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Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Day of Sunshine and Chores

Other than the fact that I'm tired...we were up till 2:30 in the morning dealing with a calf being rejected by it's first time was a day of accomplishments. Four calves and moms were turned out this morning into the cow yard from their overnight visit in the barn. It was cold enough yesterday, that when the calves were born we put them in to get out of the wind. We had one more born this afternoon. Only two moms and calves in the barn right now.
I put this picture on of Sweetie taken last spring. She was sunning herself on top of a dog house. Lots of animals were doing that today around here.
We were able to run the banded bulls (steers now) through and into the headshoot and cut off the testicles that had shriveled up. Awful nasty job. Winchester is the only one who can stomach it.
I got caught up on laundry, washing the cozy caps and the calf blankets, old t-shirts and towels we use to dry off the calves when they are born.
20 calves born. No losses. Yeahhhh!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My art and new venture

This is a piece of my artwork titled "Northshore Winter". It was one of 4 pieces that I was commissioned to do for Focus 10,000 quite a few years ago.
For the past 5-6 years I have been delving into mixed media art such as collage, ATC's, Altered Books, Fabric Art, Henna...and with this new venture I'll beable to delve more into graphics and visual art again.
My new venture is working with and for my friend Melody Neumiller in her business "Blue Moon Studio". I am very excited about this opportunity to follow my passion of creating art again. I have designed and maintain the website.
Check it out!

Mid February Update

February on our farm is a hustle and bustle time. We are calving and in this cold blustery weather we have to be on our toes. Winchester and Reminton are 18 and 17 yrs. and are our best farm hands. To date we have 14 calves of which two sets of twins and no losses. After last years calving season of too many losses including cows lost in birth, we need a fruitful calving season.
We walk through the cows in the cow yard every hour to hour and a half. A calf born in below zero weather is doomed to death if left out in the elements for more than an hour. Tuesday morning I woke up a little later than usual after Jeff had gone to work and sure enough there was a calf born, standing by it's mother with all it's hair froze....shivering. Shivering is good! I didn't even think to run back to the barn for the sled, but scooped it up and ran for the house. It was a bit heavy for me but I made it to the cow yard gate, put it down to open it and then picked it up again (not an easy thing with a slimy wet wriggling 68 pounder) and made it to the house steps where I put it down again. I ran in the house and screamed (literally) for the boys to wake up. I didn't wait for them, but pulled the calf onto my lap and scooted up the steps on my butt. The calf's mouth was still warm so I knew it would be fine once we got it dried off and warmed up. I put it into Winchester's one piece hunting suit and put the heating pad inside as well and zipped it up. Within two hours the little heifer was trying to get up and trying to suck on the wall.
Whew! I'm not a spring chicken and am pretty stiff and sore. That calf was doing some major struggling while I was carrying it. They are soooo strong it's really amazing.
I'll be posting soon, as I'm sure another exciting incident is on the horizon.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wishing for a hint of spring in the air!

February 2nd was Imbolc. Also known as Groundhog day. If you are interested in a little history of Imbolc, visit the latest Gaia's Wheel Newsletter that I put together:

So I have been busy soaping and creating product like a busy bee. last weekend I made tea blends and am almost caught up with that inventory. This week I have been making Lip Balm. Tonight I start a deoderant stick!
I am slowly updating my website. Go take a visit:

We are ready for calving. Cow #530 is about ready to pop! We are all anxious and take turns checking them every 2 hours. What fun! I'll post some pics as soon as we have a couple on the ground.