Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Katinka the Komondor dog

I finally remembered to bring my camera home from the house so could upload pictures of our new dog.

As you can see, she is fluffy. The girls like her because she is so soft.

Tinka 091

Ringo just like her because she’s a dog.Tinka 075Poor Tinka has been getting a little too much attention. She has been a little shy of everything. I can only assume she has been shy as she’s been the perfectly behaved dog anyone could ask for. I’ve only heard her make a commotion once and that was when she touched the electric fence with her nose. So you can’t really blame her for that. Tinka 074

Molly has taken a special fondness to Tinka.Tinka 082

On Molly’s turn with Tinka you can see she headed off for the hills. Tinka did some exploring and Molly made sure she didn’t leave the property.Tinka 086 I’m sure we’ve seen the cleanest part of Tinka for many months. It’s muddy and rainy and she is already covered in dirt. Tinka 088 As you can tell, she likes being dirty. I told Ringo I’m surprised she’s a girl because she smells like a little boy I know that doesn’t like to take baths.Tinka 090After a bunch of attention Tinka headed for the bales and found some seclusion. Tinka 094 She’s a big dog already. She’s about 60 lbs and she’s 6 months old. She’s supposed to get to 100 lbs or so. I better make friends with her when she’s young so she won’t eat me whole when she gets bigger.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Simple Farm adds a dog to guard the flock

It’s funny how things happen. We have wanted a dog for the past several years and have swore we were going to get a dog when we got down to the land officially. I guess fate has pushed us forward into the dog owning business as Lightning and Sunshine, the famous couple that sold us Rosebud the cow, decided they needed to move their newly acquired Komondor dog they had just purchased seven months ago.

I’ve been looking for the right kind of dog and have researched the Komondor dog. I even looked to see the closest registered breeder of the famous Hungarian breed and only could find a few scattered around the country, all many hills and dales away.

When we were offered the dog it was like a Christmas gift several months early. We are a few months away still from getting down to our place but we decided the opportunity to own such a wonderful dog would likely not come around again for us.

Lucy, another friend of The Simple Farm came by to chat this weekend and we found out she was a true blue dog professional. She gave us some pointers such as “If the dog misbehaves, roll up a newspaper and hit yourself as it will probably be your fault anyways.” Milly liked that advice and started rolling up the newspaper right away so she could hit me whenever the dog gets out of line.

Lucy also gifted us with a sturdy dog house. It looked like the below.

dog house 032dog house 033One nice thing about building a house is all the scraps we have laying around. I applied a few scrap shingles and some cedar scraps and turned it into this.

dog house 037dog house 036dog house 038

I thought about applying shingles to the Toyota but decided I like the way it looks just the way it is.dog house 039

I’m hoping Lucy doesn’t want the dog house back right away as I like the way it turned out. We hear the dog doesn’t usually sleep in a dog house anyways but it will be nice to have in case I need a place to stay.

Although, Milly was quite pleased with the way this turned out and actually put away the newspaper and said “good boy.” Looks like I won’t be in the dog house at least for tonight.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I probably deserved that

I haven’t been too nice to Ferdinand the past couple of months. Every time he looks around I’m chopping off things on his body. This past weekend we chopped off his horns and burned them at the root.

Ok, let me be honest. Milly contacted a friend that knows all about that kind of thing and she had him come over and I watched as he dehorned and seared. horn 029horn 027horn 030

As you can see Ferdinand is now without horns. I’m not sure if the passenger side horn was completely gotten so we’ll see if Ferdinand comes out lop sided or not. Our friend had a chopper off thingy and an electric hot iron that he used to cauterize the holes. I held on tight to Ferdies leg and told him to breathe and promised to take him out for ice cream afterwards. 

Ferdinand was pretty shy of me the rest of the day and ran to the opposite side of the pasture every time I glanced his way.

The next morning during my regular milking time I let Ferdinand out as usual to suck on the opposite side of Rosebud.

Side note****It’s really nice to have the calf sucking at the same time as milking. Rosebud lets down and the milk flows freely and rapidly. We only get about 1/4 of the milk due to having the calf stay with the cow but it is still about a gallon and a half a day which is sufficient for us. I also only have to milk once a day as we lock the calf up at night and milk in the morning.

I’m not sure if all calves are as vigorous as Ferdinand but let me tell you, he butt’s the udder about as hard as I can punch. It’s dangerous. Milly went out and milked the other day and quit half way through as she was so surprised by the all out assault she felt while she was on the opposite side of Rosebud.

*************************************

Back to the morning milking. I let Ferdinand out of the shed and he jumped around and started plotting his revenge on me. It just so happened to be switching between rain and snow and the yard was pretty well one big puddle.

I assumed the position on the opposite side of Ferdinand and was milking away. Ferdinand was butting as usually when all of a sudden I felt Rosebud falling over on top of me. I felt a mighty push backwards and I thought I was a gonner. Ferdinand had butted the bag just at the time Rosebud was standing kind of awkward and had really given her a push. I somehow managed to grab the milk pail as I flew backwards into a soupy mess of manure, mud, and water (and whatever else resides on our cow pasture field.)

I laid on my back long enough to get soaking wet from heels to head and then I jumped up to look around, hoping the neighbors were out of town and not around to see my uncomfortable state. I looked over at our house and much to my dismay…Milly was clapping in the window and smiling for all she was worth. I was once again happy I was already married.

I really wasn’t mad at Ferdinand. All I could think was “I probably I deserved that”.

Without saying one cuss word I went back to milking while the water settled in my gum boots.

Milly was ready and waiting when I got in the house with a change of clothes and a towel. I think she was afraid I was going to let everything just dry on me and she wanted to head that thinking off right away.

It wasn’t one of my most graceful moments. I guess it beats when I fell off the hay pile last night. I’m not sure how he did it but I’m sure Ferdinand arranged that mishap as well. But once again, I probably deserved that as well.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

11 year old father and son campout

Had a great weekend and finally recovered enough to post some pictures.

I have never heard the words “I’m tired” come out of Ringo’s mouth so I was especially stunned when I actually caught him napping in several locations throughout the day that followed the camp. I even had to take pictures as proof. I guess that is what happens when you stay up till midnight and get up at 5 am. I would have sent everyone back to bed but realized Noodle was the one that got everyone up so early.

Ringo sleeping all day reminded me of our calf Ferdinand as he sun tans himself by laying down flat on the ground.

Thanks to all who came.

Gum boots are cool

Thanks to all those who make us feel soooo cool. I’m sure not everyone in the world think gum boots are cool but for those who do, we thank you for following our escapades and adventures.

image

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Smells Like Money

We had a big to do list this weekend but ended up spending all our time cleaning up our manure pile accumulated over the winter from Rosebud and Monkey. The land we were using was Milly’s uncles and aunts and we wanted to make sure we had the place looking presentable in case they came to check on it over the summer.

The pasture I fenced in was fairly small and I tore the fence down while Milly started shoveling.

father and sons camp 062

Doesn’t look like that big of a pile right?father and sons camp 065

I’m not sure if any of you have figured out how much I love my wife. Just watching this from a distance made me realize how unique and wonderful she is. As she was shoveling manure she mentioned it doesn’t even stink and smelled a lot like dirt. She was giddy at the composting prospects for our garden.

What a great attitude. For those of you shoveling your way through some deep stuff just think that in a year or two you’ll have some great fertilizer for your fabulous garden.

father and sons camp 059

I think I got the better end of the deal. I tore down the above fence.

 

father and sons camp 072

And I only had to unload the pile of manure. It actually ended up to be 3 piles of manure just like the above.

In the good old days Grey beard said he used to get paid a $1.50 a load to clean out someone’s manure pile. He could shovel around 7 or 8 loads a day. Big money.

I offered him a $1.50 a load to clean out my manure pile but he said he’s done his fair share of shoveling xxxx (modified for family friendly readers) and it looks to be my turn.

I was surprised at the smell expelled. The manure pile heaped up nice and tall smelled like dirt when shoveling. The wonders of composting very evident. The manure trampled on around the feeding area was only about 6 inches deep. When digging up and loading that stuff it smelled like a freezer full of rotten meat that has been sitting over summer without being plugged in. Of course I was elected to dawn the gum boots and PHD (pile it higher and deeper).

Good thing there was a stiff west wind where I could stand to the west and ease my way in.

Ringo came over and mentioned a smell he was sniffing and wondered if something was wrong over near us. He only came half way over as he couldn’t quite get close enough due to the horrid smell.

I mentioned to Greybeard that the smell was fairly rancid and he just sniffed and said “Smells like money”. father and sons camp 074 After loading up the piles I dumped them in a ravine on our land. We are hoping it will compost into nice soil for our garden for future years.

After the fence was tore down and the piles were loaded we borrowed a harrow from a neighbor and hitched it up to Greybeards garden tractor. father and sons camp 075 father and sons camp 077Milly rode around in comfort breaking up all the cow pie on the acre of land we used last summer while I unloaded the last load of manure. I’m not sure how the division of jobs end up like they do but I’m willing to do whatever as long as I get to spend time with Milly.

I’m not sure if this was the most romantic mother’s day weekend we’ve ever had but I sure am glad I have a wife that will accept wild flowers and compost as an acceptable mother’s day gift.

Happy mothers day to all you mothers out there.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Our little Picasso’s

I’m not sure how talented my kids are but I can tell you one thing. They love to paint. I have a whole collection of their paintings as they always come into my office and share with me their works of art.

framing 073

Polly spilled about a gallon of water as she refreshed her water cup. Hard to get mad at such a sweetheart.framing 065

They all look in their element don’t they?framing 066

We start them off young mixing colors and painting on used printer paper.framing 067

Ringo really liked the art pallet. framing 068

Polly mixed the paint and then washed it out immediately so she could mix up more colors.framing 069

Molly is a fantastic artist. She really likes it. Check out her Picasso-esq. type painting on the table. framing 070 Here Polly actually got her paint on the paper.framing 071

Glad to see my Microsoft conference shirts are good for something.

We may not see fame and fortune come from our kids paintings but I sure like to see them having fun at home.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Random house building pictures

Just an update on our progress. Framing is underway in the loft. Hopefully plumbing and electricity will be installed in the next couple of weeks.

loft framing 014loft framing 003loft framing 007loft framing 008loft framing 009loft framing 010loft framing 011

For Molly’s 5th birthday we framed in her room in the loft. How’s that for a present?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Framing the walls in a log house

We finally started framing the walls in our log house. We couldn’t start framing until the loft floor was done. The floor is not done but it’s done enough for us to frame the downstairs walls.

We had a professional inspector making sure we were doing things right. She didn’t like the noise involved so she wore ear protectors. I’m not sure why Polly likes those green gum boots so well but she wears them everywhere.

framing 001

I tried to get a picture of her from the front but she must have known I was going to use it as a blackmail photo when she got older so she ran away.

framing 015When framing the walls for a log home shrinkage and settling has to be taken into consideration. As you can see there is a plate just below the loft floor and hardwood dowels are used to hold the wall in place at the top. We left about two and a half inches from the top of the loft just in case the logs settle over the years.

framing 014This is the wall that will be next to the stair case going up to the loft. We are going to attempt to use clay plaster to cover the walls. I say attempt as we’ve never done it before but how hard can it be right?framing 013An up close view of the dowels attached to the plate at the top. The walls are pretty solid doing this believe it or not.framing 012

We planed the logs next to the walls so it won’t be as tough when Milly puts me to work this winter planing the rest of the inside walls.

framing 002 I tried to get out of doing this wall as it’s in our closet in our bedroom. You can see who won that conversation. Took me two hours to do that silly little amount of the wall. framing 011

Here is the closet wall floor plates going in. With Milly around we were within millimeters of the house plan. If you look really close you can see that little stubby piece being out just a fraction. I was told the house would feel off balance if I left it like that so of course I fixed it.

And believe it or not we did pass the inspection from our previously discussed inspector at the end of the day. Of course it could be because we bribed her with raisins and peanuts throughout the day.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Common sayings that finally make sense

Looks like out of eight eggs only four hatched. I guess that is where the old saying of “don’t count your chickens before there hatched” comes from.

When you have animals a lot of the old sayings really start to make sense.

“No use in crying over spilt milk” (today Ferdinand kicked over the bucket today and spilt most of the milk.)

Speaking of that “kick the bucket.” I read in the book Keeping a Family Cow that the author thought that saying was when a cow kicked the bucket one to many times and they went out and shot the cow. Like in, “He was a grumpy cow and kicked the bucket so we had to get rid of him.”

Chicken Legs, chicken liver, birds of a feather, mad as a wet hen, cock in a hen house, which came first the chicken or the egg, all make perfect sense now and when I hear them I have a very distinct image in my mind as to what each means.

What common sayings come to your mind in relation to your animals?

new chicks 052

The newbie arrivals checking the place out.

new chicks 053

The bigger one is the one we hatched 5 days back. The mother hen accepted him back luckily. We hear that doesn’t always happen so we kept a close eye on it for a few hours so she didn’t “peck him to death.”new chicks 054

Here’s momma “gathering her chicks under her wing.”new chicks 055She’s building her nest and calling for the chicks to come and get warm. She also goes to where the food is and clucks like a “big ole momma hen.”new chicks 057

Two little “fuzz balls” trying to get warm.new chicks 048

Here she is “puffing out her chest” as I try to check things out.

We are trying to keep her happy because we all know “when momma ain’t happy, ain’t know one happy.”