Monday, September 27, 2010

1 more thing

It always seems like there is always 1 more thing, ugh! The backup fridge has died, of course this would not be an issue except that the other fridge died in the spring and the back up took it's place. It's been years since we've moved so imagine our surprise to see the new rental vehicle rates. :( We found a (new to us) fridge at a used furniture store, a few towns over and were so thrilled at the price, it was about the same as a new larger dorm fridge except standard size. Well, know we couldn't afford to tack on another $100 to the price dh opted to take the dying truck to get it. Thankfully he made it there and back safe and sound. Pray that the fridge will hold out and doesn't die.

Since we haven't found a reliable form of transportation it looks like we will be going the home birth route. We are still working out the details. Our previous experience was very positive, so we are praying that all will go well and it will be uneventful. On the upside we will be closer to the ER than we were the last time, in case of a true emergency. We are still praying for a reliable vehicle that can fit all of us.

This week the children are learning lessons in having a grateful heart, I have taken all extras out this week, including computer time. There is lots of deep cleaning scheduled. I have found that children today are not very thankful for what they have and while we don't have a lot by any means, it is very important to be thankful for even the little we are blessed with. This lesson is difficult even for us as adults, so I welcome the chance to instill this lesson early.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Down to 1

Notch seemed to have made a speedy recovery while at the sale barn last week as they "nursed" her back to health, the day after the sale they went to move her via fork lift and she promptly jumped out of the bucket. Monday, however, she mysteriously too another fall and wouldn't get up just in time before getting a chance to cross the stage. We are now in the insurance process, though we haven't heard much about what all will be needed. I am guessing that she will be put down :(

The truck appears not to be salvageable. The options don't even include rebuilding the existing engine. Though the mechanic did say that we might have some luck trying to find a wrecked truck that we could switch the engine out, I'll look into that tomorrow I guess, there is no way we could afford a rebuilt or new engine at this point. So now we are down to just the Focus.

On the bright side, baby looks good. He is head down and weights about 5 lbs 5 ounces. He seems rather cramped, but just a few more weeks. He has more than enough fluid and the cord looks good, as do his tiny little organs. :) It was nice to see him this week and I'm glad he is getting in position :)

Chip seems to be a electric fence jumper :( Which explains why we are constantly having to fix it, he will be steered soon, hopefully that will tame him down a bit, he should make a very nice beef steer. Dolly is a WAY better mama than Blackbird and has practically adopted little Ebony. DH went to bring them in for the night and all the cows came in and Dolly raced back to the pasture to get Ebony, Blackbird hadn't even noticed that she was missing.

Ebony is still as tiny as ever. She will be a true miniature, it is so odd to see her next to Chip who is only 5 days younger. She still looks like a newborn or a big toy and can easily be picked up, not that she likes that at all. This makes her a fencing nightmare as she can easily stoop down and crawl under the electric fence. This drives Dolly crazy.

Well as always keep us in your prayers, thanks :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Inconsiderate Breastfeeding Woman by Neil

I’m writing this as a quick post in a local coffee shop because I’ve always wanted to get involved in one of those “breastfeeding in public” blogging debates, but I never felt qualified. I’m not a woman, and I rarely encounter women who I don’t know breastfeeding. But RIGHT NOW, at this very instance, as I type these words, there is a woman breastfeeding her baby in the coffee shop, no more than two feet from me. I am facing her. If I peer over the top of the laptop, this mother and child are right there… in my face. The mother is using some sort of paisley shawl covering her breast-feeding baby, but I think I got a teeny-tiny glimpse of something — not sure if it is her full breast or a white coffee mug.

Now, the question remains — as a full-blooded man — how am I dealing with this situation? Can I concentrate on my work? Am I distracted by this PBOBF (public show of breastfeeding)?

If I can be honest, I am finding this experience extremely unsettling, and I cannot look away. The problem is less the baby or the breast, but the bagel and cream cheese sitting on the woman’s table. Feeding the baby seems to require both of her hands — one to hold the baby and the other the shawl. Because breast-feeding is a two-hand operation, she is unable to eat her own bagel! So her bagel sits on a white plate, on the table, just waiting.

I stare at that bagel and cream cheese. I ogle it. Will she ever get a chance to eat it? She’s been feeding her baby for ten minutes already. How much does this baby need? The bagel is an “everything” bagel – the last one left at the front counter. I probably could swipe that bagel and run, and she would be unable to stop me, seeing that she is stuck with a baby at her breast. And hopefully, she would have postpartum depression, so she would be too depressed to chase me down the block.

This is all very uncomfortable. Please, women. If you ARE going to breastfeed in public, do not order your bagels with cream cheese until you’re FINISHED feeding your baby. I understand you have “rights” to do what you want, but when I think about those two round, juicy mounds of goodness, I can’t control myself. I want them in my mouth NOW! I’m sorry to sound crude, but bagels with cream cheese are meant to be eaten and enjoyed, not displayed for everyone to see, tempting the weak. Be considerate!

Now I’m stuck having to order a plain bagel.

This was too good not to share. Find it hereThe Inconsiderate Breastfeeding Woman

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thoughts on homeschooling

I remember teaching my oldest his Alphabet, the sounds and how to write the letters. I remember thinking back then that the next step was impossible for me to do, I mean how do I teach him to read? That was 8 years ago and now I have my 2nd oldest daughter at home and last summer she expressed a desire to learn to read. She wasn't yet in Kindergarten but I figured that it was time since she was obviously ready. I looked around and that is when I found "Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons". Now it sounds gimmicky but so many others I knew swore by it so I gave it a try. From my experience, the book works . . . very well.

As we went through the school year last year her reading seemed to take off at an incredible pace. It was as though this new found skill had an insatiable appetite and I sought desperately to keep pace. The library in town was our best friend but even they were no match as they couldn't keep up the pace of finding her reading level and books to suit. She was getting bored. Finally I decided last week to challenge her to read "The Little House in the Big woods". She hadn't had any chapter books at this point and she had been reading the "pick your own adventure" book that my oldest son had. It took about a week of on and off reading to get through the 13 chapters, but she really enjoyed it.

With her curiosity peaked she promptly began "Little house on the Prairie" book. It is practically 3 days later and she has read all 26 chapters and is desperately wanting more. This time she did little else but read, every spare moment she could be found with her head in that book. It was very interesting to watch as I was never a big reader and never understood how anyone becomes one. I cannot say I understand it much better but I guess it does help that my dh also loves to read, evidenced by the fact that he now belongs to 4 libraries and they are always looking for a book for him.

At this point I am going to need suggestions on where we go next, after all there are only so many books in this series . . . thought?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Traffic stopping

Today was my appointment to see the doctor, she recently had a baby and I am shocked she is back to work already, but it's only 1 half day a week so it's not horrible by any means. Anyway, I got in the truck, as dh was taking me, and I noticed that there was a horrible knocking noise. Now I don't know if I've explained this to you or not but my daddy was a mechanic, that makes me very aware of car noises. My dh is very hard of hearing and generally oblivious of car noises as cars are nothing more than a means of getting from point A to B. As I was saying, the noise was really loud and he listened for a sec and suddenly he heard it. It was an awful worrisome sound so he stopped and checked the oil, it was low. We were already running late so he figured we'd pick some up over by the doctors office in the city.

I must have prayed the entire way there as the roads are not heavily trafficked between my house and the city and we don't own a cell phone. There isn't even a gas station or a payphone between here and there. We finally get into the city and pass the gas station and as we stopped at the light the truck stopped. There is construction on that road so no one could pass us :( The guy in the 18-wheeler behind us was very nice though :) DH tried and tried and couldn't get it re-started, doesn't help that the starter is also going out. We were on a slight incline so the truck kept rolling backwards, Dh asked me to steer while he pushed as traffic was starting to get really backed up behind us. I am always impressed by how freakishly strong my dh is :) I digress, he began pushing and the nice guy in the truck behind got out and helped him.

Safely in the construction cones the kids and I talked about cars and their different fluids. Dh walked to the gas station we had passed to get some oil. There was a nice breeze out today thankfully so it was not too bad when we had to wait a bit longer as the gas station didn't have any oil and DH had to walk a bit further to O'Rileys. He came back with 3 quarts of oil and the car took all of them gladly, he jumped in and attempted to get it started and within a few minutes the engine was started, though there was still some knocking. DH would have to go to Wal-mart a bit further up the highway to get more oil.

I finally got to the doctors office, now half an hour late and thankfully she was still there. It had been 2 months since I last saw her and I was grateful to the scale when it said I had only gained 1 pound :) We chatted for a bit and she listened to baby, who was very active at the time. I have another sono coming up next week as baby was breach at the last sono and I finally got my glucose test done along with my other bloodwork. All in all it was a good day. Please pray that the truck repairs will not be too expensive.

Now to the quick updates: Yesterday was a HUGE cattle auction not far from here and Dh took Notch, Pickle, Coffee and Patches. We were tired of the irritation and harassment of whomever has been calling the sheriff out, it has been a weekly issue for the past few weeks and sometimes we would hear from the sheriff a few times during the week. Even the sheriff's office was beginning to wonder who we pissed off. Anyway, the sale was a disaster and I remember now why I hate selling cattle there. Notch was injured prior to taking the stage and now will need to be tended (by them) for the next week in the hopes of getting her back on her feet. If they can get her back up then they will attempt to sell her next week, if not they will put her down and file a claim with their insurance to pay us for her. There was so much cattle there that the sale started at noon and dh didn't get home till midnight.

Today I was on facebook (my second home) and a friend posted a video that I initially was going to ignore but decided to watch anyway. Man did it speak to me, WOW!! I know now that it is not time to sell off all the cattle and that we will need to strengthen our resolve to make this farm sustainable and that we frankly have to want it more. With this new resolve we will proceed forward and continue to work on the beef herd that we have left. The reduced numbers should make it easier to take them through winter and the money from the sale will help get the hay we need to do that. Anyway, now you're all caught up, hope you are getting stocked up this winter promises to be brutal.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

No bull

The 6 heifers mysteriously showed up in our corrals that night, DH was quite surprised to see them locked down with Meg when he got home. We decided that a kind neighbor must have thought they were ours and not seeing any vehicles home, had penned them for us. We call the Sheriff back to let them know that we now had them so that their owner could be found.

The next day (yesterday), Dh worked 1st and almost an hour after he got home we got a call from someone claiming to own the heifers. It seems they are his "problem" children, lol. He brought his tractor down and even pulled our car out of the ditch :) While we waited for him to come back with his trailer I asked dh to find out if he has a bull we could use. Turns out he lost his bull earlier this year :( As the two continued talking it suddenly dawned on him that that might be why his heifers have been breaking out, I know my girls are sure getting antsy waiting to be bred back. Cows aren't as bad as cats when they are in heat but they aren't too far off, lol.

Our neighbor in the smaller town has promised to loan us one of his bulls next month when he pulls them out of the cow pasture, so it will not be too much longer. Once they are settled they will calm down and settle into their winter routine. That will be a pleasant change of pace. I am now further convinced that a bull is a good investment, even if you just keep him for a short time. As of right now our girls are back to their barn, oh, chip turned out to have been behind the barn the whole time, lol. We'll see what a handsome bull he turns out to be next year and hopefully won't need to buy a bull.

Oh, as for the fencing issue, it turns out that the deer in the area seem to like to jump the hot wire, which they never seem to fully get over so it knocks it down and/or breaks the insulators. Many thanks to the farmer who picked up his rogue heifers as we would have never figured this one out. I don't know that there is a whole lot of alternative but we'll sure be looking.

Meg is also doing much better now that the heat has moved on and she can graze freely all day. It is amazing how the heat can affect cows. He calf is still kicking, as we eagerly await her (yes I'm optimistic) arrival :) Cow buying Tip: it is not wise to go cow shopping alone (if you are inexperienced) and assume pictures will be very good for the person who advises you. Even the best expert should at least see a cow in person before deciding one way or another. Shadows can play far too many tricks on the eyes.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My boy is amazing

As I previously mentioned the cows escaped and were no where to be found. Dh got a jump start for the truck and went to work. AR went outside to see if they'd come home and spotted the runaways 2 pastures over the highway. He called Dh at work and was pumped to go get them home. I was concerned. For one thing I didn't realise how far away they were until I decided that this was not a job for him to do alone so I went to help. It took him a while to get to them and as he walked further and further out I wished that he had a horse or something. I also was a bit disturbed because it looked like far more than the number of cows we lost. He remained calm and walked back and forth. They apparently were checking his endurance because they really took him on quite the walk. They started to circle around him and from where I was standing I was scared for him. There was a whole lot of them and just him. They were kicking up a lot of dust and it got harder to see him, my heart was racing and I was screaming for him to just come home, but he was too far to hear me. He slowly brought them closer and closer to the road and finally he got 4 across while I stopped traffic and he ran them into the corrals. We hadn't really thought through the next steps, we got more across the road but were only able to get one more in as the others were still loose by the barn. Not quite sure what to do next, it felt like a stroke of divine intervention when they all walked into the second corral and we were able to lock them down and leave the main gate open once more. At this point the cows had begun to run back to the middle of the pasture across the road. I was not pleased, but AR was such a trooper he just went back out and worked them back in, while I directed traffic as needed. There were 6 Hereford heifers running with our cows, he managed to get our group free of them and every cow (except Chip) was accounted for. For some reason the Herefords lingered on the side of the highway for sometime after, we were worried that they would try to cross as they had seen ours do and then cause an accident. We called the sheriff as they were rather afraid of us and we didn't want to spook them. They eventually did cross the highway and ran up past our property, hopefully they are headed home. Tonight I am so proud of my boy, I didn't realise he learned so much and he could handle the cows so well. It was amazing to watch and see how much he has grown.

No good deed goes unpunished

Three days ago dh brought home a dog from work. It was an odd looking little thing and very frightened. He was told it has been abused by it previous owner and the person who rescued it couldn't keep her with pit bull and Rottweiler that she had. My dh is an animal lover, though he'd never admit it. So the little lady came home with him without much question. The next day I looked at her and noticed that her stomach seemed unusually large for such a small dog. Her teats were also protruding, now I'm no dog expert and my experience with the little critters is very limited. Dh asked around work and he was told to check her teats for milk. Well AR is the only person she likes so he was able to tell us that there was in fact milk. We set up the old chicken room for her, but of course she prefered the laundry room. Oh, we've named her Mini, in case you're wondering. This morning we woke up to 3 new puppies and their mama sleeping in the laundry room. I imagine bubba will be in his glee once they can play.

As if that was not enough excitement for the day, dh went out to feed the animals at lunch and the beef cows were missing. He got in the car to go look for them and as he went to turn he bottomed out the car in a ditch. He walked back to the house hoping to be able to take the truck but sure enough the battery has died and still no cows to be seen. It is now past the time for him to get ready for work so he had to call in. :( Turns out that the corner of the electric fence came off/broke (not too sure) and that dropped the fence for them to leave. He and AR took off on foot to try and find the cows, hopefully they can find them and get them back in without incident. A girl can hope anyway.

Friday, September 3, 2010

You.Can.Win! lol

Last night a facebook friend posted a link to a sweeps page, bored I opted to give it a shot, I mean why not. :) The initial sweeps were fun and it is amazing how much those games can become addictive like a slot machine but without the use of cash, just time. I had a blast and would you believe it I actually won something, lol :) Play-doh is hosting a "You.Can.Win!" game and even gives a free code for those of us not willing to spend anything to enter. :) You get 3 tries per day for 1 of the 10 $50 visa gift cards and you are also entered for the grand prize of the $5000 shopping spree :) Click here to read the Official Rules of the game.

It was nice to win for a change, hopefully you can too :) Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

An oldie but goodie :)

Malachi 3:3 says: 'He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.'

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God ..

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: ' He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.'

She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, 'How do you know when the silver is fully refined?'

He smiled at her and answered, ' Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it.'

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire , remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.