Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Kid Ears

 Journee finally, after many weeks of waiting, got her German Shepherd baby.

She arrived at 8 weeks old and was quick to learn some basic commands. Journee paid high dollar for this dog's pedigree and breeding. She came from a local breeder and has so far been a wonderful pup.

Journee named her Kid and plans to use her to train for K-9 Search and Rescue, something she has always wanted to do and has researched extensively.

Because she is still so young, she isn't able to handle or process intensive training, but she has learned basic commands and loves to play a game Journee calls "Hide and Seek." Basically someone holds Kid while Journee runs away and hides. Once Kid is let go, she is commanded to "find."  She finds Journee every single time. It's amazing.

Journee must also go through some training and exams for this type of work, and last weekend she took an intensive field navigation class near Atlanta.
She is managing nursing school, work and her dog. Lots of work for her and she is never bored.

Of course we get to babysit when she is at school and work. The pup has bonded well with all of us and is super friendly.

Those ears? Oh yes, she has the best ears.

I can't wait to see where this adventures leads these two.

Happy Tuesday Ya'll!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Back Deck Garden

Hot, hot, hot! It has been a very hot start to summer here, and unfortunately we are also experiencing a severe drought.

I wanted a few garden vegetables this year, however, so I recruited the kids to help me get a back deck garden started.

We had a very nice pile of compost near the barn that was ready for use. It was mostly manure and hay from the cows and the horse. Devin kept it turned well the last couple of years. He scooped me some up with his tractor bucket and parked the tractor near the pots.
This is when hoarding is nice. I was able to round up several pots that were stored in the barn.

The kids helped shovel the rich soil into the pots for me and then helped me move them to the back deck. My back deck gets solid sun all day, which make sit good for only two uses. 1) Drying clothes and 2) Growing vegetables.

Along with the beautiful pool towels drying after swimming, the deck looks much better with some green life on it, and the plants do great with a good watering each evening. In fact, the boys have been helpful by helping me keep the pots watered. We have tomatoes and peppers in bloom this  morning . Who says you need tons of land to grow food?

In other farm news, we were needing a way to get some dairy ladies bred. Last year we borrowed a neighbors black Angus bull and I also had a few cows AI'd.

This year I was lucky enough to have friend loan me his Wagyu bull, Ralph.

Because we had a few weak spots in our fencing, Devin made fence fixing a priority.

We had some wooden boards that were starting to rot and lean some, so Devin secured the posts with concrete and replaced any rotted boards.

It was a day's project, but it needed to be done because you really do not want ANY cows escaping, especially a bull.

Now Ralph has been with us a few weeks and he has settled in nicely. We keep three dry cows with him: Belle, Molly and Valentine. I have the two ladies we are milking who will also need to spend some time with Ralph before his visit ends here.
I also have a smaller Jersey heifer ready to breed, but I will have her AI'd. This should give me 6 calves next spring!
It has been a slower way to build a beef herd, but it works....and it fits my budget :-)

It will be 95 degrees today! We are expecting some rain this week. Please cross your fingers we get some too, or there will be no berries to pick!

Happy Monday Ya'll!

Monday, June 6, 2016

My Lucy Girl

My computer is up and functioning again, and all ya'll are way past due for an update. Sadly, I have to break the bad news today.

Last week, my old milk cow Lucy died.

We bought Lucy 5 years ago from a commercial dairy near Nashville. She was 9 years old at the time and was about to be culled. She was headed for slaughter, but we liked her and decided to bring her home as my first milk cow.

Although she had a huge udder, she was a very docile cow and very patient. We could hand or machine milk her. She was milking machine herself, peaking at 7 gallons a day. She knew her name and would look at you every single time you called for her.

She had babies easily and had three while she lived here. She was a good mama cow and her calf last fall was to be her last. I was planning to use her as a companion cow for the rest her time here.

She was doing well and I was shocked to find she had died in her sleep, peacefully. She died in the back yard, near the wood line, laying down with all of her cow friends laying near by. She was a great cow.

She left a legacy here, not only with her two heifers that I will always own, but with the knowledge and lessons she taught me as my first family milk cow.

Rest in Peace Sweet Girl. 

June 2002- June 2016

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