On the Road Again

I’m back!  I feel spoiled.  I got to spend a couple of days helping to get baby Roo’s house ready for her to come home.  Her sisters and I went together.  We then came home and waited at our house till they came Sunday, Dec. 3.  After they arrived and visited for a while we loaded up and went back to their house.  I drove the four sisters since Mom and Dad had way too much stuff in their van from the long stay.  I then stayed a couple nights with them just to help while Mom and Dad adjusted to being home as a family and having a new little body that requires being changed and fed every three hours! I even got to have her sleep near me those two nights since she was making so many grunting noises in her sleep and Mommy was exhausted.  I went home after a couple of days but managed to leave my ability to write a post, better known as my ipad, along with the charger at their house.   I did fairly well without it and new I would only be without it for a week but it feels much longer since my last post.  So I am back to writing and now we are closing in on Christmas which will eat up my time as well.  Nearly all my shopping is done but I am desperately trying to make some gifts.  I really like to make gifts when I come up with an idea.  If I were a grandma with nothing to do it would be fun to sew dresses for the granddaughters, coats or anything like that.  It would be especially fun to sew something for the twins.  I hope to do some things for their bedroom when we go to visit them after the holidays.

I thought I would catch up on the result of a long ago post.  Remember when I planted Ginger root?  I had it in the green house during the summer.  I posted a picture of it as it sprouted up.  Well, the plant finally died back so I dug up the results.  That’s what the picture is today.  When reading about growing ginger, they recommended at least eight inches of space around each bud that was planted.  I planted them in a large pot but not that large!  Consequently, my Ginger root never got as big as it could have but it did grow and I will definitely do it again.  I found it rather difficult to always get it watered when needed simply because this was not a good year to be gardening with all that was going on, so considering all of that I’m surprised that there was anything at all to harvest.  I am anxious to clean it up to use.

I made the decision yesterday to wait till next fall to breed our cow.  I had contacted the AI guy and also the vet to get the necessary shots lined up for the procedure.  When the vet didn’t get back with me, I contacted the AI guy again and found out that the vet has since moved.  Since it’s now getting too late to breed without taking the risk of having a calf born in dangerously cold weather, I decided to wait, five the cow a year off, see how long she lactates  and breed next fall.  This year we were fortunate to have a long warm fall but I don’t want to assume it will be that way every year.  Besides, we are borderline for it being too cold right now for the calf.  I really don’t want to end up losing a calf to pneumonia or have to babysit one because of an early cold winter.  I will be particularly interested to see how long we can keep milking for without calving next fall.

I will be back.  Enjoy the season!  It truly is more blessed to give than receive.

Desarae

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The Day!

We are as excited today as we have ever been!  It’s better than Christmas morning because little preemie baby Roo is finally coming home.   That’s partially the reason I haven’t  written.  We have been getting ready packing up four months of the girls things here, cleaning baby’s new home and just making the most of a very wonderful time when everyone will be together again.  The girls are so excited to get back to their own house, bedrooms and parents.  I can’t imagine why!  This will be an expecially wonderful Christmas for them as they celebrate this year.  It may prove to be a very quiet time for them which will be good.  Since baby will need to be very protected from getting sick, there will be less traffic in and out of their house.  It is extremely important that she not get sick because her lungs are not fully developed and we are told that illness could mean three more months in the hospital  if that were to happen.  So it will be a time of being careful and being sensitive to what Mommy thinks is best for baby.  At over 7 pounds she has outgrown all preemie clothes:(   We were hoping for a little fun, dressing her in such tiny things but we will take a healthy thriving baby without complaint!

I find myself a little emotional when I think of our daughter walking back into her house for the first time in over 120 days.  I know when we are away from home in a planned situation and come back after a couple of weeks of being gone, there’s always a little adjustment time for me.  It doesn’t last long and it’s not a bad thing but it is there.  Four months of an unplanned  situation is no small thing in my mind.  Fortunately, she has already recovered from the birth and won’t have the feeling of not being able to do much, unlike when you have a baby and come home the next day or so.

I shall close this post for now as I want to keep on the move.  We are so excited and I’m sure the girls will not know what to do with themselves until they see Mom and Dad’s car pull in.  I’ll have to give them something to do!

I’m sure I’ll be back!

Desarae

Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving holiday has been very enjoyable except for not seeing two of our daughters and their families.  It was relaxing and very low key.  Because the others that came helped with food, I was only responsible for the turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, baked beans and a couple pies.  I was able to make almost everything the day before except for preparing the turkey.  I was thrilled to find a blog that read a little differently about fixing the bird.  I found it on Pinterest of course.  It said to “not” wash the bird since any bacteria would be killed in the heat, paper towel dry it, and after seasoning it however you like, roast it uncovered, breast side down at 400 degrees for an hour.  Next turn the oven down to 350 and continue roasting for another hour.  Take the bird out of the oven and flip it over so the breast is up.  Insert a thermometer in the thigh.  Continue baking (without basting, I might add), until the thermometer reads 170 degrees.  Insert a thermometer in the breast.  When it reads 160 degrees, remove it from the oven.  Let the turkey stand for 1/2 hour!  It will continue to cook.  I’m not giving a complete detailed list of the instructions but it is a very good recipe and my turkey turned out great.  The first compliment made was about how moist it was and that’s what is so important with turkey.  If you would like to read the instructions and maybe save them for Christmas or next Thanksgiving, go to theyummylife.com.  I took a picture of my table after it was set and decorated but the picture just didn’t do it justice so I deleted it.  It was very nice though.

This morning, walking back from milking, I relished the beauty that I am so blessed by.  Being Sunday, there is almost no traffic so it is very quiet.  The leaves have all been picked up so the yard and driveway look very nice.  We have been blessed with warmer temperatures again so there is no snow.  The sunrise was pinkish orange with blue/grey clouds.  Beautiful!!  I think when we have mornings like this one well into November and even December it makes the coming snow a little more tolerable and festive.  Makes me even look forward to decorating for Christmas!

Granddaughters will be home tonight and they can help make the beginning of the Christmas holiday fun.  We will work on decorating and making some things.  They will enjoy it.  This could be some of the last days that we have them, here with us.  Baby is making great progress and will be coming home soon.  It has gone so fast.  It will be a bittersweet time when the girls are no longer here.  We will be so glad for them to be back together with Mom and Dad in their own home but we have felt so blessed to be able spend such a special time with them.  It has been a special bonding time for us as grandparents since we don’t normally see them on a day to day basis.

That’s all for today.  I must check the cheese and start my day.  Hope your day is filled with recognition of all the things that are blessings in your life.

Back soon!

Desarae

Followup

It is a couple of weeks since I shared about the scabby stuff that happens to my cow’s udder after she has the calf and her milk comes in.  I posted a picture and shared how I have been trying a couple of different ways of treating it.  Now that time has gone by, I think I have come to the conclusion that Hand Sanitizer is the best thing to use on it.  It fights bacteria and is drying.  I used Preparation H on it because it is good for sores or wounds but this stuff isn’t a wound and until the scabs fall off, there is no open wound so I don’t feel I’ve seen much improvement with that.  Maybe after all of the scabby stuff is off it would be good to use it and the new skin.  I remember the first time she got it, it was about five months before it was totally gone.  Last year it was gone in about two months and this year it will be about the same time or maybe a little less.  If you can compare this picture with the one from the first post about Udder Rot, I think you can see that it is improved.  I also think it is NOT Udder Rot but I can’t seem to find any information as to what else it might be. Oh the joys of not being able to find information on what I’m treating!

We are getting around three gallons of milk per day and that’s only milking once a day.  We are enjoying the milk, the cream, yogurt, cheese curds, cream cheese and just the knowlege that we are putting a pure and real food into our bodies that hasn’t been destroyed by additives, GMO’s, antibiotics, hormones and other chemicals.  It’s so good.

I shall return tomorrow with an update.

 

Finally!!

What a wonderful thing to finally have her in our arms and be able to kiss her as much as I wanted!  She is so sweet and content.  We are closing in on the last of her stay.  When all of this started, we were all feeling a little overwhelmed with the idea of baby and Mom being separated from the rest of the family for such a long time.  At that time, four or five months sounded like an eternity but with all that we’ve done and the business of everything, the time has really gone quickly.  It has really been a good experience.   With cell phones, group texting and the ability to send pictures and FaceTime back and forth, communication has been great which keeps everyone in touch and up to date.   I’m sure that in some ways it will be a bittersweet time when the girls leave our house and go home to be with Mom and Dad and baby sister.  It will be a time of adjustment for everyone, trying to get back into the swing of a normal routine, which won’t be the norm like before baby but will be a sweet time.  For all of us, we will be having to jump into the Christmas holiday season and it will be quite busy I’m sure.

With all that is coming up I feel like I may struggle to get any posting done.  I really don’t want to go for days without writing but I can’t guarantee that I will be able to.  On the other hand, sometimes its busy times that make me want to sit down and reflect on the day which is often good things to share, so we shall see!  I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love them all but there’s something special about celebrating the many blessings we have.  This year we have so much to be thankful for as always.

Have a great week if I don’t write for a few days!

Desarae

 

Sweet & Tiny

We are getting so excited as we close in on the days before our preemie granddaughter comes home.  Sisters have finally gotten to hold her since she is off the Cpap.  Her Papa and Grandma can’t wait to hold her at the end of the week.  Its easy to tell that,  while she is awake she is trying to take everything in.  She is definitely moving her eyes around as though she is focusing in on things.  Oh how good it will be to kiss those cheeks and her silk hair.  I’m not sure I’m going to be able to let go once I get my hands on her.  She is growing so quickly that she gains about a pound from one time we see her to the next.  So sweet and so tiny but not for long.

I have decided to make cheese curds since we have an over abundance of milk!  They are so easy and soooo good.  If I put three gallons in the pot I get about 2lbs of cheese and more whey than anyone can use up!  The chickens love it but we only have nine chickens and they aren’t using as much as I get.  I guess I could start using it as a protein drink.  There’s actually not much taste to it.  Hmm, I should experiment.  Anyway, the cheese curds I attempted to make yesterday got a little too warm in the pot so the cheese ended up more like mozzarella.  It’s fine with me!  I’ll have to make lazagna or something.  I doubt anyone will complain.

I will be back

 

First let me start off by thanking those of you that have commented on recent posts.  It’s always nice to hear from people and to know what you enjoy reading.  I realize not every post is of interest to everyone but I hope you find enough posts that touch on something you can relate to now and then.

Today I will comment on something that only a few people may be interested in so I appologize if it is boring to the rest of you.  The topic is what happens to my cow when she calves and her milk comes in.  She gets a black scab type growth on her udder that most people call udder rot.  Sounds more gross than it is.  The problem I’m finding is that what I read about it doesn’t really seem to describe what hers is like.  Most problems with sores on a cows udder, form inbetween the cows rear legs and their udder where there is friction, moisture and bacteria.  What my cow deals with only forms on the udder right in the middle of the four teats.  This picture is of my cow’s sore.  If indeed it is udder rot, no one seems to know how to treat it.  The general consensus is that it should be kept dry.  I have racked my brain over this as to what can be used on it to keep it from getting worse since it does seem to spread.  Since keeping it dry is the best thing, I have come up with an idea that seems to do ok.  Last year and this year I am using hand sanitizer since it has alcohol in it and it kills germs.  This year I am adding something to the hand sanitizer.  You may laugh but it is Preparation H!  It is a fast healing ointment that works on more than hemorrhoids.  So I am doing an experiment.  We will see how quickly it heals up.  If it appears to be worsening or not improving I will just stick to the sanitizer.  Hopefully there will be a noticeable difference before long.  She doesn’t seem to be bothered by the sore but I would think it must have to itch.

That’s about it for the latest on cow care.  Hopefully we will have a good report soon!

Back soon

 

Another Autumn Color!

White.  This is the color I can do without until after Thanksgiving!  It will be gone in a few days because it’s supposed to be back up into the 40’s next week but what a wake up call to the inevitable.  It is amazing to me though, how much the snow affects my emotions.  Even though I’m not ready for snow, it is beautiful and gives me that little hint of the holiday mood.  Living  in four distinct seasons, I appreciate the differences and actually depend on them for the transitions from one season to the next.  Before long we will be decorating for Christmas!  I don’t like to even think about it much before Thanksgiving though.  Yesterday, one granddaughter ask me what holiday was my favorite.  I have to say it is Thanksgiving.  It isn’t because I love cooking so much; it’s because I love Fall, I love the nesting feeling it brings and I truly am thankful for blessings, difficulties, family, friends and all that contributes to life.  Even the difficult times can be opportunities to grow and “all things work together for good, for those who trust in God”.

I do hope we all take time to think about the blessings we have.  Have a great day!

 

Time Change

An extra hour;  you’d think it would be a wonderful thing but instead we are all trying to recover from having another time change.  Today seemed to go too fast even though it feels like we didn’t really accomplish anything.  We did have our home economics class and we made butter!  I watched a video through the Mother Earth News website on making butter.  It was well done and was helpful.  So, today we made butter.  I will keep track of how long it lasts because I did not have Cultured Buttermilk for culturing the cream but we let the cream set out to ripen for a while so I will compare methods when I get Buttermilk and make it that way.  We did take an hour  or so to visit daughter #2.  There are two new kittens in their home so we had to see them.  We were barely cleaned up from lunch when a friend dropped by to bring cookies for all of hubby’s employees.  There are only about 10 dozen cookies in my kitchen tonight.  Now to see that they are delivered!  We may have to hand them out with pay checks this week!  I doubt anyone will complain!

As I took care of some things in the yard, I couldn’t help but bring in some cuttings from the “Burning Bush”.  The leaves are so bright.  It is nice to have the fresh cuttings available every year.  I love fall decorations.  I haven’t actually put bunches up but a few things definitely help set the tone.  In a perfect world, Autumn would always be all of October and November and the leaves in their bright colors would stay on the trees until a couple days after Thanksgiving!  Winter would be all of December, January and a couple weeks into February.  Spring would be all of March, April and May with June, July, August and September being summer.  Actually the last few years have been pretty good to us and the seasons haven’t been bad.  So far we don’t have accumulating snow on the ground so we are blessed.

I must close.  My body is still thinking it is an hour later and the eyes are rolling around in my head.  Maybe tomorrow will be better!  Enjoy the bouquet!

Later

Babies, Babies

Is this sweet or what?  I love this picture.  Little Doodles is spunky and doing great despite our concerns of her being born so late in the fall.  I guess technically, if she had been born in April or May we could be having the same kinds of temperatures.  It’s just that typically the days get warmer in spring with the sun getting closer.  She seems to be doing fine.  The vet told me that if she gets too cold, she will arch her back up and her hair will stand on end.  What a helpful piece of info so that we know what to look for.  So far, there have been no signs of her being cold.  She has her favorite place to lay in the stall to stay warm.

I am excited about the next calf that we will have.  We will be breeding artificially again and this time it will be to a miniature bull.  We have the straws purchased already so as soon as our Jersey girl has recovered from this calf and is ready to be bred again we will have the A.I. tech come out.  If it gets to be too late into December we may wait and breed next year.  There is a nice advantage to having a calf in late summer or early fall rather than in the spring.  It makes the dry off time come during the hot summer months when we seem to be busy with summer activities and it also gives us a little time to go camping in the early fall before the calf is born.  The first calf we had was born the first part of August and that was nice too because by the time we wanted to be gone during the holidays, the calf was old enough to drink all the milk if we left her with the dame.  Calves are great milking machines!

I’m excited to begin making butter again.  I am still learning after all this time but after just watching a video on the Mother Earth News site about making butter I am understanding more on the simple process and how to keep the butter from going rancid.  No one likes to smell or eat butter that tastes old and rancid!  As time permits I would like to begin making, dating and freezing it.  Hopefully I can teach the granddaughters to do this as well.  We will call it Home Economics!  Do they even have Home Ec in schools anymore?

Time as we speak to get ready to milk.

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