stopped. "These are registered Jersey's?" Well I tell ya, God is a funny God, we found this awesome deal and didn't even think twice about asking any questions, but he worked it all out.

Zilla, went to some friends as they are to be hand milking and of the two cows, she was identified as the most receptive to that idea. I hear she's done wonderfully with it ;) Treva came home and the others were immediately interested. We locked them into the arena and unloaded her, not such an easy task with a 900 pound animal, but for sweet feed she was definitely considering it. lol. Once in the double Corral we locked her in and she immediately started to eat the grass. The dairy did not have a lot of pasture for the 70+ cows they had. She was in heaven. Lot and the ladies mooed like crazy as they checked her out, it looked like some kind of peep show as they peered through the fence and gate. They were checking her out from all available angles, lol.

At that point dh and I were don for the night and went to bed excited to start the new day and our first try at milking. The alarm went off at 5:00 and we were actually both awake and not hitting the snooze button. We puttered around for a bit getting things ready, after figuring out a few details, like what we would sit on, we were off. Then turned back to get our jackets, it's cold at that hour. The sun was not up, nor was it even thinking of getting up yet.

The cows were in the arena and so once again we shut the gate. The stanchion was moved to the doorway and the doors closed on either side. it was time to get Treva in. While she did not mind us getting the rope on her halter, she was not going to go anywhere with us without some encouragement. It was like watching a 900 pound temper tantrum though I've seen worse tantrums, lol. Not once did she lock up on us and refuse to move. We got her to the door way and then she did not wish to go any further, it was time to get out the incentive - sweet feed. It piqued her interest some but she wasn't hungry. Finally, after several more tries she was in and I shut the head gate. She tamed, immediately.

Just to be on the safe side though I asked dh to tie her leg to the back post of the stanchion, as I didn't want to take any chances of her kicking either of us. We began milking, squirt (pause) (pause) squirt, it was slow going, actually very slow going for a while. Then I went in front of her and offered her the sweet feed again, nothing. I picked it up and she ate it all out of my hands. Now she was interested. :) Long (LONG) story short we were finally able to get her milked out by 8:30. Picks of this beauty will be up a little later when I get home from work and get a nap. :) Oh, we got about 2 gallons of milk, I will investigate the butter possibilities when I get home also.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Milking Machine Project Update

Ok after a bit more research I found that a vacuum tank would be beast for my little set up. It would look similar to this one from Hamby.

After searching the internet and calling the local auto parts I found that the going rate for a 5 gallon air tank (which will being substituted for this project) was around $35-$40. Finally I called wallyworld as they have an automotive department also and found that they carry an Air Stream, 7 gallon carry tank for $22.88. (this is not the actual tank but it is close)

I ordered an "O" ring, replacement parts kit and 2 adaptors 5/8 X 1/2 for a grand total w/ shipping of $57.92. (Hamby)

So for those of you following at home here is the cost to date:
Milker - $118
Vacuum pump - $78.95
Vacuum tank - $22.88
parts - $57.92
wagon - $50.00
Total - $327.75

Since there was a "mix up" on my vacuum pump and the wrong model number was listed I am hoping that it will still work for this application. If not I have looked at a few others that should work and will resell this one to buy that one.

Other misc thing we bought include:
4 2 gallon ice tea jugs
1 pack of cheese cloth
1 large funnel
2 Styrofoam (that's all they had) ice chests
4 bags of ice
dry ice
bottle brush

These items did not contribute to the making of my portable milking machine so their cost ($55) is not included in the total.

I will take a pic as soon as it is fully assembled as dh has to bring the tank and wagon home. Not to mention I have to wait for my parts from Hamby, thank goodness they ship via UPS.

I am so excited to be going to see this jersey cow tomorrow. DH is excited too, every time I spoke to him he kept asking if I was excited, lol. I am still pricing the milk jugs as there doesn't seem to be an affordable place to buy online. I know, there must be, everyone else has them!! Quit pressuring me, I'm working on it :)

The journey to baby #6: Part 1

This pregnancy is unlike every one of my other pregnancies, for one thing I have not had the urge to throw up, not even once. It is entirely possible that this is attributable to the fact that every pregnancy is different or some mumbo jumbo like that but, I prefer to think I have finally figured out how to circumvent this previously recurring theme. :) That would be eat protein as soon as you can in the morning and make sure that you are taking a vitamin high in B6 - the prenatal supplement I am currently taking is by Melaleuca and contains 400% daily value in 3 tablets but I only take 2 (don't ask). So far so good (knock on wood), if you could keep us in your prayers for a healthy baby, healthy pregnancy and uneventful delivery - yes we are home birthing once again (provided the pregnancy remains normal). Thanks.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Visiting some heifers - buying tips

Well I must say I was a bit disappointed. I guess I figured that my girls were tempermental and skiddish because I hadn't figured out how to handle them properly. I visited a fellow Dexter owner's farm today and while his animals were beautiful they were the most unfriendly animals I had ever met. It is strange to meet a group of animals that are not even slightly curious enough to smell you.

TIP:plan on spending at least a couple hours if you are going to look at an animal. You should never buy site unseen, no matter how good the price is. If you talk to an owner long enough you will find out a lot about your potential buy. For example: He told me that one of the heifer's Dam has a mean kick that the heifer has started showing. This is important information if you are planning to milk.

TIP:look very carefully at the teets of the dam, while it isn't a sure thing it is a good indicator of what the heifer will look like (of course if you can get close enough you need to check out the heifer too).

All in all the calf that was sold out from under me (yes I'm still bitter), which was the heifer I originally wanted to buy and got this process rolling, was in deed the best of the 3 and not an option. :(

I have opted not to look at anymore Dexter's this season. The guy had some beautiful bulls but I don't think dh will let me bring home anymore right now. The jersey cow lead is proving to be rather interesting, I'll let you know morew once I've had a chance to follow it through.

Ponderings . . .

When did we as women forget that watching our children grow up is the best time of our lives? I know there are lots who have already figured it out but there are so many more that want no part of it and it makes me sad. People think you have to be crazy to have a lot of kids but while I consider myself a bit odd, I wouldn't call it certifiable. People say, how can you afford it. I'm not sure when possessions became the most important thing but for us the children are more valuable. They don't have an X-box or Nintendo or a cell phone or whatever else it is parents are spending their money on, but they are happy. They interact and communicate and work together. They help and teach each other, sometimes I'm not thrilled with this but that's irrelevant.

I long for the day that I can be home again so that I can enjoy them more than just on the weekends or after work. I long to be able to cook and bake and sew for them, so that they can have the simpler things in life. We will learn to can together and get our garden in order (next year). :sigh: Someday soon our time will come :)

I know so many people who can't stand to be around their children :( It's too late once they're grown, you'll never get that time back. We have created a cycle of regret that is perpetual, stop living for the future and live today. Enjoy your blessings and nurture them. Parenthood is the great job you've ever undertaken and it will be your greatest accomplishment.

Well I'm off my soap box now, back to the grind :(

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What is up with people

OK, I totally get that everyone needs to make a buck to survive but if you say you're holding something then you should, jeez!!! When last we spoke "random Dexter seller" I had told him that I would be coming Monday to see the 3 heifers and paying for them, to be picked up on Thursday. Today we talk and he tells me that since I didn't call Friday night, to get the registration numbers that he told me where I could fine them, that he'd gone ahead and sold one of the heifers I was supposed to get. :( On the one hand I am totally pissed and really irritated but on the other hand I am a little relieved as that was "horned" heifer that he thought would have scours rather than real horns.

On a totally other note I am following up a lead I have on a jersey, we'll see where God leads us on this :)

Sunday Adventures

Well, the day has finally come to an end and of the three tasks two were completed successfully :) We woke up early and got to Church on time, YAY!!! As soon as we got back home the first appointment arrived, unfortunately they were here to see Marian, who was not very happy about being separated from Keanu :( She was not very cooperative and we attempted to try to run her through the stanchion and after several attempts discovered once we got her in that her horns were too wide for the opening. :( We'd have to get her in there willingly so she could turn her head. I'll let you know how that goes.

The next couple arrived within minutes of the first on motorcycle, they were here to look at Lot and determine his suitability to service their girls :) He met with their approval and will be going to visit their farm next weekend. It was wonderful to meet others who were on the same journey and learn a few things in the process. You can read more about their adventures here

Our last couple came to pick up the calves, the plan was simple, close all the possible spaces that the calf can see and make the crate the only option. Well the problem with life is that hind sight is 20/20 and while we were preparing I thought I should tie the gate to the trailer but figured the space was too small so it's be ok, wrong. We were able to run Keegan into the crate without much incident, then Keanu jumped the tire thingy and was headed to the highway. :( I was a very unhappy camper at this point. She is not an easy girl to catch as she is not trained to treats. Well after several stings of the electric fence in an attempt to get to her mama,(all the cows had raced over to get a better look at the action), we finally got her in the barn. We set up once more to block off ALL the areas of escape and better positioned ourselves to "convince" her in :)

We tied Keegan as we didn't want him to escape and he did beautifully, I'm gonna miss that boy :( At this point it was time to let the hellion free, lol. The barn doors were opened and she came running out and headed away from us. This gave dh enough time to close the barn doors and then move in behind her. After a few moments we were able to get her loaded up and once in she immediately started to look to the sky for a way out, lol. Extra straps were added to the top to reinforce the top and they were securely in. As soon as the paperwork was handed over and signed they were off, I hope that Keegan and Keanu will bring them a lot of beautiful babies :)

I am exhausted and in desperate need of a foot massage. In between all of that I also completed my section of a team paper and got it submitted :) All in all a very productive Sunday, but I need a nap.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

heifers, babies and job

Well I have 3 little heifers I will be going to see on Monday and should be bringing home on Thursday. Tomorrow is a HUGE day at the farm as the couple who bought the calves are picking up, a couple is looking at Marion and another couple is coming to take a look at Lot and determine his suitability to "service" their herd for a few weeks, lol :)

Finally after weeks of calls and unkept appointments, DH was able to get to meet face to face with the owner. We are waiting for the background check to clear and he will have the job, we are so relieved :)

And on another note we are pleased to be expecting our 6th baby and are excited to meet the newest member sometime in May :) The kids are so excited they're rooting for a boy :) lol.

Well I'm off to start my paper, have a good one :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Well we made an offer on the 2 jersey heifers but their price was firm, I guess we'll just have to save our money for some other worthwhile venture. I can't imagine where we might find such a venture, oh, right the farm and the mobile home have enough projects between the two. Say la vie. :)

1 or 2

Oh decisions, decisions. We went to see the little yearling and it turns out they have 2. Being the frugal minded person I am, I naturally began thinking about all the possibilities. Who knows, Dh will call and see what we can do and that will make the decision for us. The air is so thick with excitement and nervousness. Will let you know how it goes. :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We sold 2 of our cows

Actually we sold Keanu (little black heifer) and Keegan (little black bull). AR and HG were a bit sad about the decision however they were thrilled to learn they made some money on the deal :) I am in the process of buying a Jersey yearling and probably 2 Duroc sows. Keep praying, the job interview has been rescheduled for Saturday morning :) We also have to figure out how to load the 2 we sold. Ah the joys of farm life :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

The right place at the right time

Dh picked up the kids from school and stopped in quickly at the local grocery and can you believe they already had more stuff for us, this time for free :) There were boxes of lettuce and fruit and veggies, the pigs are really enjoying their new cuisine :)

Dh is going to college part time this semester and there has been no end of headaches with the school he went to last semester. They would not even give him a copy of his GED :rolls eyes: Luckily the school he is going to understand and are working with us.

The cows are loving the wonderful new pasture area. They have never been in the arena (with our permission that is). Lot and the other little bulls are having fun stomping around in the wild sunflowers, while the cows and heifers wander around checking out the new digs. We are hoping to start on milking on Wednesday, wish us luck :)

And as always, I love small town doctor's office's, we called to get an appointment for AR and they worked it out to be right after school tomorrow, lol. They are always really well prepared for our visits and make sure they have enough staff on hand to help out.

AR's teacher called and asked if it'd be ok to pick him up and take him to practice to help out if I need it and she talked to the coach to make sure that someone could get him to games. We probably won't need it but it was so nice that they thought of us. It's been a while since a new family of many has moved to town, everyone seems to be enjoying it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Affair-proof your marriage

Dr. Willard Harley in his book His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage provides some answers. He has found that marriages that fail to meet a spouse's needs are more vulnerable to an extramarital affair. Often the failure of men and women to meet each other's needs is due to a lack of knowledge rather than a selfish unwillingness to be considerate. Meeting these needs is critically important because in marriages that fail to meet needs, it is striking and alarming how consistently married people seek to satisfy their unmet needs through an extramarital affair. If any of a spouse's five basic needs goes unmet, that spouse becomes vulnerable to the temptation of an affair.

First, let's look at the five needs of a wife. The first need is for affection. To most women affection symbolizes security, protection, comfort, and approval. When a husband shows his wife affection, he sends the following messages: (1) I'll take care of you and protect you; (2) I'm concerned about the problems you face, and I am with you; (3) I think you've done a good job, and I'm so proud of you.

Men need to understand how strongly women need these affirmations. For the typical wife, there can hardly be enough of them. A hug can communicate all of the affirmations of the previous paragraph. But, affection can be shown in many ways such as: kisses, cards, flowers, dinners out, opening the car door, holding hands, walks after dinner, back rubs, phone calls--there are a thousand ways to say "I love you." From a woman's point of view, affection is the essential cement of her relationship with a man.

The second need is conversation. Wives need their husbands to talk to them and to listen to them; they need lots of two-way conversation. In their dating life prior to marriage, most couples spent time time showing each other affection and talking. This shouldn't be dropped after the wedding. When two people get married, each partner has a right to expect the same loving care and attention that prevailed during courtship to continue after the wedding. The man who takes time to talk to a woman will have an inside track to her heart.

The third need is honesty and openness. A wife needs to trust her husband totally. A sense of security is the common thread woven through all of a woman's five basic needs. If a husband does not keep up honest and open communication with his wife, he undermines her trust and eventually destroys her security. To feel secure, a wife must trust her husband to give her accurate information about his past, the present, and the future. If she can't trust the signals he sends, she has no foundation on which to build a solid relationship. Instead of adjusting to him, she always feels off balance; instead of growing toward him, she grows away from him.

Financial commitment is a fourth need a wife experiences. She needs enough money to live comfortably: she needs financial support. No matter how successful a career a woman might have, she usually wants her husband to earn enough money to allow her to feel supported and to feel cared for.

The fifth need is family commitment. A wife needs her husband to be a good father and have a family commitment. The vast majority of women who get married have a powerful instinct to create a home and have children. Above all, wives want their husbands to take a leadership role in the family and to commit themselves to the moral and educational development of their children.

Preventing Adultery: His Needs
Now, let's look at the five needs husbands have. The first is sexual fulfillment. The typical wife doesn't understand her husband's deep need for sex anymore than the typical husband understands his wife's deep need for affection. But these two ingredients can work very closely together in a happy, fulfilled marriage. Sex can come naturally and often, if there is enough affection.

The second need for a man is recreational companionship. He needs her to be his playmate. It is not uncommon for women, when they are single, to join men in pursuing their interests. They find themselves hunting, fishing, playing football, and watching sports and movies they would never have chosen on their own.

After marriage wives often try to interest their husbands in activities more to their own liking. If their attempts fail, they may encourage their husbands to continue their recreational activities without them. But this option is very dangerous to a marriage, because men place surprising importance on having their wives as recreational companions. Among the five basic male needs, spending recreational time with his wife is second only to sex for the typical husband.

A husband's third need is an attractive spouse. A man needs a wife who looks good to him. Dr. Harley states that in sexual relationships most men find it nearly impossible to appreciate a woman for her inner qualities alone--there must be more. A man's need for physical attractiveness in a mate is profound.

The fourth need for a man is domestic support. He needs peace and quiet. So deep is a husband's need for domestic support from his wife that he often fantasizes about how she will greet him lovingly and pleasantly at the door, about well-behaved children who likewise act glad to see him and welcome him to the comfort of a well-maintained home.

The fantasy continues as his wife urges him to sit down and relax before taking part in a tasty dinner. Later the family goes out for an evening stroll, and he returns to put the children to bed with no hassle or fuss. Then he and his wife relax, talk together, and perhaps watch a little television until they retire at a reasonable hour to love each other. Wives may chuckle at this scenario, but this vision is quite common in the fantasy lives of many men. The male need for his wife to "take care of things"--especially him--is widespread, persistent, and deep.

The fifth need is admiration. He needs her to be proud of him. Wives need to learn how to express the admiration they already feel for their husbands instead of pressuring them to greater achievements. Honest admiration is a great motivator for men. When a woman tells a man she thinks he's wonderful, that inspires him to achieve more. He sees himself capable of handling new responsibilities and perfecting skills far above those of his present level.

If any of a spouse's five basic needs go unmet, that person becomes vulnerable to the temptation of an affair. Therefore, the best way to prevent adultery is to meet the needs of your spouse and make your marriage strong.


Samuel Janus and Cynthia Janus, The Janus Report on Sexual Behavior (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1993), 169.
Joannie Schrof, "Adultery in America," U.S. News and World Report, 31 Aug. 1998, 31.
Frank Pittman, Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy (New York: Norton, 1989), 117.
Ibid., 13.
Kenneth Woodward, "Sex, Morality and the Protestant Minister," Newsweek (28 July 1997), 62.
"How Common Is Pastoral Indiscretion?" Leadership (Winter 1988), 12.
In this poll Americans were asked: "What is your opinion about a married person having sexual relations with someone other than his or her spouse? Their answers: 79% answered "always wrong" and another 11% answered "almost always wrong." Cited in "Attitudes on Adultery," USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll, 1997.
Pittman, 122.
Bonnie Eaker Weil, Adultery: The Forgivable Sin (Norwalk, Conn.: Hastings House, 1994), 9.
Pittman, 37.
Ibid., 53.

Another Glorious day :)

Today started out with a minor hiccup trying to find clothes for 7 people but soon with only moments to spare we were all dressed and out the door. We were but 4 minutes late for Church :) It was a wonderful Mass and we were thrilled to be able to be there. Once home we enjoyed a wonderful family breakfast and after a short break we got to work. Today's task included getting a new pasture fenced for the cows. The arena is now fenced around and the cows are thrilled :) Yesterday ended with us getting the stanchion built but we will need to get the tires aired up to get it into the darn. We're so close to milking I can hardly believe it. This weekend has turned out to be a wonderful and unexpected surprise. Dh will need a rest before work tonight which will give me a chance to write that paper due Monday. Wish me luck :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A great day

Ok so the weather is lousy and the highways are closed due to flooding, it means dh gets to stay home and that sounds awesome to me :) Today the rains wasn't so bad and we decided to trek into town to pick up a movie. Having never been to the little movie place/antique store dh took us all with him. A wonderful thing as I got to do a little shopping, all books were 10 for $1, I got 3 large thermoses and a coffee mug for 4 for $1, a milking bucket for $3 and some great knives for a quater. The wonderful finds just kept coming. A glorious day. Then the guy from the local grocery appraoched dh to see if we wanted the old fruit and vegies for our pigs, we got 6 cases of stuff @ $3. He even took our number to call us when they have more and most times they'll just give it to us instead he said :) The pigs were in their glee when we gave them the first box of stuff. Gotta run.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Interesting . . .

Obama Only Talks Good Game On Gender Pay Equity
From The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
By Deroy Murdock
September 11, 2008
PDF Format
Compensation figures for [Obama's] legislative staff reveal that Obama pays women just 83 cents for every dollar his men make.
A watchdog group called LegiStorm posts online the salaries for Capitol Hill staffers.
Based on these calculations, Obama's 28 male staffers divided among themselves total payroll expenditures of $1,523,120. Thus, Obama's average male employee earned $54,397.
Obama's 30 female employees split $1,354,580 among themselves, or $45,152, on average.
Among Obama's five best-paid advisors, only one was a woman. Among his top 20, seven were women.
Again, on average, Obama's female staffers earn just 83 cents for every dollar his male staffers make. This figure certainly exceeds the 77-cent threshold that Obama's campaign website condemns. However, 83 cents do not equal $1. In spite of this 17-cent gap between Obama's rhetoric and reality, he chose to chide GOP presidential contender John McCain on this issue.
Obama responded Aug. 31 to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's Republican vice-presidential nomination. Palin "seems like a very engaging person," Obama told voters in Toledo, Ohio. "But I've got to say, she's opposed -- like John McCain is -- to equal pay for equal work. That doesn't make much sense to me."
McCain's 17 male staffers split $916,914, thus averaging $53,936. His 25 female employees divided $1,396,958 and averaged $55,878.
On average, according to these data, women in John McCain's office make $1.04 for every dollar a man makes. In fact, all other things being equal, a typical female staffer could earn 21 cents more per dollar paid to her male counterpart -- while adding $10,726 to her annual income -- by leaving Barack Obama's office and going to work for John McCain.
Among [McCain's] top-five best-compensated staffers, three are women. Of his 20-highest-salaried employees, 13 are women.
In short, these statistics suggest that John McCain is more than fair with his female employees, while Barack Obama -- at the expense of the women who work for him -- quietly perpetuates the very same pay-equity divide that he loudly denounces.
To View The Entire Article, Please Visit: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/378772_murdockonline12.html

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I wanted to apologise for my recent bouts of silence, turns out if you ever want to get anything done then procrastination is not a good plan. :( Anyway, work has been crazy busy and my class schedule is rather hectic. The project management class is finally over (pray I get my B), YAY!!! but now we begin the statistics class :( Fortunately I think this lady actually knows her stuff :) I am something of a math snob having come from a strong math background (mom is a high school math teacher, dad's an engineer, grandpa was an accountant, granny worked for the census bureau - we like numbers is all I'm saying). Anyway the last guy was really not worth his salt and frankly I was demotivated from the start. Right now things are going well on the farm front, the home front and keep your fingers crossed a whole new adventure is about to begin. :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Storms and fence

Turns out that electric fences and thunder storms do not mix. We woke up to find that the bad portion of our fence had gone down, a tricky situation when you are in the middle of feeding animals. We hurried them into the barn, they were not amused. DH then worked to extend and get the wires back up and running. When I came back out to help he told me that the electricity wasn't getting through. It occurred to me at that moment that he should test it with his hand and not the tester. Turned out the tester had died :( At least the elcetricity was working and we were able to let the cows back out. They are now closer to the pig pen and Lot keeps butting the pen. The Calves however are tickled to have the pigs to sniff at and the pigs love the butterfly kisses from the calves :) All in all it was a great experience and we were thankful not to have to "find" any of the cows. :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I got this email and wanted to share

Dear Family and Friends,
I feel compelled to write a few comments about the upcoming election. For those of you who don't already know how my mind works, this may come as a shock. My children won't be surprised at all! Over the years I have taken every opportunity to point out just how good Our God is!
Eight years ago the presidential election was "hanging by chads." During this time many people throughout the country, as well as myself, were praying for Divine intervention. There was an overwhelming feeling that we were in the middle of a spiritual battle. Two people in particular, Mr. and Mrs. Jeb Bush, decided to pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of America . Our Lady of Guadalupe is also the patroness of the unborn, whose very lives were on the line with the outcome of the election. On December 8th (the feast of The Immaculate Conception of Our Lady) the Florida Supreme Court announced their decision to establish new standards for resolving presidential elections. Four days later on December 12th, the US Supreme Court in a 7 - 2 vote reversed the order stating that the Florida Supreme Court's order violated the US Constitution. By a 5 - 4 vote, the Court specified that a December 12 deadline for states to certify their winners, and that it was too late to allow any statewide recount to proceed. December 12th is the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Coincidence? I think not.
Spiritual battles take place on a daily basis, for sure. We must choose every moment of every day to pray through temptations or give in to them. Should I forgive the person who just cut me off? Should I allow my daughter to read a questionable book even if everyone else is reading it? Should I get up for early morning Mass? Should I make dinner when I am exhausted? Should I be joyful in the midst of frustrations? The spiritual battle taking place in our country is of a greater magnitude. This battle is for the morals of our country. I hear people say we shouldn't vote for one issue. Morality is the foundation on which this country stands, or falls. If you have respect for all human life from conception to natural death, the other important issues will fall into place.
Prior to the announcement of Gov. Palin as John McCain's running mate, I had a very heavy heart. I voiced my feelings of wanting to "move away to a small town, away from everything." After the announcement I must admit my first thought was, "but she has a baby at home." The more I watch and listen, the more I understand and am confident that she is not where she is because of anything other than God giving America a chance. He is giving us a chance to see that her baby with Down's Syndrome is precious, a human being that deserves to live. I used to see many Down's Syndrome children, but now there are few. What has happened over the last generation or two? This is not a disease that needs to be conquered. These babies are being aborted for want of "perfection." These are loving people who add more to society than any professional football player or Harvard graduate could ever do. We are blessed to have friends with a child with Down's and the time we can spend with him are some of the most joyful times we have together. Of course other babies are being aborted for mere convenience but Gov. Palin's choice for life will hopefully speak to the hearts of many people.
Although the battle may be tough, I feel a renewed hope. I believe God gave us a little sign that He is indeed in charge. Wednesday night, while watching the late night coverage of the Republican convention, I heard the Governor of Minnesota say, "Welcome to Pigs Eye Landing." He then explained that was what the area was called until Minnesota became a territory in 1849. The town's leadership incorporated the city's name as Saint Paul after the former St. Paul 's Chapel. Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict, has named this the Year of St. Paul. A year that Catholics are asked to study in more depth the writings of St. Paul . Coincidence? I think not. I think of it as a little "hug" from God.
St. Paul was a bold evangelist after his conversion. He did not back down on his faith. He did not back down when questioned about moral issues. He did not back down! If he were here today, he would be preaching for morality to be restored in this country! I ask you to join me in prayer for our country that through the intercession of St. Paul , America will boldly stand for the basic of all human rights, the right to life. Also, please call upon St. Michael and all the angels to protect all those who stand for this right, especially Sen McCain and Gov Palin.

I close with the words of St. Paul, "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all , making my prayer with joy, thankful for your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure that He Who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." 1Phil 1:3-6

Glorious St. Paul,
Most zealous Apostle,
Martyr for the love of Christ,
Give us a deep faith,
A steadfast hope,
A burning love for our Lord;
So that we can proclaim with you,
“It is no longer I who live, but Christ
who lives in me.”
Help us to become apostles
Serving the Church with a pure heart,
Witnesses to her truth and beauty
Amidst the darkness of our days.
With you we praise God our Father:
“To Him be the glory, in the Church
and in Christ, now and forever.”
St. Paul, please intercede for us and for

St. Michael the Archangel , defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray.
And do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God,
thrust in hell, satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the
world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Raising friends not just siblings

My first job after being at home for a few years was at a college and the only other person with children complained that her children hated each other. In fact her oldest had asked from the very beginning when they were going to be returning her baby sister, she's been waiting ever since. lol.

So why is it this kind of behavior has not darkened my door? Well aside from the fact that I have awesome children who are perfect in every possible way, lol, I suspect it has to do with what they see. Friendship is a very important thing to me and I have always tried to be a good friend, not just to my own sister but to others. When my oldest was a baby and toddler I was a freshman in college and we spent many a day hanging out at the sorority house. He loved it.

Before long I discovered that he had become very kind and observant of people and behaviors. The first time he was babysat by a friend with children (she had an older and younger), she just raved about wonderful he was. She could hardly believe how observant and smart he was. I asked her to explain, she told me that her baby would throw a tantrum every time my son wanted to play with a toy, my son responded by allowing the younger child to play with it and when the child lost interest he would resume playing with the toy.

I have never subscribed to the thought of allowing a first child to be selfish and then teaching them to share later, that's crap (pardon my language). Human nature is resistant to change and sharing is not something that comes naturally. If you teach a child to share from the beginning then it won't be a culture shock that builds resentment later. Learning to share is the first step fostering friendship.

My baby is 1 and when she hears the word share she immediately gives what she has to the nearest child. This concept is continually reinforced by her siblings and it helps to reinforce the concept for themselves. We all want others to share with us and it is important that we do the same when it is our turn.

So, does that mean they'll always share? No. Does that mean they'll never fight? HAHAHAHAHAHA, NO!! But you said. . . friends don't always agree and they fight sometimes. You just need to figure out which battles they need to handle alone and which you need to get involved. Good luck but here's a quick tip, they can handle more things on their own than you think if you give them some space. (your job is to make sure you always know what's going on even if you say nothing).

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

We've decided to build it

A milking machine that is. :) I have been trying to get one because my hands hurt so badly, but they are over $700 used and $1400 new. Dh decided there must be an easier way, so I talked to my dad (the smartest guys I know) and figured that with his degree in mechanical engineering he was just the kind of expert advice we need for this project. The task seems simple enough, right? I'll get back to you on that. The goal is to spend less than $700 on this machine, we scoured the internet (the abundant source of knowledge) and found this article that talks about building the machine. The article is very helpful as it gives great information about the specifications of the vacuum pump (the most expensive part of the deal). Let me just say now, figuring out what vacuum pump will work is really a technical type thing and I'm glad that daddy has a clue because it is all Greek to me. (I've been meaning to brush up on my Greek) Anyway, here's what we've got so far:

Except for the ring (gasket) in the back left all the rest of parts came with the unit I bought ($118 including S&H). This is the first pieces. The next item was to find a vacuum pump with the following:
1) Single phase
2) minimum of 1/3 hp (this is his recommendation for milking 2 goats, the industry standard is 1/4 hp for 2 goats, since my Dexters produce much less milk than traditional dairy animals I have gone with this as opposed to the 1/2hp which is the normal recommendation for cows.)
3) 1,725 rpm

That criteria led me to many many websites, and finally I found this:

I called the company that manufactured this and got lots of great info so I bought it. ($78.95 including S&H)

The last pieces are:
1) a KF-25 fitting and clamp to connect the hose to the pump,
2) some hose,
3) a gasket for the lid,
4) a cart to bolt the vacuum pump to for easier mobility
5) belly strap

Aside we will need a few milking supplies:
1) milk strainer
2) udder wipes
3) teat dip

That seems to be all that is missing at this time, I'll go look for a more complete list and get back with you :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Stanchion plans

A stanchion is a great thing to have should you want to milk a cow. They are not difficult to build and I found this plan online so I'm passing it on in case any of you care to give it a try :)

click on the picture to get a better look :)

A new twist

We have been having the egg in a hole for the last few weeks and while they are wonderfully delightful, I have grown accustomed to my scrambled eggs, as has my oldest. To day I decided to try something new that I like to call fried egg in a hole :) Here are the pics :) (WARNING: Not taken by professional nor with professional equipment, lol) :P


NOTE: only 1/2 of 1 beaten egg will work with regular bread, to use the whole egg per slice Texas toast would probably work better.

P.S. I don't own any professional cookware, but you're welcome to send me some should you feel so inclined :) lol.