Sunday, February 28, 2010

Homemade Snowboard!

Okay, I'm sharing a proud moment here....

My little (well, 16yr. old) brother made himself a snowboard!

So, he started by doing a bit of research on the internet, then went out and cut apart an old wood pallet. Ripped up the pieces on the table saw, cut them out and glued them together. Then he steam bended the ends over the wood cook stove in the garage and then finally waxed it and attached the plastic feet he gleaned off a broken snowboard.

Quite a learning experience, works great, recycled materials and no money spent! Way to go Steve!! 

Saturday, February 27, 2010

SuperDuperYooper Baby!

Meet my latest SuperDuperYooper baby! 

"Come on guys, it's time to do farm chores!"

And what a doll she is too!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Peek into Stephen's morning...

Good morning everyone,

 I'm back with another peek--this time into Stephen's morning--for ya all to enjoy.

Oh, and because I never learn, this post is just as photo intensive as Michael's. Sorry!

Okay, let's begin with one of those big gulps of nippy fresh air...

Stepping off the porch, we all got a chuckle out of this:
It's Michael's warning to Buddy if he ever gets out of line (they're deer legs from a recent butchering).

Alright now, back to Stephen and the cows....
"Come on, Susan..."

Q. So, how long do your farm chores take in the morning?

A. "No comment."

Ahem. Stephen....

A. "Ah, around 45 minutes."

"Straighten up, Susan..."

Q. Okay, what's the worst part about farm chores?

A. "Girls following you around with cameras."

(Okay, he's got me there.)

Q. For real?"

A. "I can't think of anything... rolling hay bales is the hardest work."

(Wiping off the udder and first squirts.)

Q. So, do you prefer farm chores to other chores? Indoor chores?

A. "Yeah. You get kind of used to a routine and then if you didn't have to do it, you'd miss it."

Andrew: "Mary, he's being boring. Interview me."


Andrew: "I know a lot of funny cow jokes! Like: 'How do cows strain their milk?'"

*groan* "How?"

Andrew: "With a cowlander!"

Andrew: "Oh, and how do cows keep track of time?"

*sigh* ""

Andrew: "With a cowlander!"

Stephen: "He's not very cowmical is he?"   

So, right about now I'm thinking: this is why I hate following boys... 

Anyways, back to it...

Okay, so you may have noticed that Stephen's cow has this weird habit going on here...

And this is actually a habit. She has a (bad) habit of flaring her tongue all over the place and shooting out thick strands of saliva in perfect figure eights all over. If you don't believe me, (and that's okay, I knew you probably wouldn't) you can watch the video I took to prove it! While I was at it, I threw in footage of another cow who was contorting herself to get at an itch. Pretty cool stuff!

Original Video - More videos at TinyPic

Q. So, Stephen, which is the cutest cow?

A. "Probably Dandy."

Now between chores, I get a lesson in photography from Stephen, as he shows me how to use my macro mode for one of those 'really cool' shots. Boys.

Okay, now we have to pitch breakfast to all the animals.

Q. What do you like least about farm chores?

A. "Well, like I said, rolling hay bales (to the horses and cows) is the hardest work, but there's nothing I don't like about farm chores. They're okay."

[Another interjection of my own here... I personally really enjoy watching the frequent interaction of the farm chore kids.]

[It's like they're part of an elite country club or something, that they all get to go out and have their morning interaction with the animals and each other.] [Some days I'm jealous, but other, bad-weather-kind-of days I'm very grateful that I don't have a membership card, if you know what I mean.]

The goaty goats getting their breakfast while the cow stares on...

Now we gotta grain the cows. They get their wheat and/or barley presoaked to lightly sprout it and kill off any molds.

"Come cow."

The girls: Buttercup, Susan, and Lilly.

Now we race and tackle each other to get minerals from the mobile (which has become our farm storage, until the barn is built).
Q. So what do you like most about farm chores?

A. "Tackling Michael."

They emerge a moment later, Michael with his minerals and Stephen with D.E. for the chicken house.

D.E. (Diatomaceous Earth) is a natural mineral that works to kill little buggies. We use it on the garden in the summer.

So anyway, a couple of our chickens have these buggies on their legs.
It's not a major problem and only a couple of our chickens have them. They can cause stress though, and less egg production. Stephen just started the D.E. in the chicken house, so hopefully it will be remedied quickly.

...And that's about it!

Q. So what is your feeling after completing farm chores?

A. "Its a good warm up to the days work."

Alright Stephen, you've been ducking out of all the photos this morning, lets just get a nice good bye shot...
"Good Grief, I'm leaving."
Have a nice day everyone!

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Little Bit of Cuteness!

I thought I'd share a little bit of the cuteness we get to experience every day:


Monday, February 1, 2010

A peek into Michael's Mornings....

Good morning everyone!  And what a good morning it is, too.

I'd like to introduce you to my new series of blog posts, called "A peek into (random sibling's) morning". I will be following a certain sibling around with a camera, capturing everything they do in their morning farm chore routine. Yup, you'll get to see all the nitty gritty! What's more, I'm going to be interviewing them as we go. Sound like fun?! The only negative is that there is a ton, literally, a ton, of pictures in these series. So a big group apology to those of you with slow internet connections. Bear with your ol' Bessy or avoid this series!

Alright everyone, let's get bundled up for the morning farm chores!
I'll randomly select Michael to be my first victim.As you can see, he was a good sport about it.

Okay, let's go! Mmm, smell that crisp clean morning air!

First step: crack any ice off the end of the hose and put on nozzle.

Q) So, how long do the morning farm chores take you?

A) "About an hour and a half."

Next, bring the other end of the hose inside and hook up to the warm water. Get the liquid minerals/enzymes (EMs) from the house.

Q) So what do you like most about farm chores?

A) "Being with all the animals."

Fill up water buckets, adding EM's to each.

Give water to calves and goats.

Q) What do you like least about farm chores?

A) "Buddy!" (laughter). (Buddy is our over zealous bull.)

Q) What really?

A) "Hmm, nothing."
Q) Would you rather trade your farm chores for inside chores?

A) "No."

Then give the cows EMs and water.
Q) Would you rather trade your farm chores for any kind of other chore/job?

A) "No."

Herd the cows over for their morning drink (so the water doesn't freeze before they get to it).
Q) Would you rather trade your farm chores for a morning school bus ride?

A) "No. Not. Absolutely not."

Q) Who are your favorite farm animals?

A) "Danny (ram) and Summer (milk goat)."

Q) Who's the cutest farm animal?

A) :

Q) And the ugliest?
I actually think he's pretty cute. The boys just have a vendetta against him.

Now we just simply sit on the fence and wait for Buddy to finish his water.
...Just sit there and breathe... stare into the back pasture....

Next, stick the hose in the horse trough to fill.

While the water is filling, collect the mineral buckets from the pens and bring them in to fill.

Now say hi to everybody again, as you feed out the minerals:

I want to interject that these pictures and words simply don't do the experience justice...

The smells are so sharp and clean...

The sun is so bright, the colors all really vibrant....

The sounds are all gentle and tickling to the ear...

The animals are all so cute and soft to the touch...

Your senses are all aroused, yet somehow calmed at the same time. It's a really neat experience.

(Walking out to the horses... and back again.)

Now, the horse water tank is full, so it's time to unhook the hose and drain it.

Okay now, last chore. We gotta climb in the goat house and milk....
And this is the reason he has the chore.
He fits the bill, well, hole. They've given up using the gate for whatever reason and now just crawl through the milking stanchion.

Step 1: Give goat grain to keep her there.
(btw, this is Summer. Mike's other favorite farm animal.)

Step 2: Milk goat by squeezing on teats.

Next: talk to the twins in a cute goaty voice. Tell them their turn is next--just be patient. (He's very good at this step. )

Repeat steps 1 and 2 with twins.

Then climb out, being careful not to spill your hard earned milk!

Q) Do you realize how much you contribute in your farm chores?

A) "Yea..."
All done!

Q) So what is your feeling after completing farm chores?

A) "Lifted, um, in my spirit? LOL I feel successful, like, um, what is the word?"



So, I'm sorry if I bogged down your computer, but hopefully I lifted your spirits!

I don't know when I'll get to my next series... it depends on the weather and my mood.
Who do you propose I should follow next?