Monday, March 2, 2015

Searching for Happiness

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardships as the pathway to peace, taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it, trusting that you will make all things right, if I surrender to your will, so that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with you forever in the next. Amen.
—The Serenity Prayer

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Calving Season has Begun

The inlaws were gone on a road trip, so I got to help on the farm this morning. Mainly my purpose was opening gates while the Hubby used the bale processor to spread some straw. Immediately the girls were happy to lay down. I don't blame them, I wouldn't want to bed down in all the snow that came down this morning either.
I caught the Hubby off guard and got a picture....and he is smiling! This was while he was showing me what he had been working on in the shop. He won't be impressed when he sees it.

I was on gate duty. The cows didn't know who was more interesting to watch.

This is the first calf of 2015. She was born 3 days ago and rode with the Hubby in the feeding pickup to warm up while he got her momma in the barn. We were getting one a day after until this morning when 3 were born with another 3-4 looking to follow suite. Synchronizing worked.

The barn has several pens for the new moms and babies. They get hay and water and turned back out after the littles are dry and determined likely not to chill down.

This little one is a few hours old. Her mama is a heifer (this is her first calf) and she did not appreciate me being a lookey-lou.

The old pig shed that will be torn down. I'm trying to talk the Hubby into building me a milking stall here. 3 sided, open to the south with a calf pen for separating the calf overnight. Then I can milk once a day and turn the pair out together. I don't think he is warming up to my milk cow dreams.

More pictures of the Heifers.

He didn't trust me to meet him where he wanted me. So I was on standby and told to "just follow"

I so enjoyed getting to come help. Even if it was just to open and close gates and put out a little mineral. I like to think of it as my gradual training to do the feeding when the Hubby is playing Army during Guard weekends.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Small Steps for a Man, Big Steps for a Baby

Bear is walking...and she knows it! My mom witnessed her first steps between the Hubby and I when she was staying with us after my surgery. Little girl didn't realize she forgot to hold on the couch, so she was unaware of the 3 steps she took.  It has taken 3 weeks for her to realize what she could do, no turning back now.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Channeling Green Acres

We have been discussing moving out of town to the farm. It was always in the 5-10 year plan...well 5 years would be this Summer. I am ready. According to the Hubby he has been ready for years.  We have a floor plan we both like, with almost the perfect mud room/ laundry room. It doesn't have French Doors separating the laundry area off from the mud room entrance complete with a chandelier...but ya can't win 'em all.  It does have lots space and storage.  I was hoping for an office and extra living room area to keep tv/play area separate from sitting/visiting area. The Hubby wants the house on a walkout basement, so the extra rooms/areas could eventually be there. We are still waiting on the quote and will be doing a lot of number crunching.

What has me excited though, is the prospect of helping more on the farm. With the feeding critters, working cattle (in my mind it's great, in reality I am thin skinned and hot tempered...I might be better off cooking for a crew than being on it). Getting to see my husband more. He would be home for lunch, the kids would have more time with him as he could pickup and drop off "helpers". Ooh and even though my Dad questions where he went wrong...I am almost positive I want chickens. The coops are adorable, fresh eggs and something the kids can help with. I'm a believer in chores build responsibility, work ethic, and pride/self-esteem.  Plus Easter Eggers, the ones that lay blue and green eggs, are you still with me? Fun right?

And I have been designing raised garden beds that I want to connect to the runoff from the house gutters into a rain barrel. From there a PVC pipe with holes drilled on top underneath the plants pulling water as needed. I have no actual skill in gardening, it's a miracle I have living house plants. However, the raised beds should have less weeds and beself watering with the collected rain water. Again the kids could help and fresh veggies! It doesn't hurt that my Mother-in-law used to run a greenhouse, so I also will have someone to get advice from. I would love to gain the skill set to raise the a good chunk of our produce.

I am considering getting dairy goats or a milk cow. Though the milking twice a day and being tied down for 9-10 months out of the year is a tough concept for someone who likes to up and go. On the plus side: milk, cream, homemade butter and ice cream in the summer. Also a built in nurse cow for bums. Still debating this one though. I am also looking into goats as I have never been around them. Growing up we had milk cows so I have advice sources. (Dad says milk at the store is a bargain...for that matter, eggs, butter, ect all is). The Hubby looks at me like I'm crazy but if it gets me to want to move he is okay with it. With the understanding that it would be my sole responsibility. I grew up on raw milk....and cream.  Store bought just doesn't compare. 

Another plus. I have started running in the morning about 3 times a week and I don't like running in town-well really public. At the farm it's a mile and a quarter from the highway, so round trip I could add an extra loop and get my 3 miles in easily and out of the public eye. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Misbehaving Floor

In the shuffle this morning a small accident happened.  My oldest had just left for preschool,  with a sweet Mom who has a son in the same class and has been picking mine up on the way. Baby Bear was laying next to me on the couch and I was trying to persuade the Big D to get dressed for the day (even if morning clothes aren't as green and awesome as pjs). He ran out stark naked and informed me he was out of clean underwear.

So I walked over to the laundry basket of clothes I had neglected to put away and threw him a pair. ..and the baby rolled off the couch.  My little 11 month old climber who has been climbing on and off the couch just long enough for me to let my guard down.

She was more startled than anything but her little crocodile tears made the Big D worried.  After he was all dressed and the baby calmed down he narrated a recap

Big D: I saw the baby and she falled off the couch and I saw her fall and cry and cry. And that made me sad. 
Mom: It made me sad too, Mommy should have put her on the floor before she walked away. 
Big D: I'm so angry at, I'm angry at the floor because it bonked my baby's head and hurt her and make her cry. Naughty floor, naughty.
Mom: It wasn't the floors fault,  she just fell on it. 
Big D: Floor don't you ever hurt my baby again.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Tuesday Blues

My oldest (5) made up a song this morning. My middle (3) the Big D learned said song very quickly and soon was providing backup vocals.

Little Baby
Little Baby
Little Baby Troublemaker
Little Baby
Little Baby

Repeat x2

Little Baby
Little baby making trouble
Little Baby Troublemaker
Little Baby
Doo doo whoop doo doo
Little Baby

Could you move the baby to the couch
Little Baby
Little baby making trouble
Little Baby
Little Baby Troublemaker
Little Baby
Little Baby

Stop that baby
Stop making trouble

Doo doo whoop doo doo

I'm actually pretty impressed. Not being musically inclined,  I'm not sure if it has more of a Blues or Jazz feel.

In the end though,  Little Baby Troublemaker (aka baby sister) still wanted to knock over the blocks. Which Josh was painstakingly arranging by color before he could start building.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Help

I am short tempered.

I lack patience.

I wish growing up I would have paid more attention to learning how to do things.

I have two young sons who love to "help".

This creates learning opportunities.

I know in my heart that letting them help is a chance to pass something on, to spend quality time together, build their self esteem, and make memories...etc.

However, I also know that:

I am controlling, have to have it my way, want to do things on my own, and without help.

I am at odds with myself.  I usually don't allow help and dismiss the offers with a distraction.  All the while knowing that I should be embracing the very thing I push away.

I am making an effort.

Letting the boys "help" me unload the dishwasher.  (I still struggle with them loading it)

Putting clothes in the washer/dryer.  Taking things out of the dryer. (the latter is the easiest for me)

Help sweeping and/or vacuuming. Drives me off the deep end...especially when everyone wants to "help" at the same time.  When I let the "I'm Do Its" win and let them take turns helping Mom clean, I tell myself this better pay off when they are older and I expect them to do it on their own. One at a time is manageable and I can usually manage a smile and enjoy teaching.

My oldest loves to scrub dishes and rinse.  Its not thorough but he likes the bubbles, water and mess.  I need to work on letting him help more before I load the dishwasher.  And allowing them to help me load...even if it isn't the ideal arrangement.

Both really want to help me cook.  But my youngest is the most insistent.  He will grab a chair and pull it over, take away my spoon and declare he is helping. Again I can handle one a time. In baking where they can take turn adding things I so with a one dish meal though while a baby is standing holding onto the back of my pants....well the temper is always close to flaring.

Baby steps. How do you practice patience and remember to enjoy the little moments? I try to remember how much I enjoyed getting to do something and help as a child. The pride of having my hand in making the meal.