Sunday, May 31, 2015

These are our newest little friends! Art told me he was at his feeding capacity with 12 cows and then he came home with these two cuties. They're just a couple of months old so we (by 'we' I mean 'Art') will have to bottle feed them for a little while longer. 

Look at that face!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday Funday

Several years ago we burned a large pile of dead wood.  Unfortunately the pile was too close to one of the trees on our back property line and it burned one side of the tree. Since then half the tree has died and limbs break and fall after every storm. We're having some fencing put around the back pasture and we were afraid he tree would eventually fall and break the fencing- and let the cow out- so down came the tree!

My job was to watch the tree as Art cut a v-notch in it- he told me to scream as loud as I could if the tree started to fall. I was able to get a short video of the tree falling though!

We were able to clean up most of the branches and Art started cutting up the trunk to burn in his wood stove. It's not a hardwood but it'll burn just the same. He will have to clean out his stove more often, but his shop will be warm!
This was the tree

Because it was such a lovely day (despite a little rain here and there) I locked Buddy outside. He spent the afternoon in an old pickup truck that is parked near where we were working. While Lizzie ran around like a spaz all morning Buddy just stayed in the truck looking awkward and uncomfortable. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Although this winter wasn't nearly as cold as last winter we still burned a boat load of wood. Not only did we have he wood stove on the house but we also had the outdoor wood stove. Art goes through a lot more wood than I had imagined he would and I started to panic about having enough wood for next year... Until he came home with this trailer load!

I guess we had better start splitting some wood soon. The good thing about the outdoor stove is that we don't have to split the wood into small pieces, Art just cuts as large of pieces as he can lift which saves us a lot of time (and no stacking!)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

(Un)Lucky the Cow

It's been so long since I've referred to our place as the Island of Misfit Cows. There's been Helen and Keller (both partially blind), Peggy (with the broken leg), and Ray (as in 'Charles'; completely blind). We haven't had any misfits since Ray was sent on his way and  I had to stop naming our cows because not one of them had any distinguishing characteristics (I can't even tell them apart).
 Until now.
Meet (Un)Lucky (I added the 'un' but Art just calls him 'Lucky'). (Un)Lucky's back legs are paralyzed. The farmer who Art got him from wasn't sure what happened. Originally, Art thought that it might be an infection because his leg was swollen, but after a dose of antibiotics the swelling went down but he still couldn't walk. So Art brought him home and put him in his shop where he would be warm and dry (well, as dry as you can be after peeing on yourself). He had the vet come and look at the calf and the vet said that judging by a hard boney mass on the calf's hip bone, it looked like he had some kind of spinal injury.
Art has the kind of heart that won't put an animal down until he is absolutely positive that he tried everything he could to make the animal healthy. This is why Art has endured a week of bottle feeding a calf; a week of cleaning his shop floor two or three times a day because of the pee and poop; a week of constantly moving him around so that he doesn't have to lay in his own pee and poop all day; a week of hosing him down with soap and water just so the calf doesn't have too much skin irritation (and also to keep the smell down); a week of walking into his shop several times a day and being bombarded by the stink of pee and baby calf poop (it's the worst. Seriously. The. Worst.).
We had been going back and forth about what to do with this calf. If he doesn't regain the ability to use his back legs then there isn't reason to keep him- not because we can't sell him or eat him, but because the calf would have a terrible quality of life. I jokingly told Art that he should build the calf a wheeled cart they make for dogs with spinal injuries and apparently that started Art's wheels turning (see what I did there?). This is how Art devised The Sling. (And yes, this really is my life)

Art had been looking for a burlap sack or an old hammock but found this old army tarp. His thinking was that it would be nice for the calf to be able to be up, to stretch his legs (at least the front ones), and not pee or poop on himself for once. So he cut four holes in the tarp, somehow affixed a strap in the middle, and tied rope to each corner, attaching it to his lift. Then he placed the calf on the tarp, pressed a button and up he went!

Art wasn't completely happy with his design. He felt like he cut the leg holes too large and didn't offer enough support through the middle. Art also said that he wished he had something to better support the calf's head so he looked more comfortable.
I'm not sure how long this calf will be around, but I hope he appreciates all of what Art has done for him, even if did look uncomfortable and embarrassed hanging in a sling.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Wood, Wood Everywhere!

I'm trying to be better at updating the blog. I was lax because I figured people wouldn't want to hear the same stories every year- new cows, gardening, baling hay, splitting wood. But I was told that yes, in fact, people do want me to tell the same stories every year. So here we go!
December was a beautiful month. The warm-ish temperatures combined with the sheer number of un-split logs we had around the farm was a perfect opportunity to finally try and make a dent in it. It was getting difficult moving around Art's shop because of all the wood. At night when he would walk to the house he knocked his shins and knees more times than he could count running into logs (because God forbid he use a flashlight). He couldn't drive around the corncrib because that part of the driveway was blocked with an ever-growing pile of logs. We started splitting and stacking; we filled one side of the corncrib 8 feet high and two rows deep of wood for next year (the other side of the crib is filled with dry wood for this year). When we ran out of space in the corncrib I found a really neat, easy to build storage cradle on Pinterest. Three pallets screwed/nailed together and he put old cedar fence posts under each side, forming a cradle of sorts.  So we split some more and filled one cradle, 6 feet high and three deep:
 Then he had to build another one because we had so much more wood to stack:
 We haven't filled it yet because it's gotten too cold for me. When we are splitting wood my job is to sit on the tractor and move the lever back and forth running the splitter. If it's above freezing and not windy, I will split wood. If it's below freezing or really windy I won't because it's too cold to just sit on an open tractor seat moving a lever.
Last night Art brought home another load of wood. He has many more pallets in the barn so he'll have to get busy building more cradles!
To give you some idea- each section of log on this trailer weighs around 200 pounds
All of the wood Art brings home isn't just for our wood stove in the house. This year he bought an outdoor wood stove and hooked it up to the in-floor heating system in his shop. His shop is usually anywhere from 65-74 degrees, whereas last year it was only ever in the 20's. What's nice is that when we split wood for Art's stove we only have to split it into manageable pieces, not smaller sized pieces for the house stove.

I wish I had before pictures to show you! This entire area used to be filled with logs.
As did this part of our yard:

And this part of the yard:

Art has three more trees to pick up and bring home. I suppose it's a good thing we have split as much wood as we have as we now have room to put all the logs!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Oh Christmas Tree... Sort of.

A few years ago I didn't put up our Christmas tree because we were so busy and weren't going to be around much to enjoy it. And every year since I have had the best intentions to put it up but have always had some excuse not to. This year I faced the truth- I was too lazy to put up the Christmas tree. And I loved our Christmas tree- I searched forever online to find the perfect silver tinsel tree. But we don't have a good place for it (that space now taken up by plants that have gotten too large) and it's just Art and I. We don't entertain during the holidays (mainly because it's chilly in our house and, while we like it, we're pretty sure no one else would). So I sold the tinsel tree and made a bauble tree. My grandparents had given me a bunch of old Christmas ornaments and I started with those. The best part about the bauble tree is that all I have to do is pull it out of the box next year and Boom! Christmas tree is up!
(Although Art has asked me a few times how I intent to put lights on it)

 I will say that the pictures really don't do it justice. It's so much prettier in real life and you can really see the vintage bird ornaments.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

After the Storm Comes the Rainbows

Monday we had two very wicked storms roll through. The brunt of the storm hit south of us, but we got quite a bit of wind and rain as well.  After the last storm rolled through Art and I took some pictures of the little flash floods near our house and were then surprised by the beautiful sunset and double rainbow once the skies had cleared (I went a little crazy with the rainbow pictures, but I couldn't decide which ones to post so I am posting them all).
The water washing over our road from the field across the street
The river flowing through our hay field