Archive for June, 2007

28
Jun
07

Sedalia Sheep Sale…

 

So we headed off to Sedalia, Missouri to purchase a yearling ram (a must have) and if we could find a reasonable ram lamb we would also purchase one.  Well we also ended up with a yearling ewe.  We had debated on taking a truck and trailer, but opted to have someone haul them back for us.  He agreed before the sale started to haul two, but had room for three.  If we had taken our own trailer I would like to think we may have ended up with a few more ewes.  Who knew the price would be so great on ewes?  All three will be sitting at the sale barn until Saturday, so hopefully they can hang in there until then.  As soon as they arrive home they will be given a shot for “shipping fever,” pneumonia and quarantined for 1-2 weeks.  Last year we purchased two rams and lost the smaller one to shipping fever, so we aren’t taking any chances this time around.  The selection of yearling rams was less than desirable, but we had to have a ram ready for breeding this fall.  All three of our purchases are RR (scrapies resistant), OPP negative, and were all one of twins.  Our ram lamb is excellent, so I will be excited for next year to put him to the test.  Because of the ewe purchase we will now be able to sell registered Texels in the spring.  We are also considering registering our 50% crosses and breeding them up, so we can register their offspring in a few years.

 We had intended to take the scenic route home through the Ozarks which would have taken and hour or two longer, but by the time it was all over with we decided we were both drained and just wanted to get home.  I will confess we stopped for fast food because we were in a hurry to get home.  Both of us regretted it almost instantly.  Fast food is just something I don’t eat.  We felt terrible and regretted not taking the time to stop and have a decent sit down meal.  We’ll know better next time.  We did get to have sweet tea which is unheard of in Kansas, so that made lunch tolerable. LOL

 

Now we have lots of work to do to get our lots broken down for breeding season.  We intended to have it done by now, but with Dad breaking his ankle our full attention was directed to his farm instead of our’s.  Now we will focus on our’s and get it workable for us.

Have a great weekend! 

26
Jun
07

Harvest…

 

We are in the midst of harvest at our house.  My dh and I help my parents and grandma get their wheat harvest in.  I usually drive the grain truck and take care of the chores at our house.  My dh drives one of the combines with my brother or Dad in the other.  Last year we used a grain cart behind the tractor, but this year the crop is so poor it isn’t needed and not financially feasible to run it.  I did receive my first combine lesson.  There is definitely a lot to know and remember, but the other day I saw a little girl (maybe 14?) driving a big, fast combine and was determined to learn how to drive our old John Deere combines.

 

We have two baby chicks so far.  We pulled the babies and the mamas, but are contemplating putting the mamas back with everyone else and just leaving the babies in a separate pen since there are two of them.  They are eating and drinking like crazy, so apparently they are both healthy.  Now let’s just hope they are hens and not roosters.  I don’t think my shins can handle anymore roosters on this farm. LOL

 

Tomorrow my dh and I are headed to Sedalia, Missouri in search of two Texel rams.  It’s a long drive for one day, but our other option was Michigan.  Our in-law are there, but it was still just too far and too hot to haul something that far.  So the “Show Me” state it is! 

 

Last night we got a break from the field.  We ran to our neighbors and picked up 28 tomato cages they wanted to get rid of.  We finally go to swim in our pool again.  It was so relaxing!  Then I made stir-fry that was really nice and light on a hot day.  I also managed to bake bread, so we can pack a lunch for our trip and started the crock pot with ham hocks for collard greens.  Mmmmm.

 

I promise to take some harvest pictures.  It’s just an incredible time of year where everyone pulls together, works hard, and is just a little nicer to one another.  It’s like Christmas in June!  Last night on the way home I saw a giant John Deere combine with an American flag on the back of it blowing in the wind out in a wheat field.  Does it get anymore “All American” than that?  If I see it again tonight I’m taking a picture.  It was just one of those scenes screaming to have its picture taken.

 

Hope everyone has a wonderful week.  Hopefully the next time I blog my sheep flock has increased by two in size.

21
Jun
07

Around the house…Harvest is underway…

This was my project over the weekend.  My dh finally released his old Caterpillar work boots to me and this is the end result.  Incase you can’t see them very well; there are hens and chicks planted in the boots.  I got the idea after perusing the photos on Long Creek Herbs.  A very cute place I would love to visit someday.

After a day in the heat the pups were ready for a nap.  When we first got Ash (the blue heeler) I wanted her to learn to stay outside, didn’t happen.  When we found Koal on an Alabama roadside and decided to keep the timid little guy I said, “no way am I having two dogs in the house, they will learn to stay outside.”  Well, below are pictures of how well that worked out for me, but now I can’t imagine leaving them locked outside.  Enjoy!

This is Koal.  The chair looks kind of funny because it was pretty dark in the room and the flash reflected off the leather.  I wasn’t even sure you would be able to see the little guy.

 

This is Ash.  They have been digging holes in the backyard to keep cool (even though they have a pool, dh says they know they aren’t supposed to swim with out adult supervision, ha! ha!).  We are thinking Ash fell in one of her own holes and hurt her leg.  Oops!  She’s getting better, but any other time that oversized tennis ball would have been toast.

Wheat harvest is underway and the wheat is doing better than expected.  Let’s pray it continues on well for my parent’s sake.  They have had some terrible luck lately, so I hope things turn around for them soon.  Farming is never predictable unfortunately.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. 

20
Jun
07

Cooter visits the vet & Smoothie recipe…

We took our cat, Cooter, to the vet last night to get his yearly shots and a check up.  He was running a fever and really congested.  They vaccinated him and gave us antibiotics for him.  He wasn’t doing very well last night, but hopefully he will start feeling better soon.  The wet weather and damp air is believed to be the culprit.

I made my dh and I a smoothie last night when we got home from the vet before he went to my Grandma’s to work on the combines.  We still haven’t turned our a/c on, so a cool drink sounded really good.

Tropical Smoothie

1-2 Bananas

2 c. Kefir

1 c. Pineapple

1/2 c. Orange Juice

2 T. Coconut Oil

1 T. Flax Oil

1 t. Stevia

Ice

Blend

It rained last night, so wheat harvest is on hold once again.  With every rainstorm the quality of the wheat decreases even more.  It’s starting to fall over in some farmer’s fields and looks thin and terrible.  Everyone just wants this harvest over with.  Dad’s combines are still needing repairs.  My brother and dh have been working on them in the evenings trying to get them ready.  There was so much lightning with the storm last night they had to get in and away from the equipment early.  Lightning hit something outside our back door and made us and the dogs jump.  I always worry about the sheep and especially the llama (he’s such a target).  They have been going into the small building for some reason instead of the big building.  They don’t all fit in the small one, so some of them lay outside the door.  The Hank (the llama) has to sleep in the big building alone, poor guy.

Well, that pretty much sums up our Tuesday. 

19
Jun
07

Negative…

The rabies test came back negative on the cat.  We were both really relieved; however, there was the sad and guilty feeling of knowing we euthanized our cat unnecessarily. 

On a lighter note, the ewe who we have been doctoring and milking out for over two weeks now finally allowed her babies to nurse both sides.  So, we held off on milking her out last night, but tonight will give her a shot of penicillin, doctor her, and possibly milk her out for hopefully the last time.  Hank (the llama) took his wormer like a champ.  He didn’t really know he was taking it because we snuck it in some grain.  A mama ewe and baby got out and helped themselves to the garden yesterday.  It doesn’t appear as if they did too much damage, so over the weekend we will have to walk the pasture fence and see if we can find a place where they got out.

Tonight we are taking Cooter to the vet to check his yearly shots and a check up.  Since our other cat, Psycho, just died from pneumonia and Cooter has been sounding congested we want to make sure he is okay.  He is our last cat, so we intend to guard him like a hawk.  Our blue heeler, Ash, is still favoring her back leg.  We are going to hold off on a vet visit since she is starting to put weight on it.  Hopefully she will make a full recovery soon.  Otherwise, we might as well just sign over our paychecks to the vet. LOL

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

18
Jun
07

Test Results Tuesday…

My dh just called our wonderful vet.  The vet said he was able to get the cat sent overnight to K-State, so we should have the rabies test results no later than Tuesday, and he will call as soon as he hears something.  He is also calling them today to make sure they received it and have the testing underway.  He has helped us so much through all of this.  I am so thankful for everything he has done.

18
Jun
07

Bad Decision…

Let me start off by saying I have caught Will, our cat, a number of times.  Awhile back I could even hold and pet him without any problems.  Well Friday morning I caught him at the food bowl so we could take him to the vet.  I had him by the scruff of his neck and his back legs.  A large area on his neck was scabbed over from a fight of some sort.  So as I was trying to put him in the carrier my hand slipped off the scruff on the back of his neck so all I had was his back legs.  To make a long story short he got a hold of my leg and bit me.  I still managed to get him in the cat carrier, but we did not get the door latched in time and he escaped.  Since this cat has not had his shots (the reason we were trying to catch him was to get his shots and have him neutered) and since he has clearly been in several fights, rabies is an issue.  We ended up trapping the cat in the night Friday (which is what we should have done to begin with, I should have read Kitty’s comment sooner~ LOL), took him to the vet Saturday morning, and our vet will have him sent to K-State to test for rabies.  My dh and I have nearly made ourselves sick over the whole thing.  We feel really bad for the cat (we know longer call him by his name because it is too hard).  I feel responsible for getting bit and making him the bad cat.  He didn’t come after me.  He was just scared; considering at the time he bit me I was holding him by his back legs only.  I would have bit me too.  It did make us feel a little better about our decision to take the cat in when our neighbor told us he had to shoot a skunk in the daylight two days prior.  The skunk didn’t run from him, spray, or anything.  Scary!  I cannot go to the doctor yet for antibiotics or blood tests for any other infections or blood diseases (which I have been informed they carry many) because our health department is very aggressive when rabies is suspected.  The hospital told me even if the cat is on its way to K-State, and they will have the results in a day they still make the patient undergo the first round of rabies shots just to be safe.  There are a million reasons I did not want to start the rabies shots unless absolutely necessary.  I have a nine day window (but will allow myself 4-5 at the absolute most).  We are hoping to have the results of the test tomorrow (Tuesday), so I can get into my doctor Tuesday or early Wednesday. 

Even with all this excitement I did managed to get a few things done.  Friday afternoon I cleaned house, baked bread, and made a fabulous meatloaf for my dh who is dealing with me and my emotional rollercoaster like a champ. LOL  Saturday he had to help change out a tire on Dad’s combine, so I hung out with my Grandma who also helped me through my struggles Friday morning when I didn’t know whether to go to the doctor or try to trap the cat.  With any luck (and no rain) they will start cutting what is left of the wheat harvest this week.  They are calling for rain pretty much all week, so it’s not going to be good.  Everyone in this area is struggling to make the minimum test weight the co-ops and elevators will accept, so anymore rain and the elevators may start refusing the wheat or taking it for animal feed (a huge financial hit).  My parent’s are so stressed between the sheep battling worms due to the wet conditions and the wheat doing so poorly.  Here in Kansas we generally pray for rain, but for once in my lifetime we will be praying for sunny, hot days to come. 

Sunday, we wormed our sheep again for fear they were battling them.  Sure enough, most of their mouths were pale and even slightly gray (a sign of worms).  We didn’t have the wormer for Hank, the llama, so we have to worm him tonight.  We missed church because we were worming, but it just had to be done.  Dad lost ewes and lambs to worms before he got it stopped, so we had to be on our toes.  My dh mowed while I mulched, thinned plants, and transplanted plants.  Someday our Sundays are going to be our day of rest.  We know this is important, but for now we just cannot do it.  We have been doctoring a ewe with a torn teat for over two weeks now, and it got infected Friday, exactly two weeks after we started treating her.  Thursday it looked nearly healed, but Friday when she came in it was a mess again.  She won’t allow the lambs to nurse, so we also have to milk her out every evening.  Last night it looked a lot better, so we are hoping our evening milkings will come to a screeching halt soon.

Spring ’08 is the tentative date dh and I have decided on for my last days at work.  We have discussed all the things I can do and ways to make it possible for me to do even more at home.  We will need to build equipment for livestock handing, so I can do it on my own.  I will be in charge of mowing and weed eating (since my husband has asthma this should be my responsibility anyway).  I will take care of the pool, and I will have time to take care of our home by cleaning and decorating, and have more time for crafts.  I am so excited and can’t wait for this day to come.

Hope everyone is having a great Monday!




Adopting one child won't change the world; but for that child, the world will change.

I am the wife to my wonderful husband and joint care giver to the many animals we have acquired on our small farm here on the prairie. This is a bit about our life on our farm. We are striving for simplicity and self-sufficiency, determined to become debt-free, trying to live in tune with the natural cycles of this earth, and challenging ourselves to transition to a diet based on traditional foods. It isn't always easy, and we don't always succeed, but it is a fun learning process. Join us as we stumble through learning how to provide for ourselves, get off the treadmill, and work toward a simpler way of life.

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