Tuesday, June 20, 2017

This One Is For E

E is always asking why I don't ride Pep any.  When I tell her I have ridden Brother or Hank it's, "Why didn't you ride Pep?"  Since E is in Illinois for 9 weeks this summer I can't give my usual answer of, "Why don't you ride her?"  My second answer is because I'm afraid of making her lame.  But since there is no showing on the horizon for her to be sound for, I went ahead and rode her today. 
 First, I did some grooming.  Her mane is longer than ever.  But in retrospect, I think it was suppose to go on the other side.  So I looked up some old pictures to see, and look what I found....
 E and Pep at their first horse show 10 years ago this month.  E was only 10 and Pep was 6.  They made a good team.
 Pep is a challenging horse to ride.  Her jog is nice but her lope has always been stiff and she really fights having to do it.
But we got through it and rode some outside and even chased the goats around.  I think she liked doing that part the best.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day

Looks like someone got a new truck.
Well, not actually for Father's Day but he got it on Friday which was pretty close.  As you know from a recent post, the red farm truck is trying to fall apart.  So better to get a replacement while it's still running than when you are standing beside the road.   Since we already have a 3/4 ton diesel to pull the trailers, I thought it would be nice to have a small running around truck that was easier to get in and out of opening all the gates.  J found this 2014 Toyota Tacoma with 31,000 miles.  It is a striped down version with a 6 foot bed.  So small enough to whip around in and big enough to haul a load of wood.  It will take some getting use to but I think we will like it.

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Every year E complains about the tommy toes running wild in the garden.  I just can't bring myself to pulling them up.  Even when I try to keep them in a row they just spread out all over the place.  
 J had an idea to fence them in this year.
 So I dug up the volunteers and made a row.  J then put in the post and wire fence.  I'll let you know in September how it went.
And looks like we might have another bumper crop of blackberries.  I might have to find that pie recipe again.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Back In The Saddle

I had some surgery the first of May that has kept me from riding for several reasons.
1. Couldn't pull myself up into the saddle with my right arm.
2. Couldn't really turn the horse to the right if I wanted to.
3. Was afraid if the horse acted badly I wouldn't be able to get off fast enough.
4. Otoelene was lame with an abscess. 
5. Doctor said no riding. 
I rode Jessica in the barn a couple of weeks ago for about 15 minutes but I really don't count just walking around. 
 But yesterday, I rode Hank, The Wonder Horse.
 J rode Brother and got all the gates!!!!  Hank was his usual Wonder Horse self.  What a pleasure and joy to ride.  At least if you don't have to trot too much.  My goodness he is springy.  He is good to learn to post on because you have no other choice.
 Brother is 6 years old now.  Maybe he is finally deciding to be a reliable horse.  J got along really well with him yesterday.
And who needs to go to Mt Rogers with views like this in your front yard.

Friday, June 9, 2017

No Honey Yet

Our bees seem to be really good at making more bees (3 swarms this year) but are slacking in the making honey department. 
 Our newest hive looked very busy so I thought J should go ahead and add a honey super to it.
 That went fine.
 So while he was all suited up, he checked on the other two hives.  And what a disappointment to see no drawn comb or honey started in either one.   I am hoping that it is still just early and since it has been so wet maybe that has stalled production some.
Anyway, J was glad to have the suit on.  Since we were just peeking in the hives and not really doing anything he didn't bother to use a smoker.  You can see they got a little angry.  Maybe I'll have him suit up again in July and check their progress again.

Saturday, June 3, 2017


I had to make a house call Thursday.   Unfortunately, it was to my own house.   J called me at work because a calf he had been treating for scours (diarrhea)  had taken a bad turn for the worse.  Luckily, it wasn't terribly busy so I could leave for a bit to make my house call. 
 The poor little thing was flat out.  I started IV fluids, evil antibiotics, pain medicine and anti diarrhea medicine.
 Do you like my IV pole?
 By the next morning she was sitting sternal.
 Then Friday afternoon we were able to get her to stand up and nurse.
After 5 1/2 liters of IV fluids she said she was ready to go back to mama.
J loaded her on the truck to get her back to mom.
 The cow heard her and started bawling.
Mom and baby back together.  Hope we are over the worst of it.

Friday, June 2, 2017

$400 Jeans, Truck Version

I'm sure you have all heard about the $400 distressed jeans from Nordstroms. 
 If not you can read about them HERE.
 I decided that J's truck was the truck  version of the $400 jeans.  Only he earned every rust spot, dent and scratch.  J bought it used in 2001.  It is a 1994 model.
 The bumper is now falling off.
 There is rust behind every wheel.  The passenger door can only be opened from the outside so you have to roll the window down to get out.  The door does close good though.
 The front bumper is disappearing.
 The left side is gone.
 I don't know what happened to the rear view mirror.  I thought it was still in the truck and several years ago my mother got the special glue for us so I could reattach it.  But by that time I couldn't find the mirror again.
 The driver side door also only opens from the outside but you have to flip the latch up to get it to close again.
 I think J backed into the trailer once and lost the tail light.
And I won't mention how it got a bullet hole in the bed.
Then the set ripped and the stuffing wore out and J was sitting cockeyed down on the seat frame.  I took pity on him and stuffed a pillow in the hole and sewed it up with fishing line.

If fake work jeans are worth $400, surely a real work truck is worth $20,000.  Any takers?

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Surprise Visitor

Wildlife is everywhere on a farm so I shouldn't be surprised when it shows up in the yard.
 But this one was a bit of a shock.
 Considering we are on top of a very high hill, way above the creek, I just didn't expect a snapping turtle in the yard.
 He was a cute thing and not all that shy about getting a picture taken.
But he was also pretty quick.  When we came back from feeding the goats, he was gone.  Hopefully, he made it back to the water.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Almost A Vacation

J and I have been working a lot of the cattle by ourselves the last couple of years.  But yesterday V and M came to help out with one of our spring calving groups. 
 I didn't have to work the head gate any.   V had that covered.
 Or give any of the shots.  M took care of that.
It was just like I was on vacation, sort of.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A Man And His Goats

This picture was too good to not share.
As you can see, Striper, Bunny, Crazy, and Mary Lou are still getting their bottles.  I have been working on trying to get them to eat grain but no go yet.  If they ever start eating some we can start weaning them off the milk replacer.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Next Adventure

E has only been home from college for a week before heading out on her next big adventure.
 She has been a big help for the little time she was home, feeding the goats,
 and doing some yard work.
 But then she packed up the Rav and headed west.
She is doing a 9 week summer internship though the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center. The title of her research project is - Alien Invaders: Investigating a novel and recent invasion of an Asian Corbiculid clam in Illinois’ Great Rivers  hosted by the Illinois Natural History Survey.  After a week of orientation in Alton Illinois she will then travel to Champaign, Illinois for the remainder of internship.  For anyone interested here is the description of the project,

Project Description: The genus Corbicula consists of moderately-sized freshwater clams native to the temperate/tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and Australia and contains some of the most common and successful aquatic invasive species to North America. Previously, only one species (C. fluminea) was common in Illinois and found statewide, but a second Corbicula invader was discovered in 2008 (C. cf. largillierti). The Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) recently discovered a putatively new Corbicula in the Illinois River near Marseilles, Illinois in 2015. Preliminary morphological and molecular assessment have supported the presence of three alien Corbicula invaders, and additional research is critical to stanch their spread (Tiemann et al., In Review). We propose a two-part (field and lab) study: 1) to conduct presence or absence surveys for the novel and recent Corbicula invaders at several locations (determined by habitat characteristics) across the state to determine geographic distribution of the three forms. Locations will include up to four sites near the confluences of major rivers (e.g., near the Missouri/Mississippi confluence, the Kankakee/Illinois confluence, Ohio River), as well as other promising locations known to harbor Corbicula. 2) Specimens collected will be subjected to a robust geometric morphometric assessment and leveraged to develop species-specific environmental DNA (eDNA) assays.

Miss you already E, have a great time.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Feed Sack Tote Bag

I normally don't feed the horses grain.  But this past winter with Hank having lost weight and having a weanling that needed some extra nutrition, I ended up with several feed bags.  I have seen different places where people have made totes out of the old bags so I thought I might give it a try.  
 I picked the most picturesque bag and this is what I came up with.
 E said I could start taking it to the grocery store to eliminate the hundreds of plastic bags that accumulate here. (I do reuse and recycle them)
I thought it might make a nice gift bag at a horse function.  Either way, I think it's a winner.  Looks like they run about $10 on Etsy.  Guess the picture on the bag is going to be as important as the contents in the future.
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