Monday, December 9, 2013

And the Winner is......

 Betty was hoping she would win so she could use this book with her sons! Betty, congratulations! I will send you an email this morning to get your mailing info!

Thank you to everyone who entered and shared this contest!
If you really hoped to get this book you can still order a copy from HERE or from Amazon.

Now, if I ever get Lucy back into normal health I will share a fun gift idea you and your kids can make!

Hope everyone has a great Monday!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Milk Fever and Two New Calves

                              Don't forget to enter the book giveaway!

When you have an old Jersey milk cow who produces a large amount of milk, you always prepare for milk fever after calving. In  the past we would give Lucy a dose of calcium paste and she would be fine.
This time it wasn't enough or soon enough.
Although she is not in terrible shape, I knew at milking time yesterday afternoon that my girl was not well.
She was lethargic, slow, had no appetite and  was dry nosed.

The best assumption was milk fever. She needed calcium in her system.

Devin hooked up a bottle of calcium gluconate to an IV start kit and we gave her the entire bottle via subcutaneous injection at several sites on her body. We also gave her another tube of calcium paste.
It was cold, dark and rainy out. I felt like James Herriott in his books when he describes the cold nights on farm calls with a down cow. We, of course, have been keeping in contact with our own James Herriott, our vet Dr. Benson, during this entire ordeal.

She spent the night locked into the milking stanchion area, bedded down with lots of hay. I was happy that she ate quite a bit of hay during the night.

This morning Lucy is slightly better. She has a little better appetite and her nose is moist. Her body temp, however, is still low.

She had lots of company this morning from Ivy and Stella. I gave her more hay and kept her locked up until late this morning.

The vet wants her to walk around some, so she is secure to the 1 acre lot next to the milking area.

It has been a very hectic and stressful 18 hours. I think she will be okay, but I am cautious.

Now, on another note, we did drive up to a local dairy and purchase two bull calves this week as well.

I am wanting to get some steer on grass and the only way I can afford to do this is to buy bottle bull calves.

This big boy was born the day before my Annabelle. He is a Jersey/ Brown Swiss cross. He is quite large and will make a nice sized steer. The picture doesn't do him justice. He's quite beautiful.

The other bottle baby is a 3 week old full Jersey. He is quite active and loves being outside to run and stretch his legs some.

Both calves and Annabelle are doing well. I have them locked in an old chicken coop that I use as a small animal stall now. I have a heat lamp up to help keep them cozy. It has been very cold here the last couple of days and doesn't look to be warming up much this week.

So THAT is what I have been up to this week! I feel like I just had a new baby myself in that my house is a disaster and I am barely keeping up with laundry and meals! But, just like having a new baby....this too shall pass. Things will eventually get themselves back into working order, I just have to try and get my Lucy better. I am grateful to have a crockpot this morning and some chili is cooking away in it now. We will have a hot, yummy dinner after milking this evening.

It is great having so many bottle calves to feed. The kids are big helpers and the calves are very lovable!

Have a fabulous weekend! Don't forget to enter the book giveaway either! Winner will announced Monday!

See ya'll then!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Why Knot? ***Holiday Giveaway!***

******* This contest is over. Thank you for all who entered!*************

Every now and then you come across a fabulous book that really gets your kids motivated to learn a new skill and head outside for an adventure.

It just so happens that I came across such a book and just in time for Christmas!

Why Not Knot for Fun?! is a gem of  a book with step by step guides and pictures to show your kids (or even you!) how to make 12 knots and  to put them to use.

I expected my oldest kids to be the most intrigued, however Willow (11yrs) and Rose (8yrs) really took an immediate interest to this book.

They spent a couple of hours learning several knots and by lunch time they could make a few without looking at the book.

After you master a few of the knots, there is an entire section that teaches you some uses for the rope and the knots. For example it gives details on how to tie up a bedroll, make a backpack from a t-shirt, build a gear harness to hold all of your adventure gear, and how to create an outdoor shelter.

Indiana really liked the section on making a bow and arrow with sticks and, of course, your rope!

There is also a section that gives instructions on making a simple board swing, a log swing, and a tree platform for a tree house.

We affectionately call this book our Hunger Games prep book!!

In the top corner of each page there is a small legend that states what knot you will use for the activity or project on that page.

Here a description of this book via the actual authors:

We have a small wooded area behind the house and have watched our children create all sorts of structures, make up elaborate worlds, and spend hours outside using and growing their brains!  My husband joined in one day with his old climbing rope, something he's had since he was a kid and uses often for various projects as an adult, and the idea of a knot tying adventure book was born.

Knot tying is more than just a practical skill.  It develops spatial aptitude, encourages creativity, builds structural engineering skills, and so much more!  There is nothing more thrilling for a child than to build their own tree house with wood or lumber and some rope.  Or a swing, or a tent, or to help Daddy tie down a load.  Knot tying and creative play builds confidence and independence.  We know.  We've seen it in our own children!

Why Not Knot For Fun?! teaches the tying of a dozen practical knots and reinforces those knots with more than 30 project ideas that range from simple belts to an elaborate adventure course.

About the Authors

Frank & Kristin Hoffman live with their 5 children in the hills of East Tennessee where they farm and create new adventures with their children on their 40 acre homestead.

Why Not Knot for Fun?! has been a wonderful activity guide for my crew these last several days! The book is not only an excellent teaching book, but it would also be a great Christmas gift! I try to avoid the crap-plastic gifts as much as possible and I think this book with a length of paracord would be ideal!

I will be giving away ONE copy of this book to a lucky reader!
There are THREE ways to enter this giveaway!

1. To enter, simply leave a comment telling me if you would keep this book for your own kids or give it as a gift!

2. You can get a another entry by stopping by My Barefoot Farm on Facebook and giving the page a *like*. If you already *like* the page, just post a quick line *book giveaway*.

3.If you *share* the contest on Facebook I will enter you again, just let me know on My Barefoot Farm's Facebook page that you shared this post!

Entries must be in by Midnight Saturday (EST). I will announce the winner Monday, Dec. 9th.

Of course, this book is available for purchase now through Amazon. Go ahead and buy it for your favorite child, boy or girl!

You can also get some paracord from Amazon to go along with your book gift.

You can also go to the knot for fun website and see a little more about the family and the adventures behind the book!

Happy Thursday!!!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


We woke up yesterday to a very pregnant cow who looked ready to bust. Needless to say, by the afternoon she was ready for calving.

We went out to check on her and discovered her bag of waters was out and about to break.

Of course we waited...and waited..and waited. Finally we had a nice healthy calf about 6:30, just after dark.

It was too dark for pictures or videos, so I snapped some shots of the little girl this morning.
She IS a HEIFER!!!! This makes me very happy, as she will grow up to be a nice family milking cow one day.
She is very tiny but healthy and active. She has been nursing well and gets around like a pro.

The kids came out with me this morning to check on Lucy and the new calf.
The kids all agreed to name her Annabelle since she was born in December. They got the name from another favorite baby calf who starts in one of their favorite Christmas movies.

If you are looking for a sweet Christmas movie, this one is available on Amazon, and it really is a favorite here.
So since we were all in the Christmas spirit here, Indiana decided to dress up our other calves, Stella and Ivy.
She decided they need a nice big bow on their halters. Surprisingly, they are still intact this morning.
They really look cute with their fuzzy winter coats. Although the weather is quite warm today, it was quite cold last week and cold weather is coming back for the weekend.


So, tomorrow I will introduce a fabulous activity book and a giveaway just in time for Christmas!!!!

Be sure to check back in because you do NOT want to miss out on this one!

Happy Birthday Annabelle!!!

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