June 16, 2013 at 1:16 am (Uncategorized)
The last couple of years when we have sheared our llamas for preventive heat measures, it had been a struggle keeping them in one place. The farmer and I had talked about a chute type system, and had seen one up close in Harrisonville several years back. But had not committed to building one – it was semi low on the to do list.
This year I was determined to have one and found a plan off the Internet I liked so much I thought even I could build it myself. We had the lumber and I knew where and how to use a nail gun and saw. So Saturday would be the start day.
As it turned out, the farmer’s son was intrigued enough to help me. We did pretty good until the farmer came by and said the idea of the front would not work for our llamas who were not trained to walk into a chute and stop – and not freak out. So the front part was reinvented to have a slider in the front and as well as across back. This way we can train them into the chute by walking through it several times, getting them comfortable.
As the rain started coming down heavier, we stopped. We also had the monthly fireman’s breakfast to go to for dinner. All that is left to do is the slide holders and a floor. I am guessing it will be done the first part of the week.
For now, we will move it out to a shady area near the pastures (picture to be posted when that happens). In time it will be in the barn.
Here are a couple of ‘in progress’ pictures.
June 2, 2013 at 1:01 pm (Uncategorized)
I think the water faucet is off for awhile…hopefully long enough to pull out of the field the 145 round bales we got Memorial Day/week! The farmer is very excited as the hay is volunteer wheat and oats; we haven’t even cut the hay fields! We should have enough to cover all our livestock needs for quite awhile.
The farmer is off on a welding trip to IN where vacated store buildings are renovated into and by Big Lots! It will be work but a break from the looooong days on a tractor.
Still on baby watch – waiting for a baby donkey, llama, a late goat or two, and still possibly a horse.
Getting the washer fixed from the lightning strike is the last on the list – and I suggested it. For a week or so it wasn’t a big deal not to be able to run a quick load, but it is getting a little old. Hopefully we can get it to the repairman when the farmer comes back….it’s a pain as we have to move the washer through narrow passage ways in the house and down some stairs….I think that is the hold up!
Back on my reading kick and visited the local library yesterday. I am a creature of comfort and have re read a series or two but need to branch out. I have found a new author I like – Luann Rice – and know she has written several books that will keep my summer reading interesting.
May 20, 2013 at 2:32 am (Uncategorized)
I haven’t had a weekly for awhile…not too much going on but this week there are a few things to write about.
1) Still on maternity watch – and it looks like LaVerne the goat is a late mama this year. Abigail the donkey is ready to pop any day – I don’t think her belly can get any tigher looking! I think Katie the llama is just waiting for a mildly warm day to deliver instead of rain or heat/humidity – can’t say I blame her. The farmer is now of the opinion that Penny the horse is pregnant so she is back on the watch list.
2) Because we have protected ourselves with crop insurance for the second year, we have plant deadlines. Due to so much rain March and April, we have not been able to plant, and our county deadline has passed. We had decided to plant milo instead which can be planted in June/July like soybeans. We have found out that USDA which funds the crop insurance program has activated prevented planting program. This means we can put in a claim for corn due to weather and received a small check against what we could have harvested. We feel very blessed to have become ‘educated’ on crop insurance.
3) It’s severe storm season in Missouri. We have started (again) to set up our storm shelter area. We have crates for the dogs, areas for the trucks to park in and just need some seating area. On the list is to seal off the south end of the room. The farmer’s favorite saying is “all it takes is money and time!”
4) So far I haven’t lost any veggie plants in the straw bale or tree garden. I set up the soaker hoses this weekend – I have been watering with the hose and fertilizer water. I would like this to be a successful venture so I am giving it my best efforts.
5) Memorial Day weekend is around the corner and I am going to learn about gradient dying with my guild group. Our fearless leader is a dye fan – we did ice cube dying at our spring retreat. My fabric is going to be grandkid pillow cases! My fabric from the gradient dye class is going towards a circular bargello our group will do sometime this year. I like these two dye methods because it reminds me of batiks – and I am a huge batik fan!
Next post I will add pictures the ‘mamas’ and the bale garden.
May 12, 2013 at 2:22 pm (Max)
Tug-a-war with Lee
that the farmer and I would ever have a small dog? – and a yappie one at that!!
Well we do and we don’t know why it took so long! Maybe it was the right time – who knows! All I can say is we have laughed so much at his antics, playing with the Carli, Samantha, Gretchen (the German short-hairs) and Annie the Great Dane, ‘wrangling up’ the cats at night, and general overall farm exploring. He sleeps on the farmer in the evening while we watch TV, wants to be with a human when available but hangs out with Annie and Carli when there isn’t one around, has slept through night since I brought him home, and has become the fastest member of the family of all the dogs.
May 5, 2013 at 9:10 pm (Uncategorized)
We are working two pastures for the goats and llamas. Since we sold off our older billy, Cecil will be our main guy. He hasn’t been with any of the ladies in the west pasture, and all of last years’ girls have Ollie as the sire. Cecil will be in 7th heaven this year! All girls are together with 3 llamas, and the other pasture has 2 llamas, Cecil and Jack the male horse.
Our other move this spring is deciding that we won’t be able to have two fields of corn – hopefully we can still plant one field. The other field that was to be corn has oats growing in it to become baled hay. If there hadn’t been as much moisture and snow this spring, we would have had the oats out and corn in. So now we will be planting milo which is a crop that planting time is same as late soybeans (June/July). The only wrinkle we ran into was we didn’t list milo as a crop on our insurance papers so we aren’t able to add the milo crop to our policy. However the farmer found a solution and we are moving forward. Oh, did I say the seed company is providing the milo seed free so they can have a test plot in this area of the county? Yes sir, the farmer pull off a great deal!
May 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm (Uncategorized)
It amazes me when – I stop to think about it – how technology has taken over my life. There was a time when I would have gone to the store, bought a card, hand wrote a message and signed my name before popping it in the mail to arrive in time for someone’s birthday. Now I can text her on the actually day, or blog it as am doing now. I could call and use my voice to send her birthday wishes but I am not sure what her day will be like – she may join in a Cinco de Mayo celebration – and lordy, that could be an all day gig…I would have to leave a message. I did start thinking about a card a few days back, but as each day went by and no card sent, the arrival day started becoming the day after.
Everybody texts now days,and it really seems inpersonal to me – you type Happy Birthday and send- its done and you go on with your day. Buying card takes time to pick the right one, then actually write something using some of those elementary school skills we were taught, and mail it = it puts some thought into the event, shows you do care,
So I came to me in a dream – I would send her birthday wishes through the blog because I do have to think of what I am writing about and I do care so she will get my message faster and on her birthday.
Happy Birthday Karen! I hope you have a great day with family and friends, with great weather. Love Susan
May 3, 2013 at 12:49 am (Uncategorized)
Really Mother Nature – freezing temps in May!! Do I bring my CA plants in or not?!?!?! Since the low temp is for one night and above freezing they should survive one cold May night. Keeping my fingers crossed there isn’t a baby donkey arriving during the night!
May 2, 2013 at 3:55 am (Home Repair)
There hasn’t been too much needing fixing that the farmer and/or his friends can’t handle. Until three weeks ago when lightning struck – electrical things needed fixing and the farmer does not like working with electricity.
So a local heater / AC guy was called in to fix the heater. In a weeks time, wires were cut, no working circuit board, and a ‘I will be back tomorrow’ happened. The Heat and Air Company of Fairview is a NO on my list. Mike Rhoades of Neosho (a YES) is our savior in the heater & AC department – we made it through the cold spell with oil heaters…but didn’t know what to do during the upcoming one – Mike got enough connections hooked back up for the AC to work – it’s not any fun to be around the farmer when its hot!
Gene Fountain is on the YES side. In three hours he had our online generator back in service – the lightning strike burnt the voltage generator.
The top YES so far is Jeff Goodall of TAZ Electric. We now are grounded – a pole was installed stopping the the ground from being energized.
Not sure what criteria Angie uses for her list but for my list is good pricing, communication and friendliness – as we also have a long story to share!
April 27, 2013 at 3:45 pm (Uncategorized)
This isn’t any actual farm stuff today but something that is very heavy in my heart…
I am not the analytic type so I don’t try to figure out the “why” but in this I wish I had the answers. It seems to me that the second generation of my family have had to deal with life to in ways that seem totally unfair – death, cancer, infertility. A parent wants their children to have it all, not always easy because that is where the lessons are learned that create the wisdom to pass onto their children. A parent does not want their children to experience the loss of their own, the “C” word or to hear “not sure what’s going”. However, because the members of the second generation have been faced with early challenges - they have become stronger and smarter. I am very proud to be linked to them, and I take strength from knowing where their fortitude comes from and strongly believe God works miracles.
April 22, 2013 at 12:37 am (Uncategorized)
It started out not so good as the heater wasn’t fixed and we hadn’t seen the ‘repair’ guy since Saturday – a week ago. Through some contacts parts wer order for the farmer to be ‘walked through’ hooking up the circuit board. Then we found out for any future insurance coverage, we needed a ‘real’ repair guy. So I found one who would come out sometime Friday. That being said, the heater should be fixed by the middle of next week.
Made a call to have the generator looked at – repair guy came Saturday and the voltage regulator was replaced – the lightning even took out the light bulb on the part! All is well for the upcoming storm.
All that is left for repair (that we know of) is the washing machine. Since both the heater-A/C and generator are high priced in repairs, the washing machine may wait a bit – still need some parts for the planter to be able to get the corn in – there’s a plant deadline to meet if we want crop insurance – and yes sirree we sure do!
Best part of the weekend was getting my mind wrapped around a garden. I had tried one when we first moved out here, but it was so big, and the Johnson grass took over. I tried again in a smaller plot, and all seemed to work well. I had heard of straw bale gardening, looked into it, but didn’t have enough bales that year to try it. This year a guild member made a keyhole garden. As we are waiting for a storm to come through I thought I would put it to good use had have the rain start soaking my bales for the first 3 days. I am going to go organic with my fertilizer since I have a constant supply of llama stuff which makes great liquid fertilizer in 24 hours!
I have been told by a lady with experience that gardens in this neck of the woods shouldn’t be planted until the first part of May which seems I will fall into that time frame based on what I need to do with the straw bales before planting. Local lore says potatoes should be planted in mid March – missed that due date!. But I am going to watch a video on using/making a potato box and I may be able to have potatoes this year!
If all goes well with straw bale gardening, it’s onto a strawberry patch!