Monday, March 30, 2015

More new babies at the farm and things are waking up at the pond.

Over the weekend, two more heifers had their calves, #26, a solid black cow had a cute little white faced girl.

I couldn't get a better picture because she has a very nervous mother, after she was born the cow didn't seem to know what to do with her. Instead she stood nearby and kept bellowing at her.

"I don't know what you are but I think you are supposed to be doing something!!"

Yesterday #20, another white faced heifer, had this solid black baby girl, go figure.

It's great to finally have babies while the weather is cooperating.

Every day that it is nice, the dogs and I drive to the pond and park inside the first gate. This is my view as they bail out and race each other to the trees to be the first one to flush out any critter that might be hanging around.

When they reach the trees, the real work begins.... hole is left unsnuffled.... dead critter left unrolled in.

Murphy has to sample the water in each pond....

....and it's much better if you are belly deep.

This goose is now sitting on eggs....

....see how low her head is? She is being very, very sneaky.

I saw the first deer, well actually I saw the first deer hiney, her white flag was bobbing back and forth waving "Bye, Bye!"

Earlier I did see deer tracks but this was the first actually siting. As I was walking along studying the ground where I saw the tracks, my heart leaped and stomach clenched. Behind the deer tracks were some big paw prints, YIKES!! There have been numerous mountain lion sightings and wouldn't one love to live at the pond??

Then my two big dogs came running back to me, Uh, never mind......

Friday, March 27, 2015

A new baby! FINALLY!!

As you know we have been on baby watch since the first of March, #25 was the obvious leader of the pack. Lately Bruce has been checking before bed and then going over about 4 AM but nothing. Not even low pressure did it, Dang.

On Wednesday we had errands to run in Cherokee and were gone about 2 1/2 hours, on the way home we went right to the farm because Bruce was pretty sure she would have it. He said she had been quite restless all morning. We drove in and parked by the barn, we first noticed two heifers were standing by the lean-to with their noses close to the ground, intently staring at SOMETHING in the shed. When we got out of the car, suddenly both of them jerked and their heads came up.

"I think we have a baby!"

Then we heard that wonderful sound, "M-M-M-M-M," that new mother's make to their baby.

"I KNOW we have a baby!"

Yes, indeedy, inside the lean-to lay a sopping wet baby calf with her mother diligently cleaning her up, with her tongue. YUCK!

Now if you have a daddy that looks like this.....

....and a Mama with a face like this.....(far right)... was such a surprise to get a baby that looks like this!

Where's the white face??

It doesn't really matter, she is adorable and so young and innocent. This is when they are so much fun because they aren't afraid of me, when she got up, she walked over to me, much to her Mother's dismay.

She followed her Mama outside and then settled in for a drink.

The other ladies lined up at the gate, trying to get their noses through for a sniff or lick.

"Oh, how I wish I had a baby!"

Oh, you will, don't worry.

Then Murphy came in to get acquainted and Mama ran her little butt right outside.

"And you STAY OUT!"

To emphasize it, she raised her fist and shook it. Well, metaphorically that is, you know cows don't have fists.

But I could still see it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Guilty dog

Does this video look like a guilty dog to you?

But nothing keeps Murphy down for long and soon she is back to bouncing around. A couple of days ago, the dogs and I were at the farm. When we arrive, Mollie immediately tears off for the corn crib to sniff out rats. Murphy was with me and discovered two dead (the only good rat) rats by the bulk bin that Bruce had dispatched.

As much as I love animals, I can't love rats, they are scurvy little creatures with beady eyes that are always scurrying around in the dark. The movie, Charlotte's Web glorified Templeton, the rat, and made him a cute and cuddly creature. The movie lied.

So here was Mollie, hunting for a rat and Murphy came upon two already dead, what a gift!! She picked one up and pranced around, all the while keeping her eye on the other. I could just hear her thinking, "I need to hide these from Mollie!" I saw her run up to Leo's shop, return without the rat, scoop up the other one and take it to her hiding place. I did not see where she stashed her treasures but when I called them to load up, Murphy came without a rat.

(I have memories of one of them trying to carry a dead rat home in the back of the gator and she kept dropping it behind me in my seat, YISH!!)

Today we made the trip to the farm, Mollie went to the crib and Murphy disappeared behind Leo's shop and came out with a dead rat dangling in her jaws, she remembered. But war broke out when Mollie discovered the rat, she tore into Murphy and made her drop it. I then made Mollie drop it, much to her dismay and Murphy scooped it back up. Mollie tried to wrest it from her jaws once again, I wasn't sure the rat was up for that tug-o-war so once again I had to make Mollie back down. This time Murphy didn't hesitate, with her treasured prize, she disappeared behind Leo's shop and reappeared without the rat.

You can bet she will return for her prize another day.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Today is the day.......

 Urban Legends profess that on the Vernal Equinox you can not only balance a raw egg on it's end, you can also balance a broom on it's end. I took the challenge, marched out to the coop and waited impatiently for a hen to lay an egg. Grasping a still warm, slightly sticky egg in my hand, I ran, well, maybe power walked, to the house and proceeded to dispel the myth. 

After much frustration, I turned to Mr. Google and found a great video and........drum roll, please......

I DID IT!!!!

I swear on a bible that there is no glue, gum, stick-um of any kind.

Then I ate it, YUM!!

(I'm leaving the broom thing up to you.)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Getting the 'stink blowed off Clyde'

Clyde is my couch potato, he moves from couch to chair, to chair, to chair, to the day bed and back to the couch. I decided with temps in the 80's yesterday, it was a good day for Clyde to get outside and smell some fresh air.

It was against his better judgement, he did not go willingly but I'm bigger than he is.

He was wriggling in my arms, "NO, NO, NO!!!!" As I went out the door he grabbed frantically for the frame and attempted to force me back inside.

But I'm bigger than he is and I set him down outside, Clyde huddled against the door, shaking and waiting for the sky to fall.

It did not fall, the BIG DOGS kept their distance, so he decided to venture out to explore.

He stopped by my 'nest', rubbed against me, then ventured to the pond, I was waiting for him to take a tumble as he staggered around the rocks and brush left over from last year.

"Huh, where did this come from?"

Clyde was very interested in the fish and they kept swimming by him in case he was going to toss out any food pellets.

But he is still my couch potato and finally tippy toed back toward the house....

....moving very cautiously so as not to draw attention and soon was back to the house, huddled against the door.

I have a bird bath by the bird feeders but with the pond clear of ice, they prefer the pond. This little nervous Junco made his way down the rocks.....

....keeping a wary eye out for any cats.

Today was very different, quite chilly, windy and about 50 degrees cooler. The sun was still shining so I brought the chaise lounge up on the south porch of the house, out of the wind and went in the house for all the amenities for an afternoon rest. But when I came out, who should I find in my bed?

I guess I should have put a save on it.

"You even brought me a blanket and pillow? How nice is that??"

The little creep!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A good day....

I'm feeling the effects of chemo week and know from experience that being outside is the best medicine. We are having day after day of beautiful weather, a great respite from the long, cold winter. The gazebo is still wrapped so I found an old chaise lounge in the garage and drug it out by the pond, brought the quilt that Debbie made for us, an afghan and pillow, water, Gatorade, phone, tablet and camera. I've spent every afternoon this week in my little camp, reading and napping, surrounded by all the animals. 

The pond is a big draw, it's been thawed for some time and today the goldfish were floating on top of the water, soaking up the sunshine. 

There are lots of little dramas going on in the animal and fowl world, Larry Jr., our little half pint rooster is scurrying around, chasing his son, Larry lll, harassing his little flock of two hens, dashing to and fro from hen to hen, making sure they are aware that he is in charge.

Some of the big hens indulge his Napoleon complex but others spurn him and even have the audacity to chase him off. But Larry Jr. doesn't let that get him down and he is soon zeroing in on someone else. 

He squires Lucky around and take her to the pond for a drink.

Bruiser LaRue comes out of the cat house to wash down the cat food, this water tastes so much better than the water in their bowls.

More chickens make their way to the pond......

"Delicious, simply delicious!"
Murphy and Mollie are my constant companions, Murphy curls up at the base of the Josie lilac bush that Mom gave me as a sprig and then proceeds to chew on one of the branches. When she got up, her coat was covered in leaves and she looked like she was trying to camouflage herself. 

This little bird keeps running up and down the tree, a chickadee?

Zoe settles in on my lap, then Murphy has to horn in on our quality time, to my surprise, Zoe put up with her for awhile.

Until Murphy got a little rowdy with that long nose, then all bets were off and the claws came out.

"I told you to KNOCK IT OFF!!"

Stinky, our naughty boy, keeps watch for an unsuspecting cat he can attack. But I have Mollie who lives for the words, "STINKY!" That is her signal to launch an attack on him, she is on standby, hoping, hoping, hoping to hear that word.

"Who, ME? I'm not doing anything!"

I give myself permission to eat anything that sounds good, whether it is yogurt with Rosanne's homemade granola or Sue's ham and bean soup that has healing properties, I've learned to make a batch before chemo so I'm prepared, or my guilty pleasure, the little individual sacks of Cheetos that I buy at Dollar Store, 2 for $1.00 and keep for emergencies. I wash it down with Gatorade that was a gift from Alex when I was struggling with my first go-round, I have learned to appreciate it.

I had a sack of Cheetos nearly eaten before Mollie realized it, came and sat patiently, expectantly, for her share. The first one disappeared down her throat without so much as a 'crunch' but after that, she ate each one politely. When the sack was nearly empty, I tore it open and offered her the crumbs, she inhaled one through her nose then proceeded to sneeze the remaining ones over me and my bed.

I think a lot about the next three weeks, the scan coming up and then waiting a week for results, I'm not good at waiting, and what those results will mean for both of us. Will we get a respite from the constant doctor appointments or will we face a different treatment? 

But for today, I look around at all I have and love and think, "This is a good day."

Friday, March 13, 2015

We're on baby watch

Our small herd of six heifers spent the summer in Grassey's pasture with Baby Bull....

...who did what he was supposed to do. Bruce knew that anytime after March 1 we could have some calves so he sorted them off and they are in the luxury pen with the barn, lean-to or old hog house for shelter.

#25, the heifer on the right, is the first one to start making a bag, the first sign of impending birth.

Bruce feeds them at night, it been proven that if a cow loads up with food before going to bed, she will be unlikely to give birth until morning. 

I wonder if they have ever tried that with women? That would beat going to the hospital in the middle of the night.

They get a half scoop of yummy silage that has been fermenting under a tarp all winter, with a sprinkle of mineral for healthy babies.

WOW, close your eyes girls, here it comes.

Look at that fat tummy and the cute little udder.

"She's just a little rude, don't you think??"
After feeding his girls, Bruce stands and communes with them, that hopefully will make them feel a bit more kindly toward him if he has to start poking around in their nether regions.

Wouldn't you like to be in on this conversation?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Last chemo???

Well, a girl can hope. Dr. Rao gave me a gift on Monday, she said as of this one, I have had the full regime of chemo so now she was ordering a PET scan in three weeks to see how things look. If it is clear, I will go on a maintenance treatment for the next two years. Every six months I will go in one day a week for a month and get a dose of Rituxin which is not a chemo drug but an anti-body that will hopefully keep me in remission. The best thing about this drug is that no shots are required afterwards, so I can look forward to days, weeks and months of freedom, if my scan is clear. 

This is my new mantra.

Lets all adopt this, our world would be a better place.

Thank you all for your continued prayers, I'm so blessed to have you at my back.

Monday, March 9, 2015

"Now Stinky, I'm putting you on lookout while I raid the coop....."

Little Miss Murphy is a sneaky dog, she discovered I had a suet cake in the chickens scratch yard and one nice day while I had their gate open, she slipped in, removed the cake and holder from the twine that it hung from a rafter and carried it off. When I finally found the holder, it was empty but not open so she had quite the time eating the suet cake.

The next time I let the chickens out, I only opened their coop door so Murphy could not get at the new suet cake, but did I say she was sneaky? I came home and found Mollie looking at the coop, Murphy went into the coop and squeezed her body through the small trap door that led into the scratch yard and was trying to get the suet.

Darn dog!

Murphy got a licking and was told, once again, to stay away from the chicken coop. Then I had to reassure Mollie that she was my Good Dog, she takes it so to heart when Murphy is in trouble.

We had a nice afternoon so I again opened the chicken coop door, the dogs were right on my heels and I sternly told Murphy to "STAY AWAY FROM THE CHICKEN COOP!!!" But what Murphy heard was, "STAY AWAY FROM THE CHICKEN COOP UNTIL I'M OUT OF SIGHT!!"

I knew I couldn't trust her and could watch the coop from the house, sure enough, Murphy soon sauntered casually by the coop, looking at the door, then walking on by. Back to the coop, look over her shoulder at the house, and then walk by again. Finally I saw her stop and look in the coop, then back over her shoulder to see if I was tearing out of the house intent on doing bodily harm. She finally installed Stinky as lookout.

"Now watch the house and sound the alarm if you see a crazy woman coming."

"Right boss, I'm on it, but what is this smell on the door?"

"I'm going in....."

"Gotcha, but what is that out in the grove?"

"She really is going in."

"Hmmm, Hmmm, Hmmm, what is behind the door? Was there something I was supposed to be doing?"

"Oh, right, Murphy, she's coming!"

"Sucks to be you, Murphy. Go take your medicine."

"I'm SO SORRY!!! I won't do it EVER again!!"
(At least today.)

Don't let that pitiful face fool you, after her punishment, she was off, tearing around the yard as though nothing ever happened. It was Mollie who needed to be reassured....

"You are my GOOD DOG!"