Sunday, September 4, 2011

September is for....

...birthdays.  That is the theme this month. And next month, too.  Well ok...we are in our 6 month birthday season run actually.  This month we had Jacob, aka Wild Child, who turned 10 yesterday on his vacation to Grandma's house.

My Grandmother, aka Great Great, turned 92 the same day, so they shared their birthday fun.

...anniversary memories.  Next week, on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, my oldest turns 25.
Next month, we roll out 3 more children's birthdays, November brings just 1, December is Dewey's and my birthdays, January has 2 children and February has a birthday and anniversary.  It's busy around here from July on in the birthday department :o)

We made a long turn-around trip from Mississippi up to Vincennes, IN and home again Friday. Can we say L.O.N.G drive...5:30 am to 9:30 pm and near 700 miles.  We met up with Grandma (who met up with Dewey before meeting up with us...) and swapped children. Two weeks ago I drove up and gave away 2 children to Dewey to deliver to Grandma's for vacation time.  Friday, we met up to swap out those 2 for 3 more. Of course I missed those first 2 vacationees, but I'm not liking this group vacation at all.  My baby is up there.  Sure, Wild Child is up there, and the 18 year old farm hand too, but Emily is up there.  My baby. For 2 weeks. That's 14 days. That's dang near 340 HOURS.  I'm not liking this.  Sure, Dewey says I'll be fine, but what does he know.  He isn't here, 24/7, tethered to the daily moods, attitudes, giggles and pouts of these kids like I am.  And this is my baby. She isn't just having a sleep0ver, she's STATES away having a sleepover. I need a hobby. Something other than children.

I had new tires ordered and put on before we left this round. Expensive hunks of rounded rubber. My van takes heavy duty truck tires, and while I didn't go for the top-of-the-line pricey ones, I did go for the mid-priced at a bit over $700.  Despite ,my nearly 210k mileage on the van, and the shoddy lumpy roads I drive on, my last tires lasted 3 years...the best time I've gotten out of any tires.
My 'tire guy' races custom Mustangs...something about iron GT-40 heads and Elderbrock intakes and NOS stuff....all Greek to me but apparently a big deal if you understand all that stuff. Which I don't. But, whatever floats your boat...or speeds up your Mustang, as the case may be.

Homestead projects this month are mainly centered on making sure I bring in enough hay for the season. You'd think haying went well this year, but it didn't.  Early cold messed it up nearly as bad as the ensuing drought did. Hay is in short supply yet again this year, so that is our main focus this month. I want at least 20 round bales lined up in that back pasture waiting for use. That means hustle and direction this month.  We have a barn to finish clearing and compost to be relocated to the garden to be tilled in for winter.  I have a tree to remove so I can rip ground extending from the garden to the barn. Expansion is a good thing. 

Dewey bought a hay fork for the tractor (gotta love a man who buys something practical and needed as a gift. LOL...keep your city girl 'shiny' bling ladies, I'll take my 'farm livin' bling any day!) No more man-handling the round bales for us. What a breeze it is moving them and unloading the trailer now.

Other projects, aside from the sewing blitz I've had going on gearing up the masses with fall and winter clothing, I've been working on some quilting, yarn work and so forth. Remember that great jelly roll I picked up for a quilt?

Well, I finally settled on a pattern of sorts and have it pieced.'s not finished, but the blocks are stitched together and when it gets down to crunch time, it will all come together. I suppose there is something to be said for the stress of last minute work.

I've also finished and sent off the baby set I made for my cousin's daughter's baby, due in November. Just in case there's a shower, I wanted to have my gift up there and ready. I still don't much care for the bow-legged pants look, but I'm hoping it looks better ON a baby than simply lying on my table for a photo shoot. I will give the pants another go at some point, but I'll definitely make some changes to the weird increases in the thigh sections.

I finished the Peas and Carrots sweater set (that's a pacifier strap wtih it). I have to whip up some booties for it yet, and I may do a hat as well, but it's ready to go.  Our friends' daughter is due in a month.

The last set is a sweater and a baby know, those backwards bathrobe things. I thought it would make a great carseat/carrier cover blanket, no hassles for the belts and such. I think they turned out fairly nice. I'm happy enough with how it worked that I'll make more of them for sure.

My other yarn work has been on larger sweater projects.  I found this book at Hobby Lobby called The Crochet Closet by Lisa Gentry. The projects are pretty good, and the sizing is up to 2x in most projects. 

The first project I'm working on is the sweater from the cover, but I almost went with this vest instead. The yarn I picked is a wool blend in a pebbled path sort of browns mix. It's working up quickly (when I have a chance to actually work on it that is) and works across in 1 piece then sleeves.

 We went on a nature stroll around the property when Dewey was in overnight last week. It was hot, but hunting season is coming in soon and the walks will be abandoned. I don't care how much blaze orange your wear, high powered rifles, dogs and 4 wheelers don't encourage me to take many walks.
We walked along collecting pretty things along the way, searching out the hickory nut and walnut trees for harvesting (the only nut harvesting I've ever done was back north when those blasted walnuts needed plowing out of the driveway....I don't even know when they really come into readiness for harvesting and such. Anyone?)

We gathered fallen nuts, acorns and weeds along the walk...this is known as chigger weed around here. During the right time of the season, the stems are literally coated with chiggers....ugh. They are pretty though, and the butterflies seem to like them as well so they can't be all bad.

Emily likes flowers...though she fought her brothers hard for nuts and pinecones for her bucket.

Andrew really enjoyed the touch of wildlife from our walk...He ate most of Emily's flowers, shredded a few pinecones by batting them around the floors for a couple hours, and then feasted on the long feathery grasses they collected.  Getting in touch with his inner wild cat, I imagine.

Homestead First know, back not too long ago, women were urged to make and roll bandages for the WWI and WWII troops. Sure, maybe they didn't use stretchy waffle weave  in Pepto Bismol pink, but still, the idea was the same....
Use it up,
Wear it out,
 Make it do,
 or Do without!

The goats are doing well. Kendra is still stiff-walking with that hind leg, but she has no issues climbing and jumping for tree limbs, so I call it a good heal.  A few weeks back they were all circling the dwindling hay bale, eating and lounging, and they pushed on it just right and rolled it over onto Kendra who was laying next to it. We were outside, so it didn't stay on her long, the children got it rolled off her, but it had her laid out on her side with her leg in an odd position.  We didn't feel anything broken, not that I'm a student of goat anatomy, but there was nothing obvious with her leg. She had a very limp foot though and wouldn't stand, let alone walk. We let her rest for an hour or so, then worked on getting her up and moving. I'm sure she had the wind knocked out of her if nothing else. 
When we got down to the business of tending her leg, I realized I had no badnages, no ACE wrap, nothing. What's up with a working homestead full of animals, not to mention children ,not having a fully stocked first aid kit?? 
So...we made do. I pulled out some stretchycotton knit fabric and wrapped her leg providing it some support while she strengthened and allowed it some rest.  We did a poultice of comfrey and soaked her wrap in the tea as well, reapplying and heating the tea soak for several days.

Go ahead...tell me where I've failed my cow this year...we haven't had her AI'd yet. Is that really wrong? Woody is 5 months old this month, and we intended on having her done before this. She should have been done a month back, but time got away from us with so many other things, I just didn't have time.
Pathetic, I know. It's a shot, wait 10 days and give another shot, then get the AI straw out here within 24-48 hours. Hardly a severe time alternating event, but we just forgot and never set up the deal. Yes, I have the shots here. Hopefully they are still 'good' (I never really looked into their care because I picked them up from the Vet with the intentions of doing it right away...) We really should get moving on her rebreeding. Right now, this month should put her at June delivery. That isn't a bad time, though it could be hot it's not likely to be sweltering miserable.

Woody is growing like a weed. I need to get another picture of him up, he's a gorgeous deep rich dark chocolate color, unlike his red momma. And a sweetheart...he comes to his name (ok, we're weird with you really want a bull to come to his name? hmmm...) and likes to play. I think he needs a toy. You know, other than my rubber water barrels.

And lastly....the gratuitous cute puppy shot from the homestead...This is Sissy (yes, how southern cutie is that name...she came with it). She is a stinker, don't let the cuteness hide that fact. And she has a shrieking yap that will cut glass when she gets excited...or scared...wants to eat...wants to get your attention...sees a butterfly come too close to the get the picture.  She is about the size of a jumbo Tootsie Roll.  Ok, a fat, overstuffed, 4-5# Tootsie Roll. Spoiled utterly and completely by Abigail who can't even go to the bathroom without Sissy whining terribly and pathetically at the door the whole time. 

Sissy's 'job' around her is to herd the chickens.

Of course she has a job. This is a homestead, a working homestead, mind you. Everything out here serves a need, has a purpose for being. It may seem like I collect merely for the fun of collecting, like dogs, cats, clutter, etc. But no. Homesteads need to be functioning. Everything having a purpose, having a use. Sissy, the fat tootsie roll, is just large enough to herd the chickens.

As long as they don't turn on her and chase her.
Because she runs.
And runs pretty dadgum fast considering she has like inch long stubby nubs for legs under that roll.

So there you have it. September plans that touch on the number of things being handled around this little neck of the woods.  Another added task as rains become more frequent for the jacking. No, not like hijacking, but floor and bottle jacking under the front porch at my door. Rain tends to completely sog out this clay and with too much rain, my front door gets an undistinguished sag going on.  Pretty much traps us inside. Not bad if the children are already outside, but a big stinkin' deal if it pours overnight and we are all inside.  It makes for interesting escape ideas. I know I've said many many times that this mobile home is far from air tight and all, but when the door won't open and the windows have furniture in front of them it tends to be alot more air tight than one might like.

No, we are not trapped inside the house in the even of fire or such.  It's a mobile does have great 'pliability' so to speak. In the event of a fire, we are not about to piddly dinker around worrying about whether or not the front door will open. A well placed kick to the window will afford a handy would simply yanking the door hard. But, on a daily basis, I try to discourage the damage-the-house ideas here.

Happy Fall Y'all...almost!


Stephanie said...

Love this post! And dang! Make those kiddos stop growing lol:) They are growing so fast.
Hope you get Miss Cow done, that would be nice to have another baby next year. Are you guys going to put the current bull in the freezer, or sell?
I died laughing at the last bit, about "I try to discourage the damage-the house ideas" rofl!!! I can just see you telling you cannot use a bazooka to blow out the window so you can go play in the puddles:P
Have a great day sweetie!

Gill - That British Woman said...

Love reading about what you have ben up too.

Gill in Canada


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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