Tuesday, April 30, 2013


E is still enjoying tennis.  She won her doubles match yesterday but lost the singles.
 I'm still hoping she can go to a tennis camp this summer to help her keep improving her game.  I think it is a sport she can still enjoy as she gets older. 
 I might need to go to a tennis photography camp.  It's tough getting a good shot through the fence, with E not making a face and with some kind of action.
I am thankful every day for digital photography   I can take umpteen pictures and see them immediately without having to pay for developing and edit them to my heart's content.   It truly is amazing.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Night Training

Last night instead of sitting and watching television, I decided to work on Brother in the barn.  We have lights down there you know.   I did have to think ahead and catch him and have him in the lot earlier so we could find him.  It's a little tough wondering around on the hillside hunting for one in the dark.  
 I've been riding him a little but not very consistently  and usually by myself so no pictures.  J was with me this time and I got 3 pictures before the camera battery quit.  The last couple of times Brother seemed a little fresh so there was a bit more lounging involved.
 He was doing so well having been ridden 2 days in a row that I cantered him for the first time.  He did great! and was so smooth.  I'm really looking forward to more of that.  J then got on for his turn.
I asked him if he was going to wear his helmet and he asked, "Do I need it?"  I said, "You don't need it unless you need it and then it's too late."  He went ahead and put it on to save time arguing  and fortunately, didn't need it.  He said he thought Brother was doing a lot better since the last time he rode him.  (Just to be clear, Brother is J's horse).  The biggest problem with riding at night is that the light are so bright, when we take the horse back outside it's about 10 minutes before they can see anything.  If I turn them loose too soon they just wander around bumping into things.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Just Kit Sunday #11

I found Kit under the Endless Summer Hydrangea this week.  The last time he was under this bush he was attacking a praying mantis nest.    
This time he was resting in a most unusual position.
But something disturbed him.
It couldn't have been me could it?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

All Most Done

Two more goats kidded this week.  That leaves 1 more that is bred.  Two didn't breed this year, Sissy and Tinkerbell.  If my count is right that's 61 kids from 39 nannies, right at our 150% goal.  Now if they all make it to sale time that would be wonderful.  
 This older nanny had a nice set of twins.

And this yearling polled nanny had a cute single. 
I thought it looked like this group was on a play ground.  We deworned the nannies and banded the rest of the billies today so now they just need to get out there and keep eating the weeds.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fridays Fences #78

It seems like all of my Friday Fences are of us repairing fences.  This time it was at the farm J grew up on.  The calves apparently got out and someone ran them back.  In the process they torn down part of the fence.  
 The first section J had to put in a new post but was able to reuse the boards.
 The rest of the fence was pretty useless, about 7 strands of loose smooth wire and 4 strands of loose barb wire.  The calves had no respect for it.  J had some used woven wire that we were able to reuse for this section.
We stretched is between the still solid posts and put in some metal posts along the way.  Maybe this will get us through a few more seasons.
For more Fridays Fences click HERE.
Check out what's happening at Farm Fun Friday HERE.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spring Turn Out

J is trying to get all of the fences fixed so we can start turning the cows and calves out onto their spring grass.  
   E was good enough to help us with the first 18 this weekend.
 She helped round them up, sort, make the ear tags,
 and kept the vaccine syringes and ear tagger loaded.  She still has no desire to give shots.  I told her that pharmacists can give shots but she said she would just hire a nurse to do that.
The process went without a hitch and we have 18 fewer cow/calf pairs to worry about.  J still has a lot of fence to repair and water gaps to fix so we can get the rest turned out soon.  A farmer's work is never done.

Monday, April 22, 2013

First Trail Ride

Our little 4-H group had a trail ride/meeting yesterday.  It was a little cool but still nice for a ride.  We had 3 4-Her's riding and 6 adults.  J made the comment that maybe we need an adult 4-H club instead.   
 E doesn't like trail rides so we let Jordyn ride Hank instead.  This was her first trail ride and who better to take care of her than Hank.
 He plodded along at his own pace working his way to the back of the pack.  He took excellent care of Jordyn.
 Jessica, on the other hand, made a bee line for the front, and stayed there the entire ride.  It was work trying to keep up with her walk.  We started out on the linear parkway, an old railroad bed that has been reclaimed as a biking/hiking/riding trail.
 Then we cut off of that and ran into this.  Apparently, the winter weather has been rough on the trails and there hasn't been much clearing done yet.  J had to get off several times to break branches, move trees and pull down vines.
When we made it out of there, Jordyn still wanted to ride more so we went on the linear parkway the other direction for a little while.  When we were done she said it was a little scary but still had a good time.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Just Kit Sunday # 10

Here is Kit at his other water bowl.  Remember the water bowl from last week? (here)
 This one is just a little further away from the house than the other one but holds a lot more water.
He seems to like it pretty well.  

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Season's First....

 I hadn't paid much attention to the asparagus after I got my mulch until yesterday.
And look, there was enough for supper.  It was so tender and sweet and just enough for me and E.  Looking forward to a good harvest over the next 2 months.

  Not much going on in the rest of the garden.  Anyone know an easy way to get rid of chickweed?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fridays Fences #77

This is the view in my yard.  How wonderful it that!
I got shoes on Thumper, Otoelene, Jessica and Hank this week so we are ready to start trail riding.  Hope the weather is nice on Sunday for our 4-H meeting/trail ride.
For more Friday Fences click HERE.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Jack

This is never a good sign when you see it in the driveway.  It means someone has had to pull a calf and now the jack has been washed off and is drying.  This time that someone was me.  J had left early to help a neighbor haul some cattle which left me to check the heifers after I took E to school and fed the goats.  
Unfortunately, I found one in labor that was having trouble.  I had to come back to the house and get the chains and jack and go back and pull the calf.  She had been in labor too long and the calf was already dead.  The jack is a very useful piece of equipment but it is something you really don't want to need.  I guess this was the price of being a good neighbor.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Blooms At Last

Our yard is finally looking like spring.  Everything is starting to bloom.  It is beautiful. 
 While J was out checking the cattle, I was checking the flowers.
 The Yoshino Cherry trees are in full bloom.  They are gorgeous for about a week.
 I have all kinds of grape hyacinths everywhere.
 I think I might need to divide my daffodils this summer.  They don't seem to be producing as many blooms.
And despite the cold snap, my camellia, which I am really in the wrong zone for, bloomed.  Things are looking up.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Va Tech Little International

J and I went to see V show her heifer in the Little I on Saturday.  Aunt L came by for the show too.   As with most things from my youth it has changed a lot.  Most of the kids were just showing to get extra credit for their livestock handling class.  V was not in the class but was showing because she wanted to.  It wasn't nearly as formal as in the past either, there was no ham sale, and I don't know what happened to the horse class.  There were only 5 in it and they were showing adult horses, not yearlings that they had to halter break themselves.  
 There were 2 classes of advanced showmen in the cattle division and 4 classes of novice.  Because V had show cattle before, she was in the advanced division.
 I thought she was doing an excellent job with her heifer, staying calm despite all of the walking sideways and swinging around.  The judge then had her switch heifers with someone else and V was not prepared for that. She got too focused on trying to get her to set up and missed a cue to walk off.
She ended up 4th in the class and felt like she had just wasted the last 3 weeks.  Looking back, I hope she will realize that sometimes hard work is it's own reward.  You don't always have to win or get a ribbon to have accomplished something.  I know that is a hard lesson for young people to learn.
Anyway, she could still smile about it afterwards.
And on a better note, there was the Animal Science Department Awards Banquet the night before and V was honored with the Mary Howe diZerega Memorial Scholarship which I think was much more important than how you place in a showmanship class.  The description said...

"This memorial scholarship was endowed in 2003 by the family of Mrs. Mary Howe diZerega.  Mrs. diZerega was a 10th generation cattle farmer who supervised every aspect of her Oakdale Farm, a performance-tested Charolais herd, which was started in 1968 in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Upperville, Va.  Her keen interest in genetics and persistence for quality helped to build an exceptional herd of purebred Charolais.  Mary Howe served as a leader in many local, state, and national cattle organizations, including being elected by her peers as President of the American-International Charolais Association.  She was a 1998 Block and Bridle Honor Awardee and was a 2003 Hall of  Fame inductee.  This endowed scholarship recognizes students, preferably young women, who are preparing for a profession in breeding and raising beef cattle.  Selection includes leadership skills, need, character  and academic achievement."
Congratulations V!  We are proud of you.  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Just Kit Sunday #9

Kit does come inside too.  
 But apparently, he thinks all water sources are for drinking.
"Well, if you would keep my water bowl this fresh I'd drink out of it."

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Beautiful sunrise on the way to the barn Thursday morning.
Oh, and the picture is totally untouched.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fridays Fences #76

J is still feeding hay.  If the weather stays nice and the grass has a chance to grow it won't be long before he can quit. 
 The fence around the hay lot leaves a lot to be desired but it is functional.  Sissy is about the only thing that ever gets in there.
Looks like we make due with what we have.  Maybe this year it will get a better fix.
For more fences click HERE.


Saw this when I had to feed after dark the other day.
A bit of a surprise when I shined my flashlight in the water tank.  You never know what you are going to run into out there.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Who Needs a Gym?

- when you have cattle to work.  Yesterday we got up the yearlings to work so we could start turning them out on the spring pastures. 
First, it was up and down these hills to get this group. 
 Then they got with the group hanging around the shed.
 Then it was a sprint up this hill to get this little group.
 Finally, they were all headed toward the barn.
You would then think it pretty simple to get them through the gap and into the barn lot.  
 Simple for 86 out of 87 that is.
 This little guy just wouldn't go through the gate no matter what.  We finally just gave up and left him out because we were running behind.  
Then we sorted and worked the steers.  Then sorted out the replacement heifers and worked them.  Then worked the rest of the heifers.  Then hauled 2 loads of steers to a new field and turned out the others for the time being.  Working them consisted of - open head gate, open tail gate, close head gate, close tail gate, repeat...86 times.  I got my cardio work-out and weight machine both done today.
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