Tag Archives: baseball

Peaceful Easy Feeling

Today was a great day, though it started a little rough. I woke up to feed the cows this morning as usual. This feeding may have been the roughest. They all know what the bucket means and it is no holds barred, cow MMA to get to it. Everyone else was asleep so it was just me, no boys to even help distract some of the other calves. I pretty much used every part of my body to box out the four calves who weren’t feeding, minus the one arm I was using to hold the bucket. Not only do they try to go through you, but they slurp all over you looking for milk. Cow kisses may sound fun, but not so much.  I know you’ve all heard of Crossfit, but I think a tougher workout could be called Cowfit. 

Then we had our three oldest’ last day of baseball. The kids love playing baseball, and I love coaching them and the other kids, but I am ready to have my Saturday mornings back so I can get things done around here. 

This afternoon we celebrated Homestead Boy #3’s birthday with family. Being our fifth child this shouldn’t surprise me, but his first year flew by. 

This evening, before going out for the evening feeding I got a comment on the blog from my good friend Laura about making a smaller pen to feed each individual calf so as to not take a bath in cow slobber. I had been thinking about that myself but her comment pushed it to the front of my mind. The best and simplest way I could figure with my setup was to take a cattle panel and hang it on one of the existing T posts as a pivot. I could then swing it out and hang it on a newly placed T post. It gives me just enough room to feed one calf and keep the others out. The best part is it will swing out of the way while not in use so I don’t have to remove it. I still have to use the empty bucket to convince the just-finished-eating-calf to leave the feeding pen, but I didn’t feel like I needed a bath when feeding time was over. 

With a little time left before needing to get the kids to sleep I headed for the garden to get the pepper starts planted. Homestead Boy #2 helped for a bit, and Homestead Girl #1 helped the entire time. In all we planted 42 pepper plants of 4 or 5 varieties. 

Yesterday I happened to find time to get the cucumber and watermelon starts planted. I also found several ripe strawberries that the kids thought were the best ever, and they were pretty tasty. I also got three grape vines planted. Tractor Supply had them on clearance for $4.99 so I couldn’t help myself. The vineyard is up to ten living plants with one I think I am going to need to have replaced. Homestead Girl #2 “helped” plant the watermelon. Between yesterday and today I have planted all of the starter seeds. 

  
The cows were pretty content before bed. 

  
Have I mentioned how much I love my life?

  

A Homestead Update

A lot has been going on here and I haven’t had much time to post about it, so here is a quick update.  We haven’t yet put a sign in front of our old house, but we probably will do that this week.  In fact, a friend of a friend of a friend heard that our house was going to be for sale and wanted to see it by this past Friday so I had scrambled all week to get the house relatively ready to show.  They said they were willing to look past any mess, but I wanted to put our best foot forward so we put in a lot of hours trying to get it ready.  The kids helped, mostly, and I was very lucky to have my mother in law help with both watching the kids and cleaning the bathrooms and kitchen while I tried to get stuff out of the house.  There is still stuff that needs to be moved out, but it is in a condition that I feel relatively comfortable showing it, so if you know anyone who needs a house…

After the showing on Friday we went over to my brother in law’s house for dinner, pony rides, and our first attempt at shearing live sheep.  The dinner was great, the pony rides were a hit with the kids, and the sheep shearing was amusing for anyone watching I am sure.  I had watched several videos so I had some idea about what I was trying to accomplish.  It started out unfortunately.  I have a pet clippers that I had bought when I had hoped to cut my dogs hair.  I had put the longer guard on the clippers thinking it would help keep me from nicking the sheep.  This was good in theory, in practice the guard kept the wool from getting to the blades and actually allowing the clippers to cut anything.  I quickly ran home and got the shorter guard and it worked much better.  It is humbling to know that people who do this regularly can do it themselves in a few minutes per sheep.  It took three of us, my brother in law, a new friend, and I, about an hour to “shear” two sheep.  Somehow I was nominated to run the clippers.  The second sheep was marginally faster, and definitely looked better but I can see that if we are going to shear any number of sheep, investing in a decent sheep shears will be necessary.

 

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Second sheep, Minka

 

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The first fleece
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Pebbles feeling a lot cooler and more in style

 

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The two fleeces

Today the weather was gorgeous and the boys had baseball in the morning.  Honestly, we couldn’t have asked for better weather.  After baseball we stopped for lunch.  During lunch I got a call from the satellite internet installer saying they were in my area and wondering if I wanted them to install today instead of Monday.  I told them if they could wait until we got home I was fine with that so I am writing this post on my new satellite internet, at least that is the case if you are able to read it.  If you aren’t, I am probably on hold with customer support trying to figure out what is wrong.  By they way, I decided to go with Exede, and I have their revolution plan.  It allows unlimited web browsing(including message board and blog posting) and email, and 5 GB for music, video, data, etc.  There is a free zone from 3am until 8am, so I will just upload pictures and watch YouTube in the morning.  This plan is half the cost of the plan I thought I was going to have to purchase so I am really hoping we can make it work.

While they were installing the internet my parents came over and my dad finished the trim around the girls door, trimmed a half inch off the bottom of the door so it would swing freely, and helped me plumb the reverse osmosis water to the refrigerator.  Unfortunately I had to purchase a water filter bypass for the refrigerator so that the water will actually come out of the fridge door with some pressure.  We had to do it at our last house, except that the plug came with that refrigerator.  This bypass costs $40, so you either pay them for the filters, or you pay them for the bypass, but they get their money either way.

After dinner the whole family spent some time outside playing catch, swinging, and enjoying the beautiful evening.  I have to say I have really enjoyed our first week of country living.  The calm, peaceful, evenings paired with the crystal blue night skies with bright stars is enough to make any stress from a crazy day of moving melt away.  The kids are enjoying watching deer and turkey in the backyard and having the space to run and roam.  Yes, it is definitely agreeing with us.

Opening Day – Go Tigers!

I love baseball season.  I love the regularity of games, being able to count on catching a game almost every day on tv or the radio.  I am not sure why this is, since I never played competitive baseball past T ball, and that obviously wasn’t competitive, heck it wasn’t really that organized either (not playing longer had to do with an older friend’s being bloodied starting in kid pitch, but that’s another story).  Growing up in Michigan I am obviously a Detroit Tigers fan.  I love listening to Rod and Mario on the television broadcasts, or Dan and Jim on the radio.  I love the old replays with listening to Ernie Harwell’s voice and stories.  I love what opening day means, the coming of warm weather and being outside with family.

Go Tigers!