Sunday, June 28, 2015

Birds just want to have fun ...

Yesterday I was working outside and heard a lot of squabbling on the roof of the house. I looked up just in time to see two little birds, locked together, tumble down our metal roof. Just before they hit the ridge cap on the lower roof, they swooped off in flight! Before I recovered from that the squabbling started up again and once more two birds came tumbling down the metal roof to fly away. 

What the heck was going on? 
Later in the day our seed salesman Ernie, stopped by to pick up a pallet and I was telling him about the goofy birds. Just then the squabbling started again and birds came tumbling down the roof! We stood there and watch them do it several times and I was thinking, "Is this their Adventure land fun ride?" I wondered if I should put a hose up there so they could have a water ride. 

Then I remembered Kim's husband, Jeff, telling me about watching some young Crows with a parent hopping around under Kim's bird feeder. Even though the young birds were nearly as big as the adult bird, they sat around with their mouth open for the parent to feed them. I also watched a young robin following its parent around outside my window after a rain this week. The mother bird was pulling up worms and even though this baby could fly, she continued to feed it. 

I know parents like this! 

I think the bird fun ride was in reality a young bird insisting it still be fed by the old bird. I think the old bird was telling the young bird, "Get out of my basement and get a job!" 

There should be more parents like that. 

I moved out back to the garden in the shade to do battle with weeds, I do have the garden tour coming up and have lots to do. I was working right underneath the wren house and I could tell whenever the parent came with a bug because much excited chattering erupted from that small house. 

"Feed me! Feed me!"

He was kept busy all afternoon, delivering  tasty morsels to the children and fly off in search of more. 

I think he was checking to see if he had the right address in this photo, " I don't remember this many kids!" 

Then I noticed that not only does he deliver the food, but he removes the poop! 

In with the food, out with a poo. 

It's a crappy job but someone has to do it. 

Aren't you mother's glad that you had diapers for your baby's? 

Speaking of babies, one of the four cows left to calve had a sweet little baby girl the day Bruce left to go fishing. Luckily he saw the calf as he was heading down the road and called to ask if I wanted  help moving her to the maternity pen. She has always been a gentle cow so my first instinct was to say I could do it myself and to head on up the road to Minnesota. But I found myself saying,"Sure, I'll be right over." That was a smart move because number 33 was quite cranky and did not appreciate our 'help'. It took the two of us and a big gate to move the pair to the luxurious maternity suite. 

She still did not appreciate the comfy accommodations and 'all you can eat' silage buffet. Cows are funny like that.

I dropped in yesterday to get a picture of the new baby and she was not any more ready to forgive and forget, standing in the front of the pen and daring me to cross the line she drew in the bedding. Luckily the baby is a curious little thing and came out to see me.

Who couldn't love a face like this??

Meanwhile in Minnesota the fish are biting, John took this picture of Bruce and his largemouth bass. 

This is Bruce and Dennis in the boat, oh the stories they will tell of this trip.

The boys are already planning their next trip in July, instead of grubbing around in the garden, I will be able to lay in the gazebo and eat bon bons. I think we will both be happy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


...It is an adventure! 

I have been rather lax in my calf tales but I have a very good excuse. I've had carpal tunnel for years, in 1997 Dr. Deffer operated on my right hand which was the worst from years of carrying and sorting mail. I tried everything before the surgery because I kept hearing horror stories about it, what a mistake, it was the best thing I ever did. At that time my left hand tested bad enough that I could've had surgery on it also but Dr. Deffer said that a lot of times when you have the dominant hand fixed, the other hand will get better and that's what happened with me. I retired from the post office and what about my daily life with few problems, at times when I was driving it would flare up from the gripping the steering wheel. Fast forward to this last year, after six months of chemo the carpal tunnel came back with a vengeance.

  I've been doing a lot of gardening and rebuilding my pond has really taken a toll on it, keeping me awake at night. I finally decided to do something about it and discovered that Dr. Deffer still came to Cherokee, I made an appointment and saw him yesterday. He's a really nice guy. a little grayer but aren't we all? I explained about my hand, he ask a few questions, and said, " Well we better fix it." The words I wanted to hear, he said there was no need to redo the tests which are rather painful, they involve sticking needles in your arm to test your response. 


Surgery is scheduled for July 14 and that works perfectly for me. The garden tour is the 11th so I won't be hindered getting ready for it. I'm looking forward to it and getting my hand back to normal. 

Back to my blogging excuse, some of my fingers are numb which made it very difficult and irritating to type. Having any of you seen the commercial for Dragon? It is a voice activated software you can purchase for your computer so instead of typing, you simply speak. I was seriously considering purchasing it when Bruce's sister said that my computer probably already has this voice activated software on it. 

And it does! 

I purchased a headset microphone from Radio Shack and I was all set. It takes some getting used to and sometimes the words it picks up are very different than what I spoke but I'm getting onto it and the more I use it, the better it is. 

I thought I would end this blog with a few stats from my two years of blogging, can you believe it's been two years? 

I discovered by accident there is a section that tells all of the stats from your blog. For instance, how people find it in the first place. Google is the most popular but to my shock and horror I discovered it was also on! YIKES!! 

I also found where my audience is... 

United States
United Kingdom
New Zealand

To my surprise I have received comments on my blog from Australia, Canada and Ukraine! After mentioning my Amish country gazebo, I heard from the company wanting pictures of my gazebo. I sent the pictures and asked how they found my blog. She replied that she scours the Internet for any mention of their company. 

I had a comment on my post about the chickens on the strollers in Florida from a man who said that the white chicken died in a tragic accident. I do not know if he is the owner of the chickens but he said that a nasty woman knocked her off the stroller and she died of a head injury. I think that she was a Silky and they are prone to head injuries because of the way they are built. The topknot on their head, which makes them so cute, is soft tissue, and that makes them vulnerable.

This was my first blog post using the voice activated and it took me much longer. I have to do it when Bruce's not here because if he hears me talking he keeps saying "What? What?" Besides, I feel a little silly talking to myself in here! 

Thanks for sticking with me, my faithful readers, and stay tuned for more stories from the farm. 


Thursday, June 18, 2015


Last weekend was Cleghorn's 125th celebration, and mother nature was kind to us. We were threatened with 3 inches of rain earlier in the week, thank heavens it did not come to fruition!

Friday was a busy day putting the last touches on things that had to be done before the 5:00 opening ceremonies. Bruce hauled our gator and a golf cart uptown so we would have transportation and did they ever coming in handy. Rosanne and Kaiza arrived with cameras, batteries and camera cards ready to capture the celebration for posterity. Our house was finally clean and ready for company who would arrive later in the day. 

This is Bruce deep in discussion with Jim Thompson and Rick Nelson. All the people helping with QQI had bright orange tee shirts with 'Staff' on the back. I loved it, it was easy to find a Bruce in a crowd. 

A family picture with the sisters who made it home, Janet and Gerald on the right, Carol peeking over Jean's shoulder, John on her left and Bruce and I in our bright orange tee shirts. We missed you Shirley! 

Opening ceremonies with Bob Blair at the pulpit, one of our favorite people, Jim Thompson in the back and Bruce running the sound system. That was his big chore for the entire three days, and he did such a good job. 

Charlie Brown and Tony Ehrig raising the flag in front of the community building. 

We even had an ultralight airplane fly over to check things out, ET phone home! 

Saturday morning we were up bright and early to partake of the free breakfast by the Cleghorn firemen before we had to get to work. As you can see here, we are sitting with some other workers planning our day. 

The first thing on the agenda was the five K fun run or walk. "And their off!" 

Even the dogs got in on it with their owner are carrying their poop bag. Dogs really must think they rule the world with people walking around picking up after them. 

Carol and Janet met up with some young Cousins enjoying the day. Abby on the left, Anna next to her, Carol, Janet and Emily. 

Sue Briese riding in the White Horse Patrol carriage, she has worked tirelessly for the last five years to make this day a success, and she succeeded! 

The famous White Horse Patrol from Sioux City, it was quite a coup to get them here to our small town parade. 

Bernice Mcintosh and Emmitt Wolf were King and Queen of the parade.

 Bill and Mary Mcintosh were Prince and Princess. 

Bruce's sister, Jean, was front and center on this float, The Class of 1965.

Our good friends, Roger and Opal Rupp, with their immaculate GTO in the car show and then Bruce stepped in to photo bomb. 

The White Horse Patrol performed at the football field, four of the riders were dressed as women and they did a square dance routine.

One of the lovely women!

More than 540 alumni signed up for the all school reunion, the gym was bulging at the seams and more tables had to be set up. 

Bob Blair rounding out the weekend at the pulpit of the church services in the big tent. Sunday was a pretty quiet day but we did have a successful chicken dinner and ice cream social afterwards. 

Bruce and I were late in joining the committee that had been meeting for the last five years planning this. We have so much respect for all their hard work, we both received so many compliments from alumni and visitors to our small town. It was very heartwarming and we quickly passed all the congratulations along to the committee members who then shrugged it off as though it was nothing! 

The hard work was yet to come, removing all the tables and chairs from the gym, returning all the picnic tables, taking down the two big tents and returning the generator lights.A lot of the small stuff was done by Sunday night even though we were all tired we wanted to get a start on it. To reward us, the committee fed us the leftover food from the reunion and ice cream for dessert. We didn't go up to help take down the tents but Bruce spent Tuesday afternoon hauling picnic tables. A good time was had by all and that made the work and the planning very worthwhile, people had such compliments and they knew how much work it was. 

But we're glad the 150th is 25 years away, we think we will be too old to help!  

Friday, June 12, 2015

Celebration, company coming, cleaning house...

....what do the above have in common??

Well, we all know that, this is the long awaiting 125th birthday of our little town of Cleghorn, the diehard committee has been working and planning for this the last three years. Bruce and I were dragged unwillingly into the planning this winter, Bruce was stuck with a lot of work when they celebrated their centennial and he was rather burnt out. But we kept getting cards and calls to come help and they finally wore us down. Since Bruce has a sound system from his DJ days, he knew that would be his main job and I volunteered to be his sidekick. I also painted a bunch of signs telling people where to go, no, not like that, keep it clean folks!

Bruce went on his annual fishing trip with the Salzwedel boys and his cousin last week, I had 6 whole days to myself to work on the pond, which I was redoing from bottom up and to get the house cleaned from top to bottom for the company we were expecting. It was going to work out great because the first three days he was gone, the weather was to be great. The last three days had rain predicted each day, I would use that to clean house.

Sounds like a plan, right? Well the weather man was wrong and it did not rain until Saturday so I worked on the pond every day, this was no small project. A sneak preview because it's not done yet.

I was so pumped about finishing the pond that I kept working on it everyday, meanwhile my house kept saying, "Clean me, clean me, we have company coming!!!" I kept ignoring that voice because I was having such success in the back yard.

Thursday arrived and I knew I could not put it off any longer, our company was coming on Friday. I have a new great weapon, I purchased a Shark Navigator vacuum cleaner with the pet attachment and absolutely fell in love with it. I never thought I would say this. My Oreck was wearing out and leaking dust back into the air, then I had to get the portable out to do the edges and places too small. With my Shark, it is all contained, I can switch between attachments and watch the dirt and cat hair pile up in the clear chamber, no bags. It's an eye opener for sure!!

Once I got into cleaning, it spurred me on and I went until 7:30 last night before collapsing on the couch with a glass of wine, much earned I might say. I wasn't quite finished so went back to work this morning until I was satisfied. Don't come to my house with a white glove and don't look in the nooks and crannies.

But I invite you to take off your shoes and socks and walk through the house, there will be nothing stuck to your feet!!!!!

(By the way, this is not a paid advertisement from Shark, they don't know about this, just a word from a very satisfied customer.)

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Working cattle, a Spring ritual.

As exciting and rewarding calving season is, Bruce is always ready for the end of May so the cows and calves can go to the pasture. Because they poop, a lot, Bruce spends a lot of time doing this.

And dumping this....

...and spreading that.... might even say that in the spring, poop is his life.

Bruce chose well when he picked the cattle working day, we had day after day of rain but this day dawned warm and sunny. We have a new vet who joined the clinic, Lisa, she and veteran, Mark, came out to work the cattle. The cows go through first....

....when they are done they get to go to the pasture. They know it and waste no time heading for the gate.

Meanwhile, back in the chute it's the calves turn, they get jabbed and stuck and the boys get castrated.

They all get a spray up their nose to keep them healthy.

Suddenly the cows appear, they just realized that they left their babies behind and being the conscientious mothers that they are, they left the lush pasture and returned to find the kids.

Our faithful wranglers, Roger, who was a little shy that day......

.....and Freddy Boy.

Some calves are very stoic about all the indignities they suffer....this one was not.

"I want my MAMA!!"

"I want my BABY!!"

Most calves bound out of the chute like this...

....Bruce had to shove this one out.

He fell in a heap so Mark drug him out of the way...

....and lay in a heap, refusing to get up.

"I can't believe what they did to me!"
Then it was the best time of day, the reward for a hard morning's work....

...cold soda and fresh pecan rolls with butter. YUM!

After every one had their fill and went on their way, it was time to take the calves to the pasture and what a job. Bruce is pushing Fancy's new baby through the mud, we should have loaded the youngest in the crate and hauled them down.

Note to self, remember this next year, calves do not drive.

We were all exhausted by the time we got all the babies to the pasture and reunited with their mothers.

With the cows and calves happily situated in the pasture, there was just one job between Bruce and fishing in MN, making hay.

We were finally given a reprieve from the rain, Bruce baled his first crop of alfalfa, cleaned up the boat and set out for the cabin.

Life is good!