Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New arrivals..

We have been a little busy around here.  The weather is so crazy! One day it's warm, then cold, then snowing.  You just never know what you will wake up to.  I'm waiting for it to just turn off cold and stay that way, but who knows.

We have been having a few new arrivals the last couple of days.  I have been checking cows every two hours, even at night.  I'm glad to be able to do this.  It's so rewarding when you save one and then they are out playing with the others.  If not it can be heartbreaking loosing one.  You work so hard and wait so long.  We take it very personally.

We currently have 3 on the ground.  The first was a first calf heifer that calved on her own.  The second is a cow we've had a few years.  And then yesterday we had a heifer that her calf wanted to arrive with his head facing his butt.  So with the chains and a LOT of help, he's resting in the barn with his momma.  Now to calve a few more.  Have a small break and start all over.  Seeing a calf born still amazes me, it's like the first time every time.

I have a few photos of the new babes I will share once I'm not exhausted and can relax a little.  But I have been keeping up with everyone and enjoy you posts.  Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I got this lovely at one of our cattle shows

This beauty cam from North American International Livestock Exposition.

This is a wrap bracelet you can wear it as a bracelet or necklace.
Calypso Studios...love their jewelry.

This set is from one of my favorite stores: Target.

This is the bracelet that started my obsession, it's from Kohl's.

I got this from Little Miss for Christmas. 

And these cuties are from Claire's.

I hope everyone has a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Out with the old..

I have been wanting to replace our mailbox for a while.  It's not very big for photos to be delivered, packages and all those important things. :)  And when the rain blows the door pops open on it.  The weather gets in it and then we had to dry out the mail.  So finally while with SIL Mel I got the post.  And wondered how many times I would have to ask before Mr. M put it up for us.

Then we went to NAILE in November and I asked for some mailbox decor.. And Mr. M had no choice but to put up our new mailbox.  So he got all the supplies and off he went.  I love it.  The mail stays dry, photo envelopes fit and so do some of the smaller packages. 

Tada!  Now to find a cow rain gauge for it and it's complete.  Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Preparing for calving

We prepare for calving like we did when the babes were born.  Supplies, cleaning and being as ready as possible.  We Artificially Inseminate (that's a later post) as many as our cows as possible.  This allows us to know when the cows due dates are and move them to the lot where we can watch them. 

We baby our cows because we can and because we want them to have the best start possible.  So last week we prepared the barn.  During the summer we use it for storage, turkeys and new laying chicks.  The barn is ready now.  And we are just watching the cows through the day and getting up in the middle of the night.  You never know when one of them may need help.  With the crazy weather we are having,  it can make them go a little earlier than normal.

All clean and ready for set up.

We use the Skid Steer to roll out 2 huge round bales of straw.
The straw is the bedding to keep the cows/calves warm.

All the pens up and ready for the cows to have their babes.

Each pen has a water container,  because the cows require a lot of water.  Especially after they have their babes to help produce milk.  They will be fed a certain amount of feed to help keep body condition and to produce milk.  And each pen has a heat lamp in it for the calves to lay under to stay warm.  If there are no problems and the calves do well then they will only stay in the pens for about 48 hours.

Then new bred cows are moved to the lot to be watched more closely.  That way when we see signs of labor they are moved into pens.  We have a waiting to calve group in the big lot.  And then we have the calving anytime group in the lot where the calving barn is.  That way they are easily moved into the barn so they can calve in clean bedding and warmth.

 We try and be present with each calf being born.  They get vaccinations, navels dipped and ear tagged.
 Then they go out to the lot with the bred cows.  The cows/calves are still checked daily to make sure that everyone is nursing and healthy. 

That may sound confusing or like a lot of work to some, but we wait for 9 months for these calves.  And they usually only have one calf.  And the future of the cow, our herd and our sales depend on each live, healthy birth we have.  So each and every precaution is worth it to us.

Have a great week!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Steer Project

This fella is Tabasco.  He is the steer out of the set of twins we had this year.  His sister is gone now, she went to the sale barn.  When you have twins that are opposite sex they are sterile, Free Martens.  You wouldn't know by looking at him that he is a twin.  His momma is a milking machine.

Anyway, we decide to keep him so that our Little Man can start learning how to clip.  So this is his project for the year.  He weighs his feed, washes/rinses, and makes sure he has plenty of hay/water.  You have to start somewhere.  And if he carves him out too much its no big deal.  But as you can see they grow very fast.

 And then in August we will have him butchered.  Now I know some people have an issue with that. 
How can you raise him from a baby?  Then get him broke as a dog, then butcher him.  Don't you feel bad?  The answer is no.  We are cattle farmers.  This is the natural coarse of life.  This is what cattle are raised for.  We take the best care of our animals.  And when it's time for any of them to butchered or removed from the herd they are handled with care to the end.  They are treated with respect and dignity.  We like knowing where our food comes from.  And to be honest, most farm animals have a better life than most people.

We hope you have a great weekend!  Stay warm and be safe.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

In a Nutshell

The last two days Mr. M has been home with me.  He's on a weird work schedule right now.  Pioneer is trying to get everything ready for planting.  We had some things that had to get done while he was home.  And mission accomplished.
With the unusual weather this year we consulted with our vet and are changing our vaccinations on our calves this year.  So they can deal with the ever changing weather.  The cows are moved to the lot.  The barn has calving pens ready to go.  We have heat lamps, vaccinations and all the maternity gear ready to go.  We have our first two due on the same day.  And one is a heifer, that I swear is not going to make it to her due date.

We went to a baby shower for a friend last Sunday.  I can't to meet their little man.  This Saturday is my SIL 30th birthday.  She doesn't look her age or act it either.  She is lots of fun.  The next couple of days will be spent getting everything on my house list done.  Because once calving gets into high gear I tend to just glaze over the household stuff.  I prefer to be in the barn anyway.

I have been having a lot of fun with my new little camera "Dinky".  I take it everywhere with me and it fits in my pocket or bag.  So I will share a few of those pictures with you.  We are expecting up to an inch of snow today.  The babes are super excited.  Well, off to do something productive.  I hope you all have a wonderful day....

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It will get done

There's so many things going on right now.  And we are making headway.  There are days I feel super productive and others when I look around and feel like I haven't done anything. 
Slowly but surely it gets done.  And if it doesn't there's always tomorrow.  Right?  I am trying to not be so hard on myself when this happens.  Let's just say I'm a work in progress.
I hope everyone has had a great day.  Now to work on the list for tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It's an ocean

I have been meaning to post the babes newly redone rooms.  I let each of the babes pick their colors, help paint and then we redecorated.  It was a lot of fun.  But it was hard to walk into their newly done rooms after.  They are growing up too fast and these rooms are tween rooms.  Anyway, Little Miss loves the ocean! So of course we had to have a beach/ocean room.  We both love it.  And it's so bright and cheery when you go in.

we had to decorate the door!

this is a collage i did for her with photos from Florida and Michigan.
the shells are Mr. M's from when he was a teenager.

she even wanted to decorate the windows!
we used postcards from our Florida trip. her first pair of boots, her first bible,
and a camel from India that was her dads when he was young.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Seeing Double

When we breed our cattle, we do so to get what we think it the best possible genetics.  One of my favorite traits is chrome(white) faces on our cattle.  Mr. M not so crazy about it.  We have never had any calves with chrome until 2 years ago.  We wait 9 months for these little cuties to arrive.  And it's the most exciting part of my year, other than watching the babes show. 
Sometimes you get some that are a little hard to tell apart.  And this is the case with two heifers we have this year.  They have the same daddy-Nuggent.  And different mommas. They are referred to as the twins.  Can you tell them apart?



Easters momma, Canute

And daddy to both-Nuggent
The funny thing is Kittitas has a white mark like a scar off her left eye just like Nuggent.  They are both going to be great cows for us.  They are sound, soggy and have great pedigrees.  I can't wait to see what their future holds.

Easter has a sweet disposition like her momma.  Her and our barn cat are best buds.  She keeps him warm..

Friday, January 13, 2012

It's all about to begin

I love my new little camera "Dinky".  I love that I can carry it in my pocket when I go to do chores.  I love that I can carry it in my bag when running errands.  And it really takes good pictures.  I have been playing with all the buttons and dials.  And I can't wait to take a panorama!  The Little Man is not so excited about "Dinky".  He sees me and it's always the same.  "Mom, do you have that camera?"  "If you do, don't take any pictures of me!"  So I have to be a little more sneaky..:)

Yesterday the weather turned very cold here in Indiana.. We have been very lucky with warmer than normal temperatures.  But this am it is 18 with 30 plus mile an hour winds.  So it's a little blistery out.  We are going to go into high gear with hauling manure.  Then the calving pens are going up in the barn.  And then we will wait for the miracle that amazes me every time.

I have decided to try and go into more depth with a lot of what goes on and what we do around here.  I hope to not offend anyone.  I want to show how farm life is and why we love it.  It's not glamorous, it's hard, it's heartbreaking, it's long hours.  But it's also rewarding, it's wonderful and it's what we love.  I hope you enjoy it as we go into more detail of the cattle, crops, forage and the shows.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.  Stay safe and warm......

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January Summer Fun

Like everyone, we are having unusually warm weather.  And the babes took full advantage of it.  Shovels, milk jugs, wood and imagination.  Their imagination is so fasinating to me.  They can fight like cats and dogs, but when they are pretending its all puppies and rainbows.  They were having so much fun, that we let them skip chores.

What kid doesnt love mud!  I was able to get a few before I was spotted.  Little Man hollered at me "MOM"!  He really hates his photo taken. All this will be frozen later today.  We are expecting 2-3 inches of snow today.  And the first thing Mr. M say, Good we can haul more manure!

 Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Showin fun..

Last Friday and Saturday was our first show of 2012 and second show of the season.  Are you confused?  This show was in Colombus, OH.  Scarlett & Gray is held at the Ohio Expo Center.  It's a fun show to go to.   We stall outside under a viaduct, with trains going overhead.  And we are completely at the mercy of the elements. There is no heat at any time other than what you bring.
Last year at this show it was 19 for the high, ice everywhere and miserable.  But we had fun and we loved it.  This year it was int he 40s, sunny and enjoyable.  And this year we had both babes showing. 

Last Year:

This Year:

This years weather has been unusually warm.  So we don't plan on having all the sunshine and warmth next year.  But we sure did enjoy it.  This years pictures where taken with my new camera "Dink". They are unedited except for Little Mans photo and I added  the edges.  Dink is my new little travel buddy.

Little Man;Scarlett & Gray-2012
Ring A-2nd; Ring B-3rd
Little Miss; Scarlett & Gray-2012
Ring A-2nd; Ring B-2nd

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Liebster Award


1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.

2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.

4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.

5. And most of all - have fun!

Thank You to Buttons.  You should visit her blog.  http://ravenhush.blogspot.com/    She tells wonderful stories and makes you think about the world around you.  She shares her world from her special spot in the woods.  And compliments her stories with amazing photos with her point and shoot.

My Top 5 Picks:

1..  A Life Well Lived, http://threesmycrowd.blogspot.com/ 
      Amanda is a wife and mother.  She shares her love of family, Jesus and photography.  She's inspiring with her posts and beautiful photos.  Stop by and see the world through her eyes.

2..  Coolidge Life on the Farm,  http://coolidgelifeonthefarm.blogspot.com/
      The Coolidges are a newly married couple in California.  They share their life raising sheep and growing grapes.  They share stories we can all relate to as newly married and starting out.  Stop by and say HI!

3..  Flip Flops, Camera Shots, and Happy Thots,  http://purposelyathome.blogspot.com/
      Marli is a beautiful young woman.  She has Jesus in her heart.  A love of family and the world around her.  She will inspire you and move you with her posts.  You will love everything about this blog.

4..  Cow Pies and Mud Pies, http://brazleblogger.blogspot.com/
      Cow Pies is stories about a fun loving momma raising two boys, cattle and running a business.  Follow along for their story, and a good laugh.  Their stories are ones we can all relate to.  Stop by and visit.

5..  Make Mine Beef, http://makeminebeef.blogspot.com/
      Katrina shares cattle, cooking, tips and good laughs.  Stop by and learn more about the beef industry.  Her tips, photos and recipes will get you hungry and your mind thinking.  Go visit and go away hungry.

These are just a few of the many blogs that we follow.  For a complete list of all of the wonderful blogs just click on one on the list to the right.  We enjoy each and every one, and each one has wonderful stories, photos and inspiration.  Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Friend

I love my camera.  It's a part of me.  I take it to so many places.  And I love saving all of our memories for when the babes are older.  But sometimes I don't want to or can't carry my big girl camera.  So after Junior Nationals this summer I start researching point n shoots.  My only problem is that I want the same great pictures that I get with my big girl camera.  So after much research and asking I got one.

Here he is, my new little camera.  It's the Nikon S9100.  And so far I love it.  We had our second cattle show this weekend so I decided to try it.  Low light, moving kids/cattle, about every test I can try.  And I am happy with the photos. I haven't tried the video yet.  I didn't take my big girl camera out of the bag all weekend.  The only thing was, I git a button by accident and deleted a whole days worth of photos.  Thankfully I had read an article and was able to download some software and I now have all the photos!  I will share the photos with you tomorrow.  Have a great day.