Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Keeping Cool

     Thought this hot icky weather was behind us for awhile? It is Iowa and the State Fair is coming up so it should be no surprise, however the weather people were talking all last week how the 80 degree temps were coming this week. It is Tuesday, we are waiting!

     How do you keep cool? For humans it is somewhat easy. Go in the air conditioning, or jump in a pool, but how do animals keep cool. Well I want to share some picts of our animals.

This is Mrs. P, she uses the dog's pool a lot.

 Yes they have a fan and I bring them out ice water. Sadie doesn't care for the swimming pool and Pepper likes to get it then roll in dirt then get back in the pool. I am not sure what that is about but makes quite a mess.

This cat is actually up in the storage in the barn right next to the hay mount. I would think it would be extremely hot considering the barn is all metal. 

The cows hide in the shade.

If you are really spoiled you get to drive around a couple times of day looking at crops in an air conditioned pickup.

A Disclaimer, that is not my dog! It is my dad's.

How do your animals stay cool?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Never A Dull Moment

     We have had quite a summer so far, not such a good one and I got to thinking on my walk the other day that I said I would blog about the funny and not so funny stuff. I just had to let the not so funny stuff get far enough away that I could write about it. As most of you know reading my blog or facebook posts, I get attached.

     Back around the first of May Tim noticed a calf looking a little skinny. We called the vet she came and checked the momma to make sure she was Ok, saying  we needed to supplement the calf by bottle feeding. So Tim did this in the morning and then let the calf hang out with all the others. After a few days of this he decided to feed both morning and night. On May 18th he went to find the calf. He came back to the house and was yelling, I thought he was yelling at Coco our male devil donkey. Well it was louder and I heard my name. I go out to find out what is going on and Tim is covered up to his knees and elbows in mud. The calf was stuck in the mud and he had really work at pulling him out. He needed me to drive the four wheeler so that he could get it and bring it to the barn.

     We go out there and I swear that poor thing looked dead. It was as flat as a pancake, caked in mud and flies swarming around it. Tim picked him up and we took him to the dogs swimming pool (good thing I had cleaned it out earlier and the water was warm) Tim put Larry (Andy and Alec named him on the previous Wednesday) in the pool and we turned the hose on and started to clean him off. He looked so pathetic.

    We cleaned him up, tried to feed him, put him in the barn with a soft clean bed. Even covered him up to keep him warm. Unfortunately Larry died the next day.

     The next week Tim went over to the two different pastures we have, as I call it the cows "summer homes" and made sure the fencing was all up and secure (the deer love to run thru it). Tim called the owner of one of the  pasture that we have used for about 5 years to say, "hey we are bringing the cows over tomorrow". She says she has been meaning to talk to us about that. She is putting five horses in there and that they are going to have large equipment in there to knock down some trees. First off, thanks for telling us after the fences were fixed and second you had to wait until we are ready to move the cows you couldn't tell us this months ago? Granted we do not have a signed contract with them. Farmers don't usually do that, a handshake usually works. Tim baled their hay, provided the racks, tractor, the driver and usually himself to help pick up the bales plus the help to unload it for the use of this pasture. Every once in while he might get some extra hay for it. No crying here on to plan B. There wasn't one but we had to come up with one and fast.

      Tim decided to move cows/calves to feeder calf summer home and leave the feeder calves at home and look for pasture.

     May 29th 6:00 a.m. I get a call from Tim, "I need you to grab my gun and come and get me".  I thought he said the cows got out, but none the less I heard heading toward 141. I throw on some clothes (it was 6:00 a.m.) grab his gun and some bullets and take off. Well it was one cow, Larry's mom and she was on a mission. She was going to her summer home. Except that wasn't where the others were. Plus how did she now where to go when she had been taken over there by trailer the last five years?

     Ole Momma was heading for 141 and there was no turning her back. We drive up along the highway and there are a lot of cars coming from the Woodward area. Tim didn't want to shoot the cow in front of everyone. So I turned on my flashers starting honking with one hand while waving with the other. Tim is waving so that cars will slow down and they do. Momma crosses and heads to the other side (4 lane hwy). She stops in the middle of the north bound lane, thank goodness there is not much traffic going to Woodward at 6 in the morning. A neighbor pulls over and is grateful it is not his cow but telsl us to chase it to his pasture and we can put it in a pen.

     Well that didn't go so great. One of the neighbors bulls got out and with all the chasing a lot of corn was ran over. In the mean time I get a call from my cousin. "W H O just said a cow was out on 141 near Woodward would it be yours?" Thank goodness they didn't announce our name but yes we were famous for a bit.

     Ole Momma decided she had enough and decided she was going to cross 141 again. Well Tim decided this is the time. He didn't want to do it but no other option by this time it about 7:15 and 141 is very busy. So now we lost a cow and a calf!

     My Dad and Tim checked out some of the timber by the creek and decided that with some work some of it can be fence it in and might be good for the calves. For about four weekends Tim with his bobcat and all the attachments he has acquired began to clear some timber so he can have a pasture.

     During this time the heat and humidity sets in. I think we have had 21 days of 90 degree temps and 13 days of triple digit humidity. Corn is not looking good. 

     Good news is Tim got the pasture done and was able to move his calves to their summer home on July 1st. Bad news is now we have to haul water because the creek is drying up.

     More bad news we have to haul water to the other cows/calves because their water is drying up and now so is their grass.

     We baled hay yesterday, good news third cutting, bad news only 5 bales off of 17 acres.

   Good news today we got an inch and quarter of rain. Let's just leave it at that...



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Here Is To Health!

     I am going to get off track today and not write so much about the farm but about my lifestyle. I consider myself a farm girl, Tim a farm boy, an organic farmer not so much. Yes we let our chickens roam freely, the cows and calves only eat pasture grass and corn that we grow. However in order to produce that corn we have to use round up ready corn and fertilizer in the soil.

     I like everyone else believe dandelions have their place but not in my yard so we spray. We also spray the yard and the house for bugs. Ten acres and livestock, we have bugs. If we could keep our guineas alive maybe there would be less need to spray the yard.

     But when it comes to our health I really second guess prescription medicine. Seventeen years ago I was diagnosed with Scleroderma. It is a auto-immune disease that causes the skin to harden. There are two forms of Scleroderma, Localized and Systemic. I have the Systemic, which affects skin, blood vessels, digestive system, heart, lungs, kidneys, muscles, nerves and joints. (what's left huh?) Then under Systemic there are two degee's of skin involvement: limited and diffuse. I have limited which involves a form called CREST, an acronym for calcinosis, Raynaud's phenomenon, esophageal sysfunction, sclerodactyly and telangiectasia.

     The first year I was diagnosed I went to several local doctors, and specialist. I also went to the Mayo clinic. Every doctor wanted to prescribe drugs. I would question the side effects and usually decided to not take the drug. There were a few I tried but the side effects were horrible. I decided to treat it naturally and set off to find the magic cure.

     The one product that helped me the most was PerCoBa, Bovine colostrum. How ironic is that. Cows milk. I have been taking this product for 15 years. It has strengthen my immune system so much that in '03 I was up at the Mayo clinic for a check up and they told me: "Whatever you are doing keep on doing it, it won't cure it but you don't seem to be getting worse." Yippee for me!

     However since that time other symptom's have started to surface, plus the Raynaud's was really becoming a problem. Raynaud's affected my hands and toes. I had severe reactions to cold, I would lose feeling in my hands which made it impossible to get frozen foods out of the freezer, to make a hamburger patty, to wash my face without running the water until it was warm, to get into the ocean or a lake. That is why I hate the winter and air conditioning. My body would work to hard so those parts could have blood flow that it would wear me out. Sometimes for days. I started back to a Rheumatologist due to these new symptom's I told him up front I do not like to take prescription medicines and can not guarantee that I will stick with it. I was going every 4 months and every time there was a different drug they wanted me to take, but the side effects where horrible and I did not want to chance it.

     Last July I took my rugs to a craft show at the Dallas County Fair, in the booth next to me was this lady in a Tahitian Noni Booth. I thought "Oh great, I am not buying this stuff and I have to listen to this for three days". Well I am certainly glad this lady, Barb did not push me or give up on me.

     At this stage of the game I could not eat anything, food just wasn't my friend and according to Barb I looked pathetic. One of the doctors thought that maybe I had Celiac Disease and in order to find out they would have to take a biopsy during a colonoscopy. Oh yea! But anyway, Barb let me try her Noni juice and I felt energy immediately. Later on she gave me an energy drink that has no caffeine in it. Now this lady is 80 yrs old, the show was in a building with no air and she had so much energy that I wanted it all.

     Long story is I decided to take the Noni juice along with my PerCoBa. My colonoscopy came back negative for the Celiac Disease and since taking the Noni products I have not had any food issues. In April Tahitian Noni changed its name to Morinda Bioactives and came out with 11 new products one of them being Max a Bioactive drink. I pre-ordered two cases and started taking it April 27th. Wow!
I can actually reach into the freezer and grab the ice cream. I can clean my cold swimming pool filter without my hands changing color. It is working! It is working on my circulatory system, getting the blood to flow where it is needed. My fingers are not looking so much as sausages any more. And energy, I no longer need my afternoon naps. I have no down time and I do not want it. There is so much that I want to do.

     Max is all natural, Morinda has figured out a way to take the Iridoids from blueberries, olive leaves, noni and cornelian cherries and make this amazing product that has changed my life. I am such a believer in this company that I have decided that I want to share my story and these products with everyone. So do not be surprised if I e-mail you information, invite you to things I want all my friends and family to try this amazing products and feel the best they can. No one should be sick or dependent on drugs.

Back to our roots, natural, organic whatever you want to call it just get there! You will feel so much better. I guarantee it and so does Morinda!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Babies Are Here, The Babies Are Here!

     More babies arrived on the farm today. Yea! I received a call at 6:40 that they had arrived and to please come to the Woodward post office because they are loud. I was prepared for this on Monday morning. I got up early got dressed and was carrying around my phones but like every other delivery you can not count on it exactly. So I hurried out of bed threw on clothes grabbed my camera and some warm water. I stopped down at the barn and turn the heat lamps on and went to Woodward. I didn't drive fast what was the point they are here.

     I had to go to the back door of the post office and ring the bell they let me in and you hear the chirping. Oh yea more farm noise! I asked if the noise was driving them nuts, one man who was sorting mail grabbed the table and started shaking it yelling "yes, get them out of here". He had a smile on his face so I think he was kidding. But if you did have to listen to it for a while it would be annoying.

     I was picking up my 30 new baby chicks. 

Aren't they cute little fuzz balls?

     I got them to their new home in the barn. Dunked their heads in water then guided them to the feed and off they go. I did this 27 times. Welp's shorted us 3 chickens. They will hear about that but for now I just wanted to make sure they are safe, warm and that they get their bellies full. Hopefully we can keep the cats from getting them. We have a cage that Tim built that is on legs, I have to stand on a chair to reach inside plus we have ply wood on on side as a lid and chicken wire on the other side. It should do the trick. We love our barn cats but if they eat our chickens there is no love! We do not even eat our chickens.

     So in about 20 -25 weeks we should have more eggs than we know what to do with. Good thing we constantly have people wanting to buy eggs, now we might be able to keep up with demand. The problem is going to be what are we going to do with them when they get bigger? We already have about 28 chickens roaming around... 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Is Here

     It is spring out here on the farm and I couldn't be happier. It is my favorite time of year. My favorite tree bloomed full on 3/31. I was able to get some great pictures. We live on a hill so once the wind starts the blooms will disappear fast.

     I couldn't tell you what kind of tree it is. My brother, sister and I got this as a gift for my mom for Mothers Day when we were very little. I love this tree I wish it was closer to my house, my mom wishes it was at her house. (They moved to a different farm when I was 13).

     We got a new batch of guineas. Hopefully they stay around longer than last years batch. We purchased 8 at the Stuart Exotic bird sale. We decided to keep them locked up and let one out at a time. We have one from last year, so hopefully they make friends and want to stay. We are hoping  the veteran guinea will show the others the safe spots to hide from critters  and the places to go for good food.  We put up with their noise because they eat over half their weight in bugs especially mosquitos.

     We have 30 baby chicks ordered they should arrive by mail on 4/9. The post office always calls us to come get them because the noise drives them nuts. Yes, we still have the older chickens. Not quite 32, some of the older ones didn't make it thru the winter but we still have enough non-laying chickens. They do eat bugs as well.
     We had our first baby calf on 3/30. It was born to a cow that Tim named Crazy Cow. She loves Tim, NOT! So the pictures I have are the only ones we have because CC is very good at hiding her baby, which makes it difficult to tag it. I am sure there will be a story there when Tim decides he is going to win that battle I will then fill you in on how she got her name. 

     That is as close as we can get and that is two fences between us. She is a mean mama!
     Finally my favorite reason for spring is "I get to mow".  I went out and mowed on Sunday. While bouncing around and seeing or I should say feeling the damage the moles, voles or ground hogs have done I am thinking this isn't as fun as it use to be. Now I am on a hunt for a roller, see if I can smooth out some of this damage or it is going to be a long spring/summer. I just might have to fence off some of this 10 acres and let the animals take care of it!

     But who can argue with this weather? Finally we get a spring where we can get things done comfortably. No freezing or drenched from all the rain. I Love It!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Keep Our Creeks, Rivers and Streams Clean!

    I am so mad right now, when I am mad I do not have rational thoughts so I am going to write. It is a beautiful day out, I have been cooped up to long with this knee injury so decided to take the dogs for a walk. I was just going to go down get the mail and come back up, but it is so nice the dogs wanted to go to the bridge (they love to swim and I know they wanted to go because they were stopped in the middle of the road and watching what direction I was going to go). We take off and about 100 feet from my drive way is a bunch of CarX papers. Random papers are pretty normal in the summer they blow out of peoples vehicles when they drive to fast on the gravel roads...HINT, HINT slow down!

     These papers happen to be sitting where we have noticed a red chevy pickup parked about two evenings a week and for hours. Last Tuesday when I went by a person in the drivers side scrunched down so I couldn't see them. I pulled into the drive got the mail then decided to pull up behind them and get their license plate. Another persons head poked up. Hmmm guess what they were doing? Well Mister Red Chevy pickup now we have your name so if anyone knows PJ Roberts from West Des Moines he is obviously doing something he should not be doing and my questions is why on a gravel road? According to you CarX bill you have spent a lot of money on your vehicle since November ( I have 4 bills) maybe treat the person you are hiding with a little better and take them out or the very least get A ROOM!

     Now here is the part where I am mad. At the bridge some idiot and it may even be Mr. Roberts has decided to dispose of their microwave over the bridge as well as a recliner that they placed on the sand bar. Now really you already have the stuff loaded why don't you pay the $20.00 and take it to the dump? Why dispose of it in Beaver Creek? Beaver runs into the Des Moines River which I believe then goes to the water treatment plant. Maybe not, maybe that is just the Raccoon.  None the less I am sure the DM river is some cities water shed.

    Media, protesters and special interest groups like to blame the Farmers for bad water and the things that are in the water. Many farmers I know do everything they can to protect the water. I know we have buffer strips, tiles, wet lands, we plant trees, wild flowers we have our scrapes and garbage hauled away. What gives the right to these people in town to come out here and throw their crap in what we are trying to keep clean. What does that idiot think is going to happen to that chair if we get rain and it fills up the sandbar. How about the inside of the Microwave. That stuff is toxic. So it will poison the fish that will swim down to the DM River and some fisherman will catch and take home to feed their family.

     I will tell you what will happen to that chair it is going to get hung up in a group of fallen trees or more garbage that idiots have dumped over another bridge causing a backup with the water which in turn will cause flooding. Do people not get it? We need to keep our rivers, streams and creeks clean so water can flow to where it is naturally suppose to go.

     After my knee heals and hopefully while the weather is nice and creek is low I plan on getting some people together to help clean out Beaver Creek. I still have to work out some kinks an how to dispose of some of this stuff but at least get it out of the creek. As for Mr. Roberts I have turned over all this information to the Dallas County Sheriff, whether he did the dumping or not he needs to keep his papers in his vehicle and maybe take his business elsewhere.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Play Date For The Animals

     Play dates are not just for little kids, animals have them as well. Every day at about 8:30 a.m. is our play date time between Mia (the in door cat) and the Peacocks, Ricky and Lucy. It begins with Lucy scratching at the door then she pecks at the window. I call Mia and tell her that her friends are here. She comes running and plops down and starts rolling and meowing. When Lucy starts squawking then Mia comes to the window and starts pawing it. This goes on every morning.

     Don't look at the dirty windows. It is hard to keep them clean when this goes on every day and on sunny days the peacocks will come back around 4:00 p.m. for more play action.

     Then we have the two dogs who look in constantly. They are either watching the TV or they just like to give us that look that says we are lonely and hungry.

     Today we had a unique play date. This involved it sounded like hundreds of black birds. They showed up in the top of a couple of trees in the back yard. They started squawking then the guinea started followed by the peacocks. It sounded like they were in the house it was so loud. I was able to snap this picture of the birds but as soon as I opened the door to get the other critters everyone flew away and play time was over. Just like little kids, a grown up was not welcome.